The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed - Coming in December and available for pre-order now
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    I just started a new campaign, I've used the old Caveat Emptor module (from Dragon Magazine issue #58) as an inspiration.

    The idea is that a bunch of people in a costal city have been cursed with lycanthropy, and from there I'll insert a few problems such as finding the victims and "containing" this curse and discovering the source of it.

    That's the part I need help, I'm thinking of creating a BBEG who's spreading (through agents and hired hands) the curse. And I went as far as creating a adveture hook in the temple (where'll start our next session) where the group needs to find a cure. This would lead them to clan or a tribe of good align werewolves (maybe Selune followers).

    Maybe the BBEG wants to turn the realm into a hunting ground for an evil god? A demon lord. Idk, this villain has potential, but I need help!

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
     
    oudeis's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    What about going the other way, where the lycanthropes are the good guys, like in Werewolf: The Apocalypse? Instead of a curse, shapeshifting is a gift from Nature or a Nature-domain deity. Play up the connection to the natural world and how lycanthropy allows the humanoid races to explore their animal soul and experience a more primal connection to the world, albeit for a far-too brief time. Have an NPC explain how the Lunar cycle epitomizes the journey from birth to death to rebirth, eliminating the need to get caught up in the politics of the Outer Planes to secure your place in the afterlife. All the tales of terror surrounding Werewolves? Commercialist propaganda from the land-owning classes who created the Big Livestock cartel. The BBEG? A greedy social-climbing scumbag who has used his connections in the Capital to gain the rights to the city and the surrounding areas if he can drive the tenants off the land.

    I don't know if this will work at all with your game, but I personally find the 'evil werewolf' trope pretty tired.
    Last edited by oudeis; 2019-08-13 at 04:36 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by oudeis View Post
    The BBEG? A greedy social-climbing scumbag who has used his connections in the Capital to gain the rights to the city and the surrounding areas if he can drive the tenants off the land.
    Great ideas. I really like your view on the subject of werewolves. The adventure deals with some new people turning into werewolves, without any knowledge of the blessing (now will call it that ;) and are unable to deal with the sudden changes they're facing and the primal insticts took them over.

    Do you think the BBEG, this noble power hundry man could be the one who spread the werewolf teeth (yes, in the history they were turned by a mage "dentist" of sorts, using teeth originated from a killed werewolf - she didn't know the teeth belonged to such creature) and got these people infected exactly as a means to spread the myth that the werewolves are evil? Maybe the lychantropes are a important guild/clan that are causing him problems, snooping on his evil deeds and killing his henchman.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    I think that D&D lycanthropy kinda sucks, and I would house-rule the heck out it.

    I would have multiple types of lycanthropes. Perhaps originally it was a Druid religion thing. Then someone messed with the magical formula and made it a curse. Mayhaps some wizard wanted to be in the club (for silly reasons like to hit on a girl), and the Druids were all like "no way, your not a druid, go suck an egg", and so he tried to replicate the formula, but without the nature divine spirits helping out the arcane spirits totally went crazy and messed up everything.

    MTV has a Teen Wolf show where most lycanthropes are werewolves, but the same lycanthropy can cause some people to be other animals based on there personality or something. I like that idea.
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2019-08-14 at 08:42 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Maybe the curse originated in something one of the villagers found, an object pulled up in a fishing net or uncovered by a plow. On the night of a full moon the object inflicts lycanthropy on anyone in the area. It's a holy artifact for some evil religion, who are going to try to claim it when word of what happened spreads. I'm thinking a dagger carved from a bone, or a piece of moonstone carved into the rough shape of a wolf.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Celestia's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Canterlot, Equestria
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Personally, while I do find "lycanthropy as a curse" is overplayed, I find "lycanthropy as a blessing" is just garbage wish fulfillment. I much prefer a more neutral, nuanced perspective where lycanthropy just is what it is, and it's up to the individual to determine if they like it. There could be (and likely are) cultural and religious views on lycanthropy, biases that view it in one way or the other, but lycanthropy, itself, is neither inherently good or evil.

    Lycanthropy still spreads through bites and can be "cured," like a disease. It also forces you to change on the full moon, but it doesn't completely overtake you. It does alter your mind, but more the way that a drug does. You're still you, just different. With practice, you can gain better control of yourself when you transform and can also choose to transform when it's not the night of the full moon (though, trying to turn during the day or around the new moon is more difficult). You can never not transform on the full moon, though.

    This also opens up the narrative for all kinds of lycanthrope stories. You can have the classic werewolf stalking the small town story as well as the secret tribe of forest-dwelling, peaceful werewolves and everything in between.
    Princess Celestia's Homebrew Corner
    Old classes, new classes, and more!

    Thanks to AsteriskAmp for the avatar!

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Celestia View Post
    This also opens up the narrative for all kinds of lycanthrope stories. You can have the classic werewolf stalking the small town story as well as the secret tribe of forest-dwelling, peaceful werewolves and everything in between.
    That's exactly the way I went with my story, I incorporated Seūne and Malar in my stories. There's some followers of Selūne that learn to deal with the curse and are all good aligned werewolves, weretigers, and so on. They usually chain themselves or ask for someone to lock them up in cells when the full moon is up. The cleric of Malar will be a major villain, but the party can side up with him If they decide.
    Goin' both ways and having good and evil lychanthropes is better than my original plan, to only have the bad ones.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by darkrose50 View Post
    the same lycanthropy can cause some people to be other animals based on there personality or something. I like that idea.
    That's pretty awesome, thank you for that. Will definitely use it.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
    I'm thinking a dagger carved from a bone, or a piece of moonstone carved into the rough shape of a wolf.
    I think I will incoporate a similar weapon that can be used to fight such creatures, a silver magical dagger. The curse has been spread like the Caveat Emptor module, through some werewolf teeth, that has been used as a powder by a unaware mage to operate people with cavities. I thought that was pretty fun.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    False God's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Wyoming
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Lycanthropy is as much a disease as it is a curse, it makes those afflicted with it violent and insane. Like, super-rabies. It spreads much the same way (bites).

    Maybe it doesn't need a BBEG. You get enough infected and the disease spreads itself. Sure, a good Boos Fight at the end of things certainly puts a nice bow on things, but doesn't really address the fact that if you don't catch all the infected (and between full-moons, you may never know) you've still got, essentially, a highly infectious disease on your hands.

    ----

    To note: I ran this in a campaign once. There was a BBEG like 200 years ago who infected more than the usual number of people with lycanthropy. but he was long gone by the campaign time. It only became a problem after the large kingdom nearby went through a terrible war and was unable to devote resources to keeping the problem at bay, and like a disease in the aftermath of war, the problem blew up.

    In my case, I expanded the "Animal Empathy" ability to communicate with and detect other lycanthropes of the same "species" (which also explained how feral werewolves were able to form packs) and the new leadership of The Kingdom went out and captured natural lycanthropes and then turned them into were-hunters (against their will ofc). Medieval societies will use medieval methods.
    Knowledge brings the sting of disillusionment, but the pain teaches perspective.
    It looks like freedom but it smells like death, it's closing time.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    oudeis's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by gandwarf View Post
    Great ideas. I really like your view on the subject of werewolves. The adventure deals with some new people turning into werewolves, without any knowledge of the blessing (now will call it that ;) and are unable to deal with the sudden changes they're facing and the primal insticts took them over.

    Do you think the BBEG, this noble power hundry man could be the one who spread the werewolf teeth (yes, in the history they were turned by a mage "dentist" of sorts, using teeth originated from a killed werewolf - she didn't know the teeth belonged to such creature) and got these people infected exactly as a means to spread the myth that the werewolves are evil? Maybe the lychantropes are a important guild/clan that are causing him problems, snooping on his evil deeds and killing his henchman.
    He could be pulling strings to make it happen, or he could have learned of the origin after the fact through his political connections. The lycanthropes could be simply inconvenient to his aspirations to increase his holdings. They might also unknowingly be sitting on top of an enormous vein of precious metals or jewels that the nobleman has learned about, or a long-forgotten route to the Underdark that he wants to exploit for his own purposes, or both. Perhaps they were roaming the night in wolf-form and accidentally witnessed him committing a terrible crime, or meeting in secret with the enemies of the realm, or participating in some forbidden rite of worship to a long-banished dark power that hopes to return to the mortal world...

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    I would not make all the powers universal. Have some lycanthropes do different things (even among the same animal-type).

    If the players get lycanthropy, then let them pick a power, and then let them randomly get a power. Picking and random are both fun.
    Last edited by darkrose50; 2019-08-15 at 09:25 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    erikun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    The tricky part about lycanthropy is that it's hard to contain once it starts going. Assuming that is spreads by bites and assuming that the lycanthropes are evil, why wouldn't they intentionally attempt to push it onto other people? And the more lycanthropes you have, the far easier it is to produce more lycanthropes; when half the population are lycanthropes, it becomes trivially easy to push it onto the other half, and even a third or a quarter of the population wouldn't have much problems in infecting the entire remaining population in a single night unless they are all holed up in a secure location.

    The idea of it being more of a natural illness seems like it would work better. You could still have the lycanthropy active in the city without it overwhelming it. Heck, it could be that the affected characters aren't even actively going after other people which being lycanthropes. It's just that the town guards trying to stop them, or individuals trying to protect merchandise (food), or just random vagabonds on the streets, keep getting bit or end up in the wrong spot and can't avoid the conflict. So it's up to the city and the PCs to put a stop to it and get things under control just so the city isn't overrun with feral lycanthropes every evening.

