I have been arguing for the past hour and a half with a character and I am tired. Please explain to me in words that can be understood: how does the Weretiger template takes 3+6+6-3 levels to complete? Serious answers only. I know this is hilariously basic but please. For the sake of this one character, please explain to me how when you take three levels in the tempalte, you also get three bonus levels into the animal class for tiger, then take the other 3 levels into the tiger to complete it, then take another 6 levels into a hidden tiger table for another +12 strength equalling 12 total HD at a BAB of 13 (Also, we are ECL 11) Please. This is not an April Fools prank.

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    \$\begingroup\$ On a side-note. This is a rather friendly community, we wouldn't ridicule you for not knowing how something in dnd works. Welcome to rpg.stackexchange :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Snappie
    Apr 4, 2018 at 8:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GareBear Coincidentally, is your game lethal, homebrew, has no magic item shops, and favours a thief in item distribution? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2018 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I used to have that system in this campaign but moved to a more stable system of wealth a year ago. Why? \$\endgroup\$
    – Gare Bear
    Apr 4, 2018 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, didn't see the hypertext. I do not believe this to be me. If anything, the party having a combined wealth of close to 30,000,000 gp and epic items at level 13 is a testimate to both my previous inexperience as a DM and how much free reign I gave them \$\endgroup\$
    – Gare Bear
    Apr 8, 2018 at 8:21

3 Answers 3


I think lycanthropy is better explained here on d20srd.

The weretiger template class is based on this one. Template classes are ways for player characters to gain a multi-level template over time. But with few exceptions, completing a template is the same as having the template the class is based on.

The actual level increase for a natural weretiger is +9 (or +8 for an afflicted weretiger).

+3 of these levels (2 for afflicted) are a level adjustment.

Level adjustment: Same as the base creature +2 (afflicted) or +3 (natural).

The template is designed to account for this by putting all the differentiating attributes of a natural lycanthrope in the 3rd level, indicating that an afflicted lycanthrope should only take the first two levels. In effect the weretiger class is just a specifically worded instance of a more generic lycanthrope class.

The other 6 of these levels are the level-adjusted racial hit dice of the animal. In the case of a weretiger, the base animal is a tiger, which has 6 racial HD and no level adjustment. These racial levels are interpreted as class levels in the Tiger class.

In addition, a lycanthrope’s character level is increased by the number of racial Hit Dice the base animal has

So your character has 6 levels in "Animal". These levels give HP, Base attack Bonus, saves and skills as usual for the animal class


An animal has the following features (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).

  • 8-sided Hit Dice. Base attack bonus equal to ¾ total Hit Dice (as cleric).
  • Good Fortitude and Reflex saves (certain animals have different good saves, for instance dire animals have good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves).
  • Skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for answering. It was extremely infuriating trying to explain one, why it would be impossible to have 13 BAB at ECL 11, and why I am showing supsicion as to why he has a +17 base modifier for his reflex saves and why he has 20 skill ranks in disable device, and why he supposedly has 13 feats. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gare Bear
    Apr 4, 2018 at 21:12

A weretiger takes at least 1 level in the template class weretiger to become a lycanthrope then may take levels in the class tiger (lycanthrope) to gain tiger abilities

I suspect the column "Lich and Weretiger Template Classes" is causing some of this confusion with this section:

Each lycanthrope template class has three levels, but only natural lycanthropes can take all the levels it offers. An afflicted lycanthrope can take only 1st and 2nd levels in the class, since his level adjustment is +2 instead of +3.

Lycanthrope template classes also follow special rules relating to the benefits such characters acquire from their animal natures. The template [class] allows for a level adjustment of +3 (or +2 for afflicted lycanthropes), but that value does not include the Hit Dice from the lycanthrope's animal form. So while a 1st-level human natural weretiger warrior (as presented in the Monster Manual) has a level adjustment of +3, his ECL is actually 7—1 from his warrior Hit Die, +3 from the template, +6 for his tiger Hit Dice.

Keep in mind that the example starting with his ECL is actually 7 is mistaken and may be the source of this entire argument! I mean, really, 1 + 3 + 6 = 10 not 7! That is, the creature's ECL is, in fact, really 10—that's 1 for that level of warrior, +6 for the animal Hit Dice, and +3 for the Level Adjustment given by the Monster Manual (178). In other columns, some lycanthrope template classes like the werebear and the werewolf are correct, but in others template classes like the wereboar and the wererat include gross copy-and-paste errors that should go a long way toward proving that these columns do, in fact, suffer some editing issues rather than the weretiger template class possessing, like, some different kind of alternative stealth rules-as-written advancement. Anyway, the column continues below.

Thus, in addition to the levels offered via the appropriate lycanthrope template class, each kind of lycanthrope also has a separate (optional) class progression for his animal abilities. Essentially, a character progressing as a lycanthrope multiclasses into the template class and can also multiclass into the appropriate animal class if desired.

