Dhampir Lineage 5E Guide | Ravenloft Lineage

dhampir 5e

All it takes is one bite to change someone permanently. In Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, you are finally able to embrace your vampiric blood. The Dhampir are related to vampires in some way; whether by bite or by breeding, it’s rare to know. They are positioned between life and death, which gives them powers beyond what a living member of their race could possibly feel. Is this a strict upside? Or will their undead nature be their downfall? Find out in our Dhampir 5E guide.

Dhampir 5E Lineage Guide

As suggested earlier, Dhampir are positioned between life and death, and walk a very thin tightrope. They feel intense hunger, either for flesh or psychic energies, and may come from a whole host of vampiric origins. No matter what, you are now mostly defined by your defiance of permanent death, and reliance on others life energies. You are identified by your pale skin, sharp features, and pointed fangs.

You may be connected to a Ravenloft Domain of Dread; Barovia, Darkon, and I’Cath might be useful to research for you. Ask your DM if this is a worthy cause to investigate for your backstory, since these vampiristic societies might be handy to know about.

What is a Lineage?

dhampir 5e

A Lineage is essentially a race, but can be templated over an existing race. For instance, you may play as a Dhampir, or you may play as a Dwarf Dhampir, or an Elf Dhampir. These base races determine some very slight bonuses that you get in your race, but are more important for your character’s backstory and appearance.

You may choose to increase one ability score by 2 and another by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. This override happens no matter what your base race is. So you always get to choose the best scores for your class, if you want to! Though if giving your Dwarf a bad case of “being a vampire” is what it takes to make them a good Wizard… 

You may speak Common and one other language of your choice (or any languages spoken by your Base Race). Talk to your DM about if a particular language makes sense for your Dhampir. Your create type changes to whatever “type” your new Lineage is. The Dhampir’s creature type is Humanoid, and thus your new type is Humanoid. Talk to your DM about if this makes sense in all situations, such as if they allow a Dhampir Satyr in their campaign.

You replace most of your racial traits with the Dhampir Traits. However, the Dhampir keeps some aspects of the base race; keep that in mind if you have an idea about what your Dhampir was beforehand.

See Also: Hexblood 5E Guide

Dhampir Lineage Traits

The Dhampir changes a lot about their Base Race. If you have a Base Race, you replace your racial traits with the following traits.

  • Humanoid Type.
  • Medium or Small Size. There’s no real benefit to one or the other. You can argue that Small creatures hide easier, but that’s not always critical.
  • 35 ft Speed. You move 5 feet faster than the standard race. One square may not sound like a lot, but it can be the difference between life or death… And it can force a creature to need to spend an extra action Dashing at you while you make your escape.
  • Ancestral Legacy. Normally, this is two free proficiencies in any skill of your choice. That’s extremely flexible, and is a reason to play this lineage by itself. However, if your previous race had any Climb, Fly, or Swim Speed, or if it had any skill proficiencies, then you can keep those proficiencies instead. That means that races like Tabaxi and Lizardfolk are really good when transformed into a Dhampir.
  • Darkvision. You can see in the dark. Always handy! Throw that torch away.
  • Deathless Nature. Whatever? The situations where this comes in handy are few and far between. You’ll be the best at swimming for loot, I suppose? And maybe your DM’s plans to gas-trap you will fail because of this. That’s not too important.
  • Spider Climb. Whoa! Okay, so your climb speed is absurd, and at level 3, you have near infinite utility while climbing. Goodness! This is extremely useful, and is just a step away from being straight-up Fly speed. Use this a lot, especially if you plan on being a ranged character.
  • Vampiric Bite. What a neat little thing! First of all, this is one of the very, very few ways to add your Constitution modifier to your attack and damage rolls. That can be really neat, though few classes need Constitution more than they need Strength or Dexterity. Your bite also suffers from being a natural weapon that will be difficult to enchant magically. This can be a good emergency melee weapon for a caster with high Constitution, and the heal isn’t… insignificant. However, it’s safe to assume that the Empowered bonuses are based on the d4, which makes them less useful than they might appear. Still, using the Bite to set up an all-important attack roll can be handy. And any melee attack with free Advantage is worth considering!

