Brave Desert Sands to Save a Storyteller in the Scheherazade RPG

In The One Thousand and One Nights Scheherazade saved her life by telling the Caliph one thousand and one stories, one night at a time. But in this RPG, after the one thousandth night, Scheherazade falls into an enchanted sleep and won’t wake. Brave the deserts sands to save her in the Scheherazade RPG. Scheherazade is a 168 page PDF of scimitar fights, flying carpets, canny genies and their lamps, and stories of magic and myth. I was a provided a PDF to review.

Scheherazade.png

The first 39 pages are stories that frame Arabian fantasy and set the stage for the RPG. A detailed description of Baghdad and surrounding lands paints a picture of hot desert sands, tall minarets, heroic orphans, and evil viziers. Character creation follows.

Player characters are by default the Chosen Ones of Scheherazade, those people she based the stories on that she told to the Caliph. A PC could be drawn from the examples of prince/princess, ghul hunter, fakir, Samarkand Amazon, and more or the player can devise their own birthright. Marks are assigned to attributes with life (hit points) and energy (magic points) getting bumped up depending on how many marks get spent on each attribute. Magic can be chosen including spells like animate object and snake charm. Each character chooses a powerful unique gift such as having a powerful ally, a magic weapon, or being able to change into an animal once a session. Each PC also receives a Moon Point, which allow for rerolls and changing story elements.

The Storyteller sets a Difficulty Level for actions and PCs roll a pool of d6s based on two Attributes. If the character’s Concept applies an additional dice is rolled. Every 4 or higher is a success. One die is represents Fate and can cause a negative or positive consequence.

Storytellers are given clear guidelines on how to create a campaign and adventures either using waking Scheherazade as a focus or coming up with another campaign focus. Plenty of foes and monsters are provided. Opponents include humans like assassins, bandits, and cannibals while monsters range from genies to manticores to rocs. Treasure is abstracted into marks that can be used to buy better and more specialized gear. Magic items are included as well as rewards for adventuring. Classics include an enchanted scimitar, a flying carpet, and a genie’s lamp.

While all of this sounds like another version of D&D, Scheherazade has unique elements. In between sessions or during a rest, each PC may tell a story fable, a parable, a tale from the hero’s past, a tale of one of his companions, or a tale of how the hero got involved with Scheherazade. The tale does not have to true. PCs telling a story gain a Moon Point or with the Storyteller’s OK insert a story element of his or her own into the ongoing game.

The Unique Gift each character has also gives inventive players plenty of opportunity to flex their creative muscle. While a list of ideas is provided, players are encouraged to work with their Storyteller to craft a truly Unique Gift all their own. The player is rewarded with a specialized rule just for their PC and the Storyteller gains story ideas to leverage as the campaign unfolds.

This RPG is tightly written and focused with an evocative layout and art that fits the theme and concepts perfectly. Player groups may consist of a sage, hakim, fakir, and sailor questing to wake Scheherazade and save the Caliphate of the Eternal Moon. Players will have some storytelling might of their own and the choice to forge their own destinies if they are willing to struggle against fate. If you liked Aladdin the cartoon or dream of genies and flying carpets I recommend giving Scheherazade a try.
 
Charles Dunwoody

Comments

Imaculata

Adventurer
As a side note: I recently acquired a super rare series of illustrated books containing all the tales of 1001 Nights. They are priceless antiques, with gorgeous illustrations, and uncensored. And yes, Allah is mentioned quite often, because it is directly translated from the original. I'm so happy.



I would love to play an RPG in this setting some time.
 
Last edited:

kaltorak1976

Explorer
As a side note: I recently acquired a super rare series of illustrated books containing all the tales of 1001 Nights. They are priceless antiques, with gorgeous illustrations, and uncensored. And yes, Allah is mentioned quite often, because it is directly translated from the original. I'm so happy.



I would love to play an RPG in this setting some time.
Really beautiful!
 

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