Vampire, Vampire Spawn, and Wight Questions

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The rules indicate that if a creature dies from negative levels, it returns as a creature of the type that killed it or as a wight.

When a vampire (full vampire) kills a creature with energy drain, it becomes a vampire spawn.

First, I do not see anything in vampire spawn entries that indicate that if they kill something with energy drain, it comes back as another spawn. Thus, creatures killed by a vampire spawn's energy drain come back as wights, correct?

Second, if it comes back as a wight, does the vampire spawn control this wight?

Third, if it controls the wight, is there a limit  to the total amount HD of controlled wights?

Fourth, if a vampire spawn blood drains a creature to a 0 constitution, what happens? Does this creature come back as another vampire spawn, wight, or it simply dead?

Fifth, a wight can control the wights it creates. Is there a limit? It seems like there should be since the more powerful vampire and vampire spawn have limits. Also, without limits, it seems like a wight could easily create a massive army of faithful followers without much difficulty (entering a small thorp or hamplet) If there is a limit, would it be 6 HD or 2 wights (2x HD of wight)?

Thanks!

The rules indicate that if a creature dies from negative levels, it returns as a creature of the type that killed it or as a wight.

When a vampire (full vampire) kills a creature with energy drain, it becomes a vampire spawn.



This is more or less fiat than a rule. Negative energy in general within D&D has a tendency to create necromantic effects on whimsy (I.E the DM's wimsy where whimsy reads as plot device) than as an over all quantifiable mechanic. As an example, a creature slain by an inflict light wounds spell (negative energy) simply doesn't rise up a s a wight  or zombie or any other undead by virtue of the spell itself, but a DM may say that a dragon slain by an energy drain spell may rise as a vampiric or zombie dragon since the fluff of those templates says that is a method they can come to be from. Over all, an energy draining/negative energy spell wont just spontaneously create undead though.

First, I do not see anything in vampire spawn entries that indicate that if they kill something with energy drain, it comes back as another spawn. Thus, creatures killed by a vampire spawn's energy drain come back as wights, correct?



Actually that would be incorrect. Vampires and wights each have a racial ability to create spawn. In the case of a vampire however, their spawn do not in turn create more spawn, whereas a wight simply creates another wight, which in turn has the ability to produce more spawn.

Second, if it comes back as a wight, does the vampire spawn control this wight?



See above.

Third, if it controls the wight, is there a limit  to the total amount HD of controlled wights?



I'll awnser part of this question along with number five, so read on.

Fourth, if a vampire spawn blood drains a creature to a 0 constitution, what happens? Does this creature come back as another vampire spawn, wight, or it simply dead?



As mentioned above, vampire spawn themselves do not have the ability to create more spawn, so anything they kill via energy drain/con drain is simply dead.

Fifth, a wight can control the wights it creates. Is there a limit? It seems like there should be since the more powerful vampire and vampire spawn have limits. Also, without limits, it seems like a wight could easily create a massive army of faithful followers without much difficulty (entering a small thorp or hamlet) If there is a limit, would it be 6 HD or 2 wights (2x HD of wight)?

Thanks!



Wights actually have no limit for spawn controlled. I know that seems rather outrageous, but think about what a wight is. As an intelligent undead who is full of hatred and contempt for humanity, they spend most of their time in solitude planing their raids on the living, raids that they in turn plan on surviving. Odds are the average wight would probably have about 2-10 others as spawn as that is their minimum to maximum listed organizational grouping minus one. Any spawn that these wights accumulate are probably ordered to branch out and spread the chaos as it where. After all a large congregation of undead would not go unnoticed for long. And in the long run one r more wights with control over a larger grouping of others is bound to be slain releasing the control of it's spawn allowing them to fill out their own personal desires of carnage, chaos and hatred.

So all in all think of it like this, the large army of spawning undead can be a very real and hazardous threat to any population of humanoids, but the active efforts of various churches (pelor as an example) often keeps this threat at bay, and when it emerges in larger force, that is when you have a plot point that needs sorting out.
Thanks for your response. However, I am still looking for more explanation on the energy drain portion of my question. Actually, what I am seeking is information about what happens to the victims of a spawn's energy drain. The DMG pg. 293 specifically explains that creatures that acquire negative levels equal or greater than their current level will rise as either the creature that killed it or as a wight. Energy drain is a specific type of attack that uses negative energy to bestow negative levels. Thus, the comparison with cause light wounds is not quite the same. Since the vampire spawn entry does not indicate that opponents killed by energy drain return as spawn, the DMG seems to indicate they return as wights.

