The World of Oneiros

(Friedrich, "Wanderer in the Sea Fog", 1818)

This page is devoted to a narrative role-playing game, set in a Gothic fantasy world named Oneiros. From its conception, it is in many ways the land of dreams that the name implies. Cosmology, religion, and magic all revolve around the central view that reality is the dream of some greater being. It is "Gothic" in the sense of the original Gothic romances: desolate mansions by the sea, wind-swept moors, and an aristocracy reeling in a world which is leaving them behind.

I originally ran this as a campaign during my senior year of college, from 1990 to 1991. It was set in the manor house of the Barony of Mordent, where the PCs were all members of the ruling Emsworth family and their retainers. All of the player characters had dark pasts, so much of each adventure included much of their own secret plans and wrestling with personal demons. See the "Campaign Notes" link below for details.

I. GENRE

II. THE LAND
Geography
The People: parallels to our own world
Cosmology
The Arrant Empire
Man and Other Monsters

III. PHILOSOPHY
Entities (what things are made of)
The Elements and the Dichotomies
The Celestial and Infernal Powers
Spirits

IV. THE ART OF MAGIC
Magecraft
Mysticism, the Lost Craft
Conjuration
Holism

V. SUPERSTITION
Mages and Society
Other superstitions

VI. RELIGION AND THE AFTERLIFE
Pagans
Naturalism
Morpheism

VII. PREJUDICE, POLITICS, AND OTHER FEATURES OF THE MINDSCAPE
Regional differences

VIII. THE GAME OF EMPIRE (politics)
Introduction
Early civilization
Early years introduction and timeline
Arrant Empire introduction and timeline
Warring States ...
New Arrant Empire ...

IX. THE GAME OF TOOLS (technology)

X. THE GAME OF SOULS (culture)

XI. THE GAME OF SHADOWS (magic)

XII. CAMPAIGN NOTES
Notes on my campaign, the Emsworth Chronicle.

I also have very limited notes on the rules that I used for this game, based in part on Ars Magica - but with a completely different magic system.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Fri Nov 8 17:22:17 2002