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4E Forked Thread: Al-Qadim, Land of Fate 4e

Quickleaf

Legend
Forked from: Converting 4E to Al-Qadim

Dear AL-QADIM fans,

I am proposing a community project to update AL-QADIM to the 4th edition - this would include both rules & story writing & artwork. The end goal is a really beautiful and playtested pdf file which doesn't just replicate what came before, but vibrantly re-imagines the setting. :)

[sblock=Why AL-QADIM 4E?]
AL-QADIM 4E PITCH

With the upcoming release of the new Prince of Persia video game this year, console gamers and RPG fans may be more receptive to a return of AL-QADIM. Since AL-QADIM will be compatible with FORGOTTEN REALMS you can tap that fan base too, and with 4th edition’s reaching out to the MMORPG crowd you’ll be netting those gamers who got into Prince of Persia, as well as getting the support of old-timers who loved AL-QADIM’s immersive world and rich cultural context. 4th edition supports the play envisioned by AL-QADIM, and maintaining the story-rich world is a priority even while improving the setting.

WHY 4E FOR AL-QADIM?

1. Races united by the Enlightened Faith
In 4e all the races mix together in a cosmopolitan atmosphere. While incongruous to many fantasy settings, this fits the racially tolerant society portrayed in AL-QADIM, itself modeled after the racial tolerance of the Islamic caliphate.

2. Morally ambiguous dilemmas with multiple outcomes
4e puts alignment in the backseat and emphasizes a variety of ways to solve a problem, which is very in line with AL-QADIM’s approach in which even the gods cannot be captured with alignment. Combat is an option, but in a world of powerful jinn, clever thinking and suave diplomacy are often more appealing. Conflicting loyalties and interpretations of the Enlightened faith defy “good” and “evil” definitions. It’s not always easy to tell friend from foe, and the holy slayer you fight today could help you tomorrow.

3. Adventure trumps simulation & action centers on heroes
With the de-emphasis of simulation, and the “all adventure, all the time” philosophy of 4th edition, the over-the-top stunts of Aladdin or the Prince of Persia’s evading complex traps become possible in AL-QADIM. The focus on the encounter allows long desert treks to be summed up with a skill challenge or a brief narrative. Also, while most folk are bound by duty and family, heroes are the center of swashbuckling action, with no one to fall back on.

4. Assumptions about “points of light” setting actually fit AL-QADIM
AL-QADIM is an ancient, fantastic, and mysterious world of holy swords once wielded by prophets, legendary caves of the Loregiver, feuding city-states separated by sweeping desert and grim raiders, sandstorm oracles revealing ruined kingdoms, hidden isles, and menacing jinn. Tyrannical caliphs and fanatic assassins join the ranks of shapeshifting rakshasa and deceitful ghuls; often times it’s hard to know just who the monster is. It’s a dangerous empire tenuously held together by faith, with the heroes determining its future.

Keeping AL-QADIM's Flavor

Emphasize the cultural context & traditions
The five virtues, Fate, the Loregiver, the call to prayer, the pilgrimage – these are things that every Enlightened Zakharan shares in common and help simulate the atmosphere of Zakhara.

Everything & everyone has a story
Keep stories as integral to the game, tying different stories into each other, tying rules back to stories and focusing on story first.

Convert kits into builds
Players often praise AL-QADIM's embracing of kits. Each kit (save the kahin) will be converted into a build of a corresponding class. Additionally, several new builds will be provided to enhance the new themes. In making the builds, change any features that unnecessarily burden the setting.

Making AL-QADIM Even Better

Explore more mature themes & play on divisiveness of empire
Several allusions are made to the bloodiness, the divisiveness, the dirty truth behind the golden veneer of Zakhara in the source material, but there was a light-heartedness to much of it. Introduce sectarianism to the Enlightened faith of Zakhara, have competitors to the throne, look at the feuding of the city-states (and they're explicity called that too), etc. I'm not saying make it dark and rated R, but I think some mature themes could really improve the setting.

Tie the races tightly to the setting
Dwarves and elves seem incongruous in Arabian fantasy, and there was never any mythos of where they came from. Each race would have a story tying it to Zakhara and providing plot hooks for the DM.

Create a magic system suited to Arabian adventures
The adventurers in AL-QADIM were bound to the 2nd edition magic system which came with a lot of baggage. With the exceptions-based design of 4th edition there's a great opportunity to give the magic a unique feel with alternate class features and new powers. Miraculous recoveries, peris turning into ringdoves, dashing rogues escaping on flying carpets, summoned djinni hiding in the marketplace, calling down the evil eye – these are the magic of fantasy Arabia.

Assert the mysterious and menacing qualities of the jinn
Jinn certainly were powerful, and while it was advised to keep them rare, there was a certain Disney-fication that occured with them. There were clearly good and bad genies, and they came out of bottles, and many had a playful quality (like Hazim the Fool). While a little bit of this is fine, I'd like to see jinn made more mysterious, more menacing, more like they were perceived in Arabian myth. Most were selfish, and many had sided with Iblis, they had powers of possession, and were unique beings unto themselves who Muhammad even sought to convert.

Crystallize the history
AL-QADIM was vague with a lot of its history, in contrast to Muslim historians who take great pains to reconstruct exact phrases to ensure the train of transmission isn’t tainted. While not everything needs to be set in stone, a better sense of large-scale events would be helpful for DMs.

Introduce unexplored conflicts & areas
What about the First Caliph's companions paralleling the companions of the prophet Muhammad? What about a divisive prince who escaped to found his own sultanate a la Andalus? What other tales have passed around about the Loregiver during her travels? There are so many sources for intriguing history that never got explored. Also, expand the edges of the empire, with Isles of the Utter South, Akota to the west, conquering nomads to the north, and the Jungle of Monsters to the east.

An Era of Fate
As the FORGOTTEN REALMS has gotten a 100 year timeline advance, so with the Land of Fate. The 21st Grand Caliph is an old man, having secured peace throughout his demesnes, despite insidious allegations that he is not truly Khalil al-Assad’s grandson. Now, his three sons are poised to take the throne, each with their own vision for Zakhara; mortal and djinni alike flock to their banners. The eldest son, a paladin blinded by faith, recovers the Lost Scrolls of the Loregiver, sparking a religious controversy with threatens to fracture the faith. The middle son, a cleric blinded by ambition, attempts to reform criminals and other undesirables with questionable techniques, leading to drastic consequences and backlash. The youngest son, a warlord blinded by love and hate, seeks the hand of the princess of Akota even if it takes war to win her as his trophy. Meanwhile, a mysterious contender to the throne has assumed the title “Caliph of the Shadows”, wresting control of the Everlasting holy slayer fellowship to lead surgical strikes against Huzuz’s authority throughout the empire. Never before has Zakhara needed Enlightened men and women to defend the land.

The Great Unbinding
A series of events and critical decisions during the time of Khalil al-Assad led to the breaking of Jafar al-Samal’s seal and the freeing of countless jinn who wrecked havoc dancing with sandstorm and hurricane while their brethren revenged themselves upon sha’ir who bound them (or their living descendants). The dao, freed from bondage to the yikkaria, waged a war which shook the World Pillar Mountains for years, leading to a bitter standoff. A cursed race (tieflings) enslaved to devils in hell attained their freedom as prophesied by the First Caliph, and returned to the Haunted Lands. An elusive race (eladrin), their mystical home become their prison, claimed to be the original inhabitants of the Garden of Paradise and interpret these events as signs – they returned from beyond the veil to seek clues to the Garden’s location. Sha’ir are no longer able to compel jinn to do their bidding, instead relying on contracts with the Djinni Lords to gain power over their subjects. Years later, these events come to be known as the Great Unbinding.

AL-QADIM`s New Look
Intrigue overtones to a divisive world clinging to the changing faith which united it. “Points of darkness” in the human heart give shadowy overtones to even the most pure-hearted heroes. There is a clear struggle between good and evil, even while more complex conflicts rage. Everyone must make a choice. Character art is more menacing, landscapes have tarnished metallic hues, emphasis on shadow and light, smoke, ripples in water, wind-swept silk. Art looks to Arabian Nights illustrators Charles Folkard, Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, Maxfield Parrish, Virginia Sterrett, and Willy Pogany; classic sword & sorcery artists like Ken Kelly; as well as concept art from video games Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia. Clean and crisp parchment textured pages with burning/glowing/smoking arabesque indigo calligraphy along border. I think artist Eva Widermann would be a good choice for interior illustration.
[/sblock]

I want to see a wide community of folks on the net involved, so if you have interest in contributing please post here. When posting, say your name if you want and how you would like to contribute to the project.

Here's the direction I'd like to see the project take.
Projects in red are written, awaiting editing & playtesting.
Projects in blue are the final version.

AL-QADIM 4E Adventurer’s Guide to Zakhara
[sblock=Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara]
Introduction

1.0 THE LAND OF FATE
.1.1 Flowery Opener
.1.2 The Land
.1.3 The People
..1.4.1 Al-Badia
..1.4.2 Al-Hadhar
.1.4 Race in Zakhara
..1.2.1 Dwarf
..1.2.2 Eladrin
..1.2.3 Elf
..1.2.4 Genasi
..1.2.5 Gnome
..1.2.6 Half-Elf
..1.2.7 Halfling
..1.2.8 Human
..1.2.9 Tiefling
..1.2.10 “Monstrous Races”
.1.5 Traditions
..1.5.1 Fate
..1.5.2 The Loregiver
..1.5.3 The Grand Caliph

2.0 REGIONAL BACKGROUNDS
.2.1 Tribes of the High Desert
..2.1.1 House Asad
..2.1.2 House Bakr
..2.1.3 House Dhi’b
..2.1.4 House Dubb
..2.1.5 House Nasr
..2.1.6 House Tayif
..2.1.7 House Thawr
..2.1.8 House Uqab
.2.2 Tribes of the Haunted Lands
..2.2.1 House Hanif
..2.2.2 House Hotek
.2.3 Cities of the Heart
..2.3.1 Halwa
..2.3.2 Hiyal
..2.3.3 Huzuz
..2.3.4 Wasat
.2.4 Cities of the Mamluks
..2.4.1 Liham
..2.4.2 Qudra
..2.4.3 Umara
.2.5 Free Cities of the North
..2.5.1 Hafayah
..2.5.2 Hawa
..2.5.3 Muluk
..2.5.4 Qadib
..2.5.5 Utaqa
.2.6 Cities of the Pearl
..2.6.1 Ajayib
..2.6.2 Gana
..2.6.3 Jumlat
..2.6.4 Sikak
..2.6.5 Tajar
.2.7 Cities of the Pantheon
..2.7.1 Fahhas
..2.7.3 Hilm
..2.7.4 Hudid
..2.7.5 I’tiraf
..2.7.6 Mahabba
..2.7.7 Talab
.2.8 Cities of the Ancients
..2.8.1 Dihliz
..2.8.2 Kadarasto
..2.8.3 Medina al-Afyal
..2.8.4 Rog’osto

