This post is nearly entirely a rules conversion from the Chill Source book Apparitions, by Mayfair Games. Buy this book. Each entry is about two full pages, divided into a medium's introduction, an eyewitness account, medium's conclusions, and medium's recommendations. This huge block of text is followed by a very brief list of Chill game mechanics for the apparition (three paragraphs, tops). This yields in a very high useful information to game dependent information ratio. Very well done book.
Thanks also to Mary Kuhner for her insight and information.
The following details what are called ghosts in Shadowrun. It is intended to replace all mention of ghosts in all Shadowrun books. It is not an "official" rules modification. Distribute freely and often (and, really, check out the Chill book mentioned above). Comments of all types (although I prefer relevant ones) are always welcome.
The ghost entry on page 224 of the Shadowrun: Second Edition rulebook is a general description of a large collection of entities; much like giving a general description of mammals, but titling the entry "humans".
My desire here is to greatly expand the scope of spectral entities and behavior. More importantly, I wished to make ghosts inherently non-astral entities (but not all of them... read on). I wanted something that would terrify mages and non-mage-born alike. This is a rather radical departure from standard Shadowrun dogma, but one I feel is necessary. Astral and real space should not be the central planes of the universe. (I'd quote Hamlet here, but you've heard it already).
How to use this post
The list of apparitions should be self evident. Apparitions usually have no need for Attribute scores; assume attributes equal to force if needed and not stated otherwise. The "exorcism:" entry details how a particular species of apparition can be eliminated. This is almost always doable by any person, regardless of magical ability. Other entries include why the ghost haunts, how it haunts, and other special information.
By now, you're familiar with the pseudo-truth nature of the decker comments.
What Are Apparitions?
Apparitions, sometimes called ghosts, dwell and/or originate from a plane of existence separate but connected to the planes we know, both real and astral; current consensus is that this spectral plane is not a Metaplane, either. Apparitions generally are the souls (for lack of a better word) of dead humans, metahumans, or animals. Occasionally an apparition is seen which can only be explained as an entity propagated by the mental desires (conscious or subconscious) of a person or persons; these types of apparitions are generally astrally active. Rumors persist of some apparitions which are actually natives of the spectral plane mentioned above; these rumors generally hover about the apparitions who exhibit the mannerisms considered evil, even in comparison to other apparitions.
Usually, human souls become apparitions only if they have been wronged or failed to complete some task during life. Apparitions' haunting patterns are generallly a logical (albeit twisted) extension of the rationale for their existence. Each apparition listed below includes why they exist, if known. Naturally, the general magical/scientific acceptance of this theory has lead to much religious debate.
It has been suggested that the plane apparitions dwell upon has some sort of "geographic" connection with the real plane, as certain types of apparitions have a tendency to appear mostly in a certain area.
Judging by reports in the eastern UCAS for the last fifty years, neither frequency nor intensity of spectral occurrences have changed significantly during the period referred to as the Awakening.
Spirits vs. Ghosts
Ghosts are definitely not astral spirits of either the hermetic or shamanic sense, though they do share some characteristics with them. For the most part, apparitions do not have an active astral aura. Nor can they be summoned, in the usual sense (see Seances below). Many apparitions appear fully capable of intelligent (if single-minded) thought.
Few spirits can effect the physical or astral planes in other than a secondary manner. Those that do manifest physically do so by subconsciously pulling a substance known as ectoplasm from their home plane and creating a physical body with it. The properties of this substance make no chemical sense, but are always identical. A physically manifesting apparition which is banished generally leaves this substance behind.
This rating is the familiar force concept used throughout Shadowrun. It is a measure of strength of the apparition.
Unless otherwise noted, apparitions have the aura of mundanes of their original type. This usually means that they are more easily spotted in the real plane than the astral. Manifesting apparitions possess strange auras which, once seen and understood, can be easily recognized; however, some apparitions (most notably the Ccoa) have the ability to disguise this. This aura is not vulnerable to astral attack (nor can it attack in the astral). A very few apparitions are astrally active, and those that are dual natured.
Long term presence of an apparition can significantly effect the astral background count of a locale. This is assumed to be due to the apparition's emotional state, which is usually aggravated.
The abilities of apparitions are widely diverse. Almost all can make themselves visible and/or audible. Most can effect objects to a slight extent. Nearly all can inhabit a willing individual provided he or she is in the correct mind set; few can possess at will. Some can exert tremendous psychokinetic energy to move objects. Many appear only to person they are haunting.
