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  AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER June 2006


Tales From the Crypt
by Danny Stevenson

Something unnatural hunts by night. Do you dare to hunt the terror that stalks the streets?

A vampire can live forever, if it is good at dodging angry mobs with pitchforks. Not alive and not quite dead, they live in a strange world in between life and death. It is generally not known what causes Vampirism. Some claim it is caused by a strange alien virus whilst others claim that dark gods and demonic entities are responsible. But that hardly matters when you have a hungry vampire about to pounce upon you.

Vampire behaviour:

Hunting, prey and feeding:
Vampires rarely go in for the “drink them until they are dry” method of feeding pictured in mythology and movies. The problem is that you would exhaust the food supply eventually. This method has a further drawback. The trail of dead bodies will attract the attention of a vampire hunter. Vampires will only use this method of feeding if threatened or if they have not fed for a long time. It is a common mistake that green level vampires make.

Vampires are clever. A vampire will go out to feed and carefully select victims for food. They drain a pint or two sometimes from up to 10 to 15 victims in a night. They will then re-visit the victims a few days later. If a victim offers itself up willingly then the Vampire will feed off them regularly. Some victims will become slaves to the vampire. Vampire attacks are not like those in the movies, where the vampire uses hypnotic powers to make their victims submissive. It is often savage and brutal. T

here is an odd myth that vampires cannot enter a house without being invited. It is actually untrue. Vampires started this myth to stop people booby trapping doors and windows with wooden stakes.

Daylight:
Everyone knows that Vampires dislike the daylight. However they cannot get killed by it. It just causes discomfort and burning sensations. If the vampire is really unlucky it gets some serious sunburn. Spotting vampires in daylight is easy. They cover up well, wear sun block even on the murkiest of days, wear sunglasses (even indoors) and lurk about in the shade. In general Vampires will not be seen during daylight hours and are nocturnal.

It is true that vampires sleep in coffins stored in a cool dark place. The more flash vampire has a nice air conditioned marble tomb set up in his or her basement. Many will take to these places of sanctuary in the daylight hours. If a vampire feels secure enough it may sleep bat like hanging from beams.

Spotting Vampires:
Vampires can be hard to spot at night. They look pretty normal. That is until its feeding time when their faces contort, fangs grow and their eyes change colour. The iris has been seen to go white, yellow or red at this time.

Vampires don’t go in much for the classic dinner suit and cape look. That would be a bit of a give-away. It makes for all sorts of trouble, with little men armed with a sharpened stick following you everywhere. It is true that vampires like to look good. They love sharp designer suits and dresses. Designer sunglasses are a must accessory for vampires. A few go fully “Ethnic” as vampires call it. To you and me that’s dressing in a Goth like style. You know the type. They wear lots of black makeup with black and purple velvet clothes. They also like to mix leather, PVC and rubber clothing in there too.

Becoming a Vampire:
Vampires don’t like creating more vampires. After all is creating more competition. Sometimes a vampire will like a victim so much that they decide that they cant un-live without them. They will offer them immortality by becoming a vampire. This involves drinking the vampire’s blood. This person is now a carrier and will become a vampire upon death. Normally a vampire will do the honours and then drain the vampire to be of all blood effectively killing it. Once a vampire the victim will notice that its senses are more acute, it can move faster and it is much stronger. The downside of this is that they have no body heat, pulse or a heartbeat. But eternal life has its perks.

However not all vampires get to finish the job and make a new vampire. Sometimes the victim fights back when attacked and accidentally drinks vampire blood. All that is needed is just a taste and the victim becomes a carrier. Oddly the vampire gene cannot be transmitted from person to person. It can however by passed to a child from its mother. This leads to strange Half-Vampires that wander the world. Power:
Vampires enjoy power and intrigue as much as blood. In some places they have risen to positions of power inside the few remaining non corporate towns and cities of the world. In the twenty four hour operation of the corporate world some body needs to do the night shift. This means vampires can even operate in the Corps. There are pretty high up vampires in the Corporate Hierarchy allowing them to operate with ease.

Other Nocturnal forces:
It is generally thought that Vampires and Werewolves get on. At times of great need they have been seen to help each other. However this is not out of solidarity or friendship. Vampires and Werewolves are constantly watching each other waiting for the other side to blink. They are looking for weaknesses in each other.

