7th Sea is a game of high-seas swashbuckling and ship-to-ship combat. In 7th Sea, you are the captain of a ship fighting for control of the seas of Theah. Whether you want to board your opponents and fight with swords, blast them with your cannons, or simply ram them to the bottom of the sea, you will organize your crew and adventure across the seas until the time is right to strike.
7th Sea is a Collectible Card Game, which means that there are hundreds of cards available for you to play with. You've got sixty of those cards right now, and as you play you will discover that part of the fun of a collectible card game is tracking down the ones that work the best for you. You can expect to see new cards for 7th Sea every 3-4 months as the nations of Theah fight for control of the seas.
7th Sea is available both in decks (like the one that held this rulebook) and packs. There is a deck for each nation in the game which includes a Captain, a Ship, and one special card for that nation. The packs are not nation-specific.
The object of the game in 7th Sea is very simple - to control the seas. To win the game, you have to be the last Captain sailing the seas of Theah. When all the other Captains have been sunk, you win the game. You can play with any number of players as long as you have at least two.
The cards in this box are perfectly good to use in your first games, but eventually you will want to pick cards for your deck that work well together. When you are designing a deck, you need to have at least sixty cards in the deck. This includes your Captain, Ship and starting Crew. Also, you may not have more than three copies of any card in your deck.
7th Sea has many different cards which can do some wild things. Whenever one of the cards specifically contradicts a rule in the rulebook, the card takes precedence over the rulebook.
Many times when you are using a card's abilities or producing points in a skill, you must "tack" the card. That means to turn the card sideways 90¡ to show that it's been used. Cards untack at the end of the turn or through special card effects. To "untack" a card, you turn it back to its original straight-up position to show that it's ready to act. Cards enter play untacked and ready to be used.
At the beginning of the game, each player starts with a deck of at least 60 cards. Arrange a set of the five Sea Cards between the players in the following order: Trade Sea, Frothing Sea, La Boca, Forbidden Sea, and The Mirror (The Seas do not count against any player's deck limits). Simultaneously, the players reveal which Captain and Ship they will be using (these come from your deck). After the players have seen what the other player's Captain and Ship are, they decide on their starting Crew and remove them from their decks, revealing them simultaneously. The starting Crews' total Influence cost can't be greater than the Captain's starting Wealth.
After all of the Crews have been revealed, each player places a token to represent their Ship in their Ship's home Sea - your Captain tells you which Sea your Ship will start in. Then, each player shuffles the cards remaining in their deck. After allowing opponents a chance to cut, each player draws seven cards to form their starting hand. A sample layout is on pages 24 and 25.
The next few pages show each card type with a description of the things you will find on that card.
Crew cards are the most basic card in the game. Each Crew card represents one or more people on your Ship that will fire cannons, swing from the mainsail, or cast a spell.
At the top of the card is the Crew's name. To the left is the Crew's Cost. The cost is how much Influence is needed to hire that Crew for your Ship either before or during the game. Hiring Crew will be explained later in the rulebook. Below the cost is the Crew's Faction symbol, showing which Captain they are happiest working for. You may hire and use Crew without faction symbols, and from other factions, but they will not help your Captain's ability.
Right below the artwork are flags with the five skills. From left to right they are: Cannon, Sailing, Adventuring, Influence, and Swashbuckling. Whenever you need points in those skills (to bring a card into play, or perhaps to cancel your opponent's action), you may tack members of your Crew to generate the points. The Crew generates a number of points equal to their skill rating.
Below the Skill Flags is the text area. The text box tells you more about the Crew, including any special abilities they may have. At the top of the text box, there may be some bold-faced "traits" - sometimes a card that you play can only be played on a Crew that has a specific trait (For example, you can only play the card "I Told You not to Trust Him" on a Crew who has the Villainous trait.).
Below the traits are any special abilities the Crew has or actions the Crew can perform. Finally, at the bottom of the text box there may be text in italics. That text is known as "flavor text" - it has no effect on the game, but tells you how this card fits into the larger story of 7th Sea.
Finally, in the bottom left are the Boarding Boxes which will be explained in the "Boarding" section.
Your Captain is a special type of Crew card. You begin the game with your Captain in play, and that determines which faction you represent in the game. At the top of the card is your Captain's name. To the left of the Captain's name is his or her starting Wealth - this determines how much Influence you have to buy your starting Crew at the beginning of the game. Below the coin is your Captain's faction symbol, showing where his or her loyalties lie. The color of the faction symbol matches the color of the Sea in which the Captain starts the game.
Like the Crew cards, your Captain has a set of Skill flags below the artwork which show his skill ratings. Your Captain can tack to produce skill points just like normal Crew. In fact, your Captain is considered to be a Crew card, and can be affected by cards which say they can affect Crew. However, normal Crew cards are not affected by cards which only affect Captains. In the text box below the skills, the Captain tells you which Sea his Ship starts in. The Captain's special ability is tied to whether or not he has enough of his own Crew for the Ship to run smoothly.
Like the other cards, the name of your Ship is at the top, with the Ship's faction symbol to the left. A Ship may only be sailed by a Captain from that faction. To the right of the name is your Ship's Move Cost - this is how many sailing points you must pay to move your Ship.
At the bottom of the card is your Ship's text box. First in that text box is the Ship's Crew Maximum. That is the maximum number of Crew cards you may have in play (including your Captain) while using this Ship. You may not hire another Crew if you already have your maximum number of Crew cards in play. Finally, in the text box, each Ship has one or more special abilities that it may perform.
The first special ability on many Ships is a "free move". While this move does not cost any sailing points, it can only be done before you perform another action. The free move cannot be used as your only action; it must be followed up by a Cannon Attack, hiring a Crew, or any other action. While you must use it with another action, the free move is helpful for catching up to a Ship that is running away, since you can both move and fire your cannons in one action.
Actions are all of the things that your Captain and Crew do to send your opponents to the bottom of the sea. Every Action card has a Card Name and Boarding Boxes just like the Crew cards. The Text box tells you what happens if the Action works.
In order to play the Action card from your hand, you have to pay skill points (see "Paying Costs", page 22) equal to or greater than the Action's yellow Cost Flag.
Many Action cards also have a Cancel Flag in red. If a card has a Cancel Flag, then the player being targeted with the action can pay skill points equal to or greater than the Cancel Flag to cancel the action.(see "Canceling", page 35).
Actions come in two varieties. Most actions are played during the Action Phase of the turn when it is your turn to perform an action. However, some Action cards are labeled "React:". You are allowed to jump outside of the normal turn order to play that cards. React cards will tell you when you are allowed to play them. If two players want to play a react card at the same time, the player who went first that turn plays his react first, then the other players follow in turn, clockwise.
Attachments are cards that change the cards in play. An Attachment can be a monster that prowls a sea, a parrot sitting on your Captain's shoulder, or even extra training for your Crew.
You may only play Attachments on cards you control or one of the five Seas. An Attachment may only attach to the type of card listed at the top of the Text Box. For example, a "Crew Attachment" may be attached to any one of your Crew cards (including your Captain). However, a "Montaigne Captain Attachment" may only be attached to your Montaigne Captain.
To the right of the Attachment's name is a 'bonus flag' - it reminds you what skill bonus the Attachment provides, if any, so that you can slide the Attachment under the card and still see what it does.
Like an Action card, Attachments have a Cost Flag showing you what you have to pay to put the card into play (see "Paying Costs", page 22). If you can play the Attachment on an opponent's card, then it may have a Cancel Flag so the target's controller may pay to have the card discarded instead of attached to his card.
There are all sorts of adventures that your Ship can go on. When you successfully complete the adventure, then the Adventure card becomes an Attachment.
When you want to put an Adventure into play, you look in the Text Box - at the top is how many Seas away from your Ship you need to put the Adventure (no more, no less). For example, if you are in the Frothing Sea and you want to play a "2 Seas Away" Adventure, then you could only put it in the Forbidden Sea, because there is no Sea that is 2 Seas away in the other direction.
When you are in a Sea with one of your uncompleted Adventures, you can try to complete it. Each Adventure takes a certain number of Adventuring points to complete. If you pay the Adventuring cost, then you may attach the Adventure and gain its benefits.
Adventures can be placed and completed in any Sea, but Adventures are easier to complete if you are in the correct Sea. In the correct Sea, you don't need to pay as much Adventuring to complete it - the Adventure card will tell you which Sea that is.
There are five Sea Cards in the game. They are laid out before the game in the following order: Trade Sea, Frothing Sea, La Boca, Forbidden Sea, and The Mirror. While the Seas do not have any inherent special abilities, there are cards that work better or only work in a particular Sea.
Along the text boxes of the Sea cards, there is a simple diagram showing where that Sea sits when you lay out the five Seas in order. The Seas do not "wrap" around from the Mirror to the Trade Sea - those two Seas are not adjacent.
There will be many times during the game that you have to pay costs of one of the five skills on the Crew cards. You have to pay skill points to hire new Crew, to pay for an Attachment, to play an Action card, to cancel an opponent's action, and in lots of other cases. The cost to put a card into play is always on a yellow flag. If the target is allowed to cancel the card, there will be a 'cancel cost' on a red flag that the target may pay after the card's cost has been paid (see "canceling", page 35).
Whenever you pay a cost, tack one or more of your Crew that have at least one point in that skill. Each Crew that you tack adds their skill to your total. As soon as you have produced enough skill points, then the effect you are paying for occurs (bringing a card into play, canceling an action, or whatever).
For example, if you need 4 sailing points to move your Ship to an adjacent Sea, you could tack two Crew with 2 Sailing each, one Crew with 4 Sailing, or even 4 different Crew that each have 1 Sailing.
The cost flags use the same five skill icons as the Crew cards, and also use a sixth icon. A ship's wheel on a cost flag means that you must pay your Ship's movement cost (the number in the same wheel in the upper right corner of your Ship card). The Ship's movement cost is always paid in sailing.
For example, if your Ship's Move Cost is a 3, then you would pay 3 sailing if a cost flag has the wheel. Some actions cost your Ship's Move Cost plus extra sailing, so an action requiring Move Cost +2 would cost you a total of five sailing points to play.
Any card without a yellow cost flag does not have a cost to put it into play - you simply play it at the appropriate time.
Whenever you are suffering Hits, you must find a way to absorb all of the Hits. There are three ways to absorb Hits: 1. Tacking your Crew, 2. Sinking your Crew, and 3. Actions. You may perform them in any order.
First of all, you may tack any of your untacked Crew to absorb Hits. When you tack a Crew to absorb Hits, that Crew absorbs a number of Hits equal to their Swashbuckling.
Secondly, you may Sink a tacked Crew (putting the Crew card and all of its Attachments into your sunk pile) to absorb a number of Hits equal to their Swashbuckling. An untacked Crew can absorb Hits equal to twice their Swashbuckling skill by tacking then sinking.
Finally, there are some actions that you may play that will help absorb the Hits.
If even a single Hit remains, you must keep sinking, tacking and playing actions until you have absorbed all of the Hits that were inflicted on your Ship. If you Sink your Captain to absorb a Hit, then your Ship goes to the bottom of the sea - you've lost this game.
You have two piles for used cards, your discard pile and your sunk pile. Action cards that you play are discarded after being used. Crew that sink to absorb Hits are sent to your sunk pile along with their Attachments. When you go through your entire deck, shuffle your discard pile and use it to replenish your deck. Cards in your sunk pile will never come out except through special card effects.
Each turn, players go through each of the following phases in order. After the last phase of a turn, the players start again with phase one on the next turn.
I. Determine Turn Order
At the start of each turn, all players count up the total number of Sailing points for their entire Crew, including their Captain. The player with the most Sailing goes first, and then the order goes clockwise around the table from that player. In addition, if two players ever want to play a react at the same time, the player who goes first during the turn gets to play the first react, then each other player in turn may play one.
If there is a tie for the most Sailing points, then the players who are tied each cut their deck and reveal the cut card. The player who cut the first card alphabetically goes first.
Starting with the first player, each player may perform one of the following actions or pass. When all players pass in a row, the Actions Phase is over and the turn moves on to the Draw Phase. The following actions are not in order, and you may do each of them as many times as you wish to (and can pay the costs for) during a turn.
1. Hire Crew
2. Play an Action
3. Place or Complete Adventures
4. Play an Attachment
5. Move your Ship
6. Make a Cannon Attack
7. Perform a Boarding
8. Discard a Crew
9. Discard an Adventure
If you have a Crew card in your hand, you may hire that Crew as an action. To put the Crew into play, you have to pay the Crew's Influence cost (the yellow flag in the corner). When you pay the Crew's cost, the Crew is put on your Ship untacked and ready to set sail.
You can play an Action card from your hand or perform an action on a card in play. Cards in play that can perform an action will have the word "Act:" in their text box before the action.
As an action, you may put a new Adventure into play, as described in the adventures section. Once you've moved to the Sea that you put the Adventure in, it is also an action to complete the Adventure (paying the Adventuring cost) and attach the card.
If you have an Attachment in your hand you may bring that card into play as an action, attaching it to whatever it says it attaches to.
As an action, you may move your Ship to one of the Seas adjacent to the Sea you are in. You must pay your Ship's movement cost in Sailing points to move.
