The Art and Story of  7th Sea: The City of Five Sails

The Art and Story of 7th Sea: The City of Five Sails


Cover Art by Charles Urbach

 

My name is Case Lopez, Designer and Creative Director for Pine Box Entertainment’s new original card game, 7th Sea: The City of Five Sails. My job focuses on themes that bring the writing, design, and art into one cohesive vision. Past articles for this project have shown the game’s card types, as well as a introducing the communal City Deck. Today I am going to pull back the curtain a little and show off some of the amazing art that we have commissioned this project. I will also discuss the story that we have set to go forward, and hopefully provide a taste of what is to come. 

 

Art by Sally Grew

 

So why Five Sails?  Like many of you, I played the original CCG produced by AEG that coincided with the 1st edition of the 7th Sea Role Playing Game. But while that game was enjoyable, I felt it only represented a fraction of what the world of 7th Sea was. By focusing the story and interaction to a single location, we can keep the interaction between the factions going without the downtime of roaming the vast open seas. The City of Five Sails, named in the 7th Sea RPG books as “Théah’s most interesting city,” is the perfect location for our story moving forward. It serves as a major trade hub, a place where heroes and villains congregate and has laws that defer wildly depending on interpretation. It is said that within Five Sails, a dishonest man can earn an honest coin, and the opposite is true as well. Setting our story within the city of Five Sails allows us to still keep the pirates, privateers, and explorers of the original CCG. At the same time, we can bring in politicians, merchants, musketeers and more to truly represent the 7th Sea world of adventure and intrigue all within a constantly changing, high-pressure environment. The fact that Five Sails is a port city also gives us the advantage of having the vast world of 7th Sea come to us. You never know who will show up, or what they will bring with them.

 

Art by Kou Yang

 

The City itself is surrounded by the borders of five different nations, and while they do have some influence over the city, they do not control her. Instead, the city is a melting pot of different districts and customs from all over Théah. This gives us a lot of freedom to feature different cultures. In fact, diversity has been one of our priorities from inception moving forward. Having the location of our game set in a free and bustling port city gives us a lot of leeway to bring in different aspects of Théah. Expect characters from every corner of this world including the new lands of Khitai. Our story begins with five factions that operate from different districts. Each faction has their own goals, methods, and style with how to cultivate and expand their influence. Odette, a Montainge courtier new to he city, has a group of loyal musketeers that make up with steel with what she lacks in connections. Kaspar from Eisen is a surviving general from the War of the Cross, looking to expand the ranks of his new army to fight creatures plaguing the lands. Soline grew up on the streets and canals of the Castile district of Five Sails, and with her crew of tricksters and thieves seek out any advantage afforded to them. Don Constanzo is a well known diplomat and politician from the Vodacce distict who has an army of henchmen at his call. Finally there is Yevgeni, a giant of a man from Ussura, with no known past who seems to answer to the whims of the world itself.

 

Art by Sergio Villa-Isaza

 

Now I’ll discuss something I am extremely excited about, the art! While we are using many fantastic existing art pieces from the 7th Sea 2nd Edition books, we have brought in a number of amazing artists to help to start to tell our story and help to bring the city of Five Sails to life. Artists such as Charles Urbach, Jason Behnke, Kou Yang, Sally Grew, Greg Bobrowski, Terry Pavlet, and many more help introduce the characters and vibrantly bring the game to life. Some of these pieces I chose to showcase here, but this is just a random assortment of the fantastic art that is being created.

 

Art by Fabian Parente

 

One thing that I desired from the very beginning, was a large, expanding, and interactive story. At launch, we have five factions who are vying to expand their influence throughout the city, each one with their own desires, reasons and goals that they strive to achieve. The story will be heavily influenced by the actions of the players. Organized play events, major tournaments, side competitions, online votes, will have says in whether your favorite faction will make forward progression on their goals or lose footing within the city. The ebb and flow of control within the city is truly up to you.

 

Art by Jason Behnke

 

Be on the look out for more news and information for 7th Sea: The City of Five Sails, including insight into our combat system and upcoming announcements of our launch. From all of us at Pine Box Entertainment, welcome to the City of Five Sails!

Announcing Doomtown Online

Announcing Doomtown Online

by Aaron Schnabel

The wind sighs forlornly down the dusty street. Townsfolk hide behind wooden shutters and closed doors. Two groups face off from each other, the only sound the rustling of dusters and the clanking of spurs. The silence is sundered by the sound of a shot and chaos is unfettered. It lasts only moments, and yet to the participants, it seems to go on forever. When the smoke clears and the gunfire fades away, there is only one person left standing in the street…

Doomtown is a game of heroes and villains, cowboys and rustlers, magic and machines. The game’s mechanics meet these themes in an evocative fashion that few other card games have managed to replicate. Nothing compares to the excitement of maneuvering your dudes around town from one deed to another, hoping to catch your opponent off-guard and remove their influential dudes from play with a clever feint of movement and action. Sometimes it just comes down to the luck of the cards and hoping you can pull that 5 of a kind you so desperately need…

Playing Doomtown in person is undoubtedly the most fun and fulfilling way to play the game for the majority of people. But as evidenced by the entire last year, live play isn’t always possible. So where do gamers turn to get their fix when they can’t meet up at the local watering hole to sling some cardboard? The internet of course!

 

I played a lot of Android: Netrunner before getting more seriously into Doomtown. For A:NR, I played online via the fantastic website jinteki.net, which is easy to use via fully automating the various steps of the game along with the card interactions. Thus, I found playing A:NR online a breeze. Just create an account, pull in a deck, and away you go. No client to install, no messing around with downloads, etc.

 

 

So, one of my biggest wishes for the game has always been a clone of jinteki.net for Doomtown. When I started playing Doomtown, OCTGN was pretty much the only game in town if you wanted to play online. A lot of people have put a lot of work into maintaining the Doomtown module for OCTGN and I deeply appreciate their efforts. However, there remain severe barriers to entry with OCTGN that mean that it often feels like you’re spending more energy managing OCTGN itself rather than playing the game.

 

These obstacles mean that the client isn’t widely adopted, which makes it harder to play Doomtown when you want to. This last year has shown that we need robust, easy to use tools to engage in our hobbies and social gatherings when it isn’t possible to do so in person.

 

 

Frustrated with OCTGN’s limitations, I took it upon myself to update an old Tabletop Simulator mod that Blargg (our wonderful dtdb.co admin!) had originally put together. I got it  up to date with the latest expansions and, with PBE’s permission, posted it to the Steam workshop. I saw this as another avenue for people to play Doomtown, especially those that can’t or won’t use OCTGN. The mod has proven to be fairly popular, and I’m grateful that it has

 

gotten people playing Doomtown again, or playing for the first time. For me though, it’s always been a stopgap.

 

Similarly, Doomtown modules were recently added to untap.in and a couple of other online platforms. On one hand, this is great as it allows more people to engage with the game. On the other hand, it’s become a bit of a problem since the online player base is splintered between several different platforms.

 

 

In addition, PBE took on the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and moved all of their scheduled 2020 tournaments online. This was fantastic as it gave people a chance to still play the game with officially sanctioned events and prizes. At the same time, trying to manage which platform players would use, mediating disputes if one player wanted to use OCTGN and another could only use TTS, etc. was an ongoing problem. it became clear that a single, unified platform that was easy to use and available to everyone was necessary to ensure the growth of the game and to bring the online community together.

 

As it turns out, Blargg had once already started building exactly what I’d long hoped for: a web-based, platform agnostic, fully automated game client for Doomtown. Rather than being based on jinteki.net however, it was forked from theironthrone.net source code, which uses javascript instead of clojure for the card automation.

 

For various reasons, he wasn’t able to finish it and bring it online. Thankfully though, someone else decided to step up, take that code base, and complete the project.

 

Thus, was born Doomtown Online. While not 100% feature complete, the client is already at a point where you can play a full game of Doomtown with a good chunk of fully scripted cards. You can even play with cards that are not yet implemented, as there are commands to allow you to manually manage the game state!

 

 

As soon as the project was announced on the Doomtown discord server, I knew I had to jump on board and help out wherever I could. I volunteered to set up a test server with the client on it, so that we could test features and games in a real environment. I learned how to use git and started fumbling my way through contributing card automations. Other people joined in to help with test automation, etc. We now have a small but dedicated team working on this project, rushing to get it to the finish line.

 

None of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the guy who started the project, who has held my hand through every step of my journey with it, and has shown great patience and excitement for the future of Doomtown. Known as trimm on the discord server, he’s been amazing to work with. I wanted everyone to get to know him a bit better, so we did a short interview:

 

 

What is your name, occupation and city of residence?

 

Milan Melisik (Melišík), senior programmer, Prague – Czech Republic (Slovakian by origin)

 

How long have you been playing Doomtown and how did you first get introduced to the game?

