Pathfinder Companion Review - Qadira
by, 12-30-2009 at 11:57 AM (7722 Views)
Review – Pathfinder Companion – Qadira
Happy holidays, Everyone. Well here I am, back again for another Pathfinder Product Review. This time it’s The Pathfinder Companion – Qadira that is on the proverbial chopping block.
This issue deals with a specific area within the Golarion world called Qadira. This area of Golarion reminds me of the Early Ottoman Empire in Turkey only hotter and with more desert terrain.
Page 1 – Map of current Qadira.
Page 2 – 4 – History of Qadira.
(Pre-Padishah Empire (Prior to -43 AR) – Prior to the Padishah Emperor, Qadira had no government and had just a handful of gatherers and Goat herders
(Keleshite Qadira (-78 AR to 1531 AR) – Qadira was conquered by the Padishah Emperor Adalan IV in -43 AR ushering in a new era.
(Rising Qadira (1531 AR to 4606 AR) – This era is when Qadira and the Keleshite Empire went to war with Taldor & Osirion. Osirion is easily conquered. Taldor manages to hold off the invaders but loses vassal States such as Cheliax.
Pages 4 - 6 – Politics of Qadira
In present day, Qadira is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Kalish XXII, a Human male around 80 years of age. He has more than 50 wives and at least twice that many in concubines.
Qadira is run on a day to day basis by the Satrap (essentially a Governor). The current Satrap is Xerbystes II. He has a thirst for conquest even though the Emperor currently is not interested in starting a war.
Hebizid Vraj - Imperial Vizier: He is in personal contact with the Emperor through magical Means. He is constantly having to keep Xerbystes in check from starting a war with Taldor.
Peerless: Numbering around 2 dozen men and women. They are famous generals, merchants, Sailors and adventurers that have a special title that allows them great latitude in dealing with issues concerning the realm.
The Keleshite Princes: The children of royalty. There are roughly 200 princes & princesses that occupy the Qadiran court. Although they are the sons & daughters of the Emperor, there is little chance that any of them will inherit their father’s title.
Satrap’s Armies. 100,000 strong of trained soldiers, sailors, archers & cavalry. `nuff said. The most promienent general is Zarathus.
Foreign policy – They would like to take over Absolam but will wait for the right time. They are relatively friendly with Katapesh but would like to take over the Island of okeno. They are still friendly with Osirion although the current ruler is native. Things are always tense with Taldor. Qadira is generally friendly towards Jalmeray.
Pages 6 – 7 – Trade
This section mentions Genie-booned light warhorses but does not give any stats.
This section talks about how Qadira is a self-sustaining nation but still had needs such as Root vegetables, certain meats. This section also discusses Slavery. It’s only one long Paragraph but it discusses the types of slaves that come through and a rough idea of how much an “average slave” sells for in Qadira… about 100 gp. Personally, I think that is too low but that’s just me.
Pages 7 – 8 – Classes of People
Nobles – They run the show and all are human. There are no known non-human nobles.
Citizens – Any native born keleshite is a citizen. Although non-humans never get the same level of respect as a full human. Half-breeds aren’t treated much better.
Foreigners – Foreigners have to register if you want to gain entry and must state intentions. Foreigner must also pay a gift to gain entry and to leave.
Slaves – This is pretty straight forward with some sub-sections for concubines and eunuchs. Slavery is usually permanent unless it is in the form of debt bondage and there is a contract involving a specified amount of time.
Feats & Traits
There are 2 feats:
Mounted Blade - which is a general feat good for getting an extra attack If you use your ride-by-attack feat and there is an adjacent enemy to The enemy you just hit. I personally don’t see this getting used much but it’s there just the same.
Dervish Dance - you get to add your dexterity modifier to both attack and damage Rolls as long as that it your only weapon and it is treated as both A slashing weapon and a piercing weapon.. You can’t have nor use an off-hand weapon or a shield in order for this feat to work. This is pretty good feat.
There are 12 Traits. These traits are scattered throughout the book but
Strong Arm, Supple Wrist – You can add 10 feet to the range increment of a thrown weapon As long as you moved at least 10 feet before you throw.
