Lycanthropes are creatures that have the appearance of a human but harbor the fierce spirit of a beast in their bodies. This dual nature allows them to turn into animals, as well as call upon allies from the wild, but a lycanthrope is always split between animal instinct and rational mind, even when not making use of his or her powers; unlike what is told in many stories, though, lycanthropes do not become mindless killing machines when they turn into animals, and keep their presence of mind, making them more accepted by other species as people.
Lycanthropes look much like humans in their base shape, but a few details can hint towards their different nature: even in human form a lycanthrope has slightly pointed ears, feral eyes, thick and long hair, and males tend to have more body hair than normal. Furthermore, lycanthropes tend to be taller than average for humans and display a build that reminds of their animal type, for example being slender and sinewy for wolves or broad and muscled for bears.
- Hit Die: A lycanthrope uses a d8 as Hit Die at every lycanthrope HD he gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: Lycanthropes are strong and have a deep insight granted by their animal senses and instinct, but that very instinct makes them seem strange to most other species. They gain +2 Strength, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
- Size: Lycanthropes are Medium creatures and gain no bonuses or penalties because of their size.
- Type: Lycanthropes are monstrous humanoids.
- Base Speed: Lycanthropes have a base land speed of 40 feet.
- Languages: Lycanthropes begin play speaking Common. Lycanthropes with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Terrain: Same as the chosen animal (see Animal Bond below).
- Saving Throws: Wisdom-based.
- Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gp (average 175gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
- Healthy: Lycanthropes gain a +4 bonus on Fortitude saves against disease and poison, including magical diseases.
- Illusion Resistance: Lycanthropes gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusion spells or effects.
- Inner Beast: Lycanthropes gain a +2 bonus on all Will saving throws.
- Survival Instinct: Lycanthropes gain a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class.
- Camouflage: Lycanthropes gain a +4 bonus on Stealth checks while within a terrain that matches the natural terrain of their chosen animal (see Animal Bond below).
- Quick Reactions: Lycanthropes receive Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.
- Frenzy: Once per day, when a lycanthrope takes damage, he flies into a frenzy for 1 minute, gaining a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and Strength, but a –2 penalty to AC.
- Hatred: Lycanthropes gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against undead
- Darkvision: Lycanthropes can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Scent: Lycanthropes gain the scent
- Animal Bond: A lycanthrope begins play being bound to one particular kind of animal. The lycanthrope must select one animal among bear, boar, lion, tiger, or wolf. The chosen animal is the one he can turn into and to which his abilities and powers are related (treat the tiger as a lion for the totem abilities and bonus feats). All the entries presented in the class advancement will refer to the wolf lycanthrope, as it is the most common type. Substitute the animal type as appropriate and, when indicated, refer to the page of the animal shaman druid archetype. Once chosen, the animal type cannot be changed.
A lycanthrope’s class skills are: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Fly (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (geography) (Int), Knowledge (nature) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Stealth (Dex), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str)
Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int Modifier
|Level||Hit Dice||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special|
|1st||1||+0||+0||+2||+2||[Feat], Nature Sense, Pack Bond, Wild Empathy|
|2nd||2||+1||+0||+3||+3||Charm Animal, Totem Transformation, Woodland Stride|
|3rd||3||+2||+1||+3||+3||[Feat], Summon Animal, Trackless Step|
|4th||4||+3||+1||+4||+4||[Ability Score Increase], Damage Reduction 2/Silver, Resist Moon’s Lure|
|5th||5||+3||+1||+4||+4||[Feat], Totemic Summons|
|6th||6||+4||+2||+5||+5||Bond Senses, Wild Shape (1/day)|
|7th||7||+5||+2||+5||+5||[Feat], Curse of Lycanthropy, Fast Healing 1|
|8th||8||+6/+1||+2||+6||+6||[Ability Score Increase], Damage Reduction 4/Silver, Wild Shape (2/day)|
