7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Kormak » Sun Feb 07, 2016 8:04 pm

I just read the kickstart rules. I'm still mulling them over, and they're only the Kickstart rules, and so on and so forth, but I like them. Has anyone else read them?
One thing that did bother me a bit is that there doesn't seem to be any Consequences to Blessing or Cursing someone. I'd have liked for there to be some Consequences just so the players can't use all the Raises to increase the blessing or curse.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:00 pm

I'm betting they use up a Raise.

Now onto the Kickstarter news. Funded in 7 minutes (very prophetic). And went through all the stretch goals he posted in 3 hours. I'm thinking this might be a good thing :)

He also released a pic of the map on FB. So here it is!
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Ikkuhyu » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:15 am

So I've gone over the rules from the prelude and I feel that it shows us that they have many good ideas. I like the lack of a dodge skill and the bonus die for using a skill for the first time each scene ideas a lot (they promote a very cinematic creative style of play that feels very swashbuckly to me). I also like that the new way of rolling gives skills a boost (I have always been partial to keeping skill over trait).
But... I do not like the new initiative system at all. The way it currently works is simply rediculous: as soon as your action becomes contested it allows characters to shoot people on diplomacy, convince someone by using athletics. Thus it reduces the need for diversity, where it feels like they were trying to promote that.


A fellow beta-tester and I (we mostly test boardgames) have been looking at the system and the first thing we came up with (cause systems need to be tested against being broken) is the Diplomancer on Intimidate (or as we like to call it: crack).
Basically with the rules as written, you can use your first raise on Intimidate (you are likely going first) to bully the other into doing for you what you actually wanted to achieve this round. Should he resist this you have a large number of raises to do whatever you want.
This means that your character doesn't really need any other skills, he simply either forces the opponent(s) to his way uncontested or does what ever he likes when contested.

The second problem we spotted is that the system really favors stalling, a person who spends all his raises simply can not react or resist the actions of another. Going back to the Intimimancer above that means that if your opponent spends all his raises in order to achieve something first, you can then subvert that action with a single raise (maybe 2 if the GM feels there is a complication).


Ofcourse all of this is not in the spirit of the game, but the spirit doesn't require a gamesystem (in fact it always has to compromise when a system gets involved, the trick is to make those compromises as small as possible).
The best way to solve those two issues to us seems to re-introduce the Initiative roll and have that one work on beats, where each raise represents a single action that the character can take and the most raises goes first (breaking ties: highest roll goes first). I would then consider all 1st actions to be part of beat one, all 2nd actions as beat 2, all 3rd as beat 3 and so on. I would also forgo intentions being declared simultaneously, as that is quite unpractical, but rather each in turn as their action comes up.
So lets say the first character wants to attack the second character, he does however only roll and apply his raises at the end of the beat, that way the second character has a chance to defend, should he choose to.
This way their is a slight disadvantage at going first, but you do get the initiative and a chance to force others to react to you and you are likely to have more actions than the others.

So lets say that 2 characters are trying to get to the golden monkey statue at the end of the room. The GM declares 3 raises are necessary for them to do so and both characters decide to go for it, then there are 3 possible out comes:
- No one gets 3 raises: well in this case the race is on and the first to accumulate enough successes to reach the monkey reaches it.
- Only one character gets enough raises: well in this case it is fairly simple and straith forward, that character is first to reach the monkey.
- Both characters get enough raises: In this case there is an arguement to be made for giving it to the one with the most raises or for the one with the initiative. I am partial to the second option, to ofset the disadvantage of declaring first and he has the initiative after all.

As a bonus this way there is no need to have duels resolve in a different manner than regular combat.
And while we are on the subject of duels I did not like the school rework (its effects are quite powerful, but it simply is not the Amborgia school [unless this is really the Amborgio school and that was a typo]).
Schools have always been one of my favourite things in 7th sea (even though most of them were simply not worth the points they cost) as they felt really alive. They had this really cinematic feel that reminds me of Roruni Kensin (Samurai X) where the school has several awesome techniques that its students can master. There were some problems with the availability and power of some swordsman knacks and the Exploit knack became a joke after more schools were released (which several people solved by making it an Exploit [Weapon style]). Pro forma I also miss the ability to hold actions in regards to dueling, which is something they could use (by giving boosts to holding or spending actions) to differentiate defensive from agressive styles.


