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7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Anthony D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2016 14:32:48

Like many others, I backed this the very moment I could and started devouring every detail I could. Without going into too much detail (check my blog for more thoughts and reviews), here's what I will say about 7th Sea without comparing it to the 1st Edition (that's for the blog).

(TL;DR: I'm giving the game 4 stars because it's solid, easy to use, versatile, has great potential, and is overall a good game even factoring in the flaws. Yes, I loved 1st Edition, no, it had little to do with influencing my rating)

The setting of 7th Sea is like our real-world Europe, only with a heavy dose of fantasy. What if England recieved the magic and glamour of King Arthur's court? What if Italy was ruled by men who use Machiavelli's "The Prince" as a rulebook? What if France had non-stop heroics like we see in The Three Musketeers? What if the monsters from fairy tales were real, and were roaming the dark, blood drenched countryside of Germany as it recovers from the Thirty Years War?

7th Sea answers all of this, and then some.

The game is built around the idea that you are playing a hero. You are supposed to ride the chandelier to another floor and trap the villains with it in the process. You should find yourself in a trap and have a clever means of escape. Getting hit should only cause a scratch that motivates you to greatness.

7th Sea's mechanic is simple to learn and rather versatile, relying solely on d10s and a flexible pass/fail mechanic. Character creation is a breeze (seasoned 7th Sea players had characters finished in minutes, newbies took just a hair longer), and action scenes move at a rather fast clip.

Magic is handled well here, requiring the expenditure of a Hero Point (tokens you get by doing awesome things or playing up weaknesses/quirks), but you can do amazing things such as turning into an animal or teleporting to another location.

The art is great (even if it is a bit odd at times), it is a full-color rulebook that makes great use of colors and artwork, and is pretty well laid out.

The game is easy to learn, easy to tweak, and has some worthwhile mechanics that improve it's versatility (I'm in love with the Villain mechanics of Strength and Influence, honestly).

Like others have mentioned, it's not perfect (no game truly is). It has a number of typos that still survived the editors and the revisions offered by backers (I found a number of typos I called out that are still there). Some parts of the book feel a bit unfinished, some on purpose (i.e. "the decision is up to the GM"), some possibly accidental (feels like some areas are lacking and had things on the cutting room floor). Some rules are a bit odd, such as how magic is "scaled" (only one magic has "ranks" for abilities, while the rest simply give the power in question), which may leave players and GMs a bit frustrated. There are also some elements of the setting that are lacking or left vague, making it a bit difficult to run the game out of the box without having access to many elements of the 1st Edition setting books (I find myself often picking up the 1st Edition corebook or nations books for information during my games and hoping they won't be changed too drastically).

There are more books coming, and I am hoping that, going forward, they will help fill in the gaps we have in this book and improve upon the product quality.

That said, I will give this game 4 stars. It's a great game with a solid foundation, a strong and passionate fanbase, and some great talent behind it. While it may have angered some fans of the 1st Edition, I found many of the changes refreshing, and the changes I'm wary about can be easily changed. The game is also versatile, allowing for easy modifications or hacks (I'm working on a Dishonored hack that is moving along surprisingly well).

Is it a perfect game? No, it isn't, but it's a great game for anyone who likes swashbuckling, stories of derring-do, and fantasy.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
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7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Sean M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2016 13:10:31

I backed this game on Kickstarter and after reading the new rules I love the new rules and lore



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by James S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2016 23:24:55

As you will no doubt notice, I don't normally review games. I am doing it here however to address some of the compliments and complaints that have been said here by others. As you can see, I did not give this a five star review. That is not to say it isn't a great game and rather quick to pick up. Nor is it saying that this game doesn't have its flaws. In truth, the dream of a perfect game for every setting is a pure fantasy andf those that believe they have found it are deluding themselves.

The reason for my four star rating has something to do with what a person wrote in the one star review here. They called this game a fan-fiction. It's not. It is also not the game that many of us fell in love with back those any years ago. What it is in many ways is a love letter to all us fans of the original setting and a way for us to introduce new friends to this world we have waxed poetically about for the last several years.

That being said, there are those that have felt betrayed by the fact that the game doesn't follow the trend of having every nuance explored and it being a hundred percent faithful to the original. Most of the gameplay and much of the fluff has been rewritten with a whole nation added to the continent of Theah and the game being pushed away from the ultra detailed minutia oriented character creation and obsessive game balance towards what it was trying to convey in the first place. A game where you play as a cinematic hero.

Is this game for everyone? No, but then what game is? It is a niche that I hope to introduce my friends to and share an adventure on the high seas for a long time. A thanks to the good folks at John Wick Presents and here's to a good journey over the next several months.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Michael R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2016 13:59:18

Backed this product on Kickstarter based on pure potential, which it more than realized. 7th Sea (Second Edition) is streamlined for fun, fast and interactive storytelling. It embraces players making decisions and collaborating with the GM.

