Corsairs of the Great Sea
AD&D Al Qadim
[sterling]10.99 - Boxed Set
Avast ye swabs and shiver me turban, quoth I as I broke open this buried
treasure from TSR. Corsairs of the Great Sea takes players into the Corsair
Domains, being mainly the islands off the coast of Zakhara. This boxed set
comes with full colour poster-sized map of the islands, an eight page guide to
six new monsters that inhabit these shores, a thirty-two page campaign guide
and a sixty four page adventure booklet.
Let's start with the campaign guide. This rather thin booklet starts with an
overview of the islands, who lives there and why. It then spends a mere ten
pages detailing the city of Hawa, the hub of Corsair power, of which six pages
are devoted to the full stats of ten NPCs. Now I appreciate that these NPCs are
important, being the ruling council of the city, and that much could be made of
their political scheming but I would have preferred to know much more about the
city itself. The brief overview only whets the appetite and a fuller
description of the places of interest wouldn't have gone a miss. Perhaps a
fully detailed bar or similar gathering place for the players to base
themselves would have been much more useful, and, finally, a few adventure
outlines would have been more interesting and useful than the stats and life
histories of the ruling council.
The above brief outline is repeated yet again for the city of Qudra, City of
Power; five brief pages and that's your lot. A chapter is given over to
describing the trade routes and the attitudes of various cities toward the
Corsairs that use their harbours for trade and their ships for plunder. Seven
cities are given the entirety of a paragraph each with this hole section
amounting to a rather unimpressive five pages.
Compared to the quality Al Qadim products I've become accustomed to I found
this all rather disappointing. For the asking price I'd expect a more user
friendly supplement that keeps the DM's work to a minimum, which this
supplement fails to provide.
Enough of that book, now on to the good stuff. The adventure booklet is a more
up to scratch, and is what I've come to expect from the Al Qadim setting. Six
sound adventures are provided here for your players to swash their buckles all
over the Great Sea. The adventures are for different levels of experience and
take place in a variety of locations to ensure that the DM always has a
surprise up his sleeve where ever the players may end up.
Finally, the set contains the usual six coloured cards that provide the
various maps required for the adventures mentioned above and a map of the city
Overall: If you're a fan of the Al Qadim setting and you wasn't new areas for
your players to explore then this supplement is a good buy. You should expect,
however, to have to do a bit of work to fully prepare it for play (don't you
always), and the set would not really lend itself to easy adaptation to other
Review by Pete Brown
Product supplied by TSR Ltd.