Lycanthropes are a new race specific to SLASH'EM. Lycanthropes are always chaotic and can play as a barbarian, ranger, rogue, or undead slayer. Lycanthrope characters offer a very different play experience from the other races.
Starting Properties Edit
Lycanthropes start with the following attributes:
- Lycanthropy (Werewolf only, no other werecreatures)
- Drain resistance
- The eviscerate technique
Any silver weapons that may be generated in a lycanthrope's starting inventory are reverted to their non-silver counterpart.
Lycanthropic characters generally have excellent physical stats, but poor mental ones. The following table contains the maximum initial attributes for a lycanthropic character.
Regeneration and nutrition Edit
Starting as a lycanthropic character can be exceptionally difficult, especially early in the game, as all lycanthropic characters begin with the regeneration intrinsic and the extra hunger it induces. On the one hand, this can make many early fights significantly easier. On the other hand, the small nutritional value of the corpses typical for the first few levels may cause problems for lycanthropic characters just starting out. Often it is better to make for the Gnomish Mines or Sokoban than to stay near the first few levels of the dungeon, at least until you have a good stockpile of rations.
Lycanthropic characters, as the name suggests, have intrinsic and incurable lycanthropy. Specifically, they are werewolves. This comes with all the benefits and downsides this intrinsic has, with a few exceptions:
- A lycanthropic character will only change form about once per 100 * experience level turns. At higher levels, this will be indicated by "You feel less in control of yourself".
- A natural lycanthrope, like a doppelganger, will remove non-cursed body armor when they change form. Cursed armor will still be destroyed as normal.
- A lycanthropic character in wolf form will have hit dice equal to his current level. This is more than acquired lycantropy gives.
- If killed in wolf form, you transform back into your humanoid form with half of your base HP missing. This includes deaths by food poisoning.
- You can exercise and increase your stats.
- Your AC is significantly lower while transformed. As your HP increase, your AC will drop even further.
- You are poison resistant while transformed.
There are particular downsides of being transformed:
- You cannot wear armor. (But you can wear accessories.)
- You cannot engrave.
- You cannot open doors. (You can still kick them down, however.)
- You cannot apply items.
- You cannot force locks.
- Your carrying capacity is significantly reduced.
It is possible to throw items, such as daggers or potions, while transformed.
Lycanthropes start with the ability to change between lycanthropic and wolf form, however using this ability requires 20 power. All polymorph effects simply switch them between humanoid and wolf forms.
At any time, regardless of form, you can spend 10 power to summon a few tame wolves or winter wolves to aid you in battle. Winter wolves are fairly potent and can easily overcome many early game opponents. While a pack of wolves are an excellent asset in a fight, do not forget that they will compete with you for the food you desperately need to deal with regeneration. Generally it's best to travel alone, summoning wolves as needed to check BUC or overcome a tough opponent.
Class SelectionFor a variety of reasons, Rogue is easily the most effective starting class for a Lycanthrope character. Rogues' high starting dex roll compliments the Lycanthrope's higher dex cap of 20; it is not uncommon for a Lycanthrope Rogue to start with 20 dex from the gate. Rogues start with gear that a Lycanthrope will want; the oilskin sack and starting cash can be used to credit clone, identifying gems, drawing cash out from early shops and purchasing divine protection from priests. Rogues also start with the largest number of daggers of the available classes, and they become very poweful early on when dipped in the potion of sickness.
Undead Slayer makes for a valid choice as well; they start with sickness resistance, and have a good chance of generating with daggers. This opens up zombie corpes to the player as a way to help stave off starvation. Undead Slayers, however, suffer from a low starting dex roll, which hurts your AC and to hit modifier.
Barbarian is a problematic choice due to the lack of dagger skill. Daggers are one of the few weapons in the game that a wolf can use to full effectiveness, so being restricted to basic in this skill severely hampers the Lycanthrope's damaging abilities.
Early Game Edit
Early on, it pays significantly to become familiar with the ins and outs of the limitations of your wolf form. Oftentimes, it is best to simply dump your primary weapon and armor right when you begin, to save both space and time when the first transformation occurs. Body armor is weighty and nearly worthless until you have the ability to freely control when you transform. Keep any daggers you start with, and save up as many others as you can safely carry in a single stack. Every one of the Lycanthropic classes bar barbarian can reach expert in daggers, and they can be fired even in wolf form. Do this to soften up enemies at range before they come close enough to hit you in melee. If you get in trouble, the techniques eviscerate and berserk can be used in a pinch to prevent an untimely death against a stronger foe (for example, a single soldier ant or yeti when you are level 7). Feel free to #monster a few times to get a small pack of wolves.
Your first major challenge as a lycanthrope is to find enough non-perishable food. Otherwise, you would starve due to your innate regeneration. This is normally best done by either rushing for the first half of the Gnomish Mines or Sokoban, depending on your play style. The Gnomish mines are much easier to reach as a low-level character, and the resulting gnome and dwarf corpses there can keep you fed while you collect rations and other food. Sokoban is harder to reach, but it's guaranteed to have at least five ration items and either an amulet of reflection or a bag of holding (both especially useful to a werewolf), as well as a number of wands, potions, and rings.
Mid- to late gameEdit
Once you have a steady food supply, your main goal should be to find a ring of polymorph control to gain full control over your were-changes so you can wear your ascension kit. Ideally( ?before that?) you should stash anything you can't carry or use in wolf form, and simply stay a wolf unless you need to use your hands (e.g. to open a door or bag).
Once you have a ring of polymorph control, your game will play pretty much like any other race except for the lycanthrope benefits. Fast regeneration, guaranteed pets including winter wolves, #youpoly to remove cursed armor, innately high physical stats, and two race-specific techniques can lead to a very potent character from the midgame on.