My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:55 pm

timemrick wrote:The hadozee is a vanara with a couple of racial traits (low-light vision and prehensile tail) swapped out for gliding wingflaps (using the gliding wings alternate racial trait for kobolds in the Advanced Race Guide).


If that stuff is all OGC, do you think you could post your Pathfinder RPG Hadozee Conversion somewhere?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:17 am

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:35 am

We've started actual playing again! For the first session, the PCs (minus Marisol) had another run-in with the survivors of a bar-brawl they started a while back. In that first encounter, Inacio picked a fight with a halfling bard and her companions. (The runt had the nerve to sing the praises of Barty the Small, a halfling pirate this player ran in my last Freeport game. His current character's backstory includes a stint as Barty's prisoner after the ship Inacio was traveling on was boarded.) The bard, her rogue cohort, and the NPC party's dwarf fighter were slain by the PCs, but the azhari fire cleric and holiness necromancer escaped.

This time, the cleric and wizard were joined by the bard's vengeful ranger brother, and a fetching monk/rogue who tailed the party as the approached the ambush. Naturally, the halfling didn't survive, and the goblin and fetching narrowly managed to evade pursuit when things went against them. The cleric vanished early on, after the initial assault failed. Inacio managed to trail him across town to Kafe Ilkan, where Larkspur went in to talk to with the azhari in a setting where neither wanted to start a public fight. They negotiated an uneasy cease-fire. Harissa came in shortly after, as backup, but completely missed the conversation (thanks to very poor Perception checks to pick out the cleric in the crowd).

On the way out, however, Harissa finally noticed that someone had taken an interest in her, and was quizzing the proprietor about her. She was shocked to recognize the man in spite of his disguise as the azhari merchant's son that she had been betrothed to back in Kizmir. Fleeing that arrangement was what first led her into a new life as a pirate, and she's frantic to get out of town before her intended--or worse, her family--chases her down.

Luckily, the dead halfling carried a treasure map, which the party is now researching--and this will launch us into "Cut-Throat's Gold" (from Tales of Freeport).
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:24 pm

We've recruited a couple new players to fill out the group, and they will be creating characters soon. (Now they'll have 5 PCs to spread the hurt across rather than just 3. :twisted: ) They also plan to join us when we decide to switch from Freeport to Time of the Tarrasque, which I hope to start by year'a end.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Havard » Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:40 pm

timemrick wrote:We've recruited a couple new players to fill out the group, and they will be creating characters soon. (Now they'll have 5 PCs to spread the hurt across rather than just 3. :twisted: ) They also plan to join us when we decide to switch from Freeport to Time of the Tarrasque, which I hope to start by year'a end.


That's awesome Tim! :)

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:36 pm

timemrick wrote:We've recruited a couple new players to fill out the group, and they will be creating characters soon. (Now they'll have 5 PCs to spread the hurt across rather than just 3. :twisted: ) They also plan to join us when we decide to switch from Freeport to Time of the Tarrasque, which I hope to start by year'a end.


Great.

Is there any particular reason why you have gone for an increase from 3PCs to 5PCs?

Does it reduce the disruption to the game caused by a PC getting killed (or a TPK)?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:59 pm

Big Mac wrote:Is there any particular reason why you have gone for an increase from 3PCs to 5PCs?

Does it reduce the disruption to the game caused by a PC getting killed (or a TPK)?

There are a number of reasons for the change.

