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I recently killed a werejackal (somehow avoiding having lycanthropy transmitted to me), and now have a fresh corpse in my inventory.

According to the all-knowing Wiki, lycanthropy is generally undesirable.

Are there any benefits that I should be aware of, however? For instance, any reason I should just go ahead and consume this corpse?

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Darn, "Should I eat werewolf corpses?" would have been an awesome question title. I love nethack. –  Brant Feb 16 '11 at 23:12
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2 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Generally, no, there is rarely a good reason to eat a lycanthrope. Lycanthropy is not easy to control, and all of the possible forms are incapable of wearing most equipment and generally result in getting weighed down.

There is a minor benefit, in that lycanthropy can give you "second chances", so to speak. While you are polymorphed into your animal form, being reduced to 0 hit points will revert you to your normal state, thus surviving a lethal blow. But because of the general inability to control this, and because the animal forms won't really help in weakening your foes to make such survival worth it, it just isn't that wise.

Also remember that a were-creature counts as a human, so you're a cannibal if you're a Human but not a Caveman.

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While in monster form, you can use the #monster command to summon beasts of your kind. This can net you an army of (admittedly kind of weak) pets.

Lycanthropy also ensures that if you're polymorphed while human, you'll enter your animal form. Depending on what kind of were-foo you are, this can guarantee that you won't turn into something big, destroying your armor.

Still, probably not worth it, though a Ring of Polymorph Control would make it more palatable.

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This could be more useful if you then polymorph your army. –  StrixVaria Feb 16 '11 at 23:50
    
@Strix - True. With a Polymorph trap and a whistle/leash, you could probably have some fun. Maybe a good strategy for pacifist? –  sjohnston Feb 17 '11 at 1:20
    
Unless you eat a werewolf, in which case you will destroy your armor. Of course, an army of wolves is better than an army of jackals or rats. –  Wooble Feb 17 '11 at 4:59
    
@Wooble - Good point. I've updated my answer accordingly. –  sjohnston Feb 17 '11 at 18:38
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