For "One bite makes a victim a vampire" vampires, how have they not completely vamped the world or massively blown their cover beyond all hope of a Masquerade? They either have to kill their victims or have a new mouth to feed, which means either more people killed to keep feeding (and adding to the drain) or a heap of bodies. Even assuming they magic corpses away, considering how most films portray them as utter gluttons, any city with more than three vampires would have missing persons list in the tens of thousands in a matter of years. The only possible alternative, feeding indirectly without killing, either via blood banks or IVs, are not exactly within what these vamps consider "fun".
Not to mention that blood banks and IVs weren't available for most of human history so that option is right out.
I once wrote a BASIC programme to calculate this. If you start with 1 vampire, and every vampire feeds on 1 person each night, and every person fed on becomes a vampire, humanity would be extinct within a month.
But... 2^31 humans is still less than the world population. Give them a couple more days. They're good for it.
I think that with vampires, turning others into a vampire is optional.
Mathematical proof!◊. Specifically, humanity has 32 days, 15 hours and 31 minutes before being completely overrun by vampires.
This troper usually follows the rule that some sort of ritual is needed in order to turn a human into a vampire.
Some legends say that only virgins can become vampires, so they just have to make sure they only drink from people who've gotten laid.
Which explains why all vampires seem to be only goths now.
I find that extremily offensive. You get slutty goths. I've seen them.
Which helps explain why some vampires have a tendency to hypnotize and/or seduce their victims into sex before feeding (apart from vampires liking sex, of course).
...Which is exactly why "one bite = conversion" vampires are now a Discredited Trope.
This troper writes her vampires as typically drinking from lacerations created by scratches. Biting with the fangs injects a mutagenic poison that takes over the victim's body and creates a new vampire.
I have gone on to a drinking vampire blood event that doesn't even require virginity since my vampires are more genetic than demonic.
The standard modern explanation seems to be that in order to be turned into a vampire, the victim has to be fed some of the vampire's blood in return. This is how it works in the Buffyverse, for instance.
This method also appears in one of the Ravenloft novels.
And in Anne Rice's works.
Okay, I might be wrong on this but didn't freaking Dracula need to feed some of his own blood to turn others into vampires? I think that the "one bite = vampire" thing is either mythological(making Dracula the first subversion) or a fairly modern invention.
As I recall, in the original novel, Dracula fed Mina some of his blood so he could control her. He converted Lucy by simply feeding from her. In fact, she wasn't converted until she died, which took multiple feedings due to the blood transfusions she received.
The same problem exists for 'Feeding is often lethal' vampires. If every single vampire has to kill even 50 people a year (and even that low a number assumes that they feed only once a week, or they are capable of such restraint that less than one in six of their victims die when attacked), it is impossible that their existence could be hidden from the world for that long, and for that matter it would be impossible for them to ever have existed at pre-industrial population densities.
This is mind-shatteringly blatant in Interview with the Vampire. According to Louis, Lestat would go out and kill two to three people every night! Not only that, but he would often focus his hunts on the upper crust (what, maybe 1-2% of the population?), and this was in Pre-Revolutionary Louisiana! And nobody ever got wise. Maybe they were just Too Dumb to Live.
But in most vampiric stories they're a) aggressive and b) the targets of hunters and slayers. So one assumes that their population is kept pretty low from all that. Not to mention that not every vampire is like Lestat, there's also the likes of Louis, the ones who kill as rarely as possible. I guess it all depends on the ratio of Lestats to Louis?
I think that their populations are kept under control by the fact that they always do something really stupid, like going after Peter Cushing's daughter. Also, many of them go into long hibernation-like cycles that effectively remove them from the ecosystem for centuries on end.
Also, going by most vampire media, the Lestat to Louis ratio tends to be at least 12:1. For every soulful, penitent and restrained vampire there's a dozen hedonistic parasites who want to turn the town red and watch it burn, careless of whether they survive the blaze. Even if the Louis were the majority by simple dint of not being idiots, the loud and violent vampires would quickly bring down the masquerade for all of them.
Even if they can by some ridiculous author's fiat maintain the masquerade, what keeps them from starving to death? The # of human deaths necessary to sustain any population of vampires would depopulate virtually anywhere within years. At which point, nobody to eat.
...Which is why "Biting = death" vampires are becoming a Discredited Trope almost as fast as "one bite = conversion" vampires did. I mean, even all questions of realism aside, this portrayal of vampires basically makes them Always Chaotic Evil and impossible to see as anything other than antagonists, with vampire protagonists basically being forced to be tortured rebels against their nature. Hence why the only way to really do it is semi-satirically, a la Buffy, or to twist around the portrayal a bit.
I don't think it is. There's as much modern vampire literature where it's one bite = death than it is any other way.
One way around the problem of overconsumption is, of course, to have them not kill their victims. If you want to stick with them having to drain people dry, then you can make it so they have to drink very rarely, or that drinking is not necessary for their survival, but only to give them their superpowers. If they don't drink, they basically become a shitty version of ordinary people - no powers, but can't go out in the day or whatever. Of course, many works just ignore this entire issue anyway and go for broke. See any video game where the player is a vampire - you'll generally be slaughtering every few minutes at least - and, one of my favorite vampire books, "Vampire$" by John Steakley.
Why even bother with a masquerade in the first place? Vampires are stronger, faster, and generally better at everything than humans. Granted, they have a case of Weaksauce Weakness, but still. They just need shelter during the day, and anybody with holy symbols or garlic can be rushed en masse. The whole Masquerade thing never made sense to this troper, there seems to be no reason not to simply overpower and bum rush the human race until we're nothing but livestock.
For starters, they're vastly outnumbered. Also, anybody who's a good shot with a crossbow could make short work of them — if they know they're real, and are prepared for them. Even folks who are not could simply use modern techniques and technology to track down their lairs and drag them out into the sun (imagine a vampire hunters' wiki with people collaboratively locating vamps, sharing information on weaknesses, launching flame wars over what kind of garlic to use, etc). Vampires may be badass, but they're not invincible, so they're much better off behind the scenes, controlling everything while convincing the world they don't exist.
That depends entirely on just how much Our Vampires Are Different. This might be true if vampires are only stronger mooks or aren't all that powerful in general, however in settings like say, Anne Rice's or V:tM where some vampires are in fact unstoppable gods, those reasons no longer apply.
Why they have to enslave humans? Then they will have to care of humans. To feed humans. Mouths of humans. To supervise humans. Remember human fuss with cows. Now much better - humans are grazed. Vampires only reap the fruits.
Humans have more weaknesses than vampires. Sure, a vampire can be killed with wood, some holy objects, a vegetable (garlic), etc. But us humans are pretty squishy too. Bullets and general sharp objects work pretty well, and they don't even have to aim for the heart or decapitate us, that just makes it faster. Anybody who tried to track them down and drag them out into the sun...vampires can use guns too, just shoot any human foolish enough to attack the lair.
Unlike Buffy vampires, who can be active 24/7 and just have to stay out of the sun, V:tM vampires fall completely unconscious and are totally helpless during the daylight hours whether or not they're exposed to sunlight.
Humans can go out during the day and enter houses uninvited. Advantage: Us. All you'd need to do is hide at night and torch their dwellings during the day, and the hunters win.
Something out of the left field: I just wanted to say that the idea of vampire hunters' wiki is pure awesome.
... except there's little to stop vampires from posting phony weaknesses, feeding habits, or un-life styles unless it's a closed membership wiki, at which point they just have to turn one member to slowly unravel it. That aside, one of the cool creepy bits of the Old World of Darkness Nosferatu is they had a "vampire wiki" of sorts with SchrekNet, and they also mention a "How to clean up Masquerade breach" websites made by enterprising young Ventrue (Password locked, I think?).
The internet treats censorship as damage, and routs around it. Whatever the vampires try to do to feed us bullcrap information about their location and weaknesses, enough of the real info would get through to be useful. Wikis, forums, etc... all have always had people with an interest in subverting them and have always found ways to keep the problem reasonably under control.
Anne Rice's novel Queen of the Damned is all about a super-powered vampire who decides to slaughter 95% of the world's male population, although she mostly does it by hypnotizing the women to do the work for her. Even after all this, The Masquerade is not broken. Also, she gets taken down in a very human manner by being pushed through a plate-glass window, and one of the shards beheads her.
Depends on what the vampires are weak against, and if ordinary weapons are effective against them. They might be able to shrug off getting shot by ordinary firearms, but can they withstand, say, a 120mm armor-piercing high explosive anti-tank round being delivered to their faces? Or heaven forbid the vampires find themselves facing the real king of the night. A collapse of the masquerade is going to result in a massive anti-vampire mobilization.
If we're speaking for Vt M, yes, some vamps can take an anti tank round to the face. Zapathasura sort of survived nukes. That were designed to kill him. I'm pretty sure a, whatchacallit "a 120mm armor-piercing high explosive anti-tank" shouldn't be a problem. But even if not generally speaking for Vt M, would the vampire even let you shoot him with a friggin' anti-tank weapon? I'm pretty sure those are a bit unwieldy and might be a bit slower to arm/target than a normal gun. And vampires may possess inhuman speed, but even if they don't, they sure ain't gonna stay there and take the shot.
That's what the AC-130 is for. Sure, your vampire might be fast and take a direct hit from an anti-tank weapon, but that's why you have a flying castle of doom loaded with enough ammunition to knock over a mountain. He can survive one shot, but not continuous fire. Besides, no infantryman is going to be going in with a 120mm cannon - not unless they're Space Marine-tier superhuman. Infantry would probably carry high-caliber assault weapons likely loaded with Depleted Phlebotinum Shells, preferably belt-fed, along with directional explosives and probably incendiaries, depending on what the vampires are vulnerable to. Most anti-tank weapons are shoulder-launched (the above post probably was talking about either the Spectre's 120mm gun or the cannon on an Abrams tank, in which case this isn't a question of vampires versus infantry but vampires versus modern armor and aircraft) Depending on how fast they move, the approach may be to simply fill the area the vampire is suspected to be in with enough explosives to level the landscape. Anything can be killed with enough force.
... on a side note, I was pretty sure "The Real King of the Night" would link to Batman.
Also, keep in mind, very rarely do vampires who uphold a masquerade seem to be suffering because of it. The top ranks of vampire society (the only ones that matter) are always living lives of luxury, pulling the strings of the mortal world. Why would they want to give that up, just so they could turn into a bat in public?
Because there's no statute of limitations on murder. So what if you spent four centuries angsting, you killed someone in the 17th century and now you have no witnesses to prove your alibi and 12 jurors scared enough to put you away for the rest of your unnatural life.
Um... you have no witnesses to prove your alibi nor witnesses to prove your guilt. You can't seriously be suggesting anyone would actually imprison someone for a crime committed in medieval times. Indeed, that's the whole beauty of the Masquerade — not only are people ignorant of the vast majority of your crimes, they think the vast majority of your crimes are * physically impossible* and think anyone who'd even think to suggest attacking you for them is a superstitious lunatic.
Vampires, they think their crimes are covered by the darkness of history, the evidence (sunglasses on) will bring them into the light...YEEEEAAAAAAAH!
Good luck getting a guilty verdict. If it has to be a jury of peers, then it should have a vampire in it. Two nights later, jury composed entirely of vampires.
This is known as jury tampering, can be easily proven, and will only make the defendant less likely to be acquitted. Enough antics like that and there could very well be a class-action suit against the entire race.
The reason for the masquerade is simple: Otherwise they couldn't set it in our world or time. They aren't neccessarily upholding a masquerade because it's logical to the story (though in many cases it is), they're upholding a masquerade because otherwise there would BE no story. Blade could not have taken place in modern times without a masquerade. Even if the vampires in a story "reveal themselves" to the world, that implies that there was a masquerade to begin with. Unfortunately, those are pretty much the only two options. Either have a masquerade (even if it's now expired), or set it somewhere else...or work real hard for another solution. Having said that, another reason why vampires would hold up a masquerade is sheer lack of numbers and how many of them are secluded from the others. There are plenty of vampires like Louis from IwtV who spend decades or centuries not knowing if there are any other of their kind. A single lone vampire revealing himself is a sitting duck. Granted, in cases where they are organized in large numbers, it makes less sense, but they still risk being annihlated (at least in modern times. In medieval times they could have taken over no sweat).
Assuming that the vampires are a small, if superpowered, minority in society, if they operate the Masquerade then they can carry on doing what they're doing relatively unhampered; if no one believes in you then as long as you act within certain limits, you can carry on doing their thing with no one any the wiser and, importantly, no one posing a significant threat to your continued existance. Convince the mortals that vampires genuinely do exist and pose a significant threat to their continued existence and security, however, and you've mobilized the not-inconsiderable might of mortal governments, armies, police departments, vigilante mobs, religious groups, scientific organisations and anything else that can be drafted into the fight against you. Simply put; you've started a war against a very large army that vastly outnumbers your own, considers you a direct threat to their continued existence and security and is now devoted to your subjugation and, if needs be, eradication, with your own forces greatly outflanked and outnumbered. No leader with any sense is going to start a war of aggression under those circumstances, because the odds are greatly too weighed against them.
Among the many traditional weaknesses that make vampires actually a little bit crap for a supposed superior race, one key traditional weakness significantly impedes them; daylight. Even if daylight doesn't actually kill the vampire in most depictions it significantly weakens them, to the degree that they're often no stronger than 'mere' mortals and in some cases weaker; you might have superpowers at night, but there's no guarantee that if you start a war, you'll have the luxury of always fighting at night. Whilst you might rout the mortals at night, during the day when the tables are even anything can happen. And that's not even counting the vampires who do die when they're exposed to sunlight; not much good fighting a war if you're incapable of doing anything outside of shelter for roughly twelve hours of the day, particularly if you're facing a foe that can fight twenty-four seven if need be.
Also, look how humans have treated any natural predators of their race in the past.
Bears - extinct in several places, including the UK.
Large cats - range reduced from everywhere across the americas and eurasia, to a few pockets in the middle and far east, most parts of africa, and south america.
Wolves - Don't even get me started. They almost never attack humans and they were nearly wiped out in the states and europe anyway.
Not to mention the racial recoil, the complications of their lifestyle, the way most major world religions would react... if you ask me, it's SMART to stay underground. Humans Are Bastards.
Erm, why would the vampires not uphold a Masquerade? I mean, they may be able to jump out of the shadows and conquer the mortals, but even leaving aside the daylight weakness, they would be left with nothing to eat pretty soon. Think about it - they'd need lots of footsoldiers, so they turn more humans to tip the scales in their favour, then enslave humanity and start gorging freely on its blood. For how long? How much humans will there be per vampire after the dust settles down? 10 000? 1000? Now add in the daylight weakness - vampires would either be unconscious during the day, or active in unlit areas, or Dracula-like with no powers. Sort of hampering to net be able to do anything to your enemy for half a day every day.
And that's not even speaking of Vt M. In that case Kindred are kind of screwed power-wise. Sure they can lift cars and throw them around, take shotgun shots at point blank range standing, and survive grenades and landmines easily, but a pack of werewolves is still bad for their health. So is a mage who can just use Prime 2 to blast them with aggravated damage. And something tells me the Technocrasy is not going to stand by and not deploy the HIT Marks at the provocation. Seriously, if vamps start causing trouble, at least half the remaining supernaturals will turn on them. Most possibly under some sort of temporary alliance. You may be a super badass bloosucker and take down half a tank division by night, but by day you still need to sleep, while a couple of packs of Garou, a cabal of mages and a Technocratic amalgam will sweep the city block in order to gut you and everybody of your kind. And they can and will find you. And those of your kind.
I think you severely overestimate the difference a few fancy powers make in open warfare. Humans have numbers. Humans are industrious. Humans have armies.
If a vampire insurrection happened and crosses were effective, you can bet every single human would have a cross in short order; it's literally a piece of wood in the shape of a cross (or two pieces nailed together). I could make one for each member of my family after a short stop at the local Home Depot. Or I could break my flimsier furniture and make a cross out of that in a pinch. Same goes for stakes. Crucifixes and other more elaborate holy symbols are a bit harder to make for yourself, but not only do a surprising number of people have them (including the rosaries Catholics use to pray), stores and churches would be figuratively raided by the people who didn't until the shelves were dry. The huge amount of demand for these items would quickly cause entrepreneurial people to realize that changing their production to "holy symbols" is a good way to make money, and soon there would be more symbols than there are people alive as cheaply produced Chinese goods entered the global marketplace and competed with each other for buyers. Holy water in particular is more difficult to make, but I wouldn't put it past most churches having their priests spend significantly more time making and selling (or giving away) the things after the news hit, either out of a desire to make a profit or in order to help people fight these unholy abominations of Satan, or both. And garlic growers would be sure to make a killing - at least until other farmers jumped into the bandwagon and began growing the stupid things, ensuring plentiful supply for anybody who cares to buy it. The humans who have these items cannot be rushed. In any setting where there is a masquerade, vampire numbers are significantly smaller than the human population.
Then there is the actual fighting itself. Again, in most vampires settings there are people who kill vampires, either by profession (hunters) or because they had the bad luck to run into one. Most of the time these people don't have extraordinary powers. Certainly nothing that can't be made up for by superior numbers and technology. Their equipment is nothing special, either. The same items civilians would be buying above in stores would be brought in bulk by militaries and become standard-issue among vampire-fighting units. When a vampire liar is found during the day, there's absolutely no reason to go inside. Evacuate the civilians around (if any) and blow the place to pieces using tanks, mortars, or artillery. Even if the vampires are somehow immune to the bullets, the open holes letting in sunlight would take care of them. And how long do you think it will take for garlic powder to be re-purposed into a chemical weapon after the first few encounters?
Tl;dr the vampires would be massacred. As somebody mentioned above, humans have a track record for wiping out stuff that eats us. Many of those animals were stronger, faster, hardier, bigger, and overall better in most physical aspects to humans. Guess what? We killed them anyways. Because that's what we do.
Sure, those animals were stronger, faster, hardier and bigger. Sure, they were physically stronger and we defeated them because we were smarter, right? Well, vampires can take away that advantage, seeing as how most vampires can control your mind. So, sure, there's certainly a possibility that humans would win. On the other hand, all it takes is one vampire, a bit of luck and the generals of your army are vampires' puppets. If vampires' get bold they could just try to find whoever is authorized to launch nukes and go boom. One, two nukes and you'd have the rest of the world crapping their pants. Depending on the mythos, they're can also be capable of exponential growth(one vampire turns ten people into vampires, who turn ten people into vampires...) and thus able to replenish their ranks damn quick. And in a human-vs-vampire war, suddenly finding yourself on the "vampire" side of the equation side will change your loyalties damn quick. Which doesn't even touch on the issue that in some depictions(V:tM) you've got vampires so mind-shatteringly obscenely powerful that they basically can't be defeated without the intervention of other supernaturals(yes, I certainly consider the super-science of Technocracy to be supernatural).
"yes, I certainly consider the super-science of Technocracy to be supernatural" You mean the magic they wield but delude themselves to be science? Yeah, it just happens to be supernatural.
The OP was talking about open warfare and battles and dropping the masquerade. I agree that if vampires want to hurt humanity, their best bet is to be subtle and influential, using their powers with surgical precision to fuck with us in the most efficient manner possible. As for V:tM, vampires with that kind of power level are extremely rare in fiction and should not be taken to be the standard when people talk about "vampires" without further qualification.
And one problem with the 'one lucky vampire brainwashing the generals' argument is that these people tend to be fairly well-guarded for obvious reasons. You need the Masquerade to even get close to them; an open warfare situation means that anyone who seems a bit vampire-like trying to get to the president is probably going to be dealt with pretty severely. As for the nuke blackmail, humanity's come close to blowing itself up entirely plenty of times in the past thanks to two powers with only ideological differences and a whole load of nukes between them, never mind one side being controlled by a power-mad vampire openly blackmailing the entire world with nukes to try and become eternal lord-emperor or something; particularly if they've demonstrated a willingness to use them, the response is probably going to be less "let's bow to their every will in fear" and more "let's nuke the everlasting fuck out of where all the vampires are in return", never mind if they retaliate. Never underestimate humanity's potential willingness to destroy itself rather than surrender an argument.
Why aren't there any Jewish vampires? That would eliminate the cross vulnerability.
Depends on the mythos. In "Buffy," for example, belief is irrelevant. Christian magic just happens to be the one that's most effective against vampires, regardless of whether the rest of the Bible is even true or not. Other types of monster are equally susceptible to Sumerican magic, or ancient Egyptian, or whatever.
Harry Dresden uses a pentacle. Whatever your belief system's symbol is, that should work for you. I seem to recall reading one series (Mercy Thompson ?) where the heroine wore a sheep pendant as representative of...um, I forget, but it was her cross substitute.
Mercy Thompson wears a little sheep pendant to represent Christ, known as the Lamb of God. It works on vampires the same way crosses do, and is less conspicuous. Also, in the Anita Blake series, either the Star of David or an image of the Torah will work to repel vampires if the holder is of Jewish faith.
I heard that it wasn't that vampires are particularly affected by Christianity, it's that Christianity developed along the lines that whatever works against vampires was determined to be holy and incorporated as such.
This really varies hugely from mythos to mythos. The old-school vampire myths assumed Christianity was objectively true and therefore Christian symbols were objectively holy. Later stuff like V:tM assumes that it's the faith of the person *using* the symbol that matters because the universe is a Clap Your Hands If You Believe universe. The most "realistic" versions say it's the faith of the *monster being repelled* that matters. Indeed, many modernized takes on the story deny any *supernatural* power of the cross at all — Dracula is just someone who grew up strongly religious, in medieval times, and therefore is constantly racked with guilt over having become an undead abomination and has psychological issues with religious trappings. Dracula 2000 played with this too, having Dracula hate all symbols of Christianity because he is, in fact, Judas Iscariot himself.
Wouldn't work, bloody meat ain't kosher.
And Christianity says murder is wrong. What's your point? Being a vampire's about breaking the rules.
In my works, they're a bit of a religious minority among vampires. The majority being atheism with rest splitting to many different kinds of religions (including Episcopalianism)
This troper would just like to note that there is, in fact, a Jewish vampire in the Mortal Instruments series. Just thought I'd throw that in there.
There's a great short story about a Jewish vampire in this collection. Actually, I recommend the whole book. Almost all of the stories are of high quality, original, and stand alone.
There was a movie once where they pull out a cross on a vampire and it doesn't work because he's Jewish. So the hunter pulls out a swastika instead (yeah, it was a comedy).
What is it about sunlight that vampires don't like? It can't be the solar neutrinos, because billions of neutrinos pass through your body even if it's night.
Noctunal animal with highly photosenstive eyes and skin that doesn't produce enough melanin to combat the below-mentioned UV rays. At least, that's how I've always written it.
If the vampires we're talking about are more scientific than magical then it's most likely UV radiation. If they're more magical than scientific then it's more symbolic - vampires are dead creature whereas the sun is the source of all life and as such is anathema to them. In either case light reflected from the moon is obviously weak enough not to bother them.
And sunlight harming vampires is a Hollywood trope, it's not in the folklore. In the various folklore, if sunlight bothers them at all, it's because their powers are weaker during the day, and they're less scary in the day.
