A Totem is an object that is used to test if oneself is in one’s own reality (dream or non-dream) and not in another person’s dream. A totem has a specially modified quality (such as a distinct weight, balance, or feel) in the real world, but in a dream of someone who does not know it well, the characteristics of the totem will very likely be off.
Any ordinary object which has been in some way modified to affect its balance, weight, or feel will work as a totem. In order to protect its integrity, only the totem’s owner should ever handle it. In that way, the owner is able to tell whether or not they are in someone else’s dream. In the owner’s own dream world, the totem will feel correct.