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Living Vampire

Ahoolings are primarily known as keening, bloodthirsty savages that have the potential to transform into a true horror. It is a lesser known fact that there is a secret order of ahoolings that eschews the demonic and primitive impulses of their tainted ancestry in favor of a warrior-mysticism based on the metaphysical river of blood that connects all life. As legends would have it, the revelations from this lost grimoire, handed down through the order’s annals, changed the very physiology of their recipients, elevating them from savagery, while at the same time heightening their hunger. These were the first of the stalwart living vampires, martial mystics with a heightened thirst, oath-bound to seek enlightenment through righteous bloodshed. From savage butchers to noble knights rivaling the purity of paladins, living vampires have been the heroes and villains of many a whispered tale, standing triumphant in the midst battle as they quest for their personal, elusive enlightenment through blood.

Hunter’s Skills

As a living vampire, you require more sustenance that other ahoolings, but you also have come equipped with the necessary skills to satisfy your cravings. At 3rd level, choose one skill from Athletics, Deception, Persuasion, Stealth or Survival. You gain proficiency in the chosen skill.

Vampire’s Blood Thirst

Upon becoming a living vampire at 3rd level, your blood thirst becomes more pronounced than that of other ahoolings, as your enhanced metabolism burns through the nourishing life force faster. You can’t binge on blood as other ahoolings can—your metabolism consumes the equivalent of two vitae points per day, which are subtracted either after 24 hours have elapsed, or after you finish a long rest, whichever happens first. If you cannot pay this cost of vitae points, you gain one level of exhaustion and don’t gain vitae points from feeding until you have fueled your metabolism by paying the 2 points of vitae. If you already have one level of exhaustion due to vampire’s blood thirst, you gain a second level of exhaustion instead. Your exhaustion due to blood thirst can never rise above level 2, but until you have sated your thirst, your exhaustion may never fall below the threshold of exhaustion incurred by your blood thirst. If you consume the equivalent of 2 points of vitae, you reduce your exhaustion incurred by your vampire’s blood thirst by one level.

You may not reduce other forms of exhaustion by drinking blood. If you somehow become immune to exhaustion, then that immunity does not apply to your vampire’s blood thirst.

While you suffer from exhaustion incurred from vampire’s blood thirst, you may not regain vitae points—instead, the drained blood automatically is used to pay off vampire’s blood thirst. Vampire’s blood thirst never consumes more than two vitae points per day.

You may choose to avoid this cost by going into hibernation. This decision must be made after finishing a long rest and slows down your metabolism for at least 24 hours. You are unconscious for the duration of the hibernation. When entering in a manner that is more dangerous to the willing donor—in this case, the living vampire instead drains 2 Hit Dice per round, but the donor must succeed a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or begin suffering a bleeding wound that inflicts 1 point of damage due to blood loss per round. This bleeding can be stopped by a DC 15 Wisdom (Medicine) check or any amount of magical healing. The same limits apply for this more dangerous form of blood donation.

Vampiric Techniques

When you become a living vampire at 3rd level, you undergo physical and metaphysical changes. Your metabolism calls out via the red river that connects all to the blood of other creatures. This mystic connection allows you to perform unique martial arts, known as vampiric techniques. You learn vampire’s gaze and freely select 2 vampiric techniques of your choice, which are detailed under “Vampiric Techniques” below. You can use only one vampiric technique per turn, excluding murmurs, which are always active. You learn two additional vampiric techniques at 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th level. Some vampiric techniques have a vitae point cost to activate, while others do not.

Vampiric techniques with a vitae point cost note their activation actions in their respective entries. Each time you learn new vampiric techniques, you may also replace one vampiric technique you know with a different one.

Vitae Pool. You measure your supply in nourishing blood in vitae points. Your vitae pool can contain up to your proficiency bonus + your Charisma or Constitution modifier (your choice) vitae points. Your vitae pool has a minimum size of 3 vitae points. Vitae is consumed by your metabolism and is used to fuel a number of your class features.

Your vitae pool does not automatically replenish upon finishing a short or long rest.

