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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture
The Mother of all Demos!
adventure

Alright everyone, I'm calling on the collective powers that be here to help make this happen. I've just signed on to run a one shot demo of 7th Sea for my teen library program. In all, I'm expecting between 6 and 12 players (take that Sal!) for an event that will run roughly 2:30 hours.  I have just under a month to plan this out, and I'm gonna need some help.

First things first, I need a plot. Already at work on this. My mysterious island adventure is too long for this. I need something short sweet and to the point. I already have something of an outline in my head:
– Start with an action sequence
– Include a dramatic sequence
– Finish with a fight v brutes and villain

(I think minimizing individual risks will be key to keeping things moving quickly.)

But most importantly, I'm gonna need characters! 14 of them. All the basic archetypes covered. I don't need much in the way of back stories, just a paragraph to tie them too the event.  Maybe the best idea would be to do 7 or 8 and reskin these to double them.

When all is said and done, I'll be happy to package it all up for the community.

Who's up for this? Remember, it's for kids (teens anyway)! I'd appreciate any help I can get.

Tom

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BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Three premises. Which one sounds like the most fun?

– In Montaigne, a group of musketeers uncover a plot by the shadowy agents of Die Krieuzritter.

– A band of privateers tangle with the wrong ship, holding very precious cargo.

– Rescue a scholar and her strange experiment from the hands of the Inquisition.

Wyrd GM
Wyrd GM's picture

So, these thoughts will just be off the top of my head, so please excuse the rambling nature.

I would rank my interest in the plots as being:

Musketeers
Inquisition
Privateers

One of my favorite techniques is to start with an action scene that is not a fight. I love a good chase. If you can handle a chase well, it sets an amazing tone.
For example, maybe the Heroes are fleeing in a coach through the streets, fleeing armed bandits. Maybe they themselves are not armed, or better yet, they are protecting someone who needs to stay unidentified, so they cannot stop and defend... so they must figure out things to do on the way. 
Or perhaps they are chasing after someone who picked their pocket. The thief got a letter they were supposed to deliver to some Duke or Count. 

Perhaps, in the case of the first plot, you could have them chasing a man who had:
A) Stolen some documents for said plot
B) They Plan to Interrogate because he had spoken with someone they suspect
C) They had caught him with a musket practicing his aim from a rooftop

Either way, at the end of the chase sequence, have him get caught, and begin to talk... just a few key secrets... when he either:
A) Pulls out a secret dagger, atttacks or commits suicide
B) Is shot from a hidden location and dies in their arms
C) Is taken up by a higher authority, and they are promised they can interview him... later

Then they can do some small investigative work based on the explicit clues he left...
Enter Dramatic Scene... Try to have one or two things that people might have to switch appraoches for, use advantages for, or just be supremely creative about. A Party is always fun. Maybe the plot is an assasination attempt, and they are trying to find out:
A) Who the target is.... it is a Diplomatic Party.
B) Who the Plotter is
C) Where the attack is coming from. (Or new attack if you used the aiming sniper thing from earlier)

Enter Final Conflict. If this is an intro, have the final conflict somewhere fun and unusual. A rain slicked rooftop, a swaying bridge, in the rigging of a ship. If you go the Party Route, maybe the gardens, or a staircase area. Maybe the party area itself.

I will try and come back in a bit with some character ideas.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Thoughts on Musketeers v DK

The session opens as the Musketeers have been dispatched to a city on the border of Eisen to root out a nest of "anarchists".  They have tracked the group to a tenament house in the slums.  Unfortunately, the place is extensively booby-trapped and a local gang has been paid for protection.  Ultimately, the musketeers only find one anarchist in the place.  Chased into a corner, he brandishes a glowing weapon seconds before the squad leader (an NPC) shoots him dead. (The anarchist is really DK.)

Unknown to the players, members of the musketeers and the city have been "replaced" by doppleganger-like monsters crossing the border of Eisen.  They hope to get close to the royal family.  The DK are aware of the plot and are attempting to stop them.  The dopplegangers are using the musketeers to take out the DK to maintain their secrecy.  The rest of the scenario involves unraveling this plot, leading to a confrontation with the local governor (a doppleganger) and his guards.

How does that work for you, Wyrd?

Wyrd GM
Wyrd GM's picture

In my head I was going a little less fantastic, and a bit more political, but honestly, I like the way you are going a bit better, especially for a demo. You want to be able to show several elements of it, including the magical.

The main goal is providing the clue by four they need to recognize that things are not on the up and up. Little things and big things both. They will need things that drive them further down the rabbit hole. The glowing blade is a fantastic idea, so long as the players are aware of that property.

Some ideas:

A) A desk with some letters. 
B) A note upon his person. Just a name. A name of someone who has been replaced or is a contact for DK
C) The man who shoots the DK kicks the blade off a balcony, or down a hole, etc
D) The man who is shot is a loyalist, and screams "Long live the King" before he is shot

Also, making any notes or letters into handouts would be awesome. It is nice to have something tactile during a demo. 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Thanks for the feedback, Wyrd.

Actually, the more I think about it, the less I like the premise. Probably because it feels like the wrong game. I'd like something a bit more grounded in 7th Sea. And the characters really aren't grounded in it. So I'm going to let this one marinade a bit. Anyone like to offer any suggestions?

Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

I suggest you another system. In the summer camps, with kids inbetween 8 to 14 years old my brother played with Prince Valiant rules https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Valiant:_The_Story-Telling_Game. Maybe you can use that with dices instead coins

You only need to offer them pictures of the 7th Sea game to be their characters, one special "power" for each ones (heal, magic compass that shows you what you want, transform yourself in a animal, short teleport, change the dices of others, you know... wink ) and that's all.

No more in 2 hours 30 mins. The results were amazing. Soon they were playing by themselves as soon that they use the bus for a short tryp.

The ambientation can be 7th Sea, thinking that they are going to have Pirates of the Caribean in mind. So maybe it's going to be easier use part of your island story (with an amazing map, of course). Always that I start people in the hobby, I told them to think in one film an focus, so its more inmersive and easy.

 

I hope it works for you ^^

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
And what, pray tell, would be the point of using a different system in a demonstration game where the whole goal is to teach this system and hopefully expand the player base?
Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

I'm amazed with your post, Salamanca.

Everybody told that 7th Sea 2nd Edition it's not for more than 5 players. And BluSponge is going to be the Game Master of 6 to 12 newbies in 2:30 !!!!!!

I'm really sincere with BluSponge.

If I were BluSponge, I will preffer that they enjoy and understand the rpg's first. Making them feel more confortable with something really easy and after few sessions jump to 7th Sea 2nd Edition   wink

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Well by that logic I could make up a bunch of B/X D&D or Savage Worlds characters, the two games I've used in the past, and call it 7th Sea.

No, the idea here is to give them a look at other games.  It's a one shot demonstration.  Then we go back to our Dungeoncrawl adventure.  I appreciate pointing me towards an easy game to manage (I will have to check out Prince Valiant), but that's not really what I'm trying to do.

I'm really sincere with BluSponge.

If I were BluSponge, I will preffer that they enjoy and understand the rpg's first. Making them feel more confortable with something really easy and after few sessions jump to 7th Sea 2nd Edition.

They are comfortable enough, having played Savage Worlds and B/X D&D.  I don't need to teach them the basics.  

One of the goals of the program has always been to introduce the players to other aspects of the hobby.  Tabletop skirmishes, minature painting, and other rpgs included.  7th Sea is new and very different from our regular style of RPG, and I think it'll be a good thing to show them.  Personally, I think 7th Sea is going to be a breeze for the players, even at that size of table.  It's me, the GM, who is going to risk an anurism.  But that's ok.  I like a challenge.

 

Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

OK then. I didn't know about their experience.

My apologiessad.

But If they are a lot of players I recomend you be really well prepared and focus in action secuences, maybe dividing them in two teams. If not you are going to have sooooo much Raises to do everything.

Domingo Sebasti...
Domingo Sebastian De la Espada del Nuevomundo's picture

Ahoy!

My first thoughts are demo... 2:30 hours... teens.. so > Keep it simple, exciting, and flashy. Tease a plot don't worry about getting in deep, because well you'll run out of time anyways. Start right in the action. Such as a ship to ship fight, boarding already started, maybe in a harbor so transition to city is quick and easy. Or start in a chase scene would be great too, its fast and in your face. The quick start starts you in a burning room. Why is that cool? because immediatelly you have danger and you roll dice. And... its simple to get them used to how to build and spend raises. 

Those ideas of Wyrd's were great! 

Remember 2:30 hours is short even for a regular sized group of veteren rpgers and you have 2:30 to demo to teens.

Exciting, flashy, QUICK, and don't forget to leave em on a cliff hanger.

Don't be afraid to introduce right away something spectacular like an excalibur sword or an el vagabundo mask and/or a big villian that they may not even fight just let them defeat his minor villian henchman by the end.

-The Captain

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Ay ay, Captain!

No really, that's all part of the plan.  Fast, flash, and exciting.  I've been running games for this program for coming up on a decade, so I'm quite familiar with the time crunch.  It's another reason I'm leaning away from my original plot idea.  Just not 7th Sea enough.  And Wyrd's ideas are a good roadmap.

Don't be afraid to introduce right away something spectacular like an excalibur sword or an el vagabundo mask and/or a big villian that they may not even fight just let them defeat his minor villian henchman by the end.

Oh, that's a fantastic idea!

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
My character sheets are posted on the Guild of San Marcos forum in the Heroes of Altamira section. The thread is titled "2nd Ed PA characters" or something like that. I would link but am on my phone. Feel free to use the stats if you want.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Cool!  Thank you, Sal.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Your biggest problem is give ng them enough to spend on during a sequence. In a fight with 10 starting players you will be dealing with 30-40 actions. So have a reason to send a small army against them. You will also lose 25-30 minutes on describing the mechanics at the start of the sequences. I do recommend descriptions at the start of each one so they know how stuff works for that scene. (How the dramatic sequence uses the raises over the scene for example.). Do give us an after report. I am interested in seeing your insights on big group use.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

A small army. Hmmm...

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

If you want something political, exciting, etc.

I'm thinking a

Action Sequence 1 ("in medias res") - "Defend the King!"

The players are either all (or partly) members of the King's Guard or Citizens who love their king and were caught in the middle of a coup by a splinter group of the Rilisciare to overthrow good King Sandoval in Castille. In the middle of the battle, a small group of assassins sneak in behind enemy lines and kidnap the king. The PC's can either defeat the assault (Which was a ruse, that's why there's so many) or leave it in the hands of others as they head off to rescue the king.

Dramatic Sequence 1 - "Find the King!"

The Rilisciare have captured and held prisoner a sidhe who has the power to shapechange. They are forcing her/him (through holding a powerful magguffin) to change into the king and become their puppet for change. The PC's must track down the King using Tracking, Social Skills, Investigation, whatever each characters feels important (Opportunities and Risks abound about getting more info about the plan, and Risks of alerting the bad guys to their progress)

Action Sequence 2 - "Rescue the King!" (Which one?)

By the time heros track down the missing King, there are now 2 of them, and the Rilisciare hasn't had time to kill/imprison the real one. Of course both are pleading for their lives/rescuers. The heros have a lot of things to do here besides combat (Though some will have combat to do) so that all of the heroes can partake, even if they aren't combat focused.

