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  • Ghoul Organs

    If a Ghoul has vitae in their system, they stop aging, they can learn and use a few disciplines, and they can heal like a vampire by using the blood. But what happens if an organ is removed?

    ​Scenario #1: The Transplant with Benefits
    ​A ghoul who is full of vitae either wants to save some one or is killed and their paper works has the organ donor box checked. What happens to the recipient of the organ? Does the presence of a vitae infused organ all of a sudden turn them into a ghoul, does it muck with the transplant procedure or does it ensure success? Would the organ count as a thaumaturgical link?
    With enough organs being sent across the country what would the maximum ghoul yield be before the vitae burns out?

    Scenario #2: The Prometheus Business Plan
    A medically trained Cainite decides that they want to diversify their income a bit. So they gather up some clean, disease free, universal donor humans and turns them into ghouls. Then routinely harvests a random organ from each to sell on the black market. Would there be a maximum yield for how much a ghoul could be harvested for? Obviously a Tzimisce could take this several steps further by modifying a single ghoul to have multiple organs and arrange the anatomical layout so that less surgery is required, kind of like how you can get trees that have grafts from several different fruit trees on them.

    Scenario #3: Path of Organ Loss
    ​If organs can be easily regenerated by ghouls and they are viable for transplant, what exactly would the Path/Morality repercussions be for the Domitor? I could see this being a form of punishment for misbehaving ghouls or a form of gambling where you bet your organs. On one hand the Domitor could be a horrible monster that turns a human being into an organ farm, doomed to spend centuries being cut open again and again and having their very organs stolen from them. On the other hand I could just as easily see the organ removal as a bizarre form of giving back, sort of like a more extreme version of donating blood. The Path degeneration problem could go either way very easily depending on how you look at it, especially once the ghouls are blood bonded or Dominate gets into the equation.


  • #2
    Hmm a lot of this is going by the assumption you can regenerate organs like lethal damage right? The rules are pretty inconsistent but I get the impression fully regenerating a limb or organ counts as aggravated damage regen.

    And why wouldn't an Organ count as a sympathetic link?


    It is a time for great deeds!

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    • #3
      Based off of V20 rules page 501, ghoul healing isn't agg or lethal, but instead it is overall area that was damaged.

      Ghouls may heal using their blood pool, just as Kindred do. They can also regenerate limbs, though not automatically. To make a regeneration attempt, a ghoul must spend a Willpower point, spend an appropriate number of blood points (one for a finger or eye, two for a foot or forearm, three for an entire limb) and make a Stamina roll (difficulty 8). If the roll fails or is botched, the ghoul may never regrow the limb. Elder ghouls find regeneration easier: for each century of age, the difficulty of the roll decreases by one.
      ​An eye is far more complex than say a section of leg, yet it is easier to regenerate. Most organs are smaller than a foot but bigger than an eyeball. A lung for example is bigger than a foot but mostly empty space.

      As for the Sympathetic Link issue, at what point does the organ "belong" to the new owner rather than the donor? How long until the vitae inside breaks the link to the Donors Domitor?

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      • #4
        I'd argue that trying to transplant an organ from a ghoul works normally. However, the organ itself doesn't retain some inherent vitae to it in in the same regard. So the organ would essentially act like a ghoul without vitae, aging to the appropriate age. If it was still good then, normal medical aspects would apply. I can't really comment on the sympathy.

        In theory you could harvest as many organs as were healed for.

        The degeneration depends upon how often it is done. I would put it from three to one for sins, since it seems pretty brutal.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
          The degeneration depends upon how often it is done. I would put it from three to one for sins, since it seems pretty brutal.
          ​I guess its a matter of perspective. Would you assign the same to enforced hair cuts? That is a part of you that is chopped away and last I checked it took longer to regenerate than organs would. I think the "brutality" comes from the concept of the forced surgery and the recovery time, but if the subject is blood bonded they would do the surgery willingly and with regeneration it gets fixed rather quickly.

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          • #6
            1: Ghouls can't form bonds on behalf of their Domitor's behalf. While a vampire is a factory turning mundane blood into vitae, a ghoul is a factory turning vampiric vitae into ghoul blood. So, a ghoul's organ would not transmit the bond or ghouling.

            Now, a Revenant, otoh... there might be some benefit to the recipient in a bone marrow transplant. I would certainly allow such a recipient to gain a single point of revenant vitae left in the marrow when transmitted... probably with little effect, for the same reason above. Long term, I'm not sure. A transplant like that sounds a little like chimerism, which can, medically, get weird fast.

            The problem, though, is it might not be possible. Blood type matching is just step one for transplant matching. For organ transplants to succeed, you need a good histological match, which usually means either a relative or a member of the recipient's ethnic group. For revenants, this would mean other revenants, since they have been isolated genetically from human population for centuries. Note, that due to slow aging it hasn't been that many revenant generations, but quite a few human generations. The intervening mutations would likely make them not a good match for humans.

