A downloadable SRD

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What is this?

This is the System Resource Document for Aspire: a framework for designing narrative-driven TTRPGs featuring turning points that change both the stakes and the rules.

The basic principles of the Aspire SRD were first developed for my games Her Odyssey, Untitled Moth Game, and You, Beyond the Pale. I’ve converted these principles into this setting-agnostic System Reference Document so you can make your own games with the same system!

How does Aspire work?

The core mechanics of Aspire are simple: The player has a deck of cards and a set of dice. The player draws a card, reads the corresponding prompt, then rolls dice to try to meet or exceed the face value of the card, which will determine success or failure against the challenge that card represents. And at various points, the player may draw special cards that represent turning points that change the rules, including cards that end the game.

...what kind of turning points, you ask? What kinds of prompts? What kinds of cards and what kinds of dice? That's all for you to decide!

Aspire can support a game on its own or work with another SRD. Games built on the Aspire framework are especially well-suited to tell stories about venturing into the social unknown, and navigating a world which holds both hazards and opportunities. I've only used it to write solo journaling RPGs so far, but I'd love to see it used to create multiplayer games, strategic RPGs, or something else!

How does attribution work?

The Aspire SRD is released under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license, which means you are free to use the contents of this SRD to make your own game as long as you provide proper credit. To do so, copy the text below into your game:

This work is based on the Aspire SRD (https://mirror-lock.itch.io/aspire-srd) by S. Kaiya J. / Mirror-lock Atelier, and licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

The Aspire game jam!

The Aspire SRD Jam ran from May 1 2023 to July 1 2023. Feel free to browse the games that were submitted to the jam for inspiration!


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Aspire-SRD.pdf 202 kB
Built With Aspire - Logos.zip 146 kB


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It's great to learn about the design principles behind Kaiya's games. I especially enjoyed seeing the mechanical-mathematical recommendations of dice vs card values since I'm still learning to observe that logic in games.

Thanks for your kind words!

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Hey, looks like you're getting some attention in the Youtubes!

Amazing, thank you for the heads up!