Freeport is one of Green Ronin’s oldest and best known properties. Originally launched with the ENnie and Origins Award-winning adventure Death in Freeport, the "City of Adventure" has been home to many subsequent sourcebooks and adventures since. Four years ago this month we launched what became the core book of the line, the Freeport: City of Adventure hardback. The line continued with titles like Creatures of Freeport and the mega-adventure Black Sails Over Freeport.
Moving into 2006 we had a problem though. Well, several problems really. First, Freeport: City of Adventure was sold out and had been for quite some time. Nor could we do a simple reprint because the original was written for the D&D 3.0 rules and since its publication the 3.5 edition had been released. To complicate matters further, all d20 publishers from WotC on down had been watching their d20 sales degrade after 3.5 came out. It would thus have been a risk to do a 3.5 revision of Freeport: City of Adventure. Doubly so, with 4th edition clearly on the horizon. We had already watched our 3.0 backstock rendered obsolete when 3.5 came out, so we didn’t want to do a new marquee product tied to 3.5 only to see the same thing happened when 4th edition was announced. The Green Ronin staff spent at least six months debating the problems and potential solutions. After a metric ton of e-mails and discussions, we finally settled on a plan for Freeport and now we’re ready to go public with it.
In June we’ll be publishing Crisis in Freeport, the final product of the original Freeport line. This adventure will resolve the succession crisis that’s gripped the city since the finale of Madness in Freeport. It will also lay the groundwork for Freeport’s re-launch later this year. Our plan is to install a new Sea Lord, advance the timeline 5 years, and provide a new baseline for Freeport adventures. In the Fall we’ll be publishing the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport. This will become the new core book for the line.
At this point you might be wondering what system the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport will be designed for. True20? d20? Mutants & Masterminds?! The answer is none of the above. The Pirate’s Guide to Freeport is a pure background book. It will not have game stats of any kind, but will instead spend all of its 256 pages detailing the people, places, politics, and perils of the City of Adventure. From the beginning Freeport has always cast a wide net. We used to say it was useable with any d20 fantasy setting. Now it will be useable with any fantasy setting and any fantasy RPG.
Does this mean that Green Ronin will not be providing rules support for Freeport? Not at all. We will be publishing a series of companion books in print and PDF format that let you use the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport with specific rule systems. The first of these, also schedule for a Fall release, is the True20 Freeport Companion. This book will give you all the info you need to use Freeport with True20 Adventure Roleplaying, including new feats, NPC and monster stats, and even an alternate magic system. Similar books will be done for other systems, including d20.
This plan will give us a core book that can remain in print for many years without tying its fate to any particular rule set. It will also allow us to broaden out Freeport’s fan base and really make the setting the focus. Eschewing game mechanics will allow us to pack as much background info as possible into the Pirate’s Guide to Freeport. Then we’re going to make as easy as possible for you to run a Freeport campaign with the game system of your choice.
A new day is rising for the City of Adventure. Please join us as we make Freeport bigger and better than ever before.
Green Ronin Publishing
Evan (he/him) got his start in tabletop games in 1995, as a co-founder of Rubicon Games. Among other games, he has worked on Cranium, Cranium Hullabaloo, and the Pokémon trading card game. RPGs he has edited for include Everway, Ork! The Roleplaying Game, Spaceship Zero, Warhammer Fantasy second edition, the d20 System, A Song of Ice and Fire, Mutants & Masterminds, Dragon Age, Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, Pathfinder, and Critical Role (5e). He has been managing our web sites since about 2002. He co-designed Walk the Plank, our card game of piratical trick taking, currently available in print-on-demand format via DriveThruCards.com.