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Old 09-20-2019, 12:03 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?


So, basically, I've been inspired by the Gamecube game Geist, a game where the main game play element is to possess hosts to progress. Hosts range from rats to computers to humans, and you can use the host's abilities, but you share their limitations (like mice being attracted to mousetrap that have cheese on them).

So, assuming it is somewhat easy to possess an animal, trivially easy to possess objects (RC cars, alarms, bomb detonators, roombas, computers, radios, drones, vehicles...), and it's very easy to possess willing hosts, and that the PCs are part of an organization that has access to willing hosts, that they can if needed jump from a willing host to an object and the host will be able to act on their own after possession is released, what kind of rules should one need to account for the fact that the player characters will have no use for most physical and social traits, that the players will share some of the hosts' inhibitions while they inhabit them, and that their physical traits will constantly change as they jump from host to host?

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Old 09-20-2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?

I would give each character [x] amount points to spend on mental traits only and then give them the Possession advantage. Then go wild.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?

"Balancing" the bodies available to possession is only an issue if not everyone has it. Anders' suggestion is a solid one.

Personally, I'd also add a DX score to each ghost, and either use that DX score, or an average of the ghost's and host's DX score for creatures, or use the full DX score for things like remote control cars. This lets some of the ghosts specialize in DX-oriented ways.

You'll want the "spiritual" limitation on possession.

For the "host's inhibitions", you could make the ghosts make a roll (possibly at a penalty) anytime they want to resist the given inhibition. Or you could assign them ad hoc on a host-by-host basis.

I'm sure you COULD set it up so that the ghosts have social traits. Why do they serve this organization? Surely they COULD have bank accounts and buy, say, bodies for them to posses, or have reputations within the organization.
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Old 09-21-2019, 12:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?

I'd consider implementing a house-rule imposing Familiarity penalties for different kinds of forms that you can possess.
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Old 09-21-2019, 04:37 AM   #5
Join Date: Nov 2015
Default Re: How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?

I would actually not even bother with the Possession stats, it's basically a campaign switch "This is how it works" and could be priced at [0].

Then, are you absolutely sure the characters will never have to use their own bodies ? Because if you're not completely sure about it, I would still have them create full character sheets, most characters will have their physical stats at 10 and not that many physical traits, but you would still have them available should the need arise.

Definitely would not let them load on physical disadvantages of course, and if they do take some... all the better for that odd day when they have to walk on their own legs (if they have them)
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:08 PM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: How would one use GURPS rules to make a campaign about possessig bodies?

the player characters will have no use for most physical and social traits
That depends on the details of how possession works in the setting.

For instance, you don't have to assume that the possessor has access to the possessed's skills, physical or otherwise. So, learning DX skills will be valuable to the PCs, while possession a better body is still sought after. This puts more retained identity with the character than the host, which might or might not be what you want.

Similarly, a lot of social traits aren't based in the body -- Savoir-Faire certainly isn't, Charisma probably isn't. Traits like Rank and Status are only useful insofar as the PC can pull off a masquerade. If the PC doesn't have the knowledge to actually be General Puppetfodder in the Pentagon, including military skills and also all the current knowledge that the real General would have, including projects in progress, personal relationships, in-jokes, staff quirks, etc, then they won't be able use that Rank for long. (And even when the possessor is still in their "probationary" period before lots of "gee, Puppetfodder's really been acting weird lately" thoughts are in everyone else's head, most systems still have a lot of checks and balances. Legitimate authority is rarely absolute or unquestioned, so a lot of orders Puppetfodder might issue might just blow his cover rather than get carried out.)

if the campaign is supposed to be taking place at a higher level, where the PC possessors are really just replacing the character's decision-making and motivation, while keeping all the possessed's mental and physical knowledge and skills, then the conflict and story are also taking place on that higher level. The exact stats of the bodies are just temporary means to an end, disposable, and so not really of much more interest to the core of the story than are details about the design details and finish of the character's weapons. In this case, you can afford to give away kewl bodies because they're not actually important, in much the same way some games can give away money because that's not important.
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