Ability to pass things info between dream states or wakefulness”

On February 16, 2014, I tapped this weird note into my Notes app on my iPhone. It was some nonsense I had been musing as I lay half asleep.

Curious, I Googled “gubble” and discovered it was an old video game which I did not (consciously at least) remember at all. I couldn’t find any other real meaning for the word. On the other hand, ubble-gubble is claimed as a synonym for gibberish. Another related word is gabble.

Well, I guess I failed to gubble the meaning of what I was dreaming into my waking world, eh?

The default character idea for Oneira is a person who has physically passed into the dream world. As such, the passing of things/info into wakefulness could mean two entirely different things.

First, there is just the idea that they still sleep, and dream, even though they reside in the dream world. Like any normal person, much of that information is simply forgotten. Thus, the ability to pass knowledge from your dreaming self to your waking self would be just as useful to them as any of us.

However, in the process of dreaming, these individuals may move around the real in which they live. This may give them insight into the world in which they live in ways entirely unrestricted by space or conscious logic. If they can keep some of that upon awakening, then it might be applicable while awake. Honed to a razor skill, maybe the Oneira could even intentionally scout out areas of dream, and spy on enemies, or even target them with dream-fashioned changes.

Alternately, the Oneira might be interested in passing information to the real world. If you could interact with a terrestrial dreamer, and ensure they remember at least some part of the experience, then you can implant dream knowledge into the real world. For some Oneira, this might be the fulfillment of the simple desire to let their loved ones know where they have gone. Others have more sinister ideas, such as creating feedback loops, wherein their dream domains are strengthened by the minds of terrestrial dreamers.

The ultimate goal of some Oneira might be to transport objects or themselves from the dream world back to the terrestrial one. In the default setting, this is assumed to be something which no one knows how to do. If they knew this trick in the past, then the knowledge is lost. If anyone does know how to do it, they aren’t sharing. As creator of your flavor of the game, do what you will, but realize that the ability to go back to the real world changes everything. The Oneira are less tragic, and the real world of your stories is less believable. As far as we know, humans don’t really transport their bodies to and from other dimensions. Being able to escape to your home on Earth seems more like an end goal for most character.

Nonetheless, don’t be shy if that’s the game you want to run. Perhaps there is an entire cadre of trained agents who move back and forth at will. Maybe they can’t do it so easily, and they depend upon the vast resources of some shadowy agency whose electric matrices flicker the lights with every dimensional jump.


I had a dream about this, in real life, in 2014. ( I know the time frame because of an iPhone note I made at that time.) This is a game world translation of that.

Hoodbanks is a hotel, which only exists within other hotels. One might go to a Hilton or Marriott or other upper end hotel, and find a small reception desk, somewhat apart from the host hotel’s reception area, which is poorly lit, and possibly only lets one reception employee work at a time. The Hoodbanks reception area has a single row line of velvet rope, in a deep burgundy.

As far as the hotel within another hotel, I believe that I heard a story about the Four Seasons working in such a manner, so I should research that if this is something I expand.

In Oneira, the hotel takes on other aspects beyond what a real world hotel within a hotel could do. The rooms, although contained on only one or two floors of the host hotel, are impossibly luxurious. In my dream, I knocked on the room door and when it was opened there was a ballroom party inside of what was apparently a suite. Zsa Zsa Gabor, or possibly her sister Eva misidentified, was dancing with a dapper gentleman, looking as young and beautiful as her black and white photos.

The reception desk seemingly closes at some hours, though. When I came to it, it was mostly dark, and the burgundy theater ropes were there, and a single bronze colored sign said “HOODBANKS” with no other explanation. Because I was unable to check in, I was not allowed into the party whose wonders I saw through the briefly opened doors.

In a nod to logical security, I would imagine that you cannot even get to a Hoodbanks floor without a keycard. I don’t remember doing anything special to get there in my dream, but perhaps I had to sneak up a staircase or follow a snazzy couple too closely into a limited elevator.

