If ever there was a prepackaged, ready to play setting that fits into the sword & sanity mold it would have to be Freeport. Take a pirate infested seaport that is brisling with street level intrigue, add in a huge portion of swashbuckling sword & sorcery action-adventure, and top it all off with a generous smattering of insidious Lovecraftian overtones, and you have the makings of a mind-blastingly fun game!
Green Ronin Publishing has done a bang-up job of supporting this game line. What started as some of the earliest d20 based modules on the market, Freeport has evolved into a rich setting that now supports other game systems, including Savage Worlds, True20 and most recently Castles & Crusades. A Pirates Guide to Freeport and Cults of Freeport are examples of “setting only” source books Green Ronin has released with no game specific rules included, so they can be used in conjunction with any game system desired.
Freeport might not be as grim in tone as some sword & sorcery settings, and has a flavor that reminds me a lot of Lankhmar. The heroes that adventure in Freeport will be as quick with a quip as they are with a blade, and have a very live-fast-and-die-young attitude. As for the material, the writing is strong, and the adventures are challenging as well as fun. The races and classes are straight from the pages of Dungeons & Dragons, with a few added for flavor. The foes are imported from Lovecraft country – serpent people, ghouls, cultists, etc. This is at its most basic form Call of Cthulhu adventures, powered by 3rd edition D&D.
In future posts I will be reviewing several Freeport releases. In the mean time anyone who has not checked out Freeport I encourage you to do so as soon as possible.