Rider of Paresh (Qadira) – When mounted and making a charge, your mount’s speed is Increased by 10 feet but only for the charge and you have to Have the mounted combat feat for this trait to work.
Watching Taldor (Qadira) - +1 trait bonus to initiative checks and if you are able to act during The surprise round of an encounter, you can draw a weapon as a free action. This could be very useful.
Keleshite Princess (Qadiran Keleshite Female): you have been raised to expect obedience from those around you, regardless of their station, and are not shy about demanding what you want. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks, and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill.
Merchant of Katheer (Qadira): You gain a +1 trait bonus to appraise checks and Appraise is always a class skill for you.
Venicaan Medic (Qadira): you gain a +2 trait bonus to heal checks to treat diseases and/or Poisons and Heal is always a class skill for you.
Flame of the Dawnflower (Sarenrae): If you score a critical hit with a scimitar. You deal an Extra 2 points of fire damage.
Alchemical Prodigy: Choose one 1st level spell from the bard, cleric, druid or sorcerer/wizard List. If you have the brew potion feat, you may create potions of this spell as if it were on your list.
Elemental pupil: Choose one energy type: Acid, Cold, electricity or fire. When casting a spell of 1st level or higher, you deal 1 extra point of damage of this type.
Genie-Caller: Once per day, you may cast one conjuration (summoning) spell as if your caster Level were 2 levels higher than normal.
Keeper of the Veil: +1 competence bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks and one of these skills (your choice) is always a class skill for you.
Walking Ward: +1 bonus on saving throws against 1 type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire) Picked when you take this trait.
Pages 8 – 11 – Geography – There are several cities and landmarks that get mentioned here.
Al-Bashir – Abandoned city overrun by Harpies for the last 500 years.
Dimayen – small farming colony of about 5,000. They seem to be having problems with Ankhegs.
Gurat – small city of about 8,500. There is a Cyclops sage whose nickname is the "Mouth Piece”.
Omash – Large City of about 27,000. This city sits on the border of Taldor. There are 12 Schools of war.
Sedeq – Population 90,000. Massive Slave-port. This is a perverse sanctuary of slavers
and their chattel. Sedeq is a place of contradictions. Built for luxury and relaxation, Sedeq is blanketed with opulent gardens of every flower imaginable. Nearly half of The population are slaves. All methods of discipline are used to ensure that all Slaves fall into line, from whipping to branding to starvation. The glorious scents of the Qalli Spice Market are a pleasant distraction from the screams of Sedeq’s
Shadun – A former massive city carved into the rock of the Zho mountains. Nearly a millennia Ago, a crack formed between the twin mountains of Zhobl and Zhonar and lava poured forth destroying the city. A few of the inhabitant.s escaped but nearly
starved to death. They turned to eating the flesh of hyenas and became cursed and were turned into hyena-like things.
Other locations mentioned are Ketz Desert, Hatavit, Khoka, Koor, Plains of Paresh, Tapur Forest and the Tents of Erukh.
Pages 12 – 15 – Society
This section deals mostly with race relations. There is a lengthy explanation as to how Keleshite humans treat other humans from other countries. There is also a lengthy explanation as to how well non-humans are treated. Dwarves and Elves are treated well. Half-elves not so well and a Half-elf with a Keleshite heritage are highly prized as pleasure slaves. For some strange reason they are constantly gawked at in public.
Gnomes are treated well and generally allowed to do whatever they like. Due to their Magic prowess and the problems involving the Bleaching, they are not generally singled out for slavery.
Nearly all Halflings in Qadira are slaves since there are virtually none that are native to
this area. They are generally used as messengers, runners, servants, hawkers or a
nimble-thumb (A Qadiran euphemism for marketplace thief) or a lucky mascot for a
Orcs & Half-Orcs do not get any distinction. They are both considered inhuman and are
only good for 3 things. Slave, Soldier or enemy.
The next section deals with possible adventures based on your character class. I’ll skip this small section since it doesn’t have much relevance.
Next up is Customs & Quirks.
Hospitality is taken very seriously in Qadira. All homes in Qadira possess a Zraka which
is a greeting room. All visitors are welcomed into the house, offered water to drink and
wash and allowed to rest for an hour or 2 on pillows or a couch. If you offer a gift
as long as it isn’t money or the clothes off your back then you can expect to be invited
in for a meal and possibly asked to spend the night.