|9th||9||+6/+1||+3||+6||+6||[Feat], Bonus Feat, Suggestion|
|10th||10||+7/+2||+3||+7||+7||Partial Shifting, Wild Shape (3/day)|
|11th||11||+8/+3||+3||+7||+7||[Feat], Fast Healing 2|
|12th||12||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||[Ability Score Increase], Damage Reduction 6/Silver, Wild Shape (4/day)|
|13th||13||+9/+4||+4||+8||+8||[Feat], Bonus Feat, Greater Curse of Lycanthropy|
|14th||14||+10/+5||+4||+9||+9||Dominate Animal, Wild Shape (5/day)|
|15th||15||+11/+6/+1||+5||+9||+9||[Feat], Fast Healing 3|
|16th||16||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||[Ability Score Increase], Damage Reduction 8/Silver, Wild Shape (6/day)|
|17th||17||+12/+7/+2||+5||+10||+10||[Feat], Bonus Feat|
|18th||18||+13/+8/+3||+6||+11||+11||Ultimate Curse of Lycanthropy, Wild Shape (7/day)|
|19th||19||+14/+9/+4||+6||+11||+11||[Feat], Fast Healing 4|
|20th||20||+15/+10/+5||+6||+12||+12||[Ability Score Increase], Regeneration, Wild Shape (At will)|
All of the following are class features of the lycanthrope.
A lycanthrope obtains an animal companion like a druid of his level. The lycanthrope gains gains a +2 bonus on wild empathy and Handle Animal checks made regarding his animal companion. The lycanthrope may have more than one animal companion, but he must split his effective druid level among his companions to determine the abilities of each companion. For example, a 4th level lycanthrope can have one companion which to apply the 4th-level bonuses on, or two companions each of which to apply 2nd-level bonuses on, or one companion which to apply 1st-level bonuses and one which to apply 3rd-level bonuses on. Each time a lycanthrope’s effective druid level increases, he must decide how to allocate the increase among his animal companions (including the option of adding a new companion with 1st-level bonuses). Once a druid level is allocated to a particular companion, it cannot be redistributed while that companion is in the lycanthrope’s service (he must release the companion or wait until the companion dies to allocate its levels to another companion, which he can do after 24 hours from the release or death). All of the lycanthrope’s animal companions must be of the same animal type as his chosen animal. [Druid – Pack Lord – Pack Bond]
A lycanthrope can improve the attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check made to improve the attitude of a person. The lycanthrope rolls 1d20 and adds his lycanthrope level and his Charisma modifier to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly. To use wild empathy, the lycanthrope and the animal must be able to study each other, which means that they must be within 30 feet of one another under normal conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time. A lycanthrope can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check. [Druid – Wild Empathy]
At 2nd level a lycanthrope can charm animal as per the spell a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Wisdom modifier. Use the lycanthrope’s level as the caster level, and calculate the save DC as 10 + 1/2 HD + Wisdom modifier. An animal of the same type as the lycanthrope (animals of the dire variety count as well), has a –4 penalty to its save against this ability.
At 2nd level, a lycanthrope may adopt an aspect of the wolf while retaining his normal form. Select one of these bonuses:
- Movement: the lycanthrope gets an enhancement bonus of 20 feet to his land speed.
- Senses: the lycanthrope gets a +4 racial bonus to Survival checks made to track by scent, and doubles the range of his low-light vision.
- Natural Weapons: the lycanthrope gets a bite attack. This is a primary natural attack that inflicts 1d4 points of piercing damage for a Medium lycanthrope, and allows for a free trip attempt with every successful natural attack. Also, the lycanthrope gets a +2 racial bonus to his Combat Maneuver Bonus when making trip attacks.
While using totem transformation, the wolf lycanthrope may speak normally and can cast speak with animals (canines only) at will.
Using this ability is a standard action at 2nd level, a move action at 7th level, and a swift action at 12th level. The lycanthrope can use this ability for a number of minutes per day equal to his lycanthrope level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be used in 1-minute increments. This is a polymorph effect and cannot be used while the lycanthrope is using another polymorph effect, such as Wild Shape. [Druid – Animal Shaman – Totem Transformation]
For the bonuses related to the other animal choices, see the appropriate animal shaman archetype.
Starting at 2nd level, a lycanthrope may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrains) at his normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect him. [Druid – Woodland Stride]
A lycanthrope of 3rd level or higher can call to his side animals of the same kind as his animal form. Treat this ability as the summon nature’s ally II spell, but the lycanthrope can only select creatures of the same type as his animal shape (canines for wolf, cats for lion and tiger, and so forth). If no appropriate animal is available in that list, you can apply the Juvenile template to a creature in the summon nature’s ally III list. This ability can be used a number of times per day equal to 3 + Wisdom modifier, as if cast by a druid of the same level as the lycanthrope. At 5th level he can summon creatures from the summon nature’s ally III list, or Juvenile creatures from summon nature’s ally IV, and every two levels after 5th, the maximum level of the spell further increases by one, up to summon nature’s ally IX at 17th level. Using this ability is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
At 4th level, a lycanthrope becomes much harder to damage, gaining damage reduction 2/silver. For every four levels beyond 4th, this damage reduction increases by 2, to a maximum of 8/silver at 16th level.
Lycanthropes of 4th level or higher gain a +4 bonus to saving throws against effects with the light descriptor, effects, spells and abilities that contain “moon” in their name (like moonstruck), spells from the moon domain, and confusion effects. [Druid – Resist Nature’s Lure]
At 5th level, a lycanthrope may use his summon animal ability to call any creature on the summon nature’s ally list of the appropriate level in addition to those of his kind. When summoning a creature of his chosen type, the ability can be activated as a standard action instead of full-round and the creatures summoned this way gain temporary hit points equal to the lycanthrope’s level. A lycanthrope can also increase the level of summoning required by one in order to apply either the advanced or the giant template, or increase it by two to apply both the advanced and giant templates. [Druid – Animal Shaman – Totemic Summons]
Starting at 6th level, a lycanthrope can, as a standard action, share the senses of one of his animal companions, effectively hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching everything the companion does. He can use this ability a number of rounds per day equal to his lycanthrope level. There is no range to this effect, but the companion and the lycanthrope must be on the same plane. The lycanthrope can end this effect as a free action. [Summoner – Bond Senses]
At 6th level, a lycanthrope gains the ability to turn himself into any Small or Medium animal and back again once per day. His options for new forms include all creatures with the animal type. This ability functions like beast shape I spell, except as noted here. The effect lasts 1 hour per lycanthrope level, or until he changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity. The form chosen must be that of an animal the lycanthrope is familiar with.
A lycanthrope loses his ability to speak while in animal form because he’s limited to the sounds that a normal, untrained animal can make, but he can communicate normally with other animals of the same general grouping of his new form.
A lycanthrope can use this ability an additional time per day at 7th level and every two levels thereafter, for a total of eight times at 19th level. At 20th level, the lycanthrope can change shape at will.
As the lycanthrope gains in levels, this ability allows him to take on the form of larger and smaller animals. Each form expends one daily usage of this ability, regardless of the form taken.
At 8th level, a lycanthrope can use wild shape to change into a Large or Tiny animal, as for beast shape II.
At 10th level, a lycanthrope can change into a Huge or Diminutive animal, as per beast shape III.
A lycanthrope can always change into the shape of his animal type, regardless of size. For example a wolf lycanthrope can use beast shape III to turn into a Diminutive or Huge wolf, even if a regular wolf is Medium.
A lycanthrope calculates his level as 2 higher when turning into his type of animal, and as 2 lower when turning into another animal. This means, for example, that a lycanthrope must be of 8th level before being able to turn into an animal different than his own type, but also that at 8th level he can already use beast shape III to turn into a Huge animal of his kind, since he counts as a 10th level lycanthrope accounting the bonus for turning into an animal of his kind.
Only when changing to his own type of animal, a lycanthrope gains the following options, all of which can be activated by spending 1 extra use of wild shape when transforming:
At 14th level, the lycanthrope gains +2/silver to his damage reduction while in animal shape.
At 16th level, the lycanthrope can turn into a Gargantuan animal, adding a further +2 bonus to strength and to natural armor to the bonuses granted by beast shape III. If he does, the transformation lasts only 1 minute per level instead of an hour per level.
At 20th level, the lycanthrope can turn into a Gargantuan animal, as if subject to Beast shape III and animal growth spells. If he does, the transformation lasts only 1 round per level and he is exhausted for 10 minutes at the end of the transformation. During this period of exhaustion, he cannot initiate a new wild shape. [Druid – Animal Shaman – Wild Shape]
When a lycanthrope of 7th level or higher hits with a primary natural attack while under the effects of Wild Shape (or any other effect that causes him to take on the shape of his chosen animal), he affects the struck creature with a curse of shapechanging. The enemy must make a Fortitude save or be turned into the same animal as the lycanthrope for 1 round per level of the lycanthrope. This counts as a beast shape II spell, but the foe takes a –2 penalty to all attack and damage rolls, saving throws, Armor Class, and ability and skill checks due to the sudden and unwilling change. Regardless of the save’s result, no foe can be subject to any one lycanthrope’s curse of lycanthropy more than once per day, thus passing the first save makes the creature immune to this ability for the rest of the day (another lycanthrope may try to curse that creature, though).
The wounds of a lycanthrope of 7th level heal much quicker than other creatures’. The lycanthrope gains fast healing at a rate of 1 hit point per round. At 11th level, and every four levels thereafter, the fast healing rate increases by 1, up to 4 hit points per round at 19th level.
At 9th level and every 4 levels thereafter, a wolf lycanthrope gains one of the following bonus feats: Greater Trip, Improved Trip, Mobility, Skill Focus (Stealth) or Spring Attack. He must meet the prerequisites for these bonus feats. For the list of feats available to other lycanthropes, see the appropriate animal shaman page. [Druid – Animal Shaman – Bonus Feats]
Instead of charming an animal, a lycanthrope of 9th level or higher can use a suggestion effect on it. This ability works exactly like the spell, and the lycanthrope must be able to communicate with the creature for it to work. Using this ability consumes one daily use of charm animal.
A lycanthrope of 10th level or higher can shift only partially when turning into his chosen animal form with wild shape, halting the transformation to a form halfway between human and beast. While turned this way, he can still speak, use equipment, and counts as being one size larger than the animal he would turn into for the purposes of determining space and reach, and whether special attacks affect him or not. Non-magical equipment doesn’t automatically change size or shape to fit the new body of the lycanthrope, but is absorbed within his body, as per any polymorph effect.
At 13th level, the curse of a lycanthrope becomes more dire. When affected by the curse of lycanthropy, the creature must also make a Will save, or get its mental abilities scores matched to those of the animal it was turned into (this effect can only lower mental ability scores, not raise them). The duration is the same as the normal curse of lycanthropy, and the physical ability scores are changed according to the shape the creature assumes, but for all other purposes this effect works like a baleful polymorph spell instead of beast shape II. Creatures that fail the initial saving throw against the curse of lycanthropy can still be affected by the same lycanthrope’s curse for the duration of the day, until they succeed once.
At 18th level, a lycanthrope’s curse becomes even more dire and difficult to get rid of. At the end of a curse of lycanthropy effect, the target must make an additional Fortitude save. Success makes the effect end normally, but failure causes the creature to be stuck in animal shape permanently, until the curse is undone by magical means. Furthermore, once per day, the lycanthrope can deliver a far worse curse with his attack. The use of this special effect can be declared after the attacks hits, but before the creature makes its save. If the creature fails its save against curse of lycanthropy, all its ability scores are dropped to 10 (those lower than 10 or nonabilities remain unchanged) before applying the other effects of the curse.
At 20th level a lycanthrope’s healing abilities further improve. He gains Regeneration 10/silver or fire, and while his regeneration is active, he loses his normal damage reduction; the DR activates again if the lycanthrope’s regeneration becomes suppressed. His fast healing rate raises to 5.
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera