Ritual of Lycanthropy (3.5e Quest)
From D&D Wiki
Intended for four level Varies adventurers.
An alternative path for a player to change into a Lycanthrope. If you are already an evil character, what will destroying the inn you are staying at and everyone staying in it on the full moon mean anyway? You are not here to hide in the shadows, but rather to explain that might will conquer the petty!
- Prep Time 1+ hrs
- Play Time 2 ½+ hrs
Integrating this quest into a campaign is simple enough. Either have a character that wishes to become a Lycanthrope find out about it from an NPC, or from another Lycanthrope who completed the ritual already. Players wishing to find out about this ritual must make a successful Knowledge (nature) check (DC 30), or a successful Gather Information check (DC 35). Bardic Knowledge will not benefit during these checks and must roll as if they never had this ability.
Characters may start with the benefits of this ritual if their initial character level exceeds one level higher than the CR of the desired Lycanthrope. Characters may take this quest so long as their character level exceeds the CR rating of the chosen Lycanthrope type by more than 1 level.
This quest can be played in an urban environment with a willing Lycanthrope who gives the components to the character, but the ritual itself should take place in the wilderness where unwanted NPC's or creatures will not disturb the ritual. The mood of the quest is somewhat tense or boding because the player or NPC willingly becomes a Lycanthrope. The mood can really turn south should an NPC, that would normally act in a negative way towards the ritual, find out about what the character wishes to do. Generally, monster characters, wild races such as Catfolk or Raptoran, and the Clerics that maintain Obad-Hai's shrines see this wish to become more part of nature as a step in the right direction and will willing help the character in turning into a Lycanthrope during the ritual.
For centuries, Lycanthropy has been an affliction feared by all but the strongest of adventurers. There have been both good and bad Lycanthropes in history who could fully control themselves, but they could not resist their animal alignment as easily as those who chose to become Lycanthropes. The ritual is not commonly known, for Lycanthropy of any kind is feared and hated in general. Never the less, the ritual specifics are handed down from keepers of knowledge or those who have completed the ritual. The ritual itself is very beneficial to any who succeed in completing the perilous quest.
Not all Lycanthropes were victim to the regular transmission of the disease. Some chose to be bitten while the few who knew about the ritual used it to become a Lycanthrope. The ritual turns the character into a Lycanthrope of the character's choosing, but there are two different types of Lycanthropy that can be achieved, but no matter the path choice a serious weakness in willed Lycanthropy will be removed. The weakness removed regardless of the ritual path is the alignment adjustment. A character who successfully completes this ritual will not suffer an alignment change from changing form; attempting the ritual is a neutral act just as nature itself is neutral.
The character will have to acquire four items (specified below) before they must also find a shrine devoted to Obad-Hai in the wilderness. There, the final steps will take place which include the purposeful infection. Characters who were once Lycanthropes or were bitten multiple times by a Lycanthrope and succeeded on every save cannot take this quest for their bodies are immune to the disease.
There are no prominent NPC's who have completed this ritual; however, the DM may make an NPC who has completed the ritual and is hostile/indifferent/friendly to the character wishing to complete the ritual. A Cleric of Obad-Hai that can cast Commune (at least 1 question) is necessary at the shrine to Obad-Hai.
There are four items that the character will need to acquire in order to complete the ritual:
- A fresh sprig of belladonna (also called wolfsbane, must be less than a week old).
- A fang of the Lycanthropic form the character wishes to change into.
- A vial of saliva of the Lycanthropic form the character wishes to change into.
- A small bottle of blood of the Lycanthropic form the character wishes to change into.
Stage One: The Gathering
Characters must find and collect all of the ingredients for the ritual within one month of commencing the ritual (the belladonna must be less than a week old). Hunting down and killing a Lycanthrope for these ingredients is considered an evil act unless the Lycanthrope in question is evil, in which case the act is neutral. These ingredients can also be acquired from an identified Lycanthrope with the Lycanthrope's permission (a neutral act as it does not kill the Lycanthrope, and it was willing granted). The ritual must be done under a clear full moon so timing is crucial.
