City Deck Update 2024 reflects ongoing developments in Five Sails’ community driven story while also offering changes meant to improve the play experience.

To update your city deck, remove cards numbered 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13, 18, 20, and 21 from the city deck included in the core game. Then, replace them with the cards from this 2024 update which share the same numbers. The new City Deck will become available for Print and Play on Drivethru Cards on 7/2/24. 

We will always release city deck updates for free via print and play, because there is no price tag on the story. However, physical copies of the city deck update with cardboard cards will be included in 2025’s Fate and Fortune expansion. If you’d like physical copies before that release, they will also be available on Drivethru cards very soon!

Note that official tournaments, including Gen Con 2024 events, will require use of this updated city deck until the next update is released. If you are participating at a Gen Con, a City Deck Update 2024 pack will be provied to you, and there will be more for sale at our booth in cae you’d like extras!

In this article, the Five Sails Development Team share their thoughts, insights, and ramblings about each card in the update. You can read our notes below as you check out what this update has to offer!

Penya – #1

Replaces Penya Shows the Way

Penya was first introduced in the “Welcome to Five Sails” RPG module, which was the founding document behind the world within the city. Penya Shows the Way served as a subtle reference to Penya in the city, but as time passed, Carmel loved using him more and more within the fiction. It only felt right to see him enter the city deck as a character. But, he’s also a kid, which means no combat, and any risk of harm leads to his inevitable escape. His city action still allows him to show the way, because despite all the conflict, Five Sails is still Penya’s city.
– Carl

Penya is annoying. But that was kind of his design goal.
– Brian

One of this city deck update’s goals is fixing things that we feel were straight up wrong. Not making Penya a character in the first place was just wrong. But now he is a character, and I am pleased.
– Rob

Chance Meeting – #3

Replaces Siren’s Scream

One of the things that this game could use a bit more of are catch-up mechanics. Character count can have a snowballing effect, and it can be hard to recover from losing a single character, given that you only muster one per turn. This event seeks to help balance the field in the competitive space, while allowing the casual multiplayer crowd a way to get several characters into a location for a big brawl. Seeing Siren Scream go will make plenty of folks happy, especially given that it slowed down competitive games.
– Carl

Devil Jonah’s Bones – #5

Replaces Sorte Deck

I like gambling, gambling is fun. I wanted a weird gamble, so to promote gambling, you get an extra card.
– Rob

With eleven of the city cards being attachments, making them all feel distinct is a crucial goal. Seeing Sorte Deck go made a lot of sense, as healing can slow down games and nullify previous momentum via dueling. So, to replace it, something combat oriented (but unique) that evoked The Devil Jonah was the task. Gambling from the bottom of the deck could allow some clever gambles for players keeping track of what they’ve recently sunk, while also evoking Jonah dredging up your gamble from the depths. Revealing an extra card on a gamble is a very potent combat ability, and we found in testing that the card had to be more than 1 cost. Our solution? Force whoever snags the bones to suffer a wound, sealing their pact with The Devil Jonah in blood.
– Carl

Inauguration Day – #8

Replaces Claude de la Roche

I am just really happy that we were able to see this city deck update include cards that are manifestations of real-world story decisions. This card is a reference to the top of faction choice for Gen Con 2023, and now Claude the character is replaced with a card celebrating Claude’s election. Using the same ability from Claude allowed us to reference Claude as a character while also seeing that same ability play differently, specifically because it’s not on a character.
– Rob

Julius Caligari – #10

Replaces Maryam Benu Pleroma

His art (originally from the CCG) came first, and because of his grabby hand, he looked like he really wanted to yoink something from your hand. I immediately thought of Netrunner and wanted to do an effect where cards were revealed from hand. Trait references are a new design space for us and we’re interested to see what players do with it.
– Rob

I’ve been very excited to see what characters the CCG community send over into Five Sails. Julius was once a crew member aboard the Crimson Roger, about which recent rumors have been floating around! Because of Julius’ time serving as the Caligari informant on the activities of Captain Reis in the CCG, seeing him with the Spy trait and the ability to peek at info in your hand felt on-point.
– Carl

Equal Claim – #12

Replaces Vladislav Novikoff

What I like about it is it makes people play differently, it’s even a bit of a rubber band when an opponent has a character advantage on you, and you can disrupt their previously claimed location if this card is there. Clever maneuvering with this on the field can mean that disparities in character count could be less problematic.
– Rob

City cards with passives are a little more challenging to use, because sometimes, they’re forgotten about. However, abilities like this are too much fun not to use and can meaningfully influence the way we play. I am really excited to see what strategies players implement to work around or take advantage of Equal Claim. This card was also inspired by the cunning and conniving collusion of the New in Town online league participants, who intentionally forced a tie vote on a poll to force us to make an extra attachment. Are you happy now?
– Carl

Crabs in a Bucket – #13

Replaces Point of Opportunity

Crabs in a Bucket is the best example of “my” side of the project. It’s a card about jealousy, it’s a card about tearing down people who are doing better than you. My goal is to name cards – and create a follow up flavor text – that breathe life into the mechanics. The phrase “crabs in a bucket” is a common idiom that most people are familiar with. It instantly evokes the the exact kind of selfish, short-sighted thinking you get from the scoundrels and criminals that make up the bulk of our setting. It’s an easy and comfortable title to give the player understand exactly what it does.

Because of our genre, each of our characters is capable of saying something snappy, witty, or dramatic. The question becomes who to assign that quote to. Ren is a frequently used character card, she hasn’t spoken up much or shown up directly in the fiction. Assigning this quote to her gives us a larger snippet into why she’s here, why she’s found herself working with the Ussurans, how her time in the City might have started with high hopes and settled into cynical wisdom.

