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While this might seem like a yes/no question, I believe that it isn't. It's a question about rule interpretation and the consequences of that interpretation.

Why I see this as an issue

In previous editions maintaining a ghoul was much more costly than it is in V5. p234

A Rouse Check’s worth of vitae bestows the following benefits to a mortal for approximately a month

This means that on average the hunger cost of maintaining a ghoul is 0.5 hunger a month.

A single human should be able to provide between 1 and 4 hunger worth of food in a month depending on how you want to count.

p190 says that herd 1 consists of 1-3 vessels. So if 1 vessel is ok then one person can give you 4 hunger in a month, if it is 3 vessels then each one gives you only 1.3 hunger a month.

Anyway it works out that a ghoul would always be able to give you more blood than you need to feed it, between 0.8 to 3.5 hunger net "profit" a month.

The only place I remember where feeding from ghouls is mentioned is under animalism on p246, but that is a famulus.

Question

How should the rules be interpreted to answer: Can a kindred feed from a ghoul? The answer would be better if it included practical experience of the consequences of the interpretation.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The edit in title kind of turned the question on it's head. One player seems to think that getting a Ghoul gets him an easy vessel to feed from, aka 1 dott in herd. \$\endgroup\$ – Marius Jan 9 '19 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Aha! Now I see what you mean. Changed. \$\endgroup\$ – Jadasc Jan 9 '19 at 15:12
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  1. There's no question in the mechanics about whether you can feed from a ghoul; a ghoul is a human, and humans are a vampire's natural source of vitae. You can absolutely do that.
  2. Can a ghoul be part of your Herd? No. Members of a Herd are Weak to Average mortals, less useful even than retainers (p.189), and a ghoul does not fit that mold. Your Herd are mortals upon which you feed. A ghoul would be a developed SPC whose fate has an impact on your own. This is a difference from earlier editions.
  3. Regularly feeding your vitae to a mortal induces the Blood Bond, which causes Stains on your Humanity that must be removed. Feeding on humans runs the risk of harming them, which could lead to violation of Convictions or Chronicle Tenets.
  4. Being a ghoul does not make you a better source of vitae, and being regularly fed upon arguably makes you a less effective agent or servant. At the least humane, it's like eating the leg off your guard dog. At most, it's like making your best friend a junkie and stealing his paycheck.

In sum: It is mathematically possible to feed regularly from a ghoul, and you won't go broke doing so. However, you'll be spending as many scenes on the consequences of feeding as you will on hunting, which leaves less time for other pursuits. It's kind of a wash that way, so outside of the white room, I don't recommend it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. One of my worries is that a ghoul can be treated as herd. So you pay background points to get a retainer ghoul, but can use it as a * herd in addition. \$\endgroup\$ – Marius Jan 9 '19 at 14:06

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