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SkepticInc
For the Dumpshock play-by-post game I tried to make the most down-and-out, low-class, hated group of sentients in Shadowrun, and a ghoul Ork was what I came up with. Now I'm trying to come up with a more detailed background for him, and I run into a few questions I've got only fuzzy answers for. For starters:

1) Is there a community of ghouls in Seattle, or do they live as they can?

2) Is there an official bounty of ghouls?

3) Where do they get food? At 5% body weight per month, a body 11 ghoul has to eat quite a bit, and clone meat gets very expensive, very fast.

4) How many ghouls are there? I imagine there is a strict cap on ghoul population based on supply of metahuman flesh, tied in to the harvestable percentage of deaths per year. But what would that percentage be? 1%? 5%?

5) Would a ghoul running a funeral home with the promise of the bodies not coming back as a shedim be enough to keep the place from getting burned down by concerned citizens?

6) How do you play a ghoul as a character with enough redeeming qualities to not simply be a monster?

Are there any obvious questions I missed?
Yerameyahu
Dunno about the rest, but I feel like #6 applies to *any* runner. biggrin.gif
SkepticInc
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 8 2010, 09:21 PM) *
Dunno about the rest, but I feel like #6 applies to *any* runner. biggrin.gif


Yea, but it's a little worse when your teammates think you are sizing them up for gastronomical purposes. Om nom nom!
Yerameyahu
Hehe, yeah. By the book, it's a simple 30% increased lifestyle cost: significant, but hardly crippling.

Are there weight stats for Body ratings? I mean, 5% of 200 pounds per *month* is basically nothing.
SkepticInc
I think there were weight to body tables in SR2, but I haven't seen them since. I remember that Orks were kind of heavy though.
Caadium
I have a player that is playing an Ork-Ghoul PC in my game. The very first thing he spent karma on was to initiate and take Masking. For a character like this, I find that background is the key to making it workable. The character is ashamed of what he has become and was even able to keep it from the other PCs for a little while (players and characters). Since then, there have been some fun but uncomfortable moments. As was stated above, #6 applies to all Shadowrun characters, and background that is fully fleshed out can make for a satisfying ghoul. smile.gif

Since the character is an Adept, he took effecient digestion helping to reduce the amount of flesh he needs to consume. Also, he has a coroner as a high loyalty contact to help keep him fed. So far, the other characters have never seen him eat.
Deadmannumberone
1) I don't believe there's anything in the cannon other than the 162s, which is a ghoul gang in Redmond.

2) In some areas, though I believe the CAS in the only nation in North America that still has an active bounty.

3) Body no longer directly corresponds to weight, but a body 11 ghoul would likely weigh between 100-120 kilos, depending on muscle/fat levels. And they get their food most of the time from organleggers.

4) IIRC, ghouls account for just short of 0.1% of the population of Seattle.

5) No. A ghoul in a position where it would be in proximity to dead people will be attacked, with extreme prejudice, by just about anyone who's moderately closed minded.

6) Same as any other character, like Yerameyahu said.
The Dragon Girl
Hi there! there is -a lot- of content about this stuff in Running Wild and the Runner's companion, if you read through, most of those questions are answered.

I know that in the LA chapter of corporate enclaves it talks about ghouls making deals with the morgues for john does, or raiding lower class cemeteries for the newly buried.

And then there is of course buying the bodies off of people doing wetwork, or working for the organ leggers.

eta: Legal ghouls who have SINs get their pound of flesh from donors who add a special check mark to their organ donor card, and such things.
Hagga
QUOTE (SkepticInc @ Jul 8 2010, 09:39 PM) *
Yea, but it's a little worse when your teammates think you are sizing them up for gastronomical purposes. Om nom nom!

"Damnit, dave, I told you, stop sniffing me when I'm asleep. And no, I will not take a bath in marinade before the next job in case I die on it."

As for number 3, body doesn't necessarily mean weight. It's almost more nebulous than charisma - a combination of the 'spring' in your bones, your ability to take a beating, how quickly your body repairs damaged tissue, your cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, your immune system..
Yerameyahu
biggrin.gif
QUOTE
And twenty-two year old Nottingham schoolteacher Gavin Watterlow is rated by some not only the fastest but also the tastiest British morsel since Barry Gordon got a bronze at Helsinki.
Dahrken
QUOTE (SkepticInc @ Jul 8 2010, 11:16 PM) *
3) Where do they get food? At 5% body weight per month, a body 11 ghoul has to eat quite a bit, and clone meat gets very expensive, very fast.

Looking in the Companion, it's 5% per week, not month. Which put a troll ghoul in serious trouble.
Udoshi
Street magic has mention of something relevant here, i think.

"Since metahumanity has reponded to the shedim presence by changing their death rites and protecting their cemeteries, crypts, and even morgues with astral defenses such as wards, shedim have developed new tricks to snatch the bodies of metahumans."

Since shedim need dead bodies, and ghouls get rid of dead bodies, I would be very surprised if an insurance company out there didn't have a checkmark on their policy that said 'let us pay you for your organs after you're dead, and give the proceeds to your family or other beneficiaries.' And, you know, sell those organs as ghoul chow on the side. I can totally see some poor schmuck willing to sign away his corpse to pay for his kids college, you konw, just in case something happens to him.

Also
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 8 2010, 03:43 PM) *
Hehe, yeah. By the book, it's a simple 30% increased lifestyle cost: significant, but hardly crippling.

I'd like to point out that that's an optional rule.
Yerameyahu
I'll bet you would. nyahnyah.gif Hehe.
SkepticInc
QUOTE (Udoshi @ Jul 9 2010, 04:26 AM) *
Street magic has mention of something relevant here, i think.

"Since metahumanity has reponded to the shedim presence by changing their death rites and protecting their cemeteries, crypts, and even morgues with astral defenses such as wards, shedim have developed new tricks to snatch the bodies of metahumans."

Since shedim need dead bodies, and ghouls get rid of dead bodies, I would be very surprised if an insurance company out there didn't have a checkmark on their policy that said 'let us pay you for your organs after you're dead, and give the proceeds to your family or other beneficiaries.' And, you know, sell those organs as ghoul chow on the side. I can totally see some poor schmuck willing to sign away his corpse to pay for his kids college, you konw, just in case something happens to him.


I like that very much. Given how much of an animal's remains are rendered, and the staggering cost of incinerating metahuman flesh, I could see this as a disposal method for some of the less reputable funeral homes. Wow. You could work in a whole conspiracy of organ theft, body disposal, and diseases with that. How about this one: Plague cleanup; Ghouls have an enourmous Body attribute, and can't catch HMHVV (again). When you work for the Burmese and you've just wiped out an entire villiage of diseased protestors, you really need those bodies gone before the local wildlife/spirtlife gets their ectoplasm/tentacles/etc onto them. Send in the "ghostbusters." Om nom nom!
Summerstorm
Sources for "Food":

1. Bodyshops. (Everybody who gets cyberarms, legs, artificial muscles loses some stuff) Maybe you could mix it up with fat (from the fat of fat rhich people which getsd sucked out everey half year *g*) to make a tasty human SAUSAGE

2. Cemetary (OR... since the shedim rock that) steal it before the cremation.

3. Unworthy people *g*. CLEAN the gutter. many people won't be missed.

4. Fallen foes. As a shadowrunner you kill so many people... even if you don't really WANT that, or if you are a technical pacifist. HELL most of us gets attacked even if we do not do ANYTHING. Just get one dude home, waste not. You can eat easily two weeks. (Buy an extra fridge/big freezer). If you are lucky it is a giant or at least troll.

5. Other Gouls. You know: Do the world a favour, and keep the ghoul population down.
Udoshi
I'm pretty sure that Seattle 2072 has a short fiction piece about a former lonestar(due to the knight errant takeover) mage doing a drive-by dropoff into a ghoul hole, throwing some bodies out the back with a light spell up so they'd stay back, and just driving off.

