[RPG] If a PC contracts lycanthropy (werewolf), do they gain the abilities in its stat block


For example, do the PCs gain the shapechanger ability to change at will, the keen hearing and smell, and/or the damage immunities found in the Werewolf stat block (MM pg. 211)?

Does the answer to this question change if the PC embraces or resists (MM pg. 206) the curse?

Best Answer

According to the Monster Manual, in the Player Characters as Lycanthropes box on page 207:

A character who becomes a lycanthrope retains his or her statistics except as specified by lycanthrope type. The character gains the lycanthrope's speeds in nonhumanoid form, damage immunities, traits, and actions that don't involve equipment. The character is proficient with the lycanthrope's natural attacks, such as its bite or claws, which deal damage as shown in the lycanthrope's statistics. The character can't speak while in animal form.

Inherited Abilities

The player character does inherit the following from the Werewolf stat block:

Damage Immunities

  • (As listed)


  • Shapechanger
  • Keen Hearing and Smell


  • Bite (Wolf or Hybrid form only)
  • Claws (Wolf or Hybrid form only)

It is unclear whether the following are inherited:

  • Multiattack

    The rules for this mention a spear, which is equipment.

Embrace vs. Resist

It is unclear whether the player character's inheritance of those abilities is predicated upon embracing the curse.

The Monster Manual says:

Some individuals see little point in fighting the curse and accept what they are. With time and experience, they learn to master their shapechanging ability and can assume beast form or hybrid form at will.

Which does seem to imply that the ability to shapechange at will is limited to characters that embrace the curse. Though that limitation is not made clear in the section on those that resist the curse. Confusing the matter even further, it also seems to imply some sort of time/training-based requirement for the ability to be used, but nowhere is this clarified or elaborated on.