What you are about to witness is real. The participants are not actors. They are the living people and ghosts who have already either filed suit or been served a summons to appear in municipal court. Both parties in the suit have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here, in our forum: Ghost Court.
These words open the rulebook to a new game from the creator of Fiasco, and if they sound familiar, they are a slight adaptation of the opening monologue of the reality TV classic The People’s Court. Ghost Court, currently on Kickstarter, is a party game from Bully Pulpit Games that mixes the squabbling of legal shows like The People’s Court and Judge Judy (and, perhaps, a little bit of the quirky Night Court too) with a hint of the supernatural.
The game plays in about an hour, featuring roles for the various court officers (like the judge, bailiff and court clerk), the litigants in the case (who play a mixture of living and dead plaintiffs and defendants), and if the group playing is big enough, a jury to help the judge decide in whose favor he or she should rule. Each case takes about ten to fifteen minutes to resolve and the roles can be switched around between players to keep things fresh. People too shy to play can still help the game by watching the crazy cases take place and be a gallery for the legal proceedings.
The Kickstarter features various levels of support ranging from a digital print and play edition to a deluxe edition with an official robe, wig and gavel for the player taking on the role of the judge if they don’t already have one. The creators encourage a little bit of cosplay to people in the mood by suggesting white sheets for players of ghost characters.
For potential backers wanting to try before they buy, Bully Pulpit Games has a couple of items made to sway the jury. The video below is an actual play example of a game of Ghost Court. It’s Connell Vs. Wicker in a case involving a ghost’s necklace found by a new owner on the former’s old haunt. It even features theme music by The Doubleclicks!
They’ve also given backers to a prototype print and play deck that allows backers to play immediately. The game is a great way to pass the time at a Halloween party where many participants are likely already in a spooky mood and dressed up as someone or something else. Jason Morningstar’s designs have a reputation for easy setup, quick play, and an appeal to people who might not already be interested in playing RPG-style games. Gamers looking to get friends and relatives into Dungeons and Dragons might find Ghost Court a great gateway for this purpose.
Ghost Court’s Kickstarter ends on November 8th, but there’s still time to print and play a set of cards for an upcoming Halloween party. We rest our case in peace, your honor.
…does anyone else have this song stuck in their head now, or is it just us?
What’s your favorite legal TV show? File your case in the comments!
Image credit Bully Pulpit Games