Green Kobold? Open Design for Freeport

I have a lot of friends in the gaming industry, and two groups of them just teamed up to develop something very cool: Dark Deeds in Freeport. This is a Pathfinder (essentially D&D 3.75) adventure for Green Ronin’s Freeport: The City of Adventure, designed as one of Wolfgang Baur‘s Open Design projects.

I co-wrote the original Freeport hardcover with Chris Pramas way back in 2002. It’s Chris’s brilliant fantasy pirate setting in which he set one of the first-ever adventures for D&D 3.0. It’s a great, fun city that you can plunk down into just about any fantasy RPG, filled with cutthroats, cults, and intrigue.

People sometimes ask me if they should self-publish their RPGs or adventures. I usually tell them they need to do a whole lot of research first so they don’t lose their shirt making the same mistakes we all commit when we start out. A great way to do this is to sign up for one of Wolf’s Open Design projects, which applies the concept of patronage to RPG development. If you pre-pay for the adventure, you get to watch it being written, and the more money you pay, the more influence you have over it.

Wolf and Open Design won the Diana Jones Award in 2008 not only because he’s a great designer who came up with an innovative business model. It’s because, as it says on the DJA site, “each project becomes a master-level class on roleplaying game adventure or supplement design for those privileged to be a part of it.”

If you’re interested in learning more about RPG adventure design and publishing, you can check out any of the Open Design projects. Dark Deeds in Freeport, however, promises to be among the best.

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