– Player’s Packet –
“You’re off the edge of the map now, mate. Here, there be monsters!”
Overview: Seventeen Seas is a campaign setting intended to blend the magic, mystery and exploration of traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy with the buccaneering spirit of high, swashbuckling adventure. It’s a setting where the heroes are daring rogues and cunning captains, exploring uncharted waters in search of ancient treasure or blasting away in ship-to-ship combat or gambling in seedy dockside taverns. Good storytelling, good characterization and good fun are all paramount here.
The World: The campaign takes place across the titular Seventeen Seas, an interconnected web of small oceans, dotted by innumerable islands, archipelagos and subcontinents. These are peopled by merchants and colonists, smugglers and pirates, all plying the tradeways and the shipping lanes in schooners, caravels, cogs and brigantines. The farther one sails towards the edges of the world, the more marvelous the sights and the people become, from the loathsome toadfolk of Zamesh, to frost giants sailing their frigid war-glaciers, to the undead nation of Far Thanaz. All in all, the Seventeen Seas are rife with peril, opportunity, plunder and, most importantly, adventure.
Races: The people of the Seventeen Seas are, if anything, diverse. Humans, dwarves and halflings once formed the Continentals, a single culture that dwelt upon the now-sunken main continent. Divided into Five Kingdoms, the elven people are a culture older and more advanced than the Continentals, having the study of arcane magic, something they employ in practically all aspects of their lives. Dragonborn of the distant west, often emmissaries or exiles from the mighty dragonate, are a frequent sight among the islands. A dozen other races, from tieflings to minotaur to half-orcs, can be found across the seas, particularly among the pirates and freebooters.
Magic: Magic, arcane and divine, is ever-present across the Seventeen Seas. An unknown phenomena on the bygone Continent, magic is redolent among the islands and lands beyond. Few ships set sail without a spellcaster aboard, magic aiding in all aspects of the nautical life, from navigation to sailing to battle. Ship-to-ship combat is made all the more extraordinary by the inclusion of feats of sorcery – not only do the cannons pound away, but fireballs and tidal waves and gales are all common sights when two spellsails engage in combat on the high seas.
Religion: Among the colonists, the saints of the Manyfold Faith holds sway. Consisting of thousands of canonized individuals from ages long past, the Manyfold includes such patron saints for primal, elemental things such as fire, thunder and death, but also for specialized and everyday dogmas, including vegetables, milkmaids and impatience. Among the other islands, however, an infinite number of smaller gods, deities and spirits are worshipped.
– Guidelines –
- Choose any of the standard races from the Player’s Handbook (dwarf, elf, human, halfling, half-elf, dragonborn, tiefling, half-orc) with the exception of gnomes and dark elves. Gnomes, while they exist in the world, are highly isolationist and unavailable as a player-character race. I haven’t yet found a good place for drow in the setting and ultimately may not.
- Any of the twelve classes are available to play, with no restrictions.
Level & Equipment
- The adventure is designed for 3rd level characters. You’ll start with standard money for your class, which you can spend to purchase your equipment.
- Gunpowder Weapons: Gunpowder weaponry – the flintlock pistol and the musket – is available for anyone proficient with martial ranged weapons:
Flintlock (50 gd) – 1d10 piercing, 3 lb, ammunition (ranged 30/90), loading
Musket (75 gd) – 1d12 piercing, 10 lb, ammunition (ranged 40/120), loading, two-handed
- Feel free to choose any of the available backgrounds provided in the Player’s Handbook, with the caveat that the adventure assumes you to be a member of a pirate crew. If you’ve chosen sage, spend a little time to figure out how, exactly, you came to be a buccaneer.
- The adventure begins with the heroes as crewmen aboard the Banshee, a beleaguered and down-on-her-luck pirate caravel. Captained by the morose Captain Tadalina the Tall, the Banshee has endured some particularly lean and troubling times. It’s been weeks since she’s last taken a prize, her hull is badly in need of repair and, most recently, she’s just put down an unsuccessful mutiny, thinning her ranks to approximately a dozen hands.
Morale is understandably low, then, as the Banshee limps into port at Cape Celesta, a notorious pirate port. Tadalina’s ostensibly come here looking for work or, really, any reason not simply to sink the unlucky vessel to the depths and have done.