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Deep Morphean Transmissions

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"Hello? Mission control? This is Agent McCormack reporting in. Location... deep dreamscape, second layer, reflection of East-London dockyards. Requesting urgent support. Entire team pinned in combat with unknown assailants." 

"At least [fragment missing] on our position. Seemingly human, emerging from the harbour, most with fish-like alterations, many armed. ...I don't know, give me a [speech inaudible, sounds of gunfire]. Good God, it's huge! Coming out of the water, slithering this way." 

"It's [fragment missing]." 

"Oh! I hear police sirens in- [wet ripping sounds] Jesus, it got Granger, his skin came right off... Mucus everywhere, guns don't do... oh Jesus Christ, it sees me! [inaudible, heavy breathing and footsteps] Get me out of here! I can't-" 

[Transmission ends in static]

It is easy to assume that what we see in our waking hours comprise the sum total of reality, and that the places we visit in dreams are mere phantoms, illusions conjured by our sleeping minds and nothing more. But what if that wasn't true? What if the world of our dreams were as real as our waking lives? Indeed, what if it were possible to visit these places while still lucid; to project one's mind out of one's body and into the strange vistas that lurk beyond the veil of sleep, outside of the physical world? Upon descending into the worlds of dreams and madness, what would an intrepid explorer find there? And, indeed, what would gaze back at them with cold, piscine eyes of their own?

In this game, your players will find the answers to these questions, and more. Taking on the rolls of field-agents of the quasi-official Morpheus Agency, they venture into the dreamscape on missions of exploration and espionage. As they progress, they'll encounter strange beings, glitches in the very fabric of reality, and conspiricies that reach across the void between dimensions. 

The game's mechanics will be familiar to those already acquainted with old-school gaming, but feature a number of adaptations to reflect the surreal nature of exploration of the Dreamscape. Of note:

  • Players track their character's heart rate, with each dice roll adding to their heart rate. Should their heartbeat become to rapid, cardiac arrest will force them to be withdrawn from the dreamscape. Likewise, loss of HP in the dreamscape will force withdrawel due to pain, rather than resulting in character death.
  • Upon being forced out of the dreamscape, the stress placed upon the character results in complications going forward; player characters are hard to kill off and instead become permenantly scarred by their experiences.
  • XP is earned for uncovering facts & secrets and achieving mission objectives, unlocking new ways to explore the Dreamscape as the Agents level up. In this way, the game becomes about picking at the various threads of the setting's conspiricies and complications.
  • And various other tweaks to familiar formulas in order to streamline play or bring the setting's tone and metaphysics to the forefront.

This book contains guidelines to running the game, including a guide to the true nature of reality and a comprehensive list of the various entities that might be encountered seemingly benign agents of the Hypnos Department, to the weirdness of reality-glitches and memetic hazards, to the vast horror of the Dreaming Leviathan. Also included is a more in-depth guide and commentry on the rules provided in the materials for players.

Also, there's some rather lovely full-page illustrations by Scrap Princess.

This book doesn't contain character creation rules, and only skims over the basic mechanics. Those are contained in the materials for players (available for free here) that cover all the player-facing mechanics; you'll want to read them as well if you're going to run this game.

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Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Eon F May 01, 2023 3:26 am UTC
This is uncomfortably similar to Jared Sorenson's Lacuna Part 1. It's not just the dreamworld concept or even the quasi-governmental agency framing, but even using heartrate instead of hit points? This is like very very similar to Lacuna. It's still up for sale over at Memento Mori:

Not sure how I feel about this...?
Customer avatar
Patrick S March 22, 2020 12:16 pm UTC
Awesome product.
Just imagine playing all those delicious weirdo osr dungeons with a coherent backstory: They're all dreamscapes the agents have to traverse.
Fucking brilliant.
Customer avatar
Neil S January 10, 2020 2:58 am UTC
Customer avatar
Adrian M June 05, 2019 6:17 am UTC
Two of my favorite authors! This project looks amazing.
Whenever this hits the POD I'll get the bundle :-)
Customer avatar
Andrew S May 17, 2019 1:53 pm UTC
I normally buy the book + .PDF combo. Can't wait for that to hit.
Customer avatar
Clint W May 15, 2019 12:09 am UTC
Any plans for a physical copy? Softback or hardback?
Customer avatar
Emily A May 16, 2019 2:50 am UTC
getting stuff in print is often quite tricky for me as the software I'm using to layout my stuff doesn't quite interface with DTRPG's printers perfectly. No disrespect to DTRPG here, it's my fault for insisting on doing everything the hard way to save money.
In theory though, there'll be a book out at somepoint. Probably hardback, just because it's more prestige-ey, but I'm unsure.
Customer avatar
Colin C June 11, 2019 1:51 am UTC
What software are you using now?
Customer avatar
Alan B September 08, 2021 11:48 pm UTC
Is there a physical copy yet?
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File Last Updated:
May 14, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on May 14, 2019.