    The cleric of Malar BBEG can still work in this situation. Perhaps they're going around the city, convincing the poor or guards removed from their job that the lycanthropy is a gift, or even that they should side with the cleric and "take revenge for having been wronged." (even if the cleric was the one who probably started the whole thing) You could even include the Baron BBEG as well, who is using the crisis as an excuse to kick certain people to the street and take over their possessions due to "being cursed" as is just pushing people over to the Malar BBEG as a result.

    It's up to you if you wanted the clerics of Selune to be sympathetic from the start, or if you want them to also be another antagonist group until the party can convince them that these lycanthropes are infected townsfolk, not some sort of invading force. They could be an hard antagonist (directly wanting to smite all the lycanthropes) or more of a soft, social antagonist (insisting on removing every found case of lycanthropy, even if it would end up benefiting the person - i.e. poor disabled guy can become a fast hunting wolf and hunt for himself with the lycanthropy). It's up to you if you wanted to take this angle and deal with that aspect of the situation, though.
    Thank you to zimmerwald1915 for the Gustave avatar.
    The full set is here.
    Quote Originally Posted by darthbobcat View Post
    There are no bad ideas, just bad execution.
    Spoiler
    Show

    Air Raccoon avatar provided by Ceika
    from the Request an OotS Style Avatar thread



    A big thanks to PrinceAquilaDei for the gryphon avatar!
    original image

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    May I suggest Falvic, the King of Rats?

    Your lycanthropes become wererats, not werewolves, but you could even have the initial wererat be relatively innocent, just compelled by Falvic to spread the disease.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *Savage Scrolls: A Savage Worlds/Elder Scrolls Conversion
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget
    Avatar is from local user Mehangel
    Written by Me on DriveThru RPG
    If you need me to address a thread as a moderator, include a link.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by erikun View Post
    The cleric of Malar BBEG can still work in this situation. Perhaps they're going around the city, convincing the poor or guards removed from their job that the lycanthropy is a gift, or even that they should side with the cleric and "take revenge for having been wronged." (even if the cleric was the one who probably started the whole thing) You could even include the Baron BBEG as well, who is using the crisis as an excuse to kick certain people to the street and take over their possessions due to "being cursed" as is just pushing people over to the Malar BBEG as a result.
    You have no idea how this helped me. After two sessions, the players are pretty unware of what's happening (giving me time to figure it all out). I've been having problems with the relation between the Cleric of Malar and the Baron, I wanted them to work together, but it didn't make sense... until I read this. You solved it for me, thanks again.

    They work separately without knowledge of each other. It's perfect.

    By the way, in the last session the players visited the Temple of Selūne and the priestess wasn't very helpful (even tho she's a good aligned NPC, I gave her a very suspicious and arrogant personality). But I've explained to the player's - actually the priestess did - about the blessing of the lychanthropy. They were surprised by that, but decided that they don't trust her.

    Now they're hunting one of the werewolves (are not aware of the prescence of the other) and the curse is spreading. Finished last session when they were chasin' the werewolf and lost track of him, in the city at night. I think I'll introduce the Baron as a person who's interested in hiring the group to hunt the werewolves - that should be a fun moral question for them - should they hunt all the werewolves before it's too late, or is that murder?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Your lycanthropes become wererats, not werewolves, but you could even have the initial wererat be relatively innocent, just compelled by Falvic to spread the disease.
    Thank you for that! Since I've already introduced the werewolves, I think I will addapt Falvic to a werewolf, maybe he lives in the nearby woods and guides the Cleric of Malar, giving him advice when he needs.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Now depending on how much you are attached to the good aligned werewolves part you have a couple of questions.

