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Vukodlak: Children of the Night

Optional Rules for 1st & 2nd Edition D&D


Note: These rules appear to be incomplete, I apparently never fully finished them. I leave them here for posterity...

Statistics | Types | Catagories | Distinct Abilities | Common Abilities
Weaknesses | Society | Curing Lycanthropy | Paladins | Conclusion
Afterword: Werewolves and Vampires

Also known as vukodlak ("vukodlaci"), böxenwolves or lycanthropes ("likantropi"), legends of werewolves have lived through the ages, tales of men and women able - or cursed - to take the form of wolves or wolf-like creatures. Though there are several ways in which one may become such a creature, one thing is for certain: werewolves strike fear into the hearts of those whose path they cross. These rules are meant to either create a more traditional flavor for your werewolf encounters, to make them more like some of the movies you may have seen, or a combination of both. As with any set of rules, take what you like and what works for you - and discard the rest. The rules are meant to be played in AD&D TM campaigns, but could probably easily be modified to work with any game system.

Because these werewolf rules are somewhat different from the standard rule set, you may want to warn experienced players ahead of time, not that there will be new werewolf rules (you don't want necessarily to tip them off that werewolves will be involved in the campaign), but just that you will be implementing some new rules and that they shouldn't expect everything they've read in the rule books to necessarily apply. This approach will hopefully help you to avoid the annoying "...but the Monster Manual says..." arguments with your players.

My sources for these new rules were the werewolf statistics/description from the AD&D 2nd edition "Monster Manual," the Werewolf Legends from Germany web page, the alt.horror.werewolves FAQ, as well as various recollected movies and stories.

Statistics

Frequency: Common/Uncommon/Rare/Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1 or a pack of 3-18 (3d6)
Hit Dice: Special (see below)
Special Attacks: Knockdown/stun (see below)
Special Defense: Special (see below)
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Special (see below)
Alignment: Special (see below)
Psionic Ability: Nil
          Attack/Defense Modes: Nil

The following are various stats for the different forms:

Human *
Wolf
Hybrid
Demonhowl ***
Armor Class: As human * 5 2 0
Move: 12 18 18 18/24
No. of Attacks: By class 1 (bite) 3 (claw/claw/bite)
or 2 (weapon/bite)
3 (claw/claw/bite)
Damage/Attack: By weapon + Str 3-12 + Str ** 1-6/1-6/3-12 + Str ** 1-8/1-8/3-18 + Str **
Size: As human M (Worg) L (7+ feet) L (8+ feet)

* Depending on the DM's decision, other demi-humans and humanoids could be were-creatures.
** See notes on strength in "Werewolf Character Classes, Combat and Ability Scores" below.
*** Not truly a lycanthrope, Demonhowls are discussed under the Inherent section of "Werewolf Society" below.


Werewolf Types

Though there are various ways that one may become a werewolf (see "How One Becomes A Werewolf" below), there are three types of werewolves. It is important to note that, regardless of the method of transferring the condition of lycanthropy, each type of werewolf begets the same type in turn (see "Werewolf Society" for more details).

The base form common to all three is that of a normal human. When in this form, the creature conforms to human statistics in every way. A werewolf in it's human form is indistiguishable from any other human (except perhaps through magical or supernatural means) and, with the exception of true Inherent werewolves, has all the physical abilities and weaknesses thereof. See "Werewolf Character Classes, Combat and Ability Scores" for more information.

Transformation from human to were-form does not alter the gender of the individual regardless of type or catagory, so that a man changes into a male were-form and a woman changes into a female were-form. The only exception to this rule is the Demonhowl, which neither has gender nor changes form.

Werewolves

The first, most common type of werewolf, has the ability to change its form into that of a large wolf, approximately the size of a Worg, with the coloration of the fur as varied as that of normal wolves. Again, these are the most common, and they are known by the general term Werewolves.

Wolfen

The second, more uncommon type of werewolf, has the ability to change its form into that of a large hybrid creature, having features common to both wolf and human. When in this form the creature generally appears as a very large, hairy, vaguely humanoid creature with a wolf's head (or in some cases a mostly-human head with fur and wolf teeth), human-like but furry hands and feet with razor-sharp claws, and a bushy wolf tail. Again the coloration of the fur can be as varied as that of normal wolves. When in this form, these creatures are generally between 7 and 8 feet in height (though they are sometimes smaller), unless they are running on all fours. When on all fours, they move at the same speed rating, and are often mistaken for a large wolf at first glance, at night or where visibility is otherwise low. In common usage these are, like their more common cousins, refered to simply as werewolves; however, those who catagorize such things label creatures of this type as Wolfen.

Howlings

The third, though most rare type of werewolf, is the most fearsome as it can take the form of either a Worg sized wolf OR that of a hybrid. Descriptions and abilities of these forms conform exactly to those of the Werewolf and Wolfen, respectively. In general usage these creatures are referred to simply as werewolves, but those who catagorize such things have labeled these type of werewolves as Howlings.


