I want to do *something* with the Vampire - multiclass or hybrid?

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I've got a character concept that I want to flesh out, and I'm in the "planning" stages currently. I'm wanting to basically do something with Vampires. I don't like the class as a whole in particular, but I don't really care either way whether I go with Hybrid or Multiclass. However, it's not so simple as to grab a twf ranger and strap on the vampire multiclass. That thing breaks your surges and requires a second feat investment just to make up for the difference. However, it could still be decent...  right? Maybe? I hope... D:

So, does anyone have any suggestions or pointers in regards to optimizing the vampire hybrid or multiclass, or should I drop the concept altogether?  
Vrylocka race ?
Or Vampiric Heritage feat.  That way you don't actually lose anything.
Just go Vryloka or Vamp herritage. Yeah, being a vampire is being a vampire, and being a vryloka or a vamp herritage isn't quite as "cool" as being a vampire vampire.

The class itself is middling at best, and totally abominable at worst. Ignore it and do soemthing else, most of the time.
If you're going to either multiclass or Hybrid, I'd recommend the latter: It actually has just about every important/meaningful Vampire class feature, and there are a number of classes that work perfectly well by themselves in their hybrid form. Plus, you know, it doesn't take up your multiclass.

That said... play a Vryloka. 
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I played a striker that did MC vamp.  I eventually retrained away because the cost of the feats didn't do enough for my striker role.

Being a vamp is about party healing efficiency.  I think its pretty useful from levels 1-5 where you don't have a lot of healing but of marginal benefit after 5 when usually there is a decent bit of healing scattered around.  If you have a battle standard of healing and a high CHA, you could go for a long time without any "real healing" at low levels.

If you are planning a striker, try making a vamp and non-vamp build  and compare DPR/KPR and think about what tactically a vamp brings you.  If its net negative, it still might be fun enough to warrant.  In my case I retrained because I didn't like the math (our party kept getting beaten up and we all started focusing hard on being better at our core functions).  I also came to feel that having the leaders and off leaders spend their feats on party durability was a better investment for the whole party.  In practice I was having a lot more fun after retraining away from Vamp - regen while bloodied was the part I liked, and its not an active enough benefit to make being a striker more fun.  

All that said, I'd go Vryloka based on what you have said so far.   
You could always ge half-elf, diletante into vampire and MC that way. Whatever class you are, your vampire power now keys off a useful stat and you are elegible for the xxxxVampire feats. You don't get any of the other advantages/disadvantages of being a vampire.

For example you could be a berserker that gains 3 surges per encounter this way.
Just go Vryloka or Vamp herritage. Yeah, being a vampire is being a vampire, and being a vryloka or a vamp herritage isn't quite as "cool" as being a vampire vampire.


Or you could take all three, so you're a Half-Vampire Half-Vampire Vampire.

Then multiclass an arcane class and take the Archlich ED to be a HV HV Vampire Lich.(undeadception)
That said... play a Vryloka. 



Everyone keeps saying this. Vryloka were a trash race last time I looked at them. Did they get some feat support or something, or is it just that vampire naturally fits with their ability score bonuses/reduced healing surges?
thats the easiest way to get the flavor without burning a bunch of feats / nerfing your surges
That said... play a Vryloka. 



Everyone keeps saying this. Vryloka were a trash race last time I looked at them. Did they get some feat support or something, or is it just that vampire naturally fits with their ability score bonuses/reduced healing surges?


Vrylokas are acually not that bad. The surge value penalty when bloodied is only really a problem at heroic tier, they have a very flexible racial power, and that stats aren't that bad either.
That said... play a Vryloka. 



Everyone keeps saying this. Vryloka were a trash race last time I looked at them. Did they get some feat support or something, or is it just that vampire naturally fits with their ability score bonuses/reduced healing surges?


Vrylokas are acually not that bad. The surge value penalty when bloodied is only really a problem at heroic tier, they have a very flexible racial power, and that stats aren't that bad either.

Interesting, they must have been errata'd. It used to be that they simply had 1 less healing surge. Still doesn't make them "good" though. :P
That said... play a Vryloka. 



