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Somninauts is a rules-light RPG inspired by Inception and Salvador Dali

Sleepwalking, sleeprunning, sleepfighting.

Solve mysteries in people’s dreams with Somninauts, an upcoming roleplaying game inspired by the likes of Inception and Salvador Dali.

Somninauts is a rules-light RPG - meaning it’s designed to be more accessible to less experienced roleplayers - that sees player characters inserting themselves into dreams in a similar manner to that of Chris Nolan’s 2010 film Inception. In Somninauts, players can expect to encounter surreal worlds shaped by the unconscious mind, with the goal being to discover whatever secrets they need to solve a quandary or help another character. Somninauts can be played as its own standalone game, but it also comes with a toolkit to enable game masters and players to apply its mechanics to another RPG.

Somninauts artwork

Player characters have a set of three main attributes - strong, quick and clever - which they will use to attempt to overcome difficult situations. Whenever a character encounters something that may be risky, then they will be asked to use a relevant attribute and must roll under the selected stat, but over a Recursion number, using a d20. Characters will have certain Talents that they can use to roll with advantage - which is when the player can roll twice and pick the higher result - thereby increasing their chances of success.

Recursion is something that player characters gain whenever they fail a test roll. The higher the Recursion number, the harder it gets to successfully roll over it. If a character ever gains an amount of Recursion equal to or greater than one of their attribute numbers, then they are ejected from the dream and must return to the real world. During their time in the waking world, player characters will be able to gather various clues to guide them throughout their journey within the dream. Players must push ahead in the dream until they are able to solve their chosen mystery.

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Somninauts was designed by Geoff Cullop, who is also behind several other RPGs including One Page Dungeons - which can be played alongside other roleplaying games as locations within those worlds - and Ancient Undead Spider Wizard. The artists involved in creating Somninauts include Goran Gligovic, Andrey Garin, Evlyn Moreau, acid_lich, Jared Sinclair and Guiherme Gontijo.

Fish in the Pot is the publisher responsible for releasing Somninauts, as well as Cullop’s previously mentioned games One Page Dungeons and Ancient Undead Spider Wizard.

The Kickstarter campaign for Somninauts is live until June 17th, with a pledge of $30 (£22) getting backers a copy of the core rulebook in April 2022. Alternatively, a digital version of the RPG is available for a pledge of $20 (£15).

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Alex Meehan avatar
Alex Meehan: After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.
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