Monday, October 19, 2020

Universal Monster Monday: Count Dracula for AD&D 2nd Edition and Ravenloft

Before Dungeons & Dragons, Champions, Art, Comic Books, or even Toys I LOVED the Universal Monsters. As a kid, the only books I'd check out of the elementary school library were these books that dealt with old monster movies. Most of those books deal with Universal Monsters. Here is the silly part, I was an absolute fraidy cat and couldn't even watch those old black and white movies without covering my eyes. It was crazy, but I loved them and here you are.

Count Dracula

Climate/Terrain: Any
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Pack
Activity Cycle: Night
Diet: Special
Intelligence: Genius (17-18)
Treasure: G
Alignment: Chaotic evil
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: -1
Movement: 12, FL 18 (C)
Hit Dice: 12+4
THAC0: 8
No. of Attacks: 2
Damage/Attack: 2d6+4
Special Attacks: Energy drain
Special Defenses: +1 or better magical weapon to hit
Magic Resistance: See below
Size: M (5-1/2'-6-1/2')
Morale: Fanatic (18)
XP Value: 13,000

Combat: When engaging in combat, Count Dracula is a savage and fearsome opponent. He is physically very powerful, with a Strength score of 18/76, receiving a bonus of +2 to hit and +4 to damage. His crushing blows inflict 2d6+4 points of damage.
   His gaze is one of his most powerful and dangerous weapons. Any person who allows the Count to look into his eyes will be affected as if by a charm person spell. Due to the power of this enchantment, a -3 is applied to the victim's saving throw vs. spell. 
   Like all undead creatures, Dracula exists in both the Positive Material and Negative Material planes at the same time. His powerful negative essence allows him to drain two life energy levels from anyone they bite. If the Count is making use of some form of weapon in the attack, He cannot employ this power.
   Weapons of less than +1 enchantment pass through the Count without harming him in any way. Even if attacked with and harmed by magical weapons, Dacula regenerates 3 hit points per round. If reduced to zero hit points, he is not destroyed but is forced to assume gaseous form. Once in this state, he will attempt to flee and return to its coffin where, after eight hours of rest, he regains his corporeal form. If the defeated Dracula is unable to reach his coffin within 12 turns, however, his essence breaks up and he is truly destroyed.   
   Sleep, charm, and hold spells do not affect Dracula. Similarly, he is unharmed by poisons and immune to paralysis. Spells that are based on cold or electricity cause him only half damage.
   At will, the Count is able to disperse his body into clouds of elemental vapor and assume gaseous form. In this state, he is all but immune to attack and can escape from almost any confinement. In addition, Dracula can shape change so as to take on the form of a large bat (hence the flying movement rate given above).
   Count Dracula can summon lesser creatures for aid. In a subterranean environment, he will typically call forth a swarm of 1d10x10 rats or bats. In the case of the latter, these do not physically attack but serve to confuse and obscure the vision of the Count's foes. In the wilderness, he will normally call upon 3d6 wolves for assistance. In all cases, the summoned animals arrive in 2d6 rounds.
   At will, he can use a spider climb ability and scale sheer surfaces. Often, he will employ this power to gain access to rooms on upper floors without alerting those on watch downstairs. This power also permits him to seek refuge in places that are all but beyond the reach of mortals. 
   Despite the great powers which Draculas obviously possess, he is not without weaknesses of his own. The odor of strong garlic repels him and he will not approach it. Further, he will recoil from the face of a mirror or lawful good holy symbol if either of these is presented to him with courage and conviction. It is important to understand, however, that this will not actually harm the Count in any way nor drive him off. Garlic will prevent him from attacking or entering the area, while mirrors and holy symbols force Dracula to find some means of removing the offending object before it can be bypassed. In most cases, he will seek to overcome these hazards with the aid of his minions. For example, a charmed person might be called upon to attack someone who is holding the Count at bay with a holy symbol. Another important point to keep in mind is that a lawful
good holy symbol will affect Dracula regardless of the vampire's original religious background. If the Count is splashed with a vial of holy water or struck with a lawful good holy symbol he will be burned by them, suffering 1d6+1 points of damage.
   Just as Dracula can be kept at bay, so too can he be slain by those who have the knowledge to do so. If the Count is exposed to direct sunlight he is instantly rendered powerless and, after one round, utterly annihilated. If he can be immersed in running water, he loses one-third of his hit points each round, until destroyed on the third round. Lastly, Dracula can be killed by having a wooden stake driven through his heart. In this case, however, he can be restored simply by removing the stake if further measures are not taken to ensure the fate of the vampire. In order for him to be completely destroyed, the Count's head must be cut off and his mouth stuffed with holy wafers (or their equivalent).
   In addition to its aversion to items like garlic and holy symbols, Count Dracula acts under many other limitations. One of the most powerful of these is his inability to enter a home without being first invited to do so by a resident of the dwelling. This does not apply to public buildings and places of business which, by their very nature, extend an “invitation” to all. Once he has been invited to enter a residence, he may come and go freely afterward. A common manner for obtaining permission to enter a home is the use of the Count's gaze to charm a servant or other inhabitant.
   Any human or humanoid creature slain by the life energy drain of the Dracula is doomed to become a vampire themself. Thus, those who would hunt these undead paragons must be very careful lest they find themselves condemned to a fate far worse than death. The transformation takes place one day after the burial of the creature. Those who are not actually buried, however, do not become undead and it is thus traditional that the bodies of a vampire's victims be burned or similarly destroyed. Once they become undead, the new vampire is under the complete control of the Count. If Count Dracula is destroyed, the controlled undead are freed from his power and become self-willed creatures. In most cases, vampires do not lose the abilities and knowledge which they had in life when they become undead. Thus, it is possible for a vampire to have the powers of, for example, a wizard, thief, or even a priest. In all cases, of course, the new vampire becomes chaotic evil.

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