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I have a dreamworld concept...

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Zadocfish, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    ... But I'm not sure how to act on it. I have worked a little on developing it, but mostly I've been trying to set forth the rules for the setting and let is go where it may.

    It's basically a Dream-world setting, but I think I put my own spin on it. The history, in a nutshell, is that when Earth started dying out, humanity failed to reach convenient space travel in time. Humanity discovered an alternate dimension linked to dreams and built a contraption that could take people there. The place started out as a blank slate, but soon after humans arrived it expanded to conform to their imaginations, expectations, fears, and desires.

    The "rule" of the setting is this: Imagination can create things, but it cannot alter any living thing (because all living things have their own basic desires and expectations). Also, time is extremely fluid. As an example, a traveler could walk through a silent forest and subconsciously, realize that there should be birds there. Then, there are birds there, and there always have been birds there. The world created birds, but those birds had their own life experiences, and thus parents, ancestors, and ecology. So now the silent forest is full of life and sound, and always has been, and the traveler walking through the forest would have no reason to imagine birds. But somewhere deep inside of himself, he remembers the forest being silent.

    Kind of like that. History can change easily, different regions experience time at different rates relative to the pace of life, and new animals can pop unexplained and unexplainable out of nowhere. Various lands, cities, and other sorts of things have cropped up since the world have been colonized; these include a land where everything is made out of candy, a land consisting of fabric, medieval kingdoms, lands filled with unspeakable monstrosities, and at least one fairly modern city. Also, the sky varies by location in both color and firmament; once you look beyond that, "space" in the setting is essentially mankind's collective id.

    I already have a lot of work done on an RPG for the setting, again, mostly just the rules. The idea of the RPG is to allow players to play as literally anything they want within reason and have it work within the party. I can post the link to the googledocs, if anyone would like me to.

    I just thought I would ask: does this idea have any potential? I can think of a few story possibilities, since the setting is so varied. But should I make it more dreamlike? Less? I really don't quite know what to do with it.
     
  2. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    You are describing Lovecraft's 'Dreamlands.'
     
  3. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    It's inspired by Lovecraft's Dreamlands, but it's not really that much like it. Kind of like how Custom Robo is similar to Armored Core; there's a lot of common ground, but there's enough differences to make it not the same thing. I forget at the moment if that "life can be created, but not changed" rule exists for Dreamlands, or about the history collapsing causing false memory syndrome. And I doubt that Dreamlands has a candyland.

    Basically, I've always imagined, based on the Dream Journey into Unknown Cadeth (I think?) that the Dreamlands were considerably more mundane than what I'm going for here.
     
  4. KC Trae Becker

    KC Trae Becker Troubadour

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    This post is great! I've just started working on a dreamland location for an event in my story. It's always helpful to see what others do to inspire my own ideas.

    In your dreamland would travel be instantaneous? Or would you have to travel through other people's dream creations to get anywhere?

    Are the created things solid? Do people need to eat and sleep in your dreamland?
     
  5. I really think this idea has a TON of potential. The only hindrance I can see, honestly, is the enormous scope of the project. I feel like you should narrow down the world to a few core concepts that can be altered by the mind- otherwise, it'll take only one guy thinking "the entire world is covered in lava" to screw it all up.

    10/10 though, great idea! I'd love to see your document on this.
     
  6. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    If there are living things in a location, that location is fairly stable; so, traveling is fairly mundane. The dream creations exist on their own terms after they pop up; everything you see in the dreamlands is the eventual, often branching result of one or multiple people's minds. But it's rather stable. So, no, travel isn't instantaneous (though it might seem that way to an observer if you're traveling through somewhere where the pace of life is slower), and you have to travel through the work of others to get anywhere.

    Finally the land is mostly solid. It's a little hard to put into words; reality itself, and time, is fragile. But living things need to eat, sleep, and all that other stuff, and the physical world itself is solid.

    That's an interesting concept, actually. However, the environment is kind of an amalgamation of the consciousnesses of just about all the people living there, so one person's thought doesn't have too much pull. Maybe they might end up making a little volcano or, if it's a common fear, excessive tectonic activity, but it wouldn't end in genocide unless there was a mass panic. People like that would have been mostly filtered out of the species by natural selection after a few hundred years, though.

    When out in unexplored country on your own, though, it's a different matter. Places like the land of Candy spring up often as a result of a single explorer. The lava thing would probably kill the traveler, but there wouldn't be enough life in a land like that to make it stay after the man disappeared. If that makes any sense. Like, the more observed a place is, the more stable it is. A place like candyland comes complete with its own population to experience it, so it stays after creation; a volcano would fade back into nothingness soon after discovery.

    I'm not sure if those clarifications make it less confusing or more...

    Thank you for the encouragement though, it means a lot to me.
     
    KC Trae Becker likes this.
  7. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

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    Put simply, I don't like the fluid-time concept. Clearly in your RPG this needs no accounting for - but in a story it gets messy, very quickly.
    I would prefer that people remember birds and other things before they go in, and introduce them as they go - he makes 30 birds, and they expand into a diverse family. But there needs to be regulations on how much you can tamper, and that could make an interesting plot point.

    What you have done so far is established a pretty cool world. What you should do now is think of some possible conflicts that could arise in this world, and shape a story around it. Of course, that regulation thing would be nice - if a villain could break the rules here, and begin messing with things - perhaps if he was detected, he would be removed from the dream. So instead, he does passive things, like increases rain, introduces destructive species. On the outside he is one of those guys with candy valleys - but he also is messing around with other's things.

    Good luck!
     
    KC Trae Becker likes this.
  8. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    Hm. I hadn't considered how plot-destroying constant historical revision would be. Thanks for pointing that out. Maybe I could make it so the regulation is that the higher-populated or better-known a place is, the harder it is to imagine new things there?
     
    KC Trae Becker likes this.
  9. Mectojic

    Mectojic Minstrel

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    Interesting concept. What I would consider would follow those guidelines - a group collective agreement on what people can imagine.
    Perhaps there could be head imaginers - perhaps only some trusted people in society can make new things.

    The possibilities are endless, because your idea is very open, and I like that.
     
  10. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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    I don't think that would work so well; the world itself reacts to minds, so I don't think a ruling council could rule over the entire plane. It's like, the world itself makes things out of thoughts, rather than people doing it on purpose. You're right in a way about a "collective agreement"; the more people accept that something is the way it is, the more likely it is to stay that way.

    Think that would work just as well?
     
  11. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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  12. Zadocfish

    Zadocfish Troubadour

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