Showing posts with label Bathory. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bathory. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Mail Call: Chilling Worlds of Darkness

Part of my goal this year now is to expand my game-playing a bit more beyond the realms of D&D and the clones.  But I am not venturing too far afield.  In fact, of late, I have been turning back to some old friends.

Worlds of Darkness and Chilling Monsters

I have gotten these all in the mail over the last couple of days. 

Up first is an old favorite, Mage, in a new (to me) setting. Victorian Age Mage is based on the M20, Mage 20th Anniversary Edition, system/setting. I love Mage. I love the Victorian Age. So this one was a no-brainer for me when I saw it on DriveThruRPG's newest releases.

Victorian Verbena

The book looks great, and maybe for the first time ever in Mage, I'll consider playing a character from the Technocracy!

I am also getting back into a really old favorite of mine, Chill 1st Edition via Cryptworld.

I picked up the two latest adventures from Yeti Spaghetti and Friends designed for Chill 1.0 and Cryptworld. Horror in Hopkinsville is good old-fashioned 50s UFO paranoid fun (or is it...) and The Blood Countess features a new take on the Other Side favorite Elizabeth Bathory. These do not have print options yet, I picked these up from Yeti Spaghetti directly.

The Fright Night Classics adventures are fun and would make for great NIGHT SHIFT or Dark Places & Demogorgons adventures too. 

Yeti Spaghetti and Friends

Going through them reminded me how much I do love Chill. So I went back to look up some monsters. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I didn't have a copy in print of Monsters Macabre!

Monster Macbre

This one is from Goblinoid Games. Figure I'd toss them some coin while they work out what the next Labyrinth Lord will look like. 

So expect some more Chill/Cryptworld goodness from me soon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

October Horror Movie Challenge: Night of the Werewolf (1980)

It would not be an October Horror Movie Challenge unless I did a Paul Naschy movie. And it wouldn't a proper October without an Elizabeth Bathory movie too. So about a double-shot movie? 

Night of the Werewolf (1980)

We start this one with the trial of Elizabeth Bathory. She is condemned to be buried alive. Her servants are burned at the stake and her main servant Waldemar Daninsky (Naschy) is condemned as a werewolf. A mask of shame is placed on him, and a silver cross is hammered into his heart.

Fast forward to the modern day and three college girls are working on their thesis on the occult and Bathory in particular. They are planning a trip to the Carpathian mountains to visit Bathory's tomb. One of the girls, Erika, though wants to go a step further and bring Bathory back to life. While this happening two grave robbers beat them to it and ending freeing Daninsky by pulling the silver cross out of his heart. The moon is full and he kills them both in werewolf form.

The girls get to the Carpathian but are attacked by a group of men.  From the woods, someone shoots the men with a crossbow and kills them.  The girls find Bathory's tome and Erika hear the Countess' voice convincing her to kill the others and drain their blood for her.  They discover a woman with her face half-burned. 

Next thing we know the girls are now the guests of Waldemar Daninsky in his castle. The woman with the burned face is his servant. 

Erika starts killing people and brings Bathory back to life. Daninsky turns into a werewolf and kills people. Everyone is dying.

Daninsky learns that Bathory is alive and he decides she must die. They fight, Vampire and Werewolf (ha take that White Wolf and Sony!). Bathory is killed by Daninsky, but then he tries to kill his lover while in werewolf form, but she kills him with the silver knife. 

Well, it's not great, but still fun. 

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022
Viewed: 38
First Time Views: 28

October Horror Movie Challenge 2022

Sunday, October 24, 2021

October Horror Movie Challenge: Lady Bathory Night

Lady of Csejte aka The Blood Queen (2015)
I have seen a lot of attempts of telling the Bathory story.  This one focuses more on the history than the vampire retellings. Though it gets some of that wrong as well.

The Blood Queen (2015)

The acting by the young stars,  Isabelle Allen as Aletta and Lucas Bond as her brother Mischa, is quite good really.  I expect to see more of them in the future.

Equally, Svetlana Khodchenkova is hypnotic as Bathory. Watching her on-screen you really want her to be something other than the monster we know her to be. 

Aletta and Mischa get arrested for being thieves but are soon rescued by the Countess' aides, Dorata and Ilona.  Both children are taken to the castle.

The Countess takes an interest in Aletta, and it is not entirely a wholesome one.  

While Aletta is getting more involved with the castle, and the more Mischa is getting beat up, we discover that kids go missing all the time from the castle.

Mischa is caught stealing Bathory's book and is thrown in the dungeons.  The book is Bathory's diary of the children she tortured, mutilated, and killed.  

Mischa manages to escape and get back to the judge to tell him about Bathory, but the judge decides that Mischa is lying and sentences him to death.    Aletta also tries to escape, thinking that Mischa has left her.  She runs into Katja, the gypsy girl we saw in the beginning.  Katja is Aletta's older sister that went missing the year before.  She had been at Castle Csejte but had escaped.   Katja almost gets away with Aletta, but is killed by Dorata.

Bathory has Aletta chained up above her bath to drain her, but Mischa arrives with Bear, the jailer that Mischa had impressed with his ability to get out of any locks.   Bear saves Aletta, but not before Bathory kills Mischa.  The King's men arrive in time to arrest Bathory. 

After this, the story follows what history tells us.   It's not a bad flick at all, but not a great one either. Light on the explicit horror but heavy on the implied.  They changed Bathory's victims to boys and girls instead of just girls.  I suppose they needed to do this to allow Mischa in.   There was just so much more they could have done with it I feel.

The movie was very stylish. It scene was great to look at and Svetlana Khodchenkova was great as Bathory.  It reminded me a lot of the Daughters of Darkness.  Then I recalled I had a brand new Ultra 4k BluRay I had gotten for my birthday!  I figured I should pop it in.

Daughters of Darkness
Daughters of Darkness (1971)

This is still one of my favorite horror films from the 70s. This new Ultra 4k transfer is fantastic looking.  Blue Underground does a great job as always.  This one is a 3-disc set. An Ultra 4k BlueRay, a regular BluRay, and a soundtrack CD.  

I did Daughters of Darkness in 2019. So watching it now I still have my DVD version in mind.  This one is so much clearer, so much sharper.    For example, when Valerie (Danielle Ouimet) is reading the newspaper you can actually see the page she is reading.   The scene where Stefan beats Valerie is also much, unnecessarily so, clearer.  The car crash at the end is so much brighter and clearer you can see all the skid marks on the road from the other takes. 

Plus it is great watching this right after The Blood Queen is kind of fun.  Both movies featured a haunting portrayal of Ezerabet Bathory as a blonde from two fantastic actresses. Both movies also feature her servant Ilona.  

I have not checked out all the special features yet, but they look interesting. There are two features I did check out are the interviews with Danielle Ouimet "Valerie" and Andrea Rau "Ilona."  Danielle Ouimet's was fantastic and a lot of fun.   Andrea Rau's was also great and also great to hear sounding excited in this.   They look like they were filmed in 2006. Both actresses have nothing but wonderful things to say about Delphine Seyrig.

Each time I watch this I am just fascinated by Delphine Seyrig.  She seems like she is much classier than this movie should be allowed to have. I think about a modern remake of this and I can't think of anyone who could play her the same way.  Though I do admit that Svetlana Khodchenkova came very, very close.

Eternal (2004)
Eternal (2004)

I figure lets keep going.  I had seen most of the other adaptations of the Bathory story from her time period, I had often wondered though what filmmakers had in mind for her post-1971.  I guess the answer is "Canada."  Or at least that is the way that filmmaker Wilhelm Liebenberg sees it in 2004's Eternal. Here we get Caroline Néron as Elizabeth Kane aka Erszabet Bathory.  We don't have an Ilona character, well and Irinia, but there is an actress whose real name is Ilona. 

We open with a woman,"Wildcat" played by Sarah Manninen, who goes to see Elizabeth for some pre-arranged sexual hook-up.  Elizabeth promptly kills her and asks her assistant to prepare her bath.

Soon we learn that the woman was the wife of cop, Raymond Pope (played by Conrad Pla). Raymond is not what you call a faithful husband.  He is having sex with another woman (who we learn is Nancy, the wife of his friend) when he gets the call about his wife's car.  Pope goes to see Erszabet/Elizabeth.  BTW Conrad Pla is not a great actor.  His son Joey Pla, who plays his son Nathan, is a better actor.  Now to be fair the role he is playing is not supposed to be subtle.   Caroline Néron on the other hand is much better. 

Ray continues to investigate Bathory while she kills Nancy.   Ray investigates and drinks and spends time in strip clubs while his friend and son's babysitter Lisa is killed by Irina. 

Ray follows Bathory to Venice (despite being wanted for murder and having a kid to watch)  where he ends up at Bathory's house. Here he hunts her down during her orgy but is shot and stabbed.  He is saved by the Interpol Detective he talked to in Montreal, Inspector Thurzo. Somehow Thurzo, who also seems to be a priest of some sort, has everything cleared up for him. Of course like an idiot Raymond drinks the wine Elizabeth gives him. It is hinted he will go rescue her when she is transferred to a clinic in Switzerland. 

The movie is not great, not by any stretch of the imagination. 

2021 October Horror Movie Challenge

October 2021
Viewed: 44
First Time Views: 31

Friday, October 18, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Daughters of Darkness (1971)

It's strange. All these years and I have not done one of my favorite movies, Daughters of Darkness.

Some of my earliest opinions on what Elizabeth Bathory acts like as a vampire come from the 1971 movie Les Lèvres Rouges, known here in the States as "Daughters of Darkness" (not to be confused with the movie Vampyres, which also had been called Daughters of Darkness).

Delphine Seyrig really helped form the idea of vampire Bathory as a timeless aristocrat so convinced that what she was doing was right that there is no sign of psychosis at all. She was a royal and therefore all others exist to serve her.  Now I will contend, just based on the reports as we know them, that Bathory was not a lesbian but rather a sexual sadist that happened to have targeted young girls.

That all being said, she is most often represented in movies, like she was here, as a lesbian and one that does not care much at all for men.  Of course, credit goes to Delphine Seyrig and her portrayal of the immortal Countess.  This movie presents Elizabeth along with her companion Ilona (Andrea Rau).  Elizabeth begins to prey on new bride Valerie while sending Ilona out to tempt her new husband Stephan.

There is nothing really subtle here.  Stephan is portrayed as a useless thing that later can only consummate his marriage by beating Valerie.  When he kills Ilona in an accident in the shower he is portrayed as incompetent and something to be discarded.  All the while Elizabeth holds court and seduces Valerie away.  The ending is jarring,  more "Celluloid Closet" style vengeance maybe? Valerie, with Elizabeth's voice, is now off picking up a new couple to continue her immortality with.

There are traces of we will later see in The Hunger here.  The cool, sophisticated, European, woman. She might have some royal blood in her somewhere (pardon the bad metaphor) and she is certainly worldly.  She has companions, maybe male and female, but it is in her female companions she lavishes the most attention on even if I dare say it, the most love.    This is not the rampaging monster of Dracula or even Orlock. Carmilla, Bathory and later Miriam Blaylock are exotic creatures almost unique to themselves.

This is still one of my favorite movies.

It should be no surprise then I want to bring her over to NIGHT SHIFT.

Elizabeth Bathory
Vampire Lady
No. Appearing: 1 (Unique)
AC: 2
Move: 50ft.
Hit Dice: 9
Special: 4 attacks (claw, bite, 2 weapon), vampire abilities
XP Value: 1,400

Vampire Spawn
No. Appearing: 1
AC: 6
Move: 30ft.
Hit Dice: 4
Special: 2 attacks (claws, bite),
Cannot mind control. Do not gain “strong and fast” bonuses. Cannot polymorph. Cannot create new vampires.
XP Value: 900

This movie may have fueled more game ideas for me than any other.

Watched: 23
New: 16

Edited to add: Now available, Night Shift: Veterans of the Supernatural Wars.
You can get the PDF from DriveThruRPG and both the standard and special edition hardcovers from Elf Lair Games.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge: Thirst (1979)

Leonard Maltin liked this movie.  So let's see how it is.

The premise is an interesting one.  A woman from the late 70s is discovered to be the only living heir to the Elizabeth Bathory.  They kidnap her and take her to a human farm where "cattle" are drained of blood to feed over 70,000 modern vampires.

Out would be Bathory though is having none of it and is resiting her conditioning.

Now there are a lot of neat ideas here.
I like the idea of Elizabeth Bathory's heir. I like the secret society of "vampires" (they are not real vampires, but do have red eyes).
I even like the cattle farm idea, 20 years before Buffy would explore the same idea in "Doppelgangland".

Sadly it was combined rather poorly.  Not the plot so much, though it is slow, it is the execution of that plot.

Plus the acting, for the most part, is pretty bad.

I had higher hopes, but I suppose if it had been better I would have seen it already.

Watched: 6
New: 4

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Countess Erzsébet Báthory for Ubiquity

A while back I did a series of posts on Erzsébet Báthory for various systems.  I am giving her a go for Ubiquity and in particular Leagues of Adventure.

You can read her background here.

You can see my other builds of her here:
I am sticking close to these, but this is not an in and out conversion.

Yes. This is the blood-bathing vampire version.  Not the historical one.

Countess Erzsébet Báthory
Patron 5
Archetype: Vampire; Motivation: Stay Young and Beautiful; Style: 5

Primary Attributes
Body 5, Dexterity 6, Strength 5, Charisma 6, Intelligence 4, Willpower 6

Secondary Attributes
Size 0, Move 11, Perception 10, Initiative 10, Defense 11, Stun 5*, Health 11*

Academics: History 7, Religion 5, Athletics 8, Brawl 6, Con 8, Diplomacy 9, Empathy 7, Intimidation 8, Linguistics 8, Performance 9, Stealth 7

Mesmerize** (Make a single Willpower roll against all opponents within 10 feet), Iron Jaw (+1 Stun)*, Unarmed Parry (can block melee weapons), Well Educated

Refuge: Size 1 (smaller apartments across Eastern Europe), Status 1 (Foreign noblewoman; +2 Social bonus)

Thirst for Blood (+1 Style point when her unholy appetite reveals its true nature, she prefers young women)

Bite 9L***, Punch 9N

* Báthory is immune to lethal and nonlethal damage except from drowning, fire, or holy objects.
** This represents the Báthory’s indomitable will being projected onto others. As such, she uses Willpower rather than Performance.
*** If Báthory scores 3+ successes on her bite attack, she has latched onto her victim’s neck. Until she ceases feeding voluntarily or is forcibly removed (as per ending a grapple), the victim takes automatic damage equal to her Strength rating each round.

Decapitation/Piercing the Heart: This requires a Called Shot against a vital area. If the damage exceeds Báthory’s Body rating, she is instantly killed, otherwise the attack has no effect.

Wild Rose Aversion: Báthory suffers a –2 penalty to all rolls to affect a person wearing a garland of wild roses. Wild roses can also be used to ward entrances

Mesmerize: As per the Captivate Talent.

Power of the Lord: A Patriarchal cross (Greek Orthodox), crucifix, or holy wafer (and paraphernalia of other religions at the Gamemaster’s discretion) can be used to make a Touch Attack against Báthory. Such objects cause 0L damage.

These holy objects can also be used to keep Báthory at bay, but only if the wielder is a true believer in the faith. Presenting such an object requires an attack action. In order to close within five feet of the wielder, Báthory must make a Willpower roll as a reflexive action. If she rolls more successes than the wielder’s Willpower,she is unfazed and may act as normal. Otherwise, she can advance no closer, no use any of her other abilities against the wielder.

Regeneration: When Báthory rests in his earth-filled coffin, she makes a Body roll each dawn. Every two successes removes one level of lethal damage caused by drowning, fire, or holy objects.

Shape Change, Lesser: Báthory can transform into a wolf. This requires two complete rounds and a Willpower roll. While in animal form, she retains her own statistics but cannot speak, use tools, or use any of her other abilities. Reversion to her true form is a reflexive action.

Sire: Anyone slain by Báthory’s bite returns as a vampiric minion within three days of burial. Such fiends are incapable of personal growth, no matter how long they live. They retain their mortal attributes, Skills, and Talents, save for Intelligence, which is lowered to 1—these fiends are naught but nocturnal, feral hunters. A true vampire is created only if Báthory allows her victim to drink of her own blood before death.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Movie Challenge: Feast of Flesh (2007)

October Movie Challenge: Feast of Flesh (2007)

In my defense I want to say up front that I thought this was going to be better.
The title is fine and my research said it was a bit like Bordello of Blood only featuring Elizabeth Bathory AND Carmilla.  I mean really. How can I say no?

I was so horribly wrong.

I think I am prepared to say that this was the WORST vampire movie I have seen this entire challenge.  Though Mama Dracula might give it a run for it's money.

The story focuses on a "high class" brothel known as Bathory House.  A couple gets a ticket to go from a poker game.  Of course they are looking for a little threesome fun and instead they get eaten (and not in the way they wanted). Anyway I guess there is a prohibition against the vampires from hunting townfolk so the local vampire hunters come in and beat the vampire-hookers up a little.
Both sides fight.  There is also a plot about a woman that is a local, but leaving town, getting brought into the brothel.  The vampires thought she was coming to town, not leaving it.  Her boyfriend wants her know the drill.

I will give the movie one credit. The ending is not what I expected it to be.  Bathory is killed and the townie girl becomes the new Madame.  The boyfriend and all the hunters are killed.

The acting is terrible, including and especially Director, Writer and head Vampire Killer Sheridan, aka Mike Watt.  What was up with that accent? He was supposed to be Dutch, but it sounded like Irish that learned from a book on tape.  Anyway.  It's not good.

I toyed with the idea of a vampire brothel in my games before.  Mayfairs is a brothel in my games run by two vampire lovers, Miriam and Fran and founded by a Street Fae, Dirty Nellie.  I now have a list of things NOT to do with it.


Tally so far:  36 Total Watched / 24 New

What do you find scary?
October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Movie Challenge: Báthory: Countess of Blood (2008)

October Movie Challenge: Báthory: Countess of Blood (2008)

I am a sucker for a good Bathory movie.  Or even a bad one.  This is not a bad one, but it is an odd one.  There are some genuine horrific scenes, but nor really enough to really be called horror.

Much like the Julie Delpy movie The Countess, this is a retelling of the Bathory tale to put the countess in a better light.  I think The Countess is a better overall movie, but Anna Friel from Báthory: Countess of Blood is a better Bathory.

I think if both movies and casts had pooled their resources together one really great movie could have been made.

There are few things about the movie I didn't care for.  The monks with the "roller skates" (no. really) annoyed me.  The whole absinthe bit was way over done.  In fact I pretty have never seen an absinthe scene in a vampire movie and wasn't pretty crappy.  I blame the Bram Stoker's Dracula movie.

Not an unenjoyable movie, but at 2 hours and 21 minutes it is a bit too long.

Tally so far:  32 Total Watched / 21 New

What do you find scary?
October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.

Friday, October 3, 2014

October Movie Challenge: Fright Night 2 New Blood (2013)

Fright Night 2: New Blood (2013)

Fright Night 2 is described as a sequel to the 2011 remake, but really it is the exact same story as the 2011 and 1985 versions.  It is also listed as a horror/comedy, but there is really little of either.  Sure there is some gore and killing of victims, but nothing really compared to other ones I have seen.  Lots of fake blood splatters.

The differences are this one takes place in Romania and Jerry Dandridge is now Gerri Dandridge and is actuality Elizabeth Bathory.

