1121 • 2173
|No. Appearing:||1-4 (1d4)|
|Movement:||12, Fl 18 (A)|
|THAC0:||11 (+1 for Strength)|
|No. of Attacks:||1|
|Damage/Attack:||1d6 (+3 for Strength)|
|Special Attacks:||See below|
|Special Defenses:||See below|
|Size:||M (6’ tall)|
Of all the evil, undead creatures that stalk the world, few are more terrible than the dread cerebral vampires of Dominia. They do not feed upon blood, but sustain themselves by absorbing the mental energies of their victims. Only the lord of Dominia, Daclaud Heinfroth, knows the secret behind their creation.
Cerebral vampires share some traits with the standard vampire described in the Monstrous Manual tome and Van Richten’s Guide to Vampires: The creatures appear as normal human beings but cast no reflection in a glass, throw no shadows, and move about in complete silence. However, holy water has no effect on them, nor are they harmed by sunlight or immersion in running water.
Combat: When engaging in combat, cerebral vampires are savage and fearsome opponents. They are physically very powerful, with a Strength score of 18/51, receiving a bonus of +1 on their attack rolls and +3 to their damage rolls. Thus, the crushing blows of a vampire’s attack are so fierce that they inflict 4-9 (1d6+3) points of damage.
The gaze of a cerebral vampire is one of its most powerful and dangerous weapons. Any person who allows the vampire to look into his eyes will be affected as though under the influence of a hypnotic pattern spell.
The touch of a cerebral vampire also affects a victim like a confusion spell, but the saving throw vs. spell is made with a -4 penalty.
While the victim is confused, the cerebral vampire will attempted to drain the cerebral fluid from his brain by sinking its fangs into the back of his skull. For each round the victim is drained, his Intelligence and Wisdom scores are reduced by 1 point. In addition, he must make a Madness Check because of the wrenching effect this attack has on his mind.
Any human or humanoid creature whose Intelligence or Wisdom score is reduced to 0 by the drain of cerebral vampires is doomed to become an undead creature himself. Unlike other vampires, however, these creatures do not breed true. The secret of creating cerebral of vampires is known only to Daclaud Heinfroth himself.
Instead, the victims of a cerebral vampire rise as ghouls. The newly created ghoul is under the complete control of its killer. If that vampire is destroyed, the controlled undead are freed from its power and become self-willed creatures. In most cases, vampires do not lose the abilities and knowledge which they had in life when they become undead. However, the new vampire becomes chaotic evil, so alignment-dependent abilities (such as a paladin’s special powers) are lost.
Weapons of less than +1 enchantment pass through a cerebral vampire without harming it in any way. Even if struck by magical weapons, the monsters regenerate 3 hit points per round. If reduced to zero hit points. the creature is not destroyed; instead, it is forced to assume a gaseous form consisting of clouds of elemental vapor. In this state, the creature is all but immune to attack and can escape from almost any confinement. Once in this state, it will attempt to flee and return to its coffin where, after 8 hours of rest, it regains its corporeal form. If the vampire is unable to reach its coffin within 12 turns, however, its essence breaks up and the creature is truly destroyed.
Sleep, charm, hold and other mind- or biology-based spells do not affect vampires. Similarly, they are unharmed by poisons, diseases, and all forms of natural or magical paralysis. Spells or other attacks that are based on cold or electricity cause them only half damage, although they suffer full damage from fire or heat-based attacks.
Cerebral vampires can summon lesser creatures for aid. In a coastal environment, they will typically call forth a flock of 10-100 seagulls. These not only physically attack the vampire’s enemies, inflicting 2d4 points of damage per round, but serve to obscure their vision and upset spellcasters. In the wilderness, a vampire will call upon 3-18 wolves for assistance. In all cases, the summoned animals arrive in 2-12 rounds and remain until driven off.
Despite the great powers which cerebral vampires possess, they are not without weaknesses of their own. The odor of pure alcohol repels them, and they will not approach it. Further, they recoil from the face of a mirror or lawful good holy symbol if either of these is presented to them with courage and conviction. It is important to understand, however, that this does not actually harm the vampire or drive it off. Alcohol prevents the creature from attacking or entering the area, while mirrors and holy symbols force the vampire to find some means of removing the offending object before it can be bypassed. Another point to keep in mind is that a lawful good holy symbol affects the vampire regardless of the vampire’s original religious background.
In addition to its aversion to items like alcohol and holy symbols, the vampire acts under other limitations. The most powerful of these is the creature’s inability to enter a home without being first invited by a resident of the dwelling. This restriction does not apply to public buildings and places of business which, by their very nature, extend an “invitation” to all. Once a vampire has been invited to enter a residence, it may come and go freely afterward.
Further, while cerebral vampires are not harmed by the rays of the sun, they must spend 8 hours out of every 24 sleeping in the coffins within which they were buried, for their unnatural existence is sustained by such slumber.
Lastly, a vampire can be killed by having a wooden stake driven through its heart. In this case, however, the creature can be restored simply by removing the stake if further measures are not taken to ensure the fate of the creature. In order for it to be completely destroyed, the vampire must be bound in a straitjacket, its head cut off, and its mouth stuffed with holy wafers (or their equivalent).
Habitat/Society: Cerebral vampires are found almost exclusively on the island of Dominia. When encountered elsewhere, they are always on some mission for their master, Daclaud Heinfroth.
All of Heinfroth’s minions are burly young men. Because of their role as orderlies in his asylum, they move among the patients in gray robes and masks painted with unfeelingly happy faces. They never go armed, depending upon their vampiric powers and abilities to overcome their enemies.
The most commonly spoken language among these folk is the guttural tongue of Gundarak, a land that was absorbed by Barovia. Most cerebral vampires speak two or three other languages.
Ecology: Vampires have no place in the natural world and serve no ecological function.
◆ 1913 ◆