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Independent Game Forums => lumpley games => Topic started by: Mayuran on November 01, 2005, 09:42:50 PM

Title: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: Mayuran on November 01, 2005, 09:42:50 PM
Hey folks -

Have any of you included ghost NPCs in a town?

let's say a dead character's spirit visits the Dogs with information, or a spirit needs to be put to rest? (the "putting to rest" would be something the Players decide to do).

assuming they are created as normal, with the proto-NPC rules, what are the limitations?  they just can't escalate in the same way?  does it hurt the players' options somehow - or must they be able to affect the Ghost in the same way that they can hurt a living NPC?

I'm looking for examples from your games of if it's been done, how, and if it's been succesful and well received.

The alternative in my head is to include it and have it be "color" and let the "let's exorcise the ghost / put it to rest" be a conflict between the demonic influence in the town and the Dogs.



Title: Re: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: lumpley on November 02, 2005, 03:53:01 AM
Create a town with a ghost in it and post it!


Title: Re: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: Clinton R. Nixon on November 02, 2005, 06:48:32 AM
Hey folks -

Have any of you included ghost NPCs in a town?

Yep, I have! In one town, I had the ghost of a murdered girl be very prevalent. In that game, I had one PC who often saw supernatural things - ghosts, demons, and signs - and two others that did not. The ghost only appeared to him. (He got this power after having his left eye splashed with laudanum.)

Double-super-cool: when he tried to put her to rest, the demons that had permeated the town tried to take her soul. He stopped them by putting his own soul in the balance, and fighting them for mastery. While he sustained a lot of damage - the funeral home caught aflame and he was seriously hurt - he defeated them and she made her way to heaven.

So, yeah, ghosts are cool.

Title: Re: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: Brendan on November 03, 2005, 01:49:37 PM
Here's one take on a town with a ghost.  I'll post more in Actual Play when I get a chance to play it.

Bootblack Ridge

Pride:  White Hazel, a Mountain Person, is converted to the Faith by the Steward, Brother Boaz.  She buys a little house in the town with a loan from him and sets up shop as a tanner.  Boaz's wife, Sister Eliphal, becomes jealous of all the attention Boaz is giving this woman.

Sister Clemence hears voices, but they don't make her ashamed or afraid; she understands that they're the souls of the recently deceased, whispering to her the things they wish they could have said, and asking for her prayers.  She knows it's a gift from the King of Life.

Injustice:  The townspeople refuse to accept a Mountain Person as just another parishioner--their excuse being that she's doing men's work.  Sister Eliphal begins refusing Boaz their marriage bed.  He's confused and hurt, but hopes she'll come out of this phase soon, and doesn't force himself on her.  This goes on for months, during which Sister Clemence begins holding secret sessions with the recently bereaved, relaying messages from the voices.  Many of those messages aren't what the widowed or orphaned want to hear.

Sin:  Eliphal begins sleeping with Brother Nahum, a widower who owns the dry goods store.  When she's two weeks late for her period, she shows up at Sister Hazel's door in desperation and persuades her to mix a Mountain Person herbal remedy for her "condition."  Hazel hesitates but agrees; isn't this the Steward's wife, after all?  The remedy makes Eliphal sick, but her monthly courses resume shortly thereafter.  When her sixteen-year-old engaged cousin, Sister Leah, has a similar problem, Eliphal recommends Hazel.

Demonic Attacks:  Sister Clemence begins to hear different voices--voices that sound like crying babies.

False Doctrine:  Eliphal digs up an old rumor--that the Mountain People are specially chosen by the King of Life--and twists it into a doctrine that Hazel's remedies are equivalent to sacraments.  The women of the town are eager to accept, and Hazel is soon much more popular.  Extramarital and premarital sex become increasingly common (but still secret).

Clemence has a fit and begins speaking in tongues in the middle of worship.  The congregation, many of whom are primed by the idea that she has holy gifts, is awed by this display.  When Clemence comes out of it, she tells them that the King has spoken to her, and that she is to use her special hearing to root out the murder of children in the town.

Corrupt Worship:  Walking by Sister Leah's family home, Clemence hears a surge in the crying-baby voices.  She corners Leah inside and accuses her of abortion.  Leah tearfully confesses, but won't say who helped her.  Clemence drags Leah out into the town square and beats her with a switch in full public view; the men are reluctant to interfere with "women's business," and most of the women are afraid of being accused next.  Leah finally gives up Hazel's name.

False Priesthood:  Leah's betrothed, Brother Silas--who never slept with Leah--and Clemence's brother, Tabor, get their guns and follow Clemence to Hazel's little house.  When they arrive, Steward Boaz is standing in front of the door.  Clemence orders him out of the way, and he orders her to stand down.  Silas steps forward with his shotgun up; he and Boaz wrestle, and in the struggle, someone fires the gun into Clemence's belly.  The pellets make a mess of her from the waist down.

