Lycanthropes (Part 1): General Lore

We’ve got another long section here, folks. Luckily, it isn’t too dense. So at least it’ll be easy to get through.

Of the many curses in the world, lycanthropy is among the most ancient and terrible of them all. In their normal state, one of the accursed appears as a perfectly normal and functional member of society. Come nighttime, however, the curse takes hold and they become a bloodthirsty beast with only the faintest glean of intelligence in its bloody eyes. However, not all those cursed are evil; some choose to live alone in the wilderness in order to protect others from their uncontrollable wrath.

While most people become lycanthropes by taking wounds from one, they can also become one if one or both of their parents bore the curse. The former can be cured with the remove curse spell, but the ladder can only be freed by the much more powerful wish spell.

Those who resist the curse can maintain their personality while in human form. Unfortunately, the full moon makes resisting the curse impossible, and they fall into a bloodthirsty rage. Only when the moon wanes can they regain control. Depending on if they’re aware of their affliction, they might not even be aware of what they had done, seeing their actions the night before as no more than a horrific nightmare.

Others don’t bother fighting. Instead, they embrace the curse. Overtime, they even learn to master it. However, most those who follow this path become evil, bloodthirsty beasts, losing any trace of their humanity.

This is decent enough lore. It doesn’t do anything new with lycanthropes; if you know literally anything about them, then you know what to expect. Still, you have plenty of opportunities. Perhaps they need to play a good ol’ game of Werewolf and find one as it murders people in town. Or you could afflict one of your party members with the curse and the group has to find a way to cure them. You’ve got plenty of options!

The question is: what flavor of lycanthrope do you want to go with? We’ll answer that next week as we go into the first variety: the werebear.

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