3.0 CHARACTER CLASSES
.3.1 Clerics
..3.1.1 Builds
...3.1.1.1 Ethoist
...3.1.1.2 Hakima
...3.1.1.3 Moralist
...3.1.1.4 Mystic
...3.1.1.5 Pragmatist
..3.1.2 Paragon Paths
...3.1.2.1 Disaffected Priest
...3.1.2.2 Heresiarch
...3.1.2.3 Imam
...3.1.2.4 Mujaddid
...3.1.2.5 Wandering Saint
...3.1.2.6 Wisdom-keeper
.3.2 Fighters
..3.2.1 Builds
...3.2.1.1 Askar
...3.2.1.1 Guard
...3.2.1.1 Mamluk
...3.2.1.1 Nadim
...3.2.1.1 Sahib
..3.2.2 Paragon Paths
...3.2.2.1 Fate Blade
...3.2.2.2 Man of Two Masters
...3.2.2.3 Peacemaker
...3.2.2.4 Scimitar Dancer
...3.2.2.5 Slave of the Promise
...3.2.2.6 Tasked Minder
.3.3 Paladins
..3.3.1 Builds
...3.3.1.1 Faris
...3.3.1.2 Ghazi
...3.3.1.3 Reckoner
..3.3.2 Paragon Paths
...3.3.2.1 Breath of the Divine Wind
...3.3.2.2 Denier of Paradise
...3.3.2.3 Insurgent Champion
...3.3.2.4 Lion of Faith
.3.4 Rangers
..3.4.1 Builds
...3.4.1.1 Corsair
...3.4.1.2 Desert Rider
...3.4.1.3 Matrud
..3.4.2 Paragon Paths
...3.4.2.1 Dunestrider Ghost
...3.4.2.2 Legendary Horseman/woman
...3.4.2.3 Envoy of the Corsair Council
...3.4.2.4 Haven Falcon
.3.5 Rogues
..3.5.1 Builds
...3.5.1.1 Barber
...3.5.1.2 Beggar-Thief
...3.5.1.3 Daroga
...3.5.1.4 Holy Slayer
...3.5.1.5 Sa’luk
..3.5.2 Paragon Paths
...3.5.2.1 Budayeen Inquisitive
...3.5.2.2 Da’is
...3.5.2.3 Ear of the Souk
...3.5.2.4 Harem Spy
...3.5.2.5 Repentant Scoundrel
...3.5.2.6 Sultan(a) of Thieves
.3.6 Warlocks
..3.6.1 Builds
...3.6.1.1 Malaka’is
...3.6.1.2 Rawun
...3.6.1.3 Sha’ir
..3.6.2 Paragon Paths
...3.6.2.1 Djinni Courtier
...3.6.2.2 Ineffable Herald
...3.6.2.3 Mystic Chronicler
...3.6.2.4 Oathbinder
.3.7 Warlords
..3.7.1 Builds
...3.7.1.1 Amir
...3.7.1.2 Merchant-Prince/Princess
...3.7.1.3 Sheikh
..3.7.2 Paragon Paths
...3.7.2.1 Emissary of the Enlightened Throne
...3.7.2.2 Esteemed Effendi
...3.7.2.3 Heir Apparent
...3.7.2.4 Unifier of the Tribes
.3.8 Wizards
..3.8.1 Builds
...3.8.1.1 Elemental Mage
...3.8.1.2 Fateweaver
...3.8.1.3 Feisha
...3.8.1.4 Philosopher Mage
...3.8.1.5 Spectre
..3.8.2 Paragon Paths
...3.8.2.1 Cabalist
...3.8.2.2 Eye of the Tempest
...3.8.2.3 Illustrious Sage
...3.8.2.4 Mirage Arcanist
...3.8.2.5 Salt Bearer
...3.8.2.6 Scion of Eternity
.3.9 Universal
..3.9.1 Paragon Paths
...3.9.1.1 Damsel-of-Distress
...3.9.1.2 Dashing Anti-Hero
...3.9.1.3 Munificent and Elusive Ruler
...3.9.1.4 Servant of Fate
..3.9.2 Epic Destinies
...3.9.2.1 Grand Caliph
...3.9.2.2 Grandfather of Assassins
...3.9.2.3 Holy Prophet
...3.9.2.4 Loregiver’s Handmaiden

4.0 FEATS OF ZAKHARA
.4.1 Heroic Feats
.4.2 Paragon Feats
.4.3 Epic Feats

5.0 THE BAZAAR
.5.1 Art of Haggling
.5.2 Equipment
..5.2.1 Common Goods
..5.2.2 Services
..5.2.3 Transport
..5.2.4 Armor
...5.2.4.1 Lamellar
...5.2.4.2 Shield, daraq
..5.2.5 Weapons
...5.2.5.1 Ankus
...5.2.5.2 Cutlass
...5.2.5.3 Great Scimitar
...5.2.5.4 Tiger Claws (bagh nakh)
...5.2.5.5 Tufnek
.5.3 Magic Items
..5.2.1 Armor
..5.2.2 Weapons
..5.2.3 Holy Symbols
..5.2.4 Orbs
..5.2.5 Rods
..5.2.6 Staves
..5.2.7 Wands
..5.2.8 Arm Slot Items
..5.2.9 Feet Slot Items
..5.2.10 Hand Slot Items
..5.2.11 Head Slot Items
..5.2.12 Neck Slot Items
..5.2.13 Rings
..5.2.14 Waist Slot Items
..5.2.15 Wondrous Items
..5.2.16 Potions


6.0 RITUALS

7.0 ADVENTURING IN ZAKHARA
.7.1 Station
.7.1.1 Station
.7.1.2 Use of Station
.7.1.3 Improving Station
.7.1.4 Losing Station
.7.1.5 Concealing Station
.7.2 Oaths
..7.2.1 The Oath of Allegiance
..7.2.2 Breaking the Oath
..7.2.3 Oath Quests
.7.3 Perils of Adventure
..7.3.1 Armor in Fiery Zakhara
..7.3.2 Desert Survival
..7.3.3 The Evil Eye
.7.4 Fate
..7.4.1 Calling Upon Fate
..7.4.2 Fate’s Response

8.0 APPENDIX
.8.1 Names
.8.2 Zakharan Languages
.8.3 Zakharan Calendar
.8.4 Glossary
[/sblock]

AL-QADIM 4E Campaign Guide
[sblock=Campaign Guide]
Introduction

1.0 THE AL-QADIM CAMPAIGN
1.1 The Three Tiers
1.2 Heirs of the Grand Caliph
1.3 Holy War
1.4 Kingdom of Ash
1.5 Scrolls of the Loregiver
1.6 Task of the Pearl
1.7 The Message
1.8 The Insurrection
1.9

