High Ghoul (5e Race)

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High Ghoul[edit]

High ghouls are the primary antagonist race to humans and elves. Their civilization equals or surpasses that of humans. The essence of being a high ghoul is seeing life and comfort as much less important than whatever it is you are passionate about (this may not sound like much, but think Joseph Mengele and his medical experimentation on humans during WWII). This is why high ghouls collect other species and races as slaves. It works better if they mostly work on non-ghouls. Ghouls are sometimes called 'anti-humans' although this is inaccurate as they are also anti-elven.

High Ghouls (hereinafter indicated as ghouls) fit the same ecological niche as humans, and therefore conflict is almost assured. They are not undead per se but have deep affiliations with actual undead. Ghouls, elves, and humans can build mutually incompatible civilizations in the same ecological areas, making conflict among any pair of them possible. Ghouls like well watered lowlands that they farm with poisonous, addictive, acidic and dangerous plants and animals. Humans like well-watered lowlands that they farm with nutritious, non-poisonous plants and domestic animals for much the same reasons. Elves like well-watered lowlands which they fill with deep forests, special groves, and wild sylvan creatures of the forest. Conflict is all but inevitable, as human farming expansion destroys elven forests, and ghoul 'poison plantations'; ghouls plantation expansion displaces farming areas and forests; and elven forest expansion destroys ghoul plantations and human farms.

Even though the name of the race is technically 'high ghoul', ghouls never call themselves that. It would be like a humans calling their race 'high human'. Ghouls only use the term 'high ghoul' to stick their thumb in the eye of elves, specifically 'high elves'.

Physical Description[edit]

The ghoul race is ugly, mottled, and hideous by human standards. Ghouls find humans ugly, sterile, and hideous.

Ghouls are like sharks. They ingest poisons. This makes them poisonous to most carnivores and many monsters. Their skin varies from mottled cadaverous to sickly yellow or chartreuse, to dried blood red to ochre black and everything in between. They tend to be a little bit beefier than humans on average with more fibrous flesh internally. They are hard to butcher. None-the-less they come with as much variation in size and shape as humans. Ghouls are able to rend themselves into the forms of jackals of size medium.


Ghoul history is as old and intricate as human history.


Eclectic Diversity in Thought and Living;

Ghouls are most sophisticated, ambitious, and adaptable and people among the antagonist races. They are highly misanthropic. They have widely varying fetishes, philosophies, and practices in the various different regions they have conquered. Once they conquer, they replace the population with their own, enslaving or exterminating or driving out the indigenous population. They build syndicates to last for the eons, and great realms that can persist for millennia. An individual ghoul will have a lifespan cut short by the poison they must ingest, but a ghoul society or ethos preserves pantagruelisms and practices far beyond the reach of ghoul memory. They scheme for the future but also react in the here-and-now, striving to make a permanent imprint. As a group and individually, ghouls are opportunistic synthesists and satay alert to power politics and fashions.

Enduring Organizations

Where a single hobgoblin or vampire might take on the challenge of infesting a specific location or keeping a powerful artifact, ghouls found long lasting cabals and syndicates. While orc clans and sahuagin elders pass on ancient techniques to new generations, ghoul plantations, slave pits, empowerments, museums, and codes of conduct fix their practices in the substrate of lore. Ghouls observe the fallacy of immortality with contempt for those who attempt undeath or apotheosis, but prefer the simulacrum of it by assuring that they will continue to receive credit for their works after they have died. Although some ghouls are isolationist, in general ghoul societies accept monsters, humanoid and undead of all kinds excepting humans and elves whom they consider dire enemies. Ghoul lands can have as much as 50% of other sentient species living within them as long as ghouls are firmly in control, far more than other antagonist races.

A Tsunami of Destruction

Where other antagonist races may raid human settlements or even invade with hordes of creatures, these attempts are mainly like a wave even a big wave on a beach. Ghouls are like a tsunami. They keep invading and destroying with waves and waves of attacks. Ghouls strategize and plan for decades and centuries, and engage in ongoing pressure and destruction of all kinds against human and elven societies. Ghouls attack with armies, foment rebellions, ally with other enemy races of humans, exploit factions, engage in long term spying, damage commerce and production, insert destructive philosophies, corrupt individuals, promote decadence, enslave humans and elves, spread plagues, overrun outposts, cut off areas of human or elven civilization from each other, start race wars, foment distrust between humans and elves, make attacks that look like another group did it and on and on with the goal of detroying human and elf opposing civilizations, and even exterminating both humans and elves.

Servile Races
Some servile races are slaves. Some fit into different roles in the ghoul economy/ecology. Dragons are not considered a servile race, ghouls see them as equals rather than as objects. Elves and human are not encountered randomly in ghoul society. They are consigned to the slave pits, and experimental laboratories, and used as food. For a random encounter in ghoul society you may use the following table, rolling as many times as needed.
D6 Creature Detail
1 Specialist Ghoul Specialist ghouls specialize in an extra feat, and extra skill and +2 in one ability. May be any class but often have their own specialized sub-classes.
2 Generalist Ghoul Generalist ghouls have +1 to each ability, and sometimes a class. Just like humans, ghoulsmay be knights, magicians, dark priests, theives, and assassins to name a few.
3 'Domesticated' Animal Domesticatred animals have +1 Intelligence and tend to be much more violent than their human society counterparts. They are trained to hate humans and elves.
4 'Wild' Animal Wild animals have +1 intelligence and become 'tamed' in ghoul society but lose none of their ferocity. They are trained to hate humans and elves.
5 Various Races Ghouls have individual members of other races as counterparts and expedient slaves. They are also found in important positions but still slaves or counterparts (5%).
6 Various Mosnters Ghouls have most non-divine/non-demonic monsters in the monster manual as slaves or counterparts. some ghouls specialize in keeping certain kinds of monsters.
  • Sometimes have the Test Subject background.
  • Ettercaps are used as the front line to corrupt forests.
Advancement Equal to or Greater Than Humans

Ghouls are as advanced as humans. Ghoul society is a complex and intricate as humans. Ghouls have all the same classes as humans. Ghoul armies are as advanced and sophisticated as humans. Ghoul economics is as productive as humans. Ghouls are as ambitious as humans. Ghouls are as adaptable as humans, living in almost all climates without needing to subrace. Ghouls are probably more advanced than humans in alchemy, necromancy, and logic.

Paragons of Audacity

Ghouls who seek adventure are among the most prized and sought after agents of a most powerful and audacious race. They seek to earn power, status, and fame amongst their fellows by amassing wealth, influence, and extortionate information. More than other antagonist races, ghouls champion philosophies and evil ethics much more than regions or institutions.

Poison Diet

The ghoul term for foods that are not poisonous is 'pathetic'. You will eat 'pathetic' foods if you have to, but prefer poison foods as they are more nutritious. A ghoul that eats only pathetic foods for 6 months will die from malnutrition.

Syndicates Rather Than Kingdoms[edit]

Unlike humans whose society is organized around areas of land, ghoul society is organized around causes. Each cause has its own syndicate. All syndicates rule at all times within the scope of their cause. For example their are four syndicates for times of day. There is a day syndicate, a night syndicate, morning and evening. Each of these syndicates rule 6 hours of each day. Each syndicate has a syndicate lord, and lieutenants (syndicate masters) for various common categories (balance, principalities, envoy, organization, invasion etc.). Some important syndicates are:

The Night
A syndicate that rules from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM
The Morning
A syndicate that rules from 4:00 AM to 10:00 AM
The Day
A syndicate that rules from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
The Evening
A syndicate the rules from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Slavery and Harvesting
The syndicate focuses on slave holding, trading, and slave flesh harvesting.
Experimentation and Disruption
The Surgery and Disguise
Poisons and Pathetix
The syndicate that provides food for ghouls, slaves, and internal counterparts.
Contagion and Lycanthropix
A research syndicate focused on the power of disease and lycanthropy to shape species.
The Inforestation
The Delivery
The Army
A military syndicate focused on the power of soldiers and armies.
The Navy
A military syndicate focused on sea power and sea monster relations.
The Dragonforce
A military syndicate focused on dragon-based air power.
The Corruption
Demoralization and Re-education
A syndicate focused on the progressive destruction of the morals of human society and the gradual reshaping of human minds to ghoul friendly ways of thinking.
Religion and Demonix
A syndicate focused on the balancing of demonic and syndicate power.
Wizardry and Warlockery
The Malodium Confusion
A syndicate focused on the power of sound to mold the minds of ghouls and other species.
The Multispeciate
Focused on making ghoul society an inclusive society for all species except elves and humans, fostering miscegenation and interpecies love.
The Principalities and Principles
The Invasion
The invasion syndicateA core syndicate that balances the other in order to make the ghouls as powerful and productive as possible in order to foster invasions of the elven and human lands.

