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  1. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Replacing vampires

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Man in the Box, Jul 2, 2013.

    In writing my story I made my villains into vampires because, hey, vampires are cool and have superpowers. However, further on I realized that maybe the villains need not be vampires, and devised a possible explanation for their powers, but the outcome of my brainstorming has them being quite close to vampires still. Basically, instead of sucking blood, they do some sort of demonic conversion, and the victim, instead of becoming a vampire, becomes a cold blooded, flesh eating, blood drinking maniac who needs to keep feeding themself to retain their sanity. Basically becomes a servant, but can not ascend to the level of the creature who converted them.

    Should I just go ahead and call them vampires, taking advantage of all the lore that surrounds them, or are they different enough to be called something else?
     
  2. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    just drinking blood doesn't make them vampires. I prefer vampires in the traditional sense not made up sparklies.

    What mood is your book? Romantic? True Blood(ish)? Pure evil?

    The mood may determine what you call them
     
  3. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Hi, thanks for quick reply.

    I'd say my book is True Bloodish in that it features fantastic characters in a modern setting. I'm aiming for a darker tone.

    Let me explain more clearly. Initially the story was going to have vampires, and people bitten by them would become vampires (of course).

    After rethinking the characters, the ones who were the "original vampires" (that is, the ones that enslave others), I remade into "superhumans" (have yet to give them a proper name) whose powers derive from their innermost personality. They're able to live beyond regular humans, but still have a lifespan, and they're able to convert people. The converted people were originally the bitten people in the unchanged story. I made these converted people more insane and dependent on blood and flesh to survive and keep their sanity, however they can't ascend to the level of the being who converted them. They could cure themselves if they were able to kill the being who converted them.

    My dilemma is that the setting sounds a bit similar to vampires, so, if I'm just going to change some bits here and there, I might as well go with vampires themselves. But the vampires don't fit my story very well. I think the new concepts are better, though I'd need to redo a few characters.
     
  4. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd advise against reinventing the wheel here. Your description is clearly just a variation on a well established vampire myth. this myth is very diverse and you can change it up a lot (as you did). Why don't you just call them vampires and write the book, because it will be different. If you start substituting terms without diverging sufficiently from the archetype, I'm pretty sure readers won't be impressed.
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like your new 'features' too but they're not traditional vampires are they?

    While some people here will say vampires are fictional so you can make them anyway you want I think I prefer vampires to be vampires, they sleep all day in coffins underground, (with the odd day-walker), they need blood for sustenance, prey on humans and get stronger with age - and of course immortal.

    You say your story is True Blood-ish so may have some comedic/ridiculous traits - because your creatures have some vampire habbits but are also mortal maybe you call them something like damnedpires or manpires, :)
     
  6. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Thanks for replies.

    I thought about spinning the myth of the vampire a bit and making them be the source of magical research that taps into the underworld. Originally their purpose was power, but I decided to make them (quite ironically) carry a disease that eats their immortality and seek a cure, pretty sure this is not unheard of in vampiric fiction but it gives my characters a goal to achieve rather than "world domination" or something cliché like that. I have some daywalkers but they're quite rare and don't move about very often, so they're not "unbeatable" to the heroes (like the king in a chess game).
     
  7. CyberFD
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    CyberFD Member

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    You can still classify them as vampires, and then have subcategories. There was an anime I watched a while back called "Vampire Knight" and the vampires that went crazy were called Level E. You could do something like that.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    There's enough of the expected vampire trope here to clearly know them as vamps. A smidgen of zombie in the whole must have blood/flesh in order not to revert to some wild rabid version, but vampire nonetheless. The dynamic of hierarchies within the population is very, very undeniably vampy. Part of the Shadow that vampires represent, our denied animal side, which does, very much, answer to hierarchies.
     
  9. Man in the Box
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    Man in the Box Active Member

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    Hahaha I watched Vampire Knight. Both seasons (One and Guilty). It's shoujo (for girls), which means it's obviously girly, but way better than Twilight IMO. It was part of my research on how the Japanese did vampires, since I'd like my story to have an anime-esque tone.

    Nothing tops Hellsing Ultimate, though. :D
     
  10. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    Hellsing is boss. Vampire Hunter D is also classic.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I liked the 80s movie "Near Dark," which was about a group of vampires in the deep South. They were never referred to as vampires, though - not once in the movie. Everything they did was vampire-like, but nobody called them vampires. After all, they look like normal humans until they kill you, so you never get to know they're vampires in time to call them vampires. They're just regular folks until it's too late.
     
