Sunday, October 16, 2022

Spooks, Spectres, and Ghosts

In the spirit of Halloween and the 'Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed' Video Game (Out Today!), I thought I would scare up some uninvited ghasts to haunt your humorous horror campaigns. While these creepy characters were unearthed for my own Ghostbusters RPG (a real Frankenstein's Monster you could say), they can also fit frightfully easily into games like Chill, Stalking The Night Fantastic, and others of a similar shade.

For explanations of the various statistics, mechanics, and rules regarding supernatural scoundrels in my Ghostbusters games, see the prior posts Tobin's Spirit Guide, Spates Catalog, Spook Central, and Where You From? Originally as well as others under the tag Ghostbusters

Enjoy! Muhuwahaha! 

[ Most of the ectoplasmic entities here do not have clean and simple Classifications, Descriptions, and/or Intensities. I purposely chose Ghosts that push against the rules I've already established or - more accurately - expand on them and what a Ghost can be and do. 

The world's greatest paranormal investigation and elimination company is constantly studying, learning, categorizing, and recategorizing the supernatural. Even a die-hard believer like Ray Stantz or a certified genius like Egon Spengler don't know all there is to know about Ghosts and wouldn't claim to. The field of parapsychology is always expanding. Don't be afraid to disagree with the CDI classifications below and to provide different or even new classifications of your own.]


AKA: Sparks, The Woods Point Power Plant Ghost
CDI : Focused, Non-Terminal, Repeating Phantasm or Class V Full Roaming Vapor

The Ghost of the electrical power plant at Woods Point in North Western Pennsylvania was first encountered by the Ghostbusters Inc. franchise in Philadelphia when the group was called in to investigate unexplained power grid malfunctions affecting several nearby townships. Following cascading black-outs attributed to this entity, GB Philly was able to capture and contain it. Unfortunately, an unrelated, power failure a year later disrupted the Philadelphia team's Containment Unit allowing several Ghosts to escape, including 'Sparky'.

Sparky is dedicated to absorbing electricity from the Power Plant's turbines again and again. With the energy he absorbs, ol' Sparks zips around the facilities, fires off bolts of electricity, and shorts out technology and equipment across the site of the plant. Sparky usually avoids damaging the machinery that generates the power in the first place but he is not particularly careful or precise. He seems happy when charged up and melancholy when 'out of power'. 

The Woods Point Ghost's abilities are keyed to its power of Absorbing Electricity. For every Success it gets with an Absorb Electricity roll, it may add 1D to its starting PKE of 9 or its starting Ectoplasm of 3. Sparky's PKE may not exceed 12 and Ectoplasm maxes at 9. Each time Sparks Discharges Electricity or Short Circuits something, its PKE or Ectoplasm drops by 1 until it goes back to its starter numbers. Its Slime Shock doesn't drain a charge the same way. 

When Sparky passes through objects and people it delivers a Shock as well as Sliming them. Check out the Sliming rules from I Feel So Funky, with the additional effect of an electric Shock causing an additional -1D directly toward Athletics. Remember that a Ghost's Sliming roll is based on its Ectoplasm. As the Phantasm's Absorb Electricity can increase its Ectoplasm, it has the side effects of bumping up the Shock Slime ability. While the Slimed condition lessens one dice with each Round that follows, the -1D from Shock Slime lasts but a single round. 

Sparky may seem pretty powerful (at least potentially) for a Class V and in some ways it is but it also has a number of weaknesses and limitations. Anything that would ground or insulate an object or person from electric shock will take only Half Damage or Half Effect from Sparky's abilities. Dosing Sparky with Water (using a hose, caught in the rain, etc.) will cause it to lose its charge, dropping 1 Die from PKE with each Success on a Technology, Athletics, or other situation appropriate roll depending on the method used to get Sparky wet. If Sparks is at his starting numbers, getting wet causes him Ectoplasm damage as noted in the Combat rules for Ghosts (again see I Feel So Funky). 

Wacky Jack

AKA: The Wackyland Carnival Phantom, Wacky the Clown
CDI: Unfocused, Non-Terminal, Re-Repeating Phantom or a Class V Free Roaming Fog

Known for its disconcerting laugh and engulfing people in Cotton Candy, the Wackyland Carnival Phantom is quite the problematic poltergeist. A unique form of Free Repeater dubbed a 'Re-Repeater', the Wackland Carnival Company has been out of business for over 70 years and this ghost still pops up again and again. Wacky Jack has been defeated and captured more than a few times. Hopefully its next appearance will be its last.

When the Wackyland Carnival Company went out of business in the early 1950s, its assets, financial and physical, were auctioned off. Now, various bits and pieces of the Wackyland Carnival are scattered across the USA; some are in the possession of state fairs, some circuses, others are in museums, private collectors had a couple, and one was with a movie studio prop department in LA. Anywhere one of these items is located is a potential spawning point for the entity called 'Wacky Jack'.

