Knowing all this I was ready to start assigning points to Cano’s Traits. Traits are essentially the same as Abilities in other RPGs, the primary attributes of all characters. All Traits start with a score of 2, with 2 additional points to spend. Your Nationality also gives you a choice of two stats to bump up by 1. I decided Cano was more of an agile fighter than pure muscle so increased Finesse to 3. His faith steals his mind, so Resolve was changed to 3. As a native of Castille, he could add to Finesse or Wits and decided his emphasis on diplomacy over combat made Wits the appropriate Trait to go up. This left Brawn and Panache at their standard of 2 points.
Backgrounds allow you to flesh out your character’s past and add more mechanical pieces. Each Background provides Skills that your character can pull from. They come with a Quirk, an Advantage and then a suite of skills.
The first Background that seemed like a given was Soldier. The Quirk is that I earn a Hero Point when I stick to a plan disregarding any danger that might come to me. My first advantage as a Soldier is that I am an Able Drinker, meaning that alcohol will never affect me not matter how much I drink. The second Advantage will be that I’m a Riot Breaker, meaning as an individual fighter I can take on hordes of minion-like enemies without taking much damage. As a Soldier, the skills I get are Aim, Intimidate, Notice, Warfare, and Weaponry.
The second Background I chose was Orphan. My reasoning was that Cano’s father died when he was young and his mother became so devoted to the Vaticine that Cano was for all intents and purposes left to survive on his own. His Orphan Quirk is that I gain a Hero Point when I put myself in danger to befriend or accompany a person who is alone. My two advantages are Brush Pass and Reckless Takedown. Brush Pass gives me the ability to take from or place on a person a small handheld object. Reckless Takedown lets me immediately take down a Brute Horde of enemies taking 1 Dramatic Wound as a cost. Being an Orphan, the skills I acquired were Athletics, Brawl, Empathy, Hide, and Intimidate.
You get 10 points to spread out amongst the build of skills acquired from your Background. I decided that Cano is a very aware person and so Empathy, Intimidate, and Notice are his top Skills at 3 points each. Everything else will be set at 2 points except for Brawl which is at a 1 because Cano chooses to resort to that last.
You are given 5 additional points to buy more Advantages. Indomitable Will seemed like a natural fit due to Cano’s devotion to his faith. With Indomitable Will Cano may spend a Hero Point to immediately resist seduction, intimidation, or any type of coercion.
The second Advantage for Cano will be Quick Reflexes. This Advantage lets me choose a Skill and lets me have an additional Raise when using it. I decided on Notice, emphasizing Cano’s heightened awareness of his surroundings, due to both the paranoia of being pursued by occult elements in the Vaticine and his own combat training.
Every hero has a Virtue and Hubris decided by the Sorte Strega, a Witch’s Tarot deck. I decided that The Devil would be an appropriate choice for Cano. His Virtue, Astute, will be that after a Villain spends a Raise for an Action. The Action will fail, but the Raise will still be lost. Cano is always aware of his enemy’s actions and heads them off at the pass. His Hubris will be Trusting meaning Cano will receive a Hero Point when I accept a lie or lopsided deal, an interesting counterpoint to my Indomitable Will.
One of the most interesting pieces of character creation in 7th Sea is your ability to develop a story path for your character. It reminded me a lot of Fronts in Apocalypse World but player-created rather than by a GM. The first step is establishing a goal. My story concept is to Cleanse, specifically to purge the evil from The Vaticine and this will involve finding sympathetic parties who can help me flush it out and destroy the corruption. My Goal is that Cano would be heralded by the Hierophant for saving the Vaticine and be made the Lord of the Holy Guard. The mechanical Reward at the end of the story would be that after passing through four steps, I would earn the 4 point Hard to Kill advantage. It’s not necessary to detail all steps at the outset so my First Step will be to locate Sister Romona Paquita, an exiled nun who was already aware of the occult sect.
Cleanse: The Vaticine is beset by evil from within. I must find those who can help me flush it out and destroy it.
Goal/Ending: My hero is heralded by the Hierophant for saving the Vaticine from the corruption and made the Lord of the Holy Guard.
Reward: This is a four step story that will earn my hero the 4 point Hard to Kill advantage.
First Step: Find Sister Romona Paquita, the exiled nun whose writings on the demonic sect were forbidden.
The last few elements are Details that flavor out the character further. Cano’s reputation is of a Faithful man. This would be how others who know him describe him. He knows the languages of Old Thean, Castille, and Montaigne. He has 2 favor with Močiutės Skara and 0 wealth points to begin.
Creating a character in 7th Sea has made me much more interested in playing a campaign or even one-shot in this system. Before I cracked the pages open I was very lukewarm about playing in a “pirate game, ” but after reading more about the world and seeing how involved creating story is on the player side, I would love to jump in a game.
Next: Unknown Armies Third Edition.