Vampire Lore is rife in DnD and I can tell you from experience, that you really don’t want to face them. Imagine this: In the dark of night, a neighbor comes to your door, she is shivering and cold to the touch. You ask her inside and set her by the fire, she calmly takes your hand sitting by the fire as you go to make tea.
You approach her a second time, the firelight causes shadows to dance on the wall behind you, it is then that you notice, much too late, that she is not casting a shadow.
In the blink of an eye, she is upon you, her shivering caused by the blood lust. You grow weak as she drinks your blood, soon you too will succumb to the blood lust.
This is why I’ve created this Vampire Spawn 5e guide. Of course, this guide is going to be for the dungeon master or game master among you. Let’s get into it.
What is a Vampire Spawn?
- Vampire Spawn
- Medium Undead, Neutral Evil
- Armor Class: 15 (Natural Armor)
- Hit Points: 82 (11d8+33)
- Speed 30 ft
- Str 16 (+3)
- Dex 16 (+3)
- Con 16 (+3)
- Int 16 (+3)
- Wis 16 (+3)
- Cha 16 (+3)
- Saving Throws Dex +6 Wis +3
- Skills: Perception +3 Stealth +6 Damage
- Resistances: Necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
- Senses: Darkvision 60ft; Passive Perception +13
- Languages: the languages it knew in life
- Challenge: 5 (1,800 XP)
When a vampire drains a victim of lifeblood they become a spawn of that Vampire, not fully controlled but also not in full control. To typical townsfolk, just one vampire spawn could cause death and destruction on a large scale before being found out and destroyed.
Typical vampire spawn would be used as simple minions, finding this a vampire might need or bringing victims for the vampire to feed upon. To distract from the vampires ‘ actions, some vampire spawn might be just set loose upon an unsuspecting village or town.
Physically strong, fast, and durable, a vampire spawn is a deadly foe if one is unprepared. As with all vampire lore, preparation is going to be key here. With their Regeneration of 10, minor attacks are healed easily. Vampire Spawn are able to spider climb almost any surface and may make use of high ceilings for ambushing perspective prey.
Once they get in close, they will make use of their claws and bite to inflict heavy damage with their claws and necrotic damage with their bite. People caught unaware that they face a vampire spawn make easy victims.
So how do we Deal with a Vampire Spawn or Bite Attack before it becomes a Serious Problem?
Knowledge and Tactics. Once encountered, witnessed, or discussed, adventurers can learn what they face and with that knowledge, how to take that monster down. Typical vampire weaknesses are shared by their spawn, thankfully. Not allowing one into a home is key to keeping more people safe.
An adventuring party can talk to the people of the area they are in and inform them not to allow anyone inside that can not just walk in. Leaving the door open to a stranger and not inviting them in, could save a life.
If they are a Vampire Spawn, they can not enter without being invited. This goes for all residences; they physically can not enter without an invitation from someone living there.
Running water can also be a very good way to take care of a Vampire Spawn, they take 20 acid damage if they end their turn in running water. While grappling with a Vampire Spawn is an often-deadly decision, if dragged into running water by several adventurers and kept there, it can mean destruction for a Vampire Spawn.
The tried and true stake through the heart is also a great way to end the misbegotten life of a Vampire Spawn. The main issue, they have to be incapacitated. While this can be a hard thing to come by, it is not impossible.
This normally would require the hunters of the Vampire Spawn to study its habits and possibly follow it to where it rests. If it is alone, without a master close by, all the better. A nest of sleeping Vampire Spawn awoken would be a literal nightmare for any adventuring party.
Sunlight of course is deadly to Vampire Spawn, just as it is to their masters. A Vampire Spawn takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight, its regeneration of 10 is nullified by the radiant damage, so as long as it is kept in the sunlight, it can no longer regenerate.
On average a few rounds in sunlight are enough to destroy most Vampire Spawn. Holy water along with radiant damage and damage from running water keep a Vampire Spawns regeneration from working.
Knowledge hunters would know this and use this to their advantage to take the Vampire Spawn down or at least force it to retreat to rest, where it is less of a threat and while resting, more easily destroyed.
Alternate Battle Tactics
Now let us discuss a poorly equipped and less knowledgeable adventuring party. Such a party would have a huge task taking out a Vampire Spawn. Without magical weapons, even the strongest man in the land would cause no damage from his blade.
The best archer could let loose hundreds of nonmagical arrows into such a creature and would have nothing to show for it besides a very wounded pride. The stealthiest rogue, striking from the shadows with nonmagical weapons might as well be slapping at the Vampire Spawn with a child’s stuffed toy.
For these adventurers, doom would take them. If they had a wizard or cleric they might stave off being killed, only until the Vampire Spawn ignored all but the ones able to damage it and then killed them.
A party of hunters without users of magic are not lost, however. If they have magical weapons, they can damage the Vampire spawn. While the Vampire Spawns regeneration would be hard to overcome with just magical weapon damage, it is not impossible, and the day can still be won.
