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Seventh Sea
Seventh Sea's picture
Production Update: January 2017
kickstarter, previews, convention, explorers society, larp

QUOTE: John Wick Presents (published 2017-01-07, Friday)

Hey everyone!

Welcome to 2017… the year of 7th Sea! While we’re thrilled to have released the 7th Sea Core Rulebook in 2016, we’re planning on delivering more than twenty different 7th titles, accessories, maps and releases this year. It’s going to be big! 

Heroes & Villains in Print!

To start, we’ll be sending Heroes & Villains out to backers by the end of January, as soon as we get them back from the printer. Obviously, the holiday slows down the process a bit, but we’ll get the books out the door before the end of the month!

As a reminder, we’ll be delivering these books with a new system through our webstore rather than using the addresses in Backerkit. Around the last week in January, we’ll be sending you a coupon through Backerkit that you can use on our store to add Heroes & Villains to your cart for free, providing us an address when we ship you the book. In other words, there's no need to update your address in Backerkit from this point forward.

The coupon will be good for one year; if you want to hold on to it for a bit because you’re moving or something, you’ve got some time to use it. You can even wait until we deliver more books and have us ship you multiple books at once or add new books to your order.

On that note, I recorded myself doing a live unboxing for the Heroes & Villains proof back in December. If you’re interested in the specifics of how we get books made, check out this short (8 min) video of me geeking out about proofs:

LINK: YouTube Video

Sorte Deck & GM Screen Previews 

In addition to getting H&V out the door to backers this month, we’ve finalized both the Sorte Deck and the GM Screen and uploaded them to Backerkit for you all. You can access both through your Backerkit Digital Downloads. (If you’re having trouble, please email us at info@johnwickpresents.com.)

Here’s a preview of the Sorte Deck:


The amazing Jabari Weathers (http://jmwillustration.com/) illustrated these for us, and we’re incredibly happy with how they turned out. We can’t wait to get them to you in a physical form! Check your Backerkit Digital Downloads for the full set.

Here’s a preview of one panel of the GM Screen interior as well, but check your Backerkit for a full size image with all three panels:

Fabien Badilla put together a bunch of great resources for the GM Screen, and we’re excited to get it printed for use at your table. If you’ve got any feedback about the GM Screen, please fill out the feedback form here:

7th Sea GM Screen Feedback: https://goo.gl/forms/eL4ZO2WSA140avnn1

Thanks for all the support and feedback. It makes a huge difference to us! 

Production Update: Jan 2017 

Now that we’re back from the holiday break, we’re getting the machine rolling again to get the remaining supplements out the door. Here’s the production update for January:


  • Pirate Nations: Copy Editing to Proofing! 
  • Nations of Théah, Vol 1: Copy Editing to Proofing! 
  • Nations of Théah, Vol 2: Dev Editing to Copy Editing 
  • Lands of Gold and Fire: Writing to Dev Editing 
  • The Crescent Empire: Outlining to Writing 
  • Cities of Faith: On Hold to Outlining


  • GM Screen: Layout to Proofing 
  • Storium: Writing to Copy Editing 
  • Pirate’s Booty and GM Screen: Adjusted delivery to March 2017 
  • Basic Rules: Adjusted delivery to February 2017 
  • Storium: Adjusted delivery to February 2017


  • Daughter of Fate: Layout to Proofing 
  • Born Under a Black Flag: Writing to Dev Editing, adjusted delivery to Feb 2017

We’ll be previewing Pirate Nations and Nations of Théah, Vol 1 toward the end of this month, and we should get on a roughly once-a-month schedule with sourcebooks for the rest of the year. The Year of 7th Sea!

We’ve had a bit of delay in China for the Pirate’s Booty, mostly caused by the Chinese New Year. Early reports indicated that we’d get everything on the boat to the United States before Chinese New Year, but the size of the project (100,000 dice!) meant that things are moving a bit slower than planned. We’ll keep you all updated if there are any more delays! In the meantime, here's an awesome preview image of the Hero Points:

Finally, we’ve moved the Basic Rules and Storium releases to coincide with the launch of our Explorer’s Society platform on DTRPG (scheduled for Feb 2017). Read on for more info! 

Explorer’s Society (Feb 2017) 

Our last stretch goal for the 7th Sea campaign was the launch of a fan-created content portal through DTRPG. While we didn’t quite make it to $1.35M (!!) during the campaign, we did break that number when we factored in money raised on Backerkit. And thanks to the efforts of Hannah Shaffer (Marketing Director) and the folks at DTRPG, we’re almost ready to launch the platform!

Before we do, though, we’d like to get your thoughts on what you want from the platform. We’re hoping it becomes a portal for all kinds of fan-created content, both free and paid, similar to the Dungeon Master Guild, and we’d like your thoughts on how to make it a success.

