A Ghoul is a fast, dangerous creature of the Underworld, a mindless Shadow traditionally inhabiting caves, ancient ruins, and the Isle of the Dead. When called by a higher power, they may wander into inhabited areas as well.
Three variations of ghouls have been seen, depending on where they were encountered.
Ruin ghouls, as the name suggests, primarily haunt ancient ruins, like abandoned mines. Each is encountered in Risen as just "Ghoul", and seems to have withered, but intact, skin. They appear to wear cloth, viz., a hood and something to cover their loins. Unlike other types, these have an extremely powerful magical area-of-effect attack, killing lower health characters in one hit. It is generally wise to avoid this attack if possible.
Common ghouls (labeled simply as "Ghoul" in-game), encountered in both Risen 2 and Risen 3, are the weakest variety of ghoul. They wear only a loin cloth and appear to have their skin withered to the point that some flesh beneath is exposed in certain areas. A few parts of their more muscular bodies are lightly wrapped in bandages, either left over from mummification or failed attempts to treat wounds when still among the living.
Black ghouls are also encountered in Risen 2 and 3, tougher versions of the common ghoul. It is unknown what caused the blackening of their flesh. The most likely causes are either that their flesh is more decayed so the rot can more readily be seen, or that they were exposed to some type of heat or fire that burned them. Like the common ghoul, black ghouls are more muscular than ruin ghouls.
Ghouls are extremely swift and aggressive, often attacking in groups of 2 or 3. If a ghoul is hidden when an enemy arrives, it will attempt to surprise the opponent with a sudden leap from its hiding spot. They attack with a flurry of claw swings, effectively stun locking an opponent and also breaking an enemy's guard. They are also capable of jumping away to dodge a weapon strike. Perhaps the most dangerous type is the ruin ghoul, which employs an area-of-effect magical attack that other varieties do not possess.
|Ruin Ghoul||(Common) Ghoul||Black Ghoul|
|Additional Loot*||Claw (Gut animals)|
|Strengths||Rapid flurry of attacks, powerful magic AoE attack||Ambush attack (if hidden), rapid flurry of attacks||Ambush attack (if hidden), rapid flurry of attacks|
|Weaknesses||Ranged attacks, fast mêlée attack combinations||Ranged attacks, fast mêlée attack combinations||Ranged attacks, fast mêlée attack combinations|
|Experience / Glory||130 exp||100 glory||100 glory|
*Parentheses indicate a skill required to yield a particular loot item.