            The other complication for revenants is that it's not clear exactly how much of their body operates at 1/4 speed. Really, the 1/4 aging thing doesn't work well, anyway, since some aging is due to environmental factors. For example, the gradual damage over years of light exposure which leads to eye problems, or the wear and tear on joints. It's not so much how long you live as how much damage accrues, even on a microscopic level. That said, there are functions tied to cellular and genetic "clocks". I'm not convinced a transplant would work if any of the tissue in an organ is operating on "revenant time", while the rest of the body is at "normal time". They are able to mate with humans, right? So, I guess some basic compatibility exists.

            As for thaumaturgical link, likely it could be exploited, yes. Note, however, that different organs have different roles in different magical systems. Spells that could be cast through a liver might be different from the possibilities for a heart. Some organs might not be usable at all in some paradigms. How many magical systems recognize the islets of langerhans of the pancreas?


            2: First problem is that the idea of a "universal donor" is... inexact. No one person can donate to everyone.

            Second, urban semi-legends about waking up in a tub of ice aside, harvesting organs in such a way they can be used requires some very precise skills and equipment. This includes a whole supply chain of legally suspect equipment, and a whole team of medical professionals to make it work. I'm not sure most Sabbat have the influence in mortal society to hold this together as an ongoing operation. (Those that do have much easier ways to make money, too. Back alley plastic surgery is a big business!)

            That said, the basic plan seems sound, especially if the vampire is on a path that doesn't mind when the ghoul fails to regenerate because they failed their Stamina roll, or happen to be at zero willpower points. (How many Natures would recharge in such a situation, beyond nightly gains from a good night's rest... sleeping in a medical dungeon?) Also, the willpower spent, I would rule, requires a conscious choice on the part of the ghoul. This means the organ removed has to be one that doesn't kill the donor before they regain consciousness. So, a kidney or cornea, for example.

            Maximum yield would be a statistical question. Odds of succeeding at Stamina roll, plus odds of having and being willing to spend a willpower point, and odds of having sufficient blood to spend.

            I might, for body parts that are not easily visualized also require a Medicine roll on the part of the ghoul. Most ghouls can visualize what their hand should be like, but can they visualize their own liver? That said, once it's sitting in a cooler on ice, visualizing the organ gets much easier...

            I'm not sure about the use of vicissitude to create extra organs whole cloth which can survive outside the subject of vicissitude. On the one hand, it sure looks like a victim has undergone a permanent physical change, so, yes. On the other hand, appearances can be deceiving. Maybe vicissitude just edits the underlying life pattern (in mage terms) of a subject, and when tissue is removed, it loses those alterations. I would lean toward the "no" side. Otherwise, why isn't there a Vicissitude 2 power called, "Make Limitless Blood"?

            3. This depends greatly on the ST. In V20, Humanity is a Morality meter, not a measure of how human you are. So, the real question is how you arrange the harvesting and what the relationship is with the donor.

            If I, as a ghoul, could donate the same kidney over and over, with little chance of long-term health issues, and I got a fair cut of the profits... well, there are worse jobs out there.

            Blood bond and Dominate actually make it worse. Sure, the donor is less likely to put up a fight, but that's different from informed consent.

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            • #7
              I'll add one suggestion - if you Ghoul the recipient, you would decrease rejection issues. Possibly decreased further it the same Dominitor's vitae was in the organ and recipient.

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              • #8
                Illithid has a good suggestion but we can make it better. Ghoul donor AND recipient.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                  ​I guess its a matter of perspective. Would you assign the same to enforced hair cuts? That is a part of you that is chopped away and last I checked it took longer to regenerate than organs would. I think the "brutality" comes from the concept of the forced surgery and the recovery time, but if the subject is blood bonded they would do the surgery willingly and with regeneration it gets fixed rather quickly.
                  I would consider hair and organs to be part of someone in different aspects. Typically cutting hair doesn't cause pain, it isn't invasive (physically invasive, it might still be emotionally unenjoyable), and it isn't as vital to the person in question.
                  Intent comes into play if the person is blood bonded. Did the Kindred blood bond them with the intent of harvesting their organs or for ensuring their cooperation for nefarious ends? Then I'd be more willing to consider it especially heinous. If the person happened to be blood bonded when the scheme was devised and agreed, I'd be more considerate. If the person was non-blood bonded and just agreed? That, in and of itself, is probably fine overall.

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                  • #10
                    Keep in mind that, however healthy and compatible the Ghoul's organs are, they're being kept in a state of health and youth by vitae. Without it, a ghoul will age and degrade (to the point of death in the case of older or sickly ghouls). The organs of a Ghoul transplanted into a non-Ghoul, deprived of necessary vampire blood, may do the very same. I'll leave the specifics of how gruesome the results of that could be to your imagination.


                    What's with the penguin? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/borderland

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by g3taso View Post
                      Illithid has a good suggestion but we can make it better. Ghoul donor AND recipient.
                      The pretext of the entire thread was that the donor was a ghoul already. I didn't think that it needed to be mentioned

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