How to kill a ghost?

I am planning my first Blades in the dark session and I am wondering how would my players kill a ghost? I understand that the Spirit wardens destroy the spirit before a ghost emerges, but if you were to encounter a ghost, how would you defeat it? Electroplasmisc weapons and arcane abilities are what can harm it, but I assume that’s very hard to achieve… So I wonder how do you destroy a ghost?

Also what would Spirit wardens do if they were to discover someone that hid a body in order to create a ghost of that person?
What do they do with people that create a lot of work for them?
Would they throw them in prison or kill them?

I understand that some aspects of the game are up to GM to decide, but I am new to RPGs and kinda freaking out, so any advice would be greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

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A table might decide that sufficient damage from electroplasm-infused weaponry and arcane abilities could “kill”/defeat a ghost. Maybe when you shoot a ghost with sparkcraft weapons, the spirit “remembers” what it was like to feel pain, and that memory is sufficient to dispel the creature’s essence.

But, honestly, I prefer running ghosts as truly dire threats that can’t be stopped through sheer force of arms. There are methods to defeat spirits, for sure, and those methods range from “temporary solution” to “permanent exorcism,” but “we fight it” is never the first or best choice. (Note that even the Cutter’s “Ghost Fighter” advancement makes special mention of restraining and capturing spirits.)

In my game, ghosts have been “defeated” by: using spells/sparkcraft to capture them in spirit bottles; tricking them into possessing a person/animal/object (and then chaining that person/animal/object up in a windowless cell); convincing them to haunt some other, more worthy victim; and agreeing to help the ghost carry out its twisted plans.


I can’t tell you how to do it, but I can tell you how our group did it. In trying to get in with the Reconciled we discovered there was a play for the leadership of the faction, with an ancient ghost called Abraham calling the shots, and the freshly dead Rorik, now going by the name Ingram, making that play. Our job, on behalf of “Ingram” was to destroy Abraham, leaving the seat open for him. After that we’d have a powerful ally in the Reconciled.

So we did some digging and found Abraham’s real name, we staged the scene of his most glorious moment - setting alight sinners in one of the Six Towers parks near Rowan Manor - we used one of the Red Sashes and spiked the flames with electroplasm so they were puissant against spirits.

Then our Whisper compelled his spirit, using his true name, to possess the soon-to-be corpse and held it there while the body burned in the fire.


Okay, so that’s bragging. I think any involvement of Electroplasm would do the trick. If you tick Arcane implements you can have “a vial of electroplasm designed to shatter on impact” we all (in our game) imagine the stuff is charged and volatile and can harm spirits that it touches - hence electroplasmic ammo on the Hound sheet - ditto a Whisper could pull current from a nearby power cable to fry a ghost, or use Tempest.

What would the Spirit Wardens do about someone creating ghosts?

I imagine they would not be too happy. You should probably start a clock representing their investigation. They would track down and find some way to interrogate those ghosts.

They might lean on the Bluecoats to arrest or hassle the crew depending on the level of nuisance involved, I guess. I would drop their status with the Spirit Wardens slowly and use entanglements to portray the net closing in.

Like, the Bluecoats grab you in connection to the disappearance of one of your victims, your contacts and friends get hassled by agents of the church who show up on their doorsteps. Members of your crew who are devout followers of the Church maybe hear a sermon decrying the very thing that you’re doing and starts to speak up against you. A weird spectral force invades your lair, not a ghost, but clearly sent by someone to watch you.

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One method that would be reliable, though highly situational, would be to trick or force the spirit into ramming the Lightning Barrier.

In our games it is depends of the power (scale) of the ghost.

If it is a powerful ghost, then the Whisper - after collected enought information about the ghost and its history - can create a ritual and perform it as an excorsism against that specific ghost. During that ritual he can use specific things, materials… Or the Whisper can ask help from an another Whisper and they will work together, or can turn to a Cult etc.

If it is a ghost with “normal” power, then the success depends on how succesful the Attune test was. If the Whisper has a Great effect with 6, or Standard effect but with a critical (double 6) then he/she can kill the ghost immediately if wants. If the effect is Limited then the Whisper can achieve only temporarly success (weakness, the ghost has gone but it will came back in the next minutes etc)

When the action roll is 4-5 on the dices then the ghost will be “only” temporarly destroyed (the ghost need hours/days/weeks/months to regain its strength to materialize in our world again), so in this case the Whisper only gain time.

The situation is same against a normal ghost if the Hound use electroplasmic munition or the Cutter use its Ghost Fighter ability, but against a “powerful” ghost they can achieve only temporarly success.

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A method that I do not recommend, and which you may not wish to replicate, involved a clockwork bomb and a liberal amount of ghost oil. In defense of the Leech who attempted this, they were feeling a considerable amount of pressure to “do something about that bomb”. What effect this would have on any ghost within the blast radius of said bomb is anyone’s guess.

(In all candor, this one probably worked mostly because it made the GM laugh themselves sick. Also, the Leech rolled a critical success.)