Joe in Ten Persons

Joe in Ten Persons is a role-playing game of choices, consequences and being your own worst enemy. It’s designed to be played in a single session for 3 – 5 players running anywhere from two to three hours.

In JiTP, each player will take on the role of one of ten versions of a man called Joe. These versions all come from different times and possibilities. One might be Joe when he was 12 years old, dealing with a school bully. Another might be a 20-something college student with a lecherous boyfriend.

Joe is a pretty obsessive person, so it’s unsurprising that all of his variants are as well. Each of them is obsessed with a particular decision that he has to make, but has avoided making thus far.

All of the Joes in the game have come into contact with a person they know only as Keeton. From one innocuous conversation, they have each gained the ability to meet other possible Joes and influence them and their decisions. Unsurprisingly, after gaining this ability, most of the Joes choose to wander through time and space visiting and watching other versions of themselves rather than dealing with the decision they were avoiding in the first place.

The Joes embodied by the players are different, though. They’ve all become stuck, fixated on one, specific variant that they’ve found in their travels. They’ve dubbed him “Joe Prime.”

Joe Prime is just like every other Joe: he’s obsessive and he’s avoiding an important decision. Unlike the player-characters, however, Joe Prime has not met Keeton.

Joe Prime’s decision has become incredibly important to the stuck Joes. They each want his dilemma to be resolved in a different way, for different reasons. Maybe his problem resonates with their own, or maybe he’s come to represent something about themselves that they hate. Regardless of why, they’ve each decided to marshal their influence amongst the variants and push Joe’s situation towards their chosen conclusion.

But the Joes are risking more than they know. Interacting with variant versions of themselves can begin to take a toll on their sense of self. In the end, they may have to decide which is more important: the safety of themselves and their variants, or the success of their self-imposed mission.

And what of Keeton? What does he want? Why did he give this peculiar power to Joe?

Only time will tell.

Hi. My name is Joe. I’m pretty normal. Nothing interesting about me, really. I’m [twenty / twelve / thirty-five]. I live here in the city. I’ve been here most of my life. What else can I say?

I guess the most interesting thing about me is what happened a few weeks ago. I ran into this [guy in class / kid at the playground / man on the bus] and we somehow struck up a conversation. I’m not quite sure how it happened.

I’ll admit I was distracted. You see, I’ve been a little obsessed lately. I was kind of avoiding this decision I had to make about [my boyfriend / this bully at school / my future career] and I’ll admit Keeton showed up at just the right time to pull me out of my head.

Oh did I mention that? He said that was his name.

Anyway, we talked for a long time. About decisions, ironically enough. About how they can affect you and everyone around you. About how we seem to come to these points in our lives – these moments of decision that can change everything for us. Those moments we go back to late at night, and wonder how things might have been different.

Keeton asked me a lot of questions about things I might have done differently in my life.

I haven’t seen him since. I went home with my head spinning.

The next morning, I knew something had changed. I felt different, though I’ve never been able to put it into words. The first time I traveled, though, I understood what Keeton had done. It was the day I met myself. One of myselves. Whatever the word would be.

I met a Joe that [had never gone to college / lost his mom when he was little / had joined the army], and while it was weird, we had a nice conversation about the other Joes that might be out there.

Since then, I’ve met a lot of me, as I’ve learned how to wander through time and possibility. But there’s one Joe in particular I’ve become…well, I guess I’ve become obsessed with him. I … well, I guess we call him Joe Prime.

See I’m not the only one who’s obsessed with this Joe. There’s this [geeky twelve-year-old kid / old-sad-man-me / gay version of me] that I’ve seen around, and he seems interested in Joe Prime, too. I’ve gone up and down Prime’s time-line and seen him lurking everywhere in the background.

And I’ve seen how the other Joes are obsessed, too. Obsessed with the decision that Joe Prime is facing. You see, I want him to [stand up for himself / get away from the mess he’s in / admit the truth to himself] but I don’t think the others want that.

So we’re kind of at a stalemate. Every time I try doing something directly to Joe Prime, one of the others shows up and messes everything thing up.

But I’ve got a plan.

I’ve got some other Joes on my side. [Blue-collar Joe / That sad other kid Joe / Army Joe] and I have been talking and I think I’ve got some pull with him. He’s agreed to go out for me and do a couple things along Joe Prime’s time-line. Try and convince him that our way is the best. Then, once he’s made the right decision, I think I can finally go back and [tell off my cheating ass of a so-called boyfriend / tell my parents about what’s really been going on at school / leave my job and find my true calling].

And then everything’ll be great. Right?

See. I told you. I’m pretty normal.


3 Responses to “Joe in Ten Persons”

  1. Logan Howard Says:

    This is really intriguing. Great job!

  2. Ben Says:

    wow. this game is amazing.

  3. Glorious multiple personality disorder with Joe in Ten Persons by Daniel Ravipinto | Future Gaming Says:

    […] In Joe in Ten Persons every player plays a version of the same person, called Joe, each from a parallel world. Wandering between parallel worlds, you have become obsessed with one Joe called Joe Prime. Your task is to find out what Joe Prime’s big decision is and why he’s avoiding it. If you have felt that The Free RPG Blog has failed to offer you anything new then Joe in Ten Persons is for you. Designed for a one shot. Joe in Ten Persons was written in 24 hours for the FRPGB and 1KM1KT competition. […]