|Jorune Over the Edge (JOTE)|
June 7, 2001 revision
NOTE: The Signature skills table is fixed. (8/6/01)
Adaptation by Robert Dushay
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Read the review for Jorune
Jorune is a great setting for gaming, but the rules have serious problems, especially the 3rd edition. Others have worked on their own rules conversions (Fuzion and GURPS are perhaps the most well-known systems), but I like Over the Edge.
Over the Edge, by Jonathan Tweet and Robin Laws, is a simple system that puts far more attention on creating characters than worrying about detailed combat statistics. While the rules were designed for the surreal conspiracies setting of Al Amarja, they work well as generic rules for many games. Here is my work-over of the OTE system for Jorune, hereafter referred to as JOTE.
JOTE's isho rules were partly informed by Joe Coleman's PLUS rules.
JOTE is not enough to play Jorune. To use these rules to play Jorune, you'll need a copy of Over the Edge (See Atlas Games) and the Skyrealms of Jorune roleplaying game for background information (3rd edition may still available from Chessex . Email them and see.) Further, these rules are a draft in progress, and some sections will be filled out later. I welcome your comments. (email me at Rdushay@mindspring.com)
Vocabulary note: The referee of a Jorune game is called a sholari, the shanthic word for priest.
Generate characters as for OTE, with the following modifications.
1. Choose your race. Player characters may be human, boccord, muadra, crugar, woffen, or bronth.
2. Generate your character according to standard OTE rules.
3. Since Jorune is an unusual setting for many gamers, it may be helpful to use the list of occupations drawn from the 3rd edition Jorune rules to provide guidelines for character types.
It's up to the sholari and players as to beginning player social status. While the default Jorune game has characters beginning the tauther process, there's no reason why a JOTE character couldn't begin the game as a drenn or even a kesht/keshtia.
Isho is the ambient energy that surrounds Jorune, generated by crystal layers in the planet's core and crust. Like visible light, isho has a spectrum of seven colors. Different species are sensitive to different colors.
Many beings have learned to manipulate the isho, sensing with it, or weaving threads of it into dyshas.
Isho characteristic: All player characters begin with an Average (2 dice) Isho characteristic. This may be increased by taking an isho-manipulating profession as a trait (caji or hishtin), or by giving the character a Good (3 dice) or Superior (4 dice) isho characteristic as a trait.
Caji and hishtins: A muadra who wishes to learn dysha weaving must be trained. Those who are students of dysha weaving are called "caji". A character who is a caji must have this as their central trait. Expert caji are called "copra." When a caji has five or more dice in their caji skill, they may be called "copra." Hishtins are those boccords who specialize in interfering with dyshas. Characters who are caji (or copra) must have it as their central trait. Characters who have Hishtin as their central trait gets all of the boccord signature skills, but if a character has hishtin as a side trait, they only get the signature skill of interference.
Color points: Each die in the isho characteristic provides the character with 3 color points, or the character may roll one or more isho dice and take the result of the roll as that die's color points. Characters with Caji or hishtin as their central trait automatically get 6 color points for each die of isho. Color points will be spent on Moon Dice.
Moon Dice: Isho has seven colors, linked to the seven moons. Each color of isho has an different area of effect.
Characters must assign their color points to the seven colors of isho. Easy colors get 2 moon dice for each color point spent in that color. Moderate colors get 1 moon die for each color point. Hard colors get 1 moon die for every 2 points spent. (Unspent points, and single points left over for Shal and Tra disappear after character creation.)
Shots (Maximum Isho and Current Isho): Characters get 3 shots for each die in their isho characteristic, or they may roll one or more isho dice and take the results of that roll as that die's shots. Keep track of this number; it is called "maximum isho." In play, the current number of shots is the amount of isho the being has available, called "current isho." Shots are used offensively and defensively, to weave, unweave, and interfere with dyshas. In some cases, a character may have more shots than their maximum isho, but they risk injury in the process. (See Caji Entropy, below.)
