Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Lesbian Vampire: Villain or Victim? Part 3

I am participating in the Queer Film Blogathon over at Garbo Laughs.

Let's bring this back around to what this blog is about; RPGs.

I have stated up and discussed a number of lesbian vampires based on all the movies I have discussed and even delved into why they do what they do.
Here are the links
But one is conspicuous for her absence, Carmilla.

So here she is for the Ghosts of Albion RPG.

Here is a description of Carmilla from the text:

She was slender, and wonderfully graceful. Except that her movements were languid--very languid--indeed, there was nothing in her appearance to indicate an invalid. Her complexion was rich and brilliant; her features were small and beautifully formed; her eyes large, dark, and lustrous; her hair was quite wonderful, I never saw hair so magnificently thick and long when it was down about her shoulders; I have often placed my hands under it, and laughed with wonder at its weight. It was exquisitely fine and soft, and in color a rich very dark brown, with something of gold. I loved to let it down, tumbling with its own weight, as, in her room, she lay back in her chair talking in her sweet low voice, I used to fold and braid it, and spread it out and play with it. Heavens! If I had but known all!

So based on that I think the perfect choice for casting is Anne Hathaway.

Countess Mircalla Karnstein, aka "Carmilla"

Strength 6
Dexterity 4
Constitution 5
Intelligence 3
Perception 3
Willpower 5

Age (2)
Attractiveness (3)
Cloak of Beasts (Large Cat)
Emotional Influence
Fast Reaction Time (Vampire)
Hard to Kill 3 (2 from Vampire)
Mesmerize (See Me, Hear My Voice)
Natural Weapon (Vampire)
Reduced Damage 2 (Vampire)
Regeneration (6 Life Points per hour) (Vampire)
Sunlight Immunity

Adversary (1)
Home Soil (Burial Shroud)
Love, Tragic
Emotional Problems, Emotionally Dependent (victims) (1)
Mental Problems, Covetous (Lechery) (1)
Minority (lesbian woman) (2)
Special Diet (only young women)

Useful Information
Actions 1/1
Observation 1d10
Fear +5

Armed Mayhem 2
Art 0
Athletics 2
Crime 2
Drive / Ride 2
Engineering 1
Fisticuffs 1
Influence 4
Knowledge 4
Languages 5 (English, French, Latin, German, Romanian)
Marksmanship 0
Notice 3
Occultism 0
Physician 0

Maneuver Bonus  Damage  Notes
Dodge / Parry     +6 - Defence Action                           
Grapple +7 - Defence Action
Bite +5 6 Slash / Stab, needed for blood drain
Punch / claw +6 12 Bash / slash

The Countess Mircalla Karnstein was one of members of the notorious Karnstein family, a family well known for it's depravity and dabbling in occult practices.
Mircalla was one of their lesser evil members, preferring to be left alone so she could dally with the serving girls of the castle. Though sometime after 1698 the young Mircalla suffered the same fate as many other members of her family, she was turned into a vampire.  Like all members of the Karnstein vampire clan she must retain her burial shroud in order to keep her undeath.  Loss of it will not allow her rest and she may be killed by the removal of her head.
Mircalla, like many vampires, can only alter her name in the form of an anagram or something that sounds similar; i.e. Carmilla, Millarca, Marcilla and so on.
Unlike other members of her family Mircalla has found a way to survive in the in the inhospitable world of science and reason.

Mircalla's favored victim are young women.  Her curse is to prey only on the same sorts of women she loved in life.  She can't help but fall in love with her victims, knowing all too well that she will be the cause of their deaths.  Her compulsion to only use anagrams of her own name might be part of some desire to be discovered and put out of the constant pain she must be feeling, but her vampiric nature drives her ever forward to continue on and looking for the next victim.

If there are other survivors of the Karnstein clan, and there is at least some reason to believe this, then Mircalla does not enteract with them at all.

What we know about Mircalla and the Karnsteins comes from a variety of sources, most notable was the recollections of one of Mircalla's victims (published as a work of fiction no less) and the reports of the most excellent occult scholar and expert on vampires, Professor Hieronymus Grost. Grost has recorded a number of instances of encounters with the Karnstein clan.

All members, save the youngest, of the Karnstein Vampires are immune to the effects sunlight. They do need to keep their burial shroud with them in order to rest.  Without it they are vulnerable and my be killed by beheading.  A stake will only immobilize them, not permanently destroy them.   The Karnsteins also have differing tastes in their prey and once chosen they rarely diverge from it.  In Mircalla's case she must feed only on young women.
Mircalla can mesmerize her victims into thinking her feedings are nothing but bad dreams.  Like other vampires she cannot enter someone's home without permission, but she rarely has trouble getting that.
Mircalla can also appear as large cat, either a large black house cat or a small panther-like cat.  No reports are given whether this is a trait she shares with her family or unique to her.

Using Mircalla in Ghosts of Albion
Mircalla could very well be drawn to London in search of new prey.  A metropolis the size of London would easily hide one lone predator. With the rise of the affluent middle class and "working rich", Mircalla would have plenty of chances to engage in society to bring her closer to her favored victims.
Mircalla is not a fighter.  She will not engage in combat unless it is a last resort.  She preys on her victims and gets out as soon as she can.  If faced with destruction her choices are usually flee or fight in that order.  In any case once discovered she will attempt to flee.

Using Mircalla in Buffy/Angel/Army of Darkness
In modern games Mircalla will be continuing her modus operandi.  However she will have one additional level of Age (and corresponding skill points).  If playing a high-school game, then Mircalla will often take on the guise of an exotic foreign exchange student who surrounds herself with the most popular girls in school.  There will be no indication of anything amiss till students begin to complain of nightmares and a new wasting disease will hit the school, effecting only the young women and girls.


Aubyn said...

I'm still surprised that a relatively faithful (I almost said "straight") adaptation of Carmilla hasn't shown up yet. For that matter, why hasn't le Fanu's other classic,Uncle Silas, gotten the full treatment? Where's the le Fanu love?

Timothy S. Brannan said...

I know.

Even I am guilty to just NOW getting around to doing a write up like this.

Though I have heard that there are two upcoming Carmilla movies.

Mike David Jr. said...

Sorry about the late comments.

One of the other lesbian "vampire" movies that I was exposed to as a kid was The Blood Spattered Bride. It was a strange Spanish version of Carmilla complete with atmosphere, machismo, and a naked woman buried under the sand with a snorkel for air. I love eurohorror movies.

Plus, that picture of Anne Hathaway is gorgeous.