View Full Version : Advice on DM-ing/playing werewolf characters?

Hologram Golem
2007-03-03, 12:24 AM
Ola. First time poster, long time blah blah.

Seriously, I've lurked around these boards for about a year and found the quality of advice here is much more attuned with my outlook than other DnD boards. Emphasis on the story rather than rolling and all that. So I finally break my lurker silence for a series of questions.

(Apologies if this should go in the Character Builder thread. I'm asking this partially as a DM).

I'm starting a PbP game set in Monte Cook's Ptolus, and a player expressed extreme interest in playing a lycanthrope. No huge deal. Except he's pretty new, and this is really my first DM-ing since 2nd edition. We've been playing a very active PbP game for over a year with a slew of other people (we're all semi to pro writers, so it's actually quite fun and active...) We went back and forth for a while (Killing off his character at level 2 just as the others advanced to level 3 to circumvent the LA... Checked out Curse of the Moon (http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=6960), etc.) when I finally found this template. (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/sp/20040117a) This seems to work well, as the player can be infected and then progress without overly disrupting game balance yadda yadda...

My question is this, what unforseen issues do I have as a DM and he as a player have to look forward to? Since it's PbP, 2nd level won't arrive for a few months yet- so this gives us time to acquaint ourselves with rules, etc. He's planning an elven rogue (someone read Elfquest as a kid... heh...), that'll advance in the template- posssibly taking another rogue level to stem the Skill and Hit point hemorrhage and dump points into Control Form. I envision him very easily becoming a furry tempest (Elven rogue plus +4 DEX in were-form? Hello huge Defense...), but he's concerned about getting ganked at the low-end game. On one hand, this campaign will be based upon police procedurals and focusing on mysteries, so combat will be less than dungeon crawls- but that means the ECL of battles will be higher than average.

I've heard horror stories about trying to figure out lycanthropy rules, hence my post. And I've read some rather informed lycanthopy opinions here. Hence, the post.

So hi. Help me overprepare. Thanks.

2007-03-03, 01:59 AM
A werewolf copper? I think somebody's read Discworld as well as ElfQuest...

Lycanthropy rules are easy. (Feel free to point out specific issues you may have with understanding them, though.) The main problem you might have is that the character should, technically, be Chaotic Evil while in wolf form, and his regular alignment will become CE the first time he intentionally changes form -- but that's easy to get around (like, by saying, as the DM, "well screw that").

Templates are generally fine for combat characters (like rogues), and I wouldn't predict any real issues. The character may be a bit weaker, but the DR x/silver is pretty dang powerful (how many monsters have silver weapons or natural weapons that count as silver, eh?), and the abilities should generally balance out.

2007-03-03, 05:20 AM
The only thing I can really say is to not make the same mistake my group did and forget to add the animal HD to your character. This was when we didn't look at things too thuroughly (before this we didn't know what level adjustment was and just played anything). I myself don't know how good having to put ranks into a skill for controlling your shape, I'd sum it up to making will saves instead. Maybe something else, I don't know.

2007-03-03, 07:15 AM
There are feats to take that can help on control {don't have all my books at the moment...}. Otherwise an evil lycanthrope base is just to chaotic, and the DM takes over... but I bend rules where I see fit. IF I were to allow this concept. On the boards I have a gnome sorcerer-were-badger. It is actually fun, expecially when he loses control and goes bezerk. He's really weak compared to the monsters they fight, but still a fun player in my games.

Don't worry about level differences his special abilty will be level enough. And I don't care about having all my players the same level. My games... as you probably believe in as well are about role-play and story... with combat mixed in to make it dangerous!:smallamused:

Hologram Golem
2007-03-03, 12:12 PM
The alignment won't be an issue. Monte placed a group called "The Brotherhood of Redemption" in Ptolus, whose entire purpose is to rehabilitate evil monsters. I'm planning on introducing that early on and having the player have regular "therapies", which will also have the added benefit/drawback of slowing the progression of lycanthropy (hence the progression of the template.) I'm planning on making many comparisons to anger management classes mandated by the city... heh.

The addition of HD is taken care of by the savage template progression yes? He's a rogue at 1st level, takes a level of werewolf, and then another of wolf to balance out the HD in all forms. He'll end up having less HP than a rogue his level, but again- DR...

I like the idea of making it a Will save instead of a seperate skill check. Gives me one less thing to keep track of, and fits a little better into the whole "learning control" issue he's planning to play with. Plus, it's going to be a skill heavy game, so having to sink points into another skill seems like a rather large drawback.