No matter which way you cut it, Ghouls are a great way to get rid of bodies.
Hagga
QUOTE (SkepticInc @ Jul 9 2010, 06:45 AM) *
I like that very much. Given how much of an animal's remains are rendered, and the staggering cost of incinerating metahuman flesh, I could see this as a disposal method for some of the less reputable funeral homes. Wow. You could work in a whole conspiracy of organ theft, body disposal, and diseases with that. How about this one: Plague cleanup; Ghouls have an enourmous Body attribute, and can't catch HMHVV (again). When you work for the Burmese and you've just wiped out an entire villiage of diseased protestors, you really need those bodies gone before the local wildlife/spirtlife gets their ectoplasm/tentacles/etc onto them. Send in the "ghostbusters." Om nom nom!

Nothing frightens a Shedim more than someone who sees them as a happy meal, I suppose.
Kid Chameleon
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 8 2010, 09:40 PM) *
biggrin.gif



Now that was brilliant.
Hagga
QUOTE (Summerstorm @ Jul 9 2010, 08:18 AM) *
Sources for "Food":

1. Bodyshops. (Everybody who gets cyberarms, legs, artificial muscles loses some stuff) Maybe you could mix it up with fat (from the fat of fat rhich people which getsd sucked out everey half year *g*) to make a tasty human SAUSAGE

2. Cemetary (OR... since the shedim rock that) steal it before the cremation.

3. Unworthy people *g*. CLEAN the gutter. many people won't be missed.

4. Fallen foes. As a shadowrunner you kill so many people... even if you don't really WANT that, or if you are a technical pacifist. HELL most of us gets attacked even if we do not do ANYTHING. Just get one dude home, waste not. You can eat easily two weeks. (Buy an extra fridge/big freezer). If you are lucky it is a giant or at least troll.

5. Other Gouls. You know: Do the world a favour, and keep the ghoul population down.


1. There is some fluff somewhere about Butch buying and selling (rancid) corpses to the Ghoul Liberation League..

2. You'd need to be able to break wards - aren't all grave sites and body prep houses warded quite thoroughly?

3. Okay, true. In some neighbourhoods you could probably get paid for it and talk your gm out of making you pay the extra 30% lifestyle cost. I'd let you, in exchange for the odd lynch mob of homeless people.

4. No argument.

5. I think you'd quickly acquire a reputation as HMHVV-public enemy number one and, uh, die.
Caadium
QUOTE (Hagga @ Jul 9 2010, 01:56 PM) *
I'd let you, in exchange for the odd lynch mob of homeless people.


On the flip-side, if you can stop just one of those lynch mobs not only would you be well fed for a while, but it would be a long time before another lynch mob of homeless people got up the neves to try again. Perhaps it would be an annual event; kind of a ghoul Thangsgiving.
Yerameyahu
I wouldn't let people avoid the 30% surcharge unless they actually made acquisition *runs*. Background/fluff/off-screen RP just explains where the 30% is going. smile.gif
MortVent
never underestimate the power of persuasion a ghoul can have during interogations...

Mobster no wanting to talk ...

"Hey tammy, how you feel about italian tonight. Fresh too, real fresh.." said the ghoul rigger into his commlink..

Yerameyahu
Haha, but if you don't think *every* runner can credibly make that same threat, you're not deep enough in the shadows. biggrin.gif
Caadium
Well sometimes the threat can be used in other ways.

Last time we played, there was a situation where one of the PCs (the hacker) didn't want to make a call for fear of his family's reputation and the possible hit it would take if things went south. Well, the PCs have all recently come to accept the ghoul amongst them, but are still very wary and unsure of what it means; but the Ghoul has saved everyone's hoop a couple of times. The exchange went something like this:

Hacker: I don't want to call, it could ruin my family (financially and politically) if they find out!
Ghoul: I understand, but we need the information.
Hacker: We can find another way to get it.
Ghoul: No, there's no time. Now, make the phone call or I'll eat your face!
Hacker: EAT MY FACE?!?!? Okay, okay, I'm calling!

Ghoul character would never have acted on that threat (hates being a ghoul and only goes for dead meat), but was playing on the other character's apprehension. In the end, the call was made, things didn't go south, and once again the ghoul risked his life above and beyond to make sure the job was done and everyone was safe. The Ghoul is no longer welcome to crash at the Hacker's house, but so far their still in business together.
MortVent
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 9 2010, 05:41 PM) *
Haha, but if you don't think *every* runner can credibly make that same threat, you're not deep enough in the shadows. biggrin.gif


Yes, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you wipe drool off your chin while making the call...

And the rest of the team now makes a habit of not letting the ghoul be around prisoners, even if he does get them to talk... the bib is a bit unerving
Hagga
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 9 2010, 10:41 PM) *
Haha, but if you don't think *every* runner can credibly make that same threat, you're not deep enough in the shadows. biggrin.gif

Being eaten alive is a whole other thing to being shot.
Yerameyahu
That's the threat I meant! wink.gif Runners are professional psychopaths, and the 'professional' bit is debatable.
hermit
QUOTE
1) Is there a community of ghouls in Seattle, or do they live as they can?

Several smaller, mostly in the sewers. No bGhoultown or anything.

QUOTE
2) Is there an official bounty of ghouls?

Yes. 500 per ghoul, used to be much higher though.

QUOTE
3) Where do they get food? At 5% body weight per month, a body 11 ghoul has to eat quite a bit, and clone meat gets very expensive, very fast.

Attack NPC, try to attack PC and be killed. Also, Tamanous.

QUOTE
4) How many ghouls are there? I imagine there is a strict cap on ghoul population based on supply of metahuman flesh, tied in to the harvestable percentage of deaths per year. But what would that percentage be? 1%? 5%?

1%, since they make up half of Seattle's "Other" population of 2%.

QUOTE
5) Would a ghoul running a funeral home with the promise of the bodies not coming back as a shedim be enough to keep the place from getting burned down by concerned citizens?

No.

QUOTE
6) How do you play a ghoul as a character with enough redeeming qualities to not simply be a monster?

Not at all? Well, you could bo the bleeding heart but I am yet human emo route or something. Play off the teen angst everyone hates me trope and all. Only thing these characters are good for, IMO.

QUOTE
Runners are professional psychopaths, and the 'professional' bit is debatable.

And here I thought runners were mercenaries with a more agent type of skill and operations focus. SpecOps for hire, if you will. Would you call every soldier a psychopath?
Medicineman
The Bounty on Ghouls is 1500 per Head both in the CAS and in the UCAS
(Wildwechsel = German Running Wild Pg 72)

and by RAW the vector for the Virus is Contact so sooner or later everybody in his vicinity
will either be a Ghoul himself or Dead (if his Essence is <1 )

he who dances with the Dead
Medicineman
Patrick Goodman
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Jul 10 2010, 07:03 AM) *
The Bounty on Ghouls is 1500 per Head both in the CAS and in the UCAS
(Wildwechsel = German Running Wild Pg 72)

That's the same figure in the English version of the book, though the page reference in the English version is page 64.
QUOTE
and by RAW the vector for the Virus is Contact so sooner or later everybody in his vicinity
will either be a Ghoul himself or Dead (if his Essence is <1 )

I'm working on that bit, honest to God.
Medicineman
I'm working on that bit, honest to God.
a good Houserule (practised by some of the Groups I know and both Groups I'm playing in)
is to change the Vector to Injection and lower the Power to 5 or 6.
This might give some of the tougher Chars a Chance to survive the Virus
(though it's still impossible for Joe Normal )

with a Survivaldance
Medicineman
HappyDaze
You could try for a group of 'penitent' ghoul adepts that hunt down Shedim to consume their vessels. They may even have a metamagic to allow them to gain power from doing so.
Yerameyahu
hermit, you're no fun. Yes, fine, many runners are incredibly boring ice cold pros, metahuman robots with no feelings except doing the job. Not interesting nutballs at all. nyahnyah.gif And, no, they're not soldiers.
hermit
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 10 2010, 05:24 PM) *
hermit, you're no fun. Yes, fine, many runners are incredibly boring ice cold pros, metahuman robots with no feelings except doing the job. Not interesting nutballs at all. nyahnyah.gif And, no, they're not soldiers.

I find interesting nutballs not very interesting, but then again, I used to when I was younger. Still, there is some middle ground between ice cold pro and grautitious psychopathy. And runners are mercenaries, which is closer to soldiers than anything else in work ethics, if not in legality and perception.

Yes, a LOL psycho character can be fun to play every couple times; I have a character like that too. His name's Kenny McCormick, Street name Kyle [random overdone teenage cool thing like Shadowangel]. I play this character fully expecting him to die though. So far, he died by some NPC twice and four times by a fellow PC. And lived two times. I was disappoint in the GM.

I don't agree that this kind is the common shadowrunner; if they were, the whole idea of hiring them to get work done falls apart, and corps would just use their own squads of deep cover agents, who'd behave a lot more professional than some Duke rip.
Yerameyahu
I always play the game ice cold pro, but I understand that cyberpunk is pink mohawk. I consider my preferred style to be metagaming, and I'm okay with it. smile.gif
hermit
Where would it be written in stone that cyberpunk is pink mohawk?
SkepticInc
QUOTE (Medicineman @ Jul 10 2010, 02:03 PM) *
I'm working on that bit, honest to God.
a good Houserule (practised by some of the Groups I know and both Groups I'm playing in)
is to change the Vector to Injection and lower the Power to 5 or 6.
This might give some of the tougher Chars a Chance to survive the Virus
(though it's still impossible for Joe Normal )


Another way to fix this one could be Orthoskin. Since Ghouls have nasty skin problems, they are likely covered in infectious material all the time. A quick skin replacement should narrow down the locations on a metahuman body that the virus can exude from. That way clawing, bleeding coughs, biting, and nookie are still ways to spread it, but it isn't a 28 Days Later scenario.
Yerameyahu
Well, Ortho is subdermal, so I don't think it would help any. FFBA, yes, and always a good idea. smile.gif Add a helmet, and you're not (mundanely) obvious as a monster.
Nifft
What's the deal with Ghouls & Cybereyes? Is their blindness "curable" by common tech?
Yerameyahu
Yes. Also, why can't they just wear trodes and a couple cameras?
hermit
Because the transformation damages their visual cortex. Their blindness isn't just the eyes. Otherwise they could simply get cyber replacement. Of course, if the area in your brain that processes images is gone, SimSense camers aren't gonna do you any good.
Drace
I remember in 2nd edition there was a section of the Ork Underground that was called dark side or night town or something else ominous that was a section of the OU that was mostly HMHVV infected (Ghouls being the majority) but it seems that it has been ignored to unexistance.

Also, both sr 2,3 and 4 have it where cyber eyes can allow a ghoul to see normally without having to use astral sight for everything, counteracting their blindness if they can find a doc to do the surgery. (PG 33 Runners companion for sr3, and pg 80 of runners companion for sr4)

Also, ghouls can eat ANY raw meat, just they have to eat a certain amount of metahuman, non-clone, meat. If they only survived off what they are listed as needing (5% of wieght a month i think) they would die very quickly from starvation. If a person weighed 180 lbs for example, they would have to eat 9 pounds of metahuman flesh a month, while the average person I am pretty sure eats .5-1 lbs of food a day.

Also, I am pretty sure that there is plastic surgery and other cosmetic bioware that can partially fix their skin pigmentation and the hair loss can be blamed on any number of diseases, same with their smell too actually.
Nifft
QUOTE (hermit @ Jul 10 2010, 04:30 PM) *
Because the transformation damages their visual cortex. Their blindness isn't just the eyes. Otherwise they could simply get cyber replacement. Of course, if the area in your brain that processes images is gone, SimSense camers aren't gonna do you any good.

Where does it say that?

The only flavor justification for ghoul blindness I can find is in Runner's Companion p.62:
QUOTE
the development of filmy cataracts and lesions in the eyes,
SkepticInc
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 10 2010, 08:50 PM) *
Well, Ortho is subdermal, so I don't think it would help any. FFBA, yes, and always a good idea. smile.gif Add a helmet, and you're not (mundanely) obvious as a monster.


Well, I'll be damned. I hadn't noticed that Orthoskin and Dermal Sheathing are woven into or under the skin. I guess you have to use the Altskin Nanopaste if you want to cover up, and that gets very expensive at 1,500 nY per day.

