GHOST/ECHO: Oracle Game Experiment and PDF



  • Clearly we should have a two-page (or even one-page) game design contest. Murderland clearly wasn't short enough.

  • Has anyone done a Setting Supplement? You know, What is Ghost World? What are Echoes? What are Wraiths? I'm working on mine. Trying to keep it down to two pages.

    Now, where can I find more of that cool artwork?

  • edited February 2009
    After last night's game, my friend Scott is writing up his version of the Ghost World, Wraiths, etc. I don't want to share it just yet, to give people time to play and form their own opinions.

    Here's a rules thing we did last night.

    //When a danger remains, (dice result .3-4) write it on a card and put it in front of you. During any future dice roll, you or the GM can add that danger to the roll (instead of the danger you would normally have the opportunity to add).

    That turned out to be fun. When we felt a roll coming, we could look down and go, "Oh yeah... that paranormal backlash is totally coming back around now..."
  • John, is it alright if I use a similar layout for my supplement sheet?

  • Re: Art

    The forums are a GREAT place for cool, inspirational art.
  • Posted By: John HarperHere's a rules thing we did last night.

    //When a danger remains,(dice result .3-4) write it on a card and put it in front of you. During any future dice roll, you or the GM can add that danger to the roll (instead of the danger you would normally have the opportunity to add).

    That turned out to be fun. When we felt a roll coming, we could look down and go, "Oh yeah... that paranormal backlash istotallycoming back around now..."
    Ah, this solves something I was uncertain about, basically, how to handle unresolved dangers when the goal itself is accomplished or failed decisively (say, the fight is won, but the danger of harm still remains, or whatnot).

    I'm not sure I'll ever convince my current group to set aside our usual games to try this out, but when I read the game I know "wraiths" inspired in me the image of these vague luminous beings made up entirely out of strands of light, like the angel wings in Diablo II, or the critters from fl0w (especially the crazy-advanced ones). The names themselves would be more indicators of humanity's tendency to try and fit the indescribable into familiar categories than apt descriptors ("Hawks" are what people call the flying Wraiths, "Vipers" the long and sinuous ones, etc)

    Loot, on the other hand, I have no ideas about. I'd probably have to present it straight to the players to figure that one out. ("So why do you guys need this stuff?")
  • I've been lurking on this thread for the last couple of days. It's totally inspirational. Thanks John.

    For me I think that began with the beautiful document, but has been sustained by the great ideas. I'd like to see if my group would be willing to give it a go.
  • this looks cool. i found it interesting, that when reading the thread, Mark figured that the names under Crew were what the members of the crew were called. Like nicknames or something. When I first looked at the .pdf I assumed they were the types of things people on the crew could be. Like a class/race kind of thing. So I was like "Awww, sweet! I can be a demon! But I wonder what 'coil' is?" I think it's cool that you can see this game in either of those ways and they would both work and both be cool.
  • A Coil is a symbiote life form developed in an experiment that wraps around a human spinal column and becomes dominant in terms of intelligence.

    A Demon is a computer AIs (a Daemon) who has hacked a flesh factory and made a shell for its intelligence.

    A Hull is a hyper-augmented human being (cyborg).

    Grips and Vixens I have no quick answer for.
  • Um, John unless you mind I'm totally hacking this and using it as a supplement/setting for Lacuna.
  • edited February 2009
    Posted By: Mark CauseyA Coil is a symbiote life form developed in an experiment that wraps around a human spinal column and becomes dominant in terms of intelligence.

    A Demon is a computer AIs (a Daemon) who has hacked a flesh factory and made a shell for its intelligence.

    A Hull is a hyper-augmented human being (cyborg).

    Grips and Vixens I have no quick answer for.
    A Grip is a psychic human with the ability to See Echoes as well as hear them.
    (Note: in my setting Echoes are the invisible strands that connect all things - man, animal, data - throughout all worlds and all times.)

    A Vixen is a vat-grown simulacrum originally developed for enemy infiltration. They have no natural form (facial distinctions, hair, pigmentation) unless previously imprinted.