Gender in Qadira. Women are treated exceptionally well in Qadira. Qadira is very
superstitious when it comes to daughters. A Keleshite house with no daughters is
considered empty and a widower who dies with only male heirs is considered cursed
by the gods. No profession is barred to a Qadiran woman. If a woman is rich enough
she can even have multiple husbands as long as she is not part of the royal house or
bloodline. Wealth and status are also traced through matrilineal descent. Males only
inherit swords & horses and generally have to make their own mark in life.
Pages 16 – 19 – Katheer – Capital of Qadira
It’s recorded age of settlement is found within the copies of the annual Histaqen horse race. The Histaqen is an ancient horse race that runs along the length of the pashman river starting at Katheer and goes all the way to the foot of the Zho mountains and then back down the westbank of the river and the finish is in Katheer. The port of Katheer is a mile long and slaves work tirelessly loading and unloading cargo. The Great Market of Katheer is where you can buy anything and yes.. that means more slaves.
There are also several paragraphs involving the Art of Haggling.
Several important locations within Katheer are also mentioned. The Temple-Monastery
Of Irori. Zenith of the Dawnflower and the Venicaan College of Medicaments & Chirurgery.
Pages 20 – 21 – The Daivrat – The Genie’s Friend
This prestige class is fully pathfinder compatible meaning it was actually written using Pathfinder’s rules before the Main book was published but Paizo did not advertise this to the public. Although they have mentioned it in their messageboards. The Daivrat has the usual D6 hit die for arcane spellcasters and this is an arcane spellcaster only PRC.
The prerequisites are Knowledge (Arcana) 7 ranks, Knowledge (planes) 7 ranks, Spellcraft
5 ranks. Feat: Spell Focus conjuration. Able to cast 3rd level spells. One special language. Aquan, Auran, Ignan, Terran. You also must have had peaceful contact with a true genie. (Djinni, Efreeti, Marid or Shaitan). You can’t have an evil alignment.
You get 9 levels of spellcasting. Elemental focus – pick one energy type. All spells of that Energy type are treated as if you had Spell focus feat for that spell. Genie-Tongue - +2to all charisma-based checks for influencing attitudes of genies and +4 to all knowledge Checks involving Genies. Spell-Fetch. This is the main reason for this class. You can Summon a minor genie to fetch a spell and this spell can be any spell from any list. If the Spell is on your list then it is treated as 1 level higher than it actually is and if it is on Another class list then it is treated as 2 levels higher than it actually is. Genie’s friend +2 bonus to caster level for summoning genies. This increases to +4 at 9th level. Elemental attunement gives you energy resistance 5 against one energy type. You pick It and you can not change it thereafter. You can summon a Zhyen familiar at 6th level. At 7th level, Your spell focus power for your elemental spells now becomes a Greater Spell focus. At 10th level, Your type changes to Native Outsider. Your main elemental Resistance improves to 10. You also gain resist 5 for the other 3 energy types that you didn’t pick and DR 5/-.
All in all, this is a pretty cool class if you are into summoning genies.
Pages 22 – 23 – Faiths in Qadira
The main faith in Qadira is Sarenrae. The others are Irori, Rovagug, Abadar & Gorum. The others have too few followers to be mentioned. The temple of Irori in Katheer have an order of monks called the Open hand of Sheehad.
Pages 24 – 25 – Magic: Traditions & schools.
This section talks about the different type of magic schools in Qadira but gives no rules. Examples are: Alchemical magic, Elemental Magic, Gen-Magic, Veil Magic, Warding Magic.
Alchemical item: Silversheen – Cost is 750 Gp per use. This is used for weapons. This makes the weapon immune to rusting grasp and all rust monster attacks including normal rusting due to time. Silversheen automatically makes the item Masterwork quality. You need 5 ranks in Craft(alchemy) & 5 ranks in Craft(Weaponsmithing). Personally, I think that this could also be applied to armor but the rules don't mention it.
Pages 26 – 31 – Bestiary & new playable races
Half-Janni – If I read the rules correctly. This inherited template can only be applied to a human only. They age at the same rate as a Half-Elf. Size is the same but they are Native Outsiders.
