Author Topic: [7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures] Plot convergeance help needed  (Read 1524 times)

Offline Tonymitsu

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[7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures] Plot convergeance help needed
« on: December 05, 2013, 09:47:05 PM »
So here's the thing:

I've been running a 7th Sea game for a little over a year now.  For those of you unfamiliar with the system and setting, it is essentially a game about pirates that encourages players and GM's to pay lip service to the rules but ultimately defer to the Rule of Drama and Rule of Cool when deciding what should and should not happen.  It takes place in a theme-park version of Europe in the middle of a Dark Age of war, repression, despair, and discovery.  To make it easier to understand what's happening I'll describe each set piece with it's closest real- or fantasy-world counterpart.

One of my players is a priest who has a backstory of being convinced that sorcery in the 7th Sea world is not the enemy of the Church, as current Vaticine (Catholic) doctrine states, and that it, like everything, is a gift from Theus (system veterans will understand how hard I had to work to keep from wringing my hands in villainous delight when he brought me this hook).  Naturally I allowed him to run with it because it would give the party access to a ridiculous amount of 7th Sea lore.

So the plot I laid out for him was that he had heard of an ancient Numan (Roman) archive being uncovered deep in the northern Vodacce (Italy) mainland.  Of course this land belonged to Giovanni Villanova (David Xanatos, Mephistopheles, THE genre-savvy villain of 7th Sea), and of course he was more than happy to grant them access and finance and expedition when the priest foolishly told him exactly what it was he hoped to find there.  The party joined up with about a dozen other men including Alfredo and Antonio Caligari, the two NPC's from the Arrow of Heaven 7th Sea module.  Alfredo had become disgusted with his uncle and correctly surmised that Vincenzo would never share his power, so he left, dragging his little brother along with him, and headed for Dionna (Sicily) where he agreed to work for Villanova to guide people in and out of the swampy mainland.  The party reached the ruins and uncovered the hall of records, where the priest ensconced himself, while the rest of the party poked around a bit and discovered a treasury filled with Syrneth (alien) artifacts.  After a few days of hauling all the swag up to the surface, Antonio double-crossed them and sealed both Alfredo and the party inside the ruins.  After delving deeper underground (they were down there for a long time), they fought some monsters, did some life-threatening spelunking, almost drowned, and finally emerged in the hills of Eisen (Germany), a couple of days south of Freiburg (Mos Eisley, Sanctuary from Thieve's World, located at roughly Berlin...they were down there for a really long time).

Naturally the party was pretty cheesed off at the whole situation and desperately wanted to beat Antonio back to Caligari's island (Aeolian Islands, give or take), and to a bloody pulp in the process.  The priest rightly pointed out that the group has little to fear from their "benefactor" for the moment, since once Giovanni hears about the situation he will have every reason to think they are all dead.  Alfredo has said that Antonio is, frankly, an idiot, and that it will take him far longer to leave the swamp than it did to get into it, especially hauling all that loot.  The current timetable they have is two months, and it will take the party six week to reach Vodacce by the most direct route overland.

Here's the hiccup:

One of the other players is an Eisen field marshal who is a veteran of the War of the Cross (Thirty Years War).  His character's current goal is, literally, "the reunification of Eisen."  He doesn't necessarily want to be the next Imperator, but he wants someone to be:  the fractured mess of a nation and political infighting has to stop.  Because of this I chose to start the Hammer and Tongs adventure from the Freiburg box set.  Since it is both precisely what the Eisen character's player wants his character to do, and a great excuse to use the 7th Sea Mass Combat rules for the first time.

What I need help with is finding some way to marry these two plots together.

The party feels a great sense of urgency to track down Antonio as soon as possible, but the material presented in Hammer and Tongs is intended to take place over the course of at least a month or two.  I have a hard time justifying condensing that into a week, let alone the few days the party wants to spend in Freiburg before moving on.  I feel like having Antonio just conveniently show up in Freiburg, no matter the reason, will ruin the dramatic tension and break suspension of disbelief in half.  And after the previous adventure I feel the party deserves to bring that thread to a conclusion that satisfies the hell they went through to get there.  Similarly I feel delaying their trip back to Vodacce long enough to finish the current adventure, only to arrive "just in the nick of time" will deflate much of the tension.  But at the same time I am desperately trying to avoid having the party feel like they have to choose which one of these threads they want to do if there's no good reason they can't do both.

What should I do?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 09:51:46 PM by Tonymitsu »
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Offline FlaminCows

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Re: [7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures] Plot convergeance help needed
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 07:42:13 PM »
Okay, just to make sure I understand: the party is in not-Germany, and they need to catch a guy who's in not-Italy before he gets to nearabouts not-Sicily with the loot, but you also want to run an adventure which should take a month of in-game time in not-Germany. Therefore, you need a way to delay Antonio for a month.

I don't know much about 7th Sea's setting, but I'll try. How much magic is there? Take this scenario for example: the party stops at a coaching inn and overhear rumours of a witch hunt of a very dangerous witch, and hear a story of how she with a small spell unleashed a chain of events in another country. Later, as they're walking though town, an old woman asks them for help, to hide her from the mob. She is the witch, and in exchange for helping them she will offer them one powerful curse on someone that betrayed them.

If they accept, she will lead the priest (sensing that he has an interest in sorcery) into her lair to show him how its done. Then she will cause one thing to someone seemingly unrelated (like spilling the milk of a small peasant farmer in not-Lombardy), which will lead to another thing, and another, and finally to war breaking out and a naval blockade around where Antonio wanted to board a ship. It'll take a month before everyone figures out that its all a big misunderstanding. Because of the war, crossing the border will be difficult and they have to do something else while they're in Eisen, such as that adventure you were planning.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 07:44:30 PM by FlaminCows »

Offline Tonymitsu

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Re: [7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures] Plot convergeance help needed
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 07:58:04 PM »
...

There... are about a hundred workable ideas in that suggestion.

The church Inquisition is actively hunting sorcery and all things Syrneth.  One sorcery in particular is called Fate magic that does pretty much what it sounds like by examining and manipulating the threads that connect people.

In addition, sealing the southern border of Eisen would be trivial since the Eisenfurst in charge of that area is extremely paranoid.

:plot

Thanks a million.
"The only thing in the entire universe more dangerous than knowledge is ignorance."
--Lord Volkarion Knightcon

Offline FlaminCows

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Re: [7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures] Plot convergeance help needed
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 08:25:23 PM »
You are welcome. Feel free to come back for more assistance at any time. I like getting upvoted.  :cool