Ghoul Guide

Ghoul Theme: City of Fallen Angels

The Los Angeles Metropolitan, which consists of nearly 20 million intrepid souls, is recognized by the Camarilla as possessing the greatest concentration of renegade ghouls, Thin Bloods, caitiff, and abandoned childer in either North America or Europe. The West Coast has served as the final refuge for those driven from the East for over a century, yet the situation has only become catastrophically bad in the last fifteen years.

No one is quite certain when or how it began, but sometime between the chaos of Prince LaCroix’s assassination in 2004 and the Sabbat Crusade of 2012-2013, a black market took root in Los Angeles specializing in the trafficking of Kindred vitae, otherwise known as ‘Vee’, ‘V-Tay’, ‘Vita’, ‘Vitamin R’, ‘Blush’, ‘Crimson King’, and a dozen others. Most of the traffickers and dealers are not much different than their users, and whispered rumors of a ‘Red Star Syndicate’ began by opportunistic Thin Bloods with no concern for the laws of the vampire societies that callously rejected them, remains just that.

What is less mysterious is why the trafficking has exploded in recent years. Los Angeles is a city where thousands of new arrivals get off the bus (or plane) with dreams of becoming a star, each day. And yet each night, thousands more find their aspirations crushed forever. The strength, vivacity and glamour that comes from an injection of Vee (and many do inject it out of ignorance), is the difference between failure and a successful photo shoot, audition, MMA cage match, play off game, criminal heist or all night kink session. What about that bench warmer who started posting a triple double every night until he died in an untimely car wreck? He was almost Rookie of the Year!

And then there’s the eternal youth. Yeah, that. Fortunately, there’s very few who realize the truth of the immortality that Vitae offers. Virtually everyone has noticed that some celebrities just haven’t seemed to age all that much over the last ten or fifteen years. Is it clean living? Veganism? A personal trainer? Botox? Or is it V-Tay? Even those who only manage sporadic doses still come away feeling for weeks like their 20’s never ended. Even a little taste is highly pleasurable – both an intense aphrodisiac and a confidence booster. A lot of Vee can heal you from almost any near fatal injury in seconds, and keep you fighting in a way that makes PCP feel like weak tea in comparison.

What’s fueling this black market? That’s what many would like to know. It’s certain however that it’s no longer a single group (if it ever was). The line between Final Death and euphoric triumph is even more razer-edged and fine among the Kindred of Los Angeles than the kine. The Sabbat Crusade of 2012-13 means that the city has witnessed a flood of unchecked Thin Bloods, abandoned ghouls and rogue childer. There’s no Lost & Found for such unhappy creatures. When a domitor or regnant dies, more often than not, all those who depended on them are likely to be culled by their deceased master or mistress’ former vampiric associates. It’s only the fortunate, privileged protégé or pet who instead finds themselves snatched up by another and given protection.

What are these rejects to do with themselves? Most simply die. More than half of all fledglings never survive their first year after Embrace in Los Angeles. The attrition rate of ghouls driven mad with addiction and seen only as pawns or liabilities hardly endures thinking about. Confronted with such dangers, it doesn’t take long before even the densest fledgling realizes that there’s a substance in his or her veins that the wealthy and powerful will pay or do nearly anything for. Unfortunately, more than one naïve neonate has realized too late that the famous A-List celebrity (and their entourage) that they sought to take advantage of was not the prey, and they themselves were not the predator in the all too final transaction. Vampirism aside, the average recently Embraced and abandoned fledgling couldn’t begin to imagine some of the true horrors that take place in the secluded, opulent mansions of the Hollywood Hills.

More dangerously for vampiric society at large is the phenomena where abandoned or renegade fledglings and despised Thin Bloods opt to make common cause with desperate Vitae addicts. The vampire gets a servant who’ll do almost anything, and the ghoul gets their next fix. Such an unstable situation is only a little less dangerous than keeping a rabid dog on a leash.

There are even some Kindred in otherwise good standing, such as among the Camarilla or more established Anarch factions, who have given into the temptation to ‘donate’ their blood to either help pay next month’s rent for the luxury condo they can’t quite afford, or in return for some other favor…

TLDR: The Ghoul Condition

After a mortal tastes the Blood for the first time, she not only develops a thirst for it, but her physical body goes through other changes as well. As long as the Blood remains in her system, she will cease to age naturally, and whatever ailments she had – including lost limbs or even cancer – she now has the ability to heal from. New ghouls feel more vigorous, vibrant and alive than ever before – finding hidden capabilities and confidence (however misplaced) that they never suspected. Older ghouls lust for and long to recapture this initial, transient period of seamless joy.

While exploring the effects of the Blood on their physical bodies, ghouls might notice that they can peer into the world around them with more clarity, as if a blurred veil had been lifted from their eyes. Little do they realize that drinking vampiric blood comes with a heavy price – damnation.

