From CrawlWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Version 0.28: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
This page is about the player species. For the monster, see Ghoul (monster).
Ghouls are horrible undead creatures that sleep in their graves for years on end, only to rise and stalk the living. Slain foes heal these monstrous beings as they feast on the macabre energies released.

They aren't very good at doing most things, although they make decent unarmed fighters with their claws and, due to their contact with the grave, can use ice, earth and death magic without too many difficulties.

Like other undead, ghouls are naturally immune to poisons, negative energy and torment; have little warmth left to be affected by cold; and are not susceptible to mutations.

Innate Abilities

Ghouls have a base Strength of 11, Intelligence of 3, and Dexterity of 4 (before Background modifiers). They have -1 to their base magic points.

Preferred Backgrounds

Ghouls are prohibited from becoming Transmuters.

Level Bonuses

  • +1 strength every 5th level.
  • 10% more HP than average.
  • +3 magic resistance per level.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Ghouls start with the skills and equipment listed for their background.

Difficulty of Play


Ghouls are a fairly durable undead species that can enjoy the full effect of potions and have decent aptitudes. Ghouls naturally tend to have very poor dexterity and intelligence, though this can eventually be offset by the chosen stat bonuses that one receives every six levels.

Skill aptitudes

The higher the value, the better the aptitude.

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 1 Armour -1 Spellcasting -2
Short Blades -1 Dodging -1 Conjurations -2
Long Blades -1 Stealth 2 Hexes -2
Maces & Flails -1 Shields -1 Summonings -1
Axes -1 Necromancy 0
Polearms -1 Invocations 1 Translocations -1
Staves -1 Evocations -1 Transmutations -1
Unarmed Combat 1
Experience 0 Fire Magic -2
Throwing -1 Ice Magic 1
Slings -1 Air Magic -2
Bows -1 Earth Magic 1
Crossbows -1 Poison Magic 0


The most obvious way to play a Ghoul is to use your claws, which give Ghouls a +2 bonus to unarmed combat damage that is helpful in the early game, when bare-handed combat struggles to keep apace of weapons. This play style is further supported by a good aptitude in unarmed combat. However, Ghouls' weapon aptitudes are reasonable, so a weapon-wielding Ghoul is perfectly viable.

Ghouls can also make for moderately competent spellcasters. Their aptitudes for it are not as bad as they first appear: they are good at Ice and Earth Magic, and generally passable at most other things. They are, however, held back by their low intelligence: those who want to make a serious Ghoul caster will want to pick a spellcasting background and devote their stat increases to nothing but Int. However, their good HP and unarmed abilities give them better resilience than most casters.

As far as gods go, Makhleb is a popular choice for Ghouls. Aside from the usual benefits, Ghouls enjoy Makhleb's HP-for-kills because this complements their innate HP-for-kills, allowing them to restore health even faster. Kikubaaqudgha gives Ghouls an easy way to branch into Necromancy. Unarmed fighters should, as usual, consider Okawaru, as Heroism is even more powerful for Unarmed Combat than it is for other weapon skills.

Any of the other typically strong gods, such as Nemelex, Ashenzari, Ru, and so on, are likewise strong for Ghouls. Do note, however, that Ghouls cannot go berserk, so do not benefit nearly as much as most other species from worshiping Trog.


  • Prior to 0.28, ghouls couldn't heal by killing plant monsters.
  • Prior to 0.26, ghouls rotted over time. Also, they could heal by eating chunks instead of by killing enemies.
  • Prior to 0.24, ghouls couldn't worship Fedhas Madash.
  • Prior to 0.20, ghouls had Slow Regeneration 1 instead of Inhibited Regeneration and could slowly regenerate health even when monsters were visible.


Simple Hill OrcMinotaurMerfolkGargoyleDraconianPalentongaTrollGhoulGnoll
Intermediate HumanKoboldDemonspawnDjinniSprigganTenguDeep ElfOgreDeep Dwarf
Advanced Vine StalkerVampireDemigodFormicidNagaOctopodeFelidBarachiMummy