Sea of Claws is preparing to make sail, opening the world up to new adventures across the vast and dangerous oceans. However, no captain worth their salt would dare weigh anchor without knowing the waters ahead. We asked Sam Poots, one of the contributors to the upcoming Sea of Claws supplement, to tell us some more about the project.
A Sailor's Life for Me
Sea of Claws is not just a location source. This supplement provides all the rules needed to head out on the high seas. Shipping and trade make a return, expanding upon their presence in the Death on the Reik Companion. However, an ocean-going vessel is a different beast to those plying the Empire’s waterways. From mighty Bretonnian Galleons to swift and deadly Norscan longships, players can set foot aboard Warhammer’s most iconic ships, or even construct their own.
Once aboard, there are plenty of opportunities for new Skills and Careers. Characters might serve as deckhands, officers, or even become a Chantyman, a vital role on any ship for lifting spirits and keeping time. Everyone must play their part, whether that be hauling sail or manning the guns. This provides endless opportunities to take your adventure in new directions, whether that be the epic scope of ship battles and tempestuous weather, or the claustrophobic, personal conflicts which arise while confined aboard without sight of land.
Of course, once you’ve learned to sail, you need to figure out where you’re going. The Sea of Claws is a vast place, stretching from the Troll Country’s bleak and barren shores, to the sun-kissed coasts of Bretonnia. Sea of Claws boasts no end of locations, all with their own characters, plot hooks, and distinct atmospheres. You might choose to spend your time coast hopping in search of the best trade. Or maybe you’ll leave the Old World behind and visit the Norscan settlement of Kirkjugarður Langskipa, rubbing shoulders with the champions of that harsh land.
Sea of Claws is a gateway to the wider world beyond the Empire. To my mind, Norsca is a particularly intriguing prospect for adventure. Opening up that frozen coastline brings nuance to the people who call it home, and with that nuance comes potential for fascinating character stories. Of course, Chaos is an ever-present threat, or opportunity for the more open-minded adventurer. In the book we take a look at two tribes who represent two different takes on Norscan culture, the berserk Skaelings are sea raiders who openly venerate the Blood God, whilst the Bjornlings couch their respect for the gods of Chaos in euphemism, and are regarded as great traders and explorers.
Here Be Monsters
As shown in The Imperial Zoo, the oceans are filled with terrifying monsters. Now, Sea of Claws is throwing even more into the mix.
There is something fascinating about a good sea monster. What appears to be serene blue water might at any moment erupt as a leviathan rises from the depths. Sea of Claws details how you might encounter such creatures over the course of your voyages. However, sea monsters don’t have to be just random obstacles. For a certain sort of (orange-haired, bearded) character, the chance to face a creature larger than any on land is a draw all on its own.
Large creatures need large personalities to match them, and Sea of Claws features several legendary sailors to help and hinder your Characters’ efforts. Some, like Captain Long Drong Slayer, might draw you into their adventures through sheer force of personality, taking you with them on the hunt for fresh foes. Others serve far more sinister goals and it is an unlucky ship which crosses their path.
Beyond the Horizon
Sea of Claws contains challenges both mundane and monstrous, with scope for every sort of adventure from mighty fleets battling for supremacy to the struggle for survive amidst a hostile crew. But perhaps most important is the freedom it gives to open up your adventures beyond the fields we know. Even if you were to explore every inch of coast, there is always that horizon. And soon you have the means to explore it.