(Inspired by some comments in this question)

In D&D 3.5 and earlier, vampires couldn't cross running water - even over a bridge or on a boat (I vaguely remember them being able to do so if they are transported inside their coffin in some edition, but that's irrelevant).

The PF rules, however, only seem to discuss immersion in running water.

Is the inability to cross running water mentioned somewhere in the PF RAW?

  • \$\begingroup\$ It not listed on d20pfsrd under vampire. Comparing the "Weakness" header in the d20srd and the d20pfsrd, it was copied almost word by word, with the exception of that one particular phrase concerning crossing running water. The reason I don't post this as an answer is that there might be information not listed on d20srd (though unlikely), particularly in "Classic Horrors Revisited" and "Blood of the Night", and I don't have these book(let)s, and you specifically asked for "somewhere". \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Jul 31, 2014 at 8:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gatherer818 fair enough :) \$\endgroup\$
    – G0BLiN
    Aug 6, 2014 at 6:38

1 Answer 1


Core Bestiary

They can cross over (by flight, bridge, or being carried) running water, but not pass THROUGH the water (swimming, etc) lest they risk permanent destruction, as their mist form escape doesn't function when they are slain by running water.

Pathfinder Splats

Classic Horrors Revisited very briefly mentions them being thwarted by running water, but doesn't specify they can't cross it, so I'm assuming that's a reference to the damage they take if immersed. It also very specifically says that many vampires don't adhere to the generic vampire rules, as I point out below, and relying on a single "traditional" weakness could be an adventurer's last mistake.

At the table

While your question asks for RAW, with all our talk of vampires (now spanning three questions), I feel I should mention that vampires are one of the most, if not the most, house-ruled monsters there are. Adding and subtracting classic weaknesses, separating them into clans (along lines such as games like TES4:Oblivion or Vampire: the Masquerade), or simply giving them class levels you might not expect (It's a vampire... cleric of a neutral deity? Channeling negative, oh dear...); all of these and more are ways vampires quickly find themselves telling RAW to bite them (pardon the terrible pun). If your vampire friend finds himself stymied by running water, great; beware your DM didn't remove a different classic weakness to add that one. If the vampire is in full-plate, don't assume that means he can't cast fireball; the Tremere clan's blood magic cares not for your arcane-spell-failure rules.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you give citations for the rules you are quoting please? I can't find anything about vampires being returned to their coffins when touching water. And Immersion in running water will destroy vampires immediately when they drop to 0HP (after 3 rounds at most), rather than triggering gaseous form, which would allow them to return to their coffins. d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/vampire \$\endgroup\$
    – MrLemon
    Jul 31, 2014 at 9:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ You are correct that they no longer assume gaseous form when reduced to zero hit points by running water, I'll edit my answer. Thank you. You'd think that while we're sitting here talking about things that have changed since 3.0/3.5, I'd have noticed that changed, but apparently I'm still a little version-blind. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2014 at 18:57

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