NOTE: This is the Classic Revised Edition, not the new Plus Edition, also available on this site
Precis Intermedia brings this fabulous storytelling system (originally published by Hubris Games) back in PDF format.
FROM THE ORIGINAL BACK COVER:
Any game. Any story.
You're holding the cutting edge of roleplaying rules. The Story Engine is designed top to bottom for "Story games" without the vestiges of wargaming that shackle so many other "Storytelling" games. 've included Story Bones, the introductory version of the rules to help you get started as quickly and easily as possible.
Story Engine uses relative instead of linear scales, fitting everything from superheroes and high fantasy to film noir and murder mysteries. The rules adapt seamlessly to any genre, giving you fluid, fun games that focus on the story and not the rules.
Action is resolved as whole scenes through a bidding process; players spend their resources to increase their chances, turning crucial moments into dramatic scenes.
"A fusion of dice and diceless Role-Playing, the Story Engine provides an excellent balance between both of those systems of gaming. Cinematic in origin, each part of the ongoing campaign is broken down into scenes and takes, all of which are designed to keep the story flowing smoothly." --Shadis Magazine, March 98
Story Engine can be used with any game world, setting or story. Story Engine comes with the complete Maelstrom "plug-in" for use with the Maelstrom world. Also includes:
- Complete game rules, including the introductory Story Bones rules
- Six Guns & Whiskey: a Plug-in for games in the Wild West
- The Maelstrom Plug-in for use with the Maelstrom Storytelling world
- The Airship Murders: a murder mystery set aboard an airship
- Dublin's Tomb: a dungeon adventure for high fantasy games
- Fiction: four short works set in different genres
More information about Story Engine:
Story Engine came into existence in 1996 as the rules system for Maelstrom Storytelling. It was redesigned for universal play in 1999. One of the first games to truly handle roleplaying as a story game, it was the first set of rules that was "Scene-based" -- an idea that has become more and more popular as story games escape the confines of "round-based" rules. Story Engine also further evolved the mechanics of "adjective-based" characters.
Storytelling is one of the oldest living traditions, continuing today in the form of theatre, literature, television and film. Roleplaying games evolved their own version of storytelling by piecing together a tale based on the outcome of dice rolls and player choices in the form of a game. Story Engine breathes new life into this multi-authored game format, infusing it with the fluidity of oral tradition while liberating it from the confines of round-by-round game mechanics.
Collaboration is the heart of Story Engine; narrators and players work together to tell the story of their characters. Players pool their dice when they team up, and work with the narrator to describe the outcome of scenes based on a success range. In Story Engine, action is resolved as scenes. Each scene advances the story, framed by the goals of the characters without pre-set lengths or segmented rounds. Players can spend resources and bid with opponents to increase their die pool, and even insert sub-scenes in the form of Quick Takes. Since scenes are resolved as a whole with one large roll of the dice, action moves quickly to ensure a fluid story and fast pace.
Characters in Story Engine are written using adjectives and phrases, creating unique roles with real personality. Called Descriptors and Traits, these adjectives are used to determine the die pool and can be invoked to gain advantages when they suit the scene. Like a novel the different elements of the character all contribute to the story -- even flaws and foibles can be used this way in the form of Quirks.