Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Terror By Night!

With Halloween just one day away, I thought I'd share an ICONS character conversion I did for the classic Villains & Vigilantes adventure module TERROR BY NIGHT written by Steve Crow and published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1985. This adventure takes place in a circus over the course of three nights and has a supernatural bent, perfect for that Halloween gaming session. Based on Steve Crow's original design and discussion in TERROR BY NIGHT, this villainous vampire is a little different from the vampires I previously featured here at JUST ADD HEROES in that it adheres to the vision Bram Stoker had of the creature in his novel Dracula, so much of the Hollywood take on vampires is absent. For example, Baron Von Heinrich can walk in sunlight (although his powers no longer function) and a stake through the heart will kill him.

Baron Victor Von Heinrich
ALIAS: Thomas P. Prest 

Prowess  6
Coordination  5
Strength  7
Intellect  5
Awareness  4
Willpower  6

Stamina  13
Determination  *

  • Animals - bats, rats and wolves
  • Deception Expert
  • History
  • Occult
  • Philosophy
  • Religion
  • Stealth Master
  • Alternate Form 7 (Gaseous) - Mist
  • Animal Control 2 (Mammals) - bats, rats and wolves
  • Immortality 
  • Life Drain 4 
  • Life Support 10 
  • Mind Control 7 
  • Resistance 5 (Physical Damage)
  • Wall Crawling 2 
  • Transformation 5 (Only particular type of shape) - Bat and Wolf
    • Shrinking
  • Vampire (Undead)
  • Identity : Millionaire Circus Owner and Ringmaster
  • Old World Sense of Honor
  • Must drink blood to survive (Stamina only regained through Life Drain)
  • Vampiric Weaknesses: Destroyed by beheading or a stake through the heart (negates Immortality) but a stake that does NOT penetrate the heart causes an automatic Stun result instead that lasts until the stake is removed; silver weapons cause normal damage (negates Resistance); sunlight negates all powers; repelled by garlic and crosses
Thank you for reading, and Happy Halloween!


  1. It LOOKS like a lot of powers, but I have the feeling that in practice it wouldn't be too much.

  2. Yeah, it is a lot of powers and a powerful build. I thought about dropping Wall Crawling 2 because the writeup in Terror By Night doesn't mention it or have something similar, but left it in because Steven Crow's intro emphasizes how he wanted the character to be true to Stoker's novel without the Hollywood extras. I've also tweaked the Vampiric Weaknesses to include an automatic stun that lasts until the stake is removed for stakes that miss or do not pierce the heart. That jibes with the explanation in Teror By Night why Von Heinrich was able to survive immobilized by a stake through the heart for over 40 years in his background story. You have to hit the heart to destroy a vampire. At any rate, the PCs will have to exercise due diligence when they do their research into vampire lore or find out the hard way!

  3. I like the way it is portrayed, but I still find it disconcerting when vampires are given the possibility to walk in direct sunlight, even losing powers. Somehow, it doesn't seem right to me (even if Stoker said so). Blame it to Mark Rhein-Hagen to that sort of mythos I have in my mind.

    Good build, as usual, Joe!