Sorcery:  The men carry Clemence into the house of Brother Levi, the barber--he's the closest thing they have to a doctor.  He amputates her legs in an attempt to save her body, but  when he tries to sew her torso together she won't stop bleeding.  She never cries out.  He gives up, but she just won't die.  She keeps lying there silently, staring at the ceiling, soaking through every bandage they've got.

The next morning, every woman in town--even those too young or old to have had abortions--stays in bed exactly like her, unable to move or speak, growing paler and colder by the hour.

Hate and Murder:  Silas and his friends pass around a jug of grain alcohol and work themselves up into the belief that Hazel's a witch, and this is all her work.  When they go back to her house, they find the Steward asleep in a chair on her porch, and this time they shoot him dead.  Inside, they find that Hazel has packed up and run in the night.  They dump the Steward's body in a shallow grave up on the Ridge.  Silas tells everyone that Boaz has followed Hazel out of town, and declares himself acting Steward

This is the town the Dogs find:  Silas is in charge, and claims to be receiving instruction from Clemence via prayer.  The rest of his gang are acting as his enforcers.  The women are close to lifeless; only someone with righteous vision will see a bloated, fanged baby sucking the life from each of their necks.  Standing on the road into town, equally invisible, are Brother Boaz and all the souls who ever spoke to Clemence.

What The People Want

Sister Eliphal wants the Dogs to expunge the demon-babies, kill Clemence, execute Silas, marry her to Nahul, and leave; she knows her doctrine won't stand up to investigation.

Sister Leah wants the Dogs to expunge the demon-babies and kill Clemence, but still drag all the women who had abortions into the light; she wants them all to share her punishment.

Sister Clemence wants the Dogs to acknowledge her actions as justice and find and kill Hazel, then get out or die--given enough time, she'll take enough strength from the women to possess another body and abandon her ruined shell.

Brother Boaz wants the Dogs to kill Clemence, give Hazel penance and absolve her, and ask Eliphal's forgiveness for his sleeping with Leah.  He still loves his wife.  He also wants them to mark his grave and give him a proper funeral, and throw Silas in jail.

Sister Hazel, hiding in a small cave up on Bootblack Ridge, wants the Dogs to take her with them.  She's had enough of this town.

Brother Silas wants the Dogs to name him Steward and ride right on out.  He no longer cares if Leah survives.

Brother Nahum the store owner, now part of Silas's gang, wants the Dogs to track down and kill Hazel, whom he still believes is causing the women's affliction.  When that's done, he wants the Dogs to marry him to Eliphal.

Brother Tabor is now thoroughly horrified by Clemence's half-life, and is staying in the gang only out of fear.  He wants the Dogs to kill her.  Kill Hazel.  Kill Silas.  Hell, kill everyone in this town, they're all marked!

Brother Levi wants the Dogs to free his young daughter, then give him the deed to Hazel's abandoned house.  He's never going to get all this blood out of the floorboards.

What the Demons Want

The Demons want Boaz out of the way, first and foremost, either exorcised or bound to earth.  They want Hazel dragged back to town and burned; if the rest of the town can be persuaded to hate her intensely enough, it'll give Clemence the strength to start possessing them directly.  On the other hand, if they can get the Dogs to make a spectacle of Clemence's death, they'll be happy with that mass hatred as well, and work through Silas instead.

What Would Happen if the Dogs Never Came

Silas isn't skilled enough to track down Hazel, but while he tried Clemence would drain enough life from the women to banish Boaz and take permanent control.  Tabor would shoot Clemence in the head, but she'd already be in Eliphal's body.  Silas would kill Tabor.  Clemence-in-Eliphal would kill Silas.  Silas's gang would try to kill Eliphal, and the women in her thrall would take up guns against them.  Blood and fire.

Title: Re: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: Neal on November 03, 2005, 02:55:19 PM
Okay, Brendan, first let me say "I love this town."  Second, and consequently, consider it "yoinked."

Third, I'm glad you included the little blurb beginning "This is the town the Dogs find..."  I had to do that with the first town I ran, just to keep my thoughts clear and the flow of events straight.  I'm going to have to do it with my second town, too; a lot of NPCs there, with a lot of demands on the Dogs.  I just called my section "As Things Stand Now..." (I also used that section for a little color text which I ended up discarding when the Dogs got distracted by a Shiny Thing)

Anyway, congrats on the town.  I'll be interested in seeing how it plays.

Title: Re: [DitV] Ghosts!
Post by: Brendan on November 04, 2005, 06:27:05 AM
I just followed the rules, Neal, but thanks for your kind words.  If you do run it, I'll be very interested to compare our groups' actual play.