View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other The Hungry Dead: New Options for Player Ghouls

2015-10-01, 05:30 PM
The Hungry Dead

The ghoul is one of the classic monsters of horror. Don't believe me? Watch Night of the Living Dead and pay attention to what the zombies are called. That's right, ghouls. So what is the ghoul?

In its earliest mythical roots it is a murderous spirit which lurks in graveyards, eats the dead, and shapeshifts into the forms of those it eats. Reminiscent in ways of vampires; one is the recently dead arisen to prey on mortals the other is a demon that takes the form of the recently dead to prey on mortals. Not too dissimilar. That said I am no expert on the mythical ghoul, or its Arabic roots. In fact the oldest reference to a ghoul I have personally read might be Poe's "The Bells" which I am uncertain if I have read, or perhaps "Pickman's Model" and The Dreamquest of Unknown Kardath by H.P. Lovecraft.

Now Lovecraft's ghouls are creatures once human (Pickman himself did become a ghoul) which feast upon human flesh but are not necessarily all bad. In the Dreamquest they are the loyal allies and supporters of our protagonist after all.

Clark Ashton Smith presented us with ghouls as well. While Wikipedia only lists "The Nameless Offspring" which I, for one, have never read, in his Zothique stories depicting the final continent of Earth's dying days they make an appearance as well. Mordiggian, the eponymous "Charnel God" of the tale, is served by a clergy of ghouls was actually something of a benign god, protecting the city that proffered him worship in exchange for them placing the dead to burial in his temple. The ghoulish priests perhaps ate these corpses, but what we do see is them protecting them from desecration by necromancers, and Mordiggian himself taking action. Even so they spared the foolish narrator who had desecrated their sacred sanctum with his presence, simply threatening him into silence of what he had seen and not enacting the semi-official death penalty for such an act, because he was not there to desecrate the dead but for other reasons. Mordiggian is officially a Great Old One (meaning later writers decided because he was creepy he was evil) and can be fought in Arkham Horror as an Ancient One.

Fritz Leiber's Lhankmar stories present the ghouls as an anthropophagous offshoot of humanity with strangely see through flesh so that they appear to be walking skeletons full of guts. Fafhrd has a thing for one of them and thinks she looks strangely beautiful.

This of course brings us back to Romero and The Night of the Living Dead and with it the combination of ghouls with the risen dead, and the creation of what we now call zombies. As I am no expert on actual zombies I will not get into them too thoroughly, except to say that the movie zombie has more in common with vampires than zombies or ghouls and with ghouls than zombies. It is this incarnation that causes ghouls to be the living dead (note how all the other versions were very much alive), and gives them their ghoul fever.

This brings us to Dungeons and Dragons and its ghouls. Now they are a curious mix of things. In 3.x they are far from Romero's unintelligent shamblers, as they possess more intelligence than your average human, yet they still bear its mark with undeath and ghoul fever to turn a bit foe into another ghoul. I choose to consider this intelligence a left over from Lovecraft whom Gygax admitted as a major influence and whose influence can be seen throughout the game especially in the older editions. Even so I have no proof of this, this is simply my own belief. Then they have paralysis which comes from nowhere I can fathom, and their stronger cousin the ghast even bears a stomach churning stench though it can easily be traced to the stench of carrion.

In 3.5 Libris Mortis promoted Doresain, the King of Ghouls, to demigodhood. Before this he had been a demonic or undead servant of the demonlord Yeenoghu and Libris Mortis did not retcon this relationship, just made him a demigod... who was routinely forcibly indentured to demon lords... this feels wrong to me. Even so this gave a ghoul god and with the gravetouched ghoul template which represents his chosen a playable ghoul. That's right a playable ghoul. As a deity Doresain takes cues from Mordiggian above (under ground temples man) but is... boring.

Everything here is intended primarily for use with this template. Doresain may be used or not, divorced from Doresain the template can still be used to represent a ghoul which retains more of its humanity and thus its levels. For the purposes of this thread I am ignoring that the template lists Always Chaotic Evil; just like they did for their sample True Neutral Gravetouched Ghoul Monk. Instead I am assuming that it is a usually. I also advice not including the diet dependence trait as presented in Libris Mortis because it was poorly thought out for PCs, I'd suggest increasing the time needed between meals to at least a week.

