d20 Modern: Beginnings
IN FOLKLORE: A ghoul (or ghul) is a monster from the ancient Arabian folklore that dwells in graveyards and other uninhabited places, is originally a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting demon blooded undead that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. They are intelligent and malevolent creatures that lure unwary travelers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, robs graves, and eats the dead. The ghoul has also been categorized as a devilish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis (the Devil of Arabic mythology). The female form of the creature is given as ghouleh. The English term comes from the Arabic name for the creature, which literally means demon. Even when ghouls can pass as normal humans they have some special traits that are part of their demon blood and undead condition. They all are lefties and they like to trick their victims. They like to consume flesh from dead humans and also decaying foodstuffs and raw meat. They cannot physically attack their victims until the victim has spoken at least one syllable in their presence.
IN GAME TERMS:
“Ghoul” is an acquired template that can be added to any living corporeal creature that has flesh (referred to hereafter as the “base creature”). The creature’s type changes to undead. It uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as base creature + 2.
Hit Dice: Change to d12.
Defense: The base creature’s natural armor bonus improves by + 2.
Attacks: A ghoul retains all the attacks of the base creature. It also gains a bite attack and two claw attacks if the base creature didn’t already have them. If the base creature did not have bite or claw attacks, use the base damage values in the table below. Otherwise, use the values below or the base creature’s base damage, whichever is greater. A ghoul’s primary attack is with both his claws, if he’s able to do both claws attacks, he will try to grapple its victim, pin him, and bite him.
Size Bite Claw
Small 1d4 1d2
Medium-size 1d6 1d3
Large 1d8 1d4
Special Qualities: A ghoul retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the additional special qualities described below.
Create Spawn (Su): If a ghoul’s prey contracts advanced necrotizing fasciitis (see below) from the wounds it has sustained and dies from the disease, it rises 1d3 days later as a ghoul. If a victim dies from a ghoul’s attack he can raise in 1d3 combat rounds as a ghoul, if enough of the body of the victim is left (the head is uninjured) to be raised as a ghoul. A remove disease spell cast on the corpse can prevent it from rising.
Disease (Su): A ghoul’s bite infects the victim with a supernatural version of streptococcal gangrene (injury; Fort DC 14; incubation period 1d3 days; initial damage 1d3 Con; secondary damage 1d3 Con. If Con damage is sustained, a second saving throw at the same DC is required; failure indicates that 1 point of the Con damage becomes Con drain instead). This disease, known as advanced necrotizing fasciitis, first manifests as an area of redness on the skin near the wound. Over the course of a few days, the redness becomes severe inflammation. The skin gradually turns dark purple and forms bloody blisters as the disease devours more and more of the victim’s flesh. The disease can be arrested completely through amputation of the affected limb, but most doctors prefer to combat it by surgical removal of all the affected tissue as well as some nearby healthy tissue. A cure disease spell or a successful Treat Injury check (surgery, DC 25) halts the disease. The GM should roll the check secretly; if it fails, the disease returns again in 1d3 days.
Scent (Ex): This ability allows a ghoul to detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.
Undead: Ghouls have the traits and immunities common to undead.
Special Powers: As they have demon blood, they get additional abilities the more hit dice the ghoul has, stronger the ghoul is:
Level Special Power Learns how to:
1-3 Alternate Form (Hyena) —
4-6 Alternate Form (Any Animal) Enter a house without been invited.
7-9 Alternate Form (Person) Step into consecrated land (but without powers).
10-12 Gaseous Form Cancel the salt and silver vulnerabilities.
Alternate Form (Su): A ghoul of 3 hit dice or lower can assume the form of a hyena as a move action. A ghoul of 4 to 6 hit dice can assume the form of any animal he wishes. If the ghoul has more than 6 hit dice he can assume the form of any person he likes. The ghoul can remain in that form until it assumes another form or until the next sunrise.
Gaseous Form (Su): As a move action, the ghoul (and all its gear) becomes insubstantial, misty, and translucent. The ghoul gains damage reduction 20/ +1 in this form. Its armor (including natural armor) ceases to modify its Defense, though other modifiers (such as from Dexterity and size) still apply. The ghoul cannot attack or use supernatural abilities while in gaseous form.
A ghoul in this form can remain gaseous indefinitely and has a fly speed of 20 feet with perfect maneuverability. It can pass through small holes or narrow openings, even mere cracks. Its gaseous form is subject to wind and cannot enter water or other liquid.
Beheading: Ghouls are subject to beheading and this is one of the ways of killing them. Scoring a critical hit (only in a natural “20” regarding of the weapon critical range) when attacking a ghoul counts as hitting the head, and the critical hit must then be confirm for the damage to be multiplied. Trying to behead a ghoul needs the character to pin him and make a “Coup of Grace” attack.
