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Old Apr 30th, 2023, 09:47 PM
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Jaunt: A custom system playtest about interdimensional travellers




A custom system playtest about interdimensional travellers


Latest alpha player rules currently found here.


The Setting


In Jaunt, you are an interdimensional traveller known as a jaunter. You and your companions have acquired a jauntbox – a device capable of creating stable transit through the omniverse. You use this jauntbox to journey to alternate realities.

One common thread for the majority of jaunters is their fringe status. They lead disconnected lives, constantly ‘on the road’. They may have grander agendas, but these are typically goals not fulfilled by a couple of quick jaunts.

‘Law’ is a rough concept applied across the omniverse, but it generally frowns upon unsanctioned jaunting. There’s a reason for that: jaunt too much with reckless abandon, and you’ll place whole realities at risk. The Omni-Corps (OC) is an omniversal agency tasking itself with monitoring quantum travel – most jaunters have stories of their run-ins with the OC, none of them pleasant. Keeping one step ahead of them will be a regular priority.

In Jaunt, you’ll encounter parallel versions of people you know and love, strange cultures, alternate timelines, and folks filled with all kinds of crazy. Trouble will find you, and how you respond is an open prospect. A well-timed insult can be as effective at stopping a belligerent foe in their tracks as a sword or bullet.


The System


Jaunt is a diceless, rules-light system. Typical moves are resolved by selecting a Method - either Body, Intellect or Presence - and potentially combining it with a Utility - a skill or item that represents your specialties. This combined move strength is put against Factors - opposing conditions and problems.

You may not be able to clear every Factor, but you get to choose what problems to clear and which ones to leave for their consequences to play out. But be careful! Failed Factors also attach Misfortune to you - accumulate too much, and your Methods may become impaired and ineffective until you can rest (i.e. make a 'pit stop'). There's no HP or wound system in Jaunt - you collapse through multiple or excessive impairments.

In addition, the player group can transport themselves to other dimensions, a practise referred to as jaunting. When they do this, they declare a truth - something that represents their destination. The Guide (GM) gets to declare their own truth or problem as well, which means jaunt travel is often a mixed blessing! In addition, jaunting too much will escalate the Rift Counter - a measure of residual metaphysical energy. Let this counter get too high, and problematic anomalies begin to pop up, and the fabric of reality might begin to fray or even rupture.

The jaunters will travel as they please, creating their own agendas and choosing their own objectives.


This Game


I have been developing Jaunt on-and-off for a couple of years now. Early versions got some playtesting rounds, but getting the group together (or any IRL group, really) has been tough and I've been trying to push forward on finalising the system. Hence, I'm bringing it to PbP.

This ad will remain open for at least 2 weeks. I'm looking for players who can post at least once per week, and are willing to give feedback on system mechanics. I'll prefer players who can write brief but compelling posts with high interaction over large swathes of description. There may be times where I update the rules based on feedback or my own observations, but I'll signpost this ahead of time and try to make it as non-disruptive as possible in most cases.

I honestly don't know how many players I'll take. I'll have to gauge it on shown interest and my availability. I will consider running more than one group, but no promises - I'll go conservative before I risk overtaxing myself.

Anyone who wants to read the system player rules in full as it currently stands is welcome to peruse the PDF attached in this thread. I'm also happy to answer general questions.

Creating your Jaunter
  1. You have three Methods - Body, Intellect and Presence. They are the basis for your moves. Each Method has a strength value (a base value added to moves) of +1 and an energy pool (a resource that can be spent for extra strength on moves for that Method) of 3/3. Grant yourself an extra +1 strength to any Method, and an extra +1/+1 energy to any Method.
  2. Choose a motive, and one of the associated prompts.
  3. Choose two archetypes, and a trait for each one. Update your Method stats based on the archetypal modifiers.
  4. You have an allowance of 5 to create Utilities. These are skills, equipment or particular approaches unique to your jaunter (e.g. a scout-style character might have 'Seasoned survey: 2', 'Field knowledge: 2' and 'Cultural awareness: 1', while a saboteur might have 'Vandalise: 2' and 'Lockpick: 3'). No Utility may have more than 3 strength to start off with.
  5. Your Misfortune, Rift and Resources all remain at 0.
  6. You may add background details if you wish, but it's not mandatory. You could cover your original reality, prior adventures, or elaborate on your motive.
Use the stat block below to organise your jaunter information.

 


 


 
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Last edited by HotsuSama; May 26th, 2023 at 02:02 AM.
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Old Apr 30th, 2023, 09:49 PM
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PlayerJaunterMotiveArchetypes
Classic GamerMicah QuickHeroismTrickster/Visionary
ChylopanIron RookLoyalty (UPPR)Outsider/Warrior
WynamoinenToussaint GardnerFaithCaregiver/Scholar
psuedenimDr Nic-WatsunEscapeCreator/Scholar
ConnorUlvarr ("Wolf") TryggvasonLossLeader/Worker
Rat QueenAlexandra VasileFamilyLeader/Socialite
LearningByFailingSiHeroismScholar/Warrior
Cap UtAgni DrakontosLossCreator/Warrior
MindsiegeAisha VIMischiefSocialite/Visionary
jbearIbrah HaliqLossVisionary/Warrior
RaylorneMike WallaceDiscoveryCaregiver/Warrior



Quote:
So, correct me if I'm wrong: PCs can be from any "verse" — which are likely to be varied and many? Or, are we all from the same "verse" and, instead, traveling to all these others?

I only ask for character creation's sake. Not sure what theme / general aesthetic / tone we're shooting for here. Can I be a omniverse traveling Orc, a sentient AI, some crazy zealot from a Mad Max post-apocalyptic future? Or am I more limited and need to adhere to the stable "verse" and its general normalities (and what are those?)
There are no assumptions made there. The jaunters don't all need to originally come from the same reality, and they don't have to be baseline human. You won't get any bonuses from having a more exotic race/ancestry, but flavour-wise you're good to do whatever at this stage.
Quote:
I skimmed through the rules, and the Method+Utility approach looks elegant and versatile, however I wonder how "non-numerical" aspects are to be represented: for example, talking about more exotic characters, let's imagine triton-like folk who can breath underwater, or a guy who can simply fly with a jetpack.
Would such things be represented with Utilities? Would they just be abstracted as numerical bonuses (in the sense that abilities like "flying" and "water-breathing" wouldn't matter per se, but merely as means to accomplish something)?
Currently there's no rules support for it. It's just something that's never a risk for you, or the risks are more environmental. If you're swimming to a wreck, then the threat of drowning would probably never be a factor for a water-breather. Maybe there's still be a move to account for factors detailing predators or environmental threats, or finding the wreck in prompt timing. If there's not enough viable risk or interesting choice in outcome, maybe there just wouldn't be a move. Depends on the situation.
Quote:
Is the creation mentioned in the Creator's second trait considered a Utility? Would it cost Stuff to make? Or is something else entirely that can be used on top of an actual Utility?
No. It's just a floating +1 and it doesn't cost your actual Stuff at this stage. If you dive into advanced archetypes, there are traits among some sets there that do allow for creating works that can be used as Utilities.
Quote:
Can the increment relative to Utility creation/improvement be of any value (hard cap aside), for example going from +2 to +5 by paying 10 Stuff in one go? Unlike the following options it isn't specified a +1 increment.
You're right, that's out of sync with the rest as written. The intent had been for everything to be roughly equal for improvements, so I'll adjust that to say all improvement costs are +1 incremental. There may be exceptions allowed outside of this, such as a Utility being offered as a unique reward on an objective.
Quote:
The cost of increments seems to depend on the "order of operations": let's say I want to take an Archetype that increases X by +1, and also increase X by another +1 (so to a total of 2+X), if I take the Archetype first, it'd cost me 14+2X, vice versa 12+2X. Is this intended?
You're fundamentally correct on order, but you've raised an interesting issue - archetype purchasing, especially its static cost, doesn't align well with the incremental costs, creating situations like this. Truth be told, no one's ever bought an extra archetype in playtesting before, so the issue's never come up! For now I'll leave as is but there might be revisions there in future errata.
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Last edited by HotsuSama; May 22nd, 2023 at 10:28 PM.
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Old Apr 30th, 2023, 10:09 PM
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Ohhhhh! This looks amazing, HotsuSama!
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Old Apr 30th, 2023, 11:29 PM
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Wow, your archetypes are really compelling. Can I pick six if I give you money? Although financial gain is probably against RPGX rules. I do have cookies though and will be explore the system more. This may count as interest.
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Old Apr 30th, 2023, 11:39 PM
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Oh my lordy lord. I don't know if I'm going to submit an application -- I backed out of my SWN game due to RL suckage -- but this looks super interesting and super ambitious. Either way, I wish you the best of luck!
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Old May 1st, 2023, 12:07 AM
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That looks very interesting.
Two small comments. In 'The System' you write 'Failed Factors also attack Misfortune to you.' Should that perhaps be attach?
In the spoiler on motives they are introduced as Methods. This could be a typo?

I think I will make a character but next week as this week is packed with parental duties.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classic Gamer View Post
Wow, your archetypes are really compelling. Can I pick six if I give you money? Although financial gain is probably against RPGX rules. I do have cookies though and will be explore the system more. This may count as interest.
Cookies will be subject to pre-negotiation taste-testing, but your prospects are good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dworin View Post
That looks very interesting.
Two small comments. In 'The System' you write 'Failed Factors also attack Misfortune to you.' Should that perhaps be attach?
In the spoiler on motives they are introduced as Methods. This could be a typo?

I think I will make a character but next week as this week is packed with parental duties.
Correct on both counts, and typos fixed.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 08:39 AM
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Interesting...

Pending application.

So, correct me if I'm wrong: PCs can be from any "verse" — which are likely to be varied and many? Or, are we all from the same "verse" and, instead, traveling to all these others?

I only ask for character creation's sake. Not sure what theme / general aesthetic / tone we're shooting for here. Can I be a omniverse traveling Orc, a sentient AI, some crazy zealot from a Mad Max post-apocalyptic future? Or am I more limited and need to adhere to the stable "verse" and its general normalities (and what are those?)

Hope that's not too many questions. I skimmed the PDF but didn't catch anything specifically talking about this. If I missed it, just call me a dunce and point me there!

Thanks.

Last edited by Chylopan; May 1st, 2023 at 08:55 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 09:00 AM
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There are no assumptions made there. The jaunters don't all need to originally come from the same reality, and they don't have to be baseline human. You won't get any bonuses from having a more exotic race/ancestry, but flavour-wise you're good to do whatever at this stage.
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Old May 1st, 2023, 09:04 AM
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Character Application
 


Context

Concept: A confidence man from a cyberpunkish world where corporate control is everything.

Backstory No blood, no foul. It wasn’t exactly Quick’s motto but it had growingly become his way of life. The corporations weren’t just greedy, weren’t just tyrannical, in some cases they were downright evil. As long as Quick didn’t kill anybody, he felt he was entitled to take away anything he could from the corporations.

So when he landed a job in corporate security to guard some top secret resources, Quick just knew that he had finally hit the jackpot. And he had. There were enough things that he could smuggle out of there to set him up for a lifetime. And then Quick found the jauntbox.

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Old May 1st, 2023, 01:54 PM
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Character Application
 

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Old May 2nd, 2023, 05:18 AM
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Not sure if I can commit to another a game yet, but the premise and the prospect of being a playtester are definitely tempting.

Anyway, I skimmed through the rules, and the Method+Utility approach looks elegant and versatile, however I wonder how "non-numerical" aspects are to be represented: for example, talking about more exotic characters, let's imagine triton-like folk who can breath underwater, or a guy who can simply fly with a jetpack.
Would such things be represented with Utilities? Would they just be abstracted as numerical bonuses (in the sense that abilities like "flying" and "water-breathing" wouldn't matter per se, but merely as means to accomplish something)?
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 08:05 AM
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This looks really interesting and fun! I need to throw in. I think I'm all right at doing "interactive" and "collaborative". "Brief" is more of a challenge for me, but I agree it's a positive trait that I should strive for

CharacterName: Toussaint Gardner
right-aligned image
Produced by Mindjourney, generated by Fillyjonk with an excellent assist by jbear

Motive: You earn energy when you press on for answers when it’s foolhardy to do so .Faith: the answers to all questions DO exist! Everything is knowable. You just need to press harder, and further, to find them. I'll find the answers to cure my reality.

Archetype / Traits
  • Once between pit stops, you may recover 1 Presence Energy of an ally for free, provided you can interact with them.Caregiver
  • Add +1 strength to a move reliant on research or studying data.Scholar
 

Utilities
  • Motivational speaker: 2
  • Hoping that this can be a catch-all for both biological knowledge and healing-type stuffPhisiology: 1
  • Scientific technology: 1
  • This is meant to be something like ESP, where the alien DNA allows him to sense things, or make logical jumps, that might not be possible for plain human senses or brainsUncanny perception: 1
ContextConcept: From yet another alternate Earth. But this is one where, back in the Great Depression, an asteroid fell from the sky, bearing a strange "virus" (viruses? Alien nanomachines?) from outer space. The virus did what viruses do, injecting and altering DNA. First came the illness. Then came the changes. Now, a few generations later, human DNA is spliced and diced with some sort of alien species (is it one? is it many?) and still struggling to live with the consequences. But there was no first contact, there was no new 'indistinguishable from magic" technology coming along with it, like in the movies. It was just an act of god that changed humanity forever.

But. If the space and science of their world won't reveal its secrets, maybe the omniverse will.

Backstory Toussaint has had enough. The world seems to be torn apart anew with every birth, and with every new genetic interaction. At this point, the scientists are sure that there are at least 6 independent strains of alien DNA endemic in the population. But they interact with each other in unpredictable ways, not to mention how they interact with the human genome, and terrestrial microflora and microfauna, and to allergens and pollutants and even simple things like sunlight and temperature for gods sake!

When it started humanity had not yet split the atom. It had not yet discovered DNA. It barely even knew what penicillin was! (The world quickly learned that the alien infections were not bacterial.) The world slowly learned, but only with great headwinds. It wasn't fast enough, and the problem kept shifting.

Toussaint is just a humble neuroscientist. He thought he could have multiple PhDs, but it turns out that's mostly just a dumb thing they say in the movies. He tried, though, and he keeps trying. He has a theory that the alien DNA is particularly attracted to neural pathways - lifespans in his world have dropped tremendously, and dementia-like madness has become incredibly common in middle age. But... look around. Maybe that's the rational choice, in the circumstances. What matters is that Tou's science has failed. So has everyone else's. The answers aren't on his world, accessible to his people. But the answers do exist. Everything is explainable. He's just got to travel to the places where the answers can be found. The places where the cures can be found.

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Last edited by Wynamoinen; May 12th, 2023 at 09:30 AM.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 02:47 PM
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Interest piqued

StatsName: Dr Ezra Nic-Watsun
Motive: You earn energy when you resolve to meet a pursuing threat head-onEscape

Archetypes / Traits:
  • Discipline: Engineering
    Add +1 strength when using that discipline or interacting with something created in that field.
    Creator +1 Intellect / + 1 Body energy
  • Once between pit stops, you may recover 1 Intellect Energy of an ally for free, provided they’re close by.Scholar +1 Intellect / +1 Intellect energy
Misfortune: 0/6
Rift: 0/6

