Today we present a new short fiction piece by Anthony Pryor, set in Freeport: The City of Adventure. In “My Night In Freeport,” a naive cabin boy goes ashore in Freeport for the first time, and learns important lessons about life in the big city, why attention to proper knot lore matters, and about the sailors’ code.
For just $1.99, you can download this rollicking tale in your choice of PDF, ePub, or mobi (Amazon Kindle). Or all three! We’re not the boss of your reading habits.
About Nisaba Press
Nisaba Press is the fiction imprint of Green Ronin Publishing. Nisaba will be publishing novels, anthologies, and short fiction tied to the rich and varied worlds of Green Ronin’s tabletop roleplaying properties. Current plans include stories of swashbuckling horror in the fantasy world of Freeport: City of Adventure, tales set in the romantic fantasy world of Aldea from the Blue Rose Roleplaying Game, superheroic adventures set in the world of Earth-Prime from Mutants & Masterminds, and chronicles of fantasy survival-horror in the world of The Lost Citadel.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/GRR70001_200.jpg301200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2017-10-27 14:37:372017-10-27 14:37:37Short Fiction: My Night in Freeport
Today we introduce Part Four of our Return to Freeport Pathfinder-compatible PDF adventure series.
Return to Freeport Freeport is known for its adventures, from Death in Freeport (the one that started it all!) to the mega-adventure Black Sails Over Freeport. Now the City of Adventure goes back to its roots with Return to Freeport! This six-part adventure series for the Pathfinder RPG is a new way to begin your Freeport adventures.
Part Four: The Freebooter’s City In Return to Freeport, Part Four, the adventurers sail back to Freeport and find themselves embroiled in a different kind of battle, even more dangerous than they are used to: pirate politics.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/GRR19154_200.jpg260200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2017-09-06 15:13:332017-09-06 15:16:07Return to Freeport, Part Four: The Freebooter’s City
While Freeport City of Adventure was written specifically to work with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Freeport has a history with class- & level-based RPGs with a core d20 mechanic that predates Pathfinder. Freeport has always been a location that’s easily adapted to new game systems and settings, with much of the core information it provides (such as maps, factions, politics, and adventure seeds) are useful to a GM building a campaign or adventure regardless of the game system used.
Thus with the recent release of the Starfinder Core Rulebook, a new game and new setting built off the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and advancing its campaign world thousands of years in the future, it seems a perfect time to discuss how Freeport City of Adventure (and the Freeport Bestiary) can be adapted to spacefaring campaigns!
While it may seem that a sailing-ship port doesn’t have a lot of relevance to a science-fantasy game, it’s actually not at all difficult to adapt Freeport to a Starfinder Roleplaying Game setting. The simplest way is to leave it on its island, and make it a major starport in a system that is along a significant trade route but far from any major government within your campaign. This allows the layout to be largely unchanged (starships might even dock in the water, as a cheap alternative to expensive high-tech landing pads), and keeps all its internal politics intact. All mentions of ships are simple adapted to starships, and local groups and NPCs are updated to their high-tech equivalents. The city’s factions, history, and even many of its adventures can be easily translated to science-fantasy equivalents.
Though it takes more work, Freeport can also be adapted to be an independent spaceport free of any planetary body. It can be placed on an asteroid with an environmental field keeping air in (again allowing the existing map to be used), or even turned into a massive (potentially mobile) space station. For this last option you’d likely need to create a new map (or accept a really oddly-shaped space station), but the scores of shops, temples, homes, and buildings in Freeport can be adapted largely unchanged by simply assuming their technological base (and goods, and NPCs) are updated to appropriate levels.
Obviously rather than flintlock-carrying, peg-leg bearing sea pirates, this updated Freeport is an open base of operations for space pirates. Some may cling to ancient fashions and traditions (eyepatches strapped on even over cybernetic eye enhancements), but in generally their technology and appearance changes to match the campaign setting. However, ship names, rivalries, debts, rumors, and rough parts of town remain conceptually the same whether your pirates and their home sport flintlocks or plasma pistols. Especially given how vast an entire galaxy of adventure is, having a fleshed-out set of goals, organizations, and names is extremely useful, even if you need to update the gear and stat blocks of anyone the PCs decide to fight with.
Finally, although it’s not as useful in most science-fantasy campaigns, Freeport can be dropped into a science-fantasy game largely unchanged. In this case it remains a low-tech sailing ship port, on a world with much less advanced science than a typical Starfinder Roleplaying Game setting. This makes the most sense if you want your high-tech PCs to have at least one low-tech world they interact with. Freeport might be on a planet where advanced technology doesn’t function for some reason, or under a powerful protectorate that ensures its culture isn’t irreparably altered by spacefaring visitors. Or it could be a world that is perfectly well aware of lasers and starships, and happy to trade local materials for such advanced tech, but simply lacks the industrial base to recreate circuit boards and transistors even when such things fall into local hands.
Adapting NPC Stat Blocks
While much of the material in Freeport City of Adventure can be updated to a far future setting with nothing more than the flip of a conceptual switch, the numerous named and generic NPCs are more useful if you can use them in your campaign when needed. In general, you can convert an NPC’s stat block using the same process as converting a monster stat block using the guidelines in Chapter 13 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook. This will tell you what skills to change, how to create a target’s EAC and KAC, how to generate Stamina Points, and so on. Most of the conversions are simple enough they take at most a minute or two, and you can actually ignore most of them and just use any appropriate-sounding skill for science-fantasy skill checks (it doesn’t really matter if you use Diplomacy as a Computers check, if you have an NPC you want to be good at computers, and you can simple use half an NPC’s hp as Stamina and half as Hit Points and give them all 3 resolve Points). The end result may not be exactly what a Starfinder Roleplaying Game npc of the same level would have, but it’s close enough.
Equipment is a little trickier—but only a little. You can either just change what an NPC’s equipment looks like (and change reload needs from once per attack to one per 10 attacks) and allow the NPC to attack multiple times based on iterative attacks and two-weapon fighting and similar options, or you can upgrade the NPC to level-appropriate weapons from the Starfinder Core Rulebook, and add the NPC’S CR to the damage.
The Freeport Bestiary has a huge number of monsters that players won’t be expecting, making it a great resource for populating strange planets, new worlds, and the drifting hulks of abandoned starships. Altering a monster’s stat block is largely the same process as adapting an NPC stat block. However, a monster may need some additional changes made to make sense in a Star-Freeport setting.
For example, aquatic creatures you would normally encounter at sea should either be updated to exist in a wide range of environments (including flying in gas giant planets, and even travelling through the void of space), or be set up as creatures that might sneak onto a ship, be transported by PCs (perhaps as part of a space menagerie) so they can escape and cause havoc, or be adjusted to be planar creatures able to travel through realities (and possible be encountered during hyperspace travel). The important part is to make sure PCs don’t have to go to a planetary body of water to encounter them. Similarly monsters tied to specific terrain types, be that jungles or underground caverns, should be liberally re-envisioned to dwell in fungal forests, asteroid interiors, or the crypt-worlds of necromancer robots, as needed to fit the campaign. Constructs may be given the technological subtype to represent various robots, or left as magical creatures powered purely by eldritch forces.
Other monsters can simply be moved to locations the plot sends PCs to. It doesn’t much matter if an ancient ruined temple is a remnant of a long-lost serpent-folk empire on one world, or part of a reptilian civilization that spanned a thousand star systems, if it’s an adventure site it needs demonic traps, undead lurkers, constructed guardians, and inhuman intelligences with their own reasons for breaking in.
Exploration is About the Unexpected
The very fact most players won’t think of Freeport material as a natural fit for a science-fantasy game means they won’t see it coming when Mr. Wednesday has a task for them involving tracking down the privateer starship Morgenstern, or offers to vacate their gambling debts if they’ll deal with a bloathsome that’s settled on an asteroid with valuable mining concerns on it.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/drac_s_end.jpg436568Owen Stephenshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngOwen Stephens2017-08-28 09:18:062017-08-28 09:18:06Ronin Roundtable: Freeport in Space
Well that was a GenCon for the books! Absolute mayhem at our booth, with folks lining up to grab our new releases. The announcement of the Expanse RPG license. New opportunities and incredible partnerships in the offing. It was amazing and we have you to thank for it. 17 years in business and we are stronger than ever before. Seriously, thank you!