If you’ve got a few minutes to tell us what you want from the program, please fill out this survey by Friday, January 20th:

Explorer’s Society Fan Survey: https://goo.gl/forms/AkodonxjBftQxdV32

The survey is short, but it’s going to help us make the Explorer’s Society the best program it can be for fans and creators alike. Thanks for your feedback! 

7th Sea in Brazil! 

As we start to wrap up on our first sourcebooks, our foreign licensing publishing partners are starting to get their versions of the 7th Sea Core Rulebook translated into French, Spanish, Chinese and more!

New Order Editora—our Brazilian publisher who is translating the book to Portuguese—is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to fund their version of 7th Sea (7o Mar) through January 18th. If you’re interested in getting 7th Sea: Second Edition products in Portuguese, you can pick up maps, character sheets, an A4-size book and more!

7o Mar Crowdfunding: www.catarse.me/7omar

The campaign has been a big success, funding not only the main book but also their own GM Screen and other stretch goals. Check it out!

Kickstarter Staff: Hannah Shaffer and Lenny Balsera 

Over the next few months, a few more JWP staff members are going to be posting on the Kickstarter page, both in the comments and the updates. Please give them a hearty welcome! Here’s a bit more about them:

Hannah Shaffer is a game and web designer, and the Marketing Director for John Wick Presents. Her design credits include websites for John Wick Presents and 7th Sea, Bully Pulpit Games, and the Misspent Youth roleplaying game. Hannah is a co-owner of Make Big Things, a tabletop cooperative responsible for Questlandia, 14 Days, Noirlandia, and the upcoming Damn the Man, Save the Music! 

Leonard Balsera is the Creative Director at John Wick Presents. He is best known for his design and development work on Evil Hat Productions' various Fate system games, such as the award-winning Dresden Files RPG, but has worked across the breadth of the industry, with credits from Pelgrane Press, Fantasy Flight Games, Green Ronin, Margaret Weis Productions, Onyx Path Publishing, Steve Jackson Games, and many others. When he isn't eating, breathing, and sleeping hobby games, he spoils his cats rotten, reads voraciously, performs on stage occasionally, and plays a lot of video games. He lives at the intersection of memory and dream, but his physical body resides in Austin, Texas.

Whew. Big update. Thanks again for all your support! We’ll send out more updates this month when Pirate Nations and Nations of Théah, Vol 1 are ready for review!

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Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

Absolutelly dissapointed with the Sorte Deck images. The most interesting for me was that they didn't look like these more usuall allegorical designs of tarot. And I bought them only to use them like the images of NPC's sad





Bad, bad, bad

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture


While I do find the art style out of step with the rest of the line, I think it works well for what it is.  If you were only buying it because you thought it would be full of character art, I can see why you would be disappointed.  But most of the character art is up on pinterest, so there is that.  I thought they were pretty clear about what was just a placeholder facsimile and what wasn't.  

Wolfflin Huyghen
Wolfflin Huyghen's picture

Er... thank you BlueSponge.  

But you actually know what I mean.

If I want the Tarot of "The Lord Of The Rings" and you show me this like mock-up:



Dont give me this:

Maybe cool, for tarot and the emperor. But not the idea that they offered me.

You showed me a realistic 7th Sea tarot, with images that I can regonice and use in the game by your best artist. Here it's an allegorical "normal" tarot.

I feel cheated. And that's a note to the team to be more carefully with the nexts upcomings.

PS: You really don´t want a realistic pirate tarot? cheeky

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
I am in full agreement with you Wolfflin. After the beautiful artwork in the Core Rulebook, I now feel terribly disappointed with both the "Heroes and Villains" and the Sorte Deck of Tarot cards. I appreciate the art style for the 7th Sea Tarot, but for my games, I prefer traditional "games character art" not some elitist bourgeois neo-surrealism to impress collectors.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

BluSponge blusp...
BluSponge blusponge@verizon.net's picture

No, I sympathize. I was very selective on the the physical products I picked up from the Kickstarter and the sorte deck was one of these (along with the GM Screen, in case anyone cares). I chose it for function over style. But when I saw the art on the hero/villain decks, I breathed a sigh of relief. Because that art is...we'll probably better than I could whip up myself but NOTHING like what I had expected. So don't misunderstand, I get it. BUT I hope that when all is said and done, the function of the sorte deck will win out over the art. 

But you should definitely let your voice be heard. Because so far I think there is a real disconnect between expectations and what the art director has been approving. And unless people speak up (like with the H/V decks), I don't think it will change.  

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

In a pure artistic sense, the 7th Sea Tarot artwork make sense. But for use within a fun role playing game, that Tarot artwork is quite bad, so bad, that if I saw this before pledging, I would have rejected the Tarot, the Heroes and Villains deck and many more art styles I rather not gaze upon.

However, some Tarot collectors like the style, because it makes this deck look more "collectible" instead of just Tarot for a game.

John Wick Presents seems not to care too much about upseting those who play traditional DnD-type games or Magic the Gathering card games. 
Instead, John Wick Presents is focusing on those who lean towards artistic and narrative story games so feel happy with that non-traditional game art.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

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

I actually had thoughts and ideas for the Tarot and Heroes and Villains.  The rulebook talks about how each strega designs her own set of Major Arcana, so I was kind of hoping that it would be possible to use some of the Hero or villain cards to sub in or be added to the Tarot.

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

I actually rather like the art style. I think that, at least in this case, we should be able to agree that the quality of this artwork is subjective. While the style may not be your cup of tea, the artwork doesn't look rushed to me. It's not like the Heroes and Villains character art, which was noticeably uneven with the details and objectively bad. 

But I was never one of the players really excited about the Sorte Deck, so my hype level for these was basically nonexistent. It's unfortunate how much recent backlash there has been regarding the artwork for 7th Sea. I think people expect Shen Fei to be doing all of the artwork, which just isn't logistically feasible with how much content John Wick Presents is putting out this year.

Evan Sageser
Evan Sageser's picture

As one who ordered the Sorte deck (in part because I've never had a really good tarot deck) I'm actually pretty alright with the designs. They are not what was advertised true and I can sympathize for people that are dissapointed because of that. But I also appreciate the more dream-like surreal quality, and it also means that I can use the product for things besides 7th Sea and the only thing that will illicit confusion are some of the different major arcana (and even then, there's still plenty of variation in tarot suits for that to be explainable, as opposed to telling people why the fortune-teller in this medieval setting has cards that point more towards the renaissance.

It's even sort of an interesting look into Theah's past. For example, the Magician card is clearly a Porte Sorcier opening a portal, but he's surrounded by a great deal of traditionally occult trappings. It's the kind of thing where I can extrapolate that back when Montaigne still had the church more in charge, Sorcery was a more secretive practice, possibly with more than a few secret societies and lodges for the nobles to investigate the secrets lying within their blood, shrouded in a lot more rituals and ceremonies then the (almost casual) way that Sorciers today just bleed out a portal and reach in. Just a nice tidbit that I might have otherwise missed without the current designs.

Crowwolf's picture

Hello, I'm sorry for bringing up old news. I've only revently had the chance to look in-depth at the pdf of the deck, and I noticed something strange: though we've been given the traditional 22 cards of the major arcana (instead of Sorte's asserted 20, but not always nessesarily the same 20), two of those cards do not seem to "fit" into a traditional Rider-Waite-Smith's interpretation of the Fool's Journey, even after factoring in the fact that the cards are wildly out of order already.

If any of you are still interestied in using the Sorte Deck rules, as "previewed" here, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/johnwickpresents/7th-sea-second-edi...

and disscussed in depth here: http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/blog/sort-mechanics; http://www.7thsea2e.com/port/forum/cards-problem-and-solutions

How are we supposed to adjust to only 20 of the cards having official "meanings" in the form of their Arcana? (15-17 of the basic rules, 156-58 of the source book) And no news on if the Sorte deck final rules will arrive with the physical decks.

Currently, this is my best guess as to their concordances:

1 fool – Fool
2 lovers – Lovers (Arcana list4 Tarot 6)
3 magician – Magician (T 1)
4 road ~ Star (A2 T17)
5 wheel – Wheel of fortune (T 10)
6 devil – Devil (T 15)
7 tower – Tower (T 16)
8 Beggar ~ Hermit (T 9)
9 witch High Priestess (T 2)
10 War ~ Chariot (T 7)
11 Hanged man – Hanged man (T 12)
12 Coins for the ferry – Death (T13)
13 Thrones ~ Strength (T 8/11)
14 moonless night – Moon (T 18)
15 Sun – Sun (T 19)
16 Prophet ~ Hierophant (T 5)
17 Reunion – Judgement (T 20)
18 Hero~ World (T 21) [I am unsure of how well this works.]
19 Glyph ~ Temperance (T 14) [The power of the glyph, though citing the tarot name, is nothing like its divinatory meaning of synthesis]
20 Emperor – Emperor (T 4)
Empress (T 3) ~ 21 Duel*
Justice (T 11/8) – 22 Betrayal*


I am at a loss for the last two. Cards with the connotations of the Empress and Justice aren't listed in teh 20 cards that make up a Sorte deck's Major Arcana, and I am loathe to shackle the Empress to a card called "Betrayal."

Any help or advice would be appreciated, as I would like to use those rules for playing the game.

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