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


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monboesen

Explorer
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?

You are not turning into a natural wolf. You are turning into a werewolf. To me that's not even near the same thing.

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

So far it seems its you trying to eeke out an advantage of something that should be a curse.

My advice would be to go with at all the way. Changing into a raving bloodthirsty beast come fullmoon (or even when wounded unless that rule has changed to), desperately trying to find a cure before your hurt someone, that makes for a great story! Which is what roleplaying is all about.

I have actually DM'ed this exact scenario and what was the outcome of a random encounter turned out to be one of the pivotal themes of that campaign.
 
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Squire James

First Post
Of course, if you're not demanding Official Text for all of your possible rulings, you can say that Lycanthropy is 99% fatal and only that "lucky" 1% actually get to be a were-whatever. And you won't know until you change the first time. Tell them you will make them roll the dice (d%, call the number you want) a couple weeks from now when their first change might occur. That may motivate them to find a cure!
 

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.
So the fighter turns into a werewolf. He then runs away from the party leaving them down a man while you sit and watch the game.
and that's not a reason to be cured?

But werewolves are not natural. Have you every seen a werewolf movie where the infected person isn't a horrible savage monster?
They're ravenous beasts that hunt and kill. And the party's wizard just went to the top of the menu.
 

paradox42

First Post
So the fighter turns into a werewolf. He then runs away from the party leaving them down a man while you sit and watch the game.
and that's not a reason to be cured?

But werewolves are not natural. Have you every seen a werewolf movie where the infected person isn't a horrible savage monster?
They're ravenous beasts that hunt and kill. And the party's wizard just went to the top of the menu.
That's all irrelevant to the OP's question, as is every other argument given by others above along these lines. Time to delurk and chime in.

The question was "By the RAW, is there any reason to be cured?" And as it happens, the correct answer is pretty clearly "no." Any reference to outside stories or tradition is just that- a reference to outside text that has nothing to do with the RAW.

But the vast majority of GMs and players don't play 100% to the RAW, and this is where the true "curse" of Lycanthropy comes in. Basically, the reason to be cured is the GM in all cases. If the GM wants to make life difficult for the afflicted character, then life gets difficult. If the GM doesn't want that, then hey, powerful new capability for the character, bully for the party, why don't we keep that werewolf alive to bite the rest of us too?

I'd definitely play it in my own game as a curse, and make sure the PC got taken away and life made very difficult indeed by the affliction. But Paizo evidently wanted to give GMs the flexibility to run different games with the idea of Lycanthropy if they want to, and for that I applaud them.

I'm just tired of seeing people argue against a different question than what the OP asked. The topic was not tradition or legends; the topic was the Pathfinder RAW. Starting an argument about whether the game should be run that way is a separate issue and does nothing to serve the original topic.
 


Keldin

First Post
I'm just tired of seeing people argue against a different question than what the OP asked. The topic was not tradition or legends; the topic was the Pathfinder RAW. Starting an argument about whether the game should be run that way is a separate issue and does nothing to serve the original topic.

Thank you! I was getting tired of it too. Truthfully, I was trying to find a reason - in the Pathfinder rules, not in tradition or legends as you said - why being a lycanthrope was a bad thing. Some people did address that, though I think they took it too far, mostly because the rules as written are a little too vague. Probably explicitly for the reason to allow DMs to decide.
 

Valiante

First Post
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.

If you're going to insert some realism, at least do your research properly. Yes, in modern days, wolves tend to avoid humans. This is a relatively recent phenomenon however. Prior to the invention of reliable firearms, and the widespread settlement of North America by humans, they were indeed a force to be feared. Even today, with laws protecting them, they're becoming considerably less timid around people. I'm sure that if you do an in depth analysis of wolf-human aggression, you'll find that most incidences of aggressive behaviour have occurred some time in the last 5-10 years. This is because we are not actively hunting them anymore. I know from experience that wolves have actually become more dangerous to humans recently. My home town, for example, has had several wolf attacks in the last few years. Prior to those, they last wolf attack was some thirty years ago.
So yes, modern wolves might not be likely to attack humans. Depending on the campaign setting and the amount of hunting/urbanization in the area, your character might be unlikely to be attacked too. The problem is that that's due to socialization, not nature. A magically created wolf, or a magically transmorphed wolf (say, a werewolf), would not have those socialized qualities. Alignment-wise, wolves, like almost all animals, are true neutral. This is not an expression of their behaviour however, rather it is due to their inability to make moral judgements. A carnivore is still a carnivore. A territorial carnivore, say, a wolf or a grizzly bear absent a socialized fear of people, is very, very likely to attack humans invading its territory.
 

