I, Ben Woerner, was one of the Developers for this book. Let me know what you think. :)
P.S. The map is coming in the final version of the book, it's got a space there in the back of the book.
I literally just finishing perusing it (halfways skimming, halfways reading) and I must say, this is top notch. The book is chock full of great content and I am very happy I took a leap of faith and added Pirate Nations to my list of books to receive a hard copy of. Some rapid fire bullet point tangent thoughts:
Aye, I agree! Simply amazing. This and Crescent Empire were the ones I was looking at getting my hands on. I gotta say though, this really gives me an idea to spin on the corruption rules; tweaked for a pirate campaign they might be called "doubly cursed", and rather than roll for a loss of the character, you'd roll to find out if the Devil Jonah is hot on your heels.
EDIT: Not to mention the after effects of having that black spot getting awfully noticable and having more consequences when dealing with sailors and pirates the the more you break your code.
Just finished my skim (with greater investigation of the nations to come) but I'm definitely enjoying it so far.
One thing that's intriguing me however in the rules is that appears we may be seeing nation-specific dueling academy discounts. It's not spelled out explicitly, but take a look at some of the backgrounds. Some of them describe gaining specific duelist academies alongside a two-point advantage. There's nothing about these academies throughout the book being listed for cheaper than normal in any circumstances and such a move seems to violate the usual rules of five points worth of advantages, so it seems that the purpose is to mimic what used to be the case for dueling academies in 1e. By taking this specific background (usually nation restrictive) you get access to a specific dueling style at a discount, as opposed to the usual free nature of starting with the duelist background or just buying it with experience.
It's definitely interesting from a balance perspective, it's better than the old 1e approach where anyone of the appropriate nation learned the style for cheap, which incentiviced min-maxers to only look at nations with the best dueling styles. In this case, they get their dueling style for two points less, but those points are already spent on a fixed advantage, and they can only gain access to that discount through a very specific background (often with a nation attachement), rather than just choosing the two most optimal backgrounds and then spending three of your free points on being a trained duelist.
So Ben, were you the project leader on this one, or did you contribute any particular parts? I just want to make sure that when we give you a hard time for something in the book, its justified. ;D
So pretty much anything that we hate with the passion of a thousand suns is your fault. ;)
I've not had a chance to really sit down and read through this, but in terms of world-building this book is far more useful than Heroes & Villains, especially with the introduction of the ATC as a major opponent that PCs can feel glad about trouncing.
I've only really read the section on La Bucca, and I admit that the change in Allende's identity threw me for quite a loop at first, but I generally like this new Allende's story.
On the new mechanics, the new backgrounds, advantages, and sorceries are interesting but only a few of them really leapt out at me at first pass. The new Duelist schools are certainly interesting. Was kind of saddened to not see Rogers get a 2e treatment, as that was an interesting Swordsman school given it's focus on "pirate tricks."
It is interesting that a couple of Backgrounds effectively get Duelist Academy for 3 points, but that is offset by limiting the Hero's choice to a single school. I'm not sure this would be a lead into the mainstream nations each getting a Background that provides a discount on Duelist Academy, and to be frank I think most nations don't need it, as it seems one of the major design intents is that 2e Duelist styles are more broadly spread across Theah as opposed to 1e having Swordsman School being uncommon if not very rare outside of their parent nation. I could perhaps see a Secret Society Background providing a discount if said society has a notable style, such as 1e KotR&C and Desaix or Los Vagos and El Punal Occulto.
Dono's Gaming & Etc Bloghttp://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/
I decided I'm for the Allende change, because the "rightful heir" plotline actually lowered the stakes to the Good King Sandoval under Verdugo's thumb plotline.
This and it made Allende's story cheaper.
Yeah the specialized school backgrounds kind of remind me of a cross between the discount you got for taking a school of the same nation as your own and the special bonus you got from taking a non-sanctioned school.
It seems likely that if we see more of their like, it's unlikely to be for many schools that have normal origins, already we have a two schools developed by slaves to use against their oppressors, and one that's drilled into students in a grueling spartan-style academy. While it's certainly possible for a duelist to learn it the old fashioned way, it' seems less likely we'll see the same treatment for the core schools.
One other thing that stands out to me is the Numanari sorcery. It actually seems rather similar in flavor to Shamanism as described in 1e. Heck, I'm pretty sure they even talk about the golden soul, a concept that was previously introduced as the secret behind the Knights of the Rose and Cross. There's some differences of course (the old R&C would probably prefer less of the whole invocation of Numanari deities, even if they aren't technically worshipping them) but it does make one wonder what we're going to see when we finally get to explore the R&C in the secret society book.
Finished the chapter on La Bucca. Suddenly I really miss 1st edition's practice of providing illustrations of named NPCs. It's going to be very hard to find a visual aid for Allende.
Okay, so maybe I've just completely missed it, but is there any place in the book where they mention what the major languages are of the Atabean region?
It's not much of a strech to figure that Numa is using Old Thean, and perhaps La Bucca has Castillian as it's mother tongue given it's origins as a Castille-run prison colony, but what about other "ports of call" such as Aragosta and the Rahuri peoples?
Maybe this is something that can be added to the character creation section, or at least have a sidebar added early in Chapter 1?
So thanks to Ben for the response over on Reddit to this question.
So it would appear the only new language introduced in Pirate Nations is Rahuri, and that every place else uses an existing mainland language.
LIke I said above, could see La Bucca having Castille given its origins, and then Jaragua using a hybridized version of Montaigne (though probably with very different colloqualisms and borrowed phrases from Ifri). Aragosta I'd think might use a variant of Vodacce, but again with a bunch of borrowed words from other languages (amusingly making it a bit like American English in terms of origins), which may well shock a native Vodacce. Atabaen Trading Co probably uses a mix of Avalon and Vendel, with each language borrowing from the other, possibly enough so that a long-time ATC employee would be able to converse in at least basic terms in whichever lanaguage wasn't their native-born tongue.
Page 107 mentions Jaraqua having its own language but they speak Montaigne for outsiders.
And we know from Daughter of Fate that Numaneri is its own language and, among pirates, used as a "common tongue." Though given their background, I would expect most Numaneri to speak Vodacce and some Crescent dialects as well.
I wouldn't think La Bucca or Jaragua would have their own languages – maybe a pidgin dialect or a cant that can be used around outsiders. In fact, I think I'll include that in my game regardless.
The Pirate Nations, having settlers from far and wide, may use a large mixture of bastardized Thean languages incorporating idiosyncrasies from island to island and even from the distant homelands such as the continent of Ifri, which by the sample names published in the Pirate Kingdoms, make use of the Yoruba tongue (also noticeable in the Voodoo traditions of our real-world Caribbean and South America).
TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e
Am I the only one who struggles a little keeping La Bucca and Aragosta separate?
One is the pirate island that used to be a prison and the other is the pirate island that is in the sea of monsters.
Not saying there aren't some more differences, but compared to the other nations they feel basically the same.
La Bucca is a nation of criminals who use piracy as a means of income.
Aragosta is a nation of pirates.
La Bucca is between Theah and the Atabean Sea, off the coast of Ifri (think Canary Islands)
Aragosta is in the Atabean Sea
La Bucca is a direct democracy, but also fragile, run by a collective of chapters that keep an eye on eachother, and an elected president.
Aragosta is a republic with many bands of pirates having their own representatives, and a leader who is styled as a queen of sorts.
La Bucca has diplomatic relations with Theah, even if they are not the best relations, as well as very few secret societies present.
Aragosta is seen as nothing but a bunch of criminals by Thean governments but also is the HQ of the Brotherhood of the Coast.
That helps a little. I summarize in a sentence for new people generally. Sadly none of La Bucca's shorthand is iconic enough for most people (Tortuga being useful now that PotC was a thing).
Though to be fair many people also are not familiar with the pre-Columbus Carib tribes (Rahuti) or even for some Haiti (Jaraqua), but everyone gets European countries, the EIC, Tortuga, and Greece.
Not necessarily a fault with the material, but unfortunate anyway.
People should be aware of Haiti, and if they are not, you can describe it a bit like Cuba, Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic as well. But if you say, "An island nation of self-liberated slaves: also Voodoo" that should be enough.
La Bucca can be described as a nation of Privateers more than Pirates. It's more Thean than Aragosta is and still has a lot of ties to Theah. Another short hand is a former Chateau d'If (from the Count of Monte Cristo).
As far as the Pre-Colombian tribes, no one needs to be familiar with them to understand the Rahuri (who are portrayed as an offshoot of a people on the New World anyways). Just say "Caribbean Natives who hunt sea monsters. Like that one guy from Moby Dick."
I know the big Map is incoming, but part of me is worried that Numa will be left out til the Ifri book, given that it is literally on the other side of the world to the Atabean Sea (not!Caribbean).
That said I am loving not!Greece (Numa) and not!Haiti (Jaragua). Still trying to place the influences of the Rahuri beyond Polynesian...is brilliant though
The charter magic section in the sorcery chapter has got me a tad worried...what is stopping the ATC (not!East India Trading Company) from writing their own? Or bands of mercenaries on the Theah's mainland? Thank goodness the superstitious tradition can be used as a shield.
I'm not involved in the final layout, but I DID see a Numa map awhile back, so it exists.
There's a Numa map in the preview. It's the only map in the preview.
I've only just started reading, but the concept of pirate charters having actual supernatural power over the signers is fascinating!
And I really like the new nations so far.
I think the only thing that left me confused a bit was Reis' new backstory, and to be fair, that was probably because I only gave it a very brief glance. I need to go back and give that more attention.
I do have to say that I prefer the backstory of the Devil Jonah and the Black Freighter in second edition to Captain Necross and the original Freighter background from first edition. Are we likely to see any new appearances by Phillip Gosse and his crew in second edtion? I only ask because I have a friend and occasional player who really loves Gosse.
Too bad there's no update for the Rogers school in the book. However, Lakedaimon Agoge (sorry if I mispelled) was MUCH clearer in this book and resolved all my complaints and questions from "Heroes and Villains." I like Agoge and the Capoeira-esque kicking and concealed blades style VERY much! Hopefully this will be useful to groups that have been asking for different dueling styles.
I've read through the revised Captain Reis backstory, and it does seem they've deep-sixed the majority of 1e's Captain Hook knock-off element, and instead made 2e's Reis a woman and not even remotely associated with Glamour, to say nothing of having several ships under her command instead of just the Crimson Roger. She's still got the murder-scythe and the fearsome reputation though.
I have a lot of questions about Numanari history, the empire, and the Church of the Prophets. I hope the Nations of Theah books explore the subject. Numa is where the First Prophet walked, right? That combined with struggles with the Crescent over the region could make it (in addition to being Greece) the "Holy Land" that Theah launched Crusades over.
Technically the Numa refered to in 1e is the Rome equivalent city (which used to be the center of the Vaticine religion before the third prophet moved everything to Castille.)
In 2e though, Numa as a city no longer appears to exist, meaning that officially Numa is the nation where the Numanari empire formed.
It's not specified that the first prophet was in Numa though, only that he walked the streets of the Old Republic. Presumably, the Numanari republic was wide spread enough to cover quite a bit of Theah and possibly some of what is now the Crescent Empire.
And, as far as I can tell, this Numa is much more closely related to Greece than Rome.
To be fair, so was early Rome.
I'm surprised the Numanari don't have "Amazon" as one of their backgrounds.
Do you need it seperate from Docent? Though thinking about it they don't lend themselves to quirks that play well with an adventuring crew that don't already exist elsewhere (seeming an insular group that doesn't really leave the island, at least by my first and quick read).
So, do we know when the full book comes out? I've been checking Drivethrurpg, but nothing so far.
Awsome! Thanks for the headsup!
Now to wait for the Nations of Theah book...
Now with the full maps, I'm really curious about many of these islands that aren't mentioned in the text. Colina Verde for example appears to be one of the largest islands in the Atabean Sea, but a search says it's not mentioned elsewhere in the book.
I wanted to leave some holes for GMs to decide what fit into their game worlds. Who Knows maybe William Jameson's fabled Source is there, or it's another ATC stronghold, or a birthing field for the Mermaids....
BUT San Sancha is mentioned as are a few of the places on Colina Verde.
Ah - the map does indeed show San Sancha as being the capital of Colina Verde.
The text however refers to it as being on the western shore of Borequen.
My inclination is to use Borequen (with San Sancha) as a model of Theahn/Rahuri coexistence, while Colina Verde is being conquered by the Castillian crown in a manner closer to what happened in real world history.