Mythological Figures: Aladdin (5E)

What a fantastic subject for Mythological Figures! Aladdin is our first entry from the Middle East and an interesting example of what makes a myth just that—for starters, despite being the most popular character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, he’s a late addition to the book by a Frenchman translator (who heard it from a Syrian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar named Youhenna Diab). Incidentally as well despite what we’re all likely to think, the character was originally Chinese. This amalgamation of misconceptions and changes (from storyteller to translator to now) are one of the defining traits of a myth and what makes it a wonderful cultural artifact. Mythology is win.

What a fantastic subject for Mythological Figures! Aladdin is our first entry from the Middle East and an interesting example of what makes a myth just that—for starters, despite being the most popular character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, he’s a late addition to the book by a Frenchman translator (who heard it from a Syrian storyteller from Aleppo, a Maronite scholar named Youhenna Diab). Incidentally as well despite what we’re all likely to think, the character was originally Chinese. This amalgamation of misconceptions and changes (from storyteller to translator to now) are one of the defining traits of a myth and what makes it a wonderful cultural artifact. Mythology is win.

Aladdin banner.jpg


That said you can use the standard Spy NPC in lieu of the class build below for a more authentic version of the original character, upping his Intelligence to a 15.

GMs that are keen to something a little more exciting (and durable) should use the House-of-Maus version of Aladdin below—complete with a feat for the gimmicky and sneaky throwing of things and skill bonuses to support plenty of fun rogue action. Regardless of which version of the character you use, be very wary of giving him a proper magic lamp (ie a ring of wishes) because nothing gets adventurers to instantly lose their valor like the prospect of wishes only one quick thief’s death away.

As ever we’re keen to add onto the list of characters to design for this column so comment with who you want to see!

Design Notes: At the end of the day Aladdin’s a proper thief and that’s the build I went with, although picking out feats was a little bit of a struggle. Eventually I landed on “Fortune” and “Stealther” to represent his narrative power—when using him as an NPC, utilize his high skill bonuses and lucky nature to play politic or bait the party into a chase (or dungeon, or cave hidden beneath the desert sands, or the plans of a corrupt vizier in a nearby city).

Aladdin
Medium humanoid (human), neutral good rogue (thief) 8

Armor Class 14 (padded)
Hit Points 52 (8d8+16)
Speed 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
11 (+0)16 (+3)14 (+2)12 (+1)12 (+1)14 (+2)

Saving Throws Dex +6, Int +5
Skills Acrobatics +9, Athletics +6, Deception +5, Perception +4, Sleight of Hand +9, Stealth +9; thieves’ tools +6
Senses passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Thieves’ Cant
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Cunning Action (1/turn). Aladdin can take a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, Hide, Use Object action, Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, or to use thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock.

Evasion. When Aladdin is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, he instead takes no damage if he succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if he fails.

Feat: Fortune Points (3/long rest). Aladdin can spend 1 fortune point to reroll an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, or to force an attacker to reroll an attack made against him.

Feat: Stealther. Aladdin can attempt to hide even when he is only lightly obscured from a creature he’s trying to hide from. In addition, Aladdin’s position isn’t revealed when he misses with a ranged weapon attack against a creature he’s hidden from, and he does not have disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks in dim light.

Second-Story Work. Climbing does not cost Aladdin extra movement. When he makes a running jump, the distance he covers increases by 3 feet.

Sneak Attack (1/turn). Aladdin deals an extra 14 (4d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of Aladdin that isn’t incapacitated and Aladdin doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

ACTIONS

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or thrown 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) piercing damage.

Stone. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20/40 ft., one target. Hit: 4 bludgeoning damage.

REACTIONS

Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker Aladdin can see hits him with an attack, Aladdin can use his reaction to halve the attack’s damage against him.
 

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

dave2008

Legend
Thank you for another entry! I would be curious to know how you came up with the CR. Cunning action and Evasion have precedents in the DMG guidelines, but I was wondering how you handled sneak attack and uncanny dodge

To be clear, I am just curious on your method as I have found it hard to quantify a CR based on these abilities.
 

