Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Springfield Ghostbusters

My son's rendition of Homer and Bart as Ghostbusters

If you’re like me, you’ve probably spent the week watching Simpsons Halloween episodes with the Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game within reach. Obviously you’d want to put those together, so guess what? I’ve saved you the trouble!

Your Own Simpsons Halloween Special

Let’s use the Ghostbusters rules to bring a Simpsons Halloween episode to the gaming table. The first thing we need is some Simpsons.

Homer
Brains1Weasel Out of Things
Muscles2Eat Anything
Moves2Bowl
Cool2Borrow From Flanders
Goal: Eat, Sleep, and Cuddle With Marge

NOTE: If Homer is a player character, you might want to give him 5 more points in Traits, enough to give him the standard total of 12. The other Simpsons already have 12 Traits points. (Yep, even Maggie.)

Marge
Brains3Springfield Facts
Muscles3Carry Things
Moves3Clean
Cool3Raise Children
Goal: Keep Family Safe

Bart
Brains2Make Mischief
Muscles2Fire Slingshot
Moves3Ride Skateboard
Cool5Fast Talk
Goal: Have Fun

Lisa
Brains5Library Science
Muscles2Run
Moves3Play Saxophone
Cool2Debate
Goal: Save the World

Maggie
Brains4Escape
Muscles2Climb
Moves2Pacifier
Cool4Attract Attention
Goal: Defeat Her Enemies

Ghostbusters in Springfield?

Sure, why not? Here are a few ways we could bring professional paranormal investigation and elimination to the entertainment capital of this state.

Option 1: The PCs could be the players’ own Ghostbusters, visiting Springfield to take care of some spectral business.

Option 2: The players take the roles of the Simpsons family, who have (in the manner of a Simpsons Halloween special) somehow gotten into the Ghostbusting business. Professor Frink could believably invent ghostbusting equipment (such as his patented De-ghostifier), which the Simpsons could then acquire (along with a power source from Homer’s workplace).

Option 3: Who needs grownups? Bart and Lisa and their friends can get the job done, operating out of their Treehouse of Terror. They’ll need equipment, of course, but Frink could provide it (as above) or Lisa could develop it herself.

What Do Springfield Ghostbusters Do?

Here are a few story seeds for Ghostbusters operating in Simpsons territory.

  • Haunted Milhouse. Bart’s friend Milhouse has died, and his ghost is inhabiting his house. The PCs can trap the poor dead kid, but he reappears in his room the next night—Milhouse is a repeater! If the team wants him to stay gone (so they can get paid), they’ll need to satisfy his Goal: he wants his parents to remarry!
  • Krusty Kult. Springfield sees a spike in its clown population, as numerous clowns arrive to worship Krusty. The object of the clowns’ reverence has been broadcasting a mind-control signal as part of his show, and now he controls a clown army which he intends to use for some nefarious purpose. Will the Ghostbusters make a deal with the devil when they learn that the incarcerated Sideshow Bob knows a way to break Krusty’s kontrol over his kreepy kult?
  • Comic Book Die. Comic book characters are coming to life and causing chaos at the Android’s Dungeon! Luckily, all the animated comic characters are still comic book sized. Less luckily, even the “good guys” in the comics are behaving badly, thanks to a comics crossover event in which Radioactive Man and friends have been replaced by twisted mirror versions (bizarre, eh?). Can the Ghostbusters stop their heroes from wrecking the comic store without doing it themselves with their proton packs? (Pardon me…De-ghostifiers. Glavin!)