I thought that by living my once idyllic mountainside home, I would be ridden of the evil that tainted such a land. Unfortunately, this world hosts countless kinds of unholy creatures that suffer and bring suffering much like they do. – Passage from a bloodstained journal found on the victim of a vampire.
Vampires are damned creatures of undeath. Countless stories are told of people that committed unspeakable taboos and were cursed to walk as the living dead in retribution. These soulless monstrosities thrive on the misery of others, selfishly leeching life from mortals in an endless quest to prolong their accursed existence. The castle dwelling Lord of the Night is but one of many vampiric creatures that blight the countless reaches of reality. All sorts of sinister things wait, waiting for a mortal to steal life from.
The Asabosam is a stealthy creature that resides in trees and plays with its victims like a predatory cat. This creature has hook like feet, allowing it to swing down and strike its victims while still hanging from its perched tree. Its teeth is said to be as strong as metal itself, making it able to pierce through countless protective armors with ease. However, it can attempt to blend in with humans better than other vampires, save for it’s obvious curved hook-like feet.
The Astral Vampire is a cosmically infused nightmare that is more aberration than undead. The raw essence of realms beyond has a tendency to corrupt creatures distant from such planes. This creature is one of the results of such exposure. Instead of draining blood, they drain life force through the mind and afflict mental trauma. Their methods are also dealt through their sickening gaze. These beings looks like heavily mutated humans, displaying physical traits associated with the most unfathomable abominations imaginable.
The Jiang Shi looks like a stiff corpse, unable to move in normal manner beyond a hop like movement. While they don’t drain the victim’s blood, they take their very life essence instead. Much of the time, these horrors were created by accident. Having a soul trapped within a corpse after death or through resurrection risks creating a Jiang Shi. These angry dead desire nothing more than consume life as they arise to hunt under the night’s sky.
The Nosferatu is a lurker in darkness, so hideous that the sheer terror could very well stun them in place. The Nosferatu is no ordinary vampire. Some slowly become this way through eons of existence, while others morph themselves through dark sorceries that further defile their undead bodies. No matter the truth, they are scarred and driven further away from the humanity they had once had. They become alien, monstrous and sometimes feral as a result.
The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who looks like a little red man with a bulbous head and suckers upon his fingers and toes. But beware, this cursed being seeks to drain and feast upon their victim before regurgitating their mutated corpse into another one of them, which the fiend then animates.
The following variants are available to the Vampire entry in the Monster Manual (page 297) as well as the Vampyr. In some cases, they can be used for the Vampire Spawn entry in the Monster Manual (page 298) as well.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I figured I’d cover a classic monster for my theme this time, the Vampire! However, I thought I’d make a whole bunch of variants that sample inspiration from all over the world as well as popular culture. Here’s a handful of monster templates to change up your vampires, giving them an assortment of new abilities. Enjoy.