JumpChain is a sort of self-insert solo crossover isekai RPG; it draws on the Choose Your Own Adventure format and multi-world fanfic RPG tropes. It's described as a "giant self insert mega-crossover as you jump from world to world for 10 year periods gathering skills, companions and items. The 'ultimate goal' is to go to dragonball or a similarly dangerous universe and survive with you accumulated skills but most people just bounce to world after world for fun..."
How It's Played
- "JumpChain! is a series of interconnected CYOAs wherein the jumper, either you or a character you create, keeps the abilities and items gained from previous JumpChain! CYOAs as he or she moves through subsequent JumpChain! CYOAs."
The basic premise is: A bored omnipotent dimension traveler has decided to offer you (or your character) a deal: travel the multiverse, one world per decade, having adventures and gaining powers and companions. In exchange for this adventure, it gets entertainment. The details of each "jump" are contained in a jumpdoc describing the abilities available to the character, the starting locations, and setbacks that can grant extra points to buy more abilities. After each world, the player has a choice:
- Go home, to find that no time has passed (but you get to keep all the goodies)
- Stay in this world
- Go on to the next world.
It is suggested that players begin with the Pokemon Trainer Jump; it's not required to begin there, but that jump is only available to beginners; it cannot be accessed later. The Pokemon Trainer Jump (PDF) has the basic premise and starting instructions:
- What I'm going to do is take your life and send it to a different world! Specifically: Pokémon! Yes, the video game. And the show and the books and the toys and the card game and you know what I mean.
- Here's how it works: if you accept you stay in the world of Pokémon for ten years. During that time, time is stopped in your home universe. Magic treehouse style. After the ten years are up I offer you a few choices, including going home.
- Now, the world of Pokemon is actually rather dangerous, what with the feral creatures of unimaginable power and the roving gangs of criminals that are often pursuing some horrible cause and must be stopped. Therefore, I'm going to give you a budget. Use this budget to buy some supplies and skills before your adventure begins.
See: 0. How to JumpChain Google Doc collection
The way that individuals play jumpchains varies. Some imagine the story without writing much of it down, with summary level detail except for perks which are usually documented in detail. Some turn their jumpchains into fic, which by nature are at least partially crossovers and often feature a self-insert protagonist. It is common to change some of the typical rules of jumpchain for published fic, as the default rules don't necessarily lend themselves to workable narratives.
The following fandoms are common waypoints on a JumpChain adventure:
- Pokemon - the traditional beginning jump
- Warhammer 40k - a jump in this setting is traditional for an "endjump", a type of particularly challenging jump that ends a jumpchain
- Brockton's Celestial Forge by Lord Roustabout - a Worm fic following an OC who gains crafting focused jumpchain perks over time
- Companion Chronicles by Tempestuous, about a trans woman who becomes a companion to a veteran Jumper. Prominent crossover elements include Madoka Magica, Star Trek, Worm, and Breath of Fire III.
- Relevant Jumpchain Links on Reddit - a collection of builds and fandom-specific worlds and challenges.
- Works tagged Jumpchain on Archive of Our Own
- Discussion: Anyone here tried the whole 'JumpChain' thing? on Reddit, 2016