These hunters will have to be quick thinking and follow quickly if the Vampire Spawn retreats, as it can regenerate in hiding to come back undamaged to finish off a party that has already fought them.
Making fast and furious attacks and retreating, a Vampire Spawn can easily destroy a party of hunters if the hunters do not give chase and keep attacking with their magical weapons. This party of hunters could also use running water and sunlight to further win the day.
Grappling the Vampire Spawn and forcing it into sunlight or into running water causes the Vampire Spawn’s regeneration to not function at the start of its turn.
A few turns in sunlight or in running water while other hunters harm it with magic arrows or continue to damage it with melee weapons means a quick end for that unfortunate Vampire Spawn.
Where would a Vampire Spawn Hide?
What you ask would you encounter in a Vampire Spawns resting place or lair? A Vampire Spawn knows that while it rests, it is very vulnerable to a stake through the heart. A twisting cavern of mazes would make a fine lair for resting as would an area that would be impossible to get to.
A Vampire Spawn can climb almost any surface, making it hard to follow for a party of hunters without the aid of magic. A crumbling bell tower, an old mill, or even a decrepit mine would make a fabulous resting place for a Vampire Spawn. Old rotten wood and uneven surfaces cause problems for typical hunters.
A wrong step could mean a long fall or at the least, making noise to alert the Vampire Spawn. A Vampire Spawn that has been hunting for a good while, will know its home and how to defend it or escape it.
A Vampire Spawn could also lair with other creatures that would be of no threat to it. Such creatures would defend their home, allowing the Vampire Spawn to escape or attack a party of hunters in a very advantageous situation.
With distractions caused by other creatures, a Vampire Spawn would cause a lot of injury and death to a party of hunters. It would have to be smart enough to know when to flee as always. Some creatures might even actively protect a Vampire Spawn.
Some goblins, cultists, or even some animals may view the Vampire Spawn as their leader or at least superior, defending it or warning it of danger.
If the Vampire Spawn has shown favor to these creatures, bringing them weapons, information, or food, a Vampire Spawn like a true Vampire, could amass a substantial force of followers out of their greed or necessity alone.
This Vampire Spawn could become even more dangerous, with their minions defeating a party of hunters and the minions and the Vampire Spawn finding items of magic to better help defend themselves.
Blessed in the Light
Thankfully, for most Vampire Spawn their undead lives are short as the thirst for blood drives them to madness. A Vampire Spawn just like a true Vampire must feed and often. This can make them reckless and lay waste to any long-term plans.
A Vampire Spawn could have a group of 20 goblin minions, but after some bad turns, could end up having to feed upon them. Before long the bloodlust would leave them without minions and any plans they had would be crumbled.
In nature, even in undeath, there is balance. A Vampire Spawn can not exist without a fresh source of blood. This along with the weaknesses to sunlight and running water, may often be the balance a party of hunters needs to exterminate it.
Feeding causes noticeable deaths, the deaths cause panic, and this panic draws out the hunters. Then it comes down to who in that cycle is the prey and who is the predator.
Vampire Spawn 5e Guide: FAQs
Question: Is it Possible for a Vampire Spawn to be Freed from Control of one Vampire to Another by Being Fed the Other Vampires Blood?
Answer: No, while the RAW of this can be debated, it does spell out the Vampire Spawn is under the influence of or control of the Vampire that created it, until either it or the controlling Vampire that spawned it is destroyed.
Question: How much Control Over a Vampire Spawn does the Vampire that Spawned it have?
Answer: Generally, the Vampire Spawn still has its own free will and can and usually does do what it wants. Direct orders from the controlling Vampire must be carried out. RAW does no say exactly how this works, mind control, a compulsion etc. Typically, when a Vampire gives a Vampire Spawn orders, it has to obey.
Question: How would a Typical Vampire Spawn Attack in Combat?
Answer: It has a few different options. If it just wants to do damage, it can attack with its claws. The 2 claw attacks do a great deal of damage. While this does not feed the Vampire Spawn, it does eliminate threats. Its other option is to grapple and then bite its victims.
Grappled victims must spend their turn escaping or trying to damage the vampire to where it would want to let them go. The bite takes away the victims Max HP and heals the Vampire Spawn. So, with their regeneration and biting a grappled victim, they can heal drastically.
Question: How would You Best Use a Vampire Spawn in an Ongoing Campaign?
Answer: If you have a regular Vampire, I would have the Vampire Spawn work as a distraction from what the Vampire is doing. If the Vampire’s goal is to kidnap or kill a certain person. I would have the Vampire Spawn killing or dragging off regular weak townsfolk on the other side of town.
A Vampire may not care much about their spawn past using them as a distraction or bait, while they do the important work. Such a Vampire Spawn would attack and kill townsfolk, livestock, or anything else it may desire to.
You could even have the Vampire Spawn think it was growing more powerful by having non killed victims go along with what it is attempting to do. Having townsfolk defending a monster that is feeding on them presents all new challenges for adventures.
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