View Full Version : Lycanthropy

2009-01-30, 01:01 AM
So I've decided that the orcs in my campaign world will be using lycanthropy as a way of punishing hardened criminals, in particular they will make their criminals bear lycanthropes, thereby making them lawful good.

What I don't understand is very much about the hybrid form of a lycanthrope. Can they speak? At what point is armor consumed into the new form? I was thinking they would prepare for battle by having a specific set of armor meant for their hybrid forms, but this wouldn't work so well if they couldn't actually comunicate while in hybrid form.

Actually, can anybody tell me the common mistakes in using lycanthropes, sort of like how the maximum amount of power points a psion can put into a power is the same as their manifester level, are?

2009-01-30, 01:24 AM
Well, it says in the MM that when changing to hybrid or animal form ruins the armor IF the new size is bigger than the old one. So if a human turns into a hybrid bear form it ruins the armor.
Wild armor enchantment usually doesn't work for lycantrophe changing,but if you're the DM, you can make it apply to that as well, or you can edit the Black Blood Hunter prestige class from Player's Guide to Faerun so it is available to good characters as well.

That's as much as came to my mind right now, the others should fill in on the gaps and correct me if I'm wrong.

2009-01-30, 01:29 AM
OH! Bears as in the animal! Hahah, I couldn't figure out what you meant by "bear lycanthropes". At first I thought you meant "carry" and then I thought "give birth to" and I was confused about why either of these would make them lawful good.

I'm still confused though. Why is this their punishment?

2009-01-30, 01:34 AM
Think less "punishment" and more "corrective measure".

Though I for one, would not like a radical invasive procedure that magically forced me to behave in a certain manner, or adopt an ethos I didn't believe in.

2009-01-30, 10:30 AM
Yeah, I'm basically using it because the orcs are desperate. They've been forced into the least hospitable places in the world instead of their ancestral lands and don't have anything even closely resembling a serious system for incarceration. They figured they could execute these people(orcs) or change their alignment and make them productive members of their fragile society.

They wouldn't do it if they had a better alternative, but they don't.

Anyway, I saw the part in the SRD that lycanthropes can't cast spells with verbal components while in hybrid form and that makes me wonder if they can't speak when in hybrid form. It strains believability for them to wander around in their hybrid form all the time if they can't actually talk to eachother.

I guess I could have them learn drow sign though...

Vorpal Soda
2009-01-30, 10:57 AM
I'm guessing Orcs are less focused on evil in this setting then? I know the SRD says they're only often chaotic evil, and not always, or even usually, but I'm under the impression that they're usually portrayed in D&D as actively hating all forms of goodness and beauty, and would consider lawful good characters to be weak. Presumably, in your setting they're able to tolerate members of good alignment, and are probably more neutral in general.

The players may certainly question how a lawful good character could force a new alignment onto someone, but as mentioned, it's a drastic measure caused by desperation, and better than executing them, both for the criminal, and the society as a whole.

2009-01-30, 11:43 AM
Yeah, my confusion only stemmed from the fact that orcs are usually chaotic evil. (I mean, even if the MM says "Often", I think they're closer to "Usually" myself.) I could see lawful neutral or true neutral beings doing this, though.

Rowan Arquest
2009-01-30, 11:48 AM
well, in thruth, it is all up to you, because any rule can be smudged a little when you are the DM. if you think it would be easier to run the campain with warebears that can talk as opposed to ones who can't, then change the rules a bit. In fact I am currently running a campain where one of the party members is a warebear(everyone is level adjusted by +3) and I let him talk while in hybrid form, but not in the bear form. The way I see it, the hybrid form is just that, a hybrid, it allows them the abilities of both of the creatures so why should they lose the ability to speak languages other than bear. in the end it is all up to you, after all it is your campain. i think you should be more worried about what happens to the criminals that make the Fort save for contracting it.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-30, 12:42 PM
I just ignore listed alignment altogether in my games, except for Outsiders and non-sentinant undead, due to them not making any sense to me (the undead thing is mainly because I just hate undead things). For instance, in my setting, there's a small town which is mainly inhabited by neutral and good Gnolls, but later on I had a group of pirates consisting of evil Kenkus, Gnolls and humans based on what I wanted from the pirates.

2009-01-30, 12:44 PM
Please note:
They would only be LG when they changed involuntarily(such as taking 1/4th total damage or during the full moon) to their bear form, so it wouldn't work all that well in long or short term.

I also always felt that most of those alignments were tacked on.
Rats=CE? Yes.
Tigers=N? Yes.
Wolf=CE? No. LE at worst.
Boar=N? No. CN.
Bear=LG? No. NG or CG.

Also, wouldn't turning all your criminals into bears be a bad/amazingly stupid thing?
If they learn to control themselves, you've now got the worst of the worst who has the strength of a bear.

As for spells, I always thought it more along the lines of just not being able to speak clearly, seeing as how they have a muzzle where they didn't have one before.

Tempest Fennac
2009-01-30, 01:27 PM
I never got why they bothered with a good/evil dynamic for Lycanthropes due to how pretty much all animals are neutral on that axis. The law/chaos thing makes sense due to a lot of animals conforming to those (eg: wolves are clrealy lawful for the most part, tigers would probably just about class as chaotic, etc).

2009-01-30, 02:43 PM
They would only be LG when they changed involuntarily(such as taking 1/4th total damage or during the full moon) to their bear form, so it wouldn't work all that well in long or short term.

Also, wouldn't turning all your criminals into bears be a bad/amazingly stupid thing?
If they learn to control themselves, you've now got the worst of the worst who has the strength of a bear.


A character with awareness of his condition retains his identity and does not lose control of his actions if he changes. However, each time he changes to his animal form, he must make a Will save (DC 15 + number of times he has been in animal form) or permanently assume the alignment of his animal form in all shapes.

Once a character becomes aware of his affliction, he can now voluntarily attempt to change to animal or hybrid form, using the appropriate Control Shape check DC. An attempt is a standard action and can be made each round. Any voluntary change to animal or hybrid form immediately and permanently changes the character’s alignment to that of the appropriate lycanthrope.

Emphasis mine.
It is a great way to force people to behave. No matter what they will eventually become Lawful Good. You now have LG ex-cons who are presumably willing to go all good and lawful things required of them, only now they have the strength of a bear. It really helps in case of war, too. Suddenly that small horde of orcs you thought you were about to crush becomes a small horde of godless killing machines bears.

I think that at the least, they could communicate with other hybrids while in hybrid form. It makes sense to me.