Homebrew concept: Half-ghost race

Homebrew concept: Half-ghost race

PostPosted by theMarg0r » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:48 pm

Is this where homebrew for the tabletop game goes? I hope it is. Anyway, I've been thinking (A dangerous pastime, I know :D ) With all of those half-human races, why not make a new race to throw into the pot? But first, a disclaimer.

Disclaimer: This is HOMEBREW, not a SUGGESTION to be officially added into the game. Feel free to point out any problems with mechanical balance or stuff that just doesn’t seem to make sense, but please, don’t complain about it “not fitting the world”. If you don’t like it, don’t use it in your game. I just want it to be fun and balanced for those people who DO want to use it.


Picture here:

Racial abilities:
Half-ghosts start with the “Phantom half” racial ability, and receive a small amount (or maybe just one, I don’t know what the costs are like here) of Racial Ability Points that can only be spent on racial abilities every time they level up.
Understanding of life: Like full-blooded humans, Half-ghosts receive bonuses to willpower and body tests when survival is at stake.
Acceptance of death: Undead do not feel blind hatred towards half-ghosts and tend mostly to ignore them, and vampires will not feel the desire to drink a half-ghost’s blood, even if they see it, smell it, or taste it.

As you can see they’re basically humans that trade versatility and bonus ability points for a focus on GHOST POWERS.


This rare, elusive race of people originally comes from the area around the Himalayas, particularly Tibet and Nepal, but they eventually spread out into all of East Asia. There are rumors of other groups of such half-ghosts originating from other parts of the world, but the Himalayan/East Asian “family” is the only one confirmed to currently exist. They came to be when a group of formlesss mountain spirits, envious of the sensations living humans of flesh and blood could feel, offered to make their powers freely available to the men that would allow them to co-inhabit their bodies. The initial recipients of this “gift” used to have some problems, as these phantoms had their own minds and their own desires, and would sometimes make demands or bargain for further use of their powers. However, when these people started reproducing, something odd happened. While still in the womb, the soul of the unborn child would mix with the wild spiritual essence of the phantom, split in two, combine again, then finally swell and split apart again, leading to the birth of a child who would have one mind, one breath of life, but two souls, one inhabiting a fully human body and one possessing the body of a formless spirit. These future generations would no longer had to deal with the exhausting demands of a possessing phantom. They were their own phantoms as much as they were human.

Before the Rupture, their abilities were often mistaken for psionics, as the presence of a second soul operating outside the body at all times was almost undetectable.

When the boundaries between worlds were broken, the second soul has started manifesting as an entity that’s entirely detectable by normal senses, composed of a wispy substance sometimes called “ectoplasm”. It looks like a floating milky-white blob, usually a little smaller in volume than the human body it belongs to. It’s of about room temperature, not nearly as chillingly cold as ghosts are usually described as, dry, textureless, and soft to the touch. It is fairly malleable, but doesn’t hold shape very well unless the half-ghost has learned the discipline of ectoplasm control.

Every Half-ghost benefits from dual perception - the ability to perceive using the normal senses of their human body, as well as the senses of their phantom half, which include sight, feeling, and touch simultaneously, even though some sensations feel odd or distorted when perceived through the ghost half, and this can leave them prone to sensory overload.
The ghost half can also exert a limited amount of physical force, which it can use to manipulate and carry objects, but it is so soft and lacks enough brute strength to injure anyone by striking them directly.

In addition, every Half-ghost has the potential to develop their abilities to control their ghost half further. There are many possible paths and only a true master could hope to learn them all.
Some half-ghosts learn to suppress the physical form of their phantom half, turning it invisible and intangible like in the old days. Advanced levels of this technique include the ability to “not be” where they were, then “be” somewhere else, allowing them to essentially teleport their ghost half to their human body or vice-versa, or allow the two bodies to swap places instantly.

Some learn to use their ghost half to drain the heat from the surrounding area, which has many practical uses and can be used to attack opponents by flash-freezing them to cause damage. Advanced levels of this technique that allow one to drain things like emotions, memories, and even feed on the lifeforce of other beings.
Some master the discipline of ectoplasm control, gaining the ability to change the size, shape, and structure of their phantom half into various tools of increasing complexity, turn it into a clone of their physical body, or even split it into several ectoplasmic entities, each of which can act independently, and which can be further manipulated. (note: Magical properties of items can’t be copied. If you clone yourself and you have a magic sword, your clone will have a non-magical sword.)

A half-ghost breeding with a human will always produce another half-ghost. Mating with other half-human races is forbidden, as such a pairing cannot usually produce children, but there is a small chance of a monstrous phantom beast with no humanity being born.
Last edited by theMarg0r on Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Homebrew concept: Half-ghost race

PostPosted by Fission » Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:20 am

Every game is different, even if you have two games with the same setting and group of people the atmosphere of the two games could be very different and both still be thoroughly enjoyed by that group.

So the following bit of gritty detail is something I'm putting forward as food for thought and not as a blanket recommendation for everyone.

(For instance it could drag down the pace or atmosphere of a high action fantasy epic {talking about everyday struggles in a story that is about epic heroes and is a light or grounding legend in a dark post-civilization-collapse time could easily clash rather than contribute}.
On the other hand it could serve as one of a few touches of everyday struggle that help the player feel grounded in this world where their characters are out doing the impossible.)

(In a game where the struggles of getting by and/or accomplishing great things in a post-apocalyptic world may benefit from bits of detail like this. For instance the way such details affect individual characters as well as the individual and cultural presumptions of people and groups in-world may contribute to creating a sense of immersion in the world.

On the other hand, issues like malnutrition and dental hygiene could become problematic to the pacing of a game if the consequences of things like poor dental hygiene or malnutrition begin to take up the player character's time.)

Half ghosts probably have better health and hygiene then the average human post-rupture since they can use their amorphous ghost parts for brushing an cleaning their hair and teeth. Bad cavities can fuck up your health, and abscessed teeth can kill you or cause fevers high enough to cause temporary madness and/or permanent brain damage. {I know this from multiple family members who had/have bad teeth}

I don't know if they would smell any better than most people, but they would probably have much better oral, and possibly scalp and skin, health then the average human. Again that is assuming you are choosing to portray or make use of some of the the health, hydration, and nutrition problems that would come with an event like the roof blowing off of hell and the floor dropping out of heaven, or a WMD exchange.
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