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Ghostbusters Roleplaying Hub :: How To Play

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Have you ever wanted to be a Ghostbuster? Did you ever play with the action figures as a kid? How about the video games? Perhaps you’ve even built your own Proton Pack? But did any of that ever make you feel like you were really a Ghostbuster? Well, my friend. Let me 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 as well. 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 some on Ebay, but don’t bother checking out your local brick and mortar. The original books have been out of print for years. But 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.

updated gear

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In order to play you need some custom gear: Equipment Cards and a Ghost Die. The Equipment Cards determine what items a Ghostbuster is carrying and act as a quick reference for how it works, and the Ghost Die is a d6 with a special facing that’s essential to the gameplay.

We’ve redesigned and updated the Equipment Cards from the ground up featuring expanded rules 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.

You can download our print-your-own set of Equipment Cards and our redesigned Personnel Files (aka Player ID Cards). But there’s nothing quite like having pro-grade equipment on hand. Support this project and pick up our Starter Kit of professionally printed card sets and laser-etched Ghost Dies, or if you want to open up your HQ in style, get the Franchise Kit!

Head to our Updated Gear & Donation Page for more info!

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The original Ghostbusters Roleplaying Game was first published in 1986, the same year as 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 car phones) 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.

Additionally, the Ghostbusters cannon has expanded a great deal since the first film. Our updated rules add-in familiar (and essential!) canonical Ghostbusters equipment like the Slime Blower, Proton Pistol, Dark Matter Generator, etc. 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!

updated rules

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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