Dyshas: Most characters will not get dyshas. Of the player character races, only muadra are really adept at learning them, and if a muadra chooses to be a "caji," they start the game with a number of them. Woffen and crugar characters may use side traits to learn single dyshas. Most woffen who learn a dysha get "Power Hold," while most crugar who learn a dysha get "Lightning strike." This is cultural; few teachers are available to these species who can, or will teach anything else. Dyshas may be learned during the game by spending experience dice. More details can be found below.
Interference: Most beings have an instinctive defense against dyshas called interference, although beings with no isho at all, like corastin and thivin, have no defense. Intelligent beings that know how to weave dyshas cannot interfere. The process makes them violently ill. Similarly, once a person has learned how to interfere, it is much harder for them to learn how to weave dyshas. The details on how to interfere are given below, in the section on Dyshas.
Isho Skills: A player who chooses caji or hishtin as their central trait gets a range of isho skills, detailed below. Other players may select individual isho skills as side traits. The table below indicates which isho skills each race has available.
Each dysha is a separate skill, with a number of dice associated with it. Dyshas are woven of multiple colors. One is primary; the others are secondary. To learn the dysha, a character must have as many moon dice as the number listed in the dysha's primary color, and at least 1 moon die in each of the secondary colors.
At the beginning of the game, characters know dyshas either because they are a caji (in which case, they begin with a number of dyshas learned) or because they have learned individual dyshas as side traits. As the game progresses, characters learn dyshas individually with experience dice. Dyshas have a number of dice associated with them, because each is a trait or skill.
Beginning dyshas for caji: Caji get a second supply of color points (isho dice x6) to purchase dyshas. The cost of a dysha is the same as the number listed in its primary color. Purchasing the dysha means the caji knows it at 1 die. Each repeated purchase of a dysha gains another die for it. Characters may not know a dysha at more than 4 dice at the beginning of the game, nor may they have dyshas that are either Hard or Very Hard.
When buying dyshas, a caji must learn the dyshas within a color in order: for example, to learn any dyshas in Gobey, one must first learn Shield, then Bubble, then Body Shield. Further, one may not have more dice of a higher-listed dysha than a lower-listed one: to have 3 dice in Bubble, one must first have 3 dice in Shield.
Weaving dyshas: Dysha weaving costs a shot. The dysha's dice are thrown, and the weaver gets a bonus die for each die of isho characteristic they have. (Save the roll, and keep the bonus dice separate until the dysha is completely resolved.)
If a dysha is to be thrown against an opponent, the number of dice they get to defend is based partially on the distance to the target, and partially on the defender's actions. If not thrown against a defender, the dysha weave roll is made against the difficulty of the dysha: 1 die for easy dyshas, 2 for moderate, 3 for hard, 4 for very hard.
Missing a target: Because dyshas are usually thrown at a target, a failure may mean the dysha wasn't woven successfully, or it was woven properly and missed the target. I present two ways to address this.
A botch (counting bonus dice, so it's extremely unlikely!) means the weaver is a target for her own dysha.
Defending against dyshas: The easiest way to defend against a dysha is not to be hit. Thus dodging, ducking behind cover, and keeping out of range will help prevent being hit. One may also defend by using isho to unweave or interfere.
Weave tricks: Dysha weavers may use additional techniques to modify dyshas to make them harder to defend against.
Boosting abilities: At character creation, a player may select an isho skill or characteristic to be a trait, raising it to 3 or 4 dice. This includes the isho characteristic/maximum isho; a single moon; a single isho skill; or possibly a single dysha. During play, experience dice may be applied to these skills/traits also, to improve them. Learning a new dysha from scratch using experience dice is another matter.
Learning new dyshas: TBA
GOBEY The Protector. Gobey dyshas are all about shields: making them and breaking them. The Gobey moon is black; the color of Gobey isho is brown. Isho shields only block physical damage; dyshas go right through. All isho shields have a number of hit points. When they have absorbed that much damage, they collapse.
This dysha creates a small curved wall that covers the weaver's front only. The shield has x1 hit points. It lasts x0.25 rounds, but always at least one round. An attacker attacks the defender normally, but the shield absorbs the damage first.
