Freeport Companion (PFRPG)

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For a decade now Freeport has stood as one of fantasy gaming's most distinctive cities. Home to pirates, foul cults, terrifying monsters, vicious gangs, crime lords, and corrupt politicians, Freeport is a dynamic setting that offers a unique blend of high adventure and cosmic horror.

Now the City of Adventure returns to its roots with the Freeport Companion: Pathfinder RPG Edition, a rules supplement for The Pirate's Guide to Freeport. Its 160 pages are packed with all the support you need to run a Freeport campaign with the Pathfinder RPG.

In addition to giving game stats for all the city's major characters, the Freeport Companion provides new core classes like the corsair and monster hunter, new prestige classes like the musketeer and witch hunter, famous magic items, an insanity system, new spells and incantations, and an introductory adventure.

Celebrate 10 years of the City of Adventure with the Freeport Companion: Pathfinder RPG Edition!

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Nice book that hasn't aged too well

3/5

The Freeport Companion is a massive 175 page book, not including front and back cover, but including 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 2 pages Index, leaving a whopping 171 pages of content, so let's pay a visit to the by now legendary city of pirates in its Pathfinder iteration!

Before I get into the details, I'll have to say that I'm a big fan of Freeport - swashbuckling action, gunpowder, pirates, cthulhoid and pulpy influences - all in all, I own every Freeport resource published as of now. While I did love the system-neutral "Cults of Freeport", I'm glad that the Companion provides us with the solid rules for PFRPG to bring to life this city of swashbuckling - but does it hold up to its glorious heritage or is it on par with the less fanciful installments that accompanied the 3.X-glut?

Well, we get crunch - a lot of crunch: Starting with 20-level base-classes, we're immediately thrown into the setting: The first is the spell-less Assassin base-class some of you might know from Kobold Quarterly. I really love the class, but at least for me, it was not original content. By the way, if you don't have the KQ-issue - buy it. And every other KQ-copy out there. They're stellar.

But I'm rambling, next base-class is the corsair, which I recently stumbled over again in Rite Publishing's 101 Renegade Class Feats. The Corsair gets d10, 4+Int skills, good BAB, good fort-and ref-saves, dirty fighting skills and the very iconic corsair's luck that can be vastly expanded upon with Rite's pdf. If you plan of playing one, be sure to check the pdf out as well. On the other hand, the Monster Hunter, a kind of ranger variant devoted to the extermination of multiple kinds of beasts gets d10, 4+Int skills, good BAB and good fort- and will-saves and feels rather been there, done that. While there is nothing wrong per se with the class, it just didn't feel imaginative. I did like the IC-comments for the different sub-classes for the hunters. The final new class on the other hand is just STELLAR: the Noble is a kind of aristocrat-variant suitable for PCs - i.e. the class is still focused on leadership, commanding, social skills, etc. but doesn't suck. The Noble gets d8, 6+Int skills, 3/4 BAB, good ref and will-saves. They can choose special noble-trainings and even delve into the illicit. The final new PC-class is the survivor - the proverbial last man standing who gets d12, 4+Int skills, good BAB, good fort-saves, arcane and initiative bonuses and dirty fighting, unarmed damage and DR - nice idea for a non-armored tank! Kudos, the design of that one must have been rather difficult. The NPC Cultist-class also features 20 levels, d6, 4+Int skills, 3/4 BAB, good will-saves, sneak attack of up to 3d6 and spellcasting of up to 5th level - finally all those gibbering wretches get their own club to belong to. EZG approves.

After these new classes, we get some new uses for skills, languages and feats. Feats. A lot of feats. To be precise 101 of them, most of them focusing on swashbukcling battle, fighting in specific environments etc. At this amount of feats should make it rather unsurprising that they are not all of the same quality. While a lot of the feats are not that bad, I unfortunately have to report that some of them felt rather strong and I wasn't really wowed by them. Optional rules are also provided, to be precise, Insanity and madness rules, including tables for short-term, long-term and indefinite madness. I'm a huge fan of madness systems and I loved this one as well - however, I do have one central gripe - it's a small section, 4.5 pages. With some additional space and expanded tables, this system might actually have supplanted my own homebrew system, but as written, it's a bit too short to truly excite me. I hope we'll one day see a more broad, expanded version of these rules.

Of course, crunchy bits are not everything, Freeporters also need things to spend their hard-earned loot and thus the next chapter features new goods, first of all, of course, all of the pistols and black-powder weapons, rules for using them as a club etc. Unfortunately, these rules have been created prior to the release of the Gunslinger. An update or a little file à la "Gunslingers in Freeport" would be awesome. The chapter also includes rules for the most common drugs available in the city of pirates as well as the obligatory spell-section, once again due to being an older book, sans lists for the APG and UM/UC-classes.

