Saturday, 28 May 2011

D-Jumpers Vol 1 The Gate To Adventure (DVOID Systems)

My first contact with D-Void Systems was through downloading the Legend of Zelda sourcebook / table top RPG, the rights to which have now been been withdrawn and that document is no more.  I mention this because it's worth remembering that D-Void Systems see "the big picture" when it comes to game design, well they certainly plan "big".  They may be worth watching for future releases - or at least tagging just in case they do something really dangerous.

   D-Jumpers Volume #1:
The Gate to Adventure
Some people buy products after being lured by glossy images, others buy for stat blocks.  The D-Jumpers series currently has neither, but this shouldn't held against it. This is a system-less affair, and quite rightly so, because the campaign background would be adaptable to any starting-genre of game.  By "starting genre" I mean the world (and game) in which the player-characters are native and most familiar with.  Basically, if you liked the series Sliders, Star Gate SG-1,Doctor Who or stories with any inter-dimensional themes, you'll love D-Jumpers.  Portals and alien worlds galore, varying tech levels, different laws of nature, magic even, political struggles and moral dilemmas.  I'm mainly reviewing D-Jumpers Volume 1 The Gate to Adventure which is a compilation of individual issues in the range.  It makes more sense to read as whole campaign with different worlds acting as episodes.

A lot of attention is given to what motivates NPCs and how to usher the players into some fairly bizarre situations.  What is nice about this first volume is that the mysterious character of "The Gatekeeper" can be played as either a mere linking device, a patron, a symbiotic arrangement with the players or even as a pan-universe megalomaniacal villain.  Naturally, for experienced players these options can be genuinely refreshing.  The scope of the campaign is potentially huge, the amount of work a DM /referee /storyteller will bring to the table may vary from system to system, for example there are plenty of encounter settings, but no maps in D-Jumpers, which for figure based gaming can be a short fall.  For old fashioned radio-play style gaming exact layouts will not be an issue.  At 31 pages with illustrations and small text, this is a dense document, which reads like a set of well written scenario articles, logically divided into subsections with the bullet point storyline and goal checklists. 

It seems to be early days for DVOID systems, so their promises of extra access to "free gaming content, crowdsourced from the gaming community" and "Lifetime Updates Policy" is hard to gauge at this stage, but there's definitely a sheer force of will and vision behind these products which may propel them forward to write more products.  Are you buying a product or investing in a cult?  Hey, this is role-playing - nearly all product ranges have a ferverous following!

I sent a query to the publisher regarding prices.  Volume 1 is $12.50.   Da Vane of DVOID made many points in defence of not going down the budget games route.  My personal experience is that I will readily fill a basket with many $1-$2 PDFs and yet I am hesitant when it comes to shelling out for $15-$20 products - unless it's a very glossy over-produced ruleset, print on demand, or something I'm so nostalgic for, because the advertising got to me 25 years ago.  I like to keep my own Inked Adventures products below $5 - it's a sort of psychological barrier, also I prefer to think in terms of dollars, instead of the slightly chunkier British pound (I feel richer in dollars ;) the Yen is fun to total up with too).  A little while ago Onebookshelf sent out an email advising publishers not to go down the $1-"app" route, because the processing costs, such as Paypal's charges per transaction, mean that even the minimal overheads for online publishing would become not cost-effective.  Some publishers have to make a stand, perhaps in solidarity with a beleaguered cottage industry, propped up with a tiny pile of cents. I've heard the same from computer games writers, either give it away or charge for a service.  I have no idea what works, and frankly I haven't met enough successful people willing to share their secrets with me. ;) 

With The Gate to Adventure you're getting quality writing, lots of ideas-content, but no gloss.  It prints well in black and white (once the background image has flattened).  If you like system-less campaigns with lots of detail about story line and PC hooks, and like your settings with infinite variety and possibilities then D-Jumpers is definitely for you.

In summary: Well written and just a little "mental".

D-Jumpers Volume #1: The Gate to Adventure (DriveThruRPG) 

EDIT 30 May 2011 ______
 Author Da Vane of DVOID Systems tells me this product is due for an upgrade, a massive boost of text - remember that purchasing any of these products guarantees you updated editions.
Also check out the DVOID Systems home site for news of the upcoming D-Jumpers RPG and other articles of a multi-dimensional nature.
*makes crackling portal noise*

Tonight I'm also browsing...

Type-S Scout Courier "IISS Dreamcatcher" - Scrying Eye Shipyard

Good value for money ($3 USD).  Absolutely essential floor plan for any Traveller game (old and new).  The inside of an S-Scout never looked so good.  Definitely for fans of the Millennium Falcon and Firefly-class Serenity, who like their starships dingy and cluttered!

Summary: Useful eye-candy for space navy heads with minis.

I shall be posting a mini review of the fantastic
Mutant Epoch RPG very shortly...

Watch this space for
mutations and androids!


  1. Looking forward to your review of The Mutant Epoch! I think it's an awesome game!

  2. Thanks for reading!
    I love all the photos in your blog by the way.