#RPGaDay2021 – Day 28 – Dream

We are just a few nights and days away from the end of this #RPGaDay2021 marathon and the optimistic vision it represents that all of us can find good things to say about a hobby we love for 31 days. As a sign of the end times, today is the last day of varied prompts that we can wander among and find inspiration. Our final set of four prompts are Solo, Dream, Open, and Delve. Ahead are three days of single prompts to bring the event to a close for 2021. For the last Saturday, the last day of multiple prompts, and the end of the last full week of responses, I found myself hoping for dream but submitted myself to the roll of a die. Once again in celebration of eight years of RPGaDay, I rolled a D8, but rather than take the results in pairs, I decided to mix it up a little bit with odds and evens: 1 or 3 would be Solo, 2 or 4 would be Dream, 5 or 7 would be Open, and 6 or 8 would be Delve. The result?

My dream came true.

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Like a dream itself, this response may end following a whimsical sort of logic filtered through more than a dollop of illogic. That’s all right. In the land of dreams, sense is made, not received.

It strikes me as interesting, almost bemusing, that given the unlimited permutations of imagination that are possible as setting and character in a roleplaying game experience, that I would feel such a draw to the dreams of the characters and the potential for a place removed one step from the reality of those characters where dreams might comingle and make dreams of their own.

Early in my exploration of Call of Cthulhu I was able to get the inspirational boxed set for the Dreamlands. Time and again in play this aspect of the setting would become a part of the imagined lives of the characters – heightening some tensions, while alleviating others. What was real and what was dream? Is the human spirit as vibrant and capable as it can seem in dreams or is it vulnerable and destined for slavery and death in any realm? Can that spirit survive in dreams when the hold the physical world has on it fades away?

How strange it is that a realm of imagination, wonder, and dream can hold such strong appeal inside an imagined realm of wonder and endless potential! The dreams of dreams fascinate more than the dreams themselves.

Likewise when the World of Darkness was still rising in prominence, the dark kingdoms of the Wraiths beckoned to me most strongly of all, and what did I find among their curious arcane lore of those fettered souls? I found that some of them too longed for wonder and so it was that the among the dead some had found a way to pass their time in other otherworldly worlds beyond the veil of death, but also beyond the walls of sleep.

In fantasy realms with visions and trances, in horror with its false promises of safety and its threats of darkness consuming one from within, in fearful Lovecraft’s unknown quests in lost realms beyond the waking world, in the world of wraiths, and in worlds and works of my own devising, the presence of dreaming, dreams, and Dream is as certain as gravity and as sure as death.

Now, many years removed but with no dwindling of passion for dreams of dreaming, I have had two additional points of very real joy.

The most recent of these was the release of David Chapman’s WILD RPG with its premise of dreamshare technology. To see it move from just a dream, to a dream made real was inspiring and tasted just a little bit like victory and savory salt on the lips flung from lemon sails. I smile each time I see it sitting patiently in the ‘to play’ pile.

The most poignant of these was getting to work in a small way on a release which brings new life and focus to those old dreamlands of Lovecraft as Wiggy of Triple Ace Games made them shine again in the massive Cthulhu Codicil for Leagues of Cthulhu. As editor, I saw these dreams take shape; as contributor I got to dream some dreams of my own, from mechanisms to the meat on the table of the feast of play; and as reader, I got to discover myself in the very pages of dreams and dreaming.

It sits before me as I work and as I play, and reminds me that though I am real and tied down to the weaknesses of flesh, I have touched the realm of dreams and my dreams may connect with the dreams of others far away in both space and time, to dream undreamed dreams, and make them real.

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The circle rolls on~

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