The in-game world
We are playing in modern times, late 2010s, early 2020s. Things like iPhones, YouTube and Twitter exist.
The date in game is as follows for each run:
Thursday Nov 12th
Friday Nov 13th
Saturday Nov 14th
The setting is a fictitious city in a fictitious, modern, first world, English-speaking country. They both don’t have names, they are just referred to as “here”, “this city”, or “this country”.
We are still playing in our world, so other countries and cities do exist as normal: E.g. Your character can still be from Paris and everybody knows what France is; it exists.
Politics don’t matter in this game and are not a discussion topic. The only thing you know is that in this country, it is possible to receive the death penalty for your crimes. Everybody knows it’s a thing; you are free to choose what your character thinks about it. The crime rate in this city isn’t particularly high. People feel safe. However, stories of serial killers from all over the country have been making the front page for decades. The justice system is generally trusted, even though some voices speak up against lethal punishments.
The city is not too big, but it’s also not off the grid. There’s a fair amount of tourism and of course some sketchy as well as some rich neighbourhoods.
The hotel itself has a reputation of being haunted and run-down. It was built in the late 1800s and its glory days are long over. Yet people still want to stay there out of a sense of adventure, or just because it’s cheap. Also, people who are anti-technology are very interested in the place. For some reason there is no cell phone reception whatsoever on the premises. Parents have vacationed with their spoiled children there for a time out, for example.
The hotel in game is certainly bigger than the location we have, but it’s by no means a huge complex, or particularly modern for that matter
In the game, generally, people don’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural. There are stories and movies and all that, but really believing (let alone knowing) ghosts are real isn’t a widespread thing. People tend to listen to reason and only believe in what they see.
In this game, there will be a higher concentration of people who do believe than what would be considered normal or average.
If your character sheet explicitly states that you know about or have interacted with ghosts, that’s their status on the topic. Any other character may believe according to their background information, but hasn’t seen any proof.
This text describes what Ghosts are and what they can and cannot do within the setting of the game. The knowledge of these things is diegetic, which means that characters can know or learn these things, it isn’t off game information. Ghosts themselves probably know this if they care to, but might not have learned it if they’ve only recently died.
- What are Ghosts?
Within the setting, Ghosts are the manifestations of memories. They are made of their memories of themselves and bound to this realm by the memories other people have of them. The Serial Killer Ghosts are the incarnations of the painful memories of them within the ones they’ve hurt, and sometimes society, which binds them to this existence.
- What do Ghosts wear / look like?
Ghosts don’t necessarily wear the clothes they had on in the moment they died — they wear the clothes they have the deepest memories of from when they were alive. This can be things they wore the most, or pieces they are particularly fond of. It doesn’t have to be just one outfit, it may be several, depending on the memories. Their overall look, hairstyle, make-up, facial hair etc., represents what they remember themselves looking like the most.
They CAN change clothes, shave, get a haircut, put on different make-up etc. during an active phase, but at some point they will just black out and “wake up” and everything will be back to the way it looked before.
- What do Ghosts feel, smell, taste — Can Ghosts get high, eat and drink, have sex?
Since they are made of memories, Ghosts can experience everything they have a memory of. E.g if a Ghost has a memory of getting high on drugs, they can access that and “relive” it. They cannot, however, experience new things, emotions, tastes, etc. If a Ghost has never been in love in their life, they are not able to conjure up the emotion, although they can pretend, or force themselves to believe in their own lie that it becomes their truth.
- Can Ghosts get hurt, do they feel pain?
A Ghost’s manifested body reacts the same way to violence a mortal body does: They bleed, bruise and can get knocked unconscious. Of course, they will not die of wounds like that. They can feel pain depending on how long they’ve been dead and how well they can remember pain, and/or how much they can convince themselves into having very literal phantom pain.
- Can Ghosts hurt / kill others?
On any other day than a Friday 13th / Halloween, Ghosts can certainly spook mortals, possess them, manipulate them into hurting themselves or others, but they cannot physically hurt or kill people themselves. Their ghostly energy is not powerful enough to drag another soul into death. On Friday 13th and Halloween, being days of great significance for paranormal entities, their powers grow stronger and stronger and they are able to do physical harm until sunrise on Saturday 14th / November 1st.