A sketch of Count Dracula, from Jonathan Harker’s description.
Presenting the most famous vampire in any media, Count Dracula himself! Since it’s no secret that Bram Stoker was deeply influenced by Le Fanu’s “Carmilla”, I’ve chosen to make Dracula and the Countess Karnstein bitter rivals. I’ve also woven in material from Stoker’s short story “Dracula’s Guest”.
Count Dracula (1801)
Necromancer, Warlord, and Master Vampyre
Full Name: Voivode Dracula
Aliases: Count de Ville, Count Wampyr
Class: Magician / Vampyre
Level: 10 / 10
Appearance/Most Memorable Characteristic: A tall and thin old man dressed completely in black. When he is undisguised he wears a long, white mustache, and the teeth within his red mouth are unusually long and sharp. His eyebrows are very bushy, and almost meet at the high bridge of his nose. His ears are notably pointed, and his forehead high and domed. Hair grows in the palms of his hands.
Apparent Age: 70 (often uses Alter Self to appear younger)
Charisma: 17 Intelligence: 17 Wisdom: 17
Strength: 22 (due to Talisman of Increase Strength. 18 Natural. 26 with Inhuman Strength) Dexterity: 18 (22 with Blazing Dexterity) Constitution: 18
Assets: Military Commander, Manservant Skills
Afflictions: Overconfident, Easily Angered
Hit Points: 40
Attacks: 1 (sword, or bite and claws in Vampyric Form)
Damage Bonus: +13
Magician Special Abilities: Esoteric Knowledge (+1) | Use Incantation (only when wearing his Amulet) | Perform Ceremony | Create Talismans (Currently wearing a Talisman of Increase Strength) | Employ Pact
Vampyre Special Abilities: Assume Vampyric Form | Revenant Immunities | Rise from Death | Supernatural Combatant | Vampyric Powers: Spider Climb, Obscuring Mist, Inhuman Strength, Blazing Dexterity, Gaseous Form, Summon Dark Beasts, Transform Self Into Bat, Transform Self Into Wolf, Bond With Victim, Create Vampyre
Magician Weaknesses: Magical Implement | Power Object (A gold and ruby amulet that serves as both)
Vampyre Weaknesses: Blood-Lust | Vampyric Debilities: Affected by Holy Symbols, Cadaverous Skin Color, Cannot Enter Homes Uninvited, Cannot Cross Running Water, Cold as a Corpse, No Reflection in Mirror, Hairy Palms, Permanent Fangs, Repelled By Garlic, Must Rest in Native Soil
Incantations: Alter Self, Beguile, Bind Spirit, Charm Person, Dimension Door, Enlarge Person, Hypnotism, Major Creation, Raise Storm, Read Minds, Shrink Person, Sleep, Speak With Dead, Unseen Servant
Ceremonies: Conjure Monster III, Summon Spirit III
Talismans: Increase Strength, Increase Dexterity
Pacts: Create Vampyre (must feed 8 hit points worth of his own blood to a subject and call upon Life-in-Death)
Typical Equipment Carried: A fine suit of black clothes. A black cloak. An amulet of gold and ruby on a golden chain (his Magical Implement and Power Object). A garnet ring (Talisman of Increase Strength). A dueling sword.
Residence: Castle Dracula, Transylvania. Recently, a ruined manor in an abandoned village near Munich.
Count Dracula was born in the early 15th century to an ancient noble family descended from Attila the Hun. His family’s castle was situated high atop a cliff in the eastern part of Transylvania, deep in the Carpathian mountains. In his youth he studied all the arts and sciences, culminating in a stay at the infamous Scholomance, where he was taught necromancy by Satan. After he took control of his family lands he distinguished himself by repeatedly raising armies and attacking the Ottoman Empire. He was a ruthless and calculating commander, who would not hesitate to abandon the field (and his troops) if the battle turned against him. After his death he rose again as a Vampyre, and retreated to his family castle. Over the centuries his family died out, leaving him the sole representative of the once illustrious house of Dracula.