  • Benefits
    • Ghouls don’t age – They can live forever if they keep well supplied with vitae. If this were even a slightly better known fact, the vampire Sects would have a serious crisis on their cold hands.
    • Ghouls are strong – Every ghoul who drinks at least one blood point’s worth of vitae gains an automatic dot of Potence. For the average mortal character this represents going from lifting ~100 pounds (Strength 2) to being capable of lifting ~250 pounds (Equivalent to Strength 3) over night! Amazing!
    • Ghouls are tough – Unlike regular mortals, every ghoul is able to soak lethal damage with their Stamina (+Fortitude if any) at difficulty 6. In addition to healing naturally and benefiting from medical care (in a way that vampires don’t), ghouls can also spend Vitae to heal damage they have taken, just as a vampire does.
    • Ghouls have powers – In addition to being stronger, faster and more resilient than other people, particularly well fed and experienced ghouls tend to manifest strange and mysterious abilities. The beautiful model whom you literally can’t take your eyes off of. The lisping deviant with a forked, razor-sharp tongue. The LAPD officer with superhuman hearing. The goth girl who swears she can hear ghosts. The assassin that you never saw waiting for you in your office study.
    • Ghouls have domitors – A crazy charismatic/beautiful/handsome/wealthy immortal who wants to take an active interest in their career, and/or do sexy things with them, and/or help them live forever, too? Who could ask for more!? (Warning: This benefit may not apply to non-Toreador ghouls).
  • Drawbacks
    • Sanity – Ghouls are often subjected to the mind and soul rending chains of the Blood Bond in addition to their ever-growing lust for their master or mistresses’ red nectar…or anyone’s, really. Not to mention, they find themselves often gripped by murderous mood swings…a Beast stirring in their soul. (Ghouls make Self-Control rolls to resist Frenzy for a wide variety of reasons, yet typically at a lower difficulty than a vampire would).
    • Ghouls have domitors… – It’s hard to practice your lines for next week’s audition when a century-old monster is making you turn tricks to lure a meal back to their reclusive haven. Nor can you win the big game or ask out the girl of your dreams, when you’re forced to spend all night protecting your new master from something called the ‘Suh-baht’. In fact, the only thing worse than having a domitor for most ghouls is the terrifying prospect of not having one, and somehow being responsible for finding your next taste of Vee all by yourself.
    • Everything Else – A ghoul’s social and professional life will often begin to crumble – either owing to the demands of all but the most unusually benevolent Domitor, or from the desperation and anxiety of finding a new ‘fix’. There’s a lot of vitae addicts in Los Angeles and very few ended up winning that Oscar or trophy like they thought they were going to.

Chargen Notes

You may have both a vampire and a ghoul alt in the vampire sphere. Normal Conflict of Interest rules apply. Use the vampire/ghoul chargen guide as a base. There are three types of ghoul PCs allowed on Liberation:

  • Vassals
    • Vassals with PC Domitors
      • Ghouls with PC Domitors function the same as ever, albeit with a bevy of exciting new Merits that make them more useful to their masters, such as the Custodian and Majordomo Merits, or somewhat less useful, such as the Squeamish or Self-Preservation Flaws.
    • Vassals with NPC Domitors
      • Ghouls with NPC Domitors are in service to one of the many vampires in Los Angeles County, whatever their Clan, Sect or creed, which doesn’t happen to be a PC. There will be some collaboration with your Director on the details of this, as to which Merit or Flaw best reflects the IC justification for your long leash compared to other ghouls.
        • Note: Ghouls with NPC domitors are automatically considered to have a Conflict of Interest to being involved in any PvP or supernatural-related plot with any PC from any non-vampire/mortal sphere that they have an alt in, or recently had an alt in. Otherwise, ICA=ICC as normal.
      • You are required to take one of the following Merits or Flaws:
        • Benevolent Domitor (3 pt Merit)
        • Domitor Pariah (2 pt Flaw)
        • Groomed for Embrace (5 pt Merit)
        • Loyalty (5 pt Merit)

  • Independents
    • Independents with no Domitor
      • You have either broken the shackles of your undead master or somehow avoided acquiring any in the first place. Be warned that trying to play an Independent ghoul without the Unmastered Merit is likely to be a rough, wild and possibly short ride.
        • Note: Independent ghouls are automatically considered to have a Conflict of Interest to being involved in any PvP or supernatural-related plot with any PC from any non-vampire/mortal sphere that they have an alt in, or recently had an alt in. Otherwise, ICA=ICC as normal.
      • You are required to take one of the Following Merits or Flaws:
        • Fugitive (5 pt Flaw)
        • Problem with Authority (5 pt Flaw)
        • Turncoat (4 pt Flaw)
        • Unmastered (5 pt Merit)
        • Vitae Addict (3 pt Flaw)

