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D&D 3E
x-posted to dungeon_masters 
14th-Jan-2006 04:37 pm
snarl, smartass
I'm interested in making a Lycanthrope NPC for my upcoming campaign. I want to do my best to keep with the core rules and such, so I don't confuse myself. When it comes to picking up feats, the 3.5 Monster Manual says to add the base creature's HD to the base animal's HD to find out how many feats it should have.

Base animal is the Dire Wolf
Base creature is a Human

He's essentially at level 1 (class level, anyways). I've also decided to go with HD 7, for the dire wolf. But of course I don't know what that really means.

I can't find out what the HD does to affect the character. It seems like the books assume I'm supposed to already know this.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.
Comments 
14th-Jan-2006 10:24 pm (UTC)
Well, as you wrote above, this is how you determine how many feats it has. So having more than 6HD but less than 9, that's two feats he gets in addition to being human and level 1.
14th-Jan-2006 10:30 pm (UTC)
Normally you get the feats of the base animal. Now you could probably trade out some of those feats if the DM let you. So for a dire wolf, you would get Alertness, Run, Track, Weapon Focus (bite). In the "Lycanthropes as Characters", it says you use the character's HD plus animal's HD to determine feats. So your level 1 character with 7 HD dire wolf has 8 HD. You get 2 feats, one at HD/level 3 and one at 6. You already got one at level 1 for the character. That assumes the character has a class level already. If you're starting essentially at level 0, then you base the feats off of 7 HD, which is 3 feats because you get the feat at HD/level 1.

After the first level, the bookkeeping gets even messier. Your total HD (animal plus class) is different than your Character Level (class plus 2 or 3 from the LA). I'm assuming you continue to use the total HD for determining when you get feats (HD 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18). The text does not say if you use the same mechanic for determining attribute bonuses every 4 "levels". I would assume so. I'm betting there is a Dragon magazine article or Sage Advice on this stuff.

Don't forget that you need to determine if you are a Natural or Afflicted lycanthrope. The LA is different for the two cases, but they also have some rule differences. Afflicted lycanthropes need to make Wisdom checks under certain circumstances or else they undergo involuntary transformation. Also don't forget that you get Control Shape as a skill.

I personally don't agree with the Level Adjustment of some of the examples. LA of +2 or +3 for a werewolf sounds fine. A wolf is a CR 1. A dire wolf is CR 3. They have 4 more HD, 2 more feats (from the HD), more Strength, more Con, and more Cha. Same with the weretiger. As a DM, I would assign a higher Level Adjustment. But by the official rules, you could be a weredirewolf with an LA of +2 or +3.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lycanthrope.htm#creatingALycanthrope
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/lycanthrope.htm#lycanthropesAsCharacters
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/direWolf.htm
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/wolf.htm
14th-Jan-2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
I would definitely use the Hit Dice + class levels to determine the attribute bonus. That is what I use for advancing monsters, or monsters with class levels. Otherwise it just gets unnecessarily confusing.
15th-Jan-2006 03:58 am (UTC)
I have to disagree about assigning a higher LA for the dire wolf version. The extra "dire" abilities are balanced by the extra HD of animal - racial HD are a serious liability in this game.
15th-Jan-2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
Doh! I was treating LA as ECL. It isn't the first time I've forgotten that. I agree that racial HD are a liability. Whenever I've played a monster type, I've always stopped the progression early or worked with the DM to alter it so that the HD to ECL ratio isn't too bad (without overpowering the character).

foxurufu, you may want to not take the extra HD. You're probably better off taking another class level. You don't get much benefit from the 7th HD (no extra feat or attribute point; a few HP and skill points).
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