Stuff: 0
Lessons: 0

Body
  • Impaired: No
  • Strength: +1
  • Energy: 4/4
Intellect
  • Impaired: No
  • Strength: +4
  • Energy: 5/5
Presence
  • Impaired: No
  • Strength: +2
  • Energy: 3/3
Utilities
  • Give me some string a can and a magnet and I'll get you something to eat AKA MacGyveringJury-rigger: 1
  • My god you are exactly like Sharples from that novel, let me guess it WAS the tailor afterall... wonderful It might not repeat but it certainly rhymes - through fact and fictionWell read/Learned: 2
  • You can feel the increasing vibrations and realise its time to jump just as the safety whistle goes off Sixth sense, Spider sense, sense of Danger. Your intellectual heuristics give you an uncanny sense of survivalDanger Sense: 1
  • Nothing is truly hidden you just need to look smarter not harder. Given its dimensions, weight and who possesses it, then this gradient is too much trouble so down we go Logic is the railroad between facts you just need to get on my brain trainEye for detail: 1


Tales to tell from before
It was late when his contact from inside the Pontifical Academy joined him in the smoking section of the bar. He was getting worried about the contact and of raising suspicion given his extremely slow rate of drinking but that changed now. They talked pleasantries over a pint of the local beer before they went their separate ways but not before they had swapped packages, Pontifical contraband for the contact and the samples for Ezra.

He took a leisurely walk home meandering by the river and parks that ringed the Curia Scientifica partly to remember when he was a member of that institution and would come here with his peers and partly to check for any tails since his removal from said institute. Satisfied he was alone he headed back to the lab he and a few friends ran and upon revealing the samples the rest of the night was lost in a flurry of work. It was well past dawn when they had finished setting up their 'traversal device' but Ezra was still awake from the excitement and in only a few moments the Tezzles would be fully charged and they could activate the contraption. The Hierarchy had attempted to shut down and control all knowledge of traversal under the guise that only Heaven and Hell existed beyond this plane and as such only they had the mandate of God to handle this. Ezra and other like minded folks knew this to be poppycock and that the samples weren't angelic materium but they did resonate outside of this universe. How or why was still unknown but applying this was as easy as flicking a switch - Ezra flicked the switch...

The Tezzles were drained faster than he had ever seen but even more spectacular was the creation of a mirror like sphere hovering in the place where the samples had been suspended. Its surface covered in slowly moving lines and shapes, weird, unknown, yet somehow familiar, he instinctively reached out for it oblivious to the fact that he was stood inside a nearly invisible sphere. Oblivious to the shouts of his colleagues as the door to their secret lab was blown in, yet only a gently breeze disturbed the inside of the 'globe'. Oblivious to the Hierarchies Vigiles bursting in and firing indiscriminately and the death and destruction they were dealing out in the lab. As Ezra touched the device his mind was suddenly filled with a racing torrent of visions like someone had poured the worlds galleries and rainbows into his eyes, something caught his attention, the torrent stopped, stabilised and the image started to fuse with his own. He turned to share this triumph with his fellows, shocked to see the horror around the large room, anger as he locked eyes with the Vigils Prefect, a cold, intelligent brute well known to Ezra, Prefect Thaddeus. The Prefect levelled his gun at Ezras head but it was too late Ezra was almost lost to the other side but that stare lingered and Ezra knew that sadist would do all he could to find him.

Ezra didn't know if he could be found or how long it might take but he had to take steps to prepare himself for if he was caught the Hierarchy would use a more permanent excommunication on him once it had deemed he unable to endure anymore rites of confession.

Materialising into a new place he looked around at some strange new faces "Greetings my name is Ezra" and he puts out his hand to shake, his other hand quickly hiding the orb in his pocket.
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 04:35 PM
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A couple observations and doubts, after delving more deeply:
  1. Is the creation mentioned in the Creator's second trait considered a Utility? Would it cost Stuff to make? Or is something else entirely that can be used on top of an actual Utility?
  2. About improvements:
    • Can the increment relative to Utility creation/improvement be of any value (hard cap aside), for example going from +2 to +5 by paying 10 Stuff in one go? Unlike the following options it isn't specified a +1 increment.
    • The cost of increments seems to depend on the "order of operations": let's say I want to take an Archetype that increases X by +1, and also increase X by another +1 (so to a total of 2+X), if I take the Archetype first, it'd cost me 14+2X, vice versa 12+2X. Is this intended?

Last edited by Cap Ut; May 2nd, 2023 at 04:35 PM.
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