Ghoul Blood Pools & Disciplines

  • Ghoul Blood Pools and the ramifications of Overfeeding, and even the Optional Blood Point Rules (on a case by case basis) are all used on Liberation, as taken from V20 Ghouls & Revenants pg 140 and elsewhere. A summary of these systems will eventually be presented on this page. We are still deciding the most aesthetic way for ghouls to track blood points and vitae points.
    • For Now: Assume that out of a ghoul’s 10 blood points, the first 8 are regular blood, and the last two are reserved for Vitae points. There are ways for ghouls to hold more Vitae points. Being steadily drained a point and then fed a point each day gradually replaces a ghoul’s entire blood pool with vitae…except their body will begin reconverting the vitae points back to regular blood points after your (incredibly generous) domitor stops doing this. Initially, this will mostly be handled with Director collaboration, but it will be fully coded eventually.
    • I’m generally more concerned about tracking Independent ghouls. I know that ghouls with PC Domitors and NPC Domitors will keep them at a minimum of Vitae points, barring catastrophe.

  • Ghoul Disciplines are handled as such: Most every ghoul can raise their Disciplines to 1, while subsisting on at least 1 blood point’s worth of Vitae per month. Ghouls require a vampire or another ghoul to teach them how to master any supernatural expression of the blood’s mysteries beyond simply being stronger, faster and tougher than other people (Potence, Celerity and Fortitude). More rarely (usually in the case of Independent ghouls at chargen), a ghoul might spontaneously manifest a more specialized capability, such as the first dot of Presence, Obfuscate, Dominate or most commonly, Auspex. Vassal ghouls are assumed to have been taught a second dot by their domitor, from their domitor’s own Clan.
    • Ghouls subsisting on Vitae taken from vampires of the Eighth Generation and up may raise Disciplines to 1 dot with no penalties.
      • If a ghoul subsisting on Vitae taken from vampires of the Eighth Generation and up wishes to raise a Discipline to 2 dots, then he subsequently requires a number of Vitae points equal to the total sum of his Discipline dots each month to maintain his ghouled status. Failure to do so will either cost him access to his Disciplines entirely (if he subsisted on no Vitae), or prevent him from benefiting from more than one dot (if he subsisted on at least one point of Vitae). This added cost may be ‘paid’ off over the course of the month.
    • Ghouls subsisting on Vitae taken from a vampire of the Seventh Generation may raise their Disciplines to 2 dots with no further penalties. Presumably, such a ghoul would suffer similar penalties to above if they tried to raise a Discipline to 3 dots or more. It isn’t well known what being a ghoul for a Sixth Generation or lower vampire might be like. Presumably terrifying.

    • Ghoul Discipline costs are easy. All ghoul Disciplines cost 20 XP for both the first and second dot. All new ‘common’ Disciplines excepting Celerity, Fortitude or Potence require a willing teacher and a week or two of hard work. Access to ‘rare’ Disciplines, or Disciplines at 3 dots (unlikely) will be handled on a case by case basis.

Ghoul Merits & Flaws

There are many other appropriate Merits and Flaws for ghouls. However, the ones below are largely unique to them. Ghouls are not limited to 10 Merit dots, as vampires are.

Merits & Flaws
AlbinoF1While this condition is harmless from a physiological standpoint, it does cause afflicted individuals to stand out. This may reduce a ghoul’s capacity to blend into a crowd, without the help of a disguise. When you take the Albino Flaw, keep in mind that your skin is highly susceptible to sunburn, having little or no pigmentation to reflect the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Benevolent DomitorM3Your domitor is unusually fond of you. Perhaps your service has been exemplary, or you simply remind your master of a past love. Given the alien nature of a vampire’s mind, you may never know for sure, but you do not begrudge the benefits you’ve gained from your master’s feelings toward you. Unlike the relationship between other masters and their ghouls, this Merit does not represent a temporary phase. You have already proven yourself to your master.

Though this Merit shapes how your domitor treats you, it does not guarantee that you will never run afoul of your master. You may, at your Storyteller’s discretion, lose the right to keep this Merit should your actions necessitate such a decision over time.

Ghouls with PC domitors receive no benefit from and are not required to take this Merit.
Black and WhiteF1After being subjected to the blood bond, its influence can complicate your ghoul’s natural outlook on life. Under its influence, the blood bond may force your ghoul to view what your domitor says or does through a rosy, positive filter at all times. Any character who does not agree or side with your master is, according to you, an enemy worthy of your contempt.

In situations where some nuance is required, increase your Social and Mental difficulties by +1.
Blood FeudF5Rivalries between opposing vampire factions in Los Angeles such as the Brujah and the Ventrue, or the Tremere and the Nosferatu occasionally bleed into the behavior of their ghouls throughout Camarilla-held territory. Fights between opposing ghouls are all too common, typically on account of being less noticed or sanctioned than similar bouts of violence between Kindred.

It is inevitable for rivalries to develop between Clans in a given city. Subsequently, excessively loyal ghouls might take offense at a misstep or take up vengeance for a slight against their Domitor, and their feelings could escalate into hatred and a desire to kill. A Gangrel ghoul might be involved in a bitter dispute over territory or domain with the servants of a Toreador Primogen.

In a Blood Feud, several members of each side should be willing to battle over the insult or slight. Whatever the case, it's their feud and your blood.
Clear-SightedM4Your ghoul is not easily fooled by illusions and tricks of the light. Whether you were born lucky, have supernatural assistance, or proper training to brush aside such influences, your character has a knack for overcoming the phantasms, shadows, and mirages others create through the use of thaumaturgical rituals and Disciplines.

This Merit is only applicable for visible tricks of deceit caused by the use of Disciplines. When faced with a suspected supernatural illusion caused by the use of Disciplines such as Obfuscate and Chimerstry, your ghoul may make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty equal to your opponent’s power’s level +4). If successful, your character sees right through the effect. If you fail, you might suspect the illusion is a trick, but you cannot prove your suspicious are correct. This Merit does not work passively. You must be suspicious to get a roll.
CustodianM1-5Most ghouls are lured into their domitor’s world because they have proven themselves to be valuable in some fashion. In exchange for blood and dark promises, the vast majority of ghouls are destined to live out their days and nights in eternal servitude. Some ghouls have first-hand knowledge running a complex organization or have experience managing a household for their domitor.

This Merit assumes that the ghoul is adept as a chief steward, driver, and watchdog for her domitor, and her competency has not gone unnoticed by her master. Unlike other ghouls, those who possess the Custodian Expert Knowledge have already proven themselves to their domitors, and are often left alone to do what needs to be done.

You receive +1 dice to appropriately relevant rolls made within or concerning your domitor's Domain.

➊ You can keep a fledgling's apartment in order.
➋ You are new to managing a haven, but you have demonstrated a talent for the job.
➌ You keep the manor running so smoothly that even your master's guests sometimes pay you compliments.
➍ You know what needs to be done before your master issues an order, and send invitations and messages to other vampires on behalf of your domitor.
➎ You are peerless at managing your domitor's affairs. A wise master will listen to your advice and observations.
Domitor PariahF2Your master is a vampire who, for whatever reason, is unwelcome among or even hated by other members of his Clan or Sect. Without allies, your domitor may struggle to retain her status and will likely rely on ghouls, like yourself, to fulfill her basic needs. You may be given additional responsibilities, or you might be manipulated into spying, attacking, or stealing for your domitor.

Once a ghoul understands how challenging life may be with a Domitor Pariah, you might sow the seeds of rebellion despite the strength of your blood bond.

This Flaw may not be taken by ghouls with PC domitors (which is to say, if your PC domitor makes themselves a pariah ICly, you will suffer without earning extra freebies from it.)
Double LifeM1-5The majority of new, Camarilla ghouls tend to have a tenuous tie to their former lives. This Merit ensures that their connection to their former selves, along with their relationships, remains intact. Most independent ghouls and Sabbat ghouls would not use this Merit.

Keeping up Appearances: You keep in contact with people you once knew, but you keep yourself distanced from them unless you need to ask someone you know for a favor. You might need to keep up appearances because your master ordered you to, or you might have done so naturally to help keep you sane.

Maintaining Friendships: You are part of a group of friends who meets every so often. While you might not ask them for a favor related to your job, you know you can call on them in an emergency situation.

Keeping a Lover: You are in love with another person, and your master has allowed you to maintain this relationship in exchange for your service. You would do anything for each other, and your master knows it, too.

Staying Close to Your Family: Your master has granted you permission to remain a member of your family, and has helped you devise a cover so your activities are not suspicious. In exchange for your service, you may maintain your connection to your family, but you may or may not be allowed to live with them. Some domitors might use your family as leverage to get you to do their bidding.

Possessing a Mortal Life: Though you’ve become a ghoul, your master has decreed that you may keep your job, your relationships, and your apartment. From an observer’s perspective, you may seem smitten with a new love interest or stressed about your new high-powered job.
DuplicitousF3Ghouls with this Flaw have an underhanded reputation based on their previous actions. In the past, you’ve probably lied, cheated, or played both sides against the middle during a deal that went south.

While you can be duplicitous without this Flaw, when you take this Flaw, it forcefully impacts your relationships and dealings with other characters (especially NPCs). You probably don’t seek to take the upper hand in every situation, but other characters expect you to. Your allies and enemies are on edge around you, because they’re not sure when and if you’ll ever treat them fairly. They may even backstab or try to undercut you, too, because they expect you to.

The influence of the blood bond does impact most ghouls with this Flaw in subtle ways. While your domitor would know you are Duplicitous, you would not act out in a direct way against your master. Instead, you might backstab or double-cross your allies to curry favor and obtain rewards from him.

FixationF2-6The Blood is exhilarating, but when the feeling wears off, you want another high, another “fix” to add to that heady rush. With this Flaw, you are forced to turn to outside activities or substances in your free time to get a fix that doesn’t come from the Blood. Failing to master your Fixation will likely be viewed unfavorably by most, because your inability to control yourself is viewed as a weakness. Moreover, servants that run off and base jump off the top of a skyscraper at every opportunity are not as useful as the meek from a master’s point of view.

The stronger your Fixation is, the more chaotic and rebellious your ghoul
will likely act as you take pleasure wherever you can find it. Thus, it is not uncommon to find independent ghouls with higher levels of Fixation.

To start, you’ll pick a type of Fixation your character is likely to have: chemical, psychological, or physical. Unlike an Addiction to something specific like cocaine, your overall Fixation is more generic than that.

➋ At two points of addiction, your character is still in control. Your ghoul may show up fog-headed, but she will attempt to carry out her domitor’s wishes to the best of her ability.
➍ At four points, your Fixation is so strong that you are more likely to forget a crucial errand, miss an appointment, or doze off spying on a rival.
➏ At six points, your ghoul is deep in the throes of terminal addiction. At your Storyteller’s discretion, this may result in greater and more violent consequences to the fulfillment of your desires.
FugitiveF6You are wanted by the authorities. You may be a suspect in a case, or might have been charged and convicted with a serious crime. Your ghoul may have even gone so far as to escape a high security prison or mental health facility. You may have, on the other hand, run afoul of a Sect and are now being hunted by its members, whether they be Kindred, Cainite, Anarchs, etc.

To the Camarilla, a ghoul Fugitive represents a serious threat to the Masquerade, regardless of who may be after you. While it is possible you may have been carrying out orders under the influence of the Blood Bond or Disciplines like Dominate, Kindred authorities cannot turn a blind eye to a desperate ghoul who’s on the run.

Taking this Flaw that you have either committed (or have been framed for) a transgression that is so severe, agents who uphold the law, be they vampire or mortal, have ordered your capture. Any and all persons found in your company may immediately become suspect as well.
Groomed for EmbraceM5Your character has been deemed worthy of the Embrace, and is being prepared for the eventuality through careful, directed training by your future sire. While this Merit does not guarantee when you will be Embraced, your character is aware that you will become a vampire, and you know the identity of your future sire.

The benefits of being Groomed for Embrace are related to your current role as a ghoul, and your future position as a vampire within a specific Clan. As such, your role among the ghouls of your domitor’s house will be elevated to that of a valued apprentice as opposed to a disposable servant. Some Clans, like the Tremere, might track your progress through your academic study of lore, Disciplines, or thaumaturgical rituals.

Other vampires might be more careful, and may prepare you to be evaluated by the local prince before proceeding further. There may be a few drawbacks that your character might encounter over the course of your chronicle. Because you have achieved the dream of many ghouls, you may be subjected to fits of jealous rage or harm by other ghouls.
HuntedF5You have unwittingly crossed paths with a hunter, who has identified you as either a supernatural creature or a servant to one that must be destroyed. What's worse, and what makes this Flaw hurt, is that it's generally acknowledged to be your own damn fault.

While you may not have intentionally drawn the ire of a hunter, your grievous error will not go unpunished, nor will it be forgiven easily by your domitor, Clan or Sect. Consequences may range from ordering you to capture the hunter first to exile.

You may take steps to eliminate this Flaw in the way that makes sense for your character. However, unless your Storyteller tells you that you are in no danger of being hunted for the foreseeable future, you will always run the risk of being targeted by a hunter more easily than other characters who do not have this Flaw.
Isolated UpbringingF1You have either been brought up solely to serve your intended master, or have been so long in his or her service that you have begun to forget what it is like to socially interact on your own. You suffer a -1 dice penalty to social situations when away from your domitor's Domain or company.
Light SensitiveF2-6Your ghoul has discovered, much to her chagrin, that she is growing more sensitive to bright light thanks to the transformative powers of the vampiric blood she ingests. During daylight hours, she might require strong, prescription sunglasses, and bright flashes such as a camera flash or lightning may require a Frenzy check.

The point value for the Light Sensitive Flaw reflects an increasing sensitivity to artificial and natural light.

➋ A 2-point Flaw means your ghoul retreats from harsh, bright sunlight harsh and will react more quickly than most mortals.

➍ At 4 points, your ghoul is incapable of functioning normally in bright sunlight, and may develop painful skin rashes and/or sunburn after exposure.

➏ At 6 points, the ghoul finds any bright light nearly paralyzing, and will go to whatever lengths required to avoid such bright conditions. Bad sunburn will result from only a minute or two in full sunlight, and will become bashing damage at a rate of one point of damage per fifteen minutes’ worth of exposure. A ghoul with this level of the Flaw will therefore receive four points of bashing damage per hour of contact with full sunlight or its equivalent. Such damage may be healed normally, as per V20 on pp. 282-286.
Loose LipsF3Ghouls are often privy to a great deal of sensitive information in the night-to-night dealings with their domitors, and some cannot resist the urge to divulge (or sell) these secrets. In general, ghouls who cannot keep secrets tend not to live very long.

When you take the Loose Lips Flaw, you might be known as a gossip. In fact, this weakness may be the reason why any ghoul might become independent. It’s possible that the ghoul’s master felt that withholding feedings for the rest of his vassal’s pitiful life would be suitable punishment, and might still be keeping tabs on his former ghoul.

Ghouls with this Flaw tend to not be trusted with jobs involving secrets, so their usefulness to higher-ranking vampires is limited. On the other hand, they make perfect tools for spreading false information, which can often be far more useful.
Proven LoyaltyM5This ghoul has demonstrated unshakeable loyalty to not only their domitor, but to their domitor's Clan. The character should expect that other vampires belonging to their domitor's Clan (and perhaps those particularly allied with your domitor's Clan as well) will treat them with a degree of indulgence and inclusion without raising any eyebrows. At the Storyteller's discretion, this Merit may be exchanged for 'Groomed for Embrace' at a later date.
MajordomoM1-5A Majordomo is a Merit that benefits both the ghoul and the domitor, because the burden of maintaining a complex household falls on the Majordomo’s shoulders. Thus, your ghoul will be caught up in the night-to-night requirements of your vampire in a more authoritative way than other ghouls. The use of such a ghoul greatly depends upon the personality, Clan or Sect of your domitor.

A Majordomo is far more common among Camarilla domitors and ghouls than they are in the Sabbat. For independent ghouls, becoming a Majordomo is an impossible feat, for no vampire would trust a ghoul that could not be subjected to the blood bond.

Majordomo's Merit rating reflect the power and influence you have in your master’s household (or company) over other servants (or employees) while operating within your domitor's Domain. A ghoul may not have a higher Majordomo Merit rating than their domitor's Domain Background.

➊ 2 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 1)
➋ 4 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 1)
➌ 6 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 2)
➍ 9 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 3)
➎ 12 dots worth of mortal Retainers within your domitor's Domain (Max Rating: 3)
ObsessionF1-5Even ghouls who lead relatively uneventful lives can become obsessed with a persistent idea, image, set of circumstances, or unshakable feeling. Many obsessions are so minor they would not be noticed by a casual observer, while others may become so powerful they’ll prevent a ghoul from performing the simplest of tasks

➊ At one point, your ghoul’s Obsession is minor. For example, your character may prefer a particular brand of beverage, pair of jeans, etc., and may refuse to eat, wear, or use a replacement. Your minor Obsession will probably cause you to seek a replacement for an “inferior” item with your preferred one at the earliest opportunity

➋ At two points, your Obsession threatens to consume you. If the focus of your insatiable desire is a person, you would likely have an image of that person in your possession at all times, or you will stop what you are doing to obtain one. If your Obsession involves an object or totem, like a lucky rabbit’s foot or a small statuette, you will need to have it within your reach. You might even grow more upset over time if it’s not nearby.

➎ At five points, your Obsession consumes you, and may bring others to harm. Your character might kidnap a local celebrity you’re obsessed with, and will likely go to unreasonable lengths to keep him under your direct control. Similarly, any object that you’re consumed with creates tremendous need at this level. If your lucky rabbit’s foot is misplaced or lost outright, you might not be able to function as you normally would, and may be prone to fits of destructive rage.
Offensive to AnimalsF2Ghouls who take the Offensive to Animals Flaw will have difficulty in their encounters with animals. Dogs, wolves, bats, birds, and other creatures will act hostile toward the character whenever she’s around, and will likely attack the closer the character gets. Much like the vampiric Flaw of the same name, a ghoul who is Offensive to Animals may find it challenging to walk freely in certain areas.

Animals will bark, howl, whine, and make noise when the character approaches them. They may not directly attack the ghoul unless provoked, but they will clearly be aggressive or, alternatively, might flee from the area.
Pale AuraM2Due to some quirk of fate or your reaction to the Blood, your aura is naturally pale. Any color your character’s aura takes has a pale cast to it, as if you were a vampire and not a ghoul.

Vampires reading your aura with the use of the Auspex Discipline may assume you are a vampire unless they gain five or more successes on an Aura Perception roll, or have strong reason to suspect otherwise.

This Merit can be of great use if you wish to impersonate a vampire for a time, but can also cause a dangerous misunderstanding or lead to your capture for further scrutiny.
Poisonous BloodM5Due to mysterious circumstances, your character’s blood is poisonous to vampires. Some examples include: holy protection from a higher power, a rare ritual of protection, or a genetic abnormality. Vampires naturally resent mortals known to possess this blessing and may well seek their destruction.

Should any vampire drink from you, every blood point imbibed causes one health level of unsoakable bashing damage.
Problem with AuthorityF5Problem with Authority is unhealthy for ghouls who are expected to serve without question. It is especially problematic for ghouls who have violent or unpredictable masters, and may spur a ghoul to leave her domitor’s side. Many independent ghouls suffer from this Flaw, and continue to feel the effects of their disobedience.

