Dreams and games

This morning I had an awesome dream. It was a lot more linear and logical than normal, and very vivid, like a well-designed computer role-playing game rather than a dream. I was with a bunch of friends on some kind of journey which, as things progressed, turned out to be a quest to kill a powerful dragon. We kept encountering entities who, for lack of a better word, I’ll call by the RPG label NPCs – Non-Player Characters. They would often put up some sort of intellectual or physical challenge, but after we defeated them they would join us.

As we journeyed along, we had frequent brief but violent encounters with the dragon. Finally, when we reached an arid plateau at the foot of a big cliff, the earth crumbled into a giant sinkhole, landing us right in the dragon’s lair. We had to scramble around a lot to avoid getting crushed, and finally made it back to the surface as the dragon also climbed out. It transformed into an ankylosaur (according to Wikipedia ankylosaurs aren’t that huge, but in my dream it was the size of a cargo container lorry). One of our NPC allies, who up till then had appeared to be a woman in a Star Wars stormtrooper suit, transformed into a giant land crocodile about a quarter its size and drove into combat with it. The last thing I remember before waking, she was still trying to close in and hamstring it, which was kind of hard because ankylosaurs have these bony clubs on the ends of their tails.

On a related note, I’m not allowed to watch The Hobbit till year’s end when my first sister, our brother, and I go back to Penang for our father’s retirement – we plan to see it together. Family all big Tolkien fans one. Pa had a dog named Frodo when I was a baby. I discovered the LoTR when I was thirteen, and still young enough for play-acting – naturally the two little ones were forced to be hobbits.

After the first time I watched a roleplaying game (my now-spouse’s old GURPS group) I realised that aside from the dice, it’s a lot like the roleplaying that we used to do when we were small, lying in bed talking to each other until our parents would come in and yell at us to shut up and go to sleep. Being the eldest, I was the GM and a PC at the same time. Some of them were based on books, like Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and the Silver Brumby series, but a few were just out of my own head. A fairly long-running one was that we were Barbie dolls that had magically come to life and had to escape from the supermarket and find a place to live and forage for food.

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