Try This Reality-Changing Potion Next Game

Roleplaying Tips Newsletter #0898

Roleplaying Tips GM Garth Hill sent me this idea about a reality-changing potion that might also give you some adventure inspiration.

Robert Anton Wilson, sometimes known as RAW, or “Bob” to his friends, wrote several pieces of non-fiction — his wikipedia page is large. He was a favorite speaker at sci-fi conventions, and his YouTube presence is moderately substantial as well, although mainly just clips from here and there and all over the place.

He was a total bibliophile and was constantly reading, and he had an incredible memory. That helped him pull together a lot of obscure dates and historical facts that helped him invent the Illuminati trilogy, and the other Illuminati-related work that followed.

This is a fun intro to his thinking on reality tunnels. [Robert Anton Wilson – Reality Tunnel] Someone spent some time on it.

Yes, take both Matrix pills — and get the kind of reality where you see two realities, and you get to compare and contrast opposing views? You could create amazing relationships with two pills, and probably torpedo many as well.

When there are four adventurers in the room perceiving reality together you need four pills to get into all the perspectives at once. And if they’re attacked by four goblins, you need eight pills.

A kaleidoscope of reality tunnels. No wonder the Marvel comics character “The Watcher” doesn’t do much other than stand around watching.

If there is an omniscient god, say in Planescape, who sees into all the perspectives and personal histories of all their followers — how paralyzing that would be. Like trying to drink an ocean in one gulp.

Think of the poor “kids”, those mortals from the Forgotten Realms who became gods. Talk about mind blown! You almost have to feel sorry for someone who gets omniscience like that thrust upon them. I suppose all those clamoring voices of believers would eventually be a kind of background static that the god floats in.

Philip K Dick somewhere suggested a time in the future where one person takes a pill but it effects the person next to them. So one person takes the red pill, but the effects are transferred perhaps via touch to another person.

Imagine an alchemist who brews just such a potion of transference. The adventurers barge into his lab, and he quickly quaffs the drought. The next adventurer he touches now sees reality from the point of view of the alchemist — and perhaps the alchemist is insane. Or merely his philosophy, his reality tunnel, his deep-seated perspective is just wildly different than the adventurer in question.

You pass a card to the player revealing the point-of-view of the alchemist, which the player now takes on as the point-of-view of his own character. Until the potion wears off or there’s a remove curse, restoration, or other such effect.

Comment from Johnn:

This could also serve as a great ritual or method for indoctrinating cultists and acolytes. When others think exactly like you, they become friends or followers pretty quick.

Perhaps the mad alchemist finds individuals in communities with outlier viewpoints. They are conspiracy theorists, serve a secret force, or just hear voices in their head and obey.

The alchemist gathers some folk, conducts the ceremony or ritual with the outlier as the focus, and suddenly a dozen others are ready to take up the disrupting cause.

Her work done, the alchemist packs up, hops on her cart, and meanders to the next village….