This thread will do the following:
PHB Style race entry for (gravetouch) ghouls.
Give a short description of a sample ghoul society in the catacombs beneath a major human city.
Present players with several feats for playing ghouls, everything from scent and ghast's stench to feats to grant you benefits from eating the dead and the living.
Present players with a series of Racial Substitution Levels for (Gravetouched) Ghoul PCs. I will not be providing full tables for these as none modifier BAB, Fort, Ref, Will, or spells per day/spells known; only levels and what is exchanged for what.
Present Mordiggian as a "deity" and potentially a PrC for a thrall/servant of Mordiggian but I have to decide what alignment to present Mordiggian as. If I go with LE I can do a thrall PrC like I will be doing for other Great Old Ones, but if I go with LN that wouldn't be appropriate (as it would require a Vile feat) and the PrC would have to be slightly different. I'll have to re-read "The Charnel God" before deciding, and second opinions would be appreciated.

While everything here is intended primarily for Gravetouched Ghoul any prerequisite of Ghoul can also be qualified for with regular Ghoul or with Lacedon or Ghast.

Ghouls are known as flesh hungry predators which lurk in the darkness seeking to devour the unwary. Their charnel territories hide in the shadows cast by humanoid society, existing underneath it and throughout it, a menace which spreads its roots in the refuse and rotten corpses of mankind.
Personality: Ghouls' personalities are informed by their previous race. Those ghouls that retain vestiges of life, and thus are the most playable, show the most signs of their previous race but even they are changed by the transformation. Ghouls tend towards a predatory cast to their thoughts, judging things first and foremost by the hunger which gnaws at their very souls. Many judge things first and foremost by their quality as food, causing many ghouls to have better relations with animals than humanoids as their every instinct screams that a human not killed by ghoul fever is food, and it is rare that one cares deeply for a pig fattened for the feast. They retain their sapience, however, and although their instincts inform them that a creature is food a ghoul may find some kinship with a living humanoid, or a loved one of their blurred past life; this does not necessarily imply safety for the creature. A ghoul knows only one way to ensure that a humanoid is never eaten by if not them another, to make them into a ghoul as well. Ghouls are ultimately selfish creatures, banding together out of necessity to bring down the dangerous prey which is a living humanoid, and devoured by a gluttonous need to feast. They can form bonds of fondness, and even love, but it is an exceptional ghoul that is willing to self-sacrifice.
Physical Description: Ghouls appear much as they did in life, but with some notable changes. A ghoul will almost always have a gaunt, starved appearance; fitting an incarnation of hunger. Their jaws grow more prominent, teeth becoming almost fangs, and their hands twist in monstrous claws. Thus a ghoul is shaped like a starved corpse, twisted by the hunger that fills them. This thin, lean build gives ghouls a tendency to be significantly lighter than they were in life.
Relations: Relations between ghouls and living humanoids are extremely strained, like those between wolves and sheep. Native outsiders are treated very much like humanoids, with the further from humanoid form a creature becomes the less a ghoul sees them as food. Even other undead are not exempt from a ghoul's hunger; while they will not prey upon another ghoul a fresh zombie or a vampire is near enough to life to stir a ghoul's hunger, older zombies and wights tend to register more strongly as rotten corpses still edible but less appetizing. Plants and constructs are immune to a ghoul's hunger, and mostly immune to a ghoul's interest as well. Sapient specimens can develop close relations with ghouls as they neither trigger the hunger instinct nor compete for the same supply of food as other ghouls do.
Alignment: Ghouls are usually Chaotic Evil. The twisting of their personality which comes with their transformation into undeath leads them to be self-centered and amoral, disinclined towards caring about other creatures beyond how they are necessary to the ghoul. A ghoul is more likely to stray from Chaos than Evil; a Neutral Evil ghoul being fairly common, and a Lawful Evil ghoul being far more common than one willing to altruistically act in a way that could be considered Good.
Ghoulish Lands: Ghoul kingdoms exist within the lands of their prey, that is the humanoids from which they rise. These kingdoms exist to keep their own populations in check to the extent that the champions of the living do not move forward to eradicate the ghoul tribe. A small tribe is liable to be nothing more than a savage pack, which moves and attacks feasting upon whatever they can; these packs are often short lived as the forces of Pelor and other gods will rally to wipe them out. A full tribe will force its members to rise above their Chaotic nature, creating strict rules and regulations to keep its own members in check, and relying primarily upon grave robbing to feed, and only occasionally resorting to murder; these ghouls are strict, however, in killing and eating those who discover their tribe's location or existence.
A ghoul which actually tries to integrate into human society is typically hunted and reviled, treated like a savage monster to be killed and nothing more. They sometimes find acceptance as adventurers, but to do such is rare at best.
Religion: Most ghouls are far from heavily religious. Doresain is a common deity among those ghouls which choose to devote themselves to the gods as he represents the hunger that they feel, and is a patron of their race in particular. Nerull and Wee Jas as deities of death and undeath are other favorites, with Nerull being significantly more common than the more moderate Wee Jas. Vecna is often given worship by ghoul tribes in a request that he shelters their secret existence from the sight of mortals, offering him tribute and praise in exchange for it. Mordiggian is worshiped by ghoul tribes when the Great Old Ones are held in reverence, presented as champion and protector of the ghouls, encouraging the formation of tribes and enclaves over mere scattered tribes.
Language: Ghouls speak the languages they spoke in life. Ghouls do not have their own language.
Names: Ghouls typically bear the names they bore in life, on occasion taking new titles to represent their new forms.
Adventures: Those ghouls which adventure often do so because they were adventurers in their lives before becoming ghouls. They do not necessarily do so for the same reasons, although sometimes a twisted version of their previous quest shines through. A paladin which adventured to protect a kingdom might now adventure to protect the same kingdom by transforming its inhabitants into immortal undead. A wizard who sought ultimate arcane power now has infinite time to do so. Ghouls balance their former desires with their overwhelming hunger, and it is this which drives some other ghouls to adventure. Their last vestiges of humanity drive them forth from the land they call home, even as their ambition which pushed them to become more than an average ghoul drives them to gain more and more power. These ghouls may begin by seeking out forces of evil to feast upon, but as the hunger gnaws away at their integrity they will turn to simply amassing power to find more and more succulent morsels and develop a herd to ensure they have a steady supply of food.

The Necropolis (Sample Ghoul Society)

The Necropolis is a sample ghoul tribe which lives beneath a human city of some size. The Necropolis is designed to either be a generic template from which to develop ideas, an archetypical example if you will, or to be customized slightly and dropped into a setting as it is.

Thorp: "Conventional"; NE; 10,000 GP limit; Assets 52,000 GP; Population 52; Mixed (82% human, 8% halfling, 4% gnome, 2% dwarf, 2% other ghouls, 2% other undead).

The ghouls of the Necropolis dwell beneath a human city in tunnels that have been painstakingly carved out from below and are carefully expanded to find their way into crypts and burial sites of the city above. The Necropolis is actually large by the standards of ghouls. While a small thorp by human standards, it is a stable ghoul population at roughly a third of a percent of the human population above. Though the ghouls in the tribe are unable to eat more than about half the interred corpses of the city, giving each only a corpse and a half each year, they are able to supplement their diet with a variety of animal meat and the occasional otyugh or other sapient aberration which makes its way into the tunnels that they dwell in.

The ghouls have made an alliance with the thieves' guild of the city above exchanging maps and access to the tunnels for assistance in maintaining their own secrecy and helping find a supply of food. The ghouls occasionally join in with the thieves on particularly bloody jobs, killing the guards and eating them later. The ghouls are not actually as secret as they believe, there are elements beyond the thieves' guild which know about the ghouls, but as they keep the city free of potentially troublesome aberrations and cause only few deaths themselves, preying instead on those already dead, they are ignored for the most part.

The ghouls live in enclaves of about 3 to 5, each enclave having one or two above average members. The necropolis's 13 enclaves are led by Epherum the Ascetic (Human Gravetouched Ghoul Warblade 7/Courtier 9, LE) who along with his two enforces Zorgith (Human Lich, Cleric of Vecna 12, NE) and Telpher (Human Gravetouched Ghoul Paladin of Tyranny 2/Rogue 9, LE). Epherum, whose title comes from the noteworthy periods he has gone without feeding, a side-effect of the Ring of Sustenance he wears which fulfills his actual need for flesh, and reduces it merely to a continual craving. Epherum created the Necropolis decades ago, cutting down foe after foe to establish himself as the pack's strongest ghoul and establishing a code of rules to regulate them. These rules promoted secrecy and stealth, demanding from the tribe a regulation of numbers. The tribe has grown only slowly since then, careful not to inflict the fever without need, with Epherum himself choosing targets for acquisition into the tribe. Telpher was one of the first he selected, a paladin of Pelor who was bent on finding and destroying the Necropolis but after his transformation he devoted himself to Vecna and helped Epherum and the ghouls find his fellows and end that push through force; one of the few consolidated hunts of the Necropolis.

PCs could interact with the Necropolis either hostilely or on semi-friendly terms. If given safe passage by the thieves' guild the PCs could possibly make some deal with the ghouls either seeking something that has made its way down to the tunnels, passage to lower levels, or perhaps simply the remnants of someone who has been eaten for resurrection. They could fight them due to blindly wandering into the tunnels, or actively seeking to exterminate the ghoul menace beneath the city.

2015-10-01, 05:32 PM
Ghoul Racial Substitution Levels

I am not showing an entire table for each class set of substitution levels, just the ability (or in Barbarian level 3 abilities) gained and with a listing of what is replaced. The table is very useless with racial substitution levels and formatting it just isn't worth it. Many of these substitution levels are stronger than normal mostly by allowing you to use some of the ghoul abilities you paid 2 levels for in ways that actually work with your class, or by swapping out a minor defensive ability for something that a ghoul can actually use. A lot of non-caster class features are rendered obsolete by being undead.

Ghoul Barbarian Substitution Levels:

A ghoul barbarian fights with a certain fierce savagery. They grow resistant to the warding powers of clerics even as they allow their own spirit to shine forth in rage granting them increased “vitality”. In the depths of frenzy they turn into brutal bestial creatures reliant on tearing claws and rending fangs, and their anthropophagous tendencies shine forth. Ghoul barbarians lose little; they lose trap sense, indomitable will which overlaps nearly completely with undead immunities (though in truth you’ve traded it for evasion already), and tireless rage which is meaningless for the undead. All abilities that function during rage also function during a whirling frenzy.

Skills: Normal.
HD: Normal (d12 as undead).

3rd Level:
Deathless Rage (Ex): When raging a ghoul barbarian gains temporary hit points equal to their Charisma modifier times 1/3rd their class level. These temporary hit points last as long as their rage. This replaces Trap Sense not just at 3rd level but all improvements thereafter.
Turn Resistance (Ex): You are connected to the world through your hunger. Your Turn Resistance increases by 1 per 3 barbarian levels you possess; when raging this amount doubles to +2 per 3 barbarian levels, becoming Turn Immunity at 15th level.

14th Level:
Vicious Hunger (Ex): When raging you become a natural killing machine, forgoing weapons in favor of your bare hands and fangs. While you are raging your claws and bite natural weapons deal damage as if you were 3 size categories larger. This replaces Indomitable Will or Evasion if you have Whirling Frenzy instead of rage.

17th Level:
Man-Eater (Ex): You gain Anthropophagy and Combat Feaster as bonus feats. This replaces Tireless Rage.

Ghoul Fighter or Heroic Warrior (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?226530-Heroic-Warrior-%283-5-Fighter-Fix-PEACH%29)
Unlike other varieties of ghoul warriors a ghoul fighter does not embrace their savagery. Instead they grasp tightly to their undying toughness, the tenacity of the hungry dog, shrugging off mighty blows. A ghoul fighter gains an unholy toughness that lets them continue fighting beyond the normal limits of an undead body, allows them to resist clerical, and normalize positive energy that enters you.
If used with an official fighter you do not trade off any class feature for these abilities. If used with another fighter fix talk to your DM.

Skills: Add Knowledge (Religion).
Hit Die: No change (undead).

Level 3:
Unnatural Vitality (Ex): You gain a bonus to your hit points on each hit die from heroic warrior (or fighter) levels equal to your Charisma modifier. This replaces Uncanny Dodge (or nothing for a Fighter).

Level 9:
Turn Immunity (Ex): You gain immunity to turning. This replaces Improved Uncanny Dodge (or nothing for a Fighter).

Level 11:
Positive Healing (Ex): You gain sustenance from life, whether meat or positive energy. You are no longer damaged by positive energy instead being healed ˝ the normal amount. This replaces Mettle (or nothing for a Fighter)

Ghoul Monk Substitution Levels:

A ghoul monk is an ascetic of hunger. For some this means to resist the hunger as long as possible, for others this means to shed themselves of all other desires “living” only for the hunger they feel. Regardless of the path they take a ghoul monk learns greater regulation of their undead powers, channeling their paralytic necrosis through their unarmed strikes, able to channel the same necromantic energies which allow a cleric their mastery over the dead, and able to convert positive energy within oneself to negative energy. The only things lost this way are those things which an ascetic of hunger shed need of when they shed their life and embraced the hunger of death.

