Mr. Sandman, please bring me a dream… Yep, the entire idea was slap-dashed together from that Chordettes song from back in the day, made famous by the scene from Back to the Future. Anyways, the deadline for my game was closing in and I needed more time to write-up things, but I didn’t have it, so I did what any good GM does…I added more sand to the sandbox. I came up with a sub-plot to add to my overall plot and created a bad guy. In this case, the Sandman, in my game worlds cosmology the Dreamlands are a very very real place, ruled over by Morpheus, his lieutenants being the Sandmen (and Sandwomen as the case may be) who make sure specifics mortals dream specific dreams (or nightmares). Now, that’s all well and good but I needed more conflict, thus I came up with the idea that one of these Sandmen experienced a dream (something they are not allowed to do), but not just any dream, a prescient dream in which one of the player characters was seen destroying the world. It literally drove the Sandman mad, if the world ended how could he continue to deliver dreams to the sleeping mortals? It put it in a logic loop and its only recourse was to hunt down and kill said player character by dragging her into the Dreamlands. It didn’t work out that way of course, and the carefully laid plans were dramatically altered by three critical hits back to back. Hoo boy, I should be used to it by now, but I’m now. So, I figured I’d post this monster here and let those who play GURPS and follow my blog make of it what they will. Please not that this was not used in an actual Monster Hunters game, but is easily ported there. I would say it would be a match for three champions (in the real world) or a entire team with boatloads of preparation if you’re crazy enough to face it in the Dreamlands. Enjoy.
For Any Campaign…
Sandmen are powerful beings who inhabit the Dreamlands but come to our world to make sure that specific dreams (or occasionally nightmares) are delivered to those who are supposed to have them. They cannot be seen except by those who are about to go to sleep or those who are sleep deprived. Contrary to popular belief they don’t actually ‘sprinkle sand’ into the eyes of their targets, but instead employ various supernatural abilities. This myth actually came from the fact that those affected by their abilities are left with a grainy bodily excretion called rheum. While Sandmen can fully manifest in the real world, and look no different from any other man or woman, they are exceptionally hard to kill, in fact the only way they can be permanently killed is by confronting them in the Dreamlands and fighting them there, a foolhardy and risky proposition.
Sandman (in the real world)
The Sandman can physically manifest in our world, taking on the form of an ordinary looking man or woman, while not as strong or fast as their dream-selves they are still above average for human and still possess all their dream powers, though they must still use them on sleeping subjects.
ST: 14 HP: 15 Speed: 7.00
DX: 14 Will: 18 Move: 7
IQ: 14 Per: 18 Weight: 200 lbs.
HT: 14 FP: 15 SM: 0
Dodge: 11 Parry: 12 DR: 4 (Tough Skin)
Fright Check: 0
Improvised Weapon (9): Based on Damage 1d/2d.
Kick (14): 1d+1 crushing; Reach C, 1.
Nightmare (20): Roll a Quick Contest of skill vs. the targets IQ-8, with a penalty of -1/yard. A victim who knows Dreaming (p. B188) may resist with that skill instead. If the sleeper loses, he suffers nightmares and must attempt a self-control roll (6 or less). If he fails by 7 or more (or critically fails!) he loses 1 FP the next morning and may suffer worse effects; see p. B144.
Punch (14): 1d crushing; Reach C. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-1 to defend against).
Reshape Dream (25): After concentrating for 1 second, roll a Quick Contest of your skill against the higher of your Will or Dreaming skill. If you succeed, you can reshape his dream in any manner that you wish. This provides a +2 to any rolls to diagnose or cure mental issues. You can continue to change the dream as you wish, though drastic or extremely disturbing changes can prompt a second resistance roll.
Sleep (20): Roll a Quick Contest of skill vs. the targets Will-8, use normal range penalties. If the target loses he is dazed for minutes equal to his margin of failure. If he fails by 5 or more (or critically fails!) he falls asleep for the same amount of time.
Traits: Combat Reflexes; Control 3 (Dreams; Psionic)†; Detect (Sleepers; Psionic)†; Dream Control Talent 6; Dream Projection 9*†; Duty (Morpheus; all the time; Extremely Hazardous); Energy Reserve 20 (Psionic; Dream Control abilities only)†; Extreme Fanaticism (make sure each sleeper has the dream/nightmare they are supposed to); Indomitable; Intolerance (those who interfere with their duties); Likes to show off in their powers in the Dreamlands; Mind Shield 10†; Nightmare 9 (No Contact required)†‡; Oneiroi meta-trait; Photographic Memory (Accessibility, only concerning those in his charge); Regeneration (Regular); Reshape Dream 4†; Sleep 12†; Supernatural Durability (Must be killed in the Dreamlands); Telereceive 6†;Telespeak 6†; Terror (Presence; -8 to Fright Checks; Accessibility, must be used on sleeping subjects); Unfazeable.
Skills: Brawling‒16; Control Dreams‒20; Detect Lies‒16; Detect Sleepers‒20; Dreaming–25; Expert Skill (Onierology)–20; Hidden Lore (Dreamlands)–20; Instill Fear‒20; Mind Shield‒20; Nightmare‒20; Psychology‒20; Psychosomatic (Reshape Dream)‒20; Reshape Dream‒20; Sleep‒20; Survival (Dreamlands)‒20; Tactics‒16; Telereceive‒20; Telespeak‒20; Wrestling‒16.
Class: Free Spirit. Dream Entity.
Notes: Affected by Path of Spirit magic. Targets of any of their powers have rheum on their eyes. Sterile.
* Normally this ability allows a psi to project their form into the Dreamlands, for Sandmen this allowed them to project their dream-selves into the real world.
† These abilities are all psionic. Mind Shield, Nightmare, Telereceive, and Telespeak are Dream Control powers not Telepathic ones. All abilities but Mind Shield have the limitation “Accessibility, must be used on sleeping subjects”, while Mind Shield uses the rules found on Psionic Powers p.00 but can only be used on Dream Control powers.
‡ This ability can be found in Horror on p.12.
Sandman (in the Dreamlands)
When in their home, Sandman are nigh unstoppable entities with the strength of a dozen men, faster than a man can blink, and able to withstand enormous amounts of punishment. In addition to their already impressive Dream Control psionic powers, they can change into any form they (or the dreamer) can think of, and temporarily gain about any trait they could want.
ST: 30 HP: 35 Speed: 10.00
DX: 18 Will: 18 Move: 25
IQ: 18 Per: 18 Weight: 200 lbs.
HT: 20 FP: 35 SM: 0
Dodge: 14 Parry: 14 DR: 5 (Force Field)
Fright Check: -4
Improvised Weapon (14): Based on Damage 3d/5d+2.
Kick (19): 3d+3 crushing; Reach C, 1.
Nightmare (25): Roll a Quick Contest of skill vs. the targets IQ-8, with a penalty of -1/yard. A victim who knows Dreaming (p. B188) may resist with that skill instead. If the sleeper loses, he suffers nightmares and must attempt a self-control roll (6 or less). If he fails by 7 or more (or critically fails!) he loses 1 FP the next morning and may suffer worse effects; see p. B144.
Punch (15): 3d+2 crushing; Reach C. Made as a Deceptive Attack (-3 to defend against).
Reshape Dream (30): After concentrating for 1 second, roll a Quick Contest of your skill against the higher of your Will or Dreaming skill. If you succeed, you can reshape his dream in any manner that you wish. This provides a +2 to any rolls to diagnose or cure mental issues. You can continue to change the dream as you wish, though drastic or extremely disturbing changes can prompt a second resistance roll.
Sleep (25): Roll a Quick Contest of skill vs. the targets Will-8, use normal range penalties. If the target loses he is dazed for minutes equal to his margin of failure. If he fails by 5 or more (or critically fails!) he falls asleep for the same amount of time.
Traits: As for real world form but add Altered Time Rate 2; Cosmic Modular Abilities 20; Injury Tolerance (Damage Reduction 2; Homogenous; No Blood; No Eyes); Morph (Active Change; Improvised; No Memorization Required; Unlimited). Replace Combat Reflexes and Regeneration (Regular) with Enhanced Time Sense and Regeneration (Very Fast).
Skills: As for real world form except all skills are raised by 5.
Class: As for real world form.
Notes: As for real world form.
Definitively strong! However, I would offer an alternate method for killing them, though it's hard (This is inspired by the wonderful The Horror Out of Dreams from David L. Pulver in Pyramid #3/31):
"There is a nick in their protection in this world though, they are vulnerable to those in between sleep and consciousness. Entering this state requires either hypnotic regression, illegal and dangerous drugs, or an extremely high Dreaming skill. Hypnotic regression takes a long time, so it's extremely hard to do in combat, illegal drugs carry their own risks, and for this last item, the victim must resist the Sandman's Sleep ability by 10 or more, or with a critical success, and then voluntarily surrender to sleep and make a Dreaming-15 roll. Any of these options will put the subject in an altered consciousness state. While in this state, all the victim's stats are reduced by 5. The upside is that the victim is partly in the dreamlands, and so can actually hurt the Sandman. Any damage the victim inflicts on the sandman is additionally inflicted to the sandman's dreamlands form."