[Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

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[Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by dulsi » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:16 am

Does anyone have Ghostwalk? What do they think of it? I was looking through Dragon #315 and read the origin of the setting in Ghostwalk. I could picture setting up a crystal sphere with the idea. From the reviews I found, it sounds like they may not of perfected the ghost playing mechanic.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Hugin » Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:41 pm

I only got the chance to flip through the book in the store but I thought it was very interesting. My hope was that it was a book that could provide mechanics to use with Bruce Heard's Limbo concept. I kind of regret not picking it up (I recall it being rather pricey at the time though).

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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:56 am

I also thought about building a crystal sphere around Ghostwalk. I quite like the idea that characters can be killed and remain in the adventure. (I'm not sure if they could leave the crystal sphere and remain undead, or if their souls would move on.)

Here are a few useful links: I've not had a chance to even skim through that lot, but from what I understand Manifest is the only place where the dead can come back, so I can see it becoming the centre of attention for anyone interested in bringing people back (or keeping them dead).

EDIT: Links copied over to [Ghostwalk] Other Ghostwalk Websites thread, to make it easier for people to find. (If you find any links, please post them in the other thread and myself or a moderator can update the first post of that thread.)
Last edited by Big Mac on Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by waylander39 » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:50 pm

I finally got this a couple of months ago. Haven't had a good chance to look through all of it yet, but from what I've seen it looks ok. I'll post again once I've had a chance to read through it properly.

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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:16 pm

waylander39 wrote:I'll post again once I've had a chance to read through it properly.
Has anyone got a stick we can use to poke Waylander with! :lol:
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Chimpman » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:29 am

Ok, this thread seems to have escaped me. I've had Ghostwalk for quite a while now and love it. My intention is of course to cannibalize it for use in Mystara (specifically for my BC 2300 campaign where certain areas will be tied closely with the Great Rain of Fire and the Radiance - this being the catalyst for trapped souls and their continued existence on the material plane even after their body's death).

As such I never planned on using Manifest as it was presented, but rather using several "Manifest-like" locations scattered throughout the setting. Regardless the setting itself is quite well done, and I could see campaigns being run in that world as is. I'm especially intrigued by Big Mac's idea of creating a Ghostwalk Sphere.

As a side note, I think that Ghostwalk rules would also work well in an Eberron campaign. The city of Manifest could be replaced by the Mournlands, or any number of manifest zones.

Here are a few main points of the setting in a nutshell - I'd be happy to expand on anything there are questions on (this is all memory right now so may not be 100% accurate).
- Souls/ghosts can continue to exist in the setting even after their bodies are killed. Said ghosts can manifest fully within the city of Manifest. They basically become corporeal and can function almost normally within the city limits. Various feats and magic items can augment their powers and allow them to function further from the city.

- All souls end up in Manifest (the gateway to the afterworld is located there, so they all must pass through it). Many cultures will bring their loved ones remains to Manifest so that body and soul can be re-united in the afterlife. THose who die prematurely can be resurrected in the city of Manifest as long as their physical remains are brought there.

- Elves have souls, but don't follow the same rules as others. They bond with ancestor trees when they die.

- The Yuan-ti don't have souls, and thus hate the city of Manifest and all it represents. They are set up as the major villains of the setting (along with the undead).
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:31 pm

Chimpman wrote:As such I never planned on using Manifest as it was presented, but rather using several "Manifest-like" locations scattered throughout the setting. Regardless the setting itself is quite well done, and I could see campaigns being run in that world as is. I'm especially intrigued by Big Mac's idea of creating a Ghostwalk Sphere.
To be fair, Dulsi mentioned this in the first post. :)

I'm not sure what Dulsi wanted to do, but if I decided to go down this route, it would be something that uses Manifest (rather than something that reboots it).The city would stay and would presumably have a similar status to the City of Greyhawk (i.e. would be the most important city on the planet - and maybe even the entire sphere). I've not got this book yet, but if it doesn't give a full description of Manifest's planet, I would build outward. I would take as much canon as possible and then invent what isn't given to us.

The first question, from a SJ point of view, would be: should every planet, moon and maybe even asteroid in "Manifestspace" have its own Manifest-like area? This seemingly trival question could change the entire sphere. You would ether get an entire world's worth of dead people arriving at Manifest of an entire sphere's worth. I personally would lean towards one city per big planet - at the very least. Taken down to the asteroid level, you would get the potential for a Bral-like city full of dead people.

The next question would be: should all of the cities be the same, or should some bring back different races from the dead? This could be another thing that would drastically change the sphere. If the members of certain non-Ghostwalk monster races were steered towards cities on other planets, we could have an Orc planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War and an Elf planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War. And if the IEN took the Orc City of the Dead, they could turn it into a prison and automatically "capture" the souls of any orcs that happen to die in the sphere.

You would also need to ask yourself: can a character die on one planet and come back on another planet (just like dead people can run from one graveyard to another in WoW)? My knee-jerk reaction to that would be to say no, but then what happens to the people who die in wildspace? Do they drift along waiting for a planet to go past or does their soul teleport over to the nearest city of the dead?

Last, but certainly not least, what happens to dead characters who try to leave Manifestspace? Do you let them leave (and just treat them as something similar to an archlich)? Do you let them leave (but lock their chance to come back to life within the sphere)? Or do you stick up a barrier that blocks them from leaving?
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Chimpman » Mon Aug 24, 2009 3:54 pm

Big Mac wrote:To be fair, Dulsi mentioned this in the first post. :)
Right you are. Props to Dulsi.
Big Mac wrote:I've not got this book yet, but if it doesn't give a full description of Manifest's planet, I would build outward. I would take as much canon as possible and then invent what isn't given to us.
The source book details several nations spanning across multiple continents IIRC. One of those is a nation of undead (with whom Manifest has had problems in the past). IIRC, it also details at least one demi-plane (as being the home of the yuan-ti) and possibly a handful of others. I'll break the book out tonight when I get home and give you a full rundown.
Big Mac wrote:The first question, from a SJ point of view, would be: should every planet, moon and maybe even asteroid in "Manifestspace" have its own Manifest-like area? This seemingly trival question could change the entire sphere. You would ether get an entire world's worth of dead people arriving at Manifest of an entire sphere's worth. I personally would lean towards one city per big planet - at the very least. Taken down to the asteroid level, you would get the potential for a Bral-like city full of dead people.
I'd probably compromise somewhere in the middle - giving each major planet a gateway to the dead (and manifest zone around each). I don't think I'd put one on each asteroid, and probably not on each moon. It just seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up having Spelljammers transport dead people around the system.

I do like the idea of Ghost-Bral though. You might even be able to expand that idea by having the dead realms be linked and making travel between them possible - this is something that the Ghostwalk book doesn't cover at all. For all intents and purposes, once a character passes into the realm of the dead they are out of play - but it doesn't have to be that way. It's more of a Planescape vibe rather than a Spelljammer one, but no reason it can't be contemplated.
Big Mac wrote:The next question would be: should all of the cities be the same, or should some bring back different races from the dead? This could be another thing that would drastically change the sphere. If the members of certain non-Ghostwalk monster races were steered towards cities on other planets, we could have an Orc planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War and an Elf planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War. And if the IEN took the Orc City of the Dead, they could turn it into a prison and automatically "capture" the souls of any orcs that happen to die in the sphere.
Also interesting - above I assumed that the gateways of the dead would all lead to one realm, but that might not be the case. Being a Mystaraphile, I always wonder about how the immortals/gods would cope in such a setting. What if the gods wage battles on the other side for control of the gates? In that case you may have different gods or godly alliances controlling each of the different gates, and thus granting access to only their chosen people.
Big Mac wrote:You would also need to ask yourself: can a character die on one planet and come back on another planet (just like dead people can run from one graveyard to another in WoW)? My knee-jerk reaction to that would be to say no, but then what happens to the people who die in wildspace? Do they drift along waiting for a planet to go past or does their soul teleport over to the nearest city of the dead?
Good question, but I don't have any answer at the moment.
Big Mac wrote:Last, but certainly not least, what happens to dead characters who try to leave Manifestspace? Do you let them leave (and just treat them as something similar to an archlich)? Do you let them leave (but lock their chance to come back to life within the sphere)? Or do you stick up a barrier that blocks them from leaving?
I'd allow them to leave, but again this would be just like leaving Manifest. They will loose some powers outside of a dead manifest zone - for example won't be able to become corporeal - unless they bring some magic items with them that help to bypass these restrictions.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by waylander39 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:01 pm

Big Mac wrote:
waylander39 wrote:I'll post again once I've had a chance to read through it properly.
Has anyone got a stick we can use to poke Waylander with! :lol:
Damn I'd forgotten I'd posted that :oops: It's been a busy year, my 2e campaign has kind of taken over the last few months of my gaming life. I'm going to have to go and read this now... :lol:

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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:32 pm

Chimpman wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I've not got this book yet, but if it doesn't give a full description of Manifest's planet, I would build outward. I would take as much canon as possible and then invent what isn't given to us.
I just given Forbidden Planet £16.99 of my hard earned cash and am proud owner of a copy of this book. (I'm sure I'll see it cheaper all over the place now. :roll: :lol: ) Anyhoo, this means that I can now read the book and argue with myself! LOL
Chimpman wrote:The source book details several nations spanning across multiple continents IIRC. One of those is a nation of undead (with whom Manifest has had problems in the past). IIRC, it also details at least one demi-plane (as being the home of the yuan-ti) and possibly a handful of others. I'll break the book out tonight when I get home and give you a full rundown.
I make it six countries (Bazareene, Salkiria, Sura-Khiri, Tereppek, Thurkasia and Xaphan) around Manifest (and its nearby area). I can't tell the geograpy, but that might be in the map. Hopefully the map also says the world name as I can't find it.

The yuan-ti demi plane (Coil) is interesting and gives them the sort of feel that the Pirates of Gith have in the Known Spheres. But there are a number of other elements to the Ghostwalk Cosmology (The True Afterlife and The Land of the Dead). The Land of the Dead has a number of locations (The Soulwaters, The Wandering Isles, The Veil Island, Deeran's House, The Isle of the Five and Fortress of Trun) and collectively they seem to have a similar feel to a string of islands or an asteroid cluster.

I think I would be tempted to use Land of the Dead locations as a template for designing any asteroids in the sphere. In the Planescape Campaign Setting, the planewalkers have the same sort of "looking down the nose thing" that spacefarers had towards groundlings, but I think that sort of thing would go totally out of the window here. If ghosts can come back, then there would not be two cultures here. The living would take on elements of Planewalker culture and the dead would have had a mortal life as well as a ghostly life to remember.

I think that this thing has got the same mini-setting potential as Shadows of the Spider Moon had. But in this case, the strength of interaction between the dead and the living would be the control mechanism and no Hotel California effect would be required.
Chimpman wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The first question, from a SJ point of view, would be: should every planet, moon and maybe even asteroid in "Manifestspace" have its own Manifest-like area? This seemingly trival question could change the entire sphere. You would ether get an entire world's worth of dead people arriving at Manifest of an entire sphere's worth. I personally would lean towards one city per big planet - at the very least. Taken down to the asteroid level, you would get the potential for a Bral-like city full of dead people.
I'd probably compromise somewhere in the middle - giving each major planet a gateway to the dead (and manifest zone around each). I don't think I'd put one on each asteroid, and probably not on each moon. It just seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up having Spelljammers transport dead people around the system.
Hmm. Manifest-like zones on the planets would certainly drive spelljamming traffic onto those worlds. I might even suggest having one Manifest-like city per continent, but am not decided on that yet.

And thinking about this again, the ghosts could actually hitchhike (or even stow away) on ships. Ghosts don't breath air, so a ship could afford to carry a few around. They might even make good crew. Although their urges might cause them to eat food or drink water, I think that a captain could factor that in.
Chimpman wrote:I do like the idea of Ghost-Bral though. You might even be able to expand that idea by having the dead realms be linked and making travel between them possible - this is something that the Ghostwalk book doesn't cover at all. For all intents and purposes, once a character passes into the realm of the dead they are out of play - but it doesn't have to be that way. It's more of a Planescape vibe rather than a Spelljammer one, but no reason it can't be contemplated.
Well, I think that the locations within The Land of the Dead is very similar to this idea. I'd say your modified version would put a Bral-like asteroid into The Land of the Dead and have it coexist in the land ond the living (or wildspace). I'm currently tempted to make crystal spheres into 4-dimentional objects and have the unique parts of the cosmologies of gameworlds fit into that crystal sphere. Off of the material plane the sphere might be nothing more than an area within which outsiders can planewalk to the material plane, but for small contained planes (and demiplanes like Coil) it would be a good barrier to limit the expansion of that part of the setting (into the D&D multiverse).

This does sound like I've wandered offtopic, but I'm going to bring it back again, by suggesting that we make all parts of The Land of the Dead have material plane counterparts and make all parts of Ghostwalkspace have Land of the Dead counterparts. So that would bring us back to a Rock of Bral that was in both places. Maybe the connection could be something different (like a magical portal) or maybe a giant temple to the gods of the dead could have been built by both living and dead clerics.
Chimpman wrote:
Big Mac wrote:The next question would be: should all of the cities be the same, or should some bring back different races from the dead? This could be another thing that would drastically change the sphere. If the members of certain non-Ghostwalk monster races were steered towards cities on other planets, we could have an Orc planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War and an Elf planet that was filled up with ghosts during the First Unhuman War. And if the IEN took the Orc City of the Dead, they could turn it into a prison and automatically "capture" the souls of any orcs that happen to die in the sphere.
Also interesting - above I assumed that the gateways of the dead would all lead to one realm, but that might not be the case. Being a Mystaraphile, I always wonder about how the immortals/gods would cope in such a setting. What if the gods wage battles on the other side for control of the gates? In that case you may have different gods or godly alliances controlling each of the different gates, and thus granting access to only their chosen people.
Reading this again, it seems that Manifest is used by all humanoid creatures (except elves*), but guarded by Deathwarden dwarves. So I think that other cites would need to either have similar "defenders" or be left for anyone to come in and invade.

* = You die, you come back, you turn into a tree. Roll another character.

Skim reading some more it looks a bit like the elves created (or helped to create) Manifest, so you could scatter EIN bases around the sphere in other locations where the elves created a Manifest-like location. (Some of these could fall the the unhumans during the First Unhuman War**).

** = The First Unhuman War would be amazing in an environment when dead warriors come back to the battlefield.

Actually, now I know that Orcs can come back, but elves can't it puts an entirely new spin on things. The EIN would have to kill every orc twice, but the Unhuman Fleet would only have to kill elves once. The First Unhuman War could sweap the elves out of the "magical cities" and other races could move in to help displace the Unhumans (partly to ensure that their relatives can come back when they die).

The cities could mostly be neutral ground, but it might also be fun to get races like the Mind Flayers to use a Manifest-like city to enslave ghosts! I wonder if a mind flayer could learn how to suck out the brain of a ghost.
Chimpman wrote:
Big Mac wrote:You would also need to ask yourself: can a character die on one planet and come back on another planet (just like dead people can run from one graveyard to another in WoW)? My knee-jerk reaction to that would be to say no, but then what happens to the people who die in wildspace? Do they drift along waiting for a planet to go past or does their soul teleport over to the nearest city of the dead?
Good question, but I don't have any answer at the moment.
Me neither. But I'd be inclined to boot people to the nearest city.
Chimpman wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Last, but certainly not least, what happens to dead characters who try to leave Manifestspace? Do you let them leave (and just treat them as something similar to an archlich)? Do you let them leave (but lock their chance to come back to life within the sphere)? Or do you stick up a barrier that blocks them from leaving?
I'd allow them to leave, but again this would be just like leaving Manifest. They will loose some powers outside of a dead manifest zone - for example won't be able to become corporeal - unless they bring some magic items with them that help to bypass these restrictions.
Good idea. We would just need to work out what powers are tied to the sphere and make them get lost outside the sphere. But I wonder if some powers would be lost in the flow, but regained in other spheres where a ghost PC's god is worshipped.

I'm inclined to think that a ghost that dies in the flow would be in serious trouble. Maybe they would automatically turn into some sort of undead.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:50 pm

waylander39 wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
waylander39 wrote:I'll post again once I've had a chance to read through it properly.
Has anyone got a stick we can use to poke Waylander with! :lol:
Damn I'd forgotten I'd posted that :oops: It's been a busy year, my 2e campaign has kind of taken over the last few months of my gaming life. I'm going to have to go and read this now... :lol:
I think we have a lot of potential to split off Ghostwalk subjects. I'd love to see someone like you help to knock up a 2e retro conversion of the ghost rules. We could definatly have a thread for discussing the Spelljammer connectivity and the way this might work with Planescape. But I think we could also have threads to talk about how to transplant Manifest into any other campaign setting (e.g. where on Mystara coud Manifest fit).
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by waylander39 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:08 pm

Big Mac wrote:
waylander39 wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
waylander39 wrote:I'll post again once I've had a chance to read through it properly.
Has anyone got a stick we can use to poke Waylander with! :lol:
Damn I'd forgotten I'd posted that :oops: It's been a busy year, my 2e campaign has kind of taken over the last few months of my gaming life. I'm going to have to go and read this now... :lol:
I think we have a lot of potential to split off Ghostwalk subjects. I'd love to see someone like you help to knock up a 2e retro conversion of the ghost rules. We could definatly have a thread for discussing the Spelljammer connectivity and the way this might work with Planescape. But I think we could also have threads to talk about how to transplant Manifest into any other campaign setting (e.g. where on Mystara coud Manifest fit).
Hmm sounds like a plan, my campaign is FR-centric but that means that anything I retro fit into it could also conceivably work in Mystara, Greyhawk or (at a push) DL as well. I'll start a new thread once some thoughts and possible ideas manifest themselves.

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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:08 am

waylander39 wrote:
Big Mac wrote:
waylander39 wrote:It's been a busy year, my 2e campaign has kind of taken over the last few months of my gaming life. I'm going to have to go and read this now... :lol:
I think we have a lot of potential to split off Ghostwalk subjects. I'd love to see someone like you help to knock up a 2e retro conversion of the ghost rules. We could definatly have a thread for discussing the Spelljammer connectivity and the way this might work with Planescape. But I think we could also have threads to talk about how to transplant Manifest into any other campaign setting (e.g. where on Mystara coud Manifest fit).
Hmm sounds like a plan, my campaign is FR-centric but that means that anything I retro fit into it could also conceivably work in Mystara, Greyhawk or (at a push) DL as well. I'll start a new thread once some thoughts and possible ideas manifest themselves.
Page 134 has a sidebar that gives advice on how to put Ghostwalk into Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. So from that point of view, I'd say we need an "unofficial Web Enhancement" (or if we are lucky a visit from Sean K. Reynolds) to make suggestions on where to put a Mystaran-Manifest or a Dragonlance-Manifest.

From the multi-setting point of view, I actually think that a retro conversion of the PC rules for ghosts (Chapter 1) would be a major benifit to all 2e settings. I'd like to see them done for 1e and OD&D too.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Chimpman » Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:17 am

;) Searching through the boards, I see that I've already started such a topic for Using Ghostwalk in Mystara. There are a few ideas there already, but I think they could be expanded.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:13 am

Chimpman wrote:;) Searching through the boards, I see that I've already started such a topic for Using Ghostwalk in Mystara. There are a few ideas there already, but I think they could be expanded.
Well, I've started a thread called: [Ghostwalk] Using Manifest within Dragonlance. I'm hoping that will get some suggestions too.
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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by beasterbrook » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:09 am

Strength of Soul

Aberrations have weak souls, if they have any at all. Most of these perverse beings of the world accept their lot. But the Yuan-ti, covetous and evil, delight in expressing their contempt on humanoids, and especially on the souls of humanoids that exist beyond death near Manifest, the City of Ghosts. Led by a wicked Anathema, a cult of violent yuan-ti rise up. The Golden Hand, a sturdy group with ghosts among them, answer the call to arms.

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Re: [Ghostwalk] Ghost Rules?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:39 pm

beasterbrook wrote:Strength of Soul

Aberrations have weak souls, if they have any at all. Most of these perverse beings of the world accept their lot. But the Yuan-ti, covetous and evil, delight in expressing their contempt on humanoids, and especially on the souls of humanoids that exist beyond death near Manifest, the City of Ghosts. Led by a wicked Anathema, a cult of violent yuan-ti rise up. The Golden Hand, a sturdy group with ghosts among them, answer the call to arms.
Sounds good. What's that from? Is it from the adventure?
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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