Tames Nightmares

Published June 2, 2015 by


Description

Dreams are a blessing for most living creatures. Weary travellers gladly slide into their bedrolls, ready to forget the waking world for a just a bit, plunging into the comfort of their dreams. They all yearn for a couple of precious moments spent with the ghostly fragments of pleasant memories long past.

However, this is not the case for you. You go to sleep out of necessity. You know what’s waiting for you there, in your mind’s subconscious. Whether you’re being chased through a forest, where the trees are made of black glass, blood seeping down their jagged branches, or torn apart by corpse abominations, stitched together from the body parts of a dozen men, your dreams have always been nightmarish pits of despair and pain.

You’ve tried everything you could to make the nightmares stop. You ran, you avoided them, you hid from the monsters of your subconscious, but sooner or later they always seemed to find you.

In the end you realized it’s time to stop running. You decided to face your inner demons and embrace them. Absorb them. Use them to your advantage. Now they’re an inseperable part of you. Nightmares still haunt your non-waking moments and you still wake up, drowned in your own sweat. But now you’re prepared. You go to sleep with the decisiveness, with which a warrior strides into battle, ready to face them head on. Ready to absorb them… and unleash them upon your enemies.

Details

GM Intrusion: Nightmares sometimes get out of control. Your inner demons choose a different, “juicier” target. Your own mind might be overcome by the horrors you’re trying to unleash on others.

Connection:

One of the PC’s has experienced the twisted abominations of your nightmares firsthand, as you pulled him into your dreams. Therefore all tasks to resist the effect of your nightmares are reduced by 2 steps.

Additional Equipment:

You have an oddity, a small fist-sized empty box. Everything you put in the box before you go to sleep will transfer over with you in the nightmare. If the items inside are exhausted in the dream, they are gone in the real world as well.

Esotery Effects:

Nightmare Esoteries: If you perform esoteries they take on the form of the horrors inhabiting your dreams. Your Stasis esotery might look like tentacles sprouting from the ground, holding the person in place. Your Onslaught might look like an ethereal screaming face. Your Blackout might cause the sensation of agonizing screams in the darkness.

Minor Effect Suggestions:
You instill emotions of dread and unease in someone. The target’s next task is modified 2 difficulties to its detriment, as they’re overcoming the negative emotions.
Major Effect Suggestions:
The essence of your nightmares infuses your body and dark energies extend in a swirling fashion around you. All hostile targets within immediate range waste their action trying to overcome your horrors for the next round.
Tier 1:

Mental Penetration: Your nightmares can break apart a target’s mental defenses. You are trained with all esoteries/tricks/moves which influence/assault the minds of your targets.

Resilient Psyche: No mental attack could ever match the horrors you’ve experienced in your own dreams. You are trained in Intellect defense.

Inability (The Night belongs to Them): Every time you go to sleep, you enter a battlefield, much more horrific than anything you can encounter in the waking world. You can not spend recovery rolls while you’re asleep. (You do however get all recovery rolls after a night’s rest, just like normal.)

Tier 2:

Infest Mind (3+ Intellect points): You infest a single target’s mind with one of your nightmares. All the target’s tasks are modified one difficulty to its detriment. This lasts for one minute. In addition, the PC can choose whether to apply effort towards lowering the task difficulty or infecting multiple targets (for each level of effort an additional target may be chosen). This ability has short range. Action.

Tier 3:

Wave of Fear (4 Intellect points): You unleash your twisted dreams in a form of an energy wave, radiating from you, causing madness and fear in all targets (including other players) within short range (Player Characters must make an Intellect defense roll against it every round while it is active). Creatures affected are terrified and run as far away from you as possible. You can maintain this ability by paying the ability cost plus applying a level of effort per target. If you cannot spend the Intellect points to maintain all afflicted targets, the effect wears off.

Applying the ability is an action, maintaining it an Enabler.

Tier 4:

Advanced Infest Mind: You are a master of infesting people’s minds with your nightmares. Your Infest Mind ability receives optional effects (you can use 1 optional effect per level of effort spent). You can not apply multiple effects on the same creature (though they can be spread out among multiple targets):

  • Target takes 2 Intellect damage (ignores Armor) for 3 turns, as it struggles to keep its mind intact from the horror’s destructive invasion.
  • Target’s vision is distorted and it will use its next action to attack the closest living creature next to it, be it friend or foe, thinking it’s the source of the mental assault.
  • Target is too busy fighting off the nightmare in his/her head. He/She takes an additional 1 difficulty level detriment to all perception tasks.

Nightmare Feast: You have learned how to absorb the nightmares of people sleeping around you, providing your comrades with a calm and pleasant slumber. All PC’s spending a night in short range of you gain a +2 to their first recovery roll the next day.

Tier 5:

Dream Cage (6 Intellect points): You can plunge a single living, thinking creature in short range into your subconscious for 1 minute, where it will battle for its life against the hellish beings, inhabiting your mind. The creature’s body falls on the ground, still functioning, but without a mind to control it. Any damage done to it will cancel the effect. During this time, all tasks you perform are modified one difficulty to your detriment, as you try and keep the victim from escaping your dream world.

