My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote: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've always thought that adventures could be improved with alternate stats to pump-up or reduce the power levels of encounters.

I look forward to seeing how well the scaling guidelines work out for you.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Last night's session was a bit short, because we got a late start. The party investigated the wreck of Stingray, fought off some lacedons, and found the trail of dropped loot leading to the underwater cave. They handled the shark quickly, then blundered into the sahuagin cleric's cavern, but survived her blood frenzy with just a few scratches (though that was enough to leave the wizard hurting).

As far as scaling goes, I advanced the octopus on the cannon deck, but they bypassed that encounter by leaving Fletcher's remains for the return trip (in order to conserve water breathing's duration). I left the lacedons and shark unchanged, but added a level to each of the two named sahuagins. (I also added another level to the Brinewolf's pirates in the previous session, which made for a better fight.) I'll make a call on the number of zombies and unnamed sahuagin when they reach those areas.

The underwater combats have proved...interesting. The spirit shaman has a natural swim speed, and the wizard cast a swim spell, so those two had no trouble moving around. However, the better melee combatants (the corsair and scout/ranger) had to blunder around at a much slower speed, and in between fights they were towed by the spellcasters. Once they have more 2nd-level spell slots, giving them the capability to cast more swim spells, the rest of the party will be much more effective in the water.

The most entertaining part of the session was when the party crawled out of the water in the cleric's cavern and found the shrine to Sekolah. After looting the treasure lying among the pile of skulls, they were flummoxed by the fact that the sea chest "altar" beneath them held nothing inside it. After a fruitless search for secret compartments, one of them finally shrugged about "nonhuman priorities." ;)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Princess Strega »

Reminds me of the module The Murky Deep. Brought a smile to my face.

Loving these posts Tim. At least I can enjoy gaming vicariously through your Freeport campaign updates. :D

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

A quick side note before I get to last session's events:

As some of you know, I keep a list of all Freeport-related products on my "Errata & Notes" wiki. I've recently acquired Hammer & Helm and Wrath & Rage, and plan to use some of that material in my current campaign (with any necessary conversions from 3.0 to 3.5, of course). Hammer & Helm has exactly one Freeport reference (the sample clan on p. 10), while Wrath & Rage is just full of chewy orcish goodness.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

In our last session, the party encountered and defeated a pair of (average) sahuagin. They then started a more systematic search of the caverns, in order to not leave any undiscovered enemies between themselves and the way out. This led them to the cave of Mother Merrow, who had enough warning from the sounds of their splashing about to set an ambush. She turned invisible, cast a couple of protective spells on herself, then caught a couple PCs with a color spray. (Unfortunately for Merrow, the party spread out just as she was finishing her defenses, so she couldn't target them all at once.) Inacio, the hadozee, was blinded and dazed, while Larkspur was merely stunned for a round. Harissa and Larkspur--and Larkspur's summoned animals--kept the sahuagin illusionist too busy to take advantage of Inacio's inactivity. Marisol attempted to shoot her from a distance, without any success. When Harissa finally managed to wound her, she frenzied and fixated on the corsair, nearly killing Harissa before Inacio could rejoin the fight and help whittle down the crazed sea-devil. They finally KO'ed Merrow but her dogshark familiar continued to attack Larkspur. The fight ended on an anticlimactic, comedic moment as the PCs struggled to land a solid hit on the tiny fish, while it failed to do more than scratch one or two of them.

The party then had the leisure to explore the room and its treasure. They found the Eye of the Sea Dragon on Merrow, and Marisol pointed out a few magic items among Merrow's effects and scattered among the coins, jewels, and weapons. Larkspur also found a masterwork shortspear to replace her own, but the party otherwise put off searching the loot until they knew the caverns were cleared. They found the higher, dryer caves, dispatched a half dozen pirate zombies there, and found the tunnel leading to the land exit. They did a quick search of the small island, found nothing else dangerous, then went back to start packing up loot to take back to their ship. Searching the island, carrying loot, and retrieving Captain Fletcher's remains took them several hours, but their water breathing potions held out long enough to finish.

They are now headed back to Freeport to deliver the Eye to Harrimast's temple (and play the final part of the adventure).