Unless physically manifesting, apparitions are all immune to all attacks, magic, the elements, etc. In addition, most apparitions which physically manifest are highly resistant to damages and can never be killed in the usual ways (see Ghostly Immunities). Though physically manifest, the apparition's life force still dwells mostly on its home plane, not the real plane; however, a method usually exists to cause the apparition to dissipate to its home plane from the real plane.
Physically manifesting apparitions have no internal organs, as they are made of the sold form of ectoplasm. As such, they cannot use cyberware or the like.
Apparitions seem to be unaffected by holy symbols and so on. There seems to be no general way of exorcising them.
Guidebook to Apparitions
As the Metamagical ability of masking. Treat apparition as grade and magic rating equal to force for resisted tests to break through the masking.
This power requires an opposed success test of the apparition's Essence against a victims Willpower. If the apparition wins, the victim appears dead (no organ or brain activity) for a period of days equal to the apparition's net successes, while not actually killing the victim. If the victim wins the test, the apparition may not use this power on the victim for a period of days equal to three times the victim's net successes. This power takes several minutes to use.
The apparition can plant dreams of its creation into the victim's sleep.
This power allows the apparition to utilize electrical devices: cause images to form on trideo, manipulate the speakers on a radio, cause printers to run, etc. Note that it does not broadcast these images, merely manipulates the output device. High force apparitions have been known to dim or burn out light bulbs. This ability is believed to be how some ghosts can put their voices on tape without any present at the recording hearing it.
Applies to physical manifestation only. Combines Immunity to Age, Pathogens, Poisons, and Normal Weapons (SRII, pg 218) as well as Magic Resistance, Element Resistance (like Fire Resistance, but against all elemental effect) and Magic Weapons(2xEssence extra dice to resist damage). Some apparitions with this power can spend an action to heal all wounds (ectoplasmic manipulation).
In the unlikely event that an apparition with this power takes deadly damage, it is sent to its home plane for at least a week.
All of these abilities are nullified if the damage is done by something to which the apparition has a Vulnerability. If deadly damage is done by this, but not in the proscribed way of destroying the apparition, the apparition is not destroyed, but sent to its home plane for at least a month.
A = Aural. The apparition can make itself heard. Means of doing so are varied, and not always apparent. This need not be accompanied by a visual manifestation.
P = Physical. The apparition can manifest into a body on the real (and sometimes astral) planes, as detailed above.
V = Visual. The apparition can make itself seen. It is obvious that the apparition is a spectral form of some kind (i.e. transparent, warped features, etc.). In some cases, an apparition can use this Power to appear to only one person, ins spite of others present.
This is like the Power of Paralyzing Touch, but does requires only visual contact. The targets of this Power often must fulfill certain qualifications to be effected.
As the power in Shadowrun rules; however, some ghosts, most notably those in the poltergeist class, can manipulate multiple (equal to 2*force) objects at great strength (force+4).
This power hastens the rotting of a corpse (or a victim of the Deathseem Power).
Can cause a ground level cloud to form of a radius equal to 10*F.
This power allows an apparition to make an opposed willpower test with anyone attempting to move it beyond a certain area. Some cases have been documented when apparitions with this power could cause trucks they were in to become mysteriously mired, or caused themselves to fall off transportation.
This power allows an apparition (usually a revenant) to summon a number of remnants to do its bidding. The quantity summoned is on the order of force squared.
This power allows an apparition to physically teleport on the real plane. It is assumed that the apparition can somehow pull its physical 'body' into its home plane, travel in that plane, the reform the 'body' in the real plane instantaneously.
Temperature AlterationTemperature Alteration
Can alter the temperature of an area (radius = force) by up to plus or minus 3*F degrees centigrade.
Allows the apparition to move air masses..
Apparitions in this category haunt a particular family for generations, regardless of how far the family travels. They are usually found in Britain and Northern Europe.
Bansidhe (pronounced BAN-shee)
Appearance: Usually more heard than seen, bansidhes appear as thin, pale women with eyes stained red from crying.
Method: Following the paternal line, the bansidhe appears to victims, apparently warning them of their eminent death.