The rush of death approaching can send a resonant song of power through the red river that connects you with all things. Whenever you can see a creature that suffers from a bleeding wound that was caused by you, is reduced to 0 hit points, you may use your reaction to gain 1 vitae point. Only creatures that could sustain your blood thirst (see side-bar) can provide a vitae point this way. You may only gain 1 vitae point this way from a single creature in 24 hours. You may regain a maximum number of vitae points this way equal to your proficiency bonus—for everything beyond that, you have to drink the blood of other creatures. The maximum number of vitae points you can regain this way resets after finishing a long rest.

Bleeding Wounds. Several of your vampiric techniques create wounds that bleed profusely, causing continuous damage to the target. Only targets with blood or a blood-equivalent circulation system may be affected by bleeding wounds. (Subject to GM’s discretion; generally, creature types that can provide vitae can also be affected by bleeding wounds.) In order to inflict a bleeding wound, your vampiric technique has to inflict at least 1 point of damage to the target. Failure to damage a creature with an attack also means that you don’t inflict a bleeding wound. The damage inflicted by bleeding wounds is considered to be untyped. Bleeding wounds you inflict with vampiric techniques stack with bleeding wounds created by other vampiric techniques, but they do not stack with themselves. Bleeding wound damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. A target with a bleeding wound may forgo moving on its turn to attempt to temporarily staunch the flow of blood. The creature takes no damage from one of its bleeding wounds for one round. Additionally, a creature may use a Wisdom (Medicine) check against your vampiric technique save DC to treat the flow of blood. On a success, the effects of one bleeding wound end. Magical healing closes all bleeding wounds, provided it restores more hit points at once than the last total damage per round inflicted by bleeding wounds that the target suffered from.

Otherwise, the target is healed, but continues to suffer the damage inflicted by bleeding wounds.

Alternatively, blood worth 1 vitae point may be preserved with an Intelligence (alchemist’s supplies) or Wisdom (herbalism kit) check against DC 15. Failure indicates that the blood was spoiled by the attempt. The necessary ingredients to preserve blood this way cost 2 gp. Blood thus preserved does taste foul and renders the living vampire poisoned for 1 round upon consuming it. (No save.)

Saving Throws. The bleeding effects caused by your vampiric techniques require your target to make a saving throw to resist the technique’s effects.

The saving throw DC is calculated as follows:

Vampiric Technique Save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice)

There are 4 kinds of vampiric techniques.

Anima. Anima vampiric techniques represent the exertion of control that you can establish over your physiology. They are based on the understanding of the living vampire’s duality, of life consuming life, death begetting life—as such, they tend to grant a benefit as well as a drawback. You may only have one anima vampiric technique in effect at any given time and, once activated, the technique cannot be dismissed. It must run its course until its duration elapses. Anima techniques, unless otherwise noted, last for a number of rounds equal to your choice of either Charisma or Constitution modifier (minimum 1), chosen each time anew.

Anima techniques also generate a bit of resonance when activated (see escalations, below).

Escalations. Escalations have a vitae cost to activate and generate resonance, a harmony between your blood and that of your adversaries, a resource required to activate reaping (see below) vampiric techniques. It does not matter if the escalation misses, is resisted, negated or otherwise fails to produce its intended effect—resonance is generated nonetheless. The connection required to maintain resonance is tenuous at best and may only be established when the blood of participants sings of battle. Resonance has a duration of 1 minute, which resets whenever you generate resonance. When this duration elapses, the resonance is lost.

You can store resonance equal to your proficiency bonus + your choice of either your Constitution or Charisma modifier.

Murmurs. Murmurs are the soothing sounds of your own blood, whispering of eldritch secrets.

They do not have a cost to activate and are always considered to be in effect.

Reapings. Reaping vampiric techniques are impressive, often frightening abilities that rely on resonance to work. Each Reaping technique features the Resonance required –line in its entry.

In order to execute the reaping vampiric technique, you must have at least the listed amount of resonance in addition to paying the vitae cost, if any. Performing a reaping vampiric technique generates a crescendo in the mystic song of blood that resets your resonance to 0.

The Red River’s Song

At 7th level, the red river is no longer just a reference to the blood flowing through creatures; it becomes a mystic concept for you, one that represents animating life– (or unlife–) granting forces, allowing you to bleed dry even bloodless beings. Choose one tag or general type of creature like “arachnid vermin,” “crystalline beings,” “spectral undead,” “bloodless slimes,” etc. that can be described in two words. The two-word description must be relatively specific and may not encompass all creatures of one creature type.

Creatures that fit the description and which would usually be immune to your bleeding wounds lose their immunity against your vampiric techniques. This does not allow you to gain sustenance from these creatures, unless they could sustain you—if you for example choose “iron constructs,” you can cause bleeding wounds to them, but you still can’t gain vitae from them. At 10th and 15th level, you may choose an additional creature to be described thus.

Exsanguination Aura

At 10th level, whenever you are within 30 ft. of a target creature that suffers from an ongoing bleeding wound caused by a vampiric technique and the target of that wound receives magical healing, there is a chance that the bleeding just won’t stop. The resonance between your life force and the target draws forth the precious red.

The total number of hit points that must be healed at once by a magical healing effect to close bleeding wounds is increased by twice your current resonance score.

If a target had, for example, taken 8 hit points of damage due to bleeding wounds and you have a resonance of 3, a healing effect would have to heal 14 hit (8 + 2 x 3) points at once in order to close the bleeding wounds of the target. Otherwise, the target is healed, but retains the bleeding wounds.

Master of the Red River’s Waves

At 18th level, you may, as a bonus action, temporarily suspend all damage from bleeding wounds one creature within your exsanguinations aura suffers.

If the creature leaves the range of your aura, the suspended bleeding wound damage immediately resumes. You tap into the red river’s power and the creature’s blood coagulates, flies towards you and forms a potent armor around you. This armor grants you resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage. This effect lasts for 1 minute or until you choose to resume the bleeding, which is possible any time. You may use this feature again after finishing a long rest.

Running Red River’s Song

5e offers a wealth of absolutely amazing, creative creatures, particularly once you start looking at the 3rd party publishing circuit. Even more so, when you make use of the relative ease with which you can scavenge creatures from older editions.

However, as per the writing of this, the system does not feature a particularly fine differentiation between different types of creatures. While tags like (demon) or (devil) do help, it is my conviction that this ability can yield a finer and more rewarding tool for GMs and players to specialize the living vampire and foster cooperation in determining the proper descriptions—after all, roleplaying is supposed to be cooperative. Players should not try to cheese this ability, while GMs should make sure that a given description is not hyper-specific.

Crunchier Blood Thirst

The ahooling’s blood thirst is left deliberately vague, since not all groups enjoy tracking the mostly flavor-only blood consumption. However, the living vampire uses blood in the form of vitae points as a class resource and thus, does require a degree of keeping track of the vitae consumed, though not excessively so. The guidelines presented below can also be used for the regular blood thirst of the ahoolings for games that prefer a more simulationalist experience.

For the purpose of regaining vitae points, the following guidelines apply:

  • As a living vampire grows in power, so do the requirements of their diet. The living vampire may only gain vitae points from drinking blood of a creature whose HD is equal to at least 1/4th of the living vampire’s HD. Blood of rodents can’t sustain a powerful living vampire.
  • Unless decided otherwise by the GM, only aberrations, beasts, celestials, dragons, fey, fiends, giants, humanoids, and monstrosities can be drained for vitae. Exceptions to this rule are blood draining undead or plants that feed on blood, oozes made of blood and viscera etc.—the GM is the final arbiter of what can and can’t be drained for vitae.

Use the following guidelines for collecting blood for the purpose of replenishing vitae:

