This is primarily a Thought Experiment, expounding on a fairly complex premise: WHAT IF I became a vampire in the Buffyverse, retaining enough of my being so that I’d still be the sort to take precautionary actions and not develop the diminished intelligence and arrogant disregard for personal safety so commonly displayed by the undead hordes? Assuming that I still cared about my ongoing metabolically-challenged existence, here are some things I would do, things that never seem to occur to the vamps on the show:
Adopt Anti-Staking Technology. The main way that vamps get dusted is via a stake to the heart. Yet none of them seem to take any precautions to prevent this. So the first item would be trauma plates, front and back, protecting the heart area (both where the heart is and where people think it is). This should prevent most humans from being able to stake me, and could cause a Slayer to shatter a stake, rather than drive it through me.
Prevent Decapitation. Another terminating condition is being decapitated (which works for most beings, actually). Still, there’s no point it making it easy for anyone to do that to me, so I’d wear at least a cut-resistant collar. Or while I’m at it, a coif. The otherworldly set gets extra strength, and less concern for physical discomfort, so wearing a chainmail hood shouldn’t be a big deal. Hmmm, then why not upgrade to a hauberk? Reduces the chances of a limb being lopped off, and I’m fond of having all my limbs.
Encourage Fire Safety. In a word: Nomex. Fire isn’t used as often for deanimation, but it appears that once a vampire starts burning, they’re rather hard to extinguish. So the hauberk would be covered by a fire-resistant jumpsuit. No, it’s not terribly stylish, but it’s a lot less embarrassing to wear that around than to be toasted by a teenager with a torch.
Power Up My Firepower. You’d think creatures as criminally-minded as vampires would be bristling with firearms, but they’re not. Which is strange, because it’s not like they’d worry about accidentally shooting themselves, or getting in trouble for carrying a weapon, or feel guilty about stealing one, or regret shooting somebody. Randomly brandishing a gun tends to draw a lot of unwanted attention, but judicious use, like when one is attacked by a Slayer, could be an afterlife-saver.
Leave. Think about it; why stay in a town with the ONE person in the WORLD who is most qualified and motivated to kill you? It’s a big planet, I’m sure many places could be found where a careful vampire could live and feed for centuries.
Come to think of it, this is probably what happens. The vampires that stay in Sunnydale are the ones who are too stupid or egotistical to go somewhere else. They’re all about being one of the cool undead kids who hangs out around the Hellmouth, not ensuring their own survival. So I guess it just goes to show that I wouldn’t be one of the vampires in Sunnydale, after all.