As part of the playtest, I've been running 2nd Ed for a few months now, and the biggest problem I've had with the Raises system is setting things up in a way that challenges the players organically (sometimes this comes very easily, especially when competing against NPCs, but other times it's really challenging,) without feeling like you're just forcing something down their throat just to make it more difficult. It can also be very tempting to keep scaling up with raises.
For example: in 1st Ed your heros have come across some documents that reveal hints at the villains plot. In your head you imagine, okay TN 15 gets them X, TN 20 gets them Y, and TN 30 will get them Z as well. In 2nd Ed you would instead parse out this information using Raises, spending 1 Raise gets them part of X and a second gets them the second part of X, their 3rd will get them Y, etc. The problem is, if the heros have A LOT of raises you reach a point where the heroes still have "ammo" to burn and you don't want to short change them by saying "there's nothing more for you to learn from these," but you don't want to keep giving away all of the plot.
In short, it DOES require majorly re-thinking how you handle things in a game in a way that I've never done before, and I've run into a lot of hiccups because if it, even going as far as to just avoiding rolls altogether at times, but even that's not really fair to players because, hey you have stats and dice so you can back up just how cool/good your characer is at doing something.
I strongly second Sal's suggestion that the GM's portion needs to really dig into how to run a game this way, WITH EXAMPLES demonstrating ways GMs can address these sorts of challenges.
I agree that I love the story experience thiny. It is basically what several groups I was in did in a formalized, in the book, manner. After so much time in story, ou get to upgrade or change part of your character, or the GM just gives you a reward for hitting a milestone of somesort.
And I agree that the new DK is great. Straight up monster hunters in a haunted land. And one of the best stories for such characters involve them looking themselves in the mirror and figuring out who and what they currently are in the dark. How close to being that which they fight are they? I love stories like that. Especially when someone asks the question, "Why do you fight?"
The aquiring danger points thing should probably be in multiple places in the book. It is a great counterpoint to the hero points, but being a gm section is helpful.
Also, the examples of play they had were great and showed off many aspects of the system really well, more of those would be great. That is a common tool of Japanese style RPGs and it really does help clear up what the rules mean.
I agree that the map's borders don't quite seem right, but it's so much better than the previous one!
What were your issues with the 1e map?
Mostly the terrain incongruities, particularly the numerous unlikely rivers.
I've been running my 1e game with 9 players at the table and I think story based progression might be the death of me. Sitting 10 is hard enough, listening to 9, keeping them engaged, and then trying to incorporate their story steps argh.
Directly opposite of that thought is that limiting them to only 1 story at a time feels artificial as most of us are trying to get through more than one set of step to accomplish more than one goal, especially over the time frames some of the story examples dictate...I mean really stay married for two years, ...it might not be worth the additional point in a skill.
I looked at the playtester list and it didn't appear any of the playtest groups were that large, so I don't know if the designers know how this system will respond to our larger groups.
You aree too much worrying of the personal stories. Just make one decision: everyone gets same number of Stages, either from GM story giving free stages usable on completion how the player wishes, or personal story stage. It is task of player to try advance his personal story when it seems fit. The task of GM is to tell stories which participants get these open stages.
It would also help you to tie the stories of players together. Make them into groups you can handle as 2 to 4 players per personal story arch.
Eh. As I expect to be running a group of 7, I'm going to be coming up with ways to balance that out. Here's an idea. With a nod towards the concept of popcorn initiative, each session could have 1 or 2 designated "spotlight" characters. Spotlight characters get a certain amount of attention during the game session, with the aim being to check off a personal story step. At the end of the session, the spotlight character(s) get to designate who the spotlight characters for the next game session will be. This gives GMs a bit of time to plot and plan and makes sure everyone gets to shine in the spotlight.
Yup, 100% agree on that, Sal
I could swear he had a large combined map at some point as well, but maybe I imagined it.
Er... Nobody realizes that you can use ALL the skills to do whatever you want spending one Raise?
p.172. Ussing Convince to knock down somebody. RULE: Improvising
That would technically be two raises. 1 to knock them down, +1 for improvising. And yes, I do realise that, and I'm not displeased.
If you wanted to be really efficient like that, get the Dynamic Approach advantage, which lets you change what you're trying to do part why through.
Technically it's only 1 Raise more I think, since anyway you were going to spend 1 Raise to make an action. If not the adventage Specialist have no sense (p.154).
The rule Improvise it's a nice idea, But implementing it sooooo cheap in Raises, makes that somebody with Finesse 3 / Weaponry 3 / Scholarship 1 (6 dices -1 Raise) is better in maths than a Wits 3 / Scholarship 1 (4 dices).
TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e
It is one more raise. The Specialist Advantage (a 4-pt Advantage) lets you choose ONE SKILL that you no longer have to spend the extra raise for when you Improvise. So yes, you could technically pick Weaponry to be a specialist in and never have to pay the extra raise to do that when Improvising.
