Thursday, August 21, 2014

7th Sea Maps and Tokens

Earlier this year I ran a short 7th Sea campaign via the Roll20 online interface, so I needed to whip up some tokens and images. The campaign ended earlier than intended (less than half a dozen sessions, IIRC) for scheduling reasons, so rather than let it all go to waste, I figured I'd share some of the props I made.

Maps and Locations:

We'll start with a world map of Theah. This one is cobbled together from two very similar maps. The political map of Theah from the front of the 7th Sea Player's Guide, and the geographical map of Theah from the front of the 7th Sea GM's Guide. Each was individually available as a file from the publisher, I just melded the layers into a single image that had the names of forests and mountain ranges and yet still had the capitals and the national boundaries clearly marked.

Most of my actual campaign took place on a mysterious jungle-covered island where the PCs were stranded (think 7th Sea meets Lost). This was the basic backdrop map image I used as they explored. Two mountain peaks, miles of shoreline, and plenty wild uncharted jungles that could be hiding anything (such as poor abused photoshop brush plug-ins, see below).

While it's still "island shaped", I did my best to make it fill the rectangular screen space of Roll20 without wasting a lot of area on empty blue open water. Dead space would be wasted opportunity, and I planned the map to be pretty crowded once the island was fully explored.

Individual ruins and other points of interest were represented on that map by little icons that I dragged and dropped over it. For example, when the PCs found an old Porté Gate that had gone disused for so long it now was dangerous and had a telltale reddish glow, I placed this little image on the appropriate part of the map. On Roll20 I had the map scaled up and the icon here scaled down.

When the players moved to an actual site, I'd switch to either a local map or an image of what they saw.

On page 14 of the Explorer's Society splatbook there's this captivating picture of a bizarre Syrneth tower that really I wanted to use for the game. Over Roll20, you can't just hand the book around to show it off, so I scanned it, deleted the surrounding text, and added a little color and texture. The result is to the right. They explored that for a while

Character Tokens:

The PCs are shown here in red-bordered tokens for moving about the map. (Again, the tokens were usually shrunk down much smaller, and the map was always much bigger on Roll20. Also worth noting, I didn't create any of the art for these tokens, I just googled images and dumped them into tokentool.)

The PCs were a Giselle Roux (a Montaigne Porté mage) and Vadim Verekai (the only surviving twin from a pair of Ussuran circus acrobats). These PCs were associated with the Explorer's Guild, which was how they ended up on the mysterious island in the first place (their ship vanished after their arrival, resulting in the temporary stranding).


There was a relatively small cast of characters, given that they were stranded on a deserted island for most of the adventure.  I wanted to get just the right image for each character token, so I made up several and then chose the one that best captured the concept when shrunk down to map marker size.

Here's some vodacce characters, including a fate witch I never used, and 4 different dark and brooding vodacce men that I eventually picked from.   I used one of them for the cruel Bosun of the ship they arrived on who was also stranded on the island with them, so there'd be at least one pain-in-the-ass but mostly grudgingly trustworthy character that they couldn't just kill without there being consequences.
Next are tokens for two Vestenmannavnjar women. One of them I used as a crazy woman, named Githrun Thithransdottir, who'd been stranded on the island for years before the PCs arrived. The less-crazy token didn't get used at all.
The crazy viking lady was usually being chased by Ghouls; the island had quite a few of them. If there's an actual illustration of a Thean Ghoul in a book somewhere, I haven't seen it, and nothing useful comes up in a google search. They're described in the GM's guide as roughly grey carnivorous apes, rather than the undead humanoid that the word usually brings to mind. They're basically just another wild animal within the setting, albeit one that is known to attack humans in the middle of the night. I wanted them to straddle that line between intelligent and monstrous, mostly mundane but just a touch feral and alien. So I stole art from an old school Magic: The Gathering card (Barbary Apes from Legends) that I thought caught close enough to the right feel. This art wouldn't have worked for Ghouls on mainland Theah, but it was just fine for a remote island.
The other major NPC was a "fish out of temporal water" character who'd been not just stranded, but somehow preserved within the old Syrneth tower (pictured above) for hundreds if not thousands of years. He was dressed as a servant from Old Numa, and spoke in an oddly accented version of the old academic tongue.

The PCs set him free, and I was slowly hinting that this was a big mistake... like he might be a willing servant of Legion, or been a Bargainer himself, or a skinwalking Syrneth murder-monster, or just the unwitting victim of some old curse or enchantment... but the campaign ended early (for out-of-character reasons) so they never got find out what he was exactly, nor try to put the genie back in the bottle. Suffice it to say, lots of creepy things happened in his presence. His name was Nymphidius Curio Maior, but in the player's defense they didn't learn his full name until after they broke him out of the ancient prison machine.

1 comment: said...

That's some good looking work you did there Rolfe.