No were creatures on Athas

Was it ever explained why there are no were creatures on Athas?

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slightly meta answer: To distinguish it from, say, Ravenloft. “Sure, it’s dark, but it’s not that dark!” :wink:

In-fiction … lycanthropy is often tied back to some kind of curse; sometime specifically laid at the feet of “divine punishment”. As there are no deities on Athas, that might serve as an explanation.

I was also going to posit that there was no general access to Remove Curse, but it was a level 3 Cosmos spell, so that’s not it.

Also: Two Moons! Those would be some seriously confused were-cats.

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Yeah, I was thinking it might have something to do with the two moons. But I was also thinking that it would be cool to have two different types of were creatures. Some that come out while Ral is full and others that come out when Guthay is full.

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I asked Tim Brown (one of the co-creators) and he said:

Technically, we were developing Dark Sun in the same time period we were getting Ravenloft off the ground, so we tried to limit all the classic horror tropes in the Athas setting. It wasn’t a hard-and-fast rule, as I recall, just a notion to keep the two lines distinct and separate.

I don’t think we ever created a game reason that there could be no lycanthropes on Athas, we just didn’t put any there.

Hope that helps!

So, Flip is looks like you were pretty much right. I do like the idea of were hyenas from the other thread.

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There was the Pakubrazi, which could taint the blood of its victims. Then, when the victim was under stress, suddenly a body part could change into one from a pakubrazi. Bards occasionally slipped blood from one of these monsters into drinks, for a pretty nasty revenge.

Given just how nasty Athas is and the climate, and how lycanthopy is spread on other worlds, it makes sense for there to be no lycanthropes there. If someone gets ravaged by a wild animal on Athas, then there is a pretty high probability that he is not going to last very long. And compared to much of the wildlife on Athas, a werecreature is pretty puny.

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I would like to see some local werebeast… OMG a were-mekilot

The good thing about the Dark Sun setting is that you can present just about any published monster as a New Race freak created by the Pristine Tower. So the bio diversity of Athas is infinite.

Rajaat was a New Race freak “with a human heart” until he was retconned by Bill Slavicksek as a Pyreen. Unfortunately this retcon killed the pathos of the Rajaat story because instead of the story being about human atrocity it became a story about an inhuman Pyreen superbeing manipulating humanity. In this story the humans are the victims too. No lessons learned, its all on Rajaat.

That’s … interesting.

For me, Rajaat being not strictly human didn’t really take anything away from the story; we regularly root for non-humans in an RPG setting, after all. But, I can see the point where making him a twisted Pyreen does take it from “local boy does wrong” into the realm of “twisted god”.

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The afore mentioned pakubrazi and the thrax are the closest you could get RAW to lycanthropy on Athas and I’m fine with that. I like the idea that because magic, divine and arcane, work differently on Athas and the origin of species is so wildly different, with the exception of halflings, other human, demi-human, and a few extinct or nearly extinct humanoid races were the result of genetic engineering or “life-shaping” as it was called on Athas. Traditional magically endowed creatures, except golems, such as imps, lycanthropes, and other staples of gothic horror don’t fit with Athasian setting or cultures.

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