I'm workshopping a few character ideas for a saga, and reading through the various supplements as I mull over those character ideas. One of the ideas concerns using dream magic, but in reading the chapter in Mysteries, I can't make heads or tails of what the virtues are meant to do in a saga.
The minor dream magic virtue provides a means to have stories about traveling into dreams, but what I'm not clear on is what would motivate a player to do this, aside from "cool" at a very high pricetag. It seems like a lot of investment in terms of both initiating and having some measure of specialty in the related magic as the base guidelines start at Level 15.
The kicker though is spending "on screen" time to do something that the chapter explicitly says you cannot gain experience from, you cannot learn any new information from your own dream, cannot do anything with lasting benefit, and so on.
Traveling in dream seems very interesting and enjoyable to write (and read) as an event in the arc of a particular character, which is why I'm looking closely at it... admittedly for the first time in ten years. A defined place that your character can engage with the storyguide to recontextualize their own arc via lucid dreaming is neat! However, it strikes me that pausing a live game so that everyone can hear about a character's dream adventure they're having is not a good use of everyone's time. It's famously rather boring to listen to someone explain their dreams, and having someone else explain a dream their character is having seems like a great time for everyone else to get up for a snack break and wander back once that arc is finished. Yes, other character can in theory join in a dream, but the impact is limited entirely to understanding the contents of the dreamer's dream, whoever that is.
That hints at the one piece of solid utility to the table I could figure out for minor dream magic, entering someone else's dream to retrieve some piece of information they intend to withhold, or are otherwise unable to communicate, like the movie Inception style. This seems like a cool trick to pull a handful of times, but is of such limited interest that spending significant permanent player resources on it instead of presenting it as a one-off plot device via a non-hermetic effect of a regione or artifact feels like a substantial mistake.
The Greater Grimoire, particularly with its note about how real objects may be hidden or retrieved from dreams, and with no mention of said objects re-appearing when the dreamer awakes has some real storytelling utility at a table, I believe. It's a varied enough power to lean into as a player, with a lot of interesting implications, especially as the text indicates that many elements of dream logic do not apply to physical travelers and objects - so you COULD potentially learn in a dream, could potentially create a physical lab and transport it into dreaming, could impact the rest of the "real game world" in ways not related purely to knowledge. Is it really just the case that you have to take a rather bum virtue, which while 'minor' still theoretically requires an initiation to attain, to get to anything useful? That seems... undesirable, a BIG hump to get not that great of a reward, seeing as the effects are still prohibitively expensive and difficult to utilize.
Seems to me that either the two virtues should be combined and/or a lot more refinement could be done in terms of the limited scope of the overall magical technique. Like a lot of the other Mysteries, Dream Magic seems like a neat concept, but the text needs workshopping to actually perform as described or drive a cult as intended.