Ghoul, Bonepowder

Family: Ghouls

Small undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 18 (natural armor)
Hit Points 195 (26d6 + 104)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0) 20 (+5) 18 (+4) 19 (+4) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Dexterity +9, Constitution +8, Wisdom +6, Charisma +8
Skills Perception +6, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances cold, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Draconic, Dwarvish
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)

Special Traits

  • Amorphous. The bonepowder ghoul can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
  • Coalesce. When a bonepowder ghoul drains life force from victims with Gravedust, it can use that energy to transform its shape into a more solid form and maintain it. The new form is Small and semi-transparent but roughly the shape of a normal ghoul. In this form, the ghoul isn’t amorphous and can’t form a whirlwind, but it can speak normally and manipulate objects. The altered form lasts for 1 minute for every point of necrotic damage it delivered against creatures that aren’t undead or constructs.
  • Turning Defiance. The bonepowder ghoul and any ghouls within 30 feet of it have advantage on saving throws against effects that turn undead.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The bonepowder ghoul’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 16, +8 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:


  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) piercing damage and the target’s Strength score is reduced by 1d4. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1d4 + 1 rounds. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 19 Constitution saving throw or contract darakhul fever.
  • Gravedust. A bonepowder ghoul can project a 40-foot cone of grave dust. Each creature in the area must succeed on a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw or take 18 (4d8) necrotic damage. If the target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or contract darakhul fever.
  • Whirlwind (Recharge 5-6). A bonepowder ghoul creates a whirlwind of bones and teeth. Each creature in a 20-foot cube originating from the ghoul must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 66 (12d10) slashing damage and its Strength score is reduced by 1d6. The target dies if this reduces its Strength to 0. Otherwise the reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. On a success, a creature takes half the slashing damage and its Strength score isn’t reduced.


Distilled to nothing but dry, whispering sand and a full set of teeth, a bonepowder ghoul still hungers for flesh and blood.

Its dusty mass is perfected corruption, entirely animated by foul energy.

Starved Into Dust. The bonepowder ghoul is small and unassuming, a pile of dust and bone fragments that resemble a pile of mummy dust or the remnants of a vampire burned by sunlight. Ghouls can achieve this powdery form through long starvation. The process invariably takes decades, which is why so few bonepowder ghouls exist-few ghouls can show such self-restraint. Even among imperial ghouls, using hunger as a form of torture is considered offensive and is quite rare. A bonepowder ghoul may rise from the remnants of a starved prisoner or a ghoul trapped in a sealed-off cavern, leaving behind its remnant flesh and becoming animated almost purely by hunger, hatred, and the bitter wisdom of long centuries.

Mocking and Hateful. Bonepowder ghouls are creatures of pure evil, seeking to devour, corrupt, and destroy all living things. The only creatures they treat with some affinity are ghouls. Even in that case, their attitude is often mocking, hateful, or condescending. They have some mild respect for ghoul nobles.

Whispering Voices. Most bonepowder ghouls speak at least 4 languages, but their voices are very faint. Just to hear one speaking normally requires a DC 15 Perception check. Undead gain a +8 bonus to this check.

Hungry Dead Nature. The ghoul requires no air or sleep.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Empire of the Ghouls © 2020 Open Design LLC; Wolfgang Baur, Richard Green, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Kelly Pawlik, Mike Welham.