Strahd von Zarovich
His Sword is A Funereal
(initially based on Ancient Vampire from Necropolis. The only other items I need to add is about weaknesses (Necropolis Vamps do not have them) and the thre Fanes in the module (Strahd is tied to the land, which makes him immune from scrying, some energy resistances, and additional AC in 3.5 terms). If done right, the PCs sever the connection to the fanes before they fight him in the end. And as noted below, flesh out the powers more
*Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strength d12+4, Vigor d12
*Skills: Fighting d12, Intimdation d12, Knowledge (Battle) d12, Notice d12, Persuasion d10, Necromacy d10, Stealth d10
*Pace: 8”; Parry: 8; Toughness: 18/22 (4 Armor 4 Swamp Fane vs. Energy Attacks) [18/22/26/30]
- Armor +4
- Rune Sword (Str+d8+4, AP4)
- Veil of Mabar – Recover from Shaken is at -2. Even if spend a Bennie, must make a Spirit check (although that check is at +2 to the roll)
- Pull of Dolurrh – If wounded by this sword, take on a level of Fatigue as the pull of Dolurrh is amplified by the sword
- Death Feeder – Once per session, this sword acts as a Greater Heal for undead only
*Powers (40 PP)
- Deflect – (need something Vol-ish)
- Fear – wounds appear to open all over targets body
- need more
- d12 Bite (d12+ 4 + d8), d12 Sword (d12+ 4 + d8 +4, AP4). Improved Frenzy
- Dominate – d12 attack, can do multiple and is indefinate, but only actively control one at a time
- Gaseous – at will or on 4th wound, he changes into a vapor. He can only be destroyed as indicated in the Weaknesses
- Bat/Rat – becomes vermin and can blend in with the swarms he summons
- Wolf – becomes a dire wolf
- Mountain Fane – +4 Force Armor
- Swamp Fane – 4 Armor for purposes of Acid, Fire, and Sonic attacks.
- Forest Fane – Non-detect – scrying and similiar spells/rituals reveal nothing of Strahd.
- Sunlight – however, this is currently counteracted with his tie to the DayHeart
- Stake through heart – Called Shot -4, Vigor Roll vs. Damage or disintegrate
- * Holy Water – Splashed → Fatigued. Immersed – As in Sunlight (2d10 damage/r, no armor). Strad gets a Vigor check or not Fatigued if splashed.
- Not affect by Holy Symbol or Invitation limitation
- Strahd came into possession of the valley of Barovia prior to the war. He was sent with a modest miltary force to put down a rogue noble. As a reward, Emporer Daroon (CY 512) restored his family to Noble status and awarded him the lands. His family came to live with him.
- Strahd’s younger brother Sergio and is bride to be Tatyana died under mysterious circumstances on their wedding day. Strahd drops out of public view
- War starts. Strahd emerges and becomes a legendary general. Earns many awards, titles and land grants. He is known to be very proud of his war record.
- First to incorporate and lead undead in the military, becomes reknown for night attacks
- Awarded more lands, given Title Defender of the Fatherland. Strahd ir’Zarovich.
- War is nearing its end. He argues that it should continue – destroy others before they do to Karrnath what “they” (unknown opponents) did to Cyre – a threat to us all!
- Publically calls Kaius III a coward for ending the War. Stripped of most of his titles. He withdrawals from Public life. Returns to Barovia, which is the only lands he know controls. He is now a Baron (von).
- Several of his key henchmen join him in Barovia
The Full story
The PCs will be working for the Tribunal of Thronehold in this campaign. As such, they will have access to Bio information that the Crown knows of Strahd. This information will be very useful when they RP with Strahd in the pre-adventures.
The module discusses the reason for Strahds fall into vampirism – his unconsummated love of Tatyana, the bride to be of his younger brother Sergio. Tatyana considered Strahd to be nothing more than an older Uncle at best. Strahd disparately sought ways to regain his youth and lengthen his lifespan. He dabbled in the Necromantic arts with little success – it seems to take more out of him than it gave to him.
Then, he turned to religion. In the past, he gave the usual lip service to The Sovereign Host. But, then he discovered the Blood of Vol. This cult believes that divinity comes from within – blood itself is holy. Although the religion is generally underground, even everyday people joined the Cult. They were seeking more than just the endless drudgery that the Host tells its followers is the afterlife. Higher levels know that Seekers may look to become intelligent undead. This is a necessary evil in order to pursue true immortality – until true divinity can be found.
In reality, Vol saw this as a way to make headway into Karrnath. Strahd, a part of the Nobility, became a vampire. Vol saw the long-range possibilities and arranged for the Dayheart to be placed in Castle Ravenloft.
Eventually, Strahd was lured out of his castle to fight for Karrnath. He sought to ease his pain by inflicting it on his enemies on the battlefield. As rough times hit Karrnath (famine), he eventually helped convince Kaius I to seek Vol’s help, utilize the Emerald Claw, and become a Vampire himself (both are free-reigned Vamps — they became vamps via a blood ritual and not by the normal “taking” via another vampire). Thus, Kaius is also tied to the DayHeart!
Strahd generally ignores the Blood of Vol and the Emerald Claw. He sees his vampirism as both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing, as he gets to continue to search for the reincarnated Tatyana. It is a curse, as he falls into depression every time he is wrong about the mortal woman he would make his eternal bride.