Lion heartbeast - help please

So, I'm trying to make a Bjornaer with a lion heartbeast, and I run into a few rule issues I'm not sure about.

First, what is the Size of a lion? The Book of Mundane Beasts says it's +2, but then gives Wound Penalties as per Size +1. Is this a mistake in the Size, or the wounds, or neither?

Secondly, how do I treat fatigue levels? Switching over to the lion's seems rather a big advantage.

Finally, HoH:Mystery Cults says ALL of the lion's virtues apply. Really?! Even Self Confident? Proud? I think mental virtues (like Ferocity) shouldn't be part of the bargain, but perhaps I'm not in the Bjornaer mindset.


  1. I would say +1. A lion is not as big a horse, but is as big as a pony for sure when it comes to mass.

  2. Accumulate Fatigue levels as human. Those transfer to the lion as usual. So if you had 2 fatigue levels and transform, the lion has 2 fatigue levels as well. If you become really tired in lion form and switch back to human you can fall unconscious. THat is me, though. I do not have HOH:MC, so there might be rules for that there. This is how we have been playing it around here since... always, I think (3rd edition). It was nice to see a tired bjornaer transform into a crow and become insta-unconscious in one of our first games ever :laughing:


I thought it was only a physical transformation, that mental scores (Intelligence, Area Lore, etc.) remained the same. I had assumed that included mental/psychological virtues and flaws.

I hadn't caught the typo. Now that I look closer, I see it and see the same mistake for the hound. I would guess based on the wolf that the size is of for the hound. In the case of the lion, as they typically are around 2.5 m long and around 200 kg, that size +2 is reasonable.

I would let the Bjornaer have this. Don't worry about it. It may seem powerful, but it's really not overly so. First, remember that this is purely physical and that magi can use spells so toss around plenty of damage and the like anyway. Second, remember that Bjornaer don't get familiars, which hurts their soak and other things. Third, you can get tons of similar bonuses from a Verditius. Fourth, the Bjornaer will have to split experience to improve Brawl (and other abilities) as a lion. Fifth, and most importantly, if it makes for a cool character with a solid concept then that's the most important thing.


I wonder about this. A large war horse (size +3) would be around 550 kg (I am talking about medieval ones, not modern equivalent. I understand our modern equivalent stands about 17.5 hands at the shoulder as compared to about 15 hands for the medieval ones.) and not that much longer than a lion. A person (about 70 kg) would be size 0. A Large person (size +1) is probably more like 120 kg or so and only about 2 m tall compared to 2.5 m long for the lion. To me size +2 seems like a good place, quite reasonable for a 2.5-m long lion with a mass around 200 kg; perhaps it's a little on the light side, but that seems like where we'd put one of our best-known modern examples of someone with gigantism (size +2): Andre the Giant (about 2.1 to 2.2 m tall and averaging around 200 kg).


Guess I thought lions were smaller :slight_smile: More like pony-size (a typical size +1 creature). I stand corrected then.


Alright, then Size +2 seems appropriate. This leaves the Wound Penalties (which fit Size +1) as probably an error.

I'm still not clear on how to treat Fatigue levels, but I'm inclined to go with just keeping the human ones. Otherwise, switching to lion form just gave the Bjornaer a singnificant boost in power (especially with life-linked magic or something similar).

And I'm still not comfortable with adopting all the beast's virtues. I'm inclined to say the mental ones stay, but those that affect Confidence (or Decreptitude or so on) are ignored - the Confidence game mechanic is too basic to meddle with in this way.

Oh, and I don't have any problem with making the Bjornaer powerful - I'm the player here, not the SG - but I'm trying to find a fair and reasonable interpretation of the rules.


The rules are clear that a shapeshifter or Bjornaer does get the extra fatigue levels, along with all the other animal qualities.

The Bjornaer does not become a worse lion than a lion.



Size 2 is reasonable for a lion.

14-16 and 450-700kg for common medieval ones. But there is fair evidence that the largest were up to around 19 and over 1000kg, but not commonly used and the exact reason for the larger ones existence being somewhat uncertain. One suggestion is that they may have been used as tournament horses only, where the problem of getting up on the horse without help wasnt an issue.

I know there was a farm down south here in Sweden that tried to "back-breed" to one of the large medieval warhorse races, and last i heard they had ended up with one of the largest now living horses, just under 19 hands high. This is probably slightly bigger than the same would have been historically thanks to better food and care but not far off, and they still expect the "race" might get a little bigger still with the next couple of generations.
In comparison, the worlds largest ever known horse was 1500kg(and largest currently alive is 20.1 hands high and 1300kg).

Anyway, not saying you´re wrong, just expanding on it a little.

The known record for lion size is 375 kg, while regular male lions average around 225-275kg(females "just" around 130-190kg).

So a female lion might be a size +1 then?


Certainly within the realm of possibility yes. With lions tending to be pretty impressive either way i would probably lean towards still saying +2 but thats personal choice.

Hey, I'm happy my numbers were so good for averages. Now, since you have all this information, maybe you also know the masses of Mongolian horses? I was reading they stand about 12-14 hands at the shoulder, but I couldn't find their masses. I was guessing they would be good for the small end of size +2, but I wasn't sure.

Yes, after reading what you wrote I saw the same thing as Xavi, that perhaps the male lion would be size +2 with the female being size +1.


Ouch thats not a simple task, im not sure ive ever seen numbers on that, ok searching...
Books comes up with zero...
Found that "Takhi", Mongolian wild horses, described as slightly more stocky than the common domesticated ones and at 13 hands high weighs in around 300kg, another says around 350kg, a third says 550-750lb.

Ok... Located some... Mares average 280kg, stallions 370kg. Another source gives 270-370kg total.
A third gives 350kg as "normal".
Well, that will have to do, those numbers seem to be fairly normal.