Lycanthropes (Temple Supplement)

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Lycanthropes are humans who can transform themselves to resemble normal animals or monsters. The term "lycanthrope" is actually a misnomer, coming from the roots lycos (wolf), and anthropos (man). A more correct term is "therianthrope," from therios (animal) and anthropos. However, since werewolves are the most common therianthropes, the term lycanthrope has gained much more popularity, and more common usage.  To further confuse the issue, there are creatures like the wolfwere and jackalwere, animals which can assume human form. These creatures ("antherions" for lack of a better term) pass on their condition genetically (that is, by having offspring), not by biting and infecting other creatures. Other differences between the two classes of creature include their vulnerabilities: antherions can be struck by cold iron, lycanthropes by silver. Antherions hate lycanthropes, and always attack their counterparts (wolfweres attack werewolves, etc.). Likewise, most lycanthropes feel enmity for antherions, and attack on sight as well.  In addition, there are many subspecies of some lycanthropes, beyond the differences in animal type. For instance, there are three distinct subspecies of werewolf, differing in their secondary form: one has fangs, a furred body, a tail, wolf-like legs, and lupine features (but without the snout); another has a very wolf-like face and body, with human hands, and is easily mistaken for a wolf when down on all fours; and the third secondary form is that of a huge wolf, as big as a bear.  The condition of being a lycanthrope, often referred to as a curse, is called lycanthropy. A distinction must be made between true lycanthropes and infected lycanthropes. True lycanthropes are those to whom lycanthropy is a genetic trait; they breed with other lycanthropes and produce baby lycanthropes. Only true lycanthropes can infect others with lycanthropy. Infected lycanthropes are those whose lycanthropy results from being wounded by a true lycanthrope.  There are also creatures known by some as "induced lycanthropes," whose shape changes are effected by magical items; these creatures cannot infect others with lycanthropy, though the magical items can be transferred to new owners. Some of the items are cursed, so that once they are worn, they cannot be removed without the application of a remove curse spell. Induced lycanthropes include swanmays and anyone using a cloak of the manta ray.  True lycanthropes and induced lycanthropes seldom hate their "curse." They see themselves as being like any other creature, with the same right to survival. Those bitten and infected, or those affected by the curse of lycanthropy spell, are generally unhappy with their fate. These unfortunates seek cures and occasionally try to hunt down the lycanthrope who infected them (or the wizard who cursed them). 


Most lycanthropes have three forms; some have only two. See the individual descriptions for more details. The first form is always the natural humanoid form, which over time becomes more and more reminiscent of the lycanthrope's animal form. The second form is a hybrid, combining both animal and humanoid features; the size of this hybrid tends to lie between the humanoid size and the size of the creature replicated. The third form of the lycanthrope is externally identical to that of a normal creature of the replicated species; the only visual clue is that the eyes may glow in the dark. A slain lycanthrope always reverts to its natural humanoid form within one round of being killed. Contracting lycanthropy: Although the forms of attack vary with each species, all true lycanthropes can transmit their dreadful affliction. Any humanoid creature injured by a lycanthrope but not actually killed (and presumably eaten) has a chance to contract lycanthropy. This chance equals 1% per point of damage caused by the lycanthrope. Some lycanthropes transmit their affliction only through their bite, others through any natural attack, and some even through the weapons they use. For ease of bookkeeping, if a character suffers 24 points of damage (from all attacks) from a true werewolf, the character has a 24% chance to become an infected werewolf.  If the character eats belladonna within an hour of the attack, there is a 25% chance this will cure the affliction; it definitely incapacitates the character for 1d4 days. Note that only a sprig of belladonna need be eaten, and it must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week). If too much is eaten, the character may still be cured, but is incapacitated for 2d4 days.  The only other way to lift the affliction is to cast a remove curse on the character, on the night of a full moon, or the night immediately preceding or following the full moon. After remove curse is cast, if the character makes a successful saving throw vs. polymorph, the curse is broken. Otherwise the changes take place and the spell has no effect. Cure disease and other healing spells and abilities have no effect against lycanthropy.  Only infected lycanthropes can be cured. To a true lycanthrope, lycanthropy is as natural as breathing, and the condition cannot be altered. True lycanthropes have complete control over their physical states; they are not affected by darkness, phases of the moon, or any of the other situations which traditionally affect infected lycanthropes. 


In human form, the lycanthrope uses weapons to attack. They tend to use natural attack abilities in other forms.  In lycanthrope form, the monster can be struck only by silver or magical weapons. Wounds from any other weapon heal too quickly to cause actual damage. Damage from spells, acid, fire, and other special effects apply normally. Because of their vulnerability to silver, some lycanthropes have a psychological aversion to the metal and refuse to handle it; in some cases, the psychosomatic effect is so great that touching silver actually burns the lycanthrope. 


True lycanthropes can change shape at will, regardless of the time of day or phase of the moon. Infected lycanthropes are usually humanoid during the day. When darkness falls on the night of a full moon, or on the night immediately preceding or immediately following a full moon, the infected lycanthrope unwillingly changes shape and is overcome by bloodlust. During this time, an infected PC is beyond the player's control; the DM takes over the character.  The character's Strength increases temporarily to 19. Armor Class, number of attacks, movement rate, and immunities, become identical to those of the type of lycanthrope that bit the character. The transformed character wants only to hunt and kill, and usually selects either personal friends or enemies as victims. The werecreature makes no distinction between friends and enemies; all that matters is the Strength of the emotion binding them.  When the character returns to normal form, 10% to 60% (1d6>010) of any wounds suffered while in animal form heal instantly. The character also has hazy, haunting memories of performing terrible acts.  Each type of lycanthrope has its own language as well as its humanoid language; some may be able to speak the languages used by the animals they imitate.  True lycanthropes tend to avoid human society unless attacking or on an errand. Lycanthropes travel alone or in packs. The packs are usually of similar lycanthropes, but may also include normal animals or monsters whom the lycanthropes resemble. Some lycanthropes have the ability to summon such creatures. 


Lycanthropes fit a variety of roles, depending on the type of creatures they become, scavengers act as scavengers, predators as predators. See individual descriptions for more details. 

Types of Lycanthropes[edit]

Below is a list with links to the different types of Lycanthropes that can be encountered around Temple.


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