Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness
Vampires are an amazing element to add to a work of fiction, or to base one on entirely. They also have a lot of ways they can be... 'different
', not just from humans but from vampires in other works (or within the same one!) But, other than bait for Your Vampires Suck
, what use is making them different? Well, it can be used to establish just how friendly or irredeemably evil they are as a species. A kind of Sliding Scale Of Vampire Friendliness.
If the author wants to have sympathetic Friendly Neighborhood Vampires
populate the setting (particularly if one of these is the protagonist), there are certain traits that can be added or removed to help skew the scale towards nice without
removing the possibility one of them might go off the wagon.
On the other, the author might want the story to focus on The Hunter
out to save the world from vampires, so the author can load them up with evil traits and remove the good ones, so that every single bloodsucker his or her protagonist runs into will be Always Chaotic Evil
and can be killed without remorse
... except for the Defector from Decadence
, of course!
Because really, just how friendly can a vampire be if it can only "live
" by sucking all
the blood from a human? And only humans will do. Conversely, a vampire that only needs a drop of blood a month to get by (and it can be from the blood bank, doesn't even have to be fresh) has no excuse to be all evil other than having been a Serial Killer
So, what can authors add or remove to make friendly/unfriendly vampires?
- Blood requirement: The more they need, and the more they hunger, the less friendly they can be. Likewise, if it can only come from humans, and if feeding invariably kills the fed upon (or the Masquerade requires them to). Ability to feed sparingly (without killing the fed upon) helps skew them toward friendly, as does being able to get by on substitutes (perhaps animal blood or synthetic human blood) - though this could also go the other way, with a far-from-Reluctant Monster who doesn't need to kill people but does anyway. The big thing here is if the bite causes pain or damage that doesn't go away in the next scene. Friendly vampires won't cause the fed on to feel pain (or small, bearable amounts), or even feel pleasure. Unfriendly leaning vamps invariably make the fed upon scream (rather appropriately) bloody murdernote .
- Craving type: The nature of the hunger is a consideration, too. If the craving for blood is depicted as closer to an animalistic urge, something to be (and that can be) fought against, this places the vampire closer to 'friendly' — at least as long as they do fight it. By comparison, if the vampire is methodically plotting to get his/her hands on the other characters' tasty, tasty Life Force (a mode more prominent in older works such as Dracula), then definition as a villain cannot be far behind. A mid-range, neutral "everyone's gotta eat" approach has also become popular. Settings where vampires are Hemo Erotic, sexualizing the act of feeding, can go either way depending on how pleasant, painful, or violent the feeding is (and the level of consent of the fed upon/victim).
- Conversion: If everyone bitten invariably becomes a vampire, they become a very hostile species regardless of the individuals. The easier it is to spread vampirism, the closer they become to a literal plague as opposed to just a metaphorical one. This goes back to the above if everyone fed on has to be killed to avoid the turning. If no vampire can be made "by accident" and requires a special ritual (or is born that way) then they skew back to friendly, unless the ritual requires the would-be convert to commit some form of evil act.
- Morality shifts: Sometimes, becoming a vampire does nothing but make the victim paler and grow canines, but others it's The Virus, and causes even family to turn on each other just for a bit of blood. In the middle, vampirism might lead to 'benign' Smug Super mentalities or outright Transhuman Treachery over time. However; the easiest way to slide the scale all the way to "unfriendly" is to simply make it a given that becoming a vampire makes you evil. If your setting takes it as fact that 1) humans have Souls, 2) you need a soul to be good, and 3) becoming a vampire removes your soul, then the possibility of friendly vampires approaches zero. Likewise, some vampires become thralls of their maker (which doesn't automatically make them unfriendly, it just generally makes them the same level of friendliness as the vampire to whom they're enthralled), or become slavering monsters. Furthermore, in some folklore, vampires are actually demonically possessed corpses and have nothing to do with the person who died to make them; the idea of a good vampire would make about as much sense to a medieval peasant as the idea of a good mass murderer. The opposite - a strain of vampirism which makes those who contract it peaceful or altruistic regardless of their previous disposition, or vampires as servants of a benign deity or higher power - is theoretically possible, but exceedingly rare in fiction.
- Super powers: Generally, this has no effect on their friendliness... except when you factor in The Dark Side and Bad Powers, Bad People. The more power they have, even if it isn't stereotypically bad, the likelier they are to fall to temptation and abuse it. Ironically, a powerless vampire is by no means the friendliest. Consider that a vampire who can lull victims to sleep, feed by harmlessly "drinking" a victims breath, or magically seduce them into willingly giving blood, are a lot less likely to need to use violence on these people. So giving the vampires certain powers can actually skew them into a friendlier nature by making it easier to choose to be good.
- Weaknesses: Depending both on the weakness itself and the mood of the affected vampire. Vampires that cannot go out in the sun are kinda normal. Those that curse the daylight and everything that can survive it and attempt to cheat their weaknesses are significantly less friendly than those who stay out until the first twinklings of dawn and then tearfully withdraw into the darkness, knowing that eternal life has its costs. The sun-immune are simultaneously way more dangerous and way more friend-capable- they can interact with normal people during normal hours, but they can also go out during the day, removing the normals' primary protection. Also consider the effect of crosses and other holy items: Being harmed by holy things may be a sign that unfriendliness is the norm, but not being harmed seems to not be significant— mostly, it indicates that the setting is trying to do in the wizard.
- Appearance: an important factor, too. Vampires tend to extremes in appearance: they are either beautiful or fucking ugly. The former can be either friendly characters in some novel for teenage girls, or evil seducers. The latter are almost always monsters. If vampires look like everyone else, this can also mean two things: on the friendly side, it's "they are people too", on the evil side "trust no one!".
The friendlier they get on this list, the higher up the What Measure Is a Non-Human?
they go, potentially reaching "full human". On the other hand, the nastier they are, the more it will justify bringing out the Torches and Pitchforks
, Holy Water
, and UV rounds
are always possible, but as a race their alignment is more or less dictated by the above.
If the setting falls somewhere in the middle on the "friend-o-meter", then the vampires are no more or less prone to evil than they were as humans... but the slippery slope
is always there. Middle of the road friendliness also lends itself well to Van Helsing Hate Crimes
, especially when The Hunter
has the wrong idea of where on the scale the vampires he's fighting lie on. The shock of realizing they were Good All Along
(or at least had the potential for it
) can make for powerful drama.