2.0 HISTORY OF ZAKHARA

3.0 THE CITY-STATES
3.1 Cities of the Heart
3.1.1 Halwa
3.1.2 Hiyal
3.1.3 Huzuz
3.1.4 Wasat
3.2 Cities of the Mamluks
3.2.1 Liham
3.2.2 Qudra
3.2.3 Umara
3.3 Free Cities of the North
3.3.1 Hafayah
3.3.2 Hawa
3.3.3 Muluk
3.3.4 Qadib
3.3.5 Utaqa
3.4 Cities of the Pearl
3.4.1 Ajayib
3.4.2 Gana
3.4.3 Jumlat
3.4.4 Sikak
3.4.5 Tajar
3.5 Cities of the Pantheon
3.5.1 Fahhas
3.5.2 Hilm
3.5.3 Hudid
3.5.4 I’tiraf
3.5.5 Mahabba
3.5.6 Talab
3.6 Cities of the Ancients
3.6.1 Dihliz
3.6.2 Kadarasto
3.6.3 Medina al-Afyal
3.6.4 Rog’osto

4.0 THE DESERT TRIBES
4.1 Tribes of the High Desert
4.1.1 House Asad
4.1.2 House Bakr
4.1.3 House Dhi’b
4.1.4 House Dubb
4.1.5 House Nasr
4.1.6 House Tayif
4.1.7 House Thawr
4.1.8 House Uqab
4.2 Tribes of the Haunted Lands
4.2.1 House Hanif
4.2.2 House Hotek

5.0 THE ENLIGHTENED FAITH
5.1 Traditions
5.2 Law of the Loregiver
5.3 Paradise & Hell
5.4 The Great Gods
5.5 Sects

6.0 THE CHOICE
6.1 The Choice
6.2 Choices by Build

7.0 POWER GROUPS
7.1 Brotherhood of the True Flame
7.2 Heir #1
7.3 Heir #2
7.4 Heir #3
7.5 Holy Slayer Orders
7.6 Mamluk Societies

8.0 FORTUNES
8.1 Artifacts
8.2 Holy Sites
8.3 Servants
8.4 Steeds

9.0 FATES
9.1 Hazards
9.2 Obstacles
9.3 Traps

10.0 SECRETS IN THE SANDS
10.1 Mega Secrets
10.2 Regional Secrets
10.3 Tribe/City Secrets

11.0 APPENDIX
[/sblock]

AL-QADIM 4E Monster Manual
http://www.enworld.org/forum/4e-fan...thread-al-qadim-monsters-d-d-4th-edition.html

How can I contribute?
[sblock=Here's a list of things the project needs help with..]
* Mega-Plots
* Regional Plots
* Plot/Timeline/Product Continuity Editor
* Character Backgrounds (by city/tribe)
* Builds (replacing kits)
* Paragon Paths
* Epic Destinies
* Feats
* Adventuring in Zakhara/New Rules
* Equipment Conversion
* Monster Conversion (underway by hodag)
* Playtesting
* Original Artwork & Art Orders
* Graphic Design
* Web-hosting[/sblock]
 
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Hodag

First Post
I am definitely in. The Real World (tm) job has been kicking my butt the last two weeks, but I should have a real post up (more critters) this weekend.
Thanks for taking point Aaron.
 


Quickleaf

Legend
I am definitely in. The Real World (tm) job has been kicking my butt the last two weeks, but I should have a real post up (more critters) this weekend.
Thanks for taking point Aaron.
Hey Adam, I feel you - I am in a doctorate program so the time I can devote to the project will fluctuate too. Thanks for your contributions so far! :) Can't wait to see your write-up of the yak-man!
 
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Hodag

First Post
I could almost see the Mamluks as a Paladin like class sworn to an Oath of loyalty, rather then a god.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I could almost see the Mamluks as a Paladin like class sworn to an Oath of loyalty, rather then a god.
Huh, that's an interesting take, though all the radiant effects would seem out of place. It does bring up some questions for me about fighters...

I'm looking for a fifth fighter build, something new but grounded in the myth/history. Right now I'm thinking soldier, but it seems lackluster...

Also, the tempest style 2-weapon fighting preview has made me question the corsair as a ranger, though they do seem more striker-ish to me.
 


