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Vial [Fifth Draft] Dreamwalking [Trades]

Note to the PublisherAll centred text aside from the title and tagline represent seperate pages and it would be preferable if they were separated accordingly

[Discussion] Dream Walking
[Rough Draft] Dreamweaving
Dreamwalking [First Draft]
[Second Draft] Dreamwalking
notquiteFinal Draft] Dreamwalking
[Fourth Draft] Dreamwalking [Trades]

Dreamwalking

The Art of Dream Manipulation



Introduction:

The subtle art of dream manipulation is a largely unknown and underestimated ability. Popular to the point of almost being compulsory by followers of the Planetars Kaimelea and Risthal, Dreamwalking grants the user the ability to visit the dreams of mortals, manipulating Dreamers experiences while they sleep. While it would be accurate to state that the vast majority of Dreamwalkers are pledged to the Darkening Sisters, there are a few brave souls that risk the Plantars' disapproval and walk the Dreamscape without their blessing.
At its most basic level, the Dreamwalker is capable of 'walking' into the minds of those around them, usually for the purposes of espionage, mental therapy, fear-mongering and long-distance communication. At higher levels, the user begins to learn how to shape and change the dreams of their hosts, limited almost solely by their imagination. Other skills are rumoured to exist at higher levels, such as visiting the mystical Planes of Dreams and Nightmares; the homes of the Planetars themselves, as well as tricking the hosts sleeping minds to do anything from sleepwalk through to stopping their heart from beating.
As sinister as the idea of manipulating the minds of others seems, Dreamwalking - along with the similar arcanic skill of Mysticism - is largely misunderstood and can be used for a multitude of positive purposes. Such purposes include post-traumatic mental therapy, memory repression and retrieval, self-learning and communication across the continent and beyond.
Regardless of the purpose to which Dreamwalking is applied, there can be little question among the elucidated that the skill can be incredibly potent in the right hands.

The Identities and Names

Dream Guises:
To become a novice Dreamwalker, one must learn about Dream Essence, gain lucidity within a dream, and gan the ability to move about the Dreamscape. To mark the beginning of their journey into Dreamwalking, the novice's subconscious cloaks them in a Dream Guise, so as to provide anonymity and a degree of protection from the hypnotic charms and paralyzing fears of the Dreamscape.
The exact appearance of the Dreamwalkers Guise is dependant upon their subconscious, which is dominant in a world shaped by your thoughts and desires. Depending upon the role the Dreamwalker wishes to play within the Dreamscape, their Guise can be anything from wish-fulfilment, personification of a particular personal trait or a projection of their personal beliefs, fears, desires, loves and hates. For benevolent Dreamwalkers, something that encourages feelings of safety, peace or happiness in those around them are common, while the more malevolent opt for a form that inspire fear, sadness and hatred. It is worth noting that unless the Dreamwalker undergoes a drastic change of personality, the Dream Guise they discover at novice level will stay more or less the same for the rest of their lives.
For this reason, the Dream Guise will not change a great deal once it manifests. However, once the Dreamwalker is used to it and feels comfortable with a new body, attitude and even personality, they can begin to make small changes. These may include hair color, clothing, and skin tone. However, there will always be some resemblance to their original Guise.
Regarding abilities, the Dreamwalker is still limited to what they know and what they can create using their imagination. They cannot 'imagine' themselves to be better at swordfighting, or 'imagine' a beautiful piece of art, as those skills come from the mind, which is immutable.

Dream Name:
Like the Dream Guise, the Dream Name comes from the Dreamwalkers subconscious. When they first try to decide upon a name, one will spring to the surface of their mind and escape their lips almost unbidden. This is what they will be known as within the Dreamscape.
The Dream Name has a potency of its own, as it can be used to summon or be summoned by a Dreamer, regardless of whether they are able to Dreamwalk - See Soul Searching for details. When combined with the journeyman skill Walker Ward, the Dreamwalker may be forcibly kept at bay from a particular dream.
However, the true potency of names is derived from a Dreamwalker's True Name, the one they were born with and use whilst awake. Using a True Name, the target may be rendered powerless by an opponent, forcibly ejected from sleep and summoned against their will at the whims of their tormentor. For this reason, Dreamwalkers try to keep their True Name hidden whenever possible, and divulging it to an ally is a potent act of trust.

The Tools and Symbols

The Dreamcatcher - Appearance:
Often dismissed by the uninitiated, the Dreamcatcher is the utility knife of Dreamwalking. Many Dreamwalkers tattoo a Dreamcatcher upon their skin to provide permanent access to its power, while others prefer the more conventional hanging design. These are essentially the two different ways one can create a Dreamcatcher: a stand-alone object and a design drawn onto a surface. Both are equally potent, with personal preference and convenience being the only separation between the two.
Regarding design, Dreamcatchers can have varying patterns and weaves in their main 'body', but they will all share similar fundamental traits:
  • Circular boundary
    All Dreamcatchers consist of a circular perimeter, within which lies the main design. This represents the cycle of Brightening and Darkening, and the infinite nature of the conflict between dreams and nightmares.
  • Two-dimensional
    A non-issue with the drawn design style, hanging Dreamcatchers consist of a two-dimensional design woven within a flat, circular frame. This represents the intangible, non-Material nature of the Sleeping Planes as well as emphasizing the close proximity between the Sleeping and Material Planes.
  • Symmetry
    A Dreamcatcher must have at least one line of symmetry bisecting it. This ensures order in the Dreamcatcher's power, otherwise its effects will become chaotic and unpredictable.
  • The 'Eye'
    More metaphorical than literal, this merely refers to the centre of the design. This is the nexus where the power of the Dreamcatcher is channeled. Dreamcatchers with an 'open' or unadorned centre are more partial to benevolent influences, with 'pierced' or impeded centres used more often by the more manevolent Dreamwalker.

