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Don't Rest Your Head

Don't Rest Your Head


A RP based on the 'Don't Rest your Head' Universe. there’s just one simple rule that must dominate your life. Stay Awake. Don’t rest your head.

676 readers have visited Don't Rest Your Head since GreenEyedSue created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:



You can’t sleep. It started like that for all of us, back when we were garden variety insomniacs.

Maybe you had nightmares – gods know we all do now – or maybe you just had problems that wouldn’t let you get a good night’s rest. Hell – maybe you were just over-caffeinated. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it was, eventually you got to a point where sleep became a choice, rather than a mandate … and then it just dropped off the list.

And then, and only then, something clicked.

That’s when you started noticing the extras. An extra door here or there. An extra window looking out onto a city packed with surplus buildings, hodgepodge towers standing shoulder to shoulder, roofs angling into one another. Clocks chiming the thirteenth hour and unfamiliar stars twinkling in the too-clear sky. Streets and alleys that weren’t there before, leading to late-night markets that sold things like laughter and indecision.

When you took a long walk down the streets of the Mad City, you stopped being a Sleeper and started being Awake.

But that click you heard wasn’t from the secret world snapping into place. It was the sound of the Nightmares flicking off the safety and pointing a gun at your head. When you crossed over you became a target. They can smell you now, if they get close enough. The Paper Boys are closing in, and you’d better pray you don’t become a headline.

You’re chum in the water, my friend, and it’s time you got ready for it – before the clock chimes thirteen again. You’re going to get tired, more tired than you ever have before, but mark my words: sleep isn’t just off the list now, it’s an outright enemy that’ll strip away your vitality and leave you vulnerable. There’s no going back, and from here on out, there’s just one simple rule that must dominate your life.

Stay Awake.
Don’t rest your head.

Rules of the game:

• Once per roll, you may increase your exhaustion by one.
• Any time you roll, you may add one to six dice of temporary madness to your roll.
• To determine the degree of success, count the dice that show 1, 2, or 3.
• To determine the strength of a pool, find the die of that color showing the highest number.
• If you meet or beat the GM’s degree, you succeed. Otherwise, you fail.
• To determine what dominates, pick the pool with the highest strength.
• If discipline dominates, things stay under control. You have the option to remove a response check-mark or decrease your exhaustion by one.
• If exhaustion dominates, your resources are taxed. Increase exhaustion by one.
• If madness dominates, things get more chaotic. Check off a response and behave accordingly.
• If pain dominates, you pay a greater price. Pay a coin into the GM’s despair coffer.
• If exhaustion is increased above 6, you crash.
• If you must check off a response, but can’t, you snap.
• If you crash, you fall asleep, or face some other serious defeat (like death).
• If you snap, you go mad for a time, clear out your responses, lose one discipline, and gain one permanent madness.
• If you lose all discipline, you become a Nightmare. You’re an NPC now.
• To make minor use of an exhaustion talent, your exhaustion must be at least one. On the affected roll, your minimum number of successes is equal to your current level of exhaustion.
• To make major use of an exhaustion talent, you must increase your exhaustion by one, and you may add your current level of exhaustion to the roll, as successes.
• To make use of a madness talent, you must add one to six temporary madness dice to the roll, as determined by the GM for the potency of the effect.
• The GM may spend one coin of despair to add or remove a 6 from any pool in play; the coin pays into hope. If this causes pain to dominate, no coin is paid into the despair coffer.
• Any player may spend one coin of hope to remove one exhaustion, or to remove a check mark from fight or flight, or to add a 1 to the protagonist’s discipline pool.
• Any player may spend five minus discipline in coins of hope to recover one point of discipline and remove one point of permanent madness.

General rules:

- Reserving a character is only done with reserving a spot, the game fit 4-5 people. So Reserve a spot and you got a week to create your character or the spot will reopen.

- Please keep to the character creation guidelines. I don't care if you make it simple or pretty, just write anything it requires.

- This is not going to be in forum-RP, here we will just create characters and discuss plots, but the actual game will be in Google Hangout or Skype or in the chat of this RP.

- Hope you will enjoy this!

Toggle Rules

Character creation:

All protagonists (player characters) are insomniacs of some sort who have Awakened to the Mad City and who, eventually, are stalked by Nightmares (and other people and creatures from the City). As the Awake, they have access to strange powers – ranging from simply being able to do certain things unusually well, to performing acts that are flatly impossible.

Answer questions:

But beyond being Awake, protagonists are also very much flawed, human people who have problems. These problems lead to too many sleepless nights and, thus, their current predicament.
To take a step back from the strangeness and the Nightmares and the Mad City, this means that every protagonist brings a set of issues and events to the table that comprises his personal story. Setting aside the basics of surviving, a protagonist’s story is about how he explores these issues, and questions whether or not he’ll be able to rise above them, and take his life back.
To get a grip on their protagonists’ personal story, and their connection to the setting, players must answer five questions, beyond the simple basics like “What’s your name?” The GM will look at these answers from time to time to get a handle on how the protagonists are proceeding in their personal stories, and the players will get a chance to make use of their answers in ways that guide the development of the game.
Here are the questions:
- What’s Been Keeping You Awake? Think about: What troubles him? What pressures turned him into an insomniac? Is he running from something? Does he stay awake due to nightmares or substance abuse? Has he lost someone dear to him and the grief is robbing him of sleep?
- What Just Happened to You? Think about: What would make an exciting, stressful scene? Is the source of the stress mundane or supernatural? Did you just lose your job? Did a monster jump out of your closet? Did you walk in on your wife and another guy in bed? Did you fall off a building – and land without a scratch?
- What’s on the Surface? Think about: What does the protagonist appear to be at first blush (as opposed to what he actually is)? How do others see him? What’s his physical appearance? What sort of personality does he have? Does he put his best foot forward – or his worst?
- What Lies Beneath? Think about: What’s the protagonist’s real deal? What would be a surprising twist that plays counterpoint to what’s been said about him so far? What secrets would he give his life to protect? How does he see himself? What lies does he tell himself?
- What’s Your Path? Think about: Where is the protagonist headed? If a story were written about his life, what would its theme be? What are his goals? What does he want or need?

Set Discipline

Discipline is a general reflection of how skilled your protagonist is at pretty much anything he does, as well as a general measure of his degree of self- control. All protagonists start with a discipline score of three.

Choose Responses

A protagonist starts with three response boxes, which he may divide up between fight and flight (you may even put all three with a single response, if you dare). The distribution of boxes is, first, a general indication of how much your character is angry and aggressive versus fearful and passive.
The responses of fight and flight are also important to how the protagonist responds to moments of extreme stress, when the psychological strain of the situation overwhelms him. The responses on a character’s sheet help indicate how he’ll behave in such a situation.

Determine Talents

An exhaustion talent allows the character to be thoroughly exceptional – supernaturally so – at a particular thing he can already do. So, such a talent might allow him to climb seemingly impossible surfaces, run far and fast, perform calculations as fast as a calculator, or simply shoot things very, very well. This definition must be reasonably narrow in the GM’s judgment, and on par, in terms of breadth, with the other protagonists’ talent picks. Using an exhaustion talent can push the character closer to the point of needing sleep: if he does fall asleep, it could mean the end of him.
A madness talent allows the character to do something he simply can’t normally do – something which is normally outside of the realm of human possibility. This might be something as simple as flying without the aid of any device, reading minds, compelling others to tell the truth, or moving objects with telekinesis. A madness talent may imply several levels of power at which it operates, or may simply lock in at a certain level. Using a madness talent pushes the character closer to the brink of insanity: if he does go insane, he could become a Nightmare.

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Character Portrait: Alice Horson


Character Portrait: Alice Horson
Alice Horson

I am a curious teen!


Character Portrait: Alice Horson
Alice Horson

I am a curious teen!

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Character Portrait: Alice Horson
Alice Horson

I am a curious teen!

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Don't Rest Your Head

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