March 4, 2016

Mother Beast

Otherworldly Patron
Comments from the Finger: So, I've had a problem with the lycanthropy rules in the 5e Monster Manual. Sure they work, but are they balanced? Like most templates in this edition, lycanthropy as it's presented in core is basically free power if you hand it over to the player. The solution is just to put it inside a class. And that's what we did.

Mother Beast

You have forged a pact with the spirit of an antediluvian creature, the precursor to all modern beasts. Mother Beast, as she is known, cares little for human affairs, but is deeply invested in her 'children,' the creatures of the world, great and small. She has granted you ferocious strength and the bloodlust of her kin to through a unique kind of lycanthropy which leaves your personality completely intact, even as your appearance grows more savage with claws, teeth, and fur.

Mother Beast Spells 
1st     animal friendship, disguise self 
2nd     barkskin, enhance ability 
3rd     conjure animals, protection from energy 
4th     dominate beast, locate creature
5th     commune with nature, contagion

Lycanthropy
Starting at 1st level, you are a shapechanger. As a bonus action you can polymorph into a wolf-hybrid form or into a wolf, of back into your true form. In your hybrid form and your wolf form, you gain a bite attack, which is an unarmed strike that deals 1d6 damage on a hit, and your Armor Class is equal to 13 + your Dexterity modifier, but you cannot wear armor or cast spells. If you were wearing armor when you transform, this armor falls off. In wolf form, your base walking speed increases by 15 feet, but you also cannot cast spells or hold weapons or items. All other statistics are unchanged while polymorphed.
     At 6th level, while in hybrid form, when you use the Attack action to bite, you can make a weapon attack as a bonus action.

Mother's Blessing
Beginning at 6th level, when you polymorph into a wolf or a hybrid form, you have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons that aren't silvered until the beginning of your next turn.

Shape Control
By 10th level, you are more completely in control of your form. As a bonus action on your turn, you can end the effect of a transmutation spell affecting you. After using this ability, you must complete a short or long rest before you can do so again.

Touch of Beasthood
At 14th level, when you hit a creature with your bite attack, you can temporarily share the beast's curse. When you do so, the creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 8d10 force damage as their body rapidly transforms into a feral, animalistic state. For the next minute, the creature cannot speak, is disoriented as though under the confusion spell, and is vulnerable to fire damage and any damage dealt using silvered weapons. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and suffers no other effects. After using this ability, you must complete a long rest before you can do so again.


Art Credit
Werewolf - PReilly
Changelog: 3/4/16: Lycanthropy: At level 1, not 3
Form benefits modified: Both forms: +3 AC, but no armor or spells (armor falls off). 6th level: hybrid can make a weapon attack as a bonus action after a bite.
3/19/16: Lycanthropy: AC = 13+Dex, rather than +3

24 comments:

  1. Love your content. Don't Warlocks get a level 1 feature from their patron? I'm not sure your levels are correct

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    1. That is correct, mistake on my part. Should be fixed now.

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  2. This is something I want to play sooooo much. And, Sam West is right. Warlocks get a feature at 1st level, not at 3rd. Maybe just put Lycanthropy at 1st level?

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    1. Sniped! It's fixed. I think my phone just autocorrects to '3rd' sometimes because so many subclasses start at that level.

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    2. Oh, and, since they can't wield weapons, how would pact blade impact this? It isn't really usefull when polymorphed, so maybe give them a claw option or somethin'?

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  3. So I really like this, but- the level six feature is weird. It rewards shifting constantly between wolf and hybrid every turn. Wouldnt it be simpler to make it constant?

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    1. Making it constant would make it free when in hybrid or animal form, and like this it costs a bonus action. It even restricts you to having two sets for turn A and turn B (wich HAVE TO switch around) wich are:
      A) having spells, normal movement speed, bite for attack, no weapons and +1 AC
      b) no spells, increased movement speed, bite for attack, no weapons and +1 AC

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    2. So, I'm of the opinion that passive resistance is just too powerful. Noone should really have passive resistance to physical damage.

      Traditionally, the 6th level warlock feature is a once/rest get outta trouble feature, and I think this feature basically fits the mold, but constantly switching shouldn't really be what this class is about. I could 1/short limit this bonus, but I actually like being able to use it more than once in a combat.

      I think I can fix this problem by messing with bonuses and drawbacks offered by the different forms. As it is now, switching back and forth between wolf and hybrid nets you a lot of defense, but also makes you basically useless half of the time as a wolf, which is a fair trade. A much, much more powerful option is to switch between hybrid and original form every turn, gaining resistance half the time for basically no drawback if you're just spamming cantrips. This problem needs to be addressed.

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    3. I was thinking:
      Hybrid: no spells, +2 AC, bite attack, Extra Attack at 6th
      Wolf: no spells or weapons, +2 AC, bite attack, +15 feet movement
      What do you guys think?

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    4. Sounds pretty good, though you should add a "when in wolf form, you cannot use your hands/paws to hold anything, and you use all of your limbs to walk, run etc. (etc.)" thing.

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    5. Well, I might need to add that you don't wear armor, but do I need to specify that if you are a wolf that you run on four legs? The Monster Manual didn't for its lycanthropes at any rate

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    6. But the Lycanthropes in the MM are MOSTLY controled by the DM, who won't use RAW to his advantage, unlike players who tend to do that. Even though it is in common sense of a person what a wolf can and can't do, better to be safe, right?

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    7. I just said that you can't hold weapons or items while in wolf form, which should eliminate unforeseen exploits.

      I've always said that better safe than sorry is a good strategy until it makes things too long. Having things be readable is ultimately more important that being 100% watertight against all exploits. That being said, it's always a struggle.

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  4. My suggestion is to simply change it into "When you are polymorphed", sounds about right.

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    1. (Not sure if it was posted properly since I'm posting this from mobile, I was refering to Shardin's comment about level 6 feature)

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    2. Weird question having nothing to do with the class: do you think your experience of the site would be better or worse if I turned off the mobile version?

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    3. Not really, I figured out where the mistake was, my bad.

      On the phone the site looks just fine, it's just that I mistook the reply all the way at the bottom for the reply at the parent comment for some reason. I enjoy viewing this site on mobile phone whenever I don't have time for laptop because of work or something.

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    4. Okiedokie. For my part, I tend just request the desktop site the second I get on to avoid some of the finicky bits of the mobile site, but my goals are normally a little different than the average reader's. I might need to do a poll for this.

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    5. Looking back on this, why is the shift giving a flat +3 bonus to ac? Wouldn't it be more in line with, say, draconic sorcerer (and less exploitable too) where your natural ac becomes 13+dex whenever you shift, or does this conflict with the invocation Armor of Shadows too much?

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    6. That's actually a really good idea, and I can't believe this slipped by me. I guess I thought that the warlock wouldn't have much opportunity to exploit high AC, but I completely forgot about armor of shadows.

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    7. Also, thanks for the comment!

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  5. I don't really get the benefit of the level 10 ability. You can already bonus action transform back into your true self, so what exactly does it do or add?

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    1. The core lycanthropy ability only reverses your beast form, not any other effect which might target you, like a polymorph spell that's transformed you into a frog, for example. That's what the 10th level ability lets you just get rid of.

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  6. I don't really get the benefit of the level 10 ability. You can already bonus action transform back into your true self, so what exactly does it do or add?

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