All the same characters but they lack any of the charm of the earlier movies.

There is a neat scene where Gerri/Bathory uses a bat-like sonar to find some kids in a sewer.   The vampire creature she turns into in the end of the movie is kind of cool too, but that is about all the movie has going for it.

Too bad really, I was hoping for more.

Tally so far:  4 Total Watched / 3 New

What do you find scary?
October Horror Movie Challenge hosted by Krell Laboratories.

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Movie Challenge: Weekend round up

Bunch of movies under my belt this weekend.  Though all disappointed me or fell short.

The Witching (1993)
This one gets my vote as the worst movie I have seen this entire challenge.  And I was on a Jean Rollin kick.
Awful.  Going after the acting in this one is a cheap shot...but I am doing it anyway. The actors where not just terrible I have seen better work from High School plays.
The plot such as it is concerns a 300 year old witch locked away in Limbo with demons and her pet demon dog-rat "Scully".  The gate to Limbo opens up in this guy's refrigerator.   Some one really liked Ghostbusters.  It is listed as Comedy/Horror. It's neither.

R.I.P.D. (2013)
Another gate opening and dead things coming back.  This time it's sorta-cooked, but all dead cop played by Ryan Reynolds and even more dead "law man" played by Jeff Bridges.  Cliches all over the place. Kevin Bacon (who should know better).   The only performance I liked was from Mary Louise Parker.
If you have seen Men in Black then you have seen this one.

The Countess (2009)
This on the other hand was a very good film. Julie Delpy wrote, directed, starred and produced this bio-drama about Countess Erzsébet Báthory.  Everything about this movie was good, save for my expectations of it.  There was little to no blood, and no horror save for the psychological kind. The film even makes a credible case that all the stories of the "Blood Countess" were nothing more than rumor and political power plays.  Which could be true.  Or not.  The film still retains the infamous scene where a maid pulls Erzsébet's hair and the Countess strikes her so hard that she is covered in blood.  The countess proceeds to bleed her for her precious virgin blood.
There is no vampirism. No allusions to Dracula. This is a historical piece and frankly a nice change of pace.

Interestingly enough Julie Delpy was 39 when she made this movie.  Delphine Seyrig was also 39 when she played Báthory in Daughters of Darkness (Ingrid Pitt was 34 when she was in Countess Dracula).

I kind of hoped to finish up this weekend, but I feel I need to see a few more, just to make sure I saw enough real horror.

Tally: Watched 32,  New 28

What are you watching?

hosted by Krell Laboratories

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bathory for M&M3

As many of you all know I am huge fan of the Erzsébet Báthory story/mthyos.  Well, fan is an od word for a woman that mostly likely killed hundreds of young girls.  But you know what I mean.

Anyway there is a new product out now adding her to the Mutants & Masterminds 3rd Edition game and you all also know what a fan I am of that!

Bathory - AoV Solo (M&M3e) from Xion Studios is now out.

Here is my review:
Vampires have an odd role to play in a supers game, something this book recognizes.
This takes one of the most iconic vampires in myth and one of the most notorious real-life killer and adds her to the Mutants & Masterminds 3.0 game.
The author gives us an  interesting back story that should be familiar to most anyone with an interest in vampires.  There is a new, more up-to-date backstory of her activities from 2001 and on.

The crunch part, her stats and powers are good and they look "right" to me.
There is also a template for a Bathory-lineage vampire, which is a good one to use in a game.  Her PL is only 9, which makes her a good threat against normal humans or PL5 young supers.

Her PL is 12. That puts her at the same level I would expect.

I am not 100% sold on her being in a Goth Metal Band myself, but it certainly looks like it works here.

6 pages: cover art, condensed OGL statement and a lot of stuff to use in your game.  You are getting a lot for your buck here.

So yeah I am going to give this one a go.   I have stated up Elizabeth many times including Mutants & Masterminds 2nd ed, so if I use her again I might stick with my own backstory.  I DO like the idea of a vampire fronted goth band.  Maybe I will save that for another vampire.

For your enjoyment here are the stats for Erzsébet Báthory other games.  Mine are a little higher, but that is ok.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Elizabeth Bathory: Spellcraft & Swordplay

A while back I posted a bunch of character write-ups on Elizabeth Bathory.
I thought, given the season and to celebrate Spellcraft & Swordplay in physical print copies I'd bring them both together.  Based on my Dracula stats from early today, Bathory also has the advantage of being a coven witch.
This build is based on my earlier ones, as well as the material from Eldritch Witchery, which is coming out soon.

Elizabeth Bathory
Vampire / Witch (Demonic Tradition)

AC: 5
Move: 90'
HD: 15 (48 hp)
Attacks: 2 claws (short sword), 1 bite OR Spells as a 6th level coven Witch
Special: Climb 40', Blood Drain, Animal Empathy (Improved; Rats, bats, wolves), Dominate, Spawn (Blood or Energy drain), Energy Drain (bite), Alternate Form (wolf, incorporeal gas, improved), Resist electricity, Immune mundane weapons, Vulnerable sun, fire, holy water (treat as 2d6 acid), witch abilities
Treasure: 8
XP: 2100
S: 21 D: 16 C: 18 I: 14 W: 16 Ch: 19

Bathory can not change into a bat as other vampires.  She can also only summon wolves. Unlike Dracula, Elizabeth is damaged by the sun.
In addition to being a vampire, Elizabeth Bathory is also a coven witch of the 6th level.  She is not the highest level witch, but she is the coven leader.
Her familiar is demonic black coated wolf with red eyes.  When she is done draining her victims she feeds the remains to this monster.

She may cast the following spells
First level: Charm, Ghostly Slashing, Increase Sex Appeal
Second level: Ecstasy, Rite of Remote Seeing, Virgin Innocence
Third level: Dance Macabre, Toad Mind
Fourth level: Masque

These spells, the Demonic tradition, and what a coven witch is will all be detailed in Eldritch Witchery.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Lesbian Vampire: Villain or Victim? Part 2

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

Today I want to continue the topic of the lesbian vampire trope in film.  Why this trope and say not the homosexual vampire in general?  Well the easiest answer is of course I am most familiar with this one.  While there are examples of male homosexual vampires in film, using the same sub-text as the lesbian vampires, and both sub-genres do have a history of literature behind it, the lesbian vampire seems more prevalent.

The obvious reason is that male film makers tended to see women more as victims and a vampire has a sexual element to their predation.  Also the vampire is the ultimate other, someone so far outside that they are nolonger alive, no longer a person.  This the same history that many gays and lesbians (and African-Americans and Jews and Hispanics and....just pick an era) have also felt.  Naturally the two have become related.

