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LibrariaNPC's picture
Dishonored using 7th Sea
Dishonored, video game hack, setting hack

The editor in chief for the blog I write for is a huge fan of the game Dishonored, and eats up anything from the franchise. When he and a few mutual friends were lamenting that there isn't a tabletop RPG for playing in the world of Dishonored, I took it as a bit of a challenge and wrote up two hacks for powers. One of the hacks is for Fate Core (the narrative elements of the game let you do just about anything), while the other is for 7th Sea Second Edition (because so much just fits together in these two games).

Keep in mind that I wrote most of this in the middle of the night without anyone calling me out on anything, so I'm expecting errors and balance concerns. I was pulling from both Glamour and Sorte for inspiration here, and I wanted to avoid the ranks (as only Glamour has that, and it's just odd when compared to everything else).

I'm up for suggestions here, so feel free to fire away! My next goal is to start getting the rest of the setting notes squared away (new backgrounds and changing the Nations around). I'll gladly share what I put together if people are interested.


Oh, and mods, if this is better suited elsewhere, please let me know!


Outsider’s Gifts (New Sorcery)

These are literal gifts from the Outsider. You have done something to get the Outsider’s attention, and he has granted you his mark and gifts.

The Outsider’s Mark appears on the left hand of those chosen for his gifts. Any time a power is used, the mark will glow with light similar to a candle.

There is no real “catch” to the power; the Outsider has found you interesting, and hopes you will continue to do interesting things. There have been some that have done great things with the power, and others that have done atrocities. It is entirely up to you and your goals. Some who have recieved this gift have mentioned that they no longer truly feel human, while others are driven mad by their connection to the Void. Some hear voices or see things that are not in our world, while others become drunk with power or become obsessed with The Outsider.*

It should be noted that some view cavorting with the Outsider to be the greatest of heresies. Most churches, especially the Abbey of the Everyman, will execute a practitioner of these powers on sight, and some strive to find ways to neutralize these powers to better protect members of society.

How It Works: Each time you buy Sorcery, gain two Minor Gifts and one Major Gift. You must have the Minor Gift in order to get the Major Gift. These powers are not everything offered by the Outsider, but rather a collection that has been seen by multiple people offered his gifts; it is believed that the nature of the powers tie in with the personality of the one who recieves these gifts. More powers can be created by the GM (or players with GM approval) as needed, but as there are rumors of creating objects of power and methods of immortality, the possibilities are endless.

This Sorcery requires action on behalf of the character to improve. Often, this includes finding a Shrine dedicated to the Outsider or by finding specific runes branded with his mark. It takes more than study and practice to truly master these powers.

Spend a Hero Point to activate your Gift.