Fire Vulnerability: Ghouls are extremely vulnerable to fire. They take an additional 2d6 of damage if attacked with fire. This damage stacks with any other damage and can be multiplied in the case of a critical hit.
Inviolable Sanctuary: Ghouls cannot enter to a house uninvited nor step over consecrated places. To enter they must make a Will Save with a DC:20. Ghouls of more than 7 hit dice can enter to consecrated places but are unable to use their powers when inside them.
Salt Vulnerability: As other demons and ghosts, Ghouls have a strong aversion to salt. They take damage when exposed to salt ( + 1d6) and this damage can be multiplied when a critical hit is scored and confirmed. They have doors and windows blocked by salt, have to make a Will save (DC:20) to pass over a line of salt and are completely trapped inside a circle of salt.
Allegiances: Previous allegiances are lost and replaced by allegiances to chaos and evil. Changed allegiances might cause the loss of particular class abilities.
Saves: Same as the base creature, modified by new ability scores.
Ability Scores: A ghoul gains the following ability score increases: Str + 2, Dex + 2. As an undead creature, a ghoul has no Constitution score.
Language(s): A ghoul can read, write, and speak whatever languages it could in life.
Skills: Same as the base creature, modified for new ability scores. A human ghoul retains the extra skill points afforded to all humans. The ghoul gains a + 4 racial bonus on Climb, Hide, Move Silently and Jump. They also learn more to disguise their rotten flesh and odor which gives them a + 6 competent bonus on disguise.
Feats: A ghoul gains Multiattack as a bonus feat, assuming the base creature meets the prerequisites and doesn’t already have the feat. A human ghoul keeps the extra feat it gained as a 1st-level human character.
Advancement: By character class.
Standard Ghoul (Human Strong Ordinary 1/Tough Ordinary 1): CR 3; Medium-size undead; HD 2d12; hp 18; Mas —; Init + 2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+ 2 Dex, + 2 natural); BAB + 1; Grap + 4; Atk + 4 melee (1d3 + 3, claw); Full Atk + 4 melee (1d3 + 3, 2 claws) and + 2 melee (1d6 + 1 plus disease, bite) or + 3 ranged; FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ create spawn, darkvision 60 ft., disease, scent, undead; AL chaos, evil; SV Fort + 4, Ref + 2, Will + 0; AP 0; Rep +0; Str 16, Dex 14, Con —, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8.
Occupation: Blue collar (class skills: Drive, Intimidate)
Skills: Climb + 7, Craft (mechanical) + 5, Disguise + 5, Drive + 6, Hide + 6, Intimidate + 3, Jump + 7, Knowledge (popular culture) + 2, Knowledge (streetwise) + 2, Move Silently + 6, Profession + 4, Read/ Write English, Repair + 2, Search + 0, Speak English, Swim + 4.
Feats: Brawl, Multiattack, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Simple Weapons Proficiency.
Ghoul Nest Leader (Human Strong 4/Tough 3): CR 9; Medium-size undead; HD 7d12; hp 48; Mas —; Init + 2; Spd 30 ft.; Defense 17, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+ 2 Dex, + 2 natural + 3 class); BAB + 6; Grap + 7; Atk + 7 melee (1d3 + 3, claw); Atk + 7 melee (1d6 + 3, fist); Full Atk + 7 / + 2 melee (1d3 + 3, 2 claws) and + 5 melee (1d6 + 1 plus disease, bite) or + 6 ranged; FS 5 ft. by 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.; SQ create spawn, darkvision 60 ft., disease, scent, undead; AL chaos, evil; SV Fort + 6, Ref + 4, Will + 2; AP 10; Rep + 1; Str 16, Dex 14, Con —, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 9.
Occupation: Blue collar (class skills: Drive, Intimidate)
Skills: Climb + 10, Craft (mechanical) + 5, Disguise + 7, Drive + 6, Hide + 8, Intimidate + 8, Jump + 10, Knowledge (popular culture) + 2, Knowledge (streetwise) + 2, Move Silently + 6, Profession + 4, Read/ Write English, Repair + 2, Search + 2, Speak English, Spot: + 4, Swim + 7.
Talents: Ignore hardness (4), Remain Conscious, Second wind.
Feats: Athletic, Brawl, Improved Brawl, Multiattack, Personal Firearms Proficiency, Simple Weapons Proficiency, Power Attack.
Possessions: Knife, Desert Eagle (.50AE autoloader), 25 rounds of .50AE ammunition, fatigues, fatigue jacket, shovel (to dig out corpses).
2005: The Dream Warriors cleaned a nest of ghouls on Bradford Fields, on the old Cusshing’s Farm. 14 Ghouls were destroyed. They discovered that not all ghouls are ugly and dirty some of them disguise themselves… like two of them that were disguised as policemen.
2006: The Dream Warriors battle another group of ghousl on Bradford Fields, on Black Sage place. Later the same group came with reinformcements and battle them at the abandoned ice plant of Northumberland.