Here are the biggest questions. We’ll be adding/updating/editing them as we go. If you have a question we didn’t address, just add it as a comment!

Who goes first in Contested Risks?

Whoever has the most Raises spends the first Raise. By the way, we are re-designing contested risks in a big way. You should see something soon.

What if a player/GM uses a rule to be a jerk?

Sorry, I can’t fix that, and honestly, that’s the GM’s job. She maintains the order at the table. To quote our friend Jesse Heinig, “Best you can do is encourage desired behaviors and discourage unwanted ones.”

What does the “Reroll” tag at the bottom of the Skills list mean?

It means that, if you have at least two Ranks in a Skill, you can reroll one die every time you make a Risk using that Skill. If you had at least four Rank in a Skill, you could reroll two dice every time you made a Risk, but in the Quickstart, nobody has four Ranks yet.

Do the Heroes get 2 bonus dice against a Villain when the Villain has two Dramatic Wounds?

Nope. Villains just keep on tickin’ until you knock ‘em down.

When you reach your third Dramatic Wound, is it just nines that count as tens, or do you now only require a total of nine to make a Raise?

Your 9’s count as 10’s on the dice. To make Raises, you still need to make a total of 10.

Can Keen Senses be used for eavesdropping?


Can another Hero aid a dueling Hero by spending a Hero Point (such as shouting encouragement or yelling advice, or insulting their opponent)?


When performing a Duel Maneuver, does it cost 1 Raise for the Maneuver itself?

No. If you spend 3 Raises to slash, your opponent takes 3 Wounds. There is no “start up cost.”

It seems to me that the hero point system is designed so a player never uses their own hero points, but need to coordinate with the rest of the group and share them. Is that correct?

I wouldn’t say “never uses their own,” but a single Hero Point from your friends is worth more than a single Hero Point from yourself. It’s important to remember that you can only receive a single Hero Point from another Hero to help you in a Risk. You can use as many of your own as you want.

There are some other factors at play, however. The person giving you the Hero Point does need to play into the Risk in some way, even if it is only emotional or inspirational. They also have to have a Hero Point to give you, or one that they are willing to give; you can only receive Hero Points from other players to get bonus dice, not to activate effects. So if I really need to use my Second Story Work here in a second, I can’t afford to give you my Hero Point so that you can get dice.

Will there be a guide to convert characters from original 7th Sea to the new system?

Probably. If you want to play an experienced character from 1st Edition to 2nd Edition, use John’s Unofficial Conversion Rules:

  1. Make the character you want to play.
  2. If you have any questions, see Rule 1.

I have a question you haven’t answered. Can you answer it?

Yes! Send us the question and we’ll do our best to answer it quickly and concisely.

7th Sea 2nd Edition Quickstart FAQ
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76 thoughts on “7th Sea 2nd Edition Quickstart FAQ

  • Sweet! We are literally play testing this now and the reroll rule popped up just in time. Thanks John Wick, you’re awesome!

  • The example, page 6 of quick start rules.
    The race to the door.
    Hero has 4 raises. If he spends 3 raises to get to the door then the villain doesn’t need to spend any, so, why spend 3 to get to the door when 1 will do. Then 2 to avoid wounds and 1 to lock the door behind him.

    Why not this way?

    1. You assign Raises alternately. But that doesn’t mean that you must assign only a single Raise. If it is your turn to spend Raises, you could immediately say “I spend 3 Raises to get to the door.” Or, you could say “I spend 1 Raise to get to the door.” These both have strategic and narrative merits.

      If you immediately spend 3 Raises, you guarantee that you get to the door immediately. Narratively, this says “Nothing else matters to me.” The Villain can then spend his 2 Raises to do whatever he wants… and yes, you can’t respond. You already spent all your Raises.

      Or you could spend 1 Raise to get to the door. Then the Villain spends 2 to get there. Then you spend 2 more (bringing your total to 3). You get to the door, the Villain can spend no more Raises — he doesn’t get his “returned” to him.

      Or you could spend 1 Raise. Then the Villain spends 2. Then you decide to let him get to the door, and spend your 2 remaining Raises on something else… which he, now, cannot counter.

      You can devote as many of your Raises to a single “action” as you want when you go to spend a Raise. Players and Villains alike can use this to control the tempo and the tone of a Risk.

      This is unclear in the current text, and should be cleared up more later. As mentioned in John’s FAQ article, Contested Risks as a whole are due for some pretty heavy changes.

      1. Okay, I *finally* (after over fifteen years) understand why they’re called “Raises” instead of “Successes” or whatever (I recommended “Eclát” the other day on the FB page, I think…) — it’s like a poker bid. It’s almost like you’re saying, “I see your running for the door, and I raise you the fact that I’m closer.”