Zombies of any kind will not attack Vampires. It is thought that this is because they are un-dead too. The more powerful Vampires can actually control zombies and use them in what ever manner they wish.

Killing Vampires:
The good news is that vampires can be killed. They are not completely super human. Still they are stronger than us. So we should take care when going up against them. A stake through the heart and decapitation work very well. Bows and cross bows are good weapon to kill vampires with. You must use an arrow with a wooden quarrel or you are in trouble. You got to make sure you are a good shot too, as you might not get a second one!

Another handy weapon at range is the trusty Missile Launcher. If a HE missile hits a vampire it will kill them the same as a mortal. It’s hard to return from the grave if you are in a thousand little bits.

Holy Items such a crucifixes and holy water work at repelling Vampires. Another thing they dislike is Garlic. Whilst these items are good defences they will not kill the vampire, merely repel it. More powerful vampires can often ignore these items and Half-Vampires are totally immune to their effects.

Rules:

  • All vampires operate as individuals no matter what their quality level and unit coherency does not apply.
  • In hand to hand Vampires can only be killed with Swords, Wooded Stakes, Axes or Chainsaws. On a natural dice roll of a six the vampires head comes off and it is killed. In the case of a wooden stake it hits the heart.
  • A Vampire that gets wounded will only be killed in special circumstances. The vampire must however take a reaction test. If failed the vampire retreats to somewhere safe to recover. It then takes a test every round with a round modifier of +1 for every round. When it passes it may re-engage in the game.
  • Can pickup weapons and use them. Vampires favour medium to heavy pistols as weapons and swords. This not just for ease of storage in their coffins but also has a certain romantic flair that vamps like.
  • Vampires can wear armour, but feel they don’t need it. Besides it spoils the cut of the suit.
  • Vamps can gain and use skills as outlined in the battle book.
  • Can only be killed by a shot to the heart by a bow, decapitation or direct hit with a HE missile.
  • If a natural 6 is rolled by a shot from a bow or crossbow then the arrow hits the heart and kills the vampire. It must be recorded that the arrows have wooden quarrels before the game starts.
  • HE missile hits are treat the vampire like it’s a normal human. Immortality rules do not apply.
  • Garlic, holy items and holy water causes panic reactions in Vampires.
  • If a vampire is in base to base contact with a figure it can choose to feed. This must be done in the Close Combat phase. It costs 4AP to feed. If the vampire wins the combat it feeds. A vampire that has successfully fed has its toughness increased by +1 and gains an extra 1AP for the next turn only.
  • The victim being fed upon takes a 2D4 wound unless the vampire decides that it is going to kill the victim when its full wound roll is used. It must be stated at the time of feeding if the vampire wishes to kill the victim.
  • A feeding vampire is prone and can be attacked in close combat. All to hit rolls get a further 1D6 attack dice. Damage rolls get an additional 1D6 wound dice. The vampire cannot strike back. It is immune to psychological effects whilst feeding.
  • Vampire virus carriers are normal humans and get no extra or special powers until they die. If such a carrier dies on the table then in D6 turns it returns as a Vampire.
  • Zombies will not attack a vampire. If they come into base to base contact with a powerful vampire (Hero level) they can become vampire slaves that do the vampire bidding.
  • Vampires and Werewolves hate each other. If either group come are present on the table they must stop all current objectives whilst they destroy each other.
  • Vampires can jump up to 5cm high at 2cm cost. They can also jump from this height without injury. This also allows the vampire to jump over impassable obstacles such as walls up to 5cm in height.
  • Vampires can jump across gamps up to 6cm wide at 2Ap cost.

Vampire types:

Novice:
These creatures have only recently become vampires. Some don’t even realise that they are bloodsuckers yet. These stats can also be used for vampires that haven’t fed for a long time.

Novice Vampire Points cost: 6 + weapons & equipment
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Vampire Green 6 - 3D6 D6 8 3D6 1 5cm

Average:
The most common grade of vampire. They are accustomed to their undead condition..

Vampire Points cost: 14 + weapons & equipment
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Vampire Average 7 - 2D8 D6+1 8 2D8 1 5cm

Veteran:
These guys are older, more experienced bloodsuckers. They have been vampires for several years. Most have been undead for decades and in some cases centuries.

