So I’ve been watching Critical Role, this show produced by Geek & Sundry that features a group of professional voice actors playing D&D on screen. Last night I had a dream that the DM, Matt Mercer, had become my personal DM in this strange game/fantasy world. It was unclear if it was some kind of virtual reality or a LARP, but I was placed in a situation where I knew I was myself and that I was playing a game, but everyone around me (in a realistic setting) acted like this was real life and I was the character I was playing. Matt would appear to me, but others wouldn’t be able to see him unless he was playing an NPC for my benefit (either a monster attacking me or someone guiding me), and then they’d only see what he wanted them to see, even though I could see him as his real self. My character was the king/prince (people used both titles through the dream) of a large kingdom, I wasn’t sure if I appeared male to them, because I saw myself as female (I looked like my real self, not a dream self), but regardless, everyone treated me as the monarch of this kingdom.
The game started with Matt waking me up from my sleep (in the game) and attacking me with this monster that could shape-shift and control minds, it mind controlled me and I had to go shambling off into the palace, acting weird (at least it felt weird to me, I was all stiff and unnatural in character, even though my real mind was fine and mad at being out of control), trying to go find a servant to order to do the thing that the monster wanted me to do (something about sending off a particular person, a hunter, to go try to capture it, presumably as a trap). At one point I was passing through a large foyer-type area in the palace and someone cracked a joke about my character right as I passed, and I turned and asked them (flat affect, in a monotone) what they’d said. As they stammered and tried to recover (apparently I was generally a nice monarch, but here I was basically staring into their soul while confronting their little joke) I ended up turning and just leaving the conversation without allowing a response, disinterested in that situation, since the monster still had control of my mind and wanted me to do something else.
At that point I managed to roll my saving throw and bucked the mind control, and then went to the chambers where I thought the monster had last been before attacking me, to look for clues. There was a ton of glittery stones all over the room, which I was gathering as Matt commended me for thinking of looking for them, except I had some trouble seeing them because in my haste to be in character and shamble through the castle, I’d left my actual glasses that I needed to see in my room. So I went back and got them, gathered the glittery stones, set off some kind of water trap that soaked me and Matt both, and then we went back to my royal chambers to dry off, at which point a guard came to get me, I had to scramble to finish changing (we were not changing in the same room, there were multiple rooms of course) and answer the door, still holding a little pot full of glitter and water that I’d combined.
The guard told me I was urgently needed at the Court, so Matt and I went and discovered a trial was going on, the Chief Justice and a noblewoman had dragged a peasant man in front of the court, accusing him of murder. They appealed to me for judgement, asking that he be put to death. When I questioned everyone involved, it turned out that the man had gotten drunk at a tavern the night before, and had gone into the noblewoman’s garden and destroyed one of her rose bushes (dug up and rooted out and then set the remains on fire). The particular variety of rose was actually quite poisonous and dangerous, as the man’s lawyer explained, and he in his drunken stupor had simply assumed it was planted there by mistake and removed it for the greater good. The noblewoman claimed it was planted by one of her ancestors and was very dear to her, like he’d killed a member of her family (hence why she kept calling it murder). I was told that a botanical expert had examined the remains (several roses were intact after the destruction) and independently confirmed the genus of rose, its poisonous properties and how it was the only one in town for that reason, as it wasn’t allowed to be bought, sold, or planted in the kingdom, but that particular bush had escaped notice since it was planted a few generations ago and was in the noblewoman’s garden.
At this point I expressed my absolute disgust for the proceedings. I walked around the court as I pronounced judgement, pointing out that destroying a plant was not akin to murder, no matter how dear the plant, and saying that I refused to kill a man for poor judgement. I sentenced him to a week of hard labor as his punishment, since he had done wrong in trespassing and destroying someone else’s property, but over the objections of the Chief Justice and the noblewoman, refused to have him killed. The man, who had looked as white as a sheet for most of the trial, had tears in his eyes and was immensely grateful, while the noblewoman and Chief Justice were livid. I left the room, noting that I’d probably made a couple new enemies, and making a mental note to investigate if people around the noblewoman had come up poisoned in the past.
The dream got a bit hazy at this point, I remember a couple snippets after this, one where Matt and I were trying to make our way through a walking labyrinth in the palace garden, like one of those floor mosaic labyrinths some cathedrals have, except slightly raised off the ground, and with a few traps (not super dangerous ones, you’d just get your foot pinched or slapped if you stepped wrong, it was for fun and many people were doing it while we were also there). I also remember just sitting in my chambers having a conversation with Matt and laughing and joking like we were old friends, which was one of my favorite parts.