John "The Gneech" Robey (the_gneech) wrote,
John "The Gneech" Robey

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Who Ya Gonna Call? Short Story Geeks!

Well, after much hemming and hawing about what I wanted to do this weekend, I finally went to the Vault of Games Past and pulled out the terrific change-of-pacer Ghostbusters from West End Games. Long out of print but still a lot of fun, Ghostbusters was the predecessor of West End's "d6 System," and as such hit just the right "not at all like d20" note I was looking for.

The premise of the campaign is simple enough: the PCs own a local (Washington D.C. area) Ghostbusters franchise and have to deal with the multifarious paranormal problems that pop up around town. The team consists of boss Lola, a compellingly-creepy goth chick (laurie_robey), Bruno the explosion-loving caveman (hantamouse), Charley the enthusiastic ghost-hunting grad student (jamesbarrett), and Ivan the Twitchy Spark of a Mad Scientist (sirfox). For the first scenario, I pulled out the intro game from the rulebook, "30th and Lexington" and re-purposed it slightly ("Connecticut and R, NW"), relocating it to the intersection in front of the D.C. chapter of the Church of Scientology. ;)

The adventure was a very short, straightforward affair: "A possessed taxicab has started acting like a vicious dog and has chased an antiquarian up a lamppost, causing the worst traffic jam D.C. has seen in at least a week. Go fix it." This being their first job, the Ghostbusters started with a bit of standing around wondering just what one does about a dog-possessed taxicab ... but to their credit they quickly jumped in with a lot of good-old-college-tries. They scolded it ("Bad taxicab! Sit! Stay!"), they tried to play fetch with a tire-iron (only to be thwarted by the Ghost Die and have the tire-iron konk a cop upside the head), and they finally broke down and blasted the cab with their proton packs, but quickly desisted from that plan when they realized that all it did was make the ghost mad and set them up for liability damages from the cab driver.

After some soothing words from the goth chick and a few acrobatic leaps into the cab by Charley (not to mention a few times getting thrashed in the attempt), they finally worked out that holding down the meter stopped the cab from moving (apparently even ghosts don't do anything unless they get paid) ... that enabled them to poke around and discover a statuette of an obscure Hittite dog-god under the back seat. This discovery led to the manifestation of Grraauuff, the cab-haunting, Aztec-looking dog-god in question (why a Hittite god should look like Aztec carvings, is anyone's guess), who terrorized the Ghostbusters with his horrifying barks and sent Ivan running off for the Washington Monument in gibbering horror. Bruno held the statue up over his head, saying, "I've got it!" which was the cue for Charley and Lola to start blasting the statue with their proton packs -- with Bruno in the line of fire. Oops.

There followed an extremely amusing Benny-Hill-chase around the streets of NW, Bruno in the lead carrying the statue like a marathon runner's torch, being chased by a 20' tall glowing dog-god ghost, being chased by the rest of the Ghostbusters blazing away with proton packs. Once the ghost was manifested, however, they did finally manage to get it sucked into a ghost trap for toting off to their previously-unoccupied containment unit.

Further investigation indicated that the statue belonged to the treed antiquarian, one Eliza Shamblan, who'd acquired it not-too-long ago for his little shop ("...of horrors" quoth Bruno) and who was returning from his trip to the Smithsonian to have it identified. What happened at the Smithsonian to cause the sleeping Grraauuff to awaken and possess the cab, is anyone's guess ... surely a mystery to be plumbed in upcoming sessions...

The other big news of the weekend is that we recorded the first episode of the Short Story Geeks podcast. :) Initial editing has been done and now I'm just doing some cleanup and laying down a bed track, and the actual recording will be ready. The last unknown at this stage is setting up the XML metadata (oog) and submitting the feed to iTunes. I'm sure I'll be submitting it to other feed aggregators as well, but that will come with time.

Still, a fun and productive weekend. Unfortunately, now it's back to work!

-The Gneech
Tags: gaming, geekery, ghostbusters, podcast, silly stuff
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