The core conception of the Axiom System is a story-driven engine with fun and elegant rules; its complexities are front-loaded and not piled on at the back end, with a lot of exceptions, mini-systems, and charts. While the dice-rolling conventions are unconventional relative to most RPGs, once you know them, everything just flows.
In Axiom, the dice are not just a way to determine whether you succeed or fail. A number of factors and possible factors are at play in every roll. Will you gain Sigils? Signs? Will you beat the Hazard number? Do you reroll those low numbers or will you play it safe? Will you use a Feat from one of your cards? All of this makes each and every every roll (and reroll) a compelling decision moment in the game.
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The Axiom System also warps what a turn can be, and thus makes the flow of the story more interactive and surprising. By deconstructing the turn, we made a unique initiative system that not only unfolds the story organically, but helps players feel more engaged. The drama of the scene builds step-by-step over the course of the turn, and having to wait to see what happens can really rachet up the tension. In most Axiom games, you have two kinds of tokens you can spend (the names vary from game to game), but you can also spend “boosts,” which players can accrue during rolls.
One of the advantages of this system is that it recognizes the fact that people have many different goals in mind during play, and thus many different ways to both measure and achieve success. Under Axiom, it’s not about simply making a roll, and most every player decision carries risk and can potentially change the game and story later on.
Another advantage: While you can make an Axiom System character in minutes (just pick a hand of cards), each persona is as interesting and compelling as you desire. Axiom games are not only the ultimate pick-up games, but also great venues for experimentation and improvisation with the hobby itself, as Axiom allows a given table to pick and choose which Axioms (core rules) everyone wants to play with.
We have worked for years on creating a fluid and interactive storytelling system that remains as elegant and fun as the cards themselves; a system so clean and easy to learn and play that a new Narrator really doesn’t need to know much about the rules. Indeed, one could say that the rules and the players nearly run themselves under Axiom. The only thing the Narrator really needs to worry about is… the STORY.