“I like the night life, baby!”
“This can’t be! I saw you fall into the river and dissolve!”
“You were there? Well, ah,...I’d be a fool not to carry some form of waterproofing in this land of rivers! Ah, yes, this little magic trinket I ‘obtained’ from a foolish ‘ocean mage’ I met some time back...Very useful! Now, can we get back to me tearing your little band of reavers limb from limb?” ’Count Byte’ covering up a gaff encountering a bandit gang again
'“Ah, so pretty! Here, let me help you slip into something more comfortable! Tonight you will join us and become something new and exciting!”
“...you’re going to turn me into a vampire?”
“No, we’re going to turn you into a lawyer! That’s infinitely worse! This is, after all, California!!! But, no, seriously-” A Vlade ‘chats up’ a captured and prepped prisoner about to be inducted into the ranks of Clan Shelley’s NeShemar.
“That last walking tick I offed up there...really strange...Went all glowy and sparkly before I stake-and-baked him. Even for a bloodsucker, that’s really...tacky. Hey, if -I- ever go all glitter-sparkle like that, you have my permission to explosively decommission me.” ’Baron Lancet’ , relating an encounter in the Northwest.
“Yeah, this is a Mega-Ultra-Soaker Tsunami-Two-Thousand..,the most powerful squirtgun available pre-Rifts. So powerful, it was banned for having a kick like a firehose and being able to blast through drywall. And yeah, you smell right; it’s filled with liquid sunshine with silver dust suspended in it, And I’m going to use it on you, bloodsucker. Now, don’t you feel ~special~?” ’Count Cardiak’, about to dispatch a vampire opponent.
“Ran into a nice girl last night. Real easy on the eyes, and we had a lot in common. Problem is, she was a killer android working for somebody else and I had to bail before she could see, and punch, right through me. Pity, because she had INCREDIBLE legs.” ’Arch Duke Darc’ relates his encounter with a VK-11 Vampire Killer outside Old Laredo.
- 1 Vlades
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Sensors
- 2.2 Special Systems
- 2.3 Weapons Systems
- 2.4 Options
- 2.5 Programming/Skills
- 2.6 Combat
- 3 Variants
|Original Tribe||Clan Shelley|
MDC By Location
|Main Wingspan||16 feet|
|Flying Speed||Hover to 80 mph|
|Maximum Altitute||6000 feet|
|Leaping||20 feet +10/40mph|
|Swim Speed||15 mph|
|Maximum Depth||1000 ft|
|Addition Sensor1||Amplified Hearing|
|Additional Sensor2||Molecular Analyzer|
|Additional Sensor3||PPE Sensors|
|Cybernanite Repair||4d6 MDC / 60 MDC|
|Special System 1||Photoreactive Skin|
|Special System 2||Elect Counter/Comm System|
|Primary Weapon||Retractable Finger Claws|
|Secondary Weapon||Vibro Bite|
|Third Weapon||Venom Bite|
|Fourth Weapon||Chemical Sprayer|
|Fifth Weapon||Concealed Stake/Rod Bolter|
|Sixth Weapon||Concealed Forearm Blaster|
‘Vlades’ are a Male subset developed by the fringe tribe Clan Shelley, after they assimilated several Arch-Vampires (see Damon Sutton’s “A.R.C.H.I.E. Phase 2” in Rifter #53). Queen Shelley thought that adding a few creatures of the night to her tribe would further the schlock horror theme she was developing quite well.
Vlades are all males, and tend towards darkly handsome-featured athletic builds. The most distinctive feature they share, however, are the dark bat wings on their backs, which they often drape around themselves like cloaks. They tend to wear dark clothing, especially body suits (really Shemarrian copies of Naruni thermo-kinetic ‘stealth’ suits). They retain the integral EW capabilities of their Male Shemarrian cousin-design, but have the greater build and upper body strength of the ARCH-Vampire, along with several of the disguise features of the latter. Awakened with the Ecotroz, the androids have acquired emotional sapience, extra instinctive knowledge, and even some psychic abilities, especially a predilection for sensing their prey. Of course, these fake vampires hardly fool the smarter Secondary and Master Vampires, but they often fool the feral vampires. And they’ve caused some confusion amongst would-be victims when a bunch of seeming vampires come down and save them from other vampires. Clan Shelley has learned to sometimes use the blatant appearance of the Vlades to lure vampire-hunters to areas where REAL vampires are operating more covertly, and then cunning point the extermination squads at where the blood suckers are.
