Pathfinder 1E Is there any reason to be cured of lycanthropy?

Keldin

First Post
I have a character that I'm playing in a Play By E-mail game, a human barbarian. Recently (as in, in the current combat we are currently playing out), he was bitten by a natural lycanthrope, a werewolf specifically. He failed the Fortitude save, which means he's infected (though, of course, he doesn't know this yet).

Now, I've been playing 3E since it came out at GenCon 2000. I knew that lycanthropy (particularly becoming a Chaotic Evil werewolf) was Bad News in D&D. But I'm not as familiar with Pathfinder, so I went and looked at the SRD (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/bestiary/monster-listings/templates/lycanthrope). That only confused me even more. So I went and looked directly at Bestiary I (page 196), and that only confirmed it.

The mandatory alignment change after the first voluntary form change? It's gone.
The forced change when suffering damage? That's gone too.

Heck, armor/clothing remains the same if you shift from humanoid form to hybrid form and melds (like Wild Shape) if you shift to animal form.

So I have to be missing something. What is the disadvantage to my character being a lycanthrope? He has access to healing for it, but as the group's primary front-line combatant, it seems almost like a GOOD thing. About the worst I can see is that the animal-based forms should act more like the animal proper... but wolves, like most animals, are true neutral in alignment. Not only that, but they are pack animals, and who else would be an adventurer's pack than the other party members (if he gets along with them).

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Razjah

Explorer
When you are a wolf you are an NPC? That seems like a good reason to me. When you change you forget your identity. You are a hungry monster, not a PC.
 

monboesen

Explorer
Quote from pathfinder SRD

When a PC becomes a lycanthrope, you as the GM have a choice to make. In most cases, you should take control of the PC's actions whenever he is in hybrid or animal form—lycanthropy shouldn't be a method to increase a PC's power, after all, and what an afflicted lycanthrope does while in animal or hybrid form is often at odds with what the character would actually want. If a player wants to play a lycanthrope, he should play a natural lycanthrope and follow the guidelines for playing a character of a powerful race.

Because you want to play a PC rather than a NPC?

Because your character might not not like being infected by a magical curse that turns him into a bloodthirsty beast. Which could easily lead the character to hurting or killing friends and family members.

Because your DM should rightfully punish you if you attempt to turn what is supposed to be a detrimental curse into a powerplay?
 

MarkB

Legend
So I have to be missing something. What is the disadvantage to my character being a lycanthrope? He has access to healing for it, but as the group's primary front-line combatant, it seems almost like a GOOD thing. About the worst I can see is that the animal-based forms should act more like the animal proper... but wolves, like most animals, are true neutral in alignment. Not only that, but they are pack animals, and who else would be an adventurer's pack than the other party members (if he gets along with them).

Your party may be your pack in your normal form, but the moment you wolf-out you lose all memory of them, and they're nothing to you but tasty meat-treats waiting for you to rip off the foil coating.

Things could get interesting if there's a druid in the party, as he'll have the spells and skill-set to calm and tame a wild beast (assuming that spells meant for natural animals work on lycanthropes). You could even see a bit of a Harry Potter vibe there, with the druid shifting into animal form to keep the transformed character safe and prevent him attacking people.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Pretty much all of this...just to recap:
1) You don't get to play the wolf form...in any way (i.e. Even if you say "Yeah, but I'll play him as a rampaging murderous beast!" Nope. Sorry. I'd probably even make you leave the room so you don't have any knowledge of what your character does during that time.)
2) You don't get to decide/dictate what you do or who you like while in wolf form while the DM is playing your character.
3) You are the recipient and carrier of a curse-disease. Whether your character immediately knows this or not (I assume it would come out at some point of RP), still not desirable.

Personally, as a DM [if I were the DM], I would play it to the hilt...Have rampaging nights, slay villagers, waking up with no memory of what happened. Party gets hired to take on/slay the rampaging beast that has cursed the town...Party finds out it is their pal...Now what?!

Just as an aside, I would make the "turns Chaotic Evil" thing only apply while in wolf/werewolf mode. No "Detect Evil" is going to work on the PC while he's his normal self. He's still whatever his normal alignment is when he's "himself." I don't believe the rules stipulate this...but that's how I roll with it.
 

