There is much that can be said about dreams, their proper use and what all can be told through them. One interesting article can be found here.
Feel free to add your own examples to the scroll.
Additional Ideas (20)
(This was dreamed by a character that got a great mansion for cheap. Of course it was haunted.)
You find yourself in a field. Though there is no sun or moon in the sky, you can see clearly. In every direction there is tall grasses blowing in a wind you can't feel. To the north along the horizon is what appears to be a mountain range. As you turn about surveying your odd location, you notice a small wooden cottage to the south. Even from this distance you can tell it's seen better days. As you study it, a light slowly begins to seep between the cracks and through the boarded up windows. Something tells you that this is very important and you need to see who or what is inside. You begin to walk towards the cottage. An urgency begins to panic you and you start running. The light begins to throb and you can feel every pulse in the pounding of your heart. The tall grasses whip at your legs but you can't feel it. You begin to run, one arm outstretched, straining and reaching. The cottage looms before you, it was bigger than it seemed from a distance. In a frenzy your hand closes around the rusted doorknob. A burning pain shoots through your hand and arm but you refuse to let go. You twist the knob and throw open the door...
In the story this was a recurring dream that the character had. The house was set in the exact center of the universe and inside was the "heart of everything".
You see a tiny rain-drop glistening in the grass, admire the beauty of this tiny thing, when it is stamped by some heavy boot. You notice an arrow in your chest. It does not hurt.
The woman is cooking a meal for her family. From time to time she looks upon the little child in the cradle. Later, she caresses it. "Does my little ____ play again? You will surely be a big boy when you grow up. Wait on me for a moment!" She sighs a bit, and goes out. It is you mother, but younger than you remember her. Silent and heavy steps approach the baby. It looks up with big eyes, but is not afraid, and plays with the doll you used to have. Could this be you? A large hand in a black glove tickles it on its belly, and it laughs. The hand withdraws, as do the steps. The child keeps playing.
(replace freely with character-relevant facts, a black hand, or a clawed hand, etc)
(can be repeated more times...)
...you are walking through a large ruined city. Everything you see is grey, the crumbling houses, the earth, and even the sky are grey, and monotone. There is dust everywhere, but the wind does not blow it away. The city is dead.
Then, you notice some movement. And there is some colour, a black unicorn comes closer. It is a wonderful creature, its black mane and horn are so unbelievably real in all the grey background.
It comes just a few steps close to you, and you admire it in all its beauty. It continues its way, but you stretch out your fingers, and for a little moment, you touch him slightly, and feel you will remember this for the rest of your life.
It leaves in its own slow pace. You find yourself on your knees, hoping it returns, but does not. You feel something wet, and find, it is blood dripping from your nose and mouth. Slowly, you sink to the grey earth, and loose your conscience.
The leaves shuffle beneath your feet as you wander through a forest alive with autumn colours. The forest cabin suddenly comes into view, just like you knew it would. As you enter the cabin, the daylight fades and the forest is enveloped in shades of grey.
Inside the fireplace is burning, and the mentor sits on his bed awaiting your arrival. You cannot discern his face, you never can. The hood of his dark cloak prevents that. As ever you ask questions, try to discover his true nature, and as ever the conversation turns to focus on you.
His voice is calm, his intentions indecipherable. His words claw at your very being and you feel broken inside. "Look in the mirror" the mentor says and you look. Torn flesh and rotten hide, blackened stumps of teeth and yellow eyes. Your very soul is putrid and you scream, you scream and you cry. You claw at the mentor, but he is gone. The cabin is gone and the forest is gone.
"Did you know that your mother-in-law is deadly ill? The Pox has her and now she lays crying and dying. She calls your name young sir, and you must go see her!" You stand confused in the darkened corridor. Who was that messenger? His face was all covered in shades and his message so grave that you did not catch his name nor features.
You look at the door. Within this corridor is the entrance to your mother-in-law's room, yet you do not desire to see her. She has the pox and there is no known cure. Yet you bravely put aside your more cowardly urges and enter the room where a pale figure can be seen, resting in between sweat-soaked sheets.
As you close in on the figure, you sense movement in the shadows to your left. You look closer, but it must have been a trick of the light. Nothing. No living man can be seen, so you focus upon your mother-in-law. She is awake now and urges you closer with a strange mixture of feverish intensity and disease dulled waves.
As you approach the bed she coughs loudly, releasing her disease like a poisonous fungi would release it's spores. She cannot help it, the poor woman and you lean over her, to discover what secrets her face might yield. You clamp your mouth and nostrils shut, trying to protect yourself from the illness. From her eyes tears can be seen running.
"Help me!" A simple plea, yet when her frail and withered arms draw you into their embrace, you try to free yourself. But to no avail, and now you can hear someone approaching from behind.
Your mother-in-law hugs you intensly, her wet tears and diseased skin rubbing contagiously against yours. "Don't worry, it is only my son Tom" she whispers, but it cannot be. Tom died weeks ago of the same disease. But as you struggle to catch a glimpse of the newcomer, you can see that it is indeed Tom. Freshly risen from his grave, he joins in on the hug, his skin being ripped asunder and chunks of earth soiling the sheets.
And for long moments of eternity there is nothing but that embrace. The cold, rotten skin of the ghoul Tom and the diseased breath of your mother-in-law. Finally she release her grip but keeps your hands locked firm within hers.
"There is one thing that I desire" she whispers and after she has named her wish, you awake shaking and sobbing
I guess this is where a quest, startling discovery, curse or whatever could be inserted.
In my dream I got to know her wish, which was to retrieve her beloved from within an ancient tomb. Tom was supposed to help... (He did not.)
(Her beloved was a beating heart encased within a white and dusty jewel box.)
You touch a man standing there, but cannot move him. You try to enter a house, but the door, slightly ajar, cannot be opened by any force. You see a woman cooking a meal, but it is all an illusion: flame, pot, spoon, soup - all do not budge a single inch, as if cut out of stone. Not a leaf moves outside, not a single twig. You walk down the unnaturally calm street.
Then you come upon something... is it shadows playing? No, it is light that changes... coming from a small circular building, a small temple: a shrine. Inside you find fire burning in the open fireplace, warm and moving and everything. You know now it is the only thing moving in this village, but it still offers comfort. You lay down to it and fall asleep. It is a good place to rest.
(Can hint at hope in uncertain times. Also, could be directed at those that are supposed to be priests; that feel "the Calling".)
(Obviously, the key feeling here is exclusion out of a group - the dream may hint on a present state, or a future state (will the character be betrayed and loose membership? Or did he commit something bad to deserve it?). If a way into that room is provided, the dream hints at a chance to join the group.)
I dreamt that I was in a mansion that had become a school and Sakamochi had just informed me and the rest of my class that we were in a BR.My weapon in my bag turned out to be a metal baseball bat.As soon as the BR began I was attacked by two of the contestants who had teamed up together. As they were about to kill me I begged for my life, promising to serve them and not to take up other weapons, and they let me live.
It was night and I decided to sleep but this being a BR,two others attacked me. This time I managed to club them to death with my baseball bat and, breaking my oath not to take the weapons, took them.One was a wooden knobkerrie and the other a short knife.
Next I tried to escape but Sakamochi caught me and threatened to set my collar off, but he let me go and I found a large empty stage room to hide in. A boy found me and accused me of having stolen his weapon.He had found a new and very strange one-a grand piano with a machine-gun inside that went off as the piano was pushed.So he pushed it at me and I ducked as bullets thudded into the wood all around me.
I managed to flee and found Mizhuo Inada in the BR.She was sane and I asked her to put lipsalve on me, which she did. Strange, I know. I then found (it being a dream) that I could fly and hover in the air, and I got attacked by a burly boy with a large cut throat razor.I was wounded and managed to kill him with the knife,sticking it in his throat, and the razor fell under a bench.
I went and got it, only to be confronted by a Mitsuko like girl who at once stabbed me with her weapon, a needle with a powerful sedating drug in it, and I passed out.
And woke up.
You wake up.
I have been getting into H P Lovecraft lately. Dreams are such an important part of his work that it would seem a pity to leave them out of a Cthulhu game. One idea I tried was compiling a collection of paragraph-long dreams (much like this scroll) and occasionally handing them out during play when the PCs were sleeping. I was going to post them separately, but then I noticed this thread already exists, so here is a short compilation:
More abstractly, it might be an interesting experiment to have a parallel plane of existence accessible by dreamers but particularly by feverish and impressionable artistic types (I'm thinking of course of Lovecraft's dreamlands). What would make this interesting would be concealing the fact from the players. Occasionally you could force PCs to play out the dreams they're experiencing (while my former suggestion was for them just to be read). This would be particularly effective with dreams where they are being chased. Have them suspect that the rolls they are making could mean life-or-death. Maybe the first few times, when they die in the dream-world they just wake up again. As time goes on, maybe the effects become more severe, with real-world HP losses. At the same time they might be able to work out that they can control things to some extent and that there is more to this parallel world than a simple dream. At some point it will dawn on them that there is something to be explored.
One of the PCs had been dreaming of a strange decorating knot that is half red and half blue, an item he had never seen before that nevertheless is giving him a strong sense of déjà vu. What could it be- suppressed memories, visions, remembrances of previous reincarnations or something else?