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Anime & Manga
- In Chibi Vampire, the vampires are generally pretty friendly. Vampires are born rather than made, they have the ability to erase memories, and they don't take so much blood in one feeding as to harm the victim. Bite marks are small and last about a week at most. In fact, victims may end up better after a feeding from improved mental health, since along with blood, vampires also drain out one particular unpleasant emotion or negative quality, depending on the vampire. Examples include pride, jealousy, loneliness, stress and, for some reason, the ability to lie. (Only one drained a positive quality, love, and that was in anime.) Vampires are attracted to someone burdened with a lot of their particular "taste", but smelling that quality in someone isn't any worse than a person getting an appetite from smelling fresh-baked pie. Vampiric powers include erasing memories, hiding their lairs behind fields projecting the Bystander Syndrome, using magical bat familiars for nearly anything (added bonus for humans; neighborhoods near vampire homes are virtually free of pest insects), exceptionally acute senses, and being incredibly strong and fast. They live practically forever as long as they drink enough blood (and young blood grants a youthful appearance), but have very low birthrates, they are virtually humans until they become teenagers, and they also rapidly burn to a crisp under sunlight.
- The main character Karin is herself even friendlier, because she's uniquely strange among her kind. She has absolutely no powers at all (but in exchange has no problem with sunlight), and she can eat food rather than drinking blood... in fact, her body produces too much blood. Left unchecked, each month the extra blood explodes out of her nose like an arterial spray, causing her to faint and generally being bad for her health. The only safe way for her to get rid of the blood is to bite someone and donate the surplus. She's a blood-injector (gyoketsuki) rather than a blood-sucker (kyuketsuki); like the official translation says, she's "a vampire in reverse!" Unfortunately, she can't erase memories, and so has to rely on her family to cover-up her "donations". On the flipside, the people she bites end up even healthier than normal victims, since she's giving them infusions of semi-special blood on top of improving their mental condition. Although whether she actually consumes their "unhappiness" (her particular taste) like a normal vampire or just washes it away with the influx of strength and confidence is an unanswered question.
- In Hellsing. Conversion, blood requirements, and morality vary greatly between vampire to vampire. Virgin, opposite gender victims become vampires, nonvirgins become mindless ghouls. The standards are hard to gauge, as the various vampires are all fairly different, and our measuring post is nearly a Cosmic Horror. Most vampires lean toward psychotic, but the change doesn't seem to cause much of a change. It's more likely that the people turned were just evil to begin with, as most of the vampires we see are also Nazis. The final verdict is probably closer to vampires are only as friendly as they were as people.
- In Nightwalker, you have to drink the vampire's blood to be converted. Though vampires have a blood requirement, Mr. Shido only takes willing victims and never kills.
- In Rosario + Vampire, Moka is so friendly, she suffers from anemia due to drinking only tomato juice. In the anime, her bite only causes the victim to feel faint temporarily. In the manga, Tsukune eventually becomes a Ghoul (Vampiric type), and has to wear a seal to keep from killing everyone around him, though he's still very much his old self while the seal is on.
- Trinity Blood has two different types of vampires.
- Cruzniks: Morality shift: no. Conversion: no. Blood requirement: unclear, but they apparently feed on other vampires. Powers: aside from being nearly invulnerable, they can transform into a One-Winged Angel, fly, and make weapons out of their own blood. Since there are so few of them, and they don't seem to need to feed all that often, the danger to humans and other vampires alike is very low, and at least some are friendly and kind.
- Methuselans: Morality shift: no. Conversion: yes. Blood requirement: yes, but an artificial food source is widespread. Powers: superior speed and strength, some can transform their hair, blood, etc, into a weapon, and some can fly. The fact that humans willingly live in the same town as known vampire families suggests the danger is not terribly high.
- Vampire Hunter D: blood requirement: check; conversion: check; morality shift: check; powers: check. Vampires and Dhampyrs range from Aristocrats Are Evil cranked Up to Eleven (Count Lee) to Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain (Larmica) to Anti-Hero (D), to Hero with an F in Good (Meier).
- Most converted victims seem to experience decided morality shifts, if not outright instantaneous Transhuman Treachery. Both the 2000 Bloodlust movie and the novels contain references of entire villages being decimated when a converted vampire turns on his/her neighbors, feeding on them and turning them into fellow vampires who join in preying on the remaining humans. Also, in the 1985 movie, Dr. Fering completely changes loyalties once he's transformed into a vampire.
- The novels are ambiguous about the matter, but they seem to indicate that the Transhuman Treachery results from a some kind of flaw in the conversion process, as not even the evil Nobility tend to be as Ax-Crazy as newly created vampires, and seem to have retained their personalities far better; it's unclear if they just get better as they live longer, or if the new vampires are inherently inferior to their predecessors.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has Evangeline, whom has quite the world-famous reputation as a monstrous villain. As the series goes on, however, it becomes clear that Negi only won their fight because she wasn't actually serious about killing him, and we start to get the picture that Eva became an outlaw more out of necessity than choice. She's really a Noble Demon/Token Evil Teammate who genuinely believes her own reputation about being a horrible monster and actually becomes upset when Negi and his students treat her like the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire she really is. As for blood, it's never clear just how much she needs or for what purpose, but it's apparently very little, and no one she's fed on has turned into a vampire.
- Dance in the Vampire Bund: Blood Requirement, moderate. They seem to need a few pints on a regular basis to sustain their healing/powers and avoid Horror Hunger, but although there is a readily created synthetic and presumably animal blood will do in a pinch the 'real' stuff is better tasting and feeding from the source feels really good. Conversion, extremely easy. You get bit and are not killed in the process or dosed with a vaccine within 48 hours you join the legions of the night, period. Morality Shifts, erratic. It is taken as a given that when one becomes a vampire one... changes, but the effects range from running mad and draining one's entire family to pulling the fangs from one's own head and fleeing. In general without something to focus on self-destructive violence grows common over time. Powers, slow to develop. One starts out considerably stronger and faster than before, but apparently shapeshifting and power over others takes time to kick in.
- The vampires in Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure are about as unfriendly as it gets. They have no qualms about drinking blood (as Dio states, "Do you remember how many breads you've eaten in your life?"), and they are Always Chaotic Evil. Granted, the change to vampire for those that used the stone mask doesn't seem to affect their morality much, as most of them were already psychotic or power-hungry. The ones who were turned by being bitten by stone mask vampire generally become mindless ghouls or slaves to one who turned them (who were always, once again, evil). Powers develop almost instantly, and include super speed/strength, wall-crawling, mind-control, body-snatching, and high-pressure liquid metal eye beams. Sunlight incinerates them instantly.
- Dio does get much less chaotic evil after he gets beaten by Jonathan and spends 100 years under the Atlantic Ocean though. He's a very charming (as noted in-universe) guy if you get on his good side and he's not hungry at the moment. Though if you are a Joestar he tends to show you his old colors.
- Noblesse makes a point to make the vampires as friendly as possible. There is no blood requirement, no cravings, no conversion. The vampires even have a memory-erasing ability. At least as long as you are talking about true vampires. Apparently, some vampires decided to drink human blood for kicks and they drank enough to make themselves addicted. They are considered mutants by other vampires. Then, you get the Corporation which made at least one vampire that needed blood and created more vampires by biting humans. Subverted somewhat as although M-24 and his friend M-21 acted like pricks to the kids, the kids were never in any real trouble. M-24 was even given a sad backstory and protected the kids from his superiors even at the expense of his life.
