A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default A New take on lyconthrapy (Eberron, but not just)

    Hello again, after some absence. First let me say that though my intentions are to use what we discuss here in a D&D 3.5 Eberron game, the discussion is far from limited to that, and I think I'm more interested in the concepts, the core ideas than any mechanics at this point.

    Guy, Alon, Ariel and Tomer, itf you happened to find this, please read no further.

    I intend to run (sometime in the far future it seems, real life and so on) A game in which the protagonists are a team sent to spy in and investigate the possible rise of lycanthropes in a sort of a wild west region (just before the lycanthropic crusade for you Eberron fans).

    But as Lycanthropes are to be the main stay of this campaign, I'd like them to diverge from the basics of the D&D monster manual. I want them to be more interesting, more complex, their culture, theme, and effect on the players more interesting. I'd love to hear of your experiences on the subject, and receive criticism on my ideas. I'd love to stir the creative cooking pot as it were.

    Some thoughts to the matter in no particular order:
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    1- I want the animal associated with the were creature to not be decided on the biting animal, but rather on the particular make up of the person's personality- a cowardly survivalist might make a were rat, an earth worker probably a were boar, someone who is more social and uses to prey on others a were wolf and so on. There is the danger of falling into too much of cliched personality types, but I intend to make the categories borader, enabling several kind of personalities, and possibly even slight subtypes of were creatures? I'm not sure how to implement this yet.

    Since the players might become were creatures themselves if the game turns that way, the categories must make enough sense.

    This may also mean that a pack is not necessarily composed of the same type of were creature. In fact- it is rarely so. A wolf man can infect someone to be a boar woman which might have a tiger and rat baby twins.

    2- AN idea connected to the one presented above, is the influence of the curse on the person. while most people (and players I hope) suspect that the curse makes the person simply MORE animalistic, this is but partly true. It makes his physical aspects more animalistic, but his mental, behvioral and emotional aspects more "humanoid" as well, just to the extreme. whatever are the natural basic core personality traits of the person are, they b ecome exaggerated, amplified. This has led to mania-like effects in some which may have caused... unfortunate results in the past.

    As the change comes on a person, and he tries to resist, he tries to resist "becoming more true to himself" sort of (or at least that is what it feels like). the letting go of constraints of self is both physical and emotional.

    I hope this may come as an interesting point to the players, as this may bring quite interesting roleplay opportunities, both of were creatures they might meet, and if they themselves turn? well- that will be interesting indeed.

    3- I'd like there to be complex interaction between the types of lycanthropes, something a kin to casts, or roles within society. Since the type of creature you are reflects the type of personality you have, this may seem more "natural" than is the usual scheme of lycanthropy in D&D.

    4- relationship to the phases of the moons: Eberron has 13 moons (NOT the planes! read here if interested and even a fairly nice tool that gives the state of each moon in every day through out history... handy! sometime more than one moon is fool, sometime even 4-5! if we go by just 1 full moon= lycanthropic change, than the were creatures are transformed most of the month. i'm thinking of making some simple probability chance depending on how many moons, and possibly which moons. also, each moon is associated with a certain influence over the world (domain?), And i think they might have such an influence on the were creatures themselves, perhaps different moons influencing different types of were beings a bit differently?

    5- In Eberron there is a race of shifters- people who allready have some lycanthropic heritage in their blood, but not as strong. I imagine these as either blood thinning out, or perhaps choosing not to take on the full curse for... some reason? As the shifter may easily come under the persecution of the protagonists or of the populace, this is an important and complex relationship (I want some shifter to revere them, some be polite, some weary, some outright against lycanthropes). I need to work this out.

    6- The struggle to control who you are, or letting go and becoming something else: I'd prefer there to be a broader spectrum of transformation. with each step towards becoming more of a beast (with superior intellectual powers and emotional state and so on, or so you'd believe) you gain something and lose something as well. The effects are felt, and hard to reverse, but possible. I'd like to make the struggle (especially for if the character contract the affliction) more than just a bunch of rolled dice, but i have not many ideas of how right now.

