Warrior Beast – A Lycanthropic Fighter Path for D&D 5th Edition

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“This wasn’t supposed to happen, I had control of my power! Now the whole damned town is wolf beasts and it’s my fault… I fear that in my blackouts I’ll also father pups. To the crusader who found me, slay my body and redeem my soul! Though, maybe they’ll fail and I’ll snap back.  I’d show them what a fusion of man and beast can do!”
Letter from an executed Warrior Beast

Envious of rumored barbarians who can channel nature spirits in them and druids who command the forms of nature itself, you’ve sought out your own method of channeling natural power. The power in question is the dread disease of Lycanthropy! Fortunately, you’re purposely afflicted with a modified version of the curse. While many would have succumbed to its dread power, you’re slowly molding your new abilities to your benefit. But, in doing so, you become less of your original self and more of a wild creature. While some exploit their boons to become savage warriors, some embrace becoming more than sentient beasts.

They weren’t always abominations hunted with equal prejudice as lycanthropes. In ages past, alchemists sampled blood from the dread creatures to help create super warriors. For a while, there was much success! Several kingdoms bid for these juggernauts and witnessed the turning point of several battles… That is until the cursed warriors started to go completely mad. Some tried to harness the power to horrible ends, becoming no more than upright walking wolves. Others found ways to make their “gifts” spread like traditional lycanthropes. Because of this, they soon proved to be quite the scourge! Bounties upon their slain heads remain high to this day.

NOTE: For Rangers, simply change the level 10 ability into level 11. The intent was to make the sub-class applicable for both classes!  Furthermore, this class simulates the werewolf in particular.  If you’d rather have a different werebeast, such as a weretiger or werebear, it shouldn’t be too hard to tinker this class to fit that.

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A VERY EARLY DRAFT OF THE CLASS AND HAS SINCE BEEN REWRITTEN IN ANOTHER FORM!  AS SUCH, IT IS VOLATILE AND LIKELY BROKEN.

Blood of the Beast

Starting when you take this martial archetype at level 3, you gain proficiency in Perception and Athletics if you don’t have these skills already.

You may also communicate with wolves and other canines. (Note: Gnolls and hyenas are not canines.  As a result, you cannot communicate with them using this ability.)

Minor Shapeshifting

Furthermore, you gain the ability to perform minor shapeshifting. As you progress in level, you gain more abilities (as detailed below).  These abilities last while you are shapeshifted and cannot be used once your alternate form has ended.

Starting at level 3, this ability takes your action to activate. Upon reaching level 9, it requires a movement action. Upon reaching level 15, it requires a bonus action.

This ability lasts 1 minute and requires a short rest or long rest before using again. When you reach level 9, this changes to 1 hour  before you must take short rest or long rest to use it again. Upon reaching level 15, you can retain your form for up to a day before short rest or long rest. Upon reaching level 18, you can use your abilities at-will and don’t require rest.

However, having the curse flow through your veins provides a drawback.  While in your shapeshifted monstrous form, you gain disadvantage on all charisma checks except Intimidate. Furthermore, any being not already friendly toward you will look at you with great distrust and suspicion. You cannot use spells while in your monstrous form. Whenever you use your shapeshifting, you make a Wisdom save (DC 15) when your ability ends. If you fail, you stay in your current form and enter a berserking frenzy.  You must attack the nearest creature to you for that round.  At the end of that round, you may attempt the save again.

Hunter’s Fury

Beginning at level 3, you can turn your jaws into those of a wolf. The bite attack does 1d4 piercing damage using strength or dexterity for attack.  Increase your damage of the bite to a d6 at level 8, a d8 at level 13, and a d10 at level 18.

Starting at level 8, you also gain two claws that deal 1d4 + slashing damage each as well; these use strength or dexterity for attack.as well. Their damage increases to d6 upon reaching level 13.

In addition, you gain advantage on perception checks only made to smell or hear. You can see with darkvision out to 60 feet. If you already have darkvision, increase the amount by 60 instead.

Bestial Rush

Starting at level 7, your form becomes more lupine from head to tail! Your modified legs allow use of the Four Legged Stance, which uses a bonus action to drop to all fours. It takes a bonus action to end this stance and stand on your “hind legs”. You gain a bonus 10 feet to your movement speed and advantage on bite attacks when you take a Four Legged Stance. You cannot take any other attack action besides a bite attack while in this stance.

Lycanthropic Defense

Starting at level 10, you become fortified against the attacks of others. Gain resistance against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from a weapon that isn’t silvered or magical.

In addition, your shaggy coat of fur is bolstered by a thick hide. Add 1 to your total AC as natural armor.

Lunar Embrace

Starting at level 15, you become merged with your inner beast. You gain advantage on strength (Athletics) and charisma (Intimidate) checks.

Also, you learn how to aid your allies as a part of your pack. You gain the Pack Tactics ability while this ability is active; gaining advantage on melee attacks against foes while you have one ally 5 ft. adjacent to you.

However, your reliance on lycanthropic blood has caused your natural form to degenerate. Your natural attacks have a chance of spreading lycanthropy to a target they dropped to 0 HP, but not killed outright.

Upon reaching level 18, you have embraced the power of the werewolf. As mentioned above, you can use your shapeshifting ability at-will and without limit and can use spells if you have access to them. You are no longer required to roll a save as per Minor Shapeshifting drawback and can cast spells in any of your Warrior Beast forms.  However, all of your natural attacks now risk spreading lycanthropy when the target is hit and not killed soon after.

Upon reaching level 20, your resistance to non-silver/magical weapons becomes immunity. Furthermore, increase your strength and dexterity scores by 2, to a maximum of 20 in each.

Created by Doctor Necrotic for Doctor Necrotic Media.

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