Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:36 pm  
Lycanthropy + Demi-Humans (and Humanoids)

My DM (and fellow player, for that matter) and I are in a conundrum surrounding whether or not lycanthropy can be transmitted to demi-folk (elves, dwarves, gnomes, halflings)...and humanoids for that matter (though only as a secondary question).

We primarily use 2e rules (hence why it is in this Forum), with some 1e influences. Although we initially thought that lycanthropy can only be transmitted to humans alone, research from a variety of sources contradicts itself, even within the same edition! Mad

For instance:

1e Monster Manual states (page 63) that "lycanthropes are humans with the ability to assume animal form" and "any humanoid creature bitten by a lycanthrope equal to or greater than 50% of its total potential, but not actually killed (and eaten), is infected by lycanthropy." It this source it states it as a disease (I treat it as a curse as later sources do as well).

1e DMG states (page 22) that "humans are the only beings able to contract lycanthropy." It makes no mention if demi-folk actually DIE if they 'contract it,' even though I thought I read somewhere they DO.

2e DMG states (page 131) that it is, in fact a curse (for those afflicted), but makes NO particular mention that only humans are affected. Thusly, I concur that even demi-humans (and perhaps humanoids) are 'fair game.'

The Monstrous Compendium, under the section of Lycanthropes (pages 230-231), say that they are "humans who can transform themselves to resemble normal animals or monsters." It also mentions that only true lycanthropes can pass on the curse (a side note). Under the "Contracting Lycanthropy" section it mentions that "any humanoid creature injured by a lycanthrope but not actually killed has a chance to contract lycanthropy." However, all descriptions of the many types of lycanthropes typically describe them as human in their non-beast form.

Finally (sigh!), I have access to Van Richten's Guide to Werebeasts, which I realize primarily pertains to a Ravenloft setting, but I decided to peruse it anyhow (and I use it as a supplement). This book notes that demi-folk, and even some humanoids, ARE affected by this curse. But maybe that is just the nature of the Demi-Plane of Dread instead of Oerth. you can see...I am quite befuddled and annoyed with the conflicting information. Yes, I realize that ultimately it is the DM call, but wondering what light you all can shed on this quandary. Please cite your own references, if you can.

thanks, always,

-Lanthorn of the Lycanthropes