From the introduction:
In writing A&E it was my intent to assemble a comprehensive role playing game that kept detail, accuracy, and ease of use in fine balance at all times; highly realistic without being over complex. It is a generic rules system but confined to the Fantasy genre so as to make no compromise in breadth or scope. These rules were developed and refined over twenty years of actual play and more than a dozen individual campaigns. Features include:
In-Depth Character Creation: Characters are generated as fully-formed individuals with their own professional backgrounds and personal histories, starting play at one of 5 power levels ranging from common, everyday folk to mighty demigods as called for by the GM’s campaign vision. 30 playable races are included with rules for creating your own custom hybrids, and over 100 individualized special abilities and weaknesses help make each character unique.
Multiple Progression Options: Characters can be mainly static in ability; gaining new skills slowly through training or a GM reward based system can be used to escalate character ability at a desired rate with no extra bookkeeping.
Simple, Far-Reaching Game Mechanics: Nearly any action a character might think to attempt or situation they may find themselves in is covered by straightforward, easy to use rules found within, from environmental hazards to acts of intimidation and bribery; from climbing the social ladder into kingship to founding a religion and ascending into godhood.
Modular Rules Setup: Numerous optional rules allow the GM to fine-tune the experience for their own style of play and preferred level of complexity.
Detailed, Customizable Combat System: Combat rules are extensive and precise while requiring a minimum of die rolls and table checks to keep play moving along. Included are two mass combat systems (basic and advanced) to allow for major battles on land, naval combat for engagements at sea, and rules for conducting siege warfare.
Expansive Magic System: An elemental magic system, suitable to any campaign type, that includes 5 realms of magic with over 1,000 spells plus detailed rules for both alchemy and item enchantment. High magic, low magic, or somewhere in-between, your preference is fully supported and optional rules allow you to make spell casters as ubiquitous or unique as you see fit.
In Depth Economic Rules: Ample and easy to follow systems help you develop in-game economies and handle treasures. Thorough equipment lists, rules on fortress construction, professional hirelings, recruiting and supplying armies, as well as handling player-owned, income generating estates and goods trading are covered in detail.
Beastiary: Full statistics are offered for dozens of fantasy monsters to interact and do battle with.