[REGISTER] or [LOGIN] to browse without adverts
4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Inquisitor Artless
Inquisitor Artless's picture
1st Session
Session, help, review

I had my first session of 7th Sea recently, and I have to say the rules are taking a bit to get used to. The players were:

- A Castillian Duelist trying to gain influence and materials to take down the Inquisition

- An Avalonian Company Mediator who wants to topple the ATC and reestablish himself as the head to make it a better company

- An Avalonian Pirate looking to get even with Reis and Find Syreneth Artifacts

- A Castillian Preformer turned Pirate who's really just along for the ride.

The players started out captured by privateers and were going to be sold as slaves to the ATC, but managed to end up in Aragosta where they had a brief 2 week period browsing the various wares, and also ended up burning down The Bucket `o Blood, (luckily nobody was hurt. Badly, anyway.) The end of the session had them get information about a Syrneth Site, and an informat who may be able to help them take down both the Inquisition and the ATC. Bad winds foretell a irate duelist and the ATC intercepting them, but they don't know that.

Some personal issues I found I need to fix:

- Pacing and Detail. I had so much more planned out for the beginning of the session, but it all had me at a blank when I finally hit the table. I had this pretty detailed image of them trying to negotiate with the Captain of the Ship, and learn more about the crew, but ended up missing all of that in lieu of a Final Fantasy vehicle that gets them from place to place with little flavor- the opposite of what I want, considering they're going to spend a lot of time on the water. I also felt like I rushed through Aragosta, The Bucket 'o Blood being relegated to a one off Action Sequence rather than the temporary hub I wanted it to be- the original plan being that they'd find a bunch of things to do and help them with their stories.

- Action and Dramatic Sequences. The Bucket `o Blood action sequence started when The Pirate after Reis decided he wanted to steal a few trinkets from the barkeep and I ruled that he'd need a distraction because that artifact was close by the barkeep in question. Duelist decided to start a bar fight, and the first round went rather well- there were punches and thrown objects they had to dodge, windows they had to dive out of and trinkets to steal. The problem was after that round was over the crew decided that they needed another two rounds and had somebody else completely out of the round, since he dived out of the window. I'm not sure whether I did that correctly, to be honest. The Dramatic Sequence went a lot smoother, though I think I left it bare of things to do because at the end of it they had 4 or more raises.

I think the biggest trouble I have is the pirate thats after Reis is a guy whose pretty set in PvP, seeing as he caused the 'Blood to be burnt down and tried to push the ex-ATC back through the building. I ruled that he couldn't, because 1. Villainous and 2. The player wasn't on board with it, which caused a bit of an arguement so I cut the scene for the aftermath. I did sit him down after the session and talked to him, but we'll see the next session.

tl;dr: The first session was an interesting, yet chaotic one; planning to re-do the thing since we have a new player joining and most of the players wouldn't mind a restart.

Did anybody else struggle to use conseqeunces and opprotunites? I feel like I'm going to need a sheet of a bunch of random ones.

How did your first sessions go?



1 vote
Vote up!
Vote down!
Yanecky's picture

It sounds as if you're pretty new to RPGs in general, is it true? After a game ask yourself and your players a question: did you have fun? If yes, than it was a good game, and you can only improve. RPGs (and 7th Sea 2ed in particular) are not like video games - a lot depends on player decisions, which can take your game to places you didn't anticipate. So don't overplan. 

You can find my session reports elsewhere on the forums - I started with The Caliberi Letters, then ran the Castle and since then my own adventures. 

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Here are the links to the two sessions that Yaneky mentioned:



TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

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

Hail Inquisitor,

I've had some hit or miss sessions too.  Don't sweat it too much.  No one should be expecting perfection on your maiden voyage.

If it helps, I put together some "scenic battle consequences" long ago that are essentially random consequence generators for certain scenarios.  Basically, roll a d10 for each player at the beginning of the round and it gives him or her a consequence to deal with.  Some are better than others and I've only used them sparingly in my game.  At the risk of showboating, I do make use of my Risk Deck and find it makes Consequences and Opportunities much easier for me to visualize.  

Another thing that's been rattling around in my brain since I started watching John Wick run the game on Starter Kit is that maybe one way to present Consequences is GM vs Player agency.  So instead of giving the players a menu of options, the GM basically tells the players at the start of the Risk, "this is how the scene resolves itself." The players can then us their Raises to change those details and narrate what happens instead.  A bit more like the Houses of the Blooded mechanic, with raises acting as a sort of veto power in the scene.  I haven't actually tried this approach in play, so right now its just a thought.

Oh, and speaking of the Starter Kit adventure, I really like the "Notice roll" device John Wick uses.  Basically, the players make a Wits + [applied skill] roll and may spend raises to either ask a question of the GM, who answers honestly as best the Hero can see or know, OR to establish a FACT about the scene.  I can imagine this method could be extrapolated on in numerous ways. 

As far as Pacing goes, I've just pitched a lot of arbitrary dice rolls.  I set the scene, the players tell me what they want to do, and unless someone is directly standing in their way it works out.  

Another trick you can use, that isn't codified or explained in the core book, is what I call a "Narrative Sequence".  You can get a good look at it in Part 2 or the Quickstart Adventure.  Here is the relevant text:

"First, ask each player—one-by-one—to describe a dangerous situation from the previous months to show there was no help to be found in the Commonwealth or a short adventure that happened along the way to Vodacce. This situation should involve that player’s Hero making a mistake, stepping into danger, or helping out in a supporting role.

"Second, the person to that player’s right describes how his Hero saved the day. Perhaps one Hero rescued the other or one Hero overcame danger with his companion’s aid. Follow up each description with a quick Risk and encourage the players to narrate their daring escapes from the clutches of Duke Kazimierz and his allies. When players describe their dilemmas, assign appropriate Consequences for each Risk.

"Remember that the Hero who sets the scene is not the Hero who saves the day. The goal here is to bring the Heroes together, and to show that they have grown to rely on and trust one another in their journey. When setting a scene, if you feel a player puts their Hero in significant danger, displays a meaningful flaw or shortcoming, or otherwise does an exemplary job of showing another Hero to be awesome, offer them a Hero Point."

It's a lot like the Dramatic Interludes from Savage Worlds and I really wish some form of this had been included as a formal tool in the core rulebook.  I think its a great tool to help out with long term, zoomed out scenes.

As to the PvP BS, here's my long standing rule from my old teen roleplaying program: any physical attack on another player costs you a Hero Point.  I can see how this could be a tricky proposition in 7th Sea, but I think it would work out well in the end.  Players have enough control of the game that if the Pirate player spends a HP to push the ex-ATC out a window, that player could easily spend a HP for an awinging or a wagon full of straw to break his fall.  Ultimately, it becomes a zero-sum game that punishes the offender in the long term, and it doesn't take much in the way of basic math to figure that out.  I might tweak the rule just slightly so that the offender's spent HP goes immediately into the Danger Pool, especially if you are using the Khitai Peril rules.  That alone will do a lot more to establish order than Corruption.

So there you have it.  Without more info on your game, I would stress a very light touch when it comes to Risks.  For instance, when the duelist started a bar fight you went right to an Action Sequence.  That makes sense, except that probably ate up more time than necessary.  You could have just made it a standard Risk or a Dramatic Sequence.  The duelist hands over a HP and the pirate gets an extra 3 dice.  Done.  It's tricky, I know.  A lot of assumptions from traditional RPGs don't apply to 7th Sea, and it's not always clear which way to go.  

I hope some of this helps. 

share buttons