How does a pure mortal become a black court vampire in game?

Some characters were covered by vampire blood in the process of killing it. Is this enough to start the process of becoming something like a black court infected ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Given the Black Court lore, I suspect that isn't anywhere near enough to become a vampire. The Red Court converts people by feeding on them, so the Black Court is likely to need to do something even darker to turn a mortal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Aug 1, 2013 at 1:00
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hardly worthy of an answer, but however it happens, it apparently happens fast. "[Black Court vampires] can propagate their kind more rapidly than any other vampire. If we let a nest of them go unmolested, we could potentially have dozens of them in a few days. In two weeks there could be hundreds." - Blood Rites \$\endgroup\$
    – Ernir
    Aug 1, 2013 at 11:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is a short story titled "It's My Birthday, Too" by Jim Butcher. Inside it you can find very relevant information to your question. This can help clarify some things from the story-setting position. Sorry, but i can't say more without spoiling story content. \$\endgroup\$
    – aardvark
    Aug 2, 2013 at 8:14

2 Answers 2


Black Court vampires are Dracula vampires.

Since it's established in the Dresden Files novels and RPG that the novel Dracula is a manual on killing Black Court, you can use it as your Black Court reference guide.

I'm not sure what that means exactly (it's been a while since I read the book) so I've asked scifi.se about it here and I'll edit this post with whatever they answer when I get a response.

But DFRPG is a Fate game.

And that means that you can put the answer to this question in your players' hands if you like. For example, inflict a temporary aspect like Stained with Undead Blood and then compel them to act in accordance with it--whatever they decide that means.


It is helpful to compare and contrast the different courts, as well as to understand (as BESW mentioned) that the Dresden Files explicitly say that Bram Stoker's Dracula was a real manual designed to teach people about (and how to kill) Black Court vampires, and that Count Dracula was just a strong version of what black court vampires are all about.

So, how did Dracula turn people into vampires? According to Bram Stoker's Dracula, it is by Dracula feeding on a person and feeding that person the blood of Dracula himself that causes the slow transformation into a vampire (see Mina's affliction). It is suggested, I believe by Van Helsing, that if Dracula were driven away - but not killed - that a person who had drank his blood this way would become a vampire after their natural death, even if they did not become one in life.

Thus we must conclude that if Dresden Files Black Court vampires are really like Bram Stoker's, then getting blood on you wouldn't matter in the slightest. If you swallowed the blood and did NOT kill the vampire fully, then maybe it would effect you somehow. If you take later writings about Dracula, maybe just being bit/cut and getting the blood in a wound could bring about some significant effects.

So as far as canon/RAW goes, the answer to your query is "no, getting slayed Black Court vampire blood on you doesn't do anything."

However, this isn't to say you can't do something with this idea for a story line. Maybe there is something new and mysterious going on, and while that blood shouldn't have an effect, something worrisome is going on - dreams/nightmares, losing time, momentary inability to resist someone's will, etc. Don't be too railroady, but let things play out a bit and see if they want to take the bait.

This could potentially lead you towards Faerie Queens to purge/cure the infection, or you could find it isn't vampirism at all but something else entirely - the vampires were infected with something, they were trying something to make themselves more powerful and it got into their blood with unpredictable results, someone is trying to poison your players and used the vampires as a cover, the vampires themselves were poisoned as an experiment/accident, etc.

I would only warn against the infection angle of the Black Court, because that is explicitly against the whole philosophical underpinnings of Dracula-esque vampires - the defiance of gender roles, the co-mingling of blood, the invocation of twisted Christian mythology (Body of Christ) and pagan/naturalistic religions (breast feeding being of deep spiritual and psychological significance), etc etc. Making them just "infectious" strips that away and just makes them into a copy of Red Court infectious mechanics.

Its your game and your players, of course, I would just not generally recommend going against the spirit of established canon.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Wouldn't it also be possible by getting blood in your eyes? Because your eyes are direct pathways to your bloodways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lyrion
    Aug 1, 2013 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Lyrion Hm, that could be a sort of around-the-bend form of "consumption", like getting blood in a wound. The blood would get into the blood stream without digestion, so perhaps it could have an effect that is more immediate and visceral, but different than being tasted and swallowed. I don't think its mentioned directly in canon anywhere, so you'd have room to take it in a different direction. It would seem it couldn't cause vampiricism, but there's nothing to say it couldn't mess with you some other way. \$\endgroup\$
    – BrianH
    Aug 1, 2013 at 16:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Lyrion Possible, but it may be a supernatural affect rather than a biological one; it may be the symbolism of consuming the blood that causes the transformation, rather than some direct effect of having it enter your body. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Aug 2, 2013 at 2:16

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