Creates a dome-shaped bubble, about 10' radius around the weaver. It lasts until it is destroyed. The bubble has (x4) hit points. The bubble does not move. It doesn't block isho, but physical objects are blocked. Slow moving objects can penetrate the bubble, but the larger the item is (that is, the cross-section passing through), the more force is needed to pass. (A pointed stick can penetrate far more easily than a human arm, even a slow moving arm.) Gases diffuse through, but sounds are garbled. If an attacker is striking the bubble, they simply roll their attack dice and apply the damage multiplier for their weapon to the result.
Creates a shield around the weaver's body, with (x3) hit points. This shield moves with its weaver. The shield loses 2 hit points per minute, falling in 10 minutes. People protected by a body shield may weave dyshas normally, but not use weapons without harming their own shield.
Forms a flat shield that covers 30 sq feet. It has a strength of (x8) hit points. They stand until they are destroyed, or abraded down. In the right environment, walls can survive for years. They are often used to barricade entrances. To attack against a Wall, the attacker rolls his/her attack dice and applies the damage multiplier for their weapon.
This is a bright and noisy dysha that grinds through shields. The weaver must strike the opponent's shield (which may be easy, in the case of a Wall or Bubble, or more difficult for a Body Shield). If the dysha hits, the weaver takes the successful die roll, and applies the rolled dice, one die per round, to the shield. Each die does x(skill dice) damage to the shield. If the shield is destroyed, the Shield Shatter dysha also ends.
Example: Jolice, a superior caji (5 dice; sign: a magnificent Naull) has four dice in Shield Shatter. She throws a Shield Shatter at a Wall with 64 hit points. She spends a shot, and rolls four dice (for her Shield Shatter skill) with five bonus dice (for her isho characteristic). Because the Wall is not an opponent, she rolls against Shield Shatter's difficulty of Hard (3 dice). Her roll is is 6, 6, 3, 3, with bonus dice of 5, 4, 3, 3, 1, for a final score of 21 (6, 6, 5, 4). The Wall rolls 6, 2, 2, a final score of 10. The dysha was successfully woven. (Failure to beat the Wall's score would mean the dysha failed and did no damage at all.) This round, Jolice applies a 6, doing 6 x 4 (4 skill dice in Shield Shatter) or 24 points of damage to the Wall's 64. The Wall has 40 points left. Next round, she applies the second 6, doing another 24 points, leaving the Wall with 16 points. The third round, she applies the five, doing 20 points. The Wall is brought down, and the Shield Shatter's last die is not applied.
Creates a Bubble around a target. But when brought down to 0 hit points, the Cage strikes its occupant with a Lightning Blast (The Cage's weaver makes an attack with his Cage skill dice, doing x3 damage) as it collapses. (If destroyed by Shield Shatter, there is no blast.) With a good Interference, a captive could walk right out, however.
This orb is used to attack defenders protected by an isho shield. The orb merges with the shield and makes it rapidly fluctuate in size, doing (skill dice) of damage each to the shield and the person it is defending each round. Once the shield is destroyed, the dysha also ends, even if the person behind the shield is still alive.
DESTI The Red Harbinger. Desti dyshas are about electrical energy, usually as an offensive bolt. The Desti moon is red, as is desti isho. Desti dyshas tend to be the easiest to learn, although teaching the destructive bolts to the immature is strongly discouraged. Young muadra toughs who wish to prove themselves will learn the most basic Desti bolts, and harass others. They are called "dytes" or "dyte punks."
An electrical blast that does x3 damage. The mainstay of dytes and other criminals. Society frowns on the use of this bolt (including muadras).
If the bolt is successful, the victim's extremities are all jolted to their full reach for x1 seconds. Does x0.5 damage. If the victim fails an agility check against 2 dice, they fall down. If they fail a strength or will check against 2 dice, they drop whatever is in their hands.
A blast of intense cold that does x2 damage.
