October 23, 2018

Vampire Lord

Sacred Oath
Comments from the Knuckle: "Bringing you this spooky Sacred Oath in time for Halloween one shots! Mechanically, this was heavily inspired by the vampire abilities in Skyrim, rather than classic vampires; I had lots of fun writing this one. :)"

Oath of the Vampire Lord

Most paladins' oaths are the result of a conviction that rules their lives. For you, your oath is not just the result of a mere conviction, it is a reflection of your very existence; your blood is tainted by a vampiric curse. Many see vampirism as a terrible affliction with horrific consequences, but you have managed to harness the powers granted by vampirism into an inexorable weapon. You are not a true vampire, but its curse permeates your being, perverting you into an abomination trapped between life and undeath. If you ever interact with a fully blooded vampire, they will likely welcome you as the future of their kind.

Tenets of the Vampire Lord
Polite society has outcast the individuals who swear the Oath of the Vampire Lord, and their Oaths reflect this, placing importance on self-reliance and independence.
     Apostasy. The gods of life and death have turned their back on me. My path will not be dictated by their whims.
     Consume the Living. The living have outcast me as a monster. My only crime is indulging in what I must do to survive; and I will continue to survive.
     Convert the Worthy. There are a few enlightened mortals who recognize my superiority. They are invaluable agents, and must be added to our ranks.
     Sow the Bloodline. By sowing my bloodline, I establish a dynasty that will rise from the ashes of a desiccated world to rule over all that remains.

Oath Spells
You gain spells at the paladin levels listed.

Oath of the Vampire Lord Spells
Paladin LevelSpells
3rdcharm person, disguise self
5thdarkvision, invisibility
9thanimate dead, vampiric touch
13thblight, shadow of moil*
17thdanse macabre*, seeming
*This spell is found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything

Channel Divinity
When you take this oath at 3rd level, you gain the following two Channel Divinity options.
     Malignant Presence. As an action you can use your Channel Divinity to exude an aura of terror for 1 minute. This aura is centered on you and moves with you. Each creature you choose within a 15-foot radius of you must make a Wisdom saving throw against your Paladin spell save DC or become frightened of you for the duration. When a creature enters the area for the first time or ends its turn there, it must make this saving throw. A frightened creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns. On a successful save, a creature is immune to this effect for the next 24 hours.
     For the duration, bright light within the area becomes dim light and dim light becomes darkness. You can see in darkness created by this Channel Divinity. You can dismiss the effects of this Channel Divinity as a bonus action on your turn.
     Nightstalker. As an action, you can use your Channel Divinity to cause shadows to cling to you for 1 hour. For the duration, you cannot suffer disadvantage on your Dexterity (Stealth) checks, and you gain a bonus to your Dexterity (Stealth) checks equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of 1).

Aura of the Blooded
Beginning at 7th level, you are permeated by vampiric magic. You and each friendly creature within 10 feet of you gain resistance to cold and necrotic damage. Additionally, when radiant damage is dealt by a melee attack within this aura, you can choose to change the radiant damage to necrotic damage.
     At 18th level, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.

Vampiric Escape
Starting at 15th level, when you are hit by a weapon attack, you can use your reaction to transform into a cloud of mist, as per the spell gaseous form. You gain resistance to the damage of the triggering attack, and you can move up to 30 feet without provoking opportunity attacks. At the end of this movement, you revert to your natural form.

Vampire Lord
At 20th level, you can assume the fearsome guise of a vampire lord. As a bonus action on your turn, you undergo a transformation. For 1 minute, you gain the following benefits:
  • You are considered to be Undead for the purposes of spells that do not restore hit points. Additionally, you do not need to breathe.
  • You grow leathery bat-like wings that grant you a flying speed of 30 feet.
  • Your hands twist into claws. Your unarmed strikes deal 1d8 necrotic damage.
  • When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, you regain hit points equal to your paladin level + your Charisma modifier.
  • You are immune to necrotic damage.
     Once you use this feature, you can't use it again until you finish a long rest.

Changelog: 10/25/18: Malignant Presence changed to have a smaller AoE and a clearer duration.
Reworked the "Undead" bullet point under the Vampire Lord feature.


  1. Really cool, concept for both PCs and villains, gotta say!

    I'd say it's a little bit on the strong side. My conqueror pally is certainly jealous of them for Malignant Presence, it easily overshadows Conquering Presence's one time fear AoE.

  2. This is really interesting. It's a cool way to approach vampirism. It does have a few issues, though:

    Malignant Presence:
    1) does not specify how long it lasts
    2) is strictly better than the oathbreakers' CD, which is already better (in most ways) than the vengeance CD.

    Aura of the blooded basically makes you & allies resistant to radiant damage (I get that it's supposed to make your smite necrotic, but still)- the opposite of what I'd expect from a vampire. Or is that intentional as a way to protect against radiance?

    Vampire lord kinda does too many things- I think there's no real reason for the undead thing and the unarmed strike thing.

    1. The undead thing looks a little... silly, too? Not requiring food or sleep for the next _one minute_ is a bit weird to specify.

    2. Not needing to breathe for a minute could be useful in some situations though.

    3. So is being undead, since your enemies now need to cast /hold monster/ or /dominate monster/ instead of the humanoid versions of those spells.

      Also, I'll look at the Channel Divinity in the morning, and see how much I need to tweak it.

      @Idan, to your comment about Aura of the Blooded, yes, those are all intended.

  3. Vampiric escape seems to have no cooldown or drawback