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Vampires aren't cool, and that's a good thing!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Vampires belong to the premier class of monsters. They're strong, they're powerful, and (almost) always sexy. It is not for nothing that they appear in films, books, computer games and, of course, in LARP. Its historical origins go back a long way and are still the material for numerous reinterpretations of the vampire myth. Together with werewolves, mummies and dragons, vampires are among the few monsters that are also known to those who do not move in the fantasy or role-play area.

In almost all representations, the vampires come off pretty well at first glance. They look good, are wealthy, and shine with style and cunning or great emotions. What is quickly forgotten is that vampires under this beautiful facade are anything but cool creatures that were only given special gifts in the cradle.

Because it is precisely the ugly and easily forgotten facets of the vampire that make him so attractive. It is his disadvantages and weaknesses, without which he would just be an overpowering person with unusual nutritional needs and thus quite boring. In order to experience a vampire as a multi-layered figure with depth, one should therefore deal with its disadvantages. Because only these flaws make him someone very special.

Table of Contents

The facade shines

Without question, the nocturnal bloodsuckers are fascinating creatures. Whether as personified evil or as a tragic hero, vampires are somehow always cool pigs. As antagonists, they are more cruel and scheming than the normal average opponent, and as protagonists they suffer more dramatically and intensely than a disdainful person. For many, it is exciting that vampires move beyond human rules and are not bound by countless laws and human rules of behavior, as we are - if they do not want to move undetected among mortals. And their supernatural abilities are not bad either.

In addition, vampires are intense. You will hardly meet a boring vampire, but almost only extreme representatives of their kind. And this intensity is thrilling, because we are incredibly receptive to strong impulses. Even thoroughly evil vampires can therefore fascinate the audience and make us shudder in their function as super villains.

In the representations, vampires are often surrounded by the signs of success. You own castles or modern luxury accommodations and have access to a number of resources. That too contributes to a fascinating and cool facade, because wealth and success are always desirable.

It is crumbling under the facade

Behind this intense charisma, however, it looks a lot less glamorous. If you look behind the tantalizing facade of superhuman abilities and immortality, you suddenly see a broken, pathetic creature that keeps its dead body alive with stolen blood and hides from the world.

Being a vampire is more than drinking blood and getting a bunch of special skills to do it.

There are different interpretations of the vampire in which one or more of his weaknesses have been taken from him. Sometimes this succeeds, and yet profound characters emerge. Very often, however, the result is a superhuman in whom the balance between advantages and disadvantages is unfavorably shifted.

Welcome to the world of darkness

Becoming a vampire is a traumatic step. The body dies and awakens to new, undead life. The process of dying and awakening is painful and an ordeal for the body and mind. This shapes a vampire for a lifetime. If the young vampire was not prepared for his new life, but simply thrown into the world of vampires, the shock is even greater.

And once this change is over, the young vampire faces a time full of blatant cuts. This almost always includes a separation from his entire previous life, which he has to cope with parallel to his new existence as a vampire. The idea of ‚Äč‚Äčescaping everyday life and family for a while can certainly be tempting. But to leave them behind forever and never to see them again is something else.

The juice of life

Vampires feed on blood, it is well known. But what does that mean in detail? A never-ending hunger for blood that stirs at the sight of a bare neck or the smell of a person. Getting blood is not easy, and when the man is need and the vampire is starving, he has to get creative very quickly. He is always faced with the choice of going hunting and chasing the necks of complete strangers, or, for example, working the night shift in hospitals and secretly stealing blood.

Neither is a particularly pleasant idea, but not eating is not a solution either. He is a permanent danger to the people around him and it makes no difference whether they are close to him or not. And the greater the hunger, the more likely it will pounce on its next victim and drink it up.

Crucial at this point is the vampire's dependence on living creatures. No matter how powerful a vampire is, if he doesn't at least find rats to drink, he'll perish miserably.

Powerless in daylight

The sun is the vampire's natural enemy. Despite all his supernatural abilities, he is terrifyingly powerless during the day. Regardless of whether the sunlight only weakens him or directly destroys him: While the vampire is far superior to everyone at night, he is relatively defenseless during the day. And even if he is awake and just has to stay out of sunlight, that is a tremendous weakness.

And from this it follows that such a great creature as a vampire has to hide from people who are weak in themselves. Because that they would immediately recognize the danger that emanates from him and would do everything possible to avert this danger, is clear. It is true that the vampire could set up a stronghold for himself that can hardly be taken. But ultimately, no accommodation is completely burglar-proof. The only protection of this powerful supernatural being is to hide and hide in the shadows.

A vampire is a corpse

The fact that the vampire is a corpse is quickly forgotten when you see an attractive vampire in front of you on the screen: A vampire is and remains a dead body that only works like a living body through supernatural power. This is for people who know how to cope with exhausting enough. But it is worse for the vampire, because every minute of his existence he is aware that he is a walking corpse.

There are physical benefits to not being alive. Injuries, for example, are no longer as harmful as they are to a person. But the psychological component of this point can have a big impact on the vampire: Being dead makes him aware that life pulsates around him as long as he exists, while he feeds on it as an undead parasite in order to preserve an unnatural life through stolen blood - forever.

A vampire is immortal

And with that, one of the great strengths of a vampire turns out to be one of his greatest weaknesses. Because immortality is a double-edged sword. While on the one hand it is great to stay young forever and never suffer from old age, the vampire is detached from the world around him by his immortality. While everything is constantly changing, it always stays the same. And after a few decades it comes from a time that has long passed and is always stuck between the past and the present.

But not only does the world around him pass, but also every mortal being. Every friend, every family member grows inexorably older and dies under the fingers of the vampire before he knows it. All friendship and love is doomed to end, and he will always be the one to bury the other.

A vampire is lonely

A vampire is a lonely creature. Even if he should reveal himself to people, they will never understand what it means to be a vampire. You will never feel his hunger for blood and you will not know his fear of the sun. You may know what it is like to touch a walking corpse, but not what it means to be that corpse. And in the unlikely event that they do realize this, they will still age and eventually die, and the vampire will be alone again.

Other vampires may be an exception. But there always remains the mistrust whether the other means it honestly, or whether you are not just a pawn in their long-term plans. Because no vampire remains good for his entire existence, sooner or later a perversion of his original good attitude sets in. This loss of humanity makes the vampire colder and more cruel until he is finally ready to sacrifice anyone in order to achieve his own goals.

Vampires aren't cool

But it's cool to play a vampire.

Vampires offer the opportunity to experience incredibly complex characters in role-playing games. It is the interplay of great power and great weaknesses, of simultaneous independence and dependence on people, and of the knowledge that having great power is not to be equated with personal happiness. On the philosophical level one can play with the question of how much life is worth if one will not die, or whether certain death is not what makes life worth living.

Conclusion

Vampires are much more than the cool, powerful undead that you come across so often in films or books. Under the dazzling facade, they are vicious, broken, and pathetic creatures that parasitize on the blood of the living. The interplay of a dazzling facade and a disgusting monster behind it is what makes these creatures so attractive.

It is precisely this interplay of these two extremes that makes vampires the fascinating beings they are, and enables an incredible arc of tension for everyone involved in role play.

Article image: darkbird | fotolia.de

 

Frauke Bitomsky is and always has been a fantasy fan. She has been to be found especially at Vampire Live since 2003, but orcs have sometimes had to tremble before her. Frauke is enthusiastic about craftsmanship and loves to keep experimenting with new materials and starting new projects: fur, glass, fabric, wood, leather - everything is included. In real life she works as a social media consultant for SMEs, which is no less exciting. Frauke left the team in winter 2020.