The Dhampir is legitimately very, very strong; arguably stronger than a standard race! Consider starting as a Lizardfolk or Aarakocra to start with a Swim or Fly speed, respectively. Do know that if you take the Fly speed from Aarakocra, then you don’t get the Dhampir’s bonus skills.

The Dhampir can be fantastic at any role. However, some particularly interesting options include a Constitution-based Fighter that spams their bite, or a Druid that always has a natural attack. Heck, the bite can even work for a Rogue, since your Constitution tends to be high anyways! Alternatively, after level 3, you can be a fantastic Archer by climbing around the walls and repositioning around your enemies.

What Class is Best for Dhampir in 5E?

Thanks to how high-powered this lineage is, there are plenty of ways to make a dhampir build work. In fact, you can build your character around several different aspects of the dhampir. Some prefer to make their character focused on vampiric bite, but that is only one of the fun options available to you.

Oath of Conquest Paladin

See our Oath of Conquest Guide

While I went with Oath of Conquest because it is a personal fave, most paladin builds are great with a dhampir. this is especially true if your build centers on the use of Divine Smite. This approach gets you around the annoying MAD issues by dumping strength and maxing out Constitution and Charisma. You can land a lot of vampiric bites and deal Divine Smite with them. What’s more, your high AC and hit dice makes it realistic for you to hang out at just below half your maximum HP, giving you constant attacks at advantage. Maintaining that position is even easier with the use of Lay on Hands.

Way of Mercy Monk

See our Way of Mercy Monk Guide

Like with my paladin suggestion, the dhampir works for most monk subclasses as well. Also like my paladin choice, I went with this option because of its synergy with vampiric bite. that’s because vampiric bite counts a monk weapon, which means you can use your martial arts dice to deal damage. If your goal is to hang just below half your HP, the mercy monk’s ability to heal itself through strikes is a useful tool. You can’t use vampiric bite for flurry of blows, however, and vampiric bite doesn’t solve the monk’s MAD issues the way it does with a paladin.

Evocation Wizard

See our Evocation Wizard Guide

Want a build that focuses on something other than vampiric bite? There’s plenty to like about the evocation wizard, especially at level three and above. Spider climb is a great way to stay out of danger while blasting away with spells in many cases. It might not be as effective as having a flying speed, but it also won’t cost you a spell slot and is useful in some cases where flying isn’t an option. Standing high on a wall raining down fireballs sounds fun to me, anyway.

Dhampire 5E FAQ

Is Dhampir Official 5E?

Yes, the dhampir is an official lineage released by Wizards of the Coast for 5E. You can find it in Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft.

Can a Dhampir Become a Vampire?

Under 5E rules as written, a dhampir may be turned into a vampire. According to the vampire stat block, any humanoid that is reduced to zero HP and buried in the ground will rise the next day as a vampire. Given that a dhampir is Humanoid, this appears to apply to them.

Is Dhampir Overpowered?

The argument can be made that the dhampir is overpowered. Permanent spider climb beginning at only level 3 is potent, along with your speed bonus. Darkvision is always handy, as is vampiric nature. Even vampiric bite has its uses. Where the dhampir can get really powerful is with ancestral legacy. The good news is that this is largely dependant on the DM. In some games it amounts to little more than additional skill proficiencies. But if your DM allows it, your aarakocra dhampir not only gets all the great dhampir stuff but also a flying speed to boot.

Are Dhampirs Sensitive to Sunlight?

No, under 5E rule as written, dhampir do not have the sunlight sensitivity trait.

Conclusion – Dhampir 5E Guide

The Dhampir is, most likely, the strongest lineage you could ask for. You’re ungodly fast, you have fantastic Climb speed, you have a bite that can buff your rolls… It’s actually absurd! Remember to choose between your Base Race’s skills or the 2 free skills before you make a definite decision. You can make a Dhampir work for every class.

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