Hodag

First Post
Huh, that's an interesting take, though all the radiant effects would seem out of place. It does bring up some questions for me about fighters...
Yeah, for Radient effect substitute another flavor type, such as precision damage or aura of fear causing will based damage
 

Starfox

Adventurer
I used to be deeply into Al-Qadim, and amde a writeup for Eartdawn and then for Feng Shui. You can find that here: Tails of the Arabian Knights

I want to point to take on the philosopher-mage: Hesabin
Hesabi
(I constructed this word myself from a dictionary). The historical model are the Arabic scholars who were open to and translated foreign ideas - and through who's translations the works of Plato and Aristotle were brought to us. Word-magicians as opposed to the more animistic sorcerers and sha-ir.

I am pretty busy now and will have a hard time participating; I just wanted to point at the resources above. A lot of work went into those, even if it was some time ago.

I was also involved with a project to convert AQ spells to 3.5, but I guess that's mostly wasted effort now.

Finally, a word on the Twilight Whisperer; I think that when PH2 comes out, it will become apparent that this is not a wizard concept at all, but something for the Shadow origin.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
I used to be deeply into Al-Qadim, and amde a writeup for Eartdawn and then for Feng Shui. You can find that here: Tails of the Arabian Knights
Wow! Great resource, thanks Starfox! The hesabin has several powers that would make a good fit for the pious mage concept.

I was also involved with a project to convert AQ spells to 3.5, but I guess that's mostly wasted effort now.
Well, I'd love to see what the project came up with. To make an elemental mage work for 30 levels, those AQ spells are going to make the difference, especially sand & sea mages who get no love in the PHB.

Finally, a word on the Twilight Whisperer; I think that when PH2 comes out, it will become apparent that this is not a wizard concept at all, but something for the Shadow origin.
You're right, I've since changed the concept to a mirage specialist, a wizard who distorts the terrain around them to their benefit.
 



I almost think that Merchant-Rogue and Barber should be Warlord builds and the Rawun should be a Warlock.

Barbers get healing powers just as Warlord's do, and they take the Warlord to an interesting place by making the class a leader in terms of support rather than opportunity. The Barber gives other characters additional attacks by being the ultimate side-kick or batman.

Merchant-Rogues should be Warlords because they are dashing, swashbuckling, and intelligent figures of authority. They always had more in common with conquistadors than burglars. It's just that nothin like the Warlord existed before so they got put into Rogue along with all the other intelligent skill based types.

Rawun should be Warlocks because of the evil eye thing. They already had a curse mechanic, and the Warlock class lets you capture the otherworldly rogue quality that Rawun's should have without burdening the class with healing or command qualities.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Barbers get healing powers just as Warlord's do, and they take the Warlord to an interesting place by making the class a leader in terms of support rather than opportunity. The Barber gives other characters additional attacks by being the ultimate side-kick or batman.
Barbers were intended to be information brokers, and they had a special ability to identify magic objects. They're cunning street showmen with with a glib wit and quick tongue.
However, they also love to give advice and are skilled healers in both traditional medicine and folk remedies. I could imagine a barber "talking a patient" back to health.
In my mind Rogue with Healing skill & multi-class Warlord feat would be the best fit, what do you think?

Merchant-Rogues should be Warlords because they are dashing, swashbuckling, and intelligent figures of authority. They always had more in common with conquistadors than burglars. It's just that nothin like the Warlord existed before so they got put into Rogue along with all the other intelligent skill based types.
Huh, that never cross my mind. More "morally ambiguous merchant prince" than "roguish entrepreneur one step ahead of debt". I like it! But it does change the flavor of the concept a bit. Any other ideas about how to implement merchant-prince as a warlord?

Rawun should be Warlocks because of the evil eye thing. They already had a curse mechanic, and the Warlock class lets you capture the otherworldly rogue quality that Rawun's should have without burdening the class with healing or command qualities.
Definitely a possibility, but what would their pact be? Ancestors? Tribe? Fate?

I'm not convinced about Rawun being a striker, however. I like a Warlord Rawun as sort of a witness to the raids, struggles, and battles of a tribe - paragon paths could be Chronicleer or Unifier of the Tribes - he would be actively making history with a sword in hand as well as recording events for future generations. I think it needs to be a leader, though I find the warlock concept enticing.
 
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Philosopher

First Post
Hi Quickleaf,

I had contacted you after you posted about this on the AQ mailing list. I've been thinking about some issues, and here are my thoughts.

Armor - One simple way of handling the fact that heavy armor is not feasible in the desert heat is to simply remove all heavy armor proficiencies. Mechanically, this would mean that anyone wearing heavy armor would suffer from non-proficiency penalties - thematically, this can be explained as being due to the discomfort of wearing it rather than lack of training. This may not be completely satisfactory, but it's a starting point worth considering.

Classes - I don't think we should actually convert all of the kits from 2e. Certain kits, such as the merchant-rogue, the beggar, and the barber are simply better suited to NPCs rather than PCs. Why would anyone pursuing one of those professions know anything about how to fight? And let's face it, the classes of 4e are all assumed to be competent on the battlefield.

Regarding the rawun, I'd lean more towards thinking of them as warlords (as you do) rather than warlocks. I think the warlord can easily be given an alternate class feature that involves an evil eye, such as granting allies bonuses on their attacks against a specified foe (rather than just getting that bonus himself).

Evil Eye - Speaking of the evil eye, this could have many different manifestations. The rawun I just described above would have a leader-flavored evil eye. Any warlocks would have a striker-flavored evil eye (e.g., allowing extra damage). There should also be a (1st level?) ritual with its own effects. And, while we're at it, perhaps a feat that helps ward the evil eye?

These are just some thoughts. I'd like to work some of these out, but before I do so, I thought I'd get some feedback and see what people think about these ideas.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Hi Quickleaf,
Hi Philosopher, and welcome to the ENWorld boards!

Armor - That's simple and it works. I was thinking Endurance checks with escalating penalties (perhaps a fatigue track like how diseases/poisons work in 4e), but that might be too complicated.

Classes - Well, Dr. Strangemonkey convinced me that merchant rogues should be reinterpreted as "merchant prince" (warlord), a more conquistador like figure. IMO, the sa'luk covers the "enterprising conman one step ahead of debtors" concept which seemed to be what the merchant-rogue was.

As for the beggar-thief and barber being battlefield-effective, it's about as plausible as a cleric or a mystic being a combatant. However, those are strong archetypes and ones which old AQ players recognize. I think compromise can be made here for the sake of playability.
Also, a little tweaking of the kits can go a long way. For example, what if the barber becomes a smuggler/spy type with a vengeful streak? I'm thinking take the basic Arabian archetyp, fuse it with a Casa Blanca type informattion broker, and add a touch of Sweeny Todd: Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Heck, we could even rename it to Barber-Spy. Sure there are your everyday barbers, but the heroic barber is different; he's the one who interrogates the captive wicked vizier with a razor to his neck, who waits at the home of a client who cheated him to take his bloody revenge, who smuggles the PCs into the harem rolled in carpets.

I'm really torn about which direction to go with the rawun, because both involve tweaking the original concept in equally evocative ways:
1. Warlock Rawun - mysterious tribal lorekeeper who knows the tribe's secrets and communes with the collective ancestral memory
2. Warlord Rawun - chronicler of tribal heroism, making history with a sword in hand and inspiring allies to have courage with their tales

Evil Eye - I've written a level 1 ritual "Avert Evil Eye". Inflicting the evil eye can be left to warlock's curses and other powers. I like your idea of different flavors of evil eye, I think we should run with it.

P.S. There's a discussion over here: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1084853 about fitting 4e AL-QADIM into the Forgotten Realms new timeline. Personally I like AL-QADIM more contained, but there are some interesting ideas over there.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
Character Class Builds

Here's a master list of the class builds I'm considering. New concepts are in bold. Feel free to criticize, reorganize, delete, and create. This list is just a springboard to work from.

CLERICS
Pragmatist: Traveling and contemporary priests of the common people
Ethoist: Dutiful officiates of the faith tending everyday prayer services
Moralist: Righteous and puritanical zealots militant in their faith
Hakima: Wise women whose clear vision pierces the veils of deception
Mystic: Reclusive prophets devoted to revealing a new spiritual truth

FIGHTERS
Askar: Raucous citizen-soldiers fiercely loyal to city and clan
Guard: Stoic defenders of caravan, harem, mosque, and palace
Mamluk: Slaves raised as elite soldiers and cavalry of utter loyalty
Mercenary: Callous sell-swords feared in wartime and reviled during peace
Traitor: Branded and jaded soldiers on the run from tyranny

