Advanced Search

Caravans (2e)
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Caravans (2e)

Watermarked PDF

Journey through a perilous realm of searing sands and burning passions!

Pit of the Ghuls, Genies' Anvil, Vishap's Teeth... the mere mention of these mystical sites fills men's hearts with fear and apprehension. Now the mysteries of the High Desert are revealed!

Caravans takes player characters into Zakhara's greatest sea of sand to face its most treacherous denizens. Heroes match wits with djinn and ins alike--and fulfill a lover's obligation more than a half-century old.

This sourcebox includes:

- A 32-page Campaign Book with notes from famed travelers of the High Desert, plus details on a wondrous magical carpet

- A 64-page Adventure Book featuring tales of honor, riches, and unrequited love

- An 8-page book of player aids

- A magnificent full-color poster depicting Ala'i the Hungry, a fortune-telling carpet whose profound wisdom and wondrous powers will guide heroes on their epic adventure

Recommended for use with the Arabian Adventures Campaign Setting Rulebook.

Product History

Caravans (1994), by Rick Swan, is the eighth and final boxed supplement for Al-Qadim. It was published in October 1994.

Origins (I): One More Box. Like its predecessors in the "ALQ" series, Carvans comes in a thin box with a 64-page adventure book, a 32-page campaign book, and a few smaller pieces. Caravans is the only boxed Al-Qadim supplement not to come with a map; instead, there's a poster of a flying carpet.

Origins (II): Sources. Though most of the year three supplements for Al-Qadim felt like they departed from its Arabic core, Caravans takes the line back to its origins with tales of weird, strange, and magical happenings such as a talking tent, scheming genies, and fiery palaces.

Origins (III): The End of Al-Qadim. When Andria Hayday and Jeff Grubb proposed the Al-Qadim line, they purposefully laid it out as a limited run. It would go for two years with an option for a third year, then another option for a fourth.

Caravans marked the end of the third year of Al-Qadim, so TSR asked for a product list for year four. These supplements would have continued to expand the map of Zakara. One of them was called "Terror of the Yak-Men". Grubb no longer remembers the rest of the list, but notes that undeveloped areas included "the Cities of the Pantheon … (plus a number of islands between the Sea of Foreigners and the Crowded Sea)", suggesting that they were ripe for expansion.

Sometime after receiving the list, TSR decided not to renew Al-Qadim for a fourth year. Caravans would be the end of the line, other than some assorted (and minor) returns over the years.

Adventure Tropes. Caravans were a popular adventure trope in the '90s, particularly in the Dark Sun line, perhaps because they allowed designers to create event-driven adventures without them feeling like railroads … because the players are implicitly on a tightly constrained track because of the caravan itself.

With that said, the caravans in Caravans aren't all that important, perhaps because of the shortness of these anthologized adventures. Some of the adventures are about journeys, while others are more picaresque vignettes or encounters in the desert. In any case, they're definitely all event-driven.

Expanding D&D. Caravans contains some "lore" on caravans, camels, water, and hazards. There's a tiny bit of crunch for GMs wanting information on this sort of travel, but it's pretty minimal.

Exploring Al-Qadim. Caravans is set in the High Desert, one of the locales detailed fairly extensively in Land of Fate (1992). This supplement provides even more information, including an extensive tour of its most notable sites.

Future History. This was the end of the Al-Qadim line, though there have been three notable returns.

  • DMGR7: The Complete Books of Necromancers (1995) contains extensive Al-Qadim lore.
  • Reunion (1998) would return to the setting four years later with an RPGA tournament.
  • Dragon #315 (January 2004) featured Al-Qadim as one of many "campaign classics" in an article that detailed the Sha'ir for D&D 3.5e.

Though the sub-continent of Zakhara hasn't received any major supplements since the '90s, it still is a part of the Forgotten Realms. It's been referenced in recent supplements such as the 4e Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide (2008) and even the 5e Elemental Evil Player's Companion (2015).

About the Creators. Swan did extensive work for TSR from 1988-1995. Caravans was one of his last books, done the same year that he authored The Complete Paladin's Handbook (1994) and contributed to Elminster's Ecologies (1994).

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (0)
Browse Categories
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!
 Recent History

Product Information
Silver seller
File Size:
55.47 MB
Original electronic
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
December 12, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on December 13, 2016.