Well, this is a campaign long coming. I’ve had the books for several years now (just the 2 corebooks, alas) but I’ve always been fascinated by the setting for this rpg. While I’ve been made aware of the downsides of some parts of the metaplot that a lot of people railed against, I’m willing to make use of my ignorance of these details and run it as I understand it right out of the box.
That said, 7th Sea posits a fantasy take on Europe as a setting with different names, the presence of magic, and a whole bunch of interesting mysteries. Being a non-historian, and non-resident of Europe, I’m blissfully unaware of where some of the NPCs are drawn from and can enjoy it with the unabashed excitement of fools and children. :p
However, much like L5R, the variance in the groups, and the fact that they’re technically all aligned against each other makes for a massive setting that usually doesn’t work with the United Nations of Theah approach where everyone comes from one nationality or another without a really good reason. (In L5R the default reason was that they were Magistrates. I can imagine that you could do something similar with 7th Sea using a secret society as an excuse.)
Given the Mysterious nature of Syrneth Artifacts and the presence of Secret Societies in the midst of a tricky Political balancing act of countries who are very near (or already engaged in) War, I think I’ll go with the Lara Croft / Indiana Jones angle for this one.
Player Characters are members of the Explorer’s Society, a multinational organization dedicated to studying the past and exploring the geography of Theah. This gives the Player Characters a chance to play characters from any of the nations, and united with a different motivation aside from Patriotism.
The Campaign Premise will be dirt simple: A famous member of the society has gone missing, and the player characters are assembled by their various chapter masters to work together and figure out the secrets behind his disappearance, which has something to do with a Syrneth artifact that he’s been chasing down for the past five years.
What follows is a globe-trotting chase across all of Theah to find out what happened, and who was after the Artifact and how to get it back. It’s a perfect perpetual-motion machine for as long as the GM can think of a complication to throw in their way, the players will have something to do. Whether it’s fighting off a rival secret society, trying to get away from the local military, seducing the daughter of the man who has a vital clue, or dodging traps and exploring catacombs and fighting off all manner of beasts and men. Sadly I can’t go into too much detail as I don’t want to spoil anything for my players just yet.
Themes: Adventure, Mystery, Exploration, Derring-Do.
Character Concepts: Almost any concept can fit in this campaign, as long as they’re not too tied down into a geographic location, like a soldier or a priest with a congregation to look after. Having contacts is important, as the players can expect to be all over the place, and knowing a friendly face is always useful.
Sure this isn’t the most original premise in a game but it’s one that can at least keep things interesting. If I draw from a myriad of sources from Capitaln Alatriste to The Three Musketeers, Assassin’s Creed 2, Tomb Raider, Sid Meier’s Pirates, Indiana Jones and Zorro, I think I can have a satisfactory campaign without much of the GM headaches.