Hey everyone. This is going to be a redux of the rules for the Epic D6 System. During the Battle Royale Week, I’ve been notified by Roryb, the author of the system, that I had indeed got the system wrong and told me how to properly use it, which you can see in the comments. I thank him for the clarification and feel a rerun would be in order. However, I’m not going to do Snakes on a Plane again, rather what I think is its base inspiration: Ghostbusters.
The test length is One-shot, so when I complete the story, the session’s done. One thing I liked about Ghostbusters is the multitude of Adventure Seeds and NPCs you can have. Rather than use one of the Adventure Seeds, I’m going to make a scenario based off the first NPC I see, as well as a two-part episode from Kamen Rider Drive. Just for context sake, the story of the Ghostbusters RPG is that, after the defeat of Gozer, the Ghostbusters branch out and become a franchise.
So the opening scenario is this: There is a Ghostbusters station down by Portland, Maine. The member count is roughly a dozen due to a recent outbreak of ghost hauntings, requiring more members to tackle the threats. This resulted in my character, a college graduate, being forced to apply for a job to there, because it was either “get accepted by those ghost-whispering quacks” or flipping burgers. Well, the pay was roughly better with the former.
So I get the job, and after a day of orientation, the President of Ghostbusters Portland, a.k.a my boss, tells me I have an assignment involving the haunting of an art museum. With some training of how to operate the Ghost Trap and Particle Thrower, the boss shoved by butt into an Ecto-1 and sent me on my way to the museum where our game begins.
John got out of his Ecto-1 and got into the art museum.
I’m going to sum up what Rory had said regarding the Engine: I roll the dice, but I count out odds until I get around to five dice. Then I count how many evens I have. The more evens, the better the result. I assume that it always has to be five, so if you see me crossing out evens numbers, that’s why.
[Q: Are police there? Odds: Very Likely. A: 6, 4, 5, 4, 6, 2, 4. Twist die: 1 & 1 = Event]
I’m keeping the house rule of rolling two separate dice as Twist Dice and that doubles on Twist Dice always result in a twist. In the original, the last two dice you roll are the Twist Dice, and if they are equal to or under Chaos Factor, you get the twist. So the result here is that, counting the Evens, it’s a Yes And… As in yes, the cops are there and they are already cleaning out the place for a crime scene investigation. Now the Twist.
[Twist: 5 and 2 = Move Away From A Thread]
John noticed a horde of cops standing by, investigating the place. One of them turns to John and walks up to him. John instantly recognized this guy: Jake Westtree, a cop who is always on the Ghostbusters’ cases. He knows this because the day he joined the Ghostbusters, Jake was there calling everyone out over some big accident.
“Well, if it isn’t the Ghostbusters. Funny how you people always pop up here. Well, take a hike, because you’re intruding on official business. Now leave before I personally introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. Fist.” Jake said.
Alright, so it seems we’re going to have to sneak our way into the place.
[Q: Are there any trees nearby? Odds: Very Likely. A: 2, 4, 1, 1, 6, 1, 5. Twist Die: 6 and 2. No Twist.]
So four evens in the hand of five means it’s a straight up yes. Time to roll my strength to climb up. I say the challenge rating will be about… 13 for both sneaking by and getting into the tree. Task resolution in Ghostbusters is done by rolling as many dice as you have in your score and adding the total for your result. The more dice, the better.
[Moves (rank of 4) Roll: 16]
[Muscles (rank of 4) Roll: 16]
John found a tree nearby the museum and snuck by the police. He began to climb up the tree and sneak his way into the museum.
End of Scene. And before you ask, yes. Jake Westtree is in the book as an NPC and is the character I was talking about basing the adventure around. When I read this guy’s character up, I instantly got reminded of a character from Kamen Rider Drive and along with that, an episode that seemed perfect to be a Ghostbusters adventure with some tweaks. And so I decided to go ahead with that idea. Chaos Factor is increased by one, as John doesn’t seem to have control over the situation like he had hoped. I think that’s another house rule for this system, as Rory has also stated in the comments that he’d ditch the Chaos Factor.
[Chaos Factor: 1]
[Scene Alteration Roll: 1, 5, 1, 5, 4, 5]
It’s just a straight nope. So we enter uninterrupted.
John entered the art museum and looked around. Putting on the Ectovisor, he begins to track down the empty hallway. There he sees a couple of cops surveying the area.
[Q: Are there any hiding spots for John to use? Odds: Sure Thing. Roll… 2, 2, 4, 6, 6, 5, 5, 3, 6. Twist Dice: 2 & 6. No Twist.]
A Yes And. Yes, there is a spot for John to hide in, and it’s right next to him so he just needs to make a Moves check of 6.
[Moves Roll: 16]
John slipped into a corridor undetected by the cops. He enters further into the corridor to see what he can see.
The base DC for perception checks is going to be 10.
[Moves Roll: 17]
John could see paintings of women. Special paintings, he notes. He hasn’t seen paintings this beautiful in a long while. His Ectovisor, however, sees something differently. For a brief moment, those beautiful paintings seemed to be… moving. John moved in a little closer. He could see the women trying to escape. One of them even was pleading for his help.
