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First introduced in the Midgard Heroes Handbook as a playable race and later expanded in other books from Kobold Press, the dhampir is a humanoid created when a vampire mates with a human or elfmarked or feeds on a pregnant female human or elfmarked without killing her. A few dhampirs also result from ancient family curses or powerful magical rituals. Fortunately, dhampirs made through such methods are rare.
Dhampirs seldom survive into their adolescent years. Those who do are marked by the curse of undeath and shunned by other members of society. Often, the only solace they have is provided by their immediate mortal family, but this is a great burden to the ones they love. Most dhampirs venture into the world when they are old enough to survive on their own.
THE INVASION OF KRAKOVAR
In Midgard, dhampirs were often treated with pity and disgust but rarely open hostility. Most eked out an existence as fur trappers, mercenaries, or similar professions that moved around or stayed isolated. The bulk of dhampirs were located in Morgau, Doresh, and nearby regions, but dhampirs could be found as far north as Thursrike and as far south as the Spice Coast.
Tolerance of dhampirs declined considerably when King Lucan and his army of vampires and other undead invaded the kingdom of Krakovar over a decade ago. This army slaughtered thousands, claiming dominion over the area and drawing the attention of every other power in Midgard’s heartland.
In response, dhampirs were killed or driven into the wilds by overzealous guards or terrified peasants. Many dhampirs sought refuge with the very monsters they tried to distance themselves from, becoming guards and retainers for vampires who saw their potential.
Still, others entered the priesthoods of Marena or Vardesain, their vampiric blood welcomed by these depraved deities. Finally, the rarest dhampirs actively oppose vampires of the undead kingdom, striving to redeem themselves to the eyes of the world by combatting the darkness that spawned them.
USING DHAMPIRS IN MIDGARD
Aside from serving vampires, dhampirs make great villains in their own right, often with a tragic bent because of the circumstances of their upbringing. Other dhampirs may act as guides or allies, helping mortals against the undead threat. Dhampirs aren’t limited to places like Doresh or Krakovar, either. You can find them just as easily in locales like the Seven Cities or Khandiria.
Footpads, spellhawks (see Campaign Builder: Cities and Towns for both), and infiltrators (see Tome of Beasts 3), make for common dhampir enemies. Meanwhile, few enemies are as fearsome as a dhampir atavist (see Tome of Beasts 3) or blood mage (see Creature Codex).
Aside from the standard dhampir described in the Midgard Heroes Handbook, other dhampirs exist in Midgard, including those not of human or elfmarked blood.
Glogken. This extremely rare dhampir of dwarven origin with sallow skin and yellow eyes is found in the eastern Ironcrags and Black Hills. A glogken lacks most of the glamour of a regular dhampir, gaining a +2 bonus to Constitution instead of Charisma. In addition, they replace the Predatory Charm trait with the following trait:
- Earth Glide. As a bonus action, the glogken can glide across any rocky or earthen surface as if it were smooth stone. It adds 10 feet to its movement speed and ignores the effects of difficult or damaging terrain for a number of rounds equal to its proficiency bonus. Once the glogken uses this ability, it cannot use it again until it finishes a long rest.
Svetocher. For some dhampirs, the blood in their bodies works as a toxin against true vampires and other creatures that suck blood. Svetochers are rarer than regular dhampirs, and the unique quality of their blood is of great interest to scholars of vampiric lore. Svetochers are almost identical in appearance to regular dhampirs but do not have darkvision. Instead, they gain the following trait:
- Toxic Blood. A creature ingesting the blood of a svetocher takes 1d6 acid damage and gains none of the benefits that drinking blood would normally give it.
Vzakhil. A dhampir of trollkin origin, vzakhil are only encountered in regions where trollkin are numerous such as the kingdom of Trollheim. Resembling a normal trollkin with ashen, almost translucent skin, a vzakhil makes up for its lack of beauty with preternatural brawn, replacing its Charisma bonus with a +2 bonus to Strength. They also lack the Predatory Charm trait of a regular dhampir, instead possessing the following trait:
- Sanguine Fury. The vzakhil adds its proficiency bonus to its damage rolls against an enemy with less than half its remaining hit points. They do not gain this bonus against Constructs, Elementals, Oozes, Undead, or creatures that otherwise lack blood. Certain creatures composed of blood, such as blood elementals and blood oozes (both found in Creature Codex), may be affected by this trait at the GM’s discretion.
BECOMING A VAMPIRE
If a dhampir dies and its body is not blessed, cremated, decapitated, or returned to life within three days of its death, there is a slight chance (25 percent) that it awakens as a vampire.
Dhampirs that rise in this fashion do so as true vampires rather than vampire spawn and retain the skills and abilities they possessed in life. They awaken with all their memories intact, including the memory of who or what killed them.
Most dhampirs who become vampires return as shroud-eaters (see Creature Codex), allowing them to move about in sunlight briefly (a shroud-eater can survive for up to 1 minute in direct sunlight before taking damage and takes only 5 radiant damage per round thereafter).
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