An epic, competitively driven, adventure board game featuring 8 boards with different rule-sets, 365 unique cards and over 400 tokens.


POLYSEMOUS is a chaotic, competitive  adventure board game. Player's find themselves in the roll of a  prisoner, with the planes, the council and the other prisoners against  them. Tear through your obstacles and emerge more powerful than ever, or  fall to the oppression that surrounds you.

Polysemous has traditional board game core rules, so on each players  turn they roll the movement dice and move the amount rolled. This is the  only mandatory action each turn. In addition to this players may  experience events, use items, bribe the council, attack other players,  exploit their blessings (or other players afflictions) and much much more.

The goal of Polysemous is to complete the victory conditions chosen by player one and two during set up. If a player completes two victory conditions, they are victorious. The  victory conditions are:

  • Collect a symbol - nine powerful items scattered in the item deck
  • Conquer a board - each board has its own objective, complete it and you conquer it
  • Complete a quest - each player is assigned a quest - keep it secret lest your opponents report you

Any combination of these conditions may be chosen during set up, and  the first and second player choose these victory conditions, setting the  mood of the game for that play through.

Follow the link below for a series of YouTube tutorial videos.


  • A casual, relaxed, cooperative game: you will backstab, steal, obstruct and humiliate.
  • Clear victors: as the powerful obsess over dominating, all too frequently is the victory stolen from them.
  • Equal opportunity: POLYSEMOUS thrives off of its unfairness, as  the powerful players and oppressive boards bully the already down  trodden prisoners.


  • Adventure and discovery: every time you play Polysemous you don't know what you are getting yourself into. It has a STRONG sense of the unknown, and should not be approached like a game where everything is in your control.
  • A heart pounding experience: Victory is balanced on a knifes edge and your opponents or the boards could cast you into oblivion at any moment.

Polysemous Beta Rule-book 

 Polysemous Beta Beginner Rule-Book 

click on the hyperlink above to read POLYSEMOUS' beta rule-book and tutorial book. These are draft copies and subject to minor changes.

If you are interested in play-testing Polysemous, email us at turtlewaspstudios@protonmail.com for access on Tabletop Simulator.


"With all the different maps and so many  strategies to win, every game feels unique. Despite it appearing complex  at face value, it was remarkably straight forward. Then comes the  unpredictability. One game you'll be racing along to victory only to be  thwarted in the final turn. Then next you could be cursed and stuck in  the Tolkien equivalent of Dol Guldur. it was bananas... in a ripe  delicious way."

- Dave, Andrew & Liam (Board Game Group)

"A challenging, competitive and  multi-choiced game which is highly re-playable with many unexpected  outcomes and situations. Quickly drawn into the game every time I play."

- Shoshanna Jeanne Ella Stevens (Gamer Enthusiast)

"I've had the privilege to play an early  concept form of this game. It's a remarkable and creative blend of board  games with an RPG flavour that's hugely challenging and entertaining.  Hope to see it released soon!"

- Trevor Allsopp (Gamer Extraordinaire)

"I love the fact that every time I play  this game, it feels like a new game. Very playable, fun and chaotic  game. Good for beginners all the way to board game enthusiasts. My  favourite part of the game is how well thought out the cards are and  every card is unique."

- Jacob Beard (Truck Driver)

Click the link below to see more detailed play-test reviews.

Formal Playtest review sheets

Formal Playtesting Feedback 2.0 

The Boards

The game POLYSEMOUS stretches across eight  completely unique boards, each with their own mechanics, goals and  rewards. Let me introduce them to you.


Objective: none

The players starting location and where they can communicate with the Council. Here players can collect symbols or report other players for their quests.

The portal in the center is the path to other dimensions. During set up you vie for first player position by sacrificing your starting gold and followers. If you succeed not only do you own the room closest to the  portal but you get to choose the majority of Laws and Victory Conditions for that play through.


Objective: Use the Exit Portal


If you cross over or land on a pitfall you perish. If you somehow make it across you Conquer the Board and reap the reward.


Objective: Access the Central Chamber

The ancient resting place of a long dead queen. Find the keys, open  the chambers, and find a way in into the central chamber before the  sentinels get you! 



Objective: Open all doors

A simple corridor with thirteen tiles and nine doors. Do not be  deceived by the simplicity of this board, it is my personal favourite.  


The objective is simple: to open the last unopened door, but becomes  very difficult when you realize that any door can suck you in and send  you off to another dimension.


Objective: Collect five dreams


Players can experience dreams of wonder or dreams of messages, they can  experience dreams filled with serenity or hellish nightmares. The goal  is to experience five dreams, but beware you do not lose them in the  fog.


Objective: Seize half of the enemy tiles

A realm fractured by two warring nations, Redwall and Talia. Situated  on either side of the mountain called Enrayel these two nations have  long forgotten they were once brothers.


You can tip the balance in this  bloody war, or you can take the glory all for yourself. Do you have what  it takes to conquer Enrayel?


Objective: defeat The Creature


At the end of every turn you draw from the Lair deck and The Creature that Dwells attacks you and your followers. venture further into its lair for a  tactical advantage, but be careful you don't leave anyone behind.


Objective: none

A board so rueful it spawns actual legends. Ghouldom is hell. It is where players go when they perish. As you venture here the truth dawns on you, unless you win Polysemous, this place is your destiny.


Comprised of four circles, the lower you go the more you suffer, until you reach the Fourth circle, where it is a permanent game over. So escape quickly lest you lose your wits and potentially your life.


POLYSEMOUS boasts a massive array of cards, 365 in total, divided into 12 decks. Each card is completely different from the next.

Items: Powerful surreal objects that can completely change the tides of the game.

Blessings: Wondrous permanent buffs that give you the edge to win.

Curses: Horrendous permanent de-buffs that hinder your plans.

Quests: Difficult tasks given to you by an unseen being. Keep it secret!

Judgements: The most dangerous deck in the game. Players draw these cards with trembling hands.

Laws: Spiritual and supernatural rules  adjudicated by mysterious higher beings. These laws can warp spacetime  and altar reality. Generally, terrible misfortune falls upon those who  dare to break them.

Doors Events: Behind these doors lies a myriad of dimensions. Best to peer into them lest you get sucked in.

Gauntlet Events: Bats, fire and wind. Face the elements as well as the pits!

Enrayel Events: On your journey through this realm you may meet rich princes, traveling bands and war.

Enrayel Events: On your journey through this realm you may meet rich princes, traveling bands and war.

Lair Events: The ferocity of The Creature that Dwells  manifests in these cards.

Dreamscape Events: Horrible visages, life saving items, awe inspiring wonders and sweet peace.

8 of 12 Decks of Polysemous
4 of 12 Decks of Polysemous
Miscellaneous Components

Besides the massive array of cards and boards, POLYSEMOUS consists of: over 400 tokens with 22 different designs, 110 plastic coins,  12 sanity cups, 1 rule book, 1 tutorial book, 9 reference sheets, 8 dice  of various forms and 6 player pieces.

Unique Mechanics


Player's Quests are chosen without the permission of the Council by a surreptitious powerful being. The Quests are laid out for all to see, and players receive a token denoting which Quest is theirs. Watch how the others play carefully, as their actions may reveal which Quest is theirs then hurry to your room in Homestead and report them to the council, whereby if you are correct they draw a Judgement. Beware, for if you are incorrect it is you who draws the Judgement.

A Quest a player could be reported for

Your mind is more easily molded as you exist in an alien dimension,  for better or for worse. As you travel through the planes you will no  doubt lose and gain Sanity. Whenever you do you add PSY tokens to your Sanity or Insanity cup respectively. For every PSY token added roll 2 six sided dice, if you roll equal to or less than the amount you gain a Blessing (if you were gaining sanity) or a Curse (if you were losing sanity).

Your mind is more easily molded as you exist in an alien dimension,  for better or for worse. As you travel through the planes you will no  doubt lose and gain Sanity. Whenever you do you add PSY tokens to your Sanity or Insanity cup respectively. For every PSY token added roll 2 six sided dice, if you roll equal to or less than the amount you gain a Blessing (if you were gaining sanity) or a Curse (if you were losing sanity).


Placed by the first and second player during setup, these cards  affect one board for an entire game. They can make a board incredibly  alluring, destructive or interesting. Law's can be broken however, and a  player may refuse to abide at any time, but this will result in them  drawing a Judgement.

One of the 24 Law cards of Polysemous

Luck has it's place in Polysemous, but the currents of fate are  deeply affected by the strategy each player employs. Strategic actions  begins during setup, as players decide how much they want to sacrifice  for the critical first and second player position. Then comes the game  affecting decision by the first and second player who choose the laws  and the victory conditions. Throughout Polysemous deception and hidden  agendas play a large role in the tactics of Polysemous.

Play-testing has shown three main types of players:

The Power Hungry: Seek wealth, followers and possessions to bully the other players.

The Goal Chaser: Makes a mad dash to complete victory conditions sacrificing anything to get there.

The Sabotager: Brings other players down, sometimes just for their own enjoyment.

The Creation

I am Joel Cooke, the creator of POLYSEMOUS.  Board games have been my favourite hobby since I can remember, only  recently taken over by board game creating. I first had the idea for POLYSEMOUS in 2012, the board game evolved around the idea of every player having a  secret quest. The game played well, but I ended up losing it on a bus  in Perth! So I forgot about POLYSEMOUS and  began making other games. In 2015 someone suggested I try and get one of  my games published, I worked hard on some of them but something didn't  feel right, it wasn't till a year later that I remembered POLYSEMOUS, so after four long years of play-testing and tweaking I am proud to present you this game.

This board game has quickly become my family's and friend's favourite  game to play on a board game night. With endless charm and in depth  level of competition we frequently play it on consecutive nights. It  captures the feeling of great power and great loss, there have been many  surprise victories and a few tragically short games, but one thing is  for sure - every game tells a tale.


The stunning designs you see above have been completed by Grace Stevens (concept  artist) and Shubham Sharma (graphic designer). The artwork is 100% completed. After a successful campaign Shubham Sharma will use his skills to create an appealing rule-book and tutorial book.

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