      2. Does the GM have to spend a point every time to have The villian murder a helpless pc? I like that as it’s super deliberate but just want to make sure I’m reading the qs right

        1. Yes, the GM must spend a Danger Point when they want have a Villain murder a hero.

          My only concern: when you declare a murder, “His action resolves at the end of the Beat, after all the others.” Does this mean that the Villain in question doesn’t actually get the murder until immediately before their next beat?

          As an in-game example: say Zyta defeats Ennio and a brawl breaks out among the party and Zyta’s guards. On her first Beat, Zyta declares that she will murder the helpless Ennio. Does this mean that everyone gets a Beat before the murder takes place?

  • If I have a Hero with the Uncanny virtue and I activate it, is it still possible for the GM to “buy” and ones rolled, on an unlucky roll this could drastically de-power Uncanny.

  • Is it possible to get a narrated example of a combat between a hero and a villain outside if the dueling mechanics, even if only a round or two for those of us still trying to puzzle out whether attack and defence can occur together or if you’re restricted to one or the other depending on your Intention?

  • Sorte. What do you roll exactly? It says Resolve + Sorte, but Sorte Skill isn’t mentioned on her list (the Fate Witch).

      1. Thank you John, Thank you.

        I’m writing a game at the moment and I’ve written it exactly that way it always bugged me that i couldn’t play a cool deadly knife fighter in most RPGs because in most RPGs knives do as much damage as a wet noodle. To know you went the same way gives me some encouragement.

        I’ve pledged to the kickstarter, and I cannot wait to get my hands on the full game.

  • Does the GM always have to disclose all Consequences? For example, if there is a poison needle in a lock like in the Quick Start example, does the GM have to tel them, or will there be a way to check first?

  • Thanks! This answers many of my questions, but I have a few more:
    – How do you activate a Virtue?
    – When you spend Hero Points to add dice (or use Roberto Gallo’s Inspirational Virtue), is that before or after you roll your normal dice pool?
    – Do players/the GM start with any Hero Points/Danger Points?
    – What is the timing on spending Hero Points for speed in a duel? Is it a blind bid?
    – Does the rule against using the same Maneuver in two consecutive Beats extend across Rounds? If I Slash with my last Beat in one Round, can I Slash with my first Beat in the next?
    – Does a duelist with no remaining Raises get a turn (on which they presumably Disengage)? Put another way, can you Disengage when you have no Raises to spend?

    1. Disengaging requires a raise. If you have no raises and the opponent does, I assume it acts like the last sentence of page 25. “If an effect causes to lose your next maneuver, you effectively do nothing for the beat”. I could imagine being out of raises is an effect that causes you to lose your next maneuver, though it might be a stretch. At least we know that that it is acceptable to have a beat were you do nothing.

  • Assume a resolve of 2 – that means if you take 7 flesh wounds you have to take a dramatic wound. But what happens if you rack up 8 or more? Do they reset to zero when you take a dramatic wound or do they bleed over in to the second track?

  • How does a (villain) non duel combat occur? It is like a brute squad (so I kill the villain with my shoe)? It’s always like a duel? its a mix?

  • Can a Fate Witch maintain two or more blessings simultaneously? And what is the cost to the Fate Witch of bestowing a blessing (or a curse)? The flavour text implies something serious. And kudos for the Poland research!

  • I don’t get why equipment doesn’t have any role in the game … with the rules as written, I can go to a massive war (with cannons, firearms and cavalry) in my underwear and a sack of small rocks and call it a day.

    At which point an heroic tale becomes a comedic tale?

    Alexsy Gracjan Nowak (one of the pregens) have an awesome drawing wearing a cuirass which I find pretty cool. But whats the point? Or you ignore it and it can climb, SWIM, and do whatever he wants like he is not wearing anything (and if that happened on a movie it would be criticized) or you put a penalty (or extra consequences) to it and the player will bitch about it and end going without it.

    Whats the point on having a big heavy weapon? In the previous edition you could find a big burly villain with a big weapon that you know will have problems hitting you, but once hit it would send you to the moon.

    Now villains get a simple ratting and no defining attributes or skills.

    For that matter, as a player, the best weapon is a small knife I can hide, wear one handed (to fight while climbing or swinging in a rope) and replace easily … there’s only disadvantages to any other weapon.

    I use a firearms? O no, I had to escape jumping onto the water and now my powder is wet putting me in a dire situation in which I have to use my wits and cunning to escape alive! … wrong! Or I just ignore that, or I simply use my trusty knife that will do exactly the same 😀

    Don’t know man … I see what you intend to dot, but I think you are losing a lot of interesting situations and colour you can add to a game.

    Maybe equipment could add a very small benefit? (Like a big weapon adding a flesh wound on every hit, armor giving you more flesh wounds at the cost of consequences, firearms ignoring armor or cover, etc)

    1. I really don’t see this as a problem. If you go to war armed with rocks that isn’t a risk, it’s suicide. You lose. No roll. Be smarter next time.

