<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Good evening and thanks to everyone that is hanging out with me this Friday night! You’re awesome! 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> My name is Egg Embry. I’m a freelance RPG journalist for EN World, the Open Gaming Network, the Tessera Guild, and Knights of the Dinner Table. I’m here to talk about POWERED by the DREAMR, my Powered by the Apocalypse zine on Kickstarter.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eggembry/powered-by-the-dreamr-a-pbta-rpg-zinequest)https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/eggembry/powered-by-the-dreamr-a-pbta-rpg-zinequest
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> It ends on Friday, February 22nd.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Thanks for joining us, Gregory. 🙂 )
<&Silverlion> Are there classes/archetypes like most PBTA?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, there are classes. Since it’s about dreams, I’m calling the classes “Awarenesses”.
<&Silverlion> Can you tell us about them?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> They are Dream Warrior, Dream Assassin, Dream Thief, Dream Whisper, Lucid Dreamr, and Eternal Dreamr (that name is a placeholder).
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Broadly they:
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Dream Warrior defends the sleeper’s dreams.
<&Silverlion> Endless Dreamr?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Dream Assassin is able to boot other Dreamrs or harm the sleeper.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Dream Thief can steal memories an ideas from the sleeper. Think Inception.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Dream Whisper can implant ideas in the sleeper and has the best control over the dreams.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Lucid Dreamr is the rock, they can best navigate the dreams but has the least ability to change them. They’re that individual that loves the roller coaster the best.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The Eternal Dreamr (Endless Dreamr as SilverLion said, the Prisonr is another possibility) is Dreamr that has nowhere else to go. Think Black Mirror: San Junipero.
<~Dan> Is there a unifying purpose for entering dreams in this setting?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (I’m happy to dive into the classes or discuss the creation of dreams or the two different play modes.)
<+Gregory> Two play modes? Tell me more 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, the table will decide that. The options are: You have this power and you enter dreams whether you want to or not (Quantum Leap style), someone is drawing you in (Nightmare on Elm Street), this is your job (Inception or Dreamscape), or whatever direction you want to go. 🙂
<+Gregory> Each of those get me thinking about adventures and campaigns 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Two play modes. I’m a fan of the PbtA game, Undying, in which you’re a vampire. That game focuses on important nights and events in one play mode (where you’re in the moment and roleplaying) and then there’s an option, since you’re immortals, to skip years or centuries and summarize those events.
<&Silverlion> So your game is about the times when they enter dreams. Anything to tie them together as a group? Or put them in conflict.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> For my game, the dreams are the “active” roleplaying while the waking time in the mundane world is “summary” play. However, the results of each segment impact the other. So, if you have a nightmare, your next day summary has a chance to go poorly, which impacts your next sleep. You’ll be encouraged to have a dramatic waking life that can only be solved in
<&Silverlion> Gives me an idea for a campaign.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Gregory, I’m glad the descriptions are sparking ideas. I’m hopeful that having a collaborative and narrative way to tell dreams will almost tell their own stories. That said, the dreams have the option of being linear tales or running on dream logic that will be prompted by random questions asked as GM reactions.
<+eiricepadraig> So, there is no “setting”. Just an open arena for good rp.
<&Silverlion> Do the dreamers–those whose dreams they interact with, shape the worlds they are in?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, for the group dynamic, when you achieve an action at cost (7 to 9 result), it generally causes another player to take an Alarm (a damage or Harm). So, every time Egg screws up, Dan’s character takes damage. So far, that’s led to fun inter-party conflicts. There are some suggestions for the GM in introduce conflicts.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Also, there’s ways to heal these issues to keep the party together.
<+Gregory> Sounds fun.
<~Dan> What sorts of powers do Dreamrs have?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, campaign idea. I’m really hip on kids/teens (and an fish-out-of-water adult) that fall into dreams together every night. They can’t help it and their “quest” is to discover why they’re all ending up together. As the game goes, each player has a Nightmare trigger and an Embarrassment and more. All moments to help them grow as characters.
<+Gregory> How do Embarrassments work?
<&Silverlion> Cool. I was thinking of people in an care facility (psychiatric) who spend their time in the dreams of those who need help. Trying to direct dreams towards healing them.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> eiricepadraig, because the format is a zine, I don’t have enough room to put in a deep setting. Instead, I’m going to suggest broad ideas. However, since this has been embraced by WAY more souls than I thought it would, I’m hoping to offer some settings for this. 🙂
<+eiricepadraig> No setting is just fine. Just asking. 😉
<+Gregory> Good idea, Silverlion!
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, Dreamrs and shaping dreams. So, when the session starts (and with each new dream) each member of the gaming group writes down one aspect of the dream (location, population, narrative, nightmare triggers, so on). The GM then blends them into a non-sense setting. The Dreamrs then use their powers to shape the world into something they can handle.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> If that makes sense.
<+Gregory> I like the idea of the group contributions resulting in a crazy dreamscape.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Mostly the Dreamr’s powers shape the Dream State or inflict Alarms (damage). You can’t die in this game, instead you wake up and are out of that dream until the next dream starts. So, you can take risks without having to worry that this could cause you to roll up a new character. 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (By the by, thank you for all of the questions so far. I’m really enjoying this! 🙂 )
<+eiricepadraig> What are the dangers of dreaming?
<~Dan> Good! 🙂
<&Silverlion> That’s cool.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Gregory, Embarrassments are some of your hidden truths (You have some of those as well). Basically, just like in real life, you try to hide the thing that embarrasses you and pushes your buttons. If another player learns of your Embarrassment, they can use it against you. Like the normal one, having a dream where you don’t have your pants on, could reduce…
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> your rolls and all of that fun.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, I LOVE that campaign concept. It’s very inline with what I want this game to offer. And I can see where a care facility can add stakes to the dream world. I love it! 😀
<~Dan> What are some of the dreams from games you’ve run?
<&Silverlion> Yeah. Thought it might be cool.
<+Gregory> Any specific player/awareness Moves that you’re super excited about?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Gregory, the group creates the dream. Then, through GM reactions, Dream Prompts are asked of the players. “The weather changes, what does it become?” Their answer changes the Dream State.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> eiricepadraig, the dangers of the Dream State are this: The Dream State has Hit Points. Dreams end and, in this game, that’s caused by damage that Dreamrs do to the Dream State. So, the more they alter it, the more it can result in a nightmare or end the dream.
<+eiricepadraig> Okay, I think I am set to play!
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Other obstacles are the dream changes so much that your objective (Inception or surviving Freddy) becomes impossible.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, dreams I’ve run always drift. Setting:, New York, population, dogs,
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (hit enter too soon)
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> NYC with dogs and the narrative is building a rocket ship. The nightmare trigger is the appearance of the man in black.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> That’s the starting point and it’s silly. Enter the 4 Dreamrs.
<~Dan> What happens when there’s a nightmare trigger?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> From there they (and forgive me if I get the order wrong) decided that one of them would be the man in black. One of the party was opposed because they didn’t want to disrupt the world of dogs. I threw in the sleeper as a dog walker to mix it up (that part didn’t do as much as I wanted).
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> The man in black “appears”. The dogs go nuts and, because it’s a nightmare about rocket ships, I go full Buck Rogers and have alien cat invaders. At this point, one of the players decides to alter this dream to try and stop it from being a nightmare. Instead, they fumble and we introduce a railroad.
<+Gregory> Sorry. Got to run. Really looking forward to playing this!
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> A Railroad is a rule that a PLAYER makes. Just like standard RPGs, it’s a Railroad and it forces you to do X thing. The GM cannot introduce Railroads, but players may be forced to (which adds to party conflict). So, they picked that no one could get on a rocket.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (See you, Gregory. Thank you for joining and your questions!)
<+eiricepadraig> I think it sounds great. The RP value alone is more than worth the price of admission.
<&Silverlion> So did that stick the cats on Earth?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> It’s a nightmare, one of the players is the man in black, dogs and cats are fighting but the players couldn’t get into a spaceship to deal with this. They decided to bring peace to this by bringing in rats to fight both sides. There was a lot more but that’s how they went. The epilogue, they were supposed to put an idea into the sleeper’s mind. They didn’t.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> So the next dream, they returned to do it again.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, I think I explained the Railroad poorly, it only limited the PCs. 😉
<&Silverlion> I see. 😀
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Dan, it’s 10 my time. What’s the ballpark for when these run to?)
<~Dan> Does the game make allowances for the weird abilities that can crop up in dreams, like magic, superpowers, etc.?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (And I’m a-ok with more questions.) 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Yes. Since it’s narrative, you can go as big as you want without concerns about it becoming unbalanced. An ant can be stronger than an elephant. You can fly and I can be a literal stone. And yet I can always keep up with you because weird = dream.
<&Silverlion> i like this. A lot.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Also, symbolic solutions to problems are an option. You don’t have to defeat the big bad, you can remove the idea of them symbolically.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Thank you, SilverLion! I appreciate that more than you can know.)
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, that’s a fair request but I have only had one set of friends that tried for a symbolic solution and it’s… (I love my friends so it was a GREAT solution!) 😉
<&Silverlion> What are the customizations like for Dreamr classes?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Example. They faced an enemy in an ice dream parlor so they decided that he was tied to the ice cream there. They ate a scoop and it defeated him in a dream logic way. (By the by, he was a demon.)
<+eiricepadraig> I love it!
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, the customizations are different Moves for each Awareness. I’m trying to bring in another level by adding backgrounds that allow for more customizing but I have not delved into that enough. (It turns out that running a KS is as time consuming as they say!)
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (I’m glad their ice cream solution went over. I enjoyed it. It also made me hungry.)
<&Silverlion> Oh boy. Yes, yes it is.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (What else can I tell you? And, again, thanks for all of the questions. I’m glad to get to share this. 🙂 )
<~Dan> I know this would be difficult given the game’s premise, but is there any sort of bestiary?
<&Silverlion> Hrms, still 2d6+ stat thing?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> No specific bestiary.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Yes, 2d6 + Stat. I tried to think of something clever but gave up on that. 😉
<~Dan> How does combat work?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, combat is narrative. You describe your action and then roll to see the result and describe it. If you are attacking another Dreamr, you deal Alarms that will wake them and eject them from the Dream State. If you’re fighting a demon, say, a construct of the dream, any damage you deal to it is damage to the Dream State. So, attacking the demon can collapse
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> the dream.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> So, you have to manage not only your Alarms but also the Dream’s.k
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Let me know if that does not make sense.)
<+eiricepadraig> Oh, now I see how a Freddy-like aspect could go awry.
<&Silverlion> Neat. Combat can be bad, proceed at own risk to engage, try other solutions.
<~Dan> I think so. The demon is part of the Dream State, so attacking the demon is attacking the dream?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, exactly! Literally, you may need to alter the Dream State to get rid of the demon. Or eat his ice cream… you know, which ever. 😉
<~Dan> brb, please continue
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> eiricepadraig, yes, defeating Freddy would be hard. 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, yes, that’s it. 🙂
<&Silverlion> I like the idea.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Let me take a moment to talk about my other favorite aspect of this, the zine itself. I have written about RPG Kickstarters for years but it wasn’t until Kickstarter announced their Zine Quest initiative that I dove in and did my own.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> I love the zine, the black and white art, the DIY layouts, the low price points. $5 PDF for the full game. $12 for the print zine and PDF (free shipping in the US, international will be charged after the campaign so I can get it as close to exact as possible).
<+eiricepadraig> I do love that aspect. Black & White art is under-rated.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> I’m getting to draw some for this (which is great for me because my art is not quite ready for primetime, but fun for my zine). It’s going to be fun.
<~Dan> Is this your first RPG for publication?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> eiricepadraig, I started reading comics right around the debut of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the black-and-white boom. I love me some black-and-white art! 😀
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> This is my first RPG publication. Everything else I’ve done is participating in other’s (few of which have been published yet) and doing RPG journalism (largely online). So, this is my first time and I’m confident because I did a zine WAY back when (the 90s) for comics. So, I have some background. 🙂
<~Dan> Very cool. I wish you great success!
