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Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd 
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Post Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
IMC the players recently discovered the fate of Leo Dilisnya, namely that he was turned into a vampire, sealed in a coffin, and hidden away under the Monastery of the Silver Threads.

My players immediately realised something that would not have occurred to me (or at least hadn't), if Leo was ever to be released, then as Strahd, his creator vampire, was still in existence then Leo would be his slave vampire.

I get that "slave" doesn't necessarily mean mindlessly obedient (in fact, if memory serves, VRGtV seems to suggest that any control is psychological) and slaves can clearly work against their creators (Dominiani-Gundar), and in all likelihood control varies from bloodline to bloodline, but still it gave me pause.

How does Strahd's control of his servitor vampires normally manifest? The examples that spring most easily to mind are his "bride" vampires from HoS/I6 who seem to act independently if unattended, but obedient if Strahd is present.

Would Strahd be aware if Leo was freed? Would a "link" between them notify Strahd if his prisoner was released from torment? If not I could imagine Leo fleeing to the shadows and beginning a covert war against Strahd, always seeking to avoid direct confrontation at all cost. If so, then would there be anything to stop Strahd following the link back to Leo and ordering him back into the hole?


Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:30 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
Regardless of whether Strahd has any vampiric or darklord ability to detect Leo's release, I would presume that he has a few magical traps and divinations lacing Leo's tomb that would alert him to any attempt to escape. Thus, unless Strahd is hibernating at the time or someone with a reality wrinkle messes with the magic, he'd probably be aware one way or another.

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Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:12 am
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
thekristhomas wrote:
IMC the players recently discovered the fate of Leo Dilisnya, namely that he was turned into a vampire, sealed in a coffin, and hidden away under the Monastery of the Silver Threads.

My players immediately realised something that would not have occurred to me (or at least hadn't), if Leo was ever to be released, then as Strahd, his creator vampire, was still in existence then Leo would be his slave vampire.


Well, Leo has not done anything to advance his power as a vampire, right? So he'd still be among the weakest of vampires, especially since he's never (or at least almost never) fed?

Quote:
I get that "slave" doesn't necessarily mean mindlessly obedient (in fact, if memory serves, VRGtV seems to suggest that any control is psychological) and slaves can clearly work against their creators (Dominiani-Gundar), and in all likelihood control varies from bloodline to bloodline, but still it gave me pause.


I...don't think Gundar sired Dominiani. Does it state somewhere that he did? Reason I say this, is that they are two different kinds of vampires. Dominiani is a cerebral vampire, and Gundar is...probably a regular one, maybe? At the very least, he's not a cerebral vampire. Generally speaking, I run with the 'they can force control, but that requires effort and concentration' rule. Unless/until a vampire kills its master or becomes strong enough to resist the mental control, its totally a possibility for the sire to exert direct control.

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How does Strahd's control of his servitor vampires normally manifest? The examples that spring most easily to mind are his "bride" vampires from HoS/I6 who seem to act independently if unattended, but obedient if Strahd is present.


I'm not sure. In the Black Box, it stated that Strahd usually killed them within a year of turning them because he did not want any of his vampires a) becoming too powerful or b) feeding to much. I assume this is because Strahd didn't want to overfeed on the population and also wanted to prevent too many vampires from giving away the game. I assume this means Strahd rarely needs to exert much effort to control his spawn, as they would all be extremely weak vampires.

Quote:
Would Strahd be aware if Leo was freed? Would a "link" between them notify Strahd if his prisoner was released from torment? If not I could imagine Leo fleeing to the shadows and beginning a covert war against Strahd, always seeking to avoid direct confrontation at all cost. If so, then would there be anything to stop Strahd following the link back to Leo and ordering him back into the hole?


I assume, if Strahd were capable a the time, that he could control Leo...unless Strahd gave up his control when he sealed him away...but Strahd strikes me as the type who'd want to be able to check in on his suffering, and would thus keep that link.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:28 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
Cromstar wrote:
I...don't think Gundar sired Dominiani. Does it state somewhere that he did?
Not exactly. Dominiani transfused blood into himself from a woman whom Gundar had been in the process of turning into a vampiric bride. So they were blood-connected that way, but not in the usual siring sense.

