From the introduction:
Joe in Ten Persons is a role-playing game of choices, consequences and being your own worst enemy. It’s designed to be played in a single session for 3-5 players running anywhere from two to three hours.
In JiTP, each player will take on the role of one of ten versions of a man called Joe. These versions all come from different times and possibilities. One might be Joe when he was 12 years old, dealing with a school bully. Another might be a 20-something college student with a lecherous boyfriend.
Joe is a pretty obsessive person, so it’s unsurprising that all of his variants are as well. Each of them is obsessed with a particular decision that he has to make, but has avoided making thus far.
All of the Joes in the game have come into contact with a person they know only as Keeton. From one innocuous conversation, they have each gained the ability to meet other possible Joes and influence them and their decisions. Unsurprisingly, after gaining this ability, most of the Joes choose to wander through time and space visiting and watching other versions of themselves rather than dealing with the decision they were avoiding in the first place.
The Joes embodied by the players are different, though. They’ve all become stuck, fixated on one, specific variant that they’ve found in their travels. They’ve dubbed him "Joe Prime."
Joe Prime is just like every other Joe: he’s obsessive and he’s avoiding an important decision. Unlike the player-characters, however, Joe Prime has not met Keeton.
Joe Prime’s decision has become incredibly important to the stuck Joes. They each want his dilemma to be resolved in a different way, for different reasons. Maybe his problem resonates with their own, or maybe he’s come to represent something about themselves that they hate. Regardless of why, they’ve each decided to marshal their influence amongst the variants and push Joe’s situation towards their chosen conclusion.
But the Joes are risking more than they know. Interacting with variant versions of themselves can begin to take a toll on their sense of self. In the end, they may have to decide which is more important: the safety of themselves and their variants, or the success of their self-imposed mission.
And what of Keeton? What does he want? Why did he give this peculiar power to Joe?
Only time will tell.