Lycanthrope Template

Lycanthrope Template


Two types of lycanthropes exist: those who are born with the condition, also known as natural lycanthropes, and those who acquire it during their lifetime, either through a curse or through a disease called lycanthropy; these are known as afflicted lycanthropes.

Natural lycanthropes have lived with their condition their entire life and generally have control over their transformation. Afflicted lycanthropes often change involuntarily (generally triggered by the full moon), and have little awareness of their animal or hybrid forms, often turning aggressive and homicidal. While in animal form, they also sometimes lose their identity and do not remember what occurred while they were transformed. Most legends of the violent lycanthrope come from this latter group.

All lycanthropes have a peculiar connection to the moon. It often triggers transformation in afflicted lycanthropes, and gives them all a vulnerability to silver, a metal long associated with that heavenly body. They all possess three distinct forms: their humanoid form, an animal form, and a hybrid form that includes the physical characteristics of both. Lycanthropes are generally resistant to most weapons, although magic affects them normally. Weapons edged in silver can hurt and kill a lycanthrope as easily as a normal human, and they do not possess any such resistance in humanoid form. When killed, a lycanthrope always reverts to its humanoid form.

Natural lycanthropes carry the disease lycanthropy and can infect others through a bite or a scratch, or pass it on to their offspring.

  • Stat Changes
  • AC:
    In hybrid or animal form the lycanthrope has the natural armor bonus of the base animal increased by +2. (Werewolf = +4 total)
  • Damage Reduction:
    A natural lycanthrope gains DR 10/silver in animal or hybrid form. An afflicted lycanthrope gains DR 5/silver in animal or hybrid form.
  • Ability Scores:
    +2 Wis, –2 Cha in all forms; +2 Str, +2 Con in hybrid and animal forms. Lycanthropes have enhanced senses but are not fully in control of their emotions and animalistic urges.

  • Change Shape (Su)

All lycanthropes have three forms—a humanoid form, an animal form, and a hybrid form. Equipment does not meld with the new form between humanoid and hybrid form, but does between those forms and animal form. A natural lycanthrope can shift to any of its three alternate forms as a move-equivalent action. An afflicted lycanthrope can assume animal or hybrid form as a full-round action by making a DC 15 Constitution check, or humanoid form as a full-round action by making a DC 20 Constitution check. On nights when the full moon is visible, an afflicted lycanthrope gains a +5 morale bonus to Constitution checks made to assume animal or hybrid form, but a –5 penalty to Constitution checks made to assume humanoid form. An afflicted lycanthrope reverts to its humanoid form automatically with the next sunrise, or after 8 hours of rest, whichever comes first. A slain lycanthrope reverts to its humanoid form, although it remains dead. A DC 20 Will Save is required for afflicted werewolves to remember what happened while they were transformed.

  • Werewolf Form:
    Scent | Track | Survival | Trip | Grapple
    Full Round: DC 15 Con check to enter, DC 20 to leave
    DC 20 Will Save to remember what happened while transformed.
    + 2 Strength and Constitution (+ 1 HP per my character level)
    + 2 AC (natural armor)
    DR 5/silver
    Lycanthropic Empathy
    Claws: 1d4 + strength modifier
    Bite: 1d6 + 1-1/2 strength modifier
    Full Attack: 2 Claws + Bite (-5 to both claw attacks)

  • Wolf Form (animal, see link for base stats)
    Scent | Track | Survival | Trip | Grapple
    Full Round: DC 15 Con check to enter, DC 20 to leave
    DC 20 Will Save to remember what happened while transformed.
    + 2 Strength and Constitution (+ 1 HP per my character level)
    + 2 AC (natural armor)
    DR 5/silver
    Lycanthropic Empathy
    Bite: 1d6 + 1-1/2 strength modifier

  • Lycanthropic Empathy (Ex) (hybrid & animal)

In any form, natural lycanthropes can communicate and empathize with animals related to their animal form. Afflicted lycanthropes only gain this ability in animal or hybrid form. They can use Diplomacy to alter such an animal’s attitude, and when so doing gain a +4 racial bonus on the check.

  • Curse of Lycanthropy (Su)

A natural lycanthrope’s bite attack in animal or hybrid form infects a humanoid target with the lycanthropy curse (Fortitude DC 15 negates). If the victim’s size is not within one size category of the lycanthrope, this ability has no effect.