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Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:51 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
Gundar was a Nosferatu type, at least in 3/3.5 wasn't he? Thought one of the developers said that somewhere or it was in some sidenote somewhere.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:31 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
Cromstar wrote:
Well, Leo has not done anything to advance his power as a vampire, right? So he'd still be among the weakest of vampires, especially since he's never (or at least almost never) fed?


I'm not sure how it works in later additions but in VRGtV it says that it is age that decides the strength of the vampire, as Leo was made within a few years of Strahd himself they'd probably fall within the same age category. On the other hand according to VRGtV Leo would have starved to death by now, unless Strahd is feeding him somehow, or the DP just refuse to let him die...

Quote:
I...don't think Gundar sired Dominiani. Does it state somewhere that he did? Reason I say this, is that they are two different kinds of vampires. Dominiani is a cerebral vampire, and Gundar is...probably a regular one, maybe? At the very least, he's not a cerebral vampire. Generally speaking, I run with the 'they can force control, but that requires effort and concentration' rule. Unless/until a vampire kills its master or becomes strong enough to resist the mental control, its totally a possibility for the sire to exert direct control.


What Gonzoron said, with the addendum that it is explicitly stated in Bleak House that this "not usual" bloodline did allow Gundar control over Dominiani as if he was offspring, and that Dominiani was able to resist Gundars control at the vital moment that allowed the heroes to kill Gundar


Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:20 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
I recently read the Fair Barovia article and a major part of the adventure was the return of Leo, and in that his "animal" form was similar to a manticore, which struck me as pretty cool, but also seemed unlikely as he was a spawn of Strahd who has a wolf and bat form.

Now, given that Leo was an early victim of Strahd, it seems likely that Leo would be amongst Strahd's first brood, the strongest and most unique of his offspring, could it be that others in Strahd's first brood have "monster" forms?


Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:49 am
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
thekristhomas wrote:
IMC the players recently discovered the fate of Leo Dilisnya, namely that he was turned into a vampire, sealed in a coffin, and hidden away under the Monastery of the Silver Threads.

My players immediately realised something that would not have occurred to me (or at least hadn't), if Leo was ever to be released, then as Strahd, his creator vampire, was still in existence then Leo would be his slave vampire.

According to Van Richten's Monster Hunter Compendium Volume I p.80 (and Van Richten's Guide to Vampires) describes the direct control a progenitor vampire has over its "offspring" is merely temporary (a few years). Beyond that, the progenitor must intimidate and control its slaves through traditional means. (p.75-76)

Quote:
I get that "slave" doesn't necessarily mean mindlessly obedient (in fact, if memory serves, VRGtV seems to suggest that any control is psychological) and slaves can clearly work against their creators (Dominiani-Gundar), and in all likelihood control varies from bloodline to bloodline, but still it gave me pause.

How does Strahd's control of his servitor vampires normally manifest? The examples that spring most easily to mind are his "bride" vampires from HoS/I6 who seem to act independently if unattended, but obedient if Strahd is present.

This is also discussed in VRMCI. Basically, after a certain time period of a offspring's existence (but before the offspring's complete self-will),a progenitor vampire must be physically present to instruct its offspring, whom react to orders as if they were effected by a charm monster spell (but allowed saving throws for dangerous orders.)


Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:38 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
The Lesser Evil wrote:
thekristhomas wrote:
IMC the players recently discovered the fate of Leo Dilisnya, namely that he was turned into a vampire, sealed in a coffin, and hidden away under the Monastery of the Silver Threads.

My players immediately realised something that would not have occurred to me (or at least hadn't), if Leo was ever to be released, then as Strahd, his creator vampire, was still in existence then Leo would be his slave vampire.

According to Van Richten's Monster Hunter Compendium Volume I p.80 (and Van Richten's Guide to Vampires) describes the direct control a progenitor vampire has over its "offspring" is merely temporary (a few years). Beyond that, the progenitor must intimidate and control its slaves through traditional means. (p.75-76)

Quote:
I get that "slave" doesn't necessarily mean mindlessly obedient (in fact, if memory serves, VRGtV seems to suggest that any control is psychological) and slaves can clearly work against their creators (Dominiani-Gundar), and in all likelihood control varies from bloodline to bloodline, but still it gave me pause.

