Ghoul lords?

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Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:26 am

I've over the years occasionally seen people making reference to a Ghoul lord creature.. What exactly are they? And what source can i find out info on them?
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby JadedDM » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:40 pm

They are from Ravenloft. Here you go.
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:49 pm

Thanks for that link.. now to use it as a basis to make my own version, say between 6 and 8hd, that i can have as a high level leader of a large ghoul and ghast warren..
I am thinking of dropping the 'disease' angle only being cured by a HEAL spell and making it need both a remove curse followed by a cure disease, but both have to be from the same caster. Dropping the loss to Con -1 on even days, cha -1 on odd days. Once healed they BOTH return at the same rate they were lost.
And imposing a -2 on saves vs paralyzation.. And making the xp 3k base, going to 4k for the 7hd version and 5k for the 8hd version..
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:00 pm

Well, as that ghoul lord is a ravenloft specific monster, i decided to copy and paste some stuff, alter other stuff, and make up some stuff..
Here is my version.
Let me know what you all think..

Ghoul lords
Climate/Terrain: Any lands, though they do dislike deserts and tundras
Frequency: Very rare. More than 2 in a 1000 square mile area is unheard of
Organization: Solitary.
Activity cycle: Any, though night is preferred
Intelligence: Exceptionally intelligent (15-16)
Died: Corpses. Humanoids preferred, but can even consume monsters (though they never eat flying creatures strangely enough)
Treasure: O x2, P, R, S (Bx2, D)
# appearing: 1
Alignment: CE
HD: 6 to 9hd
Move: 15'
AC: 3 (for 6 and 7hd), 2 (for 8 and 9hd)
Thaco: 15 (for 6hd), 13 (for 7 and 8hd), 11 (for 9hd)
# attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
Dam/att: d6/d6/d10
Special attacks: See below
Special defenses: See below
Magic resistance: none
Size: M (6ft tall)
Morale: Champion (15-16)
XP value: 3,000 (6hd) 4,000 (7hd), 5,000 (8hd), 6,000 (9hd)

Many adventurers know of Ghouls and ghasts, and rightfully fear them. And the life sucking undead are even more feared, but many adventurers who face Ghoul lords find their blood curling, their skin claming up and their will to fight leaving them. So horrible are these foes, its rare to find more than half a dozen per ENTIRE continent. Ghoul lords love lurking deep underground, or on the surface, close to places thick with the stench of death (ie battlefields). Though they feast on fresh flesh, they can also subsist on dead and bloated bodies, eating them even while bugs are doing their 'thing'. It is rare to find them, NOT being served by lesser undead (90% of the time this is a large mixed group of ghouls and ghasts, but can rarely also contain wights. They, thankfully though, have no powers over incorporeal undead, or vampires/lichs.

The ghoul lord looks much like the common ghoul or ghast. It retains some semblance of its human form, but its skin has turned the sickly grey of rotting meat, its tongue has grown long and rasped, and its teeth and nails have become sharp and wicked instruments ideal for rending flesh and cracking bone.

Ghoul lords can speak the languages they knew prior to their death and transformation into the unread. When commanding their ghoul and ghast minions, however, they do not speak, but employ a telepathic xnse that defies mortal languages. They can control up to 5 times their HD in number of lesser undead (wights, ghouls and ghasts) but strangely they can never exert any control over zombies/skeletons, or incorporeal undead. No sages have yet been able to figure out why, and they also are boggled by the fact that even if the Ghoul lord is higher HD than some vampires, they are also not 'higher on the food chain' than the blood suckers are.

The ghoul lord looks so much like a ghoul that it is 90% likely that it will be mistaken for such a creature even by those familiar with the undead. The true nature of these beasts becomes apparent, however, as soon as they spring into combat.

Combat
Like ghouls and ghasts, the claws of a Ghoul lord causes paralysis in targets hit who fail a save vs paralyzation. EVEN ELVES. And cause of the potency of this paralyzation, everyone suffers a -2 penalty to their saving throw. Elves only suffer a -1. Their bite also stands a chance of causing a wasting disease in their victims. Each point of damage dealt out gives a 1% cumulative chance that the target contracts this disease (roll after each battle, the % resets by the end of the day). Those who succumb to the virus will lose a point of Con every odd day, and a point of Charisma every even day till the disease is arrested by a remove curse AND a cure disease both cast by the same priest, or until the target drops to 0 in either Con or Cha. At which point he dies, and rises as a ghast under the command of the ghoul lord who killed him.
Additionally anyone killed In combat by a ghoul lord, that is not consumed, rises the next day break as a ghast under the ghoul lord's command.
Once the disease is arrested by those 2 spells, the victim's con returns at the rate of 1 point a day of bed rest, while the charisma only returns upon a successful saving throw vs poison. If successful they TOO return at the rate of 1 a day. However if the save is failed, only HALF the points lost will ever return, and it takes 1 month per point.

Like other undead of their ilk, ghoul lords are immune to the effects of sleep and charm spells. They are not harmed by holy water or contact with holy symbols, but can be turned as if they are of 2hd higher than what they are (So a 7hd ghoul lord is turned as a 9hd creature). Ghoul lords weapons either forged of pure iron, or of at least +1 magical enchantment. A circle of protection has no effect on these creatures unless cold iron is used in its casting. Even then, the ghoul lord has a 10% chance per round of overcoming the effects of the spell and striking freely at those allegedly protected by it.

Ghoul lords do not radiate the foul odor associated with ghasts, but they do fairly reck of evil. In fact, this effect is so potent that those of good alignment suffer a -4 on all attack rolls when within 30 feet of these creatures, unless they make a wisdom roll on 4d6 (they must roll under their wisdom score).

Habitat/society
The ghoul lord is a foul creature indeed. The only saving grace for humanity is their rarity. They tends to dwell in isolated places rife with the odor of death; graveyards and ruins are its favorite haunts, but they also like living near large battlefields (one where more than 200 people died).

Ghoul lords always have a following of lesser undead with them. These minions act under telepathic command from the ghoul lord and are absolute in their loyalty to him. They can command up to 5x their HD in # of lesser undead, usually with 3 to 6 ghasts (d4+2), and 12-24 ghouls (4d4+8).
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:06 pm

Ghoul lords are fun to throw at PCs! :twisted:

Zombie lords are a lot of fun too! The only thing I changed about the zombie lord is one of the effects rolled for when victims breath the odor of death that surrounds the zombie lord. The effect is that the character dies immediately and becomes a zombie under control of the zombie lord. I think that's an outrageously deadly attack for a monster worth only 650 xp! 8O :roll: I've changed that one effect (you roll for various effects on d6) and inserted various other substitutions more in keeping with their xp.
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:00 am

garhkal wrote:Thanks for that link.

Yes Jaded, thanks from me as well! :thumbs:
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Halaster-Blackcloak wrote:Ghoul lords are fun to throw at PCs! :twisted:

Zombie lords are a lot of fun too! The only thing I changed about the zombie lord is one of the effects rolled for when victims breath the odor of death that surrounds the zombie lord. The effect is that the character dies immediately and becomes a zombie under control of the zombie lord. I think that's an outrageously deadly attack for a monster worth only 650 xp! 8O :roll: I've changed that one effect (you roll for various effects on d6) and inserted various other substitutions more in keeping with their xp.


I LOVE zombie lords! And even have one in an underground catacombs developed up..
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:36 pm

What I like so much about zombie lords and ghoul lords is that they give the DM a cool, tough, but not too powerful leader for a group of ghouls or zombies. If i want to write an adventure with lots of ghouls - say a ghoul invasion - I don't need to inject a necromancer or lich or whatever. There's a main bad guy, a leader behind it all, who is himself a ghoul - only more powerful. I've had lots of fun using both.
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:29 pm

Well, the ghoul lord i posted above, i've got wrote into things, and also have a pair of Zombie lords..
Lets see how the party loves them buggers!
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:56 pm

If you're like me, I 'm sure you'll enjoy them a lot more than your players will! :twisted: :wink: :lol:
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby RPG Dinosaur » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:44 pm

garhkal wrote:Here is my version.
Let me know what you all think..

Ghoul lords
Combat
Their bite also stands a chance of causing a wasting disease in their victims. Each point of damage dealt out gives a 1% cumulative chance that the target contracts this disease (roll after each battle, the % resets by the end of the day). Those who succumb to the virus will lose a point of Con every odd day, and a point of Charisma every even day till the disease is arrested by a remove curse AND a cure disease both cast by the same priest, or until the target drops to 0 in either Con or Cha. Once the disease is arrested by those 2 spells, the victim's con returns at the rate of 1 point a day of bed rest, while the charisma only returns upon a successful saving throw vs poison. If successful they TOO return at the rate of 1 a day. However if the save is failed, only HALF the points lost will ever return, and it takes 1 month per point.

I'm not crazy about tacking on the possibility of three additional hit dice for this thing that already has six. That takes it too far away from an original ghoul IMHO.
I like what you did with replacing the saving throw after every bite with a cumulative percentile roll, it's cleaner that way. I also like what you did with staggering the loss of Constitution and Charisma, as well as changing the disease to being capable of being arrested by Cure Disease and Remove Curse, instead of the way more hard to come by (and IMO inappropriate for this particular monster disease) Heal.
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Sun Oct 08, 2017 2:27 pm

I'm not crazy about tacking on the possibility of three additional hit dice for this thing that already has six. That takes it too far away from an original ghoul IMHO.


BUT they are suppsed to be ghoul Lords. Much like the "Zombie lord" is 6-7hd, while regular zombies are only 2hd..
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby Halaster-Blackcloak » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:38 pm

I like the idea of them having 6 or 7 HD. It should be possible for them to be the "main" bad guy in an adventure and a challenge to the PCs. That puts them just above ghasts and alongside wraiths in power levels. If they're going to be commanding 2HD ghouls and 4HD ghasts, they sorta have to be at least 6HD.
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Re: Ghoul lords?

Postby garhkal » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:32 pm

Hence the 6 to 9hd spread..
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