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Thread: Spirit of the Century (SOTC)

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    Spirit of the Century (SOTC)

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    Anyone played this game yet? Thoughts? Opinions?
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    I have never played SotC but I have a very strong interest to do so. I am very big into pulp and steam-punk games and adventures. My GM owns the book and I borrowed it from his collection while he and his wife were at the hospital during the birth of their first child. I really like the character creation and the introduction of characters to each other. My GM said he liked ideas in it but would use them to enchance his prefered pulp system, Adventure!.
    Drink lad. Drink to the past and drink to the morrow's reckoning.
    Becoming a hero is simple. Do something dumb enough to be brave yet lucky enough to survive.

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    I have run character creation for 7 players (and 2 people through hasty character gen) and 1 session of SotC thus far. My players virtually unanimously enjoyed the experience and I would very much like to run the game again in the future with a smaller group (yes, I actually had 9 players and all of us were new to the game, which unfortunately was far too many to handle at once under the circumstances).

    I didn't run it using the game's setting, but was instead adopting the ruleset for a "western" game a la Deadlands.

    Myself and all the players had a lot of fun with the unique process of creating characters and learning about and picking "Aspects". Some people had a more difficult time than others adapting to the very non-standard design of the game, but once they got rolling, even the more troubled players commented that they thought it was really cool. Making a character in SotC actually requires you to think about who they are and how it will tie to the game and, as such, all the players felt more closely involved with their characters.

    Once characters are made and the game gets rolling, it is a very easy system to utilize and very unobtrusive. The most difficult thing for people to "grok" was the use of Fate Points and how they tied into Aspects. Also, as GM, it really helps to know your players Aspects thoroughly because your attention to and use of them is a large portion of the fuel that will drive the game forward. With characters each bearing 10 Aspects, I had 90 Aspects to try to remember and it was quite daunting. I think the overall number of Aspects per character could be whittled down to 5-7 and the game would benefit from being a little easier to manage by the GM (interestingly, the upcoming Dresden Files RPG *drool* will feature 7 Aspects per character if I recall correctly and character gen will be slightly tweaked).

    The other thing I noticed (which the guys at Evil Hat had mentioned in a Podcast at one time and said would be tweaked in future FATE-based games) is that the Stress Tracks are too long at default, potentially making conflicts really long-winded. They default to 5 boxes each, but Fred Hicks and others have said that it really should be more like 3 boxes. For the high-action, over-the-top pulps that SotC emulates though, 5 boxes might be okay.

    All in all, I am still really a fan of the system and I had just as much fun as my players guiding them through character gen. The game itself was fast and fun and full of open-ended opportunities thanks to Aspects. Aspects are one of my favorite RPG design elements ever. They are really a lot of fun to think about, design and implement in the game. Tying Fate Points so closely into them is also great fun. The idea is that you have to pay Fate Points to make your Aspects work in your favor but you get rewarded Fate Points when your Aspects cause you problems and thus make the game more interesting. Top-notch game design.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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    A while back we did a SotC version of the CoC module Masks of Nyarlathotep, and while we totally trampled on the spirit of Lovecraftian horror we had a blast anyway.

    I'll have to agree on the overlong stress tracks ... although in some ways they didn't seem long enough to me. I was one of the few mundane characters -- a 1920's gumshoe -- in a party with a Russian strongman, a ninja, a pilot with a superscience airplane, and an archaeologist-sorcerer whom Anubis had raised from the dead. In investigations I was the go-to guy; in our frequent combats, not so much.

    Otherwise, I think SotC is an excellent system. I'd love to transpose it to another genre or time period and run my own game ... with reduced stress boxes, and perhaps with upfront limits on what "Mysteries" can do. I look forward to "The Dresden Files" and eventually to the full FATE 3.0 system.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    I just ran across Starblazer, a FATE 3.0 Space Opera RPG. I ordered it. :-D

    http://www.cubicle-7.com/starblazer.htm

    The ideas in SOTC from Aspects to Zones in combat all read like genius game design. I am very excited to try it out.

    Thanks for your responses!
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    I just ran across Starblazer, a FATE 3.0 Space Opera RPG. I ordered it. :-D

    http://www.cubicle-7.com/starblazer.htm
    Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by trechriron View Post
    The ideas in SOTC from Aspects to Zones in combat all read like genius game design. I am very excited to try it out.

    Thanks for your responses!
    They are! Zones are somewhat reminiscent of "Areas" from the old Marvel Super Heroes RPG. Evil Hat has admitted as much. I loved them then and I love them now. A much more cinematic way to run combat than 5' grids.

    Aspects are just freakin' awesome.

    Please let us know your experiences when you get a chance to play it.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
    Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
    Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
    No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

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