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Allen Hueffmeier
Allen Hueffmeier's picture
Economy of Ships

According to the latest version of 7th Sea 2nd ed., it's reasonable to assume that you will be making around 2 wealth points/2wp for selling your cargo. That is supposed to go into the treasury and will be halfed (round down) every game session. The reason given is upkeep, repairs, provisions and payment of non-hero crew. 

My first question is this. If you aren't paying the crew does that mean the wealth doesn't go down? After all, you are still responsible for upkeep, repairs and provisions.

Second question, if your wealth keeps getting halfed round down do you consider that paying your crew, and you are thus avoiding mutiny?

Third question,  if you have 2 wealth points and you divide the wealth. How much does everyone get? 2 wealth points? Does the ship also gain two wealth points to buy new cargo? What about the shares mentioned in


Thank you for taking the time to read this and for offernig your responses. I apologise to anyone I have offended with my terrible grammer and spelling.






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NeoTanuki's picture

Regarding question 2, this is just my own opinion, but in my game I would rule that yes, dividing the wealth includes paying the crew, and if a Captain withheld pay I would definitely require some roleplay to avert possible mutiny! :)

It seems to me that refusing to pay upkeep and wages would have more negatives than benefits for a ship's captain. You'd have more gold, but also a leaking and decrepit ship, plus a mutinous crew. You're not likely to survive many more voyages under those conditions, let alone make a profit!

NeoTanuki's picture

Regarding question 3, this is just off the top of my head, but here's how I might handle shares/payments/maintenance. Again, this is just how I would do it, nothing official!

For example, a ship makes a successful trade voyage and earns 2 wealth points from the cargo. 

NPC crew: Don't worry about Wealth points, as long as there is profit assume they get a fair share and appropriate wages for their positions. If a voyage was unusually profitable, maybe add some flavor description about them getting a bonus and rushing to the tavern to toast the Captain's success! :)

Player character crew: If 2 Wealth points is considered normal profit for a trading voyage, I'd say each player gets 1 wealth point as their share (enough to handle normal living expenses). If the voyage earns 3 wealth or higher, players get an additional share for 2 wealth points (living expenses+nice bonus)

Captain player character: The captain receives a number of Wealth Points equal to the voyage's profits (2 for normal voyage, 3+ for a profitable voyage). I would let the Captain either spend this on personal needs/wants, or "bank" wealth points toward ship upgrades/new cargo.

Now you've got me thinking about an "investment" house rule for high risk/high reward sea voyages...maybe allowing a Captain to stake additional wealth points on a valuable cargo, but increasing the risk of encountering pirates/sea monsters/danger on the voyage. Hmmm!

Anyway, I hope this wasn't too confusing and gave you some ideas that will be helpful to you. I like that 2e has guidelines for straight trading voyages as well as piracy, and think a trading ship campaign could be a lot of fun!



Allen Hueffmeier
Allen Hueffmeier's picture

It made perfect sense to me. The idea of scale of wealth is intersting. From 1 ship wealth point you can get many character wealth points. It's an odd concept but I think it works better than saying, "The ship got 2,000 wealth points, ok do the math."

NeoTanuki's picture

Exactly, that's how I see it. I think it's meant for groups that prefer a more narrative game over detailed equipment and financial management. :)

Salamanca's picture

I would presume that half that disappears pays for the next cargo as well.  (or you are gaining cargo firefly style and negotiating to haul for others and that 2 wealth is your share of the profit for delivery.) 

Doctor's picture

Question 2"At the end of each game session, the Wealth contained in the Ship’s Treasury is halved, round down. This represents the cost of upkeep and repairs, provisions, and payment of the (non-Hero) Crew." (pg 253)

Question 3: This one is tricky. In a cinematic game like 7th Sea, the setting fluff is bound to talk about things like shares of treasure and the value of goods in order to add authenticity and emersion to the game. Unfortunately, you will also not find a single price chart for goods, as equipment lists and counting coins is a bit too granular for the style and feel.

This leaves you two real options. The first is to simply tell the players “the shares thing is fluff, but if you’re supposed to get a more than one share, I’ll be a little more liberal about what you can buy.” It’s not perfect, but it certainly fits the spirit of the game.

The other option is to get a copy of 7th Sea 1ed (or Swashbuckling Adventures), a book called Ships and Sea Battles, and a calculator. According to 7th Sea 2ed, 8 to 10 wealth points will get you a ship. According to Ships and Sea Battles, the cheapest vessel worth calling a ship is 35,000 G and the most expensive is 125,000 G, and the second cheapest/most expensive are 45,000G and 101,000G. Pick one of these values, peg it to either 8 or 10 and divide by that number. This should give you a value for 1 Wealth Point expressed in Guilders. Mind that 7th Sea 2ed is not intended to be so exact, so you may have to fiddle with the numbers to get something you like. 

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

Actually... the cheapest vessel is the vesten longboat and it costs 15.000 guilder (page 5).

A song of Ice and Fire has a funny system where wealth points represent only the riches of the house and its investments where coin was what players used. There was an exchange of something like 200 golden dragons increase the houses riches by 1 and there was a certain point where increasing it cost 1000 golden dragon instead. You could always retrieve a point from the house and you were given those 200 golden dragons back or 1000 but there were taxes and payments and such along the way and you could end retrieving less than you invested.

The difference is that this game does not have an item list and wealth is a bit abstract, which is fine in my opinion. Using coin will defeat the purpose of the system but if someone wants something a bit more complex, wealth can always be "split" like a story. 4 parts make 1 wealth point. If you don't want to pay  your crew but you want to repair your ship you will be able to say something like... I don't spend a full wealth point but 2 parts out of 4.

It makes everything a bit more complex but for some reason I link this "4 parts" to the "pieces of eight" thingie of the setting and has a nice ring to it... but that just be my imagination :P.

Doctor's picture

"Actually... the cheapest vessel is the vesten longboat and it costs 15.000 guilder (page 5)."

"the cheapest vessel worth calling a ship is 35,000 G" 

In nautical parlance, "ship" actually has a meaning: a ship carries a boat. Longboats do not carry boats, as they do not need independant landing crafts for shallow drafts. I ignored the long boat and a one/two man fishing boat and only included vessels which could concievably be big enough to meet the definition of ship. 

For the deep nerds, I am not using the British navy's definition of ship, though that might close the gap a bit. 

“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”
- H.L. Mencken

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