WOLFMAN (Cursed Werewolf)
A person cursed to transform into a savage amalgam of man and wolf.
Among the most feared denizens of the dark is the terrible Wolfman. By day he could be anybody, but by night, he transforms into an abominable hybrid of man and beast. The curse of the Wolfman compels its victim to remain in bestial form, until he satisfies his hunger for flesh.
The curse of the Wolfman can be acquired in many ways. Eating a human corpse, constant cruel childhood abuse, or indulging in violent and perverted desires, can all twist the soul and inflict the curse. Drinking the water from a wolf’s footprint is also said to turn the imbiber into a Wolfman. Often, the curse is inflicted by a witch or holy man, as fitting punishment for a person’s vicious crimes. Sometimes, the curse is brought down upon the heads of the impious by vindictive religious authorities. Certain families are cursed to become Wolfmen, often on account of an ancestor’s wrongdoing. Some foolish people actually inflict the curse upon themselves by means of a magical ritual. Lastly, the curse can be acquired at the hands of certain Demons and Devils, who sometimes trick the person so inflicted into believing they have actually gained a great power.
During the day, Wolfmen are humans. Their faces often have a vaguely feral cast, however, with bushy eyebrows that meet. Their bodies tend to be unusually hirsute, even in the case of females. When Wolfmen transform at night, they can have a variety of forms that combine the features of humans and wolves. The form of a large wolf with human eyes is common, as is a shape like a bipedal wolf, or a fur-covered man with lupine features.
An unusual kind of Wolfman called a Versipellis grows hair internally, rather than externally. He will be no hairier in his Lupine Form than in human form, and in fact may simply look like a muscular person with sharp teeth and claws. He may actually appear to be completely hairless. The interior hair of a Versipellis is always present, however, even in human form. If a Versipellis is cut, hair will be seen in the wounds. If one is skinned, the inside surface of the hide will be as hairy as a wolf.
The Wolfman’s curse must be distinguished from the disease of Lycanthropy, or the practice of transforming into a wolf with the aid of a magical salve or enchanted skin. Player Character Wolfmen are cursed. They are not diseased, cannot transmit their condition to others, and are not vulnerable to silver in any way. Unlike voluntary Werewolves who employ witchcraft, the cursed Wolfman is only a wolf by night, and always retains at least one human characteristic when transformed.
Cursed Player character Wolfmen are not natural creatures. They have no special affinity with nature, or natural wolves. They do not usually form packs, and do not have truly wolf-like behaviors. Their sole similarities to natural wolves are their Lupine Form, and their hunger for raw flesh.
The curse of the Wolfman is extraordinarily powerful. It can not be removed by the usual spell of Remove Curse, and since it is not a disease, Cure Disease or similar magic is completely useless. Only a Wish, or Alter Reality, can usually remove the curse and change the Wolfman back into a human. There are said to be certain difficult rituals that will also undo the curse, but if they exist, they are known only a very few.
Wolfmen are often denied the peace of the grave, rising as Vampyres after death.
Psychology & Behavior
Wolfmen tend to be short-tempered, and overly aggressive. Depending upon their nature, they may either be wracked with guilt and shame over their secret, or have fully succumbed to their abominable hunger.
Wolfmen may actually be of any Alignment. Even Paladins may be so cursed, only losing their status if they harm an innocent. Of course, almost all Wolfmen will eventually commit some atrocity that turns them away from Good. Those who intentionally inflict the curse upon themselves are almost always Evil, usually being either Witches or cannibals (and frequently both).
Wolfmen In Society
Wolfmen often become voluntary exiles from normal society, either to protect other form their savagery during the nights they change, or to have free reign to indulge their bestial desires. Those Wolfmen who remain in close contact with humans may arrange for themselves to be restrained during nights when they are compelled to transform. Worst of all are those Wolfmen who indulge their craving for human flesh by dwelling amidst their favorite prey.
The curse often destroys a Wolfman’s ability to hold regular employment. Consequentially, many Wolfmen turn to a life of crime out of necessity.
Legends speak of noble-born Wolfmen who suffer from ancestral curses. Such Wolfmen tend to occupy manors and castles in isolated areas, where they can be forgotten by those who would eradicate all the monsters of the night.
Relations With Other Races
The Curse of the Wolfman only transforms pure Humans. Most races who know of Wolfmen hate and fear them, and Wolfmen learn to keep the secret of their true nature. Wolfmen will receive the most sympathy from Half-Orcs, Cambions, Dhampirs, Mooncalves, Therianthropes, and Vampyres. Fairy Changelings may actually find the curse intensely funny, regarding the Wolfman as the punchline of some cosmic joke.
LUPINE FORM: At night, a Wolfman can assume their terrifying Lupine Form.
- A Wolfman’s Lupine form usually resembles a man-sized wolf, but always retains at least one human characteristic.
- Human characteristics that could be retained in Lupine Form include the ears, eyes, chest, feet, groin, limbs, or hands. The Lupine Form might have bipedal stature, or lack a tail. In some particularly grotesque cases, the body of the Lupine Form exactly resembles a wolf, but possesses its original human head!
- The player of the Wolfman selects what human characteristics are retained. Different characteristics could be retained on different occasions when Lupine Form is assumed.
- Whatever other human characteristics it may retain, the Lupine Form will always possess fearsome teeth and claws.
- Only the Wolfman’s body changes. Unless the Lupine Form is humanoid, the transformation may destroy any clothing or armor worn.
- In a single round, the Wolfman can bite for 1d4 points of damage, and claw twice for 1d3 points each. All bonuses due to Strength also apply.
- Because they are unnatural beings, Wolfmen can use their teeth and claws to damage creatures only hit by magical weapons.
- Wolfmen retain the ability to speak in Lupine Form, although their Savagery often robs them of the ability to communicate intelligently.
- Wolfmen can only use magic in their Lupine Form if it allows for the necessary movements and manipulations, and has not made their minds so bestial that they forget how.
- A Wolfman cannot leave Lupine Form during the night before indulging his Hunger For Flesh.
- A Wolfman always changes back to human form at dawn.
INHUMAN POWER: A Wolfman in Lupine form can possess incredible physical abilities.
- At First Level, Wolfmen receive a +1 bonus to their Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution scores while in Lupine Form.
- At 3rd Level, the bonuses increase to +2.
- At 5th Level, the bonuses increase to +3.
- At 7th Level, the bonuses increase to +4.
- At 9th Level, the bonuses increase to +5.
- At 11th Level, the bonuses increase to +6.
- At 13th Level, the bonuses increase to +7.
- The bonuses are in addition to those the Wolfman receives at character generation.
- The Wolfman receives all appropriate benefits of higher Attributes, including increased damage, Armor Class, and additional Hit Points.
- Damage sustained in Lupine Form is first taken from any bonus Hit Points gained.
- There is no upper limit to how strong, fast, or tough the Wolfman’s Lupine Form can potentially become.
SAVAGERY: The mind of a Wolfman in Lupine Form is savage and bestial, obsessed with killing and devouring.
- At First Level, Wolfmen suffer a -1 penalty bonus to their Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores while in Lupine Form.
- At 3rd Level, the penalties increase to -2.
- At 5th Level, the penalties increase to -3.
- At 7th Level, the penalties increase to -4.
- At 9th Level, the penalties increase to -5.
- At 11th Level, the penalties increase to -6.
- At 13th Level, the penalties increase to -7.
- The penalty to Charisma is in addition to the one the Wolfman suffers at character generation.
- The Wolfman suffers all appropriate penalties of lowered Attributes, including decreased Saving Throws against Illusions, Divine Miracles, and Charm Magic.
- Wolfmen lose the ability to cast spells if the Attribute associated with their magic falls below 9.
- No Attribute can be reduced lower than 3.
HUNGER FOR FLESH: Wolfmen are consumed with an unnatural hunger for warm flesh.
- A Wolfman in Lupine Form cannot voluntarily change back into his human shape until he personally kills and devours a mammal of some kind.
- The creature slain and eaten must posses at least 1 full Hit Die of at least d6 type. A Wolfman’s savage hunger will not be satisfied by a mere rat, but it could be by the flesh of a dog.
- A Wolfman will always change back to human form at sunrise, whether or not he has sated his Hunger For Flesh.
INCAPACITATING WEAKNESS: Upon transforming back into human shape from his Lupine Form, a Wolfman is completely weakened and incapacitated.
- The human body of the Wolfman will be helpless and unable to move under his own power for 1 minute per every 10 spent in Lupine Form.
COMPULSORY TRANSFORMATIONS: The Wolfman suffers from a powerful curse. As part of the curse, there are always certain nights upon which the Wolfman will be compelled to assume Lupine Form.
- The player of a Wolfman character must select at least 30 nights a year, upon which their character must remain in Lupine Form from nightfall until dawn.
- Such Compulsory Transformations often occupy the nights of the full moon, but other times are possible. It is not unknown for the the change to occur during holy days, or for all the nights of a certain month.
- During their Compulsory Transformations, Wolfmen are completely immune to all transformation magic, including Polymorph, Shapechange, and even petrification effects.
ADVANCEMENT PENALTIES: Wolfman characters require 50% more experience points to advance in their chosen character class.
Preferred Classes: Everyman, Gypsy, Soldier (Fighter), Huntsman (Ranger), Barbarian
Attribute Adjustment: +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma (Even in human form Wolfmen tend to be stronger and tougher than normal. They also tend to be emotionally unstable, disagreeably aggressive, and disturbingly feral in appearance.)
Movement: 30 feet
Starting Languages: Common
Special Abilities: Lupine Form, Inhuman Power
Special Weaknesses: Savagery, Hunger for Flesh, Incapacitating Weakness, Compulsory Transformations, Advancement Penalties
Note: the CK should play up the terrible consequences of the Wolfman’s curse, particularly the Hunger For Flesh. High Level Wolfmen are little more than savage monsters when in Lupine Form, are are likely to devour loved ones.