Ghoul Character Creation

† Prep: Materials


This guide going to walk you through how to make a ghoul character. If you are *completely* new to vampire, we advise starting with our New Player Guide instead.

Start by downloading our character sheet and making your own copy of it.

We also recommend opening the V20 Core Rulebook as well as a copy of V20 Ghouls and Revenants.

Note: This guide is going to focus primarily on ghouls, as those wishing to play revenants are expected to be familiar enough with the system to build one adequately.

† Step 1: Make a human concept


This is important first step of any character. All ghouls were once ignorant humans and it’s unlikely they’ve changed enough to warrant anything drastic, unless they’ve been a ghoul for a significant amount of time. Please consider the following questions to form this character when they were human:

  • Place of birth, where do they live today, where have they lived and why?
  • Do they have living family? Are they close to them? Why?
  • Are they religious? What religion? How religious? (mass on Sundays, pray every meal, tithe regularly and donate time, etc.)
  • What is their place in the world from your character's point of view? Where would you like it to be?
  • What little things are important to them?
  • What weighs heavy on their soul? What sins have they committed, or if they don't believe in such things, why?
  • What habits do they have? Not just smoking, drinking, but also do they read the paper every morning, have a routine, etc.?
  • What matters to them?

This should give you a decently fleshed out idea to start with. Here, determine other important bits about them such as their age (18+), sex, their background pre-ghoul, and so on. Here, I would also begin to consider their general personality and goals.

We have also have a guide to fleshing your character out.

Archetypes

People have two ways they present themselves. The first is how they act in public and how they’re commonly viewed on a shallow level. This is your character’s Demeanor. It has no mechanical effect on the character, though it should make sense.

The other side to this is how the character acts behind closed doors, with those close to them, and when they believe no one is watching. This is your characters Nature. When a character acts towards their nature during play (such as a caregiver successful nurturing someone else) they will regain one willpower point.

Your nature and your demeanor cannot be the same.

A full list of available archetypes and what they mean can be found on the wiki. Keep in mind that the character is still human when picking these out, so options like Monster as a Nature wouldn’t make sense unless they were an utterly awful human being.

† Step 2: Domitor


The next step is to decide on your character’s domitor. If they are an independent ghoul please see below. If you are being ghouled by another PC, you can skip this step.

Clan

Domitors can be any of the 13 listed below and have sustained the ghoul for a maximum of 50 years. We don’t allow ghouls of bloodlines.

  • Assamite Ghouls - Silent masters of assassination, killing for hire and collecting blood for rituals to bring them closer to their progenitor.
  • Brujah Ghouls - Once philosopher-kings of an ancient civilization, but are now rebels and rogues with a fearsome inclination toward frenzy.
  • Followers of Set Ghouls - Venerate a chthonic god while seeking out the world’s secret places and protecting ancient artifacts.
  • Gangrel Ghouls - Bestial and untamed, often coming to resemble the animals over which they demonstrate mastery.
  • Giovanni Ghouls - An insular family of vampires who practice the art of commanding the dead while commanding global finances, as they have since the Renaissance.
  • Lasombra Ghouls - Proud nobles who command the very essence of darkness and shadow — to the point of worshiping it, some say.
  • Malkavian Ghouls - A clan fractured by madness, each member irrevocably suffering under the yoke of insanity.
  • Nosferatu Ghouls - Hideously disfigured by the Embrace, so they keep to the sewers shadows and traffic in the secrets they collect.
  • Ravnos Ghouls - Nomads and tricksters who can force the mind to see what isn’t there, though they are slaves to the vices they indulge in.
  • Toreador Ghouls - Cainites that enjoy every sensual pleasure the world has to offer, idolizing physical beauty and the adoration of their thralls.
  • Tremere Ghouls - Vampiric sorcerers that wield the supernatural power of their past as a hermetic house, though they became vampires through treachery and artifice.
  • Tzimisce Ghouls - Eldritch Old World lords who have little in common with the mortal world and can manipulate flesh and bone at a whim.
  • Ventrue Ghouls - Observe the noblesse oblige of vampire society, though their entitlement and greed encourages them to seek ever more at the expense of others.
  • Caitiff Ghouls - The Caitiff have no inherent Clan society, support, or even characteristics; they are like orphans among the great families of vampires.

† Step 3: Attributes


Prioritize the three categories (Physical, Social, and Mental) for your character. Spend the given dots (6/4/3) and make sure to keep what each dot means in general in mind when allotting them:

Attributes
• Poor. Unexercised, unpracticed, or inept.
•• Average. The result of occasional effort or application.
••• Good. Regular practice or effort, or naturally talented.
•••• Exceptional. Frequently applied, tested, and honed.
••••• Outstanding. The peak of normal human capacity, continually exercised.

