View Full Version : Modified Lycanthropy Rules

2016-02-26, 11:28 AM
I put some rules together for lycanthropy during the playtest, and have just recently adapted them for the full version of the game, based more on the current rules.

The main changes are:

The character doesn't change at all until the next full moon, even voluntarily.
The character doesn't gain the lycanthrope's powers in humanoid form unless they embrace the form. This prevents it from being an entirely positive situation outside of the full moon, even without shapeshifting.
Voluntary changes can be made without totally losing yourself, but you have to make Charisma checks or slowly become the beast.
The change is resistible, but can also happen when you take enough damage, once your first full moon has passed.
The curse can be lifted by belladonna (which can be deadly) before the first full moon, and remove curse applies only during a full moon, making it a little trickier to use.

When a character contracts lycanthropy through a lycanthrope’s bite, no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets their own identity, temporarily becoming an NPC.

The character’s actions during this first episode are dictated by the most dangerous, feral, and malicious aspects of their animal form. A wolf will want to hunt (sapient creatures, if possible), a rat will want to scavenge and steal, etc. The character remembers nothing about the entire episode (or subsequent episodes) unless they succeeds on a DC 15 Wisdom check, in which case they become aware of their lycanthropic condition.

Thereafter, the character is subject to involuntary transformation under the full moon and whenever damaged in combat. When the moon rises each of the three nights of the full moon, and each time the character is first reduced to half or fewer hit points during an encounter, they feels an overwhelming sensation building up and must succeed on a DC 18 Charisma check to resist changing into animal form. If the check fails by 5 or less, they may opt to change into hybrid form instead of animal form. During this involuntary change, a character acts according to the animal, feral and filled with spite, even if they shifted into hybrid form.

Once a character becomes aware of their affliction, they can now voluntarily change to animal or hybrid form as an action, or by forgoing the save against involuntary change.

When a character changes voluntarily, they must make a DC 12 Charisma check or begin to take on the personality of their animal form. The first failed check results in minor behavior patterns related to the animal. The second causes major changes in personality and a malicious streak. The third results in total loss of control to the beast, and the character becomes wholly evil (and likely an NPC). Each month gone without voluntary change reverts these effects by one stage, but not once three checks have been failed.

Removal. An afflicted character who eats a sprig of belladonna (also called wolfsbane) within 1 hour of a lycanthrope’s attack is freed of the affliction. The belladonna must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week). A character that is immune to poison is not cured, and one that is resistant to poison must make a DC 10 Constitution check to break the curse. If the save fails, additional belladonna does not allow for another try.

However, fresh or not, belladonna is toxic. The character must make a series of DC 13 Constitution saves, one each minute, until they die or succeed on two saves in a row. On the first failed save, they take 3d6 points of poison damage and suffers disadvantage on all Strength attacks, saves, and checks until they takes a long rest. On the second failed save, they drop to 0 hit points and is incapacitated with pain (effectively paralyzed) for 1d4 hours. On the third failed save, they die.

The only other way to remove the affliction is to cast remove curse (or greater restoration used to remove a curse) on the character during one of the three nights of the full moon, after the character has transformed, or resisted transformation.

Statistics. The character gains the lycanthrope’s damage immunities, traits, and actions that don't involve equipment only while in nonhumanoid form, or after fully losing themself to the curse. A form's ability score adjustments likewise apply only in nonhumanoid form or once the character has fully lost themselves to the curse. Otherwise, use the rules in the Monster Manual.