# Are the ability scores granted by lycanthropy permanent?

From page 207 of the MM,

A character who becomes a lycanthrope retains his or her statistics except as specified by lycanthrope type. [...]

For example:

Werewolf. The character gains a Strength of 15 if his or her score isn't already higher, [...]

If some PC had a Strength less than 15, and gained a Strength of 15 this way, would they retain the 15 Strength if the curse was then removed by e.g. Remove Curse?

The other properties clearly seem to be removed, at least RAI, so I would expect this one to be as well, but I'm just requesting clarification, since changing an attribute is a little different to gaining traits.

There is also the more complicated case of taking an ASI while afflicted by the curse:

Assume a PC has a base Strength of 12. They become a werewolf, so they gain a Strength of 15, then they level up from 3rd to 4th level, and increase their Strength by 2 points.

• Is their Strength now 17?
• Does it remain at 15 because $$\12 + 2 = 14\$$ and $$\14 < 15\$$?
• If their curse was then removed, would they have a Strength of 12, 14 or 17?

## No

The ability scores gained are not permanent. Once you cease to be a werewolf, you no longer benefit from the STR gain. This is like having a trait or feature removed from you, so you lose whatever effects you gain from it. It's like if for whatever reason, you lose the Ability Score Increase gained from your class, you also lose the ability score gained from it.

• i also think this is the case, but is there anything to back this on the books? Dec 5, 2019 at 12:25
• This certainly answers the initial question, but then the second part (interaction between AS increases and replacement) becomes more about whether there is a ruling on which applies first. I believe it's a bit out of the scope of this question, however, so I'm happy to accept this answer. Dec 5, 2019 at 18:51

The text in the monster manual regarding this that you quote above

A character who becomes a lycanthrope retains his or her statistics except as specified by lycanthrope type

(Emphasis Mine)

This only refers to the humanoid becoming a lycanthrope, not reverting from a lycanthrope to a humanoid again. Because of this, this of course means that anything that comes with becoming a lycanthrope, including the strength score you reference in the question, revert upon reverting completely. When you say that abilities changing are different than traits, I can see your confusion, but in this case they go hand-in-hand. Since the ability increases are gained by a trait of the curse, when the curse is removed, so is the ability change

• "This only refers to the humanoid becoming a lycanthrope, not reverting from a lycanthrope to a humanoid again." If the source text doesn't cover reverting, as you say, how can it apply to reverting? Dec 5, 2019 at 15:47