- The Black Swordsman from Kigeki is overall very kind to the young girl who seeks his help, rescuing her from the forest, letting her follow him around the castle, and even serving her tea. However the brutal way he annihilates and then devours the English army implies deep down he's as morally bankrupt as most vampires. Especially since he then threatens to find the girl and kill her too if she ever reveals what happened.
- The vampires in 30 Days Of Night are some of the most hostile in fiction. Their bite turns the bitten into vampires, no exception. They immediate betray mankind once vamped and have incredible bloodlust. Only a very rare human has managed to hold onto their humanity post turning through tremendous strength of will, and even that seems temporary.
- Innocent Blood: blood requirement: check. Conversion: Marie converts everyone she bites, so she beheads her victims to prevent the spread of vampirism... and she's a good guy compared to the other vampires! Morality shift: no; the film's central conflict occurs when she accidentally converts a mobster, who was a horrible person to begin with, and he starts sharing vampirism with his equally immoral cronies. Powers: Marie notes vampires have better senses and faster reaction times than humans; in addition, they can either climb sheer walls, fly, and are immune to most illnesses. However, they are no better at seduction or surviving severe brain trauma than humans.
- The vampires in Underworld, though untactful, drink only cloned blood and have been keeping the werewolves from eating us. Though that might just be propaganda, we never see a lycan eat a human onscreen.
- The only reason they don't drink from live humans is because they're afraid (and rightly so), that it would attract undue attention from mortals, who outnumber them and could easily kill them all just by dropping a bomb on the mansion (a regular bomb will suffice; even an Elder can't survive having its body in a million pieces). Also, not all avoid drinking from humans.
- The vampires in Daybreakers fall in the middle of the scale. They don't need to completely drain their victim to survive, their personalities remain intact after conversion, and they get a modest increase in speed, strength and healing ability. However, if they go too long without blood, they mutate into mindless killers that put them firmly in the evil side of the scale. Animal blood satisfies their hunger, but only slows down the mutation.
- Feeding on other vampires only accelerates the mutation.
- For Stephen Grlscz, the main character of The Wisdom of Crocodiles, feeding always entails killing the victim. What's worse is that what sustains him is not actually the blood, but rather a biochemical residue caused by strong emotion—specifically, love. So he not only has to murder a woman, he has to get to know her and make her fall in love with him before ultimately betraying the trust he's elicited. And he has to feed about once a month...so yeah.
- Eli in Let the Right One In is an interesting case, because her condition's on the unfriendly end of the spectrum - automatic infection (she breaks the necks of her victims where possible so they won't turn), violent reactions to sunlight and entering a person's space without invitation - but she's actually more of a Reluctant Monster. She hates the fact that she has to kill to live, and therefore takes the morally grey course of having someone else do her killing for her.
- The Lair of the White Worm goes all over with this. Lady Marsh doesn't seem to need to feed but does it for more practical purposes, mostly dealing with Human Sacrifice to an Eldritch Abomination. Despite her apathetic attitude towards blood, she is very evil. The people she turns, however, become more animalistic and seem to crave human blood quite a bit. It's possible that Marsh is a Monster Progenitor, which could explain some things.
- The vampire in Nosferatu is an absolute bastard without a drop of good in him. See Dracula below, under Literature.
- From Dusk Till Dawn hangs out near the decisively unfriendly end of the scale. A single bite is enough to turn a human, which will start lusting for blood and being generally evil as soon as the turn is complete. Victims are usually sucked dry, in as large numbers as possible. Even experienced vampires seem to lack all control over their behaviour ones their feeding instinct has been triggered by the sight of blood. They are also pretty much in league with Satan. On the other hand, they do give the humans a nice show to watch in their last few hours.
- The My Best Friend is a Vampire vamps are mostly on the friendly end. They buy blood at butcher shops and are generally pretty ordinary citizens aside from drastically slowed aging and that need for blood. Somewhat less friendly is that conversion in this setting is apparently by vamp biting human without the human necessarily wanting to convert.
- In Rockula, the vampiric hero Ralph is quite friendly and sympathetic. He lives with his mother, and they get regular deliveries from the Red Cross, eliminating the need to attack people. Ralph's mother, however, is considerably less moral than he is. The central conflict of the film, Ralph's attempt to stop his love interest from dying and being reincarnated every 22 years (only to be killed by a pirate with a rhinestone peg-leg armed with a ham bone) turns out to have been engineered by his mother to keep him from leaving home. She pulls a Heel-Face Turn in the end, though.
- Frostbite has rather a scale of manners. With the exeption of Vega most of the vampire turn into demoic fiends with little control of their drives. They gradually seem to learn to control their insticts and powers as they get used to it. During the initial moment of full transformation the vampire are such slaves to their drives that they even would do things they regret as evil vampires.
- Vampires in Dracula (including the eponymous count, of course) fall about as far on the evil side as possible - they're basically demons in human guise, retaining almost no human qualities and instead becoming cunning and savage.
- His Dark Materials has vampires that are essentially horrid monstrosities that are literally living holes that feed on the natural force that provides sentience, and that are mindless. Guess how friendly they are.
- Black Dagger Brotherhood: Given that they are a separate species with no need to feed from humans, they are remarkable friendly. They are still Badass though.
- Bunnicula. Half-rabbit, half-vampire, all terror! He sucks the juice out of carrots. Or so Chester, the extremely high-strung family cat, believes. Harold the dog, who is The Watson to Chester's Holmes, is less convinced of the bunny's vampirism, though he admits that it has an odd way of feeding.
- Sherrilyn Kenyons Dark Hunters series is pretty far along towards the friendly scale, especially given that most of them fall in love with humans, and protect humans from even scarier creatures.
- The Little Vampire and its Hollywood Adaptation The Littlest Vampire falls somewhere on the friendly half of the scale. Rudolph and Anna the Toothless are friends to Tony.
- The aunt in the novel, however, is quite the opposite.
- The Saga of Darren Shan and its vampires falls pretty high on the scale, though it's a tricky case. The vampires don't need much blood, and it and their ritual for turning, while fairly easy, is heavily regulated. On the other hand, we have the vampaneze, who invariably kill their victims. The morality part is played with, as the narrator's attitude goes from being horrified at merely cutting up at small wound on a sleeping person, to gaining some respect for the vampaneze.
- The Vampire Legacy: blood requirement: check; conversion: requires a blood transfusion from a vampire; morality shift: no. Powers: no. Deirdre Griffin explains "Unlike other vampires, I never drain (kill) my victims.". To a vampire, taking only enough blood to stay alive and allowing the victim to recover would be like throwing away a three-scoop ice cream cone after only eating half a scoop. Anyone can do it, but it takes willpower.
