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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next "I hunt, therefore I am." - Werewolf Playable Race [PEACH]



Edge
2017-11-14, 07:14 PM
This is the product of me wanting a more easily playable werewolf for a number of years (since 3.5e, in fact) that met a few criteria:


A werewolf should be able to fight with their natural weapons, and not be worse off than if they were using manufactured weapons.
If you want to play a werewolf, you probably want to play a werewolf, not someone who's only a werewolf for a few rounds or minutes a day. Shapeshifting should be at-will by default.
Everyone has a slightly different view on what a werewolf should exactly be. There should be flexibility in the exact features you gain from your curse.

With that out of the way, I present:

Werewolf Race Traits
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score or your Dexterity score increases by 1, and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. You age at a similar rate to a typical member of your base race, though you may find the ill effects of old age come more slowly to you.
Alignment. In most settings, most werewolves are overcome by their inner beasts, and are Chaotic Evil. However, the elven Lythari of the Forgotten Realms are instead typically Chaotic Good, and in Eberron, lycanthropes of all types come in every alignment imaginable. Elsewhere, druidic ritual can lead to an inner beast that, if not quite tamed, is on equal footing with the werewolf's rational, humanoid mind.
Size. Your size is Medium. You can instead elect to be Small, if you are a werewolf of a race of that stature.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30ft. If your size is Small, your base walking speed is instead 25ft.
Keen Senses. You are proficient in Perception.
Twin Forms. You can switch between your humanoid shape and a hybrid wolf-man form or back as an action. Whilst in your humanoid form, you have advantage on all checks made to present yourself as a member of your humanoid race.

Whilst in your hybrid werewolf form you gain vulnerability to damage dealt by silvered weapons, and you gain two claws and a bite. You are proficient in these weapons. Your claws deal 1d4 slashing damage, and your bite deals 1d6 piercing damage. You can use these weapons in combination with each other as though you were fighting with two manufactured weapons.

Finally, whilst in your werewolf shape, you have advantage on all hearing and scent-based Perception and Survival checks.
Running Wild. While in your werewolf shape, you may drop down on all fours as a bonus action, increasing your base walking speed by 10 feet before all other modifiers. Whilst on all fours, you cannot use your hands for any purpose other than locomotion. You can return to standing on two legs as another bonus action.
Languages: You can read, speak and write Common and one other language of your choice (typically your humanoid race or ethnicity's language).
Inner Beast. A lycanthrope's animalistic side can manifest itself in several ways. Choose one of the following options as your inner beast.

Rageclaw
Ability Score Increase. Your Strength or your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Lunar Hide. Whilst in werewolf form, reduce the bludgeoning, piercing and slashing damage you take from weapons that aren't silvered by an amount equal to half your proficiency bonus, after all other modifiers (such as resistance). If you have another feature that reduces damage by a set numeric value, it does not stack with this one. Only the greatest reduction applies.
Savage Arsenal. The damage of your werewolf form's bite and claws improve to 1d8 damage.

Darkhunt
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity or Charisma score increases by 1.
In Sheep's Clothing. You gain proficiency in your choice of Deception or Stealth.
Taste of the Prey. After successfully dealing damage to a target with your werewolf form's bite attack, you may cast hunter's mark as a 1st level spell as a bonus action. You can cast this spell once, and regain your use with a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

Moonhowl
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution or Wisdom score increases by 1.
Lunar Blessing. You have resistance to radiant damage.
Call to the Moon. You gain proficiency in Performance, and know the druidcraft cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the thunderwave spell as a 1st level spell once. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Lythari
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity or Wisdom score increases by 1.
Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You canít discern colour in darkness, only shades of grey.
Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against charm effects, and magic can't put you to sleep.
Language. You can also read, speak and write Elvish.

My main concern is the quantity of the ability score increases, and the flexibility of them. These werewolves end up with the same net bonuses to ability scores as half-elves, but I felt it was the only way to do them justice.

Twin Forms, I'm quite happy with the balance on, given that is comes with a drawback that can be exploited by prepared foes and even at its most powerful (with the Rageclaw Inner Beast at high level), it is on-par with a two-weapon fighter with the Heavy Armour Mastery feat.

My main concerns come from Darkhunt and Moonhowl's Inner Beast features that include racial spellcasting. Is this too much on top of the base chassis?

JNAProductions
2017-11-14, 11:52 PM
ASIs are probably too much. I'd reduce it to +3 total.

Running Wild is too good when combined with Bite-you're basically doubling your speed for relatively low cost. I'd make it a +10' bonus.

Rageclaw is just brokenly good.

Darkhunt is fine.

Lythari is fine.

Edge
2017-11-15, 04:07 AM
ASIs are probably too much. I'd reduce it to +3 total.
Change the base race to +1 Strength or Desterity then, I suppose.


Running Wild is too good when combined with Bite-you're basically doubling your speed for relatively low cost. I'd make it a +10' bonus.
Fair call on this one. At one point I had it so that all attacks against you while you were Running Wild gained advantage, but I wasn't massively keen on that idea.


Rageclaw is just brokenly good.
This I kinda of disagree with? They basically get one benefit of the Dual Wielder feat (the natural weapons are on par with dual-wielding longswords, battleaxes or rapiers) and a worse version of the main benefit of Heavy Armour Master that expressly doesn't stack with that feat.


Darkhunt is fine.

Lythari is fine.
Surprising, but I'll take your word for it until I hear otherwise. :smalltongue:

zeek0
2017-11-16, 01:06 AM
Werewolves are cool, and Metallica references are even better. Let's take a long look:

To judge this race's relative power, I'm going to use Detect Balance (https://www.google.rw/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi80c-6r8LXAhWFORoKHbgxDbIQFghEMAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2 Fd%2F1vq1kz6PRAbw5LHy6amH-bNb4OuB8DBXL1RsZROt03Sc%2Fedit&usg=AOvVaw1D47rAkGJxdav2dvFgDvtU).

Base Race
ASI: 12
Keen Senses: 2 (skill proficiency)
Twin Forms: 5 (1d8/1d6 is better TWF than usual, and the flexibility is quite valuable)
Running Wild: 5 (double movement is a huge amount of movement)
Base Race Total: 24

Rageclaw
ASI: 5 (choice of ASI)
Lunar Hide: 3 (about half of the heavy armor mastery feat. Scales with level, but also reduces damage from most magical weapons)
Savage Arsenal: 3 (1d8/1d8 TWF is nothing to scoff at, but you already have 1d8/1d6)
Rageclaw Total: 34

Darkhunt
ASI: 5
In Sheep's Clothing: 2 (skill proficiency)
Taste of Prey: 3 (1st level spell, 1/day)
Darkhunt Total: 34

Moonhowl
ASI: 5
Lunar Blessing: 2 (rare resistance)
Call to the Moon: 9 [2 (skill proficiency), 1 (cantrip, but it's only druidcraft), 6 (standard delayed magic)]
Moonhowl Total: 40

Lythari
ASI: 5
Darkvision: 3
Fey Ancestry: 2
Language: 1
Lythari Total: 35

Detect Balance (based on the scores of PHB races) recommends that a homebrew race have a score between 23 and 27. Based on that, this race is quite overtuned.

One big change you can make is to have only 2 ASIs in the base race, and reduce the movement speed increase from Running Wild to +10' - this will bring most of the subraces to bear. The remaining problem is Moonhowl, which is quite powerful - I'll leave it up to you on this one.

Overall, I quite like all of the features. They are evocative. In the end, it's just a bit too powerful.

I'm quite happy to turn this into a conversation; let me know what you think of my ratings and feedback.