The Dreamcatcher - Uses:
  • On its own, a Dreamcatcher is used to ease the owner's passage from wakefulness to sleep. Conversely, the owner finds waking up much easier.
  • When blessed by a follower of Kaimelea, the Dreamcatcher will protect the owner from nightmares, acting as a Walker Ward against Risthal and her Twisted.*
  • When cursed by a follower of Risthal, the Dreamcatcher will prevent Kaimelea or her followers from reaching the owner, essentially painting a target over their head for Twisted and Azaru to torment them mercilessly.*
  • When combined with the master ability Shift, the Dreamcatcher creates a portal leading into the Plane of Dreams or Plane of Nightmares. This is only possible when done from within the Dreamscape.
  • When used with a Dreamwalker's True Name, that Dreamwalker can be Soul Summoned and trapped within the Dreamcatcher, provided both parties are asleep and dreaming at the time.

The Dream Eye:
An ancient and mystic symbol originating in Trelorian Reveries, the Dream Eye was drawn in place around the eyes of a Kaimelean follower in kohl, charcoal, paint or various other form of body-art medium. In recent eras, makeup is a useful alternative to the more traditional mediums.
Essentially, the Dream Eye will act as a form of revealing device, allowing the bearer to see a ghostly image of a Dreamwalker's Dream Guise even when on the Material Plane. Useful for detecting fellow tradesmen, as well as allowing the followers of Kaimelea and Risthal to detect their opposite numbers on the rare occasion the two of them come into contact in the Material Plane.
The benefits of such a device is a double-edged sword; as fellow Dreamwalkers are revealed to you, you reveal yourself to them. And in a society where anonymity is your greatest defence, this can be a potentially dangerous tool to the wielder. Although there is only an aesthetic difference, Twisted prefer to draw a 'pierced' Dream Eye, one drawn with a slash.

Incense:
Available in various potencies, incense is one of the most powerful tools a Dreamwalker has in regards to putting someone to sleep. Available from apothecaries or harvested by hand, the Dreamcatcher often combines this with a knowledge of Herbology to rapidly draw even the most enraged or hyperactive target into the Dreamscape.
A basic knowledge of Alchemy or Herbalism is required.

Pendulum:
While some prefer to use a metronome, the simple pendulum is a tool that can be created on the fly with a mere piece of string with a weight tied to the end. Experienced Dreamwalkers use the pendulum to hypnotize a target. This tool is often combined with a relaxed tone of voice to coax the target into unconsciousness. Obviously, the more active or energetic the target is, the harder it will be to make them fall asleep.
A basic knowledge of Hypnosis is required.

Musical Instrument:
This can range from a flute or lyre, through to singing or even the power of the spoken word. The ultimate purpose of this tool is to make the target relaxed, making them more susceptible to the effects of pendulums and sleep-inducing incense.
A basic knowledge of Song, Bardism or merely the mundane playing of certain instruments is not taught by most Dreamwalkers and therefore requires outside training.

Pressure Points:
While not exactly a 'tool' per say, a Dreamwalker's knowledge of pressure points on an attackers body can be a crude yet effective way of sending them into the Dreamscape. Blunt force trauma to the head is also highly effective, but prone to side-effects upon their awakening.
A basic knowledge of Anatomy, Healing or unarmed combat such as Zinn'ka is required.

The Dreamscape and the Planes

The Dreamscape:
Contrary to popular belief, people who dream do not visit the Plane of Dreams - with the same being true for bad dreams and the Plane of Nightmares. The vast majority of dreams and nightmares experienced by mortals take place in a no-mans land called the Dreamscape.
A Plane in its own right, the Dreamscape is the 'battlefield' where the forces of Kaimelea and Risthal wage their wars, with the rare non-aligned Dreamwalker skirting around on the edges.
The Dreamscape is comprised solely of matter called Dream Essence, which resonates sympathetically with the thoughts of nearby living creatures and people, moulding itself into the shapes and senses desired. A Dreamwalker's ability to Dreamweave stems solely from extensive experience with manipulating Dream Essence into whatever they can imagine. When inert, Dream Essence is invisible, allowing a Dreamwalker to seemingly create things out of thin air. Therefore, to an outside observer, the Dreamscape would appear to be an infinitely large universe of black nothingness, with the occasional galaxy of activity centred around a living mind.
As a side note, Vis and Ara do not exist, as there is nothing truly 'real'. This means that magic as most people understand it cannot function. Instead, a mage can 'imagine' creating a fireball, causing the surrounding Dream Essence to morph into, ready for use. Unfortunately, skills that do not pruduce physical effects such as those used in Bardism, Ikonomancy and Mysticism are unable to be replicated.
A Dreamwalker's ability to jump from dream to dream stems from their ability to block their minds from the effects of Dream Essence and move through the nothingness to adjoining 'galaxies', invading the dream or nightmare of the soul within. See the section on Dream Threads for further details.
Those without the ability to Dreamwalk still visit the Dreamscape whenever they fall asleep, as Dream Essence echoes the Dreamer's subconscious, often recreating memories of the Brightening's events, summoning the very definition of peace or happiness as a dream or generating nightmares from the depths of their worst fears. With sufficient training, a Dreamwalker can strengthen the mental link between a Dreamer's mind and their sleeping body, allowing them to mend or create physical injury back on the Material Plane.