      As for knives vs swords vs firearms, not having a weapon that works generates drama. In your exact scenario with damp powder the player has to improvise, using ‘flair’ and potentially earning hero points. That sounds like a win to me. The knife character by contrast won’t get bonus dice for flair and frankly isn’t as interesting. In the same way as there is no “I dodge”, we as GMs should encourage there to be no “I attack with my knife”.

      Then there is the issue of swordsman schools. You won’t (or at least shouldn’t) get any advanced moves if you are using the wrong weapon.

      Finally there is the fun of seventh sea. My all time favourite moment of playing 7th sea was one of my players taking out a brute squad by throwing peanuts at them. I can see that happening in a (light-hearted) movie, so I love that the system allows that to happen.

      These are not the issues you are looking for. Or if they are, may I suggest a more simulationist system?

      1. It depends too much on the referee criteria. And I’m not asking for a simulationist system, I had my share of fun playing 7th sea first edition.

        Which was far from a simulationist game, but still had weapons and stuff …

        1. It’s funny, if you ask Ron Edwards—the guy who came up with the “Gamist, Narrativist, Simulationist” model—he’d tell you 7th Sea was the perfect example of a Simulationist game.

          Another reason I never use the GNS model. 😉

          1. o.O How exactly? I mean, I don’t now all that much about GNS theory but… from everything I see about the games and things you write John Narrative is the primary focus, rules come later – and even then, you advocate that they can be ignored if it adds to the fun and drama 😛

  • Well, I would like to see some simple and elegant ways to make equipment matter mechanics-wise, too.
    The Riddick scene is kind of self-deprecating, as I see it, and even Riddick repairs to the use of serious weaponry.
    The swashbuckling genre has more nuances to offer than parody, after all, and so should do a swashbuckling game.

  • I’ve got a question.

    After reading the part of the duel, I remembered that with the first edition rules, whenever a first blood duel happened, sometimes both characters parried, evaded, whatever, and after a couple of attacks and dodges, nothing happened. I know this was rare but it was awesome as well. With the second edition I’m a bit confused:

    If you cannot use the same manoeuvre (Parry, I’m looking at you xd), if the A character goes first and slashes, then the beat goes to character B and uses it to parry (let’s say B has enough raises to parry entirely), after that, the beat goes to A again, who can use lunge, for instance, or anothe attack manoeuvre and B cannot parry.

    Am i wrong about this? or if they don’t have any more raises, they return to the point of spending point to gain speed?

  • Everyone is worrying too much about the rules. This is a John Wick game. It’s more about storytelling in a world with a rich background than it is about the mechanics.

  • So I backed earlier today and just finished eating the crunchy bits on the quick start rules. Its a big shake up and I think that’s a good thing. I’m looking forward to trying this out with some of my friends as soon as possible.

    2 questions:
    Are there forums or anything setup yet for discussion (or is that premature)?
    Can we please send the Deeeeeeaattthhhh Spiiiiiraaallllll (you said to be dramatic) back to concept? I look at it now and its a confusing mess. I’m reminded too much of the Hordes (Privateer Press) War Beasts and circular tracking of linear effects is just not readable. Do I have a suggested solution yet? No, but I’m going to be thinking about it.

    Other than a nit pick that can be handled with a home brew character sheet, I’m super excited to be putting 7th Sea back on my play schedule again.

  • a few quick questions
    Q1) Does Zyta get to use Advanced Maneuvers?
    Q2) Is it each advanced maneuver can only be used once per round, or only a single advanced maneuver can be used once per round.

    Q3) Having a villain’s wound points scale exponentially seems that it can get out of control fast. The wound levels between a 7,8, and 9 d villain are 49, 65, and 81! Can the dueling system stay fresh for 81 wounds?

    1. I’m thinking the same thing here with regards to your 3rd question. I did the math with a friend in conversation, and at BEST, Ennio can sit on 16 dice (5 blessing dice, 6 Panache, 3 Sword, 1 Dramatic Wound, 1 for Flair), not including any from Hero Points. This means that, after spending a Hero Point on Uncanny and somehow not worrying about Zyta’s raises, he can dish out 15 Wounds but becomes Helpless afterward.

      Considering heroes don’t get extra dice after wounding Villains (but Villains gain extra dice after wounding heroes), this could make for a fight that can drag on for a while (a problem we had in the 1st edition).

      Also, as the exact wording is “An Advanced Maneuver may only be performed once per Round” while the wording for a Basic Maneuver is “A Basic Maneuver may be performed as many times in a Round as the character wishes, but never twice in a row”, I would presume that you can use each one once per round.

      1. Ennio has only a Panache of 5 (at least I see only 5 pips on the character sheet). Also can you use Flair? I thought so at first, but it seems that flair is used to describe what you are doing, but in a Duel you don’t describe what you are doing until you get down to the maneuvers portion of the processes which is after you generate your dice pool.

