Family: Ghul

Medium undead, any evil alignment

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 105 (14d8 + 42)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.

16 (+3) 15 (+2) 16 (+3) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 15 (+2)

Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning, necrotic
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Special Traits

  • Paralyzing Throes. When the ghul dies, it explodes in a puff of noxious smoke. Each creature within 5 feet of it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed until the end of its next turn.
  • Turn Resistance. The ghul has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.
  • Variable Immunity. As a bonus action, the ghul changes one of its damage resistances to immunity to that type of damage until the start of its next turn.
  • Innate Spellcasting. The ghul’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:


  • Multiattack. The ghul makes two attacks with its claws.
  • Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) slashing damage. If the target is a creature other than an elf or undead, it must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.


A creature wearing a black turban steps out of the sudden fog. It is roughly the size and shape of a short man with gray skin and pointed teeth. The thing sneers as it summons lightning to its hand, the air suddenly stinking of ozone. Its stony gray skin shifts to an icy blue as it raises its arm to direct its electrical attack.

Elemental Remnants. When an undead with the ability to raise more of their kind, such as a vampire, wight, or wraith, slays a geniekin or other lesser elemental, the risen creature is a ghul instead. Rather than retaining control of whatever elemental forces it may have had during its life, the ghul becomes representative of all four of the classical elements.

Unyielding Hunger. Like more common ghouls and ghasts, a ghul’s existence is focused around a relentless, agonizing need to consume living flesh. Ghuls favor live targets and can be seen sampling their meal even while battle rages around them. Despite their substantial innate magical ability, some ghuls prefer to rend with their claws, reveling in the tearing of flesh and the sensation of hot blood dripping from their cold bodies.

Royal Aspirations. Ghuls evolve over the centuries, gaining power and a semblance of their original personality, now twisted by centuries of evil acts. Their slow personal growth leads most ghuls to a craven existence, striking from the shadows and using their magic to flee if their prey puts up too much of a fight. If a ghul survives long enough, it gains enough power to be grudgingly acknowledged by lesser ghuls. These greater ghuls are often called “ghul kings” by those who encounter them, as the greater ghuls often create a semblance of a “royal court” out of lesser ghuls and other undead.

Hungry Dead Nature. The ghul 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.

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