Werewolf Catagories (or How One Becomes A Werewolf)

Werewolves are further catagorized by the way in which they become werewolves. Any Type of werewolf can be of any Catagory, and vice versa. While some of the catagories share common traits, others have traits specific only to them. The five catagories are Inherent, Infective, Magickal, Cursed and Hapless.

Inherent werewolves

These creatures are born as werewolves. To these creatures, their "condition" is no more unnatural than speech or opposable thumbs are to most humans. These creatures have full control over their transformations. They breed amongst themselves in much the same way as any other creature, though they may also breed with humans or wolves. Those born of a werewolf and a human are born as a normal human; however, upon reaching puberty they have a one-time 10% chance that they will become and gain all the abilities and weaknesses of its werewolf parent, becoming in fact a full-fledged werewolf of the same type. Likewise, the product of a werewolf-wolf coupling is a normal wolf in all respects. Again, however, when the creature has reached it's second year it has a one-time 10% chance to gain the abilities and weakness of its werewolf parent and become a werewolf. See "Werewolf Society" for more information on the mating habits of Inherents.

Alignment of these creatures can vary as much as normal humans, though a majority tend toward neutrality. Like normal wolves, they hunt to survive, and only the most evil of them hunt humans on a regular basis (whereas good-aligned werewolves never do unless provoked). See "Werewolf Society" for more details.

Infective werewolves

These are those unfortunate humans who have been bitten or clawed by an Inherent werewolf - and survived. Note, however, that infection is not automatic but is dependent on a percentage chance, based on the extent of the wounds inflicted by the original werewolf or werewolves and the Catagory of werewolf/werewolves who inflicted the damage. This is according to the following, with percentages being cumulative per each hit point of damage inflicted: Inherent - 2%; Infective, Cursed or Hapless - 1%; Magickal werewolves are not infectious, nor are werewolves of any Type or Catagory while in human form. For example, a person bit and clawed by an Inherent werewolf for a total of 10 points of damage has a 20% chance to become an Infective werewolf.

If the victim indeed becomes an Infective werewolf, it will be of the same Type as the original. There is absolutely no physical sign of infection until the unfortunate person is forced into were-form for the first time; only magic might reveal the person's condition before then. Unable to control their transformations, these creatures transform three times each month; the night before, the night during and the night after a full moon. During these nights, the creature is filled with a blood lust, backed by a fearful cunning, with the human element losing all control. During these times, the creature cannot (voluntarily) turn back into human form, nor does it even know that it can. The creature often tends to attack its friends and neighbors, but this is often more a product of vicinity and opportunity than any specific targeting of these victims. The werewolf is just as likely to attack any other human or animal that happens along.

Though the human thus infected can retain any alignment, the were-creature is treated and should be played by the DM as Chaotic Evil (see "Werewolf Society" for more details). The evil acts performed in were-form may, however, affect the status of Paladins and other similar characters (see "Paladins & Lycanthropy" for more information).

Magickal werewolves

These are those who voluntarily transform themselves into were-form. Depending on the specific method of transformation, the person transforms in equivalent ways as one of the three Types - Werewolf, Wolfen or Howling - though the former is the most common.

People may be a Magickal werewolf in many ways, the most common of which is by a magical item. These items are usually in the form of a wolf "strap" or "belt," which are worn either around the waist or head. Usually enchanted strips of wolf hide, these items may be worn or taken off at will. The were-creature retains the alignment, mind and experience of the item's possesser, who can be of any alignment (though even a good aligned creature thus transformed may be viewed as evil by some individuals or societies). Other variations on this method would be to don a magical ring or bracelet, to make a pact with a (usually evil) god or to use a magical ointment or potion.

Note, however, that the transformations of this type of werewolf differ from the Polymorph Self spell, in that the induced werewolf has all the special abilities (such as immunity to normal attacks) and weaknesses (such as vulnerability to silver) of an Inherent werewolf, whereas a character who is polymorphed into a wolf is simply a wolf.

Alignment for humans who use magical methods of lycanthrope can be anything, but they usually tend toward at least chaotic, if not neutral or evil. Any human who enters into a pact with an evil god to become a werewolf automatically is considered some shade of evil (lawful, chaotic, or neutral - see "Werewolf Society" and "Paladins & Lycanthropy" for more details).

Cursed (a.k.a. Loup Garou)

Evil humans and gods occasionally thrust the life of a werewolf onto others against their will, in the form of a curse. The three variants of the spell that mortals use for doing this are outlined below. Cursed individuals otherwise have the same symptoms as infective werewolves.

Alignment for the cursed human can be anything and does not change, but like Infective werewolves the were-creature is Chaotic Evil. See "Werewolf Society" for more details.

Note, however, that this form of lycanthropy differs from the Polymorph Other spell, in that the cursed werewolf has all the horrific weaknesses (such as involuntary transformation and actions) of an Infective werewolf, whereas a character who is polymorphed into a wolf is simply changed into a wolf but retains their own mind. For more information, see the spell "Curse of Lycanthropy" below.

Curse of Lycanthropy (Necromancy, Alteration)

6th, 7th & 8th-level Wizard spell

[Note: I'm not sure if this spell is complete? It might have been a work in progress...]

Range: (see below)     Casting Time: 6 Turns (+ special, see below)
Components: V, S, M Area of Effect: One creature (see below)
Duration: Special Saving Throw: Negates

This spell causes a case of lycanthropy in the victim chosen by the caster. There are three versions of the spell, differentiated both by method of delivery and spell difficulty. Though any kind type of werewolf can be created, the standard Werewolf type is most common as the spell components to create other types are far more difficult (see below).

The first version of the spell requires the ability to cast 6th level Magic User/Wizard spells. Though this spell version is not inherently dangerous to the caster, once the spell's hour of incantations have been completed the spell caster must touch the intended victim to deliver the spell's effects. This action could bring the spellcaster into danger if the victim suspects the spellcaster's intentions, especially if the spellcaster is a known enemy of the intended victim. Furthermore, the bare flesh of both the spellcaster and victim must touch, so that an armored victim or even one wearing a hooded garment and gloves might be a difficult target. A further caveat is that the first creature touched by the spellcaster will be the victim of the spell's effects i.e. if the spellcaster accidently touches some other creature before first touching his intended victim, that creature will be affected instead and the spell would be complete.
If the victim either knows or suspects evil intent by the spellcaster, then a normal attack roll is required for the wizard to touch the victim; the latter must then roll a saving throw vs. spell. Failure indicates that the victim is affected by lycanthropy. If, on the other hand, the victim is unsuspecting (or surprised), the touch is more easily done as even a handshake will do. The victim may still save vs. spell at a penalty of 2, failure of which indicates that the victim is affected by the lycanthropy as described throughout these rules. In any case, if the victim fails the saving throw he/she feels a cold chill but has no other indication that anything is wrong - at least until the next night before a full moon...
See "How One Becomes A Non-Werewolf" for more details on how a victim may defeat this spell.
Spell components for this spell version are a sprig of fresh wolfsbane gathered on the full moon, the charred brains of a wolf and human blood (or blood from a creature from the same race as the victim).

Hapless

Some people have purportedly become Infective werewolves merely by accident, without having been cursed or even ever meeting a werewolf. The following is a list of ways people might become werewolves accidently, though the reliability of these legends is sketchy at best...

Alignment for the Hapless human can be anything, though the alignment of anyone willing to eat human flesh might be suspect. However, the were-creature is Chaotic Evil. See "Werewolf Society" for more details.


Distinct Abilities (or Character Classes, Combat and Ability Scores)

A werewolf, while in human form, may employ any class abilities at a level it has earned! However, the skill with which a werewolf can attack in its were-form(s) is dependent on its catagory, Inherent, Infective, Magickal, Cursed or Hapless.

Inherent

When and if in wolf form, the creature attacks and saves as a 4 hit dice monster PLUS half of its human-class levels (round down). When and if in hybrid form, it attacks and saves at its full human-class level OR as a 4 hit dice creature, whichever is greater (though not necessarily better!). In this latter form, the creature can either attack using its standard claw/claw/bite or can even choose to attack with its human weapon as well as a "bonus" attack with its bite!

In addition, any werewolf who can both take a hybrid form (i.e. Wolfen or Howling) AND control its transformations (i.e. Inherent and Magickal) can wear armor that is specially made for their large size and odd shape. Though it is doubtful that a blacksmith of another race would forge such armor by choice, note that werewolves can be blacksmiths just as easily as humans and that many Inherent tribes who live in villages have at least one professional blacksmith or armorer just as any small settlement peopled by other races would. However, the biggest deterant to an Inherent werewolf choosing to wear armor is because (unless somehow magicked to do so) the armor will neither transform along with the creature's lycanthropic transformation nor change size/shape to fit its various forms. Thus, a werewolf in human form wearing armor could NOT change to hybrid form without damaging or even possibly killing itself, a werewolf in hybrid form wearing armor transforming back to human form would be engulfed and partially crushed by the massiveness of its previous form's armor, and the difficulty fitting a wolf form into humanoid armor is obvious. On the other hand, a few Wolfen/Howling tribes choose to never (or rarely) change out of hybrid form, thus making the use of armor in that form practicle for them.

Furthermore, when/if in hybrid form it can also choose to attempt a grapple. This is accomplished automatically any round where both claw attacks are successful (damage from these two attacks still applies). After a successful grapple is made, the creature can thereafter make 2 bite attacks (per round) at +5 "to hit" and +5 damage until the victim is freed - the victim cannot attack back, but is afforded chances to escape according to the standard grappling rules.

For example, take Wrog the Inherent-Howling who is a 5th level fighter. When in human form, he attacks as a normal 5th level fighter. When in wolf form, he attacks as a 6 Hit Dice monster (4 HD + 5/2 = 6). When in hybrid form, he attacks as a 5th level fighter, and in this case chooses to use his long sword and a bite, with a shield for defense.

Infective

When and if in wolf OR hybrid form, the creature attacks and saves as a 4 Hit Dice creature, period. The were-creature that "takes over" never gains levels or experience and remembers nothing of its human life; it is simply a ruthless hunter, attacking with its natural weapons, its intelligence reduced to that of an above-average wolf. This forgetfulness in were-form is not permanant, however, and does not prevent the infected human from gaining experience levels in his or her chosen profession (except, perhaps, in the case of a priest or paladin whose religion considers lycanthropy distasteful and evil; see the "Paladins and Lycanthropy" for details).

For example, consider Joseph the Infective-Howling who is a 5th level fighter. When in human form, he attacks as a normal 5th level fighter. When in wolf or hybrid form, he attacks as a 4 Hit Dice monster and attacks with its natural weapons.

Magickal

Voluntarily induced werewolves attack in the same ways a Inherent werewolves. However, they do have one advantage in that all of their equipment (clothes, weapons, magic items, etc.) transform and become a part of the were-creature. The items can neither be seen nor used while in were-form, however, so that the person thus transformed must revert back to human form in order to access any carried belongings - though, unless time or secrecy is a factor, this is easily done. The only exception to this is the "wolf strap" or other magic item that gives the Magickal werewolf its power of lycanthropy, which can be removed and put back on at will.

Cursed and Hapless

Involuntarily induced werewolves attack in the same ways as Infective werewolves.


Common Abilities

When a werewolf is in either wolf or hybrid form it gains superhuman strength. Therefore, strength bonuses for to hit and damage rolls are typically equal to those of a human with between an 18 and 19 Strength (including 18/01-18/00). However, when in their human form, they have a normal human strength which, conceivably, could also be very high - or very low for that matter. The human form of inherent werewolves lean towards the strong side (usually at least 13), whereas Infective or Magickal werewolves have their normal, natural human strength.

While in wolf or hybrid form, werewolves can only be harmed by silver or magical weapons, magical attacks or fire. Note that Inherent werewolves retain this immunity to normal attacks in human form as well.

Due to their sheer speed and massive weight, werewolves in either wolf or hybrid form may rush an opponent at a -2 "to hit." Upon a successful hit, though no real damage is done, the opponent is knocked to the ground and is rendered defenseless for the next full round thereafter - during which time the werewolf will attempt to tear it's victim to shreds, getting twice as many attacks per round against its victim at +4 "to hit." Though armor and magical protection apply to the victim's armor class during this round, shield and dexterity bonuses do not.


Languages

Language use by werewolves is as complex and varied as that of humans, and maybe more so.

Furthermore, all werewolves immediately understand the controlling call and commands of the vampire, though some have more resistance to this power than others (see "Afterword: Werewolves and Vampires for more information).

Inherents

The common language of Inherents is that of the wolf, an instinctual language that they do not need to learn. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a "werewolf" language.

Though some Inherent werewolves speak no other language besides wolf, some werewolf tribes have been reported to know as many as 10 separate human languages among them. All languages known by Inherents, besides that of wolves, depend on their geographic ties or travels, existance of contact with other races, individual or tribal desire to know other languages, etc. Just like humans their languages possess regional dialects, flavored by the region that they are from, frequent most often or both. In most cases, however, werewolves tend to speak only common as their "second" language. Many also employ some sort of sign language.

Inherent werewolves can furthermore speak any language known by them regardless of form. The only caveat is that their voices, while in were-form and speaking a human language, are somewhat gruff and wheezy.

For example, Wrog the Inherent Howling knows Common and wolf. In human form he might speak to a wolf, in wolf form he might speak to another werewolf in hybrid form or in hybrid form he might speak to a group of humans in Common.

Magickal

Though Magickal werewolves can bark, growl, howl, etc. like normal wolves, this likeness is only superficial and can only fool non-wolf related creatures. In fact, even other creatures who are experienced in the ways of the wilderness, such as Rangers, can easily detect the difference between the barks and yips of a Magickal werewolf and those of a normal wolf. The fact is that they can neither understand nor be understood by wolves, werewolves or any other related creature.

The only way in which a Magickal werewolf can know the wolf "language" is to learn it. Wolf language proficiency costs one proficiency point. The difficulty is in finding someone or some thing to teach the language to a character (see below). Once learned, proficiency checks for the language are at a penalty of -1 to the normal "second language" proficiency checks.

The process for learning wolf language takes 2d4 months and requires a willing or coerced teacher, with the amount of time needed to learn this reduced by 1d2 months for every point of intelligence over 16 possessed by the character, with a minum of one month.

Infective, Cursed and Hapless

In human form, these types of werewolves can all speak any language known to them, with all proficiency checks as normal.

In all cases, however, the wereform has no recollection of these languages known by its host (nor could they be spoken anyway), and only actually knows instinctually how to speak with wolf-like creatures (wolves, werewolves, Worgs, etc.) in a VERY simple and rudimentary way, so that proficiency checks are at a penalty of -4. However, they rarely care to communicate with any creature anyway and converse with wolves or even other werewolves only on the rarest and most bizarre occasions, tending instead to focus purely on their purpose of hunting prey.


Tranformation

Transformation between forms takes 1d4 rounds, during which the creature is rather vulnerable but can only be harmed by silver or magical weapons, magical attacks, acid, fire or the like.

More to come...


Weaknesses

Except for Inherent werewolves, the immunity to damage from normal weapons does not apply when in human form. In any form, damage from spells, acid, fire, and other special effects apply normally.

Furthermore, any wounds received while in wolf or hybrid form are retained when transformed back into human form. This is how many werewolves, especially Infective or others trying to pass as humans, are found to be what they are. Wounds dealt to a werewolf by silver will never heal naturally, and the hit points are subtracted permanantly from the werewolf's hit point total. Though the werewolf will not die or bleed to death from such open wounds, they will remain unhealed until the creature's death - in fact, such wounds cannot even be healed by any magic, short of a Wish spell or that of a god.

Any werewolf who can both take a hybrid form (i.e. Wolfen or Howling) AND control its transformations (i.e. Inherent and Magickal) can wear armor that is specially made for their large size and odd shape. Though it is doubtful that a blacksmith of another race would forge such armor by choice, note that werewolves can be blacksmiths just as easily as humans and that many Inherent tribes who live in villages have at least one professional blacksmith or armorer just as any small settlement peopled by other races. HOWEVER, the biggest deterant to an Inherent werewolf choosing to wear armor is because, as described above, (unless somehow magicked to do so) the armor will neither transform along with its lycanthropic transformation nor change size/shape to fit its various forms. Thus, a werewolf in human form wearing armor could NOT change to wolf or hybrid form without damaging or even possibly killing itself, and a werewolf in hybrid form transforming back to human form would be engulfed and partially crushed by the massiveness of its previous form's armor.

The following weaknesses are specific to each type of werewolf, Inherent, Infective and Magickal:

Inherent

When an Inherent werewolf transforms, it drops any clothing, equipment and any other carried or worn items, as they do not transform along with creature's body. Thus, if the creature reverts to its normal form it is naked and defenseless - though Inherents alone are immune to normal attacks in either human or were-form.

Infective

On top of the obvious disadvantage of uncontrollable transformation, an Infective werewolf often have nightmares, memories of their monthly hunts. In time, these nightmares cause deep insanity to many werewolves of this type (10% cumulative chance per year, for the first six years; thereafter, the creature retains its sanity indefinitely, having coped relatively well with its condition.

Furthermore, the human and were-creature are nearly separate beings; if the werewolf takes more damage (but survives) than its human form has total, then upon reverting (uncontrollably) back to human form, its hit points are reduced to zero (or below) and the person dies.

They are furthermore often hunted after they have reverted to human form and, since they have no control over their transforming, they cannot even use their curse to defend themselves. To make matters worse, when they transform they drop all belongings (like Infective werewolves, above), so that when they revert back to their human form they are naked, making them even more vulnerable to would-be werewolf hunters.

While in were-form, the creature does not nor cannot wear armor. Retaining none of its human intelligence, it neither understands its use nor even considers doing so.

Magickal

Many legends state that if the soon-to-be victim of a werewolf knows the human name of the creature and proclaims it aloud three times, the creature will be forced back into its human form. It is thought that the werewolf is so startled upon hearing its name (and thus learning that its secret is revealed) that it reverts to its human form. This only works on Magickal werewolves.

Also, since magical items, such as "wolf straps" (see "How One Becomes A Werewolf") can be used by anyone, a self-induced Magickal werewolf can lose its abilities by having their magical item stolen from them. However, doing this is often easier said than done, since even the least intelligent Magickal werewolves hide their magic items when not using or carrying them.

Cursed and Hapless

Cursed and Hapless werewolves suffer the same weaknesses as Infectives.


Society

All werewolves, whether Inherent, Infective or Magickal, Werewolf, Wolfen or Howling, live in at least a rudimentary amount of secrecy. Since most societies consider werewolves to be evil abominations of the natural order of things, they are not only shunned but often hunted ruthlessly - regardless of the creature's alignment or willingness to be a werewolf. Also, many people regard werewolves with the assumption that they are practitioners of (evil) magic, regardless of whether the werewolf is actually a spell caster. In areas where these feelings are strong, werewolves are either hunted and killed, or are captured and burnt at the stake, hung or otherwise sentenced to death.

The werewolf dynamic fully depends on whether it regards werewolves of the Inherent, Infective, Magickal, Cursed or Hapless catagories.

Inherent

Inherent werewolves have social structures very much like humans and wolves, usually livings in tribes or packs, and can hold any general alignment. Regardless of alignment, those werewolves who live in tribes are very devoted to all who are in their tribe and will help defend members of their tribe unto death. The only exception to this rule is in the case of only the most Chaotic Evil werewolves.

These werewolf tribes possess a widely varying amount of technological sophistication. This ranges from those who wear no clothes, use no tools or weapons and live in almost the same way as normal wolves in earthen dens to rather sophisticated groups who wear clothes, use armor, weapons and tools and live in houses. There is even some report of aristocratic, wealthy werewolves, but if this is the case they have hidden their identities well.

Though most werewolves have a set territory in which they live and hunt, some choose a more nomadic life. These nomads are often the product of tribes who have been persecuted due to their lycantrhopic natures, regardless of their intent to harm or alignment. These nomads range in societal tendencies from nomadic hunters to those who travel in carriages and wagons. In all cases, these nomads tend to pass themselves off as humans during their travel, and many make honest livings as merchants. Some even live as traveling entertainers, much as gypsies do, and in rare cases they live and travel along with human gypsies (either known or unbeknownst to them).

Regardless of their technological sophistication or nomadic tendencies, many of them live side by side with normal wolves (and in some rare cases, humans). However, in general this relationship is very different than that between humans and dogs. In most werewolf-wolf relationships, there is more of a kinship, a partnership of equals.

All werewolves can communicate with normal wolves as well as other werewolves using the language common to wolves. Werewolves furthermore have the ability to speak any human language as any normal human, and many know several human languages; however, some (especially those more wild lycanthropes who live more like wolves) do not speak a human language at all.

Some, on the other hand, live a more solitary life. Though these lone werewolves are often the products of tribal dispersion by human attack and persecution, some werewolves simply enjoy the solitude of living and traveling alone. These creatures often pose as humans, and live in and amongst human society - at least for as long as it's safe to do so!

As stated previously, the alignment of an Inherent werewolf or werewolf tribe can vary as much as those of humans. They do tend toward neutrality, and those of neutral alignment, like normal wolves, hunt only to survive. There have been stories, however, of both good and evil werewolves and werewolf tribes.

Werewolf tribes are usually made up of only one of the two more common types, being either all Werewolves or Wolfen. Tribes made up entirely of Howlings are almost unheard of, for reasons described below.

As discussed earlier, werewolves mate amongst themselves in much the same way as any other creature, and most follow the ways of humans and wolves, choosing life-partners. On the other hand, like humans, werewolves tend to stray in their relationships, and sometimes even have relations (however briefly) with a human or even a wolf. Those born of a werewolf and a human are born as a normal human; however, upon reaching puberty they have a one-time, 10% chance that they will become and gain all the abilities and weaknesses of its werewolf parent, becoming in fact a full-fledged werewolf of the same type. Likewise, the product of a werewolf-wolf coupling is a normal wolf in all respects. Again, however, when the creature has reached it's second spring it has a one-time, 10% chance to gain the abilities and weakness of its werewolf parent and become a werewolf. Though they have, like humans, a sex drive that knows no seasonal bounds, female werewolves, like normal wolves, are fertile only during the fall and early winter and they give birth to their offspring in the spring.

Also as discussed earlier, when werewolves mate with others of their own kind, each type begets it's own type, so that two Wolfen parents will give birth to a Wolfen child, and likewise with two Werewolf parents. On rare occasions, however, werewolves of mixed types will live together in tribes, and this almost always eventually results in Werewolf/Wolfen mates. When this occurs, the werewolves' offspring has a 60% chance of being born a Werewolf, a 25% chance of being born a Wolfen, a 5% chance of being born a Howling, a 5% chance of being born a wolf and a 5% chance of being born human. In the latter two instances, the wolf or human offspring has the same 10% chance to become a werewolf as if the offspring were of werewolf/human conception... and if it does, there is a 45% chance each it will be either a Werewolf or a Wolfen, and a 10% chance it will become a Howling. To clarify this, consulte the following tables:

To reiterate, the product of a Werewolf/Wolfen mating would be:
Dice Roll
Offspring Type
01-60 Werewolf
61-85 Wolfen
86-90 Howling
91-95 Wolf *
96-00 Human *

* Then, if the offspring is Human or Wolf, and it becomes a werewolf (10% chance, see above), it will be of the following type:

Dice Roll
Offspring Type
01-45 Werewolf
46-90 Wolfen
90-00 Howling

Howlings are almost always (99%) infertile (though they still have sex drives), so that offspring by a Howling parent is a very rare event indeed. Those 1% who are fertile may mate with any other type of werewolf, normal humans or normal wolves. Though howlings can have sexual intercourse with both humans and wolves, these encounters can not produce offspring; in fact, Howlings can never have normal human or wolf offspring. Consult the following table for the type of offspring resulting from the mating of a Howling and another werewolf:

Mate: Werewolf Mate: Wolfen Mate: Howling
Dice Roll
Offspring
Dice Roll
Offsping
Dice Roll
Offspring
01-70 Werewolf 01-60 Werewolf 01-45 Werewolf
71-95 Wolfen 61-95 Wolfen 46-90 Wolfen
96-00 Howling 96-00 Howling 96-99 Howling
  00 Daemonhowl **

** Demonhowl

A Demonhowl is an incredibly rare, most hideous creature and fully evil creature. Not truly a lycanthrope, its only true form resembles that of the hybrid were-form - though it is repulsive to both humans and werewolves alike. Most parents of such offspring wisely murder such a creature. However, on EXTREMELY rare occasions these creatures are allowed to live and grow, usually due to factors outside the parent's wishes; for example as an evil and powerful human who captures the demonwolf before it is killed by the parents or parents' tribe and raises the beast for some evil purpose...

Like the hybrid were-form, the creature walks erect like a humanand it has many wolf-like features such as claws and tail; however, that's where the resemblence to either species ends. The creature is truly demonic looking, having contorted, evil looking facial features, unnaturally long arms and incredibly sharp teeth and claws. They are furthermore tougher and larger than a normal hybrid were-form, measuring at least 8 feet in height.

When walking erect, it moves at it's normal 18" move rate, but it can just as easily run on all fours, at which time it gains its 24" move rate! Do to this immense speed, when attempting a special knockdown/stun (described in the "Werewolf Special Abilities" section), the creature does not suffer the -2 "to hit" penalty.

The only purpose of a demonhowl is to kill - period. Upon reaching it's second spring, it begins a killing spree which does not end until it is killed or otherwise removed, and should be played as Chaotic Evil to its fullest extent. It has no remorse, no sympathy, heeds no pain and will never run in fear. It requires only 4 hours of sleep per day, and never tires during its waking hours and it is always on the move, prowling and hunting.

Like its parents, it is immune to all normal attacks, being susceptible only to silver and magical weapons, fire and magical attacks. It is further immune to Fear, Charm and all similar spells, including the gaze of a vampire (nor can a vampire control such a creature). It cannot be reasoned with. It will relentlessly destroy any and all creatures that it can find. It holds no fear of even the largest cities and will enter such areas if at all possible, being deterred only by walls and gates (or magic) strong enough to withstand it; if it does gain access to a human settlement it will thereafter murder all inhabitants who are unable to either kill or escape its fury. The ferocity and single-mindedness by which it hunts its pray is similar to that of a Tarrasque, though it will kill and devour only other animals and never goes dormant. A Demonhowl is completely xenophobic - even if the world were unlucky enough to have more than one Demonhowl, the meeting of the two would be wrought with violence.

Infective

Infective werewolves rarely have a society of other werewolves with which to hold kinship (see next paragraph). They are misfortunate victims of circumstance, fated to live out their days in secrecy and shame. Even among other humans, they are alone. Many try to continue living a human life but - after they find people dying around them or because their nocturnal deeds cause them to become the hunted - they often turn to a solitary, nomadic way of life (if they survive long enough), travelling to remote areas, seeking solitude and death. They are considered abominations by most of humankind and are looked upon as freaks by Inherent werewolves.

On occasion, however, an Infective werewolf is shown understanding by a group of humans, often the werewolf's friends, who take care to cage the lycanthrope on the proper nights, containing the were-creatures rage. However, such friends are very few and far between.

On even more rare occasions, a group of Inherent werewolves might take in an Infective werewolf in pity for the creature, though this compassion will less likely in groups of werewolves who try to pass themselves as normal humans. Though such a creature would pose no real threat to the Inherent werewolves, the uncontrollable nature of an Infective would draw too much attention. This situation is made even more rare due to the hatred that Infective werewolves usually have towards Inherents for inflicting lycanthropy upon them.

Magickal

Self induced werewolves live a life of secrecy, as they usually live within human societies that would shun and hate them if the truth were known. A few werewolves of this type are evil and have evil intentions towards the other humans with which they live; however, many have less evil purposes for using their magickal means of lycanthropy. Some use the abilities that their "wolf strap" (see "How One Becomes A Werewolf") affords them merely as a way to put food on the table, hunting for food in their wolf form but reverting back to human form before cooking and eating their prey, sometimes even setting such a table for family and friends. These sorts of werewolves rarely, if ever, live with other werewolves of any kind.

Cursed and Hapless

Both of these types of werewolves have societal woes parallel with that of Infective werewolves.


Curing Lycanthropy (or How One Becomes A Non-Werewolf)

As with other aspects of lycanthropy, the ability to cure lycanthropy and the method by which to do so varies with the catagory of werewolf in question.

Inherent

For Inherent werewolves, lycanthropy is a completely natural state of being, not a curse to be hated. It is part of their very essence, and therefore will not give up this part of themselves willingly (there are, of course, exceptions to every rule).

There are only two ways in which an Inherent werewolf may have its lycanthropy removed. The first is by a Wish spell, but even then if the werewolf is unwilling to lose its lycanthropy it can Save vs Spell to defeat such a wish - not to mention that this is a rather drastic alteration of reality and the Magic User casting the Wish weakens (-3 on Strength) and requires 2d4 days bed rest, as described under the spell. The only other way is by direct will of a god able to affect such a change.

Infective

Werewolves of this type almost always seek a cure for their condition, a condition which brings them only loneliness, pain and sadness.

If the character eats belladonna within an hour of the attack, there is a 25% chance this will cure the affliction; it definitely incapacitates the character for 1d4 days. Note that only a sprig of belladonna need be eaten, and it must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week). If too much is eaten, the character may still be cured, but is incapacitated for 2d4 days.

Beyond that first hour, there are three ways in which an Infective werewolf may be cured of its lycanthropy. The first is by the casting of a Remove Curse spell upon the were-form by a Cleric or Magic User of 12th level, though since the were-form is basically a separate being from the human form and does not want to be "cured," it will always have a Save vs Spells (see Remove Curse in the Players HandbookTM for more details). The second is by a Wish spell, though this is an easy Wish to affect since the lycanthrope's true form is indeed that of a human. The final way is by direct will of a god able to affect such a change.

Magickal

Since werewolves of this type have no inherent lycanthropy, and instead gain their ability through the use of some magical item, the easiest way to take away their were-ability is to remove their magic item from their possession! And, of course, if they wish to "cure themselves" of their lycanthropy, they need only discontinue use of the item that causes their transformations.

Cursed

If the victim of a "Curse of Lycanthropy" spell is affected by lycanthropy, then every month the victim's condition manifests in and around the full moon as described throughout these rules; however, after the 3rd day of were-form activities the victim can make another saving throw to throw off the spell's effects; however, penalties cumulate over time. For each month of failure to save, the victim has a -1 cumulative penalty to throw off the spell's effects, so that on the first month's attacks the save is normal, after the second month's attacks

Cursed werewolves may also be cured in much the same ways as Infective werewolves, either by a Remove Curse or Wish spell or by a god able to affect such change. However, those who would cure a cursed werewolf of its lycanthropy must overcome the magic of another. Therefore the Remove Curse acts like a Dispel Magic spell, in that success or failure depends on the difference between the caster and the one who cause the curse, as follows:

The base chance of successfully removing the lycanthropic curse is 11 or higher on a d20. If the caster is higher level tahn the creator of the curse to be removed, the difference is subtracted from this base number needed. If instead the caster is lower level, then the difference is added to the base. A die roll of 20 always succeeds and a die roll of 1 always fails. Thus, if a caster is 10 levels higher than the curse he is trying to remove, then only a roll of 1 prevents him from doing so. This would be unlikely, though, since the spell to permanantly curse another being with lycanthropy would be a very high level spell.

At the DMs discretion, a Dispel Magic could also removed such a curse.

Hapless

Cures for hapless werewolves conform in every way to those for Infectives.


Paladins & Lycanthropy

If a Paladin, a Lawful Good Priest or other similarly holy character becomes either an Infective, Cursed or Hapless werewolf, it is up to the DM to decide if the character is to be penalized. Many Lawful Good deities will require some kind of atonement, regardless of intent, for evils committed in were-form. Penalties might be anything, from nothing at all to the character being required to embark a lone holy quest in the name of the god (possibly even to find the cure!) to permanant and absolute stripping of the Paladin's status as a holy being - even if cured of lycanthropy - with all special powers removed forever thereafter (though specialization and other worldly abilities would be retained). Again, it is up to the DM to decide how harsh a punishment the god would make, if the god cares - or even notices!

Of course if any such character were to knowingly and willingly don a magic item or enter into a pact with an evil god which would bring about a Magickal lycanthropic change, their holy abilities would be irrevocably stripped from them, or maybe even worse. This may or may not depend on the character's motives, however, subject to DM judgement of the god and its ideals.


Conclusion

Werewolves can be very interesting, very powerful encounters for player characters. They are legendary creatures, backed by a richness of story and geography beyond many others. I hope you find this optional werewolf rule set useful in your campaigns, and may its use strike terror in the hearts of your players!

"Seek the wolf in thyself."

- Metallica, Of Wolf And Man



Afterword: Werewolves and Vampires

Legends of werewolves and vampires are often mixed and clouded together; however, though vampires often have the ability to take the form of a large wolf, they are not werewolves. Werewolves are living flesh, blood and bone, whereas vampires are undead, cold of flesh and heart. Werewolves to not subsist on blood alone, and vampires are sickened by the thought of consuming flesh.

As to their dealings with each other, vampires find the blood of werewolves to be completely distasteful, so that the idea of a vampiric werewolf is totally unheard of. Furthermore, though fairly equally matched in physical strength, the vampire possesses a much stronger will than the werewolf and can often control or persuade a werewolf of evil alignment to obey. Infective and cursed werewolves, on nights when they are forced into their were-forms, can be instantly and effortlessly caused to obey by a vampire, as they have no free will of their own. Once daylight, and thus human form, return to the werewolf, however, the human form regains its full free will.

Vampires and werewolves usually are opposed to each other only when they are of differing alignments or if they are competing for the same prey in a small geographic or sparsely populated area.