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Ghoul

Content Warning: Cannibalism

Before you died, you were an elf. But now all you know is the hunger, a hunger that never truly goes away no matter how much you eat. Ghouls are elves that were cursed with a specific type of undeath. Ghouls are cursed to always be hungry, no matter how much they eat. And they can eat a lot. 

Ghouls have a pale gray skin and little to no hair. All except the most well-fed are skinny. Their nails and teeth have grown into sharp claws and fangs and their jaws can open much wider than normal.

Elven Curse

Only elves can become ghouls. Skilled necromancers can learn how to create ghouls, but they still require the corpses of elves to be able to do so. All attempts to create ghouls from anyone except for elves has failed.

It is believed that all ghouls were cannibalistic elves during their lives, but this isn’t true. The exact methods for a natural ghoul to be created are unclear. Most ghouls nowadays are created on purpose through necromancy.

The Hunger

Ghouls are always hungry, no matter how much they eat. A ghoul can also never die from starvation, although they still feel its effects.

A ghoul that goes without eating suffers the same effects as a living creature that does the same, except the ghoul will never perish.

Most ghouls are gluttons and either spend most of their money on food or attack and slay living creatures to consume.

Ghastly Ghouls

The most powerful ghouls are called ghasts. Among ghouls, “ghastly” is used as an honorific to the strongest or most well-respected ghouls. The Ghastly Beatrix Carver, for example, once fed an entire city of ghouls for a month, gaining the honorific.

Ghoul Names

Ghouls can be from any ancestry, so their names typically align with local or familial customs. Ghouls are undead elves, so their names might be inspired by their elven ancestry.

Example Names: Mythos Ná Ithilæn.

Ghoul Traits

You gain the following abilities as a ghoul.

  • Ability Score Increase. You gain a +2 and +1 bonus to two different ability scores of your choice, or +1 to three different ones.
  • Age. Undead no longer age, and in most cases will survive until killed.
  • Size. A ghoul’s size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Elvish.
  • Dual Type. You have two creature types: humanoid and undead. You can be affected by a game effect if it works on either of your creature types.
  • Bite (Minor Feature. You have powerful jaws and sharp teeth. Your bite is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack. Your natural weapons are not weapons, but attacks with them are considered weapon attacks. This means that you can use your natural weapons for effects like the paladin’s divine smite, but not abilities that target weapons specifically.

Major Features

Choose two of the following major features. You can exchange one major feature for two additional minor features.

  • Consume. You gain sustenance from the flesh of the living (or recently slain). During a short rest you can consume an entire Small or Medium sized body. When you do so, you regain hit points equal to your level + Constitution modifier (minimum of 1). If you spend hit dice during the short rest, you regain these hit points at that time. When you are done, the entire body is consumed, bones and all. You can consume one Small or Medium body during a short rest. You gain no benefit from Tiny or smaller bodies, and Large or larger bodies take too long to consume.
  • Hungry Jaws. As a bonus action, you can make a special attack with your bite. If you don’t have the bite feature, you make an unarmed attack instead. If the attack hits, it deals its normal damage, and you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus (minimum of 1). If the attack misses, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1). You can’t use this trait again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Paralyzing Touch. As an action, you can touch a creature with a paralyzing touch. Make an unarmed attack. On a hit, it deals its normal damage, and the target must make a Constitution saving throw. The DC for this feature equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, the target is restrained until the end of your next turn. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, they are instead paralyzed until the end of your next turn. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Undead Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.
  • Fey. Desperate elves dying of starvation would turn to cannibalism. Those that did so became ghouls upon death, cursed to always seek the flesh of their brethren.

Minor Features

Choose one of the following minor features, or three if you only chose one major feature.

  • Been Dead a Long Time. You have proficiency in the History skill.
  • Darkvision. Your undead nature grants you the ability to see in the dark. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
  • Disease Immunity. You are immune to diseases.
  • Fluent. You can speak, read, and write two additional languages of your choice.
  • Hangry. You are used to being hungry, which allows you to ignore some of the effects of exhaustion. You can ignore the effects from a number of levels of exhaustion equal to your Constitution modifier, from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 3. You only suffer from the effects of the new levels of exhaustion, and not any of the effects that you can ignore.
  • Keen Scent. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
  • Keen Senses. You have proficiency in the Perception skill.
  • Trained Tools. You have proficiency in two tools of your choice.
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Ancestry Awakened: Copyright 2021, Pirate Gonzalez Games: Author Timothy Gonzalez