        So it drops down to 13 dice before he is wounded and 14 dice afterwards. When he is wounded again the villain gets 10 dice which is tough to beat. I ran a few rounds of combat and it seems that it was pretty consistent that the duelists got 1/2 their dice pools, except for Player characters whose 1’s can be bought by the GM, which makes their 9’s worth a lot less than the NPC’s 9s.

        1. You’re right on the Panache; My mind was viewing it like the 1st Edition sheets (5 dots together, sixth dot separate).

          As for Flair, I think you’d technically get the bonus on your first roll, and from there it’s a matter of description. The only issue is, each roll is an entire round of combat, so you can’t really narrate every step without knowing your opponent’s tactics. Now, if there was a bonus to narrating each Beat to grant Flair or Hero points on the next round, I’d think duels would become MUCH more interesting.

          And my thoughts on the subject are similar to yours. About 1/2 (give or take) tend to be usable as Raises, and PC 9s aren’t as useful as NPC 9s, but this gives PCs a major edge with regards to Hero Points to raise their dice pool. PCs also have a (minor) edge of turning 9s into 10s when they take their third wound, so if you can turn that boost into a way of dealing more damage or gaining Hero Points, it becomes a bit more bearable.

          Granted, in this scenario, heroes don’t get many opportunities to roll dice, so they aren’t getting too many hero points. With the full five players, if everyone uses a Hero Point each round to give Ennio a boost, Ennio will be rolling 11 dice before wounds, Blessings, and his own Hero Points (of which he can spend as many as he wants). So…creative mechanic crunching makes it look like the battle is in his favor, but I don’t believe it truly is in the end. If anything, I think this “crunch” makes the playing field a little more even.

          The fight still takes a while, though, even without giving Ennio dice for Flair. Granted, not nearly as long as the fights in the classic 7th Sea, but still longer than expected with the other elements of the game.

  • 1) Can a hero receive hero points from two or more other players (but no more than one per player per risk)? Or can a hero receive at most one hero point per risk, regardless of how many other players there are that each want to give her an additional hero point?

    2) Can Fate Witches maintain multiple blessings, or just one at a time?

    3) Can Fate Witches maintaing multiple curses, or just one at a time?

    4) In the flavour text there is an implied cost to Fate Witches for using Blessings or Curses. What is the cost?

    5) In the flavour text Fate Witches will bless babies, and will also (on the Fate Witch’s deathbed) bless relatives. But if blessings only last for one scene, what is the point of that? Is there some other long-term use of blessings in the main rules (perhaps this is where the cost comes in)?

    6) In the quick start adventure, how does one know when a duel is over? Is it when either hero or villain is rendered helpless?

    7) How are ties in contests resolved (hero and villain both have 1 raise (say) and both want to get to the door first). I assume that it is first come first served? But then how does one determine who gets to play their raise first if there is a tie between raises?

    1. I am not anyone of importance here, but I can help with this.

      1) This does sound vague, but I think it is one Hero Point from another player per risk. I could be wrong, of course.

      2-3) My guess it only one at a time, since they cannot maintain multiple blessings or curses at the same time.

      4-5) This part is actually pretty fun. The flavour text for Sorte is pulled DIRECTLY from the original description of it in the first edition. In that edition, Blessing and Cursed dice could have stuck around for a while (until you rolled a 1 or a 10), and there were ways for Master-rank Strega (or at least NPC level) to bestow more. . .”permanent” blessings and curses, but this came at a high costs.

      Costs for Sorte were normally wounds as Fate itself would lash back due to the tampering with the strands. As it has been said that Sorte isn’t complete, they could be saving that little detail as to the cost (and I’m curious how it will be handled/will it actually appear). I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

      6) Normally, a duel ends when both parties agree that it is. In the Quick Start, it ends when one side has taken their final Dramatic wound and is rendered Helpless. If you read the descriptions associated with each ending, you will see that the character that lost is almost defined by the Helpless status.

      7) I was under the assumption that it is handled the same way duels are handled. To determine who goes first, see the number of Raises available. If there is a tie to the number of Raises, go by who has the larger dice pool.
      We don’t have anything written for what to do beyond the dice pool scenario. Some of my old crew and I have been discussing it, and we’ve been testing it with “Who rolled the highest total” as the next step. If there’s somehow a tie there, we have discussed rolling a single die for each side (not added to the dice pool) and whomever rolls highest goes first. Hero/Danger points could also be an option if need be.

  • At the beggining, sorry for my english.

    Hmmm… I reading quick start rules 2nd ed with my friends, we try it, and…
    I love 7th Sea. 1st edition was great. I have all oryginal books. Only sade thing was that system was closed withouth reveal many secrets Thean’s world. But I am not a fanatic everything wiyh “7th Sea” in tittle 😉 RPG is not only beautyfull words and world, but clear and simple mechanics. This is a game, and any game need rules. Mechanics Risk and Rises is “blur” and “no – friendly”. And even in some way childish. I dont see here any fun from game in this new mechanics. I glad that will be new books, but for sure stay with my friends at old mechanics. We play in this system many years, and we dont thing, that 7th Sea mechanics need this changes.

