Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

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Dreams
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Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Dreams » Sat Jun 15, 2024 5:47 am

This topic has probably been brought up a bunch in the past but I'm specifically talking about the current implementation of lycanthropy on Arelith. Two main points of feedback:
1) It sucks for roleplay on Arelith.
2) The lack of healing means you're extremely limited for PvE.

1) It sucks for roleplay!

Players are either going out to get lycanthropy on purpose for the storytelling concepts it adds to their character, or by mistake. In either case, because you lose all control of the character on a failed will save which is popping off every single round, the chance of rolling a 1 within any roleplay session is extremely high no matter what your will save is. You cannot avoid going crazy and starting PvP, which is completely at odds with trying to roleplay in a situation where the other player may not be able to type as quickly as you and may be in the middle of typing.

In the best-case scenario, you have a player who's aware of this and tries to play around it for the sake of creating roleplay and a good experience for everyone.

In the worst-case scenario, you have a player who's aware of their build and everything that goes into a lycanthrope and plans on it going crazy to avoid PvP rules and just kill a lot of people.

There's no real way to tell if this is the case or not, because the player has zero control over the way this plays out once they're in the shape and in most instances they're in the shape for PvE but then someone comes along and the timer till you go crazy begins. In the middle ground, you probably just have players who are trying out this ability and are in PvE situations but then don't really know what to expect till they've killed people.

The results of random rampage PvP are rarely taken seriously by anyone because there's very little roleplay around it. This a roleplay server, so hopefully the devs realise that enabling roleplay should probably be more important than holding onto these ideas from past administrations like Mithreas' "Haha, players should have no control at all over their own storytelling whilst in werewolf form."

2) The lack of healing means you're extremely limited for PvE.

You get 1 regen to heal with. That's it. That's everything you get! You can't use kits, you can't use potions, you can't use magic. If you haven't prepared magic ahead of time, then you've got nothing else.

Most classes that have some kind of sustain abilities don't actually work whilst in the shape. Some do, some don't, because there's a sort of disparity in the way different abilities are scripted so you've got plenty of stuff which should be working and isn't, and plenty of stuff which is working but shouldn't be.

When it comes to actually playing a game and having this ability as something to use in a PvE situation, this can be really un-fun. You often don't know when a fight will be too much for your character until you're in the fight. In lycanthropy forms, you'll never be able to disengage from the fight and retreat, you'll just keep slugging away until you win or you die. I fully understand that it's kind of tied into the ideas behind the last point, but since there's no options to heal between fights or to adjust how you're fighting (such as switching on/off expertise or other combat stances etc), you're just kind of screwed.

In polymorph shapes, characters can use all potions and that's usually the method of healing. Why not just allow lycanthropes to use potions as well? It doesn't really unbalance anything since you won't have the control in the fight anyway. It just allows for slight preparation before a group e.g. drinking haste, or for healing after a fight e.g. drinking whatever cure/healing potions.

In conclusion, devs please make these things focus on the roleplay and focus on being fun! Thank you.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Rubricae » Sat Jun 15, 2024 6:40 am

i've mulled over ideas for what could be done to make lycanthropy still a curse while being functional in a roleplay setting, beyond just - turning off the frenzy or making it not horrible

even if you're a class with +40 will saves or w/e the range just gets higher so you're dealing with the same odds as if you had none

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by perseid » Sat Jun 15, 2024 9:35 am

In general I agree with a lot of this assessment. That being said, I will note that my two strongest feelings are as follows. First, I think silver manacles are cool and when my character was a lycan I actually carried them around to ask trusted characters to shackle him on occasions he couldn't isolate during the full moon. That was pretty neat in terms of pc behavior encouraged by mechanics I felt. Second, werewolf really needs some kind of solution for pcs around them when they transform aside from outright killing them. Maybe a transformation timer if they're subdued, maybe an item that characters can discover which briefly reverts a lycan so they can lens/flee or be slain for refusing to do so, but just something to make interacting with moon-triggered lycans more interactive would be incredible.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Preserver » Sat Jun 15, 2024 9:38 am

I agree with basically everything the OP said.
I believe that a solution might be to remove the frenzy aspect of it, leaving it to the RP of the infected player.

Keeping the lycanthrope shape undesireable in RP is, I believe, unnecessary: unless a massive shift in culture follows any mechanical change, being a werewolf will still be considered highly frowned upon in most societies (even the Underdark may disapprove of a mass of claws and teeth that can go berserk at any moment).

