Of Dreams and Nightmares: The Rules

By July 8, 2015 January 5th, 2020 No Comments


Name: All characters will have a name. This name is often a thematic nickname, based on their dreamland.

Dreamland: Every character will have a short description of what makes their personal dream realm interesting.


Starting characters will have 5 points assigned among the following stats, with a max of 3 in a single stat:

Striding is making efficient and safe passage between dreamlands. Striding (and/or imagination points) are required to make safe travel between the three dreamlands at the game.

Anchoring is mastery over mortal events that help us maintain and defend our realms. Anchoring determines how many memories you will be provided with at the beginning of the game, and also provides a bonus to defending yourself.

Bending is the ability to affect the reality of another’s dreamland. Bending gives you a bonus to alter details of the dreamland you are in.

Charming is the ability to enhance one’s person with elements of the dreamlands. Charming increases the number of imagination points you get at the beginning of the game and when there are refreshes.

Influence is the ability to affect those who now only exist in the dreaming world. Influence gives you a bonus to affect any non-player-character entities in the dreamlands (such as the Guardians).


Due to the nightmarish circumstances that have been plaguing the dreamlands, most characters have been stuck in the dreamlands and on-the-move or hiding. Most have begun to lose touch with their normal lives. However, every character will remember at least one vivid memory from the waking world (and more, if you have Anchoring). These will be handed out at game.


Every character will have positive history with another character and troubling history with another character. (Your feelings might not be reciprocal) These will be based on past interactions in the Dreamlands. Near the beginning of the game, you will have a chance to meet these characters and flesh out some of these details.

You get a bonus to helping (and a penalty to hindering) someone who you have a positive history with. You get a bonus to hindering (and a penalty to helping) someone who you have a troubled history with.


Many characters have their own ideas about the nature and purpose of Lucid dreaming. If they fall into one of the prominent philosophical/political camps, this will also be listed on their sheet.


Each player begins with a pool of imagination points (characters with Charming will get more). There are also bonuses for costuming.

During the game, more will be handed out at regular intervals, as well as for dramatic roleplay.

Imagination Point Usage:

Many things can be handled by simple roleplay. However, if you want to affect another person, the dreamland, or an NPC, then you use imagination.

The initiator approaches the other involved party. The other party is the player of the PC or NPC, or the owner of the realm (such as the NPC who is the guardian of the dream realm). The initiator offers an (in-character, if possible) statement of truth and a imagination point. If the recipient agrees, it is true, and they take the token, adding it to their own pool.

e.g. Midnight says to a Guardian “Isn’t it true that the light is beginning to dim, shadows lengthening?” and holds out one imagination point. Midnight is trying to bend the dreamland.


If the recipient does not want to accept the proposal and said “no, I don’t believe so” (or similar), then the initiator may “persist.” When doing so, the initiator reiterates the truth and offer more tokens. Again, if this is accepted, the recipient takes the tokens, add them to their pool, and the fact is established as truth.

e.g. The Guardian has said, “I don’t think so, this is a land of eternal sunshine.” So Midnight says “It seems with so many arriving, and nightmares approaching, that things have gotten darker.” Midnight’s player holds out a larger number of imagination points.


If the initiator still wants to move forward, they may “insist”. When this happens, things have changed for the worse. The two players bid, but instead of being transferred, all points bid in the exchange will be handed over to the head storyteller. The initiator bids points first.

When insisting, bonus points from stats come into play. Bending gives you a bonus to alter the dreamland, and Influence gives you a bonus to affect any NPC characters. Anchoring provides a bonus to defend against changes.

e.g. Midnight is adamant. “No, I insist that it is getting darker.” Midnight’s player bids 1 imagination point, but this counts as 4 total, because Midnight also has 3 points in bending. The Guardian must bid an equivalent of more than 4 points to reject this change to the dreamland.


To travel between dream domains, players will approach the Guardian of the realm they wish to stride to. The Guardian will explain how many points of striding are currently required to navigate there safely. The group moving will need to have at least this total number on their sheets, offer up the difference in imagination points, or cannot make safe passage.

The Guardian will explain the experience of the travel between those two dreamlands, which may change as the game progresses.


It is expected that in addition to regular roleplay, characters may interact with each other. They may even use their dream powers to affect the others. However, attempts to incapacitate or kill other characters will not be permitted by the Guardians of each domain.

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