Everyone keeps saying this. Vryloka were a trash race last time I looked at them. Did they get some feat support or something, or is it just that vampire naturally fits with their ability score bonuses/reduced healing surges?


Vrylokas are acually not that bad. The surge value penalty when bloodied is only really a problem at heroic tier, they have a very flexible racial power, and that stats aren't that bad either.

Interesting, they must have been errata'd. It used to be that they simply had 1 less healing surge. Still doesn't make them "good" though. :P



You're thinking of the Shade. Vryloka are quite nice, have a good racial encounter, some good power swaps, and very flexible stats. Plenty of reasons to play one, even if the Op choice is always Revenant. 
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
In the case of a Vryloka, it's usually Dragonborn actually since they're the only 2 Str/Cha races, if you're playing a Vryloka as a Dex/Cha race then you are "doing it wrong" (meaning optimizing, not D&D). There are not "plenty of reasons" to play a Vryloka. There are 2, and the main one is not even a good one - "I want to play a Vampire" (the other is "I'm playing a Str/Cha class, hate the Dragonborn, and don't realize that at least 3 other races are actually better anyway). None of their power swaps are good, there's 10 other Cha/Dex races, most of which are better, so their "flexible" stats don't mean anything.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
There is of course - one more, way out there, OMGBBQ idea for you to consider if you really really want to play a vampire.

Why dont you just play the vampire.  So it isnt all that good as a class.  So what.  You are still playing what you want to play.  If you wanted the 'bestest ultimatest' class, you wouldnt have had to make this thread in the first place, so since you want to play a vampire - I am just saying that - you know - you could go ahead and play one.
Aaaaaaannnnnnd there's the post catering to the uncreative loons over at CharDev. I bet you'll even insist that "that's what the OP was asking for", but really, if that's what the OP wanted, there's a Vampire Handbook.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
That said... play a Vryloka. 

Everyone keeps saying this. Vryloka were a trash race last time I looked at them. Did they get some feat support or something, or is it just that vampire naturally fits with their ability score bonuses/reduced healing surges?

I'm not sure you get what people are recommending - not "play a Vryloka Vampire," but rather "play a Vryloka *anyclassbutvampire* instead of a vampire."

No, they're not the best race, but they can perform decently with a lot of classes.  The primary benefit here is that you can RP or whatever as a vampire without actually playing the horrible vampire(class).
I would look to go hybrid with a martial or primal class, MC into Vampire and pick up either Martial Vampire or Primal Vampire. Given a 3 combat day, you ought to end up with around 5 extra surges, regenerating to half+healing to full after most combats without spending additional surges. Plus holy symbol/ki focus. At a cost of 2 feats, it is workable in terms of optimization.

The only downside is Cha tends to be a little difficult. I'd look to a Fighter|Sorcerer who puts a 20 into Str/16 into Cha, dumps Con, and puts a hybrid feat into Fighter Armor. Auspicious Birth of course.

Essentially, you end up with a base AC of 20 once you get the Hide+Shield+Str. Harlequin Style is very viable with Brash Strike as you use a weapon that doesn't add Con to damage for all the obvious reasons.

So here's the rough feat progression:
1: Hybrid Talent for Fighter Armor - surges suck, but you do have a 20 AC.
2: Harlequin Style feat
4: MC Vampire + retrain Harlequin Style feat into Martial Vampire - sure, you don't have a to-hit feat, but you did start off with a 20 Str and now have enough survivability to last a while.
6: Expertise
8: Harlequin Style
 
I would look to go hybrid with a martial or primal class, MC into Vampire and pick up either Martial Vampire or Primal Vampire. Given a 3 combat day, you ought to end up with around 5 extra surges, regenerating to half+healing to full after most combats without spending additional surges. Plus holy symbol/ki focus. At a cost of 2 feats, it is workable in terms of optimization.

The only downside is Cha tends to be a little difficult. I'd look to a Fighter|Sorcerer who puts a 20 into Str/16 into Cha, dumps Con, and puts a hybrid feat into Fighter Armor. Auspicious Birth of course.

