Homo sapiens lamia infecio
Build Points: 75
The Tainted are one of the oldest types of vampire known to man. The first Tainted appeared when demons left this reality. The last of the demons infected a human, and the first Tainted Vampire was born. Since then, they have spread like rats, across the globe, staying in the shadows, the darkness, avoiding the light.
Unlike the Embraced, or the HMHVV-spawned vampires, the Tainted lack souls. When a person is infected with HMHVV, he dies, and is reborn as a vampire, but he retains the qualities that made him who he was in life. Good people tend to remain good when infected with HMHVV. The Embraced gain a savage nature, the Beast they call it. Some of them remain as human as in life, while others degenerate into savage creatures. In both cases, the living Essence of the creature remains.
The Tainted lose this essential quality. When a person is turned by the Tainted, the person who was, dies. A demonic soul takes up residence in the body. The demon uses the host’s personality as a template, but only the evil aspects. The goodness of the victim is gone. The type of evil varies by the host. Some vampires are lazy, content to eat occasionally, but very much act like they did in life. The victim’s did not have strong personalities. Other vampires become quite dangerous, having the drive and ambition of the victim, but bent to evil. Astrally, the Tainted resembles the person he was in life, but with blackness in his aura; he is obviously “dead”.
There have been two known cases of non-evil Tainted vampires, both in the last years of the 20th, and early years of the 21st Centuries. The most well – known is Angel. Born Liam in 18th Century Ireland, he was the worthless, son of a wealthy, harsh merchant. Angel acted out against his father by being worthless. He spent his time whoring and drinking and bringing shame upon his family. Despite the way he acted, Angel was smart, ruthless, and ambitious by nature. Once turned, he took the name Angelus (“He of the angelic face”), and carved a name and reputation as one of the most fierce and evil creatures to walk the earth.
Decades after his conversion, Angelus killed a Gypsy girl. For revenge, the girl’s family cursed Angelus by restoring his soul. Once this occurred, Angel, as he came to be known, felt the human remorse and pain for his past deeds. Little did Angel know that the curse had a loophole; if he should experience a moment of perfect happiness, his soul would be lost once more.
In the 1990s, Angel experienced perfect happiness and lost his soul. He engaged in a reign of terror in the California town of Sunnydale, and almost ended the world by bring an ancient demon into it, but he was stopped killed by his former lover, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. With his death, Angel was transported to a metaplane, a “Hell”, in which he spent at least 100 years. He then returned to the physical realm, but only a few months had passed. His soul was restored, and eventually he healed.
The second non-evil Tainted vampire was known as Spike. Born William, in 18th Century England, he was a shy, foppish romantic, known only for his bad poetry. He was turned by one of Angel’s “children”, and soon took the name Spike (supposedly for his penchant for torturing victims with railroad spikes). Spike, Angel, and two female vampires went about for decades, leaving death and destruction in their wake. After Angel was ensouled, Spike continued with his love Drusilla. In the 1990s, the pair ended up in Sunnydale, where they repeatedly confronted Angel and Buffy. When Angel lost his soul, he joined once more with Spike and Drusilla, in order to destroy the world. Unlike Angel, Spike was not ambitious, and liked the world, so he teamed with Buffy and turned on Angel. Through his action, Buffy was able to defeat Angel.
Spike left Sunnydale for a time, until he returned, having broken up with Drusilla. Again, Spike left, and once more, he returned. Eventually, Spike ended up falling in love with Buffy, and after an attempted rape, he set out to become the man she wanted. This led him to a series of mystical trials, which he passed. His reward: the return of his soul.
No other vampires are known to have been ensouled, either by choice or by force, but it is possible with the proper rituals and materials, to force a soul into a vampire. Doing so requires difficult, strenuous, and dangerous ritual sorcery.
An ensouled vampire can be played as a character, assuming the player can generate a very compelling reason for the character to have a soul.
The Tainted have the following attribute modifiers and abilities.
Body +3, Quickness +3, Strength +4, Essence 0.
Game Face: Vampires have two faces; their human face, and their “Game Face.” The Game Face is demonic, with ridges and fangs. When a vampire is not in Game Face, reduce his Strength and Quickness by one point each. When a vampire engages his Game Face, victims must roll Willpower (2) tests or attempt to flee for 1d6 combat turns. Creatures used to dealing with vampires do not have to make this test. Changing from one face to the other is a Simple Action.
Heightened Senses (Smell): Vampires have potent senses of smell. They receive +6 dice to scent-based Perception tests.