  • Dark Vision:
    • Minor: Spend a hero point to see in total darkness. If you are working in a dark area, add +1 bonus die to your pool. This is active for a scene.
    • Major: You gain all of the benefits of the Minor talent, but you may also see through walls. This remains active for a scene.
  • Blink:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point to instantly (and invisibly) move to an unobstructed area within eyesight (without aid). This movement does not cost a Raise, but when used in conjunction with a plausible Intent, add +1 Bonus Die.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point to move up to any distance you can see, including with aid (such as a spyglass). When used in conjunction with a plausible action, gain +2 Bonus Dice.
  • Possession:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise. You are able to possess a small animal (dog, rat, etc) for the scene, but you may end it by spending a Raise. If your target would somehow be beneficial to your actions, add 2 Bonus Dice to your pool.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise. You are able to temporarily possess human beings. You are not able to do any “complex” actions (lockpicking, medicine, duelist manuevers), nor do things that you normally could not do (possessing a Porte mage and opening a blessure). Should you use this ability to do any action that should net you a Corruption point, add an additional point to your Corruption total.
  • Bend Time:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point. You are considered to have +3 Raises when determining who is taking actions for the remainder of the combat scene. These raises cannot be spent.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point to temporary stop time. You may spend all of your remaining actions as though you were acting alone. Your raises no longer count toward any Consequences or Opportunities counting down.
      • I.e. You are in a burning building. The beams will collapse on 3 Raises remaining (Consequence), and the Opportunity of a signed Letters of Mark will burn on 4 Raises. A villain has an action on 4 Raises, and you have 5 Raises (your party has a total of 10 Raises). On your action, you use Bend Time to stop time. You spend one Raise to grab the Letters of Mark, a second Raise to create an opportunity to allow your allies an easy escape by opening the windows, and your third Raise is to leave the room. The party is now down to 7 Raises, you are no longer in the room, and it is now someone else's turn.
        • (edit: I realized it was clunky before; I made a tweak to try to make it better).
  • Devouring Swarm:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a swarm of rats (or similar vermin) to your general vicinity. They do not obey you, but they will leave you alone. Until the end of the scene, they will do what rats do: scurry, eat, and frighten people who hate rats.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a swarm of rats (or similar vermin) to your general vicinity. While they are present, gain gain the Rat Swarm maneuver. Otherwise, they will act like normal rats.
      • Rat Swarm: You order the rats to attack a target, and they follow suit. This attack automatically deals one dramatic wound. If used against a Brute Squad, reduce its Strength by 3. This may only be used once per scene per target, and you may repeat the action multiple times consecutively.
        • I.e. You are up against a Knight Inquisitor, a group of Inquisitor Brutes, and two Mercenaries. With five Raises, you may target each of them with Rat Swarm once, and still have a Raise left over. You cannot attack any of them again with Rat Swarm until the next scene.
  • Windblast:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a gust of wind to push something or someone. Targets pushed by this lose one Raise from their actions as they are knocked back. If they hit an object (movable or otherwise) they take 1 Wound.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a major gust of wind. Any target affected by this automatically takes one wound, in addition to wounds caused by hitting an object or falling. You may spend additional Raises to hit multiple targets that are in the same vicinity. Brute Squads count as one target.
  • Vitality:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point to negate wounds you have taken by three times your Resolve trait.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point to automatically heal one Dramatic Wound.
  • Blood Thirst:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point after harming a target. Your next attack deals damage equal to your Brawn plus the base damage of the attack (normally number of Raises spent or Weaponry skill).
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point after defeating a Brute Squad. You deal damage equal to that Brute Squad’s undamaged Strength to your next target. (edit: realized that weakening squads down to 1 and using this was useless. Added "undamaged" to the list to make it more worthwhile; this way, if a swordsman defeats a Strength 5 squad, they have 5 damage going to their next target).
  • Agility:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point to add +3 bonus dice to an Athletics roll.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point when rolling a skill with Finesse. Turn a number of dice equal to your Finesse trait to 10s.
  • Shadow Kill:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point when attacking an unsuspecting target. The target is unable to negate this damage via mundane means (parry, riposte, etc) due to the supernatural nature of the attack.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point when attacking an unsuspecting target. Automatically deal a Dramatic Wound as well as any other wounds you would deal. If you spend a second Hero Point, you may gain the first effect as well.
  • Shadow Assassin:
    • Minor: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a group of Assassins. They are a brute squad with Strength 4.
    • Major: Spend a Hero Point and a Raise to summon a group of Assassins. They are a brute squad with Strength 6.
    • Major: After summoning your Assassins, you may spend a Hero Point to grant them access to any of your powers for one action.



*: I asked Harvey Smith about this, and his response consisted of what I wrote, but added the information on that line. 

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"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

By the by, if anyone is curious, here's why I thought 7th Sea was a good fit:

1) Combat is effective and matches the feel of the game. When fighting against most enemies, they are easy to defeat, but in large numbers they destroy you. The general foes just scream "Brute Squad" to me.
Bigger foes, after being weakend (see below) also can be defeated easily, but still have dramatic events. How is this bad?

2) Villains. As I was re-playing the game thanks to this conversation, I realized that everything you do in game is attacking the Influence of the Spymaster. Each assassination (or non-lethal approach) erodes the Spymaster's influence in some way. It seemed rather fitting considering the way the Vodacce princes are in 7th Sea.

3) The rules just beg to be hacked. There's a great deal of potential in this new 7th Sea, and it is much easier to hack than the first edition. It's a shame that it's not available for CC or OGL, but it's flexible enough to handle things without being too generic.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

I'm currently waiting to see if I can get a copy of the Dunwall Archives so I can continue on with the rest of the setting information (might be a while; in the process of packing and moving), but I have a few things that I'm working on putting together.


  • Gristol (Capital of the Empire)
    • +1 Brawn or Panache
  • Morley
    • +1 Wits or +1 Resolve
  • Tyvia
    • +1 Wits or +1 Brawn
  • Serkonos
    • +1 Finesse or +1 Panache
  • Pandyssia
    • The Pandyssian Continent is believed to be uninhabitated by most. Those who do claim it is inhabited believe it is filled with primitive heathens.
      • If the GM would allow the option fo playing a Pandyssian, I'd assume +1 Finesse or +1 Resolve to account for the incessant hunting expected on the continent (and to survive the various creatures one would face).