How does Strahd's control of his servitor vampires normally manifest? The examples that spring most easily to mind are his "bride" vampires from HoS/I6 who seem to act independently if unattended, but obedient if Strahd is present.

This is also discussed in VRMCI. Basically, after a certain time period of a offspring's existence (but before the offspring's complete self-will),a progenitor vampire must be physically present to instruct its offspring, whom react to orders as if they were effected by a charm monster spell (but allowed saving throws for dangerous orders.)


So am I right in saying that in your opinion, any hold over Leo that Strahd might have had would be worn of by now?


Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:55 am
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
The thing is Leo was a powerful clever old mortal before being turned. He was the leader of the Dilisnya clan. The stats from Gaz 1 do not do him justice.

And now he's a ancient vampire that is probably stark raving mad. Give him the Blood Lust salient ability. Though i can see Leo coming back to his old brilliance as leader of the Dilisnyas.

IMHO the stats in Gaz 1 are off, he's not a cleric but a more powerful mage. I would give him Ari, Rog or Wizard levels instead of the cleric ones (perhaps even Assassin or Deceiver). Here's a thread where Leo Dilisnya was discussed quite thoroughly

Also check out the Leo Dilisnya Revisited thread for an ecxellent 3.5 build by Rock and some discussion.

Here's Leo's entry in the Known Vampires thread analyzing Mangrums timeline info.

And finally Nemesio's PF stats for Leo though he is IMO missing that Leo was a middling powerful wizard when he met Strahd the final time. The account in I Strahd has him cast spells and use a staff.


Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:02 am
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
thekristhomas wrote:

So am I right in saying that in your opinion, any hold over Leo that Strahd might have had would be worn of by now?


If you take those tidbits in the 2e Van Richten's Guide to Vampires stuff as enacted in your game, yes. I think it'd work for a better story as well. (OTOH, 3e is a little bit more definitive on the relationship between master and spawn via the description of its "Create Spawn" ability".)


Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:24 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
I haven't read I, Strahd, but my opinion is that stacking a whole bunch of class levels that don't go with each other (e.g. aristocrat or cleric for a primarily wizard character) usually doesn't represent the CR of what a single-classed NPC would have. (Which is why I'm not very fond of giving Strahd a bunch of superfluous fighter levels). Therefore I would recommend making Leo into something that incorporates the class levels to with each other, such as rogue/wizard/arcane trickster if you wanted to play up his craft skills aspect or wizard/cleric/mystic theurge if you wanted to emphasize spellcasting versatility.

If you're playing PF, there's no reason to have more than one level of aristocrat. (and even the need for including that is debatable since most of the skills from aristocrat are covered by a combination of rogue and wizard.)


Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:08 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
I've been thinking about Leo as a vampiric offspring of Strahd, and trying to think of other examples of his spawn to see if there are any commonalities.

Firstly, is Lyssa von Zarovich of Strahd's bloodline? I get that they are related but I'm not sure whether it's clear as to whether she contracted vampirism from one of his offspring (I'm assuming he wouldn't have turned her himself given their dislike for each other)

Next, Strahd's "brides", in both I6 and I10 Strahd is depicted as having three female vampire companions, now I know that VRGtV says that vampires can only have one bride, but I've always imagined Strahd as an exception to this (YMMV) trouble with this is, brides aren't standard offspring, so I'm rulng them out (for the moment)

But in I10 there is another vampire, who is not one of Strahd's brides, but probably one of the brides' offspring, making Strahd his "grand-sire", and inspection shows us that he is just a standard vampire.

However, I10 was written long before the variable vampires of later products, so what was I expecting?


Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:50 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
The Giamarga wrote:

And finally Nemesio's PF stats for Leo though he is IMO missing that Leo was a middling powerful wizard when he met Strahd the final time. The account in I Strahd has him cast spells and use a staff.


Did he? I don't seem to remember that at all! o.o' Not sure how I missed that.

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Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:40 pm
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Post Re: Leo Dilisnya, slave of Strahd
Well he could have been UMDing the staff or other items but he had a rather wizardish vibe going, and held strahdwith bands of force. Just skim the book till you get to the passage...


Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:32 pm
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