OSR: Class: Ghoul (and a bonus Goblin)

Hunger is a constant companion in the Veins. Some people allow hunger to consume them, hollow them out, ride them like a beast of burden. They wither and change, becoming hunched, lantern-eyed ghouls. Not undead, but not quite alive.

And because it's the Veins, you can be a ghoul and a PC.

Project Wight

Class: Ghoul

Starting Equipment: your skin counts as leather armour.
Starting Skill: see below.

A: The Hunger, Paralyzing Claws
B: +1 attack per round, Iron Guts
C: Tracker
D: Regeneration

You gain +1 Stealth for each Ghoul template you possess.

The Hunger

3 Years 3 Months 3 Weeks 3 Days
Any Food Any Food 2 Ration 1 Rations

You need less food than most people, but you must eat the flesh of sentient beings. The hunger is always present, like a glass splinter stuck in your mind. You cannot cast spells.

Paralytic: 1 in all Stats. Can make 1 attack in a month. Effectively, no longer a PC.

Sluggish: 1/4 all Stats. Very difficult to remember what you were doing.
Feral: 1/2 Intelligence and Charisma, +2 Attack Stat. Murderously focused, minimal personality. Lose any skills.

Rational: 1/2 Intelligence. Dim, but still recognizably present. Lose the abilities of any other class (if you have them).Refined: full stats.

A paralytic ghoul can surge into feral rage with just a few bites of flesh. It takes 2 Rations to lurch from Feral to Rational, regaining speech and memories. A further ration will improve the ghoul's mind to close to its former level. They are still hungry, but for a time, their hunger can be ignored.

The decline is quick. 3 days without a ration and the highest and noblest arts fade. 3 Weeks without any food and the ghoul reverts to a feral state. 

An average-sized corpse contains 50 rations. A ghouls cannot eat another ghoul.

Iron Guts

All meat is just meat to you. Your hunger crowds out everything else. You never roll for special meat effects. You are immune to most ingested poisons.

Paralyzing Claws
Your unarmed attacks deal 1d6 piercing damage. Creatures of [level]x2 HD or less must Save if hit by a melee attack or be paralyzed for 1d6 rounds.

You can accurately locate dead flesh by smell within 60'. You can tell how long ago a creature died and vague details about its death by eating its flesh.

If you are Feral or Rational, you regenerate 1d6 HP per round. For every 6 HP regenerated, you must consume 1 additional ration within 6 hours.

Mechanical Notes on the Ghoul
Ghouls are tough melee fighters. They can survive on very little food compared to other PCs, but their all-consuming hunger limits their abilities. In dire situations, they will happily feast on their friends. 

Who Were You?

1. Soldier, 2. Noble, 3.  Unusual.
Start with the skill listed.

1. You are a faithful and loyal soldier. When Feral, you will still obey orders. Start with the Soldier skill.
2. You were an artisan, a metal-worker, and a tool-maker. Your tools these days are mostly serrated. Start with the Armourer skill and an iron helmet.
3. You are an expert scrounger. When searching a body, the GM will roll twice and present you with the better result. Start with the Solder skill.
4. You are a fierce warrior, proud and cruel. Start with the Soldier skill and an iron sword.
5. You catch escaped slaves. It's not glamorous work, but someone has to do it. Start with the Soldier skill, a club, and a set of shackles.
6. You are an infiltrator, scout, and assassin. Start with 50' of rope and pitch-black tattooed skin.

1. You were a court poet and still remember the old verses. Start with the Poetry skill.
2. You were a celebrated artist. Start with the Painting skill. These days, you tend to paint in monochrome red.
3. Your music singing once charmed barons and countesses. Start with the Music skill.
4. You are a minor ghoul noble, a roving knight. Start with the Courtesy skill. You report to a Ghoul Baron.
5. Your family pride is something inconceivable. You were born sneering. Save vs Rage if insulted. Start with 5gp and fancy rags.
6. You have the bearing of true nobility. If you are Refined, weak-willed creatures must Save to attack you unless you attack them first. Start with the Courtesy skill.

