OSR: Veinscrawl Motivations

Why hexcrawl?
More specifically, why hexcrawl in the Veins of the Earth?

Given the entry costs and ludicrous risks, why would any sensible party of adventurers bother going into the Veins? Leaving aside accidents, idiocy, and lies, what could possibly convince a surface creature - someone who likes three square meals a day and feather beds - to crawl down satan's gastrointestinal tract or live in Patrick Stuart's nightmares?

1. Loot

Veins loot makes conventional dungeons look like a discount clothing warehouse after a fire sale, in a hyper-inflationary economy, right before the coldest winter on record. Your gold crowns and polished gems and magic wands are bent clothes hangers and ragged Snoopy t-shirts compared to the stuff in the Veins.

It will get to the point where gold is too heavy and too pointless to transport. Pouches of strange metals will adorn your back. You'll carry a sword that can cut a syllable in half but your face will be streaked with clay and muck. You'll cut your hair off and file your teeth into points, but you'll also find a machine that spins music into cloth. When - or if - you emerge, changed and warped, you will change the surface world forever. There are treasures in the Veins that are the seeds of empires.

You'll probably need to find a way back to the surface once you've finished looting an area. Most factions have a route or two; they won't share them eagerly. 
Sarunas Macijauskas

2. Control

Carve out an empire of your own. Wear a fancy hat. Sit on a throne and judge people. Earn eternal fame. The charitable view is that surface-dwellers, blessed with an education, a life of comparative leisure and safety, and a worldview based on control, make ideal leaders and warlords in the Veins.

The uncharitable view is that surface-dwellers are too stupid to know better.

Start small: a single village, a cleared dungeon, or an empty cave. Recruit followers with promises of food and safety. Set your enemies against each other. Use horrifying weapons or enslaved creatures.

How to feed your empire:


Farm Supports Requires
Spawning fungid cluster (1 Myconid/day) 5/day Coal
20 Sonic Pigs 5/day Cave slime, 1 swineherd.
30 Cave Centipedes 5/day Cave slime, 1 centiherd.
Cave cricket swarm 5/day Cave slime, 2 cricket-keepers.


Farm Supports Requires Danger
1 Troll, chained. 5/day 2 Troll-choppers. Troll may escape, mutate, split. Troll meat is infectious.
Lamenter Nest 5/day 1 Lamenter-raider. 1-in-6 chance Lamenter-raider goes mad each day.

Very Esoteric

Farm Supports Requires Danger
Souls 1/month/soul. Need an extractor or a supplier. Inherit personalities, become possessed. Very evil.
Divine Intervention 1 faithful person Absolute unwavering faith. Only supports 1 holy figure (or possibly a small tribe).
Raids into Painted Worlds 100/month/painting Artists, powerful magic, 10 raiders. Can become trapped in painting, let other creatures out.

The more people you can support, the more territory you can control.

If you support 5 people, you have a village.
If you support 20 people, you have a fortress.
If you support 50 people, you control most of a hex. 
If you support 100 people, you completely control a hex (or mostly control 2 hexes). 

The size of your holding is purely dependent on food. Money is useful, trade goods are nice, but if you can't feed your followers they will feast on your flesh and tear down your cities and your works. Civilization is three missed meals away from anarchy, but everyone in the Veins has already missed the first two meals.

In the Veins, 100 people is an enormous army, possibly too difficult to move. Defenses are easy and attacking is difficult so no one fights fair. If you plan on fighting a faction, make sure you're prepared to be stabbed in the back. Or the front. Or from above.

Don't fight fair.
Sarunas Macijauskas

3. Quests

There are capital-g-Goals in the hexcrawl. They are completely optional, but some players like having a mission. Spoilers.

1. Kill the Great White Fungus
 It's a whale-sized mushroom that steals peoples legs and runs around on them, kicking and having a grand old time. Anyone bitten by it goes crazy and wants to kill it, but for some reason tries to recruit people with lovely shapely legs to help.

