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Old 09-06-2014, 11:13 AM   #21
fwcain
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Default Re: Dream Worlds

Didn't see if anyone else had added this thought, yet...

For personalized entry into dream-space, I like using an idea (from "In Nomine" I believe, as well as from Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series) -- a dreamer enters their own personal dream-space, first, and then from there emerges into the greater, overall dream-space. Most people never leave their personal dream-spaces (except by rare accident); it takes a skilled or otherwise "enabled" dreamer to deliberately leave their personal dream-space and enter the shared unconscious "cosmic" dream-space.

I'd love to hear more about this idea of yours, as you work out your details. Good luck! ;-)

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Old 09-06-2014, 12:30 PM   #22
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

First, this, do NOT attempt to model this with pocket dimensions. It's not that - use the Astral Travel rules.

Here's where I went on about this...thread

The end result was a very odd cosmology for my world. The Land of the Dead, the Heaven, the Earth and the Underworld are physically connected. You can walk to the Land of the Dead (or, climb a tree or catch a lift with a spider). This is the Cloth of Being, because it is seen as being folded. When a person dies, you bury then and their spirit goes to the underworld. If you *really* miss them, you can crawl in a grave and go look for them. It is the task of spirits on the Underworld to find their way to the Land of the Dead - their people hold a ceremony nine months after the dead to celebrate their
ascension as an Ancestor.

This is where it gets weird. Ancestors have new bodies in the Land of the Dead. If they want to look in on the living, they Astrally Project, which is merely a form of Insubstantial where the ranges are based on familiarity instead of distance. Ghosts are spirit that hang around - very dangerous.

Now dreams - Dreams are one of the ways people use their latent psychic abilities, including Clairvoyant vision and Astral Travels. Dreaming *is* Astral Travel, only you just go into your Dream World, a "place" carved out by your subconscious. It *should* be totally private....

Each and every sapient being has a Dreamworld, constructed from Mana and hidden away in their Spirit. These Dreamworlds are layered atop one-another, like 'beads sewn into the Cloth of Being', and thus at times there are connections, both to real places and to other Dreamworlds. For the most part, dreamers sit in their Dreamworlds and see bits of other places using Clairvoyance. Some, however, do wander, just as some people sleepwalk. In these travels, they use Astral Projection to visit other parts of the Cloth of Being, be it in the Land of the Living or Kuzimu or the Underworld, or they can visit other Dreamworlds.

The Dreamworld bit is essential for my campaign because the 'evil' of the world is witchcraft, which is a kind of malign psychic parasite.Witches are the undisputed masters of the Dreamworlds, because it is their native domain. They are literally nightmares. Each witch has its own Dreamworld from which it projects into the Land of the Living and it is their final retreat. While it is true that witches are born as parasites in the bodies of normal people, they use their powers to create their own Dreamworld and then physically move into it. Or, perhaps more truthfully, become it as the mutant gland in their host atrophies. Once mature, the witch can detach from its host and create new connections to the Dreamworlds of new hosts.

Part of the pattern of development in this campaign is spiritual. Most people don't learn to use their psychic powers until they die, but by no means does a character go out of play simple because he *died* - that idea is fundamentally un-Bantu. Thus as the adventures go on, they should become more and more spiritual, taking place in the Underworld and World of Dreams.

Probably TMI.

Last edited by tantric; 09-06-2014 at 02:01 PM.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:43 AM   #23
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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You should. It's a really important part of any campaign that features dreamworlds - do you die in the real world if you die in your dreams? Is it just a Fright Check? I highly suggest you peg that down before anything else because it's going to influence everything else you do.
I will. I'm just not ready for it yet. Right now, as is typical, I'm thinking through some ideas of mine that may be delayed a year or even more until I get to run them in front of my players.

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Hey! I don't have....alright - maybe I do. But it's only because I write so damn much. I think I have a problem. You'll find the rules in Pyramid #3/63: Infinite Worlds II in my article "Lord of Your Own Domain."
Ah, you meant that one. OK, will give it a second look.

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I've had this conversation with someone else on the boards...I think it was tantric, anyways, if everyone gets "Dream Travel 1" then it's a feature. Just treat level 2 as a buyable ability. If Dreaming can do a crazy number of things like allowing you to create dream matter with a Will roll or let you bend space I very much suggest you raise the difficulty to Very Hard and float the attribute over to IQ.
I'm disinclined to allow it doing any crazy things. I might have to employ significant negative TDMs for tasks that are impressive. I wouldn't change the difficulty of the skill - there's no point to do that in 4e if I can just use nastier TDMs for harder tasks.

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Again, this is one of the things I wouldn't look too closely at. By defining it more than is necessary you're going to take away your leeway as a GM. I had to learn that the hard way.
Oh well, I'm not sure if you heard me say this before, but this whole campaign is very much started and run under the motto:
They said it won't fly! They said I'm crazy. But I'll go and make a game world the way I want to, even if I'll have to suffer through it, and damn the consequences!
A couple years of GMing passed, and people seem to mostly like it.

So I'll probably take the risk. I just want to do it in a way that will be consistent. I'm with the hobgoblins - I like consistency.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:46 AM   #24
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Default Re: Dream Worlds

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Originally Posted by fwcain View Post
Didn't see if anyone else had added this thought, yet...

For personalized entry into dream-space, I like using an idea (from "In Nomine" I believe, as well as from Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series) -- a dreamer enters their own personal dream-space, first, and then from there emerges into the greater, overall dream-space. Most people never leave their personal dream-spaces (except by rare accident); it takes a skilled or otherwise "enabled" dreamer to deliberately leave their personal dream-space and enter the shared unconscious "cosmic" dream-space.

I'd love to hear more about this idea of yours, as you work out your details. Good luck! ;-)

Franklin
That's more-or-less the path I'm following. I think I'll note that I want it to be possible to make multiple dreamspheres to temporarily relocate their exit points into a single place in the global dreamworld if the dreamers used the technical aid that binds them together for this night's sleep.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:23 AM   #25
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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So I'll probably take the risk. I just want to do it in a way that will be consistent. I'm with the hobgoblins - I like consistency.
A careless inconsistency is the balrog of big minds.

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Old 09-07-2014, 10:26 AM   #26
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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I will. I'm just not ready for it yet. Right now, as is typical, I'm thinking through some ideas of mine that may be delayed a year or even more until I get to run them in front of my players.
Okay.

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Ah, you meant that one. OK, will give it a second look.
Yeah, I specifically had dream realms in mind when I built the advantage.

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I'm disinclined to allow it doing any crazy things. I might have to employ significant negative TDMs for tasks that are impressive. I wouldn't change the difficulty of the skill - there's no point to do that in 4e if I can just use nastier TDMs for harder tasks.
Okay.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:36 AM   #27
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

So, turns out that 'a year or more later' turned up to be planned for next Saturday or the one after it instead. Adventurers.
So I'm revisiting this topic.
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If you die in the Dreamlands while asleep you wake up - but instantly take half the damage you suffered in HP as FP. Going their physically required some form of paranormal power and if you died there you died for good.
You said this is an interesting topic. So I thought some more about what happens from dream wounds and deaths. Taking a look at Planescape Torment, of all places, I think I settled on this idea:
Places in the dreamworld have RW-hazard classes. One's personal dream bubble is normally harmless (death results in waking up at -1FP as from Nightmares), as are some other 'sanctuary' places.
Other places have a RW-hazard rating, ranging from slightly above zero, up to 1. This is the fraction of real HP that will be lost upon taking damage in the dreamworld. Failing a Death Check in the dreamworld means that damage is recalculated, with succeeded-in-dreams death checks being successful automatically in the real world, but in case if the damage was so big that it bleeds over into the real world demanding a new death check above and beyond those already successful ones, the new checks are to be rolled normally.
Finally, some places are marked as non-returning. That means that dying in dreams there will not take you back to the waking world - your dream-self has to be carried by someone else, while your real-world body is borderline-comatose.

Oh, and I think that I should let the PC immediately choose whether to be pulled back into the real world or not at the moment of failing a consciousness check. Opting to stay in means more risk, but also an opportunity to regain consciousness in the dreamworld; opting to wake up is a safety cord, with all that entails.

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I required a roll against Navigation (Mental) which allowed you to shorten the distance traveled by 5% per point by which you succeed. Control (Dreams) also worked to bend space like Control (Space). Some spells worked to do this as well and Dream Celerity (a analogue to the psi power Astral Celerity) increased this too.
Thinking more on this: I do like the navigation benefit. I'm still unsure how I want to scale time between the real and dream world, and how much time I want to be occupied by travel along strands of the dreamweb between nodes, or the ratio of time spent in nodes and between nodes.

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It's a Dreamworld...there is no congestion. It's as big or as small as it needs to be. You could have a 100 people in the same room because space doesn't conform to the laws of the real world. I wouldn't look at this too much - it's not in the typical literature anyways.
Thinking more on this:
I vaguely recall scenes of defending fortresses in Changeling . . . somewhere.
What this means is that while it's nice to have some places (e.g. ancient libraries) stretch out to accommodate infinite crowds, it's also nice to have some types of dream estate be quite limited.

Having doorsteps of some nodes actually blockable/defensible, but not others, seems like an opportunity for some adventurous moments. Such as spirits asking riddles to let people pass or whatever, which people can nonetheless get around using longer roads (but don't want to). It sort of takes the best of both worlds - the gateway network and the free hyperspace method.

