Impractical Applications (Five More Minutes?)

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered in my game, it’s that sleeping or barely-waking characters can make for some really interesting comments, regardless of whether it’s me or one of the players providing the dialogue. What sorts of odd things did they come up with?

Kes came in two flavors, depending on how abruptly she’d been woken up. If it was a soft wakeup, someone poking her while she was trying to sleep or the like, it’d probably be more foggy, and a better view of the kinds of things she actually dreamed about (I believe she was the one who at one point muttered something about censors and rolled over). On the other hand, if you woke her up abruptly, she tended to assume she was being woken for a fight and react accordingly (“I’ll fight the six of them!” comes to mind).

PC Shadow, on the other hand, didn’t tend quite so much towards mumbling while waking up, but if he was having one of those dreams, you know about it. Regardless of which of his muscles settled during sleep, the ones around the larynx were the last to go. Flashback-dream? He’d sleeptalk, mostly word for word plus a little fogging and a lot of substituted in ellipses. Sleeping mind being overrun by one of the group’s opponents? After the initial scream, the group actually heard about half (in small chunks) of the subsequent conversation. Out of context (possibly even in context), it confused the living daylights out of them.

Then there was Amaya, tonight. While she’d just woken up, her issue wasn’t that she was half asleep, it was that she was pumped full of medicine and in a lot of pain (weaponized diseases have an annoying tendency to do that). The group was asking her questions, and she was trying to answer, leading to such comments as “Miss, I stared t’Void in the face without a cloud of knives in hand while feeling like I was turning inside out. I have a fret ration, and I am going to use it.” Trying to balance wit and loopiness is hard.

But I think the one that most takes the cake was Luath. Group’s out in the middle of nowhere, visiting a village that they’re pretty sure has been infiltrated by skinchangers. They’ve bedded down for the night, and some of the skinchangers in question are coming up to check on them. Luath’s not quite asleep, so he hears them coming. I forget why it was he needed to justify it, but as they approached, he pretended to wake up from a nightmare, sitting bolt upright and yelling “No, not the syrup! Put it down, I’ll deliver the antelope!” You know the best part? Even though this wasn’t a real dream, the player gave me the full context, and it was definitely something Luath would be dreaming (it involved blackmail material being carried by an antelope and threats of bodily harm using pancake toppings).

Half-asleep characters say the darnedest things.


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