NOT restricted -- feel free to play.
In Sihiri, werecreatures are animals which can take a human form (or vice versa). They live about 150 years on average, with a maximum of 200.
All werecreatures have at least two forms: human and animal. Some may also possess a third "anthro" form which melds human and animal into one shape (such as an upright-walking cat or wolf). Possibilities for animal shapes are endless: old-fashioned werewolves, werejaguars, werecats, werelizards, werecheetahs, etc.
Werecreatures can only take the form of ONE animal and ONE human. For instance, if a werecreature becomes a German shepherd when it shifts, it will always be a German shepherd -- it cannot become a poodle. If its human form has brown hair and blue eyes, it will always have brown hair and blue eyes -- it cannot suddenly be blond. Werecreatures cannot change gender as part of their shift (a female werecreature will become a female human and vice versa).
Most werecreatures can change shapes ("shift") at will. Some have restrictions or compulsions, such as:
- can shift at will most of the time, but must shift on full moon night
- can only shift on full moon night
- cannot shift on new moon
- can shift at will, but feel ecstatic when the moon's full and drained when it's new
- can only stay in one form for a limited amount of time, then must revert to base form
Feel free to come up with unique rules for your character, so long as they consistently obey them.
In werecreature culture, full moon lasts for three nights. On the second night the moon is actually full - this is when most werecreatures with compulsory shifts are forced to change. But most werecreatures have at least some reaction to the state of the moon during the other two nights, whether it's uncontrollable rage or ecstatic glee.
Some werecreatures can slip from shape to shape without trouble, while some must pass through an agonising process of body parts changing shape, breaking, healing, and realigning. Young shifters may need help reaching their complete forms. Helpers can push and pull a shifter's body into better alignment for a shift. This is called assisted shifting. A much more dangerous and painful process is forced shifting, where a werecreature is forced to shift either through mechanical means (being broken and reshaped) or through chemical manipulation. Forced shifting is considered taboo or even illegal in most places, while assisted shifting's an accepted part of life.
In Sihiri, normal werecreatures must breed to create new werecreatures. They cannot transmit their race through bites or scratches. However, there is a rare disease called lycanthropy which some werecreatures carry. If a lycanthropic were bites a humanoid, that humanoid will gain the ability to change forms (they will become a lycan). Often lycans have more restrictions than do werecreatures.
If two werecreatures mate, they will only produce offspring if their animal forms are the same species. The offspring will be of the same type as the parents. For instance, if a werecat mates with a werecat, their offspring will be a werecat (werekitten?). If a werecat mated with a weredog, it could not produce offspring.
Werecreatures vs. other shifter types Edit
Werecreatures and Beasts are both creatures capable of taking human shape. However, while Beasts exist in many planes at the same time, werecreatures can only occupy one plane at a time. And while Beasts tend to take only one form per plane, werecreatures often change forms within the same plane.
Some werecreatures are considered separate races, though they meet all werecreature criteria. These include kitsune, ignions (phoenix, salamanders, etc.), and dragons.
The anthro form of a werebird (any type) is called a harpy.
Shapeshifters are the opposite of werecreatures.
On many sites there is a distinct difference between lycans, weres, and shifters. These are the terms used in Sihiri:
- Werecreature - any animal which can take a human shape.
- Lycan - a werecreature who began as a humanoid, then later became able to take an animal's shape.
- Shifter - slang for a werecreature. It can also refer to a shapeshifter, which is an entirely different race.
- Were - slang for a werecreature.
- Lycanthropy - a rare disease among werecreatures which can turn humanoids into lycans.