(Emphasis mine.) This means, for example, a human fighter 1 that takes all 3 levels of the template class weretiger does not also get 3 free bonus levels of the class tiger (lycanthrope)! It sounds like the argument's with someone who believes the template class weretiger overlaps with the class tiger (lycanthrope). That's not what the text says (although it's possible for the mistake in the example to lead a reader to that conclusion). The classes are taken in succession or interleaved but not concurrently. In short, it sounds like the argument that's being made is this:

DM: Explain this to me again.
Player: So I'ma gonna take 1 level in fighter then 3 levels in the template class weretiger that gets me 3 levels in the class tiger (lycanthrope). Then I'ma gonna take the remaining 3 levels of the class tiger (lycanthrope). Then I'ma gonna take all 6 levels of the class tiger (lycanthrope) again. Bang! A level 13 PC!
DM: What?
Player: Yeah, I'll have 13 Hit Dice, base attack bonus +9, and my character's Strength score will increase by +24! All at ECL 13. It'll be awesome.
DM: Um. Let me pose a question about this on RPG Stack Exchange, okay?

Despite possibly being misled by a bad example, the player can't do what he describes above according to the rules. The player wants, essentially, 3 free levels and to take the same class twice, and, while I truly do understand that desire, even being a weretiger doesn't allow that unless the DM for some reason makes an extremely generous exception. (Has the player recently bought pizza and booze?)

An example of how the template class actually works

In a low-powered game, Chris's PC, a commoner 1 named Sirc, is bitten by a natural weretiger. Miraculously, Sirhc survives. Unsurprisingly, Sirhc fails the saving throw against her weretiger attacker's supernatural ability curse of lycanthropy. Further, Chris decides its better for Sirhc to be afflicted with lycanthropy than be dead, so, rather than consuming belladonna by the bushel, Chris quietly accepts the fact Sirhc's next effective level is pretty much locked in.

When Sirhc has fallen into a few 10-ft. pits—and lived, thank you!—and committed copious amounts of toad murders, she's finally accumulated enough XP to advance to level 2. The DM mandates that because Sirhc's been afflicted with the curse of lycanthropy Sirhc must take the next level in the template class weretiger. From her level in this template class, Sirhc gains only the template class's specials; the template class provides no increase to Sirhc's base saving throws nor to her base attack bonus nor does Sirhc gain secretly the first level of the class tiger (lycanthrope).

After having taken 1 level in a standard class and that 1 level in the template class weretiger, for her next and successive levels, Sirch has three choices:

  1. Take another level in the template class weretiger. (As an afflicted lycanthrope she can take only the first 2 levels of this class.)
  2. Take a level in the animal class tiger.
  3. Take a level in a standard class or prestige class for which she meets the entry requirements.

(Unlike racial classes, template classes needn't be finished before leaving them: "Characters are not required to complete all the levels of a given template class in uninterrupted succession," says Reynolds's Savage Progressions Web column "Gaining a Template Midcampaign"—the column "Lich and Weretiger Template Classes" is part of this series.)

Note: You can read more about the template weretiger in this 2005 EN World thread.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Suggestions for improvement welcome. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2018 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, if you just pair it down to the explanation about the fault in the Lich and Weretiger Template Classes column, i think that would be a better answer. The explanation of how leveling works just obscures the point (to the degree that I missed it in my initial reading). \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2018 at 16:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WesleyObenshain I agree that's probably where the confusion lies. I cut some parts, and I added the header so an example the easily skipped by those who already get it. Better? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2018 at 16:29

The version of weretiger linked in the question is taken directly from Savage Progressions: Lich and Weretiger Template Classes, an official article detailing a method of taking the weretiger template one level at a time. If you're using this, ignore the standard Monster Manual lycanthrope rules.

This weretiger progression is, confusingly, divided into two separate classes: The Weretiger Template Class, and The Tiger (Lycanthrope) Class.

The Weretiger Template Class grants no hit dice. Taking one level of this puts you in the same situation as a tiefling character, e.g. you may be a 4th level fighter for all intents and purposes, except for gaining experience, where you are considered a 5th level character.

If you have taken at least one level of the Weretiger Template Class, you now qualify to take levels in the Tiger (Lycanthrope) class. This does grant hit dice as normal.

A character who takes all possible levels by ECL 11 (e.g. Fighter2/Weretiger3/Tiger6) will have 8 hit dice (two Fighter, six Tiger), but count as an 11th level character for the purposes of how much XP he needs to level up. Your six Tiger levels grant +4 base attack, but your three Weretiger levels grant no base attack, because they grant no hit dice.

(An additional quirk is that if you acquired lycanthropy rather than being born with it, you may not take the third level of Weretiger Template Class.)


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