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Thread: Traditiional Ghosts
02-02-1998, 06:00 PM #1Neil BarnesGuest
Onne thing that I'm worried is going to be lost in Birthright is the
idea of haunted houses and castles. Because connectionns to the Shadow
World are so inimical any area which suffered from a regular haunting
would seem destined to become uninhabitable.
So here's an idea for traditional ghosts in BR: -
When a blooded individual dies in traumatic circumstances, they often
leave a ghost behind. These haunting spirits are not the malign entities
of the Monstrous Manual, but some portion of an individual's soul,
trapped by the emotions surroundinng it's death, within the Shadow
Within the Shadow World they are usually tied to the building in which
they died. They appear as transluscent versions of themselves prior to
their deaths. They retain their abilities and personalities from life,
but are unablee to leave the Shadow World. The intense emotions
surrounding the events of their deaths are all that connects them to
their tenuous existance, and they generally fall into a pattern of
repeating the actions which lead to their deaths - doiing otherwise is
draining for them.
If they are killed, then their souls are destroyed, and do not pass on
to the Outer Planes. However if they manage to resolve the emotions that
tie them to the Shadow World, then they are released to pass on to the
Through dint of intense concentration they are able to affect events in
Cerilia, but this is easier while they are carrying out actions relating
to the events of their deaths. Thus they can move small objects, create
insubstantial fleeting images, create pools of blood, cause moaning
sounds and drops in tempreture - all the traditional signs of ghostly
Within the Shadow World, they are able to fight 'spectral' undead
(ghosts, wraiths, wights, spectres etc.) normally - beinng able to hurt
them and also immune to their energy draining powers - thus a house
haunted by a traditional ghost is unlikely to be plagued by other sorts
of undead (which is why the other sorts of undead are more common in
wilderness areas such as the Giantdowns).
Because of the emotional and bloodline requirements for their formation
'traditional' Ghosts are usually only found in civilised areas with a
long history of bloody politics - such as Anuire, Rjurik & Brechtur.
Ghosts in the east are somewhat different - being more malicious,
better able to enter Cerilia and able to change shape. They are also
02-03-1998, 09:32 AM #firstname.lastname@example.org.Guest
See also "Spectral Scion" in the _Rjurik Highlands_.
02-04-1998, 03:17 PM #3Neil BarnesGuest
On Tue, 3 Feb 1998, Trizt wrote:
> On 02-Feb-98, Neil Barnes (email@example.com) wrote about [BIRTHRIGHT] -
> Traditiional Ghosts:
> ->When a blooded individual dies in traumatic circumstances, they often
> ->leave a ghost behind.
> Why blooded?? I think the blooded are weaker when becoming ghosts as they
> loose part of their power in the moment of death.
Because this keeps ghosts rare, and restricts them to castles/ large
houses etc. - there's nothing to prevent peasant ghosts, since even
peasants can have tainted bloodlines.
> It could fit into the Rjuvik society, but then you should make it (or
> parts of Rjuvik) more Finnic and not do the misstake of claiming that
> there is no difference between Finnic people/language and
> Scanno-Germanic which TSR does.
To be diplomatic, I think that the BR team were just drawing on a number
of sources when creating the Rjurik - there are a few Celtic elements in
their too (druids especially).
> The life or death has nothing to do
> with the "creation" of the ghost, the reason why there are ghosts are
> that a close relative is mourning so much (a week or more) that the
> dead is distracted from passing to the "underworld" that they turn
> around and go back home. A tear from the wife/husband/beloved falling
> on the grave during the grave is enough too.
This doesn't really give the sort of political ghosts I was aiming for -
ghosts whose motives could include resolving the mystery surrounding
their bloody deaths (especially fun if the ghosts has been around for a
few hundred years), revealing some secret, whatever. Ghosts with
Example: Maerie, the Ghost of *wherever*.
Once a maid, working for the family, she fell from a tower roof one
winter, breaking through the ice that covered the moat and getting
trapped underneath. She drowned before she could be rescued. On winter
nights she can be seen about the castle dusting & doing other minor
housework tasks (changing bedding etc.). She is a faint transluscent
figure that drips icy water where ever she goes.
On the night of the anniversary of her death she may approach fires that
can be seen from the castle's highest tower, asking travellers if she
can warm herself at the fire, since she is cold & dripping wet. She
isn't noticably transluscent at these times, and may make sensitive
travellers nervous. She always vanishes just before morning, leaving
no trace of her presence save for cold, damp footprints.