Vlades are deployed as Clan Shelley’s night ops special operations agents, singly, or in ‘flying hunts’ of 6-12 members. At night they prowl far and wide, hunting monsters, driving off intruders, and doing the occasional bit of ‘wetwork’(assassinating troublemakers, kidnapping persons of interest). Personality-wise, most come off as slightly snobbish or snarky aristocratic high-browsed predators who enjoy the thrill of the hunt, particularly against supernatural predators such as (real) vampires. The fact that the upper-caste vampires are incensed by these faux-bloodsuckers just makes the ‘game’ all the sweeter to the androids. A similar frame is available for NeShemar converts (who tend to be even MORE outrageous in their behavior than the EShemar). With word of the cyborg vampires of Deathspike (Rifts Vampires, pgs 112-122) reaching Clan Shelley, Queen Shelley has considered allowing more overt modification of her Vlades, but has put off any such measures for fear of attracting too much of the WRONG sort of attention Clan Shelley’s way. If the Shemarrians should ever take a more proactive stance against the vampires and go on the offensive into the vampire lands, or Deathspike operatives should appear in the California territories, then Clan Shelley will step up their game with more powerful augmentation of the Vlades.
The Vlades come with a number of special systems and weapons to help it disguise itself as a vampire, fighting vampires and other supernatural foes.
Ideal for listening to intruders, eavesdropping on private conversations, and waiting for somebody’s unknowing cue for the Vlade’s dramatic appearance. Equal to the bionic system of same name.
Vlades have excellent senses of smell, good for sniffing out prey. Track by smell alone: 80%. Recognize scent: 84%.
Hidden in sheaths in the forehead/temples. These are typically only unsheathed when maintaining cover isn’t an issue(like when fighting in the darkness), or are concealed by the often (outrageous) hairstyles sported by many Vlades. When deployed, penalties for fighting blind are HALVED, and +1 to dodge. These are essentially the same as the standard Shemarrian antennas, only they are fully retractable.
Spying and tech exchanges by the EShemarrians have allowed them to acquire the means of producing a cyborg-scale PPE sensor system similar to the Japanese SNARLS system. Can be used to detect abnormal auras, supernatural energy, even detect shapechangers( though only 25% chance of success) Range: 200 ft. Up to 500 ft (but w/ 50% error).
Electronic Countermeasure and Communications Sensor Suite
Identical to that in the Shemarrian Males. Refer to Shemarrian Nation.
Carried over from the original ARCH-Vampire ‘bots. The skin can be set to blemish, disfigure, wrinkle, and blister upon exposure to sunlight, water, and holy symbols. In reality, none of those anti-vampire weapons do any damage to the android; it’s an application of disguise-skin reconfiguring to simulate burn damage. Vlades can consciously turn the feature on and off, using the active mode to fool others into thinking they really ARE creatures of the night.
Refer to Rifter #53 A.R.C.H.I.E. Phase 2
Bionic Cybernanite Repair Systems
A modified bionic nanotech repair system that originated with the Ecotroz Shemar, but has also been adopted by the Ghost Riders. These systems repair 4d6 MD per hour, and can repair 60 MDC before needing material stocks to convert to MD repair material.
The Vlade has a number of built in weapon systems.
Retractable Finger Claws
The hands are fitted with retracting catlike claws, allowing for raking strikes, similar in appearance to an actual vampire's claws. Silver plating is a common modification.
In place of incisors, the Vlade has a set of vibro-stilletos that give their bite megadamage armor-penetrating capability.
|Range2||1 SDC plus Chem/Drug|
In addition to vibro-fangs, the Vlade conceals smaller, hollow fangs behind them, that can be used to inject various chemicals into a victim’s bloodstream. Typically this is a sedative to incapacitate potential prisoners, but in keeping with maintaining the faux-vampire image, the Vlade can inject specialized hypnotics or mind-altering substances to ‘enthrall’ those bitten.
Special note about payload: 5 doses of up to 4 different chemicals, 20 doses total.
|Range||Spray: 50 ft long/10 ft area|
|Range2||Mist: 5-10 ft area|
The Vlade can exude a number of chemicals through ports in their skin and wings. Often these are antipersonnel chemicals like mace, or mind-altering chemicals like aerosol narcotics or persuasive synthetic pheromones. The system can also be set to dispense chemical effects like smoke or slime to simulate the effects of water/holy water, sunlight, and silver dissolving the faux-vampire (such as when ‘Baron Oneg’ got surprised in a hot tub by a team of would-be vampire hunters investigating reports). Under the right conditions, with enough smoke, the Vlade is sometimes able to convince pursuers that the faux-vampire has turned into mist-form and escaped (when the ‘bot has really concealed itself nearby, like burying itself, and gone into ‘silent running’ mode).
Payload: 50 doses of up to 5 different chemicals
Concealed Forearm Staker/Silver Bolter
|Range2||3d6 SDC/HP Wood|
|Damage||4d6 SD/HP Cold Iron|
With a palm strike, the Vlade can ram a wooden stake, or silver or cold iron bolt, into an opponent.
