The Dream Character Interviewing Game!
A fun way to find out what your dreams REALLY mean with your friends and family!
Copyright 1985, Joseph Dillard
Can you correctly guess what your dreams mean? Can you predict what another dreamer will guess is the meaning of their own dream? If you can, go to the head of the dream interpretation school! In DreamQuest, you tell a dream or nightmare, someone else’s dream or nightmare, or a life event, or a purely fictitious story. You can be wild and crazy and try to trick your opponents. During play you will “become” different characters in your dream or story and answer questions asked by the other players as if you were that character. These questions will be about who you are and what your role is in the dream, nightmare or story. At three different points during play you will write why you think you had the dream or shared the particular story you did. As you listen to what the dream characters have to say, don’t be surprised if your thoughts about the dream change in amazing ways! Each of the other players will also predict what you have written at three different points of play. You will compare their predictions with your own and score each guess at three different points of play The most accurate predictor is the winner!
Object of the game: Be best at predicting what another player thinks their dream means! High score wins and gets to either tell a dream or choose who will go next!
Getting started: Shuffle the deck and place it in the center of the group. The top card always asks, “What are three fundamental life issues you are dealing with now in your life?”
1) Someone tells the group a dream. The “dreamer” thinks about why he/she had the dream but doesn’t tell the others. The answer could be, “I don’t know!” or, “It’s from that pepperoni pizza I had last night!” or, “It’s a revelation from God!”
2) Now the player to the left of the dreamer reads the top card to the dreamer. It says, “What are three fundamental life issues you are dealing with now in your life?” The dreamer tells the players three life issues that they have. They can be about anything – what to do about that stray cat, how to say “no” to people, money, career choices, whether or not to move to Bulgaria, how to get someone to like you, or getting over some illness. Whatever is going on in your life is a life issue!
3) Each player whispers in the dreamer’s ear what they think the dreamer thinks the dreamer believes is the meaning of his/her dream!
4) The dreamer shouts out “Blazing Hot!” if the answer matches their own thoughts about why they had the dream, or “Freezing Cold!” if it is way off the mark, and “tepid!” if it’s in-between. “Blazing Hot!” is a direct hit and is worth ten points. “Freezing Cold!” is zero points. “Tepid” is five points. The dreamer can award any player any number from zero to ten. Players keep track of how many points they were awarded.
5) The group now votes on what three characters in the dream they want to interview! Don’t forget – the sky, rocks, air, and the ground beneath the dreamer’s feet are all characters! The group decides which character will be interviewed first, second and third.
6) The next player to the dreamer’s left picks up the second card in the deck and addresses it to the character. For example, let’s say the dream character is a toaster and the question is, “(Character), what are you doing in this dream?”
7) The dreamer now gets to pretend they are the toaster in the dream and say whatever the toaster wants to say in answer to the question. For example, it might say, “Can’t you see I’m burning the bagels? The room is full of smoke!!!”
8) Every player can ask one follow up question if they want. For example, he/she might ask, “Well, toaster, how do you feel about having burned the bagel?” Answering as quickly and as spontaneously as it can, the toaster might say, “Hey! Don’t blame me! Is it my fault that some schmuck turned the dial all the way up to “crispy?”
9) The next player then gets to choose a card and ask the question on it to the toaster, as well as a follow-up question if they want. Play continues in this fashion until the toaster has been asked four questions and four (optional) follow up questions of the player’s choice.
10) Now steps 2) and 3) are repeated and each player adds their new score to their old one. The highest score is the person in the lead!
11) The dreamer shuffles the deck, including all discards, but not including the first question about choosing three life issues, which is taken out of the deck. Now repeat steps 6-10, with the next player in the circle asking the second character in the dream the top question in the deck.
12) After the dreamer once again ranks each player’s predictions and those new totals are announced by each player to the group, steps 6-11 are repeated with the third character.
13) The highest score is the winner! The dreamer now shares what they first thought the dream was about and how that changed, if it did, based on what the characters said and what the players told them that they thought the dream meant. Everyone now discusses what they thought the dream was about.
14) Play continues with the dreamer picking who will go next!
Choosing and Telling the Dream
- Players write down their dreams, nightmares, phony dreams, waking nightmares or fictitious stories prior to game time. These should contain at least four “characters,” which can be people, spirits, extraterrestrials, animals, rocks, clouds, puppies, sapphires, ghouls, whiskey, cumulus clouds, Alcatraz, Beethoven, Mars, an ear – any noun. It can be a pain personified as an animal like a bee or an object like a screw or hammer. Characters are not feelings, actions, or modifiers.
- The “dream” should not take more than two minutes to tell; long “dreams” may be told in condensed form.
- A Player is selected to act as Guardian. The Guardian shuffles each of the five categories of DreamQuest Cards separately (Role, Revelation, Rapport, and Dream Wizard) and places them face down and passes out Prediction and Clue Sheets and pens.
- The die is rolled by all Players with the high role designating the dreamer.
- The Dreamer tells the dream in the first person, present tense, (e.g., “I am walking up the stairs.”
- the Guardian makes sure the dream is told clearly and concisely without commentary or asides relating to the waking life of the Dreamer.
- As the dream is being told, each Player lists the dream Characters in their order of appearance at the top of his DreamQuest Clue Sheet. Clue sheets are divided into four areas, each having a space to write a Character name and the Character’s responses to the questions he or she (or it!) is asked.
- Discussion among the Players follows about which four Characters (the Dreamer as she appears in the dream, called “Dream Self,” and three others) might best be interviewed in order to determine why the Dreamer thinks she had this dream.
- If there is doubt or disagreement within the group regarding who should be interviewed, the Dreamer can always be consulted.
- In any case, the Dreamer must have no objection to the choice of characters to be interviewed.
- Dream Self is always the first of the four Characters to be interviewed.
(The purpose of this group of questions is to help the Dreamer get into a dream role.)
Always precede the question with the name of the character you are addressing.)
(Character…) Do you smell anything?
Do you hear any sounds?
Where are you?
What parts of yourself are you most aware of?
If you have hair, what color is it?
What color(s) are you?
How much do you weigh?
How tall are you?
Are you healthy? If not, what’s wrong with your body?
What colors do you see?
Are you touching anything? What does it feel like?
Other role questions can be added, as long as they have to do with anchoring presence in the role of the character. Before a Player ad lib’s a question, they need to know the difference between the types of questions so they don’t confuse the types.
(The purpose of these questions is to clarify how the character is feeling, experiencing, and doing in the dream.)
(Character…) How do you feel in the beginning of this dream?
What is your main feeling in this dream?
What is most important to you as you experience this dream?
Do you consider yourself aggressive, passive, or assertive in your behavior in this dream?
How do you feel about being in this dream?
What do you like least about yourself in this dream?
What do you like most about yourself in this dream?
What is most pleasant to you in this dream?
What do you least like doing in this dream?
What is the favorite thing that you do in this dream?
How do you feel at the end of this dream?
What is most irritating to you as you experience this dream?
How do you feel in the middle of this dream?
(The purpose of this group of questions is to clarify how the character is interacting with its environment and other dream characters.)
(Character…) What do you think about how ____________ (character of your choice) feels in this dream? (A feeling is happy, sad, scared, angry, guilty, confused, resentful, etc. Etc.)
Why do you think (character of your choice) feels…
What do you think about how (character of your choice) behaves in this dream?
Which character (including yourself) do you dislike most in this dream? Why?
Which character (including yourself) do you like the most in this dream? Why?’
How do you feel when (action of your choice) occurs in this dream?
How do you feel about (character of your choice)?
In general, what do you think about your fellow dream characters?
(The purpose of this group of questions is to receive waking life change recommendations from the dream characters.)
(Character…) What aspect of the Dreamer do you most closely personify or represent?
Why do you think that you are in this dream?
Why do you think this particular group of characters got together in this dream?
Why do you think (action of your choice) is in this dream?
If you could live this Dreamer’s waking life for him, how would you live it differently?
Why do you think that the Dreamer had this dream?
If you could change this dream in any way you wanted, how would you change it?
Other types of cards are included in the print version:
“Stop Prying!” Miss a turn!
“You fell asleep!” Miss a turn!
“Wouldn’t you like to know!” Miss a turn!
“You’re messing with taboo territory here! Miss a turn!
“Don’t get cocky!” Miss a turn!
Good Dreams: (Asked by the Player of the character to be answered about the Player.)
(Character,) if you could do anything you wanted with me, what would you do? Award 1 point!
What do you think will be my greatest happiness in two years? Award 3 points!
What do you think I do best with other people? Award 3 points!
What do you think has been secretly going on in my mind recently? Award 1-3 points!
If you were to give me some advice, what would it be?
What do you admire most about me?
Bad Dreams: (Asked by the Player of the character to be answered about the Player.)
(Character,) What do you think will be my biggest problem in two years? Subtract 2 points!
What do you think I am most likely to have nightmares about? Subtract 3 points!
What do you think I understand least about myself? Subtract 1 to 3 points!
What do you think I understand least about other people? Subtract 3 points!
What are three fundamental life issues that you are dealing with now in your life?
(Character,) would you please tell me what you look like and what you are doing?
(Character,) what do you like most about yourself in this experience? What are your strengths?
(Character,) what do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses? What?
(Character,) if you could change this experience in any way you wanted, would you? If so, how would you change it?
(Character,) if that experience were to continue, what would happen next?
(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change? If so, how?
(Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?
(Character,) if you could live this person’s waking life for him/her, how would you live it differently?
(Character,) if you could live this person’s waking life for him/her today, would you handle his/her three life issues differently? If so, how?
(Character,) what three life issues would you focus on if you were in charge of this dreamer’s life?
(If this next question is asked, it is followed by the next two, written on the same card:)
(Character,) how would you score yourself 0-10, in confidence, empathy, wisdom, acceptance, peace of mind, and witnessing?
(Character,) if you scored tens in all six of these qualities, would you be different? If so, how?
(Character, how would this dreamer’s life be different if he/she naturally scored high in all six of these qualities all the time?
(Character, in what life situations would it be most beneficial for this dreamer to imagine that they are you and act as you would?
(Character, why do you think that you are in this life experience (or dream)?
(Character, if this experience were a wake-up call from the soul of this dreamer, what do you think it would be saying to them?
DreamQuest Score Sheet
(Scores show how close your guess is to what the dreamer wrote!)
Guess #1: I think you had this dream because……
Score: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Extra points (if any): ____
Guess #2: Now I think you had this dream because……
Score: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Extra points (if any): ____
Guess #3: Now I know you had this dream because……
Score: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Extra points (if any): ____
My total score is: _____
The Characters in this dream are:
Dream Self said:
Character #2 said:
Character #3 said:
Character #4 said: