Tag Archives: Supernatural

Plot-a-Day: Ghost Baby

Here’s another idea for a plot which would work great for both fiction and RPG sessions.

Michael Persinger, a Neuroscientist, investigated a case in which a teenager reported that she received nocturnal visits from ghosts. The scientists were called in at the request of the mother, and determined that a clock close to the girl’s head combined with a mild brain injury she had received as a baby caused the hallucinations. The clocks was removed, and the “visitations” stopped.

The article in the Scientific American goes into greater detail, especially on follow-up experiments designed to determine scientific causes for sightings of the “supernatural”, including experiments to test whether a person who wants to see a ghost is more susceptible to such causes and thus more likely to “see” a ghost.

This would work well in a setting in two ways; you can either take the “ghost baby” story and turn it into an investigation (and, since an electric clock is probably very anticlimactic, you may wish to use the devil / evil spirits / space aliens as the cause), or you could take the scientific experiments in general to kick-start a campaign. The investigators either come to delve into the “true supernatural” (Ghostbusters did it, why not you?) as a consequence of their inquiries or they uncover pranksters or frauds who may even be making a great deal of money off of the unsuspecting. The later works especially well if your players actually do expect ghosts.

Plot-a-Day: The Curse of Roppongi

And now for something completely different: Another post in my “Plot-a-day” series, where I point out news articles that make wonderful inspiration for plots and adventures (and the series that is anything but daily).

Today, I found a great article from the Japan Times: The Curse of Roppongi. Roppongi, if you do not know, is an upscale and touristy district of Tokyo.

Roppongi Night (Image: Manone)
Roppongi Night (Image: Manone)

The article explores the bad sides of Roppongi, and includes accidents that happen in the suburb. According to the geomancers, Roppongi is awash in negative energy (“fengshui”).

“The many shrines and temples in Monzencho — as Roppongi was called in olden times — were situated to ensure the proper flow of ki (spiritual energy), and with the kimon (devil’s gates) aligned — north, south, east and west — so as to direct bad spirits from the area, but they were successively demolished to make way for new redevelopment projects that have upset the balance. It’s the changes wrought by the disappearance of the temples that are enticing more people to commit crimes.”

What a great start for a cursed part of town. Of course, in our real world, this is all superstitious nonsense; there are no ghosts, no spirits, and no curses. But in your fantasy world, all of this could literally be true.

“Foreigners worship their own countries’ deities, so one might say the old spirits that protected Roppongi have lost their force. Then came redevelopment, which was aligned unfavorably, which also affects the corporations quartered in Roppongi Hills. All these corporate crimes are a result of the bad spirits that converged on the district.”

The possibilities are endless. You could transplant this to a different world, or use it in a weird stories type setting, where ghosts and goblins roam. You could send the Ghostbusters into the Japanese capital or, in best Japanese fashion, teenage girls in powered armor. Picture battles at night, in the still crowded streets, or in the dark, dank and spacious sewers flood overflow reservoirs.

The curse could literally be true – the undead, creatures from a parallel universe, demons, or space aliens could have set up an outpost under Roppongi, and the “curse” is a result of their meddling. Or maybe the Yakuza is using stories about a curse to cover up their illegal dealings…