Mike Curry's comments on topic over on Reddit have been rolling around in my head for a bit.
Action Sequences =/= combat. "Combat" is a state that does not exist in 7th Sea. Combat is a thing that happens during an Action Sequence, probably while other stuff is going on. "Combat" has the same mechanical connotation as "Chase" or "Escape" or... I don't know, "Stealing." There is no such thing, mechanically speaking, as a "Combat Scene." There is only Action, which can involve combat. But if it does, it should involve other things too.
I mean, that's pretty obvious on its face. But three sessions and a handful of brute fights into the game and I'm starting to think there may be more to this, especially when it comes to the mechanics of 7th Sea. Let's face it, straight brute fights are boring, especially if you force your players into the countdown mode. Ugh!
So being the kind of person I am, I started pondering if there was a solid (but lose and flexible) framework to help create dynamic and engaging action sequences in 7th Sea.
Fool's errand. I know.
So what about you guys? Have you found any tricks to making Action Sequences really sing? Dials? Levers? What are the essential elements of a good Action Sequence?