Probably Bad Podcast 6: Spectral Immigration, Wild Magic Sneezes, and Christmas Werewolves

Mod Paper has a new podcast! Join them and their friend Hazel for a fun discussion of social and domestic history through food and crafts on “Bread and Thread”, available wherever you’re listening to this!
opening music
Pencil: Hello and welcome to the Probably Bad Podcast, a podcast which is definitely bad. I’m Pencil
Paper: I’m Paper. And today’s probably bad rpg idea is dice rolling noise “Your monster hunters are called to a town where someone has been reporting a lot of ghost sightings. When they get there, it turns out the whole town is ghosts, and they’re complaining about the one living person” So I do think that this’d be a genuinely interesting idea, just ‘cos humans are scary you guys. Like you just keep hacking bits off and poisoning us and giving us diseases, and we just keep going?
Pencil: But yeah I mean like I guess it does make some sense for like ghosts to be like “hey, you should be dead now, you should be dead now, come join our little housing administration”
Paper: Like a little ghost commune
Pencil: Yeah! Little ghost commune with this one guy who’s just like lost half his brain and some of their lungs and is still refusing to like, become a ghost friend
Paper: I like the idea that then the entire job of the monster hunters isn’t to kill this guy it’s to make him like, do a Padme and just die of sadness
Pencil: laughs Your mission if you choose to accept it is to make this one person really unreasonably sad so they can join the PTA
Paper: Like, dying of a broken heart is a thing
Pencil: Yeah. But like, I guess, so is dying of being stabbed a lot
Paper: True, but that’s less elegant, and you know in the D&D world if you kill them too violently they might come back as a revenant or something, whereas you just want another nice ghost
Pencil: Yeah. I like the idea that like each type of undead just has its own little undead village like, they can’t come back as a revenant because then they’ll have to move to the revenant town down the road
Paper: Which is just a giant Fight Club, presumaby
Pencil: No-one wants to go to Revenant Town. Like I, I like the idea which – it has been explored before – but like I really like the idea that ghosts see living people as ghosts and themselves as living people like, I know that like yeah it’s been done before like the concept. But I do like the idea of using that more, especially in horror games where like, yeah…maybe if it’s unclear which inhabitant of the house is the ghost and which inhabitant is the living one and part of the thing is trying to figure out which one is like, actually the person you’re meant to exorcise
Paper: Thing is I haven’t come across this concept before and I’m really struggling with it because…humans are pre-ghosts
Pencil: Yeah but like, it was the film “The Others” was the last, which was the one I saw which has it as a concept
Paper: So I haven’t seen that
Pencil: Ah
Paper: And I am just, I’m struggling with this concept because humans are like, wandering around, and then they become ghosts, so if ghosts think that they’re alive…humans can’t be the dead ones they’d have to be like, pre-people
Pencil: I think its like yeah like there’s a lot of ideas of like ghosts…
Paper: Mummy where do babies come from? Well when a man and another man hate each other very much
Pencil: No it’s like, it’s not like they think that humans and ghosts are two separate species. They’re aware that humans are alive and ghosts are dead they’re just not…they see themselves as still living people and can’t fully perceive the living, so from their perspective
Paper: Oh so it’s just a different stage
Pencil: Yeah so from their perspective they’re just walking around wholly physical and wholly visible and looking like living people, and there are these vague shadowy figures moving around their house, when in fact they’re the ghost and the vague shadowy people are the people who live there now
Paper: Or at least, we think they’re the ghosts
Pencil: But yeah I definitely think there’s a thing of like if the premise was you’re getting all of the information over the internet or by letters or some other way where you can’t like directly talk to the other person and you have to figure out who’s a ghost and who isn’t. Like Werewolf, but with ghosts and via twitter, which I think is the one thing that would improve Werewolf
Paper: I mean I think Werewolf by twitter is just twitter? Like, oh, like “I heard from this person, that this third person whispers might have a bad friend”
Pencil: Twitter is just a game of Ultimate Werewolf except instead of werewolves it’s nazis
Paper: Yeah
Pencil: But yes, yeah, going back to the actual prompt as opposed to the terrible state of twitter, yeah the third idea is just that ghosts do have their own like, Harry-Potter-ghosty-world. It probably wouldn’t be called Ghosty World because that sounds awful but…but there are just, when you die you just go to these little cities where the ghosts live, it’s all very domestic
Paper: So it’s kind of like the afterlife from Coco where it’s just “here’s another town”
Pencil: Yeah, and what has happened is some living person has showed up early and the ghosts are getting annoyed. ‘Cos it just, I dunno I like the idea of there being ambassadors between our world and like the ghost world, and all of that kind of concept
Paper: I do like the idea of a death certificate as like a passport to the afterlife
Pencil: You can’t die unless you’ve written a death certificate
Paper: But then if…is the reason that some ghosts stay in the regular world then is if their bodies haven’t been found or for whatever reason they don’t have a death certificate, it’s not registered
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: So then they can’t get through immigration
Pencil: The grim reaper is just like black cloak, scythe, glowing eyes, pulls out some forms and asks you to start filling them in. But yeah I do love the idea of yeah you have to resolve this ghost’s unfinished business which involves getting through…yeah so yeah the grim reaper is, you know, shows up, scythe, hood, glowing eyes, all of it, sits down, pulls out a stack of paperwork, puts on its reading glasses and starts asking, and starts filling in the form and just, yeah you have to exorcise this ghost by properly completing their paperwork. It’s just a bureaucracy-’em-up
Paper: So if the afterlife has immigration…
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: Do they also have like customs? Like if you’re buried with grave goods “yeah that’s great but some of these things you can’t bring with you”
Pencil: “I’m sorry but you can’t bring more than like 10 fluid ounces into the afterlife”
Paper: “I know you were buried with flowers but some of these are not indigenous to Ghost World”
Pencil: I want to know what flowers are indigenous to Ghost World, because it doesn’t sound like a place with a lot of flowers
Paper: Lilies?
Pencil: I guess
Paper: Those weird ones with like the translucent leaves
Pencil: I wanna see a ghost whose unfinished business is their just so fucking sick of lilies, like they’ve just come back to the…like, also I like the idea of resurrection just being you emigrate from ghost world
Paper: Yeah, and zombies have dual citizenship
Pencil: Like, the thing is this does like make a lot of how the undead work in D&D make sense but also it’s just, I don’t know if I like the reveal that all of this is just due to like, misfiled paperwork
Paper: We’ve uncovered the biggest conspiracy
Pencil: All of the undead just exist because the Raven Queen can’t be bothered filling out her forms correctly
Paper: They’re called the Forgotten Realms because they keep losing paperwork down the back of the sofa
Pencil: Yep, we have solved D&D
Paper: Also can, can we just go back to, ‘cos there was one part of the idea that I didn’t read
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: Which was that the one living person is walking around bragging about their working organs and that’s what’s bugging the ghost
Pencil: Powermove
Paper: That is a powermove but at the same time, like, surely the ghosts could just respond like “I don’t need organs, bitch”
Pencil: I mean like, you know, they don’t need them but like, I guess it’s kind of like someone’s walking around like “look at my gold plated watch” you don’t need a gold plated watch but y’know, it’s a bit rude of them to point it out, the fact you don’t have one
Paper: So lungs are like, a fancy accessory in Ghost World?
Pencil: Yeah in ghost world lung…uh organs are luxury items. Which leads…is that why zombies like eat brains? So they can then sell them on the brain black market in Ghost World?
Paper: Well they are offal-y valuable
Pencil: I see what you did there and…no
Paper: cackles
Pencil: You are going to Ghost World. But yeah it’s like, all this makes, if you have the organ black market does that explain why the undead are usually describes as like, disembowelling their victims or what-have-you?
Paper: Because they want those organs!
Pencil: Yeah! All necromancers are just like, pawns for the organ black markets of dead world
Paper: So clearly the most efficient way to perform an exorcism isn’t doing the paperwork, it’s just leaving haggis around the house
Pencil: You just walk up to the ghost that’s like, shrieking and throwing things just like “hey”, then you open your jacket and it’s just got lungs and hearts and stuff you got from the local butchers, “maybe some of these will persuade you to leave this house alone”
Paper: If you’re feeling really fancy, maybe a bone or two
Pencil: Bone the ghosts, it’s the only way to end the banish-to end the haunting
Paper: I think that’s starts laughing the point where we move on to questions
Pencil: Yeah
transition music
Pencil: Ok, our first question
Paper: cannot stop laughing I’m sorry!
Pencil: Our first question is so hilarious Mod Paper is
Paper: I’m ok, I’m ok
Pencil: Ok. Bone the ghost…so, our first question is from a tumblr anon. “this seems to be the place to ask: do you think Grumpy or Dopey would be a better barbarian? I’ve been classing the 7 Dwarfs. on examination, you could also make dopey a bumbling barbarian ranger or something” I feel Grumpy is the obvious barbarian, but he’s not a very good one. Like instead of going into a rage he just gets grumpy so when you’re attacked by like, orcs, he just throws a strop, sits in the corner, and refuses to fight
Paper: I mean, Dopey does try to trick Snow White into giving him extra kisses, so clearly he’s a slutty little bard
Pencil: I can safely say that’s not a sentence I ever expected to hear someone say about Dopey from Snow White but…
Paper: But also can you deny it?
Pencil: I guess? Yeah like, so, I’m kind of interested to know what the other ones would be. Like Doc is a doc, Doc is an, em, wizard
Paper: Yeah because he’s the smart one
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: Thing is I don’t really remember their personalities beyond the parts that their names imply. The other ones are all kind of the same
Pencil: Yeah I feel they’re all…I feel Sleepy is maybe like, a rogue because he sleep, and then you don’t see him, because he’s asleep. Or Bashful is a rogue because like, he’s hiding because he doesn’t want to talk to people
Paper: I think Bashful is a bard because, I don’t know why I remember so much of Snow White but there’s a point where he finally joins in the music and then he has a really pretty singing voice so I think Bashful’s a bard
Pencil: Sneezy is a sorcerer, like a wild magic sorcerer, and only casts spells when he sneezes. Yeah every time he sneezes he casts a random spell from his list
Paper: I think…I think maybe Happy is a druid ‘cos like, guy’s on something. Happy is just high
Pencil: I like that’s your criteria for druid
Paper: They know a lot about “plants”
Pencil: The entire class of druid is just a cover-up for drug cartels
Paper: I guess he could also be a ranger, they also know plants
Pencil: There’s a lot of weird crime gangs in this podcast…right next question?
Paper: I think…I think we’ve established…we have established classes based on very vague memories of the Snow White film. I would have re-watched it before recording to get a better idea of their personalities, but I didn’t want to
Pencil: I’ve never actually watched Snow White, like, everything I know about it I know from seeing other people who have seen Snow White. When I look at someone I can mentally see every movie they’ve ever seen. No, from like, pop cultural osmosis
Paper: Yeah
transition music
Paper: The second question is also related to something you mostly know about through osmosis. Tumblr user “newthoughtsandnotebooks” says “what’s your opinion on a Doctor Who style Dungeons and Dragons campaign? You can play as a group of established aliens (sontarans or zygons) or you can play as companions of The Doctor (the DM, in this instance) and go on adventures”
Pencil: Ok so I have seen I believe a grand total of like six episodes of Doctor Who, dispersed at random through the Doctors, so…
Paper: So I think we should play a game of “How Much Doctor Who Does Pencil Remember?”
Pencil: So, do I know what a son…the sontarans are like the little angry potato men right?
Paper: Correct
Pencil: Uh, zy…I want to say zygons are…are they shapeshifters?
Paper: Yep
Pencil: Right ok so I’ve got two down. Yes so, the Doctor, I don’t know who the Doctor is. The Doctor…I…yes, so, I don’t think the Doctor should be the DM, ‘cos that would…it just seems like the ultimate GM NPC
Paper: Yeah ‘cos the Doctor’s whole thing is “I know what’s going on, I know how to solve it” it’s just that some things might get in the way
Pencil: Yeah then I guess you also have the problem of like, you don’t want another player to be the doctor, for the same reason, so I vote
Paper: It would have to be like a Love and Monsters thing where the Doctor’s just kind of background
Pencil: That’s the one where someone fucks a paving slab, right?
