Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Midnight Society


I love them, though there are times I wish I didn't. About six months ago, while sitting at a friend's house, I was looking through his Magic: The Gathering cards. He had quite a few from the Innistrad block. These sets were gothic horror themed and reminded me of Hammer flicks and Ravenloft (two of my loves). One card in particular stuck out to me. It was an instant or sorcery (can't remember which) called "Defanged." Here's the artwork and the flavor text.

Once vampires are disarmed they're given wooden swords and forced to assist in the training of Midnight Duelists.

Fast foward to a couple of nights ago. I'm trying to talk my friend Sarah into giving B/X a shot (she's not played D&D in a long time) and to do so I'm pushing for her to play a vampire using Tim Brannan's class. Her favorite D&D character was turned into a vampire and locked into a coffin the last time she played. While trying to persuade her I thought about the Innistrad set and was inspired. I plan on incorporating into a game whether I talk Sarah into playing or not. 

The Midnight Society


The Midnight Society was founded five hundred years ago during the Century of Twilight. During this (literally) dark time the Sun God was captured and a dark spell kept the world in eternal twilight. This allowed the creatures of the night to run unchecked. During this time, even angels despaired. However, not all was lost. One angel decided to fight. He gathered brave men and women and taught them the techniques to fight back against the night. He made various pacts with men, spirits, and others to gather resources and build a fortress. He and his followers became the Midnight Society. 

After many battles and lives lost the group finally ended the Century of Twilight. However, they knew that the vampires and their allies still dwelt in the shadows so they refused to disband.To this day, the Midnight Society fights to keep the darkness at bay.


There are several subgroups within the Midnight Society:

Midnight Duelists: The brave men (and demihumans) are the hunters and soldiers of the organization. Their elite warriors are armed with Heartwood Spears (see below).

Nightweavers: Next to the Midnight Duelists these are the most commonly encountered members of the Midnight Society. Knowing the power of knowledge they go about towns and cities spreading tales, hoping to arm the common man. It should be noted that they're stories must be approved by the leaders of the society in a special ritual that normally starts out, "Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story..."

The Defanged: Not every vampire found by the society is destroyed. Some are "recruited" into the organization for training purposes. These vampires have their fangs forcibly removed,are given wooden swords, and forced to train new recruits. Some Defanged are full of rage, others are more like beaten pups, but all are considered dangerous and watched closely. Stats for an average "Defanged" can be found below.

Requiem Angels: These servants of the Sun God despaired when he was captured and inadvertently sewed much despair during the Century of Twilight. As it was said, "When angels despair, what hope can remain for mortals?" As penance for their lack of faith, many of these angels have allied themselves with the Midnight Society. While they only hunt the most dire of foes, they often provide healing and guidance for members. 

The Heartwarders: The Midnight Society's fortress was built around an ancient sentient tree. This tree, simply known as the Heartwood, and the druids that serve it pledged to help the society in its original mission. They continue to do so today. Occasionally the Heartwood will spawn a sapling that grows into an intelligent plant man. These children join the duelists on their hunt, as their natural magic seems to be quite effective against vampires. Upon their deaths their bodies undergo a special ritual and are turned into Heartwood Spears (see below).  

The Tenders: These are the "normal" people that support the society. They are the cooks that feed the duelists and the blacksmiths that make their weapons. They also take care of of the family of giant weasels that seems to be allied with the society. Beyond their tasks they also have the important job of providing comfort and fellowship the duelists.

Okay so that's a brief description of the Midnight Society and its members. I'll leave you folks with stats for the Defanged and Heartwood Spears.


The Defanged

Defanged (B/X)
AC: 4, HD: 2d12, HP 16, #AT: 1 D: 1d8+2, MV 120' (40'), 180' (60'), SV: F2, ML: 10, AL: N
Equipment: Wooden Sword

Defanged vampires have some of the abilities of their free bretheren. They are immune to sleep, charm, and hold spells. In addition they are immune to poison, have darkvision, and have 99% Move Silently. Finally they regenerate 1 HP a round.

However, like other vampires, the Defanged have several weaknesses. They can be turned as Ghouls (2 HD), sunlight will destroy them, they must be invited into a home, and they are repelled by a strongly presented holy symbol. 

Defanged (AGE)


1 Communication (Persuasion)
2 Constitution
1 Cunning 
3 Dexterity (Bite, Initiative)
2 Magic
1 Perception
3 Strength (Claw)
1 Willpower (Self-Discipline)

Combat Ratings
13 Speed, 30 Health, 13 Defense, 0/2 Armor Rating 


Weapon                             Attack Roll           Damage
Fangless Bite                           +5                   3
Claw                                       +5                   1d6+3
Wooden Sword                         +3                   1d6+3 


Favored Stunts: Pierce Armor, Thirst (see below)

Blood is Life A Defanged that bites an unconscious or recently slain enemy can regain 2d6 Health by drinking blood. If used on an unconscious foe, the bite counts as a coup de grace.The vampire can choose to only regain 1d6 Health. If they do the attack isn't considered a coup de grace. If they choose to feed on the victim again before the victim regains Health then they only regain 1d6 Health and the attack is considered a coup de grace.

Dark Vision: Defanged can see in the dark as if it were daylight.

Sunlight Weakness: For every round of direct sunlight the Defanged is exposed to it takes 1d6 points of penetrating damage.

Thirst: If a Defanged hits with its bite attack it can perform a special stunt costing 3 SP. It regains Health equal to the targets Constitution + 1.

Unholy Flesh: While weaker than a normal vampire, the unholy energies infusing a Defanged's flesh grant them an Armor Rating of 2. This ability doesn't function during the day.


Heartwood Spears (B/X)

While not technically magic, these spears can hit a vampire as if they were. In addition once per day, the spear may be used to locate vampires up to 120' away in the same manner as the 2nd level Magic-User spell (ignoring the normal no creature restriction).

Heartwood Spears (AGE)

The ritual infusing this spear allows it to ignore a vampires "Unholy Flesh" ability. In addition the wielder is considered to have the Perception (Searching, Tracking) focuses for the purposes of finding vampires (if the wielder already has these focuses they get an additional +2). Finally the wielder can perform the Pierce Armor stunt for 1SP instead of the normal 2SP required.


  1. Very cool idea, and I think I might have use for it myself. If I'm running a horror game, it's usually using the Unhallowed Metropolis system and setting, and there are Vampires aplenty in there. usually it's either a military matter, or bounty hunters go after them. Outside of London though, there are plenty of settlements that have been lost for decades, and would need something a bit more select to deal with if Vampires got involved. Cheers.

    1. I've never heard of Unhallowed Metropolis. I'll have to look into it.