Opportunities: Help identify the real King, Coax out of the sidhe that she's being held prisoner, Get/Destroy/Return the Maguffin that holds the sidhe here

Risks: Killing the wrong king, etc.

Might be long for 2.5 hours but sounds exciting that now I wrote it. Heck I might use this as a premise for a session or two :)

John

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

My thinking sort of shifted after reading this review over on For Honor...and Intrigue.

Anyway, here's the current idea, though I'm going to have to do a bit of research to get it right.

A squad of musketeers are dispatched to a town on the border of Eisen to investigate the death of the local governor.  When they arrive, they find a community wrapped in terror.  Something terrifying haunts the people of this border town.  But all is not what it seems, and the musketeers will need their wits about them if they are to discover the truth.

I'm currently thinking of a more Scooby-Doo ending.  The town lies in territory that once belonged to Eisen, and a group is trying to reclaim it.  I also suspect there may be some Los Vagundos or even Rilaschare involved.  But the "supernatural" aspect will be something of a ruse.

Thoughts?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Judging from the new maps, something between Paix and Deschaine will be ground zero.  

Funny, it looks like Paix is getting something of a demotion.  It looks like it might be roughly analogous to Strasbourg now.

So I think I will create a new community that takes a page from the Alsace Valley, and call it Roseheim.

And thus is born The Night of Black Roses.  :)

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

How would you handle a group of players investigating a murder scene?  Would you make it a simple Risk, or a Dramatic scene?  What sort of consequences would you apply?

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Commented in your other post. Crime scenes are tough with big groups, lots of ideas you didn't plan for come up.
BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Yeah, apparently the delete function only works for admins.  Oops! surprise

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

After some thought, and due to the fact that our game is scheduled for Sept 19 (international talk like a pirate day), I'm ditching the musketeer mystery for something straight up piratey. So back to the drawing board.

WookieeGunner
WookieeGunner's picture

Are you counting Sea Dogs as Piratey?  Maybe something like this:

 

1)  Start the game with the Sea Dogs trying to take a ship.  When the Heroes go to search the ship after the fight they find:

  • A bloody portal in the captain's quarters.
  • A letter of introduction explaining the bearer of this letter will handle payment, half now and half with confirmation of death.
  • A locked strongbox.  Inside the box is a necklace and braclet set each worth a small fortune.
  • Information that the only passenger was a Monteigne courtesan on their way to Avalon.

2)  There is a masked ball upcoming where many influential members of the court will be there.  It looks like there will also be an assasian in the midst.  Who is the assassian and who is the target.  Nice dramatic scene.

3)  When the Sea Dogs get to port they find the necklace and bracelet missing.  Yanked back to the sorceror no doubt.

4)  Either they go after the loot or they go after the assaissian, either way you get a nice fight against a villian.  Make both high enough in status that they can call in the guard to protect them for the brute squads.  I mean who is the town guard going to believe a noble or a bunch of lowly sailors?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Well...no. But that's a really damn good premise.

No, my plan is pretty simple.

The heroes are cooling their heels in Bilgewater when they are commissioned by Annabelle Guivere to steal aboard a rival ship and steal a map purported to lead to her father's treasure.  The map is legit, and shows a location on L'll du Bete, along with a cypher that only Annabelle knows (but she's not telling). From there, I expect all manner of betrayal to ensue, culminating with a battle between the villain and a massive beast that "guards" the treasure.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Ok!  As of tonight — largely due to the tireless efforts of Donovan Morningfire and Salamanca — I have all 12 characters finished.  I'm hoping that will be enough.  I may put together a 13th "dummy" character in case we have overflow.  I don't really expect there to be 13 people, but I've been at this long enough to prepare for it regardless.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

@BluSponge, here is some collected artwork for character sheets/standees to inspire the spirit of "swashbuckling" into your teenage crew.

http://pinterest.com/7thsea2e/pins

http://pinterest.com/cadioflorent/7th-sea/

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
A couple extra for choice never hurts
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