Essentially, you end up with a base AC of 20 once you get the Hide+Shield+Str. Harlequin Style is very viable with Brash Strike as you use a weapon that doesn't add Con to damage for all the obvious reasons.

So here's the rough feat progression:
1: Hybrid Talent for Fighter Armor - surges suck, but you do have a 20 AC.
2: Harlequin Style feat
4: MC Vampire + retrain Harlequin Style feat into Martial Vampire - sure, you don't have a to-hit feat, but you did start off with a 20 Str and now have enough survivability to last a while.
6: Expertise
8: Harlequin Style
 



Wow, that's really helpful. It's not *exactly* what I had in mind, (which is probably a good thing, considering what I had in mind was terrible) but it does get me somewhere. Any particular reason you'd pick sorcerer? 

Unrelated: Martial seems *significantly* better than Primal. It's uncommon to spend more than two healing surges per encounter at my table. This might actually fit in my game, except that it doesn't add significant amounts to the character. D:

If that character is actually successful and isn't blatantly a hindrance on the rest of the party, your DM is being patronizing or moronic.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
If that character is actually successful and isn't blatantly a hindrance on the rest of the party, your DM is being patronizing or moronic.



And if we keep up this particular teleology, a party not made up of unkillable Revenants is not worth playing. It's never hard for the DM to kill the entire party, even a party of 8 Op'd 3.5 Wizards with Wish prepaired. That isn't helpful. It's never helpful.

Dude asked us to Op within specific constraints. MwaO did just that, after the long assurances that the Vampire "sucks" and is completely unplayable in the narrowly defined circut of competative tournament play. The idea that a well armored, self-healing character with an enforcable mark is a hindrance to the party simply because... why exactly? Would you offer some real constructive criticism?
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
SpoilersBelow, there is a difference between being charopped to the max (I do not know these "narrowly defined circuits of competative tournament play", though personally, I would like to know more), being above decent, or being a drain on party resources.


If you take the vrylocka race as a starting point, that leaves the OP with plenty of class choices. See what scatterbrain wrote in post 6, though what the caveat that I think in heroic a straight up vampire can do well, particularly if he takes care of his own healing needs.

OP: You're still in the planning stages, and you have some fluff idea about being a bloodsucker, but if you can give us some more details of what your thinking about and planning for, we might be able to help you better. For example: what level, what setting, what sort of role do you like to perform at, do you know what any of the other players are bringing, etc.
SpoilersBelow: False.

"Don't play something that forces your party and DM to cater to your character" is not remotely the same thing as "Don't play something that isn't the best" and you will never see me suggesting the later.

There's already entire threads devoted to the suckage of the Vampire class as well as the Vampire race. I know you won't forgive my snobishness, but I'm not going to detail the mechanical downsides of it every time it comes up, if someone cannot see how having 2 healing surges (4 with your feat tax) is quite possibly the worst decision you can make as a defender then I really can't help any more than telling a blind person not to walk into traffic. It has absolutely nothing to do with the "circut of competative tournament play" (which doesn't exist). I can tolerate Shades because the loss of 1 Surge is meerly inane, but 8+? Get outta here.

It is, from a design standpoint, something that shouldn't exist. Vampire is a Background, a Theme, a Feat Chain, possibly even a Paragon Path (Psychic Vampire!) or Epic Destiny (Vampire Lord, Son of the Dragon, etc.) But beyond that, it is a selfish, party destroying, entirely non-heroic character choice. Explanations in reverse order. You want to play Blade? Fine, Vryloka exists. You want to play D or Alucard? Those aren't heroic characters and thus aren't fit for the D&D system and neither of them work as the Vampire class anyway. "I'm a Vampire" now every other PC has to fit into their character backstory a reason why their Adventurer isn't going to happily give you a sunbath, after all, Undead are evil abominations that we get to kill and take stuff from. Oh, you say you're going to hide it, and they'll never find out? A. Hah! B. What you actually mean is, you're going to get the DM to help you hide it, which is more work for them, which is spotlight hogging. Or maybe you think inter-party conflict makes for more interesting games? No, it makes everyone hate the creator of the conflict, you're not Dr. House who gets tolerated because he's amazing, you're "That Guy" who is only potentially tolerated because (for whatever reason) no one wants to sit down and tell you how much of a complete **** you are. And that's all above and beyond the massive work the DM is going to have to do so that your existence doesn't turn the party into Undead Harboring Pariahs, and intentionally avoiding the surprisingly large number of creatures, hazards, skill challenge penalties, and environments that intentionally drain healing surges from PCs as part of the game design.