The last troper is correct. The first mention of sunlight killing vampires was in the 1922 film Nosferatu.
Vampires are creatures of folklore. Sure, the sunlight thing is an invention of Hollywood, but it's been around so long and fits so well with everything else, that it's become part of the folklore.
The vampire series by Christopher Golden offered up an interesting premise: Christian symbols, daylight, and limited shifting worked because the Catholic church effectively bespelled every vampire since the first to believe it. Once they figured it out and basically worked to overcome their belief, crosses, holy water, and daylight stopped working as effective weapons.
Also, Anne Rice's vampires can't stand the sun because the demon within them is weakened by it, because it spends so much energy working to change the body. The older they become, the more their bodies have changed, the less the sun bothers them; Maharet even goes into the sun on purpose to get a tan.
It's more symbolical - the night is the time for evil (or just not good) energies and entities in folklore, while the day is the opposite. Might have something to do with darkness related to evil or the unknown, or the sun assossiation with a god or the God, or some combination of those. It's just recently that mostly Hollywood has tried to apply science to it. As if bloodsucking corpses can be explained away rationally.
The phrasing of this question baffles me a little. Why in the world specify solar neutrinos, which are pretty much the least consequential thing the sun emits? Whatever the specifics of vampire solar weakness, I'm pretty sure it's the photons (i.e. "sunlight") they have a problem with, not the neutrinos.
Though with that said, I think the idea in its most basic form is that vampires are creatures of darkness, and so the daylight is forbidden to them, and the whole burn/die by sunlight thing just evolved as a logical rationale for keeping them in the darkness (think of it like matter and antimatter: vampires are darkness and death, the sun is light and life, put them together and kaboom). But when a story wants to give a quasi-scientific explanation, it's usually the light itself, and sunlight's unique spectrum, that hurts vamps.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the way the medical system works, but how is a vampire who drinks from blood banks much better than one who feeds directly from the source? They're still killing people, it's just that taking it from a blood bank is a less direct way of doing so.
Its not the blood bank using vampire's fault that the humans need blood transfusions.
No, but then it's not the fault of any vampire (except people who choose to get turned) that they need to feed on human blood to survive. I suppose it's possible that not many people will need blood transfusions, but a vampire can't know that. In taking blood from a blood bank, they are still potentially sacrificing human life to preserve their own. And if they need to feed regularly, then that means a multitude of people could be dying to preserve their one life. Afterlife. Whatever.
Good point, although I remember reading at least one story that got around the problem by having the vamps drinking the stuff that, for one reason or another, couldn't be used by humans.
42 days after prelevement, the red blood cells are too deteriorate to work. Therefore, the blood is unusable by humans, so vampires wouldn't kill anybody by drinking it.
It's an open question whether it'd be useful for the vampires after that time either. My own personal sense of Fridge Logic tells me that the whole point of vampires having to kill people and drink their blood in the first place is that the blood has to be fresh and alive — if it really doesn't matter how deteriorated the cells in the blood are, why not just drink from corpses, or animals?
Lag time. If a vampire drains four pints of blood from a living human, that human is probably going to die of shock within minutes. If a vampire swipes four pints from a blood bank, nobody's dying outright from the theft, and in the meantime, the bank can call for more donations to replenish their stock.
Four pints? That's like a human drinking four pints of milk in a sitting... surely it's better on one's stomach to just take a pint at a time over the course of the night. You don't have all your meals at once at midday, do you?
On the other hand, some snakes only eat once a week or so. And while the point could be raised that a vampire is not a snake, I would reply that they're definitely not remotely human, either. Creatures that do not age and eat blood (which is spectacularly not-very-nutritious-at-all for humans) can only have so much in common with the human method of digesting things.
Regarding the four pints question - in most cases, vampires do indeed have one 'big meal' per night. So yeah, in all probability their anatomy is altered so that they're able to take in that much blood. V:tM and its sequel had a fairly clever explanation for just how vampires can do that - their organs(pretty much shriveled and certainly not fulfilling their original purpose) act as a sort of sponge for blood, so that it's not only the stomach that stores it - thus, they could drink pretty much all they wanted.
No more so than any human being who needs a transfusion is killing other humans by getting one. Everyone who gets the blood is a little more strain on the system, after all, not just vampires, which is why we have blood drives and pleas in the newspaper for donations.
It's not as if once a blood bank is empty, that's it; blood banks can be replenished and restocked by people donating blood, or the necessary blood acquired from another blood bank (assuming it's common enough, of course) in case of an emergency. It's not exactly ethical, but it's more like a bank robbery or a stick-up job than a murder — IIRC on Buffy or Angel or something the protagonists once stopped a bunch of vampires from doing a robbery on a blood bank as if it was a bank heist.
Why don't vampires who are vulnerable to a wooden stake in the heart simply remove it and hide it somewhere?
I think Vamps are subject to dismemberment, but the effort to do so requires putting the vampire into a state that you could. And then there are the vampires who do that... like the art work in the 4E pg 134 of the DMG
It's also postulated that staking is an act of symbolic magic, pinning the vampire in place.
In the original folklore the staking wasn't even symbolic, but a perfectly physical and pragmatic countermeasure: you were nailing the corpse to the ground to keep it from getting up, period, paragraph.
Or, better yet, why not surgically implant a metal plate in your chest? It's not like you're going to have to deal with HORRIBLE SCARS or anything, because hello, Healing Factor. And generally, they seem to get stabbed from the front - it wouldn't make you invulnerable, but neither does body armor.
Wearing body armour's one thing, getting a bloody great piece of metal surgically fused inside of or on top of you is quite another. It would probably hurt, it probably wouldn't be very comfortable (not much fun living forever if it comes with eternal pain and discomfort), it would probably be very heavy, it would affect your balance and coordination quite significantly, thus affecting your ability to fight. And in any case, the metal would probably rust and decay over time anyway.
Why wouldn't every vampire with a brain capable of doing so turn friendly? Seriously — you've got a lot of humans and a relatively small number of vampires, who, in at least some versions, are social, thinking creatures just like humans are. Even if you discount actual goodness in the decision, it's simply smarter to come to a working arrangement with humanity than to play ‹bermensch when it's relatively easy to kill you. Especially when it's relatively easy to kill you. Blade movie vampires, I am so looking at you.
They don't want to kowtow to their lunches. Not smart, but understandable. So we get to kill them. Yay us.
Because the need for blood, like the vulnerability to the sun, is just a metaphor. Vampires don't feed on blood, they feed on lives. Their immortality is a devil's bargain. Any vampire that thinks he's going to have a positive or even neutral relationship with the human race is deluding himself.
A fundamental psychological inability to relate benevolently: vampires, being dead, are cut off from the instinctive empathy most humans feel for other humans, and so come across either as unconvincing shysters, creepy sociopaths or overpowering megalomaniacs.
Note the statement that says "every vampire with a brain capable of doing so." Yes, say, vampires in the Dracula model — satanic entities that feed on lives and have warped souls and relatively limited minds — wouldn't be able to play Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, but you'd think the ones that literally just require blood would always go for at least a benign relationship, considering the odds.
Even evil vampires could manage a twisted variation on friendliness, as demonstrated in Carpe Jugulum where the Magpyrs have hypnotised their town into thinking of it as just an Arrangement.
Note that V:tM vampires basically do have this kind of arrangement; the vast majority of V:tM vamps in the Camarilla have deluded themselves into thinking that the way they live is basically harmless, even sometimes helpful to humans, and the occasional desanguinated corpse of a troublemaker or human who goes completely insane from being mind-controlled and mind-wiped too many times is just omelets and eggs.
Because, it's not fun. Sure, they could just take X amount of blood from willing donors, but it's not sporting, they're rather kill. For those who see the wisdom in not killing their food, you have Friendly Neighborhood Vampires. Also, depending on how different your vampires are, they might actually require all the blood in the human body to survive.