However there is a sliver of hope that all will be fixed as they have announced that the contested skills need and will receive a rework.
Let's hope they do it well...
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Sun Feb 21, 2016 7:02 pm

Hey Ikkuhyu,

I always thought the first system encouraged stalling as well, although not to the same degree. AD was expensive, so you were better off holding actions in case you needed them so you could use your fun and fancy Swordsman Knacks like Riposte or Double-Parry. A lot of my players quickly realized you wanted to boost up your Panache as high as possible, because while the big bruisers might roll 5 or 6 dice for damage, they still only get to keep 2, and sure you may be taking more damage per hit, but since they only go 1x or 2x per Round, you're rolling fewer soak rolls, so there's actually fewer chances a roll will go sour and result in a DW. Plus if they had 3 or 4 Panache it means they could AD 1 or 2 of the bruisers moves per round and still have an action to hit.

I do agree though that the more I read the QS rules, the more I see them as an absolute mess. The examples given for Contested rolls on pg 6 suggests that although both A&B have said their intent is to get to the door first, so A is willing to spend 3 of their raises while B only has 2, so A wins. The problem is where B can decide to do other things with his raises. Okay...sounds fair, but one of the examples is "I stab the hero for 2 wounds." - wait? How is that possible? They got the raises using Finesse+Athletics, not their Weapons skill. Or is it that since A beats out B, B gets to declare a new intent and roll for a new risk? That doesn't seem right.

How about when they don't have the same intent, but their actions still compete with each other? For example, in the previous round A and B were racing towards a ladder, and A beats out B on getting there first. It is implied that everyone declares their intent before starting the next round, so A declares they're going to climb up the ladder to the roof, and B declares that they're going to knock the ladder over (since A got there first B decides it better to stop A from getting any further ahead.) Okay, so who's action takes precedence? I would assume whoever spends the most raises to their intent, so again let's say A has 3 raises and B has 2. I would see this as, A makes it to the top of the ladder and gets on top of the roof just as B knocks the ladder over, in fact A has to make a slight leap at the last second as the ladder starts to tip over. That's cool. There's just one problem with that: why does B have to follow through on knocking over the ladder? Just a second ago we said that B could use their raises for something other than racing to the door, so now that A has rolled and we know that A is going to make it, and B decides that they want to use their raises climbing up after A instead...

The problem seems to be that the everyone is supposed to declare intent at the same time, with whoever using the most raises accomplishing their intent - essentially all intent occurs at the same time, but then we have the FAQ saying that it's whoever has the most raises goes first, wait...so how can I know who goes first if they haven't declared intent yet? Well, that must mean everyone still declares intent, but their intents are executed in order of most raises spent towards intent...got it. So...most raises has their intent "go first," but whoever's intent goes second can essentially choose to abort their intent and shoot them in the head with a pistol instead, and hey, who cares that I don't have Weapon (Firearms) I have 4 Raises from the previous intent I intended to make.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Kormak » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:27 pm

Haven't had the time to check the updated Quickstart rules. Has anyone already read them?
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Ikkuhyu » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:17 pm

I did, they fixed a lot of my original issues (glad to see they recognized them).

Short overview of the most important changes:

Though the 'simultaneous declaration of intentions' remains in the revised version, and it still doesn't work well. I still feel like an actual initiative roll is the best way to fix that issue, but at least now it is no longer possible to ignore your original intent to do what ever you want when opposed.

They did add a lot of new extra tidbits which are very cool and add more to the flavor of the game. Like a bonus die for making a description for your actions and the addition of opportunities (like complications but positive, they require a raise to take). Though practically the bonus die fails a bit due to the initiative system, as you can take several actions on the same roll, by splitting your raises over them.

The Amborgia school was fixed, now adding Weapon (sword) and Weapon (dagger) simultaneously to your melee action's dicepool.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Ikkuhyu » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:25 pm

kckrupp wrote:A lot of my players quickly realized you wanted to boost up your Panache as high as possible, because while the big bruisers might roll 5 or 6 dice for damage, they still only get to keep 2, and sure you may be taking more damage per hit, but since they only go 1x or 2x per Round, you're rolling fewer soak rolls, so there's actually fewer chances a roll will go sour and result in a DW. Plus if they had 3 or 4 Panache it means they could AD 1 or 2 of the bruisers moves per round and still have an action to hit.


I have always found the decission to let Panache give action dice very strange. In my games I rule that your Panache gives you drama dice (which actually allows you to do more things with flair) and your lowest trait gives you your action dice.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:50 pm

Kormak wrote:Haven't had the time to check the updated Quickstart rules. Has anyone already read them?

Yeah I've read them. I like them and I really like the idea of villains and schemes and whittling down a villain's influence. I am still a bit uncomfortable with the raise system. They pulled out the "bidding" aspect, which I had started to warm up to, now if you're going to spend your raises to meet your intent and overcome your consequences you HAVE to spend those raises all at once. What still isn't clear is what happens if you decide to abandon your intent and do something else or have extra raises. Sure you can create "opportunities" or use them to add other aspects to the narrative, but whether or not you can use a whole new skill and what the limitations on that would be are not well defined.

Ikkuhyu wrote:I have always found the decission to let Panache give action dice very strange. In my games I rule that your Panache gives you drama dice (which actually allows you to do more things with flair) and your lowest trait gives you your action dice.


I dislike the idea of determining actions by lowest trait for the same reason I hate that lowest trait determines your number o f DD: if you want to keep a trait low to emphasize something about your character, you get penalized for it; personally I always thought having separate Reputation Dice and DD pools were rubbish because now you just have extra pools to keep track of - your reputation is all about you "role playing" instead of spending points, which was kind of the point of DD. The problem I see with making Panache = starting DD, while I get why you're considering it, really undermines any remaining value to Panache - DD are supposed to be super common ("Flow like water,") so if you're supposed to get them really easily, it really makes Panache useless, other than keeping it up so that it doesn't drag all your other traits down.

I agree, it's never really explained why "Panache" decides on the number of actions you can take, and the Player's guide describes Panache as basically that "something else." The way I always interpreted it was Panache is basically a character's "Presence" they way they take up a room or, more likely, a scene (the game is inspired by cinematics after all,) and what better way to give a character Presence than to give them more "screen time" (i.e. more chances to have the camera on them while they do something.)
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Ikkuhyu » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:03 pm

kckrupp wrote: I see with making Panache = starting DD, while I get why you're considering it, really undermines any remaining value to Panache - DD are supposed to be super common ("Flow like water,") so if you're supposed to get them really easily, it really makes Panache useless, other than keeping it up so that it doesn't drag all your other traits down.


I'm not usually that liberal with DD (and I don't let them convert to XP), but the issue is easely fixed by letting panache give you DD per scene. It's something less to keep track of and in the process the Soldano school becomes less crazy and social nobles become better sorcerers. What does not make sense to me is the Face becoming a better Heavy or being twice as fast just because he's likable.
The screen time explanation may work in a vacuum (and I liked it initially), but actually DD explain screentime better, as they allow you to do more cool stuff and that's relevant screen time.


kckrupp wrote: I dislike the idea of determining actions by lowest trait for the same reason I hate that lowest trait determines your number o f DD: if you want to keep a trait low to emphasize something about your character, you get penalized for it

It is more game balancing though and you could easily work out a flaw that emphasizes the same thing about your character, without taking the penalty to your number of actions.
The way the original system works I have often felt like there were only 3 relevant traits: Finesse, Panache and Wits, they cover 99% of all the skill checks and, in combat, damage and wounds are less important if you can avoid most of the hits and that 1 DD really doesn't cut it to spend 30/40/50 XP on raising Strength and Brawn. And sure making those other characters feel good is part of the storytelling process, but I prefer to have a smooth system to do some of that work for me.


All that said I never really liked the system of DD (or Reputation dice), I find many of the 2nd edition choices to be better suited for a faster paced game. But I have already resolved myself to do my next campaign in a sort of '7th Sea 1.5', where I take all the good stuff from first and change out the bad stuff for the good stuff of 2nd. and finish it of with some homebrew cherries on top :-D
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:29 am

Ikkuhyu wrote:I find many of the 2nd edition choices to be better suited for a faster paced game.

