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Old 10-17-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Default Echo Type Ghost Template

I've reached a point where I need to develop a quicker way to make ghosts so I was wondering if people might be able to help me throw together a template for quickly building ghosts.

In the game I'm running people's minds and personalities have a certain degree of psychic resonance and power and when they die, although their soul moves on, the psychic resonance and form of their mind may not dissipate. This is particularly true if there was strong emotions involved in their final moments (pain, anger at betrayal, etc) or if their mind was particularly bound to a purpose (Obsessions with low self-control rolls or Fanaticism). Sometimes the entire mind and personality will remain as a fairly intact Ghost, other-times it's just the fragment of the mind or personality which had the greatest attachment to the mortal world, the most intense unresolved emotions, the most intense devotion to an unresolved goal, the most ingrained behavoir in a particular environment, or maybe it's just the fragment that plays through the last painful shocking moments of the individual. These fragments of ghosts are called "Echos" and they're a major part of the way a lot of magic in my game works as these Echos often have powers similar to high powered psionics relating to those things which keep them in the world so a lot of wizards and magicians "bind" and "command" these echos to create powerful magical effects in a fast and dirty sort of way without having to spend decades developing those powers themselves.

As a result of this I've come up with a couple of rules to determine how likely an "Echo" is to exist in any environment with some help from another GM:

Rule: In any Structure or Environment with more than one generation of occupancy an echo exists on a roll of 9 or less. There is 1 additional echo for each 2 by which you succeed this roll. Success by 10 or a critical success yields a ghost instead of 5 echoes. This check is at a bonus based on the number of generations (use the below table.) When in doubt, assume a generation is 20-25 years.
# of generations Modifier
1 +0
2-3 +1
4-5 +2
6-7 +3
8-10 +4
11-14 +5
15-20 +6
21-31 +7
31-50 +8
51-70 +9
71-100 +10
101-140 +11
141-200 +12
201-300 +13
301-500 +14
501-1,000 +16
1,000-2,000 +18
Past 2,000 each doubling of the maximum number adds +2 to the modifier; e.g. 8,0001-16,000 has a modifier of +24.

My problem is that this means there is a large number of echo's around, all of which need distinct personalities, programs, and powers. Normally, on a more railroad type game, I'd just design the powers and personalities to be able to accomplish the tasks that lay before the game at whatever point their at. But the game I'm running is more sand-boxy in feeling, and some of the players have the ability to permanently take on some of the powers of an echo at the cost of also taking on some of it's personality while other players have powers which are based on using social skills on them. So I regularly need to stat them out to some extent.

So basically: I'd like to create a template for creating a Ghost, or Echo, and am wondering if there are any interested GM's, author's, and the like out there who might help me come up with one that can help streamline the whole process?

Last edited by oneofmanynameless; 10-17-2013 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:12 AM   #2
7omnia7
 
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

I like this idea! I was thinking about it in a more "psi" oriented campaign.
Do these echos and ghosts fade as time passes by?
Do they also fade away if some "anchor" (haunted house, object, person,...) is destroyed?
Do the ghosts simply vanish or do they pass (even if they're not souls) to higher/lower realms of existance?
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Old 10-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

Quote:
Originally Posted by 7omnia7 View Post
I like this idea! I was thinking about it in a more "psi" oriented campaign.
Do these echos and ghosts fade as time passes by?
Yes and no. Typically they'll fade really quickly unless they've got a really intense purpose or ingrained set of behavior. The stronger the emotions, purpose, or behavioral patterns which sustain the ghost/echo are the longer they'll endure. Although, as time passes, the parts of the echo or ghost which aren't directly related to the sustaining purpose, emotions, or behavioral patterns will begin to fade. As a result "Ghosts" may fade into Echos in time.

Reaccuring instances of the same effects which gave rise to a ghost or echo in the first place may reinforce the psychic resonance in the area and thereby strengthen the ghost or echo, making it stronger and more directed at the same time. For instance, a ghost that is the result of a woman who commits suicide might be reinforced if another woman commits suicide in that same area. It works on a principle of harmonics and constructive/destructive interference: the parts of the new echo which are the same as the old one will combine with the old one to create a far stronger resonance, while the parts which are different will start to cancel eachother out.

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Originally Posted by 7omnia7 View Post
Do they also fade away if some "anchor" (haunted house, object, person,...) is destroyed?
Short answer: yes. Just like strong emotions, behaviors, and purposes may anchor a ghost or echo in the world, so to may physical objects which are powerfully associated with that ghost or echo. It's important for the object to be associated with the emotions, behavoires, etc that are involved in the echo. If they aren't involved than they can't resonanate properly with the echo and thereby strengthen it. Most commonly, echo's are anchored to a location or an object and will usually dissipate quickly if those things are destroyed. Ghosts, which are much more complicated harmonically, usually require an array of anchoring objects associated with the array of behaviors and emotions that create them, often including people or bloodlines, and will typically become angry if such things are disturbed as disturbing them is a direct attack on the continued existence of the ghost. This works more on a rule of Contagion than it does on Sympathy, but both are important.

