Thoughts about Vampire traits (or: Our Vampires Are Different: The Game)


#1

I’ve been roughly plotting out the skeleton of a game for the better part of the last week or so (the story-side of it, at least - I’m still learning how to code and feel utterly lost, but that’s a different subject). As you can probably tell from the title, it concerns vampires, and since vampires have been so tread and retread upon this last decade or so, that concerns me. Some people might say that developing the CHARACTERS themselves takes precedence over worldbuilding, but it still helps to test the waters and see what people consider instant turn-offs.

The vampires I have planned out might be compared to the “modern vampire” - rather than burning in the sunlight, exposure would only render them dangerously conspicuous due to the refractive quality of their impenetrable skin. I.e. sparkling. Because having them blow up in the sun just sucks the fun out of it, hm? Speaking of sucking, I’ve also noticed that their diet is also a major source of contention, but my idea was to group certain kinds of blood in “tiers”. One could subsist purely off animal blood, but human blood is more alluring, and that of humans with supernatural abilities (or other creatures) even moreso. A “vegetarian” vampire might be physically inferior to human or fae/werewolf hunters, but still superior to regular humans. I wanted to explore the “forbidden” aspect of having one of these dangerous, predatory beings as a love interest - sort of a Darker and Edgier take on the way supernatural romances have typically been handled in recent years. Because for Pete’s sake, if it’s vampires, it shouldn’t be for the faint of heart. :stuck_out_tongue: But that’s just one opinion.

Are there any cliches or pitfalls I should consciously avoid while writing vampires? What are your thoughts?


#2

I have a pages and pages worth of stuff about my own game’s vampires. I definitely applaud you for thinking about it.

Why do you want sparkling vampires? Why is it only sunlight that makes them sparkle?

Dracula could walk about in the sun and it didn’t cause him to blow up.

Count Duckula and Bunnicula are vegetarian vampires. If you’re not sucking on tomato juice, then that’s not vegetarian. Now, assuming that vampires work by feeding off of life energy, and blood is just a convenient source of that, then I would be interested in seeing a vegetarian vampire that exists off of the life energy of vegetables and drinking tree sap straight from the trunk.

Why is animal blood inferior to human blood?

What about an “you are what you eat” policy, where if you eat a lot of animals you take on rather bestial traits?


#3

I really like FairGodfeather’s suggestions there! What you currently have seems to be Twilight as a choice game. Change some things! Make candlelight and starlight cause them to sparkle just as surely as sunlight does since, as you know, light is light, no matter the source. And can a vampire simply wear a large sun hat to avoid the sparkling? Are your vampires going to have shadows, reflections, footprints, fingerprints, etc.?

Also, I agree about the animal blood vs people blood thing. It’s blood. You could say that the vampires want to eat only human blood because animal blood affects their ability to function in high society because of the animalistic traits they take on. If that is the case, then it makes sense for vampires who want to be part of human society to only desire human blood (and take on human characteristics) and they would look upon the “low class” vampires who drink animal blood and have animal characteristics with scorn.

Also, why can only humans become vampires? Why can a human-turned-vampire not have a pet cat-turned-vampire? Or a mouse?

What else can a vampire do? Can you turn into a bat? Can you perhaps mould the darkness as a tangible object and manipulate the shadows from afar?


#4

… so Twilight’s sparkling freaks are now going to be copied and worked into vampire lore? There’s another nail in literature’s coffin.

The word vampire is cliche; name it Bloodsucking Disco Balls.


#5

@AdNox

Literature’s been dead as any vampire since the Victorians were writing their stories.

And then, take Anne Rice’s books. In those Lestat, the vampire rockstar, actor, takes a road trip with the Devil and meets Jesus, who he drinks blood from. Better than Twilight? I’ve no idea, since I’ve not read Twilight, but those Anne Rice books were bad.

Angel from Buffy wandered about in the daytime sometimes. I think he had a hat, or he just stuck to the shadows, or the writers forgot.

I see no reason not to have sparkling vampires if it’s properly explained. If the author thinks of a reason why vampires do sparkle in the sun, why they don’t sparkle under other light. Is this sparkling why they don’t have reflections? Do they shine like disco balls? Maybe they glow instead.

Do they sleep in coffins because the soil from their homeland helps dampen the sparkling and as long as they remain dirty no one will see their true shininess.

Are they fixated on counting things? Can they enter buildings without being asked? Do they have reflections? What harms them?

Can they turn into mist? Control animals. Fly. Turn into a giant bat-man-monster. Hypnotise people.


#6

vegetarian vampires that sparkle in the sunlight? uggh…why even bother to call them vampires any more? why not just call them superheroes? I don’t see what’s so dark and edgy once they become just another group of misunderstood people with special powers. Might as well just call them mutants at that point.

@FairyGodfeather Dining on animal blood is not the same thing as being a vegetarian. Agreed. Animals are not vegetation.


#7

@FairyGodfeather Firstly, those books sound awful! I’m glad I’ve never heard of them before! Secondly, you just gave me a wonderful idea! Maybe they avoid the sun, not because it harms them or makes them sparkle, even (though that would be an annoyance), but because it makes them glow in the dark! Then, since they glow in the dark, they cause other things to cast shadows! This helps explain the avoidance of light because seeing how they cannot have shadows themselves, they get jealous of and angry at things that can!

Do they, perhaps, have telekinetic abilities so that when someone tries to ward them off with garlic, they can simply throw the garlic away from afar, or mayhap stick it in the eye of whoever was using it against them?

Can they burn and have extremely flammable skin, and THAT is why they avoid the sun- because it, unlike the faraway stars, could light the vampires aflame?

What happens if they turn into mist, and some of their mist gets caught in a jar? If a bunch of vampires turn into mist and gather to make a could, can they precipitate vampires like rain from the sky? (Okay, that last one is more of a joke!)


#8

@Galador

You haven’t heard of Anne Rice? She wrote Interview with the Vampire, (perhaps more well known for the Brad Pitt/Tom Cruise movie). I’d have said she’s one of the more famous vampire authors.

Oh! Glow in the dark! Yes like those toys I had in a kid. They soak up the light and then when it gets dark suddenly they’re glowing all flourescent due to an odd biological quirk! And how can you be a dark brooding sexy vampire when you’re all dayglo?

I’m just going with vampire powers don’t work in the sun in my game, they feel weaker, and the younger vampires burn extremely badly. Sunlight itself isn’t enough to kill them but they generally look like hell and no self-respecting vampire is going to go out in public when they don’t look their best so they tend to just go out at night unless covered in sunblock, with a wide-brimmed hat and huge sunglasses, but that has the problem of them being mistaken for celebrities and everyone wanting to take their photos. Not being able to be seen in daytime does put a curb on their seduction of highschoolers though, since stupid parents and their curfews.


#9

@FairyGodfeather Oh yes! The vanity of vampires! What vampire isn’t a bit arrogant and vain?! I can totally understand that a vampire would never go out in public looking ratchet!

That brings us to personality of vampires! Are they going to have specific personality traits that define the general mood of vampires in society? I personally believe that in any setting that is not meant to be metaphorically dark and depressing and horrible, vampires should be quite vain. I always make vampires vain, arrogant, very sophisticated and elegant, and a bit stuck on appearances. They will dust off a vest and fix a tie after a gust of dirty wind long before they’ll consider taking a drink from the expensive blood wine they just purchased for an exorbitant fee. Then again, why should the rich vampire who may have stolen all his wealth anyway be concerned with the cost?


#10

While you are free to do your story anyway you choose, and I can’t stop you from doing so. Still… I beg of you please… please for the love of anything that exists do not make vampires sparkle… My god… they’re creatures of the night, wrought from a curse by the Devil (or curse from God’s damnation pending which origin lore one wants to go with), why would they sparkle? Please… PLEASE do not go the route of Stephanie Meyer who obliterated what made vampires interesting and most importantly: dark. Sparkling vampires is something I’d expect out of a Disney movie, then again… Disney had numerous themes within their movies that were/are much darker of a concept than Stephanie Meyer’s sparkling vampires… Ugh… just saying “sparkling vampires” makes them sound more like flowery fae than the literal devil-spawn that they are meant to be.

Personally, my suggestion is to make it your own, because literally the only other source material with “sparkling vampires” is the Twilight series, which makes many cringe, especially those who are fans of the vampire genre. @FairyGodfather making the suggestion of taking notes from how Dracula was able to move through sunlight without any sparkling nonsense or bursting into flames is something to take note of; and actually there are numerous vampire tales where vampires were able to exist in sunlight, it’s just they were weak in the day time hours but quite powerful in the night time hours. I truly wish those are the themes and concepts you would observe rather than Stephanie Meyer’s sparkling vampires. Again, I can’t stop you from utilizing the “sparkling vampires” silliness, and you are certainly free to write whatever you’d like, I just hope you rethink using such a concept.


#11

Please no glowing vegetarian vampires who spent their immortality in a eternal highschool and have religious weeding to touch their virginal love.

Do want you want and Anne rice was really good until the 3 then appears the devil and i never read more.

I love read a story when vampires aren’t from this world and arrive earth after first contact offering some countries immortality and enter in their imperious if they help to harvested the rest; political backstage, love, spy , power hunger and space vampires maybe the solar radiation affects them some how like a type of radiation well this what i like seeing feel free to do glowing vampires if you want


#12

Perhaps the reason that vampires can not go out on sunlight because, in a way, that is the source of all things good. In most religions, ancient and present, that I am aware of, the sun is always thought of as good. In Greek mythology the sun god Helios ride his chariot over the earth spreading light, as did Apollo when his time came. In Ancient Egyptian mythology the King of the gods, Ra, had three forms, one of which was the actual sun. (Another was the dung beetle but I’m going to leave that out for the sake of my point.)
And then there’s Christianity, in which I’m pretty sure the sun is God’s work. So perhaps, If vampires are the spawn of the devil then the reason they cannot go out in sunlight is because the sun is the essence of all things good, and vampires seem to be the essence of all things evil.
It only makes sense then that vampires hate the sun and are weaker when in it’s light. But they can still appear in any other type of light.
Does that make sense to anybody else?


#13

@Kitty9 That’s a good idea! Maybe older vampires (Who spent their mortal lives believing this) were afraid of the sun, so they had taught their progeny that the Sun will harm them, and so on for Centuries. When science had come into play and much more newer vampires had arisen (Since they were taught more scientific stuff than older vampires in their mortal lives) they had decided to test this, when they did they had found out that due to centuries of believing that the sun will harm them (Avoiding it because of this) their bodies tailored to the night-time systems, therefore not being able to go out in the sun. So maybe Vampires originally were able to go out in the sun.


#14

@trollhunterthethird Maybe this is why some vampires throughout history have been able to go out into the sun with no ill effects, they were, in a way, visionaries. They saw no sense behind the reasoning that the sun could harm them, so they bravely went where no vampire had been before. And as they survived and legends and myths were spun about them they became some of the great famous vampires. Such as Dracula. Over time their feats did just become legend and maybe some vampires just believed that these older vampires were simply more powerful and therefore conquered the sun’s power.


#15

@Kitty9 So only a select few vampires (Who were taught by these visionaries) are able to go out in the sun. And maybe a few vampires are very select about turning another human as raising a ‘perfect’ vampire requires a lot of mental conditioning. We are on a roll here.


#16

@trollhunterthethird Indeed we are. And then maybe there are still some vampires that adhere to the ‘old ways’, and feud with the these visionaries. So there is a rift in vampiric society, that can often lead to fights.


#17

@Kitty9 Maybe the visionaries want to mentally condition other vampires so that the vampric race may move foward in society, and the Elder vampires want to stick with coffins and such.


#18

Seems like it’s the kind of vision that would spread pretty quickly. If I were a vamp, stuck in a coffin all day, and I heard a plausible rumor that I could survive sunlight after all, you can bet I’d find a way to poke a finger out of my coffin after dawn… and if it didn’t go up in flames, well, then I’d put my hand out… and then I’d get out of the coffin, feeling kind of sheepish, and go to brunch.

I’d then go to my vampire friend when he got out of his coffin and say, rather smugly: “Bet you a shiny new silver cross and a garlic-lovers pizza that you can tie me up outside of your crypt and I’ll still be here in the morning.”

…Anyway, point is, I can’t see the sun-visionaries staying a “select few” if it really is that easy.


#19

I’m with you on this one @Havenstone. As if there weren’t any visionaries before very recently, or this generation’s young vampires are somehow more special than previous generations… And the idea that for the last 10,000 years no vampire accidentally stayed up too late and had to chance a sunburn until now because of “socialization” is a bit far-fetched. I feel like I’m watching a bad episode of Full House where the adults are all idiots and the kids are geniuses.


#20

@Havenstone @P_Tigras This is a thread for people’s ideas of vampires. @trollhunterthethird and I were just having a bit of a brainstorm.
You may not agree with our ideas but it is hard to ignore the fact that one of the most definitive things about vampires is that they cannot go out in the sun. If a vampire were to come to the rest of vampiric society and make the claim that they had been out in the sun and survived then at first I doubt many others would believe them.
And my point wasn’t necessarily that vampires die as soon as they go into the sun, but simply that if the sun were the essence of all things good and vampires were the essence of all things evil then it would not be an easy thing to remain out in the sun. My idea was that it weakens a vampire greatly to stay in the sun.