Midian: Dark Fantasy Role Playing Game Wiki
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Lycanthrophy:[]

By Zaire, Elven Healer and Loremistress of Zoology

The 'Changing Folk' are a rare and secretive breed. This is perhaps because of the negative public opinion of them. There is evidence of wrongdoing by those afflicted with "the Madness" that affects those infected with the virus. The Madness typically affects newly infected werewolves during their first time shifting shape, and can last several months in some cases. An unfortunate few experience the Madness in a non-altered (Human) form. There are no recorded cases of this illness affecting non- Human species, but the knowledge known about the virus is admittedly slim. One Elven story accounts a House that rode (and possibly interbred) with wolves, although no one could be found who had experience with them, and no supporting documents were found. There are myths of lycanthropes that shapeshift into other animals besides wolves, but there is neither evidence nor eyewitness accounts. The madness causes its victims to behave in a feral manner. The victim attacks anything in a frenzy, and does not even respond to his or her name. During the Madness, the victim is a wild beast and shows no signs of higher intelligence. This condition lasts until the werewolf falls unconscious (who then shifts back to Human shape).

The Madness:[]

[The Madness occurs during the first time that the victim shapeshifts. Make a saving throw versus mental attacks to avoid (against a 24). Each successful save reduces the number needed on the saving throw by one; continue to roll for the Madness with each shapechange. If a natural 1 is rolled on any saving throw against the illness, then the Madness affects the werewolf even when he or she is in Human form. In this case, roll each day whether the victim shapeshifts or not. This aggravated condition lasts until the victim again succeeds on a saving throw against the illness. Those suffering the Madness cannot use any skills, and must make an additional saving throw not to attack anything that moves.]

The Spread of Lycanthropy:[]

Lycanthropy is spread through fluid exchange. Bites may spread the virus through saliva, but claw or weapon attacks do not. Blood may spread the illness, but only when both werewolf and victim are in close contact and have open wounds. The victim's first change usually occurs the first night after infection. The nightmares that the disease causes trigger the shapeshifting, as does any stressful situation. The fever that accompanies the dreams (usually about running, hunting, and killing) is the first warning that the victim is infected. The shapeshifting is quite painful, particularly at first. The victim typically does nothing but howl in pain during the transformation. Due to the transmittable nature of this disease, and because of their desire for privacy, many among the Changing Folk do not leave any wounded survivors in combat. They often fight to the death—and those suffering the Madness certainly will do so as well. Most cases of infection arise from another infected person rather than one born as a Lycanthrope; sudden outbreaks occur in this manner. There is a slight chance of infection via sexual contact.

Chance of Infection:[]

[Chance of infection is 1% chance per point of damage inflicted; roll at the end of combat. Damage resistance from toughness does not decrease the likelihood of infection. Chance of SDT infection is 1%. If the individual becomes infected, make a save vs. disease (17) to avoid becoming a werewolf. In a high-tension situation (such as combat, or even an argument) make a Willpower check to avoid changing shape. Shapeshifting for an infected werewolf takes 2D4 rounds, during which no tasks may be performed.]

The Virus:[]

Like other viruses, this disease operates on a genetic level; permanently altering its victims, and possibly future generations. The instances of an infected victim (i.e. not born a werewolf) passing the disease down to progeny seem to be half the chances that those born to the disease have. If a child has one (naturally born) werewolf parent, he or she has a one-in-four chance of manifesting the disease. A child with a Lycanthropic grandparent has a 1-in-8 chance of being born a natural Lycanthrope. It is possible for the illness to manifest several generations past the original infected or naturally born ancestor, although the likelihood is small. However, having both parents that were born of the Changing Folk nets a 3 out of 4 chance. Again, these figures are half for children born of an infected parent. The first signs of the disease for these children show sometime during puberty, although there are some that manifest earlier or later. Children with both parents being naturally born Changing Folk tend to show symptoms far earlier than other children. This broad range and likelihood of non-manifestation may help explain why many werewolf families will leave their children with non-infected relatives, or even abandoning them to non-related Humans. The birth parents in these cases typically try to stay in the children's lives or at least observe for signs of manifestation. There is one legend among the Changing Folk that a mother stayed by her child's side in wolf-form as the family pet in order to watch over her son until he shapeshifted for the first time-only then revealing herself to him. Clans of werewolves—called "companies"—will collectively try and watch over 'lost' children if the birth parents are unavailable. Companies that have a high instance of early manifestation may keep their children with the parents, but those children who do not manifest the disease will have a more difficult time growing up. Fully Human children simply cannot run as fast or hunt as well as wolves. Living a life constantly on the move—an act of necessity—is far more difficult if one of the company cannot simply change shape and run with the rest. Please note that werewolf companies do not always abandon their young. Many raise their own children, sometimes even including those that remain Human. Some of these even keep their Human children in the company as adults. Those that live far from Humans are more likely to raise their own young.

