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Can a single humanoid be cursed with multiple types of lycanthropy ?

Like let's say a Weretigerboar, or a Werewolfrat ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Or one could end up being a Weremanbearpig \$\endgroup\$ – Yotus Apr 15 '16 at 9:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Werepigturducken. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 15 '16 at 16:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Wereowl + werebear = wereowlbear. \$\endgroup\$ – Nat Apr 23 '17 at 6:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ just for the record, were creatures attacks aren't magical, so unless the lycanthrope has magic or silvered teeth, it couldn't spread the bite to a creature that is already immune to normal attacks. \$\endgroup\$ – blade Jul 14 '17 at 9:53
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I don't see anything preventing this in the Monster Manual or its errata. I also did a very quick search to see if Mearls or Crawford answered this question before and didn't see anything. If anything that isn't against the RAW is fair game, I guess yes is possible. However, that leaves a huge question for the DM: What in the world happens when the full moon rises, especially if the forms' alignments, like those of a werewolfbear, are incompatible?

I think most DMs would rule no, that it is impossible to have two forms of lycanthropy, opting that getting a second curse of lycanthropy either is impossible or replaces the first. Moreover, lycanthropy is already very powerful; getting "cursed" twice with it could really be game breaking.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ There is one mention of lycanthropes in the section "Fantastic Events" but it isn't anything that applies to this question. Just mention a plot idea about creating an area or event that increases the blood lust. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Apr 15 '16 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Game breaking" or just annoying to deal with? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 15 '16 at 17:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ In the monster manual, the Curse of Lycanthropy does not specify sub-species, so the argument could be made that you can't have multiples of the same curse. \$\endgroup\$ – Orvir Apr 15 '16 at 18:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ A bearat would have 19 STR, 15 Dex. If the character plunged all their points into Int or Wisdom... Standard array is 15,14,13,12,10,8 if you replace the 10 and 8 with 19 and 15, you get 19,15,15,14,13,12 (at level 1). Then, +1 to AC (bear), advantage on perception (both), immunities (both). Plus you can change size from medium (natural form) to large (bear) to Small (Rat). All of that on top of your race or class. One form of lycanthropy is arguably OP, but two really would unbalance the game. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Apr 15 '16 at 18:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Orvir - The curse isn't a species, it's a curse. You still are a human, elf, gnome, tiefling, halfling, etc. So, sub-species doesn't make sense. \$\endgroup\$ – J. A. Streich Apr 15 '16 at 18:35
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Even though there isn't anything explicitly disallowing multiple lycanthropy curses, there is an argument to be made that it's "almost impossible".

First note that the MM has the following to say:

Curse of Lycanthropy. A humanoid creature can be afflicted with the curse of lycanthropy after being wounded by a lycanthrope.

This could mean that damage must be dealt. However, I'm a little unsure about this bit, so I've asked a question here.

Continuing from the above: once you're inflicted with lycanthropy, you're immune to non-magical melee attacks... meaning the very attack that might have delivered a second lycanthropy curse, is unable to do any damage.

(There are of course ways around this; such as a Level 6 Monk's Ki-Empowered Strikes. Which is why I said "almost impossible".)


However, even disregarding the above, there are some things to consider making it extremely unlikely to be cursed with multiple types of lycanthropy:

  • All 5 lycanthropes have different alignments. So certainly it's not possible to "embrace" multiple.
  • Each lycanthrope only has 1 attack type the could inflict lycanthropy, and in some cases are described as being reluctant to pass on the curse; so avoid using that particular attack.
  • It wouldn't be unreasonable to assume differing lycanthropes would desire nothing less than a "pure kill" against each other; and so also not use the curse inflicting attack.
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