Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies Reviews

7th Sea, eat your heart out. I love the idea of a good swashbuckling game, for much the same reason why I enjoy the conceptualization of pulp – romance, intrigue, action, adventure. And what am I greeted with on the backcover? “Skyships. Pirates. Musketeers. Fencing. Intrigue. Mysticism. Adventure!”

— Arashinomoui (full review)

It’s The Three Musketeers meets The Princess Bride meets pre-mecha Final Fantasy (like, think 1 and 2). If that sentence does not scream possibility to you, then you can stop reading now, because there is no talking to you.


I sincerely believe that this game is Chad’s masterwork. It made me feel like I used to feel about games when I was a teenager. Just reading the book made me giddy. It made me daydream, for the first time in years.

— Leonard Balsera (full review)

Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies offers fast paced, cinematic combat thanks to a small number of rules that do a great job of creating a swashbuckling play experience.[…]

When the scenes are really shining, it’s because all of the participants are joining in. S7S has clear guidelines on who gets to narrate at different times. It’s definitely a traditional game in that it uses a GM, but the way narration is handed off enables more descriptive action sequences as players explain why their characters succeeded or failed at an action. Combined with good GM advice and a ton of wonderful setting material, S7S does everything it can to assist in creating great play at the table.

— Chris W. Richeson (full review)

Its a big book, and my only concern and hesitation in trying to run this is that it is a large amount to digest. Its hard to see how the book could or should be trimmed down for the purposes of running it, though. Chad does a comprehensive job.I want to run this. I could have wished for, perhaps, a players version of the book like Trail of Cthulhu does, so that I can more easily infect the enthusiasm I have for the game on potential players.

Possibly, this game could do for the swashbuckling genre what Spirit of the Century did for the pulp genre.

— Paul Weimer (full review)

 I could tell you that Chad is not only an excellent writer and an incredible researcher, but with this game he’s crafted a unique, imaginative vision that is a joy to discover and without a doubt, my favorite addition to the swashbuckling genre of gaming. This is Chad’s love letter to stories of swordplay, piracy, duels, revenge, rooftop chases, romance and everything you associate with that kind of adventure.[…]

Chapter 8 for me is the hat trick of S7S because after immersing you in this fantastic world, and navigating you through a genuinely fun, quick, and easy experience generating a character that is an intrinsic part of this rich new world, he introduces you to a set of rules that are both elegant enough stay out of your way, but robust enough to handle just about anything. Topping that, he gives you a chapter of FANTASTIC advice for gamemastering and, as Lenny calls it, “a killer app” for adventure creation. It’s a phenomenally useful tool that I’m certain other games will adapt.

— Darren Hennessey (full review)

The real strength of Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies is its setting: a world filled with floating islands, where pulp-style swashbuckling, intrigue, and piracy are the order of the day. S7S uses a lightweight ruleset that makes it easy to pick up and play.

— Stephen Granade (full review)

Before we begin, here’s the short version of this review: If you can trust your group not to abuse a strongly Narrativist system that encourages player control, and if you’re at all interested in swashbucklers and/or sky pirates plying the skies between floating islands in tallships and blimps—well, just get out your credit card now, head over to IPR, and throw down a preorder on the (limited run) hardcover. It’s that good. In fact, I’d dare say that S7S is to swashbuckling adventure fiction what SotC is to 20’s pulp.[…]

I know you hear this from me a lot, but I really like this game – the cultures are evocative and dripping with plot hooks, the information on skyship sailing is well-researched and extrapolated from real-world maritime life, and the entire thing drips with a cinematic flair. Unless your players demand more rigorous crunch, I recommend you buy this one right away. I’m going to bet right now that S7S is going to be this year’s indie darling.

— “Doktor Uhrwerk” (full review)

Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies is a delightfully original roleplaying game.[…]

PDQ is a quick-playing, versatile, and elegant framework of rules that rewards good roleplaying and maximizes entertainment for everyone. It suits all levels of experience, with different advantages for novice (simplicity) and expert (flexibility) players.

[… T]here is extensive background material on swashbuckling adventure. This covers swashbuckling romances, settings, and other supporting ideas. The tropes featured are action, adventure, heroism, intrigue, romance, style, and villainy. A generous and fascinating bibliography, filmography, and ludography provide plenty of inspiration. Don’t skip this section; it’s full of hilarious and tragic pullquotes from favorite books, movies, and other resources.

— Elizabeth Barrette (full review)