Jun 18 2016

Time For Something New

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Okay, now the moving is pretty much dealt with (again and hopefully for the last time any time soon) and my AnthroCon prep is about as far as it can go until it comes time to actually put stuff into the car, it’s time to get back into the writing groove.

And, I think, time to come up with something new. I’ve got chunks of Brigid and Greg, I’ve got a giant blorp of Michael Macbeth, but honestly my brain wants a break from those. I want something new and different to think about.

What that is, I’m not sure yet. I periodically consider writing a fairly standard genre fantasy book, i.e. elves and wizards and things, but I would like to find a way to put a fresh spin on the idea so it’s not just “Howard McTolkienface and the Etcetera of Ditto.” I also want whatever it is to be a project I can have fun with. One of the things that I relished about Sky Pirates of Calypsitania was that Verity and Tanya were fun characters to write about, because of the chemistry between them. The fun was a bit hampered by the harrowing circumstances they lived through, of course… those poor gals are going to have some PTSD to deal with in the next book I suspect, assuming there is one.

A new thing would also come without baggage, or at least with different baggage. B&G and Michael Macbeth both suffer a bit from having a “what they should be like” thing I’m trying to stick to… a new project I could just open up and let it be its own thing. A lot of the stuff that’s been bothering me about my older ideas, can inform the direction I go with new ideas right from the start. I can also outline with a view towards writing 100,000 words, instead of coming up with yet another 60,000 word idea and then being stuck for another half a book to tack onto it. 😛

So I think for the next week or so, depending on how long the process takes, I’m going to simply play around with new ideas and brainstorm, figuring out what I want out of a book, what I would enjoy writing, and what I think would suit the market, and find something that covers that part of the venn diagram that intersects all three. As much as I like Sky Pirates, my discussions with professionals on the topic all suggest that it’s going to be a hard sell for a first novel. So I might have to tuck it into a drawer to pull out later once I’m already a name, so to speak.

-The Gneech

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Jun 07 2016

Ghostbusters 5E: The Boys In Gray (First Pass)

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the_ghostbusters

So here we have some actually built PC Ghostbusters, representing Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston as of the Sedgewick Hotel job (i.e., catching Slimer). The first thing I notice is that AC is very low across the board; I may give all the GB classes the “Add your Proficiency Bonus to AC” ability to compensate for this.

The Boys in Gray (First Pass)

Egon Spengler (Sedgewick Job) (CR ½; 100 XP)
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Medium humanoid (human) Brains 3, neutral
AC 12 (padded jumpsuit); hp 13 (3d6)
Speed 30’
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Str 11/+0; Dex 13/+1; Con 11/+0; Int 16/+3; Wis 15/+2; Cha 9/-1
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Saving Throws Intelligence +5, Wisdom +4
Skills Electronics +5, Investigation +5, Medicine +5, Occult +5, Parapsychology +7, Science +7
Proficiencies chemistry tools, electronics tools
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages English, Latin
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Discovery. Dr. Spengler invented the ghost containment technology that makes proton packs and ghost traps possible.
Expertise. Dr. Spengler adds double his proficiency bonus to Intelligence (Parapsychology) and Intelligence (Science) checks.
Inventor. Dr. Spengler has three prodigy-level gadget slots.
Know-It-All. Dr. Spengler adds ½ his proficiency bonus to any Intelligence check he makes that doesn’t already include his proficiency bonus (+1 at 3rd level).
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Actions
Proton Pack. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 100/300, one target. Hit: 14 (3d8+1) radiant damage, capture.
Plan. Dr. Spengler can take an action to formulate a plan. He chooses up to six creatures (including himself) who can hear and understand him to include in the plan. In the next minute, each creature who is part of the plan may choose to roll a Ghost Die with their choice of any one attack roll or ability check per turn. He must complete a short or long rest before he can use this ability again.

Peter Venkman (Sedgewick Job) (CR ½; 100 XP)
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Medium humanoid (human) Wits 3, chaotic good
AC 11 (padded jumpsuit); hp 20 (3d8+3)
Speed 30’
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Str 10/+0; Dex 11/+0; Con 12/+1; Int 14/+2; Wis 8/-1; Cha 16/+3
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Saving Throws Dexterity +2, Charisma +5
Skills Athletics +2, Deception +7, Occult +4, Parapsychology +4, Persuasion +7, Stealth +2
Tool Proficiencies electronic toolset, cars
Senses passive Perception 9
Languages English, New York pidgin
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Fast Talk. Dr. Venkman can suggest a wildly improbable or even outrageous course of action (limited to a sentence or two) to someone within 30’ who can hear and understand him, they must succeed a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or they will pursue it to the best of their ability for up to 8 hours (or until they complete the action). Creatures that can’t be charmed are immune to this effect. Asking a creature to actively harm themselves or do something completely contrary to their basic nature immediately ends the effect. Once Dr. Venkman has used this ability, he must complete a short or long rest before he can use it again.
Jack of All Trades. Dr. Venkman can add half of his proficiency bonus to any ability check that does not already include his proficiency bonus.
Nobody’s Fool (Feat). Dr. Venkman has advantage on ability checks or saving throws to see through deception or resist intimidation or persuasion that is not supernatural.
No Job Is Too Big, No Fee Is Too Big. When negotiating to mitigate damage or increase his team’s fee for a bust, he has advantage on his Charisma (Persuasion) check.
Slick Operator. When Dr. Venkman makes ability checks to use Deception and Persuasion, his proficiency bonus is doubled.
Streetwise. Dr. Venkman has advantage on all Intelligence (Investigation) checks to find illicit goods, criminal activity, or people hiding out in urban environments, as well as Charisma (Persuasion) checks made to convince criminals or other shady types that he is safe to interact with.
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Actions
Proton Pack. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 100/300. Hit: 13 (3d8) radiant damage, capture.
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Bonus Actions
Make a Remark (3 uses). As a bonus action on his turn, Dr. Venkman may choose a creature within 60’ who can hear and understand him. If making a cheering remark, that creature may add a Ghost Die to one attack roll, saving throw, or ability check they make in the next minute, or roll a Ghost Die and regain that many hit points. If they Roll a Ghost when restoring hit points, they regain a number of hit points equal to their Constitution score (or 6, whichever is higher). If making a cutting remark, Dr. Venkman rolls a Ghost Die and that creature must subtract that from their next d20 roll, or he may roll a Ghost Die and subtract that number from the creature’s hit points. If he Rolls a Ghost, the creature must subtract 14. Once he has used this ability three times, Dr. Venkman must have a short or long rest to use it again.

Ray Stantz (Sedgewick Job) (CR ½; 100 XP)
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Medium humanoid (human) Guts 3, lawful good
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AC 13 (padded jumpsuit); hp 31 (3d12+6)
Speed 30’
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Str 12/+1; Dex 10/+0; Con 15/+2; Int 14/+2; Wis 8/-1; Cha 10/+0
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Saving Throws Constitution +4, Charisma +2
Skills Driving +2, Investigation +4, Occult +4, Parapsychology +4, Religion +4, Science +4
Proficiencies computers, electronics tools, mechanical tools
Senses passive Perception 9
Languages English, Latin
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Durable. Dr. Stantz adds his Constitution bonus to his AC, as well as his Dexterity bonus.
Fools Rush In. When Dr. Stantz is surprised on the first round of combat, he may still choose to act on his initiative. If he does, all attacks made against him have advantage, and he has disadvantage on all saving throws until the beginning of his next turn.
Lucky. Whenever Dr. Stantz rolls a 1 on a d20 roll, he may immediately re-roll it and take the better result.
Research Savant. Dr. Stantz has advantage on Intelligence (Investigation) checks made to look up information. When he attempts to recall a piece of lore, if he doesn’t know the information, he at least has a pretty good idea where and from whom he can obtain it, if it’s available.
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Actions
Proton Pack. Ranged Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, range 100/300. Hit: 13 (3d8) radiant damage, capture.
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Bonus Actions
Adrenaline Rush. Dr. Stantz enters an adrenaline rush, gaining the following benefits: he has advantage on all Strength checks and Strength saving throws, he adds a Ghost Die of damage to all successful attacks in combat, and he has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage. The rush lasts for one minute, but ends early if he is knocked unconscious or his turn ends and he hasn’t attacked a hostile creature, taken damage, or expended a hit die since his last turn. He may enter an adrenaline rush twice. After that he must finish a long rest before he can go into a rush again.
Got Your Back. By expending one or more of his own hit dice, Dr. Stantz may choose to aid a friendly creature he can touch, giving the creature a free saving throw plus a Ghost Die to end any one condition it is suffering, or the creature can immediately regain hit points equal to 1d12 + their Constitution modifier for every hit die expended, plus a Ghost Die.

Winston Zeddemore (When Hired) (CR 2; 450 XP)
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Medium humanoid (human) Brawn 3, lawful good
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AC 14 (padded jumpsuit); hp 24 (3d10+3)
Speed 30’
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Str 15/+2; Dex 16/+3; Con 13/+1; Int 11/+0; Wis 11/+0; Cha 9/-1
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Saving Throws Strength +4, Constitution +3
Skills Athletics +4, Driving +5, Insight +2, Perception +2
Proficiencies cars, demolitions, heavy machinery, mechanical tools, simple weapons
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages English
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Action Surge. Winston can take one additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action. He must finish a short or long rest before he can use this ability again.
Nice Shootin’, Tex! Winston adds +2 to all ranged attack and damage rolls (reflected in his statistics), including rolls made to capture ghosts (or adds +2 to the DC a ghost must beat to avoid capture, as applicable). Also, when he makes a ranged attack, he may add a Ghost Die to the attack roll or damage roll. He must take a short or long rest before he can do this again.
Sane. When Winston is subject to confusion effects, he rolls twice and takes the preferred result. In situations where having a “voice of reason” would be beneficial, Winston or an ally within 30’ that can hear him has advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks.
Strong Back. Winston’s carrying capacity is doubled and he may always add a Ghost Die to Strength checks made to push, pull, lift, or break objects.
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Actions
Proton Pack.
Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 100/300. Hit: 18 (3d8+5) radiant damage, capture.
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Bonus Actions
Second Wind.
Winston can use a bonus action to regain hit points equal to 1d10+3. He must finish a short or long rest before he can use this ability again.

Slimer (CR 2; 450 XP)
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Medium undead (trappable), chaotic neutral
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AC 12; hp 22 (5d8)
Speed 0’, fly 50’ (hover)
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Str 1/-5; Dex 14/+2; Con 11/+0; Int 10/+0; Wis 10/+0; Cha 11/+0
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Damage Resistances acid, cold, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60’, passive Perception 10
Languages understands English but can’t speak
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Ethereal Sight. Slimer can see 60’ into the ethereal plane when he is on the material plane, and vice versa.
Incorporeal Movement. Slimer can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. He takes 5 (1d10) force damage if he ends his turn inside an object.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, Slimer has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
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Actions
Charge (Recharge 5-6). Slimer flies up to 30’ and attacks with either his Forceful Slam or his Slime, ending his movement adjacent to the target. If the attack hits, it does an extra 5 (1d10) points of damage.
Etherealness. Slimer enters the Ethereal Plane from the Material plane, or vice versa.
Forceful Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5’, one creature. Hit: 10 (3d6) force damage.
Slime. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5’, one creature. Hit: 5 (1d10) damage and the target is slimed. The target must immediately attempt a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.
Telekinetic Fling. Slimer either telekinetically grabs a nearby unattended object up to 150 lbs, or manifests an ectoplasmic pseudo-object appropriate to his nature (generally spoiled food in Slimer’s case) and flings them at a creature within 30’. This acts as a ranged weapon (+4 to hit) dealing 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage. Two or more phantasms working in tandem can move objects up to 450 lbs, doing 16 (3d10) bludgeoning damage.
Telekinetic Thrust. Slimer targets a Medium or smaller creature within 30’ of him and makes a Charisma check contested by the target’s Strength check. If Slimer wins the contest, he flings the target up to 30’ in any direction, including upward. If the target then comes into contact with a hard surface or heavy object, the target takes 1d6 bludgeoning damage per 10’ moved.

Whattya think? The first draft of the document is done and I’m beginning revisions now, so now’s the time for feedback!

-The Gneech

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Jun 06 2016

Ghostbusters 5E: Feats (First Pass)

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Artwork by Luis Delgado
(Artwork by Luis Delgado)

The feats for GB are fairly straightforward. I just added a few to plug holes in abilities Ghostbusters aren’t likely to get (like the massive strength of Gauntlets of Ogre Power).

Feats (First Draft)

The following feats from the Players Handbook are available to Ghostbusters: Alert, Athlete, Actor, Charger, Dungeon Delver, Durable, Grappler, Healer, Inspiring Leader, Keen Mind, Lightly Armored, Linguist, Lucky, Magic Initiate, Martial Adept, Mobile, Observant, Resilient, Ritual Caster, Savage Attacker, Sentinel, Sharpshooter, Skilled, Skulker, Tavern Brawler, Tough, Weapon Master.

In addition, Ghostbusters may choose from the following new feats:

Best of the Best
Choose one ability score at its natural maximum. That ability goes up by 1 point, and its natural maximum goes up by 1 point as well. This is the only way for normal humans to have ability scores beyond 20. No ability score may be raised beyond 25 this way.

