The Shape Shifters.
To become a Therian, a simple bite that breaks the skin is all that is required. Bacteria in the saliva that enters the bloodstream from a bite alters the genetic make up of the one bitten. From the point of being bitten, to the following full moon, the individual will feel their body going through changes. Vision, hearing, and smell are the first noticeable changes. Next will be an increase in speed and reflexes, and a tremendous increase in physical strength are soon to follow. Afterwords, they are able to change at will. The other way to become a therian, is to be born as one. If at least one parent is such an individual and has a child, then the child too would be one, but would not start exhibiting its therian traits till they reach puberty. This however makes life VERY difficult on the child. Trying to cope with not only hormones, but the emerging animal dwelling within.
Contrary to popular belief, most therians are in fact peaceful. However there's always a bit of control to be used with such powerful creatures. Once mastered though, most blend in with society and live like everyone else. But with any large group, there's always that small minority who sets the example for all the rest. They are why people view werecreatures as ruthless, cold-blooded killers. It is usually those who haven't learned to control the beast within, that are responsible for attacks on humans.
Therians can be any species, however with this RPG we are limiting them to the three major groups of carnivorous mammals. That being the Canines, Felines, and Ursulines. Depending on where you are in the world, will determine the most common species in a given area. In North America and Europe, werewolves (also referred to as Lycans, referenced on t) are the most common, followed by werefoxes, werebears and werecougars. In Africa, werelions and wereheyenas are the most common, while weretigers are common in Asia.
Despite all the different species, and all their inherent abilities, ALL therians share one single weakness. They all have a severe allergy to silver. If shot or stabbed through the heart with silver, death is certain and immediate. Destroying the brain will also work, but the likelihood of getting the chance to do so is nearly impossible.
Lycanthropus lupus familiaris: Also called the "Dogwolf." These are quadrupeds, similar to the American Werewolf in London variety. Although the other species can run on all fours, this subspecies is strictly quadrupedal.
Lycanthropus canis latrans Werecoyotes are smaller then most werewolves, but are quicker and very intelligent.
Lycanthropus vulpine vulpes The werefox. Yes, they are VERY sly and sneaky. Good luck trying to catch one.
Felithropus panthera tigris: The Weretiger. Largest and most powerful of all the felines. A master killer, with the means and ability to take on ANY therian.
Felithropus panthera leo: The Werelion is second only to the tiger. Brutal fighters and afraid of nothing.
Felithropus panthera onca: Werejaguars don't have the size and power of the tiger and lion, but makes up for it in its ferocity.
Felithropus panthera pardus: Wereleopards are masters at stealth and cunning.
Felithropus puma concolor: Werecougars are fast, smart and lethal. Their roaring scream is one of the most ungodly sounds on planet earth.
Felithropus acinonyx jubatus: The Werecheetah. Fastest of all therians. Not much for strength, but lethal killers.
Ursuthropian maritimus: The largest of all therians, the polar werebear is unmatched in size and strength. However it doesn't do well in warmer climates, so seeing one is extremely unlikely.
Ursuthropian ursus arctos: The brown or grizzly werebear is the most ferocious of all the bears and is one even the polar will let be.
Ursuthropian ursus americanus: The smaller American black werebear is perhaps the most common of all werebears and one of the least aggressive, except when defending those they love.
Ursuthropian ursus thibetanus: A cousin to the American, the Asian black werebear sports a white or cream colored V-shaped patch on their chests.
Ursuthropian ailuropoda melanoleuca: The werepanda is the only therian that does not eat meat. It's big and powerful, yet only eats bamboo. Finding one outside China is extremely rare.
Ursuthropian helarctos malayanus: The Sun werebear is the smallest of all the bear species yet are fierce in a fight with a formidable set of teeth.