We’ll be taking a couple of days to recover but then it’s back to work on our next batch of books. This seems an opportune time to update you on our releases for the next six months. We’ve got a lot going on so let’s get to it!
Our next book will be the new edition of Freedom City for Mutants & Masterminds. We’ve been working on this for a long time and the hour is finally nigh! This is the original setting for the game, the metropolis that birthed the Earth-Prime setting. And at 320 pages it’s as mighty as Captain Thunder! Look for Freedom City in October.
November is a triple threat. We’ve got another Mutants & Masterminds book, Rogues Gallery. This was a PDF series we did for the last couple of years. The book collects all the villains from that and adds some new ones as well. If you are looking for foes for your PCs to tangle with, Rogue Gallery has you covered. Next up is the Fantasy AGE Companion, the first major rules expansion for the game. It adds new, fun material for almost every aspect of the game. There are new talents, specializations, arcana, and spells, as well as rules for chases, relationships, organizations, mass combat, and more! Finally in November we’ve got the second edition of Ork! The Roleplaying Game. This was Green Ronin’s very first release 17 years ago. Ork is a beer and pretzels RPG, great for one shots or when you want a lighter hearted game. Show those evil Squishymen who’s the boss!
We also hope to get Faces of Thedas, the next Dragon Age book, out before Xmas. The final text for that is up with BioWare for approval. Once we get that signed off on, we’ll be able to slot it into a month for release. Watch our social media feed for more on Faces of Thedas in the coming months.
As you can see, we’ve got quite a lot planned for the rest of 2017. For this reason we decided to move Modern AGE and the World of Lazarus from their original November release date to January. This gives us more time to develop the books, and lets us start 2018 with a bang. Modern AGE takes the Adventure Game Engine to Earth, letting you run games anytime from the Industrial Revolution to the near future. World of Lazarus, the game’s first support book, lets you play in the setting of Greg Rucka’s awesome comic. If you haven’t read Lazarus before, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s seriously great.
In February we’ve got two more releases: Mutants & Masterminds Basic Hero’s Handbook and Return to Freeport. The Basic Hero’s Handbook is both an entry point for those new to Mutants & Masterminds and a useful table reference for anyone playing the game. If you’ve been interested in M&M but looking for an easier way to learn the game, the Basic Hero’s Handbook is for you. Return to Freeport is a six-part adventure for the City of Adventure. It’s the first new adventure content we’ve done for Freeport in some years, and it’s designed for a Pathfinder RPG campaign that’ll take you from levels 1-11. At nearly 200 pages in length, Return to Freeport packs in a lot of adventure!
A few months ago we announced that we were adding fiction to our lineup and that we had hired Jaym Gates to lead that effort. Our fiction imprint is called Nisaba Press and the Offerings sampler we released at GenCon and online last week gave you the first taste of what we’ve got cooking. We’ll be publishing short fiction monthly and novels and short story collections in print. In November we’ll be publishing Tales of the Lost Citadel, an anthology of stories set in the world of our upcoming Fifth Edition setting that we Kickstarted this summer. Then in January we’ll have our first Blue Rose novel, Shadowtide, by Joseph Carriker. Joe has also become line developer for the Blue Rose RPG, so he’s all up in Aldea!
More to Come
So that’s the overview of what’s coming in the next six months. We have our yearly planning summit next month and we’ll be making plans for the rest of 2018 and beyond. We’ve already got some awesome stuff in the works, like the Sentinels of Earth-Prime card game and the Expanse RPG. I’ll be back early next year to talk about more of our plans. Game on!
Freeport: The City of Adventure updated the Freeport setting to the full set of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules… as they existed at the time. Since we published the massive 544 page ultimate urban fantasy setting and sourcebook in early 2015, new hardbacks have been published for Pathfinder. Most notably Horror Adventures, Occult Adventures, Pathfinder Unchained, and Ultimate Intrigue. So does that mean there’s no room for the classes and ideas from those books in Freeport?
No, absolutely not!
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most noteworthy ideas from those volumes, and how you can use them in your Freeport campaign. Of course you don’t need any of these new books to run an awesome Freeport game. But if you already have them, Freeport makes a fine place to use them!
