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Lycanthrope

Lycanthropy is a magical curse that causes the victims to involuntarily transform into animals. The specific strain of lycanthropy determines the animal that one transforms into and the conditions that the transformation occur under.

Any humanoid can become a lycanthrope. The lycanthrope presented here best represents someone born as a natural lycanthrope, or someone who has learned how to embrace and control their lycanthropy. In order to do so, they lose access to the other traits and features in their ancestry.

Lycanthropes have three different forms they can assume: their normal humanoid form, their beast form, and a hybrid form. A humanoid with lycanthropy exhibits very minor physical changes in their humanoid form, such as yellow eyes or additional hair growth.

The hybrid form is usually bipedal, and combines features from both their humanoid and beast form. A lycanthrope’s hybrid form is the most frightening of the forms and is what most people imagine in their mind when they think of a lycanthrope.

Controlled Curse

The curse of lycanthropy causes uncontrolled transformations and bestial urges in its victims. With time and training, however, the curse can be controlled, allowing a lycanthrope to transform whenever they wish and to control their new instincts.

Natural lycanthropes, or those born with the curse, have an easier time controlling lycanthropy, as they have spent their entire life with it. The curse becomes a part of their existence and can no longer be cured.

Integrated Curse

Lycanthropy spreads like an infection, transmitted by the bite of an infected lycanthrope. When the curse is new, it is easier to cure. Magical spells or alchemical potions can remove the curse, but after a certain period of time, the curse becomes woven into the person’s existence and can no longer be removed except by rare and powerful abilities. At this point, the lycanthrope is no longer infectious.

Silver Weakness

Lycanthropes possess a weakness to silver and silvered weapons.

Although the most powerful lycanthropes can shrug off any kind of physical attack, a silvered weapon breaks right through their defenses, leaving a lingering wound.

Lycanthropes avoid silver, as even holding a piece of silver is uncomfortable.. As a lycanthrope that has given up power for control, you have lost the ability to ignore physical damage, but you still retain the weakness to silver.

Lycanthrope Names

Lycanthropes can be from any ancestry, so their names typically align with local or familial customs.

Example Names: Marrak.

Lycanthrope Traits

You gain the following traits as a lycanthrope. Any humanoid species can become a lycanthrope.

  • Ability Score Increase. You gain a +2 and +1 bonus to two different ability scores of your choice, or +1 to three different ones.
  • Age. Lycanthropes have the same lifespans as they did before contracting lycanthropy.
  • Size. Lycanthropes have the same size they had in life. Player character lycanthropes should be Small or Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet if you are Small, or 30 feet if you are Medium.
  • Shapechanger. You gain the shapechanger subtype.
  • Darkvision (Minor Feature). 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.

Lycanthropy as a Template

If you want to play someone recently afflicted with lycanthropy, the easiest option is to just replace their ancestry with the lycanthrope ancestry. If you want to represent someone that only has some of the features of a lycanthrope and some of their normal features, replace one of their major features with the Lycanthrope Form trait, or two if they also pick a lycanthropy strain. They also gain the shapechanger subtype and vulnerability to silver.

  • Keen Senses (Minor Feature). You have proficiency with the Perception skill.
  • Lycanthrope Form (Major Feature). Control over your lycanthropy allows you to shapeshift into different forms at will. As an action, you can polymorph into a beast form, a hybrid beast-humanoid form, or your true form, which is humanoid. Your stats remain the same in each of your forms, including your size, but you are unable to talk in your beast form. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. Your equipment typically accounts for your humanoid and hybrid transformations and isn’t dropped or lost when you transform directly between those two forms. You remain in your assumed form until you change back as an action or are reduced to 0 hit points. The lycanthropy strain you select will give you additional abilities while in your beast or hybrid form.
  • Silver Weakness. You have vulnerability to damage from silvered weapons.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and one other language of your choice.

Lycanthropy Strain

Choose one of the following strains of lycanthropy that you possess: charger, defender, flier, hunter, sneaker, or stalker. Your choice provides you with additional features and an enhancement to your lycanthrope form.

Charger

You can assume the form of a beast with a powerful charge, like a boar.

  • Lycanthrope Form. While in your beast or hybrid form, you gain tusks or bony protuberances, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with this, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack.
  • Tough Hide (Major Feature). After taking the Dash action, you gain resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage until the end of your turn.

Defender

You can assume the form of a tough beast, able to shrug off dangerous blows, like a bear.

  • Lycanthrope Form. While in your beast or hybrid form, you count as one size larger when determining your carrying capacity and the weight you can push, drag, or lift.
  • Endurance (Major Feature). Calling upon the strength of your lycanthropy, you can bear greater punishment. As a bonus action, you can gain temporary hit points equal to your level + your Constitution modifier (minimum 0). Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Flier

Your beast form can fly, like a bird.

  • Lycanthrope Form (Major Feature). Your beast form can be Tiny. Your beast form also gains a flight speed of 30 feet.

Hunter

You can assume the form of a powerful hunter, like a wolf or hyena.

  • Lycanthrope Form. While in your beast or hybrid form, you gain a powerful bite attack, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with a bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack.
  • Pack Tactics (Major Feature). Once per turn, you can gain advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.

Sneaker

You can assume the form of a small stealthy creature, like a rat or ferret.

  • Lycanthrope Form. Your beast form can be Tiny.
  • Fury (Major Feature. When you damage a creature with an attack or spell, you can cause the attack or spell to deal extra damage to the creature. The extra damage equals your level. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Stalker

You can assume the form of a stalking predator, like a tiger or lion.

  • Lycanthrope Form. While in your beast or hybrid form, you gain sharp claws, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with a claw, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack.
  • Quick (Minor Feature). Your base walking speed is 35 feet while in your beast or hybrid forms, unless it was already higher.
  • Stealthy (Minor Feature). You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.

Permanent Lycanthropy

You can decide at which point lycanthropy becomes permanent in your setting, or if it differs for each strain of lycanthropy. Suggestions for when lycanthropy becomes permanent include:

  • After your first transformation during a full moon.
  • After three transformations.
  • After spending 24 cumulative hours in a transformed state.
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Ancestry Awakened: Copyright 2021, Pirate Gonzalez Games: Author Timothy Gonzalez