The most fearsome of the Desti bolts. A successful hit not only does x4 damage, but also throws the victim x3 feet, with every 3 feet indicating another point of damage. Of course, if the victim is slammed into an obstacle, the damage will be even higher.
A special bolt that only detonates when surrounded by dense isho, meaning it ignores non-living matter. It does x3 damage, but ignores all armor.
DU The Illuminator. Du dyshas are about energy, specifically heat and light. The Du moon is amber, while du isho is orange.
Orb of Light
Creates a long-lasting glowing orb. The brighter the orb, the shorter it lasts. A bright light (enough to illuminate a 10 x 10 foot room) lasts about an hour; a dim one about a day. The orb can be put down and subsequently moved by its weaver, who cups both palms around it to move it. It can be unwoven by the weaver at any time.
Weaves 5 tiny orbs that each do 1 die of heat damage. The user may choose to throw them all against a single target, or scatter them against multiple targets. Armor protects against each orb individually. If they are scattered, everybody within 15 feet of where they hit will be at -2 to initiative next round.
A three-foot in diameter orb that creates a blast of intense heat. It does a straight 2 dice of damage, ignoring all defenses if the dysha strikes its target properly.
An orb that does x2 damage from heat.
This orb releases its energy in a large explosion when it hits. It does 3x damage to its target, 2x to everybody within 3 feet of the target, and 1x to everybody within 6 feet of the target. It will often create fires if there are flammable objects within the area of effect. When throwing this orb, the attacker rolls her dysha skill dice (with isho skill dice as bonus dice) against the defender's range, cover and dodge. Defenders may use armor and cover (but the actual target doesn't get cover) to defend. The sholari should definitely check to see where this dysha goes if it misses the target. See the rules on missing, above.
EBBA The Sender. Ebba dyshas are concerned with force and motion. The Ebba moon is silver, and ebba isho is yellow.
Creates a large, slow-moving orb (30 feet per round) that produces a few pounds of force when it hits a target. (x0.25 damage). The area of contact is about a foot wide. Useful for knocking things down, such as fruits from a tree, or annoying animals. (Do not annoy the tarro!) This dysha can miss; see the rules on missing a target, above.
This dysha protects the target from falls: it repels large objects (like the ground), preventing 1 die of falling damage.
A simple orb that pushes the target hard and fast, something like being rammed by a baseball bat. It does x1 damage.
Anybody who clutches this orb will rise for ten seconds, at twelve feet per second. For somebody other than the weaver to use it, they must roll their Ebba dice against 2 dice to hold on. (If they fail, and the weaver wasn't holding the orb either, it is likely to simply unravel.) It is wise to have something to catch at the top of the levitation, when the orb dissolves. Common improvisations include lateral movement, or up and down movement, but the total distance traveled is still 120 feet.
This orb expands into four fat rings that loop around the target and hold it stationary. Power Hold lasts for 30 seconds, minus ten seconds for each point of size the target has. A target may attempt to break free each round, rolling their strength trait against the dysha's original roll. Each success means one ring is broken. All four rings must be broken to regain freedom.
A small orb, only a few inches across, that produces a few pounds of force when it hits a target. The sholari must note the difficulty of the target when this dysha is used. This dysha does no damage, but if it hits an opponent in the head, it will stun them for x 0.5 rounds.
This orb englobes a target, and lifts it off the ground, hovering a few feet up. It lasts for (success x dice) rounds before collapsing and dropping its contents. The orb is treated as an isho shield, having (success x dice) hit points.
A target struck by this orb is sent spinning in place for (x1) rounds. (Subtract 2x the target's size modifier). Victims must roll strength or will against the dysha's roll to avoid dropping what they're holding. Each round of spin, subtract a point for this roll. The victim takes two penalty dice to their actions while spinning.
This orb expands into a ring that loops around the target. The thicker the target, the less force the Constrictor can exert. It does x3 damage, but this is on targets the size of a human arm. Subtract 2 points for a head before multiplying; 1 die for a leg, or two dice for a abdomen/chest hit. A thin target, such as a rope, takes an additional 2 dice of damage. Constrictor is excellent for cutting rope.
