It happened in a DnD 4th edition game but it could happen in any game.

My group of players fought a Weretiger and the two melee-type characters now have claws and can't use weapons. Since those claws don't have the fancy bonuses their weapons had, they are now pretty useless combat-wise in the middle of the dungeon crawl they're in.

What would be a good way to help my players without using a Deus Ex Machina ?

  • 11
    \$\begingroup\$ Cursed? I thought Weretiggers were bouncy,bouncy,bouncy, bouncy, fun fun fun fun fun! \$\endgroup\$ Apr 18, 2011 at 20:08
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ They fell behind. Keep to the code. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 19, 2011 at 5:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ How badly is their damage suffering from only being able to make claw attacks? Is it just a matter of needing a bit of extra help with their to-hit modifier. Obviously most of their powers are going to be useless, but could you allow them proficiency with their claws? (+2 or +3 to hit, of if you are higher level maybe equiv of a magic item and proficiency) \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Apr 19, 2011 at 17:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not exactly a DnD question but they went from +16 of to-hit to +8 and from a d8 of damage to a d6. \$\endgroup\$
    – Monkios
    Apr 21, 2011 at 17:34

5 Answers 5


Give the players some kind of lead on how best to solve the problem themselves.

Perhaps an NPC they encounter mentions an old hermit who could cure them, or perhaps an expert on Weretigers might know that if they make a potion from freshly mined silver boiled with belladonna and mistletoe it will cure them.

The best way to avoid Deus Ex Machina is to make the problem the focus of the story itself. Let them spend a session trying to fix the curse. Because the PCs are now crippled, it should be dangerous and risky for them to go off trying to become un-weretigered, and that can often make for particularly exciting an memorable adventures.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the question here is "how do we finish the current adventure?" More than how to deal with this long term. \$\endgroup\$
    – AceCalhoon
    Apr 18, 2011 at 21:09
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Could be. Unless they are so "in the thick of it" that they can't break free to go fix themselves, I think the general advice stands. If the goal is to gloss over the curse quickly, some amount of GM hand-waving is basically required, and that seemed to be what we were trying to avoid. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rain
    Apr 18, 2011 at 21:24

Having two melee characters afflicted with 2nd stage Moon RageDDI is pretty unlucky!

The characters need two Endurance skill checks with a check result below 12 for the disease to get to Stage 2.

To get better they need to achieve Endurance skill checks of 19+.

  • Remind them that a Heal check can substitute for an Endurance check against disease
  • Remind them that others can assist on these skill checks by providing aid and comfort.
  • Provide a safe place in the dungeon that will allow you to give them a +2 circumstance bonus to recovery checks.

(If the melee characters cannot make endurance checks and there isn't a good healer in the party .. well then you have a dysfunctional party IMHO!)

For characters that survived a weretiger encounter (L11 Skirmisher) these checks should be makeable without overt Deus Ex Machina.

Alternatively, if you are house-ruling the disease to be more virulent and hard to overcome then it may incumbent upon you to provide some extra assistance.


So, one day my party and I were walking through the woods, just having a grand ol' time. I was a Wilden fighter, spec'd for sword-and-board. Suddenly, an owlbear leaped out of the bushes, and after technically putting my flat-footed fighter down in a single hit, the DM intervened and I instead survived the encounter.

Well, most of me did. We then spent the next few sessions seeking out a way to regenerate my severed shield arm, and in the meantime half of my build's powers and abilities were either useless or significantly less effective.

The point being that if some terrible ill like this has befallen the party, turn it into an adventure/plot hook all on its own. Make a big deal out of what really is a big deal. Drop some hints about where the characters can go, what they can do, to find/make a cure. Send them on a quest to solve this problem.

And in the meantime, be a good GM and take into account your party's makeup when planning future encounters, but don't make it obvious that you are. Does this fight call for a dozen minions? Make it 8 instead. Is this supposed to be a L12 Elite? Make it L11.

The entire point of the game is to overcome challenges. Usually these are fights or skill challenges, but diseases and curses are challenges to be defeated, too! If it's a big enough deal, though, remember to hand out XP for overcoming it! ;-)


Offer the characters the choice to buy their way out of the curse. The cure could be worse than the disease!


Hey, adventuring is a dangerous business. If they cant handle the risks, they should have taken up needle point.

Seriously, though, make'em live with it until they can find someone/something to remove the curse. They may complain and whine, but if they survive it'll be a gaming story they'll be telling for years.

You can even use the search for a cure as the basis for the next adventure.


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