The Plane of Dreams:
The Plane of Dreams is a world of light, colour and life. For some, it is an infinite forest; others see it as an island floating amongst the clouds; more again perceive a horizon-less grassland or a bustling city. How the Plane of Dreams appears is perceived differently by every one of its Denizens, yet there is one structure that is common to all of the Planes representations: nestled within its heart is Kaimelea’s fabled city of Reverie. The city itself moulds and shifts constantly with the whims of its inhabitants, but certain landmarks stand resolute against the mesmerizing flux of colours and shapes.
  • The Dormus River:
    A glittering, crystal clear river, the Dormus curves around the walls of Reverie like a lover, caressing the Pearlvein Wall with its sparkling waters. The reflected light from the surface of the river glitters with every colour of the rainbow. Shortly after it passes through the city, the Dormus river reaches a cliff of infinite length and depth, stretching down into grey fog below. This, combined with the dazzling array of colours seen in the water, lends to the belief that the water of the Dormus River is liquified Dream Essence, used to create all the creatures, objects and people present in the Dreamscape. Newcomers to Reverie are warned not to stare into the Dormus for too long, as many have looked into the sparkling waters and allowed its fast-flowing current to sweep their mind away.
  • The Pearlvein Wall:
    Encircling the city is a small, waist-high wall. Crafted when the city was first made, the Pearlvein Wall is made from stones taken from the Dormus River, held in place with a mortar made from a shimmering almost-pink metal called Pearlvein. The Pearlvein itself marbles the riverbed rocks, and is mined for its incredible strength and durability when forged. The Wall is blessed by the Planetar within the city to disallow anyone not of her following from entering the city. For the last few hundred eras, the city of Reverie has been held by Kaimelea, She Who Opens the Eye. By some flaw in the Wall’s makeup, it will never bar a fellow Planetar or Deity from entering the city, which allows Risthal to meddle with the Loom of Afterthought held within.
  • The Palace:
    A marble tower stands in the centre of Reverie, its tip lost within the clouds. The ‘palace’ is barren, a vast hollow tower without floors, a marble staircase winding up the interior towards the single room at the top. In the centre of the tower, atop a marble pillar many hundreds of feet tall, stands the Loom of Afterthought. Created when the First Dream was dreamt, the Loom is rumoured to create the dreams and nightmares for the gods themselves and whoever controls the Loom can create and shape dreams and nightmares in the mind of people, creatures and any other living being in Telath, Aetheria and Aeternia.
    If one follows the marble staircase upwards as it encircles the Loom’s pillar, they will eventually reach the Throne Room. Here resides the Planetar of the city of Reverie, who at the present moment is Kaimelea, She Who Opens the Eye. On each side of her are Skavias the Mother Dragonfly and Rhyax, Weaver of Dreams. Lavat the Iridescent Serpent coils around her neck as Muse floats like a fog around her feet. Surrounded by her minions, Kaimelea governs the darkening-to-darkening operations of the Plane of Dreams.

The Plane of Nightmares:
The Plane of Nightmares is a patchwork of the fragmented fears that course through the subconscious. Every presentation of the Nightmare is unique to those who enter it. However, there are a few constants: darkness, a sense of foreboding and the overwhelming feeling of misgiving all rage throughout the realm. It is a grand mosaic of interwoven but fractured nightmares, accompanied by worry, stress, sadness and fatigue. Sewn together by Oerniosk as they enter the realm, these fragments may present for any length of time before shifting inexplicably to the next horror and none of them may be related at all to the viewer. They are merely pieces of the subconscious of mortals across the world that have fallen victim to the whims of Risthal and her collection of Twisted.
At the center of the Plane of Nightmares is a crumbling skeleton of broken walls and fallen arches commonly referred to as “The Ruins”. It has been said that once the Plane of Nightmares held sway over the Sleeping Planes and The Ruins was Risthal’s nightmarish counterpart to Reverie. If one brightening the Plane of Dreams is lost once more to Risthal’s Nightmare, Reverie may become broken like The Ruins stand now. However, it is thought that the city within this Plane might repair itself should Risthal begin to win fight. The Ruins may have once held a name, but no one alive except for the Planetar herself remembers it – and she dare not speak it to her followers. The memory only evokes her greatest horrors throughout the realm should she be unfortunate enough to contemplate its previous existence.
At the center of The Ruins, one building stands alone. It appears as a tomb of sorts, but the screams that resonate from it are much greater than anything even the most devout Twisted can handle. Many believe that within that tomb rests the once-great Paladin that Risthal has enslaved for the purpose of tormenting the sleeping minds of lovers; the pain of the man who scorned her love encased forever behind overgrown walls, reminded forever of her heart’s lament.

The Abilities and Limitations

Abilities:
Aside from the learned skills covered in the Skill Tree, there are a number of abilities taught to all Dreamwalkers at novice level that they are capable of employing, regardless of experience.
  • Soul Searching and Summoning
    Whilst dreaming, a Dreamwalker is able to mentally scan the Dreamscape through meditation, sensing the billions of Dream Threads that connect dreaming souls to their bodies in the Material Plane. By uttering the name of a Dreamer, A Dreamwalker will see the corresponding thread of said Dreamer light up, glowing substantially brighter than its surrounding threads. By mentally 'tugging' on a Dream Thread, the Dreamwalker will be similarly 'tugged' to the targets side.
    As there is often upward of a billion threads present in the Dreamscape at a time, a novice can take upwards of half a candlemark to locate the specific Dream Thread of their target. As the Dreamwalker gains proficiency in their craft, their ability to find specific Dream Threads also improves to the point where a Grandmaster can instantly and effortlessly find and Soul Summon in an instant.
  • Homing Instict and Mental Links
    A Dreamwalker must be in their own personal dream to leave the Dreamscape and awaken. For Dreamwalkers, this would be a problem if not for the fact that they are constantly aware of their dreams presence while Dreamwalking and instictively know where to find it within the infinite space of the Dreamscape. This is because their Dream Thread constantly exerts a gentle, passive pulling upon their minds that draws them back to their personal dream whenever they try to leave it.
  • Conditional Invulnerability
    The very nature of a Dreamwalker allows them to learn abilities that rely on mind-tricks, illusion and deceit. These powers are potent upon the unwary, but are almost always ineffectual against those who are capable of wielding such a power themselves. The abilities of hypnosis, sleepwalking and emotion reading have no effect upon a Dreamwalker, as they are capable of regulating control over their minds and bodies while asleep, preventing others from taking advantage of them. Also worth noting is that Mysticists and those experienced in meditation are harder to employ these powers against, as they are much more in-tune with their minds and are able to resists these effects more successfully than the layman.
Limitations:
While there are a few powers inherent to Dreamwalkers, there are converse limitations and weaknesses that knowledgeable opponents can exploit.
  • Phantom Injuries and Death
    Injuries made to a Dreamwalker in their personal dream will have no effect their physical body, and their death will merely eject them from slumber unharmed. However; once a Dreamwalker has left the protection of their personal dream, that same mental link that prevents them from getting lost in the infinite space of the Dreamscape will also transfer any injuries sustained to their Dream Guise upon their Material body. The injuries will be mental in origin and can range from limb paralysis in the event of having it hacked off in a dream, migraines from severe head injuries, all the way through to a dream-death convincing the brain that it should tell bodily organs to shut down. Experienced Dreamwalkers gain the ability to turn this limitation on its head; strengthening such links in a target, allowing them to experience such dangerous effects even in their personal dream. See the ability Convice in the skill tree for a list of effects at corresponding levels of mental attunement.
  • Attention of the Planetars
    Again, a rather ambiguous and multi-faceted aspect of Dreamwalking. Practicioners who encourage particularly idyllic dreams will draw the attention of Kaimelea, who may feel encouraged to enlist the Dreamwalker into her following. Conversely, those who create nightmares of sufficient emotional trauma will draw Risthal to them like bees to honey. While Kaimelea is more inclined to allow a 'freelance' Dreamwalker continue their art without interference, Risthal is much less likely to take 'no' for an answer if she asks the Dreamwalker to become a Twisted. Side-effects of annoying a Planetar involve ejection from the Dreamscape, sending their followers after you in the Material Plane, interfering with your work and tormenting you in your personal dream. Therefore caution is encouraged when playing in the Planar equivalent of the Darkening Sisters' backyard.
  • Mental Signature
    A power and a limitation, Dreamwalkers are able to sense one another, distinguishing them from the 'unenlightened' Dreamers and non-entities around them within a Dream. At its most basic level, a Novice requires careful close-proximity scrutinisation to distinguish a Dreamwalker from the unenlightened. Apprentices requires a prolonged stare, while Journeymen can spot other Dreamwalkers at a glance. Masters merely need to catch a glimpse of a fellow Dreamwalker to unmask them, as well as having a limited 'sixth sense' in their immediate area. Grandmasters have raised this sense to an artfrom, able to detect Dreamwalkers as soon as they enter the dream, as well as being able to spot the subtle 'flavours' of each sense, used to identify individuals perfectly and unfailingly.