    7- Religion: Since this is based in Eberron, i'm thinking of having their religion be a mix of druidic beliefs and the Dark Six pantheon (mostly The Devourer, Shadow and The Fury) the population in the area will be from the Sovereign Host, while the characters will most likely be from the Silver Flame. central to the faith will be the power of self empowerment, and the moons. Any ideas? thoughts?

    8- Of course, i'll need more types (and possibly subtypes) of Lycanthropes. I'm thinking including potential herbivores. I need time to think this through.

    So... what are your thoughts? Either of my ideas or in general on the subject? Feel free to open the discussion about general issues about lycanthropy, I'd love to hear and learn.

    1. Special projects:
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    Thanks for reading!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A New take on lyconthrapy (Eberron, but not just)

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    2. Maybe you should have each were-creature have an aspect that they can choose from. Something like a ranger's favoured terrain, but a psychological rather than a physical aspect.

    A wolf nature might manifest as "the hunter" who is always single-mindedly aiming for some target, or as "the leader" who is always trying to be the top dog and influence others. Actions that fall under this kind of category all get a +1 bonus.

    As the influence grows stronger, the bonus increases, but eventually the player suffers a -1 when he's acting against his nature. So an extremely "connected" were-creature with the Leader aspect might have really good bonuses when leading "his pack", but if he feels his position is threatened and can't act upon it, he'll get a -1 to most actions.


    The aspect should be mostly an advantage, and there should be enough freedom that the players can choose something that fits their character's personality. Once they start getting a -1 to all actions, and there's a bloody way to get rid of the negative for a time, things could get interesting.


    Trying to balance these against each other could be a bit tricky. Some examples:

    Were-wolf Hunter - You have to choose a goal, such as finding/killing a specific person or object, reaching a specific place, and perhaps a few other specific things. He'd usually get +1s to things like Gather Information, Survival, the hunted target would be like a favored enemy, that kind of stuff.
    Abandoning an existing could maybe take a few days.
    They have a -1 to actions when they've abandoned a goal, or if they've been without a goal for a week or two, or if they are prevented from actively pursuing the target. They do NOT get a minus for getting to the target.
    An easy way to get rid of the -1 would be to choose to "hunt" some homeless guy no one will miss...

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: A New take on lyconthrapy (Eberron, but not just)

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    IIRC the Purge started after some lunar conjunction made all lycanthropes infectious and drove them into a frenzy of attacking people.

    You could try associating each moon with an animal or family of animals; something like the Chinese Zodiac. Lycans are the only ones directly affected by it, but the system could have enthusiasts among other races, particularly shifters.
    e.g. a human lycanthrope tied to the "bird" moon could be a were-eagle, while a halfling could be a were-glidewing.

    Don't forget to have someone confuse weretigers with rakshasa. Maybe a misinterpreted prophecy, or the Lords of Dust creating a scapegoat.

    Another thing to consider: giants can become lycanthropes. Could they have something to do with its origins?

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    PirateWench

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    Default Re: A New take on lyconthrapy (Eberron, but not just)

    If would make it so the lyconthrapys live are all given one or more of a list of powers, some from the lycon list some just attack bonuses and stuff and the more powers they posses the high higher they are on the social status. All of them live in a hidden city or something could an underground mine if you want the wild west style. The cause for the tise in lycon that the players are investigating could a lycon that ran got exiled ran away or just fed up witb his life and is now trying to rise an army from the pepole he infecets with a certin kind of lycon. The players could either help or stop him.

    Sorry for the mistakes in the post, but i cant use this phone properly.

    Chesty La

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: A New take on lyconthrapy (Eberron, but not just)

    ok, some responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by endoperez View Post
    Suggestion about aspects for paths and personalities of were creatures
    interesting idea. might fit well for subtypes. I'll need to think about it. I wish to keep it fairly simple though, with the motivation stemming from the personality of the person, rather than him/ her pursuing bonuses. I need to think about this.

    My initial thoughts are that i'm less concerned with mechanical aspects of this choice, but rather of the added flavour it adds to the game, to the tapestry of lyconthrapy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prime32 View Post
    IIRC the Purge started after some lunar conjunction made all lycanthropes infectious and drove them into a frenzy of attacking people.
    From what i read that is not the case- afflicted lycanthropes, not just natural ones, somehow gained the ability to spread the affliction. This made the spreading of Lyconthrapy much more prevalent, and their increasing numbers rose alarmingly. Which is part of the reason why the silver flame launched The Purge.

