5e SRD >Races >

Lycan

Lycans are humanoids who can transform themselves into animal-hybrids. In its natural form, a lycan looks like a non-lycanthrope of its race, though natural lycans and those long-afflicted tend to have or acquire features reminiscent of their wolf forms.

The transformation into a being that is both wolf and man and yet neither is all the more dramatic because it crosses social, economic, physical, material, and even spiritual lines. Afflicted lycans who survive and learn to deal with their change are forever transformed, unique in their outlook and social mores.

Conversely, natural lycans rarely experience such trauma. They are born into a social group that accepts them and perceives lycanthropy as a natural part of life. For them, transforming from wolf to man and back again is as natural as breathing.

It is possible for the natural and afflicted lycan to have some commonalities, however. For example, a natural lycan that is not aware of its true nature may be traumatized upon reaching puberty and experiencing its first change. Conversely, an afflicted lycan might be immediately accepted into the pack that transmitted the condition, ensuring the new lycan a safe haven.

The humanoid forms of lycans are often flawed, betraying the dual nature of the creature. A humanoid’s life is inexorably changed upon becoming a lycan, but her reaction to this plight varies depending on when the affliction occurred. Natural lycans who are born with lycanthropy are much better adapted to the challenges of their multiple forms than an afflicted lycan. Afflicted lycans who fail to adapt are often overcome by despair or mania and many commit suicide or perform suicidal acts.

The outwards signs of an afflicted lycan’s secret become more and more overt in its humanoid form with each transformation. Some afflicted lycans manage to suppress their more bestial side and exhibit few of the obvious flaws that inquisitors and lycan hunters look for, but they are the exception. Adult natural lycans are much better at concealing their dual nature. Young natural lycans, however, have some difficulty in sublimating their nature in humanoid form.

The coloration of the wolf form is often reflected in humanoid form, especially the eye and hair color. Pale-skinned humanoids tend to have white paws, muzzles, and underbellies. Darker skinned humanoids have darker hair.

The lupocephalus, or hybrid form, has a gray coat interspersed with flecks of yellow and white hair. The humanoid form’s hair is completely submerged and is not evident in the lupocephalus (bald humanoids are not bald in lupocephalus). The wolf form possesses upright ears with a sharp, pointed muzzle. The eyes possess a malign intelligence, but otherwise the wolf form is almost exactly like a normal wolf’s head. A lupocephalus has hands and can use weapons, but it can also attack with its teeth and claws.

Male Names: Aldrick, Angelus, Broderick, Georgio, Germain, Gian-Luca, Hugh, Jaylin, Mantel, Nils, Osbaldo, Palmer, Reinold, Uli, Marquez, Winimar

Female Names: Ayla, Charlayne, Diahna, Dorette, Emmaline, Fernanda, Jaqueline, Katarina, Luca, Millicent, Mireya, Nanette, Nastjenka, Shirleen

Family Names: Amarant, Camden, Clapham, Draegan, Foy, Karn, Notleigh, Prescott, Rudges, Stryker, Thorne, Uberto, Ymo

Racial Traits

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. Lycans are quick to mature both physically and emotionally, reaching young adulthood at age 10. They rarely live to be more than 70 years old.

Alignment. Although most lycans are considered to be chaotic evil, the moniker applies primarily to afflicted lycans who have received their form through demonic intervention or as a result of a curse. Chaotic evil lycans are, to put it simply, insane, deranged monsters that ultimately spiral out of control until humanoid society puts them down. Any tortured but less violent souls are chaotic neutral. Conversely, natural lycans tend to have some element of neutrality. Most are neutral, caring little for anything but their pack. Others are much harsher on their humanoid relatives and apply the laws of nature to those around them, which classifies them as neutral evil. Still, a select few see their change as a divine blessing and act as guardians against evil—these lycans are neutral good.

Size. Lycans range from 5 to almost 7 feet tall, depending on their subrace. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

Darkvision. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.

Shifting. As a bonus action, you can assume a more bestial appearance. This transformation lasts for 1 minute, until you die, or until you revert to your normal appearance as a bonus action. When you shift, you gain temporary hit points equal to your level + your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 temporary hit point). You also gain benefits that depend on your lycan subspecies, described below. Once you shift, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest. You have the shapechanger tag.

Languages. You can read and write Common, Quori, and one other language of your choice.

Subspecies

Each lycan is bound to the full moon under which it first transformed, a term other lycans call a “birth moon.” Lycans born under these moons gain special powers when they shift forms.

Barley Sheaf LycanThe barley sheaf represents the symbol of the harvest. The concoctions created under the Barley Moon vary widely, just as the lycans born under this moon. Barley lycans are curious about all manner of alchemic transformations, both internally and externally, and are always experimenting in their quest for perfection.Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.Alchemist. You have proficiency with alchemist’s supplies.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you can cast entangle without expending a spell slot. You can do so a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.Blood Moon LycanBorn during the moon dedicated to sacrifice; Blood Moon lycans honor their gods by slaughtering their foes without eating the corpses. Blood Moon lycans are the most dangerous and pride themselves on their ability to destroy living things.Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.Tough. You have proficiency in the Athletics skill.Shifting Feature. Whenever you shift, you gain 1d6 additional temporary hit points, and while shifted, you have a +1 bonus to your AC.Chaste Moon LycanLycans born under the Chaste Moon are introverted and reflective. They are more meditative than other lycans and enjoy their solitude.Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.Natural Tracker. You have proficiency in the Survival skill.Mark the Scent. As a bonus action, you can mark one creature you can see within 10 feet of you. Until the end of your next long rest, your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make to find the marked creature, and you always know the location of that creature if it is within 60 feet of you. You can’t use this trait again until you finish a short or long rest.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you have advantage on Wisdom checks.Dyad MoonThe word “dyad” means “pair” in Latin and refers to the twin stars of the constellation of Castor and Pollux. Dyad Moon lycans are extremely sensitive to the stars and constellations and take an interest in the universe beyond their own.Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.Survivor. You are proficient with the Survival skill.Shifting Feature: While shifted, you can cast guiding bolt without expending a spell slot. You can do so a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.Hare MoonThe Hare Moon is a symbol of virility. Lycans born under this moon have tremendous sexual appetites. They are extremely fertile and pride themselves on siring or birthing many pups.Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.Shifting Feature: While shifted, you have advantage on Charisma checks.Mead MoonMead Moons are a natural part of summer, when meadows are mowed for hay and it is the season for brewing mead. Mead Moon lycans are extremely fond of a good drink.Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you are immune to the poisoned condition and have resistance to poison damage.Oak MoonThe oak is a tree sacred to druids and known for its hardiness. Oak Moon lycans rival dwarves in their ability to surmount obstacles; there’s nothing they can’t conquer.Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you gain a climb speed of 30 feet.Seed MoonThe Seed Moon represents fertility and vegetation. Seed Moon lycans are one with nature and more inclined to wander in wolf form than humanoid or lupocephalus form.Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity and Charisma scores increase by 1.Graceful. You have proficiency in the Acrobatics skill.Swift Stride. Your walking speed increases by 5 feet.Shifting Feature. While shifted, your walking speed increases by an additional 5 feet. Additionally, you can move up to 10 feet as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5 feet of you. This movement doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks.Snow MoonThe Snow Moon heralds the beginning of winter. The change in seasons is magical and makes spellcasting easier for the lycan born under this moon.Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence increases by 2.Moon Caster. You are proficient in the Arcana skill.Shifting Feature. While shifting, you have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.Storm MoonLycans born under the Storm Moon tend to have tempestuous emotions and furious rages. They have a nose for weather and are particularly affected by changes in climate.Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.Fierce. You have proficiency in the Intimidation skill.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you can use your elongated fangs to make an unarmed strike as a bonus action. If you hit with your fangs, you can deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.Wolf MoonWolf Moon lycans are intimately tied to their shapeshifting natures. They are especially attuned to the night and are at peace with all aspects of their multiple forms.Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.Shifting Feature. While shifted, you can make an unarmed strike as a bonus action. You can use your Dexterity for its attack roll and damage bonus, and this attack deals slashing damage.Wort MoonThe wort plants are healing herbs. Lycans born under the Wort Moon tend to be healers and nurturers, with an innate sense of how to heal others’ pain.Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 2.Healer. You have proficiency in the Medicine skill.Shifting Feature: While shifted, you can touch a creature as an action and cause it to regain a number of hit points equal to your level. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.

Earth Month Welstar Month
January Storm
February Chaste
March Seed
April Hare
May Dyad
June Mead
July Wort
August Barley
September Blood
October Snow
November Oak
December Wolf

Lycan Backgrounds

There are a variety of wolf breeds and a lycan will attempt to infect others with its breeding. Afflicted lycans carry the breed of the progenitor lycan.

White Wolf

These lycans live in arctic regions and are common among humans who dwell in the most frigid climes. Their coats are completely white, giving them a distinct advantage in the snow. White lycans are alternately farmers and warriors. They prefer axes to swords and conduct raids on other cultures. In fact, these raids have a ritual element and are part of their society. They frequently come into conflict with gray lycans, who are often mixed with the humanoid populations that are the victims of their raids.

Skill Proficiencies: Nature, Survival

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: battleaxe, longsword

Steppe Wolf

The steppe breed is a lycan that is found in grasslands. Their coats are tan-colored, which helps them blend in with the steppes. The steppe roam the plains in huge packs, covering the steppes in a very short period of time. Steppe lycans are also excellent short bowmen and the masters of the fast raid. Their archenemies are the gray lycans, who are often the victim of their raids.

