Kara-Tur (Forgotten Realms)Campaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Any landAny landAny landAny land
Frequency:Very rareRareUncommonUncommon
Organization:SolitarySolitary or bandSolitarySolitary or band
Activity Cycle:NightNightNightNight
Intelligence:Very (11-12)Low (5-7)Low (5-7)Average (8-10)
Alignment:Chaotic evilChaotic evilChaotic evilChaotic evil
No. Appearing:11-411-3
Armor Class:2640
Movement:12, Fl 6 (C)12, Fl 6 (C)12, Fl 6 (C)Fl 18 (C)
Hit Dice:8354
No. of Attacks:3321
Special Attacks:See belowSee belowSee belowSee below
Special Defenses:See belowSee belowSee belowSee below
Magic Resistance:NilNilNilNil
Size:M (5' tall)M (5' tall)M (5' tall)M (5' diameter)
Morale:Steady (11)Average (10)Average (10)Steady (11)
XP Value:3,0006501,4001,400

Gaki are lesser spirits derived from the wicked, who have returned to the Prime Material Plane in the form of horrible monsters as punishment for their sins. The name “gaki” refers to a variety of such spirits. They are also known as the “nin-chu-jugaki.”

There are four general types of gaki: the ghoulish jiki-nikugaki, the vampiric jiki-ketsu-gaki, the disease-ridden shikkigaki, and the fiery shinen-gaki. The type of gaki depends on the nature of the crimes committed in the spirit's former life. Although gaki differ in appearance and abilities, they are all extremely dangerous and share an insatiable hunger and thirst. Their appetites, however, are not satisfied by normal food or drink (see below).

Of the four types of gaki, the most common is the ghoulish jikiniku- gaki. It appears as a gaunt humanoid with dry, flaking skin. It wears filth-caked robes. It has sharp yellow fangs, clawed hands, and bloodshot eyes that are deep set. It moves with a quick, shuffling gait. Though wingless, the jiki-niku-gaki can fly with surprising facility.

Like all gaki, the jiki-niku-gaki understands the languages known in its former life, as well as any languages common to the area it inhabits. However, the jiki-niku-gaki seldom speaks, and usually communicates with guttural grunts and moans.

Combat: All types of gaki have the following powers: become invisible at will, polymorph into an insect at will (moving at the flying speed listed for the particular type of gaki), and passwall three times per day. All gaki are immune to charm, hold, drowsy insect, and sleep spells. As spirits, they are subject to all spells affecting spirit creatures.

The jiki-niku-gaki can regenerate 1 hit point of damage per turn. They attack with their slashing claws and teeth, attempting to slay their victims as quickly as possible. Slain victims are carried into the wilderness and eaten. Jiki-niku-gaki prefer to ambush victims under the cover of darkness, but their obsessive hunger compels them to attack virtually any opponent they encounter, regardless of circumstances.

Some jiki-niku-gaki (about 5%) can consume either color or scents in addition to flesh. Such spirits feast on color and scents while invisible, and can do so while up to 20 feet away from their victims. A victim in the vicinity of a color-eating jiki-niku-gaki will find the colors of his clothes gradually fading to shades of gray and his skin slowly bleaching itself white, a process which takes only 1-4 rounds to complete. If the jiki-niku-gaki is destroyed, the victim's skin and clothing regains its normal color 24 hours later. If the spirit manages to escape, the victim's skin color remains faded and he permanently loses 2 points of Charisma.

A character within 20 feet of a scent-eating jiki-niku-gaki will have all perfumes and other aromas absorbed from his body and clothing in 1-4 rounds. Like lost colors, the odors return in 24 hours if the creature is destroyed. If the creature escapes, and the odors do not return, the victim permanently loses 1 point of Charisma. In addition, he can no longer be detected by creatures with a strong sense of smell.

After any such color-eating or scent-eating is completed, there is a 50% chance that the jiki-niku-gaki turns visible and physically attacks the victim as described above. Otherwise, it is temporarily satiated, withdrawing into the wilderness to wait for other victims.

Habitat/Society: Jiki-niku-gaki are corrupted spirits of humans or humanoids who were guilty of excessive avarice in their former lives. Greedy merchants and miserly moneylenders often become these ghoulish, repulsive monsters.

Jiki-niku-gqki usually lead a solitary existence, but small bands occasionally are encountered. Such bands are continuing an association that began in their former lives. For instance, a four-man partnership in an oppressive real estate operation may exist as a band of four jiki-niku-gaki in the afterlife.

Like all gaki, jiki-niku-gaki have no permanent lairs, shuffling from place to place as they search the night for food. They are most frequently found near graveyards or on lonely roads and trails.

Ecology: Jiki-niku-gaki hunger for the flesh of the living, preferably that of humans. At night, they eat continually. No matter how much they have consumed, their hunger is never satisfied. When suitable prey is scarce, jiki-niku-gaki will eat corpses, unearthing them from cemeteries if necessary. To protect the dead from these creatures, families or friends will sometimes place a gold coin on the forehead of the deceased; a corpse so protected will not be disturbed by a jiki-niku-gaki.


The jiki-ketsu-gaki are the most fearsome of all gaki. They are physically similar to the jiki-niku-gaki, except their flesh is dark and greasy, and they have shorter claws. They are the most intelligent of all gaki. They are also the most talkative, communicating in normal speech rather than grunts and moans.

