Quick Review: Green Ronin’s Freeport Companion for Pathfinder. Pirates, guns and madness!

Green Ronin has produced a superb Pathfinder expansion with the Freeport Companion, an expansion to their system agnostic A Pirate’s Guide to Freeport.

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!

I always like to look at the layout of a book as I’m looking at the content.  I feel that RPG books should be something of a standing work of art in their own right.  The artwork in this book ranges from good to outstanding, with the front cover being an excellent example of what you will find (although all work inside is black and white).

The layout itself is clean, easy to read, well set up for finding what you need and bookmarked throughout, which I always find extremely handy.

What you’ll find inside the Freeport Companion is everything you’ll need to launch a Freeport campaign in the Pathfinder RPG system.  This includes descriptions of all of the Pathfinder core races and how they fit into the world of Freeport, and Azhar, a new race of outsiders who travel the waters around Freeport.  The Azhar as PCs are akin to the Efreet and carry a number of abilities appropriate to these races.

The Freeport Companion also boasts a number of new character classes.  The Assassin, Corsair, Monster Hunter, Noble and Survivor are all available as player characters.  The Cultist is a new NPC class.  Along with these classes come a number of new skills, feats spells and prestige classes.

With mentioning the Cultist NPCs, we get in to the aspect of Freeport that makes it very interesting.  This campaign comes with two things not normally found in the Pathfinder system – guns and a huge nod to Lovecraftian horrors, complete with it’s own madness system.

The introduction of firearms is handled very well. They’re treated as something new to the world and as such are expensive and unreliable, but can be very effective.  Think muzzle loaded pistols, rifles and small canon in your favorite swashbuckling movie and you’ve got a good idea as to how firearms are used here.

The horror aspect is also very well implemented and gives Freeport a nice edge on other, less gritty aspects of the Pathfinder universe.  Your characters can deal with some pretty scary things, and eventually go insane doing so. Of course, being a high magic world, there are cures for this.

What Green Ronin have done best is allow the GM and players to decide how much of each aspect introduced in Freeport they wish to include in their game.  You can emphasize buckling swashes, or the horror of unearthing ancient gods, or none of the above and simply use the setting as a standard Pathfinder campaign.  Brilliant!

Freeport Companion is full of interesting NPCs to throw directly into your game, another big bonus.  And when you’ve finished reading through the book, there’s a good 1st level adventure included in the Appendix for you to launch your campaign with and get a real feel for Freeport.

Clocking in at 172 usable pages (a page of licensing and a blank page are also included) you will not be disappointed with the Freeport Companion.   Also, while you may be interested in picking up the Pirates Guide to Freeport, it is not strictly necessary to run a decent Freeport game in Pathfinder.

5 out of 5 stars

[tags]rpg, role playing games, pfrpg, freeport, pathfinder, green ronin[/tags]

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