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[[http://www.evilhat.com/home/dryh/ Don't Rest Your Head]] is a UrbanFantasy and Horror TabletopRPG created by Fred Hicks and produced by Evil Hat Productions.

The premise of the game is that the Protagonists are people who, for various reasons, have been unable to sleep for a long time, and they begin to see the extra doors and windows that lead to the Mad City. The Mad City is a strange twisted place where Nightmares walk in the ever present night and lost things end up. The Protagonists must deal with these Nightmares, most of whom would love to taste their Awakened flesh and souls, to complete their personal journeys.

While often compared to an extremely creepy ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'', the specifics of the game, particularly some of its Nightmares, are probably closer to a deranged version of ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth''. The author himself notes strong influences from and similarities to ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'' and ''Film/DarkCity''.

The game heavily emphasizes role playing over mechanics, encouraging to roll only for conflicts and to settle them in a single roll when possible. This is largely because almost any roll has a chance of influencing the Protagonist's few stats and leading to self destruction.

The game mechanics use a dice pool system that incorporates three different colored dice for the protagonists to represent their three stats: Discipline, Madness and Exhaustion. The GameMaster uses only a single color of dice for the only stat of all Nightmares and obstacles: Pain. Any dice rolled three or under counts as a success, which are added up, but whichever color comes up highest dominates. The two effects are separate and have separate effects, almost always bad. This leads to Protagonists slowly wearing themselves down to the point of death, collapse (a FateWorseThanDeath), or becoming a Nightmare (a fate even worse) even as they become more powerful.

Protagonists also have two special abilities: Exhaustion abilities, which describe some mundane action they can do exceptionally well and Madness abilities, which let them do something literally impossible.

Protagonists are encouraged to take narrative control over how they succeed and what they do.

As of yet one supplement to the game exists: Don't Lose Your Mind, which describes in more depth how to use Madness powers and a great deal of examples to use. It also has some suggestions and alternate rules to crank it UpToEleven.

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!!This role-playing game provides examples of:

* AlienAbduction: The Xenophile power from Don't Lose Your Mind causes these to happen to you.
* AnachronismStew
* BeneathTheEarth: Underneath the Mad City is a system of caves, caverns, and twisting tunnels known as the Warrens. While many known and unknown things live down below, the Warrens are most famous for the Kingdom of Wax, the domain of the Wax King.
* BadCopIncompetentCop: Say hello to Officer Tock and his Clockwork Cops. The Cops are [[{{Mooks}} weak]] and [[PoliceAreUseless ineffective]]. [[PoliceBrutality Tock on the other hand...]]
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: Mother When runs one of these. It's also the ''only'' school in the Mad City.
* BodyHorror: Fill up your Madness quota, and *whoosh*-Nightmare. They are invariably extremely bizarre fusions of Victorian citizenry and the art of Salvador Dali. It doesn't help that they're suffering as much as everyone else.
** This can happen even ''before'' becoming a Nightmare with some of the freakier Madness talents in ''Don't Lose Your Mind''. Who wants the ability to open up their ribcage and imprison people inside of it?
* BazaarOfTheBizarre: Welcome to the Bizarre Bazaar, where dreams and memories, as well as other oddities can be exchanged for goods and services! Strangely, while those at the Bazaar tend to be at truce, the gathering is illegal. It only occurs at 13 o'clock, when the Mad City is at its most deadly, and can be consider "safer" place at time.
* TheBlank: The Smothered Folk
* BroughtDownToNormal: If you survive falling asleep despite having turned into a Nightmare magnet, you're Brought Down To Normal when you wake up. And '''still''' a Nightmare magnet until you regain your powers. Have fun.
** The rulebook actually suggests you might want to have your character KilledOffForReal instead of falling asleep when they crash, because it's [[FateWorseThanDeath not as bad.]]
* ClusterFBomb: One of the sample Madness Talents described in the Don't Lose Your Mind supplement is a weaponized form of this. Whenever you say fuck, it intensifies things (If you say that there is a fucking fast car it could outspeed a racecar, if a dude is fucking huge he becomes a giant, etc.). Overuse of this power turns you into a perpetually swearing Nightmare known as a Fuckwit.
* DarkFantasy: Of the non-standard variety.
* DarkWorld: The Mad City, which is usually the entire setting of a campaign.
* DemonicDummy: Overuse the Ventriloquist power from Don't Lose Your Mind, and the dummy into which you've been projecting your consciousness will kill you and go on to become a Nightmare.
* TheDreaded[=/=]TerrorHero: Don't Lose Your Mind notes that if you've recovered from Permanent Madness, many Nightmares will be terrified by you. It mean you have seen abyss and come back whole, which is exactly what they failed and become Nightmares.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: It is possible for one of the Awake to defeat their inner demons and external foes, accomplish their goals, and return to City Slumbering without the constant threat of death or worse than the Awake always face. '''Possible''' and '''easy''' are not the same thing, however -- and the Mad City is full of people that failed or gave up. Worse, it's BitterSweetEnding at best. Once ones become the Awake, they will find the City Slumbering has become ''dulled'' and as strange as Mad City was, it's hard to enjoy their normal life afterward.
* EmptyShell: The human civilians of the Mad City. If one of them is an accountant, then he is an accountant all the time, and nothing else.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: Don't Rest Your Head. If you rest, you die. [[FateWorseThanDeath Or worse...]]
** Also, Don't Lose Your Mind.
** The aforementioned [[LampshadeHanging Bizarre Bazaar]].
* ExtremeOmnivore: One of the perks of the Innards power from Don't Lose Your Mind is that you can live on ''anything'' small enough to swallow, regardless of how harmful it would be to anyone else.
* ForTheLulz: If Tacks Man hunts you down by himself, then he's in it for pleasure, not business.
* TheGrimReaper: Mother When is believed to be an incarnation of Death, released into the Mad City the one and only time that someone managed to open one of the doors during the 13th hour.
* HearingVoices: The Ears talent from Don't Lose Your Mind has you being advised by a group of often creepy voices which only you can hear.
* TheHeartless: Nightmares tend to embody the worst aspects of humanity -- hatred, sleazy journalism, police brutality and incompetence, heartless psychology, gluttony and greed, etc.
* TheHiddenHour: the Thirteenth Hour, which exists only in the Mad City. For those in the City Slumbering, it seems that the Mad City has gone forward by an hour. For those in the Mad City, it has been an hour where [[OhCrap they couldn't escape back to reality]] and every Nightmare takes advantage of this.
** Somebody actually managed to [[HopeSpot pry a door open during it]]. That's when '''[[TheGrimReaper Mother When]]''' entered Mad City.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Every single Nightmare, and some things besides. Go ahead and laugh if you think the names are funny, because their description will wipe away that smile from your face.
* InverseNinjaLaw: Another sample Madness Talent described in Don't Lose Your Mind plays with this. You can summon a legion of ninjas to do your bidding, but being a ''legion'' of ninjas, they are all MadeOfPlasticine - their usefulness is mainly in their ability to ZergRush anything. Playing the trope a bit straighter, you can instead summon a single, highly competent ninja specializing in anything from explosives to [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway dancing.]]
* MindControl: The Yes power from Don't Lose Your Mind means that you can make people say yes to you and mean it.
* NeverSleepAgain: The player characters.
* NobleDemon: The Wax King may be trying to drown the city in wax, but he is very nice compared to the other faction leaders. This is to the point that there's some debate over whether he's actually a Nightmare at all -- some suggest his similarities to a Nightmare are superficial and he's actually one of the Awake. Certainly a remarkably old and powerful example, and a bit changed by his time in the Mad City, but certainly not a Nightmare.
* OneManArmy: Any one of the Awake can easily bring a terrifying amount of destruction to the table with their Madness Talent. Even a ''failed'' roll can have game-changing results. Furthermore, a fully maxed-out (and possibly suicidal) Awakened brings ''15 dice'' to the table: this is enough to overpower the strongest Nightmares described in the book by a fair margin.
** Of course, bringing all 15 dice to the table is [[BlessedWithSuck just]] [[HeroicRROD as]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity bad]] for the player as for any enemy...
* OneWingedAngel: Officer Tock is normally a medium-high difficulty opponent. Well, ''normally'' because he has three situational modifiers that increase the difficulty of facing him. If all three modifiers are active simultaneously, Tock is tied with Mother When as the most powerful Nightmare in Mad City.
** Namely: having a warrant against the players (the manual suggests it can be obtained either by [[MagicallyBindingContract making the player themselves sign it]] in exchange for some favour, or by the player making a ''real'' mess in Mad City); being in the 13th District; and the 13th hour activating.
* PowerBornOfMadness: Madness Talents
* PunnyName: Seem to be standard for the Nightmares. Examples including Officer Tock, Tacks Man, Ladies in Hating, Paper Boys, Agony Ant, Handyman, and so on. They're ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin mixed with BlackComedy.
* RealityWarper: Madness Talents can take this form -- such as a sample one that lets you alter reality by speaking the language God used to create the universe. The Nightmare for this one is a mindless disembodied voice that warps and perverts things by describing them, known as the Omnipotent Third Person.
** To a degree, ''any'' Madness Power is an example of this, even ones that don't obviously seem like it, since they work on dream logic. Someone with SuperStrength can lift cars, smash concrete, and bend steel bars like anyone else with such powers, sure... but they can probably also lift someone's spirits, smash injustice, and bend the truth.
* SinisterSubway: The Underground power from Don't Lose Your Mind lets you visit some very peculiar subway stations.
* ShockAndAwe: The Zap sample power from Don't Lose Your Mind.
* TheSleepless: The player characters, by definition.
* SociopathicHero: The player characters can swing this way.
* SuperpoweredEvilSide: Getting carried away with their Madness talents will cause a person to transform into a terrifying Nightmare. Unlike most instances of this trope, the transformation is [[FateWorseThanDeath not reversible.]]
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: Every 12 hours, there is a 13th hour. Where you cannot escape from Mad City. And every Nightmare is out for hunting. Good luck.
** ''Two'' [[{{Persona 3}} Dark Hours]] a day? OhCrap.
** There is also District 13.
* ToHellAndBack: The whole point of the Orpheus power from Don't Lose Your Mind.
* TyrannosaurusRex: The Dino power from Don't Lose Your Mind can summon it, and - should the summoned T-Rex eat you - become it.
* WasOnceAMan: Many Nightmares and denizens of the city.
* WeirdnessCensor: Anything related to the Mad City has this effect on normal people. If someone enters the Mad City through one of its many strange doors in full view of a normal person, that person will remember them leaving by some other mundane means. When an ''entire district'' was pulled into the city, everyone remembered the district being destroyed by a freak fire.
** It's implied to be an actual defense against the Nightmare, making it an [[AchievementsInIgnorance Achievement in Ignorance]]. Just not foolproof.
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: Possibly the other way around.
** The more the Awake use their Madness talents, the more they risk falling deeper into madness. Whether their [[PowerBornOfMadness power comes from madness]], or their [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity madness comes from power]], ''using'' their power definitely makes the madness worse.
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