Firstly, we lost a player when my wife's job relocated across country. Two of our other players include my wife's coworker and her husband, who made the move at the same time, so we still have 4/5 of the group intact locally. My wife is using Google Hangouts to include that fifth player as she continues running her Earthdawn campaign. But that's been a challenge, largely because the remote player has an overcommitted schedule and is far less experienced with the system than the rest of us. (She'll probably be leaving the group after the current plot arc concludes, for my wife's sanity's sake.) As GM for Freeport, I didn't want to subject the group to a double dose of those headaches. Also, once Green Ronin announced the Kickstarter for the new Pathfinder Freeport book, I knew that I wanted to convert the game to that system, and I definitely don't have the patience to teach a system I'm still learning myself to a remote player who we know doesn't learn new rules quickly. (End mini-rant. :roll: )

Mechanically, D&D v.3.5 and Pathfinder are very heavily geared toward a balanced four-character party, with the classic cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard roles represented (or some rough approximation of them). It's much harder to balance encounters for a party of three, which means more risk for each PC. I'm an experienced enough GM that I can compensate for that, but to be honest, I think it would be less fun for everyone involved. Having another voice or two around the table is much more satisfying, particularly since we all want to get to know other gamers in the area outside our age-old core group.

The fact that we we added two new players rather than just one is mostly chance--our new recruits are a couple who both wanted in. One of them has been gaming for a while, and has some Pathfinder experience. The other is pretty new to tabletops RPGs, but has played a lot of D&D-style computer games, so he seems to be picking things up pretty quickly so far.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Wed Aug 06, 2014 12:40 am

I met with the new players last night to work on their Freeport characters. We'll be adding a couple more "plane-touched" PCs to the party: a sylph witch, specializing in elemental spells, with an owl familiar; and our second undine, a cleric of the god of storms and strength. Both spellcasters will provide additional healing to the group, which will be welcome news to the druid, who will be more free to prepare other kinds of spells. I'm not sure yet how hard a hitter the cleric will be in melee--none of our three spellcasters has a Strength bonus!--but he'll definitely be the most heavily armored character in the group.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:38 am

Our two new PCs are:
  • Damarak: male undine cleric 6 (Melkarth, god of storm and strength). Originally from the Ivory Ports, he grew weary of regular temple life and came to Freeport seeking more exciting adventures.
  • Issalia, female sylph witch 6 (trickery patron). Also originally from Khaeder (the southern continent), but having the wanderlust common to her race, she has travelled extensively in Rolland and the Ivory Ports, and recently arrived in Freeport.

We had our first session with the new players a couple weeks ago, and it went well. Much of the session was spent role-playing the party meeting the new characters, which, true to classic old-school convention and this group's own bar-crawling habits, took place in a tavern. Harissa, Inacio, and Larkspur have been preparing for a sea voyage to find Black-Hearted Billy's treasure, but their friend Marisol is too busy studying with her master to join them. This leaves them short-handed for sailing their (admittedly small) ship, so they've been on the lookout for new recruits--while trying to dodge the notice of Harissa's jilted betrothed as well as the attention of the cult behind the Crimson Weal.

This evening, Damarak saw the gang drinking in the Bilge Rat, one of the dives near the docks. He's been hanging out around the docks and talking with adventurers, and found this group more more exotic than most--an undine, an azhari, and some kind of talking ape [a hadozee]. He approached them and offered to buy them drinks in exchange for tales of their adventures. They gladly agreed to this, and spent a pleasant evening swapping stories. In time, they learned that Damarak was a trained sailor and interested in joining a crew, so invited him to join their little quest.

Meanwhile, Issalia had noticed this group as well, but her shyness kept her from approaching them herself. Her interest in them finally came to their attention, and Larkspur guessed she must be an arcane spellcaster based on her owl companion and lack of obvious weapons. The druid decided to go to her and ask if she was a mage in search of employment. The offer did indeed catch her interest--it sounded far more exciting than her current job working as an alchemist's assistant! She asked for more details about their mission, then agreed to join them for a share. She hypothesized that if the ruined city on the map were anywhere near Freeport, it was likely to be of Valossan origin.

Damarak returned to the Half-Pint with the others that night. Issalia joined them the next day, after collecting her things and giving notice to her employer.

The crew spent about a week sailing to the area they had determined Billy used to hide from his enemies. They weathered a storm, then were attacked by a party of sahaugin led by an unusually large warrior. They fought off the sea devils, leaving no survivors, and spent some time salvaging the creatures' gear from the sea (mostly weapons, but the leader also had a couple of minor magical trinkets).

