Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Trouble with Dreams / Changeling: the Lost does Inception?

I'd always glossed over the Dream rules in Changeling: the Lost. Yeah yeah, they can enter dreams and do stuff. Blah blah blah. 
That is neither exciting nor awesome.

Then, on Friday night I finally watched Inception.
Now, Inception is not the best film in the world, not by a longshot, but it is chock full of ideas. It tries very hard (as my wife generously said), and features a lot of complex concepts (five layers of reality? WTF) though.

So, whilst watching it I found myself thinking 'this could be a good game if it was cleaned up a bit. What system would best support it?'

Duh! Changeling: the Lost. Obviously.

So I've been reading the Dream rules in C:tL again. And again. And again.

I really want them to make sense. I really do.
I've gone over them so many times, and keep feeling as though there's something missing.
A Changeling can clearly do some cool shit when in a dreamscape, i'm just at a bit of a loss on how they get into some dreamscapes.

I found this thread on the WW forums, which answers some of my questions, but not all.
The final entry in the thread goes some way to clarifying the rules, which to my mind are quite poorly articulated.

My current understanding of the rules for entering dreams are:

  • Changeling enters own dreams - No cost
  • Changeling enters own Fetches dreams - 1 Willpower
  • Changeling enters the dreams of a person dream pledged to them - 1 Glamour
  • Changeling enters the dreams of a mortal - Meditation roll, 8 successes required, must be in a Hollow or Hedge
  • Changeling enters the dreams of another Changeling's Fetch - Meditation roll, 12 successes required, must be in a Hollow or Hedge
  • Changeling  enters the dreams of a person Dream-tasked to another Changeling - Meditation roll, 16 successes required, must be in a Hollow or Hedge

Additionally, I believe that the Dream Contract 'Forging the Dream' allows a Changeling to sidestep the 'needing to be in the Hedge/Hollow rule, and enter a sleeping Mortals dreams by being able to see them instead.
I've come to these conclusions because I can't quite see why somebody would want to rape another member of their Motley's dreams, or why a Fetch would sign up to a Dream-Task Pledge.

I'd really appreciate it if somebody with experience of running Dreams in a Changeling: the Lost game could give me some pointers here.

Now, back to the cool shit - Using Changeling to run Inception/Extraction missions.
The Oneiromancy section in the core rules clearly states that a Changeling can Learn About the Dreamer, but limits that knowledge to statistical knowledge - Virtue, Vice, Derangements, Willpower, Social/Mental Merits and Flaws.
I would say that a Changeling could also Extract one secret per five successes on the Wits + Empathy + Wyrd roll. The Changeling would have to specify what they were looking for - the combination to a safe, the location of a kidnapped child, the missing ingredient to a potion - and roll for success. They couldn't just randomly fish.
Oneiroimancy also states that a Changeling can Convince The Dreamer, and load them up with additional dice to be used against them in a social situation.
I think this is where Inception comes in. I think a Changeling could implant one simple idea per 5 successes on the Wits + Empathy + Wyrd roll.