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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Super Beings in the T&T Universe: Part 1

Super Beings in the T&T Universe
by 'Mad' Roy Cram

Professor Whenn and Yorrdamma Vrash are doing research on entities of the Troll World that possess unusual or extraordinary talents and/or abilities which make them superior to ordinary beings. If anyone has comments or questions they may trollmail Yorrdamma Vrash via Trollhalla, who will be happy to respond to any inquiries.

These creatures are the shape changers or form dancers. For simplicity’s sake we will refer to them as ‘Weres’. These are entities that can change their physical form either partly or wholly into some kind of animal. The authors are indebted to mega author Jim Butcher from whose noir detective novel Fool Moon much useful information was obtained. If the reader enjoys wizard and werewolf stories, this is one of the best.

The most common form of Werewolf is fortunately one of the less dangerous kinds. These beings are humans who can use magic (the only magic they can use) to change themselves into a wolf and back to human form again. The wolf will have the same body mass as the human who assumed the animal form. All adult Werewolves will have a Wiz rating of at least 14. Each use of this spell costs them seven Wiz points. Like other magic users they regain Wiz at the rate of one Wiz per turn if resting. They don’t need to be naked to change to the wolf form, but most wear only the sort of clothing they can easily shuck off or wiggle out of because the spell that makes them a wolf does not affect what they are wearing. They will be naked when they change back to human again. The wolf gets three times its human Strength and Constitution and twice its Speed. I add these up to get a monster rating. I also give the Werewolf spite damage of one point for each five and each six they roll on combat dice. The wolf’s furry pelt is the equivalent of leather armor and takes 5 hits per round. The wolf has a manual Dexterity of three. It cannot wield a weapon with paws. If a Werewolf is defending its mate or offspring it will get double combat adds. These wolves keep their human mind while in the wolf form, but have highly enhanced senses of smell and hearing. I give them +6 on dice rolls involving either sense. They cannot speak any language while wolven. They are not affected by the moon or the sun. And they are vulnerable to harm by ordinary weapons as well as silver. Fire and magic can also hurt or kill them. They do heal at twice the normal human rate, and may heal up to one D6 of hits each time they change form. When a Werewolf is killed it should be beheaded or burned. They have an annoying habit of coming back to life if not completely destroyed.

This condition is hereditary. You will not become a Werewolf if you are bitten by one of these creatures. Though most tend to be solitary and reclusive beings, they can also be found in families, usually on isolated farms far from cities or towns. The adults will hunt as a pack at night. The children usually do not start to change until they are teenagers. Rare members may never change, but still carry the genes. Werewolves usually don’t bother people unless hunger drives them to prey on their neighbor’s livestock. In outlying areas one can find small hamlets or villages where everyone is a Werewolf. They are usually not friendly to strangers

Sometimes one of these Werewolves will get a little crazy and start preying on people. This provides some good role playing situations where a party must try and figure out who the culprit is.

Higher level Werewolves of this type may join a party in the woods or above ground, but they hate tunnels and caves. Most of them are the original tree huggers, and they will use all their abilities to help a group track down a rogue Werewolf or other creature that is making trouble for them or doing harm to the forest and its creatures. Don’t mess with their woods; they can be vindictive and very cross in these cases.

They also make good night watchmen and guards in a city setting. If you thought the junkyard dog was mean, wait til you meet the junkyard Werewolf!

A sad case of Werewolf is the poor fellow who made a high level wizard really mad and had a Urawolf spell cast on him (9th level, Intelligence and Dexterity of 54 required, 100 Wiz to cast). It turns the victim into a wolf just like the one described above. They are then stuck in the animal form until another Wizard or magic person can remove the curse or dispel the powerful magic.

This makes for some neat role playing too. If the character transformed is a player he must figure out how to make his predicament known to his comrades, and then they must try and figure out how to get him back into human form. Each week after the change, the victim must make a level one saving roll on his intelligence. Each time he fumbles or he misses one he loses one point of Intelligence. When his INT reaches 3 he becomes a wolf and remains that way forever. His human mind is gone.

Hexenwolf or Spell Wolfs are different in that they are created by an enchanted belt of wolf fur, or some sort of talisman. When they put it on, they turn into a werewolf like the type described above. They have the power to change back when they want to, but must take off the belt or talisman right away. These belts or items are given to them by magic users who usually mean no good, and always enchant them to make them do what the magician wants. Often, the one bestowing these ‘gifts’ on his pack will wear one too that makes him or her the alpha of the group. Wizards, however, can’t cast other spells while in wolf form.

One of the main drawbacks of this kind of transformation is the tendency of the user to ‘go wolf’ and just run away to the woods and stay in the wolf form until his mind is gone and only the wolf mind remains. Players should have to make a level one saving roll on Intelligence each time they transform. Like the Urawolf fellow, they lose a point of Intelligence every time they fumble or miss a roll. When their INT hits three they are done and stay a real wolf for the rest of their lives.

In the cities Hexenwolves are sometimes used by criminal groups of various kinds, and can do great mischief. Regular Werewolves of the first type above hate these creatures and will gladly help the authorities to track them down and kill them.