- The Dresden Files has even the 'friendliest' still be monsters. White Court vampires have human lives and identities, can't convert anyone, and don't actually feed on blood at all. But they feed on emotions (depending on the family, it can be Lust, Depression, or Fear), their victims become almost willing slaves, and there are those who do get off, literally or metaphorically, on draining their victims till they die. Red Court vampires manipulate people from the shadows, convert viciously, and kill whenever they can; also, their true forms aren't human at all. We don't have to worry about them anymore, though. Black Court vampires are kill-crazy walking corpses who need major-league magic just to pass for human.
- The vampires in Mortal Instruments goes back and forth on this. On one hand, when Simon is turned, he gets the bloodlust and can't go out in daylight, and can't even say a single bible verse, or the name of God. But his attitude stays pretty much the same. Nearly all of the other vampires, on the other hand, are assholes.
- Vampires in P.N. Elrod's novels usually fall on the Friendly end of the scale, as they can easily subsist on animal blood and turning humans, even consensually, has a low chance of success. The chief exceptions are when they were evil in life, or when they get so badly hurt that their mangled bodies' desperate need for lots of blood overwhelms their willpower.
- Vampires in Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia fall squarely on the unfriendly extreme. Feeding normally involves ripping the victim's jugular out, and the slightest nick leaves the possibility of infection.
- Discworld vampires are extremely hard to categorize, because on the Discworld, every single vampire cliché is true, but not all cliches apply to every vampire. They all are sensitive to bright light, greedy for human blood (but able to resist and live on animal blood instead), not everyone they bite dies, and not everyone they bite turns into a vampire. As for basic morality shift, in general, they're no more likely to be evil bastards than anybody else; individuals can fall in different places on the scale and they adapt to survive in a given environment. Ankh-Morpork vampires are ones who have adapted to live in a large city populated mostly by humans, so they tend to be pretty friendly, but slightly weird, mostly because they've given up drinking (human) blood. The Uberwald vampires, on the other hand, live in a country which is mostly populated by others of the dark/supernatural kind (werewolves, vampires, mad scientists, Igors), and tend to be a lot less friendly. (The same is broadly true of all supernatural creatures who have transplanted to Ankh-Morpork; they shift toward friendly to keep the pitchforks and Watchmen away.) There's even one vampire who makes a game of leaving his weaknesses all over his castle, and in fact collects rare vintages of holy water, under the theory that if some hero from the village defeats him, it was all in good fun and he'll be back in a century or two. The villagers appreciate this attitude, and prefer him over other vampires. There's a scene where the vampire congratulates a villager over how good a vampire hunter his grandfather was.
- In the Anne Rice The Vampire Chronicles 'verse, there is a conversion ritual, and vampires can drink from animals, but they all seem to succumb to killing innocent people anyway.
- Most older vampires no longer need blood to survive, but they drink it anyway, as it gives them pleasure and makes them look less pale.
- Lestat tries to limit his victims to murderers, but still sometimes succumbs to the desire and kills an innocent. For him, killing is less about sustenance, which he needs very little of, and more about the hunt.
- We should probably mention the time that the original vampire wanted to commit a worldwide holocaust of males. It may be the most extreme example of the far end of the scale.
- The Morganville Vampires method for conversion is made secret to keep a more benevolent vampire in power. However, given the ages of the vampires because new vampires haven't been made for a long time, the vampires range from genuinely wanting to do what's right and just struggling for more power.
- Mercedes Lackey's Children of the Night has its cake and eats it too by involving three different kinds of "vampire." The most classical variant, as embodied by Andre, is also the friendliest, hitting the "pleasurable non-lethal feeding" note in full force and lacking most of the traditional vulnerabilities except for sunlight (he claims to have waited out a lot of daylight hours in theaters and libraries) and wooden weapons. According to Andre, his type of vampire has the same moral range of the rest of humanity, but he suggests that they tend to police their own to keep would-be monsters from ruining things for the rest of them. On the other hand, the Japanese gaki is an "always lethal feeding" blood-eater, and the psi-vamps, who were fine as long as they fed on positive emotions, fell afoul of Bad Powers, Bad People as soon as they shifted to only being able to feed on pain and fear instead.
- Twilight had most of the main cast as Friendly Neighborhood Vampires. They end up being decent enough and they feed off animals. It's clear that they're the exceptions though, since most of the other vampires tend to be inhuman murder machines. Furthermore, a vampire in this setting can't feed on humans and be merciful, as their bite contains venom that's agonizingly painful as long as it remains in the system (i.e., as long as the human still has blood). (Although given the modern setting, it's not remotely necessary to bite a human to get human blood.)
- The vampires of Kitty Norville vary in friendliness, but are relatively friendly compared to some portrayals. They must drink human blood, but most are fairly nice about it—they don't have to kill people to drink their blood, so most seem to just hang around bars and pick up lonely people using their innate sensuality/hypnosis, and conversion isn't easy. Being effectively immortal and blessed with super strength and speed, though, means any vampires who want to kill you are perfectly capable of doing so. Masters in each city keep other vampires in check, but it's hardly uncommon for vampires to simply not value the life of ordinary humans.
- Vampires (known as Ina) in Octavia Butler's Fledgling are in the dead center. Some are friendly, and some are not. It helps that they can't change humans into vampires, they only can prolong their lives.
- A weird case of the Friendly extreme would be The Delicate Dependency, an obscure book in which the vampires not only don't need to kill, but actually take steps to protect ordinary humans and guide their civilization's development for the better. The most successful parasites, they point out, are those which are symbiotic with their hosts rather than harmful.
- Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vampire Saint-Germain is definitely towards the friendly end of this scale, as are most of the vampires he creates. His preferences are 1) blood from a willing lover (not harmed or converted except by repeated exposure or drinking his blood); 2) blood from a human in which he has caused erotic dreams; 3) animal blood. We do see other vampires hunting humans in Come Twilight, and it's implied that Saint-Germain was like this when he was much younger.
- The vampire colony in Under a Velvet Cloak are very friendly. They consume very small amounts of blood obtained as painlessly as possible from animals, are very enthusiastic sex partners to each other and local humans, and turning requires the turnee to willingly consume blood from the vampire doing the turning (well, there's one case of conversion by deceit, but the turnee decides it's not such a bad deal).
- In the Necroscope series vampires are decidedly unfriendly primarily by a) being extremely easy to propagate (it's very hard for a vampire to feed and not infect the corpse, and since they Always Chaotic Evil, vampire progeny are usually enemies to their creator and most vampires will eat their on own progeny) b) invariably amoral/evil after conversion c) basically impossible to ever truly kill (fire will sort of kill them, but they can still be reconstituted from ashes, and their psychic energy can continue to infect the living after their apparent destruction) and d) really really UGLY (they are like parasitic fungus, they look like human if they infect a human corpse, but as the human component gets consumed over time and they become proportionally more parasite they look less and less pleasant, and the vampire parasite can grow outside of a body and is basically just a blob of growing cancerous mycellium.
