Vajra Game Graveyard: Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

Vajra Game Graveyard is a series of write-ups of games and game settings that we wanted to make, but that (most likely) will never be made.  If you’re reading this and have a strong desire to help one of these dead game ideas become reality, email creative [aht] vajraenterprises [dot] com.

P.S. We don’t use AI generated art in our games, but we have just for the Vajra Game Graveyard series.  You can read more about our position on AI generated art here.

Setting Concept

Something strange is happening in Las Vegas, something only some obscure Buddhist cosmological theories can fully explain.  Desire and desperation are becoming the overriding laws of physics within Las Vegas.  Certain people find themselves drawn to Las Vegas where coincidence and circumstance make them unable to leave.  The people of Las Vegas are becoming increasingly desperate and dangerous, their lives ruled by desire.  Most in Las Vegas are so absorbed in their own needs that they don’t realize what is happening around them, something that threatens to pull Las Vegas out of this universe to become something akin to a hell.


Those few who experienced some personal event, mundane or supernatural, that enabled a moment of clarity, allowing them to look beyond their own selfish desires.  These few came to a realization that something fundamental is changing in the world around them, and they have endeavored to find out what’s happening and if it can be stopped.


The new rulers of Vegas: casino owners, advertisers, drug pushers, pimps, and others who have been experience luck and power due to their ability to create desire in others.  Desperate Las Vegas residents, driven nearly insane by desire, who are especially dangerous when something attracts them in large numbers.  Demons from other realms, taking advantage of the weakening of barriers between realms to visit this world.  The most powerful enemy, however, is that invisible force that manipulates circumstance to try to trap Las Vegas residents in a cycle of never-ending hunger.


The technologies of creating desire in people that advertisers, casinos and media companies have long been refining, and the negative impact on society of these artificially-created desires.  Buddhist ideas about desire being a major source of suffering and bad karma.


A corrupted, dystopian version of Las Vegas will be portrayed, run-down and tawdry, with people looking sickly under the colored glow of neon lights, and endless casino floors where bleary-eyed gamblers seem enslaved to their gaming machines.  Most Las Vegas residents will be portrayed as something between junkies and zombies, with their very flesh starting to mutate to make their desires harder to satisfy.  


A version of the karma mechanics found in Tibet the RPG, but meant specifically to account for a setting where karma is constantly pushing people towards any circumstance where their desire will be increased, and away from any circumstances where they might escape from desire.

Research Needed

Psychological techniques used by advertisers.  The history and geography of Las Vegas.


Like In Dark Alleys, the game will start with player characters knowing that something supernatural is happening, but not knowing what or why.  Gameplay will involve finding out what’s happening, but once a party figures this out, replay-ability of the game may be limited.

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