Sunday, January 2, 2022

Character Creation Challenge: Prof. Van Helsing

In many ways, it was Van Helsing who was my true gateway to D&D.  

While I will wax poetically about the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, it was really Hammer Horror that fueled my desire for adventure games.  And while Christopher Lee's Dracula was the unchallenged star of many of the films of my youth it was Peter Cushing's portrayal of "doctor, professor, and meta-physician" Abraham Van Helsing that was the obvious model my first character took.

Here is the good professor for Night Shift.

Professor Abraham Van Helsing
5th level Theosophist/5th level Sage (Human)
Archetype: Vampire Hunter

Strength: 11 (0)
Dexterity: 13 (+1) 
Constitution: 13 (+1)
Intelligence: 18 (+3) P
Wisdom: 18 (+3) S
Charisma: 15 (+1) S

HP: 45
Alignment: Lawful Good
AC: 8
Attack: +2

Fate Points: 1d10

Check Bonus (P/S/T): +5/+3/+2
Melee bonus: +0  Ranged bonus: +1
Saves: +3 (+6 total) to Spells and magical effects, +3 to all saves

See dead people, Turn Undead, Summon the Dead, Channel the Dead, Protection from the Dead, Sage abilities, Survivor skills, Lore,  Read Languages, Suggestion

Languages: English, Latin, Greek, German, Dutch, Flemish, French, Hebrew, Romanian, Russian, Arabic, Middle English

First Level: Bless, Detect Evil
Second Level: Find Traps, Knock


Van Helsing, MD, D.Ph., D.Litt., etc., combines the powers of a sage and a theosophist.  The sage is easy to see, but the theosophist is a little different.  His powers are not those of a "necromancer" but rather own that studies the undead and wants to fight them. 

The balance of powers each class gives is important to give the character the right feel.  The Sage gives him his languages and survivor skills.  The theosophist gives him some undead fighting ability.   Though you never see him casting spells, save for rituals that would help him fight Dracula. 

Character Creation Challenge

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Peter Cushing's Van Helping was one of my earliest childhood heroes, along with Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes and Tyrone Powers' Zorro. My favorite Cushing turn as Van Helsing is 'The Brides of Dracula,' which is also one of my favorite Hammer movies. He's essentially the real star of the show. Plus, it's the film in which we learn about Van Helsing's background as a Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Theology, and Professor of Metaphysics.