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Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture
New to 7th Sea
2nd edition, 2e, newbie

Hi all

I'm interested in 7th Sea 2nd edition, it looks really exciting. I have though been reading mixed reviews about the system; everything from the rules leaving a lot to be desired, to a genius rpgs. 

Even though I'm totally new to the system, I tend to think the more critical reviews are coming from those seeing 2nd ed as too much of a change from 1st, or those expecting something else from the system. 

Personally, I like narrative systems, I like Fate Core, I like systems that allow the story to flow in exciting ways and with twists nobody not even the GM saw coming. I like sandbox and flying by the seat of my pants as a GM. 

I also like to play crunchy systems, where a longsword is different from a two handed sword is different from a battle axe. But I'd say my first love is narrative play. 

So are the rules ok, or are they incomplete in some way?

Thanks all

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"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Mars University
Mars University's picture

Personally, I like the rules as published, but there are a few things to consider:

  • The rules as written are much more narrative than strategic, so you'd have to appreciate that mechanical style.
  • The mechanics are very freeform and open to GM interpretation, so some things will need to be decided on the fly at the table.
  • Some systems (such as Dueling and Corruption) are very devisive, and some players or GMs are greatly in favor of dropping these, or heavily rewriting them.
  • Some of the rules and setting could benefit with the development that supplements should provide, which is true of a lot of settings/systems.

If none of those are a deal-breaker for you, I'd give it a go (or at least a reading).

 

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
If you like fate and narrative, it's worth a look. If you want crunch, go get the 1st Ed stuff because this edition is one of the least crunchy games in history.
Bradley
Bradley's picture

The system itself is basically complete, with openings for more being added on easily, but it is a very loose system. Being a loose system is not a bad thing, it just means the system is purposely left up to interpretations and quick judgements based upon the current events without consideration to previous interpretations.

This system is a system designed for writers and story tellers so they have a framework to play off of together. 1e was much tighter and more of something for people that were tactical.

1e is a system that would do well being converted straight to a video game while 2e works best in more textual or spoken forms.

I like 2e, but it is not for everyone.

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Yeah, 2e is far more focused on being a narrative RPG, with just enough mechanics to provide a sense of structure, but also loose enough to not unduly restrict the players or the GM.

Being a fan of Fantasy Flight Game's Star Wars RPG (the best damn Star Wars RPG made in my opinion), the narrative focus was something that I and my usual gaming group had no problem with.  But for a group that's used to D&D/Pathfinder or similar mechanics-heavy systems, 7th Sea 2e is a major shift and not one that every player can make.  With the players free to spend their Hero's Raises as they see fit, it opens up a lot of possibilites for a creative player to have their character do some really cool stuff that would make Zorro, Inigo Montoya, and Captain Jack Sparrow nod in approval at that Hero's actions.  Contrast to the 1e of 7th Sea, and for the most part a beginning character really wasn't all that awesome, and if you tried to do something really cool, you were more likely to fail than to succeed.

As for Duelists and how "broken" they are, that's probably more of a conceptual thing, though honestly I've found that a lot of the so-called "fixes" were by folks that really haven't played the system, played it and didn't find it "crunchy" enough, or are overlooking the fact that being a skilled swordsman is a significant investment of a starting character resource; a PC with the Duelist Academy advantage as made a 5pt investment (out of 15 points total) to say "I am a badass when I've got a sword in my hand!"  There's been a few folks bitching and whining about how other combaty-types "can't compete" (pugilists and non-firearm ranged attackers generally), yet don't seem to remember that back when 1e came out, the only "combat" schools were literally Swordsman schools and all focused on using a sword.  From my own experiences, a pugilist or ranged attacker can very much be effective in combat; they may not be as awesome as the Duelist, but then they haven't made as significant a points investment as the Duelist did.

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

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I think the difference between 1e and 2e's lack of options for non-swordsmen was that in 1e non-swordsmen were still viable without academies. Sure they didn't get a ton of cool maneuvers, but they could still hit nearly has hard with enough investment in skills and attributes. Actually there was a school of thought in 1e that Swordsmen schools in general were incredibly inefficient for their points. Comparatively, the best fighter was simply the one that invested the most in having the highest attributes and just hitting people for a ton of damage over and over again, inelegant and not the most fun, but very effective.

 

I'm entirely open for this sort of direct form of combat characters (It has its place in swashbuckling. It's difficult to argue that Fezzik was any sort of master in the field of unarmed combat, but he arguably got closer to defeating Westly than Inigo did simply due to his incredible strength.) Obviously it's better to ensure that these sort of cheaper cruder styles don't completely overshadow the swashbucklers, but I'm not adverse to the style existing.

The problem though is that it really doesn't matter how much you invest in mundane skills, for the most part you will be very overshadowed by anyone with a sword. Simply due to the fact that every swordsman has access to slash (which can inflict up to five times more wounds per raise than a normal combatant can) means that it's incredibly difficult for even a grade-A, maxed brawl and brawn (plus the boxer advantage) pugilist to do much against even a fairly average duelist.

