The Best In Old School Roleplaying

The Best In Old School Roleplaying
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Octhorrorfest; Curing Characters Afflicted With Vampirism For Old School Fantasy and Horror Games

Vampiric Affliction; How It Works

It is well known that those bitten by a vampire, shall rise as a vampire. There is often confusion about how this works. From a folkloric standpoint, the affliction/curse can be transferred from a bite or drinking the blood of a vampire. In many games, especially D&D and it's derivatives, anyone killed by a vampire will become one, under the Master's control. But how do the metaphysics of the affliction actually work?


When a vampire bites someone an unholy "venom" enters into the victim's  bloodstream. If the victim dies while this "venom" is still active, they will rise as a vampire under the control of the vampire who had originally cause the wound. This is what gave rise to the idea that a victim will become a vampire after being bitten a given number of times (typically three.) In these cases the vampire feeds upon the same victim night after night until they are drained of blood and die, then rising as a vampire themselves. Of course, dying in any way while the "venom" is in the victim will cause them to rise as a vampire.

Curing the Affliction

There are at least two ways to cure the affliction, if caught before death. In either case, a saving throw or constitution check (referee's discretion) to overcome the affliction. The first way to remove the affliction is to apply a poultice made of 3 parts garlic to 1 part silver to the wound every hour until the "venom" is neutralized. This would require a save/check each time the poultice is applied.

The second cure requires holy water. This method is demonstrated by Van Helsing in the film "The Brides of Dracula" from Hammer Horror.  First, the bite must be cauterized with hot steel. Following this holy water should be poured over the wound. The holy water instantly removes the affliction when this ritual cure is performed.