Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mini Review - Razor Coast Freebooter's Guide (Swords & Wizardry)

Strangely enough, I picked up the Razor Coast Freebooter's Guide for S&W before I picked up the Razor Coast itself. In a way, it was a no brainer, as the Freebooter's Guide is 10 bucks in PDF and Razor Coast is $40 ($99 for HC plus PDF). Go for the smaller risk and work your way up kind of thing.

After flipping through the virtual pages of the Freebooter's Guide and running my weekly session of Rappan Athuk on Saturday Night, I plopped down my cash for the Razor Coast HC plus PDF. Oh, and 3 beers post game, but I swear I wasn't buzzed ;)

The RC Freebooter's Guide is full of flavor. Enough flavor for me to want to see more. From what I've read so far, I'd love to run a campaign in this setting. Sandboxie with a huge amount of plot elements.

From the back to the front (more or less).

I like the idea of magical tattoos - heck, i could see myself carrying this over to my Crypts & Things / S&W campaign.

The new magic items are flavorful. If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you've probably noticed my occasional focus on unique and new magic items. Again, even if you never run the campaign, there's a nice assortment of magic to borrow for your other campaigns. Same for spells - they have a nice flavor and don't need to be genre specific.

There are new weapons including pistols. I'm not sure if I'd use the enclosed pistol rules or substitute Dak's for the S&W Appreciation Day Blogfest. Still, nice selection of new, nautical flavored weaponry - again, easy to steal for your other campaign if so desired.

Gods. I don't recall seeing gods in other S&W products. It's nice to see how they are handled and written up. I'd allow their clerics to use their favored weapon.

Organizations. Kinda like "friends with benefits". Interesting way to give PCs some in game benefits, I just wish there were a few more organizations to choose from. Again, something easily yoked for a different campaign.

The Port Shaw write up is a nice piece to put in your players hands prior to the campaign kicking off, especially if you are going to have the players create "native" characters. There really aren't any included plot hooks / encounters / adventures suitable for the new character in Razor Coast - it assumes you'll start or arrive at level 3 or so, but I think I can plot a few out over the next month or two (hopefully). If so, I'll put them up here on the blog.
                                                                                              (sample art for +Joe D ;)
Under "Races" we get the usual humans, dwarves, elves and halflings (including sample name
lists for the humans and others) and we also get some new races. Tulita are basically the native humans, who have suffered at the hands of the humans (colonists). Dajobasu are mutant Tulita (with some nice abilities thrown into the mix). Mehehune are similar to halflings with a natural affinity to fire magic. Lastly we get half-orcs, who would fit in well in any S&W campaign. Unlimited advancement in the Thief and Assassin class. Nice!

Did I mention the Gazetteer? No? Necessary reading for both DM and players. Heck, players may find their own plot hooks from what they read, turning this into a true sandbox campaign.

Is there anything missing? Not really, but as the Pathfinder edition apparently has new core classes, it would have been interesting to see how one or two of them transitioned over to the S&W versions. Not a huge loss, but it would have been fun.

Now I need to spend some time delving into the Razor Coast PDF itself...


  1. Apparently the author is not only a gamer, but a PhD and world-class scholar on native Pacific cultures and history! I'd love to hear your impressions as you get deeper into the game, if any of that really shows in the setting material.

  2. Gah! I just spent all my dough on Mother's Day! I love pirates and all things sort of like that. Well, I guess it can wait...

  3. Matt Finch and James Redmon were instrumental in that guide being as good as it is. Both are very, very good gamesmiths.


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