The male homosexual vampire though can also be summed up in one name; Lestat.  Watch the movies, read the books and then come back.   That is all great and everything, but Lestat does not have the presence in film history as Dracula or Carmilla.  Though as the 70's wore on and Hammer was feeling the pressure to do more and more we got a new set of lesbian vampires.

Daughters of Darkness (1971)
I spent a week back in 2009 talking about Elizabeth Bathory. Now I will contend, just based on the reports as we know them, that Bathory was not a lesbian but rather a sexual sadist that happened to have targeted young girls.

That all being said, she is most often represented in movies, like she was here, as a lesbian and one that does not care much at all for men.  Of course credit goes to Delphine Seyrig and her portrayal of the immortal Countess.  This movie presents Elizabeth along with her companion Ilona (Andrea Rau).  Elizabeth begins to prey on new bride Valerie while sending Ilona out to tempt her new husband Stephan.
There is nothing really subtle here.  Stephan is portrayed as a useless thing that later can only consumate his marriage by beating Valerie.  When he kills Ilona in an accident in the shower he is portrayed as incompetent and something to be discarded.  All the while Elizabeth holds court and seduces Valerie away.  The ending is jarring,  more "Celluloid Closet" style vengeance maybe? Valerie, with Elizabeth's voice is now off picking up a new couple to continue her immortality with.  
There are traces of we will later see in The Hunger here.  The cool, sophisticated, European, woman. She might have some royal blood in her somewhere (pardon the bad metaphor) and she is certainly worldly.  She has companions, maybe male and female, but it is in her female companions she lavishes the most attention on even if I dare say it, the most love.    This is not the rampaging monster of Dracula or even Orlock. Carmilla, Bathory and later Miriam Blaylock are exotic creatures almost unique to themselves.

Of course there is still the issue of sex.

Vampyres (1975)
I also spent a week with this movie last year.  Vampyres is everything I have been talking about turned up to 11.  There are two beautiful women who spend most of the movie in some state of undress or in bed with each other or someone else.   They are obviously lovers and were killed in the midst of their lovemaking to come back as vampires.  They kill men, mostly, till another woman discovers them.  They then run off together in the end rather than get killed.

This movie could very well be prime example of this troupe and cliché in action. Innocent women are killed by an unknown gunman to come back from the dead to kill others.  It is almost textbook Dead/Evil Lesbian Cliché. Almost. While it certainly falls into cliché it also subverts it just a little. From the movie you get the feeling that Fran would rather not kill these men. Miriam of course only cares for Fran.  The novelization of this film makes this clearer, but we should go by what we have on screen.
Despite my enjoyment of this film and the material it has given me for my various games it is not a great film and as a film about lesbian vampires it is no Carmilla to be sure.   While I felt sorry for these women and felt they were trapped in an existence they never chose for themselves, I am not sure that is the intent of the film maker. I see two tragic figures.  José Larraz saw two pretty girls that he got to film naked. Now to be fair there is some good in this movie.  The actresses, while not great, certainly have enthusiasm for their roles and they can pull of the tortured vampires well.  It is a cult classic for a good reason and I still enjoy watching it.

The Hunger (1983)
Ah the Hunger. I swear this movie is just as responsible for the whole "Vampire sub-culture" as Vampire:TM and Lestat.   Bauhaus, David Bowie, Catherine Denueve. No wonder Poppy Z. Brite once described this as "the mandated first date movie of lesbian goths".   Based on the book by Whitney Strieber (when he wasn't writing about aliens) this is a very interesting tale.  First. The word vampire is never said (that I recall) in the movie.  It is also never said in the book, but I could be wrong on both counts.

Instead of a full review let's look into what is going on here.  Miriam Blaylock (Deneuve looking FANTASTIC) is a millennias old vampire that needs a companion to stay alive.  They feed on blood together (the scene in the beginning of the film where they pick up the couple while Peter Murphy sings is almost iconic) to stay alive, but only Miriam has eternal youth.  Her companion John (David Bowie) is showing the first signs of his aging process. Miriam soon has her eyes on lovely Dr. Sarah (Susan Sarandon) as his replacement.
David's years catch up to him and Miriam sets about to turn Sarah.  The scene where Miriam plays Sous le dôme épais might very well be one of the best seduction scenes in any movie, let alone a horror movie and never mind that is also between two women.  Sarah is introduced into a new world after her sexual encounter with Miriam.  Death later follows, Sarah's boyfriend Tom is the first to feed Sarah's new hunger and then Sarah herself.   The ending of the movie is not the same as the book and frankly I never quite "got it".  So let focus on Miriam and Sarah.
It is easy to feel Miriam's loneliness here. A scene in flashback of Miriam in Egyptian dress feeding in what must be the first time, gives us an idea of the passage of years and the number of former lovers she keeps in her attic.  The Hunger's lesbian overtones have been talked about at length by Susan Sarandon in the DVD commentary and in the movie The Celluloid Closet.  The Hunger does owe a lot to both Carmilla and Vampyros Lesbos in terms of visual style and how they wished to portray the characters. The question is now is Miriam sympathetic enough to avoid falling into a cliche where she needs to kill, however slowly, her lovers?  The novel handles this better by making Miriam a seperate species. She is looking for a cure that might help her and her future lovers and thinks Sarah is the one that will discover it.  It is not particularly a feminist movie or statement, but more about loneliness felt by one person that happens to also be female and bisexual and able to kill anyone she needs.

The Clichés
One thing we need to look at seriously is the potential of clichés in these movies.
In nearly every case the story is this.  "A female vampire seduces a younger, more innocent female victim in order to bring her into a life of vampirism like herself." Now replace the word vampire with lesbian and read it again.  Are we seeing a subversion of an ugly stereotype or a reaffirmation of one?  Can be both.

The Female Vampire as The Other
The female lesbian vampire is the ultimate Other.  Outside of life, outside of "male normality" and outside of conformity.  Zalenska, Carmilla, Bathory and Miriam Blaylock are all European royalty,  they do not have to conform to society.  Their victims are more common place women, each with (largely ineffectual) men in their lives, but are seduced away.  Away into what?  Well that is what we should ask ourselves. Is this a subconscious reaction to the fear of The Other?  Or from my point of view are the film-makers purposefully making us feel for these character because they have no choices?  Is that just as bad? I don't hate you because you are a monster, I feel bad for you.   Frankly I'd rather be hated than pitied.
Jumping across the race and gender divide let's look (breifly) at Blacula. I have mentioned before that Prince Mamuwalde is a sympathetic character. He was destroyed by Dracula only share in his curse.  Here despite being a Prince himself, he is reduced in status by Dracula because of his skin color.  Plus Blacula is such a sympathetic character probably in no small part due the acting ability of William Marshal who got this role from playing Othello.

Which leads us to the oddest conclusion.  Vampyres, from José Larraz (who admits all he wanted to do was make a vampire film with pretty girls in it) might be the most "feminist" movie in the lot.  The girls, Fran and Miriam are already together and in love then they are killed to come back a enact some vengeance.  There is no seducer and victim between them they began and ended as equals to each other.

The Dead/Evil Lesbian Cliché
Are these movies part of the dead/evil lesbian cliché?  By definition any vampire is dead. And if they have to kill to live on for themselves then they are also by definition evil.
Details of this cliché are listed here:

At some level they are all guilty of this.  Again, Vampyres takes a different route by showing yes the women were murdered because they were together, but they came back to get revenge on their murderer.  This puts it closer to The Crow and other revenge movies.  Dracula's Daughter and in some cases Carmilla and The Hunger show that our vampire is conflicted, even feeling she has no choice or is trapped in this life/unlife.  The lines start getting a bit blurry.  In the end I give them a barest of passes only because of the times in which they were made and the fact that most of these are B movies.  I would naturally expect better from any movie coming out now.

For a good example of what we can get now, even though it is not a vampire, we have Madame Vastra (a Silurian) and Jenny (her human lover) from Doctor Who.

Come back later as I wrap this up and bring it back around to RPGs.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October Movie Reviews: Countess Dracula

Stuck in the 70's with another one of the Hammer Films.
This time we are getting into what would be fertile ground for Hammer, beautiful young women killing other beautiful young women.

Countess Dracula (1970/1971)
This one is a bit mis-titled, and a bit of different one for Hammer.  It is the story of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, but the twist is here the blood she drains and bathes actually does make her young again in the form of Scream Queen Ingrid Pitt.

The story is not a bad one, but not memorable.  Bathory kills girls, dupes dumb men into being her pawns, finally gets caught in the end.  We are missing some of the characters from Bathory's history, but that is fine really.

The one ups the blood and gore (too be expected) and the sex and nudity (also to be expected).
It is not quite as good as Daughters of Darkness that came out a year later. But it has more of supernatural feel to it and more of a Hammer feel to it if that makes any sense.   Ingrid Pitt also stared as another famous vampire, Carmilla, in the Vampire Lovers.  Female vampires became very lucrative for Hammer in the end, but not enough to save them it seems.

I had forgotten I had seen this one till I got into it.  So I watched it with the audio comentary on instead.  Very interesting insights to Hamer in the 70's to be sure.  Makes me want to go back and listen to the audio comentary tracks on the all the other Hammer films I have watched.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dracula: The Books

Despite my reviews, Dracula had a life before cinema.

The book "Dracula" is one of the most influential in the English language.  While the book itself is long, and often slow in places, one cannot deny the effect it has had.  There were vampire tales before it, Varney the Vampire and The Vampyre come to mind, and there were even better vampire stories before it, Carmilla is prime example.  But none had the effect of Dracula, both the book and the character.

If you have never the book then you owe it to yourself to do so. You can get the book nearly anywhere, including for free at Project Guttenberg.   I am fond of the Leonard Wolf annotated version myself, but I would read the book without the annotations first.

Dracula in print, like his movie counterpart, has also had a number of sequels published over the years.  Some were good, most though were not.  Here is a round-up of a few.

WARNING, there are spoilers here if you have not read these books.

The Holmes-Dracula File by Fred Saberhagen
I read this so many years ago that my recollection of it is fuzzy at best.  I remember not liking it that much at the time, which I think had more to do with how Saberhagen choose to portray Dracula as a misunderstood hero. And the wood thing. And the amnesia thing too.  I should re-read it to be sure.
Funny though, I am watching "Count Dracula" from the BBC now, and the cover art on this book reminds me of Louis Jourdan. The timing is right for it too.

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman
These books are just goofy fun.  There is a good story here, one about Jack the Ripper and the changes happening to England now that Dracula sits on the throne next to Queen Victoria.  All sorts of name dropping in this one (oh look there's Lestat, hey that's Prince Mamuwalde!) and nods to old vampire movies and books.  I have not read all of his books, but the first one was quite fun.  I remember at the time thinking that if Vampire the Masqurade was as fun as this book then I'd play it more.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Oh I LIKED this one. A secret book bearing the symbol from the Order of the Dragon shows up ever so often to historians throughout the 20th century.  Each of them begins a quest that leads them to...what? Dracula? That is too insane, but as each one investigates further and further that is the conclusion they reach.  The Historian spans three generations of historians as they search for the burial place of the infamous Prince only to find he is not there.  Sweeping in scope and attention paid to the smallest detail you can almost smell the old books and taste the blood as you read this one.
It is a sequel in the loose sense.  All the characters have read the Stoker novel and use it as a basis.  It is never made clear whether or not Stoker was one of their kind as well or just happened to be lucky.
This one is long and you should have a love of history, old books or libraries to get the full satisfaction of reading it.
The narrator of the tale, who is 17 in the book, but in her 50s as she is retelling it, is a descendant of Vlad Dracula and would make for a great Van Helsing like character in a modern game.

Fangland by John Marks 
This is a modern re-telling of Dracula rather than an out-right sequel. The main character Evangeline Harker fills the John Harker role, while Ion Torgu is our vampire (of sorts). It starts off really good and I like the gender reversal and the modern setting. Plus I could always imagine that Evangeline was the decedent of Johnathan and Mina Harker.
But the book fell apart on me for a lot of reasons.  First, Ion has none of Dracula's charm or grace.  I also found I didn't care much for the characters in the book and the author kept giving me more.  Telling it from the point of view of Trotter, a character I didn't like, also didn't help.
What bugged me the most was the part where Evangeline meets up with this other woman Clementine Spence after she (Harker) had been tortured at "Dracula's" home. Harker and Spence have a brief physical relationship while in Romania and Harker describes herself as "changing" which we learn means becoming a killer. One night she rapes and kills Spence and then drinks her blood.
Unlike the book (or movies) Harker does not "get better" but has become a vampire. The book makes it clear that Harker only had sex with Spence in order to close enough to kill her.  This is another case of the Dead/Evil Lesbian Cliché and frankly it is getting quite old.  The rest of the book was really just mush after that.
If I kept Evangeline Harker it would only be as a name drop and saying she had been killed under strange circumstances in Romania.  Dracula getting his revenge.

