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> HMHVV and You, Apparently Ghouls aren't contagious
Cheops
post Oct 17 2007, 10:34 PM
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This came up in my game 2 sessions ago:

Team was searching the barrens for a secret research facility. The Summoner and the Face got a clue that this one hobo had his friend grabbed a week ago so they go and check out the building he squats. They get there and turns out that the guy is hiding because some ghouls moved in.

Long story short, the Summoner takes some physical damage as a result of the encounter that had a possibility of infection. The Krieger Strain is supposed to be contagious, but because Ghouls don't have Essence Drain and Infection they can't actually infect you with HMHVV.

I tried looking in the Diseases section of Augmentation but didn't find it in there. Thought it might be similar to the Magical Diseases in there. Basically I'm wondering if there are stats somewhere that I've missed or if someone out there has stated it out? Thanks.
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Ancient History
post Oct 17 2007, 10:42 PM
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To say "ghouls are different" is a bit of an understatement. Their particular method of infection (not yet addressed in SR4) has not traditionally required Essence Drain to pass along.
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Zhan Shi
post Oct 17 2007, 10:54 PM
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I could swear I saw it somewhere, but can't remember. Maybe Shadowrun Companion? I don't have that book any more, so I can't look.

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Adarael
post Oct 17 2007, 11:27 PM
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Yes. SR3's companion had the rules.
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cndblank
post Oct 18 2007, 01:00 AM
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AFAIR it took extensive and long term contact.

Someone living with the ghouls might become one.

No reported cases where it was transmitted due to an attack.

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Zak
post Oct 18 2007, 01:43 AM
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I thought that non-contagious stuff only applied to magic pixie dust PC Ghouls.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 18 2007, 02:11 AM
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It is highly contagious. Even the tiniest scratch can cause infection. Anyone who was injured in melee with a ghoul had to roll Body against a TN equal to the ghoul's Essence. Failure meant infection. Partial success also meant infection, but no symptoms. It could be treated in the first month and all PC carriers, even asymptomatic carriers, were contagious.
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Mercer
post Oct 18 2007, 04:57 AM
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Did ghouls suddenly become more infectious or were they supposed to be that infectious all along and nobody knew it? Looking at those stats, it seems like ghoul hordes would be a lot more prevalent. Those look like Night/Dawn/Day of the Living Dead style mechanics, rather than "We Don't Think Ghouls are Contagious" rules.

I remember the module in SR2 where someone had figured out how to turn people into ghouls was a pretty big change to the canon. It seems like if every 3rd person who got scratched turned into a ghoul, the CDC would've been a little more ahead of the curve on that one. Not to mention, Asamando would pretty much rule Africa.
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eidolon
post Oct 18 2007, 02:19 PM
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I'm not sure if they were as infections pre-SR3, but to answer your "it seems like they would be more prevalent", they're just as prevalent or absent as any other plot device. Devil rats are everywhere, but when is the last time you hit the PCs with them on their way to the Stuffer Shack, D&D kobold style?

Also, remember that Asamando isn't out to rule Africa, at least that I can recall. They're a nation/state vying for recognition and legal status. It's the silly "ghouls are people too" thing that they're going for (which I prefer to ignore; I like ghouls as baddies).
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Ironfish
post Oct 18 2007, 04:06 PM
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QUOTE (eidolon)
I'm not sure if they were as infections pre-SR3, but to answer your "it seems like they would be more prevalent", they're just as prevalent or absent as any other plot device. Devil rats are everywhere, but when is the last time you hit the PCs with them on their way to the Stuffer Shack, D&D kobold style?

Also, remember that Asamando isn't out to rule Africa, at least that I can recall. They're a nation/state vying for recognition and legal status. It's the silly "ghouls are people too" thing that they're going for (which I prefer to ignore; I like ghouls as baddies).

As long as we are on the subject of ghouls, is it even implied anywhere just how that Ghoul nation survives? that wou7ld require a pretty steady , not to mention large, supply of dead bodies. I would imagine that kind of import business wouldn't endear them to the neighbors. How many ghouls does it take to run a country?
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Buster
post Oct 18 2007, 04:31 PM
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The Saudi Arabian royal family only has 7000 members, so there you go: no more than 7000 ghouls are needed to control one of the wealthiest nations in the world. A banana republic in Africa would probably need far less.
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hyzmarca
post Oct 18 2007, 04:45 PM
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The United States imports more than three billion pounds of beef per year and grows between twenty seven and twenty eight billion pounds at home every year.
A ghoul needs only 90 pounds of metahuman flesh per year. Even if there were ten million ghouls is Asamando, their dead metahuman flesh importation wouldn't be extreme.
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Buster
post Oct 18 2007, 06:53 PM
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QUOTE (hyzmarca)
A ghoul needs only 90 pounds of metahuman flesh per year. Even if there were ten million ghouls is Asamando, their dead metahuman flesh importation wouldn't be extreme.