The spell-section actually surprised me with a rather nice little twist - each spell comes with a one-sentence fluff-description that frames what it does, making not only reading the section more exciting, but also adequately framing what can be considered a selection of spells that is actually better than average. Of course, that's not where we stop - we also get a selection of magical weapons and artifacts, including siege weapons like magical ballistae and, of course the legendary siege cannons of Freeport. There are also magical compasses, enchanted crow's nests and figureheads, dice etc. - It's these items, once again with descriptions, that constitute the first part of the book that truly wowed me: From unusual item-classes to ingenious ideas, the items and artifacts are all winners and expand/develop the canon of Freeport lore. Excellent!

Chapter 6 features the PrCs of Freeport:
-Crime Boss: 10 levels, d8, 6+Int skills per level, medium BAB, medium Ref- and will-saves; Urban criminal kingpins that get a lot of henchmen and a dread reputation.
-Musketeer: 10 levels, d10, 2+Int skills per level, good BAB, medium ref- and will-saves; Firearm specialist.
-Mystic Navigator: 10 levels, 4+Int skills per level, d6, 1/2 BAB, medium will-save, full spell progression with one level exception; Navigator wizard that can even navigate the planes.
-Sea Dog: 10 levels, 4+Int skills per level, d10, full BAB, medium ref-save; Fighter specialized on fighting aboard ships, probably not suitable for PCs and more geared towards NPCs.
-Witch Hunter: 10 levels, 2+Int skills per level, d10, full BAB, medium fort- and will-saves; Divine warrior/fanatic and channel righteous fury into destructive wrath. By far the coolest of the PrCs.

In Chapter 7, Freeport-enthusiasts will get their due: Statblocks. Piles and piles of statblocks, for lowly thugs, despicable assassins, cultists and a huge amount of NPCs, we get a huge number of rock-solid stats that make sure that your Freeport campaign is backed by solid crunch. And yeah, iconic characters like a certain halfling kingpin are included as well. We get 47 pages of characters and then some monsters in addition: 11 new monsters are detailed - from flayed men to serpent-people, they all have solid stats and come with lore-sections etc. However, not all monsters get their own artworks, which is a minor bummer.

Finally, we get a sample adventure called Fury in Freeport. The following text contains SPOILERS, thus, I'd urge potential players to jump to the conclusion.

Still here? All right.
Essentially, the adventure revolves around an evil sacrificial dagger that is haunted by a ghost of one of its wielders. Enter Beedle, drop-out arcanist, wannabe murderer of his noble aunt and downright despicable bastard. After having been kicked out by his aunt (after trying to kill her), he wants a part of her legacy and hires the PCs to try to steal the dagger from an auction house. An infiltration at first level? Yep, complete with map of the auction house and no, the Pcs not necessarily have to succeed - in fact, Beedle expects them to fail. To further complicate matters, a diabolist named Faratsay with his infernal allies and strong men also craves the dagger. The PCs will have to untangle the weave of deception, find the now-possessed Beedle via various contacts and legwork and make sure the dagger does not fall into the wrong hands. Beedle's killing spree on behalf of the possessing spirit does not make this particularly easy either.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good - I noticed only two minor glitches. Layout adheres to the classic Freeport 2-column standard, including fonts etc. While this is neat, personally, I preferred the presentation used in Cult of Freeport. I only have the dead-tree version, thus I can't comment on bookmarks etc. I'm kinda torn on this Freeport Companion. While I liked some of the base-classes and PrCs, not all of them are truly killer and in fact e.g. the Sea Dog is blatant filler. The Monster Hunter didn't wow me either. The feats are just not my cup of tea - maybe I'm over-saturated, but I've become VERY hard to impress with feats, spells etc. and while the spells were not bad, in fact quite good, they didn't blow me out of the water. While the magic items and wide variety of statblocks do rule and I greatly enjoyed the adventure included, the lack of artwork for some of the monsters is another downside. While the stats rock, I would have loved more information on laws (the few that exist), government, secret societies etc.

The book is rather weak on the fluff-side and essentially, at least for me, boiled down to hit and miss, mostly due to space-issues. A prime example would be the madness-rules that could have been truly great with more space, more madness effects etc., but as written only amounts to an "ok system". Another downside I see with the Companion is something that the book is not to fault, but stands against it nevertheless: The book has definitely aged with the release of APG, UM and UC especially - the lack of Gunslinger-support is felt in a setting with a solid gunpowder-aspect like Freeport. On the other hand, the vast amount of statblocks makes sure that this book is useful even when not necessarily playing in Freeport and the amount of gunpowder weapons and siege weapons/weird magic items as well as the well-written adventure made me enjoy this book. Were I to judge this book when it was released, I'd settle for a final verdict of 4 or even 4.5 stars. Seeing how the book hasn't aged too well and the minor gripes I had with component parts, my final verdict has to be lower though. Thus, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3 stars - still an ok purchase, but no longer a stellar one.

Endzeitgeist out.


Keeping the tradition of excellence in Freeport Companions alive...

5/5

Full disclosure: I used the heck out of the d20 Freeport Companion. It's the second most used book for character creation and feats at my gaming table, and if this was just a reprint of that, updated to Pathfinder for the classes, then I'd be totally happy.

And so I am. This IS pretty much just a reprint of that, upgrading the base classes, prestige classes, feats, monsters, and NPC statblocks to Pathfinder standards. Even the adventure inside is the same. Now, if you're like me, and LOVE those base classes (Assassin, Corsair, Monster Hunter, Noble, and Survivor), the prestige classes (Mystic Navigator and Crime Lord being the standouts), and the VAST selection of feats (goodness for the entire spectrum of classes, like Restless Mind and Dead-Eye.), or need thousands of generic statblocks and ready to use NPCs, then the fact that this is old material updated? Doesn't matter. But if you're a tinkerer and don't mind updating the old versions your own way, then you might want to skip this. But if you've never bought a Freeport Companion before, GO DO IT NOW! You won't be disappointed at all!


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This is a fun book! Nice job to the authors, for bringing that good Freeport flavor to PF.

And while I'm here, let me recommend Open Design's Freeport project as a great way to get to play in the Freeport playground: Dark Deeds in Freeport!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Scott Carter wrote:
Any chance of getting a ToC preview for this?

There's already one posted on Drivethrurpg, at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=83359

Just click on the "Full-Size Preview" button.


Kvantum wrote:
Scott Carter wrote:
Any chance of getting a ToC preview for this?

There's already one posted on Drivethrurpg

Just click on the "Full-Size Preview" button.

linkified


Kvantum wrote:
Scott Carter wrote:
Any chance of getting a ToC preview for this?

There's already one posted on Drivethrurpg, at http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=83359

Just click on the "Full-Size Preview" button.

Thanks. A Noble Class! I am certainly going to have to get this now.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Yep, Dark Deeds will be the first official Pathfinder/Freeport adventure.

The project is currently at 40% of the funding goal, and one supporter said:

Quote:

as a newbie to Open Design, I am having a complete blast. Freeport's awesomeness aside, the inspiration from the development process alone is going to be worth every cent!

And if you're only in it for the module - it's gonna be a doozy. Seriously. I reckon this is going to be Planescapesque in its ability to blend plot, theme and action in whatever proportions you want - smart but not showboaty, the kind of thing that will leave your players thinking and talking about it for ages afterwards.

(Quote Cite)

Help out today, because Pathfinder needs an official Freeport adventure!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Yep, Dark Deeds will be the first official Pathfinder/Freeport adventure.

The project is currently at 40% of the funding goal, and one supporter said:

Quote:

as a newbie to Open Design, I am having a complete blast. Freeport's awesomeness aside, the inspiration from the development process alone is going to be worth every cent!

And if you're only in it for the module - it's gonna be a doozy. Seriously. I reckon this is going to be Planescapesque in its ability to blend plot, theme and action in whatever proportions you want - smart but not showboaty, the kind of thing that will leave your players thinking and talking about it for ages afterwards.

(Quote Cite)

Help out today, because Pathfinder needs an official Freeport adventure!

Is there a way to tell how close the other projects are to being fully patronised?

The Exchange Kobold Press

All the current Open Design projects other than Dark Deeds in Freeport are currently funded; Freeport is somewhere around 40% funded, and newly-announced projects (like Freeport) usually get their funding % announced on the Kobold Quarterly Twitter stream, on the KQ Forums, and elsewhere.

A few current projects -- like the Lost City and Frozen Empires -- could use a boost to help with art or maps, and they are currently underway in design.

Additional support helps always helps, because the money goes out to the designers, editor, artist, mapper, and layout folks, making a better adventure.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Wolfgang Baur wrote:
All the current Open Design projects other than Dark Deeds in Freeport are currently funded; Freeport is somewhere around 40% funded, and newly-announced projects (like Freeport) usually get their funding % announced on the Kobold Quarterly Twitter stream, on the KQ Forums, and elsewhere.

