Races of the 13th Age: Werebeast

by Casey Peavler

 

The Werebeast is a player race that gains +2 to Strength, Dexterity, or Wisdom.

Once per month a band of hunters come in from the wilds, leading a cart drawn by a pair of magnificent white elk. Their cart is loaded with animal pelts of every description, tools and weapons crafted from simple and primitive materials, and cured meats galore. They accept no money for their wares, but are remarkably fair when it comes to bartering for goods to take back to their tribe. They stay only a single day, and once they are gone none can find their trail to learn where they depart to.

The hunters for their part like the small frontier village just fine. They don’t linger for their own safety, however. They learned generations ago how the unshifted react when they discover the secret of the tribe.

Werebeasts are an ancient offshoot of humanity, cousins or half siblings. Through infancy and childhood they are indistinguishable from normal humans, but once they reach adolescence they are bonded with an animal spirit. They gain that animal’s speed, strength, or cunning and can call on even more at moments of great need. Within a year, they can also take on the shape of their spirit animal when needed.

Werebeasts typically live in a tribal society, moving with the migratory animals they hunt for food. They remain secluded from other races except when they venture into the town to trade for needed goods. Animosity between Werebeasts and the other humanoid races runs deep, and they view their seclusion as a means of self-preservation. Every few geberations however, they send a few of their brightest young people into the civilized lands to gather new knowledge to bring back to the tribe.

As a player, there are three major kinds of Werebeasts. Choose one kind and gain its benefits

Werebeasts can transform into their animal shape as a minor action. In animal form you have access to all powers you would normally have, but melee attacks deal damage as if you were one level lower (or half damage at level 1). For spells, remove the lowest dice from damage rolls while in this form. You also gain your form’s passive bonus and lose the ability communicate verbally. Otherwise there are no mechanical changes between forms.

Adventurer Tier Feat: Remove all limitations on damage imposed by your beast form.

 

Brute

The spirit animal of a brute is invariably a large and lumbering creature. Bears, elk, large cats, and rhinos are all fair candidates for the brute Werebeast. Brutes tend to be quiet and thoughtful as well as large for their race, which is often confused with stupidity.

Passive bonus: You ignore the first round of any on-going or environmental damage (such as extreme heat or cold) that affects you.

Once per encounter a Brute Werebeast can force an enemy to pop free on an even hit, regardless of which form they are in.

Champion Tier Feat: Once per day you can exhibit your passive benefit while in human form; it lasts for one hour or until the end of the encounter (whichever comes first).

 

Alpha

The spirit animal of an Alpha is usually a creature which embodies the nature of the hunt. Creatures who are swift and powerful; wolves, stags, predatory cats, and so forth. Alphas tend to come to decisions quickly and tend to have dominant personalities.

Passive Benefit: When in animal form Alpha Werebeasts have advanced hearing and smelling, able to track even invisible enemies via smell and hearing.

Once per encounter when an Alpha Werebeast misses with an even attack roll they can add +1d6 to the triggering attack roll and use the new total to determine the success of the attack.

Champion Tier Feat: You gain advanced hearing and smelling in human form. In animal form you gain +3 to checks to use your hearing and sense of smell.

 

Harrier

Harriers are the quickest and most agile of the Werebeasts. Their animal spirits are swift, some noble and some tricksters. Birds of prey, monkeys and small apes, small mammals, and sea creatures are the most typical animals you’ll see. They tend to have very energetic and impulsive personalities.

Passive Benefit: When in animal form Harriers gain the ability to fly, climb, or swim as easily as other beings walk. The type of movement is the type that their animal would typically display.

Once per encounter a Harrier Werebeast can move to disengage as a swift action instead of a move action.

Champion Tier: You gain three background points that you have to put into an existing or new background related to your animal form. You still cannot have more than five points in a given background.

One Response to “Races of the 13th Age: Werebeast”

  1. evilbob says:

    Interesting background material possibilities there! I wonder if the shifters are connected to the Koru Behemoths in some way…

    One suggestion: always-on flight is sort of an amazing power, especially compared to any other race (and especially for ranged characters). I think there’s an example in the book for a one unique thing about flight that has an idea of how to handle that.

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