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Jul 15, 2017

I think the ATC is an unbridled success in making an NPC organization that pretty much any character I could theoretically make would want to kick right in the dick as hard as they can. It even rather handily lets you play a 'good' pirate as hitting slave traffickers does not weight heavy on the soul.


Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: It's Not Morals, It's Money That Pays

Flemming Rudd, Chief Procurement Officer, is a fat, pale man in a weg, has mixed Vesten and Avalon heritage and an old friendship with Rourke. It was Rudd who invented Rourke into a Vendel shipping guild, which is what transformed him from a failure of an adventurer into a shipping magnate. Flemming is a devout Vaticine - rare in both Avalon and Vesten. He felt stifled by their Objectionist leanings, and he sees the ATC as a chance to spread Vaticine values - whether the recipients want them or not. He believes - quite genuinely, in fact - that Theah blesses the Ifrians and Rahuri it converts and enslaves by bringing them to civilization and light. Obviously, he is dead wrong - any slave ship hold will prove that. But he does put his money where his mouth is occasionally, building cabildos, ethnic clubhouses for slaves and freedmen. Typically they are sponsored by Vaticine priests or other religious members of the Company, hosting dinners and dances as well as educating their members in the catechism and, if the owners don't object, math and literacy. Outwardly, Rudd supports Rourke's playing of Vaticine and Objectionist missionaries against each other, but inwardly, he's worried. He'd always hoped that Rourke would see the Vaticine light after years of his quiet influence, and...well, it's not working. He's wondering what else he doesn't know, and who he can trust. Rudd is a Villain - but a Villain who is genuinely avuncular, soft-spoken and kind in person. He's just a huge loving hypocrite who truly believes he's helping the people he oppresses and enslaves. He doesn't cackle or monologue, and he really does believe he's helping. And he's still a horrific Villain.

Laerke Ulriksdottir, Chief of Security, grew up in the Vesten hinterlands, and was wielding an axe before she could even walk. She was an aide to her mother, a traveling mercenary, before finally accepting a position - a very boring one - as a guard at a guild outpost in Kirkjubaejarklauster. She didn't especially like the city life there - the merchants talked a big game, but they weren't honest. She grew bitter and disillusioned by mercantile cowardice and other failings, and when Rourke came to her to talk about conquering the Atabean and bringing it to heel, she saw something in that that felt familiar. She went home one last time, gathered up the hardest raiders she could, and set sail with Rourke. She is tough, no-nonsense and adores her job - especially the fighting. She's happy to stand there and glare when Rourke needs to intimidate people, but she loves the part where she gets to go pacify some natives with her axe and shield. It's been a long time since she's faced a worthy foe, however, and she wants it. She's largely a silent figure, looming and terrifying because...well, she really likes killing people. She will always accept a challenge to single combat, however.

Annie Goldenflower, Chief Financial Officer, has no idea who her father is, but her mother was Rahuri. However, she and her sisters can easily pass for Thean, and generally do. She was a bookkeeper when she got a job offer from the Company, and while she knew its reputation and the harm it'd done to her people, she believed she could change things from the inside. Her existence as an NPC as to say that no, you can't. It doesn't loving work. She believed she'd keep her head down until she had a chance to betray the Company to the Rahuri, who could then launch a hostile takeover and nationalize the ATC, ending its crimes in a positive and peaceful way. It hasn't worked. It will never work. She's a leader now, controlling records and allocations, but she's still never found an element she can control that'd be so critical it'd hamstring the entire operation. She's also struggled to coordinate with Rahuri leaders, and her need for secrecy means she reveals little even to her theoretical allies. It doesn't help that she's a devout Objectionist, whose love of numbers led her to respect the science and progress she felt the faith represented. As much as she wants Rahuri acceptance, she will not hide or betray her faith, and if she had to choose, she would choose her faith over her people. Annie is not a Villain, quite, but she's an accessory to atrocity and villainy, and she has no real qualifications to lead a revolt at all. If she's stuck in her job much longer, she'll probably get corrupted by all the horror she has to be party to, though the help of an outside Hero, like a PC, might just be able to help her and allow her to pull out of her nosedive.

Mesquite, the Postmaster General, is a shadowy figure that wears a wide-brimmed hat and rain cape. They showed up one day at Rourke's Tower in the middle of a hurricane. They are neither male nor female. The guards showed them up to the Board, and they unrolled a map of the region - completely accurate - with courses of trade winds and currents marked, skirting monster-infested waters. They said only this: "You have a communication problem. My name is Mizquitl. This is how I'll fix it." Mesquite is what they're called now, and they founded the Seahorse Express to regiment the travel of news and words across the sea. Mesquite personally trained the Postmasters in charge, and they're as dedicated and secretive as any secret society. Mesquite is silent in any meeting, largely ignoring any question not related to route selection or mail transmission. None of the Board can remember ever getting a good look at them. Their office is a belfry atop Rourke's Tower with no bell and no glass in the windows, its iron desk literally bolted to the floor. Regardless of the weather, Mesquite is generally found sitting on top of the desk. And the reason is Mesquite is a god. A literal god, from Aztlan. They aren't a very big or notable god, mind, and aren't like Theus - closer in power to the dievai, Devil Jonah or Matushka, really. They were worshipped centuries ago in Aztlan, when the first roads were made, but their worship dwindled until they had no priests or temples left. Their long-term goals are solely related to spreading communication, and they're not proud - just dedicated. They've decided the ATC is just in the best position to help their cause, and would leave the instant that wasn't true. They value human allies and friends, far more than obedient servants - after all, they've lost everything before and realized how valuable an ally truly is. They will do anything to protect those friends.

Relations posted:

Avalon: "As often as my people's foibles frustrate me - particularly their religious attitudes - Avalon, Inismore, and the Marches originated much of the spirit which inspired me and young George to do business the way we do. We make a lot of money on sugar and tobacco in Avalon. In fact, we have more noble investors there than anywhere else in Theah. You'll find many an Avalonian in the Company ranks, from the Board down to the greenest cabin boys." - Flemming Rudd.
Castille: Castillians, and Odiseans especially, deal extensively with the Company, though the highest social strata rail against President Rourke's contempt for nobility and government. Since the loss of the Armada, the Company has frequently stepped in to fulfill rich Castillians' shipping needs.
Eisen: It's no secret that George Rourke greatly admires Nicklaus Trague. In fact, he modeled Rourke's Tower visually after Freiburg's Wachtturm. Freiburg is the most profitable city in Theah to the Company, as well as the most cordial to Rourke's philosophy.
Montaigne: "Oh, I hope he tries to do business in my country again. Maybe this time I'll get to set Monsieur Rourke himself on fire." - l'Empereur Alexandre
Numa: Numa and the Company have a tense working relationship. The Company craves Numanari mint and spices. Numa craves the many manufactured goods and other substances their islands can't provide. But while Company and Numanari philosophies both extensively use the word "freedom," the similarities end there.
The Sarmatian Commonwealth: "Fascinating. I could talk about the Commonwealth for days. So much potential, such good fashion sense, such respect for liberty...but ultimately, they disappoint. 'Sarmatism' is yet another excuse for the weak to leech off the strong. That business about ennobling everyone is exactly the wrong way to go about the right thing, and everything about their King and his Walezy Articles vexes me. Still, doing business there is straightforward enough. If their government has any problems with my Company, it's too busy bickering with itself to express it." - President Rourke
Ussura: Ussura's import needs and export offerings suit the Company well, but of late the increasingly hostile Vendel League has used its geographic proximity to usurp Company business there. In response, Rourke has publically decried Ussura's backward and superstitious attitudes as not worth his business. Only Flemming Rudd knows how incensed Rourke really is at this development.
Vestenmannevanjar: "drat those honorless whelps! The Vendel League made Rourke and Rudd. Their corporation could never have existed without our Guilders, our customs, and our organization. We were fools to think they would stay loyal to the League even after they monopolized the Atabean Sea. Rourke would have you believe otherwise, but trade is about relationships, and relationships are about trust. Our Guilders represent the trust which Thean markets place in a system which helps us all. When one merchant, especially so fortunate as those traitors, sacrifices honesty and respect, the very concept of trade itself suffers. Well, if it's a trade war he wants..." - Harald Hermansson, Sailor's Guild.
Vodacce: "Rourke seems like a good fellow. We do a lot of business together." - Prince Giovanni Villanova

Next time: Fort Freedom

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.
Wait... a guy named Rourke in charge of a group plundering and destroying native civilizations to enrich himself? Someone on that writing staff was a fan of one of Disney's more obscure films.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Either that or Roark would've been too on the nose

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements

It's a little weird to me how all of the expressly atheist characters in 7th Sea seem to be some flavor of amoral libertine. And how the game goes out of its way to insist that the church is fundamentally heroic, even if parts of it are corrupt. Monarchy and trade seem to be presented in much more neutral lights, but the only atheistic leader I've noted who isn't in bed with the ATC is l'Empereur, whose disdain for the church is explicitly causing peasants to be basically slaves.

What I'm saying is that they're maybe going a little too hard to make the church look good, rather than neutral.

Mar 25, 2013

Honestly I kind of find it refreshing to actually have the church being a morally positive thing if it isn't done in the most hamfisted way.

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

Joe Slowboat posted:

What I'm saying is that they're maybe going a little too hard to make the church look good, rather than neutral.

I don't think we've been back to Castille yet, have we? The Inquisition are pretty bad dudes.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements

The Inquisition are also really explicitly alien to the normal function of the church, though. Like, there's an Inquisition but it's explicitly relatively new and a break with Good Tradition.

To be clear I'm fine with a morally decent church but would appreciate if it didn't also require atheism to be a sign of evil.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

Trague himself isnít evil. Nicklaus Trague is just depressed and refuses to engage with governance.

Hattie Masters
Aug 29, 2012

Grimey Drawer
I absolutely adore the ATC. I studied History for my undergrad and saw how companies such as these basically hosed over every non-European nation on the planet, so getting to bloody their nose a bit is wonderful for me.

But, and I hope I'm not stepping on Mors' toes (and if you think I am, I'll take this bit down) but the ATC being so irredeemably evil fixes one of the biggest problems with old 7th Sea: for a pirate RPG it was pretty hard to justify being a pirate. Giving the players something despicable to fight against, whilst also allowing them to be raiding ships and stealing cargo is a real step up. Previously you could kinda go after, say, Vodacce ships because they're pretty bad but it was pretty hard to be both a Hero and a Pirate. At least in my opinion.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Having the actual colonial empires and things necessary to produce the golden age of piracy is helpful in this, a game about a fictional golden age of piracy, yes.

Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

You can tell from reading the section on Shamans that itís a passion project that one of the authors really got into. Mechanically, theyíre pretty crazy, getting a lot of powers that circumvent the action economy and other resources. It can be a little confusing, but the general mechanics work out well enough.

