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Riding on a horse as black as night, the headless hunter known as the dullahan tracks down and takes the heads of those it deems unfit to continue living. When closing in for the kill, the dullahan first whispers its victim’s name, then swiftly collects its prize, casting a pall of dread upon all who witness the grim execution.

A dullahan manifests when a particularly violent warrior is beheaded and the warrior’s soul stubbornly clings to material existence (or is refused entry to the afterlife). Most dullahans return to their former homelands, where they can exact vengeance those they feel wronged them in life (or their living descendants). A dullahan’s concept of justice is swift and merciless, and once it has selected a target, it is unwavering in its cause.

Perhaps even more than revenge on the living, a dullahan desires its own rotted head. An individual who wields the head of a dullahan is powerful indeed, for a dullahan will grudgingly serve such a master in the hopes of reclaiming its missing skull. Mighty fiends such as devils command dullahans to harvest souls or lead armies for them, while a mortal might use such an undead warrior to fulfill a personal vendetta. No matter its master’s rank or station, however, a dullahan won’t hesitate to kill its liege and reclaim its head when the opportunity presents itself.

Most dullahan lairs are abandoned, overgrown ruins or other dilapidated places where severed heads and other trophies line the walls. Some dullahans, on the other hand, are content to simply commit their foul deeds and leave the remains of their decapitated victims in the streets, strewn among a copse of dead trees, or unceremoniously tossed in a bog hole.

Recall Knowledge - Undead (Religion): DC 25

DullahanCreature 7

Source Bestiary pg. 140
Perception +14; lifesense 60 feet
Languages Common, Necril
Skills Athletics +15, Intimidation +17, Stealth +13, Survival +15
Str +6, Dex +2, Con +2, Int +2, Wis +3, Cha +4
Items +1 hatchet, +1 longsword, full plate
AC 28; Fort +13, Ref +15, Will +17
HP 95 (fast healing 5); Immunities fear, death effects, disease, poison, paralyzed, unconscious; Weaknesses good 5
Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental) 30 feet, DC 23
Attack of Opportunity ReactionReaction
Speed 20 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action keen longsword +18 [+13/+8] (magical, versatile P), Damage 1d8+10 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action keen returning hatchet +17 [+13/+9] (agile, sweep), Damage 1d6+10 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action fist +18 [+14/+10] (agile, nonlethal), Damage 1d4+10 bludgeoningRanged Single ActionSingle Action keen returning hatchet +14 [+10/+6] (agile, thrown 10 feet), Damage 2d8+10 slashingHead Hunter Any slashing weapon a dullahan wields becomes keen, and any hatchet it wields becomes returning. If the dullahan kills a creature with a critical hit using a slashing weapon, the target is decapitated as though the dullahan had used Reap on the target. These effects remain only while the dullahan holds the weapon.Reap Two ActionsTwo Actions The dullahan removes the head of a dead creature within reach. Each creature within the area of the dullahan’s frightful presence must attempt a new save, even if they are temporarily immune.Summon Steed Two ActionsTwo Actions (occult, conjuration) The dullahan summons a warhorse with elite adjustments and the fiend trait. This steed remains until it is slain, the dullahan Dismisses it, or the dullahan summons another steed.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Dullahan Legends

In Ustalav, residents recite legends of a cadre of dullahans who drive the “Coach of the Silent,” a macabre funeral carriage pulled by a team of spectral horses. To the west, among the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, Ulfen warriors whisper of dullahans who hunt down their victims using packs of hellish ebony hounds. And along the western coasts of Garund, pirates and merchants alike insist of the existence of a black-sailed ship crewed entirely by headless undead sailors.