I found a character build in a forum post that references Savage vampire from Libris Mortis and Unholy vampire, which I have never seen before. My character is in need of some Unholy Toughness, so the variant would be perfect.

The character build is Elspeth Nightbane, by Belial_the_Leveler:

Minimum Playable Level: 9 (Savage Unholy Vampire, Sorceress 6/Incantatrix 3)

[Further down, in the table for level 9:]

9 | incantatrix | unholy vampire | lifedrain | metamagic effect | unholy toughness

Where do I find Unholy Vampire?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Answer in answers, folks. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 24, 2018 at 18:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I haven't found it yet, but my hunch is that what you're looking for is something called the Unholy template (or Unholy Creature, Unholy Undead, etc, template), an ECL+1 template probably appearing in late D&D 3.5 (2006-2007), perhaps Dragon/Dungeon magazine, perhaps even in a web enhancement. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2018 at 0:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @QuadraticWizard I, on the other hand, doubt it's a template from an official or licensed product. While I've not confirmed myself the completeness of "Uncle Kitty's Guide to Template-based Shenanigans," it definitely strives mightily for completeness, and there's no unholy creature template there. (There is from Heroes of Horror the template unholy scion… but that template doesn't grant the ability unholy toughness.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2018 at 4:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ I also suspect that to be likely. It's awfully convenient that an ECL+1 template exists specifically to give Unholy Toughness, yet nobody finds it in several forum threads, character build guides and lists of templates. Perhaps someone can ask Belial_the_Leveler. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2018 at 14:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @QuadraticWizard I sent them a PM on the GitP forums, but they haven't been active in several years, so pretty low chance of an answer there. \$\endgroup\$
    – A_S00
    Mar 25, 2018 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


I'm not 100% convinced Unholy Vampire exists.

The only definitive references I can find to this variant are from a pair of posts, both by the same user, in an old character optimization contest (the first one is the one linked in the question). Since they don't provide a source, and I can't find any mention by anyone else, it may just be something that player or their table homebrewed (though it would be weird to use something like that in a contest).

If it exists, it's probably in Dragon Magazine somewhere.

Unholy Vampire definitely doesn't appear in any of the places I know of with variant vampires, such as Libris Mortis and Dragon Magazine #348. However, the Gestalt Build Challenge (the optimization contest in which the variant was mentioned) is notable for explicitly allowing Dragon Magazine content. If you find something used in a contest that allows Dragon material, and it turns out to be really hard to Google, there's a good chance it's Dragon material.

Unfortunately, after a medium-thorough scan of the tables of contents and likely-looking features from the entire 3.0/3.5 run of Dragon Magazine, I haven't found it. That doesn't mean it's not there; I didn't fully read every single issue and it's quite possible I missed it.

Other possibilities: Templates with names other than "Unholy Vampire."

Although Belial_the_Leveler lists the template/creature as "Unholy Vampire" in both places he mentions it, it's possible that he's referring to something else, such as an "Unholy Creature" template that just happens to be modifying a Vampire in this case (this would be consistent with their use of "Evolved Vampire" in the table, which is referring to the "Evolved Undead" template from Libris Mortis, p. 99).

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any such template. The closest I have been able to find is a Pathfinder template with the same name from the Advanced Bestiary, but it doesn't fit (doesn't provide Unholy Toughness, not LA +1).

Again, it may be somewhere in the Dragon Magazine back catalogue.

If you're specifically looking for the effect of the Unholy Toughness ability, you might have some options.

Unholy Toughness is an ability found mostly in Libris Mortis and Monster Manual 3, which allows undead creatures to substitute their charisma bonus for their constitution bonus (which, as undead, they don't have) when calculating their HP.

Unfortunately, it mostly appears on very specific undead creatures, which aren't the kind of thing you can tack onto an existing character.

If you're looking for extra HP for your undead character, you might consider:

  • The Walker in the Waste PrC (Sandstorm, p. 89), which grants as its capstone the Dry Lich template, which has Unholy Toughness as a feature.
  • Somehow being turned into an undead in an area affected by Desecrate, which would grant you +1 HP/HD. This is obviously not an option for a character who is already undead.
  • Faerie Mysteries Initiate feat (Dragon #319), which allows you use Intelligence in place of Constitution when calculating HP. It may be something of a challenge to justify the Fae connection for this feat fluff-wise on an undead character.
  • \$\begingroup\$ @A_Soo Do you mean Sandstorm instead of Libris Mortis? \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Mar 25, 2018 at 22:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like it's from HoH's unholy scion, but no idea where the unholy toughness comes from. Maybe a feat? \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Mar 26, 2018 at 0:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @fectin Unholy Scion doesn't really fit. In addition to not providing Unholy Toughness, it can only be applied to living creatures, changes the creature's type to Outsider (which would make it subsequently ineligible for the Evolved Undead template the build takes later), and is LA +5 (so should take up more than one level on the right side of the build's gestalt). Other than the name, I'm not seeing any hint that Unholy Scion is it. \$\endgroup\$
    – A_S00
    Mar 26, 2018 at 1:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I interpreted her comment on vampire template cheese and "supported by the flavor" to mean "not strictly pre-req'ed." I somehow missed the LA though; you're completely right there. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Mar 26, 2018 at 2:10

Green Ronin Publishing has an unholy template

In their Advanced Bestiary book, which is 3rd party d20 compatible. They also have a Pathfinder version. This template is occasionally referenced in various builds or build suggestions.

As the Unholy Toughness was also highlighted, it can be found in the Monster Manual 3 as a special quality.

Dragon Magazine #285, starting from p.44 has a supplement for the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, a 3.0 adventure remake of the original T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil. Therein we find stats for Grues, evil elementals, as well as the Demonically Infused Elemental Template, which may be what another poster was thinking of.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener It does not; it's this template, already linked above. Note the source citation at the bottom of the PFSRD page. Oh wait, there's a separate 3.5 version of the book? Not sure then. \$\endgroup\$
    – A_S00
    Mar 25, 2018 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ The 3.5 version is similar to the Pathfinder version, and does not grant Unholy Toughness. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2018 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @doppelgreener Updated for Unholy Toughness info. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Mar 25, 2018 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Downvoted for being not what the question is about. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 25, 2018 at 22:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Actually, on second look you seem to be saying that you're providing the information because it's not openly available? That's not an acceptable use of this site, because copyright. (I've removed that edit.) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 26, 2018 at 0:29

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