Two weeks ago when a friend of mine stayed over at my house, I invited him to play Vampire the Masquerade with my regular bi-weekly group. He’d be here and it would be fairly rude to make him watch. So, I gave him my other half’s ghoul to play. Normally I NPC’d her, but this would allow him to take on a character that’s already present in the game. Event the change of personality worked…it was the ghoul of a Malkavian after all.
Well, my players have been running about trying to please a man named Julian, who is actually Brujah (Ilyes…the actual Brujah Antediluvian who’s childe was supposed to commit diablerie on. Being able to manipulate time is a great skill to have…). My players have figured out who Julian is and they tend to tread on eggshells around him. I would too around a 4th generation vampire that has nearly 10 dots in every physical attribute. However, my friend had absolutely no idea who this man was and before anyone could shout “noooooooooooo…” the Malkavian’s ghoul was back talking this very, very powerful man.
It’s not such a long story, but in short Julian simply reached through Blythe’s chest and grabbed her heart, yanked it out, and threw it against the wall. This effectively eliminated the ghoul. Of course, it didn’t really help that Mr. Trujah botched his self control roll. Ooops.
My friend had so much fun obliterating hubby’s ghoul, he decided to make himself present at our bi-weekly games but he didn’t want to play a full fledged vampire. So, he’s going to become the Malkavian’s new ghoul. May the 3 fates help him (yea, the group has met them too).
So what does all this rambling lead up to? Character creation time! Ghoul style.
Creating a ghoul is a lot like creating a vampire, except that it’s slightly weaker and it doesn’t get a plethora of Disciplines, Backgrounds, or whatnot. It’s a tad more conservative. The main source book for ghoul creation is Ghouls: Fatal Addiction.
Now, Ghouls: Fatal Addiction was mostly meant for a game where the PCs are ghouls. Not 5 vampires and a ghoul, but like most World of Darkness games, you can easily cross over. The StoryTeller may need to make some adjustments to fit the Story though.
Like vampire, a ghoul gets the first dot in all attributes and no attribute can go less than 1. Since a ghoul is better than a human but less than the kindred, they get 6/4/3 to prioritize in attributes. I suggest for any World of Darkness character, when you decide where to put your primary dots, look at your Disciplines (or equivalent) to see what you have to roll to activate them. If your character is going to be a Dominate master, it doesn’t make sense to put your primary points into the physical category.
Here a ghoul gets 11/7/4. Again, like attributes, I suggest looking at your Disciplines to see what you’ll mostly be rolling. Oh, and the “no more than 3 dots” rule does apply for ghouls at this point, just like vampires (and I think all the other settings).
Ghouls get to spend 5 points in Backgrounds, 7 in virtues (I suggest grabbing the book and reading up on this…different rules apply for Sabbat ghouls and ghouls called Revenants), and 1 in Disciplines (plus an automatic dot in Potence regardless of where you spend the other dot).
Now, ghouls not being kindred, they can’t really put dots in Generation, Herd, or Status (and I’m sure there’s other Backgrounds in resource books that may apply or not apply…I’m just covering the main book here). But, this is where you can become an awesome support character and bulk up on Contacts, Allies, Retainers, Resources, and Influence.
Disciplines are a little funky. Basically, you get a free dot in Potence (because ghouls are groovy like that) and then you get 1 other dot. This pretty much has to be a dot in your Master’s discipline. It is worth reading up on Disciplines in Ghoul: Fatal Addiction because there’s a chart that tells you the maximum amount of dots a ghoul can have in his Disciplines based on his Master’s generation and there’s optional rules that allow him to go a little higher. I’m playing with the optional rules to give him a little more variety…his master is 7th generation (Dark Ages game) so he can actually go up to 3 dots.
Like vampire, you calculate your humanity (Conscience + Self Control), Willpower (Courage rating), Blood Points, and spend your freebies (21). And of course they can purchase merits and flaws at this point. Like backgrounds, a lot of merit and flaws aren’t going to apply but there’s tons across the board that will give the ghoul more than enough option. Plus there’s a few in the Ghoul: Fatal Addiction book as well.
Oh, and clan weaknesses DO pass on to the ghoul somewhat. For example, if a Nosferatu ghoul was stunning (5 dots in appearance), they might not be so stunning ghouled. In fact, they probably developed some sort of growth or physical deformation. My player will get some sort of Derangement from his Malkavian Master, but not as severe as the Malkie itself. The former ghoul was obsessive when it came to shopping, money, and shiny things which offered some comedy relief to the players. It also shed some light on why a Resource 0 character what poor as a church mouse…his ghoul took all his hard earned gold (he felt sorry for passing on the Malkie curse and let her of course).
In a nutshell, that’s the character creation guidelines for creating a ghoul. Not hard at all. Again, I highly suggest either finding the Ghoul: Fatal Addiction book or purchasing the .PDF and reading through it because there’s a lot of variety for modern day ghouls. There’s different types of ghouls that give them various advantages or disadvantages. There’s new Backgrounds, Abilities and Merits/Flaws. And it also gives the rules on spending blood points and so forth.
So have fun creating a ghoul! I know I’ll enjoy having a player playing one!