In 1801, Count Dracula traveled to Gratz in Styria, seeking vengeance on the house of Dolingen – descendants of a knight who once deserted his cause. He began the seduction of the beautiful Countess Dolingen, with the intention of eventually transforming her into a Vampyre. While he was in Styria, however, he made the mistake of also feeding from a young woman beloved by Vampyre Countess Mircalla – better known as Carmilla. After Carmilla demanded that Dracula leave Styria, he foolishly challenged the frail-looking woman to direct combat. The foolhardy Dracula barely escaped destruction at the hands of Carmilla, and her devoted servants killed all but one of the Szgany traveling with the Count. Dracula fled with his coffin to Munich, and took residence in the ruined manor house of a cursed and abandoned village near the city. From there he employed his mental bond with the Countess Dolingen, and persuaded her to leave her husband and come to him. When she arrived, Dracula glutted himself on her blood, and transformed her into a Vampyre. Dracula took wicked satisfaction in the fact that the Countess’ disgraced family chose to erect her tomb in the same deserted village where her body was found, rather than bring her home to be buried with her kin.
Personality and Role-Playing Notes:
Count Dracula’s personality is complex and often contradictory. He is a hospitable host, and will treat guest with elaborate courtesy. He has been forced to be his own manservant, so unlike most aristocrats, he does not disdain manual labor. He will not hesitate to help porters, drive a carriage, or perform even the most menial tasks. Although he no longer bothers to consume anything other than blood, he is an excellent cook. He is no longer interested in displays of wealth, and simply keeps all his money in a large pile in the room that once was his bedchamber. On the other hand, he is easily angered, with a vengeful nature. In fact, his entire existence is centered around obtaining revenge for real and perceived slights (many of which occurred centuries ago). He will frequently engage in acts of pure spite and perversity, even when doing so needlessly exposes him to real danger. Dracula is a master of strategy, but his overconfidence can often be exploited by his enemies. He is quick to attack, but just as quick to flee when a fight turns against him.
Dracula often uses magic to change his appearance, particularly to make himself appear as he did in his youth.
Count Dracula in Your Game:
Dracula’s campaign against the Ottomans attracted the aid of many foreign knights, almost all of whom eventually deserted him on account of his ruthlessness and cruelty. Now, the Count is engaged in perpetual plots of vengeance against their descendants, among whom are the Styrian house of Dolingen, and the British Holmwood family. Dracula’s preferred method of operation is to attack the women of a family while they sleep, eventually transforming them into Vampyres. Dracula abandons most of these undead women, because the ultimate stage of his vengeance consists of forcing the men who once loved them to be the instruments of their destruction. Occasionally, however, he chooses certain of his enemies’ wives to reside with him as concubines.
Dracula is served by a clan of Szgany (Hungarian Gypsies) who fear his wrath. They arrange for the transport of his coffin (and earth from his grave) whenever he desires to travel, defend him and his castle while he slumbers, and otherwise protect him. These Szgany could be potentially powerful allies against the Count, but convincing them to betray him would require almost miraculous powers of persuasion.
Player Characters might encounter Dracula while he is hunting, or as he pursues one of his schemes of revenge. They might be forced by a storm to take shelter at his home, and initially enjoy the Count’s hospitality. Dracula might also pose as a distraught father in order to commission a Demon Hunter to destroy his rival Carmilla. Of course, one of the PCs also might be a member of a family against which Dracula has sworn vengeance. Alternately, a Magician character might seek out Count Dracula as a mentor in sorcery. Dracula might even openly ally himself with the PCs, if they are working against one of his enemies. If encountered away from Castle Dracula, remember that the Count must rest in his native earth every night. Wherever he is, he must first have established a lair, and have had soil from his grave somehow transported there.
Although it would make the events of the novel “Dracula” impossible, Player Characters should be permitted to destroy the Count if they can. In such case that Bram Stoker eventually writes “Dracula” based upon the stories he heard about the PCs. Alternately, the Presenter could follow the precedent of the numerous “Dracula” movies, and assume that the Count always finds some way to reform his body and resume his reign of terror.
Source: “Dracula” and “Dracula’s Guest” by Bram Stoker
Note: It is common to identify the Count with the historical Vlad Tepes (the Impaler), and Van Helsing himself does so in the text of “Dracula”. However, Dracula definitively claims to be ethnically Szekely, while the historical Vlad Tepes was Wallachian. I recommend treating Count Dracula as a wholly fictional character whose life story happens to echo that of the real Vlad Tepes.