C-C-C-Combo!
When you drop a target in combat, you may immediately make an additional attack of the same type against another eligible target as a reaction. If that target also drops, you may immediately make another attack against a different target as part of the same reaction, and so on, up to the number of eligible targets who keep dropping, or your proficiency bonus, whichever is lower.

Fancy Footwork
You are very adept at avoiding incoming attacks. Add your proficiency bonus to your AC.

Gadgeteer
You can invent gadgets, as if you had the Inventor class feature of the Brains class. However, you are just a dabbler, and are therefore limited to a number of Prodigy-level gadgets equal to your Intelligence bonus (minimum 1).

Ghost Wrangler
When you successfully hit a trappable creature with a proton pack or other weapon with the capture quality, you may initiate a capture attempt as a bonus action even if that creature is at full strength and free of conditions. You have advantage on all ability checks or attack rolls made to capture a trappable creature, or creatures attempting to escape your capture effect have disadvantage (whichever is applicable). In any contested capture attempts, you have advantage (but the creature does not have disadvantage).

Multidisciplinary
Prerequisite: Specialty class feature, 4th level.
If you are a member of a class that has specialties (such as Anatomist, Inventor, and Professor for the Brains class), you immediately gain the 3rd level ability of a specialty other than the one you have chosen. Thereafter, when you gain a new specialty ability, you may choose the next ability available from either specialty. This feat may be taken multiple times: each time it adds the 3rd level ability of a new specialty, but it only applies to specialties of a single class.

Nobody’s Fool
You have advantage on ability checks or saving throws to see through deception or resist intimidation or persuasion. This does not confer any benefit against supernatural influences.

Prolific Gadgeteer
Prerequisite: Inventor class feature or Gadgeteer feat, 3rd level.
You gain a number of gadget slots equal to your proficiency bonus.

Whattya think? Next time, the original Boys In Grey.

-The Gneech

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Jun 01 2016

Someone to Overwatch Over Me

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DVaGneech and TracerBlitz by the-gneech on DeviantArt

Taking a little break from Ghostbusters [1] to get into Overwatch. This is a fun action-oriented online game from Blizzard (makers of World of Warcraft [2]) which is being described as a “hero shooter.”

What’s a “hero shooter”? I have to admit I barely understand the term myself. The shooter part is easy– the controls and interface are standard FPS. The “hero” part apparently refers to the fact that instead of controlling a single player avatar or character, you choose from a variety of characters depending on the needs of the team and the situation. So if your team needs a damage dealer to lead an assault, you might choose the jetpack-boosting soldier, but if they need to defend a point you might choose the sniping archer.

Overwatch has 21 characters currently, broadly grouped into “offense,” “defense,” and “support,” with subcategories of “tank,” “builder,” and “sniper.” Gameplay is fast and woolly: you are grouped up with five other players (either friends you’ve pre-grouped with or randomly-selected players of a similar level/rank) and tossed into an arena against a team of six other randomly-selected players (or AI foes of choosable difficulty). There are basically two missions currently: conquer waypoints, or escort/deny a moving payload.

I’m told it’s somewhat like Team Fortress 2, but as I’ve never played that, I can’t address it.

Now normally this isn’t the sort of thing I would expect to get into, being pretty much all action and no plot. The “payload” being delivered or blocked isn’t even identified beyond being a thing on a truck (it looks vaguely like a giant electromagnet). And I couldn’t tell you what made me interested in checking it out, other than a vague hole in my nerdery where LotRO and Borderlands used to be. But once I decided I wanted to play it, I found myself going on a long and painful journey into the underworld, by which I mean Windows gaming.

The Exciting Adventure of Gneech vs. His Computer

My gaming PC was quite beefy once upon a time. Specifically, around 2008 or so when I bought it to be an awesome platform for playing Lord of the Rings Online. It served me well in that capacity for a long time, and it never had the slightest problem with Borderlands 2, so I fully expected it to be capable of running Overwatch.

Ha, ha, silly me. How was I to know that Microsoft and/or NVidia had imposed mandatory retirement on my video card? (In fairness, the card design is 10+ years old, which is a very long time in the world of computers. But the thing still works! Assuming the fan motor stayed good it’d probably keep on working for 10 more years if the software would support it.) After much wailing and gnashing of teeth about not being able to afford a contemporary gaming rig, I finally took a gamble and bought a new card, basically a 2014-ish version of the same card. Any better/more powerful? Not really, as far as I can see, but it has DirectX 12 drivers, which the old one doesn’t, and that’s what was required for Overwatch to work.

However, the new card and the old system don’t really get along very well. Windows keeps polling the card like the guy in Smooth Criminal: “Video are you okay, are you okay, are you okay video? Video are you okay, are you okay, are you okay video?” But the video card, trying valiantly to render things the game is throwing at it, doesn’t answer quickly enough, so Windows decides, “Oh, the video card must have crashed, let’s reset it.” Which kills the driver, and by extension, kills the game. Usually about 10-30 seconds before the end of the match I’m currently in. -.-

Now this PC (currently on Win 7) is eligible for an upgrade to Windows 10, so I thought that might fix it. I tried to upgrade to 10 before, only to have it keep crashing on the old card, which was not supported by Windows 10 because reasons. I figured, “New card! Specifically states compatible with Windows 10 on the box! Maybe this will fix everything!”

Ha, ha, silly me. So I upgraded to Windows 10… which absolutely refused to acknowledge that there was any graphics card at all other than “Generic Display Adapter.” And you know what Generic Display Adapters don’t do very well? Render 3D objects. So, while I did eventually get Overwatch up and running under Windows 10, it was completely unplayable.

So… finally… I rolled back to Windows 7, and I’m living with a 40% chance that any given match will cause my computer to crash. 😛 The (relatively) good news is that if it’s going to crash, it usually does it early on. If I can get past five minutes in the game, it’ll probably be stable until the end of the session.

I have had a fan very generously offer to build me a new machine and bring it to BronyCon in July, for which I’m super-grateful! Let’s face it, if the worst thing about the whole situation is that I have to wait a little over a month to reliably play the most current video game, I have it pretty damn good.

The Exciting Adventure of Tracer’s Butt

Although the gameplay is fun and engaging in a pure-action kind of way, it’s really the art and character design that appeals to me about Overwatch, as evidenced by the pic at the top of my buddy Inkblitzer and me rendered as D.Va and Tracer, respectively.

