Surreal gaming. We don?t see much of it as the concept can be hard to explore. It can be tough for the DM to explain what is going on and the players can have difficulty wrapping their heads around what is going on. I have tried different levels of it in the past and usually the result is less then adequate. Some pictures just seem harder to paint. This might be why there are few Role Playing books that deal with the Surreal. Unlike most other topics the surreal requires a bit more from the reader and his ability to understand and follow what is going on. When it is being run the DM has to do a better job of explaining what is going on as the setting and the experiences can be difficult to get across. Communicating the right feel may be the toughest hurdle, but there are plenty of places people can get tripped up on. Dreams are a part of every person and probably the best example of something surreal. It has a commonality that everyone understand and can sort of picture. But I do not think that makes it that much easier to get across the surreal parts of them. Dreamscapes does take us into the characters dreams and the dreams of other creatures.
Dreamscapes is a new PDF by Adamant Entertainment. It is written by Joseph Miller or who I will forever know him as That Privateer Press Guy from the 2003 ENnies. Dreamscapes is a one hundred and fifty seven page PDF though it reads bigger then that. It does not have a lot of art so lots of text. The layout could use a little work there are some extra spaces at some pages end. The book marks are nicely done though.
Dreamscapes is about adventuring in dreams. It is both creative and complex. It is one of the supplements that I think will need to be played for a little while to get the hang of but the ideas in the book make it worth it. The basic idea is that inside dreams people can do things that cannot be done in the actual world. This is represented very well with dream points. Dream points can be used to help skill, feats, and magic all do more then they can normally do. Some of the items are almost epic as what can be done in a dream would be considered amazing in the real world. Like using the hide skill to become invisible, in a dream it makes sense. Having the heal skill be able to regenerate is another example. It would be interesting to an product that uses many of the new abilities in here and turns them into epic abilities and not just dream ones.
The true brilliance of the product though comes from describing the dream realms. The system is pretty flexible and allows for a lot of customization. It even discusses where the dream realms exist and does not tie it down to any one place. It does refer to the basic cosmology of inner and outer planes but it would be easy to switch this to say the plane of dreams like is seen in other d20 books and campaign settings.
There is a lot of information in this book and I know I just hit on a few highlight. The book does present the dream worlds in a very interesting and usable way. The mechanics might be a little tough; it is really hard to say without seeing them in action. However even if someone finds the mechanics not usable the detail and ideas contained within are easily worth owning this book for.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Very Good<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]