Monster of the Week: The Werewolf

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Also Known As: Lycanthrope, Shapeshifter. Sometimes incorrectly equated with Rougarou, Adlets (Wolfmen), and other shapeshifters or wolf-like monsters.

Description: Werewolves are regular humans who suffer from a supernatural affliction that causes them to turn into wolves when the moon is full. When in wolf form, werewolves look just like regular wolves, only much larger. Werewolves in human form might be recognized by their social patterns and certain physical traits (such as extreme hairiness, eyebrows grown together, or an index and middle finger of the same length), but such indicators are not 100% reliable.

BMA Classification: The Bureau of Monster Affairs classifies werewolves as Afflicted Persons. Agents should neutralize them through non-lethal means if it is possible to do so without endangering their own lives or the lives of civilians. When they are not in wolf form, werewolves are regular people and should be treated as such. While most werewolves can plead temporary insanity to avoid punishment for crimes committed in wolf form, those who habitually fail to take precautions that minimize the wolf form’s damage potential may be subject to criminal charges.

Powers: Werewolves in wolf form heal at an incredibly accelerated rate and can recover from most wounds in a matter of minutes. The greatest danger from werewolves, however, is the fact that they almost always operate in very large groups. Although they are no smarter than a regular wolf when in animal form, werewolves are cunning creatures and werewolf packs are highly skilled at using their numbers to great advantage.

Vulnerabilities: Werewolves are allergic to silver. Wounds caused by silver and magical weapons heal at rates more on par with human healing. Silver also reduces the speed with which a werewolf recovers from other wounds. Merely touching a silver item does not harm a werewolf, but they do find it mildly painful. Massive trauma from normal weapons can kill a werewolf, but as they can often recover from truly unbelievable amounts of damage, silver is a much more reliable way of dealing with werewolves who must be put down. If silver is not available, fire or explosives are effective ways to eliminate a werewolf.

Biology and Habitat: According to legend, werewolves are the descendants of King Lycaon of Arcadia and their condition is the result of a curse upon the bloodline by Zeus. The fact that lycanthropy is hereditary and genetic testing of werewolves suggest that there may be some truth to at least the lineage part of these legends. Some researches have suggested that the reason that only some werewolf victims become werewolves themselves is that the diseases only affects those who are descended from Lycaon.

Although no “werewolf gene” has been discovered, the condition seems to act very much like a recessive trait. The offspring of two werewolves is always a werewolf, but the offspring of a werewolf and a human may or may not be born with the condition. If a werewolf in lupine form mates with a regular wolf, the progeny is always a wolf, though those with werewolf ancestry tend to be larger and more aggressive than other wolves.

Werewolves may live anywhere other humans do, but those who are aware of their condition tend to settle in rural areas where their monthly depredations are less likely to attract attention. Werewolves have a strong pack mentality even in human form, so most werewolves live near or with other pack members under the leadership of the strongest member of the group. Some packs are nomadic, travelling in the guise of motorcycle gangs, carnies, and the like.

When the moon is full, werewolves transform into wolf form shortly before the moon rises and revert to human form shortly after it sets. While in wolf form, the werewolf is consumed by ravenous hunger and its human personality and intelligence give way to pure animal instinct. Although there are stories of werewolves seemingly acting in accordance to their “human side” while in wolf form–for example, sparing the life of a friend for loved one–the veracity of these tales is questionable at best. Some werewolves retain dream-like (or, perhaps more accurately, nightmare-like) memories of their actions while in wolf form, but most don’t remember anything that happens when the wolf is in control.

Sightings: Werewolves have been reported throughout human history and can be found all over the world.

Additional Information: M-Force’s standard recommendation for handling werewolves involves a combination of silver, regular bullets, and powerful animal tranquilizers. Agents should lead with a silver bullet aimed at a non-vital area and follow up with as many normal bullets as it takes to put the creature down. Once the wolf falls, tranquilizers should be administered. If possible, the wolf should then be either chained or locked in a secure location until the moon sets. When dealing with an entire pack of wolves, M-Force recommends automatic weapons with silver bullets loaded at regular intervals. Making every 5th or 6th bullet silver seems to work for most weapons employed by M-Forcers, but weapons with a very high rate of fire should increase the number of regular bullets between the silver ones to cut down on the likelihood of accidentally killing a werewolf.

Body: 18
Brain: 7
Nerve: 14
Job: Predator (14)
Gimmick: Regeneration (13)–If the werewolf has suffered damage, it may make a Gimmick roll each round. On a successful roll, the werewolf regenerates a number of Health Points equal to the roll minus any damage that the wolf has sustained from attacks by silver or magical weapons. The werewolf cannot regenerate damage done by silver or magical weapons. Additionally, if werewolf has suffered magic or silver damage equal to or greater than his Gimmick Number, his regeneration ability stops working until the damage drops below the Gimmick Number.
A werewolf may make a Gimmick Roll when he changes back into human form (even if he has suffered magical or silver damage greater than his Gimmick Number). If this roll is successful, he recovers a number of Health Points equal to the roll. Health Points lost to normal attacks are recovered first, then damage done by silver or magic (this is the only case in which the Gimmick is effective in healing damage from silver or magical weapons).
Weakness: Silver (13)–Werewolves are vulnerable to silver. Whenever a werewolf’s skin is broken by a silver weapon, make a Weakness roll. If the Weakness takes effect, the werewolf takes additional damage equal to the roll. Furthermore, the silver in the werwolf’s bloodstream continues to harm it, causing damage equal to ½ the Weakness roll on the 2nd round, ¼ on the 3rd, and so on until the damage drops below one. Attacks from magical weapons cannot be regenerated and interfere with the werewolf’s ability to regenerate, but do not cause additional damage after the first round.
Skills: Heightened Senses +3; Track By Scent +2
Damage Bonus: +2
Armor Rating: 1
HP: 25
YY: 1

Killing A Werewolf: There are only two ways to kill a werewolf: with silver or magical weapons or by causing massive physical damage to the creature. In game terms, this means that a werewolf only dies if it (1) is reduced to 0 or fewer HP entirely by magical or silver weapons; (2) takes damage equal to its normal HP total from a single non-magical, non-silver attack (in the case of fire, the entire time the werewolf is burning is considered a single attack, even when it lasts multiple rounds); or (3) is reduced to -25 HP. If the werewolf is reduced to 0 or fewer HP without one of these conditions being met, it will eventually recover. Damage from silver or magical weapons heals at the normal rate for regular humans.

Contracting Lycanthropy: If a character is bitten by a werewolf and survives, the GM should roll a D20. If the roll is less than or equal to the damage sustained in the attack, the character becomes a werewolf.

Werewolves In Human Form: When in human form, werewolves cannot regenerate, but they heal at twice the rate of regular humans. They can still only be killed by silver, magic, or massive trauma and they suffer the same vulnerability to silver as when in wolf form.  Some werewolves have unusually keen senses even in human form (usually expressed as a Skill), but this is not universal.