View Full Version : Need more ideas for mini-Dreamscapes

2007-11-18, 08:02 PM
In my campaign I let the PCs travel between warp-points via a magical system known as the "inner walk". The warp-points are each about a week of travel apart from each other and ring the centerpiece of the world, which has no warp-point. The experience of the inner walk, however makes the players experience a small event that occurs somewhere along the dreamscape (dreamscape although it may be, the player interaction with the world is exactly the same as reality). I want this to present a variety of experiences that are no so good as to be preferred to "reality" but not so bad or long as to be preferred to traveling by foot, or in later levels, always using teleport without curiosity. They should be interesting above all else. Here are some that I thought of but I would like you to hear your ideas!

(Note: settings in the campaign that are already part of the reality include a tundra full of undead, a place of near infinite serenity, a land of passed on spirits, and a world full of beasts and wild growth).

1) A marble pathway with a swarm of mephits around it who are obsessed with magic. They in fact, impede the player's way asking for displays of magic or to barter for magical items. They seek the Holy Bauble (does nothing but generate powerful magic auras of every type) guarded by four elementals. If the PCs comply and the mephits are left to their own devices, the mephits fight over it and break it, destroying all the mephits in the process. To keep the item, they have to fight the mephits for it, and to get by without the item, they will have to sufficiently distract the mephits with magic or trade something magical to them.
2) A "very rich" merchant wants to buy up all the PCs magic items and is paying in diamonds, which an appraise check shows are worth more than 20 times the items that they are buying. Afterwards a rainstorm comes and any "diamonds" dissolve in the rain. Mechant's Bluff check (21+level)
3) A gnomish merchant named Ginthrop Yerba (Ginny) sells all different varieties of food to passerbyes. Spicy Peppers (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55670), powerful Garlic, Javafruit (homebrew), Wines, Perfumes, Coffee, Very good tasting food, Potions, Poisonous fruits, goodberries, aquafruit (another homebrew), potions of enduring food quality, mosses
gingerbread golem (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/Cc85LTNvTgOuH1xTRjz.html),candy oozes (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41639&highlight=food),chocolate golem (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46749&highlight=food), and varieties of plant and fungus creatures
4) A desert that is a week long. It requires three gallons of water a day, and a greater duststorm (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/weather.htm#duststorm) with severe winds. (although this is a week of in-game time, the actually playing out of that week shouldn't take too long, and they will have found that no time has passed when they "awake" on the other side)
5) The PCs meet the "steward" of this demiplane, Fharlanghn, who lets them know that he believes that it is the journey is what is important not the destination. Therefore, he spars with them, lowering himself to a mortal level of combat, not hitting them but disarming, tripping, blocking and dodging them with his quarterstaff (this specialty class/character is also homebrewed). After being assured of their might and determination he lets them pass.

EDIT: The PCs are currently 8th level, but dreams should be able to scale for the most part. They include a vampire sorceress, a dwarven cleric with an interest in alchemy, and an elven rogue-sorcerer -> arcane trickster. Also, I plan on opening a variant of the "Lucid Dreaming" skill to everyone, a wisdom based skill that would allow them to revist any dream/setting they have previously visited, as long as they are at a warp-point and they don't travel to another.

2007-11-18, 08:14 PM
If you are really good as a DM, set up a bunch with magical effects that break the laws of physics. These are dreams, remember? Treat them as such. Rainbows, odd spell-zones where everyone inside is hasted, nothing dangerous, just give your team the definite impression they are not in Kansas anymore. Sanity is for suckers. Picture Psychonauts, only more random and less dangerous.

2007-11-18, 09:45 PM
Certainly many dreams can and do break reality, mind only slightly bend it. My style tends to be more of the realistic but surrealistic. Although I am open to anything from others.

Maybe some of the dreaminess is in the details, which I have spared here. For example, Ginny is constantly in your line of sight, manning a stall, even if this conflicts with the points of views of others (its so he can keep an eye on shoplifting). And the desert has a burning strip across the sky instead of a sun (it also tells you where to go) and black sand.

2007-11-18, 09:56 PM
Do what Tomb of Horrors does: disregard all sane ideas and make everything rational. You can either be serious or funny, but randomness is the essence of dreams. For example, a mighty statue stands in the middle of a field. The statue sneezes and creates a crack in the ground that swallows you're players up, but they land in comfortable cushioned seats in a bar. They've offered drinks, and the beer classes try to bite their hands of. Basically, make a bunch of unrelated and normal events, connect them in a bizarre way, and add something weird to each one like a cat that slowly peels its own skin off and offers it to the players on a silver platter.

2007-11-18, 10:03 PM
But see, I need one dream "module" or dream event or they would never get in or out. See the sneezing statue in the field is surreal enough to work - even if he creates earthquakes every time he does. But the crevice would have to either wake them up or kill them, because otherwise it would be a change of setting. In essence it would be entering another dream.

2007-11-18, 11:27 PM
What happens if a traveller manages to alter a dreamscape to the point where its nature has been fundamentally changed?