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AC 12

HP 22 (5d8; bloodied 11)

Speed 30 ft.

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 12

Damage Resistances necrotic

Damage Immunities poison

Condition Immunities charmed , fatigue , paralyzed , poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages Common

Radiant Sensitivity. When the ghoul takes radiant damage, it has disadvantage on attack rolls and on Perception checks that rely on sight until the end of its next turn.

Undead Nature. Ghouls and ghasts don’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.


Paralyzing Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage. If the target is a living creature other than an elf, it makes a DC 10 Constitution saving throw . On a failure, the target is paralyzed for 1 minute. The target repeats the saving throw at the end of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If the target’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, it is immune to any Paralyzing Claw for 24 hours.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one incapacitated creature. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.


Ghouls rarely attack when they are outnumbered. They prefer to swarm their enemies, with at least two ghouls attacking one target, preferably an unarmored non-elf. They retreat if they take radiant damage but try to drag paralyzed victims with them.

Legends and Lore

With an Arcana or Religion check, characters can learn the following:

DC 10 Anyone who practices cannibalism may transform into an undead creature known as a ghoul. Though primarily carrion feeders, ghouls prefer the flesh of living humanoids.

DC 15 Ghouls use their claws to paralyze their victims before devouring them. Elves, however, are immune to a ghoul’s paralytic touch.

DC 20 Ghasts are similar to ghouls, except they emit a noxious stench, and elves are susceptible to their paralytic touch.


Undead cursed with an eternal hunger for humanoid flesh, ghouls prowl graveyards and the ruins of dead cities. Though content to feed on corpses, ghouls prefer fresh meat. The unfortunate victim of a ghoul’s paralytic touch can’t struggle—or even scream—as the ghoul devours them alive.

Dark Blessing. Legends say the first ghoul was an elf who practiced depraved, cannibalistic rituals to curry favor with the demon lord of undeath. When this elf repented, the gods decreed that he and his kind would be forever immune to the ghouls’ paralytic touch. Still, the demon lord continues to reward feasters of flesh by transforming them into ghouls. Even those who turn to cannibalism out of desperation might unwillingly receive the lord’s dark blessing. Aboleths , hags , and necromancers know rites to create ghouls, as well.

More than Monsters. Unlike mindless undead such as skeletons or zombies , ghouls are intelligent, though constant hunger turns most into ravening monsters. A ghoul whose appetites are routinely satisfied, however, might recover some of its faculties. Much like vampires , many “noble” ghouls conceal their nature from the settlements they feed upon, so as to keep a steady supply of food at hand. Others journey far beneath the earth to seek out the ghoulish empire said to exist in those dark, forbidding caverns.


1 Feasting on a corpse; attacks intruders

2 Feasting on a corpse; hisses and flees from intruders

3 Squabbling among a pile of bones and discarded items

4 Shambling aimlessly

5 Waiting in silent ambush

6 Mimics the last words spoken to them; right now they are saying "Let me go!"


1 DC 13 Perception check: muttering, like low conversation

2 Gnawed humanoid bones

3-4 The smell of rotting flesh

5 A half-devoured human corpse. DC 13 Perception check: bare human footprints lead away

6 A torn and bloody hat or other article of clothing. DC 13 Perception check: marks on the floor suggest a body was dragged away


Ghouls haunt graveyards and catacombs near inhabited areas.

CR 0–2 1 or 2 ghouls ; ghoul with 1 or 2 zombies 1 or 2 lacedon ghouls

Treasure 40 gp, 3 sets of tattered and blood-stained nobles’ clothes (25 gp each if mended), 2 potions of healing

CR 3–4 3 or 4 ghouls or lacedon ghouls ; ghoul with 3 cannibal degenerates (see gnoll ); ghast with 2 ghouls

Treasure 10 pp, 30 gp, 2 silver chalices set with blue quartz (75 gp each), cloak of displacement

CR 5–10 2 ghasts with 1d4 + 2 ghouls ; 1d6 + 4 ghouls ; ghost or wight with 2 or 3 ghasts ; 2 lacedon ghasts with 1d4 + 2 lacedon ghouls

Treasure 500 gp, 1,000 sp, gold bracelet (250 gp), 1 warhammer (named Whisper, made of silver-runed black stone; once per day, its wielder can cast the silence spell as an action, centered on the hammer), ring of water walking

Monster Type Description

Undead are supernatural creatures or spirits that are no longer alive but are still animate. Some have been reanimated by magic spells, such as skeletons . Others, like vampires , are the products of an evil ritual or curse.