One of the most ancient and feared of all curses, lycanthropy can transform the most civilized into a ravening beast. A creature cursed by lycanthropy appears as its usual self in its natural humanoid form. Over time, however, many lycanthropes acquire features suggestive of their animal form. Those afflicted with lycanthropy often describe it as feeling like you share a portion of your soul with another entity that can influence your thoughts and feelings. Some speculate that it’s some ancient forgotten beast that takes up residence within. Others suggest that some form of disease or parasite has grown resistant to most magical or mundane cures. Whatever the case may be, the affliction is passed on in two ways. Either receiving a bite from a lycanthrope in hybrid form or genetically through the offspring of afflicted individuals.
Transmission & Vectors
If a lycanthrope has children with someone who is not afflicted, there is a chance that the offspring will inherit lycanthropy. If both parents are afflicted, it becomes a much greater chance. It is believed that drinking Moon Tea before attempting conception can repress the affliction and increase the odds that the offspring will not inherit it. Inherited lycanthropy emerges around puberty and is generally referred to as legacies or pure blood, while those passed from a bite are called moon born.
When bitten by a lycanthrope, the victim must succeed on a Constitution saving throw dependent upon the host. On a failed save, the Dungeon Master rolls 1d6. On a 1-3, the character contracts lycanthropy. On a 4-6, the character is instead infected with Sewer Pox. A Medicine check can determine if a bite has resulted in the disease or lycanthropy. Other lycanthropes can smell the infection in a fresh bite wound. Those infected by a bite will experience their first transformation on the next full moon. The horror stories of bloodlust transformations usually involve a moon born rather than a legacy.
Whether inherited or infected, a pivotal choice occurs during the first transformation. When the change begins, the new lycanthrope must choose whether to give in to the beast, surrender themselves to its will or fight to maintain control and work towards mastery. Those who choose to give in become wild, uncontrollable beasts. The condition takes them entirely, turning them into uncontrollable ferals filled with rage and bloodlust. Ferals remain in their form indefinitely as wild beasts. Those who fight to maintain control must battle the voice in their head. They will experience a cocktail of emotion during their first transformation, a rush of eagerness, fear, anger, exhilaration and rage. The beast within is stirring and will soon emerge.
A battle of the mind begins. The following "Tame the Beast" section can be used by Dungeon Masters and players as roleplay opportunities or skipped entirely.
TAMING THE BEAST
Attacks against the mind require a Wisdom saving throw with the DC set by the Dungeon Master. Drinking Moon Tea within 1-hour before transformation provides advantage on the roll(s). Choose one or more of the following that best fits the transforming character.
If the character overcomes their "Taming the Beast", they can control their curse and are free to take the Erenel Lycanthrope Prestige Class or another form the Dungeon Master chooses.
A remove curse spell can rid an afflicted moon born lycanthrope of the condition if used before the first transformation. After a transformation, the remove curse spell will only alleviate the disease after the infected has performed a successful Wisdom saving throw for each bullet point listed under Taming the Beast. A legacy lycanthrope or feral lycanthrope can be freed only with a Wish spell.