Freeport Campaign Concept: Swashbuckling adventures in a fantasy equivalent of the Age of Discovery System: Honor & Intriguep. Adventures: A mixture of city-based (social, investigation, some combat) and sea-based stories (exploration, pirates, etc). Perhaps a little dungeoneering. While I do have some specific stories in mind, the direction of the campaign will be decided by the type of characters you build and what you choose to do – whether you’re privateers, captain & crew of a ship, “traditional” adventurers seeking wealth & glory, a mercenary band, a thieves ring , a group of explorers, people seeking vengeance, barbarian clan brothers, a performance troupe, a (noble) family, etc. You may very well come from diverse backgrounds and then decide what the group becomes once we’re playing. p. Characters: Most fantasy tropes are available but think 15-16th century rather than medieval. Humans are the dominate race but elves, dwarves, halfings, gnomes, orcs, etc. are present as well. Characters may come from any background (see setting info below for nationalities). We will create characters together as a group but you can begin thinking about concepts that interest you. The only real stricture is that the game will start with everyone boarding a ship to the island city-state of Freeport, so characters should have some reason that they are leaving the Old World to start a new life (seeking adventure, fleeing the past, etc.). p.
Some standard archetypes are rarer but still possible (heavily armored knights = Templars or the equivalent, barbarians warriors = Norseman, Cossacks, etc.). But new ones are available due to the higher level of technology (muskets, cannons, etc.).
Magic: Magic exists but is somewhat rarer, more mysterious, less trusted, and lower-powered than in a traditional fantasy setting (i.e. D&D). Potions, charms, and talismans are relatively common, but truly enchanted items are harder to find.
The Hermetic Arts are practiced by Astrologers and Magicians – Magicians works with Talismans, Astrology, and Numerology while Astrologers are primarily experts with Astrology. Both are reputable if strange occupations – the head of the Magician’s Guild is one of the Captain’s Council (the ruling body in Seaport).
Alchemists and Apothecaries are even more accepted, producing ‘magic’ potions, salves, gasses, liquids and powders, as well as stronger & lighter metals (Alchemists specialize in chemicals and metallurgy; Apothecaries focus on herbs & plants).
Priests may call upon the power of their god(s) to channel magic in limited ways.
Sorcerers are the closest to traditional fantasy mages. They study dark and mysterious lore, risking their health and sanity to call on otherworldly powers. They are feared and mistrusted, even by those who find it necessary to use their services.
Setting: The world map is roughly similar to our own with the addition of large chain of islands in the mid-Atlantic, spreading from the equivalent of the Canary Islands past the Azores. These Isles of Valossa are the remains of a small continent that was destroyed long ago in some great cataclysm. On the eastern side of the chain are a set of rocky shoals called The Serpent’s Teeth, the largest of which is named A’Val. And on its southern tip sprawls the city of Freeport.
Freeport started as a pirate haven a few hundred years ago but over the years has become more “legitimate”, recognized as an independent city-state by the nations of the Old World. It is a major center of shipping, trade, and business. In some circles it has become synonymous with ruthless mercantilism. There is still a strong, vibrant criminal underside to Freeport however.
Freeport is the major city in the Isles, but there are other scattered settlements – from small outposts & plantations to the city of Libertyvillle, a smaller “competitor” to Freeport. Many of the Isles are unmapped & unexplored, full of strange creatures, mysterious ruins, and rumored treasure. Old sea dogs say that some of islands even move about about, changing location according to the season or the stars.
The Old World is the equivalent to Europe. It is dominated by the Empire, germanic in language and outlook (think of it as a kind of cross between the Holy Roman Empire and Germany). The Empire borders on the west with Bretonnia (a kind of corrupt pre-revolutionary France or Arthurian Camelot, depending on who you ask), and on the east with Kislev (a little like Poland with elements of Eastern Europe) Kislev is cold and its people still look to their old gods. Estalia (Iberia) and the fractured city-states of Tilea (Italy) lie to the south. Bordering Tilea lies the Border Princes, a lawless area a little like the Balkans and also analagous to elements of Eastern Europe. The whole area has multitudinous mountain ranges that go a long way to creating the natural borders of the major states of the Old World.
To the north lies ancient Albion, a mystic place of ancient lore, stone circles and old magic. Far north of the Old World, perilously close to the northern wastes, is the viking-like culture of Norsca (Scandinavia), while beyond Kislev are the distant Mountains of Mourn and the nomadic people of the Northern Steppes. South below the Old World you cross through the Badlands, a harsh rocky area populated by Orcs and Goblins and in a perpetual border conflict with the Border Princes. Further south are the deserts of Araby and the cursed lands where the dead are said to walk. Beyond that lie the rich tropical jungles of the Southlands, reaching all the way down to touch the southern wastes at the pole.
East of the Old World, across the Worlds Edge Mountains (home of some of the last vestiges of the once great Dwarven empire), are the dangerous and inhospitable Darklands, home to all kind of ill-omened creatures. Beyond the Darklands are find Ind (India) and the oriental states of Nippon and Cathay.
The New World was named by humans from the Old World as it was newly discovered by them (the discovery was actually made by the Estalian explorer Marco Columbo. The New World is the great continental landmass to the west of the Great Ocean, while its own western coast is bound by the Far Sea. The northern continent is Naggaroth, named by the Elves. It was their original home but they mostly fled long ago to avoid the might of the Valossan Empire. Those left behind are known as Dark Elves, and they share this largely unexplored land with some human tribesman, orcs, and goblins.
Lustria to the south is roughly in the same position and shape as South America on Earth, and is mostly covered in steaming, dark, hostile jungles, with a small area of plains and mesas in the south. It is inhabited by lizardmen, degenerate descendents of the ancient Valossans. Legends & rumors tell that the Amazons – a matriarchal civilization of warriors – live somewhere in the jungle as well.
Nations of the Old World have established a handful of small settlements spread throughout the New World, mostly to retrieve silver and gold from these mineral-rich lands. Others, however, are there to explore, searching for valuable relics from the lost Valossan civilization.