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LibrariaNPC's picture
New 1 Point Advantages

One thing that came up in discussion with my players: there are not that many 1 point advantages, meaning everyone who has that one point left over will either quickly use it to become a Linguist or Able Drinker, or they'll revamp their collection of advantages so they can get a 2-3 point advantage instead (I had a four hour phonecall with a player who was in this very situation with his first ever RPG character). I also wanted to add a few more so not everyone had the same advantages (three of my four players took Linguist because they had a leftover point and it was the only "useful" advantage).

With that in mind, I sat down with a fellow GM that's at my table and went through the list of advantages from 1st Edition and started to put together a list of the advantages that didn't make it yet. We took any 1-2 point advantage we could find, as well as the vague ones that didn't have great coverage, and went from there.

This is what we've put together so far.

Faith: You aren’t sure what this does. You just have to have Faith.
GM Note: This is really up for interpretation, just like the first edition version of this. Do what you will, but options inspired by first edition include Miracles (allowing the hero to spend a Hero Point to perform something amazing such as a feat of strength or healing), ignoring Fear, cancelling magic, or even gaining additional Hero Points for specific times or tasks.
The Player should not know what the advantage does, as Faith works in mysterious ways.

Treasure Map: (Inspired by Island Hideaway): You start the game with part of a treasure map. It doesn’t give you everything you need, so you’ll need to find the other pieces.
GM Note: This can be handled with the player, but the GM still has veto power. Maybe there’s a specific treasure, the entire thing is a plot, or the map itself is something reusable (think Pirates of the Caribbean’s Mao Kun map). Work with the player and make it awesome, but if the map isn't usable afterward, ensure they get something worthwhile (like a discount on another related advantage).

Island Hideaway: You know of an island that isn’t on any official map, and have used it as a safe harbor in the past. You know how to get there, but it may or may not be uninhabited when you arrive.

Sensitive Bones: You always know when the weather is about to shift for the worst, such as when a storm is brewing.

Scarovese: You have studied the words of Christofo Scarovese, and have learned to manipulate others and politics for your benefit. When rolling to see if you have become a Villain after gaining Corruption, consider your Corruption rating one lower Should anyone know you’ve studied (and practice) these works, they may come hunting for you either as a threat. . .or a potential ally.
Note: This hasn't been tested, but doesn't seem like a bad deal for one point/step. An alternative is to allow two dice to be rolled, keeping the better option, but it isn't as reliable as reducing by one.

Old Name: You have an old name that is respected by the Vesten. Spend a Hero Point when interacting with a Vesten. As long as you have been honoring your name, you will find that they will be friendly and helpful to you.
GM Note: This is similar to “Connections,” but is limited due to needing to find a Vesten, spend a Hero Point, and be true to your name (and not dishonor it). These restrictions seem worthy of reducing the cost by one point.

Animal Affinity: You have a knack with animals and can calm them down. Spend a Hero Point to calm down a scared or aggressive animal.

Trained Spider: You have been given (or somehow acquired) a trained spider from Vodacce. It is capable of performing one extraordinary feat or serving a specific duty. Note that these spiders are NOT combatants, and are considered to be a Strength 1 Brute Squad for all intents and purposes. Roll a d10 or choose one of the options below.
<All text pulled directly or modified from Nations of Theah: Vodacce, pages 100-101)

  1. Glow: You possess a small globe of spiders that produce a phosphorous glow. It can illuminate a small room (10’x10’)

  2. Poison: The spider can be trained to bite anyone who enters a specific area, no larger than a room. The bite will defeat a Brute or cause 5 wounds to a Hero/Villain. It takes 24 hours for the venom to build up enough to be used again. The spider cannot be used in combat (unless someone steps where it was guarding in combat, of course).
    Note: I changed this from an automatic Dramatic Wound to 5 wounds, giving Hero/Villains a chance to decide if they wish to spend Raises to resist it, whether through sheer constitution or quick thinking/moving. This is especially true in Dramatic Scenes, as every Raise counts.

  3. Theft Mark: The spider has been trained to bite anyone who touches a specific object. While not fatal, it causes the skin to swell like a balloon, and the area around the bite will be slightly discolored. This swelling effect lasts for two days, but it will take about a week for the effects to fully heal.
    Note: This was slightly tweaked, as the original text stated "several days." I changed it to be swelling for two days (normally more than enough time to find the target), with a rather obvious mark that can be hidden by gloves that will last for a week.

  4. Door Mark: The spider has been trained to spin webs across doors, windows, or other entrances, allowing to know when intruder’s have crossed them. It takes the spider ten minutes to “mark” an entrance in this way. The owner can tell if it is intact with a single glance.

