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New Game Idea: Taking Control of a Shared Dream

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Toa Lewa
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I have a weird idea for a game. It’s in very early stages, and I would like some suggestions. The theme is that all of the players are sharing dreams (like Inception). The game is part storytelling and part GMless role playing (the storytelling/roleplaying happens within the dream). Each player will start with some goal cards and be able to gain goal cards as the game progresses. If a player meets a requirement of one of the goal cards, he or she will receive points. Goal cards can be met by manipulating characters and events within the dream world. Players will go back and forth between three different states: REM Sleep, Rejuvenating Sleep, and Awake. To be able to create and change things in the dream (such as character choices, success rates, alliances, etc.), players will spend dream tokens while in REM sleep. Each player will have a limited supply of dream tokens, and to replenish them, players will switch to Rejuvenating Sleep. However, players cannot effect the events of the dream while in Rejuvenating Sleep. Players cannot directly affect the specific events within the dream while Awake either.

Note: Keep in mind that different players can be in different states at the same time. So if only one player is in REM Sleep and everyone is in Rejuvenating Sleep, that player will have complete control of the dream.

Currently, I’m thinking that players will be able to force players to wake up by creating nightmares. So I’m thinking that being Awake is pretty much a bad thing. However, I’m not sure what actions a player should be able to take during this state. I’m thinking that Awake players could be able to mess with the other players sleeping bodies to give the other players negative effects. For example, maybe an Awake player could have access to chemical injections that prevent players from going into Rejuvenating Sleep or wake up. What do you think?

kos
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Creative concept

It's an interesting idea, and I'm pretty sure that there wasn't a glut of shared-dream-consciousness-roleplaying games on the shelves last time I went to the FLGS, so that's a good thing.

I like the two states of sleep; one to get tokens and one to use them. Especially if switching states costs an action, so there would be incentive to stay in a state for as long as possible. Awake is also a good state to recover from nightmares, but thematically I stay away from messing with other people's bodies while they sleep. Instead, Awake could also be a state to benefit yourself, such as to draw more cards and/or new goals.

Good luck with the concept, I hope you get some creative ideas on how the mechanics could work.

Regards,
kos

ruy343
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Joined: 07/03/2013
Thoughts

Well, while you're awake, you could awaken other players too...

Another thought I have is to have a variety of cards available that cost different point values. It represents how much of the dream you'd grab control of in order to make it happen. For instance, you play the fire breathing dragon card, and it's huge and affects everyone, so you would have to have sufficient mental power to conjure it up. As for its effect, I'm not sure yet. However, it means that you could enter REM after rejuvenating for a while, and challenge a player that has established a lot of control. Perhaps represent control by a grid board that your apparitions fill gradually, a la Las Vegas Showdown or Acquire? Instead of accumulating hotel chains, you're establishing control of the dream state, as shown by the apparitions you placed there.

Toa Lewa
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ruy343 wrote:Awake is also a

ruy343 wrote:
Awake is also a good state to recover from nightmares, but thematically I stay away from messing with other people's bodies while they sleep. Instead, Awake could also be a state to benefit yourself, such as to draw more cards and/or new goals.

I agree. Messing with people's bodies sounds kind of weird. I'll skip this. I do like your idea of being able to draw more objective cards while you're awake. I also like the idea of recovering from nightmares. I guess nightmares could create psychological affects that hinder you during the game. You can choose to stay asleep and not wake up, but if you accrue too many nightmare cards, it will cost you in the long run. Thanks for the suggestion.

ruy343
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Um...

I didn't write that: kos should get the credit. Just sayin'

Toa Lewa
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Whoops!

Whoops! I replied to the wrong person. Nice catch Ruy. Lol.

dnddmdb
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Awake State

The Awake state could be used to recover from Nightmares, which could still affect Resting Sleep players. Maybe you could also avoid hazardous effects of Nightmares or destructive dream elements by jolting Awake. Like if a bottomless pit spawns below you because of another player, you can either take a status condition of some type or force yourself Awake. And maybe being Awake could let you come up with new dream 'ideas', letting you draw more cards or something like that. Everything is kind of reactionary while asleep, so not much actual conscious thought could be conducted as opposed to being Awake.

thinkbug
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Joined: 07/19/2014
Cool

I really like this idea. You can even have action cards that perhaps make another player think they are awake when they are dreaming, or vice versa, which would prevent or alter their actions during that turn, like a canceling affect. Or have some risk of sinking into a coma if you stay in REM state too long, which can lead to more negative results. Good luck with this.

Zag24
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Joined: 03/02/2014
Some thoughts

It definitely sounds like a new and interesting idea! These thoughts might be exactly what you had in mind, or maybe they're new ideas. If the latter, you're welcome to them.

While in REM sleep, each person has a few different states that range from, say, 1 to 5. The states could be Fright, Sexual Excitement (if you're not targeting kids), Confidence, at least one more.

When a player plays a card, it might affect his own and the other players' states. For example, a Dragon card might be +1 Fright for every player. A succubus card might be +1 Sexual excitement for every player and +1 Fright for your neighbors (the players on either side of the person playing the card).

If someone is pushed over the top on any state, he wakes up.

The goal cards would include reaching (or putting other players) into certain combinations of states. i.e. "Put any player at 5 Fright when he is at 1 or 2 Confidence."

The concern I have for this game is that it would feel too much like pure luck. If you have a card to play on your turn which achieves one of your goals, play it; but the chaos caused by the other players between your turns means that planning from one turn to the next is useless.

The solution I would suggest is to have some sort of auction for turn order. If, at the start of a turn, I know I can achieve a goal, I'm going to try hard to win the auction. If I know I need a ton of changes before any of my goals could be achieve, I'll bid the lowest possible and save my money for a later turn.

Possibly the selection of new goal cards is done in reverse turn order, so going last is a benefit, as well. The auction is to choose your position in the order, not strictly the order itself.

Noppa Games
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Joined: 06/10/2014
Interesting idea

I'm going to brainstorm a bit because that's what I like do.

So we have this futuristic war (or sport?) that happens inside a dream. Participants are attached into a "matrix". They enter the matrix as they fall asleep.

If you wake up, you lose. The last person inside the dream, wins.

Inside the matrix participants try to control the dream and push other participants out (make them wake up) by giving them nightmares (tokens).

The deeper you go inside that dream, the more difficult it becomes to control it, and the more risk there is of suddenly waking up. Going back to Rejuvenating Sleep helps you get rid of nightmare tokens.

And here's one last crazy idea: the person who is at the deepest level of the dream (dream controller or whatever) must play the game BLIND :)

Anyways, I like your idea. Hopefully something will come out of it.

Toa Lewa
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Threat

Quote:
The deeper you go inside that dream, the more difficult it becomes to control it, and the more risk there is of suddenly waking up. Going back to Rejuvenating Sleep helps you get rid of nightmare tokens.

I like the idea that the dream becomes more difficult to control. Basically, their could be a timer mechanic triggering bad events to happen. Hmmm... That is interesting. Maybe this game should be more about trying to survive a nightmare instead? I just recently purchased The Lord of the Rings LCG, and it has a pretty cool mechanic called threat. During the game, you acquire threat and have to manage your threat level. If your threat level goes over 50, it is game over for you. I could maybe use something like this.

Quote:
And here's one last crazy idea: the person who is at the deepest level of the dream (dream controller or whatever) must play the game BLIND :)

What do you mean by playing blind?

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