What happens when a PC ghoul acquires and dies of ghoul fever?


Rules Discussion

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

We're fighting ghouls as undead PCs, and it became apparent that the party ghoul is subject to ghoul fever. They wouldn't take the damage from it (being negative damage), but stage 6 just kills them outright. What happens then? Do they rise a ghoul again, or are they destroyed?

Horizon Hunters

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would say Ghoul PCs would be immune to that disease, as they likely were created by it.


Or even easier:
Immunity to Death Effects: You’re immune to death effects. This keeps you from being automatically killed or from having your dying value automatically increase, but it doesn’t make you immune to other parts of the spell or effect.
So, a ghoul PC already doesn't take negative damage and can't be killed by any disease without taking damage. The only thing remaining in the disease is reduced and removed healing. Which was designed for living creatures in the first place, and wasn't limited to only positive healing. Don't know, you could leave it as is I guess.
Of course people could argue that diseases (most? all?) don't actually have 'death' Trait which that part of Basic Undead Benefits was mainly talking about. But it's not very formal and it does say 'This keeps you from being automatically killed'.

Horizon Hunters

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

That means they're immune to the death trait, not that they can't be instantly killed. Disintegrate will still instantly kill PCs who are immune to Death Effects if they hit 0 HP, for example. Ghoul Fever does not include the death trait, so they wouldn't be immune to it in the rules.


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This feels like an edge case that isn't covered very well by the rules, but shouldn't be hard for a GM to figure out.

A GM worth the title should be able to work out a ruling that is fair, fun, and progresses the story for all of the characters.

It may be a different ruling for individual tables, and that is fine.


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Worst case they die and just rise again the next midnight with no real change in their situation.


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They become a SUPER GHOUL!!!


My ruling as a GM would be, you're already a ghoul. You're immune.


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I believe the character would come to aghast of what just happened.


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You die and are raised again, but as a ghoul who is a complete servant of their hunger and is unable to control it like a PC Ghoul could.


Yeah. I think it makes sense to say ghouls are immune, but since PC ghouls have explicitly not fully succumbed to ghoul-ness it also makes sense to say they lose themselves at that point.

Horizon Hunters

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The first line of the Ghoul archetype:
"You died from the necrotic disease known as ghoul fever and rose anew as a ravenous ghoul, forever craving the flesh of sapient creatures."

All ghouls, including PCs, constantly crave flesh. There's even a sidebar about how to role-play being hungry and how as you progress and get more ghoul feats you become closer to the ghouls we all know.

Ghoul PCs are ghouls, it's just a slower decent due to their nature of being a PC. The image Paizo has for ghouls in the bestiary is more like a starving ghoul, one who hasn't eaten in a long time and has succumbed 100% to their hunger. A well fed ghoul can easily be a member of high class society or even in politics, especially in Geb, they are just cruel and love cannibalism.


Cordell Kintner wrote:
A well fed ghoul can easily be a member of high class society or even in politics, especially in Geb, they are just cruel and love cannibalism.

Yes, there are rumors there are some even among citizens of Absalom! Scary world...


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They become a luohg.

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