Paper: Yeah
Pencil: Ok right
Paper: Or at least like Blink where the Doctor’s like “here’s a video”
Pencil: Or you just kill the Doctor. Start of the campaign, the Doctor’s killed by a space lizard or whatever the fuck’s attacking people in Doctor Who, and now you have to pilot the TARDIS
Paper: See, the problem with that is, if you take out the Doctor, is it then a Doctor Who campaign, or is it just a sci-fi campaign that blatantly rips of Doctor Who?
Pencil: You know, you still have like the Doctor’s body. Like the Doctor can regenerate, so every like few weeks, they come back, and then like they’re like, then they like stay there long enough to go “yes, this is a verified Doctor Who campaign” and then something kills them again, and that just happens regularly enough for it to be a Doctor Who campaign
Paper: What if you just all played different incarnations of the Doctor?
Pencil: That could work. I guess you could also just do a sci-fi campaign that rips off Doctor Who
Paper: ‘Cos there’s sort of terrible specials like The Five Doctors and The Three Doctors, you could just all play different incarnations of the Doctor
Pencil: You could!
Paper: Which would, I think you’d have kind of enough group disagreements on style that it would be kind of like a companions one, but with more background knowledge I guess?
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: Which, the players would have more background knowledge than most companions do
Pencil: Yeah ‘cos I think one of the issues with Doctor Who is if you’re…if you have someone who wants to play a Doctor Who campaign they’re going to know a decent amount about Doctor Who
Paper: Yeah like you can’t have the thing that happens every couple of years where it’s like “what’s a cyberman” ‘cos like, we all know what a cyberman is
Pencil: Unless, actually, unless, so you do Doctor Who, and the kind of, you know, you’re picked up by the Doctor and go on an adventure, but you make up the entire rest of the universe. Like, you don’t have any of the daleks or cybermen or what-have-you, it’s just entirely your own creations and that way everyone is just as confused and unsure what’s going on as the companions are
Paper: But, again, at that point is it a Doctor Who campaign?
Pencil: Well the Doctor’s in it. Like any campaign with the Doctor in it is a Doctor Who campaign. Have them like, show up halfway
Paper: But then you’ve got the problem of “the Doctor as an NPC” again
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: I feel like we’re establishing that the best way to do a Doctor Who style Dungeons and Dragons campaign is either everyone’s the Doctor, or you’re not doing a Doctor Who style one
Pencil: The best way to do a…yeah the best way to do a…I mean like you know it’s a Doctor Who style one. Like it’s Doctor Who non-name brand, store bought
Paper: It’s sci-fi Monster of the Week
Pencil: Yeah. But yeah like maybe if you just like have the Doctor but, I dunno, they’re tired, and they’re just staying on the TARDIS and sending you off to do adventures for them, maybe that’s a good one
Paper: Or like film Doctor Who where he’s just like “I guess I’m someone?”
Pencil: That reference means nothing to me but I will assume it was hilarious
Paper: He has amnesia in the film
Pencil: Ah ok
Paper: Actually that could be fun. You all could be the Doctor
Pencil: Are we going back to
Paper: Have to figure out who’s the Doctor
Pencil: We’re going back to weird variants on Werewolf. 12 Night, uh, One Night Ultimate Doctor Who
Paper: Except even you don’t know if you’re the Doctor
Pencil: And the twist is because of time travel they’re all the Doctor
Paper: And then we just have all of the ideas combined
Pencil: Yeah. I think the lesson here is all RPGs ultimately boil down to One Night Ultimate Werewolf
Paper: And it’s hard to play a campaign where one of the characters knows significantly more about everything
Pencil: Yeah. Don’t know where the fuck I got Twelve Night Ultimate Werewolf from, some kind of weird Christmas version
Paper: I would play that!
Pencil: It’s like Werewolf except instead of people you have a pile of presents and some of them contain werewolves and you have to decide which one to open
Paper: It’s just regular wolves in Lapland. But yeah can we talk about Christmas Werewolf for a moment because I want to play this
Pencil: To be fair we only have two questions so third question, from Mod Pencil: “hey how would I make Christmas Werewolf”
Paper: Ok, so, first, the first question is “are there wolves that far north”. There must be, right?
Pencil: Um, I mean I, I don’t know, like, ‘cos yeah like the North Pole has huskies so presumably it at least would have had wolves
Paper: Unless the huskies were brought there by people
Pencil: That is true, people do like bringing things to places
Paper: But Finland has wolves, which I-I am ruling as close enough
Pencil: Yeah. Uh, ok, according to Wikipedia, which is the ultimate source for all knowledge, wolves live in the arctic tundra, so yes there are wolves in the arctic, not like the full ice-cappy bits, but the tundra bits
Paper: Ok so Lapland werewolves
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: You’re all elves, and you have to hide the werewolf problem from Santa, because it’s the 22nd of December, and nothing can go wrong right now
Pencil: I like this variant of Werewolf where rather than trying to figure out who the werewolves are you have to hide the mutilated bodies of the werewolves
Paper: Oh no you’re still trying to find out who the werewolves are, but you also have to stop Santa finding out
Pencil: I like that you can expand it with the other classes but it’s things like the Krampus and the Grinch and what-have-you who are there for other reasons
Paper: Yes! Everyone’s just different Christmas characters, and also werewolves
Pencil: The Grinch is trying to make sure that Santa finds out about the werewolves, so Christmas is cancelled
Paper: But also he has to protect Max from the werewolves
Pencil: Max is, Max is another character
Paper: Because Max is the most important character in the Grinch
Pencil: And yeah you have, like, I mean, like you have the problem of how does no-one notice this is the Krampus, but one of the secret roles in One Night Ultimate Werewolf is the Child so like apparently people are just really stupid, um…
Paper: He just wear…wears a hood. It’s cold, he’s bundled up, anyone could be in there
Pencil: And like one’s the Easter Bunny who has to convince everyone that the best way to deal with this is start making chocolate eggs instead
Paper: Oh the Easter Bunny would be like, extra under threat though because wolves do eat rabbits. Maybe the Easter Bunny’s job in this game is just to hide
Pencil: I mean like yeah, the Easter Bunny’s goal is to make sure that everyone except…that everyone except them is eaten by werewolves, if they’re the last non-werewolf they win. But yeah, I feel this Christmas one would work. Like, okay
Paper: I don’t really like Werewolf because I don’t like lying games, which I think normal people call hidden role games
Pencil: Yes, they do
Paper: But I think I would enjoy watching a game of this
Pencil: I think, yeah, possibly the way I would do it, is you have the werewolf thing going on, and you also have to like. Like possibly? Ok possibly the way it would be like, you have, you can vote to select the werewolf, or you can vote to make presents and it’s kind of like, if you don’t have enough presents Santa is mad at you, but also if you’re eaten by werewolves you’re eaten by werewolves
Paper: Oh I like that. So the way that you hide it from Santa is you pretend everything’s fine and you’re still working?
Pencil: Yeah
Paper: I really like that!
Pencil: So yeah, 12 Night Ultimate Werewolf. Also people keep sending like partridges
Paper: This was an important thing to explore
Pencil: Also people keep sending partridges and French hens and lords-a-leaping to the workshop and it’s really annoying
Paper: So that’s about it for today, if you have a question you can send it to us at probablybadrpgideas tumblr, or email You can also find us on Facebook as the probably bad podcast and twitter as BadProbably. Thank you to NickBlake for editing. If you want to support us you can head to for patreon bonuses such as bonus episodes and homebrew content, or you can go to if you want to just do a one-time donation to help us with hosting. You can also support us if you don’t have money or just don’t want to give us money for some reason, by leaving a review or rating wherever you’re listening to this
Both: And remember to have a probably bad day!
end musicFlair

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