 

I think it was back in 2014. I had my eye on the game even before then, but was finally persuaded to pick it up by my friend janosikm. I have been playing it only against him since then. My first game against another opponent was in the OCTGN league against Prodigy and I remember being really nervous.

 

What is it about Doomtown that appeals to you over other card games?

 

My first card game was A Game of Thrones first edition. I was playing with my colleague who introduced me to card games. I fell in love with the deck building, but the second edition did not fulfill my expectations so I started to look for something else. Doomtown won because of the theme, unique deck building, and because I love westerns. The fantasy/horror was more like a bonus.

 

 

How did you first get involved in contributing to the Doomtown community?

 

Thanks to the Covid situation, and because our office was closed, I was not able to play Doomtown. Because of this, I decided to try OCTGN. When playing Doomtown on OCTGN, as a programmer, I saw a lot of opportunities for improvement. Also, because I wanted to learn some Python, I decided to fix some bugs, then add some small features and later big ones. That pointed me to the discord community which is great and helped me a lot.

 

What led you to decide to start the Doomtown Online project? Why start a new project rather than just improving existing ones (OCTGN, TTS, etc)

 

Even as I was improving OCTGN, I was aware of its shortcomings, especially that it was not available on other platforms. The TTS module is good, but I wanted to have a great level of automation which is not easily done on TTS. As I mentioned before, I started with the Game of Thrones card game therefore I was familiar with its online client (theironthrone aka throneteki).It seemed like perfect inspiration for the Doomtown client especially when I found out there already was an attempt to create it by Blargg, so a big part was already done.

 

 

What are the advantages of doomtown.online over the other platforms (OCTGN, TTS, untapped)

Since it is browser based, it is not platform dependent and therefore is accessible to a much broader player base. The background that is reused from throneteki has been proven over time so it was a solid base for the client. The level of automation, if done properly, can be a huge advantage, especially for new players.

 

What has been the biggest hurdle you’ve had to overcome while working on the project? What’s been the biggest success?

 

The single biggest hurdle was a first step to merge the older Blargg client version with newer throneteki and have a stable code that we can build upon. The greatest moment and feeling was when the client was deployed on the server and I was able to play it for the first time with my friend janosikm.

 

 

Anything else you want to share?

 

This project would not be possible without throneteki so I would like to express my great thanks to people who developed it. Also, I would like to thank Blargg, because it would take much longer if not for the older client version created by him. Finally, I hope the client will serve as an addition to the already great Doomtown game and that it will help bring in more players who can experience this gem of a card game.

 

I want to add a very special thank you to the wonderful people at Pine Box Entertainment. They have been supportive of this endeavour the entire time, and when they told us that they wanted to make it the official and sole online client for Doomtown it was exciting, humbling and daunting. Thanks to them for keeping this game alive and going.

 

 

So, when can you expect to join others in the dusty streets of Doomtown Online? Look for the official launch in August 2021!

The Aesthetics of 7th Sea: City of Five Sails

The Aesthetics of 7th Sea: City of Five Sails

 

By David Lapp and Rhiannon McCullough

From the Weird West to Théah, adding a new card game to Pine Box Entertainment’s lineup has been quite the adventure. When we continued Doomtown, we already had an established game to move forward on. Creating one from scratch has been a whole different beast, and quite a rewarding challenge at that. 7th Sea: City of Five Sails is currently still in development as design and playtest continue to work hard to bring you this amazing swashbuckling game. At the same time, we are also working on card layout and art and we wanted to give you a first look at one of the card types, Risks.

What are Risks?

In the 7th Sea roleplaying game, Risks are defined as important actions that could impact the story:

“When you’re playing 7th Sea, you’ll find that your Hero is put in all kinds of tough situations, moments in which real danger or disastrous consequences lay just around the corner. Your Hero takes actions in response to those threats and consequences—Risks—in the hopes of saving the day, warding off fate, or just plain staying alive!”

The Risks in 7th Sea: City of Five Sails represent actions taken in both the main phase and ‘Maneuvers’ that occur during combat. They affect the outcome of the turn and what you can do with your crew.

Nation Specific and Neutral

During deck construction, players will be able to field cards specific to their own Nation, along with those of a pool of Neutral cards to form a 35-40 card play deck. While the actual rules of play remain a work in progress, we hope you are as excited as we are about the layout and graphic design itself.

The following layouts are from some Risk cards that share certain characteristics. The name and cost appear at the top. The symbol for the Nation is in the middle of the card, towards the right. This Nation symbol and the ‘RPT’ combat values at the lower left are a nod to the original 7th Sea card game actions. The Riposte, Parry, and Thrust values are signified by symbols and occur in the same top to bottom order on every card. The card’s main abilities appear in a text box to the right of the RPT values. As in Doomtown, the flavor text listed below the text box help tell the story accompanying the written fiction you will find in card set releases and online. Please note that some terms are subject to change. For instance, the word ‘Character’ may be replaced with ‘Crew’ as we continue to develop and assign terms that are flavorful and appropriate, but also clear and concise to our players.


The Iron Reply (Eisen Nation) is only used in Combat, due to its Maneuver text.


Valiant Spirit (Montaigne Nation) is useful both outside of Combat for its Action, or in Combat for its Maneuver. ‘En Garde’ refers to the act of a straightening a card, thus once again making it ready for use.

Lastly, we have Bleed Out, a Neutral card available only to Villain Leaders. This card adds Wounds to a Character. Characters will be able to take Wounds up to their Resolve rating. That’s right, there will be an opportunity to play the bad guys.😊

Complementing the art, the new card templates have been designed to capture the sense of swashbuckling adventure and feel of the original CCG design. At the same time, we hope that the cards for 7th Sea: City of Five Sails are both readable and aesthetically modern.

Besides developing 7th Sea: City of Five Sails, David is also currently the Lead Developer for Doomtown. Rhiannon is an illustrator and gamer from the Northeast and a graduate of The University of Hawai’i Mānoa. She has previously worked with Dark Steel Games as an illustrator.

Doomtown as A Deadlands Action Deck

Doomtown as A Deadlands Action Deck

 

Greetings pardners! If you followed the new Deadlands: The Weird West Kickstarter, or were one of the backers, you may know fulfillment has begun on getting out the stunning new version of this beloved RPG. To celebrate, we’d like to present some ideas on how you can use your Doomtown cards, while also playing Deadlands.

 

Those new to tabletop RPGs or the Savage Worlds game system will find that combat initiative uses a unique system of each player receiving a playing card from a regular 54-card poker deck. Not only can you use your Doomtown cards to fulfill this function, it can also operate as a tool for the Gamemaster.

 

The deck featured here on dtdb.co, presents a deck that you can use for the Doomtown card game. You can also shuffle this deck to produce random dudes, deeds, goods, or events that can occur within your Deadlands game. You can either shuffle the deck and pull from it at random, or divide the piles into suits. Need to identify what weapon your baddies are using in a particular fight? Draw randomly from the hearts for your Goods! Need an NPC to appear to interact with the posse? Draw from your spades for an inspired Dude to enter the scene!

 

 

Jordan Caves-Callarman, Marshal of the WildCards Deadlands live show on Twitch, explains his usage of Doomtown cards with the RPG:

“I use Doomtown cards for all sorts of things when I’m GMing Deadlands. They can be great visual aids for NPCs or enemies like I used them in our game for the Deadlands Kickstarter, and when I ran the Twilight Protocol event games my players got a kick out of being handed cards representing items and relics they came across. There are also a ton of colorful location cards you can lay out to better illustrate the places your posse visit – set them up as you would in a game of Doomtown to create an easy map of a frontier town’s main street!

 

Having visual aids at the table is great, but what I really like about using Doomtown cards as a GM, are all the details. Between the colorful names, the card art, and the flavor text, there are plenty of jumping-off points on any given card for coming up with memorable NPCs, items, and locations – you can use them as-is, or just keep what inspires you and drop the rest. Grab a couple of Action cards to lay down when there are complications in your players’ best-laid plans, or use them to spark ideas for fun plot wrinkles to add to your session.”  

 

 

Jordan Pridgen, who portrayed Gabriel Pryor in the WildCards show adds the following:

As an RPG player, your character is everything. Whether you’re sitting down for a single one-off session with some new friends at a convention (remember those?) or building something for a long-term campaign, you want your character to really have legs. Sure sometimes you have the perfect idea right off the bat, but if you’re a new player who isn’t used to the scope of the Weird West, or an experienced dice-slinger who feels like they want to branch out, you won’t find a better font of cool character ideas than Doomtown.

Personally, I’ve found Doomtown to be flush with inspiration. You can basically pick any dude from any set and start the sparks of character innovation burning. I mean sure if you base a character off of “Dynamite” Jacc you might want to have a spare ready, but even a card as simple as the wonderfully named “Androcles Brocklehurst” could lead you to build an old-school southern lawyer with money and connections (and maybe a little bit of corruption if you dig deep enough), who frankly I know I’d have a great time playing.

On the other end of the spectrum, the stylish masked burglar Jim Hexter, or the unconventional besuited martial artist Feichi Suitcase” Lee, could make for unforgettable PCs with quirks that will really help you motivate and drive your personal story. Heck, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that cards like “Quaterman” and “Post-a-tron” were part of the inspiration for my character Midas Buchanan’s mechanical child “Christopher” on Wild Cards. So if you’re thinking about getting into Deadlands RPG, or even just looking for some new takes on the world, give Doomtown a look. And hey, come join us for a few games on the discord while you’re at it!”

 

 

We recommend the following list to start out, or make your own pardner!

 

Smith & Robards Trade Show (Out for Blood): You can include this with your Clubs or Diamonds.

 

Dude (13)

1x Theo Whateley-Boyer (Ghost Town)

1x “Mahogany” Jackson (Ghost Town)

1x Henry Moran (Ghost Town)

1x “Thunder Boy” Nabbe (Blood Moon Rising)

1x Adrián Vallejo (There Comes a Reckoning)

1x Johnny Brocklehurst (There Comes a Reckoning)

1x Agent Provocateur (There Comes a Reckoning)

1x F1 Burch (There Comes a Reckoning)

1x Cooper Grannon (Hell’s Comin’ With Me)

1x New Varney Nosferatu (Welcome to Deadwood)

1x Clementine Lepp (Base Set)

1x Funtime Freddy (Frontier Justice)

1x El Grajo (No Turning Back)

 

Deed (13)

1x Walters Creek Distillery (Ghost Town)

1x Epitaph Branch Office (There Comes a Reckoning)

1x Gateway Station (Out for Blood)

1x Rham’s Readings (Hell’s Comin’ With Me)

1x Land Purchase (Welcome to Deadwood)

1x The Town Hall (Base Set)

1x Stagecoach Office (Base Set)

1x Cattle Market (Base Set)

1x Bunkhouse (Base Set)

1x General Store (Base Set)

1x Telegraph Office (Base Set)

1x The Mayor’s Office (Election Day Slaughter)

1x Huntsmen’s Society (No Turning Back)

 

Goods (13)

1x Jael’s Guile (Dirty Deeds)

1x LeMat Revolver (Bad Medicine)

1x Tusk (Ghost Town)

1x Essence of Armitage (The Curtain Rises)

1x Bowie Knife (Blood Moon Rising)

1x Scattergun (Out for Blood)

1x Peacemaker (Base Set)

1x Pearl-Handled Revolver (Base Set)

1x Flame-Thrower (Base Set)

1x Legendary Holster (Base Set)

1x Holy Wheel Gun (Double Dealin’)

1x Outlaw Mask (Faith and Fear)

1x Idol of Tlazolteotl (Immovable Object, Unstoppable Force)

 

Action (13)

1x Framed (Ghost Town)

1x Putting The Pieces Together (The Curtain Rises)

1x Calling The Cavalry (The Showstopper)

1x Hostile Takeover (Too Tough to Die)

1x Frontier Feud (Hell’s Comin’ With Me)

1x As Nature and God Intended (Welcome to Deadwood)

1x Hired Guns (Base Set)

1x Ambush (Base Set)

1x Kidnappin’ (Base Set)

1x Bounty Hunter (Base Set)

1x A Coach Comes to Town (Base Set)

1x A Secret Tunnel (Base Set)

1x Ol’ Fashioned Hangin’ (No Turning Back)

 

Cards featured includes those up to the recent Welcome to Deadwood expansion, available now from the Pine Box Entertainment store or your FLGS!

 

To get caught up on the status of the Weird West as it related to Doomtown, check out our new video detailing more ways in which Deadlands ties into Doomtown!

Community Classics: Booted Dudes Episode 1

Community Classics: Booted Dudes Episode 1

On July 1st, 2020 – Pine Box Entertainment celebrated our third anniversary. With the world being what it is, and our focus on our upcoming projects – we sort of forgot to celebrate. No worries though, we’re still going to do so, and in style. Over Doomtown’s storied, and often unpredictable, past there has been one thing that has driven it. The community.

In order properly celebrate, we must celebrate the community. So we’re excited to post and share Booted Dudes Episode 1 for posterity and your enjoyment! Expect more in the future.