The Secret: Maerie didn't fall, she was pushed. The illegitimate
daughter of the lord of the castle (her mother was a maid as well), she
was given her mother's job. When her father discovered that she was
having an affair with his son (whom she was unaware was her half
brother) and pregnant with his child, he pushed her off the top of the
In play: If the PCs are travelling in winter, they might encounter
Maerie the ghost as she asks to warm herself at their fire. They might
be able to deduce something of the circumstances of her death from her,
although she won't reveal that she is dead, or give away any information
directly. Perhaps she might tell the players that she is fleeing an
abusive master at the nearby castle.
If you feel really vicious, you could make this a blot upon one of the
chartacter's family trees....
In order to release Maerie, the players should have to uncover the
secrets related to her death, which would set her free. OTOH it might
reveal the PC's Great-great-grandfather as a bit of a shit.
> Any opinions?
Interesting. probably a bit more difficult to directly tie into an
adventure type plot. I'll admit to a certain Shakespearean influence
when I created my ghosts...
02-04-1998, 04:27 PM #4GeniverGuest
I really enjoyed reading your 'ghost story'. No campaign that I have
participated in has had anything like it! OTOH, that's probably because
the people I play with wouldn't be all that interested in a plot that
just reveals a secret with little consequence. I imagine if there was a
high enough experience award for solving the mystery....
Birthright provides other incentives besides experience, treasure, and
the thrill of victory. Make a slight change in the ending: The maid had
two children by the regent. When the secret is revealed, a descendent of
the second child learns that she is blooded. Her natural affinity with
animals is actually a blood ability. The current regent has the same
birthmark in that private place. It is a bloodmark. The result is the
rise of a popular NPC rival as explained in the random events chart.
Only this one is indebted to the PC that discovered the secret....
Neil Barnes wrote:
> Example: Maerie, the Ghost of *wherever*.
> you could make this a blot upon one of the
> chartacter's family trees....
> In order to release Maerie, the players should have to uncover the
> secrets related to her death, which would set her free. OTOH it might
> reveal the PC's Great-great-grandfather as a bit of a shit.
02-04-1998, 05:14 PM #5Neil BarnesGuest
On Wed, 4 Feb 1998, Geniver wrote:
> I really enjoyed reading your 'ghost story'.
Thanks. it was a nice littlee idea that just popped into my head to
illustrate the sorts of things I'd like to do with these ghosts.
> No campaign that I have participated in has had anything like it!
It's much more difficult to do than to talk about. It's the sort of
thing I'd prefer to see more of in BR. We've not really done anything
like that either - in either the campaign I'm running or the one I'm
playing in  - but it's the sort of thing I'd like to fit in at some
> OTOH, that's probably because the people I play with wouldn't be all
> that interested in a plot that just reveals a secret with little
> consequence. I imagine if there was a high enough experience award for
> solving the mystery....
If I was going to run it, I might arrange things so that by solving the
mystery (which the players would have the option of doing whenever they
felt like), theey'd throw up questions as to their legitimacy. I think
these sorts of things really have to be tailored to the PCs in the
> Birthright provides other incentives besides experience, treasure, and
> the thrill of victory. Make a slight change in the ending: The maid had
> two children by the regent. When the secret is revealed, a descendent of
> the second child learns that she is blooded. Her natural affinity with
> animals is actually a blood ability. The current regent has the same
> birthmark in that private place. It is a bloodmark. The result is the
> rise of a popular NPC rival as explained in the random events chart.
> Only this one is indebted to the PC that discovered the secret....
Yeah. something like this is the way to go. The whole plot could just be
introduced & then left - the house is haunted, and these visitations
happen. If the PC was bought up in the house he might be very blase
about the whole thing. If none of the PCs investigate, then nothing
might come of it at all.
 I'm off home for the weekend. I'm going to play the first session of
that campaign for seven or so months. Oh yes....
02-07-1998, 03:31 AM #firstname.lastname@example.org.Guest
> Yes, everything in BR is mixes of RL cultures. In my opinion it's wrong
> to use the map of the Northen europe to name places in Rjuvik, without
> knowing that Finno-Baltic languages isn't the slightest similare to the
> rest of the languages in the region. And I had looked in some older
> materials from TSR as "Viking Campagin Guide" where their clamis could
> be compared to a such thing as say that in US they speak Chines.
Most existing languages in Europe are Indo-European, that is they are
related. Basque pre-dates the coming of the Celts, and Finno-Urgic,
Finnish and Hungarian (Magyar) are late arrivals and also not related to
the European languages. The three language groups in Europe are Slavic,
Germanic, and Romance. I could go on.
(Sorry about the blank)
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