Playing a Vampire only works in LFR where nearly everything is softballed and you can metagame to avoid mods that are going to suck for you, or in a game that is now about you; in this later case, you are a horrible person for not having played any of the (some stupidly high number thanks to Hybrids) classes that aren't walking Plot Devices.

This was far more text from me than the Vampire is worth.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
SpoilersBelow, there is a difference between being charopped to the max (I do not know these "narrowly defined circuits of competative tournament play", though personally, I would like to know more), being above decent, or being a drain on party resources.

If you take the vrylocka race as a starting point, that leaves the OP with plenty of class choices. See what scatterbrain wrote in post 6, though what the caveat that I think in heroic a straight up vampire can do well, particularly if he takes care of his own healing needs.



Absolutely, I agree. That was my point, in fact.

However, once one gets on the "do not play or use these rules ever" treadmill, it's hard to see why one would bother playing anything but the logical endpoint of that mindset. There is usually a tacit understanding that the DM ought to build the campaign around the characters he or she has, and for the characters to not make one another or the DM feel bad. This mindset doesn't exist in the "Clear as much as you can in 120 minutes" style of play at Cons and some people's official weekly public Dungeon Delve with all the annoymous guys they have to play with.

A refusal to acknowledge that people wanting to play this particular thing, and already know that it is bad when compared to other things, but wish to do the best they can with said thing inspite of that as a valid style of play or optimization is at best ignoring what has been already stated, and at worst just plain mean. Svendj has a thread of benchmark hitting Bladesinger builds, for gods' sake! And for some people just hitting the benchmarks and trusting in their ability to effectivly play in the non-tactical miniatures combat part of the game works just fine. Personally, my group enters combat so infrequently that it rarely matters who is Op'd for it. But that's my group, not yours, and I fully admit that it is a unique situation.

And this, of course, will inevitably elicit a reponse of "no, seriously, just refluff something because you're dragging the party down" or "get your narrativist BS out of my combat simulation game and go play Doctor Who or Dogs in the Vineyard."
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
SpoilersBelow: False.

"Don't play something that forces your party and DM to cater to your character" is not remotely the same thing as "Don't play something that isn't the best" and you will never see me suggesting the later.

There's already entire threads devoted to the suckage of the Vampire class as well as the Vampire race. I know you won't forgive my snobishness, but I'm not going to detail the mechanical downsides of it every time it comes up, if someone cannot see how having 2 healing surges (4 with your feat tax) is quite possibly the worst decision you can make as a defender then I really can't help any more than telling a blind person not to walk into traffic. It has absolutely nothing to do with the "circut of competative tournament play" (which doesn't exist). I can tolerate Shades because the loss of 1 Surge is meerly inane, but 8+? Get outta here.

It is, from a design standpoint, something that shouldn't exist. Vampire is a Background, a Theme, a Feat Chain, possibly even a Paragon Path (Psychic Vampire!) or Epic Destiny (Vampire Lord, Son of the Dragon, etc.) But beyond that, it is a selfish, party destroying, entirely non-heroic character choice. Explanations in reverse order. You want to play Blade? Fine, Vryloka exists. You want to play D or Alucard? Those aren't heroic characters and thus aren't fit for the D&D system and neither of them work as the Vampire class anyway. "I'm a Vampire" now every other PC has to fit into their character backstory a reason why their Adventurer isn't going to happily give you a sunbath, after all, Undead are evil abominations that we get to kill and take stuff from. Oh, you say you're going to hide it, and they'll never find out? A. Hah! B. What you actually mean is, you're going to get the DM to help you hide it, which is more work for them, which is spotlight hogging. Or maybe you think inter-party conflict makes for more interesting games? No, it makes everyone hate the creator of the conflict, you're not Dr. House who gets tolerated because he's amazing, you're "That Guy" who is only potentially tolerated because (for whatever reason) no one wants to sit down and tell you how much of a complete **** you are. And that's all above and beyond the massive work the DM is going to have to do so that your existence doesn't turn the party into Undead Harboring Pariahs, and intentionally avoiding the surprisingly large number of creatures, hazards, skill challenge penalties, and environments that intentionally drain healing surges from PCs as part of the game design.

