This book was intended to bridge the gap between the 1st and 2nd printing of the 7th Sea Player's Guide and Game Master's Guide, enabling those who purchased them early on to keep up to date without having to replace their books... it was even issued free to anyone possessing either of them! In the Introduction, they explain this.
The first section covers all the changes, textual and rules alike. The rule changes are mostly minor tweaks, adjustments that should make things flow more smoothly and work better - mostly to the characters' advantage. The text changes, however, are mostly organisational and 'window dressing' - it doesn't really matter if you know about them or not!
The next section is aimed at players. It provides basic background on Theah, and could serve at a pinch as an introduction to a newcomer who hadn't read the Player's Guide. Oh, and you find out what the 'Seventh Sea' is... something a bit wierd, or is it just a tale to scare new and impressionable recruits aboard ship? There is a quite detailed overview of Theah history from the earliest times until now - the sort of thing a basically-educated Thean ought to know; and a summary of the current level of knowledge in various key fields - archaeology, architecture/construction, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, medicine, natural philosophy (physics), navigation and warfare. Some notes on seafaring and on the secret societies and the Church (including the Inquisition) round off the background; then there follows information on starting wealth, a new advantage and a lot of detail on ship design. The section winds up with information and reports on the Syrneth and the current status of archaeological research and exploration... at least, as far as the educated man might know it.
The next section is for GMs, and starts with the usual dire warning that players ought to stay away. More detail on the Inquisition, the Invisible College and Sophia's Daughters... more accurate information than that given to the players; as is the next bit, all about the Syrneth. This portion is reprinted from the Arrow of Heaven adventure, and talks about both races and artefacts. There are even a few notes on how to create your own artefacts as well as a range of fascinating and mysterious ones you might want your characters to discover in their explorations. The creation rules include several tables you can roll on when designing items.
Finally, there are several useful tables and lists: seafarer's jargon, the Laerdom Runes, ready-reference lists of all the Knacks, Backgrounds, Advantages, Swordsman Schools, Arcana, Skills, etc. that you'll need for character creation and an overview of the procedure for generating one. That's it: a little collection of useful bits and pieces.
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[3 of 5 Stars!]