Friday, 11 January 2019

Fragments of Alternate Worlds

The results of a set of random tables in the dreamscape game. Each describes a snapshot of a new reality. Roll one or more, mix and match results. Surrealism ensues.

  • Trees the size of skyscrapers, near-indestructible. Cities beneath their canopies.
  • 8-day week, 13-month year, nonsensical calendar. 
  • Triffid Apocalypse. Plants and Pod-people everywhere. Overgrown.
  • Flooded, everything is built on stilts/concrete pillars/platforms. Landscape surprisingly flat, shallow lagoons and the odd low island. Think Venice meets Waterworld. High likelihood of Aboleths.
  • Single world government, totalitarian state. Squid man puppeteers.
  • Orwellian nightmare. Surveillance cameras fucking everywhere, everything is micro-Dchipped. Ankle-tags are fashion statements.
  • Necropolis-world. Cities built upon tombs. Bones as building material. Corpses choke the streets. A red sun hangs in the sky.
  • Space-travel not merely a pipe dream. Orbiting space-station homes for the wealthy, first colonies beginning to settle mars & luna, mining in operation. Hoverboards & flying cars.
  • Environmental meltdown. Food shortages, mass extinction, weather patterns go haywire. Soylent Green Co. food surprisingly popular.
  • Storm clouds overhead, rain in constant downpours, distant thunder ever-present. Lightning illuminates the overcast gloom in sudden flickers.
  • Everything is nuclear-powered. Tiny reactors power cars, telephones, flashlights.
  • Mutually assured nuclear destruction renders violence unthinkable.  Everybody has nukes, right down to beat cops and common thugs carrying radium grenades. Nobody dares pull the trigger. Crime replaced by brinksmanship and tense negotiation.
  • Burn the recently dead or they come back… wrong. Improperly buried ghouls prowl the streets at night. Agents of Saint Theresa secretly crusade against the hungry revenants.
  • World is dry, dust rains from the sky instead of water. Plant life is withered and desiccated. Rivers and oceans of ashen dust.
  • Cyberborg technology common. Bionic limbs and eyes are fashion statements, cybernetic implants exist for any task or taste.
  • WW1 never ended. Constant air raids. Propaganda the dominant art-form. Shifting alliances, no longer clear who The Enemy is.
  • Air is toxic, corrosive. Merely being outdoors requires gas masks to cope with the poisonous atmosphere. Vorm lurks in the smog.
  • Global archive. Every building stuffed with file storage, paper records or computer databanks. Whole districts dedicated to record-keeping. Bureaucracy interminable. Written records of everything.
  • Twin suns. Day-night cycle irregular. Tides dramatic and unpredictable. Weather prone to extremes.
  • Whole world one big city. Kowleen-style slums built strata-like on top of one another, skyscrapers for the wealthy emerge from the kilometre-high urban tangle like mountain peaks above cloud cover. Down below, smog & gloom, drizzle of pollution-rain, urban decay.
  • No children or elderly people. Population remains stable through unclear means. People simply are. 
  • Heavy Nightmare populations, large glitch-zones, reality in flux.
  • Time of day paused at dawn/midday/early evening/dusk/midnight. People sleep when they feel like it, day-night cycle is largely non-existent, society carries on 24 hours a day.
  • Instead of money, trade is conducted using days of your lifespan. Death by old age creeps a day closer when you buy your groceries, is averted with each paycheck. The wealthy are undying horrors. 
  • Writing isn’t, cannot be permanent. Art & photos likewise fleeting. Corrupts to gibberish in a matter of days or weeks. Only memory is reliable. Vat-grown brains replace computer chips.
  • Causality & chance are all fucked up. Unlikely coincidences are incredibly common, reliably so. Once a certain threshold of improbability is reached, coincidences become almost certain. 
  • People occasionally spontaneously project when they dream. No control over where they go, explore their new destination in a trance-like state.
  • Writing defines reality. Until something is written about, it exists in quantum uncertainty, taking a record pins down the truth.
  • Every midnight, the dead return to life none the worse for wear. Only death from old age is permanent. Mutilation replaces murder.
  • State of the world resets near-exactly each dawn. World is stuck in groundhog-day loops with only incremental changes.
  • Naturally-occurring portals to other layers, you can walk right through them.
  • Doorways (and hatches, trapdoors, etc) link together weirdly. A door can open to a location nowhere near it. Space is a foam of tangled wormholes with doors at each end.
  • Photographs capture the soul, move of their own volition. Burn a photo, and the subject suffers and writhes. Cameras are pre-emptive voodoo weapons. Television is weird witchcraft.
  • The earth is flat, the sky a dome of firmament. Squid-men and their mind-slaves cover this up to the best of their abilities. Geography is all wrong.
  • Squid men, Vorm, Nightmares and worse all walk openly among humanity. Humans don’t notice, can’t notice. Universal perceptual filters prevent frightened responses, citizens can’t comprehend anything unpleasant. A world of sheep with wolves in their midst.
  • Humans no longer dominant species, world ruled by something else.
  • Death isn’t permanent. Wait long enough, and anything heals.
  • Mirrors are windows to some other mirror-world reality. 
  • No colour, everything monochrome. Colour from other layers a maddening, incomprehensible breakdown of reality to these people.
  • People don’t sleep. Not having continuity-of-consciousness is seen as akin to death. Those who fall unconscious awaken as legally new people. 


  1. What is this magic! Where is this dreamscape you mention?

  2. This is awesome stuff. I really wish I would have had this for my last game in the dreamlands. Awesome stuff

  3. Thank you for this! I used this over the weekend to run a game for my niece and nephew, they ran around smuggling a package through shifting, glitching reality.