Skills: Normal.
HD: Normal (d12 as undead).

3rd Level:
Rebuke Undead (Su): You gain the ability to rebuke undead as an evil cleric of your monk level. This replaces Still Mind

5th Level:
Paralytic Kick (Su): The first time you strike an opponent with an unarmed strike each round they must make a Fortitude save to resist paralysis as if they had been struck by your claw or bite attack. This replaces Purity of Body

Level 11:
Positive Healing (Su): You have learned to balance the energies within your body transforming positive to negative through some strange spiritual alchemy. You are no longer damaged by positive energy instead being healed ˝ the normal amount. This replaces Diamond Body.

Ghoul Paladin Substitution Levels:

A ghoul paladin is rarely still counted among the service of the forces of good, serving Slaughter far more often than Honor. Even so regardless of whether a ghoul paladin serves Good or Evil, Law or Chaos, some things remain the same. You learn how to strike to paralyze with your smite, resist the attempts of clerics to turn and command you, and call a steed as gripped by undeath as yourself.

Skills: Normal.
HD: Normal (d12 as undead).

1st Level:
Paralyzing Smite (Su): You gain the ability to smite good or evil as normal for your variety of paladin. However you do not add your class level to damage when you do so, instead you channel the paralytic power of your race into the blow. Any creature of the proper alignment struck by your smite must make a Fortitude save or be paralyzed despite any racial immunity to paralysis they may possess (Con – still protects). The DC and duration is the same as if with your claw, except that you add ˝ your Charisma modifier again to the save DC. This replaces the damage from your Smite [Alignment], maintaining the attack bonus.

3rd Level:
Turn Immunity (Ex): You gain immunity to turning. This replaces Divine Health.

5th Level:
Deathless Steed (Su): This functions as the replaces Special Mount except the called mount is undead instead of a magical beast (gaining the Augmented subtype corresponding to its previous type). It still uses the BAB and saving throws it would have normally for a paladin’s special mount, but its hit dice are now d12. In addition it gains a bonus to hit points per hit die equal to your Charisma modifier and has Turn Immunity. At 11th level it does not gain the ability to Command creatures of its kind, instead gaining the ability to move as if under an Air Walk spell at all times. At 14th level it gains the ability to paralyze enemies with its natural weapons (DC 10 + ˝ its hit dice + its Cha modifier). This replaces your normal special mount.

Ghoul Ranger Substitution Levels:

A ghoul ranger is a predator, cunning and hungry. A ghoul ranger learns to hunt their prey, learning how best to paralyze their favorite prey, how to use their natural weapons to the best effect in combat, how to track down foes by scent alone, and how to sense intuitively the presence of living creatures. In so doing they put less emphasis on the weapon skills of normal rangers, or the evasive abilities.

Skills: Add Knowledge (Religion).
Hit Die: No change (undead).

2nd Level:
Ghoul Combat Style (Ex): You gain a special ghoul combat style. Your paralyze special ability may affect your favored enemies regardless of racial or type based immunity, Undead and Constructs making Will saves in place of Fortitude, and gains a +4 to save DC against your Favored Enemies. At 6th level this combat style improves granting your natural weapons a +1 enhancement to attack and damage per 4 ranger levels and are considered to be Magic weapons. At 10th level this combat style improves further changing your natural weapons to have an 18-20/x2 critical threat range (this stacks with keen/Improved Critical) and allowing you to score critical hits on favored enemies which would normally be immune. This replaces a ranger’s combat style and its improvements.

3rd Level:
Ghoul’s Scent (Ex): You gain Ghoul’s Scent as a bonus feat. This replaces Endurance.

9th Level:
Lifesense (Su): You notice and locate living creatures within 60 feet, just as if you possessed the blindsight ability. You also sense the strength of their life force automatically, as if it had cast deathwatch. This replaces Evasion.

Ghoul Totemist Substitution Levels:

In becoming totemists ghouls embrace the most bestial elements of their nature. Even so they bear fewer connections to the natural world. A ghoul totemist develops the ability to meldshape despite their undead nature, to channel their paralytic power through the artificial claws and fangs of their soulmelds, gain the keen scent of a predator, and learn to capitalize their blows upon foes which have succumbed to their ghoulish claws.

