Welcome to Théah, where a cutting remark can be as sharp as the sharpest blade.7th Sea is a tabletop role-playing game and related CCG created by AEG after Legend of the Five Rings became a success. The game's central setting is Théah, an alternate version of Europe during the 17th century, bordered by the Crescent Empire, an analogue of the Ottoman Empire, and Cathay, an analogue of China. Théah is composed of several theme park versions of various major European countries and cultures. The countries vie with each other for political and economic dominance, while pirates sail the seas in search of adventure and treasure. The world is based very much upon the varied tropes common to swashbuckling and pirate stories.The RPG's first edition features a system similar to Legend of the Five Rings in mechanics, but distinct in that the PCs are almost explicitly given a mild form of Contractual Immortality. PCs can only be killed off if the GM is specifically setting up such a possibility through the plot's villain, or if the characters fall victim to the chunky salsa rule. Players are encouraged to come up with utterly outrageous plans of action and are given rewards both for implementing these ideas and for impressive role playing using the rule of cool as a guide. The RPG setting enjoys being quite over the top when encouraging ideas for characters and stories.The RPG's various splats are the country of origin a character hails from. In addition, a character can join one of a number of secret societies whose origins, goals, and knowledge are made available in additional RPG supplement books.Like Legend of the Five Rings, 7th Sea was adapted for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition under the name Swashbuckling Adventures.The CCG had the players choosing a faction which represented a pirate crew or a country's naval power, pitting two ships against one another in combat. Players would attempt to hire crew, chase down their opponent's ship, and then attack with ether cannon or boarding based attacks.Like Legend of the Five Rings, the metaplot was supposed to be steered by players' choices in the CCG tournaments and in RPG supplements distributed through the quarterly newsletter sent to game masters who had paid a registration fee to AEG.The first edition's main story arc only spans about a year and a half of time, unlike its cousin, Legend of the Five Rings, which has gone through several lifetimes' worth of game plot. The major storyline elements were quite varied, with every country and major faction of the world having a part in the story.The CCG and then the RPG were discontinued with little fanfare, though the CCG had a final expansion set published online free for download and printing while the RPG managed to get a final supplement which included a timeline for the major plot arcs which were never resolved in the metaplot.The RPG is very notable for its No Celebrities Were Harmed versions of quite a number of NPCs described in the sourcebooks. People with only a cursory knowledge of European history can name at least two or three of the major NPCs' real-life counterparts. Those who have more background in history can find many more, as well as note the places where Wolfrond von Hazel was a Syrneth Spy.In 2015, John Wick Presents, run by John Wick, part of the original development team for 7th Sea, bought the publishing rights from AEG. They announced plans for a second edition that would reboot the game, changing up the system and setting, making some changes to the established countries, and expanding the 7th Sea world, now named Terra - Aztlan (Central/South America), Wabanahkik (North America), and Ifri (sub-Saharan Africa) were added to the world map, and the Sarmatian Commonwealth (the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth) was added to the map of Théah.A Kickstarter to fund the second edition line ran in February/March 2016, which smashed through its initial $30,000 goal for the corebook and The New World sourcebook (for Aztlan) in seven minutes, went on to fund ten additional sourcebooks and a considerable amount of other stuff (novels, maps, etc.), and ultimately became the first tabletop RPG Kickstarter to reach a million dollars, with a final total of $1.31 million.A planned second 7th Sea line, 7th Sea: The East, was announced during the Kickstarter, focusing on Cathay and other Asian-analogue countries, with its own independent corebook.
The countries in 7th Sea provide examples of:
Avalon (The British Isles)
- All Your Powers Combined: Glamour magic, the Avalonian sorcerous lineage, allows the sorcerer to channel the mythical powers and abilities of various Avalonian heroes of the past. The legends a particular glamour sorcerer has access to are set at character creation and the powers available vary wildly.
- Dummied Out: One of the Destiny Spreads grants the character a 1 Point Druidic Secrets Advantage...but no such Advantage made it to the printed book.
- The Fair Folk: The sidhe consider Avalon their home, and use their reality-warping powers for their own inscrutable purposes. Avalonians usually give them a wide berth, but those who know how to deal with them can gain quite a lot of power, such as glamour magic.
- Oireland: Called Inismore, it's actually better off than Ireland was at that period of history. They even have their own recognized king, Jack O'Bannon
- A Child Shall Lead Them: King Sandoval is only in his mid-teens, never expected to become king, and is the head of a country engulfed in war with Montaigne. That's rough, buddy.
- Playing with Fire: El Fuego Adentro, the Castillian sorcerous lineage, allows control of any fire and immunity to being hurt by fire and heat of any temperature. It was wiped out by the Inquisition. There's a few families still left, though.
- Spexico: for representing Spain in a world without any Americas, there sure is a lot of Mexican/Latin American influence.
Eisen (Germany/The remnants of the Holy Roman Empire)
- Empty Shell: an entire social class of them, called 'waisen' (literally: orphans). They became like this due to shell shock and trauma from the local Thirty-Years War.
- Germanic Depressives: Justified in that their once proud empire is now a fractured set of principalities, some of which barely can grow enough food to feed the people living there.
- Gratuitous German: Gratuitous and wrong as usual. The Eisen inventor of the guillotine called it "die Toetenklinge", which translates to "the to kill blade".
- Hired Guns: After 30 years of war, the Eisen armies have decided to lend themselves out to whoever pays the most.
- Dracheneisen, a very rare and highly coveted material only found in Eisen. Finding a mine of the stuff used to automatically grant the lucky finder a sizeable portion of land as a new principality.
- It's heavily suggested in some of the GM's sections that dracheneisen is actually a form of pottery that's hardened and shined up through secret alchemical practices, and that the "mines" are actually clay beds. Whether this makes any logical sense, as the stuff is nigh-indestructible, is left up to the player to decide.
- Considering its main points are way stronger then metal, way lighter then metal, and the abovementioned technology, it's pretty clearly a medieval CARBON FIBRE!
- Further hints are dropped that the "clay" is in fact ancient dragon poop.
- Things That Go "Bump" in the Night: A lot of nasty things once relegated to legends and fairy tales have started to crawl back in due to the devastation and social breakdown of the War of the Cross (i.e. there aren't many people left to stop them).
- Ultimate Blacksmith: The Nibelungen, a reclusive group of smiths who are the only ones who can forge Drachenesien. Once forged, it's nearly unbreakable and super light, making a weapon made of it quite powerful. It is also the only useful armor in the game, as it can stop bullets.
- Deadly Decadent Court: And HOW.
- Design-It-Yourself Equipment: Puzzle Swords.
- Everything Sounds Sexier in French: One of the accents provided in Montaigne's nation book costs extra hero points and includes the Dangerous Beauty Advantage, because it just sounds so alluring.
- Foregone Conclusion: All the nations of Théah are loosely based on European nations at a specific point in time, with Montaigne drawing clearly from Alexandre Dumas' works. That is, from stories set just before The French Revolution...
- French Jerk: Fortunately not everyone or even a majority, but several nobles (especially L'Empereur) can be colossal pompous douches.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: As might be expected of the rest of this entry, their swordsman school revels in humiliating their opponents... to the point that they gain massive bonuses from it. Both in-story and out-of-character, people hate fighting these guys.
- Heir Club for Men: L'Empereur Leon XIV has had nine daughters so far, and no sons, due to a curse his mother spat from her deathbed.
- Our Wormholes Are Different:
- Porte sorcery, the sorcerous lineage of Montaigne, allows a user to physically tear open holes in space with their bare hands. The exit point must be close to a place or item marked by the sorcerer's blood, and allows the sorcerer to either grab the blooded object and pull it to them, or walk through the portal to where the object is. Oh, did I mention that portals scream in pain as they open and bleed at the edges?
- And, if you go by the Die Kreuzritter supplement, the Walkway is actually a part of Hell, and by using Porte frivolously, the Montaigne are weakening the barrier that keeps the legion of bloodthirsty demons at bay, so that one day soon, they'll all come pouring through the gap and overrun the world.
- And the first thing they teach you? If you walk through the portal, never open your eyes. Sometimes you hear voices calling out to you, telling you that they'll give you such wonderful things, if only you open your eyes...
- Praetorian Guard: The Lightning Guard, elite swordsmen who guard L'Empereur.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: L'Empereur's edicts sometimes defy all logic, especially when it comes to antagonizing the church.
- Upper-Class Twit: Other countries can suffer from this trope too, but Montaigne overshadows the rest in this area.
- Empathic Environment: The Ussurans claim "Mother Winter" protects them. It certainly seems like Ussura is on the side of its people...
- Fisher King: The Ussuran Gaius doesn't have a great deal of actual political power - but when he tells you to do something, you either do it, or Ussura itself ensures you regret not doing so.
- Speaks Fluent Animal: Pyeryem sorcery, the Ussuran sorcerous lineage, allows a character to talk to animals. This then allows them to bargain with the animal for its shape. If the animal agrees to give up its form, the sorcerer adds that shape to their library of forms, and may take that shape at will. More dangerous animals are harder to change into, obviously.
Vendel/Vestenmannavnjar (Denmark/Norse Viking Scandinavia/Holland mix)
- Bilingual Bonus: The Vestenmannavnjar's name is taken from Vestmannaeyjar, a small island off the coast of Iceland. Amusingly enough, its name comes from what the Norse called captured Irish slaves, making this a bit of a "Blind Idiot" Translation.
- Cast from Lifespan: Vesten warriors may take the Bearsark Advantage, which whips them into a superhuman fury at the expense of aging 1 week for each round it's active.
- Geometric Magic:
- Laerdom, the Vesten sorcery, has sorcerers learn up to 24 runes which are thought to be the fundamental words of creation. Each rune has a different effect when it's inscribed. More powerful sorcerers can make magic items inscribed with runes, and masters can gain permanent powers by branding themselves with a rune in a specific ritual.
- Also Named Weapons, as weapons imbued with Laerdom must be named.
- Global Currency:
- The Vendel have created the Guilder, accepted everywhere but Vodacce.
- Notably subverted and played straight at the same time, as the player's guide also contains a list of currencies native to each country as well as exchange rates based on the nations relative economic strength.
- Proud Merchant Race: The Vendel, after splitting up with the Vesten. Most of the population seems to be made of craftsmen, businessmen or Intrepid Merchants.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Vesten tend to take this role, seeing as the middle class merchants broke off to create the Vendel League.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: After several books setting him up as the ultimate Corrupt Corporate Executive, Val Mokk, leader of the Vendel League, turns out to be one of Théah's nicest Heroes.
- Arranged Marriage: Basically required between the nobles, though the nation book points out that they're rarely as unfair to the women as one might think. A little judicious use of Sorte and...
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: The Princes of Vodacce are all cousins of some kind, which probably explains why they rarely ever come to an agreement.
- Gender-Restricted Ability:
- Sorte, the Vodacce sorcery, is only possessed by women. Girls who show the ability are kept illiterate, and are kept locked away from the public much of the time. It allows a sorceress, called a strega, to see the various social connections between people, seen as physical threads connecting them. The strega can then attempt to alter these threads, strengthening or loosening them. Fate makes sure what the strega wants to happen, happens. At their most powerful, they can literally strangle with the red string, though the thread meaning romance is blue to them.
- Vodacce men have their own (rare) permutation of Sorte, although it's easily overlooked because it's mentioned in only a few places in the nation book. It's called being "unbound" and essentially makes the guy impervious to the manipulations of the Fate Witches: His strands can't be seen, and a strega attempting to attach a thread to him will always fail and suffer a backlash. Needless to say, Fate Witches are terrified of these guys, because their one defense against the often-brutal Vodacce men is the threat of sorcery.
- Pride: Yessiree, and one of the leading causes of brawls, duels, and blood-feuds in Vodacce.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: But not in the way you'd think— Playing dirty is expected in Vodacce, but they have an honor-code which no noble (particularly gentlemen and -women) will lightly disregard. Of course, Vodacce being Vodacce, adherence to the Code varies.
- School of Seduction: Vodacce women can train to be courtesans; essentially they're very expensive prostitutes who hope to find a rich noble to leech off of. However, Vodacce courtesans are also given the chance to be educated (unlike noblewoman, who are kept illiterate), and many are appreciated for their intelligence and wit as well as their beauty.