The pugilist is probably going to be tossing around eleven dice, with max skills that's going to be probably average between six to eight raises each round. Very impressive, meanwhile the duelist with three weaponry and three finesse is only going to be tossing around six dice, which averages to only about three raises. From an outsider's perspective someone who has rolled over double the raises of their opponent should probably beat them handily. Except the Pugilist can only inflict wounds equal to their raises, while their opponent inflicts three wounds for each raise. They're somewhat limited because they can't slash on each of their raises, but feint allows them to nearly match the difference (ignoring that a Leegstra fighter would completely ignore the difference.) Eight raise pugilist and three raise duelist both can inflict eight wounds on each other. (or the duelist ripostes and the pugilist only deals five wounds to the duelist's eight.

Five Brawn, Five Brawl and Boxer is actually a larger investment of experience than three finesse, three weaponry, dueling academy, but it takes that much investment for them to even have a small chance at matching an average duelist in one-on-one combat.

I want effective unarmed fighters as well, but I think we need to achieve that by opening the door for others to get maneuvers as well, not by pretending that they're effective in some other way.

Sean Butler
Sean Butler's picture

Yeah, this is pretty much the problem with Duelists.  Everyone who says the Dueling rules are fine as-is seem to think that 5 points is some tremendous investment that merits earth-shattering abilities for some reason.  But the thing is, someone could easily say "I want a nice, well-rounded character," and decide to take Duelist Academy (and 10 points of assorted non-combat-related advantages), cap all his traits at 3, bring Weaponry to 3, and completely ignore any other combat abilities forever, and still be at least as effective in combat as someone who otherwise maxes out their combat ability without being a Duelist.  It's not even a contest if the Duelist decides to bump his Weaponry to 4.

Duelist maneuvers' damage/prevention are currently based on your Weaponry score, which also determines your number of raises/actions, making it ridiculously effective when a Duelist has 4-5 Weaponry.  If instead, it was based on "number of ranks of the Duelist Academy advantage, plus one" (i.e., a Slash deals 2 damage for someone who spent 5 points on Duelist Academy, 3 damage if you take it twice for 10 points), it would still be a worthwhile investment of 5 points to virtually double your combat capability, and possibly 10 or more points if you really wanted to specialize in combat (be a "master duelist").

To look at it another way, compare Duelist Academy to Fencer.  Fencer, like Duelist Academy, is strictly combat-related, and it essentially gets you an extra die in combat for 3 points.  Duelist Academy effectively grants you the value equivalent of-- to be conservative-- double your dice pool in combat, for an extra 2 points.  Again, at high Weaponry skill, the value is even greater.

Star West
Star West's picture

1. Fezzik beat Wesley using Brawl, NOT swords. Fezzik had Large, Bar Fighter, and probably a bunch of other advantages at his disposal, while Wesley was a duelist.

 

2. Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the a lot of the dueling maneuvers only apply when you're facing someone else armed with a Weapon and using the Weaponry skill? Against a Brawler Duelists can Slash and Lunge, but they can't do it multiple times in a Round.

 

3. The Dev team is already working on an alternative for Brawlers. It's just not released yet.

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

I don't believe there is any limitation on most of the dueling manuevers to only being applicable against weaponry users. That would limit them rather profoundly against monsters and such. Melee attacks yes, you can't parry a bullet, but melee would logically include both armed and unarmed.

I'm glad they are releasing brawler alternatives, but in the mean time there's no harm if people want to institute a stop gap measure, and then tweak it once the official version is released.

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture
I don't see why feint couldn't be used against a melee or ranged attack.
Star West
Star West's picture

I don't see why feint couldn't be used against a melee or ranged attack.

Fair point. Pommel Strike as well for that matter.

I'm glad they are releasing brawler alternatives, but in the mean time there's no harm if people want to institute a stop gap measure, and then tweak it once the official version is released.

I completely agree. I've just seen a lot of people complaining about dueling by saying that it's overpowered and makes everyone fiighting with something other than a sword completely outclassed...and it's like...yes...they know. Those rules are coming...just make it work on your own for now. It really isn't that hard to take the existing dueling manuevers, create a few unarmed styles, and say there you go.

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Interesting

Thanks all for the info

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

This here thread makes it sound like the Duellist is broken

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

Or I'm missing something. 

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Or they are. Most if the negative feedback is coming from people who have not actually played or played one session and started fiddling with things. Is the Duelist broken or is the player getting a big advantage that cost half their points to take? Does a trained fighter have a big advantage over an untrained combatant? Seems like an accurate response to players who is sed to complain about spending the points in the old system and getting shown up by players that focused on traits only.
Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

I'm itching to buy the game, really am, but at nearly £20 it's not cheap, and I'm concerned I'll be plonking down the money only to find the rules don't work. 

I've never known a rpg to split people's opinions so much

I'm very probably going to buy 7th Sea though because the setting sounds brilliant. 

