Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dream Journeyers

Art by Rolland Barthélémy

According to its glossary, “Rêve is a game of the Journey, a game of eternal quests: journeys by road, journeys across dreams, journeys to the depths of oneself.”  Most people in the Rêve setting develop a wanderlust “in their twenties” and undertake the Journey (thus capitalized).  Some return to their starting point; others, “having found a favorable site, may found their own villages.”  In fact, “most villages or towns of any importance were founded by former Journeyers.”  As a result, many villages have a Journeyers' House:
a kind of inn where, when the custom is observed, itinerant Journeyers are lodged and fed for free.  It's a common way of helping those who are still on the road, and of showing that even if the Journey is no longer in the legs of some, it remains in their hearts.
There are cities, but very few.  We are told that most cities date “back to the Second Age.”  Yet having survived the cataclysm of the Great Awakening they have been “significantly warped in one way or another.”  More specifically, “Whether it's a weird superstition, garbled legends, or absurd cults, each city is characterized by some folly or other.”

At the end of the Second Age, the Great Empire ruled over most of human civilization.  “Over the centuries,” the rules state, “the varied tongues spoken there eventually melded into a single language, with local variations in accent and vocabulary, but nevertheless a single, common tongue.”  Rêve intimates that 'Journeyer' – the common (human) language of the Third Age – is based upon the Empire's linguistic tradition.

A rift is a type of passage between two distinct dreams.  They “are never truly fixed” and the passage is one-way.  Rifts appear as “a colored flickering, a moiré in the ambient air.”  A violet moiré represents the open end of a rift and a yellow moiré represents the terminal end.

Page 140 states, “Player Characters are by definition Journeyers.” Actually, they are 'authentic' Journeyers:
...they have at least once had the experience of passing through a rift...As a result, they are not in their world of origin and they know that their chances of ever seeing home again are infinitesimally slight.
Aside from being a Journeyer, each player character is either a True Dreamer or High Dreamer.  The primary difference is that High Dreamers are magicians.  Since it is generally believed that magicians caused the end of the Second Age and are responsible for the ensuing cataclysm, “in many places High Dreamers are ill regarded.”  It so happens that, “In some cities, anyone even suspected (or accused) of practicing this crime [is] immediately put to death.”  However, death in Rêve is not the end of the line for a player character.

As indicated in last week's post, the death of a character means that the Dragon dreaming the character wakes.  The Dragon will eventually resume its slumber and the character will return (just not in the same scenario/dream in which the character died).  From the perspective of the player character, she merely wakes up in a new life and his or her prior existence seems as if it was a dream.
She may not be the exact same age as in her dream, is surely not dressed the same way, and may not even know how to do the same things.  But it is her.
Thus the character is reincarnated after a fashion.  “If the character dies again,” according to page 58, “she will awaken again from what she thought was reality only to realize it was a dream.”  Her characteristics will remain the same as they were in the previous existence.  If a given characteristic was improved by experience, the improved value will carry over to the next incarnation.  The character's skills, however, are reassessed.  A True Dreamer might become a High Dreamer in a subsequent life, or vice versa.

Each character has an Archetype:
A character's Archetype is his essential self, the sum of everything he has been throughout his supposed anterior “lives”.  The Archetype contains all of his acquired knowledge, his global memory.
In order for a character to be complete, his Archetype must be created.
An Archetype is created by assigning 'levels' to the various skills available in Rêve.  It is important to note that, “A character's current level in a given skill has no necessary bearing on a character's Archetype.”  However, if a character's current level in a skill is less than his or her Archetype's level in that skill, the character may be able to improve said skill via an experience method called Archetype Memory:
When subjected to stress, fragments of a character's former lives inhabit her nocturnal dreams.  These stress induced dreams are so powerful that upon awakening the character will recall actual experiences – and hence skills – of a former life.
Your humble host is reminded of TSR's AMAZING ENGINE® system wherein player characters are derived from Player Cores:  an array of dice pools that can be improved and used in creating subsequent characters in the same or another “universe.”  However, given the variety of AMAZING ENGINE® universes, Player Cores are limited to determining attribute values and do not affect skills.

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