Special Conversion Thread: Lycanthropes and their ilk


Extradimensional Explorer
Well, I took the Ref save as meaning the victim just gets hit near the eye and can see out of it soon enough that they wouldn't be dazzled that long. But I'm not fussed by it, so 1d4 minutes is ok by me.

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Extradimensional Explorer
I think that's about it.

Flavor: hard taskmasters for their slaves, but slaves themselves to their panther lord. I guess a bit of physical description. Is there much else to say?


I think that's about it.

Flavor: hard taskmasters for their slaves, but slaves themselves to their panther lord. I guess a bit of physical description. Is there much else to say?

We've still got the Organization to fill out. I was thinking the "pride" would be all-werepanther, possibly including the panther lord, while the "tribe" would be the pride plus a bunch of slaves.

How about:

Organization: Solitary, gang (2-8), pride (7-16 plus 10% chance of 1 panther lord) or tribe (7-25 plus 1 panther lord and 20-80 humanoid slaves)
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Any other ideas about flavor?

Give me a moment or three...

A lithely powerful humanoid with the head, tail and black fur of a panther. It has the claws of a great cat but wields weapons like a human.

Werepanther thralls are humanoids who have been transformed into lycanthropes by a panther lord. They have three forms, of which their hybrid panther-humanoid form is their favorite. Werepanther thralls enjoy taking animal form when hunting or indulging in feline recreations, but usually only take humanoid form to conceal their true nature from outsiders. A thrall's humanoid appearance is drastically altered by its lycanthropy. Its hair and skin have darkened and their features shifted, rendering the thrall nigh unrecognizable to anyone who knew them before their transformation. A dead werepanther thrall reverts to its pre-lycanthropy appearance.

A werepanther thrall's temperament has many of the worst traits of a great cat. Arrogant, secretive, and cruel, they delight in tormenting their victims like a cat playing with a mouse. They also have a feline fastidiousness, and keep their persons and equipment in immaculate order. They rarely fight among themselves, despite their chaotic and evil natures, because of the magical control their panther lord has over them.

These creatures typically live in hidden hamlets. All the menial labour is performed by captured slaves who are savagely whipped at the werepanthers' whim. If they happen to capture a particularly strong individual, that person is usually taken to the panther lord to be transformed into another werepanther thrall.

The werepanther thrall presented here is a 1st-level human warrior using the following base ability scores: Str 13, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 8.

In hybrid and animal form a werepanther thrall is more massive than their humanoid form, weighing roughly 50% more. Their hybrid form is approximately 10% taller than the humanoid form, while their animal form has a body length (excluding tail) roughly equal to the humanoid form's height.

I also fancy rewriting the tactics, but we can leave that for later.


Extradimensional Explorer
Your suggested org line and flavor look good to me! I don't have a problem with the tactics as is, but I'm willing to entertain a re-write.


I don't have a problem with the tactics as is, but I'm willing to entertain a re-write.

Updating the Werepanther Thrall Working Draft.

I don't have a problem with the tactics as is, but I'm willing to entertain a re-write.

How's this for the tactics:

Werepanther thralls prefer to fight with weapons while in hybrid form, but also enjoy the "game" of attacking victims while in panther form. This helps disguise their predations as animal attacks. They fight in human form when they have to keep their true nature secret.

Werepanther thralls tend toward ambush attacks and flanking, they often stalk opponents for hours to assess their strengths and wait for the perfect moment to strike. Werepanthers are likely to cruelly toy with enemies they judge are too weak to threaten them. The thralls' actions are coordinated through the telepathic bond they all have with the panther lord who created them. A werepanther thrall has strong survival instincts and will readily flee a losing fight, but these urges are easily overridden by the commands of its panther lord. A panther lord who's own life is threatened thinks nothing of summoning all its thralls to fight to the death in its defense.


Extradimensional Explorer
Do we have access to any stats (like von Kharkov's) besides that 1 paragraph at the end of the MCA2 werepanther?


Here's the Fiend Folio Jackal Lord stats. The 3.5 update changes the DR to 10/magic but is otherwise identical.

