One of the better sequels of the Nightmare on Elm Street series was A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The dreamers fighting against the Nightmare Freddy Krueger with enhanced abilities was a concept I’m surprised no one ever “borrowed” for a roleplaying game. For fun, here are some system-less notes on making a campaign based of the movie. So in honor of Halloween, I give you:
A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors the RPG
Freddy Krueger is dead.
Freddy Krueger was not the only Nightmare stalking the Dreamworld. There are other predators that can kill you in your dreams. Twisted beings that can affect the Waking World by guile and brute murderous force.
But there are guardians of humanity that can fight the Nightmares in their dreams. Forged by trauma, fear and will they may be the last hope against an onslaught of terror.
They are the Dream Warriors.
The Players in the Dream Warrior RPG portray Dream Warriors, people who are able to wield strange powers in the Dreamworld to battle the deadly Nightmares. Characters can come for all sorts of backgrounds. Some may even be in comas or institutions. What they all have in common is that they have amazing abilities when they go to sleep. Some Dream Warriors have enhanced strength or amazing combat abilites. Others can change shape or wield “magical” powers. Beyond Dream Warriors are the rare and hunted people who can manipulate the fabric of the Dream World itself. These few are called the Dream Masters.
Character creation involves creating a character with two aspects: a Waking Self and a Dream Self. The Waking Self is the character in the Waking World, which is similar to our world (or the movie version thereof). The Waking Self will have little access to Dream Powers in the Waking World. A central concept of the Dream Warriors RPG is conflict, both within and without. In addition to stats, skills, etc, the characters each have a trauma, a secret, and a goal. These are not only role playing notes, they are anchors for the character, and why they fight.
The Dream Self is an idealized image of the Dream Warrior. In the Dream World the mute can speak and the paraplegic can walk. The Dream Powers that Dream Warriors wield are what set them apart from other Dreamers. This is not a superhero RPG, though. A character will manifest powers that tie into the goals, personality and traumas of their past. Examples include Joey’s (the mute kid’s) sonic scream, Kincaid's super strength, and Kristen’s ability to draw people into her dreams. Dream Powers could work as various powers or tied to a Dreaming stat or skill.
Coming next week: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors the RPG setting ideas and thoughts on different systems. Ciao!