Today I will present you the review of Spirit of the Century, the pulp pick-up role-playing game created by Robert Donoghue, Fred Hicks and Leonard Balsera originally published by Evil Hat Productions and published in Spain by Ediciones conBarba.
This game tas us to the universe of the serial film adventures and pulp magazines of the decades of the 20s and 30s of the 20th century, and have been a great influence on the subsequent development of films such as those of the saga of the archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones and comic books like Planetary by British author Warren Ellis.
As for the game engine authors chose the Fate system, developed jointly by Donoghue and Hicks taking the Fudge system created by Steffan OSullivan in 1992 as a basis. This system uses, as all role-players being in the scene from some time know, special six-sided dices (two sides marked with + sign, two sides with - sign and 2 sides blank) which can be purchased in specialised shops, publishers websites or through online purchase (to see a list of links where you may purchase them you may check Demonio Sonriente website).
The protagonists of Spirit of the Century are, like their counterparts of the pulp magazines, out of the ordinary heroes, so to reflect that the book devotes much of its nearly 400 pages to offer various possibilities for players to create characters suiting them and able to face all the dangers and situations referees can imagine. The elements that allow us to customize the characters (apart from those can be as typical as Skills or Fate Points) are the Aspects and Stunts.
Aspects basically consist of sentences that help define issues such as the character's personality and background, its use during game sessions helps the character to get Fate Points (with which they can influence the course of action in the adventure) and allow the referee to get ideas to use in his adventures and thus adapting them to the characters (surely aspects as "the Eye of Anubis" or "Mysteries of the Orient" can be a great source of ideas).
Stunts allow characters to perform actions that go beyond the limits of normal skills or acquire objects or personal gadgets impossible to obtain otherwise, a couple of examples of stunts would be The Amazing Jet Pack (Personal Gadget) and unusual skills with weapons (One Shot Left, Tricky Shot and Two Gun Joe) of Jet Black, one of the sample characters of the game.
The referee also has enough information, both at system and background levels of the era in which the game takes place (the early 20s of last century) as well as tips for writing adventures with the necessary pulp touches and a brief look at the secrets of the Century Club, the association of the characters that are part that can serve as the central nexus of the adventures that the referee design for the team, but that does not stop players and referees to invent their own adventures using the style and genre stereotypes.
In order to finish I recommend Spirit of the Century if you like classic adventure flavor, I'm sure that among you be worthy emulators of our favorite archaeologist and other pulp characters willing to prevent Der Blitzmann, Gorilla Khan or Doctor Methuselah achieve their nefarious purposes.
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