2. Kill the Castillian Caddis Fly Larvae 
It will hatch into a Castillian Caddis Dragon. It wants to create lots of magic weapons to ensure its eggs find fertile spots to hatch and grow. To this end, it will cause apocalypses. Heroes (with shiny magic swords) will arise, fight, die, and lose their swords. The world above (and everything nearby in the Veins) will enter a catastrophic and violent phase lasting centuries.

3. Kill a Dragon
There are 5 dragons and you can fight all of them.

4. Find a McGuffin in the Ruins
That's what the ruins are for. Put your vital quest items there. Resurrection machines. A direct line to the Gods.

5. Topple a Villainous Faction
The Illithids, the Ghouls, or the Drow seem like good choices if you want to smash an evil system and replace it with utter chaos. Rescue the captured princess(es) from the dragon Kaseldrake. You know, standard heroic stuff.

6. Assist a Faction's Quest

Faction Goal
Antling Find a path to Hell.
Cholerid Die (?)
Dracospawn Bigger Hoards
Drow More Beauty
Dvergr Find Homunculite, weaken other factions.
Ghoul Rebuild Illiam, stable source of meat.
Illithid Brains. Lots and lots of brains.
Olm Food. Lots and lots of food.
Archaean ?
Fungid ?
Sarunas Macijauskas


On the surface, everything follows the same rules.  Bugs, bears, and bugbears all need to eat. In the Veins:
-The Drow eat beauty.
-The Olm eat flesh but sleep for centuries.
-The Dvergr need alcohol like a plant needs sunlight.
-The Antlings get their food from the surface.
-The Myconids eat coal.
etc, etc.

On the surface, there is an overarching framework of society. The feudal state holds the world together. There are outsiders and invaders and disruptions, but you are either inside the system or outside it; there's no third way. But in the Veins, there is no cohesion, no single system. Every faction has its own worldview. Common ground resembles no man's land - contested, cratered, and occasionally hit by political artillery.

Planning Chaos

I've designed the Veinscrawl to contain a lot of potential energy but minimal initial kinetic energy. The situation, on paper, is fairly stable. The PCs are the ones who will tip it into lovely and profitable chaos. Their actions and interactions with the factions and hexes will start to spiral out of control.

If any of the hex entries seem boring, just remember to append, "And then the PCs arrived."


OSR: Sequencing the HD(NA) of the Monster Manual

D'you remember Fafnir? A giant? Well he's a dragon now, don't ask me why.
-Anna Russell


In Volume 1 of Original D&D, Gary wrote that “There is no reason that players cannot be allowed to play as virtually anything, provided they begin relatively weak and work up to the top.” I’ve noted that I played several Balrogs, and way back in the Introduction, I told the story of Sir Fang, the first Vampire player character.

Note, however, that Sir Fang was not the LAST Vampire player character.

One of the gang at the U of Minnesota wanted to play a vampire. This was LONG before vampires were sparkly, and, for that matter, long before they were Brad Pitt. A vampire was Christopher Lee or Bela Lugosi in tuxedo and opera cape, period.

In D&D, if you wanted to play anything, you ALWAYS started low level and worked your way up. D&D undead had a correlation between type and hit dice; a Skeleton was 1 HD, a Zombie 2, etc, up through Ghoul, Wight, Wraith, Mummy, Spectre, Vampire… so our would-be vampire started, of course, as a Skeleton. But at long last he became a vampire, and then, per the rules, proceeded to make a bunch of slaves by “putting the fangs to them.” Of course, those killed would rise with 1 HD also… as a Skeleton.

Eventually the vampire got a cohort of slave vampires and spectres following him. Hooray.

Well, one dark moonlit night our PC and his henchpires were out travelling somewhere and had a random encounter… another band of vampires. PC decides he’s going to eliminate the lead vampire of the other gang and take them all over; the NPC vampire had much the same idea. And the fight was on.

Vampire attacks Spectre. Vampire hits; Spectre is drained 2 levels; Spectre becomes a Wraith.

