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Lycanthropes are humanoids or giants who can transform themselves into animals. In its natural form, a lycanthrope looks like any other members of its kind, though natural lycanthropes and those who have been afflicted for a long time tend to have or acquire features reminiscent of their animal forms. In animal form, a lycanthrope resembles a powerful version of the normal animal, but on close inspection, its eyes (which often glow red in the dark) show a faint spark of unnatural intelligence.

Lycanthropy can be spread like a disease. Sometimes a lycanthrope begins life as a normal humanoid or giant who subsequently contracts lycanthropy after being wounded by a lycanthrope. Such a creature is called an afflicted lycanthrope. Other lycanthropes are born as lycanthropes, and are known as natural lycanthropes.


A lycanthrope in its humanoid (or giant) form uses whatever tactics and weapons are favored by others of its kind, though it tends to be slightly more aggressive. A lycanthrope possesses the senses of its animal form, including scent and low-light vision, and it has a deep empathy for (and ability to communicate with) animals of its animal form. An afflicted lycanthrope damaged in combat may be overwhelmed by rage, causing it to change to its animal form involuntarily.

A lycanthrope in animal form fights like the animal it resembles, although its bite carries the disease of lycanthropy. It is preternaturally cunning and strong, and possesses damage reduction that is overcome only by silvered weapons.

Finally, a natural lycanthrope (or an afflicted lycanthrope that has become aware of its affliction) can assume a hybrid form that is a mix of its humanoid and animal forms. A hybrid has hands and can use weapons, but it can also attack with its teeth and claws. A hybrid can spread lycanthropy with its bite, and it has the same damage reduction that its animal form possesses.

Creating a Lycanthrope[edit]

“Lycanthrope” is a template that can be added to any humanoid or giant (referred to hereafter as the base creature). The lycanthrope template can be inherited (for natural lycanthropes) or acquired (for afflicted lycanthropes). Becoming a lycanthrope is very much like multiclassing as an animal and gaining the appropriate Hit Dice.

Size and Type: The base creature’s type does not change, but the creature gains the shapechanger subtype. The lycanthrope takes on the characteristics of some type of carnivorous or omnivorous creature of the animal type (referred to hereafter as the base animal).

This animal can be any predator, scavenger, or omnivore whose size is within one size category of the base creature’s size (Small, Medium, or Large for a Medium base creature). Lycanthropes can also adopt a hybrid shape that combines features of the base creature and the base animal. A lycanthrope’s hybrid form is the same size as the base animal or the base creature, whichever is larger.

A lycanthrope uses either the base creature’s or the base animal’s statistics and special abilities in addition to those described here.

Hit Dice and Hit Points: Same as the base creature plus those of the base animal. To calculate total hit points, apply Consitution modifiers according to the score the lycanthrope has in each form.

Speed: Same as the base creature or base animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is using. Hybrids use the base creature’s speed.

Armor Class: The base creature’s natural armor bonus increases by +2 in all forms. In hybrid form, the lycanthrope’s natural armor bonus is equal to the natural armor bonus of the base animal or the base creature, whichever is better.

Base Attack/Grapple: Add the base attack bonus for the base animal to the base attack bonus for the base creature. The lycanthrope’s grapple bonus uses its attack bonus and modifiers for Strength and size depending on the lycanthrope’s form.

Attacks: Same as the base creature or base animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is using. A lycanthrope in hybrid form gains two claw attacks and a bite attack as natural weapons.

These weapons deal damage based on the hybrid form’s size. A hybrid may attack with a weapon and a bite, or may attack with its natural weapons. The bite attack of a hybrid is a secondary attack.

Hybrid Size Claw Bite
Small 1d3 1d4
Medium 1d4 1d6
Large 1d6 1d8
Huge 2d4 2d6

Damage: Same as the base creature or base animal, depending on which form the lycanthrope is in.

Special Attacks: A lycanthrope retains the special attacks of the base creature or base animal, depending on which form it is using, and also gains the special attacks described below.

A lycanthrope’s hybrid form does not gain any special attacks of the base animal. A lycanthrope spellcaster cannot cast spells with verbal, somatic, or material components while in animal form, or spells with verbal components while in hybrid form.

Curse of Lycanthropy (Su): Any humanoid or giant hit by a natural lycanthrope’s bite attack in animal or hybrid form must succeed on a DC 15 Fortitude save or contract lycanthropy. If the victim’s size is not within one size category of the lycanthrope the victim cannot contract lycanthropy from that lycanthrope. Afflicted lycanthropes cannot pass on the curse of lycanthropy.

Special Qualities: A lycanthrope retains all the special qualities of the base creature and the base animal, and also gains those described below.

Alternate Form (Su): A lycanthrope can shift into animal form as though using the polymorph spell on itself, though its gear is not affected, it does not regain hit points for changing form, and only the specific animal form indicated for the lycanthrope can be assumed. A lycanthrope can assume the form of a specific animal (as indicated in its entry). It does not assume the ability scores of the animal, but instead adds the animal’s physical ability score modifiers to its own ability scores. A lycanthrope also can assume a bipedal hybrid form with prehensile hands and animalistic features.

Changing to or from animal or hybrid form is a standard action.

A slain lycanthrope reverts to its humanoid form, although it remains dead. Separated body parts retain their animal form, however.

Afflicted lycanthropes find this ability difficult to control (see Lycanthropy as an Affliction, below), but natural lycanthropes have full control over this power.

Damage Reduction (Ex): An afflicted lycanthrope in animal or hybrid form has damage reduction 5/silver. A natural lycanthrope in animal or hybrid form has damage reduction 10/silver.

Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex): In any form, lycanthropes can communicate and empathize with normal or dire animals of their animal form. This gives them a +4 racial bonus on checks when influencing the animal’s attitude and allows the communication of simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands, such as “friend,” “foe,” “flee,” and “attack.”

Low-Light Vision (Ex): A lycanthrope has low-light vision in any form.

Scent (Ex): A lycanthrope has the scent ability in any form.

Base Save Bonuses: Add the base save bonuses of the base animal to the base save bonuses of the base creature.

Abilities: All lycanthropes gain +2 to Wisdom. In addition, when in animal form, a lycanthrope’s physical ability scores improve according to its kind, as set out in the table below. These adjustments are equal to the animal’s normal ability scores –10 or –11. A lycanthrope in hybrid form modifies its physical ability scores by the same amount.

In addition, a lycanthrope may also gain an additional ability score increase by virtue of its extra Hit Dice.

Skills: A lycanthrope gains skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die of its animal form, as if it had multiclassed into the animal type. (Animal is never its first Hit Die, though, and it does not gain quadruple skill points for any animal Hit Die.) Any skill given in the animal’s description is a class skill for the lycanthrope’s animal levels. In any form, a lycanthrope also has any racial skill bonuses of the base creature and of the base animal, although conditional skill bonuses only apply in the associated form.

Feats: Add the base animal’s feats to the base creature’s. If this results in a lycanthrope having the same feat twice, the lycanthrope gains no additional benefit unless the feat normally can be taken more once, in which case the duplicated feat works as noted in the feat description. This process may give the lycanthrope more feats than a character of its total Hit Dice would normally be entitled to; if this occurs, any “extra” feats are denoted as bonus feats.

It’s possible that a lycanthrope cannot meet the prerequisites for all its feats when in humanoid form. If this occurs, the lycanthrope still has the feats, but cannot use them when in humanoid form. A lycanthrope receives Iron Will as a bonus feat.

Environment: Same as either the base creature or base animal.

Organization: Solitary or pair, sometimes family (3–4), pack (6–10), or troupe (family plus related animals)

Challenge Rating: By class level or base creature, modified according to the HD of the base animal: 1 HD or 2 HD, +2; 3 HD to 5 HD, +3; 6 HD to 10 HD, +4; 11 HD to 20 HD, +5; 21 or more HD, +6.

Treasure: Standard.

Alignment: Any. Noble creatures such as bears, eagles, and lions tend to produce good-aligned lycanthropes. Sinister creatures such as rats, snakes, and wolves tend to produce evil-aligned lycanthropes. This is a reflection of how these animals are perceived, not any innate quality of the animal itself, so the alignment of the animal form can be arbitrarily assigned.

Advancement: By character class.

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +2 (afflicted) or +3 (natural). In addition, a lycanthrope’s character level is increased by the number of racial Hit Dice the base animal has.

Common Lycanthropes
Name Animal Form Animal or Hybrid Form Ability Modifiers Preferred Alignment
Werebear Brown bear Str +16, Dex +2, Con +8 Lawful good
Wereboar Boar Str +4, Con +6 Neutral
Wererat Dire rat Dex +6, Con +2 Chaotic evil
Weretiger Tiger Str +12, Dex +4, Con +6 Neutral
Werewolf Wolf Str +2, Dex +4, Con +4 Chaotic evil
Dire Wereboar Dire boar Str +16, Con +6 Neutral

Lycanthropy as an Affliction[edit]

When a character contracts lycanthropy through a lycanthrope’s bite (see above), no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets his or her own identity, temporarily becoming an NPC. The character remains in animal form, assuming the appropriate alignment, until the next dawn.

The character’s actions during this first episode are dictated by the alignment of its animal form. The character remembers nothing about the entire episode (or subsequent episodes) unless he succeeds on a DC 15 Wisdom check, in which case he becomes aware of his lycanthropic condition.

Thereafter, the character is subject to involuntary transformation under the full moon and whenever damaged in combat. He or she feels an overwhelming rage building up and must succeed on a Control Shape check (see below) to resist changing into animal form. Any player character not yet aware of his or her lycanthropic condition temporarily becomes an NPC during an involuntary change, and acts according to the alignment of his or her animal form.

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.

Changing Form

Changing form is a standard action. If the change is involuntary, the character performs the change on his next turn following the triggering event. Changing to animal or hybrid form ruins the character’s armor and clothing (including any items worn) if the new form is larger than the character’s natural form; carried items are simply dropped. Characters can hastily doff clothing while changing, but not armor. Magic armor survives the change if it succeeds on a DC 15 Fortitude save. An afflicted character who is not aware of his condition remains in animal form until the next dawn. An afflicted character who is aware of his or her condition (see above) can try to resume humanoid form following a change (voluntary or involuntary) with a Control Shape check, but if he fails his check, he remains in animal (or hybrid) form until the following dawn.

Curing Lycanthropy

An afflicted character who eats a sprig of belladonna (also called wolfsbane) within 1 hour of a lycanthrope’s attack can attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save to shake off the affliction. If a healer administers the herb, use the character’s save bonus or the healer’s Heal modifier, whichever is higher. The character gets only one chance, no matter how much belladonna is consumed. The belladonna must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week).

However, fresh or not, belladonna is toxic. The character must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Strength damage. One minute later, the character must succeed on a second DC 13 save or take an additional 2d6 points of Strength damage.

A remove disease or heal spell cast by a cleric of 12th level or higher also cures the affliction, provided the character receives the spell within three days of the lycanthrope’s attack.

The only other way to remove the affliction is to cast remove curse or break enchantment on the character during one of the three days of the full moon. After receiving the spell, the character must succeed on a DC 20 Will save to break the curse (the caster knows if the spell works). If the save fails, the process must be repeated.

Characters undergoing this cure are often kept bound or confined in cages until the cure takes effect.

Only afflicted lycanthropes can be cured of lycanthropy.

Lycanthropes as Characters[edit]

Becoming a lycanthrope does not change a character’s favored class but usually changes alignment (see above). This alignment change may cause characters of certain classes to lose some of their class features.

Lycanthrope characters possess the following racial traits.

Control Shape[edit]

See: Control Shape Skill

See Wikipedia Entry: Lycanthropy

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Facts about "Lycanthrope"
Challenge RatingVaries +
SubtypeShapechanger +
SummaryLycanthropes are humanoids or giants who can transform themselves into animals +
TitleLycanthrope +