For my upcoming Egypt campaign one of my players expressed his desire to play as a werespider. I was perplexed and hesitant at first but why not? Lifespans in lamentations tend to be quickly and brutally extinguished. So, in order to fulfill this wish I had to do some research into Lycanthropy and how I would implement it into my game. I asked around the official LotFP Facebook page, the OSR discord and did some googling and got a lot of good feedback. I did struggle because I wanted to the curse to be powerful but with powerful consequences. Also I didn’t want it to be overly complex. Thankfully I was inspired by listening to one of Fantastic Dimension’s Rogue to Riches sessions and how he used the LotFP disease rules in his game.
Lycanthropy-Werewolf StrainThe curse of Lycanthropy acts much as a disease would so we’ll be using LotFP’s Rules & Magic disease rules as the base for the curse. The curse is transferred through bodily fluids, most commonly saliva via bite. On page.35 in the Rules & Magic book you’ll see diseases are broken up into four stages: incubation, infection, interval, and effect. We’ll use these to fill in what actually happens when your infected by Lycanthropy.
Note: I’ll be using the traditional werewolf as the example for this strain of Lycanthropy, in future posts I’ll be going over some other strains, the werespider and werecroc.
- Incubation- The incubation time is from first infected to the time of the next full moon and every full moon after.
- Infection- Every night that hosts a full Moon.
- Interval- Every hour from night to dawn a Save vs Magic must be made, on a failure the infected loses control of themselves and the referee gains control of their character until dawn.
- Effect- Transform into a werewolf.(see below). Takes one turn and is excruciatingly painful. Reverting back to human at dawn takes a round.
Werewolf StatsArmor 16, Move 180’, 5 Hit Dice, 25hp, 2x Claw 1d8 damage, 1x Bite 1d6 damage, Morale 10. Those bitten that survive must make a Save versus Poison or become infected with Lycanthropy. Double damage from Silver Weapons(triggers a immediate morale check when hit, will flee on a fail)
Retaining ControlThe real reason anyone would even want to play a Lycanthrope, the possibility of harnessing the curse. How do you do it? Certain packs have devised religious rituals to soothe their bestial side. Others have had tamed their other selves through force and an overpowering persona. Here is one such ritual.
The Lunar Lullaby
Music is a gateway to the soul and some would say the key to one's humanity. One pack in southern France devised a way to keep control after their transformation by playing a secret piece of music written and known only to them. Learning this piece and having it played during your transformation grants a +4 to the Save versus Magic during the curse's intervals. Of course one would have to learn the piece which is a quest in of itself.
The biggest would be a TPK after the referee gains control of the werewolf. If you've seen An American Werewolf in London after the protagonist killed his best friend he was haunted by him, which Is a great idea for a lingering consequence. I would incorporate that as one of the effects of the curse, killing someone while the referee is in control means your haunted by that person. Even better(hilarious) if that person happens to be another player. Another consequence is the silver aversion, while in human form touching any silver has a immediate reaction by burning the skin, and is very obvious. And when something is obvious rumors are sure to spread...