    I am mature person, and I know many rpg systems. Learn mechanics is not problem for me, or my friends. Sad thing for me is, that new edition any systems are more childish and “artifical”. And I sad that 7th sea go in this way too. It was great game, with mechanics with many posibilites. Now it is… I dont kow what, but for sure not heroic system. Too much simplicity not means that mechanics is good. Its only means that is useless. 1st ed mechanics was very simple and giving wide posibilites. 2nd is “artifical” and useless, and making unnecessary complications through it seemingly “simplicity”. This mechanics dont give player any fun from use it. In my opinion. And my friends too.

  • I have two questions, one of which has already been asked before but I could not find an answer.
    Do wounds overflow into the next tier, when for example you have only one wound left until you have to take a dramatic wound but you receive two or more wounds?
    And why would you take a dramatic wound before you have to? Does the bonus die you receive really justify shortening the death spiral voluntarily?
    Maybe all this is clear to the veterans but I am new to the 7th Sea and would be very grateful if someone could clarify this!

    1. For the older game, sometimes it would have been nice to be able to take a Dramatic Wound instead of rolling against Flesh Wounds (old mechanic that was basically soak, and Theus help you should you roll poorly).

      This time, I think it’s more of a cost-benefit game. Sure, you are reducing your spiral, but for the first wound, that extra die can mean the difference between succeeding in a non-combat roll, an extra bit of defense against a Brute Squad, or that extra Raise to allow you to his just one more time.

      I think it’s the idea of taking a heroic risk: sure, you’ve gotten injured, but now you’re showing a sort of ferocity that you haven’t had before.

      Take The Princess Bride as an example, specifically that final battle between Inigo and the Six Fingered Man, Rugen. The knife that was thrown was a Dramatic Wound (or at least enough to See Red, which Inigo took as a Dramatic Wound). Rugen is probably arrogant, and burned a number of Raises to attack Inigo (or Inigo rolled poorly), and dealt a Dramatic Wound with each of those two stabs to Inigo’s arms (again, possibly enough to See Red and willingly take the wounds).

      Next round (or two), Rugen is demolished thanks to Inigo’s 9s counting as 10s and more than likely a number of Hero Points to make his vengeance that much sweeter.

      My friends and I used to do stuff like this with the first edition: we’d watch a film, stat the characters and debate as to how they “should” be statted. We’d do the same with scenes as well, which is a surprisingly fun exercise.

  • Will brute squads ever have more than just a Strength skill? like what would set apart a brute squad of 5 longshoremen from a brute squad of 5 of the kings’s guard in terms of their threat? Or is the difference between these two groups negligible in the face of just how much more awesome a PC is in the face of any individual member of a brute squad?

    1. Not sure what’s going to happen here with Brutes (as a player/GM, I’m REALLY curious), but my guess in differences would be based on the number of Danger Points used for them. I won’t be surprised if we see some guidelines on additional bonuses.

      In the 1st Edition, Brutes were rolling their number (starting at 6 Brutes) and keeping their Threat rating (1-4). A random mob would be Threat 1, while the Lightning Guard that protect l’empereur was a Threat 4.
      They were also expanded on, I believe in the GM screen’s adventure/GM Kit. Brute Squads were giving bonuses based on their nation, so Avalon’s Brutes got a free re-roll while Ussura’s Brutes came in sets of 8 instead of 6.

      Not sure if we’ll see anything like this, but it wouldn’t be a hard thing to houserule if you were really adamant about it.

  • I can see some Heroes over-using their Hubris to collect Hero Points. Is there a cap on how often Hero Points can be collected in this manner?

    Also how is a Virtue activated? I’d guess through the expenditure of a Hero Point, as a corollary to using Hubris to collect a Hero Point.

    1. First part: I’m guessing they are implying the original rules, so maybe once a scene. Besides, once you act on a hubris, your damage is normally done.

      Second part: yes, you spend a Hero Point to activate it and announce you are doing so.

  • Hello, we (our group) can’t seem to agree on how an action scene actually is intended to work. We may be over thinking it…

    So we declare our intent. (Escape the courtyard).
    Player 1- “I want to run and get our of sight”
    Player 2- “I will carve a path through the guards so the prince and lady can follow”
    GM- “player 1 roll athletics and hide, and player 2 roll brawn and sword” “risk is two wounds”.
    Players roll their dice and count their raises.

    Is all that correct so far? If so…

    Player 1 runs into the courtyard, spends
    A raise to reach a low wall. We don’t apply wounds yet since there are still beats to spend? If so…
    Player 2 spends a raise to create a channel for the prince and soon to be princess.
    They run through the channel on their beats.

