Monstrous Physique — Castlevania’s Dracula

Okay, before we get started, please watch this video first. Okay, now open this video. Done? Great! The atmosphere is set. Last week’s announcement of the addition of Simon and Richter Belmont to the Smash Brothers ranks has left me with a desire for Castlevania. I’ve been listening to the music for days now and I can’t stop thinking about these games. Additionally, the trailer for the second season of the Castlevania show also has me excited. I needed an outlet and Monstrous Physique is it! This week, I’ve decided to stat up the big, bad boss of the Castlevania series, Dracula. Let’s take a look!

Dracula                                               CR 23
XP 614,400
NE Medium undead (augmented)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +57
DEFENSE
AC 42, touch 21, flat-footed 31 (+10 Dex, +1 dodge, +21 natural)
hp 595 (34d8+442); fast healing 10
Fort +23, Ref +21, Will +27
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +8; DR 15/epic; Immune fire, poison, undead traits; Resist acid 30, cold 30, electricity 30, sonic 20; SR 34
OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft., fly 100 ft. (perfect)
Melee bite +34 (2d6+8/19–20), 2 claws +33 (1d8+8 plus grab), slam +33 (1d4+8)
Special Attacks blood drain, children of the night, create spawn, dark inferno, dominate (DC 39), energy drain (2 levels, DC 39), hellfire, hellish teleportation, soul steal
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 34th; concentration +46)
At will—fireball (DC 25)
3/day—meteor swarm (DC 31)
STATISTICS
Str 27, Dex 30, Con —, Int 22, Wis 27, Cha 35
Base Atk +25; CMB +33; CMD 44
Feats Alertness[B], Bleeding Critical, Blind-Fight, Blinding Critical, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes[B], Critical Focus, Deceitful, Dodge[B], Great Fortitude, Hover, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative[B], Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes[B], Lunge, Power Attack, Stunning Critical, Toughness[B], Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +51 (+59 when jumping), Bluff +61, Diplomacy +49, Disguise +14, Fly +59, Intimidate +49, Knowledge (arcana) +43, Knowledge (religion) +43, Perception +57, Sense Motive +57, Spellcraft +43; Racial Modifiers +8 Bluff, +8 Perception, +8 Sense Motive, +8 Stealth
Languages Common; tongues
SQ dark lord, immortality, gaseous form, shadowless, shape change (advanced giant dire bat or advanced giant worg; polymorph), spider climb
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Dark Inferno (Su) Dracula can summon a powerful ball of magma as a standard action. The ball travels in a 120 foot line. Creatures in the ball’s path must succeed at a DC 39 Reflex save or take 10d12 points of damage. Half of this damage is fire damage, while the other half is unholy damage that cannot be reduced. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Dark Lord (Ex) Dracula is suffused with vile power, making him into the ideal vampire. He does not have the typical vampire aversions or weaknesses, such as to sunlight. He gains immunity to fire and poison. He also gains acid, cold, and electricity resistance 30 and sonic resistance 20. Any spells or effects that Dracula uses that would deal fire damage instead deal half fire damage and the other half is unholy damage that cannot be reduced.
Hellfire (Su) Dracula can summon a pillar of hellish flame as a move action. He can call a pillar to a space within 100 feet. The pillar rises to a height of 20 feet. All creatures that enter that space take 20d6 points of damage. Half of this damage is fire damage, while the other half is unholy damage that cannot be reduced. A creature already in the space when the pillar is summoned can attempt a DC 39 Reflex save to halve the damage. The pillar remains for 1 round. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Hellish Teleportation (Su) Dracula can use a pillar of hellfire to teleport himself as a swift action. This functions as dimension door (CL 34) except Dracula can act normally after the movement. He leaves a pillar of hellfire in the space he leaves.
Immortality (Ex) Dracula is never truly destroyed. Dracula does not enter a gaseous form when reduced to 0 hit points and is instead destroyed. He automatically resurrects after one century, but it is possible to restore him earlier via dark means.
Soul Steal (Su) Once per day as a full-round action, Dracula can attempt to feed on the soul energy of creatures around him. All creatures within 60 feet must succeed at a DC 39 Fortitude save or take 15d10 points of negative energy damage. Dracula regains a number of hit points equal to 1/2 the total damage dealt by this attack. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Originally a human, Dracula was a man stricken by despair after the death of his wife. This despair twisted into an anger at the heavens for taking his wife. He grew resentful and soon sought a way to become immortal to prove that the heavens did not have the final say in earthly matters. After some time, he acquired a powerful relic that transformed him into a vampire and bound Death itself to his service. Thus, Dracula, Lord of the Vampires was born. Since then, he has taken command of an army of sinister creatures and built his eternal fortress named Castlevania. This terrifying structure is home to his army and it is here where Dracula enacts his unholy acts against the world. Although many stand against Dracula and some have even defeated him in combat, his power is so great that he revives 100 years after his destruction. Dracula commands great, dark powers unrivaled by the mages of the world. Only extremely skilled vampire hunters or groups of skilled combatants have been able to survive in Castlevania, let alone destroy Dracula. For now, Dracula seems to be a constant in the world and the forces of good must be content with only temporarily putting an end to Dracula’s evil.

Monstrous Origins

Hoo, boy! This one’s a toughie. In terms of abilities and effects, Dracula is actually very simple. I made a CR 20-ish set of stats and then threw most of the vampire template on it. This gave a super powerful set of stats and I’m okay with this. He has extremely high hit points and DCs for his CR. Additionally, his damage reduction and resistances make him really tough to take down. I feel that this is appropriate. Dracula is totally an “end of the campaign” kind of fight. This should be a fight that pushes PCs to the edge, or even ends in the death of the party. In terms of his abilities, I decided to keep most of his iconic attacks here. He has his teleportation which will grow old very quickly for the PCs. I added the column of flame to mimic the animation of the teleportation from particular games. I also gave him the ability to call flames at will. I intentionally made that ability only require a move action so he could call two pillars if he liked. Dracula’s main attacks in the games are either a trio of fireballs or a set of molten orbs that he fires from his cape. I kept things simple for the fireball and just gave him the spell. The orb was also a pretty simple addition. Soul steal is a reference to an attack from Symphony of the Night and I felt it was too awesome to not include. Finally, I had to make sure that all of this fire damage was going to work for old Vlad. At very high levels, it is not uncommon for players to have full immunity to fire damage. Thus, I added the clause that all fire attacks deal at least some irreducable damage.

That’s it for this week! If you end up introducing Dracula into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at KnowDirection@hotmail.com.

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova the cat, and walks with Heather the wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos.

1 Comment

  1. Really digging the vampire love in here. I have no idea how I’d ever use this guy as an encounter, but now you’ve got me all excited about throwing him at a group of PCs.

    Hmm… maybe if I run a level 20 1-shot on Halloween…

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