Advanced Mental Penetration: You are specialized with all esoteries/tricks/moves which influence/assault a target’s mind.

Tier 6:

Manifest Nightmare (7+ Intellect points): You have tamed your nightmares up to a point, where you can manifest them in the real waking world (how the nightmares look like, depends on the PC).Action. You can either:

  • Summon a horrific level 6 abomination from your dreams somewhere within short range of you. As a level 6 creature, it has a target number of 18, 20 health and it deals 6 damage (further modifications/upgrades can be discussed between the GM and PC). The creature is uncontrollable and it will attack the closest target in range with the intention of ripping it apart. However you can try controlling it by succeeding on a level 6 Intellect task, after which ordering it around will be a free action. Banishing the creature is also a level 6 task and each failure reduces the difficulty by one step.
  • Summon a landscape from one of your nightmares, spanning a 100-foot cube (centered around the PC) for 10 minutes. Details about how it looks and acts depend on the PC and GM. The landscape is likely filled with death traps, acid pools, living trees, which try to dismember the closest targets etc. The landscape does not differentiate hostile and friendly targets. It will try and destroy any living creature in range. For every level of effort spent, the landscape’s radius will increase by 50 feet. Cancelling it is a level 7 task.

Advanced Wave Of Fear: You master the control over your nightmares. You can choose to exclude Player Characters from the effect of Wave of Fear.

  • Rafail Zlatarov

    I’d appreciate all feedback on whether you like/dislike the focus. If you dislike the focus, I’d appreciate posting a comment with some critique, so I know where and what to improve. Thanks!

  • While cool in concept, I think this foci suffers from a few issues, mostly in that 1) some things seem a bit over-powered. 2) it seems overwhelmingly combat focused and 3) some powers have lots of conditions restricting usage which makes them complicated

    With that in mind, here is my suggested rewrite:

    Tier 1: Mental Penetration: Your nightmares can break apart a target’s mental defences. You gain an asset to all tasks that cause intellect damage.

    Resilient Psyche: No mental attack could ever match the horrors you’ve experienced in your own dreams. You are trained in Intellect defence.

    Inability (The Night belongs to Them): Every time you go to sleep, you enter a battlefield, much more horrific than anything you can encounter in the waking world. You can not spend recovery rolls while you’re asleep. (You do however get all recovery rolls after a night’s rest, just like normal.)

    Tier 2: Infest Mind (3+ Intellect points): You infest the mind of a single target within short range with one of your nightmares for one round. All the target’s tasks are modified one difficulty to its detriment by the troubling thoughts. Additional points spent above 3 add one more round to the duration. Action.

    Tier 3: Wave of Fear (4 Intellect points): You unleash your twisted dreams in a form of an energy wave, radiating from you, causing madness and fear in all targets (including other players) within short range. Creatures affected (or players failing an intellect defence roll) are terrified for two rounds in combat or 1 minute if not, and run as far away as possible. Action.

    Dance with the Devil: When you sleep and enter that nightmarish battle field, you are more lucid. You can talk to the foul monstrosities there, the twisted alien shapes made of pure terror, and sometimes, they will answer with impossible, terrible knowledge. Every night, you can choose to sacrifice a number of recovery rolls for the next day (up to 4) in exchange for the answer to one question each about anything from the GM. The GM isn’t bound to tell you the complete or direct truth, and the answers are inevitably terrifying.

    Tier 4: In the Pale Moonlight (5 intellect points): Your Infest Mind ability now works like telepathy whilst you are sleeping. At an expenditure of 6 intellect, you summon another sleeping mind you have infested into your battlefield, where they are assaulted by the ultra-dimensional creatures that plague your mind. They fight to survive for one round, then fade away, any damage they suffer at the hands of the creatures (Erynth Grasks, Travonis Uls or similar) becoming real in the waking world. You can not summon them again until the next time you sleep.

    Tier 5: Unleashed Nightmare (6 Intellect points): Your nightmares will not be contained. You can reach out with our mind and unleash a nightmare into any level 4 or lower creature within short range. The nightmare consumes the creatures mind, taking control of its body, and attacks everyone it can, including players, until it dies. Action.

    Nightmare control: Nightmares outside your body are still part of your mind and when sleeping, you can control them. You can voluntarily enter a deep sleep and take direct control of all nightmares that originated in your mind. When you awake (a 1 round action), any nightmares you took control of attack you. Enabler.

    Tier 6: Manifest Nightmare (7+ Intellect points): You have opened a door in your mind. Now your nightmares do not need a host body – you can unleash directly into the real world. Action. You can either:

    Summon an Erynth Grask (level 6, pg. 240 corebook) or a Travonis Ul (level 6, pg. 263 corebook) to any spot within short range. These creatures are not under your control, but favour your enemies as first targets over your allies.

    Summon a landscape from one of your nightmares that spans a 100-foot cube centred on you, for 10 minutes. Details about how it looks and acts depend on the PC and GM. The landscape is filled with terrible things and environmental effects that render all tasks within it 2 steps more difficult and inflicts 1 ambient might damage to those within, every round. If intersecting solid objects, the landscape may create tunnels, passage ways and pits where before was solid matter – these tunnels fade from existence after the 10 minutes is up.