Case in point, I love medieval folklore and fairy tales but I don't like typical medieval fantasy. For every Faery's Tale Deluxe or even Ars Magica there are thirty Dungeons and Dragons style RPGs. Mine is not the popular view.
This holds especially true for a project I've been working on for a very long time, although perhaps it is to my advantage...
Other than the Dogs, Faerie Folklore, Muppets, Smurfs, Star Trek and Superheroes, there are a handful of other things I am obsessively fascinated by.
One of them is Ghosts.
As I have mentioned at least once before, I have been thinking about this idea for a game for so long, at some point I thought such a game existed. On further inspection (and a good deal of research), it turns out I must have dreamed it because I am fairly certain no game exactly like my concept exists. A number of games come close, yet none of them quite do the trick.
When Ghosts come up in gaming, they are usually an adversary. Be they the aging menaces of D&D or the comical opponents for InSpectres Agents, the Ghost is your PCs enemy. In a rare few games, you can be the Ghost or you get to have a Ghost ally.
Does anyone remember Wraith: The Oblivion?
What a let down that was. Not because it was a bad game or poorly designed. Indeed it's setting was well (pardon the pun) fleshed out and quite fascinating, if a bit overwrought. It was a disappointment though for all of us playing World of Darkness at the time (mid-90s) as we were really looking forward to the idea that our characters, or campaign stories, could now interact with the recently departed.
Only...that's not exactly how it worked. The realm of the Wraith was far removed from the rest of the World of Darkness and indeed the world itself. Yes, you could perceive and interact with the living world somewhat but the focus of the game was on the lands of the dead, which were a gothic labyrinth of strange names and complicated politics.
I used to hear, read and tell Ghost stories as a child. I have watched Ghosthunters, seen Poltergeist, and checked out books on the paranormal. I must have missed the parts where they described a Stygian empire that ruled with an iron fist, and guilds existing to fight the tyranny of...wha? What the flaming, flying skull does that have to do with Ghosts?
Ghosts are creepy. They are mysterious. Their situation seems sad and lonely, or at the very least forlorn. They are gone but still here. They haven't moved on. Why? How can they fix this tragic error in the natural way of things?
THAT is what my game is about. You are dead, a spirit, a spectre that initially no one can hear or see. You need to build up enough power to be seen, heard, to move an object, touch the living, or in some other way get their attention. Why? To resolve an issue. To finish something you started, or never got to do before you passed on. Something is keeping you here, and not letting you go...wherever it is you are going to go. You don't know. All you know is right now you are stuck, and that is a horrible feeling.
Here is the piece de resistance, the master stroke of my idea...the object of the game therefore, is to lose your character.
In every game you've played the key is to not die, to keep your character going. The idea here is you start dead, so the goal is to move to the next state of existence, and remove your character from the game.
I want it to be, all at once:
Amazing Stories (TV series), Destination Truth, Ghost, Ghosthunters, Poltergeist, The Terror, The Twilight Zone (TV Series), The Uninvited, Weird US, and the numerous, unquantifiable ghost stories we've all heard since forever.
And more than that.
Modern Ghost films, actually modern horror films in general, are simply dreadful. To me, most horror movies totally miss the point of the genre in it's cinematic form, but that is a different discussion for a different day.
Right now it's just an idea.