SotC’s Designers on SotC’s Flaws

Over on Independent Insurgency, Rob Donoghue and Fred Hicks talk about Spirit of the Century.

I found it interesting that one of their topics was flaws of SotC.  There are two flaws key they single out:

Spirit of the Century drags in convention games during character creation, due to vast stunt lists.

Combats can drag due to the stress track.

So, anyone play Awesome Adventures?  I had those issues too, and designed a game around solving them.


7 thoughts on “SotC’s Designers on SotC’s Flaws

  1. Robert Bohl says:


    What’s Awesome Adventures?

  2. Willow says:

    I’m glad you asked! Awesome Adventures is my own Fate 3.0 game, featuring a lighter, streamlined version of the rules.

    A description and preview are over on Lulu:

  3. Robert Bohl says:

    HOw does the hack work? From the description there it seems like the rules are a bit stripped down, is that so? What are the rules mods in brief?

  4. Willow says:

    Good questions Rob.

    My biggest design goals with AA were to solve these very problems that the guys point out. I wanted chargen to be faster, and conflicts to be faster. Along the way, I decided I also wanted a ‘universal’ game. (It certainly won’t run “anything”, but it runs action adventure very well.)

    For character creation, I took out stunts. No stunts means faster character creation. With Awesome Adventures, I can teach the rules, have people make characters, come up with an adventure, and run it to its conclusion in four hours. I could not do that with Spirit of the Century.

    There are “stuntless” rules out there, and the guys talked about this a bit on your podcast, but they essentially still rely on the existence of a stunt-list, and allow one to invoke aspects for fixed stunts. So stuntless play still has stunts, you just get the stunts differently, and you still need to reference the stunts! I wanted a set of rules where one could come up with special funky abilities without having to pour over the rules to do it. If you want to play an unstoppable badass, you take the “Unstoppable Badass” aspect.

    For conflicts, I took out the stress track completly, and reworked consequences a little bit. There’s no more grinding down the stress. Any roll that succeeds can and will inflict a consequence, which means that each roll is important and the conflict kicks off with a bang, rather than feeling like an exercise in chipping away hit points.

    Thirdly, I streamlined and simplified the rules wherever possible, keeping them focused on speedy play and aspects and the difficulty ladder. Spirit of the Century has a lifting weight table for Might, for example. When I’m playing, I’d rather just eyeball it and say, “gee, that sounds like a Great difficulty weight.” That’s a general design philosophy that carried out through the text. There shouldn’t be any need to reference the text during the game.

    Also, there’s a section on GM advice, (some, but not most taken from SotC), and a section on player advice, designed to help your adventures be their awesomest.

  5. Robert Bohl says:

    That sounds really cool and close to my preferred style of play in many ways. Is this available free somewhere? Are you intending to publish it?

  6. Willow says:

    Actually, it’s recently published. I provided a Lulu link up above in my first comment; the book is $20 and the PDF is just $5. I hope you enjoy it; I’ve had a lot of fun with it!

  7. Willow,

    I hope it’s okay, I’ve posted about AA over on thereisnoscreen ( I like what you’re doing, and I did indeed buy a copy! I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but I’m working on a SotC-lite “Kung-Fu Cookery and Anything Goes Martial Arts” and I may be stealing some of your mods!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: