In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the lycanthrope is a humanoid shapechanger based on various legends of lycanthropy.
In the standard Dungeons & Dragons rules, lycanthropy is both hereditary (the children of lycanthropes are lycanthropes of the same type) and infectious (victims of lycanthrope bites become lycanthropes themselves, of the same type as the attacker). 3.5 Edition rules distinguish between natural and afflicted lycanthropes, according to the cause of lycanthropy, and handle them by different rules.
Most lycanthropes in animal form can communicate with animals of their type, and do so with a +4 bonus to Charisma checks. In humanoid form, they can use any weapon, and in animal form they use natural weapons like the corresponding animals, but each type has a different fighting style in hybrid form.
Five types of lycanthropes are described in the 3.5 Edition Monster Manual:
Described in Monster Mythology
and not updated since, werefoxes are always chaotic evil
in alignment. Whereas other lycanthropes can be male or female, all werefoxes are female; thus, they are often called foxwomen. In humanoid form, all foxwomen have lustrous silver hair sporting a widow's peak, and are incredibly attractive. Often dwelling in secluded woodlands, foxwomen are rarely seen in numbers as they prefer to act alone. A foxwoman's only purpose in life is pampering herself and raising an heiress. In hybrid form, known as vixen
, werefoxes use their claws and their poisonous bite, and sometimes long swords. They rarely use their animal form for battle, but then they may use their claws and trip attacks. Foxwomen worship the goddess Eshebala
Several other versions of lycanthropes have been described briefly outside the core rulebooks, some based on non-carnivorous animals. This list includes werecats
, and wereravens
are often seen as variant offshoots of werecreatures, but are not, in fact, the same type of creature. Similarly the lythari
, an elven version of the werewolf, are actually good-aligned and considered protectors of the elven lands.
Lycanthropes in Forgotten Realms
In the Forgotten Realms, many werewolves worship Malar. They may help hunters and others who worship or pay homage to Malar by hunting for them during Winter in areas where this is a concern. Packs of werebeings who worship Malar, will engage in what is called a "High Hunt" in which a human is hunted. If the human evades the pack, they are given one boon. If the human is captured, it will be slain, and eaten.
Beings who have been infected with lycanthropy can control or remove the curse by the administration of a special potion provided by worshipers of Selune. Other beings can learn to control their lycanthropy, such as the Black Wolf. (Information obtained form various Forgotten Realms Novels, Including but not limited to The Black Wolf)
Lycanthropes in Eberron
, lycanthropes don't have alignment restrictions, but are more often evil than good. Lycanthropes of all alignments have been almost eradicated from the world of Eberron due to a zealot effort from the Church of the Silver Flame. Although pushed almost to the point of extinction, Lycanthropes may still be found in small, secluded parts of Khorvaire. Shifters
are a race that may have descended from lycanthropes, although they don't have as much shapeshifting capability.
- Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989).
- Findley, Nigel. Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts (TSR, 1993).
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977).
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983).
- Poisso, Dean. "Animal Ancestry." Dragon #313 (Paizo Publishing, 2003).
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994).
- Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).