Rather than reprint Pirate Nations, the first nations of Théah source book, AEG have published Waves of Blood. Between its covers is a mix of old and new material that brings together the 7th sea role-playing and collectable card games.
The first chapter of this over gunned supplement is devoted to bringing players up to date with the goings on at sea. Ten months of developments from the card games story arc are detailed in a meandering narrative. The second chapter covers the major naval factions including various secret societies, pirates and navies. Some referees may want to ask their players not to read the book until their story has moved towards the end of 1668 as they radically alter the game’s setting.
The game masters section includes adventure hooks for players aboard vessels in each of the factions. It also details the artefacts from the collectable card game, covers the island of Cabora and expanded the information about the Black Freighter. The last chapter opens with rules for players wanting to convert material to and from the collectable card game. The remainder of this chapter is a mix of rules, character options, swordsman schools and the like. Some of this, like the advanced sailing rules, is a verbatim reprint of material from Pirate Nations. Other parts are revised from earlier material. A few bits, such as the undead advantage, are completely new.
Two appendices complete the book. The first, a colour section, including a map and a timeline. The map features the significant locations from the earlier chapters. Illustrated with artwork from the cards game the timeline catches the high points of the story. The second appendix is a solid fifty-five pages of statistics and background information detailing the crews, characters and ships found elsewhere.
As always the writing and illustration are of a high standards. It would have been useful if the difference between old, new and revised material in the rules section had been clearer. I also found the references to future releases made me wonder how complete the book was.
Unless you play both the games the conversion rules will be unlikely to be of any real use. The array of none player characters, crews and ships detailed will ease the lot of any game master running adventures aboard ship. Waves of Blood will be of particular interest to anyone who doesn’t have the Pirate Nations book or who wants to follow the watery plots from the collectable card game.