Random Ramblings of a Mad Mad: What the heck is the Axiom System? Part 2 of 2


#2 in a 2 part series, for part 1 see: What the heck is the Axiom System? Part 1 of 2

I am obviously very well known for inventing compelling new worlds and settings, but I am less well known for my game systems, which I don’t think is entirely fair.  After all, I created the highly graphic and simple to understand 5 dot character sheet, as well to legendary interaction between Willpower, Humanity and Blood Pool which drove many a story and dramatic situation in Vampire: The Masquerade.

In roleplaying, the game system CREATES the world in many ways. Certainly the setting and the game system go hand in hand. This is as true for the Axiom system as it was for the Storytelling system.

My goal is still to create a game system which is SIMPLE, but now I aim to push it even further. To make character creation as simple as picking 5 cards. It takes only minutes, yet still has enough depth and interest that someone could spend a whole evening picking out and developing their character

The game system was inspired by many different games. Just like with King of Tokyo, the dice system was inspired by Yahtzee, the infamous dice game. The ideas is you get to roll and reroll dice to get the results you need, but there is more than one KIND of result. You can go for a high score, numbers, or you can go for Brainz, and you can either avoid or collect Chaw.

Chaw and Brainz are not only symbols on the dice, but game tokens as well. And this was inspired by any number of board games. It has always puzzled me that RPG’s didn’t use game token more, they are a great way to show temporary advantages and disadvantages and can add a great deal of drama to a situation.

There are seven main design concepts to the Axiom system:

• Effortless character creation. By Using the core rule, “Just Pick Five Cards”, character creation is so fast and simple, players don’t need to be taught the rules before they can pick cards. The narrator simply tells them, pick cards based on the name, the art and the description, I’ll teach you the rules, step-by-step, later on.  This makes it the ultimate pick-up game,each ID card is based around a mythical Archetype or a classic storytelling trope. You can make a character in minutes (“Just pick five cards”), and each persona will be interesting and compelling.

Almost no charts and very little to look up during normal play. Looking up charts and rules takes a lot of time during game play; it  is a traditional part of Roleplaying, but let’s face it, being forced to do this all the time distracts from game play and storytelling. Which is why so many modern games have become so simple and short, yet going too simple can take away a lot of the fun of the game play, which is why we have transferred data from Charts, onto the ID cards. You simple have to look at cards and all the skills, stats and other information from the charts is right there, convenient and simple.

We have separated rules and setting into two different books. You can find short, concise rules in Axioms book for easy reference, and get immersed into the insanely detailed world through the beautifully illustrated “Field Manual”.  Whole goal is to have a big, beautiful world book with no rules, so the players can explore the world without getting distracted by the mechanical gameplay details. The Field Manual is fully written as a book that is integral part of its universe, written by the characters within it so that it can provide maximum immersion.

• System is intended to be FAR MORE strategic and tactical than most roleplaying systems, which are all about simply making rolls. We aim to  turn  every roll into  an interesting situation,  like in a board game, not a simple Y or N chance proposition. A roll isn’t just a luck thing, a random way to find out what happens, every roll is a series of decisions that can potentially change everything down the line. Axiom is dynamic and versatile.

The Axiom System is all about super simple, but elegant, rules. Dice rolling is all about managing RISK and there are a number of factors that play into every roll beyond success and failure. Do you go for Brainz and try to avoid Chaw? Do just try to rack up a big score or do you worry about those Hazard dice, so you can avoid hurting yourself or a friend.

Using Axiom it is very easy for a Narrator to run with no preparation, and for new players to join up in just a few minutes. Everything is designed to make it easy for a Narrator to just… MAKE THINGS UP. After all this is the joy of roleplaying, exploring the imagination. Rules should not only NOT get in the way, but make it easy for the Narrator to come up with new situations and stories. In this system the Narrator can just pick 7 random ID Cards and instantly make up a new villain.

Simple math only. This game isn’t about complicated formulas or difficult math, but it does has some fun simple math. Addition and subtraction, something anyone can do in their head.

Can take many different forms, infinitely expandable, there’s a rule for everyone. Axiom is meant to be split into modules, you can pick any modules and rules you like and play the way you want.    We plan to expand upon this broadly…   Axiom is a great arena in which to experiment and play. Just pick and choose which Axioms to use!

Axiom is my masterpiece. I’m really proud of it. I hope you take the time to check it out, its going to change roleplaying forever. I am convinced of it.

Mark Rein-Hagen