Werelion (adapted from Nyambe: African Adventures)
A werelion in its humanoid form uses whatever tactics and weapons are favored by others of its kind, though it tends to be slightly more aggressive. A lycanthrope possesses the senses of its animal form, including scent and low-light vision, and it has a deep empathy for (and ability to communicate with) animals of its animal form. An afflicted lycanthrope damaged in combat may be overwhelmed by rage, causing it to change to its animal form involuntarily. Werelions enjoy the thrill of hunting, but tend to attack the same sorts of grazing animals hunted by natural lions. Attacks by werelions on humanoids do occur, but they are rare.
"Werelion" is a template that can be added to any humanoid creature, that creature referred to hereafter as the "character". The werelion takes on the characteristics of a lion, referred to hereafter as the "animal". Creatures with this template use all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities, except as noted here:
- Lycanthropic Affinity (Su): Werelions can communicate and empathize with normal or dire lions. This gives them a +4 bonus on checks made to influence the lion's attitude and allows the werelion to communicate simple concepts and (if the animal is friendly) commands to the animal, such as "friend", "foe", "flee", or "attack".
- Curse of Lycanthropy (Su): Any humanoid injured by a werelion but not actually killed has a chance to contract lycanthropy after the encounter is over. This chance equals 1% per point of damage dealt by the lycanthrope's natural attacks; if several lycanthropes of the same type injure the character, add the chances together. Damage from different types of lycanthropes must be tracked separately. A character killed by a lycanthrope and then raised or resurrected has a 100% chance of contracting lycanthropy.
- Alternate Form (Su): All werelions can shift into the form of a lion and a lion-humanoid hybrid. Changing to or from animal or hybrid form is a full-round action. Upon assuming natural form, the lycanthrope regains hit points as if having rested for a day. If slain, the lycanthropic creature reverts to its humanoid form, though it remains dead. A part of the body separated from the whole retains its natural form however. This shapeshifting ability can be difficult for some lycanthropes to control.
- Damage Reduction (Su): A werelion's animal and hybrid forms gain damage reduction 15/silver.
- Low-Light Vision (Ex): The werelion gains low-light vision in any form.
- Darkvision (Ex): A werelion in any form gains darkvision with a range of 60 feet.
- Scent (Ex): The werelion gains scent in any form.
- Improved Grab (Ex): If a werelion in lion form hits with its bite attack, it can rake as a free action.
- Pounce (Ex): If a werelion in lion or hybrid form leaps upon a foe during the first round of combat, it can make a full attack even if it has already taken a move action.
- Rake (Ex): A werelion in lion form that gets hold can make two rake attacks with is hind legs at its normal attack bonus for (1d4 + ½ Strength bonus) damage each. If the werelion pounces upon an opponent, it can also rake.
Lycanthropy As an Affliction
When a character contracts lycanthropy through a lycanthrope’s natural attacks (see above), no symptoms appear until the first night of the next full moon. On that night, the afflicted character involuntarily assumes animal form and forgets his or her own identity, temporarily becoming an NPC. The character remains in animal form, assuming the appropriate alignment, until the next dawn.
Changing form is a standard action. If the change is involuntary, the character performs the change on his next turn following the triggering event. An afflicted character who is not aware of his condition remains in animal form until the next dawn. An afflicted character who is aware of his or her condition (see above) can try to resume humanoid form following a change (voluntary or involuntary) with a Control Shape check, but if he fails his check, he remains in animal (or hybrid) form until the following dawn.
An afflicted character who eats a sprig of belladonna (also called wolfsbane) within 1 hour of a lycanthrope’s attack can attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save to shake off the affliction. If a healer administers the herb, use the character’s save bonus or the healer’s Heal modifier, whichever is higher. The character gets only one chance, no matter how much belladonna is consumed. The belladonna must be reasonably fresh (picked within the last week).
Werelions as Characters
Becoming a werelion does not necessarily change a character’s favored class but usually changes alignment (see above). This alignment change may cause characters of certain classes to lose some of their class features.
- Abilities: +2 Wisdom. In lion or hybrid form the werelion character gains +10 Strength, +6 Dexterity, and +4 Constitution.
- Size: Same as the base creature or the base animal form.
- Racial Hit Dice: A werelion gains 5d8 racial hit dice. As a result of these hit dice, a werelion has +3 Base Attack Bonus, +4 base Fortitude save bonus, +4 base Reflex save bonus, and +1 base Will save bonus.
- Racial Skills: A werelion adds skill points for its animal Hit Dice. It gains skill points equal to (2 + Intelligence modifier, minimum 1) x 7. The werelion's racial skills are Balance, Hide, Listen, Move Silently, and Spot. The werelion’s maximum skill ranks are equal to its animal form Hit Dice + its racial Hit Dice (if any) + its class levels + 3. Any racial skill adjustments of the werelion’s base race and its animal form (but not conditional adjustments) are added to its skill modifiers in any form.
- Racial Feats: Werelions gain Blind-Fight, Cleave, Power Attack, and Iron Will as bonus feats.
- +2 natural armor bonus in any form.
- Special Qualities: Alternate form (lion or lion-humanoid hybrid), lion empathy, curse of lycanthropy (in animal or hybrid form only), improved grab, pounce, rake, low-light vision, darkvision 60 feet, and scent. In addition, a werelion gains damage reduction as follows:
- Afflicted lycanthrope: Damage reduction 5/silver (in animal or hybrid form only).
- Natural lycanthrope: Damage reduction 10/silver (in animal or hybrid form only).
- Automatic Languages: As base creature.
- Favored Class: Same as the base creature.
- Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +6 (afflicted) or +7 (natural).