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Jeff Childs
Jeff Childs's picture
Noob about to jump into the deep end
2nd edition

Veteran RPG'er/Noob 7th Sea'er about to start GMing my first game.  I've read over the rules and have numerous questions:

 

1. P. 175 Creating Opportunities - gives the example of knocking the pistol out of the guard's hands.  It has the imprisoned person using a raise to pick up the pistol. Why?   Also, if I understand the action mechanics correctly, Lets say Person A has 5 Raises - guard has 4 (does the guard get raises?); if Person A uses 2 raises (one to hit the guard for 1 wound, one to create the opportunity), does that mean that the guard goes next with 4 raises to 3?

2. P. 183 - In the action sequence example, Brand's dice exploded.  Why?  How do Exploding Dice work in the new system - I thought they only came out when the character was sufficiently wounded.  What is their effect?

3. P. 184 - the way it reads, the villain has to spend a raise to lift her pistol and then another to fire.  If so, wouldn't she be at 3 raises instead of 4?

4.  P.184 - Brand changes approach.  GM says costs 3 raises.  Why? - 2 to avoid the pressure, but why the 3rd one?  Where in the book is this - I missed it.

5. P 185 - Brand runs through the Brutes without any risk of being hit.  Why?  When can a Brute Squad attack?  In the example, they don't.  I understand that a Brute Squad does damage equal to their strength.  When do they do that damage?

6. P. 189 - In the example, Adam's encounter with the thug could have devolved into an action sequence.  How does this work? Does it work?

More General Questions:

Villains - it seems to me that based on the Villain's mechanics - even a weak villain (5 villainy points) can be strong very quickly, a 3/2 villain spends one story on a scheme that succeeds - is now a 3/6 villain; and so on... or am I reading it wrong?

Thanks in advance for your responses.  I'll have more questions as I solidify my understanding of the rules.

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Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

 

 

1. P. 175 Creating Opportunities - gives the example of knocking the pistol out of the guard's hands.  It has the imprisoned person using a raise to pick up the pistol. Why?   Also, if I understand the action mechanics correctly, Lets say Person A has 5 Raises - guard has 4 (does the guard get raises?); if Person A uses 2 raises (one to hit the guard for 1 wound, one to create the opportunity), does that mean that the guard goes next with 4 raises to 3?

Answer: First, the imprisoned person uses a Raise because they are 'taking advantage of an Opportunity' (which costs 1 Raise). The opportunity is they are now 'armed with a pistol' and not fighting barehanded or with a melee weapon. They don't need to pick up the pistol if they don't want to. Opportunities are very broadly defined and do not require a mechanical benefit.

Second, technically Person A cannot use 2 Raises in that fashion. You can spend X Raises on a single Action (For instance, dealing Wounds on a 1 Raise / Wound basis) but cannot do two actions in a row unless they continue to have more Raises. So in your example Person A would spend 1 Raise to deal 1 Wound to the guard. Now, both the Guard and the PC have 4 Raises. Generally PC's go first against brutes, but I let Villains go first in the case of ties. If the guard is a Brute, the PC goes again and spend their 2nd Raise to create the opportunity but it is 2 actions separated by a decision of who goes first at 4 Raises.

2. P. 183 - In the action sequence example, Brand's dice exploded.  Why?  How do Exploding Dice work in the new system - I thought they only came out when the character was sufficiently wounded.  What is their effect?

Brand has 5 Ranks in the skill he is using, which means his 10's explode. They also explode with enough Wounds (Which is why some people have made the Wounds actually go back to the 'beta' version that 9's counted as 10's instead)

3. P. 184 - the way it reads, the villain has to spend a raise to lift her pistol and then another to fire.  If so, wouldn't she be at 3 raises instead of 4?

Drawing a weapon does not cost a Raise. I believe it's mentioned twice just to reiterate since the GM's flow was interrupt by a player comment.

4.  P.184 - Brand changes approach.  GM says costs 3 raises.  Why? - 2 to avoid the pressure, but why the 3rd one?  Where in the book is this - I missed it.

Taking an Action not directly related to the Trait + Skill (Approach) you rolled costs +1 Raise unless you have the Advantage "Dynamic Approach". So if I declare I'm fighting with my sword and roll Finesse + Weaponry but then want to take an Action to "hide" it costs 1 Additional Raise.

5. P 185 - Brand runs through the Brutes without any risk of being hit.  Why?  When can a Brute Squad attack?  In the example, they don't.  I understand that a Brute Squad does damage equal to their strength.  When do they do that damage?

Brute Squads are a 'consequence' that normally deal their Wounds at the end of a Round. Some Brute Squads (Assassins) can deal their Wounds at other times, but in general Brute Squads deal damage at the end of the Round. This way if a Brute Squad is defeated before the end of the round they deal no Wounds.

6. P. 189 - In the example, Adam's encounter with the thug could have devolved into an action sequence.  How does this work? Does it work?

When (or even if) a Dramatic Sequence turns into an Action Sequence is generally decided based upon what is happening. If the encounter would involve a lot of potential action (other than just defeating a single target) then it's probably best to go to an Action Sequence. If it's just dealing with a small group or 1 brute-like person it's best to keep it a Dramatic Sequence. There are no hard and fast rules for this.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I can't answer the quesiton on Villains with much authority. I've pretty much thrown out the whole tracking Villain Influence in my game and just go with what works at the time :)

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Harley's done all the hard work here, so I'll just fill in a few gaps.

Lets say Person A has 5 Raises - guard has 4 (does the guard get raises?)

Not unless the guard is a villain, so probably not.  In the example, it's implied that the guard has a gun.  This probably isn't a great example of actual play, but it serves to show how Opportunities are created.  I wouldn't read too much into it.  Against a Villain, Harley is right.  The player can't spend two raises, 1 to do a wound and another to create an Opportunity.  Against Brutes, that's perfectly plausible since Brutes only act at the end of the round (unless they are Assassins and the GM spends a Danger Point).

Villains - it seems to me that based on the Villain's mechanics - even a weak villain (5 villainy points) can be strong very quickly, a 3/2 villain spends one story on a scheme that succeeds - is now a 3/6 villain; and so on... or am I reading it wrong?

Yes, that's technically how it works.  However, keep in mind that 7th Sea is VERY focused on the heroes.  So if you're thinking of having to manage a bunch of villains' influence off-screen, you'll probably want to rethink it.  The Influence economy is designed for the heroes to disrupt.  So villains shouldn't be racking up influence if the heroes don't have a chance to foil the scheme.  So Cardinal Verdugo doesn't gain +1 rank every other game session from his stronghold in Castille while the heroes are mucking around in Inishmore.  This probably speaks to some of Harley's issues with the schemes system.

Heroes and Villains introduces some modifications to the scheme system, but they create about as many problems as they solve.  

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

This does speak to some of my issues with the schemes system. However, I do think that if the players have become aware that Cardinal Verdugo is up to no good in your game, and have chosen to do something else instead of stopping him, he should get more powerful in the background. If the player's haven't been introduced to the Cardinal and have no reason to suspect him of anything, then he's just 'however powerful' you want him to be the first time the player's meet him.

For instance, in my ongoing game, I have put out many threads for the player's to follow. I am allowing them to pick and choose which ones are of interest to them. That doesn't mean that things aren't happening behind the scenes. So when the Villain they met in Episode 3 and chose to ignore in favor of another 'thread' comes back in Episode 10 or so, he/she will be more powerful and have achieved some behind the scenes goals. I just don't plan on following the mechanics for this and will likely just say "+2 Influence since it's been 2 months and he's likely accomplished some things". 

John

Jeff Childs
Jeff Childs's picture

Thanks for your help with this.  

I'll playtest this with Brute Squads but may need to toughen them up a bit.  The example of the hero being able to run back through an entire group of them without one of them getting a shot in just irks me for some reason.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

You can always create new 'Brute Squad types' and give them special abilities that you activate with a Danger Point.

Sample: Elite Guard Brute Squad

Effect: Spend a Danger Point when a Hero takes an Action against the Villain. The Brute Squad immediately deals its Strength in Wounds to the Hero. The Brute Squad no longer deals its Strength in Wounds at the end of the Round.

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

The example of the hero being able to run back through an entire group of them without one of them getting a shot in just irks me for some reason.

It's been stressed before but I'm going to stress it again: brute squads are not meant to be a challenge to the group.  Mechanically, they are a group consequence.  Nothing more.  They aren't meant to nickle and dime your hero down the death spiral.  

There are two brute squad abilites that can give them a bit more umph: Assassin (inflict wounds at the beginning of the round/before the heroes) and Duelists (inflict Strength x2 in Wounds).  If you look around these forums, you'll find a few more ability ideas we've batted around.  But don't go making super-super-elite damage dealing brutes.  If you want to hurt/challenge the heroes, throw a couple of duelist minor villains (5-6 str) in the mix with them.  Or spend a Danger Point and raise the TN to 15 against the squad.  Either of those things will change the dynamic A LOT!

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I completely disagree with Brute Squads are not meant to be a challenge the group. Sure, a single Brute Squad should not be difficult to deal with, but in an 'Action Sequence' (encounter) with a villain and trained guards, or hired mercentaries, they are meant to add to the overall challenge of the scene.

If they aren't meant to challenge the group, get rid of the concept entirely. If dealing with the Brute Squad is not even a decision the Heroes need to make, they are pointless to include except as window dressing exposition and should not have a mechanic (Just say "While you fight, bullets are flying from the minions on the roof but nothing hurts you).

Brute Squads are like anything else in the scene (Environmental conditions, social conditions, etc) and together are supposed to present your Heroes with alternatives and decisions. Do they take out the Brutes or suffer the barrage of gunfire? Do they rescue the innocents or deal with the big villain? Do they try to maintain their footing or rush the group of enemies.

 

BluSponge
BluSponge's picture

Ok, let me rephrase a bit.  Brute squads, in and of themselves, are not meant to be a challenge.  They are an opportunity for the heroes to look awesome.  To pull out the big stunts.  Once you pair them with a villain, it becomes a different story.  A villain IS meant to challnege the group, and brute squads are a tool they can use against the heroes.  Which is kinda what I said.  

Brute Squads are like anything else in the scene (Environmental conditions, social conditions, etc) and together are supposed to present your Heroes with alternatives and decisions. Do they take out the Brutes or suffer the barrage of gunfire? Do they rescue the innocents or deal with the big villain? Do they try to maintain their footing or rush the group of enemies.

Completely agree.  But this is a BIG difference from a lot of other games where the adversary is meant to deplete X resources in an encounter.  You don't throw a brute squad against a hero to make him sweat and wonder if he is going to come out of this alive.  You throw a brute squad against him as an obstacle, and then see how the player deals with that obstacle.  There are ways to hurt your heroes with brutes, but that's only to make the choices harder.  This is why I've said in the past that Wounds is the least interesting thing brutes can do.  

I'm only pointing out that if you are throwing brutes against the players like you would hobgoblins in D&D, you are going to be disappointed by the results. And this is an understandable paradigm shift because 1st ed brute squads (much like Minion bands in Witch Hunter) are capable of being much nastier opponents than those in 2nd ed.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

BluSponge

     I agree, Brutes by themselves should provide no lasting danger to the group of Heroes. However, Brutes in the context of an entire Action Sequence is absolutely meant to provide an increase in the challenge of the encounter. Thanks for clarifying.

John

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