Jump to content


Photo

BRP Freeport


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Michael Hopcroft

Michael Hopcroft

    Your Tax Dollars at Play

  • Members
  • 184 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 02:44 AM

I don't think Green Ronin's Freeport line has ever been directly ported to a BRP game. This seems like a good system to do it in, actually, because Freeport is a place where death is around every corner. It also has elements of Pirates vs. Cthulhu (although given the sanitary conditions and the avarice of almost everyone involved an invasion of Deep Ones could be described as urban renewal....). The PCs are usually either outright anti-heroes, for whom any actually worthwhile things they accomplish are largely by accident, or trying to make their way as best they can with even a little scrap of morality and self-respect intact.

The Pirates Guide to Freeport is somewhat system-agnostic (the setting was originally written for d20, but versions for other systems such as Fate have been released). Few specific spells are mentioned, although magic is definitely present and used in some circumstances by PCs. Some flavors of d100 would fit it in effortlessly, like Renaissance. The main d20 influence is the plethora of Tolkienesque "races" used in decidedly non-Tolkienesque ways (notably the "halfling Mafia" and a brutal ghetto for "goblinoids".) It is a city run largely by criminals -- even the ruling council has many seaborne predators in its ranks. The printing press exists, but few are literate and education is for the privileged only. Black powder weapons exist and are commonly used but people still carry and use swords and archery and crossbowmanship are still in vogue. What few cops there are are even worse than the criminals. Decent people shouldn't live in Freeport. They'd be happier somewhere else. (Probably live longer, too....)

Any thoughts on BRP for Freeport?

#2 Mankcam

Mankcam

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 664 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 11:42 AM

Yep, quite a good setting for a generic fantasy setting, I'm sure it would play well with core BRP, OpenQuest, LEGEND, RuneQuest, and especially Renaissance with its social class system and black powder rules. LEGEND has a Pirates rules supplement (originally MRQ2 Pirates) which could also work well here.

Not much to port over, you can pretty much just use any BRP to plug into the content of the Freeport setting, although I'ld choose either LEGEND Pirates, or Renaissance as the ideal sets to go with. LEGEND plays a bit pulpier than Renaissance, which may be more ideal if you want a swashbuckling flavour to the setting. Renaissance will be good if you want to dress up the gritty and grimy aspects of living in a medieval urban port setting.

Depends on how you want to play it, but Freeport has tended to be portrayed with cinematic systems like D20 or FATE, so I'ld go with LEGEND for emulating this.

Edited by Mankcam, 15 April 2014 - 11:45 AM.


#3 Matt

Matt

    Superworld!

  • Members
  • 113 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 04:21 PM

How much work would it be to take out all the magic/elves/fantasy stuff and use for a pirates game?

#4 filbanto

filbanto

    Beer swilling rat

  • Members
  • 188 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:14 PM

How much work would it be to take out all the magic/elves/fantasy stuff and use for a pirates game?


Not much work to get rid of the fantasy races. My recollection is that they gave suggestions for how to do it in one of the setting books. Nuking the magic would be harder and I guess I'd suggest not bothering. If you're doing a historical pirate setting use Tortuga or Port Royale another similar pirate haunt instead.

I'll also suggest C&W's new Pirates & Dragons game when it comes out. Sounds like a perfect fit for Freeport.

#5 Matt

Matt

    Superworld!

  • Members
  • 113 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 05:51 PM

Not much work to get rid of the fantasy races. My recollection is that they gave suggestions for how to do it in one of the setting books. Nuking the magic would be harder and I guess I'd suggest not bothering. If you're doing a historical pirate setting use Tortuga or Port Royale another similar pirate haunt instead.

I'll also suggest C&W's new Pirates & Dragons game when it comes out. Sounds like a perfect fit for Freeport.


Thanks for the answer. Guess I'll pass on that and whatever Pirates & Dragons is. I don't go for " fantasy" much, but even less in historical settings like the age of sail, the Old West, 3 Musketeers, etc.

#6 filbanto

filbanto

    Beer swilling rat

  • Members
  • 188 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 06:33 PM

Thanks for the answer. Guess I'll pass on that and whatever Pirates & Dragons is. I don't go for " fantasy" much, but even less in historical settings like the age of sail, the Old West, 3 Musketeers, etc.


Threadjack warning... Matt, you might want to take a look at Flashing Blades and picking up The High Seas supplement. This is a great game and is pretty close to BRP: skill based system, fun fencing rules, you use a d20 instead of percentages, but it plays very close to BRP.

#7 Matt

Matt

    Superworld!

  • Members
  • 113 posts

Posted 15 April 2014 - 08:16 PM

Threadjack warning... Matt, you might want to take a look at Flashing Blades and picking up The High Seas supplement. This is a great game and is pretty close to BRP: skill based system, fun fencing rules, you use a d20 instead of percentages, but it plays very close to BRP.



Ha, I have 3 copies. Great game, still available at 1980s prices from the publisher!