    Now the brute squads attack? Or after all raises? Everyone had acted, but not all the raises are spent.

    This brings up follow up question like: If player 1 already made it, can they spend more raises to throw rocks and take our Brutes, or cut the lines on the draw bridge from the shadows, etc etc..?
    If so the dice pool was generated by the intent (run and hide). So how can those dice narratively be used to accomplish other tasks? Or can they even?

    The system is free and exciting, but I’m having a real hard time grasping the design (hence why we requested a video).
    If the rules are so loose that the initial intent pool isn’t binding, what is preventing players from using their two highest numbers at every round start? And why have specific skills if raises can be spent for anything during the beats?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Here is my take on the question.
      An action scene with a brute squad has its own system of resolving. In effect all actions act to reduce the effect of the brute squad.

      using your example.
      So we declare our intent. (Escape the courtyard).
      Player 1- “I want to run and get our of sight”
      Player 2- “I will carve a path through the guards so the prince and lady can follow”
      GM- “player 1 roll brawn and hide, and player 2 roll brawn and sword” “risk is two wounds”.
      Players roll their dice and count their raises.

      Lets say the Brute squad strength is 4

      Player 1 Rolls 3 raises
      Player 2 Rolls 2 raises

      Player 1: “I devote 2 raises to hiding, and 1 towards the consequences”
      Player 2: “I devote my 2 raises to consequences”

      GM: “OK player 1, you flee, as you leap over a hedge you land badly on your ankle, but you manage to break up the group of guards”. The player takes 1 wound, and the Brute squad is reduced to 2.
      GM: “Player 2, you wade into the group, though some run after player 1, the two remaining can’t seem to lay a mark on you, however you also can’t seem to land a mark on them either”. Player 2 takes no wounds, but also does not reduce the strength of the squad.

      GM: The brute squad fights back, tell me how you avoid damage
      Player 1: Still running I leap from one balcony to the next.
      Player 2: I keep my steel flashing, deflecting their attacks.
      GM- “player 1 roll brawn and athletics, and player 2 roll brawn and sword” “risk is two wounds”.
      Players roll their dice and count their raises.

      Player 1 Rolls 3 raises
      Player 2 Rolls 2 raises
      GM:Rolls 2 dice getting 1 raise.

      Player 1: “I devote 3 raises to making the leap”
      Player 2: “I devote 2 raises to defending”
      GM: “Player 1, leaps to safety, while above you, you can hear Player 2 toying with his guards”
      The players take no damage. The beat is over and it starts again with the brute squad at strength 2.

      That is how I read it, anyone see a problem with it?

      1. Funny thing is, there are a ton of methods to approach this with how this system works. While you’re method isn’t entirely wrong, Vayda (and is just a simple Risk Resolution), it is a short approach to a scene that deserves much more attention than what it was given.

        Marc brings up and interesting approach that makes it feel like a combat with Brutes without focusing solely on combat skills, which is rather refreshing and interesting. This scene can be handled as such, and I think it is a fun and dramatic approach to it.

        An alternative method is to split the party in an interesting way. For example:

        Player 1 wants to get out of sight and not pick a fight, while Player 2 has the goal to engage the opponents with the goal of making a path. (If these are the only players at the table and the rest are NPCs, great; if not, the other players should think of creative actions in and out of combat).

        The Brutes have the intent of “Ensure no one escapes, by force if necessary.” Relatively vague, but spot on.

        In this case, Player 1 should be rolling Hide (Finesse or Brawn depending on the obstacles you wish to throw or how it is described; Finesse for quickly ducking behind statues, Brawn for climbing and vaulting), with the Consequences being Two Wounds (due to being seen and/or from a bad move). This should be a Contested Risk against a Brute Squad, as they are on the lookout for the party and ensuring they do not escape.

        Player 2 would engage in combat with Brutes as per the usual combat rules when dealing with Brutes.

        While this seems a little unfair that Player 1 is getting out of Combat, this can lead to a number of other narrative options; perhaps Player 1, after seeing a mountain of Raises and the Brutes rolling poorly, decides that they want to sneak away and use a raise to knock a statue over onto the unsuspecting Brute Squad (a non-attack that becomes an attack to deal a wound; we see this type of slight intent shift in contested rolls).

        As you can see, you can settle it by a standard combat, or you can settle it by contested rolls. We seem to have a LOT more freedom with this mechanic, and I’m digging it.

        1. I’m digging it too, but in house haven’t quite all agreed on how any of this is supposed to work.

          In the counter example he showed all raises being spent per player at once, rather than one raise per beat going around the table (similar to 1st edition initiative).

          I also think we are getting into weird territory where simple risks and combat are becoming mixed in the action scene forming a complicated asymmetric turn structure.