<+eiricepadraig> Looking forward to reading it!
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Thank you, Dan! 🙂 I appreciate it and, more, I appreciate you hosting this Q&A and on a Friday! You’re a good friend, thank you for doing this for me! 😀
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> eiricepadraig, thank you! I can’t wait to get it out and hear about how it runs at gaming tables! 😀
<~Dan> You’re very welcome. 🙂
<~Dan> Do you see potential for a game line here, or is this strictly a one-off?
<~Dan> (Howdy, eezo!)
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, the earlier question about a settings makes me think there is room for that. After this, I’m thinking I’ll do another zine with some settings (and likely a fantasy option). That’s a rough idea. But, I’m hopeful that it’s worth pursuing. 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (Good morning, eezo.) 🙂
<&Silverlion> I once played in a game where, I THINK our superheroes were all dreamed.
<&Silverlion> Which inspired an idea of mine, and a secondary back burner project I’m working on.
<~Dan> Are you familiar with an OOP game called Dreamwalker?
<&Silverlion> Not H&S2E.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, that would be a cool idea, dream heroes. I’m intrigued.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, why yes! You ran me through Dreamwalker. 😉 It was very informative to me as a creator. I really appreciate you running it. 😀
<~Dan> Oh, that’s right! I forgot that you were one of my players. 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> I appreciate you running it. 😀 Seriously, it got the gears turning on my own game. It was meant to be. 😉
<~Dan> Awesome. 🙂
<~Dan> Do you have any plans for another game after this one?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Yes. However, for now, I’m focusing on POWERED by the DREAMR and the other zine I’m a part of, Love’s Labour’s Liberated for 5e. After them, I’m thinking of another PbtA game but it’s too early to declare that as my next mission. 😉
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> For now, it’s PbtD and LLL and articles, always RPG articles. 😀 And promoting RPG crowdfunding campaigns. 😀
<~Dan> What have you learned about the RPG creation process that hadn’t occurred to you beforehand?
<&Silverlion> I definately like the sound of Dreamr more than Dreamwalker, honestly.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, that planning to continue to createing during a
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> (hit enter too soon)
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, that planning to continue to create during a Kickstarter campaign is NOT an option. There’s no extra time for it.
* ~Dan nods
<&Silverlion> Nope. Turns out you spend most of your time trying to get word out, interviews, etc.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> As well, originally I did not factor in character backgrounds for this. Everyone was going to be the Dreamr and nothing more (effectively). Through playtesting, I learned that I need to make some backgrounds so kids/teens are different than older characters since they have different motivations. That said, I’m still figuring that out.
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, eiricepadraig, preach!!!!
* ~Dan chuckles
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> SilverLion, I appreciate the praise. I liked Dreamwalker but went a different direction. It was fun. That said, I’m glad you feel I have a leg up. That makes me smile. 🙂
<~Dan> In the time remaining, is there anything we haven’t covered that you’d like to bring up?
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Dan, this isn’t related to the zines/games (I’m proud of them but I gotta feed the “day job”), I do a lot of RPG KS promotion. If you have an RPG crowdfunding to promote, reach out to me here – (Link: http://tesseraguild.com/contact/)http://tesseraguild.com/contact/ or on FB here – (Link: https://www.facebook.com/egg.embry)https://www.facebook.com/egg.embry
<~Dan> As usual, those wishing to buy me a cup of coffee as a tip can do so here: (Link: https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe)https://ko-fi.com/gmshoe 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> For POWERED by the DREAMR, I’m eager to get it out there and see if my ideas about how to make the dream logic a system works. I think I’m onto something but I’m eager to hear if I nailed it or not. 🙂
<+Egg_POWEREDbytheDREAMR> Thanks again for having me on here, Dan! And thank you all for the questions and interest! 😀
<~Dan> You’re very welcome! If you’ll give me just a minute, I’ll get the log posted and link you. 🙂