I am DM in our Reavers on the Seas of Fate campaign. I’m running it basically like a Adventure Path for Pathfinder, set in Golarion, but am not using an established Paizo AP – instead constructing a campaign by mashing up their Second Darkness AP, Green Ronin’s Freeport Trilogy, Sinister Adventures’ Razor Coast (if it ever comes out), and other stuff into one piratey game of goodness!
Pirate campaigns are great fun. I ran the Freeport Trilogy back when it first came out when D&D 3e launched, and it started a gaming group that’s still meeting (without me, as I moved from Memphis to Austin) to this day!
I’m having fun with this one. I’m doing slow advancement; later D&D editions pretty much fall apart at the higher levels and a lot of the fun is when you’re still low. So despite playing for 9 months (long sessions every other Sunday), the PCs have just crested 4th level.
So far I’ve used:
- Maiden Voyage (Atlas Games)
- Tale of the Sea Bear (Sinister Adventures)
- Second Darkness: Shadow In The Sky (Paizo Publishing)
- Three Days to Kill (Atlas Games)
- Death in Freeport (Green Ronin)
- Mansion of Shadows (Green Ronin)
- Terror in Freeport (Green Ronin)
- And smaller bits thrown in from various other supplements, and of course stuff of my own devising.
Coming up soon are likely:
- Beyond the Towers (Green Ronin)
- Madness in Freeport (Green Ronin)
- Second Darkness: Children of the Void (Paizo Publishing)
- Razor Coast (Sinister Adventures)
- From Shore to Sea (Paizo/Open Design)
After that, who knows… I have my eyes on other Paizo modules and maybe some other Green Ronin Freeport ones as well. I like using the stats and environments from published stuff to save time, while working up my own plots and personalities to use them. And I am freely mixing 3e, 3.5e, and Pathfinder adventures together without doing any meaningful conversion – you just use higher EL stuff from the earlier editions – 3.0e EL +2 and 3.5e EL +1 does it. Plus I carefully craft the major NPCs, which is a lot easier now that I have Hero Labs.
Our fledgling pirate characters are all kinds of fun. Sindawe, the Mwangi monk, is the clear party leader and is notable for snapping women’s necks. Tommy Blacktoes, the halfling rogue, is dating the tiefling whore Lavender Lil and is known for his heavy hand with torture. Wogan, the chaste cleric of Gozreh, loves shooting off his guns like Yosemite Sam. Serpent, the Ulfen druid with a huge pet snake, is semi-daring Samaritha Beldusk the cyperhmage, at least as much as his psychopathic demeanor allows. Ox, the ex-slave from Rahadoum, ran off at Selene’s behest to join the Andoren Grey Corsairs and is no longer with the party, though may show back up at any time.
And pirate (and other criminal organization) campaigns are easy. It allows for group cohesion. It allows players to feel like it’s OK to self-start and come up with schemes of their own. And it’s easy to slot in other adventures because the characters are actively traveling and showing up all kinds of exotic places.
We had a rocky part earlier on, but currently everyone says they’re having fun and are happy for the campaign to forge forward into the future. Arrrrr, mateys!