  • A willing creature may donate blood to a living vampire. This process takes 1 round per point of vitae donated and requires, unless otherwise noted, that the living vampire is adjacent to the donor and uses his action to drink. Each point of vitae drained costs the donor one Hit Die. A donor can donate up to his proficiency bonus Hit Dice worth of blood. This number resets if the donor finishes a long rest. Any donation in excess of that inflicts one level of exhaustion on the donor. This represents the safe way to donate blood.
  • The living vampire may also elect to drink hibernation, you can choose to hibernate any number of days, up to a maximum equal to twice your Constitution or Charisma score, whichever is higher. You awaken from hibernation either at the time chosen upon entering hibernation, or upon being awoken by another creature. Awakening from hibernation is stressful for your—your vitae pool is reduced by a number of vitae points equal to 1/2 the total number of days spent in hibernation (rounded down, minimum 1), to a vitae pool minimum of 0 vitae points upon awakening, and you are stunned for 1d8 rounds after awakening from hibernation. This class feature replaces the effects of the ahoolings’ minor blood thirst or blood thirst racial feature.
  • The life-sustaining properties of vitae are quickly lost: Unpreserved blood loses the capacity to provide vitae replenishment after 5 minutes.
  • Blood may be preserved via the casting of gentle repose and similar spells.
  • The spell wine to blood provides a number of vitae points equal to 1+ ½ the caster’s proficiency bonus per casting, minimum 2.
  • For other spells or effects that create blood, use the following formula to determine the amount of consumable vitae generated: Spell Level + ½ caster’s proficiency bonus.
  • Since vitae produced by magic is highly diluted and more ephemeral, a living vampire can only gain a number of vitae points from blood created by magic equal to twice the living vampire’s Hit Dice. Any excess vitae that would be gained via magical means is lost. This maximum threshold resets only after both consuming proper blood and finishing a long rest.

Vampiric Techniques

These vampiric techniques are presented by category and in alphabetical order within the category.

Anima Techniques

Command the Flow

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

As a bonus action, you whisper a mystic command to your blood, granting you advantage on saving throws against disease and poison. Additionally, you reduce any poison damage you take by your current resonance score. While affected by this technique, you are less sociable and excitable.

You may not benefit from the Help action and may not receive the benefits of features that represent morale boosts or help granted by allies in the form of bonus dice, like bardic inspiration dice or the effects of the bless spell.

Dive into the River

Activation Cost: 3 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

As a bonus action, you can literally turn instantly into a liquid, rapidly flowing shape of blood that is rushed along on the red river’s currents. While this technique is activated, you may choose to turn into a proxy of the red river whenever you move, flowing with unearthly grace over the battlefield.

Movement in this semi-liquid state does not provoke opportunity attacks and you take no damage from damaging terrain you cross thus, but since the current is strong, you may not make opportunity attacks either. Emerging from the river is stressful.

For 1 round for every equivalent of a Move worth of movement you thus make, you may not perform opportunity attacks. Additionally, this movement leaves a strong, coppery smell behind, making regular tracking of your movement in quasi-liquid form impossible, but granting advantage on checks to track you or notice your presence via smell.

Melancholic Flow

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance As a bonus action, you choose rounds, minutes or hours and whisper a tempering command to your blood, slowing the progress of substances coursing through it. For your choice of Constitution or Charisma modifier intervals of the chosen time frame, poisons, drugs and diseases (and any other bloodborne parasites) currently affecting you, are suspended. You retain any benevolent effects granted by such substances currently in your system. You also gain cold and poison resistance.

However, while affected by this technique, you decrease your speed by 10 ft., to a minimum of 5 ft. and may not use the Dash or Disengage actions.

The Price of Magic

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance As a bonus action, you may exude a price in blood from casters foolish enough to try to quench your life. Whenever you are affected by a single-target spell or innate spellcasting ability while this technique is in effect, the caster must succeed a Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC or suffer a bleeding wound that causes damage equal to the spell level of the spell cast upon you. This bleeding wound persists for 1d4 rounds. While this technique is in effect, any potion or oil you try to use immediately spoils, becoming coagulated blood.

To Walk Among the Dead

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance As a bonus action, you choose rounds or minutes—you may conceal your life-force and that of up to your Charisma modifier adjacent, willing creatures that you can see. You and all affected allies, if any, become invisible to mindless undead and mindless vermin, as though affected by invisibility. Allies may move as far away from you as they please after receiving the benefits from this technique. Any creature affected that performs any action that requires particularly strenuous or stressful activity (like bending iron bars, opening a complex lock, etc.), loses the benefits of this technique, but not the drawbacks, which only elapse after the technique has run its course. While affected by this technique, the senses of all affected creatures are dulled, imposing disadvantage on all Wisdom-based checks and Wisdom saving throws.

