The River of Dream is a counterpart to the physical realm, an interface of sorts between the worlds of flesh and spirit. As such, it is comprised of symbolism, concepts, ideas, and emotions. Every living being interacts with the River of Dream; humans for the most part do so without conscious control. But those with the Dreaming advantage can take active control of their dreams, and Synthesis users are extremely powerful once unfettered from the realm of the flesh.
Non-dreamers may only enter the River of Dream by going to sleep and dreaming. Characters with the Dreaming advantage or the Dream Affinity Ability may enter the River of Dream by going to sleep, or through a ritual trance. Using a trance requires a Willpower or Dream roll versus a difficulty of 4, which can be modified through ritual aids and other support. Note that Squats or any character with an Aspect that blocks them from dreaming may not voluntarily enter the River of Dream, nor take any action while dreaming except defend themselves.
Humans without the Dreamer advantage are not able manipulate their dream realms in any way – they cannot tag or invoke Aspects or make declarations. As a result they cannot create items, weaponry or armor, and cannot leave their dream realms.
Characters with the Dreaming Advantage have much greater control over their dream realms and themselves. They are able to tag and invoke Aspects normally, and they are able to make declarations to create items, weapons or armor for themselves. They are also able to leave their dream realms to travel through the River of Dream (although they cannot interact with the physical world, that is the domain of the Dream Travel Power), and even attempt to enter the dream realms of others.
Ritual and blessed items that the character is in possession of before they begin dreaming will be present in the River of Dream, but otherwise the character must create any objects. These objects last for the duration of the Scene and are created by invoking the Dreamer aspect for effect, with the effect being the Declaration. Weapons have a +WR equal to the character’s Willpower, and armor has a +AR equal to the character’s Craft. Other items will have stats based upon the appropriate Ability. Dreamers may also make declarations regarding their anima, such as making themselves grow larger or smaller, growing wings, or basically anything that can be imagined.
Dreamers may also attempt to make declarations about the immediate dreamscape, as well as other dreamers and independent spirits. These declarations must be rolled using an opposed Willpower roll, with appropriate modifiers.
Characters that have the Dream Affinity Ability may use it in place of any other Ability for rolls within the River of Dream. In addition, dreamers that physically enter the River of Dream may also use Synthesis (as well as any Rotes or other Powers that use the Dream Affinity Ability) freely. Synthesis use in the River of Dream activates as a Simple Action without any modifier to activation difficulty, and does not require Focus Control (although the character can use Focus Control if they desire). However, backlash from failing to activate Synthesis still causes stress to the character’s Equilibrium stress track as normal in addition to the other dangers of physically entering the River.
Physical abilities in the River of Dream are represented by the character’s mental abilities as follows:
Reasoning = Agility
Willpower = Strength
Knowledge = Perception
Craft = Endurance
Stress from physical conflict in the River of Dream is dealt to the mental stress track. If the dreamer is killed while in the River of Dream, the dreamer awakens immediately. In addition, any Consequences the dreamer suffered as a result of physical conflict
in the River of Dream are likewise suffered by the character as physical consequences once they awaken. These consequences are downgraded one level. For example, if a character suffers a Major consequence during a physical consequence in the River of Dream when they awaken, they will suffer a Minor consequence.
There are a number of specialized actions that a Dreamer can attempt within the River of Dream.
Leaving a Dream Realm or Waking
Characters attempting to leave their own dream realm, or force themselves to wake up from dreaming must roll Willpower versus a difficulty of 0. The character must be well-rested. Add +2 to the difficulty if the character is dreaming after a full day of activity, and an additional +2 for every night of partial or missed sleep.
Creating a New Dream Realm
When a dreamer leaves their dream realm, it disappears. However the dreamer can create a new one by rolling Willpower versus a difficulty of 3. If successful, the margin of success becomes a bonus for all actions taken by the dreamer in the new realm.
Trapping a Spirit
A dreamer may attempt to trap a spirit when creating a new dream realm. This is done with an opposed Willpower roll. The spirit must succeed at an opposed Willpower roll to escape; the dreamer adds the margin of success to this roll, as above. However, trapped spirits get a natural +2 to all actions taken against the dreamer.
Enter Another’s Dream Realm
A dreamer may attempt to enter the dream realm of another dreamer. To do so, a contested Willpower roll is made. If the attacker succeeds, they enter the dream realm and get a bonus on all actions equal to the difference of the initial roll. If the attacker fails, the defender can choose to block access to their dream realm (the attacker cannot attempt to enter again until the defender wakes, goes to sleep and dreams again) or force the attacker into the realm. If the dreamer traps the attacker, they receive a bonus equal to the difference of the Willpower rolls; the trapped dreamer must succeed at a contested Willpower roll to escape.