Powers: Manifest (A, sometimes V), Essence Drain, Fear
>>>[They kill who they appear to. By the way, don't confuse these things with HMHVV-infected elves.]<<<
-- Spock (02:13:40/12-27-50)
>>>[Banishing these bitches has something to do with toppling a house that they built or something. Oh, and they appear only to their victims.]<<<
-- Caramel (15:54:53/6-21-51)
Bean-Nighe (pronounced Been Ni)
Origin: Thought to be female family who died during childbirth.
Appearance: Only outside. A peasant woman, quietly beating bloodstained shrouds on the rocks at the water's edge. Often humming.
Method: Bean-Nighe appear to family members of upcoming death of other family members. Occasionally answer questions about specific members, even the asker.
Powers: Manifest (AV)
>>>[Most stories I've heard of these ghosts indicate true future reading ability.]<<<
-- Tormon (06:00:00/6-6-52)
Origin: Skull of family member
Appearance: Fleshless skull.
Method: Following the burial of a person who becomes a screaming skull, the family hears constant loud screams until they exhume the body and bring the skull inside. Any time it is removed from the house it screams. The skull stubbornly does not move past a certain boundary of the house.
Exorcise: Seance with as many family members as possible politely asking the apparition to leave.
Powers: Manifest (AP), Teleport, Resist Travel
Attributes: Willpower: F + 3
>>>[These skulls can teleport! They often move within the house the inhabit. What's more, this teleport leaves no trace. No ectoplasm.]<<<
-- Fuzzy (14:43:54/5-9-52)
Dead children. Usually killed or unclean in some manner. These apparitions are usually more evil than usual, perhaps due to the twisted innocence of the child.
Origin: Person under 12 dies while either unbaptized or at the hand of its mother.
Appearance: Infant nestled in crook of dead tree. Large black birds occasionally surround it.
Method: Navky appear at random, usually begging for baptism and usually in places of some natural danger.
Exorcise: A baptism ceremony. Must know the name the child's parents intended for it.
Powers: Manifest (P), Accident.
>>>[This baptism banishing only works if the child has asked for it.]<<<
-- Opus (in G) (22:16:34/1-1-53)
>>>[Navky come in two types. The ones asking for baptism will not be surrounded by birds and vice versa. The bird-Navky are evil and attempt to cause the death of those around them. These are the murdered children; they can only be banished by bringing the mother to justice legally.]<<<
-- Tormon (06:00:00/6-6-52)
Origin: Ghost of a fetus of a very traumatic abortion.
Appearance: Cold, hard, very strong infant with glowing eyes. Also a large dog or owl.
Method: Seeks to leave mother blind and alone by clawing her eyes out, killing the father, killing the rest of the family, then killing randomly.
Exorcise: Dowsed with water, then impaled with an iron spike.
Powers: Manifest (P), Ghost Immunities, Mist Form, Paralyzing Presence (family only), Vulnerability(see Exorcise)
Attributes: Str: F + 8, Quick: F - 2, Will: F + 1, Ess: F - 1, Claw damage: StrM2
>>>[I heard it was a silver spike. Water supposedly prevents them from going incorporeal. Stay away from these fraggers if you can.]<<<
-- Arbit (14:23:45/4-5-52)
>>>[Utburds are truly evil. Hunt them down at all costs. Kill them again.]<<<
-- Sorbe (19:18:02/10-30-52)
This is a catch-all category of apparitions; it is (naturally) the most varied class of apparition, so much so that all apparitions are sometimes referred to as memento mori. Most of the ghosts in this class are harmless.
Origin: Believed to be unconsciously created or conjured by (meta)humans in danger.
Appearance: Realistic, opaque (but intangible) projections of someone in danger or distress.
Method: Often this apparition appears miles away from the situation which created it. It does no harm, other than to appear, but looks extraordinarily real. They last for only minutes. Generally do not recur.
Exorcise: Unknown, as it is not usually called for.
Powers: Manifest (AV, realistic)
>>>[I think one of these appeared to me. My brother was in Chicago and his wife was shot in an alley. At exactly the same time, he appeared in front of me, weeping and holding something only he could see. I was in Berlin at the time.]<<<
-- Iris (13:06:24/7-20-52)
Appearance: Evil, twisted, man.
Method: Appears to the sick and the dying saying things to add to their suffering, telling them about the Hell that awaits them. It attempts to cause the victim to be buried alive.
Exorcise: Unknown. It can be driven away from a specific person by healing that person in any way.
Powers: Deathseem, Manifest(AV, victim only), Putrefy
Origin: Ghost of a friend of the victim
Appearance: Various. Mist in the fog. Warm feelings. Always kind and/or gentle.
Method: A fetch appears to a friend or relative it had in life, apparently to welcome it to the other side. Victims die before 24 hours pass, without exception. It is believed that the Fetch does nothing to cause this death, just appears as a harbinger of it.
Exorcise: Unknown. It is also unknown how to resist the apparently eminent death.
Origin: Various, but always classic circumstances.
Appearance: Hitchhikers in torn and dirty clothes. Visually solid, but insubstantial.
Method: Phantom Hitchhikers appear to drivers (usually lone drivers) on lonely highways, often over and over until they are picked up. They disappear before entry into vehicles. There are no records of them doing harm.
Exorcise: Unknown. It is believed that finding why the apparition became a ghost and correcting the problem would send them over to the other side, but since they do not communicate, this is difficult to accomplish.
>>>[The drek they don't get into vehicles! I had one drive all the way to Dallas with me.]<<<
-- Korto (12:12:13/5-20-52)
-- Betty (20:23:45/8-17-52)
>>>[Some of these apparitions have quite a history. Occasionally, it can be discovered who these spirits were in life. My… companion and I attempted to pick up what turned out to be the spirit of Thomas Garcia after he appeared to us twice outside of Sedona. We thought we were wigging out, but the locals had seen him regularly.]<<<
-- Dr. Love (00:14:45/9-12/52)
>>>[The Phantom Hitchhiker is just one name for this type of ghost. These are phantoms of people who, for some reason, keep doing the same damn thing over and over again. Not all of them are silent. Usually, such phantoms appear at a certain time of year, or to certain people. I know of at least two legends of phantom drivers who pick up certain types of people and let them off elsewhere -- both cases are benign. In one, a truck driver who died avoiding a school bus gives down-and-out hitchhikers a ride to the nearby truck stop. In the other, the ghost of a seminal songster gives hitchhiking musical hopefuls a ride into Nashville.
And then, the tales of phantom bed-and-breakfasts or other buildings that exist only for a night, and disappear.]<<<
-- Dr. Stanwyck (06:59:46/09-01-52)
Origin: Ghost of dead hound
Appearance: Huge black dog, with red glowing eyes.
Method: Barghests appear only at night, and only to lone people, outdoors in desolate areas. Attacks only after harrowing the victim for a long period. It manifests physically just before it attacks.
Exorcise: Driving a dogwood stake through the heart of this apparition while physically manifesting will destroy it.
Powers: Manifest(AP), Paralyzing Howl, Ghostly Immunities, Vulnerability (Dogwood)
Attributes: Bod:F+4, Qck:F+6, Str:F+7, Wil:F-2, Bite: (Str)S
>>>[Don't dare confuse these beats to the critters of the same name. If they have a good side, it's that corps can't train these bastards.]<<<
-- Fastjack (12:00:00/1-1-14)
>>>[Vampires can. They can summon and bind them.]<<<
-- Vanth (14:15:35/6-27-52)
>>>[If attacked while physically manifesting, the Barghest will not turn incorporeal until the fight is over, it is dead, or it has taken too much damage. Also, take the "through the heart" with a grain of salt. Seems like anywhere through the chest reduces them to a dripping pile of goo. The dogwood is important, though.]<<<
-- The Beetle (16:37:09/10-5-52)
>>>[They have no internal organs. The are, however, astrally active while physically manifesting. It also seems that they are terrified of any real dog. Any.]<<<
-- Tormon (06:00:00/6-6-52)
Appearance: As a normal stray animal common to the place it haunts, usually a dog, cat, sheep, cow or camel.
Method: Poses as a stray to get accepted into a small community, then destroys the community by any means with the intent of leaving a deserted ghost town. [No pun intended.] These apparitions seem common in Central America.
Exorcise: Get as many community members together to complete a durable community-oriented building near the center of town.
Powers: Aura Masking, Manifest(P), Influence(Essence vs. Willpower), Hail
Attributes: As animal form, but Int:F, Wil:F+2, Ess:F
Origin: Ghosts of animals sacrificed and entombed in the walls or foundations of a building. (This used to be a fairly common practice in Scandinavian countries, which is where most of these apparitions are found).
Appearance: Transparent animals wandering through the building.
Method: No known actions, but the sight of a Kirkevarer is thought to be a sign of bad luck for a community, and is often associated with strange weather.
Exorcise: Burn the building to the ground.
