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by Jamie Baty

DMR2 107, GAZ1, GAZ3
Nosferatu is a powerful and fearsome undead creature strongly resembling the vampire. Contrary to its dark cousin, Nosferatu neither drains levels nor fears sunlight. Common people often fear Nosferatu, although some of its kin aren't evil. Nosferatu is the victim of a dark fate, torn between pain, thirst, and disgust. Just like its cousin, Nosferatu hungers for blood, but it does occasionally show compassion.

One must be very observant to recognise Nosferatu for what it truly is. It can easily pass among mortals since it does not show any obvious clues to its true nature. It appears monstrous only when it attacks. Like its cousin, Nosferatu fails to cast either a shadow or a reflection in a mirror.
Nosferatu can dwell anywhere. Most often, it is a character of some importance in the region (a dashing nobleman, a reclusive wizard, the laird of a domain, etc). Nosferatu doesn't necessarily feel the morbid need of its vampire kin to dwell in cemeteries and other sinister places of death. Nosferatu seeks the living whose blood it thirsts.

Being somewhat closer to the world of the living compared to level-draining undead, nosferatu feel at ease with unsuspecting mortals. Nosferatu also tends to think less and act more compared to the vampire ("think less" is said here in relative terms). Where a vampire would spend a century brooding and scheming, Nosferatu might spend "only" a decade.
Nosferatu often needs to change identities, as the living pass on and Nosferatu maintains its activity among the new comers. Clever disguises to modify Nosferatu's apparent age or to impersonate progeny remain common tactics. If everything fails, disappearing for a decade also remains a valid option.

Nosferatu enjoy the company of others of its kind, but most often will mingle with the living. Evil or neutral Nosferatu and its lesser followers enjoy playing games with the living even more. The rare Nosferatu of good alignment, however, will remain aloof, only occasionally interfering with the affairs of the living as may be necessary to preserve its existence or to save loved ones.
Nosferatu has made itself a secret place among the living. It stands as a transitory form of the vampire, between to totally twisted undead and the living. Evil Nosferatu acts more like the vampire kin, while the good-aligned Nosferatu exists more as an unfortunate victim. Good-aligned Nosferatu will only allow another to rise if the victim consents (i.e. a loved one), in which case, the victim's original alignment is preserved. Evil Nosferatu often choose to twist a victim's alignment to reflect Nosferatu's own, but not always. Evil Nosferatu could decide to preserve a victim's alignment as a way to torment the victim. Invariably, a good-aligned victim seeks to destroy itself or cause the doom of its evil master. The living always fears a nosferatu, regardless of its alignment.

Nosferatu speak any languages they knew in life. They are most likely to be found in Glantri or Karameikos

Creating a Nosferatu
"Nosferatu" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid or monstrous humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature).
A nosferatu uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature's type changes to undead (augmented humanoid or monstrous humanoid). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

Speed: Same as the base creature.

Armour Class: The base creature's natural armour bonus improves by +6.

Attack: A nosferatu retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a slam attack if it didn't already have one. If the base creature can use weapons, the nosferatu retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A nosferatu fighting without weapons uses either its slam attack or its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A nosferatu armed with a weapon uses its slam or a weapon, as it desires.

Full Attack: A nosferatu fighting without weapons uses either its slam attack (see above) or its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack along with a slam or other natural weapon as a natural secondary attack.

Damage: Nosferatu have slam attacks. If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the nosferatu's size. Creatures that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.
Size Damage
Fine 1
Diminutive 1d2
Tiny 1d3
Small 1d4
Medium 1d6
Large 1d8
Huge 2d6
Gargantuan 2d8
Colossal 4d6

Special Attacks: A nosferatu retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 nosferatu's HD + nosferatu's Cha modifier unless noted otherwise.

Blood Drain (Ex): A nosferatu can suck blood from a living victim with its fangs by making a successful grapple check. If it pins the foe, it drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution drain each round the pin is maintained. On each such successful attack, the nosferatu gains 5 temporary hit points.

Children of the Night (Su): Nosferatu command the lesser creatures of the world and once per day can call forth 1d6+1 rat swarms, 1d4+1 bat swarms, or a pack of 3d6 wolves as a standard action. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might summon other creatures of similar power.) These creatures arrive in 2d6 rounds and serve the nosferatu for up to 1 hour.

Dominate (Su): A nosferatu can charm an opponent just by looking onto his or her eyes. This is similar to a gaze attack, except that the nosferatu must use a standard action, and those merely looking at it are not affected. Anyone the nosferatu targets must succeed on a Will save or fall instantly under the nosferatu's influence as though by a dominate person spell (caster level 12th). The ability has a range of 30 feet.