Wraith attacks a different enemy, a Spectre, because it’s easier to hit, and hits. But wraiths drain one level, not two, so the enemy Spectre is drained one level… and turns into a mummy.

Oh, by the way… both vampire gangs had been flying, and were fighting at an approximate altitude of 1000 feet above the ground. And mummies are notable for their aerodynamics – “notable” in the sense of, “They fly about as well as a dessicated human corpse that’s had its internal organs pulled out and then been wrapped in bandages.”

And the hapless mummy plummets earthward, flapping its arms madly.

I’m sure you can see where this is heading. The aerial duel continued in something rather like “Night of the Living Dead” meets “Blue Max,” and as the combatants were drained levels, they would eventually hit a non-flying form… zombie, ghoul, wight, or mummy… and go hurtling towards the ground in the grip of that puissant incantation, “9.8 meters per second squared”.

I picture the peasants below, huddling in their wretched huts and praying as hard as they can as various half-decomposed bodies fall out of the sky to land with meaty thumps. On the other hand, all that organic material would be great fertilizer.

I’ve never needed rules for “comic relief” in D&D. Wait patiently and the players will provide it in abundance.
-Mike "Old Geezer" Mornard
I remember hearing this story years and years ago in a slightly different form from (I think) someone who hard heard it from someone else. A sort of IRC proto-meme. Anyway, I found a half-written scrap of paper with a rough HD list stuck in the back of one of my old notebooks, and I decided to finish the job once and for all.

Your Attention Please...

After the discovery of the Royalty Prism (capable of splitting Royal effusions into specially graded tones), there seemed to be little work left for the Illusionists. They'd detected Good and Evil, Chaos and Law, Lies, Inheritance, and even Luck. The fortuitous revelation of the "HD" changed everything. For years, thaumaturges, scholars, and mages had tried to discover why some creatures changed and others remained constant.

With the ability to detect a creatures "Heuristic Denomination" or "HD", a mage with a simple wand and a ledger book could categorize Nature. Small creatures, having no HD to speak of, are difficult to rate, but large creatures are easily detected, sorted, and linked. The grand web of life, formerly shrouded in the mists of ignorance and buried in the soft peat of muddled metaphors, was gradually revealed.

Thanks to many hours of research and a fortuitous burglary, the mechanism of HD gain has also been revealed. Gold is magic, as anyone who has been handed a large bag of the stuff can attest. It is condensed, solidified magic from the dawn of time. Get enough of it in one place and the world starts to bend. Looted gold (not paid or earned, it seems) triggers a morphological response. Testing is ongoing; owing to the nessesary secrecy and great expenditures, results have been neither consistent nor profitable.

There seems to be a method of gaining HD by combat, but it is both tedious, risky, and almost immeasurably slow. Nevertheless, in impoverished regions, this must be the only way for creatures to reach other forms. Nature, in her infinite variety, has creatures for all occasions. Just as the humble worm becomes a beautiful butterfly, or the noisome goose becomes a fish in midwinter, so do many creatures change and alter their forms for procreation, survival, or other, stranger, less obvious needs.

Creatures, it seems, can remain in one form and gain HD, but can also sometimes advance to other forms. Many men have been detected with 4 HD or more; not all become Berserk or Apes (despite what the peasants say).

Archmage Barkland speculates that, in a former age, gold was much more abundant, and was hoarded by both the Titans and by the gigantic lizards we have discovered embedded in the rocks of quarries and mines. These lizards, he suspects, hoarded gold for themselves and buried it underground for safekeeping, only to be trapped in a series of colossal cave-ins, leaving only their bones and distributed hoards trapped in the rock.

Testing on the "HD-draining" effect of some undead creatures is difficult, though not for the reason one might think. The late Alec Card, of the firm Card, Renfield, and Strumpet, has offered his support. His vampiric touch is very effective, but his hourly rates are ruinous.

Click for full picture
Click for the full size image.

Using This Chart

For those of you joining us from other editions, "HD" are actually Hit Dice, the total number of d8s rolled to calculate a creature's Hit Points.

This chart includes all the creatures from the original AD&D Monster Manual, with the following exceptions:

-Dinosaurs (too many HD, not too useful to list)
-Demons and Devils (already sequenced by HD)

Leveling as Anything

Advance upwards each time you level. You can choose to move to a linked creature or stay as your current creature. If there are blank spaces above the creature, it indicates levels that must be gained without change in HD to reach the next creature listed. If an entry repeats, the creature gains an HD as it levels.

If 2 or more creatures share a HD band entry, any one of them can be chosen.

E.g. A 3HD Hippogriff levels up. It can choose to become a 4 HD Cocatrice or remain as a 3HD Hippogriff.

E.g. A 4 HD Cockatrice levels up. It can choose to become a 5 HD Manticore or advance 1 level towards becoming either a Griffon or a Lammasu or remain as a 4 HD Cockatrice. It does not gain an additional HD until it gains its next level and transforms into a 6 HD Griffon or Lammasu.

E.g A 1 HD Leech, Giant levels up. It gains 1 HD and becomes a 2 HD Leech, Giant.
The numbers in brackets are +[HP]. E.g. A creature in the 2 HD band with +[1] rolls 2d8+1 for HP. If there's no + sign, the number in brackets is the creature's total HP or HP range.

 Possible 0-Level Characters (<1 HD) Starting Characters

For the weirdest group ever. Bear in mind that these creatures aren't nessesarily sentient.

Become a Berserker, a Baboon, a Gorilla, and a Carnivorous Ape.
Or become a Gnoll, a Hyena, a Giant Hyena.
Or a Wererat, a Jackalwere...
Or a Skeleton...

Or an Ogre...
Or a Harpy...


Become a Wererat, a Jackalwere...


Become a Jackalwere, a Werewolf...


Become a Troglodyte, a Lizard Man, a Crocodile...
Or a Pseudo-Dragon, a White Dragon...


Become a Dwarf. That's it.


Become an Orc, a Hobgoblin, a Bugbear...

Become damn near every small magical creature.

Gas Spore
Become an Eye of the Deep, a Beholder. Good luck; you need to gain 12 levels without exploding.


Become... oh screw it, you can't play mold. It's off the list! Off, I say. Anyway, if you do, you can become a Fungi, Violet, a Shrieker...

Cerebral Parasite

Become a Brain Mole, a Thought Eater...

Eye, Floating

Become a Barracuda, a Pike, Giant...

Centipede, Giant
Become a Carrion Crawler.

Ear Seeker

Become a Centipede, Giant...
Or become an Ant, Giant..
Or become a Stirge, a Tick, Giant...

Rot Grub

Become an Eel (Weed), a Lamprey, an Eel (Electric)...
or a Leech, Giant...

Alternative ecologies here.


OSR: The Secret of Steam Hill, Session 10 & 11

Last session, the party reached the city of Boyer and sold the ill-gotten loot taken from the remains of Steam Hill.

Cazael the spiderling fighter. Not very bright but also not very dead, so clearly doing something right.
The Paladin, a beetle-ling hermit, wanderer, and servant of the Authority.
Wonderwood Strongbow the Elf thief. Superior to everyone. Keeps a collection of unusual "things" in flasks.
Slugsworth, a thief, and former... slug-of-negotiable-affection. Somehow leveled up more than the rest of the party, despite nominally even loot distribution.
Bill the wormling Orthodox Wizard. Thanks to some eyeball juice and a strange potion, Bill's magical abilities were enhanced. He has antlers now too.
Swainson, the hawkling Garden Wizard. Swainson is the only sensible wizard in the group.

The party's restful sleep was interrupted by a colossal fireball rising over the city of Boyer. The blast shook the windows of the inn and sent the party scurrying for a good view.

"Is that... the Illusionist College?" Bill said worriedly.
"Yup," Slugsworth replied.
"The one we sold all those untested magical artifacts to?"
"We... we did get paid up front."
"Right. I'm going back to bed."
"Good plan," said Slugsworth, and went back to bed herself.