  • edited February 2009
    I made a couple small tweaks to the PDF.


    removed /places.ghost world [having this item in the list made it seem like the other entries weren't in the ghost world, which is not what I want to imply]
    added /places.belltown
    added /places .chalk street bridge

    changed /goals + dangers + the gm will create a second danger
    to /goals + dangers + the gm may create a second danger

    added /roll dice when//when you roll dice + when you're especially well-prepared for the action at hand, roll a single extra die.

    added /dice results: danger//when a danger remains, write it on a card and put it in front of you. During any future dice roll, you or the GM can add that danger to the roll (instead of the danger you would normally have the opportunity to add).

  • Wonderful. That's all I keep thinking :)
  • I realize everyone's doing their own thing with Ghost/Echo, but I thought I'd share my supplemental material. I've used a few ideas from the thread. Hopefully I'll get to play this over the weekend.

    //GHOST WORLD isn’t one world, it’s any one of an infinite number of parallel realities that lies beyond the Veil of this world, each quite similar yet different in noticeably significant ways. In recent years the Veil has thinned, tolerating some people to step through from this world to another. They are known as Ghosts, as they are mere shadows of their actual selves once they cross that threshold; spectral beings rarely seen by the general populace.
    In this is the danger, for when a Ghost walks the other worlds he runs the risk of being noticed by the residents of that reality. No one’s quite sure the reason for it, but the residents aren’t friendly toward Ghosts. They generally react with violence.

    //GHOST FIELD. Since the beginning of the Veil’s thinning, tendrils of shroudstuff have permeated all the worlds. This field of energy allows those with the talent to exhibit great powers through the manipulation of the divergent physics of other realities.

    //ECHOES are the ties that connect all worlds, all times, and all things. From one world to the next, from past to present to future, everything –man, animal, even data – can be traced through these hidden strands.

    //WRAITHS dwell between the worlds, hidden within the Veil. For centuries these creatures were unaware of the worlds of man, but now, through the thinning Veil Wraiths have discovered us. More notably, they have discovered Echoes. Echoes have become like a drug to these apparitions and, if they’ve heard an Echo, they will stop at nothing to track down its source. Once they’ve found the source they’ll feed on the spirit of the unlucky individual, some viciously (.dog), others surreptitiously (.spider).
    When a Wraith crosses over into a reality it’s perceived as a ghostly creature. The longer it stays in that reality, the more Echo it absorbs, and the more physical it becomes.

    .You choose a Crewtype.
    .You pick CommonTrait. Choose One (from pair):
    + .Coil, When you commit to violence or When you act under pressure
    + .Demon, When you channel the Ghost Field or When you listen for Echoes
    + .Hull, When you act under pressure or When you suffer Harm
    + .Grip, When you listen for Echoes or When you infiltrate or steal
    + .Vixen, When you manipulate or hold steadfast or When you infiltrate or steal
    .You create SpecialtyTrait:
    + I am/can _________ despite / but unlike the others that can / but I can't __________.
    + 01, What does it do?
    + 00, Define a danger inherent in the Trait.
    .You name a Contact:
    + 01, Where will this Contact most likely be found?
    + 00, Define a danger involved in having this Contact.

    //COMMONTRAIT allows a Re-roll of one die during the Action listed.
    //SPECIALTYTRAIT allows an extra die to be rolled during Actions where the trait is called into play.

  • edited February 2009
  • To replace my non-comment with a real one, I think you've inspired me to cut down and finish my Bliss Stage hack for running Matrix-y games, John. This seems like especially a good model for writing supplements that are basically a setting/color port with a few mechanical tweaks, since taking up more than a few pages with that stuff seems like an unnecessary waste.
  • Glad to hear it, Jonathan. That hack looks cool.

    Michael: That's good stuff. I'm glad to see people adding their own spin to this little game.
  • I'm really eager to try it... bad thing Mexican gaming scene is really reluctant to try new stuff T-T
  • edited March 2009
    Posted By: John Harper
    Thanks for introducing me to Dogma games, Wilhelm. GHOST/ECHO does seem to fit those requirements. I'd love to see other examples if you can find them (I'll Google around, too).
    I've no idea whether you found any of the Dogma games or not but here's a link anyway:

    It's a site in Swedish hosted by the guy who came up with the challenge. The three files are compilations of every game from each year (2003-2005). Click "Ladda ned" if you want to download. As far as I can remember all of the games are in Swedish as previously stated.

    I must say I really find this format pretty evocative myself. It's a terrific idea, not only for experimenting, but for producing play. Sometimes I think many of us forget how simple it can. And how hard it is to be simple. Great stuff, John!
  • Thanks, Anders. Sadly, my Swedish is pretty rusty (also, non-existent).

    I'm curious to see if anyone else will try to play G/E. I keep almost posting my AP, but I don't want to influence what another group creates. My buddy Scott is writing G/E microfiction, too. Crazy!
  • This is pretty cool. The format and presentation is very neat--designed to be useable in play as opposed to something you can read easily before playing.

    The mechanic, of course, is straight from Vincent, and works really well. I've played with it many times, and it always delivers. Those concerned about the vague nature of the Dangers shouldn't be worried--they feel real enough in play.

    Keep in mind that "narrative" injuries open up the door for future bad things. For instance, you might have a danger like "you get drunk", which doesn't seem terribly dangerous or anything--you might think it has no impact. But then, in the next scene, another player might say, as a danger, "you lose control and punch her!" That wouldn't have been terribly plausible under normal circumstances... but now that you're drunk, it makes sense that would be a danger.

    I use this mechanic in my game Land of Nodd, except that a) it's always other players who name dangers for your character, and b) I have combined it with the Pool mechanic, so that a player can decide how many dice to gamble on any given roll. This gives some more options to resolution, and to bringing out your character's strong points, if you're into that sort of thing.

    The only part I don't get is the "Loot" part. Stones, Paper, Metal? This doesn't bring up _anything_ for me except confusion. What's that all about?
  • Roshambo!
  • edited March 2009
    When I talked through reifying this into a setting with my friend, we decided that "metal" was loot that was mass-noun stuff, "stones" were count-noun stuff, and "paper" was specifically cash. So a bulk DB of identity information could be metal, to be sold by the whatabyte; credentials to pass yourself off as some VIP would be a stone.

    YMMV. We decided that Ghost/Echo was a game about identities.
  • edited March 2009
    At the risk of canonizing something (MUST NOT CANONIZE):
    In our game, Metal was tech stuff, Stones were mystical artifacts, and Paper was money in various forms. The terms were street slang.

    Also, Vincent is right. :-)
  • I just ran this for my group, and we had a blast!

    Systemwise, it lent itself well to a rolling disaster/comedy of errors that worked well for a one-shot, but most of my players agreed if we wanted to play it long term they'd rather the dice results table get tweaked a bit, making it a bit easier on the characters. As it is, they never succeeded at almost any goal without a danger or two coming to pass, meaning they could only solve problems by creating more problems. But as I said, that was fun.

    (I was using the old version of the pdf, so wasn't working with "roll an extra die if well-prepared", which would probably make a significant difference. Oh well, I guess we'll have to try it again!)

    I also drifted the rules a bit, saying that becoming harmed didn't produce an automatic roll, but opened up "You're incapacitated" as a potential danger for either myself or the rolling player to use when appropriate.
  • edited March 2009
    Thanks for trying it out, Ben. I have questions!

    How did you handle the setting elements? Did you talk about details before you played, or introduce details as you went along (or both?). Did the GM have authority over the setting details, or did players introduce facts, InSpectres style? Would you say your game was mission/plot heavy or character/drama heavy or something else? Finally, how many people did you have at the table?
  • Ben,

    Worth noting that Vincent's always said that these rules are no respecters of character. They chew them up and spit them out. The system really isn't designed to support static or slow changing characters.
  • Posted By: John HarperThanks for trying it out, Ben. I have questions!

