Game Mastering
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ID: 2111


December 30, 2005, 5:49 am

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Dreams are another way to announce the future, to add colour, to guide the characters or even mislead them. This is a scroll of various dreams.

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)

You are collecting firewood on the bank of a river. It is still a bit cold, the sun has not risen yet, and the moon is still visible. You yawn, it is a very early morning. Pity you are the youngest, your father sent you again. Finding little wood, you notice your neighbour doing the same before you. Depressed you observe him for a while, then go to another spot and find finally enough. As you return, you see three men from afar entering your house. When you come in... you suddenly wake up with a cry.

2005-12-30 05:50 AM » Link: [2111#10315|text]
You sit on the on a large stone and admire the nature around. You remember your grandfather, it was his favourite spot, and he often stayed here only to look, for hours sometimes until you came to call him for lunch. Trees rustle in the wind, and their shadows play around you. But their movement is somewhat unnerving, somewhat strange. You decide to go back again. As you stand up, the shadows suddenly take on more substance, and a much darker color. They gather around in a circle, stand still for a moment, then all come upon you!

2005-12-30 05:52 AM » Link: [2111#10316|text]
As you travel through the forest, you feel quite thirsty. Luckily you find a tiny spring. You try to fill your bottle, but you slip and fall inside. You find it a good feeling to swim in water, you float, then swim again. Suddenly a great serpent with fiery eyes comes to you. You try but don't manage to escape, it swallows you. In its mouth you see a large golden key, stuck between the teeth. You pull it out, and the great tongue pushes you out. The serpent winks at you, smiles and leaves. You swim back. Looking at the little shallow spring you wonder how you could fit into. But the key stays.

2005-12-30 05:52 AM » Link: [2111#10317|text]
You walk around your bedroom, unable to sleep. You peek out of the window, it is deep night and you should sleep as anyone else does. Nothing interesting outside... except... maybe... except the forms behind the fence, forms resembling people in some way. Now that you look at them, you sense they are looking at you, they look and wait. You back from the window, you know you are secure in your house. But now you hear something... something moving deep under the house, something flowing, splashing, eating up the foundations, something that is hungry and wants to eat. You scan nervously the room, and see something unexpected: a paper on the mirror. Coming closer, you see the contract you have signed, buying this house for a good price. You raise your hand to it, but touch only glass. But as soon as you touch it, the contract starts to burn. Your hand twitches in reflex, but no fire harmed you. You touch the mirror again as the contract slowly burns away. The glass is cold. The bedroom door opens.

(This was dreamed by a character that got a great mansion for cheap. Of course it was haunted.)

2005-12-30 05:55 AM » Link: [2111#10319|text]
I used this one for a story for my brother...


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".

2005-12-30 05:56 AM » Link: [2111#10321|text]
You stand with your friends, side-by-side, on the battlefield. You glance around, and see the wide ranks of your army, but the enemy may be still stronger. You start to regret that you are here. But the horn is sound, and you must run with others. Towards the enemy. You shout with others your war-cry, but you hear nothing. You fall.

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.

2005-12-30 05:57 AM » Link: [2111#10322|text]
It is a meadow in early spring. Flowers bloom everywhere. You walk between them, but they do not touch your heart, you feel something is missing. You step on one flower, it turns into fine ash. Slowly everything turns into a grey desert. The trees fall and wither away. You turn around, and amidst the wasteland see a young woman, of a kind you have never seen. She looks at you with her wonderful eyes, and offers you a flower, the last flower that is.

2005-12-30 05:58 AM » Link: [2111#10323|text]

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)

2005-12-30 05:58 AM » Link: [2111#10324|text]
You sit and look into the almost burnt out fire. Then, you look up, and see someone standing in the dark. The figure moves a finger to his or her mouth and whispers: "Ssshh, don't tell anyone I am here!" You think you see a smile, but it leaves and is gone.

(can be repeated more times...)

2005-12-30 06:00 AM » Link: [2111#10325|text]
(for special purposes) 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.

2005-12-30 06:01 AM » Link: [2111#10326|text]
This reminds me of a dream I had when I was a kid:

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.

2005-12-30 06:02 AM » Link: [2111#10327|text]
Tonight I had a dream. Yes another grotesque dream, in which I was not so much frightened, as I was fascinated in a horrible way.


"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.)

2005-12-30 06:04 AM » Link: [2111#10328|text]
You are still on the road when sun starts to set. Coming upon a small village, you feel weary and desire rest. Entering it as it gets darker, you slowly find something strange about it... and slowly find out what. There are people in the street, but they do not move. Nothing at all moves in this village.

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".)

2005-12-30 06:07 AM » Link: [2111#10329|text]
There is a celebration, with your friends and family, there is food and drinks, and merriment, and much talking and laughing. But slowly the feeling of something unnatural grows in you, and you finally find out what: you are sitting in another room! You are merely looking at them, instead of celebrating with them. Sometimes, friends and relatives come through that room, some notice you, and wink or smile - but no one speaks with you, and you are just sitting there.

(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.)

2006-09-15 01:48 PM » Link: [2111#19391|text]
You find yourself in some sparsely furnished, gloomy room or chamber. Three others are present. An old man sits in a chair across from you and sighs repeatedly, eyeing you with a sly grin the whole time. A young, nubile, and quite naked woman is scribbling something incomprehensible on the walls of the room. A small girl sits in the corner and laughs. As she does she keeps picking and scratching at her ears, until she finally manages to "pull" one off. Gleefullly, she throws the bloodied ear directly at you. Suddenly, water begins to seep in from the corners of the room. Soon, you realize that you are unable to move, being tightly fastened to the chair your sitting in. The water begins to rise to your ankles. The little girl begins to splash around. The old man gets up and vanishes, and the naked lass, steps back from the wall, and turns to look directly at you. You notice something she scrawled on the wall, which you find readable..."WAKE UP, before its too late"

2006-09-15 01:57 PM » Link: [2111#19392|text]
A Battle Royale Dream

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.

2006-09-15 07:47 PM » Link: [2111#19416|text]
You are on a sinking ship and you look for your baggage.Some bouncers appear and chase you down to the car deck where a band is playing "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band." The icy water comes pouring in.

You wake up.

2006-09-15 07:51 PM » Link: [2111#19418|text]

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:


1. You sleep fitfully. When you awake you half-remember dreaming of being in a terrible cave in a desert-land, surrounded by hulking beasts that feasted on screaming humans held in a nearby cage. The sun beat evilly down outside the cave and the desert wind was hot. You caught the eye (or what passed for the eye) of one of the beasts just before you awoke, sweating profusely and paralysed with fear.
2. You sleep long and awake with a deep sense of foreboding.
3. You dream of four sleeping men in a darkened chamber. Somehow you know that you are deep underground, but at the same time you feel a dizzying sense of vertigo.
4. You dream of soaring over palaces glittering with jewels and gardens sparkling with fountains. You dream of an ancient golden happiness, long forgotten. As you begin to rise, out of sleep, out of your beautiful dream, you catch a glimpse of a towering black wall on the horizon, fathoms deep and rising, bearing chaotically down on the idyll you left behind.
5. You dream of music, shrill and satanic, floating down from the stars.
6. You dream of a girl, alone and ragged living in the ruins of a city. She looks sadly at you but you cannot move from where you stand amid the grey rubble. She walks away and the wind follows her.
7. You dream of a distant and driving rain which boils the horizon. Inside your carriage you hope to remain dry, but though the window is closed water seeps in around your feet. The sky is black and vortices of sleet pelt down mercilessly. You turn to escape the other way, but the sky behind is just as bad.
8. You are walking a yoked beast through a field of rice, but it is not a yak or an ox, rather something more primal. Tusked but muzzled. And around you is a splendour of mountains.
9. You dream of grappling with a horrid, tentacled creature like a small octopus. It is writhing in vain, trying to reach your face and your eyes. Eventually you cast it away from you into a black and rain-soaked night. But then you are falling for a very long time before you awake.
10. You dream of a strange land and over it there is a tall black shape, almost triangular, but always metamorphosing and inconstant. It is singularly disconcerting and it towers above you like a cathedral. In it you can see shapes moving, half-suggested by an oily variation of colour. You realise that this is a hole and the coloured objects are on the far side. You suddenly realise that through the hole a huge eye is watching you.
11. You dream of a chanting and of bones.
12. You dream of a gigantic skull with tusks, like that of an elephant. It seems very old to you, frighteningly old, from a time before which history books daren't tell. It stares silently from its resting place in a remote mountain valley of scything winds and terrible precipices, waiting to be found.
13. You sleep well and awake rested.
14. You sleep relatively well, though on awakening you are left with an uneasy sensation.
In your dreams you are on a hilltop, among vines and a fresh breeze. You know there is war coming.
15. You dream an epic dream of flying.
16. Your dreams are blurred and unfocused, save for the very clear voice which speaks to you as you begin to wake. But his soft words are lost in the dizzy haze of awakening.
17. In your dreams you are underwater, swamped by a huge all-consuming flood. Strangely you can breathe perfectly well under the waves, but that is small compensation for the loneliness of the acres of empty sea that surround you.
18. You dream you are falling and you start yourself awake.
In the campaign I was running at the time I came up with this idea, only Dream 10 was of any real significance for the adventure at hand, but I had contemplated using images from the other dreams in future adventures. I had multiple copies of Dreams 2, 13, 15 and 18 as they seemed pretty ordinary.

2011-02-10 04:48 PM » Link: [2111#76606|text]

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.


2011-02-10 04:54 PM » Link: [2111#76607|text]
Déjà vu

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?

2013-05-04 02:44 AM » Link: [2111#86476|text]
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Comments ( 10 )
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Ancient Gamer
December 30, 2005, 7:56
Ah, the dreams scroll. Haha, one of my players read my part of it and wondered if I had gone completely nuts. The fun part began when he went Freud on my arse ;)
Voted Mourngrymn
January 11, 2006, 11:37
Another great idea submission.

I had an entire game session planned out to mess with one of my players. I told the other gamers what I was doing and to sort of play along to make it more vivid. So i didn't have five people saying, no wait a minute what is that?

It went on all night and we played long after our end session. The character dreaming was plagued with a reoccurring idiot who wouldn't leave him alone at the worst possible moments, which led to all the party dying because of the actions of the single player. The guilt and abject horror he had in knowing he was the cause of all of their deaths was startling. He took it rather hard, which made it all the better. To prolong the experience I had their ghosts visit him frequently before he woke up.

Afterwards he woke in a start and didn't realize it was a dream when the party was trying to wake him. It was classic.
Voted Murometz
September 15, 2006, 13:58
wow...why didnt I think of this!
Barbarian Horde
September 15, 2006, 14:03
The one I threw up here, was a dream one of my PCs had. It had no rhyme or reason to it. I just wanted to screw with him. Well, he spent the next 3 gaming sessions, analyzing, re-analyzing, and deciphering, the "meaning" of said dream, and kept trying to apply to it to his character's life. He spent so much time getting all Fruedian on me, that eventually I had to change the dream, so it actually made sense with his "adventures". Oh what fun!
September 15, 2006, 14:31
that was unlogged me^
Cheka Man
September 15, 2006, 18:36
Are real life dreams OK here?
September 15, 2006, 18:50
Absolutely! As you can see, some of them are actual dreams, while some are inspired by them.
Voted Eclipse
April 23, 2007, 14:48
Excellent scroll! would post some of mine but the more i think about them i forget them
Voted valadaar
April 23, 2007, 15:18
Great Scroll Manfred!

Nice find Eclipse!

Adding this one to favourites....
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
February 10, 2011, 18:31

Great scroll, thanks go to Ephe for bumping it with splendid Lovecraft inspired dreams. Will have to add to this..


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