This is our pride and joy. Most of the games that FMEI will be releasing will utilize the Advanced Story Point System.
With ASPS, we’ve stripped down the setting-specific rules and made a core engine that can be used for any game world you desire. We’ll be releasing the core ASPS engine soon, allowing people to buy the engine, design their own games, and let us promote their work.
The beauty of the ASPS engine is that it’s flexible without either watering down the game into becoming generic, or so technical that it’s a chore to use. The creator selects what attributes to use, what parts of the character are important, and how they interconnect with the core engine. Once those choices are made, the designer decides how technical any given aspect needs to be. When this is done, the engine takes over, your sheet is ready, and you’re able to play.
Because the core engine is the same across any setting, characters can shift from one setting to the other with no change to the character sheet at all. Even if the games use different attributes, different abilities, or different components, they all tie into the same engine, meaning that a character from one game can walk into the other game instantly, and be played with no alterations.
The game also scales instantly. One player can decide to play a normal, everyday human, another can play a superhero, and another can play a dragon, and the game engine doesn’t care. This is because the attributes used aren’t an indication of ‘how good you are at this thing’ – it’s an indication of how much you feel that attribute is important to your character’s persona.
To use an example from the game everyone knows – there, you can have a Dexterity from 3 to 18, with 3 being ‘clumsy’, and 18 being ‘dextrous’. In ASPS, that doesn’t follow. 3 would mean ‘Dexterity means very little to my character image’, and 18 would mean ‘Dexterity is incredibly important to my character image’. Neither tells you how dextrous the character is. Just how important it is that you can use your dexterity in a scene.
So what determines how dextrous you are? Usually, your character’s Concept or Background. If you write down your character is a Skilled Juggler or Acrobat or something else on your sheet, that will inform the game master your character is dextrous. You’re always considered to have the skills that make sense for your background or concept. If your background or concept applies to an action you’re doing, you get a bonus. Your Difficulty to perform an action is lower. And, usually, you don’t need to roll at all.
Your concept is ‘Juggler’ and you’re juggling? No roll. You’re good. Oh, you need to do something that requires incredible hand-eye coordination? You’re probably good. You might not even need to make a roll. Now, if you
want to show off just how good you are, you want a high attribute. If it’s more of a background thing? No high attribute is needed. The presumption is always, that you’re as good as is reasonable for your character to be. Also, you will have the skills, income, and tools that would be appropriate for your background or concept. If more granularity is needed for this, the designer (who is probably your game master) will add it to the game.
A character might have: Fireball – Inflict Ongoing Escalating Burn Condition. In another setting, the character might have: Fireball – Spend 1 Story Point – Inflicts 1 Physical Wound and the Burnt Condition to everyone in a 10-meter radius; Range: 100 meters. The first is more narrative. The second is more crunchy. Both are considered ‘correct’ and can be used. It all depends on what the designer or game master wants for their particular setting.
Crossovers! The fun thing about the ASPS engine is that you can run crossovers without having to change a thing. Each game functions on its own shell, but since it uses the same core engine, you can simply move your character from one game or setting to the next without changing the sheet. Yeah, you’re going to have your own unique abilities, your own unique attributes, you may have races or classes or nations or any of that other stuff – but that’s the backdrop to detail what your character can do, and will allow you to play in any other ASPS setting almost perfectly as-is.
So, every ASPS product you get expands on your options, without having to deal with bloat. You’re not going to get a dozen new abilities or races which your players must-have, but you will be given ideas and options which you can steal liberally for your own campaigns.
Fun fact – ASPS will include ASPS/D – a diceless version of the engine! With this ruleset, you can play without the need to roll any shiny math rocks.