Living children of undead parents, Dhampirs entered popular fiction to support vampire-like characters removed from the evil nature of their vampire parents. Mechanically, they also offer access to the Negative Healing trait, allowing players to enjoy a noteworthy mechanic normally limited to undead without bringing a full-fledged undead creature into the party.
Mechanically, the Dhampir does a decent job making you feel like a vampire, but most of the Ancestry Feat options are unimpressive. Still, if you want to see in the dark, bite people, and get a couple spooky Innate Spellcasting options, there are enough good options here you keep you busy.
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
Like many Versatile Heritages, the Dhampir grants low-light vision, or Darkvision if your Ancestry already has low-light vision. This on its own is a great option, and even if you don’t take any Heritage-specific Ancestry Feats it can still be an impactful Heritage option for Ancestries which normally have poor vision options.
In addition, Dhampirs have the Negative Healing trait, which reverses the effects of spells like Harm and Heal. This presents some interesting concerns in your party’s spell selections which may become complicated for your party. Be sure to discuss your character’s presence before bringing a Dhampir into a party full of characters with abundant sources of magical healing. You don’t want to accidently get killed because your good-aligned cleric friend tried to AOE heal the party.
- : If you don’t already get Darkvision between your Ancestry and the Changeling Heritage traits, this is an absolute must. The ability to see in darkness is simply too good to pass up.
- : A decent melee weapon for Strength-based builds.
- : The bonus is too small and too situational.
- : Too situational, and the effect is too minor.
- : Trained in two good skills and Vampire Lore.
- : Situational. If you spend a lot of times in cities, rats will be helpful. If you spend a lot of time in caves, you might find that bats will be helpful. Wolves are cool, but they’re not nearly as numerous and you can’t count on them being helpful in a crowded city or in a noble’s castle or something.
- : Buy a scroll. 1st-level scrolls cost 4gp.
- : Too situational.
- : The damage bonus is too small for this to be limited to one creature type.
- : Persistent damage is always great, but it would be nice if there was some scaling.
- : Animal Form once per day isn’t enough to build yourself around, and if you’re built to fight unarmed to support Animal Form you’ll probably do better fighting unarmed in your normal form. Obscuring Mist is fine, but if that’s why you’re here you should just buy some scrolls.
- : The ability to fly around in the form of an insconspicuous animal is great for scouting or for bypassing obstacles like high walls which would present a problem for your natural form. Note that you only get a 20 foot fly speed, so you’re not fast enough to outrun anything that’s capable of chasing you.
- : A great option, especially if you have the Charisma to back up an innate spell. It’s a cone of negative damage and you get a big file of temporary hit points. Note that you get it as a 7th-level spell, so you deal 14d6 damage rather than the default 12d6.