This will be the last post on my Ghostbusters RPG fan project for the remainder of the year.
Heheh. OK, I was being a little cheeky there but seriously folks, I am going to take a short break from discussing this game to work on a few other things related to my ideas for next year. My last post of 2021, which will come out later today, will go into a bit more detail about my plans for 2022.
For now, here is the other half of Combat; the opponent's half. How Ghosts battle Ghostbusters and a few other odds and ends...
A good deal of this was already covered in the previous post entitled Spates Catalog.
The two Attributes of a ghost are Ectoplasm and PKE. Ectoplasm functions as Hit Points or Bumps [for the Player Characters]. PKE serves as both a Defense Roll and as booster Action Dice to heighten a ghost's Supernatural Abilities.
When a ghost is blasted by the Particle Stream from a Neutrona Wand, the Ghostbuster weakens the entity causing it damage with a Blast Stream or try to capture it with a Capture Stream.
When a Ghostbuster uses a Blast Stream, roll your to hit with the appropriate Action Dice, adding one Die for a standard Proton Pack. The ghost rolls its PKE. If the Ghostbuster gets 1 more Success than the ghost you subtract 1 Ectoplasm from the ghost for that first Success. With additional Successes beyond the first, the PC can opt to cause more Ectoplasm Damage or PKE Damage.
A ghost with Zero Ectoplasm dissipates, its PKE scattered and its connection to our world temporarily severed. It has not been eliminated however. It can't be in a traditional sense. Instead, it will eventually reform and return to its previous activities in a matter of days, weeks, months, or even years (depending upon the nature of the ghost). The more powerful the entity, the longer it takes to manifest again as doing so requires the gathering of a greater amount of Psychokinetic Energy. With some deity-level beings it can also take specific conditions that can be helped along or hindered by actions taken by its followers or enemies in our world.
SPOILERS: See Gozer the Gozerian and what was needed to summon and drive it away in both Ghostbusters (1984) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.
A ghost with Zero PKE can not boost its Supernatural Abilities but more importantly has no Defense Roll to resist damage or capture. When you fire a Capture Stream, you roll your Proton Pack attack against the ghost's PKE. If you get more Successes than the ghost in this case, you 'lasso' it and another PC can go for a Blast, another Capture, or even drop a Ghost Trap. PKE is the ghost's power and it must be lowered to make capture possible. As long as the entity has PKE it can be rolled to resist things such as a Capture Stream or a Ghost Trap.
To capture a ghost in a Ghost Trap, the Ghostbusters must get twice as many Successes as the ghost does. If a Class V Free-Roaming Mist rolls 3 Successes, the PCs need 6 - 3 to counter the ghost's 3 and then 3 more to bag that sucker. This is why multiple Ghostbusters with multiple Capture Streams are helpful. You keep lowering the ghost's PKE and getting more Successes than it does making things a lot easier.
A ghost attacks by rolling its appropriate Supernatural Ability and getting more Successes than the target's Defense Successes (usually using Athletics or Technology as noted in the previous post).
The ghost may spend PKE to add Action Dice to its roll. This lowers their total PKE however. In the following round (Rounds explained -sort of- below). At the start of the next round the ghost automatically gets 1 PKE back. Now here's the new bit...heheheh
Along with their Action Dice, Player Characters roll Stress Dice if they have Stress on their character from getting spooked, almost being blasted off a roof, being on fire, etc. Action Dice are 6-Sided Dice where a '6' is a Success. Stress Dice are 6-Sided Dice where the '6' is a Success and a '1' is Panic. See Listen...Do You Smell Something? I use Stress Dice where the 1 is a Ghostbusters logo / 'No Ghost' symbol.
For Ghosts All Dice Are Stress Dice. That is, their version of Action Dice are the dice with the No Ghost symbol. Typically referred to as Ghost Dice, a 6 is a Success and a 1 gains them back 1 Die of PKE.
Example: The Ghostbusters have been called in to deal with 'Slammer', a Class V Full Roaming Non-Terminal Repeating Phantasm haunting a state run correctional facility. Mainly, the striped spook slams doors, rattles the bars of unoccupied cells, and makes the sounds of someone dragging a ball and chain. Nowadays he's causing serious trouble by throwing cell doors open, hiding guards' keys, and slamming his fists down on fire and escape alarms at random. What's gotten into him?
