What is This?
Jazz is an attempt to create a new role-play gaming system which is both flexible and easy to use. Jazz, like its namesake, is inspired by and incorporates concepts from many sources. JazzSupers is a power construction system intended for use with superhero games.
JazzSupers does assume a basic familiarity with principles of role-playing and the basics of making up a superhero character. I haven't gone into great detail describing what role-play gaming is, or defining what "Flight" allows a character to do, for example. These sparse spots may be filled in as time goes on, but feel free to use your best judgment if something doesn't make immediate sense to you. JazzSupers is intended for my personal use, but feedback and suggestions are welcome. If you think a section is unclear, or needs more elaborate explanation, do feel free to drop me an <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">e-mail</a> with your suggestion.
Sections that are still under construction will appear in this color. If it's this color, you are better off not using it.
How Many Dots?
|Unheard Of [semi-realistic]||5|
|Uncommon [Doc Savage]||20|
|Common [Spider Man]||30|
|Very Common [X-Men]||45|
If you are given dots for Powers, you might be able (with the GM's permission) to trade one level of Power Level for one level of Fiction Level. For example, a typical superhero game might be Fiction Level: Incredible and Power Level: Common. With the GM's permission a character in such a game could instead have a number of dots appropriate to Fiction Level: Outlandish and Power Level: Uncommon. This option will not be appropriate for all game settings, and GMs are encouraged to use their best judgement.
Powers are abilities that a normal human cannot learn to do. A normal human can learn to pick locks; a normal human cannot learn to levitate.
Instant Powers operate only momentarily, after which their effects remain behind. A Blast lasts but a moment, but the hole it leaves is permanent (relatively speaking).
Constant Powers are those which the character must activate, but then may remain in operation as long as the character desires and is conscious. A character may stay aloft with Flight as long as she is awake to keep the Power activated.
Persistent Powers are always active, and do not require activation by the character. A character's Armor is active whether she is awake and aware or not.
Range describes how far a character may be from a target to affect it with her Powers. Powers that can be used on other people are divided into three main ranges: skirmish, firefight, and visual. Skirmish range is the distance that a character can cross in a single action and usually still have time to do something else (typically up to five to ten meters). Firefight range is too far for most people to reach in one action, but is within range of most small arms and other ranged attacks (from around ten meters to 100 meters or so). Visual range is too far away to hit reliably with most firearms, but is still within line of sight. A few Powers have even greater range, called "remote": these powers effectively have no maximum range.
Target describes who the power may be used on. Powers marked with "self" and "others" may each be used against one target at a time (the character herself, or a target within range, respectively). "Area" powers affect the chosen target and everything within skirmish range of that target.
|Missile Deflection & Reflection||Persistent||—||Self|
Armor costs 1 dot for Armor +2/+2 (this is read as 2 additional dots of Toughness against Bashing attacks, and 2 additional dots of defense against Killing attacks). Each additional dot adds another +2/+2.
(See also: Armor & Defense)
Cost: 1 dot for Armor +2/+2
Blast is a ranged attack of some type. It could be radiation, fire, cold, arrows, or even poodles: this must be chosen when the Power is bought, and may not be changed thereafter. The Blast has a damage rating equal to the number of dots in the power. Blast may cause Bashing (non-lethal) damage or Killing (lethal) damage: this must be chosen when the Power is bought, and may not be changed thereafter. By default, a Blast may be used against targets out to firefight range.
(See also: Damage)
Cost: dots equal to damage rating of Blast
The character may move on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces as if they were level. The strength holding the character to the surface is equal to her natural Strength. This Strength may be increased by 2 Strength for each 1 additional dot spent.
Cost: 1 dot, +2 Strength Clinging for +1 dots
Density Decrease makes a character less massive (but no smaller) than normal. Each 1 dot spent on Density Decrease gives the character:
-1 to Brawn
+1 to Reflexes
A character with Density Decrease does not have to use it at full power. If she has four dots in Density Decrease, for example, she could elect to be merely 50kg in mass rather than all the way down to 5 kg. Note that a character with five dots in Density Decrease activated no longer interacts with the physical universe, and is unaffected by physical barriers and attacks (although energy attacks, psychic powers, and force fields will affect her normally). Walking normally is impossible for such a character, but Super Running and Flight will work as usual.
