Pathfinder Companion: Qadira, Gateway to the East (PFRPG)

****( ) (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Companion: Qadira, Gateway to the East (PFRPG)

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GENIE MYSTICS AND DESERT GLORY

A hot-blooded realm of riches, slavery, and blood feuds, the desert nation of Qadira looks down upon foreigners, for all other lands are glass when compared with Qadira’s diamonds. Ogre mercenaries and soldiers on flying carpets keep caravans safe from bandits and strange beasts. Bound genies build majestic palaces or guard pompous wizards, while tribes of jann roam the deserts hoping to free all geniekind. Militant factions of Sarenrae’s faith rattle their sabers and train dervishes, while mages and scholars from across the world line up to attend Qadira’s prestigious academies. And through it all, the war-mongering satrap turns his ambitious eye toward Taldor and the lands to the west, ready to break the centuries-long peace if only the padishah emperor would give him permission.

This Pathfinder Companion describes the country of Qadira and its capital of Katheer, the city of a million caravans. Study the secrets of the daivrat, humans honored with the trust of wise and deadly genies! Learn how to tell a half-genie from a thin-blooded suli-jann! Unlock Qadiran secrets with new feats and traits! Everything you need to know to play a Qadiran character—or defend yourself against one—is right here!

Written by Brian Cortijo

Each bimonthly 32-page Pathfinder Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for social, magic, religious, and combat-focused characters, as well as a persona section detailing helpful NPCs and traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-180-0

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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****( ) (based on 4 ratings)

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75% for GMs, 25% for Players (but well-written)

****( )

Qadira, Gateway to the East is a 32-page source book about what could be called the "Arabian Nights" area of Golarion. Retroactively listed as part of the Pathfinder "Player's Companion" line of books, this is probably as much or more for the GM rather than players. It's an impressive and well-written overview of the land, and there's definitely a lot of bang for the buck here. The book includes a full-color map of Qadira (sparsely annotated, to be fair) on the inside front-cover and is then separated into seven sections:

* A ten-page introduction to Qadira. This section discusses the history of the area, its political situation in terms of leadership and relationship to nearby lands, what goods are traded, and how the people are divided into four groups: nobles, citizens, slaves, and foreigners. It also includes descriptions of major cities and landmarks in Qadira. A sidebar introduces one new feat, one new combat trait, and two new regional traits.

* A four-page section labelled "Society." This is a quite useful overview of how the core races and classes are perceived in Qadira, and has a useful (if brief) discussion of cultural quirks. This section would be quite useful for players interested in creating a Qadiran PC. A new social trait appears here.

* A four-page overview of Katheer, an important city in Qadira. This section includes a half-page map, discussion of some major areas of the city, and four individual NPCs (description only, no stat blocks) that could come into contact with adventurers. Two new regional traits and an item are introduced here. This section is mostly for the GM.

* A two-page section titled "Combat" that consists solely of a prestige class called a Daivrat (a spellcaster who befriends genies). I've never played or seen one of these in a session, but the mechanical abilities don't seem to really do enough to draw out the flavour of the concept.

* Two pages titled "Faith." This section includes very brief discussions of the role of Irori, Sarenrae, Rovagug, Abadar, and Gorum in Qadira before introducing a pretty powerful new item ("War Kilt of Sarenrae") and a new feat ("Dervish Dance").

* "Magic," a short section that mentions some different traditions of magic in Qadira (like Veil Magic, Warding Magic, and Gen Magic) but unhelpfully doesn't cover in any detail whether these traditions have any real differences compared to the common schools of magic. Five new regional traits and the alchemical substance silversheen are introduced here.

* A six-page bestiary with stat-blocks for the half-janni, suli, and zhyen.

As best I can tell, much of this book was written before Paizo had clearly differentiated between its Player's Companion line and its Campaign Setting line. Qadira, Gateway to the East has much more in it of interest to GMs (a bestiary, an overview of a major city, etc.) than it does to players, while still introducing enough traits, feats, and even a prestige class to hold some value to players. It's a bit of a confusing mix, but, as I mentioned, it's a well-written product overall. More recent comers to Pathfinder might be warned that the artwork, although fine, is not up to the later Paizo standard.

As this review is being written, a new book about Qadira is on the horizon, titled (rather too similarly) "Qadira, Jewel of the East."


Excellent Introduction to the East

*****

This was the best organized and most coherent Companion yet. I haven't really appreciated most of this series so far as the Companions often feel like a random collection of odds and ends of limited usefulness. Qadira gave a thorough overview of the history, geography, society, and even culture of magic. Enough background to give me a solid feel for the nation. I might have wanted to see a Dervish PrC, but I found the Daivrat to be very original and a good read. In fact all the Djinnfo was well presented.
My only suggestion would be that the traits be collected together, but otherwise I really enjoyed this product. AND much appreciation for reconnecting gnolls with their ghoulish heritage!


like sand through an hourglass

**( )( )( )

These companions are not impressive at all. The cover is juvenile, interior art is silly, the maps are lack luster, and what's with the half-janni? On the plus side the bestiary has a couple of nice additions to the writer's tool box, new traits, feats, and material which will help players of Pathfinder Society, backgrounds of local beliefs, types of magic schools, a prestige class, a few pages obout Katheer, how races and classes are viewed, the part on genders is confusing from a role playing angle, and their views of cast in society. I wish they would have had more about things like seasons, a bit more statistics on every city, struggles inside Qudira, details like roads between towns on the maps and products for different regions and cities, and how they would feel about other countries in Pathfinder Society.




