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TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture
My changes to balance the fighting rules [updated]
game rules

 

House Rules

Avant Propos:

Hi all, my names is Nicolas Grison, I’m French, and I’ve been playing RPGs since 15 years. I wrote one (not published) and help create at least 2 others (with friends, not published too).

After some long read on the game, some test play, and some really annoyed look to the “unfinished” book of the 2nd edition of 7th sea, I decided to make some small changes in order to fill the blank in the gameplay and enjoy a bit more ruling the game. The main role of this post is to edit it a lot to add small other changes, like for example, add some naval rules, traits to ships, naval maneuvers, ... And your answer to this will help me to correct some mistakes too.

I am still testing things, and they are not propositions of changes, but ideas you can take for your own games. Don’t hesitate to participate if you have some ideas or if you see things that are not working at all in your opinion.

Sorry for misspelling or other mistakes, I’m French after all and I try my best to write everything in proper English.

Let's go !

 

Death Spiral

For the time being i do not change a thing. 4 wounds per dramatics is ok because i use weaponry/2 for all manoeuvres.

 

Brute Squads

A Hero can only decrease Brute Squad’s strength with Raises. None of the duelist’s maneuvers can be used against them.

My main reason to do so, it is that brute squad are no longer relevant when you got a duelist. 10 men dead in 2 or 3 raises is ridiculous. I don’t like it. I do not want it. I want my player to fear the people. I want them to flee when an enraged mob engage them. I want them to feel the danger, the risks, the cost of fighting people who wants to kill you. This is my feeling, and this is a way to make a non-fighter relevant in combat against Brute Squads too.

 

Duelist

I use this for my duelist system:

https://www.reddit.com/r/7thSea/comments/4n2heu/second_edition_modified_dueling_house_rules/

I love it and like a lot the different approaches a duelist can have to fight.

 

Common Maneuvers: Every duelist who takes either a Dueling Academy advantage or the Rogue Duelist advantage can use these maneuvers, representing a simple knowledge of offense and defense.

 

Slash: spend a raise to inflict wounds equal to weaponry. You may spend additional raises, at one wound per raise, as a non-duelist would.

Parry: Spend one raise to negate wounds inflicted upon you equal to weaponry. You may spend additional raises, negating one per raise, as a non-duelist would.

 

Basic Maneuvers: these are common among dueling schools. Each school may approach a maneuver differently, but the objective of each remains. Those marked with an asterisk (all but Feint and Bash) can only be used once per round.

Feint: inflict 1 wound; add your Finesse to the wounds you next inflict on your target.

Bash: inflict 1 wound; subtract your Brawn from the target's next dealt wounds.

*Lunge: spend all remaining raises; deal wounds equal to Raises + Weaponry.

*Riposte: prevent wounds equal to Weaponry, deal wounds equal to Wits. You can use it only 1 time per round.

*Bind: Spend a raise and deal one wound. The next action your opponent takes, they must spend an extra raise to do so, or else take wounds equal to your resolve.

*Tag: strike opponent harmlessly, spending a raise. On their next Risk made in the scene, they must drop their highest die from the pool.

*Flourish: deal one wound; on your next Risk this scene, any of your dice that are lower in value than your Panache are instead equal to your Panache.

*Disarm: spend raises equal to opponent's weaponry to disarm them. For a Hero point, end this maneuver holding their weapon. You can use it only 1 time per round.

Whirl: Not all duels are one on one; fighting a group of armed men requires different tactics. When you perform Whirl, spend a number of Raises (minimum 1). You reduce a Brute Squad's Strength by a number equal to Half your Ranks in Weaponry rounded up plus the Raises you spend. You can use this maneuver once per round.

 

Dueling Academy (5-point Advantage): You know Attack, Parry, and all eight basic maneuvers. Each school has an Advanced Technique, and a "Botte secrète" that is learned when a student’s training is complete. The advanced technique is always in effect; the Botte secrète requires a Hero Point.

 

For the Schools below, the listing is formatted thus, with the techniques first, the passive ability second, and the active, Hero-Point spending ability third.

School Name (weapon used/required maneuvers)

Advanced Technique: (description)

Botte Secrete: (description)

 

Aldana (single rapier/Feint, Flourish)

Percussion: when using feint, following wounds are increased by Finesse + Panache.

Dancer's Steps: activate to steal a raise from your opponent's risk pool at the beginning of a round.

 

Ambrogia (left handed Rapier & Dagger/Bash, Riposte)

Veronica's Twist: When you Parry or Riposte an opponent but still suffer wounds from their action, they suffer one wound.

Veronica’s Guile: Build your risk pool for a round using Finesse + Wits + Weaponry.

 

Boucher (two knives/Feint, Bind)

Flurry: add your ranks in Weaponry as raises to determine your actions, but you cannot spend these raises as actions.

Distract: Prevent opponent from using either the Parry or Riposte maneuver when you inflict wounds.

 

Donovan (longsword/Bind, Disarm)

Bulwark: Parry prevents wounds equal to Weaponry + Resolve against you or another within reach.

Interrupt: Act before an opponent when they have more raises than you.

 

Drexel (Zweihander/Bash, Lunge)

• Special, in that it has three changeable stances. Each round you may choose a stance, but to change within a round costs a raise to do.

Bittner: parry prevents Weaponry+Resolve wounds, but must spend two raises for attack or lunge.

Metzger: add raises to your pool equal to wits, but only for initiative. Must spend two raises to parry.

Gerbeck: lose 1 raise from risk pool; deal additional wounds with wounding maneuvers equal to Brawn.

Terrify: Give yourself a fear rating equal to your rank in weaponry for one round.

 

Eisenfaust (broadsword & panzerhand/Bind, Riposte)

Iron Reply: Riposte prevents wounds equal to Weaponry + Resolve and inflicts wounds equal to Brawn.

Iron Fist: Spend raise to take hold of and break and opponent's weapon.

 

Leegstra (two heavy weapons/Bash, Lunge)

Mighty Crash: attack maneuver inflicts wounds equal to Weaponry + Brawn.

Steadfast: Prevent wounds equal to your resolve without spending a Raise.

 

Mantovani (whip/Bash(Flay), Bind)

Flay: when using bash, deal wounds equal to Finesse, prevent equal to Weaponry.

Ensnare: Spend a raise to pull your opponent off their footing; deal 1 wound, and remove one raise from their pool as they recover.

 

Mireli (Sabres/Feint, Flourish)

Whirl: when dealing wounds to brute squads, Attack deals weaponry + panache.

Mireli's Revision: when an opponent uses parry or riposte to prevent wounds from your attack, spend a hero point to instead "save" those wounds, adding them to your next wounding maneuver.

 

Sabat (heavy sabre/Lunge, Riposte)

Gambit: when you lunge, deal Weaponry+Raises+Finesse in wounds.

Exchange: Use when you suffer wounds; force your opponent to suffer the same amount.

 

Torres (Rapier & Cloak/Flourish, Riposte)

Matador: When you use Parry or Riposte, prevent wounds equal to Wits + Athletics.

Bait: Use the Riposte maneuver, dealing wounds equal to Wits + the number of Wounds you prevent.

 

Valroux (Rapier & Dagger/Flourish, Tag)

Valroux Press: when facing multiple opponents, your slash deals one wound to an additional opponent other than your target. Against a single opponent, it deals the extra to them.

Dizzying Display: Eliminate from your opponent’s risk pool any dice showing lower than your Panache.

 

Duels

The duels in first blood are in first dramatic wound taken.

In every movies, books, or novel, even when you go for first blood, the protagonists are hurt and need medical attention. This way, we don’t have the “I lunge” first move to finish the duel in one strike.

 

New Advantages

Veteran (2pt): You learn Attack, Parry, and four other maneuvers (your school’s required ones, and two more). You gain access to the advanced technique of your school, but not the Botte Secrete. Upon completing a 2-step story, you may learn it, as well as the remaining four maneuvers. The steps usually involve locating a master of your style, and defeating them in a duel.

 

Dueling Student (3 pt): You learn Attack, Parry, and four other maneuvers (your school’s required ones, and two more). You gain access to the advanced technique of your school, but not the Botte Secrete. Upon completing a 2-step story, you may learn it, as well as the remaining four maneuvers. The steps usually involve locating a master of your style, and defeating them in a duel.

 

Gaucher or Left Handed (2 pt): When you use a fencing weapon, you have 1 more die to you pool, but you have 1 die less to keep (+1k0 to your risk)

 

Faith (1pt): You aren’t sure what this was. 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 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.

 

Weapons

I change nothing for the moment. I want to try the “you can avoid a gunshot” rule because in a lot of cases, it will cost 2 raises.

 

Credits:

Thx to

http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forum/new-1-point-advantages

https://www.reddit.com/r/7thSea/comments/4n2heu/second_edition_modified_dueling_house_rules/

 

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“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, can't say I'm a fan of any of these.  They honestly read as a ham-fisted attempt to "fix" a game that you've never really sat down and played outside of very controlled circumstances.

Looking at the core source material, those being pirate and especially swashbuckler films, we constantly see trained duelists mop the floor with nameless mooks, so restricting the Duelist's Slash Maneuver from being able to meaningfully impact a Brute Squad just doesn't jive with what we've seen in regards to pirate and swashbuckler films.  Bear mind that a Round of combat in this system isn't the "few seconds of fury" that the majority of RPGs use, and is in fact a lot more nebulous, depending more on the scene and the actions undertaken per Raise.

As for the Duelist school changes, way too much fiddliness and that a lot of the revamped school bonuses are insanely good, making them far superior to what's in the core book, which runs at adds with the change about Duelists not being able to plow through brute squads.  Also remember that a Hero is capped at 15 points in their Traits, and start out at 13 points.  Again, looking at the core source material that John Wick and company drew upon, in many cases what makes a trained duelist a truly daunting foe is their mastery of the blade (i.e. Ranks in Weaponry), with it being a comman example of the older, more skilled swordsman easily getting the best of the physically more able but much less skilled upstart.  Your revisions make it so that instead of Weaponry, a PC that wants to be a highly skilled duelist has to spread themselves pretty far, to say nothing of trying to shoehorn in old Swordsman Knacks that really don't need to be included.

Of the Advantages, only Dueling Student would actually be worth keeping as a 2pt advantage, and only that to gain a single Duelist Manuever.  Given that Slash under your so-called "improvement" has been heavily nerfed against Brute Squads (where it's probably going to see the most use in combats), there's pretty much no reason for a PC that's not grabbing the Duelist Academy advantage to even consider it, especially as your expanded maneuvers are generally better.

And honestly, adding damage values to the weapons, ranged or otherwise, starts to force the players into using just those weapons that provide the most bonus, when the intent behind the RAW combat is that the PCs won't be afraid to mix it up or use other modes of "attack" to deal with threats, such as employing skills other than Aim or Weaponry; if you as a GM are not letting your players make use of other skills to deal with Brute Squads, then you're failing your players as a GM by forcing them to only use limited avenues of being effective in a combat sequence.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

Thank you for your reply Donovan Morningfire.

Well, i won’t argue because everyone can enjoy a game in different ways. I will just try to defend myself with that in my opinion, the core source material are books more than movies. And in the books of swashbuckling, the heroes are not that strong against 10 or 20 dudes who want to kill them. I think you can play two styles for this game : one really modern movies like, with a lot of cinematics moves and lot of drama, and one more "realistic" and maybe less shiny, with quickier helpless heroes or villains.

I try to master the second way with 7th sea. I enjoy it more and think the resource material of the game (essentially the 1st edition) is perfect for it. I’ve just finished a 4 years campaign in the 1st, so I want the world I’ve created around it to be lookalike in the 2nd. The core rules make me think I can’t.

I won’t speak about the philosophy of the game, the way John Wick sees RPGs, or something like that because there is already a lot of threads who are speaking about it. I’m not in the John Wick side, but i think he manages to create an awesome world with fantastic ideas of gameplay (the risks / consequences is awesome). I just want to make some modifications that are closer to the way I want to master this game.

For your opinion with duelist, weapons, brute squads, etc, well, you disagree with all I wanted to do so I don’t really know how to answer you ^^.

For Brute Squads, I think you can defeat a brute squad with imagination more than basics rules or maneuvers. Everyone can do it and not only broken duelists. In fact, I think it is easier to scare to death 3 or 4 dudes with words than to kill them with a sword. This is why I clarified this rule (who is not clear at all in the book :/) the way I like the most.

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I've also been using CapnSilver's Modified dueling rules. I enjoy the dueling skills having degrees of mastery, so having an intermediate student step works well in my opinion. Also, five points is a little too high a barrier for entry for a lot of players, which is a problem considering by how much Duelists dwarf non-duelists.

I will say, I prefer CapnSilver's Rogue Duelist Advantage over Fighter. It's a bigger jump in competence (though I did tone it down to only knowing Slash, Parry and two advanced manuevers of your choice.) Knowing even the basic manuevers gives a significant leg up in combat for anyone, and I worry that handing those basic manuevers out for only one point kind of cheapens that ability. (It also really makes you wonder what a character with none of these advantages but high weaponry would look like. An advantage that cheap just feels more like a feat tax for combat competency.

 

Also, I feel that Rogue duelist works for the feel of a self-taught warrior. They know how to swing a sword, yes. But they also have a couple of tricks to make their self-made fighting style feel unique. (An Eisen mercenary rogue duelist with Bash and Lunge will feel far different from a Montaigne Dandy with Tag and Flourish) and they present an interesting feel if those Rogue duelists move on to become Dueling students, some could look for schools already suited to their pre-existing abilities, such as the previously mentioned Mercenary taking up Drexel while the Dandy takes up Valroux, or they could take their skills in a different direction, flavoring a different style by their own abilities. (Such as the Mercenary becoming an unusually aggressive Eisenfaust student or the Dandy bringing his brand of charm and panache to the Boucher style.)

 

I somewhat debated having wounds per dramatic based on one's resolve (I'm pretty sure the quick-start was doing something with this based on the previous design of the Death Spiral, but I worried that it might make Resolve too important over the other stats (none of the other stats have such a direct effect on the mechanics of the game. I am also concerned though that the pick-up in power from the modified dueling rules might make things a little too quick though, so I might consider raising the number slightly if I encounter any issues.