Skills: Add Knowledge (Religion).
Hit Die: No change (undead).

1st Level:
Ghoulish Totemist You gain Undead Meldshaper as a bonus feat. In addition you may apply your paralyze special attack to the claw and bite attacks granted by soulmelds. This replaces Wild Empathy.

3rd Level:
Ghoul’s Scent (Ex): You gain Ghoul’s Scent as a bonus feat. This replaces Totem’s Protection.

6th Level:
Totem Feaster (Su): The power of your totem adds weight to your blows against those held in your paralyzing grasp. You gain a bonus to melee damage against paralyzed creatures equal to your essentia invested into your totem soulmeld. This replaces the +1 Meldshaper level of the soulmeld bound to your Totem chakra.

Ghoul Warlock Substitution Levels:

Some pacts are not broken by death, and others are formed after it. A ghoul warlock draws a power from those pacts that a living creature could not, releasing it through their undead body to bend the wills of other undead, to inflict ghoul fever from a range, and to paralyze those that they strike. This comes at a cost, and ghoul warlocks are less proficient in the use of magic items than other ghouls.

Skills: Normal.
HD: Normal (d12 as undead).

2nd Level:
Rebuke Undead (Su): You gain the ability to rebuke undead as an evil cleric of your monk level. This replaces the Invocation gained at this level.

4th Level:
Feverish Blast (Sp): You gain a special Eldritch Essence which inflicts Ghoul Fever with 0 incubation time or end any incubation time of pre-existing Ghoul Fever if the target fails a Fortitude save (effective spell level 4); if a creature has active ghoul fever already and fails their save they take 1 Constitution and 1 Dexterity damage. This replaces Deceive Item.

12th level:
Paralytic Blast (Sp): You gain a special Eldritch Essence which paralyzes targets for one round if they fail a Fortitude saving throw; its effective spell level is 7. This replaces Imbue Item.

2015-10-01, 05:35 PM
Feats and Other


You can eat the flesh of humanoids to heal your own wounds, and recuperate after battle.
Prerequisites: Ghoul.
Benefit: If you eat 4 or more ounces of meat from a single dead humanoid you heal hit points equal to their hit dice. To heal from this feat the meat you devour must be no more than 1 day old, a Gentle Repose or Preserve Organ spell can prolong this period. You may not heal from eating the flesh of one creature via this feat more than once.

Carrion Stench
The stink of death and corruption surrounding you is overwhelming
Prerequisites: Ghoul, Character level 3+.
Benefit: Living creatures within 10 feet must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 character level + your Charisma modifier) or be sickened for 1d6+4 minutes. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same ghast’s stench for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from a sickened creature. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

Combat Feaster
You devour your foes even as you fight them, ripping flesh into your mouth and swallowing it raw.
Prerequisites: Ghoul, Anthropophagy.
Benefit: When you hit a creature that you could heal from eating via Anthropophagy with your bite attack you may heal 1/2 their hit dice in hit points (minimum 1). You may not heal from biting a creature via this feat more than once, though you may choose not to heal on any bite attack saving it for when you need it.

Face of the Feast
You are able to assume the likeness of one you have eaten.
Prerequisites: Ghoul, Anthropophagy.
Benefit: When you eat a creature and heal from it with your Anthropophagy feat you gain the ability to assume its likeness. As a standard action you may change your appearance to match theirs as if using the disguise self spell. This affects the your body but not your possessions. It is not an illusory effect, but a minor physical alteration of the your appearance. You may only assume the form of a creature within the limits described for the spell disguise self, meaning that you may be able to heal from creatures that you cannot use this feat with.

Ghoul's Scent
Your nose is keen, able to detect the scent of foes and rotting flesh.
Prerequisites: Ghoul.
Benefit: You gain the Scent ability and may smell blood or carrion from twice the normal distance.

Ghoulish Hunger
Your appetite for flesh extends well beyond humanoid creatures.
Prerequisites: Anthropophagy, Ghoul.
Benefit: You may gain the benefits from Anthropophagy when you eat the flesh of any living creature not just humanoids. Treat animals and vermin as having 1/2 as many hit dice as normally.