    How did you handle the setting elements? Did you talk about details before you played, or introduce details as you went along (or both?). Did the GM have authority over the setting details, or did players introduce facts, InSpectres style? Would you say your game was mission/plot heavy or character/drama heavy or something else? Finally, how many people did you have at the table?
    Hmmm. I introduced some stuff, like "This is what Wraiths look like", But a lot of times I delegated to the other characters. Like "Okay, where does Breaker usually live? The Watchtower? Okay, you, tell me about the Watchtower." Or one of the players asked "Can we use our supernatural abilities outside the ghost/world?" and I returned with "I don't know, can you?" and one of the other players said "I think so" and another player suggested that maybe they're not quite as powerful. So it wasn't a very formal process, and there was still a lot of looking to me as a source of setting authority, but I tried to delegate it a good deal when I could.

    It was pretty action-heavy, mostly. As Brand said, "no respecters of character", players were a bit too busy surviving once the dice got rolling with Wraiths flying everywhere and security bursting onto the scene and gunfire and explosions and, at one point, yes, a dildo spinning through the air in bullettime ("You left the danger unresolved, so unintended harm is still potentially imminent.") to worry about emotional development or things like that. Although it occurs to me I could have had dangers like "You're horrified at what you've done" rather than "You're out of ammo", but that wasn't really the game I was going for at that point.

    But the main plot was "Oh shit, Ambush!" followed by finding Breaker (the guy who had set up the ambush), followed by a pretty epic battle in the Watchtower (one of the characters ended up activating a Wraith Beacon without knowing what it was, so I pretty much just introduced the danger "More wraiths show up" to every one of their actions until they got rid of it, which was fun for a few minutes even if it killed a couple of Characters and probably doomed the Watchtower's status as clean and safe residential living area) followed by hunting down their treacherous former comrade Demon.

    We had 5 players at the table, including myself.
  • edited March 2009
    Wow, thanks for the detailed breakdown, Ben. That's great stuff to know. I'm still compiling my "How to run G/E" one-sheet, and this will help a lot.

    There must be something about Breaker -- he was a bad guy in our game, too.

    I really like your "More wraiths show up" danger. That is nasty + awesome.
  • Posted By: John Harper
    I really like your "More wraiths show up" danger. That is nasty + awesome.
    Yeah, I'd love to see awesome dangers other people came up with in their games. Some of the ones my players brought down on themselves (rather than ones I foisted on them):

    "The vision sucks everyone in." (Vixen managed to really bomb this roll, so not only did this come to pass, but it wasn't even the right vision: All the characters got to experience an echo of the infamous Paper Tax Riots on Bell Street Bridge, rather than finding out why Breaker hadn't made it to their arranged meeting, and a large pack of Wraiths had.)

    "I die as I lived." (This danger set by Grip's player, after he had been hurt, standing between hostile Watchtower Security and a couple of hungry Wraiths, holding only a dildo. I think the player wanted it to come to pass as the perfect ending, really.)
  • Mike (veritascitor) and our crew just played it. The game was AWESOME! We used the 2 Particular Strengths = Well-prepared stuff idea, and the thing freaking sang.
  • Yeah, it went really well. We spent a good portion of the evening just filling in world details, and came up with some really neat stuff, and then played a little prologue to just get used to the mechanics and so on. It involved a crew getting stranded in the ghost world when their ship (in our world, travel between the real world and ghost world is accomplished via Matrix-style hovercraft) is attacked by wraiths, and trying to make it on foot to find another ship they saw in the area. We almost made it out alive, too, except our sweet-talker rolled triple ones when trying to convince the pilot of the other ship to risk a landing to extract us. Suffice it to say, with no way out, we were doomed. :D

    Next week we're gonna play "for reals" using the ambush scenario, and probably play a three-session arc or so, using the world we've created, and filling out more details as we go along. We'll see how it goes (I'm excited!), and let you all know.
  • This is an extremely cool concept. It's sort of like the "one sheets" they do for savage worlds, but focused on a whole setting instead of a single adventure. Very pragmatic gaming material. Love it.
  • Ryan, Mike: Cool! I'm very interested to hear how a multi-session series goes.
  • Posted By: Clint KrauseThis is an extremely cool concept. It's sort of like the"one sheets"they do for savage worlds, but focused on a whole setting instead of a single adventure. Very pragmatic gaming material. Love it.
    Don't underestimate the Otherkind dice mechanic; it's a huge help.
  • Hi John!

    I love to see such stuff coming out; easy to write and use games for our perusal and play.

    The game itself is nicely designed, both in graphics and text. Bravo!

    I immediately get the urge to make an oracle game ...

    You inspire us!
    A good deed! :-)
  • I made 50 color copies and put them out for the taking at our booth at Gamestorm. Hopefully that spread it around a bit more.
  • So here's my AP report, delayed after a week of spring break and elder moppet's birthday activities.

    Part One: Background & Setup
    Last Sunday, my friend Kyle came over with his 8th grade son, who was visiting for a couple of weeks from Missouri. A bit of background: the son and mom and siblings had moved back east last fall. Son had been born and raised in Oregon. The original plan was for him to stay here in Eugene with Kyle, but at the last minute, he changed his mind and moved with the rest of the family. (Kyle and the mom were never married, BTW, but stayed in touch to raise the boy together, and Kyle's made a lot of sacrifices to do just that.) So Kyle and son were came to dinner a couple of days before the trip ended. We hung out, played some Monty Python Fluxx, and then I suggested Ghost/Echo as a roleplaying pickup. Kyle said he and son had never RP'd together before. Kyle's a member of my gaming group and has a long history playing DnD. The son used to be an avid Magic player.

    So I pulled out G/E and sketchily described the premise, using the default assumption of Matrix-meets-Ghostbusters. We decided /CREW meant character classes. Kyle made a .Grip, whom he described as Indiana Jones with a shotgun and the handle of .Jazzman. The son chose a .Demon, described as a homeless guy with an oversized trench. His handle was .Section8. We decided .Grip meant a weapons specialist, and that .Jazzman would get an extra die in armed combat. .Demons were occult specialists, so .Section8 would get a bonus die when channeling the Ghost Field. I narrated the opening scene of them in the Ghost World, and away we went.
  • Part Two: Into the Game
    You're in a cramped apartment, paint peeling off the walls. A spill of orange light pools on the floor through the solitary window. Outside looms the spires and shadows of a dark, alien city. You're here in the Ghost World looking for loot.

    Each of them did a little freeform narration, describing what they found. The son pulled up a black coat and felt something in the pockets. Kyle opened a drawer and found a sheaf of banknotes with runic denominations and shifting, groteque watermarks. That's when I sprung the wraith ambush.

    When .Jazzman looks up, the mirror over the dresser mists over, then reveals a face. It's .White, an acquaintance. A single word seeps from his lips and stains the mirror like blood: Run. From the corners of the room pours a host of spiders, skittering along the walls with a nightweave of webs trailing behind them as they streak across the window, each dark strand a knife's slice through the outside light. A few stream across the door, drawing their webs taut.

    Here's where we pulled out the dice. Kyle declared his goal as grabbing son and exiting through the door. We encountered a little difficulty defining danger--all this was new to us, and it was all improv. I set the immediate danger as the wraiths sealing the room and cutting off escape. Son's goal was to hold onto his coat, so I set the danger as the wraiths doing him Harm. The trick for me was to decouple the danger's outcome from goal failure since both states could occur.

    They rolled and both succeeded without dangers instantiating. They fled down a crooked hallway into an ornate elevator cage of wrought iron, in which they descended to the basement.

    It's hot. Really hot. And dark. You can't see the walls, just piles of what looks like coal. An angry red light flickers from a square opening a stone's toss ahead of you. A hulking shadow jams a massive shovel into the coal and spades a heap of it into the square, which responds with a crackling growl. He turns, revealing craggy features and hollow eyes that mirror the furnace fire. A deep-grooved sigil marks his forehead. His overalls are stained black with soot. "No trespassers," he grates in a voice that echoes the flames.

    Some diceless RP followed as .Jazzman and .Section8 tried to cajole information from the truculent stoker. .Section8 decided to use the Ghost Field to open a doorway out of there back into the "real world," specifically the canals. The danger was that the Wraiths would appear. They achieved the goal but also suffered partial appearance of the danger. They narrated the portal opening, and their flight through it just as packs of black dogs boiled out from between the coal piles. Two dogs followed them through.

    You emerge onto a flat concrete culvert maybe fifty feet in diameter. There's a thread of water under your feet, making a sluggish trickle over the cracks. Behind you in the distance rise the towers of downtown Los Angeles, lit by massive spotlights. The running lights of an aerial shuttle curve around the top of one of the buildings. Before you, two massive dogs bristle and leap. They're so pitch dark as to be without texture, as if cut from living shadow.

    Combat ensued, obviously. The dangers were Harm to each player. .Jazzman's goal was to blow away the dog leaping at .Section 8. .Section8's goal was to use the Ghost Field to banish both wraiths. I added the danger to .Jazzman that additional harm would come to .Section8, and the additional danger to .Section8 that more wraiths would show up. Both characters got bonus dice.

    After the roll, they fiddled with the dice awhile, debating how to allocate them among goals and dangers. Next time I'm going to have index cards for dangers and maybe a separate sheet with space marked for Goals and Dangers, along with the tables for reference. Keeping dangers and goals clear proved a little trickier than expected, but some brisk note-taking cured that issue. Eventually, .Section8 succeeded, but suffered a little harm. .Jazzman succeeded entirely.

    Something extra cool happened in this scene. .Section8 decided he found a couple of things in the pocket of the coat he'd dragged with him from the Ghost World. One was a harmonica. The other he let me decide, so I picked a thumb-sized garnet carved in the shape of a human skull (as a counterpoint to the harmonica). He narrated using the garnet in the banishing, and I let him roll an additional die. We fed off each other, layering on details to describe him pulling the garnet from the pocket and channeling the Ghost Field to produce an explosion of ruby light that shredded the wraiths into scraps of shadow that fell to ashes on the cracked surface of the canal.

    .Jazzman narrated breaking open the shotgun and inserting a couple of rounds, then clacking it shut and blowing away the wraith that was mauling his companion. The player smiled and commented on how unlikely it was that he didn't hit .Section8 with any buckshot. I said, "Yeah, but .Grips are just that good."

    .Section8's player described finding rusting ladder rungs built into the side of the canal, and he went up them, followed by .Jazzman. It was starting to run late, so I had them run into a stereotypical feral gang camped on the canal bank. More combat followed. A couple of exchanges ended with both players having rolled disastrously, so we faded to black as the gang members approached with chains in hand.
  • edited March 2009
    Part Three: Post-mortem
    Overall, it was a helluva lot of fun. That said, we were a bit hampered by uncertainty about the rules of the setting. Had we not been totally running this off-the-cuff, we'd have avoided this. In retrospect, I'd probably settle on something more clear about the Ghost World and the nature of the real world. The play aids would have helped with the die rolling. Still, we had a lot of fun, and the startup time took no more than a few minutes. I gifted Kyle's son with the G/E printout, which I'd slipped into a plastic page sleeve as a double-sided game reference.

    Here's a really neat note on which to end this AP: A few days later, after son returned to Missouri, he sat down with his mom and announced his desire to move back to Eugene and attend high school here. Kyle, who is overjoyed by the development, said our G/E game was the first time his son had roleplayed, much less roleplayed with his father, and seemed to think it played a part (albeit minor) in the son's decision. He called to thank me for a capstone father-son bonding experience.

    It's a neat implementation, John. Thanks for putting it out. I look forward to see your one-page on play advice, and I too am moved to tinker with my own variants.
  • Posted By: HexabolicThe son chose a .Demon, described as a homeless guy with an oversized trench. His handle was .Section8.
    Was that handle the son's idea, all on his own? Because Section 8 is the name of one of John's old game premises, which I've actually run for John and a couple friends using Spycraft; the premise involves fighting demons that haunt the subway system and steal humans.
  • Christian: You win. Thanks for distributing the game. I owe you beers (or equivalent). Do you know if anyone played it at Gamestorm?

