Recently, I headed to my local gaming con (Warpcon, now in its 29th year).
On Saturday afternoon, I played my first game of 7th Sea and had a lot of fun.
I’m most familiar with is as ‘the pirate version of Legend of the 5 Rings’, and I’ve played a lot of L5R over various editions. I was looking forward to seeing how the 2nd edition of 7th Sea compared to what I knew.
First of all, like a lot of John Wick’s recent games (Houses of the Blooded etc), the game uses mechanics for success and raises.
Second, roll and keep is gone, as are exploding dice (unless you’re quite injured and get an adrenaline boost).
Overall, I liked how the rules seemed to be set up.
On to the game itself. I was playing a Sarmatian Ambassador in the city of Vendel, investigating the Vendel Guilder, and how its good could be used by the Sarmatian Commonwealth. With me at all times was my bodyguard, a Duelist.
At a feast hall, we met a local sailor, an Avalonian merchant and an Ussaran of good repute who seemed good to keep around. When the man in charge of the local mint came to meet me and take me on a tour, it seemed only natural to take our new friends along.
Wandering around the mint on a guided tour was great, but then we had to wait in an office. When the Ussaran found some burned papers, he muttered under his breath and they suddenly became whole again (I knew he’d be useful!), revealing that the mint had been taken over by some shady guys from Montaigne – slave traders mostly!
Keeping the papers, we retired to the inn to ponder our next move.
In the middle of the night, an assassin appeared in my room, intent on killing me, framing my bodyguard and perhaps my new friends, and retrieving the papers. How do we know that? Well, because we trounced them most effectively, tied them up, searched their pockets and summoned the guards! Then we woke them up and interrogated them, managing to find out where the nefarious Jean-Claude Benet was hiding in the city.
We managed to very quickly get into the cellar somehow (thanks Avalonian… merchant?) and have a look around at all the nice wines. The Ussaran turned himself into a rat and crept through to another room – it was packed with mercenary guards! He managed to find some papers and drag them back to us, and then we crept away again before being trampled by all the armed and armoured professionals!
We may have left some burning rum behind…
The papers showed a deep conspiracy, the names of all of the workers in the mint working against the Guilder itself, and others in the city connected to the conspiracy. We headed straight for the captain of the guard.
When we showed him the evidence we collected, he tasked us with ‘collecting’ the key player – one of the administrators of the mint.
When we arrived back at the mint, he was very hurriedly tidying up his papers and preparing to leave. Then a grenado flew through the window!
We had just enough time to kick it into another room and duck before much of our evidence was destroyed.
We hurried back outside to confront our attackers, finding the small army of mercenaries and their leader Jean-Claude. Getting the better of him, a noble gentleman like myself, we made an agreement that a sudden slaughter would be unsportsman-like, so we should be given a head-start in any chase.
The Ussaran once again changed shape – this time into a horse! With the Avalonian and myself climbing on and the sailor and my bodyguard running through the streets, we managed to get to the watchhouse just in time to barricade it and find it barely manned – the captain had taken his best men out to arrest the whole conspiracy!
We managed to repel the attack by vicious one-on-one combat between my bodyguard and the head of the mercenaries, whilst the rest of us persuaded to flee and/or pummeled anyone else who managed to break through the door.
Persuasion is easy when you all have guns!
After the attack, we had to run after Jean-Claude, who was going to escape by ship. When we once again caught up to him, he decided to try and slip away using portis magic, opening a screaming hole in the world to step through.
Now, I learned sometime later that opening your eyes inside a portal means instant death and being added to the screams. I didn’t mean to do that, just stop him going through the portal.
I shot him twice, in the chest, and he fell through the portal, eyes wide with surprise.
And that was the adventure. Lots of fun. And I enjoyed the system. I can definitely see myself playing it again.