---

For this session, I scaled up the adventure by adding an extra sahaugin and a couple more zombies. I also gave Mother Merrow another level of illusionist, which gave her 2nd-level spells: invisibility and mirror image. The latter, in combination with mage armor and her good natural armor, made it very challenging to hit her. Larkspur made good use of summon nature's ally II to call 3 octopuses. Merrow easily shrugged off their grapple attempts the couple of times they actually hit, but the little beasts were effective at quickly reducing her mirror images and providing flanking to the PCs, so Larkspur will be calling more of them in future aquatic fights.

The party has decided that they like having their own ship, even if it is in shabby shape. They plan to spend most of their loot repairing the ship and improving their personal gear, but haven't made definite plans yet. Marisol also has Merrow's spellbook, and will eagerly add those spells to her own when the PCs next have some downtime.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote:The underwater combats have proved...interesting. The spirit shaman has a natural swim speed, and the wizard cast a swim spell, so those two had no trouble moving around. However, the better melee combatants (the corsair and scout/ranger) had to blunder around at a much slower speed, and in between fights they were towed by the spellcasters. Once they have more 2nd-level spell slots, giving them the capability to cast more swim spells, the rest of the party will be much more effective in the water.
Do they have any 3rd-level spell slots, that they use for extra 2nd-level spells?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Last session, the PCs returned the Eye of the Sea Dragon to Harrimast's temple--only to have it and its mate immediately stolen by a bunch of cultists! Captain Fletcher's ghost cracked and started wailing incessantly, but the Pirate God granted Father Peg-Leg, Harissa, and Larkspur a vision of the cult's warehouse hideout. The two women hurried back to the ship to collect Inacio and Marisol (who were guarding their loot). They found the warehouse easily enough, and burst in ready to fight. Inacio dodged the trap on the door, then the party closed with the guards, who they took out handily. The adept's cause fear spell set Inacio fleeing the scene, then he hid under cover of darkness. Larkspur summoned a black bear that sniffed him out and tore him to pieces.

They felt around in the dark and finally found the secret trapdoor to the cellar below. Larkspur was the last to go down the ladder, where she was attacked by a quasit. The demon used hit and run tactics as the party continued on through the tunnels. They reached a large chamber filled with yellow incense smoke and nearly a dozen yellow-robed cultists chanting in a trance-like state. At the center of their circle was an altar holding the Eyes of the Sea Dragon. Harissa, being an impulsive azhari, tumbled through the ring of cultists to snatch the gems. She failed to make her check tumble back out of the crowd, so was left in the thick of things. The leader stepped away from her while continuing his summoning, while the nearest cultists sluggishly moved to attack Harissa and interpose themselves between her and their boss. She attempted to force her way through to attack him, but as more cultists surrounded her, she quickly changed tactics and tumbled her way out of the mob. (If not for the effects of the incense and trance on the cultists, she would have faced a quick, messy death!)

Meanwhile, Marisol saw Harissa's moves and cast expeditious retreat. Inacio pulled out a pouch of snakeweed (loot from their last adventure), and dumped its contents into the nearest incense burner as Harissa handed off the Eyes to the wizard. The quasit scored a hit on Inacio, then recoiled in horror as the second wave of drugged smoke started filling the room. Desperate now that the sacrifice had been stolen, the demon sped after the retreating Marisol. Harissa got a lucky blow as it passed her, and the disabled monster fell to the ground as soon as it reached the warehouse above.

The other PCs ran for the ladder, chased by cultists. During this running fight, the cult sorcerer finished his ritual back in the main chamber, but the PCs heard panicked screams as the summoned monster turned on him and his followers--they were the only potential meals in sight. Bringing up the rear, Inacio slowed down the pursuing cultists by tossing caltrops in his wake, and doused the base of the ladder with a flask of oil. Larkspur lowered a rope to him as Harissa pried at the top of the ladder. The hadozee lit the oil and scrambled up as quickly as he could. Harissa kicked the ladder loose, then her friends shut the trapdoor, and Inacio jammed its hinges so the cultists couldn't escape. Then the three heroes hurried off to Harrimast's temple.

Marisol reached the temple well ahead of them, and turned over the gems to Peg-Leg. Captain Fletcher came to his senses and thanked her profusely as his spirit faded away. By the time the other PCs arrived, Peg-Leg had called for healers for them. Priests accompanied them back to their ship to collect Fletcher's remains for burial.

