D&D players have the opportunity to live their best vampiric lives (half-life) with the Dhampir lineage.
The Dhampir was first introduced in the Gothic Lineages Unearthed Arcana, released in January 2021. Hexbloods and Hexbloods were also officially included in the 5e fold in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft February 2021.
Here are the words of Van Richter about the Dhampir.
Dhampirs are able to hold onto life in both the realms of the living and dead. However, they are constantly tested by vicious hungers. Dhampirs have the opportunity to enjoy the vampire’s immortal prowess through their connections with the undead. This includes increased speed, darkvision and a life-draining bit.
Many dhampirs have unique insight into the nature and motivations of the undead. They are adventurers or monster hunters. They often have deep personal reasons. Others seek to inflict pain and see monsters as personifications or manifestations of their own hunger. Others seek revenge on those who made them a dhampir. Others embrace the solitude of hunting, trying to keep away from anyone who might tempt them.
Official Van Richter’s Dhampir version comes with a hunger (determined using a roll on the d6 with delicacies ranging in blood to dreams on it), an origin (we’re sure that your DM will allow some creative liberty here if there’s nothing on the d8 tables), and some really stunning traits.
Ability score increases: One score can be increased by two, one by one or three. This is the same as the usual ability scores increases that were introduced in Tasha for different races.
LanguagesCommon plus one additional language of your and your DMs’ collective choice
Creature typeHumanoid. (The UA version had both Humanoid as wellundead type, but this was clearly fixed before publishing).
Size: Small or Medium. Player’s choice.
Speed: A brisk 35 ft.
Ancestral Legacy You can keep the following elements if you replace a race by using this lineage: Any skill proficiencies and any climbing, flying or swimming speed that you have gained from it. You can choose to keep these elements, or you can choose to replace a race with this lineage at character creation.
Darkvision: Always nice
Deathless Nature You don’t need to breathe so you can skip the scuba suit.
Spider Climb: You can climb at a speed comparable to walking, and you can even walk on ceilings and walls once you reach the third level.
Vampiric Bitter: Fangs count towards natural weapons you are proficient in. Add CON mod to attack or damage rolls, dealing 1d4+mods. Advantage if your hit points are less than half.
If you bite something that isn’t a construct or undead creature, you can either gain hit points equal to the damage or a bonus to your next ability or attack roll equal in amount.
After a long rest, you can enable bites equal to proficiency bonus.
What makes the Dhampir so special?
You can choose it along with its Gothic Lineage friends at character creation or switch to it during the campaign.
Obviously players would have to chat with their DMs about the specifics/allowances, so don’t go showing up to your next game with a completely altered character that can now walk on walls, but it is pretty cool that the Lineages offer a way to change up a character without throwing it out all together.
A Curse of Straud campaign would make the Dhampir an interesting character. In this scenario, a party member is swarmed with vampire spawn and left behind by the party. Only to reappear half-human, half-vampire with unknown allegiances.
What are some suggested builds?
Anyone who has read my ramblings on the Dispatch will know that we are not in the business to build min/max buildings. However, I will tell you that monks, rogues and fighters would benefit from the faster than average movement speed and ability walk on walls and ceilings.
The ceiling shots could provide interesting angles for long range archers, while the Monks could take advantage of the fact these bites can be used as melee weapons.
Although we find it funny, a vampiric bard playing only sad songs and an emo aesthetic is kind of hilarious. So, as with all things D&D, make whatever you think will be most enjoyable for your party.
We don’t blame you if someone comes to the next session with a Deadward Sullen Dhampir character.