But keep in mind....
1) Specialist is a 4-pt Advantage, so at chargen you could take it an one other 1-pt Advantage. That's it. Do any Backgrounds give you specialist?
2) It's a 4-step story arc to get it as a Goal.
And it doesn't make the character you describe better at math. I'm not sure how often a math risk is going to come up in an Action Sequence, but in a Dramatic Sequence, the hero rolling Finesse/Weaponry is probably interested in other things than solving a formula.
It's costly, and I'm not sure it really breaks the game.
Wolflinn, I don't think your example works. AIUI, you need to pay that premium on each action that you do outside your Approach.
Thus Scholarship 1 is better at maths than Weaponry 3.
A quick search on my spreadsheet shows no backgrounds with the Specialist advantage, so it does mean that taking it at character gen costs you 80% of your Advantage points.
Since I've got onto the topic of my spreadsheet, interesting facts about backgrounds:
And if I remember correctly, Specialist only works with other level 3+ skills.
Thank's a lot to all to convince me understand that rule.
You ned to know that it also works in referse (MathsVsFencing).
"Thus Scholarship 1 is better at maths than Weaponry 3."
OK. I'm not really convinced by your numbers (I thought only in use it only one tome in a throw) but I give you that point. Maybe I didn't show you a more clear example: Finesse 5/ Weaponry 5 VS Wits 3 / Scholarship 3 in a geography contest. Or the oposite, Finesse 3/ Weaponry 3 VS Wits 5 / Scholarship 5 in a duel.
The result in the game: 10 dices (two raises needed but the dices explode and make 2 raises with a 15) VS 6 dices. Why?
I think the rule it's OK for a fluid narrative "Whether a Hero’s Action falls within the scope of his Skill is the GM’s discretion. p.172" but the example distort it. (Convince+Panache to knock down). I think that they only need to put a short example when the GM say's "no".
Whatever, thanks you a lot for show us your research in the Backgrounds. I think that "averages" have sense.
Note: You don't need Specialist at all. That was an example to clarify the rules.
I have to disagree with you about the example. I find it pretty good: the tricky part is not to knock down an unsuspecting guard. It is to come close enough with friendly demanor to keep him unaware of your nefarious intentions. I'm not even sure i'll ask two raises for that.
Not only spending extra raise. You spend an additional raise to use some other skill. And you have to tell how you use it. For example, you cannot use firemars for everything, unless you can tell how you use firearms instead of main skill of your Approach.
This is adult RPG. If someone is trying to abuse rules, the players should together stop him.
I love the new rules. They are made to have fun. The character creation is as fast as they told us. General rules are really nice, and the duel system works more like Swashbuckling movies than SWAT Tactical Ops. I loved the book for most parts. There were parts requiring clarification, but that is normal for games. There is one part I want to take into accouint. The way how Porte just does not fit in.
Problems on Porte magic on 2nd edition. I am sorry this is long text, but I have to elaborate what seems to be totally wrong in Porte. It can be easily put into phrase: 1st edition Porte nerfed into 2nd edition. And it got nerfed.
First, the uses of Porte magic has been limited badly. Porte mage is only character who has limited inventory. He has 1 location and 2 items for each 2 point advantage. His only magical abilities are: bring marked item to him, walk himself to the marked position, and know where marked items are. Thus Porte mage pays 2 advantage points for advanced direction sense and minimally improved pockets. Other sorceries seems to be very much more powerful, and useful.
Porte seems to be useful for maintaining empires allowing instant movement between distant locations, and knowing where important people are. Unfortunately it is very hard to be useful at all in scope of 7th sea adventures and stories. It requires absurd amount of preparations knowing really well what is going to happen to be useful in adventure setting.
Marking itself is too expensive to be really useful in adventures except very very rare situations. The Porte mage have to have access to the item. He has to spend Hero Point when marking. Fortunately the mark has to be specifically removed. The problem is that Porte has no way to notice if something is marked. He has actually no way seeing fissured according to the Porte section. With limited functionality of Porte, I would lift this marking requirement of Hero Point. After that the use of Porte could use some imagination rather really really hard and well prepared deduction what will be needed in the future.
Main use of Porte seems to be knowing where the item and location is. This is not unique. Only really good use for this would be “tracer” allowing Porte mage to shadow someone. Any Ussuran mage can do the same by using their magical power of controlling animal or transforming into animal. Shadow deva allows with minor deal to perceive into shadow. And other sorceries give this in addition to abilities.
Blood Marks also got really problematic about 1st step blood relation. It should be clarified whether those marks take up Major Mark slots from Sorcery Advantage or not.