- Vampires in The Witcher are monsters by definition, so it's a Witcher's duty to hunt them. Yet some of them manage to survive ethically, pass as human, and even get Geralt's trust and long-term friendship. Since What Measure Is a Non-Human? and Humans Are Bastards are recurring themes, the most monstrous vampires shown aren't necessarily worse than the most monstrous humans.
- The House of Night: Varies between Friendly Neighborhood Vampires to Transhuman Treachery due to Smug Super and Van Helsing Hate Crimes.
Live Action TV
- Being Human has a range of vampires and vampires that range the scale. Mitchell's The Atoner so he's trying to be good, and most of the time he's a solid, decent person. But when he falls of the wagon, down the scale he goes. The other, normal, vampires are perhaps middling on the scale of wickedness. They have a cavalier treatment of human life, have institutionalized cover ups for killing the people they feed on, and find going cold turkey like kicking heroin unassisted. Then there's Herrick.
- That sound you just heard, was the sliding scale of vampire friendliness stretching and then breaking.
- In the 5 minutes or so between his appearance and the end of the series (he was dead by the start of the following series), Wyndham makes Herrick look like the friendliest person imaginable. Then, in the following series, there's Snow who does to Wyndham what Wyndham did to Herrick. It doesn't help that he's one of the original vampires, meaning that when he says 'Jump', every vampire asks 'How high?' No exceptions.
- In Buffy, vampires are actually evil demons that possess the body of a converted human. As such, they are brutal and sadistic.
- Ironically, the traits for Buffyverse vampires would push them towards friendly - they have to choose to turn their victims (though it's so simple it can happen accidentally), and they can live solely on animal blood (it's just not as tasty, especially since it's rarely fresh). However, these are overridden by the Morality Shift: they lacks souls, defined in-universe as consciences and empathy, the natural human aversion to killing humans, feeling good about helping people and similar. Instead, the demon inside drives them to feed on and torture humans for both sustenance and pleasure. Only three vampires in all of history have ever had souls; of them, one was a temporary case that was still very hard on the vamp in question, and the other two went kind of crazy until they were given a purpose - Angel spent decades in isolation and Reduced to Ratburgers until Whistler found him, while Spike went Talkative Loon and tried to physically cut his soul out.
- Vampires in the 1998 British TV series Ultraviolet tend towards evil, although they profit by public skepticism and ignorance of their existence. They have worldly power (wealth, because of their long lives) and consider themselves good stewards of their food source, funding research into diseases of the blood, from HIV to various forms of leukemia. However, their care is more that of veterinarians looking after the livestock than anything else.
- Another British example is Young Dracula. Vampires become such by merging with evil mirror-world versions of themselves at age sixteen, and how evil they turn depends on their strength of will. Ingrid, for example, is downright bloodthirsty, manipulating and evil before she changes, but when her mirror-self suggests she kill her boyfriend she flees from it. When she does merge, she does it of her own will and overcomes the urges associated with it. Another, weaker-willed character is turned completely psychotic from the merge. Vampires can subsist on animals, but most would prefer not to.
- The Count from Sesame Street falls waaaaaaaay on the friendly side.
- Many vampires in Moonlight are in the middle of the scale, just trying to live their (un)lives. Mick is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, most days, and feeds on blood he buys at the morgue. His best friend Josef prefers feeding on humans, but is never shown actually killing one. He usually just keeps a harem of young, attractive women from which he regularly feeds. They usually know what he is but don't mind. After all, he appears to be young, attractive, and rich. Most vampires that are on the evil side are either newly-turned and haven't reigned in their animal instincts or very old and just don't care. The vampires do have a clean-up service for any accidental killings.
- Blood Ties only showed three vampires before being cancelled, mostly due to vampires having a powerful territorial instinct that prevents more than one vampire from being in a (fairly large) area. For example, all of Toronto is Henry's territory. Territory "ownership" is tracked by a family of humans. Henry himself is a Friendly Neighborhood Vampire, who feeds on young women every night, but does it during sex, which only heightens the experience. He is never shown killing a human on-screen and implies that he does it only occasionally. The fate of Monsignor Mendoza is left unclear, after Henry was freed from his trap, although it can be assumed that he was either killed or turned by Henry, depending on how cruel Henry was feeling at the moment. Christine, Henry's maker, is definitely more on the right edge of the scale. While she is only present in one episode, she manipulates Henry into killing another of her fledglings, who was only evil because Christine turned him and then left him without teaching him how to control his impulses.
- True Blood vampires are all over the place, although they tend to fit more on the evil end. Even the two mostly decent vampires characters, Bill and Jessica, occasionally succumb to their dark impulses. In fact, it is standard policy in the vampire hierarchy that humans are lesser beings. Therefore, vampires needs always take precedence. The premise of the show is the creation of synthetic blood that allows vampires to come out into the world, except most vampires hate the taste and prefer the real thing.
- The Vampire Diaries has a wide range as well. Most vampires tend to fall between being indifferent toward humans (with an "everyone's gotta eat" mentality) and being Smug Supers. The few vampires we see who outright hate humans are usually holding grudges against specific humans (or families). Interestingly, a few vampires (especially the older ones) win sympathy points by stating that they actually miss being human.
- Blood requirement: vampires require a regular diet of blood (the results of starving a vampire are not pretty), but can subsist on animal blood. However, human blood works best - a vampire who only drinks animal blood is weaker than one who drinks human blood, and their powers (Mind Control, pain tolerance, healing, etc.) become slower and less reliable. Because of this, most vampires choose to avoid vegetarianism, as it leaves them vulnerable. However, many opt to steal bags of donated blood from hospitals.
- Craving type: different vampires have different levels of control, influenced by factors such as age their and level of self-control as humans. There's also a bit of a "shark in a fish tank" effect - the more well-fed a vampire is, the less likely they are to lose control of their cravings. It has been shown on multiple occasions that some vampires keep veritable harems of compelled people to feed on - without killing them - but there are also counterexamples known as "Rippers" who have almost no self-control when it comes to human blood.
- Conversion: conversion is somewhat complicated. A simple bite won't turn a human. A human must: 1) drink vampire blood, 2) die before the vampire blood has left their system, and 3) feed on human blood to complete the transition. There have been cases shown of humans being turned by choice (consensual turning), humans murdered by the vampire that fed them blood (deliberate, non-consensual turning), humans that have died without the knowledge of the vampire who fed them ("accidental" turning), and even humans who have tricked vampires into giving them blood and then killing themselves (Magnificent Bastardry).
- Morality shift: there is much ado about the ability of vampires to turn off their humanity voluntarily, like "flipping a switch". While the switch is "on", vampires cover a wide spectrum of morality, equal to that of humans (as being turned does not alter the personality so much as "magnify" certain aspects of it). A vampire who has "turned off" their humanity feels almost literally nothing, save perhaps mild amusement, irritation, or boredom. There has also been at least one older, more experienced vampire who claims that this ability eventually fades with age.
