This humanoid creature has long, sharp teeth, and its pallid flesh is stretched tightly over its starved frame.
A humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 Hit Dice or more rises as a ghast.
The typical ghoul is assumed to have come from a Medium humanoid like a human, half-elf, dwarf, or elf. Yet some humanoids have remarkably different characteristics that make these ghouls more or less powerful.
Larger Ghouls: A giant that succumbs to ghoul fever retains its larger size, its higher natural armor bonus, and all of its racial Hit Dice, but is otherwise treated as a ghoul advanced to its new Hit Dice and size.
Smaller Ghouls: Small humanoids who become ghouls have 1 HD and all of the appropriate bonuses and penalties for dropping from Medium to Small size (–4 Str, +2 Dex, +1 size bonus on attack rolls and to AC, reduced natural attack damage, etc.). A Small ghoul is CR 1/2.
Unusual Ghouls: Some humanoids transformed into ghouls have unusual advantages.
- Boggard, Merfolk: These races always spawn into lacedons.
- Bugbear, Lizardfolk, Troglodyte: These races always spawn into ghasts.
- Ettin: An ettin ghoul has two bite attacks, in addition to being advanced to Large size and 10 HD.
- Fire Giant: A fire giant ghoul gains the fire subtype.
- Frost Giant: A frost giant ghoul gains the cold subtype.
- Lycanthrope: While a ghoul cannot become a lycanthrope, a living lycanthrope who succumbs to ghoul fever could rise as a ghoul. In most cases, this transformation removes the lycanthropic curse, resulting in a standard ghoul, but in rare events the resulting monster is a true ghoul lycanthrope. To create stats for such a creature, simply apply the lycanthrope template to a ghoul—this is an exception to the general rule that you can normally only add the lycanthrope template to a humanoid.
Brain Eater: You gain some of the skills and knowledge of a consumed foe by eating its brain.
Civilized Ghoulishness: Although undead, you can easily pass as living.
Warren Digger: You can burrow through soil and dirt.
Classic Horrors Revisited. Copyright 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: James Jacobs, Rob McCreary, F. Wesley Schneider
Environment any land
Organization solitary, gang (2–4), or pack (7–12)
Ghouls are undead that haunt graveyards and eat corpses. Legends hold that the first ghouls were either cannibalistic humans whose unnatural hunger dragged them back from death or humans who in life fed on the rotting remains of their kin and died (and were reborn) from the foul disease—the true source of these undead scavengers is unclear.
Ghouls lurk on the edges of civilization (in or near cemeteries or in city sewers) where they can find ample supplies of their favorite food. Though they prefer rotting bodies and often bury their victims for a while to improve their taste, they eat fresh kills if they are hungry enough. Though most surface ghouls live primitively, rumors speak of ghoul cities deep underground led by priests who worship ancient cruel gods or strange demon lords of hunger. These “civilized” ghouls are no less horrific in their eating habits, and in fact the concept of a well-laid ghoul banquet table is perhaps even more horrifying than the concept of taking a meal fresh from the coffin.