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> Ghouls: Do you tolerate them?
Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 08:01 PM
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Given that a touch from a ghoul is enough to transform you in a ghoul (unless you regularily can roll 24 dices without a medkit in a body test), I am wondering who among you has characters, PCs and NPCs alike, tolerate ghouls near them. Working, living near them, maybe even with them.
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Backgammon
post Jul 19 2009, 08:07 PM
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No. They live in sewers, where they belong.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE (hobgoblin @ Jul 19 2009, 10:16 PM) *
ok, so maybe leper would be more correct, from back when they had no clue what so ever how it was transmitted...

thing is that public perception of something, and the medical perception can vary wildly, for any number of reasons...

sure, the ghoul is a person, but at the same time a walking infection. while i may not be socially acceptable to shoot on sight, they will probably be shunned and isolated, lone star calling medical to move them to special places when reported outside of z-zones and so on...


And what do you do if it comes toward you, and won't stop? Can you shoot it to defend yourself?
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CodeBreaker
post Jul 19 2009, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jul 19 2009, 09:22 PM) *
And what do you do if it comes toward you, and won't stop? Can you shoot it to defend yourself?


Damn right I will shoot. As far as I am aware there is still a bounty on Ghouls in the UCAS. Sure the Corporate Courts consider them sentient and capable of having rights, but that doesnt mean squat if you are on UCAS territory. And what are the chances of a Ghoul having a SIN? Noone will care if it kicks the bucket, hell I would probably be thanked by the local 'Star for helping keep the infection down.

Ghouls are dangerous walking biohazards, any transfer of bodily fluids (By fluff, I know RAW rules Contact contageon, but as a GM I would rule that it has the same transferability as lets say, AIDs. i.e the most likely chance of transfer is exchange of bodily fluids.) is a potential death sentance to me. Gotta bring it down before I get myself infected.
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CodeBreaker
post Jul 19 2009, 08:31 PM
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knasser
post Jul 19 2009, 08:37 PM
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I was just going to make a splinter thread, following Bulls Mod post, but you beat me to it. Shall we keep it altogether as both rules and fluff threads will inevitably converge and start repeating each other?

Shall we link back to the original thread for posterity?

Presuming that's okay, I'm going to reply to AH, here.

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 19 2009, 08:48 PM) *
No, there's no damage. You're just reducing the power - you fail, Essence loss.


I understood that. I was just using "DV" because that was used in the toxin rules. My mistake. Anyway, to bring the rules together Fuch's concern about how this affects cannon, it does pretty much mean that ghouls have a super-high infection rate.

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 19 2009, 08:48 PM) *
No anti-HMHVV antivirals work anyway, so the -6 on the penetration just applies against protective gear.


I'm not sure how protective gear should work in this case. If you've been infected, I can't see that keeping your biohazard suit on day after day will continue to have an effect. As regards the following:

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 19 2009, 08:48 PM) *
Cure Disease still works, and a Dwarf's innate resistance, and the adept Natural Immunity power, , as does any sort of drug or 'ware that boosts Body directly. You have to fail ten tests and lose 1.0 Essence to become a ghoul - so one brush with infection need not be immediately character-ending.


The average person with a Body of 2 or 3, could never succeed at this. In fact, anyone with a Body of less than 8 can never succeed. I'm going to disregard Dwarves and Adept Powers as minority cases - correct and useful to know, but irrelevant to the general case I'm interested in. Cure Disease is interesting. Again, it's not likely to help much. For a start, it has a drain value of disease DV -2, so the magician is taking 6DV each time they cast it. I suppose you could put it on a sustaining focus to keep it going. You still only get an extra dice for every hit on the sorcery test however, so even with a powerful mage casting, you'll probably only get four extra dice, maybe five. That's probably not enough to stop you turning into a ghoul. You don't need to have 24 dice to score eight hits if you get ten attempts. But you still need around... (checks calculator) around 10 Body to have a fifty:fifty chance of not becoming a ghoul. And that's with a pretty powerful magician casting a sustained Cure Disease on you.

Basically, this backs up Fuch's point that Ghouls are incredibly contagious if you let them get close to you. Which brings us on to the following:

QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 19 2009, 08:48 PM) *
This is generally why one wants to shoot ghouls /from a distance/. With fire. So that the smoke from the burning bodies goes downwind. Preferably in the direction of unnecessary people.


The question is why anyone would want to do anything other than what you suggest? By cannon, ghouls have become a little more accepted over the years. This level of virulence undermines it a bit.

Although on the other side, you do have to have contacted with infected material which doesn't just mean a ghoul claps you on the back in a friendly manner. It means, blood, saliva or sexual fluids, I would guess. The "contact" in the disease vector refers to contact with these rather than the entire infected person, I presume? That should at least assuage some of Fuch's objections. Though it still seems pretty potent to me. Those "unnecessary people" you refer to may come back to bite you if they're infected.

It certainly has a very serious impact on the rules for PC ghouls.
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Garwllwyd
post Jul 19 2009, 09:27 PM
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I'm with Codebreaker: HMHVV is comparable to, say, AIDS. True, I wouldn't necessarily shun any sort of association with an AIDS patient (although I'd watch myself) but HMHVV has the added drawback of creating a dangerous predator. The truly feral ones, like ghouls and loup-garoux and dzoo-noo-quas, would probably be shot on sight in the SR world, as they usually are. The other HMHVV infected, like vampires and nosferatu, would probably be OK to associate with for a bit, as in a meet or something, but not run with on a regular basis. Now if some corp were to discover a way to suppress the animalistic nature of, and/or preserve the intelligence of, HMHVV-infected, then we'd talk. As for now, I'd keep them in the NPC realm.
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jul 19 2009, 09:37 PM
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There are some things to note, though:

First and foremost, the general disease rules can be read so making the first test keeps the disease from taking any effect - only if not making it, subsequent tests are needed.

If subsequent test are needed, however, the remaining Power accumulates... and you aren't healed until the minimum tests have passed and the Power then is reduzed to nothing. That means that most people will need to make much mure than just the minimum 10 tests, to get the Power to 0.

And thus, the world is populated by ghouls.


Now, for the loophole after the fact for player characters, but pretty much no-one else:

Technically, you best option is not to worry about it for the 9 first days. Make tests, lose 0.9 Points of Essence.
At the 10th day, the Power most likely has accumulated to insane levels... so you burn a point of Edge to exceptionally succeed at that test. It's the tenth test, thus the minimum tests have passed - and the Power is at 0 with 4 hits to spare.
Revitasation won't get you the lost essence back, though - but it doesn't need to: It's essence loss by a disease, so that is treated by Cellular Repair.


Then again, you are better off abusing the loophole you can use in advance. Or by ignoring this insane retcon.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 09:43 PM
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QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jul 19 2009, 11:37 PM) *
Then again, you are better off abusing the loophole you can use in advance. Or by ignoring this insane retcon.


I'd advocate the latter.
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DuctShuiTengu
post Jul 19 2009, 10:15 PM
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QUOTE (knasser @ Jul 19 2009, 10:37 PM) *
The average person with a Body of 2 or 3, could never succeed at this. In fact, anyone with a Body of less than 8 can never succeed. I'm going to disregard Dwarves and Adept Powers as minority cases - correct and useful to know, but irrelevant to the general case I'm interested in. Cure Disease is interesting. Again, it's not likely to help much. For a start, it has a drain value of disease DV -2, so the magician is taking 6DV each time they cast it. I suppose you could put it on a sustaining focus to keep it going. You still only get an extra dice for every hit on the sorcery test however, so even with a powerful mage casting, you'll probably only get four extra dice, maybe five. That's probably not enough to stop you turning into a ghoul. You don't need to have 24 dice to score eight hits if you get ten attempts. But you still need around... (checks calculator) around 10 Body to have a fifty:fifty chance of not becoming a ghoul. And that's with a pretty powerful magician casting a sustained Cure Disease on you.

Actually, it's worse than that. Much worse.

QUOTE ("Augmentation @ p. 130")
If the pathogen’s Power is not reduced to zero, it is added to the pathogen’s Power when rolling the next subsequent Disease Resistance Test. This accumulation continues only for a number of resistance tests as listed in parentheses after the Speed in the pathogen description. After the minimum number of tests have been made, the infection has peaked, and Power will no longer accumulate. The effects of the disease will continue until subsequent resistance tests finally reduce its Power to zero.


