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YMMV / 7th Sea

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  • Awesome Music: One of the Kickstarter goals was an entire soundtrack of Sea Shanties, sung by a crew aboard a ship. The full track can be found on Spotify for those who didn't back the Kickstarter.
  • Broken Base:
    • Several ideas of the first edition metaplot were contentious and divisive, most notably the alien Syrneth creating humanity, probably as a slave race, the Thalusi/Strangers being behind the Bargain and having a very active role in Thean history, and the man most of Theah knows as the Third Prophet actually being an impostor who orchestrated the murder of the actual Third Prophet, with only the Knights of the Rose and Cross knowing the truth. At least the eventual reveal that Theus is actually an ancient alien demiurge himself, if a thoroughly-benevolent one actually behind much of what was attributed to him in history is safely and emphatically optional.
    • Since the release of the Second Edition, which introduced major changes in both the gameplay and the settings, there are debates over which edition is better:
      • Gameplay wise, fans of the First enjoy it for having a fairly deep system of swordfighting and customization that encouraged thematic choices, and feel that the Second is a bit schizophrenic about whether it wants to be a “story game” or a crunchier experience. Fans of the Second Edition like the easier gameplay because it makes the players feel more like the heroic swashbucklers they're supposed to be, something that the First Edition had more trouble depicting because of its higher difficulty.
      • Setting wise, the first edition focused very deeply on events on a single continent, for heavy and rich intrigue, but at the cost of a smaller world that didn’t necessarily make external sense, since it’s effectively a Europe that developed to about the point of the early modern period with almost no other cultural influence, plus two tiny "empires" based on the Middle East and east Asia, dwarfed by the other nations, whose history and culture also don't make external sense. Second sought to broaden the world enormously, giving players more varied places to visit and dramatically increasing the number of possible player concepts a party could contain, but at the cost of losing much of that depth and detail, plus diluting the "swashbuckling" feel of focusing on a single time and place. Also, while the Second Edition abandoned many of the more controversial aspects of the First Edition's metaplot, it did not replace them with other conspiracies and "secret lore" of its own, losing out on the feel of mystery and discovery that its predecessor enjoyed whether or not the revelations were satisfying.
  • Designated Hero: In the Second Edition, Bour Ba Ighodalo is still listed as a heroic NPC even though his actions include: slaughtering all the strangers in his capital city (save for the children and teachers) out of fear they could surrender the town to the Atabean Trading Company's forces besieging it, selling slaves to said Company, attacking neighbouring countries to capture said slaves, and unleashing the evil abonsam spirits. Needless to say, if he was a player character and the rules were enforced, he'd have succumbed to corruption and become a villain already in spite of his Freudian Excuse of having crossed the Despair Event Horizon after his sons were sold to slaverynote , or his ultimate goal of driving away the ATC - because the rulebooks explicitly state that villainous actions still give corruption points even if they're done to serve a noble cause.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Cathay protects itself behind a wall of fire which is great.
  • It's Easy, So It Sucks!: A common complaint about Second Edition. A "success" requires one set of 10 (dice totals added up to 10) to accomplish any task. If a player rolls 3 dice, they only have a 15% chance of failure. On average, a player will roll 4 dice, and a min-maxer can position themselves to roll a dozen. Also, all wounds are healed after combat, rather than "dramatic wounds" requiring surgery.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: A common complaint about First Edition. For what was meant to be a game about heroic swashbucklers doing heroic things, a lot of players felt the game was really stingy with the character points, really encouraged a Killer Game-Master mindset in the GM, gave the setting's Villains huge amounts of political and military power at their disposal compared to Heroic equivalents, and had an odd fixation on the out-of-place cosmic horror aspect many parties and character concepts might never encounter at all. The default roll difficulties meant that a character who wanted any chance of accomplishing basic tasks had to really specialize in them, to the point of being crippled in all other areas, and being a Sorcerer or Swordsman (which many considered the main appeal of the game) cost so many points it practically forced one to buy a Hubris - which the books flat out instructed the GM to treat as a carte blanche to screw with the player. It didn't help that the only Non Player Characters given stats tended to be major players in the metaplot, with levels of competence players couldn't even imagine getting - creating the impression that, at best, all they could hope for was to play second fiddle for GMPCs or be slaughtered by villains the books seemed more enamored with than themselves. Whether the fanbase was just unappeasable, the developers went too far trying to fix the problem, or everything was fine and the complainers were a minority is still up to debate.
  • Level Grinding: Second Edition's level up system has been described as this. There is no XP in the system. Instead, players write individual stories with a designated reward at the end. Depending on where the campaign takes place and how much content the GM is able to cram into a session, players can find themselves finishing a campaign and only having made it halfway to their level up.
  • Low-Tier Letdown: Sidhe PCs in longer campaigns. They start the game with many potent, practical advantages, only somewhat balanced by restrictions on the skills and advantages they can and can't learn, but then cannot gain Drama dice, meaning they will never be able to gain or spend experience points. In other words, they overshadow other starting characters to begin with, then are overshadowed later on as they never learn or improve.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Built into the rules, a character, including an NPC, who hits -30 reputation points becomes a Villain (unless the character's been framed; only "earned" negative reputation points count), and the GM takes away their character sheet. Although a Machiavelli-style Advantage will put it off to -40 or -50, depending on how strongly the ends justify the means.
  • Scrappy Weapon: The Goode Folke are explicitly not supposed to be enemies players can best in violent combat, so as to encourage players to out-think, rather than out-fight them, and defeat them with creative solutions. In fact, the game goes out of its way to make clear that just owning the weapons that can hurt and kill them permanently is grounds to be hunted down and subjected to a Fate Worse than Death by the rest of the faerie race, and that every faerie feels it when one of their own gets offed for good. This unfortunately makes the advantages one can take to own or know how to make such weapons nearly useless, and begs the question of why the game designers even included such options at all.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans believe that the attempt to make the Second Edition setting Lighter and Softer either went too far or was done too unsubtly in order to make the game look "progressive". Some of the complaints are that many major Non Player Characters that were imported from the First Edition had their sexes, genders or sexualities shifted. John Wick has said he has no problem with these critiques, and points out that there is nothing stopping players from using the First Edition setting with Second Edition rules or- vice versa. However, he is quite clear in the 7th Sea Official Podcast that Second Edition is not a continuation from the prior game line, but a complete update and that its changes are here to stay.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Goode Folke are clearly supposed to be somewhat-sympathetic. Their coming back into the world is important for the well-being of both Avalon and, given the nature of the barrier they created to keep the Thalusi Syrneth at bay, the rest of Theah. And two of their three rulers, plus Jack O'Bannon, all have the highest possible ratings on the Karma Meter. It's unfortunate, then, that the entire race are sadistic, often-murderous parasites who hurt and kill human beings for fun, and the books' attempts at trying to put them beyond moralitynote  or to clumsily justify their mindset note  collapse under basic logic. Also, hurtfully, the book includes a few "bait" options for a player who might dislike them enough to specialize in fighting or killing them, but then tells the GM to never let the players best them in a contest of arms, and to have them hunted and killed even if they win, so not only are they beyond justice, a player could easily have wasted an entire character concept on an idea he didn't know the book told the GM to punish him for having!