I agree. The more I go over and think about the rules, the more I like them.

Ikkuhyu wrote:I'm not usually that liberal with DD (and I don't let them convert to XP), but the issue is easely fixed by letting panache give you DD per scene...The screen time explanation may work in a vacuum (and I liked it initially)...


I have gotten progressively more liberal with DD over time. I used to be super strict, and I've discovered that the more liberal I got with DD the more willing my players were to actually do interesting things because they weren't worried about hoarding up their DD for when they "really needed it."

Ikkuhyu wrote:It is more game balancing though

Personally I disagree, but that's just a matter of different opinions. I dislike anything that encourages "Trait loading;" we had to limit the number of HP people could spend on Traits, because people started loading up all their Traits at Rank 3, and it kept throwing the balance WAY off for other players who had invested their HP in skills and advantages - sure over time the balanced Players would be stronger, but it was painful to watch some guy who bulked up their traits out-do you constantly until you've earned enough XP over several months of sessions to surpass them; it's one of the reasons I started becoming more liberal with DD since the reason the Trait Loading happened at first was to get that 3rd DD and then they started realizing higher traits meant probability was more likely to be on their side.

Ikkuhyu wrote:The way the original system works I have often felt like there were only 3 relevant traits: Finesse, Panache and Wits, they cover 99% of all the skill checks...

In general, I agree that Finesse and Wits are probably the most used Traits, but I wouldn't disregard Resolve as just the "Wound Soak" trait, and while I agree of the 5 Brawn probably has the least application, I'd argue that it's probably because your heroes aren't getting put in a place where they need to use them (Resolve is critical for Sorcerers, the Swimming and Drowning rules, and Fear.) Having gone back to the original books (the PG, GM's Guide, Erebus Cross, etc) over the years, I've realized that Trait and Skill combinations were never supposed to be strict - check out page 135 and 136 of the GM's guide - the trait you use depends on "how" you're going about doing what you're trying to do; you can see this highlighted really well, coincidentally, in the 2nd Ed QS for the ballroom scene. Here are some examples of what I mean:

* Most athletics: Swinging, leaping, Sprinting, any sort of gymnastics or acrobatics, climbing - strength is just as critical as form to success (in some cases more) - and for any sort of running or swimming, Resolve plays just as big if not a bigger role than form.
* The swimming and drowning rules call out Resolve specifically, so does Fear.
* William Wallace's speech at the end of Braveheart, I would argue, had more to do with sheer determination and force of will (Resolve) than Wits. Charlie Chaplin's speech from The Great Dictator's brutal honesty screams resolve to me more than Wits as well. If you were trying to rally the troops, how were you doing it, were you appealing to logic and well-crafted memorable words (Wits), through pure determination and sense of right or wrong (Resolve), or through pure Charisma (Panache)?
* The GM's guide outright tells you, if a fight is getting stretched out and they party is exhausted, have them use Resolve + Attack instead.
* Resisting Seduction? That's Resolve, not wits.
* If a hero is trying to woo a debutante at a ball, how does he do it? Does he introduce himself while making sure she sees his muscles ripple and flex (Brawn,) is he trying to use clever words and innuendo (Wits,) is he just relying on sheer force of will (As I begin to walk away, I stop after two steps, slowly and deliberately turn back to her and look at meet her gaze directly, "Well, aren't you going to join me?" - Resolve,) is he trying to emphasize his style or flair or that "something else" about his personality (Panache)?

