THE TABLETOP ROLEPLAYING GAME

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Transcript of THE TABLETOP ROLEPLAYING GAME

THE TABLETOP ROLEPLAYING GAME 
INTRODUCTION JoJo was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1987 to 2004. In 2004, during the run of its seventh installment, it transferred to the monthly seinen magazine Ultra Jump, where the current story continues to this day. The series has sold over 80 million copies in Japan, and is one of the overall best-selling Weekly Shonen Jump series. Numbering over 100 volumes (for a total of ~20,000 pages); it holds the record for Shueisha's second longest-running manga series. English publication of the earlier parts of the series is ongoing. It is perhaps most popularly known for its Stand phenomenon; the Stardust Crusaders arc and its characters Dio and Jotaro Kujo; the expressive rendition of its proud, glamorous personalities; and its hundreds of nominal references to Western popular music.
Chapters and arcs in JoJo are diverse in tone, contributing to a span of genres including Action, Adventure, Comedy, Thriller, Mystery, Horror and Supernatural fiction. The thrust of the plot is met by precarious, melodramatic interactions between individuals defined by supernatural power and conflicting ambitions, attitudes or moral standards, along with a race among the emergent heroes of a given arc to intercept a powerful central antagonist. The signature mechanic of the series is the supernatural, increasingly abstract Stand powers that permeate most the series. Recurrent subjects in the text of the manga may be condensed under themes of Fate, Fortunity, Justice and Redemption.
In the words of the man himself; “I believe that people are able to grow by overcoming obstacles through the power of the human spirit and strength, and that, I believe is “an affirmation that humanity is wonderful”. Within ‘JoJo's Bizarre Adventure’, there are fights and stories that involve various elements. However, in the end, people pull through without relying on machines and divine beings to determine fate themselves.”
What do I need? Jojo’s Bizarre Tabletop is best played with a couple of six-sided dice, some pen-and-paper,
notecards, friends and a whole lot of imagination.
SECTION I: CHARACTER CREATION Characters in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure come in many forms: Japanese high-school delinquents,
Italian mobsters, and even the President of the United States, are all characters you could encounter on your adventure. The following rules are here to help you to create the characters that will populate this bizarre world.
Character Creation is split into two parts: Character Creation and Stand Creation. You’ll have 5 points to spend to increase certain aspects of your character and stand while designing, but there are options you can take throughout to get you more points for a cost. Feel free to use the Character Sheets at the end of the PDF when designing your character.
CHARACTER CREATION Characters have three statistics that are important to them: Brains, Brawns, and Bravery.
Brains determines your character’s ability to recall information and think fast in combat. It’s primary importance is for allowing your character to come up and execute intense and dangerous plots in combat (as described later on Pg. 24-25 in the Secret Actions section of the rules), and also to discover the plots of your enemies.
Brawns determines your general athletics; your strength, agility and toughness are all determined by your Brawns. If you plan to throw punches and take hits with your character, this is the skill you’ll need. All physical rolls, whether being fast, throwing a punch, or powering through a painful blow, will require a good Brawns score to succeed.
Finally, Bravery determines your mental willpower and ability to keep fighting past your physical limits. If your character is attempting to resist an urge caused by some character flaw or trait, or trying to continue fighting while every fibre their body is screaming out to stop, they’ll need a high bravery score.
These three stats are scored from 1 to 5. To generate these stats, characters start out scored 3 in their Brains, Brawns and Bravery, and you can choose to distribute some of your 5 points to increase them. It costs one point to increase a skill up to 4, and it costs two more points to increase a skill up to 5.
If a player chooses, they can decrease one of their stats down to 2 to get an extra point, and even further down to 1 to get two more extra points.
Any points you do not use in character created are saved for the Stand Creation process described later.
HEALTH Health is based around two of the three stats your Stand User has: Brawns and Bravery.
Brawns determines the user’s “Real Health.” The Real Health of a Stand User represents how many blows they can take before being pushed to their physical limits; you could think of it as your character’s HP. To calculate your HP, you will use 1d6 for each point you have in your Brawn score (if your roll puts you below average HP, you can choose to take the Average instead). This value will be temporarily decreased whenever a character takes damage (defined later in this rulebook), only being restored after a character seeks healing or the session ends. If a stand user is brought down to 0 Real Health, then they move to a secondary health pool, their “Resolve.”
Bravery is what helps to determine a Stand User’s Resolve. Resolve represents the will for a fighter to continue pushing forward powered only by their ideals and bravado. Because of that, the system for Resolve works slightly differently. A player’s Resolve health pool starts at 0 and increases proportionally to how much damage is taken. At the beginning of their turn, the player rolls a number of D6s equal to their Bravery with the aim of rolling higher than all the damage they’ve accrued since entering the phase.