However, on their arrival there, the PCs heard noises from someone or something that had come aboard in their absence. A small monkey-like creature was ransacking their supplies. Marisol identified it as a ghost eater [see Creatures of Freeport], and told the others its usefulness in hunting undead. Luckily it had not yet found Fletcher's bones in the next room, so they were able to hand those off to the priests as Larkspur did her best to calm and befriend the creature. After several minutes, the ghost eater was friendly towards her, and the party got the idea to feed it the corpses of the cultists they had just fought.

The creature allowed itself to be led through town. Along the way, people who knew the party made lewd jokes about Inacio and Larkspur having a baby monkey together. (The shaman's icy glare succeeded in shutting some of them up.) At the warehouse, the ghost eater eagerly ran inside in search of dead flesh. The small fire below had gone out, but the whole place reeked of burnt meat, snakeweed, and incense. After undoing the jammed hinges, the party went below to find a few burned bodies by the ladder, and the mangled bodies of the other cultists scattered throughout the cellar. They searched the bodies and the storeroom for treasure, finding a magic dagger and bracers on the cult's leader, and a collection of sinister scrolls and books in his sleeping chamber. Checking the warehouse itself, they found only a puddle of ichor and some cat prints where the quasit had died. The barrels and crates there were full of nautical supplies, some of which the PCs claimed for their ship. The ghost eater filled its belly and followed Larkspur away, nibbling on one last detached hand. Needless to say, this gruesome sight made people on the street gave them a wide berth as they returned to their ship.

So ends Dead Man's Quest.

-----

The PCs have now reached 4th level, and have nearly 10,000 gp in loot to divvy up. They plan to sell the location of the wrecked Stingray to someone who is better equipped to salvage its cannon (possibly the Lobstermen?), then use their new wealth to repair their ship, enchant some weapons and armor, and replace some gear that had been used up.

The ghost eater was an off-the-cuff addition, inspired by their paranoia about leaving their ship unwatched. (One of them may decide to take Leadership at 6th level, just to gain some loyal followers to leave on board at all times!) I've yet to decide if the ghost eater will stick around for a while, or vanish away. The former might happen if Larkspur tries to train it, but if it leaves they'll likely run into it again someday. The quasit's fate was also improvised, but now I'm tempted to have a demon-tainted cat terrorize the neighborhood...

We'll be taking a short break from Freeport so that my wife can run some more of the Earthdawn campaign she put on hold last year. One of the other players also ran some Wild Cards adventures for us using HERO System back then, and she may do so again if her schedule ever becomes less insane, but I'm not counting on that happening anytime soon. (I'm also much less enthused about that game than Earthdawn or Freeport.)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote:We'll be taking a short break from Freeport so that my wife can run some more of the Earthdawn campaign she put on hold last year.
That should give you a chance to sort out the leadership issue (and decide if the ghost eater will become a follower). If you do incorporate a Ghost Eater into your Freeport campaign, I wonder if it might be worth you adding in some stuff from the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting. :twisted:

Perhaps it will also give you a chance to start one or two [Earthdawn] tagged threads in our Other Worlds forum. ;)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Big Mac wrote:If you do incorporate a Ghost Eater into your Freeport campaign, I wonder if it might be worth you adding in some stuff from the Ghostwalk Campaign Setting. :twisted:
Unlikely, as I rarely invest in campaign settings. Except for Freeport, which is a very special case, I prefer to build my own worlds. But I'll definitely be working in some spirit-laden adventures in the future, to showcase the spirit shaman's talents.
Big Mac wrote:Perhaps it will also give you a chance to start one or two [Earthdawn] tagged threads in our Other Worlds forum. ;)
We'll see. ;)

The group met last night, but not for any role-playing. We wanted to finish dividing spoils (and spend a lot of it) and level up characters, with some general hanging out the rest of the evening. The party (whose stats on the wiki I'll be updating very soon) now consists of:
  • Harissa, azhari corsair 4
  • Inacio, hadozee scout 1/ranger 3
  • Larkspur, water-planetouched human spirit shaman 3/druid 1, and her new penguin companion, Atoll
  • Marisol, azhari water elementalist wizard, and her weasel familiar, Calypso
Larkspur's player is interested in the wavekeeper PrC from Stormwrack, which requires an animal companion with either the aquatic subtype or a swim speed. Therefore, she's taken a level of druid, but plans to continue in spirit shaman until she qualifies for the PrC (still a few levels off). She wanted a companion that would be useful on both land and at sea, but errata to the PH has removed her hoped-for crocodile from the 1st-level list. We went through the MM, Stormwrack, and couple other books and finally decided that I would make up stats for a penguin. Part of the appeal of that bird is that she'd chosen it for her spirit guide (also a non-standard choice for that class).

