Thursday, April 16, 2015

A to Z of Vampires: Nosferatu

So it has been asked a few times on this challenge "Are there any ugly vampires?" Germany responds with a resounding "Ja!"
I give you the Nosferatu!

The "Nosferat" originally came from Central and Eastern Europe and described a beautiful vampire that was more akin to the Moroi.  That all changed in 1922 when F. W. Murnau released his unauthorized version of Dracula on film called "Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens" or "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror".

Vampires had entered the cinema and the world was never quite the same.

The Nosferatu, Count Orlock played Max Schreck, was nothing like the vampires of today.  He was ugly, had long rat-like teeth, was bald with pointed ears; in short he looked like the walking dead. He spread plague and death. Women did not fawn and swoon over him, they were horrified and repulsed.

So effective was this film that you can still see elements of it in modern day vampire films.  Everything from the look of Radu in "Subspecies" to how shadows move in "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and countless others.  The movie was remade in 1979 with Klaus Kinski in the title role and 2000s "Shadow of the Vampire" starring John Malkovich as Murnau and Willem Dafoe as Max Schreck.

In games the Nosferatu has taken on an unlife of it's own.  It is one of the more iconic clans of the Vampire: The Masquerade game and it was one of the first vampire sub-species in Ravenloft.

Armor Class: 2 [17]
Hit Dice: 9d8+9** (50 hp)
No. of Attacks: claw/claw/bite
Damage: 1d6+4/1d6+4/1d4+1 + CON drain
Special:  Constitution Drain, Cause Fear, Summon Plague, Summon Rats
Movement: 30’
No. Appearing: 1
Saves As: F10
Morale: 11
Treasure: None
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
XP: 7,200

The Nosferatu is a subtype of the vampire. It is turned like a vampire and has all the same strengths and weaknesses.
Though the Nosferatu has a few additional abilities.
The Nosferatu looks pale, and withered. He also has almost rat or bat like look to him. His fingers and ears are elongated.  A Nosferatu can never pass of anything other than the walking corpse he is.
Nosferatu can not turn into wolves or bats like other vampires, but instead can become a swarm of rats.  Each rat of the swarm is part of a collective mind, so killing one will not destroy the creature. In fact even if all are destroyed save one the creature will reform.
Additionally Nosferatu can summon 10d100 (10-1000) normal rats to his aid or 2d20 (2-40) plague stricken rats (save vs. disease).
Like some vampires the Nosferatu can be held in place by a line of salt.  A ring of salt around the Nosferatu will trap it.
Nosferatu are more sensitive to sunlight and will die with even the briefest exposure (1 round). They are effected by a Light spell as if it were Continual Light.  Their vision in darkness is 180' and they see as well in complete darkness as humans can in twilight.
Nosferatu gorge themselves preferring not to waste time with luring prey. Once they attach themselves to a victim they will drain them on blood (Constitution points) till they are dead.  A Nosferatu concentrating on feed (ie not in combat) can drain 3 points of Con per turn.  In combat situations they can only drain 1d4+1 HP of blood per round, but they do not find this satisfying.
Nosferatu are all very strong (Strength = 18) despite their thin, corpse-like visages.


Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I spent years trying to get my hands on a copy of Subspecies after seeing it on Sky movies :) They finally released it on DVD a couple of years ago. I always liked Daedalus from Kindred: The Embraced.
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Jennifer Hawes said...

A long cry from Edward. :) Ha! Not everyone can be perfect. Your research is extensive!

Jeremy [Retro] said...

so many different vampires and this original has always freaked me out, which for me is something that doesn't happen all to often... so thank you job well done! This is how I like my vamps... well done!

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

There's no earthly way of knowing.
Which direction we are going!

Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

Anonymous said...

I believe I fell asleep on this movie in my History of Film class, so thank you for explaining. I wasn't sure why the townspeople got sick.

Chrys Fey said...

That is a very ugly vampire. In truth, I'd think vampires would be a little more on the ugly side. I think they'd look like people but with death changing their features to resembled corpses more. Their appearances would be just shy of rotting. Haha.

Anonymous said...

Netflix has Nosferatu on it and I have it on my list to watch. I feel like I can't say I'm a vampire fan without seeing that movie.

~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

David P. King said...

Finally watched the movie of that name. Even though it was a silent movie, it was still creepy. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Very Interesting....and what a helluva scary vamp!!!

Jo said...

Not my cuppa tea.

Stephen Tremp said...

It’s officially the second half of A to Z. Time to catch that second wind, rest up on Sunday, then it’s that mad dash toward the finish line!

Stephen Tremp
A to Z Cohost
N is for Numerology

Dr. Theda said...

Up until "Salem's Lot".... Nosferatu was my favorite Vampire since early childhood... great choice....

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I like the ugly vampires better. Though there's something really sinister about the ones that are considered attractive.

Sophie Duncan said...

I love Subspecies, it's been a long time since I've seen it, I must go and annoy Tasha to get her to watch it with me.

Nosferatu is the kind of vampire who shows on the outside what is on the inside.
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
Wittegen Press