Ars Magica/Mage-like free-form magic system
Powerful PCs whose moral choices matter
Gives me a reason to play gnomes and dwarves
Humans are thier own race, not just another race but without attribute bonues/penalties
Another thing I like is its modern setting. I've read about other indie RPGs which were well done, but they tend to pick niche settings I'm not interested in. Even if I'm not going to play the game, ÆL gives me a setting I'd enjoy thinking about... which really is what I want in an RPG.
If there's anything else you want to know about the game, just ask.
In the meantime you might find <a href="http://eyebeams.livejournal.com/341964.html">the designer's notes</a> give you more info about what we were going for. I should point out that they're not my notes but Malcolm's—we worked very closely throughout the production process, and he provided a level of editorial and developmental oversight that some indie games lack.