Spirit shaman/druid isn't an ideal combo, because they both use the same spell list. But the player has occasionally found the shaman's limited daily repertoire to be too confining, and she likes the idea of having even more low-level spells. She can use her shaman slots for spells she wants to use multiple times per day, and her druid slots for the ones she only wants once; she can also convert the latter to summon nature's ally if some of her choices aren't useful that day.

Finally, the party has decided to keep the Brine Wolf, but they intend to rechristen it with a new name once it's repaired. In order to pay for that, they sold the location of the wrecked Stingray to the Society of Lobstermen, who have the means to salvage that ship's cannons (and anything else they feel worth the effort). Best of all, linking those two transactions meant that I didn't have to come up with hard figures for either of them!
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Another idea I've had is introducing an "anti-party." As with The Order of the Stick's Linear Guild, these NPCs would be be a sort of "evil opposites" party. They wouldn't be used to simply hose the PCs, but would be recurring antagonists and rivals. My wife (Harissa's player) provided a few ideas for this, but I've tweaked her suggestions to keep her guessing, too. Here's what I've come up with:
  • Lady Merlaine Hilltopple (female halfing noble/bard) and her cohort Bodkin (male halfling rogue): Inacio has hated halflings with a feces-flinging passion even since he was on a ship captured by Bartholomew Goodfellow, a pirate of that race [and the player's PC in my previous Freeport campaign]. Inacio is highly intelligent and skilled at stealth and movement, but has an abysmal Charisma. As a bard, Lady Merlaine shares some of his skills (while her rogue cohort specializes at others), and excels at influence skills (and spells). She's the anti-party's leader.
  • Gilma Rivenaxe (female dwarf fighter): Harissa's fighting style depends on wits and maximum mobility, but Gilma is a "big dumb fighter"-style tank, and deadly toe-to-toe.
  • Khalib ibn Da'ud (male azhari cleric): Larkspur is a nature-oriented spellcaster with water-outsider ancestry and a swim speed, but she lacks the strength for all but the lightest armor and loads. Khalib, OTOH, is a war priest whose race and religion (The Eternal Flame) claim descent from the efreet. I fully expect some fire-and-ice dueling whenever they cross paths.
  • Rotclaw (male goblin necromancer): Marisol is only just now coming into some useful offensive spells, having mostly chosen protective and utility spells before. Rotclaw's specialty is touch spells, particularly those that incapacitate or hinder his foes. As a necromancer, he's much more willing to delve into nastier lore, and is even more paranoid than Marisol is. Ironically, he and Gilma are the closest pair of friends in their party (much as their opposites, Marisol and Harissa, are.)
I plan to introduce this anti-party very shortly after we resume play (after the hiatus for some Earthdawn goodness). The easiest way is to have the PCs hanging out at their favorite drinking hole when Lady Merlaine starts belting out a ballad about Barty the Small. That's sure to provoke Inacio into doing something ill-advised, forcing his friends to go to his rescue, as Merlaine's do the same for her...

(ETA: I have LEGO minis made up for them--as well as Larkspur's new penguin. I'll let you know when I post pix to Brickshelf.)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

During this hiatus, I need to think more about how to work in The Lost Island. Now that the PCs gave invested resources into fixing up their own captured ship, the adventure's set-up will need some serious tweaking. I might just skip the introduction and have them encounter one or more of the featured ships while at sea. However, their own ship is equivalent to a cog (see Stormwrack) so is significantly smaller than any of the NPC ships. Because of that, I may need to delay starting The Lost Island for another level or two, while they recruit a real crew (hirelings and/or followers) and boost their personal power enough to let them survive some lopsided ship battles.

(It doesn't help that some of my recent game book acquisitions--Hammer & Helm, Wrath & Rage, and Unearthed Arcana--are reviving my interest in another campaign idea that I started tinkering with a few years ago... :roll: I don't have enough time to run enough of this one! :facepalm: )
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote:The party (whose stats on the wiki I'll be updating very soon) now consists of:
  • Harissa, azhari corsair 4
  • Inacio, hadozee scout 1/ranger 3
  • Larkspur, water-planetouched human spirit shaman 3/druid 1, and her new penguin companion, Atoll
  • Marisol, azhari water elementalist wizard, and her weasel familiar, Calypso
Larkspur's player is interested in the wavekeeper PrC from Stormwrack, which requires an animal companion with either the aquatic subtype or a swim speed. Therefore, she's taken a level of druid, but plans to continue in spirit shaman until she qualifies for the PrC (still a few levels off). She wanted a companion that would be useful on both land and at sea, but errata to the PH has removed her hoped-for crocodile from the 1st-level list. We went through the MM, Stormwrack, and couple other books and finally decided that I would make up stats for a penguin. Part of the appeal of that bird is that she'd chosen it for her spirit guide (also a non-standard choice for that class).
I thought, for a moment, that you were going to sneak in a dohwar! :lol:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Larkspur would probably kill any dohwars she met, just to purge the world of their wrongness. Plus, Inacio (with his 4 Cha) already fills our obnoxious animal-man quota. ;)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

The Earthdawn game is still going on, but is close enough to ending that we're starting to discuss where to go next with Freeport. I have a number of possibilities, but I'm trying to get feedback from them to decide which will serve best. The consensus so far is that all 4 PCs are interested in doing stuff with their newly repaired ship, but that still leaves a lot of possibilities. At the moment, I'm considering the following (which include some land, some sea) :
  • "The Last Resort" and "Cut-Throat's Gold," from Tales of Freeport (though they may not be quite ready for the latter yet).
  • The Lost Island, but I'd have to rework parts of it because they have their own ship now. (I could always just have a Clockwork Avatar show up and make its spiel.)
  • A first encounter with the "anti-party" I mentioned above.
  • Comic mayhem as the hadozee PC encounters a female of his race, as she's beset by monkey demons (and possibly other creatures from Jade Dragons and Hungry Ghosts, such as a sewer-dwelling kurote).
  • And the spirit shaman needs some spirits to face down.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote:The Earthdawn game is still going on, but is close enough to ending that we're starting to discuss where to go next with Freeport. I have a number of possibilities, but I'm trying to get feedback from them to decide which will serve best. The consensus so far is that all 4 PCs are interested in doing stuff with their newly repaired ship, but that still leaves a lot of possibilities. At the moment, I'm considering the following (which include some land, some sea) :
Have you considered giving them a Starry Compass (from Rich Baker's novel Corsair) and sending them up into Freeportspace! :twisted:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

We have more than enough world to explore without getting into spelljamming, Mac. :P

OTOH, I wouldn't be above pulling a little time-slippage if I'm ever brave enough to try running them through Black Sails, which is set five years before the Pirate's Guide era. Maybe via a botched attempt at mystic navigation, or Harrimast's whim.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Havard »

timemrick wrote:OTOH, I wouldn't be above pulling a little time-slippage if I'm ever brave enough to try running them through Black Sails, which is set five years before the Pirate's Guide era. Maybe via a botched attempt at mystic navigation, or Harrimast's whim.
Let us know how that goes. I have been toying with the idea of running an abbreviated version of Black Sails. With my trouble of getting the group together these days there is no chance I could pull of running through the whole thing.

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

timemrick wrote:We have more than enough world to explore without getting into spelljamming, Mac. :P
I was just being cheeky really. :D

Your idea sounds pretty interesting. So how come you couldn't just change the era of Black Sails to your current campaign year? Are there elements in it that have since been removed from Freeport?
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

My campaign starts at The Pirate Guide's current year, which is five years after the events of the Freeport Trilogy. The timeline for those five years includes the barbarian invasion from Black Sails. The adventure also has a subplot about a half-orc claimant to the Sea Lord's throne, that would have to be dropped )or fundamentally altered) if run post-Succession Crisis. Granted, you could still modify the Freeport parts of the adventure to ignore or work around those discrepancies, and the rest wouldn't be much affected. But I haven't read the module recently, so I'm not sure how much work would be involved.
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Nate Christen »

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR CRISIS IN FREEPORT AND BLACK SAILS OVER FREEPORT.

You've been warned.