The brutes bit I'm less fond of. I like Heroes being able to sweep through brutes like a knife through hot butter. (It also directly nerfs the Mirelli school as written, since it's technique directly affects fighting brutes with Duelist Maneuvers.

The Gaucher/Left Handed advantage reads weird to me, I'm also wary of tinkering with combat more than I have already.

I kind of prefer faith as a one point thing, simply on account of prefering it to work very subtlely. I want them to wonder if their faith paid off, but I also want to avoid them having to agonize over whether they spent over half of their free advantage points on something that might not even work. 1 point for something that might do something very interesting from time to time (but is ultimately an unknown factor) seems well in line with other more concrete one-point options.

 

I'm also wary of firearms erasing tension (especially trying to combat the brace of pistols problem) but I'm not sure that differing wound values is the answer. It's too fiddly for my liking. I think being able to spend raises against aim still works, it's just more dangerous than against a sword because you'll still get hit as long as the gunman has at least one raise left after all your dodging and looking for cover. Firearms aren't the most accurate thing at this point in history, but they'll hurt like a dickens, and it prevents everyone from ending the duel prematurely by pulling an Indiana Jones. (While not completely closing that out as a possibility.)

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Frankly, I would suggest actually playing a few sessions with the rules precisely as is before you go screwing around with them.

Also, I think it's a very telling sign that you needed a second house rule (expanded wound track) to keep your first house rule (revamped Dueling Maneuvers) from completely screwing up your game.  It's been my experience that if you need a second rule to make your first house rule work, then there are serious problems with that first house rule.

This from someone that's been playing RPGs for longer than some gamers have been alive, and have made plenty of modifications to those RPGs over the course of years.  But those modifications came after playing the game as written, since it's surprisingly easy to wreck a game that works pretty well by tweaking things without having a full grasp of the mechanics that you're altering.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I have been experimenting, and I intend to continue tweaking. My main reason for starting with some of the modified rules was because they opened up options during character creation. The wound track tweaking is still sometime I'm not sure about, I'm planning on testing to see if a change will be necessary at all. If it does, I keep my options open to either bringing the manuevers closer to their classic versions, or expanding on the wound track in response.

 

What I am sure of though is that my players have enjoyed having the expanded options these modified dueling rules offer, and I'm more beholden to them than I am to ensuring precise game balance.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

See one of the big problems with the various Duelist revisions of this nature is that you make being a Duelist of some sort even more of a requirement if a Hero wants to be a combat-type but doesn't want to invest in Duelist, simply because they'll never be able to do more than chip away at the stronger Villains in a game that's been "balanced" to treat a Duelist as being the only worthwhile combatant, to the degree that if a PC doesn't have some measure of Duelist advantage, then they might as well not even bother investing in combat skills.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

My retort is that the gap between duelists and non-duelists is already too big without the modification, in that regard, adding cheaper alternatives makes things more accessible.

I've played in games where everyone except for one person took a dueling style (classic). The non-dueling guy still wanted to be involved in combat, (invested ranks in weaponry) but really just felt very inadequate compared to all the cool stuff the other guys were doing. Offering a cheap two point advantage instead gives them a chance to get involved, even if they don't want to invest one half of their backgrounds or all of their freebie advantage points.

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

Evan Sageser, your first comment makes me think a lot. I think you are right on a lot of points like: Fait at 1 pt, no weapon modifier but you can use raise to avoid gunshots, and got the “rogue duelist” (witch I will call “Veteran”) at 2 points with 2 maneuvers.

I will edit the changes right away, so the first post will be always the actual rules I’m working with.

 

Donovan Morningfire, I understand completely your point of view. And actually, I’m quite agreeing with you. To try a game with the core rules before making changes it is always a good move.

The main purpose of changing this quick the core rules, it is because the core rules are not finished. Don’t tell me you think this book of 7th sea second edition looks like a finish game to you. It was produce way too soon, it lacks a lot of intel (like … absolutely zero NPC’s to help you play the game), has some mistakes (“liberté, égalité fraternité” for Montaigne … comes AFTER the revolution for example), and very few advantages (The post of librariaNPC is awesome and I think I will take all his advantages in my game).

This book needed the 3 month of work it did not have. Produce it before GenCon seems like a bad call, and this forum is mainly here to help create what is missing. My players did not want the duelist schools, because they seems to have virtually no difference between them. It was missing the “unique” style they all had in first edition. I think the CapnSilver's Modified dueling rules is exactly what was needed.

It is only my opinion. I do not create this post to make everyone change the rules like me, but to show at everyone what I was doing and help them take what they want from there.

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

In a moment of blunt honesty, I'd say the title of the thread is misleading.  The main thrust of the initial post is a pretty hefty revision to the wound track and to how the Dueling rules operate.  Those aren't "little" changes, but incredibly drastic ones.

And honestly, the system runs just fine with the rules as-is.  I think part of the problem is expectations, possibly stemming from having played mostly systems where things are much more codified with regards to combat; maybe not to the degree that 3rd and 4th editions of D&D were, but apart from rules-lite systems such as FATE, this edition of 7th Sea has an overall much lighter touch on combat rules than other RPGs on the market.

But, we pretty obviously don't see eye to eye on the matter, as you seem intent on making this system be a lot crunchier than it probably needs to be, so I'll bow out of this particular discussion rather than derail it into what amounts to a debate on the philosophies of game design/theory.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Lule NZ
Lule NZ's picture

I agree with Donovan that the thread title is a bit misleading, but I also agree the core rule-book feels unfinished and could have used those extra months the original release date would have given them. I would have liked to see some of the magic sessions fleshed out more, better feeling of magic and nation being integrated (to have magic mentioned more in the national sections), more polish on the rules and way more examples of the rules in action in different circumstances.

Is anybody able to indicate a thread of house rules being used to modify the system itself rather than being focused primarly around dueling.
Essentially a thread of small (and perhaps even large) tweaks to the core system that might suit my group better or at least spark some new ideas.

I am keen to keep the central idea of building a pool of action points (raises) for now but am looking for ways to address a few things:
- The one raise = success = success pretty much guaranteed; This has left us feeling less heroic about achieving things - without challenge, reward loses its flavour. Yes, I want the players to succeed more often than not (and so do they!) but we also want there to be degrees of difficulty so if a character is highly skilled they can do more exciting things than a person of lesser training (rather than both just succeed but one might have to take a few points of damage more than the other which does not have the same feeling of danger in a system that auto heals most wounds after a scene).

- Disparity between single risks and action sequences; In a situation where a roll is called for but not a sequence of either dramatic or action variety you have so many dice dedicated to one action that the GM feels pressured to come up with lots of opportunities and consequences to try to make the roll meaningful and give the player chocies about what to do with their raises - but in an action sequence the tendency is for less of these so more things can be accomplished per round, gives that feeling of pace and excitement - but then we're left with a bad taste in the mouth as an individual risk compared to the risks taken during action sequences feels so unbalanced.

- still on the fence about dramatic sequences so seeing what other people do with them would be of interest.
(I think the challenge here is finding the right scope and circumstances so that the single roll for the entire sequence each player gets doesn't feel too generous nor too limiting.)

There are other things but I've waffled on for (more than) long enough. Thanks for any suggestions!

