In DreamEscape you play as a Dreamer, trapped behind the gates of sleep by Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones. You must explore the amorphous and ever-changing realms of dream, escaping or facing Cthulhu’s minions on your quest to find a secret gate and the matching key that will lead you out of the nightmare and win the game!
But Cthulhu and the Old Ones have secret plans for the Dreamlands and will not let you escape without a struggle. You must delve deep into the secrets of the realms, survive many dangerous encounters and piece together the deeper mystery before you can escape.
Success means waking up, but failure leads to insanity, locked forever in a cage within your own mind!
The heart of DreamEscape is the player dashboard where you track your Dreamer’s stats, skills and powerful abilities. Large format (tarot sized) card decks provide an immersive narrative experience.
Additionally there are 100’s of item, artifact, lore and status cards to collect or avoid on your journey through the Realms of Dream.
Dreamescape includes six diverse Dreamers to play, each with their own secret storyline to uncover. Each Dreamer has a unique set of roleplay-like stats, skills and abilities that you will use to help them overcome the many challenges as they try to escape Cthulhu’s trap.
You control the game using your dashboard that holds your chosen Dreamer sheet. The dashboard has 4 dials to track your Dreamer’s Vitality, Sanity, Déjà vu and Lucid Dreaming, as well as a track for Experience.
The story is split into multiple Story Decks (similar to chapters in a book) and each story card within a story deck is an encounter (or scene). Each story card usually offers three roleplay-like reactions for you to choose from. Your choice will partly be based on the abilities of your Dreamer character but also importantly from your own memory of playing the game previously.
Choices usually require tests to be made against your character’s skills and abilities using a pool of Elder runes. Rolling these runes provides successes towards a set difficulty level. Your pool of runes will be influenced by the Items, Lore, Knowledge and Allies you have accumulated on your journey…
DreamEscape’s uniqueness is how the story cards drive gameplay, removing the need for a heavy story book!
The large format cards are easily readable, contain everything required to complete encounters and allow you to pause and save the game-state quickly and easily. Additionally our keycode system opens alternative story paths for observant players that enjoy discovering secrets and solving puzzles!
There are many secret alternative storylines locked within encounter cards that often reveal major clues to the mystery. They can only be unlocked if the secret icon on a story card can be matched to the same icon on an Item or Lore card. The complete number reveals a special keycode (like a hidden paragraph in a choose-your-path storybook) for a locked story card that can be chosen instead. In the example here, keycode #0116 is a valid code whereas #0239 is not.
Combat in DreamEscape can be deadly! Will you stay safe and avoid threats where possible or risk a greater reward, going toe-to-toe with an otherwordly creature and hope to live long enough to tell the tale in the taverns of Dylath Leen?
Combat challenges will push your character’s abilities to the limit but the rewards may just be the key to help you escape and win!
Combat challenges are represented by special Threat cards. They incorporate a push-your-luck, risk versus reward element to the skill test. Early stages are compulsory while later stages are optional – but offer greater rewards for those willing to take the risk! Just like normal skill tests, combat tests use your Dreamer’s pool of Elder runes. Bad rolls can be mitigated by spending precious resources or by clever use of abilities.
Although DreamEscape is primarily a solo game, its easy readability and tactile card format encourages and facilitates co-op play as players can share in the evolving story, making decisions jointly and benefiting from their collective memory – just like the lost Dreamers!
Our story writers are all experienced gamemasters of the Call of Cthulhu Roleplaying game and fans of not just H. P. Lovecraft but past and current writers such as Clark Ashton Smith, Henry Kuttner, C.L. Moore, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Ramsey Campbell, Lin Carter and Brian Lumley. Between us we have over 80 years of experience weaving tales of weirdness and horror! Yes, we dream of monsters !
Our DreamEscape story is part one of the Dreamquest campaign series which will take you on a frightening but fantastical journey as truly epic as that of Randolph Carter and fabled Sansu before him. Explore the darkest reaches of the cosmos, uncover mind-shattering truths and unravel the awful mystery that builds throughout the series. Dive into the depths of the Abyss, walk the gothic streets of Carcosa or witness the birthing of a starspawn beyond the shoulder of Yuggoth!
Expansion packs and larger Expansion boxes (sold separately) will continue the adventure, seamlessly integrating with the DreamEscape base game.