Into the Nightmare

Describing the Dream

  • The once beautiful land of Silvanesti has turned into a living nightmare.
  • Each new creature that enters the dream brings with it more of its own fears and insecurities that the Nightmare can use to draw upon.
  • Perhaps one second they are alone on a dark road and without warning a twisted creature appears in the middle of the road.
  • From time to time, insert details to unnerve the players: someone calling their name in the dark, a child crying, the touch of cold fingers on the back of their neck, or the feeling of something crawling over their skin and beneath their armor.
  • Have them roll Will saves for no reason and simply shake your head telling them that they don’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

The Passage of Time and Distance

  • Time and distance pretty much become irrelevant.
  • The road that Alhana is confident leads straight to Silvanost has become twisted much like the rest of the forest. It forks and dead-ends in places where she swears it never has before. * * Sometimes the players may be walking in circles without even realizing it.
  • Anything farther than 60 feet could be off by 1d6x10 feet.
  • The forest is covered in a perpetual twilight.
  • Anyone attempting to fly finds that they are unable to go more than 30 feet up,
  • How much time has passed between encounters is up to you.
  • The Nightmare will constantly hound them to prevent any uninterrupted rest.
  • The city of Silvanost lies about 100 miles east of the bridge that crossed the Thon-Thalas. Making their way on foot would normally be about a three-day journey.

Becoming Lost

  • The hero in front may go to scout ahead and disappear from view, an opportune time to have them get lost
  • If heroes lose sight of one another in the dream the DM has to decide whether they make a player a Dreamshadow.
  • They are the same as the player hero in nearly every respect, so there is no need to inform the actual player that anything has changed.
  • Dreamshadows are unable to disbelieve the illusionary effects of the Nightmare.
  • If you kill the Dreamshadow you have not actually killed the hero, so you are free to make the hero’s death as horrible and tragic as possible.
  • You inform them that the hero shows up again later in the game it should prove to be quite an interesting turn of events!

Effects of the Dream

  • If the heroes do not take the time to make an attempt to disbelieve the illusion, then for all intents and purposes that illusion is as good as real to them.
  • The kind of damage they take depends on the Dream Level they are currently in;
  1. in the Bleeding Woods the damage inflicted by an illusionary creature is non-lethal, but don’t tell the players this. If they believe the creature is real then they need to treat the damage as lethal.
  2. You, on the other hand, will know that it is not. In such a case the hero will be unconscious, but the rest of his companions may believe he is actually dead! If this happens and they bury him it could be problematic.
  3. If the heroes manage to disbelieve the illusion before they take any damage then they will not take any from dream sources.
  4. For the last two Dream Levels, however, even damage inflicted by illusionary creatures is lethal.

Denying the Dream

  • In order to disbelieve an illusion the party as a whole can make one Wisdom save per encounter. Use the hero with the highest Wisdom save.
  • All other heroes can assist by making a DC 10 Insight check. For each hero that makes the Insight check, you can add +1 to the result of the save.
  • For each round studying the illusion the hero gains a +1 bonus to his roll to a maximum of +5.
  • If a hero takes damage from an illusion, he is no longer able to disbelieve it or assist in disbelieving it. If the save fails there are no second chances.
  • Make sure to always have everyone roll, but keep in mind that Dreamshadows will always fail this roll.
  • If the player with the highest wisdom happens to be a Dreamshadow you should probably ask all players to make the save and go with the highest roll.
  • If one member takes damage and the others succeeded at the check then they will have to assist their companion in fighting off the illusionary creatures. They will take no damage but their companion is still susceptible to the illusion.
  • Casting detect magic in the Nightmare will reveal illusions, but only after three rounds of concentration and only for the person who cast the spell. Meanwhile, if their companions have failed a Wisdom save or taken damage, they will continue to believe the illusion regardless of what the caster knows.
  • Illusions are not susceptible to being dispelled with dispel magic, but it is possible that a greater dispel magic will work. The Illusions are considered to be cast as 9th level spells.

Dream Levels

  • The forests surrounding Silvanost, the Bleeding Woods, is Dream Level 1.
  • The DC to disbelieve an illusion in this level is a DC 25.
  • The second Dream Level surrounds and includes the city of Silvanost. Inside the city
  • The DC remains the same (DC 25), but each hero will have to make his own Wisdom save instead of making one as a group and will be unable to assist one another. Taking time to study the illusion will grant insight bonuses.
  • The third Dream Level is centered on the Tower of the Stars.
  • It takes a DC 30 in order to see through illusions and no amount of studying will offer an insight bonus.

If someone successfully disbelieves an illusion, they can still see the illusion and even interact with it, but it can no longer cause them damage.

Dreamshadows and Dreamwraiths

  • Dreamshadow heroes behave exactly as their companions expect them to behave.
  • They can not exist beyond the confines of the Nightmare, they simply fade from existence.
  • Although Dreamshadows are illusions, the damage they cause is real, but only as long as they are believed to be real.
  • There is no end to the number of Dreamshadows in the Nightmare.
  • Dreamwraiths take the forms of undead elven warriors, demons, and other twisted creatures.
  • Dreamwraiths always attack on sight and will not stop until they or their opponents are destroyed.
  • When Dreamwraiths attack they will always target Dreamshadows first.
  • Dreamwraiths are illusionary so if they are successfully disbelieved they cease to cause any real damage.

The Bleeding Woods
Silvanost, The Nightmare City
The Tower of the Stars

Into the Nightmare

Dragons of Spring Dawning bholto