V20 Ghouls Outline Panel Recap

Inspired by Justin Achilli’s live outline discussion at Atlanta by Night for the V20 Anarchs Unbound supplement, I thought it might be kind of cool to run something similar at LA by Night. Rich and I decided that the Ghouls book would be a perfect topic for this since there is a lot of information about Ghouls (and Revenants) spread across many different supplements over the years and a lot of VtM fans (like me) have cool stories to tell about these types of characters.

While there is a small section in the V20 core on ghouls I thought this was definitely an area that could be expanded upon and fleshed out quite a bit. What their role in Kindred society is, how they deal with the different Clans, the challenges of being addicted to a monster, and the horror of slowing losing one’s Humanity while still being a human of flesh and blood. Renfield from Dracula could be considered an example of a ghoul who has been destroyed mentally and physically, yet still desperately wants to return to his master.

Revenants, of course, offer up their own stories of monstrous potential. They are not vampires, nor mortals, yet they are not Ghouls in the traditional sense either. Several Revenant families were written up in the V20 core, while others only got a one sentence description in the “Other” category. I’m hoping to have a write up for those lines as well in this book.

So, when I pitched this book I had a pretty good idea of the concepts and story elements I wanted to cover. I had plenty of resources along the lines of Ghouls: Fatal Addiction, Guide to the Sabbat, the Transylvania Chronicles, Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand, and even Clanbooks such as Tzimisce and Giovanni.

Just because I had lots of information and ideas of my own did not mean I was closed to other suggestions. The Open Development process has been a boon to the V20 line and I was excited to hear what other folks might want from this book. So, LA by Night was a perfect opportunity for an outline panel. What follows is the raw mindmap I created during the discussion. It has the heart of the outline, plus a few tangents that came up during the discussion that I’ll likely bring up for more debate with the writers I bring on the project. Naturally not everything on the mindmap will make it to the final book and we may discover other topics that need word count along the way. Just click the image for a larger view.

    There was some lively debate on a few of the above elements and will likely continue to be more as the book gets further into the development process. Note that not everything is fully fleshed out as of yet and some of the above are simply potential ideas…so I won’t yet be able to go into ultra specific details for each and every thing on the map.

    The next steps will be creating an actual working outline and assigning sections of the book to freelancers. We’ll likely have more blog posts about specific sections of the book in the months to come.

    I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on the mindmap and what you’d like to see in the Ghouls book. Also feel free to suggest other media that has interesting examples of ghoul-like characters the writing team can look to for inspiration.

    21 thoughts on “V20 Ghouls Outline Panel Recap”

    1. Great work! Hey, I’ll just add that Mexico City by Nights brings what we could consider “ghoul plants”. Just check pages 57-58, the Caridad de Flores section. So, any chance “ghoul plants” receive some kind of treatment?

    2. Sounds awesome. Looking forward to this. Will this be a kickstarter or straight-published as it were. I havent seen anything mentioned on this, so I think kinda means published, but just wanted to be sure I did not miss out!

      Also, random source of inspiration… Blade movie series (and comics Im sure, but havent read), first 1 in particular… the guy that the vampire virus failed to turn completely is like a neat ghoul-like creature. I believe he was played by this guy: Tim Guinee (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0347375/?ref_=tt_cl_t10) who played Curtis Webb in the movie.

    3. I Love this idea. I’ve always loved Revenant family’s but wish I could have more info on them. I liked that it was hinted that the Giovanni and a few other clans created their own bloodlines of Revanant houses but it was always frustrating ghouls never had a second book to gather them all together in one book with more info on them all. Plus I’m sure there could’ve been more in the earlier history of the night…

    4. Grimaldi defection???

      Yeah read about this in Ghouls fatal addcition, probably went up and did it and under Ventrue control as they had planned.(probably took a lot of info on the sabbat with them and fucked the sabbat over economically too big time as the grimaldi were the ones handling most of the finances of the sabbat.).

      Matt got more info on this?

        • Very nice, if they succeed in defecting, then the safest place to be is the Cam or maybe the Giovanni.

          If they fail, well the lucky ones will probably be dead. Otherwise even though they fail, bet a few or some will be able to escape to the Cammies or anyone else and plot a future revenge.

    5. Cammies fighting war ghouls, using either their mortal contacts or ghoul servants with superior firepower will bring down the sabbat war ghousl, as for the vozhd, a good RPG-7 round or several .50 cals on them will bring down the creatures.

        • The Cam can probably dress it up as either a particularly bad gang violence, accidentally gas main explosion, a police/FBI/homeland security raid on terrorists etc.

          Of course if the Cam is not able to disguise it, then it will attract the Technocracy who will probably send it their MIBs.

    6. Matt question, will there be more revenant families not listed in the previous sourcebooks.

      Another obscure revenant line is the Dhabi, a Baali revenant family, I think they are mentioned in the Baali book.

    7. There are a lot thing i want to know about ghouls ….
      Like if there is a some kind of bond for the vampire that keep him to let die his ghoul, or if the immortal can make as many ghouls as he wish … ?

    8. I know with the advent of V20, we’ve move away from the different elements of the end times metaplot. But V20 includes the 14th & 15th gen flaws, and thin blooded as well. Finding space in this book alongside the traditional ghoul and the revenant for the dhampir seems natural. Failing to do so cuts out one of the most unique elements from Revised edition, the innocent perspective on the Kindred brought into play by their “impossible” children.


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