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Common Bans & Banes for Ghosts

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  • Common Bans & Banes for Ghosts


    The following is meant to serve as a guide to maintain some commonality and consistency with the representation and investigation of a ghost Ban/Bane.

    Some time ago there was a forum discussion that wanted to give ghost common banes (Salt, silver, iron, fire, etc), at least to low ranking ghost. I don't remember the specific forum or how far they got, but I really liked the idea and finished it for myself. This is what I use when designing ghost; it really helped me when i needed to come up with something that made sense and that players could improvise based on their knowledge. Anyway, I'm publishing it here so anyone can use it. I know I can't be the only one having a hard-time coming up with bans/banes and would love any improvements.

    Ghosts' Bans and Banes themes, symbols and activities could be categorized in the same way as a Geist's Keys. Key of Beast, of Blood, of Deep-Waters, etc. Bans pertain to the ghost's personality, their work or how they lived and how this resonates with these Keys. Banes on the other hand resonates with the Keys on how they died. A ghost may have any combination of Ban/Bane Keys; these may also match. For example: The Key of Beast, as a Ban, may be for a cook, or someone who dealt with animals while alive. A person who lived in the wilds and died of disease may have the Key of Beast for a Ban and the Key of Disease for a Bane.

    Ghosts' Common Bans & Banes
    Key Bane Rank 0-1 Rank 2 Bane Theme or Symbol Ban Theme or Activity
    Beasts Salt → Fangs/Smoke Taste/Food Care/Hunt Animal actions or behavior
    Blood Roses/Thorns → Blood/Red Objects Violence/Passion Furor/Conflict/Romance
    Chance Iron → Machine Components/Steel Luck/Machines/Tools Probability/Machines/Destiny
    Cold Wind Reflective Surfaces → Silver Boundaries/Cold/Purity/Wind Laws/Limits/Moon Faces
    Deep Waters Clean Water → Clear Alcohol/Incense Water/Breath/Purity/Spirit Life&Death/Thresholds/Twilight
    Disease Garlic/Thyme → Honey/Lotus/Borage Antiseptic/Antitoxin/Healing Courage/Guarding/Night
    Grave Dirt Rosemary → Graveyard Dirt/Cinnamon Past/Memorial/Mankind Physical Action/Job/Work
    Pyre Flame Fire → Ashes/Golden Objects/Wine Change/Destruction/Purity/Sun Daylight/Light/Transformation
    Stillness Soot → Chalk/Bone-Dust/Sand Forgotten/Pulverization Darkness/Music/Shadows/Voices

    Ban resonance examples:

    · Cold-Wind Key (Laws/Limits/Moon Faces): Must obey the orders from anyone with a higher rank identification; must obey speed limits, or not move pass a no trespass or a stop sign; can only materialize on days when the moon is full or new, etc.

    · Blood Key (Furor/Conflict/Romance): Try to kill any couple declaring their love in its presence, may only manifest when blood has been drawn, cannot use Numina on people in love, must runaway from fights, etc.

    Higher Rank Bans/Banes

    Higher Rank Bans/Banes may exist as a mix of 2 lower Bans/Banes (1 Rank lower), or just having more of them, even if they are of different Keys. These are usually representative of the multiple Keys resonant with the way they lived or died. Another option for higher Rank Banes is to bless lower Rank Banes or inscribe resonant words or symbols on them. Here are multiple resonance mix examples for Ghost Bans/Banes:

    · Blood Key (Roses/Thorns) & Chance Key (Iron) Banes: Roses drawn on iron, a piece of iron with the word "Rose" inscribed, an iron rod smelling of roses, an iron barbed wire, etc.

    · Deep-Waters Key (Life & Death/Thresholds/Twilight) & Pyre Key (Daylight/Light/Transformation) Bans: Cannot interact with the living during the day, must change to Twilight when exposed to the light of Twilight, burning the dead forces it to materialize, cannot pass a brightly lit threshold, etc.

    Rank 3+ ghosts possess very unique and specific Ban/Banes or some obscure relation, byproduct or process added to their previous ones which is why they're so difficult to identify or find a direct link to their Keys.
    Last edited by Basilistik; 06-13-2021, 04:03 AM. Reason: fixing the table for mobile

  • #2
    Nice!

    Coming up with Bans and Banes and similar stuff is something I really struggle with, so having a system like that could be very useful.

    Do you think you could make a similar, more general guideline for Spirits, Angels, Horrors etc. that doesn't rely on Keys?

    (FYI, when viewing your post on mobile device the table is not fully visible)

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    • #3
      It's difficult to create something similar for spirits given the infinite types of spirits. If you try to do so you'll soon end in Pokemon territory. As a matter of fact it would be best to take Pokemon rules and apply it to Spirits to save some work. But then spirits could turn into something really silly. Now I'm imagining werewolves capturing spirits like Pokemons and fighting in gym battles with them. (I suppose there are Spirits of Pokemons but would they be toy-like spirits? Or would they be monsters that have the same powers and weaknesses as a Pokemon? Both?)

      There is also the need to have a compelling idea or justification. First, there is the in-world concept of a Key for ghosts. Second, ghosts have a lot of real world basis for their Bans/Banes as Salt, Silver, Garlic, Holy Water are all things certain cultures regard as ghost protection. Third, ghost are all death entities; almost all their weaknesses worldwide represent being Pure, Purify or Conservation.

      There are some Spirits classifications of course, especially in the older books like Ancestral, Artificial (Man Made), Celestials, Conceptual, Emotional, Elemental and Natural. But those classification are still too broad. It would take a real book with each category deserving a chart with size at least equal to this one to map all these spirits.

      I guess the best would be to give advice for this categories or for Bans and Banes in general.

      Angels are easier to do by comparison. Angels can be categorized according to their mission as Destroyers, Guardians, Psychopomps, Messengers, and Observers. They are all agents of the God-machine, just as ghost are all death entities, so giving them weaknesses related to Luck/Machines/Probability/Tools/Destiny could be in order. However, Angels have more obscure Bans and Banes by nature, almost a Rank higher when comparing them to ghosts, so they are all at least level 2 Rank in terms of rarity and difficulty. I think this would mean you'll have to combine this faux "Key of Chance" with other factor. Like fire born of motor oil or of a Bunsen Burner or something like that.

      Furthermore, an Angel's Ban and Bane are most likely designed by the God-Machine, presumably to better execute their missions or to control its Angels. Maybe their bans could be related to their Covers or daily activities (Life) and their bane related to their mission or things that may cause them to fail it (Death) or are both there to prevent it from Falling. I would have to look for angels bans and banes written examples to see how all connects to this but it seems possible.

      *I tried fixing the table for mobile but I give up, too much hassle. I shuffled some things around and is now somewhat legible but still all kinds of wrong.

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      • #4
        I posted something for Spirits here.

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