Often, protagonist(s) exist in a dimension that is similar to our own – where physics (including time and entropy) works the same. Sometimes, they exist in a dimension that is similar but with slightly altered physics to account for the supernatural or magic. Either way, in a CQ StoryHammer game, this default dimension for protagonists is referred to as “Reality.” Most stories will take place in the dimension of Reality while some others might feature some other dimension or plane of existence that the protagonists must either traverse to, access for powers, or prevent from bridging with Reality. And still other stories might contain multiple dimensions and planes of existence.
As a Narrator, there are three tiers of information to consider when introducing the players to new dimensions or planes:
- How much information does the player need to know?
- How much information does the protagonist know about this alternate dimension?
- How different is this new dimension from the one the protagonist just left?
If the protagonist is someone who has been to this new dimension before, then divulge what the protagonist knows about the new dimension. Or if the protagonist might not have been there but knows something about it from scientific study, local lore, or even childhood fables, feel free to tell the protagonist just that. “Based on the stories your character heard growing up, she believes that this might be the dream plane.”
If the protagonist hasn’t been to this new dimension before then it’s best to divulge only what the character is experiencing – especially the immediate differences from the dimension they had just left. But don’t give them any more information than what they sense and experience. For instance, if you have a fancy name for the dimension, don’t divulge it. Let the players come up with their own nickname naturally. You can divulge your actual name if players come across a scholar on the matter.