Experience with the Ghostbusters RPG?

Does anyone here have any experience playing Ghostbusters: A Frightfully Cheerful Roleplaying Game?

With the new movie coming out and Halloween having just happened a few weeks ago, I got in the mood to check out the old game and maybe run it for some friends. I’m familiar with West End Games’ D6 system, as it’s the first system I ran my first long-form campaign in. However, Ghostbusters was the very beginnings of that system, so the rules differ in some pretty noticeable ways.

I was able to find PDF’s of the manuals and released adventures here and the sequel book, Ghostbusters International elsewhere. I read through one of the adventures and it seems like an awesomely funny time that would be perfectly suited toward my group.

Does anyone have experience running the system? I’d like to hear if anyone has tips, tricks, house rules, or even just anecdotes that would help me run the system in the best way for my friends. The biggest decision I’m trying to make right now is whether I set it in the 90’s or present day.

I just saw this!

My tip would be to hard frame into a scenario with the group already owning and operating a ghostbusters franchise. If you want backstory use flashbacks, maybe using thematic questions as prompts.

I started at the beginning and we had a 1 hour bargaining scene about the details of financing the business where I finally asked if the group really wanted to get the best price for their franchise, or go out and bust some ghosts.

I started by having them sign the paperwork included in the book and followed the book’s directions on having them just having bought the franchise and assuming that the players scraped up just enough to cover things while not having very much left in savings. While the haggling is a neat aspect, and very “Ghostbusters”, I think I’m going to be a bit handwavey in them managing their finances to stay in business.

I’ve run two sessions so far and it seems like they’re having a blast. I’m using the pre-packaged adventures and I found all of the supplement books online too. Have you run any of them? Do you have a preference or a suggested order to play the supplements in?

I ran a Savage Worlds version of Ghostbusters. A one shot. Looking back, probably not one of my better productions.

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After that first session, I just followed their lead and threw bill collectors and a few ghosts from Tobin’s Spirit Guide.

After a couple more, the group wasn’t really feeling the game anymore so we moved on.

I remember playing this with Eric Farmer at Gamehole. It was a bunch of fun and the pregens were solid. I think we just ran out of gas with our final confrontation…I think we had difficulty figuring out how to defeat the big bad…?

Were you guys at the table? Damn, probably before who I knew you. I kinda cringe at the game. I mean, I used some pretty frightening stereotypes. :grimacing:

Yep, it was the year I met Eric.

I don’t remember anything tasteless, and the race of the characters weren’t a joke. It seemed like the characters were chosen to deal with a bigoted ghost, because I bet there are a LOT of bigoted ghosts.

I think I still have that ghostbusters bennie stuck around somewhere.

Wow. Life is weird. Apologies for not recalling. Well, couldn’t have been bad otherwise I’d doubt, if you remembered, that you’d be here. LOL.

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Do you remember what the big bad was, and perhaps how long the session took?

I ran the opening scenario “30th and Lexington” about the possessed Taxi and it took around an hour with 3 people and the players said that it was a bit light. Then I ran the second scenario “The Couch Potato” and that took around 3 hours with 5 people, with some start-stop because we ate dinner in the middle and I couldn’t find the stat block for the main ghost (It wasn’t separate like every other stat block in the book, the stats were given in the introductory paragraph of the scenario).

My players thought session 2 took too long. So it seems like getting stuff wrapped up before the 2.5 hour mark is the sweet spot. I think I have to ignore how the book wants players to investigate stuff and just give them the relevant info and skip straight to the action. My players have the attention span and deductive reasoning skills of a gnat.

The end of the DM’s book has 21 ideas for adventures, of which only about a half seem like they’d be good to expand on and run. I’ve already read through Ghost Toasties, ApoKermis Now!, and Hot Rods of the Gods which all seem like they’d be good campaigns to run with a bit of tweaking. I still have to read through Lurid Tales of Doom and Pumpkin Patch Panic, though I’ve started the later and it looks like it’s going to need some heavy retooling, as the book relies too much on lame, outdated references for “humor”.

Since I set my game in the present and the books were written in the 80’s, the easiest retooling I’ve done is just doubling any monetary values to account for inflation. Some stuff is tougher, like some of the plot’s reliance on landline phones and snail mail.