Adventure Planning: Ghost Library

Planning for my Dresden Files GURPS game continues. Today, I’m going to focus on the intended third scene of the first session for “Clean Slate,” which is basically the adventure. There will be one active PCs during this, Sofia Torres, the legitimate wizard of the group.


Setting: Bizzell Memorial Library at OU in Norman, OK. Below is the image location that I’m planning on using. No floorplan really required.


  • Sofia
  • The Ghost.
    • ST 0; DX 12; IQ 12; HT 14.
      Damage N/A; BL N/A.; HP 20; Will 14; Per 10; FP 20.
      Basic Speed 6.5; Basic Move 6; Dodge 9.
      Traits: Mute (Substantial Only); Spirit (Insubstantiality is Always On)
      Notes: Affected by Path of Undead magic
      Ghostly Abilities: Poltergeist (throw object for 1 FP); Terror (1 FP, all present must make Fright Check.)
  • Auric Craft


  • Begin in media res. Sofia has been investigating a reported haunting here at OU that has resulted in three casualties, a strong indication that the ghost in question is both powerful and deranged. Her first objective should be to identify the anchor that is tying this ghost here – given that it has haunted the Treasure Room at Bizzell Library, logically, it is something contained within.
  • QUESTION: How do I make this actually appear to have consequences?
    • One way (probably the only way, really) to go is to have Sofia arrive immediately after the Ghost manifest and begins Force Choking a pair of horny students who were here for anonymous sex, so this couple are effectively unconscious and choking to death while Sofia deals with the ghost.
  • NOTE: Sofia currently does not have Hidden Lore (Restless Undead) or Theology (Monster Hunters 3: p4) which is required to identify the anchor, so she’s really been behind the cue ball. Allow her to spend a single CP in this skill.
  • Interesting (and potentially) amusing thought: ripoff the ghost librarian thing from the original (and still the best!) Ghostbusters?
    • The idea here is that the ghost is of the very first librarian who controlled these halls in 1890 after the library was originally built; she ended up committing suicide in 1903 by setting herself ablaze (which resulted in the library itself burning the ground.)
    • Why did she commit suicide? This needs to be the actual anchor – given Bizzell’s reported issues with “Sex in the Stacks“, the logical reason is that she fancied some professor and ended up stumbling upon him ‘having his way’ with a young woman or something.
  • Allow Player to determine exactly how Sofia proceeds here. Depending upon the success of a Hidden Lore check, she may know a few things:
    • Fail: Ghosts aren’t alive, they are a “footprint in stone”, they’re “shaped like the original” human, but they aren’t it. They are made up of memories. Ghosts cannot roam the mortal world between sunrise and sunset, nor can they wander on holy ground.
    • Success by 0: The most dangerous ghosts are very substantial and appear to be human feeling real emotion. A shade with a greater sense of self or purpose can maintain its individuality and state of mind.
    • Success by 1-2: They do not play by the rules of reality, and they cannot be affected by someone whose presence they do not acknowledge. This means to truly interact with the ghost, Sofia must get its attention.
    • Success by 3-4: The only way a ghost can manifest is if it is insane.
    • Success by 5 or more: Ghosts are also vulnerable to what wizards often call ghost dust, both in and out of the Nevernever. They can be trapped in a circle and then harmed by fire, or blocked by thresholds. When wounded, they bleed ectoplasm.
  • This entire encounter should be played fast and loose by the GM, catering to the player’s strengths since the character is more knowledgeable about these sorts of things than the player.
  • At the conclusion of this scene, Auric Craft enters the scene. How this plays out depends on how the scene transpired:
    • If Sofia had a really bad experience here, complete with the Ghost basically going postal and hurling stuff or exploding large chunks of masonry, he could arrive in the aftermath so she’s … not at her best (to say the least.) FREX, if she’s erected a circle to trap the ghost and it exploded said circle to try and escape (thereby destroying itself … along with large pieces of the library), he might find her sprawled out on the floor, covered in torn paper and masonry. Note that if this is case, OU is not going to be pleased with her at all…
    • If she completely botches this or the player simply has no idea whatsoever how to proceed, he can show up and remind her of something.
    • If she resolves the entire situation handily, he arrives just as she’s exiting and makes sure that she’s aware of his presence.