The Dawning Dream Setting
Order of the Lycan
Of the many terrible curses that plague the realm, few are as ancient or as feared as Lycanthropy. Passed through blood, this affliction seeds a host with the savage strength and hunger for violence of a wild beast. Those that shun the curse spend their lives burying their wild, bestial urges deep inside . However, the power of a rising full moon makes the curse too strong to resist, and the host transforms into a terrifying animal-humanoid hybrid controlled by murderous impulse. Those that embrace the dark nature of their curse learn to harness their bestial gifts, but also succumb to the evil, vicious temperament that drives the beast within.
The Order of the Lycan is a proud order of blood hunters who undergo “The Taming”, a ceremonial inflicting of lycanthropy from a senior member. These hunters then use their abilities to harness the power of the monster they harbor without losing themselves to it. Through intense honing of one’s own willpower, combined with the secrets of the order’s blood magic rituals, members learn to control and unleash their hybrid form for short periods of time. Enhanced physical prowess, unnatural resilience, and razor sharp claws make these warriors a terrible foe to any evil that crosses their path. Yet, no training is perfect, and without care and complete focus, even the greatest of blood hunters can temporarily lose themselves to the bloodlust.
The Onus of Lycanthropy
Those inducted into the Order of the Lycan choose this path with conviction, understanding the terrible burden it is and the challenges it brings. Where most who embrace this curse grow wicked, mad, even murderous, these blood hunters accept the gifts of the beast while maintaining control through intense training and blood magic. These factors enable a member of the Order of the Lycan to prevent the spread of their curse through blood, should they wish to. One of the most sacred oaths of this order is to never infect another without the order’s sanction.
Should a member of the Order of the Lycan be cured of the lycanthropic curse, it is a terrible shame on their name, the order, and those who carry the curse still. There have been passages written about members being cleansed against their will, but those brothers and sisters readily return to the order to undergo a renewed initiation of The Taming, reintroducing the curse to their bodies and restoring their honor.
Lycanthropy comes in many forms. Each version of the curse is bound to a specific beast: wolf, bear, tiger, boar, and rat are a few of the more well-known variations. The strain of the curse defines the beast a hybrid form will share, but the features the curse bestows remain relatively uniform across strains.
Starting when you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you begin to adopt the improved abilities of a natural predator: You gain advantage on any Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.
Upon choosing this archetype at 3rd level, you begin to learn to control the lycanthropic curse that now lives in your blood. As an action, you can transform into your Hybrid form. This form lasts for 1 minute. You can speak, use equipment, and wear armor in this form. You can revert to your normal form earlier by using an action on your turn. You automatically revert to your normal form if you fall unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or die.
You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. While you are transformed, you gain the following features:
Feral Might. You gain a bonus to melee damage rolls equal to half your proficiency bonus (rounded down). You also have advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
Resilient Hide. While you are not wearing heavy armor, you gain a + 1 bonus to your AC.
Predatory Strikes. Your unarmed s trikes are considered a single weapon in regards to your crimson rite feature. When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike, you can make another unarmed strike as a bonus action.
Your unarmed strikes deal 1d4 slashing damage. This die increases to 1d6 at 11th level, and 1d8 at 18th level.
Cursed Weakness. You have vulnerability to damage from silvered weapons.
Bloodlust. At the start of your turn, if you’ve taken any damage since the beginning of your last turn, you must make a Wisdom saving throw to maintain control. The DC equals 10, or 15 if you have no more than half of your hit points left. On a failed save, you must move directly towards the nearest creature to you and use the Attack action against that creature. If there is more than one possible target, the DM chooses the target. Your turn immediately ends , and you regain control.
If you are under an effect that prevents you from concentrating (like the Barbarian’s rage feature), you automatically fail this saving throw.
At 7th level, when you have an active rite while in your hybrid form, your unarmed strikes are considered magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to non magical attacks and damage.
In addition, your hybrid form gains the Stalker’s Prowess feature.
Stalker’s Prowess. Your speed increases by 10 feet. You also can add 10 feet to your long jump distance and 3 feet to your high jump distance.
Starting at 11th level, you learn to unleash and control more of the beast within. Your hybrid transformation now lasts for up to 30 minutes.
In addition, your hybrid form gains the Improved Resilient Hide feature.
Improved Resilient Hide. You have resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons that aren’t silvered.
Beginning at 15th level, you’ve honed your willpower to better resist the violent urges of your lycanthropic curse. Whenever you make a Wisdom saving throw to maintain control of your hybrid form, you do so with advantage.
In addition, your hybrid form gains the Pack Hunter feature.
Pack Hunter. You have advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isn’t incapacitated.
Hybrid Transformation Mastery
At 18th level, you have wrestled your inner predator and mastered it. You can now use your hybrid transformation feature three times between rests.
You also gain the Blood Curse of the Howl for your blood malediction feature. This does not count against your blood curses known.
Blood Curse of the Howl. As an action, you howl at a creature within 30 feet, chilling their blood and stunning them with fear. If the target creature can hear you, they must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Wisdom modifier) or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
Amplify. This curse affects every creature within 15 feet of you.