>>>[He makes burning the building to the ground sound easy. We were hired to eliminate a Kirk from a community. No problem, except it was haunting a church, which the locals were fairly attached to.]<<<
-- Tongue (10:07:49/1-5-52)
>>>[Strange weather. Hmm. Where have I heard that before?]<<<
-- Bastard (03:23:26/8-5-52)
>>>[Kirkevarers appear only if the building is somehow made impure. The church mentioned above housed a lecherous priest. Where Tongue failed, we succeeded.]<<<
-- Savior (07:07:07/10-7-52)
Poltergeists are, it is believed, ghosts of people who died leaving an unkept promise or obligation to a child; their behavior is almost always centered around a child (usually not the one they had experience with in life), and is very childlike itself. Poltergeist behavior is very like that of a mischievous child begging for attention through its actions. And, like a child, the more it is ignored, the more intense the behavior becomes.
Origin: Someone who died with unfulfilled promise to or about a child.
Appearance: These apparitions are most usually indicated by moving objects; the apparition itself is rarely seen. It occasionally manifests as phantom lights.
Method: The apparition plays a series of pranks of ever increasing complexity and oddness. They start small, usually unnoticed and can end with massive telekinetic disturbance. Poltergeists always have some sort of aim when doing these pranks (driving the parents of a target child out of the house is common). For the most part, the ghost's task is usually doomed to fail, driving the apparition insane.
Exorcise: Find the identity of the apparition. Determine the nature of its promise. Have the family 1) confront the ghost with this evidence and prove that the ghost is not needed, or 2) fulfill the promise.
Powers: Electrosense, Manifest(V), Psychokinesis, Winds (at F-3), Raise Fog, Temperature Alteration
>>>[I was present at a poltergeist haunting. I saw a pocket secretary thrown at about 200 kmph into my friend's head, and it somehow did no damage. Didn't even leave a mark, in spite of its velocity. It was like the bugger couldn't do any real harm, even if it tried.]<<<
-- Babs (23:06:23/6-15-52)
>>>[I think the list of abilities is a bit short. I personally have seen poltergeists generate electricity, and I know of two occurrences of objects falling from the open sky (glass in one case, strips of leather in the other).]<<<
-- Kimera (21:43:10/7-4-52)
>>>[Rein drops keep fallin' on my… oh never mind.]<<<
-- Punnisher (12:13:59/9-9-52)
Origin: A poltergeist gone insane
Appearance: Never seen
Method: Having failed as a poltergeist in its task, the ghost 'mutates' into a smothering ghost and uses its powers to kill the child and its family, usually by using objects to strangle them.
Exorcise: Unknown. Some theories suggest that if the apparition fails to kill a certain victim twice, it willingly returns home forever.
Powers: As poltergeist
>>>[When my daughter was being tormented by one of these creatures, we were desperate to try anything. I found that, on what is popularly called the Metaplane of Man, I could meet face to face with this entity. We fought. I won. He has not returned. I have talked to no one else who has had success with this method (and few, in fact, that have tried).]<<<
-- Daryl Markov, KMH (21:54:16/5-18-52)
Revenants are another general catch-all category of apparitions. They can bring much more power to bear in the real world, and seem to have a degree of independent action from their home plane. To most societies, these are evil spirits.
Origin: Military officers who did not die in battle
Appearance: Rotting corpses, usually in military uniform (and armor) of some period.
Method: These apparitions roam in search of a fight. They are true homicidal maniacs, fighting all able-bodied males they meet. They usually fight with hand weapons, but will use all their powers to win.
Exorcise: Must be killed in combat with hand weapons. Will not fight women, children, or the aged.
Powers: Manifest(P), Ghostly Immunities (but not to melee weapons), Enhanced Reaction, Summon Remnant (Battlefield), Noxious Breath.
Attributes: Str:F+4, Quk:F+4, Bod: F, Reac: F+5
Other: Uses normal weapons and armor (of the period he came from) at skill equal to F+3. These weapons are ectoplasm, and dissolve if the apparition is killed.
>>>[Barrow-Wights usually stick around burial mounds. Occasionally, one roams free, as the one which marched into Berlin did. He was eventually stopped near some governmental buildings by a street gang, of all the things.]<<<
-- Nuyen Nick (10:25:49/12-04-51)
>>>[Must've been trying to fight city hall.]<<<
-- Arbit (15:01:12/4-5-52)
>>>[The Berlin Wight marched in with about a hundred less lethal apparitions. Apparently they can summon them.]<<<
-- Argonaut (12:13:23/7-12-52)
>>>[Barrow-Wights may be immune to combat spells, but spells that don't effect them directly, like illusions, can confuse them.]<<<
-- The Beetle (18:02:18/10-5-52)
Origin: Victims of premature, violent deaths
Appearance: Perfectly formed people, solid looking, occasionally bloody.
Method: Appear to households to ask for food or shelter or help. If it is given, they do not take it but leave, only to return later with another beisac and do the same thing. If assistance is offered again, both leave and return with a third, and so on. When the family or household refuses, the beisacs kill them.
Exorcise: Unknown. It is known that the spirits have a hard time passing mana barriers (opposed success test). If the original Beisac is turned away twice in this way, it never bothers that family, though it may return to that same household, if under different occupation.
Powers: Manifest(AV, real looking), Psychokinesis (used only to kill; with household knives, most typically)
>>>[Beisacs used to only appear in war-torn places, like Southeast Asia and Los Angeles, but with the emergence of New Violence, they can now be found about anywhere.]<<<
-- Kalla (17:12:23/7-16-52)
>>>[Especially in places like the Shattergraves and the Redmond Barrens. And Los Angeles.]<<<
-- Professor Buff (15:23:52/8-31-52)
Origin: People executed for crimes they did not commit
Appearance: Exactly as their intended victim in all ways
Method: Begins by taunting the victim. Then begins to imitate him, gradually destroying his or her reputation and friendships, then by committing a capital crime in public. Their intent is to cause the victim to be executed for the crime. These apparitions usually appear only once per day, and rarely does the haunting last more than a month.
Exorcise: Discover who the ghost was (is), then prove its innocence.
Powers: Aura Masking(to appear as victim), Electrosense, Ghostly Immunities, Manifest(AV(usually in reflective surfaces) P)
Attributes: As victim
Other: Skills as victim
>>>[Finding who the spirit is is usually fairly simple. The doppelganger's victim is always someone connected in some way to the crime.]<<<
-- Stuphers (13:15:57/3-5-52)
>>>[Doppelgangers can't actually physically hurt their victim. They also have a greater degree of control over their 'body', and can duplicate bodily functions, like waste excretion, etc.]<<<
-- Tormon (06:00:00/6-6-52)
Origin: Murderers justly hanged
Appearance: Males: As living appearance, with noose around neck, in the clothes he died in. Female: Broken necks, with rope marks.
Method: Hangman apparitions haunt those who bring murderers to justice, though not the people that brought them to justice. They often act in groups. They traumatize the victim by sending nightmares, then begin to manifest nooses about the victim. They begin to communicate with the victim, then strangle him or her. They will only attack the victim. If it fails in its attempt [must maintain a hold of victim until dead, i.e. grappling rules apply], it will return in 24 hours to try again.
Exorcise: Ring a church bell three times over the grave of apparition. Church bells frighten these ghosts away for 24 hours if they ring in the apparitions presence.
Powers: Dreamsend, Manifest(APV)
>>>[Exorcising these ghosts is not as easy as it sounds. They can travel an unlimited distance from where they were buried, and they rarely show their true face, or their names.]<<<
-- Tormon (06:00:00/6-6-52)
Origin: The ghost of an evil person of some power (whether magical, political, etc.) who has been killed. Some feel that this is not a ghost of such a person, but a creature summoned or created upon his or her murder.
Appearance: Visible only astrally.
Method: Exerts its powers over various people (usually the weak-willed) to gain revenge on the murderer. This usually involves whispering in their ear (only they can hear it) while employing some kind of mental control. The longer the apparition can influence its target, the more control it gains over him or her.
Exorcise: If the hate fails to influence a body donor, is vanishes forever; likewise, if the body donor dies, the hate vanishes. If the body donor takes a real risk for another person, the Hate is dispelled (naturally, the hate will resist this). Killing the murderer also dispells the hate.
Powers: Influence (as F+4), Manifest(V)
>>>[Don't kill the body donor! This results in his becoming a Hate and you as his victim.]<<<
-- Arg (14:15:24/12-10-52)
Origin: Those who committed some crime of the heart while alive.
Appearance: First as a very attractive young man or woman. When the apparition is ready to strike, it appears as a decayed creature, reeking of rot and stale perfume.
Method: These apparitions act quickly. The meet the victim and subtly flirt with him or her. Later the same night (and for the following two), the victim will have nightmares about other lovers. These dreams enhance attraction to the apparition and sap the mental strength of the victim. On the fourth night, the spectral lover appears in its true form and literally rips the heart out of the victim.
Exorcise: Discover its true identity and confront it with an image of the lover it spurned in life.
Powers: Aura Masking, Drain Willpower, Dreamsend, Ghostly Immunities, Manifest(P)
Spectral Remnants appear in more forms than any other type of ghost. Most non-traumatic experiences with apparitions are with these types of spirits.
All have a few common features. They were all failures in life, and usually take a form relating to what they failed at. They may all physically manifest, but none possess the indestructible nature of revenants; they cannot appear or use their powers without manifesting physically. All are dual natured beings. Each possesses physical and mental attributes and skills akin to what it possessed in death, but cannot improve any of these abilities.
Each remnant has a specific aim, certain powers and a unique way of exorcism. Some examples are given below:
Appearance: As a soldier, usually wounded in some way. Will appear in period battle gear, including modern ordinance (these are not the actual weapons, so function only as clubs at best). They are often assumed to be zombies, but they are not the actual corpses of the dead, just their spirits, animating ectoplasmic bodies.
Aim: These rarely spring up by themselves, usually summoned by revenants. Those that do appear by themselves usually attempt to secure the objective they were killed for. Occasionally they just appear to report for duty or even sneak attack places at random.
Abilities: Weapon skills, Manifest (P), Pestilence, Regeneration.
Exorcism: Summoned battlefield remnants go away on their own. 'Killing' either type destroys them.
Appearance: A failed politician, the candidate shows up at political meetings, conventions, even dinners. Often middle-aged white males.
Aim: Wanders the world in search of votes. Will give speeches.
Abilities: Will not attack physically. Hypnosis, Noxious Breath, Manifest(P)
Exorcism: Holold mock election with many people who have met the apparition. A unanimous victory for the apparition will send it to the other side.
Appearance: It appears as a family patriarch concerned that his family will fall apart upon his death, which is how they, in fact, form. This body is not the deceased corpse, but will rot away as if it was. (It does not stink, however.)
Aim: Continues 'caring' after the family as if it had not died, quite vocally. If the family moves to different parts of the world, it will stick with the one 'most in need'.
Abilities: Manifest(P), Temperature Alteration
Exorcism: Have the whole family over for a big family dinner. If no one in the family says a negative thing about another family member for the whole day, the Grandfather goes away. This may only be attempted once per month.
>>>[The sad part is, in the only two cases I've ever seen of this type of ghost, the family was unable to pull it off. They tried numerous times, and eventually gave up. In one case, the Grandfather showed up less and less after about five years. After seven years (one year ago), it showed up for the last time. In the other case, the ghost has haunted the various family members for nearly a decade now.]<<<
-- Dr. Stanwyck (07:16:07/09-01-52)
Appearance: Sad figures in evening wear. They are dead organists, seeking recognition, so will appear where there are people and an organ. (They love Bach's Toccata Fugue, naturally.)
Aim: Although mediocre musicians at best (they did become remnants, after all), spectral organists desire to play their music in peace. If in front of an audience, they disdain anyone making noise and will insult those who do so.
Abilities: Ghostly Immunities, Hypnotize, Manifest(P), Quiet Room
Mediums are people who are more sensitive to apparitions that normal humans or metahumans. Not that they can see ghosts where others cannot; it is more of a feeling or general impression. Mediums are also able to conduct seances with less risk to themselves.
Mediums are born with these abilities, although they may take time to master, or even surface. As a result, mediums deviate from social norms in many ways.
Being a Medium
Writer's Note: I debated for a while on how exactly to present Mediums. I thought of toying with magic priorities and adepts and such, but that didn't seem to make much sense given the nature of the ghosts I described. Mediums are not powerful, just different. All that I really attempted to do here was create a system which discouraged every PC from becoming a medium.
A medium's abilities are a unique set of skills. The basis for these abilities is a mind set totally different from 'normal' humanity; a different way of thinking, or different wiring of the brain. In game terms this means that these skills may only be chosen when the character's archetype is created. Characters who start with these skills may develop them with karma, but these skills always cost double normal amounts (including during archetype creation). None of the skills have concentrations or specializations.
Even if a character already has one medium skill, they may not learn others unless they were also purchased from the start.
There are no other requirements for being a medium. Thus archetypes can have any cyberware, magical ability, etc as long as the skills are purchased from the beginning.
That's it. I can hear people complaining that 'all my players have to do is get each skill at 1, and they beat the system'. Encourage your players to do this; it is a waste of skill points. Since all medium abilities are based on the skills, they get almost no benefit for the expenditure. There are no 'freebies' (like astral perception or pools or something) for simply having medium skills. It is much more 'cost effective' to get high initial scores in the skills.
This skill allows the medium an automatic test (number of dice equal to skill rating, naturally) to see or hear an apparition in her presence. This ignores Aura Masking. The medium can also use this skill voluntarily to seek out an apparition, if he or she has reason to believe it is around. This is usually difficult and may take some time.
Bob the Medium observes behavior in a town which he feels may be caused by a Ccoa. He attempts to locate the Ccoa using Ghost Perception. His target number might be around 12, depending on the situation (Ccoa's are hard to find in any case).
Mediums may also use this skill to gain specific information about an apparition they have perceived previously. Easy tasks (low T#) might be discovering what type of spirit it is. Harder tasks could be determining its purpose. At really high target numbers, it might even reveal the name or the face the apparition had in life.
This skill allows the medium to hold a proper seance. The target number is the force of the apparition which the medium wishes to channel. Zero successes indicate failure, no apparition comes and the whole process must be done over again. At one success, no apparition comes, but the attempt may be made again immediately (after the drain check). Two success gets the correct type of apparition, but not the specific one (the medium is aware this is the case about half the time). Three successes call the correct apparition forward. The apparition cannot resist the summoning (but can resist the actual channeling). A critical failure summons a completely different evil apparition, unbeknownst to the medium.
Any willing being at a seance can allow the apparition--if it wishes--to possess him or her, but only a medium with this skill can do so with relative safety. Mediums with this skill can also channel unwilling ghost.
Once an apparition has been summoned by a seance, the medium can use this skill to force it to possess him or her, so questions may be asked of it. This involves an control test (an opposed test pitting force against channeling skill). If the apparition wins, it can stay out and the medium takes drain (see below). If the medium wins, the apparition is trapped until the medium lets it go.
Normally, possessed people, if they want the ghost to leave, must make an opposed willpower test to send it out. Mediums with this channeling skill get extra dice when forcing the apparition out equal to the net successes scored over the apparition in the control test in the previous paragraph. If the apparition entered the medium willingly, the medium gets extra dice equal to his or her channeling skill rating.
Seances exist purely to interrogate apparitions. Not everyone can conduct seances, and only mediums can conduct them with control. They require specific chemicals, lighting, numbers of people, etc, as well as the correct mental state and mind set. Usually only mediums can do this, but amateurs occasionally can do it, often with disastrous results. Well executed seances somehow prevent the apparition from hurting anyone in the room or even manifesting physically (though it may try scare tactics). Amateur seances, or incorrectly set up seances, do not confer this ability.
The base time to set up a seance is equal to the force of the desired apparition in hours, divided by the number of successes from an unresisted seance test. The target number for this test is always 4.
Once the room is set up, the medium 'summons' the apparition with the method described in the seance skill description. Failure (of zero successes) requires the seance to be set up all over again.
When the apparition comes, it may possess any willing person attending. It cannot gain entry to unwilling bodies. The medium (who is not considered a willing subject for this purpose) usually invites the apparition into him or her. If it goes willingly, it may not leave until thrown out by the medium (as described above). If it refuses, the medium has two options: he or she may either let the apparition go, or force it to possess them (as described above).
While possessed by a medium, the apparition must tell the truth and answer questions. It may attempt to avoid them, but must make an opposed willpower test against the medium, using only half of its willpower (while the medium gets the bonus dice normally associated with ending possessions).
Once the possession has ended, the apparition must leave the people in the room unbothered for 12 hours. The medium must also check for drain (with willpower). The target number for the drain is the force of the apparition. The base drain depends on the situation. If the apparition did not possess the medium (for any reason, including that not enough successes were scored during the 'summoning') the base drain is medium. If the apparition willingly possessed the medium, the base drain is serious. If the apparition had to be forced into possession, the base drain is deadly, but the medium gets the bonus dice equal to the net successes during the control test. For the drain of a failed control test, the base drain is light.
To link to this page use this URL: http://bhopal.flashpt.com/internet/nagee.nsf/docs/apparitions