VIEW LIVEVIEW PDFVIEW RAW

Between Dreams

A game of reclaiming intimacy in the haunted everyday by Ashton McAllan, Luke Jordan, and Emily McAllan

The Game

Tell a story among you, one player, the Game Master (GM), describing the world and those in it, the other players describing their characters and the actions of those characters. The players say what their characters do, and the GM describes what happens. If the player's characters do a thing described by either a Basic Move or a move they have on their character sheet, follow the instructions of that move. If a move says to roll +Stat roll 2d6 and add the relevant stat modifier. If you get less than six, the GM will make a move. If a move grants +1 ongoing, you keep getting that bonus until the situation changes to take it away. If a move grants you +1 forward, you get that bonus for the first roll of that type you make.

Play to close the distance between you.

Keywords

  • Domestic
  • Intimate
  • Eerie
  • Lyrical
  • Haunting

Basic Moves

Search For Facts

When you search for the facts of a situation, roll +Smart. On a hit, you can ask the MC questions. Whenever you act on one of the MC’s answers, take +1. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:

  • What happened here recently?
  • What here is not what it appears to be?
  • What here is dangerous to me?
  • How does ___________ fit in?
  • What here is incomplete?
  • Where can I find beauty here?
  • Who did this?
  • How does this work?

The Right Words

When you conceal your true feelings to manipulate someone, say what you want from them then roll +Smart. On a 10+, they give you what you wanted. On a 7-9, they give you something close to what you asked for. Either way, ask them “what does my manipulation cost you?”

Companionship

When you quietly share space with someone, say how you pass the time and roll +Steady. On a hit,  their company brings you comfort. Remove a Distance with them. On a 10+, sharing space brings you two closer. Ask them 1 question from the list below, which they must answer truthfully:

  • What are your character's unmet needs?
  • For what are you most deeply grateful?
  • Of what are you most deeply afraid?
  • What are your character's secret pains?
  • What does this moment reveal about you?

Speak Truth

When you speak a deep truth plainly to someone, name the reaction you hope for and roll +True. On a hit, they feel the truthfulness of what you have said, and will take action based upon it. On a 10+, choose 2. On a 7-9, choose 1:

  • You don't upset the status quo
  • They take action as you hoped
  • The truth does not alter your relationship

Aid

When you help another character with something, either actively or implicitly, roll -Distance.
On a hit, you help, shift their result up one step (from a miss to a 7-9 or from a 7-9 to a 10+). On a 10+, remove a Distance with them.

Meet With Fear

When you hold steady despite fear or tension, roll +Steady. On a 10+, you keep your cool and gain some insight. Ask 1 question from search for facts and take +1 forward to act on the answer. On a 7-9, you keep your cool but gain a Distance. If no other PCs are in the scene, you Suffer instead.

Dream

When you lay down to sleep roll +True. On a 10+ choose one:

  • Your dreams are lucid and detailed, ask the GM 1 question from the Search For Facts list;
  • Your dreams show you what you must do, and you take +1 forward to doing it.

On a 7-9 choose 1:

  • Someone in the dream is not themself, gain a Distance with them.
  • The dream is confusing and unsettling. Take -1 forward to Meet With Fear.

Weird Sex

When you have sex with someone roll +Weird. On a hit the sex is alienating and confusing, choose one:

  • Impersonal: Gain or replace a Distance with the person you are intimate with.
  • Unsettling: The GM will describe a disturbing realisation that occurs to you.
  • Draining: immediately Suffer.

On a 10+ lose a Distance with the person you are intimate with.

Encounter

When you touch or are touched by magic, roll +Weird.
On a hit, you understand some part of it. Ask the GM what you learn. On a 10+, you can ask 1 question from search for facts. On a 7-9 you’re out of your depth, Meet With Fear or Suffer.

Scrap

When you are caught up in violence, choose: fight back, curl up, or run away.  
If you fight back, gain a Distance with another player character.
If you curl up, Suffer.
If you run away, Meet With Fear.

Suffer

When you endure physical or emotional suffering roll +True.
On a hit, You gain insight.
On a 7-9 You are wounded. Name a move, you take -1 ongoing to that move. Tell us why.
On a 6- Collapse.

