Polymancer

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Polymancer
Poly-12-cover.jpg
Editor Staff
Categories Role-playing games
Frequency Quarterly
First issue December 2004
Company Polymancer Studios, Inc.
Language English
Website www.polymancer.com
ISSN 1708-4474

Polymancer was a magazine covering roleplaying games and related hobbies such as miniatures, wargaming, and LARPs. The magazine was published in Canada; its first issue was published in 2004.

The magazines website reports "Polymancer Studios Game and Hobby is NO longer in business, it shutdown operations in 2012." as of June 4, 2014.

Nature of Magazine and Content[edit]

Polymancer articles (except adventure scenarios) are written without reference to rules. The magazine touts itself as being “system-independent” so that “players of different game systems may make use of them”[1]

The magazine covers many gaming genres such as fantasy, science fiction, horror, modern day, pulp. Most gaming magazines just cover fantasy because Dungeons & Dragons, a fantasy RPG is the most popular game of its kind.

Polymancer was different from many magazines that cover RPGs by being printed. Many gaming magazines such as Pyramid are only available online. The April 19, 2007 announcement that Paizo Publishing's license to produce Dragon and Dungeon magazines will end in September 2007, without being renewed,[2][3][4] leaves Polymancer as one of the few printed game hobby magazines geared towards consumers left (see the Wikipedia roleplaying game magazines category for a list). (Wizards announced that the two magazines will be replaced by a yet-unspecified "online initiative.")

There is a complete adventure scenario in every issue of the magazine “playable right out of the box.”[5] The scenario map is in the magazine’s center spread. There is downloadable material to aid the gamemaster available at the publisher’s web site for most of the scenarios.

Articles in Polymancer tended to be long (over 4 pages) and the black and white illustrations differ from the color artwork found in Dragon. Polymancer is comparable to how Dragon was in the 1980s.[6] The articles in Polymancer are eclectic but they appear under a few regular headings:

  • “Jousting With Words” is the editorial
  • “The Lich’s Niche” is a ranting opinion column written in the form of an interview with a lich.
  • “Tech Talk” is about ways to use technology (especially computers) in gaming.
  • “Gaming Digital” is about play by email games.
  • “Gauntlet” seems to be generally about problems gamemasters might face and how to solve them. They tend to be instructional in tone.
  • Mojo” is Polymancer’s own game rules system. Each article adds to and presents additional rules for Mojo. This means Mojo is developed on a serial basis. The article announcing it in issue #2 says Mojo is meant to be easy to convert to other game systems. Mojo is available for free from the magazine's website.
  • “Plot Fodder” is about getting adventure ideas from general topics.

Adventure Scenarios[edit]

There is a full adventure scenario in every issue. So far Polymancer has had horror, fantasy, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, pulp, cyberpunk, and Espionage scenarios. One scenario was written to be played as a set of linked miniatures wargame battles, as an RPG adventure, or both.[7] Most Polymancer adventures are written for use with any RPG rules system, however, three adventures were written for specific RPGs: C.J. Carella's Witchcraft (by Eden Studios),[8] Jovian Chronicles (by Dream Pod 9),[9] and HARP (by I.C.E.).[10] The latter two adventures had the statistics that are compatible with the rules for the games the adventures were written for side-by-side with Polymancer's own "Mojo" rules system (see below), which is written to be convertible into other game rules systems. The Witchcraft adventure contains very few references to rules so it is likely to be easy to convert into the rules for other horror RPGs.

Comics[edit]

More than one comic has appeared in Polymancer magazine. There was a serial comic called “SideQuest” about a group of gamers that appeared in issues 1 through 8. Other comics that have appeared in Polymancer are "Quotable Quotes" starting in issue #8; it is based on humorous quotes from games that have been supplied by the magazine's readers by email. "Dice Quest" began in issue #10; the characters in Dice Quest are anthropomorphized polyhedral dice.


Games Published in Polymancer magazine[edit]

As of May 2009, three game rules systems have been published in Polymancer magazine as articles, Mojo, PUMMEL!, and Space PUMMEL!. Each of these game rules systems were implemented in Polymancer magazine in order to allow the content to contain usable game stats, while remaining convertible to rules systems that the magazine's readers would prefer to use themselves. Each of these game systems is playable on its own, however.

Mojo[edit]

Mojo RPG Rules System
Designer(s) Polymancer Studios Inc.
Publisher(s) Polymancer Studios Inc.
Publication date 2004
Genre(s) Universal
System(s) Mojo

Mojo is a free role-playing game system designed to adapt to any campaign setting. The Mojo rules system was created by Polymancer Studios, Inc. in 2004; first offered as a publication in 2004, and first serialized in Polymancer in January 2005.

Purpose of Mojo[edit]

Mojo is a roleplaying game rules system developed by Polymancer Studios, Inc.. Mojo is described in the pages of Polymancer magazine as a "percentile-based system"[11] and in Polymancer Studios's press releases as "the infinitely convertible‚ roleplaying rules system".[12]

The Mojo RPG was created as an "ultrageneric, barebones RPG system"[13] The publisher states that it was designed so that game statistics for tasks, skills, items, magic spells, and so on could be easily converted to their equivalents in other RPGs. They did this so that adventure scenarios, equipment articles, and other content in Polymancer magazine could contain material with relevant stats, and still be useful to as many different kinds of gamers as possible[14] It was stressed that Polymancer Studios did not intend to create another generic RPG as a product, but rather as a tool to make the magazine more relevant.[15] This has been repeatedly stated by people who work for Polymancer Studios in the magazine itself, and also in podcast interviews[16][17]

Format of publication[edit]

Mojo was first introduced in Polymancer Volume 1, Issue #2.[18][19] The rules have been published incrementally, in the pages of Polymancer magazine, one section of rules at a time, with each rules section being a magazine article. For example, the Mojo article in Volume 1 Issue #4 of Polymancer covered character generation,[20] while the Mojo article in Volume 2 Issue #4 of Polymancer was a set of psionics rules.[21]

As of May 2009, there have been 16 published Mojo articles in Polymancer magazine.