The jiki-ketsu-gaki are vampiric, compelled to drain the blood of living human victims. In combat, they attack with their clawed hands and sharp teeth. If they score a successful hit with their bite attack, they remain attached to their victim, automatically draining 1-10 hit points of blood per round thereafter. Once attached, they do not let go until the victim is slain or they are destroyed.

Jiki-ketsu-gaki enjoy all of the spell abilities and immunities of jiki-niku-gaki, but they regenerate 1 hit point per round instead of 1 point per turn. Additionally, they only can be hit by +3 weapons or better, and they are immune to all cold-based and fire-based attacks.

About 15% of jiki-ketsu-gaki carry a special four-stringed biwa, which is made from the wood of a coffin. (A biwa resembles a lute.) While invisible, the jiki-ketsu-gaki plays his biwa for potential victims. All characters within 20 feet of the invisible creature can hear the discordant, metallic tones. These listeners must make a successful saving throw vs. paralyzation or remain transfixed for the next 1-4 rounds. At the end of each round, the jiki-ketsu-gaki stops playing and tightens the biwa's strings. With each tightening, a string snaps, causing 1-4 points of damage to each transfixed listener (for a maximum loss of 16 points). When the jiki-ketsu-gaki finishes playing, he becomes visible, and the transfixed victims remain stationary. However, as soon as any transfixed victim is attacked, that character becomes active again and can defend himself. A jiki-ketsu-gaki's biwa cannot be played by any creature other than its owner.

Jiki-ketsu-gaki are corrupted spirits of priests or other holy men who were guilty of heresy in their former lives. They are solitary creatures with no permanent lairs, typically encountered near abandoned temples, ancient shrines, or cemeteries.


The disease-ridden shikki-gaki resemble bony humanoids whose gray skin is pitted and decayed. Their facial features resemble a jiki-niku-gaki's, except their teeth are blunt and rotted. Like other gaki, shikki-gaki can walk and fly. They speak in grunts and moans.

These hideous creatures attack with their claws. Any victim struck by a shikki-gaki must make a successful saving throw vs. poison or be stricken by disease. The victim must make the save each time the gaki scores a successful hit. If the saving throw fails, the victim becomes ill in 2-12 (2d6) turns. The victim becomes delirious, suffering from intense chills and fevers, losing 1 hit point of damage per hour. During this time, although the victim can stumble along at half his normal movement rate, he cannot participate in any physical activity more demanding than movement, nor can he cast spells or even think clearly. He does not recover hit points normally. Healing spells have no effect until the disease runs its course or the victim is cured (by cure disease or a similar spell). The disease lasts for 2-5 (1d4+1) days or until the victim dies.

Shikki-gaki have all of the spell abilities and immunities of jikiniku-gaki, except that they regenerate hit points at the rate of 2 per turn. Additionally, they can be hit only by +1 weapons or better and are immune to all types of disease and poison.

Most shikki-gaki are the corrupted spirits of irresponsible medical personnel or negligent servants. But about 15% once were lesser nature spirits that inhabited mushrooms or other fungi sprouting from the trunks of decaying trees. These nature spirits completely succumbed to their evil aspect. Usually, they developed a taste for bluebirds, butterflies, or similarly docile creatures. The Celestial Bureaucracy warned them to stop, but they persisted. As a result, they were destroyed and reborn as a mushroom shikki-gaki.

During daylight hours, mushroom shikki-gaki look like a large mushroom. The mushroom conceals itself in a cave or other dark place where it sleeps all day, snoring loudly. Knowledgeable characters may recognize a snoring fungus for what it really is. A mushroom shikki-gaki cannot move, attack, or respond in any other way in its mushroom form and is vulnerable to all attacks that normally affect gaki. Additionally, it can be destroyed in this form by being doused with a dipper of hot soup or salt water.

Shikki-gaki are solitary creatures with no permanent lairs. They are usually found in forests, caves, or similarly damp and dark places.


The shinen-gaki resembles a hovering ball of fire. Its flames can be blue, white, or yellow, but they're usually bright red. A dark spot near the center of the fireball's surface serves as its eye. The creature has no other notable features.

Like other types of gaki, the shinen-gaki understands the languages of its former life along with languages common to the area in which it resides. The shinen-gaki cannot speak, however.

This creature is the least dangerous form of gaki, although it hungers for all living creatures, and attacks any creature it encounters. It most commonly appears at night, on lonely roads or in woods. Its strange light attracts curious victims. When a victim draws close, the shinen-gaki ignites the surrounding area, attempting to trap the character in a circle of flame. The creature can extend a fiery tendril up to 5 feet long, lapping at its captives. Each tendril inflicts 1-10 hit points of fire damage.

Shinen-gaki have all of the spell abilities and immunities of jikiniku-gaki, except that they regenerate hit points at the rate of 3 per turn. Additionally, they can only be hit by +2 weapons or better and are immune to all fire-based attacks. However, they save with a -2 penalty vs. water-based attacks, and each die of damage they suffer from such attack is increased by 1 hit point.

Shinen-gaki may originate from the spirit of any wicked human, but often they're created from the spirit of a traitorous or cowardly soldier. These creatures usually are solitary, but some adventurers have encountered small groups of them. Shinen-gaki have no permanent lairs.