The Dreamlands,1 also known as the Dimension of Dreams,2 is a dimension which overlays the Ethereal Plane, created and maintained directly by the dreams of sleepers on the Material Plane. It consists of a finite, relatively stable core, surrounded by countless ephemeral dreamscapes.34
The Dreamlands' semi-permanent core is formed from slumbering desires, and the dreams of especially powerful individuals, like the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones.3 It can be entered via the obscure occult ritual known as the Dreamlands excursion, and is less accessible than the Outer Planes but easier to travel to than individual dreamscapes.5 A dreamer that enters the Dreamlands' core for the first time descends a spiral staircase that emerges from the side of a great tree into the Enchanted Forest.6
Surrounding the Dreamlands' stable core is a foam of transient dreamscapes, each the dream of an individual sleeping mortal, constantly forming and evaporating when someone goes to sleep or awakens.37 These can be viewed from the Ethereal Plane, but can only be entered by those who possess the appropriate kind of esoteric magic.8 This sort of magic is unreliable, aiding access instead of guaranteeing it. However, certain dreamers have learned how to lucidly dream, consistently gaining access to the Dreamlands in their sleep or even abandoning their waking life for it. Artifacts like the Key of Celephais, Mnemoka's Flask, and the Golden Liao Censer also assist access.8
When one physically enters a dreamscape, it first appears as a prosaic dreamscape of the visitor's native culture. However, those who travel deeper into the realm discover that it molds itself to dreamers' wishes, slowly becoming whatever they would imagine.8
The Plateau of Leng is a distant, ill-understood demiplane of nightmares that exists beyond the Dreamlands, where nightmares overlap into a strange reality spawned by the dreams of primordial gods of the Dark Tapestry.910
Aside from mortal dreamers and those who've abandoned mortality, the Dreamlands is also haunted by night hags, the most powerful of which stride through the land of dreams like demigods. These are countered only by the azata sorceress Fiorindria the Longing.8
Figments from the dreams sometimes escape the Dreamlands, usually when a particularly imaginative dreamer awakens. These animate dreams stalk the Ethereal Plane, feeding off minds and searching for new dreamscapes to torture other sleepers.7
For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.
- Wikipedia article on the Dream Cycle, original source of the Dreamlands.
- In First Edition, the term Dreamlands referred exclusively to the dimension's stable core, while Dimension of Dreams collectively refers to said inner core and the ephemeral dreamscapes surrounding it. In Second Edition, the two terms are synonyms and have the latter meaning.
- Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mark Seifter, et al. (2020). Pathfinder Gamemastery Guide, p. 145. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-198-6
- James Jacobs et al. (2011). "Religion". The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 245. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
- Ron Lundeen. (2016). Dreams of the Yellow King. Dreams of the Yellow King, p. 15–16. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-899-1
- Robert Brookes et al. (2018). "The Great Beyond". Planar Adventures, p. 213. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-044-6
- Jason Bulmahn et al. (2015). Occult Adventures, p. 242. Paizo Inc.
- Amber Stewart. (2009). The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse, p. 50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-167-1
- Amber Stewart. (2009). The Great Beyond: A Guide to the Multiverse, p. 52. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-167-1
- Greg A. Vaughan. (2012). Leng: The Terror Beyond Dreams. Into the Nightmare Rift, p. 65. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-487-0
- Crystal Frasier. (2011). The Harrowing, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-355-2
- James Jacobs and Amber Stewart. (2016). Bestiary. Dreams of the Yellow King, p. 87. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-899-1