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Campaign Guide: Zakhara - Adventures in the Land of Fate (Al-Qadim and Forgotten Realms Sourcebook)Click to magnify
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Campaign Guide: Zakhara - Adventures in the Land of Fate (Al-Qadim and Forgotten Realms Sourcebook)

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Hold On To Your Magic Carpet!

"Don't miss the Campaign Guide to Zakhara! Bringing the setting to 5e and cleaning up many of the cultural issues!"

- Ahmed Aljabry, 20Arabia

"ADVENTURES IN THE LAND OF FATE DOES AL-QADIM 5E RIGHT . . . This book makes me want to jump in the Al-Qadim 5e pool feet first. [It] is in every way a rival for any official WotC D&D Fifth Edition content out there. GtG Rating: 5 out of 5"  

BJ Keaton, Geek to Geek media 


This book is your ticket to the wondrous land of Zakhara—a land of devious viziers, clever sha’irs, mischievous genies, and enough adventure to entertain you for 1,001 years or more! Separated from the rest of the Forgotten Realms by jagged cliffs and treacherous seas, Zakhara has a culture all its own—a culture inspired in equal parts by The Arabian Nights and Hollywood glamor. Whether you are a longtime fan with tons of old books and sourceboxes, a new traveler interested in the southern lands, or anywhere in between, Adventures in the Land of Fate has you covered.

Within this volume you will find:

  • An overview of the lands, cities, and people!
  • New character classes and kits!
  • Zakharan weapons and equipment!
  • Power groups vying for control of the land
  • New monsters and NPCs for your game!
  • An introductory adventure to get you started!

So what are you waiting for? Grab your scimitar, buckle your lamellar, tuck in your jambiya, and prepare for adventure. And remember—we have no Fate but the Fate which we are given!

Note: if you would like to purchase just the Monster section from the book, it is available here: Monsters of Zakhara

If you would like to purchase the introductory adventure "The Rat Catchers" by itself, it is available here: The Rat Catchers 



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Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4

Greeting

Winged Cats

Glossary

Power Groups

Huzuz Writeup

Huzuz Locations Map

Equipment

Cities of the Heart

Encounter Tables

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (15)
Customer avatar
Home S August 07, 2022 4:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
Great book, BUT, this is the only PDF I've ever obtained that couldn't be searched. Not sure if this is a problem on my end or if there's some kind of security setting...? Makes it much harder to use I'm afraid. :(
Customer avatar
Rick J October 04, 2021 10:55 am UTC
I've been playing in the Al-Qadim setting for some time now, using the old 2E book as a guideline and moulding it to my own designs.
Could anyone give examples of things that got removed from the setting for being deemed "too sensitive?"
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Customer avatar
Damian F October 25, 2021 4:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Slavery is the more obvious go-to example, with market cities in 2E noted for having it as one of their major (or even main) product, while this book's version opts not to mention it.
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Customer avatar
Robert R December 06, 2021 2:56 am UTC
If they remove certain material because it’s inappropriate for certain age groups that would make some sense. However you can just put a warning on a book. That would probably increase sales! But to remove “slavery” because of REAL WORLD comparisons is downright terrifying. Remember this is FICTION. Fiction is meant to be boundless, infinite, creatively free no matter what the topic or slant! Politically correct fiction is the end of freedom of speech. Over the top? Some of you may think so. I pray this is not the future.
Customer avatar
Damian F August 24, 2021 8:16 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I must admit, this book had a lot of work into it. But I feel your attempts to "sanitise" the setting made it feel a lot more bland. Downplaying the "controversial" elements strips the world of a lot, in the opinion of myself and my players.

But credit where it's due, it gives a good simple 5e layout for some mechanics, Kits are great, and it does encourage reading the original material - which I have done, and don't regret. Seriously, the old 2E AL-Qadim book is insanely detailed and treating that as a companion to this book improves the overall experience IMO.
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X August 27, 2021 12:48 am UTC
CREATOR
Thank you for your thoughts, Damian!

We went back and forth for some time on what to include and what not to, and I cannot overstate the help Ahmed Aljabry, among others, provided in guiding our hand here.

Portions of the 2nd Edition material, while evocative, didn't age particularly well. Our goal with the Campaign Guide was to provide a framework for Zakharan adventures that would provide new players with enough material to get going but not disrupt or contradict the campaigns of those who have been playing for years (or even decades). Anyone who feels that the setting is compromised by downplaying the sexist and dehumanizing aspects of the source material is welcome to retain those aspects in their own campaign, but we saw no reason to endorse them in our work.
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Customer avatar
Damian F August 27, 2021 9:31 am UTC
PURCHASER
You say they didn't age well, but having read them fully I entirely disagree with that assessment. There wasn't anything "sexist" or "dehumanising" in it, unless you think that establishing a culture with gender roles that's also open to breaking them is "sexist" in which case god help you, you'll never be satisfied unless everything is just a boring, sanitised world that is incredibly bland and boring that you have no business playing. The best argument I could possibly imagine you bringing up would be the love potion item. And even then, that is a standard fantasy trope where it is only modern interpretations that choose to make it an "icky" thing. The 2E material mentions slavery, but slavery didn't magically become "worse" in the last 30 years.

Frankly, your response just highlights the same thing we see all the time in Lovecraft-inspired works: "We hate this thing and what people like about it, but we're going to try and make money off of...See more
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Customer avatar
Samer M October 18, 2021 6:07 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Might want to take several seats and breathe cause going off on some random XXX XXX can't be good for the blood pressure.
Customer avatar
BJ K May 20, 2021 10:08 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I couldn't post in the Reviews tab for because reasons, so I wanted to make sure I put this here for people to read, even if it won't pop the star-rating up. Disclaimer: I got a review copy of Zakhara, but it hasn't influenced my review at all.
--

One of the worst things about coming to tabletop gaming and Dungeons & Dragons when I did (when D&D Third Edition was new) is that I missed out on a lot of the now-classic settings that older editions had. Settings like Spelljammer, Dragonlance, and Planescape have been left behind to make room for expanded Forgotten Realms lore and newer worlds like Eberron.

One of these left-behind worlds from AD&D days is Al-Qadim, a desert-themed setting full of genies, flying carpets, and seas of sand as far as the eye can see. The Zakhara Campaign Setting, though, revivifies it and updates the Land of Fate with new art, new mechanics, new player options, lore, monsters, npcs, and so freaking much more. This is Al-Quadim 5e. And it is...See more
Customer avatar
Kelly R May 01, 2021 4:40 am UTC
PURCHASER
So, I just wanted to check on this....page 71-72 present the Holy Slayer Fellowships lists. Table on 71 includes both The Storm Which Destroys and The Wind of Fate, but neither have a description on p. 72. Descriptions (in theory) should fall between The Soft Whisper and Wrath of the Old.

Since I don't really know the original, I wasn't sure if that was an error, if you consciously decided to leave it out, or if that information was never published in earlier additions.

Thanks!.

Also--LOVE this!
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X May 01, 2021 11:06 am UTC
CREATOR
You're not wrong; somehow, we overlooked those two groups.

As we speak, Ahmed Aljabry has written a piece on the Storm Which Destroys and we have another covering the Wind of Fate, both of which will be out soon and both of which will be available free.

And thank you!
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Customer avatar
Kelly R May 01, 2021 7:29 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Sure thing! It was a good read. Although my current campaign isn't in Zakhara (or Toril, tbh), I'm actually going to use one of the Fellowships as an adventure seed to pull them south. (If they XXX, that is).
Customer avatar
Attila E April 29, 2021 11:02 am UTC
Hey, this book and setting is really interesting. May I ask, do you ever plan to make it into a module for Fantasy Grounds Unity?
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 30, 2021 3:22 pm UTC
CREATOR
We have a Fantasy Grounds conversion underway as we speak! We don't have an ETA yet on when it will be available, but it is coming.
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Customer avatar
Attila E April 30, 2021 6:52 pm UTC
WOW! Thanks, I can't wait!
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Customer avatar
Kelly R May 01, 2021 4:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
YAAASSSS!
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Customer avatar
Grim Press ` June 14, 2021 5:05 pm UTC
Hi Attila,

This massive sourcebook is now available for Fantasy Grounds! Thanks for your interest :)

https://www.dmsguild.com/product/360916/Campaign-Guide-Zakhara--Adventures-in-the-Land-of-Fate-AlQadim-and-Forgotten-Realms-Sourcebook-for-Fantasy-Grounds?affiliate_id=3083538
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Customer avatar
Attila E June 14, 2021 6:37 pm UTC
Cool, thanks!
Customer avatar
Christian J April 28, 2021 1:44 pm UTC
I probably just missed it, but what is the difference between the standard color print version and the premium color print version?
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 30, 2021 3:30 pm UTC
CREATOR
The Premium Color book has greater color saturation and a richer palette. It's hard to describe; here is the page from OneBookShelf on it (the bit at the bottom discusses the difference between Standard and Premium printing): https://onebookshelfpublisherservice.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020415653-The-Basics-of-Book-Printing

In our case, the cover of the Standard color book also has a slight purplish tinge rather than the full navy blue of the Premium color version.
Customer avatar
Phillip W April 25, 2021 10:27 pm UTC
Hey, first off, hats off to you for trying to be thorough. I haven't bought it yet, but I probably will. Out of curiosity though, are you updating the material to represent that 100 years has passed since the original Zakhara stuff came out, or is this going to be presenting things as they existed from the original material pretty much (i.e. same major rulers, same major realms, etc..)? I don't consider one way or the other to be better, I just feel like some people will want to know just like I do.
Also, do you have any links to the forgotten realms as well (i.e. do you try to interrelate this with the other regions of Toril)? To note, I already have most of the Zakhara material, so if I buy this, it would be more of a "hey what did this guy try to do with the region". As well, I'm interested to see how you might try to update the rules to 5e, as that's also of interest.
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 26, 2021 12:07 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Phillip!

The Zakhara timeline and the larger Forgotten Realms timeline have never been officially linked!

They use different calendars and no official conversion has ever been published. We maintained this separation. Therefore, our decision was to keep the time the same: The same rulers in the same year, with the same plots hanging unresolved. This allows those who have the 2e books to cross-reference them if they want to, and even use the same adventures. This provides you with a single resource for the whole continent, and 5e rules for subclasses, monsters, kits, equipment, and NPCs you are likely to need!

Now, will further books move the timeline along? Only time will tell! :)
Customer avatar
Jeremy W April 24, 2021 10:46 am UTC
PURCHASER
Did you miss an instance of "imam"? p 211, Pilgrim District Encounters table, entry 2.
Reply
Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 24, 2021 11:19 am UTC
CREATOR
Seems we did. Thanks for pointing it out!
Customer avatar
Jeremy W April 23, 2021 1:46 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think either the Location Key + numbered map of Huzuz is wrong or the book text is wrong: e.g. based on the book text, location 9 should probably be the Gulf Gate, not the Lion Gate.
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 23, 2021 9:37 pm UTC
CREATOR
Wow! Good catch! The two definitely seem to be flip-flopped on the map.
Customer avatar
George K April 21, 2021 6:42 am UTC
Good for you for bringing back Zakhara. I am another author currently working on a more sub Saharan African setting and or Mesoamerican setting. It's good that you also toned down what was considered problematic or offensive stereotypes. I understand the struggle though because if you want the material to feel authentic and immersive you need to paint the setting in a somewhat realistic and accurate light but you don't want to make it offensive or crude in it's depiction. If you ever want to co write something in the future just text or message me. My family in law are Ethiopian and have several stories of monsters and mythological kings to share.
Customer avatar
Erik L April 20, 2021 1:51 am UTC
PURCHASER
Well written with beautiful artwork. I recommend it!
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 21, 2021 11:51 am UTC
CREATOR
Thank you!
Customer avatar
Eugene S April 19, 2021 7:39 pm UTC
I'm confused as to what this is. Is this a 5e translation? Why not buy the actual book?
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Customer avatar
David S April 22, 2021 7:29 am UTC
It says "5th Edition in the stats about the product at the top right side of the page.

This is a "Dungeon Masters Guild" product. The entire DMs Guild program is a program to licence people to sell core 5e material and material based on the few D&D settings that have been authorised for use under the DMs Guild program.

Al-Qadim comes under the remit of Forgotten Realms (as do Kara-Tur and Maztica).

The "actual books" (i.e. the 2nd Edition Al-Qadim products) are part of the D&D Classics range. You can buy them if you would rather play 2nd Edition AD&D.
Customer avatar
Stephen K April 17, 2021 8:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
The Askar kit (Folk Hero), Corsair, Saluk and several other kits appear to be missing from the book (or are subclasses, not kits), though their name appears on Table 6, p. 79.
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 17, 2021 12:53 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi, Dylan.

The intention of Table 6 is to provide guidelines for Zakharan archetypes, not necessarily a list of kits. The intention is that what the Zakharan call an Askar is what others might call a Folk Hero - more specifically a character with the Folk Hero background from the Player's Handbook.

Similarly, a Corsair is a Zakharan character with the Sailor background, and a Sa'luk is really just a rogue or ruffian.

Our goal was to help players (and DMs) bring Zakhara to life with minimal mechanical changes to 5e. We saw no reason to reinvent the wheel and/or loading people down with a bunch of new stuff when simply providing an alternate name or term for existing material would save the purpose.

I hope this helps clarify things!
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X April 17, 2021 1:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
I'm sorry, Stephen! I read one comment while responding to a different one and goofed up the names in my reply.
Reply
Customer avatar
Nicholas J C January 26, 2022 8:12 am UTC
Hi

I am certainly considering this book as I am a real Zakhara fan. The question from Stephen above though raises a point. I understand that you don't want to reinvent the wheel (and I agree) but if - for example - the Corsair is a character with the Sailor background, why not reference that rather than eluding to it in the book but providing no clarification?

