top of page

What is polymorph, and why is it so AWESOME?

How our RPG toolkit supports easy to learn games set in Awesome World.

Awesome World is the home of excellent princesses, studious horses, druid scouts, and a whole host of cartoonish friends and foes. It's also a series of family-friendly tabletop roleplaying games built on polymorph, our RPG toolkit built to make tabletop games easy to teach and learn. In fact, once you know how polymorph works, it's even possible to create roleplaying games of your own.

So how does it work?

In a polymorph game, each player only ever uses ONE polyhedral die — a d4, a d6, a d8, or a d10. Each die represents a different “way to play” or a different “role” that the player has in the group. These are less like character classes and more like personalities. For example, in The Excellents, our original Awesome World game, these are the descriptions of the play style for each of the four polyhedral dice:

The Magical One – d4

When you're in this princess role, you should focus on using your powers.

The Brainy One – d6

When you're in this princess role, you are usually acting as a thinker and a leader to your team.

The Charming One – d8

When you're in this princess role, you are the classic Hero!

The Tough One – d10

When you're in this princess role, you are all Heart! You have great endurance.

These personalities change from one polymorph game to another, but the dice are always the same.

So I just roll one die?

Yep! In polymorph, whenever a player asks “can I do something,” they roll their ONE die and with a quick glance at a resolution matrix, know if they succeed. Here's the resolution matrix used in The Excellents:

BOOKS 2 , 3 SHOES 3 , 4 , 5 SWORD 4 , 5 , 6 , 7

HEART 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9

There is NEVER any math involved. After you roll, just look to see if your die is showing one of the numbers listed next to the move you were trying to make. Here's an example of how this works:

Video Game Princess is going to try to leap over a pit of lava! Her Game Mistress tells her this is a Shoes roll, because in The Excellents, Shoes rolls are for running, jumping, climbing, swimming, and other general athletics. Video Game Princess is The Brainy One, so she rolls her d6. The result is a 4. She looks at the resolution matrix, and sees that 4 is one of the numbers is listed next to SHOES. This is a success! The Game Mistress asks Video Game Princess, "What does this look like?" Video Game Princess says she spawns a series of brick blocks in the air over the lava pit, and deftly climbs over them to safety on the far side.

Depending on the game world and what kind of character you're playing, there may be some additional rules, like rolling with with advantage or disadvantage. The nice thing is that the Game Mistress never rolls dice. The players are the focus in polymorph, and especially in Awesome World, the goal is to tell the story together!

What else can polymorph do?

Our RPG toolkit can run games from traditional dungeon-ing and dragon-ing, to cinematic space rebels, to ghosts scaring living inhabitants out of their ancestral home. From superheroes to gods, to talking animals or inanimate objects, polymorph can handle it. In fact, the polymorph rules won BEST RULES 2020 from the IGDN and has been nominated for ENnie Award for both Best Rules and Product of the Year.

At its core, Polymorph provides a framework for resolving actions, creating interesting characters that have mechanical differences, and providing a structure for building up and emulating group stories. RPGs powered by polymorph are modern, rules-lite games designed to allow for strong, narrative game play — but still having the same core crunch and fun of the dice-rolling roleplaying game experience.

In Awesome World games, the best thing about polymorph is that it allows for crossover play. So if you own The Excellents and Horseshoe Academy, players can create horses or princesses (and, yes, horse princesses) and tell stories together in the same game. Both titles are built on polymorph, so they play perfectly together!

bottom of page