Vampire’s Gaze

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Duration: Constitution or Charisma modifier rounds, see text

As an action, you can shift the power of the red river into your eyes, making them gleam an unearthly red, emitting light like a sputtering torch as you focus on a creature you can see within 30 feet.

The target of your gaze must succeed a Wisdom saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC or suffer from disadvantage on saving throws to prevent receiving bleeding wounds. This effect immediately ends if you stop looking at the target or can’t see the target anymore. You may change the focus of your gaze as a bonus action.

Vampiric Vision

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

As a bonus action, you can see the countless branches of the red river flowing through those around you—red, pulsating, and tempting. You can see the veins, arteries and capillaries of creatures within 60 ft., as per see invisibility. The light these circulatory systems emit to your mystic sight penetrates up to 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, or up to 3 inches of wood or dirt. Thicker substances or thin sheets of lead block your sight. Unfortunately, the branches of the red river make the outlines of their creatures tempting and undermine your personality with primal hunger. You suffer from disadvantage on Charisma checks and Charisma saving throws while this technique affects you.

Escalation Techniques

Arcing Assault

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Instantaneous

As an action, you rip open the red river’s arms in a wide arc, inflicting bleeding wounds that deal your proficiency bonus times 1d4 points of damage to all creatures in a 15-foot cone. Creatures that succeed a Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC take no damage. Bleeding wounds applied by this vampiric technique last 1d4 rounds.

Blood Magnetism

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: Constitution or Charisma modifier rounds, see text

You may activate this vampiric technique as either a bonus action, or as a reaction to the current target of your vampire’s gaze vampiric technique taking damage from a ranged or melee attack. Your eyes begin to draw forth the blood of your victims.

When an attack that deals damage hits the target of your vampire’s gaze vampiric technique, you can use your reaction to cause the target to take an additional bleeding wound that deals damage equal to your proficiency bonus. If you use this technique’s effects to enhance the damage caused by your own attacks, the bleeding wound’s damage instead increases to 1d6 + your proficiency bonus.

The bleeding caused by this vampiric technique stops one round after you have changed the target of your vampire’s gaze vampiric technique or can’t affect the target with it anymore.

Blood’s Surge

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: see text

As an reaction to an effect that prompts you to make a Dexterity saving throw, you cause your blood’s flow to stimulate your reflexes, granting you advantage on Dexterity saving throws as well as the benefits of evasion until the end of your next turn.

Coax Forth the Flow

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Duration: Instantaneous

As a bonus action, you can force a creature within 30 ft. that you can see and that is currently affected by a bleeding wound, to make Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC.

On a success, nothing happens. On a failure, you increase the duration of a single bleeding wound affecting the creature by 1 round.

Connect the Flow

Activation Cost: 2 or 6 vitae points, see text

Generates: 1 or 3 resonance, see text

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Instantaneous

As an action, you can attempt to connect disparate parts of the red river, and even draw enemies into its vast regions. Make a single melee attack. On a successful hit that successfully inflicts damage, choose a mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma); the subject of your attack must succeed a contest in the chosen ability score against you. If the target fails, it is restrained until it wins the contest against you. The target may attempt to retry this contest as an action. Additionally, if you win the contest against the subject, you may use your reaction and spend 4 vitae points to force the target to succeed a Wisdom saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a failure, you draw the target’s mind into a purely mental dimension known as a mindscape. You can choose the shape and size of this mindscape, as well as any gravity (though you can’t make it so the gravity is so strong it harms creatures within). Time and magic behave as usual in the mindscape. You designate where both you and your subject appear.

You must appear somewhere in your mindscape, though it’s relatively easy to shield yourself from the view of any other creatures inside if they don’t realize they’re in a mindscape. You must also create a method of exit from the mindscape when you create it, and that method must be possible to achieve based on the traits of the mindscape, even if it is obscure or difficult. The GM decides whether a method of escape is reasonable. Anything that would be a reasonable method of waking from a dream during deep sleep, like a splash of cold water, could allow one to leave a mindscape, though damage incurred to the body is not. Your body and the body of your target are paralyzed while you are within the mindscape, though your mental representations can continue to fight in this mental dimension. You and the target are aware of damage caused to your bodies, but damage to the body does not allow a creature within the mindscape to leave it. You may end your mindscape’s effects as a bonus action. Any wounds or effects incurred in the mindscape are very much real. You can create illusory creatures within the mindscape, but these largely remain silent or speak generic, repetitive phrases. The mindscape you generate with this technique is always a vast, crisscrossing delta of fast-moving rivers of blood that encircle small islands of eerily organic-looking swampland.

