Dream Park: The Roleplaying Game

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Dream Park: The Roleplaying Game is a role-playing game published by R. Talsorian Games in 1992.

Description[edit]

A paper role-playing game based on the novel Dream Park was produced under the title Dream Park (making it a role-playing game based on a book about a role-playing game).[1] The book was written by Mike Pondsmith and published by R. Talsorian Games.

The Dream Park core rule book started with a "tour" of the park. The player gets to meet several of the staff of Dream Park. Each personality explains a little about their job. The head special effects technician gives the player a behind the scenes look at how the special effects of the park work. The book had a basic rules section with a few short scenarios and more detailed advanced rules, as well as information on various types of genres and creating games.

The player created a character, who in turn played a character. Instead of attributes to describe non-learned physical and mental skills (strength, intelligence, constitution, etc.), the character had ten skills: melee weapon, ranged weapon, hand to hand (used for unarmed attacks), dodge, tinkering, athletics, knowledge, stealth, willpower, and awareness. The player had several classes to choose from: fighter, thief, cleric, magic-user, loremaster, engineer, psychic, superhero, and multi-class.

The nature of Dream Park's setting had several unique aspects. Each character started with a set number of game points that were used to purchase skills, powers, and equipment. Game points were lost if the character died during the adventure, and gained for surviving a game. Unlike most games, the player could purchase any skills or abilities he wanted, so long as he had the game points to spend. However, these abilities cost more if the player was not of the appropriate class. Thus, a fighter could learn how to cast clerical spells and select a superpower, but would need to spend more game points than a cleric or superhero would. A multi-class character could select two classes. These characters started with lower skills, but could purchase skills from both classes at normal cost.

The player could also reconfigure his character between games. The aforementioned fighter character might be a plate mail wearing knight with a magic sword one game and a machine gun carrying soldier the next. Another reason a character might need to reconfigure is the game master could set certain limitations for each game. Equipment and skills fell into one of four classes: ancient (Dark Ages and earlier), historical (post Dark Ages to around 1900), modern (early 1900s to anything that might be invented about 50 years from now), and future (anything that might be invented 50 years or more from the present). So if a game was to take place in the Victorian era, the players might not be allowed to purchase modern or future equipment. Additionally, the game master could set restrictions on magic-user and clerical spells, psychic powers, and superpowers.

Publication history[edit]

Dream Park: The Roleplaying Game was published by R. Talsorian Games in 1992.

Reception[edit]

Dream Park was ranked 34th in the 1996 reader poll of Arcane magazine to determine the 50 most popular roleplaying games of all time. The UK magazine's editor Paul Pettengale commented: "You can run a continuing character – the gameworld player - while playing in a string of scenarios, and even if you get killed your character isn't dead, just embarrassed or annoyed. The D6-based system is simple and the published scenarios are colourful."[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Index.rpg.net
  2. ^ Pettengale, Paul (Christmas 1996). "Arcane Presents the Top 50 Roleplaying Games 1996". Arcane. Future Publishing (14): 25–35.