Emperor of The Ghouls

Family: Ghouls

Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 204 (24d8 + 96)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 15 ft.

18 (+4) 14 (+2) 19 (+4) 20 (+5) 17 (+3) 21 (+5)

Saving Throws Dex +8, Wis +9
Skills Deception +11, Insight +9, Perception +9, Persuasion +11
Damage Resistances cold, necrotic
Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Common, Draconic, Gnoll, Undercommon
Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)

Special Traits


  • Multiattack. The emperor makes one bite attack and two claw attacks. He can make one attack with its scepter in place of a claw attack.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage, and a creature must make a successful DC 18 Constitution saving throw or contract darakhul fever.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage, and a creature must make a successful DC 18 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. A paralyzed creature repeats the saving throw at the ends of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  • Scepter. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d10 + 4) bludgeoning damage plus 17 (5d6) necrotic damage.


  • Blood Armor. When the emperor takes damage from a creature it can see within 60 feet, the attacker takes necrotic damage equal to half the damage it did to the emperor.

Legendary Actions

The Emperor can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Emperor regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Attack. The emperor makes one claw or bite attack.
  • Cantrip. The emperor casts a cantrip.
  • Font of Power (3 actions). Roll 1d8. The emperor regains a spell slot of that level or lower.


The ghoul emperor’s lair attended by elite ghoul warriors. Anyone who raises a hand against the emperor soon finds themselves opposed by an entire empire.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Emperor takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects. The Emperor can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:

  • Until initiative count 20 on the following round, all creatures other than undead and constructs who take necrotic damage take an additional 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.
  • The emperor targets a creature within 30 feet that he can see. The creature must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 18 (4d8) necrotic damage. The emperor regains hit points equal to the damage.
  • A wall of ice springs up from a surface within 100 feet of the emperor. The wall is 60 feet long, 10 feet high, and 5 feet thick. A creature in the wall’s space when it appears must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 10 (3d6) cold damage; then the creature is pushed to either side of the wall (the creature’s choice). Each 5-foot section of the wall has AC 10, 15 hit points, resistance to piercing and slashing damage, immunity to cold, poison, and psychic damage, and vulnerability to fire damage. The wall lasts until the emperor uses this action again, or dies.

Regional Effects

The region around the emperor’s lair is warped by its magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • Creatures within 1 mile of the lair who are infected with darakhul fever have disadvantage on Wisdom saving throws against spells and effects generated by ghouls or darakhul.
  • Dead bodies within 1 mile of the lair have an 80 percent chance to reanimate as skeletons or zombies 24 hours after their death. These undead never attack ghouls or dharakul, but instinctively obey their commands.
  • Phantom lights appear within 10 miles of the lair, more frequently the closer they are to the lair. The lights shed dim light out to 10 feet. Undead within such a light gain 1d6 temporary hit points at the start of their turn; the light can’t raise an undead’s hit points above 150 percent of its normal hit point maximum. If the emperor dies, conditions in the area surrounding the lair return to normal over the course of 1d10 days.


This man of middle years, with black hair and flesh as white as ivory, wears black and purple clothes and a silvery crown set with emeralds. His feet are sheathed in black boots, and his arms and fingers are covered in rich gold and silver jewelry. He holds a skulltopped scepter.


Deep beneath the surface in lightless tunnels and vast chambers, the civilized ghouls of the empire carved glory from flesh and stone.

Unexpected Courtesy. The ghouls are content to reside in the lightless depths beneath the earth for now, but the emperor muses about what prizes exist under the sky. Despite his ambition, he is extremely civilized and urbane, treating even hated enemies with strict courtesy even up to the moment that he devours their bones.

Undead Nature. The emperor doesn’t require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts. Copyright 2016, Open Design; Authors Chris Harris, Dan Dillon, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona, and Wolfgang Baur.