Odor of Death
Your stench churns the stomachs of living creatures assailing them with enough force to momentarily shatter their minds.
Prerequisites: Ghoul, Carrion Stench.
Benefit: A creature which fails their saving throw against your Carrion Stench feat are nauseated for 1 round.

2015-10-01, 05:41 PM
Reserved for Mordiggian stuff. Feel free to comment.

2015-10-01, 06:00 PM
The Bells is nice. You should read it. (https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/bells)

Would you like me to write up a Ghoul without LA?

I think I will go write up a Ghoul without LA.

2015-10-01, 06:07 PM
First Necrobotany, then this. Be straight with me, have you been reading my campaign notes? :smalltongue:

There isn't much about the mythological arabian ghoul that I could find, sadly. AT least not in freely available sources. It's a shapeshifting demon inhabiting deserts and graveyards, one of the jinn (which are basically just all spirits). It can turn into a jackal or hyena: scavengers, basically. It lures people away from light and company to devour them, or devours corpses. It can take the form of those it has eaten.

That last one could make an interesting feat or alternate class feature. Eat a corpse to gain a disguise self effect.

2015-10-01, 06:18 PM
First Necrobotany, then this. Be straight with me, have you been reading my campaign notes? :smalltongue:

There isn't much about the mythological arabian ghoul that I could find, sadly. AT least not in freely available sources. It's a shapeshifting demon inhabiting deserts and graveyards, one of the jinn (which are basically just all spirits). It can turn into a jackal or hyena: scavengers, basically. It lures people away from light and company to devour them, or devours corpses. It can take the form of those it has eaten.

That last one could make an interesting feat or alternate class feature. Eat a corpse to gain a disguise self effect.

Blame Halloween.

The feats I have planned are:

Scent, Ghast Stench, and a feat tree that starts by letting you heal by eating humanoid flesh (only 1/creature) and expands to allow you to heal from eating any living creature, to heal 1/creature with a bite attack, and disguise yourself by eating corpses , I feel like I should have more, maybe a feat to transform into a jackal/hyena as an alternate form but that seems a stretch, and I might end up with something to build off the stench somehow maybe making it nauseate for a round as a second feat but that's the extent.

For racial substitution levels I have Barbarian, "Fighter", Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Totemist, and Warlock planned. They probably won't work with an LA 0 ghoul (some abilities are balanced assuming the LA), lots of focus on paralysis for some of them, though others could work for necropolitans or other LA 0 undead.

2015-10-01, 06:19 PM
The first thing I can think of for the hyena thing is an alternate alternate class feature, so to speak. A scavenger form for the shapeshift druid. Faster and leaner than the predator, with scent.

2015-10-01, 11:41 PM
I'll have to take a glance at the shapeshifter druid again (I never liked it because it gave up Animal Companion, which is literally my favorite part of druid).

Working on the Warlock Racial Substitution Levels and I'm debating between trading a Least Invocation and Detect Magic for Rebuke Undead (as a cleric). I apparently think undead warlocks should be able to rebuke undead and those seemed like good options to trade off.

2015-10-02, 04:06 AM
Oh, shapeshift is really pretty much a straight nerf of the druid, no denying that. I just like it because it has a much more accessible, less breakable form of wildshape.

Rebuke Undead for Warlocks is a good idea, but I don't think replacing detect magic works, that's probably weaker. How about a paralyzing essence for warlock blasts?

2015-10-02, 07:35 AM
It's Howard Phillips Lovecraft, just so you know.

And the maurezhi has that shapeshifting thing, I think.

2015-10-02, 09:22 AM
Oh, shapeshift is really pretty much a straight nerf of the druid, no denying that. I just like it because it has a much more accessible, less breakable form of wildshape.

Rebuke Undead for Warlocks is a good idea, but I don't think replacing detect magic works, that's probably weaker. How about a paralyzing essence for warlock blasts?

I'd rather just give up Wild Shape and keep Animal Companion. I like pets.

And the other two racial substitution levels will trade Deceive Item/Imbue Item for a (souped up) Ghoul Fever and Paralyzing Blast respectively. It is not the most interesting set of racial substitution levels.

It's Howard Phillips Lovecraft, just so you know.

And the maurezhi has that shapeshifting thing, I think.

First thought I didn't actually call him Horrifying Polyp Lovecraft did I? I'd remember that. Nope, I mixed him with Philip K. his last name is censored here, and I have no idea why.

Edit: Added Racial Substitution Levels and Feats.