Quote Originally Posted by Kitten Champion View Post
The issue I with that is D&D isn't an MMO -- what distinguishes D&D is that you became a dramatis personae for the time you're role playing -- not merely You the Fighter or You the Wizard, but the person behind those skills who has a personal reason to face danger and death. That character is still you, a part of you went into it and you become the animating force behind it, but it's not You.

My idea would give the Ranger a real life of his/her own, his own memories and place in his/her setting. To him/her, the dreams of our modern Earth are vague and wondrous in their own right. He/She is a different person there, surrounded by things not imagined in their world. Of course, from the perspective of the Earth-self, it's much the same. Both selves share the same disbelief in each other's reality, but thoughts, images, and emotions bleed through. Eventually our cast of characters would realize they're having the same reoccurring dreams in this fantasy world/real world, which would be troubling or reassuring depending on your viewpoint. As the story progresses they and their parallel selves become more akin to one another, less able to discern between their lives and the lives of their doppelganger. Eventually finding some entity like the Dungeon Master pulling strings behind everything for some grand cosmic reason.

At least that's what I had in mind. There are a lot of ways this can be done without falling perilously into cliche, while still capturing the spirit of D&D that keeps attracting people to it even in the age of video and computer games, I think. You simply need subtlety and some imagination.
This would be 1) really hard to pull off well (mostly because of the difficulty of conveying it to the audience - it would be easier to do in a book than in a show) and 2) freakin' awesome. I had a similar idea based around this concept with a single person a while ago when I was just brainstorming story concepts.