I chipped into the Kickstarter. I received it the other week. And considering my tabletop gaming life is kinda sparse right now.
Have I enjoyed it?
Considering I'm up to the point where I've made a 7th Sea character, I think I've enjoyed it.
I never read or bought the original 7th Sea. It existed before my first tabletop RPG experiences, with 3rd edition D&D around 2002. 7th Sea never bubbled into my collection to read or check out. And at some point I drifted into White Wolf stuff. By that point, my focus had moved from "some sort of medieval fantasy" to "anything different."
But the allure of Pirates, Swashbucklery and general 17th century awesomeness works on me. Just one thing, though. Ever since I first dived in the 7th Sea kickstarter, I knew 7th Sea wasn't the kind of the game I'd want to run. This, this is the sort of thing I love to play in.
The part where your character gets rewarded for charging through something heroic and dangerous, only to survive it by doing something a bit mad, I love to play those kinds of characters. I once played a character who stripped naked. Then I charged screaming into a encampment of vampyre-worshipping cannibal cultist savages. All while not bothering to plan it or give anyone a chance to stop me. Being told, "here, do that thing all you want" makes me more excited to play than gamemaster.
That's what a surface promise of 7th Sea is. One of the opening pages lists writing credits like that of a movie. That tells you want this is, a game meant to be your summer blockbuster. Your big popcorn flick. So, yeah, I'd rather play a character in that than direct it.
What's better is how 7th Sea rewards that. There are reasons I don't like d20. I find XP tiring. 7th Sea's Story mechanic cuts the middle man. It lets players create actual arcs for their characters to go through. And the arcs matter in that they are the only way you can advance.
Oh, this game.
It isn't the holy grail. My knowledge of 17th Century Europe lets me see the allusions Theah makes (I need to stop calling it "Not-Europe" BTW). Pre-written settings have their flaws, ones you don't always see. Also, I think parts of the action sequence and other combat mechanics will require actual play for me to figure them out. I can't quite grasp them on paper yet.
But 7th Sea feels like too much fun to let those drag it down.
Ok, I'm mostly just drooling about the game. There are better reviews or critiques I've read for it. The part of the game that locked me into wanting to be a player in it had to be one chapter. The Sailing chapter.
Excellent and beautiful rules for a ship. The same reason why I've always saw why the Firefly RPG appeals to me. Having your own ship, that scratches such a magnificent itch. 7th Sea gives you that. It's very, very easy to start play with a ship. Something that other rule sets go out of their way to make a pain. In 7th Sea, you can just have one without much effort on your part.
That's like being given puppy, isn't it? Something as awesome as a sailing ship in a game about pirates and swashbuckling. Sign me up.