This Discord Has Ghosts In It - AP Advice?

Hi folks! A friend and I are planning to run This Discord Has Ghosts In It at an online New Years party this weekend. Information on actual plays of this game is somewhat sparse, though I’ve seen a couple after action reports online. Also, being version 0.1, the game rules are rather sparse as well in terms of examples of play or how the game should proceed. Does anyone have any advice on how to facilitate this game, and on elements they would recommend changing or including based on their own play experience?

So far, this link seems to be a useful place to start, but I’m curious to hear others’ perspectives:

I know a group of folks played it on the Gauntlet, but I’m not sure about how that went.

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This Discord Has Ghosts In It has been the highlight of my quarantine/distance gaming discoveries. I’ve facilitated it 5 or 6 times now. It’s a genius use of discord that just can’t be replicated in person, but because of the multiple simultaneous locations and the mix of visual and audio it’s really hard to get any kind of actual play out of it (probably why they’re hard to find).

The one major change I have been playing with is sending the ghosts and investigators off to separate places for a few minutes after the initial set up of fears/safety/rules so that their characters can be created in relation to the others on their “teams.” When they come back together, the investigators introduce themselves and the ghosts describe the haunted location it looks from the outside. Instead of a house haunted by a bunch of random, unrelated ghosts, we’ve had a house with multiple generations of the same family, a light house haunted by the souls of those who made various bad bargains with a creature from beyond, a cruise ship haunted by people involved in different parts of the mystery that left them without food and water without being able to return to shore, etc…I find it much more satisfying to figure out the ghosts’ stories and the story of the haunted location when the ghosts interact with each other as well as the investigators. The way that you interact as ghosts can be a fun way to drop hints without having to say things to the investigators directly. I see playing ghosts as an interesting form of shared GMing — you are working together to slowly expose all the hints to the investigators, and you also have to manage a certain amount of the pacing as a group.

A few other things I’ve learned and implemented for my games in no particular order:

  • I like to give the ghosts a ten (or whatever time we’re willing to spend) minute head start in finding gifs/images they want to start with because it can be hard to hunt and interact at the same time and is a bit easier if you’ve got some stuff on file. Between having some content prepared and needing to sort out a little more structural relationships if you do that part, it will inevitably take the ghosts a little longer to be ready to start the game than the investigators. Know how much time you’re willing to spend.

  • Drawing really explicit lines and veils is extremely important since you may be interacting with sounds and visuals, not just descriptions. We spend some time calibrating really specifically what style of horror we’re all here for, what counts as gore to everyone to make sure we’re all on the same page etc. and it’s very very key that it’s calibrated to the least tolerance. I have also had people decide to engage as spectors, watching/listening in but not active participants so that they can personally calibrate their experience/interactions a bit more specifically.

  • More people in this game will expand the play time exponentially because each ghost must be figured out and confronted individually. I like 7-10 personally for a 3-4 hour game (including set up time).

  • It’s really important that the investigators narrate their movements through the house – since they’re not interacting in text, there’s no other way for the ghosts to know which channel they’re looking at, so they can end up in a room with nothing going on and none of the ghosts knowing that’s where they are.

  • gifs are GREAT. Images are good too but gifs can be used to imply action instead of just stills. Implement both.

  • It’s fun to use sounds too when appropriate – freesound.org is a good resource.

It’s definitely a bit loosey goosey for me when I facilitate it but I haven’t run into issues. I hope you also have a great experience with it this weekend!

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