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Valkyrie Magazine and RPGnet are happy to provide this review.


Corsairs of the Great Sea
AD&D Al Qadim
Supplement
TSR Inc.
[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 of Hawa.

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 campaign worlds.

Review by Pete Brown
Product supplied by TSR Ltd.

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