I'm interested in when this constraint from vampire lore was first integrated into Dungeons and Dragons mechanics: has it been there since the first D&D vampire?
Vampires are... unable to cross running water, although they can be carried over it while resting in their coffins or aboard a ship.
The garlic legends I'm passingly familiar with, mirrors, crucifixes and inability to enter uninvited also. When was the first D&D vampire unable to cross running water? Is there some sort of explanation in any game-related material apart from "that's the way it is?"
This came up during a pre-made adventure. In this game a vampire was entombed in an underground complex. After failing to defeat the vampire in his own tomb (I know, my characters rocked) his next move as per the module was escape out the front. Unfortunately for the author they constructed the adventure so that we had to cross a stream before we even entered the complex. In the eyes of a 3.5 (possibly earlier?) vampire this means nigh-certain containment.
My characters destroyed his coffin and steal his grave dirt (leading to abuse of the phrase "I've got a jar of dirt") and the DM had him dominate people across the stream to dig him out from above the cavern, effectively sidestepping that quirky rule. After a few months, though, I haven't been able to puzzle out why that weakness even exists.
Is there any official discussion of the implications of vampire weaknesses in D&D and how to work with them?
Gamer Forge Response:
Because Role-Playing Game, that's why. DCR says:
1. Since always. Vampires were included in the original box set in 1974. The commonly held stories were used as part of the D&D mythos from the start. It's about commonality. The term "vampire" is so ubiquitous with our culture, the image so ingrained in the collective education of the last century, that "vampire" has a history book all it's own. If D&D were to suddenly change the definition for their game, nobody would want to play it. Part of the allure of fighting Dracula is the feeling of heroism that comes from defeating Dracula. If Dracula were to suddenly resemble Chewbacca, then the prospect of defeating him isn't cool anymore.
2. You have to quantify the challenge to put it in context with a game. Defeating or otherwise successfully navigating a vampire must be worth something, or worst case scenario, failing to defeat the challenge must be worth something as well.
3. The idea of vampires having limits isn't something invented for the game. The reason a vampire has weaknesses is so we can contain it within our own imaginations. If we envision an embodiment of pure evil and temptation and it has no weakness, it crosses the boundaries into a psychosis. It becomes something that in our own minds can't be stopped. We become terrified of our own idea. Not cool.
In just about every edition of D&D (save for 4e), Paladins are required to be Lawful Good. If they stray from that, they are completely stripped of their powers. This means that evil deities can't grant powers to paladins or if they do, they go into a new class (e.g. Anti-Paladin).
My question is: why? Why was it designed that paladins have to have such a strict alignment? It seems to me that it unnecessarily pigeonholes the character types and doesn't make sense in D&D world. After all, couldn't evil deities have holy warriors?
I also don't understand the mechanical decision about why was it designed that an evil Paladin has to be a different class. Wouldn't this create a problem if you wanted to redeem an evil Paladin into a good one? This never really made sense to me until 4e where they just dropped the Lawful Good restriction entirely and let you have a Paladin of Vecna (or have that Paladin of Vecna become a redeemed Paladin of Pelor without having to switch classes).
Gamer Forge Response:
Another Paladin question!?!?!?! Are you guys trying to stump us with this subject, or is it legit confusing? DCR mercifully says:
1. The alignment isn't strict. The tenants of the deity are. "Lawful" can (and does) indicate adherence to a code. "Good" indicates that the code is good in nature. This also should not have a bearing on the personality of the Paladin in question. Put the two together, and you shouldn't get "lawful stick-up-the-butt".
2. The Paladin becomes an "Anti-Paladin" or "Blackguard" prestige class if and when they deviate from the deity's tenants or in some way lose favor with their deity. Remember, a "paladin" is an exemplar of the deity's aspects or "domains". Part of the code of conduct should include advancement and perfection of those aspects. Similar to the aspects of a "monk".
3. But in 4th edition D&D, the "Blackguard" becomes a character class from 1st level. The "good" thing isn't really a factor. You can find it in Heroes of Shadow supplement book. In all honesty, it's not very good. Seriously, it's soooo not worth it.
Can a sleeping character hide at all? If they do so, do they roll Hide when they go to sleep (for hiding their sleeping spot, etc.), or do they make an opposed roll every time someone attempts to spot them?
Gamer Forge Response:
When trying to grab a few extra winks, DCR says:
1. Finally, an easy one. You can attempt to hide yourself before you go to sleep. That's called camouflage. But you can't do it while you're sleeping, as it is something that you must concentrate on.
Bonus XP: The Paladin and Monk have a good deal in common. Indeed, the two could learn more than one thing from each other. The Monk follows an ideal along the lines of "pursue to perfection", hence the physical training regimen. Also, think of concepts like "mind over matter" and apply them to the Paladin. While you're at it, why not create your next character as a Monk, but call yourself a Paladin. Now you can see the similarities, we hope. Also, take a trip back in time by watching Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee. A good guy following a code of honor while fulfilling the tenants of his order and questing? Yep. That's a paladin, all right!