The marked item can only be brought to the Porte mage if he can manipulate and lift it with one hand. He cannot put other items next to the marked item, bring items or place items to the Greater Mark location. He can just bring the marked item to him. That mean Porte mage is never unarmed. Nor is the user of Cold devas who can with minor ability conjure ice sword whenever he wants. On heroic setting of 2nd edition, this advantage of having item you can get at cost of Dramatic Wound seems to be quite out of the place.
The wordings on walk indicates that only Porte mage can walk from portal to the Greater Mark. He cannot bring his buddies. This mean that Porte mage cannot be imprisoned against his will. He can always walk away. It also limits the way to use it. You can gain access to location you already have got access to. There is limited uses for this, but again it seems to be too much 1st edition way of thinking.
If Porte would give bloodied item some special magical properties – as well as marked places or persons – it would be more suitable for 2nd edition way of thinking. It is useful combo with another advantage giving you wondrous item – but that is quite likely all. The Marks are not special.
I do want to wait. I just hope John makes right decision and drop porte from main rulebook and give it proper rewirte to 2nd edition on Nations of Theah.
And the fact is, I am the storyteller most of the time. The thing is, I loved the balance of things in other sorceries and the Mage the Ascension like "this is general tool, use it with imagination" aspect. Porte lacked that.
Without wanting to sound accusatory, doesn't the fact that you used Porté so much kind of imply that it was good value (ie a bit overpowered), and thus needed a bit of a nerf?
That said, I don't believe that it's as bad as implied, certainly not enough to be excluded from the core printing. In 1E core rules, a starting Porté sorceror had the choice of
The fact that you can do the teleportation as a starting character is a big boost. The number of marked objects you get to start with is actually more than 1st ed. The range of Attunement is pointless compared to the infinite range in 2nd Ed.
Also, in my opinion, having access to extra inventory was never the point of Bring, it was having access to that inventory when you wouldn't otherwise have it. Shipwrecked on an island with only the clothes on your back? I'll Bring my blooded knapsack of supplies. Locked in the basement by brutes? I'll Bring my sword or lockpicks.
All in all, a starting Sorcier can do more in 2e than 1e. I'll admit that a 1e Master, with all of the rules in the Montaigne book, is more versatile than an existing experienced 2e character but we don't yet know what extra bits and pieces might turn up in Nations of Theah vol 1 or 2.
Actually, after looking into it, I don't consider Porté to have been nerfed.
I wonder, are you intentionally missing my point? I would love to see working version of Pote on 2nd Edition. And, if you bother to check Sorte and Galmour sections, you see they could do it for those two. Unfortunatley the Porte section is written totally different style. It is the odd one in sorceries. It is 1st edition sorcery, and when compared to other 2nd edition sorceries, it is weak and out of place. I am not comparing it to totally shitty broken idiot implementation of magic on 1st edition. All magic but glamour were totally overpriced on 1e.
This sums up my views of glamour as-written. I actually really like the mechanics but I absolutely hate the fluff. (I try not to use the 'H' word whenever possible, but in this case it applies).
Inismore and the Highland Marches should have their own legends and glamour mages from those regions should not be forced into being the embodiment of Avalonian knights.
If I could change just one thing in the 2e Rulebook it would be glamour.
Also, has the development team considered that Villains are severely handicapped in utilizing Glamour the way it's written? A Villain would be bound to "never break their word", "never attack their countrymen", and "never take something for yourself that belongs to another." On top of that they're forced from the fluff to be the embodiment of a noble knight.
Now a GM can house rule and change things around. The Unseelie can grant their own glamour and there's nothing keeping a GM from tossing out the geas and designing his own non-Avalonian legends for the Inish, Highlanders, and Villains. They might even address this in the Nations Book. I think it should be addressed in the Core, however.
And change the name back to Glamour for crying out loud. All the name Knights of Avalon does is reinforce how Avalon-centric you've made it.
One irritated real world Inishman ;)
I agree totally with you. Just lifting the one and only incarnation, and it starts working well. Your soul is soul of a kngiht, but there is no need you to belong to the Knights of Avalon. I will house rule this. You are still special, as you carry mantle of sidhe knights. The mechanics is really nice and working, it is one single aspect of fluff: one and only incarnation and knight of Avalon. Naturally the mantle tries to make you help Avalon and Sidhe. That is fine. It creates very nice conflict.
Personally, my biggest complaint is that they've restricted walking to large objects (Major Marks) and pulling to small objects (Minor Marks.)
The text iteslf is poor because the previous page gives walking to a pin as an example. The text says the reason the walk failed is that the pin was confined to the box, but according to the rules on the following page, the sorcerer couldn't have tried walking to the pin in the first place because a small object like that could only be a Minor Mark. Now it's possible small objects can be either a Minor or Major mark, but that's not made expelicitly clear.
Hopefully someone else caught that and submitted it as feedback.
