7th Sea (role-playing game)

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7th Sea
Cover for 7th Sea Game Master's Guide
Polish edition
Illustration by Terese Nielsen (1999)
GenresSwashbuckling, sorcery
SystemsRoll-and-Keep system, later d20 System

7th Sea is a "swashbuckling and sorcery"-themed tabletop role-playing game by John Wick.[2] It is set in the fictional world of Théah, a fantasy version of 17th century Earth. Originally published by AEG, 7th Sea is currently published by Chaosium. The game won an Origins Award in 2000 and six ENNIE Awards in 2017.


Alderac Entertainment Group published the Game Master's Guide and Player's Guide for Seventh Sea in April 1999 in a lay-flat binding.[2] Originally 7th Sea materials were published using a d10 (roll-and-keep) dice system. The game was fairly well received.[3]: 101  Some of the game's later supplements included information about the game's world that affected its flavor, including an extensive and rather Lovecraftian background to sorcery.

In 2001, Studio G published two comic books: 7th Sea – Absolution[4] and 7th Sea: Prelude to Ruin.[5]

In 2004, Alderac switched to the d20 System and re-branded the game to Swashbuckling Adventures[3]: 104 . After poor sales of the three Swashbuckling Adventure d20 books, a series of hybrid books were published which supported both the d20 system and the d10 system. Alderac no longer publishes books for the system[3]: 105  although a series of electronic books has been released by volunteer writers through the AEG website.

In 2015, Alderac Entertainment Group announced that they had entered into a deal with John Wick Presents, effectively transferring the publication rights for 7th Sea to John Wick. AEG still retained limited rights to publish undisclosed products.[6] Wick successfully crowd-funded the campaign of the second edition of the game on Kickstarter on March 13, 2016,[7] with the first book – the new core rules – coming out in June of that year. Later that month, the 7th Sea Explorers' Society was launched on DriveThruRPG to allow fans to self-publish material for the setting.[8]

On November 12, 2017, a separate effort[9] raised money for 7th Sea: Khitai, the East Asian-inspired counterpart to 7th Sea. The rate of publication proved to be unsustainable, though, and in November of the following year Wick was forced to lay off his staff and defer further publication for the line.[10]

On April 2, 2019, Chaosium announced that they had acquired the rights to the 7th Sea product line along with the Second Edition and Khitai Kickstarters from John Wick, including back stock of books published so far.[11] Work on the product line has since resumed.


In 2000, 7th Sea won the Origins Award for Best Roleplaying Game of 1999.[1] The setting also inspired a collectible card game.

In 2017, 7th Sea won ENNIE Awards for "Product of the Year," "Best Game," "Best Rules," "Best Cartography," "Best Free Product," and "Best Supplement."[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The 1999 Origins Awards - Presented at Origins 2000". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Fannon, Sean Patrick (May 1999). "Seventh Sea Player's Guide and Game Master's Guide". InQuest. No. 49. Wizard Entertainment. pp. 32–33.
  3. ^ a b c Shannon Appelcline (2014). Designers & Dragons: The '90s. Vol. 3 (2 ed.). Evil Hat Productions. ISBN 978-1-61317-084-7.
  4. ^ Absolution Studio G
  5. ^ Prelude to Ruin Studio G
  6. ^ "A Return to 7th Sea". alderac.com (Official blog). 3 November 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  7. ^ Wick, John (9 February 2016). "7th Sea: Second Edition". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  8. ^ "7th Sea Explorer's Society". chaosium.com (Official website). Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  9. ^ "7th Sea: Khitai". 12 November 2017. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  10. ^ "John Wick Presents Lays Off Staff". icv2.com (Industry news). 6 November 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
  11. ^ O'Brien, Michael (2 April 2019). "John Wick joins Chaosium". Chaosium press release. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  12. ^ "2017 Nominees and Winners – ENNIE Awards". Retrieved 2023-04-25.

External links[edit]