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I agree with Donovan that the thread title is a bit misleading, but I also agree the core rule-book feels unfinished and could have used those extra months the original release date would have given them. I would have liked to see some of the magic sessions fleshed out more, better feeling of magic and nation being integrated (to have magic mentioned more in the national sections), more polish on the rules and way more examples of the rules in action in different circumstances.

I'm going to disagree with you a bit here.  I mean, I agree the rules feel unfinished, but I don't think 3 months of rewriting and refining would have made any difference.  Dueling, magic integration, none of it would have really been affect.  There might have been a tweak here or there, but that's it.

The reason is simply that the playtest pool was too small to really refine the rules.  They were working with what?  Five primary groups?  With some specific parameters (5 players per group max for instance).  That may color in some of the edges, but its not going to have the same effect as the rules going out into the wild.

I fully expect that when we see 7th Sea: The East in a few years, we may be looking at a more "complete" game.  And I still stand by my assertion that we will probably see one or two new community-grown mechanics that have become so ubiquitous that it makes no sense not to include them.  But that's something only a year or so of intense convention play and scores of regular play groups will iron out.  Those are my thoughts, anyway.

LibrariaNPC
LibrariaNPC's picture

I'm with BluSponge on this: time was not the issue in this case. The Kickstarter made it clear that we were only going to get a specifically sized book, and unlike other Kickstarters I've backed, we didn't see an expansion of the rules or setting until we get later books.
My favorite Kickstarter, Fate Core, did digital add-ons and blurbs, as well as funding the core book and later materials, which is why I was a bit disappointed that some of the 7th Sea stretch goals weren't improving the core game experience, but funding novels.

I did a mini-rant on this in one of my blog posts; the game feels unfinished because it was all crammed in, especially when compared to the first edition (which had two rulebooks out of the gate to flesh out the story and mechanics). That said, 3 months really wasn't going to change this, but perhaps the early release will help as we'll be seeing more rulebooks sooner.

 

We really won't see much until people start running/playing it more often at events and in person and getting ideas out there for the community (and world) to see. For now, we're a pretty small group here on the forum talking about things and trying to change the rules, and some of us that are out to modify the rules or make new ones tend to run into some tough ground that stalls the process, whether due to arguments or no feedback. Just to cite my own examples, take a look at the (lack of) discussion on my Dishonored hack and my New Advantages threads, or even the new schools on Donovan's thread. As someone who's kludged many a rule and worked on a few playtests, feedback is vital, but to get feedback, you need an audience willing to participate. I think we're a little too early in the stages of this new edition to get that active audience just yet.

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

Wyrd GM
Wyrd GM's picture

I know, for my piece, I would love to use your Dishonored stuff and give you feedback, but as yet, my group has so many new games they want to play (Sooooo many Kickstarters), and so little time, that it takes forever to go through that list, much less interesting hacks. 

Right now, we are about to start a new 7th Sea game, but the group consensus was, since over half the group has not played before, we are playing the base game. After a few sessions, I will probably be bringing in some of your stuff to try a bit here and there, with the groups permission.

LibrariaNPC
LibrariaNPC's picture

I'm glad to know people are at least interested! Honestly, my comment was just a nod to how silent the boards get; we don't have the same vocal group that the Star Wars RPG forum has, for example, so those of us making rules don't get as much feedback as we'd hope.

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

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

Then again, this is still an unofficial forum, which is trying to attract the player base.  Is the Star Wars RPG forum on the publisher's website?

Also, I think Star Wars has a larger player base in general, so the talkative %age seems bigger.

LibrariaNPC
LibrariaNPC's picture

Yeah, the other forums I frequent (or used to frequent; Fate, Cortex, Star Wars, etc) are from the publishers. I'm sure if Wick gets around to an official forum (or if we become the official forum somehow), it will pick up, but until then, you're right: our percentage of talkative people will be pretty low.

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

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Thank you all for making the forums as lively as they can be for now. We have the Social Share buttons at the beginning of each topic which may help raise our profile if we share more. We also tried to add tags and search options to help find archived posts. 
Sadly, our advertising campaigns attracted Spammers now hitting us daily. Maybe with more word-of-mouth we may increase nicer poster percentages.

There are projects we added like the "Meetups" to schedule games, but they are not being used. Hence, we halted work on a chat-client for Play-by-Post.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

Thank you all for participating at this thread.

 

The time they got and did not use for the core rulebook did matter. The book lack precision, finesse, and examples. No NPC, no real description of the magic effects in a scene, and we can keep going.

The book is good to read, it is good matter, but it is not finished in my opinion.

 

I think I will think about this system too, to add at what I’ve got so far:

http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forum/duelists-problems-and-solutions

Some of you already look at it and even answer it, so I think it could be a good idea. And then, I will not need the “more health points” that I made to balance the damages of the duelist system.

 

I’ll try it and then post it there if I think it is good.

 

For the name of the thread, if many of you think it is misleading, I can change that, no problem. The main system does not bother me so I do not want to change it.

To LuleNZ:

- The one raise = success = success pretty much guaranteed; This has left us feeling less heroic about achieving things - without challenge, reward loses its flavour.

I use the consequences system in a way that it can cause failure. “This consequence makes you unconscious” for example. Well, you jump through the window like you wanted, but not so useful if you are down for the rest of the scene.

 

To Libraria NPC:

You did a really awesome work for what I can tell about the advantages (I did not read the dishonored thread, sry about that).

I want to use your advantages, but it annoys me that the future book can change them, or modifies them, and then make me change all my players’ sheets. But, I think I’ll give them a try. It will help you and it will be fun for my players.

 

Voilà !

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

LibrariaNPC
LibrariaNPC's picture

The time they got and did not use for the core rulebook did matter. The book lack precision, finesse, and examples. No NPC, no real description of the magic effects in a scene, and we can keep going.

The book is good to read, it is good matter, but it is not finished in my opinion.

I won't argue that the book doesn't feel finished, but I will argue that time would not have changed it. It seemed obvious that they had a specific page range in mind at the get-go (production costs, probably), and didn't want to go over that. When compared to the 1st Edition, yes, it is lacking because we are getting ZERO information about specific background details (Syrneth) and next-to-zero information on the major players (we get names and little else). If we had a GM guide to go with this (i.e. another 300 pages), we could have gotten all of the examples, descriptions, and NPCs that we are lacking.

Sadly, that wasn't the case, and now we have to wait for more books to fill in the gaps. A rather frustrating place to be, but again, we can't blame time, but we can blame the production goals/schedule (and the steps away from the GM guide we are seeing in most modern games).

 

To Libraria NPC:

You did a really awesome work for what I can tell about the advantages (I did not read the dishonored thread, sry about that).

I want to use your advantages, but it annoys me that the future book can change them, or modifies them, and then make me change all my players’ sheets. But, I think I’ll give them a try. It will help you and it will be fun for my players.

 

Thank you for the compliment.

Don't worry too much about the Dishonored thread; it's a hack for the video game, and it isn't fitting for everyone, nor is it 100% fitting to the 7th Sea setting.

As for the advantages, that is always a risk we face when creating houserules: we might see them come around later, or we might see them completely overturned. As someone who did a ton of statting of vehicles in FFG's Star Wars RPG, I had the chance to see this happen all too often. At the very least, house rules like what I've put together are just that: house rules. Use at your own risk, change them if you want, and then make tweaks with the new rules if/when needed.