- My Babysitter's a Vampire runs from full-blown Friendly Neighborhood Vampires (Sarah and Rory - the latter being probably the dorkiest teen vampire ever) to truly evil (Jesse).
- Dungeons & Dragons is pretty close to the bottom end of the scale. Morality shift: check. Conversion: check. Blood requirement: unclear, but vampires are "always evil", and presumably will attack even when they don't have to survive. And even if you escape before conversion sets in, you permanently lose Life Energy. Powers: check.
- That's a change. In earlier editions the victim converts to a servitor vampire if life-drained to death (i.e. almost exclusively intended), but can survive a casual blood-drinking. Blood drain is required, but life-force drain isn't.
- For a detailed necrography there's Jander Sunstar. In Forgotten Realms he remained Chaotic Good even after a century as a servitor vampire, then before killed his master with some help. After this fed mostly on beasts, but still has to drink a little of humans' blood periodically. Then he gone nuts a bit, fell into Ravenloft and of course discovered there he must drink from humans, but still managed not to kill, let alone convert. After unhealthy amount of crap falling on his head, ends up as Chaotic Neutral Hunter of His Own Kind.
- In Forgotten Realms non-evil undead of usually evil types are canon. Jander may be unique, but Lords of Darkness by Ed Greenwood did mention helpful vampires (along with friendly talkative liches and undead paladin) as a repeatable exclusion.
- The Ravenloft supplement Requiem (no relation) allows undead player characters cheerfully.
- 4E allows vampires as a class, they have no alignment restrictions and their allies can allow them to drink their blood to heal.
- The vampires in Vampire: The Requiem aren't nice by any definition. They have the Beast, which urges them to drink and kill, an oppressive Masquerade with a Deadly Decadent Court that further pushes towards a low Karma Meter, and if they live long enough they will only be able to feed on humans, then only other vampires.
- Keep in mind though, that this doesn't necessarily make them an Always Chaotic Evil race. It is perfectly possible for a Kindred to be a good person, if not a nice one. In fact, most newer vampires who are struggling to hold onto their humanity tend to be this.
- Just to clarify this a bit, vampires in Vampire: The Requiem are measured in power by their blood potency: the more blood potency, the more powerful (eg ability to have higher stats, ability to spend more blood to do more powerful things, etc) the vampire gets. However, high blood potency also comes with the price of limiting the type of blood that is useful for the vampire (low blood potency means any blood will work; a certain level of blood potency means only human and vampire blood will do, and a high blood potency level means the vampire can only feed on other vampires). While story-wise vampires are supposed to gain blood potency as they age, rules-wise it is not necessary and it is up to the player to decide whether to spend XP to gain blood potency. On top of that, blood potency drops when the vampire enters torpor (a temporary death-like state) for a certain period of time, to scale with the amount of blood potency dropping. Therefore it is entirely possible for a thousand year old vampire to have the same amount of blood potency as a neonate who had just turned, and both will be able to feed on animals.
- Correction: there is a table in the core rule book that denotes timelines of automatic blood potency increases. After fifty years of Requiem, a vampire can no longer subsist on animal blood. Also, torpor causes insanity, since it is accompanied by fitful dreams based on strange interpretations of memories, dark resurgences of dreams and God knows what else. The longer the torpor, the higher the chance of insanity. Slippery Slope tropes are supposed to be core themes of the game.
- Some vampires from Vampire: The Masquerade are somewhat nicer than Requiem's, but not by much. The big difference is that generation, not age, determines feeding patterns; if you're a far enough removed descendant of Caine the First Vampire you can pretty much buy your blood at the butcher's shop indefinitely. You won't enjoy it and there's the Beast to consider, but it's possible.
- It bears mentioning that the lower generation vampires only got to the point of needing vampire blood to survive because of advanced age. It's called Methuselah's Curse, and is a trait that can be added to the character sheet of ancient vampires. For one, this is because if vampires needed to feed on vampires in ancient times from the beginning, they never would have survived. For two, and possibly more importantly for the mood of the game, it means that the longer one survives, the closer to becoming a monster's monster one gets. Aside from most vampires' tendency to ignore inconvenient facts, this makes for some crushing angst, which it has been argued was the entire reason V:tM was created in the first place.
- In Deadlands the personalities of the Walkin' Dead are essentially unchanged (when they aren't on a manitou-inspired rampage, that is). Anything stronger, though — like a vampire — is flat-out a slave to the Reckoners from the beginning.
- The actual vampires from that setting are on the far end of the evil side. Most of the vampires PCs see are the stupid, very hungry and fast-converting Nosferatus; the rules for playable vampires are all about practicing abstinence and walking a very thin line to postpone (not avert) becoming evil.
- Warhammer 40,000 has Blood Angels. Morality shift: None. Requirements: Blood drinking is needed to become one. Otherwise none unless the Black Rage/Red Thirst takes over. Conversion: Reverse example (see requirements). Powers: Nothing beyond normal Space Marines except prolonged life. Weaknesses: None. Relatively high on the scale but are not very nice as long as they don't go nuts. The ones that do are given a Mercy Kill either through one last battle as Death Company or by Astaroth the Grim.
- Warhammer: Features what is nearly the full spectrum of vampires, with everything depending on the bloodline of the Vampire in question. The socialite Lahmia vampires, are closer to the nice end of the scale (though admittedly through pragmatism rather than morals), discreetly taking small amounts of blood to maintain their unearthly beauty. The bestial Strigoi vampires are monstrous and almost unintelligent, totally without morals. The Von Carsteins are out for world domination and farming of humans. The Necrarchs go in for horrific experimentation on live subjects but generally keep to themselves if left to their research (frequently, they cut deals with local villages to "punish" their criminals for them). The final type are the Blood Dragons who either travel the world seeking decent fights and who can even overcome their thirst for blood if they manage to kill a dragon and drink its blood.
- The general thematic principle of Warhammer Vampires, however, is that they are all or almost all irredeemably evil things, tainted by the dark magic of their curse. "All vampires were once human with hopes, dreams and families of their own. Even though traces of emotion still stir in their shrivelled hearts, the Blood Kiss has transformed them into monsters without exception. Their once-humble aspirations have been consumed, twisted into a desire to conquer and rule over the mortals they left behind." (Warhammer: Vampire Counts, p.6) Some of the novels introduce rare subversions of this theme (e.g Ulrika Straghov, Genevieve Dieuodonne), but there is no doubting that Warhammer's vampires are, as a phenomenon, at the very furthest end of this scale. Given that the game sees them leading nightmarish conquering armies of undead, they could hardly be otherwise.
- The small-press RPG NightLife used a literal Sliding Scale of Vampire Friendliness (and werewolf, daemon, etc), including scores for "Humanity" and "Max Humanity" among its monstrous player characters' stats. A character who consistently makes an effort to be Friendly gains humanity, losing weaknesses and Horror Hunger, while evil deeds or the use of supernatural powers magnifies these. The scale does come with a booby-trap, however: if you successfully raise your Max Humanity to 100%, becoming virtually normal, but then let it drop to 99% or less, your long-deferred Horror Hunger kicks in and you go ravenously berserk.
