Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Savaging the 7th Sea

Robin and I just pulled the curtain on a particularly trippy duet campaign of 1970s occult phenomena like exorcism, paganism, reincarnation, and Satanism. It was meant to be a two-week mini-campaign concentrating more on early heavy metal and occult rock like Coven, but it metamorphosed into a way-out Age of Aquarius thing where the central characters turned into god-like sorcerers ushering in a new and better future by reuniting the Beatles and things like that. It was fun for a while, but like most of my cosmic, free-form campaigns, it eventually just lost steam.

(And since we'd done flash-forwards, we knew the heroes were successful anyways.)

Even before John Wick launched his amazingly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring back 7th Sea, I'd already begun yearning to run something a bit more down to earth and a lot more swashbuckling. Since I want to swash some bucklers right now and don't want to use Quick Start draft rules (7th Sea 2nd ed.) or learn a new yet already defunct system (classic 7th Sea), I decided I might as well just steal some place and NPC names and run it in Savage Worlds.

I cannot express to you how delightful it was to return to Savage Worlds last night. Hooray for Wild Dice! Hooray for Action Cards! Hooray for on-the-fly NPC creation!

We decided to do something pretty unusual this time. Instead of plodding through character creation, I just wrote down some reasonable-looking stats for Robin's hero and let her make what adjustments she saw fit. The stats are high -- the character would definitely be above Legendary if we actually took the time to build her up from Novice -- but the stats are still low enough that she room to improve as she gains Advances. Here's what I came up with:

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8.

Skills: Boating d6, Climbing d6, Driving d4, Fighting d10, Gambling d6, Healing d4, Intimidation d6, Investigation d4 or d8, Lockpicking d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d8, Riding d6, Shooting d8, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Survival d4, Swimming d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d8, Tracking d6.

Charisma: +2 or +4; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 6

Hindrances: Code of Honor, Quirk [drinks or flirtatious], Vow [serve whatever government she serves]

Edges: Attractive or Very Attractive (I left it open for Robin to choose), Quick, Combat Reflexes, Elan, Improved Frenzy, Improved Level Headed, Steady Hands, Acrobat, Investigator (?), Danger Sense, Liquid Courage (?), Mighty Blow.

Compared to some of the NPCs in Pirates of the Spanish Main or the official Pinnacle versions of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, she's downright tame.

I also made up some generic swashbuckler stat blocks for the enemies and lovers in her life, building distinctive fighting styles just using the core rules. 

Brawny Swashbuckler

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d10

Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Gambling d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Swimming d8, Taunt d4, Throwing d6

Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 8

Edges: Attractive, Brawler, Brawny, Bruiser, Combat Reflexes, Improved Sweep


Clever Swashbuckler

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8

Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d8, Gambling d8, Intimidation d6, Investigation d8, Lockpicking d6, Notice d10, Persuasion d8, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d8, Streetwise d8, Swimming d6, Taunt d10

Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 6

Edges: Attractive or Charismatic, Combat Reflexes, Improved Block, Improved Counterattack, Investigator, Strong Willed


Larcenous Swashbuckler

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d8

Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d8, Gambling d8, Intimidation d6, Investigation d6, Lockpicking d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d10, Streetwise d10, Swimming d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d6

Charisma: +2; Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 6

Edges: Acrobat, Ambidextrous, Assassin, Charismatic, Fleet Footed, Improved Extraction, Thief, Two-Fisted


Ultimate Duelist

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d8, Vigor d8

Skills: Climbing d6, Fighting d12, Gambling d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Riding d6, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d8, Swimming d6, Taunt d8, Throwing d6

Charisma: +2; Pace: 6; Parry: 8; Toughness: 6

Edges: Charismatic, Improved First Strike, Improved Frenzy, Improved Level Headed, Improved Trademark Weapon, No Mercy, Quick Draw

I'm not worrying about Hindrances for the NPCs yet; I'll probably reuse the same stats for different characters, and the Hindrances will set them apart. I also didn't calculate in the +1 Parry for rapiers; I think I might rule that the longer, more slashing rapiers of the 17th century function as long swords instead.

If I bother to bring in magic, I'll treat it like Super Powers instead; that seems to fit the Sorcery of 7th Sea a bit better. Otherwise, I'm just happy to be back to Savage Worlds after dallying with D&D 5e; I still like 5e, but SW is so much easier. 

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