Most of the core rulebook is focused on setting, conflict, and character creation/development (you know, storytelling); with helpful hints for the GM througout. Mechanically, 7th Sea eschews lots of rules and tables to keep the game fast and fun. It is designed so your characters begin as demi-gods and improve from there: players/groups who enjoy grindy dungeon crawls may find the lack of peril (and relative lack of loot) unfulfilling. For myself, 7th Sea's focus on being able to say "yes" to the players is delightful.

Incredibly pleased with this product, looking forward to the upcoming source books!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by fione n. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/01/2016 16:50:42

When John Wick started his Kickstarter campaign for a second edition of 7th Sea, I was as excited as seemingly half the internet. I backed his campaign and was rewarded with a preview pdf. When I got it, it looked very promising - for an early alpha stage. Shortly after, I got a second version, with a few spelling mistakes less. Still looked promising, with still a lot to do. Two weeks later, it went into print.

I still struggle with the idea of something that got so much support to get thrown on the market in such an unfinished fashion. John Wicks collected enough money to pay an army of writers for several years. Did he use it? Not on the rulebook, at least. This book is not a rulebook for an RPG. IT IS A FANFICTION. Yes, it has interesting ideas. Like I said, SO much potential. But to understand even a part of it, you have to know and love the original. There is no way for new players to join in the magic of 7th Sea with this book. The texts contradict the rules, particularily in the sorcery department, some information appears at multiple sections of the book, some does not appear at all. I have never been so disappointed in an RPG rulebook before.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/30/2016 05:26:03

To call this a 2nd Edition feels like a bit of a misnomer. John Wick has taken the old 7th Sea, tossed the old Roll and Keep mechanics overboard, and rewrote much of the setting and history to create this new version of 7th Sea. As such, it feels more fitting to use a term more commonly applied to movies: a reboot.

A More Cinematic Experience

7th Sea's new mechanics lend itself to a style of play where the player characters are Heroes with a capital "H". Men and women with amazing skill and luck to live out larger-than-life adventures.

The new system is fairly straightforward. Upon declaring the character's action for the turn, they roll a pool of d10's determined by the sum of their Trait and Skill. Players then assemble sets of 10 from the results of the roll, with each set counting as a Raise. These are then used to "buy" narrative achievements such as successfully meeting a goal, taking advantage of an opportunity, or just avoiding harm.

On the GM's part, their job is to present the players with Opportunities and Threats within the scene, each one building towards a cinematic encounter between the Heroes and the opposition, be it a horde of goons, a devious trap, or the villain of the story.

You're not the World, but a Stage

GMs who cleave towards a more simulation-based philosophy of running a game will find themselves somewhat challenged by the chief conceit of 7th Sea second edition. The game is engineered so that your role is not that of a director rather than that of a referee.

Threats and Villains exist so that you can highlight the Heroes. And even the character creation ensures that the Heroes know exactly what they're getting into, and how they'd like each tale to end.

This eliminates a lot of the creative input from the side of the GM, and those who are used to a more open, sandbox method might find themselves lost as to how to properly run the game.

Pretty as it gets

I will say that the artwork and layout for the book is gorgeous, with full colour illustrations and easily readable text. The lack of over-sexualised images is a major plus, and I found a few pieces that took into account the LGBT fans as well, something that I feel will be very much appreciated.

Conclusions

7th Sea Second Edition isn't an old car with a new coat of paint. It's a familiar shade of paint on a brand new car. If you're looking for more of the old, then you might want to be prepared to be surprised.

However, if you're looking for a game that delivers rope-swinging swashbuckler-y fun with the ability to take your own story by the reins, then this is the game for you. John Wick clearly knew what he wanted to do with the game, and didn't waste time killing sacred cows to make it happen.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Isaac R. D. J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2016 10:36:29

7th Sea Second Edition is a rules light story focused swashbuckling rpg. Return to a reimagined Theah as you sail the seven seas, duel vicious villains, search ancient ruins, and attend grand balls wrought with political tension. This edition uses D10s like the original, but with a different twist. The book also covers everything in one beautiful high quality pdf that took the first edition two books to go over. I am extremely happy with my purchase and heartily recommend 7th Sea Second Edition to anyone.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Jan S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/25/2016 05:40:46

7th Sea (2nd ed.) is the new generation of a heart warming, lovable game of adventure, daring do and swashbuckling in the land of Theah.

Will you go help unearth dangerous relics of an ancient race from ruins lost in steamy jungles or maybe buried in the catacombs beneath ancient moldering mausoleums and find that it's a matter of leverage whilst the merchant prince's guards hunt you down?

Or perhaps you will be hanging from the rigging prepared to board ship as you and your scurvy bunch of Sea Dog friends chase down a treasure galleon for Queen, Country and Glamour!

The new system is very narrative driven, you roll for an advantage and then describe how that advantage is used to achieve your goals... eventually.

