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  • Let's talk about ghosts

    So ghosts have been around for a while, but they haven't garnered that much interest, either positive or negative. They weren't mechanically unstable like Sidereals, bland and flavorless like Lunars, overpowered like Solars, or awesomely executed like Alchemicals. They weren't hard to run as NPCs, but they were kind of a pain to use as PCs because of all the Willpower costs on their Charms and the inability of ghosts to sleep. They mostly lived in the Underworld, which was a setting like Creation except mopey and boring, so no one really interacted with them much. The best that could be said of them as a whole is that they filled their spot in the setting well enough.

    This is alright, but I don't expect Third Edition to settle for "alright", so let's talk about them. What do we, the forum, want to see different about ghosts in the next edition? What do we want to keep the same?

    Personally, I mostly liked their individual Charms, but the tree layout was horrible and the Willpower costs were prohibitive. A little tweaking on costs and a little better tree breakdown, and they would have been amazing. I also think their single biggest mechanical failing was the supremacy of bashing damage against ghosts - since they could only heal through slumber, being rendered unconscious was a permanent condition unless someone came along, felt sorry for you, and stabbed you to death so you could regenerate.



    Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
    Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
    Masters of the Industrial Elements
    Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
    ​From The Crucible: Crafting As A Struggle

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kyeudo View Post
    So ghosts have been around for a while, but they haven't garnered that much interest, either positive or negative. They weren't mechanically unstable like Sidereals....
    No, the Arcanoi totally were. They kept the minimum Virtue ratings of 1e, they tried to go their own way with independent subsystems for mental influence (among other issues) that didn't match up with the core book, and then there were the ghostly Crafts. So they were, in fact, highly unstable when it came to mechanics.

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    • #3
      Either go full on Wraith (Shadow and everything) or get rid of all its mechanical leftovers once and for all. ESP the charmset. Even the name bugs me; why should they be the only thing in the setting with a different name for their charms, that even the books only use half the time anyway? Frankly, I'd rather get rid of the word "charm" and use "arcanos" for *everyone's* magic, but that's another discussion...

      Rebuild ghost magic from scratch, and, all due honor and respect to the awesome work put into Wraith, but we *don't* need to slavishly copy those powers again! Give us something original, more in line with the style of the setting! But that runs into a major problem/paradox; the entire point of being dead is that it's supposed to *suck*, but how bad can it be if you now have eternal life, no disabilities (regardless of how old or wounded you look) and Cool Powerz? So, there's gotta be a downside, to make it suck enough. But if it sucks *too much*, no one wants to play them...

      In these matters, when the choice is between Gritty Realism and Awesome, it depends on the medium for me. Stories are one thing, but considering that this is supposed to be a Fun Game, I'm gonna err on the side of Awesome! Give me badass, kung fu ghosts, and leave it to the ST to ensure that they don't overshadow Heroic Mortals.

      Of couse, you can't really talk about ghosts without talking about the Underworld; but there are plenty of threads registering everyone's dissatifaction with that, so hopefully we can leave talk of that there.

      Should something like Geists be possible in Exalted? I know I said I wanted original charms, but if they HAD to be based on something in the WoD, I wouldn't mind charms based on Manifestations...

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      • #4
        Well, they are one of the only things in the setting that just kind of popped into existence without any sort of intelligent being guiding their design, so it makes sense that they'd be a little wonky as far as mechanics go.

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        • #5
          I......I want actually scary Japanese ghost lady and crazy Chinese ghost baby fetus :blush:


          The no.1 fan of Demetheus. I also draw Exalted things and is looking for commission works ~

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          • #6
            In early first edition nemisaries were written into the setting much more and they were fluffed as if they were no pushovers. I'd like to see nemesaries be both more common and less mechanically weak. This could be just a small part of a ghost overhaul.


            I want to play this as a starting character, I don't even care what game.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hand-of-Omega View Post
              Either go full on Wraith (Shadow and everything)
              That's what I did in my games. Exalted's Underworld was largely copy/pasted from Wraith, but they removed most of the things that made Wraith interesting. All ghosts are infected with the Whispers of the Neverborn, which slipped into the section of their soul where their Po used to be. This Shadow attempts to corrupt and twist them into Spectres.

              During the First Age, the Exalted discovered a method of suppressing the Shadow's whispers, using a magical greenish light called Barrowflame, which sustains itself off prayers. This flame is produced in Stygia and then transported to other parts of the Underworld. While within the light of the flame, a ghosts Shadow is rendered silent and impotent. So most ghosts stick to the underworld cities where this flame is common or, if travelling, always take a lantern with them.

              In my Underworld, there are quite a few more independent kingdoms, the Deathlords don't serve the Neverborn, and there are lots of other differences.
              Last edited by AnubisXy; 06-11-2014, 01:49 PM.

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              • #8
                We need to get rid of the arbitrary distinction between ghost and spectre, because that is just a waste of a word. In fact, the whole thing​ where the ghosts that hear the Neverborn are somehow separate from the rest should be nixed, it serving no interesting purpose.

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                • #9
                  I wasn't aware that they were a separate thing, at least until they went crazy and became a nephwrack or something.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The MG View Post
                    We need to get rid of the arbitrary distinction between ghost and spectre, because that is just a waste of a word. In fact, the whole thing​ where the ghosts that hear the Neverborn are somehow separate from the rest should be nixed, it serving no interesting purpose.
                    It was a carry-over from Wraith, where Spectres were ghosts who had been consumed by their Shadows and were quite different mechanically. That concept doesn't exist in Exalted, so you're right, it's not really all that necessary.

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                    • #11
                      It works fine as long as you just treat the word as a term ghosts use to mean "those crazy fuckers what hear the whispers of the neverborn".

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                      • #12
                        My problem with ghosts was that the statement of "being dead sucks" was put ahead of playability, I think the worst part of this was giving them their own xp table solely for the purpose of representing the stasis of undeath by punishing anyone who wants to play one.

                        Their powers were based on those from Wraith which were deliberately stingy in terms of how much contact the dead could have with the living (WoD masquerade and all) when really they should've approached that aspect of things like Orpheus, which knew from the start that the ghost PCs and the living ones would need to interact and planned appropriately.


                        I’ve moved to Sword of Creation, thank you to everyone who helped made the Exalted community these past few years.

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                        • #13
                          Personally, I want to un-Wraith the Underworld as much as is possible while still retaining the fact that it's a realm of the dead. Just take the ideas found in the ancestor cults and grave goods to their logical conclusion, and bury entire dead civilizations that the PCs can explore and interact with.


                          "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MrInsecure View Post
                            Personally, I want to un-Wraith the Underworld as much as is possible while still retaining the fact that it's a realm of the dead. Just take the ideas found in the ancestor cults and grave goods to their logical conclusion, and bury entire dead civilizations that the PCs can explore and interact with.
                            Agreed. Wraith: the Oblivion was shackled to a version of modern society and so couldn't do much to screw around with the mortal world.



                            Dead But Not Gone: Ghosts
                            Ghosts: A Revision (2nd Edition)
                            Masters of the Industrial Elements
                            Upon the Rock of Tradition: The Memorial Exalted
                            ​From The Crucible: Crafting As A Struggle

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                            • #15
                              Another WtO holdover we could do without: Oblivion.
                              In Wraith​​​​, it was a macrocosm of the soul -- humanity's self-destructive impulses made manifest -- and a source of cosmic horror, I guess.
                              In Exalted, it's a big hole, an excuse to have an evil faction, and a reduction of the world's ending into a singular and frankly unstylish possibility. Begone, I say!

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