Ghoul Names[edit]

Ghouls do not have surnames or family names. Each ghoul has an individual first and last name. Ghoul civilization has numerous cultures. As dungeon master you may organize ghoul cultures in various ways. so I have identified five cultures based on simple cardinal positions to use as you see fit.

Southern Ghoul Culture
  • Male: d6: 1. Bibi Inum Ubu, 2. Fiqino Tiar, 3. Ifiwhi Simu, 4. Ledolp Naqido, 5. Niluin Hiuro Nomquspa, 6. Qecim Yifada
  • Female: d6: 1. Dillixi Vaimi, 2. Qemxiros Vosas Bo'Borkumi, 3. Serus Niqbiromi, 4. Tolem Oji, 5. U'Limijiremi, 6. Voqibe Horomo
Northern Ghoul Culture
  • Male: d6: 1. Bliwari Jrib, 2. Dloxhmoj Uryuwh Roemub, 3. Fhim Yihyi, 4. Romum Jribunul, 5. Spirum Vesoth, 6. Uu'Lenemej Muwheris
  • Female: d8 1. Dimisxocsfu Qolplabo, 2. Drijipsfy Horomi, 3. Fawxymsfu Alsari, 4. Iniseji Imyi, 5. Lomwxu Joli, 6. Qammoss Dorro, 7. Requmeji Immi
Central Ghoul Culture
  • Male: d6: 1. Dishul Ir'Enil, 2. Hassoum Sibbin, 3. Lashb Udm Ijolles, 4. Ibhin Udm Udlihun, 5. Mimif Qala, 6. Usniur Omjol Tishi
  • Female: d6: 1. Dhappe Domixul, 2. Fhim Umiyip Meelammusi, 3. Hilu Nipi, 4. Hipshotsap Thileih, 5. Qhimbu Umbuli, 6. Sifumi Imb Liyi
Western Ghoul Culture
Western ghoul females are prized for their political influence, so many female ghouls receive western female names.
  • Male: d6: 1. Huprol Iberk, 2. Tiyoms Bo'Haqaos, 3. Uu'Curhorn Fiusol, 4. Uu'Roeterb, 5. Vimssoms Ditpuspo Voim, 6. Wlecroy Irouspol
  • Female: d30: 1. Boim Curruinumi, 2. Byol Inouri, 3. Caelmes Iuroom, 4. Ceeb Wiphy, 5. Codol Voimmo, 6. Cosp Lesonily, 7. Dowf Nilphi, 8. Ejoldyo Biqnil, 9. Fepwh Urso, 10. Frunof Eppuruo, 11. Henerfi Filri, 12. Humbroy Nyli, 13. Iqluttumi Varui, 14. Irrupp Dojolry, 15. Jirolui Nossirumi, 16. Lomwxu Joli, 17. Moobro Nilphi, 18. Nobuwus Bo'Wipholumo, 19. Obnambs Whluspuimi, 20. Oruxidoph Diphely Riby, 21. Petteim Vimo, 22. Qlihin Qcomberym, 23. Qloso Ulni, 24. Ririaluo Borthumo, 25. Toilwy Nily, 26. Vemos Immo Qomomo, 27. Voqibe Horomo, 28. Weppem Imm Nily
Eastern Ghoul Culture
Eastern ghoul males are prized for their military prowess, so many male ghouls receive eastern male names.
  • Male: d10: 1. Hulehupe Ontolel, 2. Hulepe Fefu, 3. Numh Whu He, 4. Peve Hubofu, 5. Samq Ur'Fun, 6. Shadie Whom, 7. Shof Fiu Whuimq, 8. Ter Tep, 9. Ur'Vemq Fun, 10. Xobemq Nie
  • Female: d6: 1. Gumq Vuimq, 2. Kouyim Xhie, 3. Piuhoe Psysu, 4. Ushuu Lom E, 5. Vamfe Omeshuni, 6. Xopuim Ca

Ghoul Traits[edit]

High ghouls are the primary antagonist race to humans and elves. Their civilization equals or surpasses that of humans.
Ability Score Increase. see Ghoul 'Subraces' below
Age. mature at 21, extreme age at 110, just like humans.
Alignment. All alignments but tending toward evil, not that they see it that way. They think humans and elves tend toward evil and they don't.
Size. Ghouls vary widely in height and build, from barely 5 feet to well over 6 feet tall. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. Swim 15 ft.
Normal Vision. Ghouls see just as well as humans.
Poison Immunity. Ghouls are immune to poison, however if they do not ingest enough poison they begin to sicken and die. A ghoul deprived of poison will die within 6 months.
Jackal Form. Ghouls can metamorph into jackals of size medium with no change in hit points or abilities, speed 35, forelimbs that can operate and cast spells as hands, and the ability to talk. In this form they can eat corpses.
Slaver Specialization. You specialize in capturing, controlling, breeding and employing slaves of one particular race. You know the history of that race, and you have +1 on intimidation against that race.
Slow Poisoning - Weakness. You lose a -1 constitution ability modifier per decade of age over 20. So if your constitution ability modifier is +2 at 20, it drops to +1 at 30, +0 at 40, -1 at 50 years old etc.
Poison Flesh. Any creature that consumes you takes 1d6 points of damage per day to their maximum hit points, which does not heal after a long rest until they reach one quarter of their normal hit points. Thereafter they regain 1d6 points per day to their maximum hit points until they return to their normal hit points after which the poison is out of their system.. This poisoning prevents them from adding hit points by rising in level until the poison is out of their system. While the poison is in their system they feel consistently nauseated, and must make a Constitution save each time they eat to keep from throwing up. If you bleed onto a knife or arrow, it acts as a poisoned weapon for one use. If an opponent damages you with a piercing or slicing weapon, and then damages a party member, your party member takes poison damage.
Poison Spotting. Given your need to frequently eat poison to keep from sickening, you are able to spot poisonous plants, substances, and poison rotted flesh to eat. Things like that look yummy to you.
Common Trait. You may have one trait from the Common Ghoul Traits list below.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Undercommon and one other language of your choice.
Subrace. two choices are possible for every ghoul. The subraces below are a way to implement them, but any ghoul may choose one or the other as they grow up.

Common Ghoul Traits[edit]

Ghoul Counterparts Feat

You have a 1% chance of knowing or knowing how to find a deep spy for each 1000 people in a human settlement, town, village, city, or rural region. You gain one piece of 'useful information' about the local area by approaching them or having them convey information to you. They will hide you if you need an emergency hiding place.

Ghoul Demoralization Feat

You know how to promote immoral practices, outlooks, and worldviews into a group thus weakening the group in the long run. You yourself are not corrupted by the practices and outlooks, since you are a ghoul, and your mind works differently. You gain +1 to persuasion and +1 to Charisma.

Ghoul Slave Keeper Feat

You keep and travel with various slaves, be they mounts, humanoids and so on as described under Expedient Slave Keepers. You will not keep or travel with human or elven slaves however. These are reserved for the slave pits. You keep 1d6 non-ghoul slaves from among the following, but no more than 1 per level: 1)horse, 2)squire of half your level, 3)Intelligent flier, 4)monster steed, CR no more than 1/4 your level, 5)Traveling sage with the human, elven, and ghoul History or Arcane skill, whose level is 1/5 of yours, 6)undead ally, CR no more than 1/3 of your level, 7)etc. Each of your slaves has +1 on their {{5a|intelligence as compared to a normal member of that species.

Ghoul Surgeon Feat

You know how to perform surgery on a ghoul to make them look like a member of another race. You are able to give a ghoul the 'Ghoul Surgical Disguise Feat' feat. This takes 7 1 hour surgeries done over the period of a week. All attempts to penetrate your disguise are at disadvantage. You gain +1 to your Dexterity, and +1 to medicine skill. The most common subjects are ghouls. The most common races they are made to look like are humans and elves.

Ghoul Surgical Disguise Feat

You permanently disguise yourself as an elf or a human. You gain +1 to deception and +1 to Charisma. All attempts to penetrate your disguise are at disadvantage. This disguise includes surgery, so the effect is permanent until restoration surgery is performed or until a restore spell is cast.

Ghoul Classes and Subclasses[edit]

Ghoul society would not be complete without its own set of classes and subclasses.

