GURPS, Dresden Files & Red Court Vampires

As stated yesterday, I’m trying to ramp up my focus on “Red Sky,” my GURPS: Monster Hunters game set in the Dresden Files universe, and I keep bumping into an issue with Red Court vampires.


In the series, there are four major kinds of vampires, though only three have been actually touched on during the series with the fourth – the Jades – referenced offhand by a character familiar with them (although the title character, Harry Dresden himself, had never heard of them before then.) The Black Court are the easiest to deal with because they’re the traditional Bram Stoker undead types. The White Court as just as problematic to me as the Reds but less of an issue because there is only a single Wampire (so to speak) in the OKC area (where the game is set.) The Reds drink blood like the Blacks, but are otherwise a little different, so, while I could probably get away with just using a traditional vampire template from MH, I instead wanted to try and figure a more accurate way to do them.

This led me to the Fate-powered Dresden Files game so I could review the official stats they provided. Some immediate notes:

  • When wearing their “ecto-plasmic skin,” they look human and are usually attractive. In a later book (“Changes,” I believe) it was revealed that older vamps can change the appearance of this skin.
  • When vamped out, they look like “black flabby creatures, with horrible bat faces, fangs, bellies tight with blood, and fingers & grasping toes that end in black claws. Slimy wing-like membranes stretch between their arms & flanks but they are not functional as wings.”
  • General powers are the flesh mask (see above), narcotic venom (requires mucous membrane (kissing, for example) or blood contact or with 1-3 seconds through unbroken skin; causes euphoria, arousal, relaxation. Enhanced strength, durability, speed. Heals very quickly.
  • Weaknesses: true faith and holy objects can burn them. Most of them have a “creepy” aura. Sunlight burns them and shreds the flesh-mask. Also, their bellies are a vulnerable point; hitting that point hard enough and in the right place causes them to lose the blood they’d consumed which weakens them. “Changes” also revealed that really, some Rampires can also be “blood mad” which is basically Addiction with a really low control roll.
  • Finally, someone bitten by a Red Court becomes “Infected” and are not quite Dhampir, but are pretty close. I’ll review that later.

Alright. That gives me more to work with. The powers they provided on the example Red Court vampire for Fate is more concise:

  • Addictive Saliva
  • Blood Drinker
  • Claws
  • Echoes of the Beast – this provides enhanced senses (like discriminatory hearing or smell … or both), the ability to do something an animal can like track by scent (like a wolf) or navigate in complete darkness (like a bat), as well as gain animal empathy with a specific set of animals.
  • Flesh Mask
  • Feeding Dependency (affects all of the following powers)
  • Cloak of Shadows – provides an ability to see in the dark with no penalty and an enhanced capability to hide.
  • Inhuman Strength
  • Inhuman Speed
  • Inhuman Recovery
  • Inhuman Toughness
  • The Catch: to both is sunlight, holy stuff; no armor on belly.

With all of this in mind, the following I’m leaning toward the following as my Red Court template. This is the newly made vampire, who has not fully learned to control himself. It caps out at 230 points, which is 30 points more than the playable Inhuman vampire in MH1 but that’s fine.

Attribute Modifiers: ST+4 [40]; DX+4 [80]; HT+2 [20]. Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Basic Speed+1.00 [20].

Advantages: Acute Taste and Smell 5 (Accessibility, Exposed blood only, -60%) [4]; Claws (Talons) [8]; Clinging [20]; Damage Resistance 3 (Tough Skin) [9]; Dark Vision (Color Vision) [30]; Discriminatory Smell (Emotion Sense) [23]; Elastic Skin (Does Not Work in Sunlight, -20%) [16]; Injury Tolerance (Unliving) [20]*; Mind Control (The Kiss, Contact Agent (saliva), Puppet) [15]; Unaging [15]; Vampiric Bite (3HP/sec) [40].

Disadvantages: Appearance (Monstrous) (Mitigator: Flesh Mask, -60%)** [-8]; Bloodlust (9 or less) [-15]; Dependency (Blood, very common, daily) [-15]; Divine Curse (Cannot cross a Home’s threshold without being paralyzed) [-5]; Infectious Attack [-5]; Uncontrollable Appetite (blood, 9 or less) [-22]; Vulnerability (Piercing Damage to TA: Vitals (blood reservoir), rare, x3) [-15]; Weakness (Contact with Holy water and relics, 1d per minute, rare) [-10]; Weakness (Sunlight, 1d per minute, very common, Variable) [-36].

Features: Affected by True Faith; Cannot use holy items.

* Technically, they aren’t “Unliving” but this was the most appropriate injury tolerance available so I went with it.

** The Elastic Skin advantage allows them to conceal their hideous appearance, hence the mitigator … which may be the wrong way to do this, but I’m not sure how else I should do it…