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eBook Black Sails Over Freeport download

by Brian E. Kirby,Rob Lawson,William Simoni,Robert J. Toth

eBook Black Sails Over Freeport download ISBN: 1932442073
Author: Brian E. Kirby,Rob Lawson,William Simoni,Robert J. Toth
Publisher: Green Ronin Publishing; Brdgm edition (September 27, 2005)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1355 kb
Fb2: 1984 kb
Rating: 4.3
Other formats: mobi docx lrf doc
Category: Pseudoscience
Subcategory: Gaming

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Black Sails Over Freeport, the first mega-adventure for the award-winning pirate city, is filled with enough swashbuckling . 1. Black Sails Over Freeport. Kirby, Brian . Lawson, Rob; Simoni, William; Toth, Robert J. Published by Green Ronin Publishing 2005-09-27 (2005).

Black Sails Over Freeport, the first mega-adventure for the award-winning pirate city, is filled with enough swashbuckling challenges to test the mettle of any band of heroes. Its 256 pages are packed with action, intrigue, and danger, delivered with the style and professionalism you've come to expect from Green Ronin. ISBN 10: 1932442073 ISBN 13: 9781932442076.

by Brian E. Kirby, Rob Lawson, William Simoni, Robert J. Toth. ISBN 9781932442076 (978-1-932442-07-6) Softcover, Green Ronin Publishing, 2005. Find signed collectible books: 'Black Sails Over Freeport'. Founded in 1997, BookFinder. com has become a leading book price comparison site: Find and compare hundreds of millions of new books, used books, rare books and out of print books from over 100,000 booksellers and 60+.

Black Sails Over Freeport book.

Freeport's in crisis, as war breaks out on the high seas and orcs riot in the streets. A map promises the biggest haul of booty in history, but nothing is as it seems. Buried with that treasure is a terrifying evil Freeport thought banished forever.

Black Sails over Freeport Robert J. Toth, Brian E. Kirby, William Simoni. Broken Moon Tim Hitchcock. 44. Buccaneers of Freeport. 45. Cage of Delirium F. Wesley Schneider. 27. Blackmoor Dave Arneson. Its product designation is TSR 2004. 28. Bleak House David Gross, William W. Connors. 46. Campaign Guide to Undermountain.

Black Sails Over Freeport, the first mega-adventure for the award-winning pirate city, is filled with enough swashbuckling challenges to test the mettle . Black Sails Over Freeport won the Silver ENnie for Best Adventure in 2004. Black Sails are on the horizon. Do you have what it takes to face them? Black Sails Over Freeport won the Silver ENnie for Best Adventure in 2004.

Black Sails Over Freeport. His first foray into the RPG genre with a Whispering Vault adventure entitled Danse Macabre published in Shadis magazine.

Freeport's in crisis, as war breaks out on the high seas and orcs riot in the streets. A map promises the biggest haul of booty in history, but nothing is as it seems. Buried with that treasure is a terrifying evil Freeport thought banished forever. Black Sails Over Freeport, the first mega-adventure for the award-winning pirate city, is filled with enough swashbuckling challenges to test the mettle of any band of heroes. Its 256 pages are packed with action, intrigue, and danger, delivered with the style and professionalism you've come to expect from Green Ronin. Black Sails are on the horizon. Do you have what it takes to face them?
Comments: (2)
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The detail and ideas are great!
Alot of thought and work went into this book and it shows. If you never read another gaming book, read this one!
I run a Living Arcanis campaign, which also contains Freeport. With a wealth of material at my disposal, I decided to pick up Black Sails Over Freeport (BSOF) to see how I could fit it into my campaign. I should point out that this is a long playtest review that contains spoilers galore. To help clarify what I did differently in my campaign, I will use a PLAYTEST tag.

When the adventure begins, Freeport is in the midst of a war between two nations: the elves and the barbarians. Neither side seems particularly friendly, but most Freeporters don't care--they just want the right to privateer, selling out their services to the highest bidder. Of course, both nations want Freeport to pick a side.

[PLAYTEST: I essentially kept the sides the same. Coryan, the ruling country in Arcanis, was in the midst of a civil war. Loyalists serving the Emperor hired the barbarians; the elves were allied with the Rebels, led by the High General. Given that BSOF involves some major campaign-altering events, including two nations with enough troops and ships to wage a full war, DMs need to carefully consider the impact on the game world. To me, this part of BSOF was far more interesting than the silly islands that come later.]

BSOF begins with the PCs bumping into a gnome. The gnome pretends to know them and, in a desperate bid to escape cultists, hands them a map. This map subsequently involves them with a scholar named Lucien, who just happens to be kidnapped by Captain Morgan Baumann of the Kraken's Claw. It's a treasure map of course, and Lucien is the only means of unlocking its secrets. Rescuing Lucien leads to five quests for five artifacts, each guarded by a member of the Full-Fathom Five.

[PLAYTEST: I changed this significantly. Flint became a minor character and Lucien was replaced with Corinalous, the father of one of the PCs. This helped draw the PCs into the adventure immediately. But it was always with the intent of defeating Yarash (who was renamed Leviathan in my campaign), rather than a vague quest for treasure. I combined the raid on the drug den to rescue Lucien/Corinalous with the free Freeport adventure, The Consequences of Vice.]

Yarash, an evil pirate god who opposes the "good" pirate god, Harrimast, formed the Full-Fathom Five. Yarash is the hands-on type, and he gave each of his pirates an artifact to rule the seas: Ezekiel Carthy received a sextant, Black Jenny Ramsey received a pirate's hook, a Moab Cys'varion received a spyglass, a Zoltan Zaska received a pistol, and Daen Danud received a ship's bell. But Carthy betrayed his comrades and Yarash, leading to the god's imprisonment in Hell's Triangle along with the Full-Fathom Five. Carthy, in the intervening centuries, has been blissfully hiding out in Freeport, with none the wiser.

Until now. The PCs unwittingly reveal who Carthy really is. But Carthy doesn't have the sextant. It's in the possession of Drak Sockit, a half-orc with plans for the Sea Lord's throne. The Sea Lord is a hereditary title, the equivalent of the King of Freeport, and Drak believes the sextant proves he is descended from the original Sea Lord. The orcs, cheap labor that up to now have been helping rebuild Freeport, are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens and they're not going to take it anymore.

[PLAYTEST: I tweaked Drak to become Drak Scarbelly, using Scarbelly from one of the other Freeport adventures. This gave him a lot more relevance to the campaign. I also enjoyed the parallels to realistic politics about importing cheap labor, and one of the PCs went along with it; it was a major role-playing event to see him begrudgingly put his own biases aside to work with Drak. I also got rid of the ridiculous way the orcs talk. For example: "Hey manflesh! You am wake up! No seaweed god am protect you from Sons of Krom!" This style of speaking was taken from the old Green Ronin game, Ork! It's funny for a beer and pretzels kind of game (in Ork!, Orks explode if they eat broccoli), but it's nigh unreadable when Drak goes on for paragraphs discussing orc rights.]

This leads to Drak getting imprisoned, along with the sextant, which he thoughtfully hides by swallowing it. The PCs have to rescue him from the Hulks, floating prison ships off the coast of Freeport. Once they retrieve the sextant and reunite it with Carthy, the portal to Hell's Triangle opens and that's the last the PCs see of Freeport for a bit.

[PLAYTEST: One of the major villains is a cultist named William "Billy Bones" Grimshady, who kidnaps Carthy. The whole scene is supposed to be a thrilling chase, except that at this point one of my PCs could fly. Oddly, the cultists can too (one of them has a potion of fly) so clearly the authors understood that PCs could ruin the whole chase scene with a simple spell. This is just one example in a series of forced plotlines that don't go the way the authors planned because higher-level D&D games tend to break a lot of assumptions.

Billy Bones is a rip off of Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) from the movie Blue Velvet. Right down to his breathing mask; in the movie, Frank inhales some kind of narcotic (laughing gas, maybe?). In BSOF, Billy Bones uses the inhaler to inhale potions or narcotics. This is the other problem with BSOF, which is that it will sacrifice any sense of continuity or plot for a joke or a homage. Billy Bones, with his inhaler, flintlock pistol, cloak, and fedora, looks like something out of a post-apocalyptic game. And his bizarre swearing is completely out of character for what is otherwise a light-hearted adventure. In other words, Billy Bones isn't just a homage, he literally feels like a cameo appearance by someone's favorite character. Most of the players hadn't seen Blue Velvet, so I simply made him a foul-mouthed Jack Nicholson rip off, and that worked well enough. ]

Thus begins what turned a lot of people off of Freeport entirely. Each villain has his or her own island, with a particular theme that seems predicated more on a single joke than an actual adventure path.

Daen Danud is the lord of the Isle of Undeath, where he drills his undead troops in the military arts, even though the Intelligence scores of most of the undead are far too low to be trained.

[PLAYTEST: I played Danud as if he was Skeletor from the old He-Man cartoons. That made for a lot of fun. I also converted Danud's penchant for blood magic into the Blood Magus prestige class; thanks to the powers gained from that class, Danud managed to kill one of the PCs. It was the longest battle I've ever run in D&D, ever (spell durations actually ran out), but also the most fun. There's also a vampire who helps the PCs in this adventure; again, I took a vampire from a previous adventure and inserted him into the plot. As it turned out, this was a necessity--my time for gaming was running out and we needed to bring the campaign to a close. So rather than go through every one of these islands, which could take two or three sessions per island, we accelerated the timeline thanks to the vampire-ally's planning. ]

Zoltan Zaska controls the Boneshaper's Throne, a weird mix of science fiction and horror, wherein Zaska leads the PCs through reenactments of his life on a gigantic flying skull in a series of supervillain-esque tests, each with the purpose of weeding out who will be the perfect new body for Zaska's spirit.

[PLAYTEST: Danud may seem silly with his military drills, but he's tolerable. Zaska is just off the wall. Zaska creates construct minions out of the corpses of his own clones. When he's not flying around in a giant skull trying to get his clones to fight each other, he's impregnating clones of Black Jenny Ramsey, whom he is hopelessly obsessed with. The PCs found the journey through Zaska's life to be very amusing. In the end, I had Zaska challenge the most flamboyant PC to a duel, which Zaska promptly lost. The goal is to get the PC to pick up the artifact pistol, which then allows Zaska to jump into the PC's body. It turned out to be a lot more amusing than irritating, as Zaska would take over whenever the PC had a weak moment (like when he failed a Will save vs. a spell).]

Ramsey, who has remade herself as a vampire goddess named Ahunatum, rules the Island of the White Gorilla. She subjugates the population through her sentient gorillas, who regularly make blood sacrifices atop a pyramid.

[PLAYTEST: And you thought Zaska was bad? This whole chapter is filled with Planet of the Apes jokes, Donkey Kong jokes, gorillas gambling for bananas jokes, and a bunch of other dumb jokes. Like much of BSOF, it contains in-jokes for the DM only. There's also the little matter of a vampire who conceals that she has a hook on her hand by...HIDING IT BEHIND HER BACK. No wonder it takes a DC 30 Spot check to notice! With Zaska possessing one of the PCs, he was loath to harm her. And given that they only needed the hook, the PCs promptly lopped it off Ramsey's arm and she managed to escape. Right before they rammed Zaska's giant skull ship into her pyramid.

That's another problem with this adventure. It doesn't actually take into account how the PCs will use the artifacts until they reach Yarashad. For example, the ship's bell gives the PCs control over ALL undead. The pistol gives the PCs control of Zaska's flying ship and his legions of skeleton constructs. The hook can control men's minds, and the spyglass can see everywhere and open a portal to anywhere. For each island that the PCs beat, things get that much easier.]

Finally, there's Crystal Lake Island, a land of paranoid mutants ruled by the former drow Moab Cys'varion. In another science fictionish twist, Moab has been mutating the humans and animals around his island, allowing for all sorts of unique, bizarre creatures for the PCs to fight.

[PLAYTEST: I decided that Moab, with his spyglass that sees everything, knew what was up. He's planning an invasion of Freeport anyway, so instead of invading Freeport, he invaded the PCs ship, gating monsters onto it one round after another, then his bodyguards, and then himself--it made perfect sense: each pirate needed all five artifacts and there the PCs were, just waiting for him to take it!

Mutations are another science fiction idea that has little place in D&D. We get the idea of mutations--that's why we have owlbears--but we don't need fish mutants, warrior mutants, ape mutants...there are plenty of D&D monsters to fill the same niche.]

Retrieving all four artifacts summons Yarashad, the island where Yarash is entombed. The PCs meet an incarnation of Harrimast, cleverly disguised as an avatar known as "Old Mad Harry," who leads them on a merry quest to Yarash's tomb. There, the PCs are encouraged to use the power of each of the artifacts to overcome the various obstacles to Yarash's immense treasure. Having reached the end of their quest and wealthy beyond measure, Harrimast returns the PCs to Freeport, where they will live out their days with over three-hundred thousand gold pieces each...

[PLAYTEST: Again, there's a lot of sloppy plotting here. When exactly Harrimast reveals himself is undetermined. Beyond acting as a foil for the PCs, he doesn't do much. When the PCs defeat all the challenges, they are left with a pile of treasure and no way to get back. BSOF doesn't even explain what happens to Harrimast, nor does it explain how they return. All this time the four villains and a GOD couldn't get out of Hell's Triangle, and the only hint that the PCs are somehow able to escape through Harrimast's intervention is his speech, "if ye can put me in me right mind, I'll fix you up and set ye windward." Apparently, "set ye windward" translates to "escape Hell's Triangle with treasure and artifacts in tow.

The other problem is that Harrimast seems like something of an idiot. Old Mad Harry led the PCs to Yarash's tomb, he lets them have Yarash's treasure (with plenty of threats, of course), and he also is apparently severed from his god form. He needs the PCs to use the artifacts to free him of his curse. The ones Harry led them to. Riiiight.

The PCs also get an obscene amount of treasure. Although the obstacles are suitably daunting (twelve bodaks, anyone?), they are easily overcome by judicious use of the artifacts. That left my PCs singularly unfulfilled. Sure, they were flush with cash. But they came to defeat Yarash. Instead, they found the god locked in his tomb, surrounded by money, and led there by the god who beat him, without a clear means of getting back. I couldn't blame my PCs for being a little aggravated with Harrimast. It seemed like he was wasting their time.]

Back home, the war between elves and barbarians has reached a climax. Drak has been imprisoned (again). Orcs are rioting in the streets. And that's when the barbarians choose to strike. Freeport is under attack, and it's up to our heroes to put a stop to it: by convincing the Sea Lord's Guard to let Drak go so that he can rally the orcs to defend Freeport, by firing the massive cannons at the invading fleet, by foiling elven plots to sabotage the city. With the barbarians on the run, Freeport gives chase...

[PLAYTEST: I inserted Crisis in Freeport into this part of the adventure, thus wrapping up the succession crisis as to whom would take over the position of Sea Lord. I'll save that for a separate review. Suffice it to say that this was an exciting part of the adventure and all the PCs stepped up.]

Only to be attacked by those pesky elves. And while the elves are attacking, the Son of Yarash (a kraken) rises. Summoned by Yarash's cultists, it consumes ship after ship. Once it consumes ten ships, Yarash's tomb rises and Yarash is reborn! A big, Cthulhu-like monster with four arms, he blathers on about the Full-Fathom Five and how they utterly failed in their mission. He had to trick a couple of meddling kids (that's you, PCs) into resurrecting him. And now the world will PAY! MUAAHAHAHAH!

[PLAYTEST: When the PCs saw the kraken, they turned tail and ran. No, seriously. It wasn't until Yarash showed up that they decided to fight. Then it is revealed that secretly, Harrimast wanted Yarash to think his plan was working so he could destroy him once and for all. Wheels within wheels, see?

So to sum up: Harrimast couldn't remove a curse from his avatar, but he could lead PCs to the artifacts that could remove it. He could waltz right into Yarash's tomb, but couldn't obliterate Yarash personally. He could pretty much do nearly everything but not the thing the PCs needed to do. Harrimast has to be the most unresourceful pirate god, ever.]

Fortunately, Yarash has a weakness: the five stars on his forehead. The PCs hopefully get the hint, wipe the stars and smile off of Yarash's face, put an end to the war (since both the barbarian and elven fleets are decimated), save Freeport and save the world.

[PLAYTEST: I replaced Yarash with a weakened avatar of Cthulhu and let the PCs go at it. One PC died, the others were hanging on by a thread, but they managed to just barely defeat the evil god. And that wrapped up my four year D&D campaign.]

BSOF devotes an entire page to what happened to Carthy, as if anyone cares about Carthy. It leaves other important political questions completely unresolved: what about Drak's claim to the throne? Do any of the captains die during the battle against Yarash, thereby opening up seats on the Captains Council? What about the elven and barbarian fleets--who wins the war? That's up to the DM to decide.

BSOF is a very old school module. At times it feels like it was written by twelve-year-olds, with its flagrant disregard for continuity and logic, its over-the-top puns and homages to video games and movies nobody cares about, and its "oh don't worry about it" attitude towards details. One example: instead of giving twelve cultists poisoned daggers, they're all given daggers of venom. Twelve daggers of venom add up in PCs hands.

Similarly, the adventure doesn't take into account the fact that the PCs will have five ultra-powerful artifacts when the war commences. Sure, Yarash deactivates the artifacts when he appears, but prior to that point the PCs could conceivably rout both fleets through the artifacts alone. To solve that problem, I made the artifacts stop working as soon as they returned to Freeport.

And yet, I can't be too hard on this adventure. It's like that player you have in your game who doesn't know how to play D&D but has big ideas; he's big on theatrics and sketchy on details, cracks a lot of jokes, drinks all your soda, and is basically just there to have fun. For all its stogie-smoking zombies, card-playing gorillas, and flying giant skulls, BSOF is about having a good time and damn the consequences. DMs should consider carefully if their campaign and players can handle it. Mine did just fine.