Tips For Role-Playing A Vampire In DnD

In Dungeons & Dragons, you can play anything from a scaly Dragonborn to a stout Dwarf, but what about when you go a step further and play as someone afflicted with the curse of vampirism? Well, it is actually possible for your character to become a vampire, either through official content or homebrew.

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Regardless of what you choose, you should speak to your Dungeon Master about what being a vampire will mean in their world. Usually in a campaign, you’re killing vampires. However, we also have some tips and tricks that will help guide you along if you decide to play a vampire in your campaign and keep living your best immortal life.

8 Don’t Bite Your Party

A vampire bites into the neck of a grimacing man
Astarion’s Thirst by Winona Nelson

For the love of all that is holy, do not bite your party. Although you can ask your party members if it’s okay to feed off them, you also shouldn’t just go ahead and bite them without asking and especially not if they don’t even know that you’re a vampire.

You should just try to avoid biting your party, even if it means telling them that you’re a vampire and that you’ll need something to feed on, whether it’s animals or some bandits that you’ve defeated.

7 Choose Between Dhampir Or Vampire

A pale man sits on an ornate chair as a gothic castle is behind him
Dungeons and Dragons Curse of Strahd Art via Wizards of The Coast

Many people seem to forget that the concept of a dhampir exists. For those who don’t know, a dhampir is basically a half mortal and half vampire. When it comes to Dungeons & Dragons, this usually means that as a dhampir you can walk in the sunlight and have some different features compared to a fully-fledged vampire.

At the same time, perhaps you want your character to be someone who is a complete and whole vampire, whether they’ve been turned, come back that way or another backstory that you think would fit that.

6 Don’t Get Too Cocky

A couple figures confront a tall pale vampire outside a castle at night
Van Richten’s Guide To Ravenloft Cover Art by Anna Podedworna

As a vampire, you’re probably going to be pretty powerful. If you’re using official content, then you’ll have a vampire bite attack where you can drain grappled or incapacitated foes and can also gain some hit points this way. You’ll also be immortal, so it makes sense for your character, especially if they’ve lived long enough, to ooze confidence.

But just because vampires in Dungeons & Dragons are powerful doesn’t mean you will be all the time, so be sure to rein it in at times. Don’t think that, just because you don’t age, it doesn’t mean you aren’t able to be killed.

5 Consider How It Affects Your Character

A hooded figure stands atop rooftops in a city at night
Half Elf Rogue by Daniel Castiblanco

Being a vampire is going to affect almost everything about your character, from what you feed on to how you were turned; it’s an integral aspect that you have to consider. So, what kind of vampire will you play? Will you feed on animals or people? Both? How did you turn into a vampire, and would it be something that goes into your backstory?

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These are the kinds of questions you should ask yourself when creating a character who is a vampire or perhaps when your character turns into one.

4 Be Prepared For Sunlight And Radiance

A row of figures stand in front of coloured pane glass
The Sundering by Tyler Jacobson

It’s a common myth for a reason, only this time around vampires do tend to be susceptible to sunlight and radiant damage. Ask your Dungeon Master about the weaknesses of vampires in their campaign, especially if they’re going to be using homebrew content. It’s rare for characters to have a vulnerability to a type of damage, so you’ll need to be careful with certain encounters and rules that you have to be aware of that the party might not.

This could also include other guidelines your DM has set, like whether you can enter holy sites like churches or need an invitation to get into residential buildings.

3 Decide Where Your Food Is From

A hooded man appears underground holding two pickaxes
Gloom Stalker by Tomas Duchek

This is another big question that you will have to ask yourself before embarking on playing a vampire. You have to decide exactly where your food is from and this can depend on your character and the type of campaign you’re in. It’s important, as the sustenance you can (or can’t) get may affect your character (a popular house rule is to have it inflict Exhaustion points on your character).

A superb tip is to just feed on those you’d kill anyway and perhaps some animals if you try to hunt some down in your free time, just to keep your sanguine hunger at bay.

2 You Can Hide Your Vampirism

Tasha Of Tasha's Cauldron Of Everything Casts A Spell
Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything by Wylie Beckert and Magali Villeneuve

Sometimes it may be too risky to show off that you’re a vampire, and so the thing to do is hide your vampirism. Look at backgrounds that could get you proficiency with Disguise Kits or perhaps feats that could get you access to spells like Alter Self. The use of disguise may be important for your vampire to remain undetected in situations.

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You may also want to get proficiency in a skill like Deception just in case you have to talk your way out of any situation with some suspicious characters.

1 Bite Unconscious Enemies

A dark elf with glowing red eyes stands with a staff
Baeloth Barrityl, Entertainer by Joshua Raphael

So, you’ve perhaps decided that your vampire is going to take the blood of people. Well, instead of trying to target those in a fight, if you can, non-lethal an enemy and knock them out. Then you can bite them and perhaps dispose of them later or leave them there.

This way, you can feed, and the victim can’t be a witness to it if they’re unconscious or possibly dead. Make sure to remember to tell your DM that you’re going to non-lethally attack people though if you decide to go down this route.

NEXT: Dungeons & Dragons: Tips To Homebrew A New Species

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