This article is about the playable race, for the monster see Vampire (Monster)
|1 Life steal per 120 Conversion Points|
|Complete Vicious Steel with 3 classes|
The Vampire is a special monster class, built around Life steal ability. He has completely different playing style from other classes. Though it seems to be a extreme version of worshippers of Dracul, his life steal ability is so powerful that he went to another step of power curve.
The Vampire's long list of disadvantages and his utter reliance on his lifesteal class feature, which means you absolutely must convert items early to raise it, despite the high CP cost, makes him one of the most difficult classes to play, only under Rat Monarch and maybe the Goatperson in learning curve.
The Vampire gets +1 Life steal for 120 conversion points. This is the defining ability of the Vampire. He's incredibly vulnerable to Bloodless monsters, so it's important to keep track of which monsters have this trait, and which do not.
An useful and recommended approach to playing Vampire is to cultivate "blood cows". To do this, identify high-health/low-damage enemies ( Meat Man works best) and avoid killing them. Once you are a higher level than they are, your lifesteal will vastly exceed their damage output. Because these monsters have high hit points, your attacks won't actually kill them. When you next explore, your blood cows will heal and you can repeat the process later. With enough blood cows, a Vampire can effectively eliminate his regeneration issues. In fact, you might even "regenerate" faster than a normal character would, making you a superb regen fighter. When your blood cows are all at full health, your actual health can be effectively up to few times(!) higher than your health bar and you can health-spike any higher level monster.
It is important to note that your Life steal is capped by your damage output. With a sufficient number of CP (and especially with a Vampiric Blade prepared) this can become a serious bottleneck. Because your life steal is doubled versus lower level monsters, it is capped by your damage output anyway. Preparing extra attack boosters or the Perseverance Badge can be very useful to avert this limitation, but be aware that anything which increases your attack reduces the number of enemies you can use for repeated healing. One interesting thing is, if you prepare the Vicious token, more monsters can survive your attack so you have more bloodcows to use. This is by far the only case which a character gets an advantage from VT.
You also cannot steal more life than the enemy has; this is especially notable with enemies that have Death Protection, since they will be reduced to 1 hit point between attacks. In cases like these, you should explore to allow your enemy to heal (but not too much!) so you can steal more life when you next hit them.
The Vampire is immune to poison and mana burn, so that he can use more non- Bloodless monsters as precious bloodcows, such as Serpent or Burn Viper. This ability (similar to the Crusader) gives him a special affinity with Patches the Teddy. Because he's immune to two of the "bad things" Patches can invoke, this cursed teddy bear is all carrot and no stick for a Vampire.
The Vampire cannot worship a god, he would be too powerful otherwise. Thus it is obvious that he will always win Faithless badge whenever he wins a dungeon, and you don't need to take effort to this badge for the other classes if you are going to rainbow a dungeon.
The Vampire's healing rate does not improve as he levels up, and he cannot regenerate mana unless he's at full health. While he can explore to recover at the 1st and 2nd level, it quickly becomes impractical to do so beyond this point. You will eventually need to rely primarily on your lifesteal, allowing you to conserve exploration tiles for recovering mana.
It is important to remember that lifesteal can heal you above your maximum hit points, though there is still a cap above which further healing is wasted. Your max health is only a suggestion, and you should try to stay above it when exploring (so you regenerate mana) and when beginning tough fights.
The Vampire starts with 1 Life steal and 10% Sanguine. A stack of life steal is very powerful addition to his power. 10% sanguine is flat and you have no method to improve it. Bloodpools are basically non-newable resources for spike so tapping into bloodpools too soon can be highly detrimental. In case when your health is too low and you have Slow Strike so that you cannot steal life from any monster, you can drink your health potion or some bloodpools to quickly escape from this embarassing situation.
The Vampire benefits from first strike and dodge more than than other classes due to his focus on lifesteal, making the GETINDARE glyph incredibly valuable to him. Remember that if you strike second, the enemy's damage is applied before your lifesteal and can potentially kill you. Where most classes can get one extra hit from first strike, a Vampire can get several extra hits. The Vampire can receive several more attacks from a single dodge while other classes receive just one free hit, making dodge far more powerful than any other class.
If you do not find GETINDARE, BURNDAYRAZ will be your main finishing movement. If you finish your non- Bloodless enemy with slower attack, if the enemy's too low, you cannot steal enough health. You should explore a bit of blackspaces to fully use your life steal ability, but it can be a waste of blackspaces. Finishing the monster with BURNDAYRAZ will not make this problem. Of course, BURNDAYRAZ is the basic solution for all Physical resist monsters also.
When you have enough Life steal, HALPMEH can be actually better than BURNDAYRAZ by the damage output per mana. The reason is same with that characters with high resistances prefer HALPMEH over BURNDAYRAZ.
Other non-utility glyphs are not more useful than his conversion bonus, and can be converted on sight.
The Platemail item is particularly useful to the Vampire if he cannot find the GETINDARE. Although he will always strike second, the damage reduction has a wonderful synergy with his lifesteal. A 10th level Vampire with platemail and many layers of lifesteal can effectively cancel out the first 70-90 points of damage, enough to make winning any non-vicious scenario trivial. Be careful that it is very vurnerable to curse, and keep in mind that it gives you Slow Strike debuff so you get two Cursed stack from killing a Curse Bearer popcorn.
Tower Shield or Elven Boots provides extra resistances. Damage Reduction and resistances are better than Life steal because it does not care about your damage output, but these are also disabled by curse.
Vampiric Blade is another good item to find in the shop. The effect on reducing incoming damage is only a half compared to Platemail, it's easy to hit the attack power cap, and it's largely meaningless versus lower level monsters. However, it is not disabled by curse.
Items increasing your hit points reinforces your Sanguine and ability to tank a huge hit, but their conversion value is sometimes more important. Other than these, items with high CP/cost value are good items to purchase.
Platemail is one great option to be a guild preperation. Dragon Shield can be a better item to prepare, leaving chance to find Platemail from shops. A Vampire having both items is an incarnation of Dracul. Vampiric Blade is a viable choice, but a Sensation Stone is much better if you can afford the gold cost from your kingdom.
Preparing Really Big Sword is a good option if you are going to face Physical resist monsters, especially if you also prepare Platemail or going to find one from the shop. Because the Vampire cannot worship a god, ways to erode resistances are very limited.
Also remember Patches the Teddy is very good addition to the Vampire as said earlier.
It is sometimes even worthwile to prepare Quest Items just to find the Platemail. Shop scroll is another option, just because you can convert it to gain conversion points.
Vampires could originally worship deities, but the problem was that they were absurdly overpowered with Dracul. Rather than nerfing them into the ground, the devs just changed them so they couldn't worship deities. It was the most graceful solution available to a glaring balance problem. There was a brief period where they could grab Pactmaker Pacts, though :-P