Argyle King

Legend
If you're going to insert some realism, at least do your research properly. Yes, in modern days, wolves tend to avoid humans. This is a relatively recent phenomenon however. Prior to the invention of reliable firearms, and the widespread settlement of North America by humans, they were indeed a force to be feared. Even today, with laws protecting them, they're becoming considerably less timid around people. I'm sure that if you do an in depth analysis of wolf-human aggression, you'll find that most incidences of aggressive behaviour have occurred some time in the last 5-10 years. This is because we are not actively hunting them anymore. I know from experience that wolves have actually become more dangerous to humans recently. My home town, for example, has had several wolf attacks in the last few years. Prior to those, they last wolf attack was some thirty years ago.
So yes, modern wolves might not be likely to attack humans. Depending on the campaign setting and the amount of hunting/urbanization in the area, your character might be unlikely to be attacked too. The problem is that that's due to socialization, not nature. A magically created wolf, or a magically transmorphed wolf (say, a werewolf), would not have those socialized qualities. Alignment-wise, wolves, like almost all animals, are true neutral. This is not an expression of their behaviour however, rather it is due to their inability to make moral judgements. A carnivore is still a carnivore. A territorial carnivore, say, a wolf or a grizzly bear absent a socialized fear of people, is very, very likely to attack humans invading its territory.


I disagree with some of this. Though, to be fair, a lot of what I am going to use is anecdotal evidence.

I grew up in a rural area. I also have done some work on farms. I've even on occasion had to worry about wolves. It's been my experience that wolves tend to target other animals before humans. That being said, a small child or a weak human might very well be considered worth the effort.

Recently, Coywolves have started to become a problem. For those who don't know, Coywolves are a Coyote/Wolf crossbreed. The reason why they have become a problem is that coyotes tend to be more ambitious in approaching human settlements for food. However, they also tend to be smaller than wolves. Coywolves tend to have less fear of human (like a coyote,) but also have the size and power of a wolf. Last summer, the daughter of a local farmer (less than a mile down the road from me) was attacked by a Coywolf. Luckily, the family's dog was outside with the girl and protected her. The dog ended up dying from wounds, but not before chasing away the coywolf and protecting the girl.

I do agree that wolves from the past were likely far more aggressive than modern wolves. However, their natural tendency does still tend to be hunting in a pack. (Though not always the case; the term 'Lone Wolf' came about for a reason.) While attacking a human is easily within the realm of possibility, and I still would not trust a wild wolf around my children, it's been my experience that other types of prey are usually preferred.

None of this really amounts to a hill of beans when considering werewolves. Really, we cannot even point to conventional myths and legends when considering d20 werewolves because the lore does not fit the D&D/Pathfinder version of the creature most times. I do see a problem in the way the game handles the "curse," but I believe that to be a problem born of how templates and the vertical structure of D&D levels interact. At face value, there's really no reason to be cured unless the GM adds some of his own interpretation to the curse. I'm sure many would do so, and I would feel they were within their rights to do so, but that does not change the fact that I believe many of the problems are a result of the underlying structure of the game.

It's also worth mentioning that not every adventuring party is of good intent. Depending upon the general moral outlook of the party, it may be a boon to their efforts to have one of their number inflicted with lycanthropy. There certainly is precedence for this in both D&D and Pathfinder. According to several published adventures, wererats can work together as thieves and rogues without becoming bloodthirsty savages.
 

Wednesday Boy

The Nerd WhoFell to Earth
It seems pretty clear to me that [MENTION=4647]monboesen[/MENTION] answered why you would want to be cured, with the RAW reasoning in the third post. Despite the RAW bowing to the GM's interpretation I think it's obvious that the thrust of the rules is being infected with lycanthropy should be a detriment. But granted, it doesn't provide a flow chart for how the infected PC should act, so to really get an answer for whether there is any reason to be cured of lycanthropy (per RAW) you need to ask your GM.
 

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