#RPGaDay2020 – Day 13: Couple

With the first two Ghostbusters film as a guide, at a certain point in interaction with the supernatural, someone or something gets possessed. For today’s out-of-sequence response to #RPGaDay2020 we do not get to rest or to get to the rest like everyone else. Instead, the partly trepid, partly intrepid ghostbusters must wrestle with a different prompt: couple.

Thanks to a shortfall on a roll and a rolled ghost, a breathless encounter takes on a sinister turn. One of the interesting results possible when playing this game is to succeed with a ghost on the ghost die (wild die), which is, to quote Dr. Venkman, bad. In a group effort that can be more interesting as one person might simply fail and another person might succeed or fail, but roll a ghost. We in turn in the role of ghostmaster can interpret each roll separately, or in concert, or – like here – in sequence. A domino effect of disaster, or in the unlikely event of a full set of good rolls, triumph.

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Dreams of Camp Waconda

Proton Packs blasting, our four ghostbusters follow Gray Stent as the plunge through the darkened seed-bed room of combinatory etheric fertilization designed by some coffee-addict named Wally and administered by some stickler for detail named Linda… until her disappearance from the written record. (Regular readers will know what juicy fate befell Linda…)

Things are going well as the rolls are totaled and the results are compared to the comfortably low difficulty assigned to represent stationary targets on shelves that do not pose much threat but do pose some. What threat could a seed planter pose you ask? There were three factors in play.

There are always three factors. Even when there are more than three there are three factors and sometimes when we think there are fewer.

The first was the presence of a possession facilitating method by which the seeds and sprouts (light sensitive at this point) were infused with a thick purple ectoplasm which altered them sufficiently to become animate and carnivorous among other things. That meant the destructive blowback of the proton streams could conceivably cause trouble for the ghostbusters in terms of contact with the ectoplasm or the gas released when the beams vaporize possessed plants.

The second factor was the quick modification Diego had made to the emitters to narrow the visible light spectrum they throw to a band more deadly to the possessing entities. Rolling a ghost on an Attack Roll would lead to a complication and possible blindness.

Neat!

We ended up with a situation where of the four players, two succeeded and without ghosts, meaning their beams were tearing up the place as intended, but one, Gray’s player, rolled a ghost on a success, meaning through no fault of his own, something bad was going to happen, and finally we come to Diego, who… failed.

Things fall into place rather neatly, don’t they? No one goes blind, but someone comes into contact with the etheric plane in way that they would not choose for themselves and it does not feel good.

I let Gray’s player, and the others, squirm for a bit as I pitch in to help detail the destruction of the growing room once everyone sees the dice and does the math for themselves. A simple quiet spreads around the table, almost like dominoes falling from the ecstasy of imagined conquest to the despair of imagined defeat.

“What did you do..uh.. Diego?!” quips Lemmon, dramatically relishing the way the altered line refuses to flow trippingly off the tongue like the original.

I let them know that Diego, has not left the building, but instead has shifted a few degrees toward the purple from his usual coloration, his eyes are blazing and pulsing with purple power, and he is floating. Other than that, he is completely okay.

After the group appreciates my cliché use of okay as a descriptor, savoring it like…. you guessed it… fine wine, I slip in the big surprise.

Diego has become a dual entity. He has full control of his thoughts and movements, but so too does the being possessing him. If he were to raise an arm, the being could do nothing, could resist, or could wait and put it back down again, but neither Diego nor the entity is in complete control or in a dominant position. They are, essentially, a couple.

“Is he going to transform into a mantis?” asks Dunhill, suddenly.

In a cascade of meta-knowledge mixed with knowledge-knowledge falling into place, the group sorts out what they know that their characters don’t, and vice versa, in the time that it takes the wing of a horsefly in Moosejaw to start what will become a typhoon, drenching this author in South Korea.

“Who transformed into a mantis?” Lemmon demands, keeping a wary eye on Diego who is in the process of raising his arm and allowing the possessing entity lower it, over and over – for science.

“Linda… it’s a long story,” Dunhill intones sadly.

“That little minx,” Lemmon offers, unhelpfully.

“Can you move?” Gray asks Diego.

“I can… and so can I,” responds the tall ghostbuster completing each others’ sentence.

“I inhaled the fumes, Gray,” Diego continues.

“…and I took up residence in this fertile soil. My spores will cover the Earth,” I insert in the voice of spectral Diego which sounds exactly like my own voice but uses the inflections and delivery of Diego’s player.

“Not if I can stop you!” Diego shouts and the player laughs as I go for the last word.

“You won’t want to stop me. You…. complete me.”

“Get a room!” growls Lemmon – concerned as a player about this new twist, but grimly entertained as a character.

“Good idea,” I say as Diego and indicate that the body starts to walk toward the other exit.

“Isn’t that going back toward where all the vines are?” Dunhill asks, interposing himself between Diego and the door.

“Yes,” Diego and I as Diego say in unison.

“Let’s see you fight someone your own size, not just helpless seeds!”

“The flowers won’t be standing this time, Buckaroo. We are going to kick those plants’ asses and then…. ohhhh boy… we are coming for you, even if we have to cross the streams to do it!”

“Don’t cross the streams!” Diego says automatically, but I say with real passion.

A light glimmers in the eyes of Gray’s player and he winks at Diego’s.

“It might be nice to work with Diego when he is in a relationship,” quips Dunhill. “You know, to soften the edges.”

Questions: What is different about this form of possession than others you have seen? Why might this form have been chosen? Why choose possession of any kind? Why not?

Video: Later today, I will place a related video below to comment on this entry and get into it from a more technical side – albeit briefly, for viewer sanity. This one features a couple of our dogs~

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  1. […] which of the things he was saying were actually him and which were the fearful disruptions of the possessing entity. Done in short order due to everyone pulling in the same direction with their full attention and […]



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