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ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Aaron I. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2016 15:53:10

Note! This version lacks the random encounter tables, which according to the adventure appear on the inside cover of the Campaign Guide. It appears the inside cover scan of the Campaign Guide is missing.

That aside, ALQ3 is a terrific series of interwoven adventures that really evokes the Arabian fantasy feel, with just a touch of the otherworldly horror that Steve Kurtz is known for. There's so many ways a DM could use the adventures within, which span challenges suitable for characters from 1st to 12th level, but the adventures grow in value the more they are tied to other adventures in the book. There are two parts to this adventures: the Adventures Book and the Campaign Guide.

The Adventure Book includes 13 adventures that for the most part are good, with a few highlights and a few misses. Most are ~5-7 pgs long. One of the things I really like about these adventures is that each has a section at the beginning that explores the adventure's ties to other adventures in the book - very helpful for a time-harried DM! Also, maps! There are full-page or half-page maps for many of the locations described in the adventures, which is wonderful. Flick of the Tail is a solid 1st-2nd level adventure in Muluk that evokes the wonder and magic of the Arabian Nights nicely. It's lighter on combat, and emphasizes interaction and creative problem solving. Nine Flawed Sapphires is a 2nd-4th level adventure in the wilderness near Muluk, quite simple, but decently evokes Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. It's the perfect adventure for instigator type players who like to turn the villains' strategies against them. Invitation to a Funeral is a 3rd-4th level adventure in Muluk that relies on a a bit of DM deception and possibly rail-roading to conceal disguised ghouls from the PCs. It involves a betrayal, and if the DM really wants to get the PCs to hate a certain NPC, this would be the adventure to use. Otherwise, it's fairly simplistic; I could imagine just taking the premise, making up my own details, and still running this adventure just fine. Eleven Baneful Gates is a 5th-7th level adventure set in Al-Anwahr ruins in the Haunted Lands, and though it does involve a bit of rail-roading, a competent DM can edit much of that out. There's some great backstory here, but true to the era, only a sliver of it is presented as discoverable by the PCs. Fortunately, that's a forgivable error that many AD&D adventuresin the 90's suffered, and one easily remedied by a DM willing to do just a bit of work. As an adventure, site, however, Al-Anwahr is just fabulous and extremely evocative. The Hermit's Riddle is a 4th-5th level adventure in a village called Tarv; it reminds me more of a side trek, but an actually well done side trek with a bit of a mystery to it. Like many of the adventures in the book, it encourages lateral thinking outside the box. Sibling Rivalry is a 5th-7th level adventure, suitable for any wilderness journey; it very much is a side trek, and not a strong one at that. I skipped this one when running the adventures. The Djinni's Lover is a 6th-8th level adventure, suitable for any wilderness journey, and the villain is almost unwittingly a villain going about settling down in a tower as high-level wizards are prone to do. It could be run as a (mostly) straight-forward tower siege, or raise philosophical questions requiring the players to evaluate how their PCs view genie binding. An interesting one. Salt Bond is a 6th-8th level adventure, suitable for any desert journey, and this one stood out to me, as it really ties into the villains described in the Campaign Guide, and drives home the Zakharan idea of heroes and villains sitting at the same table under the bond of salt trying to decipher one another's true intentions. There's some details that a DM may want to change to avoid tipping off a genre-savvy group of players, but otherwise this is an excellent little adventure. A Boasting Contest is billed as an adventure for 5th-8th level PCs, but really it can fit any level range, and any environment. It's a simple premise only wirth 3 pgs: An efreet challenges the PCs to a boasting contest, with treasure wagered. But the character of the efreet is so well done to elevate this beyond the deceptively simple premise. I liked it. Weave of the Carpet is a 7th-9th level adventure in Muluk, that is a "whodunnit" mystery, and a pretty good one at that! Dead Bearing Witness is a 9th-12th level adventure in Muluk. I never ran this one, so am less familiar with it. Principally, the adventure revolves around meeting a demilich and figuring out how to negotiate with it or fool it into getting what they need. The adventure does a fair job of giving the DM the notes he or she needs to run the demilich convincingly. Zarastro's Three Daughters is a 9th-12th level adventure taking place on an island. A pahari's (mermaid's) reef is being damaged by water leaving a wizard's castle. What seems like a dungeon siege turns into something a bit more nuanced and interesting. There are surprises here! Endgame is a 9th-12th level adventure that covers a lot of ground from Muluk, to the Haunted Lands, to Krak al-Niraan. This adventure just sings! It draws on many of the NPCs and villains from previous adventures, weaving a tale that puts the PCs in the middle of internal politics of the Brotherhood of True Flame, the Leper King, and holy slayers. It's a delicious adventure that makes for a wonderful capstone.

The Campaign Guide provides good detail on Muluk, City of Kings (~7 pgs), offers a few notes on traveling through the Haunted Lands (~5 pgs) (albeit weakened by the utter lack of encounter tables in this scan), and a lightly detailed (~10 pgs) fortress of the Brotherhood of True Flame called Krak al-Niraan. The fortress isn't a wondrous dungeon with traps, tricks, ancient secrets, and Gygaxian weirdness; it's a no-nonsense, semi-realistic, and sparsely described military outpost. On the other hand, it's very well-illustrated and easy for a DM to get a sense of the place, allowing him or her to improvise more interesting features that fit the fortress' theme.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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ALQ3 A Dozen and One Adventures (2e)
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