Sunday, May 10, 2015

City of Curses: The Ghostfolk (Fate Core)

Alt. Race for Crux (Fate Core)

Sometimes one finds the curses in Crux last longer than a lifetime.  Far longer.  The dead denizens of
the city come in a wide variety, but the easiest to run into at those of the Ghost Street in Old Crux: Ghosts.

Ghosts are trapped in the living plane.  Occultic texts claim that some sort of emotional or something important in life chains them to life.  Some others disagree, finding ghosts with no "outstanding" matters who seem only bonded to a physical object they owned in life.  A rare few ghosts seemed tied to specific bloodlines, often haunting their own descendants in their own unique way.

Of course, there are gatherings and societies of Ghosts as well.  Some of them find the idea of being
"stuck" because they cannot pass over offensive.  These are old ghosts, many who view themselves as citizens of Crux much as any other.

There are also those ghostly entities that seem to have lost their sentience or intelligence.  Or perhaps
they are the ghosts of more ephemera things than people.  Either way, they haunt certain places or
objects, repeating the same actions over and over again.  Repetition, if anything, seems to define all
Ghosts.  Ghosts tend to repeat memories, especially ones tied to their own deaths.

Ghosts can be from all races, including, paradoxically, Androids.  Android ghosts are hard to find, but they exist, repeating the same tasks assigned them in life.

Ghostwalkers.  Capable of seeing ghosts, regardless of how ephemeral they are, the living mortals known as Ghostwalkers serve the Prince by keeping Ghosts in check.  Some ghosts welcome them, approaching them with their problems.  Other ghosts deplore them.  A few outright scheme to eliminate them, or maneuver in disregard of them.  After all, if a ghost wishes to slay an entire bloodline descended from the one who killed them, the Ghostwalkers are the only ones actively trying to stop them.

Laws.  Ith recognizes ghosts as citizens, even if they were unsorcerous in life.  But ghosts are considered to be legally new people, not continuations of their living selves.  This was done to prevent some from trying to kill themselves to obtain a ghostly nature.  Ghost Law, then, deals with the ramifications of ghosts, their living relatives and ghostly issues.  Some Ghosts ignore all of these, unaware or not caring because of their own madnesses.  Others protest for more rights, not content with the prospect of being counted as copies and not originals.

All Ghost characters have to take the Anchored drawback and Incorporeal stunt in order to gain access to the ghost extras, stunts and Ghost skill.

Possible Aspects: Lady In White; The Haunted Sword; Chatty Poltergeist Paladin;
Anchored.  You always know where your anchor is, and if separated from it, gain a +2 bonus on rolls to track it down.  
Drawback: You are anchored to a specific place, thing or possibly even people.  This isn't a thing you can easily escape.  You are always drawn toward it, like a moth to a flame.  You have the aspect Ethereal Madness you aren't near your anchor.
Incorporeal: You must be a ghost or must be somewhat ephemeral in one way or another.  You have no physical form, and can pass through them as though they were made of air.  In order to physically touch you, a corporeal creature or object has to use some form of ectomancy to interact with your form.
Drawback: You take a -2 on any roll to interact with physical objects, to carry, manipulate, move or otherwise use them.
Psychometry: You can use the Ghost skill to peer into past events, allowing you to use it instead of Investigate.
Telekinetic: You have some ability to interact with physical objects, your telekinesis is apt enough that you can move physical objects.  You can ignore the penalty to interact with physical objects that you have from the Incorporeal Stunt.
Unseen Spirit: You are invisible to any living mortal, unless they have some sort of magical ability to see the undead of some sort.  If you spend a Fate point, you can turn visible again.
Skill: Ghost
Ghost can be used as a skill for Ghost incorporeal interactions with physical objects (mainly dodging them).  It also covers any sort of supernatural senses ghosts might've developed.

Ghosts and Physical Stress
Ghosts have a physical stress track, but it doesn't refer to their own physicality.  They don't have any.  Instead, physical stress they take effect whatever anchors them.  So, any physical consequences they acquire belong to those anchors, not the Ghosts themselves.

For example, if a Ghost is anchored to magical sword, her physical consequences apply to that blade, not her.  She doesn't have a Broken Leg, instead the Blade Is Cracked or the Hilt Has Loosened.

Ghost Player Characters
One last note: it's okay if players want to play ghost characters.  That door is open, but there are some noted issues with it, mainly the interaction stuff already mentioned above.  The benefits, storywise, are plentiful.

A ghost member of the Party could do a lot, but their nature is anchored to a specific place or item or person.  They can act outside that, but it limits them greatly.  In Crux, partnering between Ghosts and Ghostwalkers would be the natural solution to any problems.  Ghostwalkers train to help ghosts, but many are apt enough to allow a ghost to possess them or to spend a lot of time around them.  Ghosts could also be allies, taken as stunts.

Lastly, it bears mention the practice of Ectomancy.  Although mainly a subschool of necromancy, ectomancy can manipulate and alter ghosts.  Sometimes this can mean helping some ghosts with cosmetic changes- being left with a butcher's cleaver for eternity in one's face is awkward enough.  Other times ectomancy involves rituals that can re-bond or re-assign a ghost's anchor, albeit it temporarily.  Ectomancy does allow one to create a permanent new bond with a ghost, but that ritual is a binding of blood, something that can alter one's destiny.  It isn't taken on lightly, and ghosts fear it because it might make slaves of them.

Edit Notes
Thanks to +Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi for pointing out some errors in clarity on the Ghost stunts.  Revised and tried to clarify things, hopefully it read better now.  And thanks to +Донато ди Никколо̀ ди Бетто Барди for pointing out a few problems too.  :D