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A close up of the face of a pale-skinned Vampire with muted colors and deep shadows. Their silvery eyes are emphasized by dark eye makeup, the tips of their fangs are showing against their full bottom lip, and their hands are at their mouth and cheek, displaying white pointed nails. This image is an alteration of a photograph by linolombardi.


Overview: Fungal Vampires are an interdependent partnership between a Mutualistic Vampiric Fungus and a living, vertebrate host (a person with a skeleton). They subsist on the life force energy that they get from drinking blood, resulting in a unique range of benefits and limitations.

Physical Description: Becoming a Fungal Vampire is a transformation than can happen to any member of a living vertebrate species. Each person who undergoes the transformation gains multiple vampiric species traits and vulnerabilities, but they also retain some of the species traits and vulnerabilities from their pre-transformation state. Fungal Vampires also retain their pre-transformation appearance. In most cases, the only outward sign of a Fungal Vampire transformation is a distinctive set of fangs.

The Transformation: A person becomes a Fungal Vampire by drinking a large quantity of Fungal Vampire blood, which contains Mutualistic Vampiric Fungus spores. The spores germinate within the person’s gastrointestinal tract, growing into a magical fungus that completely transforms their whole digestive system. The fungus is able to absorb life force from blood, which is a potent energy source that sustains both fungus and host. The host gets all of the other nutrients they need from the blood as well. In fact, most Fungal Vampires are only capable of digesting blood and will become ill if they consume anything else.

The host receives multiple benefits from being able to directly absorb life force. While the specific benefits each host receives vary unpredictably, the most common ones involve enhanced health, such as rapid healing. As a result, many Fungal Vampires have increased life spans and only age slowly. A few don’t age at all.

Senses: The transformation frequently enhances the host’s senses and sometimes gives them additional senses, such as echolocation or thermal vision.

Diet: Most Fungal Vampires can drink the blood of any vertebrate. It is common for Fungal Vampires to subsist entirely on animal blood, especially in cultures where animals are raised for meat. Fungal Vampires with ethical concerns about killing animals can sustain themselves on blood collected from no-kill herds or on blood drawn from people who are paid for their blood.

Common Mental Characteristics: The transformation causes minimal mental change to the host, so their mental traits are primarily due to their original species. However, the magical and physical changes caused by the transformation, even when they are entirely desired, can be a big adjustment. The stress of this change can exacerbate existing emotional and mental struggles, especially if the host gains an undesired trait from the transformation. In some case, however, a desired change is such a relief that the opposite effect is achieved and the existing struggles are calmed.

Magical Affinities:

  • Healing and Restoration Magic
  • Enhancement Magic
  • Shapeshifting Magic
  • Sensing Magic
  • Less Common Affinities: Attention Magic, Emotion Magic, Illusion Magic, Mind Magic, Necromantic Magic, Summoning Magic, and Weather Magic

Common Species Traits: Most Fungal Vampires gain two or three species traits upon their transformation. This list contains the most common ones, but sometimes completely random species traits occur.

  • Regeneration
  • Heightened Senses
  • Magical Nature
  • Immunity to cold, direct harm from poison, the side effects of poison, or magic that makes you perceive things that aren’t there
  • Less Common Traits: Additional Sense, Telepathy, Flight, Limited Shapeshifting, Ghost-Touched, Incorporeal Form, and Land Bond

Common Vulnerabilities: The majority of Fungal Vampires gain two or three vulnerabilities upon their transformation. This list contains the most common ones, but sometimes completely random vulnerabilities occur.

  • Dietary Restriction to blood
  • Specific Damage Vulnerability to fire
  • Sensory Sensitivity
  • Light Sensitive Eyes
  • Sunlight Reactive Body
  • Big Secret for those hiding that they are Vampires
  • Less Common Vulnerabilities: Severe Allergy to silver, Location Tether, and Danger Amplification

A Few Interesting Facts:

  • There are multiple kinds of Mutualistic Vampiric Fungi, each with slightly different properties.
  • Some Fungal Vampires raise packs of dogs for ethical blood collection.
  • The difficulty of subsisting entirely on blood, combined with the unpredictability of the benefits and vulnerabilities that come with the transformation, mean that only a few people undergo it.

Prominent Cultures: Most Fungal Vampires fit into the culture the host is already a member of, however Fungal Vampire biology is different enough that a newly transformed Fungal Vampire will usually need to take on a different role within their culture. For example, if someone who previously worked as a ranch hand gets light-sensitive eyes from their transformation, they will probably need to pursue an indoor career, such as becoming a veterinarian.

The common attitudes about Vampires in each culture have a big impact on what roles are available to Vampires. In cultures with less favorable attitudes, fewer roles are available and some Fungal Vampires decide to hide their natures for survival or personal gain. In these places, it is common for Vampires to form subcultures focused on mutual aid and support.

Inspiration: Fungal Vampires were inspired by zombie-ant fungi, lichen, and mycorrhizae.


Fungal Vampires are part of the Crossroads Setting for the tabletop role-playing game, Magic Goes Awry. Click here to go to the list of vibrant and unique magical people from the Land of Crossroads.


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