by Jay Godden, edited by Isaac Rolfe and Rob Heinsoo, art by Roena I. Rosenberger
In crypts within Imperial walls, setting up the rituals necessary to create vampires that are anything other than slathering, bloodlusting monsters is very difficult. Most of the calculating vampire nobles working for the Lich King are ancient evils, and fresher true vampires are very costly to make, with very conspicuous rituals. For these reasons, corrupting mortals to begin their own path to the Sanguine Blessing is often more efficient and subtle than converting them within the Empire and drawing everyone’s attention. One of the many paths of corruption the Lich King uses is giving heroes magical arms and trinkets that give them a taste of the power of vampirism. He has found that many such heroes make their own way to Necropolis with the appropriate ritual components and sacrifices for ritual transformation with very little direct encouragement.
PCs that use these items aren’t necessarily becoming vampires (though if you wanted to use them to facilitate a vampire-build concept that would work well too), but they are certainly wielding vampire-style power and magic, and the quirks of these items will be leading them down that path. Your PC might be a daywalking vampire hunter fighting fire with fire and always resisting their dark impulses, or you might just be looking for a quick route to immortality and power through the Lich King’s favours, or perhaps you have been cursed with some form of bloodhunger already and these items give you a way to slake your thirst without completely giving up your mortal form. One thing is for sure; any PCs with lots of these items should be beset by temptations of power, immortality, wealth, and anything else the Lich King thinks they’d find enticing, in exchange for joining his court and accepting his “blessing”.
Set bonus: Once per full heal up, you can increase your crit range by X, after seeing the result of your roll. Crits made in this way are usually gratuitously bloody and brutal.
Goblet Chakra, +1 attack and damage with spells cast using this implement [[rh: see Loot Harder if you don’t recognize the Goblet Chakra]]
Ability (Free Action): This elaborate cup seems to be carved out of a single, deep pink gemstone. Spend a recovery without healing to fill the Chalice with blood to imbue yourself with profane speed. Increase your initiative score by 4. In addition, this turn you can trade up your quick action for a move action. Quirk: Drinks such as water, ale, and wine become unpleasant, even unpalatable to you. You begin considering ways to transport, cool, ferment, or mix blood in different ways to bring out its many varied and subtle qualities.
Head Chakra, +1 MD
A cold, steely band set with an unidentified glossy red gem, identifying you as a member of the vampiric aristocracy to those in the know.
Ability (Recharge 16+, Quick Action): You may attempt to hypnotise an enemy. Make an attack using Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma plus level vs. MD. On a hit, they immediately make a basic attack against one of their allies in range as a free action. If the target you hit is undead, they also cannot attack you for the remainder of the battle. Quirk: Existentially tortured by the concept of your own mortality and what Hell your soul may end up in after you die.
Armour chakra, +2 AC
Ability (Recharge 11+, Standard Action): “Attack” a defeated enemy and you can heal using a recovery. All nearby enemies are dazed until the start of your next turn as they watch you rend and eat their deceased ally. (Monsters might be used to eating people themselves. But they’re not used to seeing *you* do it!) Quirk: Becomes increasingly desensitised to all worldly pleasures, only truly feels something when engaging in acts of wanton slaughter and horrific violence.
Amulet chakra, +1 saves when you have 25hp or fewer
Ability (Recharge 16+, Quick Action): Your teeth extend into fangs and you dart forward. If you have not yet been engaged in this battle you can move to engage a nearby enemy as part of this attack. Make an attack using Strength or Dexterity plus level vs. PD. On a hit, the target takes level d6 damage, and you gain the same number of temporary hit points. Quirk: The light of day causes you a terrible pain that only abates when you drink fresh blood.
Cloak chakra, +3 PD
Ability (Recharge 6+, Quick Action): You can turn into a swarm of bats. Turning back into your “human” form is a free action. While a swarm of bats, you:
Can fit through gaps large enough for a single bat
Resist all damage except holy and fire 16+
Gain +5 to disengage checks
Can fly extremely well
Cannot make any attacks, but are free to take any other actions
Can spend a standard action to harass an enemy you are engaged with, forcing them to roll twice on their next attack and take the lower roll.
Quirk: Haunted by dreams of swarms of bats descending into a chamber filled with blood and sacrifices on a misty island mausoleum. A rotten skeletal hand reaches out at you in the darkness before you awake, hanging upside down and covered in sweat.
13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.