Skill Proficiencies: Athletics, Perception

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: shortbow

Jackal

The jackal is a desert lycan, found in arid areas. They have a sand-colored hide that helps them blend in with the many hues of sand dunes. Jackal lycans have thin coats and are almost jackal-like in appearance, with long snouts and thin body structures. Nomadic in nature, the jackals view themselves as harbingers of death to other tribes. They see their role as being the divine arbiters of life and death, descended from Apollo Lycaeus.

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Survival

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: sickle

Gray Wolf

The standard gray hide of this lycan is the most common amongst the lycan species. Gray lycans range in temperament and appearance as much as the humanoid tribes they inhabit. Gray lycans are most at home in forests. They are consummate wood workers and are eminently adaptable to other terrains. They come into conflict with just about every other species, but specifically the Campestris who conduct raids on their host cultures.

Skill Proficiencies: Perception, Woodcarver’s tools

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: spear

Skinwalker

Also known as plains lycans, their coloration ranges from reddish to yellowish-brown. Their hides help them blend in with the wildflowers and weeds common to the plains. Skinwalkers worship the wolf as a totem. They are fond of scalping their enemies and are fiercely territorial, despite their nomadic nature. They come into conflict with Lupus lycans, who are usually settlers on their lands.

Skill Proficiencies: Religion, Stealth

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: dagger

Blood Wolf

Blood lycans are a dark red, the color of dried blood. They are night hunters who travel in small packs of two or three and are very rare amongst lycans. Blood lycans are also the most feared, for the Rufus are deadly hunters. They are common amongst desert peoples, where their coloring blends in with the reddish cast of the rocks. As a result, they have an uneasy coexistence with jackal lycans.

Skill Proficiencies: Intimidation, Stealth

Languages. One of your choice.

Equipment: dagger

Lycan Bonds
d8 Bond
1 I belong to a nation of nomadic warriors who worship a gothic deity.
2 I belong to a tribe the recognizes no borders or territories. I love a challenge and will use violence to defend my honor.
3 I belong to a band of predators in town, where I prey on the drunk and unsuspecting.
4 A fiendish outsider cursed me. I can only free myself from the curse by destroying it.
5 A fickle fey cursed me. I secretly plan to upend its control over me by unseating its position in the Fey Courts.
6 I was transformed against my will. I can only end the curse by killing the progenitor of my bloodline.
7 I was cursed for some horrible crime. My only hope of lifting the curse is to use my powers for good.
8 I have a totem that grants me my powers. It is an honor to use them on behalf of my bonded spirit.

Lycan Ideals

Lycans vary as much as any other race in their goals and aspirations. Some are noble while others plumb the depths of bestial behavior. Because a pack must work together, the goal of the alpha pair matters most. Other lycans in the pack at least pay lip service to the alpha lycan’s goals.

Lycan Ideals
d8 Ideal
1 Food. I eat not just to fill my belly, but to taste flesh of different textures and flavors. (Evil)
2 Guardianship. I see other sentient species as my poor cousins who must be protected from harm. (Good)
3 Judgement. My abilities area divine blessing that gives me a mandate to hunt the most heinous criminals. (Lawful)
4 Nature. My abilities are derived from nature and in return I am responsible for protecting it. (Neutral)
5 Propagation. My species must continue to spread throughout the land and I see all humanoids as future members of my breed. (Neutral)
6 Retaliation. I seek revenge on those who would dare hunt beasts. (Neutral)
7 Servitude. I am dedicated to the forces of evil who serve as an alpha member of my pack. (Evil)
8 Reroll twice (Ignore this result if rolled again.)
Lycan Flaws
d20 Flaw
1 I am bestial and have difficulty fitting in to polite society.
2 When I transform, my body explodes in bloody gore to reveal my true nature.
3 I enjoy the taste of humanoid flesh.
4 I am haunted by the spirits of those whom I have killed.
5 I have an upside-down pentagram burned into my palm.
6 Dogs can smell that something off about me and bark in my presence.
7 I have dry eyes as a result of my condition and cannot weep.
8 My humanoid form is particularly hairy.
9 I am terrified of water.
10 My jaw locks shut at night, so I sleep with my mouth open.
11 My nails grow exceptionally long.
12 I am more comfortable with beasts than with people.
13 When I transform, I slough off my old skin as if it were a hide, leaving it for others to find.
14 I smell like wet dog.
15 I have a compulsion to count the holes of anything I come across.
16 I am an omega, the lowest ranked of my pack.
17 My humanoid form is pale, with a yellowish, pinkish, or greenish cast.
18 I am constantly thirsty.
19 I am terrified of frogs.
20 I am covered in scars.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
5E RPG: Gothic Adventures. Copyright 2021, Mal and Tal Enterprises, LLC; Author Michael Tresca.