There are many types of vampires from around the world. In Europe, two types were generally seen, one associated with Eastern Europe and the other associated with Western Europe. The so-called “Western Vampire” is the latter type, not to be confused with any sort vampire-like creature from America.
Western Vampires are created with a long, convoluted, and difficult black magick ritual that turns humans into soulless, undead abominations. The more the victim resists the process (by trying to escape, yelling to disrupt the chanting, etc.), and the less they want to be a vampire, the more powerful the resulting being.
The creature that results remembers its old life, but is almost always radically different in personality than it was in life. Often elements of the former human will still remain, but twisted. Generally, they are not usually upset about having been turned, and in fact revel in their new status.
Western Vampires can be recognized by the fact that in human form, they inkpools for eyes. In the modern day, they usually wear sunglasses to hide this. In addition, their flesh is cool to the touch and they have no heartbeat.
They can transform into a bat, a rat, or a swarm of roaches. Most can shapeshift into at least one additional form, though this form varies widely. Sunlight makes them lethargic and locks them in human form, but otherwise does not harm them.
They become weak and irritable if they do not drink human blood regularly, but they will not die. Instead, they must be decapitated or staked in the heart, at which point they turn to dust. Garlic also repels them, though they can overcome the aversion with some effort.
Unless killed, they can continue on forever, unaging. They remain intelligent and creative, and often become more so. Not only is their personality usually very different than it once was, it may change over time, usually for the worse. Elder vampires are the most sadistic, selfish, and depraved of their race, and many of them are insane as well.
Western Vampires are not faster than a normal human, though they are much, much stronger. In addition, a given Western Vampire may have unique abilities based on who they were in life or developed after centuries of unlife. It is these unique abilities, combined with a potential eternity of existence, that make each encounter with a Western Vampire a dangerous adventure.