Spirit of the Century

Spirit of the CenturyFred Hicks and Rob Donoghue’s Spirit of the Century is a pulp adventure version of their FATE engine.

As Ken Hite puts it:

For those of you who long to fight gorilla assassins on the back of a bucking zeppelin, this is the game you’ve been waiting for.

The game revolves around the invocation of “Aspects,” which can be anything from “Daredevil Pilot” to “Girl Next Door” to “Slippery” to “Knife-Wielding Maniac.” Once brought into play the Aspect gives you a bonus on your Skill roll (Pilot, Charm, Evade, Stab). Also, during play, anybody can spend Fate Points to “tag” something (a bad guy, the setting, a zeppelin) with an Aspect for a bonus.

Reading this Actual Play account of a Lord of the Rings FATE conversion posted by sabbatregent at the RPGnet Forums really got me liking the sound of this system. I’ve recounted most of it in the following paragraphs:

Example encounter with a cave troll, along with several troll minions:

First Exchange:

Dain the Dwarf maneuvers to put an Off Balance aspect on the troll. His initial roll isn’t quite good enough but after invoking his ‘Give them nothing!’ aspect to raise the level of his result, he succeeds. Grain the Dwarf also maneuvers, this time to be able to directly attack the Troll’s Mace. Talion the Elf stays in the back, covering himself with arrows (he has the Shot on the Run stunt) while singing an old elvish song to place a [Light will prevail over darkness] mood aspect on the scene. Estel the Elf tries a crazy maneuver and she fails. Baldor the Human Loremaster makes a Minor Detail declaration: This breed of cave troll is particularly Frightened of Dwarven Battle cries. Though the difficulty is steep, he eventually succeed after invoking various aspects relevant stunts and aspects (Scholar – Historian stunt, As the Legend Tells aspect, Librarian of Gondor aspect). The tag is placed. The troll and its minions attack. The Loremaster suffers a Severe consequence and concedes, but declares a new aspect, Do Not Suffer the Darkness to Prevail, before falling unconscious to the ground and letting the troll minions take him prisoner.

Second Exchange:

Dain attacks and misses. Grain uses the three free tags (that is, he takes advantage of the fact that the Troll is Off Balance, makes a fearsome battle cry, and adds to that the inspiring elf chant) to directly attack the troll’s mace. Fortunately for him, he also has the Piledriver Stunt (Renamed: The Fist of Mahal) and the mace shatters. Talion continues chanting. Estel takes a consequence, but is able to wave it thanks to her Mithril Shirt.

Third Exchange:

Grain compels the Craven aspect of the troll minions (assesed previously) to make them flee in terror. Since the mace’s shattering proves his might, they panic and flee.

Several rounds later, the Troll refuses to concede, and then dies a horrible death.

Now they only need to rescue the Loremaster, who was taken hostage as part of his conceding!


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