For reasons unknown at this time, each of these items is saturated with enough negative PKE energy to allow Wacky Jack to form under the right conditions. The exact conditions are unclear but seemingly related to unsavory business practices; embezzlement, unsafe rides and attractions, connections to organized crime, etc. When these are present in the same place as a Wackyland artifact, it is very likely that Wacky Jack will appear. 

Once it appears, it proceeds to grow in size and power slowly as it's Ectoplasmic form terrorizes people nearby. In addition to looking hideous and eerie, it uses its Disembodied Laughter to further frighten and confuse its victims. Those within hearing range add 1 to their current Stress for each of the Ghost's Successes when Wacky Jack's horrible cackle rings through the fairgrounds. Another ability of this Phantom is that it can merge its ectoplasm with taffy, cotton candy, cake frosting, and other sugary substances enabling it to envelope and suffocate people in the material. Drowning in buttercream does not look good on a death certificate, so be warned!

Finally, Wacky Jack can summon forth Class III Vapors to serve as minions who generally treat Wacky as the head clown of a troupe. While usually white in color, they can appear in different hues based on incorporated cotton candy, taffy, other sweets, clowns, and the vibrant costumes of trapeze artists. 

The Fall Bearer

AKA: The Ghost of Rottinghume Manor, Mr. Carver, Rupert
CDI: Unfocused, Non-Terminal, Conditional Spectre or a Class IV, Full-Torso, Full Roaming, Flexible Mass.

The Fall Bearer is a frightening looking though benign paranormal presence haunting Rottinghume Manor and the surrounding estate in the Hudson River Valley of New York State, not far from Tarrytown and the famous Sleep Hollow. Rupert, as his close associates call him, has aided the Ghostbusters Home Office on more than one occasion, providing information and insight into other, far more hostile and dangerous supernatural beings. Ray Stantz refers to him as a 'Spectral Informant', while Peter Venkman has called him a 'Supernatural Snitch'. 

The Fall Bearer begins to appear every year on the first day of Autumn, is physically substantial by Halloween, and fades once more by the end of Fall and onset of Winter. The Ghost moves about the mansion and grounds freely, though he can not leave them. While he usually avoids the gaze of curious onlookers, Rupert will gladly step out of the shadows to greet children or any member of Ghostbusters Inc. For these folk he is more than happy to put on tea (its origins questionable), scrounge up some biscuits (likewise) and share stories or even help solve a mystery. He is personable, with a warm, light hearted nature, though often enjoys morbid puns and gallows humor. 

The Ghost of Rupert Seedles Rottinghume (Born Sept. 1887 - Died November 1987), a wealthy philanthropist and entrepreneur of the 1920s, he lost much (but not all) of his considerable fortune in the stock market crash that lead to The Great Depression. Rupert dedicated his life afterward to charitable endeavors, including throwing a lavish annual 'Autumn Harvest Festival' at his estate every Halloween and inviting locale families and children from nearby orphanages to participate free of charge, much to the dismay of his family who felt he was squandering their already depleted inheritance. Rottinghume ignored them, finding happiness and purpose in his endeavors until his death of natural causes at the age of 100. 

Rupert generally prefers to avoid conflict by simply disappearing when threatened. He can and will act to protect the Manor, kids, and those who have in turn treated him well and/or tried to defend him. His primary abilities involve Animating or Possessing things associated with 'Autumn'. Examples include piles of fallen leaves, scarecrows, a well cooked Thanksgiving turkey, or pumpkins (carved or otherwise). Rupert can also disappear and reappear anywhere on the estate or within the mansion instantly. Finally, he can take on a far more Terrifying Visage, frightening away targets rather than having to engage them.  

The most remarkable thing about Rupert is his knowledge of the paranormal and his willingness to share what he's learned with the Ghostbusters. Beyond the extensive collection of Occult literature in the Manor's library, much of the Rottinghume Ghost's knowledge seems to stem from personal conversations with other supernatural beings. Intelligent, personable, and well versed in proper etiquette, it seems Rupert's most impressive ability is making pleasant small-talk with the beings of the great beyond. 

I had originally intended on doing about 5-7 Ghosts but just these 3 took me almost five days. I am just so tired from work lately I can't dedicate sufficient time and energy to my blog and its driving me crazy. *Sigh*

I hope you liked these and if you did please let me know if you'd be interested in seeing more stuff like this in the future. Until then...don't be afraid of no ghosts!

Barking Alien

All art made with Midjourney AI and then further modified in Photostudio by me. 

Special thanks to my friends Joseph Cangelosi, Paul Ferris, Tom Reed, and Esmeralda Vazquez who helped name The Fall Bearer/Rupert Seedles Rottinghume/Mr. Carver.

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