Type curse, injury; Save Fortitude DC 15 negates, Will DC 15 to avoid effects
Onset the next full moon; Frequency on the night of every full moon or whenever the target is injured.
Effect target transforms into a wolf under the GM’s control until the next morning

  • Trip (Ex) (hybrid & animal)

A werewolf in hybrid or animal form can attempt to trip its opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity if it hits with its bite attack. If the attempt fails, the werewolf is not tripped in return.

  • Low Light Vision (all forms)

Characters with low-light vision have eyes that are so sensitive to light that they can see twice as far as normal in dim light. Low-light vision is color vision. A spellcaster with low-light vision can read a scroll as long as even the tiniest candle flame is next to him as a source of light.

Characters with low-light vision can see outdoors on a moonlit night as well as they can during the day.

  • Scent (Ex) (all forms)

This special quality allows a creature to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell. Creatures with the scent ability can identify familiar odors just as humans do familiar sights.

The creature can detect opponents within 30 feet by sense of smell. If the opponent is upwind, the range increases to 60 feet; if downwind, it drops to 15 feet. Strong scents, such as smoke or rotting garbage, can be detected at twice the ranges noted above. Overpowering scents, such as skunk musk or troglodyte stench, can be detected at triple normal range.

When a creature detects a scent, the exact location of the source is not revealed—only its presence somewhere within range. The creature can take a move action to note the direction of the scent. When the creature is within 5 feet of the source, it pinpoints the source’s location.

A creature with the scent ability can follow tracks by smell, making a Wisdom (or Survival) check to find or follow a track. The typical DC for a fresh trail is 10 (no matter what kind of surface holds the scent). This DC increases or decreases depending on how strong the quarry’s odor is, the number of creatures, and the age of the trail. For each hour that the trail is cold, the DC increases by 2. The ability otherwise follows the rules for the Survival skill. Creatures tracking by scent ignore the effects of surface conditions and poor visibility.

More on Lycanthropy

Lycanthropes are humanoids with the ability to turn into animals and animal-humanoid hybrid shapes. Natural lycanthropes are born with this ability and have perfect control over their shapechanging. Afflicted lycanthropes contract this ability like a curse or disease from another lycanthrope; they sometimes change form involuntarily.


A creature that catches lycanthropy becomes an afflicted lycanthrope, but shows no symptoms (and does not gain any of the template’s adjustments or abilities) until the night of the next full moon, when the victim involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets his or her own identity. The character remains in animal form until the next dawn and remembers nothing about the entire episode (or subsequent episodes) unless he makes a DC 20 Will save, in which case he becomes aware of his condition.

A remove disease or heal spell cast by a cleric of 12th level or higher cures the affliction, provided the character receives the spell within 3 days of the infecting lycanthrope’s attack. Alternatively, consuming a dose of wolfsbane gives an afflicted lycanthrope a new Fortitude save to recover from lycanthropy.

Few seek the fate of the lycanthrope. Shunned, hated, and feared throughout most of the world, these misbegotten monsters of the night live hard and often short lives.

Shame plagues the best of them for their nocturnal bouts of amnesia and any forgotten misdeeds they may have committed, while the worst lycanthropes revel in the madness of transformation. The following section explores some of the most common ways an unfortunate individual might contract and cure lycanthropy, as well as suggestions for groups seeking to play lycanthropic characters in their campaign.

  • Contracting Lycanthropy
    Lycanthropy is a curse, and while some unscrupulous types may seek this “gift of the moon,” voluntary contraction of the disease is rare. Several methods exist by which an individual might contract the curse of lycanthropy.
  • Curse
    There are several recorded instances of lycanthropes acquiring their curse through the fell work of an arcanist or channeler of the divine. Other spellcasters claim that the secret to channeling the curse of lycanthropy can be found in ancient arcane texts and items, such as The Bear card in the Harrow Deck of Many Things, or long-forgotten magic of the spirit world.

Oracles dedicated to the mystery of the moon tell that the key to unlocking the truest potential of lycanthropy can be found within strict adherence to the laws of the lunar cycle and the natural world.