Create Spawn (Su): A human or humanoid monstrous humanoid slain by a nosferatu's Blood Drain rises as a nosferatu only if the nosferatu wishes it. If so, the victim rises from the dead three days later, unless its body was burned or totally destroyed. The victim remains under its killer's control. If the latter is killed, all the victims become self-willed.
At any given time a nosferatu may have enslaved creatures totalling no more than twice its own Hit Dice; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit are created as free-willed nosferatu. A nosferatu that is enslaved may create and enslave spawn of its own, so a master nosferatu can control a number of lesser nosferatu in this fashion. A nosferatu may voluntarily free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, a nosferatu cannot be enslaved again.

Special Qualities: A nosferatu retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.

Alternate Form (Su): A nosferatu can assume the shape of a large bat during the night or a large raven during the day as a standard action. This ability is similar to a polymorph spell cast by a 12th-level character, except that the nosferatu does not regain hit points for changing form and must choose from among the forms mentioned here. While in its alternate form, the nosferatu loses its natural slam attack and dominate ability, but it gains the natural weapons and extraordinary special attacks of its new form. It can remain in that form until it assumes another or until the next sunrise. (If the base creature is not terrestrial, this power might allow other forms.)

Damage Reduction (Su): A nosferatu has damage reduction 10/silver and magic. A nosferatu's natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Fast Healing (Ex): A nosferatu heals 5 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, it automatically assumes its gaseous form and attempts to escape. It must reach its coffin home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.) Any additional damage dealt to a nosferatu forced into gaseous form has no effect. Once at rest in its coffin, a nosferatu is helpless. It regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round.

Gaseous Form (Su): As a standard action, a nosferatu can assume gaseous form at will as the spell (caster level 5th), but it can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect manoeuvrability.

Resistances (Ex): A nosferatu has resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10.

Spider Climb (Ex): A nosferatu can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A nosferatu has +15 turn resistance. Clerics of opposite alignments reduce this bonus to +10.

Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +4, Int +4, Wis +2, and Cha +6. As an undead creature, a nosferatu has no Constitution score.

Skills: Nosferatu have a +8 racial bonus on Bluff, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, Search, Sense Motive, and Spot checks. It receives a +4 racial bonus to disguise checks. Otherwise, skills are the same as the base creature.

Feats: Nosferatu gain Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, and Lightning Reflexes, assuming the base creature meets the prerequisites and doesn't already have these feats.

Environment: Any

Organisation: Solitary

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2.

Treasure: Double standard.

Alignment: Any.

Advancement: By character class.

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +7.

Nosferatu Weaknesses
For all their power, nosferatu have a number of weaknesses, although they are less restricted than a vampire.

Blood Thirst: Nosferatu craves the blood of the living. It can go no more than a week without blood before pain begins to twist its body. The pain causes all of nosferatu's ability scores (ignore constitution) to drop 1 point per day after the first week of fasting, down to a minimum of 9. Nosferatu requires enough blood for 9 points of damage per week to avoid the pain. To recover each lost point of ability score due to the pain, Nosferatu requires another 1-4 Con points-worth of fresh blood. Non-human or non-humanoid blood only serves to numb the pain for a day. It cannot restore lessened ability scores.

Repelling a Nosferatu: Nosferatu cannot tolerate the strong odour of garlic and will not enter an area laced with it. Similarly, they recoil from a mirror or bright sources of light. These things don't harm the nosferatu
they are merely things to be avoided if at all possible. Unlike a vampire, a nosferatu has no fear of a holy symbol, in fact some nosferatu are quite fond of holy symbols.
Nosferatu are also unable to cross running water, although they can be carried over it while resting in their coffins or aboard a ship.
They are utterly unable to enter a home or other building unless invited in by someone with the authority to do so. They may freely enter public places, since these are by definition open to all.

Slaying a Nosferatu: Reducing a nosferatu's hit points to 0 or lower incapacitates it but doesn't always destroy it (see the note on fast healing). However, certain attacks can slay nosferatu. Unlike a vampire, exposing any nosferatu to direct sunlight does not harm it in any way. But like a vampire, immersing it in running water robs it of one-third of its hit points each round until it is destroyed at the end of the third round of immersion. Driving a wooden stake through a nosferatu's heart instantly slays the monster. However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the body is destroyed. If staked, a nosferatu may be permanently killed by behead the undead and stuff its mouth with dirt taken from hallowed burial grounds. The definition of "hallowed burial grounds" varies with Nosferatu's own alignment. Burial grounds must be for a kind of people or creature whose alignment is as far removed from Nosferatu's as possible. For a neutral undead, any non-neutral alignment will do.

Nosferatu Characters
Nosferatu of certain classes take penalties.
Clerics: Nosferatu clerics lose their ability to turn undead but gain the ability to rebuke undead, even if their alignment is good. This ability does not affect the nosferatu's controller or any other nosferatu that a master controls. A nosferatu cleric has access to any two domains he could access while living, except of those dealing with life, healing, or good. It may choose to change its domains if desired when transformed into a nosferatu.
Sorcerers and Wizards: Nosferatu sorcerers and wizards retain their class abilities, but if a character has a familiar that is not a rat or bat, the link between them is broken, and the familiar shuns its former companion. The character can summon another familiar, but it must be a rat or bat.