  5. Tough Lines: The spider produces a very strong thread, which may be used as thin rope. It takes one week to spin fifty feet of thread, which can support up to 250 pounds.

  6. Retrieval: This large spider has been trained to retrieve small items — pens, rings, sheaves of paper, etc. — and return them to its owner. The items cannot weigh more than one pound, and the spider is limited in what it can retrieve to either one single type of item (pen, ring, etc), or an item which the spider has had an opportunity to mark with its scent.

  7. Message Transfer: The spider’s bite can effect a brief transfer of information from one subject to another. The message transfer must be fifteen words or less and compose a single sentence. The information only travels one way (from a sender to a subject) and cannot be transferred to more than one person. Keep in mind that an unwitting subject may not realize what the spider is up to and squash it before it can bite. The spider may only use this ability three times per week.

  8. Tracking: The spider can track a specified person, leaving a distinctive thread on buildings and other landmarks for its mistress to follow. Distance is no object; the spider can follow its subject for hundreds of miles if necessary. The tracking ability only works if the subject is on foot: the spider is too slow to follow horses or wagons, and ships leaving no place to mark passage. This will allow players the means to track their quarry or, if they are elusive and rolls must be made (such as for chases), grant the one with the spider an additional die.

  9. Hide Object: The spider can take a single object (weighing no more than a pound) and hide it in a secret place, cocooning it with thread and then retrieving it when ordered. The object is considered invisible for purposes of searching; it simply cannot be found by normal human means. The spider can hide up to three objects at a time with this ability.

  10. Parlor Trick: The spider is capable of performing a specific trick or task, such as making a loud noise like an alarm, making "music" in a way similar to crickets, or some other non-combat effect that the player and GM can agree to.

Dangerous Beauty (Character Creation Only; exceptions by GM approval): You possess a specific quality that makes you attractive, whether it's a magical birth mark next to your eye or an accent that is sultry enough to lure a chaste priest to your bedroom. When you choose this advantage, clearly specify the source of your "Dangerous Beauty." When it can be utilized to your advantage, gain 1 bonus die when attempting to seduce a target.

Trustworthy Face: There is just something about you that people trust. Maybe your face reminds them of a good friend, or the way you carry yourself instills that belief. When you are trying to convince someone to trust you, gain 1 bonus die to your roll.

Unobtrusive: You have an appearance that helps you blend in to a crowd, or just become forgotten amongst the various details in a noble household. When you attempt to blend into a crowd or go unnoticed as a servant would, gain 1 bonus die to your roll.

In addition to the above, we've been talking about making a set of "scalable" or "improvable" advantages, such as Sidhe Blood, Inheritance, etc. I haven't gotten far with it besides just mentioning the idea due to other irons in the fire, but I'm game for working on it soon if anyone is interested.

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Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Overall these look pretty good.

Faith I might suggest altering to a 2pt or 3pt Advantage, especially if the player has input on what effect spending the Hero Point has.  Or, if keeping it a 1pt Advantage, scale down the effects considerably, to either a minor boost that can be used once per scene, or a more significant boost that can be used once per session.  Would strongly suggest toning downt he suggested effects, as much of what you've got listed are directly copies of existing Virtues, which is pretty powerful for an Advantage at just about any point value.  Maybe let the PC spend a Hero Point to add +1 to the value of a number of dice rolled for their next Risk, equal to their lowest Trait and limited to once per session?  It's a nice boost, but has enough limits to justify the low cost.

As for Inheritance, perhaps allow the PC to start with an item that's worth roughly 1 point of Wealth, with said item allowing the Hero to increase the result of a single die for a specific skill by +1 when making Risks, chosen when the Advantage is taken.  So Inheritance taken for a loyal steed would affect Ride, while an exquisite dress would affect either Convince or Tempt, and a well-crafted sword would affect Weaponry.  Don't make it scaleable, since in 1e it was really just a cheap way to start with a bunch of extra cash are char-gen.

Trained Spider is certainly neat, but I might suggest removing Message Transfer and "roll again for two effects" and just let the player choose from the remaining options rather than roll a random die to see what sort of spider they get.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Salamanca's picture
Trained spider is too strong for a point. And corruption kicks in at 4 not 5 if I recall correctly.
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, taking a second look at some of what Trained Spider can offer, and there's a few bits that creep towards being too beneficial.

Poison -> change so that instead of a Dramatic Wound, the target instead suffers a single Wound, which should take out any non-Villain NPC on the scene.

Theft Mark -> Cut the time down to two days?

Tracking -> Requires the Hero to have Sorte in order to follow the "thread."

Message Transfer -> Way too convienent to pass secret messages, and probably just better off being removed entirely.

The rest of them are probably situational enough to not be that huge of a concern, as they have have a limited effect or take time to set up.

Edit: Or as Bradley suggested, just have the trained spider be able to perform simple "pet tricks" and be a cool element to the character whose bonus is purely situational.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Bradley's picture

I don't know if playing the violin is a "pet trick". I mean, that is a pretty awesome for a spider to be able to do. Although it is very useful in a fight so that you have fight music. Yes, I found an in univerrse reason to have background music.

Star West
Star West's picture

For Faith, I wouldn't have the hero spend on anything. It's something that the GM does behind the scenes. They decide what it does. Maybe once per scene the villain gets one Raise less, or the GM starts the game with less danger points. The whole point of Faith is that whatever the effect is, and whether there is or isn't one, is completely unknown to the Hero.


Also, I'm confused about what you're saying with Corruption kicking in? My understanding is the offical rules have you roll each time you earn it, so thre's always a chance you lose your character. Instead, I'd have Scarovese be something like: When the GM rolls to see if you become a Villain, their roll is considered one higher than what they rolled. This essenially means you can take 1 Corruption and NOT become a villain. I'm also not sure that should be a 1-pt advantage...

Salamanca's picture
Corruption gives you a point the first time, 2 the second, 3 the third and 4 the fourth. You need to roll above the points you have gained so you need to roll a 2+, 4+, 7+ and 10+ ( which is not possible on one die that does not explode)
Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

I thought it was the other way down, your character turns into a villain if the GM rolls your corruption points or less.

With this advantage you would lose your PC on a 9 or less with 10 points, on a 5 or less with 6 points, on a 2 or less with 3 points or wouldn't loose it at all when you gained your first point.

It doesn't make sense if you had less probabilty of turning evil the more corruption you had.

Salamanca's picture
Odds are the same regardless. Diesn't matter if you make the player roll a 2 or higher or the GM roll a one.
Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

No, they're not. It's not the same rolling avobe your corruption points (easier when you have few) as rolling bellow your corruption (easier the more you have).

Scarovese for one point would need to be something more situacional, maybe in the lines of: when your PC gets her first corruption point, if your GM rolls a 1, instead of becoming a villain you automaticaly get a 5 step redemption story. You cannot complete any other stories nor drop the redemption story untill you get rid of all your corruption.

Bradley's picture

If I had a trained spider, I would want it to sit on my shoulder and play the drums or a violin.

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

 For Scarovese, I'd change it to roll 2 dice and take the lower of the two every time.

Agree that Trained Spider should be more than 1 point. Maybe 3 points (Vodacce 1 point) or something like that. Otherwise there's going to be a lot of trained spiders running about.

BTW, are there any "Worthy Steed" advantages that let heroes give their mounts (or pets) a bit more oomph?

Faith absolutely should be there, but it feels a bit too good for 1 point if the GM actually uses it.

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture
Your Trusted companion could very well be your steed or dog.
Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture
Dangerous beauty was a 3 point advantage in 1st edition that could be brought back as a 1 point advantage for 2nd, make It only avaliable at character creation the same way small or big work.
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

I've actually been thinking along those lines for Dangerous Beauty (a 1pt advantage) as part of bringing some of 1e's appearance-related advantages over to 2e.  All of them would generally be "can only be selected at Hero Creation" with the possible exception of the ugly one, as that could very well occur as a Story with the end result of the Hero getting really badly roughed up and looking a lot scarier as a result.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

LibrariaNPC's picture

Honestly, I think some of the Appearance advantages really can come up in-game. Sorte Strega had the ability to alter strands to manipulate age/appearance, the Sidhe (and other beings) can easily grant youth and beauty, or there may be an artifact that enhances physical prowess in such a way.

Just putting that out there, the world is a quirky, interesting place.

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

LibrariaNPC's picture

Thank you all for the input! I'd love to reply to everyone individually, but time will not permit that.

A few key points, though:

1) I set each of these at 1 point advantages because they were all 1 or 2 point advantages in 1st Edition. A number of other advantages were reformed in the 2nd Edition, often at much cheaper prices, so my goal was to take any 1-2 point advantage and convert it to a 1 point.

2) I posted them for input, and you all did not disappoint.

Now, for a few specific points:

  • Faith: I wanted to leave this as a one point because the original write-up for the advantage was "You don't know what this does. You just need to have Faith." Granted, we didn't see mechanical options for this until we got the Castille/Church of Prophets book, which is why I listed GM options.
    Really, I wanted to put in a mystery advantage that was low cost as the effect is really up to the GM. Some of the effects should require a Hero point to use, while others should just happen at the speed of plot (like trying to restore the faith of someone who is broken should just happen, while chasing away a vampire should require a Hero point).
    That said, I did specifically make it a GM note with the options; it's really up to the GM to decide what this does at their table.
  • Scarovese: That one was my mistake; I was mixing up game systems and editions there, and completely blanked. I'll do a re-write. The better approach may be to make Corruption count as one less for the roll.
    As for the Redemption story: I find the idea interesting, but that's not the nature of Scarovese. The original writeup revolves around studying these works and using them to your advantage. In the 1st Edition, it increased the number of negative reputation needed to become a Villain, so making it tied to Redemption doesn't make sense (but your idea would make another great advantage).
  • Trained Spider: I had a feeling this one would get the most attention. In the 1st Edition (which 90% of that text is pulled from), the advantage was 2 points, Vodacce only. This was an incredibly cheap advantage, and I've seldom seen a Vodacce without it.
    The random roll was pulled right from the text, and I left it as a placeholder. I'm all for nixing it (and the two results option).
    As for the abilities, I agree some are overkill, but some of it was tied to the random effects. Perhaps I can change the following:
    • Roll twice: Nix it altogether. Alternatively, make it an option to either "Choose any of the above" or "Parlor Trick: your spider can do an interesting trick that most spiders (or even trained animals) are unable to do, ranging from making 'music' to making a loud noise when alarmed."
    • Theft Mark: I went with the Dramatic due to the damage of the bite (3k2; as much as a heavy weapon before bonuses), but I wouldn't be against the idea of just a single wound. Granted, a single wound is only an annoyance to a Brute and is a passing nuisance to a villain.
      Perhaps change it to "Defeats a single brute or deals 5 wounds to a Hero/Villain"? This way, it has combat application (not the point as it is supposed to be a guard function), but really shines in dramatic scenes during which every raise counts; do you spend your precious raises spend skulking around to continue remaining unnoticed, or do you keep yourself from the equivalent of a Dramatic Wound?
    • Message Transfer: Again, pulled word-for-word from the 1st Edition. I don't think it's too powerful; if anything, it's fitting for the way Vodacce functions; underhanded, sneaky, and deadly. Granted, I've been saved (and foiled) by this effect too many times in game to want to toss it, and fifteen words in one sentence really does limit what you can do. It is great for secret messages, but you need to have the first person speak the message and the second person willing to be bit to recieve it. 
      I'm for keeping it in place, because it's a great "I'm captured, send help to Count Verdugo's Manor"; why not have the plot device there?
    • Theft Mark: Again, pulled from the text. I think if we reduce it, I wouldn't want it to go below 3 days; the whole point is to ensure that the thief can be discovered, and any less than 3 days may be a bit of a hassle.
      Alternatively, perhaps the swelling reduces in 2-3 days, but there is a mark/sore that lasts for a week?
    • Tracking: Perhaps, as an alternative, grant a bonus die to tracking the tarket? This way, it can be a plot-level device of tracking a walking target, and offer a mechanical benefit when a roll is needed?
  • Other Advantages
    • Inheritance is something we were on the fence about regarding the best way to handle it. One part was to make it a specific advantage that isn't unlocked until a story is completed (or a specific thing occurs in game). We were contemplating making it a point discount to "Signature Item" (or similar advantage) when unlocked via a story, or allowing it to be increased via Story progression and used for specific resources (Wealth, a manor, or even a group of options bundled together. (For example, spend 1 leftover point at chargen, then a five step story to buy "Married to the Sea" three times over to inherit a ship from a family member or even former employer/captain).
      Another alternative was to give the character a specific amount of Wealth in addition to their normal wealth (perhaps 5?), and this does not go away unless it is spent. Doesn't make it as powerful as being Rich, but it does give characters that extra infusion whenever they'll need it (until it is gone, of course).
      The idea of bonus dice is interesting, but I'd be too wary of the number creep of getting a number of inherited items or dumping points into an Inheritance instead of a Signature Item
    • Appearance: This was something we were discussing as well. We weren't certain if we wanted to make any of them 1 point advantages, as most of these were 3-20 points in 1st Edition, and they all specifically grant bonus dice. Here's my line of thought for it:
      • Dangerous Beauty (1 point; character creation only): You possess a specific quality that makes you beautiful, whether it's a magical birth mark next to your eye or an accent that is sultry enough to lure a chaste priest to your bedroom. When you choose this advantage, clearly specify the source of your "Dangerous Beauty." When it can be used to your advantage, primarily when used on someone who would be attracted to you, gain 1 bonus die.
        • In this way, it is limited to specific circumstances, just like the other 1 point advantages such as Large, Small, or Foreign Born.
      • Trustworthy Face (1 point): Your character has a look about them that everyone seems to be able to find trustworthy. Any time you are relying on your ability to be trusted, gain a bonus die.
        • This is just a quick writeup for something new. Might be overpowered or too limited, depending on how you view it.
      • Appearance (2 points; character creation only): You are a person granted with an exceptional appearance, perhaps impossibly so. When you purchase this advantage, choose the type of appearance, such as Above Average, Intimidating, Stunning, etc. This advantage grants 1 bonus die to any situation in which having your type of appearance is beneficial (intimidation, oratory, carousing, etc). 
        • I think Appearance would be a 2 pt Advantage, solely because it is a flat bonus to just about all social rolls. It might really be better as a 3 point advantage, honestly, due to how much ground it can cover, but I think limited it to Appearance (Type) might be a better limiter. If we solely make it "Above Average" and only for positive effects, the 2 should still work. . .I think.
          I don't feel it should be limited to the opposite sex or someone who would be attracted to you, solely because people are willing to follow and listen to attractive people, regardless of gender.
        • The other Appearance advantages are tough to map. I was originally thinking of making this scaleable, in which it would be +1 die for each point spent after purchase, but I feel it would make this TOO powerful; Signature item is only 3 points and requires an item and a Hero Point for benefits. Virtuoso only gives 1 die in narrow circumstances. 
          Instead, I think making the other Appearance advantages (specifically Blessed Beauty) a 5 point advantage and grant it a Hero Point usage. Specifically either pull from Strength of Ten (in this case, add Panache or Wits to all your dice), the Glorious Arcana (all dice are successes), or something similar to We're Not So Different (an automatic seduction in which they wish to attempt to court you?)