Except to the human on the chopping block. :D
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hyzmarca
post Oct 18 2007, 07:16 PM
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The global crude death rate is 8.78. That is over 57 million dead people every year with a mean of 171 pounds per person. 171*57. That's 9.747 billion pounds of ghoul chow produced worldwide without any intervention.

And that doesn't even include medical waste. Get a SOTA cyberarm installed, something has to be done with your meat arm and there if no sense in wasting it. Appendectomies are common. So are tonsillectomies. Liposuction clinics produce pounds upon pounds of delicious fat every day. Cbereyes are extremely common.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 18 2007, 08:30 PM
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QUOTE (Buster)
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Oct 18 2007, 11:45 AM)
A ghoul needs only 90 pounds of metahuman flesh per year. Even if there were ten million ghouls is Asamando, their dead metahuman flesh importation wouldn't be extreme.

Except to the human on the chopping block. :D

What chopping block?

A human gives up 40 kilos of real edible human meat when it dies and its body is recovered. Asamando is in fucking Nigeria where the Life Expectency today is 47 years. That means that every human in the population produces approximately 850 grams of edible human meat per year without doing anything special to them at all except pouncing on all the corpses and hauling them away before the shedim do and turn them into a public health hazard.

Every Ghoul needs approximately 40 kilos of human meat every year. Which means that having 1/47th of the population be Ghouls means that the flesh eating demands of the ghoul population don't have any effect at all on the population of the nation. And that's assuming that:
  • Ghouls can't count bones/marrow as "flesh" for purposes of metahuman flesh minimums.
  • None of the dead people are Orks or Trolls (which is false, so the actual carrying capacity is higher).

And hell, the moment your Ghoul population exceeds the natural carrying capacity of the population, you've got three options:
  • Logan's Run + Soylent Green.
  • Cloned Flesh.
  • Import corpses from other nations in Africa (which are not short of the damn things by any means).

So all in all, there's no reason why a ghoul nation need be any more dystopic than any other nation. It's my primary problem with the "Ghouls Is Virus!" plotline they introduced. Ghoulism just isn't that bad. And we already had a more horrifying version of the same thing in the setting with Loup Garou.

-Frank
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Mercer
post Oct 18 2007, 08:53 PM
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It just irks me if the mechanics and the fluff are wildly out of sync; that is to say if ghoul infection is relatively uncommon but mechanically, anyone scratched by a ghoul stands a pretty good chance of either turning into a ghoul themselves or becoming a carrier of the virus then its a little weird. If ghouls infecting people are fairly rare in the game world, it should be difficult mechanically. The game (like a movie, book or tv show) should obey its own internal logic, or verisimilitude suffers.

If you want a plot device to scare the hell out of the players, as the GM you can always make a up a new, super-rare, super-infectious strain of the ghoul virus, although you probably should tack on some sort of reason as to why those ghouls aren't taking over the world-- like maybe they go mad dog crazy and tend to be put down very quickly. That makes for a good 28 Days Later style zombie infection.

Personally, I like the idea of Asamando (not enough to look up if I'm spelling it correctly, but still). When I was running my SR Africa game, the pc's ended up there. I treated it sort of like an HMHVV Israel, and a lot of ghouls, vamps, wendigo and so on showed up there as a place to escape persecution. I like the idea of ghouls as people to. (Which doesn't preclude using them as monsters. If you look back through history, almost all our monsters were people.)
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Tarantula
post Oct 18 2007, 09:04 PM
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Just a note, its using SR3 mechanics... ghouls get a base -1 essence, can't get bioware, and take double essence loss from cyberware. Any bioware/cyberware they had upon infection is rendered inoperative by the transformation.

This means, at the base, the test is body tn (5) with only 1 hit needed to avoid becoming infection. One success gives the character some permanent effect from the disease (GM discretion, partial blindness, skin discolorations, etc), 2 the character will be sick for 10 days and feel weak and dizzy. 3 success the character fights it off with no ill effects.

Only with 0 successes is someone actually infected. The chances of the average (Body 3) person making 0 successes is low.

It is pretty hard to get infected by it.
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FrankTrollman
post Oct 18 2007, 09:05 PM
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It's more like an Israel for Ghouls. Actual essence draining monsters are incredibly unwelcome. Consider:
  • Any sort of vampire kills people without creating bodies. Ghouls don't like that, since normally all they have to do is wait and humans will drop dead on their own and turn into food.
  • Specifically Wendigo give ghouls a bad name, since they eat people who are totally alive.
  • More importantly, the favorite food of Wendigo is (I'm not kidding) Metahumans who have eaten the flesh of Metahumans. Which is to say that they hunt, kill, and eat Ghouls by preference.
  • And as if it weren't enough that Wendigo are in fact the Ghoul's most capable (and only) specific natural predator, every other kind of "Vampire" can create Wendigo accidentally just by murdering an Ork.

