Death in Freeport

By on 23 February 2008

This is the first part of a trilogy of rising level adventures for 3rd edition (and later revised to 3.5 edition) DND. Written a published by Green Ronin Games, this is some clever adventuring.

Firstly I would like to state that the feel of the game is very reminiscent of the Warhammer Fantasy Role-Playing campaign, the Enemy Within. It is a detective story with the heroes revealling more and more of the thick plot and slowly delving into the dark history of the aforementioned Freeport city.

But lets start at the beginning. The opening module is designed for player levels 1-3, which is great, but having read and run the module I doubt whether many 1st level characters will rise to a high enough level to take on the 2nd module without having risen a few levels inbetween. Freeport is a city on a group of three islands affectionately known as the Serpents Teeth. Now this isn’t a throwaway name, but instead is very relevant to the story. Freeport the city has been designed so it can fit into any existing campaign, or world, but ideally would suit a pirate, naval or ocean campaign, because while there are strong pirate elements, most of the adventure (in fact all of it) takes places on dry land.

The module is well laid out, with important sidebars and history to help the GM run the game. There are handouts which are vital to the game as well, and I had the players often refer to it whilst running the game. The sidebars are important because it helps the GM understand where the story is going.

The book is self contained and can be ended without any direct follow on to the 2nd and 3rd parts.

There is a set path to travel until you get into the story properly, but after that point, the book tries its best to help you cover every eventuality, but sadly failed with my group as they wandered off and got involved with parts of the story that simply weren’t covered. I also didn’t like that there were 2 or 3 instances (enough to annoy me) where a leap of faith by the players was required to work either a problem out, or in following a lead to the next story hard point. Being an experienced GM I handled these without any problem, creating my own prompts to get the players moving in the right direction.

If you are looking for a generic fantasy adventure that has a lot of meat, after the trilogy of adventures, there is the City of Freeport book, as well as 2 sequels to the trilogy as well as more planned, then I see no reason not to recommend this module, more so if you like your adventures to be dark and in the same vein as Enemy Within, with lots of investigation and uncovering of dark schemes that shake right to the core. But this book does not come recommended to a novice or beginner GM simply because I found there was too much ad libbing required.

7/10

The book is available either in the shops as a standalone or as a PDF (make sure you get the revised version which adds more material and fixes a few typos) or alternatively in the Freeport trilogy compilation.

Reviewed by Lawbag

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