As written, lycanthropes cannot damage one another as they have immunity to non-silvered, non-magic attacks and their stack block attacks are exclusively of these types (and see: Can a Werewolf actually hurt another Werewolf?)

In a recent Curse of Strahd session,

The PC's, who have become allies of the Order of the Feather, were returning from Yester Hill to the Wizard of Wines Winery. A random encounter resulted in Werewolves. The werewolves are generally servants of Strahd while the wereravens oppose him. The werewolves threatened the party but the arrival of the ravens made them back off. That got me thinking though, were the PC's not around, how would a fight between the wereravens and werewolves be resolved?

In Curse of Strahd, there are two opposing factions of lycanthropes. Given that they are opposing, it seams reasonable that they sometimes come to blows - except that they cannot harm one another. It may be that they simply avoid one another and try instead to focus on influencing the other beings in Barovia.

However, suppose they did come to blows? If two groups of lycanthropes fought, what RAW techniques could they use to harm one another? That is, what damage possibilities exist outside the attacks listed in their stat blocks?

Optional rules are fine for answers as long as they are official options.

I am especially interested in answers grounded in the Curse of Strahd setting. So, if you are going to suggest "arming themselves with silver weapons", it is a better answer if it explains within the context of the setting from where they will acquire these.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 30, 2021 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Use weapons which can hurt lycanthropes

In humanoid or hybrid form, lycanthropes can use weapons. If they are expecting to get into a fight with other lycanthropes, they would acquire weapons which can harm lycanthropes (in the same manner than non-lycanthropes would acquire weapons which can harm lycanthropes). Silvered or magical weapons are the obvious choices. Torches, since they deal fire damage, are good if proper weapons are not available.

Such weapons might be difficult to acquire and would be closely guarded by their owners, but if a fight with a lycanthrope is likely then it would be advantageous to have such weapons.

If any of the lycanthropes are spellcasters, they could attack their enemies with damaging spells. Magic weapon, if available, can allow a spellcaster's allies to also deal magic damage.

Poisons, if you can deliver them, can harm a lycanthrope. Injury poisons won't be much good unless you have a silvered or magical weapon, but inhalation or contact poisons are usable in combat and would work against lycanthropes. Ingested poisons would also work if you can manage to force-feed it to your target. However, poisons typically are rather expensive, so it may be hard to get enough for a full brawl.

Vials of acid or alchemist's fire are also options, albeit expensive ones.

Wrestle them into hazards (falling, suffocation, fire)

Falling deals bludgeoning damage but is not an attack, so lycanthropes take falling damage normally. To use this strategy, you need to either be able to fly or have a something at least 10 feet tall to push your enemies off.

Suffocation (PHB 183) can also kill lycanthropes. Forcing them underwater or strangling them would achieve that goal. In an evenly matched fight this strategy is unlikely to be viable, but if one side outnumbers the other (perhaps by picking off members one by one) then they could all work to restrain a target then either hold them underwater or choke them to death. The aggressor would need to hold this position for the full amount of time needed to drop the victim to zero hit points for it to have any effect.

There is no strict rules-as-written method for an arbitrary creature to cause another creature to choke. Bearing in mind that the rules of D&D 5e do not cover every possible action, strangling or choking would fall under Improvising an Action (PHB 193, sidebar). I'd point you to the Ettercap variant Web Garrote (MM 131) for a suggestion of one method to strangle a foe which can be easily adapted to a weapon which other creatures can use.

If you are uncomfortable with this kind of improvisation, it is still possible to drown an enemy by strict rules as written. Grapple an opponent then knock them prone in a body of water which is deep enough to immerse a prone lycanthrope but not a standing one. If the aggressor can securely restrain the victim, such as by tying them up, all the better. If the victim can be held there for a few minutes, they will drown.

Fire can hurt lycanthropes. While torches do a measly one fire damage, if you can shove a lycanthrope into a bonfire, or douse them in oil and set them alight, you would do a lot more damage.

It should be noted that, regarding traps which deal bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage, some involve attack rolls (swinging blades and darts traps normally fall into this category), so would not harm a lycanthrope, while some do not require an attack roll (such as falling rocks or spiked pits or caltrops).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that while magic weapons may not be easy to acquire, there's also the magic weapon spell which can temporarily make ordinary weapons magical. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Aug 21, 2020 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree that lycanthropes would be affected by suffocation - but AFAIK there are no rules that allow monsters to make suffocation attacks (beyond the specific ones that already have the ability in their stat block). So, RAW, how does a lycanthrope make a choking attack? Similarly, they could attack with magic - if they had it - but they don't. Awarding caster levels by DM fiat is not answering the spirit of the question, how can lycanthropes as written damage one another. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Aug 21, 2020 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kirt You are correct in observing that there is no RAW method to cause someone to choke, but the suffocation rules do mention 'choking' suggesting it is possible; it'll be up to DM (or player) creativity to figure out how to do it (a garrote? Hanging?). But if you want RAW, you can drown people (grapple, knock prone in a sufficiently deep body of water, keep them there for a few minutes; restraining somehow would be ideal). As for spellcasting lycanthropes, I said if. No lycans in the MM can fly, your lycans can. Someone else's lycans might be spellcasters. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Aug 22, 2020 at 2:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will admit though that I have no experience with Curse of Strahd specifically. My suggestions are generic. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBeast
    Aug 22, 2020 at 3:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lycanthropes are not fiends or undead, so holy water would not harm them. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 9, 2021 at 15:06

RAW, they can't. I ran into a similar issue, unexpectedly, in CoS myself, when the Wereravens allied to the PCs attempted to fend off a werewolf attack. I was dumbstruck to find that this was a ridiculous stalemate. Nothing about the Monster Manual entry says anything about werewolves having torches or silver weapons, in fact, there isn't a smith, in any form, anywhere in Barovia, and there are very very few silver weapons to be discovered there, so if the PCs didn't bring silver weapons with them, there's a decent chance they aren't going to find more than one in the entire campaign. I found it laughable, envisioning werewolves vying for leadership, doing absolutely no damage to each other, or any other lycanthrope, for that matter.


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