The rest of the party, rousted out of bed by the Paladin, ran into the streets to try and stop the fire. They dodged illusionary beasts and false-image flickers, all the while admiring the orange-blue-white flames bursting from the college's library. Spellbooks on fire were discharging their spells at random. It was difficult to tell the illusionary flames from the real ones.

The Paladin tried to organize a bucket chain, then paused, slapped his forehead, and turned to the fire. In the voice of the Authority he commanded the flames to "EXTINGUISH". Every flame in a quarter of the city went out.

A truly enormous argument followed. The elderly and distracted Baron of Boyer turned up, got distracted by the Archchancellor of the Illusionists, and spent several minutes talking about his hunting hounds. The Baron's daughter, a fearsome young woman with an armour-plated mind and a voice like a bandsaw, took charge of the situation.

"Right," the Baron's daughter said, after several minutes of bickering, "the Elf is correct. No refunds."
"But the throne they sold us dominated the mind of one of my graduate students," the Archchancellor protested. "He broke out of his chains, stole every magic item he could get his hands on, and flew away into the night on the monolith these reckless hooligans also sold us."
"Why was he chained?" Bill asked.
"He wouldn't have sat on that throne otherwise, now would he?" the Archchancellor answered peevishly.

"SILENCE," the Baron's daughter roared. "That's it. You!" she said, pointing to Cazael. "You're being knighted tomorrow evening, by my father. It's unorthodox but it will have to do." As the party gawped, she continued. "You! Bill the so-called Wizard. I recall that my father paid for your education as a war-wizard. Then you vanished to parts unknown. See that it doesn't happen again. As for the rest of you, the Archchancellor will make you a very generous offer if you seek out and return his wayward apprentice and any stolen magical items."

"I will?" the Archchancellor said.
"Yes. You will."

Two days later, a convoy of wagons left the city. It was an eccentric collection. Cazael, newly knighted and still bewildered by his rise in status, had hired 10 mercenaries from the Rising Star company, renamed them to "Boyer's Butchers", and decorated them in the green and white livery of the Baron of Boyer. The mercenaries were from Foreign Parts, spoke with barbaric accents, and carried odd weapons.
Side Note: a new player rolled up a Barbarian from "a vast warrior nation that lurks just beyond the horizon." He is an expert fighter on horseback. He also rolled a random name: Klaus.

Yes, the Barbarian is from the Foreign Land of... Upper Saxony. 
Wonderwood had, for reasons unknown to the rest of the party, purchased 5 orphans from an almshouse. She'd bought them uniforms, cold weather clothing, and a separate wagon, and was busily training them to sing and dance. The rest of the group questioned the wisdom of bringing children into a dangerous and mountainous area, but reasoned that it was likely less dangerous than life in the city.

Slugsworth shipped money home to support the 135 children (ranging in size from a finger to a housecat) left behind in Leroux. Swainson bought a fancy fur-lined wizard robe and hat. Her wagon's cloth top was covered in rich blue fabric with white painted stars. She looked like a proper archmage. Bill spent most of his money appeasing the Baron of Boyer (or, more importantly, his daughter) with gifts and donations.

After a further two days on the road, the party reached the little village of Lost Past. It had always been a bleak and grey place, but now it was utterly deserted. Doors had been shattered, walls torn down. Worried, the party pressed on and camped on their former site overlooking Steam Hill. Wonderwood had her five orphans dig five orphan-sized graves. "Just in case," the Elf explained to the aghast Paladin.
The next morning, the party set out to explore the cratered and blasted remains of Steam Hill. The party decided to attack the wooden temple (11) first, as it seemed to have been rebuilt and reinforced. They crept in through the side, prying apart wooden logs to squeeze into a newly-built potion-making room.

After checking the flasks and pocketing three extremely volatile potions, the party hid in ambush. A few minutes later, the wayward graduate student from Boyer, wearing the looted crown and carrying a bundle of wands, bumbled into the room. Cazael leapt out and beat him to death with his sword.

