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Oneiromancy (The land of Dreams)

Oneiromancy  is a form of divination based upon dreams, and also uses dreams to predict the future. Occasionally, the dreamer feels as if they are transported to another time or place, and this is offered as evidence they are in fact providing divine information upon their return.

Occult Lore
Author Keith Baker, Adam Bank, Chris Jones, Scott Reeves, and Elton Robb
Series Lore
Publisher Atlas
Publish date 2002

Deciphering Dreams

Musée Ingres-Bourdelle – Le songe d’Ossian, 1813 – Ingres – Joconde06070001439

Often characters have skills that can help them to decipher dreams. Consider the source of the vision and the nature of the message. If a deity is speaking to the character, a Knowledge (religion) roll (DC 15) might clarify the message. Sense Motive is also useful when dealing with dreams, both for trying to screen out “background noise” or to interpret the intention of a message. A Sense Motive check (DC 15) will focus the character’s attention on the true message, stripping away any red herrings that may be inventions of the dreamer’s own mind. A check against DC 20 will provide clarification of the message itself or the meaning of specific symbols. A character cannot take twenty on any of these rolls.

Assuming that such a dream has a hidden meaning, Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (Geography) may make more sense than Knowledge (religion) for skill checks. The question may be whether a character recognizes clues from history that unlock the secrets of the dream. The DC for such a roll will generally be around 15; a character cannot take twenty on such a roll.

If you choose to present the dream in an interactive manner, you should use the dreaming rules provided in the next two part of this chapter. In either case, Sense Motive can often help a character to identify the hidden meanings behind dream imagery. A Sense Motive check (DC 20) can provide a character with a general sense of the meaning of a dream. Of course, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar!

Dream Mechanics

All characters possess a certain number of dream points, based on their class, level, and Wisdom:

* A barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, ranger, paladin, or rogue begins with a base number of dream points equal to two plus her Wisdom modifier. For every additional class level she gains, she receives a number of points equal to one plus her Wisdom modifier.

* A monk, sorcerer, or wizard begins with a base of four points plus twice her Wisdom modifier; for every additional level she gains, she receives two points plus her Wisdom modifier.

* An Oneiromancer receives four points plus her Wisdom modifier for each Oneiromancer level she possesses.

* For other classes or other prestige classes, select the base class that is most similar and use the bonus for that class.

* Characters with ranks in the skill Lucid Dreaming — described below — receive an additional number of dream points equal to twice the number of ranks they have
in the skill.

So, a 6th-level cleric with an 18 Wisdom and 5 ranks in Lucid Dreaming would have 41 dream points, while a 6th-level sorcerer with 12 Wisdom and no ranks in Lucid Dreaming would have 21 points.

The uses of dream points are described under the Lucid Dreaming skill, as any voluntary use of dream points requires a Lucid Dreaming skill check, even if the character is untrained in it. A character receives his full allocation of dream points whenever he first begins to dream. The character will only regain dream points when he wakes up and then returns to sleep, at which point his dream points are restored to full value.

This is a critical skill for anyone who plans to spend much time in dreams. It represents the character’s understanding of the nature of dream reality, and his ability to assert his own desires over the form of the dream he is in. It affects the number of dream points that a character possesses (see Dream Points, above) and the number of dream points he can spend in a single turn while in a dream; in addition, it allows a character to use dream points to alter a dream reality in a variety of ways.

Lucid Dreaming (Wisdom)

Lucid Dreaming is not a trained skill; everyone possesses the potential to take control of his dreams. However, each turn a character may spend a number of dream points equal to two plus the number of ranks she has in the Lucid Dreaming skill. Using the characters from the example given above, the cleric could spend seven dream points per turn, while the sorcerer could only spend two. Without any ranks in the skill, a character will only be able to spend two dream points per turn, which will prevent him from performing all but the most basic actions.

The following special actions can be performed by making a successful Lucid Dreaming skill check. With a few exceptions — Mimic Spell, Modify Reality, and Wake at Will — Lucid Dreaming actions can be performed instantaneously on a character’s turn as a free action, and do not provoke an attack of opportunity. Note that each action has an associated dream point cost, and that the points spent on an action are lost even if the skill check, and thus the action, fails. A character may take multiple Lucid Dreaming actions in a single turn, provided that the total dream point cost of all of the actions does not exceed his limit; for example, a character who can spend seven points could spend four points on the Mimic Skill action to gain a skill for one round, and simultaneously spend three points on Modify Chance to increase his roll with the new skill.

As an optional rule, if characters do not have any ranks in the Lucid Dreaming skill the GM can rule that the characters can only spend their points subconsciously which is to say that the GM chooses when to spend the points and what effect they will have. In this case, characters could be allowed to exceed the usual limitation on the number of points that can be spent in a turn; the effects can be unpredictable, but quite powerful!

Lucid Dreaming is a class skill for elves, the oneiromancer prestige class, and clerics who take the domain of Dreams; these are described later in this chapter.


DC: 10
Dream Point Cost: 2 per point transferred to target
Effect: It is a relatively simple matter for a lucid dreamer to lend his energy to another lucid dreamer, although the transfer is not especially efficient; using the Lucid Dreaming skill a character can spend two of his own dream points to give one point to another character. This transferred energy must be spent by the beneficiary immediately, and the lender must know the effect he is donating his energy towards; he is helping to visualize the effect, and the target is using that belief to make the effect happen.


DC: 15 for class skill; 20 for cross-class skill; 25 for prohibited skill

Dream Point Cost: 4

Effect: The user gains the benefits of possessing a particular skill for one round.
If the Lucid Dreaming roll is successful, the user is considered to possess one
rank in the skill for the duration of the round.


DC: 15 if prerequisites are met; 25 if prerequisites are not met
Dream Point Cost: 3
Effect: The user gains the benefits of possessing a particular feat for one round. It is far easier to mimic a feat if you possess the prerequisites for that feat, but a skilled lucid dreamer can choose to ignore this limitation. A less-skilled lucid dreamer seeking to emulate an advanced feat could always choose to mimic the prerequisites — for example, a character who wants to acquire Great Cleave could simply mimic Power Attack and Cleave first, provided he had the dream points to burn.


DC: 15 + spell level for class spell; 20 + spell level for other spell
Dream Point Cost: 2 points per spell level; 1 point for 0- level effect
Effect: In dreams, reality is an extension of the will. Anyone can fly or turn invisible, if they have the belief necessary to make it happen. By using Lucid Dreaming in this manner, a lucid dreamer can replicate the effects of a spell, provided that he has enough dream points available. The effect is actually considered to be a spell-like ability as opposed to a spell; material components are not required and armor will not restrict the ‘casting’ of the spell. Also, anything that would normally be drawn from the caster’s level should instead use the caster’s ranks in Lucid Dreaming as a base value.

However, it is easier for the user to generate effects she is familiar with; as a result, the DC is reduced if the user is duplicating a spell that is normally available to her class. There is only one spell that cannot be duplicated in this manner: the spell oneiric bolt’s very nature involves disrupting dreams, so dream energy cannot be used to replicate its effect. Mimicking a spell effect requires the same amount of time that it would take to cast the spell.


DC: 15 + 1 per point added
Dream Point Cost: 1 per point added
Effect: The user can modify one of his ability scores by one point per dream point spent. This modification lasts for one round. A character wishing to protect himself against a single enemy might use Modify Chance to decrease his opponent’s attack roll, while a lucid dreamer trying to protect himself against a large group could use Modify Ability to increase his Dexterity for a round, temporarily increasing his Armor Class by so doing.


DC: 10 + 1 per point added to use on self; 15 + 1 per point added to use on another.
Dream Point Cost: 1 per point added
Effect: The user can modify any standard roll by one point per dream point spent. This includes attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, damage rolls, initiative rolls, or die rolls associated with a spell effect. This action must be declared before the roll is made.

This effect can also be used to affect the rolls of others, in either a positive or negative manner. A lucid dreamer can increase an ally’s chance of success, protect himself from an enemy’s attack, or reduce a foe’s saving throw at a critical moment. Again, however, this action must be used before the roll is made.

Modify Chance cannot be used to modify a Lucid Dreaming skill check.


