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The Dream – Meme Virus

My players keep traveling back to Ynn and finally got infected by the Dream.  The Dream is a meme virus – that is, a bad idea – that killed off the sidh and destroyed Ynn.  Three of my seven players got infected but I put off running the disease because I couldn’t think of satisfactory way to run it until the last session.  I ended up running this as a role-play session instead of anything mechanical.  I did follow the original rules of the virus which in summary are:

  • The virus has 20 hps and a core idea (randomly generated).
  • The virus targets the characters sense-of-self  – a number that is a combination of CON and CHA.
  • It does d6 damage every round to the target, I changed this to every real-world minute.
  • The virus can be attacked when another character speaks against the core idea of the virus (d6 damage).
  • The infected character can heal d4 sense-of-self when another character appeals to their nature (for example a sense of justice).
  • If the other characters reinforce the virus’ core idea then the virus does an additional d6 damage to the infected target’s sense-of-self.

The key point here is “another character”. So the infected characters had to come up with a lie/modified memory around their individual virus core-ideas.  One character’s core-idea was gambling, another music and the last conspiracies.

I then gave the other characters 1 minute to come up with a way to fight the virus.  Depending on what they said I then told the infected character to heal d4, get damaged d6 or damage the virus d6. This went back and forth and took about 45 minutes.  All the infected PCs survived – one barely so.  But it ended up being a highlight of the night.

I thought I would share the process with other DM’s who might be running Ynn and also thinking how best to run the meme-virus infection.


Posted in 5e, Dungeons & Dragons, OSR 5e

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