    Blake: Thanks for the detailed AP. The father/son dynamic is really interesting. It looks like .Jazzman tried to protect .Section8 in every scene. How long did you play?
  • Hi John,

    We played about an hour, interrupted numerous times by my daughters wanting food, drink, or intervention. Yes, Kyle was pretty protective. A veteran player wanting to help make the experience as fun as possible for the son, I imagine, but instinct very likely played a big part in the dynamic.

    Philip, the handle was completely the son's idea. No prompting from anyone. I had zero knowledge about a tie-in to anything game-related, FWIW.
  • That's a fun weird coincidence.

    Also, your session sounds like it was pretty cool.
  • It was, yeah. For a pick up and go with a roomful of newbs (me included), it went better than I had a right to expect.

    Though next time I run it, I'll push to get some setting elements nailed down before play, the open-ended interpretive freedom of the base game is cool, and I wouldn't change any of it. Next time I may go with something completely different as a spin on the background content. I don't think OTK games have to be this way, but for G/E, it's working great.
  • I think what I'll do is give each player an assignment a la Shock and make them the final arbiter of a given element. I'll let them also define elements in character, making them be experts in their area. My areas are:

    Ghost Field
    Places and Others

    Loot, by the way, will be for your gun fetish player.
  • That's a cool idea, Mark.
  • Here's some of the stuff we put together, no particular order.

    The world is kind of like Blade Runner with a bit of Twilight 2000. Five major groups are engaged in a kind of post-limited-nuclear-exchange cold war, and Belltown is the closest thing to an independent, neutral ground. Belltown has a little in common with London, but more importantly it's the site where an archaeological team discovered the Old Ones' means of entering the Ghost World. Next thing you know it's the site of "Grand Central" where every ghost ship goes to get transported into the Ghost World.

    Now all the Cold War players are trying to make a way to get into the Ghost World themselves, and port back to somewhere to Grand Central. With that kind of tactical advantage they'd be unstoppable.

    That's the big impetus for going, despite the Wraiths - inscrutable constructs that swarm all over the Ghost World. The Old Ones are gone, but some think that other temples like the one found at Grand Central may lead to even stranger worlds...

    Most obvious influences: The Matrix (GHOST ships), Blade Runner (very large military/industrial compounds, multi-directional espionage, no good guys), Stargate (the means to enter the Ghost World).

    The game will center around a group of characters who work on the GHOST/ECHO

    .DEMON is my guy, he's a legitimately angsty, rebellious 17-year-old. He can manipulate the ghost field (telekinesis), and he's damn fast. He was raised in a massive compound (called Cathedral Hill, actually a 10-story-high pentagon-like fortress) by the Teachers of Transcendental Light, which is one of the 5 factions. The Teachers are also the major drug pushers of the setting, especially Starlight, which is a capsule that you crack and it flares before you inhale the fume and swallow the pill. To save him from addiction to Starlight, .DEMON's sister took his drugs for him, and after she OD'd he escaped from the Teachers.

    And I haven't even started on the 5 factions. I've got a feeling that the game will center as much on the power groups fighting over Belltown (Over the Edge style) as it will on events in the Ghost World itself.

    Naturally, I can't wait for Thursday Night.
  • Posted By: Ryan StoughtonI've got a feeling that the game will center as much on the power groups fighting over Belltown (Over the Edge style) as it will on events in the Ghost World itself.
    Agreed. With all the interesting stuff that we came up with, I'm much more interested in toying with the social dynamics in Belltown. After all, our Ghost World is essentially dead (at least, that we know), whereas our Belltown is teaming with life and conflicts just waiting to be explored.
  • Wow. Your setting is fantastic. I love it.

    Your ship is class GHOST, designation ECHO? That's a really clever use of the title.
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