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 Sorcery: Oneiromancy

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PostSubject: Sorcery: Oneiromancy   Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:12 pm

It is a frequent theme in tales of the fantastic and the magical that odd things often happen in dreams. Omens of the future are sometimes seen, messages from gods or wizards are passed on. There are tales of lovers who have not yet met, destined for each other, dreaming of their first meeting. The Dream Realm is infinitely malleable, responsive to the conscious and subconscious of the dreamer. A skilled dreamer can impose his will upon the Dream Realm, creating new images and altering the behavior of old, banishing nightmares or crafting new horrors with which to terrorize other dreamers. It is said, too, that there are world and beings that exist wholly within the world of dreams and nightmares, from the realms of the fae to the strange worlds described in the writings of Burroughs, Lovecraft and Poe.

Nearly everyone dreams. The oneiromancer walks among those dreams. Like the dreamweavers of horror movie fame, she can craft images so realistic that it is hard to tell the difference between them and reality. Still, they are "only" dreams. Or are they? An overly imaginative subconscious can quite literally dream itself to death, though this is rare. More common are the tales of wicked men who dreamed of their ultimate fate and heeded the warning to reform their ways. Such messages are a fine and subtle weapon of those who walk the dreaming night. And sometimes, dreams can walk amongst men....


System

Roll: Wits + Occult

Cost: None


Aspects

Distance

In order to affect a dreamer, the oneiromancer must have some sort of contact with her target. Physical contact is the best, obviously, but the principles of Sympathy and Contagion allow the use of other means.


* Direct physical contact

** True Name

*** Body part/secretion*

**** Prized possession

***** Other possession**

* Blood, hair, nail clippings, saliva, urine, etc. It must be unmixed with other materials.

** Any item that is in frequent contact with or use by the target, such as clothing.


Effects

* The first step the dreamwalker must master is the ability to reach out and touch the dreams of others. They come to her as do most dreams, in flashes of imagery, often highly distorted by the subconscious. The dreamwalker can, with considerable thought, interpret parts of these shattered fragments, perhaps giving her some insight into her target's nature or history.

** Working out the methodology to enter and take part in a dream is the next step. Entering the dream renders you temporarily a part of it; the oneiromancer's dream-self takes on an appearance and initial role in the dream provided by the dreamer's subconscious (and the Storyteller's feel for what is appropriate). It is not hard to make small changes in the dream (conjuring a small item from nowhere, say), a Wits + Dreamcraft roll at difficulty 6 suffices. Larger changes are very difficult, and the basic theme of the dream sequence is unalterable. Any change which violates it will be at a minimum difficulty of 8 and require multiple successes - and will tend to undo itself unless the dreamer pays constant attention to maintaining it.

*** Eventually, the dedicated dreamwalker will learn to isolate himself from his subject's dreams. This allows observation of the dream images without being drawn into (possibly quite dangerous) direct participation. A greater degree of control over the dream is also possible now, the dreamwalker banishing or creating nightmares and fantasies. It is possible, for example, to guide a dream to images supporting the self-confidence and surety of the dreamer, helping him to regain a point of temporary Willpower or to cast horrible terrors that mimic the effect of the Nightmares Flaw.

**** Once she has achieved sufficient control over the dream, the next step is to master dream sending. The oneiromancer can craft a specific, detailed dream sequence and send it off to the target, to be repeated as many times as the caster gains successes on his casting roll. The prudent dreamwalker keeps these to one or two repetitions a night; any more and the subject may grow suspicious.

***** A master of the Dream Realm is a powerful individual; she walks freely in the dreams of others and is capable of melding the dreams of several folk into one (she can bring one person into the dream for each success on the casting roll). Of course, she has no control over the dreamers' actions, and the initial environment will be a mix of their subconscious influences, but careful nudges can send the group into a suitable dream with a bit of effort.

****** The greatest and most legendary power of Oneiromancy is the ability to make the dream real: physical entry into the Dream Realm. One who accomplishes this incredibly difficult feat can walk from dream to dream almost at will and may even be able to bring items (or even living things) out of the dream into the real world - for a time.


Price of Failure

A botched dreamweaving typically casts the sorcerer into a Nightmare Realm as his own subconscious takes control of the dream. Storytellers are encouraged to reach deep into their bags of tricks. Use the character's fears and memory of past disasters against him. The descriptions of Harrowings in Wraith: The Oblivion can be quite useful in this. Note also that stepping into the dreams of a person who suffers the effects of the Nightmares Flaw can be a disaster all by itself, their dream images are powerful and frequently painful.
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