The other night, I dreamt about two young men, in a sort of dune-esque science fiction setting, minus the spice. Or possibly just Dune, but not on Arrakis.
The world itself was aristocratic; I didn't see who ruled, but there were clear social classes.
Both young men wore a lot of dark clothing. The first, Morgan, was likely influenced by the Morgan in Kathryn Kurtz' Deryni (sp?) novels. He was a tough young man with black hair. He dressed in practical rennaissance type clothes that left freedom of movement. some, but not all of his outfit was leather. He was an extrovert, everyone's buddy, and a charming guy.
The other young man was Irifel (or possibly Irifiel). He was the son of a prominent politician. The society had a slight similarity to the one in Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels trilogy, in that the society held in high regard certain "dark" or spooky things. Irifel was on the verge of completing his training to become a Dreadlord (or possibly a Darklord). This involved wearing an elaborate black hooded cloak.robe, and acquiring glowing red eyes. The Dreadlords were extremely powerful, but it was a localised power - it was useless outside the solar system. There was a scene where the young people of Morgan and Irifel's generation were filling out forms, kind of like university applications, wherein they had to choose thier paths. Becoming a Dreadlord cost 50 points, which was apparently quite costly. Clearly, this was another role-playing game waiting to be born, here.
Irifel had light, sandy coloured hair, and blue eyes, when he wasn't presenting himself asa Dreadlord. In the dream, he was just reaching the point where he could do that; he was showing unusual ability for one his age, and was frightening his teachers. His best friend Morgan took it all in stride. Irifel was introverted, and had a tendency to be cold and cruel. He wasn't evil, but he had that potential. It was made clear that he would rise to a position of political power.
There were space ships and guns in the ficton of the dream, but it was clear that these were not major artifacts in the society. Some other force was more important to the culture than technology. The woman who was conducting the entrance exams/application forms scene was from off-world, a spacer, wearing beige pants and a white shirt, and a holstered energy gun. She may have had goggles of some kind resting on her forehead. She was there on an assignment of some kind; this was not a world where she would choose to spend her time.
I keep having these vivid dreams that seem like setups for stories or role playing games. Of course, since they're in my head, it's all setting and character, and no plot. I'm great at thinking up who, and where, but lousy with why and what. This keeps me from being a better GM than I am, and keeps me from trying to be a writer; I just can't think of anything for these characters, in their settings, to actually do. I've seen writers pull off books that are largely plotless, yet still good; Poppy Z. Brite is pretty good at that style. However, she has something I lack; social ability. When I sit down with someone, I largely end up sitting around and staring at them until they start to talk. This is what my characters do; they sit there and stare at each other, waiting for someone else to provide social motion. Since this is all internal to me, though, nothing ever happens.
If I take these ideas and make a role-playing gmae out of them, I am saved from having to provide social motion, since the players do that, but I have to sacrifce having my characters be the central ones, and I have to come up with a plot.
Until I can solve one of these problems, I will just keep dreaming.