PALADINS
Faris: Righteous exemplars protecting the people against injustice
Ghazi: Divinely-gifted raiders striking at enemies of the faith
Reckoner: Grim scarred devil hunters who do not fear the hellfire

RANGERS
Corsair: Unscrupulous privateers in love with the freedom of the seas
Desert Rider: Daring horsemen and women both raiding and protecting desert travelers
Matrud: Bitter and calculating exiles hardened to a lonely life

ROGUES
Barber: Quick-witted and menacing apothecary, smuggler, and spy
Beggar-Thief: Charming and nimble pickpockets spiteful of upper class
Daroga: Astute police detectives willing to overlook and bend the law
Holy Slayer: Undercover zealots using terror tactics to kill their targets
Sa'luk: Adventurous conmen one step ahead of debt and death

WARLOCKS
Malaka'is: Haunted souls pacted to mysterious and menacing angelic beings
Rawun: Glib tribal lorekeepers pacted to the spirit of history itself
Sha'ir: Impetuous summoners pacted to the auspicious Djinni Lords

WARLORDS
Amir: Shrewd noble lords ever defending and conquering fortresses
Merchant-Prince: Enterprising conquistadors seeking new trade routes and frontiers
Sheikh: Proud and uncompromising chiefs of the desert tribes

WIZARDS
Elemental Mage: Righteous and secretive wizards pursuing an elemental ideal
Fateweaver: Manipulators of the web of fate with a glimpse of eternity
Feisha: Tribal witches combating monstrosities with arcane force and wards
Philosopher Mage: Pious astrologers and alchemists straying close to heresy
Spectre: Outlaw illusionists and enchanters with one foot in another world
 
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Quickleaf

Legend
The look of AQ4E

Here's an enticing graphic preview of what an AL-QADIM kit converted to a build might look like. The filler artwork is shamelessly borrowed from the Ubisoft videogame Assassin's Creed. Ideally I'd like to include some burning/glowing/smoking indigo calligraphy in the borders, maybe around the page number, but I'm not that good at photoshop yet.

Enjoy!
 

Attachments


Barbers were intended to be information brokers, and they had a special ability to identify magic objects. They're cunning street showmen with with a glib wit and quick tongue.
However, they also love to give advice and are skilled healers in both traditional medicine and folk remedies. I could imagine a barber "talking a patient" back to health.
In my mind Rogue with Healing skill & multi-class Warlord feat would be the best fit, what do you think?
Well, you could use role as a heurestic, that is - Is a Barber a Striker or a Leader?

Now you could certainly do a striker who heals in the same sense that a Paladin is a defender who heals. Or you could do a Leader who strikes. I don't think a strict mechanical distinction really works out.

But when I think Barber I think of the guy from the Sinbad movies who gives wicked advice alongside a shave, or I think of the Batmen and personal servants from more contemporary Arabian pulp.

There are striker elements there, but the basic schtick of information gathering and advice giving seems more Leader than striker. On a basic level they just seem to be the guy behind their allies, not the guy behind the lines.


Huh, that never cross my mind. More "morally ambiguous merchant prince" than "roguish entrepreneur one step ahead of debt". I like it! But it does change the flavor of the concept a bit. Any other ideas about how to implement merchant-prince as a warlord?
Ooo, "morally ambiguous merchant prince" I like that!

Let's see. For that description I would certainly go with intelligence as the build ability. After that I'd have to think about it. Probably emphasize powers with the "one step ahead of ya" feel.

Or, if you really want to hit up the ambiguity, "never go in with a Asokani when death is on the line."

Definitely a possibility, but what would their pact be? Ancestors? Tribe? Fate?
I was thinking Fate, but ancestors or lore would be a pretty interesting twist. Then you could have 'good' Rawuns who's ancestors had embraced the teachings of the Loregiver and 'wicked' Rawuns who represented the last of the old ancestor cults even as they wandered the land singing songs of righteousness.

I'm not convinced about Rawun being a striker, however. I like a Warlord Rawun as sort of a witness to the raids, struggles, and battles of a tribe - paragon paths could be Chronicleer or Unifier of the Tribes - he would be actively making history with a sword in hand as well as recording events for future generations. I think it needs to be a leader, though I find the warlock concept enticing.
I always had the impression of Rawuns as more being more bootless romantics with weird powers in addition to being (dis)respected artists, but I may need to reread.

I think either build would work well with those Paragon paths, as the bootless romantic becomes more stable and connected as she gains greater prestige. Might change the latter path to Heart of the Tribes.
 

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