No roleplaying game has perfect rules, but I have to ask, are there major problems with 7th Sea 2ed or is it a case of certain folk not understanding the design philosophy and expecting something different to what's on offer?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
Most of the rules work well enough, @SparkyUK, and 7thSea2e is lighter than 1e in certain rules, but some new rules were rushed with a design philosophy that ignored diverse play styles. Some fans new to 7th Sea stll wanted some weapons tables, and in my view nothing will destroy the core rules by adding a few tweaks so that certain weapons require a minimum rank of Finesse (pistols) or Brawn (halberds) without Consequence when used in combat (else you need a Raise to remove the Consequence before using an unwieldy weapon). Many fans have even suggested other interesting options to the game, but the designers are staying silent, mostly, anyway. Still, 7th Sea is a great RPG and well worth the money. It will provide hours of fun at your table.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Mars University
Mars University's picture

Sparky, I can't definitively know what the other fans and players are thinking, but my general impression is that the split in fan opinions is caused by a few things:

  • 7th Sea Second Edition is one of the largest game mechanics and setting changes between editions that I've ever seen. 2e is very narrative and closer to games like Fate, where 1e was closer to moderate heavy ruleset for its time of release (late nineties) with several good narrative tweaks. The old edition had a lot of dedicated fans that held on for a decade without releases before the Kickstarter and genuinely loved first edition (warts and all), so the new mechanics are probably a big adjustment/dissapointment for them. I really loved 1e, but never got it to the table, so I can't say I know where they're coming from completely, but even I miss some of the fun mechanical fiddly bits of the old edition that didn't carry over.
  • The system really hasn't had a chance to be put through its paces by the player community at large yet. I get the feeling that some people are commenting from a position of authority after several games, while others are sharing thoughts after a single session or just reading the book. Some of the obvious problems being discussed right now could actually turn out fine (especially after the effect of some supplementary material hitting everyone's tables), while some current non-issues could be potentially game-breaking after everyone's had a chance to put some mileage on the game. It seems like time will probably work some of the perceived problems out, or at least introduce others. Then again, maybe not, who knows at this point?
  • Dueling is a huge issue under debate, some people seem to love it, some seem to hate it. I can't argue that the rules don't make a duelist a much more effective fighter than a non-duelist. In a swashbuckling-themed game, I'd really expect that duelists would be the ones shining in fights, and its a significant character investment. I'd expect a significant investement in cyberware in a cyberpunk game to make you much more powerful than those without. I'd expect a significant investment in kung fu in a wuxia game to make you much more powerful than those without. It isn't a huge concern for me, but it could be for you and others. Non-duelists might feel left out of fights, so you should definitely be aware of that and discuss it with new players, even if you like the mechanics as-is.
  • The assumed success aspect of the Risk mechanics is another huge issue up for debate. To me, the game shifts the core decision of every die roll away from rolling to determine if the character succeeds towards rolling to determine how the character succeeds, and what it costs them. To me, its very cool. If you like the narrative uncertainty of success/failure die mechanics, it probably sounds like a terrible idea.

In short, I really think you'll enjoy the game if you feel up for a narrative, Fate-style game (its really good, if only to read for setting and rules idea-mining). There's a lot of debate on it right now, but I'd chalk that up to a matter of personal taste. We're not going to agree on everything, but a lot of the complaints have been well thought-out and I can see where some people with valid concerns are coming from. I'd read the posts on a few hot topic issues and see if the negatives would be a concern for you personally or not.

When trying to gague the community opinion, I'd also keep in mind that I think we're seeing discussion among, what, about 1% of the Kickstarter backers or less (and some people who purchased the game after the fact included in that figure). There are lot of copies of the game out in the wild. Even assuming that only one in ten of the silent crowd with a copy have gotten around to reading it, there are ten people that are not saying anything for every one that are vocal on their opinions on the new edition. I'd assume most of those fall somewhere between extremes. For a sample of twenty people, you're getting one person that really likes the game as-is, one that takes some severe issues with parts of it, and eighteen others whose opinions vary from, "its ok, I liked it," to, "its ok, not really my taste."

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

And once you take the plunge into the 7th Sea there are many experienced fans and GMs here already offering exciting characters and adventures for your gaming table. So dig in!

Quickstart Heroes upgraded

http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forum/quickstart-characters-revised-donovan

Donovan's Heroes and Adventures

http://jedimorningfire.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/7th%20Sea

Salamanca's Heroes

http://www.guildofsanmarcos.net/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1242

Character Sheets (including in multiple languages)

http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forums/7th-sea-character-sheets

Character Art for your Hero Standees

https://uk.pinterest.com/7thsea2e/boards/

 

 

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Thanks for the advice and links

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Here is where I am coming from:. I bought the original edition the year of release with John and Kevin assuring me after a short conversation that it could stand up to my demand of it being the last RPG I would ever need to buy or run. A game that I could run until I retired from gaming and still have interesting things to do. With the sourcebooks and all, it held up to that promise. And I am scheduled to run this thing until I am well into my 70's at conventions. The new version is more streamlined and simplified. It is very much an interpret as you go style of game. Use the rules as benchmarks and wing the rest. With a GOOD GM, it will run very well. With an average GM, it will show lots of cracks. But I also think an average GM can learn from the experience of running this system. For the players, they need to learn new ways of doing things that are different from most games. Getting hurt helps you in the game. Taking bold chances reward extra dice to roll. Brand new to gaming players without preconceptions handle it well. Old gamers will need time to unlearn things.
Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Thanks to everyone for the replies, I appreciate them all

About the only thing bothering me are Duellists. I like what I've read about the "roll to see how you succeed" mechanic. I also have a cool group of players who wouldn't mind if one or two players always shone in combat. But only if those non Duellist players felt useful during fights.

That's the worry for me, it's that those non Duellist players won't feel useful during fights.

Even Dr Who's assistants get to shine now and then. 

EDIT: Has the 2ed just dropped in price?

www.rpgnow.com/product/185462/7th-Sea-Core-Rulebook-Second-Edition

 

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

One possible idea that a lot of people (myself included) have been using is offering a lower point option for dueling, usually to represent a novice or a self-made fighter without formal training. Usually this involves offering only a small selection of manuevers as a two or three point advantage.

Apparently, the designers have said there's a duelist-lite advantage slated for a later book, but most of these ideas work as a placeholder in the meantime.

The one difficulty is bringing brawl up to snuff, by all rights it shouldn't be quite as strong as dueling (particularly since it has the advantage that you can use it regardless of what weapons are available to you.), but it also needs a boost from what it has currently, Aim too for those that want to use things like bows and throwing weapons. (The fact that firearms inflict unavoidable dramatic wounds helps them in that regard, but throwing knives are archetypal enough for swashbuckling that they should be made viable.)

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Regarding Duelists, as was said earlier in the thread, it's very akin to having a kung fu expert be awesome in a wuxia-themed game, or the street samurai being the meanest SOB in a cyberpunk-themed game, or a Jedi Knight being a dominant presence in a Star Wars game, or that a mage would be top dog in a game of Ars Magica.  Plus, we see constantly in swashbuckler-themed media that someone who's a well-trained swordsman is going to clean house in a fight.

On paper, a Duelist is a very dominant force in this game, especially in combat. And if the only sorts of encounters you have in your 7th Sea games are combat-centric, then they are going to contribute a lot more than other PCs.  But, if a Duelist focuses on combat to the exclusion of all else, then they're likely going to wind up in support roles for encounters that can't be solved with swordplay.  Things like investigations and social events, where your ability to cut a man to ribbons in seconds is of little use.  But at the same time, a creative player can find plenty of ways to meaningfully contribute in combat, provided you included Brute Squads for them to tear down and don't set up your Villains up so that only the Duelist has a prayer of inflicting any actual harm to them.  Frankly, for most fights a GM is better off using Brute Squads of varying Strengths, being sure to include some smaller clusters so the non-Duelists in the group can take them out or severely weaken them and feel an honest sense of accomplishment at doing so.

But as Salamanca said, a large part of it is expectations on the part of the players, and managing those expectations.  Some players are happy playing a character that isn't a combat machine (Catalina has a thread in the Tall Tales section about her "useless PC" that's of no major help in combat), so it strongly behooves you to discuss with your players what sort of game they'd like and what their expectations are.

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

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Non duelists can still grab some spotlight in a combat. But they do it in different ways. If this were D&D, the Duelist would cover the fighters, Paladins, and fireball flinging mages. They do the heavy lifting in a fight but a cleric and rogue can get a good shot in here and there. (And this game encourages players to use their scenery as they create it so non duelists dropping chandeliers and sails over brute squads and villains is a very viable option). The last session I ran had 5 players, one was a Duelist. The other 4 managed to find ways to avoid every combat in the session leaving the poor Duelist with nothing to use his vaunted skills on. (Never saw a group this averse to fighting in a game). So games can be played where the spotlight does not fall on the duelists. And if they grab the glory in the fight scenes, so what? You really don't spend that much overall play time on the fights in most campaigns. (Maybe 20%).
Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

This is encouraging news and I have bought the game (for almost half price - it was around £20 it's now around £11)

If the entire game is as good as the background/setting, it'll be a winner for sure

Thanks all

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

When I introduced my players to Fate Core, the mostly liked it except for one player. I think he had expectations going into the game that it was going to be just like all other role-playing games, but with 'Create an Advantage' and other such rules, his expectations were not met, he never got over that, and to this day he won't play Fate Core.

7th Sea 2ed also does things out of the ordinary concerning other rpgs, so I don't want to start the players off on the wrong foot again. To that end, I want to send them a document detailing the things 7th Sea does differently. I've started off the document off along the lines of "forget everything you know about roleplaying games and keep an open mind". I then want to go on and give them examples of what 7th Sea does differently. I'm only reading the setting right now so I haven't much of a clue of what exactly 7th Sea does differently. I was hoping someone might help me flesh out the details. 

For example:

In other roleplaying games, you roll to determine if your character succeeds

Player: “I want to jump from the bar top, swing off the ceiling beam and smash through the window to escape.”

GM: “Ok, give me a Dexterity + Acrobatics check, difficulty 12…

Player: “I got a 14 so I succeed.”

GM: “Cool. Michael throws himself off the bar and…”

 

In the 7th Sea you roll to determine how your character succeeds - and what it costs them

Player: “I want to jump from the bar top, swing off the ceiling beam and smash through the window to escape.”

GM: “Ok, give me a Finesse + Athletics check.”

...This is the part I’m not sure about. The player succeeds, the GM introduces risks (is it?) and the narrative continues. How might this pan out as an example to hand my players? Perhaps someone might continue my narrative here. 

Also, what other things should old roleplayers new to 7th Sea watch out for?

Damage makes you stronger/better more competent?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Mars University
Mars University's picture

To continue you narrative:

In the 7th Sea you roll to determine how your character succeeds - and what it costs them

Player: “I want to jump from the bar top, swing off the ceiling beam and smash through the window to escape.”

GM: “Ok, there are some potential Consequences for that, so it will be a Risk for you Hero. You could get get injured falling from the window - that's a 2 Wound Consequence. The other Brutes outside could see where you fled, that's a Consequence. Also, might drop the map you just acquired in the act, that's also a Consequence. However, you do have a chance to land on a Guard Captain's horse outside and take off, that'll be an Opporutnity. From your Approach (the way you've described your intent), that'll take a Finesse + Athletics roll, but since you described it in a cool, swashbuckly way, add one bonus die for flair.”

Player: “Ok, from this result I can make five Raises (sets of dice totalling ten or more). I'm spending one Raise to succeed at my Approach for sure, so I smash through the window in a dazzlingly display of daring and agility. I definitely don't want to loose the map, so I'll spend another Raise to snatch it with my off hand as it slips from my grip while swinging from the beam. I'm already hurt, so I'll have to make a soft landing here - a Wound Consequence costs one Raise per Wound, right? Ok, that's two more Raises, meaning that I've spent four right now. It'd be nice to sneak away unnoticed, but if the Count's Guards are here, then I need to get back to the ship quickly. I spend the last Raise to take the opportunity to land on the Captain's horse outside, with a hearty, 'do try to keep up!' to the underlings he kept outside the tavern.”

GM: “So the only Consequence you didn't cancel was being spotted fleeing by the Brutes outside.”

Player: “Yep.”

GM: “Sounds like a chase to the docks, then. The mount is strong and well-trained, its hoofbeats pounding out a regular beat on the street as you hear the Captain shout through the now-open tavern window, 'what are you idiots doing? catch him!' ...”

Besides Wounds being sometimes beneficial, some other things to consider that are out of the ordinary:

  • Character death rarely, if ever occurs. Heroes and Villains only become Helpless if injured too much. If your character dies, it will be deliberately at the hands of a Villain, and your friends will have a chance to save you. You may want to have a talk with players on character death expectations, since this changes the typical RPG dynamic there somewhat.
  • Players have a large amount of authority over the narrative of the game. If you've got experienced Fate players, they might be more used to taking on more of what are traditionally GM responsibilities, but its something to discuss here.
  • A lot of the game can involve the Hero Point economy. You can use them to gain extra dice like bennies in many other games, but you also need them to trigger a lot of your character's cool Advantage-based abilities, which are usually variations on "spend a Hero Point to do a cool thing." Want to lure a guard into an alley against all his better judgement to knock him out and steal his uniform? That's a particular Advantage and costs a Hero Point. You can get Hero Points for some character-based roleplaying, but you can also get them by just choosing to fail in a Risk.
  • Character advancement is based on completing Stories, which may seem odd if they're using to storing points until you hit defined minimums (levelling mechanics) or storing points to spend on the stuff you want (experience point buying mechanics). Each game session will be a Story, each plot arc, over several sessions, will be a Story, everyone will have their own personal Hero Stories. Every Story will have several Steps, or plot beats, until they're over. When you finish a Story, you've learned something in the whole mess, and get better at a (or get a new) thing. More advanced things only improve with harder/longer Stories (ones with more Steps). If you want more character bells and whistles, work on that character background plot you made duing Hero Creation, or find some other side Stories with the GM (if the players get interested enough in an NPC, you can create an extra Story just to explore their backstory, for example).
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
That roll may not cover just one action, it may cover several. You don't want to start with the player's description, you tart with the GM setting the scene they react to. GM:. You stand on the balcony looking down into the tavern, map in hand. A squad of the City Guard swarm in lead by the nefarious Captain Hauck. Hack looks up and shouts, "there he is boys, get him!". The player opted to escape and the description works fine. But another player may have opted to cut the chandelier to fall on the brutes and fight the captain. (In which case, there is an opportunity to remove the brutes with the chandelier before they attack on the final raise, a consequence of losing the map I'm the fight and using the rest for combat.).
Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

This is brilliant, thanks both

Really liking this game so far

Just read about Eisen and got a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Olde Worlde setting with its bleakness and grim situation. That's another positive

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Is there a pronunciation guide?

For example, for Inish is it 'Eye-nish' or 'In-ish'? Also, how do you say Vestenmannavnjar, or Vaticine? There are probably others 

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
American players may go the "eye"-nish route. ;-)

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Star West
Star West's picture
  • Inish: I've always said it as "In-ish"
     
  • Vestenmannavnjar: The offical pronounciation from the first edition books is "Vesten-man-nav-n-jar" - the "e" is pronounced like in "hen", the "a" as in "ah", and the j as a y sound like "yah" 
    • But I've always been suspicious of this pronounciation, because in Danish the n's and h's are often silent, the final letters in words are commonly dropped, and a is pronounced like the e in "Hen", while e is pronounced more like "ih" like the "i" in "Internet"...although the sounds vary based on whether they follow an n or an m...regardless, my Norwegian friends have always insisted that Norwegian spelling (which is implied to be closer to the language intended for the Vesten) more closely matches Norwegian pronounciation than Danish spelling matches Danish pronounciation...which for Danish is pretty much never...
       
  • Vaticine: I've always prounounced it Vat-ih-seen with the "a" being like in "hat"  and the "i" like in "hit" but I wouldn't be surprised if it was actually Vat-i-can like in the real world.
Salamanca
Salamanca's picture

Most of us just call them "Vesten" and leave it there. 

I have never ran into a player calling them "eye-nish".

Freiburg gets mangled by everybody in the first edition.  I have heard "Free-burg", Fry-burg" and "Fray-burg"

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

I have never ran into a player calling them "eye-nish".

I've been pronouncing it that way since 1st edition rolled out.  Inish = "Eye-nish".  How exactly is it supposed to be pronounced?

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Thanks all

I was reading the various nations and it struck me that you could introduce demi-human player character races to the stock.

Inish = halflings

Ussurans = dwarves

Avalon? = elves

I'm not saying you should or I would, but it's a possibility if you wanted a more fantasy spin on things.

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Star West
Star West's picture

Not my thing, but hey, it's your group, so remix as you like.

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Oh no, you did not just suggest adding HALFLINGS to a John Wick game, did you? Next time, just be polite and do something he would find less offensive like murdering him. If you look around the internet, there may still be something containing the rules for "halflingworld"... Tread lightly.
Mars University
Mars University's picture

I don't know, the halflings he made for Wicked Fantasy are pretty interesting. I'd put them up there with the Dark Sun feral cannibal halflings and the Eberron tribal dinosaur-riding plains culture halflings for showing how they can be interesting if you do something with them other than just throwing in "happy, pastoral halflings just like Tolkien used to make."

Brett Ritter
Brett Ritter's picture

I never played or read 1st, so I can't comment on that, but my review of the new edition is a mix of "awesome!" and "...they let it go to print like that?"

Specifically, I have four primary objections:

  • The Dueling rules are just broken.  They completely break the common premise that makes the rest of the game awesome.  Rather that find fiddly ways to fix them, I'm inclined to just drop them.
  • The Magic systems are poorly described, and often don't match with the rules well.  For example - an Ussuran that can change into a bear?  you don't get that bonus until you roll, so it ends being a lot less useful at the moments you'd want it.  Another example: Fate Witches are described as being very powerful (in the previous home of the Church, which is never explained well), but nothing supports that.  Unless men are kissing the wives of their foes, prepare to...have you personality flaws known
  • Firearms aren't bad, but players will quickly learn to save them to unload on the Big Bad.  Few Villains can do much about taking 4-6 Dramatic Wounds.
  • The book felt incompletely edited.  Finding out what dice to use is tucked away in a GM section.  They mention an Alchemist's Sextant that will make the 7th Sea title make sense for play...but then never follow up on it. In one place it will say a Villain Point can do this, and in another section they say the same thing, but also that it ALSO uses up all remaining raises.  (that sort of 'incomplete' ruling happens in a few places, leading me to not really trust that a rule is a reliable rule)

That said, I found the Action Sequence resolution to be really great (outside of Magic complications, and one player that min-maxed and was able to unleash Dueling on the Big Bad with 18 raises due to some creative Glamour powers, rending the conflict a dull series of Slash/Feints from her before anyone else, including the Big Bad, could act).  My players loved the setting, finding it familiar enough to know stereotypes but different enough to be interesting.

Aside from dropping the Dueling rules, I have no objection to playing again, and I know some of my players are eagerly awaiting the point when we can do so.