Okay, this one is really easy.
Well, feel free to add everything, and to skip anything you don’t like the look of. The sanity rules in Horror Adventures can either replace or augment the madness rules in Freeport: The City of Adventure. Corruptions, especially deep one, ghoul, possessed, and shadowbound, tie neatly to the horror elements of Freeport, especially those touching on cults and elder gods. In fact, adding an advance corruption to an npc using the cultist npc class from Freeport: The City of Adventure is a great way to make a unique and unexpected cult leaders.
The archetypes and class options from Horror Adventures are all perfectly appropriate for Freeport, but it’s worth mentioning the mad scientist (alchemist), dreadnaught (barbarian), elder mythos cultist (cleric), hexenhammer (inquisitor), cult hunter (investigator), bloody jake (slayer), serial killer (vigilante—see the discussion of Ultimate Intrigue, below, for thoughts on the vigilante), and elder mythos scholar (wizard) work particularly well for darker Freeport campaigns or for noteworthy villains.
Similarly many of the feats, spells, rituals, gear, and magic items work best in the hands of npcs, though if players want to dip a toe into problematic powers, this book expands the ways a GM can let them to that. The advice on running horror games and the shot bestiary are solid, but it’s worth remembering that while Freeport has horror elements, it’s as much pulp swashbuckling adventure as it is fear or horror.
Everything in Occult Adventures works fine in Freeport, but in general has a flavor of strange philosophies and traditions from far-off lands. A GM perfectly well can add an Academy of Psychic Sciences in the Eastern District of Freeport of a local, notable source of occult knowledge is desired, but these rules also present a wonderful opportunity to present fully flesh-out options for characters from “far away” to access to help them feel foreign and a bit alien. Given the nature of the Coils in Freeport cosmology such far-off lands could be anywhere, but existing options such as Mazin or Khaeder (or both) can also be reskinned as the home of psychic magic. This also creates a natural backstory for such characters, given that the ivory Ports on the continent are the primary traders with Khaeder, making them a logical starting point for Khaeder psychics, and a reasonable place to establish some small amount of psychic-aware schools and sages.
The unchained versions of the barbarian, monk, rogue, and summoner work just as well in a Freeport game as the original classes (and, to be honest, the unchained summoner makes more sense and the unchained rogue is more flexible and interesting). The rest of the optional rules depend very much on whether you like the ideas behind them. There’s nothing about changing the action economy or altering skills that interferes with the rules from Freeport: The City of Adventure, and options like esoteric material components, innate bonuses, and scaling items can actually help reinforce the swashbuckling-with-magic feel of Freeport. Similarly the simplified monster creation rules work just fine, and if you like them, by all means use the,.
There’s nothing about the Freeport setting that requires a GM to run games filled with intrigue, mysteries, social climbing, backstabbing, and interpersonal drama—but a lot of people sure seem to prefer it that way! For those folks, Ultimate Intrigue can be a significant boost to the level of talking, investigating, and scheming going on in a game.
The rules on influence can easily be used to track the PCs interactions with factions throughout Freeport, ranging from the various crime organizations to businesses, nobles, the guards, and even specific captains and crews. The research rules are great for mysteries that need more than a single check to find the answers for. The heists section is more advice than rules, but can still be useful for a GM wanting to add more complex schemes to a campaign. The pursuit rules work fine for tacking people across the city, or across an island, but can also be easily adapted for sailing ships attempt to catch up to or evade on another, or beat each other to a destination. The social conflict rules offer more advice and a number of examples of how to add social challenges to a game, and if a GM could use some help getting the most out of the colorful personalities and politics of Freeport, these can be a good jump-starter.
Then, there’s the vigilante class.
There are many fantasy campaign setting where a character with a social identity and a separate, secret vigilante identity don’t work well. If a game is primarily focused on clearing out a dungeon, or fighting as part of a formal military unit, or learning magic at a wizard school, the vigilante class has very few opportunities to shine. That can be true in a Freeport game as well, but characters inspired by the Scarlet Pimpernel or some version of Robin Hood can work very well in a Freeport game that has a lot of social interactions and scheming.
