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Are you an adept dreaming he's a butterfly? Or are you a butterfly dreaming he's an adept who's dreaming he's a butterfly?
Onieromancy (AKA Dreamers, Winkles)
Life is a dream. It has to be.
When your father beat you or your mother ignored you or your big brother crept into your room at night to do things neither of you truly understood to you, it wasn’t real. It was a dream, that’s all—maybe a bad one, even a horrible one. One you couldn’t really wake up from and couldn’t run to snuggle in bed with Mommy to escape from. But it was a dream, and you can’t get hurt in dreams.
But soon, you didn’t want to wake up, to escape. Escape was just a dream. Mommy was just a dream. Even waking up was just a dream. And in the dream you found nothing had to hurt at all—or even be.
Your college Lit professor cracked the class up describing solipsism as “Not believing in anything above your eyebrows”, but all you could do was silently nod. What was so funny? Maybe your forehead and your mind and all your memories and your goals and your hates, wants and fears—maybe they don’t exist, just part of some enormous sub-conscious prank that happens in the eternity between rolling off the bed and hitting the floor.
But you realized none of that matters. And when you realized that, everything in the world cared that you decided it didn’t matter. It gave you power.
The central paradox of Onieromany is that your magic gives you incredible control over your Universe—which doesn’t exist. In order to affect the world you have convinced yourself that it isn’t real, and thus not worth concerning yourself about. Sure, it’s your dream, and you can cry if you want to, but what’s the point?
Onieromancy Blast Style: What’s the similarity between Marines and your victims? They don’t die, they just fade away. A Winkles minor blast causes bits and pieces of the target to fall off as gossamer smoke, while the significant blast fades them like an after-image. The more damage they take, the more they fade until they disappear completely (no forensic evidence at all). Also, an attack with either blast is a Rank-10 Helplessness check, and the damage cannot be healed by medical means. However, if the target takes a moment to concentrate (doing nothing else), she can “reform” herself with a successful Soul check, which you assemble as melee weapon damage and heal that amount. However, this only works for damage from this blast, so keep track of Onieromancy Blast damage and regular damage separately.
Example: Biff hits Poor Shmuck with a well placed slug for 26 damage, and a Minor Blast for 12. Poor Shmuck gets away long enough to concentrate for two rounds, assembling the dice (and himself) into a total of 20 healed points of dmage. The 12 is gone, and the rest is wasted.
Finally, on a Critical Failure, the Winkle himself begins to fade. Roll the dice and assemble them like Firearms Damage, regardless of total (a 99 is still a 99). On the bright side, the blast still works on the other guy, so you may be road trippping together into La La Land.
Generate a Minor Charge:[/b]
Spend a scene contemplating a dream you have had, in a place much like where the dream took place. If you dreamed of being attacked by alligators in a swimming pool, you could contemplate your dream in your swimming pool out back.
Generate a Significant Charge:
Spend a day or so in a dreamlike state, just walking around and not interacting, being naught but an observer. Alternatively, find a highly charged situation, and spend the duration of the encounter “Not Really Being There”. Standing amongst a horrible car wreck as people cry for help, perhaps looking them in the face with no expression is good. So is being in a house or forest fire. You have to be a part of the activity, but you can’t do anything—you can’t just stand outside the police lines and watch the building burn, you have to be amongst the firefighters and other helpers (you don’t have to put yourself in danger to get the charge). Of course, standing in the middle of a family fight without saying anything may also be acceptable if your GM allows.
Generate a Major Charge:
Come unscathed from a horrible disaster, like a plane or train wreck. Or choose to dispassionately stand aside while someone you love goes through horrible tragedy or violence: watching your father get shot by your brother, or watching your little sister be raped are good examples. The victim of tragedy must know you are there doing nothing, and furthermore you have to do this without failing a Stress check! Pass the Stress Check, gain some Mojo—and truly reveal the creature you have become to one who thought they knew you.
Physical contact. Touching things makes them real, and your power demands things are NOT real. If any object makes contact with your bare skin, you lose all charges. Wearing thick padded gloves and clothing offset this effect, unless you hold an object too long. As for contact with other people, it’s a bit more difficult. If the touch is lighter than a fingertip brush, you taboo out. Bullets, knives and other weapons hitting you do not force a taboo, but a punch will. Don’t pick too many fistfights.
Random Magick Domain:
Existence and Non-Existence. Minor effects affect the illusion of existence, while significant effects actually affect existence itself. This domain can make things invisible or insubstantial, or simply unnoticeable. It may seem powerful, but it is all you can do. If reality is a TV, other adepts get to change the channels, volume and even programming; all you get is an on/off switch.
Newly created Onieromancers have three minor charges.
Onieromancy Minor Formula Spells
I Don’t Believe You
Cost: 2 minor charges
Effect: This is the Onieromancy Minor Blast spell.
Cost: 2 minor charges
Effect: The target’s worst fear comes to life as a hallucination. This will most certainly provoke a Stress Check, but what type depends on the hallucination. A raging killer will bring out a Violence Check, while a huge octopus with wrapping tentacles might be a Helplessness Check. However, this never evokes an Unnatural Check; in your dreams everything makes sense. This spell is often used by Winkle mentors to train their students.
Cost: 1 minor charges
Effect: You can send someone a dream. You must know their name and general location. The dream can be anything, described in as much detail as desired. If the person knows dreams are being sent to him, it is a Rank-3 Unnatural Check. Of course, the target has to remember the dream for it to be effective; the target makes a minor Mind check when he wakes up. If he succeeds, he’ll be thinking about it.
Cost: 1 minor charge
Effect: While this spell is in effect, the adpet moves through life as if in a dream: nobody will touch her, on purpose or accident. She can walk down madison Avenue at lunch time without wrinking her pantsuit. This spell lasts as long as she is moving in a straight line. Zig-zagging may be allowed, but any turn more than forty degrees breaks the spell. Still, if you're running away from someone, a huge crowd is one more obstacle you've crossed, and he has to deal with.
Cost: 2 minor charges
Effect: The target takes an uncaring dreamlike reaction to everything. This can be used to cancel a roll on the Stress Meter any one time. However, the target will also be apathetic about everything else for a while (if a Dreamer casts this on himself, his friends might not even see the difference). The character is “out of it” until he makes either a significant Soul Check, encounters another Stress Check situation, or falls asleep.
What’s The Symbology?
Cost: 2 minor charges
Effect: For the scene, the Onieromancer gains Symbolsight (talk to your GM) at a rank equal to her Magick: Onieromancy score. This allows her to see the world with overlapped symbolic meanings, allowing her to pick out adepts, demons, avatars, the influence of the Clergy and stranger things. Depending on what level the game is being played on, the character might have no idea what she is looking at. Hey, transcendent knowledge is your problem, not this spell’s.
Onieromancy Significant Formula Spells
You Don’t Believe You
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: This is the Onieromancy Significant Blast
I Remember That
Cost: 1 significant charge
Effect: Certain aboriginal tribes in Australia place a great deal of meaning on dreams. If you see something in a dream, you have to look for it in the real world. This spell makes something terribly fascinating to the target; it’s not so much that he wants it, but rather that it is “more real” then everything else (including your 9mm). He will study it and stare at it, but he won’t touch it; no sense covering it in deadly neurotoxin.
De Ja Vu
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: The next time you sleep after casting this spell, you have a dream involving an object suitable to your next task. After making the Magick: Onieromancy roll, ask a question about an upcoming task you will have--"How can I kill the Unspeakable Servant", "How can I make Jack fall in love with me"?--and spend the charges. The dream you have will show you somewhere in it's crazed dream logic an item (which you automatically find and understand the significance) which will be invaluable when you attempt the action. Note that this spell only shows one item of the GMs choice; if you want to kill a normal human, a knife is just as likely to show up as a gun (the items are always relatively mundane. So asking how to kill a guy won't show you a nuclear winter or bio-terrorist attack).
Furthermore, just because you've found the object doesn't mean you can complete the task. Perhaps seducing Alex Abel requires a half empty box of doughnut holes, but good luck getting them to him!
That Place Between Sleep And Here
Cost: 2 significant charges
Effect: This spell puts a person in a groggy, confused state of mind similar to post-hypnotic suggestion. The Onieromancer gets a +30% shift on Charm and similar rolls.
Cost: 3 significant charges
Effect: The Oneiromancer gains the Flying Woman 71%-90% Channel. The Magick: Onieromancy roll is made by the GM in secret, with the number in the ones place being the duration in minutes (So a 23 would be worth three minutes of flight, while a 30 would be worth ten)
Strangled With Gossamer
Cost: 8 significant charges
Effect: This causes a person to fade temporarily from existence. The caster must make an effigy of the target with white silk, and then bury it with seven spider eggs, and something the person has but has forgotten (an old toy or book, or a picture of an old lover). When it is cast, the person’s identity fades from existence. Nobody remembers him or recognizes him; not his mom, his dad, his lover his children. There are no records of him anywhere. He has effectively ceased to exist. These experiences invoke a Rank-10 Isolation check, and perhaps several other checks as he slowly realizes what has happened.
