Egon: “Don’t cross the streams”
Egon: “It would be bad.”
Peter: “I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean ‘bad’?”
Egon: “Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.”
Raymond: “Total protonic reversal.”
Peter: “That’s bad. Okay. Alright, important safety tip, thanks Egon.”
Ghostbusters returns this fall with Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a sequel to the original films. Originally coming out in 2021 it got bumped to 2022 because of COVID.
I’m cautiously optimistic about the film. I didn’t hate the remake – it had a lot of fun moments – but as a child of the 80s, I’m looking forward to getting back to the source material. This film, which revolves around Egon’s family inheriting his old farmhouse filled with tech and secrets, looks like a fun homage.
I’ve never played in a Ghostbusters role-playing game. Released in 1986 by West End Games I remember seeing it as an option at conventions in the early 1990s, but never got around to signing up for an event. Wikipedia calls it the first dice pool game (in which you roll numerous dice to calculate your result, instead of a single die like a d20) and it went on to inspire the engine behind West End’s Star Wars and the D6 system. Despite the popularity of the D6 system, it’s a branch of the role-playing game tree that I’ve tried. I may need to remedy that at some point, and Ghostbusters would be a good place to start.
Ghostbusters RPG links
- Ghostbusters International: Ghostbusters: The Role-playing Game – The original game, available for download. I can’t speak to the legality of these files – they were scanned and posted by fans of the franchise. I looked around on DriveThru RPG for “official” downloads but didn’t find any. That’s not surprising, given that West End Games is long out of business.
- Ghostbusters International: Tobin’s Spirit Guide – A ghosts and spooks sourcebook for the original role-playing game.
- Nerdy Show: How to Play Ghostbusters – An overview of the game, rulebook downloads, and fan-created updates to said rules, as well as new gear and resources.
- Geek & Sundry: How The Ghostbusters Rpg Shaped Modern Roleplaying Games: An overview of the game’s history and influence.
- Spooktacular: A Cheerfully Spooky Role-Playing Game – Retroclone of Ghostbusters by Yaruki Zero Games, available on DriveThruRPG.
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The Ghostbusters attempting to cross the streams. Credit: Columbia Pictures.