I try to consider how all these pieces fit whenever I name, quote, and assign a quote on a card. How complete of a picture can I paint over the pristine canvas Rob and Brian give me. It’s a lot of fun. After a while, instead of a challenge, it becomes my version of wordle. Each time, I try to uncover the best options.
– Carmel

Kalla and Adelheide – #18

Replaces Adelheide Schmidt

We wanted to see more city deck characters do things immediately, so “on recruit” effects feel explosive and get right into the action. I like to imagine Kalla and Adelheide being recruited, then following up with a mortal-combat fatality move, ripping the Silver Spine out of an opposing character.
– Rob

The creation/destruction motif within Kalla and Adelheide’s profession and mechanics is something I love about this card. These smiths can make you anything from your deck, or go anywhere to break someone else’s toy. I am really interested to see the obscure, fragile, and irreplaceable things they smash to bits.
– Carl

Early Morning Arrangements – #20

Replaces Angeline Demone

Honestly, the thing that surprises me most about this card is that the name ended up fitting and sticking around. I just really like that I name things in stupid ways to understand the theme of the card and what it’s doing. But then, someone else brings in the art, traits, and flavor text and makes my original idea into a good one (you’re welcome Carmel). I was pleased and surprised people enjoyed putting cards into their home as utility plays for later. I expected people to hate it, but was wrong, there may be more designs in the future with “at home” utility-play going forward.
– Rob

The ability to keep a character in the city overnight or get an early move is potent and exciting. With Penya Shows the Way leaving the city deck, seeing an event card that allowed something similar, but with greater flexibility felt like a great tool to offer players. Adding the requirement of the finesse pressure evoked the hasty arrangements while also making finesse a slightly more relevant stat when this drops during Dawn.
– Carl

Silver Spine – #21

Replaces Kalla Forsberg

We wanted to make a character with the spine feel impervious, but in a different way than just giving extra resolve. Seeing Maryam’s ability return on an attachment felt like a way to give that feeling of an indomitable nature the spine provides.
– Rob

The city deck is fulfilling the promise of a Syrneth voltron character. Who doesn’t want a green hand, silver spine, and crystal eye all together?
– Brian

Like with the bones, making sure each of the eleven attachments tells their own story and feel unique is high-priority. The +1 Resolve is always welcome, and while similar to the Burnished Cuirass, the ability on the spine make sit behave quite differently.
– Carl

Three cards in this update numbered “0” and are Shore Leave characters that can visit Five Sails when you choose to customize your city deck! In casual games, we encourage players to customize their city decks however they wish, using any mix of the original and new city cards

Kaptain Kristian

Part-Time Pirate Part-Time Santa Full-Time Friend

Kaptain Kristian is an all around wonderful person who generously provides his time to children and families. He thoughtfully curated his top-notch pirate attire for a live, pirate-themed kid’s show he hosts, where he is joined by his parrot, Red, and a talented supporting cast. When he isn’t swashbuckling and sailing, he also serves as a Santa, and we wanted gift-giving to come through in his mechanics. When he arrives, and when he leaves, everyone ends up with a gift! In Five Sails, he may even invite your character over to his side of town, just to give them a gift! Kaptain Kristian has joined us at conventions, wearing his full pirate ensemble to draw in the crowds, and we greatly appreciate his friendship. We’re beyond excited to see him in Five Sails.

The whole reason this character exists is because of Kaptain Kristian and his parrot, Red. I first met him at PAXU in 2022, and he’s super cool and works with kids, which means a lot to me. He’s not a part of the dev team, but he is a huge supporter of our team and what we do. He is such a kind and compassionate person who does things for people with no gain for himself, and he deserves to be in this city deck update. This card is pure vanity because he absolutely should be recognized.

Jesse Nkansa & Wayland Greywall

Protagonists of the Writer’s Room – 7th Sea Podcast

The Writer’s Room is an awesome 7th Sea RPG podcast featuring Zoe Jackson as the storyteller, and with Evan Ackley and Patrick Keefe in starring roles as the main characters, Jesse Nkansa and Wayland Greywall. You can listen to their actual play podcast and learn more about them here:

Jesse Nkansa

We met the Writers Room cast when we were showing off Five Sails at Chaosiumcon 2022. They loved RPT, as people always do. We talked a lot about their podcast and later, they did a reading of one of the stories. I personally really appreciated that since I previously hosted “the Table is Yours” podcast for L5R story readings. Meeting folks with such amazing talents and passion for 7th sea was really cool, and we wanted them in the game.
– Rob

For Jesse, we wanted to firstly focused on that Capital “H” Hero aspect of his character, hence why Scoundrels and Villains cannot deny his challenges. As a freedom-driven explorer and the Captain of la Rosa Blanca, we really wanted the theme of freedom and exploration to come through with with his city action, allowing him to move to new places in the city and see the sights.
– Carl

Jesse has a hummingbird, which is very cool, and he strikes me as having an underdog vibe. The explorer ability came pretty naturally given his professions and background.
– Brian

Wayland Greywall

Wayland and Jesse are both such multifaceted characters with so much character development across their story on the podcast, that boiling all of what they do down to a few words and numbers in a text box is a difficult task. While Wayland is a Hero in the podcast, we focused more on his Pirate side with this card, and wanted to give him that interesting advantage that a native finesse duel can provide, which also evokes his focus on ranged combat. Why is he a Knight though? And why is he Redeemed? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out!
– Carl

Wayland has every ability you can conceive, magic, a crab claw staff, cool boots, but we cannot fit that all on a card, so we focused on his ranged combat with through a finesse duel.
– Brian

Offhand restriction Brian added was so late in development, but so obvious, I cannot believe we missed it.
– Rob