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Old 04-30-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
tantric
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Default Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

I'm trying to work Dreamworlds into my cosmology. Psionic Powers implies that there is a shared Dreamworld and that it is a real timeline (Dream Projection is built on Jumper, while Astral Travel is built on Insubstantial). I'm curious as to how other people have worked spirit worlds and dream worlds into their campaign cosmologies. Just tell me how it works in your world.


The cosmology of my setting has the Earth, Sky, Land of the Dead and Underworld as contiguous realms so that it is actually possible to walk from one to the next, with the Underworld being both below the Earth and above the Land of the Dead. It is called the Cloth of Being, since the layers are seen as folds. Magic/energy permeates and connects all of the folds. The Astral realm is then the space between the folds, where there is energy and spirit/information, but no matter. I'd prefer for each being to have his own Dreamworld, a kind of Astral bubble (beads on the cloth of being). Dreamworlds can overlap, and can have windows and doors, though this isn't particularly safe. I'll have to stat these as advantages, and I really have no idea how to go about that.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

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I'm trying to work Dreamworlds into my cosmology. Psionic Powers implies that there is a shared Dreamworld and that it is a real timeline (Dream Projection is built on Jumper, while Astral Travel is built on Insubstantial). I'm curious as to how other people have worked spirit worlds and dream worlds into their campaign cosmologies. Just tell me how it works in your world.


The cosmology of my setting has the Earth, Sky, Land of the Dead and Underworld as contiguous realms so that it is actually possible to walk from one to the next, with the Underworld being both below the Earth and above the Land of the Dead. It is called the Cloth of Being, since the layers are seen as folds. Magic/energy permeates and connects all of the folds. The Astral realm is then the space between the folds, where there is energy and spirit/information, but no matter. I'd prefer for each being to have his own Dreamworld, a kind of Astral bubble (beads on the cloth of being). Dreamworlds can overlap, and can have windows and doors, though this isn't particularly safe. I'll have to stat these as advantages, and I really have no idea how to go about that.
First, if you don't have Pyramid #3/63: Infinite Worlds II, I suggest you grab it. I had "personal dreamworlds" in mind when I wrote up Jumper (Pocket Dimension). Next, depending on the campaign the Dreamworld works differently. As someone who has extremely vivid dreams, nerve-wrecking night terrors, and insomnia (ain't I special?) I've made a bit of a amateur study of oneirology. In my previous campaign (which is now on hold), the Dreamworld took the shape of Lovecraft's Dreamlands, with the exception that everyone had a Dream Sphere (their own personal dream space). Each Sphere connected to the Dreamlands, but unless you were talented mystically or very unlucky you couldn't wander into the Dreamlands on your own. Those who get there by accident are called "dream stuck" and it's a terrible situation to be in. That said, the cosmology I created made it so that the Dreamlands were at the center of everything. When you died, you entered your dream sphere permentantly and that became your own heaven or hell or you ventured into a higher/lower plane where some deity you believed in ruled. It was pretty much that simple. You could venture into the Dreamlands either in body (powerful magic) or while asleep if trained. Made for a amazing campaign. You can read about my session reports for the Awakening here.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

Ah, there you are! Yes, I've read it, it's brilliant. It's perfect for the Dryads in my fantasy campaign, whose Hometrees (allies) have pocket dimensions. Five years ago it took several pages to hash that out with payloads, your way is much better.

My conflict is that Dream Spheres (as you call them) are not pocket dimensions, they are pocket astral planes that you project into while you sleep. If I could figure out how to price just having a Dream Sphere, it would be simple to give it Accessibility (Sleeping) and maybe Uncontrollable - but that's not exactly right. A normal sleeper is not only at the mercy of his subconscious, he also doesn't know that he's asleep. I used be good a lucid dreaming - but being aware that your are dreaming and having Create/Control powers are two different things. How do you stat a lucid dreamer? I think that if I can just parley dream sphere into domains, I can go about building the Dream Psi powers that go with it.

The setting I'm creating is hugely animistic. Nightmares are very real things - creatures that parasitize your dream sphere. If you are projecting your spirit when you dream, then whatever afflictions or curses you encounter stay with you. It would also stand to reason that a person in a coma or other unrousable state would be lost, cord broken, spirit wandering the Inner Astral or whatever you call it - and that it would be possible to quest to find that spirit and restore the person.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:19 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

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I'm trying to work Dreamworlds into my cosmology. Psionic Powers implies that there is a shared Dreamworld and that it is a real timeline (Dream Projection is built on Jumper, while Astral Travel is built on Insubstantial). .
The use of "Jumper" doesn't imply it's a "real timeline" if by that you mean something physically real. Jumper is what you'd use to enter into entirely virtual realities like someone's subconscious or to become a character in a video game as long as you'd be danger of physical injury from the things you encounter there.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

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Ah, there you are!
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Yes, I've read it, it's brilliant. It's perfect for the Dryads in my fantasy campaign, whose Hometrees (allies) have pocket dimensions. Five years ago it took several pages to hash that out with payloads, your way is much better.
Thank you. I rather thought it sidestepped some of the issues I had as well.

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My conflict is that Dream Spheres (as you call them) are not pocket dimensions, they are pocket astral planes that you project into while you sleep. If I could figure out how to price just having a Dream Sphere, it would be simple to give it Accessibility (Sleeping) and maybe Uncontrollable - but that's not exactly right. A normal sleeper is not only at the mercy of his subconscious, he also doesn't know that he's asleep. I used be good a lucid dreaming - but being aware that your are dreaming and having Create/Control powers are two different things. How do you stat a lucid dreamer? I think that if I can just parley dream sphere into domains, I can go about building the Dream Psi powers that go with it.
You're thinking too hard. This is a feature of the campaign at best. Everyone has one, right? If that's the case it's not a advantage or disadvantage - it's a feature, it just is. If they can control it, mold it, whatever - then it becomes a advantage. Otherwise just notate that everyone has a dream sphere in the campaign.

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The setting I'm creating is hugely animistic. Nightmares are very real things - creatures that parasitize your dream sphere. If you are projecting your spirit when you dream, then whatever afflictions or curses you encounter stay with you. It would also stand to reason that a person in a coma or other unrousable state would be lost, cord broken, spirit wandering the Inner Astral or whatever you call it - and that it would be possible to quest to find that spirit and restore the person.
Yup. We did this exact thing in one of my games. Creatures that feed on nightmares have a Fatigue Attack with Missed Sleep (which can be downright DANGEROUS if left unchecked).
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

Yes, it's a feature. In Ubantu, having your own personal guardian spirit is a feature, as everyone has one. But I still have to define what guardian spirits are and how they work, especially since some are better than others. See where I'm going?

To make it simple - Person A has a pocket dimension that they can physically enter. Person B has a pocket astral plane that they can project into. How does B's advantage differ from A? Is A a Jumper while B has some modified version of Astral Travel? If I go with Astral Travel, I can extend Barrier Breaking and such to represent invading others' dream spheres. But then the actual Dream Projection from Psionic Powers looks ways too powerful - this is the ability to invade anyone's dream sphere, and they don't even get a resist roll (because the implied cosmology in the Psi Dream stuff has a unified shared dream world) *and* Astral Travel is built on Insubstantial, not Jumper, which I do not like at all.

Hmmm - maybe I should just apply the Enhancements and Limitation from the Domain bit to Astral Travel directly. Then add a new limitation for Create and Control - Dream Matter only. Gonna try that out.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

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Yes, it's a feature. In Ubantu, having your own personal guardian spirit is a feature, as everyone has one. But I still have to define what guardian spirits are and how they work, especially since some are better than others. See where I'm going?
I get what you're trying to do, but I wouldn't try to come up with concrete worked out abilities unless one of the PCs is going to need to use it.

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To make it simple - Person A has a pocket dimension that they can physically enter. Person B has a pocket astral plane that they can project into. How does B's advantage differ from A? Is A a Jumper while B has some modified version of Astral Travel? If I go with Astral Travel, I can extend Barrier Breaking and such to represent invading others' dream spheres. But then the actual Dream Projection from Psionic Powers looks ways too powerful - this is the ability to invade anyone's dream sphere, and they don't even get a resist roll (because the implied cosmology in the Psi Dream stuff has a unified shared dream world) *and* Astral Travel is built on Insubstantial, not Jumper, which I do not like at all.
I don't see a issue here because one projects his mind and the other goes there bodily. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. What you need to do is figure out what you are using Astral Travel as it is built or something else. Then DON'T use the other. Your issues I think are stemming from the "I want to use it all" mentality. Sometimes...you can't. It sucks, but it happens. Figure out what works best for the campaign and dump what doesn't.

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Hmmm - maybe I should just apply the Enhancements and Limitation from the Domain bit to Astral Travel directly. Then add a new limitation for Create and Control - Dream Matter only. Gonna try that out.
Dream Matter is a Large category for Create if you are using the Dreamworld often, or a Medium one. For control, it's Control (Dreams) 30/level] or Control (Dream Matter) [20/level], neither work for intelligent beings unless you add a +100% version of Cosmic called "Vital Manipulation."
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

I'm writing a setting book based on Bantu mythology. There are many stories of people wandering off into the spirit world, or the Underworld, or Heaven, whathaveyou, so I'd like to have this reasonably well described. Part of adventuring in an animist setting is spirit adventuring. I have to integrate the spiritworld/dreamworld/etc into the setting, make it real and important. I don't want 21st century types on safari, I want immersion - I want the world of mind to be the world, if that makes sense.

That means getting my cosmology down pat. From my readings of the myths, I've decided to have the afterlife be a real place. When you die, your spirit wanders through the underworld into the land of the dead and once there, you build yourself a new body. Thus the ancestor spirits that normal people encounter are actually projections - the ancestors have real physical bodies in the land of the dead and astrally project into the land of the living. The idea is that all people have latent psychic abilities, and that death is a metamorphosis that makes them operant. When your eyes are dust, ESP flowers, etc. Thus the dreamworlds and projecting into them are important - 'dreaming' is the unconscious use of the astral projection power we will one day use as ancestors to watch over our descendants. And that plays into psi and spirit magic being the same thing. Ideally, in this setting, dying doesn't mean giving up your character - you just keep right on adventuring as a ghost.

So, basically, there's no Jumper in this world, because there are no other worlds. The Land of the Dead is a place you can walk to, if you're determined (in the stories they go down caves or burrows). Okay, then - you're right, I just have to ditch the Jumper idea, and build it all out of Astral Travel, adding the domain modifiers and merging Dream Psi. Oh, boy.

(reading your dreamlands blog - you must also have that dreamlands bestiary that I once had, the one with the Cat From Saturn. *loved* that book)

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Old 04-30-2014, 10:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

Well it sounds like you know what you want to do. Good luck with that.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dreamworlds as Domains, Astral Cosmology

I have worked out several ways to handle Astral travel for my Shamans (using Powers) and while I do not use Jumper I think it still fits what your trying to do.
Jumper with limitations like Projection is good for Astral and Dream Travel where you do not physically go.
Jumper with an anchor or accessability limitation for portals covers your crossroads situations where you can physically travel between realms t certain locations.
You can tweak other enhancements and limitations for other situations.
You can use alternative limitations or alternate abilities to cover multiple jumpers. So everyone has Jumper (Projection) for Dream travel and Jumper (Portal only) for crossroads. Bought as AA on the sheet but listed as a feature for no points or dedicated and assigned points.

Those who can do more either buy additional Jumper powers as AA or if you want o assess a UB like cost they have to buy the base power if they can modify it. then they can add variations.
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