Revisions and playtests have been going on steadily on the Dreamland Discord and at conventions. After 7 months of feedback, I’m happy to announce updated versions of the Dreamland Quickstart PDF and the sample adventure “The Paradise of the Unchanging”! Please read, download, comment, share & play!

Dreamland Quickstart PDF (48p.) –

The Paradise of the Unchanging (29p.) –

Dreamland Character Sheet (also included in the quickstart PDF) –

This 10/2023 update — version 2.0 of the public PDFs — incorporates several changes. Firstly, many Impairments were revised. The rarely used Impairment “Hobbled” was removed, “Starving” and “Thirsty” were merged into “Hungry/Thirsty”, and “Wanderlust” was added. The exact rules effects and cure conditions of many other Impairments were also changed, either for simplicity and clarity or more often, game balance and making them more interesting. Second, several Roles were tweaked, with the Poet getting the most substantial revision.

Third, the order of character creation was altered somewhat. In the old/original version of Dreamland, players create their waking self first and then choose one of 3 randomly drawn Role cards to determine their dream self. (Thus, you may conceive that your character’s waking self is William S. Burroughs and then find that your dream Role’s choices are a Cobbler, a Jester and a Prince/Princess.) In the new version, players randomly determine their dream self first (by drawing 3 Role cards, or rolling 3 times on the Role table, as before) and then create their waking self afterward. This lets players craft a waking self which fits their dream Role — the sort of person who might dream of being a Cobbler, Jester or Prince/Princess — rather than starting with a waking person and having to shoehorn them a random dream Role. The old way allowed for some weird and absurd juxtapositions, but the new version makes it easier to create an internally consistent character.

Lastly, the travel rules, as explained in “The Paradise of the Unchanging,” have been significantly revised. Over years of playtesting, these rules have been trimmed from an Rolemaster-esque mess to simpler and simpler versions, and the latest version (hopefully) finally hits the sweet spot of having an element of resource management and map-navigation while suiting a Dreamworld game where characters’ equipment and provisions are left intentionally vague. Travel narratives by authors like Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta have always been a major element of Dreamland, and one of my hopes for the game is that traveling through a region, its cities and roads and perils, will seem as fun and natural as exploring dungeon corridors in D&D.

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Some of these changes are still in flux but are at least stable enough to engrave into eternal PDF. 😉 Unfortunately, I haven’t updated the cards on Tabletop Simulator and playingcards dot io yet to reflect all the new Impairment and Role changes, but I hope to do so soon, and I’ll post here when they’re fixed. Till then, join a game on the Discord, we typically play at least twice a month on Thursday nights!

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