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The werewolf shapechange ability states that it polymorphs into a wolf. Does that mean it gains pack tactics as an ability in wolf form?

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No. The abilities the werewolf has in each form are listed in its stat block. From its Shapechanger ability: "Its statistics, other than its AC, are the same in each form," where statistics would include pack tactics.

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RAW: All monsters only have the abilities as listed in their stat block. As werewolves do not list "Pack Tactics" as one of their abilities, they do not get it.

Otherwise: There is nothing preventing a DM from homebrewing an exception to this rule. That said, if you do, you should fairly adjust the stats of the encounter (including CR) to adequately reflect this additional ability.

Ultimately: While it is best to follow the RAW when possible, sometimes you need something special and different to better fit your campaign. Don't be afraid to mix things up and create your own versions of monsters, just be sure to have an in-universe explanation ready in case it gets challenged by the players.

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RAW, no. The stat block does not include that in any of the shapes.

Rule of cool, rules that make sense, RAF, I'd say they should, and I will be so running that way in the future. Likewise, weretigers getting pounce, wereboars getting to charge, etc. (when in full animal form).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I do not understand why anyone would downvote this answer. No explanations have been provided. I noted, accurately (and in agreement with everyone else), that the RAW don't permit the pack tactics in this example, so that shouldn't be why. I stated an opinion that I liked the idea and would use it in my world, but that doesn't affect anyone else unless they want it to, so there's no reason to downvote that part of it. So what's the deal? \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Jan 24 '18 at 0:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ People can and will downvote opinions that they disagree with. That's the risk of adding an opinion to an answer. (Put another way: if it doesn't affect anyone else and isn't supposed to be voted on, why put it here to be voted on?) I'll say that I'm also surprised it's downvoted that much, but it being downvoted at all doesn't seem unusual to me. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 24 '18 at 1:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmmm. I would have thought that downvoting would only really make sense if an answer was factually wrong, or demonstrably bad gaming practice, but not appropriate just for being different from how the voter would do it. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Jan 24 '18 at 3:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Nope. If we had rules about how to vote they'd be posted somewhere and enforced. (The only rule is “no serial voting someone's posts”.) Voting is explicitly and deliberately up to whatever reasons voters feel are relevant for separating the best answer from the rest. Actually, not even really that: it's just whatever reasons voters feel like. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jan 24 '18 at 3:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK. I guess I was just inclined to be polite, and not tell someone their answer was bad unless I had a good clear reason for it. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil Boncer Jan 24 '18 at 3:26

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