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Alashra, a werehyena cleric of Lamashtu.
Werecreatures can be violent.

A werecreature is a humanoid creature that can change its shape into that of a specific non-herbivorous animal and into a hybrid shape between the two.12 Werecreatures are distinguished taxonomically from other shapechangers by the addition of the prefix "were-" to their names. Though they are not necessarily evil, they are generally hated by human society, which almost always sees them as violent, bestial, and diseased creatures. Werecreatures are sometimes informally called lycanthropes (if their associated animal is a vertebrate) or entothropes (if their associated animal is an insect).13

Natural and afflicted werecreatures

Two types of werecreatures exist: those who are born with the condition, also known as natural werecreatures, and those who acquire it during their lifetime, either through a curse or through a disease called lycanthropy; these are known as afflicted werecreatures.14

Natural werecreatures have lived with their condition their entire life and generally have control over their transformation (except during the full moon). Afflicted werecreatures often change involuntarily, and have little awareness of their animal or hybrid forms, often turning aggressive and homicidal. While in animal form, they also sometimes lose their identity and do not remember what occurred while they were transformed. Most legends of the violent werecreature come from this latter group.454 There is no known way to remove a true werecreature's condition; afflicted werecreatures can be cured like any other curse.6 Before an afflicted werecreature transforms for the first time, the curse can also be removed by consuming wolfsbane (for vertebrate werecreatures) or belladonna (for insectoid ones).73

Werecreature features

All werecreatures have a peculiar connection to the moon. It often triggers transformation in afflicted werecreatures, and gives them all a vulnerability to silver, a metal long associated with that heavenly body.8 They all possess three distinct forms: their humanoid form, an animal form, and a hybrid form that includes the physical characteristics of both.4 Werecreatures are generally resistant to most weapons, although magic affects them normally. Weapons edged in silver can hurt and kill a werecreature as easily as a normal human,1 and they do not possess any such resistance in humanoid form.4 When killed, a werecreature always reverts to its humanoid form.4

Natural werecreatures carry the disease lycanthropy and can infect others through a bite or a scratch, or pass it on to their offspring.1 Those who possess stingers can also spread the curse through their sting.3

Werecreatures on Golarion

Many species of werecreature exist across Golarion. The most numerous and most successful are the werewolves and the wererats; the other most feared species are wereboars, werebears, werebats and weretigers.9

Two areas in the Inner Sea region are particularly known for their werecreature activity: the nation of Ustalav10 and the Darkmoon Vale in northwestern Andoran.1112 In both areas, it is mainly werewolves that attack individuals or small groups who make their living in the forest, such as loggers and hunters.13 The Varisian town of Wolf's Ear was known as a haven for werecreatures and other hunted creatures, until a Magnimarian pogrom drove the shapechangers underground.14

Not all werecreatures, however, are hated by the general population. In some societies they are valued for their skill and ferocity. The armies of Molthune have long had specialized werecreature units.15 Among the human tribes of Iobaria, werecreatures are known as "kodlak" and are either hated or venerated, depending on the group.16


Wererats are most common in large cities, where they can best blend in with the general human and rat populations.17 When found in particularly large groups, they even form entire thieves' guilds to coordinate their illegal activities.13


Werewolves are among the best-known of the werecreatures. They are the often violent scourge of small communities, waiting along empty roads or on the outskirts of towns to catch and kill their unsuspecting victims.184


Wereboars are generally aggressive, and prefer a solitary forest life. This form of lycanthropy is most common among hill giants.19


Werebears are found in colder climates, where they hunt evil creatures.20


Werebats are usually found in or near dense forests or jungles, and prefer to lair in caves and caverns. They often band together in flocks.9 There are also reports of drow werebats in the Darklands.13


Fierce weretigers stalk the jungles of Vudra, Tian Xia, Osirion, Thuvia, and the Mwangi Expanse.1913

Other werecreatures

Although they are rare these days, the wereleopards of Katapesh, Nex, and the Mwangi Expanse are known for their savagery.211913 The Sodden Lands are said to be the home of werehyenas, werejackals, and werecrocodiles.13 The aquatic weresharks are most commonly found in the Shackles.22 There are also myths of wereravens, wererays, dwarven and gnome werebadgers, and elven werefoxes, but none of these have ever been substantiated.19139

Jackalweres of Katapesh

The jackalweres of Katapesh are often thought to be werecreatures; this is not the case. Jackalweres are simply magical beasts that can take on humanoid form.23


Sometimes werecreatures breed with humans or other humanoids. After a number of generations, these unions no longer produce full were-creatures, but a race known as skinwalkers, shapechangers who largely appear human (or another race if from a different parentage), but can also take on certain bestial features of their forebears. Skinwalkers breed true and generally form small communities of their own kin that can be found throughout Golarion.24

Ulfen lycanthropy

Unlike most other cultures, Ulfen don't consider the curse of the werecreature to be especially dishonorable, and believe it is a blessing by the nature spirits. During periods of the full moon, those who suffer from the curse are locked in special longhouses or spirit houses, which are barred with silver and stocked with enough food to satiate the afflicted person's ravenous appetites.25


Some believe that the demon lord Jezelda was the first to spread the curse of the werecreature among humans, although both she and her followers dispute this.11


Paizo published a major article on the 'Ecology of the Lycanthrope' in Broken Moon.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 196. Paizo Inc., 2009
  2. Logan Bonner, et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary, 331. Paizo Inc., 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary 6, 116. Paizo Inc., 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 James Jacobs, et al. Classic Horrors Revisited, 59. Paizo Inc., 2010
  5. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 1: Wilds” in Guide to Darkmoon Vale, 26. Paizo Inc., 2008
  6. Logan Bonner, et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary, 328. Paizo Inc., 2019
  7. Logan Bonner, et al. “Monsters A-Z” in Bestiary, 330. Paizo Inc., 2019
  8. Paizo Inc., et al. “Chapter 2: Classes” in Advanced Player's Guide, 48. Paizo Inc., 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Gareth Hanrahan. “Ecology of the Lycanthrope” in Broken Moon, 73. Paizo Inc., 2011
  10. Jason Nelson. Vigil” in Cities of Golarion, 49. Paizo Inc., 2009
  11. 11.0 11.1 James Jacobs. Demon Lords of Golarion” in Descent into Midnight, 59. Paizo Inc., 2009
  12. Mike McArtor. “Chapter 1: Wilds” in Guide to Darkmoon Vale, 25. Paizo Inc., 2008
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 305. Paizo Inc., 2011
  14. James L. Sutter. Varisia” in The Hook Mountain Massacre, 69. Paizo Inc., 2007
  15. Erik Mona, et al. “Chapter 2: The Inner Sea” in Campaign Setting, 103. Paizo Inc., 2008
  16. Steven Schend. Iobaria Gazetteer” in The Varnhold Vanishing, 56. Paizo Inc., 2010
  17. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 197. Paizo Inc., 2009
  18. Paizo Inc., et al. “Monsters A to Z” in Bestiary, 198. Paizo Inc., 2009
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 James Jacobs, et al. Classic Horrors Revisited, 62. Paizo Inc., 2010
  20. James Jacobs, et al. Classic Horrors Revisited, 61. Paizo Inc., 2010
  21. Erik Mona, et al. Howl of the Carrion King, 68. Paizo Inc., 2009
  22. Mike Shel. “Threats of the Shackles” in Isles of the Shackles, 54. Paizo Inc., 2012
  23. Stephen S. Greer & Amber E. Scott. “Land of Adventure” in Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh, 18. Paizo Inc., 2009
  24. Tim Akers, et al. “Skinwalkers” in Blood of the Moon, 6–7. Paizo Inc., 2013
  25. James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 21. Paizo Inc., 2011