The vampiric mist is one of the game’s faux vampires: a blood-draining creature whose depredations might make your PCs fear the worst. All the better, then, that these mists are CR 3—your experienced players will be even more scared than your newbs if they think you’re throwing a vampire at them at only 2nd or 3rd level…
I also dig that vampiric mists are aberrations, not undead or elementals (and speak Aklo to boot). That means they might not just be random menaces, but actually part of some larger aberrant plan…
A ghost ship coasts into Oarlock Bay, carrying little but rotted stores, rumors of treasure…and rats. Hundreds and hundreds of inbred, cannibalistic rats. The miasma of squalor and death also attracts a vampiric mist. Should adventurers encounter it before they have cleared out most of the vermin, they may have a difficult time cornering the blood-gorged aberration.
Narthex Theological College is under assault by a vampire! At least, that’s what the head chaplain and inquisitors believe. As more blood-drained brethren and acolyte corpses appear, the accusations begin to fly. Already several young suspects have been staked through the heart, yet the attacks have not abated. And the two brothers who did live to tell of being attacked lost faith after their prayers and positive energy failed to affect the “spirit.” Worse yet, the chaplain’s fearful insistence on burying the unjustly accused victims on unconsecrated ground could create an undead problem where none currently exists.
A party overhears a voonith speaking in Aklo, and the shocked other-dimensional beast offers to guide them through the swamp. The offer is actually nothing more than a ruse to deliver them to a gang of vampiric mists. Betraying metal-bound humans to sink in quicksand while bleeding to death appeals to the voonith’s rather singular sense of humor.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 2 277
Obviously that first seed was ripped from today’s headlines.
Readers respond! I’m a hair too old, but my brother will certainly appreciate ohgodhesloose reminding us of Kingdom of Loathing’s many vampire species. That rogue dailycharacteroption writes “Clan Malkavian for life!”—proving that having a compelling blog does not make you sane; I recommend never giving him your crayons. And dr-archville unpacks Ravenloft vampires for us in detail. I never got into Ravenloft much except for a handful of novels and one summer campaign in college, so I appreciate it!
Speaking of college and headlines, this guy Matt lived one suite over from me freshman year, and we shared a bathroom. Depending on your point of view, he must be one of the luckiest or unluckiest journalists in the world—first he was at Ground Zero for Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman, and now this. …Let’s just say it’s been a rather odd day on my Twitter feed.