Ok, so here is the situation:
I’m running Cuse of Strahd for a group of friends, and last session they had an encounter with werewolves. I made all wolves (and werewolves) attack a single player, since that’s how I thought they would probably hunt. Since the paladin was the only one who had a silvered weapon, they decided to take him down first.
It was impressive. He dodged almost all attacks from normal wolves and was bitten by every single werewolf attack. He passed his con saves to avoid lycanthropy so many times I lost count. I didn’t tell him what the rolls were for, or whether he succeeded or not, but he pretty much knew what was going on.
Finally, the last hit took him down. The wolves were done with him and onto a new target. Only one last save to make… and he rolled a natural 1. Yeah, he’s turning into a werewolf.
He instantly told me that as a paladin he is immune to sickness and disease, and I reassured him that I was aware. And that was it. I didn’t tell him his character is cursed yet. He asked if he felt any different when he woke up, and I told him he only felt the pain from the fight.
Now for the fun part: Should I tell him he is cursed, or should I let him find out at the next full moon? There is not much in the monster manual. My two best options right now seem:
- Let him go on as usual, and transform him in the next full moon. He goes all out, attacking anyone he sees, friend or foe (if the players do not lock him up as a precaution, which might happen). And from that point on he feels the effects of the curse. All at once, the bloodlust, the anger. Flashes of whatever he did during his transformation come to him, and thoughts of what he didn’t get to do pass thourgh his mind. The once peaceful paladin now has to control his violent and feral instincts.
- Let him know right now. He feels the change, although I explain to the player that his character does not know what it is. Tell him to start subtle. His best friend (another PC) just died in the campaign the previous session, so his character is pretty agitated. So the character and the other players might think it’s just his way of dealing with grief. He was more violent during the fight against the werewolves, even before the curse (that was all the player’s doing). But only when he finally turns into a monster, everything will make sense.
Either way, the player loves to roleplay, I’m pretty confident he will enjoy both scenarios. I know I described a little bit about his thoughts and feelings, but I don’t intend on going too far with it: it’s his character, and I’m not planning on taking agency from him. I’m pretty sure we’ll figure it out. My real question is: how should I tell him about the curse? How does it work?