Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A to Z of Vampires: Xiāng-shī (殭屍)

Jason Rhineville
Back to China today for the Xiāng-shī also spelled Jiāng-shī or 殭屍.  These are the famous "hopping vampires" of Chinese myth and folklore.

The Xiāng-shī shares many similarities with the neighboring Rolang.  Both result from improper burial, both appear to be more corpse like than alive, and both have odd means of moving around due to the stiffness in their legs.   While rolang has a zombie style jait, the Xiāng-shī hops.

The character 僵 in it's name, means hard or stiff.  So this vampire can't bend it's legs at all and must therefore hop about. This is more effective than it appears as this vampire can move about quite well.
Additionally the Xiāng-shī can also fly.

Unlike some vampires the Xiāng-shī does not drain blood, but rather chi or life force from the victim.  While the results are the same; draining Constituion points (2 per attack) the difference is the Xiāng-shī does not have to bite the victim to do it.  On any attack roll where the Xiāng-shī lands two claw attacks it can grab the victim. Instead of a bite attack it begins to suck the breath or chi from the victim.

The claws of the Xiāng-shī are long, hard as iron and sharp as razors.  They can retract them or grow them as long as daggers.

If reduced to 0 hit points, a jiang-shi vampire crumbles to dust but is not destroyed. It reforms in 1 minute with 1 hit point in the same space, or the nearest unoccupied space. Scattering the dust before the jiang-shi reforms destroys it permanently, as does mixing rice into the dust with a dose of holy water. Jiang-shi vampires are also susceptible to wooden weapons carved from peach trees, as such weapons represent the unity of all elements and life to these creatures.  Any successful hit from such a weapon that reduces a jiang-shi to 0 hit points immediately destroys the creature. Although they normally retreat from daylight, jiang-shi vampires are not destroyed by sunlight like regular vampires and can move around during the day without harm.

Xiāng-shī turn as vampires.  Rice, incense and holy items will keep them at bay. Holy water will burn them.

This Xiāng-shī is based a little on the Pathfinder Jiang-shi.

Trying out a new format here for old school games.  This takes the bits from OSRIC, Basic Fantasy and Swords & Wizardry. I am also inserting a bit of 3.x where I need it.

AKA: Jiāng-shī
Frequency: Very Rare
No. Apperring: 1
Size: Man-sized (M)
Armor Class: 1 [19]1
 Basic: 120' (40') / Fly: 180' (60')
 Advanced: 12"/18" (Fly)
 3e: 30ft
Hit Dice: 9+4 (45 hp)
% in Lair: 100% (home 50%, grave 50%)
Treasure Type: Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite) + Life Drain
Damage: 1d6+4/1d6+4/1d4 + Life Drain
Special Attacks: Per Vampire; Life Drain
Special Defenses: Per Vampire
Save As: Fighter 92
Magic Resistance: 25%
Morale: 103
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Level/XP: 9/4,240 + 13/hp

STR: 21 INT: 18 WIS: 15-17 DEX: 9 CON: __(15)4  CHA: 165

1 Descending and [Ascending] Armor classes are given.
2 This is used for Basic games, and S&W. Also for monsters that I think need to save a little differently than others.
3 Morale is "Basic" Morale and based on a 1-12 scale.
4 Have not decided yet if I want to use 3.x style undead Constitutions or not. (15) Reflects what their Con would be if I do use it.  I might just put a number in () like I do for Ghosts of Albion.
5 obviously more reflective of personality and character than looks.

I am working on a monster stat block that I can use in my old-games and future publications (if I do any).  I want something that anyone can pick up and use regardless of the system they are using.
What do you think?

I should point out that my blogging buddy Natasha Duncan-Drake talked about the Xiāng-shī last year too.  http://tashasthinkings.blogspot.com/2014/04/atoz2014x.html


Strayer said...

How interesting and who knew there are so many types of vampires. Hopping vampires who suck chi not blood. Creates an image!

Anonymous said...

I think I've heard of this one before, but not as much detail was given.

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

Anonymous said...

Asian vampires scare the daylights out of me. Your research is quite thorough! Have you ever seen "Mr. Vampire"?

judi said...

I never realized the vast quantity of vampires. Thanks for stopping by my blog for the A-Z Challenge, will have to catch up and read about this wide variety of vampires! -http://50andfabulousblog.blogspot.com

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crumbles but isn't dead. That would catch a party off guard.

Marcy said...

I never realized there were so many varied types of vampires. I'm very under educated it seems.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I always think hopping has to be very hard work to get around :). Not really how I'd want to spend my undead life.
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)