Werewolf Worldbuilding Sheet

I will first extrapolate on each section of the sheet and provide some thoughts/examples (and relevant werewolf facts to turn to for ideas!)…

What is lycanthropy and where did it come from? This is always something to consider. Note, of course, that where it came from may be a mystery, and that’s fine too. You don’t have to always do the “it came from a demon or a witch” thing like literally everyone else in the universe. Folklore provides us with some interesting material to help think on this – here are some helpful werewolf facts: What IS a werewolf? — Curse, not Disease — On Werewolf Biology — When Werewolves Went Mad

How does one become a werewolf? Pretty simple question, but always complicated to answer! Well, potentially. How does someone become a werewolf in your story? Definitely a helpful werewolf fact for ideas – but also refer to several from the first question: Becoming a werewolf

Are there different terms for werewolves? Something else to think about! Are your werewolves even called “werewolves?” They don’t have to be, of course, but you know, it’d be cooler if they were. And most monsters, especially in older times, didn’t have just one name – not to mention other languages in your universe that would have their own terms for a werewolf. Useful werewolf fact: Etymology

Are there different kinds of werewolves or similar shapeshifters? This is kind of a weird one, I know, but hey, it’s something to think about. I for one don’t go into the “werewolves are just one kind of shapeshifter that happen to all be pretty much exactly like werewolves but different animals” (looking at you, D&D and WoD), but lots of people do, so that’s up to you! Helpful/potentially relevant werewolf facts: What is and isn’t a werewolf — Where were the werewolf hybrids — On shaping other shapeshifters — Berserkers — Vrykolakas — Loup garous and rougarous — Magic skins

What do the werewolves look like? A big one to decide! I’ll try not to influence you, but, you know, werewolves are called werewolves, just try to remember that. Useful werewolf facts: Physical Appearance — Werewolves have tails — Wolves are big, werewolves are bigger — Hands and claws — Fur colors — Eye colors — How to identify a werewolf — Werewolves walking upright

Do werewolves have packs? Werewolf packs saturate our current generation of pop culture, but they are indeed very popular. Consider, however, that werewolves’ characterization is severely degraded if they are basically unable to exist without a pack and/or devote themselves entirely to seeking a pack instead of being a person at all; not that werewolf packs are bad, but something to consider. Useful werewolf facts: Is alpha, beta, omega really a thing? — Communities and families — Inheritance/offspring

What are a werewolf’s powers and abilities? There might be more than you think! Have fun with it! Just remember, werewolves should totally be OP. Like, way OP. No, I’m not kidding. They’re awesome. We love werewolves on this blog, remember? Useful werewolf facts: Powers and abilities — Eye/vision powers — Spirit projection — Werewolves can outrun you — Werewolves can swim — Werewolves can climb trees — Gluttony/swallowing things whole

Do they have any weaknesses, and why? Another big question! Do your werewolves have weaknesses? Or do they not? If so, of course – what are they? Useful werewolf facts: How to kill a werewolf (weaknesses) — Silver — Belladonna and wolfsbane — Werewolf and monster hunters

What triggers a werewolf transformation? The BIG one! Well, one of the big ones. Super, super important. Is it more than one thing? What are they? Details! Useful werewolf facts: Transformation triggers — Transformation sequence — On werewolf biology (again) — Full moon — The Arcadians

What triggers a werewolf to return to human form again? What it says on the tin. This can vary a lot! It’ll definitely be influenced by the first question, but it’s something to maybe think about separately.

Can a werewolf be “cured”? This can depend, of course, on what exactly your werewolves are/how they work, but it’s always useful to know the answer as to whether or not there’s any hope of someone being totally human again. Plese see previous questions for other useful facts, like if your lycanthropy is a curse in the first place! Useful werewolf facts: How to cure lycanthropy

Can the werewolves control themselves, or ever learn how to do so? Are your werewolves even uncontrollable in the first place? Is there any hope for a sad werewolf to ever gain control, if so? Useful werewolf facts: When Werewolves Went Mad — Personality changes

How do werewolves act in their werewolf form and why? Are your werewolves full of rage? Are the hungry? Do they eat people? Why? Would they hunt specifically people, or what? Useful werewolf facts:  When Werewolves Went Mad — Werewolves vs Evil — Personality changes (again) — Werewolves don’t bark — Werewolf diet — Werewolves vs vampires — Werewolves as noble knights — The trial of Peter Stubbe — Werewolf Intelligence (and speech)

Are werewolves immortal, or anything approaching it? How about that immortality? Useful werewolf facts: Immortality and aging — Powers and abilities (again)

How are werewolves treated/seen by others? Are they outcasts? Kill on sight? Hunted from the very moment someone finds out what they are? Do they have to hide the fact that they are a werewolf? How does it work? Useful werewolf facts: Hiding being a werewolf

Do werewolves remember anything about their transformations? What it says on the tin! Do they, or do they not? Is it hazy? Do they have no memory of it at all and might not even realize they are a werewolf? Or do they remember everything? Useful werewolf facts: Memory

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Please note of course that my werewolf facts are here to give you ideas, not be instructions. Werewolves of your creation are of your creation, and thus you should create them the way you want and like them! I don’t want to dictate to anyone the way werewolves “should” be, although I absolutely have my personal preferences. The werewolf facts are meant to give you ideas and, hopefully, be a good jumping off point.

Folklore isn’t always the coolest portrayal of werewolves – it’s just better, IMO, to use folklore as a basis or at least as an idea basin instead of ignoring it entirely. The folklore for werewolves is awesome, just like all folklore. But pop culture has given us some cool things, too.

And remember, if you have any other questions or want to throw ideas at me or ask me my thoughts on anything, I am more than happy to talk werewolf ideas with you! Please, share your werewolves with me! I promise they don’t have to be ultra-folkloric for me to love them (mine actually aren’t, in many respects), since I’m a big fan of several very Hollywood things as well. I’m also always here to give writing advice.

Enjoy!

Other posts you may find useful, across both the Werewolf Facts and Werewolf Articles sections on the site:

  • What to Do and what to Avoid when writing werecreatures
  • Werewolf tropes I like and dislike (and why)
  • More on werewolf tropes
  • Reframing “werewolf angst” into “werewolf anxiety” (very important!)
  • On pop culture werewolf designs and Underworld’s influence
  • Werewolves are not British
  • The Beast of Gevaudan and what isn’t a werewolf legend
  • Wargs/worgs

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BLANK VERSION OF THE SHEET:

What is lycanthropy and where did it come from?

How does one become a werewolf?

Are there different terms for werewolves?

Are there different kinds of werewolves or similar shapeshifters?

What do the werewolves look like?

Do werewolves have packs?

What are a werewolf’s powers and abilities?

Do they have any weaknesses, and why?

What triggers a werewolf transformation?

What triggers a werewolf to return to human form again?

Can a werewolf be “cured”?

Can the werewolves control themselves, or ever learn how to do so?

How do werewolves act in their werewolf form and why?

Are werewolves immortal, or anything approaching it?

How are werewolves treated/seen by others?

Do werewolves remember anything about their transformations?

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And of course, don’t forget to check out my werewolf facts and other werewolf articles for more info on folkloric werewolves – and my sundry opinions on pop culture werewolves!