[Runequest] Non-human undead (ghouls, zombies, mummies)

Stephen Posey stephenlposey at earthlink.net
Fri Oct 12 00:20:01 EST 2012

-----Original Message-----
>From: Vile Traveller <viletraveller at gmail.com>
>Sent: Oct 10, 2012 9:34 PM
>To: runequest at rpgreview.net
>Subject: Re: [Runequest] Non-human undead (ghouls, zombies, mummies)
>Ghoul is even more problematic, because it doesn't have multipliers at all.
>Are those just flat values to be used on any species? There are non-human
>ghouls. I found dark troll ghoul from Dorastor-book and Halcyon's ghoul
>pterodactyl-familiar from Griffin island-book. The latter didn't fit the
>existing template (STR 3 while ghoul minimum is 4 on 4d6). So, is ghouls's
>STR (normal+d6) or (normal*4/3) and so on?
>These days, in fact, I go back to the source for ghouls and treat them as a
>unique creature, not undead at all. I guess D&D first popularised them as
>undead, but I think they fit much better into any fantasy universe by just
>going with the original Arabic copse-eating hyena-like monster.
>Not canon, I know, but YGMV and all that.

I'm with you on the nature of Ghouls as not being "undead" in the traditional sense; but if humans (or other humanoids or even animals) can become "ghoulified" (which I believe IS part of the legend? or is, at least, is common enough in inspirational writings such as Lovecraft or McNaughton), then the problem remains: How do you adjust the base stats of the affected creature if it's not an ordinary human?

RQ/BRP could definitely use the idea of creature "templates" for cases like these (like Marko, IMO this is one of the few areas D&D3.x/D20 actually got right).

Stephen Posey
stephenlposey at earthlink.net 

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