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Transformation is a Cronenberg-esque solo RPG about becoming a monster

Metamorphosis without multiplayer.

A new solo tabletop roleplaying game inspired by the movies of David Cronenberg has players transforming into terrible monsters.

Transformation is a tabletop RPG that challenges its players to imagine what it might be like to undergo the process of becoming something else. Designed to be played solo, Transformation has players journalling their hypothetical experiences of turning into a monster, taking on the role of someone who has unfortunately begun transforming into something they can’t possibly comprehend. As this unfortunate soul, players will imagine the physical, emotional and mental changes they might be undergoing, before taking note of them within their journal.

As a solo TRPG, Transformation is intended to be played alone, with players experiencing the game over the course of a single week. Using a deck of cards and the book for Transformation, players will determine the symptoms of their monstrous process and express them within their journal. After dividing a playing card deck into spades, clubs and all the red cards, the player then shuffles each of these decks and sets them aside. Each day, the player will draw a card from the two black decks, with clubs deciding which new changes the player character experiences and spades determining the kind of events they might encounter.

An image of the books for Transformation TRPG.

Throughout the tabletop RPG, players will be able to use two separate resources to sway things slightly in their characters’ favour – mementos and bonds. Whilst mementos remind the player character of their human life, bonds represent the relationships they have with others. Players can decide to spend mementos or bonds in order to push an event towards a better outcome. However, both of these resources are limited and can’t be easily obtained in the future, so much be used sparingly.

The horror TRPG has been inspired by several different examples of monster or transformation stories such as the aforementioned movies directed by David Cronenberg, such as 1986’s The Fly and Videodrome (1980). Other inspirations include The Thing (1982), Alien (1979) and Hellraiser (1987), as well as one of the original transformation stories Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, alongside several other tabletop RPGs like The Quiet Year by Avery Alder and Thousand-Year-Old Vampire by Tim Hutchings.

Wheels lists some of his favourite solo TRPGs.

Transformation was created by Absurdist Productions’ Will Thompson – an author, designer and layout artist who has previously worked on TRPGs such as Coyote and Crow – alongside David Thomas, who worked on development and playtesting, playtester Harley Raptor and illustrator Aster Kordona.

The Kickstarter campaign for Transformation is live until September 22nd, with a pledge of $12 (£11) getting backers a physical copy of the book in November. Alternatively, a digital version of the book is available for a pledge of $5 (£5).

About the Author

Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

Alex’s journey to Dicebreaker began with writing insightful video game coverage for outlets such as Kotaku, Waypoint and PC Gamer. Her unique approach to analysing pop culture and knack for witty storytelling finally secured her a forever home producing news, features and reviews with the Dicebreaker team. She’s also obsessed with playing Vampire: The Masquerade, and won’t stop talking about it.

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