Next session (this Sunday) they will reach the island and have to fight their way through jungle and swamp to the ruined city. That landfall is when Cut-Throat's Gold really begins...
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:55 am

((ETA: Just as a reminder, spoilers for "Cut-Throat's Gold" in Tales of Freeport follow.))

The crew of the Half-Pint spied land, finding a jungle-covered island a couple of miles long. They sailed around it, but caught no glimpse of the ruined city they sought. They did, however, find a swampy delta much like the one shown on the treasure map, so dropped anchor and took the longboat in. Larkspur and Inancio's animal companions--a crocodile and elasmosaurus, respectively--swam alongside, as did the amphibious druid.

Not long after entering the river, the party encountered a giant saltwater crocodile, which nearly upended the boat before they fought it off. As it was, Damarak and Issalia were dunked in the river, but got clear while the others kept the beast busy. They managed to slay the croc, and (with effort) pulled its carcass to shore to butcher for its hide and meat. Rather than take an overburdened boat upriver, they carried their trophies back to the ship before setting out again, leaving the rest of the remains for scavengers.

Larkspur sensed an aproaching piranha swarm in time to get the swimmers out of the water. Those in the rowboat weathered a brief bumpy ride as the fish passed under them, but avoided taking any damage and thus inciting a frenzy.

Some time afterwards, the party was attacked by a lizardfolk patrol. The reptiles' leader suffered an ignominius death by drowning after being hit by Issalia's slumber hex while swimming to the attack, and the party quickly dispatched the others more conventionally.

It was now nearly evening, but they soon spied a clearing ahead that contained crumbling stone buildings and crudely built huts. The backed away downstream and sent Inacio ahead to scout. He discovered that the ruined city was inhabited by lizardfolk, but that they avoided the eastern part of the city. At the center of their territory was a large temple of some sort (which Damarak later identified as dedicated to Yig, ancient god of the mysterious serpent people). Inacio investigated the seemingly abandoned quarter and found a corral of animated human and lizardfolk corpses. Nearby, in the cliff wall that surrounded the city on three sides, he spotted a cave entrance guarded by ogre zombies. He returned to the party to report, and the others agreed that the cave must be the treasure location marked on the map. They remain confused about the presence of the undead, however, and what connection they might have to the living reptiles.

The party decided to hide the dinghy in the delta and climb up to the cliff from the far eastern edge of the city in order to avoid being seen from the village. (Both animal companions can go about on land easily enough, but neither is suited to climbing, so rather than leave them behind, Larkspur assumed dire ape form to carry them up the cliff.) They made a cold camp in some ruins that gave a good view of the lower city, and set watches. In the morning, they plan to scale down from directly above the cave...if their night's rest isn't interrupted first... :twisted:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:45 am

Late that night, a shambling mound attacked Damarak while he and Larkspur were on watch. Fortunately for the cleric, once the others woke up and joined the fight, the creature decided that defending itself was more important than squeezing him to death. However, it failed in that goal, too, and was eventually killed.

After a late start to allow the witch to catch up on sleep interrupted by the attack, the party employed hide from undead and a silenced arrow to climb down and ambush the ogre zombies. Those minions went down almost instantly in the surprise round, but the now-revealed party drew the attention of the nearby corral of skeletons and zombies. Those undead broke out and attacked the party, but their crowded numbers allowed Damarak to catch most of them in bursts of channeled energy.

During this fight, Larkspur investigated the cave, and noticed the undead's master in time to dodge a black ray. She called for help, and Issalia and Damarak joined her while Harissa and Inacio mopped up the last of the undead. The necromancer, Thomas Hariot (who I rewrote as a sorcerer with the undead bloodline) inflicted some serious damage with his grasp of the dead attack. (Issalia was lucky enough to save for half damage and avoid a messy death. The two priests failed, but have the highest HP in the party.) Inacio's arrival with the silenced arrow spelled the end for Harriot, because he was unable to use his spells to do more damage, save his special project, or escape. His last-ditch attempt to flee out of range came too late, and he was cut down instead.