Concealed Forearm Blaster (Optional type)
Vlades don’t like to reveal that they’re anything other than regular undead flesh and tepid life fluid vampires, so having obvious technological weapons implants is not considered wise. However, handheld weapons can be wrenched from even robotic strength grasps and having a holdout weapon is always a good idea. The Vlade thus mounts a hidden palm blaster in one arm.
- Range: (Laser) 500 ft
- (Ion) 300 ft
- (Plasma) 200 ft
- (Particle Beam) 300 ft
- (E-Bolt) 800 ft
- Damage: (Laser) 1d6 MD per blast
- (Ion) 2d6 MD per blast
- (Plasma) 4d6 MD per blast
- (Particle Beam) 5d6 MD per blast
- (E-Bolt) 3d6 MD per shot, and -6 to dodge
Rate of Fire: ECHH
Payload: Effectively Unlimited.
The Vlades have a number of options available to them.
Optional Use of Claw/Laser Vambraces
|Range2||Laser 2000 ft|
|Damage||Claws 3d6 MD|
|Damage2||Laser 3d6 MD|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
Vlades can wear the same claw-and-laser gauntlets as Male and Female Shemarrians. This is rarely done, though, except when Clan Shelley doesn’t care if amy connection is made between the Vlades and the Shemarrians.
|Range2||10 ft area|
|Rate of Fire||ECHH|
|Payload||10 / bottle|
A bottle of flammable fluids can be concealed in one or both legs and the contents piped through small tubules up and to the hands, where they spray from ports in the fingers to be ignited. Unlike plasma projectors, the flamethrowers have a limited supply of fuel, but can also be used to spray areas of effect. Depending on the fuel, they can also do continuous burn damage. Vlades taking this option will try to disguise the effect as a pyrokinetic or magical attack of some sort.
Damage: Can use just about anything that flows and burns (some Vlades have used alcoholic spirits in a pinch) but Clan Shelley prefers Wellington-style super-napalm: 3d6 MD per burst, plus does an additional 2d6 MD per melee for 1d6 melees
Some of the fingernails can be fitted with electrically-conductive inserts that deliver a shocking and stunning touch to victims grabbed bare skin contact; 1d6 SDC, and victim must save at 16 or higher is -8 to strike, parry, and dodge, plus speed and actions/attacks per melee are reduced by half, for 2d4 melees, plus 2d4 melees per additional strike. After being struck four times, the victim may be stunned unconscious(42% chance) for 2d4 melees. Upon waking up, the victim continues to suffer the stun penalties for 1d4 minutes.
|Range2||Molecular Blade 1d6 MD|
|Damage||Vibroblades 2d6 MD|
Copying the Gargoyles of Europe, some Vlades further accessorize by adding blades to their wings. Molecular or vibroblades are available. Many find the molecular blades are better or when stealth is required or to maintain a more natural type of weapon as the vibroblades hum from the vibro-fields can be detected by some creatures with supernatural hearing.
Optional Use of Handheld Weaponry
Vlades can pick up and use just about any weapon they’re programmed/trained in, but most of them avoid carrying obvious firearms or clearly Shemarrian-made weaponry in all but the most dire circumstances, or if they’re imitating ‘civilized’ vampires(in which case, they’ll try to carry QUALITY weaponry). Projectile weapons firing silver or wooden bullets are favorites, as are plasma weapons for incinerating foes. Many like to carry gimmicked accessories like stake-dispensing silver-tipped fighting canes, silver-plated swords, or disguised TW items.
Same as for the Male Shemarrians, with the following changes:
Replace Pilot Tanks and APCs with Wardrobe and Grooming at 92% ( Vlades tend to be fairly vain and appearance-conscious). Can also learn 3 Secondary Skills at levels 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 15.
|Attacks Per Melee||8|
|Dodge||+4 / +6 flight|
|Strike||+4 ranged / +6 Shemarrian Railgun|
|Roll||+4 / +5 flight|
|Controlled SDC Punch||2d6+15|
|Full Punch||2d6 MD|
|Power Punch||4d6 MD 2 attacks|
This is a diving attack from high altitude that can allow the Vlade to reach speeds of 180 MPH on an attack. This adds +9 SDC/MD to melee attacks, and increases damage from thrown kinetic weapons such as spears by +1d4 MD. The downside is that the Vlade’s dodge bonuses are HALVED during the descent.
There’s been some talk about a FEMALE version of the Vlade, possibly as an upgrade for the ScreamQueen, and tentatively referred to as a VAmp, but as with the male version of the ScreamQueen, Queen Shelley has been reluctant to implement any changes in the existing gender-codification, especially since many of her Harpies and Sirins could be mistaken for the VAmp concept.