And honestly, even then it’s only a few of the characters who stand out. Certainly none of the male ones: with the exception of Winston (who is still basically Beast from the X-Men) they’re all the same tired old tropes of “Weary Soldier,” “Sheriff Shooty McCowboy,” “Wangsty Grim Samurai,” “Cackling NOT-the-Joker With a Bomb” and so on. But Tracer, the game’s mascot, is a Peter Pan-style gadfly who teleports around poking her enemies with sticks (well, bullets, but still). D.Va, my particular fave, is a Korean gamer girl with a bunny on her chest and a giant pink mech who flings herself into crowds of enemies like an enormous bowling ball, knocking them all for a loop. Finally there’s Zarya, who is basically a Rule 63 version of The Heavy from Team Fortress, who deadlifts her giant plasma gun in character introduction screens and regularly invites everyone to the gun show.

The prominence of female characters in the game (and quite probably the fact that they’re way more interesting than the male characters) has of course led to all sorts of internetty nonsense about it all, most famously about a victory pose for Tracer that people decried as being too much about showing off her butt when the character generally isn’t sexualized otherwise. Given that Widowmaker (super-cliche femme fatale sniper in a skintight bodysuit) is all about her catwalk strut, and that Mercy (the healer who literally has wings and a halo) is all “tender goddess,” the complaint was basically “Can we have one female character who is not primarily rendered in terms of the male gaze for a change?”

Blizzard, to their credit, said, “it’s a fair cop” and changed the victory pose, but by then the dweeby fanboys had latched onto the whole business of butts, which can make looking for Overwatch fan art an exercise in eye-rolling as you encounter one “Durr hurr hurr!” Tracer’s Butt piece after another. :-` It’s a minor nuisance, but still causes side-eyes around a character who is otherwise fun and engaging.

Still! It’s a minor issue at best and doesn’t really impact gameplay. So far everyone I’ve encountered actually in the game has been either typically uncommunicative (it’s hard to type in the team channel and shoot at the same time) or has been very nice, with few or no dickweeds encountered so far. While the basics of the game are simple, actually going up against live players is incredibly challenging– I finally had my first victory last night, and it was very satisfying to finally feel like I was getting somewhere after my first attempts were so sad. The game rewards study and perseverance, and that’s a nice feeling I’ve been lacking for some time.

Will I still be playing in six months? I have no idea. Will anyone? It depends on where the game goes, if indeed it goes anywhere. People have been playing Team Fortress 2 for something like a decade now with no signs of stopping. With no single-player story to “beat,” the only way to play the game is in matches with other players, which can be a blessing and a curse. There is no real finish to the game, which means you don’t get people going through the single-player, being “done,” and wandering off. On the other hand, if it gets to the point where players become scarce and every match is made up of one or two humans and a bunch of AI foes, it could become a ghost town real quick.

It’ll be interesting to see how it pans out! And it’s nice to be in on something new for a change. 😉

-The Gneech

[1] Sort of. The first draft is actually finished and I’ll keep posting about it in a day or two.

[2] Can you believe there’s a movie coming out for that? XD It actually looks pretty entertaining in its own schlocky way.

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May 27 2016

Ghostbusters 5E: The Gadget List (First Draft)

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artifacts-ghostbusters-prints
(Artwork by Josh Ln)
This is the Gadget List that Brains characters with the Inventor specialty may choose from, as well as anything else that refers to “gadget slots.”

Gadget List

Prodigy-Level Gadgets
Armor Enhancer: This gadget sets the wielder’s AC to a minimum of 16, regardless of what kind of armor they may be wearing or other AC-changing effects. The gadget can be activated as a bonus action and operates for one hour after being activated, after which it requires 12 hours to recharge.

Burst Effect: A weapon that normally affects a single target is changed into a an area effect. The area is either a 10′ radius usable at the weapon’s normal range, a 25′ line emanating from the wielder, or a 15′ cone emanating from the wielder. The choice can be toggled every time the weapon is fired. Instead of the wielder making an attack roll, every target within the area makes a DC 15 Dexterity save. The target takes half damage if they succeed at the saving throw, or full damage if they fail the save.

Chameleon: This gadget enables you to completely alter your appearance, including minor variations on height, weight, facial features, the sound of your voice, hair length, sex, skin color, and so forth, though none of your statistics change. You can’t change to a creature a different size class than yourself, nor can you change such basics as going from a biped to a quadruped, etc. If you attempt to impersonate a specific creature person, this requires a Charisma (Deception) check against the Wisdom (Perception) of the target you are attempting to fool. Changing your appearance requires an action.

Cloaking Device: This gadget enables the wielder to turn invisible. It works for one hour after being activated, after which it requires 12 hours to recharge.

Custom Gadget (Prodigy): This is a catchall designed to enable players to come up with their own crazy ideas. When assessing whether a player’s idea is feasible as a Prodigy-level gadget, the Ghostmaster should compare it to the effectiveness of an existing piece of readily-available gear, a 1st- or 2nd- level spell from the Player’s Handbook, or a Common or Uncommon magic item from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Keep in mind that unlike spells, gadgets can be used over and over again and rarely have durations. Thus the Ghostmaster should carefully consider the potential downfalls of the gadget being “spammed” or abused.

Damage Resistance: This gadget provides you with resistance against a specific damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing, fire, thunder, cold, acid, etc.). This means you take half damage from attacks of that type. This gadget does not require activation and is considered to be always on.

Deflector Shield: The wielder of this gadget adds the higher of their Intelligence or Wisdom modifiers to their AC. This gadget does not require activation and is considered to be always on.

Electromagnetic Shoes: This gadget enables the user to move on vertical or even inverted surfaces as if they were normal ground, as per the spider climb spell. The gadget can be activated as a bonus action and works for up to one hour when activated, then must recharge for 12 hours before it can be used again.

Elemental Modulator: This gadget enables the user to change an existing weapon’s damage type to another damage type at will, which must be declared when the gadget is built. For instance, an existing laser rifle (fire damage) could be set to modulate to a freeze ray (cold damage). Modulating damage types is a free action.

Enhance Ability: This gadget uses chemical stimulants or other enhancements to give the wielder the benefit of the Enhance Ability spell on p. 237 of the Players Handbook. The effects last for one hour, after which the wielder cannot gain benefit from such enhancements again without a short rest. The wielder could use two different gadgets that enhance two different abilities, however.

Enhanced Senses: This gadget enables you to see, hear, or otherwise gather sensory data normally outside the range of human ability, such as an infrared camera or an ultrasonic sensor. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Ghost Capture: This property allows a gadget to capture a ghost (or other ethereal creature) which has been reduced to ½ its hit points or fewer or is incapacitated. This gadget is usually activated as a reaction, and the trigger of the Ghost Capture effect is defined by the gadget’s creator when the gadget is created. An ethereal creature subject to the effect must make a DC 15 Dexterity or Charisma saving throw (whichever is greater). On a failed save, the creature is restrained and incapacitated. The creature may make an additional save at the beginning of each of its turns. Ghost Capture only affects one target at a time, unless it also has the Burst Effect property.

