Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Fate Hack - Ghostbusters, Too!

As part of my con programming for this year, I'm running a Ghostbusters game using Fate. Seems easy enough, since I already did one, right? I decided to take another swing at it now that I have two more years of Fate design under my belt, and Atomic Robo had some neat ideas about brainstorming and building gadgets. Summer is sequel season at the movies, so here's my second crack at a Ghostbusters hack after the jump.

Your Franchise

Choose a city for your franchise. Your hometown (or the town where you run your game) is often a good choice for the franchise because everybody knows it.

Franchise Aspects

Your franchise gets a number of aspects equal to the players at the table. These aspects describe the elements of your franchise that are notable. They can be a mix of positive, balanced and negative aspects.

Ecto-D: A Converted Wisconsin Dells Duck
Posh Offices
A Basement Office Under A Tarot Reader
Our Franchise Is On Double Secret Probation
A Free Pizza With Every Bust

Your Ghostbuster


Your ghostbuster chooses between a few modes. Banter, Brains, Business and Bustin' are the standard modes that all characters have. Ghost and Psychic are weird modes that may be substituted for one of the standard modes. Chose one mode at Good (+3), One mode at Fair (+2) and one mode at Average (+1). All the skills in the mode are trained at the chosen level. Any skills that overlap are fortified with a free focus.

Next, choose one skill in each of your chosen modes. That skill is focused and goes up by one rank.

Select one skill out of all your chosen modes. That skill is specialized and goes up by two ranks. A focused skill may be specialized for a total bonus of three.


Con: Convincing people you're telling the truth when you're not
Empathy: Noticing the emotional states of people without expensive equipment
Provoke: Talking trash to enemies on both sides of the underworld
Rapport: Getting people (and ghosts) to like you


Fringe Science: Parapsychology, scientific method applied to supernatural phenomena
Hard Science: Physics, Electrical engineering, metallurgy...
History: Hard facts and dates
Lore: Study of the occult, conspiracy and legends


Contacts: It's now what you know, it's who you know
Technology: Operating anything with a button, lever, or switch that's not Fringe Science
Research: Doing your homework and paying attention to the financial climate
Will: It's your drive to succeed that will keep the franchise going


Fight: Things get a little rough sometimes
Fitness: Franchise rules recommend on-site stairclimbers for some reason.
Notice: Listen...did you smell something?
Sneak: Creaky floorboards are a dead giveaway on a job site


Con: You look harmless enough...
Provoke: ...but can scare someone if you need to.
Sneak: The dead move quietly
Will: Your will to survive kept you around.


Power: When you use a focus or a specialization on this skill, you pick a type of psychic power. Favorites include telekinetic, medium, pyrokinetic and automatic writing.


Choose a Concept Aspect that summarizes your character and what role they fit in franchise. Then select an aspect connected to each of your chosen modes. Finally, choose an aspect for one of your unchosen standard modes and use it as an opportunity to give yourself a little bit of trouble.

Stress and Consequences

Characters start with two stress boxes. If either Fitness or Will is a trained skill, gain an additional stress box. If both are trained, gain two stress boxes. There is no split between physical and mental stress.

Stunts and Refresh

Ghostbusters start with three free stunts and three refresh. They may take additional stunts at a cost of one refresh each.

Sample bonus stunts

Ex-cab driver: Gain a (+2) bonus when Overcoming an obstacle in an automobile

A subscription to Tobin's Online: Gain a (+2) bonus to Creating an Advantage when researching ghosts.

Sample substitution stunts

Read the proton pack manual: Use Technology instead of Fight when using your proton pack to attack.

Dodgeball champion: Use Fitness instead of Fight when you defend by jumping out of the way of a ranged attack.

Sample gamechanger stunts

Astral projection: Once per game, you may switch your Psychic mode for a Ghost mode. You can switch back when you choose, but you automatically switch back if you are taken out in a conflict.

Let's run some red lights: Once per game, you can call in a favor with the city to get an organization to assist you on a job.

Fringe Science

This is handled like it is in Atomic Robo, though with a slightly more paranormal slant.