Keldin

First Post
Several people have mentioned that the character turns into a rampaging beast when he shifts to hybrid or wolf form.

That is in D&D. This is Pathfinder we're talking about.

In the Pathfinder version of lycanthropy, there is *no* alignment change. The closest you get to it is a sidebar in the Bestiary that says an animal or hybrid lycanthope is often at odds with what the character would normally do. Wolves are, once again, true neutral, not evil. Werewolves are not, by definition, hungry monsters or bloodthirsty beasts. It outright says that good-aligned werewolves aren't unknown (Bestiary I 198).

This is the reason why I posted in the first place - other than perhaps being temporarily an NPC (and that probably only lasts until I can make a DC 20 Will save) - there appears to be little negative about being a werewolf if you're a front-line fighter.
 

Razjah

Explorer
Well, perhaps mechanically (other than the will save to be a temp NPC) there is little reason to not be a lycanthrope. But in the narrative, it is a curse- this is by definition a negative thing for a PC.

The Beastiary I page 196 says it should never be used to make a character more powerful. As for the possible good werewolf, that would only be a natural werewolf, not an afflicted werewolf. In addition, it adds +1 CR to the creature which would essentially keep you a level behind the party. Plus pg 196 even says the GM should take control of the PC when it shifts for hybrid or animal form.

So how is not playing your character, your current monster suddenly being at odds which what your character wants, and being a blood thirsty monster Beastiary 198 "That isn't to say that good-aligned werewolves are unknown, but they are certainly a minority among their kind, and most werewolves are evil murders who delight in the hunt and succulent taste of raw meat." a good thing?

If I was a GM and someone tried to use lycanthropy as an advantage, I would definitely take over their character when they change. I may even make the roll in secret and just tell the player to leave the room for the next few minutes.
 

This is the reason why I posted in the first place - other than perhaps being temporarily an NPC (and that probably only lasts until I can make a DC 20 Will save) - there appears to be little negative about being a werewolf if you're a front-line fighter.
Until he transforms, no there is no negative. Not really much positive either.

But right now neither he nor the party knows he's a Lycan. They'll discover that when he transforms and potentially tries to kill the party. And he won't remember it unless he makes a DC20 Will save.
The Will save doesn't let you take over: you're still an NPC all night and the party is down a fighter. At best, you can spend a full-round action (not a standard, you're stuck standing still for one full round) changing back to human form if you make a DC20 Con check (likely DC25 for a full moon). This also isn't a Fortitude save: it's a Constitution check so it never gets any easier to make as you increase in levels.
 

MarkB

Legend
Several people have mentioned that the character turns into a rampaging beast when he shifts to hybrid or wolf form.

That is in D&D. This is Pathfinder we're talking about.

In the Pathfinder version of lycanthropy, there is *no* alignment change. The closest you get to it is a sidebar in the Bestiary that says an animal or hybrid lycanthope is often at odds with what the character would normally do. Wolves are, once again, true neutral, not evil.

Wolves are neutral, but they are, nevertheless, carnivores who don't care whether their prey is sentient or not. Turn into a wolf in proximity to other people, and those people are likely to be on your menu unless they can drive you off.
 

Keldin

First Post
Turn into a wolf in proximity to other people, and those people are likely to be on your menu unless they can drive you off.

Wolves are also pack hunters. Wild wolves tend to fear and avoid humans, not attack them. (According to what I've read, there have been two human fatalities in wolf-based attacks in the last 60+ years in North America (US and Canada). A 2002 report documented 28 cases of wolf-based aggression between 1969 and 2001... and 19 of those were cases of wolves that were used (habituated) to humans. That's less than one a year.)

Overall, this doesn't strike me as the animal form being likely to attack at all. Rather the opposite, I'd think. If one person turns into a wolf in front of several humans (who are all bigger hunters than it), I'd think it rather more likely that it will run away. Wolves are territorial, sure, but if they haven't marked territory as their own (and a lycanthrope-changed wolf wouldn't have), why would that make them stick around?

Of course, this is me attempting to insert some realism into my/our fantasy. YMMV.
 

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