"Wizard problem solved," he said.

The rest of the temple had been converted into a large open space with a smooth-sided hole bored straight down into the ruined dungeon below. The party decided not to descend immediately. They looted the rest of the temple and retreated for the morning.

In the afternoon, with a few more mercenaries in tow, the party decided to explore the pit. They sent Swainson down on a rope to look around. 60' down, she found the bottom, and a strange arch made of fused wands, crystal balls, and silver. It stood in the middle of a room, linked to ceramic-coated cables and humming magical devices, and practically oozing magical energy.

It was also guarded by a vampire. The same vampire, in fact, that the party had previously encountered and decapitated. It didn't seem to remember them, and thought they had come to offer magical items "for the great work."

As the rest of the party descended, Swainson stalled for time. The great work, the vampire explained, was a time-portal. It was very nearly complete. When fully operational, it would allow him to bring his masters, the extinct snake-man empire back to life, into the future, where they could thrive and support him and rebuild Steam Hill.

The fact that his plan was fueled by crystal balls, magic carpets, and random bits of magical jewelry hardly concerned the vampire. It deeply concerned the other wizards; time magic is a fickle and dangerous thing. Opening a portal a thousand years in the past would probably be catastrophic.

After a bit of whispering, the party decided to fight. Cazael took out his impossibly cold sword and, liquid oxygen flying everywhere, attacked the vampire, assisted by Klaus the Barbarian. Wonderwood threw flasks of oil near the portal, hoping to set it on fire. Swainson fired off a magic missile but incurred a magical mishap. Her feet and hands sprouted tree roots, trapping almost everyone in the room in a dense tangle of wood.

Bill, sensibly, used shrivel to desiccate the wood and free his friends. Wonderwood continued to fling lamp oil everywhere, then retreated up the rope. Slugsworth had left the moment the fight had started. Bill soon followed.

Cazael and Klaus finished off the vampire, decapitated him, and threw the corpse at the portal. The eldritch device, agitated by so much nearby magic, was beginning to shake and spark ominously. After another hasty retreat to the surface, Wonderwood chucked a torch down the hole and the party ran for the hills.

The resulting explosion was impressive. It was trapped in slow motion. Stone blocks the size of cottages and huge timbers from the temple spiraled through the air, leaving slow contrails of fire and smoke. It wasn't difficult to evade them, but the party didn't stop running until they reached their camp on the other side of the valley.

"Do you think that killed the vampire?" Cazael asked.
"Gee, I don't know," Bill said sarcastically, eyeing the slow-motion shockwaves rippling across the valley floor. "But if it didn't, no one can say that we didn't try."
The next morning, the party returned to the thoroughly mangled remains of Steam Hill. They briefly explored a previously untouched section of the complex. Thanks to a cunning use of Bill's capture wind spell, the party evaded a poison gas trap and looted two potions, a magical silver tray, and a large gold bowl from a set of refrigerated casks.

They then turned their attentions to the barred stone doors they'd previously ignored. The room was well protected and the doors were very securely barred. Whatever was inside must be valuable.

Some party members later remembered that the doors were barred from the outside.

With some careful footwork, Cazael and Klaus removed the enormous stone block protecting the doors and levered them open, revealing a curious room. A large platform was suspended in the centre of the room from four chains. Two levers on the wall raised and lowered the platform.

The PCs left a hireling at the top, tied a rope to the "raise elevator" lever, and began to descend. 200' later, they watched the rope fly upwards. 1,000' later, they were falling faster and faster. Bands of stone whipped by at terrifying speed. They entered freefall for a few terrifying moments before the elevator began to gradually slow. When it finally stopped, the PCs were certain they had fallen for miles.

They tried to signal the surface, but their cries echoed and faded in the enormous tunnel. A few minutes later, their hireling fell down the shaft, tumbling, screaming.

Had something pushed him, or had the suction from the falling elevator dragged him down?

What awaits the party in the Veins of the Earth?

Find out next time.


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.