For any attributes that are at 4 dots or more, make sure to apply a specialty.

Specific information on what all of the attributes mean in Vampire can be found on our attributes page.

† Step 4: Abilities


Prioritize the three categories (Talents, Skills, and Knowledges) for your character. Spend the given dots (11/7/4). All characters start with the first dot of Drive and Computers for free unless they are significantly older to where those concepts would be foreign.

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Here is a guideline for abilities:

Abilities
• Novice. Basic knowledge and/or techniques.
•• Practitioner. Solid working knowledge and/or techniques.
••• Professional. Broad, detailed knowledge and/or techniques.
•••• Expert. Exceptional depth of knowledge and/or techniques.
••••• Master. Unsurpassed depth of knowledge and/or techniques. A leader in the field.

At this stage in character creation, nothing can be over three dots. However, any abilities at three dots must be well justified.


Before starting to spread these out, take some time to read what each dot level means on our abilities page.

Make sure to think less about what they primarily do but things on the side. If they enjoy being around animals, a dot of animal ken wouldn’t be a stretch. If they sang in their church choir, a dot of performance would make sense. Really think about them as a complete person to spend these realistically instead of just maximizing what they’re “supposed to be good at.”

There are abilities that require you to select specialties early, they are:

  • Expression
  • Crafts
  • Performance
  • Academics
  • Law
  • Science
  • Technology

† Step 5: Disciplines


Sponsor’s Generation Maximum Discipline Level
Thirteenth to Eleventh 1
Tenth or Ninth 2
Eighth or Seventh 3
Sixth or Fifth 4
Fourth 5

Ghouls get 2 dots of disciplines to start with. 1 of them is always potence, and the second is one of their domitor’s clan disciplines.

Independent Ghouls: While independent ghouls may not have a domitor, they do need a donor who is willing to provide them with vitae. Due to the random nature of their vitae sources, independent ghouls can only take common disciplines (Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Presence, Potence, Fortitude, and Obfuscate) at character creation. This should be the one from the 3 their last domitor had.

† Step 6: Backgrounds


You get 5 Background dots to spend. All backgrounds should be explained on the given page of the character sheet and justified within the character's backstory. Anything increased above 3 dots requires Storyteller approval, except for influence which is at a 2 dot maximum.

Note: Ghouls aren’t going to be taking backgrounds such as generation or domain, keep that in mind when selecting them.

† Step 7: Finishing Touches


Virtues

You get 7 dots of virtues to spread throughout the 3, each starting with one dot that isn't factored in at this time.

Humanity

Humanity is equal to Conscience + Self-Control. Please see our humanity page to read more about Humanity .

Willpower

Willpower is equal to Courage. To read more about willpower, please see our willpower page

Starting Bloodpool

Set to 1 for convenience. Ghouls have a bloodpool maximum of 2.

Freebies & Experience

Finally, you may spend 21 Freebie points in order to round out your character. You may gain an additional 7 Freebies by taking Flaws, but these must be roleplayed properly.
Check out our massive list of over 400 merits and flaws to see what's banned, restricted, or in-play]. Please note that any freebies ignored now are not refunded to spend at a later date and are lost.

Along with freebies, at character creation you will earn 1 Experience Point for every consecutive year spent as a ghoul, up to a maximum of 50 XP. This bonus is granted solely to help your character feel like someone who has been around for 50 years, accounting for the experience they may have acquired during their unlife.

† Character Submission

To see how to submit your character for review by our Storytellers, please visit our Submission Guide.


Freebies

Trait Cost
Attribute 5 per Dot
Ability 2 per Dot
Discipline 10 per Dot
Background 1 per Dot
Virtue 2 per dot
Humanity/Path 1 per Dot
Willpower 1 per Dot
Path 3 Freebies

Experience Costs

Trait Cost
New Ability 3
New Discipline 20
New Path (Clan Ghouls only) 20
Thaumaturgy Path (Clan Ghouls only) Current level x 15
Attribute Current rating x 4
Ability Current rating x 2
Clan/Family Discipline Current rating x 15*
Other Discipline Current rating x 25**
Virtue Current rating x 2***
Humanity or Path of Enlightenment Current rating x 2
Willpower Current rating

Only Giovanni Ghouls may learn Necromancy Paths, and only Tremere Ghouls may learn Thaumaturgy paths.
* As a general rule, a ghoul attains a cost break to learn the Disciplines of their sponsor's Clan. A Revenant, on the other hand, earns a cost break on their family's Disciplines.
** It is much more difficult for independent Ghouls to learn Disciplines than any other Ghoul or Revenant, and this is reflected in the cost required.
*** Increasing a Virtue through experience does not increase Traits based on that Virtue (Humanity, Path, Willpower).


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