SummaryEveryone was a Sleeper at one point. Every night, people would rest their heads; pull the veil of rationality and logic over their minds and eyes. The world was singular, and dull. In the morning, there would be work or school to attend, cars to avoid while crossing the street, food to buy. Maybe there were drugs to take. And then, there were those folks who had trouble resting their heads at night, who just couldn't sleep. Maybe they were over-caffeinated or maybe they had nightmares. But they all started out as insomniacs in the beginning, still able to sleep... just needing a little extra push to do it. Most people got help for it, or tried to sleep. But, some didn't. For some people, sleep became an option, like how anorexics saw food. They could, but they'd rather sit up all night counting the stars, robbing a bank... smoking or something. Finally, it just fell off the list entirely, an ex-girlfriend getting deleted from their phone.
That's when sleep was ironically remembered, came back as their enemy. At first, it felt like they were hallucinating, those poor insomniacs. They began to see the Mad City appear, like extras in a movie scene they hadn't noticed before. It appeared as doorways, rimmed in red light, that people just pass on by or manholes that smell of candles and smoke. They grew Awake to the Mad City, to its constantly shifting landscapes, to the terrible yet exciting anachronisms in its depth. They all saw these extras, back when they were still considered strangers, paranoid and over-caffeinated freaks that were huddled at the edges of the Sleeper City, dark stains against its pristine rules and logic. They creep further and further from the Sleepers, towards the unseen alleyways more and more. Finally, they pass through.
Eventually all of the Awake, all of those who hear the barely audible click of the Mad City adjoining to the rational Sleeper’s world, make it through. They all cross over, are pulled to it, exactly like how they all used to sleep once upon a time. It is this common thread that would eventually pull the Awake together, bind them in clusters and groups in the Mad City. And so these out-casts and drifters would find themselves banding together with the hopes of reaching their goal, of coming out alive and with perhaps less suffering than the next person. There are many ways of quitting in the Mad City, of trying to escape torment. But, just as it is in Hell, the only way of getting to the other side of the fire is by going through it.
The Mad City may be fun at first, before you find the Nightmares. They are in a land of kin, of people who can’t sleep just like they can’t. It’s a land of oddities banding to make an Alice in Wonderland norm. There are marketplaces where you can buy children’s laughter or wineries that have brewed despair into a fine wine. People who have not aged since all walks and paths and times work together, harmoniously, other Awake who've permanently become a part of the Mad City, its Residents. There's lands that come and go according to the chime of clocks. It’s a playground that’s constantly shifting, and you might find yourself unwittingly moving from a plague-infested swamp to a subterranean kingdom. It’s a strange land, of tyrants and witches, of generals and shadowy men. It may sound fun at first, because you’ve yet to meet the Nightmares.
The Nightmares were the things that make sleeping dangerous. They smell the Awake who get too close, perhaps are even drawn to is as moths are to flame. Worse of all about the Nightmares is that they all, at one point, were the Awake themselves, had once suffered as Sleepers and gone through the change everyone does. They have thoughts and emotions, can breathe and feel pain, but they are now far from humanity. No one’s quite sure what their function is in the Mad City, only that they’re there. There’s a great deal of mystery surrounding the beasts, but the fact is that they’re dangerous, and hideous. They make everyone, from Residents to Awake; suffer just as they had suffered. If the Awake Crash, which they surely will, the Nightmares will be there in droves to try and consume, to devour whatever it is they’re after. The Misogynists will have their gender, the Creeper their safety. Mister E will just have them. They are everyone’s nightmare now, whether or not they had bad dreams before.
Once the Awake enter the Mad City, they become prey. Whatever their goal, whatever their wish, it can be found here – but dare they risk the Nightmares?
Rules and Notes
o1. Follow the board’s rules and ToS.
o2. Listen to the GM.
o3. Don’t make up your own Nightmares.
o4. Read and check up on the original post when new content is posted.
o5. Fill out the CS completely.
o6. Write three paragraphs minimum per post.
o7. There is no posting order, but be considerate with how often you post.
o8. PM or post your character sheets, but wait for approval.
o9. Have fun.
The Awake refers to people who had transcended insomnia and developed an awareness of the Mad City.
Sleepers refer to people who still sleep at night, and are unaware of the Mad City.
The Mad City is a parallel world without rules of physics and seems to defy natural laws.
The Sleeper City is where Sleepers live and function. Awake may stay here, though it’s not their true place to be.
Every player here will be an Awake. You may start as a Sleeper on the edge of becoming on, or someone who has recently become Awake. You do not start off knowing you have Exhaustion and Madness Talents (more on this later). Not everyone will know each other, or they could know each other. The Mad City connects to every point in the world, and draw in people of all ages and occupations.
Talents are acquired in moments of particular stress and threat. In example, if a Nightmare was holding a new Awake by the throat, about to suck out their life, the Awake might have an epiphany. In that sudden enlightenment would be the Madness Talent, then able to be used to defend them. This would be considered a "fight" reaction. That same Awake would then develop their Exhaustion Talent as a “flight” response in a similar situation of desperation. Either Talent can be fight or flight, but both can’t be one.
There are also consequences to using these Talents, similar to the three-strike system. After using the Exhaustion Talent three times without rest, they will Crash. Crashing is when the Awake falls asleep, virtually passing out, without being able to wake up. During this state, Nightmares are unfalteringly drawn in. If the Awake survives a Crash, they are returned to being a Sleeper. However, by using a Madness Talent three times without rest, the Awake will go Mad. In the state of being Mad, and in the case that their Madness Talent is of a fight response will go berserk and attack anything about them. Should it be flight, they will run from whatever comes near. Fear is a key emotion while being Mad, and if the Awake isn’t calmed or subdued, they will turn into a Nightmare.
The way to avoid Crashing and Madness is by resting. This is simple. Relax or eat something, read a book. Finding peace in the Mad City is a difficult task, yet is key when using the Talents. Resting is commonly done in the Bizarre Bazaar, as this is a place where no one can be attacked.
Time in the Mad City is different than that of the Sleeper City. It doesn’t seem to run at all. Residents exist from all eras of the human world, and the landscape seems to collect old relics that can still function. Since time is disjointed, it makes for an odd melting pot of modern and old, yet somehow the Mad City makes it work. When people come out of the Mad City and into the Sleeper City, they may find that hours or years have passed.
More to be added.
For clarification: the game will be in third person. Character sheets may be in either third or first.
[b]My name is...[/b] [B]And I am...[/B] [B]What's been keeping you awake?[/B] [B]What just happened to you?[/B] [B]What's on the surface?[/B] [B]What lies beneath?[/B] [B]What's your path?[/B] [B]Talents.[/B] [I]Exhaustion Talent[/I] [I]Madness Talent[/I] [B]Scars.[/B]
My name is... Easy. First "nickname, optional" last.
And I am... Your occupation.
What's been keeping you awake?
The reason for your insomnia. Nightmares, caffeine... Whatever it is.
What just happened to you?
The most recent events. This is so that I can coordinate how everyone gets to the Mad City with ease.
What's on the surface?
How others see you, how you act around them. Your appearance and clothing.
What lies beneath?
How you truly feel. What're you motives, what are your most terrible and dark secrets? The deep you, whether it be good and bad. The ugly bundled bunch of history, inner turmoil and subconscious thoughts.
What's your path?
What's your goal? To get out of the Mad City? To stay alive? You can be trying to find someone, escape someone; you may look for lost memories or try to get over a gambling habit. These may be long-term or short-term goals.
Everyone is skilled in something in life, usually, one thing more than others. The Exhaustion Talent is that single skill you did exceptionally well at while a Sleeper, only expanded. It's more preternatural, still vaguely plausible, but also near superhuman. An example of an Exhaustion Talent would be if an Awake had been a track runner, and now can run as fast as a car. As its name implies, using this Talent will cause the Awake to become tired.
Unlike Exhaustion Talents, the Madness Talent is not at all plausible. There's nothing remotely concrete in its existence. The ability to grow spikes through one's skin is a good example of a Madness Talent. The talent itself does not connect to the person at all, most of it being completely random. Similar to the Exhaustion Talent, when the Awake uses this skill, they quickly grow some insanity to their character.
Scars are particularly horrid events that have happened in the game in relation to the character's path. Scars can be traded or bartered, as you'll see many insubstantial things can be, though these Scars are like gems amongst paper, particularly useful. However, if one loses all their Scars they will also lose their path.