Created By: Voyd211 on March 1, 2013 Last Edited By: Voyd211 on March 24, 2013

Lucid Lycanthrope

A werebeast, or something similar, maintains personality while transformed.

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Do We Have This One??

Usually, when a werebeast transforms, no matter how different they are, their mind is reduced to that of a mindless beast, without any kind of control.

Therefore, you are understandably freaked out when a big old wolf-man explodes out of your friend. He walks up to you and swings his claws...

... and kills the Mook that was sneaking up on you. Right before calmly explaining that he's in control of his condition.

Note that this isn't necessarily restricted to werebeasts; the Hulk has dipped into this trope on more than one occasion.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • March 1, 2013
    Koveras
    • The Dresden Files explores various werewolf types of the setting in Fool Moon. One of them, specifically the kind that the Alphas gang belongs to, can shift between human and wolf forms at will while retaining their human minds. Another, the one that their mentor belongs to, can do the same--while retaining her wolf mind.
  • March 1, 2013
    Voyd211
    • It takes time, effort, and lots of Giant Spider bodies, but the Toa Hordika eventually learn to control their Hordika state without being consumed by it.
  • March 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    I think we got this one nailed already. What was it, Heroic Willpower?
  • March 1, 2013
    StarSword
    Might not necessarily be a willpower thing, though. I can think of two works where the werebeast transforms but retains his human mind. I'll post 'em on the next commercial break.
  • March 1, 2013
    StarSword
    Ok.

    Anime and Manga:
    • With one notable exception, lycanthropes in Dance In The Vampire Bund can transform at will and maintain full control in that form.

    Tabletop Games:
    • Dungeons And Dragons (or it might just be the Forgotten Realms setting; I'm not sure) draws a distinction between free-willed lycanthropes, who usually inherited the trait and can transform at will and maintain full control, and non-free-willed lycans who don't.
  • March 2, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^^ Then it's an aversion of The Mind Is A Plaything Of The Body, or assumed part and parcel of a character's Voluntary Shapeshifting. I don't entirely want to play the Not A Trope card, but ... Not A Trope?
  • March 3, 2013
    aurora369
    There is a distinction between lycanthropes who become bestial upon transformation and those who are not. However I can't tell if this is a trope or not.
  • March 3, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • Keine Kamishirasawa from Touhou will transform into a were-hakutaku during the night of full moon. Fanon depictions aside, she only seems to be in a bad mood rather than outright berserk.
  • March 3, 2013
    Rainbow
    The Wolfsbane Potion in Harry Potter allows a werewolf to keep his or her mind while transformed.
  • March 3, 2013
    Antonymous
    Isn't this the default? Transformations that suppress the mind are relatively rare, even for werebeasts -- I think it's mostly a werewolf thing, and even there lucid werewolves (and ones whose minds are only slightly affected) seem to be about as common as mindless ones.
  • March 3, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Werewolves are already so varied that I don't see much trope in trying to draw a line between The Mind Is A Plaything Of The Body and not.
  • March 8, 2013
    m8e
    I think the Ctarl-Ctarl in Outlaw Star is an example. (Have to check, unless someone else writes up an example.)
  • March 8, 2013
    Generality
    Done both ways on the Discworld; werewolves can take lupine shape at will and retain their minds, though they gain some wolfish personality traits (which may persist in human form if they spend enough time as wolves), but during the full moon they lose control and become ravenous beasts.
  • March 8, 2013
    ArcadesSabboth
    Tabletop Games:
    • In Werewolf The Apocalypse all shapeshifters retain the same personality in every form. Their senses and perspective shift somewhat, and their war-forms are filled with seething adrenaline and aggression, but they always retain their intelligence and voluntary control.
  • March 14, 2013
    Voyd211
    I suppose I should make the explanation a bit more clear. It doesn't only refer to werebeasts, it can refer to any Superpowered Evil Side that is normally uncontrollable. And as stated, the Hulk has done this more than once, when it's the body of Hulk but the mind of Banner.
  • March 24, 2013
    zarpaulus
    • Dungeons And Dragons 3.5: Natural lycanthropes (born with it) are in full control when they shift, afflicted lycanthropes (bitten by a natural lycanthrope) change on the full moon and can't retain control if they don't know they're afflicted. Once an afflicted lycanthrope finds out they remain in control when transformed but need to roll to avoid shifting involuntarily and if they shift voluntarily their alignment changes to that of their type.

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