Note: I'm thinking that in some cases Node A connects strands 1,2,3,4 purely on the outside, so you can go from 1 to 4 without needing to get inside A, while in some other cases Node B connects strands {5,6} and {7,8}, so you can go from 5 to 6 without going through the inside of B, but you need to cross B in order to get from 6 to 7.

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In the Awakening (my campaign) natural ways into the Dreamlands were possible, but rare and often in caves, closets, and other places where their were openings - but didn't go all the way through. Also, mirrors (which lead to the Mirrorwall, a place between places and the setting's analogue to the Astral Plane) could sometimes send you to the Dreamlands - or worse into the desolation of the Mirrorwall itself. One thing I did do in the campaign was make doors to the Dreamlands pop up in almost any place for those who had physically traveled there before - the Dreamlands are jealous and don't like letting beings leave that once walked its grounds.
My players are going to such a cave. So my plan to present them with such a doorway in a crampy room of an inn elsewhere is being overriden. (Frankly, for a while I thought the party will stop looking into that cave, so it will be saved up for later.)

------

Oh, and now I can start making up the geography. I'm thinking of only letting PCs open up new nodes gradually. Not sure how to justify this in-game. I don't want a flat check penalty per node travelled beyond the first. I want some sort of access-granting process, like finding passwords but more metaphorical, and something so that I could delay the process at will, while thinking up the places that exist in the dreamweb.
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:55 AM   #28
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
You said this is an interesting topic. So I thought some more about what happens from dream wounds and deaths. Taking a look at Planescape Torment, of all places, I think I settled on this idea:
Places in the dreamworld have RW-hazard classes. One's personal dream bubble is normally harmless (death results in waking up at -1FP as from Nightmares), as are some other 'sanctuary' places.
Other places have a RW-hazard rating, ranging from slightly above zero, up to 1. This is the fraction of real HP that will be lost upon taking damage in the dreamworld. Failing a Death Check in the dreamworld means that damage is recalculated, with succeeded-in-dreams death checks being successful automatically in the real world, but in case if the damage was so big that it bleeds over into the real world demanding a new death check above and beyond those already successful ones, the new checks are to be rolled normally.
Finally, some places are marked as non-returning. That means that dying in dreams there will not take you back to the waking world - your dream-self has to be carried by someone else, while your real-world body is borderline-comatose.

Oh, and I think that I should let the PC immediately choose whether to be pulled back into the real world or not at the moment of failing a consciousness check. Opting to stay in means more risk, but also an opportunity to regain consciousness in the dreamworld; opting to wake up is a safety cord, with all that entails.
Okay, that is pretty interesting. Hmmm. Cool. Might steal that for my own campaign.

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Thinking more on this: I do like the navigation benefit. I'm still unsure how I want to scale time between the real and dream world, and how much time I want to be occupied by travel along strands of the dreamweb between nodes, or the ratio of time spent in nodes and between nodes.
Just make the scaling random every time you go to sleep, say roll 1d: 1-2, time moves slower there; 3, no change; 4, reroll now and then roll again every hour; 5-6, time moves faster there. After that roll 2d-2 and compare the roll to the penalty on the SSR table and read "Yards" as the multiplier or divisor for time. So if you roll a 2 and then 4, time in the dream world passing at one-tenth the time in the real world.

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Thinking more on this:
I vaguely recall scenes of defending fortresses in Changeling . . . somewhere.
What this means is that while it's nice to have some places (e.g. ancient libraries) stretch out to accommodate infinite crowds, it's also nice to have some types of dream estate be quite limited.
Meh. That seems straight up the GM ally - it's whatever he says it is or deems. Trying to apply strict rules to dreams is like trying to apply physics to action move - just don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Having doorsteps of some nodes actually blockable/defensible, but not others, seems like an opportunity for some adventurous moments. Such as spirits asking riddles to let people pass or whatever, which people can nonetheless get around using longer roads (but don't want to). It sort of takes the best of both worlds - the gateway network and the free hyperspace method.
I've done that before, it's entirely workable.


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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
My players are going to such a cave. So my plan to present them with such a doorway in a crampy room of an inn elsewhere is being overriden. (Frankly, for a while I thought the party will stop looking into that cave, so it will be saved up for later.)
Cool.

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Oh, and now I can start making up the geography. I'm thinking of only letting PCs open up new nodes gradually. Not sure how to justify this in-game. I don't want a flat check penalty per node travelled beyond the first. I want some sort of access-granting process, like finding passwords but more metaphorical, and something so that I could delay the process at will, while thinking up the places that exist in the dreamweb.
That should help shake things loose in your head and help you decide what is what a bit more.
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Old 11-24-2014, 03:56 AM   #29
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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That should help shake things loose in your head and help you decide what is what a bit more.
Now I need to think up those places, the more the better. And inhabitants.
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