Lycanthropes are the classic Wolfman or Wolfwoman (fortunately rare), a human being that develops wolf like characteristics, but stays in humanoid form. These folks come from a clan of people whose tribal totem is a Wolf, and they are carriers of an angry wolf spirit put in them at birth by the Shaman. Their bite will not make you a Wolfman. In battle they change into the Wolfman form (they look the Lon Chaney Wolfman). They get a three fold increase in Con and Strength, double their Speed, but keep their Dex. Their skin gets the five point armor bonus in addition to whatever other armor they are wearing, and they can use whatever weapons they use as a human. They prefer big axes. In the Wolfman form they grow fur, claws, fangs and wolf features. They heal at four times the normal rate, and are resistant to pain or sickness. Once killed, they should be burned or beheaded, or they come back really angry. They are questionable allies because, once they go Wolfman, they will keep on fighting, and, sometimes, even turn on their own kind. They will fight until all the foes are slain. Only then do they return to human form. They are not affected by the moon or sun. They like to eat the heart and flesh of their victims.

There are other groups of these kinds of creatures. In the deep woods one may encounter Bearmen or Boarmen, in the jungles, Tigermen, and in the savannas, Lionmen and their mortal enemies, the Hyenamen.

And now we come to the King of the Werewolves, the Loup Garou. This is a person who has been cursed by a powerful Wizard, Demon King, or Fairie Queen. It is very BAD juju! The victim is possessed by a terrible Wolf Demon. Only the most powerful of spells or exorcisms can free the Loup Garou of his dreadful burden. This Werewolf receives double damage from silver weapons. Magic weapons do him normal injury, but regular weapons do him no harm. He heals at the rate of 1D6 per combat round. The Loup Garou cannot control his changes. He becomes a Werewolf only on nights when the moon is full, and remains one, until the moon sets, or the sun rises. In Wolf form he gets four times Strength and Con, and triple Speed. His pelt is equivalent to plate armor taking 18 hits per round. He becomes a mindless killing machine that will attack any and all creatures it meets. He will instinctively flee though when he feels that he is about to change back into a human again. When he wakes up he will not remember what happened during his blackouts.

If you survive being bitten by this creature, you will be afflicted with Lycanthropy as described above, but few survive to suffer this problem. Loup Garou are relatively immortal. Unless their bodies are burned completely to ashes they will come back. Eventually these wretches will realize what mayhem they are guilty of, and will flee to the farthest places away from other people. They make wildernesses very dangerous on moonlit nights. Some may have a lover or family or friends lock them up on nights when the moon is full in a secure cell, and leave there to howl out their rage, until the sun has risen again. It is truly a terrible creature and potentially a real problem, even for strong characters.

The best time to try to kill a Loup Garou is while he is in his human form. However, his demon has a 50% chance, if he is in serious danger, to turn him into the Wolfman form of creature who will make a great effort to escape and run away.

Weres seldom get along with other Weres, unless related by blood. The ones who interact with people usually only do so out of necessity. Nearly all humans and other races find them pretty disturbing to interact with. One Were per party is a good rule. Weres do make for fun roleplaying. These not-quite-real people with issues can liven up a game as their problems begin to impact what is going on. Taking on a group of Weres can be an interesting challenge too.

A really interesting adventure would be to have two groups of players, one group running a small Werewolf community just minding its own business, and the other group a gang of low level bandits and ‘monsters (See Monsters! Monsters! By Ken St. Andre) attack the village. Neither side should know what is expected. The bad guys would be expecting poor peasants and serfs. The Werewolves would, of course, do everything in their power to protect their homes and families.

Women who get pregnant with a Were (in his human form, hopefully) often have interesting offspring. These kids grow up to lead interesting lives after puberty.

Professor Whenn (channeled by Mad Roy Cram)

Additional Thoughts from 'Mad' Roy Cram on Weres

Here are some examples of Werewolves and some other Theriomorphs. I admit this is a tough one. (I cheated a little on the dice rolls) This one would be a Warden – a Werewolf who is chosen by his pack to police the riff raff and stop crazy Weres from stirring up the public against the community.

STR 15
CON 17
INT 15
WIZ 14
SPD 18
Def 0

STR 45
CON 51
INT 15
WIZ 14
SPD 36
CHR scary
Def 5

Loup Garou
STR 60
CON 68
SPD 54
CHR terrifying
Def 18

Wolfman, Bearman, Tigerman, Hyenaman etc.
STR 51 (bears and tigers get an extra D6)
CON 51 (bears and tigers get an extra D6)
INT 15
DEX 9 or 3D6
SPD 6+2D6
CHR scary to terrifying
Def 5

To roll up Weres I use 3D6 and like dice (doubles or triples) add and roll over for STR, CON, and SPD. I allow no value for any attribute on any Were in human form to be less than a nine.

GM’s may make allowances for lower numbers in young, inexperienced, or Hexenwolves.
Remember: A natural or common Werewolf must have a WIZ of 14 or more.

CHR values apply only to the human forms. Scary CHR means normal people will be at a disadvantage or penalty when confronting such a creature. GM’s may make their own decision on what terror will do to heroes or player characters in these encounters. Some sort of Saving Roll might be needed to avoid a penalty.

One last note: Even in their human form Weres are very fast and agile. I give them a 1D6 roll as a talent for SPD.

Copyright © 2012, 'Mad' Roy Cram
Artwork is free for use clipart


  1. Much fun. I notice you chose "theriomorph" over "therianthrope"; I will have to think about that one.

  2. Why would any stat be limited? And why not just use multipliers like "x2" and "x3"?

  3. Sorry Roy, I misread, " I allow no value for any attribute on any Were in human form to be less than a nine." to say "to be MORE than a nine."

    Still why not just express in multipliers?