In Ghostbusters, Cool is used to ensure your character doesn’t freak the hell out when spooky stuff happens, or to have massive resolve in the face of something truly heartbreaking. It’s also used as Charisma, but right now, it’s being used as the former with a DC of 15.
[Cool Check: 10*]
That asterisk means the last dice of the sequence, the Ghost Die, rolled a 1. In Ghostbusters, when you roll a 1 on the Ghost Die, bad stuff tends to happen. If you succeed with that 1, it’ll only be a minor inconvenience. For instance, if John rolled that on the tree check, he’d knock a few branches off. He’d be fine, but he’d have to make the check again at a high difficulty. Roll a 1 on the Die and fail? Well, then you’re boned. Not dead, since the game tends to avoid killing off characters, but in a position that will hurt. A lot. Not only that, but I failed, so that naturally means a massive fail.
John screamed throughout the museum. At first, he thought that only the police heard him, but an eerie whisper confirmed that they weren’t the only ones who heard.
‘Intruder… intruder…’ The ghostly whispers said. John bolted out of the corridor.
Well, that’s hitting the fan. Chaos Factor is bumped up to 2. Onto the next scene.
[Scene Alteration Roll: 6, 6, 4, 5, 1, 5, 3]
Yes, there’s a random event, but it’s best left ambiguous.
Zero Tangent Dice: A pair of tweezers and a castle.
John got to another room to catch his breath. Suddenly, a ghostly hand came from the painting of a castle.
Double check once again. This time for Moves and Cool. The difficulty is 10.
[Moves Check: 17]
[Cool Check: 15]
John got away just in time for the hand to miss him. He looked at the ghost. It was a slim, pink blob with large lips. The PKE Reader blared off as John picked it up to look at the ghost.
I’m gonna say this is a common kind of Ghost, but given the fact that this is practically John’s first day on the job, he’d have no idea what it is in person, the difficulty would be 15. However, since he’s gonna be guessing, that triggers his special skill. For those who don’t know, each character has four special talents, each keyed to their stat. They just give them three bonus dice.
[Smarts (+ Guessing Skill) Check: 23*]
John instantly guessed that this ghost was a Class 5 Ghost, a Slimer. However, in the time it took for him to recognize that, the Slimer attacked him.
By now, I should tell you guys what Brownie Points are for those who don’t know. Brownie Points are HP, Plot Points, and Experience Points all rolled into one. You can spend thirty BP to gain an extra stat point, you can use them to add more dice, and you lose them when you get hurt or avoid trouble. I’m gonna set myself for 30 Brownie Points, and I have just lost… [Roll…] four Brownie Points.
[Q: Do cops come to my location? Odds: Very Likely. A: 4, 3, 5, 1, 6, 2, 3, 3, 5. Twist Dice: 3 & 6. No Twist]
Yes, cops come to my location. But, it’s not a friendly cop.
“Alright! Now you’re dead meat! I’ll teach ya about disturbing a crime scene!” John could hear Jake’s voice echo through the museum.
“More intruders?” The pink Slimer asked.
[Q: Does the Pink Slimer attack Jake? Odds: Somewhat Likely. A: 5, 1, 5, 6, 2, 5, 1, 3]
And with that no, the Pink Slimer goes for me. From what I know, Jake will take a round to get here, Pink Slimer already went, and so now I am going to attack.
John gets his proton pack ready and fires at the Slimer.
I’m gonna say it’s a difficulty of 9, given the distance between John and the Slimer.
[Moves (+ Fire Weapons Skill) Check: 26.]
A blast from his Proton Pack knocks the Ghost around a bit.
The Ghost is damaged for 2 damage, leaving his Ectoplasm stat around 3. That’s when Jake comes in. I’m gonna roll his cool to see if he understandably freaks out… DC is 20.
[Cool Check: 21]
Jake rushes in and sees the ghost. His knees buckled, but he stood firm and got his gun out.
“So, these things are real!?” He piped up. He fired his .44 calibre pistol at the ghost.
Setting the DC to 26, since he’s a bit further than John is at the ghost, and that it’s… well… a ghost.
[Moves (+ “Shoot .44 So That Blood and Gore Splatters Everywhere Skill”) Check: 23]
The bullets fly by the ghost as Jake’s hands begin to shake.
Another Cool Check with five additional DC points.
[Cool Check: 23]
Jake dropped the gun and began to cower before the ghost.
“OH GOD! DON’T KILL ME LIKE THE CURATOR!” Jake screamed out.
[Q: Is the ghost distracted by Jake’s gun? Odds: Very Likely. A: 5, 1, 6, 1, 4, 2, 6, 2, 2. Twist Dice: 4 & 6. No Twist.]
Yes, the ghost goes after Jake, and it attacks. By this point, I realize I keep forgetting to do Ghost Dice so I’ll be doing it the same way I do the Twist Dice from this point forward. DC is 10.
[Power Roll: 7]
The Ghost missed Jake by a bit. John takes his opportunity to fire a proton beam at the Smiler.