Jackal Lord
Medium-Size Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 8d8+16 (52 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 20 (+2 Dex, +4 masterwork chain shirt, +4 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 18
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+9
Attack: Bite +9 melee, or +1 scimitar +10 melee
Full Attack: Bite +9 melee and 2 claws +4 melee, or +1 scimitar +10/+5 melee
Damage: Bite 1d10+1, claw 1d4+1, +1 scimitar 1d6+2
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Alternate form, curse of the jackal, dominate animal, spell-like abilities, spells, summon jackals
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., DR 10/+1
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +12
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 17
Skills: Bluff +9, Diplomacy +7, Disguise +3 (+5 acting), Intimidate +5, Knowledge (religion) +7, Listen +9, Move Silently +7, Sense Motive +9, Spot +10
Feats: Combat Casting, Dodge, Iron Will
Climate/Terrain: Any desert and underground
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +4

Alternate Form (Su): A jackal lord can assume the form of a jackal of Medium size (use the statistics for the wolf in the Monster Manual).

Curse of the Jackal (Su): Once per day, a jackal lord can make a gaze attack against a single opponent within 30 feet. If the target fails a Will save (DC 20), it is transformed into a jackal (use the statistics for the dog in the Monster Manual). The effect is as polymorph other, but with a permanent duration. A jackal lord can reverse this effect by gazing upon an individual that was cursed by itself or by some other jackal lord, but doing so counts as its use of the ability for that day. Otherwise, only a limited wish, miracle, or wish can restore the victim.

Dominate Animal (Su): Jackal lords can use dominate animal (canines only) at will as if they were 16th-level clerics.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will—cat ’s grace, change self, detect magic, detect good, suggestion; 3/day—shadow walk. Caster level 15th; save DC 13 + spell level.

Spells: A jackal lord can cast divine spells as an 8th-level cleric (6/6/5/5/4; save DC 14 + spell level), from the cleric list and from the Animal and Evil domains.

A typical spell list: 0—calm animals*, cure minor wounds (3), guidance, resistance, virtue; 1st—bless, cure light wounds, obscuring mist, random action, shield of faith; 2nd—bull’s strength, hold animal*, hold person, spiritual weapon; 3rd—blindness/deafness, invisibility purge, magic vestment, magic circle against good*; 4th—spell immunity, summon monster IV, unholy blight*.

*Domain spell. Domains: Animal (animal friendship 1/day), Evil (cast evil spells at +1 caster level).

Summon Jackals (Sp): Three times per day, a jackal lord can summon up to 8 HD of jackals (use the statistics for the dog in the Monster Manual).


Extradimensional Explorer
Nothing on von Kharkov? That seems like an oversight in that adventure.

The jackal lord is a good place to start. A lot of the abilities would be similar; the only change would be making the Curse a more standard lycanthropy.


Nothing on von Kharkov? That seems like an oversight in that adventure.

Oh, I've got von Kharkov's AD&D stats.

The problem is he's a Vampire.

His stats are basically those of a Ravenloft Nosferatu Vampire, except he can turn into a Panther.

Here's his original stats from RR1 - Darklords (1994). Note this original version wasn't able to create Werepanthers like the Dungeon #50 version:

Nosferatu Vampire, Lawful Evil
Armor Class​
Level/Hit Dice​
Con 19​

Hit Points​
11 (8)​
No. of Attacks​
2 or 1​
Damage/Attack: 1-3/1-3 or by weapon, +6 Strength bonus
Special Attacks: See text
Special Defenses: +2 weapon needed
Magic Resistance: 10%

*Removed description of standard Nosferatu powers*

Most nosferatu vampires have no normal melee attack when unarmed. The baron has retractable claws like those of a cat. These are immediately obvious to anyone who sees his bare hands (or anyone who sees his fully extended claws poking through the fingers of his gloves). He can attack twice in a round with his hands and inflicts ld3 points of damage with each.

The baron has the power to shapechange at will into a black panther or a gaseous form, but not into a wolf or a bat. As a cat he retains all of his immunities and his regenerative powers. He cannot use his gaze or draining attacks. In panther form he can move with complete silence. As a panther he can leap up to 30 feet in the air, much higher than an ordinary member of the species. He can summon ld4 + 1 normal black panthers to serve him. Use the Monstrous Compendium entry for leopards, under “Cats, Great.”

Kharkov’s panther form: Int Genius; AC 6; MV 18; HD 3 +2; hp 50; THACO 17; #AT 3; Dmg ld3/ld3/ld6; SA rear claws, ld6+l/ld6+1; SD surprised only on a 1; SZ M; AL LE

Ravenloft granted the baron strange powers with all kinds of cats. He can place his mind inside that of any cat anywhere in his domain. He cannot control the animal in any way, but he experiences everything that the cat experiences. His human body is in a trance during this process and is completely unaware of its surroundings. Only the pain of a wound can bring him out of the trance before he decides to break it.