1. You were an explorer. You remember the surface, dimly. There were... clouds. Yes. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed.
2. You are a survivor. You did what you had to do to, and you will never apologize for it. Survival of the fittest. Start with the Literature skill.
3. You were a wizard, once. Spells can no longer live in your head, but you can detect magic by taste and touch. Start with the History skill.
4. You are a gourmet among ghouls. Start with the Cook skill and a pouch of spices.
5. You committed a terrible crime. Roll at least once on this table. Roll on the Table of Professions and gain the skill listed.
6. You belong to no ghoul nation and owe allegiance to no one. Start with a shovel and the Wilderness skill.
Scarp Parnsass


Race: Goblin
Reroll and take highest: Dex
Reroll and take lowest: Int
Bonus: Can see and/or smell 20' in the dark.
Penalty: Half starting HP. Speak in words of 2 syllables or fewer.

Goblins can be any class, but you're going to have to work extra hard to justify why your goblin is a Knight or a Paladin. They also can't read or write. You should probably just use the Goblan class. It's excellent.

Goblan Class

Start Stuff: daggar, bad pants, one shoo.
Start Know: Goblan

Get Good:

Each time get good, roll one time on list. Same thing, roll new. Get four thing only (eh, bee, sea, dee).
Each time get good, no make stats better (except by list roll).
1 Good Guts. +2 HPs, no poison eats.
2 Good Brains. +2 Int, learn random little wizard spell.
3 Good Face. +2 Chisma. Big big smile grin, ear to ear. Big eyes. Smell good too.
4 Good Ears. +2 Wisdum, not never sneaked up on.
5 Good Sneaks. +2 Dexty, +4 Stealth. So sneaks.
6 Good Punch. +2 Strangth, +2 Attack. Like to fight. Fight you. Fight yor mum.
7 More teef. Mouth is also daggers now. Can chew rocks, sticks.
8 Not Dead. Fatal woonds go away on 1 or 3, not just 1. Is much good.
9 Beetle friend. Can ride it. If dead, is good but sad, find new beetle next day. 
10 Sticky. +4 climb. Easy climb but fings get gummed up. 
11 Weird Goblan. Newtate.
12 Ankle Bite. If fight thing bigger you, +2 Attack.
13 Goblin friend. Is good. Maybe make more goblins? If dead, find new friend next day.
14 Bug barf. One time in day, barf up big sack of spiders, worms. 
15 Wut? Never afraids.
16 Lucky Goblan. +2 Save. Also, one time per day, roll one big round dice again.
17 New Stuff. If lost arm or leg, grows back in some days. 
18 No Squish. If fall, no die. Bounce instead.
19 Ooze friend. No acid or guts or ooze hurt you. 
20 Greasy. Can no be tied up or grabbed. 

Side Note: You don't need to be a Goblin to be in the Goblan class. Goblinism is a thing you catch.


  1. hyoomins dumb wanting level up. "get good" super better than "level up." looked up, saw rocks. not want rock level. rocks is not moving, no fight or eat.

    TRANSLATION: "Get good" is my new favourite way to refer to a level up, surpassing even the venerable "Ding!"

  2. Why get just for thing? Many thing to get, but just four? Why not have every thing?

    1. Because then all play goblin. Too good.

  3. For the record, "wandering loner ghoul with a shovel" is now a firmly-entrenched want-to-play for me.

  4. I keep thinking that ghouls are over-powered as I read this, but then I remember how brutal The Hunger can be.
    The Party is about to set forth on their next quest: venturing through the nearby vale to uproot the evil wizard who's dominating the unfortunate town. The wizard: "I gotta visit the hedge-mage and see if I can't get any scroll-making supplies." The fighter: "I'm gonna grab some torches from the villagers." The Thief: "I'll see if I can't get some rope and I'll visit the blacksmith to see if he finished the caltrops I asked him about." Ghoul: "I'm, uh... I'm going to go to the graveyard..."