Keeping it undesireable mechanically highly depends on how problematic the team intends to make the shape, compared to the benefits it gives. Right now, I believe that most fully realized classes would not inherently benefit from being a werewolf - if that is changed (to give the werewolf more punch), then it would have to be balanced with the notion that some may willingly seek the curse for build purposes.

But, generally speaking, I think DM oversight over the correct RP of a werewolf would be better, compared to the system we have now.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by The GrumpyCat » Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:45 am

Werewolf is in a wierd sitaution, where it's meant to be a malus, but people are playing the disease as a character concept, and it's this wierd place between.

To me the simple fix would be

a) Introduce 'Lycanthrope' as an award race.
b) Make current lycanthropy even worse -

So you can rp it as a terrible curse, or rp it as a character concept. Whichever the aim is.

However the main concern about making them an award race (and they would be TREMENDOUSLY popular award race is that, to be blunt, they would be sexulalized. There's a concern that the furry community would go huge into it, and so they probably won't be introduced.

For this reason I can't see the disease being buffed also.

(To be clear, my personal answer to this is make it a greater+ award behind either a) an application and/or b) a 'contract' like the monsterious races contract, making it clear that you're not playing a cat-girl, you're playing a were-cat - for example. However I don't know if this answer would be enough to assuage concerns. So... shrug)

This too shall pass.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Shadowy Reality » Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:56 am

Auto-attacking on a failed Will save is the biggest issue. And you will fail the save. This eliminates any chance of roleplay and any agency from the lycanthrope player. It doesn't wait for me to emote how mindless I am, it doesn't wait for anything, it just goes to attack. It also does not allow me to control my character while they are attacking. I cannot heal, I cannot run away, it's just bad.

Why are we forcing players to attack as Lycanthrope? We are not forcing Dwarves to attack Duergar, we are not forcing Elves to attack Drow. It still happens, because people RP their races, but they have agency to decide how to go about it.

If I were to fix anything it would be the above but I also agree that not being able to use any consumable is highly restrictive as well.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Dreams » Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:15 am

The GrumpyCat wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:45 am

However the main concern about making them an award race (and they would be TREMENDOUSLY popular award race is that, to be blunt, they would be sexulalized. There's a concern that the furry community would go huge into it, and so they probably won't be introduced.

Isn't this also the case with... uh, let's see now... Everything else on Arelith? Why don't other monsters get this kind of scrutiny? Why is it that the DM's opinion here is that things should change, but won't because we're scared of furrys (except in the many other places they thrive)? Also, the people who do this will be out there sexualising this content right now regardless. You've got access to logs, you can probably very easily find the information: How many furries are doing the wrong thing on Arelith right now? If it's not a problem, why is it a point made to stop any possible improvement to a thing which has been slowly improved anyway?

Keep in mind on the other side of things, it's NOT beneficial to be in the lycanthrope shape right now. This is a list of what you get:
+5 Natural AC (In most cases this is 1 AC higher than what you would have going from barkskin anyway)
+8 STR/DEX/CON (STR/DEX characters will have their stuff buffed and geared anyway, so the benefit here is usually the CON bonus. These are great bonuses for low level characters or low equipment characters.)
10/+1 DR (Is usually overcome by PvE mobs)
+1 Regen (+1 hp per 6 seconds)

At the cost of: All control during a fight, all magic, all potions, all abilities (except for where they work?). You're either going to win the fight or not win the fight, and after you've engaged you can't really do anything about it because it's autopilot.

At low levels I can see this being really useful provided you have enough AC to survive in whatever areas anyway. At higher levels, you're often geared and buffed to the point where everything gained from the lycanthropy shape is redundant and everything lost from being in the shape (control, flexibility in the moment) is incredibly damaging. There isn't a powergaming element to this because it's not beneficial to be a lycanthrope. I know people will look at the stats and think that's big, but these are all soft benefits and things which don't stack or scale well.

Previous editions of lycanthropes (i.e. totem shape) WERE very powerful because you could stack things up on top of some high stats and bonuses. As a polymorph shape there were more things you could do to your benefit. Right now, it's kind of not worth being one.

What's the point? Because you sure can't roleplay around the frenzy.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by The GrumpyCat » Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:53 am

Dreams wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:15 am
The GrumpyCat wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:45 am

However the main concern about making them an award race (and they would be TREMENDOUSLY popular award race is that, to be blunt, they would be sexulalized. There's a concern that the furry community would go huge into it, and so they probably won't be introduced.

