Spending the day hidden way, fearing sunlight, vampire are generally extremely pale and their veins tend to show through.
For some people, vampires always show a mouth full of fangs, for others they turn into vamp faces when they attack. Vampires have and inexplainable charisma that attracts victims to them. They have stronger physical and mental powers that humans. They can change appearance: bats, smoke... They are known to control the human mind and often refer to themselves as a superior race? The longer they live, the greater are their powers. Vampires do not age and can live forever,a s long as they feed regularly on blood, preferably human!
Many things are fatal to vampires. First of all, they are awfully allergic to sunlight, and have a tendency to burst into flames when exposed to it. Wooden staked can also be quite useful, if, of course, you can manage to fight back and aim the heart. Crosses and Holy Water are good protections, but can't actually kill them. if you're able, you can try beheading them or setting them in fire. But overall, if you're not the Slayer, or one of her friends, your best choice is to wear a turtle neck whenever the sun goes down and be a fast runner! It's also good to know that vampires can't enter one's home without being invited and that they fear churches.
To become a vampire, you have to be bitten, but you blood must not be drained. The vampire then makes you drink it's own blood, making you die. As Buffy's says, it's a whole big sucking thing! After a delay that varies from a few hours to a few days, you awaken. Your heart no longer beats, you have no reflection and a sudden craving for blood. Oh yeah, and you also kind of turn evil, but that's the fun part! You are taken over by a demon that walks, talks and acts like you, has your memories, but you loose your soul.
Whedon's vampires aren't quite as powerful as their legendary forefathers. They cannot fly, turn to mist or shape shift, that is except for Dracula, who also has the power to 'un-dust' himself. They have no breath, as Angel indicates in 'Prophecy Girl'. The can be video taped (Halloween) and photographed (Lie to me). Some have a capacity for hypnosis and mind reading, like Dracula and Drusilla. Technically, vampires don't have feelings, since they don't have a soul. They are solely guided by their evil nature and their hunt for blood. Living forever alone isn't very exciting, so a vamp generally sires himself some friends and even a significant other.
Buffy's vampires seem to live in clans or families, like the one that revolved around the Master.
- There is generally one powerful vampire surrounded by followers and lackeys. Most vampires just seem to be around to have fun and kill things, but others have a 'higher mission', an apocalyptic mission. The Master. He plans to capture and kill a large amount of you people to boost up his power and open the Hellmouth. His first attempt fails in 'The Harvest' and tries again in the bizzaroland of 'The Wish'. He tries to end the world in 'Prophecy Girl' by opening the Hellmouth and unleashing all kinds of demons on Earth, but Buffy stops him just in time.
- Spike and Drusilla. As Buffy's birthday approaches, they plan to bring back to life the Judge, a demon that can separate the good and the evil, and kill all the good (aka humanity).
- Angelus. When an ancient tomb is unraveled, Angelus sees his chance to end the world by opening a portal that would suck our dimension into Hell.
Other vampires are part of various cults and groups.
- The Order of Aurelius. Founded by a 12th century monk, Aurelius, this order wrote several prophecies and awaits the return of the Old Ones, the demons that used to rules Earth before it was plagued by humanity.
- The Three. Three extra-powerful vampires that work for the Master. He sends them after Buffy, but when they fail, he has them killed.
- El Eliminati. A 15th century duelist cult that serve ancient demon Balthazar.
Vampires can also be turned good. Angel is the first example. Formerly a violent killer, he was cursed by a clan of gypsies after he killed one of them. They cave him a soul, a conscience,forcing him to live forever with the guilt of all his past crimes. One hundred years later, Angel is a tortured vampire. Uneasy with humans because he does not belong and rejected by his kind, he is sent to Sunnydale by the Powers That Be to help Buffy.
Several year later, Spike is also rejected by his kind. Captured by a secret government commando that implant a neutrering chip in his brain, her can no longer hurt humans. To get his kicks, Spike starts killing vampires and demons, and soon ends up fighting alongside the Scooby Gang. to be worthy of Buffy's love, he passes a trial and gets his soul back.
Taken from my Buffy site Have Stake, Will Slay