Are Ghouls and Ghasts vulnerable/sensitive to or affected by sunlight at all?

It says nothing in the Monster Manual, but they are undead, and I seem to recall that being a thing in previous editions.


1 Answer 1


No, ghouls and ghasts are not vulnerable to sunlight

Nothing in the monster entries for ghouls or ghasts mentions any kind of sensitivity or vulnerability to sunlight, and there are no universally applicable rules which would imply as much. We only note that "ghouls roam the night in packs", from which we can infer that these kinds of creatures are primarily nocturnal - which would make sense for a creature which can see in the dark, giving it an advantage over most of its humanoid prey.

Many magical effects which are thematically based on sunlight - such as the spell Sunbeam - are especially effective against undead creatures, so you could construe that as a kind of vulnerability to sunlight which is shared amongst all undead. Ordinarily, though, ghouls/ghasts are not hindered by lighting of any kind.

As you later recalled, ghouls are put at a mechanical disadvantage by light in the rules of Chainmail - where Wights (and Ghouls) subtract 1 from all die rolls while in "full light". This weakness is however not mentioned in OD&D's Book II: Monsters & Treasure, and doesn't seem to have resurfaced since - there's no mention of such a weakness in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual entries for them, nor the 3.5e ghoul/ghast entry (or the general undead traits in that edition).

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @András -- while not relevant to the tag, It might clear up the OP's apperant confusion between Sunlight sensitivity and Radiant Energy sensitivity. Except for vampires, undead have never been affected by sunlight. \$\endgroup\$
    – ravery
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 13:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ravery don't forget shadows. They don't take damage, but they get disadvantage on everything while in sunlight. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 18:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ravery Shadows are undead in the edition they originally appeared in. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 18:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie great minds think alike? :D \$\endgroup\$ Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 19:31
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "I'm not sure where you got the impression these monsters were vulnerable to sunlight in earlier editions. There's no mention of such a weakness in the 3.5e ghoul/ghast entry or the general undead traits, nor in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual entries for them." - I stand corrected. Only in Chainmail did they have a disadvantage in sunlight (not that I ever played Chainmail, I'm not quite that old). I misremembered. \$\endgroup\$
    – Smirk
    Commented Nov 19, 2018 at 15:55

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .