In “Spawn of Azathoth” a part of the campaign takes place in the Dreamlands. And that’s almost the only time my players have ever been there. The second time was in Dream Lausanne and Dream Zagreb in “Horror on the Orient Express”. I used to own the original boxed Dreamlands set, but I sold it a while ago, as I saw no use in it.
In my opinion, the Dreamlands as depicted in the official material is a weird fantasy world, reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland” or “The Wizard of Oz”.
In my opinion kind of lame. If i want to play fantasy, I prefer RQ in Glorantha or some other fantasy RPG.
Recently, I’ve been toying with the idea of dark, brooding, evil Dreamlands. The stuff of Nightmares.
What if the Dreamlands were actually composed of Dreams. Personal Dreamlands. And if the Dreamer is powerful enough, or if arcane magic is used several people can share the same dream. And some times the individual Dreams merge and sometimes they are so strong so they manifest in the physical, waking world.
For example, the Dreamlands in Stalingrad during World War II would be very dangerous and weird. Due to the extreme hardships and atrocities during the siege of the city all Dreams would be nightmares, and the Dreamlands of Stalingrad would be extremely dangerous and horrible. Cannibals and monsters would roam the city alleys. The world would be cold and icy, it’s inhabitants mere shadows of humans.
This concept of Dreams opens up a total freedom for GM:s to experiment with all sorts of Dream adventures. Even the Alice in Wonderland-y stuff.
Also, there could be new spells and drugs that could “open up” the minds of new dreamers. And evil wizards specializing in Dream Magic.
Dreamlands – here I come!
EDIT: I just found a passage on alternative Dreamlands in “Horrors on the Orient Express”, book II, p.61. It describes Dream Lausanne and the Dreamworld of Duc des Esseintes. Cool stuff! We played this so long ago, so I had forgotten all about it…