If there is another Ship in the same Sea as yours, you may fire a cannon at it as an action. You tack one of your Crew to fire the cannon. You inflict a number of Hits on that Ship equal to the Crew's Cannon skill (see Suffering Hits for what your target must do to absorb the damage).
If there is another Ship in the same Sea as yours, you may begin a Boarding with that Ship. You must pay sailing equal to your Ship's movement cost to start the Boarding. That Ship may immediately pay Sailing equal to its movement cost to cancel the Boarding. If the other Ship doesn't cancel the Boarding, then you and that player take turns making Boarding Attacks until neither of you want to make any more Boarding Attacks. (See 'Boarding', pg. 32)
You may discard one of your Crew in play.
You may discard an Adventure that you have in play that you have not completed.
All players draw three cards and add them to their hands.
All players untack all of their tacked cards.
If another player's Ship is in the same Sea as yours, you can start a Boarding with that Ship. To begin Boarding, you pay Sailing equal to your Ship's Move Cost. The other player may pay Sailing equal to their Ship's Move Cost to cancel the Boarding. If the other player cannot or will not cancel the Boarding, then your Ships have connected, and your Crews begin fighting. For the rest of the Boarding, you (the player who began the Boarding) will be called "the attacker" and the other player will be "the defender".
Beginning with the attacker, you push forward one of your untacked Crew and play any card from your hand to start a Boarding Attack (this doesn't tack your Crew, yet). Ignore everything on the card, except for the Boarding boxes in the bottom left corner of the card. The largest box, with the black background and the word beneath it, is the Boarding Attack that your Crew just performed (for example, "My Buccaneers Slash you for 2 Hits!"). Your Crew is trying to inflict Hits equal to their Swashbuckling.
The other player can either take the Hits, or send one of their own untacked Crew out to fight against yours (this doesn't tack the Crew, yet). If they choose to take the Hits, then they must suffer the Hits normally (see 'Suffering Hits', pg. 26). If they decide to fight, they push forward one of their own untacked Crew and play a Boarding Attack of their own that has your attack below their own. You can only play a Boarding Attack if it has the opponent's last Attack in one of the two smaller boxes (the Boarding Defense boxes). So, for example, your opponent could push forward their Powder Monkeys and say "The Powder Monkeys stop your Slash, and Thrust at you for 1 Hit." By playing the Boarding Attack, your opponent has reversed the attack and now you must play a new card or suffer the Hits.
You and your opponent go back and forth playing Boarding Attack cards from your hand for these two Crew until one of you can't or won't play a new Boarding Attack. Whoever played the final Boarding Attack inflicts Hits equal to their Crew's Swashbuckling skill; a lot of Crews and Attachment help you do extra Hits when you inflict Hits with a Boarding Attack. If two Crew were fighting, then the losing Crew must absorb as many of the Hits as possible. If you are suffering Hits during a Boarding Attack, then you cannot absorb or reduce the Hits except by tacking and sinking that Crew until after that Crew is sunk - dueling is dangerous business. Once the fighting Crew has been sunk, you can suffer the rest of the Hits normally.
After all the Hits have been suffered, the winning Crew is tacked.
Once the attacker's Boarding Attack has finished (with either side inflicting Hits), it is the defender's turn to start a Boarding Attack, pushing forward a Crew and playing a card just like the Attacker did. The attacker may defend or suffer Hits just like the defender.
After the defender's turn, each player draws three cards (remember to discard if you are over your maximum). Then, the attacker begins again with a new Boarding Attack.
Instead of starting a Boarding Attack, the attacker and defender may just 'pass' and not send someone to attack the other player. If the attacker and defender both pass in the same 'round' of the Boarding, then each player draws three cards and the Boarding is over. However, the attacker must attack in the first round, if he or she is able.
Many actions have a 'cancel cost' in a red flag, or in the text of the card. The target of the action can pay the cancel costs to prevent all of the effects of the action. Any costs that were paid to play the action remain paid, but the effects of the action do not occur.
Actions can come from several places. Playing an Action card, performing an action printed on a card you have in play, or performing any of the actions listed in the Actions Phase (above) are all actions. Each one of them will use up your 'turn', passing the next action to the player on your left.
Reacts are a special kind of action. They do not take place 'in order' like normal actions, and do not cost you your opportunity to act. Reacts can either be an Action card from your hand, or printed on a card you have in play. Unlike normal actions which are played only during the Action Phase, and only when it's your turn, Reacts are played whenever they say. Each React has a different time that it is played, and can only be played at that time. If more than one player wants to play a React at the same time, they play them in the order for the turn, playing one React and then passing to the left just as in the Action Phase.
If a card has the trait "Unique", then there is only one of that person or item in Thah. You cannot put a unique card into play if you already have one in play. It's okay if another player already has one in play, however. You are not limited to having only one in your deck.
Normally, your maximum hand size is seven, although there are cards that can increase or decrease your maximum. If you ever have more cards than your maximum in your hand, you must immediately discard cards down to the maximum.
A Crew with the Loyal trait will only work for a Captain from the same faction. You may not start or put into play a Loyal Crew from another faction.
Action - Any activity conducted by a player during the Actions Phase of their turn.
Alphabetical - When determining which card title comes first alphabetically, all words are used (even small words), spaces are ignored, and numbers are considered to be one character. i.e. "Again Boys!" comes before "A Hero's Courage", and "8-Pound Cannon Volley" comes before "15-Pound Cannon Volley".
Boarding - A Boarding begins when one player begins a Boarding (either by paying their Move Cost or with an action), and continues until either both players pass their Boarding Attack or until a card effect ends the Boarding.
Boarding Attack -Each untacked Crew on a Ship that is in a Boarding may conduct a Boarding Attack. The black Boarding Box on the card used to start the Boarding Attack is considered to be the actual attack (e.g. "Slash" or "Dagger"). The Boarding Attack cards are discarded after the Boarding Attack is resolved.
Boarding Boxes - The three square symbols in the bottom left of a card. They are used to resolve Boarding Attacks.
Cancel - Many actions may be canceled if the target pays the necessary cost to cancel it. Action cards with a red flag can be canceled if the target pays the cancel cost in the red flag.
Card Types - There are six types of cards: Action, Adventure, Attachment, Captain, Crew, and Ship
Cost - What must be done to perform an action or bring a card into play. Typically, this is simply to pay the correct number of skill points by tacking your Crew cards. Costs are found on a yellow flag.
Crew Maximum - Each Ship specifies the maximum number of Crew cards you may have in play. Your Captain counts against this limit.
Discard - Move the card to the discard pile. Action cards are discarded after their effects are resolved.
Discard Pile - Cards are placed into this pile face-up, but may not be inspected by any player except by a card effect. If you run out of cards in your deck, shuffle your discard pile to form a new Draw Deck.
Draw Deck (or 'Deck') - The pile of face-down cards you draw cards from.
Factions - Your faction is the faction of your Captain. Crew without a faction symbol are not in your faction, nor are they from a different faction.
'Free Move' - The best ships in Thah have the ability to tack the Ship in order to move it to an adjacent Sea before you conduct an action. You must conduct an action of some kind after using this ability.
Knack - An Action or Attachment that can only be played on or attached to a Crew that has the correct trait.
Loyal - Will only work for a Captain from the same faction.
Move Cost - Every Ship has a Move Cost listed on the wheel in the upper right of the card. This cost must be paid with sailing points to move the Ship to an adjacent Sea. This is also the cost to start or cancel a Boarding.
No Attachments - Attachments cannot be attached to this Crew.
On Board - A card you have in play on your Ship. Uncompleted Adventures and Sea attachements are not 'On Board'.
Skills - All Crew and Captain cards have five skills: Cannon, sailing, Adventuring, Influence, and Swashbuckling. These skills are used to pay costs and perform actions.
Sink - Sunk cards go into the Sunk Pile.
Crew may be sunk to absorb damage. Some actions will sink another card in play.
Swordsman - A superior duelist. This Crew does extra damage during Boarding Attacks.
Sunk Pile - All sunk cards are placed in the sunk pile. Cards in the sunk pile are not shuffled when the deck is depleted. Only special actions may remove a card from the sunk pile.
Tack - The act of rotating a Crew card 90¡ to indicate that it has performed an action this turn.
This Sea - The Sea your Ship is currently in.
Turn - Each time all of the phases of the sequence eof play are completed. A turn starts with determining player order and ends with untacking your cards.
Unique - There is only one of this person, item, or place in Thah, so you may not play the card if you already have one in play.
Untack - The act of rotating a card back to its normal position. Cards may occasionally become untacked during the turn due to a special card effect.
Villainous - An evil member of your Crew. Can be helpful or the target of many painful actions.
Wealth - The total value of Crew a Captain may start the game with.
Yours - Any card which started the game in your deck, or as part of your starting cards in play.