The many divisions of elves that make up the world are common knowledge to most; but what is less well known, is that even among the distinguishable categories, Elves sometimes group themselves into infinitely more niche subgroups. The Lythari are one such subcategory of Wood Elves, all of whom are cursed or perhaps blessed with a very specific lycanthropy, passed down with great reverence through the generations.
The shapeshifting abilities are utterly under their control, and take great pride in honing their transformative skills from birth. Unlike most Lycanthropes however, the Lythari are only capable of transforming between an elven and wolf form.
If you choose to specialise within the subgroup of Wood Elves, ignore the Subrace notes provided in the Player’s Handbook, and instead, gain the following traits:
Ability Score Increase:
Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Your innate connection to beasts grants you proficiency in Animal Handling. All Animal Handling rolls against wolves are made with advantage.
Your lycanthropic bloodline grants you the ability to shape-shift freely between your elven form and a wolf form, who’s appearance reflects your elven form and vice vesa. You can use your action to magically assume the shape of your wolf form or back into your Elven form. Unlike a druid’s wild shape, this is an innate part of you and it takes little effort for you to transform; as such, you can swap between forms an indefinite number of times and can maintain each form for as long as you wish.
While in your wolf form, you replace your stats and attacks with those of a Wolf, found on page 341 of the Monster Manual.
In addition to the features listed in the basic wolf rules, the following conditions also apply to your transformation:
Your game Statistics are replaced by the Statistics of the wolf form, but you retain your Alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You also retain all of your skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the wolf. If the wolf has the same proficiency as you and the bonus in its stat block is higher than yours, use the wolf’s bonus instead of yours.
Unlike a Druid’s wild shape, when you transform, you maintain the same Hit Points and Hit Dice.
You can't cast Spells, and your ability to speak or take any action that requires hands are unavailable. Transforming doesn't break your Concentration on a spell you've already cast, however, or prevent you from taking Actions that are part of a spell, such as Call Lightning, that you've already cast.
You retain the benefit of any features from your class, or other source and can use them if the wolf form is physically capable of doing so. However, you can't use any of your Special Senses, such as Darkvision.
You choose whether your Equipment falls to the ground in your space, merges into your wolf form, or is worn by it. Worn Equipment functions as normal, but the DM decides whether it is practical for the wolf form to wear a piece of Equipment, based on the creature's shape and size. Your Equipment doesn't change size or shape to match the wolf form, and any Equipment that the wolf form can't wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until you leave the form.
Your wolf form grows with you as you increase in power. If you increase any of your statistics (or proficiency bonus) by magical means, through training, levelling up or via a feat, your wolf form also gains these same benefits to its stats. If a class feature allows you to attack multiple times per turn, your wolf form also gains these benefits when you do.
Tooth and Claw:
Although Lythari prefer to avoid combat, your lupine heritage grants you the weapons of a predator even in your elf form. While in your elf form, you have proficiency in unarmed combat, and any unarmed attacks you make, deal 1D4 slashing damage with your clawed hands (or 1D4 piercing damage iff you choose to bite someone).