Edge
2017-11-16, 11:55 AM
Werewolves are cool, and Metallica references are even better. Let's take a long look:

To judge this race's relative power, I'm going to use Detect Balance (https://www.google.rw/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi80c-6r8LXAhWFORoKHbgxDbIQFghEMAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdocs.google.com%2Fspreadsheets%2 Fd%2F1vq1kz6PRAbw5LHy6amH-bNb4OuB8DBXL1RsZROt03Sc%2Fedit&usg=AOvVaw1D47rAkGJxdav2dvFgDvtU).

Thanks for the detailed review! Following this, and the comments from JNA, I've made the following changes:


The base race nows grants your choice of +1 Strength or Dexterity, rather than both.
Running Wild's speed bonus has been reduced from x2 to +10ft
The Moonhowl Inner Beast no longer gets faerie fire and moonbeam 1/long rest, and instead gets a 1st level thunderwave 1/long rest at 3rd levelso they can better live up to the "howl" part of their name.

Llama513
2017-11-16, 03:17 PM
I really like this as a concept, and I think you are very close to being balanced, I think the main thing left to really get a feel for the power is to run them and compare to the other races. my other thought is to take this and expand into not just werewolves but the other lycans

Morphic tide
2017-11-16, 04:31 PM
One thing I'd do is to split bonuses between forms to "buy off" some extra overall capacity. Something like a 35-40 total points by that Detect Balance calculator, but any single form would have just 20-25 points, counting the subraces. Undertune the single forms by a notable amount, but then have each get rather specialized bonuses that make them shockingly good at one task the other is hardly useful at at all.

For instance, let's say the base form makes a highly effective Druid, with a +2 Wisdom and a useful spell. Then the hybrid form turns that +2 Wis to +1 Wis/Str with the two Claw attacks, while a full-on wolf form introduced for +2 Strength(or +1 Str/Dex or Str/Con, could base the shift on subrace or even have the +2 Wis split between mental stats by subrace) and the Bite/Claw combination, alongside a small movement increase. Generally make it so that it's a dream for characters who do multiple types of combat(ironically, Druid is the least advantaged by racial form shifting) that require different stats, but considerably sub-par for more singular play-styles.

Blackbando
2017-11-17, 02:21 PM
Lots of good points have been made here, but one I don't believe was addressed is one specific reason why Rageclaw is so amazing.

Monks.

1d8 unarmed strikes on a 1st level monk is the scariest thing I've ever heard of in my entire life. The only other ways to attack twice with weapons that strong at 1st level is through either having the Dual Wielder feat or being a War Cleric, but then at 2nd level, you've got Flurry of Blows and that's 3 1d8 attacks in one turn, at only 2nd level.

Edge
2017-11-19, 05:42 AM
Lots of good points have been made here, but one I don't believe was addressed is one specific reason why Rageclaw is so amazing.

Monks.

1d8 unarmed strikes on a 1st level monk is the scariest thing I've ever heard of in my entire life. The only other ways to attack twice with weapons that strong at 1st level is through either having the Dual Wielder feat or being a War Cleric, but then at 2nd level, you've got Flurry of Blows and that's 3 1d8 attacks in one turn, at only 2nd level.

This is also a good point, and one I've been trying to figure out a solution to.

So far, my best idea is that you cannot use your bite and claws in any round that you spend ki, with the rationale being that the instinctual fighting style behind the natural weapons is at odds with the disciplined, controlled style of a monk - a werewolf monk who wants to spend their ki in a given round would have to use their fists, or feet, or elbows or whatever, as called out in Martial Arts, and use their Martial Arts die.

My only concern is that this seems a bit clunky and arbitrary.

zeek0
2017-11-19, 02:34 PM
Alternatively, you could simply not make your claws natural weapons / unarmed attacks. They could be their own weapon, and thus not subject to monk rules (look to the UA minotaur on this).

Edge
2017-11-19, 05:09 PM
Alternatively, you could simply not make your claws natural weapons / unarmed attacks. They could be their own weapon, and thus not subject to monk rules (look to the UA minotaur on this).

That's an incredibly elegant and simple solution that didn't even occur to me. Adding it in.