  12. sanco
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    sanco Contributing Member

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    This is an interesting little thesis I stumbled upon when I was doing research for my vampire story.

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~elektra/thesis.html
     
  13. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Can you lose other vampire traits like being allergic to the sun. From what I have read of your posts you have:
    -a group of superhuman creatures
    -whose powers derive from their innermost personality
    -who still have a lifespan and are susceptible to dying a natural death
    -and are looking for a "cure" to obtain some level of immortality or to avoid some sort of degeneration​
    They convert victims into similar creatures
    -who can't obtain the strength of their creators
    -and need to feed constantly to avoid degeneration or death​

    What if the victims (lab rats) don't drink blood, but need to constantly consume a part of the frontal cortex of the brain (related to personality) in order to maintain some sort of chemical balance? The original creatures are just conducting experiments on the humans in order to find their own cure in a way that seems evil from our perspective.
     
  14. Erasmus B. Dragon
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    Erasmus B. Dragon Member

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    Your sub-vamps actually made me think of a more extreme version of Renfield from Bram Stoker's version of the legend - insane and with the need to consume life.
     
  15. Skodt
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    Skodt Member

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    I think that if you have to ask yourself if they are vampires; then the readers will do the same. It's about like when people in Fantasy writing try to avoid elves, if they look like elves, talk like elves, smell like elves; then they are an elf. Don't try to trick your reader into believing something different, just because you want to sound original. Sometimes being unoriginal leads to originality in the end.
     
  16. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I usually refer to the crazy flesh-eaters you described as "Renfields," after Dracula's devoted servant.
     
  17. BMacKay40
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    BMacKay40 Member

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    Here's a thought. Perhaps in defending himself from an attack by a zombie, the vampire bit the zombie, turning the zombie into a sort of hybrid zombie/vampire creature. Then, whenever that zombie bites someone and they survive, they get the extreme bloodletting and viciousness of the zombie, mixed with the superpowers of a vampire, but maintain their mortality?

    Just a thought.
     
  18. NeonFraction
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    NeonFraction Member

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    I think anything that's human-like in appearance and drinks blood is going to, whether you like it or not, be called a vampire. Despite what anyone may tell you, there are no 'traditional' vampires. In fact, the earliest vampires were hairy corpses, and the blood drinking was based on the fact that exhumed corpses were often seen with dark liquid dribbling out of their mouths (actually a chemical part of decomposition). In many ways, 'original' vampires were closer to zombies than vampires. The old vampires also didn't have inner turmoil or love interests. They just killed people and drank their blood. Even the idea of 'turning' someone into a vampire is a new idea that seems more zombie-like. It's only once the romantics got a hold of them that they became the high-class monsters they are known as today. Dracula is actually a very early part of romanticizing vampires and is certainly not the original.

    Of course, even if everyone calls them vampires outside the book doesn't mean you have to IN the book. After all, most zombie movies never actually call them zombies, and many vampire stories never actually say the word vampire. I'd say go with what feels right in the world you've created.
     
  19. Kimberly Jane
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    Kimberly Jane New Member

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    They sound very similar to normal vampires. Perhaps they could be a sub-species of a more traditional vampire, and this could explain the similarities?. It would also save you having to explain all of the 'powers' that the villains have, without it being too boring, because a lot of the powers have been seen before in other books/films.
     
  20. petey0707
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    petey0707 Member

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    Honestly reminds me of white walkers and their wights. Or necromancy.
     
  21. Sifunkle
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    Sifunkle Dis Member

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    You've been amassing a respectable army of shambling corpse threads yourself, my Dark Lord! :superwink:
     
  22. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Call them Shemps. Bonus points if you get the reference.
     
  23. Daemon Wolf
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    Daemon Wolf Active Member

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    My suggestion: Make some shit up. Just make your own name up for them.
     
  24. Australis
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    Australis Active Member

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    If you asked anybody to describe a traditional vampire, I would bet that 99.999% of the population would be wrong with a majority of their stated vamp features.
    I'd even wonder how many of those here would know.

    Maybe you could decide what features your creatures will have, and then work out which mythical creature comes the closest to matching it.

    That's not correct. Our perception of zombies is completely wrong. The original zombies shares zero features with the modern zombie. It in fact has a sadder, and in some ways, more terrifying history, regardless of which origin point you go by.
     
  25. petey0707
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    petey0707 Member

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    Haha, no doubt!
     

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