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I have a wolfwere from AD&D 2e that I would like to convert or remake in 5e rules. How can I remake or convert this character accurately? Do any of the D&D 5e rulebooks provide guidance on creating a character like this?

(“Wolfwere” here isn't a typo — they're a type of wolf that can morph into a humanoid shape. They're different from lycanthropes or werewolves. You can read more about them on Wikipedia.)

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There is no official guidance for converting 2e content to 5e.

However, the Unearthed Arcana article on races in Eberron contains playable races for the shifter and the changeling. I am not familiar with the wolfwere, but it seems that these may be a good place to start. You can take them as is, and re-flavor them to be a wolfwere, or use them as a starting point and manipulate them as necessary to better fit the template.

There are a couple of homebrew race balance guides on the internet that may also be useful, either in modifying one of the Eberron races, or in creating your own from scratch. I prefer detect balance.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to update this answer now that the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron has been released with updated versions of those two races; there's a new UA with the current forms of those races. (WGtE is planned to be continually updated for now based on feedback and playtesting, so those might not be the final versions of those races.) \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Aug 15, 2018 at 3:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast, good catch. Updated. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shem
    Aug 15, 2018 at 15:48
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5e does not describe a Wolfwere (in MM or VGtM). However, for conversion purposes, the 2e Wolfwere looks like a strong Werewolf to me. I think you might be able to use the Werewolf PC rules in the Monster Manual on page 207. Note that a Werewolf PC will inherently be stronger than a similar PC of the same level since they get a Strength 15 (if they don't have it) and they get +1 AC while in wolf or hybrid form.

I would work with the DM and try to use the MM rules along with the class rules to see if you can create a character which faithfully represents its 2e version. This should be more balanced than trying to use the DMG rules for giving class levels to monsters, since that is not meant for PCs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ We'd need to reflavor the werewolf a little bit to match a wolfwere, right? (Since they're more often wolves, and AFAIK don't go full human.) Would that be relatively easy to do? Would it significantly impact power or is doing so fine in that department? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2018 at 14:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ In the (2e MM?) text I linked it describes that it will change into its fully humanoid form when luring in victims. Also note that in 2e they were CE (and very tough). Also, it looks like it can change into any humanoid race of either gender, in order to completely fool its prey. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Feb 8, 2018 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NickBrown Yes, like the Jackalwere, this has a nearly infinite wildshape/human shape ability. What PC has this? A level 20 Druid. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2018 at 15:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ as a transformed werewolf, you still only have one hit point pool, though, correct? Regardless of your form. (Don't have the MM on me to confirm) Contrary to that, Wildshape or Polymorph give you a separate hit point pool while you're transformed. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2018 at 17:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ It looks like 5e Lycanthropes use the same HP pool in all forms based on their Shapechanger ability in their stat blocks. You're correct that this would be in direct contrast to most PC shapeshifting: Wildshape and Polymorph. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nick Brown
    Feb 8, 2018 at 18:10
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As of writing there are no official rules for converting monsters from 2e to 5e. There are however rules for creating your own monsters in the Dungeon Master's Guide (p.273-283): this consists of a series of 20 steps that allow you to create a monster of your own. But since these are not conversion rules you'll have to try and translate the Wolfwere on your own. This also includes rules for giving player classes to monsters (p.283), which allows a monster to gain levels like a regular PC.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you give player classes to a monster in order to create the wolfwere race, wouldn't you be essentially creating a hugely powerful race compared to any other base one? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2018 at 14:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, but that's an inherent problem with monsters as PCs. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 8, 2018 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasJacobs, not if you scale back the base race. VGtM did this for it's monstrous races. IMO this would be a poor solution, as it will make another player significantly more powerful than the others. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shem
    Feb 8, 2018 at 17:08
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Theres a subrace of shifter called longtooth which allows you to make a character with canine features as well as +2 strength, and proficiency in intimidation. You can find the basic stats on shifters and changelings (if that's the rout you want to go) on the dnd website. There's a downloadable pdf you can view

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you referring to the recent Unearthed Arcana article for Eberron, which includes some playtest shifters/changelings, at WoTC's website? If so, please provide a link to that article to support your answer. Welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to see how this site is different from a discussion forum. A supported answer is desirable, and to be a helpful answer a link to a resource like you mention is more likely to attract up-votes, and also to be helpful to any user who encounters this question and this answer. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2018 at 2:23

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