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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 88 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: [Ghosthunters] Is my Premise viable?  (Read 1473 times)
14thWarrior
Member

Posts: 37


« on: March 01, 2006, 02:04:49 PM »

Ghosthunters is my labor of love (or perhaps frustration :D ); I've been working on it for over a decade.  I've always wanted to do a game in homage to the movies Ghostbuster and Ghostbusters 2.  For the last decade or more, most of my efforts have revolved around plugging a modified Ghostbuster setting into various 'generic' systems, with little real progress being made.  Tecently, all this has changed.  Once I decided to take a serious look at the articles on The Forge, in particular relating to GNS and other theory, my ideas for Ghosthunters have been coming together better than ever; so well, in fact, that I think I might actually end up with a complete (or at least playable) game in the near future (near future for me being the next year or two).

One thing has remained constant throughout; the setting is intended to be a pastiche of the Ghostbusters movies.  What has changed, and only recently, is that I want the game to be more than just a pastiche; I want it to have some kind of hook that really makes people want ot play it over and over.

I'm still learning the theory, but I think I'm starting to come to terms with some of the modes of play as they relate to how I hope to build Ghosthunters.  I'm wanting to build it as a narrativist game.  The setting is fairly easily explained to people, which will help me focus on Premise and developing a system by which the players can address that premise.  The big challenge for me is in developing a viable Premise for the game without completely messing up the setting and feel that I'm trying to achieve.

I expect that, ultimately, Ghosthunters is a game that will have several Premises, depending on the type of 'manifestation' (or more generally, antagonist) at the centre of each situation.  But a common Premise, which would likely fit the confrontation of a spiritual entity/ghost (all real world science notwithstanding) might be "is it right to simply trap a spirit and contain it, to appease the living"?  Keeping in mind that the setting is about a bunch of people hired to eliminate said phenomena; it's not a question of "do we tra pthe ghost or jsut leave it there?".  The internal conflict becomes whether trapping is acceptable, or whether its more important to help the spirits resolve their issues and transition to whatever other dimension/realm exists.  It's not

I'm sure that the Premise would shift for other types of manifestations, such as werewolves, vampires, deities, and the like; but for the time being, addressing ghosts only, is this a viable Premise for such a game?
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Leo M. Lalande
TonyLB
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Posts: 3702


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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2006, 02:09:20 PM »

Well, is the game always more interesting if they choose the "help the ghost resolve its issues" path?  It sort of sounds like it might be.

If so, you've sort of already answered that question for the players.  That could be problematic.  But, if you recognize that they're always going to be helping the spirits then you can probably find another premise in there.

If both ways are interesting, how are they differently interesting?
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The_Tim
Member

Posts: 31

Armchair Game Theorist


« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2006, 02:36:11 PM »

What your premise made me think of is: How much of a right to exist do pests have?  Does it depend on how much of a pest they are?  Is the fact some asshole is paying us enough justification for trapping a being that feels, needs, etc?

I think you're in the right neighborhood.
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14thWarrior
Member

Posts: 37


« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 05:28:04 AM »

Quote
How much of a right to exist do pests have?  Does it depend on how much of a pest they are?  Is the fact some asshole is paying us enough justification for trapping a being that feels, needs, etc?
i think this really focuses and explains a part of the premise; or at least one aspect of it?  Spirits would come in all flavors, good and bad; the group would have to decide how to deal with each individual case.  Do they just get it over with, and trap the thing, do they attempt to destroy it, or do they try to 'release' it (helping it move into the other realm)?

Quote
Well, is the game always more interesting if they choose the "help the ghost resolve its issues" path?  It sort of sounds like it might be.
You may well be right about that.  There may be situations where the moral dilemma will promote good play on this premise alone, but I suspect that many cases are going to be such that the group will overwhelmingly choose one course over the other.  Perhaps it may simply be a matter of developing a structured method of designing a 'manifestation' that helps build the moral dilemma, and forces the players into having to think about the ramifications of what they're doing.

I can't help but wonder if my goals for this game are conflicting. I've openly admitted that I want the game to evoke the feel and setting of the Ghostbusters movies; so perhaps I'm really just trying to shoehorn Narrativist elements into what really should be a Simulationist game, under the false impression that it will be a better game as a Narrativist game.
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Leo M. Lalande
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