    The Dream Threads

    Overview:
    An anchor between the mind and body; A window displaying the sub-conscious emotions of its owner; A portal used by others to draw you together; A vulnerability that can be used to another’s advantage; these are all accurate descriptions of the phenomenon known as Dream Threads.
    Through meditation, a Dreamwalker can unfocus their concentration from the specific dream they currently inhabit to view the entirety of the Dreamscape from an outside perspective. From there, the Dreamwalker percieves the universe as a cluster of threads, each denoting a sleeping being. The Thread belonging to the Dreamwalker appears attached to them in some way, usually tied around a finger. When a Dreamwalker moves into another dream, that person’s Dream Thread also attaches to the Dreamwalker. It is through the manipulation of Dream Threads that a large majority of the Dreamwalker’s interpersonal skills are worked.

    Appearance:
    The shades - and colours, at a higher level - of Dream Threads indicate the subconscious response a Dreamer has to their dream. Covered further in the Emotion Reading section of the Skill Tree, the essential meanings of which is that nightmares are black or dark grey, and light grey or white threads are pleasant dreams. At later levels, certain colours appear in a Thread that denote the emotions of the person to which the Thread is attached.
    The thickness of the Thread denotes the strength of the connection between the bearer’s mind and body. Novices, as well as those untrained in Dreamwalking have the titular thread, with the thickness of the thread, string, twine, rope or cable increasing with the level of proficiency in Dreamwalking. Mysticists and those skilled in meditation have Dream Threads marginally thicker than the layman, indicating their affinity with the mind.
    When not meditating, a Dreamwalker cannot sense the multitudes of Dream Threads that float in the Dreamscape, but with concentration, they can sense their own thread, as well as that of the Dreamer they are currently sharing a dream with.

    Soul Summoning – Mechanics:
    Firstly, the Dreamwalker must meditate so that they can percieve the Dreamscape 'from the outside', seeing the billions of constituent Dream Threads. From here, an mental 'tugging' on any random thread will pull the Dreamwalker to the matching dream or nightmare. This is how a benevolant Dreamwalker finds nightmares to 'save' the Dreamer from, and vice versa with the more manevolantly inclined.
    If a precise search of the Dreamscape is required, the Dreamwalker attempts a Soul Summoning. Speaking the name of the Dreamer will cause their subconscious to react, making their Dream Thread glow and shine in the eyes of the Dreamwalker. Due to the sheer volume of Dream Threads present in the Dreamscape at any one time, it may take a novice upwards of half a candlemark to locate the glowing Dream Thread. Once the thread is discovered, a mental 'tug' is all that is required for a Dreamwalker to 'pull' them into the dream. If, within a dream, a Dreamwalker is summoned in such a way, they will see their own thread glowing and shining. Through force of will, the Dreamwalker can supress the glow, preventing others from locating them.

    Consume and Reweave – Mechanics:
    Very simply, the master Dreamwalker severs the Dream Thread that connects the victim to their body. This may be done through sheer force of will, although the use of a Pearlvein blade greatly eases this process. Reweaving is done by focusing on the severed ends of a Dream Thread and willing them to 'reweave' together.

    Convince and Sleepwalk – Mechanics:
    The Dreamweaver draws material from their Dream Thread and wills it to weave into the Thread of the target, strengthening it up to the same thickness as the Dreamwalker's Thread. Note: the thickness of the Dreamwalker's Thread is not compromised during this process, maintaining its strength throughout. Once the thread reaches the thickness of a master Dreamwalker, physical movements made within a dream can be transferred to the material body, prompting Sleepwalking. The passive supression of this effect is what stops master and grandmaster Dreamwalkers from sleepwalking all the time.

    Lock – Mechanics:
    The master Dreamwalker can will the especially weak Threads of novices and those unskilled with Dreamwalking to appear nonexistant, preventing the target from leaving their dream and awakening. Experienced Dreamwalkers have Dream Threads too strong for this ability to work, which is why lock usually has no effect upon a fellow Dreamwalker.
Skill Tree

Novice:
  • Dreamwalk
    The Dreamwalker is now able to move away from their personal dream and explore the Dreamscape. They will not have access to the dreams of the more powerful races of Telath, such as Lamia, Dragons and Ancient Aelyrians, but the vast majority of the Dreamscape is theirs for the exploring.
  • Dreamweave (self)
    The Dreamwalker learns about Dream Essence, and can begin practicing the process of manipulating it within their dreams to whatever their imagination can conjure up.
  • Dream Guise
    The subconscious wishes, fears, desires and hatreds can manifest within the Dreamscape, imprinting themselves upon the Dreamer. Unless the Dreamwalker is masochistic or a follower of Risthal, is is usually the positive aspects of their subconscious that manifest. This manifestation changes the Dreamwalkers appearance, voice and even personality, turning them into the one thing their subconscious desires them to be.
  • Emotion Reading
    Centred around the reading and interpreting of Dream Threads, Emotion Reading allows a Dreamwalker to disinguish what the target is feeling, be it happiness, sadness, fear, contentment or any other emotion. The detail with which a Dreamwalker can sense these emotions corresponds to their proficiency in Dreamwalking.
    - Novice: The Dream Threads appear either black or white, with white threads indicating dreams, and black threads indicating nightmares.
    - Apprentice: The black-and-white contrasting becomes more subtle, with shades of grey showing a more gradual shift between dreams and nightmares, with black indicating complete despair and white indicating perfect bliss. Between the two, the shade of grey marks how 'dreamish' or 'nightmarish' the dream is.
    - Journeyman: Colours start to permeate the threads. Along with stretches of monochrome, the tips of the threads will show a few simple colours to denote emotions. The colours are Blue-Sadness, Green-Fear, Red-Anger, Purple-Contentment, Pink-Love and Yellow-Excitement.
    - Master: A wide spectrum of colours now permeate the threads visible to a master. Beyond the six Journeymen emotions, more precise feelings can be analysed, such as horror, disgust, surprise, arousal, relaxed and vindictiveness. The colours of such emotions vary from master to master.
    - Grandmaster: Emotion Reading has ascended almost to the point of mind-reading, with not even the most subtle of nuances escaping their detection.
Apprentice:
  • Dreamweave (other)
    The Dreamwalker's understanding of Dream Essence is sufficiently advanced for them to begin shaping the dreams and nightmares of others. Objects formed out of Dream essence look, feel, taste, smell and sound exactly as the Dreamwalker imagines them to - with practice - although any living creature created from Dream Essence will appear catatonic. This is because Dream Essences power is solely physical, and creating and manipulating minds is impossible. This is why a fear-mongering Twisted cannot simply imagine their foe dying, or screaming in terror. Anything created from Dream Essence will be 'locked' into the form the Dreamwalker desires, unless it is forced into a new form or if the Dreamwalker that shaped the essence leaves the dream. In that instance, the Dream Essence will revert to its inert, invisible state.
  • Convince
    The Dreamwalker can begin to strengthen the bond between the targets mind and body through sheer force of will, allowing injuries sustained in a dream to cause phantom injuries once the target awakens. The strength of the Convince varies depending upon the Dreamwalkers level. This is also a list of the effects a Dreamwalker will feel at their respective power levels.
    - Apprentice: wounds and bruises will result in light to moderate phantom aches in the affected areas. Death may cause headaches.
    - Journeyman: temporary paralysis resulting from inoperable limbs may persist several candlemarks after awakening. Death will cause migraines and temporary paralysis.
    - Master: temporary paralysis extends to brightenings. All injuries sustained will feel as if they were real, even though their body will seem unharmed. Death will send the target into a coma that may last up to a cycle.
    - Grandmaster: lost/crushed limbs will be permanently paralyzed. Death will stop the targets organs to simultaneously shut down, and even if they are revived through arcanic intervention, their minds will have been obliterated.
    Convince is also required for Dream Healing; injuries sustained in dreams may be healed, but only if they are Convinced will it remove the possibility of phantom pains when they awaken.

Journeyman:
  • Warp Time
    The Dreamwalker can speed up or slow down time within a dream in comparison to reality, making a minute within the Material Plane stretch out into eras or compress down to the blink of an eye.
  • Summon Planar Denizen
    The Dreamwalker can now call on the sentient spirits that reside in the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares to possess bodies created by the Dreamweaver. As they are sentient life, they will need to be convinced to aid the Dreamwalker. If it is for the purpose of furthering the illusion of a busy city, for example, the Denizens often will have no problem doing so. If there is a real threat to the denizen, persuasion is in order. At any time the denizen may leave their body and return to their home Plane. It is recommended that Dream Denizens are to be called on for peaceful creatures, with Nightmare Denizens reserved for creatures that are intended to be violent, scary and generally unpleasant.
  • Walker Ward
    The Dreamcatcher can now be made to repel certain Dreamwalkers, such as followers of a specific Darkening Sister, an individual that the drawer knows the name of, or even Dreamwalkers in general besides the caster. Those Dreamwalkers that try to enter a dream or nightmare that is 'protected' in this way will feel nausea and headaches that will become progressively worse the longer they trespass.

