Monster Analysis: Ghouls

  • First Appearance: 10 K’Varn Revealed
  • Armor Class 12 (Ghast: 13)
  • Speed 30 ft
  • Darkvision 60 ft, Passive 10
  • Immune to poison damage (Ghast also resistant to necrotic)
  • Immune to charmed, exhaustion, and poisoned
  • Ghoul average, max HP: 22, 40
  • Three ghouls killed by 32 Fireball from Tiberius
  • Ghast average, max HP: 36, 64
  • 67 damage taken, 18 finishing blow by Vex’ahlia

Much like zombies, ghouls endlessly pursue decomposing flesh to fill an appetite that will never be satiated, including hunting and killing any present living creatures so they may have decomposing flesh to eat. Unlike zombies, however, ghouls are blessed by Orcus himself, with their undead origins coming directly from the Abyss. Ghouls are significantly more dexterous and swift than zombies and can paralyze their targets for up to a minute. Despite their relatively low challenge rating, a horde of ghouls can still pose a significant threat to a low-rolling lone adventurer of any level.

On top of their intelligence, ghouls are sometimes blessed with additional abyssal energy, becoming ghasts. While a ghoul lashes out indiscriminately, a ghast has intelligence and command, in addition to resistance to effects that Turn Undead. They can even give mental orders to nearby ghouls to focus on the most strategic target.

Vax found himself in the unfortunate position of being surrounded by a small pack, separated from the rest of the party. A single failed Con save (DC 10) was enough to render him paralyzed. Although he took a relatively light amount of damage and his party was still present enough to assist him, a larger pack could have represented a significant threat to the half-elven rogue. It’s also worth pointing out that the portion of the cave where they settled was thrice damned with opportunists: a small crew of ghouls waiting for a lone wanderer, a trapped treasure chest ready to detonate on the greedy, and a stealthy aberration waiting for prey to let down its guard.