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What happens to a vampire who's been beheaded?

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  • What happens to a vampire who's been beheaded?

    What happens to a vampire who's been beheaded? If a vampire without fortitude took eight damage in a beheading and failed to soak, it's in torpor, does this mean it can spend blood to heal?

    Just to make this clear, if I use a great axe to behead a vampire who doesn't have fortitude while said vampire lies on the chopping block (in torpor) and I, the executioner, do 8 lethal damage which the vampire totally fails to soak, have I chopped off it's head?

    Can it heal if its head has been removed?

    Does the head remain in torpor?

    If the vampire can heal, how does this happen? Does it regrow a new body? Does the head fly back on to the neck?

    If I do 7 *aggravated* damage to the neck in a beheading, does the head stay on or does it get chopped off? I haven't killed the vampire technically but 7 damage is a lot to do to someone's neck, especially if they have no fortitude.

    Further, what happens to a head if a vampire is staked and in torpor and their head is removed?

    I will gladly accept suggestions.

    This is a legitimate question by the way, not some kind of joke, I could really use this kind of information as a storyteller and I'm a little hesitant to just try and make this shit up.

  • #2
    I always took beheading as destruction of the character - final death. In the vampire genre, that's pretty much how you kill the bad guys.

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    • #3
      Unless they're extremely old Cappadocians or full-on antediluvians whose powers allow them to come back from being chopped to bits, anyway.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
        I always took beheading as destruction of the character - final death. In the vampire genre, that's pretty much how you kill the bad guys.
        "You thought that you were performing an execution, but it was really I, DIO!"

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        • #5
          This is something that has come up more than once in games I've played in. Technically speaking lethal damage (despite what its name would suggest) cannot actually kill a vampire, just torpor them. Now, every vampire has a bite that does aggravated damage so executing a torpid vampire is pretty easily accomplished that way, as is setting them on fire. That being said it is a little bit silly to think that you can hack away at the ruin of their neck all day and never get anywhere, so several games I've seen have instituted a "killing blow" rule whereby having reduced a vampire to torpor you may declare your next attack a killing blow and off them in the manner of your choosing. Alternatively I have also seen a house rule used where a certain number of additional damage levels inflicted past the point of torpor will automatically kill.

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          • #6
            We Play beheaded vampires as able to survive, but cant regrow the missing body/head.

            Head can talk though, if fed blood.

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            • #7


              I mean, the same thing that happens to most people who get beheaded, I'd expect.


              When one is accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression.

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              • #8
                Literally in the book.
                Originally posted by V20, page 284, under "Final Death"
                An incapacitated or torpid vampire may also be sent to Final Death through massive amounts of bashing or lethal trauma (decapitated, trapped under a 10-ton rock, fed into a wood chipper, caught at ground zero of an explosion, crushed by deep-sea pressure, etc.). Typically, this damage must be enough to destroy or dismember the corpse beyond repair.
                Emphasis mine.

                Cheers!


                If you don't use an Oxford comma, I feel bad for you, son,
                'Cuz I got ninety-nine problems, but clarity ain't one.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
                  This is something that has come up more than once in games I've played in. Technically speaking lethal damage (despite what its name would suggest) cannot actually kill a vampire, just torpor them. Now, every vampire has a bite that does aggravated damage so executing a torpid vampire is pretty easily accomplished that way, as is setting them on fire. That being said it is a little bit silly to think that you can hack away at the ruin of their neck all day and never get anywhere, so several games I've seen have instituted a "killing blow" rule whereby having reduced a vampire to torpor you may declare your next attack a killing blow and off them in the manner of your choosing. Alternatively I have also seen a house rule used where a certain number of additional damage levels inflicted past the point of torpor will automatically kill.
                  Actually, V20 and revised edition both state lethal damage can kill a vampire, so can bashing damage, it just takes a lot.

                  You have to be taken to incapacitated with bashing, then you go through the health level boxes a second time to take you to incapacitated with lethal (remembering you still get to soak all this and you take half bashing damage after the soak roll).

                  Then after you are at incapacitated with lethal, one aggravated damage will kill you. If you take more damage at that point, you change the lethal points to aggravated and have to go all the way down the health level boxes AGAIN (remembering you still get to soak all this and you take half bashing damage after the soak roll and that one lethal or two bashing will then turn the lethal boxes into aggravated boxes).

                  Once you have taken all the health levels to aggravated, the vampire has entered torpor and 2 more bashing or 1 more lethal damage (after the commensurate soak roll) will kill the vampire completely.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Caitiff Primogen View Post
                    ...That being said it is a little bit silly to think that you can hack away at the ruin of their neck all day and never get anywhere, so several games I've seen have instituted a "killing blow" rule whereby having reduced a vampire to torpor you may declare your next attack a killing blow and off them in the manner of your choosing. Alternatively I have also seen a house rule used where a certain number of additional damage levels inflicted past the point of torpor will automatically kill.
                    Ayup. This is definitively a place where the ST needs to use mediated judgment, and a good helping of common and story sense on the side, as befits character(s), their generation, and discipline set. Let's be frank: we're dealing with a system not designed to handle the oft-gruesome specificities players and ST's may want to go into when effecting physical trauma upon others, which means judgment calls can and will apply.

                    Case in point, let's discuss a hypothetical scenario: a vampire blows a nice, giant, gaping hole in another vampire's chest with a Barrett .50 caliber rifle. Setting aside the utter absurdity baked into the rules that a rifle powerful enough its power is measured not through ballistics gelatin tests, but rather its capability to penetrate millimeters of rolled homogeneous armor equivalent, does bashing by default. That's gonna be, by the rules, a'torporing (as well it should).

                    The shooter then walks up and gives stumpy a cute little nibble on the shoulder? FINAL DEATH, MOTHAFUCKA!

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                    • #11
                      Doesn't damage roll over into the next tier of damage if their health track is full? Someone with 3 Lethal damage and 4 bashing gets punched for 2 bashing, suddenly they're sporting 5 lethal and 2 bashing


                      When one is accustomed to privilege, equality seems like oppression.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Zennis View Post
                        What happens to a vampire who's been beheaded? If a vampire without fortitude took eight damage in a beheading and failed to soak, it's in torpor, does this mean it can spend blood to heal?

                        Just to make this clear, if I use a great axe to behead a vampire who doesn't have fortitude while said vampire lies on the chopping block (in torpor) and I, the executioner, do 8 lethal damage which the vampire totally fails to soak, have I chopped off it's head?
                        Health boxes are an abstraction of your actual health. If you didn't fill all the health boxes while trying to chop off a vampire's head, then you didn't chop off a vampire's head. Try again.

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                        • #13
                          Generally damage is an abstract concept for the purposes of making combat easier to handle and hopefully more fair; it is not something that should be used to track directly to all possible injuries. If you have a torpid vampire on a chopping block, and you are using an axe to chop off it's head, you aren't in a combat scenario and the damage system should most likely not even be used. Much like if you had a mortal tied to a chair and stuck a gun in their mouth and pulled the trigger, they are most likely just dead: no need for rolls, or dice.

                          Also as Storyteller, remember flow is more important than strict implementation of the damage system. I remember a game where a werewolf player decided to finish off a minion with a kick rather than a claw attack, which led to a two hour argument about whether the enemy had died or not, when it really was just not worth the discussion.

                          If a vampire is beheaded, they are dead for good. That's been the case for a few editions now. A few rule-sets/house-rules allow for called shots to the head or neck to be upgraded for damage, but I believe that is only an option.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                            Health boxes are an abstraction of your actual health. If you didn't fill all the health boxes while trying to chop off a vampire's head, then you didn't chop off a vampire's head. Try again.
                            Really, there is no reason to even have them roll, unless you just want to emphasize the brutal nature of trying to hack through a neck with an edged weapon.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wolfgar View Post

                              Really, there is no reason to even have them roll, unless you just want to emphasize the brutal nature of trying to hack through a neck with an edged weapon.
                              There can be a number of reasons. You may need to count time until the cavalry arrives and saves the vampire. Vampire may heal on his turns, which would further delay the execution. A vampire with good stamina and fortitude can also just be immune to being beheaded, especially if the executioner is weak and unlucky.

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