So this is the third book that was delivered as part of the 7th Sea kickstarter that I backed last year. It covers various island territories. I still haven’t read the first edition version of this book, so I don’t have a point of reference to compare it to, but this one does continue the pattern of high quality of books for this system.
We start of with one of the two pieces of fiction and a brief introduction from John Wick about how pirates can be the good guys especially with an evil company to fight.
Ports of Call
This is the first chapter of the book, and it covers the new regions that are discussed in this book as well as the villainous organization that is causing trouble for several of the locations in one region.
This is the first of the locations. It is fairly clearly modeled after the Greek city states. The region has had a tumultuous history having been invaded by multiple countries and only recently having won their independence. Now they must figure a way to maintain their independence.
This island was the prison that all of the other nations of Theah sent their political or most dangerous prisoners to. Now those who were inmates have taken over the island and are trying to form some sort of independent nation. Unfortunately the various factions inside what passes for a government might tear them apart.
The Atabean Sea
Also know as the Sea of Monsters. This is the largest region and arguably where all of the remaining locations are. This sea is between the continent of Theah and Aztlan and is where most of the story hooks are located in this book. In this region we have the Rahuri people. They are a seafaring group who hunt the sea monsters in the region with the aid of their ancestor’s spirits that they can communicate with and receive aid from. Unfortunately the Nations of Theah are encroaching on the islands and the Atabean Trading Company has been enslaving them.
This is an island in the Atabean Sea that is home to the Republic of Pirates. A number of years ago the various pirate and privateers joined forces to defend themselves from the nations of Theah and the Atabean Trading Company and in doing so setup their own country. It is in this section that we get some information on the pirate captain Reis who was one of the founding members and we also get some information on the Devil Jonah Theah’s sea faring boogeyman.
This is one of the largest islands in the Atabean Sea and one of the first settled by the Rahuri people. It is also Theah’s equivalent to the Caribbean. We have tobacco, sugar can, molasses, and rum being produced here by slaves mostly from Ifrit and the Atabean Sea. Or at least until the slaves successfully rebelled and took over the island from the Atabean Trading Company. Unfortunately if something isn’t done, it looks like history will be doomed to repeat itself.
The Atabean Trading Company
This is the villainous organization for this book. They are a ruthless trading that engages in slavery and exploitation of their near monopolistic control of trade. There are a lot of solid hooks to use in this section to drive a campaign in the Atabean Sea, and despite its less than pleasant subject matter, it is one of the ones that I liked the most.
A Pirate’s Life
This chapter starts off with the rules for building characters. We get some new backgrounds for the locations in the previous chapter, and I am not sure why they reprinted the skill descriptions from the main book, but at least there are not that many so they only take up one page. After that we get some new and possibly old advantages and some new Arcana for use as a Virtue or Hubris.
After that we get some examples for stories (character advancement) and some new base story ideas. We then finish off with two new secret societies, one a mob analog and the other a group of aggressive abolitionists.
In this section we get some new types of sorcery. The first is Charter Magic which is kind of like Pattern Magic in Earthdawn. The crew of a ship writes out a charter for the crew’s behavior and sign it in a ritual and it gives the crew good luck as long as they don’t violate the charter. If someone violates the charter, they suffer some type of curse.
Following that we get Kap Sevi which is my favorite of the sorceries. With it you gain the ability to channel a spiritual entity and use it to channel various powers. It has a nice selection of spiritual entities that you can choose from and the number of entities is supposed to be expanded as needed.
Next we get Mystirios which is a set of powers based on mystery cults that worship the various gods of Numa. There are some interesting things here, but I didn’t find them nearly as interesting as the ones from Kap Sevi.
Finally we get Mohwoo which is a tattoo based magic. This can be taken by any nationality, you just need to get the tattoos from someone who knows how to do them. Unfortunately if you knew some other type of sorcery, you loose your ability to do that. Again this has some interesting concepts, but I found the two previous ones to be more interesting overall.
Swords, Ships, & Secrets
In this section we get some new Duelist schools including Bugu Takobi from Ifrit, Jogo de Dentro (a slave created fighting style inspired by capoeira and Lakedaimon Agoge from the fighting schools on Numa. This last one allows you to choose one weapon either a spear, sword, or bow as your trained weapon.
Following that we get some new rules on ships including advantages for some ship origins, new ship backgrounds and the idea of adventures which are events that give you bonuses after you do some task the first time with your ship.
After that we get some more information on the two new secret societies and some example charters for various pirate groups. We finish this section with some pirate phrases and pronunciation examples.
Go figure, this section is exactly as advertised, a collection of monsters from the Atabean Sea. Some of them are just large creatures like the Giant Crustaceans and Clams. Others are things like the corrupted spirits of the Rahuri people. We finish off this section with some new monstrous qualities for use while creating our own monsters.
Navigating a Nautical Campaign
This section covers some ideas on how to make a seafaring campaign interesting especially with the ship crews and travel times. We also get some examples of how to spice up the old stand by adventure hooks with some different twists based on the background in this book.
And that is all for this book. I am looking forward to seeing the full artwork when the final release comes out. This was the pre-release for error checking and didn’t have all of the maps are art, but those it does have been really good. My biggest problem with this book was the difficulty I had trying to place all of the locations in relation to each other which means that I am really looking forward to getting all of the maps that were part of the pirates booty level that I backed at.