This being the case, I’m always interested in framing devices for games that allow drop in and out play such as the famous West Marches or the Flailsnails model. My own Grim North game was by, I hesitate to say design... means of fortunate accident known to function this way. New options are always welcome in this regard, who knows when they may come in handy.
Over the winter I had chance to read Ben L’s excellent zine Through Ultan’s Door which depicts a dungeon in his campaign world derived from HP Lovecraft’s Dreamlands. Up until this point I was not familiar with those works. Upon reading Ben’s zine I immediately consumed “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” and was captivated.
|The Dreamlands: Legit D&D as fuck|
For I had found, probably a hundred years after everyone else, a perfect framing device for drop in D&D (or the other role playing game of your preference.) As dreamers the PCs need only to breach the wall of sleep in order to partake in fantastic adventures that are limited by only the imagination. Everyone knows that dreams are flighty and inconsistent, fantastic and often bizarre. PCs enteringvthe lands of dreams could easily move from one fantastic episode to the next withoutt there being any break in the verisimilitude of the campaign. If Dave and Andy can’t make it this week because they’ve got parents night or karate class, it is easily explained by their PCs fading back to the waking world and they can slot back into whatever is going on once they return to the land of dreams.
|Judge this by its cover and try and withhold your joy...|
I feel like I could go on at length about this, and I might, but I see the land of dreams as a Matrix like environment. Not every dreamer has enough control over their dream state to be an adventurer. Some dream mundane dreams of carpentry and scribe work. Others dream themselves fantastic heroes or terrible villains. Creatures from nightmare, self aware dream beings, gods and devils abound. Essentially anything goes as you pass from one dream realm to another. Want to run a series of unrelated modules? That’s fine. Slumbering Ursine Dunes to Deep Carbon Observatory to the Isle of Dread is no drama. Want to have some sort of over arching meta plot for the PCs to thwart? Well, I urge that you don’t, we prefer the emergent stories we get from playing old school rogueish games around these parts but if that’s your thing then have at it.
This has got legs in my opinion... Remind me to tell you about the Tavern at the End of the Multiverse some time too.