Last night I ran my first 7th Sea 2e game and also my first roll20.net game. We had some ups and down but overall the experience was a success. Here are my take away's with the game we ran and played.
GMing on the fly. I am a veteran of the old 7th Sea 1e system and I am far more familiar with it than the newer stuff but from what we played the system feels solid. I don't think the learning curve is too bad according to the basic rule set that they use. I felt like the rules mattered less and it was more about my experience as a GM. For a very new or inexperienced GM, I feel like 2e could easily overwhelm them with the number of consequences and opportunities you need to come up with on the fly. For anyone who has played with a group that goes off the rails, I feel like you pretty much know that improvising is just another part of the game. But this still takes getting used to and I remember being a green GM and struggling with trying to find my GM voice and the balance of being creative and having a list.
Opportunities. I am happy a did my home work before playing a game but even reading reddit and seeing the complaints on here, only one player really utilized opportunities to do anything. We didn't run a super long game so I wasn't surprised but it seemed like the players were looking for me to tell them the opportunities rather than creating them. More research will be done in the next game.
Approach. I was rather shocked at how easily the players understood approach rules. They really didn't struggle at all and if I had to pick something I liked the best out of the whole game I would choose this. Approach rules felt natural. Players easily created funny and dynamic descriptions of things which overall lead to better roleplaying. Even combat seemed more dynamic and fluid with players trying to stay out of sight of the brute squads, some swinging in on rope like a cannonball, some just kicking the squad off the boat. It was very fluid, John and team 100% succeeded with this.
Hero points, danger pool. While we didn't have too much time, I still don't fully comprehend the purpose of "buying" unused dice from the players? It makes way more sense to me that you would buy away successes...e.g. You basically bargain with the player over which dice they are willing to give up which = less raises. Buying extra dice the players don't care about seems pointless. More research is required with this, I for one don't get it.
Hero points worked well but I feel like it's very easy to get them. They don't have the same flair as drama dice in the first system.
What is Flair? So one of my main issues is flair which I am pretty sure needs to be changed. I'm all about giving out bonus dice when someone describes something cool. However, getting a bonus die for the each skill category for each scene just because, doesn't work with me. I think flair should be changed to a bonus die per game rather than scene. Maybe this seems harsh but giving out a bonus die just because its the first time you used it that scene makes no sense since approach is all about limiting dice rolls to the essential. Maybe I am fumbling the rules but I don't like giving flair out willy nilly and I believe I will be changing it to every skill once per game and then an extra for dramatic descriptions.
Character Creation. While I had about four newish players of 7th Sea. I was surprised to see that character creation still took roughly an hour and half. Don't be fooled by the easier character creation. It's still very in-depth. I was really impressed by how well the character creation went in the amount of customization without losing the original essence of the game.
More to come. Did a miss something or get some rules wrong? Most likely, if you see something mentioned let me know.
I plan to record all these sessions and post them for people to watch a live session. So look for it coming to a youtube near you.