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Bradley
Bradley's picture
Things We Don't Want

This isn't suppose to be negatory. Just certain setting related things that we would like to be skipped for one reason or another. For me, I do not want to see an anologue to the Old West. I love the Old West with the gunslinging and the rooting tooting and whiskey drinking (My avatar was from a board game that I had backed at a level to get myself into it as a zombified encounter and the idea was you would come across a zombie moonshiner). All that love for the setting of the Old West, but it does not belong in 7th Seas. Not for at least 100 years in game time.

Luckily, I don't think I have to worry about this issue.

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Rob Justice
Rob Justice's picture

I hope they don't add an archipelago called Mari off the far coast of Aztlan that acts as an analog for the Pacific Islands. ;)

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Here I was thinking that the South Pacific was going to be explained in 7th Sea: The East.  Mari huh?  Can't wait to face bone wielding cannibles that eat my mana. :)

Seth Woolwine
Seth Woolwine's picture

What the other guy said, wouldn't that be better for the Far East line or are we have East Indies analogue before the rest of the Far East?

Silver Rapier
Silver Rapier's picture

I have a few worries if Syrneth artifacts are still in the game (and they probably are), mostly that they could be too powerful. I wouldn't want to see artifacts that allow time travel, body swapping or teleportation. Too much potential for abuse and too 'sci-fi' in flavor for my taste.

 

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
I would be fine without sorcery and you all know that. I would like a less tacky name for the Jenny's Guild. I'd like to see them avoid all new faces in the West. (So what I want is some old NPCs transplanted) I hope most if the SD book is gone.
Doctor
Doctor's picture

Things I don't want...

 

Non-Ancient Aliens: In my mind, the Syrne and their ruins were always supposed to be Atlantis, not present day beings with an active agenda. Whether alien, human, magic, or technically advanced, they should all be long dead.

 

A Chinese Menu Approach to History: I have made my opinions on slavery in RPGs known a few times but to sum up: it is possible to condemn slavery while recognizing the profound effect on the culture and history. As slavery made up a critical leg of the Triangle trade, it's removal (which has been heavily hinted at) should have a profound ripple effect in the way Thean powers orient themselves toward colonial adventurism and the Western Hemisphere. In the end, what I don't want to see is the combination of revised history, all the things we associate with the Caribbean (sugar plantations, rum, African cultural influences), and a lack of compelling explanation for how and why things function as they do on Terra.

 

A Callous Disregard of Geology: This is a small but deeply felt annoyance of mine. When designing worlds far, far, far too many companies and authors do not give anything resembling sufficient thought to how things like mountains and rivers actually work (I'm looking at you, George R.R. Martin). I am very hopeful that the staff takes at least a little time to understand geology, hydrology, and oceanography. I don't expect a nuanced grasp of the Humboldt current or the like but trade routes, prevailing winds, and all kinds of things depend on small decisions like whether the isthmus of Panama is open or closed. What I don't need to see is a treatise on oceanography; what I don't want to see is something physically impossible without decent explanation.

 

Too Much "That's Racist" by Fans: Hear me out. The Staff has an impossible task: to write, in 2016, a fictionalization of three massive, multicultural geographies in a total of between 600 and 900 pages, with rules and art. No academic would ever attempt such a thing because there is literally no way to do it that does not give short shrift to someone and likely getting blasted for it. On top of that, they have to set this fiction in a world loosely based on our own during the 1600-1700's, which was predominantly organized in racist fashion. Then, to crown it all, the game is intended to fall within a genre which not only has its roots during the same time period, until very, very recently, has been written, directed, and starred in almost exclusively by white men.

 

Unlike in science fiction or high fantasy, which can conveniently fulfill genre tropes by dehumanizing them ("reavers" filling the role of the bloodthirsty savages from the Western or Orcs for pretty much dangerous outsider threatening not-Medieval-Europe), 7th Sea is going to have to use humans. There will be cannibals and there should be cannibals and doubtless they will be a villainous lot. I expect them to be offset by noble Mari (not-Maori) warriors striving for the good. All cultures, everywhere, at all times, have had both heroes and monsters. We are going to have to forgive the game its tropes; ancient ruins supposed to be built by an alien culture are simply the way of things in 7th Sea. It's also not racist if an ancient alien culture did build it.

 

  

 

“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

True Iskander
True Iskander's picture

I'd like to toss in my two cents, since I've already thought about some of these:

-Totally with you on non-ancient aliens.  I'd prefer they not be there at all, but I can understand if JW really, really wants to placate the 1e fans.  But they should be long gone, giving GMs the option to revive them only if they want to.

-I think the slavery question depends on how "new" the New World is.  If these new continents have only been known to Theah for a handful of years or even decades, it'd be possible that full-scale operations haven't been created yet.  One could theoretically even play PCs who are opposed to the practice and work against it becoming widespread.

-That also leads to the issue of how Theans will interact with New Worlders.  It'll be almost impossible to have these kinds of stories without a heavy racial component, and it'll be interesting to see how hostile the fluff makes the cultures against each other.

-Now, the risk of cultural appropriation charges.  First, JWP deserves huge props for being even going forward with including non-Caucasian-based cultures.  It would have been easy for them to stick to not-Europe.

But it does need to be said that there's a right way and a wrong way for white authors to write about non-white cultures.  Even JK Rowling recently got into some hot water when she wrote about Native American types of wizardry in a way that many Native people found overly simplistic and not respectful of real-world traditions.  Sure, it's possible someone will get offended no matter what JWP do, and it would be wrong to tilt too far into inoffensiveness, but it's not an inherently bad thing to want to be respecful of those whose life experiences don't match your own.

Red Jenny
Red Jenny's picture

Just a quick note re: the concept of slavery in 7th Sea. If they choose to leave it out entirely, I can see it working, and would support it as the smart move, assuming they address the issues of the Caribbean culture that you raised, Doctor. I think it would be really intriguing, though, if the not-Aztecs or not-Incas had subjugated neighboring indigenous groups, and started selling those slaves to the Theans to transport back to their own countries or to Ifri-- sort of reversing the process. It would also be interesting if there were a not-Barbary group in Ifri that raided Thean civilizations and carried away Theans to be slaves (a fair bit of that occured for a time in real Barbary and the Ottoman empire and real Europe. Miguel Cervantes (author of Don Quixote) spent time as a Barbary slave, for example.)

Morgan Wolfe
Morgan Wolfe's picture

Might I just note, as I'm catching up after being away for a couple of weeks, that I very much like your combination of name and userpic. :-)

Morgan Wolfe
aka Capt. Doña Sir Kestrel of Avalon http://silver-gateway.com/7sea/

Red Jenny
Red Jenny's picture

Thanks. =)

It struck me as thematically appropriate even if it has absolutely nothing to do with 7th Sea.

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
Thanks @Doctor. High Fantasy in particular has used analogies for modern racism to escape backlash. Hence, fans conveniently play long-lived racist elves who usually feel superior to the short-lived "lesser" human races. Such fictional substitution of real issues, allows this trope to successfully placate many fans. However, when all races are human, then unfortunately, many fans seem unable to separate fiction from reality and thus, get offended.

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Doctor
Doctor's picture

[03/09/2016] [20:15] JohnWick: The Church of the Prophets condemns slavery, so it only makes sense that Théans would be a whole lot less likely to enslave other cultures.

 

I don't see slavery as being in the cards as an institution. I expect it to be the exclusive province of villains and thus be on an individual rather than societal scale. This in turn means that, for example, not-Haiti is going to require some explaining. 

 

On cultural appropriation: mysticism is likely the single hardest thing to get right without offending. Imagine explaining the mystery of the Holy Trinity or the Transubstantiation to someone who has only a passing knowledge of Christianity, then keep in mind that wars were fought over the details. 

“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

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Could be the local are a little more advanced than what we are thinking and less inclined to go along with trading their brother in law for some beads.
Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

The best advice to players is that "anything that happens in a game stays in the game". The game "Diplomacy" is notorious for damaging real friendships.

I usually avoid political discussion in game spaces. However, games are often inspired by real world history too. Slavery was rampant, and usually the byproduct of tribal warfare; the defeated tribe being enslaved by the victorious tribe as part of the psychological process to break the spirit and identity of the losing tribe. In some human cultures cannibalism was also practiced upon the losing tribe. Sometimes it was also just the need for cheap labor.

This practice cuts historically across eons of human culture and geographical locations. Modern humans want to deny the reality of this practice but almost all of our dominant cultures all over the world today participated in various forms of slavery at some point in our collective history. We cannot escape this unfortunate aspect of our human predessors that laid the foundations of this world we enjoy today.
 

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
I will concede the possibility that it may end up as existing for the villian's to give the players yet another reason to stop them. But this is a game designed to play heroes and inspire greatness. Realistic is not in the description and if that means no slavery, I am quite happy with that. This game can aspire to be better than the source material.
Doctor
Doctor's picture

Oh I am perfectly fine without slavery, my point is that slavery was an engine that drove a lot of other developments and trends during the era. It would be like writing a game that attempted to capture the feel of today's world using rough analogues but then adding "oh yeah, let's just pretend oil isn't, you know, a big thing..." It's pretty safe to say that either the geopolitical landscape would be noticeably different or some fairly compelling explanations would have to be provided as to why, for example, not-America and not-Saudi-Arabia had such a cozy relationship.

 

I am not concerned with the removal of slavery; I support that. However, a lot of narrative and socio-economic context for the "Golden Age of Piracy" is heavily tied to things which depended on slavery; I just want to see the gaps filled in "right"...whatever that might mean.

“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

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
You need a commodity in the continent, a commodity in Ifri and a commodity in the West. As long as there is demand for those in the other locales, you have reason for merchants and raiders.
Bradley
Bradley's picture
So, as an example, finished goods from Theah, precious gems and metals from Ifri and exotic flavors (coco, fruits, spices) from the new world?
Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture
Jerry Grayson already hinted Ifri as the Land of Gold and Fire in the title of the sourcebook. The West African-inspired cover has the local king wearing the Ghanian traditional "Kente" and in the real world Ghana was called "The Gold Coast".

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Yep simple as that. Might even flow in the opposite direction with the gems going north the finished goods West and the exotic stuff going south east. Better still, maybe it's a new mineral in the West and the locals trade the beads and trinkets TO the settlers for actual useful stuff.
Doctor
Doctor's picture

"Simple as that" in one respect, yes; those solutions answer the economic part of the socio-economic picture. My biggest concern is the social part. To me, any treatment of the Caribbean which does not deal with, for example, the Maroons is going to be incomplete. Slavery was a defining feature of the Caribbean both during and after the analogous period in our world: between 1492 and 1870, over three million slaves entered the region. Between 1700 and 1835 there were at least sixty-three major, organized slave rebellions; Jamaica alone had thirteen of these, including a decade long insurgency for 1730 to 1740. Some scholars estimate that roughly one third of the pirates in the region were of African heritage. The plantation systems which gave Cuba its tobacco and Jamaica its rum were entirely dependent on slave labor and the communities of escaped slaves called Maroons created many of the region's most enduring cultural traditions. It is, in short, all but impossible to talk about Caribbean history without talking about Afro-Caribbean history; any analog to the Caribbean should include the African influence and without slavery, that becomes slightly tricky. An ancient Ifiri empire might do the trick to a degree, or a variety of other answers; I am just hopeful the answers are well thought out.

“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

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

One idea which is still controversial is to have 7th Sea Africans addicted to tobacco. This could start with an ancient Ifri exploration ship landing at some part of the new world, and meeting some natives and eventually exchanging Ifri gold for Wabanahkik/Acadian tobacco.enlightened

Upon return to Ifri, these pioneer explorers convince their great Emperor of Kwara to invest in Wabanahkik/Acadia (this fits nicely into the Colonies concept too). And so the Emperor orders the establishment of "Kwara Overseas Trading" or "K.O. Trading" (Knock Out the subliminal message by Kwara to knock out competitors). Under the guise of K.O. Trading ambitious citizens are inspired to sail out towards the Wabanahkik/Acadia adn The New World and farm tobacco for their Emperor. 

Other kingdoms in Ifri hear of this venture and want a slice of the action too. They meet with the Emperor of Kwara and unite under the "Great Ifri Overseas Consortium" which sends out hundreds of Ifri prospectors to the Wabanahkik/Acadia and the New World. Of course greed and infighting among different tribes of Ifri traders leads to factures in the consortium. Many independent traders never return home, and even break away from The Company and establish themselves as Caribbean Pirates. The less scrupulous ones raider other ships instead of farming tobacco then sell this loot back to the Emperor of Kwara. 

We could even have certain kingdoms within the "Great Ifri Overseas Consortium" bring along reluctant works who debtors indentured into labor to work off thier debts in those overseas Ifri tobacco warehouses. But these rebel from the homeland and become "New Worlders" some remaining in various parts of Wabanahkik/Acadia, others sailing downwards to settle on the pseudo-Caribbean analog islands and also the coasts of the pseudo New World (the Brazilian African Voodoo culture thus develops). 

No slaves, but greed, addiction, expansionism and of course, rebellion (hence, piracy playing a big role).

And remember, you heard this hear first. in case Jerry Grayson runs with in. cool

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Cthulhu Netobvious
Cthulhu Netobvious's picture

Out of curiosity, I never played the 1st Edition, but are national wars and state-sponsored atrocities simply non-existing in Theah? My PDFs are still just trickling in so I have not had time to delve into Thean fictional game history. 

Still if wars are a weapon of the City-State or Nation-State more particularly, surely it may include the burning down of enemy cities during sieges? Collateral damage of civilian populations. For example do we have an anlogo of the "Morean War" or more accurately the Ottoman-Venitian Wars of the 1600s to 1700s?

TAJ-07: Technopriest And Justicar Of 7thSea2e

Salamanca
Salamanca's picture
Theah took a major hit in the War of the Cross. Eisen in particular was ground zero. Read up on Waissen (shellshocked civilians who are emotionally damaged enough to stop interacting with the world and trudge around like zombies). One of the Eisenfurst is now a Waissen. Another salted his own lands to spite the invaders and his people are starving. Another two have basically sold their souls to protect their lands and Fauner Posen can't grasp rule without running a war so she has her lands in a virtual police state. The rest of the world is currently taking the high road save for a few incidents in Castille. Which have spawned a fire wielding dark justice villian.
Doctor
Doctor's picture

"are national wars and state-sponsored atrocities simply non-existing in Theah?"

Quite the contrary. As it was rather famously put... "War never changes." The original setting for 7th Sea however was directly after the equivalent of the Thirty Years War, the aforementioned War of the Cross. Atrocity was very much present, but it was predominantly in the past and Theah, as we found it, sat in a precariously balanced peace. One of the prinicipal reasons diplomacy was such a big thing in 1ed is that the general consensus was that Theah could not survive another war on that scale; thus diplomacy became war by other means.

 

“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

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Except, that wasn't the case at all... Castille was involved in a war, with Montaign, And then their was the less physical, more 'behind the scenes' war of the Guilder between Vendel and Vodocce.  Then their was the pseodo civil war Between the Vendel and Vesten.  Their was also the Montaign war with Ussura, AND the shadow war between several of the Secret Societies.  And the Great Game in Vodocce.... 

 

The War of the Cross was the most recent finished war, and left one country in tatters.  It doesn't help that the Imperitor Died recently.  So, to say their are no wars because of the WAr of the Cross is just false.... their are two open wars in the setting, as well as a bunch of smaller wars...

Doctor
Doctor's picture

"Precariously balanced peace" being relative. Castille and Montaigne was a legitimate war but it did not drag in the allied nations; it was a battle between two nations, not a generalized conflict engulfing all of Theah. I don't consider the Vendel/Vodacce conflict to be a war at all any more than the Cold War; it was fought largely with coins instead of bullets and was over influence and wealth. Conflict was everywhere. War and atrocity: significantly less so. The deployment of national armies beyond traditional borders was limited to one nation. 

 

I admit I had completely forgotten Montaignes Ussuran adventure, though if I recall correctly this was a dismal failure and lasted a single campaign.

“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

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

Well, it's main reason for stopping was the Revolution,.  but it was making progress, even with the huge amounts of Snow being dumped on them thanks to Grandma Winter.  

That being said, even the conflicts had atrocities.  Sure, wasn't straight up 'Warfare' but killing everyone in an expedition because you found something YOU don't think is ready for the world, is an antrocity.... and that happened a few times between the various SS.  Sure, most people don't hear about them, doesn't mean they don't happen.  

Doctor
Doctor's picture

If I recall, the capture of the entire army also contributed to the end of the campaign.

“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

Tilly Bomas
Tilly Bomas's picture

They were captured, because they were leaving.  Montigue heard about the Revolution, and turned his army around since the ships were gone.  He asked Posen if he could pass her territory, she said no, he tried it anyway.  His army wasn't good enough to take out Posen.

Salty Dog
Salty Dog's picture

I don't want the following to be true:

7th Sea 2e is to 7th Sea 1e what Blood and Honor is to Legend of the Five Rings. ;)