The figure looks like any other knight in black plate armor until its ebon longsword strikes true, draining the life force of those it hits.
Mediumundead, neutral evil
Armor Class 20 (plate, shield)
Hit Points 127 (15d8 + 60)
Speed 30 ft.
|20 (+5)||14 (+2)||18 (+4)||13 (+1)||17 (+3)||14 (+2)|
Saving ThrowsDexterity +6, Constitution +8, Wisdom +7
SkillsAthletics +9, Perception +7
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Sensesdarkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages the languages it knew in life
Challenge 11 (7,200 XP)
- Regeneration. The vampiric knight regains 20 hp at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hp and isn’t in running water. If it takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vampiric knight’s next turn.
- Vampire Weaknesses. The vampiric knight has the following flaws:
- Forbiddance. The vampiric knight can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
- Harmed by Running Water. The vampiric knight takes 20 acid damage if it ends its turn in running water.
- Stake to the Heart. If a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into the vampiric knight’s heart while the knight is incapacitated in its resting place, the vampiric knight is paralyzed until the stake is removed.
- Undead Nature. The vampiric knight doesn’t require air.
- Multiattack. The vampiric knight makes two impaling longsword attacks.
- Impaling Longsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) slashing damage, or 10 (1d10 +5) slashing damage if used with two hands, plus 9 (2d8) necrotic damage. The vampiric knight impales the target on its longsword, grappling the target if it is a Medium or smaller creature (escape DC 17). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained, takes 9 (2d8) necrotic damage at the start of each of its turns, and the vampiric knight can’t make longsword attacks against other targets.
- Channel Corruption (Recharge 5-6). Each living creature within 20 feet of the vampiric knight must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw, taking 42 (12d6) necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
- Shield. When a creature makes an attack against an allied vampire, the knight can grant the vampire a +3 bonus to its AC if the knight is within 5 feet of the vampire.
Born in Despair. A vampiric knight is created when a holy knight is brought low on the field of battle by a vampire. Rather than taking on the traits of a normal vampire, the knight turns into a unique creature, destined to serve its murderer for eternity.
Unaffected by Sunlight. The process of a vampiric knight’s rebirth makes it immune to the effects of sunlight, unlike a normal vampire. This makes the knight a valued servant, capable of delivering messages-or death-at any moment.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.
Multiattack. The vampire makes two greatsword attacks.
Multiattack (Vampire Form Only). The vampire makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.
Unarmed Strike (Vampire Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage. Instead of dealing damage, the vampire can grapple the target (escape DC: 18).
Greatsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Bite (Bat or Vampire Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by the vampire, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) necrotic damage. The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire's control.
Charm. The vampire targets one humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the vampire, the target must succeed on a DC: 17 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be charmed by the vampire. The charmed target regards the vampire as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn't under the vampire's control, it takes the vampire's requests or actions in the most favorable way it can, and it is a willing target for the vampire's bite attack.
Children of the Night (1/Day). The vampire magically calls 2d4 swarms of bats or rats, provided that the sun isn't up. While outdoors, the vampire can call 3d6 wolves instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as allies of the vampire and obeying its spoken commands. The beasts remain for 1 hour, until the vampire dies, or until the vampire dismisses them as a bonus action.
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D&D 5th Edition
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TraitsRegeneration: The Vampire regains 10 Hit Points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn't in sunlight or running water. If the Vampire takes radiant damage or damage from Holy Water, this trait doesn't function at the start of the vampire's next turn.
SpiderClimb: The Vampire can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Vampire Weaknesses: The Vampire has the following flaws:
Forbiddance. The Vampire can't enter a Residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
Harmed by Running Water. The Vampire takes 20 acid damage when it ends its turn in running water.
Stake to the Heart. The Vampire is destroyed if a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into its heart while it is Incapacitated in its Resting place.
Sunlight Hypersensitivity. The Vampire takes 20 radiant damage when it starts its turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, it has disadvantage on Attack rolls and Ability Checks.
ActionsMultiattack: The Vampire makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite Attack.
Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is Grappled by the Vampire, Incapacitated, or Restrained. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage. The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the Vampire regains Hit Points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a Long Rest. The target dies if this Effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) slashing damage. Instead of dealing damage, the Vampire can grapple the target (escape DC 13).