Bad Knight (fighter subclass)
Ghoul knights specialize in using dirty and dishonorable tactics in combat.
  • Curb Stomp - A knight can curb stomp a humanoid that is unconscious or making death saves. Upon a successful curb stomp, the ghoul can break a foreleg, a forearm, or a neck. Forelegs and arms take one month to heal while splinted. Broken necks kill.
Destruction Broker (rogue subclass)
destruction brokers specialize in infiltrating human and elven societies and causing mayhem, chaos, factional infighting and societal demoralization. At higher levels, destruction brokers coordinate these attacks.
Necrobiologist (wizard subclass)
A necrobiologist works with both the undead and the unliving, creating, controlling and experimenting on undead and living creatures.
  • Death Shroud - A necrobiologist can prepare a corpse to keep it from being eaten by maggots, worms, vultures and such. This allows a corpse to rot properly for ghoul consumption. Once a corpse has rotted long enough it is full of poisons and is very nutritious.
Poison Fairy (druid subclass)
Poison fairy is a ghoul subclass of druid. They specialize in spreading poisonous and intoxicating plants through forests and fields, covering the world with toxic invasive species. They also study plants and animals for their toxicity and breed them to be more toxic and more invasive.
Slave Master

Expedient Slave Keepers[edit]

Slavery is vile and evil, and corrupts the slave holder as well as the slave (I think this is part of why Rome fell. Their machines were people). Slave keeping does not corrupt a ghoul. It is part and parcel of their tendency toward evil. Ghouls treat slavery differently than humans. Ghouls see slaves as resources to be fostered. Slavery does not entice ghouls into becoming oppressive brutalizers like humans. Brutal treatment of slaves is used rationally instead. Ghouls also develop their slaves, teach their slaves, breed heir slaves, keep slave families together etc. Ghouls keep most natural animals, non-spiritual monsters, humanoid races, constructs, undead allies and so on, protecting and fostering their identities and individuality up to a point. The only exception to this is that ghouls will geld and brutally treat humans and elves, working them to death in the fields and mines, and using them as food for themselves and their other slaves.

Ghoul slaves (except humans and elves) are bred to have +1 on their Intelligence as compared to a normal member of that species. Ghoul slaves can understand a number of words of the ghoul language equal to their Intelligence to the fourth power, so for example a ghoul cat will have an Intelligence of 4, and will understand 64 ghoul words. The ghoul language is easier for animals to understand and relate to than common. A ghoul hobgoblin with an Intelligence of 11 will understand and be able to speak, read, and write 14641 words of the ghoul language, and a vampire that is a slave of a ghoul with an Intelligence of 20 will be able to read, write, and speak 160,000 words of the ghoul language.

Ghoul 'Subraces'[edit]

Just like humans, ghouls do not have subraces. Instead, just like humans, they have individual choices:


Ability Score Increase. Increase all six Ability Scores by one point.


Ability Score Increase. Increase one ability score of your choice by 2 points but do not increase it beyond 20.
Specialized Feat. Add one feat of your choice
Specialized Skill. Add one skill of your choice

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Ghouls tend to be beefier than humans, but the same height. The average ghoul is 200 lbs.

4′ 8″ +2d10 101 lb. × (2d8) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Suggested Characteristics[edit]

When creating a Ghoul character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use these tables in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 Ambitious +1 to deception
2 Adaptable +1 to survival
3 Resilient +1 to athletics
4 Resourceful +1 to perception
5 Eclectic +1 to investigation
6 Powerful +1 to insight
7 Formidable +1 to intimidation
8 Influential +1 to persuasion
d6 Ideal
1 Die! Humans Die! - you have a deep hatred of humans and will kill them as opportunity arises, except for party members whom you use for leverage against other humans.
2 Die! Elves Die! - you have a deep hatred for elves and will kill then as opportunity arises, except for party members whom you use for leverage against other elves.
3 Slavery - you collect slaves as you travel from place to place intimidating and subordining them to your will or selling them. You love taking captives and experimenting with them. Slaves may be of any species, and need not be humanoid.
4 Idealism - you believe slavery is wrong and try to break all slaves, serfs, servants, employees, steeds, and domestic animals free of their masters and owners, and killing their masters and owners as opportunity arises. You especially like doing this in human societies as this disrupts their societies, weakening them.
5 Transplanting - you like transplanting poisonous and noxious weedlike plants from your home area into pristine elven forests, having these poisonous weed infiltrate the forests crowding out the non-nutritious pathetic non-poisonous plants growing there. You carry seeds with you and drop a few here and there as opportunity arises.
6 Anarchy - you like bringing chaos and anarchy to the societies of human and related races. You like turning factions against each other by pretending to be one while attacking the other. Then you like to watch the elven forest or the human world burn for the cause of ghouls everywhere.
d6 Bond
d6 Flaw
(0 votes)

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