What Good Will It Do?
You may be asking yourself, what good is becoming werewolf? For starters, you will notice a signifigantincrease in strength. This is a good thing. You will notice also, that once every month you will assume the form of a wolf-man. This is awkward at first, but you will get used to it. Plus, in your character info screen, you will look really damn cool:
* As soon as lycanthropy kicks in, the following things happen:
The PC gains 40 points to their Strength, Agility, Speed, and Endurance scores, although none of these scores can increase past 100. These bonuses apply even when the lycanthrope is in HUMAN (or whatever) form: they won't disappear unless the lycanthropy is cured (ick!). (This is a total of 160 bonus points: most vampires, by contrast, only get a total of 140 bonus points.)
The PC also gains 30 points to the following skills: Jumping, Swimming, Climbing, Running, Critical Strike, Stealth, and Hand to Hand. Unfortunately, this 30-point bonus does not increase the character's level. Ah well.
Here's an interesting little bonus: the PC gains the "Immunity to Disease" special advantage, if they didn't already have it. Don't ask me why, I dunno...
A spell named "lycanthropy" appears in the PC's spellbook. (If they don't HAVE a spellbook, they're seriously screwed.) This spell costs ZERO spell-points to cast, regardless of whatever the spellbook says. Casting the spell while in beast-form will change the PC back to their original shape, guaranteed. Casting the spell while in human (or whatever!) form will change the PC to beast-form ***IF*** the PC has remained in human form for the last 24 hours: otherwise, they'll get a message saying "Can only be cast once per day...". (Of course, that's an inaccurate message: the spell can be cast twice per day, once to switch to beast form and again to change back.)
The "hunt clock" is set to 14 days, and begins ticking down. I'll explain all about that in the "bad stuff" section.
* During the day of the full moon (which I guess occurs once a month, although it seems to be more often than that... ), the PC will be FORCED into beast-form if not in that shape already. (The message "You dream, once again, of the moon..." will appear at the top of the screen when this happens.) The PC will NOT change back automatically once the day of the full moon ends: they need to cast the lycanthropy spell to do that, as usual. (As I said before: if you HAVE no spellbook when the full moon rolls around... well, let's just say that it sucks to be you.) It IS possible to cast the spell and turn back into a human DURING the full moon, but you'll be forced right back into beast form again after about 10 seconds. Of course, you can switch right back into human form again on the spot, as many times as you want to. Thus, the full moon allows you to get around the "24-hour wait" restriction of the lycanthropy spell. That's why I'm mentioning the full moon here, in the "good stuff" section.
* While in beast-form, the PC is utterly immune to iron and steel weapons, assuming said weapons are being wielded by a human or an orc. Attacks from these weapons simply will not hit the lycanthrope, ever. Natural attacks (from animals and such) CAN hit. So can attacks from daedra, giants, skeletal warriors (I think), stupid gay rats, ect. Also, high level werewolves may run into humans and orcs who use better weapon material, and who therefore can actually land a hit. (Of course, at those levels, the point is moot... you're gonna slay 'em all before they can even THINK about swinging, heh heh heh. Uh, usually.
* In order for your legal reputation to go down, the town guards usually need to arrest you (which is what has happened when the "Do you wish to surrender to the guards?" message comes up). In order to arrest you, the guards need to score a successful hit. Most guards, however, are only equipped with weapons made of iron or steel.
* Contrary to ignorant peasant myth, werewolves are perfectly capable of casting spells in beast-form, and have no difficulty or penalties doing so. (I'll betcha that this was originally a bug that the playtesters convieniently "neglected" to report.) On top of that, all the armor and magic items worn by a lycanthrope "meld" into the beast-form upon transformation, and so they still recieve any and all benefits that the armor/items provide, including the "mundane" protection provided by wearing armor (of course). A werewolf can even "activate" items like potions and wands and whatnot by clicking on that there handy "use magic item" button (or by pressing the 'U' key, which is what I prefer...). * This is inconclusive, but after many, many "tests" performed upon a very, very unfortunate giant, I would say that being in beast-form does seem to give you a small bonus to hand-to-hand damage (it's really "claw attack" damage, but it uses the hand-to-hand skill anyway).
* The PC can still open doors, pick locks, turn wheels, pull levers, etc. while a werewolf. You can even accept quests, oddly enough. Just thought that should be clarified (heh).
* Not only do you LOOK cool while in beast-form, but you SOUND cool too. You'll make lots of awesome snarling and growling noises whenever you're tearing some unfortunate to bits.