Ghost Containment: This property allows a gadget to restrain a single ghost (or other ethereal creature) indefinitely. This gadget is usually activated as a reaction, and the trigger of the Ghost Containment effect is defined by the gadget’s creator when the gadget is created. An ethereal creature subjected to a Ghost Containment effect must make a Dexterity or Charisma saving throw (whichever is greater) against DC 15. On a failed save, the creature is trapped in an extradimensional space with properties similar to the “Minimus Containment” option of the imprisonment spell. On a successful save, the creature not contained. Ghost Containment only affects one target at a time, unless it also has the Burst Effect property, but once the creatures are trapped in the Containment effect, any number of creatures may occupy the same Containment effect. (Thus, you can only catch one at a time, but you can hold any number.)

Ghost Snare: This gadget defines a 20′ x 20′ square at a point the wielder can see which becomes highly agitated with PKE interference. Any ghost (or other ethereal creature) in the area while the gadget is activated must succeed on a DC 15 Strength or Charisma saving throw (whichever is higher), or be restrained. The area also counts as difficult terrain for ethereal creatures, even flying ones, and renders all invisible beings visible, at least in outline as PKE crackles around them. The gadget operates for an hour after it is activated and then must recharge for 12 hours until it can be used again.

Ghost Ward: This gadget defines a 10′ x 10′ square at a point the wielder can see that is impassible to ethereal creatures. Any ethereal creatures within the area of effect are automatically pushed out of the area to an adjacent space of their choice, unless they are paralyzed, restrained, held in a Ghost Containment effect, or otherwise prevented from escaping the effect. Ethereal creatures who cannot escape the effect are trapped within it. The gadget operates for an hour after being activated; after that time, it must recharge for 12 hours before it can be used again.

Hologram: This gadget produces a convincing visual image of a single immobile creature or an object up to 10′ tall and 5′ wide in a space you can see (although once the image has been put in place you do not need to monitor it to keep it going). The visual image has no sound and cannot be interacted with in any meaningful way, and any attempt to touch the object in the image will reveal its false nature. The gadget can replay a series of prerecorded events on a loop up to ten minutes long. Any creature that depends on sight must make a DC 15 Wisdom (Perception) check to see through the illusion. The size of the hologram may be increased with the Burst Effect property.

Inertial Shoes: The wielder of this gadget cannot be knocked prone. Also, they always land on their feet and are resistant to falling damage. Once per 12 hour period, they may rise vertically, up to 20′, and remain suspended there for up to 10 minutes. At the end of the 10 minutes they float gently back to the ground. This gadget does not require activation and is considered to be always on.

Life Support: This gadget protects you in a hostile environment, such as the depths of the ocean or the void of space. It also filters out toxins, provides you with air and regulates your temperature and pressure, and so forth– but it does not provide protection against damage. (So for instance, something that would keep you alive in an elemental plane of fire would still not protect you from a blowtorch.) This gadget does not require activation and is considered to be always on.

Melee Weapon (one-handed): This gadget is a one-handed melee weapon, doing 2d6 damage of a type of your choice. You must declare the damage type and proficiency the weapon requires when the gadget is created.

Melee Weapon (two-handed): This gadget is a two-handed melee weapon, doing 2d8 damage of a type of your choice. You must declare the damage type and proficiency the weapon requires when the gadget is created.

Mental Discombobulator: This gadget, when activated, forces up to three creatures of your choice that you can see within 30′ attempt a DC 15 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, whenever the target attempts an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw for the next minute, they must roll 1d4 and subtract that from their total. The gadget may be used once, after which it requires 12 hours to recharge.

Pocket Ghost I: This gadget, which may or may not look like a small red and white ball, can be used to contain a previously-trapped ghost or other trappable creature of CR ½ or lower. As a bonus action on your turn, you may release the ghost from the pocket-ball and give it a simple command. Thereafter on each of your turns, you may use your bonus action to direct the ghost on how to move and take its action. The ghost cannot move further away than 60′ from the pocket-ball, but that distance may extend through walls or barriers that the ghost could normally move through. The ghost automatically returns to the pocket-ball after 1 minute (10 rounds) or when it reaches 0 hp, after which time it cannot be released again until you have completed a short or long rest. (Technically, it’s the ghost that’s resting, but you get the idea.) Returning to the pocket-ball automatically heals all damage to the ghost and removes any conditions it may be under. If the ghost is subject to another capture effect (for instance, it succumbs to someone else’s ghost trap), the pocket-ball is immediately broken and the gadget slot becomes available to you again. You may carry as many pocket-balls as you have gadget slots to spend on them.

Psychic Beacon: This gadget sends out rhythmic pulses of PKE which are fascinating (or possibly infuriating) to ghosts and other PKE-sensitive creatures (including characters with the Psychic Awareness feat). Any such creatures within five miles of the gadget when it is active must make a DC 15 Wisdom or Charisma save or be drawn to the device to investigate. Once the creature has seen the device up close and learned its nature, they are immune to its effects thereafter (but may still choose to remain close to it). Creatures who succeed at the saving throw are immune to its effects as well.

Rapid Recharge: This gadget modifies an existing gadget with a recharge time, causing it to recharge in half the normal time. This modifier can be added to a gadget multiple times, reducing the recharge time by x4, x8, x16, etc.

Ray Weapon (pistol): This gadget is a one-handed ranged weapon, doing 3d6 damage of a type of your choice. The weapon has a range of 40’/120′, and holds 50 shots per ammunition pack. You must declare the damage type and proficiency the weapon requires when the gadget is created. (Note: Proton packs default to radiant damage and require the Ghost Capture property.)

Ray Weapon (rifle): This gadget is a two-handed ranged weapon, doing 3d8 damage of a type of your choice. The weapon has a range of 100’/300′, and holds 30 shots per ammunition pack. You must declare the damage type and proficiency the weapon requires when the gadget is created. (Note: Proton packs default to radiant damage and require the Ghost Capture property.)

Repulsor Unit: This gadget, when activated, requires every creature within 15′ of you (including ghosts or other ethereal creatures) to make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the target takes 2d8 force damage and is pushed 10′ away from you. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and isn’t pushed. In addition, unattended objects within the area of effect that weigh 100 pounds or less are automatically pushed 10′ away from you. The effects of this gadget are instantaneous and do not create a static field. The wielder must activate the device again if its effects are desired additional times.

Rocket Shoes: This gadget triples the wielder’s jump distance. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Rocket Skates: This gadget increases your speed by 10′ and enables you to take the Dash action as a bonus action on each of your turns. Note that it doesn’t actually have to be rocket skates, that’s just the most common version. Any effect that would reduce your movement speed (including the slimed condition) also prevents you from using this gadget until the condition is removed. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Slime-Proof Clothing: This gadget makes you immune to the Slimed condition. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Stake Gun: This weapon fires custom-made wooden-shafted darts. Its statistics are the same as an automatic rifle from the Dungeon Master’s Guide, except that it has a range of 30’/120′, and a critical hit with this weapon against vampires or another such vulnerable creature is considered to be a stake driven into the target’s heart.

Tethered Slime Barrier: This gadget uses “slime tether” technology to fill a 20′ x 20′ cube with sticky slime filaments in a spot of your choice within 60′. The area so filled becomes difficult terrain and is obscured to vision. If the filaments aren’t anchored between two solid masses (such as walls or trees) they collapse on themselves and create a mass of quivering green goo roughly 5′ deep. Each corporeal creature that starts its turn in the slime barrier must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is restrained as long as it remains in the slimy filaments or until it breaks free. A creature restrained by the slime filaments can use its action to make a DC 15 Strength check. If it succeeds, it is no longer restrained. Each 20′ x 20′ cube lasts 30 seconds (five turns).

Translator: This gadget can translate speech or text in any known, historical language into any other known, historical language, in “real time.”

Universal Healing Kit: This gadget gives the wielder advantage on all Wisdom (Medicine) checks and once per 24 hour period enables them to automatically succeed in ending either one disease or one of the following conditions on an afflicted humanoid creature or animal: blinded, deafened, paralyzed, or poisoned.

Widget: This gadget is a small robotic personal assistant. It carries things for you, can deliver messages or run simple errands, etc. It can remain in constant contact with you via radio and relay sound and/or video surveillance of a remote location. The Widget has statistics similar to a creature of your choice as described by the find familiar spell, except that its type is construct. It cannot make any attacks. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Genius-Level Gadgets
Arcing Weapon: This modifier causes an energy weapon’s effect to “arc” from target to target. When the wielder scores a successful hit with the weapon, they may immediately as a free action make another attack at the same bonus (and inflicting the same damage) on a different target up to 30′ feet away. If that attack succeeds, the wielder may then make another attack on a third target, and so on, until an attack misses or there are no more targets within range. This effect only works once on any given turn, regardless of how many attacks the wielder may be entitled to make.

Custom Gadget (Genius): This is a catchall designed to enable players to come up with their own crazy ideas. When assessing whether a player’s idea is feasible as a Genius-level gadget, the Ghostmaster should compare it to the effectiveness of an existing piece of more expensive gear, a 3rd- or 4th- level spell from the Player’s Handbook, or an Uncommon or Rare magic item from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Keep in mind that unlike spells, gadgets can be used over and over again and rarely have durations. Thus the Ghostmaster should carefully consider the potential downfalls of the gadget being “spammed” or abused.

Etherealizer: This gadget, when activated, turns the wielder semi-ethereal. They can see and interact with objects or creatures on the ethereal plane as well as the material plane. They can also move completely through creatures and objects on the material plane (including walls or solid rock) as if they were difficult terrain. However, they take 5 (1d10) force damage if they end their turn inside an object. This gadget operates for one hour after it’s activated, after which time it requires 12 hours to recharge before it can be used again.

Fleet of Widgets: This gadget actually consists of five Widgets. Other than being a lot more of them, it is otherwise identical to a single Widget.

Greater Burst Effect: As Burst Effect, except the choices are a 20′ radius sphere usable at the weapon’s normal range, a 50′ line emanating from the wielder, or a 30′ cone emanating from the wielder.

Greater Damage Weapon: As Melee Weapon or Ray Weapon, but adds an additional two dice of damage to the values listed. (For instance, a Greater Damage Ray Weapon {rifle} would do 5d8 damage.)

Improved Effect: You may add the higher of your Intelligence modifier or proficiency bonus to the DC of an existing item’s saving throw.

Jetpack: The wielder of this gadget has a fly speed of 60′. The gadget is activated as free action during the wielder’s movement and operates for ten minutes once activated, then must recharge for 12 hours before it can be used again.

Lingering Damage: Placing this modifier on a weapon or other item that does some form of elemental damage causes the damage to continue for a number of rounds equal to the wielder’s Intelligence modifier after the initial damage.

Mind Link: This gadget allows two unresisting creatures to be mentally connected, allowing direct mind-to-mind communication. There is no limitation on how long this state can last, but both creatures are considered restrained while the gadget is in operation. If either creature moves, the link is broken.

Pocket Ghost II: Like Pocket Ghost I, except it may contain creatures up to CR 1.

Robotic Assistant: This gadget is an android designed to assist you with whatever tasks you assign it. It has statistics similar to a set of Animated Armor from the Monster Manual. Like the Widget, the Robotic Assistant can remain in contact with you via radio and relay sound or video images. The Robotic Assistant can be programmed to fire a proton pack or other weapon, but it never gains proficiencies. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Slime Automaton: This gadget is a large object or collection of objects being manipulated into a semblance of animation by the effects of psychomagnotheric slime. The wielder controls the automaton’s actions each turn with a bonus action, and must stay within 30′ of the automaton to control it. (The wielder may choose to “ride” the automaton like a mount or vehicle.) On any turn in which the automaton is not controlled, it simply stands inert. A slime automaton has statistics similar to a clay golem from the Monster Manual, except it does not have the Acid Absorption, Berserk, or Haste properties. This gadget does not require activation and is considered always on.

Sun Grenade: This gadget is thrown like a grenade. When it detonates, it creates an intense field of light, heat, electromagnetic and ultraviolet radiation that simulates the effects of full sunlight at high noon on the equator for six seconds in a 50′ radius sphere. All creatures who have not averted their eyes before the grenade goes off must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is blinded and stunned until the end of their next turn. In addition, creatures that are damaged or destroyed by sunlight suffer the full brunt of such effects for that six-second duration. Once the grenade is detonated, the gadget slot the inventor used to create the gadget becomes free again.

Tractor Beam: This gadget uses energy fields to remotely manipulate objects at a distance. It creates effects similar to the Bigby’s hand spell cast at a level equal to the proficiency bonus of the wielder, except that there is no “hand” that can be attacked, simply energy fields. The gadget operates for one minute after activation, and then requires 12 hours to recharge before it can be used again.

Vehicle Mount: This modifier allows an existing piece of equipment or a gadget to be mounted to a vehicle and used from the control station of that vehicle.

Mastermind-Level Gadgets
Android Army: This gadget actually consists of five Robotic Assistants or ten Widgets. Other than being a lot more of them, it is otherwise identical to a single Widget or Robotic Assistant.

Custom Gadget (Mastermind): This is a catchall designed to enable players to come up with their own crazy ideas. When assessing whether a player’s idea is feasible as a Mastermind-level gadget, the Ghostmaster should compare it to the effectiveness of an existing piece of more expensive gear, a 6th or 7th level spell from the Player’s Handbook, or a Rare or Very Rare magic item from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Keep in mind that unlike spells, gadgets can be used over and over again and rarely have durations. Thus the Ghostmaster should carefully consider the potential downfalls of the gadget being “spammed” or abused.

Extraplanar Portal: This gadget creates a semi-stable portal to another dimension (generally “the Ghost World”) as long as it is active. Note that planar rifts are inherently hazardous and generally create unwanted side-effects, such as creatures wandering from dimension to dimension and the general breakdown of reality as we know it in the vicinity. Opening or closing the portal requires an action.

Maximum Effect: An item with Improved Effect now adds both your Intelligence modifier and your proficiency bonus to the DC of its saving throw.

PKE Suppression Field: This gadget creates a 10′ radius sphere around the wielder, that can be carried by and move with the wielder. All PKE activity is nullified within the sphere, including the use of magic or psychic powers. Ghosts or other PKE-motivated creatures within the area of effect simply “wink” out of existence, and possessed creatures or objects are instantly freed from all supernatural influences. Once no longer within the field, ghosts and other such creatures “wink” back into existence again, but they must re-establish any hold they had on possessed creatures or objects. The gadget works for one hour after it has been activated, and then must recharge for 12 hours before it can be used again.

Pocket Ghost III: Like Pocket Ghost I, except it may contain creatures up to CR 4.

Slime Juggernaut: This gadget is similar to a Slime Automaton, except that it is size Huge and has statistics similar to a Stone Golem (but lacks the Slow property).

Ultimate Burst Effect: As Burst Effect, except the choices are a 30′ radius sphere usable at the weapon’s normal range, a 100′ line emanating from the wielder, or a 60′ cone emanating from the wielder.

Ultimate Damage Weapon: As Melee Weapon or Ray Weapon, but adds an additional five dice of damage to the values listed. (For instance, an Ultimate Damage Ray Weapon {rifle} would do 8d8 damage.)

Whattya think, sirs? Next time, Feats.

-The Gneech

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May 24 2016

Ghostbusters 5E: Equipment (First Pass)

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ghostbusters_gear
(Artwork by Dan Schoening)

Armor and Shields
Generally speaking, the only armor most Ghostbusters are proficient with are their padded jumpsuit, which is little more than a janitorial jumpsuit with heavy boots, elbow- and knee-pads, and thick protective gloves. Police and military units may have more advanced armor, and there are certainly plenty of reports of ghosts clanking around ancient castles in haunted plate mail. Training in armor proficiency costs $500 and takes six weeks per armor type (or uses the appropriate feat).

Ballistic Armor
Armor with the “ballistic” property (B) is designed to protect against bullets. In game terms, it provides resistance against piercing damage. Note that the Tactical Vest and Riot/Combat Gear armor also provide resistance against slashing damage (S).

Light Armor Cost Armor Class (AC) Strength Stealth Weight
Padded Jumpsuit $50 11 + Dex mod 8 lbs
Light Vest (B) $250 12 + Dex mod 5 lbs
Medium Armor
Tactical Vest (B, S) $500 14 + Dex mod Disadv. 10 lbs
Heavy Armor
Riot/Combat Gear (B, S) $750 18 Str 13 Disadv. 20 lbs
Shields
Riot Shield $50 +3 Disadv. 5 lbs

Weapons
Weapons range from fists to Mark IV proton packs with dark matter projectors. Although statistics for guns are provided here, Ghostbusters almost never use them– the stats are provided for NPCs such as police officers who might carry them. Guns and some other weapons use the ammunition, burst fire, and reload properties from page 267 of the Dungeon Masters Guide.

The weapon proficiency groups for Ghostbusters are simple melee weapons, sidearms, longarms, proton packs, and slime blowers. Anything more exotic than that requires its own proficiency. The medieval-style weapons of D&D exist, of course, but are so rarely used that they require their own proficiency.

Simple Melee Cost Damage Weight Properties
Chain $5 1d4 bldg 2 lbs
Billy Club $5 1d4 bldg 2 lbs light
Dagger $15 1d4 prcg 1 lb Finesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Hammer $5 1d4 bldg 2 lbs light, thrown (range 20/60)
Razor $5 1d4 slsh 1 lb Finesse, light
Sidearm
Pistol, automatic $100 2d6 prcg 3 lbs ammunition (range 50/150), reload (15 shots)
Revolver $75 2d8 prcg 3 lbs ammunition (range 40/120), reload (6 shots)
Longarm
Rifle, hunting $175 2d10 prcg 8 lbs ammunition (range 80/240), reload (5 shots), two-handed
Rifle, automatic $250 2d8 prcg 8 lbs ammunition (range 80/240), burst fire, reload (30 shots), two-handed
Shotgun $125 2d8 prcg 7 lbs ammunition (range 30/90), reload (2 shots), two-handed
Ghostbusting Gear
Proton Gauntlets $500 2d6 radiant 3 lbs melee, uses proton pack proficiency
Proton Pack Mk I $500 3d8 radiant 15 lbs ammunition (range 100/300), reload (30 shots), two-handed, capture
-boson dart +$200 3d8 radiant 2d6 splash 5’ radius, uses 3 shots
Mk II: PDS (slime blower) +$250 +2 lbs ammunition (range 30/60), reload (30 shots), slime
Mk III: dark matter blaster +$300 3d8 cold +2 lbs 15’ cone (DC 15 Dexterity save)
-stasis stream stasis (DC 15 Constitution save)
Mk IV: meson collider +$300 3d8 force +2 lbs 2d6 splash 5’ radius, uses 3 shots
-overload pulse 3d8 force tracking (meson collider, 3 uses), uses 3 shots
Proton Pistol ($300) 3d6 radiant 3 lbs ammunition (range 40/120), reload (50 shots), capture
Slime Blower Drum $300 5 lbs ammunition (range 50/100), reload (100 shots), slime

New Weapon Qualities
Capture. A weapon with the capture quality can be used to catch ghosts or other “trappable” creatures. Weapons with the capture quality can affect creatures on the ethereal plane from the material plane (and vice versa), but creatures on the other plane only take half damage (as if they had resistance). When the wielder of a capture weapon successfully hits a ghost with ½ its maximum hit points or less or is incapacitated that is in line of sight, they may attempt to capture the creature as a reaction. The creature must attempt a DC 15 saving throw against its Constitution or Charisma (whichever is higher). On a success, the creature is unaffected. On a failure, the creature is grappled and restrained (even creatures normally immune to such conditions, such as phantasms). The creature may attempt a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns to escape the capture effect. The wielder of the capture weapon may move the captured creature up to 15’ as an action on their turn. Capture weapons must maintain line of sight, or the capture effect is immediately broken.

Slime. Against corporeal creatures, weapons with this quality impose the slimed condition. When used against ghosts or other non-corporeal creatures, each successful hit imposes a level of exhaustion (even in creatures normally immune to exhaustion, such as specters). Corporeal creatures subject to mind-affecting influences (including possession, fear, or confusion) may immediately make a saving throw with advantage to throw off the effect. Corporeal creatures hit by the slime weapon must also make a DC 15 Wisdom save or fall into a sappy euphoria that emulates the effects of charm person for one hour. Slime can also be used to create psychokinetic effects in inanimate objects, using 1 shot for a tiny or small object, 3 shots for a medium object, 10 shots for a large object, 30 shots for a huge object, or 90 shots for a gargantuan object. Slime weapons can also close black slime portals, using the same shots/size ratio.

Splash. When a target is hit by a weapon that does splash damage, every creature within the splash radius must succeed a DC 15 Dexterity save or also take the indicated amount of damage. Large creatures who are hit by the initial weapon are also subject to the splash damage if they are within the area of effect and fail the Dexterity save.

Stasis. When a creature is hit by a stasis weapon they must make a DC 15 Constitution save. On a success they are unaffected. On a failure, their speed becomes halved, they take a -2 penalty to AC and Dexterity saving throws. The creature may attempt another save at the end of each of its turns to remove the effect. If the creature is hit by another stasis effect during that time, they become paralyzed as well (even creatures normally immune to paralysis). A successful save ends both effects.

Tracking. A weapon with the tracking quality automatically hits a creature which has previously been hit by another weapon which marked it for a certain number of times. For example, a creature that has been hit by the meson collider of a Mk IV proton pack is “marked” for the overload pulse of the same proton pack. The next three uses of the overload pulse will automatically hit that target. This effect can go around corners and does not require line of sight, but will not penetrate barriers.

Other Ghostbusting Gear
Ecto-Goggles ($350)
These goggles give the wearer truesight 60’, but impose disadvantage on Dexterity and Charisma checks and saving throws and halve the wearer’s movement speed as they can’t really see where they’re going while wearing them and look dorky as hell. They can be put on as a bonus action on your turn and removed as a free action as long as you have a free hand.

Ghost Trap ($500)
When a ghost trap is activated, every trappable creature within the same 5’ square as the trap must make a DC 15 saving throw on their Dexterity or Charisma (whichever is greater). Any trappable creature that begins their turn in the area of effect must also attempt the save. On a failed save, the creature is restrained and paralyzed (even if it is normally immune to such conditions), and when the trap closes the creature is pulled in and held in an extradimensional space with properties similar to the “Minimus Containment” option of the imprisonment spell. On a successful save, the creature is unaffected. Most susceptible creatures will not hang around in the area of ghost trap, so you’ll probably need to use a capture stream to hold them in place for it. A trap can be placed in any spot you can see within 15’ as a bonus action. Opening a trap can be done as a bonus action or reaction, and closing the trap is a free action. Recovering a closed trap requires an action in the space where the trap is located or can be done by using 5’ of movement. Ghost traps have battery power to last up to five hours, after which time any creature still in the trap automatically escapes.

PKE Meter ($250)
This hand-held device detects and tracks psychokinetic energy (PKE) disturbances. Although its readings are often little more than “warmer/colder” in nature, a successful Intelligence (tool proficiency) check with the PKE meter can identify previously-scanned creatures or effects, or be combined with use of Ecto-Goggles to reveal information about a particular creature, including details about its origin, abilities, or weaknesses, at Ghostmaster discretion.

Franchise Upgrades
Motorcycle ($15,000)
Zippy, looks cool. Minimal cargo capacity.

Sports Car ($25,000)
Also zippy and gives you cool points. Only carries two people and gear or three people without gear, and they keep bonking their knees.

Station Wagon or SUV ($25,000)
Less zippy, but can still look badass. Station wagon can carry up to five people and their gear in relative comfort; SUV can only carry three people with gear (or four people without gear) but is much better suited for off-road or hazardous conditions.

RV or Work Van ($35,000)
The ultimate in non-zippiness. Big, bulky, awkward, dorky. But it can carry a team of six with all their gear plus a portable lab (purchased separately).

Work Boat ($50,000)
Like a work van that can go on water. Makes endearing “chug-chug” noises.

Helicopter ($150,000)
Your team acquires a GBI-branded four-passenger helicopter, how friggin’ cool is that? It comes with a small radar unit (that’s actual radar, not “Ecto-radar”), a winch and paramedic-style rescue platform, and six parachutes. You might want to make sure someone has proficiency before you take off.

Mini-Sub ($250,000)
Your team acquires a GBI-branded four-passenger mini-sub, for underwater exploration. Haunted wrecks can be very profitable.

“Ecto-1 Equipment Package” ($5,000)
“Ecto-radar” PKE sweep, recharge package, first-aid kits, GPS, integrated cellphone, roof-mounted video and infrared camcorder, and VHS/DVD player (satellite radio not included). This requires a vehicle of station wagon size or larger.

Muon Trap “Super-Slammer” ($3,000)
A vehicle-mounted ghost trap with 5’ radius area effect centered on the top of the vehicle, the Super-Slammer has a capture DC of 20 instead of 15 and can capture any number of creatures at a time. It requires a vehicle of station wagon size or larger.

Gadget List Gadgets ($500 per prodigy-level gadget slot, $750 per genius-level gadget slot)
Don’t have an inventor on your team? No sweat. With time and money, anyone with basic ghost-busting experience can cobble together new equipment. After all, that’s what the original team did! One nice thing about this option is that once the item is bought, it stays around forever (or until you lose or break it, this is why we can’t have nice things).

Workshop ($5,000 per skill benefitted)
A workshop contains tools, reference materials, spare parts, and whatever else you might need to make life easier for someone working on a particular type of task. When making skill or tool proficiency checks, you have advantage in a workshop, and it takes half the usual time. The workshop types available are Electronic, Mechanical, Science, Parapsychology, and Arcana.

Staff Upgrade ($20,000)
Most GB franchises have a NPC secretary/receptionist who books jobs, does light accounting, and will empty their own wastebasket, but that’s about it. This upgrade gets you the services of a regular cleaning staff, an on-call lawyer/accountant, and a vehicular mechanic (negating up to 3 RP of environmental damage or other associated costs per session as appropriate).

Stuff You Can Buy Online (varies)
Camcorders, laptop computers, Elvis’s autograph? Prices may vary.

Whattya think? Next time… The Gadget List.

-The Gneech

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