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Old 09-05-2014, 06:00 AM   #11
vicky_molokh
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Originally Posted by Jerander View Post
Do people enter the Dream World physically? Or is it a projection, leaving the body behind?
Leaving the body behind.

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Entering the global Dream World requires abilities/technology. Would passing from region to region also require the ability/technology?
Once you're in, you're free to travel in accordance to your skills.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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3) The dream should have meaningful barriers to travel. In other words, you can't assemble your team from the four corners of the dream world every night through teleportation.
To clarify: gathering a team from dreamers who entered the dreamworld into different regions should at least take the time required to travel. Being able to enter into the same region is nice. See below.

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If projection, my first thought is that every individual has their own doorway through their personal dreams. Groups could be brought into the global Dream World in the same spot through the use of an "artificial" group "personal" dream. This staging area could be set up either through technology or other means. The TV show Supernatural allowed group dreaming (or at least entering someone else's dream to share it) through the use of "African dream root" and close proximity and/or contact. Something similar could allow you to keep the party together.
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Random Fixed Entry Points + Entry Tricks: everyone can enter the dream at one point that belongs to them. However, a mechanism exists that allows you to enter at someone else's point, or just at a different point. For example, perhaps a spell exists that when both people cast allow them to enter at one of the two people's points, or a sleeper hooked into the access machine can bring a whole crew to his dream entry point.
This is probably the best variant, or close enough to the best and requires minimal rework. Though now I wonder what nice methods of figuring the fixed starting entry points for each character would be, if they're dictated by some factor that isn't a pure dice roll. Correlation to significant events in real life might be one.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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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.
I have not yet considered how harmful should wounds and deaths in the dreamworld be for the real world.

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I came up with about 5,000 words on dream combat, penetrating a dream sphere, etc. It made it into a Pyramid article. I also treated each person's dream sphere as a type of Pocket Dimension with those who could control it gaining Jumper (Pocket Dimension). Those who could create huge spheres could merge their lands with others which created the Dreamlands proper. These dreamlords ruled small kingdoms in which they were supreme god-like beings. Going from one of these "open" spheres to the other was simply a matter of walking. Penetrating a dream sphere was a regular contest of Will where you could use Dreaming (a Wildcard skill in the setting) if it was better than your Will and Mind Shield added as well.
Is this one of the published Pyramids, or is it just one of your Gizmo (Pyramid Articles) examples?

I would very much like not to request any special point-buyable things other than the Dreaming skill proper (i.e. B188) and maybe the ability that allows moving from an individual dreamsphere to the dreamworld global without use of equipment.
I'm definitely not inclined to give PCs the ability to fully command parts of the dream outside their individual dreamspheres (and inviting guests there should be very very difficult, if possible at all).


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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.
This isn't necessary about spatial congestion, but also about numeric. The fact that you can fit 100 people into the Closet Of Disco Lights doesn't prevent the fact that now there are 100 people inside instead of just two.
Things are probably even more sharply visible when e.g. there are only 100 visitors at the Lake-upon-Lightning back in the day, but a whole megapolis worth of visitors the next year.

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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.
Oh, definitely. Already wanted to start the introduction of the world by hinting at a poor rent-a-bedroom that is highly sought-after by certain shady individuals.

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I treated human natives to the Dreamlands as normal people who lived, died, and were born like anyone else. Sometime in the past their was a mass migration of humans from the real world and the inhabitants of the Dreamlands were their descendents. As for creatures - most were sort of immortal and only died through death, but those who were believed to be normal critters (bears, wolves, etc.) were born, lived, and died like their waking world cousins. Belief was a huge part of the setting and if enough people believed it so then it was. This was more or less the main thrust of the campaign in that the PCs were trying to prevent others from remembering too much of the Dreamlands so that they could be steered by greater powers and conspiracies.
I'm also considering the idea of making natives somewhat like Irruptors: when they appear, they appear with a half-convincing retcon into the rest of the dreamworld, that non-natives would notice, but natives would say their new neighbour has always been there. I think this fits the overall style of dreams.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:30 AM   #14
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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I have not yet considered how harmful should wounds and deaths in the dreamworld be for the real world.
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.

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Is this one of the published Pyramids, or is it just one of your Gizmo (Pyramid Articles) examples?
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."

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I would very much like not to request any special point-buyable things other than the Dreaming skill proper (i.e. B188) and maybe the ability that allows moving from an individual dreamsphere to the dreamworld global without use of equipment.
I'm definitely not inclined to give PCs the ability to fully command parts of the dream outside their individual dreamspheres (and inviting guests there should be very very difficult, if possible at all).
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.


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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
This isn't necessary about spatial congestion, but also about numeric. The fact that you can fit 100 people into the Closet Of Disco Lights doesn't prevent the fact that now there are 100 people inside instead of just two.
Things are probably even more sharply visible when e.g. there are only 100 visitors at the Lake-upon-Lightning back in the day, but a whole megapolis worth of visitors the next year.
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.


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Oh, definitely. Already wanted to start the introduction of the world by hinting at a poor rent-a-bedroom that is highly sought-after by certain shady individuals.
Cool. :-)

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I'm also considering the idea of making natives somewhat like Irruptors: when they appear, they appear with a half-convincing retcon into the rest of the dreamworld, that non-natives would notice, but natives would say their new neighbour has always been there. I think this fits the overall style of dreams.
Actually, I did exactly this. For humans they all had "pseudo-Status" that was equal to 0 plus any levels of Wealth gained Status or bought Status and a reasonable background - but it was all bunk. They didn't have anything to go with the status level people just treated them that way. This was a feature, if they wanted to operate in both worlds I treated status as a slashed statistic. The first was the status for your world and thesecond was for the other. You bought your world's status normally, but for the other world you bought it at as a alternate ability. For critters, I gave them all "Dependency (Hourly; Aether particles)" with aether particles being the literal stuff of dreams. This meant that most of the time they just die after a while - but I allowed a HT roll to shake off the effects of the Dependency allowing them to become "real" instead of living dreams. This is where most mythological beasts in our world came from - also vampires, werewolves, and the like.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

Can they appear near each other if they fall asleep watching the same movie, listening to the same song, reading the same book? Maybe a bonus to the Dream roll for being near each other. Pick something obscure and not dangerous so you don't end up in a crowd or in danger when you appear.
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:47 PM   #16
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Can they appear near each other if they fall asleep watching the same movie, listening to the same song, reading the same book? Maybe a bonus to the Dream roll for being near each other. Pick something obscure and not dangerous so you don't end up in a crowd or in danger when you appear.
My preferred dreamworld trope is that it has nothing at all to do with physical proximity. It's a product of affinity of the spirit. See for example Kipling's story "The Brushwood Boy," where the shared dreams seeming are set off by a single chance meeting between two small children who don't meet again for a couple of decades.

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Old 09-06-2014, 04:05 AM   #17
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Originally Posted by Ghostdancer View Post
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'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.
Agreed.

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Actually, I did exactly this. For humans they all had "pseudo-Status" that was equal to 0 plus any levels of Wealth gained Status or bought Status and a reasonable background - but it was all bunk. They didn't have anything to go with the status level people just treated them that way. This was a feature, if they wanted to operate in both worlds I treated status as a slashed statistic. The first was the status for your world and thesecond was for the other. You bought your world's status normally, but for the other world you bought it at as a alternate ability.
Sounds more like Social Regard then.
Still, sounds cool.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Actually, I did exactly this. For humans they all had "pseudo-Status" that was equal to 0 plus any levels of Wealth gained Status or bought Status and a reasonable background - but it was all bunk. They didn't have anything to go with the status level people just treated them that way. This was a feature, if they wanted to operate in both worlds I treated status as a slashed statistic. The first was the status for your world and thesecond was for the other. You bought your world's status normally, but for the other world you bought it at as a alternate ability.
There are rules for something like this in GURPS Social Engineering, in the discussion of reference societies and characters who change reference societies.

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Old 09-06-2014, 08:42 AM   #19
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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My preferred dreamworld trope is that it has nothing at all to do with physical proximity. It's a product of affinity of the spirit. See for example Kipling's story "The Brushwood Boy," where the shared dreams seeming are set off by a single chance meeting between two small children who don't meet again for a couple of decades.
One of my favorite stories. My dad used to read that one too me at night after he got home from work.

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Agreed.



Sounds more like Social Regard then.
Still, sounds cool.
Thanks. :-) It wasn't half bad. My players enjoyed it. I didn't even get to make use of it till the third story arc though because the first two were all about the set up. Still, worked like a charm.

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There are rules for something like this in GURPS Social Engineering, in the discussion of reference societies and characters who change reference societies.
I believe this is where I originally pulled the rules and then modified it for my campaign bible - though I do remember having the idea long before that. Heck, I think this was something we discussed during the playtest. I know Rank and Status were picked apart heavily.
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Old 09-06-2014, 11:47 AM   #20
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Default Re: Cosmology and game mechanics for Dream Worlds

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Greetings, all!

Of particular interest is the issue of where the entry points into the Dreamworld should be located. Making it a single entry area would feel wrong. Making the entries correlate with geographical location in the real world would seem banal and undreamlike. Making them random each and every time would result in too much confusion. Making them depend on some totally different characteristic, such as the aspirations or the mood of the character, would have a high risk of breaking up parties of adventurers trying to enter the world together. I'm not sure how to balance the different worries against each other and whether there is a way to address all of them.

Thoughts? Advice? Ideas? Questions?

Thanks in advance!
I know a few years ago there was an HP Lovecraft anthology of shorts set in his Dream World. Not sure if you can find something similar on line or not.

From what I can gather of your ideas his stuff might be close to what you are looking for. While it is not gaming related it would suit the general feel I think you are going for.

It's been 5 or so years since I have specifically read through a series of his stuff that took place in the Dream World.
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