Dracula the Un-dead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
I am of mixed feelings about this one.  On one hand we have an interesting story about the events of our heroes 25 years after Dracula.  We have the great, grand-nephew of Bram Stoker penning the tale.  We have a cool mystery involving Elizabeth Bathory.
Then is all goes bad.
The stories never quite jell, the book makes claims that "Dracula" by Stoker got it all wrong and even makes mistakes.  In truth it is like the authors never actually read the book and instead wrote a sequel to the 1990's "Bram Stoker's Dracula" movie.  Of course there are more cliches here as well.  Tying Bathory to the Jack the Ripper murders (which also got some details wrong about that, and didn't do it a well as in Anno Dracula), more evil/dead lesbians in the form of Bathory (God would not allow her to be a lesbian so she rebelled against God and men, but kills women), Mina still pinning over her "Prince" and using a katana to fight of one of Bathory's brides. I could go and on, but I won't.
I liked the more explicit tie-in with Dracula and Bathory.  I like that Dracula, even though is back up and running, is still not 100%, I like Mina not aging (shades of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) and the way her and Johnathan's relationship turned sour. I like Seward's morphine addicted vampire hunter.  So like I said a lot of good ideas strung together rather poorly.  In the end the book just made me mad because how bad the ending was.  This book was so derivative of other ideas that it is wonder it got published.
From this I use most of the background and chuck the narrative.

Special Mention

Grave Peril: The Dresden Files, Book 3
I picked this up after a long pause with the series and I have to say this was the best book in series (so far).  I mention here because after nearly throwing Fangland out the window after reading Dracula the Un-Dead this was so good it restored my faith in the vampire story.  Grave Peril is a vampire story and how Chicago's very own Harry Dresden manages to single handedly piss off 2/3rds of all the world vampires.
Dracula is mentioned in the book and Harry also states that Stoker penned the "big guide on how to destroy vampires".  So I'd rather go that direction in my games.  Sure I'll take the idea from DtU-D and say one of the vampire hunters told Stoker their tale and 10 years after that he publishes the book in hopes of building a stage career out of it, but in reality the effect was that vampire hunters all over the world now know how to kill vampires better.
In any case this book was very good and the best one I have read this month.  I am on book 4 now and it is so far just as good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory, Witch Girls Adventures

Now here is something to get us through Gen Con. The Witch Girls Adventures version of Elizabeth Bathory. I can see a mini-series of adventures featuring Bathory here at the Willow-Mistt school. First with her take-over and the cast slow finding out she is not just named after the sadistic vampire, but is in fact her all the way to the final battle.

I like her numbers here but would need to playtest them to be sure.

Elizabeth Bathory
Witch Girls Adventures
Rank: 5 (or 6 depending on how the cast finds her)
Age: 449 (looks either in her late 20s or 449)
Motivation: To stay young and beautiful forever.

Body: d10
Mind: d12
Senses: d8
Will: d10
Social: d8 +1
Magic: d12

Life Points: 20
Reflex: 13
Resist Magic: 15
Zap Points: 24

Skills (Rank)
Acting d8 +7
Athletics d10
Art d12
Basics d12
Casting d12 +4
Focus d10 +6
Fib d8 + 11
Fighting d10 +2
Hear d8 +1
Instrument d8 +6
Leader d8 +9
Look d8 +4
Magical Etiquette
Mundane Etiquette d8 +7
Mysticism d12 + 4
Mythology d12 + 4
Potions d12 +2
Scare d8 +6

Beautiful* (only when fed. If not then Hags Syndrome)

Alteration 1
Divination 2
Illusion 3
Mentalism 2
Necromancy 2
Offense 1
Protection 2

Signature Spell: Glamour

Common Vampire abilities
Magic Immunity: Bathory is immune to Mentalism and Necromancy type magic.
Shape Shift: Bathory can become a paragon raven or paragon wolf at will.
Special Immortality: Bathory can only die if she is forced to see herself in her “hag” state.

AttacksBite: 10 damage and drains a person of all Life and Zap points. Bathory only feeds on young witches.
Claws: 6

Plot HookElizabeth manages to get on the Board of Directors of the Willow-Mistt School. Through manipulation, magic and outright threats she manages to get Amora Mistt removed as Headmistress and herself put in her place.
Bathory then starts recruiting the best and brightest senior girls to her side, to help ease the transition, to have lackeys in the school and of course when her plans comes, to have these girls nearby so she can drain them of their life-force. She will have also vamped one of the teachers to her side, some she will be grooming as her Scion (I am thinking Connie Li, but certainly NOT Ursula Scratch, too cliché).

Once the big dance comes on Walpurgis Night, Bathory will have worked out a ritual to drain every girl in the School of their magic, blood and life.

That is of course, unless the Stars can do something about it.

The teachers can’t help since going after Elizabeth violates some magical contract they have all signed and she has manipulated to her advantage (something like teacher cannot threaten the school and since she is Headmistress and on the Board and maybe tapped into the energies of the school, she *is* the school). The senior class are all her thralls now (they will willing drain their dates for their mistress at the dance). I would have to say she had Tandy arrested for something, she looks like she is too clever to fall for Bathory’s magic. Ebony would have to be magicked somehow. Leaving Ursula and the Krofts left to help the kids. I like the idea of Ursula having to team up with Susan and Derrick.
Or just do what I did when I originally ran this, make is a inter-term like J-Term (a term in the Winter during break where students can take an extra class for more credit) or Summer Term. I like Summer better, then the dance becomes the Mid-Summer's Ball (figure a 4 week term May 21 to June 22/July 1). Most of the faculty will be away; of course only to show up at the final battle against Bathory’s vampire minions with a very pissed of Amora in the lead. Of course the Stars will need to stop (the rapidly aging) Bathory themselves.
In the grand tradition of horror movies, anime and TV shows, I might need a few red shirt teachers and students to go down in the battle. I am not one to kill characters randomly or even to make a point, but in this case it might be needed.

Elizabeth Bathory in Witch GirlsElizabeth began her life as a young woman as an apprentice witch. She enjoys the power she gains from magic, but has never had the frame of mind to complete her studies much beyond the beginning phases.
She hates the formal training witches receive (part of her reasons to attack the school) but loves that some many potential victims are under one roof.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Elizabeth Bathory, Chill

Going back to my roots here for a bit. Elizabeth Bathory was one of my favorite evil characters in the old Mayfair Chill game. This was the game that convinced me (long before we ever saw Ravenloft for AD&D) that vampires need to played as characters and not monsters. Of course this is the defacto way of doing things now, but back then this was a new and powerful insight. Despite the fact that in the book Bathroy looked like Susan Lucci (and still not a bad choice), my earliest opinions on what Elizabeth Bathory acts like as a vampire come from the 1971 movie Les lèvres rouges, known here in the States as "Daughters of Darkness" (not to be confused with the movie Vampyres, which also had been called Daughters of Darkness).