It seems to me that it wouldn't be too hard to pull the Drak Sockit succession controversy into the current time period. If I recall correctly, he claimed to have Drack blood but wasn't taken seriously, and the blood requirement ended up being waved because a more suitable candidate could not be found. One could modify this to have the half-orc be disgruntled because of the requirements being changed, thereby allowing the council to circumvent the half-orc as a candidate.

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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by Big Mac »

Thanks Tim/Nate.

I suppose that, if you wanted to preserve the canon Freeport timeline, you would need to pretty much build a sequel to Black Sails Over Freeport.

A "five years earlier" adventure (with a wibbley wobbly effect at the first gaming session) might be easier. :lol:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

We will finally be going back to more Freeport the week between Christmas & New Year's. There will be some leveling-up quibbles to settle (they reached 4th after the last adventure), a couple bits of local news to touch on, then a tavern encounter to get everyone back into the proper mood. That will be the first appearance of the "anti-party," who will hopefully push their buttons quite a bit. :twisted:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

We had some delays due to player illness (stupid winter season), we're back to playing Freeport!

After some further discussion, Larkspur's player decided to continue with spirit shaman instead of adding druid. She's not quite so dead-set on taking the wavekeeper PrC as she was, and I'll allow her to take the Wild Cohort feat (from the WotC site) to fulfill the animal companion requirement if she does choose to take that path.

The party has taken a month to repair and rename the ship they stole last adventure; it's now The Half-Pint, named for its small size (it's a cog) and the group's love for booze. Harissa (the corsair) paid a cleric of Harrimast to bless it, and then they went to a tavern to celebrate. Very shortly after arriving, they noticed another party across the common room. Two of them were halflings, which irritated Inacio--the hadozee's introduction to Freeport was being taken prisoner by the hgalfling pirate, Barty the Small [Inacio's player's PC in my last Freeport game]. Harissa also recognized an azhari in the other group as a priest of the Eternal Flame who she once back in Kizmir (her family is very traditional--a life she fled years ago). The other two strangers were a dwarf and a goblin--who, miraculously, weren't at each other's throats.

Just as Inacio was debating picking a fight, one of the halflings began to sing a rousing ballad about the amazing adventures of her hero, Barty the Small. This incensed the ape-man, and he hurled a mug at her. This started off a brawl between the two bands, which quickly escalated to blades and spells. The other halfling, a rogue cohort to the bard, fell almost immediately, and the woman herself nearly got away but was overwhelmed by Larkspur's creeping cold spell. By then, the heavily armored dwarf warrior was dishing out mighty hits with her warhammer and the goblin necromancer was using spectral hand and chill hand to good effect.

Harissa had noticed that the other azhari had only grudgingly joined the fight. She distracted him from finishing off Inacio after his hold person took effect, yelling, "Back off! We only wanted the halflings!" The cleric had already taken a stunning bolt from Marisol and a creeping cold from Larkspur, so decided that discretion was the better part of valor and withdrew. He briefly passed out before reaching the door, but the now-invisible goblin fed him a healing potion, and they fled.

That left only the dwarf, who was in no mood to back down. Between her prowess with the hammer and a streak of good dice luck, she took Harissa out of the fight for a while, and nearly did the same to Larkspur and Inacio (whose paralysis finally wore off). The only thing that saved them was Marisol's grease spell early in the fight, which prevented the dwarf from attacking a couple of rounds until she gave up and simply fought while prone, and a couple of healing spells from Larkspur. They finally wore down the fighter, and slew her. Then they dragged the three bodies out of the tavern to dispose of them (and their gear).

*****

There has been one important new development out of game: My wife's job will be relocating from Boston, MA, to Lexington, KY. Her firm made an offer too good to refuse, so we'll be moving in July. Two of our other players will be moving as well--my wife's coworker and her husband. That just leaves one player (Marisol's) who won't be able to continue the campaign after the move. We hope to recruit one or two more players after we move, so we can continue the game.

