33 thoughts on “How would you handle lycanthropy in Dungeon World?”

  1. The supplement Number Appearing  has rules for lycantherope characters, suggestions for transformation into a lycantharope, and a Lycantharope Lord compendium class.

  2. At full moon you turn into a mindless werewolf monster!

    How else would I deal with it?

    In earnest it depends on how werewolves are in your game. Do you loose complete control? Do you keep you subconscious? Do you turn into gaias warrior? Can you overpower the transformation and stay in complete control?

  3. James Savko you’re welcome 🙂

    do that only if you want to keep it really simple and marginal… if you want to make something more of it go with custom moves or, eve better, a compendium class. I mean, if you and the players find it interesting…

  4. A little while back, Brian Engard wrote a compendium class for a Vampire:


    After reading it, I was inspired and took a stab at creating a Werewolf version similar to the Vampire class:


    Mind you, this was when I was just getting into DW for the first time (and it’s been a little while), so I’m sure there are plenty improvements to be made.

    I also don’t have much experience writing up compendium classes, so this was an experiment for me. 🙂

    Oh, and, of course, Richard Robertson helped contribute to some of the write-up as well.

  5. René López Villamar when it’s the kind you can’t control then you loose your character for the night and he is a monster. That’s the point. You can’t control it. 

  6. isn’t more interesting tempting the player to do something that he wouldn’t otherwise do? It’s like the MH Manipulate move (and also AW’s, if I recall correctly)

  7. One of the themes I love most about Lycanthropes in general (especially Werewolves) is all about having and losing control. Generally, when you’re in control of your “curse,” it becomes a blessing filled with supernatural abilities and strengths and whatnot. When you can’t control it, yeah, then it becomes a curse. You could go on a bloody rampage because the monster inside takes over.

    In the Werewolf class I mentioned above, the move Anger Management is all about keeping control. 10+ you maintain control of your anger. 7-9, you’re in control, but just barely. Your mind’s full of anger and hatred and that can certainly affect the PC’s mood and how he interacts with others. On a miss, the Rage takes over and it’s pretty much what +Tim Franzke  said: PC basically goes full monster and loses control.

    I’m sure the GM can have a lot of fun with that one. 🙂

  8. I don’t know why everybody always jump to compendium class for everything.  Ask the players what they know about werewolves. Are people suffering from lycanthropy able to tap into some powers during the day? If yes what are they? Then build the moves around it. In my game I would make a single move out of it: When the moon is full and you transform into the beast, roll+Wis. 10+ Choose 2. 7-9, choose 1. a) You remember what you did last night. GM will tell you b) you didn’t kill anybody c) you wake up near your gear and it’s not torn apart

  9. Yeah, that really depends on what I want to do with lycanthropy. Am I making the Misunderstood Genetic Lycanthrope? Cursed To Lose Their Mind With The Waxing Of The Moon Lycanthrope? Spreading Disease Lycanthrope?

  10. Right. And, also, the initial question brought up by James Savko is about lycanthropy. We often go immediately to Werewolves, but it can be Were-anything: Wererat, Weretiger, Werepanther, What form of lycanthrope are we talking about? What animal form? That can make a difference in custom moves if you’re taking that route.

  11. Why is everyone against the “you just become a monster – deal with it” route? Could still be played by the player though but with monster moves. You need a player that is rough less though

  12. I’m totally down with the “You become a monster – good luck asshole” result. If that’s the tone I’m shooting for, anyway. If I’m inserting Twilight Werewolves, on the other hand, I need a different solution 😉

  13. Tim Franzke Aaron Friesen   Yeah, I never said I was against the “You become a ravaging monster” bit too. I assumed the GM took control though, so thanks for clearing that up Tim Franzke 

    Still, I do like the idea of the lycanthrope having a move that lets them try to remain in control and resist that monstrous rage. On a miss, the PC changes and becomes a monster with monster moves. Boom.

    Either way could work.

  14. If it’s meant to be a cool new power, make it a move and build a compendium class.

    If it’s meant to be bad, look into the Darkest Self mechanic in Monsterheart.

  15. When I posted this question I was posting about general lycanthropy like Misha Polonsky mentioned. However, having not played DW at all yet (but read my copy a few times now), I was more just curious how everyone would handle something of this nature. Thanks again for all the great feedback. =)

  16. ….oh well the whole point is: there is no theory, just play to see it! It can and it should change from group to group, depending on how much weight the players (the MC is a player) want to give it and how is culturally/metaphysically wieved lycanthropy in your (plural!) Dungeon World. Really, again: there is no theory, just playing practice, and the answer to nearly every question is “ask the players and build on the answer”

  17. I think you want a race, and a compendium class to get control, so that’s how I did it in Number Appearing. Of course in those days I was basically writing it in a vacuum as a DW kickstarter stretch goal, but keen to know what people think.

    Link to the text only is here: http://apocalypse-world.com/forums/index.php?topic=6021.0

    Hopefully Sage LaTorra and Adam Koebel will agree to release the whole thing soon on the DW site for people who didn’t back.

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