The original v.3.0 adventure describes Harriot as crafting a composite zombie from leftover pieces of ruined undead. However, the rules explicit rule out reanimating destroyed undead, so I swapped some of his feats to give him Craft Construct, and made his special project into a carrion golem (Bestiary 2). After offing the sorcerer, the party made sure to smash up his almost-finished golem (which they mistook for a flesh golem) for good measure.

They then searched the workroom and living quarters in the cave. They found a large hoard of Valossan artifacts, and many notebooks written by Hariot, about his necromantic experiments as well as his translation of Valossan. Issalia felt confident that with the latter notes, and the Valossan texts in the dead sorcerer's collection, she would be able to quickly learn that obscure language.

The party now has enough XP for 7th level, but needs to wait for an opportunity to rest and reflect in a safe place before they can actually advance.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:02 am

The party identified and divided up Hariot's magic items. While they did so, their lookout noticed that the lizardfolk were gathering near the river bisecting the city, and were watching the PCs intently. Isslaia cast tongues on Harissa (the most charismatic PC), Inacio beheaded the sorcerer and put the head on a spear, and the party went to go parley with the reptiles.

When it was confirmed that the party had slain the necromancer who had plagued the village, the lizardfolk chief and shaman thanked them and invited them to come speak with the local spirit. This spirit turned out to be a serpent person ghost, a dead cleric of Yig named Ssvalish. The ghost thanked them for their actions and offered a reward from the tribe's hoard. (The PCs gladly accepted, as the "pirate treasure" they had sought turned out to be a stash of obscure, hard-to-sell antiquities, not the ready cash they'd hoped for.) As the chief left to arrange a feast in their honor, Ssvalish asked the PCs to tell him more about themselves, and how they came to defeat Hariot. He then told them about his own origin and his assumed role of protector of the lizardfolk after their serpent people masters died out. (See Tales for details.)

While the feast was being prepared, the PCs retrieved their rowboat and returned to the cave to pack up treasure. They put the most portable pieces--mostly books and jewelry--into Larskpur and Issalia's handy haversacks, and decided to leave the bulkier stuff behind. They made this decision in part to avoid attracting the lizardfolk's attention by carrying out artifacts that the tribe might feel belonged to them, and partly to avoid the effort of ferrying multiple loads of bulky cargo, that might or might not bring a worthwhile price, to their ship.

At the feast, Larkspur discovered that the chief had a deinonychus companion, and asked permission to approach it. This led to the discovery that he(?) was also a druid, and they talked shop at some length. Meanwhile, Harissa quickly got smashed on the local fermented fruit beverage, and Issalis overindulged a bit herself. Damarak scored points with the shaman by politely asking questions about the tribe's gods, and was rewarded with some new lore about Eadro and Yig. He got the strong impression that the lizardfolk idolize the serpent people, and Ssvalish especially so.

They party eventually made their goodbyes, returned to the ship, and began the voyage back to Freeport. During the week or so return trip, they leveled up.

Back in Freeport, they visited their favorite magic shop, the Valiant Weasel, and sold some of the magic items they had no use for. The owner, Amanashaya, is a loremaster and mystic theurge who was a PC in my first two Freeport campaigns, but now retired as a high-level NPC. (That player is now playing Larkspur.) She continues to be keenly interested in serpent people lore and forbidden lore in general, so was the obvious person to approach about selling Hariot's notebooks and Valossan artifacts. Harissa's silver tongue [natural 20's on two Diplomacy rolls!] insured the party got a good price for their loot.

With their new wealth, the party spent some time celebrating and shopping. Inacio's elasmosaurus companion is now Large, so he spent some time and money acquiring an exotic saddle and enchanted barding so that he can ride Lapras into battle during their next adventure.

Harissa now has the Leadership feat, so spent some time at Harrimast's temple recruiting out-of-work sailors to fill out the Half-Pint's crew.The player and I have settled on a catfolk rogue (cat burglar archetype, naturally) for Harissa's new cohort, as the party has no one who capable of dealing with traps, and a catfolk would fit right into this freakshow of a party. :P The players and I still need to do a short bit of roleplaying to introduce Mirrassarr, once I decide how much in the way of new plot hooks I want him to bring with him.
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Winds of Freeport: My Pathfinder Freeport campaign (2014-2016).
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:03 am

I’ll probably do a bit of short filler stuff in town for a change of pace before we dive into the next big adventure (which could possibly the last one before we change over to the Tarrasque game?).

The party’s first voyage on the Half-Pint was ostensibly to find out more about the missing merfolk. At least one player has expressed an interest in investigating that mystery further, and it would give me an opportunity to give the undine some spotlight time in their own element.

Another goal that the PCs have is to acquire a somewhat larger ship so that they’ll stand a better chance in any ship battles they fight. In order to give them an opportunity for that, and to plant the seeds for the “Gorilla Island” adventure I’m working on, they will encounter a ghost ship at some point in the near future. They will have to fight a draugr crew and their antipaladin captain, whose ship bears an evil idol with the unhallow effect of a darkskull. The demonic ape-like idol, and some papers in the captain’s cabin, will give them clues to find “Gorilla Island,” a fabled land that appears in some far-fetched vanaran and Khaederan tales. The prospect of finding a vanaran community should hook Inacio easily enough, and there will be hooks to pique the others’ interests as well. And if all else fails, fabled lands means lots of swag, right? :twisted:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:10 am

And finally (for tonight), due to recent changes in Wikispaces' policies, my Winds of Freeport website has been moved to a new home at Google Sites, and I've updated my signature accordingly. For now, the new site consists solely of public background and house rules, and I'm working on getting the (newly advanced) PC stats ready to post.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:03 am

My wife and I forgot that the urban ranger archetype gives Inacio a rogue's trapfinding ability, so our group is discussing alternatives that won't steal the schtick of any of the PCs. We've mostly settled on an arcane duelist bard. The race isn't set yet, but my wife finds the nagaji interesting, but we would need to be careful to distinguish him/her from the serpent people (who the NPC would be perpetually mistaken for).

The Great Hunt started just before the Half-Pint returned to Freeport, so the party has decided to get involved for some fun and profit. With a druid in the party, they're more interested in slowing down the other hunters than just killing animals, but the possibility of capturing something live to sell to Fang and Claw definitely has their interest. Omar Nkota has warned them about a deadly bulette who's still at large in the jungle. If they meet it, he advised them to either kill it or run like hell--it's long past being trainable, but its young might still be, if they haven't yet tasted humanoid blood.

Their first bounty was a leucrotta (whose mate sensibly fled before dying itself). They then tried to poach a kill from a Rolland Musketeer and his guides. In a short, nasty fight, they managed to knock out the elf lord. His two servants immediately surrendered and negotiated their release, at the cost of the bounty and their purses. The PCs wanted to demand more, but the guides convinced them that trying to ransom the Musketeer back to the Moon King would be too time-consuming and dangerous.

Our group's schedules are rather full the next few weeks, so next session is likely to be on the short side, jumping right into the next fight. I haven't decided yet if that will the bulette or a different threat. I've worked up stat blocks for a few interesting encounters that I may or may not use this time around, depending on how long the party stays interested in the Hunt. After that, they may try investigating the missing merfolk again, or I may just go straight into luring them to Gorilla Island.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:20 am

[We've decided to retcon Harissa's cohort to a nagaji bard with the arcane duelist template. Virali is from Naranjan, where her race reveres nagas. This makes her an outcast at home (thanks to the sinister Naga Cult) and in Freeport (for her resemblance to the feared serpent people). Naturally, she makes heavy use of mundane and magical disguises to hide her real identity.]

With minimal resources expending dealing with the Musketeer's party, the PCs continued on their hunt. Inacio came across strange tracks, and led the party to a clearing where a couple of baby bulettes were mock-fighting. They decided to catch them alive, because Omar Nkota had expressed an interest in acquiring more young for training. While the party discussed how best to do this, and moved closer, the bulettes noticed them and headed their way--one charging on the surface, and the other burrowing underground. The first baby was immediately downed by Issalia's slumber hex, and promptly tied up by Inacio. Then the second one burst out of the ground to attack him.

Then things got interesting, as a larger bulette burst from the ground next to the wagon, savaging the mule (leaving it with 1 hp!) and injuring the nearest PC. Issalia healed the mule, who then bolted, drawing a bite from the bulette. The mule staggered away, disabled, and then fell unconscious from the effort. Issalia was knocked down by the wagon, leaving her an easy target for the bulette, who mauled her badly. In the luckiest moment of her life so far, her slumber-hex worked at point-blank range, and the bulette collapsed. Meanwhile, Inacio managed to subdue the other baby with nonlethal attacks.

But they weren't out of danger yet. Larkspur noticed the ground rumbling with the approach of something large underground, and warned the other in time for several of them to ready attacks just before the mama bulette burst forth. Damarak let off a sleet storm spell, which foiled the monster's intent to charge the center of the party. Virali cast a grease spell in its path at the edge of the storm, causing it to lose a turn falling and standing back up. Between Harissa and Inacio's blades, and Larkspur's call lightning and summoned earth elemental, the party managed to slay the brute beast before anyone took any mortal wounds. They then spent some time with weapons (and leftover lightning bolts) making sure that it and the middle-sized one were most sincerely dead. As they did so, Damarak channeled some energy to heal the PCs' wounds, as well as the mule's.

(The mama beast was a standard Huge bulette from the Bestiary; I borrowed the official D&D mini from one of my players. The Large bulette had the young template applied. For this one, I used one of the same cheap plastic toys that inspired the original monster in the infancy of D&D. The babies were more dramatically reduced in power, being Medium-sized and only half normal HD. For them, I used Shark Warrior LEGO minifigures [from the Atlantis theme] bent down on all fours.)

The party put the two babies in the cage on their wagon. They also wanted to collect the bounty on the larger bulettes, so spent some time constructing sledges to drag them back to Freeport. Larkspur loaned her muleback cords to Inacio so that he would be strong enough to drag the 3-ton mother beast. Traveling at a crawl, they didn't get very far before they had to make camp for the night. Larkspur used hide campsite to conceal the bulettes, while the party made camp outside the spell's effect.

During first watch, Issalia's owl detected movement in the trees. Inacio cast about for tracks, and found some very confusing disturbances on the ground that led to a very large tree. The hadozee climbed up to investigate, but then started to feel distracted and disoriented. A large wooden mask extended from the tree's trunk, breathed smoke at the ranger, and moaned "Leave...." Inacio was briefly nauseated by the smoke, but hurriedly climbed down and went back to camp. He and Issalia woke Larkspur, so that the druid can go talk to the tree...which we'll deal with next session.

(This is a kapre, from Bestiary 4. The party got rid of the bulettes, which were unnatural intruders in its territory, so it will most likely only have some fun scaring the party rather than doing them harm--unless they do something extremely stupid. Knowing these PCs, I wouldn't rule that out yet...)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:10 am

Larkspur talked with the kapre, and wisely showed respect for the creature and its territory. This led to the thing agreeing to let the PCs stay in their camp until morning, provided they made sure the bulettes would never return to the jungle. At the end of the conversation, it was willing to let Larkspur return to its domain, but not the others.

The next day, the party left the jungle. Inacio, muscles bulging thanks to borrowed muleback cords, and dragging a dead mama landshark behind him, made quite an impression with the bounty officers! The PCs negotiated a bounty for the dead bulettes and peryton, then took the young to Fang and Claw to sell to Omar Nkota. They celebrated that evening in their usual way: drinking long into the night. while they were at it, they gathered some gossip about their competition in the Great Hunt. (The Musketeer they fought and ransomed had apparently been one of the early leaders but had recently dropped out of contention.)

They had been told that the Hunter's Cup would be awarded the next day, so sobered up in time to attend the presentation. As a preliminary, several hunters were publicly praised for their exploits, including the PCs for bagging the landsharks. The winner was Arturo the Black, a human of immense girth, who apparently hunted alone but for a pack of hunting dogs.

Arturo comes from the adventure idea "Hungry Man" in Tales of Freeport. During my previous Freeport campaigns, I had statted him up as a ranger/thaumaturge, but never used him. While preparing for this Great Hunt scenario, I played with a few different builds and settled on a demon-possessed cavalier with the huntmaster archetype (see Advanced Bestiary, Advanced Player's Guide, and Animal Archive, respectively). I decided not to use him this time, either, because we'd had our fill of the Great Hunt for now. However, Gorilla Island will have plenty of large, dangerous game, so I may have them cross paths with him there. (If so, I'll use Clayton, the big-game hunter in Disney's Tarzan, as a starting point for role-playing Arturo--but make him much creepier!)

But we won't be starting the Gorilla island adventure immediately. One of my players has offered to run the D&D 5E starter set adventure for us to give me some time off through the holidays while my job is at its craziest. Another player has proposed a high-level Pathfinder one-shot after that: a party of 20th-level characters defending a location from wave after wave of monsters. We've started the 5E game (no spoilers, please!) and are building characters for the 20th-level last-stand game. After we finish both of those, I'll run Gorilla Island as one last good-sized adventure, then we'll shelve Freeport indefinitely to start up my new "Time of the Tarrasque" campaign.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby Big Mac » Sat Dec 06, 2014 5:35 am

timemrick wrote:After we finish both of those, I'll run Gorilla Island as one last good-sized adventure, then we'll shelve Freeport indefinitely to start up my new "Time of the Tarrasque" campaign.


It will be strange not seeing you talk about Freeport so much, when you get to Time of the Tarasque.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:11 am

It will be a bit strange for me, too, I think. I'll still have the Freeport Errata to work on (the new Pathfinder book will keep me busy for a while!) but it's a lot harder to be chatty about that kind of thing.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Wed Feb 25, 2015 3:11 am

We've been on a bit of a hiatus the past few months, partly due to the holidays messing with schedules, and partly because my job's crunch time was January and February. To fill that time, we've been playing some D&D 5E run one of the other players. That has wrapped for now, though the DM has promised to run more for us sometime when his work/school schedule is more open again. Another of our players will be running a very high-level one-shot (a last-stand tower-defense scenario) for us whenever we pin down our next date, then we'll be getting back to Freeport.

First, I need to get the party back out to sea, which I'm going to have to wing a little as I figure out where the PCs want to go next. Most likely, the next couple sessions will involve one or more loose ends, which I have been preparing for:
  • The Crimson Weal: The PCs still don't know much about what's going on there, but they do know that learning more will be very dangerous. If they don't poke their noses into that again soon, they will still have to deal with attacks by agents of the cult--which could convince them they need to lie low by leaving town for a while.
  • Harissa's family: Harissa ran off to sea to avoid an arranged marriage, and her betrothed recently appeared in Freeport. She is now quite paranoid about running in to him again, and has been avoiding other azhar as a result. Of course, PCs did just draw a lot of attention to themselves during the Great Hunt, so he'll have an easy time finding her.
  • The missing merfolk: The Half-Pint's first voyage was intended to be a search for the merfolk who have vanished from local waters in the past few years, but the party got distracted by other things they encountered. Some of the party still want to solve that mystery. (This investigation could also lead to clues about Larkspur's long-vanished mother. Given that her father was human but she's an undine, Larkspur's mother obviously had some sort of powerful water elemental heritage. If she pursues that thread, she may meet a relative--perhaps a nereid or marid--in the next adventure.)
ETA: Inacio also has a long-term goal of getting revenge on Barty the Small, but the PCs need a few more levels before they would have any chance of surviving that battle.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:06 am