- A Sinister Clue: In the 7th Sea RPG, being left-handed is an advantage with a tangible combat benefit, with the conceit that everyone is used to fighting right handed opponents more. Vodacce characters can buy this advantage at a discount, and everyone who learns the Ambrogia Swordsman School, the main school of Vodacce swashbucklers, gets this advantage for free when using the style.
Note: Since the secret societies of 7th Sea are secret a great many of these examples are hidden with spoiler text. Those that aren't are generally common knowledge.
The secret societies of 7th Sea provide examples of:
- Another Dimension: Die Kreuzritter have an artifact ring which gives agents the permanent ability to step into another dimension through shadows. This allows for a sort of short teleportation.
- Death Faked for You: The public believes Die Kreuzritter's full membership was killed to a man. Actually the hierophant cut a deal with the lesser known members to allow the group to live on. Most of the group, including all the best known members, sacrificed themselves to give the illusion of complete destruction. New members tend to have their deaths faked in similar manners
- He Who Fights Monsters: Die Kreuzritter is well aware of this trope and members try to shy away from it. It doesn't always work.
- These Are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know: Well, they found out sorcery is likely going to unleash eldritch abominations upon the Earth. So they're going to do something about it.
- Walking Spoiler: There's a reason this section is almost completely whited out.
- Who You Gonna Call?: Expect them to be any place there's something really bad happening.
The Explorer Society
- Adventurer Archaeologist: The whole point of the Explorers.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: Lots of Syrneth sites are like this, as one might expect for a setting like 7th Sea. Just as problematic, though, is that most of the other Secret Societies think the Explorers are meddling in Things Man Was Not Meant to Know and must be "dealt with." Later in the timeline, the Explorers get understandably touchy about this as they learn just how thoroughly this trope applies to them.
- Precursors: Called the Syrneth, finding artifacts they left behind is The Explorer's Society's bread and butter. The Syrneth are actually about a half dozen different sets of precursors, each with their own style and theme.
The Invisible College
- Gadgeteer Genius: A number of Invisible College members are this.
- Psycho Serum: Invisible College Alchemists can produce serums made from sorcerous blood, some of the possible side effects are...unpleasant.
The Knights of the Rose and Cross
- The Promise: Knights can take an advantage called The Vow which allows them to use 20 saved experience points to make an in-character vow, the GM MUST allow the vow to come to pass as worded, though there are certain restrictions.
- Right Makes Might: Why the knights do what they do.
- Captain Ersatz:
- Collective Identity: More than one person has worn the white mask of El Vago.
- La Résistance: Against the Inquisition and the Montaignes invading Castille.
- Shrouded in Myth: The mysterious El Vago himself.
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: A great deal of effort is taken to show the reasons why the Free Thinkers are anti-authoritarian. That said, their lack of cohesiveness and tendency to be generically anti-authority is also recounted in great detail. And all the explosives skills are in their splat book (two of three new skills listed are "Arson" and "Bomb-Making.").
- La Résistance: Against any form of authority, primarily the Montaigne.
- We ARE Struggling Together: Rilasciare barely has any connection between the different groups, so organizing anything becomes difficult.
- Gut Feeling: Scrying sorcerers can tell if a person is a hero of villain automatically; it's a pretty bad Game Breaker.
- Magic Mirror: Female scrying sorcerers can look into any reflective pool of fresh water and see other places, more powerful ones can see into the past and future as well.
Novus Ordum Mundi There's nothing here to see, just move along...
- The Illuminati.
- NOM is the product of an ancient conspiracy concocted by the servants of some Senators who thought it'd be a cool idea to make a pact with some demons in exchange for horrible magic powers. The servants were understandably annoyed by this, and so they made a deal with each other (after killing their errant masters) that they would do everything they could to keep Théah on a tight leash and make sure the world leaders don't screw it up, and that's why the setting doesn't have fuel-efficient vehicles. NOM, combined with the fact that Théah used to be overrun by insectoid/lizardlike people, adds a strange tinfoil hat flavor to this swashbuckling RPG.
- Of course, ruling all of the nations in secret is not enough for these people. They have their fingers in several other pies, such as Sophia's Daughters and The Invisible College.
- As a matter of fact, they just pretty much ate the whole pie as far as The Invisible College is concerned. Alvara is their de facto leader, and everyone looks up to him and just eats out of the palm of his hand, but little do they know that he's using their well-meaning organization to further his own goals.
- Oh, and it gets better! He is not only bending The Invisible College to his will, but he has made himself the leader, more or less, of NOM, which is supposed to be leaderless. Not bad for a scholarly old Castillan gentleman (who once roasted an inquisitor alive in its own armor).
- Walking Spoiler: At least the other Walking Spoiler factions are known to exist. The above organization is supposed to be secret to the players.
The rest of the game world of 7th Sea provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: Captain Reis' unmistakable crescent shaped scythe. It cuts through Dracheneisen, along with every other material. There's exactly one magical weapon in the entire setting that can parry it.
- Action Girl: Plenty, though the Sea Dogs' first mate "Bloody" Bonnie McGee is one of the most prominent.
- Anachronism Stew: A heavy dose to go with No Celebrities Were Harmed - the "French" Revolution is brewing under "Louis XIV" while "Napoleon" is bogged in the Retreat from "Russia". "Vikings" raid the "East India Company".
- Ancestral Weapon: Most Dracheneisen weapons are inherited.
- Armor Is Useless: Justified, as bullets and rapiers have brought an end to the era of the armored knight. Unless it's made of dracheneisen, armor does nothing. (And in a society based heavily on seafaring, it'd be literal deadweight much of the time...) Quoting the book itself (which doesn't give armor stats), "If you want armor, play an Eisen noble. Everyone else simply goes without."
- Back-to-Back Badasses: An encouraged fighting tactic, the Eisen have the word rucken to describe a pair who do this all the time.
- Band of Brothels: The Jenny's Guild. It's quite politically powerful, holding one of the main seats of the Vendel League.
- BFS: Zweihanders, Eisen swords as tall as the wielder. Also Highland claymores.
- Black Box: The game prefers any syrneth artifact introduced by the GM to behave like this, fully taking advantage of Clarke's Third Law.
- Blade Brake: The 'Ride the Sail' trick from the Rogers swordsman school.
- Blade on a Stick: The boar spear is a popular Eisen weapon, and even has its own swordsman school.
- Born Lucky:
- Jeremiah Berek, his luck is so legendary in Avalon that Glamour mages can choose to call upon his luck directly.
- Subverted with his nemesis, the General. A brilliant tactical mind — so much so that he's successfully adapted land strategy to naval battles — he's nonetheless a German surrounded by Frenchmen, fighting an Englishman.
- City of Adventure: Many in 2e: Frieburg, Vaticine City, Boisal, Quamontaine, Iskandar and Djen.
- Combat by Champion: The swordsman's guild allows this sort of combat to be done by just paying your champion.
- Continuity Reboot: Second edition. Most notable are the changes in geography (in addition to the new continents, first and second edition maps of Théah look very different), and the removal of aliens from the setting (the Syrneth are still part of Terra's history, but no aliens).
- Crystal Dragon Jesus:
- The Vaticine church is very very close to Roman Catholicism. In fact, the 1st prophet is Jesus' exact analog. Oddly enough, it goes on to have a Crystal Dragon Mohammed as well, as the 2nd prophet acts as a close analog for him. This makes the lack of any group which is identifiably Jewish all the more glaring.
- Actually, strictly speaking, the Vaticine Church is a blend of Islam (with the three Prophets and prophesied fourth) and Catholicism (in terms of social and political influence). Matthias Lieber is a fairly transparent analogue to Martin Luther, making the Objectionists a kind of Muslim Protestant sect. The Crescent Empire follows mainly the second prophet, making them more similar to Christians, while the Ussuran Orthodoxy follow only the first prophet and the teachings of Matushka. They're likely intended to represent the Russian Orthodox faith, but one could also make the argument that they are the Jewish analogue in the setting. The Glamour Isles' continued propitiation of the Sidhe, as well as the Druidic faith described in the Glamour Isles supplement, are representative of Old World paganism, as are many of the Eisen superstitions. Finally, the Vestenmannavnjar gods or "living runes" are obvious references to the old Norse deities. Really, the setting presents quite a bit of religious diversity, if you pay attention.
- The original Crescent Empire sourcebook introduces a straightforward Islam analogue, with some undercurrents of an earlier pagan religion. It doesn't bother to explain why previous books said that the Crescents follow the second prophet of the Vaticines.
- Dark Chick: Dalia after turning undead and joining the Black Freighter. (Granted she was already pretty villainous as a Corsair.)
- Death Seeker: Joern Keitelson, first mate of the Crimson Rogers. He set out to kill the Vendel after his village was raided by them. He ran into the Rogers and killed so many of Reis' crew, Reis was impressed and gave him the position. Joern doesn't care about anything but fighting until he dies.
- Discredited Meme: Mentioned in the rulebook. The rules explicitly allow the GM to punish anyone who makes Monty Python references.
- Drunken Master:
- The Finnegan school of pugilism teaches a form of boxing that's rather unique. A master will get better at fighting while they get more and more inebriated. Unsurprisingly, it was invented in Inismore.
- It also presents about the most hilarious Game Breaker ever in a printed RPG, all but guaranteed to give a good laugh (and possibly a Drama Die to whoever brings this up in smart fashion): One wording of Finnegan's ability was "reverse inebration penalties". Inebration penalties are, like, -2, -4, incapacitated. So a dead drunk Finnegan is literally omnipotent!
- Duel to the Death: Very possible if the offense is grave enough.
- Expy: Many, but it's notable that Captain Hook's is played straight and is probably the single most powerful character in the game.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: All of the nations, and some minor cultures. Think of it as a slightly more advanced 17th Century Europe mixed with One Piece.
- Fatal Flaw: Characters may take a special disadvantage called a hubris which the GM can exploit specifically so they can make the wrong decision. In addition, each swordsman school has a weakness that is explained in its description can be exploited via the school's aptly named "Exploit Weakness" knack.
- One Eisen Swordsman school is dedicated to fighting monsters. It contains only Exploit Weakness knacks, each devoted to exploiting a different monster's Fatal Flaw.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Several NPCs have encountered Syrneth artifacts or had other supernatural encounters that left them... changed. Gerald Hohne of the Crimson Rogers and Hamish of the Corsairs are good examples.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: In first edition, out of a pool of 100 points, buying a swordsman school from a character's native country costs 25. Buying a foreign school costs 35. There is no functional difference between using a domestic or foreign school, aside from the point difference. As a result, most PCs and NPCs use swordsman schools from their home countries, instead of munchkin-ing the most powerful schools with the nationalities that grant the best Traits and Advantage discounts.
- Ghost Pirate: The Black Freighter is a ship full of these.
- Glove Slap: Sword dueling is quite common, and is usually legal in most countries.
- The GM Is A Cheating Bastard: The GM's guide explicitly gives two rules. Rule #1: There are no rules. Rule #2 Cheat anyway.
- Grappling-Hook Pistol: A very common item of equipment for any adventurer.
- Heroic Sacrifice: All of Philip Gosse's crew.
- Hook Hand: There's an artifact called the Scarlet Hook of Madness.
- Implacable Man: PCs may choose the "Man of Will" advantage, which makes them immune to fear, mind altering effects of any sort, and they can't be socially bullied in any way. Needless to say, it's a VERY expensive advantage to buy at character creation.
- Implausible Fencing Powers:
- For example, making a broadsword hit someone like a gunshot wound.
- Istanbul Not Constantinople: It's really pretty blatant about this.
- Lady of War: Fauner Posen of Eisen. Do NOT mess with her.
- Legacy Character:
- El Vago is only the most obvious one, but the captain of the Black Freighter is invariably some madman who sold his soul to Legion to captain the ship.
- Captain Reis is a subversion and aversion at the same time. A character picks up his clothes and weapon, and becomes a Fake Shemp to Reis' crew, only to suffer blackouts after extended impersonations, with strong implications that Reis is pulling a Grand Theft Me.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: The CCG can be blamed for this.
- Second edition does nothing to help, with one sourcebook dedicated to almost a hundred characters, heroes and villains alike.
- Lord British Postulate:
- Captain Reis, the pirate depicted in red on the page image above, is intended for use as a plot device by the DM to either make the PCs run away, or die. In melee, he is essentially unstoppable, since his weapon ignores any kind of armor and slices through even Dracheneisen with trivial ease (meaning you can't parry either). However, if you manage to shoot him in the head and burn all your drama dice for extra damage, he will go down, since you can't block bullets and he doesn't wear armor.
- You can't spend Drama Dice on damage rolls, unless you have some ability that allows you to do so.
- But you can spend Drama Dice on attack rolls, where calling Raises will increase damage.
- Make Them Rot: Zerstoerung, the lost sorcery of Eisen, consisted mainly of these powers.
- Mooks: Called brute squads. They come in packs of 6. A typical PC can take down a standard set in about 2 or 3 rounds. And an experienced swordsman can take out 2 or 3 brute squads in one round.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Only this time it's with historical figures.
- A good number of illustrations also resemble modern-day actors (example: The king of Castille kind of resembles a young Leonardo diCaprio).
- Pirate Girl: "Bloody" Bonnie McGee, amongst others. In fact, a growing criticism of the 2nd edition is that so many iconic pirates from the setting have been recast as women (including Allende, Captain Reis and the new Queen of the Brotherhood of the Coast) that one begins to wonder whether they aren't more common on the seas of Theah than pirate men.
- The Plague: The white plague, which is analgalous to the real world's black plague. It was a magical disease released by Sophia's Daughters to make sure that sorcery didn't wind up spreading too wide.
- Point Build System: A completely free-form one; players aren't told where the points need to be assigned at all.
- Retired Badass: Phillp Gosse, gentleman pirate, who claimed his own island after plundering so much treasure. He decided to have one last adventure.
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: A common way for noble heroes to go out and do things which may lose them face at court. Phineas Flynn, the highwayman of Avalon, fits this well too.
- Slave Galley: The Corsairs love to use slave labor.
- Soul Jar: Kheired-Din of the Corsairs found a cross that acts as a soul jar. He'll always regenerate, even if his body is completely destroyed, unless the cross is destroyed first.
- In first edition, there's one for every major nation, and one for every major secret society. They're of variable quality, but still provide useful background information.
- The initial set-up for second edition is that there are two sourcebooks for the major nations of Théah, one sourcebook each for Aztlan, Wabanahkik, Ifri, and the Crescent Empire, and one detailing all of the major secret societies.
- Spin-Off: The card game.
- Swashbuckler: Too many to count, NPC and PC alike.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: Tom Toblin of the Sea Dogs is really Nicole Cowbey. She signed on board to find the murderer of her father and her husband, and disguised herself so she wouldn't be recognized.
- Team Pet:
- Several ships have pets on board, but most notable is Captain, the mascot of the Sea Dogs of Avalon. Jeremiah Berek claims that he is the true captain of his ship and anyone surrendering to them must surrender to the dog.
- Popular Fanon had this with Senor Ladron and Allende — the monkey and captain, respectively, of the Brotherhood of the Coast. The captain's face wasn't well-known in the backstory, despite him being the exiled king of Castille, so the fans suggested the two were confused by mistake.
- The equivalent for the Black Freighter was their masthead, the mummified remains of the ship's first captain. Late in the story, he broke free and regained control of the ship.
- The Undead: The Black Freighter, a ship of the undead that sails once per generation to torment the living.
- Volleying Insults:
- Some swordsmen, especially Montaigne ones, are experts at this.
- The Vendel as well, who have a swordsman school whose Master level ability is to gain an extra action each turn—which can only be used to taunt enemies.
- Walking Wasteland: The (theoretically extinct) Zerstorung sorcery school.
- Wooden Ships and Iron Men: It describes any sea based adventure perfectly.
- Wretched Hive: The city of Freiburg in Eisen, unsurprising, as there's no real government there.
- Yandere: The ill fated courtesan turned Fate Witch, Lucrezia. Once she encountered Gioseppe, her entire world revolved around him... and once he rejected her things got really, really messy. But her story doesn't finish with merely the classical conclusion. Lucrezia wants him back alive, and it seems she's found a way to do it, even if it means violating Creation and destroying an entire world in the process.
- You Fight Like a Cow: Players can use taunts to make themselves more difficult to hit, and intimidation to make it easier to strike enemies. The players are encouraged to come up with witty banter themselves, but if they don't feel up to the task, they can roll their panache skill instead.
No Banter, No Barter, No Quarter.