DC: 15 + 1 per point added
Dream Point Cost: 1 per point added
Effect: Combat in dreams tends to be dramatic and colorful. A powerful lucid dreamer can dramatically increase the damage he does in combat, laying waste to a field of foes in moments. If successful, this action increases the threat range of the character’s weapon by one for each dream point invested in the action. For example, if a character is using a weapon with a threat range of 19 to 20 and uses four dream points, the threat range is temporarily modified to 15 to 20.

This effect lasts for an entire round, so if the character can make multiple attacks he gets the bonus for each attack. However, the Modify Threat Range action must be declared before the first attack roll is made.


DC: Special
Dream Point Cost: Special
Effect: A strong-willed lucid dreamer can use the power of her mind to alter the form of a dreamscape. She can turn fire into ice, or create a bridge or a door where none existed before. Within her own dream, a lucid dreamer can completely alter a dream scenario — but this degree of change is generally impossible within the dreams of another.

Altering another’s dream reality takes an incredible toll on a lucid dreamer, and often requires the combined dream points of multiple lucid dreamers. The DC and dream point cost of making a change depend on the degree of the change.

Level of ChangeExampleDCDream Point Cost
Minor, personalAlter hair color, appearance of clothing155
Major, personalCause a weapon or armor to vanish2010
Minor, environmentalCreate a door in a wall, freeze water2520
Major, environmentalCreate a wall to seal off hallway3030

Because of the massive number of dream points required to affect a change, few lucid dreamers can perform a major change in a single turn. However, a lucid dreamer can continue to pour energy into a desired change for multiple rounds until the total number of dream points required for the change has been established. The skill check is made after all of the dream points have been amassed; if the check is failed, the dream points are still lost. During the time a lucid dreamer is gathering dream points, his efforts can be disrupted if he takes damage or suffers other
forms of distraction; any such disruption requires a Concentration skill check as if the user was casting a 5th level spell.


DC: Special
Dream Point Cost: Special
Effect: Using his knowledge of dreams, a character can attempt to gain information about the host being whose dream he currently inhabits. This is a full action. The DC of the action and the cost in dream points are based on the type of knowledge that the lucid dreamer wishes to acquire, and the nature of his relationship to the dream host.

Desired KnowledgeDCDream Point Cost
Current emotional mood of host152
Race, gender, and name of host202
Current spiritual location of host253
Current physical location of host253
Analyze dream image305
See recent events305
User’s Connection to HostLucid Dreaming Check Modifier
User is radically different species–5
User is different race than host–2
User is different gender than host–1
User is the same gender as host+1
User is the same race as host+2
User has five or more ranks of Sense Motive+2
User is in the presence of the host’s self-image+3
User has met the host in the waking world+3
User is a close friend of the host+6
User is an oneiromancer with the dreamfinder+ user’s oneiromancer level

Current Emotional Mood of Host: provides a general sense of the target’s mental state a weaker way to guess what the host is concerned about in the waking world. Is he happy? Sad? Frustrated? The host dreamer’s mood may color the nature of a dream, so this can be valuable information to have.

Race, Gender, and Name of Host: gives the user basic information about the host which can be good to know if the lucid dreamer has been pulled into a random dream.

Current Spiritual Location of Host: provides the user with a general sense of direction and distance to the host’s self-image within the dream. See information about encountering the representation of a dream host.

Current Physical Location of Host: grants the user a vague vision of the location of the host’s body, along with directions to the location in relation to the user’s current position. However, these directions are drawn from the dreamer’s mind, which may be a problem if the host and the skill user have different frames of references. For example, a human host might return a vision of an inn room, with the directions: “a room at the Gray Bull Inn in Gorland, twenty leagues down the Old Stone Road.” However, a dragon’s dream might show an image of a cave along with the information: “the heart of the Coldfang Mountains, eight furlaths by flight in the direction of the setting sun.”The skill user may not know what a furlath is, and may know the mountains by another name.

Analyze Dream Image: allows the user to draw directly from the mind of the dreamer to get information about a specific creature or scene within a dream. This can reveal the relative power or weaknesses of a creature for example, it could uncover the fact that the host is terrified of rabbits, and that the rabbit over there has the statistics of an ancient red dragon. This may also allow the user to gain hints on how to deal with puzzles or seemingly impassable obstacles.

See Recent Events: provides the user with a vision drawn from the waking life of the dreamer. For every point he makes the check by, the user can reach back two hours into the past of the dream host. If the user is looking for a specific piece of information — a conversation with a certain person, for example the vision will focus on this event; otherwise it will be a random montage of recent events.


DC: 15
Dream Point Cost: 3
Effect: This allows the lucid dreamer to instantly wake, leaving the dream world and returning to full consciousness. This takes a full action. Note that a lucid dreamer will not be able to return to a particular dream if she leaves it; by the time she returns the dream will be over.

A dangerous option is to say that in dreams, a hit is automatically a critical if the attack roll is within the threat range of the weapon; no second roll is required. When combined with the ability of Lucid Dreaming to modify chance, this can make dream combats extremely fast and furious; it will certainly give things a different flavor than fighting within reality.


If you wish, you can throw a slight element of randomness into spellcasting in dreams. If you choose to use this rule, have a character make a Lucid Dreaming check (DC 15) any time he casts a spell. If he fails the roll, the spell has an unexpected result, as indicated by the following table:

1d20 RollResult
1-4Spell fizzles and has no effect.
5-9All numerical elements of the spell operate at 50% normal value.
10-13All numerical elements of the spell operate at 200% normal value.
14-16Spell effect is the opposite of what it is supposed to be
17-18Spell has no effect; instead, a random effect strikes the caster. Perhaps a piano falls from the sky, the caster suddenly turns into a bear, his hair grows three feet in length, his skin turns to steel, or his teeth fall out. Depending on the nature of the effect, it could be useful, detrimental, or simply cosmetic; its severity should be based on the power of the spell attempted.
19-20Spell has no effect; instead, a random effect strikes the entire party. If you use this rule, it should not affect spell-like effects created using Lucid Dreaming. The Lucid Dreaming Modify Chance action cannot be used to affect the roll to determine
the effect of a failed spell.


Another thing to consider is whether spellcasters automatically receive their full compliment of spells when they enter a dream, or whether they enter the dream with the same set of spells they had when they fell asleep — in which case a wizard who has used all his magic during the daytime will find himself at a disadvantage when he finally goes to sleep.

We suggest that spellcasters who receive new spells after a full night’s sleep, or through preparation, or at a certain time of day that hasn’t yet arrived not be allowed a replenished number of spells, since upon falling asleep they haven’t met these requirements.


In addition to the use of magic within dreams, there are a few new spells that a character can cast in the waking world that have an affect on his dreams or lucid dreaming. The spells are available to arcane casters and to clerics who take the domain of Dreams. The complete details of these spells can be found in Appendix II at the end of this book.

* Circle of dreams allows the spellcaster to bring a group of friends into a dream with him.

* Dream mastery is a powerful spell that allows the user to alter dream reality with ease. The caster performs this ritual before sleeping, and receives the benefits of the spell for the duration of his next dream.

* Dreamwalking is a basic spell that allows a single character to enter the dreams of another being.

* Nocturnal stability allows the caster to stabilize a dream that he is in, preventing the typical shifting of reality that can occur within an imaginary landscape. Like dream mastery, this spell is cast before going to sleep.

* Oneiric bolt is a weapon that specifically targets dream creatures. If used on a lucid dreamer or the self-image of the host of a dream, it can even cause damage to the victim’s physical body. This spell is only available to characters who have at least one level in the oneiromancer prestige class or as a domain spell for the clerical domain of Dreams.

* Sleep of the just allows the user to sleep for an extended period of time and to ignore all forms of distraction (such as loud noises) during this time that might otherwise interrupt his lucid

Depending how you intend to use dreams within your game, you may or may not want to make all of these spells available to player characters. If you wish to restrict dream travel, then you may not want to allow PCs to acquire the dreamwalk or circle of dream spells. If you intend to use dreams as a central part of your game, you may not want to use dream mastery or nocturnal stability, both of which allow a player to have a significant effect on the landscape of dreams.

Dying in Dream

Dying in your own dream has no serious effect — you simply wake up. The one exception to this is if the host dreamer’s self-image is destroyed by an oneiric bolt spell; see Appendix II for details on oneiric bolt. This is the only way to actually hurt someone whose dream you inhabit. Dying while in the dreams of another person is a more serious matter. The lucid dreamer suffers damage through general systemic shock, along with a temporary loss of Will ability score. When a character is killed inside of a dream, she must immediately make an opposed Will saving throw her roll is made against that of the being whose dreams she is inhabiting. If the character fails the roll, she immediately takes 1d6 points of subdual damage for every two character levels that she possesses, and also suffers 1d4 points of temporary Wisdom score damage. If the host dreamer is an immortal entity or a being such as a god, you can either assign it a Will saving throw based on its perceived power, or simply rule that the character automatically loses the contest it is not the place of mortals to challenge the gods!

Another effect of death is that the character is immediately removed from the dream. Given the time difference between real time and dream time, it will not be possible for a slain character to rejoin the group; by the time she fell asleep again, the dream would be over. Spells like raise dead cast inside of a dream cannot return a slain lucid dreamer to life, since the lucid dreamer is not actually dead; however, at your discretion, characters could use raise dead to create a simulacrum of their fallen comrade.

Effectively, they are dreaming that she has been returned to life. In this case, it would also be up to you whether you wished to control the character as an NPC, or to allow the player to retain control of her character and rejoin the group.

Dreams Domain

Deities: any deity who governs sleep or dreams.

Granted Power: Lucid Dreaming is a class skill. The character receives an additional 3 dream points per class level. Dreams are mysterious and pervasive. Most people spend a third of their lives in the clutches of sleep, and dreams are a source of inspiration and terror. As a result, it is only natural to have gods and goddesses lay claim to the kingdom of the night.


1 Sleep of the Just Sleep through noise and other disturbances.
2 Sleep Put 2d4 HD of creatures into a comatose slumber.
3 Dreamwalking Caster may travel into the dreams of another.
4 Oneiric Bolt Inflicts damage on dream creatures, harms dream travelers.
5 Circle of Dreams Cast may bring a group of allies into a dream.
6 Dream Sends a message to anyone dreaming.
7 Nocturnal Stability Allows the caster to stabilize the dream he is in.
8 nightmare Sends a vision dealing 1d10 damage, fatigue.
9 Dream Mastery Increases the caster’s power within dreams.

Deity: Caeryn Donaleth, Bringer of Structure

Alignment: Lawful Good
Domains: Dreams, Knowledge, and Magic
Typical Worshippers: Elven scholars and oneiromancers
Description: As noted elsewhere, elves do not dream; instead, they clear their minds through trance and structured meditation. Caeryn Donaleth embodies the elven belief in the power of the mind to reshape reality. Within dreams, he grants his followers even greater power to control their meditation and to shift the thoughts of others.

In the waking world, these same goals are accomplished through the use of magic the underlying force that allows a sage to shape the world as if it were a dream. Knowledge is the foundation on which both of these principles are based; followers of Caeryn Donaleth believe that any challenge can be overcome through careful study and disciplined action. Some of Caeryn Donaleth’s adherents believe that if enough people could come together and share the same dream, the entire world could be changed for the better. But for the most part, Caeryn Donaleth’s followers are solitary individuals — scholars, hermits, and oneiromancers who spend more time exploring the world within than they do interacting with society.

Caeryn Donaleth’s symbol is a book set against a circular, half black/half white field. His favored weapon is the quarterstaff.

Deity: The Voice in the Night

Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Domains: Chaos, Dreams, Evil
Typical Worshippers: Lunatics and doomsday cultists
Description: The Voice in the Night is a dark goddess whose followers are almost exclusively insane. It is possible that she is known by other names in other cultures, but those who deal with her usually rave about “the Voice in the Night.” Her followers claim that the world was born from her dreams, and that for hundreds of years she has been content to let it be. But now, her prophets say, the Voice is preparing to reclaim the world, to break down the boundaries between dream and reality once and for all. There are said to be two ways to forestall this destruction. The first is to suffer through excruciatingly terrible nightmares, or to inflict such nightmares upon others. The second is to perform nightmarish acts of evil in the waking world. Both types of action please the Voice in the Night and make her feel less inclined to consume all of reality. As a result, while the followers of the Voice are constantly performing horrible, unpredictable acts of violence and terror, in their minds they are actually saving the world. Those who serve the Voice faithfully are rewarded with dreamless sleep; those who fail in their assigned tasks are tormented throughout the night — another factor that plays into the madness so prevalent amongst her followers.

The symbol of the Voice in the Night is an eye with a crescent moon in place of an iris. Her favored weapon is the sickle. Followers of the Voice often refer to her sickle as “the moon,” leading to phrases like “Time to bloody the moon!”

If people are having a conversation nearby a sleeping character, the GM can require a Listen check against a DC of 20. A loud sound next to the character might only take a DC of 10 — and in this case, the character probably wouldn’t want to make the roll, as her keen hearing will rouse her from her sleep to possible danger.

When the party enters a dream, set a timer with a duration of your choosing. If the adventure extends beyond that time, the characters must make Will saving throws (DC 18) every 30 minutes of dream time; failing this roll will return a character to the waking world, having had a full night’s rest. Elves are exempt from this time limit, as they enter a state of meditation rather than sleeping.

Characters can use the Lucid Dreaming skill to escape an unpleasant dream, using the Wake at Will action.

Next, think about the alignment of the character. This is his basic psychological outlook, and should certainly play a role in his dreams. The dreams of lawful beings are more likely to be structured and linear, while those of chaotic individuals will probably reflect their passionate love of freedom. Leanings towards good and evil should also show up in the backdrop of the dream world. This is by no means a set of strict restrictions. A lawful good character might have a dream in which a group of bandits is slaughtering a village of innocent people. For her, this would be a horrible nightmare — whereas for a chaotic evil being, it might be part of a pleasant night’s rest.

Note that the nocturnal stability spell will keep the nature of a dream from shifting for the duration of the spell; see Appendix II for its description.


Elves do not sleep, but they enter a period of deep trance for about four hours each day. This meditation serves the same purpose for an elf as dreaming does for a human. This has a number of effects:

* An elf can enter dreams using the same mystical methods used by other beings
— dreamwalking, boots of nocturnal wandering, or similar effects. During
this period the elf enters a deep trance.

* An elf can be stirred from her meditation by noise or other distractions, but she will never simply wake up in the middle of an adventure as a sleeping human may. As a result, an elf does not have to make Will saving throws to remain in a dream for an extended period of time.

* An elf is used to structured meditation in place of dreaming. This discipline can be used to shape reality within dreams. As a result, an elvish character can purchase Lucid Dreaming as if it were a class skill, regardless of her class.

* It is possible for other beings to enter the meditations of an elf using the same methods used to enter dreams. However, elven “dreams” are very focused. Reality will not shift as frequently as it does in human dreams, and characters will not have to deal with as many surreal obstacles. The drawback to this is that it is very hard to alter reality within such an environment; all Lucid Dreaming checks made in elvish meditations suffer a –4 penalty. This penalty does not apply to the elf who is hosting the “dream.”


One question about adventuring in dreams is how to handle experience points. If the characters aren’t in danger of death, is it fair to provide them with an experience reward for their actions? Well, why not? Even though death is not permanent in dreams, it still carries dangers; and besides which, the players are still committing their time and energy to playing the game and to overcoming the challenges you have come up with. However, given that the characters are not in danger of death, and since they have dream points to assist them in battle, it makes sense
to reduce experience point rewards slightly.

Dream Adventuring

The Lucid Dreaming Study Dream Host action can allow a character to gain a sense of the true nature and power of figments in his vicinity, along with the fears or ideas that they represent.

Experience point rewards for a figment should be based on its statistics as opposed to its shape. Since players are not in danger of dying, and since they have dream points to help them overcome dangerous foes, you can choose to reduce the Challenge Rating of each foe that the party faces by one level in order to balance things. Thus a creature that is CR 8 in reality would only be CR 7 in dreams, and a monster with a normal CR of 1 would be reduced to a CR of 1/2.

If you defeat the self-image of a dream host, there is a 50% chance that the dreamer will wake; this immediately ends the dream and forces all lucid dreamers back to the waking world. Characters ejected in this manner do not suffer the penalties for dying in dreams. If the dream host’s self-image is killed by an oneiric bolt spell, his chance of waking is increased to 100%.

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