    If those with lycanthropy can choose to act good (especially if they can whilst in hybrid or animal shape) they are far less a threat and could be generally reasoned with. This makes your hunting the infected much more social driven and less combat focus...which may be what you want. Its not as scary if Bob the Blacksmith gets infected by a wererat and goes "Jeepers this suck I better not bite anyone and check in with my priest regularly about remove curse options) But classically lycanthropes like werewolves and wererats are rather nasty types who generally kill a lot of people and that why they are enimies of adventurers. So why? do they do horrible things driven by the curse in hybrid form and are forced to change shape during full/new/whatever moons etc? Do they remember? Does the curse/disease infect their brain making evil ideas seem good? And if any of the non-choice options are what you go with for story purposes (which in general I would recommend) you have issues of those good lycanthropes being good when everyone else is evil...especially if a cure search is on the table the question of why not make these evil werewolves like the good werewolves is an option you players may well try to pursue. So why are the good lycanthropes good and the evil ones evil. Perhaps the good ones natural lycanthropes vs infected and only natural lycanthropes have action choice when shifted (see possible definition options) , or they have had some ritual cast on them allowing them to keep themselves from going super-rabid in hybrid form when others don't have that choice, or the good ones are a different strain - lythari. etc.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Brazil
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by sktarq View Post
    So why are the good lycanthropes good and the evil ones evil..
    I am working on a solution to this, as I was worried about it, because as you pointed out it's a real important consistant issue.
    So why are the good aligned werewolves different from the evil ones? Mostly because they are good aligned people that are completely in thouch with their insticts
    They have been guided by other werewolves
    Maybe in the church of Selūne they were chained in the nigths of full moon, or released into the wild, where they could learn to live in harmony with their primal urges, or in their tribe - as they were born into this life as werewolves and learned from a young age, basically dealing with a comprehension of nature as it is, both good and bad - and learning to use that to be agents of whatever they aligment and ideals lean them to
    So the evil ones are maybe those who have been "cursed" and never learned how to deal with the transformation, maybe they did horrible things to their loved ones, maybe they are marginalized by society. Whatever happend, they where never guided and feel alone. So they behave in an antisocial/evil way, just following their insticts whenever they may take them. Or maybe they follow an evil deity, like Malar.

    And the PCs can choose either way.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by gandwarf View Post
    ..So the evil ones are maybe those who have been "cursed" and never learned how to deal with the transformation, maybe they did horrible things to their loved ones, maybe they are marginalized by society. Whatever happend, they where never guided and feel alone. So they behave in an antisocial/evil way, just following their insticts whenever they may take them. Or maybe they follow an evil deity, like Malar.

    And the PCs can choose either way.
    Here is the story issue with that...basically you have "good people become good werewolves and bad/scared etc people become evil werewolves" ...
    when what makes a werewolf scary? What makes the image powerful to the human mind as a trope....It reflects the beast hidden with each of us. Honestly if anything you can just take the most emotionally healthy people in town and infect them all and just kick out the nasty werewolves via numbers and force at that point.

    And "they have done horrible things to their family" etc...so there is no reason for them to DO horrible things to their family except they already wanted to?

    I mean if it choice...how is it different than a regular gang with a neat equipment bonus?

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    Quote Originally Posted by gandwarf View Post
    I just started a new campaign, I've used the old Caveat Emptor module (from Dragon Magazine issue #58) as an inspiration.

    The idea is that a bunch of people in a costal city have been cursed with lycanthropy, and from there I'll insert a few problems such as finding the victims and "containing" this curse and discovering the source of it.

    That's the part I need help, I'm thinking of creating a BBEG who's spreading (through agents and hired hands) the curse. And I went as far as creating a adveture hook in the temple (where'll start our next session) where the group needs to find a cure. This would lead them to clan or a tribe of good align werewolves (maybe Selune followers).

    Maybe the BBEG wants to turn the realm into a hunting ground for an evil god? A demon lord. Idk, this villain has potential, but I need help!
    Lycanthropes are extremely hardy predators, maybe there are a lot of beasts in the region the bad guy wants to get rid of.

    He could be a cult leader who sees the werewolf form as being a form of salvation. He believes the town will be wiped out if the people aren't given tremendous power to fight off some cosmic threat, and lycanthropy can be spread rapidly.

    She wants to invade a nearby country and wants an army capable of doing it. But since soldiers are scarce there was none to be found, did that stop the old witch? Ha!
    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Vibranium: If it was on the periodic table, its chemical symbol would be "Bs".

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Dwarf in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2017

    Default Re: lycanthrope themed campaign arc!

    an idea half stolen from planescape torment

    local wizard has been experimenting with cranium rats (rats who have a hivemind when in proximity with each other, the more rats the more intelligent they are) and has of course been killed by them
    now they've been multiplying in the sewers untill they've formed a one-of-many (bassicly the ultimate version of the hivemind formed of thousands of rats)

    and thus it has decided to turn the inhabitants of the town into wererats, a species which they can control, the ultimate plan is to effectively export cranium rats to every other major city to ultimatly create a planet hivemind and wererats as their servants


    the earliest deaths in the city have been pointed to werewolves and the cities's clerics and guards have been busy cleansing the nearby forest of them since wererats are uncommon (also the one ordering them could be a wererat)


    thus the PC's could find the last remnants of the werewolves hiding out and get assistance and information, maybe make it so that that they could either get help from the local clergy or the local lycanthropes


    thus the party's goals are many

    - protect the population who might not know or care
    - stop the ships or search them each for rats
    - get rid of the inmediate wererat threat
    - scatter the one-of-many enough that it ceases to exist

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •