• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is LIVE! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

D&D General Poll: Have You Lost a Character to Ghouls.

Have You Lost a Character to Ghouls.

  • Yes

    Votes: 25 30.5%
  • No

    Votes: 33 40.2%
  • Yes, but I got better

    Votes: 2 2.4%
  • No, but a ghoul killed a character while I was DMing.

    Votes: 22 26.8%


No rule is inviolate
in 3.5 those things were so freaking scary that you made sure the answer would probably be no at any level. in 5e they are harmless

Yeah, they dumbed down a few monsters more than I'd like in D&D, though the 3.5 version = nasty. Still, if properly run, the first time one of those ghouls in a pack managed to paralyze someone (solid chance with low level characters), I'd be having them all turn on that character. 2 hits when down to 0hp is autokill. There's no logical reason they'd be stupid or forget their eternal hunger to be "fair."

log in or register to remove this ad


Ghouls are one of the classic freakishly scary low level monsters. If you haven't been paralyzed by a ghoul and torn apart by a feasting pack, are you really playing D&D?

I mean, it's in the example of play, for crying out loud!

Aside from intraparty conflict deaths does any one single cause of death come even close? Ghouls are like the soldier ants of D&D.

Go team ghoul.


One aspiring DM decided to run a group through the Slaver series when it was first released. The ghouls at the beginning of the module ate us all (twice). We were using the surprise rules in the DMG as written (parties who get surprise get 1 segment of surprise for the difference of the dice rolled and get a full round of attacks for each segment) and the ghouls surprise on a 1-5 on a d6 IIRC. At the end of the first round, the elf wasn't paralyzed, but he couldn't survive the onslaught.

We decided to stop trying after the second TPK on the first encounter.


They are not harmless in 5E. DC10 Con Save is something a lotof PCs can fail, even at high levels. I threw 8 ghouls at a higher level party as part of a larger encounter. The barbarian decided to take them all on while the rest of the party took on other issues. That barbarian had to be rescued. He was 17th level.


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I am the exact opposite of the poll.

The days of yore: D&D 3.0. Playing Tisevail, an 8 CON Elven Wizard, so I got d4-1 HP per level. Pre-cantrip days.

Low level the party got attacked by ghouls. The ghouls paralyze everyone else in the party, some of the ghouls dying but two wounded ones still surviving. I'm out of spells, but elves were proficient with long swords. So I grabbed one from a paralyzed compatriot and head in, fully expecting a TPK. But Tisevail was no coward, he wouldn't leave everyone to be eaten.

Battle ensures. Luck favors me. One drops. The other hits me, but rolls low so I don't go down - and elves are immune to ghoulish paralyziation. Battle continues until that fateful roll - in my favor! Tisevail prevailed against the ghouls!

Completely flavored him from then on. He always wore a sword, wasn't afraid to mix it up, and eventually took the Bladesinger PrC when it came out.

All because those ghouls set him on that path.
Last edited:


That rat bastard!

Aleena, NOOOOO!

There’s got to be a thousand ways to die an ignominious death in D&D ...

  • Strength drained by Shadows (”low-level“ monsters hit only by magic!)
  • Pecked to stone by scary magic roosters (cockatrice)
  • Putting your ear to a door to listen what’s beyond (ear seekers)
  • Opening a chest (mimics!)
  • Forgetting to use your mirror around corners (basilisks)
  • Helping imprisoned maidens (Medusa’s)
  • Find the source of singing in the dungeon (Harpies)
  • Not noticing the algae growing on the ceiling (green slime)
  • Poking the dead body (Russet mold)
  • Looting the dead body (rot grubs)
  • Looking at the dead body (bodak)
  • Not noticing the squirming dead body (spawn of Kyuss)
  • Thinking those were just bats (strirges)
  • And most of all, stepping in the dungeon (trapper above, lurker below, piercers and pit traps)

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads