I’m almost done with reading Johnstone Metzger’s entertaining Old School The Nightmares Underneath; I’m working through the section on creating the Nightmares themselves.
People’s nightmares literally fuel the creation of Incursions from the outer realms into the real world, the Kingdoms of Dreams. Chaos seeps into the land of Law, nibbling away with insidious intent.
Negative emotions create the potential for these Incursions; emotions like anger, fear, disgust and pain infuse an object – and that object becomes the Anchor. Until you send some brave soul into the Incursion and destroy the Anchor, the Nightmare Incursion persists.
The emotion embedded into the Anchor also figures in the sensations and landscape that make up the Nightmare and the Monsters that dwell there. And somewhere, a Crown – like a Boss Monster – lies, whether waiting or hunting, ultimately in control and shaping the power of the Incursion about it.
I like the idea of the separate Crown and Anchor – the control and the power source – that make these Nightmares different. I can see myself using something like this in general dungeon creation. I mean, it makes sense as a concept – a bit like Alien Queen and the Power Plant within the terraforming station on LV-426. Sort of. If you don’t sort out the Anchor, the place remains; if you don’t sort out the Crown, the threat persists and regenerates over time.
I’m almost done reading. I suspect I’ll have more to say.