Here's his stats from Felkovic's Cat in Dungeon #50 (1994):

If the baron did not wound the PCs, he will use his forces to track down the PCs and attack relentlessly, using all his spells and other abilities. He will throw his forces into desperate attacks against the cat in a desperate fight with no thought of surrender. Once the cat attacks the baron, von Kharkov uses the long sword + 1, +2 vs. enchanted creatures that he keeps by his side. When he reaches 10 hp or less, he lets out a horrible scream and fights with an additional +1 to hit due to his frenzied fear that he cannot escape through gaseous form. The DM should strive to make the baron s end climactic.

Baron Urik von Kharkov (nosferatu vampire): INT genius; AL LE; AC 1 (–1 with shield +1); MV 12; HD 10 + 2; hp 50; THAC0 11 (8); #AT 2 or 1; Dmg 1-3/1-3 or by weapon type +6 (Strength bonus 18/00); SA lycanthropy, Constitution drain, shapechange to panther form at will, charms with –3 penalty to victim, gaze attack works as forget spell for three prior rounds, summon 1d4 + 1 panthers to serve him, summon any prior victims to do his bidding anywhere within Valachan; SD +2 or better weapons to hit, regenerates 3 hp per turn (except damage from the cat of Felkovic), immune to sleep, charm, hold spells, immune to poison and paralysis, half damage from cold- and electricity-based spells; MR 10%; SZ M; ML 16; RR1.

Von Kharkov’s panther form: AC 6; MV 18; #AT 3; Dmg 1d3/1d3/1d6; SA rear claws for 1d6 + 1/1d6 + 1; SD surprised only on a 1, leap up to 30′ in the air; RR1.

The jackal lord is a good place to start. A lot of the abilities would be similar; the only change would be making the Curse a more standard lycanthropy.

That's pretty much what I had in mind. Might as well post a Working Draft.


Panther Lord Working Draft

Panther Lord
Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Shapechanger)
Hit Dice: 8d8+24 (60 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft.; or 40 ft., climb 20 ft. [panther form]
Armor Class: 22 (+4 Dex, +8 natural [panther/hybrid form]; or +4 Dex, +4 masterwork chain shirt, +4 natural [human form]), touch 14, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+13
Attack: Pantherpaw +13 melee (2d4+7); or pantherscourge +13 melee (1d3+5/19-20 plus special); or pantherclaw +13 melee (1d4+5/18-20); or claw +13 melee (1d4+5); or pantherclaw +12 ranged (1d4+5/18-20); or heavy crossbow +12 ranged (1d10/19-20) [Hybrid form - see Alternative Form for attacks in panther/human forms]
Full Attack: Pantherpaw +13/+8 melee (2d4+7) and bite +11 melee (1d8+2); or pantherscourge +13/+8 melee (1d3+5/19-20 plus special) and claw +11 melee (1d4+2) and bite +11 melee (1d8+2); or pantherclaw +13/+8 melee (1d4+5/18-20) and claw +11 melee (1d4+2) and bite +11 melee (1d8+2); or 2 claws +13 melee (1d4+5) and bite +11 melee (1d8+2); or pantherclaw +12 ranged (1d4+5/18-20); or heavy crossbow +12 ranged (1d10/19-20) [Hybrid form - see Alternative Form for attacks in panther/human forms]
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Command thrall, curse of the panther, dominate feline, improved grab, panther weapons, pounce, rake 1d3+2, spell-like abilities, spells, summon panthers
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/silver, darkvision 60 ft., dire, low-light vision, nature sense, panther speech, scent, thrall bond, trackless step, woodland stride
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +12
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 18
Panther/Hybrid form: Balance +11, Climb +13, Concentration +10 (+14 with spells), Knowledge (nature) +8, Handle Animal +8, Hide +9* (+13 in undergrowth), Jump +12 [hybrid form] or +16 [panther form], Listen +9, Move Silently +10, Spellcraft +6, Spot +9, Survival +6 (+8 aboveground), Swim +12
Human form: Balance +5, Climb +5, Concentration +10 (+14 with spells), Knowledge (nature) +8, Handle Animal +8, Hide +5, Jump +6, Listen +9, Move Silently +6, Spellcraft +6, Spot +9, Survival +6 (+8 aboveground), Swim +6
Feats: Alertness, Combat Casting, Combat Reflexes, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (pantherclaw, pantherpaw, pantherscourge)ᴮ, Iron Willᴮ, Multiattackᴮ, Weapon Finesseᴮ
Climate/Terrain: Warm forests
Organization: Solitary, pride (1 plus 7-16 werepanther thralls) or tribe (1 plus 7-25 werepanther thralls and 20-80 humanoid slaves)
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +4

A lithely powerful anthropomorphic creature with the head, tail and black fur of a panther.