When taken to its extreme, your ghoul will become argumentative and unruly, and may take an issue with the simplest instructions. While you might argue with lesser authority figures in your ghoul’s life, like the police, your combative words are less likely to get you killed, but may result in being arrested or fired.
Romantic NotionsF3You believe your entire existence as a ghoul is a marked improvement over your previous life, and you are convinced you owe it all to your domitor. You feel your domitor needs you, you’d die without her, and that every feeding is an act of pure love.

When your domitor attempts to use either Dominate or Presence on your character, your Willpower is at -2. This Flaw is in effect regardless of how you react to the blood bond, and while under its influence you may feel an even stronger sense of artificial love toward your domitor.
Self-PreservationF3For whatever reason, your character refuses to carry out orders that you feel will threaten your safety and put your life at risk. For ghouls, the Self-Preservation Flaw defeats the purpose of serving a vampire. If you cannot defend your domitor, then your worth decreases considerably. Moreover, a Bound ghoul who can refuse to carry out an order bears close watching.

This Flaw is one of the most common reasons why a ghoul leaves his master’s service to operate as an independent. Clever vassal ghouls will attempt to manipulate this Flaw to their advantage by attempting to carry out life-threatening commands while ensuring they're exposed to as little actual risk as possible.

Mechanically-speaking, any time your domitor or master gives you an order that threatens your life, your character gets a check against Willpower at +2 difficulty. If successful, your ghoul may refuse to carry out the order. Should you refuse to carry out such a command in front of your master, you may expect to be punished severely.
SqueamishF1-3Your ghoul might talk a good game, but you’ve never been around real violence before. When you’re confronted with the sight of blood, you probably won’t respond well, and may faint, panic, or run away.

➊ In situations that involve gunfire, bloody combat, or an aggressive use of Disciplines, roll Willpower (difficulty 7). If this roll fails, your character either freezes in place (if her Courage is higher than her Self-Control) or flees the area (if her Self-Control is higher than her Courage).

➌ Should you botch a Willpower check (as per above), your ghoul is so unnerved by the gruesomeness you’ve encountered you cannot act for the rest of that scene. Your ghoul is frozen from shock, and may soil herself or puke in response to your fear or revulsion.
TurncoatF4The Turncoat is more than just a traitor. Ghouls that take the Flaw Turncoat Flaw have betrayed more than just their domitor's interests, but also that of their whole Clan or Sect.

Most ghouls with the Turncoat Flaw understand the ramifications of their actions. They understand that this Flaw requires them to protect themselves and hide from her former colleagues; they might even expect their former domitor's Clan or Sect to hunt them down for their treachery. Depending on the nature and depth of the betrayal, other allied vampires may decide to render their assistance to the hunt as well.

A Turncoat ghoul is not entirely alone in the world. They will have likely earned the trust of her new friends by killing a former ally or domitor, or by turning over sensitive information, such as the haven of a (formerly) allied vampire or the passwords to access her domitor’s finances or accounts. The Turncoat’s new allies will probably be skeptical of this character, and may not divulge anything other than minor details. After all, if the Turncoat betrayed her own master while under the influence of the blood bond, she could do so again.
UnbondableM5You cannot be Bound to a vampire, no matter how often you drink blood from the regnant’s veins.

The Unbondable Merit is particularly appropriate for independent ghouls, and would go far to explain how they were able to break free. To the vast majority of vampires, however, any character that is Unbondable can never be trusted.

While this seems ideal at first glance, be aware your ghoul’s life could be difficult and short-lived. Vampires from the Tremere and Tzimisce Clans might want to wipe out or experiment on you and your family with this Merit, while other vampires may want to drain you of blood to replicate its properties for their use.
Under SurveillanceF2-6Your ghoul’s activities are being monitored by members of law enforcement or government agencies. You might be Under Surveillance because you are suspect in a crime, or because you’ve been spotted associating with other criminals or suspects. It may even be your domitor's fault.

Generally speaking, Under Surveillance is less dangerous than the Fugitive Flaw, because your character is a person of interest as opposed to a wanted criminal. The points you take in this Flaw represent the level of scrutiny your character is under.

➋ At two points, only local authorities are watching your ghoul's activities.
➍ At four points, both city officials and state authorities are involved.
➏ At six points, local state, state, and national law enforcement agents are coordinating efforts to analyze your movements, and they may share their concerns with foreign agencies should you travel outside the country.