Also, most vampires in Blade wanted at least a partial peace treaty with humanity. The goals of vampiric society as whole consisted of maintaining peace with humans, or make themselves so pumped up they don't have to worry about some human picking them off. In the first movie, Deacon Frost was the main guy causing trouble, and his fellow vampires hated him. In the second, they were trying to build an immunity to the sun, which falls under making themselves pumped up enough to not care about what humanity can do to them. And in the third, they brought Dracula to help them, which backfired after they realized he didn't give a damn about helping the lowly, pathetic vamps. They usually only went for the homeless and others who wouldn't really be missed or noticed, with the exception of punk gangs, and just like human punk gangs they are stupid and quickly disposed of.
vill you come to zer mission, vill you come? vill you come? you can have a hot chocolate, and a bun, and a bun! seriously though, This Trooper thinks that Discworld's black ribbioners do come off as kinda lame. as they miss out on the Ladies in Underwire Nightdresses With Easily Opened Windows aspect of vampiring.
I suppose after years of immortality, watching people age and die and being disconnected from it as well as the rest of the system turns people into 'them.' Why should a vampire, who's been confined to that society's rules and regulations want to stay confinded? Especially when you're feeding off something you get delusions of grandness. I am not on the same level as a cow, which could propably kill me if it charged. A vampire who has already broken the basic laws of physics and biology will not see themselves on the same level as me. I might make a nice pet though.
Plus, it wouldn't be especially surprising if humanity's reaction to blood-sucking undead was less than friendly.
Most vampires are depicted with super regeneration powers. If they can regenerate, why then, are most of them classified as dead/undead with no heartbeat? If they have regeneration, the shouldn't their body be completely alive? And if they're undead, why do they regenerate?
Magic. If undead beings exist then it's not a stretch to imagine them having magical powers and properties(perhaps it should be more properly called "repairing" but regeneration just sounds cooler). If they're not undead(some depictions aren't) then they're alive and therefore able to biologically regenerate - possibly at an accelerated rate.
Yeah, but if the undead ones can regenerate, wouldn't that undo whatever is keeping them undead, causing them to cross the line between undead and alive?
When vampires are undead, they're also usually in some sort of a stasis. That is, they're frozen in time at the moment when they were changed into vampires(at least physically). So don't think of it as regeneration, just think of repairing wounds as restoring that original static state. As I said in my previous entry, repairing is probably a better word for it than regeneration is. Just like a machine repairing itself from damage(by means of say, nanotechnology or some other Phlebotinum) doesn't make it alive, neither does a vampire repairing himself make him any less dead.
With "standard" vamps, they use their fangs to punch two small holes into their victim's neck and then they drink the victim's blood. But how does that work? There is no way that a vamp would be able to drain all, or even most, of the blood from a human from those two small holes, even if they bit directly into the jugular.
Presumably they have some way of preventing the blood from clotting and/or making it flow faster than it should. Also note that usually once the vampire is done, the victim only suffers the blood loss of what the vampire drank, there is usually no danger of bleeding to death once a vampire lets you go. They're not vampire bats, they don't scrape and lap the blood out, they somehow make small holes and then suck out as much as they need/want.
Some vampire victims of the classical "two holes in neck" vampire do die of blood loss, after the vampire leaves. This troper just assumes they use the "reverse snake fang" method (grooves, that is, not tubes) with wider fangs than the "bite, release, suck" method vampires' victims, who could survive with just the anticoagulant because the holes are small enough to seal on their own.
Depending on how magical the setting is, the explanation could be either magic or various other. For example if we want to have a more biological approach, it's not a stretch to imagine that vampire saliva(or that the poison is injected via their fangs) contains a poison that speeds up heartbeat - and as long as heartbeat is maintained, you can relatively easily drink large amounts of blood from someone's neck.
Not so much just with their fingers, their entire body can simply absorb blood like a sponge, it just drains more efficiently using their fingers or whole hand due to increased surface area. While not quite as extreme as what pillarmen can do, they can also force their veins up into the opponent's circulatory system and drain them that way as well.
In Night Watch it is mentioned that vampires have a throat like a vacuum pump. So they can literally suck all the blood out of a person in a minute.
In stories where there is sex happenin' amongst vampires, well... if the vampire is male, how could he maintain an erection in the first place if he doesn't even have blood flowing?
Let me take a stab at it-In many vampire-can-has-sexings settings, its either implied, or outright stated that they can't get an erection (or blush, or any of those other nifty things blood does) unless they've fed relatively recently-in fact, in many, many of them feeding is, in an of itself, an arousing thing, as the blood they take in runs due south, usually leading to the more xxx sections of the book.
There was an amusing script of sorts from an Old World of Darkness site (that has since closed, sadly) that dealt with exactly this. The unofficial reasoning was those vampires can control where in the body the blood they have moves, making it perfectly simple to, uh, get it up. They felt nothing from it, but hey, whatever it takes to get a free drink from some unwitting partner, right? (If anyone knows of this, or if this troper finds it, she will update with a link.)
To give some minor evidence against Freud, bloodflow control is also the WoD explanation for how vampires avoid looking like gaunt walking corpses.
Well in many stories, they DO have a blood flow, they just need to constantly replenish themselves with new blood or starve.
It's worth noting how in some settings, a staked vampire will absolutely GUSH blood when staked. This implies that there is some kind of blood pressure.
Why do vampires have to drink blood to survive if they don't have a blood flow? What do they use it for?
This Troper's read literature where it's not that they don't have a pulse, it's just that it's very slow and their heart only beats something like once every few minutes. Really slow metabolisms.
Magic. Seriously, in V:tM, which thinks this out a little bit more than many vampire mythoi do, your character has a Blood Pool that he needs to keep replenished in order to keep on living — well, "living", and if it goes down to 0 he falls into a corpselike coma and becomes indistinguishable from any other dead body until he somehow gets some blood in him again. It's explained that this * literally is* a "blood pool" that pools in your heart and that keeps your corpse animated by magic, and that you need to magically draw it into various parts of your body to do stuff.
Blood is life. Those who do not generate their own blood need to take from those that do in order to have even an imitation of life. In other words, yeah magic. If you're talking virus vampires though, well those don't really make any sense anyway.
Well, with 'virus vampires', there's increased odds that the vampire in question isn't really undead, and therefore might have bloodflow of its own. In those cases, it's just a matter of only being nourished by human blood or something similar.
Like the above troper said, they might not be 'dead' in a cold corpse sort of way. Instead a virus vampire would be declared clinically dead by human medical standards and yet obviously exist in a way to defy that classification. Some animals are capable of this, like amphibians that can be frozen solid for months and yet instantly start moving as soon as they thaw. It could be a problem with the medical standard not matching a new and crazy lifeform.
And even in undead versions, sometimes they DO have a bloodflow (though not neccessarily a pulse) but need to constantly replenish themselves with new blood or starve.
Ok... so, how hard would it be for a vampire to simply say "Hey everyone, I'm Superman, kinda. I can stop anyone from attacking you during the night, am essentially invisible (the whole bat thing) and have super agility/ strength. I only need one thing to do all this, blood. If your willing to make steady donations, I can live with you without hassle for many centuries to come." and if the town disagrees he could move on. He then goes on to remove night police, reduce criminal activities, and hunting down criminals could remove his need to hunt. He could even have epic superhero battles with evil Vamps intent on killing, like in a comic book. I think a simple blood drive every month or so from every member of the community would be a small price to pay for that.
That was essentially the vampires' MO in Carpe Jugulum. And it was presented as far more exploitative, monstrous and less sporting than being an old-fashioned vampire willing to make everything into a game.
Except that the vampires in Carpe Jugulum were hypnotizing everyone (literally, everyone they could), and only giving them a "choice" after they were turned into livestock that would make whatever choice the vampires wanted. The "arrangement" was just a formality, made under duress and mind control.