I am good with the wights not being controlled by the spawn. I am also probably all right with the vampire spawn simply killing things that it drops Con down to 0, although it seems like maybe something should happen to such a creature. I may have to impose a limit on wights. I get what you are saying but it seems far too easy for wights to amass a huge army of obedient wights.

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Energy Drain And Negative Levels


Some horrible creatures, especially undead monsters, possess a fearsome supernatural ability to drain levels from those they strike in combat. The creature making an energy drain attack draws a portion of its victim’s life force from her. Most energy drain attacks require a successful melee attack roll—mere physical contact is not enough. Each successful energy drain bestows one or more negative levels (the creature’s description specifies how many). If an attack that includes an energy drain scores a critical hit, it drains twice the given amount. A creature gains 5 temporary hit points (10 on a critical hit) for each negative level it bestows (though not if the negative level is caused by a spell or similar effect). These temporary hit points last for a maximum of 1 hour.


A creature takes the following penalties for each negative level it has gained:



  • -1 on all skill checks and ability checks.

  • -1 on attack rolls and saving throws.

  • -5 hit points.

  • -1 effective level (whenever the creature’s level is used in a die roll or calculation, reduce it by one for each negative level).

  • If the victim casts spells, she loses access to one spell as if she had cast her highest-level, currently available spell. (If she has more than one spell at her highest level, she chooses which she loses.) In addition, when she next prepares spells or regains spell slots, she gets one less spell slot at her highest spell level.


Negative levels remain until 24 hours have passed or until they are removed with a spell, such as restoration. If a negative level is not removed before 24 hours have passed, the affected creature must attempt a Fortitude save (DC 10 + ½ draining creature’s racial HD + draining creature’s Cha modifier; the exact DC is given in the creature’s descriptive text). On a success, the negative level goes away with no harm to the creature. On a failure, the negative level goes away, but the creature’s level is also reduced by one. A separate saving throw is required for each negative level.


A character with negative levels at least equal to her current level, or drained below 1st level, is instantly slain. Depending on the creature that killed her, she may rise the next night as a monster of that kind. If not, she rises as a wight.


Note the bolded, underlined, and italicized "may" from the section you're referring to. That's what I was talking about when I said that energy drain reanimation is generally DM fiat. It isn't a 100% guaranty that someone killed via an energy drain from a creature without the ability to create spawn will rise as an undead. In the case of a vampire spawn, since they themselves have no ability to create spawn, there is a random chance that anything they kill will rise as wight the following night (or in the case of a dragon being killed by an energy drain they rise as either a zombie dragon or a vamperic dragon).


In the case of wights creating spawn, your absolutely right. It is very easy for them to amass a large number of obedient followers, which is a prime reason why they don't have a level adjustment, making them an unplayable race and thus less easily abused by players (though I think they may have a ECL equivalent in libris mortis for use as a follower for undead leadership). What the wight has in terms of easy spawn capacity however it lacks in hit dice advancement.


At the most one wight can become a CR 5, and if you go by their organization listing you should at most run into 11 of them which equates to a CR 12 encounter. So provided that a DM doesn't over do an encounter with massive amounts of spawn creating undead, or lets a player control one or many wights who all have massive numbers of spawn under their control, things shouldn't be getting to out of hand.

Playing a necromancer with a rebuked wight so this thread interests me enough to correct you and to add a bit of observation abot wights.

 

First, it seems to me that the "may" refers to the ability of the draining creature to "create spawn" not for the death by negative levels to create undead. The very next sentence you quoted resolves that question: "If not, she rises as a wight." This explicitly states that if the creature does not come back as the creature that killed it i definitely comes back as a wight. There is no % chance its a 100% certainty.

 

If you look at the wight's stat block you'll notice that the wight isn't all that combat effective after CR 5 even if you are being swarmed by the 11 wights as a level 12 party of 4 will likely dispatch all of the wights before any of you party member's are even bloodied. The wight is really only scary or low level characters and as a cohort that can level up and increase its ability to hit.

 

Thanks for any replies and sorry for bumping a 7 month old thread...

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