Hey I am just about to get Patronage for this, but Later on this month I want to upgrade to major donor (Already spent my personally set allotment on RPG books per 1/2 month), will that be enough time before you decide if you have enough support for this?


Dragnmoon wrote:
Hey I am just about to get Patronage for this, but Later on this month I want to upgrade to major donor (Already spent my personally set allotment on RPG books per 1/2 month), will that be enough time before you decide if you have enough support for this?

Anytime in November should be fine.

Great to have you joining us!

Dark Archive

So I just got this, and it rocks.

Way more crunch than I expected, with a ton of feats that I recognize from other Green Ronin products (some I believe I recognize from Plot & Poison, for example), and some funky class options.


Set wrote:

So I just got this, and it rocks.

Way more crunch than I expected, with a ton of feats that I recognize from other Green Ronin products (some I believe I recognize from Plot & Poison, for example), and some funky class options.

These companion books are intended to be the crunch. The flavor book that goes along with this is system neutral, and called Pirate's Guide to Freeport.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

I just picked this up whilst at the Consequences convention, it is now sitting on my shelf next to the d20 and 4e versions :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

So far, for the most part, it looks to be a pretty good conversion, a couple of caveats.

Some of the feats refer to -10 HP, and some of the feats/class abilites don't 'scale' as well in PF and I think needed a second look. (IDHTBIFOM, but the improved dodge feat leaps to mind)

Paizo Employee Managing Developer

I'm glad folks are enjoying the book. Matt, I'll try and find an answer or two for you about what you mentioned. I'm sure something is in the bunches of emails the team threw back and forth while working on this project.

Also, any fan of Freeport and Open Design should check this thread out. Especially you Matthew and Set. Yep. I've got my eye on you two. It'd be a shame to not see input from minds like yours on the project.

Erm...:
Too much?

Yeah, I thought so. ;)

Sorry to single you both out.

Dark Archive

Adam Daigle wrote:
Also, any fan of Freeport and Open Design should check this thread out. Especially you Matthew and Set. Yep. I've got my eye on you two. It'd be a shame to not see input from minds like yours on the project.

So very tempting, and the flattery didn't hurt either. :)

I made it as far as the Paypal site, which no longer takes credit / debit card payments, and wants you to link your bank account or some such nonsense. If I figure out what stores in my area carry those MoneyPak things, I might be able to do that, but the hoops PayPal is making people jump through keep getting fancier...

Is the process still run through LiveJournal, or has it transitioned to a more viewer-friendly format, like a password-protected / members-only messageboard or something?

Contributor

Set wrote:
Is the process still run through LiveJournal, or has it transitioned to a more viewer-friendly format, like a password-protected / members-only messageboard or something?

It is the latter, Set. Open Design projects are now run on the koboldquarterly.com website messageboards in a password protected, private area. Join us!!!

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Brandon Hodge wrote:
Set wrote:
Is the process still run through LiveJournal, or has it transitioned to a more viewer-friendly format, like a password-protected / members-only messageboard or something?

It is the latter, Set. Open Design projects are now run on the koboldquarterly.com website messageboards in a password protected, private area. Join us!!!

Between trying to help a friend/roommate back on her feet, and trying *not* to dip into the last of Donna's life insurance policy, money's been really tight. Believe me I'd love to, and may if she gets a job soon.

The Exchange Kobold Press

Project is now 70% of the way to the funding goal, and picking up some steam. Needs a couple more folks to get us over the hump and on to design.


Set, if more flattery would help, I'm happy to provide it! :)

Seriously, though, what makes Open Design projects really sing is the passion of the patrons for the material. So the more Freeport fanatics we have on board, the better the final product will be!

Sovereign Court

What happened to Dark Deeds in Freeport? Did it not get funded, or what?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Bagpuss wrote:
What happened to Dark Deeds in Freeport? Did it not get funded, or what?

I asked this question in another thread about a week ago, and this was Wolfgang's response:

Wolfgang Bauer wrote:


Project is still in design, and the original September release date has slipped a bit.

Should be out later in the year, though, in plenty of time for Skull & Bones!

Sovereign Court

Cool, thanks.

I loves me some Freeport.


With the new AP, I figured I'd finally review this. Also sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!


I'm guessing this book will become mostly obsolete with the arrival of the new Freeport setting book for Pathfinder due from the Kickstarter later this year. Perhaps the adventure in this book will not be duplicated in the new book.

Scarab Sages Contributor

Since the new book advances the timeline, it does have a different adventure. But yeah, the new book supersedes the old book.

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