Collapse

When you are overcome, choose one: incapacitated, broken, or killed.

Deep Work

When you are in a charged place and seek understanding or long for change, tell the GM what you’re trying to achieve. What you want is always possible, but the GM will give you one to four of the following conditions:

  • It’s going to take hours/days/weeks
  • First you must ____
  • You’ll need help from ____
  • The best you can do is a lesser version
  • It will come out unreliable, unsafe, or unstable
  • You will risk danger from ____
  • It will cost you  ____
  • It will hurt someone
  • It will Distance you from ____
  • You will Suffer
  • It’s only possible at a specific place
  • It’s only possible at a specific time

Fallow

At the start of each session after the first, jump forward in time by days, weeks, months, or years and gain one distance with each other player character.

Self Help

When you rely only on yourself, spend satisfaction and shift the result of your roll up by one step (from a miss to a 7-9 or from a 7-9 to a 10+). If any other player characters are nearby, gain a distance with them.

Characters

Outlook

Hopeful

When you wish for something which comes true, gain Satisfaction.

Thoughtful

When you hesitate or keep quiet instead of making a move, gain Satisfaction.

Belligerent

When you reject or push away help or comfort, gain Satisfaction.

Melancholy

When you eat or drink to music, gain Satisfaction.

Role

Child

When you use your small size or innocence to your advantage, take +1.
Lose the Weird Sex move.

Suit

When you ignore, reject or defend against magic or the unreal, take +1
Lose the Deep Work move.

Mentor

When you give someone guidance they take +1 to follow those words.
Lose the Dream move.

Enigma

When you search for, detect, or create magic or the unreal you can Suffer to give yourself +1.
Lose the Seek Facts move.

Distances

For the character on your left, establish your relationship and a person, place, or thing that is shared between them.

Write one Distance for each other character. Pick a second Distance for one character. Don’t establish details at the outset let your understanding of them develop organically through play.

For some reason ___________ has no memory of me.
I cannot forgive ___________ for what they have done.
I know ___________ is keeping things from me.
___________ no longer holds my heart.
___________ showed me that they cannot be trusted.
___________ has disappointed me.
___________ listens to me but doesn’t understand.
I failed in my responsibility to ___________.
My responsibility to ___________ weighs on me.
___________ is responsible for why I am as I am.
___________ and I no longer touch.
___________ and I no longer speak honestly.
I don’t understand the actions of ___________.
___________ sees things that I don’t see.

Gear

Choose two from each:

  • Weapon, Broom, Phone, 4 Cash
  • First Aid Kit, Booze, Torch, 3 Cash
  • Newspaper, Doll/Soft Toy, Notebook, 2 Cash
  • Record, Bell, Cigarettes, 1 Cash

Stats

Assign these scores to your stats: +2 +1 +0 -1

  • Smart
  • Steady
  • Weird
  • True

Look

Choose as many as you like:
Sad Eyes, Kind Eyes, Sparkling Eyes, Suspicious Eyes, Weary Eyes, Distant Eyes, Man, Woman, Boy, Girl, Androgynous, Genderqueer, Mercurial, Covered, Colourful, Muted, Traditional, Vibrant Clothes, Working Clothes, Casual Clothes, Scrappy Clothes, Lean Body, Soft Body, Worn Body, Broad Body, Hearty Voice, Brave Voice, Serious Voice, Subtle Voice, Clean Hands, Wiry Hands, Calloused Hands, Soft Hands

Specialty Moves

Animal Companion

You have a supernatural connection with a loyal animal. You can’t talk to it per se but it always acts as you wish it to. Name your animal companion and choose a species:
Dog, cat, bird, rodent, reptile
Choose two strengths it has:
Watchful, comforting, eerie, brave, calm, expressive, sneaky, enduring, curious
Choose two skills it knows: hunt, search, scout, guard, perform, labor, travel
Choose a weakness: flighty, savage, slow, broken, frightening, forgetful, stubborn, lame
When your animal companion aids you with a strength or skill, add +1 to your roll.

Special Knowledge

Choose an area of expertise.
When you search for facts about something covered by your special knowledge you can ask the GM one extra question of your choosing about it; the GM will answer truthfully. The GM may then ask you where you learned that information.

Mastercraft

Choose a mundane skill or craft.
When you practice your craft, tell the GM what you are trying to make or achieve and roll +Smart. On a hit your work is arresting and grants +1 to rolls for a stat of your choice when used. On a 10+ choose 1, On a 7-9 choose 2:

  • It costs cash.
  • You’re hurt in the process. Suffer with +1 forward.
  • It takes longer than expected.
  • It’s not your best work, faulty in some way.
  • You’re dishevelled, messy, and tired at the end.

Things speak

Whenever you handle or examine something interesting, roll+Weird. On a hit, you can ask the GM questions. On a 10+, ask 3. On a 7–9, ask 1:

  • who handled this last before me?
  • who made this?
  • what strong emotions have been most recently nearby this?
  • what words have been said most recently nearby this?
  • what has been done most recently with this, or to this?
  • what’s wrong with this, and how might I fix it?

Driver

You own and can drive a vehicle.
Choose its frame: Coupe, compact, sedan, jeep, pickup, van, semi, bus, limo, ambulance, 4x4, tractor, construction/utility
Choose two strengths: Fast, rugged, aggressive, tight, huge, off-road, responsive, capacious, workhorse, easily repaired, nostalgic, impressive, comfortable, expensive
Choose a look: Sleek, vintage, pristine, powerful, luxurious, flashy, muscular, quirky, handcrafted, garish
Choose a weakness: Slow, fragile, sloppy, lazy, cramped, picky, guzzler, unreliable, loud, rabbity
When you do something in your vehicle that aligns with its strengths, take +1 to the roll

The Zone

You have a special place. Describe it with three of the following or other GM approved descriptors:
Kitchen, Junkyard, Blankets, Vehicle, Jazz, Weird Lights, Bookshelves, Assistant(s), Darkroom, Booze, Toys, Transmitters and Receivers, Baubles, Machining Tools, Weird Electronica, Stuffed Animals, Modernist Furniture, Cat(s), Bird(s), Test Room, A Well
Your Special Place is always considered a place of power for you for the
purposes of performing a Deep Work.

Ritual Movement

When you move through your surroundings and change them to change yourself, name the change you seek and roll +Smart.
On a hit, it happens. Change your Outlook, Role, Specialty Move, or swap two stats.
On a 10+ Choose 1, on a 7-9 choose two:

  • Change is hard and painful. You Suffer.
  • Change is frightening, you must Meet With Fear to go through with it.
  • Change is uncertain and not without consequence. The GM will also change some part of you.
  • Change sets you apart. Gain a Distance with another player character.

Fetishism

When you imbue an object with significance and intent, say how it works (wear it, break it, drink it, interact with it) and what it does.
When the time first comes to put it to the test, roll +Weird.
On a 10+ it works as intended.
On a 7-9 choose 1:

  • It only works but only for a short time.
  • It only works but to a lesser effect.
  • Its effects are broader or stronger than intended.
  • It works but someone else suffers for it.

Poetry

When you shape words to guide the path events take, roll +True.
On a 10+ , both, on a 7-9 choose one:

  • Everyone takes +1 ongoing to all rolls that follow that path.
  • When other player characters Suffer in the events you describe, mark XP.

Being the GM

Principles

  • Keep it small, keep it intimate
  • Find the discrete places that make up “the local”
  • Make the magical mundane, and the mundane weird
  • Sometimes, let the weeks pass
  • Muddy all the waters
  • Complicate every binary

GM Moves

When players look to you to see what happens next or they roll a 6-, make a move in the fiction:

  • Impose obligation
  • Present someone in need
  • Make them Suffer
  • Have them Collapse
  • Draw them apart
  • Question who they are
  • Make them leave home
  • Invade their home
  • Reveal an unwelcome truth
  • Present strangeness
  • Something disappears
  • Something is transformed
  • Something appears

Notes

Players might play characters who aren’t strictly human, they might be animals or something entirely alien but the GM should always treat them as if they are just people.

Credits