Ghost Echos - ideas

I mistakenly typed Ghost Market in the title of the post. I have edited it to say Ghost Echos as originally intended. Apologies that the first couple of posts talk about Ghost Market.

Hello community,

Our Shadows crew has Ghost Market as a special ability. The book has some good examples of how this can manifest in the game.

I am wondering if you have any of your own ideas to add. I would like to have a robust set of ideas handy so they have more opportunities to use this ability. Anything helps. Thanks.

Interesting, this is special ability that is for the hawkers type, I presume you allowed it via veteran advance?

Since you trade with ghosts and demons now, those entities are quite powerful and while not giving you coins, they can give you other more valuable things - favors, information or even join you on scores if you made the product good enough :slight_smile:

You might even consider some supernatural being as cohort!

Ugh - I meant to type Ghost Echos not Ghost Market.

The crew does have Ghost Market and yes, they took it as a veteran special ability from the Hawker sheet. I don’t have any questions about Ghost Market because it is fleshed out well. The crew uses their gambling den to hook ghosts on their “product” which is gambling. They consort with the ghosts, through the Whisper, to gather information on ghostly things. One potential complication being that the ghosts enjoy the gambling and consorting so much they want to stalk or posses the Whisper.

Ghost Echos -
Conversely, the crew has had Ghost Echos for several sessions and have not used it at all. That is the special ability I am looking for inspiration with. Like I said the book has good examples. I’m just wondering what other ideas are out there that might trigger the crew to use this ability.

Ghost echoes it is then :smiley:
For me the whole ghost-part of the setting is not very well covered. It leaves a lot of questions and room for interpretation. I don’t like so big white spots and not all groups like this. I am still new to running BitD and if someone more experienced jumps in here it will be great :slight_smile:

The way I interpret this ability is that the crew no longer require to make attune rolls when they want to survey the environment via the ghost field and have easier time when it comes to dealing with ghosts (which still require attune roll and all the stuffs if they want to interact with them in more direct way). A roll might be required during the gather information or score phase, but for the basics - no more.

Using this method you can find passages or secret doors that are not directly visible, considering they still stand and this is not echo from the past state of the building or location. I would be rolling fortune here if I have to come up on the spot, otherwise it will be part of the prep for the score.

The mention of electroplasmic glow of the treasures is one thing, but it also can apply to electroplasmic devices! Which means the crew will know if someone is carrying such device or not and how powerful it is. Same for locations that utilize this technology.

One major boon from this ability is that it also allows interaction with the field. Which brings the question - if you have ghost door discovered, can you use it without Whisper or ghost key? I would say a flashback is in order to acquire the key, if they have door discovered during a score and no Whisper is present.

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Thank you for posting your ideas here. I am having a similar issue in that the game I am running, the crew picked this ability for their crew playbook, and I’ve been having a tough time trying to figure out what I can give them that won’t take away opportunities from the Whisper that is part of the team. So far I’ve limited it to the other crew members still learning how to read the ghost field so they can perceive structures w/in the ghost field and maybe vague hints of spirits or lifeforms, but that’s all.

Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.

The way I interpret this ability is twofold, but let’s start with my basic interpretation of the ghost-field (which may or may not apply to your game as it is).

The ghost-field is like a mirror ethereal dimension which is layered on top of the material world and it’s influenced/drawn closer by electroplasmic energy

When you attune to the ghost-field you usually deal with:

  • Ghosts (spirits of dead people)
  • Horrors and Gods (things that are probably “beyond” the ghost-field)
  • Arcane spells (because they rely on the Forgotten God’s power and/or they draw their unexplicable energy through the ghost-field)
  • Electroplasmic energy (probably because it’s a distilled form of life force).
  • Extrasensorial perceptions (because you cast your normal perception through the lens of the ghost-field)

The idea behind the ability I think it’s tied to this concept of “extrasensorial perceptions”.
It assumes that there are echoes from the past of the city still present in the ghost field, that the city has a sort of “memory” of its own, probably informed by the memory of its inhabitants.

So when you take “Ghost echoes” you can really interact not just with “sentient beings” (ghosts, horrors, gods) and living/magic energy (electroplasm and arcane powers) but you dig deeper in the memories embedded in the ghost-field, memories that are not necessarily “sentient” on their own, but that are lasting marks of things that were.

Now, there are tipically three kind of memories you can find in the ghost field (it’s a fluid distinction of course):

  • Objects
  • Places
  • Events

Ghost Echoes let you interact with these memories, but the way you interact with them can be relatively simple or complex as it’s required.

Objects usually require a simple interaction: you can simply find/handle a long-lost book (maybe the complete version of the destroyed version in real life): you can maybe read it, pick it up, treat it as a “material object” when it’s just a “ghost” of that object. You can climb the ghost of a broken ladder (if you are able to find it in the ghost field) or maybe go through a door that is now a wall.

Places can require a simple or complex interaction: maybe walking through a lost passage is a simple task that requires a brief trip in the ghost-field, but exploring a now destroyed building could be a whole adventure: maybe there are “ghost-objects” that you can find only by entering the broken memory of a place, maybe there are crazed ghosts who still live in that memory and events that you can witness if you roam the ghost-rooms of that place.

Events are a special kind of memory. On one hand, I think that attune can sometimes be used to see glimpse of past events that took place in a specific location. On the other hand, I can see a creative but dangerous use of Ghost Field to witness and interact with an Event, maybe to change it and influence the memory of it in the mind of the city and/or it’s inhabitant.

Concerning this concepts and the execution of complex interaction granted by the Ghost Echoes ability, the amazing “Cradle” level of Thief Deadly Shadows or some Silent Hill moments come to mind.

PS: english is not my first language, so be kind to my errors :slight_smile:

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I like your description of places and events - reminds me a great deal of the Greywalker series of novels.

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This is fantastic!

Thank you for the thought, time, and effort you put into describing your interpretation of this. You just gave me a whole host of ideas that I can use for the game. You also gave me a way to use this particular special ability in a way that can add to the game without detracting from the Whisper in our group.

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