Ghastly Creatures

by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Dragon #307

Even more repellent than ghoulish creatures, ghastly creatures reek of the grave. From a distance, they look like ghoulish creatures, but up close in the miasma of stench, there's no mistaking a ghastly monster. Ghastly creatures speak the languages they spoke in life.

Creating a Ghastly Creature

"Ghastly creature" is a template that can be added to any giant or monstrous humanoid or a humanoid with 7 or more HD. (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). Creatures with this template have their type changed to "undead." It uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: Change to d12

Speed: Same as the base creature

AC: The base creature's natural armor increases by +2.

Damage: The base creature's natural attacks can cause paralysis in addition to their normal damage. The base creature's natural and manufactured weapons deal damage normally. If the base creature does not have a better natural attack, it gains a bite attack and two claw attacks that deal damage based on the creature's size:


Special Attacks: A ghastly creature retains all the base creature's special attacks and gains those listed below. Saves for abilities listed below have a DC of 10 + 1/2 the ghast's HD + the ghast's Charisma modifier unless noted otherwise in the ability's description.

Create Spawn (Su): A creature killed by a ghastly creature rises as a form of ghast 1d4 days after death. The victim returns as a ghast if it was a humanoid with 6 or fewer HD and as a ghastly creature if it was a giant, humanoid, or monstrous humanoid with 7 or more HD.

Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by a ghastly creature's natural attack must succeed at a Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 1d6+4 minutes. Elves are immune to this paralysis.

Stench (Ex): The stink of death and corruption surrounding these creatures is sickening. Living creatures within 10 feet must succeed at a Fortitude save or be sickened, suffering a -2 penalty on all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1d6+4 minutes. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from the sickened creature, and creatures immune to poison are unaffected by this ability.

Special Qualities: A ghastly creature retains all the base creature's special qualities and gains those listed below.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A ghastly creature has +2 turn resistance.

Undead Traits: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. A ghast cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. The creature has darkvision (60-foot range).

Saves: Same as the base creature

Abilities: Increase from base creature as follows: +2 Strength, +4 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, +4 Wisdom, and +6 Charisma. Being undead, a ghast has no Constitution score.

Skills: Same as the base creature

Feats: Same as the base creature

Climate/Terrain: Any

Organization: Solitary, gang (2-4), or pack (2-4 plus 7-12 ghouls)

Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +2

Treasure: Same as the base creature

Alignment: Always chaotic evil

Advancement: Same as the base creature

Sample Ghastly Creature: Ghastly Hill Giant

Template Index