Last Friday I finally got a chance to try out the Spirit of the Century rules in the first session of Renegade Horizon, a game set in our gamemaster’s homebrew world of Aria, and really enjoyed it. The game mechanics for SotC have proven quick and simple but with a depth that both encourages and rewards creativity and narration. However none of us were overly interested in the default setting of SotC – we wanted a world of high action but without the pulpiness of giant gorillas flying biplanes.
Because of the genre-mashing involved, it’s difficult to give a one-sentence summary of Aria. The closest RPG comparisons I can come up with would have to be Privateer Press’s Iron Kingdoms, which they describe as Full Metal Fantasy, and Misguided Games’ dieselpunk game Children of the Sun. A fantasy world at his heart, it does have some basic technology. The most advanced branch of science is aonics – the use of sigils and runes to bind minor “demons” to objects to create a specific effect. This new field has opened new avenues of technology such as limb replacement or airships. In addition men have learned that inscribing certain sigils onto themselves allows them access to a form of sorcery. However such sorcerers must constantly fight a losing battle against the bound demons for control and thus have been labeled heretics by the rest of the civilized world.