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RR3 Van Richten's Guide to Vampires (2e)
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RR3 Van Richten's Guide to Vampires (2e)

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Welcome to Christmas in July! In celebration, this digital title has been marked down by up to 25%! For more values, visit our Christmas in July sale page.

At last, some means of combating the ultimate undead—vampires—have found their way into print. Within these pages, Dr. Rudolph Van Richten shares his vast background as one of Ravenloft's most formidable lore masters and vampire hunters. Decades of research and experience have been compiled into discussions that define the very nature of these kings of the undead and help put them at a disadvantage to mortals, whom they consider to be "mere cattle."

Dr. Van Richten has detailed vampiric powers, weaknesses, feeding and sleeping habits, and even their varied relationships with others of their own kind. Old myths are dispelled, new facts are uncovered, and the experiences of both vampires and those who hunt them are recorded for your safety and enlightenment.

Quickly! Soon the sun sets and the dead will rise! The vampires of Ravenloft know no mercy, and you must be prepared—before the darkness engulfs you.

For all character levels.


Product History

RR3: Van Richten's Guide to Vampires (1991) by Nigel D. Findley, was the first full-length 2nd Edition AD&D supplement to take a long, hard look at vampires. The success of the Ravenloft line made this sort of book quite useful to DMs. With Strahd Von Zarovich having captured the attention and imagination of AD&D gamers everywhere, it was time to lay out what vampires could get away with as master villains.

The result was this book, written in the voice of Rudolph Van Richten, a thinly disguised but quite likeable Van Helsing stand-in who acts as NPC monster-hunter-extraordinaire in the dark realms of Ravenloft. His Guide to Vampires is part Ravenloft flavor, part vampire-hunting guide. If you like the gothic horror of Ravenloft, especially as it appeared in the early days of the campaign setting, you'll enjoy this.

Separating Rules from Fiction. Throughout the Van Richten guides, new and expanded rules are set aside from the main text in a gray sidebar. Here you'll find out about explosive and caustic vampire blood, surprising a vampire, vampiric shapeshifting and summoning, how vampires gain strength as they age, vampiric curses, and far more. Outside of these rules, the information within the book could reasonably come from an unreliable narrator, leaving ample room for a DM’s personal touch.

Creating a vampiric bride and groom, vampiric alignment, the roles of a vampire, the intersection of classes and vampires—it's easy to forget that vampires weren't much more than fairly short stat blocks for a long time in D&D's early days. This exhaustive treatment gives them some... well, humanity, for lack of a better word. Context, maybe? With the information presented here, vampires can be easily treated as (un)living and (non-)breathing characters, wily adversaries who were fully part of the world in which they (don’t) live.

What This Isn't and What It Is. While there are a few stat blocks, this isn't a book of new monsters. It's not full of rules-heavy combat strategies, new spells, or even plot hooks. The Guide to Vampires is meant to put the vampire firmly at the top of the alpha predator heap in Ravenloft, giving both players and DMs some well-written context for why they're so damn scary.

In that, it succeeds admirably.

About the Creators. Origin Award-winning author Nigel D. Findley passed away in 1995, suffering a heart attack at the young age of 35. During his career he authored or co-authored over one hundred books, including twelve novels. His work includes outstanding game supplements such as Castle Guide, Tome of Magic, Draconomicon, Greyhawk Adventures, Thieves of Lankhmar, and many supplements for Shadowrun, Roleaids, Torg, Whispering Vault, Earthdawn, Chill.... You get the idea. He was prolific, his work was top-notch, and he is missed.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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April 23rd, 2020
I ordered the print on demand and was delighted with the quality. My only criticism is that the title was not printed on the spine. I have two other print on demand Van Richten Guides (werebeasts and the created) both have the titles on the spines. I [...]
Alexander L. [Featured Reviewer]
November 25th, 2013
Originally posted at: [...]
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File Last Updated:
October 05, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on November 19, 2013.