Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Classic/OSR: Lugosi's Dracula (universal films) for Halloween

"The spider spinning his web for the unwary fly.  The blood is the life, Mr. Renfield."
- Count Dracula
Dracula (1931)

My favorite time of year is approaching again: Halloween. Thus I begin with the Halloween inspired posting again. I truly enjoy this time of year and horror/nostalgia gaming.

To complement the Universal Pictures Frankenstein here is the immortal Bela Lugosi's Dracula.
Or at least my interpretation of him. Re-watching the film (along with The Return of the Vampire and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein) I tried to come up with a list of abilities seen or implied in the films. The Universal Dracula is not as powerful as the literary Dracula and later film versions, but he is the snazzy one and left a massive imprint on the world.

Count Dracula (Universal Films)
HD: 8
HP: 50
AC: 6/13
Save:  F810
Attack: +8
Damage: Unarmed (1d4) or Bite (1d4)

Dracula is a vampire, an undead abomination posing as a human being that requires the blood of the living to continue to exist. Dracula can be quite charming but the facade will be quickly dropped when he is challenged or his plans are threatened. He is quite pale with a striking accent and has an affection for dressing in formal attire and opera cape.

As an undead creature he is immune to damage from ordinary weapons. He only takes damage from fire, holy items, magic, sunlight, or a wooden stake to his heart (-6 to hit, see destruction below.) Dracula does not eat, drink, sleep, or breathe and  his undead body does not tire and does not require rest after prolonged exercise. Dracula is stronger than an ordinary man, doing 1d4 points of damage when he strikes a foe. He also gains a natural +2 to armor class due to his condition and can see perfectly in the dark out to 60 feet. Dracula can also climb walls as per the Spider Climb spell.

Dracula must drink the blood of the living and his bite drains 1d4 hit hit points of blood. He requires 4 hp of fresh blood nightly or he will lose one point of Constitution and appears to age 1d10 years on these nights. The Con loss and aging can be healed by consuming the normal nightly required 4 hps of blood and consuming an additonal 4 points per Constitution point lost.  Dracula can also heal lost hit points this way. Once his nightly requirement of 4 hp is consumed he can continue to drink blood regaining 1 hp per 2 hp of blood consumed. If his Constitution was damaged he must heal the Con damage before healing hit point damge. Those drained to 0 hit points by the vampire will die unless medical treatment is received. Those who die rise as a vampire at sundown three days after.

Dracula can change into the forms of a bat, mist, or wolf. The change takes one full round. (see below for stats.) He can also summon a swarm of rats,  a swarm of bats, and  individual or packs of dogs or wolves to do his bidding. He can only summon one type of animal at a time. The range of this summonng is 1000 yards and, if available, will arrive within 1d6 rounds or longer as DM decides.

One of the vampire's most insidious powers of that of hypnotism. The effect is as if  a Charm Person or Sleep spell had been cast and functions as such in all ways including duration. The victim does receive a Saving Throw to avoid the effect. The  Save is at a 4 penalty  if the victim has previously been drained of blood by Dracula.

Dracula also has a number of weaknesses.
He must rest on a bed of earth from his native soil. If he does not he takes one point of Constitution damage per night. This Constitution loss can be stopped when he rests again on the soil. The Con lost can be healed by extra consumption of blood as detailed above.

The vampire is repulsed by the sight of holy items such as crosses and bibles. When presented with these Dracula cannot approach within  10' of the wielder of the object and contact with such an object does 1d6 damage. Exposure to direct sunlight also causes 1d6 damage as does total immersion in running water.

Dracula cannot enter a private dwelling without an invitation from a person who lives or is staying at the dwelling. This invitaiton can be gained via hypnotism or other trickery. Even if invited when garlic is placed at a portal he must make a Saving Throw with a 4 penalty to enter.

There are a few ways to destroy Dracula.
Loss of all hit points via exposure to sunlight will burn him to ashes.
A wooden stake to his heart will do 1d6 damage and paralyze him if he fails a Saving Throw. This automatically paralyzes him if he is resting in his coffin in the daytime. Once he is staked his head can be chopped off or the body burned for his destruction. If no action is taken after the stake has paralyzed him he enters a state resembling death and will remain so until the stake is removed. He will awaken with 1 hit point.

Alternate Forms
Strength drops to 1. All others stay the same.
All of Dracula's abilities and weaknesses remain except he cannot use hypnotism and his only attack is a 1d2 bite. Flight is gained at 180'/60'.

Turning into a mist or fog he cannot use special abilities in this form.
The only damage that affects this form is fire, holy, and sunlight. All others are ignored. Dracula can move at a rate of 150'/50' in this form and can flow up walls, through keyholes, under doors, etc.

All stats remain the same.
All vampire abilities and weaknesses remain except he cannot use hypnotism.
Move is 150'/50'. Bite is now 1d6 damage.

1 comment:

  1. Will post the alternate form stats tomorrow. That's what happens when I post late it night lol.