Lycanthrope, Werecheetah

RavenloftCampaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Tropical to subtropical plains and hills
Frequency:Very rare
Organization:Solitary or family
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Genius (17-18)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1 (2-6)
Armor Class:6
Hit Dice:6+2
No. of Attacks:3 or 1
Damage/Attack:1d4/1d4/1d8 or by weapon
Special Attacks:Speed Burst
Special Defenses:+2 or cedar to hit
Magic Resistance:Nil
Morale:Elite (13)
XP Value:2,000

The human aspect of a werecheetah is a slim and striking, with long limbs and an air of extreme grace. In this form, a werecheetah has dark hair and coppery skin, and possesses an almost androgynous beauty. Their expensive tastes see them clothed in the finest silks and linens appropriate to a warm climate. They have a passion for gold, adorning themselves richly in the most exquisite jewelry. The beast aspect is indistinguishable from a normal cheetah. The hybrid aspect is almost seductive in its deadly beauty. The creature's build becomes thin and whiplike. Bare flesh is replaced with a sandy pelt dappled with chocolate spots. The legs become more feline, balancing the beast's weight on its toes. An expressive cat's tail sprouts from the spine. The hands combine the human's opposable thumbs and the cheetah's deadly claws. The head transforms into that of a cheetah with sparkling green eyes.Extremely intelligent creatures, werecheetahs often know an impressive number of languages, some of them ancient and obscure. They also speak their own low, whispery tongue.

Combat: Werecheetahs avoid confrontation if possible. Although they enjoy the hunt, they dislike endangering their own lives. A werecheetah prefers to allow minions to fight for it, while it makes its escape. However, if confronted directly, the werecheetah can be a deadly foe.

In hybrid aspect, the werecheetah may strike with its claws for 1d4 damage each and bite for 1d8 damage. In human aspect, they prefer to fight with bronze bastard swords, which they wield with surprising agility. Most werecheetahs are also proficient in polearms, whips, and bows. While in human or hybrid aspect, a werecheetah may give itself a burst of mystical speed. This triples its movement rate to 45, lowers its Armor Class to 2 and triples the number of attacks it receives (And yes, this is nine attacks in hybrid form!). However, this burst can only be maintained for three rounds, and thereafter the werecheetah is fatigued for a full turn, attacking at -2 and raising its AC to 8.

Werecheetahs can only be struck by magical weapons of at least +2 enchantment or those made of cedar wood. The wounds inflicted by a werecheetah's teeth or claws have a 2% chance per hp of damage of infecting the victim with lycanthropy.

Habitat/Society: Werecheetahs make their lairs in a great variety of locales, from crumbling acropoli to magnificent mansions. They have been found in domains as diverse as G'Henna and Pharazia. A werecheetah prefers an impressive and remote locale for its lair, as they enjoy their pampered privacy. Their homes are filled with expensive furnishings and riddled with secret passages.

Werecheetahs are highly territorial creatures, and do not tolerate their own kind. The exception to this is the elaborate affair of courtship. The male must request permission to enter a female's territory, currying her favor with a wealth of gifts. If she accepts, he remains within her domain to help rear the cubs during the next year. Females give birth to a litter of 3-4 cubs, which quickly mature and leave to find a home far from that of their parents.

At heart, werecheetahs are megalomaniacs. They lead lives dedicated to luxury and mastery over others. They see themselves as nearly divine beings, worthy of adoration. As such, they frequently form elaborate cults around themselves, setting themselves up as cat lords to be worshipped by loyal fanatics. Such devotees provide the werecheetah with a constant stream of comforts and wealth, as well as being ready to defend their “god” to the death.

Werecheetahs have no natural enemies, but despise other werecreatures they come into contact with, such as werebaboons, werejackals and the like. They are rumored to also have a special loathing for the undead, particularly vampires.

Ecology: Werecheetahs are powerful, decadent creatures that live off the life, toil and wealth of other intelligent beings. They enjoy a strict carnivorous diet, leaning heavily towards sentient flesh.

In recent years, many werecheetah matings have been unsuccessful. Males and females blame each other equally, but persistent rumors speak of an ancient curse.

The Lonesome Road