View Full Version : 7th Sea meets Planescape: 7thscape

2011-04-20, 09:52 PM
I've often felt the Planescape setting didn't quite fit with how D&D is structured. You're dealing with philosophical questions, the underlying nature of reality, and beings and places that represent concepts. When you meet a balor on the street in Sigil, you don't generally draw your sword and start chopping. You might even go and challenge it to a game of riddles if you don't have a strong attachment to your soul.

On the other hand, the 7th Sea system is really good at this. It's a system that is more horizontal in character advancement than vertical - there's not so much of the 'dirt farmer to god slayer' trope. Magic is a lot more subdued (though its very idiosyncratic to the world) and more thematic than D&D magic (which is a big grab bag of I Win). Equipment is less important, and mostly its just little cool things.

So awhile back I made a system that converted Planescape into the 7th Sea mechanics. Since then I've made a couple revisions after running two year-long campaigns in the system.

First of all, the current version:

Player's Guide: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ngutten2/www/7thscape_playersguide.pdf

DM Guide: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/ngutten2/www/7thscape_dmguide.pdf

There are still a couple things I don't think work very well, and so I'm thinking of making a new revision of it. For those familiar with 7th Sea, I'd like to suggest a few mechanical changes in this thread and get opinions on how they'll affect the game.

The biggest change I'm thinking of is to make all Skills completely active in nature. That is, you never roll a skill roll to resist something, that's always a raw Trait roll. However, your skill instead of your trait determines how many dice are kept. Now traits give you general performance and consistency over a wide variety of skills, but your investment in a skill is what determines the maximum you're likely to achieve.

This requires Traits and Skills to be re-balanced as far as cost. In the new system, Traits go from 1 to 8*. If you're at a certain rank, it costs a number of xp equal to the next rank to raise the Trait (so it costs 8xp to go from rank 7 to rank 8). Skills cost 2xp times the new rank, and cap out at 5 (or 6 in special cases).

*: Specific advantages could increase this, so in principle you could have up to 10, but it'd be in rare cases like Traits going to 6 in normal 7th Sea.

When you're resisting with a raw Trait roll (Trait k Trait), the TN is set by 10+Skill roll, since Traits will tend to be higher.

Obviously I have to decouple dramatic wounds from Resolve or fights will go forever, so instead you have a Dramatic wound track with 2 wounds and you can increase the number of wounds in your track for 5xp,10xp,15xp,etc. There would also be a similar track for Belief Dice (the equivalent of Drama Dice) and Action Dice.

It also bears mentioning that the exceed-10 mechanic is a little different here, requiring 2 unkept dice above 10 to convert into 1 kept, so you don't get as sharp a jump when you boost beyond 10kX. When I do the statistics, +1 to a Skill is worth about +7.2 to the roll result on average, and +1 to a Trait is worth about +1.4, and that roughly holds between Xk2 and Xk6.

2011-05-06, 10:59 PM
For arcane magic, I want to make it a 'compose spells on the fly' system sort of like the True Sorcery/Black Company rules, but fitting within a 7th Sea paradigm.

The idea is that a mage can have three spell Seeds attuned at a time (four if they're a Journeyman, five if they're a Master). Each seed corresponds to a skill that you buy up as normal, though the first rank costs 10xp to acquire (learning a completely new spell seed). Attunement takes a long time - perhaps a day or a week.

Seeds can be combined for additional effects, in which case you need a sufficient rank for all seeds being used (a spell that both freezes and burns an enemy requires both the Fire and Cold seeds at sufficient rank) and generally takes longer to cast than a spell that just does one or the other. On the other hand, you can use extra seeds as mitigating factors (if they limit rather than enhance the spell), reducing the rank needed by 1 per mitigating seed. For instance, a Teleport spell that only teleports you from one fire to another would be one rank easier to cast.

I figure if the spell is easy enough, you don't even roll to cast it (though you'd have to roll to hit or whatever). If its of a higher rank than you have in your Seed skills, you need to ritualize it, which takes time and has a chance of failure and backlash. I'm not sure what the backlash should be quite yet - perhaps 'sticky' flesh wounds (flesh wounds that don't reset when you take a Dramatic, but still go away at the end of the scene), perhaps temporary loss of a trait, or perhaps even just a large amount of damage that could lead to Dramatic Wounds.

One thing I'm still considering is how to handle durations and the like. Should you be able to boost the duration of any effect by increasing the spell rank by a fixed amount, or should the cost depend on the type of effect (so extending a damage spell's duration is different than extending the duration of something that gives a bonus unkept die or something).

2011-05-07, 12:23 AM
Sounds interesting. I am a fan of the 7th Sea system and agree with you about it fitting with Planescape more but I dont think the magic system would work very good. If you have access to it look into Mage, by White Wolf. That system is very free flowing and does the combining like you want. It is a dot system, 1 to 5. Let us say you have 1 dot in fire, you can do stuff like know when things are on fire, maybe even feed an existing fire some. At five dots you basically can cause a rain of fire that can cover hundreds of miles (though in that system large displays of magic power can be very very bad on the mage with the backlash hits)

There are many different catigories that I cant remember but stuff like time that at higher levels makes it possible to stop time, pull different versions of yourself from different times, etc. There were a few spells that it told you what you needed to have at certain dots to do, then it was "use these as a guideline to making your own effects and the level you need to produce the effect you want"

That sounds more like what you are looking for

2011-05-07, 12:49 AM
Yeah, that's the sort of thing I'm thinking of, though the intent is for magic to be significantly less powerful as far as direct application (since there's nothing like paradox to mess you up for being obvious, it'd get out of control). Something like constant flight or personal teleportation should be a pretty high end power unless thats all you do.