Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Spectres

This is a short hack of InSpectres by Jared Sorensen, so you will need a copy  of that game, or at least familiarity with it, in order to play this one. In Spectres, most of the players are ghosts who have died in the same residence over the centuries, while the GM poses the problems they face from the mortal world.


inspectres_432x666.gif
InSpectres, 2002

Being a Spectre


All the player-characters in this game are ghosts who died in the same place, the same building they all now haunt. The first step to playing is to agree on what that place is: it might be a castle, manor house, industrial space or a house that has been renovated and modernised many times over the years. The history of the building will inform the choices made when creating the spectral characters.

Spectres have two attributes: Mortal, which covers the ordinary things they do, and Spectral, which governs the strength of their supernatural powers. Every PC starts out with scores of Mortal 3 and Spectral 1, but this can be changed during character creation.

Mortal Concerns


The Mortal side of each character is divided into three aspects:
  • Can they be seen?
  • Can they be heard?
  • Can they be felt?
The default answer to all three of these questions is "Yes," so all Spectres are innately visible, audible and tangible to mortals, but players can change any of these answers to "No," which has three consequences:
  • They lose 1 point from Mortal and add it to Spectral.
  • They gain a new Spectral Power.
  • They lose the ability to interact with mortals in that way, e.g. they cannot be seen, heard or felt by them.
A Spectre that is unseen is invisible to mortals under all circumstances and nothing they can do will make a human see them; a Spectre that is unheard is always inaudible to mortals, even when screaming in their ear; finally, a Spectre that is unfelt passes through all material objects without affecting them. Players can only roll their Mortal attribute for things their Spectre can still do, so if they answer "No" to all three questions, then their Mortal score is reduced to zero and they no longer get to do any of those things.

Spectral Powers


Every Spectre starts with a score of Spectral 1 and one Spectral Power, but they increase both of these by reducing their Mortal score as explained above. Each Spectral Power represents a specific supernatural ability the Spectre possesses, including but not limited to:
  • Pyrokinesis
  • Telepathy
  • Teleportation
  • Clairvoyance
  • Prophecy
  • X-Ray Vision
  • Possession
  • Shape Shifting
The only restriction on Spectral Powers is that you cannot have one that replaces or replicates a lost Mortal ability, e.g. you cannot take Telekinesis as a Spectral Power if you are unfelt and you cannot use Telepathy with mortals if you are unheard . Equally, there's no point in taking Invisibility if you are unseen or Intangibility if you are unfelt.

Every Spectre also has one restriction upon them, which is they cannot leave their resting place, so they are confined within the house & grounds of their residence. Players can assign one of their Spectral Powers to overcoming this restriction, however, but it has no other effect: if a player takes Teleportation as a power, then they can only use it to move within the residence unless they also use up another power on being allowed to roam freely. Overcoming the restriction grants no special benefit on its own, so though the player's Spectral score still increases by 1, the ability to leave the residence is not considered a Spectral Power in itself and grants no special abilities, nor does it require a roll.

Passions

The Ghosts of Motley Hall, 1976-1978

Each Spectre also has one Passion, which is something that was singularly important to them in their life: this could be connected to their profession, their hobby or their family life, but it cannot be the house they share with the other Spectres. Examples include:
  • Childhood toys
  • Electronics
  • Care for animals
  • Housekeeping
  • Food & drink
  • History
  • Law
  • A favourite grandchild
Whenever a Spectre makes a roll that is closely connected to their Passion, they add 1d6 to their pool prior to rolling; this does mean that even a Spectre who is unseen, unheard and unfelt can still attempt actions which involve any of those, as long as their Passion is concerned.

Hauntings


When their common home & peaceful existence comes under threat, the Spectres band together to face it: this is known as a Haunting. Each Haunting has a score that the Spectres must meet in order to resolve the problem, using the rules as for earning franchise dice presented in InSpectres: when the target Haunting value is reached, the problem has been solved and peace returns to the Spectres' residence... until next time.