Vryloka

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Vryloka Necromancer.jpg
Vryloka Paladin.jpg

The Vryloka was a Dhampyre-like race introduced in the 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons via the "Heroes of Shadows" sourcebook. In a nutshell, vrylokas descend from the noble families of a now centuries-lost kingdom, who sought immortality and didn't quite get it the way they expected - rather like the Shadar-Kai. The families who became the first vryloka were visited by a mysterious entity known only as the Red Witch, who offered to grant them teh vitality and some semblance of the power of the vampire without requiring the curse of undeath.

The vrylokas agreed, and found the Red Witch lived up to her promise. In fact, "vryloka" is said to have been the name of the very first family to accept the pledge.

Only drawback was... the peasantry wasn't quite happy when they found out their nobles had all turned into living vampires, even if they didn't need to suck blood, and the resulting revolution got so out of hand it destroyed the entire kingdom, scattering the vrylokas across the world.

Vrylokas look human, at least, more human than Shadar-Kai or Shades do: they uniformly have pale skin (ranging from "pale pink" to "chalky white") and eyes of either dark gray or blue that turn red when the vryloka is excited. Most vrylokas have red-shaded hair, from deep scarlet to strawberry blonde, but rare individuals have jet-black hair. All vryloka canines are slightly sharper and elongated compared to the norm, but they don't have fangs.

As a people, vrylokas are driven by passion; they feel emotion strongly and believe in following their heart. Of course, as they live some 300 years and remain vital up to the end, ennui is a problem; your typical vryloka adventurer is as likely to be a jaded soul looking for something to make them feel again as they are to be a Sensate-esque hedonist out to see the wonders of the world. They are also huge believers in the philosophy that "family comes first", and this is one of the reasons why the race runs its secret shadowy "games" of control and dominance against each other. Of course, as the vryloka believe kinship is a thing that can be earned and not one restricted to blood, this makes them amongst the most potentially loyal party members one could hope to adventure with.

Vrylokas inherit both the spiritual strength and charm of the vampire (+2 Charisma), as well as either inhuman strength (+2 Strength) or unnatural agility (+2 Dexterity). They move with blazing speed (7 square base movement) and although they can't see in pitch-darkness, their senses allow them to cope better with dim light than humans (low-light vision), in addition to being hard to sneak up on (+2 Perception). They also possess a natural affinity for moving stealthily (+2 Stealth). In fact, their vampiric heritage grants them quite a lot of power; not only are they resistant to necrotic energy, they have the ability to temporarily boost their own vitality when they injure or slay an enemy. Indeed, they can forsake their class-based Utility powers and instead take racial powers that further draw upon this vampiric heritage; Unnatural Vitality allows them to gain a surge in defensive abilities when they kill an opponent, Bloodwolf Form lets them take on the form of a monstrous vampiric wolf, Crimson Wings lets them assume the form of a flying predatory animal, the Vryloka Bloodbond lets them bring an ally back to life - and potentially turn a human into a new vryloka, and the Crimson Death lets them enter a murder-fueled berserker state. But their human heritage is valuable too; in the mundane, it's easier for them to pass as human, but more potently, their blending of life and undeath means they can selectively choose which side of their heritage to use when it's advantageous, when targeted by magics that affect living and undead creatures separately.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Races
Player's Handbook 1: Dragonborn - Dwarf - Eladrin - Elf
Half-Elf - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
Player's Handbook 2: Deva - Gnome - Goliath - Half-Orc - Shifter
Player's Handbook 3: Githzerai - Minotaur - Shardmind - Wilden
Monster Manual 1: Bugbear - Doppelganger - Githyanki
Goblin - Hobgoblin - Kobold - Orc
Monster Manual 2: Bullywug - Duergar - Kenku
Dragon Magazine: Gnoll - Shadar-kai
Heroes of Shadow: Revenant - Shade - Vryloka
Heroes of the Feywild Hamadryad - Pixie - Satyr
Eberron's Player's Guide: Changeling - Kalashtar - Warforged
The Manual of the Planes: Bladeling
Dark Sun Campaign Setting: Mul - Thri-kreen
Forgotten Realms Player's Guide: Drow - Genasi