Lycanthrope Melee Optimization (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

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This character was designed to be the best melee character I had ever played. It is an optimization of the Lycanthrope template.

It is based on a Half-Giant Werebear


Player's Handbook (3.5e), Monster Manual (3.5e), Complete Warrior, Complete Psionic

Game Rule Components[edit]


Unfortunately this class does not lend itself to the usage of items, and this is why:

Alternate Form Stipulates

   *  Any gear worn or carried by the creature that can’t be worn or carried in its new form instead falls to the ground in its space.
If the creature changes size, any gear it wears or carries that can be worn or carried in its new form changes size to match the new size.

(Nonhumanoid-shaped creatures can’t wear armor designed for humanoid-shaped creatures, and viceversa.) Gear returns to normal size if dropped.

If you check the Lycanthropes provided in the monster manual (especially the Werewolf Lord) you will find that any magical items cease to provide their bonuses once the Lycanthrope changes to animal or hybrid form. My DM and I take that to mean that they drop to the ground when the Lycanthrope shifts.

The one workaround that my DM and I agreed on was this: The Druid's Wild shape and the Lycanthrope's Alternate Form are both based on Alternate Form(Su) with some changes. Therefore, since they have the same base supernatural ability the +3 bonus Wild armor would work for both forms. This is the major source of the Lycanthrope's weakness and what helps balance it with druids.

For the primary weapon I recommend a Large, Keen, Speed, Deep Crystal Falchion. Large, because Half-Giants can use large weapons without penalty. Keen, because a critical chance of 15-20x2 should never be passed up. Speed, because an extra attack means an extra chance to hit and an extra chance to critical. Deep Crystal because you have 2 power points that you aren't going to use for anything else.

For armor a Glamered, Wild Breastplate. Why Glamered you say? Every time you shift your clothes end up on the ground too! A glamered set of armor looks like a set of clothes, saves some embarrasing moments.

Spend a lot of your cash on Permanancy spells, and Manuals of whatever. You can't use many magic items so make yourself a magic item.

WereBear is the base lycanthrope I have chosen because it has a ridiculous amount of strength for its HD and size. The downside is most DMs require that you be lawful good. If you want something close without the alignment restrictions I recommend taking Dire WereWolverine. Wolverines have Rage so would likely be Chaotic, however it would be unwise to use animal form in some situations because the rage lasts until you or your foe is dead.


Starting Ability Scores (Before Racial Adjustments): Using a 32 point-buy: Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int, Wis and Cha 10

Race (Templates): Giant (Psionic, Shapeshifter)

Starting Racial Traits: Low Light Vision, Fire Acclimated, Powerful Build, Naturally Psionic

Other Components[edit]

Don't forget that when rolling out the bear hit dice to include the +8 Con.


Size/Type: Medium Giant (Psionic, Shapeshifter)

Hit Dice: 11d6+1d10+90 (134 hp)

Initiative: +1

Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)

Armor Class: 18 (+2 natural, +5 Breastplate), touch 11, flat-footed 17

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+19

Attack: Falchion +16 melee (2d6+9/15-20x2)

Full Attack: Falchion +16,+16,+11 (2d6+9/15-20x2)

Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.

Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent, Alternate form, fast healing 2, morphic immunities

Saves: Fort +13, Ref +8, Will +7

Abilities: Str 22, Dex 12, Con 22, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10

Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (Rock), Point Blank Shot, Track, Iron Will

Alignment: Always Lawful Good

Good stats, okay damage, About what you would expect from an NPC of the same level. The Fast healing 2 is a plus as well as the reach and inability to be critically hit. Not horrible for a melee character, but it gets better.

Munchkin-Size Me[edit]

As a natural Lycanthrope you can use your alternate form at will. Stay in Hybrid form for combat and you end up with:

Size/Type: Large Giant (Psionic, Shapeshifter)

Hit Dice: 11d6+1d10+90 (134 hp)

Initiative: +2

Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares)

Armor Class: 24 (+7 natural, +5 Breastplate), touch 12, flat-footed 22

Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+31

Attack: Falchion +24 melee (2d6+21/15-20x2)

Full Attack: Falchion +24,+24,+19 (2d6+21/15-20x2) and Bite +19 (1d8+7/x2)

Space/Reach: 10 ft./15 ft.

Special Qualities: Low-light vision, Scent, Alternate form, Damage reduction 10/Silver, Fast healing 2, morphic immunities, Track, Iron Will

Saves: Fort +17, Ref +9, Will +7

Abilities: Str 38, Dex 14, Con 30, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 10

Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Weapon Focus (Rock), Point Blank Shot

Alignment: Always Lawful Good

Damage reduction 10/Silver, awesome stats, fast healing 2, can't be critically hit. A Fortitude that allows you to laugh at poisons, and the ability to Track anyone who crosses you and gets away.

I played this character in a campaign that had no rogue. This character has +22 to Strength checks meaning it can break anything that has a break DC besides a 3 foot thick hewn stone wall (DC 50). I used to simply walk through barred doors, traps and all.

A word on Firepower:

If you power attack with a two handed weapon you add 2 points to your damage for each point you remove from your attack, therefore if you Power attack for all 5 points your attack becomes:

Speed Falchion +19, +19, +14 Melee (2d6+31/15-20x2) and Bite +19 (1d8+7/x2)

That means you can deal 33 to 86 damage with a single blow, three times a round!

Not good enough for you? It gets better!

Hulking Hurler allows you to throw anything that you can lift as a light load. If it is an improvised weapon you take -2 to attack instead of -4.

With a strength of 38 and size Large you can lift 12,800 lbs as a light load.

An improvised weapon of that size deals 67d6+14/x2. Meaning 81-416 Damage!

Side Notes[edit]


The maximum range of any thrown weapon is 5 range increments, meaning that house you throw can only go 50 feet. Beware of ranged characters and carry a Large Compound Greatbow with a strength bonus of +5.

You cannot use magical items as easily. For most situations you will have to shift to your alternate forms then put on your magical items. Beware! My character almost lost a finger because my DM wouldn't allow my rings to get bigger when I shifted. I'm just glad I wasn't wearing a necklace.

Very few feats.

Every DM I played with has disallowed biting any humanoid or giant and letting it live. The ability to pass on the curse of lycanthropy should be discussed in detail with your DM before playing this character.

You can't talk normally in Hybrid or Animal form.

DM Counters[edit]

Lycanthropy's Alternate form and all the Warshaper abilities are supernatural, meaning they don't work in an antimagic field, turning this character into a normal warrior.

Anyone who has true seeing can tell you aren't really wearing clothes.

Being a Half-Giant your character could be mistaken for evil (or not evil enough).


I would recommend taking a few levels of fighter and picking up some extra feats.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewOptimized Character Builds

ECL Class/HD/LA Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Feats Class
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 LA Half Giant +0 +0 +0 +0 Power Attack +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex Powerful Build, Naturally Psionic
2nd 1 Ranger +1 +2 +2 +0 Favored Enemy, Track, Wild Empathy
3-8 +6 HD Brown Bear +5 +5 +5 +2 Cleave, Weapon Focus (Rock) +16 Str, +2 Dex, +8 Con in Hybrid or Bear form
9-11 +3 LA Lycanthrope +5 +5 +5 +2 Alternate Form(Su), DR 10/Silver, Scent, Iron Will +2 Wis
12th 1 Warshaper +6 +6 +5 +2 Morphic Immunities, Morphic Weapons Immune to Criticals
13th 2 Warshaper +7 +6 +6 +3 Point Blank Shot Morphic Body +4 Str and +4 Con in all forms
14th 3 Warshaper +7 +7 +6 +3 Morphic Reach 5 more feet of reach
15th 4 Warshaper +8 +7 +6 +3 Morphic Healing Fast Healing 2
16th 1 Hulking Hurler +9 +7 +7 +4 Catch Weapon, Really Throw Anything
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