Basic Rules[edit]

Although based on percentile dice, Mojo differs from other percentile-based games such as Call of Cthulhu and Rolemaster. Basic task resolution is accomplished by rolling under the character's attribute + relevant skill + a modifier set by the gamemaster on an ad hoc basis. Combat uses the same system.[22]

A free PDF of the Mojo rules system is available from the publisher's website.

Mojo history[edit]

  • 2002 - Mojo Rules set enters final playtesting.
  • 2003 - Basic Mojo Rules available to public.
  • 2004 - Mojo Advanced released to public.
  • 2005 through 2009
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #2) - Introduction to Mojo.[23]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #3) - Task Resolution in Mojo.[24]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #4) - Character Creation I: Skills and Attributes in Mojo.[25]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #5) - Character Creation II: Education & Background in Mojo.[26]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #6) - Fleshing out the Character in Mojo.[27]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #7) - Equipping for Combat in Mojo.[28]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #8) - Equipping Your Character II, Mojo.[29]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #9) - Character Advancement in Mojo.[30]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #1, Issue #11) - Combat Resolution in Mojo.[31]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #1) - Mystical Casting in Mojo.[32]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #2) - Schools of Magic in Mojo.[33]
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #4) - Psionics I: Mojo.
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #5) - Psionic II: Mojo.
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #6) - Martial Arts I: Mojo.
Polymancer magazine (Volume #2, Issue #7) - Martial Arts II: Mojo.

PUMMEL![edit]

Main article: PUMMEL

PUMMEL! (Pick-Up Multigenre Miniatures, Easy to Learn) is a set of quick miniatures wargame rules, designed for adaptability to RPGs, so that RPG scenarios in Polymancer magazine could have large-scale combats.

Space PUMMEL![edit]

Further information: Space PUMMEL!

Space combat and ship design rules, based on PUMMEL!.

See also[edit]

  • Polygraff, a quarterly anthology of science fiction, fantasy, horror, pulp, and other genres of speculative fiction; also published by Polymancer Studios, Inc.
  • Polyglot, a game and entertainment industry newsletter, also published by Polymancer Studios, Inc.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Polymancer magazine writing guidelines
  2. ^ paizo.com - Dragon and Dungeon Transition
  3. ^ "Paizo Publishing to Cease Publication of DRAGON and DUNGEON Magazines to continue through September 2007" http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/news/20070419a
  4. ^ "Paizo Publishing to Cease Publication of Dragon and Dungeon." Polyglot Volume #3 Issue #5 http://www.polymancer.com/polyglot/volume3/polyglot_volume3_issue4_2007_04_19.pdf
  5. ^ Polymancer writing guidelines op cit
  6. ^ ALTERWORLDS :: View topic - Polymancer Magazine
  7. ^ B, A (2006), Operation Burning Chain, Polymancer 1 (10): 18 
  8. ^ G, L (n.d.), Hush, Polymancer 1 (1): 24 
  9. ^ R, T (n.d.), Wolf In Sheep's Clothing, Polymancer 1 (7): 20 
  10. ^ The Unknown Gamer (n.d.), A Darkness Whispered, Polymancer 1 (8): 16 
  11. ^ "The Tomb of Genghis Khan" in Polymancer. Vol 2 Issue #6, p 19.
  12. ^ http://www.pr.com/press-release/143836
  13. ^ "Introducing… Mojo!" op cit, p 38.
  14. ^ Ibid.
  15. ^ Ibid.
  16. ^ AGC 94 December 30 2008 (Happy New Year IV)
  17. ^ 57 Private Sanctuary
  18. ^ "Introducing… Mojo! Polymancer's own infinitely convertible RPG system, the first of many installments." Polymancer. Vol 1 #2, pp 38–39.
  19. ^ "Polymancer #2" http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=showmagazine&magazineid=601
  20. ^ "Mojo: Attributes and Skills." Polymancer. Vol 1 #2, pp 38–39. url=http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=7430
  21. ^ "Mojo‚ Psionics." Polymancer Vol 2 #4, p. 42.
  22. ^ Mojo: Quickstart Rules for the Infinitely Convertible, Roleplaying Rules System. (Flyer)
  23. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  24. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  25. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  26. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  27. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  28. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2005. 
  29. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2006. 
  30. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2006. 
  31. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2006. 
  32. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2007. 
  33. ^ "RPGnet RPG Game Index". RPG.net. 2007. 

Further reading[edit]

  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 1.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 2.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 3.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 4.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 5.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 6.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 7.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 8.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 9.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 10.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 11.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 1, no. 12.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 1.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 2.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 3.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 4.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 5.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 6.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 7.
  • (n.d.) Polymancer, vol. 2, no. 8.

External links[edit]