The effects of this Flaw vary, depending upon your circumstances, and you may not always be aware of them. For example, among Camarilla ghouls, any ghoul Under Surveillance will risk a Masquerade breach. Some vampires might decide that your character is too dangerous to live, and may take an opportunity to end your life at the hands of your associates or domitor. Other Kindred might take a different, more devious approach. They might use you as bait, create a body double, or plant false information. Some independent ghouls who take this Flaw might suspect that their former domitor has engineered their situation, and they are now Under Surveillance as punishment for abandoning them.
UnmasteredM5You are one of the lucky few who are plugged into the Vee or V-Tay scene, without having any direct exposure to any midnight monsters. You take Vee because it makes you feel like the Queen or King of the World - allowing you to conquer boardrooms, auditions, photo shoots, playoff games or MMA fights with equal ease...all while never growing old.

A ghoul character with the Unmastered Merit accrues three main benefits:

They are capable of acquiring the Vitae they need to sustain themselves as 'ghouls', through black market Vee purchases. The exact nature of their 'connection' will be described with the storyteller. This amounts to 1 blood point worth of Vitae per month. They may acquire additional blood points of Vitae per month by temporarily sacrificing Influence Backgrounds (such as Allies, Contacts or Resources), with a cost and duration adjudicated by the storyteller, growing more extreme with frequency.

Although the vast majority of NPCs that might be assumed to have this merit are almost entirely ignorant as to the truth, it will be assumed that PCs are among those with a vague notion of something supernatural going on. They'll know that some out there believe vampires exist - or at least suspect them to. They'll know a few whispered tips to avoid getting in immediate trouble. The specifics of their knowledge will depend on their backstory, and will be provided before they hit the grid.

Finally, the Unmastered has tasted the Vitae of so many Kindred, that the bond doesn't quite affect them as readily. An Unmastered PC must drink directly from a Kindred to be Bound, and there's only a 50% chance of it taking.
Veil of the BloodM1-5The Veil of Blood Merit allows a ghoul to train herself to mimic the appearance of a vampire, in order to navigate vampire society, intimidate curious passersby, or even perform certain tasks for an insistent master. The ghoul cannot significantly alter her physical appearance to resemble a vampire of a specific Clan. She can, however, master the ability to drain the blood from the surface of her skin and all but silence her heartbeat.

Vassal ghouls who need to remain hidden among other vampires. Certain domitors, for example, may call upon their ghouls to indulge in a little espionage or be present at a vampires-only meeting. Independent ghouls, on the other hand, may find that posing as a vampire can lengthen their lives, and will often acquire this Merit after they escape their domitor’s scrutiny.

This Merit grants a ghoul two things: +1 dice per level of the Merit's rating to any relevant dice pools to avoid being discovered for what you are. It also suggests a certain tenuous grasp of various Kindred concepts, obliviating the need for Esoterica to function in a purely social setting.

➊ “Ruddy? Oh, I fed recently. That must be it.”
➋ Other ghouls and mortals would recognize you as a vampire.
➌ You can safely walk among fledglings and neonates.
➍ You can fool most vampires at first glance without the use of Disciplines.
➎ You can mingle at Elysium without raising suspicion.
Vicissitude ModificationsM1-7You are a ghoul whose body has been hideously modified through the use of the Vicissitude Discipline. You, yourself, might not be gifted in this area, but your flesh and bones have been reshaped into a nightmare designed to be useful in war.

The alterations made to your body are permanent unless shaped by further uses of Vicissitude. Although your Vicissitude Modifications can be dangerous, your body still sustains damage normally. Despite your potentially horrid
appearance, you are still flesh and bone.

Some Vicissitude Modifications may require you to take the Monstrous Flaw, which is found on page 482 of V20 Core. Examples of potential Vicissitude Modifications are given on page 135 of V20: Ghouls & Revenants.
Virulent StrikeM7Through strange thaumaturgical sorcery, unknown rituals, or even an odd quirk of your physiology, your blood has been imbued with the power of the supernatural. You can cause Aggravated Damage to supernatural creatures by striking them, biting them, or raking them with bonecrafted spurs. This is considered standard Brawl Damage against mortals, and should normally apply to only one attack form (bite, bone claws, etc.).
Vitae AddictF3You may or may not know what Vitae is (Vee? V-Tay? Vita?), or where it comes from, but you know you gotta have it. Your cravings have made you very nearly supernaturally sensitive to the promise of more.

A character with the Vitae Addict Flaw suffers a +2 difficulty penalty in any situation that involves resisting the urge, temptation or coercion to do or say something that might bring them another taste of Vitae. They may not spend a Willpower point to add an extra success to such rolls.

The one potentially beneficial side-effect of this potentially life ruining addiction, is that Vitae Addicts can sense any vampire within five feet of them, by rolling their Perception + Alertness vs a difficulty determined by the vampire's Path or Humanity rating.
Vitae SinkF3For whatever reason, your ghoul metabolizes vitae more quickly than others do.

You must be fed every two weeks, rather than once every month, or risk losing all supernatural Traits and will revert to your natural state. Few ghouls with this Flaw last beyond their natural life spans, unless their domitors are especially devoted to them. At this increased rate, however, it is likely that missed feedings might happen, which is why this Flaw is deadly to independent ghouls.