          Granted, the Appearance advantages should really be in other post (might put that together later on).

I'll be making the revisions I have listed here to the first post at a later time today (need to finish a few reports first). Stay tuned for more!

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

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

I would have all the Appearance tiers (avobe average, stunning, intimidating, blessed beauty) at 3 points each or 3 the first time and 2 the next tiers, it's too much of an advantage and in the 1st edition it was stated you couldn't get the top 2 unless divine-sidhe intervention occured.

I love that Trustworthy face advantage! You could also make a Dull face advantage which increased in one the raises everyone needed to remember or recognise the character (usefull for cutpurses, thiefs, swindlers, assassins, spies and the like).

LibrariaNPC's picture

The Appearance writeup was just a quick idea from some scribbles I had in the margins of some of my notes, but I do agree that it may be better as a 3 point advantage. And yes, the last two tiers (15 and 20 points) were specific to the Sidhe and the Sophia's Daughters (a total nightmare, but I found lots of potentially fun and interesting stuff in there), but having a 5 point Appearance advantage might still be interesting.

I'm glad you like Trustworthy Face! I was thinking of making an Unobtrusive advantage as well to assist with going unnoticed in crowded areas (as a nod to the unobtrusive knack from the Servant skill), but didn't get around to it as I thought of it while typing my previous response.

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

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

That was about how I had Dangerous Beauty written to work, much how Large and Small provide a bonus die when their respective circumstance would come into play, though I was still leaning towards restricting it to Tempt to avoid it being used too often.

As for the tiers of Appearance, I honestly don't think we need to include all of them.  To pull a line from Green Ronin's Mutants & Masterminds 3e, all heroes are considered to conventionally attractive by default, and that a single rank in that game's Attractive advantage in that game was meant for the exceptionally good looking folks, and two ranks of Attractive for folks whose beauty truly makes them stand out.  I think much of the same logic applies to 7th Sea, and that unless the player decides otherwise, all Heroes are going to have movie star good looks by default, and there really only needs to be a single attractiveness-based advantage (Stunning Appearance perhaps?) to account for those folks that are truly amongst the glamorous elite, the type of folks who would routinely land in the Top 5 of "Theah's Hottest Man/Woman" polls.  Probably make it a 3pt advantage that covers at least Convince and Tempt for affected skills, and only when one's looks would be of benefit to the Hero.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

LibrariaNPC's picture

I figure I'll start another Advantage thread shortly with some of the others on the docket (working on nation-specific weapons, for example, because a friend of mine misses puzzle swords); I don't have much yet, but I think it's something we can all get behind, ne?

I'll tweak Dangerous Beauty to work for Tempt only, and I'll factor in an Appearance advantage for a different thread.

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

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