Show Attribute List
The Languages It Knew In Life
Necrotic; Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing From Nonmagical Attacks
Perception +3, Stealth +6
The last in our classic horror monster slash Halloween Series is the Vampire, arguably the most iconic of all the classic monsters. The Vampire has been the star of over 190 movies, and if you add in books and TV shows… well, we can’t be bothered to count that much. The Vampire has been woven into our culture, especially over the last 100 years that it is hard to imagine a world without them.
You can’t talk Vampires without first mentioning Dracula, who is far and away from the most famous of all vampires… err, sorry Strahd. Most people agree that Bela Lugosi provided the world with the best portrayal of Dracula in Dracula (1931), but one could argue that Max Schreck in Nosferatu (1922) was way creepier. Chris, though, is partial to Christopher Lee, who got to be Dracula in two different vampire movies, The Horror of Dracula (1958) and Count Dracula (1970). Both movies were pretty great so if you get a chance, check them out.
But Count Dracula isn’t the only Vampire, here are just a few other actors who have played vampires other than Dracula. Sorry if we missed your favorite Vampire from film and TV, but the list is really long: Kiefer Sutherland in The Lost Boys (1987), Paul “Pee Wee” Reubens in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Christopher Walken in The Addiction (1995), Wesley Snipes in Blade (1998), Johnny Depp in Dark Shadows (2012), and Dominic Cooper in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012). These may not represent the best Vampires in cinematic history, but it proves the next point we wanted to make. Vampires have been interpreted in so many ways throughout history, there is no right or wrong way to play one. Sutherland gave us a Vampire in the throes of teenage angst, Snipes played a famous comic book Vampire, Dark Shadows was campy fun, and Vampires even met and saved the president of the United States! One person's vision of a Vampire will most likely be different than yours.
Why do we bring this up? We all know Strahd, as he is the most famous of all Vampires in Dungeons and Dragons. Vampires were always serious evil creatures that you didn’t want to run into, and Strahd was no different. Strahd was one of the first baddies to be given a fully fleshed out background. He was played as the serious BBEG, no messing around and he was out to kill you. In 5e, Strahd spreads his acting wings and allows the DM to have the ability to play him in several ways. Sure, he’s a bad guy that wants to kill you, but now he wants to fuck with you first.
So let’s take a look at the Vampire and how they have changed throughout the editions of Dungeons and Dragons.
OD&D - Vampire
No. Appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 2
Move: 12", Fly: 18”
Hit Dice: 7-9
% in Lair: 20%
Treasure Type: F
No. of Attacks: 1
The Vampire was introduced in the Dungeons & Dragons White Box (1974). The very first thing the description tells us is that the Vampire is an undead creature and not a lycanthrope. Those of you that have been living under a rock and want to know why on earth the vampire might be considered a lycanthrope can go on to read that they can change into a giant bat or a gaseous form. How big of a giant bat? We have no idea, but being a giant bat is pretty cool.
Then, we descend into every other Vampire stereotype that is out there. Direct sunlight equals one dead and crispy Vampire. Impaled through the heart with a wooden stake…dead. Sign of the cross, shown a mirror or given a piece of pizza with extra garlic? Our blood-sucking friend runs away, hissing and cursing you that he’ll be back. Bedtime for the Vampire equals sleeping in their coffin during daylight hours. You can be charmed by the Vampire, doing the evil one’s bidding, or more likely, being convinced to go give him a hug so he can suck you dry. If men-types (This is the terminology used in the book. Got to love the sexist 70’s) are killed by a Vampire, they will become one and be under the control of the one that made them. One thing we found odd was there was no mention of holy water causing damage to them. That seems to us to be the biggest damage-causing attack missing, and it’s too bad, cause any cleric worth their salt will have some on them and would love to splash it on the undead.
Now that the stereotypes are covered, the creators add in some of their own “flavor” to our favorite cape-wearing bad guy. If a Vampire is submerged in running water they will are killed. Researching vampire lore, there isn’t any mention of running water killing Vampires, but that they cannot cross running water. A lesser-known defense is that because vampires are unclean and unholy creatures, they can not cross running water because running water is perceived as clean and pure. The water has to be moving, as stagnant water has a higher chance of being diseased and bacteria that cause these diseases.
Next up are the powers of the Vampire and they aren’t great if you are a player. It can regenerate, summon a few pets to join the fight or charm themselves a few new friends from the party. Now, when we say summon a few pets when we mean Vampires can summon 10 to 100 bats or rats, or 3 to 18 wolves. That’s a lot of pets, and the fact that they can always stare at your party members and charm just keeps stacking the deck against you.
Finally, we get into the whole “drinking your blood” vampire thing. The description gets a little convoluted on this issue.
…otherwise they can be hit only as Spectres, but such hits do not kill them but only force them to assume gaseous form if they lose all hit points. Vampires drain two life energy levels as do Spectres when they hit an opponent in combat.
Dungeons & Dragons White Box (1974)
We feel like the creators were tired by the time they got to the “v” monster section and didn’t feel like creating a whole new set of rules for the effects of drinking the blood of their victims, so instead, they made the ability the same as the spectre. It’s not that we can’t get behind this, because when you stop and think about it, it makes complete sense. Not setting up a whole set of new mechanics is a smart call and makes it easier for the DM. The problem is we wish they had given it a better description instead of falling back on the term ‘energy drain’. It’s technically correct, but you could have at least mentioned they needed to drive their fangs into the neck of their victims to drain their energy. They are called bloodsuckers for a reason folks!
Basic D&D - Vampire
Armor Class: 2
Move: 120’ (40’), Flying: 180’ (60’)
Hit Dice: 7-9
No. of Attacks: 1 touch + special
Damage/Attack: 1-10 + energy drain
No. Appearing: 1-4 (1-6)
Save As: Fighter 7-9
Treasure Type: F
The Vampire next shows up in Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977). Not much changes in this version, but a few things are clarified and adjusted. They may not be exciting but are important to help further develop the creature. Of utmost importance is that the energy drain is clearly defined. In the White Box, there is no actual definition of energy drain beyond how they describe it in passing in the wight’s monster information, which is you remove a hit die and level from the character.
“Energy Drain: A successful hit by certain undead monsters will drain energy from the victim. Unlike other special attacks, there is no saving throw against an energy drain. Each energy drain will destroy one level of experience of a character, or one hit die of a monster. The creature drained of energy loses all the benefits (attack level, saving throws, spells, etc.) of the former level. This effect cannot be cured.”
D&D Expert Booklet (1981)
Vampires are unaffected by sleep, charm, and hold spells. It makes sense and follows the basic mechanics of other undead creatures in Dungeons & Dragons. A character slain by a Vampire will return from death as a Vampire in 3 days. It’s good that they specify the length of time it takes to turn the creature since the previous edition left it wide open for interpretation. There is no mention of how to prevent this from happening, which is too bad since your party now has an amount of time to potentially find a cure for your new undead condition… maybe a preemptive stake through the heart?
You can still be charmed by a Vampire, falling completely under their control. And because Vampires cannot use spells or magic… you know they are going to target the Magic-User first so they can cast our favorite “fuck you” spell at their allies… Fireball.
We also get additional details of the weaknesses of Vampires. A Vampire may take the form of a human, a dire wolf, a giant bat, or a gaseous cloud at will, but doing so takes 1 round. It may not be much, but a round where they can’t attack is a big deal. In dire wolf or giant bat form, the Vampire will move, attack, and do damage according to the statistics for those creatures. The Vampire's armor class, hit dice, morale, and saving throws remain unchanged. They get the best of both worlds in this scenario. When they change into gaseous form, a Vampire can fly at the listed speed and has immunity to all weapon attacks. A Vampire cannot attack while in gaseous form. This is an escape from, as they can move through cracks in the walls, to a height where they are out of reach, and under dungeon doors.
Speaking of weaknesses, this edition goes on to clarify that silver weapons do nothing against the Vampire, holy symbols only stop them if the symbol is directly in their path and that the Vampire needs to sleep in a coffin with a bottom layer of dirt from where they used to live. Which seems like an interesting distinction for any Vampire that wishes to travel the world and is forced to bring a coffin of dirt from his homeland, and depending on how specific you want to get, the dirt from his childhood home’s garden.
AD&D - Vampire
No. Appearing: 1-4
Armor Class: 1
Hit Dice: 8+3
% in Lair: 25%
No. of Attacks: 1
Special Attacks: Energy Drain
Special Defenses: +1 or better magic weapon to hit
Magic Resistance: See Description
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Psionic Ability: Nil
Stats vampire 5e
Mediumfiend, chaotic evil
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 84 (13d8 + 26)
Speed 0 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
|1 (-5)||18 (+4)||15 (+2)||14 (+2)||14 (+2)||19 (+4)|
Saving ThrowsDex +7, Cha +7
SkillsPerception +5, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunitiesexhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
Sensesdarkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Common, Umbral, Void Speech
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
- Incorporeal Movement. The umbral vampire can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
- Innate Spellcasting. The umbral vampire’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15). The umbral vampire can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
- Shadow Blend. When in dim light or darkness, the umbral vampire can Hide as a bonus action, even while being observed.
- Strike from Shadow. The reach of the umbral vampire’s umbral grasp attack increases by 10 feet and its damage increases by 4d6 when both the umbral vampire and the target of the attack are in dim light or darkness and the umbral vampire is hidden from its target.
- Sunlight Sensitivity. While in direct sunlight, the umbral vampire has disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
- Umbral Grasp. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) cold damage and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d6. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. If a non-evil humanoid dies from this attack, a shadow rises from the corpse 1d4 hours later.
An umbral vampire is a fiendish creature, once human but twisted into a dark reflection by an ancient curse. It resembles a deathly pale, gaunt human with stringy hair, dressed in scant rags. Misty strands of darkness leak from its empty eye sockets, yawning nasal cavity, and mouth.
Cursed Origin. Legends speak of an ancient city whose origins are lost to the ages, where a cabal of wizards with the power to manipulate the flow of time made its citizens immortal. When the wizards fell and no longer held back the ravages of time, the citizens aged centuries in moments. Instead of dying, the wretches lingered on in their dark realm.
Bound to Darkness. All umbral vampires originate in the City Fallen into Shadow, and under most circumstances, they’re encountered only in that forsaken place. Despite the terrors it holds, adventurers continue to seek out the city, chasing legends of potent artifacts and boundless treasure accumulated during its golden age. Occasionally, an umbral vampire slips into the mortal world, where it hides in a place seldom or never touched by sunlight and emerges at night to search for victims.
Shadowy Nature. An umbral vampire doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Beasts. Copyright 2016, Open Design; Authors Chris Harris, Dan Dillon, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, and Wolfgang Baur.
Small plant, unaligned
Armor Class 13
Hit Points 36 (4d6 + 12)
Speed 10 ft.
|14 (+2)||10 (+0)||16 (+3)||– (-)||13 (+1)||8 (-1)|
Skills Stealth +6
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Hypnotic Fragrance victims who are within 10 feet of the vampiric rose must make a successful DC 12 widsom saving throw or lose all will to fight, allowing the plant to drain blood until the victim dies.
Scary Death if any portion of the vampire rose is severed while it drains a victim’s blood, the flower lets out a horrifymg shriek
and blood sprays out of the cut stalk. Any character must make a successful DC 10 widsom saving throw or be struck with fear as per the spell.
- Thorn Lash: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage. Once the stalk has struck successfully, the vampire rose automatically drains blood in subsequent rounds, causing 1d8 points of blood drain damage each round. The vampire rose can attach to a maximum of 2d12 targets.
Vampire roses appear as bushes of white roses of extraordinary beauty. An average of 2d12 roses are on each bush, although the number of blooms does not affect the bush’s a abilities. Despite their innocuous appearance, vampire roses can uproot themselves and move about slowly in search of prey.
Each bush can attach to a different target. After a victim i s completely drained of blood, the vampire rose’s petals turn from pure white to blood red. Vampire roses are often found in old graveyards. Not surprisingly, some of the flowers can be found near the crypts of Vampires.
Vampire Rose is employed as material component to empower the following spells:
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Vampire Lord (5e Creature)
Large undead (shapechanger), lawful evil
Armor Class 20 (natural armour)
Hit Points 345 (30d10 + 180)
Speed 50 ft., fly 80 ft.
Saving ThrowsDex +14, Wis +12, Cha +15
SkillsDeception +15, Intimidation +15, Perception +12, Persuasion +15, Stealth +14
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't silvered
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't silvered
Condition Immunitiescharmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned
Sensestruesight 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages the languages it knew in life, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 26 (90,000 XP)
Shapechanger. The vampire can use an action to polymorph into a nightwing bat, a Large cloud of mist, its humanoid form before becoming a vampire lord, or back into its true form.
