Ghouls or post-necrotic humans are decrepit, rotting, zombie-like mutants. They are victims of heavy radiation poisoning which erodes their skin and, paradoxically, greatly extends their life. Ghouls are a byproduct of the Great War's (2077/1265) radiation and are still alive in 2281 (1469). All ghouls live considerably longer than normal humans, though they are sterile. The reason for this longevity has to do with differences on the cellular level, and the ability of ghoul DNA to regenerate at a rate unmatched by normal human nucleic acids. Occasionally, in a ghoul, additional genetic material is added as a result of the mutation. Intelligent ghouls have suffered far less mental degradation from their condition and retain their full faculties from before their transformation. These ghouls possess the ability to talk, and they normally wear clothing, as well as carrying and using weapons. The majority of them are not hostile and will not attack without provocation. Ghouls often refer to humans and non-ghoul sentient as "smoothskins," but also find terms such as "shuffler" and "zombie" to be offensive.