Are there any actual downsides to being a Ghoul?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Khromko, May 26, 2021.

  1. Khromko

    Khromko First time out of the vault

    Jan 31, 2018
    Ghouls in the original Fallout games shambled, they looked like zombies, and they still had to eat food and drink water(In FO1 Necropolis is doomed if you take their water chip). Point is being a ghoul was a curse, they were immortal(was that in FO1 or 2 lore?) but also had damaged or degraded joints making movement slow and likely painful and they still needed basic necessities.

    Ghouls now seem to have no weakness or downsides except looking like they have a skin condition. They're immortal and can even heal from radiation, they don't need food or water(FO4's fridge kid) or possibly very little of it, they can run and jump and aren't hindered from joint pain. It seems like the only downside to being a ghoul is possibly becoming feral(Except there are still many ghouls who are pre-war so becoming a feral is not inevitable with age) or just discrimination from normal humans but that could be alleviated by just covering up every part of yourself in clothing or armor along with a mask/helmet.

    So far, being a ghoul has transformed from what should have been a curse of being immortal, looking like a rotting corpse, having to shamble to move, and remembering the world before the Great War to being a blessing in the wastes where ghouls are healed from radiation and don't need water or food and their bodies can still function capably and instead of looking like a rotting corpse they just look to have a severe skin condition.

    Are there any downsides to being a ghoul besides looking ugly?

    How do you think ghouls should have been handled differently than how Bethesda has portrayed them?
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    For reference most folks here aren't going to consider Fallout 4's lazy, poor writing when talking about the lore. Necropolis in the first Fallout is proof enough that at the very least they need clean water. To me, the first game takes priority in the queue to 4.

    I also think you're looking at this too much from a deattached "MinMax" perspective. In real life people develop psychological complexes over deformities or injuries that would be considered minor blemishes by a Ghoul. Being a walking corpse with your skin hanging off your bones, smelling constantly of rotting flesh, your face basically being a monsterous warped skull. It would be massively alarming for basically anyone, and would almost certainly ruin your "life". You go from being a human to something inhuman, and you'll be treated like it. Not to mention there's a chance that your mind goes and your horrible, disgusting body will keep going without you, murdering and eating whatever it comes across. It's a grim fate regardless of quirks like immunity to radiation. In fact, your body naturally drawing you to places that are lethal, barren hellscapes to normal humankind isn't particularly lovely either.

    As for how they 'should' be handled, I'm of the opinion that they should be basically far fewer in number, far more disfigured (ala Set) than their more recent counterparts and their Agility should be restricted (As well as their AP/movement) and many of them should have radioactivity to the touch - particularly Feral Ghouls. If I were designing a Fallout game I'd make things like Rad-Away and Rad-X extremely expensive/scarce and the concequences of rad poisoining severe, so whilst mindless shambling corpses don't make for particularly tough enemies, you've got to keep a great distance away from them - a problem for Melee and Unarmed characters.

    If a Player Character could choose to be a Ghoul, you'd have immunity to radiation, high resistance to poison, as well as capability for Luck beyond human limits and intelligence too (to represent their longevity). In penance you'd be capped on your Charisma, your Agility and your Strength. A Ghoul is not going to be able to wield a minigun without power armor or a set of perks. Due to their strange biology and high chemical tolerance, most chems wouldn't work on Ghouls either. Ghouls have to skull back bottles of rotgut and take doubled-up doses of Psycho just to get it through their system and feel something.
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  3. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    You look like a burn victim, you don't actually stop aging so it's immortality without youth, you eventually go crazy, you smell like the rotting skin covering your body, you still need to eat and drink to survive, you can't even get fit or anything, your muscles and bones grow weaker as evidenced by Raul complaining about arthritis. It just kinda sucks.
  4. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
  5. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Image ain't working chief
  6. Morgan_

    Morgan_ Duckerz

    Jul 3, 2020
    Yes. No fucking.
  7. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    Hmmmm seems to be a you problem. it is a pic of Set btw.
  8. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Imagine waking up one morning a few decades into being a ghoul, you roll out of bed and your dick has dropped off.

    Such is the life of a Ghoul
  9. Dayglow Drifter

    Dayglow Drifter Mildly Dipped

    Sep 25, 2018
    people think you are ugly and you probably smell bad
  10. TheGM

    TheGM The voice of reason

    Aug 19, 2008
    and that was before he became a ghoul.
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  11. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Damn he's done you again
  12. Morgan_

    Morgan_ Duckerz

    Jul 3, 2020

    No u.
  13. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    I would ret-con everything that Bethesda did in FO3 & 4.

    Ghouls... Basically like Lenny unless they had become Glowing ghouls.

    @GM (Same link, just fixed.)
    Last edited: May 26, 2021
  14. Morgan_

    Morgan_ Duckerz

    Jul 3, 2020
    How did you fix?
  15. Gizmojunk

    Gizmojunk Antediluvian as Feck

    Nov 26, 2007
    ...Truncated the superfluous. :ok:
  16. cordelionreaver

    cordelionreaver Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Nov 29, 2015
    Wiki images are wonky with forums posts.
  17. weetwoo

    weetwoo First time out of the vault

    May 24, 2021
    maybe there's some sort of self gratification
  18. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Slippy sloppy, The

    Sep 11, 2010
    Well I don't consider anything from Bethesda to be canon so I don't care about "their" take on ghouls. Being a ghoul is horrible. Your organs are literally poking out of your body and for someone with hypochondria that would make me turn into a Mindless One in a matter of days due to the anxiety attacks I'd have.
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  19. We typically have a strong sense of image. Having even something 'wrong' between body and mind is enough to set people off for the rest of their lives. Too much fat, too little hair, too lean, too small, too big, too lanky, too bony, too curvy, that's just the basics, Dysmorphia and so on goes on and on....

    Being a walking corpse, losing your cohesive skin, hair, the glow of the eyes, or seeing bones and muscles forever and ever isn't fun for mental health, to begin with. Or the smell, apparently.

    A 'skin condition' is some discoloring, or psosaris, or vitiligo. What a ghoul is stuck with is far beyond a 'condition', even if it's technically one.
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  20. Risewild

    Risewild Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 5