Immunity (Airlessness): Vampires do not have to breathe. They can inhale and exhale air in order to talk, smoke, or what not, but they cannot perform CPR. Despite not requiring air, vampires can be “choked out” by cutting the blood flow to the brain.
Immunity to Age: Once a creature is born as a vampire, he no longer ages physically in the normal sense. However, vampires who live long enough may undergo physical changes, as seen in the Master and Kakistos.
Immunity to Disease: Vampires are immune to most mundane and magical diseases. Diseases tailored to affect vampires can have the normal effect.
Infection: To infect a creature, the vampire must first kill the victim with his bite, draining the victim’s blood. Then the vampire must feed the victim some of his vampiric vitae. The victim will arise in 1d3 days as a vampire.
Rapid Healing: Vampires heal quickly, though not as quickly as many para-animals. When making tests to heal, the vampire uses double his Body rating, and the Target Number is two less than normal.
Resistance to Drugs and Toxins: Vampires are resistant to drugs and toxins. When resisting the effects, the vampire uses double his Body, and the effects (if long – lasting) last only 25% of the normal time.
Resistance to Firearms: Vampires use double their normal Body to resist damage from firearms.
Resistance to Pain: Vampires can resist a number of Wound Penalties equal to their Willpower (+/-3 for most vampires).
Skilled Combatants: Newly born vampires have Unarmed Combat at a rating of 2, unless they possessed a greater rating in life, in which case, that rating is used.
Toughness: Vampires receive two additional dice to Damage Resistance tests. They receive +2 points to their Overflow.
Vampiric Bite: To successfully bite a victim, the victim must be grappled, restrained, subdued, or must not expect the attack. The bite deals (Str)M2 damage, and typically, it bypasses armor. Once bitten, the vampire can drain the victim’s blood quite rapidly, dealing bite damage every four combat turns.
Vampire Qualities: Vampires do not have reflections, and cannot enter private property. Hotels and the like count as private property only if the creature living there has been doing so for at least 30 days. If the vampire is invited in, he can come and go as he pleases unless a certain ritual is performed to “uninvited” him. The owner of the property does not have to invite the vampire in; anyone inside may make the invitation.
Weaknesses: Vampires have few weaknesses. Most attacks can hurt a vampire, but few will kill one. The following attacks have special effects and/or can kill a vampire.
· Beheading: Decapitating a vampire can kill him. Taking a vampire’s head in combat is difficult. It requires a called shot (+4 TN), and must deal physical damage that exceeds the vampire’s Overflow. Of course, an appropriate weapon must also be used. Taking the head of a downed or incapacitated vampire is much easier.
· Crosses: When confronted with a cross, a vampire must roll a Willpower (6) test and score at least three successes to approach the bearer of the cross. Even is successful, the vampire suffers a +2 Target Number penalty to all actions while confronted with the cross. The touch of a cross deals one box of Physical damage on initial contact and one box per (Body) combat turns of contact. Cross damage heals at the vampire’s normal accelerated rate.
· Fire: Fire damage can kill a vampire. Vampires do not use double their Body, nor is the Target Number reduced, when calculating how long it takes to heal fire damage.
· Holy Water: Contact with holy water deals damage to a vampire, and this damage can kill one. A splash of holy water deals 4L1 damage. A glassful (8 ounces) deals 6M2. A bucket full (half gallon) deals 9S3, and a gallon deals 12D4. If the holy water is consumed, the damage is increased by +10/+4/+5, and the vampire does not receive a Damage Resistance test. For example, a glass of consumed holy water deals 16D7 damage. Holy water damage heals at the vampire’s normal accelerated rate.
· Staking: A vampire can be killed if a wooden implement is jammed through his heart. Typically, this is a wooden stake. Striking the heart is as difficult as removing the vampire’s head, and the attack must deal enough damage to exceed the vampire’s Overflow. Failure to exceed this number indicates that the heart was just missed. Staking a vampire is typically easier if the vampire has been beaten on for a while.
· Sunlight: Only direct sunlight can hurt a vampire. Indirect sunlight has no effect, but makes them nervous. Indirect sunlight includes shade, being indoors with open windows or curtains (but not standing directly in front of the window), or wrapped in heavy, concealing clothing or blankets. Sunlight deals no damage on the first combat turn of exposure. On subsequent turns, the vampire must resist (using his regular Body, not doubled) 10M3 damage. Sunburn damage heals at the vampire’s normal accelerated rate.