Rhineglade

Adventurer
A rub on this lamp will bring riches & fame
This lamp is well guarded by torrents & flame
But one dare secure it, Aladdin's his name
He liveth on the corner of Chow and Main
- Popeye's "Aladdin"

 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
A rub on this lamp will bring riches & fame
This lamp is well guarded by torrents & flame
But one dare secure it, Aladdin's his name
He liveth on the corner of Chow and Main
- Popeye's "Aladdin"

Can't stop hearing that in Robin Williams' voice.

Thank you for another entry! I would be curious to know how you came up with the CR. Cunning action and Evasion have precedents in the DMG guidelines, but I was wondering how you handled sneak attack and uncanny dodge

To be clear, I am just curious on your method as I have found it hard to quantify a CR based on these abilities.

You are most welcome! Some hotly requested characters are on deck! :D

Sneak Attack is pretty straightforward--you should assume the GM is using an NPC/monster correctly and add it to the total damage per round.
Uncanny dodge is a little more abstract. It certainly isn't as useful as common resistances (IE weapons) but it should account for *roughly* CR x 10 hp or so because you can figure at least one attack each round (which might be the opening booming blade smite combo or a fireball spell) is getting nixed down to pennies.
 


Xavian Starsider

First Post
As for being the "most popular" character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, I disagree and put him at third on the list. He is certainly well known to the modern audience but that is largely due to the Disney movie, which is a lot of fun and a great movie, but we all know Disney has a tenuous attachment to source material. He is as mulch a construct of Arabian Nights as Dopey and Sneezy are created by the brothers Grimm, or Sebastian the Crab was penned by Hans Christian Andersen.

I would offer that Sinbad has had a far greater impact than Aladdin has, including the cinematic impact. Aladdin has been in the minds of children for a few decades but Sinbad was delighting them for most of the 20th century.

But if you want to count the awareness of the story that Disney has brought to us as being attributed to 1,001 Arabian Nights, then the most popular character, hands down, is the genie.
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Padded armor?

latest


Is this the male version of the chainmail bikini?

:)

Ya street rat!

As for being the "most popular" character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, I disagree and put him at third on the list. He is certainly well known to the modern audience but that is largely due to the Disney movie, which is a lot of fun and a great movie, but we all know Disney has a tenuous attachment to source material. He is as mulch a construct of Arabian Nights as Dopey and Sneezy are created by the brothers Grimm, or Sebastian the Crab was penned by Hans Christian Andersen.

I would offer that Sinbad has had a far greater impact than Aladdin has, including the cinematic impact. Aladdin has been in the minds of children for a few decades but Sinbad was delighting them for most of the 20th century.

But if you want to count the awareness of the story that Disney has brought to us as being attributed to 1,001 Arabian Nights, then the most popular character, hands down, is the genie.

There is no genie without Aladdin, is there? Also this is a bit of a request thread--a lot of folks wanted Aladdin, so he's up there. Next week's entry is also one of the more requested ones and a great example of a myth but way older and sort of on the other end of the spectrum. That said Sinbad wasn't on the list yet and now he is! :D
 


Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
Thank you for another entry! I would be curious to know how you came up with the CR. Cunning action and Evasion have precedents in the DMG guidelines, but I was wondering how you handled sneak attack and uncanny dodge

To be clear, I am just curious on your method as I have found it hard to quantify a CR based on these abilities.

Usually you can figure a CR from comparison to various NPCs built to approximate a PC listed in the MM and Volo's. I don't have it in front of me but a rough guide is 2*Hit Dice/3, so I think Alladin's CR is probably too low by that logic. Of course, I tend to think that the CR math is wonky but even so, it looks too low. Of course this build is pretty far from optimized for a combat challenge, so... eh. In the right kind of game, this would be a fun PC.
 

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
As for being the "most popular" character from 1,001 Arabian Nights, I disagree and put him at third on the list. <snip>

I would offer that Sinbad has had a far greater impact than Aladdin has, including the cinematic impact. Aladdin has been in the minds of children for a few decades but Sinbad was delighting them for most of the 20th century.

View attachment 97076

You are SO right, my friend! I'm way more popular than some street rat from Bukhara!


But if you want to count the awareness of the story that Disney has brought to us as being attributed to 1,001 Arabian Nights, then the most popular character, hands down, is the genie.

Definitely.
 

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