Thanks

Nick
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Customer avatar
GM Lent X February 04, 2022 11:31 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi, Nicholas! Thank you for your interest!

Table 6 in our book describes Zakharan archetypes. That table lists Zakharan terms and the archetype they describe, but does not mention game mechanics at all.

So for example, the Askar line on the table describes it as "Martial combatant, folk hero," but does not specifically mention the Folk Hero Background. This approach was an intentional choice on our part - to provide suggestions and hints but leave the interpretation open. It seems we could have been clearer about that approach, however, as it has caused some confusion. It doesn't help that we then go on to provide more mechanical information - in the form of new kits and/or templates - for some of those archetypes but not others, and we do not in any way indicate on the table which ones are intended to be guidelines and which ones have more information later.

We tried to provide additional clarity in our Adventurer's Guide to Zakhara, which is a free Player's Guide...See more
Customer avatar
Dylan G April 16, 2021 12:10 pm UTC
When WOTC talks about the problematic elements of D&D's past... isn't this one of them? Not just the slavery & torture thing, but the pillaging of cultures and portraying them as an exotic other. Is this a portrayal of European mythology about the Middle East? Is this analogous to cosplay as another culture? In short: how is this version of Zakhara OK?
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Customer avatar
Jeremy P April 16, 2021 1:00 pm UTC
It's OK because many people like it, including many people of Middle Eastern ethnicity, including one of this book's creators, whose credits include translations of DM's Guild materials into Arabic. We can either embrace the inclusion of D&D settings inspired by elements of non-European cultures (and created or co-created by people affiliated with those cultures), or we can insist that the only settings permitted are those based primarily on European cultures. Which of those do you think is preferable?
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Customer avatar
Christopher B April 17, 2021 6:48 am UTC
PURCHASER
The author of this supplement specifically addresses this issue and explains how there were editorial decisions made to remove offensive stereotypes and give the people described in the guide respect and agency. Ultimately, all of D&D is based on the history, mythology, traditions, and even religions, of various real world cultures—as is most literature, art, etc. No one is suggesting, nor should they attempt, to use this supplement to “cosplay” any real world culture. But, if one understands one is playing a fantasy game that is inspired by, but not meant to accurately portray, the real world and its people, it can be an enriching and entertaining experience.
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Customer avatar
Erik L April 20, 2021 1:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
Trying to understand and offer an interpretation of another culture is not "pillaging" it.
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Customer avatar
Dragonsbane G April 22, 2021 1:03 pm UTC
*applause for Tarik Z* It is just a game, thank you for this voice of reason amidst the overly-sensitive.
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Customer avatar
Boyan P April 22, 2021 5:52 pm UTC
"portraying them as an exotic other" presumes that they are contrasted with characters that are not part of that culture. In effect, the characters go to a different place with strange "others". Actually, I'd say that is not necessarily a problem in itself, but it can contribute to some problematic narratives when the "other" is innately inferior or exists as a way to validate the characters' native culture

When the characters are from the same culture being depicted, this is far less of an issue. At that point, we identify with the "others" because that is who our characters are. "They" become "we.".
Reply
Customer avatar
Dylan G May 26, 2021 1:45 pm UTC
I see a lot of hate from people who don't want to consider racism (or are, at least in one case, in favour of it), but no response from the creators. That's a shame. It's possible to do this kind of product right, but I can't take that on faith.
Reply
Customer avatar
GM Lent X May 26, 2021 2:49 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi, Dylan! Thanks for your interest.

But we have to admit, we're not sure exactly what you're looking for here. When writing and assembling this book we knew the minefield we were walking into - it's why we took care to involve Arabic speakers as language and cultural consultants. These consultants include Ahmed Aljabry, a Saudi national whose stated goal is "to help bridge cultural gaps and support [people] in creating an authentic feel to [their] games," and who has performed similar assistance to Kobold Press among others. Ahmed was one of three native Arabic speakers we worked with, and was by far the most involved with the project. We can't put words in his mouth, but we can say that he enjoyed working with us enough to contribute to some other (as-yet-unpublished) projects as well.

The book passed muster not only with Ahmed, but with the DMSGuild staff and hundreds of others. We can't claim it's perfect - it certainly isn't! - but as lovers of the setting, its inspiration,...See more
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Customer avatar
Dylan G May 26, 2021 3:11 pm UTC
Thanks. That's the kind of answer I was hoping for.
Reply
Customer avatar
GM Lent X May 26, 2021 3:16 pm UTC
CREATOR
My pleasure!
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on April 13, 2021.