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Author Topic: Dogs in Nightmare  (Read 3397 times)
opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« on: August 18, 2006, 12:28:15 PM »

I've been playing Dogs and Afraid recently, and I've been wondering about possible adaptations of the system:

For a while now, I've been toying with the idea of running a game in which the characters are dreaming, trapped within nightmare dreamscapes and in need of escape. I haven't been able to think of a good system to do this, but since playing Afraid I think the Dogs system might work fine with a few adjustments. I like the status conditions like Afraid has, and I like the relative simplicity of the system, but I'm not sure how one would adapt it to run a game where the characters are trapped within a nightmare world and can dream things to life...

Does this idea sound at all interesting or worthwhile to anyone out there?
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lumpley
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2006, 07:54:56 AM »

I split this into its own topic, where it'll get more attention, I think.

The answer is: it sounds like it might be interesting or worthwhile, but nothing's actually interesting or worthwhile until it's a real thing.

So, say more. Give it some concreteness for us. We're listening!

-Vincent
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opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2006, 04:47:22 PM »

Okay, more detail, as requested, and now that I have a better idea about it.

This game would essentially be a modification of Afriad, where instead of a monster there is a dreamer who's been captured by Nightmare, and now their dreams have formed a dreamworld around them, one dominated by Nightmare. As the Nightmare becomes stronger, it pulls more and more people into it, where the 'monster' gets more direct acess to them, until eventually they are absorbed by Nightmare and become part of the dreamworld. The PCs have to stop the Nightmare from taking over the minds of more people, by blocking the access to the victems, both within the dreamworld and in the waking world. The characters would wake up normally every morning, but every night they would be trapped in the same dream, until they find a way to break the nightmare's power over them and others, through direct conflict with the central dreamer. Like in Afraid, the PCs would do this by violating bonds, preventing access to victems, etc.

Each day, the characters would have the chance to prevent Nightmare from gaining new victems, and each night they would find themselves within the dreamworld agian, where the entire dreamscape itself, guided by the dreamer at its heart, would be mobilizing agianst them. By protecting victems from the 'monster' and preventing it from gaining new victems, the characters could break its power enough to fight directly and destroy the nightmare, freeing all those trapped by it... at least until the next powerful nightmare takes hold.

As far as mechanics, I was thinking it would work mostly like Afraid, although possibly with two sets of traits for each character, one for when they're awake and one for when they sleep. When they are awake, the traits would be as normal, but when they sleep, the traits would be what they dream about. A person who dreams of fire could bring forth the power of fire within the dreamworld. Characters would possibly even be able to dream creatures and guardians to life to protect them.

Hopefully this is more and a little more helpful.

- John
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Taltos
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2006, 10:39:58 PM »

OK, why two sets of traits - awake/asleep?
I can see what the action/narration would be asleep resisting the horrors of nightmare, but what would characters do awake?
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opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2006, 06:51:56 PM »

While the characters are awake, they can prevent the nightmare from gaining new victems, and try to weaken the nightmare's hold on existing victems. Characters who are awake can do research,  find ways to weaken the nightmare from the waking world, and so on (at least that's how I envision it). So, when the characters sleep, they have a body of sorts in the dreamscape, where they come into conflict with the nightmare. Upon waking, they have the opporitunity to fight off the nightmare's influence on the waking world, or research possible solutions to the problems they are having while dreaming. The characters would retain at least some memory of what they had done the previous night/day, and be able to use that to their advantage.

Since the nightmare takes hold of victems from the waking world, they could try to cut off the nightmare's influence there, thus preventing the nightmare from getting stronger. The equivilent of the first victemization would be the real world event that draws people into the realms of nightmare, and the only way that could be stopped, short of unravelling the entire nightmare, is in the waking world.

hopefully that answers your question.

- John
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Taltos
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 11:39:33 PM »

I believe that I understand the intent. And it makes sense.
Not sure I "see" it. It probably depends upon what tendrils would link the nightmare to the real world.

I'd have to try it in practice to know. :)
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opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 05:54:24 PM »

I'm playtesting this tomorrow, so I'll be able to let you all know how this works out. I've been giving some thought to only doing one set of stats for both awake and asleep, but we'll see how it works.
=
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Lagnath
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2006, 08:23:22 AM »

Although you've posted here that your already to go to playtest I might suggest after the first playtest if you haven't immersed yourself in some background material to heavily study Silent Hill.

The recent movie would be OK if you can't devote the many hours to actually playing three rather in depth video games, but when it comes to nightmares coming to life and dreamers trying to trap people in their dreams Silent Hill pretty much rings out as an obvious source for inspiration.

Now, for all I know, you've already played the games and/or seen the movie but if you haven't definitely check them out.

It might also be worth checking out the original Nightmare on Elmstreet. Give the first couple a re-viewing and see if they provide any insights into things characters might want to do in the waking world to battle the dream world. That will let you plan some good conflict ideas ahead of time.

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lumpley
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2006, 09:02:20 AM »

I'm really looking forward to hearing how it went.

-Vincent
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opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2006, 04:13:35 PM »

Sucess! I got back a while ago from running my game, and it went exactly as planned, only better. I decided on the characters having one set of traits, mostly because its simpler. My players ended up played a doctor (investigator), an aspiring actor (entangled), and a guitarist (attached). The victem that they know about is Ellen Black, an art major at the town's college. They have been drawn into the Nightmare of Kevin Wilkes, who has degenerated and become the Mechanist, in a kind of clockwork, rusted-metal version of the real world. The players have been trying to understand where they are and find a way out, although having found the victem, they have become determined to save her from the monster's clutches. Two of my players were new to the system, but they took to it pretty well, and the game was a great sucess overall. The most problematic thing that I have noticed is that when the Mechanist opposes them, since he has a good deal of control over the dreamscape around him, he can alter the setting to his desires, which means his enourmous dice pool is pitted agianst the players fairly often. His ability to alter the dreamscape did prove helpful when one of the characters had 'lost' checked.

More to come as I work on this more,

John
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opsneakie
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Posts: 87


« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2006, 06:05:04 PM »

I've had another session of Afraid/Nightmares, and I have some more thoughts to share. I think part of what makes this particualar kind of game easier to run is that its easy to drive the story forward. In DitV, the person running should reveal a lot of the problems to the players, but Afraid seems by nature more mysterious. I think that with normal Afraid it's harder to move the story forward, partly because the players don't know the extent of what's wrong. With this situation, it's easy to drive the game, because the players are literally trapped within the Nightmare. I haven't had them wake up yet, but they probably will during the third session sometime, and they'll have to go deal with the connections between Nightmare and the waking world.

@ Lahnath: I haven't checked out Silent Hill very much, but I intend to when I can find enough time to really take a good look at it. Thanks for the idea, it's always good to study the best of a genre to learn how it's done.

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