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7th Sea: Lands of Gold and Fire
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/14/2018 10:12:29

Lands of Gold and Fire. Probably one of the most anticipated books for the 7th Sea line after The New World itself. It's been delayed a few months while the dev team worked to get it just the way they like it. So how did they do?

Like all the other splatbooks, this one can be divided into the Fluff and Crunch sections.

Nations/Fluff

We've got five new nations with unique backgrounds here. Aksum (Ethiopia/Somali States) a coastal trade nation on the losing side of a war with the Mbey while their empire is in rapid decline, Khemet (pre-Ptolemaic Egypt) a land shrouded in eternal night after the Queen betrayed the gods, Maghreb (the Barabary States) where the wasteland villages and prosperous coastal cities exist in an anarchic alliance to resist an impending invasion, Manden Kurufaba (The Mali Empire) the most prosperous land in Ifri, buckling under a flood of refugees fleeing the troubles elsewhere, and Mbey (the Kingdom of Kongo) decimated by the Atabean slave traders, their ruler has given in to despair and madness, bargaining with eldritch abomination spirits and waging war against the Aksum to capture more slaves to sell to the Atabeans- buying enough weapons in the hope of driving the invaders from Ifri.

There is enough flavor here to make an entire campaign out of adventuring in Ifri drawing from equal parts history and fantasy. The major players in Ifri are featured throughout and all are compelling in their own way- especially the leader of Mbey who has given himself over to madness and dark power to drive powerful Atabean invaders from his shores. Runner-up goes to Mar Veraci of Maghreb, the transgender pirate queen hailing from Vodacce. Mar governs the cities and protects Maghreb in her Blue Queen's place while she is communing with spirits to prevent an invasion from Mbey, trying to ward off the advances from Montaigne and the machinations of her jealous sister.

Mechanics

The book includes new sorcery. Melbur sorcery strikes me as an almost cut/paste of Sanderis from the core book (though there are significant differences), while Heka sorcery is a kind of Enchantment based magic. Most splats contain one magic school per nation, so this is a bit lacking.

New dueling schools are included here as well for more martial players.

There are two new player mechanics that are introduced here. The first, Zahmeireen Weaponry, is a much more in depth unique-weapon system than the current Dracheneisen weaponry- and one I hope they adopt in errata to change Dracheneisen. You select an Origin (how you got the weapon) and a Facet (its effect). Additionally, completing Legends are a potent way to increase the power of the weapon.

Next is the Vile Dice of dealing with the Abonsam spirits. Essentially, bargaining with these Eldritch Creatures grants bonus dice, but using the dice grants corruption.

Verdict

Fluffwise, this book is beyond good. Its locations and people are compelling to read about and beg for adventure. But the Mechanics section is lacking in Sorcerous lineages. Bonus points for having a better legendary weapon system than the original Dracheneisen though. I give it a 4/5. Worth the money and very good, but not necessarily a MUST BUY NOW book.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Lands of Gold and Fire
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7th Sea: Crescent Empire
Publisher: John Wick Presents
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2017 13:21:06

What You Will Find Inside Crescent Empire

Probably the biggest expansion of 7th Sea yet in terms of fluff. Within these pages, there's summaries of the following nations:

  • Not-Turkey (a new Empress has taken the throne, dealing with courtly and harem intrigue while trying to reform the whole Empire; this region should evoke a very Game of Thrones feeling)
  • Not-Israel/Palestine (without the real world... issues, the Israelis and Palestinians are working together to shore up the Empress and recover from a magical attack that made half of their tribes disappear)
  • Not-Iran (a country tearing itself apart, where only a few of the rebels can be described as Heroes, the previous Empreror was the Shah's boyfriend, and he plots to overthrow the Empress while his people rise against him)
  • Not-Arabia (the strongest soldiers in the Empire left reeling from climate change that turned their plains into a desert, the Djinn are flocking to their lands and causing more and more trouble)
  • Not-Jerusalem (a devout city-state tied to two of the Prophets, run by an ancient order of Assassins and an immortal Guardian that is no longer so immortal; some of the Assassins are straying from their path and becoming Villains)

Each nation comes with a new unique Sorcery, stats on their most important heroes and villains, and unique Backgrounds to choose from at character creation.

New Advantages.

Summaries of the religions that came before the Vaticine Church (Not-Judaism, Not-Islam, Not-Zoroastrianism, Not-Orthodox Christianity) along with their practices and core beliefs.

New enemy types, focusing mostly on the Djinn as beings similar to (but definitely different from) the Avalonian Sidhe and the Sarmation Dievai.

New Duelist Schools.

A new type of Dueling that's essentially a form of Battle Rapping/Yo Mama fight.

Rules for running Mass Battles, of sizes ranging from one village against another, to one Empire against another, along with a level-up system for your troops if you fight multiple battles.

What You Will NOT Find

Pirate/sailing content. This book is entirely focused on courtly intrigue and setting expansion. There is nothing here if you're looking for expanded Pirate rules, new ship backgrounds, trading rules, etc. Most of the Character Backgrounds are fitting for campaigns that never go near the ocean.

Rules for running a Kingdom. You may be able to raise and fight with an army now, but there are no rules for running the Kingdom from which that army is raised.

Content regarding how the Empire and Theah's nations interact, and vice versa. The only thing set in stone is that Numa (Not-Greece from Pirate Nations) and the Crescent Empire hate each other. For a book that's 70% fluff, this is something that is sorely missed.

In Conclusion

A good book if you want to run a game that has a spiritual/political focus or that never goes near the water. You could easily run a game with just this book and the free rules available on the John Wick Presents site if those are the things you want.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
7th Sea: Crescent Empire
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