Master:
  • Greater Dreamwalk
    The Dreamwalker now has completely unrestricted access to the Dreamscape. They can visit the dreams of Lamia, Dragons, Ancient Aelyrians and other powerful races. They can also move between the Dreamscape and the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares without resorting to using a Dreamcatcher-portal; their desire alone being enough to transport them there.
  • Sleepwalk
    Similar to Convince, the Master strengthens the link between the target's body and mind to the point where the sleeping body will mimic movements made by their dream self. Injury and strenuous activity may awaken the target.
  • Consume
    The Dreamwalker can sever the link between the target's mind and body, causing the Dreamer to become trapped within the Dreamscape. This is the method that Twisted use to convert sleeping souls into Azaru, but can be used as a mercy killing by Kaimelean followers to allow a dying soul to remain permanently within the Dreamscape, where they may be brought into the Plane of Dreams by Kaimelea if not snatched by Risthal and her Twisted first. It is impossible to Consume a Dreamwalker without their consent.
  • Reweave
    Considerably harder than Consume, if only for logistical reasons, Reweave can reconnect a sleeping mind to its body should it have been severed. As Consume effectively prevents the mind from interacting with the body, the comatose form must be protected until the mind can be found and brought back to the dream in which it was severed. If that is done, then the link between mind and body will be rewoven, and the target will awaken with no negative side-effects - aside from bad memories.
  • Lock
    The Dreamwalker can prevent the target from awakening for up to a cycle. Dreamwalkers are largely resistant to this, taking between two to eight brightenings to escape, depending on their skill. Grandmasters are unaffected.
  • Shift
    The Dreamwalker can now create a portal within a Dreamcatcher to transcend the Dreamscape and enter Kaimelea's Plane of Dreams and Risthal's Plane of Nightmares. Here, Dream Essence remains inert under the will of the Planetar, forcing Dreamwalkers to resort to real-world skills in order to survive. Similarly, Ara does not exist, meaning that mages who try to access the Plane of Dreams or Nightmares must be especially prepared.
Grandmaster:
The Grandmaster Dreamwalker is almost without limits. However, they must obey the 'Four Fundamentals' of Dreamwalking, first described by the High Priestess of Kaimelea, Avaset Silkwind. These rules permeate the Dreamscape as well as the Planes of Dreams and Nightmares, and there is no one aside from the Darkening Sisters themselves that are above them:
  • The actions and thoughts of others can’t be controlled.
  • Sentience cannot be created. Any created life will become catatonic when not actively controlled by the Dreamwalker or posessed by a Planar Denizen.
  • If two Dreamwalkers are vying for control of an object within a dream, the higher level Dreamwalker will eventually gain dominance of said object. The exception to this is within someones personal dream, where they can overpower anything but a Planetar – providing they realize that they are within a dream.
  • A Dreamwalker can resist being pulled out of the Sleeping Planes if their physical body is disturbed, although feelings of nausea will be felt should the disturbance continue. If resisted for too long, the Dreamwalker may ‘pass out’ from the pain and be ejected from sleep.




* If a cursed Dreamcatcher is blessed, or vice versa, it will either smudge and fade or turn to ash.
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Old December 12, 2009, 07:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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OK, I know you're going to groan, but I've added ANOTHER section to this writeup: Dream Threads. It's a mechanic devised to explain how some of the abilities discussed in the Skill Tree work. Also a good tool for people to use in Role-Playing this out; instead of saying 'I used lock and stopped him leaving', it describes how one would go about locking someone. Trin, I've gone over this new section with a fine-toothed comb, and I owe you a months Companionship if you find an apostrophe error!

Other than that, no huge changes.
  • I've incorporated Emotion Reading into the Skill Tree.
  • Soul Summoning has stayed, but I've made it very weak at the beginning and they must improve their Dreamwalking to get better at Soul Summoning. I also changed the wording of 'inherant skills' to 'skills you get at the novice level'. I didn't put it into the Novice section of the skill tree as it's a fairly bulky list - but I can just copy-paste it over if you want me to
  • Formatting, spelling and grammar should be fixed.
OK, how's this?
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"...You Rank, Gray-Skinned Codpiece! You sniveling, tear-streaked, coattail-grasping, orc-face!
You lumpish, cabbit-brained, daydream bully! You straw-limbed, gutless, sparkle-finger-wavin' Straylor!
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Last edited by Quilantes Zil'aven; December 12, 2009 at 07:13 AM.
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Old December 12, 2009, 01:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It looks great! Just a minor nit-pick: double-ENTER for each paragraph
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Old December 12, 2009, 01:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like this. My character would look into this just due to cool factor. And I particularly appreciate how trade-skill-ish it's become, as opposed to the more factional setup it had before. Thumbs up.
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Old December 12, 2009, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Fie Fi Fo Fum I smell misspelled words, son!

Quote:
Dream Guises:
To become a novice Dreamwalker, one must learn about Dream Essence, gain lucidity within a dream, and gan
Should be gain.

Quote:
The exact appearance of the Dreamwalkers Guise is dependant
Dependent.

Quote:
upon their subconscious, which is dominant in a world shaped by your thoughts and desires. Depending upon the role the Dreamwalker wishes to play within the Dreamscape, their Guise can be anything from wish-fulfilment,
Fulfillment.


Quote:
Like the Dream Guise, the Dream Name comes from the Dreamwalkers subconscious.
Apostrophe. "Dreamwalker's subconscious".
Quote:

The Dreamcatcher - Appearance:
Often dismissed by the uninitiated, the Dreamcatcher is the utility knife of Dreamwalking. Many Dreamwalkers tattoo a Dreamcatcher upon their skin to provide permanent access to its power, while others prefer the more conventional hanging design. These are essentially the two different ways one can create a Dreamcatcher: a stand-alone object and a design drawn onto a surface. Both are equally potent, with personal preference and convenience being the only separation between the two.
Regarding design, Dreamcatchers can have varying patterns and weaves in their main 'body', but they will all share similar fundamental traits:
  • Circular boundary
    All Dreamcatchers consist of a circular perimeter, within which lies the main design. This represents the cycle of Brightening and Darkening, and the infinite nature of the conflict between dreams and nightmares.
  • Two-dimensional
    A non-issue with the drawn design style, hanging Dreamcatchers consist of a two-dimensional design woven within a flat, circular frame. This represents the intangible, non-Material nature of the Sleeping Planes as well as emphasizing the close proximity between the Sleeping and Material Planes.
  • Symmetry
    A Dreamcatcher must have at least one line of symmetry bisecting it. This ensures order in the Dreamcatcher's power, otherwise its effects will become chaotic and unpredictable.
  • The 'Eye'
    More metaphorical than literal, this merely refers to the centre of the design. This is the nexus where the power of the Dreamcatcher is channeled. Dreamcatchers with an 'open' or unadorned centre are more partial to benevolent influences, with 'pierced' or impeded centres used more often by the more manevolent Dreamwalker.
Malevolent.

Nitpick: Should dreamcatcher always be capitalized? I do not think it is a proper noun?