A panther lord is a powerful shapechanger, a jungle cat able to assume humanoid form and cast spells. It has many supernatural powers, including a cursed bite that can transform its humanoid victims into their lycanthrope servants (see werepanther thrall for details). They tend to reserve this "gift" to humanoids of above-average ability scores, viewing less talented humanoids merely as potential prey or slaves.

Panther lords spurn the company of their own kind. Most live in hidden jungle villages populated by their werepanther thralls and humanoid "cattle". A few live secretly in the midst of humanoid civilizations, often in the guise of an authority figure of some kind such as a shaman or noble.

A panther lord in humanoid form has the same height and weight as a human, while in hybrid and animal form its weight increases by approximately 50%. Its hybrid form is roughly 10% taller than its humanoid form, while its animal form it has a body length roughly equal to its humanoid form's height, not including its tail.

In combat, a panther lord would rather cast spells from a place of safety while sending its werepanther thralls to risk their lives in melee. If forced to fight it usually does so in hybrid form. On the other hand, a panther lord takes fiendish enjoyment in assuming panther form and stalking opponents it judges to be too weak to pose a threat.

Alternate Form (Su): A panther lord can assume three forms: those of an panther, a humanoid or a panther-humanoid hybrid.

In panther form, a panther lord has a speed of 40 ft. plus a climb speed of 20 ft and is unable to use weapons apart from its natural claws and bite attacks. This is its natural form.

In humanoid form, a panther lord has a speed of 30 ft. and is unable to use its claws and bite natural attacks or its climb speed. Its humanoid form is that of a unique individual of a humanoid race native to the panther lord's land of origin (typically human).

In hybrid form, a panther lord has full use of weapons and natural attacks. Its speed is 30 ft. and it is unable to use its climb speed.

Command Thrall (Su): All werepanther thralls are permanently charmed (as the charm monster spell) by the panther lord that created them. The panther lord can also dominate its thralls (as the dominate animal spell, no save). The maximum number of thralls the the panther lord can dominate simultaneously is 3 plus the lord's Charisma modifier (minimum 1). The domination effect normally has a range of 90 feet, but if the lord enters Panther Trance (see below) the range encompasses the panther lord's entire territory.

Curse of the Panther Lord (Su): Any humanoid hit by a panther lord's bite attack must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or contract a form of lycanthropy which transforms them into werepanther thralls. The save DC is Charisma-based.

If a panther lord is killed, all werepanther thralls it created go into convulsions that last for 1d3 rounds (treat as being stunned), during which they permanently transform back into the people they were before becoming werepanther thralls. The victims have no clear memories of their time as werepanthers, but may suffer nightmares and flashbacks for many years.

Dominate Felines (Su): Panther lords can use dominate animal (felines only) at will as if they were 16th-level clerics.

Dire: A panther lord gains all good saves.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a panther lord thrall in panther form must hit with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can rake.

Nature Sense (Ex): A panther lord gains a +2 bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks.

Panther Trance (Su): A panther lord can enter a trance which allows it to see and hear from the viewpoint of any living feline within its territory. This territory is an area of land the panther lord claims by pacing around its entire border within a 24 hour period. This territorial claim lasts for 1d6+6 days or until the panther lord claims a new territory. The panther lord must be within the borders of its territory to use this ability.

The viewpoint feline can be any cat or catlike creature (animal or magical beast) or a lycanthrope with a cat for a base animal. If the viewpoint creature succeeds on a Will save, the scrying attempt fails and the panther lord cannot direct its Panther Trance at that particular creature again for 24 hours, although they can still attempt to scry through other felines. The Will save is DC 18 plus a modifier that depends on how well the panther lord knows the subject and what connection (if any) it has with the feline, as detailed in the Panther Trance Modifiers table. The save DC is Charisma-based.

The panther lord can try to scry upon a specific feline or a specific location. If it tries to scry upon a specific location, its Panther Trance attempts to connect to a feline that is able to see that location. The attempt fails if there are no felines viewing the target location. If there are multiple felines able to see a location, the Trance attempts to connect to whichever one has the most favorable Will Save Modifier (use random selection if there is a tie).