  • Infection
    The easiest and most common way to contract lycanthropy is by coming too close to a creature afflicted with the curse. Bites, scratches, and (in a tiny percentage of cases) ingesting blood from a lycanthropic foe may all result in the malady spreading from one carrier to a new victim. Once exposed, newly made carriers likely don’t realize the extent of their affliction until the next full moon, and without divinations it is likely that their moment of transformation is the first victims know of their curse.
  • Inheritance
    Those creatures born with the blood of lycanthropy fully within them are known as natural lycanthropes. These individuals are every bit as accursed as their afflicted counterparts, save that they are, for the most part, capable of controlling their bestial urges. While they can transform at will and are not so attuned to the mysterious influence of the phases of the moon, the blood of the beast still burns brightly within them, and many natural lycanthropes turn toward a path of depravity and insatiable hunger. For the most part, natural and afflicted lycanthropes tend to bear children born with the curse. It remains a mystery as to exactly how far down a familial line the curse of lycanthropy runs before it manifests only as skinwalker children or is diluted to the point of non-expression.

  • Curing Lycanthropy
    Most of the few werewolf adventurers constantly fight a losing battle against their own impulses, hoping to find a cure or a method of staving off the beast within over the course of their travels. A rare few werewolves cling more steadily to their humanity, and use their dread powers to advance external goals, rather than merely battling the monster inside themselves. Much misinformation is spread about this curse, however, so the search for a cure to lycanthropy can be trying, time-consuming, and agonizing. The following are the most common ways an afflicted lycanthrope might remedy her dreadful ailment. Note that natural lycanthropes and skinwalkers can’t use these methods to rid themselves of their accursed ancestry—for these individuals, there is virtually no hope of curing their inherent natures, save perhaps for the power of a miracle or wish spell.

  • Herbalism:
    The most accessible true cure for lycanthropy lies within the potent and poisonous leaves of herbs such as wolfsbane and belladonna. Unfortunately for a were-creature consuming such ingredients, the effects of these remedies are as dangerous and difficult to resist as the curse itself. They are often purchased in mysterious solutions, at a significant markup, from snakeoil salespeople all over the Inner Sea region, especially in regions where lycanthropy is more prevalent.
  • Magic:
    Spells like remove disease and heal are more definitive and safer ways to break the curse, as long as they are cast by a holy person of sufficient skill (typically a cleric of 12th level or higher). However, the window of time in which such mystical treatments function is short— healers have but 3 days after a victim’s exposure to the curse to use their restorative magic before it is no longer sufficient. Since many lycanthropes make their homes far from civilization, those who are infected by such reclusive monsters usually have no hope of reaching such a cure in time. After the 3-day window has passed, a victim’s only chance of a cure through magic is a remove curse spell, cast by a cleric of 12th level or higher, during the time of the victim’s transformation. To make matters more troublesome, spellcasters of sufficient power are rare in the Inner Sea region, and even if such a prodigious cleric is found, the price of his services can be cripplingly expensive.
  • Other Remedies:
    Many folk remedies for lycanthropy exist to offer false hope—and in some cases to cause real damage—to those desperate enough to seek them. Perhaps because of the brutal nature of the were-creatures, many of these “cures” are tantamount to torture, granted an air of legitimacy by the inclusion of silver tools or a certain amount of ritual. To be sure, beating a subject unconscious on the eve of a full moon may stop her from wreaking havoc when transformed, but this is no cure. Whether or not the subject is cured, the afflicted lives the rest of her life with these shameful marks.

  • Lycanthropic Characters
    Such PCs should likely be natural lycanthropes so that the players can remain fully in control of their characters’ powers throughout the course of the campaign, unlike the afflicted lycanthrope, which struggles to control their condition. Players of lycanthropic characters would do well to keep the following implications in mind.
  • Hunted:
    Although lycanthropes are powerful creatures, they are far from invincible, and a band of lycanthropic PCs might find themselves the target of dangers and threats normal adventurers would rarely encounter. Lycanthrope slayers are prevalent throughout the Inner Sea region, and were-creature PCs who make their powers known to the wrong sorts of people may end up as the targets of witch-hunts, bounty hunters, or zealous monster killers. Thus, hiding their lycanthropy is usually of utmost import to afflicted individuals.

* Silver:
While the defensive abilities of were-creatures are formidable, silver damage reduction can be relatively easily overcome, as silver weapons are among the cheapest and most readily available in civilized lands. Poisons and alchemical substances derived from silver also pose a constant threat to lycanthropes, as many herbalists and alchemists spend their entire lives finding new ways to capture, torment, or kill were-creatures— and they’re always looking for test subjects.