While in bat form, the vampire can't speak, its walking speed is 10 feet, and it has a flying speed of 90 feet. Its statistics, other than its size and speed, are unchanged. Anything it is wearing transforms with it, but nothing it is carrying does. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
While in mist form, the vampire can't take any actions, speak or manipulate objects. It is weightless, has a flying speed of 45 feet, can hover and can enter a hostile creature's space and stop there. In addition, if air can pass through a space, the mist can do so without squeezing, and it can't pass through water. It has advantage on Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws, and it is immune to all nonmagical damage.
While in its humanoid form, the vampire cannot use its Vampiric Touch, Bite, Soul Drain, Children of the Night actions or any of its legendary actions except Move and Unarmed Strike. In addition, it cannot fly. While in humanoid form, the vampire typically moves slower and refrains from using its innate spellcasting as to not attract attention to itself.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the vampire fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.
Misty Escape. When the vampire drops to 0 hit points outside of its resting place, the vampire lord transforms into a cloud of mist (as in the Shapechanger trait) instead of falling unconscious, provided that is isn't in sunlight or running water. If it can't transform, it is destroyed. Once in its resting place, it reverts to its vampire form. It is then forced to remain in its resting place until it regains at least 1 hit point. After spending 1 minute in its resting place with 0 hit points, it regains 1 hit point.
Regeneration. The vampire lord regains 30 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn't in sunlight. If the vampire takes radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn't function at the start of the vampire lord's next turn.
Spider Climb. The vampire can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Death Warden. When casting the animate dead or create undead spell, there is no limit to how many creatures the vampire can have under its control. In addition, after casting animate dead or create undead once on creatures, it no longer needs to be cast on those creatures to retain its control over them.
Turn Immunity. The vampire is immune to effects that turn undead.
Marshal Undead. Undead creatures within 60 feet of the vampire have advantage on saving throws against effects that turn undead.
Magic Resistance. The vampire has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Enhanced Attacks. The vampire's unarmed strike and vampiric touch attacks are treated as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical damage.
Innate Spellcasting. The vampire's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 23, +15 to hit with spell attacks). The vampire can innately cast the following spells requiring no material components:
At will: animate dead, blight, chill touch, darkness, disguise self, greater invisibility, levitate, telekinesis
5/day each: create undead, eyebite, dominate person, fear
3/day each: finger of death, circle of death (cast using a 7th level spell slot), waves of exhaustion
1/day each: dominate monster (cast using a 9th level spell slot), power word kill
Multiattack (Humanoid or Vampire Form Only). The vampire makes three attacks, only one of which can be a bite attack.
Unarmed Strike (Humanoid or Vampire Form Only).Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft. (10 ft. in vampire form), one creature. Hit: 11 (1d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage. Instead of dealing damage, the vampire can grapple the target (escape DC 22).
Vampiric Touch (Vampire Form Only).Melee Spell Attack: +15 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 28 (6d6 + 7) necrotic damage. The vampire regains hit points equal to half the necrotic damage dealt. In addition, if the target is a creature that is Medium or smaller, the target is grappled (escape DC 22). The vampire lord can continue to use the Vampiric Touch action on a grappled creature once a turn. A humanoid slain by this attack rises as a zombie after 1 hour under the vampire's control. The vampire cannot use this action when it is in direct sunlight.
Bite (Bat or Vampire Form Only).Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by the vampire, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) piercing damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage. The target's hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and the vampire regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire's control.
Soul Drain (Vampire Form Only; Recharge 5-6).Ranged Spell Attack: +15 to hit, range 60 ft., one creature. Hit: 42 (10d6 + 7) necrotic damage. The target makes a DC 23 Constitution saving throw or the vampire regains hit points equal to the necrotic damage dealt. In addition, if the target fails the Constitution saving throw, the target's hit point maximum is reduced by the amount of damage dealt. If the hit points gained restores the vampire lord to its hit point maximum, it gains the excess as temporary hit points. A humanoid slain in this way and then buried in the ground rises the following night as a vampire spawn under the vampire's control. The vampire cannot use this action when it is in direct sunlight.
Charm. The vampire targets one humanoid it can see within 30 feet of it. If the target can see the vampire lord, the target must succeed on a DC 23 Wisdom saving throw against this magic or be charmed by the vampire. The charmed target regards the vampire as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn't under the vampire's control, it takes the vampire's requests or actions in the most favorable way it can, and it is a willing target for the vampire lord's bite attack. Each time the vampire or its companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours or until the vampire is destroyed, is on a different plane of existence than the target, or takes a bonus action to end the effect
Children of the Night (3/Day). The vampire magically calls 4d6 giant bats or rats, provided that the sun isn't up. While outdoors, the vampire can call 3d6 dire wolves instead. The called creatures arrive in 1d4 rounds, acting as allies of the vampire and obeying its spoken commands. The beasts remain for 1 hour, until the vampire lord dies, or until the vampire lord dismisses them as a bonus action.
Poise. The vampire uses its reaction to avoid damage from a melee or ranged weapon attack.
The vampire can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature's turn. The vampire regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.
Move. The vampire moves up to its speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
Vampiric Touch or Unarmed Strike. The vampire makes one Vampiric Touch attack or one unarmed strike.
Bite (Costs 2 Actions). The vampire makes one bite attack.
Cast a Spell (Costs 2 Actions). The vampire casts a spell from its Innate Spellcasting feature, expending a use of that spell as normal.
Absorb Life (Costs 3 Actions). Every non-undead creature within a 30-foot radius of the vampire lord must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, creatures take 35 (10d6) necrotic damage and have their hit point maximum reduced by that amount until the greater restoration spell or similar magic is cast on them. On success, creature take half damage and do not have their hit point maximum reduced. The vampire regains the amount of necrotic damage dealt as hit points. If the amount of hit points the vampire gains restores the vampire to its hit point maximum, the vampire lord gains the excess as temporary hit points. A humanoid slain in this way becomes a wraith under the vampire's control. The vampire cannot use this action when it is in direct sunlight.
Vampire lords often have numerous undead beside it, usually freshly killed and animated and bent to its will. Vampire lords usually fly above the battlefield using their impressive wingspan to soar above the battlefield unleashing spells of death upon their foes often unbeknownst to those below with their innate ability to become invisible.
When that fails, the vampire lord is no slouch when it comes to hand to hand combat as their very touch can kill a creature where it stands only to have it serve its new master when it falls. With its dealings with necromancy and its natural undeath, it uses these innate necromantic abilities to further its vitality and siphon the very life energy of those around them making if difficult for any to even get close to it.
Very few vampires live the millennia it takes to become a vampire lord and even fewer master their new found abilities. Though rumors say that the process to become a vampire lord is within the pages of the Book of Vile Darkness. Even so, one must be a vampire to do anything with the ritual, all others will only become lifeless shells of their former selves. Be wary when facing this master of death as it may be the last time you are truly alive of your own free will.
In the machinations of vampires, the undead creatures vie against the living and against each other. Power is all, and the accumulation of power is the goal of these foul beings. Sometimes they rise up against their creators; on rare occasions they succeed in breaking the iron control of their "master" and slay it. These creatures can go beyond the normal vampire, and become an even more vile and horrible undead: a vampire lord. Few are ever seen, or recognized if seen. Possessing few of the weaknesses of their lesser kindred, they walk among mortals with little fear of discovery. They are the rulers of vampire communities. In a world where vampire conclaves battle against each other, the vampire lords play chess with their lesser kindred.
Vampire lords are few and far between, and each is fiercely territorial. They know that run-of-the-mill vampires cannot match their power, but another vampire lord is a definite threat. As they gain power, they become more arrogant towards those they believe pose no threat, and more fearful of any real threat to their continued existence. Thus, if a vampire lord arises in the territory of another, the newcomer is driven away or destroyed as quickly as possible. Vampire lords command hundreds of undead servants throughout their vast territories, and can have legions of vampire servants at their beck and call.
Unlike normal vampires, a vampire lord does not look the least bit unusual. It looks exactly like it did when alive and in the peak of health. It has lost the pale, hardened, almost feral look of the vampire. A vampire lord always surrounds itself with wealth and opulence, but it never forgets that the opulence is a by-product of power, not the primary goal.