Panther Trance Modifiers
Knowledge (of feline and/or location)Will Save Modifier
Secondhand (heard of the subject)+5
Firsthand (seen the subject)+0
Familiar (know the subject well)-5
ConnectionWill Save Modifier
Likeness or picture-2
Possession or garment-4
Body part, tuft of fur, bit of claw, etc.-10
Self or thrall²n/a
1 The panther lord can attempt to scry upon a feline within its territory even if the panther lord has no knowledge of the feline.
2 A panther lord can scry on itself or any of the werepanther thralls it has created and automatically succeed, provided the target is within its territory.

If the subject fails its will save, the panther lord can see from the subject's viewpoint with the panther lord's full visual acuity, including any magical effects it has in operation. If the subject moves, the Panther Trance's viewpoint moves with it.

Panther Trance can connect to multiple felines during a single trance session. It normally uses itself as its first viewpoint, so the panther lord can periodically check the safety of its body. The panther lord can only scry one viewpoint at a time, but can switch viewpoints as a free action. The maximum number of felines the panther lord can connect to simultaneously is equal to 3 plus the lord's Charisma bonus. The panther lord can release a feline from a connection as a free action. If it releases a feline it can try to reconnect to it later, but the feline is entitled to a new Will save to break the connection (thus a "released connection" is a different matter than a "broken connection".).

A panther lord can use Panther Trance to extend the range of its ability to dominate its werepanther thralls (see Command Thrall, above) to reach any thrall within its territory.

Pounce (Ex): If a panther lord in panther form charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.

Rake (Ex): Attack bonus +13 melee, damage 1d3+2.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will—cat’s grace, change self, detect magic, detect good, greater magic fang; 3/day—shadow walk. Caster level 15th; save DC 13 + spell level.

Spells: A panther lord can cast divine spells as an 8th-level druid (6/5/4/4/3; save DC 14 + spell level).

0— cure minor wounds, detect poison, guidance, purify food and drink, read magic, resistance;
1st—entangle, faerie fire, longstrider, pass without trace, shillelagh*;
2nd—barkskin, owl's wisdom, resist energy, summon swarm;
3rd—dominate animal, poison, snare, spike growth;
4th—dispel magic, flame strike, freedom of movement.
* A panther lord's version of shillelagh can enhance a pantherpaw as well as a club or quarterstaff.

Summon Panthers (Sp): Three times per day, a panther lord can summon 1d4+1 leopards or 1d3 jaguars.

Trackless Step (Ex): A panther lord leaves no trail in natural surroundings and cannot be tracked. It may choose to leave a trail if so desired.

Woodland Stride (Ex): A panther lord may move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect it.

Skills: In panther or hybrid form, panther lords have a +6 racial bonus on Balance, Jump and Swim checks plus a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks. A werepanther lord in panther or hybrid form has a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks and it can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened.

*In areas of tall grass or heavy undergrowth, the Hide bonus of a panther lord in panther or hybrid form improves to +8.

Originally from MCA2 - Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995).

SPs: Balance 1 rank, Climb 0 ranks, Concentration 7 ranks, Knowledge (nature) 5 ranks, Handle Animal 4 ranks, Hide 1 rank, Jump 1 rank, Listen 3 ranks, Move Silently 2 ranks, Spellcraft 5 ranks, Spot 3 ranks, Swim 1 rank
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The basics look about right. Do you want to fiddle with the abilities at all?

There are still quite a few red numbers that need tweaking. The simplest approach would be just giving it the same Speed, Abilities et cetera as one of our existing Werepanther or Werejaguar conversion. Maybe base the stats on the Jaguar Priest?

Apart from the obvious changes (changing all the "Jackal" references to "Panther"), there are a couple of SA that need work.

Curse of the Panther obviously needs to be changed to a bite attack that's based on the standard Lycanthropy Curse.

We need to decide what kind of felines its Dominate and Summon power works on. The original was restricted to "mountain lion or less". I'd suggest adding cursed werepanthers to that list, for obvious reasons. The 8 HD limit of the summon also seems too low. I'd think we'd want him to be able to summon at least a few werepanthers.

I'm not sure about the SLAs, we should consider dropping or changing them.

In addition, we were talking about adding a Trance ability based on Von Kharkov's, allowing him to see through another feline's eyes. That needs sorting out.


Extradimensional Explorer
I think I'd start with the basic stats from the Werepanther thrall and increase.

Agreed with the special abilities. With the SLAs, I guess we need to figure out which ones are vampire ones...

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