Weres, usually werewolves, were originally created by magicians. The knowledge of how to merge man and beast has since been so thoroughly reviled that all texts related to it have been destroyed. Thus, all were-beings currently in existence were the ones most commonly created, and have been able to breed and reproduce on their own. The most common are werewolves, of course, but were-lions and -tigers and -bears (oh my!) have also been seen. Most weres tend to have predatory animals as their other halves, because it's part of the reason their ancestors were created. There are were-rabbits, though they tend to keep hidden.

Weres can shift between human and animal forms whenever they wish; the idea that they can only change during a full moon is a myth. However, the full moon does have an effect: it tends to increase their strength, speed, and senses even more. The full moon effect is only for the single night that the moon is actually full - the waxing and waning phases on either side make no difference. The were must be IN the light of the full moon for it to work as well. If you stay indoors with the curtains drawn, you'll see no change.

Weres can interbreed with humans in their human forms or animals in their animal form; it's their choice. Some simply identify more with one side than with another. The resulting offspring tend towards the non-were species; that is, if a werewolf mates with a human, the children are likely to be fully human, but if that werewolf mates with a wolf, the children are likely to be fully lupine. There's a stronger chance of a were-child being born if the were is the mother, but it's still an uncommon occurrence. Weres mating with normal animals or humans is fairly common however, because weres are hard to distinguish. They look totally human and totally animal in their respective forms, though they maintain the animal's senses and the human's intelligence in both. The only real way to know is if that person tells you or if you happen to see them go berserk.

The "hybrid" form, the one comprised of both man and beast, is a temporary form usually brought on by rage. This form allows the were access to animal strength, speed, fangs and claws, the ability to walk on two legs or run on four, and the sheer terrifying edge brought on when something that looks sort of human but sort of not and is larger and tougher and faster than any human is howling and snarling in anger at you. Most people wet themselves and flee in horror and fear when confronted by a were in its hybrid form. This is just as well, as it really is a temporary form, and quite draining to the were. It isn't uncommon to see a were drop out of hybrid form and into unconsciousness. So this berserker form is rarely seen by most, and those who do see it, well...they tend to be killed. The were has very limited control over its actions at that time, because they are literally enraged. Someone they are very attached to may well escape harm, but most others, friend or foe, who get in its way are going to suffer for it.

While in this berserker form, the were is far stronger and faster (and more vicious) than ANY non-berserk were. If two berserk weres are going at each other...well, things will get interesting. A normal were under the effects of a full moon IS stronger and faster, it's true, but a berserk were in hybrid form is stronger and faster still. And yes, the light of a full moon will effect a berserk were just as much as it effects one more in control of themselves, which means it WILL enhance them as well. It's a truly terrifying thought.

That having been said, weres are generally peaceful, just wanting to live as they please and be left alone, like most people. They don't go on wild killing sprees, they don't hate humans, etc. etc. (though, just as with any group of people, there are exceptions).

Were Template

This is the baseline Were template, for a Were in their Human form.

Natural wolf abilities
Advantage: Enhancement: Animal Senses (+3)
Advantage: Enhancement: Light of the Full Moon (+3)
Advantage: Shapeshifting: Wolf, Berserker (+6)
Disadvantage: Bane: Silver (-3)
Disadvantage: Berserker (-3)
Disadvantage: Feared (by those who see you berserk and live to tell of it) (no points; read below)

There is no cost for the baseline of 15 HP and 10 Focus. You will HAVE TO BUY the Advantages/Disadvantages listed above though (Wolf is given as an example, but keep in mind that most weres are some form of predatory animal: tigers, lions, bears (oh my!). There are wererabbits, if you really really want...), but also other things (like a puma. No, not the shoe company. It's a big cat).

Baseline Animal template, using Wolf as an example; if you wish to use another animal (fox, tiger, etc.), consult your GM for specific stat adjustments:

4 sets of claws (one set on each paw), fangs
Enhanced sight, smell, hearing

And of course, the Advantages and Disadvantages listed above do not go away, but you do not have to buy them again. This is more to show the difference in HP than anything else. Also, you'll note the list of weapons and senses; these are considered a given of the animal and do not have to be bought; they're listed here more as a reminder for the player of what they have available to them (this is, basically, the definition of "Natural wolf abilities"). A wolf is a fairly large animal, but a human is still generally bigger, thus the drop in HP. If you have MP, it stays the same. However, you cannot cast spells while in animal form.

Finally, the baseline Hybrid/Berserker template, again using Wolf as the example:

Natural wolf abilities
Advantage: Enhancement: Animal Senses (-3)
Advantage: Enhancement: Light of the Full Moon (-3)
Advantage: Shapeshifting: Wolf, Berserker (-6)
Disadvantage: Bane: Silver (+3)
Disadvantage: Berserker (+3)
Disadvantage: Feared (by those who see you berserk and live to tell of it) (no points; read below)

Technically, while you have the Berserker disadvantage in human form, you do not suffer the effects of the Berserker disdvantage until you are actually Berserk. You will note that your HP is variable; for the baseline, it would be 30 HP, but if you increase your starting HP to 20, then your Berserker HP would be 40. Your Focus drops to 2, as the only thought in your head is to tear and rip and kill. You are no more capable of casting spells in berserker form than in animal form; berserker form is extreme melee combat, not spellslinging.

Also, you naturally still have your baseline wolf advantages and disadvantages as noted above; they are reiterated here because most other Advantages/Disdvantages WILL NOT APPLY. You're addicted to alcohol? Right now, it doesn't matter how much good booze someone offers you, you will still tear their head off. You have Charisma? Not when you're rending someone limb from limb. And this is why you gain Disadvantage: Feared (for free - no points regained for it) - anyone who sees you berserk (who isn't a were themselves) will be TERRIFIED of you, even after you shift back to Human form. This is assuming they live; of course you'll terrify the crap out of your victims, but once they're dead, it doesn't matter anymore, does it? As far as the survivors go, you might be able to regain their confidence and trust in you, especially if you berserked on their behalf (and they were lucky enough to escape unscathed), but it will take time. PCs can discuss with the GM about when this Disadvantage can and should leave them, and the GM shouldn't charge them points to buy it off, so long as the GM believes that it fits in with the roleplaying (if the were hasn't done anything to regain the frightened PCs trust, that's one thing, but if the party has been roleplaying the tension and unease around the were, who is, in turn, attempting to prove his or her friendship and loyalty to the rest of the party again, then it's understandable that the Fear would lift after some time). Keep in mind that just because you got over your Fear once, doesn't mean a Berserk Were won't make you piss yourself the second time. You may not be so lucky to escape this time as you were the last...

You should focus on your human form first, as the animal's strength or speed can be influenced by your human form's (in that whatever is your dominant trait there will be your dominant trait in animal form as well). Hybrid/berserker form is dependent on your human form as well. Also, it is your human form that collects your Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills. Also, it should be noted that you do not have to "buy" your animal and berserker templates; unless you start tweaking them, they'll be free to you.

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