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Ghostbusters Roleplaying Hub :: How To Play

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Have you ever wanted to be a Ghostbuster?

Did you play with the action figures? What about the video games? Maybe you’ve built your own Proton Pack or zipped up a flight suit, but have you been on a bust? Have you felt the thrill and horror of wrangling a disembodied glowing spud with a lasso of nuclear fire or getting showered in ectoplasm? Well, my friend – you can. And you won’t have to mortgage your family home to do it.

Allow us to introduce you to the original Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game from West End Games.

You and your crew will have countless hours of fun saving the world by blasting ghosts, goading or flirting with clients, sticking it to “the man,” and earning a steady paycheck – all in the name of science.

“But I’ve never played a tabletop roleplaying game before!”

No problem. This game is easy. In fact, for many gamers, this was their first pen and paper RPG experience. No complicated math or gameplay. We promise.

“Is this like ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ or something?”

It’s kinda like that. But much easier, and way cooler.

“I don’t know. Sounds kinda nerdy.”

You think the boys in beige never got their game on? Trust us. You’ll be in good company, and you’ll have fun busting some heads. (In a spiritual sense, of course.) Want proof? We had so much fun playing, we turned our games into a cinematic podcast! If you want a taste of what the Ghostbusters RPG is all about, listen to us actually play it:

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“Sounds like fun! What do I need to play?”

First, you’ll need the original rules. Then you’ll need the right dice and equipment cards.

Table of contents:
Original Rules | Updated Gear | Updated Rules | Download Index

rule books

You might be able to find these on Ebay, but don’t bother checking out your local brick and mortar. The original books have been out of print for years. Never fear, they’re readily available online. Below are PDFs of the original core rulebooks. We recommend starting with the super-simple Reference File A: How to Play.

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Additional supplements to the game were created – including adventure modules and a later expansion of the rules for those looking for a more “traditional” RPG experience. Personally, we think more rules just complicate things, but if you’d like to check those out, you can find them here.

In order to play you need: Equipment Cards, Personnel Files, and a Ghost Die.

The Equipment Cards determine what items a Ghostbuster is carrying and act as a quick reference for how it works, our new Personnel Files keep track of all your character’s stats, and the Ghost Die is a D6 that stands out from the rest of your dice pool and adds an element of chaos

We’ve redesigned and updated the Equipment Cards from the ground up featuring streamlined rules, enhanced capabilities, and all-new artwork by Matasm. We’ve also added gear from the Ghostbusters cannon that were never a part of the RPG; like the Slime Blower and Dark Matter Generator – all playtested on Ghostbusters: Resurrection.

Our all-new Equipment Cards are divided into two print-your-own decks:

The essential gear every Ghostbusters franchise needs.

For the experienced Ghostbuster in need of more firepower and specialized tools.

Each deck contains enough gear for a team of 5 Ghostbusters.

Become a Patron to test gear that’s still in-development!

For more deck details and download options, head to the Gear page. For expanded rules and info on how this gear works at the table and in the field, head to our Updated Rules page.

The original Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game was first published in 1986, the same year as the debut of The Real Ghostbusters cartoon. There may be no connection there, but the pre-packaged adventures often feel “cartoony” compared to the films, and some of the equipment (like camcorders) are clearly out of date. If you’re running a light-hearted campaign set in the 80’s, this might be fine. But if you’re looking to start a modern day franchise with a tone closer to the films (or perhaps even grittier), then you’ll want to read some of our suggestions for new rules.

updated rules

Additionally, the Ghostbusters cannon has expanded a great deal since the first film. Our updated rules add familiar (and essential!) canonical Ghostbusters equipment and expand the lore with new in-universe insights into how this advanced tech works.

We’ve also created extra “cheat sheets” in case you need to quickly create campaign assets on the fly like new ghosts, locations, clients, and more!


download index

Woah! That’s a lot of information, right? If you’re just getting started you’re going to want to read it all. However, if you already know the score and just need to quickly grab some resources – we’ve got you covered! Rulebooks, print-your-own cards, personnel files, cheat sheets… the works.  Just click here to go to the download index!


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