Werebeasts – Savage Shapeshifters for D&D 5th Edition

Image result for D&D werebeast

The gang’s all here!

“I saw them as they left the citadel, they were covered in blood and they cackled about some noble family they had slain.  I figured they were mad assassins…  that was, until they emerged in the full moon’s light.  In an instant, they contorted and morphed into all sorts of vermin!  They raised their heads in dark tribute to some sinister master before finishing their transfiguration into the accursed things.  I’ve heard tales of witches and warlocks making dark pacts to gain animalistic power… sometimes spreading the curse to the most innocent of souls.  Fortunately, they didn’t notice me observing from a ramshackle shack nearby or they simply didn’t care…”

– A farmer’s account of unspecified werebeasts emerging from a murder.

Long have we come to fear nature, it is pervasive and will reclaim all that we abandon.  It cares not for our petty morality.  It exists outside of our constantly changing and growing societies.  If we are lost within it, there is a good chance we’ll never be seen again.  But, while those fears are relevant, the fear of nature speaks to something within us… something primal.  The fear of the inner beast is exemplified no better than the shapeshifting horror, the lycanthrope.

While the name is a big misnomer, the lycanthrope is a sinister beast that masquerades as a normal person during the day.  As the night falls, they begin to hunt down the very people they interacted with before by shifting into one of many beasts.  No one is completely sure why they do this.  Perhaps dark spirits of nature beckon and control victims into attacking civilization.  Maybe they are corrupted worshipers of the old ways who desire to tear down boundaries between society and the wild.  Maybe they’re just shape changers who went completely mad.  No is sure for certain, for those who have survived an attack eventually become one of the monsters themselves.  One thing is certain is that entire cults have been built up around werebeasts, revering dark gods such as Malar the Beastlord; a deity originally hailing from Abeir-Toril’s universe.

Scholars have pondered what type of changing beasts exist in the world.  Beyond a list of common creatures, there are rarer and newer beings emerging from the untamed darkness.  These creatures are based on an assortment of other animal stock, sparsely mentioned or researched by archivists and monster hunters.  Recently, brave souls and madmen alike have unnerved new types of werebeasts based on various stocks.  Some of these animal stocks seem to affect different races disproportionately.  For example, wereweasels have a strange habit of once being halflings, while werebadgers had once been dwarves.

Author’s Note:  Halloween season has returned to Daemons & Deathrays a little early this year!  I figured I’d start by converting some of the stranger therianthropic nasties across other editions and various settings.  Not to mention, create some new NPCs based on existing types.  With the Wereraven officially released in Curse of Strahd, that’s one less creature I need to stat up myself.  On another note, Werewolf the Apocalypse may have had something to do with this.  Whether it’s nostalgia or my unashamed love of Classic World of Darkness, but I just can’t hate that game… even if it’s filled with stupid (and borderline tasteless) nonsense.  With that, have some more werebeasties!  Also, you can find my werebat here, from last year!!

 

 

Werebadger

Medium humanoid (dwarf, shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 11 in humanoid form, 12 (natural armor) in badger or hybrid form.
Hit Points 60 (8d8 +24)
Speed 25ft. in humanoid form, 30 ft.; 15 ft. burrow in badger or hybrid form.
STR 15 (+2), DEX 12 (+1), CON 16 (+3), INT 12 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 11 (+0)
Skills Athletics +4, Survival +4
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Damage Resistances poison
Senses darkvision 60ft. (badger form only), passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Dwarvish (can’t speak in badger form)
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Shapechanger. This werebadger can use its action to polymorph into a badger-dwarf humanoid hybrid or into a giant (medium-sized) badger, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Badger Rage (3/Day).  The werebadger may enter a chaotic rage.  When it does this, it gains advantage on strength checks and saving throws and deals an extra 2 damage on melee attacks.  This ability otherwise works like the Barbarian ability. (PHB P. 18)

Dwarven Resilience. The werebadger has advantage on saving throws against poison, and has resistance against poison damage.

Keen Smell. The werebadger has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

Stonecunning. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
ACTIONS
Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The werebadger makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.
Bite (Badger or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werebadger lycanthropy.

Claws (Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage.
Warhammer (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

 

Werecrocodile

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), neutral evil
Armor Class 12 in humanoid form, 13 (natural armor) in crocodile or hybrid form.
Hit Points 90 (12d8 +36)
Speed 30ft. in humanoid form; 30 ft. swim in crocodile or hybrid form.
STR 17 (+3), DEX 14 (+2), CON 17 (+3), INT 12 (+1), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 9 (-1)
Skills Athletics +5, Perception +3
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common (can’t speak in crocodile form)
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Shapechanger. This werecrocodile can use its action to polymorph into a crocodile-humanoid hybrid or into a crocodile, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Hold Breath.  The werecrocodile can hold its breath for 15 minutes.

Death Roll.  When a werecrocodile grabs a target in hybrid or crocodile form, it makes a bite attack as a reaction.  Upon hit, the target is also knocked prone.

Keen Smell. The werecrocodile has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
ACTIONS
Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The werecrocodile makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.
Bite (Crocodile or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8+3) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werecrocodile lycanthropy.  Alternatively, the werecrocodile can forgo damage and grab the target instead.  In this case, the target does not need to make the Constitution saving throw.
Club (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

 

 

Werefox

Medium humanoid (elf, shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 38 (7d8 + 7)
Speed 30ft.; 40 ft. in fox form
STR 9 (-1), DEX 16 (+3), CON 13 (+1), INT 12 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 13 (+1)
Skills Deception +3, Perception +4, Stealth +5
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elven (can’t speak in fox form)
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Shapechanger. This werefox can use its action to polymorph into a fox-elf humanoid hybrid or into a fox, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Fey Ancestry. The werefox has advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put it to sleep.

Keen Hearing and Smell. The werefox has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
ACTIONS
Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The werefox makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.
Bite (Fox or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werefox lycanthropy.

Claws (Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage.
Rapier (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage.

Charming Gaze (1/Day).  The werefox may attempt to allure a creature with a trance inducing stare.  That creature must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 12).  Upon failure, that creature is charmed for up to 1 minute, or until the succeed a save at the end of their turn.

 

 

Wereshark

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), neutral evil
Armor Class 12 in humanoid form, 13 (natural armor) in shark or hybrid form.
Hit Points 112 (15d8 +45)
Speed 30 ft. in humanoid form; 20 ft., 40 ft. swim in hybrid form; 0 ft., 50 ft. in shark form
STR 19 (+4), DEX 14 (+2), CON 18 (+4), INT 11 (+0), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 10 (+0)
Skills Athletics +7, Perception +6
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common (can’t speak in shark form)
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Shapechanger. This wereshark can use its action to polymorph into a large shark-humanoid hybrid or into a shark, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Amphibious.  The wereshark can breathe underwater.

Charging Bite.  When a wereshark moves at least 20 ft. in water and attacks an opponent afterward, its bite attack deals an extra 3 (1d6) damage.  It may do this once per round.

Keen Smell. The wereshark has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
ACTIONS
Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The wereshark makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.
Bite (Shark or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10+4) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with wereshark lycanthropy.  Alternatively, the wereshark can forgo damage and grab the target instead.  In this case, the target does not need to make the Constitution saving throw.
Sharp Tooth Pike (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

 

 

Wereweasel

Small humanoid (halfling, shapechanger), lawful evil

Armor Class 12

Hit Points 31 (9d6)

Speed 25ft. in humanoid form (30 ft. in weasel or hybrid form)

STR 10 (+0), DEX 15 (+2), CON 11 (+0), INT 12 (+1), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 10 (+0)

Skills Perception +3, Stealth +5

Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered

Senses passive Perception 13

Languages Common, Halfling (can’t speak in weasel form)

Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Shapechanger. The wereweasel can use its action to polymorph into a weasel-halfling humanoid hybrid or into a big (small sized) weasel, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Nimbleness. It  can move through the space of any creature that is of a size larger than itself.

Keen Hearing and Smell. The wereweasel has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing and smell.

ACTIONS

Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The wereweasel makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.

Bite (Weasel or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1 d4+2) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with were weasel lycanthropy.

Shortsword (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage.

Sling (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) bludgeoning damage.

 

 

Lycanthropic NPCs. 

As a bonus, here are some examples of generic opponents that modify both the NPCs listed in the back of the Monster Manual as well as the Lycanthrope templates, found in the same book.

 

Werebear Berserker

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), chaotic neutral

Armor Class 13 in humanoid form (hide armor), 12 (natural armor) in bear

and hybrid form

Hit Points 135 (18d8 +54)

Speed 30ft. (40ft., climb 30ft. in bear or hybrid form)

STR 19 (+4), DEX 12 (+1), CON 17 (+3), INT 11 (+0), WIS 12 (+1), CHA 12 (+1)

Skills Perception +7

Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons th at aren’t silvered

Senses passive Perception 17

Languages Common (can’t speak in bear form)

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Shapechanger. The werebear can use its action to polymorph into a Large bear-humanoid hybrid or into a Large bear, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size amd AC, are the same in each form . Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed.  It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Reckless. At the start of its turn, the berserker can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack ro lls during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Keen Smell. The werebear has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. In bear form, the werebear makes two claw attacks. In humanoid form, it makes two greataxe attacks. In hybrid form, it can attack like a bear or a humanoid.

Bite (Bear or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage .. lf the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with were bear lycanthropy.

Claw (Bear or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) slashing damage.

Greataxe (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d12 + 4) slashing damage.

 

 

Wererat Thief

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), neutral evil
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 33 (6d8 + 6)
Speed 30ft.
STR 10 (+0), DEX 15 (+2), CON 12 (+1), INT 12 (+1), WIS 14 (+2), CHA 13 (+1)
Skills Deception +3, Perception +4, Slight of Hand +4, Stealth +4
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non magical weapons that aren’t silvered
Senses darkvision 60ft. (rat form only), passive Perception 14
Languages Common (can’t speak in rat form)
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Shapechanger. The wererat can use its action to polymorph into a rat-humanoid hybrid or into a giant rat, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its size, are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Cunning Action. On each of its turns, the thief can use a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, or Hide action.
Sneak Attack (1/Turn). The thief deals an extra 7 (2d6) damage when it hit s a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll , or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of the spy that isn’t incapacitated and the spy doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.
Keen Smell. The were rat has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
ACTIONS
Multiattack (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). The were rat makes two attacks, only one of which can be a bite.
Bite (Rat or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with were rat lycanthropy.
Shortsword (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.
Hand Crossbow (Humanoid or Hybrid Form Only). Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

 

 

Werewolf Priest

Medium humanoid (human, shapechanger), chaotic evil

Armor Class 12 in humanoid form, 13 (natural armor) in wolf or hybrid form.

Hit Points 52 (8d8+16)

Speed 30 ft., 40 ft. in wolf form

STR 15 (+2), DEX 14 (+2), CON 14 (+2), INT 13 (+1), WIS 16 (+3), CHA 13 (+1)

Skills Medicine +7, Perception +5, Persuasion +3, Religion +4

Damage Immunities.  Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing damage from non-magical weapons that aren’t silvered

Senses. passive Perception 15

Languages.  Common, Abyssal (can’t speak in wolf form)

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Beastlord’s Eminence. As a bonus action, the priest can expend a spell slot to cause its melee weapon attacks to magically deal an extra 10 (3d6)  necrotic damage to a target on a hit . This benefit lasts until the end of the turn . If the priest expends a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by ld6 for each level above 1st.

Shapechanger. The werewolf can use its action to polymorph into a wolf-humanoid hybrid or into a wolf, or back into its true form, which is humanoid. Its statistics, other than its AC, are the same in each form. Any equipment it, is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. It revert to its true form if it dies. ·

Spellcasting. The priest is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 13 , +5 to hit with spell attacks). The priest has the following granted spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): sacred flame, spare the dying, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): cure wounds, guiding, longstrider
  • 2nd level (3 slots): pass without trace, spiritual weapon
  • 3rd level (2 slots): conjure animals, spirit guardians

Keen Hearing and Scent.  The werewolf gains advantage on Perception checks made with hearing or smelling.

ACTIONS

Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target . Hit: 5 (ld6+2) bludgeoning damage.

Bite (Wolf or Hybrid Form only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 6 (1d8+2) piercing damage.  If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be cursed with werewolf lycanthropy.

Claws (Hybrid Form only). Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.  Hit: 7 (2d4+2) slashing damage.

 

IMAGE CREDIT: Night Howlers – TSR Inc.

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