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239696303 Seitenabrufe seit dem 30.06.2003


HauptseiteRollenspieleProduktlinien (Rollenspiele)Call of Cthulhu RPGDreamlands 4th Edition

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Dreamlands 4th Edition





Call of Cthulhu RPG


CHA 2363






26,00 EUR



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Before Sandy Petersen put pen to paper and started writing the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, he originally approached Chaosium with an idea of designing a fantasy game based on H.P. Lovecraft's tales of his Dream Cycle, particularly "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath". Lovecraft's Dreamlands was an Arabian Nights style fantasy world which we can visit when we dream, and a very different style of gaming to regular Call of Cthulhu. The project was shelved when Call of Cthulhu was first released, only to be written as a supplement five years later.

The original Dreamlands supplement written by Sandy Petersen was nice, but I found his portrayal a bit academic and fragmented. It was not until Chris Williams came on board for the Fourth Edition (this edition) that I felt the supplement came to life. Chapters are familiar, with an introduction "Through the Gate of Deeper Slumber" covering topics on the Dreamlands in general, Dreaming skills, Nightmare Effects and artefacts that get you there. The second chapter "Evoking the Atmosphere of Dreams" is expanded upon the original and nicely written. After that we get a summary of Lovecraft's "The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath" presented as "The Dream-Quest of Randolph Carter". I would have rather seen one or two of Lovecraft's shorter tales reprinted instead of this summary, which isn't all that interesting to read.

Next is the "Gazetteer of the Dreamlands", again expanded to include places mentioned in the works of Dreamland authors other than Lovecraft, such as Brian Lumley and Gary Myers. "People of the Dreamlands", expanded in this edition, adds statistics and brief backgrounds on important personalities and some even stranger beings. If you own the printed copy I do, some of the pages are back the front, duplicated or in the wrong place. It took me a while to work it out, but all the required pages are there, just in the wrong order. Next "The Dreamlands Bestiary" and "Gods of the Dreamlands" are nicely updated and well illustrated by Earl Geier, and finally there is "The Dreamlands Grimoire" which is so much better organised and presented in this edition.

The second section of the book includes two scenarios, "Lemon Sails" by Phil Frances and "Pickman's Student" by Keith Herber. Both scenarios are excellent, but the latter by veteran author Keith Herber is one of the best scenarios I've seen for the Call of Cthulhu game in any supplement. The original Dreamlands had four more scenarios, "To Sleep, Perchance to Dream" which is kind of boring, and "Captive of Two Worlds" and "Season of the Witch", both of them average scenarios. It is a shame that the last missing scenario by Mark Morrison, "The Land of Lost Dreams" was not included, because it is a very moody, well written and dark piece, and well worth playing. All these adventures however will be included in the hardback edition of this supplement, soon to be published as H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands. To round out this edition there are two appendices, one on creating Dreamlands investigators, and a Dreamlands Bibliography.

Artwork is generally excellent, with evocative pieces mostly by Kevin Ramos, Jason Eckhardt and Paul Carrick. The map of the Dreamlands is well done and the cover of the merman and the brightly coloured sailing ship by Raymond Bayless is extremely well done. Other maps, particularly of cities, could have done with an overhaul considering what can be done with desktop publishing packages these days.

All in all The Complete Dreamlands is a great buy, and a definite improvement on the original. Unfortunately Chaosium hasn't done much to support this line by publishing many stand alone Dreamlands adventures or campaigns, which is exactly what this setting needed. This is probably because Dreamlands is more dark fantasy and less cosmic horror, so doesn't really appeal to the current contributing writers for the game. In light of the recent release of Cthulhu Dark Ages, I believe Chaosium would have done well to release Dreamlands as another stand alone game using the Basic Role Playing (BRP) system, creating a separate line of supplements, many of which could easily be set entirely in the Dreamlands itself. If a guidebook similar to H.P. Lovecraft's Arkham came out for the Dreamland cities of Celephaïs, Dylath-Leen, Hilanith, Mnar and Ulthar, I'd be the first out there purchasing them.


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