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ZanwoT
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(Date Posted:02/01/2016 16:27)
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As a fan of the first edition of Seventh Sea, I am thrilled we will have a new edition. Thank you John (if you read this) for bringing us back to Theah.

I subscribed to the mailing list, and the January 2016 message was great. But I have specific "concerns" and would like to discuss these and get input from those more in the know.

First of all, a sort of disclaimer, I must say I bought and played most of my Seventh Sea in French. I speak English, but lived in France at the time. This leads to a first small question: Does John Wick intend to get it translated or think there will be demand for that?

My big concern is probably about the setting. Specifically, the balance of classic swashbuckling land (swordsmen and musketeers)/ naval (pirates), the action and intrigue, and the darker aspects of the world, all of which make the world of Theah so special. John's Wick comment about Eisen makes me hopeful, but there are so many pieces to this puzzle. I am scared that if the second edition is down sized compared to the first edition (which seems necessary in the current market, no?), some aspects may be reduced to concentrate on the pirates part (which is the one I like less). Any thoughts on this?

In the same optic of being afraid of some trimming down: One of the nice surprises in the setting for me was the Cathay and Crescent Empire books. Are these nations going to be left aside at first (like they were in first edition) or integrated in the world?
Will we keep all the swordsman schools and various original character options? I hope so, their variety is great. One of my players made a Castillian with Soldano school and both Man of Will and Faith advantages, it was a thing of beauty. I always had fantasies of having a single PC-army (Steil school), or a Vendel behold-the-power-of-Guilder PC.

There are some smaller details, such as some inconsistencies which I hope can be fixed in this new edition. For example Dracheneisen's rarity and political implications, some of the finer points of the various magic heritages.

In terms of rules, I did see the positive comments in the newsletter, but some elements:

Even if declaring raises before the roll was "difficult", it was also what gave more panache to it. Declaring raises after the roll makes it easy to play (and you don't get the tricky moment when a player rolls a 60+ and is annoyed because he gets no gain in theory). In the same vein, backgrounds (which cost points and gave extra challenges) were a great concept, even if difficult to grasp for the players at first. I am afraid we could loose these special parts of 7th Sea while trying to make it "easier" to grasp. Also as an aside, the randomiser in character generation (The Hand of Destiny or whatever called in English version) was great and also a way of getting the players to have backgrounds.

Knacks. Too many, unnecessary. And don't get me started on the limitations of the swordsman's knacks. Everybody has a right to disarm his opponent!
But looking at the newsletter I guess that is probably more or less considered, just as fixing Drama Dice is an easy obvious one.
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Sneaking about the bandit's hidout, they arrive in a dormitory full of sleeping figures.
Too dark to count the beds, Miph'n gets impatient, whispers: "reveal the light"
Without waiting, loud: "Please all wake up, i am here to slay you!"
<errr, how many are there?>
<10 beds, but 5 bandits jumping to their feet and sword>
"ONLY 5 ?!"
To the Macdonald behind: "I'm afraid I'll leave you none!"

RobJustice
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Reply To ZanwoT
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 08:37)

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
As a fan of the first edition of Seventh Sea, I am thrilled we will have a new edition. Thank you John (if you read this) for bringing us back to Theah.

I don't know if John will ever see this, but I'll gladly pass your thrill along to him. (FYI: If you don't know, I'm the Assistant Developer for 7th Sea Second Edition)

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
First of all, a sort of disclaimer, I must say I bought and played most of my Seventh Sea in French. I speak English, but lived in France at the time. This leads to a first small question: Does John Wick intend to get it translated or think there will be demand for that?

I don't have an answer for you, but we're all very aware of 7th Sea's popularity in Europe. My gut says if finances allow, we'll push for translated editions. That's a business side decision though, and I'm not business side.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
My big concern is probably about the setting. Specifically, the balance of classic swashbuckling land (swordsmen and musketeers)/ naval (pirates), the action and intrigue, and the darker aspects of the world, all of which make the world of Theah so special. John's Wick comment about Eisen makes me hopeful, but there are so many pieces to this puzzle. I am scared that if the second edition is down sized compared to the first edition (which seems necessary in the current market, no?), some aspects may be reduced to concentrate on the pirates part (which is the one I like less). Any thoughts on this?

Second edition isn't being sized down compared to first edition. Honestly, I think it might actually be bigger. I don't have exact numbers but the teams written a lot already. 

And there is a BIG push internally to concentrate on the swashbuckling side of the game and downplay the pirate side.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
In the same optic of being afraid of some trimming down: One of the nice surprises in the setting for me was the Cathay and Crescent Empire books. Are these nations going to be left aside at first (like they were in first edition) or integrated in the world?

