Ghouls or necrotic post-humans, are decrepit, rotting, zombie-like mutants. They are recipients of intense and prolonged radiation sickness which decays their skin, and in some case their ligaments. Paradoxically, they also have greatly extended overall lifespans and are, allegedly, immune to and even regenerate health by the hazards of background radiation and/or nuclear fallout.
Origins of the Ghoul Edit
Since the War, more people have had run-ins with ghouls, both civil and feral. Because of the animalistic behavior and savage threat feral ghouls pose, many people view all ghouls negatively. For example, the residents of Tenpenny Tower refuse to let ghouls into their luxurious hotel, despite polite offers of caps. Chief Gustavo is particularly bigoted and feels that "they'll all go feral one day." Negative stereotypes about ghouls stem from wastelanders who couldn't care less that not all ghouls are feral. Terms like "zombie," "shuffler," or "brain-eater" are common insults. Because of this general negativity, some ghouls, such as Roy Phillips and Mister Crowley, have developed a bitter hatred of humans.
Confusion over origins Edit
There is some controversy, even among the makers of Fallout games, about the origins of ghouls. While Tim Cain said explicitly that ghouls are only a result of radiation, consistent with an understanding of the science of radiation as it stood during the 1950s, Chris Taylor said that a mix of both radiation and FEV (Forced Evolutionary Virus) was involved. While Chris Avellone initially supported the latter view in his Fallout Bible, he was later convinced to support the radiation-only version. Medically though, the mutation in response to gamma radiation that produces ghouls disrupts the normal process of decay in the neurotransmitters along the spinal cord.
Appearance and Traits Edit
All ghouls live considerably longer than normal humans, though they are sterile.
In physical appearance, a ghoul's flesh is constantly rotting off, appearing very raw and discoloured from
necrosis. Lips and eyelids are sometimes absent, and noses are in almost every case completely rotted off.
Though ghouls lack strength due to decayed tissue, ghouls have heightened senses making them more perceptive and lucky than other wasteland humanoids. As a reult, chems like Jet barely affect them.
Ghouls suffer sporadic or even complete hair loss and loss of their normal voice: few ghouls retain enough hair on their heads to actually maintain a haircut, and ghouls with facial hair seems to be even more rare. Also, ghouls with clear voices are very uncommon; most possess raspy voices caused by partial decay of their vocal cords.
Ghouls, at least the non-feral ones, are generally as intelligent as normal humans. However, their physical repulsiveness makes the life of a ghoul difficult at best - only the most tolerant human communities accept them as anything more than monsters.
Ghouls are immune to most forms of radiation that still remain in the Wasteland. Radiation poisoning cannot get worse for a ghoul, though it may hasten the process of decay and lead to their decline into a feral state. Ghouls report feeling healthier when exposed to low-level radiation, and thus make their homes near locations with acute background radiation. Ghouls known as "glowing ones" actually enjoy large amounts of radiation.
Some ghouls eventually go mad and it remains unclear exactly what precipitates this change in neurobiology and psychology, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that non-social ghouls, or those in isolation, are more prone to the condition.
Feral Ghouls Edit
Ghouls that succumb to insanity are called "feral ghouls": they are mindlessly aggressive and, having lost their ability to reason, driven entirely by their instincts.
Feral ghouls are typically heavily emaciated and hunched over (possibly due to malnutrition and lack of sunlight), while non-ferals typically have a healthier, more human-like build and posture. While non-ferals dress like normal humans, feral ghouls wear little clothing other than tattered pants or sections of old armor, having long ago lost the mental capacity to mend or replace their clothes.
These feral ghouls strongly resemble zombies like those depicted in old horror films, and this misconception succeeds in alienating non-feral ghouls even more from humans. The term "zombie" has become an offensive racial slur to ghouls and "smoothskin" is a derogatory term for humans often used by ghouls.
Ghoul Player Characters Edit
Ghoul characters are those who have managed to escape the suffering of slavery or segregation. They are experienced, weary and often violent - naturally finding it more difficult to achieve a more diplomatic situation. Ghouls are more frail than humans however, so must play to their strengths whilst accepting abuse from strangers. Other player characters need not immediately accept a ghoul in their party before being reminded of the stakes. Ghouls' unique qualities bring a new weaknes and strength to the party whilst can be exploited by both sides of table.
Ghoul Perks Edit
Ghouls have spent most of their life being repulsive to most humans - some who believe the only justifiable course of action is 'purification' - and have found a gruesome way they can use it to their advantage. Charisma Tests with 'smoothskins' are made at -20, but you gain +10 bonus to Intimidate Tests.
Perk/ Radioactive Healing
When over 25% radiation ghouls heal very quickly. Each round, at the start if your Turn, Test Endurance to remove 1 point of Damage. Ghouls lose this Perk when they're slain.
Perk/ Atomic Metabolism
Your body has a strong tolerance to chemicals. When drinking alcohol or taking chems, you do not pass out until you have failed a number of Toughness Tests equal to twice your Toughness Bonus. You also gain a +10 bonus to tests made to continue using drugs within 24 hours.
Perk/ Lifetime of Experience
Ghouls have a lot of wisdom to share - though it's usually bitterly shared. Ghouls gain +5 to any skills in which they aren't trained.
Generating Characteristics Edit
Weapon Skill (WS): 20
Ballistic Skill (BS): 20
Strength (S): 15
Perception (Per): 20
Endurance (End): 20
Charisma (Cha): 20
Intelligence (Int): 20
Agility (Ag): 20
Willpower (WP): 25
Luck (Fate Points)
Dice Roll (1-4): 2
Dice Roll (5-8): 3
Dice Roll (9-10): 3