Playing a Vampire only works in LFR where nearly everything is softballed and you can metagame to avoid mods that are going to suck for you, or in a game that is now about you; in this later case, you are a horrible person for not having played any of the (some stupidly high number thanks to Hybrids) classes that aren't walking Plot Devices.

This was far more text from me than the Vampire is worth.



I'll fully give you that the 2 or 4 surges is a dangerous gamble for a defender, even with the Vampire's ability to gain surges. The only way to play this is to try to keep your defenses high enough that your HP can last the entire fight with your bloodied regen so you won't need to spend a surge at all, and will be back to full at the end thanks to the one you gained from using an encounter power. This is dangerous, and this is a huge gamble that can blow up in your face. Not an optimal situation to be in versus having a regular compliment of healing surges and using the regular healing rules. No question there.

But the other half of your argument is very problematic: are you also in favor of the Gnoll, Goblin, Kobold, Drow, Svirfneblin, Kenku, Half-Orc, Half-Elf (in Dragonlance or any campaign set in High Elven lands), Minotaur, Changeling, Shifter (the last two in Eberron, definitely), Revenant, Shadar-Kai, Shade, and Tiefling (in Forgotten Realms, and perhaps others) being banned from play due to racial prejudices that might exist in other player's backstory or in the society in which the game is set?
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
You forgot to add Orcs, Satyr, Hamadryad, Pixie, and Hengeyokai to that list, you could even add Human to that list (Feywild/Evermeet campaign). No, that's not what I said, though about half of those I disagree with being PC races. Since you're employing multiple fallacies against me, again, I don't really consider this worth my time, so ...

DON'T play characters that FORCE other players and the DM to compensate for your existence else unnecessary Conflict occurs. This applies to all aspects of every cooperative game, not just "D&D Class selection", it's called Wheaton's Law.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
1:  Vampire/Vampire Noble MC paladin for Hero's Poise + Resilient Focus + Amulet of Physcial Resolve.  (Possibly use other save boosters and get divine vampire / be a deva)

Now go stand in the sun.  (remember, at the end of your turn, be weakend THEN save).


2:  Load up on revenant cheese.  Not something you normally would take to a game, but if you take an overpowered race with an underpowed class, you'll end up moderatly optimzed. 

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Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Wait, can you pick Vryloka Soul with the Revenant race?
Just checked, yep. So Revanent(Vryloka) Vampire with Vampire bloodline multiclassing into an arcane class for Archlich.

Undead Half-Vampire Half-Vampire Vampire Lich. Thats Undead 5 times over. Any other ideas?
I'll fully give you that the 2 or 4 surges is a dangerous gamble for a defender, even with the Vampire's ability to gain surges. The only way to play this is to try to keep your defenses high enough that your HP can last the entire fight with your bloodied regen so you won't need to spend a surge at all, and will be back to full at the end thanks to the one you gained from using an encounter power. This is dangerous, and this is a huge gamble that can blow up in your face. Not an optimal situation to be in versus having a regular compliment of healing surges and using the regular healing rules. No question there.



Assuming you have Martial Vampire(and this build never lacks it as a Vampire), I think the danger is really overstated.  The build has a primary stat for # of hp and AC in light armor as well as Hide Armor+Heavy Shield. In the combats where you expect to have to spend crazy numbers of healing surges are also the ones where the non-vampires start losing so many surges that they need to consider taking an extended rest.