I'd like here to address "virus vampire" stuff. I haven't stumbled upon an answer yet, but it may just be somewhere where I didn't check, so in this case just direct me to the appropriate TV Tropes entry. Okay, so the actual question is: in stories where vampirism (or werewolfism, werescaryanimalism, werewhateverism) is transmitted by a virus or otherwise scientifically-explainable means, how come they have uber-supernatural powers? I've never turned into a wolfman or stuff when I had flu. Blade, Underworld - I'm looking at you!
Most of the time it's Hand Waved as the Virus also injecting you with DNA that makes your muscles stronger, the healing process faster, and the senses keener. Even some amount of psychic powers can be justified— if you're willing to believe the premise of Heroes or The X-Men that people get their powers through genetics, then the vamps having Telepathy and Mind Control isn't too far out of it. The source just changes from mystic curse to weirdo virus. My only gripe with virus-creatures is when they pull Shapeshifter Baggage, there's no virus that can make you exempt for conservation of mass. That and not speed-infecting the planet, but I think that's addressed higher up.
Yep, I can handwave away the Healing Factor and the like. Shapeshifting you mentioned, is a problem (not only conservation of mass, but also getting all hairy and toothy in a minute), but there is one more thing that irks me more. I mean, filmmakers (at least Blade and arguably Underworld ones) behave like they want to have a cookie and eat a cookie (is there such a saying in English?): their vamps get powers via virus, but also exhibit mystical behaviour, like burning in the sunlight. You know, there are people who are incredibly sensitive to common sunlight, there are porphyriacs, but even these don't tend to burst into flames. First Blade film, IIRC, even had the Big Bad perform some sort of magical soul-sucking ceremony, or something.
You are looking for "you can't have your cake and eat it, too."
This troper typically doesn't allow the bat transformation in any vampire stories, and in werewolf deconstructions, as much of the pain and hunger is from the body suddenly reactivating follicles (when necessary) and kicking them into overdrive as it is from being crunched into the wrong shape from the inside out. Not that it will affect general published vampire fiction anyway.
If a vampire ingests the blood of somebody with AIDS, do they catch it?
Most vampires are immune to disease and thus would be unaffected by AIDS.
But would they spread it?
Depending on the mythos, maybe. This troper wants to use that in vampire fiction sometime— traces of the infected blood will remain in their mouth, and they're basically poking big holes in their next victim and introducing saliva and germs. And the human mouth, undead or no, is a really gross place to begin with.
V:tM vamps CAN spread AIDS. There's a flaw in a couple versions of the game you can take where your character has AIDS / the plague / an STD. Doesn't cause the vamp any harm, but you'll infect anyone you feed from directly.
In The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice, Dracula feeds on someone during the bubonic plague and ends up crippled for centuries. This is a little strange, as vampires are clearly portrayed as magical here instead of viral (teleportation is a dead giveaway, as well as magic rituals and the titular cup).
In relation to the whole "belief is what makes the crosses harmful" to vampires thing, then, logically, as Einstein considered himself religious in the awe of the universe's mysteries, could not an atheist or just plain scientific person state that "I believe in science, and science says a headshot will kill you!"
Probably not if they feel they have to believe, but if they do actively believe that vampires can be killed by brain damage, or don't exist in the first place, maybe.
By that logic, no vampire should ever exist. Because people don't believe they exist (that whole Masquerade doesn't seem so clever now, does it?), and this belief is harmful to them, so (depending on how this particular Weaksauce Weakness works in the setting) they should either become completely powerless, or die outright. This may be a serious flaw in the Clap Your Hands If You Believe weakness.
I would like to point out that it is not necessarily belief in any one religion so much as Faith, which is subtly, but distinctly different. So,simple disbelief in their existence might not be enough, whereas clear, hardocre faith in god/allah/buddha/the sheer wonder of the universe is enough to cause direct harm.
Because science doesn't say a headshot will kill them. In fact, science says quite the opposite. Scientific experiment will demonstrate that headshots do not kill vampires. Perhaps someone who "believes" in science could brandish a Periodic table or something, if they did consider it sacred.
"Faith in science" is something of an oxymoron here. After all, science is all about testing your hypotheses once you've formulated them — it requires a somewhat habitually skeptical mindset, even and especially with regard to your own convictions. So most scientists wouldn't go so much "this flamethrower will kill you because it's SCIENCE! and I BELIEVE!!!" as "okay, you're a vampire or something close enough that we might as well call you one, I've got this flamethrower, let's find out what happens...". — Caveat: this argument may not always apply to madscientists.
why is the public so convinced that a vampire MUST die or be severely harmed by sunlight even though that little bit of the myth is less then 100 years old? And to boot the idea comes from what was an illegal film. I recently read on this very wiki that "vampires not ashing on exposure to sunlight" was "poppycock" (Draculas loss of power I should add was not about exposure to sunlight but the actual TIME of day so exposure meant nothing)
Well, unless vampires are real, no one claim about them holds any more weight than the others. The current idea of a vampire is that sunlight's fatal to it, based on a century's worth of movies and literature. A hundred years ago they had different ideas about vampires based on folklore and early vampire novels, and in another hundred years we'll probably have rewritten the rules some more to take the next century's sources into account (let's just hope they're not all sparkly). Think of it as Your Vampires Suck on a generational level.
Ok this one hit me just recently how do modern (anything starting from Dracula) vampires stay so well groomed and attractive if they have no reflections?
Vampires are naturally attractive. In situations where they live in social groups, they may help each other groom. And occasionally this is lampshaded:
Angel: Why didn't anyone tell me my hair did that?
This is also brought up in Anno Dracula, where Lord Ruthven is fond of having his portrait painted but is never quite sure of the likeness, and Genevieve has gotten used to having others tell her how her outfit looks. Yup, group grooming. How did people stay well-groomed and attractive without mirrors? They're probably still rough around the edges a little, but still. (One of this troper's vampires angsts a bit about not remembering what he looks like... until his introduction to digital photography.)
There's a scene in an 80s vampire movie (forget the name) where some vampire strippers are getting made up in a nightclub dressing room. All the mirrors are missing from the makeup tables, and the vampiresses reach through the light-circled spaces where the glass used to be to apply makeup to each others' faces.
This is not so much a complaint about vampires themselves as it is their portrayal in the past few years. Stories about vampires these days tend to deal more with their Weaksauce Weakness or Who Wants to Live Forever?, but more often than not, the basic premise of vampires—that they need human blood to survive—is completely sidestepped by having the protagonist eat animal blood or steal from blood banks. And the ones that do drink human blood straight from the source are Always Chaotic Evil. I can't be the only one who'd like to see a story where live human blood is the only option and the vampires are basically good. It'd be interesting to see how they deal with the moral issue of having to commit homicide to keep themselves going.
Trust me, you don't. It's been done, I've read it. It's one big emo angst-fest pity party. Ugh.
It strikes me, though, that vampire stories in general tend to be emo angst-fest pity parties, when they're not portraying vampires as evil and vaguely zombie-like. It raises the question of why one might write about a species of blood-sucking killers if they don't, you know, kill. Or suck blood. At the very least, it'd be a lot easier to justify angsting over. "I hate that I have to commit cannibalism to live" sounds a lot less whiny than "I hate that I can no longer attend church or see my reflection."
Aren't those pretty much the only options for vampires? An angst fest where they feel remorse for killing people to survive, or they're evil becuase they don't care about taking lives. You can't really kill people, not feel bad about it, and not be evil.
Well, there is the much harder to pull off tactic of "drug people and drain their blood safely via syringe in a hard to see vein", which avoids killing and turning them and spreading diseases, but still leaves some angst over essentially date-raping people. Not quite as bad as the murder-vamps for angst, and at worst leaves the unrepentant ones who exult in being vamps as Jerk Asses. You could conceivable build a character/race out of these "lesser of two evils" vamps who are still likable without being angst fest partyers.
