USR: Ghostbusters 1984

Talon Waite over at the USR Google+ page asked for the Ghostbusters (the 1984 “boys” and 2016 “girls”) with his new Ghostbusters USR rules. I have the old West End Games d6 system box set, except for the box itself, and the dice: it has the rulebooks and the flimsy, perforated cards for items and “character sheets.” They’re all in a brown paper bag from my FLGS.

Ghostbusters box - USR: Ghostbusters 1984
Yep, I don’t have the game box.

The cards are still perfectly playable, and I used them for inspiration for the USR characters. These stick to the rules in Ghostbusters USR (including 5 health and 3 Brownie Points each).

Peter Venkman
Goal: Sex
Action: d8
Wits: d6
Ego: d10
Specialisms: Smarmy Psychologist (Ego; background), Bluff (Ego), Seduce (Action), Parapsychology (Wits)

Ray Stantz
Goal: Serving Humanity
Action: d8
Wits: d10
Ego: d6
Specialisms: Enthusiastic Researcher (Wits; background), Occult (Wits), Run (Action), Driving (Action)

Egon Spengler
Goal: Soulless Science
Action: d6
Wits: d10
Ego: d8
Specialisms: Single-Minded Inventor (Wits; background), Physics (Wits), Good At Explaining (Ego), Focused (Wits)

Winston Zeddemore
Goal: Money
Action: d10
Wits: d6
Ego: d8
Specialisms: Secret Military Past (Action; background), Heavy Weapons (Action), Encourage (Ego), Bargain (Wits)

Archetype: Schemer

The schemer is the character who plots and plans and manipulates people to do what he wants. It’s hard to simulate in most games, because schemes are a long-term strategy, taking days, weeks, even years to carry out. They’re not direct like most RPG encounters. This is the world of Cersei Lannister and Lex Luthor (unless he’s wearing his green-and-purple battle suit).

Nick Fury
The rare example of a heroic schemer.

In USR, we can simply call “manipulative” a Specialism. Ego rolls are used for social combat, though a particularly oblivious character might use Wits to try and puzzle out what their more clever opponent is trying to say.

In Microlite 20, it’s a MIND + Communication roll. The Performance class ability (page 19 of the Fantasy Expansion) is based on the D&D Bard ability, but a schemer character can use it, especially if it’s limited to the Fascinate (distracting the target with words that discourage — or arouse — them) or Inspire Courage (a schemer is a master at giving a rousing speech) effects. The Connections class ability (page 18) is common, too.

Putting a long-term plan into play in a single game session would take a lot of set up. While planning a scheme can be fun in itself, the end results of one — getting your opponent to give in without drawing your sword or using a spell — can be simulated a lot more easily than it first appears.

M20 & USR: Ghostbusters

Everybody’s talking about the Ghostbusters, so here are stats for the whole gang. No, not Venkman and Egon (you can find them a few different places), and not Gilbert and Holtzmann, either (I haven’t seen the new movie yet). These guys.

Filmmation%2BGhostbusters - M20 & USR: Ghostbusters
Go go Ghostbusters!

If you’re like me, your parents got you a Ghostbusters comic book as a kid, and you wondered why there was a talking car and a gorilla and no Bill Murray. But, bustin’ ghosts is bustin’ ghosts. Here’s the team. Characters that are made for comedy, like Eddie, need a little something more to be playable in a RPG, so I made him the heavy.

Jake Kong Jr.
Microlite 20 Modern-Day
Character Focus: Charisma, Level 1
STR 11 (+0), DEX 13 (+1), MIND 17 (+3)
Physical 1, Subterfuge 1, Knowledge 2, Communication 1, Technology 2
Hit Points 15, Armor Class: 11, Speed: 30 ft/ 6 spaces, Initiative +2
Melee/Hand-To-Hand +1, Missile/Ranged +2, Magic/Supernatural +4
Equipment: Dematerializer, Ghost Buggy Jr., Ghost Pack
Special Abilities: Charming (+1), Quick Draw
Eddie Spencer Jr.
Microlite 20 Modern-Day
Character Focus: Might, Level 1
STR 16 (+3), DEX 13 (+1), MIND 11 (+0)
Physical 4, Subterfuge 0, Knowledge 2, Communication 1, Technology 1
Hit Points 24, Armor Class: 14, Speed: 30 ft/ 6 spaces, Initiative +1
Melee/Hand-To-Hand +4, Missile/Ranged +2, Magic/Supernatural +1
Equipment: Ghost Pack, Flight Jacket (Leather)
Special Abilities: Encourage, Tough
Tracy the Gorilla
Microlite 20 Modern-Day
Character Focus: Might, Species: Gorilla (as Sasquatch), Level 1
STR 16 (+3), DEX 13 (+1), MIND 11 (+0)
Physical 4, Subterfuge 1, Knowledge 0, Communication 1, Technology 2
Hit Points 20, Armor Class: 11, Speed: 30 ft/ 6 spaces, Initiative +1
Melee/Hand-To-Hand +4, Missile/Ranged +2, Magic/Supernatural +1
Equipment: Ghost Pack

Special Abilities: Driver, Heavy Hitter (Melee/Hand-To-Hand), Muscle
Jake Kong Jr.
Action D8, Wits D10, Ego D6
Specialisms: Ghost Sensing Nose, Idea Man, Handsome
Hit Points: 18
Combat Gear: Dematerializer +2
Narrative Points: 5
Eddie Spencer Jr.
Action D8, Wits D6, Ego D10
Specialisms: Loveable Goofball, Absent-Minded, Thinks Positive
Hit Points: 14
Combat Gear: Dematerializer +2, Flight Jacket +1
Narrative Points: 4
Tracy the Gorilla
Action D10, Wits D8, Ego D6
Specialisms: Strong, GB Pilot, Loves To Eat
Hit Points: 18
Combat Gear: Dematerializer +2, Backpack of Gadgets +1
Narrative Points: 4

New Ideas

Now that I’m getting this blog back up and running, I’m revisiting a number of game ideas I’ve had over the past few months (years). A lot of them are re-using classic games in new ways. Take today’s idea, inspired by Rum & Bones and LOAD, tabletop MOBAs. I’ve never actually played a MOBA, though I have written about them (“Video Game Makers,” March 2016); as with a lot of video games, I like the story and visuals more than actually playing.

So today I had an idea to blend chess, checkers and these tabletop MOBAs for a simple version of the game, one that doesn’t cost me anything (I already have chess and checkers, of course, and I don’t need any other materials). I’m not ready to add it to the site, as it needs playtesting.

When I pulled down my copy of chess, I also grabbed Risk, and I have an idea for that hoary old theme, zombie invasion. Something else I need to playtest before releasing.

I have ideas that will see the pages of my website when they’re done, and I’m getting to a point when I can actually work on them. It’s pretty nice to be in that position… it’s so rare.

Monsters Menace Monopoly

I was in Toys R Us the other day, looking at what’s on the shelves (haven’t done that in months – I like to see what’s actually available, instead of what’s breaking online). I saw the newest edition of traditional Monopoly has a cat playing piece, presumably to go with the little dog. That combined with the trailer for “Godzilla” made me think back to an old game of mine; the rules are cleaned up here.