Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play: Sea Of Claws | First Impressions

September 27, 2022 by brennon

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I have always been utterly awed by the scope of the lore that's available in The Old World where Warhammer Fantasy Battles and Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play take place. There is SO much to draw on and so when I see Cubicle 7 bringing out interesting supplements like Sea Of Claws, I know I'll want to jump right in.


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Sea Of Claws is one of the latest supplements from Cubicle 7 that explores the terrifying, fascinating and undulating reaches of the sea that separates the lands of Bretonnia and The Empire from the wild lands of Norsca in the North. It is packed with information on the lands, people and pursuits that you might get up to when on the high seas.

The Ways Of The Sea

Starting things off, the book delves into an exploration of what it's like to take to the seas around different regions of The Old World. You'll find detailed breakdowns of the coasts around Bretonnia and the Wasteland, Nordland, Ostland, Troll Country, Kraka Ravnsvake (more on that later!), The Skaeling Coast and the Bjorning Coast.

Sea Of Claws Cover - Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play

Each section of broken down into a discussion on the people who live in these locations, how they trade, how they fight, who they worship and more. If you're someone who likes planning out detailed explorations of settlements for your friends or you just want to know about some key locations that would be interesting for them to visit, this gives you a solid set of ideas for doing so.

What's nice about this breakdown of the various locations and what they bring to the table is that they always go that little bit further than you'd think. For example, there is a full breakdown of how High and Dark Elves fare on the high seas and what kind of things they might get up to. You'll want to avoid those Black Arks.

By comparison, you have something as seemingly minor as rules for Bile Pools that get left behind by monstrous creatures in Troll Country. Of key importance to all roleplayers will be the inclusion of many a tavern that you can frequent as you journey from port to port. If nothing else, these leave interesting options on the table for creating new adventures.

Talking of adventures, placed here and there amongst the different chapters of the book you'll find the now customary "hooks" that Cubicle 7 likes to work into their books. These provide Gamemasters with fun and interesting ways to make a particular location or person fit into their campaign. I always appreciate these as they can get the old cogs whirring when it comes to thinking ahead from session to session.

The Nordland Coast - Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play

I mentioned earlier that there is also a look at Kraka Ravnsvake. I highlighted this mostly because it's about Dwarfs but also because I think it shows that Cubicle 7 have a real passion for the worlds they write about. There is SO much in here about running a Norse Dwarf and building up the culture behind your chosen character. I didn't think I need to know about the Grubark Gearing System and the ways that they trade in the Sea Of Claws and beyond but now I have all of that information for later use when making a character!

What's also important about this is that it shows that the book adds fascinating variety to your affairs at the tabletop. I like to think of using Sea Of Claws as essentially a settings book for a full-on adventure or even an entire campaign in just this region alone. For those of the piratical persuasion, I see this as an automatic win!

Raiders Or Traders?

This brings me to another really awesome portion of the book and that's the way in which you can build new Norse characters for your Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play campaigns. For most folk in The Empire, the Norse are barbarian raiders who are allied to the Chaos Gods. That might be the way for most of their kin but this section of the book does a great job of opening up the narrative to tell different tales.

Seafare Classes - Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play

You can play as a Bjornling, Sarl or Skaeling and get access to a new Class and Career table that offers up a chance for you to join up with adventuring folk from down south. To aid in making your new character, there is also a breakdown of your customs and traditions and eight new classes that you might find appealing.

I really like this as it starts to cement adventures themed around the Sea Of Claws into place and also means that you can offer new perspectives when it comes to roleplaying. Sure, that mighty Norscan warrior has joined your adventuring company and he tends to like skulls but...why? Maybe it's part of some warrior tradition that isn't to do with Khorne (you hope). Maybe he can offer up some darn good wisdom and tell you some amazing tales of the creatures and lands he has seen on his travels.

Bad God Or Good God?

Tied into this, we also have some different perspectives on what it's like to live so near to the sea from a religious point of view. We've seen how the various cults of the Empire like the Ulricans and Sigmarites have come to blows over the years but it becomes even more fascinating when you introduce the likes of Manann and then Stromfels!

The first I ever heard of Stromfels was in a Gotrek & Felix audio drama called Slayer Of The Storm God. Since then I've always wanted to know more and how we've got that here in Sea Of Claws. There is a fascinating rivalry to be seen play out between those follow Manann and Stomfels too so you could easily work that into your campaigns.

Is that cult wandering down the pier chanting prayers to Manann or by chance did you spy some strange trinkets around their necks and odd tattoos about their person? What's even more fun is that there is even a career to play as a Priest Of Stromfel, opening up a whole new can of worms for your friends to deal with!

Ship Shape?

As you might have guessed by this article so far, the folks at Cubicle 7 have seriously nailed the idea of creating sea-based adventures on the tabletop for Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play. The theme and detail are there concerning locations, peoples and you can even inhabit the life of one who is as salty as the saltiest seadog! But, we're missing ships? Have no fear!

Ship Designs - Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play

There is a pretty sizable section of the book given over to crafting a boat, setting sail on the high seas and then continuing with longer adventures should you not feel too seasick. You've got near enough thirty pages of the book covering building a ship from the ground up (yes, a way to spend your hard-earned coin) through to properly getting engaged in a full-on sea battle.

Now, this might seem a little daunting when you get to it but they have done their best to make it fairly easy to get your head around. If you can follow the combat flow chart that is fighting in Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play, you can add some ship-based fighting into the mix with no problem!

I do like that this would actually encourage a little bit of back and forth in terms of cooperation between the players and the Gamemaster though. There's a lot to get your head around here and I think it would be a fun collaborative project, especially if this is going to be the focus of a campaign.

I won't go into too much detail about it (because it would take me hours) but it's safe to say, there is plenty there to get your wooden teeth stuck into.

Here Be Dragons (...and probably something even more grimdark)

I have to also give a quick nod to the Cubicle 7 team for putting together a wonderful little Bestiary at the back of the book too. It has some wonderful creatures for you to use to theme adventures from the small but deadly Lurkerfish through to the towering Gargantuan and Sea Elementals.

Long Drong - Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play

You also have some notable characters included here that expand what's available earlier in the book. Want to hang out with famous Sartosan Privateer Jaego Roth? He's here! Want to find yourself on the wrong side of Long Drong and his Slayer Piraters? They are here too!

Some absolutely classic characters have also returned in the form of Wulfrik and Arch-Sealord Vrisk Ironscratch. Cubicle 7 has done plenty of fishing when it comes to reeling in all of the most appropriate lore that slots in nicely when it comes to the Sea Of Claws.

Worth Setting Sail?

As someone who absolutely loves the lore of Warhammer and The Old World, Sea Of Claws was a joy to read. It ticks all of the boxes for someone who just wants to get stuck into the lore for his world and tie it into their campaigns.

Mechanically, I think this book offers up plenty for both players and Gamemasters. You've got a lot there to start laying the seeds for adventures and fleshing out locations that the players visit. Not so much that it's overwhelming but enough to get you started and theme your adventure properly. On the player side of things, you've got a bunch of new careers to enter, new backgrounds to explore and stories to tell. That's all without mentioning the joy of owning your own ship and taking it to the high seas...only for it to be sunk by raiders two days into the trip.

I think if you're intent on setting your adventure somewhere a bit different than the forest of The Empire this is well worth a shout. It gets across that "over the horizon" feel that adventures need to get the blood pumping and will give players plenty of freedom whilst also asking them to sail (hah) very close to the wind.

Another pretty darn passionate piece from the folks at Cubicle 7 and it's really nice to see that they have gone from the mammoth project that was Empire In Flames to providing loads of awesome original content.

You can currently pre-order the physical edition of Sea Of Claws HERE. You get a PDF with this purchase OR you can get the digital version of the book right now HERE.

Will you be setting sail into the Sea Of Claws?

"You can play as a Bjornling, Sarl or Skaeling and get access to a new Class and Career table that offers up a chance for you to join up with adventuring folk from down south..."

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"Want to find yourself on the wrong side of Long Drong and his Slayer Piraters? They are here too! "

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