So i'm reading The Historian and I start to wonder- If vampires can only be killed by a stake through the heart or silver bullet, what happens if a vampire gets blown up? I mean this book has my favorite depiction of vampires ever but I find this odd.
I'm recalling a movie which had a bunch of monsters in it. The vampire was injured and the guy tried to blow it up with a stick of dynamite, but a werewolf jumped him and got thrown out of a window with the stick and blew up instead. However, in that setting vampires could only die by being impaled with a wooden stake and werewolves could only be killed by silver bullets, so the werewolf's scattered pieces rearranged themselves back into a body after a few moments for no apparent reason. Presumably the same would have happened to the vampire.
Vampire myths predate modern explosives, so the concept may genuinely not have occurred to the author because it doesn't much feature in the source material. (You probably could try to blow up a vampire with a sufficient quantity of plain old-fashioned gunpowder...good luck acquiring it in the first place and then getting it close enough and timing the explosion just right for the full effect, though. 'Find the sleeping monster and apply stake to chest' is easy by comparison.)
Why is everyone so vampire crazy? What do they have over other mythological monsters?
Lots of reasons. One, they can serve both male and female audiences equally well. For guys, vampires can be immortal, unstoppable badasses that do whatever they want, don't care for the rules and have funky supernatural powers to boot. It's like a superhero fantasy without the Comes Great Responsibility and Darker and Edgier feel(depending on the exact story we're talking about, of course). For girls, they're mysterious, beautiful, angsty, superhuman, unique and magical. They're the perfect targets for fantasy romance/angst as shown by the huge success of the Twilight and Anne Rice series. Additionally, they're great at escapism. Vampires join this secret club of supernaturally empowered dudes, who likely rule the world behind the scenes while being the The Beautiful Elite. And they totally invoke the Forbidden Fruit feel. In short, a well done vampire story combines the appeal of a superhero story, supernatural romance, great escapism, Who Wants to Live Forever? and Living Forever Is Awesome plot hooks and tons more.
I heard a radio host joking that we're going to have Frankstein's Monster craziness next, with fans wearing bolts on their necks and green makeup, and girls split between "Team Frankenstein" and "Team Monster". One can only dream...
I personally think it's just that vampires in many ways have broader appeal and potential. You can transplant a vampire into any culture, any context and situation and probably get an interesting story out of it, whereas using mummies tend to lock you into using a specific group of cultures which engaged in that practice, which has less appeal if you're not particularly interested in that culture. There's also Unfortunate Implications and Values Dissonance that have arisen around them; using mummies can tend to lead you into make some less-than-PC assumptions about the 'unnatural' practices of that culture (which leads them to evil curses and ungodly practices and so forth), whereas you can make anyone of any culture a vampire without suggesting that it's something inherent about that culture, because vampires tend to operate cross-culturally.
As for good old Frankie, he arguably lacks the broad appeal of vampires because he's a single character, not an entire race of beings (although you could theoretically make a race of Frankensteins). Whereas you can use a vampire to tell any number of stories and can create a vampire based on any type of character, Frankenstein's Monster already has an established character and really only has one primary story — man's right to play God — so there can be a sense that in using Frankenstein's Monster you're basically retelling the same story. Plus, as we've gotten a bit more used to 'playing God' in the sense that Mary Shelley was concerned about thanks to modern medical practices and surgery, those themes are perhaps a bit more dated, whereas vampires are a bit easier to translate into modern contexts. Plus, several of the key components of Frankenstein's Monster — bringing a dead body back to live — arguably still popularly exist in the form of zombie fiction anyway.
Why don't vampire hunters paint crosses all over their bodies and thus, make their bodies harmful to vampires?
If painted on, their clothes would block them from sight and since for some reason a vampire has to see the cross to be affected, and most hunters don't try it. If they go out shirtless, then they're that much more vulnerable to thrown weapons. Plus, paint can run with water or paint thinner (or be obscured with more paint and/or blood). And even though tattooing crosses on your jugular is a stroke of genius, it also becomes a big tip off you're a hunter (as would covering up that much of your neck with a scarf or something outside of winter). There's also the distinct possibility a cross has to "be wielded" and not just shown, or that the tattoo/paint is not holy enough. Maybe get a tattoist priest to make 'em?
Actually, I was thinking more of crosses on the palms so that when a vampire is trying to jump you, you show him the cross on the palm of your hand.
Or smack him one, if the cross-symbol burns on contact.
Sometimes it's only a wooden cross or a cross made from precious (or any) metals that will work, and more often than not it has to be the figure of a cross rather than just the image. Painting a cross on your palm would commonly be no more effective than putting a swath of lamb's blood across your palm.
Why is it that everyone insists on looking for scientific explanations for vampires? Just looking at this page gives me a headache sometimes. Vampires are undead. Undead things are MAGICAL. The whole Scientific angle was cool when Matheson did it but now its getting OLD. What happened to good old fashioned magic based vampires?
For the same reason we never see necromantic zombies outside of fantasy stories anymore. It just seems that many people are more interested in trying to make things "realistic" than just going with whatever makes for a good story. By stripping out all the whimsical mystery from things that were originally intended to be fantastical.
Alternatively; because these days, simply saying 'it's magic' isn't considered a very dramatically satisfying explanation. Magic as a concept can and has been used as a bit of an Ass Pull to explain something the author couldn't really be bothered explaining, and we're a bit more savvy as readers regarding how authors do these sorts of things and how stories function. Plus, we're all in general a bit more educated, scientifically savvy and knowledgeable in these sorts of things. Giving a 'scientific' explanation is the author's way of covering their back in this regard. Plus, you know, it's trendy and can be kind of fun.
Yeah, except using a scientific explanation isn't anymore satisfactory when this so-called "science" basically amounts to "Yeah, it's a virus. A virus that gives you superpowers and makes you spontaneously combust in the Sun. Oh, and it also makes corpses walk and talk...somehow." Personally, I'll take magic that presents itself as magic over magic pretending to be science, which just comes off as stupid.
It often depends on the setting, though. While many modern stories try to explain vampires in scientific terms, Urban Fantasy stories like Buffy, Angel, Anne Rice, World of Darkness and so on usually opt more for a Magic A Is Magic A explanation, a complicated mythological backstory that meets the modern audience's need for details while still being, at heart, about magical, undead creatures. And pure fantasy settings still generally run with "they're undead and evil, there you go".
If a vampire had no reflection, wouldn't there still be a ghostly silhouette in the mirror? Presumably, the mirror wouldn't depict air in place of the vampire, so there should logically be a bubble of vacuum surrounded by the slightly more visible air in the room.
The question's kind of putting the cart before the horse. How, in cold, unromantic physical terms, does the vampire supposedly manage to pull off this miracle of not showing up in reflective surfaces while still remaining quite visible him- or herself in the first place? Only once we have established that can we really move on to discuss what it is that we should see in place of his absent reflection...
Magic. The vampire exists beyond the law - out of the official protocol of reality. Mirrors register only "officially existing". Unconvincingly? Imagine that the world - the Matrix. Only it not computer simulation. It is a magic simulation. Vampires - bugs in the program. Or hackers.
Ok, this is more on the side of vampire hunters but in some stories wooden bullets are used to deal ith vampires so how would they work exactly? wouldn't the bullet shatter before it even gets out of the gun or at least before it makes contact with the vampire?
This Troper isn't sure about the bullets splintering, although I also haven't ever read a book/seen a movie where wooden bullets were used. Perhaps they use very, very tough, thick wood to carve the bullets from.
Wooden bullets are used in True Blood to kill a vampire and the armory of the Fellowship of the Sun are filled with modern equivalents of "standard" anti-vampire weapons. They even use suicide-bombing with a regular bomb wrapped with small silver objects to act as anti-vamp shrapnel. That is why the head vampires are so paranoid about being perceived as evil after dropping The Masquerade. They know that, if humans organize against them, they don't stand a chance. Silver will paralize them, wood to the heart will kill them, as will sunlight (so UV flashlights and flash-bangs).
