Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

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Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by Big Mac » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:10 am

Ghostwalk states that every Ghost has a Ghost Trait. There are eight Ghost Traits on pages 8-9 of Ghostwalk:
  • Hunger,
  • Flesh,
  • Home,
  • Ocular,
  • Oral,
  • Personal,
  • Scent and
  • Thirst.
Have you used the Ghost Traits in your games?

Are some easier to work with than others? (The "Home" Ghost Trait seems like it would cause problems to a GM who wanted to send players across the map.)

Have you managed to get any good roleplaying ideas from Ghost Traits? Which Traits have given you the best ideas?

Has anyone ever created a random table for choosing Ghost Traits?
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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by willpell » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 pm

Home is pretty definitely for npcs. They certainly should not be chosen randomly, as the trait is one of the most defining characteristics the ghost's identity.

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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:56 am

willpell wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 pm
Home is pretty definitely for npcs.
You might be able to get away with this in a campaign set entirely in Manifest, but I wouldn't fancy playing at Ghost that had problems leaving Manifest.

I wonder if there are magic items (or mundane items) that could temporarily get around this restriction. I believe that some vampire stories have vampires taking a coffin full of their home soil, when they travel. :?

A variant of "Home" with a Ghost being attached to a caravan, ship or other vehicle could be interesting (if only for an NPC and not a PC).

And if a spellcaster could make a spell that "steals Home" from a Ghost with that Ghost Trait, they might be able to force a NPC or PC Ghost to follow them somewhere. :idea: :twisted:
willpell wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 pm
They certainly should not be chosen randomly, as the trait is one of the most defining characteristics the ghost's identity.
Random tables might help in the creation of Ghost NPCs.

And a player who is stuck for ideas, might want to roll a random Ghost trait and then build the backstory of a newly created Ghost PC around it.

But random tables probably wouldn't want to be something to impose on players who didn't want to use them.

Perhaps expanded Ghost Traits (with optional random tables) would make for a good Ghostwalk Fan Enhancement for Hero Builder's Guidebook. :)
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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by willpell » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:24 am

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:56 am
willpell wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:52 pm
Home is pretty definitely for npcs.
You might be able to get away with this in a campaign set entirely in Manifest, but I wouldn't fancy playing at Ghost that had problems leaving Manifest.
Given that you become incorporeal anywhere else, the Trait is the least of your issues....
I wonder if there are magic items (or mundane items) that could temporarily get around this restriction. I believe that some vampire stories have vampires taking a coffin full of their home soil, when they travel.
If you don't want to deal with the limitations of this trait, just pick a different trait. I would quickly put the kibosh on any player who tried to game the system this way, as it could only lead to similar nonsense from everyone else, like taking the Food trait and swallowing one of those Feedbags of Infinite Oats that are normally used for horses....
A variant of "Home" with a Ghost being attached to a caravan, ship or other vehicle could be interesting (if only for an NPC and not a PC).

And if a spellcaster could make a spell that "steals Home" from a Ghost with that Ghost Trait, they might be able to force a NPC or PC Ghost to follow them somewhere.
These on the other hand are respectively a good idea and an excellent one.
And a player who is stuck for ideas, might want to roll a random Ghost trait and then build the backstory of a newly created Ghost PC around it.
This really isn't enough of a starting point to work with. It would be like rolling a random race...even if you don't get "human", you still have nothing resembling a personality or backstory or anything (at least not unless you consult a resource like the Races Of books, and those just give you a stereotype). "OK, I'm an elf. Now what?" you need more than that.
Perhaps expanded Ghost Traits (with optional random tables) would make for a good Ghostwalk Fan Enhancement for Hero Builder's Guidebook. :)
Not sure why you brought that book up. Sure that fan document might be handy, but not as helpful as, say, a tactical encounter with a high level spellcaster which actually gives you the full text of his spells all in one place, complete with secondary effects (eg the effects of wind speed if he can cast Control Weather, or the templated stats on any creature he summons). If Wizards wanted to sell books during the 3E era, they should have given us more of that, and less of the stupid bureaucratic boilerplate they repeated ad nauseam in every book (such as repeating the entire "swift and immediate actions" sidebar in every one of the books they printed after inventing the concept, instead of just making one Web Enhancement to the PHB and referring everyone there).

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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:16 pm

willpell wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:24 am
Big Mac wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:56 am
Perhaps expanded Ghost Traits (with optional random tables) would make for a good Ghostwalk Fan Enhancement for Hero Builder's Guidebook. :)
Not sure why you brought that book up.
Because I was talking about someone rolling up a new PC and building a backstory around a Ghost trait. Hero Builder's Guidebook is a book that is about helping people to come up with roleplaying ideas for PCs. :)

This topic is about looking for things to do with Ghost traits. Weaving them into a PC backstory is something that could be a hypothetical section in Ghost Builder's Netbook.
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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by willpell » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Because I was talking about someone rolling up a new PC and building a backstory around a Ghost trait. Hero Builder's Guidebook is a book that is about helping people to come up with roleplaying ideas for PCs. :)
Well if you wanted to expand that book, a Ghostwalk section would be less useful than, say, a Races of Stone section that helps with Goliath PCs and Stoneblessed. But more to the point, what such a book really "needs" is to cross-reference every book with every other, so that you get descriptions of Goliath Incarnum-users and Ghostwalk Killoren Binders and Hellfire Warlocks with Strongholds in the Unapproachable East who found an Affiliation around their Weapon of Legacy.

