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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 64 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Is this ghost too much?  (Read 1576 times)
Michael Hopcroft
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« on: August 27, 2002, 04:50:53 PM »

I was just testing out the ghost-generation system for the upcoming Ghost Tamer Miyaki sourcebook and came up with something that frightens even me. I was wondering what some of the veterans think.

Quote
Sample Ghost: Little Kyoko-chan

Attributes: (Two free levels: four taken, balanced by fault)
Mind: Superb (+3)
Willpower: Good (+1)
Cool: Fair (0)

Skills (30 free levels: 24 taken; one less Fault taken)
Brawling: Superb (+5)
Use Possession Power: Superb (+5)
Use Telekinesis Power: Superb (+5)
Use Spirit-Writing Power: Superb (+5)
Singing: Great (+4)

Gifts: (Two free: two taken)
Perfect Memory
Animal empathy

Flaws: (five taken)
Completely free of any trace of conscience
Troubled Dead
Possession Restrictions (see above)
Ghost
Intense hatred of happy families

Supernormal Powers (two free: four taken)
Possession: Can possess one living person at will.
Telekinesis: Can move objects with her mind weighing up to 50 kilograms; objects must be within her line of sight
Spirit-Writing: Can write messages in blood on any surface within her line of sight
Invisibility to Mortals: Mortals who do not have any power that allows them to See Ghosts cannot see Kyoko-chan. She is still visible to other ghosts.

Background:
Kyoko Watanabe was born in 1937 in Kagerosaki to wealthy parents who gave her everything she could ever want. Then World War Two struck Kagerosaki hard; American bombers incinerated much of the city and cut off the city from its food supplies. With too many mouths to feed, Kyoko (as a female too young to be of marriageable age) was declared expendable by her father, who decided to spare her the miseries of war by putting a pistol bullet through her head.
Although her body was destroyed, Kyoko’s spirit stayed on the Earthly plane, screaming for vengeance. It took her ghost some time to master its new state of being, during which time the war came to a close. The Watanabe family recovered nicely, regaining much of its former wealth and becoming a force in rebuilding Kagerosaki. That was when the terrors began – writings on the walls, books and tables that moved themselves, mysterious cries in the night from the Watanabe mansion. Kyoko’s father was driven utterly mad, killing the rest of his family then himself in a crime that horrified a Kagerosaki that has been unaware of his earlier atrocities.
Still, Kyoko’s superhuman lust for revenge was not satisfied. She began haunting random people in Kagerosaki, an activity she continues to this day. She hates families that appear to be happy and takes a special joy in destroying them, reveling in parents killing children and children killing parents. She has a long and bloody history haunting Kagerosaki, but so far nobody has identified her except in whispered rumors.
Those who can see ghosts see Kyoko as a primary schoolgirl in tattered, singed clothes, but should not be fooled – Kyoko is an irrational, vicious killer. Her sadism knows no bounds. She will use her Possession power as a last resort to accomplish her aims and, to be especially cruel, leave her victim completely aware of everything she does in hopes of driving them mad.


Is this character too excessive to use in the book?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2002, 06:35:42 AM »

Hi Michael,

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days. Since I'm prepping a supplement for Sorcerer which itself pulls out the stops (I mean, bonus dice for orgasms and so on, I tell ya!), this issue's been on my mind.

The key, of course, is the contradiction: "extremity has impact," and "extremity distracts." It's all about relevance to the goals at hand.

So what's the goal? If part of the point of play (of this scenario) is to go over the line, then there you are. But if it's not, then the "over the line" stuff is going to be distracting.

All that's a bunch of generalist hooey, though, isn't it? Let me try to be more specific. I'm looking over Kyoko ... here's what I think, in terms of my experience with actual players and actual play.

Bingo: the paragraph beginning "Still, Kyoko’s superhuman lust for revenge was not satisfied" is the excessive part. Her victims are faceless. The described activities don't add to the pathos or danger of the character; in fact, they even decrease them. Her whole deal was the Watanabe family, and her "not satisfied" angle should apply to the player-characters, during the course of the game. Directing it towards a bunch of faceless whoevers in the intervening years is - I think - a big turn-off.

If you take that paragraph out, and leave everything else just the way it is, and then run the scenario in which Kyoko's maddened-but-pathetic power is turned toward (or is otherwise relevant to) the player-characters ... then I think the concept takes on maximum appeal and usability.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2002, 07:06:58 AM »

You know, I didn't really know how to answer this one...but Ron...I think you're spot on (now that its been pointed out to me).

That paragraph makes Kyoko a random monster to be stopped with a little bit of background of the sort most players accept then ignore.

Without it, Kyoko is much more powerful as a character.  Even more I would not have the whole Watanabe have been eliminated...as that eliminates the focus and reason for being for Kyoko.

With the immediate rage of her father out of the way, I see her becoming much more careful...like a serial killer finding and stalking her extended family and now their decendents one by one.  I'd probably take the "irrational" part of of "irrational killer".  I see her as being very rational...as she twists her victims into insanity one by one.

The key would be to have the PCs either be distant relatives of the Watanabe, or dating one.
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