  • Lord Protector
    • Quirk: Earn a Hero Point when you defend (or avenge) the person you are sworn to protect.
    • Advantages: Connection, Patron
    • Skills: Aim, Athletics, Empathy, Notice, Weaponry
  • City Guard
    • Quirk: Gain a Hero Point when you stop a crime in a properly legal manner.
    • Advantages: Comraderie, Team Player
    • Skills: Aim, Brawl, Intimidate, Notice, Weaponry
  • Gaffer (Whale Hunter)
    • As "Whaler" background, without nationality restrictions.
  • Factory Worker
    • Quirk: Earn a Hero Point when your knowledge of factories (machinery, products, etc) is used to solve a complex problem.
    • Advantages: Handy, Quick Reflexes
    • Skills: Athletics, Brawl, Notice, Scholarship, Theft
  • Inventor
    • Quirk: Earn a Hero Point when you improve someone's life through your inventions.
    • Advantages: Inventor
    • Skills: Convince, Hide, Notice, Perform, Scholarship
  • Pest Hunter:
    • The brave souls that hunt the rats, weepers, river krusks and various other nuisances that plague the fine cities in the Isles.​
    • Quirk: Earn a hero point when you go out of your way to remove a "pest" that is plaguing the area.
    • Advantages: Direction Sense, Reckless Takedown, Second Story Work
    • Skills: Brawl, Hide, Notice, Scholarship, Weaponry
  • Official Backgrounds
    • The majority of the backgrounds can be used as-is, but a number need to be modified (not including the flavor text for the setting). I'll have that list later in this thread.


  • Inventor (5 Point Advantage)
    • Spend a Hero Point. You have (or, with enough time and materials, can make) an invention that serves a specific purpose. Most inventions are built to last, and are often available for the length of the Story at the very least. Expenditure of Wealth (at least 5) will ensure that the item was well made enough to last.
      Options include, but are not limited to:
      • Narrative Effect: The tool does a narrative effect that you may need, ranging from having a spyglass built into a mask or a sword that contracts. 
      • Enhancement: This enhances the abilities of something that already exists. It will grant a +1 die bonus on specific events in non-combat applications, or grant an additional +1 Wound (either inflicting or reduction) when spending raises. Examples include specialized boots for walking in the snow, gloves designed to aid in climbing, or an article of clothing that promotes floating while swimming. Please not that items do not "stack" (having a specialized magnetic blade catching guard and a reinforced article of clothing won't reduce a wound by two).

Combat Schools:

  • Still to be decided. Many can get renamed, but I'm wondering what new styles to introduce in a setting such as this.
    • Nearly every school except Eisenfaust and Montovani can have a setting-specific equivalent. Eisenfaust can be modified easily enough.
  • Ranged combat schools? 
  • Use Guard Officer Training as a style?

I'm slowly working on this as part of the challenge mentioned in my first post, but any feedback would be appreciated.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

Fate Cards of the world of Dishonored

The setting has it's own version of a Tarot deck, which is also used to play the card game Nancy. The suits and Major Arcana of a standard Sorte deck are redistributed as follows:

<Coming Soon, after I unpack my cards>

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Henry de Veuve
Henry de Veuve's picture

Excellent work, old chap!  Please consider this bookmarked for future (ab)use, the serial numbers filed off in case the Bluecoats come asking, and the idea sold to a few distant friends who know my deep and abiding interest in sneaking about with dagger in hand.

Thank you for sharing!

"Kill with a borrowed knife.  Hide your dagger behind a smile.  Lure the Tiger down from the mountain.  And never forget that your opponent has also studied the seven military classics." ~XiongMao the Cranky

LibrariaNPC's picture

I am glad you like it! Any input you'd like to offer on the powers? I'm not 100% certain they are balanced (and I don't want to hand them to a villain just to test them).

The setting and whatnot won't be hard to translate once I get the book in and get the Tarot cards figured out, so expect this to be better fleshed out later!

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

Henry de Veuve
Henry de Veuve's picture

I have pinged a member of my tabletop group who is a fellow backer with intent to perhaps give these suggestions a run around an appropriately mythical city of approximate setting and see what results.  Can't promise quick results, since we will be working by email and in our few spare hours.