And let's not forget the signature move of such a build - Flame Spiral+Come And Get It with AP. And an empty holy symbol slot for Symbol of Victory because you're a vampire. Throw down a quadruple attack almost every combat in close burst 2 and there'll be a reason you need to be spending healing surges.
A refusal to acknowledge that people wanting to play this particular thing, and already know that it is bad when compared to other things, but wish to do the best they can with said thing inspite of that as a valid style of play or optimization is at best ignoring what has been already stated, and at worst just plain mean. Svendj has a thread of benchmark hitting Bladesinger builds, for gods' sake!

First of all, in no way are we refusing to acknowledge what the OP wants to play.  90% of the people who come here looking for vampire advice are only interested in the fluff of being a vampire.  It's totally appropriate for us to say, "Well the vampire class is pretty bad, but you can play as a vampire these other ways, which turn out to be more effective."  This needs to be said at the least for other people reading the forum.  The OP even said he doesn't really like the class, so "don't play the class" is a pretty logical response.

I'm all for optimizing within constraints, but when the constraints are totally fluff-based, you need to take another look.  Even just hybrid or MC  vampire is going to toss up several feats that you must take to function well even in a non-op game.  Compatible powers will be similarly restricted, so that most of your heroic-tier choices are made the moment you decide to include the vampire class.  In comparison, using Vryloka to cover your vampireness allows you to further customize your character by picking pretty much any role, feats, powers or other additional concept-building choices you want (or your party might need).  It's just hands-down the better choice *if* your only requirement is that you want to "be a vampire."

It's interesting that you bring up the bladesinger, as it was designed to be a controller rather than a striker.  If there were any kind of solid controller benchmarks, there is little question that bladesinger would horribly fail to reach them, especially later in the game.  And it only becomes a passable striker though the same all-out charopping that you seem to dislike.  Sven wasn't "bucking the trend" to make a suboptimal character that fit a concept - he was using every trick in the book to squeeze best performance out of a new and different class chassis.

Many of the more recent, "different" jobs simply fail at what they were designed to do, at least outside of heroic tier.  Can they be fun to try out in a one-shot?  Definitely.  But if someone comes here asking for an optimal character for an ongoing campaign, anyone with a good knowledge of the system and a conscience is going to steer them away from these gimmick classes.  Anything else would be against the whole point of this forum.

Now if from an optimization perspective you like to tinker with Vamp mechanics, that's another story, and people have given some answers to cover that base as well.  The OP is free to choose and disregard advice as he chooses.
You forgot to add Orcs, Satyr, Hamadryad, Pixie, and Hengeyokai to that list, you could even add Human to that list (Feywild/Evermeet campaign). No, that's not what I said, though about half of those I disagree with being PC races. Since you're employing multiple fallacies against me, again, I don't really consider this worth my time, so ...

DON'T play characters that FORCE other players and the DM to compensate for your existence else unnecessary Conflict occurs. This applies to all aspects of every cooperative game, not just "D&D Class selection", it's called Wheaton's Law.



Which fallacy? You said
 "I'm a Vampire" now every other PC has to fit into their character backstory a reason why their Adventurer isn't going to happily give you a sunbath, after all, Undead are evil abominations that we get to kill and take stuff from.



How is that any different from
"I'm a Drow" now every other PC has to fit into their character backstory a reason why their Adventurer isn't going to happily murder you, after all, Dark Elves are evil abominations that we get to kill and take stuff from."

And the Drow are a suggested PC race with full rules for play right in HotFK, so it's not like they're some weirdo 3rd party rules race that you have to work at finding and getting approved. 

Applying Wheaton's Law here would be the other players not harping so severely on backstory that they can't actually play the game, or using it as a source of enjoyable Rp conflict wherein both characters have a chance to grow and expand their narrow minds. The friendship between Gimli and Legolas, for example.

And is it really so awful for the DM to have to come up with something for player X to do while the others are in town because he can't buy a hat of disguise or train bluff or something? Can the presense of an "evil PC race" guy in the party to be used as a barganing chip during a diplomacy or intimidate challange? ("Those guys have a Drow on their side! Clearly their leader is a bad-ass if he can keep one of those in check"). Could the great heroes of the town have the "one good vampire" on their side, who's seeking redemption for part sins and has a reputation as a beloved hero in spite of his "racial handicap"? It's not like you really have to bend over backwards to come up with something; it's no harder than working in "Joe the Barbarian is from the Northern Hordes, so he knows about snow and surviving winters but doesn't know how to order food at a restaurant" or "Tim the Halfling is a wanted criminal in Shreveport, and he'll have some trouble if he ever goes back."
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
it's no harder than working in "Joe the Barbarian is from the Northern Hordes, so he knows about snow and surviving winters but doesn't know how to order food at a restaurant" or "Tim the Halfling is a wanted criminal in Shreveport, and he'll have some trouble if he ever goes back."

In a typical D&D world, a closer analogy to a vampire might be "Tim the Halfling is a notorious serial killer and is wanted everywhere." 

I do agree that drow and other evil-leaning PCs can cause similar issues. But just because the shark was jumped before doesn't make it any more acceptable to some folks. Personally I like building worlds around the PCs, or at least getting ideas from them, but I wouldn't expect this from every DM.
Scatterbrained, I do agree with you for the most part. It stinks to high heaven that there are clear mechanical defiencies in the system when it comes to certain classes that make them very difficult to play, and not a good idea in a high op game. I am fully of the opinion that the Vampire, Bladesinger, Seeker, Cavalier, Assassin, and Binder (and perhaps others, but certainly these) need to be brought up to par with the Wizard, Fighter, and Cleric. That there are only 1 or 2 ways to play each class, usually relying on feat combos that have little to do with the intent of the class or on very specific readings of class traits, is terribly unfortunate. I am all for errata, new powers, and the like to make them easier to play, and allow for as wide a variance in builds as the better classes possess. Even houserules, if everyone agrees to them.

I am also not opposed to high op games. 4thcore is quite fun if everyone knows what they're doing and goes into it with proper expectations. In fact, that latter clause applies to pretty much all character building ever. If the DM says he's doing an Underdark campaign so we all have to play Drow, I either have to play a Drow or come up with a good refluff. A buddy of mine did this with a Thri-Kreen, played as a multiarmed Drow mutation, blessed by Lolth with the abilites of a spider. Another refluffed a half-elf, into a half drow in this case, who was the bastard son of one of the other PCs. I am all for using the rules to support PC concept as best you can. And the forum seems to be in pretty bold agreement that you Op for your table, and that there are some builds that just shouldn't see play in a friendly home game. Similarly, if you're in an unfamiliar group, you'd do well to be optimized and self-sufficent, because you don't know if you can rely on the party or not.

But if your DM says "Bring something 7th level" and those are the only instructions you've got, it's probably a good idea for everyone to bang out what the party is and what the backstory dimensions are before you start play. And if he or she wants to say "You know, it's going to be dangerous playing this build, based on (plot element X)" and the PC is still gung ho, let them lay in the bed they've made. Unless the player him or herself is a huge jerk about it, it'll probably be okay, and you can probably work something out. And if the player is a huge jerk, they're probably going to be a big jerk whether or not they play a Vampire.

I fully agree that you should suit the adventure to the PCs, rather than trying to railroad something when you have the wrong party. And asking a PC to not play something is fair, too. But passive aggressively abusing a player simply because you don't like Dwarves or something is just bad DMing. Similarly, claiming that the DM is either patronizing or being a moron for not killing a Vampire PC outright is really not very nice. It is never hard to kill an entire party. The DM is always being a little patronizing by designing solutions for the adventure, by dropping hints or clues about future developments or monster weaknesses for a tough fight ahead.