          Any more thoughts / advice on how this should or could work is welcome.

          1. Couple of points I would like to touch on.
            1) All raises happening at once instead of one per beat.
            Action Scenes section on page 7, step 3 mentions that Whenever a player spends a Raise, it’s a Beat.
            Brute Squads section on page 9, 3rd paragraph “Playing an action scene with Brute Squads works differently than an Action Scene with Villains.”
            Step 4 on page 9 final paragraph “Once all Heroes and Brute Squads have acted the Beat is over”

            Those were the reasons I interpreted the raises all happening at once, instead of incrementally as a standard action scene.

            2) Using running away as a way to reduce the strength of a Brute Squad.
            Step 1, page 9 “Heroes announce their Intentions in response to meeting the Brute Squad: run away, hide, attack, generally any other thing they want to do.”

            I used that to inform me that Brute Squads are reduced by any such action. So I decided to use it as an example to see if I could justify it narratively. It mostly worked. By reducing the strength of the brute squad by 2, implies that it lost 2 members. But if the runner lost the 2 members, why are both PCs effected equally by the loss.

            It works well enough for a quickstart rules. But I hope the final game gets a few more options.

          2. Well, Raises being spent is both odd and interesting. It’s one part the old Panache/Initiative roll in that you use one to take an action, but you can technically spend as many raises as you wish on the action. It’s also noted in the comments that raises are spent a bit like an auction. For example:

            Player 1 wants to hide, and spends one raise to do so. The Brutes want to spot him, and they spend two raises to go for him. On Player 1’s next turn, he can say that he’s spending three MORE raises (meaning 4 raises) to throw a stone in the opposite direction and hide deeper into the shadows.

            The Brutes can’t beat that (they have one raise left), and will need to come up with another use for that Raise.

            So really, you can spend as many raises you like per Beat, and in non-combat, you can spend them in waves.

            As for the weird territory, I guess I don’t find it as odd. We see so many games that try to have alternative structures for non-combat rolls during combat, so why wouldn’t it make sense for this game?

          3. Looks like you are treating Brute Squads like villains. Brutes can only try to harm the PCs. Page 9, step 3.
            From the looks of it, Brute Squad rules are simple.

            Heroes Roll a Risk to attack
            Brutes have their strength reduced.
            Heroes Roll to reduce Brute Attack
            Heroes take wounds = to Strength of brutes – Raises they raises they put to their intent

            The above example seems to be treating it like a group of standard villains, not the brute squad rules. I am not saying you can’t do a scene like that, just don’t call it a brute squad. Just a group of nameless villains.

  • I’m looking forward to running the QuickStart next week, but I need help understanding how to run action scenes and spend raises. The second sentence of ‘Action Scenes, Step 3’ on pg 7 is particularly troublesome: “Each player spends a Raise, one at a time, taking turns around the table.” Does ‘one at a time’ mean one player at a time, or you only spend one raise at a time? The examples–both in the doc and here–show multiple raises being spent at once, so I don’t think it’s the latter. But the former–‘one [player] at a time’ should go without saying. If I can spend multiple raises at once, can they be spent against multiple things (the risk and one or more consequences)? If I had to guess, the intent of the rule is that, on my beat, I can spend one or more raises against the risk or any one consequence.
    Also, does ‘around the table’ literally mean in clockwise order after the player who rolled the most raises? Or is the intent that each player gets a turn to spend raise[s] before anyone gets a second turn? I hope that latter.
    What about if I want to spend a raise to cancel a wound suffered by a fellow hero? Do I do that out of turn, or does the hero take the wound on his beat and then erase it on mine? If I couldn’t prevent the wound out of turn, I may not be able to save a hero from taking a dramatic wound (or he would have it temporarily until I removed it on my beat, which would be weird).
    Finally, can I spend raises to overcome consequences without first overcoming the risk? I infer that I can, but it’s not clear. If I know I want a hero point, I’ll declare failure before rolling and spend raises on consequences. But if I decide to roll and see my opponent has clearly out scored me, I’d like the option of foregoing the risk and just spend raises on consequences. Again, I think that’s allowed, but it’s not explicit.

  • Hey everybody!

    We’ll have an updated system doc very shortly that will answer all of these questions. Should be up by Friday.

    1. Looking forward to this! I might be working with a pick-up-group at my FLGS this weekend (got the manager’s blessing), so rules updates would be brilliant!

      Thanks for all of the hard work, John! My old (and new) crew and I are looking forward to see what you’ll be cooking up for our beloved Theah!

  • Hi, I submitted a rather large post two nights ago with several questions, but it’s still awaiting moderation. Many posts by others have gone live since then. Will mine post soon? Or at the very least, have you seen my post and will my questions be addressed in the new doc? Thanks!

    1. Well, that was quick, thanks! I would appreciate any insight into my the questions on my first post. Looking forward to playing this!

  • Beat is puzzling.

