Created By: truteal on October 4, 2010 Last Edited By: truteal on October 16, 2010
Troped

Life Drain

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It's basically an attack that does damage and also heals you.

Life Drain attacks generally come in three flavors:

  • HP restored equals the full damage dealt. Sometimes the reverse is also true, causing the maximum strength of the attack to vary inversely by the user's HP, an in particular fail to have any effect if their HP is already full.

  • HP restored equals a reasonable portion of the damage dealt, frequently 50%.

  • HP restored is a small fraction (such as 1%, 10%) of the damage dealt, to the point where the HP restoration is more of an added effect than the primary purpose for the attack. May also manifest as a status buff.

Oftentimes, Life Drain will be ineffective against undead (since they don't have any Life Energy to drain), or worse, it'll end up healing them and hurting the user, for much the same reason that Revive Kills Zombie.

Related to Mana Drain and for the non game mechanic version see Vampiric Draining


Examples:

  • Pokemon Has Mega Drain, Dream Eater, Absorb, Drain Punch, Giga Drain, Leech Life (and Leech Seed) and Wood Horn.
    • Pokemon, for its worth, has all three types. "Dream Eater" restores full damage, "Absorb" and family restore half, and the "Shell Bell" hold item restores 1/8.
  • The Medic's Blutsauger from Team Fortress 2, also the Soldier's Black Box, the Pyro's Powerjack and Enemies covered in the Scout's Mad Milk.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd Edition.
    • The alu-demon (alu-fiend) can drain 1d8 Hit Points by touch and be healed for half the amount drained.
    • A Vampiric Regeneration Ring heals its wearer for half the Hit Points the wearer inflicts on other creatures in melee combat.
  • Diablo. One possible weapon special ability is healing your character when you damage opponents.
  • Sonny 2. A number of attack abilities (such as Terrify) damage an enemy and heal your character.
  • Dragon Age also features a Drain Life spell. If you cast a Vulnerability Hex on the target first, you can actually perform an Improved Drain.
  • Knights of the Old Republic has a dark-side ability with the same name.
  • There are several instances of weapons in the Final Fantasy series that drain health from an opponent when used to attack. Usually called "Blood Sword" or something similar, IIRC. I forget whether or not there's an actual spell or ability that does this.
  • Necromancers in Guild Wars have a large selection of spells that do this.
  • One of the special abilities of the Chain-Rod weapon in Mega Man Zero 2.
  • Edge from Atelier Iris 3 can use Soul Eater when equipped with Jiptus Mana. Iris can summon the Faustus Mana to do the same, but since many of the enemies are immune to Faustus' trait...
  • The Drain Rune from Suikoden series will heal its bearer's HP by 10% of the physical damage done to a single enemy.
  • One of Beat's guns restores Beat's health as a percentage of damage dealt to the target.

Community Feedback Replies: 23
  • October 4, 2010
    Arivne
    Hit You Heal Me?

    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons 1st and 2nd Edition.
      • The alu-demon (alu-fiend) can drain 1d8 Hit Points by touch and be healed for half the amount drained.
      • A Vampiric Regeneration Ring heals its wearer for half the Hit Points the wearer inflicts on other creatures in melee combat.

    Video Games
    • Diablo. One possible weapon special ability is healing your character when you damage opponents.

    Web Games
    • Sonny 2. A number of attack abilities (such as Terrify) damage an enemy and heal your character.
  • October 4, 2010
    SonicLover
    Hawke's CO Powers from the Advance Wars games.
  • October 4, 2010
    HappyMan
    • The spell "Drain Life" from the War Craft universe
  • October 4, 2010
    highcastle
    • Dragon Age also features a Drain Life spell. If you cast a Vulnerability Hex on the target first, you can actually perform an Improved Drain.
  • October 4, 2010
    Vree
  • October 4, 2010
    Stratadrake
  • October 4, 2010
    KZN02
    Fire Emblem: the Nosferatu tome
  • October 4, 2010
    Fool
    Related to Mana Drain.

    I'm seconding "Drain Life" or "Life Drain" for the title. As for an example:

    • Vampires in Heroes Of Might And Magic are capable of doing this every time they attack, which, combined with the fact that enemies can't retaliate against them to remove the damage they just regenerated, catapults them into Game Breaker territory.
  • October 4, 2010
    Sweet Madness
    I vote for Life Drain too.

    • Knights Of The Old Republic has a dark-side ability with the same name.
    • There are several instances of weapons in the Final Fantasy series that drain health from an opponent when used to attack. Usually called "Blood Sword" or something similar, IIRC. I forget whether or not there's an actual spell or ability that does this.

  • October 4, 2010
    CaptainCrowbar
    Necromancers in Guild Wars have a large selection of spells that do this.
  • October 4, 2010
    Reflextion
    Oftentimes, Life Drain will be ineffective against undead (since they don't have any Life Energy to drain), or worse, it'll end up healing them and hurting the user, for much the same reason that Revive Kills Zombie.

    • Secret of Mana has this among the first set of spells that the Sprite learns. Later on, the Girl learns Moon Saber, which can give the entire party's weapons the ability to do the same.
  • October 4, 2010
    SilentReverence
    One of the special abilities of the Chain-Rod weapon in Mega Man Zero 2.

  • October 5, 2010
    Mozgwsloiku
    We really don't have this one?
  • October 5, 2010
    Clae
    I vote for Life Drain
    • Edge from Atelier Iris 3 can use Soul Eater when equipped with Jiptus Mana. Iris can summon the Faustus Mana to do the same, but since many of the enemies are immune to Faustus' trait...
    • The Drain Rune from Suikoden series will heal its bearer's HP by 10% of the physical damage done to a single enemy.
  • October 5, 2010
    Stratadrake
    Life Drain attacks generally come in three flavors:

    • HP restored equals the full damage dealt. Sometimes the reverse is also true, causing the maximum strength of the attack to vary inversely by the user's HP, an in particular fail to have any effect if their HP is already full.
    • HP restored equals a reasonable portion of the damage dealt, frequently 50%.
    • HP restored is a small fraction (such as 1%, 10%) of the damage dealt, to the point where the HP restoration is more of an added effect than the primary purpose for the attack. May also manifest as a status buff.

    Pokemon, for its worth, has all three types. "Dream Eater" restores full damage, "Absorb" and family restore half, and the "Shell Bell" hold item restores 1/8.

  • October 6, 2010
    Meophist
  • October 6, 2010
    SonicLover
    ^ And it took sixteen posts for someone to point it out?!
  • October 6, 2010
    Game_Fan
    Probably because Vampiric Draining doesn't seem to have gotten much exposure. Someone should probably bump it into YKTTW or the Trope Repair shop (not me I don't know how that works).
  • October 6, 2010
    Meophist
    I already put it into the repair shop.
  • October 8, 2010
    Nyperold
    So where would you put:

    • One of Beat's guns restores Beat's health as a percentage of damage dealt to the target.
  • October 8, 2010
    Stratadrake
    ^ That depends. Is the healing a side-effect, or the primary intent for the attack?
  • October 11, 2010
    truteal
    It is the game mechanic version of Vampiric Draining. but because It's used quite often in video games I think they should be different tropes also I'm thinking of launching it soon.
  • October 16, 2010
    truteal
    I'm launching it
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=9a9qi7j5477qcuxm333g23ac