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Originally Posted by 7omnia7 View Post
Do the ghosts simply vanish or do they pass (even if they're not souls) to higher/lower realms of existance?
Short answer: they fade. Ghosts are the spirit of the individual, but not the soul. They are the psychic afterimage of the persons mind and heart. They aren't the person themselves. They're like a computer with all the right programming, thoughts, and memories, but lacking any real consciousness or sentience. Echo's are the same deal but far more simplistic in form: only fragments of the thoughts and feelings of the individual. The soul passes on when the individual dies, but Ghosts and Echo's simply fade out of existence as the psychic forces sustaining them gradually weaken.

Although, an interesting note, in this mythos, reincarnation is a thing (I'm using a largely greco-roman cosmology in regards to the lands of the dead and the process of reincarnation: go to the lands of the dead were you dwell in some capacity until you drink from the waters of oblivion and forget your past life so as to be reincarnated again.) And while souls typically forget everything from one life to a next, overtime they develop "echos" of their past lives which stick to the soul from one life to the next. These give tendancies towards specific skill sets or knowledges or purposes, and can typically be accessed with appropriate magics.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:03 PM   #4
schmeelke
 
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
Rule: In any Structure or Environment with more than one generation of occupancy an echo exists on a roll of 9 or less. There is 1 additional echo for each 2 by which you succeed this roll. Success by 10 or a critical success yields a ghost instead of 5 echoes. This check is at a bonus based on the number of generations (use the below table.) When in doubt, assume a generation is 20-25 years.
# of generations Modifier
1 +0
2-3 +1
4-5 +2
6-7 +3
8-10 +4
11-14 +5
15-20 +6
21-31 +7
31-50 +8
51-70 +9
71-100 +10
101-140 +11
141-200 +12
201-300 +13
301-500 +14
501-1,000 +16
1,000-2,000 +18
Past 2,000 each doubling of the maximum number adds +2 to the modifier; e.g. 8,0001-16,000 has a modifier of +24.
2 questions:

Is there really a need for that particular table? It looks close enough to "take the square root of the number of generations and round up" to eliminate it.

Do you really need that many generations in the table? 2000 generations is ≈56,000 years, and 16,000 generations is ≈450,000 years.

Last edited by schmeelke; 10-21-2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

I can't help but feel this template REQUIRES Compulsive Behavior: Ghostly Repetition.
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:30 PM   #6
oneofmanynameless
 
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Location: New Hampshire, USA
Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

Quote:
Originally Posted by schmeelke View Post
2 questions:

Is there really a need for that particular table? It looks close enough to "take the square root of the number of generations and round up" to eliminate it.

Do you really need that many generations in the table? 2000 generations is ≈56,000 years, and 16,000 generations is 450,000 years.
Yeah, I might not have needed to put the table in here. I just copied the rules from the document in which I had them written. The table is for ease of use and is mostly taken from the multiple targets table in the back of thaumatology, although I changed the modifier.

EDIT: since I first made the table I have often wondered at why it goes up so high and whether or not it's even conceivable in the world for there to have been that many generations in a given location.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
I can't help but feel this template REQUIRES Compulsive Behavior: Ghostly Repetition.
Yeah, the only circumstance where I can see that not being true is if it had an extremely low self control roll (like a 6 and no higher) Obsession and a host of other behavioral disadvantages. The issue I have, more than anything, is trying to think up a new set of ghostly behaviors everytime I determine that an echo is in the area. One thing that might help is trying come up with a set of other disadvantages and quirks which could inform it and may be common.

Last edited by oneofmanynameless; 10-21-2013 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:03 AM   #7
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

The same friend of mine who helped me come up with the first table and set of rules recently had this to say on the matter:

"Considering your premise and the table you've posted, Echoes are fairly common. I would make a list of the emotions which commonly surround death, assign a frequency and make a table. In my estimation feelings like fear, regret, love, and pain would be grouped toward the middle of the bell curve, while less common, more intense feelings like self-sacrifice, vengeance, and hate might be toward the outer edges.
Then make a Power for each of those feelings, with each one having at least one required disadvantage; compulsive behavior, obsession, and sense of duty being the ones which leap to mind, but for vengeance even Berserk."

I like this advice but am wondering if anyone has any ideas as to how they would lay out the table and what emotions they would put where?

Finally, for the powers, I'd rather have overarching powers than specific traits for each emotion. Any ideas or input are welcome. When I have a functional table I'll post it.
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Old 10-24-2013, 09:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

Weird thought. Fairies are merely echoes doing fanciful things like children playing or repetitive mundane chores. Or of course jerks screwing around for giggles.
That fairy mound is simply where the person died and acts as the anchor for their echo.
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Old 10-27-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Echo Type Ghost Template

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Weird thought. Fairies are merely echoes doing fanciful things like children playing or repetitive mundane chores. Or of course jerks screwing around for giggles.
That fairy mound is simply where the person died and acts as the anchor for their echo.
I could believe it. If belief empowers even echos in a setting, the belief that there's faeries in the mound could prolong and strengthen that echo, perhaps upgrading it to another sort of spirit. If spirits can 'upgrade' like that, it could be where a setting's gods come from - e.g. Zeus was a Bronze Age - or even Chalcolithic/late Neolithic - king, who was especially randy in life, and the stories of him empowered whatever ghost he left behind.
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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Fantastic Ideas. I love them!
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