Beastkin are typically descendants of or are shapeshifters themselves. Beastkin started humanoid and through some historical event became mingled with the blood of an animal of some kind. This trait gets passed down over generations. Different beastkin races have this trait at some point in their line or another. Not always, but often times this comes from lycanthropy which carries with it the weakness to silver. Below are broad lists of the types of mingling that beastkin races typically posses.
Beastfolk: Races like the catfolk, ratfolk, and wolfen are descendents of shapeshifters so far down the line that they no longer possess any ability to shift between forms. They are stuck somewhere between man and beast for their entire lives. Some like the catfolk look mostly human, while others like the wolfen can appear to be nothing more than permanently shifted werewolves. Beastfolk have no fear of silver since the affliction that may have first spawned their race is long gone from their bloodline, or they never descended from a lycanthropic bloodline to begin with. Beastfolk may handle silver without any adverse effects.
Beastfolk have 5 HP, and no racial weaknesses.
Shifters: True shapeshifters whose blood does not come lycanthropy are gifted with the ability to change into one single animal. This animal is their alter persona and part of their psyche as well as part of their physical lives. Shifters continually live between being indistinguishable from any of the mortal humanoid races to being indistinguishable from any normal looking animal of the wilds.
Shifters have 5 HP in both forms, and no racial weaknesses.
Skinwalkers: The dilluted blood of lycanthropes often leads to a skinwalker. Skinwalkers are lycanthropic in nature, but do not gain the full benefits that a lycan usually possesses. They have the ability to shift between a fully humanoid form and a form resembling one of the beastkin. Their shift comes with some increases to strength and power, and often with a bloodlust from their lycanthropic side, but they do not shift as far to the animal spectrum as their lycanthropic ancestors. Skinwalkers are pained by the touch of silver and will not voluntarily touch it, but they also do not possess the power of advanced healing to be overcome by it.
Skinwalkers have 5 HP in both forms, and are pained by silver, but take no additional damage from it. The rare poison wolfsbane can however still harm skinwalkers as if it was a mundane poison.
Lycanthropes: Commonly called were-creatures, lycanthropes come in many varieties. Werewolves are the most common variety to be found. Lycanthropes get their ability to shift into animals by an affliction, and because of this their bloodline is susceptible to the effects of silver. Even in their natural humanoid form, lycanthropes are especially pained by silver. Lycanthropes gain most of their power from their animal features and advanced healing. This healing is suppressed by silver, which causes lycanthropes to take additional damage from silver weapons as per the racial weaknesses rules, in both their natural and shifted forms. Lycanthropes may shift from a humanoid form into a full animal form at will. Those who learn how to may also shift into a half-beast form like the typical werewolf depictions at will, but normally this only happens during the full moon. During the full moon Lycanthropes shift, and become out of control, hungering for mortal flesh. Most humanoids can be afflicted with lycanthropy, but any planar creatures, undead, dragons, or fey, and all of their descendents, are immune to the disease.
Lycanthropes have 6 HP in all three forms, and risk taking additional damage from both silver, and from the rare poison wolfsbane.
- During the full moon lycanthropes are attacked on sight by city guards and by many group base guards as well. This is similarly to how dragons in full form are attacked. Players in cities will have NPCs available to defend them from the lycanthrope threat during a full moon.
- It is rumored that the only way to cure lycanthropy is to ingest wolfsbane before the first full moon after being infected. (Though do note that infection by lycanthropy is entirely up to player consent to begin with, and one only risks infection by a bite from a were-shifted Lycanthrope.)
- Garou are considered to be lycanthropes from a more ancient lineage, but follow the same general rules and guidelines as outlined here.
Awakened Animals: Animals do not normally possess the intellect to be rational beings. Some animals come close, and there’s even some animals which can be debated to have intelligence higher than most orcs. What they lack is the ability to communicate and participate in society like any other sentient. Awakened animals do not have this issue. There are several types of awakened animal groups, including worgs and winter wolves. However any animal could be awakened and gain human levels of intellect and the power of speech with the aid of magic. These animals sometimes act as animal companions to others, and sometimes will strike out on their own. Unlike shapehisfters, awakened animals only have their animal form.
Awaken Animals have 5 HP, and no racial weaknesses.
Regular Animals: Normally regular animals are not playable. If given permission to play a regular animal, do note that the animal in question is NOT considered a player character. Regular animals are always treated as NPCs, and can be killed if defeated, and gain no protection like player characters do form permanent death. Regular animals can be used by storytellers and by players given permission to, but one must always ask staff before hand
Animals typically only have 3 HP, but certain types of animals may be given more or less under the express permission of a storyteller. Typically vermin are 1 HP, house pets 2 HP, wild animals 3 HP, big cats 4 HP, bears 5 HP, and then dire versions may receive more. Staff will be the final verdict on how much HP they get.
- Note: Certain beastly races with no shapeshifter descendants include the gnolls, lizardfolk, and minotaurs. These races are covered under the monster races. Other races may fall under the beastkin listing, but not be explicitly mentioned. Because fantasy lore can be wide and varied on the subject, if your race isn’t listed here, contact a mentor for clarification.
- Avatars for Beastkin: As per the avatar rules for the sim, beastkin races are required to be using avatars that are realistic in appearance and do not break immersion. A list of approved avatar appearances and products can be found in our avatar rules page. When not using those products, we ask that you contact staff to get avatar approval before going into the sim. Cartoony avatars are strictly prohibited, and we may be more strict than other fantasy sims on what is considered to be realistic.
- Druids and Shapeshifting: Some magic users such as druids use magic that is learned or earned in order to shapeshift. Those who learn magic in order to shapeshift are not covered under any of the above races. Continue to use the race they were born as.