John Wick on Running 7th Sea

The Spirit of the 7th Sea podcast gave us a not so surprising Halloween surprise: an interview with John Wick on running 7th Sea!

I say it wasn’t much of a surprise because Hannah Shaffer (JWP marketing director) had asked for questions for the interview weeks ago.  The surprise was that the interview was far more about style and less about form, so most of the mechanical questions never made it into the interview.  A wasted opportunity that, but I’m not going to complain since two of my questions made it into the interview.  And the answers were interesting.  I’m not going to give it all away here, but I would encourage other 7th Sea GMs (and players!) to give the interview a listen.  There is some good stuff in there that really needs to be distilled into the GM section of 7th Sea: Khitai or the inevitable 7th Sea revised edition.

If you are not a fan of the new edition, if the revised mechanics and setting make your teeth itch, if the mere mention of John Wick triggers you, pass this one by.  There is nothing in here that’s going to change your mind on any one of these points.  If you love the setting, but the mechanics read like Greek (sorry, Numenari) to you, there aren’t any revelations to be had.  He does discuss creating Consequences and Opportunities for a scene, but I’m not sure how helpful the answer really is as the context feels…weird.

In fact, if I have a complaint about the interview, its the perspective offered.  I get the impression that John Wick’s experience running 7th Sea is that of a series a highly episodic sessions and one-shot, not as a long-running serial that us old timers aspire to run.  Now part of that is probably the nature of the biz: when most of your play comes from demos and con-hopping, that’s what your experience is going to be.  Or if you are used to switching RPGs often or troupe-style GM play.  But for those of who dig in for long haul campaigns, there is something of a disconnect in the advice given.  (I hold all RPG developers to the unrealistic expectation that they, like Gary Gygax, run a weekly open table game for migrating groups of players for years to test out ideas and new rules – which the man did for both D&D and Lejendary Adventure.  So keep that in perspective.  And yes, I know almost none of them actually do that.)

My dream a big 7th Sea GM roundtable where everyone gets deep in the weeds Angry GM style on how to make the game sing like a siren is still unfulfilled.  So if you’re listening JWP, put that on your list for 2018.

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