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Old 12-06-2017, 07:37 AM   #1
Kesendeja
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Vampire Virus

For a game I'm running I need a vampire template that does away with the obvious supernatural powers (shape change and the like) but still keeps the flavor of an Alpha predator.

In the setting it is a retro virus created through magic and ancient technology (really one and the same) that rewrites the host's DNA. I can see unaging, improved healing and/or regeneration of lost limbs, enhanced senses, and the like.

I'd like to keep the template to under 200 pts, and avoid church related disads since they don't fit the setting. (Individuals may buy into them as psychological penalties).

One of the reasons for the blood drinking, I'm thinking, is mitochondrial dependency, on their own their cell's just can't generate enough power to fuel their enhancements.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:34 AM   #2
malloyd
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Vampire Virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
One of the reasons for the blood drinking, I'm thinking, is mitochondrial dependency, on their own their cell's just can't generate enough power to fuel their enhancements.
That isn't going to help. Everything has mitochondria, and the modifications you'd need to make to digestion to get the *out* of the tissues and use them yourself are pretty ridiculous.

Also, they don't create energy from nothing, mitochondria are just the way terrestrial life burns sugar, and blood is frankly not a great source of food energy. Things that drink blood do so for much the same reason as things that drink tree sap - it allows them to exploit something that is vastly larger than they are a food resource. Something that they could never manage to kill and eat.

From an energy perspective I think vampires might well be better off drinking tree sap. If they are using as much (or more) energy than humans they certainly are going to need to consume something in addition to blood. Which isn't necessarily bad - predators that eat only one thing, particularly something both as dangerous and (in evolutionary history) scarce as humans won't last very long.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:45 AM   #3
Apollonian
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Default Re: Vampire Virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
For a game I'm running I need a vampire template that does away with the obvious supernatural powers (shape change and the like) but still keeps the flavor of an Alpha predator.

In the setting it is a retro virus created through magic and ancient technology (really one and the same) that rewrites the host's DNA. I can see unaging, improved healing and/or regeneration of lost limbs, enhanced senses, and the like.

I'd like to keep the template to under 200 pts, and avoid church related disads since they don't fit the setting. (Individuals may buy into them as psychological penalties).

One of the reasons for the blood drinking, I'm thinking, is mitochondrial dependency, on their own their cell's just can't generate enough power to fuel their enhancements.
Here's a pretty quick and dirty conversion of the High Tech Vampire from GURPS Blood Types.

High Tech Vampire [103]
Attributes: ST +10 [100], HT +5 [50]
Advantages: Leech 1 (Accelerated Healing +25%; Blood Agent, -40%) [22], Teeth (Sharp) [1]
Disadvantages: Infectious Attack [-5], Dependency (Human blood, very common, illegal, daily) [-30]; Unnatural Feature (Pallor, No Body Heat) -15; Unhealing (Partial; may heal from Leech) [-20]

You might also add +5 Per [25] for simple supernatural senses.

As for how it works, I think you'd be better off just making up some technobabble nonsense about "tapping the vril field inherent in living beings by drinking blood; the ability to tap said vril is sadly incompatible with natural healing and leads to certain psychological imbalances in ordinary humans, but the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks for our super soldier program." Or some such. Tying it into actual working physiology is probably going to lead to pointless nitpicking and pedantry. At least on this forum.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:45 AM   #4
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: Vampire Virus

One reason for blood-drinking I've seen is that a vampire's body can't sustain the hemoglobin in their own blood, so they need a fresher source of it. I'm not entirely sure of the biology of this theory, but from a world-building standpoint it does not break suspension of disbelief.

Of course, taste comes into play as well; human blood tastes best to folks, while pig and cow blood can suffice it tastes like cheap beer compared to the fine wine of human blood, and rat tastes like s**t.
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Old 12-06-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Vampire Virus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kesendeja View Post
For a game I'm running I need a vampire template that does away with the obvious supernatural powers (shape change and the like) but still keeps the flavor of an Alpha predator.

In the setting it is a retro virus created through magic and ancient technology (really one and the same) that rewrites the host's DNA. .
I've long held that "magically active vampire virus" and "nanites" were different ways of saying the same thing. So you can go to Bio-tech and pick from their nice tables (especially if you go to TL12^). 200 pts may be a little low.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
Kesendeja
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Default Re: Vampire Virus

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I've long held that "magically active vampire virus" and "nanites" were different ways of saying the same thing. So you can go to Bio-tech and pick from their nice tables (especially if you go to TL12^). 200 pts may be a little low.
Hadn't thought of reskinning nanites, it might just work, thanks for the idea.
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Old 12-06-2017, 12:44 PM   #7
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Vampire Virus

A scientific version of a vampire virus could grant increased ST, DX, HT, DR, etc. The blood dependency would be in addition to normal human nutrition requirements (though they could have cast iron stomach). Addition advantages could be Extended Lifespan, Less Sleep, and Night Vision while additional disadvantages could be phobia of sunlight, Berserk, and Compulsive Behavior. In any case, scientific versions of the vampire virus should avoid supernatural abilities (though psychic abilities might be scientific enough in some settings).
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:21 PM   #8
Otaku
 
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default Re: Vampire Virus

Just tossing this out there:

Could Unaging tie into feeding on blood? Well, Unaging can tie into whatever you want it to tie into, but for a reason that might avoid breaking suspension of disbelief, I was thinking about vampires possessing a way to "repair" DNA through blood consumption by making use of what is available in the blood of closely related species. Closely related, because getting too far removed causes problems (maybe powers, mostly illness, including deformity).

So, why blood? Maybe some other bodily fluids work, but blood works best. Maybe even flesh works, but just not as well... at least for vampires (sets up for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure-style Pillar Men). Or flesh works, but it ends up being more "filling" and vampires need to sample a variety of DNA sources in one feeding, so better a liquid diet where they drain however much blood they need from each victim. Vampire packs are efficient not just in the obvious ways, but because someone you might have to slay anyway means a lot of blood goes to waste. Or maybe it is just psychological; most folks are more willing to be vampires than ghouls.

Again, just spitballing; if it doesn't give you an idea of what to do, maybe it gives you an idea of what not to do. XP
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Old 12-06-2017, 04:39 PM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Re: Vampire Virus

I tend to prefer the idea of vampires with Extended Lifespan rather than Unaging because Unaging is often a waste of points. If a 25 year old human transforms into a vampire with Extended Lifespan 4, they might stop aging until they reached the age of 400 (depending on the setting). Since they will not age for centuries, they could very well believe that they are immortal. Ancient vampires would know differently and would be very careful about how they sent their remaining centuries.
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Old 12-06-2017, 05:09 PM   #10
dcarson
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: Vampire Virus

Maybe some sort of hormone or enzyme dependency that the blood is the easy way to get.
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