If a player is about to take damage from an attack to either their Real Health or Resolve Health pools, they can choose to take 0 damage from the attack in return for taking a critical injury. A critical injury is some kind of narrative injury that hinders or prevents a character from doing certain actions. For example, a character can take a critical injury when hit by a powerful stand attack, and instead of taking that damage, they may break their arm or get their finger cut off. The severity of the critical injury should change depending on the severity of the attack used against the character at the time, or depending on how often the player attempts to use Critical Injuries to avoid damage. A Critical injury from a punch would reasonably be a broken arm, while a critical injury from a sharp weapon could be anything from a deep gash that causes bleeding, or something more gruesome like losing a finger or an arm. The GM should look at the situation to decide what is to be done to the player. Mechanically, attempting to use a part of the body that has taken a critical would means that the character does not benefit from any modifiers when making the roll, or will straight up be unable to act with it, depending on the injury..
STAND CREATION Now that you have the basic statline for your character, you can move on to begin making your
stand.
Before you get started on stand generation, you should first think about what you want from your stand. Stand’s are ghostly projections of your soul with fantastic abilities capable of doing just about anything. The possibilities are endless, and so it’s good to narrow down what kind of vague ability or special power you want your stand to possess. This way you can work towards building your stand in a way that best supports the ability you had in mind.
If you only have a vague idea of what you want to do, then that’s fine. Hopefully, by the end of Stand Creation, you’ll be able to look at your stand’s parameters and be able to see a direction to take your ability.
MAKING YOUR STAND Stands are made with a point-buy system similar to the one used in character creation. Stands,
however, use more complicated “Parameters” instead of the simplified character stats.
These parameters are presented below, just like you see them in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure:
POWER: How strong you can ORA. Also, how potent a Stand’s abilities are. SPEED: How quickly you can ORA. Also, movement speed, dodging, agility, etc. RANGE: How far you can ORA. Also, the effective range of abilities. DURABILITY: How well you can stand other ORA. Also, how long a Stand’s ability can act. PRECISION: How accurately you can ORA. Also, how precise the Stand’s abilities are. LEARNING: How well you can learn new ORA. Also, how well a Stand can adapt.
PARAMETERS The parameters for stands differ slightly from a character’s stats in that they are placed as letter
“Ranks” that represent different power levels as follows:
A: Excellent
B: Good
D: Weak
E: Very Weak
These Ranks, unlike the simple scores used to represent characters, represent much broader levels of strength and ability. As such, the effect they have on rolling dice and granting modifiers is different than the simple boosts given by a character score.
The Stand’s Rank changes the amount of dice you use, and keep, when making a roll using a Stand’s parameters:
E: 1d6 D: 2d6 keep 1 C: 2d6
B: 3d6 keep 2 A: 3d6
Table 1.1
When a situation calls for a “Parameter Modifier,” Stands’ Rank also helps to determine the modifier that is given for that situation:
E: -5 D: -3 C: +1
B: +3 A: +5
Table 1.2
The process of making Stands is similar to character creation. When generating parameters, Stands start out Ranked C in all their stats. You can choose to increase them with any leftover points from character creation. It costs one point to increase a Rank up to B, and it costs two more points to increase a Rank up to A.
A player can choose to decrease their stats for extra points like character creation, but this time there's a catch. The player can decrease one of their Ranks down to D to get an extra point, and even further down to E to get two extra points, but decreasing a stat down to Rank E causes a stand to adopt a “Critical Weakness” associated with the statistic.
Critical Weaknesses are glaring flaws that result from a stand having an E-rank. These Critical Weaknesses can vary, and the player and DM are recommended to brew up a critical weakness for the ability that fits the Stand and User. Some examples of Critical weaknesses are provided in the descriptions for each Stand Parameter.
WHAT DO STAND’S PARAMETERS DO? All Stand parameters have their own niche roll to perform during combat, but they're uniform in
that they both affect your Stand or their ability in some way. Listed below are all the parameters in more detail and for what purposes they’d be used.
POWER Power measures the Stand's strength and ability to cause destruction (physical injury or collateral
environmental damage) in a given period of time. Whenever a Stand is used to cause physical damage or destruction, Power will always be the main dice in the roll. Other parameters can be used to assist in making physical attacks under certain circumstances (as detailed in Contested Rolls for Stands in the
Mechanics chapter later in the book), but a good Power ranking will still be necessary to do the maximum amount of damage possible.
For an example, a Stand with Weak Power but Excellent Speed wants to make an attack that consists of hundreds of quick punches. Even though that's a lot of punches, if there's no force behind them, then they won't do much damage. As such, they’d have to roll the dice for their Weak Power, and then add on the speed’s Parameter modifier (Table 2.2) to try and get an edge on the roll.
Power also helps to dictate the strength of your stand’s abilities. If your ability is going to harm your opponent in any way, your power score will determine the roll that you make to affect them. Note that this is only true for Stand Abilities that are not direct target projectiles and don’t require any complex manipulation as those two categories are covered under Precision.
Example Critical Weakness: Stands with E-ranked Power are incapable of fighting physically. They are too weak and puny to put up a fight with their bodies, and will automatically fail any fights when forced to clash with Power, taking full damage.
