Monday, July 1, 2013

Fate Core Hack - Ghostbusters

This month's hack is of a setting that's near and dear to many a gamer's heart. The original RPG was a watershed in design that spun off one of the most influential RPGs made (Star Wars). It first brought forth many of the concepts that Fate and other indie games brought to the forefronts of their design. Not only am I lucky enough to own a copy of the boxed set, but a trip to see Dan Aykroyd with the local chapter allowed me to get it signed. The game is long since out of print, but I consulted with it a lot during this hack. I also wanted to get something out now that Fate core is hitting mailboxes across the country.

So strap on your proton pack, gas up your Ectomobile and slide down the firepole. Fate Ghostbusters is after the jump!

Additional uses: Ghostbusters and Men In Black always seemed pretty closely related. Maybe some Eureka and Warehouse 13 too.

Characters: As Fate Core, though the first aspect beyond High Concept and Trouble should be the Ghostbuster's first brush with the supernatural.

Franchise: Each Ghostbuster also picks an aspect that defines an element of their franchise. These may include:

On-Site Resources
Public Relations

At the start of each major milestone, each of these franchise aspect has a free invoke.

Gear: Gear from the movies costs nothing (it's included in their franchise fee). Advanced gear costs stunts. The more ridiculous the name, the better.

Ghosts: Ghosts have one skill - Ectopresence. Any rolls to affect the ghost target Ectopresence. They receive a number of aspects equal to their Ectopresence. These aspects reflect the ghosts powers, history and manifestations. Ghosts begin with a number of fate points equal to Ectopresence.

Busting: Busting is a contest of the busters on the scene versus the ghost. Each roll, the Ghostbusters may choose to create an advantage or affect the ghost. The highest roll represents the Ghostbusters side. The ghost rolls Ectopresence. If the Ghostbusters win, they receive Brownie Points. If the ghost wins, the Ghostbusters take Setbacks.

Brownie Points: If the ghost is caught, the franchise receives free invokes to its franchise aspects equal to the Ectopresence of the ghost. These Brownie Points  represent fees collected, good PR and grateful clients. Brownie Points may be used for the following:

*Create a Boost Aspect related to the client
*Add a free invoke to a Franchise Aspect
*Create a new franchise aspect by spending a number of Payment Invokes equal to the new total amount of franchise aspects.

Setbacks: If the ghost is not caught, the franchise suffers a number of setbacks equal to the Ectopresence of the ghost. These setback represent angry clients, lawsuits and the rough and tumble lifestyle of busting ghosts. For every setback, the Ghostbusters must to one of the following:

*Take a Mild Consequence
*Remove a free invoke on a Franchise Aspect
*Remove a Franchise Aspect. This counts as a number of Setbacks equal to the current number of Franchise Aspects.

Busting example:

Stantz, Spengler and Venkman head back to deal with an old enemy - the Library Ghost. she scared them off the premises last time, but now they are back with some proton packs and a ghost trap. After a brief negotiation with the librarian, they head back into the basement stacks.

The Library Ghost is a Class 3 repeater. As a class 3 ghost, it has an Ectopresence of Good +3, with the following aspects. It starts with three fate points.Silence is Golden“No human would stack books this way”Menacing Form When Angry

Since this is a contest, everyone gets one action. Everybody rolls, and the highest roll wins. The first side to three victories wins. If the ghost wins, she flees the basement and the boys don’t get paid. If the busters win, into the trap she goes.

Spengler whips out his PKE meter, using Investigate (Fair +2) to track the ghost.Stantz pleads for the ghost to come quietly, using Empathy (Fair +2) to reason with the ghost.Venkman invokes Silence is Golden, singing off-key on purpose to antagonize her into appearing. He gives a Fate Point to the ghost and adds +2 to his Provoke, bringing it to Superb (+5)

The Library ghost is trying to stay hidden, spending 1 fate point to invoke No Human, trying to distract the boys with floating books and her old tricks. Her Ectopresence is now Superb (+5).

They roll.Spengler: Great (+4)Stantz: Average (+1)Venkman: Superb (+5)Library Ghost: Superb (+5)

A tie. Something unexpected happens. The busters hear a noise. One by one, their packs heat up. Venkman leads a silent count, they spin heroically around the corner - smack dab in to the new situation aspect Leroy Lipshitz, Ghostbusters Superfan.

A moment or two plays out as Leroy babbles on about his favorite Ghostbusters. Venkman indulges for a few moments before they begin the hunt again.

Spengler goes back to his meter: Investigate (Fair +2)Stantz,rather than rolling on his own, uses his Lore to Create an advantage. “Of course! I researched her after our first encounter. Leena Holcomb, died 1918, right here in this very room! Her favorite author is Nathaniel Hawthorne” It makes sense to the GM that Ray would be the type to research an old foe, so the difficulty is merely (Average +1)Venkman, getting impatient, aims his proton thrower at one of the stacks. “Yeah? I prefer Ray Bradbury.” He uses Shoot  to force the ghost out (Average +1)

Because Leroy is babbly so much, the ghost focuses her actions on him, to compel Silence is Golden.They roll: Spengler: Epic (+6)Stantz: Fair +2Venkman: Mediocre: +0Library ghost: Mediocre: +0

Egon succeeds with style: two victories. His PKE meter lights up as it passes the book in Leroy’s hand. Stantz recounts some of Leena Holcomb’s History.

Stantz: Where did you get that?

Leroy: I grabbed it off the shelf! I needed something for you guys to sign.

Spengler: (taking it from Leroy) A copy of The Scarlet Letter...

(Venkman gets that look on his face.) Egon, try not to hit me with the containment beam. Ray, gimme a pen and get. Is that Leroy with two “L”s?

Spengler gets ready to shoot (Average +1)

Stantz sets up the trap in a good spot with Notice (Average +1). Since the library is a bit cramped, the difficulty to do so is Fair.

Venkman signs the kid’s book, hoping the ghost will come for him. That’s a gutsy move, so he’s rolling Provoke (Good +3).

The Library ghost will do anything to stop such a defacing of property. She invokes Menacing Form When Angry and Leroy Lipshitz (who..just...keeps...talking) for a big +8 Ectopresence.

They roll:Spengler: Mediocre +0Stantz: Fair +2Venkman: Fair +2, Ghost: Epic +8.

she succeeds with style this time. Two victories for her. Spengler can’t get a clear shot, but stantz has A Trap at The Ready.

Venkman finishes his signature with a flourish. He hands the book back to Leroy, who for the first time since we’ve met him, is quiet.

Venkman: She’s behind me, isn’t she? (waits for an answer from Leroy, who says nothing) whimper once for yes and twice for now. 

Leroy whimpers once:

Venkman: How pissed is she?

Spengler: Like the time you borrowed my centrifuge to make margaritas.

Stantz: Like the time you told Janine I was building a robot to replace her.

Venkman: Oooh. Okay, Leroy, you are about to get a hug from Dr. Pete Venkman. Love me!

Spengler is shooting a confinement stream to create advantage at a good +3 difficulty
Stantz is firing his proton pack at Average +1
Venkman tackles Leroy using his Athletics at Fair+2
The ghost involves her Scary Form again for a superb +5

They roll: Spengler rolls Fair, but spends a fate point on his mad scientist aspect to make it good +4 to create the aspect egon's Containment Steam.

Stantz rolls Mediocre +0Venkman rolls Good +3Library ghost rolls Superb +5

The library ghost would win, but Venkman invokes Holcomb’s History, A Trap at the Ready, and Egon’s Containment Stream for free for +9 total roll. 

Venkman hits the dirt hearing the final wail of the library ghost as Egon’s containment stream forces her into the trap.