timemrick wrote:Another goal that the PCs have is to acquire a somewhat larger ship so that they’ll stand a better chance in any ship battles they fight. In order to give them an opportunity for that, and to plant the seeds for the “Gorilla Island” adventure I’m working on, they will encounter a ghost ship at some point in the near future. They will have to fight a draugr crew and their antipaladin captain, whose ship bears an evil idol with the unhallow effect of a darkskull. The demonic ape-like idol, and some papers in the captain’s cabin, will give them clues to find “Gorilla Island,” a fabled land that appears in some far-fetched vanaran and Khaederan tales. The prospect of finding a vanaran community should hook Inacio easily enough, and there will be hooks to pique the others’ interests as well. And if all else fails, fabled lands means lots of swag, right? :twisted:

I've been fleshing out this adventure more, and it promises to be a good mix of danger, horror, and over-the-top, outrageous fun. Gorilla Island will, naturally, be dominated by a variety of primates, including a vanara village that will potentially provide allies and a safe haven, if the PCs play their cards right. (Read: If the low-Charisma hadozee doesn't completely screw it up.) This community worships a derhii-like god, and a small family of those winged apes lives elsewhere on the island, too.

The demonic ape idol that leads the PCs here belongs to an enemy cult. The kech who dwell on the opposite side of the island from the vanara have abandoned their sinister druidic ways to worship this even darker god, whose high priest on the island is an intelligent girallon. The idol resembles a baregara [similar, but not identical, to the bar-lgura of previous editions], and the party will need to fight one of those fiends before the cult can be eradicated for good.

(See Bestiary 3 about vanara, derhii, kech, and baregara. That book pretty much suggested all the key elements of this adventure!)

Gorilla Island won't be populated by just apes, of course. There will be dinosaurs in the jungles, a colossal tortoise or two, an aboleth and its servitors lurking in some off-shore caverns, and many other surprises. I also plan to have a pirate ship (goblins and gnolls, let by a catfolk freebooter) find the island while the PCs are exploring it.

And if they survive all that, I might throw in a reunion with Larkspur's mother, and/or a chance to take on Barty the Small on the way back to Freeport.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:48 am

My new Studded Plate column, Denizens of Freeport: Bryn Cooper, presents a new version of a PC from my previous Freeport campaign.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:47 am

I've been working on miniatures--mostly in LEGO--for the Gorilla Island adventure, too. The largest one so far is an immense tortoise (size Colossal, so fills 6x6 square space), just because I could. :cool: I'll post pictures of the minis somewhere when I have a chance, but it may have to wait until after my players have encountered them.
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 new Pathfinder game (2017-).
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Sun Mar 29, 2015 2:57 am

And I've come up with a comic-relief NPC: Argus, a tojanida bard who will spy on the party and try to befriend them. He's secretly working for the aboleth who lairs just offshore from the island, but does so under duress. So if the PCs play their cards right, they may be able to turn him against his master in the inevitable showdown.

Of course, with this party, they may just try to kill and eat him on sight because he looks like a giant crab... :roll:

I've also converted Barty the Small to Pathfinder. If the party survives to return to Freeport, Inacio will be looking for revenge on the halfling pirate/bard who marooned him a couple of years ago. And the party might actually be high enough level by then that they'll finally have a chance of surviving a fight with this high-level captain and his crew.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Postby timemrick » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:11 am

I've recently returned from a trip to Arizona to visit relatives. Being in the desert again inspired a few more ideas for my Time of the Tarrasque campaign (which will start in that environment), but also one new monster that I may drop into the Gorilla Island adventure: The deadfall beetle, an ambush predator camouflaged to look like a fallen tree trunk with several of the limbs still intact. I'll be posting the full stats and description in my Studded Plate blog sometime after I've sprung it on my unsuspecting (but always suspicious) players.
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