  • Hiding Lycanthropy
    Most nights out of the month, an afflicted lycanthrope has little trouble hiding her curse. On those nights when the moon is full and shining, however, it behooves lycanthropes to have a plan for stifling their bestial urges or at the very least concealing their identities while their alter egos rampage. Perhaps the most reliable means of protecting oneself from accidentally running wild is to stay hidden indoors—preferably with the windows boarded and the doors locked using a method beyond the manipulation of animal paws. A trusted friend may provide silver manacles and hold the key till dawn. Getting out of town completely may be in order for some lycanthropes, though to assuage suspicion from nosy neighbors, it wouldn’t hurt to join an organization whose meetings are based on the lunar cycle; a worshiper could do worse than to make lunar “pilgrimages” to a safe-house as a way to disguise affliction in piety. Beyond these methods, powerful magic items may be capable of aiding in the prevention of unwanted transformation, though regardless of how many safeguards are in place, few lycanthropes ever feel safe from themselves.

Gods of Lycanthropy

There are two sister goddesses of Lycanthropy, and both are gods of the moon as well, Jezelda and Luna.

  • Luna (Lesser Deity)
  • Symbol: A silhouette of a dancing woman in front of a full moon.
  • Alignment: CG
  • Portfolio: The moon, feminine power, non-evil lycanthropes
  • Domains: Chaos, Good, Protection
  • Favored Weapon: Chakram

A very old goddess, Luna predates current civilizations. A powerful force for the protection and power of women, her strength has waxed and waned over the centuries. Where the sun is hot and aggressive in its light, the moon remains cool and gentle. She prefers peace to war, and kind words to loud speech, but when someone threatens her charges, she can tear apart her foes with the ferocity of a she-wolf defending her pups.

Luna, like the werewolf, can assume three forms. The first is a human form, that of a beautiful, pale Varisian woman with long, flowing silver hair. The second is that of a noble and majestic white wolf with shining blue eyes. Her third form is a beautiful hybrid of the two, half wolf and half woman; in this form she looks magnificent and feminine, while strong and noble. Glowing in the moonlight.

She is also the patron goddess of non-evil lycanthropes, and her faith teaches that her light blesses good lycanthropes. Conversely, Luna teaches that evil lycanthropes are corruptions of her gifts to mortals by Jezelda; her followers hunt them down to either cure or kill. She is always shown as a woman with white eyes, dark hair, and a crescent symbol on her forehead, although other details vary. Dogs, wolves, and owls are her sacred animals. Luna’s church holds a small ceremony on the first day of each new, full, and quarter moon. Lunar eclipses always call for prayer vigils until the moon appears again, while solar eclipses are sacred events to be celebrated publicly, enjoying the night during the day. Women hold most positions of power in her church, and a disproportionate number of her clerics are female, but her church neither shuns nor marginalizes men. Common folk invoke Luna’s name at weddings to bless the bride and keep her safe in her husband’s house, at childbirth to guard the expectant mother’s health, and at any time when journeys must be made at night.

  • Jezelda (Deity)
  • Titles: Mistress of the Hungry Moon, Demon Lord of The Moon and Werewolves
  • Alignment: Chaotic evil
  • Portfolio: The Dark Side of the Moon, Werewolves
  • Domains: Animal, Chaos, Evil, Trickery
  • Favored Weapon: Scimitar

Jezelda is the shape-shifting demonic patron of all werewolves and mistress of the moon. Jezelda, like the werewolf, can assume three forms. The first is a human form, that of a beautiful, pale Varisian woman with long, flowing ebony hair. The second is that of an enormous, slavering wolf with huge fangs dripping saliva and horrible red eyes. Jezelda’s third and favourite form is a horrible hybrid of the two, half wolf and half woman; in this form she looks starved and skinny, hungry for fresh meat.

Jezelda plays an important role in the history of Golarion, because she is believed by many to be the first lycanthrope who spread the disease to all who now suffer from it. If this is true, then she has placed a huge blight upon the people of the world, but strangely her cultists do not boast of this, instead staying ominously silent on the rumours of their patroness’ origins.

Jezelda is worshiped solely by werewolves, for she sees all other humanoids as just prey. Here worship is most prevalent in areas with large werewolf populations, in particular the Darkmoon Vale in northern Andoran and the haunted forests of Ustalav, especially the county of Lozeri. Dwelling in the Abyssal realm called the Moonbog, she calls on her followers to hunt down all non-wolf lycanthropes and present them to her in sacrifice

Lycanthrope Template

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