H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands

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1st Edition Cover
2nd Edition Cover
3rd Edition Cover
4th Edition Cover
5th Edition Cover

Publisher: Chaosium

First Edition

Product Code: 2315-X

Publishing Year: 1986

Pages: 40 + 72 + map + handouts

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): Sandy Petersen, Kerie L. Robson, Keith Herber, Mark Morrison

Artist(s): Kevin Ramos, Carolyn Schultz

Format(s): Box Set with three books: "The Dreamlands" (40 pages, source material), "Dream Journeys" (72 pages, mainly scenarios), and handouts booklet

Second Edition

Product Code: 3302

Publishing Year: 1988

Pages: 136

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): Sandy Petersen, Keith Herber, K. L. Campbell-Robson, Scott Clegg, Richard T. Launius, Mark Morrison, Phil Frances, Lynn Willis, Susan Hutchinson, Jacqueline Clegg, Jeff Okamoto

Artist(s): Raymond Bayless, Kevin Ramos, Tom Sullivan, Mark Roland, Carolyn Schultz-Savoy

Format(s): Softcover with Colour Plates

Third Edition

Product Code: 3308

Publishing Year: 1992

Pages: 124

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): Sandy Petersen, Keith Herber, K.L. Campbell, Scott Clegg, Richard T. Launius, Mark Morrison, Phil Frances, Lynn Willis, Susan Hutchinson, Jacqueline Clegg, Jeff Okamoto

Artist(s): James Couts (cover), Earl Geier, Kevin Ramos, Caroline Schultz-Savoy (maps)

Format(s): Softcover

Fourth Edition (called "The Complete Dreamlands")

Product Code: 2363

Publishing Year: 1997

Pages: 188

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): Chris Williams, Sandy Petersen, Shannon Appel, Kerie Campbell, Jacqueline Clegg, Scott Clegg, Phil Frances, Keith Herber, Susan Hutchinson, Lynn Willis, Scott David Aniolowski, Larry DiTillio, Kevin A. Ross

Artist(s): Raymond Bayless (cover), Paul Carrick, Jason Eckhardt, Steve Gallacci, Earl Geier, Kevin Ramos, Mark Roland, Carolyn Schultz-Savoy

Format(s): Softcover

Fifth Edition

Product Code: 2394

Publishing Year: 2004

Pages: 256

Cover Price: $##.##

Author(s): as per Fourth Edition

Artist(s): as per Fourth Edition, with the addition of Andy Hopp (new map)

Format(s): Hardcover

Setting(s): Dreamlands, 1920s


The Dreamlands setting source material is divided into the following sections:

  • Entering the Dreamlands,
  • Evoking the Atmosphere of a Dream,
  • Places,
  • New Spells,
  • Notable Inhabitants & Creatures,
  • Dream Journeys

Most of this source material was substantially expanded and revised by Chris Williams in 1997; one of the most notable changes was the incorporation of setting details which are drawn from the Dreamlands fiction of Brian Lumley. As these stories have a somewhat different tone, the overall feel of the Dreamlands setting alters. This addition also adds an appendix with rules for creating a character who is native to the Dreamlands.

For the expanded editions (Fourth and Fifth), the source material is presented in eight chapters:

  • Through the Gate of Deeper Slumber: how to get to the Dreamlands, some of the basic rules that apply there, and how to leave afterward)
  • The Atmosphere of Dreams: outlines a number of styles of Dreamlands keeping, and also offers some options for integrating Dreamlands adventures into an ongoing Waking World campaign.
  • The Dream-Quest of Randolph Carter: a travelogue of the Dreamlands. It traces the journey of Randolph Carter when he searched for Unknown Kadath. In doing so it introduces many of the people and places in the Dreamlands.
  • Gazetteer of the Dreamlands: a geographical survey of the Dreamlands by examining the distinct regions of:The East, The North, Oriab, The Seas, The South, The West, The Moon, The Underworld, and Worlds Beyond.
  • People of the Dreamlands: important non-player characters within the Dreamlands.
  • The Dreamlands Bestiary: information on a number of creatures native to the Dreamlands and nearby dimensions
  • Gods of the Dreamlands: a religious overview of the Dreamlands. It lists the gods worshiped there, from the Lesser Dreamlands Deities to the fearsome Outer Gods.
  • The Dreamlands Grimoire: artifacts, tomes, and spells which can be found in the fantastical world of dreams.

Despite its title ("The Complete Dreamlands"), the fourth edition drops four of the scenarios included in earlier editions. The Fifth edition reinstates these scenarios.

Scenarios (all editions): Pickman's Student, Lemon Sails

Scenarios (all editions excepth Fourth): To Sleep, Perchance to Dream, Captives of Two Worlds, Season of the Witch, The Land of Lost Dreams

Additional: Introduction, Handouts, Earth's Dreamlands (fold-out map).

First Edition Front Cover Text

Roleplaying Beyond the Wall of Sleep

First Edition Back Cover Text

List all the text on the back cover.

Second Edition Front Cover Text

Cthulhu Roleplaying Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Second Edition Back Cover Text

Cthulhu Roleplaying Beyond the Wall of Sleep.

... some of us awake in the night with strange phantasms of enchanted hills and gardens, of fountains that sing in the sun, of golden cliffs overhanging murmuring seas, of plains that stretch down to sleeping cities of bronze and stone, and of shadowy companies of heroes that ride caparisoned white horses along the edges of thick forests, and then we know that we have looked back through the ivory gates into that world of wonder that was ours before we were wise and unhappy. -- H.P. Lovecraft ("Celephais")


We all dream. Dreams entertain the mind, and help organize the day’s events.

At some time in your dreams, you will come across a huge cavern leading enticingly downwards. If you follow it past the Seventy Steps of Light Sleep, it leads to the Cavern of Flame. There dwell two hoary Priests Nasht and Kamen-Thah, who judge all dreamers and, if they find them worthy, admit them to the Dreamlands. The door opens, and all the world beyond is a dream. There is much unearthly beauty, and cosmic great terror. If you live here long enough, and gain sufficient skill, you can learn to create new objects, new life, and a new reality.


This book provides everything needed by the Keeper to run Dreamlands adventures. The Dream Journeys section contains six scenarios including To Sleep Perchance to Dream, Captives of Two Worlds, Pickman’s Student, Season of the Witch, Lemon Sails, and The Land of Lost Dreams.

Also included is a map of the Dreamlands. A version of this map in included in the handouts, to be given to the players after their first trip to the Dreamlands.

Finally, the Handouts are items to be given to the players during the scenarios. As a bonus, a variant of the Cthulhu character sheet is also provided which includes the new skills required for dream travel. You are permitted to photocopy this sheet for personal use.

Third Edition Front Cover Text

Background & Adventures Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Third Edition Back Cover Text

Ethereal and haunting, life in the Dreamlands is distorted and slightly unreal. Unearthly beauty thrives, as does cosmic terror. All the world is a dream. Craft it carefully and treat it as such ...

Fourth Edition Front Cover Text

Fourth Edition, Expanded & Revised

Fourth Edition Back Cover Text

We all dream. For some, dreams become reality ...

Fifth Edition Front Cover Text

Roleplaying Beyond the Wall of Sleep

Fifth Edition Back Cover Text

We all dream. For some, dreams can become reality. This book provides everything needed for Call of Cthulhu investigators to travel down the seven hundred steps, through the Gates of Deeper Slumber, and into the realm of dreams. It includes a travelogue of the Dreamlands, a huge gazetteer, statistics for over thirty prominent non-player characters, a bestiary for over 60 creatures, information on the gods of the Dreamlands and their cults, a colorful fold-out map, and more. Also present are six adventures to help get keepers started adventuring in the land of Dream.

Dreamlands Bestiary

See: RPG Bestiary Contents

Comments / Trivia

Sandy Petersen’s original pitch to Chaosium was to write a RuneQuest supplement based on Lovecraft’s Dreamlands, instead he wrote the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game. The first edition of this book was the realisation of Petersen’s dream, but this time as a supplement to the Cthulhu roleplaying game.

Dedicated to Lord Dunsany ("Without whom the dreamlands would have remained a dream")


Spoilers - Keepers Eyes Only

Players should not read any further.

Comment here to Keepers about this book. Comments on specific Scenarios and Campaigns go on their respective pages. Keep DISCUSSION on the talk page.