Nemesis: Vampires presents five NPC write-ups of adversaries you can throw at your party. The 48-page PDF, by Bards and Sages, contains some great writing, but ironically is held back and dominated by its own biggest nemesis, bad layout.
Vampires begins by presenting an introduction containing a small disclaimer and a big ?ole retcon. These vampires are not your traditional D&D Monster Manual 1 Vampires. Many of the balancing weaknesses of the monsters such as opposition to daylight and sleeping in a coffin are taken away. This section needed to be given a bit more thought and provided the reader a template for these special kind of vampires. Instead, it simply says to raise the CR by 1, buy the book does not do so automatically. Without the changes to the class, the book does not fly. The changes to the class are too dramatic to not be properly addressed by the author.
The Layout of the book also leaves a lot to be desired. Two versions of this 48 page, black and white book came in my zip. One was 33 mb large and was not much different in style and layout from the other one. That is pretty big for a single PDF with only a few pictures. The pictures, are not embedded in the text and come off as more of an afterthought than an actual integration. Vampires contains book marking, but it is poorly done and does not take advantage of the tree system booking marking of adobe. Instead every section and sub section reads in one straight line with the first NPC not even getting his own unique bookmark.
These gripes really take away from the excellent writing of the NPCS. Each contains special, unique abilities obviously inspired by the vampires of Cinema. The statblocks are provided in the good old former statblock form (which I love) and each entry contains long meaty hooks and a deep history of the characters. About the only thing that I did not like was the connection of all of the NPCs. I was hoping that with a book like Nemesis: Vampires, we would get five nemesises, not a nemesis and his flock of henchmen. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the connections between the NPCs could make an interesting story as your PCs hunt down the lead vampire, Marcus Hayden.
For the DM
You really need to adjust the CR before any of these NPCs are useable. It would not be fair to a party to throw in such powerful adversaries at the level they suggest. The gnome vampire Nissa is one of the most fun characters in the book and her neutral to evil attitude could really cause some conflictions in a party.
The Iron DM
There are a lot of distractions that take away from the enjoyment of Nemesis: Vampire, but the PDF is still enjoyable for its good parts. It provides 5 well documented NPCs that are useable with some tweaking.
<b>LIKED</b>: - The writer was really into his words and there was a lot of detail in each npc
- the old stat block is the best
- the story hooks are like mini adventures without stats
- the artwork is great, very colorful, deep and dark<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - one of the pdfs is too big
- the bookmarking should have been done a little more detailed
- the changes in the vampire class should have gotten its own template, not left up to the DM to determine
- More artwork was needed to breakup the flow of the PDF<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Disappointing<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[3 of 5 Stars!]