My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

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My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:51 am

I've run two previous Freeport campaigns, one using the v.3.0 Freeport Trilogy, then another using v.3.5 and adventures of my own design. Both of those were set in H.P. Lovecraft's Dreamlands--a decision I'd already made before discovering Death in Freeport, but cemented by the eldritch goodness in that adventure. Now after several years, I'm gearing up for my 3rd Freeport campaign, using v.3.5 again. However, with the release of The Pirate's Guide to Freeport since I last GMed the setting, I've decided to switch to the world presented in the "Beyond Freeport" chapter of that book, which has necessitated several changes, such as a new pantheon of gods. Additional background and character options can be found on my "Winds of Freeport" wiki.

Character generation is nearly done, and we'll start play in a few weeks. The party is starting at 2nd level, and are a rather motley group of misfits:
  • An azhari corsair, who fled her merchant family in Kizmir and ended up as a deckhand on a pirate ship, where she quickly became an enthusiastic follower of Harrimast. (She easily the most "normal" member of the group.)
  • An azhari wizard specializing in water magic, and thus considered a freak by other members of her fiery-blooded race. (Her class is modeled after the PH's specialist wizards, but based on the four elemental descriptors rather than the eight schools of magic.)
  • A human spirit shaman with the water planetouched template (from Green Ronin's Advanced Player's Manual). With Freeport's "live and let live" attitude, the city is the closest thing to a home she's ever found.
  • A hadozee ranger/scout. His ape-like race (from Stormwrack) is native to the southern continent, and he's one of the first hadozee to travel this far north.
The first adventure will be set during the holiday of Drac's Fall, which will let me introduce the flavor of Freeport to my one player who's new to the setting (and re-immerse the others), forge the party into a cohesive group (hopefully!), and drop hints about possible future adventures (such as the Great Hunt, the Opera House's 100th anniversary, and the mystery of the missing merfolk).

After that, the campaign will have a strong focus on seafaring adventures, given that the characters all have sailing skills and/or strong ties to the sea. I own True20 Freeport: The Lost Island and Peril in Freeport, and plan to make use of them at the appropriate levels. Also, it's Freeport and I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, so there will definitely be recurring encounters with forbidden cults and extraplanar horrors!

I'll post more about the campaign as it progresses.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:57 am

Sounds exciting. Can't wait to hear more about the campaign.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Havard » Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Congrats with the new campaign Tim!

Makes me think I might want to revisit Freeport myself. It will be interesting to hear about your campaign. I am especially curious to see how the Pirate's Guide World is going to work out for you :)



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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:02 pm

Havard wrote:I am especially curious to see how the Pirate's Guide World is going to work out for you :)

How much I use it will depend primarily on where their voyages take them. But it's already adding some context to the PCs' back stories: at least one of the azhar is from Kizmir (the other has no memory of her childhood); the hadozee is from the same continent as Mazin; and the water-human comes from a tiny island off the coast of Rolland (where she wasn't accepted by her human village or by the elves).
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Nate Christen » Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:31 am

I like the addition of the azhar, too. I have an old Secrets of the Lamp sourcebox on my shelf, for the 2E Al-Qadim setting, and I'd like to work the City of Brass detailed in it into a campaign.

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:10 pm

We've had our first session, which consisted of finishing up character creation, working out how the characters came to meet each other, and what they've been doing to make ends meet recently.

* Harissa, the azhar corsair, is a crew member aboard the Midwife, the pirate ship she stowed away on in order to flee an arranged marriage back in Kizmir years ago.
* Marisol, the azhar wizard. splits her time between the Virgin's Veil, a merchant ship whose crew found her as an amnesiac castaway and adopted her, and studying with her arcane tutor, Sylas Crant.
* Larkspur, the part-human spirit shaman, spends most of her time in the jungles of A'val. She visits Freeport periodically to trade furs and skins, cast spells for hire, etc. She knows Harissa from when the Midwife's cleric was too dead drunk to deal with a haunting, and the two have been friends since.
* Inacio, the hadozee ranger/scout, has recently been kicked off yet another boat due to his lack of social skills. (Even for a barbarian ape-man, he's tactless and abrasive.) He served briefly on the Virgin's Veil, but couldn't even get a berth on the Midwife. However, he still keeps in touch with Marisol and Larkspur.

We had just enough time to get the group together (Harissa & Marisol hadn't met) and do a little roleplaying between PCs during the first day of Drac's Fall. They are going to be roaring drunk (Larkspur's alter liquid spell makes her an invaluable drinking buddy!) when things start to happen...

[Edited 10/9 to fit Inacio's blurb.]
Last edited by timemrick on Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Sat Oct 08, 2011 9:40 pm

timemrick wrote:However, with the release of The Pirate's Guide to Freeport since I last GMed the setting, I've decided to switch to the world presented in the "Beyond Freeport" chapter of that book, which has necessitated several changes, such as a new pantheon of gods. Additional background and character options can be found on my "Winds of Freeport" wiki.


Looks like you are doing the world expanding research I would want to see done for Freeport. :cool:

timemrick wrote:
  • A hadozee ranger/scout. His ape-like race (from Stormwrack) is native to the southern continent, and he's one of the first hadozee to travel this far north.


...and...

timemrick wrote:
  • Inacio, the hadozee ranger/scout, has recently been kicked off yet another boat due to his lack of social skills. (Even for a barbarian ape-man, he's tactless and abrasive.) He served briefly on both the Midwife and the Virgin's Veil, but didn't last long on either. However, he still keeps in touch with Harissa and Marisol.


Are you aware that the hadozee come from the Spelljammer campaign setting? :D ^_^

They were originally a Star Frontiers race, but SJ designers raided them from that and turned them into a D&D race. I don't know if it is of any use to you but they are also related to a Dragonlance race called the Shadowpeople.

I made a post in the [Pathfinder RPG] A Question of Core Race Conversion thread in the Spelljammer forum that might be of interest to you. It has pictures of both a Shadowperson and a Hadozee and links to fan conversions for DL and SJ. Perhaps some DL and SJ fans have some ideas that you can raid for your Southern Continent.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:13 am

Big Mac wrote:Are you aware that the hadozee come from the Spelljammer campaign setting? :D ^_^

They were originally a Star Frontiers race, but SJ designers raided them from that and turned them into a D&D race. I don't know if it is of any use to you but they are also related to a Dragonlance race called the Shadowpeople.

Hadozee got the 3.5 treatment in Stormwrack. ;)
Last edited by Giant Space Hamster on Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: MODERATOR EDIT (by Big Mac): Broken quote tag fixed
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:27 pm

Stormwrack is the version of the hadozee we're using. When I first read about the race here, I was reminded of the Yazirians from Star Frontiers, but I don't recall them from Spelljammer (It's been ages since I read that, too).

I debated for a while about including them, but Black Sails Over Freeport includes intelligent white apes, so I figured hadozee wouldn't be out of place in the world. Plus it's always fun to let this particular player indulge his obsession about monkeys. ;)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:25 am

Here's a capsule summary of tonight's session:

Part of the festivities of the first day of Drac's Fall is dressing animals in yellow cloaks and chasing them down in the streets; the animals are killed and cooked for a feast that night. The PCs got involved in one of these chases, but after dealing with their competition, cornering the pig, and killing it, the corpse transformed into a dead human: George, a deckhand from the Midwife. This shocked everyone, particularly Harissa. (We're trying out the d20 Freeport Companion's insanity and madness rules, so all but one PC gained 1d3 IP from the unnatural, gruesome sight.)

The PCs went to talk to a livestock trader to learn how the animals were procured for the holiday, and learned nothing useful or even suspicious. Discussing the possibility of lycanthropes among themselves, they grew concerned about the bites Harissa suffered, but they didn't seem to be infected. They consulted with Marisol's teacher, who told them a bit about polymorph magic, then they reported the death to the Midwife's first mate. They learned that George had planned to spent his shore leave with a pretty barmaid, who they questioned. She had seen her paramour dragged off into an alley by two cloaked men, who vanished with him before her screams could summon any help. Searching the alley, Inacio found a brass button with a paw print design, torn from some well-to-do person's garment, presumably one of George's abductors.

Next time they hope to find some significance to the button's design, and will have to deal with even more interesting interruptions to their holiday...

For the curious, I'm using the beginner adventure seed from Chapter 7 of Cults of Freeport as a starting point for the disappearance. I'm mostly winging the investigation for now, since we're all getting used to the new campaign.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:37 pm

Twin Agate Dragons wrote:
Big Mac wrote:Are you aware that the hadozee come from the Spelljammer campaign setting? :D ^_^

They were originally a Star Frontiers race, but SJ designers raided them from that and turned them into a D&D race. I don't know if it is of any use to you but they are also related to a Dragonlance race called the Shadowpeople.

Hadozee got the 3.5 treatment in Stormwrack. ;)


Yep. Tim said he was using the Stormwrack version in his first post. I thought he might like to use Spelljammer, Dragonlance (shadowpeople) or Star Frountiers (yasirians) as inspiration (or a backstory for hadozee coming to Freeport from somewhere else. But it seems like he has it covered.

timemrick wrote:Stormwrack is the version of the hadozee we're using. When I first read about the race here, I was reminded of the Yazirians from Star Frontiers, but I don't recall them from Spelljammer (It's been ages since I read that, too).


They are done as a (2e) PC race in CGR1 The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook and as a monster in MC7 Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix.

timemrick wrote:I debated for a while about including them, but Black Sails Over Freeport includes intelligent white apes, so I figured hadozee wouldn't be out of place in the world. Plus it's always fun to let this particular player indulge his obsession about monkeys. ;)


Hadozee are described as travelling around in troops (in CGR1) and prefer to work for elves over other races. They aided the Elven Navy during the First Unhuman War and spread from the "hadozee homeworld" across the Known Spheres in the years that followed. I thought that if you needed an explanation for the arrival of the race on Freeport's planet, you could have a spelljamming ship crash land and found a colony of hadozee in the area your player's PC comes from.

There is nothing wrong with a monkey obsession. Although, white apes are not monkeys, as they have no tails! :P
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Tue Oct 18, 2011 3:45 pm

I was using "monkey" colloquially. :)

Thanks for the background! Among other things, it explains why Stormwrack hadozee like elves so much. (In my campaign, though, their exposure to elves has been very limited to date, unless they've made it to Naranjan, too.)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:27 am

timemrick wrote:I was using "monkey" colloquially. :)


I was only teasing. ;)

timemrick wrote:Thanks for the background! Among other things, it explains why Stormwrack hadozee like elves so much. (In my campaign, though, their exposure to elves has been very limited to date, unless they've made it to Naranjan, too.)


I'll be looking forward to seeing what you do with your hadozee...and how your campaign continues.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:35 am

Time for an update!

Through questioning tailors in the Old City, the party identified the button's owner, and located his home with the help of several street urchins. Said street rats described the owner, an aristocrat in the Merchant District named Lord Hornsby, as cruel to those below his station, but also secretive, so they knew little about his private life. Having learned that Hornsby and his manservant/bodyguard would be at the Opera House, the PCs cased his house, then broke in to find out what they could about him. They succeeded in not awaking the other servant(s), uncovered a stash of snakeweed, and learned that the small, empty stable had been converted into a torture room. However, nothing revealed the significance of the cat's paw, or who else might have been involved in George's abduction and transformation.

The party's sentry detected the return of Hornsby and his servant, but was noticed in return. This led to a bloody duel in the alleys behind the house, in which the PCs took several wounds but took down both foes. They dispatched the servant, and took the unconscious noble into his own torture room to revive and question. (Meanwhile, the other two servants woke up to the sounds of combat and fled the house, swiping the good silver on their way out the front door.)

Hornsby, inured to pain and bored by the PCs' clumsy efforts at intimidation, laughed in their faces. He revealed that he'd abducted George because "the Mistress" needed someone who wouldn't be missed, and knew nothing about what she did with him. He also mentioned the "Weal" (or "Wheel," as they originally heard it), but the PCs grew frustrated trying to get more out of him and simply killed him.

The party eventually found their way to the Crimson Weal in Dreaming Street and spent some time casing the place. They went during the day, when the Weal had no customers, and nobody entered or exited. They tried again a couple nights later, and asked some questions at the brothel across the street. The madame described it as a place people go for the more painful sort of kinks, but couldn't really say more--in Scurvytown, nobody gets too nosy about their neighbors. They set to watching the place for the night. The two PCs who watched the rear got a good long look at some of the activities in the backyard (floggings and the like), while the two watching the front studied the bouncers and the clientele coming and going. At one point, they saw a drow arrive, to whom the thugs groveled as he entered. [This was Gulimar, the Master of the Society of the Velvet Whip; see Cults of Freeport.]

Towards dawn, the pair in back made their way across rooftops to the Weal. Just as they were about to take a look at the second-floor dormer, the two gargoyles stationed there attacked. They promptly fled, and only one gargoyle pursued. The other PCs ran to their aid, and had a hard time fighting the monster. [They're 2nd level; it's CR 4.] The running battle drew the bouncers' attention, and their chief, a huge half-orc bearing the marks of an ex-gladiator, joined the fight. The party finally escaped by fleeing in four different directions. The bouncer chased the hadozee, who took to the rooftops. The gargoyle chased the wizard, who ducked through a tavern to shake the beast in the crowd.

The next morning, they regrouped at their favorite dive, and discussed the situation. They came to the uncomfortable conclusion that they can't take on the Weal until they have much more experience--though the impulsive Harissa will certainly nurse her grudge until they do.

Next session, we'll be starting a new adventure to distract them from their woes, and to get them out to sea (all four of them were built more for sea travel than city adventures). I haven't yet decided which adventure to run next--Dead Man's Quest (with some scaling up for their level) or The Lost Island (whioh I've converted from True20). Given their respective levels, I'll probably run them in that order. Harissa is a follower of Harrimast, and plans to invest more time in that, so I can most easily introduce DMQ as a quest from Father Peligro. I'll probably modify TLI's intro as well, making it less of a "help random guy that you see getting mugged" set-up...though if I make some of the thugs halflings, the hadozee will gladly break some heads out of sheer malice. :twisted:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:29 am

Awesome Tim, pure awesome! :cool:

If you were to take the notes, adventure and other tidbits and compile them into a novella, I'd surely buy it!
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:18 pm

Thanks, TAD! I've been leaving out most of the flailing about that the players and I both are doing as we settle into this new campaign. ;)

I've decided to run Dead Man's Quest next, using some of the scaling guidelines included with the adventure to make it a bit more challenging since it's for 1st level as written, and they're 2nd. I'll be introducing Captain Fletcher through Father Peligro. Since the PCs don't have a ship of their own, I plan to revamp the initial Brinewolf encounter as a way for them to seize a small one for themselves (perhaps through a tip from Fletcher?).

I did some quick XP calculations based on the changes I made, and they'll reach 3rd level at the midpoint break (they're almost there now), and should reach 4th at the end. That will set them up nicely for starting The Lost Island, which is for 3rd-5th.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:23 pm

After some more discussion of the problem with the Weal, we started Dead Man's Quest. Harissa, as a devotee of Harrimast, received a summons from Father Peg-Leg Peligro. She brought her friends, and they were introduced to Captain Fletcher's ghost and his little problem.

The party has no boat of their own, and didn't want to involve either of the crews they've served with (Harissa's fellow pirates and Marisol's honest merchantmen). To fix this problem, Peg-Leg pointed them towards an easy mark: the Brinewolf, which had recently made port with a depleted, half-mad crew. The three women lured most of the pirates off ship with promises of liquor (and implications of more), then Inacio snuck aboard to deal with the two men left behind. The hadozee made quick work of them, then brought the party's provisions (hidden nearby) on board and readied the ship to sail. Meanwhile, the pirates on land didn't want to wait until reaching the tavern to have some fun with the ladies, whose armed resistance brought that excursion to a messy end.

Once they were all assembled at the ship, Fletcher joined them and led them to the wreck of his ship, the Stingray. We paused there, just before the real fighting begins. The PCs had earned just enough XP to reach 3rd level, so we're in the process of making those changes before next session.

As some of you know, I build most of my RPG minis out of LEGO, and this adventure is no exception. Here are some of the minis I've built for it:

The party (L-R): Marisol, Harissa, Inacio, Larkspur
Peg-Leg Peligro
Fletcher
Octopus
Mother Merrow and Skithis
Cultists and adept
Turgle
Fihyr (or gibbering mouther)

I'm also using several standard pieces: pirates, Pirates of the Caribbean zombies, black skeletons (lacedons), shark, Manta Warrior (sahuagin), Portal Emperor (Srathulas), and Count Dooku (Mordekai).

My other LEGO creations--the vast majority of which are RPG mini--can be found at my Brickshelf gallery. You may occasionally get a message that a folder is not yet public; this means that I've added new content which still needs to be screened by the site admins. (Unfortunately, that means that if I add just one new thing to a given folder, that folder can't be viewed for a while afterwards.)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:40 pm

Bloody awesome! Which lego sets did you get/build those figs from?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:23 pm

Here's where some of the more specialized pieces come from:

Larkspur and Merrow use Aayla Secura's blue body and head (Star Wars, in the Turbo Tank set and available as a keychain). Larkspur has Indian/tribal warrior hair, while Merrow has Bellatrix Lestrange's (Harry Potter). Merrow's dogshark familiar is an ornamental fish from one of the old ninja sets.

Inacio uses the gorilla suit from the Minifigures Series 3 collection, with a cloak added to give him wing-flaps.

The Manta Warrior and Portal Emperor are from the Atlantis theme, as is Inacio's trident.

Fletcher uses a mix of Pirates of the Caribbean pieces. Most are from soldiers, but the head and plume come from the undead Barbarossa figure.

Turgle the quasit is a bat mounted on the back-stud of a scorpion, to give him wings and a stinger. The fihyr's main body is the 4-pronged piece used for lanterns.

(BTW, you may have noticed that I mount most of my minis on 2x2 or 2x3 plates to give them a stable base. The collectible Minifigures series's 4x3 bases won't fit into a 1" square, but I sometimes use them for Large creatures.)

And if you were impressed with these, wait until you see the minis I've built for The Lost Island! :cool:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Angel Tarragon » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:40 pm

:cool: Thanks!
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Nate Christen » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:49 am

Tim,

I'm eager to see the LEGO builds, and read your notes, about The Lost Island. I've been reading through it, and I'm wondering how you'll deal with adapting a few of the powers from True 20.

-Nate
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Mon Mar 12, 2012 3:07 pm

Nate Christen wrote:Tim,

I'm eager to see the LEGO builds, and read your notes, about The Lost Island. I've been reading through it, and I'm wondering how you'll deal with adapting a few of the powers from True 20.

-Nate

My conversion notes for The Lost Island are here: http://unnamedfreeportproject.wikispace ... version%29

The LEGO models for that adventure are here: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=472540

I'm especially pleased with how the crab and clockwork spider models turned out. I haven't made minis specifically for the calibans; I'll just be using a random assortment of humanoids for them.

Enjoy!
Tim Emrick, Green Ronin Freebooter and Keeper of the Freeport Errata
Winds of Freeport: My Pathfinder Freeport campaign (2014-2016).
Time of the Tarrasque: My homebrew Pathfinder campaign (2017-).
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Chimpman » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:34 pm

timemrick wrote:The LEGO models for that adventure are here: http://www.brickshelf.com/cgi-bin/gallery.cgi?f=472540

Very cool timemrick! Have you done any work on set pieces as well (buildings or landscapes)?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:02 am

Chimpman wrote:Very cool timemrick! Have you done any work on set pieces as well (buildings or landscapes)?

Thanks! I don't normally do set pieces for my RPGs--that would eat up my brick supply very quickly, and a battle grid with a few props is much easier to use in play anyway.

That said, I recently started trying out BrickQuest, a D&D-like boardgame that uses LEGO to build modular dungeon rooms and populate them with monsters and treasure. The gallery of what I've built for that is here.
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Winds of Freeport: My Pathfinder Freeport campaign (2014-2016).
Time of the Tarrasque: My homebrew Pathfinder campaign (2017-).
Studded Plate: My blog about RPGs and LEGO.
Thastygliax's Vault: My other gaming pages.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Chimpman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:40 am

timemrick wrote:That said, I recently started trying out BrickQuest, a D&D-like boardgame that uses LEGO to build modular dungeon rooms and populate them with monsters and treasure. The gallery of what I've built for that is here.

Nice! My daughter and I have played BrickQuest a few times as well. I was able to make a handful of rooms, but 1) they do eat up a lot of bricks, and 2) they take up quite a bit of space. In the end I decided to just go with minifigs, vehicles, and special objects just laid out on the floor.

Another game we've tried is BrikWars!, which works out great for larger battles. I think in the end some combination/amalgamation of the two games would be ideal.
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