Good modules for a pirates campaign?

Lost Omens Campaign Setting General Discussion

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OK, I'm going to just up and out myself as the Pathfinder pirate expert.

I've been running a Pathfinder campaign called Reavers on the Seas of Fate every other week since 2009. On my blog are full session summaries, blog posts with GM notes, special rules, etc.

I have an extensive RPG library and here's the things I have used in the commission of much rapine and plunder. We're running Pathfinder but upconverting from anything 3.x is trivial and bears little comment.

Here are all the things I've run as part of the campaign so far.

  • Tale of the Sea Bear (Sinister Adventures Indulgence, 3.5)
  • Maiden Voyage (Atlas Games, 3.0)
  • Shadow in the Sky (Second Darkess Chapter 1, Paizo, 3.5)
  • The Sable Drake from Stormwrack (WotC, 3.5)
  • Water Stop from En Route II: By Land Or By Sea (Atlas Games, 3.?)
  • Three Days to Kill (Atlas Games, 3.0)
  • Death in Freeport and little Freeport tidbits (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Mansion of Shadows (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Terror in Freeport (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Beyond the Towers (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • A Dreadful Dawn (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Throwdown with the Arm-Ripper (Goodman Games/Wicked Fantasy Factory, 3.5)
  • Rumble in the Wizard's Tower (Goodman Games/Wicked Fantasy Factory, 3.5)
  • Madness in Freeport (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Carrion Hill (Paizo, PFRPG)
  • The Stink (Dungeon Mag #105, 3.5)
  • Children of the Void (Second Darkness Chapter 2, Paizo, 3.5)

Useful sourcebooks I use often:

  • Sunken Empires (Open Design, PFRPG)
  • Pathfinder Guide to Freeport (Green Ronin, PFRPG)
  • GMG (Paizo, PFRPG)
  • NPC Guide (Paizo, PFRPG)
  • Cities, Lost Cities (Paizo, PFRPG)
  • Tome of Secrets (Adamant, PFRPG)

Here's other things I plan to run in the campaign:

  • Shatterhull Island from Stormwrack (WotC, 3.5)
  • Tammeraut's Fate (Dungeon #106)
  • Razor Coast (Sinister Adventures) (luckily I was a proofer so I'm going to run this whether Logue squares his s$%~ or not)
  • Last Breaths of Ashenport (Dungeon #152)
  • From Shore to Sea (Paizo, PFRPG)
  • The Lost Temple of Sekolah from Stormwrack (WotC, 3.5)
  • LB2 Curse of Chimera's Cove (Paizo,3.5)
  • J3 Crucible of Chaos (Paizo, 3.5)
  • Dark Wings over Freeport (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Dark Deeds in Freeport (Open Design, PFRPG) (once done)
  • W2 River into Darkness (Paizo, 3.5)
  • Sinkhole (Dungeon #1-3)
  • The Styes (Dungeon #121)
  • The Weavers (Dungeon #138)
  • Crisis in Freeport (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • Black Sails over Freeport (Green Ronin, 3.5)
  • The Tamoran Vast from Stormwrack (WotC, 3.5)
  • Strike on the Rabid Dawn (Dungeon #111)

Now, it's not all piratey, even the stuff that should be (Riddleport/Freeport). In the beginning there's a lot of urban stuff, then they'll be hitting the Mwangi jungle, then the Great White North. At some point, probably Azlant or even Arcadia. But by using custom work and Stormwrack bits, you can piece together a nice piratey campaign.

The beauty of a lot of the open 3.x modules is that they are set in essentially isolated locales that may as well be on an island than out in trackless wilderness. By taking Mansion of Shadows, for example, and putting it on an island and having the PCs infiltrate the keep to soften it up for a mass pirate attack, you can get classic pirate out of doesn't-mention-pirates-at-all.

I've developed a number of rules to help out with all this - gun rules, ship rules, chase rules, and Infamy Points.

P.S. Best pirate movie - Nate & Hayes.

Oh and I haven't used it yet, but Zak from PD&Dw/PS's has his Wavecrawl Kit used for "saltbox" (nautical sandbox) adventuring. I find a lot of random encounters really make pirate adventuring... Other pirates, navy, random ships to prey upon, sea phenomena, etc. And plenty of weather tables.

Ernest Mueller wrote:

Razor Coast (Sinister Adventures) (luckily I was a proofer so I'm going to run this whether Logue squares his s#!@ or not)

Lucky sunuva...

Great list Ernest!

Iron Kingdom's "Five Fingers: Port of Deceit" (Privateer Press) is similar to Freeport in that it describes a piratey city state placed on several islands. The reviews were very promising. (And it is a great book in hardcover. Go for the book not the pdf!)

Broadsides! (Living Imagination) is a d20 naval rules supplement.

Adamant Entertainment also did 2 Freeport products: Gangs of Freeport (by Ari Marmell) and Blood of Freeport (an adventure)

See also the Freeport Library for many more obscure Freeport products.

Two non D&D/Pathfinder resources I like a bit are:

7th Sea (they added some d20 rules later) by AEG
Swashbucklers of the Seven Skies (PDQ# rules, best description is it's a mix of Three Musketeers, Princess Bride and Final Fantasy)

Both have lots of tips and ideas to help a GM build stories and create moods appropriate for pirate games.

The 3e Ravenloft netbooks Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer and Quoth the Raven Issue 9 might have something to offer to seagoing campaigns, expecially if they want to add a little bit of Horror. Bot are available at the Fraternity of Shadows' Library

The upcoming/work in progress Sea of Sorrows Gazetteer will also have lots to offer for sea-going/piratey horror campaigns, detailing a pirate haven (Blaustein) and other islands in Ravenloft Sea of Sorrows. When finished it will also be vailable the FoS' library.

Thanael wrote:
See also the Freeport Library for many more obscure Freeport products.

Many of those items listed in the Freeport Library are free web enhancements available either here or here

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I have had this for a few months, and totally forgot about it... It's a list of nautical and coastal adventures for 1.0/2.0/3.0/3.5/PF I could use for a Shackles Campaign. There is no doubt some overlap with previous posts, but completeness may be handy for us...:

More Adventures for The Shackles and the Mwangi Expanse
(Beyond Savage Tide (using Serpents of Scuttlecove) and Serpent’s Skull)
[Ordered by Level]

Jungles/Sodden Lands/Mwangi
1 “Dire Spirits” Atlas Games (Nyambe) d20
3-4 to 5-7 “Tales of the Black Kingdoms” Conan RPG, 3 scenarios
4 “Fiend’s Embrace” Dungeon #121 – 3.5
4 “River into Darkness” PF Module
5-7 “The Elephants’ Graveyard” Dungeon #15 (AD&D)
5-7 “The Land of Men with Tails” Dungeon #56 (AD&D)
5-8 “Drums on Fire Mountain” GW, D&D
7-8, 10-11 “Encounter at the Drowning Stones” PFS Scenario #34
7-8, 10-11 “No Plunder, No Pay” PFS Scenario #38
8-10 “The Leopard Men” Dungeon #22 (AD&D)
Port City/Shoreline
1 “Mad God’s Key” Dungeon #114
1+ “The Freeport Trilogy” GR – d20
1-3 “Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh” AD&D
1-4 “Danger at Dunwater” AD&D
1-7 “BTD Pt I: The Bloodcove Disguise” PFS Scenario #2-01
5-7 “Gangs of Freeport” Adamant – d20
5-7 “Secret of Smuggler’s Cove” DCC - d20
5-7 “Siren’s Prize” Kalamar – d20
6 “Tammeraut’s Fate” Dungeon #106 – 3.5
6-8 “Blood of Freeport” GR – d20
6-8 “Shadows in Freeport” DCC – d20
7-9 “Crisis in Freeport” GR – d20
8-10 “Dark Wings over Freeport” Bleeding Edge
9 “The Styes” Dungeon #121 – 3.5
16-19 “Razing of Redshore” Dungeon #92 – 3.5
1 “Maiden Voyage” Penumbra – d20
2-5 “Island of the Damned” Skull & Bones – d20
3-5 “The Lost Island” True20
5-7 “Evil Tide” AD&D
6-8 “Night of the Shark” AD&D
7 “Blood Waters” Sinister Adventures – d20
10-12 “Bloody Jack’s Gold” DCC – d20
14 “Lost Temple of Demogorgon” Dungeon #120

Grand Lodge

"Part Five: Sargasso" from "The Sea Wyvern's Wake" Dungeon 141 December 2006.

Grand Lodge

Is anyone familiar with 7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures by AEG?

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 16

Thread necromancy predating Skull and Shackles... and now we know why James was asking what elements had to be in a pirate adventure.

To answer Triton1: I'm aware of 7th Sea but haven't played it. I have played L5R, which i understand is a similar system.

Wow, what thread necromancy, answers to this question would be waaay different now (and would have to include Skull and Shackles obviously).

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Well lets get some up to date answers...

Four Dollar Dungeons: Horn of Geryon.

Frog God Games:
Razor Coast
Heart of the Razor

Rite Publishing: Sunken Pyramid

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Yeah, I was really confused. I saw this thread, started reading it, and was thinking "OMG, are we really 50 posts into a thread about what are good pirate adventures with nobody mentioning Skull & Shackles???"

It was only then that I noticed the 2011 on the post dates. It started to make sense.

Dark Archive

TritonOne wrote:
Is anyone familiar with 7th Sea/Swashbuckling Adventures by AEG?

Very familiar. You'd be doing that setting a huge dis-service to play by the D20 rules, instead of the now out of print d10 origional rules.

It's one of the best games/setting that's ever been written.

Dark Archive

Thanael wrote:

Well lets get some up to date answers...

Four Dollar Dungeons: Horn of Geryon.

Frog God Games:
Razor Coast
Heart of the Razor

Rite Publishing: Sunken Pyramid

You might also like to look at my latest module "The Key to Marina" (1st level, four dollar dungeons).

It is set in a city by the sea and has links with marine races both good and evil.

The free preview should hopefully give you all the information you need to decide whether it'll be useful for you or not.

All the best


James Jacobs wrote:
Zyren Zemerys wrote:
Cibet wrote:
Uh, PF and 3.5 are the same game (shh, don't tell anyone) ;)

No, they're not, full stop.

3.5 is not Pathfinder...

You're right, it's not 3.5. It's 3.5 with all the house rules added in, the dross flushed out and some serious adaptability sprinkled on top.

I have been awakened!

Undead Thread wrote:
I have been awakened!

Rest now. You have no call, rising again. Despite the interesting topic.

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