I also have a new D&D world ("Time of the Tarrasque") I'm developing for my next campaign after Freeport. I've decided to use Pathfinder for that, but it's going to take me some time to learn that version of d20. Luckily there's a PF Society group in Lexington that should help with that. (There's a chance that we might switch the Freeport game to PF, too, but not until after the move at the earliest, I think.)
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

Of course, if I do convert the game to PF after the move, I wouldn't need to convert Peril in Freeport or Dark Deeds in Freeport to v.3.5. Six of one, a half dozen of the other... :roll:
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Re: My 3rd Freeport campaign: Winds of Freeport

Post by timemrick »

A reader's letter in The Shipping News complained about the apparent lack of concern over the disappearance of the merfolk from the local waters a year or two ago. This caught the party's attention, so they interviewed the captain who wrote the latter, and have decided to look into the mystery themselves. They don't have much in the way of solid leads, so went sailing in the general direction of the merfolk village. They have yet to find that site, but did come across a small desert island while sailing south.

A caecilia appeared, and provided some useful information about the island. She had seen a person a lot like Inacio (the hadozee) on the island, but there were also dangers there: giant crabs, and a giant of some kind. They thanked her, and investigated. [This encounter was adapted from True20 Freeport: The Lost Island. I'm not sure if I'll ever run the main adventure, but sections like this one will provide good fodder for their seafaring adventures.]

Circling the island from a safe distance, they saw a merrow spear-fishing in the shallows. It retreated to deeper water when they started firing at it. Continuing on, the glimpsed a hadozee hiding in the small island's jungle. Inacio let out a howl in his native language, and the other ape glided out to the ship. She turned out to be an attractive female wizard, Yahasha, who had been a passenger on a ship bound for Freeport. However, when they put in at the cove here two months ago, the giant crabs holed the ship and killed most of the crew over the next few days. Others fell to the merrow, or to some other thing she was certain was now hiding in the grounded ship.

Yahasha left her spellbook behind when she fled to the jungle, and wanted to get it back if possible. The PCs decided to scout out the cove by land, and spotted some large crabs near the wreck. Inacio fired at one, and the crabs responded by rushing to the attack. They quickly dispatched them, then swam out to the ship. Larkspur heard a faint noise from inside, so they boarded and went to the nearest hatch to see what it was. The planetouched spellcaster saw glowing eyes, and was staggered by the thing's gaze. As the others came up, it vanished further into the hold. Some of the the PCs headed for the other hatch, just as a the creature--a sea hag--burst out. Both hadozee were weakened by her horrific appearance, but the others resisted. Between the warriors' weapons and nonlethal damage from Marisol's stunning bolt, they took down the hag before she could use her evil eye on anyone else. The unconscious hag fell into the hold, and Inacio jumped down to finish her off. [As an experiment, I used the Pathfinder sea hag instead of the MM version, because it gave the party a little better chance of surviving.]

However, once he got into the hold, he started to hear voices of dying people in his head. He was soon confused, as was Marisol, who had moved onto the sterncastle. Harissa started searching the hold and was able to resist for a little while (surprisingly, as she has a Wisdom penalty!). By the time they could locate the source of the maddening babble--a patch of dead man's brain [Creatures of Freeport] just outside and below the ship's stern--all but Larkspur (the best Will save of the group) and Yahasha (who locked herself in the forecastle as she searched for her spellbook) had succumbed. Larkspur dived in and started attacking it, but it used a fear power on her to drive her away. Meanwhile, the others randomly wandered to parts of the ship far enough away to shake off the confusion. Inacio and Marisol started to fire arrows through the water at the 'brain, while Harissa simply dived in. Unfortunately, she failed her save again, and started drowning as a result. Luckily, Marisol was able to cast a wave blessing spell [Stormwrack] on her, which brought her to the surface, where the two wizards could catch her in a net and save her in time. Larkspur returned and used a creeping cold spell [Complete Divine] to help Inacio finish off the 'brain. [The dead man's brain is CR 2 as written, but the constant confusion attack was brutal enough that I decided to award XP for a higher CR.]

-----

After this session, Larkspur's player asked if we could retcon her character from a spirit shaman to a druid. We've both found it challenging to make use of her class's spirit-related abilities. A druid would be more versatile and useful at sea and in whatever other wilderness they encounter, without much change to the capabilities she has made good use of, so I granted the change.

I'm also considering dropping the Insanity Point and Knowledge (forbidden) rules. I haven't used them enough for them to add much to the play experience, and I'd rather find something simpler when I do get back to a madness-inducing scenario. Most likely, I'll just use the existing confusion and insanity-type spells, and describe any attacks that damage or drain mental ability scores as causing temporary or permanent insanity, respectively.
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