Howling at the Moon
I have recently been giving some thought to traditional monsters and how I may twist them away from their standard motivations. By strange coincidence, it appears that the 5th Edition designers have been talking about how such traditional monsters don’t have to be, well, monsters, at all. Each can have their own motivation and outlook away from the alignment assigned to them.
When looking for a monster to twist, I decided to avoid the obvious options: goblins, orcs and the like. I wanted something that was historically a monster but could be believable as not a monster. I settled on the humble werewolf (and a tweet just this week by Jeremy Crawford had me reaching for my tin foil hat!) The werewolf is very much a traditional monster and, according to the Monster Manual, evil.
Certainly, the portrayal of werewolves in modern fiction doesn’t paint them in a friendly light. However, the rules on lycanthropy got me thinking. As written, it is a curse. One that the afflicted can try and resist. However, if they fail to resist, or give in to the curse, they are driven by the carnal desires. But… what if the afflicted person is able to control the curse? Perhaps through sheer force of will or perhaps through magical means.
Why would anyone who wanted to live a good life want to control the curse? Surely it would be easier to seek out a 5th-level cleric or wizard to remove the curse? One of the reasons I came up with (and I’m sure greater minds than mine can come up with more) was that they wanted to use it to aid their community. That’s the reason I’ve used in this month’s release, Howling at the Moon.
In it, bands of goblins have been raiding the local area. A common enough occurance and one that the local lord had promised to resolve. Someone beat him too it though. Last week the multilated bodies of goblins were found in their camp. Killed by some fierce monster according to the lord and one that required immediate investigation.
That’s where the heroes come in. They have been tasked within investigating the deaths and removing the bigger threat. Except, the bigger threat isn’t. At least not to average, everyday folk. He’s a werewolf. One who has managed to control the curse and uses it, sparingly, for the good of the community.
So, here we are, this month’s release. I hope you enjoy it.
Howling at the Moon is available for $2.50 from DriveThruRPG.
Before I forget though, I’ve thrown in a few pop culture references. I’m sure most of you will spot them. Hopefully, they don’t detract from anyone’s enjoyment.
Finally, Howling at the Moon is the first release of mine using Affinity Publisher. I picked this up during their 50% off period as an alternative to Word (!) and have been teaching myself how to use it. My layout is fairly simple but I’m pleased with it.
As always, comments are always welcome. If you’re reading this in a feed somewhere, please comment on my website as I will be able to respond there.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links” so if you make a purchase, I will receive some affiliate credit.