Quote:
Essentially, the Dream Eye will act as a form of revealing device, allowing the bearer to see a ghostly image of a Dreamwalker's Dream Guise even when on the Material Plane. Useful for detecting fellow tradesmen, as well as allowing the followers of Kaimelea and Risthal to detect their opposite numbers on the rare occasion the two of them come into contact in the Material Plane.
The benefits of such a device is a double-edged sword; as fellow Dreamwalkers are revealed to you, you reveal yourself to them. And in a society where anonymity is your greatest defence, this can be a potentially dangerous tool to the wielder.
And should be removed as it makes this sentence a fragment, I think.

Defense, not defence.

Quote:
Unfortunately, skills that do not pruduce physical effects such as those used in Bardism, Ikonomancy and Mysticism are unable to be replicated.
produce.

Nitpick: Should skills be required or just recommended?

Quote:
This, combined with the dazzling array of colours seen in the water, lends to the belief that the water of the Dormus River is liquified Dream Essence, used to create all the creatures, objects and people present in the Dreamscape. Newcomers to Reverie are warned not to stare into the Dormus for too long, as many have looked into the sparkling waters and allowed its fast-flowing current to sweep their mind away.
Liquefied.
Quote:
[*]Homing Instict and Mental Links
Instinct.

Quote:
A Dreamwalker must be in their own personal dream to leave the Dreamscape and awaken. For Dreamwalkers, this would be a problem if not for the fact that they are constantly aware of their dreams presence while Dreamwalking and instictively
Instinctively.

Quote:
Also worth noting is that Mysticists and those experienced in meditation are harder to employ these powers against, as they are much more in-tune with their minds and are able to resists these effects more successfully than the layman.
"It is also worth note that Mystics and those experienced in meditation are much more resistant against these powers due to a strong connection with their minds." or something?

Sentence seems kinda convoluted.

Quote:
Practicioners who encourage particularly idyllic dreams will draw the attention of Kaimelea, who may feel encouraged to enlist the Dreamwalker into her following.
Practitioners.

Quote:
At its most basic level, a Novice requires careful close-proximity scrutinisation
I'm not sure that's a word?

Do you mean, "Scrutiny"?

Quote:
Grandmasters have raised this sense to an artfrom,
Art form. Two words. And form, not from.

Quote:
From there, the Dreamwalker percieves
perceives!

Quote:
Mysticists
Mystics.

Quote:
Soul Summoning – Mechanics:
Firstly, the Dreamwalker must meditate so that they can percieve the Dreamscape 'from the outside', seeing the billions of constituent Dream Threads. From here, an mental 'tugging' on any random thread will pull the Dreamwalker to the matching dream or nightmare. This is how a benevolant Dreamwalker finds nightmares to 'save' the Dreamer from, and vice versa with the more manevolantly inclined.
Perceive.
Benevolent.
Vice-versa, I think.
malevolently.
Quote:
Through force of will, the Dreamwalker can supress the glow, preventing others from locating them.
suppress.
Quote:
The passive supression of this effect is what stops master and grandmaster Dreamwalkers from sleepwalking all the time.
suppression.

Quote:
Lock – Mechanics:
The master Dreamwalker can will the especially weak Threads of novices and those unskilled with Dreamwalking to appear nonexistant
nonexistent.

Quote:
Centred around the reading and interpreting of Dream Threads, Emotion Reading allows a Dreamwalker to disinguish
Distinguish?

Quote:
Beyond the six Journeymen emotions, more precise feelings can be analysed
Analyzed.

Quote:
[*]Sentience cannot be created. Any created life will become catatonic when not actively controlled by the Dreamwalker or posessed
Possessed.


Okay, now for some actual comments:

I think for the whole describing of when something gets stronger, you should do something like list them again in the section it gets stronger in, not underneath the first section it is introduced. I.e.

Emotion Reading. Instead of listing all levels under the first time you introduce it, say:

"Emotion Reading (Novice): The Dream Threads appear either black or white, with white threads indicating dreams, and black threads indicating nightmares."

Then under apprentice level,

"Emotion Reading (Apprentice): The black and white contrasting becomes more subtle, with shades of grey showing a more gradual shift between dreams and nightmares. Black indicates complete despair while white indicates perfect bliss. Between these two, the shade of grey marks how "dream-like" or "nightmarish" the dream is."

Make sense? I think it will be less confusing that way.

Overall, I don't have much to add about content anymore I don't think, as it looks like its shaping up quite nicely. Its come a long way!
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Old December 12, 2009, 06:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can make those changes super-easy Thanks Trin. Is there anything about the Dream Threads concept that you don't like or are unsure about? That was my main worry with this draft, as it's an entirely new concept.
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"...You Rank, Gray-Skinned Codpiece! You sniveling, tear-streaked, coattail-grasping, orc-face!
You lumpish, cabbit-brained, daydream bully! You straw-limbed, gutless, sparkle-finger-wavin' Straylor!
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Old December 12, 2009, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nah, not that I can see. I think it actually makes sense and sorta adds to the "this is how its done" sort of way of it being instead of handwaveyness that might have passed but this way its all more well defined and stuffs.

I also think it plays in well with what I had said in the Risthal writeup about them wanting to use dreamcatchers as sort of maps or guides so they don't get lost within the dream.... which would simply be "severing your dream thread by going too far / overexerting yourself / whatever".
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Old December 13, 2009, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Duncan's suggested on IM that a non-Dreamwalker should get a warning when Dreamwalkers are Convincing them, otherwise they can be harmed/killed without any form of defence.
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Old December 19, 2009, 11:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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PS - I am going to be commenting on this soon, please wait for me
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Old December 26, 2009, 01:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Notes while I read:

You really, really need to double space your paragraphs. Let me give you an example:

"This is going to be two short paragraphs that are not double spaced at the separation. The reason that we use double spacing is because we do not use the tab feature, so the distinction between what is a new paragraph and what is a new line can be fuzzy.
So naturally the online community found a great and simple fix. After you hit enter at the conclusion of your paragraph, you hit it an additional time. That is right, you hit it twice, so that there is a blank like with no type dividing each paragraph. It allows things to read more easily."