Delphine Seyrig really helped form the idea of vampire Bathory as a timeless aristocrat so convinced that what she was doing was right that there is no sign of psychosis at all. She was a royal and therefore all others exist to serve her. After all, she had been locked away and cheated death. Of course the memory of her imprisonment still haunted her, so she became more cautious and more selective. And that is how she was formed for me in Chill. These stats differ from her published ones but they fit better with the Unisystem ones from before. Elizabeth Bathory, Chill (these are my combined 1st and 2nd Ed version of Chill stats) BASIC ABILITIES Strength 90 Perception 100 Dexterity 80 Willpower 110 Agility 90 Luck/EWS 150 Personality 120 Stamina 120 Attack 2/90% Movement 75’ (225' as Raven or Wolf) EDGES & DRAWBACKS (2nd Ed) Name /CIPs/ Notes Attractive /4/ Psychological flaw /1/ Obsessions (stay young, stay beautiful) SKILLS Name (Rank) Score Dagger/Knife (M) 145 Acting/Drama (M) 165 Anthropology/ Archaeology (M) 160 Antiques (M) 130 Art Criticism (M) 160 History (M) 160 Hypnotism (M) 165 Investigation (M) 142 Language, Contemporary [all European languages] (M) 160 Language, Ancient (M) 150 Legend Lore (M) 160 Modeling (M) 142 Disguise(M) 155 Filching(M) 145 Graphology/Forgery (M) 145 Occult Lore (M) 116 Ritual Magic (M) 116 Movement: Varies according to form: in human form, can sprint without Stamina loss; can move 75' per round as mist or fog, 225' as raven or wolf. Disciplines: Animation of the Dead, Appear Dead (Self), Change Self (to large raven, large wolf, woman of any race, cloud of fog), Create a Feast, Darken, Dreamsend, Evil Eye, Flight*, Gnarl, Halt, Haywire, Influence, Purified Shell, Quiet, Slam, Sleep, Steal Memory, Summon, Swarm, Telekinesis, Teleport, Total Illusion, Wave of Fog, White Heat. *Bathory can use Flight any time, day or night, except for one hour after sunrise and one hour after sunset. To fly, she assumes the form of a cloud of sparkling lights that dance in the air, then materializes when the flight ends. She cannot be destroyed while in this dancing light form. IPs: 7200 Characteristics 1. Like other vampires from this region Bathory casts no reflection. Nor does her image appear on film or video tape. All paintings of Bathory have mysteriously disappeared. The quickest way to anger her is to take her photograph. 2. Daylight does not harm or affect Bathory; however, she cannot use the Evil Way for one hour immediately following sunrise, and one hour immediately following sunset. She is still not comfortable however moving about during the day. 3. Bathory can control people who are reduced to 5 or fewer Stamina points by her bite. The extent of this control equals a "C" result under the discipline Influence. 4. Bathory must rest once her Stamina or Willpower goes below 10. When she rests she appears dead. This rest need not take place inside a coffin: a crypt, the inside of a mausoleum, or any place of the dead will do. Twelve hours of uninterrupted rest restore all lost Willpower and stamina. If Bathory is disturbed before the 12 hours have passed, her Stamina and Willpower remain where they were when she began resting; she must start allover again and rest for an entire 12 hours in order to recuperate Willpower and Stamina. 5. The following items offer protection against Bathory: -A Patriarchal Cross (but no other type of cross or crucifix). This item is the holy symbol of the Greek Orthodox Church. Upon seeing this item, Bathory cowers and leaves the room or area in any manner available. Bathory cannot approach within 2-1/2' of the Patriarchal cross. A Patriarchal cross hung above the doorway to a room prevents her from entering or leaving by that doorway. -Garlic. The odor of a bulb of garlic within 2-1/2 feet causes Bathory to leave the room or immediate area. She will use the Evil Way (particularly the discipline Influence ) or her Hypnosis skill to make a subject remove the garlic. -Salt. Bathory cannot touch table salt nor cross directly over a line of table salt. However, as with garlic, she uses skills and Evil Way disciplines in order to make a subject remove the salt. Direct contact with table salt causes an automatic critical wound to Bathory with full damage results (including Stamina loss). -A Wild Rose. This flower has the same effect as garlic. It also immobilizes the Countess when placed upon her. If so immobilized, she can still use the Evil Way, except for any discipline that moves the rose or her own body. -Mountain Ash. When placed upon the Countess, this leaf has the same effect as a wild rose. 6. Bathory must drink the blood of three young (younger than 25 years old) female victims per the New Moon, or her Personality score drops by 50 points for one week. She will appear to have aged 10 years from her usual appearance (that of a beautiful 25 year old woman). For one entire week, she will appear to be a 35 year old woman. If for some reason, she cannot claim three victims from the time she appears as a 35 year old woman, she ages another 10 years and loses another 50 points from her Personality score. If she fails to claim three victims on the fourth successive week, she is destroyed forever. The victims of Elizabeth Bathory do not become vampires when they die, but remain dead after their Stamina falls to zero. The blood of a man does not fulfill Bathory's needs, so rather than perform her vampire attack on male victims, she attacks them with her skills and Evil Way disciplines. Often, she has been known to turn one male against another. 7. When draining blood from the body of her victim, Bathory drains 1d10 points of Stamina per minute. The blood drain lasts for 1d10 minutes. 8. There are several ways to destroy Bathory .If she sustains enough wound damage from table salt, she eventually dies. A wooden stake driven through her heart leaves her completely helpless for one minute. Then, she uses her Evil Way disciplines to change into sparkling lights and escape. Once the stake is driven through Bathory , her body should be set on fire immediately. Bathory's body is highly flammable in this state, catching fire and burning completely in 3 rounds, leaving no trace of its existence. 9. Bathory does not suffer wounds or Stamina loss from normal weapons. I did not see "Countess Dracula" till much later on. While it is a fun little flick in it's own right, I did gain anything new gaming-wise from it. Though a back to back Bathory film-fest might work out well one Halloween eve. Or maybe the weekend of August 21, when the Countess dashed off her mortal coil. Each of these three builds gives me something different. The Unisystem one is best at representing the fiendish side, the bloodthirsty sadist. The Mutants & Masterminds works better for me in terms of the power hungry vampire. And this Chill version is the best at figuring out how to convert a real life psychopath into an calm, cool, undead psychopath. Next up. Something that all three versions have contributed to, Elizabeth Bathory, Headmistress.