Veteran VampirePoints cost: 25 + weapons & equipment
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Vampire Veteran 7 - 2D8 D8 8 2D8 1 5cm

Vampire Leader:
Every vampire group (or clan or coven as they like to call them) has a leader. They are the strongest in the gang, and must have the highest quality in the group. Note: In vampire terms the strongest isn’t always the oldest vampire in the group although it’s usually the case.

Vampire LeaderPoints cost: Quality + 15 (Gang leader) + weapons & equipment
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Vampire See above 1 2D8+1 D8+1 9 2D8 2 5cm

Vampire Hero:
Vampire heroes are those powerful monsters you see in the movies. As the most powerful vampire they will often oversee a gang of vampires.

Vampire Hero: Points cost: 90+ weapons & equipment
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Vampire Hero 9 5 3D8 D8+1 10 2D8+1 2 5cm

  • Vampire heroes may have up to two slave gangs in attendance.
  • A vampire hero may have a Vampire gang in support.
  • Vampire heroes can control zombies if they have been in base to base contact with them

Special Rules for all classes of Vampire:

  • Reaction tests when wounded.
  • Can use tools & weapons.
  • Skills open/ smash door.
  • Can only be killed by decapitation, wooden stakes, direct HE missile hits and direct shots to the heart by bows/crossbows with wooden arrows.
  • Points cost: 90+ weapons & equipment

Vampire slaves:
The more powerful vampires have broken the will of these poor souls. Once normal humans, they are now but shadows of their former selves. In its former life the slave may have been a mortal enemy to its present master.: What better revenge than to make your enemy serve you for the rest of its miserable life? They serve by doing chores, running errands, earning money, offering themselves as food or laying down their lives in defence of their masters. With no free will the slave cannot rebel, and can only be freed by the destruction of its master.

Slave Points costs: 3 + weapons & equipment.
Type Quality AP Rerolls Attack Dice Initiative Toughness Wound Dice Attacks Move
Slave Green 5 0 2D6 Standard rulesD 7 2D8 1 5cm

  • Slaves are only available to Vampire Gang leaders and heroes.
  • Slave gangs may draw equipment from the gangs lists on page 32 of the rulebook or page 50 of battle book (street punk gang).
  • Due to the blood draining of their masters, poor diets and abuse slaves are of green quality only.
  • Slave Gang leaders may be of no higher than Normal quality and must have the highest quality in the gang.
  • Gang leader rules apply to Slave gang leaders.
  • Slave gangs are often deployed as bodyguards for their vampire master.
  • Slaves are not allowed to be of hero quality.
  • Slaves may not attack their masters.
  • Any vampire gang, clan or coven may have one slave gang.
  • A vampire hero may have up to two slave gangs in attendance.

Half-Vampires:
Half-Vampires are not common. Unlike their full vampire brethren they are alive. They are mortal when born and seem to have a much longer life span than ordinary mortals. Their condition gives them keener hearing and eyesight than ordinary mortals. This is often an advantage in the combat zones. They also have the luxury of not being bothered by Holy items or Garlic.

Half-Vampires are looked down on by vampires. Some covens go as far destroying any Half-Vampires on their turf. It is for these reasons that many Half-Vampires join vampire hunters and special government units. Half-Vampires fit in easily with human societies to the extent that most their comrades don’t realise that they are different.

  • Half-Vampires can be killed just like you and me
  • Quality stats are the same as normal humans. They can be of any quality.
  • All Half-Vampires get an extra re-roll.
  • Blood drinking stat boosts apply for one turn only.
  • Feeding costs 4AP and follows the rules outlined above. Like vampires they are prone when feeding. All Half-Vampires get a +D4 modifier on their initiative rolls. If part of a unit this is added to the unit’s stats.
  • Normal rout & Psychology rules apply.
  • All skills in the battle book are applicable.
  • Can pickup weapons and use them.
  • Half-Vampires can wear armour and often do.
  • Half-Vampires can be individuals or part of gangs or squads.
  • There may be no more than two Half-Vampires in any coven or clan. There can be no Half-Vampires in Covens and clans that hate them.
  • Garlic, Holy items and Holy water do not affect Half-Vampires in any way.
  • Half-Vampires get no jumping or falling bonuses enjoyed by their Un-dead brethren.
  • Points costs are the same as ordinary human quality levels +5 for the extra re-roll.

Vampire hunters:

Vampire hunters come in all shapes and sizes. Most will hunt any kind of supernatural fiend with Werewolves and Zombies being other favourites. Vampire Hunters are often Hero level characters who take it upon themselves to rid humanity of Vampires and other supernatural and un-dead beings. Some vampire hunters will often go after Half-Vampires too.

These characters are often dressed oddly, creepy looking and are prone to eccentric behaviour. Clothing varies from Vampire Hunter to Vampire Hunter, but one thing most have in common is religious and occult jewellery and amulets. Vampire Hunters are often equipped with the tools for the job in hand. Swords and cross bows are common equipment for vampire extermination. They often carry holy water and religious relics despite their ineffectiveness on vampires. In addition to all these tools Vampire hunters like to carry a heavy handgun for encounters with slaves. Such characters are often attached to some cult or other. Characters with cult attachments may also have some squads from the Cultist gang lists of page 54 of the battle book.

  • Vampire hunters may also have a side kick squad.
  • Vampire hunters from cults may have up two squads from the Cultist lists in support.
  • Vampires are prone whilst in coffins or at un-dead rest.
  • If the attacking hunter has enough AP’s to attack the prone vampire then it is an automatic hit and the vampire cannot strike back.
  • If the attack fails to kill the vampire it is limited to 3AP for the next turn only.
  • It costs 3AP to open a coffin and 5AP to open a stone sarcophagus.
  • If the Coffin is opened but close combat is not initiated the vampire may awaken during its activation in the next turn. Roll 2D6 against the vampire’s toughness. If the result is equal to or below its toughness then the vampire wakes up. The vampire gets full AP this turn.

Vampire Hunters
Type Quality Armour Weapons Equipment Points
Hero Elite Flak Jacket Cross bow,
Wooden Bolts
/Arrows,
Sword,
Wooden stake
Holy Pendants
Holy Water
Bible/holy book
Garlic
87
Upgrade any hero with:1 skill roll at +3pts (max 3)
Equip any hero with: Additional Heavy Handgun at +7pts

Sidekicks
Type Quality Armour Weapons Equipment Points
Leader Average Flak Jacket Cross bow,
Wooden bolts/arrows,
Sword,
wooden stake
First aid kit
Holy Water
27
Sub-Leader Average Flak Jacket Cross bow,
wooden bolts/ arrows,
wooden stake,
Knife.
Garlic 22
Up to 2 extra sidekicks at … Points each:
Side Kick Green Flak Jacket Medium Pistol,
Knife
15
Upgrade any side kick with:
Flamer +15pts
1 Molotov cocktail +1pt (max 2)
1 Assault rifle.+16pts
Wooden Stake +1pts (price per stake)

Holy items +1 pts
Garlic +1pts

Equip any flamer with:
Spare Flamer canister +8pts (2 max)

Optional rules:

In the Dark:
There is a chance that your vampire games will take place underground or in the dark. Vampires can ignore any night vision penalties that you may impose on humans. Their night vision is better than a humans day vision. Half-Vampires get a double night vision bonus.

If your humans decide to use Infra-Red equipment in the dark Vampire will not show up as they have no body heat. This does not apply for Vampires who have just fed. They will show up for D4 turns. As Half-Vampires are alive they show up on infra red.

Running water:
Vampires according to legend cannot cross running water. If you wish you could stop vampires from crossing streams and rivers adding to the excitement of certain encounters. One thing to remember is that running water might stop pursuit but it won’t stop a vampire shooting at you.

Corporate troops:
If you are using a Vampire in the corrupt upper echelons of the local Corps then you will get assistance from corporate troops. A vampire hero or gang leader can call upon any corporate squads in the lists on page 32 of the rule book or pages 41 to 44 of the battle book. Corporate squads are not available if the powers above the vampire in the Corps hierarchy order its destruction.

Making Wooden Stakes:
If your human characters or squads are in any area with access to lumber, wooden furniture, rubbish piles or even a tree it is possible to make a wooden stake. To make a wooden stake you will need a cutting implement such as a knife. It will cost 5AP to cut the wood and sharpen it to a point.

Tactics:

Vampires can only be killed in special circumstances. Your street gang or Corps patrol probably won’t be armed with bows and cross bows. Even if you did there are chances that you arrows will probably be made from steel, aluminium or carbon fibre. Only real cave men use wooden arrows these days, right?

