Every Week It's Wibbley-Wobbley Timey-Wimey Pookie-Reviewery...

Monday, 9 September 2019

7th Sea's 7

Like the DM’s Guild for Dungeons & Dragons  and the Miskatonic Repository for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition, there is also the Explorer’s Society for 7th Sea. It provides an outlet for fans and writers of the preeminent roleplaying game of swashbuckling action, adventure, and storytelling in Théah, an alternate and fantastical version of Europe and beyond in the seventeenth century. Inspired by films such as Ocean’s Eleven, Evan Perlman’s Sea’s 7 published by Chaosium, Inc. is a heist adventure set in a grand casino. Which means high stakes gambling, intrigue, secrets, lies, spies, dangerous liaisons, and more—but above all, rising tension as the heroes case the joint, devise and then execute the plan, doubtless ending in a flurry of action and consequences as they get away with it (or not)!

Ideally, the Game Master should have access to the Pirate Nations sourcebook, for the Queen of the Pirates has a problem and needs a favour. Someone swindled the Pirate Republic’s dock workers out of a considerable amount of money and to avoid any embarrassment, she and the Brotherhood of the Coast want it returned. Now the perpetrator has been traced to the Montaigne colony of Sylviette where she has resurfaced as the Comtesse du Janvier, operator of its newest, hottest social destination—the Casino Impérial. The Queen of the Pirates not only wants the money back, but the Comtesse du Janvier ruined. It sounds like a simple job, but security is tight, the company charming if duplicitous, and there is bound to be a plot twist or along the way. If not written into the plot, then probably due to the Heroes’ involvement.

Sea’s 7 is a two-Step, four-Scene adventure. In the first two scenes, the Heroes start planning the heist and spend a night at the casino looking for ways to get into the vault and the money out. In the second two steps, events escalate as the Heroes carry out their plan in the face of cruel opposition and a rival ‘heist’ before making their getaway as everything goes awry around them. The description of the Casino Impérial and its layout are detailed enough for the Game Master to run the Heroes through all four scenes, although the promised map is strangely absent. Of course, much of the action and story will be player-led, so there are lots of NPCs for their Heroes to interact with, from a nobleman on a stag do to a possible Fate Witch who is all too successful at the gaming tables; Opportunities aplenty to divert attention, uncover secrets, recruit allies, and more; Consequences to suffer, including stumbling into a tryst, getting caught sneaking around, being mistaken for someone’s enemy—did I mention that everyone at the Casino Impérial wears a mask?—and so on; plus secrets galore to uncover... There is a lot here for the Heroes to get involved in should they go looking—and they probably will—in addition to their actually robbing the place and ruining a reputation. 

Physically, Sea’s 7 comes as a 4.08 MB, full colour PDF. It is lightly illustrated, really just chapter headers showing period scenes of gambling and carousing. All very suitable and all very chaste, though doubtless, the events surrounding the Heroes’ heist attempt on the Casino Impérial will involve romantic entanglements, if not actual trysts.

With plot hooks, a handful of given nicely detailed villains, and example lists of approaches, Consequences, Opportunities, NPCs, secrets, and more, as well as solid staging advice, Sea’s 7 is a really superb toolkit for running heists in 7th Sea. There is so much information here that it is unlikely that the Game Master will use it all, though to do that, she would have to find a way to run it twice! In fact were the Game Master to run it more than once—perhaps as a convention scenario (all it would need is a good set of pre-generated Heroes)—it is unlikely that Sea’s 7 would play out the same way twice. Any 7th Sea Game Master wanting to run a heist will find Sea’s 7 invaluable and for any 7th Sea Game Master needing a short scenario to add to her campaign, Sea’s 7 is a good choice.

No comments:

Post a Comment