Lycanthrope, Were-Moth

When thinking of material for & Magazine, issue 10 (Shapechangers), I watched The Blood Beast Terror, a 1968 movie starring Peter Cushing. This is a weak lycanthrope, suitable for lower level parties.

Lycanthrope, Were-Moth

Frequency very rare
No. Appearing 1 (2d8)
Armor Class 7
Move 120’/240′ (MC:B)
Hit Dice 1 to 2
% in Lair 50%
Treasure Type A
No. of Attacks 2
Damage/Attack 1d3, 1d3
Special Attacks swooping; blood drain
Special Defenses fear, silver or magic weapon to hit, regeneration
Magic Resistance standard
Intelligence Low to High
Alignment Neutral Evil
Size M (5-1/2′ to 6-1/2′ tall)

published in & Magazine Issue 10, Creature Feature III: Ecology of the Were-Moth

Note: This version has been updated and expanded from the published version.


Were-moths are always human; it is not believed that other races can succumb to the disease. In human form they appear normal, although they all tend to act distant, as if they are not part of the things around them. Most appear to be scholars or other professions for which a certain amount of standoffishness will be considered normal.

In were-form their shape is humanoid with a dark grey down covering the body, possessing huge grey-black wings. Their face is a caricature of a human face, dark brown down covering the skin with black patches around the eyes and mouth. The nose is mere slits and the normal jaw is replaced by mandibles, with slashing extensions that the were-moth uses to bleed its victims.

The visage is terrifying. Upon sighting one of these monstrosities, creatures of less than 1+1 HD/1st level must save vs. paralyzation or be frozen in terror for 1d4+2 rounds. Those making their save will flee in terror for 3d4 rounds. Creatures of 2+4 HD/3rd level or greater must save vs. paralyzation for flee for 2d4 rounds. Creatures of 4+1HD/5th level are unaffected.


In combat they punch with clawed fists, and if both strike in the same round the were-moth slashes its victim with its mandibles for 1d4+1 hp of damage and drains an additional 1d4+1 hp each round thereafter until the victim is dead. The held victim may strike back at -2 and can use only short weapons. A successful Bend Bars roll will free them.

When possible the were-moth will strike from the air, hitting at +2. If it surprises its victim (roll of 1-3 on d6) it gains an additional +2 to hit and the victim must save vs. paralyzation at -2 or be knocked flat. In this case the were-moth will land on its victim and automatically drain blood (as described above).

Mundane weapons do not harm were-moths, only silver or magic weapons. If wounded for more than 25% of its hit points the were-moth will flee combat. If wounded for more than 50% of its hit points a were-moth will be unable to fly with a burden, and if wounded for 75% it will be unable to fly until healed.


Were-moths tend to be solitary; as previously indicated they adopt professions where being aloof is considered normal. However, in rare instances a group may be encountered. The number indicated is those who have reached puberty and have exhibited their lycanthrope form. In addition, there may be 2d6-2 children who are treated as non-combatants.

They have a blood thirst that must be quenched at least monthly; a pint of human blood is sufficient. However, when first turned or upon reaching puberty, the blood thirst is impossible to control and the were-moth will indiscriminately attack victims and drain them dry. Non-human blood, taken weekly, will delay the blood thirst. However, there is a 10% cumulative chance per week that the were-moth will lose control and drain the first victim it encounters.

Savants report in a few rare instances a were-moth may become the protector of a village. In exchange for protection the villagers will “donate” a pint of blood from a willing victim each month. Of course, enemies will be drained dry or kept as slave labor / food.


Unlike other lycanthropes, this condition is not believed to be spread through the bite. Children born to were-moths develop the condition after puberty, and it is believed that drinking the blood of a were-moth will inflict the disease. Newly transformed were-moths will have but 1 HD, while those who have lived with the condition for a decade or more will have 2 HD. New were-moths cannot control their change, which occurs with the full moon. Elder specimens exhibit increasingly more control but are incapable of changing during daylight hours.



Level/XP Value

I use the 5% Rule Tables published by Len Lakofka in Dragon Magazine. The following provides XP values for both the AD&D and 5% Rule.

The XP value includes five Special Abilities (blood drain, regeneration, fear, swooping, slashing) and zero Exceptional Abilities.

Hit Dice AD&D 5% Rule
1 HD II / 30 + 1/hp II / 30 + 1/hp
2 HD III / 60 + 2/hp III / 110 + 3/hp

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