Isn't this also the case with... uh, let's see now... Everything else on Arelith? Why don't other monsters get this kind of scrutiny? Why is it that the DM's opinion here is that things should change, but won't because we're scared of furrys (except in the many other places they thrive)? Also, the people who do this will be out there sexualising this content right now regardless. You've got access to logs, you can probably very easily find the information: How many furries are doing the wrong thing on Arelith right now? If it's not a problem, why is it a point made to stop any possible improvement to a thing which has been slowly improved anyway?

Keep in mind on the other side of things, it's NOT beneficial to be in the lycanthrope shape right now. This is a list of what you get:
+5 Natural AC (In most cases this is 1 AC higher than what you would have going from barkskin anyway)
+8 STR/DEX/CON (STR/DEX characters will have their stuff buffed and geared anyway, so the benefit here is usually the CON bonus. These are great bonuses for low level characters or low equipment characters.)
10/+1 DR (Is usually overcome by PvE mobs)
+1 Regen (+1 hp per 6 seconds)

At the cost of: All control during a fight, all magic, all potions, all abilities (except for where they work?). You're either going to win the fight or not win the fight, and after you've engaged you can't really do anything about it because it's autopilot.

At low levels I can see this being really useful provided you have enough AC to survive in whatever areas anyway. At higher levels, you're often geared and buffed to the point where everything gained from the lycanthropy shape is redundant and everything lost from being in the shape (control, flexibility in the moment) is incredibly damaging. There isn't a powergaming element to this because it's not beneficial to be a lycanthrope. I know people will look at the stats and think that's big, but these are all soft benefits and things which don't stack or scale well.

Previous editions of lycanthropes (i.e. totem shape) WERE very powerful because you could stack things up on top of some high stats and bonuses. As a polymorph shape there were more things you could do to your benefit. Right now, it's kind of not worth being one.

What's the point? Because you sure can't roleplay around the frenzy.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said! Or at lest the main thrust of it. But Irongron has made it clear he he wants current Lycantrhopy to remain a terrible, awful, nasty thing that most pcs really don't want to catch. Not a bonus. So there it is.

This too shall pass.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by chris a gogo » Sat Jun 15, 2024 12:10 pm

It's a curse.
So it's supposed to be terrible, it isn't supposed to be defining your characters existence.
If it is being used for someone to role play a werewolf then it should probably be made even worse.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by -XXX- » Sat Jun 15, 2024 12:54 pm

Lycantrophy is solved and played out.
The moment a character turns, they'll have a dozen other characters giving them a manual on what to do next and any failure to follow such instructions to the letter will result in the character being ostracized.
A) immediately curing the condition is boring and feels like just going through the motions.
B) there's about a million more interesting ways to have a character chased out of town.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Security_Blanket » Sat Jun 15, 2024 1:28 pm

I like that characters are forced to frenzy, I've always seen it more as a curse, I don't like how easily it's cured. I think it would make a lot more sense for werewolf to be available as a shape for druids/shifters, then it's just a matter of balancing those shapes that can be separate from the lycanthropy curse.

I say keep the frenzy, maybe bump regen up a couple points and give the polymorph full BAB so even dedicated casters become an issue if they go wolf on their party.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Dreams » Sat Jun 15, 2024 2:18 pm

The bonuses could be completely removed if it means giving the player control again tbh. This has the potential to be a powerful motivator for a character's RP and instead it's sort of just a "You will definitely go to PvP" button.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by silverpheonix » Sat Jun 15, 2024 2:41 pm

Weirdly I've have the opposite impression. I've seen lycan PCs lose control exactly once, it wasn't even that bad, and they were immediately handled by flesh to stone.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by AddledPunster » Sat Jun 15, 2024 9:33 pm

The idea of "sexualization by furries" as a valid concern strikes me as farcical. All you need to do is type "ELF COMIC" into google image search and it won't take much scrolling before you'll see what I mean. Moreover, this is a problem Arelith has already adequately addressed with its current policies regarding Rated R+ Roleplay on the server.

This is definitely a hard problem. I agree that, as implemented, Lycanthropy doesn't invite much RP. It's definitely a problem, but the way that story goes is almost invariably that the infected person is shown to the well known FOIG cure. Maybe someone was killed or maimed when they found out, and sometimes the infected faces consequences for that. The only time it seems to go beyond that is with repeat cases.

Alright, I do remember a fun RP moment where me and a few other people in the level 15-20 range found out the level 30 person with us was infected when they went on a frenzy and started clobbering us. While we were able to subdue them, the ensuing "WHAT DO WE DO?!" conversation would be comically interrupted again and again with us needing to knock them back out after they got up and frenzied again. The player was laughing the entire time; it was good fun.

That being said, it IS being treated as the terrible curse it really should be, and I get why people don't want to back off on the harsh penalties for it. The biggest crime that I see here is in not allowing someone to do the "I will embrace this evil for POWER, no MATTER THE RISKS!" kind of RP, and I entirely get why, considering that this is something akin to Vampires, where it would be popular enough to beggar belief if left unrestricted.

To throw an idea into the pot, I'd start by leaving random infection lycanthropy exactly as it is; d20 will check on every round when the moon is full and all. It is a problem!

For those that want to explore the whole "become a werewolf for the power" side of it, I would implement a prestige class for it with heavy restrictions, a la the Harper/Zhentarim classes. Tie it to worshipping the sort of dark god that would be delighted with a follower being a frenzied beast. This class would both empower the Lycanthrope form to be more effective, and reduce, but not ELIMINATE, the frenzy risk by slowing down the checks.

Not only do I think implementing a way for people to try and capitalize on the power open RP for their characters, I think having even ONE player out there being a valid threat as a lycanthrope would have the knock-on effect of casting more suspicion on people who get incidentally infected. I mean, how DO you know that they are just an innocent victim and not one of these monsters that let the mask slip?

As it currently stands, we know that's not the case because Lycanthropy is ONLY a liability on Arelith. It's not a threat.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Kalthariam » Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:16 pm

It's weird that Lycanthropy is only considered a curse.

When there are evil factions (See Malarites for example) that worship the idea as a whole, and see it as nothing but a positive.

However you can't really RP a Malarite seeking out Lycanthropy to be closer to their deity, because to be frank Lycanthropy is just straight up awful, so that entire Avenue of RP is completely dead.

Malarites are not some secretive sect either, plenty of cities have open Malarite churches.

I know many see it as a curse and thus "It has to be bad" or something along those lines, but not everyone views it as a curse.

That's not even touching on the subject of Natural Born Lycanthropes which (AFAIK) do not go through all the same negatives a bitten / cursed person does, but can still spread the disease.

And honestly, I've heard about more problems from Elves and Humans breaking the PG-13 Rule, then I've ever heard about "Furries" doing it.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Edens_Fall » Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:19 pm

I don't have a lot of time at the moment for an in-depth comment, but I would like to say I agree with GrumpyCat's ideas of making the curse an award-locked race and the current IG curse even worse than what it is as a pairing.

I have always enjoyed the idea of weres and the pack/group/faction RP they encourage. Arelith is already a diverse collection of faiths, races, and RP play styles. I don't see formalizing an RP idea, which is already done by many even with the currently bad mechanics, corrupting the server as some might fear. Yes, I understand there is a concern about overly sexualized Furry RP due to past issues with gnolls, but such can be addressed if discovered by the staff, as it falls under the server's current prohibitions. I personally don't believe werewolves are any more sexualized than elves, drow, paladins, or vampires which we already have. Ultimately, it is the staff's choice, though it seems a missed opportunity for new storytelling and RP.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by -XXX- » Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:26 pm

Change Werewolf and Vampire to greater award race.
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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Azensor » Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:35 pm

The GrumpyCat wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:45 am

Werewolf is in a wierd sitaution, where it's meant to be a malus, but people are playing the disease as a character concept, and it's this wierd place between.

To me the simple fix would be

a) Introduce 'Lycanthrope' as an award race.
b) Make current lycanthropy even worse -

So you can rp it as a terrible curse, or rp it as a character concept. Whichever the aim is.

However the main concern about making them an award race (and they would be TREMENDOUSLY popular award race is that, to be blunt, they would be sexulalized. There's a concern that the furry community would go huge into it, and so they probably won't be introduced.

For this reason I can't see the disease being buffed also.

(To be clear, my personal answer to this is make it a greater+ award behind either a) an application and/or b) a 'contract' like the monsterious races contract, making it clear that you're not playing a cat-girl, you're playing a were-cat - for example. However I don't know if this answer would be enough to assuage concerns. So... shrug)

So true lycanthropy? and tbh you could have multiplie true lycan's of the various types: boar,cat,wolf,rat.
Has for the sexualized thing..just..purge people that do it, hell yall had to purge the gnoll community a few times couple years back.
Kenku got added in and far has i can see(i cant see the logs of others) no ones done anything stupid or sexual with them, current gnolls police their own well enough same for the kobolds.

Speaking for myself i've always wanted to try a very niche and specific character type, a dark crusader werewolf ala incense and iron but currently you cant because of the restrictions in play i mean yea you can do it in base form...but thats bit boring.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by silverpheonix » Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:30 am

Kalthariam wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:16 pm

However you can't really RP a Malarite seeking out Lycanthropy to be closer to their deity, because to be frank Lycanthropy is just straight up awful, so that entire Avenue of RP is completely dead.

