Monday, 27 February 2012

Rending Sanity: Nightmares In Dreamland

So, as is probably apparent by now, my main game is Call Of Cthulhu and my main campaign at the moment is in the Dreamlands. So I've been toying with various results of sanity loss in the Dreamlands and their nightmare effects. Here are a few that have occurred and a few I've been devising but not yet had the chance to implement. Inspiration is from a number of different places, but they all revolve around subjective realities in dreams meaning that sanity can have big effects on the surroundings. Also, I'm not a huge fan of these effects waking up dreamers for various reasons.

- One of my favourites was very simple: The character aged by ten years, and her hair turned white and started moulting. She lost a point in a physical stat and was very taken aback by the whole experience.

- A couple of variations on losing grip on localised reality. In the desert this manifested as a sinkhole appearing centered on the character and slowly drawing him in. While sailing through space on a boat, a powerful mage lost control of himself and started warping the very wood of their ship, almost dropping out the bottom into the abyss...

- 'Hallucinations' that are very much real. Small shadowy creatures start appearing and attacking the hapless victim who is oblivious to whether they are real or imagined.

- Chase dream. The victim will not stop running until the insanity runs its course or they are physically exhausted. Any obstacles or events encountered will be ignored entirely, up to and including oceans and minor deities.

- Out Of Body Experience. The 'soul' of the character is wrest free to roam the area of ten square feet around the body now rooted to the spot, unable to interact with anything until either the body has taken more than half it's hitpoints damage, been successfully psychoanalysed or the insanity time elapses. Nerve-wracking in combat situations...

-Labyrinth Dream. The floor appears to rise around the dreamer (from their perspective) and they are presented with a twisting and turning route onwards that they cannot drive themselves to deviate from, often heading in the exact way the dreamer has identified as being unwise to go. Insanity ends when the keeper determines they have reached a pre-destined point or distance. To all others they look dazed and similar to sleepwalking. They cannot be shaken or hurt out of their stupor only by reaching their 'goal' can they awake.

I do enjoy messing with insanity and nightmare effects. I must put together a detailed and varied insanity chart. Maybe 20 options instead of the ten defaults. Although part of the pleasure of these things is in the tailoring to the exact situation...

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