Continuing my recent foray into poorly-defined areas of the advancement rules, I have a closely related set of questions about how the rules work as written.

Consider a PC starting as a first-level afflicted werewolf. A werewolf character is a humanoid with two hit dice of wolf and LA +2.

  • Must he also have a regular level (Fighter 1, or whatever)?
  • Can that level be one hit die of Humanoid?
    • If so, what is his ECL?
    • If so, what happens when he gains enough XP to add a level? (generally, humanoids with a single hit die lose it and replace it with an actual class level when they advance)
  • Whichever way the above works, what happens if he is killed and raised (i.e. does he lose a level, HD, or 2 Constitution?) What if it happens again?

The specific problem which brought this up is a puzzle I've been working on for a few weeks: can you get a RAW-legal character with only Ur-Priest levels? (note that doing so would not be a good fit for most games; this is more like trying to solve a chess grotesque.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure a pure RAW answer is possible given this question and its answers. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Nov 23 '19 at 11:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan hmm, that is pretty close, and I missed it while I was searching before. I hoped raise dead would be simple enough to avoid the exact mechanics of how you use a level, but it might just be ambiguous. Do the other four bullets look answerable? \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Nov 23 '19 at 13:24

Afflicted lycanthropy can only be applied to a living creature, thus it must have at least one HD from class or race prior to being afflicted.

Rules Compendium stipulates that when a level is lost to energy drain, the most recent level is lost.

ECL is always Level+HD+LA.

When a character is in XP debt, such as by suddenly becoming a vampire or werewolf (or gaining some other template or effect that raises the HD without granting the associated XP), they do not gain another level until they have "caught up" and earned enough XP to reach the next level after their newly calculated ECL. I believe that is from the Unearthed Arcana.

Since HD and levels are equivalent to each other as stipulated in several locations, recovering from dying causes you to lose one or the other. While it would make sense to lose the most recent level or HD, the Rules Compendium does not make the same statement about losing the most recent level to reviving from death as it does about energy drain. It is a house rule in my campaigns specifically to clear up this ambiguity.

In any case, it does state that the HD/ level loss accrues until they are at level 1, only then comes the CON loss.

With regards to the TO portion of the question, unless the DM explicitly allows a newly risen from the dead character to choose what exactly is lost, then it does not seem possible to pull off having only levels of Ur-priest, by raw.

  • \$\begingroup\$ One of my theories on how to get it was start as a high-hd lycanthrope with 1 humanoid HD, level as anything (losing humanoid and gaining e.g. fighter), lose a level (fighter or whatever is most recent ), gain ur-priest, get lycanthropy cured, success. But there are so very many questions there. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Nov 24 '19 at 3:55

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