Can a Vampire Soul be trapped in a Magic Jar-type spell, and what happens if it's released?

I'm going through this right now in my current adventure. One of my PCs got an amulet that acts as a magic jar. They used it to trap a Vampire. I thought about it and let them do it.

If the Jar is broken and the spirit is released, will it return to its old body and still be a Vampire? Or will it have its old "good" soul again?

A follow up: If the trapped body was destroyed but the spirit found a new "vessel", would that be a vampire as well?


2 Answers 2


The vampire will probably die and his soul be released

Unless the vampire's old body is within the spell range of the amulet, the vampire will die, his soul be released to the afterlife and he can be resurrected, reincarnated, or eventually transcend to one of the metaplanes.

Range: 1"/level

If the body of the spell caster is destroyed, the life force in the magic jar is not harmed. If the magic jar is destroyed, the life force is snuffed out. Returning to the real body requires 1 round, and can only be done from a magic jar in spell range of the body.

There is nothing in the spell that says the trapped life force may attempt to possess a new vessel, so that is up to the GM to decide.


Yes, a vampire soul can be trapped and if it is released and the body is in the range, it returns as a vampire, if not, the soul is released. This can happen because the spell describes positive and negative recognition:

In a group of life forces, the caster can sense a difference of four or more levels/Hit Dice and can determine whether a life force is positive or negative energy.

But if the jar is broken, and the spirit have not a body to return, it departs:

If the receptacle is destroyed while the caster's life force occupies it, the caster is irrevocably slain.

But we have to make some considerations here, if the caster was a living mage and his body is dead, the situation is the described above. We can assume the same for living beings possessed, with the body dead.

However, a vampire is not a living being, its body is already dead, so if the pcs cannot destroy it fully (with a 'Desintegrate' spell, for example), the negative soul returns and begins to regenerate or assume cloud form if the HP is 0 or lower.

Finally, only the caster can possess another body, his victims can not.

P.S.: For the sake of curiosity, your question raises a LOT of another questions, like: Which powers the caster has in the vampire body? A released vampire soul goes to a caotic evil outer plane? Returns to the Negative Plane? And what if it was a lawful good person in life?

P.P.S.: Some people use 3e to fill the void of descriptions of 2e, so it is useful to add a comment: In 3e the spell description clarifies that the caster can only attack positive life forces, what excludes vampires and silence most of the questions of my first p.s.


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