Cathay and Crescent are both being mentioned in the core book, and will be expanded later along with The New World, our Africa, and a bunch of other places you've never heard of. We had to contain the scope of the core book but expanding the world is high on our priority list for supplements.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
Will we keep all the swordsman schools and various original character options? I hope so, their variety is great. One of my players made a Castillian with Soldano school and both Man of Will and Faith advantages, it was a thing of beauty. I always had fantasies of having a single PC-army (Steil school), or a Vendel behold-the-power-of-Guilder PC.

Swordmans schools are still here, but have been renamed. Character creation was one of our first big focuses and it's been heavily overhauled. If anything, character options are more varied than first edition. (Sidenote: Faith has been one of my "I'll fight for this" things. I don't think it was ever in danger, but it'll always be part of 7th Sea as long as I have a say.)

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
There are some smaller details, such as some inconsistencies which I hope can be fixed in this new edition. For example Dracheneisen's rarity and political implications, some of the finer points of the various magic heritages.

Dracheneisen is way different. Magical heritages are pretty different. A lot of little details are being addressed.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
Even if declaring raises before the roll was "difficult", it was also what gave more panache to it. Declaring raises after the roll makes it easy to play (and you don't get the tricky moment when a player rolls a 60+ and is annoyed because he gets no gain in theory). 

Very early in the design I told the team my thoughts on Raises:

The thematic idea behind Raises doesn't seem inline with the concepts behind 7th Sea. Raises came from Legend of the Five Rings, where I believe they make much better thematic sense, but they kind of feel like a hold over from another system. Maybe this isn't a truism, but to me this is what Raises mean:

I see how difficult a task is. I have such great skill I am able to make that task more difficult for myself. By making my task more difficult I will be rewarded for my effort.

That feels very Samurai to me, but not at all Swashbuckler. I feel the thought for a swashbuckling theme should be closer to:

I see how difficult a task is. I have such great skill I am about to show the world how amazing I am. By overachieving I will be rewarded for my effort.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
In the same vein, backgrounds (which cost points and gave extra challenges) were a great concept, even if difficult to grasp for the players at first. I am afraid we could loose these special parts of 7th Sea while trying to make it "easier" to grasp.

Backgrounds are different now, but what were Backgrounds are now Stories. I wrote Stories and they take the old Background concept and kick it all up a notch. Trust me, we're not dumb-ing anything down. We're refining and expanding. Ease of use doesn't come from simplicity, it comes from intuition and clarity in training.

Reply to ZanwoT (02/01/2016 16:27)
Knacks. Too many, unnecessary. And don't get me started on the limitations of the swordsman's knacks. Everybody has a right to disarm his opponent!

I built a list of 270+ Knacks and then sat down with the Development Lead and went over ALL OF THEM. I don't want to give away exact numbers but we reduced the skill list down to a FAR more manageable number.

Hopefully, that quells some of your concerns. You can also check out my article "7th Sea Misconceptions" too.
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ZanwoT
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RE:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 09:53)

Thank you Rob for your answer, between that and some other information I was able to hunt down I am getting a good feeling about this second edition. I was going to quote your sentences which really sound good, but really your whole answer is great (I buy your point about raises versus L5R).
Thank you also for you contribution and dedication to what makes so 7th Sea so special (I see we are on the same page with Faith...).
That being said, and as I have your attention right now, there are some more specific points:

Names in Montaigne. The french translation changed a lot of the names in Montaigne, because the original names were just not an option. To be honest I don't even know many of the original names in the original version (the capital on Montaigne is Charousse as far as I am concerned). I hope you can consider to rename the worst Montaigne names in the English version (possibly to fit the French translation), especially if we don't know if there will be a French version. I think otherwise Montaigne was ok from a French perspective, just the names. (Well personally I hope the revolution has not happened in the second edition, but that may just be me)

Sorcery and Syrneth. Without going into too much details, I have understood that the Syrneth side of things is not really John Wicks preferred part of the original 7th Sea. I get this, I know this opinion is shared by many, especially the *practical* details of the Syrneth, but the dark link to sorcery is a great aspect of 7th Sea in my view (and I know other GMs agree) even if it is something that should only be explored *later* in a campaign. If the second edition is planned to get rid of this aspect, could it be possible to have it in an extra optional sourcebook for those who want it? 

Concerning what used to be called knacks. I am happy to wait and see what you have done, but I just want to point out that one viable possibility would even have been to remove them entirely and just have a level in (what used to be called) skills.


(Message edited by ZanwoT On 02/03/2016 09:55)
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Sneaking about the bandit's hidout, they arrive in a dormitory full of sleeping figures.
Too dark to count the beds, Miph'n gets impatient, whispers: "reveal the light"
Without waiting, loud: "Please all wake up, i am here to slay you!"
<errr, how many are there?>
<10 beds, but 5 bandits jumping to their feet and sword>
"ONLY 5 ?!"
To the Macdonald behind: "I'm afraid I'll leave you none!"

