Stupid question, but there it is for your consideration. Since werewolves are (mostly, I hope) fictional, I stuck it in Cafe Society. Any ideas?
Well, in 3e D&D, only humanoids and giants can contract lycanthrophy. If a werewolf bites a creature of a different category, such as a wolf (animal), centaur (monstrous humanoid), or succubus (outsider), there is no effect beyond the bite itself.
Werewolves biting centaurs…it does nothing? Damnit! The idea of a were-centaur is too awesome to pass up!
For three nights every month it turns quadropedal and hairy.
That stuff about passing on the curse of lycanthropy by biting somebody is pure Hollywood, not part of old legends.
However, given the premise . . . a wolf bitten by a werewolf would periodically turn into a human being. Since human beings are far more dangerous than wolves, that could be scary.
I understand that someone has written a story with this premise, and the result is terrifying – to the transformed wolf. He finds people chasing him because he has no clothes and is constantly breaking social mores he’s not aware of. It’s apparently written as a humorous piece, but I’ve never read it or even encountered it, and don’t know who the author is. It sounds like the kind of this Fredric Brown would have done, but I;'ve read a huge amount of his stuff, and not run across it, so I don’t think it’s one of his.
Perhaps the dog turns into a wolf every full moon ?
And the wolf bitten by a werewolf . . . turns into a wolf. So there can be werewolf-wolves all over, but you can’t tell because they look just like all the other wolves . . .
What if a werewolf bites another werewolf?
What if a werewolf bites Frankenstein’s Monster? Or Dracula? The Wolfman fought both in the Classic (IMHO) Film Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein, but the ending was such that the possibility of passing on lycanthropy was precluded.
I think a movie about two werewolves fighting it out would be neat.
obligatory Pratchett quote
for the non pratchett readers Angua = werewolf, Gaspode = talking dog.
I recall a scene in the rather amusing Full Moonster, where it was discovered by the hero by accident that a human biting a werewolf turns the werewolf human. At least temporarily; the werewolf was rather surprised.
Of course this is the kind of book that includes heavily armed nihilistic werewolves riding weremotorcycles.
Ah, but what hapens if you get them wet after midnight?
So in old legends, how did you pass on lycanthropy?
Depending on who you talked to back in the Old Days, lycanthropy could be brought on by:
[li]Being born on Christmas[/li][li]Drinking water from a wolf’s paw print[/li][li]Eating a wolf’s brain[/li][li]Sleeping naked outdoors under a full moon[/li][li]Performing a ritual asking nature gods for the ability to turn into a wolf[/li][li]Creating an ointment from various nasty ingredients and rubbing it on yourself, then putting on a wolfskin girdle[/li][li]Being cursed by a sorcerer or witch, or sometimes even a saint[/li][li]Making a pact with the devil in exchange for the aforementioned ointment and wolfskin girdle[/li][/ul]
That’s a sampling, anyway. Mostly European werewolf lore there.
Or being the seventh son? That’s what wiki said, and there are names you can give to your seventh son to ward off the curse.
The book is Howling Mad by Peter David. It’s pretty good. One interesting aspect is that the reverse werewolf, when he is human, is sort of an uber human- just as a werewolf is more dangerous than a regular wolf. And instead of being driven to hunt and kill, he’s mostly driven to watch TV and drink beer.
The werewolf takes another bite, then another, and so on, until his or her belly is full.
I read a novel back in the late '80s or early '90s about a wolf that had been bitten by a werewolf. He turned human during the full moon, got a girlfriend, spent the daylight hours in his girlfriend’s apartment as a dog, and during the non-full moon periods, went back to his pack, where he had a mate and cubs.
The werewolf who bit him happened to be the coroner in the village, and was running a torture dungeon in his basement. He and a friend of his had been cursed by a gypsy they were murdering. The friend became a vampire, and wound up as a homeless bum in a big city.
I wish I could remember the name of the book.
My Googlefu is limited on this crappy work computer, but I have a book where the protagonist is called the Fox…and there’s a conjunction of moons, so that all the weres turn into animals, but they come across a very hairy, stupid man who turns back into a bear when the moons pass. Memory fail!
Jack Chalker’s Dancing Gods books* have one character who becomes a pure were – he takes on the character of whatever animal he happens to be near when the moon is full.
*Which I highly recommend, if only for the concept of the Rulebook, which guides everything in the world. (“Weather and climate permitting, all beatiful maidens must be scantily clad.”)