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7th Sea: Second Edition is going to see some changes from the first edition. When folks ask me, “What kind of changes?” I often invoke Battletar Galactica. I was a huge fan of the original show—I was ten years old when it came out—and I’m a fan of the reboot as well. In the new BSG, we still had Adama, Apollo, Starbuck, Cylons and everything I loved about the first show. Sure, they had new faces—and in some cases, new genders—but they were still those same characters, just with an updated feel. New special effects, new writing, new cast but same show.
7th Sea: Second Edition is going to feel a lot like that. All the Nations are still there—Avalon, Castille, Vodacce, Ussura, etc.—but a few of them may have slight changes. Three of them have undergone slightly deeper changes. Eisen is going to be a whole lot scarier, for example. When you come across a small town of terrified villagers who look up to the castle on the hill where “the countess” lives… you’ll know you’re in Eisen. Ussura is getting a political facelift plus a new kind of sorcery that replaces shapeshifting. And the Vestenmennavanjar… well, let’s just say you don’t have to choose between “awesome merchant prince” and “awesome Viking raider” anymore; you can have both at the same time.
We’re also adding a new nation to the list: The Sarmatian Commonwealth. I’ve visited Poland twice—going again this year!—and every time I go, I hear the same question: “Why is there no Poland in 7th Sea?” After getting asked this question about a dozen times in an hour, I spent some time researching 17th Century Poland and my answer to that question is now, “Because I was an idiot.” I made a promise the last time I was there that if I ever re-did 7th Sea, I would include Poland. Well, I’m keeping that promise. I’m very excited for the Commonwealth and after you see what we’ve been doing with its politics, sorcery and history, I think you will be, too.
A New Engine
But the big question on most people’s minds is this one: “Are you using d20’s or Roll and Keep?” The answer is... neither.
I love R&K. I helped design it back in the day. But the fact of the matter is, rolling a handful of dice and keeping two of them… isn’t very swashbuckly. If I want to feel like Errol Flynn, if I want to feel like the Dread Pirate Roberts, if I want to feel like Captain Jack Sparrow, I want to throw a handful of dice and use all of them. And that’s the new system we’ve designed for 7th Sea: Second Edition.
We’re still using Trait + Skill (the “Traits are too important” folks are going to be very happy) and we’re still using Raises. Except now, you make Raises after the roll. Which means you get to feel like a Big Damn Hero.
We’ve still got Brute Squads and Villains, but we’ve refined how they work. In fact, a lot of the new system can fall under that category. “We’ve refined how they work.” The new 7th Sea system is fast, elegant and dynamic. It isn’t overly simple and it isn’t like one of my “Little Games.” But I feel it captures the cinematic feel we were going for with the first edition of the game, but didn’t quite reach. RPGs have changed a lot in almost 20 years, and I want 7th Sea to still stand out!
Nations of Théah is a two volume set covering Avalon, Castille, Eisen, Montaigne, The Sarmatian Commonwealth, Vestenmennavenjar, Vodacce and Ussura. Just tons of information about each Nation including prominent locations, NPCs, plots, secrets and everything else you need to know about the continent of Théah.
Now, you're probably asking, "If all the Nations are going to be in just two books, what other sourcebooks could you do?"
Oh, my friends, we have so much in store to show you. That includes Nations outside of Théah. Not just the Crescent Empire, no. The core book is just the beginning of a long and wide look at the entire world. Théah is just the beginning. We're going to see new cultures, meet new people, learn new traditions and broaden the scope of who is a hero in 7th Sea. In fact, our very first sourcebook...
This is the cover of our first 7th Sea sourcebook: The New World. New adventures, new mysteries, new Heroes. Yes, of course you can play a character from the New World in Théah, expanding what it means to be a Hero in 7th Sea.