There are 4 major skills a shaman needs to know to do their job properly. Spirit Combat is used to fight spirits on their level, and is the only one other characters will really care about. Spirit Dance is used to peacefully deal with spirits, escape from hostile ones or a few ritual purposes. Spirit Lore is a knowledge skill that can really come in handy, especially when hunting for new spirits to add to your collection. Spirit Travel is for getting around the spirit plane, and handily abstracts what would often be a solo adventure. Assistant Shamans get free training in these skills, and a few backgrounds and cults help out.

The path to actually becoming a Shaman is written pretty strangely. It first starts with a Calling to become an assistant Shaman that can be pretty much anything. The examples range from dreams of your ancestors and the chiefís horse talking to you to falling out of a sacred tree, but it encourages you to come up with your own. Assistant Shamans get a couple nice bonuses like a free point of spirit magic, an automatic POW increase every year and +1 to damage in Spirit Combat.

To actually become a proper shaman, you have to test whether the Shaman youíre assisting deems you worthy, with a random roll of your average between POW and CHA times 5. Rules as written you get one shot a year, and each year is 5 adventures. Maximum Game Fun. If you succeed, you get to go on a spirit journey to awaken your Fetch, a sort of extra soul and spirit self. The rules for doing this are enmeshed in an example and nowhere else. Every journey goes through the same rough stages, with names and features shuffled around.

1. The Shaman goes to a holy place to meditate and pray to a Greater Entity, like a God, Ancestor Hero or big-deal spirit. They get into a trance for 1d6+1 days (which is a completely irrelevant number) and eventually meet the Horned Man, the first Shaman. They discorporate and head off to the Spirit Plane.
2. The Horned Man leads the Shaman to a Frontier region, where the applicant has to sacrifice POW to the Greater Entity to show respect. These get used for the Fetch, so you want to sacrifice a decent amount.
3. The Shaman goes alone into the Cave, a metaphorical representation of the Shamanís soul. The player is encouraged to describe it themselves, in an unusual touch for the book. They are hounded by spirits that challenge their views, asking questions about their passions and values. When thatís over and they get some alone time, the applicant rolls their Spirit Dance skill and awakens their fetch. In an incredibly stupid decision, the Fetchís starting POW and how much the player gets to define it are based on this random roll, and its POW stat gets boosted by whatever you sacrificed. One in 4 or so Shamans playing the game can just suck it and deal with their weak class feature they dedicated their guy to getting, and even some of the better spirit dancers might roll the fetchís stats poorly.
4. The Bad Man shows up and starts testing your resolve with Spirit Combat. Thereís a minimum of 1d6 rounds, and it stops afterwards if the player says to or at 6, although the GM isnít supposed to say what the minimum is. If the player wins, they get a Shamanic Ability. If they lose, they get a Taboo they have to follow. This is where I realised Spirit Combat is busted because Spirits donít actually get a Spirit Combat skill, as far as I can tell. A note about converting old editions says that spirits should get a Spirit Combat of their POW x 5 so I guess they just do that. The Bad Manís POW is listed at 35, so he has a 175% in Spirit combat and actually winning this is almost impossible unless they roll a 100. In opposed POW checks, you add your Fetchís POW to yours, so maybe it was supposed to be an opposed POW check since thatís potentially winnable if you got a good Fetch before, but Spirit Combat runs off a skill so it doesnít do anything here. I might be missing something so correct me if Iím wrong.
5. Youíre fully united with your Fetch at this point, rejoin your body and celebrate with a party. You pick your abilities and roll your taboos, and define exactly what your fetch is if you got to do that. The other players put their phones down maybe.

The actual stuff a shaman gets to do is really cool, so it kind of balances out with how many random rolls and poorly explained things have appeared so far. Firstly you get a Fetch, which has a lot of purposes. It can act as a source of POW and Magic points if you need to use them. It doesnít gain POW seperately but the shaman can give it to them. It can act separately from the Shaman in combat, going at their DEX strike rank (so really quickly). They can be targeted by magic if they cast at a corporeal target, but getting an extra spell each turn is a big deal. They run off their own stats but know every spell you do. They keep an eye on the Shamanís body while theyíre loving off in Spiritland. Strangest of all, the Fetch can capture defeated spirits like Pokemon, binding them and letting the shaman use their spells, draw upon their magic points or release them to do tasks. Your total allotment of spirits is their total POW compared to the Fetchís POW. This gives you massive breadth and lots of extra mana.

Thereís a few other benefits to being a shaman. You can Discorporate and enter the spirit realm without a spell, always see into the spirit realm, and can bargain with the spirits their, trading POW for services and spells, and get an increased allotment for bound spirits from their Fetchís CHA. They also get access to special Shamanic Abilities. You get some at the start of Shamanhood, but you can get more by sacrificing stats. The stat cost increases each time, but can be reset by taking a taboo. Thereís a lot of these abilities. Some are just number boosts, but thereís also some very cool powers like getting to possess losers of spirit combat, having a spirit spell always be on, or get to cast multiple spells at a time. The Taboos are another d100 random chart of things that may or may not matter, ranging from Never eat Bear Meat to middling stuff like Make a Pilgrimage to a place on the Spirit Plane every year or big pains in the rear end like Never Lie, wear clothes or Never Wear Armor. Itís not made with game design in mind. Some of the Cults get their own taboos, like the Yelm tradition that gets some weirdo horse ones that are a much better deal.

Shamans are an odd bunch, getting a bunch of cool powers in exchange for very strange mechanics. Itíd be fun to play as one, but Iím not really sure if they actually work. Iíd probably angle to play as one though, itíd be cool to play pokemon and itís not as difficult to actually become one as a Rune-Lord since the skill gates are random rolls rather than targets.

Art is Dope though

Next Time: Sorcery

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 04:17 on Jul 3, 2018

Nov 26, 2008

Lipstick Apathy

Wrestlepig posted:

You can tell from reading the section on Shamans that itís a passion project that one of the authors really got into.

Greg Stafford is a shaman irl.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: rear end in a top hat Town

Fort Freedom was founded by Rourke on a rocky island with peaceful natives after Laerke noted its excellent natural harbor that would allow small groups in and out but be hard to enter in force, which Rourke considered important given he'd had to flee Montaigne. They made a fortified keep called Rourke's Tower at the highest point on the island, expanding the fort to overlook the harbor. Rourke and Laerke worked to popularize the island by spreading word that it was a good pirate hideout - and it was, with ample supplies of cheap coffee, liquor and other addictive goods, plus fresh Thean supplies. The lack of law also helped, though Laerke was quick to step in if anyone threatened Company interests. The first settlers were either ATC employees or retired pirates, but now, Fort Freedom is home to just about any kind of Atabean, and serves as a full-fledged city, rivaling Aragosta in size.

The island itself is a flat-topped crescent with fortified cliffs facing all sides but the inner arc harbor, which is full of piers. A huge statue of George Rourke towers over the harbor, gazing out to sea and bearing the Freedom Bell, which rings each day at daybreak to remind everyone of exactly how free they are. Fortified turrets watch over the harbor, and ships of any flag are welcome if they can pay for a berth. Only one rule is applied: no ship-to-ship combat in the harbor, or everyone aims their guns at you and prepares to fire. The eastern arc is home to the Shallow Graves, the only area of harbor with no ships. The water's only ankle deep at high tide, and so it is home to a series of piles covered in memorial stones or plaques for the dead, sunken into the beach. Off harbor are the warehouses and senzalas (slave quarters), and taverns are common, each with some gimmick to attract people. The windows have no glass to allow for easy ejection of patrons by bouncers. The city itself has no urban planning whatsoever, so it just kind of sprawls. However, the highlands around Rourke's Tower are Company-controlled, home to the employees and company stores and service offices. Chief Ulriksdottir's patrols are thick in that area, ensuring that while the rest of the city may be chaos, the Company is undisturbed.

The Snowflake is the massive fortress that dominates the western side of what is now called Freedom's Island. It's named for its perimeter shape and is Laerke's HQ, training center and general base. It's extremely advanced, designed by the Vodacce engineer Cinzia Pontecorvo, who originally came to the New World to fortify Castillian holdings but headed for Fort Freedom after the Company made her a better offer. The Castillian King is incensed - she took her plans with her - but he can't do much about it, with his Armada gone. The outer rampart rises up from the sea, except for the bit facing the land, which has a moat and drawbridge. The ramparts are a meter and a half thick, with triangular or kite-shaped bastions of alternating depth to ensure there are no dead zones for the cannons. This is called the Vodacce Star. Inside, there's barracks, a senzala for the slaves and plenty of resupply magazines. The citadel within has its own star-shaped wall and houses the smithy, mess hell and other essentials. Most Company coastal forts are not so advanced, and are mainly purchased or captured medieval-style castles built in the early years of Thean exploration, scheduled to be renovated when funds and labor permit. Only the most valuable holdings have Vodacce Star forts.

Fort Freedom is full of street gangs, which are born alarmingly quickly. They draw in children, particularly orphans, starting them as runners or pickpockets before teachign them to fight. Leaders began referring to themselves as Rourkes 15 years ago, which has devolved into Rooks. Constant fighting causes them to have shockingly sophisticated fighting styles, often distinct variations on the Inside Game. The gangs are vital to Fort Freedom's odd ecology, fighting not only for pride and territory but to earn recognition from the societal leaders. Hiring a street gang is, after all, the fastest way to get muscle, if not super loyal muscle. Other times, pirates will recruit an entire gang as crew for a major assault. Laerke also has her men observe the top gangs in high-profile fights, inviting the best to join her security forces. Many gangs view taking her offer as dishonorable, as it turns your back on your community, but there's not much they can do to take revenge on those who "go corporate."

The Cipactli Gang are primarily New Worlders from Tzak K'an and Nahuacan, and they're feared because they are rumored to sacrifice their captives to the New World gods. They go to some lengths to conceal the truth of the rumor, which is worse: they sell them as slaves. The Wayward Sons and Daughters are the rich kids, children of dispossessed nobles and the local rich who sneak off from the good neighborhoods for excitement and danger. They're usually seen as weak, privileged kids, so they've developed a tendency to berserk ferocity to fight that perception. The Anglerfish are a Rahuri gang - quite large, probably the biggest in Fort Freedom - but full of internal disputes and violent challenges for leadership. The Bad Guys are an Ifrian gang and, yes, that's really their name. Their best Inside Game players wear pure white to show they've never been struck or knocked down while playing. And then there's the ulama teams, as the Aztlan ball game ulama is very popular in Fort Freedom. Each team has a small but fierce and surprisingly well-organized gang of hooligans, and sometimes the ulama players help them out.

