D&D 5E Which Version of Freeport/Other Pirate City...?

Retreater

Legend
My group is playing through Ghosts of Saltmarsh and going a little out of bounds of the adventure. They want to sell some contraband, hire a crew, and have some more piratical adventures.
I'm looking for a pirate/nautical city. It's been twenty years since I've played in Freeport, but I remember the setting working for what I'm thinking. The only issue is that I'm confused by which version to get. There are numerous iterations and related products that I can't figure out what is the most recent "city/campaign" guide.
Or maybe there's another product line you'd recommend? Basically, I've gotta be ready to go next week, so I don't have a lot of time to write my own or research all the available products.
Thanks!
 

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Five Fingers for d20 Iron Kingdoms is a great city, but it does have some non-Realms tech.
 

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There is a 5e product for this on the way, but no idea when it will drop.
As a kickstarter backer, I already have my beta copy. But the full product is forecast to be out next April.

If you can get your hands on the old Savage Tide adventure path for 3e from Dragon magazine, there's some options in there. Sasserine and Scuttlecove are both really well fleshed out. Sasserine is a good low-level home base, while Scuttlecove is a really nasty place for high-level PCs to (carefully) visit.
 



There are three versions of Freeport I'm aware of, not counting just using the adventures:

1) 3E version. This one wears its love for 1E on its sleeve, with more than a few silly characters and punny names. I think this one actually takes place before the Freeport Trilogy, with Milton Drac as Sea Lord.

2) Systemless version. This one takes place after the Freeport Trilogy and Black Sails over Freeport. Drac is gone, but the secession crisis is underway. Updates and expands the setting, has a more serious tone, has a bunch of support products, systemless and otherwise that add cults, pirate crews and others. There are companion volumes for 4E, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds and more systems. I own this one, having replaced the original book with this. The book also includes some brief notes on the world beyond Freeport, to add rivals and others. I used almost all of it in my Ptolus campaign and find the quality of pretty much everything in this book to be very high.

3) Pathfinder 1E version. This one takes place still later, I think after the secession crisis is over. This one has been out a good while, though, and might be out of print. I skipped this one.

I don't know if Green Ronin has given up on Freeport. It's been a while, I think, since they've published anything for it, and if they do another version, it seems likely it'll be for Fantasy AGE. But I would love another systemless book again.

One of the things I really liked about at least the first two versions of Freeport was what it didn't detail. The god of knowledge is really, really important in the Freeport Trilogy and in the setting generally and who they aren't isn't detailed. You're supposed to use whatever god of knowledge already exists in your world. I use Locharit, the god of writing from Ptolus, which gives a very different vibe from someone who used, say, Ptah from the Pharoanic pantheon.

If I wasn't already using Ptolus as the center of my ongoing campaign, I would be thrilled to run a long-running campaign in and around Freeport. As it is, I used it as a secondary hub for a splinter group of my campaign for years. Highly recommended.
 



Yeah, I should have said: The Pirate's Guide to Freeport is the second edition and my recommendation.

Pick up Black Sails in PDF, if you can. The adventure is just OK -- it gets a little jokey at parts again, which doesn't fit well with the rest of the tone -- but it also details both the main pirate god of the setting and the extremely evil forbidden earlier pirate god who comes roaring back in the mega-adventure. I find both to be essential world-building elements of Freeport.

If I didn't own/love Freeport, I would be very tempted by Razor Coast, because I need more fantasy Polynesia in my life.

Also note that Chris Pramas loves the Cthulhu Mythos, and there are a number of overt mythos elements in the Freeport Trilogy and subsequent setting. That's probably a big plus for a lot of people, but if isn't, note that there are literal serpent people and the Yellow Sign from the mythos. I dialed that stuff back, myself, since I'm kind of over it, but it's an easy dial to spin back and forth, as preferred. (If I had to do it over, I would have made all the serpent people into Yuan-Ti and had the plot of the Freeport Trilogy involve Yuan-Ti lore instead, for instance.)
 

Retreater

Legend
Also note that Chris Pramas loves the Cthulhu Mythos, and there are a number of overt mythos elements in the Freeport Trilogy and subsequent setting. That's probably a big plus for a lot of people, but if isn't, note that there are literal serpent people and the Yellow Sign from the mythos. I dialed that stuff back, myself, since I'm kind of over it, but it's an easy dial to spin back and forth, as preferred. (If I had to do it over, I would have made all the serpent people into Yuan-Ti and had the plot of the Freeport Trilogy involve Yuan-Ti lore instead, for instance.)
Perhaps it's also an issue of Yuan-Ti not being in the SRD, so 3rd party publishers had to create their own workarounds. When I wrote Coils of Set for Necromancer, I used Ophidians instead of Yuan-Ti (which were from their Tome of Horrors line).
 

Perhaps it's also an issue of Yuan-Ti not being in the SRD, so 3rd party publishers had to create their own workarounds. When I wrote Coils of Set for Necromancer, I used Ophidians instead of Yuan-Ti (which were from their Tome of Horrors line).
Maybe, but there's a lot of Cthulhu stuff in Freeport. I think it's genuine fandom. Green Ronin folks are perfectly comfortable with creating new monsters to fill in the gaps in the SRD. And I know I'm apparently in the minority of gamers for not being cuckoo for Cthulhu.
 

Retreater

Legend
Maybe, but there's a lot of Cthulhu stuff in Freeport. I think it's genuine fandom. Green Ronin folks are perfectly comfortable with creating new monsters to fill in the gaps in the SRD. And I know I'm apparently in the minority of gamers for not being cuckoo for Cthulhu.
I agree with that. Lots of reasons someone would use Cthulhu stuff - but also it's public domain and kinda creates an "instant audience."
For me, I don't know if my displeasure with Cthulhu products is because of the problematic issues with HPL, the cliched feeling of most of the stories, or the ubiquity of the franchise (because of public domain) so everyone makes Cthulhu plushie slippers/Nyarlahotep waffle makers/etc.
 

smetzger

Explorer
Pirate's Guide to Freeport or Freeport City of Adventure if you want a 'setting' book.

Black Sails Over Freeport - The beginning and end is decent. The middle of it is a mess and should be completely re-worked.

Original Freeport Trilogy - These are solid adventures. But starts at level 1 and takes place entirely in Freeport. So, if you are looking for adventures on the high seas... this is not it.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Yeah, I should have said: The Pirate's Guide to Freeport is the second edition and my recommendation.

Pick up Black Sails in PDF, if you can. The adventure is just OK -- it gets a little jokey at parts again, which doesn't fit well with the rest of the tone -- but it also details both the main pirate god of the setting and the extremely evil forbidden earlier pirate god who comes roaring back in the mega-adventure. I find both to be essential world-building elements of Freeport.

If I didn't own/love Freeport, I would be very tempted by Razor Coast, because I need more fantasy Polynesia in my life.

Also note that Chris Pramas loves the Cthulhu Mythos, and there are a number of overt mythos elements in the Freeport Trilogy and subsequent setting. That's probably a big plus for a lot of people, but if isn't, note that there are literal serpent people and the Yellow Sign from the mythos. I dialed that stuff back, myself, since I'm kind of over it, but it's an easy dial to spin back and forth, as preferred. (If I had to do it over, I would have made all the serpent people into Yuan-Ti and had the plot of the Freeport Trilogy involve Yuan-Ti lore instead, for instance.)
I love Freeport, and the Razor Coast is a great product (though it has been SOME TIME since I read it, so, who knows?).
 

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