Before allowing vigilante PCs into a Freeport game, the GM should consider how they’ll interact with the campaign’s intended plot. Because the vigilante is built around the idea of having two identities, any player running one is going to look for opportunities to take advantage of that ability. If the campaign is going to include patrons and nemesis in social settings, and heists, and spying, and fights in back alleys the PCs would prefer not to get linked to, that’s likely to work well. If social interaction is going to be more straightforward, and most games focus on delving into cult temples hidden in the sewers or exploring new islands filled with ancient dangers, the vigilante (and characters using any similar options from the archetypes, feats, and so on in Ultimate Intrigue) is likely to get frustrated and have less fun.
Of course there are lots of other sourcebooks available for Pathfinder, from a lot of publishers, ranging from 1-page collections of a few themed feats to 32-page player-focused books to huge tomes on psionics, dragons as player characters, and 1930s-era pulp adventures. More easily than many settings, Freeport can handle all of it, if the GM and players think a new set of rules or options looks good and interesting. Adding too much may make the setting lose much of its existing flavor, but that doesn’t mean it’d be any less fun. The fact the cosmology of Freeport includes the idea that the coils of Yig have already drawn in pieces of other worlds closer to Freeport, and with the right ship (and the right magic) a crew could sail to nearly anywhere, means that anything a group decided to add to a Freeport campaign “fits in,” even if it’s something so strange the locals are likely to shoot first, and ask question alter.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/art_for_rtt_5_22_17.jpg400605Owen Stephenshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngOwen Stephens2017-05-22 09:00:262017-05-22 09:00:26Ronin Roundtable: New Paths in Freeport!
The Freeport Bestiary is almost here! To celebrate, we have uploaded a PDF preview from the book showing off the deadwood tree. These hateful, unliving monstrosities were created in the fall of Valossa, and seek to destroy all life that they encounter.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/grr2901e_200.jpg260200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2017-03-21 14:26:462017-03-21 14:28:08Justice For All Sale
With the pre-order of the Freeport Bestiary opening up, I thought it would be worth taking a moment to discuss how to get the most value out of the book. Of course if you are running a Freeport game this is easy – grab monsters as appropriate. We build the book to make that easy! But if you want to use the Freeport Bestiary to add some spice to other classic fantasy campaigns that’s easy too! In essence this is a companion piece to my discussion last year about adding typical Pathfinder Roleplaying Game to a Freeport game, but in this case we’ll talk about how to select the Freeport-themed monsters for your other campaign ideas. Since a fantasy campaign can focus on just about anything, I’ve broken this conversation into specific information the Freeport Bestiary gives you that can help you decide if a specific creature is a good match for your game’s overarching plot.
It’s true of nearly every bestiary, but it’s worth noting that we break down the monsters by CR, and every monster entry gives you information about its type, size, environment, and so on. Sometimes when building an adventure a GM just needs more choices for a CR 14 aquatic encounter, and having more choices to go through expands the odds that you can pick exactly the monster you need. We also talk a bit about what we mean by the various terrain entries, since for some reason monster terrain types don’t use the same terms as ranger favored terrains.
The world of Freeport is a perilous one, as any swab can attest. Sailors face monsters like ocean wyrms and sail dragons, explorers must deal with ghost eaters and harpoon crabs, and city dwellers may be surprised by burnlings and flayed men. You’ll find all these creatures and many more in the Freeport Bestiary for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!
This 180-page, full-color sourcebook includes a wide variety of threats, from classic Freeport adversaries like serpentmen and fire spectres to new monsters like corsair drakes and witch beasts. It’s the perfect complement to Freeport: The City of Adventure and can be used to add spice to any Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign.
As with all of our RPG book pre-orders, when you place your pre-order in our Green Ronin Online Store, you’ll be offered the PDF version of the book for just $5 when you check out. If you prefer to shop locally, make sure your retailer takes part in our Green Ronin Pre-Order Plus program, and they will be able to get a coupon code for you to order the PDF from us when you pre-order the physical book from them.
https://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/GRR1914_200.jpg260200Evan Sasshttps://greenronin.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/RoninBanner_2022_72.pngEvan Sass2017-02-16 12:48:242017-02-16 13:19:15Freeport Bestiary for Pathfinder: Pre-Order and PDF