By Tim Wallace
"The madness and monstrosity lay in the figures in the foreground—for Pickman's morbid art was pre-eminently one of demoniac portraiture. These figures were seldom completely human, but often approached humanity in varying degree. Most of the bodies, while roughly bipedal, had a forward slumping, and a vaguely canine cast. The texture of the majority was a kind of unpleasant rubberiness."
H.P. Lovecraft, Pickman's Model
Ghouls from H. P. Lovecraft’s works are not actually undead, but transformed humans who dwell in the dreamlands. They are carrion eaters and are all-around repugnant, but a well-versed dreamer who knows their language may be able to gain their help, or maybe just safe passage their territory.
Lovecraftian Ghoul Racial Traits (14 RP)
+2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma (1 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls are nimble and tough, but other races find them quite unsettling.
Monstrous Humanoid (3 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls have the monstrous humanoid type. Monstrous humanoids breathe, eat, and sleep.
Medium: Lovecraftian ghouls are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Lovecraftian ghouls have a base speed of 30 feet.
Carrion Sense (1 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls have a natural ability to sniff out carrion. This functions like the scent ability, but only for corpses and badly wounded creatures (creatures with 25% or fewer hit points). This ability is not impeded by the stench aura of lovecraftian ghouls.
Darkvision: Lovecraftian ghouls can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Natural Armor (2 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls have a +1 natural armor bonus.
Natural Attacks (3 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls have a bite and two claw attacks. The bite is a primary attack that deals 1d3 points of damage, and the claws are primary attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage.
Resist Level Drain (1 RP): A lovecraftian ghoul takes no penalties from energy drain effects, though he can still be killed if he accrues more negative levels then he has Hit Dice. After 24 hours, any negative levels a lovecraftian ghoul takes are removed without the need for an additional saving throw.
Sprinter (1 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls gain a 10-foot racial bonus to their speed when using the charge, run, or withdraw actions.
Stench Aura (4RP): Lovecraftian ghouls secrete a terrible scent as a 15-foot aura that nearly every other creature finds offensive. All living creatures (except those with the stench aura ability) within the aura must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the lovecraftian ghoul's character level + the lovecraftian ghoul's Constitution modifier) or be sickened for 5 rounds. Creatures that succeed at the saving throw cannot be sickened by the same lovecraftian ghoul 's stench aura for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell or similar effect removes the effect from the sickened creature. This is a poison effect.
Unnatural Resistance (1 RP): Lovecraftian ghouls gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against disease and mind-affecting effects.
Light Blindness (–2 RP): Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds lovecraftian ghouls for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
Negative Energy Affinity (–1 RP): Though a living creature, a lovecraftian ghoul reacts to positive and negative energy as if it were undead—positive energy harms it, while negative energy heals it.
Languages: Lovecraftian ghouls begin play speaking Ghoul and Common. Lovecraftian ghouls with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following : Abyssal, Aklo, Gnoll, Goblin, Infernal, Orc, and Undercommon.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of existing lovecraftian ghoul racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
Darklands Stalker: Lovecraftian ghouls with this racial trait may move through difficult terrain without penalty while underground. In addition, lovecraftian ghouls with a Dexterity of 13 or higher gain Nimble Moves as a bonus feat. This racial trait replaces the stench aura racial trait. This racial trait cannot be taken in conjunction with the daylight adapted racial triat.
Daylight Adapted: Lovecraftian ghouls with this racial trait gain low-light vision, allowing them to see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. This racial trait replaces the darkvision and light blindness racial traits. This racial trait cannot be taken in conjunction with the darklands stalker racial triat.
Once Human: Lovecraftian ghouls with this racial trait select one extra feat at 1st level. This racial trait replaces the stench aura racial trait.
Prehensile Tail: Lovecraftian ghouls with this racial trait have a long, flexible tail that they can use to carry objects. They cannot wield weapons with their tail, but the tail allows them to retrieve a small, stowed object carried on their person as a swift action. This racial trait replaces the natural weapons racial trait.
Rubbery Skin: Lovecraftian ghouls with this racial trait gain DR 5/piercing. This racial trait replaces the natural armor racial trait.
Becoming a Lovecraftian Ghoul
The following feats allow a human character to slowly transform into a lovecraftian ghoul. Once you gain three or more of these feats, your type changes to monstrous humanoid and you gain the darkvision and light blindness racial traits.
The blood of ghouls runs through your veins.
Benefit: You gain the unnatural resistance and sprinter racial traits of a lovecraftian ghoul.
Your body stoops and changes as you become more and more ghoulish.
Prerequisites: Ghoulish heritage, character level 3rd, human.
Benefit: You gain a bite attack an either two claw attacks or a prehensile tail.
Your skin darkens and becomes rubbery.
Prerequisites: Ghoulish heritage, character level 3rd, human.
Benefit: You gain either a +1 natural armor bonus to AC or damage reduction 5/piercing.
Your close ties to death give you undead like qualities.
Prerequisites: Ghoulish heritage and any one other lovecraftian ghoul feat, character level 6th, human.
Benefit: You gain the carrion sense, negative energy affinity, and resist level drain racial traits.
You stink of the carrion you devour on a regular basis.
Prerequisites: Ghoulish heritage and any two other lovecraftian ghoul feats, character level 6th, monstrous humanoid.Benefit: You gain the stench aura racial trait.