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

These similar critiques of the game come up regularly. Have the game's designers commented on them?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
No, the designers not prone to elaborating online. There was a lot to f trust placed on the playyesters to hash everything out but those groups were very familiar with John's style of game and did not ,in my opinion, push enough boundaries. The standard answer is to go ahead and change what does not work for you. Personally, this is a fair thing to expect for minor issues. But when the change requires an overhaul of a complete section in the book, that is something that needs addressing (if they won't offer a mechanics alternative at least film a couple demo videos to show what is intended and how it should work.)
Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Speaking as one that has done playtesting for a couple different RPGs, it's also a possiblity that some of the playtester groupds did identify some of these "issues" as just that, and reported them in their feedback.  But, the authors decided that said "issues" were not a problem or fit with their original vision of what the product should be.  In a couple playtest groups I've been part of, there have been times we've generally said "this element really feels out of place with the rest of the material" or "this element of the new rules really doesn't work" and had our feedback ignored.  Part of the process and nature of the beast.

The rules for Duelists, while far less cumbersome than the Quick Start material, may very well have been one of those things that the design team felt was "working as intended" and that it was meant to make a Duelist Hero be the top dog in a combat, something that one of the principal editors all but confirmed.  To me, it's akin to complaining that a person who only studied karate for several months at a McDojo will generally get his ass kicked by a guy that has actively studied karate for most of his adult life.  A Duelist Hero has made an in-game investment to be awesome with a sword, just as a Hero with the Lyceum advantage has made an in-game investment to awesome with social skills, or a Hero with the University advantage has made an in-game investment to be awesome with their academic skills, or a Hero with Academy is awesome with non-weapon combat skills.  In all four cases, the player has declared "this is what my character's really good at!"  If the GM is throwing little more than combat encounters at their party, then yes a Duelist Hero is going to shine, because the GM is playing to that Hero's strengths, just the same as if a GM that ran little more than social encounters would be playing to the strengths of a Hero who invested in social skills and advantages, or ran little more than ship-based adventures would be catering to those Heroes that invested their points in being capable sailors/pirates.

Similar complaints were leveled at Legend of the Five Rings for being "too deadly" as getting into combat could very well result in dead PCs, and yet that lethality was an element of the setting, where the PCs as part of the samurai caste lived "three feet from death."  To say nothing of the recurring problems in D&D of high-end spellcasters absolutely dominating the game while the fighter types are relegated to support roles at best or glorified meat shields at worst.  I've seen a lot of complaints with FFG's Star Wars that a PC can be taken out very quickly due to offensive capability increasing a lot faster than defensive capability; even the Jedi-types in Force and Destiny aren't immune to this as a squad of stormtroopers can quite possibly decimate even a high-XP character with a single attack roll since there's zero way to ensure you can never be hit apart from not being involved in the combat to start with.

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

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

I don't mind changing/adding in rules, and a part of me is looking forward to doing that.

I have a question concerning the Inquisition. Seeing as the Vaticine church is all about knowledge (and I assume the discovery of  new knowledge), why is/was the Inquisition going around killing people for making new technological discoveries?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Over in 1e (and I presume will be carried over into 2e), the reason for the Inquisition running amok is that the guy in charge (Cardinel Verdugo) is a religious fanatic that believes he is destined to save the souls of Theah and that the time of the Fourth Prophet is right around the corner.  Normally, the Heirophant would keep the Inquisition in check, but as that seat is currently vacant and the means to elect a replacement is out of commission to the Sun King's short-sighted machinations, nobody has the authority to keep Verdugo from doing whatever he wants, such as swelling the ranks of the Inquisition and calling for a halt to all further scientific research.  All based upon a vision (which may not even have been real in the first place) he had as a child that "tells" him that such extreme measures are not only necessary, but are "right" and even carry the creator's blessing.

In Rapier's Edge, the last supplement for Swashbuckling Adventers, there was a timeline of future events, one of which was the eventual election of a new Heirophant whose first order of business was putting the brakes on Verdugo's actions and bringing the Inquisition (which had generally been held as a necessary evil prior to Verdugo's rampage) to heel.  Granted, a lot of damage had already been done by that point, but with a Heirophant in office the Inquisition could no longer run rampant and had it's strength (officially) reduced.  But odds are that Verdugo was still scheming his schemes; few are the religious zealots that will truly back down once they've tasted so much worldly power even if someone of higher authority has stripped them of much of it.

So it's probably a generally held belief that the Inqusition has been perverted from what the Third Prophet intended under Verdugo's leadership, albiet one that's not discussed openly in Castille.  Prior to going global in 2e, one of the driving goals of Los Vagobundos was to stymie the Inquisition's efforts and prevent it from preying upon the people of Castille.  But they knew that such was a war of attrition they could not win, and had to find some way to make a lasting change that would curtail the Inquisition's power; a hard task when Verdugo was one of the primary reasons Good King Sandoval was being denied his proper title and authority.

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

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Part of the Inquisition issue is also the perception of knowledge of Theus' creation (the world) and heretical knowledge (allegedly gained from Legion). The church, being controlled by men, is going to do what it can to keep it's powerbase and if science starts drawing people away from the faith, it needs to be put in check. If somebody starts hinting that there are tiny things living inside people...then maybe people are not special and maybe there is no divine and maybe... Better to just squash that before it grows. So be seeking knowledge, they want to learn what is in the world. They want to learn what it can be used for. They want to learn things that support the worldview of the Church. They do not want to know things that prove they have been fallably wrong about a subject.
Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

That makes sense

Thanks both for the info

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Is this Errata?

Page 160:

"A new Rank 1 Skill only requires a single Step while improving a Rank 4 Skill requires a five Step story."

Should that be Rank 5?

 

Page 173

Step 3: Gather Dice

The GM tells you which combination of Trait and Skill to use.

I’m sure I read earlier that the GM doesn’t tell a player which trait and skill to use, that it’s up to the player to tell the GM. 

 

Page 179 (Time Limits)

"[T]he powder room will explode at 2 Raises and everyone takes 5 Wounds.” That means, as soon as all of the Heroes have fewer than 2 Raises, the powder room explodes and everyone takes 5 Wounds."

It says 'will explode at 2 Raises', but then goes on to say '...have fewer than 2 Raises...'. Is this a contradiction, should it say '...Heroes have 2 or fewer raises'?

 

Page 181: Healing Wounds

"At the end of the Scene, all of his Wounds go away, but he still has 3 Dramatic Wounds.

If he gets into another sword fight, he starts at zero Wounds on the first tier of his Death Spiral, but all of his Dramatic Wounds are already filled in."

It says he has 3 Dramatic Wounds, but then says all of his Dramatic Wounds are already filled in.

Is this errata?

 

Page 176: Flair

Every time you use a unique Skill (a Skill that you have not used before in this Scene), you gain 1 Bonus Die.

Then

Page 183: Action Sequence Example

There are at least two instances in the example where the GM awards 2 Dice for Flair. It might be an extra 1 Dice for describing actions but this isn’t specifically called out. 

Is anything amiss here?

 

Page 188: Dramatic Sequence Example

Lots of good examples on what a Dramatic Sequence is, but how much can a player do/narrate with a raise?

Surely "I sneak over the wall, cross the garden keeping low against the bushes, sneak past the solitary guard, pick the lock of the front door and hide behind the stone statue and watch the ambassador's door all night until I see who he leaves the house with" can't be done with a single raise?

What are the limitations here?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

Page 160: improving a rank 4 skill means it's still at rank 4 and you want it to reach rank 5, so it's a 5 step story.

Page 173: you describe how you act suggesting a new approach. You can tell your GM what's the new approach you want to achieve but he gets the final words.

Page 179, yes, I believe it's an errata. The room explodes as soon as a Hero has 2 or less (you can spend more than 1 raise at a time). But keep in mind that heroes with raises still get to spend them in one last action (scape the exploding room maybe spending extra raises to avoid damage).

Page 181. Every time the hero gets a wound, he fills a wound spot on the death spiral. If the hero has taken dramatic wounds, they stay filled untill medical asistance or end of session while other wounds you clear at the end of the scene.

Pages 176 and 183. You get an extra die every time you use a new approach in a scene (flair 1) and you can also get an extra die for your roll if you describe what your character does in a thorough, creative or interesting way (flair 2). This two extra dice are stackable.

Page 188. Using your example:
I sneak over the wall, cross the garden keeping low against the bushes. That's one raise.

Sneak past the solitary guard. That's a consequence of the first action so you have to spend another raise or face the guard.

Pick the lock of the front door. Sneaking as you describe the first action would be finesse+hide, Picking the lock is finesse+theft, so you change your approach and have to spend an extra raises (2 raises).

Hide behind the stone statue and watch the ambassador's door all night until I see who he leaves the house with. That's a single rise unless your GM tells you otherwise: "A tall cloaked figure walks next to the ambassador, you can't see tha face but looks like a man with an aquiline nose".

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Thanks for the replies Catalina. I've got a couple of queries.

Page 179, yes, I believe it's an errata. The room explodes as soon as a Hero has 2 or less

Shouldn't the underlined be 'as soon as all Heroes have 2 or less Raises' and not a sinlge Hero?

"Page 181. Every time the hero gets a wound, he fills a wound spot on the death spiral. If the hero has taken dramatic wounds, they stay filled untill medical asistance or end of session while other wounds you clear at the end of the scene."

Yes but it says the character has 3 Dramatic Wounds, but then says that 'all' (i.e. 4) Dramatic Wounds are filled in. How did he gain an extra Dramatic Wound?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

Catalina Arciniega
Catalina Arciniega's picture

The room explodes as soon as any hero reaches 2 or less raises. Still, all other heroes, who have more than two raises or the room should have already exploded, get to spend their raises to scape the room, avoid damage and, seize opportunities.

On the dramatic wounds I believe there's a little clarificación they left out not to be redundant. It should be "Dramatic Wounds previously filled are filled in"

Sparky UK
Sparky UK's picture

Ok so, the room starts to explode when any hero reaches 2 or less Raises but all heroes with more than 2 Raises get one last chance to escape?

"Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die..." ~ Inigo

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