[Moves Roll (+ Fire Weapon Check): 26]
This was with a DC check of 13. It takes out two more points. To sum up, divide the result by the target number to get the damage… Though according to the damage chart, it seems to be “if it’s x more than target number”, though I might be reading the International version. No, that’s just what they called Advanced Ghostbusters.
[Q: Does the ghost have anything to do with the girls? Odds: Very Likely. A: 2, 2, 4, 4, 1, 3, 2, 6, 4]
Yes, the ghost has something to do with the girls being trapped in the paintings, and his weakening Ectopresence is freeing them from their paintings.
The women in the paintings begin to claw their way free from their shackles of the painting frames.
Finally, we’re going to do a negative-odds question. This works a bit differently. Instead of crossing out odd numbers, we cross out even numbers.
[Q: Will Jake try to pull his resolve? Odds: Very Unlikely. A: 2, 3, 2, 1, 5, 3, 5, 4, 5. Twist Dice: 2 & 2. Twist Time]
No, Jake does not try to pull his resolve and he starts freaking out even more, alerting more police. Now we roll up the twist.
[Twist: Thread, Toward]
At first, it seemed like sirens of a cop car… but the blaring alerted and notified the two that it’s far from a cop… It was the blaring horn of an Ecto-1. Another Ghostbuster.
When I do the Twist, when it asks for an NPC or Thread, instead of rolling on a chart, I think of the most relevant thread/npc I can. In this case, “Stop the Slimer”. This is a perfect time to end the scene there. Chaos Factor’s bumped down to 1, since we managed to kick the ghost’s ass around a bit and another Ghostbuster has come to help us. If we were Jake, we’d be having that Chaos Factor go up.
[Scene Roll: 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 1.]
Yes, the scene’s interrupted… but it’s ambiguous.
Zero Tangent Dice: Fire and What I Assume Is Samus’ Bomb In A Parachute
A small grenade smashed through the window.
I’m gonna roll a Smarts check to know what the bomb is. Since I can’t use guess work (since he’ll assume it’s a classic grenade), I’m not using it. DC will be roughly 15.
[Smarts Check: 17]
John recognized this bomb from orientation. It’s used to cause a brief Ectoplasmic Pulse that disrupts the ghost’s presence and allows them to be contained easily. John rushed over to protect Jake from the blast.
[Move Check: 8]
John failed to grab Jake in time before a large blast erupted from the grenade. The Slimer’s body made manifest as a Proton Beam fired onto the ghost and was lassoed into a Ghost Trap that was thrown in. The trap sprang open as the Ghost is sucked into it.
John, meanwhile, was okay aside from being a little slimed. Jake, on the other hand, was screaming his ass off. The other Ghostbuster walks in from the open window and picked up the Ghost Trap.
[Q: Do the cops come now? Odds: Sure Thing. A: 4, 6, 1, 4, 2, 5, 2, 6, 6. Twist Dice: 4 & 5. No Twist.]
Yes, the cops come and they’re not pleased with the commotion.
“What’s going on here? Jake, why are you screaming like a banshee? And why are those occultists doing here?” One of the cops asked Jake.
Cool DC of roughly 30 now.
[Cool Check: 24]
“G-G-ghoooost…” Jake said as he pointed to the women, now out of their paintings. “I… I s-s-s-saw them… in the paint-tings…” Jake said through chattering teeth.
“… Yeeeaaaaah, look, I hate to say this, but I think the stress has gotten to you.” The head officer went to Jake and took away his badge. “You’re suspended without pay for the time being. Maybe next time you won’t go in guns blazing like the incident last week.” With that, the cops laughed at him and left.
John went over to Jake, also slimed by the EPP Grenade, and offered a hand in joining Ghostbusters.
… Nah, no checks this time around. I feel it being very thematic for Jake to see the Ghost attack and join with them.
From that day onward, Jake became a member of the Ghostbusters, searching for the strange things in his neighbourhood and taking care of it once and for all. Jake told the others about how the Slimer killed the Curator via a fear-induced heart attack, and that they were investigating the museum to find clues as to what happened. While the cops are getting a lead on the mafia as possible suspects, Jake and the Ghostbusters know who truly killed the curator.
And that’s the proper use of the system. Or at least as proper as I can make it. What do I think of it? It now makes more sense to use, and I think the system compliments Ghostbusters very well, since the dice system also makes use of one of the dice being a sort of “twist die”. The one thing I might notice is a possible reason for why the Chaos Factor might be nixed: too many dice to the equation. If there are few rolled odds, you can be swimming in Yes And scenarios.
As for Ghostbusters itself, a good lesson to be had is to pick which version you’re playing with, because if you use both the normal and International versions, you’re going to get confused. I always assumed you take damage to your Brownie Points, but it seems it’s damage to the stats, so either I misread the rules or that as an addition in the International Edition. Other than that, it plays great. The downside is that I didn’t get to do the Routines part, where you have different routines to do, like car chases, and you roll dice to get random events. Maybe I will next time.
Until then, keep on gaming.