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The Dreamlands: Running it for the first time

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Culpra

I’ve only used the dreamlands peripherally in a scenario featuring a dimensional shambler which pulls victims to the underworld in the dreamlands. 

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Hammer

I tend to do my Dreamlands as a sort of Ancient Egyptian/Assyrian/Babylonian world spun into the Middle Ages. So while there's that fantasy stone -and-iron feel to it in a lot of ways, there are still a lot of classical, almost mythological elements.  It's very out of sync with both its own time and that of the real world, so you can't reliably hop around in time in the Dreamlands, nor can you use it for time travel in the real world. Also, there's a difference between projecting to the Dreamlands while dreaming and doing it through some sort of portal. 

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eternalchampion
On 26/07/2018 at 06:54, khyungbird said:

If anyone wants to do a REALLY strange variant Dreamlands, I heartily recommend Alfred Kubin's 1908 novel "The Other Side".

 

>_> The idea that there's this whole parallel universe which (apparently) exists in response to human thought and fantasy, even if it's a kinda scary universe, sorta exists uneasily alongside the whole "Humanity is a meaningless dot in an infinite cosmos hahahahaha" message of most of Lovecraft's other stories. Although resolving the apparent conflict between these two worldviews could create and probably has created some pretty interesting CoC campaigns....

 

I have the book now and it seems really interesting, thank you!

 

Good point. Maybe other races, like the Elder Things and the Yithians have their own Dreamlands.

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khyungbird
23 hours ago, eternalchampion said:

I have the book now and it seems really interesting, thank you!

 

Good point. Maybe other races, like the Elder Things and the Yithians have their own Dreamlands.

 

I actually wrote up & mapped out the Dreamlands of Mars once (for some Martian race someone else made up, it was a complicated project that didn't go anywhere). I dunno if I'd say it turned out that great, this was waaaaay long ago when I was in college. I wonder if I still have it around somewhere...

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Dante7
3 hours ago, khyungbird said:

 

I actually wrote up & mapped out the Dreamlands of Mars once (for some Martian race someone else made up, it was a complicated project that didn't go anywhere). I dunno if I'd say it turned out that great, this was waaaaay long ago when I was in college. I wonder if I still have it around somewhere...

 

if I remember correctly, Eldritch Skies also touches on the idea of alien dreamlands.

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SunlessNick
On 26/07/2018 at 05:01, ronin said:

 

This is what I tried to say before but didn’t do as well as you did above. The surreal element, the otherworldly feeling, the feeling something fabulous or horrific can happen at anytime. My players already have a feeling of instability, The Dreamlands should only magnify that feeling. Conveying these elements of the setting seem to be a little tricky, too much doesn’t work, not enough makes it a typical place. Like I said, just need to get my thoughts straight :)

 

 

One thing worth exploring is the idea of a dream persona different from your waking self - we often dream ourselves a bit differently from normal, whether that's because of idealisation or processing some kind of issue.  You could reflect that in dreaming Investigators - perhaps some of them are stronger, or more well known, or more (or less) attractive - maybe they feel none of the sense of duty that secretly chafes at them in their waking life, but which they would never abandon - maybe they're stuck at the age when some trauma happened, or the opposite sex - maybe this changes from dream to dream.  (How would dreamlands natives relate to a character where this happens, or if they enter as their waking self through some portal?)

 

Chaosium did one scenario featuring this kind of thing, the luridly named Whore of Baharna.  It featured a kind-natured nun who'd taken holy orders after losing her lover as a young woman.  Her conflicted feelings were coming out as two dream personas, one a twisted and predatory version of younger self, and the other a fearsome crone based on what she was afraid she'd become.  The solution was to find the Dreamlands ghost of her old lover and reunite them, whereupon the dream personas would merge and become the girl she was.  No other Dreamlands scenario I've seen has done anything like that, but it's such a rich vein for differentiating them from a regular fantasy setting.

 

On 26/07/2018 at 06:54, khyungbird said:

Personally, I'm into the blasphemous idea that the Dreamlands stories take place in their own universe, and although obviously there's Azathoth and Nyarlathotep and all that, there doesn't have to be Cthulhu, the Mi-Go, the Old Ones, and the other more science-fictiony Cthulhu Mythos creatures in the Dreamlands cosmology.

 

I mostly do that too.

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