    “Every time someone spends a Raise, it’s a Beat.”
    “Each player spends a Raise, one at a time, taking turns around the table.”
    “A Villain may kill a Helpless character. … His action resolves at the end of the Beat, after all others.”
    “Stopping a murder is the Hero’s only action for the Beat and cancels all other Intentions he may have announced before.”
    “Once all Heroes and all Brute Squads have gone, the Beat is over. If any Brute Squads remain, the next Beat begins.”

    I think what this actually means is that one pass around the table, spending Raises, is a Beat. Players go one at a time to cut down on the chaos of all players acting at once, though from the perspective of the game world, they are acting at once. When all Beats have been exhausted, the Round ends.

  • I’m also puzzled by murder.

    “A Villain may kill a Helpless character. … His action resolves at the end of the Beat, after all others.”
    “Stopping a murder is the Hero’s only action for the Beat and cancels all other Intentions he may have announced before.”

    If my above understanding of Beat is correct, I wonder if the Villain’s attempt of murder is meant to resolve at the end of the first Beat.

  • Don´t you think that Ennio´s “Left-handed” Advantage it´s over-powered? Because yes, in fencing being left-handed gives you a little advantage against your right-handed oponents. But you are not a better thief, writer, gambler, etc… for being left-handed. It seems a kind of superpower, it´s a little ridiculous…

  • Thursday evening, I ran Episode 1 of the Quick Start. Here’s the group’s feedback.

    Overall, players liked the die mechanics. Four of us had played the original game, and liked this better than Roll and Keep. Everyone liked the setting, and the shared narrative. Still…

    1) Too easy. Only once did a player fail to roll enough Raises to achieve both Risk and Consequences.

    2) People did not like the term Risk. Consider dropping it and just using Intent, which the player is already declaring (and which Risk, otherwise, just seemed to be restating).

    3) Clarity on whether Hero Points must be used before the roll, or whether they can be used afterwards to strengthen a poor roll.

    4) A space on the sheet to track Hero Points.

    5) How often a Hero can activate their Hubris and Virtue. Once per Scene? As often as they like?

    6) Granularity of Raises? A single action? (I run across the room.) Multiple actions? (I run across the room, and close the door behind me.)

    7) Using Sorte. Domenica’s player did not like the idea of having to kiss the target, and observed that in many cases, you won’t know the name of the bad guy. Further, she was puzzled by this: “A witch can use her Raises to add more Blessing Dice.” Can? Why wouldn’t she? What else can they be used for?

    8) Roberto Gallo’s virtue should add two Raises, rather than one. Otherwise, it’s less useful than just giving someone a Hero Point for +3d10.

    9) How does Domenica’s Virtue actually work? What mechanical value does it add when used?

  • Finally had a chance to run this. Some feedback from the GM’s side:

    1. Advise GMs to Always buy 1s. As a GM you are tempted to think “I should only buys 1s if they get more than one in heir roll” – gaming the system. This restricts heroes access to hero isn’t which are fun and mak then feel they have choices and can influence the world more.

    2. Add in more consequences. I normally gave between 3-5 consequences to make them have to make choices about good things vs bad things. That felt about right. Some examples of non-damage consequences I used: catching fire, losing something you value (Aleksy’s beard!), rumours starting about poor reputation, dramatic wounds (really ups he ante for seriously dangerous risks), damage/danger to others, losing trading agreements from the Vespucci family,

    3. Make the duel to the first dramatic wound – “first blood”. Make it clear that the opponent outclasses the player and they will need support from the rest of the heroes to pump up their dice pool, but not by spending hero points, but by taking a risk instead.

    Other than that we loved the system. It ran slickly, it feels like they were competent heroes able to impact the world. Our quieter player liked the easy options of removing consequences, and our more expansive players embraced failure.

    We cannot wait to run a full campaign of this.

  • From my experience running the other day, I’d say this advice is spot on. 2) is particularly important – more and varied Consequences than just the wounds really help keep things interesting. (My favourite moment of inspiration, well received by the players, was when they were trying to find out info about someone. For their Intent, they would learn one true thing. But for Consequences I said they would learn two false things. With of course me not telling them which were which. 😉 )

    We only played one round of the duel, as they managed to really stitch Zyta up. (Aleksy hit her with his Virtue, so she couldn’t spend Danger Points, Domenica got three Blessing Dice for Ennio, Roberto had plenty of HP to burn) I really liked how the duel mechanics played out, but once the dust had settled on the first round Ennio had done Zyta four wounds out of her 64, and would likely to continue doing so for the next 16 rounds it would require… So we called it there. I think they could work well, but the NPCs (and to a lesser extent players) just need a less astronomical number of wounds available.

  • Hey everybody!

    Quickstart 2.0 is up, answering a lot of these questions (and more). I’m closing comments on this thread. Go check out the new Quickstart!

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