I’m GMing a campaign where a player chose to become a ghost.
In the downtime phase, I wasn’t sure what activities he could do, because I thought it was strange to a ghost to train and carry out long-term projects like the other characters.
In the downtime chapter and in the ghost part, it only mentions that it is necessary to possess a victim to reduce drainage. In this way, I started to imagine that the downtime phase of a character of this type would only serve to satisfy his vital need.
So, what downtime activities could a ghost do? and, if it is only to possess people, when can he acquire the possess trait?
Welcome to the Blades community! We’re always in need of fresh blood.
(Especially since some have demons and vampires to feed)
Regarding when a Ghost can unlock the Possess skill, the manual only states that “When you transfer your character to the Ghost playbook (…) you may also choose one more Ghost trait”. My interpretation of this wording is that, when you either start as a Ghost or transfer from another playbook into a Ghost, you automatically start with Ghost Form and another Trait of your choosing. Since the manual also adds that “you may not choose Possess as a starting trait”, this simply means that you cannot choose to have Ghost Form + Possess as your starting traits.
However, there seem to be no further requirements or restrictions for unlocking Possess, which means that as soon as the Ghost fills their XP tracker for the first time, they will already be able to unlock the Possess skill, as far as I can tell.
Other than that, Ghosts have need instead of vices, suffer drain instead of stress and gloom instead of trauma. That’s all just flavourful semantics, really. Nothing changes from a mechanical perspective. There is nothing specifically stating that, during Downtime, the Ghost characters lose access to anything, much like the Hull and the Vampire.
Does it make sense for a Ghost to have long-term projects? My opinion is: absolutely! This PC will very likely be one of the selective ghosts in Doskvol who has somehow kept their sanity. This means that, although they may be dead, they still (mostly) think like a living person. And all living people have motivations and goals, which lead to projects.
Is it a bit weird for a Ghost to do Downtime activities such as Train? Maybe. But the book doesn’t say anything against it. And Weird is sort of part of this game if we’re being honest. Also, it’s always up to the group to decide how they want to approach this. Will is just be a mechanic roll and glossed over? Or will you, as the GM, actually ask the player how they are training? Possessing a victim to train through them is the first thing that comes to mind, but the player may have other - more original - thoughts on the matter. You know what they say: play to find out!
Thanks for the welcome, Minakie.
This is the first time that I participate in a forum and starting with such a thoughtfull anwser is wonderful!
In relation to possess, in fact, the book doesn’t mention a restriction to unlock the ability after filling the xp bar, so, I will consider that this is a new skill to be acquired, just like a ability of another standard character.
Regarding the ghost, I thought the possibility of dieing and become one was awesome, but I really had doubts about how I could integrate this into the narrative. Apparently, it will be in a strange way, as you said.
I can’t wait to continue narrating the next heist of the group of shadows that i GM, they are loving the game, just like me.
Good question and welcome!
In my opinion everything is fine when the fiction is good for it.
So, train a ghost? Not regarding physical stuff maybe but why not train Insight for better hunting those strange carbon-based humans? Training Resolve for Command, Attune? Yes! Consort may be difficult with humans but consorting with other ghosts or a medium? Go for it. Being a ghost may be a problem with humans (desperate position, limited or no effect for consort) but may be great with you want to frighten them (risky position, great effect for command).
Let’s have look at the other downtime activities:
Aquire Asset: Depending on your source that may be difficult but still possible when the ghost has a good fiction for it
LTP: Yes, yes, yes. Again ghostly stuff may be easy, mundane stuff challenging
Reduce Heat: apparition (not sure if this is the right word for it) as the dead father of a Blue Coat making sure that a piece of evidence is “lost” or something like that?
Recover / Vice was already covered by @Minakie
Cound’t agree more, @monkeyEcho!
When i’m GMing, i hate to say no, but sometimes i don’t have the creativity nor
the necessary knowledge to build it in the fiction and be exciting.
thank you for the ideas.