Ghostbusters

Discussion in 'Gaming Resources' started by Dumarest, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    For anyone looking to replace her Ghost Die or equipment cards, here is a site that sells them. They also have links to PDFs of the original rulebook. I'm assuming it's legal since it's been up for a while and doing business.

    https://nerdyshow.com/ghostbusters/

    I got some extra Ghost Dice and equipment cards so my grubby players won't ruin my originals from the boxed set.
     
  2. Voros

    Voros Doomed Investigator

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    I got all the pdfs from another site I think. Would like to pick up the die and a hardcopy set sometime.
     
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  3. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    I also have a binder where I put printouts of the rules for use at the table. I handed out the "how to play" section, which is maybe 2 to 4 pages, to the players. Having the extra dice and equipment cards is a boon. Since Ghostbusters runs best with three to five 'busters, I have two Ghost Dice and a bunch of regular dice that can be passed around between them. I'm thinking about getting more Ghost Dice so everyone can have one in his hot little hand, ready to roll.

    So who wants to play Ghostbusters if I run it?
     
  4. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    Perfect timing. I was just getting ready to run this again, and my ghost die is long gone. I think the ghost symbol had pretty much been scratched off the die with time anyway.

    I've only run it before. I'd like to actually play the thing.
     
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  5. Trippy

    Trippy Active Member

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    I reconstructed an entire Ghostbusters set, with assistance from the nerdy show. It's pertinent as I'm actually due to run a one shot tomorrow afternoon. Any story ideas?
     
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  6. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    If this is a face-to-face game, just be sure to follow the games advice in of setting the franchise in the place you live now. If there is some local lore you can base your adventure on, that's a plus. I lived in Dayton, Ohio at the time, and I wish I had a resource like this back then.

    If you don't have a lot of prep time of if you truly live in a place devoid of ghostly lore, the most relatively mundane slimer bagging job is much more fun when the players are zapping a location they all know with their proton packs. When I was running the game in high school, if I had a week were I was feeling uninspired I could just have a spud zipping around the local mall, causing chaos, and it would make for an entertaining session. It's really freeing as a GM when everyone already intimately knows the location where things are happening.

    If you want to get a Ghostbusters feel, you don't need to go too overboard with silly situations to achieve comedy. By itself, there is nothing innately funny about the main plotline in Ghostbusters. The comedy comes from the "PCs" attitudes and the stereotypical New Yorker NPCs. If your players are genuinely on-board to play Ghostbuster, give them some room to be the funny ones. I think a lot of the published adventures went overboard in trying to include jokes, and it was actually stifling in letting comedy happen at the table. Remember, the funniest joke will always be something that the PCs say. You are always better setting up the PCs for a punchline than delivering it yourself.

    Make your NPCs funny, but in a real but heightened way. Once again, see if there is anything about the place you live that you can use. Ghostbusters New Yorkers are a good example, as are the Minnesotans of Fargo. Make your location as important to your campaign as New York was to Ghostbusters.

    Of course, a lot of this advice fall by the wayside if you are running a game online with players scattered across the country. The current Ghostbusters game that I am prepping is an online game, and I can't think of one place where all my players have lived. I think I will just pick a place that I know well. It won't have the ease of a common location, but I can at least give the game specificity.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with going completely against my advice and going for full cartoony silliness. Even I would go that way at times. I just found it was good to have a more grounded level of comedy as a baseline. Pure silliness all the time is hard to sustain.

    Yeah, I didn't give you any actual story ideas, but I hope that helps.
     
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  7. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    I was gonna answer but Baulderstone has you pretty well covered. My main suggestions would be:

    (1) Run it local because there's nothing more fun than destroying your town's convention center, ritzy hotel, opera house, or stadium.

    (2) If you can, use or modify local folklore--just Google your town's name plus "ghosts" and you might find something like I just did: https://www.hauntedrooms.com/top-11-haunted-places-san-diego-ca -- that's 11 potential adventures right there.

    (3) Don't try to make the situation funny. Just like the movie or even the cartoon the actual scenarios are utterly serious. The humor derives from the PCs and NPCs. Unless you just want pure goofiness, but oftentimes that undercuts the fun and doesn't feel like Ghostbusters. Gozer the Gozerian was a serious threat even if his avatar was a marshmallow man.

