Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares Lore
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares Cards
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares Strategy
- Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares Design and Extras
With most Spirits, Terror Victories are a backup plan if the main push against the Invaders stalls out for too long, but Bringer turns Fear into a more viable primary strategy. Its transformation of damage & destruction into Fear can turn Major Powers into tremendous sources of terror and panic. However, the only real offense Bringer has is the Dahan fighting back. While it does have some defensive ability, it is fundamentally poor at clearing areas of Invaders..
SPIRITS MAY YET DREAM
SUMMARY OF POWERS
From the Playmat
When the moon is bright, and the leaves overhead are thin enough to let stray beams fall to earth, the Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares may sometimes be spied, an apparition of pale light and deep shadow. Seen this way, it will neither stop nor acknowledge attempts to communicate with it, whether by Dahan or Spirit. It might not even be there at all: perhaps it's a reflection of a self somewhere else entirely; the realm of the The Pathmaker, or some strange road that borders it.
But beings which dream hear from the Bringer frequently, even if they rarely remember it. Certain patterns may even call its attention, if drawn with sand and scatters with breath before sleep. Since the Invaders came, it has tended towards more terrifying forms, even well before the current conflict arose.
Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares draws a distinction only between dreams it carries to slumbering minds and those which arise independent of its touch. It may bear visions of wonder or terror, of prophecy or muddled echoes of past experience; they may illuminate or deceive or simply confuse. It has existed since long before the Dahan arrived, bearing dreams to those few Spirits which receive them from without, but there is little question that its nature changed - and enlarged - once humanity began living on Spirit Island. Some speculate that it is related to those which prey upon the not-yet-departed souls of the dead, though others counter that it does not seem to feed off dreams, merely carry them.
Even amongst other Spirits, it communicates almost entirely through the touch of dreams, either by manifesting in some form suitable to the dreamscape, or by taking a few moments of its mind-to-mind contact for more direct - if often no less cryptic - communication. Spirits are generally better able than humans to retain these fleeting memories, though humans sometimes help interpret a vexing conversation for some Spirit poorly suited to nuanced interpretation.
Bringer of Dreams & Nightmares is a spirit of nighttime mindscapes for humans, beasts, and those Spirits which dream. It has both kindly and fearsome aspects, but since the Invaders arrived has worn only the latter. Its powers are fundamentally over the mind and perception - it has extreme difficulty doing any direct, real harm; its Powers instead cause the Invaders to believe that they have been harmed. These mass hallucinations breed more fear than if they had been real. (High complexity.)
- Let's start off with the ability which most shapes how this Spirit plays: the Special Rule "To Dream a Thousand Deaths". Any Damage or destruction it would do is instead turned into terrifying dreams. Eg: if it acquires and uses the Power Card "Tsunami", instead of creating an actual tsunami, it creates vivid, recurring, disturbingly detailed and true-to-life nightmares of that devastating tidal wave. In game terms, instead of damaging or removing Invader pieces, it deals Fear and/or convinces people to leave the site where they nightly see themselves dying. This ability is Bringer's greatest strength and its greatest weakness: it can generate phenomenal amounts of Fear, but it can't directly hurt the Invaders - only frighten them and hope they flee of their own volition. (It can, however, Defend lands so that Dahan survive to counterattack.)
- Growth: Not high-powered, but good versatility. It can put down Presence nearly every turn, it has a "Reclaim One" option which can let it put off a Reclaim All, and it can gain Power Cards even when not Reclaiming. It can also reach an extremely long way to place Presence anyplace that humans live, leaping across the board.
- Presence Tracks: Both its Energy and Card Plays start good, but ramp up slowly. This Spirit leans heavily towards Major Powers over lots of Minor Powers: it has good Energy gain from the get-go, a cap of 3 Card Plays/turn, and two +Any elements that can be used to hit a wide variety of Elemental Thresholds later on. (The ramping here is also a little deceptive, because Fear Cards grow more potent as the game goes on, so generating lots of Fear automatically scales up over time.)
- Innate Power - Spirits May Yet Dream: The first half of this does something no other effect in the game does: reveals how the Invaders will react when frightened, allowing the players to factor it into their plans. The second half lets a Spirit draw on their own nature more powerfully, giving an echo of Bringer's "+Any"s to another spirit - or further amping up its own ability to hit elemental thresholds for Major and Innate Powers.
- Innate Power - Night Terrors: Does Fear. Pretty straightforward. It's Fast, which seems of only modest import, but it's highly relevant for Dread Apparitions, one of its Unique Power Cards.
Speaking of which:
- Average cost is a bit over 1 - neither cheap nor expensive. This lines up well with getting Major Powers at some point: Bringer is likely to be able to build up surplus Energy.
- They're pretty complex. This isn't a Spirit for beginning players. (Which would actually be true even if the Power Cards were simple, because To Dream a Thousand Deaths changes so much.)
- In total, they grant 4 Moon, 2 Air, 2 Animal, 1 Fire. Triggering Bringer's innates is going to be limited mostly by # of Card Plays and by the presence of Air/Animal.
- Call on Midnight's Dreams gives a choice, either calling on the Invaders' dreams (generate 2 Fear at Fast) or the Dahan's (gain a Major Power). If you choose the latter option and Forget Call on Midnight's Dreams as payment for keeping the Major Power, you gain 1 Energy per Dahan and may play your shiny new Major Power immediately by paying its cost. We've already seen that Bringer of Dreams is geared to use Major Powers well; this card both lets it get hold of them more easily (by playing a Power Card instead of using Growth) and gives the option of getting them into play instantly.
- Dread Apparitions - most of the time, Fear being generated in one land vs. another isn't relevant - the timescale of the game is such that the Invaders' morale is considered as a single pool. This Power changes that: every Fear generated in this land also grants Defend 1 there. Of course, granting Defend is only useful before the Invaders act; this is why it's relevant that Night Terrors (Innate Power) and Call on Midnight's Dreams (Power Card) generate Fear at Fast speed: they can combo with Dread Apparitions to grant Defend, giving some respite from the Invaders' onslaught.
- Dreams of the Dahan is another Dahan/Invader split choice. It can either be dreams the Dahan are having (calling them to a particular place) or nightmares the Invaders are having about the local Dahan (in which case it does Fear based on the # of Dahan present). This is another Fast Fear-generating Power, so can also combo with Dread Apparitions - if Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares is able to use all of its Fast Fear on a single land, it can do 9 Fear + Defend 9! And like Call on Midnight's Dreams, it's cheap.
- Predatory Nightmares tells up to 2 Dahan to skedaddle, but it's the other half of the card that's interesting. It says "2 Damage", but has a reminder for To Dream a Thousand Deaths: this card isn't going to actually destroy anything. If used against two Explorers, it effectively becomes "Push 2 Explorers" - which for 2 Energy is pricey, though perhaps tactically necessary. If used against a Town, its net effect is "2 Fear and Push a Town" - somewhat better. If used against two already-damaged Towns, it'll do 4 Fear and Push 2 towns. If used a healthy City, it does nothing - they are unintimidated by these nightmares - but against two badly beleaguered Cities (2 damage on each), it's phenomenally effective, doing 10 Fear for 2 Energy.
Overall In smaller games, the primary challenge of Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares is "don't lose": it's so good at scaring the pants off the Invaders that it can readily blow through to a Fear Victory before the Invader Deck runs out, even against high-level Adversaries. However, it also has fewer teammates to help it with defense, so may be overrun before it can ever reach that victory. In larger games, there are more Spirits to help keep Bringer's starting board from turning into a pit of Blight, but the impact of its Fear is diluted by the larger Fear Pool. "Diluted" does not, however, mean "eliminated": any game with Bringer of Dreams and Nightmares will involve more Fear Cards and reach Terror Levels 2 and 3 faster, helping the situation all over the island.