So what can you do? Remember that Vampires feel pain. If you can’t kill them get to somewhere easily defended. Pour fire at them. Sooner or later it’s going to start to hurt too much. Force them into a panic or a rout. Believe me this works. Remember that Vampires can easily get into upper stories of buildings. So watch the roof and ceilings.

Try to stop them feeding with combined fire power. They get stronger after a drink. If you can’t stop them then try engaging them in hand to hand them whilst they are feeding. Vampires are immobile whilst feeding so it’s easier to kill them.

If you are out Vampire hunting catching them at midday in their coffins is usually best. They are in a state of un-death and far easier to kill.

Gaming ideas

Time to feed:
A standard game is the vampire hunt. The Gangs are on the streets with the vampires trying to pick off as many as possible for food. The Vampires are not allowed to kill any of its food. If it does then the game is lost.

The Vampire hunt:
This is a game where an intrepid team of Vampire Hunters go to destroy it. Can they get into the vampires lair and destroy the fiend? Will the vamps coven and slaves stop it?

Corporate games:
The vampire hunters are after a high-powered vampire. It is in a position of power in a nearby corps. Things are made further difficult for our hunters by groups of corporate troops rushing to defend the Vampires lair.

Vampire Wars
Two groups of vampires clash over feeding rights of a certain district. Who will come out on top?

Time to get even.
A group of Half-Vampires decide to defend humanity and head off to settle scores with a local vampire coven. Will they win?

Chase me!
Your squad or gang are caught on the streets at night. Something un-natural is close behind. You rush towards a bridge over a river where you can be safe. Can you make it? Note: the optional flowing water rule applies to this game.

Save the Dame:
A powerful corporate boss or Gang leader’s eldest daughter has joined a weird cult. You have been hired to free her. Upon closer inspection you discover that the cult leader is a vampire. You will not be able to free her until you kill the vampire. Can you do it?

Fangs and Fur:
For centuries Vampires and Werewolves have fought. Now they clash over the feeding and hunting rights of a neighbourhood. A vampire coven and a wolf pack clash. Who will win the hunting rights? Either way the neighbourhood is screwed!

Eureka:
A clever scientist has come with a cure for vampirism that doesn’t involve a wooden stake. It is a serum that fights and kills off the vampire gene. Sadly it only works on newer vampires (for purposes of the game restrict this to average and green level vampires). For the older vampires the serum tends to slowly kill them. Naturally the vampires are not too pleased with this development. They gather to attack the lab and destroy the research. Can the security squads and the Scientist’s bodyguards protect him and the serum? To win the Scientist must survive along with his computer.

Modelling ideas.

You can pretty much use any miniature for you CZ vampires. You don’t need special minis with their fangs exposed. It is possible to model fangs on a mini using putty.

I would be tempted by minis wearing suits and sun glasses. I would also look for a mini armed with a handgun and a sword as these are the vampire’s weapons of choice. Steer clear of minis with torn clothes or body armour.

Painting them is easy enough. I would go for very pale (almost white) skin tones with yellow, white or red eyes. For ease you could you paint the whites of the eye and forget about the pupil. Dark shadows around the eyes would also help the sinister un-dead look. For the more accomplished painter perhaps a smear of blood on the lips?

For your Half-Vampires you can also use pretty much any mini. They have the advantage of usually wearing body armour and carrying other firearms. I would follow similar painting guide lines to vampires, with exception of the eyes. Half-Vampires have normal human eyes and a little less shadow around them. Skin tones are normal to fair.

Final word & Inspirations.

I hope these rules add new dimensions and new possibilities to your games. Feel free to adapt them to your games.

For further game ideas we are lucky that there is so much vampire fiction out there in the form of Movies, TV serials, Novels, music and Computer games. TV programs such as Buffy are good sources of inspiration. On the silver screen anything from Bella-Lugosi classics through to movies such as “From Dusk til Dawn”, “Blade” and “Underworld” can inspire games.

Novels by Bram Stoker (who else?), Anne Rice and Darren Shan may further enrich your games. Look out for Computer games such a BloodRayne for further Half-Vampire adventures.

It doesn’t matter if some of the settings are Victorian or Gothic, I am sure you can incorporate them easily into your games. Who knows you might even get some new terrain ideas for your table. Good luck in your fight against the forces of the dark.

For me…Well the sun is nearly up so I am off to my coffin. Happy Gaming.


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