And so I find the prospect of Asamando being at anything other than permanent jihad against every kind of infected except the Ghoul as being patently absurd. The nation caters to creatures who don't really have any natural enemies except Wendigo, who in turn are powerful regenerating mind controlling bastards who amass small armies for no purpose other than to torture people to death, round up Ghouls and eat them while they are still alive in a painful and degrading fashion in order to maximize the emotional impact on the victim and those around them.

If you want an Israel for vampires, try Romania. If even 5% of the world's vampire population decides to wear an opera cape and declare themself a Count, then the Council of Counts has a death lock on controlling that country no matter what the original Vampire statistics were.

-Frank
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kzt
post Oct 18 2007, 09:15 PM
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I'm missing something here. If you get essence drained and killed by a vampire, there is no body? Or the body isn't usable by ghouls? Or is it something else?
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Stahlseele
post Oct 18 2007, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE
It just irks me if the mechanics and the fluff are wildly out of sync

things like MAGICALLY CHARGED NUKES which send out high amounts of EMP which basically means every electronics gear gets fried by it in a world where OPTICAL computing was invented half a decade ago at least?


QUOTE
can't get bioware

where's it say that?
if you get INFECTED during game-play, you lose everything that was bioware, as it is incorporated into your new body . . you lose most cyber aside from strictly structural things like bone lacing, dermal tech and the such . .

every ghoul caracter with cyber/bio is considered to have taken those things AFTER he became infected . . so yes, you can have bioware and cyberware that you would usually lose on becoming infected, if you start as a ghoul because you are considered ghoul before implantation and then you get the problems of less essence and doubled essence cost for cyber . .


QUOTE
If you get essence drained and killed by a vampire, there is no body?

of course there is a body . . if the ghoul is fast enough to get it before he comes back as a vampire . .
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Apathy
post Oct 18 2007, 09:19 PM
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QUOTE (Tarantula)
Just a note, its using SR3 mechanics... ghouls get a base -1 essence, can't get bioware, and take double essence loss from cyberware. Any bioware/cyberware they had upon infection is rendered inoperative by the transformation.

If I remember correctly, they also often took penalties to their mental stats, went blind, and took penalties to social interaction because they stank. They become permanently dual natured, which can be both a bonus and a penalty, depending on the situation, but is more often a penalty unless they're also magically active.

I remember everybody bitching back when I was playing SR3 because the rules for ghoul PCs were extremely gimped. I don't think we'll have to worry about them taking over Seattle any time soon.

And I think that there was also an anti-viral that you could take between infection and expression (if you knew you needed it) that completely eliminated the chance of infection.

Idle question: If a ghoul caught a corpse inhabited by a master shedim with regeneration, could he use it as an inexhaustable food supply?
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bibliophile20
post Oct 18 2007, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (kzt @ Oct 18 2007, 05:15 PM)
I'm missing something here. If you get essence drained and killed by a vampire, there is no body?  Or the body isn't usable by ghouls?  Or is it something else?

It's "something else" like, say, the body getting back up and growing fangs.

EDIT:
Dammit, this is what happens when I open up a bunch of tabs and threads at once.

This post has been edited by bibliophile20: Oct 18 2007, 09:22 PM
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Stahlseele
post Oct 18 2007, 09:25 PM
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QUOTE
went blind, and took penalties to social interaction because they stank

cyber-eyes and bio-ware to change body smell


QUOTE
If a ghoul caught a corpse inhabited by a master shedim with regeneration, could he use it as an inexhaustable food supply

technically yes . . but remember that a body which is being inhabited(sp?) by some sort of ghosts gets one hell of a toughness boost . . try to get a bite out of that when it's got something like forcex2 hardened armor *g*
and don't forget that the shedim probably won't like it too much to be used as a chew-toy and probably can feel what is done to the body . .
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hyzmarca
post Oct 18 2007, 09:25 PM
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I'm going to point out that vampires and wendigos do not have to kill. They only need a single point of essence per month, of which the average person has 5.

I'd also like to point out that having your eaten by a Wendigo while you are still alive is, in fact, an extremely fun experience. It is so fun, in fact, that most people who have had their flesh eaten by a Wendigo want to try it again. Really if a Wendigo just drains one point of Essence from a victim at a time and lets them walk away, then word of mouth advertising will soon allow him to make a decent living by charging people money to eat them.
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Kerris
post Oct 18 2007, 09:31 PM
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Was there an actual infection mechanic decided in this thread? It might be good to know.
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