    I intend to bring many moral decisions on both sides. The silver flame is not doing all good, but on the other hand it is fighting a great rising evil. the lycanthropes are not all murderous monsters, but quite a few of them are. And what is a Lycanthrope? where does the person, and the affliction, start or end? can they be separated? should they be separated? what side do you choose? do you even get to choose? what if it's a friend? what if it is yourself? what if it's a loved one?

    I intend to make things very grey, very much merging with each other, forcing tough decisions and morals. I offer no solutions to these questions. I hope it will be interesting and that D&D (with heavy modifications), will enable to tell this story (we're too set in our ways to learn a new system)

    You could try associating each moon with an animal or family of animals; something like the Chinese Zodiac. Lycans are the only ones directly affected by it, but the system could have enthusiasts among other races, particularly shifters.
    e.g. a human lycanthrope tied to the "bird" moon could be a were-eagle, while a halfling could be a were-glidewing.
    Interesting idea, but I wish all moons to be able to affects all types, if maybe to a lesser or greater degree depending on type- as you suggest, but less one-on-one exchange. Though now I think of it, I could set certain relations between animal/ personality types, and thus enrich the fabric of lycanthropy, and associated types to some animal might get lesser benefits from it's moon... interesting...

    Don't forget to have someone confuse weretigers with rakshasa. Maybe a misinterpreted prophecy, or the Lords of Dust creating a scapegoat.
    But of course! This being the Silver Flame after all, there must be rakshasas! there might even be one or 2 real ones in the mix, as a surprise opponent, mixing things up...

    I intend to have various kinds of shapchangers in the campaign allready- changelings, possibly a doppleganger or few, Aranea and more...

    Another thing to consider: giants can become lycanthropes. Could they have something to do with its origins?
    Haven't much though of that. The campaign will probably take place in today's Droaam, past days west Breland's wild lands ("the wild west") most giants in the region will be ogres, trolls and maybe ettins. perhaps a few "real" giants, though I haven't got to that stage yet.

    I'm not sure I wish to deal with the origins of giants (or do you mean lycanthropy as a whole... from Xen'dric?), as there seems to be enough to go with for one campaign, but i'll keep it in mind as one of the more interesting questions. (Hmmm... i wonder what will an Ettin turn to?)

    Quote Originally Posted by Macbubble View Post
    If would make it so the lyconthrapys live are all given one or more of a list of powers, some from the lycon list some just attack bonuses and stuff and the more powers they posses the high higher they are on the social status. All of them live in a hidden city or something could an underground mine if you want the wild west style. The cause for the tise in lycon that the players are investigating could a lycon that ran got exiled ran away or just fed up witb his life and is now trying to rise an army from the pepole he infecets with a certin kind of lycon. The players could either help or stop him.

    Sorry for the mistakes in the post, but i cant use this phone properly.

    Chesty La
    I'm not about the "social status stems from powers" idea. sounds a bit too videogamey for me. And where does cunning, wisdom, planning, inteligence, influence, hard work, loyalty and all of these come into? I want it to be more of real society, perhaps influenced by fantastic influences, but also by real social ones. Thanks for the idea though- personal power might be part of what puts you forward...

    As to renegade... I haven't gone much into this, but I am working on the reasons for the rise, but it is complex. i plan for there to be several factions in the very loose and hard to organize lycanthrope society. Some will seek to spread their faith, and make all like them. some would wish to be left alone, and others might wish to kill all who oppose, and more. None quite as simplistic as I've just mentioned.

    Into this coalescing mess the characters arrive. Well, to it's fringes at least.

    thank you 3 for responding! gave me some things to think about!

    1. Special projects:
    Campaign logs archive, Campaign planning log, Tactical mass combat Homebrew, A unique monsters compendium.
    2. My campaign logs:
    Three from a GM's POV, One from a player's POV. Very detailed, including design and GMing discussions.
    3. Various roleplay and real life musings and anecdotes:
    For those interested, from serious to funny!

    Thanks for reading!

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