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Version 0.24: This article may not be up to date for the latest stable release of Crawl.

This article covers the player species. For the monster, see Vampire (monster). For a list of all monstrous vampires, see List of vampires.

Vampires are another form of undead, but with a peculiarity: they may become alive. A bloodless Vampire has the traits of an undead (immunity to poisons, negative energy and torment, resistant to damage from the cold), but cannot physically regenerate when monsters are in sight and are less resilient. On the other hand, a Vampire full with blood will regenerate very quickly, but will lose all undead powers. Vampires can never starve. Upon growing, they learn to transform into quick bats. Unlike other undead species, they may be mutated normally at all times.

Innate Abilities

Vampires have a base Strength of 7, Intelligence of 10 and Dexterity of 9 (before Background modifiers) and have normal base magic points.

Blood-Dependent Stats

Exsanguinate.png Revivify.png Vampires may switch between Alive and Bloodless using their natural abilities Exsanguinate and Revivify. Both abilities take 60 auts (6 turns) to complete. Additionally, when transitioning from Bloodless back to Alive, you gain one temporary rank of the Frail mutation (-10% Maximum HP); like other temporary mutations, this will eventually fade once you gain enough experience.

Alive Bloodless
Regeneration Fast None while monsters are visible
HP Modifier None -20% HP
Stealth Boost None +100 to Stealth Score
Vampiric Bite No Yes
Poison Resistance No Immune
Cold Resistance None 2
Negative Energy Resistance None 3
Rot Resistance No Yes
Torment Resistance No Yes
Bat Form No Yes
Other Transformations and Berserk Yes No

Preferred Backgrounds

Level Bonuses

  • +1 dexterity or intelligence every 5th level.
  • Average hit points.
  • +4 magic resistance per level.
  • Bat form.png Starting at level 3, vampires can change to Bat Form at will when Bloodless. This allows movement at spriggan speed (6 auts instead of 10) and increases your base dexterity by 5, but reduces all of your stats by 2 each, disables some items, melds all armour and jewellery except your amulet, prevents spellcasting, and weakens melee attacks. Wands and divine abilities may still be used while in bat form. Entering bat form costs 2 MP and provides flight for the extent of the transformation. Bat form will only end itself if you go above satiated level of hunger.
Turn into a swift-moving vampire bat, increasing evasion but substantially weakening melee attacks. The transformation drains the user's attributes.

While transformed, any equipped weapons, armour and rings are melded, and the user becomes unable to cast spells.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Vampires start with all the skills and equipment listed for their background, with the following exception:

  • Vampires start with no rations.

Difficulty of Play


Not having a real food clock allows you to play cautiously or abuse powerful spells without fear of starvation. As long as you play according to your aptitudes and take advantage of your special abilities, you can do very well without too much fuss. Bat Form is extremely helpful as a means of escape, especially early on, and it comes online at level 3 (but it is only available when Bloodless). Vampires excel at Hexes and have good magic aptitudes overall. Their Hexes proficiency coupled with their exceptional Stealth aptitude and stealth bonus when Bloodless means that Vampires are particularly well suited to the Enchanter background.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting -1 Armour -2 Spellcasting -1
Short Blades 1 Dodging 1 Conjurations -3
Long Blades 0 Stealth 5 Hexes 4
Axes -1 Shields -1 Summonings 0
Maces & Flails -2 Necromancy 1
Polearms -1 Translocations -2
Staves -2 Transmutations 1
Unarmed Combat 1
Fire Magic -2
Throwing -2 Ice Magic 0 Invocations -1
Slings -2 Air Magic 0 Evocations -1
Bows -2 Earth Magic 0
Crossbows -2 Poison Magic -1 Experience -1


Exactly how to use your variable blood states will depend on a number of things. At Bloodless, you suffer reduced health and hindered regeneration (bad) in exchange for Bat Form (good), increased stealth (depends), and several resistances (helpful, but somewhat situational).

Keep in mind that switching blood states requires a significant delay. Try to anticipate situations where you might want increased regeneration or your undead resistances and set up ahead of time, as trying to switch mid-fight may well be suicidal.

The lack of a food clock means that you can freely exploit channeling to refill MP.

Your innate escape ability, Bat Form, is usable only while Bloodless. Furthermore, it renders you mostly helpless and drains your stats each time you use it, so try not to over-rely on escaping as a bat.

You can cope with limited HP regeneration while Bloodless in a number of ways:

  • Reusable options available regardless of god choice include stabbing corpse-providing enemies, casting the Vampiric Draining spell, or wielding a vampiric-branded weapon. Unfortunately, these methods are of almost no use in corpseless areas of the game, which are dominated by unholy creatures that provide no health in this way.
  • In an emergency situation, potions can still be used.
  • Makhleb provides the most consistent healing, as killing anything has a good chance of healing a significant amount of HP. One downside of this ability for Necromancers or Summoners is that, while Makhleb acknowledges allied kills through Piety gain, he does not grant HP for such kills.

Fun Fact: Unlike most other attack options, many combat-oriented Invocations are not disabled while in Bat Form. This has sometimes been the basis of various self-imposed challenges that center around staying in Bat Form as much as possible by, for instance, worshiping Makhleb and using his destruction and summoning abilities to dispatch enemies.


  • Prior to 0.24, vampires had a hunger clock. Instead of using food like other species, they could drink blood directly from corpses (using e) or bottle the blood into potions (using c) to drink later. When at least Full, vampires would both heal and hunger quickly but lost all of their undead benefits. When Thirsty or below, they healed and hungered slowly, but could enter Bat Form and their undead traits would gradually assert themselves the closer to Bloodless they became. Additionally, entering Bat Form did not incur stat reduction.
  • Prior to 0.22, vampires could not use wands while in bat form.
  • Prior to 0.19, vampires had six distinct satiation states instead of four.
  • Prior to 0.17, vampires did not gain a stat every 5th level.
  • Prior to 0.16 vampire characters couldn't bottle up blood from the beginning.
  • Prior to 0.15 thirsty vampires received only half the effect from most potions. Also, vampires wouldn't mutate and would lose the effect of mutations at or below near bloodless.
  • Prior to 0.13, vampires could not cast Cure Poison, even when they had blood.
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Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnPalentongaSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep Dwarf
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy