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Lycanthropy Question: I have been tracking down all the rules on this since one of my players recently got bitten. The primary rules are scattered between the CRB and the bestiary, but there are hints to other sources: Blood of the Moon and Classic Horrors Revisited: I have all of these books. Can you guys check my understanding:
Bit by a natural werewolf: DC15 Fort or contract the affliction
On a failed save, the PC has one hour to consume belladonna. The bestiary specifically calls out wolfsbane, referencing CRB pg 560, but I am uncertain if this is an error. I am doubtful they would reference wolfsbane in the bestiary and then belladonna in the CRB. My ruling for the purposes of my question is that the writers meant belladonna and not wolfsbane, even though the bestiary was printed after the CRB and would normally supersede the information printed.
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 14
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d2 Str damage, target can attempt one save to cure a lycanthropy affliction contracted in the past hour; Cure 1 save
If the belladonna does not work, we are left with two options:
- A remove disease or heal spell cast by a 12th level cleric (or arguably any divine caster) cast within 3 days of exposure
- Remove curse or break enchantment cast during a full moon (according to Classic Horrors Revisited)
According to the curse in the CRB, anytime the afflicted is injured or on every full moon, the target transforms.
Type curse, injury; Save Fortitude DC 15 negates, Will DC 15 to avoid effects
Onset the next full moon; Frequency on the night of every full moon or whenever the target is injured
Effect target transforms into a wolf under the GM’s control until the next morning
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Blood of the Moon lists both belladonna and wolfsbane as being cures (page 27: "The most accessible true cure for lycanthropy lies within the potent and poisonous leaves of herbs such as wolfsbane and belladonna."), so I would allow either to work. Belladonna only works if consumed within 1 hour of being afflicted, whereas wolfsbane works at any point in time to give a new save. Per Bestiary: "Alternatively, consuming a dose of wolfsbane (Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook 560) gives an afflicted lycanthrope a new Fortitude save to recover from lycanthropy."
If consuming belladonna, you would need to fail the saving throw against the poison in order to gain a new save, as the new saving throw is part of the effect of the poison. If you succeed at a saving throw against a poison, the poison has no effect. Per CRB (italics mine): "Effect: This is the effect that the character suffers each time if he fails his saving throw against the affliction." The ability to gain a new saving throw for consuming wolfsbane does not say you need to be affected by it, merely that you must consume a dose of it. As such, that works even if you succeed the saving throw against the wolfsbane. However, each dose of wolfsbane only gives you one new saving throw against lycanthropy, whereas belladonna gives you a new saving throw against lycanthropy once per minute for 6 minutes as long as you continue to fail the saving throw against the belladonna.
I believe you can voluntarily fail the saving throw against belladonna in order to gain the effects of the poison. I do not have direct rules support for this position, however. (The section on spells in the CRB states you can voluntarily fail saves against spell effects, and Horror Adventures states that "You must choose to fail the initial saving throw against the belladonna." when attempting to cure a lycanthropy corruption, but there is no indication the latter is a general rule. Note that the lycanthropy corruption is completely separate from the werewolf lycanthropy curse.)
When injured, does the player need to make a DC15 Will save to resist the change anytime they take damage? Is this only lethal damage or non-lethal damage as well?
They need to make the save every time they take lethal damage. As nonlethal damage does not deduct from HP, I would not think it would be considered as an injury and as such not prompt a save. CRB says "It is not "real" damage." which to me indicates that you are not being damaged (and therefore not being injured).
If they are forced to change from damage, can they choose hybrid form or are they forced into animal form like on a full moon?
The effect of the curse is that the target transforms into a wolf. Not "a wolf or a hybrid", "a wolf". To me, that sounds like it is always the animal form when failing the save.
When forced to change from damage, do they lose their identity like a full moon’s transformation or must they make a DC 20 will save?
The effect of the curse is that they are always placed under the GM's control until morning. This represents them losing their identity. After they regain control, they can attempt the DC 20 Will save to remember the events of what happened and become aware of his condition (if not already aware).
Do they change only a single night of the full moon or the three-day period?
Per Horror Adventures page 28: "Each month, the moon is considered full for three nights." It could be argued that this only applies to the lycanthropy corruption (as opposed to the werewolf lycanthropy curse), as that is the section it appears in. As such, expect table variance.
Are they required to make a DC 20 Will save to retain their identity on the first full moon they experience or every full moon?
The DC 20 Will save is to remember the events that happened during the episode and to become aware of the affliction if they were not already aware. There is no way (without outside help from spells, magic items, etc.) for them to regain control of themselves once they fail the DC 15 Will save to transform involuntarily until they shift back the next morning. In other words, the DC 20 Will save is not to "retain their identity". That's what the DC 15 Will save is for as part of the curse statblock.
If they choose to change on the full moon, DC 10 for animal/hybrid, will that allow the afflicted to avoid the Will save to lose their identity?
They need to save once on a full moon to avoid involuntary transformation. If they make that save, they can voluntarily shift back and forth as many times as they like.
The above is presenting the RAW as I understand it, as you asked this in the Rules Questions forum. As an option instead of giving them the Werewolf Lycanthropy curse, you could instead give them the lycanthropy corruption from Horror Adventures. It is overall less powerful, harder to cure (a simple remove curse won't do) and won't remove player agency as much (no chance of losing control when injured).