The OP asked for *Something* with the Vampire, either multiclass or hybrid. Mellored and MwaO gave him just that.  The best form of Vampire using nonrefluffed rules is probably a Grab fighter with the Vampire Heritage feat, and if he wanted to play *a* vampire, that's his best bet. But he asked for something using the vampire class rules. "No don't, because you're jerk who ruins the party and everyone will hate you" is not a helpful response, and does not reflect an accurate portrayal of  the game. Should not, anyways...
A few months ago I joined a short-lived D&D playgroup. When showing my character background to the other players to see if we were all on the same page, one of them, a real nitpicking, rules-lawyering, big-headed **** (later responsible for derailing/collapsing the entire campaign) reads it over and says: "Your character has a wife? Are you stupid? You're just giving something to the DM to use against you." I didn't react outwardly at the time, but gradually, the real impact of what he said, and what that represented, sunk in, and I realized that his criticism embodied entirely everything that is wrong with the Player-DM relationship as it is commonly seen.
I would give Heather a good look, and build a Changling Rogue|Vampire/Arena Champion variant. It's not quite as potent as Rogue|Sorc or Rogue|Warlock, but the point is that you're getting a dex-MBA that keys to a second striker feature. 3 extra minor/free action Vampslams per encounter isn't anything to scoff at, and is probably one of the higher-tier strikers as far as vampire-related optimization goes.
I really appreciate all the thoughts and ideas I've seen in this thread so far. Fact of the matter is, the fluff element of vampire is so difficult to sustain mechanically with any semblance of consistency, that I'm going to need to start looking elsewhere. Simply put, vampires add only a couple of mechanics: surges gained through attacks (and thus a limited surge pool) and cha regen while bloodied. These elements, while perhaps worth a feat, aren't really optimizable in the current meta. Neither grant signficant enough value to optimize. 

I think what I'm going to do is flavor a different class/race combo to fit the character architype I'm envisioning. That is, basically, an undead (in whatever terms are efficient/convenient) spellcaster of some form. Preferably a dedicated striker, with less of an emphasis on control than what might be seen on other arcane strikers. 

It seems like a Revenant (Shadar-kai) could do interesting stuff on a Wild Sorcerer. I wonder if that's doable..

Also, RenZhe, I love Heather. I think she's a great build, one of the more imaginative ones to come out of CharOp in a while. Not what I'm envisioning here, though. At least, not right now.


EDIT:

Here's what I've got so far:

Revenant (Shadar-Kai)
Hybrid Sorcerer/Assassin (Executioner)
Ability Scores (16 dex and 16 cha are the only ones that matter, so these are pretty flexible)
Powers: Dragonfrost
Feats:  Hybrid Talent, Reaper's Touch, Darkwinter Wild Soul, Dual Implement Spellcaster, Light Blade Expertise, Wintertouched, Lasting Frost, Wild Spellfury, Deft Blade

Basically, this build double-dips with Assassin/Sorcerer damage mechanics, picks up Wild Spellfury, and Deft Blade (and as many damage bonuses as possible) to get a pretty gnarly basic attack that pushes and can target Fort, AC, or Ref. Seems decent enough to me. Anyone have any thoughts on improving it or doing more with the basic attacks? Still plenty of room here, though the feat list is getting a little slim. Still, assassin isn't necessary for anything except deft blade and the striker mechanic. That could be replaced. Defenses are currently atrocious, with no easily viable prospect for improving. Dex secondary helps, but isn't enough and not likely to get better.
Eagle eye goggles. 

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Dragonfrost isn't a weapon attack, no Attack Finesse.
Instead of playing Vampire class, you could...
Vryloka (enter class you want to play here) and MC Vampire Heritage. 


It's not OP, but you can definitely play it as "Vampire fluff" without being as broken as the Vampire class is.


Brawler Fighter --> grapple and bite.
Executioner Garrote Strangle --> bite.  
OK, I've made a pretty nice hybrid Monk/Sorceror with the multi-class Vampire feat.

Using the Character Generator, I've selected the Vampire Noble Paragon Path and the Beguiler Bloodline. This enables the 12th level Vampire Noble Utility Aura of Granduer.

I'd also like to take the 10th level Vampire Utility power of Gaseous Form but the Character Generator does not list it as a choice.

What I am I not understanding here about Utility powers and Multi-classing?


Thanks for any help...
Do you have a monk utility power? Hybrids require you to have one of each type of power from each class. So pick a monk utility for level 2 or 6 and it should show up.

Also, it wasn't really necessary to cross-post this to three different threads. Once will do.

edit - just realized you're not even hybrid vampire. If you just MC, you need to take another feat to get a power - I think the utility feat is called Acolyte Power.