QUOTE (hermit @ Jul 10 2010, 09:30 PM) *
Because the transformation damages their visual cortex. Their blindness isn't just the eyes. Otherwise they could simply get cyber replacement. Of course, if the area in your brain that processes images is gone, SimSense camers aren't gonna do you any good.


It doesn't actually. In 4th Ed at least, the rules specifically declare that the blindness is curable with cybereyes.

QUOTE
$imon$ez:
Augmentation p80
"Ghoul
Cost: 35 BP
This quality may only be taken by characters of any metatype. The new ghoul's skin becomes rough and scabrous. Body and facial hair fall out during the first few days. Fingers elongate and nails harden into claws. Teeth become more pronounced, and while the eyes blind under white cataracts, his senses of hearing and smell become hyperactive.
Powers: Dual Natured, Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Smell), and Natural Weapon (Claws: DV Str/2+1P, AP 0) Weaknesses: Allergy (Sunlight, Mild), Dietary Requirement (Metahuman Flesh), and Reduced Senses (Blind; 6 dice modifier to all tests involving purely physical sight). Ghoul characters can overcome their Reduced Senses by taking cybereyes. Ghouls can only easily digest raw meat; cooked meat makes them sick and causes nausea (see p. 245, SR4)."

$imoff::

-- $imon$ez is an opensource [Knowsoft]::code provided by TrnZhX --
hermit
QUOTE
It doesn't actually. In 4th Ed at least, the rules specifically declare that the blindness is curable with cybereyes.

Seems I misremembered. So why not get cybereyes and instead make do with cameras or some such stuff?
Nifft
QUOTE (SkepticInc @ Jul 10 2010, 05:20 PM) *
Well, I'll be damned. I hadn't noticed that Orthoskin and Dermal Sheathing are woven into or under the skin. I guess you have to use the Altskin Nanopaste if you want to cover up, and that gets very expensive at 1,500 nY per day.

Dermal Sheath is expensive in terms of Essence, but it'll cover you completely.

It seems to me that a pair of cyber-hands (to go along with your cyber-eyes) are a good solution, since every other part can be covered up by form-fitting body armor.

The bioware "clean metabolism" might also be a good addition, to reduce any giveaway body odor.

There's "silky skin" bioware, but it notes that the treatment isn't self-maintaining, so you might need to repeat it regularly as HMHVV eats the treatment away.

Same deal for "hair growth" bioware, maybe HMHVV will make it fall out. Perhaps get "fiberoptic hair" cyberware instead.
Yerameyahu
Yup, ghouls have physical and not neurological blindness. Good times. smile.gif

Call me crazy, but I just assumed you could wear gloves with your FFBA and motorcycle helmet (or ninja mask). Or, take that (extra-creepy) ghoul variant that doesn't get the (super weak anyway) claws; with them, you have to explain why your limbs are so long, though.
Nifft
Sure, you can wear a motorcycle helmet and gloves all the time -- if you never, ever need to get past any form of security.

With the cyberhands, you can wear the same gloves, but you won't arouse suspicion due to strange claw-like protrusions. Also, you have a human-compatible excuse: "Sorry, didn't mean to act suspicious, I'm just not totally comfortable with my hands since ... sniff ... since the accident. Sniff."

That's also why I like the fiber optic hair: it hides your scabby, pustulant baldness, while giving the impression that you're some kind of body-mod freak, which can serve to excuse otherwise suspicious hints of your infection.
Hagga
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jul 10 2010, 08:08 PM) *
Yes. Also, why can't they just wear trodes and a couple cameras?

They do; it's mnentioned in the 6WA. In Asamando.

QUOTE (hermit @ Jul 10 2010, 08:30 PM) *
Because the transformation damages their visual cortex. Their blindness isn't just the eyes. Otherwise they could simply get cyber replacement. Of course, if the area in your brain that processes images is gone, SimSense camers aren't gonna do you any good.



It's really just the eyes. Even says it in RC.
HappyDaze
QUOTE (Hagga @ Jul 10 2010, 07:50 PM) *
It's really just the eyes. Even says it in RC.

They also contradict this in RC when they talk about Reduced (Sense) and how HMHVV-inflicted versions are neurological by default. Face it, rules-wise, RC is a bad joke.
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