Tuesday 19 July 2016

New B/X class: Ghoul-blooded

When you were a child, you thought you were just like everyone else: a bit thin and pale, maybe, but thinness and pallor run in your family. It was only as an adolescent that you began to realise that most of your friends didn't have a locked door in their cellars with something thumping and hissing behind it; that the racks of cleavers and mortuary knives in your mother's kitchen were not ordinary cooking equipment, and that it wasn't normal for a family mausoleum to contain nothing but empty coffins and gnawed bones. As a teenager, you began to join the dots: the allusions in your great-grandfather's journal to how he'd never been the same after his encounter with some kind of weird creature out in the ruins, your grandmother's maddening vagueness over exactly how your family survived the great famine year, the fact that your uncle had to move out in such a hurry just after those clerics arrived in town. Was your great-uncle really an eccentric foreign nobleman? If so, why did your mother always head north-east when she said that she was going to visit him, when everyone knows that there's nothing out there except the old burial grounds? Why are your nails so strong? Why are your teeth so sharp? Why do you feel so hungry all the time?

You know that people are talking about you behind your back. You can smell their fear - but since when could you smell fear? - whenever you walk into the room. Maybe it's time you followed your uncle's example and left town...

B/X Class: Ghoul-Blooded

(Should also work for ghul-blooded characters in Middle Eastern-inspired settings.)

To-Hit: As per Fighter.

Hit Dice: 1d6

Weapons, Armour, and Saves: All as per Thief.

Experience Per Level: As per Magic-User.

Night Vision: You can see perfectly even in very dim light. At level 3, you gain the ability to see even in total darkness.

Teeth and Claws: Your nails and teeth are strong enough to be used as weapons, allowing you to attack for 1d4 damage even when unarmed. At level 5 this rises to 1d6 damage, and at level 9 it rises to 1d8.

Enhanced Smell: Your sense of smell is extremely sensitive. If any scent could possibly be detected by a human nose, you detect it automatically. At level 6 you can track people by their scent like a dog.

Foul Feasting: At level 2, you may eat raw and/or rotten meat without ill effects; doing so never makes you sick, and nourishes you just as much as if it was cooked and fresh.

Paralytic Venom: At level 4, your unarmed attacks (only) inject paralytic venom into your target, requiring them to save or be paralysed for the next 1d6 rounds. Elves are immune to this effect, as are undead, creatures not made of flesh and blood, and anything larger than an ogre. You also become immune to the paralytic venom of regular ghouls.

Cannibal Cookery: At level 5, you gain the ability to cook human or humanoid body parts into meals that fill whomever eats them with unholy vigour. The bonus granted depends on the body part cooked:
  • Brain: Grants +1 Intelligence.
  • Eyes: Grants +1 Wisdom.
  • Heart: Grants +1 Strength.
  • Lungs: Grants +1 Dexterity.
  • Liver: Grants +1 Constitution.
  • Tongue: Grants +1 Charisma.
  • Stomach: Grants +1 to all saves.
Preparing one portion of such a meal takes one hour, and no-one can benefit from more than three such meals at the same time. (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) The effects last for 24 hours.

Gravedigger: At level 7 you gain the ability to tunnel through the earth with your claws like a mole. You can dig through the earth at a rate of 10' per minute, but your tunnel will collapse behind you unless someone else is crawling behind you and shoring it up as you go.

Call the Clan: At level 8, you may call your undead kindred to you. You must go out to a graveyard on the night of the new moon and sing a keening, whistling song; 1d3 hours later, 1d6 ghouls will burrow their way out of the soil around you. These ghouls will obey any non-suicidal orders for as long as you keep them supplied with carrion, and will serve you until destroyed or until the night of the next new moon, whichever comes first.

Atavism: At level 9, you shed your humanity. You are now an unliving monster; you no longer need to eat, sleep, or breathe (although your hunger for carrion is as strong as ever), and you are immune to poison and disease. You also cease to age, and will live forever unless killed. Because you are not truly undead, however, you cannot be turned by clerics.

Abilities Summary: 
  • Level 1: Low-light vision, enhanced smell, claws 1d4.
  • Level 2: Foul feasting.
  • Level 3: Darkvision.
  • Level 4: Paralytic venom.
  • Level 5: Cannibal cookery, claws 1d6.
  • Level 6: Track via scent.
  • Level 7: Gravedigger
  • Level 8: Call the clan
  • Level 9: Atavism, Claws 1d8

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