Porto Liure, loosely translated as “Freeport,” is a wild and woolly city-state on the island of Gandesa. Nominally legitimate, and recognized by its more powerful yet fading neighbors on the shorelines of the Mezzovian Main, it’s still a town stuffed to the gills with pirates, criminals, smugglers, cults, spies and worse. It bears a passing familiarity here and there in some respects with Green Ronin’s Freeport setting, but it’s not really the same thing. I just call this Freeport 5-O instead of Porto Liure 5-O because it sounds better. Plus, Porto Liure really is Catalan for Freeport.
Porto Liure is, like Mos Eisley, “a wretched hive of scum and villainy” and is part of a greater Dark•Heritage setting that is meant to play to the current trend in fantasy to turn away from black and white, good and evil, high fantasy and more towards the gritty fantasy that is being made popular by writers like George R. R. Martin, Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Douglas Hulick, and many, many more. Low fantasy, dark fantasy—swashbuckling, non-traditional fantasy merged with horror and noir, that’s what this campaign is about. It’s Glen Cook’s The Black Company and The Godfather meets Sergio Leone and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The system I’m using to run this game is a question that maybe can be resolved together. I have a handful of options that I support as workable, including a couple of d20 variants, and an Old School Hack variant. Although I don’t own a copy Savage Worlds—and therefore don’t really favor it at this point—honestly, it would probably be a great solution too, based on my experiences with it as a player.
Despite the vaguely sword & sorcery setting I do not at all consider this to be a D&D-like game. As the tagline says, the play paradigm is more closely reflected in your classic Call of Cthulhu game. It’s as much a game of investigation and horror as it is of action fantasy.
Once I’m ready to run, I’ll be looking for up to 4 or 5 players maximum.