The above is single spaced and therefore, incorrect. Look at example two:

"This is going to be two short paragraphs that are not double spaced at the separation. The reason that we use double spacing is because we do not use the tab feature, so the distinction between what is a new paragraph and what is a new line can be fuzzy.

So naturally the online community found a great and simple fix. After you hit enter at the conclusion of your paragraph, you hit it an additional time. That is right, you hit it twice, so that there is a blank like with no type dividing each paragraph. It allows things to read more easily."

See that lovely gap between paragraphs, you need to have that every time you use the enter key, which you use a lot! You have many paragraphs that are one sentence long, and if you do not like that, then mush a few of them together! Also, include a space between titles (ie the stuff in bold and italics) and content please! PLEASE do this in the next draft

Moving on, avoid modern terms like utility knife as it is not very medieval! This is just a simple thing that can be edited out and does not really affect the content of your draft

Quote:
"A Plane in its own right, the Dreamscape is the 'battlefield' where the forces of Kaimelea and Risthal wage their wars, with the rare non-aligned Dreamwalker skirting around on the edges."
Nix that, that is more for a religions or faction write-up, regardless of the truth of it, this is trades, remember.

Quote:
The Dormus River:
A glittering, crystal clear river, the Dormus curves around the walls of Reverie like a lover, caressing the Pearlvein Wall with its sparkling waters. The reflected light from the surface of the river glitters with every colour of the rainbow. Shortly after it passes through the city, the Dormus river reaches a cliff of infinite length and depth, stretching down into grey fog below. This, combined with the dazzling array of colours seen in the water, lends to the belief that the water of the Dormus River is liquified Dream Essence, used to create all the creatures, objects and people present in the Dreamscape. Newcomers to Reverie are warned not to stare into the Dormus for too long, as many have looked into the sparkling waters and allowed its fast-flowing current to sweep their mind away.
you forgot to bold the title of this one, like the others

Quote:
The abilities of hypnosis, sleepwalking and emotion reading have no effect upon a Dreamwalker, as they are capable of regulating control over their minds and bodies while asleep, preventing others from taking advantage of them.
I would say reduced affect. Say there was a write-up for hypnosis and I was a master hypnotist and you were a novice dreamwalker, I would be able to hypnotize you because I am more powerful, but you might be able to resist that of someone of the same level or lower. You cannot just resist it all, unfortunately. That is unbalanced.

Quote:
Attention of the Planetars
Again, a rather ambiguous and multi-faceted aspect of Dreamwalking. Practicioners who encourage particularly idyllic dreams will draw the attention of Kaimelea, who may feel encouraged to enlist the Dreamwalker into her following. Conversely, those who create nightmares of sufficient emotional trauma will draw Risthal to them like bees to honey. While Kaimelea is more inclined to allow a 'freelance' Dreamwalker continue their art without interference, Risthal is much less likely to take 'no' for an answer if she asks the Dreamwalker to become a Twisted. Side-effects of annoying a Planetar involve ejection from the Dreamscape, sending their followers after you in the Material Plane, interfering with your work and tormenting you in your personal dream. Therefore caution is encouraged when playing in the Planar equivalent of the Darkening Sisters' backyard.
I honestly think this can be left out simply because you are dictating a bit too much how the deities would react! And since they need to be RP'd by GMs and there needs to be an HDT to use them, I think this part is unnecessary to mention. Leave it up the mod's discretion.

Okay, I think Trin talked about spreading out the skill tree so you don't like master stuff under novice, and she is completely right. Totally fine to list the skill again if it improves at another level. That is not redundancy

Also, religion needs to be weeded out more in the intro before i feel comfortable. The intro should be about dreamwalking, not the planetars. I know you love them, and they are cool, and you can use this with them, but leave them out of this draft as they are unnecessary!

Otherwise this is looking better, look through Trin's grammatical comments and proofread carefully for the next draft!

EDITS:

I agree with Duncan, he is absolutely correct

and about emotion-reading... I think you need to mention that it can only be done with the dream thread, so outside of the dream, right? There needs to be some limitations with that, I actually do not like it and do not see the point and I do not think a grandmaster should be able to mind read it... it seems to just be going to a different skill and not at all an element of dreamwalking, imo

Last edited by Ensnare; December 26, 2009 at 01:05 AM.
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Old December 27, 2009, 11:58 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the comments guys, will try and get to a new writeup today.

Regarding emotion reading:
I definitely want to keep the dark=nightmare, light=dream aspect, as that's the only way DWers can home in on their respective targets. Regarding the 'colours' and quasi-mind-reading, I'm still for it. It's the only way that a DWer can avoid the trial-and-error approach, which I am not a fan of personally in this context. It'll get ridiculous when a DWer finds a cocky individual and goes through half a dozen 'scary' scenarios that leave them yawning.
Trin, what do you think? Leave it as it is, or cut it back to the apprentice level, where it's just Shades Of Grey?

EDIT: Characters like Hay'aan don't manipulate dreams at all, they instead are asked to 'interpret' the dreams to the individual, explaining to them what their subconscious is trying to show them. This also stretches tentatively into the area of prophetic dreams. This 'Seer' branch of Dreamwalking would heavily rely on a skill like this.
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"...You Rank, Gray-Skinned Codpiece! You sniveling, tear-streaked, coattail-grasping, orc-face!
You lumpish, cabbit-brained, daydream bully! You straw-limbed, gutless, sparkle-finger-wavin' Straylor!
” -igrainne
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Last edited by Quilantes Zil'aven; December 28, 2009 at 12:05 AM.
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Old December 29, 2009, 11:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Yes, my only concern with something like emotion reading through colors is when it comes to other PCs. It still needs more limitations, like it can only be done outside the dream, which would still make it trial and error. And now that i think about it, even with the ability it is still trial and error. Because you have to weave the dream and then you can see the emotion, right? The emotion comes after...

And did you read my comment regarding your conditional invulnerability, that was an important one! It needs to have some limitations to it.
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Old January 10, 2010, 09:59 AM   #14 (permalink)
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