Be witty, be quick and most of all have a wonderful time sailing the seven seas.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Elyezer L. d. C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 23:42:25

As a kickstarter backer I was already impressed by the interesting new system they came up with. When the book finally came to me through the previews they sent me I was instantly hooked. I just couldn't stop reading. Every section was better than the one before. Their focus on role-playing is amazing, the system is really simple and makes you really use your imagination, beeing the GM or a player. Every play is a risk, every scene has so many angles, so many things to explore. The only reason I won't give a perfect score to the book is because I missed a world history section. Don't get me wrong, the story is there, but you have to piece it together trhough out the book. All in all, it has been close to a decade since I last found a RPG book that got me so excited to play. Keep up the good work guys.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Iam B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 18:03:20

Fun and easy. If you are familiar with FATE it is very similar with an emphisis on being thematic, dramatic, big, and using "raises" to accomplish your desired actions, which you are encouraged to describe to the GM and party, and be a hero. Very high seas drama and a lot of fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Nick J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 15:33:37

Haven't quite finished it, but everything I've read has been absolutely fantastic. I started playing in a 7th Sea adventure over on gamersplane.com and am having a blast. Also, any any gaming system that has a mechanic called "The McClane Effect" which makes the characters more awesome the more damage they take is brilliant!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Rodney R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 13:21:39

Me:I am avid gamer with over 30 years expereince. I played 7th Sea 1st edition back when it first came out and thourghly enjoyed it. Setting:The setting is a fantastical take on the European area, so you have an idea of what the people are like. The changes are just enough so that while similar, the countries in 7th Sea are their own vibrant places. There is great art work within the book to help bring this world to life within your imagination. With this extensive world, that shall continue to grow, the adventure posibbilities are endless. Want to play pirates? Great. Interested in playing a campaing similar to the Three Musketeers? Can do. Want to play a band of roving heros righting wrongs in the world? Absolutlely! Characters: Each character starts out with the five basic Traits at Rank 2 and gets two points to increase them, plus and additional increase based on your Nationality. You pick two Backgrounds that provide you with 1 point in five skills each plus 1Quirk per backgroud. Then you can add 10 more points to any of the 16 skills, to a maximum Rank of 3. You also gain advatages from your Backgrounds and have 5 points to spend buying more. You have a Virtue and a Hubris that will provide you with a game mechanic. When completed, each character is roughly of equal power to each other, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Mechanics: The changes from first to second mainly involve the game mechanics to make it more of a storytelling experience where the dice do not absolutely control the game. The Raises and Risks system allows players much more freedom in what they can attempt than many other games. Each Risk the player takes has a Reward of succcessful and a Consequence if failed. Each move the Story along. Just becasue this is focused on telling stories doesn't mean that death is not a Consequence in the game. Each character has Wounds and Dramatic Wounds (DW). DW's influence the game and when you have accumulated four, your character is Helpless - at the mercy of the Villian. Hopefully your friends will save you from most certain death at his hands. Final Words: Each game has a distinctive group that responds well to it and some that don't. Power gamers and min/maxers will find this is a very balanced system. This is not about being the most powerful character in the area, but rather this game is about telling the most fascinating stories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Jamie G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/24/2016 12:40:42

I waited ten years for this and it exceeded expectations.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Eric S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/23/2016 12:52:44

I will admit to being slightly biased - I was one of the first and biggest fans of the 1st edition of 7th Sea, and one of the first kickstarter backers of this edition. But there's a reason it did as successfully as it did, and that's because 7th Sea is what RPG gaming should be - fast, approachable, and imaginative collective storytelling.

If you're looking for "crunchy bits" with different weapon stats and charts to tell you what to roll when, look elsewhere. Much like Fate and other narrativist systems, the rules in 7th Sea are meant to advance the story, not limit it. The greatest example of this is that your character literally cannot die. The mechanics encourage you to take crazy, stupid risks, and think up new ways around every situation - for example, you get a bonus die each time you use a skill you haven't used already this scene.

The setting is "European history as interpreted by a 14-year-old", in that it deliberately cherry-picks the most fun parts of every historical European culture and shoves them together in a blender. Queen Elizabeth is also King Arthur; the Inquisition is a fearsome juggernaut trying to snuff out imagination and individuality; the French nobility are absurdly decadent and ripe for revolution. Now with added Poland!

If you want a dungeon crawl with a lot of poring over character sheets and miniatures, take a pass. If you want swashbuckling action on the high seas, with chandeliers to swing from no matter where you are, then fork over the Guilders for 7th Sea, right now.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea Core Rulebook (Second Edition)
by Philip K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/21/2016 17:43:39

7th Sea 2nd Edition is a complete rework and remix of the original. The system has been stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up to be leaner, faster, and promote more daring, swashbuckling action and adventure. The setting has also been revamped into a more cosmopolitan and politically charged set of nations.

Pros

  • The core idea of "The GM creates scenes, the players make raises, and then the players spend raises to change the scene" is incredibly powerful in play. It empowers players to change the story in dramatic ways.
  • The setting is streamlined and honed to produce more swashbuckling and intrigue than ever before.
  • The art and prose are phenomenal.

Cons

  • The base rules for combat are very minimal and will require a change in approach for most gamers in order to function well as swashbuckling adventure.
  • The tone in several areas of the setting were jarringly discordant with the rest of the book (specifically the horror elements in sever of the magic traditions and the nation of Eisen.)


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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