The first thing that came to mind was insisting that a character has to earn these as part of a story (two step for Sorcery) rather than starting with it, but only because such an adjustment reflects the original games.

I'll keep you posted when/if/as we find things!

"Kill with a borrowed knife.  Hide your dagger behind a smile.  Lure the Tiger down from the mountain.  And never forget that your opponent has also studied the seven military classics." ~XiongMao the Cranky

LibrariaNPC's picture

No worries on the timeline; my own group is via e-mail and chat, and they aren't working on this too fast, sadly (half of them haven't even finished the book yet). 

As for earning this, it's in the air. Some characters in-setting (like the rat boy) gained the mark at a young age, and who knows how many people on the Pandyssian continent earned it. Due to the rarity, I'm not up for making it a background.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

I added a few extra notes in the powers section. Harvey Smith, co-creative director at Arkane Studios, gave me some input on downsides (even though they don't necessarily translate too well here outside of roleplay fluff), so I made sure I added them in.

I haven't been able to test them yet, and I have to wait until after I move before getting a copy of The Dunwall Archives to finish up this project. My goal is to have a full write-up done by the time Dishonored 2 comes out (mostly because there may be a convention I'll be running at if the board accepts my application again).

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

Short follow-up: the project isn't dead, but I've hit a few snags, namely:

  • No testing: I finally got my own group rolling online, but no one in the group has played Dishonored, and therefore don't know the powers to give feedback. Half of my group isn't touching sorcery at all, and those that are already had concepts in mind (Sanderis for the archeaologist due to the Knowledge Deal; Knights of Avalon/Glamour for the sailor at the helm). No luck in finding a local group to try it with, sadly.
  • Limited time: Packing and doing paperwork for a house is time consuming. I should be moved in by September, so if all goes well, I'll be able to start working on it a bit more often then.
  • Limited knowledge: Due to moving, I'm putting off buying The Dunwall Archives until after the move is finished. No point in buying a massive book only to pack it as soon as it arrives (and then possibly losing it for months). That will help with other ideas for backgrounds and the like, as well as more details about the continents so I know the bonus stats are fitting.

If anyone has some insight as to how the powers look, I'm all ears to make tweaks to make it workable!

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

Modifying Old Backgrounds

  • The majority of background from the core rulebook can be used without any modifications outside of the removal of nationality restrictions (such as Whaler being Ussuran only), and only a few need to be removed. Some of them will need to be renamed to better fit the setting, some may need a slight tweak to the Quirk to better fit the setting, but otherwise are good as-is mechanically/thematically.
    • Modified:
      • Bard: The Quirk needs to be changed. Remove Able Drinker.
      • Krieger: Remove Staredown, replace with Cast Iron Stomach
      • Revolutionaire: Remove Joi de Vivre and replace with Opportunist
      • Posel: Replace Leadership with Time Sense.
      • Progressivist: Replace Extended Family with Direction Sense.
      • Guildmastaren: Outside of the name change, replace Rich with Handy. This now makes for a true master crafter.
        • By replacing Handy with Barterer, you now have the merchant craftsman instead.
      • Bravo: Replace Poison Immunity with Cast Iron Stomach.
      • Consigliere: Remove the Streetwise advantage.
    • Removed:
      • Puritan: Removed due to lack of religious dissent.
      • Knight Errant: Removed due to Sorcery.
      • Privateer: Can easily use Sailor/Ship Captain (or modify it) if needed. Any rework to replace "The Devil's Own Luck" runs into this.
      • Hexe: Removed due to Sorcery.
      • UNGETÜMJÄGER: Lack of monsters (and knowledge of said monsters).
        • You can argue that River Krusks, Weepers, and the like are all monsters, which is why the Pest Hunter background has been added.
      • Sorcier Porte: Removed due to Sorcery.
      • Zynys: Removed due to Sorcery.
      • Cossack: There's not an easy way to replace Strength of Ten and still get the right feel. Nix it, but leave it open for a creative player that wants to build from it (using either Bruiser or Brawler).
      • Touched by Matushka: Removed due to Sorcery.
      • SJØRØVER: Tough to easily replace "I'm Taking You With Me." There are other Pirate-like options available.
      • Skald: Seidr doesn't exactly exist in the setting. Might be something that is easily added, but without having a proper analog, remove it.
      • Sorte Strega: Removed due to Sorcery

A Note On Nation Discounts

To be honest, there isn't enough information on each of the Isles at this time to show if any of them should have discounts to specific Advantages. If you, as GM, feel that a specific Island should gain a bonus (such as Gristol islanders getting "We're Not So Different" at a discount), then have at it! Perhaps we'll see more in the new source material (comics and Dishonored 2), but for now, no discounts are applied.