    (4) For your story, I have found starting with the location works best, then it seems easy to do figure out who or what is haunting and how to get rid of the problem. So, pick a sports arena, for instance. Okay, maybe the real bass player from a big rock group secretly died backstage and was replaced with a lookalike and now his ghost is terrorizing concerts in a plea for someone to expose the truth. How do we get rid of him? For your main bad guy, make sure proton packs and ghost traps aren't sufficient. Get a few clues together for your 'Busters to figure out what happened and once they are able to convince a reporter or someone the ghost will be appeased and rest in peace. For an example of "clues," Google "Faul McCartney." And if the 'Busters are having a hard time, just insert a fanboy or groupie who has some information that gently points them in the right direction. Maybe the groupie had an encounter with the real bass player one week and then the fake another week and realized something was off, things only an obsessive fan would notice. Just remember, only minor ghosts who are subplots should be simple zap-and-trap affairs. Others should require a little research and mystery solving in the vein of Call of Cthulhu, but nothing too hard or heavy. Also, when in doubt, swipe from Call of Cthulhu but make victory conditions a little easier.

    (5) Finally: make sure your players understand Brownie Points are there to be burned!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2018
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  8. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    Oh, almost forgot to mention, if you ever run a campaign, this works beautifully:
    (6) Don't be afraid to switch things up on your 'Busters. Every now and then, but rarely, make it turn out to be a Scooby-Doo "ghost," that is, a hoax or fraud. Your players may be befuddled at first as to why their sensory devices aren't registering a spectral presence, why their proton packs are just blowing holes in walls, why their usual research sources are shy of information...until they realize it was just Uncle Bob rigging up lights and sounds to scare his relatives off the mansion grounds to ensure that only he spends the weekend there and thus, per the terms of the will of John Hastings Klondike, only Uncle Bob inherits the Klondike Estate.
     
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  9. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    Dang it, you guys, you are giving me RADD (referee attention deficit disorder)...I read these posts and then I start thinking about running this game instead of that one.

    I don't know if I'd be able to rig up an online audio/video Ghostbusters game, but I could try a play-by-post...my main concern is that we'd lose most of the humor that arises spontaneously at the table. Plus play-by-post would move pretty slow, almost like we're already slimed...
    hqdefault.jpg
     
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  10. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    Well, if Dumarest is going to add a follow-up post, so am I.

    One thing that the movie did perfectly was capture '70s style parapsychology. It was a weird time, and there was a lot of academic effort put into taking the supernatural seriously. As a child of that era, I read a lot of that stuff, and the dialogue of Egon and Winston captures it in all its ridiculous deadpan seriousness.

    If you aren't already versed in this kind of talk, look for book on the supernatural from that era. Duke University had one of the largest parapsychology departments, so if a book cites Duke, it is a good sign that it is exactly what you are looking for. Make the supernatural so serious that it become ridiculous.

    Another thing: Feel free to give the game some creepy and scary moments. It's easy to forget after a 1000 viewings, but the librarian scene and some of the events n Dana's apartment were actually pretty spooky the first time I saw the movie.
     
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  11. Shipyard Locked

    Shipyard Locked Legendary Member

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    Ooh, that's a good acronym, I'mma steal it! :evil:
     
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  12. Voros

    Voros Doomed Investigator

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  13. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    That's what I'm here for: CATSUP (creating acronyms that serve useless purposes)
     
  14. The Butcher

    The Butcher Justice Ranger

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    The disease of the age, it seems. Or at least of the Pub. We should start a support group. And game with them.
     
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  15. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    A support group for RADD seems counter-productive. I'd tell everyone the spur of the moment ideas that were derailing me, and they would derail everyone else, then they would get up and do the same to me. We'd all show up with a few distracting ideas and leave with a dozen.
     
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  16. Trippy

    Trippy Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice, guys!

    We will be local - but it's New Zealand! Indeed, I actually have an official certificate printed saying we are the New Zealand Ghostbusters outlet. I think the advice about show the comedy 'works' (ie player driven) is something I'll advise the players of, and a Scooby Doo hoax is something I can run in a snitch. Basically, I'm going to snatch a Cthulhu scenario involving a local art gallery/museum, and build it up as straight as I can, but with the monster replaced by a hoax in the end. Only after then, it might not be. We'll see how it goes.
     
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  17. Endless Flight

    Endless Flight Mischievous Member Administrator Moderator

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    At the end of the session don’t forget to play the theme song by the legendary Ray Parker, Jr. :grin:
     
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  18. Dumarest

    Dumarest ¡Californio y vaquero!

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    Why stop with just one Ray Parker Jr. tune?
    MI0002106604.jpg
    (I guess no one involved in the album sleeve design realized this jacket actually advocates against Mr. Parker. I got my copy for 10 cents at a record store that was purging its vinyl stock.)
     
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  19. Baulderstone

    Baulderstone Legendary Member

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    Cool. If I were to make a list of movies other than Ghostbusters to watch before running this, I would put The Frighteners on there.

    Sounds good.

    Just because the comedy should be player-driven doesn't mean you can't help them. Half of comedy is having a good straight man. Give them NPCs that are self-serious or eccentric enough that the players have something to riff off of.

    Alternately, play them this Neil Cicierega remix to frustrate and confuse them.
     
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