Aurilel Phyzortyl would like a word with you here.

Also that reads like "I can't RP something that's mechanically suboptimal".

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Shadowy Reality » Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:57 am

silverpheonix wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2024 11:30 am
Kalthariam wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2024 10:16 pm

However you can't really RP a Malarite seeking out Lycanthropy to be closer to their deity, because to be frank Lycanthropy is just straight up awful, so that entire Avenue of RP is completely dead.

Aurilel Phyzortyl would like a word with you here.

Also that reads like "I can't RP something that's mechanically suboptimal".

With this I agree. I have a Malarite cleric that actively sought to contract it. It is beyond suboptimal as I can't even cast spells but it still makes sense roleplay-wise. I just don't really use it all that often. You can totally be infected and play around it, but it enables you to roleplay some of the behavioural changes of being a lycanthrope.


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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Cthuletta » Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:22 pm

When it comes to RPing around being a Lycan, Malarites are far from the only path one might take.
Some Selunites see Lycanthropy as a gift to be respected, for example. Others are born as a lycan and that's their lot in life that they've accepted. Druids in lore are sometimes lycanthropes, bringing themselves closer to a true beast and the challenges that come with that. You can go Good/Evil/Neutral with it depending on what story you want, it's not always someone who is 'risking everything for the power'.
I've personally always wanted to play a were-rat since I think they are funny creatures, though contracting any specific form of lycanthropy on Arelith is ridiculiously difficult at times.
I've said it before, I would love these to be an award that could be spent at creation. The lore and challenges around them appeal to me.

As for sexualizing them... uhhh... well, that can and HAS been done with just about every race imaginable. If this was a major concern, the option to play in the Underdark would probably not be a thing. Thankfully, we have rules in place stating this isn't the place for that with DMs who can monitor and whack people on the head with a newspaper if they're skirting those rules.

With the stats lycanthropy give and going into a frenzy, my belief is that a bit more regen and maybe an APB boost would be good not neccessarily for the RP of the infected, but rather to make them more of an actual ISSUE. As it stands, it's very easy to accidentally turn without even knowing you contracted lycanthropy, get knocked down and cured within the same IG Day. I'd want them to be a bit more frightening.
The frenzy however I would keep as-is. That's the major mechanical con you get from wanting to play a creature that's known to lose themselves to their curse/gift. Just like vampires and gloamings know to look at the time of day to see when is best to go outside, werecreatures gotta pay attention to the time of the month and the moon. Comes with the territory! Lots of RP to be had around that.

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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by chris a gogo » Sun Jun 16, 2024 4:23 pm

We are not playing the Ravenloft setting so werewolves/rats etc are not top tier monsters, and should be no more danger than a normal werewolf.
How about when shifted give the character the exact skills/feat/ab and HD of a bog standard werewolf you may find in the hullack but let them have control, no item use or class skill just what the base npc creature has.

Then make it remain in effect until they manage a pvp kill or get cured.

This way it remains a curse that has no positive benefit other than the ability to role play a werewolf that the bulk of adventurers kill five of before breakfast.


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Ork
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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Ork » Sun Jun 16, 2024 7:11 pm

I don't think we should be afraid of adding things because someone might fetishize it. People fetishize everything under the sun. I do think that the standard for roleplay must include parameters so players understand that a natural lycanthrope has a higher threshold when evaluated by DMs, and players should act accordingly.

If there's logs that suggest fetishizing, I'd hope that's a straight ban, deleted character, and possible return after a few months.


MRFTW
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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by MRFTW » Mon Jun 17, 2024 10:01 am

Why are werewolves so much sexier than wild shapes?

It's not really my thing but if it was, there is plenty of options for it regardless of lycanthropy. Heck, couldn't I just use an override and Arelith would never know?

Please don't kowtow to pondlife at the expense at the rest of the player base.


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Dreams
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Re: Lycanthropy anti-RP and no healing

Post by Dreams » Mon Jun 17, 2024 11:53 am

There’s also other ways to keep the frenzy and lack of control but still make it better for roleplay. How about a minimum timer before the shape frenzies against another PC? That way it gives both parties that much more time to roleplay. What if it gave clear combat log or pop-up indicators of the change starting to happen or the character starting to lose control?

No one wants to have meaningless one-line pvp on the server, I’m sure the staff doesn’t want that, so why is no-rp pvp enabled with this when it could so easily be fixed to encourage roleplay instead?

RP only starts at 30 if you're a coward.

Guide to RP: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZK2325DLsE


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