Just a quick question here. One of my players was bit by a Lycanthrope and is currently cursed. Thing is that he plans on staying that since alignment won't alter anything for him. According to the rules any items you're wearing are not transformed, so you figure most things would be destroyed. That brings us to the question:

Would magical armor alter itself to fit the lycanthrope body? And would that give the same boost to AC as it did prior?

There is also question as to whether or not he would be able to use his shield after transforming.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! You can take the tour as an introduction to the site and check the help center if you need further guidance. This is not explicitly stated but it seems you are talking about the Shapeshift action that lycanthropes get. They usually get three forms: humanoid, hybrid and beast. Which one are you asking about? (or all three?) Could you also specify which kind of lycanthrope this refers to? Good luck and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – Sdjz
    Sep 9, 2019 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking more at the hybrid form right now and a Werebear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dr. Acula
    Sep 9, 2019 at 19:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related on Does magic armor resize with wild shape? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 9, 2019 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the shield magical as well? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 9, 2019 at 20:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @journer please don't answer, even partially, in comments \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 9, 2019 at 20:40

2 Answers 2


The armor probably adjusts.

The magic items section of the Dungeon Master's Guide mentions:

In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build. Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they magically adjust themselves to the wearer.

A GM can of course make an exception:

Rare exceptions exist. If the story suggests a good reason for an item to fit only creatures of a certain size or shape, you can rule that it doesn’t adjust.

... but the basic assumption is that the magic armor will fit either form.

Bonus to Armor Classes

Some lycanthropes have different Armor Classes in their different forms:

Armor Class 10 In Humanoid Form, 11 In Bear And Hybrid Form

For NPCs this a separate way of calculating AC (natural armor), so it would not stack with the armor class calculated by armor since you can only use one type of AC calculation.

If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use.

However, for PCs, the bonus to AC from lycanthropy would stack because it is worded as an isolated bonus in the "Player Characters as Lycanthropes" section:

and a +1 bonus to AC while in bear or hybrid form (from natural armor).

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What about the shield? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Sep 9, 2019 at 21:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ We determined that shields, even magical, do not possess the same ability to change shape for the wearer. So they lose their shield but gain the +1 AC. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dr. Acula
    Sep 10, 2019 at 12:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Regardeless of the ruling at Dr. Acula's table, the GM can rule that a magic shield would also adapt in size, as this answer already points out: "In most cases, a magic item that’s meant to be worn can fit a creature regardless of size or build." Of course, the creature must be able to bear it somehow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Dec 6, 2020 at 21:49

I reckon shields could be used in hybrid form, but not in animal form for obvious "I don't have hands" reasons. For the armor, like mentioned before, magical armors usualy can change size if needed, but for non-magical ones, I would put it as the price to pay for using lycanthropy. I personally think this can add a lot of depth to a character if managed properly.


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