One sagacious alchemist had this to add: ... a reason for the dramatic change in werewolves. I feel that it could be explained in part by the adrenal gland. Possibly in enlarged or over productive or an enhanced hormone a more potent form of an existing hormone. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, increases blood pressure, heart and metabolic rate, and blood sugar levels; dilates blood vessels. Released in times of high stress or high physical activity. Norepinephrine a hormone, secreted by the adrenal gland and similar to epinephrine, that is also the principal neurotransmitter of sympathetic nerve endings supplying the major organs and skin. It increases blood pressure and rate and depth of breathing, raises the level of blood sugar, and decreases the activity of the intestines.

Those that are naturally born as Lycanthropes do not suffer The Madness and their shapeshifting is not painful, as infected werewolves must suffer. Naturally born Changing Folk shapeshift in a fraction of the time that those infected do. [Only one round for changing shape, and can act during that round.]

Shapeshifting:[]

There are five different variations of form that a werewolf may take when it shapeshifts. The first form is completely Human. The second is a monstrous-Human shape that moves bipedally, and has increased hair, nail, and tooth growth. The third shape is a half-form; this is a blend of Human and wolf. The head shows a more canine definition, and the body is completely covered in fur. The feet are usually altered to digitigrades (walks on its toes like a wolf), but this form moves bipedally—although running may be done on all-fours. The half- form is somewhat taller, about 20%, than the Human form from the modifications to the feet, legs, and neck. The fourth form is a monstrous-wolf. This is essentially a canine shape that retains some Human features. The forepaws are capable of manipulating objects, and the werewolf is still capable of speech— although somewhat difficult to understand. This form moves on all four feet, but is as obviously non-wolf as the monstrous-Human shape is obviously non-human. The final form that a Lycanthrope may take is that of a completely wolf shape. In this form, they are indistinguishable from other canines. In the wolf form the Lycanthrope has about half its mass as when in the other forms. While the naturally-born werewolf can change between these forms at will, the infected Lycanthrope typically uses only one form other than Human.

Human:[]

  • the original unaltered form, no modifications

Monstrous-Human:[]

  • Appearance traits: Distinctive, Fierce, -2 Appearance
  • Personality traits: Speech Impediment, -1 on social skill checks
  • Strength traits: Brawny x 5, Powerful, +2 damage, +3 on checks
  • Agility traits: Good Coordination, Steady
  • Stamina traits: Endurance x 2, Toughness, +1 save vs crushing, +10% system shock
  • Awareness traits: Heightened Sense of Smell
  • +3 Speed, Bite 1D4, Claw 1D4

Half-form:[]

  • Appearance traits: Distinctive, Fierce x 2, Imposing, -6 Appearance
  • Personality traits: Aggressive, Speech Impediment x 2, -4 on social skill checks
  • Strength traits: Brawny x 8, Powerful x 3, +4 damage, +5 on checks
  • Agility traits: Good Coordination, Steady Stamina traits: Endurance x 3, Toughness x 2, + 2 vs crushing, +12% system shock
  • Awareness traits: Heightened Sense of Smell x 2, Heightened Hearing, +3 on checks
  • +6 Speed, Bite 1D10, Claw 1D6

Monstrous wolf:[]

  • Appearance traits: Fierce x 2, Imposing, -10 Appearance
  • Personality traits: Aggressive, Speech Impediment x 4, -8 on social skill checks
  • Strength traits: Brawny x 8, Powerful x 3, +4 damage, +5 on checks
  • Agility traits: Balance Well, Lean, Poor Hand-Eye Coordination x 2
  • Stamina traits: Athletic x 2, Endurance x 2, Toughness x 2, + 2 vs crushing, +12% system shock
  • Awareness traits: Heightened Sense of Smell x 3, Heightened Hearing x 2, +4 on checks
  • +15 Speed, Bite 1D10, Claw 1D6

