Spirit of the Century

Spirit of the Century
RPG published by
Evil Hat Productions
Rule System FATE System
Authors Rob Donoghue, Fred Hicks, and Leonard Balsera
First Publication 2006

Spirit of the Century or "SotC" is a Pulp action Pick-up role playing game by Evil Hat. It is intended primarily for quick one-shots or a couple of serials, although nothing is stopping you from playing whole campaigns with it. It uses the third iteration of the FATE System - SotC has been written as a sort of playtest for the third edition (finally coming out after the company finished the Dresden Files RPG).

The core rules revolve around Aspects which are as much what your character can do as who he is. Examples of Aspects would include 'Fedora and Whip' for Indiana Jones or 'Always in the nick of time', 'Sucker for a pretty face', 'Man of Steel' and so on. These Aspects give you a bonus when activated with Fate points, or earn you a Fate point when they get you in trouble, so it's just as good to have bad Aspect as it is to have good ones. Everyone and everything, including the environment can have Aspects, so a player can use a Fate point to activate the bridge's "Crumbling mortar" Aspect and make the pursuing goons fall into the abyss.

This game plays into the Pulp genre in such a way as to promote EXTREME plots. Time traveling aliens from Atlantis are here to steal Nikola Tesla's Death ray while gorillas armed with Tommy guns raid a museum to steal the ancient artifact of Klizgorr'rb and ninjas rain from the sky in a blaze of black fury and the heroes fight undead Prussian soldiers with jetpacks on top of a Zeppelin...which is ON FIRE. The game gives many advice on how to keep the action smooth and running - a famous example suggesting that if the players get stuck on discovering clues or don't know what to do next, just throw ninjas at them, something is bound to come up and the action doesn't stall.

SotC received the Silver Ennie award for best rules, Indie RPG of the year 2008.

Its mechanics have inspired many recent games, from homebrews to high-opera Houses of the Blooded or Flash Gordon Starblazer Adventures to crunchy sci-fi Diaspora.

Brown-nosing by CriticsEdit

Indie RPG writers, reviewers, and neckbeards love to go on and on about how awesome SotC and the FATE 3.0 system is. However, these are people who read the rules about games more often than they actually play the games, so the validity of all this sunshine being blown up their ass remains to be seen.

Aside from the "zomg, this is the best RPG ever!" generic praise -- which this game has been getting more than the usual flavor-of-the-month RPGs -- one reoccurring point of praise is how much fun character creation is. "Character creation alone can be more fun than a regular session of most other games" is often heard in reviews and on /tg/.

Useful LinksEdit