Thursday, May 17, 2018

Dreamstate Behavior

My D&D game tonight was a bit unusual. A few of our characters got trapped in some kind of dream or hallucination. One of the characters found a great deal of freedom in the knowledge that this was all a dream and began to engage in unusual behavior, knowing that what he did didn't matter and none of his actions would have lasting consequences.

Personally, I saw that as a test of character. What we do when we have no fear of consequences (and no hope of rewards) can tell us a lot about what kinds of people we are. The character in question proved to be exploitative and not terribly concerned about the welfare of others, which makes sense for a pirate (we're currently playing a pirate-themed game). As for my character, he was cautious and non-confrontational, which might have a bit out-of-character for a pirate, but every pirate needs a crew, and you've got to be good to them if you don't want them to turn on you. Also, magical hallucination dreams can mess you up if you're not careful. As a barbarian, he possibly should have taken more risks, but he took more risks than I would have been comfortable with, and that's probably reckless enough for his character to be believable and consistent with his class.

The real question is (as is normally the case when I play D&D) What would I do in such a situation? If I thought I was in some sort of dream, where I could do whatever I wanted to do and not have to deal with any consequences when I woke up, what would I do in that dream? This question deserves more consideration than I have time for, but it's a question worth asking, because our actions say a lot about us, especially when we think they don't.

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