Sunlight kills vampires. Moonlight is reflected sunlight. Therefore moonlight would kill vampires.
Therefore, either moonlight doesn't exist, or vampires don't exist.
Going further with this, sunlight should be able to turn those infected with lycanthropy into werewolves, since moonlight is reflected sunlight. Therefore, either werewolves don't exist, or sunlight/moonlight doesn't exist.
The reflected light probably just isn't strong enough.
Let's take thus further - plants need sunlight to exist. Moonlight is just reflected sunlight. Therefore, plants should be able to exist solely on moonlight. Therefore, either plants don't exist or moonlight doesn't exist. Hey, this is fun!
...CAN plants survive on moonlight?
That implies the possibility of night-growing-garlic. Vampires are screwed. Pwned by sunlight during the day, pwned by moonlight and garlic during the night.
Twilight is sunlight reflected off the clouds and upper atmosphere. Therefore, either twilight doesn't exist, or vampires don't exist. * checks Amazon's book list* At least we're safe from all but the most fourth-wall breaking vampires.
NOT EXACTLY this only happens if two thngs are true. 1. The vampires are scientific in nature. I could go on at length about how annoying that's gotton but i'll hold myself back. and 2. the vampires are even affected by sunlight exposure whigh again i have to point o ut is a Film Trope and existed nowhere in vampire works prior to 1922 these are the major flaws when one or b oth of these aspects are applied for whatever reason it causes at least one Voodoo Shark
Maybe the moon is the vital element in this. The sun doesn't work, darkness doesn't work, but moonlight works. (for werewolves, that is)
Blutz waves. They power up the werewolves and denature the sunlight. It explainseverything. On a more serious note (not that the previous explanation isn't consistent with the mythologies), there are a lot of vampire mythoi where it's not sunlight that harms the vampies, but the sun itself.
Two words: Ultraviolet radiation. Moonlight doesn't carry UV with it, but sunlight does. Vampires are just more prone to skin cancer.
Maybe the light reflected by the moon just isn't strong enough to harm a vampire?
Why would anyone want to be a vampire? Yeah I guess it would be pretty cool for the whole 2 HOURS that you'd get to live before someone like Blade or Buffy shows up. Besides the fact that a vampire's life expectancy seems to be about 1/4 of a regular human's, most vampires seem so caught up in having fun and getting drunk off of blood that they don't even seem to CARE if they die! You can see it on their faces in movies and tv that they aren't concerned about whoever they're trying to kill until they become a huge pile of dust. Do they think differently from normal people in that they're not concerned about dying or do they think that the are just that badass, and that they can take on anyone?
I'm speaking mostly from a Buffy the Vampire Slayer perspective, but their vampires tend to start off young, Drunk on the Dark Side and rather stupidly thinking that their newfound invulnerability makes them absolutely invincible. Vampires who survive that period of metaphorical adolescence to actually become decades and centuries old are more cautious, and choose their fights much more carefully; I'm guessing most vampire continuities have that same sort of reckless abandon phase that older vampires have grown out of. There was a conversation between a group of overconfident vampires and Adam, a superpowered cyborg-demon-human hybrid villain, that deconstructed the whole vampire immortality thing. Not much was done with it later, but it was an interesting observation...
Adam: You fear the cross. The Sun. Fire. And, oh yes, I believe decapitation is a problem as well. You fear death. Being immortal, you fear it more than those to whom it comes naturally.
The fact is they can take (in most universes, I would hate to be a vampire in any Comicverse) 99.9999% of anybody they stumble across. Lets look at our major franchises. The above mentioned Buffy the Vampire Slayer series has (until the comics kick in) has at tops two slayers, two ensouled vampires, Drogan the Battlebrand and . . .everything else that can take them is evil and probably won't bother them if they don't start it. Stay out of Sunnydale and if you insist on living in LA I recommend working for a Senator. Otherwise you should be safe. Blade, you want to avoid him? Don't get into all that vampire hierarchy mumbo jumbo any deeper than you absolutely have to. It turns out if you're not involved in a pot to end the world you're probably off his radar enough to if not do as you please at least don't make too big a mess. Castlevania comes to mind as well, don't go to the Castle that only shows up once a century and you're probably fine. True Blood vampires seem to functionally run their universe and Vampire Diaries vampires only get killed when they get sloppy or run into witches. So lets not pretend like vampire arrogance is entirely unfounded or that your average vampire dies an ugly death in a short period of time. We just only get to see the ones who do because the rest of them lead long relatively boring lives.
On the flip side though, the above is basically saying, "if you're a vampire it's absolutely awesome, you're better than everyone else and you can do whatever you want ... so long as you keep a really low profile, don't make waves, don't cause too much trouble, don't bring too much attention to yourself and don't really do anything noticeable with all your supernatural abilities that let you do whatever you want." That's a lot of qualifiers for a supposed master race who can do anything they want and can take anyone who tries to stop them. One might argue that the above only further demonstrates being a vampire is, in fact, kind of shitty — you've got all these abilities that you can't use, because if you do someone's going to be right on your case and try to kill you. And probably succeed, because you also probably have crippling allergies to things like wood, silver, garlic, running water, faith, crosses, sunlight, etc...
As for wanting to be a vampire (and presumably not being a mook vampire who doesn't even last halfway through a fight scene), it all depends on the mythology. Anyone who wants to be a soulless monster and gleefully prey on humans is just indulging a Villain Sue fantasy (and probably not thinking the fantasy all the way through, such as getting themselves staked in a hurry), but assuming that you get to keep your soul, not be plagued with bloodlust, and that you can live on animal blood and just call up the butcher shop for a pint (all of which are, granted, pretty big if's), then immortality in exchange for staying out of the sun isn't a bad deal at all.
What bugs me most about vampires in literature and movies is the fact that when they feed on someone, they are often showed with blood flowing freely from their mouths. It's like they're not even feeding on their victims, or if they are, they are wasting half of the blood and leaving puddles of evidence. This is even done with supposed "bloodthirsty" and vicious vampires, who seem like they would be the least likely to waste the blood since they enjoy being vampires so much.
Blood is messy, and if you're biting deep into someone's neck, it's going to be gushing. Think about biting into a really juicy fruit, like an apple or an orange. You usually get at least some juice on your cheeks and down your chin. And now imagine that that orange is pumping its juice at high pressure levels. Unless you're one of those vampires whose fangs double as straws, there's going to be a mess no matter what you do and the only other option as far as not leaving evidence goes is to lick it up off the floor.
I think pears are a better analogue than apples, in terms of juiciness. Ripe pears are impossible to eat properly, and that's just gravity at work on the juice. Apples are quite easy to eat without spilling any juice.
Agreed. In addition lots of vampires aren't overly concerned with getting caught.
Plus, let's be honest — Rule of Cool / Rule of Drama. Vampires are originally creatures of horror, and the image of a person with fangs and their mouth and face covered in blood was/is, for many people, a viscerally unsettling image. It looks more wild and savage.
Are there such thing as obese vampires? Can a vampire gain a significant amount of weight by drinking too much blood and not getting enough exercise?
If sunlight were to strike a vampire while he was walking down the street, would there be anything he can use to protect himself like a cardboard box? Garbage can? Tree? Umbrella? Underneath a car?
Can vampires eat dried blood?
Can a vampire ingest blood mixed with other ingredients? For example, blood soup often has plenty of other meat and vegetables in it. In addition, can a vampire take a bloody piece of meat, blend it, and gulp down the slushified remains?
Why does it seem that vampires find blood bags undelectable? I can understand if they're not refrigerated or stored properly, but it always seems that vampires prefer eating their prey alive and struggling than just getting it at the blood bank. I do just fine eating a steak that's been sitting in the freezer for two weeks, I don't have to eat the cow alive to enjoy it.