Old. I reserved a copy of both the Player and GM books and picked them up on the day of release. I was already a huge L5R fan and was following the development of 7th Sea through the L5R and AEG mailing lists and forums. Even watched Dangerous Beauty in preparation.
New, read the geek and sundry article on 7th being the most funded rpg on kickstarter, listened to an interview with John Wick and was hooked. Planning to get a campaign started as soon as I get the 2ed pdf.
Newish. I'd been aware of 1e for several years after it was out of print, and played two games with it. (One using both system and setting and the other using mostly setting.) But I've already played the 2e quickstart rules in multiple games, and I've found it much better than my previous experiences, so I'm more comfortable defining myself as a new player who just happens to know most of the 1e lore.
What were the things you really liked about the way the QS rules played? What there a standout feature?
I felt that 2e was had just the right mix between complexity and freedom as far as rules goes. I'm the type of guy that ends up ignoring any rule that seems too complex anyway, but there were only a couple of times where I felt the need to wing it with 2e. (Mostly involving the duel, but that's already out the door anyway.) I can work with heavy rules systems, but I always takes a while for me to figure what can be safely ignored and houseruled and what is actually necessary to learn for the structure of the system to function.
That said, I've never been the biggest fan of really rules-light systems, mainly because I like to have some sort of structure to fall back on in case I feel overwhelmed. I played Houses of the Blooded once and I ended up feeling really exhausted mentally through all the improvisation that came with it.
I really like the raise/consequence system. I'm of the opinion that an RPG generally isn't fun when the players keep on failing, particularly at things they really invested in. I once talked to one of my players about the whole Arnold Swartzenger/ John McClane styles of play (Arnie is all about being awesome and kicking ass/ McClane is all about suffering through what is thrown against you and succeeding by the skin of your teeth.) He proposed an alternate to the two, what he called the Wolverine style of play. Wolverine, as we all should know, is the best at what he does, but still gets torn up alot and manages to keep on going. Playing like wolverine means giving your player opportunities to succeed in spectacular fashion when they want to, while still giving them obstacles otherwise.
Having a player fail isn't interesting, having them succeed with consequences is interesting, and letting them really let loose on their chosen area of expertise is also interesting.
Let's take the duelist character in the quick-start as an example. The guy can easily be described as "Min-Maxed", he can regularly roll 10 dice for swordfighting, and can easily get much more through hero points and a blessing from his sister. So what does that tell me if a player chooses him? Well obviously he wants to fight people like Erol Flynn, while still being pretty charming thanks to his high panache. There was a great opportunity for this when the party was fighting some brute squads. The duelist player decided that he didn't just want to fight them, he wanted to challenge them. He rolled his intimidation with about four raises. Given that there were five brutes in the squad, I ruled that that meant that only one of the five were foolish enough to think they could face him, while the rest turned tail and fled. This poor mook got one wound on the duelist, before he was absolutely eviscerated. The player rolled something like six raises on him, so I just told him "he is almost certainly dead, you tell me exactly how badly you humiliated him beforehand."
I believed the poor guy ended up being disarmed, his money being stolen with a quick sword slice to the belt, brought to his knees, before finally having his throat slit with his own knife (also taken from his belt.)
The players love to feel awesome in a swashbuckling game, and I feel that the system provides a great framework with determining just how awesome they can be.
It's almost always easier to add on to a "rules light" system than just pull Jinga pieces out of a rules heavy one.
“Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.” - H.L. Mencken
Old timer here.
My experience with 7th sea comes first from a friend who ran it opposite his cyberpunk campaign and showed me the brilliance and madness of the setting in equal measure. I still get to talk about the ideas that grew from it such as the scarlett libertine and the inestimable orlando, explorer, adventurer, and writer of very lurid prose in the margins of his explores journal.
But thew moment I Gm'ed that was the moment I truly loved the world. Since then my players have bargained with death, ran up waterfalls, defeated the tundra beast, been lost in faerie, tricked the schattermann, stopped the barrier from breaching, saved many a young knight, and generally made my life a lot more joyful in their wanderings. I have run several long term campaigns often composed of many 7+ players and I'm looking forward to the new edition.