Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

fleb: Cut this, for being badly constructed and overly wordy; plus, it's describing What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?, not an Achilles' Heel.

* This contributor always thought of Yomiko Readman's power in Read or Die as a great subversion. She basically has awesome powers of telekinesis, but it only works on the vague specification of 'paper'. Her signature suitcase is a throwback to the original idea she could only use paper treated specifically for the task, while her anime counterpart seems able to use anything she finds up to and including dollar bills.

32_Footsteps: Removed the following:

As both are examples of What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?.

Peteman: Can someone explain the Weaksauce Weakness of the Vampire the Masquerade? Or is sunlight the only thing that's supposed to qualify them? Because being weak to a rare biological killing machine doesn't sound like much of a weakness.

Earnest: Fixed the example to more accurately reflect the trope in the game. And for the record, everything in the world of darkness is equally "weak" against a rampaging werewolf(ves). Only highly powerful or insanely well prepared antagonists could defeat them.

Mark Z: Removed the Markhagir from Kushiel's Avatar. He didn't have a special weakness; he got stabbed in the kidneys, which I'm pretty sure works on anyone.

Peteman: In regards to Bronze versus Iron, I actually heard that bronze weapons were actually superior to iron. Iron was just cheaper to work with, so you could have a lot more people with iron gear.

Hawthorn: the last line of the entry wins the internet. XD

Fire Walk: We have pages for this:

  • If Blade is to be believed, UV lights will do it, too. Of course, in the Blade comics, he once killed a vampire by blowing its head off and leaving it to starve.
  • Sometimes the holy symbol needs to be of the vampire's religion; sometimes it needs to be of the wielder's religion, and sometimes it needs to be a cross no matter what.
    • In the Doctor Who episode "The Curse of Fenric," it was actually psychic energy that affected vampires. So, it was the person's belief in the cross that pushed them back as opposed to the actual object. So, if you believed in something else quite strongly (like the symbol of the Soviet Union in one case), you could use that instead. The Doctor's companion Ace holds the lead vampire at bay using her faith in the Doctor. The Doctor recites the names of his companions under his breath. That's what he bases his strong faith on.
    • This same idea is used in Stephen King's vampire novel Salem's Lot, where the local priest is able to hold the Big Bad boss vampire at bay with his cross, until he begins to doubt his faith, after which the boss vamp casually reaches out and snaps the cross to pieces.
    • In the graphic novel Vamps, the vampire's weakness to holy symbols is based purely on the wielder's belief in it. At one point, a Latino gang member pulls a cross on one of them, and it does nothing, but at another point, a crazy hobo manages to keep them at bay with a Volkswagen hub-cap.
  • Similarly, in Thunderstruck, religious symbols harm vampires because, when made and/or wielded by a person of faith, they are imbued with a piece of that person's life essence, essentially causing the vampire to "overdose" on life force (which is what they're actually consuming when they drink one's blood). This leads to some confusing issues: for instance, the cross set up in a church may be harmless to the vampire if the churchgoers there are only paying lip service to the religion, but a katana forged by a traditional Japanese swordsmith is as dangerous as any holy symbol, due to the smith's intense devotion to the art and the various traditions involved.
  • This is actually awesomely explained in Richard Matheson's short story I Am Legend (not the Will Smith movie): Robert Neville discovers that the aversion to garlic is an allergic reaction with the bacterium that causes the "vampirism" in them, that crosses' effectiveness are purely psychological based on the person's religious belief beforehand (meaning the Star of David would work on Jewish vampires), and that the rays of the sun react violently against the bacterium, which is why vampires are strongly averse to it (though they were starting to develop cures for it towards the end of the story.), and staking pretty much worked no matter where you stabbed them, due to the fact that the bacterium needed to be within an enclosed environment within the body, and that bullets didn't affect it because they went in quickly (and out quickly) whereas stabbing them with something would force the flesh to remain open, causing a reaction with the bacterium that resulted in rapid putrefaction of the flesh, which due to some of the vampires being dead beforehand, would result in becoming ash.
    • Only a wooden stake, though, or something similarly rough/porous. Metal blades (and probably polished, sufficiently flat wooden blades) are too smooth to allow enough air in to cause much of a problem.
  • In the comic strip Yamara, formerly published in Dragon Magazine, vampires were all unique. The common weaknesses of sunlight, holy symbols, garlic, etc, were just the most common weaknesses. The vampire villainess Persephone had none of the traditional weaknesses. But in life, she had always avoided doing her own laundry, so in undeath she was cursed to flee from laundry products, lest underneath their power she wither and perish. So baskets of dirty clothes, bottles of detergent, clothespins, lines of laundry hanging up, all these made her shrivel, weaken, and could have destroyed her. (As Persephone's friend the Drow Priestess said, "My goddess, you must feel pathetic.")
    Persephone: "How can laundry products possibly defeat me ... on a world with no clothes?"
  • The vampires in BloodRayne are vulnerable to water. Not even holy water, or even running water, Rayne gets owies from stepping in a gutter. A fire alarm sprinkler system can wipe out a building full of them.
    • The vampires in RIFTS and the Legacy of Kain series share this weakness. The weapon of choice for savvy RIFTS vampire hunters is a man-portable sprinkler system/garden hose.
    • Vampires from Grendel are hurt by water, but apparently aren't killed by it unless they're totally submerged. When they're rounded up and locked in internment facilities, the guards turn on the sprinklers as a riot-dispersal tactic.
  • In Discworld, one family of vampires decides to work up an immunity to such things. Their grandfather chides them for this as it is unfair to their enemies.
    • One of the things the daddy vampire does is show his children religious symbols from all over the world, teaching them that they're just geometric shapes and nothing to be worried about. Near the end of the story the vampires freak out and start seeing the shapes of all the religious shapes they've been taught everywhere, even in patterns on the walls.
  • Remilia Scarlet and Flandre Scarlet of Touhou are vampires with most of the strengths and essentially none of the weaknesses. (Direct sunlight weakens them, but does no overt harm, while their powers hit zenith at the full moon.) This is kept from being a Game-Breaker by the fact that everyone has flying, insane damage resistance, and superstrength, so vampirism largely just means "drinks blood" or eats suspiscously red cake. They have to add in extra superpowers to make them threatening.
  • Here's a coupon for tropers wishing to try one of the thirteen plus flavors of weak sauce weaknesses found in Vampire: The Masquereade! There's the standard ones that apply to all clans: sun and fire can potentially incinerate, wooden steaks cause a coma, etc. However, every clan and sub-clan had an extra defining weakness handed down from Cain or some other magical malarkey. A few choice ones are: Nosferatu - so ugly they can't pass for human, Malkavian - become incurably insane, Gangrel - slowly have animal parts replace their features, and Giovanni - their bite is every bit as painful as it should be. Then there's a few clans that got off near scot free: Lasombra - cast no reflection, Tremere - technically none, but their elders put them all under indirect Mind Control, and in practice Toreador and Ventrue. The former are supposed to suffer OCD when seeing anything "beautiful", but an inattentive GM can forget to have them roll to resist this periodically; while the latter can only feed from one kind of mortal, which depending on the restriction can be anything from a non-issue to un-life threatening.
  • "Vampires are pussies!"
  • The vampires in From Dusk Till Dawn have many of these same weaknesses, combined with being Made of Plasticine. But there's so many of them...