(To be clear, I don't mind restricting Walking to Major Marks, it's the fact that the text implies that Major Marks can ONLY be large objects and that small objects can ONLY be Minor Marks.)
I do hope they expand on the rules to allow the bringing of larger objects with you, as one of my favorite things to do with Porte was fetch fresh fruit and bread for the ship we were on; your crew will love you for it.
I am sorry, but old rules did not allow that. You could open portal and then push the cannont or pull it through the walkways with eyes closed. But you coiuld not open bring portal and get that big item, as you could not lift it.
Yeah two dramatic wounds is...ouch. I like the idea of having a "cost" for Porte, but yeah...ouch.
Or...trapped in prison? Hands shackled so you can't make a big enough portal to walk out of there? Quickly write and send a small note to your brother Henri. Henri sends back an item, walks to you, breaks you free, and the two of are sipping wine in his parlor before sunset.
Alternatively, just ask Henri to open a bottle of wine and to send it and a wine glass to you. Receive the glass and wine, pour yourself something to drink, and be sure to offer some to the guards when they come back to check on you.
Yeah, Porte is fun.
Yeah, it makes me sad. Mind you, I'm assuming Send will make it's way back. I mean I don't mind Porte "costing" something to use (even a wound or two,) but 1 DW? Dang. Yeah it's pretty much a 1 or 2 times per session sort of deal at the most now.
In general, it sounds like you spend the DW to open; if your path is blocked on the way to your Major Mark you can walk to a new mark for free. I suspect it costs a DW to close a Blessure (although I don't think that's made clear in the rules.) So yeah, congrats on your Hero Point now take your DW for opening a portal in the first place and another for closing the Blessure; just be glad we're not forcing you to spend another DW to get back out of the walkways. -.-
I mean sure it doesn't cost HP everytime you go to use your sorcery like it does for all of the other ones, and yeah Glamour has restictions on how many times you can use it, but...yeah, I keep seeing 1 DW and going - nope, not going to do it. I'd be fine with making it spend a HP like all the other sorceries. Of course that drastically reduces the temptation to make a Blessure, which I guess is the point.
I definitely wouldn't play a Porte Sorcerer in 2nd Ed. All the really fun goofy stuff I used to do with it just isn't viable anymore, and that feels surprising for me, because Porte is the ONLY sorcery I particularly cared for in 1st Ed.
Mind you, I'm of the opinion that Hexenwerk is in the worst shape of the sorceries. Really interesting concept with a few generally useful abilities, but overall way to focused in one are. Thankfully it'd be pretty easy for them to come up with new ungents down the road that are useful outside of the "Monster Hunter" sort of role.
Simpler character generation
Vendel and Vesten not separate cultures and not as islands
Really? I love that they brought the Vendel and Vesten together. I always felt the Vesten were bizarrely anachronistic for the setting and that the Vendel simply lacked any true character; 2nd Ed has addressed both of those issues in my opinion.
Map: It's more "historically" acurate have the countries in a peninsula. Sort of scandinavia. Sometimes you can even regonize them in the 7th Sea Map like Crete or Portugal. That also helps to add more political influences and conflicts, like with Ussura. so no complains for me.
Lore: I think we can't complain much more about the lore (It came from their minds) You continue having vendel and vesten but not in armony.Depending on who rules the town, a carl or a jarl (p.81) you are in Vendel or in Vesten. It's not homogeneous, so you can have them fighting for the local power.
I think our problems with new Vendel/Vesten is the art.
In the same real spatiotemporal context that inspired the game, VOC and the Stormaktstiden two of the most advanced powers in the world during the XVIIth Century. Much more like the original Vendel. But we see vikings from 1000 a.C. Maybe,almost the male, without more information to the artist than "They are like vikings".
In the same book we faund that "A popular trend in Vesten fashion is adopting foreign styles and incorporating them into traditional Vesten wear." (p.82) but we don't see that. We see Vikings.
So, @Harliquinn, I think that in the Vesten book you are going to regonize that duality much more clear
Many people also love coming up with peasant railguns, killing trusted advisors, and starting inter galactic war over Danish pastries.
To be fair, messing up that last one is a serious offence to good taste.
My point is, some games are not right for everyone. Sometimes, you need to put the Vikings aside and remember that pirates are the Vikings of the 1500's to the 1800's. Kinda like how tanks are the mounted knights of the 20th century to today.
Now I want a tank I can ride like horse in the middle of the sea to plunder ships in my kilt, while drinking mead. Although, this is the wrong game for that. Savage worlds might be workable.
I also am wondering why the rune magic went away
The first 7th Sea was designed by John for Alderac Entertainment Group, so he did not have total control of the design despite being the lead. Some things made it into the game the first time around that he probably didn't like so he got rid of them.
As far as I can tell 7th Sea 2e is basically John's idea of what 7th Sea should be.
Oh, I guess that makes sense. Now we have Hexen and 2 others.