LAUNTRA The Flow. Launtra dyshas are stable, and flow over bodies. They are commonly used for healing, but have other uses. The Launtra moon is green, as is launtra isho. Launtra isho is trickled over the body, rather than forming orbs. It has a slight green glow as it's used.
The user's hands project heat like a branding iron. The launtra isho both projects the heat and protects the user, but if the user actually touches her victim, she gets burned, too. It does x2 damage. (Notice that the dysha generally keeps the user's hands an inch away. If the target wants to touch the attacker to make the damage mutual, he must brave the terrible heat.)
This dysha stimulates healing in the target. The weaver spends about a minute with it, and results are visible in a few hours. Roll against the difficulty of the wound. It heals 1x damage, but can only be applied once per wound per day to a target.
The weaver uses their palms to trickle the isho over their eyes. It provides for vision in near total darkness for x2 seconds. Once the user has 3 dice in this dysha, she no longer needs her hands to apply it.
Inverts a victim's isho by overpowering it. It would be wise for the weaver to use the Estimate Isho skill before attempting this dysha. She then expends as many shots as she chooses, and rolls her dysha skill (with isho dice as bonus dice, as usual) against her opponent's isho dice. If she is successful, and has expended at least one more shot than her opponent's current number, the target is knocked unconscious for x3 minutes. The target may roll their stamina or will dice, and subtract that many points, in minutes, from the duration. Notice that the unconsciousness is not gentle, and often induces nausea in the target.
This dysha sounds a clear tone for x0.25 rounds (at least 1 round) to all within earshot. It is used as an alarm, to attract, or to distract. If a user has Bell at 4 dice, they may improvise Bell to carry a spoken message.
A successful use permits the weaver to cling onto most surfaces for x3 seconds. A high concentration of Ebba isho in the area automatically unweaves this dysha; for this reason, the most wealthy use ebba crystals in their outer walls.
Stuns victims by flashing a bright light in their face. The weaver must cup her palms together to weave this dysha, a sure giveaway to any caji paying attention. The weaver rolls against the defenders' alertness or reaction time. (An unaware target facing the weaver has no defense.) All those facing the weaver within range are temporarily stunned, taking a penalty die to all actions, including initiative, for the next x 0.5 rounds.
SHAL Keeper of the Ancient Order. Shal dyshas are sometimes referred to as "little horrors." They interact with nervous systems. The Shal moon is blue, as is shal isho. Caji skilled in Shal are rare, and hishtins who willingly face shal dyshas are even rarer. Therefore, it is often hard to find a teacher for these dyshas.
This orb makes the target faint because of the nausea induced by flipping their isho around. (Details are the same as Launtra's Faint Touch dysha.) It would be wise for the weaver to use the Estimate Isho skill before attempting this dysha. She then expends as many shots as she chooses, and rolls her dysha skill (with isho dice as bonus dice, as usual) against her opponent's isho dice. If she is successful, and has expended at least one more shot than her opponent's current number, the target is knocked unconscious for x3 minutes. The target may roll their stamina or will dice, and subtract that many points, in minutes, from the duration. Notice that the unconsciousness is not a gentle sleep.
This orb only works on creatures with Terran DNA, including the iscin races and recos. It calms them down one category (Manic to dangerous; dangerous to obnoxious; obnoxious to apathetic). The user rolls against the creature's response type, with Manic creatures getting 4 dice, dangerous getting 3, and obnoxious getting 2 dice. The creature uses its size bonus in its defense. A failure causes the creature to either become less friendly or frightened. There are separate orbs for Calm Jorune Animals, and Calm Ramian animals (like scragger and bochigon).
This orb creates a brilliant flash of light over the body of the target being, blinding them for x1 seconds. Of course, it is not very useful on native Joruni life, who rely less on their sight, if they have any.
If this orb hits, the victim's Moon skills are all scrambled except for Desti for x10 seconds. The victim may only weave Lightning Blast (it's all Desti) and interfere and unweave with Desti.
