Name Some Swashbuckling RPG's That Are NOT 7th Sea


Pretty much what I'm looking for: what game system would you use for 17th century swordplay and acrobatic mayhem - realistic or cinematic?

Rules-lite is preferable. No magic, low magic - the magic level doesn't really matter.

Consider GURPS and Savage Worlds to have been mentioned at the beginning.

7th Sea and it's successor/other editions is not on the table.

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If it's just about the swashbuckling and florid combat, I'd go for Wushu.
For something only a little more grounded but with a lot more mechanical diversity rather than simply rules-to-encourage-descriptions, Feng Shui 2.
Fate (either Core or Accelerated) makes for an excellent pulp adventure game, and 17th Century Swordplay fits the pulp mould.


Probably Mage the Sorcerer's Crusade. It is roughly the time period and has a cool setting and cosmology and has a swashbuckling specific supplement. I like White Wolf for their character creation and xp systems although I'm not a fan of most of the rules at the table.

If it is the roll and keep system you don't like of 7th Sea you could go d20 without vancian casters in Swashbuckling Adventures where all of the casters are basically themed half sorcerers.

I'm not familiar with the system, but All for One Regime Diabolique uses the Ubiquity rule set and looks like a neat swashbuckling horror mashup setting. Ubiquity is also used for the Hollow Earth Expedition RPG, a pulp action one a genre which shares a lot with swashbuckling ones IMO.

aramis erak

These are probably not going to work
  • Flashing Blades - FGU, early 80's, long out of print. Not rules light.
  • Swashbuckling Adventures - AEG.... but that's really just 7th sea with the d20 engine. (Théah is the world from Seventh Sea.)

Ones that may work:
  • Pirates of the Spanish Main - PEG. Standalone book, using the Savage Worlds engine.
  • All For One: Regime Diabolique - Triple Ace Games. Setting book for Savage Worlds. Haven't actually looked at it.
  • Lace & Steel - Fantasy elements added. Uses custom card decks for some elements. Excellent, if odd. Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Centaurs.
  • Arrowflight 2E - Deep 7 games - Fantasy swashbuckling is the whole point. Use the 1E rolling instead of 2E, and characters are much more capable. Great setting. About rules-medium.
  • Honor and Intrigue - can't get much lighter than BoL and still have a mechanics-matter game.

Note that the top universal engines all have enough to do it and do it well... if you can stand the core mechanics:
  • GURPS - Several relevant worldbooks, including G: Swashbucklers, G: Scarlet Pimpernel, and G: Age of Napoleon.
  • Hero System - The best worldbook is long OOP: Campaign Classics: Pirates (for 3e/4e). Still, using the Martial Arts book for a more current edition will generate the same feel. In play, it's rules medium to rules medium-light, most of the rules crunch is in character generation and in powers, which, for a swashbuckling version, aren't used much.
  • Savage Worlds - both a standalone and a worldbook are available. The standalone is PEG's. See above.
  • Fate Core - take some care, and it can be done unmodified. I'm not aware of a swashbuckling setting book for it.

I'll note that GURPS, Hero, and SW all have excellent vehicle rules, too. So does Arrowflight (in the Island Nations book).

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