Anyway, I hope you don't see this as me disregarding your ideas. At one time I'd house-ruled the hell out of 1st Ed myself. Over the years though, with the exception of a few specific House Rules (specifically around Passive and Active Defense and Naval Combat...and not counting the absolute atrocities that came in the later books, most of which I just outright ignore - I'm looking at you Sophia's Daughters, Cathay, and *ugh* Zerstorung) I've actually started adhering closer to the original rule-set.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Thu Mar 24, 2016 8:40 pm

Got us some more pics. This time it's Secret Societies
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Ikkuhyu » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:35 am

kckrupp wrote:In general, I agree that Finesse and Wits are probably the most used Traits, but I wouldn't disregard Resolve as just the "Wound Soak" trait, and while I agree of the 5 Brawn probably has the least application, I'd argue that it's probably because your heroes aren't getting put in a place where they need to use them (Resolve is critical for Sorcerers, the Swimming and Drowning rules, and Fear.) Having gone back to the original books (the PG, GM's Guide, Erebus Cross, etc) over the years, I've realized that Trait and Skill combinations were never supposed to be strict - check out page 135 and 136 of the GM's guide - the trait you use depends on "how" you're going about doing what you're trying to do; you can see this highlighted really well, coincidentally, in the 2nd Ed QS for the ballroom scene.


The best Game Master I ever had (and the guy who actually introduced me to the world of 7th sea, where I started out as more of a darker settings man like World of Darkness and Warhammer FRP) had the amazing talent to look at the player and his character and go: "I'll do this scene to make you feel awesome and that little hic'up so the other player can have that skill shine" and have it all feel very natural within the game he was mastering.
So I'm definately not saying you can't find ways to make the other Traits more useful, but doing so fairly quickly starts to feel like you are pushing them (especially if you got system savvy players). Besides that (and perhaps this is something rather frequent in our group) when it comes to player vs player it is really dangerous to start tweaking in favor of the other traits as it may feel like favoritism.
And when it comes down to PVP those 3 Traits are the ones you wanna invest in. Wounds are fairly irrellevant when you out action, out perform the opponent, but yes Resolve is definately better than Strength.
Also like I said I realize this is not quite the spirit of the 7th Sea game and stories don't need gamesystems per se, but the thirll of adventure and combat comes largely from the die-rolling aspect of the game and it never hurts to have a system as balanced (meaning cost/reward) as possible.


kckrupp wrote:Anyway, I hope you don't see this as me disregarding your ideas. At one time I'd house-ruled the hell out of 1st Ed myself. Over the years though, with the exception of a few specific House Rules (specifically around Passive and Active Defense and Naval Combat...and not counting the absolute atrocities that came in the later books, most of which I just outright ignore - I'm looking at you Sophia's Daughters, Cathay, and *ugh* Zerstorung) I've actually started adhering closer to the original rule-set.


Yeah I don't quite like those atrocities either and I'm really hoping Mark gets that remake of Sophia's Daughter's done, but so far I still like to twink with the system.

As far as arguing with me goes I don't mind. I like the input from others (though I'll likely keep to the value by numbers regardless of what you say) and most of you have probably more experience with this game than I do, so why shouldn't I take your experiences into consideration ;-)
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:05 pm

Ikkuhyu wrote:...And when it comes down to PVP those 3 Traits are the ones you wanna invest in. Wounds are fairly irrellevant when you out action, out perform the opponent, but yes Resolve is definately better than Strength. Also like I said I realize this is not quite the spirit of the 7th Sea game and stories don't need gamesystems per se, but the thirll of adventure and combat comes largely from the die-rolling aspect of the game and it never hurts to have a system as balanced (meaning cost/reward) as possible.


I do fully agree that those 3 Traits ARE going to be the most important in a PVP campaign (unless one of those players is a sorcerer.) And it can totally be 7th Sea; one of the best campaigns I ever ran was a PVP campaign.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:06 pm

Also, Mark, I don't think you're going to need to rewrite Sophia's Daughters anymore. Unless John is planning a bait-and-switch, with what I've read for 2nd Ed, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief in that regard, but I'm not allowed to say any more than that at this point.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Black Jack Rackham » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:12 pm

Yup I put it on the back burner ever since (though I would LOVE to write my version as the official thing) 2nd Ed news came out.
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby Kormak » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:41 pm

*gasp* Can it be? Are they finally employing grammatically-correct foreign languages?!
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Re: 7th Sea...is BACK~!!!!

Postby kckrupp » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:53 am

They seem to be trying to. I just got the most recent playtest rules and the French and Italian looks correct to me. The Russian on the other hand is...when my wife (who is Russian) looked at the current name for the Ussuran sorcery she immediately said, "That makes no sense." It's likely they just haven't ironed it all down yet.
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