[Swords & Wizardry] New Monster: Ghoul-Mage





Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it.

—W. Somerset Maugham



Slain by a pack of ghouls but not eaten, there is a 15% chance of a wizard raising as a Ghoul-Mage, a horrific magic-user with the paralyzing abilities of a ghoul and the spells that they had in life. While not as powerful as a liche, the Ghoul-Mage does have an equalizer, they attract and command ghouls, who revere Ghoul-Mages as unholy leaders of their kind. Just like ghouls, these monsters require flesh to eat, but Ghoul-Mages must have the meat of humans or demi-humans to remain active; they will slip into a torpor if unable to consume such flesh at least once per week. For three hours after such a feeding a Ghoul-Mage is filled with a fiendish strength that add 1d3 to their Str attribute during this period. Adventurers and tomb raiders have uncovered more than one disturbing ghoul cult lead by one of these horrible undead.

Ghoul-Mage: HD 8; AC 4[15]; Atk: Bite (1d4), Claws (1d6+1) or spells; Move 9 ; Save 16; CL/XP 9/1,100; Special: Paralytic Touch: Those touched or bitten by a Ghoul-Mage must make a Saving Throw at -2 or be paralyzed for 1d4 rounds. Need for flesh: These monsters require the flesh of intelligent creatures to keep functioning. For three hours right after a feed a Ghoul-Mage may add 1d3 to their Strength attribute. Most Ghoul-Mages will have a retinue of 2d6 ghouls and may even reign over a small community of these wicked creatures. Ghoul-Mages will have spells appropriate for your game and the level of the wizard you wish to portray (this profile is tailored to a 9th level wizard and will need to be adjusted for different levels). Note that these spells are not necessarily those of a necromancer as the process of becoming a Ghoul-Mage is quite often an unintentional situation. Clerics turn a Ghoul-Mage as a Mummy on the Turn Undead table (page 21 of the Swords & Wizardry core rules).

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3 Responses to [Swords & Wizardry] New Monster: Ghoul-Mage

  1. Lizardfolk says:

    That is one nasty monster-master, old school undead always make me smile.

  2. Timeshadows says:


    Very nice. 🙂

  3. bat says:

    Thank you both! I was making this by not thinking about the liche, but more about a creepy coven of ghouls lead by one of these things.

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