Within the realm of LXG, a vampire could potentially be any vampire in the entirety of fiction. Wannabe vampire slayers have to be much more adaptable in their approach, gathering what intelligence they can beforehand or rely on the old reliable "stake through the heart".
In LXG: Post-Nuclear, a vampire must be undead and specially vulnerable to a stake through the heart. If they aren't both of these things, they aren't a vampire in this campaign.
So let's first consider what it is to be undead. For most vampires it means:
Stake Through the Heart
- +2 to basic Toughness
- +2 to recover from being Shaken
- Don't suffer additional damage from called shots
- Never suffer from Wound Modifiers
- Don't suffer from poison or disease
If in doubt, stick 'em in the anahata. The anahata is the heart chakra and all vampires are vulnerable to a stake through the heart.
What is a stake through the heart? Impalement, the offending object piercing the heart from one side to the other.
The offending object can be wood, iron, silver, steel, glass, almost anything, although most vampire slayers avoid using plastics for some reason. Ice is also unreliable for obvious reasons.
Staking the heart releases the vampire's life force in a catastrophic, and often spectacular fashion.
A called shot to the heart is -4 to hit. Most vampires must then make a Vigour roll vs the damage, taking damage normally if successful or carking it if failed. Remember the attack gets +4 to damage from being a called shot to the heart, eh.
Most vampires have invulnerability and can't be harmed by anything other than a few vulnerabilities. They can be Shaken by other attacks but never wounded.
For this reason a stake through the heart is the number one method of killing a vampire. For nameless, mob vampires, a stake to the heart is usually an insta-kill (the GM might not even bother with the Vigour roll).
Also for this reason, vampires in body armour are a perversion and subject to extermination by whatever deus ex machina wanders along. Seriously, when do vampires in fiction ever
wear body armour!?
The vampire heart is enlarged, altered by the vampiric curse to serve as a mainframe. In a living being the heart chakra is where the soul's core is carried, the brain does all the thinking, but in a vampire all conciousness is centred in the heart. There the complex matrix that comprises the "mind" is trapped and suspended. Impaling the heart side-to-side breaches the containment of this matrix and allowing the lifeforce to leak out before the vampire can repair.
Most vampires are vulnerable to direct sunlight. Those that aren't are real bastards.
If any part of a vampire's skin is exposed to direct sunlight they suffer 2d10 damage per round until dust. Armour does not protect, obviously, although head-to-toe hard armour might prevent exposure in the first place.
It must be direct sunlight, or if you're being pedantic, light from a star close enough to burn your skin on a summer's day. That's why vampires don't explode on cloudless nights or every full moon. Focused sunlight (magnifying glass) makes up in concentration for what it loses in reflection. So this weakness might better be described as a vulnerability to sunburn.
Setites are rumoured to be doubly vulnerable to sunlight, but as the League has learnt, they seem remarkably resilient to it! Wonder who started that rumour then.
All other vampire weaknesses are unreliable, but can help tip the balance in the vampire slayer's favour if they are known.
So, listed in order of how common they are:
Holy water: Vampire is instantly Fatigued and splashing them is only a touch attack! Don't know what Fatigued does? -1 to all Trait rolls. That includes Fighting, Spirit and Vigour rolls. Holy water will often work on vampires that don't even believe in a religion. Maybe the conviction burns them whether they believe in it or not?
Holy symbols: Those give an opposed test of Spirits. The vampire must win to approach the wielder of the holy symbol. Doesn't tend to work against those non-religious vampires.
Garlic: Rare and generally limited to Carpathian strains of vampire. These vampires get a -2 to all Trait rolls if garlic is within 1" (that's 2 metres)!
Running water: Even rarer a weakness than garlic, possibly signifying a necromantic source to the vampirism. When it is a weakness, it's an effective one. The vampire suffers an immediate wound if they cross running water, unless asleep in their coffin.
Fire: It's fair to say that nothing likes being set on fire, and vampires don't take kindly to it either. But anything short of a thermobaric bomb is likely to be recovered from quickly. It is
good practice to burn a vampire's remains after it's been slain, but the same might be said of any supernatural foe.
Magic/Psionics: Not a vulnerability as such.
Dhampirs and Thin Bloods
Half damned and debased, weak-blooded vampires are fresher and more squishy than other vampires. They have no invulnerability. They do not have undead abilities No. 2 or 4; they ignore only two levels of Wound Modifiers.
A stake through the heart that causes a single wound or more Incapacitates them instantly, but this effect ends immediately if the stake is removed.
(Unless the vampire would be Incapacitated normally, of course.) Don't worry about this, since dhampirs and thin bloods have no invulnerability, just take Van Helsing's advice and always decapitate and burn your staked vampire (see Finishing Move, SWEX
Talking of the Professor; his nemesis, Count Dracula, is no common variety vampire, having used necromancy to become a vampire. Few realise the Bloody Count is actually more feared as a sorcerer than as a vampire.
When expecting to encounter vampires, always keep a sword handy and a few stakes nearby, at least 30 cm long, long enough to pin 'em to the ground if need be. Only ever venture into vampire territory in daylight! Make up some water bombs out of holy water and condoms for a vampire-slaying religious dichotomy. Raiding old toy shops for water pistols isn't childish. Otherwise just a plain glass jar, filled with holy water, can be used to splash a vampire within reach. Only turn to holy water if having difficulty subduing or staking the vampire, it should not be a first resort unless it's a known weakness of that vampire.
Impale, decapitate, burn, regardless of the strain of vampire.
When you are confronted by a mob of vampires, they may well be thin bloods. Impolitely stab the nearest in the belly. If it starts leaking and looks upset, it's a thin blood. Forget about staking the heart, unleash your most powerful modern weapons. Massive damage in whatever way possible is your aim. A frag grenade into a mob of thin bloods can be effective and is one of the few times a hero can grenade a mob and not feel bad about it.
Note that a shambling undead is probably not a thin blood or vampire at all, but a zombie. Although these are more vulnerable in the ajna or "third eye" chakra (called shots to the head are +6 damage, instead of +4), they're also susceptible to massive damage.
If the sword blade's forcefully repelled from the vampire's body, leaving nary a scratch, then it's a fully signed-up, card carrying member of the vampire union. You're in trouble and what's worse, a master vampire is almost certainly nearby, in the same town, village, etc.