I'm thinking on running a campaign in 5e where a shady character is selling, what looks to be, high quality meat for outrageously low prices in a small, slowly rebuilding, town.

I'm making it fairly obvious that the shady meat seller's meat shouldn't be eaten, but there's always the exception to the rule.

Will my players get any sort of negatives from eating the meat if it happens? On the opposite end of that, would there be any benefits outside of what one would get out of normal meat? I'm sure we will have at least one human. Outside of that I'm not 100% sure on races yet. The meat will be human though. Thigh roasts, human blood sausages, so on and so forth.

I've just thought about making the character in question have the possibility of becoming some crazed, cannibalistic, rabid person if they did it too much.. Much like a living zombie with anger problems.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think the presence of the [food-and-drink] tag on this question is correct, but it still makes me uncomfortable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jan 26, 2020 at 16:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ I assume your asking whether or not the actual rules detail any effects specifically caused by acts of cannibalism? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 26, 2020 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I felt a little weird adding it... Not gonna lie. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thatguy
    Jan 26, 2020 at 16:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Just reminding you that in Curse of Strahd a form of cannibalism is there, and well it has interesting effects. (though it is mixed with some magic as well) \$\endgroup\$ Jan 27, 2020 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


They might draw the attention of Yeenoghu

Cannibalism is more often mentioned in 5th edition as evidence of evil, rather than the source of it. However, Volo's Guide to Monsters mentions the source of the Hunter's Chant.

This simple declaration of Yeenoghu's power was devised by a small cult to the demon lord discovered deep in the forest. A group of woodcutters, facing starvation, turned to cannibalism to survive and ultimately fell under Yeenoghu's sway.

Volo's Guide to Monsters, p.38

No further details are given. This idea also isn't expanded upon in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, where we otherwise get more information about Yeenoghu (and the other demon lords.)

If this is a "typical" outcome of cannibalism, your idea of the psychological effects is quite reasonable. The madness caused by Yeenoghu includes such possibilities as

"I get caught up in the flow of anger, and try to stoke others around me into forming an angry mob."

"The flesh of other intelligent creatures is delicious!"

"I hunger for the deaths of others, and am constantly starting fights in the hopes of seeing bloodshed."

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, p.155

Of course, having every cannibal become a disciple of a demon lord might be a bit extreme, and these madness effects are intended to be a result of direct confrontations with a CR 24 monsters.


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