Cost: 1 dot for x1/2 mass, +1 Reflexes, +1/+1 Toughness, -1 Brawn
Density Increase makes a character more massive (but no larger) than normal. Each 1 dot spent on Density Increase gives the character:
If a character is not at full Endurance when changing her density, the amount of Endurance she has lost stays proportionately the same. (They're only fractions, you can handle it.)
Example: If a character with 15 natural Endurance has lost three END to attacks, when she activates three dots of Density Increase her maximum Endurance will increase to 30 END, but her current END will be 24. When in doubt, round fractions in the character's favor.
A character with Density Increase does not have to use it at full power. A character who has four dots in Density Increase, for example, could elect to be merely 200kg in mass rather than her full 1.6 metric tons. Note that a character with her Density Increase activated in the water will sink like a stone: normal swimming is impossible, but Super Swimming will work as usual.
Cost: 1 dot for x2 mass, +1 Brawn, +1/+1 TUF, +1 END, -1 Reflexes
A character can place the focus of her senses anywhere within her current dimension. Being able to use one Sense Group at range costs 4 dots. Each additional Sense Group costs an additional 1 dot. Seeing into the past costs an additional 4 dots. Seeing into the future costs an additional 4 dots. Seeing into a related group of other dimensions costs 4 dots. Seeing into the past or future is never completely reliable, and is more likely to work when it doesn't screw up the plans of the GM.
Cost: 4 dots for 1 Sense Group at range, +1 dot for +1 Sense Group, +4 dots to see the past, +4 dots to see the future, +4 dots to see into other dimensions
Extra Actions work just like normal actions, and take place after all characters' normal actions have been taken or waived.
Cost: 4 dots for each Extra Action
The character has more than two manipulatory appendages (as many as the player wants).
Cost: 1 dot
The character can move vertically through the air as easily as most people do across the ground. The character can move one range band in any direction in one action. Contests between characters who both have Flight are resolved with opposed Flight rolls. For an additional 2 dots, the character can move at relativistic speeds in interstellar space (this power does not itself confer the ability to survive in interstellar space).
Cost: 1 dot for 1 dot in Flight, +2 dots for interstellar Flight
The character can travel from one point to another without traversing the intervening space. For 4 dots the character can Teleport to anywhere within skirmish range. For 6 dots the character can Teleport anywhere within firefight range. For 8 dots the character can Teleport anywhere within visual range. The character may Teleport double the mass (to take someone with her, for example) for each +1 dot. A Teleporter cannot Teleport into a solid object, or into any location that has a Suppress in effect which would be sufficient to prevent the Teleporter from Teleporting out; other than this, objects in the physical world have no effect whatsoever on a Teleporter in transit. There are no "Teleport-proof" walls.
Cost: 4 dots for skirmish range Teleport, +2 dots for firefight range, +2 dots for visual range, +1 dot for each 2x mass
Power Advantages make Powers more useful and more expensive. Advantages on Powers impose an increase on the Power's cost. This increase is expressed as a percentage (for example, Autofire is a "x125%" Power Advantage). It makes no difference in what order Advantages are applied to the Power's Base Cost (multiplication is associative). Fractions in the Effective Cost round to the nearest whole number (.499 rounds down, .500 rounds up).
Base Cost x 1st Advantage x 2nd Advantage x 3rd Advantage etc. = Effective Cost
Effective Cost rounds to the nearest whole number (.499 rounds down, .500 rounds up)
13 dots x 125% x 150% = 24 dots
13 x 1.25 = 16.25, 16.25 x 1.50 = 24.375, rounded to = 24
(use a calculator)
Power Disadvantages make Powers less useful and less expensive. Disadvantages on Powers give the character a discount on the Power's cost. This discount is expressed as a percentage (for example, Requires a Skill Roll is a "x65%" Power Advantage). It makes no difference in what order Disadvantages are applied to the Power's Effective Cost (multiplication is associative). Fractions in the Total Cost round to the nearest whole number (.499 rounds down, .500 rounds up). Obviously, the minimum cost for any Power is 1 dot.
Effective Cost x 1st Disadvantage x 2nd Disadvantage x 3rd Disadvantage etc. = Total Cost
Total Cost rounds to the nearest whole number (.499 rounds down, .500 rounds up)
24 dots x 80% x 65% = 12 dots
24 x .80 = 19.2, 19.2 x .65 = 12.48, rounded to = 12
(use a calculator)
Getting More Dots
Five Karma for each dot of the Power at its new level. To buy a Power from 2 dots to 3 dots would require 15 Karma and your GM's agreement. The GM should look carefully at a character's new or improved Powers.