- Magic: The Gathering is pretty much on the bad end of the scale. Vampirism is consistently depicted as predatory and harmful (if it doesn't kill you it either turns you into a zombie or damages your psyche), and most vampires are pure Black (not always evil, but consistently amoral and selfish, traits not valued by most people). Most vampires present are traditional cliché villains that are motivated by lust for power and sadism. However, there are several exceptions to the rules:
- Sorin Markov, an Anti-Hero planeswalker of incredible power. While Sorin is a casual hedonist, and certainly will feed when necessary without guilt, he has consistently proven to be heroic when necessary, from locking the Eldrazi away so they wouldn't destroy the Multiverse to the creation of the divine angel Avacyn to maintain the balance between humans and monsters in his home realm.
- The flavor text of several cards depict Sorin's distaste with the nightly habits of other vampires, usually balking at how they are usually useless addict nobles with no manners or redeeming qualities.
- Repentant Vampire from the Odyssey block, mechanically switches from a Black to a White creature once enough of your creatures die. In terms of flavor, this is something like What a Senseless Waste of Human Life causing his moral and philosophical outlook to basically do a 180 and now he values community, the preservation of life and rule of law. He still gets stronger whenever he kills enemy creatures after the color change, though he probably feels bad about it.
- The vampires of Zendikar are savage, predatory monsters, but they also have a civilization and a culture and are an integral part of Zendikar's trade. "Few" of the great vampires are good, but it isn't ruled out either, and ultimately they allied with the rest of the plane against the Eldrazi.
- The vampires of Innistrad are very, very frequently evil, with some real monsters amongst them like Olivia Voldaren (a vampire matriarch who likes to play sadistic games with her victims). However, vampires vary greatly in their attitude towards humans, and it's not explicitly a requirement that they be evil. Some, such as the Stromkirk bloodline, prefer to cultivate human populations who are protected from every hazard of Innistrad in exchange for being used as a blood supply.
- In Age of Aquarius, vampires are moderately evil. Blood requirement: yes, it's their counterpart for both eating and sex. Conversion: must be deliberate, but not really difficult. Morality shifts: oh yes, but quite slow: until a vampire is older than a human being can hope to be, they can try to use Heroic Willpower. Super powers: the basic package only includes super strength, super dexterity and psychic power potential without actual powers (which have to be developed normally). Weaknesses: sun moderately hurts vampires who fed recently and kills hungry ones; fire and holy stuff scare the beejesus of every vampire. Appearance: depends on whether the vampire fed recently or not: in the former case, they look normal, in the latter they have exaggerated (scary and ugly) vampiric traits such as pallor and long fangs.
- Rifts vampires are pretty unfriendly.
- Blood requirement: yes, and while they don't need to kill, they need either a lot of blood dolls or a few who they can drink from and then use healing magic on, and while the latter trick works, it leads to psychological trauma and, over time, leads to health problems and death (though this may just be the conditions in the one place where it's done on an industrial scale).
- Conversion: difficult, must be done deliberately over three nights.
- Morality shift: Yes, but it depends on the kind of vampire. Master Vampires are always evil, but they had to agree to become vampires in the first place; Secondary Vampires can't be good, but they can maintain a degree of morality despite the Horror Hunger. Wild Vampires don't have enough self control to be better than amoral.
- Super powers: immortal, invulnerable to nuclear blasts (but not a wooden stake), and they may retain magic from their lives (though their memories of being living beings, along with their skills, are rather foggy).
- Weaknesses: the usual package, though with some examination of the implications involved; running water means a squirt gun can kill them, and they're not just weak against a cross, but also against a flashlight with a cross taped on it.
- Appearance: most look human with fangs, but wild vampires are generally more towards the Orlok side.
- The Vampire Kingdoms take a look at what kind of society vampires would evolve, ranging in evil from "a fairly pleasant and Affably Evil dictatorship that's better than most kingdoms on Rifts Earth, where blood donation is a trivial civic obligation" to "a kingdom where vampires factory-farm humans for their blood."
- In Tsukihime, there are two distinct groups of vampires, on opposite sides of the scale:
- True Ancestors: Blood Requirement: Sort of. They don't need it to live, but they have a very strong mental urge to drink human blood, which just gets stronger the older they get (and they're immortal). They can control themselves for a while by tying up 70% of their power to resist the urge (so the ones who don't bother are even stronger) or eventually enter an eternal sleep as a sort of voluntary living death. Conversion: Sort of. They don't create more of themselves by feeding on people, but putting their blood into humans results in the second kind of vampire (see below); True Ancestors originally tried this as a method of obtaining servants they could safely feed on, but it all Went Horribly Wrong. The True Ancestors were created by the spirit of the world, which didn't see fit to make more of them once it recognized their blood-hunger. They could breed with humans or make more of themselves, however. Morality shifts: Only if they drink human blood. It turns them into mindless killers. Presumably, they regain their senses after a while. Super powers: Lots of them, starting with Immortality. Weaknesses: None. Summary: Your Friendly Neighborhood Vampires, as long as they keep themselves from drinking blood. Of course a number of them didn't care, but the rest tried to destroy them as monsters. The last surviving True Ancestor in the world is the perfect example of their species, created with the smallest hunger possible (such that she didn't even have one until she was tricked into drinking blood). She was used as a weapon to hunt down and destroy fallen True Ancestors, but after she was "poisoned", she went temporarily insane and killed all of her own kind. Now she suppresses her thirst with the majority of her power and sleeps most of the time to avoid preying on humans, hunts the guy who ruined her, and kills any of the second kind of vampire when the opportunity presents itself.
- Dead Apostles: Blood Requirement: A lot, but not all of it needs to become from humans. They actually get more benefits of relying primarily on beasts, with a side of human blood to keep their DNA straight. In practice, however, Dead Apostles guzzle down as much as human blood possible, because humans are readily available. Conversion: Only if the vampire gives the victim some blood. Those killed but given blood become zombies, and a rare few who had sufficient magical power become vampires if they "live" long enough and drink enough blood. Morality shifts: Unclear; the one girl we see become a vampire seemed to go insane from the agony and horror of her condition, and might have been psychologically affected by the one who turned her. Apparently, left to her own devices, she can get a little better. Other than her, one of the oldest wizards and biggest good guys in the world is another reluctant vampire, though we don't know much about him. The one other recent vampire we know about actually avoids full transformation due to a number of factors and very strong willpower. Super powers: Mostly strength and regeneration. Everything else is usually just the skills one tends to develop when living for so long, or the magical talents they already had. Weaknesses: Hurt by sunlight and holy artifacts. Summary: Most of them are evil human-killing monsters.
- Dead Apostles are also vulnerable to control from their 'sire', as is clear in some of the spin-off works. The two friendlist run the risk of being evil, until the sire was out of the picture.