RobJustice
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RE:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 10:28)

Names in Montaigne. The french translation changed a lot of the names in Montaigne, because the original names were just not an option. To be honest I don't even know many of the original names in the original version (the capital on Montaigne is Charousse as far as I am concerned). I hope you can consider to rename the worst Montaigne names in the English version (possibly to fit the French translation), especially if we don't know if there will be a French version. I think otherwise Montaigne was ok from a French perspective, just the names. (Well personally I hope the revolution has not happened in the second edition, but that may just be me)

Fear not, we have a native Frenchman helping us with Montaigne. We're also reaching out to other native speakers to help with other Nations. That said... Remember that Montaigne is not France. Similar, inspired by, but different. ;)

Sorcery and Syrneth. Without going into too much details, I have understood that the Syrneth side of things is not really John Wicks preferred part of the original 7th Sea. I get this, I know this opinion is shared by many, especially the *practical* details of the Syrneth, but the dark link to sorcery is a great aspect of 7th Sea in my view (and I know other GMs agree) even if it is something that should only be explored *later* in a campaign. If the second edition is planned to get rid of this aspect, could it be possible to have it in an extra optional sourcebook for those who want it? 

That has been a big topic of recent discussion in our design meetings. I can't say anything specific... What I will say for sure is this: Every single aspect of the game is being pass through the questions, "Is this something a Hero would do? Is this Heroic? Is this fun?" Some aspects of Sorcery fail those questions and we need to address them. 

Concerning what used to be called knacks. I am happy to wait and see what you have done, but I just want to point out that one viable possibility would even have been to remove them entirely and just have a level in (what used to be called) skills.

The entire Skill\Knack system is way different. The term Knack doesn't appear in the game at all and... well, in a few days you'll get to see for yourself. :D
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ZanwoT
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Reply To RobJustice
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 11:07)

Reply to RobJustice (02/03/2016 10:28)

Fear not, we have a native Frenchman helping us with Montaigne. We're also reaching out to other native speakers to help with other Nations. That said... Remember that Montaigne is not France. Similar, inspired by, but different. ;)

I am well aware of Montaigne not being France. As a matter of fact, unlike what I heard was happening with Castille/Spain(/Mexico), I don't think there are any issues with Montaigne appart from specifically the Montaigne Names which just sound wrong and silly in French. And I was just pointing out fixed versions of Montaigne names already exist, in the French version of the first edition, and are commonly used (the Capital "Charousse" for example being the center of two of the best adventures published in the french version of 7th Sea, by the way you should get a hold of the french published adventures...).

That has been a big topic of recent discussion in our design meetings. I can't say anything specific... What I will say for sure is this: Every single aspect of the game is being pass through the questions, "Is this something a Hero would do? Is this Heroic? Is this fun?" Some aspects of Sorcery fail those questions and we need to address them. 

Good to hear but for there to be Heroes you also need Villains... Also the whole conflict greater good versus saving the damsel/orphan is a great theme in 7th Sea (of course the Heroes need to be able to do both ultimately, but it can be fun to encounter the conflict).




(Message edited by ZanwoT On 02/03/2016 11:09)
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Sneaking about the bandit's hidout, they arrive in a dormitory full of sleeping figures.
Too dark to count the beds, Miph'n gets impatient, whispers: "reveal the light"
Without waiting, loud: "Please all wake up, i am here to slay you!"
<errr, how many are there?>
<10 beds, but 5 bandits jumping to their feet and sword>
"ONLY 5 ?!"
To the Macdonald behind: "I'm afraid I'll leave you none!"

RobJustice
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RE:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 12:20)

I am well aware of Montaigne not being France. As a matter of fact, unlike what I heard was happening with Castille/Spain(/Mexico), I don't think there are any issues with Montaigne appart from specifically the Montaigne Names which just sound wrong and silly in French. And I was just pointing out fixed versions of Montaigne names already exist, in the French version of the first edition, and are commonly used (the Capital "Charousse" for example being the center of two of the best adventures published in the french version of 7th Sea, by the way you should get a hold of the french published adventures...).

I'm sorry if that came across shitty. We just get a lot of "That's not very [insert real world nationality here]!" or "That's not how it happened historically! so my defenses are a bit up. 

With Castille the issues isn't that it's More Mexican and Less Spanish it's an issue of intent. Castsille didn't turn out how it was originally envisioned. The comparison that really stuck with me was "It would be like if someone set out to create a fictional nation inspired by England but took all their inspiration from the American Colonies. It simply missed the mark."

Good to hear but for there to be Heroes you also need Villains... Also the whole conflict greater good versus saving the damsel/orphan is a great theme in 7th Sea (of course the Heroes need to be able to do both ultimately, but it can be fun to encounter the conflict).