But ultimately, HBG is one of the least necessary supplements Wotco ever squeezed out...most players are more than sufficiently creative that they can come up with a proper backstory for their halfelf monk or whatever. Far more useful would be one more Saltmarsh-style campaign setting fully fleshed out with statted NPCs, adventure site maps at tactical scale, and plot hooks.

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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:58 pm

willpell wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Because I was talking about someone rolling up a new PC and building a backstory around a Ghost trait. Hero Builder's Guidebook is a book that is about helping people to come up with roleplaying ideas for PCs. :)
Well if you wanted to expand that book, a Ghostwalk section would be less useful than, say, a Races of Stone section that helps with Goliath PCs and Stoneblessed.
I've not noticed a mention of Goliath PCs or Stoneblessed in Ghostwalk.

I do have a Races of Ghostwalk topic. I was thinking of using Races of Faerûn and Races of Eberron as inspiration for any potential fanon expansion on the small bits of canon information I've been finding in the Ghostwalk book. But I suppose that Races of Destiny, Races of Stone, Races of the Dragon and Races of the Wild might also serve as good inspiration. :)

I'm really trying to figure out specific ways to do more with Ghost Traits in this topic.
willpell wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm
But more to the point, what such a book really "needs" is to cross-reference every book with every other, so that you get descriptions of Goliath Incarnum-users and Ghostwalk Killoren Binders and Hellfire Warlocks with Strongholds in the Unapproachable East who found an Affiliation around their Weapon of Legacy.
That's a bit beyond the scope of what I'm trying to do in this topic, but it's not a bad idea.

If you look at what WotC have stated about 5th Edition books, they have said that they want each one to stand up on its own (so that GMs and players only need the core rulebooks and one other book to play - and at a push can play with the D&D Basic Rules). I think that WotC were sometimes trying to do something similar with 3e, but they sometimes went away from that and added one or more other books that were "recommended reading".

I would suggest starting topics similar to your That's the Spirit: Incarnum In Ghostwalk, if you want to talk about a specific book (or a feature from a specific book) and how it might work with Ghostwalk.

Or if you want to give really quick overview of how various different books might fit in with Ghostwalk, I've got a [Ghostwalk] What other books are good for Ghostwalk? that you could bump. :)
willpell wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm
But ultimately, HBG is one of the least necessary supplements Wotco ever squeezed out...most players are more than sufficiently creative that they can come up with a proper backstory for their halfelf monk or whatever. Far more useful would be one more Saltmarsh-style campaign setting fully fleshed out with statted NPCs, adventure site maps at tactical scale, and plot hooks.
That's the sort of thing that half the reviews said about Hero Builder's Guidebook. Those bad reviews helped push the price down, so I could get a dirt-cheap copy. :lol: I quite like the book, myself, as I'm not so much into min-maxing everything and thought it would be good for randomly generating some backstories for NPCs.

I'll see what I can come up with, at some point. :D
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Re: Has anyone used Ghost Traits to create plot hooks?

Post by willpell » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:52 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Thu Apr 05, 2018 3:58 pm
willpell wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:17 pm
Well if you wanted to expand that book, a Ghostwalk section would be less useful than, say, a Races of Stone section that helps with Goliath PCs and Stoneblessed.
I've not noticed a mention of Goliath PCs or Stoneblessed in Ghostwalk.
:facepalm: I meant have a section on goliaths etc. in HBG. It's written as if to summarize the culture of the entire default setting, but it becomes obsolete the moment the next supplement comes out. Web enhancements ought to not only add ever-increasing numbers of paragraphs for every race and class, but also contradict the source text where necessary, with passages like "even more often than they become Bards, dwarves are drawn to the Marshal class."
If you look at what WotC have stated about 5th Edition books, they have said that they want each one to stand up on its own


Yes, this was always an imbecilic concept. Gnomes and monks get to be in the corebook, but Favored Souls and full-blood orc PCs are ghettoed off for players who own Complete Divine or Savage Species? Ridiculous. If they wanted this approach to work, they should have put far more thought into which aspects of the setting deserved to be so central that a Psionics campaign and a Draconomicon campaign and a campaign in the Shining South would all feature them. As it stands, not even the Ranger really deserves that; it's too specific an archetype, and meanwhile something as flexible as the Swashbuckler or the Knight is cordoned off.

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