Stage Two: A God's Permission
Before or after collecting the items mentioned above, the character must find a shrine dedicated to Obad-Hai, the god of nature. There, the character must ask the Cleric who maintains the shrine to ask Obad-Hai with the spell Commune if the character has Obad-Hai's blessing in becoming a Lycanthrope.
- The blessing is not granted to character's who are of any alignment besides Neutral on the Good/Evil axis.
- Without the blessing of Obad-Hai, a character who continues to complete the ritual will be treated as if they were an afflicted Lycanthrope, they do not gain the alignment change prevention the ritual promises, and they have a 25% chance of going insane for 1 week.
- If the character is not a worshiper of Obad-Hai, the character will have a 25% chance of becoming an afflicted Lycanthrope, however, they still receive the alignment change prevention.
- If the character has Obad-Hai's blessing and already worships Obad-Hai, the character has only a 5% chance of not becoming a Natural Lycanthrope.
- If the character is a True Believer of Obad-Hai then the character will become a Natural Lycanthrope regardless. (The exception being if they do not gain Obad-Hai's blessing in which case they follow that of a non-blessed character attempting the ritual.
Stage Three: The Ritual
Once the items have been collected and Obad-Hai has either given his blessing or denied it, the actual ritual may take place.
- The ritual must take place on a night of a clear full moon and the moonlight must shine on the character as he undergoes the ritual (in a shrine with a roof this can be synthesized with several mirrors).
- The character must kneel while completing all of the steps of the ritual.
- The character must crush the fresh belladonna and mix the saliva, blood, and belladonna in a bowl of wood while chanting, "With nature's guidance, I prepare. With nature's neutrality, I combine. With nature's hand, I unite."
- The character must then take the fang of the Lycanthrope and cut a shallow pentagram (pagan style) on the backside of both hands while chanting, "With nature's blade, I shape."
- The character must then put a droplet of the mixture on each point of the pentagrams along with one droplet in the center while chanting, "With nature's blood, I weep." They may be helped by the Cleric so that no drop is wasted.
- The character must then raise the bowl filled with the remaining mixture up to the alter of Obad-Hai and must say only once, "With nature's blessing, I am reborn." (If you were blessed by Obad-Hai, then the mixture turns the color of liquid silver. If you were not blessed then the mixture becomes a poison black.)
- Finally, the character must drink the liquid in one go after which he must say, "With nature, I am whole."
Stage Four: A New Beginning
After all of the stages above have been followed, the character may stand once again and do as they wish. When the character leaves the shrine for the first time, the character will feel compelled (no save is possible) to change into the two new forms they have gained before changing back into their base creature form. The Cleric will warn them to remove their cloths before doing so, for if the Lycanthrope changes before removing their clothing, all items will drop to the floor. The exceptions are anything the character is holding in their hands, and any items that are enchanted with the Wild magical property. Items with the Wild magical property continue to grant their wearer their benefits while the Lycanthrope is in any of their three forms. The Wild magical property only works with Lycanthropes changed by the ritual. The magical property Beastskin does not work with the Lycanthropic disease. After the compelled transformations, the Lycanthrope may resume with normal life and must follow the game rules of being a Lycanthrope with a few exceptions:
- Items with the Wild magical property function in all of the Lycanthrope's forms.
- Non-blessed characters must follow the rules of an afflicted Lycanthrope and must roll a d% to see if they go insane for 1 week (25% chance).
- Blessed characters who did not become Natural Lycanthropes must follow the game rules of an afflicted Lycanthrope, but their alignment does not change when they change forms (whether willed or not).
- Blessed characters who have become Natural Lycanthropes follow the rules of Natural Lycanthropes and their alignment is not affected by their changes.