So, while 10 dice may be enough to give you better than even odds of succeeding at one Threshold 8 roll in 10 attempts, that's not good enough by a long shot. Let's suppose that on your first roll, you get slightly above average results with your (very impressive) 10 dice. That leaves you 4 short, so your second attempt is against a threshold of 12. Your second roll, you actually get lucky and manage all hits (odds are roughly 60,000 to 1 against this). It's still not enough to avoid losing essence, but it at least means youäre back down to a threshold of 10 for your next roll. Except that this one is a bad roll, 0 hits. Over-all, you've managed fairly well so far (14 hits on 30 dice, average is 10) but not only haven't you managed to succeed at a single roll, the disease's power is up to 18 for your 4th roll. To get the disease's power back down to a level where you can succeed on the 10th roll (the last one within the minimum duration, and the absolute latest that you can succeed and have it mean you're not a ghoul at the end of this), you're going to need 48 hits over rolls 4-9 (averaging 8 per roll), just to be in a position to be able to avoid becoming a ghoul if you can again manage all hits on that last roll. And even if you manage to roll well and make the first couple, you're still likely looking at power accumulating enough over the remainder of the minimum duration that you end up succumbing on day 11 (or 12) instead of day 10.

Because of this, even the 24 dice needed to have 8 hits be an average result isn't really a reliable protection against being infected, a low roll makes it that much more likely that you'll come up short on the next one as well (which, in turn, worsens your odds for the one after that). To really feel safe against HMHVVIII, you need something closer to the 32 dice needed to just buy 8 hits so that you aren't facing the prospect of an unlucky roll cascading into an impossibly high Power on the following ones.
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CodeBreaker
post Jul 19 2009, 10:18 PM
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Or you could avoid coming into contact with the slavering, corpse eating crazies who are basically infected with Awakened Rabies?
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (CodeBreaker @ Jul 20 2009, 12:18 AM) *
Or you could avoid coming into contact with the slavering, corpse eating crazies who are basically infected with Awakened Rabies?


But according to canon you shouldn't shoot them on sight. Only in "your little world" you can do that, and devs are glad that's the case.
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Ancient History
post Jul 19 2009, 10:29 PM
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I'm going to avoid overquoting and try to address the key issue:

Fuchs is incorrect. You do not need 24 dice per test, ten times in a row. You need 8 hits per test, ten times in a row. Obviously he was thinking about cashing 4 dice in for an automatic hit (in which case his math is a bit off, but hey); this is only one way to handle it. For a normal person, this would necessitate a lot of luck, immediate medical diagnosis, and probably magical intervention (either the application of multiple Cure Disease spells or the Rock Lizard Blood magical compound - possession might work too).

Yes, ghouls have been made much more virulent. This was on purpose, to make them less of a joke-critter, which is what they were before. Call it "Our Ghouls Are Different." Yes, the time the disease takes to run its course is severely reduced - this was a decision that came down on high, and if you don't like it I'm sorry. Feel free to blame me if you have to blame anyone.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:34 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 20 2009, 12:29 AM) *
I'm going to avoid overquoting and try to address the key issue:

Fuchs is incorrect. You do not need 24 dice per test, ten times in a row. You need 8 hits per test, ten times in a row. Obviously he was thinking about cashing 4 dice in for an automatic hit (in which case his math is a bit off, but hey); this is only one way to handle it. For a normal person, this would necessitate a lot of luck, immediate medical diagnosis, and probably magical intervention (either the application of multiple Cure Disease spells or the Rock Lizard Blood magical compound - possession might work too).

Yes, ghouls have been made much more virulent. This was on purpose, to make them less of a joke-critter, which is what they were before. Call it "Our Ghouls Are Different." Yes, the time the disease takes to run its course is severely reduced - this was a decision that came down on high, and if you don't like it I'm sorry. Feel free to blame me if you have to blame anyone.


Uh, nope. I was thinking of basic probability. To get 8 hits of 5 or 6 you need three times the number on average, since 1/3 of all dice will be 5 or 6s. lease do not assume I can't multiply 8 and 4 - which would net 32, not 24.

And the decison to make them more of a danger is one thing - but making them more accepted at the same time simply doesn't fit. The fact that a normal person ends up a ghoul is the reason why I asusme any sane one would shoot at ghouls on sight. Not let them get rights.
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CodeBreaker
post Jul 19 2009, 10:38 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jul 19 2009, 11:24 PM) *
But according to canon you shouldn't shoot them on sight. Only in "your little world" you can do that, and devs are glad that's the case.


As far as I am aware canon only states that the *corps* should not shoot them on sight. And even then I dont imagine they actually take any care not too. Isn't this the entire reason that the Barrens exist? To keep all the nasty nasty Ghouls in, and all the loyal Citizens disease free? I mean, if I remember correctly, Redmond is basically one giant walled off hellhole, and to leave Redmond you need to either go past a checkpoint or through to no doubt electricuted and drone watched fence.

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Ancient History
post Jul 19 2009, 10:38 PM
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Part of the reason is the large number of Born Infected - ghouls et al. who were born that way and don't actually carry the disease. Actually tried to make that standard for PCs but it got vetoed. (We also tried to get some explicitly anti-HMHVV meds in, but it didn't take - oh well, maybe later).

Ghouls-as-people goes back at least as far as Bug City, so don't lay that one at my door. Draw parallels to lepers or any other horrible, highly contagious disease we don't have a cure for yet.

Remember: me freelancer, not dev. I have only a limited amount of creative control which can and sometimes is overruled at a moment's notice. If I had to do it over again, I might have changed the vector to Injected instead of Contact, but it might have been changed anyway. Such is life.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:41 PM
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And how does one spot the difference between a born infected and an infected infected, aka, how does one spot a carrier?
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Ancient History
post Jul 19 2009, 10:42 PM
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Blood test.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:43 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 20 2009, 12:42 AM) *
Blood test.


That's rather hard to do when one sees a ghoul, and has to decide whether or not to shoot it before it infects anyone.
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Ancient History
post Jul 19 2009, 10:44 PM
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Yep. Such is life in the Sixth World. Undoubtedly someone is working on that somewhere.
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CodeBreaker
post Jul 19 2009, 10:46 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jul 19 2009, 11:43 PM) *
That's rather hard to do when one sees a ghoul, and has to decide whether or not to shoot it before it infects anyone.


Indeed it is. Such a shame, sometimes a nice Ghoul gets shot.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:47 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Jul 20 2009, 12:44 AM) *
Yep. Such is life in the Sixth World. Undoubtedly someone is working on that somewhere.


Such is the life in "my little world". Apparently, in the 6th world, people consider ghouls just another person, and would not think of shooting them just for being virulent disease carrying cannibals. And everyone is working on making them officially people.
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post Jul 19 2009, 10:51 PM
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QUOTE (Fuchs @ Jul 19 2009, 05:47 PM) *
Such is the life in "my little world". Apparently, in the 6th world, people consider ghouls just another person, and would not think of shooting them just for being virulent disease carrying cannibals. And everyone is working on making them officially people.



I think it comes down to how the thing is acting. If it acts like a ravenous monster, I shoot it. If it approaches normally and talks to me about the weather, not so much.

That being said, I'm not sitting next to one.
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 10:55 PM
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QUOTE (PirateChef @ Jul 20 2009, 12:51 AM) *
I think it comes down to how the thing is acting. If it acts like a ravenous monster, I shoot it. If it approaches normally and talks to me about the weather, not so much.

That being said, I'm not sitting next to one.


It approaches you normally... but it's now close enough so it could easily touch you... or spit on you... or attack. It's still talking about the weather, but what if that's just a ruse? And the stench... but it does nothing,. But it could. Maybe without wanting to, a little stumbling, a sneeze, a cough... and what if others think you are infected? Your family?
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Fuchs
post Jul 19 2009, 11:03 PM
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RW, p.64: "There are 35 countries in the world that recognize the Infected as something other than wild animals which need to be controlled. Ours is not one of those countries, and neither is the UCAS. Both still carry laws on the books establishing bounties for the Infected, though those laws are seldom enforced these days. Many Infected are eligible to acquire criminal SINs and live as second-class citizens, at the expense of being monitored 24 hours a day. Ghouls have made enormous headway in the UCAS in search of their civil rights, but technically they could still be killed for the bounty. This is beginning to change, as some groundbreaking legislation has been introduced in the UCAS Senate to strike down the bounties on ghouls and loup-garou and offer them a path to citizenship. Similar legislation is expected in the CAS sometime this year."

RW, p. 67: "The loup-garou is a human Infected with HMHVV II. After the virus has run its course, the host is considerably changed. His body is covered in short, gray-black fur. The lips are drawn back, revealing sharper teeth with pronounced canines. The fingernails lengthen and harden into claws. Transformation into a loup-garou is particularly brutal; the trauma often but not always causes significant reduction in intellectual ability. It lives as a scavenger most of the time, save for a peak period of four to six days out of every twenty-eight when it becomes a ravening monster, attacking and killing any creature it can."

/boggle
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