Defeating a foe in a mindscape you have created generates an additional 3 resonance.

Excessive Blood Loss

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 15

Duration: Instantaneous

As a reaction to seeing a target within 30 ft. take damage from a bleeding wound, you can force the target to make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target suffers one level of exhaustion.

You cannot use this vampiric technique to increase the exhaustion level of a creature beyond 3.

Freeze the Tide

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: Instantaneous

As an action, you end all ongoing damage from bleeding wounds that a single creature you can see within 60 ft. suffers from. This inflicts an amount of cold damage to the creature, equal to the total amount of damage from bleeding wounds the creature would have taken in the next round.

Ride Red Waves

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Duration: Charisma or Constitution modifier rounds

As part of moving, you conjure forth slippery blood beneath your heels, granting you a +30 ft. increase to your speed. However, you only benefit from this increase when moving directly towards or directly away from a creature that you can affect with bleeding wounds.

Sanguine Imbalance

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Constitution or Charisma modifier rounds

As an action, you increase the imbalance in bodily humors caused by bleeding in a creature that you can see within 30 ft. If the subject is suffering from a bleeding wound, it becomes enveloped in despair.

The creature must make a Charisma saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a success it may act normally. On a failure, it is overwhelmed by hopelessness and may not attack or target any creature with attacks, abilities, spells or effects. The creature may save again on each of its turns. A successful save ends the effect.

The Red Mire

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: Charisma or Constitution modifier rounds

At the banks of the red river, there is the red mire—both representation of flesh and metaphysical swamp, vibrant and suffused with volatile lifeforces struggling for survival. As a bonus action or as reaction to a target within 30 ft. of you that you can see using the Disengage or Dodge action, you can cause that creature, in glimpses, to witness this concept, miring the target. The target must succeed a Dexterity saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a success, it can use the actions as usual. On a failure, for this technique’s duration, the target provokes opportunity attacks in spite of using Disengage if you used this technique as a reaction to seeing the target Disengage, or does not gain the benefits of Dodge if you used this technique as a reaction to seeing the target attempt to Dodge. If you activate this vampiric technique as a bonus action, you may choose whether to affect Disengage or Dodge.

The River Remembers

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Generates: 1 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: See text

The red river remembers where it once flowed freely. As an action, make a melee attack against a creature who suffered from one or more bleeding wounds that were ended last round. If the attack hits and successfully deals damage, the target must make a Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a success, you only deal your normal melee damage. On a failure, the bleeding wounds reopen as though they had not ended. If the bleeding wounds or some of them had a finite duration, that duration is reset as if the bleeding wound had been newly applied.

Murmur Techniques

Distinguished Palate

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

When you choose this technique, specify a creature that could provide vitae and use the guidelines of your Red River’s Song class feature to do so.

Whenever you gain a vitae point from a creature whose type matches your description, you gain an additional vitae point.

Euphoria of Blood

When rolling for initiative, you may choose to spend 1 vitae point. If you do, you gain a +2 bonus to initiative. This decision must be made before the results of the initiative order are made known.

Knowledge in Blood

Whenever you gain a vitae point by draining blood from a creature, you gain advantage on the next Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Insight) pertaining that creature’s race for 1 minute.

Red Rage

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 18

Whenever you are subject to a critical hit by a creature that qualifies as a source of vitae, you gain 1 temporary vitae point. This point lasts until the end of your next turn.

The Red Song’s Allure

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

When rolling for the bleeding wound damage caused by your vampiric techniques, you may treat any roll of 1 as a 2 instead. You may use this vampiric technique a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. After that, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

The River’s Lullaby

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 15

You move in a calming manner in battle, one that resonates with the red river’s call. Creatures within 10 ft. of you that are currently suffering from a bleeding wound do not get the benefits of the Dodge action against you. Creatures that are deaf are immune to this vampiric technique’s effects, since it relies on barely perceptible, subsonic murmurs speaking directly to the creature’s blood.

The Rush of Thirst

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

You may spend your own Hit Dice to pay the activation cost of vampiric techniques, burning through your own bodily reserves instead of foreign blood. You may use your own Hit Dice as though they were vitae points.

The Tithe

You may choose to extract the tithe of renewed life from nearby foes. The red river demands it, and so it shall be done. Whenever a creature within 10 ft.

of you that you can see receives magical healing, you may choose to have the creature automatically suffer a bleeding wound that inflicts 1 point of damage per round after being healed.

Vampiric Regeneration

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Whenever you take a short or long rest and spend one of more of your Hit Dice to heal, you may expend an amount of vitae points of up to the Hit Dice you expended. For each vitae point you expend thus, you may treat the result as though you had rolled the average value +2 (5 for d6 HD, 6 for d8 HD, 7 for d10 HD and 8 for d12 HD for one vitae point, for example). You still add your Constitution modifier to the result of each Hit Die, as usual.

Weight of the Ages

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

You exude the weight of the eternal, red river.

Creatures within 10 ft. of you that are currently suffering from a bleeding wound also reduce their speed by -10 ft., to a minimum of 5 ft.

Reaping Techniques

All Rivers Must End in the Sea

Activation Cost: 4 vitae points

Resonance Required: 5 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 18

Duration: Instantaneous

As an action, you make a single melee attack, aiming to end the target, emptying them. If the attack hits and successfully inflicts damage, the target must succeed a Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a failure, the target takes 7d8 + 30 necrotic damage, or half as much on a successful one, as all blood immediately evaporates within them.

Atop the Cresting Wave

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Resonance Required: 2 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: See text

As a bonus action, you strain your mortal body and raise yourself metaphorically atop a cresting wave of the red river, granting you the benefits of the haste spell for rounds equal to the resonance you had when you activated this technique. You do not suffer from the bout of lethargy that usually accompanies the end of haste and you do not need to concentrate on this vampiric technique. You may freely split the duration of this technique with willing allies you can see upon activation, but your allies suffer from the lethargy at the end of the haste effect.

Bathe in Blood

Activation Cost: 0 vitae points

Resonance Required: 3 resonance

Duration: Charisma or Constitution modifier rounds

As an action, you focus on the major arteries and veins of all creatures you can see within a 60 ft.- radius. You remain focused on these creatures until the technique’s duration elapses, or until you activate this vampiric technique again, at which point the new targets supersede the old. The next time you hit one of these creatures with a melee attack and successfully deal damage, you also cause a bleeding wound that inflicts additional 1d4 + your proficiency bonus damage to the target. Bleeding wounds generated by this technique halve their damage (rounded down) each round, and end once their damage reaches 0.

For example, a bleeding wound dealing 7 damage in the first round will inflict 3 in the second, 1 in the third and then end in the fourth round.

Battering Waves

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Resonance Required: 2 resonance

Duration: See text

As a bonus action, you can cause a creature within 30 ft. that you can see and that is currently suffering from a bleeding wound, to experience the battering of the red waves with each blow it suffers. The target must succeed a Wisdom saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a failure, the creature suffers from disadvantage on Dexterity checks and saving throws and may no longer add its Dexterity modifier to its AC. This effect persists for as long as the target suffers from at least one bleeding wound.

Countering Wave

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Resonance Required: 2 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: See text

As a reaction to being hit by an attack or spell, you fortify your body and mind for the assault to come, granting you advantage on saving throws against poison and resistance to poison damage.

Additionally, if you succeed a Constitution or Wisdom saving throw against an effect that inflicts half as much or partial effects on a successful saving throw, you instead suffer no effects from the effect, but immediately end this technique. This technique otherwise lasts until the end of your next turn.

Endless River

Activation Cost: 2 vitae points

Resonance Required: 3 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: See text

The river is both endless and finite—this paradox is exemplified, as you take its immortal power into your fragile, mortal form. You may activate this technique as a bonus action. Immediately upon activating it, and at the beginning of your turn for a number of rounds equal to the amount of resonance you had upon activating the technique, you gain 10 temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 round.

Exsanguinare!

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Resonance Required: 2 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 7

Duration: See text

You can command the red river to satiate your thirst with but one shouted, mystic utterance—Exsanguinare! As an action, you deal damage to one creature suffering from a bleeding wound.

At 10th, 15th and 18th level, you can affect an additional creature. All affected creatures must be within 60 ft. and you must be able to see them. The damage you inflict with this technique is equal to the total amount of bleeding wound damage that will be dealt to the respective target next round.

This ends all ongoing damage the targets suffer from bleeding wounds, as the mystic command also hastens coagulation. The blood thus extracted flies straight towards your mouth and sates your thirst, provided it can reach you. You are treated as though you had drunk deeply. You gain one vitae point for every multiple of your own HD in bleeding wound damage that you inflict. For example, if you are 8h level, you have 8 HD. If you use exsanguinare to seal the bleeding wounds of 2 enemies, who would have taken a total of 26 points of damage next round, then you regain 3 vitae points. (3 x 8 = 24) The excess two points of damage are lost and do not contribute to your vitae points. You can only regain vitae from creatures satisfying the criteria laid out in the Crunchier Blood-Thirst sidebar, as usual.

Open the Dam

Activation Cost: 1 vitae point

Resonance Required: 3 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Charisma or Constitution modifier rounds

You can see the river bursting at the seams and strike at the feeble bonds of flesh holding it back.

As an action, you make a single melee attack. If the attack hits and successfully inflicts damage, the target must succeed a Constitution saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC or suffer from disadvantage on attack and damage rolls as well as on saving throws against your vampiric techniques.

Predator’s Roar

Activation Cost: 0 or 1 vitae point, see text

Resonance Required: 3 resonance

Duration: See text

Fear of flesh generates fear of the blood—and the red river shuns those that fear it. As an action, you let out a primal roar, focusing your hate on a single, non-adjacent creature that you can see within 30 ft. The target must make a Charisma saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a failure, the target is frightened and suffers a bleeding wound that deals damage equal to twice the amount of resonance you had upon activating this technique. On a success, the target is not frightened and only suffers a bleeding wound that deals half as much damage. You may use this vampiric technique as a reaction to a target using the Disengage action to move away from you. Using the technique this way costs 1 vitae point, though.

Red Tide

Activation Cost: 3 vitae points

Resonance Required: 4 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Instantaneous

You call forth the red river from all around you. As an action, you conjure forth a deadly, undiscriminating wave of blood that ripples outward from you in a 30-foot burst. All other creatures in this area must make a Dexterity saving throw against your vampiric technique save DC. On a failure, they suffer a bleeding wound that deals 5d4 points of damage. At 15th level, this increases to 7d4 and at 18th level, to 9d4. On a success, a target takes half as much damage and doesn’t suffer a bleeding wound. Bleeding wounds caused by this technique last for 1d4 rounds.

The Red River Rises

Activation Cost: 4 vitae points

Resonance Required: 3 resonance

Prerequisite(s): Living vampire 10

Duration: Permanent

As one dam bursts and precious red spews forth, so will others. As an action, you inflict a single target that you can see and that is suffering from a bleeding wound with a curse to relay its experiences to all of its nearby allies. The cursed creature must succeed a Wisdom saving throw. On a success, nothing happens. On a failure, all creatures that can see the cursed target instinctively know that coming near the target is a bad idea. Each round, all creatures within a 10-foot radius that consider the target to be an ally, suffer a bleeding wound that deals damage equal to the bleeding wound of the target you cursed. Creatures that have 4 or more Hit Dice more than the cursed target are immune to this technique’s curse and do not suffer the sympathetic bleeding wounds caused by it. The curse, but not the bleeding wounds you curse, is otherwise a permanent curse.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Underworld Races and Classes Copyright 2017 AAW Games, LLC; Thilo Graf, Mike Myler, and Jonathan G. Nelson Occult Secrets of the Underworld Copyright 2018, AAW Games, LLC; Thilo Graf and Jonathan G. Nelson.