Rourke disdains the secret societies, but encourages them to set up in Fort Freedom so his people can spy on them. Both sides have extensive spy networks watching each other. The Brotherhood of the Coast have no formal base, but can easily meet up in the crowded taverns. Die Kreuzritter uses Fort Freedom as a base to monitor the movements of sea monsters, and also to keep tabs on when powerful people show up, for fear of infernalists or other monsters in human skin fleeing to the Atabean. The Explorer's Society has a prominent clubhouse in Fort Freedom, on the edge of the highlands district. Rourke knows they're competition, but he respects them and enjoys how they annoy the Vaticine, so he leaves them alone. The Invisible College have a few hidden labs in Fort Freedom, subtly encouraged by Rourke. However, whenever the Company gets close to one, they shutter it and destroy all evidence, fleeing to the next. It's a constant game of dodging the Company's thieving minions. The Knights of the Rose and Cross are the anthithesis of Rourke's beliefs, and their leaders have decided Fort Freedom is too dangerous for a full chapterhouse...which is probably true. They have to keep a low profile - their brand of heroism is not appreciate by Laerke Ulriksdottir at all.

Los Vagabundos have arrived recently in order to connect with the Rahuri leadership. They have also decided a Fort Freedom base is too dangerous for them, though they've managed to have their agents in Fort Freedom avoid detection so far. Rourke and Laerke would both love to beat them to a bloody pulp if they found out, however. Mociutes Skara have probably the best powerbase in Fort Freedom after the Explorers. The Company's watchdogs have warned the Board about the potential danger they pose, but the Board is entirely unconcerned, and haven't a drat clue where the Shawl base is anyway. This is because they typically meet in large crowds in the open, relying on coded language to transmit information. Their resources are primarily focused on small, unglamorous jobs, and have been slowly reaching out to the Rahuri leaders to figure out how to help avert a war of conquest that many worry will be Theah's next step. The Rilasciare had a cell in Fort Freedom until approximately last week, when they all vanished. Rourke despises the Rilasciare, as they promote a philosophy quite similar to his own, but with diametrically opposed ends. The rumor is their last strike against a corrupt Vaticine priest was too bold, and Laerke tracked them back to their base and disappeared them. It is unclear if this is true or if they left of their own accord.

Next time: New mechanics.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Nothing good ever comes of a place that calls itself 'Fort Freedom' and has to repeatedly talk about how free it is.

I appreciate the standard Libertarian 'You are totally free! No laws! Unless you cross the guy with enough money to monopolize force, who can have people disappeared, because that's totally nothing like laws or a state, right? Because we didn't call it that!' blind spot.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: Piratical Heroes

We get stat bonuses for Heroes from Aragosta, Jaragua, La Bucca, Numa or the Rahuri. Not Fort Freedom - no one is 'native' to Fort Freedom. They're all from elsewhere. We get some new backgrounds!

General Backgrounds
Atabean Rook: You were a gang leader in Fort Freedom. Earn a Hero Point when you use your rep or status to help another character.
Company Escapee: You were a prisoner or slave or other victim of the ATC and escaped. Earn a Hero Point when you subvert the Company's plans or sabotage its income stream.
Seahorse: You moved the mail. Earn a Hero Point when you deliver an important message, written or otherwise.
Thean Outcast: You had to flee to the Atabean to survive. Earn a Hero Point when siding with your adopted homeland in favor of Thean tradition gets you into trouble.
Aragostan-Only Backgrounds
Freebooter: You were an Atabean sailor without parallel. Earn a Hero Point when you convince another character to join you on a journey at sea.
Troubleshooter: You were a pirate sniper. Earn a Hero Point when you spend all your Raises on shooting a target and suffer Consequences for it.
Rum Runner: You were a smuggler. Earn a Hero Point when you sail your ship into forbidden waters.
Lost Soul: You sold part of your soul to the Devil Jonah, and won't let anyone make the same mistake. Earn a Hero Point when you prevent the Devil Jonah from claiming another soul.
Jaraguan-Only Backgrounds
Nganga: You interpeted the will of the Lwa. Earn a Hero Point when you use your spiritual knowledge and skills to aid a community.
Mawon: You were a rebel guerilla. Earn a Hero Point when you defeat an enemy using guerilla tactics.
Jaraguan Provocatuer: You were a diplomat, smuggler and alliance-seeker for Jaragua. Earn a Hero Point when you gain a new ally for Jaragua.
Enspkete: You were a monster hunter and detective. Earn a Hero Point when you learn a secret about a Monster or anti-Jaraguan conspiracy.
La Bucca-Only Backgrounds
Siren: You were a problem solver for the Chapters. Earn a Hero Point when you solve a problem with stealth and subterfuge rather than direct confrontation.
Chapter Member: You were an agent for a Chapter. Earn a Hero Point when you fulfill the duties of your Chapter.
Sentinel: You were a quick-witted street gunner. Earn a Hero Point when you beat another character to the draw.
Los Ninos: You were saved by the Mother. Earn a Hero Point when you protect a brother or sister.
Numa-Only Backgrounds
Docent: You were a warrior who decided to test the other nations. Earn a Hero Point when you push another character to live up to their potential, even when it means trouble.
Haimon: You were a glory-seeker. Earn a Hero Point when you take on a dangerous task for no other reason than it will bring you glory.
Mystai: You plumbed the depths of your spirit. Earn a Hero Point when you thwart the mystai of Hecteba.
Myrmidon: You were a defender of Numa. Earn a Hero Point when you impress the crew of a foreign ship with your daring.
Rahuri-Only Backgrounds
Boriqua: You were a warrior-diplomat for the Rahuri. Earn a Hero Point when you win a diplomatic contest with a threat of violence.
Wave Hunter: You were a monster hunter. Earn a Hero Point when you defeat a Sea Monster.
Bohiti: You were a guide to Soryana. Earn a Hero Point when you solve the problem of a Lost ancestor.
Horizon Chaser: You were a Rahuri explorer. Earn a Hero Point when you set foot in a place you've never visited.

We also get new advantages!
One Point
Eye for Talent: When you spend Wealth to hire a Brute Squad, their Strength is 1 point higher.
Letter of Marque: You or another PC must have Married to the Sea. Choose a Thean Nation. You have a Letter of Marque from them. Any privateers or military ships of that nation will not harass you if you present it, and you have no legal ramifications from your privateering with them. Other nations will rarely care.

Two Point
Agoge Weapon Mastery: You must have the Lakedaimon Agoge dueling style. Choose an additional weapon from its list; you gain the appropriate bonus when using it.
Cross the Palm: When you spend Wealth to reroll a die in a social Risk swayable with money, you may reroll 2 dice instead of 1.
Devil Dog (Knack): You or another PC must have Married to the Sea. You may activate this to give any Crew Squads under your command this round 2 Bonus Dice on any Risk.
Indomitable Will (Knack): Costs 1 less for Numanari. You may activate this to automatically resist when another character attempts to intimidate, seduce or otherwise goad you.
Insistent (Knack): You may activate this when you apply Pressure. The effect of your Pressure lasts until the end of the round.
Married to the Sea: Nothing new, just Aragostans pay 1 less for it.
Speed Load (Knack): You may activate this to reload a single firearm you are carrying with 1 Raise instead of 5. You may do this only once per Sequence.
Tavern Favorite: When you make a Perform Risk in a low-class place such as a dockside tavern or street corner, you get a Bonus Die.

Three Point
Atabean Traveler (Knack): Costs 1 less for Rahuri. You may activate this when in the Atabean Sea to know the direction to the nearest port, find fresh food or water, or to ask the GM a yes/no question about the environment or a creature you've encountered.
Dynamic Approach: Again, not new, but costs 1 less for Buccaneers.
Frog Man: When you make an Athletics Risk that involves swimming, you get a Bonus Die.
Nerves of Steel: Costs 1 less for Jaraguans. Whenever you spend a Hero Point for bonus dice in any Risk against a target with a Monster Quality, you may also reroll one die.
Powder Monkey: When you make an Aim Risk to fire a ship's cannons, you get 2 Bonus Dice.
Sweeten the Pot: You may spend 1 Wealth to bribe someone in an Action or Dramatic Sequence without spending a Raise. You can only do this once per Sequence.
The Ocean's Favorite: You must have Married to the Sea. As long as you are Captain of your Ship, you may spend a Hero Point before rolling dice at the start of any round to reorganize the Crew Squads, spending a Hero Point to aid another Hero on your ship gives 4 dice instead of 3, and you get a Bonus Die to all Risks you take aboard your Ship.
Wheel Man: When you make a Risk to steer a ship through treacherous waters or to avoid enemy fire, or when your expertise at the helm would be useful, you get a Bonus Die.

Four Point
The Devil's Due: Costs 2 less for Aragostans. You cut off part of yourself and sacrificed it to the Devil Jonah alongside part of your soul. In its place, you gain a magical artifact with unique abilities. You may activate its powers for a scene by spending 1 Hero Point. Examples include a bronze-and-silver spike used as a false leg, which never tarnishes and can break through any door - effortlessly, up to a foot of wood - and deals 1 additional Wound on top of normal when used to kick people, a spyglass made of bone and gems that can see through walls or ship hulls, or a pair of dried leather boots that never get wet and can walk on water as if it was dry land.
Salty Dog (Innate): When you make a Risk using Sailing, Theft or Intimidate, all of your rolled dice have +1 to their value.
Seeker of Soryana: Rahuri only. When exploring the wilds or sailing, you may spend a Hero Point to find a gate to Soryana and meet with Locuo to plead your case. If he finds your cause just, he will grant you an ancestor, who is a ghostly, translucent specter that can interact with the world like anyone else. They have free will but will usually help you with your goals for, generally, the length of a single Story. The ancestor has 3 in all Traits, 1 Background chosen by you, 1 Background chosen by the GM, all associated Advantages, and 2 in all associated skills. They can take 10 Wounds before their soul is destroyed forever. At the start of each session, you must spend a Hero Point (and be close to the) to keep them sane, or they become a Strength 10 Monster with Destructive and Horrifying as Qualities, plus all their old abilities, and begin to prey on the living. Locuo will also hold this against you and refuse to grant future requests until you find and either destroy or redeem the Lost ancestor. You may also serve as a guide for another character, in which case they must pay all Hero Point costs instead, though you still have the responsibility to take care of it if they end up making a Lost.
Whisper to Mother: Buccaneer only. You may spend a Hero Point and spill a drop of your own blood onto your hand. You may then whisper a name into it - either one of your siblings or the Mother - and then make one statement or ask one question. The person you named will hear you, and if you cup your hands to your ear, you hear their response. Responding to this call costs nothing, but allows only one statement, and you still have to talk into your hands to respond.

Five Point
I Cannot Be Broken (Knack): Costs 2 less for Rahuri. When you spend a Hero Point to gain bonus dice on a Risk directly related to completing a Step in your Hero Story, you get 2 Bonus Dice instead of 1.
My Word Is My Bond (Knack): Costs 2 less for Aragostans. You can activate this to spend any number of Hero Points and make a promise to another character. For the rest of the scene, when you make a Risk in pursuit of fulfilling that promise, you get 1 free Raise per Hero Point spent this way. If you have not fulfilled your promise by the end of the scene, you lose all Hero Points and cannot gain more this session. If your promise is fulfilled by the end of the scene, you gain 1 Hero Point. You may use this only once per session, and the promise must be suitably dangerous or difficult.
La Palabra: Costs 2 less for Buccaneers. You know the secret code languages and handsigns of La Bucca. When you speak to anyone else with this Advantage, you may give them a message that is only understood by those who have this Advantage. This cannot communicate complex ideas, but simple requests or common statements are possible, and any code that contradicts spoken words will usually be assumed to be the truth. You may teach others how to make a single gesture or pass a message to a third party, but they cannot understand any replies or use phrases except the one you've shown them. Useful phrases to teach are things like 'I need to speak to you privately' or 'I am carrying an important message' as a result.
Seize Your Glory: Costs 2 less for Numanari. You have a second Virtue. You may still only activate one Virtue per session.
We Share Our Victories: Costs 2 less for Jaraguans. When you help another PC complete a Step of their personal Hero Story, you gain a Hero Point. Whenever another PC helps you complete a Step of your personal Hero Story, they gain a Hero Point.

And new Arcana!
The Devil Jonah: As a Virtue, you may activate this when you enact poetic justice, make someone pay their due or force them to follow through on a bargain. If you do, for your next Risk, all of your dice count as a Raise automatically. As a Hubris, you gain a Hero Point when you refuse to aid someone until they beg you or when you otherwise demonstrate your petty, vengeful nature.
The Drowned Man: As a Virtue, you may activate this when you would be killed. You instead are removed forcibly from the scene but survive. As a Hubris, you may activate this whenever you take Dramatic Wounds to gain 1 Hero Point per Dramatic Wound just taken.
The Fisherman: As a Virtue, you may activate this after you roll dice for a Risk. You lose half of your Raises. All other PCs in the scene gain that many Raises. As a Hubris, you get a Hero Point when you avoid the spotlight, insist you're nothing more than a simple man or otherwise refuse to take credit for something that it would be advantageous for you to claim as your own work.

Next time: New magic.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: Doubly Damned

Charter Magic is the famous sorcery used 40 years ago to bind the Brotherhood. It was a blood ritual of the Syrneth, and only Reis knew how to perform it truly. However, bastardizations of it have been passed down by word of mouth since that night, and each version that's developed has enough power to make a similar pact, if not as strong. The ritual currently used on Aragosta probably has elements that aren't strictly needed, but are included just in case, like needing to be signed at 3 AM or being done in a circle around a fire or having the words spoken aloud. Any single bit might not be needed, but no one wants to take chances.

The ritual is done around a fire on the shore, in a circle. Each person takes a dagger from another in the circle and cuts their hand, then pours blood into a bowl that is passed around and speaks their name - their full, true name - then passes the bowl along. It must be passed widdershins, and each participant must then place their bloody hand into the fire and squeeze blood onto the embers. If the ritual worked, the fire will blaze high, then suddenly die out. At that point, each participant must sign the Charter using the blood in the bowl, and the name they sign must be their full, true name, or the ritual won't work. Names cannot be added once the ritual is over. Mechanically, each signatory must spend one Hero Point - or a Danger Point, if they are a Villain. Villains explicitly can sign your Charter if invited! However, remember that it is their nature to backstab when they see the best chance.

The mechanics of having a Charter are simple. For every signatory that paid in, you get one point in a Luck Pool. Each Luck Point is worth a single d10 - so if you have six signatories, that's a Luck Pool of 6d10. At any time during the game, any signatory may draw as many Luck Pool dice as they want and add them to a roll. Once a die is used, it's gone for the rest of the session. The Luck Pool restores to full at the start of each session. That's pretty simple! But there's a price.

Any signatory that breaks the Charter as written is doubly damned. Almost all Charters use this language, to remind you that the rules are not to be broken lightly. They suffer "the black spot." For every other signatory, they get one black spot - so a six-person Charter would provide five black spot curses to the one that breaks it. The GM chooses from a small list of effects which spots to apply, combined however they like, though they may allow a cursed player to choose.

Black Spots
-1 to any one Trait
-2 to any one Skill
Lose access to any one 2-point (or less) Advantage
Require a Hero Point to get the benefit of any one 3-point (or more) Advantage, on top of any normal costs

The only way to free yourself from the black spot curse is to go to each other signatory and beg their forgiveness. To grant forgiveness, each must cut their hand and the supplicant's, holding them together. The supplicant asks if they are forgiven, and the other says they are. For each one that gives forgiveness, one black spot is removed and the stats it affected return to normal.

If all members of a Charter die, the Charter burns up with blue flame. Because there are so many Charters nailed to the walls of the Bucket o' Blood in Aragosta, there is a pirate tradition of a moment of silence whenever one of them burns up. Most believe it is bad luck to sign a new Charter on the same day an old one burns, but the bravest dismiss this as mere superstition and will even go so far as to mix the ash from a burned Charter with the blood of a new signing.

In case you're wondering - none of this requires the Sorcery advantage. Anyone can set up a Charter, and it has the exact terms you set down. Sample charters that are often used by various groups are in an appendix we'll hit eventually; most ships have a charter even if they don't have a Charter - that is, the magic kind. Having the magic one just means the PCs and any Villains signed on get a big pool of luck to play with. This is not Aragosta's sorcery - that's Mohwoo, magical tattoos made by Wenshen. La Bucca, however, has no Sorcery of its own.

Next time: Kap Sevi

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

So is there any reason for player characters not to write up a charter that boils down to "be heroic" and use it all the time?

Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.

wiegieman posted:

So is there any reason for player characters not to write up a charter that boils down to "be heroic" and use it all the time?
"You have to be a bit more specific for it to count as an actual law or regulation", thunders a voice from the cloudless sky.

It sounds somewhat annoyed.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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wiegieman posted:

So is there any reason for player characters not to write up a charter that boils down to "be heroic" and use it all the time?

The GM's patience and the fact that you actually have to write out and define your Charter.

That said, the Brotherhood and Pirate Code charters both boil down to 'mostly what I was going to do anyway as a pirate' in the appendix.

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

I guess it makes sense that they'd just exploit magic to get their way, that's what the rest of the world does.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Foglet posted:

"You have to be a bit more specific for it to count as an actual law or regulation", thunders a voice from the cloudless sky.

It sounds somewhat annoyed.

Protect the innocent. Serve what is good and right. Oppose evil. Defend those unable to defend themselves.

Bam, done. Same kind of thing you pull on rear end in a top hat DMs about anything else that requires a code of conduct.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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The game isn't trying to make it hard to keep to your Charter anyway. It is literally 'here, be heroes, have bonus dice.' The effect isn't so powerful it needs protection, it's just...some useful luck.

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: Take Me For A Ride

While many forms of Thean sorcery involve making pacts with otherworldly beings - most notably Sanderis, the Knights of Avalon and the Mother's Touch - none have done what Kap Sevi does. Sevites are brave or desperate souls that set part of themselves aside to allow these otherworldly beings into their bodies and souls. The cornerstone is worship of the Lwa and the West Ifrian practice known as Kurwa. Sevites have expanded on the Kurwa priestesses' teachings to find new, hidden aspects of the Lwa, and some Sevites believe they've still only scratched the surface. In West Ifri, only women could do Kurwa, making offerings to the Lwa for favors. In Jaragua, however, the Sevites found new ways to petition them - dismissing part of their own soul for the Lwa to take the place of. It helped them tap into the darker, more vengeful aspects of the Lwa and gave a reprieve from the living hell of slavery. The Lwa also granted their gifts not just to women, but to men as well. Kap Sevi was born of torment, and its use often reflects the dire circumstances the Sevite once lived in.

When you get Sorcery (Kap Sevi) the first time, you pick one Lwa you can summon and gain its Gran Met ('power') that you can ask for. It is extremely risky to your soul to ask a Lwa for the wrong Gran Met or to ask for one without knowing which Lwa to ask. Each time you take Sorcery, you gain one Gros Gran Met ('Great Power') and two Ti Gran Met ('Little Powers'). These can be from a Lwa you already have, or from a new Lwa.

Whenever you summon a Lwa into yourself, you must give part of yourself. To use a Gros, you must give up your Virtue. To use a Ti, you must give up one of your Quirks. While the Lwa occupies you, whatever was offered up cannot be activated or invoked by any means. You may ask a Lwa only for one Gros and two Ti at any given time. You can give up more of yourself after the summoning - so if you called down a Gros and then need a Ti, you can do that. But once you have given to the Lwa, you cannot take it back - your Virtue and Quirks will come back only once the Lwa leaves.

A Lwa remains in your body until the next morning's sunrise. There is no other known way to get rid of a Lwa, and no Lwa ever leaves early. Once the pact is made, they're sticking around until sunrise. The Lwa don't actually enjoy sharing a host, however. You can only have one Lwa at a time, and it will block any attempt to call on a second Lwa - and then stop letting you use its Gran Met. This strips you of any powers you had but doesn't give back your Virtue or Quirks. However, the same Lwa can ride multiple Sevites at once. Some believe this is because the Lwa doesn't fully inhabite you, only sending a piece of itself into you - so there's plenty left to go into others. While there are hundreds of Lwa, the game presents the five most popular and prominent in Jaragua; the GM is free to invent more.

Badagris appears wearing a leather apron, carrying tongs and smelling of soot and metal. She may choose, however, to become a warrior at any instant, clad in armor and wielding a blackened sword. She is the Lwa of justice, protection, war, fire, violence and steel. Her name means 'She Tore' and while she kills those who offend her, she is also respected for her crafting skill and is known for helping those in need. She is the sister of Jakuta, whom she often forces to help her out. Any Sevite hosting Badagris is hot to the touch, becomes angry quickly and stops being angry just as fast if they see people helping each other. They are prone to random acts of charity and sudden violence.
Hammer (Gros): You can spend a Hero Point to automatically and instantly heal all Wounds between (and including) your fourth and third Dramatic Wound.
Nail (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to automatically render someone Helpless if they have 3 Dramatic Wounds. You can use this only once per session.
The Hunger (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to consume and take nourishment from literally anything you can fit in your mouth.
Unchained (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to escape any shackle, prison or restraint.
Blackened Skin (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to withstand any fire or flame, taking no damage from it or any other source of heat you are touching.
Blackened Soul (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point while Helpless to be able to act as normal for a full round rather than just one action. While doing this, you get +2 dice to all Risks. You may use this only once per session.

Bawon Ge appears in a top hat, black coat and with a skull-like face - sometimes an actual skull. She is the Lwa of death, tombs, gravestones and cemetaries. Legend says she was the first person to be wrongfully sentenced to death, and because of that, she was made a Lwa. She is married to Baron Lakwa, who often helps her out. A Sevite who is ridden by Bawon Ge often shouts obscenities or spits. She is temperamental, and will make you bite your own arms if you feed her things she doesn't like. She loves rum and cigars.
No Grev (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point whenever any character would die. As long as Bawon Ge rides you, they can't die, even if Helpless.
Lameci (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to instantly kill a willing Helpless character. This does not cause Corruption.
Eternal Guardian (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to place a corpse eternally beyond the touch of any Sorcery, including Hexenwork and Kap Sevi.
Sacred Ground (Ti): You can spend a Hero Point to consecrate a small area. While standing in your Sacred Ground, no one can use Sorcery; any attempts to fuel Sorcery with Hero Points get refunded.
Windows Into the Soul (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to touch a corpse and witness its last moments of life, as the dying person saw them.
Cemetary Walls (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to secure a wall. As long as you remain within the wall's confines, nothing inhuman may cross that wall in either direction.

Mareaux is a Lwa whom some claim is a pair - brother and sister - but the truth is that they are constantly in flux. This can make male Sevites take on feminine traits or vice versa while ridden. Mareaux is the Lwa of night, secrets, darkness, truth, mysteries and reason. Other Lwa see them as a divine child and will go out of their way to help Mareaux in their duties. While riddenby Mareaux, you are stripped of your biases and preconceptions. While this is enlightening, it also results in a distinct tendency to get lost in your own thoughts, be distracted and wander off.
Egregore (Gros): You may spend 1 Hero Point to add someone to your thoughtform. All members of your thoughtform (which you are automatically part of) can communicate telepathically for as long as you are ridden by Mareaux. The network ends after Mareaux leaves.
Unafraid (Ti): You can spend a Hero Point to ignore the personal effects of any and all fear, including supernatural Fear caused by Monsters or Sorcery.
Nuit Jumeaux (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to make your shadow sentient and semi-corporeal. It will obey simple commands, but cannot pick things up or interact with other people. If it takes a dangerous action, it has Strength 5 and rolls dice accordingly. If it takes even a single Wound, it instantly returns to you and will not be animated again until the next sunset.
Unknowable (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to peer through shadows and see a place you cannot currently reach, such as a hidden drawer or dark alley. You must know where to look and the area must be in darkness. You may not see anything in the light while using this.
Unforgettable (Ti): You can spend a Hero Point to render something an unforgettable memory to yourself - even if sorcery or trauma would normally remove it.
Unforgivable (Ti): You can spend a Hero Point to make the target unable to forget the scene before them by any means short of death - perhaps not even then. It resists all attempts to remove it from their memory.

Papa Ahron is called the Silent Lwa and the First Father. He appears as an old man with a cane, wearing a broad hat and smoking a pipe. He is always accompanied by his dog, Ati-Gbon (sometimes called Atibon). He is the Lwa of missing people, silence, confusion, the lost and other Lwa. He is the father or grandfather of all other Lwa, but he never asks them for help. Anyone he rides finds it hard to speak and becomes prone to forgetting words or grammar, sometimes developing a stutter or lisp. This becomes less noticeable in the presence of dogs or when your lips are moist and your thirst quenched.
The Lost Voice (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to be able to speak as proxy for anyone, living or dead, provided you can touch them or one of their personal, valued belongings. There must be someone else to ask questions of you, as you cannot talk to yourself. You get no insights into the target's desires - they merely speak through you.
La Bliye (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to vanish from memory for a scene. Anyone interacting with you can still see and hear you, speak to you and so on, but as soon as you leave, they forget you exist and anything you did.
Lucidite (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to make a connection with any other person ridden by Papa Ahron, sensing the general location and mood of any other possessed and seeing through their eyes.
Crossroads (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to ask the Lwa a single question about the world. They must answer honestly, as lying to Papa Ahron is a grave crime. The answer must be direct but the GM doesn't need to elaborate on it.
San Yopa Sound (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to move silently for a scene. You can still be seen, felt and smelled, but you cannot be heard by any means. You must still be subtle - a gun firing next to someone's head or screaming in their face will still grab their attention.
San Yopa Sight (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to move invisibly for a scene. You can still be heard, felt and smelled, but you cannot be seen. You must still be subtle - you can't just stab someone in the chest and expect not to get noticed.

Sousson is a Lwa of vile appearance. He is usually emaciated, with thinning hair, sallow skin and many warts, boils and wounds. He is, however, quite happy. He is the Lwa of disease, injury, mental illness and perfume. He has no wife, but many children, all of whom share his appearance and help him out. While ridden by Sousson, you will develop blisters, sores and rashes, though they are purely cosmetic and cause you no suffering. Beyond this, Sousson does little to affect your behavior - he's just inexplicably happy all the time.
Zonbi (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to make a Helpless person appear dead, slowing their heart and breathing, clouding their eyes and stiffening their muscles. They also become susceptible to suggestion and can be directed to simple actions at your instruction.
Unlikely Allies (Gros): You may spend a Hero Point to instantly befriend anyone, including Villains. The effect ends the moment Sousson leaves you, and depending on how they were treated, they may resent you.
Purify (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to cure any non-supernaturally-caused ailments, diseases or illnesses a person is suffering, physical or mental. This cannot heal Wounds or cure diseases or illnesses caused by Monsters or Sorcery.
Mask of the Pariah (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to make others avoid you. You become horrifically ugly and produce an aura of disgust and fear. Any PC wishing to approach you must spend a Hero Point to do so, or a Raise during a Sequence, and any physical interaction with you requires an additional Raise on top of the normal costs.
Cleanse (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to remove any contaminant from any object, material or substance - plague bedsheets? Fine now! Poisoned water? Clean!
Bon Zanni (Ti): You may spend a Hero Point to know someone nearby that you've helped previously and who now owes you a favor.

Next time: Mystirios

Double Plus Undead
Dec 24, 2010
Does this mean that Reis is working at a mechanical disadvantage or did she not technically break the charter by selling out her fellow signatories?

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.
Designing a character around the drowned man virtue where you intentionally play risky and then nearly die on a regular basis could be funny. Should be dead 50 times over but somehow they just keep hanging on.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Double Plus Undead posted:

Does this mean that Reis is working at a mechanical disadvantage or did she not technically break the charter by selling out her fellow signatories?

Reis should be cursed. If she isnít, thatís weird and plot relevant. However, it certainly doesnít seem to have slowed her down.

Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion

Mors Rattus posted:

Reis should be cursed. If she isn’t, that’s weird and plot relevant. However, it certainly doesn’t seem to have slowed her down.

So is she getting her immortality from Devil Jonah, or by cheating the system?

Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.

Mors Rattus posted:

Reis should be cursed. If she isn’t, that’s weird and plot relevant. However, it certainly doesn’t seem to have slowed her down.

Turns out a Strength 30 Villain who eats a -6 to Strength is still loving terrifying.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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wiegieman posted:

So is she getting her immortality from Devil Jonah, or by cheating the system?

Jonah. She sold the other souls to him and gets her immortality when he collects 'em all.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.

I can literally not process my feelings about the inclusion of Not Haitian Creole in 7th Sea.

Like, Iím a linguist. With the Not German and Not French and stuff I just laughed and thought it was dumb but fun and silly.

For some reason the fake Creole gets to me. I appreciate that it was included but something about making a constructed language to ape a thing that was made by really inhumane circumstances sticks in my craw but also theyíre trying to represent that also and Iím so confused by my own opinions.

My brain just broke because of the politics of the fluff of an RPG. Good job, John Wick.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: My Magic Is Within

Mystirios is the magical tradition of Numa, and it is vastly different than most Thean sorcery. Sanderis and Glamour grant power from other beings. Sorte manipulates external forces. Hexe blend things together to make magic. But the mystai of Numa? They are inspired by the gods, but their power is not from the gods. They listen to the tales and take their power from the human spirit itself. The stories just show how to use your hidden potential - the gods do not grant that power at all. Numanari epics are often about deeply flawed people with limitless potential, and Numanari magic is about the infinite potential of the human spirit, which can exceed the power of even gods. Many of their tales are about how mortals defeat the gods by power or cleverness, and the immortals become impressed with hteir wits or courage. The message is that anything is possible, if you but strive.

When you purchase Sorcery (Mystirios), you select one Numanari god and learn their mystirio, their mystery. This involves a long, guided ritual in which the sacred secrets of that god's devotees are shared with you. Each also comes with an apokalypsi, a revelation that only those devotees may know, which relates to the god's motivation and true desires. Once the ritual is complete, you are a mystai, initiated into the mysteries. You learn some insight of the god's wisdom and better understand your own ability, allowing you to unlock part of your own heroic potential. It's often less flashy than other sorcerous powers, but not less potent. To activate a mystirio, you spend a Hero Point. From there, you gain its benefit until either the end of the scene or when you activate its associated apokalypsi, whichever comes first. Activing an apokalypsi has no cost whatosever, but you must have its associated mystirio activated to use it. A given mystirio can only be activated once per scene, and you can only have one mystirio active at a time.

Dityhrambos, God of Plenty has a story of pain and regeneration. His story teaches that pain is temporary, and that you must endure to be able to triumph. Even the wrath of the father of gods cannot crush the body of Dithyrambos, let alone his spirit. He returns each spring from the dark depths of winter, and his mystai similarly learn to claw their way back up.
Mystirio: Every time you take an Action, you heal 1 Wound. If this would cause you to heal a Dramatic Wound, you instead activate the apokalypsi immediately and the mystirio ends.
Apokalypsi: On your Action, you may activate this to immediately heal one Dramatic Wound.

Potnia Agrotera, Goddess of the Hunt and War has probably the best kept secret among all the gods. Her secret tale of love and sacrifice is sometimes seen as at odds with her more common portrayal as a brash, bloodthirsty warrior. What her initiates understand is that if you truly want to fight for something, you must love it and be willing to sacrifice for it. What greater sacrifice can be made than your life given to save another?
Mystirio: When you spend Raises during a Risk to prevent Wounds to another PC, you case 1 Wound to whatever character tried to harm that PC.
Apokalypsi: On your action during an Action Sequence, when you use Aim, Brawl or Weaponry as your Approach, you may activate this instead of spending a Raise to take an Action, effectively allowing you to go twice in a row.

Hecteba, Jailed Goddess of Mysteries, Murder and Dark Magic has a mystirio, but it can only be learned by Villains. She is the bloody-handed goddess, patron of killers, and her worship is illegal in most of Numa, for good reason. Murder is a sacrament to her, a holy act, and the learning of her mystirio requires a cold-blooded ritual killing to be performed by the mystai.
Mystirio: When you make an Aim, Brawl or Weaponry Risk, you can increase the value of any one of your rolled dice by your Strength.
Apokalypsi: When you announce your intention to commit murder, you may activate this. If you do, you only need to spend one Raise to commit the murder - meaning you may still take additional actions during the round, though the murder still is not completed until the very end. This can only be used once per session.

Supati, Deity of Writing, Language and Magic, is the patron of scholars and tricksters. Their devotees value knowledge greatly, especially practical and beneficial knowledge. More esoteric knowldge can be useful, but Supati teaches that pure academics are less interesting than helping others with knowledge.
Mystirio: Whenever you make a Wits Risk, you may reroll any 1s on the dice, though you must use the new result. This happens before any other rerolls you may have.
Apokalypsi: On your action during a Risk, you may activate this. Any PCs, including you, who are under Pressure may take an immediate Action, though they must still spend Raises to do so - they may just act out of normal order.

Salacio, God of the Underworld and the Sea, is the patron of commitment. Once the river's course is set, it cannot be altered by anything short of divine intervention. This means Salacio is reliable but also stubborn. This and his loyalty to Zendio are his most defining traits, and they are the core of his mysteries: stay the course, maintain your faith, and nothing can stop you.
Mystirio: You are immune to Pressure.
Apokalypsi: You may activate this when you make a Resolve risk. You may reroll any dice with a result lower than your Resolve, but you must use the new result Dice rerolled this way cannot be rerolled by any effect and cannot have their values further modified in any way.

Theonoa Dianoia, Goddess of Craft and Wisdom, prides herself on knowing just when and where to act to bring victory, either in battle or in diplomacy. Her mysteries show how to be adaptable...and how to change the rules, when you can't win by them.
Mystirio: You may spend Raises during Action or Dramatic Sequences to modify the timing of Opportunities and Consequences. 1 Raise lets you change things by 1 - so if a Consequence would happen on 3 Raises, it now happens on 4 or on 2. You may influence things this way only once per round, but can spend as many Raises to do so as you want, and influence as many separate events as you want when you do.
Apokalypsi: When you use Empathy, Scholarshp or Warfare as your Approach in a Dramatic Sequence, you may activate this. You immediately gain Raises equal to your ranks in the chosen skill. You may use this only once per session.

Caledon, God of Medicine, the Home and Family, is the center of a story of simple mercy and giving. However, his real power lies in that each urt he heals, each home he blesses, each marriage - they all take something from him. He cannot last forever.
Mystirio: An PC in a scene with you that is under Pressure, including yourself, may have the additional Raise required to take actions under than the Pressured action paiud by any other PC in the scene.
Apokalypsi: ACtivate this to allow all other PCs in the scene to heal all Wounds on the current tier of their Death Spiral and 1 Dramatic Wound. You take 1 Dramatic Wound. You can activate this only once per session.

Next time: Mohwoo

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: Check My Sweet Tats

Mohwoo is the use of magical tattoos, which are given out by Wenshen and the huajia she has trained, pretty much all of whom are on or near Aragosta. You remember Wenshen, right? Of course you do. Unlike other Sorcery, anyone can 'learn' mohwoo, regardless of nationality, as long as they get Madam Wenshen's respect, or that of one of her huajia. However, if you already have Sorcery of some kind and choose to get mohwoo, once your mystic tattoo is complete, your old Sorcery goes away entirely. You can only be one kind of wizard at a time. In fiction, the tattoos you receive are chosen by Wenshen or her huajia, and may not be the ones you asked for, as they always pick the one their mystical interview tells them is best for you. It is a longer and more painful experience than a normal tattoo - the mystic ink burns more and the custom needles are sharper in some places and duller in others. At several points in the process, the mohwoo must be wrapped in foul-smelling seaweed for an hour or so to let the inks set. A small tattoo could take days, a large one most of a week.

The first time you take Sorcery (Mohwoo), you get one mohwoo in both its major and minor versions, and a second in its minor version only. Each time you buy it after that, you either get two new minors, two new majors associated with minors you already have, or one minor and one major associated with one you already have. To activate a mohwoo, you must invoke the tattoo somehow, such as by touching it or muttering a phrase of personal import or concentrating on it, and spend a Hero Point. Some also have an additional cost or restriction, but they all have the Hero Point cost. However, the tattoos have a mind of their own, and many believe even Wenshen doesn't really know how they work, just how to make them happen. The GM may spend a Danger Point to make your tattoos animate, glow or otherwise become obviously supernatural and impossible to conceal, even with clothing, for the rest of the scene. The GM can spend a Danger Point to make the environment react in a way appropriate to your tattoo, such as summoning a swarm of sharks for a shark tattoo or slamming a window shut as you sneak by one with a wind tattoo. This is always instantaneous, but the effects may linger - those sharks aren't about to vanish any more quickly than normal sharks. The GM may spend a Danger Point to apply Pressure to you to act in accordance with the mohwoo's nature for a round, requiring you to spend 2 Raises instead of 1 to do any action that isn't explicitly within your mohwoo's nature, such as protecting and defending for a crab or seeking a secret for a fish.

Fish is the mohwoo that represents searching or discovery, usually a personal search or one the seeker is not aware of. It might be about the revelation of truth from your past or a journey of self-discovery.
Minor: You do not need to breathe for the rest of the scene when you activate this, cannot be choked or strangled, cannot suffocate or drown, and cannot be harmed by airborne poisons.
Major: You can activate this in place of spending a Raise during any Action or Dramatic Sequence in which your task involves swimming or when being at least half-submerged in water would be helpful to what you want to do.

Crab is a protector and guardian mohwoo. It shows you place great importance on guarding something or someone, often to the exclusion of all else. This might be an actual, physical thing, like a child, or something more abstract, like honor.
Minor: You can activate this when you spend Raises to take Wounds in place of another character. The Wounds you take are halved, rounding down, to a minimum of 1, before you take them, and you can cancel them by spending Raises or triggering a Riposte or Parry.
Major: When you activate this, you can prevent another character from being Murdered by spending only one Raise rather than all of your Raises. You can use this only once per session.

Squid is a mohwoo with an unbreakable grip, and will die before it lets go. You are the same, if less literally. You often find yourself easily becoming attached to others and having problems letting go or admitting you're wrong. You are stubborn, according to foes, and steadfast, according to friends.
Minor: Activate this when you spend a Raise to apply Pressure. To act against your Pressure, your target must spend 2 additional Raises, not 1. You can use this only once per session.
Major: You may activate this when you deal Wounds during a Brawl Risk. Those wounds cannot be negated except via supernatural means. You can use this only once per scene.

Anchor represents someone who takes on burdens for others. You are reliable, self-sacrificing, and would throw yourself into the jaws of death to save others, generally without caring who those others are. This is what separates Anchor from Crab - Anchor's motives to help and protect are less personal.
Minor: Activate this to let another PC in the scene gain a Hero Point. You can use this only once per scene.
Major: Acitvate this and select another person. You are bound to them, and you two always knwo the direction and distance to each other with nothing but a moment's concentration. This lasts until the next sunrise or sunset, whichever comes first.

Turtle is the mohwoo of caution and wisdom. You move only when you are certain it is right. You are thoughtful and careful, and you know getting something right is more important than doing it fast.
Minor: You must spend your first Raise in a round to activate this. For the rest of the round, you take 1 fewer Wound from all sources.
Major: After you activate this, you may negate all Wounds dealt by any single attack. You must activate this on your turn and spend a Raise to do it. You can use this only once per scene.

Shark is a restless hunter. The mohwoo is usually given to you because you are aggressive, decisive and prize action over waiting to see what will happen. It can also represent chasing something, in which case it differs from the Fish in that it doesn't to discover - it wants to catch.
Minor: When you activate this, no one can successfully hide from you or avoid your notice by any means unless they have a supernatural ability to do so. If they have that, the two powers cancel out - they can attempt to hide as normal and you can try to notice them as normal. You can activate this only once per session.
Major: When you activate this, name a specific person as your prey. The GM will tell you their direction and approximate distance. Any physical Risk you take to pursue them gets 1 Bonus Die. This lasts until the end of the scene, but you can pay another Hero Point to keep it going. You may activate this only once per session.

Next time: Duelists and Also Botes

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012

Dungeonslayers is a German Creative Commons fantasy RPG. It can be found for free online, though sadly the official website seems to be down as of writing this post.

Dungeonslayers is a rules-light generic dungeoncrawling fantasy RPG meant to play like D&D, while actually not being anything like D&D at all mechanically. See, this is NOT an OSR game, it has no design DNA from any edition of Dungeons and Dragons. Which is good, because D&D kinda sucks, the OSR really sucks, and this is probably the best D&D-alike I've ever read.

If you want to play like Old D&D but without all the loving hassle and dated crust of it, this is your game.

So, let's kick things off with Character Creation!

So, making a character. We'll just go step by step! First off, is choosing your Race.

Now, the book comes by default with the standard Human, Dwarf, and Elf, but... that's not really it. See, Dungeonslayers has race building rules. By combining "racial traits" to make up the special abilities of whatever fantasy critter you want to play, and then just give them a +1 bonus to one if their Traits. I'll do a quick example:

Let's say we want to build... let's say a Half-Giant for a big-ol-boy race. Let's give the Trait bonus a +1 to Strength, as befits half-giants. The Racial Abilities are balanced as such: each ability has a Racial Point cost, and any given race can't have more than +2RP worth of abilities. Some abilities are negative cost though, so boom, balance. While the default traits aren't universal, what is there gives enough of a guideline that you could easily homebrew your own.

So, Half-Giant. Let's start off by giving him Large at +4 RP. This doubles their HP while making them easier to hit in a fight. So we need to shed 2 points off that. Let's do that with Slow (-1RP, movement rate is reduced by 1) and Magic Resistance (-1RP, magical effects are halved. Includes friendly spells and healing). This gives us +2! So we have Half-Giants as Strong, Large and tough as hell, but sluggish due to their size and possessing a natural resistance to magic that is a double edged sword. Easy!

Next we pick our Class.

At first you have 3 classes to choose from: Fighter, Scout, or Mage. Mages also have to decide whether they want to be a Healer, Wizard, or Sorcerer, which affects what spells they can learn. Each class also gives a bonus to one Trait.

Then we get to Attributes and Traits.

There are three Attributes and six Traits, with two traits being paired with each attribute: Body with Strength and Constitution, Mobility with Agility and Dexterity, and Mind with Intellect and Aura. You distribute 20 points between your Attributes (max of 8) and 8 between your traits. Then you factor in your Race and Class bonus and boom, done, easy.

The next step is for Mages only, picking their first level spell. Yep, they only get one, based on what sort of Mage they are:

Next is equipment! All characters start with your basic adventuring kit (Clothing, flint and steel, water skin, 2 healing herbs, a blanket and pack) and 10 Gold Pieces to buy weapons, armor, and anything else they want.

The eighth set is Math! Because here's where we calculate all our lovely derived values and such! Thankfully these are fairly simple:

One neat thing you may notice is that Spellcasting and Targeted Spellcasting are two different things: Targeted is used mostly for hostile spells against another being.

Finally you get a Talent! This is a combination class ability and feat equivalent. It's what lets a system with only 3 classes actually have a ridiculous amount of flexibility in character builds! Note: Some races can get 2 talents to start with (Humans).

Well then you do the whole name them, figure out their backstory, etc. parts but overall we're done! And this is what a final character sheet looks like:

Next time we'll go into Leveling Up, Hero Classes and Getting Buff!

Dec 23, 2013

I like the dynamic cover. Nice to see a dwarf who isn't a barrel with limbs as well.

May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

Wrestlepig posted:

You pick your abilities and roll your taboos, and define exactly what your fetch is if you got to do that. The other players put their phones down maybe.

This feels like it's needlessly hostile, from the write up perspective. Becoming a shaman is A Big Deal and you think a party that has been through 5+ adventures would be a little more interested in something like that happening, especially since Glorantha has niche appeal and you can expect most players to be down with the spiritual stuff.

It's not like Shadowrun's hacking, where you can take a nep every time the hacker hacks something, which probably happens often in a cyberpunk setting.

Also, I don't think that the Ascend To Shamanhood time barrier is that bad; being a shaman is a big deal, and apprentice shaman already has some bonuses, so why not? It would steal a bit of that thunder if each of the 5 adventures started with a "alright, before we do anything, I roll for shaman."

Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.

JcDent posted:

This feels like it's needlessly hostile, from the write up perspective. Becoming a shaman is A Big Deal and you think a party that has been through 5+ adventures would be a little more interested in something like that happening, especially since Glorantha has niche appeal and you can expect most players to be down with the spiritual stuff.
I think it's more that it is presented as this Persona dungeon that would take up an entire session - letting a climax scenario for a character be an hour and change in a hypothetical four hour session would be fair. What I'd probably do, since I would of course know it was coming, is cue the other members of the group to be ready to do short one-on-one as spirit challengers.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: Pirate Blades

The fighting schools of La Bucca, Jaragua, Numa and the Rahuri are rather less defined than those of mainland Theah, but the Duelist's Guild is trying to change that. For the most part, the Guild respects their talents and traditions, and wants to integrate them as equals. They have two main tactics in integrating these foreign fighting schools. First, they've been founding guild halls in distant lands, offering masters who teach memberships in the Guild, along with their students, so long as they can prove their skill with the blade. They make immense efforts to approach these teachers respectfully and reverently, as the Guild actually does want them to join. A bigger guild means more funds and resources.

Second, the Guild uses its connections and power to help foreign-style masters establish schools back in Theah. This gives them access to an entirely new population of students, and a chance to establish a reputation. It also makes bonds of friendship and trust between duelists who may one day face each other. Foreign duelists that join the Guild are expected to avide by the same rules as their Thean counterparts, but are sometimes given more leeway on minor infractions caused by ignorance or cultural differences. The Guild is quite thoughtful about its rules and sees no reason to punish people for a slight difference in perspective.

Bugu Takobi was adapted from an Ifrian short sword style, using misdirecting movements to unbalance the foe. It primarily uses the machete these days, but can be done with any one-handed small weapon, such as a hatchet. It relies on quick slashes and dancing in and out of range, with quick steps that confuse the enemy and allow for easy sidesteps of attacks. The Mawon perfected the style and its obfuscative skills to hide the directions they'd attack from. Today, there are a few schools in the Atabean that teach it. The two most famous are Makaranta Takobi ('sword school') in Sunset Haven of La Bucca and Taiyewo's Memorial, in Kap-Kalfu of Jaragua. Rumor also says that a Bugu Takobi master has recently traveled to the Sarmatian Commonwealth to open a school there. The bonus is Takobi Gudana. When you wield a small hand-held weapon in one hand and nothing in the other, you may perform the Takobi Gudana maneuver, the Sword Flow. This prevents (Weaponry) Wounds, and the next Maneuver you perform this round that deals Wounds deals one additional Wound. You can use this only once per round.

Jogo de Dentro, the Inside Game, fuses dance and fighting. Its stances are dance steps, hand balances and acrobatic dodges meant for close quarters. It fights with kicks, sweeps and prison shives attached to hand or foot - ideal for fighting while bound. The tactics unbalance and evade over killing, relying on deception and trickery. There are no schools that teach this style, though Mestra Gaviao has been trying to earn enough prestige and wealth to open a formal academy in the Odisea Peninsula of Castille. For now, the only real way to learn it is either to be a slave or to find a teacher in Fort Freedom's back alleys. It was developed by anonymous Ifrian and Rahuri slaves, and has no named founder. Practitioners call themselves malandros, an Odisean insult to freed slaves that htey have reclaimed. Its bonus is the Riso da Malandragem. When you wield small, improvised blades such as barber's razors in the sleeves or glass embedded in the shoe, you may perform the Riso de Malandragem maneuver, the Scoundrel's Laugh. This deals 1 Wound to each of two targets, and the next time those targets deal Wounds this round, they deal (Weaponry) fewer Wounds. You can use this only once per round. Also, on top of this, whenever you make an Athletics, Brawl, Hide or Perform Risk, you get a Bonus Die if you describe how your mastery of Jogo de Dentro aids you.

Lakedaimon Agoge is the style taught by the docents of Lakedaimon's schools. They push their students hard to be worthy. They must make their own spear and sword, must sleep with their bow. All graduates of the Lakedaimon agoge learn this style, though it has since spread beyond those walls. Indeed, Numanari agoge and fighting styles are considered fashionable right now, though most young nobles have no stomach for the rigorous training after a few days. Docent Euthalia, one of the toughest andm ost respected teachers, has taken it on herself to go to the mainland and teach this style out of the Vodacce city Joppa, to test the heroic spirit of Theans in search of those she deems worthy of calling Numanari. When you learn the style, you select one weapon - the spear, sword or bow. When using that weapon, you get a special benefit. If you chose sword, you take your first action in a round as if you had 1 additional Raise. If you chose spear, you may reroll 1 die for any Athletics Risk in which you describe how you use your spear to help. If you chose bow, you can use Aim instead of Weaponry for all Maneuvers when using the bow. On top of all this, when wielding your chosen weapon, your Lunge is replaced by the Agoge Thrust Maneuver, which allows you to choose how many Raises you spend. It deals (Weaponry+Raises spent) Wounds, but you must spend your next action recovering from the blow, spending 1 Raise to do so.

Now, ships! We get some new ship Origins.
Aragosta: You always get one additional Raise on any Risks taken by the ship or her Crew at sea.
Atabean Trading Company: Once per session, you may repel all boarders automatically for one round in an Action Sequence.
Jaragua: You earn 1 additional Wealth for any goods sold in a Company-controlled port, and your Crew always has 1 additional Raise in any Risk against the Company.
La Bucca: Once per session, you may present a Letter of Marque from any nation in Theah. Once presented, it is useless, and it was probably a forgery anyway.
Numa: Whenever a PC aboard the ship activates any Knack Advantage, the Hero Point cost may be paid by any other PC on the ship.
Rahuri: Your ship and Crew always take 1 fewer Hit or Wound (minimum 1) from any other ship or Monster, provided the battle is in the Atabean Sea.

New Backgrounds
Black Flag: Your ship was a renowned pirate vessel. When you meet a pirate NPC nonviolently, you may spend a Raise or Hero Point. If you do, they treat you with respect and as a comrade until given a reason not to.
Port of Ghosts: Your ship has sailed to Soryana. When any PC has the service of an ancestor using the Seeker of Soryana Advantage, as long as both they and the Lost ancestor are on the ship, the PC may spend a Hero Point to revert the Lost ancestor to sanity. Any given ancestor can be rescued this way only once. If they go mad again, they are gone forever.
Salacio's Favorite: Your ship has been blessed by a hiereus of Salacio, Numanari god of the sea. The first time a PC gains a Hero Point each session while on the ship, they gain a second Hero Point.
Smuggler Queen: Your ship excels at breaking blockades. When you seek to sail your ship into forbidden waters and avoid notice, you may spend a Hero Point to do so automatically.

New Adventueres
A Family Matter: Have a member of La Cosca call in a favor you owe them, and succeed at fulfilling it. You may now perform basic Secret Society functions with La Cosca using Wealth instead of Favor. If you are already a member of La Cosca, you instead gain 5 Favor.
Clap 'Em in Irons!: Escape from the ATC after being captured or esnlaved. Each PC gains their choice of Slip Free, Streetwise or Team Player. In the future, all PCs get one bonus die to attempts to resist Company capture.
From Hell's Heart I Stab at Thee!: Kill a Sea Monster of Strength 10 or more without losing your ship. While at sea, when the GM spends a Danger Point to activate a Monster's Quality, you may spend a Hero Point to prevent it.
More Teeth than Stars in the Sky: Successfully hunt a creature bigger than the Ship you use to do so. When a creature with a Monster Quality renders you Helpless, you may spend a Hero Point to immediately heal your final Dramatic Wound and all Wounds on its tier. If you are rendered Helpless again before the end of the scene, you die.
Mother May I?: Transport a member of Los Ninos from a hostile or dangerous place back to La Bucca safely. When you are in La Bucca, you can spend a Raise or Hero Point to make contact with one of Los Ninos, who treats you as a friend until given reason not to.
Original Harpooner: Kill a Sea Monster with the help of a Rahuri ancestor without losing either the ancestor or the ship. The first time each round your Crew or Ship deals Hits or Wounds to a Sea Monster, they deal 1 additional Hit or Wound.
Sailor Overboard!: Rescue a marooned NPC. Add 1 Strength to your ship's total Crew. You may complete this Adventure multiple times, but only once per arc.
She Sailed, She Sank, She Sailed Again: Have your shup sink and be rebuilt using a memento. Your ship retains its former Origin benefit and gains a new one based on the nation it is rebuilt in or the background of the shipwright.
Spit in the Devil's Eye: Survive an encounter with the Black Freighter or the Devil Jonah. All PCs aboard gain the Reputation advantage, with a descriptor relating to the encounter.
To the Victor Go the Spoils: Claim an ATC ship intact and with a full cargo hold. Each PC gains 3 Wealth and 3 Favor with their Secret Society, if any.

Next time: Secret Societies! The Not Mafia and the Riroco. Also, ship charters.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements

On the one hand, the continuity issues and some thematic choices in Seventh Sea (especially heroes/villains) make it seem like a hard sell to my group.

On the other hand, Numa and Samartia are the best, the Rahuri are super cool, and building a ship with these rules seems like an amazing time.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

7th Sea 2 - Pirate Nations: For the Family

La Cosca date back generations in Vodacce. When Cardinal Ordunez founded his prison island, the Merchant Princes saw a chance to be rid of them - people too connected to execute or effectively imprison in Vodacce itself. They were the leaders of a powerful, shadowy organization that had operated just out of sight, using their wealth and connections to become folk heroes that could be trusted when the banks, the Church and the Princes could not. In a sweeping and coordinated action across most of southern Vodacce, the Princes arrested most of the organization in one night and shipped them off to La Bucca before going back to their scheming. The exiled members of La Cosca, the Family, had no intention of just going away, though. They set down roots in La Bucca and flourished when Allende took over. The leaders, called zios, or 'uncles', were ready when La Bucca declared its own freedom. They are there now, for when official channels fail. If the bank will not loan to you, they will. If the police will not arrest your son's killer, you can turn to them. They are the honest thieves, the honorable criminals, and if you break your word to them, they are a terrifying enemy. Under the Zios, you find the cuginos, the cousins - members in good standing, unofficially ranked by age and seniority. Under them are the nipote, the nephews and nieces, who are junior members. There are also amicos, friends, who are not members but are valued and considered useful.

La Cosca considers itself a family and cares deeply about community and wellbeing. They are often appealed to for aid and justice by those that fall through the cracks or are abandoned by the system. Asking for help always has a price, however, a debt of honor or obligation in most cases. They take it very seriously. Recruiting a useful contact or asset, or helping such an asset, is worth at least 4 Favor - more, if they're quite important or useful. Helping them spread their influence back to Vodacce is worth 6 Favor. It'll be years before they can fight the Princes directly, but any act that pushes towards that is worthy. Defending or protecting them at personal cost, such as taking the fall for them or going out of your way to hunt their rogue agents, is worth 8 Favor.

A Hero that belongs to La Cosca can get any aid requested at half the normal Favor cost if they directly help complete whatever task they asked for...provided that isn't implict ot the job itself. You ask to break out of prison, that costs full price, as your involvement is literally required. Asking La Cosca to collect a debt or avenge a wrong for you costs 6 Favor. And any time you gain Favor with La Cosca, you may choose to get up to half of that Favor in the form of Wealth, at 2 Wealth per 1 Favor. You can't just cash out Favor this way, however - it can only be spent on this in the moment it is earned.

The Riroco are the Rahuri resistance movement against the ATC slavers. They are led by the Rahuri princess Tanama, and have groups across the Atabean, fighting via guerilla raids and sabotage. Most focus on freeing slaves and smuggling them out to Rahuri lands, but the most radical work to capture ships and turn them into anti-Company warships. The Riroco tend to be peaceful to anyone except slavers and slave owners, but they're growing frustrated with their lack of prgoress, and have now begun to count any ally of the Company as a potential target for violence. The Riroco ships can be identified by a red flag with a long righ-to-left diagonal slash...and the fact that they are often full of returned ancestors, brought back to help free their descendants. Just the sight of a ship of angry ghosts is usually enough to send slavers or Company merchants fleeing in panic. They brand captured slavers with a jagged X mark on the cheek, to warn other Riroco and Rahuri that these people are slavers and should be treated as such. Most marked survivors live only long enough to spread the Riroco legend before being killed. While the Riroco do seek aid from others to help end slavery, they don't trust non-Rahuri very often and require them to prove themselves willing to fight to the very end. Once they trust you, though, they are strong and fierce allies.

The Riroco's key interest is keeping the people of the Atabean safe from slavers, foreign interests and monsters. Striking a blow against the ATC is worth 6 Favor at least - more, for a truly legendary strike. Slaying a Monster that threatens the Atabean or its people worth half the Monster's Strength in Favor, but if you kill multiple in one trip, they use only the highest. If you belong to the Riroco, you can get a favorable introduction to a cacique for 4 Favor, ensuring they will at least listen to you if not cooperate. Getting the aid of a Seeker of Soryana to lead you to the land of the dead costs 6 Favor, and you must still pay all Hero Point costs associated with bringing an ancestor out to the world. If you allow the ancestor to become Lost, you must hunt them down personally and set things right or be considered a traitor.

Now, charters! Almost every pirate crew has a charter, if not necessarily a magical Charter. All crewmen are expected to sign a charter - no exceptions. It's bad luck to sail with a crewman that hasn't. Some signatures are noted as having been under duress, however, which can sometimes save you from being hanged if the ship is captured. Typically, these signatures are those of skilled crew members, such as surgeons or carpenters, who are given special dispensation due to their desperately needed skills. Each crew has its own ritual for signing a charter - some swear on the Book of Prophets, or on a skull, or crossed pistols, or the largest or oldest cannon aboard.

Many crews go beyond the basic charter and use the Pirate's Code, a specific charter based in the one supposedly signed by Captain Gonzalez and the Devil Jonah. On some level, most pirates consider themselves bound by them, even if their crew isn't sworn to it. Mother Ocean grants favor to those that keep it, and those who break it have the Devil Jonah's eye ipon them. Committing to the Code is not done lightly, and if you get caught having sworn to it, you will usually be hanged by authorities.


We Pirates, servants of Mother Ocean, do abide by the following Code, lest we dishonor Mother Ocean and curse our brethren to unluck while upon her waves.
I. In the Moment of Truth, fly yer True Colors. If asked, admit you be a Pirate, for if ye deny the Code, the Code will deny ye. When you begin an attack, remove any false Colors and raise your True Colors.
II. Never refuse the crew a vote for Captain. When the crew is strongly against an action proposed by the Captain, they can call a single vote for a new Captain, or the Captain can concede to their demand.
III. Parley. Never refuse parley with any party who calls for it. We be Brothers and Sisters o' the Sea.
IV. Don't set sail when the sunrise is red. A red sunrise is a warning from Mother Ocean to stay home and be safe, or face her wrath at sea.
V. Don't anger the denizens of the sea. The sea is their home and ye be a visitor.
VI. Give the first take of a prize to Mother Ocean. She be the source of all our bounty and we shan't scorn her.
VII. If pulling a sailor from the sea when the sea is calm, pay to the sea a reward of equal value. Don't steal from Mother Ocean.
VIII. Don't go back for a sailor who has fallen overboard in a storm. Mother Ocean has claimed him and rescuing him when she be angry will only bring her wrath to ye.
IX. Don't save a sailor who's been marooned. She be bad luck and will bring it aboard your ship.

The Brotherhood's ships all carry a copy of the First Charter, thoguh each ship may also add new articles unique to them - typically regarding officer and sailor behavior aboard, settlement of disputes, length of shifts and so on. They are typically signed in blood.


I. Every hand to have a vote in the affairs; equal title to the provisions and liquors, and may use them at pleasure, unless scarcity makes it necessary to vote to a rationing.
II. Every hand to be called fairly in turn, by list, on board for duty.
III. If any defraud the Brotherhood to the value of a Guilder in plunder, marooning shall be his punishment.
IV. No person to game at cards or dice for money.
V. All souls aboard a captured ship shall be set free and determine amongst themselves, by vote, the course they set once their hull is plundered.
VI. Nor member of a crew to be harmed if she surrendered without violence.
VII. Every hand to keep his piece, pistols and cutlass clean and fit for service.
VIII. To desert the ship or his quarters in battle is punished with death or marooning.
IX. No striking one another on board, but every hand's quarrels to be ended fairly ashore with fists, or sword and pistol.
X. If in service to the Brotherhood, any hand should lose a limb, or become cripple he should have 600 Guilders, or 500 Guilders for limb, or 100 Guilders for an eye or finger.
XI. The captain and quartermaster receive two shares, the sailing master, boatswain and gunner one and a half shares, and other officers one and one quarter shares.

Reis has her own charter as well - the Pact of the Crimson Roger. It is written on human flesh, branded and covered in bloody fingerprints, and it's a fairly simple one: swear loyalty to Reis even beyond death, and be rewarded. It's said that Reis herself demanded the inclusion of its final clause.


We, the crew of the Crimson Roger, swear loyalty to Captain Reis 'til death and beyond. Should we betray or disobey her, may our souls burn in the blackest pits of the Abyss forever. We will do as she commands without hesitation, even if it puts our lives in peril, for such orders will be for the good of the crew.
In exchange for this I, Captain Reis, promise a fair share of all plunder taken, that you will not be punished without reason, and that your family shall receive your share of the take should you be killed in the line of duty.

La Buccan charters are often based on Letters of Marque, recognizing them as privateers. Many crews have multiple Letters for multiple nations, switching them out depending on the colors of enemy ships. The Thean Ambassadors in La Bucca write these and broker deals for prizes and goods. Specific rules often concern engaging ships less than a day's sail from La Bucca, as is its recognized neutrality. They also generally contain specific language on experiation dates and crew behaviors, to provide plausible deniability to the nation in the event that someone actually lodges a formal protest. Letters of Marque can also be gained in Thean ports, but the vast majority are signed at La Bucca.

All Jaraguan vessels swear to the Mawon charter, based on their principles of freedom. They show no mercy whatsoever to slavers, and freed slaves are always given the choice of joining the crew and a fair share of any prize taken from the slave ship. The number of Mawon crews out there has exploded since Jaragua's freedom was secured, and the ATC has orders to destroy Mawon ships on sight. It has done little to help.


I. Each Man and Woman granted fair share of the Prize. The Captain is allowed two shares. Officers are allowed one and one half shares. The Soul that spots the Prey originally is allowed first pick of a small arm or the equivalent cost in Guilders as a Prize.
II. No Man or Woman regardless of origin shall be taken as a Prize. If a soul is Enslaved, Indentured, or in Bondage upon a Prey, they shall be freed and given a fair portion of the take to begin a new life of Freedom.
III. A Man or Woman Enslaved, Indentured, or in Bondage can choose to join the Crew but must swear to this Charter. If they choose not to join the Crew, they will be ferried to Safe Harbor and placed in Trusted Hands to be Free.
IV. No Man or Woman is allowed to gamble aboard the ship while at Sea. Punishment is additional shift and a reasonable loss of share dictated by the Fair and Honest Quartermaster.
V. Each Man and Woman who has signed this Charter is allowed a vote in matters concerning the welfare of Ship providing the Ship is not engaged with an enemy, at such time the Captain's word is Law until said engagement is over. The Captain will hold the safety and welfare of the Crew tantamount to her own.
VI. All Men and Women aboard are to be Fair and Honest, and Officers to be held as Paragons to these virtues. To lead is a Gift to those under you and that Gift can be revoked if abused. Revocation of Officership is decided by two votes, the initial from the fellow Officers, and ratified by a Majority of the Crew. The offending Officer shan't be punished lest his actions dictate so.

Next time: Monsters


Austria felix nube
Mar 17, 2017

Bella gerant alii, tu Austria felix nube.

Deptfordx posted:

I like the dynamic cover. Nice to see a dwarf who isn't a barrel with limbs as well.

It looks like it's almost a copy of the first Dragon Age RPG (by Green Ronin) though. I mean it's too similar to be just a coincidence.

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