Adventure In Time And Space With The Daytrippers RPG
  • Adventure In Time And Space With The Daytrippers RPG

    If you ever wanted to game master a RPG which would allow the player characters to travel through time and navigate the multiverse; where do you imagine such a game, might take your player group? DayTrippers asks this in a big (Scott Bakula, "Oh, boy!?") gonzo inspired way, blending dream dimensions and alternate realities, both as a device which slightly obscures as well is somewhat dismissive of paradox. Temporal distortions in player agency got you down? Bah! Unlike my favorite city in the desert, things that occur in any DayTrippers timeline, won't necessarily stay where they occurred.

    The game's main setting is in the 22nd century. The backdrop is a lightly described "mild dystopia," dominated by mega-corporations and social inequity. Day Trippers (the player characters) traverse spacetime by piloting Slip Ships. With these vehicles, they will navigate the multiverse: alternate realities, dream dimensions and (the game) reality itself, to any point in time or space. One caveat, Day Trippers have a limited time frame and If they miss the window back to their point of origin, within 24 hours (hence the title) they cease to exist.

    It should be needless to say, but the type of adventures you'll run with this premise is really open to the imagination. However, and specifically in reference to the Game Master's Guide, at no point in presentation of adventure material does the author seemed settled on what you and your group will conceive on your own. In the Generator sections of the Game Master's Guide, there are a series of spacetime adventure location/plot tables that can help a GM to create adventures, which are very comprehensive towards a GM's needs in adventure creation. A brief section in the core rules covers the basic nodes or possible ways to slip including travel through space to known and unknown planets, time, alternate earths, and dream worlds. With any slip, there is a chance that travelers might lose control of their ship. Worst of this is shifting into a compound slip: The Multiversal Chao; though what this means and the relevant details, are only covered in the Game Master's Guide.

    Character Building (creation) utilizes a point buy system. Players pick a class or can create their own with the input and approval of the GM. Classes are more of a story element than a template, but there are optional guidelines which outlines advancement for some of the predetermined classes available. Next is distributing points (via d6s) or what most call ranks for Stats (attributes), which there are six. Skills run the gamut of Savage Worlds types and will impact rolls as a (+1) bonus to dice totals. Players can also make up skills, again pending GM approval to fit their character. Beyond the crunchier elements of character creation there are guidelines for having (or creating) gear, hiring a crew, acquiring Rank, Fame and most importantly a Slip Ship.

    The mechanics for DayTrippers is a simple dice pool system. Roll the pool based on a specific (determined per challenge) Stat, take the highest result, add or subtract any modifiers based on skills (or lack thereof, difficulty), equipment etc., rated against a Difficulty Level. The system is indeed relatively light and should be easy to grasp.

    Both the DayTrippers Core and Game Master's Guide PDFs are configured with a hyperlinked Table of Contents. Illustrations are minimal and vary in quality decent to excellent, from straight black and white illustrations to vector based grey scale. Both books include an index and are laid out in standard double column format. The DayTrippers Core is 44 pages; the Game Master's Guide is 120 pages.

    DayTrippers is an interesting narratively-driven RPG. The setting information does an adequate job of coloring in some of scenarios you might run a few sessions with. DayTrippers emphasis is narrative, but the system does have some crunch. My criticisms of this product are with some of the more subjective elements around the edges. As hinted in the intro, elements of paradox are somewhat dismissed; nothing of note in the core book and only a couple of passages in the Game Master's Guide. Is there anything that breaks the game? No. Absolutely no, and for the most part I'm very impressed with the unique premise of this RPG.

    Here is the skinny: If you have been looking for a time travel RPG I don't imagine you'll be disappointed. The capability to travel to dream dimensions and alternate realities might just be the cherry on top. But, if you only purchase the core book you'll be missing the best value of this RPG. If you're so inclined, I strongly recommend you purchase both books.

    Disclosure: This review uses affiliate links. For the month of November, the proceeds of all of my affiliate links on EN World and from my blog (Within the Dungeon) will be donated to Stacy Dellorfano's Cancer Fight Fund (direct link to the Fundly site). DayTrippers was provided free of charge for the purpose of this review.

    ​contributed by Jeff Duncan
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. VengerSatanis -
      Congrats on the stellar review, Tod!
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