Couple of good notes to be sure, so let's see if we can't rectify this thing in time (NGL a couple of things mentioned I simply forgot to include. It's what I get for waiting until last possible minute to start working, easy to miss some things)
Key changes in brief:
Split "apparitions" into two categories, mostly for flavor vs combat impact
Clarified apparition behavior and appearance as well as setting hard limitations
Added Walking Nightmare as an in-between state between full wake and full dream
Clarified Creeping Dread as well as set maximum distance depending on state
Took the advice of using Blackout as a wake up mechanic
Gave the poor Dreamer the weapon I forgot to include last time
“Just… Just stay awake a little longer. Don’t let them through.”
Name: Alderbaran The Dreamer
Age Range: 29
Appearance: Alderbaran stands at a slender 6’4”, although with their slouched posture could easily be mistaken for less. Long gangly limbs show little in terms of muscular definition, gaunt face and sunken eyes with deep rings around them give an appearance of a person who hasn’t slept in years. Ragged shoulder-length black hair matches the scruffed and patched loose fitting simple outfit that they wear, sleeves of their undyed linen shirt flowing past their hands, wide pants trying to add some mass to their gangly shape but ultimately fail. A heavy midnight blue cloak with golden threads dancing throughout, giving it the appearance of a starlit night sky hangs from their shoulders. It wraps around their neck and covers the lower half of their face, drawing more attention towards those sunken, bloodshot blue eyes.
They move with a strange sway, seemingly stumbling over their own feet as if constantly on the brink of exhaustion.
Armored Cloak: While mostly offering its services as a comfortable blanket or a makeshift pillow, the thick heavy cloak they wear is inlaid with metallic thread, offering some moderate protection from cuts, although barely any from blunt attacks
Reinforced Staff: Seemingly an old, worn six and a half foot walking stick which Alderbaran leans heavily upon while walking to keep themselves somewhat upright is in actuality their favored weapon. Its ends are littered with metal studs to give them more striking mass as well as some protection from edged weapons.
Narcoleptic Fear: Alderbaran suffers from a rare form of narcolepsy which causes them to fall asleep during moments of high stress. However they suffer from mind-rending nightmares and therefore fight tooth, nail and claw to avoid sleep at all cost. This leaves them in a state of constant sleep deprivation.
Sway of the Sleepless: After living many years with minimal sleep Alderbaran’s body has adapted to the constant exhaustion, allowing them to move erratically and unpredictably, letting them stand their own in close quarters combat. Although offering limited offensive potential it allows them to dodge and redirect mundane attacks they are aware of, of course limited by their human speed and slightly below average strength.
The Dreamer: While mostly seeming like just an average, tired, scruffy looking human, the true horror of what Alderbaran is, is the Dreamer. When falling asleep, their dreams infect the material world. These things appear in the form of illusory visions and sensations generated from the Dreamer’s mind. These can be split into two categories; Minor illusions and Major Apparitions.
Minor illusions: Minor effects that have little impact other than to unsettle. Things like ghostly sounds, translucent visions of scenery like swaying grass or crumbling ruin fragments
Major Apparitions: Visions of creatures drawn from Alderbaran’s twisted mind, warped approximations of the beings or people the Dreamer most recently saw before succumbing to sleep. While not actually possessing a physical body they are life-like enough to make people believe they do and can affect them. These creatures are seemingly mindless, shambling without purpose until something comes into their realm of influence.
Nightmare Reality: If allowed to fall into slumber the true horror begins. Alderbaran’s body begins to toss and turn, audibly grinding their teeth, talking in their sleep and occasionally letting out blood curdling screams of terror. Up to three major apparitions and six minor illusions start to manifest as far as 15 feet away from the body of the Dreamer. At the very edges of this range only manifesting as transparent visions, trying to scare anyone who attempts to approach away by whatever means they can. The closer to the host one moves the stronger and more vicious they become.. At ten feet, visions appear semi-solid, the sounds as loud as normal speech and the sensations of touch convincing enough to leave phantom bruises. This is where the apparitions will begin to attack the intruders, striking clumsily and without strategy. Closer than five feet and it becomes near impossible to distinguish what is vision and what is reality, sounds scream and the apparitions can create sensations of rending flesh. Within this range, apparitions are savage, attacking ferociously like cornered animals to protect their host.
Of course, none of the dreams are truly physical, all pain is only perceived and not real. If the one affected does not believe themselves to be hurt, then they are unharmed. An illusion swiping a claw at a fully armored knight who believes their armor will allow them to pass unharmed will cause them to take no damage simply because they truly believed they would not. Likewise someone who believes their heart pierced by a ghostly spear would cause their death might make their mind believe it enough for it to become true.
Waking the Dreamer through any means immediately ends the Nightmare Reality, though because of their constant sleep deprivation this takes considerable jostling.
Walking Nightmare: Years of walking the line between sleep and waking, Alderbaran has gained some measure of control of the realm between sleep and waking. When feeling the dread of sleep overtaking them, they are able to keep themselves in a state of sleep-walking lucid dreaming for a few moments. While not as powerful as the full Nightmare Reality it bridges the line to the dreams enough to give Alderbaran some measure of control of the nightmares. Alderbaran’s movement is greatly slowed in this state, but they are able to direct the apparitions of Nightmare Reality to perform simple tasks (i.e “Block”, “Attack”, “Move there”) However in this state Nightmare Reality is limited to five feet from Alderbaran’s body, and unable to manifest more than semi-solidly. As well as being limited to one greater apparition and two minor illusions. Maintaining this state however is quite mentally taxing. If only utilizing it for a few moments the Dreamer is able to rouse himself from sleep and return to waking state. However if pushing themselves for much longer than 10 seconds, Alderbaran will fall into full slumber.
Creeping Dread: The Dreamer never dreams of pleasant things, and the state of sleep sends a chill through their surroundings. Alderbaran clutches their cloak tightly around themselves and shivers as if cold, and an urgent sense of impending doom spreads. While in Walking Nightmare anyone within 15 feet of the Dreamer has an eerie sensation that allowing the Dreamer to fall into slumber will lead to terrible things. At the edge of the range it’s simply the barest sense, while up close it becomes an urgent concern.
While in Nightmare Reality the maximum range is increased to 25 feet and the sense of doom to allow the Dreamer to remain sleeping becomes more urgent.
Blackout: The Dreamer does not wish to be disturbed. As soon as someone enters within ten feet of Alderbaran’s sleeping body a ten foot radius dome of darkness forms around Alderbaran’s body which lasts for ten seconds, after the first five of which the Dreamer stirrs into waking to protect them from being killed in their sleep. It seemingly diminishes any light within the area. A torch barely provides any visibility except for the ability to see your own hand in front of you, while a floodlight might seem like a dim lantern. Thankfully for those unable to produce sufficient light, Alderbaran makes a lot of sound while dreaming. Notably, the apparitions of Nightmare Reality are still visible through the darkness.
Creatures able to see in perfect darkness would be unaffected.
I’ve Dreamed of Worse: Because of the sheer amount of mind-rending nightmares they’ve seen, Alderbaran’s mind has become steeled against fear. This does not mean they are unaffected by supernatural fear effects, simply that they are more difficult to shake than most