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

Lule NZ
Lule NZ's picture

The players in the game I'm attempting to run suggest consequences that can turn success into failure but the book cautions against that so I try to make sure no consequence counteracts the action they are paying their raise for. However if it works for your group I say go with it, after all that is the golden rule in both first and second edition - take what you like, change or discard what you don't!

I've been slowly reading through some of the threads as time permits (including the advantages one, which I provided a link to for the other members of my group) and they are giving me ideas how to better run with this new system, which is so different in style to the games / systems I grew up playing (GURPS 3rd ed, Shadowrun 2nd and 3rd ed, Cyberpunk - all Roll per Action, quite crunch heavy systems).

I look forward to hearing how your group goes with the new advantages TheFrenchDude.

Easl
Easl's picture

Here are some solutions I’ve thought of. These are NOT intended to be a complete system; instead, they are meant as options, where you pick the best one that fits your play group.

  1. Maneuver purchase: this one is simple; you may purchase any maneuver except riposte as a 1 point advantage. You may purchase riposte as a 2 point advantage.  The standard rules apply, so that if you purchase one maneuver, you cannot use it on every action; you must do something else in between using it. You do not get the duelist advantage of being able to challenge people to a duel unless you buy the  full advantage (nor can you purchase a school technique)   [EDIT: another option is to make each maneuver 2 pts, but 1 pt for a specific nationality.  For example, Castille pays 1 pt for lunge, Montaigne pays 1 pt for parry. Whatever the GM thinks is most appropriate, but each nation should get a 1-pt discount on one maneouver.]
  2. Reducing dualist advantage: substitute [Weaponry-1] for [Weaponry] wherever it occurs.  This should lower the advantage given to dualists by about a third at chargen.
  3. Brute bonus: allow any PC to add their highest attribute to damage when facing brute squads, if they can describe a reasonable way of doing so. This solution does not necessarily improve the duelist/non-duelist balance; rather, it gives non-duelists a more important role in combat scenes, by making them equally effective at dispatching brute squads.
  4. Crunchy weapons: for those who like weapons to have specific characteristics, why not give each weapon an ability to perform one specific maneuver? Here are some thoughts. All the normal rules apply, meaning that you cannot use the same maneuver two actions in a row.

Slash: axes, sabers, scimitars, cutlasses, katanas, and any other curved, relatively fast bladed weapon may be used to perform a slash.

Parry: longswords, broadswords, basket-hilts, backswords, and the main-gauche may be used to parry. Shields may also allow parry (but see “dual wielding” below).

Feint: smallswords, long knives, and other really fast, light weapons may be used to feint.

Lunge: the ability to do a far lunging attack with a sword is still a secret taught only by duelist schools. However the ability to “attack while the opponent is far away” has been used with long weapons for as long as they have existed.  Spears, pikes, polearms, and halberds may be used to perform an equivalent of the lunge maneuver.

Bash: weapon that rely more on weight and blunt force trauma than an edge may use bash. These include most two-handed swords, hammers, maces, large staves, poleaxes, and the like. Large shields also allow bash (but see “dual wielding” below).

Riposte: rapiers get riposte. Nothing else does.

No advantage is given to improvised, natural, and substandard weapons. This includes table legs, tankards, fists, hitting someone with the butt of your pistol, and so on. The bonuses here presume the bit you’re using was designed specifically as a primary combat weapon.  Things designed for some other reason that happen to be occasionally useful in combat should get no bonus.

Qualifying for more than one category: if a weapon qualifies for more than one category (example: a player describes their weapon as “a rapier with a beautiful basket hilt”), the PC must choose which one will be used, permanently, with that weapon. Under this option, any given weapon has one and only one maneuver associated with it. But be flexible with individual PC choices; allow the PC’s favorite bowie knife to have slash instead of feint if he/she really wants it to.  Just as long as it’s one maneuver/weapon, game balance-wise it probably doesn’t matter much which one they get.

Dual wielding: while dual wielding may give someone access to multiple maneuvers, untrained combatants simply do not have the expertise to use both hands in an adaptive and coordinated fashion, switching offensive and defensive weapon roles every tenth of a second the way a trained duelist does.  When dual wielding, you must select one of your weapon-available maneuvers each round, and that is the only one you are allowed to use that round. This includes PCs wielding a shield in the off-hand; they get access to one specific type of maneuver per round, not both.

Mosswood17
Mosswood17's picture

Apologies if I missed it, but what about just making duelling maneuvers effective only against single opponents?  

It's simple.  It allows brawlers to be as effective against Mooks as Duellists.  It gives Duellists a benefit against the big bad villains (which they paid for in advantages).  

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

If the GM is going to do that, make it so that Duelist Maneuvers can't be used against Brute Squads, then they had better seriously discount the cost of Dueling Academy, making it a 3 point Advantage since it's going to be of such limited utility.

The game's designers even noted that the earlier draft of the Dueling rules (which could only be used against Villains) didn't see nearly enough use to justify the cost of acquiring that ability much less the complexity of the rules involved, making becoming a Duelist as much (if not more of) a point-sink than Swordsman Schools were back in first edition.  And that it was a disservice to the inspirations of the game that a highly-trained swordsman would have less trouble against the major nemesis than they would against a pack of nameless thugs; it would be tantamount to seeing Bruce Lee struggle to dispatch Han's many mooks in Enter the Dragon, taking more than a third of the movie's run time, but then proceed to take out Han in only a couple of minutes in what would be a very anti-climactic boss battle.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

Hi all ! Thank you for your feedbacks and ideas !

 

To Nicholas Hopkins   and  Donovan Morningfire

On the subject, it really depends on what game you want to play. If you want to play swashbuckling old school movies like, where you can deal with 30 anonymous foes in a tavern brawl without any real danger, go for the system the rulebook propose. If you want to go for heroism and realism, go for 1 raise for 1 brute. No manoeuvers allowed.

The last one is my choice because it is the way I love mastering the game, but the other one is good if you want to go for the most epic super hero game (a bit like the last “three musketeers” movie)

 

To Easl

I like a lot what you are doing, but i will test the system with only the changes i made and the new advantages of LibrariaNPC for the moment. But I really think you got something interesting for the game.

 

To Lule NZ

I tried the mecanism of « 1 consequence can make you fail », and it works as long as it is not abusive and explained by something like: “the ground collapse under your feet and you fell. You cannot exit the room like you first intended”.

I agree with you, this system gives many ideas for other games.

 

To LibrariaNPC

My players had begun to use your advantages. For the moment it is going well. But I have maybe an Errata proposition for exploit weakness:

Why not go for: “choose a duelist school. The duelists you face who use this school cannot use his botte secrete.”

Like, you know the secret of the school and can be fooled by the botte secrete.

 

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

If you're going for "realism" then I wonder if this is the game for you.  The PCs in general are "larger than life" types, given that unless they abstain from rolling dice entirely, they're always going to succeed at what they do, which isn't "realistic" or "gritty."  The PCs of a 7th Sea game are meant to be the Jack Sparrows and the Zorros and the Fezziks of the setting right from the start, not a bunch of 1st level D&D adventures that could get wiped out if facing off against large enough groups of goblins/kobolds.

Consider also Lord of the Rings; while the PCs might not quite be at Aragorn or Gandalf's tier, they're still much better off in terms of capability than the Hobbits were at the start of their journey, and you've got Gimli and Legolas making a sporting competition out of mowing down orcs rather than being seriously worried for their well-being.

But hey, whatever floats your boat, and if your players buy into it, that's their call.  I'd still suggest that you actually try running the game rules as-is before making so many changes.  More often than not, a lot of instance of people trying to "fix" a game they've never played only winds up making things worse.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Hello Donovan, personally, I do not like the mechanic that heroes never fail unless they chose to fail. That is basically John Wick's cop-out for his own failure to design dice mechanics that can handle failure gracefully. Could be the influence of those notorious "critical" fumbles in other games that may have spurred John Wick to rant so viciously against dice mechanics.

However, some of the 7th Sea mechancis were not written with proper playtesting, but glossed over to fit John Wick's view of how he wanted to narrate his stories. Not everyone likes story-games either. If I wanted a story, I would watch a movie. I play games to enjoy the mechanics as much as the story. Sadly, like all game mechancis, 7th Sea has its flaws, from the notorious duelists demi-gods, to porte magic and 7th Sea's ridiculous Disney-esque morality. 

Personally, I found several rules mechanics is 7th Sea deliberately written around John Wick's personal tastes rather than proper play-testing feedback.

Another critical flaw in 7th Sea 2e is the desire to have a hero cut through swathes of brutes but still make the games challenging enough not to get boring. Adding more higher level villains into the ranks of brutes is an option since 7th Sea is not guided by the CR Challenging Rating advice in DnD rules. But even Star Wars has this Jedi problem. I do not usually allow groups of Jedi in my Star Wars, just one or two for flavor backdrops as a low-level Jedi. 

And that is why I encourage the exchange of ideas on these forums, sinceI hope that player feedback could eventually improve the game for everyone too.

So please, let us not tell people to go play different games, just because they found flaws in the current game. Bad "gate keepers" behave this bad way. devil
 

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Joachim Deneuve...
Joachim Deneuve du Surlign's picture

I think that's being somewhat harsh and approaching things the wrong way round.  Given the progression of rulesets that John has written, I take at face value that the rules he wrote were designed with a goal in mind.

Thus, he wanted a system where failing wasn't normally something that happens without a player choosing to make that choice, so he designed this one.  And it's not as if 7S2e is the only RPG that works like that.  There are others with similar ideas.

And to be fair, the company producing the game is called "John Wick presents".  I absolutely expect the games it produces to be written with a bias towards how John Wick likes to narrate stories.

Now, I understand that bluntly saying that you might be better with a different game can come across poorly.  However, if someone's playing hockey, but says that they're not too keen on using a stick to hit the ball, is it better to introduce them to soccer, or try to find some way to play hockey without a stick?  Introducing them to soccer also doesn't preclude the possibility of discussing related issues: is astroturf better than real grass, is it better to use man-to-man marking or zone defense etc.

In conclusion, I think the best advice for someone who doesn't like story narration style games is to try 1st Edition, introducing some of the new bits and pieces from the 2E book, or possibly convert what we have to a different system.  But it will be very difficult to take the 2E ruleset and make it a game they like.  We're not trying to be gatekeepers, we're offereing what we honestly think of as the best advice for how someone can enjoy the setting.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Thanks @Joachim, I will not hijack this thread, but just say this briefly (a) let us agree that Heroes never fail according to John Wick's rules.

Then (b) Heroes cannot be penalized by Corruption either unless the Player controlling the Hero agrees to accept Corruption for narrative bonuses.

Else (c) Heroes that never fail suddenly find themselves failing Corruption rolls. That is illogical. devil

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Ok, wait.  Let me stop you here.  Because I had something of an epiphany on corrpution the other night though I haven't really shared it yet.

First of all, it isn't an apples and oranges comparison.

Players can choose to fail.  Players CHOOSE to perform an action that earns them corruption.  They don't (or shouldn't) receive corruption by surprise.  It's a choice.

It's also one of the few established consequences in the game.  It's pretty much the only in-game device that says to a player "stop and consider the consequence."  Corruption is designed to be a real STFU AND LISTEN device.  It's pretty much the ONLY thing in play that takes control of the character out of the player's hands.  It's the only device that keeps players from doing whatever they want, damn the cost.  It's Russian Roulette, and every time you play it you add another bullet to the mix.

Heroes don't "fail" their corruption rolls.  They've already "failed" at being a hero.  They chose the route.  "Failing" the corruption roll is just the bill coming due.  That may seem illogical to you, but it makes a certain amount of sense.

(Full disclosure: Personally, I do like a buffer for "scoundrel" characters because I like a little gray in my stories.)

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

I do not want to hjiack this thread with Corruption. But (a) John Wick says the game is about telling diverse Player stories and (b) John Wick hates heavy handed rules and (c) John Wick hates bad dice rolls. Hence, it is very ironic that John Wick deliberately shoehorned a rule to destroy Player agency by forcing Players who never fail to suddenly FAIL at Corruption. Taking the world of 7th Sea at face value, since there are no gods walking the earth, what in-game mechanic suddenly causes Corruption to exist? Because the designer Mike Curry said that if the GM does not give fair warning, then even bad actions are Corruption-free. Which means the rule is already a mechanically corrupt rule (pun intended). Logically consistent game mechanics would have treated Corruption like other Consequences allowing Players to use Raises to buy off Corruption. But John Wick wants FAILURE too. There goes consistency.

 

 

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

That was largely the intent of my post, to question that if one is spending so much time and effort ot pound a 2-inch wide square peg into a 3/4-inch circular hole, perhaps that effort is best directed elsewhere, using a system that leans more towards what you want it to do and thus spend that creative effort into creating fun and exciting adventures for your players.  It's akin to complaining that D&D is a lousy system to use to emulate the Star Trek setting but still trying to force D&D into being used to play Star Trek when there are other systems that will do much better at delivering a Star Trek experience, be it Modiphius' newest offering, the Lasers & Feelings rules-lite game, or even a system hack of FATE (which as a system is designed to be quickly and readily adapted to a variety of themes and settings).  Or complaining that the PCs in an Legend of the Five Rings game can't pull off the sort of crazy combat shenanigans that you see in Rurouni Kenshin or Naruto; L5R (any edition) was designed to deliver a certain gameplay experience, and over-the-top anime combats ain't it.

A lot of game designers have very specific goals in mind when writing RPGs.  Fred Hicks certainly did with FATE, as did Leonard Balsera when leading the revision of FATE into FATE Core and by extention FATE Accelerated Edition.  Jay Little had a very specific intent for what Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 3rd edition would be, as he and the creative team behind FFG's Star Wars RPG did, and each of the games (RPG, minis, board game) he's designed have had specific intents as to what sort of experience they were meant to provide.  Chris Perkins, Rodney Thompson, and Owen KC Stephens certainly had specific goals in mind for what WotC's Star Wars Saga Edition RPG would accomplish.

As you said, John Wick created this version of 7th Seas with the simple cavaet that the PCs are larger-than-life action heroes, and that they don't "fail" becuase of some random roll of the die; they may not succeed without consequence (i.e., not generating enough Raises to remove the consequences of the Risk), but a bad roll doesn't result in the Hero completely failing.  But where most RPGs settle for having the PCs start out as low-end nobodies not that much more capable than your average person, 7th Sea 2e opted to set the bar higher, so that what it considers a "starting Hero" is what other RPGs would consider an experienced PC.  For some, it's a shift in mental paradigm that they can't or won't make.  It's not unlike the shift in thinking required for folks picking up FFG's Star Wars game; the way the dice works ensures that you can never be 100% that a roll will succeed or fail, and was intentionally designed so that it didn't have the binary "pass/fail" mechanic that's been an RPG mainstay since the hobby was created, ensuring that almost every roll of the dice had an interesting result, which in turn helps ensure that picking up the dice means something, with the rules themselves suggesting that the dice should only be rolled if the outcome is important to the story being told.  In a way, this edition of 7th Sea is much the same, in that if you're picking up the dice, that means the outcome is important in some method or fashion.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Ha ha ha! @Donovan, I hope you remember that John Wick has notorious tirades against DnD and its terrible mechanics. Ironically, John Wick's 7th Sea 2e is not immune to bad mechanical design either. In trying to make Heroes larger than life and making Duelists fun to play, several terrible mechanics have been created whereby a squad of Duelist Heroes can mow down a whole army of NPCs, unless the GM creates a squad of high level Villians to oppose those Heroes. Next, John Wick vehemently defended his desire for Heroes never to fail and for Players to have agency in telling Player stories, except if those Players tell stories that John Wick does not like, then he prefers to just to steal their Characters. There are good and bad mechanics in 7th Sea 2e just like in other RPGs. So when John Wick rants about the horrors of DnD, he should look into his own problems too.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

The man's entitled to his opinion, and frankly his complaints about D&D are not entirely without merit.  To be honest, I think the 3rd edition ruleset was one of the most poorly thought-out versions of D&D, and the Pathfinder books are best used as toilet paper, and yet said rulesets are quite well enjoyed by a large portion of the gaming community.  I believe that GURPS and especially Palladium are complete and utter garbage, yet people still enjoy and play those systems.  I feel that FFG's Star Wars RPG is one of the best fucking RPGs on the market let alone the best Star Wars RPG as yet printed, but there are people that despise it (mostly for needing custom dice) and prefer to stick to WEG or one of the d20-based systems instead.

As for the so-called "Duelist Problem," every single RPG on the market that has stat blocks is going to suffer if the entire group plays a single character type.  D&D in all editions except 4th suffer from a party of all mages/wizards, either at low level becuase they're too fragile or at high level because they can pretty much dominate anything placed in front of them, so by your presumption that would make D&D an incredibly flawed system all around, and 3rd edition even more so due to the power that clerics and druids can bring to the table.  Star Wars RPGs of all stripes have suffered when it's a full party of Jedi with lightsabers, from WEG's d6 up to FFG's version.  Evil Hat's Dresden Files FATE RPG very quickly breaks down if you've got a party of nothing but full-fledged Wizards given the sheer power and versatility said character type has.  None of those games were written with the notion that players would all want to play the same character type, any more than 7th Sea, either first or second edition was written with the idea that the players would be so droll as to all play swordsman/duelists.

If you have a group of players where everyone wants to play a Duelist simply because they're the lords of combat, that's more a problem with the group than the rule system.  I've been able to run and play in several sessions where no every PC wanted to start out as a Duelist, simply because they were more focused on fleshing out their character concept as opposed to maximizing their combat prowess, with said concepts not centering around "being the biggest badass in the room."

Now if you bothered to pay attention during the lead-up to 2e being published, John Wick pretty much admitted that he was aiming for a specific feel with this edition of 7th Sea, and that the mechanics were completely designed to reflect that, and in capturing a certain general feel, it succeeds.  The only time that a player has their character "taken away" is when said character acts like an outright unheroic bastard, and evne then Corruptio is not an instant "character gets taken away thing."  If you want to act all butthurt that you can't play a shady backstabbing scumbag in a system where the design intent was plainly stated to have the players be Heroes, then that's your malfunction.

Maybe you didn't play much first edition 7th Sea either, but Brute Squads there tended to go down pretty quick too, with a starting Hero that was reasonably skilled at combat (5k3 for a dice pool) could dismantle a Brute Squad by himself in a single turn, possibly before the Brute Squad even got a chance to do anything if they were able to take their actions early enough in the round, and given that taking down Brutes in 1e had nothing to do with your damage output, a bare-knuckle brawler that meets the listed criteria could destroy a Brute Squad just as quickly as that swordsman swinging a broadsword.

As I've said elsewhere, Brute Squads were never meant to be a serious challenge; they're the nameless grunts that only slow the Heroes down on their way to the major opposition.  But if you as the GM are such an unimaginative halfwit that all you can think for combat scenes is "throw as many Brutes at the PCs as I can," then you're probably not the sort of GM that's suited to running this sort of game, and might have better luck with something more hack&slashy like Pathfinder or D&D.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Look @DonovanMorningfire, thank you for the detailed explanation. Firstly, John Wick is the one who regulary rants about how D&D is thw worst system ever created. Hence, it is perfectly poetic justice when we too gloat at the gross mess created in 7th Sea when all players chose Duelists Heroes. devil

Next, John Wick was the same person in several parts of the book that encouraged Player Agency to play for entertainment, and even created rules to ensure Heroes cannot fail. Thus, it must be the design team of John Wick Presents is suffering some butt-hurt when they realized a table of Players may chose to have a different definition of Hero than the one John Wick is demanding we obey. The Corruption mechanic is so broken that if the GM forgets to warn Players that the ship they left to sink has someone trapped in the hold.those Players escape Corruption, but if the GM remembers to tell Players about the person trapped in the hold and the Players still let the ship sink then they get Corruption. Or the GM presents the person trapped in the hold as an "Opportunity" to investigate the hold, but if the Players chose not to take this Opportunity they are still free of Corruption even if the trapped person later dies with the sinking ship. Same person trapped in hold, but Corruption changes with the weather. What?

However, 7th Sea 2e has a lot of great aspects in it. For example, I use the Dramatic Sequence to run mass combat for opposing armies led by heroic generals.

ps. Please do not use words like "half-wit" or other slurs in conversation with fellow fans, gms and players of 7th Sea. We are all friends here.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

To Donovan Morningfire

I begin to take your critics quite personally. If you don't like my way to play the game, so be it. I do not judge your way to play it, so please, let me enjoy mine.

What i love in 7th sea is the background, the world of Thea, and the swashbuckling genre. I think this is the most important thing you can ask of an RPG no? I’m not even sure why I’m using time to respond to you, and why you make me feel the need to justify myself to play this game. If you don’t like my changes, ignore them. We do not play together it seems to me?

We all try here to propose some changes we like for the game. This is for the greeter good and we all try to test something new. I like this game a lot, and try to improve what I feel the need to improve. The duelist is a big part of it. The massive destruction of Brutes is another part.

Now, can we just focus on the changes I propose on this thread instead of, like you said earlier, transforming it in a debate “on the philosophies of game design/theory”?

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

French Dude,

Morningstar has a point, however. I get loving 7th Sea for the lore. Absolutely get it. But the game system is geared up for a certain type of experience. If you prefer something with more versimilitude, a more traditional rpg, then you may find yourself having issues with the system. That's not an insult to you or your style of play. That's just being helpful. It may not be the answer you are looking for, but it might turn out to be your best solution. Converting Theah to Savage World's, Ubiquity, Honor+Intrigue, even some flavor of OSR is a snap. A lot of folks have adopted a 7the Sea 1.5 approach. Because they realize getting the experience they want out of the new game system just isn't going to happen. That's all.

Now maybe that isn't what you are going for. But I don't think you should be insulted when Donovan suggests you might be asking for something of the game system you aren't likely to get without a MAJOR shift in design.

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture
Well I do like what the 2nd edition is trying to do. I enjoy it vers much. But there is some points on game design which are bothering me. The points I mentionned earlier. I really think it changes nothing to the way we play the game in the narrativist style. It only brings more flavor

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

@TheFrenchDude, there is a trend all the way at the top from the designers themselves, disparaing certain play styles and refusing to entertain those styles in 7th Sea. But here on these forums, I hope we can all agree to disagree without taking things personally and still have fun playing the game differently.  

Beyond the rules, just focusing on the products themselves, I offerend honest critique over their poor quality "Heroes and Villains" sourcebook compared to the core rulebook, with a suggestion to delay the production to add improvements. The 7th Sea Kickstarter is already delivering products in good time and of good quality so far. However, there are fans who love everything coming from John Wick. That is great. But there are fans who should be free to complain. 

So thanks for your suggested improvements. Let us just agree that not everyone wants those alterations. Some are happy with the game in its current form.
 

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

I decide to try this :

Maneuver: Whirl

Not all duels are one on one; fighting a group of armed men requires different tactics. When you perform Whirl, spend a number of Raises (minimum 1). You reduce a Brute Squad's Strength by a number equal to Half your Ranks in Weaponry rounded up plus the Raises you spend. You can use this maneuver once per round.

You can see the discussion arounf it in this thread:

http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forum/brutes-and-duelists-house-rule#commen...

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

A month ago I would have told you I preferred that manoeuvre as part of a duelist style... but after seeing the "student of combat" advantage that was put on these forums and on the Heroes & Villains book I quite agree with Whirl being a basic manoeuvre.

My players and I haven't tested the game enough to see if there will be a huge difference when a duelist reaches weaponry 4 or 5 and fights Brutes, so I haven't house-ruled anything even if I had posted a few house-rules here on these forums. That said, I'm considering the options of manoeuvres not working on Brutes, except Whirl, and damage reduced to weaponry/2 rounded up but I'll wait a bit.

Furthermore, I am tempted to say that perhaps weaponry/2 rounded up is a bit too low for Whirl... because no manoeuvre can be improved with Raises except Lunge, which uses all of them. What do you think about Weaponry damage instead of 1/2?

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

By basic maneuver, do you mean for duelists (slash, parry, feint, etc) or as a manuever available for everyone?

Here's the deal with limiting whirl: brutes soak up raises.  Whirl ONLY works on brutes.  SO, if you disallow spending raises on it, you are suddenly going to end up having more raises to deal with in play.  Which means coming up with more consequences to spend raises on.

And if you increase the wound output to Weaponry (instead of weaponry/2) I think that's going to exacerbate the problem.

But...someone give it a whirl and find out.  ;)

Carlo Lope
Carlo Lope's picture

With basic manoeuvre I meant one of the manoeuvres a duelist learns when they buy the advantage (Also allowing a student of combat to learn it if they choose to).

I can see your point... Well, I'm a fan of Whirl anyways (it constantly reminds me of that duelist style in 2st ed that gave you a knack that helped you against Brutes... but can't remember the name. I believe it from Castille and you had 2 fencing weapons).

Harliquinn tested it out, right?

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I'm on the fence.  It's one of those abilities that looks good on paper.  Sure, we'd all like "threats" to be just that.  Yes, Harley tested it out.  But then we had...what?  Six playtest groups on the core rules?  Nothing wrong with getting a few more tests.  ;)

 

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

To be honest, it seems a lot of the issue that folks have with Duelists vs. Brute Squads is the expectation that Brute Squads are supposed to be some major threat, something that when the Heroes see a group of Brutes they're supposed to break out in a cold sweat and fear for their well-being.  When if you look at the primary inspirations for 7th Sea, the heroes of those stories don't start worrying when the nameless mooks show up, but instead are more likely to smirk and trade a few witty remarks before setting upon them.  Zorro never sweats when he sees the Alcalde's soldiers coming for him, but instead smiles and makes quick-yet-non-lethal work of them.  Inigo didn't worry when Count Rugen's duelists came rushing at him, but instead swiftly dispatched the lot of them.  Bruce Lee certainly never worried when he squared off large groups of foes, instead focusing on being the biggest badass in the scene and going through the mooks like a freight train through tissue paper.  Those are the type of things that Duelists are meant to do, not worry about if they're going to be able to defeat their foes.

As I noted above, even in 1e, Brute Squads were never a serious threat to a group of Heroes, even if a PC with a Swordsman School wasn't quite the ferocious combat machine from get-go that a Duelist can be in 2e.  In 1e, they were a minor challenge at best, with your average combat-savvy Hero being able to take out 2 or 3 Brutes per Action, and an experienced Hero being able to dispatch 2 or 3 Brute Squads per round (or even more if they had the Soldano school).  So a 2e Duelist being able to demolish a Brute Squad with a couple of Raises isn't exactly a new concept to 7th Sea, just that they can do it a lot more efficiently immediately after character creation, which makes sense given the resource investment required; either one of your Background choices, which locks in 4 of your starting skill ranks (not all of which may be appropriate for the type of Duelist being built) or all five of your discretionary Advantage points.

Pretty much ever so-called "fix" for Duelists being able to decimate a Brute Squad operates around the flawed concept that Brute Squads were meant to be a serious threat, as if they were playing a grim&gritty game where every fight could be your last.  Just the way that the damage track works in this game (Wounds themselves are a minor nuisance that vanish after every fight, while you really only need to start fretting about Dramatic Wounds when you hit the second and especialy the third one) should be a clue that the intent of this system isn't to be a realistic combat simulator.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog
http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.com/

TheFrenchDude C...
TheFrenchDude Cheese and wine's picture

To Donovan Morningfire

This time, i totaly agree with you. The Brute Squad got two roles in my opinion :

1. To make the players feel awesome.

2. To be a nuisance, to make then slowdown, to represent a little threat.

This is why i like the idea of Whirl. The all system of 1 raise / 1 kill is a bit weak. The sytem of "i can use all my manoeuvres to kill them in a blink of an eye" is a bit too much for me.

I think Whirl is the step i needed to feel good about that. Not too strong. Not too weak. And a "feel good" to destroy lot of oponents when you are good with your weapon. With that, i think a good duelist can deal with 10 brutes without a wound, or close to that. Not bad.

Got a question : Can we make an opponent got the strength of a force 10 Brute Squad ? Like only one guy, but he represent the force àf 10 men, and he is not a vilain. Do you see what i mean ? My players had ask me that and i thought it was not a bad idea.

“A vaincre sans péril, on triomphe sans gloire”

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I don't see why not. When you think about it, a brute squad is sort of a nebulous idea. So why not a villain who can take 10 wounds but goes down on the 10th (a dramatic wound)?

 

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