Like traditional ghouls, gravetouched ghouls haunt graveyards, battlefields, and other places rich with the carrion for which they hunger. These terrible creatures lurk wherever the stench of death hangs heavy, ready to devour the unwary. Ghouls are said to be created upon the death of a living sentient being who savored the taste of theflesh of other sentient creatures. This assertion may or may not be true, but it does explain the disgusting behavior of these anthropophagous undead. Some believe that anyone of exceptional debauchery and wickedness runs the risk of becoming a gravetouched ghoul. The transformation from living beings into fell creatures of the night has warped their minds, making them cunning and feral.
While most humanoids who engage in such activities and return from the grave are mere ghouls (as described in the Monster Manual), in rare occasions the creation of a ghoul briefly draws the attention of Doresain, King of the Ghouls. When this happens, the newly formed ghoul does not possess the standard Monster Manual statistics for a ghoul, but instead the base creature gains this gravetouched ghoul template. These templated creatures are said to be “touched by the King.” The DM decides when this occurs.
SAMPLE GRAVETOUCHED GHOUL
This example uses a 6th-level monk as the base creature.
Gravetouched Ghoul 6th-Level Human Monk
Medium Undead (Augmented Humanoid)
Hit Dice: 6d12 (39 hp)
Speed: 50 ft. (10 squares)
Armor Class: 23 (+4 Dex, +4 Wis, +2 bracers, +1 monk, +2 natural), touch 19, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+11
Attack: Unarmed strike +7 melee (1d8+3) or bite +7 melee (1d6+3 plus paralysis)
Full Attack: Flurry of unarmed strikes +6/+6 melee (1d8+3)
or bite +7 melee (1d6+3 plus paralysis) and 2 claws +5 melee (1d4+1 plus paralysis)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Flurry of blows, ghoul fever, ki strike (magic), paralysis
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., diet dependent, evasion, purity of body, slow fall 30 ft., still mind, undead traits, +2 turn resistance
Saves: Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +9
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 18, Con —, Int 12, Wis 19, Cha 10
Skills: Balance +11, Climb +12, Hide +13, Jump +13, Move Silently +8, Tumble +13
Feats: Deflect Arrows, Dodge, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Mobility, Multiattack, Spring Attack
Organization: Solitary or group (2–5)
Challenge Rating: 7
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2
This foul humanoid wears a loose shift, but its mottled, decaying flesh is still clearly visible, drawn tightly over bones. Hairless, it has a carnivore’s sharp teeth and eyes like hot coals.
This creature attacks with surprise, attempting to grapple a target and drag it away from its allies before they can react.
Diet Dependent: All gravetouched ghouls are diet dependent (see the Undead Metabolism section in Chapter 1 of Libris Mortis) upon flesh.
Evasion (Ex): If this gravetouched ghoul monk is exposed to any effect that normally allows it to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage, it takes no damage with a successful saving throw.
Ghoul Fever (Su): Disease—bite, Fortitude DC 13, incubation period 1 day, damage 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by this gravetouched ghoul monk’s bite or claw must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. Elves have immunity to this paralysis. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Purity of Body (Ex): Immune to all normal diseases. Magical and supernatural diseases still affect it.
Slow Fall (Ex): A gravetouched ghoul monk within arm’s reach of a wall can use it to slow its descent while falling. It takes damage as if the fall were 30 feet shorter than it actually is.
Still Mind (Ex): +2 bonus on saves against spells and effects of the enchantment school.
Possessions: Bracers of armor +2, potion of bull’s strength (2), silver necklace (900 gp), 5 pp.
CREATING A GRAVETOUCHED GHOUL
“Gravetouched ghoul” is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal aberration, fey, giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid with Intelligence and Charisma scores of 3 or higher (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A gravetouched ghoul speaks all the languages it spoke in life (usually Common). It has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to undead, and it gains the augmented subtype. Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.
Hit Dice: Increase to d12.
Armor Class: The base creature’s natural armor bonus improves by 2.
Attack: A gravetouched ghoul retains all the attacks of the base creature and also gains a bite and two claw attacks if it didn’t already have them. If the base creature uses weapons, the gravetouched ghoul retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A gravetouched ghoul fighting without weapons uses its bite attack. A gravetouched ghoul armed with a weapon uses its bite or weapon as it desires.
Full Attack: A gravetouched ghoul fighting without weapons uses its bite and two claws to attack. If armed with a weapon, it chooses whether to use the weapon or use its natural attacks.
Damage: Gravetouched ghouls have bite and claw attacks. If the base creature does not have this attack form, use the appropriate damage value from the table below according to the gravetouched ghoul’s size. Creatures that have other kinds of natural weapons retain their old damage values or use the appropriate value from the table below, whichever is better.
|Size||Bite Damage||Claw Damage|
Special Attacks: A gravetouched ghoul retains all the special attacks of the base creature and gains those described below. Saves have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the gravetouched ghoul’s HD + gravetouched ghoul’s Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.
Ghoul Fever (Su): Disease—bite, Fortitude save, incubation period 1 day, damage 1d3 Con and 1d3 Dex.
An afflicted humanoid who dies of ghoul fever rises as a ghoul at the next midnight. A humanoid who becomes a ghoul in this way retains none of the abilities it possessed in life. It is not under the control of any other ghouls, but it hungers for the flesh of the living and behaves like a normal ghoul in all respects. A humanoid of 4 HD or higher rises as a ghast, rather than a ghoul.
Paralysis (Ex): Victims hit by a gravetouched ghoul’s bite or claw attack must make a successful Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 1d4+1 rounds. Elves have immunity to this paralysis.
Special Qualities: A gravetouched ghoul retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described below.
Turn Resistance (Ex): A gravetouched ghoul has +2 turn resistance.
Diet Dependent: Gravetouched ghouls are diet dependent (see the Undead Metabolism section in Chapter 1) upon flesh.
Abilities: Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +2, Dex +4, Int +2, Wis +4, Cha +2. As an undead creature, a gravetouched ghoul has no Constitution score.
Feats: A gravetouched ghoul retains all its feats, and it gains Multiattack as a bonus feat.
Environment: Any, usually same as base creature.
Organization: Solitary, gang (2–4 ghouls plus 1 gravetouched ghoul), or pack (7–12 ghouls plus 1–4 gravetouched ghouls).
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.
Alignment: Base creature’s alignment changes to chaotic evil.
Level Adjustment: Same as base creature +2.
Source: Libris Mortis