- In the AGD Interactive King's Quest II Fan Remake: Caldaur is played as a very unfriendly neighborhood vampire, like he is in the classic game... at first. He was turned into a vampire by the Brotherhood of the Pack, who sought to kill him and his family so they could rule Kolyma. Even in undeath, he is very devoted to his wife and granddaughter. Once Graham proves that he's been helping them, Caldaur's attitude changes significantly.
- In Touhou, vampires have a blood requirement but are otherwise like any other human or youkai in terms of moral capacity. The most prominent vampire of the series, Remilia Scarlet, claims to be a light eater so she leaves her victims alive. Mind you, her sister Flandre is a bit Ax-Crazy, having not left the basement of the Scarlet Devil Mansion for 495 years.
- There's only three examples so it's hard to say for sure this applies to them all, but vampires in Quest for Glory run the spectrum, usually determined by the people they were in life:
- Katrina, the Big Bad, is actually nearer to the friendly end of the scale. She's certainly selfish and ruthless when she needs to be, but genuinely thought she did the right thing in turning Tanya because of the belief her parents mistreated her and didn't actually love her. She specifically doesn't want to bite the Hero and wants his help and love to be by his own free will, and though she is trying to free the Dark One, Avoozl, from his prison, Katrina believes herself to be powerful enough to prevent him from destroying the world and has no interest herself in world domination. She does fear the daylight and this drives her desire to free Avoozl, but only because it leaves her unable to protect herself from anyone who wants to stake her just for being a vampire when she's forced to sleep. And it should be noted her fear of being helpless actually precedes her becoming a vampire. Because of her incredible magical power daylight just happens to be the only thing left she's helpless against. Regardless of her actions, the game takes great pains to keep the player's sympathies on her side, presenting a deeply lonely, frightened and damaged woman who looked to the Hero for help and was attracted to him because she believes in him as a true hero, not just because his skills suited her purposes at that moment, and is deeply hurt when he takes her "daughter" away and returns her to her real mother and father.
- Ad Avis, on the other hand, is quite firmly on the evil end. He's arrogant, power-hungry, treacherous and cruel. Then again, he was like that before he died, too...
- Finally, Tanya is just a typical little girl who ran away from home because she felt her mother and father didn't love her anymore after a fight. She just happens to now be a vampire. It's the Hero's job to reunite her with her parents, after which she's exactly the same person as before, just not as dead.
- Here's the writeup for the vampires of The Elder Scrolls.
- Blood Requirement: Vampires of most clans need blood to either heal themselves or keep themselves human-like. The clans of Cyrodiil and Skyrim change their appearance to more and more horrific the more they go without feeding. It is implied that their personality also becomes more bestial if they don't feed.
- Craving Type: Everyone's gotta eat. You can resist it, but you'll face the physiological consequences.
- Conversion: Here's where it's different. Vampire contagion can spread even through tiny cuts and bites, but for the first three days it's perfectly preventable; any temple or apothecary shop has the means to save the victim. So to become a vampire you have to voluntarily avoid medical attention - and that's what only evil people do.
- This is for garden variety vampirism. The greater Vampire Lord strain can only be given voluntarily or received directly from the evil god Molag Bal, creator of the vampires
- Morality Shifts: There aren't any that cannot be resisted. There are decent, Friendly Neighborhood Vampires in the setting, such as Serana, Sybille Stentor, Count Janus Hassildor. But vampirism was created by the evilest of the setting's gods, so it does tend to subtly corrupt through powers; Molag Bal also likes to bombard their brains with intimidating, will-crushing nightmares, because psychological torture, you know, makes you evil.
- Super Powers: The powers, however, are easily abusable. Common vampires can see in the darkness, enthrall people and become invisible, which can be put to a good use by a shady, stealth oriented character like a thief or assassin, but is still pretty low-key. These powers become available or stronger when the vampire forgoes feeding, however, so they are likely to be used in a bestial, hunger-crazy state of mind. The vampire lords, however... That's where the full repertoire of Bad Powers starts.
- Weaknesses: the standard set, sun, fire, holy stuff.
- Appearance: as noted above, this depends on the vampire's regularity of feeding. Vampire lords are different in that they have two forms: an attractive play face and a fearsome, One-Winged Angel-esque Game Face.
- Notes: the clans of Morrowind are a bit different. They are more or less permanently stuck in their hungry, crazy form; they are closer to the evil end of the scale than the other vampire clans, and there are no nice sympathetic vampires of these clans.
- Last Res0rt has vampires that still need blood, but the apparent weaknesses are not obvious (yet) — though having a Superpowered Evil Side certainly doesn't make them any friendlier, Jigsaw still appears to be in full control of her faculties, give or take a need to feed (or else end up having to "satisfy her urges" while sleepwalking!).
- In The Kingfisher, the progenitors of vampirekind seem inherently evil. Vampires created by them seem fully able to resist evil - unless in a blood frenzy - though most become acclimated to violence as they serve the progenitors.
- Vampires in Sam and Fuzzy lie near the top of the friendliness scale. They appear to be living beings that increase their number through reproduction, have a very low blood requirement and craving (Edwin was locked in a trailer with Devahi for days and didn't seem affected), and prefer not to bite living beings anyway since it's deeply unsanitary and they have an industry catering for them with artificial blood (another reason is that vampire bite victims do not become more vampires — instead they turn into werewolves that usually go on to pummel the offending vampire in a blind rage). Vampires also have no superpowers beyond being very hard to kill: The worst they can do is to be extremely annoying due to their eccentricities.
- In Blindsight (and its supplementary materials), vampires had an amoral predator-prey relationship with regular humans. In pre-history, a mutation on their X-chromosome caused them to split off as a human subspecies. They lost the ability to synthesize a vital protein produced exclusively by other hominids, but because they had also become sociopathic autistic omni-savants, they had little trouble obtaining this protein by other means. When vampires were brought back from extinction (to serve humanity, not To Serve Man), the protein synthesis problem was repaired, but that only eliminated the need for blood to survive. They're not quite Friendly Neighborhood Vampires, but neither are they Always Chaotic Evil.
- In Choice of the Vampire the vampires tend towards the middle of the scale, with a debate between the Shepherds (it's our duty to rule them wisely) and the Wolves (humans are prey to be ignored when not being fed upon).
- In Vamp You, they're pretty much at the far end of the 'unfriendly' scale.
- Count Duckula is standing right next to Bunnicula on the friendly end. He's a vegetarian vampire, and not in the Twilight sense: he eats actual vegetables.
- Interesting note, Bunnicula has an animated counterpart that veers somewhat strangely from the source material. One big difference? Bunnicula is outright shown to be a vampire in the animated special, while in the books it's left deliberately ambiguous as to whether or not he is or he isn't.
- It depends on how entertaining Marceline finds you or anyone else. She shifts back and forth between friendly and unfriendly sometimes, but she stays on the friendly side most of the time.