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Swords in the Dream, Or: Swords & Dreams?

A topic by darcy ocean created Jun 30, 2019 Views: 213 Replies: 3
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I'm thinking of making my first SWORDDREAM game both pretty straightforward (you all meet up in a shared dream and you have swords) and meta in a social commentary sense (it's True Genre is "acknowledging negative elements of the past and growing beyond them, and fighting the negative elements that refuse to grow"). Because that's how I saw SWORDDREAM begin and move on from OSR, while still being somewhat intertwined with it.

The first time I heard of SWORDDREAM my brain instantly went "Swords in the Dream, a Forged in the Dark game", and later "Swords & Dreams, a Lasers & Feelings hack". So I will be going with either of these options (unless... both? two games? is that possible? is that allowed?).

I'm thinking of incorporating some collaborative worldbuilding aspects into the mechanics (Building Your Dream), and possibly make it GMless (though I've never made a GMless game, so I'll need to figure out how to). If anyone has resources or tips on how to incorporate such ideas well, I'd be happy with any!

Jam Host(+1)

Hi Darcy! Wow, I love all of these ideas, this is really good stuff. I love how it's both kinda meta-literal but also has such a great message.

You can definitely submit as many games as you like! It's an awesome goal and a few people are aiming for that, so go for it! 

PbtA has a lot of great world building aspects, sometimes it can be as straight forward as providing questions to the table. But world-building + GM-less makes me think that maybe you can take a look at the Belonging Outside Belonging system? It's token driven (rather than dice), but you can at least see how the system asks people to build a world (draw a map, pick some elements) and how it makes things GM-less (it uses setting elements that can be passed around the table)

You can learn about Belonging Outside Belonging by reading DREAM ASKEW DREAM APART, the RPG that created the system. A good way to look at free resources about it is checking out the game jam that ran earlier this year! 

Those are my initial ideas, let me know if I can provide anything more. We can also see what other people in the community have to say!

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Absolutely, make as many games - or as much *game content* as you want! I'd take a look at Troika, for some cool inspiration. It's a simple game, and Backgrounds give heaps of flexibility and evocative style!  Take a look at super stripped down visions of DnD, where you only have a handful of stats and gear. That's good stuff!

Or, go way back in time and indulge in just heaps and heaps of random tables.  And remember that Swords aren't the only DREAM out there - there are so many different Dreams all hovering around! I am partial to SNAILDREAM and RATDREAM myself, and FIREDREAM is great!  Reach out and grab one of em. 


Swords & Dreams personally rolls off the tongue better to me and seems like a really clever L&F-style dichotomy. Swords in the Dream as a FitD game also sounds cool though! Good luck!