#8 Michael Hopcroft

Michael Hopcroft

    Your Tax Dollars at Play

  • Members
  • 184 posts

Posted 16 April 2014 - 01:01 AM

Taking magic out of Freeport would also mean removing the horror elements from the setting. These are important! Freeport is built over the ruins of a serpent-man cult city, and there are still some of them in the sewers -- worshiping the Darkness and plotting their return and the demise of those upstart primates. You might think that between the human crimelords, rapacious "nobles" playing twisted power games (as those with pretense of nobility tend to do in dark fantasy -- George RR Martin has a lot to answer for!), random footpads as likely to be after your life as your purse, constant duels-to-the-death in the streets which everyone would rather wager on than try to stop, and the odd invasion of undead pirates, there are plenty of devils on the surface. So most people don't really want to know about the threat looming under their very feet.

Living in Freeport does have some advantages, of course, especially if you're a buyer (or stealer) and seller of dubious goods. There's a market for everything in Freeport, and an enterprising person who can keep the knives away from his back can make his fortune (and, if he's really lucky, live long enough to enjoy it for a while). The people who think they have power aren't necessarily right about it. The night life is to die for (and, in fact, many do). Freeport is wild, unruly and uncivilized, and for the most part the inhabitants seem to like it that way. Many of the more "law-abiding" nations on the Continent would love to burn the place to the ground, but nobody's done it yet.

Just remember the immortal words of Bob Dylan -- "To live outside the law, you must be honest."

#9 Chaot

Chaot

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 796 posts

Posted 16 April 2014 - 07:25 PM

I think Freeport works much better when you take out the elves and other detritus. What's a snake man worth when your cousin's an orc and the neighbors are whatever other flavor of beastie currently popular. As I recall, it's very easy to just ignore the fact that the NPC is supposed to be a demi-human. It doesn't really impact the setting in a major way.

Magic is probably best to keep at a 'low' level. Restrict the flashy stuff.

The only other beasties I would add other than the snake-men is hints of things in the seas. Maybe Deep One or Gnorri.

One day I will run my much long for Freeport game.
70/420

#10 tzunder

tzunder

    Tavern Guvnor

  • Members
  • 129 posts

Posted 18 April 2014 - 08:24 AM

I don't agree. I originally found the standard races a bit hohum, until we played the game. That's when it becomes fun to have the orcs as the working class and pyrates, the dwarfs as working class to artisans, and the elfs are aristocracy to middle class. Humans intermingle but in fact I'd almost say it'd be fun to lose the humans.

I would also not drop the magic, I'd run it with Magic World, it has the right level of bounce and maybe port in a less nasty version of Sanity if that's yer bag.

It's a fantasy pirate game, so one has to also consider Pirates and Dragons from Cakebread and Walton when it arrives.

#11 Mankcam

Mankcam

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 664 posts

Posted 18 April 2014 - 10:32 AM

And I've had a little squizz at the Pirates & Dragons pdf - not bad, very much in the style of Savage Worlds '50 Fathoms' setting. You could easily run Freeport with it, its almost made for it.

#12 Michael Hopcroft

Michael Hopcroft

    Your Tax Dollars at Play

  • Members
  • 184 posts

Posted 19 April 2014 - 02:35 AM

I believe there actually is a dragon lair in the vicinity of Freeport which most people seem to agree is best left alone. But I'm not really sure.

#13 Michael Hopcroft

Michael Hopcroft

    Your Tax Dollars at Play

  • Members
  • 184 posts

Posted 19 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

I've always wondered what it would be like to be a child growing up in a place like Freeport. Not necessarily the children of the streets forced into crime and worse, but children with parents and siblings trying to grow up in a city like that......

#14 Matt

Matt

    Superworld!

  • Members
  • 113 posts

Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:05 PM

I think Freeport works much better when you take out the elves and other detritus. What's a snake man worth when your cousin's an orc and the neighbors are whatever other flavor of beastie currently popular. As I recall, it's very easy to just ignore the fact that the NPC is supposed to be a demi-human. It doesn't really impact the setting in a major way.

Magic is probably best to keep at a 'low' level. Restrict the flashy stuff.

The only other beasties I would add other than the snake-men is hints of things in the seas. Maybe Deep One or Gnorri.

One day I will run my much long for Freeport game.



I'm with you. If anything, the horror and wonder is enhanced when there aren't elves and hobbits walking around with healing potions and magic fairy dust every where one looks.

Personally I have never understood the need to inject elves and magic into every setting, but I understand I'm at odds with most other RPGers on that. "Weird West" games have never appealed to me; pirate orcs with flying ships even less if possible.

#15 seneschal

seneschal

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,397 posts

Posted 22 April 2014 - 10:43 PM

Fantasy works best when it is built on a skeleton of fact. You have your one weird phenomenon or item or person, then everything else is played straight. It is the unusual intruding into the mundane. If everything is wild and strange, things can be weird but you lose the sense of wonder because it is all too much to take in. The reason Lord of the Rings works is because of the verisimilitude. Legendary events are happening, but the Shire keeps plugging along as it always has.

I never "got" the Shadowrun effect, the need to dump D&D fantasy races into every setting. Because this is basically a post-D&D thing. It is like dumping the entire spice cabinet into the sauce instead of the pinch of oregano it needs.

Alladdin -- Lazy boy off the streets is left for dead by a con man and stumbles upon a genie. Hansel and Gretel -- Kids abandoned to starve in the forest meet a witch. Cinderella -- Abused girl gets a break when her godmother, who has been hanging around all the time, uses magical means to enable her to crash a party. Each of these famous tales involves normal folks going about their often unhappy lives when a single unusual encounter occurs. It wouldn't have worked if they'd each had to tackle the entire monster manual.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users