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Spycraft 2.0: Spookbusters


This supplement is aimed at those who want to bring the paranormal into their Spycraft game, in particular those aspects of it relating to ghosts. After all, ghosts make for good stories and at least some of the techniques used in tracking them down and researching them are common to your average spy. This variant of the game is based on attempts to explain, exploit and control supernatural events such as hauntings.

There is a brief introduction to parapsychology, the 'science' of the study of such phenomena, including its early history and rise to popularity in the media (particularly on TV and in supermarket tabloids). There's also a useful glossary of terminology so you can sound like you know what you are talking about.

Next comes the vehicle for the adventures, Spookbusters Inc, a francised ghost elimination service. Sound familiar? Well, who're ya gonna call? With a sidebar detailing the Sydney, Australia, branch of the franchise, there's a run-down of the likely roles you'll need as you set up operations and some notes on standard operating procedures.

These are followed by some story seeds to get you going... and a sidebar explaining how real-world ghost investigations are considerably different from this style of ghost-busting. Naturally it is up to you what style of game you would like to play.

The next section looks at assembling your team, mostly in game mechanical terms of character abilities and skills, and also at the opposition - the abilities of your average ghost. These are somewhat more intangible, a bit like the ghosts themselves. There's an expert class (for a ghost hunter) and rather confusingly a master class for a ghost itself, the Legendary Ghost. It might have been better to separate this out and deal with characters and ghosts separately.

Then comes a collection of useful feats for both ghosts and ghost-hunters (again rather jumbled up) and the all-important specialist equipment that no well-dressed spook-buster can do without. This includes a 'sonic resonance lance' (don't cross the beams...) and a 'Spook-1' modified Humvee (must be better than a modified hearse with dodgy suspension).

For those who prefer a less-technogical method for dealing with ghosts, there's a section on exorcism, including the necessary game mechanics to model it in your game.

Finally, there's a whole swarm of ghost NPCs with full stat blocks and other notes; as well as ideas for the sort of campaigns you could run using this concept.

Overall it is a fun idea for some light-hearted gaming, although it comes across as somewhat jumbled and would have been better with the character and ghost material separated better.

Return to Spookbusters page.

Reviewed: 23 February 2015