Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fate Core Hack - 7th Sea


Many years ago, my first published work was for Alderac's 7th Sea shortly after it became Swashbuckling Adventures. 7th Sea holds a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons. It was my first published work. It was the game I ran for almost everyone in college. It gave me a life long love of swashbuckling movies long before Johnny Depp brought them back into vogue.

I've eyed a Fate hack for 7th Sea for a while. I originally set out to do one with Spirit of the Century to allow PCs that were on the same level as the influential characters in the setting. I wanted to be able to have PCs that could match wits with Cardinal Verdugo and trade blows with Captain Reis. I wanted the sorceries to reflect the fiction. I want this rich setting to live on.

This hack also works for The Three Musketeers, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Princess Bride.
All hands on deck! The hack begins after the jump!

Heroes of Theah

Here are the guidelines for making characters in Theah. The basics are the same: five aspects, Great skill pyramid and three free stunts. The specifics have changed.

Aspects

Heroes possess five aspects, though they work a little different than the ones in Fate Core.

Heritage: Where you were born has a profound effect on what you are. This Aspect should combine your country of origin with a short description of who your character is. There are differences between a Castillian Swordsman and a Montaigne Musketeer. Either would be willing to fight a duel should you question such an idea.

Arcana: Heroes and villains are marked by the strands of fate. The Fate Witches of Vodacce can identify the Major Arcana you are most associated with that works to achieve your destiny and seal your fate. Are you A Fool, acting rashly but with a pure heart? Do the ambitions of The Magician give you the will to stand tall?

Background: Heroes have interesting histories beyond where they came from and their destiny. Perhaps you suffer from Amnesia, unaware of your heritage as a heir to a crown. You might have a secret identity that fights under The Mask of El Vago. Or you took a Vow To Find Your Father's Killer and slay him with your own hands?

Advantage: Are you a captain that sails with the Brotherhood of the Coast? Do you belong to a secret society like The Knights of The Rose and Cross? Or is it something simpler, like I Fights Better Drunk?

Reputation: Men and women live or die by their reputations. It proceeds you wherever you go. Are you a Dangerous Beauty that flirts with anyone? Do you shout No Barter! No Quarter! as you and your men go over the side to take a prize? Or do you Make Your Own Luck when fortune fails you?

Skills

The skill pyramid tops out at Great. Rather than Core skills, 7th Sea skills are inspired by the Civil and Martial Knacks in the original game. Some knacks have been combined and others have 'switched teams' for a better fit.

Stress is also divided along these lines. Civil Stress represents mental and social stress. Martial Stress involves combat and the rigors of physical activity.

Every hero begins with two stress boxes in Civil and Martial. Look at your highest skill. Whichever skill type it is, gain a stress box of that type. Now count how many of each skill type in your pyramid. Whichever is more numerous gains a stress box of that type. If there's a tie, grant a second stress box of the type related to your highest skill.

7th Sea Civil Skills

  • Artist
  • Commander
  • Courtier
  • Criminal
  • Hunter
  • Merchant
  • Sailor
  • Scholar
  • Spy

7th Sea Martial Skills

  • Archery
  • Athlete
  • Brawling
  • Dirty Fighting
  • Fencing
  • Firearms
  • Light Weapon
  • Heavy Weapon
  • Horsemanship

Stunts

When creating stunts for these skills, look to the advanced knacks in the Player's Guide for inspiration.

Swordsmen Schools

Each school lists two skills as part of the curriculum. You must possess at least one of these skills at Average or higher to take the Apprentice Swordsman school stunt.

If you have the country of origin in your Heritage aspect, you may take a school that corresponds to your country. If not, you must have an aspect that explains why you have the school you've chosen.

Avalon: Donovan

  • Required Skills: Fencing, Light Weapon
  • Apprentice: 2-point bonus to Defend rolls with Light Weapon when using a smallsword and buckler.
  • Journeyman: When you succeed with style on a Defend roll with Fencing, you may choose to inflict a 2-point stress hit instead of creating an aspect.
  • Master: You may spend a Fate Point to make an immediate Fencing attack against an opponent.

Castille: Aldana

  • Required Skills: Fencing, Courtier
  • Apprentice: 1-point bonus to your Athlete rolls to determine action order for every Aldana stunt you possess.
  • Journeyman: 2-point bonus to Defend rolls against Martial Skills.
  • Master: When you Create Advantage using Fencing, gain an additional invoke on the aspect.

Eisen: Panzerfaust

  • Required Skills: Heavy Weapon, Light Weapon
  • Apprentice: On a successful Defend action using Heavy Weapon, gain a Boost.
  • Journeyman: On a successful Defend action using Light Weapon, you may spend a Fate Point to create a Broken Weapon advantage.
  • Master: You may spend a Fate Point to make an immediate Fencing attack against an opponent.

Montaigne: Valroux

  • Required Skills: Fencing, Light Weapon
  • Apprentice: 2-point bonus to Defend rolls with Light Weapon when using a main gauche.
  • Journeyman: When you succeed with style on an Attack roll with Fencing, you may choose for your opponent to lose a Fate Point instead of creating an aspect.
  • Master: Gain an additional mild consequence slot.

Vestenmannavnjar: Leegstra

  • Required Skills: Brawling, Heavy Weapon
  • Apprentice: Gain a bonus to Defend rolls with Heavy Weapon equal to the number of Martial Stress boxes you currently have filled in.
  • Journeyman: Gain a bonus to Attack rolls with Heavy Weapon equal to the number of Martial Stress boxes you currently have filled in.
  • Master: Gain an additional free invoke on any Consequences you inflict.

Vodacce: Ambrogia

  • Required Skills: Fencing, Dirty Fighting
  • Apprentice: 1-point bonus to your Fencing Attack rolls for each Ambrogia stunt you posses.
  • Journeyman: When an opponent suffers a Consequence in a fight, you may take a Consequence of equal value to negate the amount of stress the Consequence relieved.
  • Master: When you succeed with a Defend action against a Martial Skill attack, you always do so with style.

Sorcerous Blood

You must take the Sorcery skill at higher than Mediocre, which is neither a Civil nor Martial skill. You must also choose at least one Apprentice Sorcery stunt which defines your Sorcerous Blood.

If you have the country of origin in your Heritage aspect, you may take the Journeyman and Master stunts in your Sorcerous Blood stunt tree. If not, you must have an aspect that explains why your blood is so powerful.

Avalon: Glamour

  • Apprentice: Choose an aspect on your character sheet at the beginning of the session. That aspect starts with a free invoke.
  • Adept: You may spend a Fate Point to substitute Sorcery in a skill roll.
  • Master: You may spend a Fate Point to immediately create a stunt for a character based on one of the legends you know. It lasts until the end of the session, at which point the character may make it permanent by spending refresh even if you are not at a milestone.

Eisen: Dracheneisen

You may take up to three Dracheneisen stunts and are not required to take Sorcery skill. These stunts are not linked, but you may not take more than one without an Eisen heritage aspect or an aspect explaining why you illegally possess dracheneisen items.

  • Dracheneisen Weapon: Choose one Martial skill. All attacks and defense with that skill gain a 2-point bonus when using the weapon.
  • Dracheneisen Armor: Each piece of armor adds one Martial stress box to your total.

Montaigne: Porte

  • Apprentice: You may create Blooded Object advantages with a number of free invokes equal to the Porte stunts you possess.
  • Adept: You may invoke a Blooded Object advantage to bring yourself to its location.
  • Master: You may bring a number of people with you to a Blooded Object's location equal to a Sorcery Overcome roll.

Ussura: Pyeryem

  • Apprentice: You may spend a Fate point to change your form. The difficulty of your Sorcery roll is equal to the number of stunts you wish to give yourself in your new form. You must also roll to transform yourself back to human form.
  • Adept: You may spend a Fate Point to give yourself an aspect reflecting a partial transformation.
  • Master: You may use your gifts without spending Fate Points.

Vendel: Laerdom

  • Apprentice: You may spend a Fate Point to substitute Sorcery in a skill roll. You may only substitute Sorcery for a specific skill once per episode.
  • Adept: All aspects created by the sorcerer gain an additional free invoke.
  • Master: You become one of the Living Runes. Gain an Aspect of the Rune's name immediately.

Vodacce: Sorte

  • Apprentice: You may use Sorcery to make Attack rolls against Civil Stress.
  • Adept: When you compel a target's Aspect, they must pay two Fate points to refuse. 
  • Master: When a target takes a Consequence, you may spend a Fate Point to make them rewrite an Background, Advantage or Reputation aspect on their character sheet instead. An aspect rewritten by a Mild Consequence lasts until the end of the episode, an aspect rewritten by a Moderate Consequence stays that way until the next milestone, and an aspect rewritten by a Severe Consequence is permanently rewritten.