Vampires are nothing new to the Elder Scrolls series, so it's not entirely surprising that in Skyrim you'll be able to take on the curse of the kindred - something that's been in previous games, and even hinted at in Fallout 3. The sequel may be taking things to a new level, though, basically turning vampirism into a sub-class, with special abilities as you level. Todd Howard, the game's executive director, explained at PAX:
You can contract that disease, and if you wait long enough, you'll become a vampire and that's a whole other mode of playing the game. There are various levels of being a vampire, the sun will effect you more the more powerful you get, and you can sort of control your vampirism by feeding on people when they're sleeping.
Charming. Something tells me we wouldn't be in the midst of a huge vampire craze if they just went around sucking on folks while they were sleeping. Or maybe they'd have a whole new fanbase? Anyway, it sounds like it could be fun, but potentially tough if you're constantly having to feed, duck inside for half the game, or carry around some really heavy duty parasol. Same sex marriage, turning people into vampires - Bethesda really isn't scared of Fox News, are they?
After the break, watch the video of Todd "revealing" vampires in Skyrim from the floor of PAX.