True. So true we've developed an entire subsystem for handling Villains! When i speak of the "Heroic Lens" we approach everything with is from a Player perspective. Players play Heroes. Period. This isn't a game for Players to be Villains. In that regard Sorcery like Porte really miss the mark. What Hero is going to rip a screaming, bloody, hole in reality? It's so not Heroic that we need to figure out what Porte looks like to a Hero. Luckily, we already know how Villains abuse it.

But, like I said, that is a current topic of discussion. Like, literally happening as I write this. We do weekly meetings and in the last meeting this very topic came up and we're all working on solutions this week. :D
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ZanwoT
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Re:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 12:51)

No worries, I am sorry if my response about Montaigne not being France was not ideal either. I get your view, I got used to being defensive when presenting Thea to players back in the day. I think now we can move on, I can see on a french forum I post on that most people seem to have accepted Thea's NOT Europe.
Thanks for all your answers! See you in a week on KS!


(Message edited by ZanwoT On 02/03/2016 12:52)
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Sneaking about the bandit's hidout, they arrive in a dormitory full of sleeping figures.
Too dark to count the beds, Miph'n gets impatient, whispers: "reveal the light"
Without waiting, loud: "Please all wake up, i am here to slay you!"
<errr, how many are there?>
<10 beds, but 5 bandits jumping to their feet and sword>
"ONLY 5 ?!"
To the Macdonald behind: "I'm afraid I'll leave you none!"

ZanwoT
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Reply To RobJustice
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 13:19)

Reply to RobJustice (02/03/2016 12:20)

Players play Heroes. Period. This isn't a game for Players to be Villains.


Amen. However, one quick question (and then I'll stop bugging you), what are you doing with Scoundrels? It was a fun option for PCs in the first Edition, even if it was very important to make any potential players understand that ultimately they have to be Heroes in disguise somehow.
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--------------------------------------------------------------
Sneaking about the bandit's hidout, they arrive in a dormitory full of sleeping figures.
Too dark to count the beds, Miph'n gets impatient, whispers: "reveal the light"
Without waiting, loud: "Please all wake up, i am here to slay you!"
<errr, how many are there?>
<10 beds, but 5 bandits jumping to their feet and sword>
"ONLY 5 ?!"
To the Macdonald behind: "I'm afraid I'll leave you none!"

RobJustice
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RE:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/03/2016 14:04)

Amen. However, one quick question (and then I'll stop bugging you), what are you doing with Scoundrels? It was a fun option for PCs in the first Edition, even if it was very important to make any potential players understand that ultimately they have to be Heroes in disguise somehow.

If I had an answer for that, i'd give it to you. Maybe after our next meeting we'll have a direction. But right now, how everything stands: Players are Heroes. Player's aren't Scoundrels, Anti-Heroes, Reluctant Heroes, etc. Players are Heroes. Sometimes Heroes have dark pasts or were once less than Heroic. But when the game starts... You're a Hero damn it.

However... All of us on the design team love redemption stories, morality plays, hard decisions, and big sacrifices. I'm not even joking when during the last meeting we had a very long discussion on the nature of Good and Evil. If an evil action with a good intention is still an evil action. If some actions, no matter what your intention, are inherently evil. Etc. We don't have an answer for this but we've decided that not giving an answer isn't a solution. Basically, expect it to be addressed but don't expect us to ever waver on the "7th Sea is about heroics."
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Lord_Nabu
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RE:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/07/2016 11:49)

I fully agree, that the countries shouldn't BE their real-world equivalent, but still, if the names were somewhat less cringe inducing for native speakers? (I'm danish, and the Vendel/Vestenmannavenjar names were quite annoying).
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Lord Nabu
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Kariggi
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Re:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:02/28/2016 17:08)

It feels nice to be back. 
Did my first read through of the new rules, and I'll have to see how it plays with my group.  There are some pretty big changes mechanically, and others that feel more like renamings Drama Dice = Hero Points. 

Once concern that comes to mind is that with the much more limited skill list and no knacks, is whether there will be much room for long term advancement of characters without them all becoming the same ..."yup we all got 5's in all the skills and traits that matter, what's next?"

I mean don't get me wrong I'm already in at Pirate level, I'm just hoping I can get my group to transition without killing me, we started a 1768 New World campaign just last year with a new source book (I apparently wasted my time putting together, because I couldn't wait another year for the "real" one to come out...oh hind sight), and it's been going strong in 1rst edition since. 

I'll have an eye out and a patch on
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In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

Salamanca
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Re:Comments, questions, wishlist.
(Date Posted:03/21/2016 07:43)

 I'm going to venture that we have not seen the full list of abilities.  the Quickstart covered what the characters had and that was it.  I will guess we have some more to work with in terms of skills.  AND fewer skills just means more to spend on advantages.
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Damn! Asking for exposition is like kryptonite to NPCs!

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