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Lycanthropes = formatting nightmare

GlassJaw

Explorer
So I've been looking at the lyncanthrope stat blocks lately and I really want to do something to clean then up, even if it's just presenting them in a more usable format.

I always found the lycanthrope stat blocks to be very difficult to use because they are essentially 3 templates in one that include a) ability score changes and b) size changes.

Plus, the abilities, rules, and changes is scattered between the stat blocks themselves and the description of the template.

I have a few ideas to clean up the lycanthrope entry but I'm interested to hear some thoughts from others.

Thanks!
 

ValhallaGH

Villager
Like demons, angels, and other broad categories, there is too much reference to the base template in the entries, enough so that even experienced DMs forget that an afflicted lycanthrope has to make Shape Control checks when they take 20% damage, or turn into an animal to flee. So, there's a lot going on, and you need to be aware of all of it, rather than see a tiny line that says "lycanthrope traits".

... Suggestions ....
More information, more explanation of abilities and special rules below the block, less wasted rules text (the Curse entry is particularly damning; lots of text when what they need is "Disease, Fort 15, 1d6 days, acquire lycanthropy (see teplate).").
Formatting, too much changes for many of them to make it really smooth. The way the abilities work, each form has wildly different combat stats, effectively being an entirely different monster. Which is why the Monster Manual 3.5 had three side-by-side stat blocks. Which generally worked alright (excpet for the "Feats: As human form", that was damnably annoying to me as a DM). My big complaint was that it was hard to keep track of which monster you were looking at since they jammed as many as they could onto each page.

I hope that helped some.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
So, there's a lot going on, and you need to be aware of all of it, rather than see a tiny line that says "lycanthrope traits".
Well this makes me feel very good with the direction I'm taking.

I can emphatically say that I've done this across the WHOLE book. The stat blocks are a LOT more informative and greatly cut down on the amount lookup.

The way the abilities work, each form has wildly different combat stats, effectively being an entirely different monster. Which is why the Monster Manual 3.5 had three side-by-side stat blocks. Which generally worked alright (excpet for the "Feats: As human form", that was damnably annoying to me as a DM). My big complaint was that it was hard to keep track of which monster you were looking at since they jammed as many as they could onto each page.
Just to follow-up on this, would you prefer the three different forms are preserved or get consolidated in some way?

The animal and hybrid forms are extremely similar, except for damage dice and size, which tends to be the biggest formatting challenge. To add to the complication, the size mods from form-to-form may change depending on the size of the base creature.

For example:
A human werebear becomes Large when in hybrid and bear form.
An ogre werebear stays Large in all forms.
A human wererat is Medium in human and hybrid form but Small in dire rat form.
A hill giant werewolf is Large in hill giant and hybrid form but Medium in wolf form.

Hmm, maybe a size table would help...

I'm also looking to our druid as well because a lycanthrope's essentially uses the TB druid's wild shape but only ever changes into one specific form.

I hope that helped some.
It definitely did. Much appreciated.
 

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