Wolf:[]

  • Appearance traits: Fierce, Forgettable, -8 Appearance
  • Personality traits: cannot speak, -12 on social skill checks
  • Strength traits: Brawny x 5, Powerful, +2 damage, +3 on checks
  • Agility traits: Balance Well, Lean, no hands
  • Stamina traits: Athletic x 2, Endurance x 2, Toughness, +2 save vs chemicals & crushing, +15% system shock
  • Awareness traits: Heightened Sense of Smell x 6, Heightened Hearing x 2, +5 on checks
  • +30 Speed, Bite 1D10

GM Notes:[]

The Game Master determines which form that the infected werewolf's disease prefers. The social skill penalty does not apply against other Lycanthropes, telepaths, and those with the Way with Animals trait.

Lycanthropes communicate with one another much in the same fashion as wolves. There are a number of different howls barks and whines that have different meanings. These are not instinctive, and must be learned by the new werewolves, much as a Human child learns its parents' language. Howls may indicate: birth or loss, territory, social status, to assemble the company, signal other werewolves, personal identification, Howls can carry up to 6 miles in mountainous terrain, and 10 miles in open country. Contrary to belief, werewolves do not howl at the moon, nor is the moon connected to their illness. This idea may have come from the fact that you can hear wolves more often during a full moon. The fact is, if you listen carefully, you will hear more of everything during a full moon—it is brighter and therefore, there is more activity. Werewolves, being nocturnal animals, do their socializing at night. [See the New Skills section.]

The Changing Folk are a tough, hardy breed. They recover from damage quickly, and are resilient enough to overcome most disease and toxins. They are adept at both dealing and receiving damage [supernatural strength (for level 5+ Alpha Packmasters), triple healing speed, & retest against disease & poison]. It is worth noting that a Lycanthrope generally retains whatever shape he or she is in when slain. That is, one in monstrous-wolf form when killed will remain as such rather than revert to a Human form. The exception to this rule is when an infected Lycanthrope is slain when under the effects of the Madness. In this case, he or she reverts to Human after death.

There are six different known types of wolves in Midian, each with an accompanying variety of Lycanthrope. [Modifyers for wolf type affect all forms, including fully-Human.] An infected Lycanthrope almost always assumes the wolf- type of the one that infected him or her. However, an infected Lycanthrope who's ancestry contained one of the Changing Folk [Wolf Blood Background] may possibly assume the wolf-type of his or her ancestor [player's choice].

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Types of wolves:[]

Types of wolves in order of numerical superiority from most common too most rare:

Timber Wolves:[]

Northwestern Formour, western Heldannic Freeholds, Farreaches usually mixed-coloration pattern, with grey, black, and/or brown [+1 to all physical & miscellaneous attributes; +3 hit points]

Steppe Wolves:[]

Throughout Formour, may be occasionally found in Heldannic or Elven lands, or into the Farreaches mostly dark grey with white, some have patterns with black or brown [+2 Grace, +3 Strength, Toughness trait]

Tundra Wolves:[]

Northern Heldannic lands, Farreaches, and further north to the pole light coat, often white [+2 Strength +3 Stamina, 20% cold resistance]

Bren Wolves:[]

Deserts in Byzant solid or mottled tan [+1 Wits, +2 Agility, +1 Stamina, +1 Awareness, +2 Speed, 1/4 water requirement]

Sea Wolves:[]

Heldannic Freeholds & surrounding islands, including the Killian Empire solid yellowish tan or black [+2 Personality, +2 Agility, +1 Stamina, instinctive Swimming skill at master level]

Storm Wolves:[]

Mountains surrounding Elven Homeland and nearby forrests, Farreaches; Lycanthropic Storm Wolves are never encountered inside the Elven Homeland—they restricted to the bordering mountains by the Elves who will slay any within the Homeland solid black or grey with very pale eyes [+3 Personality, +2 Willpower, +3 initiative]

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