Abilities: +2 Str, +2 Dex, +2 Int, +4 Wis, +4 Cha
+1 Natural armor bonus and stacks with all other natural armor bonuses.
Fly 20 (good maneuverability)
Darkvision 60 feet
Immune to all diseases ( I think that includes magic diseases as well)
Fire Resistance 10
Level 1 – 2: Speak with animals 3/day
Level 3 – 6: Enlarge person or reduce person 2/day in any combination)
Level 7 – 8: Invisibility (self only) 3/day
Level 9 – 14: Create Food & water 1/day
Level 15 – 16: Ethereal Jaunt 1/day
Challenge rating: CR +2
Pathfinder no longer uses Level adjustment but in most cases of the old 3.5 system. The
Bonus to challenge rating is usually the same as the LA. My recommendation is to apply a +2 LA if you want to allow this character in your game. This new Half-Janni is much more powerful than the one in Sandstorm and cheaper. I like it a lot.
They are a race onto themselves. They are essentially humans with a genie bloodline.
They age the same as a human.
+2 Strength, +2 Charisma
Land Speed 30 feet
Low light vision
+2 to Diplomacy & Sense Motive checks
Acid, Cold, Electricity & Fire resistance 5. Yes, Resist 5 to all 4 elements.
Languages: Kelish. Common and 1 elemental language (pick one). Ignan, Aquan, Auran, Terran.
Elemental Assault – Once per day as a swift action, You can shroud your arms with one
Element (acid, cold, electricity or fire). Unarmed strikes & weapon strikes deal +1D6 of Elemental damage. This lasts 1 round per level. You can dismiss it as a free action but can not reactivate until the next day. You can pick a new energy type each day.
Challenge Rating: CR + 0.
This race is pretty powerful, more powerful than a standard race similar in power curve to an Aasimar. I would recommend following the ideas presented in the council of thieves player’s guide. Whereby you would assign a 1,000xp or possibly higher XP penalty to play this race.
Zhyen – Tiny Genie
It has 2 hit dice and flies 30 with perfect maneuverability and has 1D4 elemental attack. The Zhyen can be summoned as a familiar if you are a Daivrat.
Excellent explanations of culture, geography & politics.
Love the new Half-Janni & Suli-Jann playable races.
Nifty tiny Genie - The Zhyen
Cool Prestige Class – The Daivrat
Lots of traits.
Needs more feats.
Genie-booned horses mentioned in special paragraph but no rules. (seems odd)
No new spells , only 1 magic item & 1 alchemical item..
I would have liked to have seen more genie powers or feats for players to take.
There is little mention about crime and punishment.
Final Score – 9 out of 10 (Silver Award) This book is excellent, one of Paizo’s better companion books to date. Well worth the $11. I consider this a must have if you are playing any sort of Desert or Al-Qadim or Arabian Nights type of Campaign. You won’t be disappointed.
10 – Gold Award - You would be a fool not to get this. As close to perfect as you’ll ever see.
9 to 9.5 - Silver Award - This is an excellent and important addition to your collection. This product only has maybe 1 or 2 minor issues that are easily overlooked.
8 to 8.5 - Bronze Award – This is also an excellent and important addition to your collection but has several issues that may need to be dealt with thru errata or house-rules.
7 to 7.5 – Honorable mention – This is probably worthy of consideration. It is a nice product but has several major issues or only offers a couple of new ideas.
6 – 6.5 - Fair - This product is ok but should only be bought if you are bored and have extra cash. This score shows that the product doesn’t deliver as promised or delves into other material that is separate from what was supposed to be discussed. The info presented in this product may also break your game either in too good a way or in a horrible way. This product may also offer little in the way of new rules or ideas.
5 to 5.5 – Poor - This product is really bad and should not be bought. This might have Horrible artwork and/or poor organization and/or poor spellchecking. This product may also offer nothing new in the way of rules or crunch and may just be an incoherent rambling of thoughts.
4.5 or less - Use this product for kindling… `nuff said.
Reviews for the Future (in no particular order):
Dark Markets of Katapesh
Gnomes of Golarion