If the Hoodbanks hotel has dream qualities, it begs the question of why? Is it run by a dreamer? Is it run by dream entities? Is it controlled by a family? If so, then presumably that family is the Hoodbanks. They might show up to various hotel locations on occasion, but their enterprise is presumably too big for them to monitor at all times. Some of them might even enjoy some sort of dreamworld celebrity a la Paris Hilton and her father’s hotels.

It seems useful to let the dynastic family option be the default, because it gives flavor to a dreamer family.

What are the goals of such a family? Surely to preserve their connections to celebrity. Their wealth must be considerable, but some other industries must outclass them. Also, celebrity can be fleeting.

I could always make the founder of the chain be Kurt Hoodbanks, as a reference to Conrad Hilton. Perhaps Athena Hoodbanks rather than Paris? Nicole or Victory Hoodbanks as her sister?

As with most of the dreamer families, they would look for other dreamers as marrying material. This is still the best way to keep your bloodline’s power.

New Years Writing

Okay, so I have failed to keep this up in multiple years in the past, but I think it is time to try again.

Time to try, once again, to do a daily minimum word count of typing up my creative ideas.

I am hoping that I can focus a lot of this word count on my Oneira dream world game setting.

500 words per day seems like the stereotype goal that I should aim to achieve.

I am thinking that Google docs would be a good place to type it up, so I can update it from wherever. However, I feel like I should also download copies to my local desktop computer.

Things I might want to start with….

Dream harvesting, as Joe and I discussed.

FBI program, as reimagined to not be a physical transference. Instead, I could see it as highly trained individuals using sensory deprivation chambers to give them a stronger dreamer connection. Perhaps this strong dream connection lets them fake the whole “we are really coming here physically” angle. They don’t actually do so, but their impact is suitably hardcore enough that physically-there dreamers believe it.

It would be awesome if there were good terms for:

Physically-there dreamers


Dream beings

I should do a real writeup of the naturally repairing aspect, which lets GMs allow stupid destructions to go by without consequence when desired. The net weight of the normal dreamers and their view of the scene keeps repairing it.

I feel like I am enabling some new-year expansions for Asaco, at least. I promised her a digital piano for Christmas, and gave her a symbolic ornament to represent this. On 12/31, we went to a local music store to see the pianos in person. We have already been researching them in person, and are still doing so post-visit to the music store. I hope she gets good use out of it.

I am still wondering whether I should spend some time writing up ideas for using different game systems to make the Oneira world. For example, Mage: The Ascension could be used to represent the dream powers, with a reskin of what magic really is. Instead of it being “reality warping” it can be “dream warping” since the world they players join is the place where dreams occur.

10-12-16 Oneira Ideas

Waking transition

As dreamers become more and more attuned to Oneira, they eventually slip into it entirely. For many, this occurs while sleeping, as their dreams entangle with the dreamworld. Some reach the point of transition while awake on Earth. The disappearance of such individuals is typically more dramatic than that of a sleeper. A waking candidate who is flying a plane might leave it to crash mysteriously into the sea without a pilot.

Sleeping transition

Moving to the dreamworld while sleeping is probably less of a shock. The sleeper wakes to discover the world is different, and may even forget enough of the ways of Earth to accept her new locale. As though waking from a dream, and shedding the fog of dream, she might come to disbelieve some of her past. It was all a dream. This is real.

For others, though, waking from a dream to find themselves still within a dream might become a sort of endless waking nightmare. They keep trying to escape the dream, and can only awaken again still trapped by it. Such unfortunates may go mad, and this can be dangerous to those around them when their dreams reflect that madness.


The world is not decreasing in mass. (Or maybe it is, if that is a theme of your game.) This makes no sense if dreamers are occasionally disappearing to another dimensional space. Perhaps the fall of stardust, literally with meteoric showers, offsets their loss. Perhaps some like mass of matter from the dreamspace transfers to Earth to offset their displacement.

Oneira 2-16-16


As noted previously, Familials are descended from Originals, the humans who come from the waking world. A person could hypothetically be of pure earthborn blood, but this is extremely rare, as it requires two Originals or pureblooded to mate. Such may occur from time to time, but becomes even less likely over generations. Nearly all Familials also descend from dreamborn people, too. Familials are the most common sort of the Oneira.

To be an Oneira, a Familial must be more than 50% earth descent. This can be a tiny fraction over half, though, so more than one Familial has been born of an Original and somebody with a scant trace of real world heritage. Originals are rare, and only occasionally come through into the dream world. Regardless, this has been happening for thousands of years, perhaps even millions, and there are many inhabitants of the dream realm with earth blood.

Over the ages, Oneira found one another, and learned much of their own kind. Some determined that stronger concentration of earth blood led to the birth of Oneira, while weaker blood did not. This led to the intentional forming of bloodlines of the dream-empowered in a manner not unlike classic nobility striving to keep their power intact by marriages of convenience.

Some families are particularly old and powerful, such as the XX (make up name) Dynasty of Middle Kingdom China and the XX (make up name) whose descendants still reside in Egypt. Other familials are the children of a single household boasting two relatively strongly blooded familials, or perhaps even an Original and her thin-blooded husband.

Sample family:

The Gennadi of Gelsostrada

In 1896, Stefano Gennadi traveled from his home in Italy hoping to join the thousands of immigrants entering America. During his medical exam on Ellis Island, he was turned away. Back home, in Italy, he was ashamed, but he would hungrily consume the stories of the ritornati, those men who came back to Italy after a few years. His dream of America consumed him, and one afternoon he awoke from a wine-fed nap to find himself on the patio of a small restaurant in New York. Stefano was confused, but discovered that this was a dream from which he would never awaken. With little to guide him but stories, he set out to make a name for himself in the City That Never Sleeps. Accidentally discovered tricks of Oneira dreaming bolstered his forays into criminal racketeering, gambling, and prostitution rings. He married a stunning woman who gift him with many dreamer children.

Calling the Gennadi a Mafia family is like calling Detroit the Motor City. It may have been true in the past, but the world has changed. The underworld of the dream realm still experienced the diaspora of the Mafia into places like Las Vegas, but the continuing influx of dreams of the mob, often flamed by ridiculous Hollywood imagery, left a chaotic environment where the family has had to fight to survive long after most real world old school mobsters have “gone legit” to some degree or other.

Stefano no longer lives, but his family tries to keep his dreams alive. The Gelsostrada estate lies in the suburbs of New York City nowadays, but its children still flex muscle amongst the Gambino wannabes of the city streets.


Phantasms are beings created via the dreams of real world dreamers or those of the Oneira. Many exist only for a short time, spawned within the scope of a single dream, and lost to time as the dream world moves on to other dreams. Such beings may suddenly disappear when the dreamer awakes, but more often fade in some manner that makes sense. An abandoned phantasm might last long enough to round a corner, and be gone. Another might return to its logical home, never to be seen again. Some endure in various ways:


A dreamer may have similar dreams, and thereby recreate a phantasm that has faded away. This is fairly common.

You might even kill such a dream entity, only to discover it has returned the following evening. There is debate among Oneira scholars as to what effect this has upon the psyche of the dreamer who spawned the dream.


Some dreams last for a very long time, perhaps even achieving immortality. Most are products of the Oneira, but some real world dreamers spark visions which manage to exist beyond the lifetimes of their creators’ dreams. The Oneira are not immortal, although stories claim that some have achieved that state – certainly at the price of becoming a phantasm rather than a dreamer.  Dreams of a certain caliber, however, might remain forever, or perhaps only so long as mankind exists. Some may have started as recurring phantasms, whose presence somehow became part of the bedrock of human consciousness. Others may be fonts of dream energy so powerful that they will take centuries to burn away.

Copyright Conrad Hubbard

Oneira – Pitch

“Who is your dream character?”

“Real people in a dream world”

Imagine the world where our dreams and nightmares are real. Imagine living there.

The Small/Personal Setting

Whatever we come up with as wanting to play, as a group. This could be anything from a spy story to a dungeon crawl to a super hero game. However I am hoping for something that reflects well upon my idea for the Big Setting.

The Big Setting

There is a place where our dreams and nightmares take on a life of their own. What would it be like to slip into that world?

There is a place, another world or dimension, where the dreams of mankind shape the world. Those dreams are alive. They bear children, and they form societies which collect the lore of visioncraft.

However, in this realm,  the dreams of a dream are nothing but dreams. The dreams of those who come from Earth, however, are often real.

There is a realm somewhere wherein the dreams of mankind on Earth manifest. They shape the world forever. The people who were given rise by dream go on to have children. If they are cut, they bleed. If they are cut down, they die.

The reason for this is some strange attunement to the dreamstate of people who reside on Earth.

On rare occasion, humans from Earth (wakers) slip into this new world. Those who do so are called many things… outlanders, origine’s, etc. They have varyingly limited ability to dream and shape the world that they now inhabit.

Oneira – An Intro

Throughout history, people have occasionally disappeared without a trace. These are the stories of where they went, and what they created.

Somewhere, there is a place which resonates with the dreams of Earth. It has been called Oneira, Fiddler’s Green, Alcheringa, and innumerable other names. We do not know this  place, yet we frequently touch it with our unconsciousness. When we sleep or drift deep into reverie, we add shape to it.

It is there that the truly missing go. Somehow they become so attuned to the essence of the dreamtime that their bodies slip into that world.

Yet, they still dream, and when they rouse, they live amongst the architectures of our imagination and theirs. They wake to a world of fantasies and nightmares, some of their own doing.

Oneira (just a working name) is a place that is given shape by human dreams. Mostly. Perhaps animals also impact it. It might be another dimension. A world in another universe. Whatever it is, it is attuned to our dream process.

Some people also become attuned to it, and in the process of doing so, they slip out of our world into this world. These people physically enter a world which is otherwise shaped by our dreams.

Because they originate in our world, though, they can still affect the dreamtime. When they sleep, their dreams manipulate the world around them. When they wake, the aftereffects of this are still there to some degree or other.

This is a talent which can take some time to master. An inexperienced dreamer may have little more effect than somebody still back on Earth. A master dreamer might turn his nightmares into weapons or his fantasies into miracles.

A conceit of this setting is that the bulk of our dreams are pretty mundane. Thus the world where this takes place is largely normal. However, those who can master the art of using their dreams to manipulate the world around them can gain strange powers or cause interesting alterations to the world.

Also, the inconsistencies between dreams are naturally handled. Obama is President, for most people. But you might enter a bar where Truman is still President, and a World War II soldier just returned home dances with the sweetheart of his youth. Gravity is still the rule of law. But you might find that you can fly. Your fantasy sex partner is married. But maybe some dream clone of them is waiting for you in your bedroom when you awake.

Typically, a dreamer stores up dream energy while sleeping, and this lets him perform interesting deeds while awake. Sometimes, however, he instead enacts permanent changes on the world through dreams. This might be done through the equivalent of “experience” found in other games, but spent simply by dreaming.

Character types


These are people who came directly from the real world. How long ago is up to the individual story, but it is a useful group for people who want to be new to the setting. It is also a useful group for the surprise upset type character.


These are people descended from Originals. Playing one probably requires more knowledge of the setting, but also probably makes it easier to be deeply embedded in the setting. My current idea is that they have to be at least 50% real-world descent, whatever path that requires.


These are the results of dreamers. They might be weak. They might be powerful. Whatever the case, they revolve around dreamers in some way.

Copyright Conrad Hubbard