Slammer has a PKE of 9 and a Ectoplasm of 3. His primary Supernatural Abilities are Psychokinetic Slam 7 (used to slam doors and gates shut at a distance) and Physical Slam 5 (used to physically hit things with his over-sized hands). As two Ghostbusters chase him down a hallway he uses his Psychokinetic Slam to quickly shut a gate behind him so the PCs will run into it - hard! The GM decides Slammer will put 3 of his PKE into the attack. This would mean he rolls 10 Ghost Dice and is now at PKE 6.
The GM rolls: (I actually rolled): 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 2, No Ghost (1), and No Ghost (1).
Not a single Success! The PCs get to the gate before it slams and run full speed, shoulders first, throwing it back open with no damage to themselves.
Slammer's consolation prize is that he rolled two 1s and gains back two of the three PKE he spent. When the Ghostbusters open fire with their Particle Throwers he can defend himself with 8 PKE.
Oh yeah, how could I forget?
Any supernatural entity that is at least partially incorporeal - Generally Class III to VI and/or Intensity from Mist to Mass - can Slime an opponent. This usually occurs when the paranormal presence passes through the physical one, leaving behind Ectoplasmic Residue. Some ghosts also leave Ectoplasmic Residue on areas or objects effected by their Supernatural Abilities.
When a PC is Slimed the GM rolls a number of Ghost Dice equal to the ghosts Ectoplasm. For each 6 the ghost gets, subtract -1 Attribute Die from the Slimed individual but this doesn't count as 'damage' and never causes any lose of Bump. Instead, the victim of a Sliming just 'feels so funky': dazed, confused, and rather disoriented.
When a ghost Slimes a PC for 3 Success, that's 3 Attribute Dice deducted from the victim. In the following Round the PC gets one Die back. Then they get another Die in the Round after that, etc., until back to normal. Alternatively the PC can spend a Point/Die of Cool to shake off the effect in the Round following getting Slimed. You spend one Round feeling funky, spend 1 Cool per 3 Dice lost, and snap back to normal.
That's basically it. As you know, this is designed to be Rules Lite so there aren't a lot of hard rules and regulations beyond these. As a matter of fact, before I forget...
I have always found Rounds to be silly. How long is a Round? As long as it takes for each person and all active NPCs including the opponents to go once. That's a Round.
Who goes first? Simple, who started the fight? I feel like few Game Designers have been in real fights. Not Military Actions, that's totally different and not what most RPG fights are like anyway. When you are in the schoolyard talking smack, the person who throws the first punch went first. Sometimes it's you. Sometimes it's them.
I tend to run fights this way in the first Round, organically based on who started it. In the second and subsequent Rounds, the fastest person there goes first. Who is that? Well...it depends.
You could go with the person who has the highest Athletics or the supernatural entity with a lot of dice in a Supernatural Ability like Supernatural Speed or Quick Attacks. If 'Speedy' the ghost has Supernatural Speed at 6 Dice and the highest Athletics any of the Ghostbusters has is 4 [with not Signature or Additional Skill that helps], Speedy goes first.
In our Home Office campaign David Nelson has an Athletics of 5 and Robert 'Robbie' Stadler has a 4 but the two players (Dave Concepcion and William Corpening respectively) agreed that 'Robbie' is faster and more agile than Dave. The former is a ex US Marine; a big, burly man who moves like a tank. The latter is a former champion professional Surfer; slim, wiry, and agile. The rest of the players also agreed it just made sense that Robbie goes first unless up against a very fast ghost.
Who goes next? Taking a note for Marvel Heroic, we usually ask the last person who went who should go next. This allows the players to set up teamwork with each other. Sometimes I as GM will say, "before X goes, I want to check back in on Y who was trying to fix the buildings boiler and get the heat back on." After we make a roll or take an RP moment there we go to the next person - X - that was set up for an action.
Don't forget to include the ghost or ghosts when deciding who should go next. While they could end up going last, you don't always want that. They'll be at full PKE having not needed to use it for anything but defense.
Am I forgetting anything? Leaving anything out?
I hope not. Let me know if you have questions.
I must say - and it is very rare that I do this honestly - I am pretty proud of this series and the work I've done developing this iteration of my Ghostbusters fan kitbash RPG. Some of the last few posts have been a little disorganized compared to the earlier ones as I've been hurrying to get it down before year's end but I still think it all came out really good. I can't wait to run this, hopefully starting early next year.
With that, Happy New Year everyone!