Daily Monster #51: Vampiric Mist

Our very first vampire!… at least technically, but considering how we had to cover an actual household item just a couple of entries back, I’ll definitely take it. Let’s see what this monster has in stores for us…

Our very first vampire!… at least technically, but considering how we had to cover an actual household item just a couple of entries back, I’ll definitely take it. Let’s see what this monster has in stores for us…

Vampiric Mist

The basics

All things considered, not bad stats for a CR 3 creature. We’re looking at matching +3 DEX and CON followed by a WIS of +1. Unfortunately, if you were looking to make use of any other stats why running this monster, you might not be able to do so considering their STR, INT, and CHA are all at a nice -2.

But let’s have a look at the Vampiric Mist’s durability. After all, that’s a pretty decent CON score, right? Well, not quite… this medium undead only has a hit point pool of 4d8+12 and an AC of 13. Thankfully though, their list of resistances and immunities does somewhat help with this since it does include resistances to Acid, Cold Lightning, Necrotic, Thunder, and non-magical weapon damages. You might have noticed that Fire isn’t part of the list, unfortunately, but the mist does have a single immunity to poison as well as several condition immunities.

As a last couple of points, the mist cannot speak nor communicate in any languages, has a passive perception of 11, and a hovering speed of 30ft.

Despite its low passive perception, today’s monster has a very specific feature called Life Sense which basically translates to knowing the location of any living creature within 60ft of it. Emphasis on living though, keep that bit in mind.

Like vampires in most movies, the mist also requires an invitation into a home before it is able to enter it as explained in their Forbiddance feature. Once that’s done, however, the smallest crack in a window frame will be enough for it to squeeze through thanks to its Misty Form. This ability also allows the mist to share a space with other creatures.

Although Radiant damage isn’t listed under vulnerabilities, the mist does suffer from Sunlight Hypersensitivity, which not only imposes disadvantage on rolls while in the sun, but also drains 10 hit points per turn.

The only attack available to this monster is its Life Drain. On a failed CON save, any creature that isn’t a construct or already undead takes 2d6+3 necrotic damage while our monster heals for the same amount. Once this damage is taken, the reduction lasts until the target takes a long rest. As with most similar abilities, if a creature is reduced to 0 hit points in this way, it immediately dies.

The lore

The Vampiric Mist has been a part of the world of Dungeons and Dragons ever since 1st edition, with only 4th edition omitting it from its rooster. To talk about today’s monster we need to take a quick look at what happens when a vampire is defeated; that is, once a vampire has taken enough damage or has been forced into the light for prolonged amounts of time, their body will simply turn into a fine mist that will (most likely) attempt to flee so that it can return to the vampire’s coffin, where it will promptly reform into a vampire again. Today’s monster, however, is what happens when a vampire is unable to return to its’ coffin upon death. Whether that be because our valiant adventurers have destroyed it or because something doesn’t permit them to return.

While most examples of vampires in media, Dungeons and Dragons included, present vampires as cunning and intelligent individuals that usually pose a big threat for the heroes, once these creatures have been reduced to their mist form they lose all of these qualities that make them so especial. Instead, they are purely driven by an insatiable hunger for blood.

Most common folk see no difference in the threat posed by a full vampire and a Vampiric Mist, however; to them, they are both just as deathly. And while most agree that these beings are what remains of vampires, there are other superstitious individuals who claim that these are the souls of innocents that had been turn into vampires or even simply evil Air Elementals that have been cast out of the Elemental Plane of Air.

Like sharks, it is said that these undead creatures can smell the scent of blood for miles and will be drawn to it like moths to a flame. While most Vampiric Mists choose to inhabit swamps and the like, the smell of blood is enough to have them relocate to more inhabited areas.

The execution

Look, call me basic, but I really love vampires and when I rolled for this one I just went ‘!!!’. The great news about this is that I already know exactly how I would set up an encounter with this creature. That said, I would probably choose to tweak a couple of things depending on the party’s level (stay tuned to the end of this section to find out which bits I’d change), but for now, let’s set the mood:

Exhausted from a day of hard travel across desolate swamps, the party spots what appears to be a small village in the distance. With the sunset behind them, they approach carefully, but begin to notice signs that something isn’t right; all lights are off, and the small streets are completely empty. Upon entering the town, it becomes clear that all townsfolk have shut themselves inside their homes, the sounds of moving furniture against the door and hushing tones from within the buildings.

As the party wanders the streets trying to figure out what’s going on, a door cracks open just wide enough for a single eye to be shown. A frazzled looking woman urges the party to come in before ‘it’ arrives. Reluctant, the group of adventures accept the invitation and follow her into the small home, only to watch from the window as a red mist begins to fill empty streets. Whilst watching, our adventurers question their hostess and learn that a vampire has been plaguing their village for the past few months. It comes every week and searches the whole village as if looking for something, until it eventually finds a victim to suck dry. Just as the woman finishes her explanation, a single shrill scream pieces the tense silence.

I think this could be a pretty sweet encounter to run for your players. Depending on how RP inclined they are, the investigation portion of it could be really cool. Perhaps they discover that the town was build over what used to be the vampire’s crypt and that now, unable to enter it without permission, the Vampiric Mist lurks in the area feeding off of the villagers.

Alternatively, what if your adventurers were to instead find the mist prowling an old cemetery not too far from town? Maybe they investigate the area and find a particularly eerie crypt that has been sealed with divine wards and keeps the Vampiric Mist away from its coffin. If the players were to fall for the temptation and dispel the seals, they might even end up fighting a full on vampire.

In terms of adjustments you might want to consider, I personally think a medium-sized mist just isn’t creepy enough; instead, I would either make it so that there’re several mists (maybe it’s a whole family of vampires!) or upsize the mist so that it becomes that much threatening. On a similar note, depending on the players’ levels, I would also consider making it so that the Life Drain save applies to any number of creatures within its space rather than a single creature.

As always, thank you very much for taking the time to read about my hardcore love of vampires. If you enjoyed this article and would like to be notified whenever we post a new one, do make sure to head over to our social media where you can click that follow button, so we can let you know when we post new stuff. We have new articles every day of the week!

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