This orb only affects creatures with Terran DNA, including the iscin races and recos. It prevents all voluntary muscle movement for x1 seconds. If the target was walking or running when struck, he will fall down. There are separate versions for Jorune life and Ramian life.
The orb creates a sharp jolt of pain. Victims take a penalty die to all actions for x 0.5 rounds, and must roll against strength or will to avoid dropping held items. The orb works on Terran and Joruni life. A variant works on ramian life.
This orb only works on creatures with Terran DNA. It throws them into an epileptic fit for x 0.5 rounds, and a victim also takes x0.25 damage from falling and rolling violently around.
When this orb strikes, it attaches itself to the victim and sucks away their isho. It lasts for x0.25 rounds, and each round it takes half of the victim's remaining shots (rounded down, but at least 1). One may detach the orb by kerning, but that means dropping all of your shots anyway. If the defender has a boc-rod, they may attempt to capture the orb in the rod each round.
TRA The Warp Maker. Tra dyshas warp space. The Tra moon and tra isho are both white.
This dysha creates channels in the isho around the weaver, causing orbs and bolts to harmlessly deflect around her. Theoretically, any number of dyshas can be deflected in this one round, but the weaver must expend as many shots as each incoming dysha has in order to deflect it. An estimate isho roll will tell the weaver how many shots are in an incoming dysha. (To estimate isho in a dysha, one rolls against the difficulty of the dysha.) A weaver may choose to deflect some dyshas, but not others.
This dysha creates a tiny, incomplete warp, permitting soundwaves to pass through a six foot barrier of any material except charged crystals. It permits the weaver to increase the sensitivity of their hearing, sufficient to hear noises on the other side of a wall. The dysha lasts x1 seconds.
Like the Inner Ear, this dysha creates a tiny, incomplete warp, which acts as a transmitter of light waves on the other side of a barrier. It can penetrate barriers as thick as six feet, of any material except charged crystals. The dysha lasts x1 seconds.
This dysha works as Deflector, except the weaver can control where the dyshas are redirected to. Each redirected dysha is treated as though the Deflecting character was throwing it, using her own isho skill dice to control it.
This orb creates a warp. The weaver doesn't know where the warp goes. The warp lasts for x1 seconds, and is vulnerable to disruption by isho manipulators on the other side. The sholari decides how many dice the weaver must roll against. In some areas, warps cannot be forced open; in some areas a more powerful weave is needed. A warp can be brought down by kerning raw isho into it: for every shot expended into the warp, the closer gets 1 die to roll against the warp's strength (which is x1 the success of the weave).
Use standard OTE mechanics. As most Jorune weapons are simple melee weapons. (Commonly swords, knives, axes, battle-axes, clubs, staves, spiked balls on chains [called morningstars in the 3rd edition rules], and thikes. Missile weapons are slings, bows, longbows, crossbows, sometimes spears.) They easily fit into OTE mechanics.
Earth-tec weapons are treated as rifles or pistols as appropriate.
Joruni armor is usually one of four types:
Encumbrance is a penalty die to agility, including combat rolls (attack + defense)
b: Use bullet-proof armor rules against dyshas: roll the die, divide the damage by this number.
Thombo leather always smells faintly like thombo. This is offensive when it's wet. Do-odreh hide is thinner and more supple. [I assume they repeatedly redouble it to make it into armor.] Lothern is probably the best armor, being tough and durable, although rough to the touch, and liable to dry out in hot weather, needing regular oiling. Locurian Grunder was supposedly described in the Essays, but I didn't see it.
b: Bullet proof armor rules: Roll dice, and divide damage by result. Used for energy/high tech weapons.
These are a draft of a work in progress, but they are ready for playtesting. Preliminary testing indicates that non-desti offensive dyshas are weak and may need to be beefed up. Dysha use in general requires a lot of die rolling, but I believe they preserve much of the chrome of the original Jorune rules. If these rules work as I have intended, they should provide a faster, simpler system for Jorune adventuring. While these rules are long, the bulk is taken up by the isho rules, with the bulk of those taken up by the detailed descriptions of the dyshas. Please let me know what you thought, pro or con.
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