A Note On Sorcery

In the setting of Dishonored, Sorcery is frowned upon and, if one is caught practicing anything related to the Dark Arts, they are put to death by the Abbey of the Everyman. 

In this setting, almost every gift comes from the Outsider, but that isn't to say that the only magic in the world comes from him. Nearly any magic from 7th Sea can, theoretically, be used in this setting, but should be modified in a way to show that it is granted by the Outsider. For example, Porte shouldn't necessarily scream, but haunting whispers should come from the black void. Sorte practitioners shouldn't have white eyes, but black eyes, and the secrets of the strands should be whispered to them, straining their sanity. Change the flavor slightly, and it should fit perfectly in the setting.

Technically, a player could then have multiple forms of magic as it all comes from the same source. I'd allow it if the story permits, but remember that it means you can do the same thing as a GM (like having the three-hundred-year-old crone mastering all of the Outsider's Gifts, as well mastering or at least having access to in-setting equivalents of Sorte, Sanderis, and Mother's Touch).

Alternative Character Creation

With the inherent flexibility needed to really get into a setting from a video game, I would like to propose an alternative method to character creation. The points still balance out in the end, though.

  • Traits: Leave this as-is. Gain +2 points, and +1 for Nationality.
  • Ignore Backgrounds
    • Gain 20 points in Skills. No skill may go above a 3.
    • Gain 15 points in Advantages.
    • Choose (or make) 2 Quirks.

This way, a character can build a flexible character fitting to whatever it is they wish, without feeling as though as are trying to work specific backgrounds into their character goals. This is entirely optional and left to GM discretion.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

Short update: just added a note that the powers gained by the Outsider tend to be related to the individual and their own talents. This is thanks to discussions regarding Dishonored 2, as we get another PC that is marked by the Outsider, but is drastically different.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

LibrariaNPC's picture

Technology of the World of Dishonored

Technology is rather advanced in some areas due to the introduction and use of Whale Oil, which is something scientists are still baffled by and trying to understand. The following are items available within the world of Dishonored, and their in-game effects.

  • Pistols: Pistols are standard projectile weapons capable of causing great harm. Instead of causing 1 Dramatic Wound, Pistols now deal 2 Wounds per Raise spent. It takes 3 raises to reload a pistol.
    • A pistol may be modified to fire special explosive rounds. These rounds automatically deal 1 Dramatic Wound to the target, as well as 1 Wound per Raise spent. This will cost at least 4 Wealth and finding an Inventor to perform this modification.
    • A pistol can be modified to fire up to four bullets before needing to be reloaded. Each additional bullet requires a modification costing at least 3 Wealth and finding an Inventor to perform the modification.
  • Spring Razor Traps: These devious devices look like bits of metal and coiled wires, but will explode and send shrapnel into nearby targets. When placed, anyone who triggers it (by stepping too close or striking it with a ranged weapon) and anyone within the surrounding area will suffer 5 Wounds.
  • Rewiring Tools: These devices are attached to the fuse boxes that power specific machines such as Walls of Light and Arc Pylons. When used, they can deactivate the device or recalibrate it's purpose, such as permitted targets.
  • Walls of Light: These are devices created to ensure that swarms of rats and unwanted people are unable to cross certain lines. Anything movnig through a Wall of Light that was not "cleared" beforehand will be burned entirely, leaving little more than ash. 
    Thankfully, it takes a great deal of power to run these, so they are only set up and used at specific points; for a swarm of rats can drain an entire canister of whale oil, making this an expensive device to run.
  • Arc Pylons: Arc Pylons are like Walls of Light on a smaller level. Anything that is not "cleared" beforehand is targeted and shocked by these devices once they enter a certain range. Arc Pylons are also not as taxing on the whale oil tanks, meaning they are a bit more common.
    When a target enters the range of an Arc Pylon (about the space of a large room, at most), or if the Pylon is activated in the presence of targets, the Pylon will begin to "warm up." After it has warmed up (literally a mater of seconds; allow one Raise to be spent), it will lash out, dealing an automatic Dramatic Wound to the target. The Pylon will continue to attack the closest target, firing another blast after two Raises are spent.

"Smilies exist because no one's bothered to create a sarcasm font." --Lost_Heretic

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