Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Spirit of the Century

I am a HUGE sucker for action-serial style pulp. I love the Indiana Jones films, as well as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and the Mummy films. As a kid, I loved Disney's Tale Spin, and still would if the dang furries hadn't ruined Don Karnage for anyone who doesn't want to see a cartoon fox drawn anatomically correct. I chose a career in museums, in part because I could see myself winding up like Marcus Brodie in my later years, and getting lost in my own museum actually sounds appealing.

Also, remember that time when the Fiancee and I went as alt-history air pirates for Halloween?

Yes, that is Black Mario over my shoulder.

You get the picture.

Now that we have established my love for pulp, it should be no surprise that I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy of Spirit of the Century when I saw it on the shelf at Powell's last weekend. SotC bills itself as "A Pulp Pickup Roleplaying Game". It uses the FATE roleplaying system, which is highly customizable, dice light, and roleplaying heavy. This makes it simultaneously easy and quick to pick up and play, but likely not accessible for someone new to roleplaying games. While SotC provides a basic rules metric, it is on the players and the GM to come up with their own character types, skills and other unique characteristics. It is definitely not for someone hesitant about jumping into roleplay with both feet.

The framing premise behind SotC is that the PCs are all part of the Century Club, a group of extraordinary individuals born on January 1, 1901. Set in the roaring 20s after the PCs have come of age, the members of the Century Club attempt to better the world by seeking out new knowledge, defending the march of progress and battling the forces of darkness who would seek to disrupt it. They use Science! (complete with exclamation point) as their weapon of choice--whether it take the form of jet packs, ray guns, mechanical know-how, or a PC playing a talking gorilla, escaped from a research facility.

I presented the idea of dabbling in some SotC sessions to my regular D&D group on Monday night. We had just completed the final regular game night of our long-running campaign, and determined that it will be mid to late summer before we are all free to indulge in a weekend grand finale blowout. Since we all like gaming together, everyone seemed excited to try something that presents a change of pace, setting and mechanics. We have a character creation session scheduled for two weeks from now. I'll keep you posted on how it goes.


  1. Sounds like a cool game. Back when I RP'ed, we would do that kind of stuff from time to time.

    1. It's kind of amazing how just shifting games can give everyone a new sense of energy and excitement. I just hope people are willing to come back to finish out the D&D campaign later this summer!


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