This spell is permanent, and no matter what the target does, he cannot form a new identity. No paperwork ever seems to go though, and no one can hold him in their memory long enough to form any sort of relationship. The only person who remembers the target is the Onieromancer. Furthermore, if anyone touches the effigy that was buried, they gain the ability to remember the person as well. If they knew the person before he faded, they now remember everything about him they knew. This evokes a Self Check, with the level depending on how well they knew and cared for the target (forgetting a co-worker is Rank-1; forgetting your only son is Rank-10).
If the target can find the effigy that was buried (If he even knows such a thing exists; he may not is he isn’t part of the occult underground), he gains back his identity. Everything comes back to the way it should be, and nobody makes any Stress Checks. As fast as it happened, it’s over.
One advantage to being targeted by this spell is that it cancels a Proxy if the Proxy Skill is less then the casters Magick: Onieromancy. The target still must make the Isolation Check, however. Being not ripped from your natural place, but simply forgotten, is a horrifying experience no matter how well prepared you are.
The Gossamer Robe
Cost: 8 significant charge
Effect: This turns the caster into a formless being, able to travel at great speeds and go anywhere. This spell creates a ritual garment, made of some transparent or translucent material (a robe of silk, or a clear poncho) presented at the tie of casting. Once cast, the robe is made, and to activate the spell thereafter the caster must spend another 8 charges (so the first casting is essentially sixteen charges).
When the Winkle puts on the robe and spends the charges, she becomes an incorporeal being without shape or form. She can fly at speeds up to 120 mph, and her formless shape can slip through the smallest openings. She has 360 degree vision, but all other senses are normal (and present; touch it, lick it, snort it). She cannot effect anything in her surroundings, but she can see just about everything (looking at a vase, for example, allows you to see all sides of the vase simultaneously. Don’t try to figure it out).
The danger lies in the form itself—the fluid nature of the form makes it prone to fall into Otherspaces. The duration is effectively infinite, but for every hour in the form, the Onieromancer must make a Soul Check with a cumulative –10% shift after the first hour (So at two hours it’s –10%, at three –20%, etc.). If she fails, she falls into a local Otherspace, still in the Gossamer Robe form. On a Matched Failure, the unfortunate Dreamer resumes her human form. On a Critical Failure, she is sent to the land of Demons, never to be heard from again.
The Onieromancer in Gossamer Robes form cannot use any skills, including Magick. Finally, once she reforms, she must make a Significant Mind Check to remember the experience (It is a dreamlike state, after all). A success gleans all the information, while a Minor Success, gleans some. A Matched Success gives crystal clarity.
Onieromancy Major Effects
Cause a city to cease to exist in anyone’s mind or on any map. Designate an area and have a night’s worth of dreams come permanently to life. Effectively make the world your lucid dream for a night (making you effectively all-powerful).
What You Hear: The Onieromancer
There is a Winkle who had the idea of using Strangled With Gossamer to create Proxy’s no one would be able to find. But her horrible memory loss problems kept her from remembering whom she strangled, and where she buried her effigies. But she kept doing it. There is now a sizeable group of these pitiful things that time forgot, and they have started to find each other. Woe be unto the world that abandoned them.
They already have oneiromancy. Though I like this, the major charge seems almost too easy, particularly for a hardened one. A couple spells might be too powerful.
Major charge almost definately too easy, particularly for "world is a lucid dream" effect.
Another outlook this breed of oneiromancers might have (though very rarely, I imagine) is not that the world is entirely a dream, but that dreams are important or, though imaginary, have effects on the real world, that the real world affects the dreams and the dreams affect the real world. A crazy interplay of cause and effect. By finding ways to see the world as it is affected by dreams (and the potent power of symbols/symbolism present in the UA universe), they gain the ability to drag further dream influence into the world.
"What's the Symbology?" Heh.
Mr Unlucky | profile | Aug 04, 03 | 1:13 am
Funny thing... I was going to write something very much like that stuff... Anyway, you seem to do it better, than what was forming in my mind. Maybe the next school I'm thinking of will not be written faster by someone else :)