I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter werewolf. It’s far from the hottest of takes, but I’ve always had a particular expectation of what a werewolf should look like. American Werewolf in London, great look for a more wolf-like monster . Underworld, I didn’t like beefy muscle boys. My personal favourite werewolf movie will always be Dog Soldiers, which in my opinion has the best looking version.
The spindly, fleshy, CGI thing in Prisoner of Azkaban barely registered on my good-bad spectrum of werewolves. It’s definitely a monstrous thing, but it just isn’t lycan enough for my liking.
The lore of the Fantastic Beast werewolf does, however, do something I appreciate: it goes for the old-school ‘transforms only on a full moon’ version of the curse. If D&D, the werewolf has to change on a full moon, but they can also turn ‘shapechange’ whenever they feel like it. As curses go, most players would actually quite like to be bitten by a lycanthrope. The extra strengths and abilities quickly stifle the negative aspects of the curse.
So this monster conversion means that I can actually create a ‘true’ werewolf for your D&D game.
What I mean by True Werewolf, is that the D&D equivalent is technically not a werewolf. A Lycan can choose to change whenever it feels like it, but a Werewolf only transforms under a full moon. This is why the stat block above is not a shapechanger like the previous iteration. Once the cursed person changes, they are essentially an entirely new monster.
This is the first stat block I’ve created that has an alignment stated at the top – chaotic neutral. Whilst official monster state what the alignment should be, I don’t hold to it, especially where sentient races are concerned. But the Potter werewolf is specifically touted as a ferocious, mindless thing that will lash out at everything.
Now this does mean that the Fantastic Beast version is going to crop up less in your encounters. Werewolves can hound the party at any given opportunity, and there’s room for roleplay and potentially nonviolent interaction. With the True Werewolf, the interaction will always be aggressive, and for a very brief window.
The best use of this statblock will be when the party is travelling with a larger group for an extended period, or when they are resting in a town or village for a longer stay. It makes narrative sense to have a befriended ally be the monster, but a random, unconnected commoner in town suddenly wolfing out could ask make for a nice surprise encounter.
Unlike the D&D version, the mind of this poor, cursed soul is completely overwhelmed. There’s no shred of rationality, and when this thing comes for the party they would be very much justified in dispatching it (especially if they’ve dealt with the ‘other type of werewolf” before. However, when they eventually learn that the cursed creature in this case had no control over their actions, it should allow for a hefty amount of guilt and a poignant moment.
Thank You For Reading
The rest of the Fantastic Beasts have D&D stats! They are here!