SPEED Speed measures the Stand's agility, quickness and reflexes. Speed affects how good your stand is
at dodging incoming attacks, making a flurry of punches and how fast it moves across the battlefield. Stands are generally considered to move with their users, but if sent off on their own, they’ll move at the following speeds per turn depending on their rank:
A: 50 meters (164 feet)
B: 30 meters (100 feet)
C: 20 meters (65 feet)
D: 10 meters (32 feet)
E: 2 meters (6 feet)
Speed also plays a few extra roles in combat. Firstly, speed helps decide who goes first in the turn order of combats. Whenever a combat begins, players add their Stand’s Speed Modifier to their initiative roll, whether that modifier is good or bad.
Example Critical Weakness: Stands with E-ranked Speed are incredibly slow and sluggish. If a stand with E-ranked Speed is targeted by an opponent’s Stand, then that opponent’s Stand can add it’s Speed Modifier to the attack roll.
RANGE Range measures the Stand's range of manifestation*, range of ability influence, and spatial
mobility. When a Stand has high range, they’ll be able to appear, fight and use their abilities within the range that is provided by their Rank.
For stand and ability range, rankings are defined as follows:
A: 100+ meters (328+ feet)**
B: 50 meters (164 feet)
C: 20 meters (65 feet)
D: 10 meters (32 feet)
E: 2 meters (6.5 feet)
Example Critical Weakness: Stands with E-ranked Range can only move and use their abilities within 2 meters of them, as listed above, meaning the Stand User has to throw themselves directly in harm's way in order to fight. This stand is also completely unable to make projectiles of any kind, its stand ability only being able to activate via its small aura, or by touch.
*Please note that although it is possible to manifest your stand suddenly at any distance away from your user, it is not recommended. Although there may be strategically sound reasons for doing so, that is significantly less Cool™ than manifesting your stand right in front of or behind you to pose with before sending it into combat.
**A-ranked Range is normally 100 ft, but can be any amount higher if the Stand is a Long-Distance Type Stand.
DURABILITY Durability measures the Stand's endurance and level of susceptibility to damage and attacks.
Stand’s are normally not their own entities with their own health values as they are just manifestations of the user’s inner spirit. As such, any damage given to them will be considered an attack towards the user. Durability exists to act as a shield against that damage.
Whenever damage is dealt to a stand, the stand will reduce the damage dealt equal to the parameter modifier associated with its Durability rank before sending the damage over to the User. Keep in mind that a stand with weak durability will actually ADD to the overall damage received when its hit, so it’s wise to keep weaker, defenseless stands out of harm's way.
Another important use for Durability is in its effect on an abilities staying power. Whenever there is an attempt to disable or remove an ability from a target, durability will be used to oppose the attempt.
Example Critical Weakness: Besides transferring 5 extra damage from being hit, a stand with E Durability will be unable to create abilities that last on an opponent. All Stand Abilities created using an E-ranked stand will end instantaneously (after a single round).
PRECISION Precision measures the Stand's accuracy and the influence and effect of their abilities on specific
targets. Precision is the primary parameter when rolling to make ranged attacks. It also defines how much control a Stand has over their ability.
For example, a Stand that makes flames appear on the battlefield could get by on having a low precision, but a stand that wants to bend fire to form unnatural shapes around their opponent, like a gate or cage of fire, they would use their Precision in that roll. Furthermore, if the player wanted to do something complex with their ability that doesn’t involve directly damaging anyone, they’d use precision as their primary dice roll.
Besides affecting your accuracy and stand ability, precision also affects how well your Stand’s control over their senses is (if they have any). An A ranked precision means that your stand’s senses of sight, touch and hearing are superhuman.
Example Critical Weakness: Stands with E-ranked Precision are incapable of controlling the effects of their stand abilities to not harm them or allies, meaning that their abilities are capable of spinning wildly out of their control, or are capable of causing themselves serious harm. Stands with E Precision also lack any senses of their own, and act entirely through the guidance of what the Stand User can see, regardless of what their Stand Types (mentioned further below) say.
LEARNING Learning is different from the other five parameters in that it has no real effect on your stands
physical stats. Instead, Learning is important in allowing your stand to learn new techniques and abilities on the spot. There are two ways that learning can be used: To expand on an ability, or to gain a new one.
When a player decides to expand on an ability, they can permanently reduce their learning score by one rank and gain a new power based off their original ability. As long as the new application makes some vague bit of sense to everyone at the table, then the new ability is instantly added to your arsenal and can be used on the spot to solve a problem.
For example, a player decides they want their stand to have the ability to read minds. Unfortunately, they end up being less than useful in combat, and he needs to act quickly in order to save a party member. So, in order to counter that, the player decreases their learning to make a new ability called Mind Blast, which allows them to directly assault the targets brain, stunning them. Since his original power had something to do with the mind, it’s not a far stretch to imagine this ability as being a latent talent, and so the GM allows the ability. With his new powers, he stuns his opponent long enough for an ally to get to safety.
If a player wants, they can also develop an entirely new ability that is not related at all to their original power, but this costs two ranks in learning to do. So, in order to maximize the usage of your learning parameter, it is suggested to use as much pseudo-science as possible to link something you want to do with your original power. Whenever a player gains a new ability through learning, it’s up to them to
explain if it came to them on the spot, it was something they were training to do, or just a secret technique that they were waiting to pull out for just such an occasion.
Example Critical Weakness: A…