Makes me want to play in Qadira

****( )

I'll admit that I wasn't anticipating this book nearly as much as I was other releases. I tend to GM rather than play and Qadira was never one of the locations in Golarion that grabbed me.

Then I read it. This is a well-written, engaging book that has turned me on to this amazing nation in the setting and given me a caravan's load of new ideas for both sides of the screen. I especially love some of the new crunchy bits, like the suli race (which I think I might play in an upcoming Legacy of Fire campaign) and the zhyen familiar option.

I've been uninspired by past Companions either because of their content or their subject, but this book has made a huge impression on me. Plus, everything in it is 100% compatible with the new rules, so I don't even need to convert grapple to CMB and spot to perception. It's ready to go, right out of the gate.


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The Exchange

Hey there James!

Any chance we can see a "little ole" map of what you are detailing in Qadira? Maybe slip it in the Paizo Blog :)

Just hoping

Zux

The Exchange

They're just questions, Leon. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response... Shall we continue?


Let me tell you about my mother.

Contributor

Zuxius wrote:

Hey there James!

Any chance we can see a "little ole" map of what you are detailing in Qadira? Maybe slip it in the Paizo Blog :)

Just hoping

Zux

As it turns out, James is once again listed as a placeholder name as the author for this book. (My guess is that they'll amend the name when they correct the cover artwork)

I wrote it, and I can say that there's, umm, stuff. And some places. And traits and things. Oh, and sand.

Being a good boy, I'd rather not spill the beans on this one. Sean (the developer) still needs to tell me how much was slashed and burned, anyway. ;)

Scarab Sages

OOOO! Then you can tell us what gets cut afterwards?!?!?

Contributor

fray wrote:
OOOO! Then you can tell us what gets cut afterwards?!?!?

Um...

Probably not?

Dark Archive

Looking forward to both this Companion and the Taldor one.
I'm jutting down a short campaign that takes place in the coast and borderline between the two of them, and the Gazetteer/Campaign Setting info on the matter is somewhat sparse.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Brian Cortijo wrote:
(My guess is that they'll amend the name when they correct the cover artwork)

..or, when somebody tells the web guys that we assigned an author. Updated.

Contributor

Vic Wertz wrote:
Brian Cortijo wrote:
(My guess is that they'll amend the name when they correct the cover artwork)
..or, when somebody tells the web guys that we assigned an author. Updated.

That could work, too. Thanks, Vic!

The Exchange

Hmm, well, I am writing a story set around Qadira, but I have little to go by. Mostly interested in desert names and ruins.

Zuxius

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

I've updated the cover image and description to match the finished product.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Interesting colors. Will I find a place in my bookshelves where it will blend seamlessly with the other books around it? We shall see.

But I think I link the mint touch ...

--
So, where did I put that blasted key?

Scarab Sages

Brian,

Would you say that Qadira is very similar to Katapesh and much of the material in there could be incorporated into the Legacy of Fire AP?

I am mainly looking at genies, janns, and other Arabian knights themed items, spells, and feats.

Thanks,

CC

(By the way, I really like the artwork)

Paizo Employee Franchise Manager

Wow! I love the cover art. I think it's the first time Seoni's been out-sexied by one of the other female iconics. Who is the artist on this one?

Edit: Also, it appears this is a PFRPG product. So it'll be 100% compatible with the new rules (without conversion)? If so, awesome!

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

yoda8myhead wrote:

Wow! I love the cover art. I think it's the first time Seoni's been out-sexied by one of the other female iconics. Who is the artist on this one?

Edit: Also, it appears this is a PFRPG product. So it'll be 100% compatible with the new rules (without conversion)? If so, awesome!

The cover is by Eva Widermann, whom many of you met at PAIZOCON.

And yes, editorial sneakily updated this one to full Pathfinder RPG stats since the rules were finalized in time.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Eva's barbarian is awesome!

Dark Archive

By the way, "padishah" and "emperor" is one and the same.


True, but the term Padishah Emperor has been used before, most notably by Frank Herbert in the Dune books. In fact, since Padishah means "Great King," which is more or less equivalent to Emperor, a "Great King Emperor" isn't really that strange, its just kind of like saying, "A really important Emperor," which is less strange in fantasy and sci-fi settings than it might seem in real life.

Dark Archive

Hey, nice to see you writing more material for Paizo, Brian! Although Qadira is a pathetic backwater nation when compared to our majestic, glorious empire, I have to buy this just to laugh at their expense! ;)

The Exchange

Asgetrion wrote:
Hey, nice to see you writing more material for Paizo, Brian! Although Qadira is a pathetic backwater nation when compared to our majestic, glorious empire, I have to buy this just to laugh at their expense! ;)

You confabulating, double-talking devil's sputum! We'll cut out your forked tongues to skewer on our kebabs!

Lantern Lodge

Will we be able to play a Half-Genie or a thin blood suli-jann ???

WOTC dropped the ball big time on this topic. They could have done
so much with the an Al-Qadim type setting. Sandstorm was such a disappointment. The only thing they published was a half-janni and it has a ridiculous +3 LA. Please tell me you guys came up with something better.

Grand Lodge

OK, I know that often times what we see here for the cover is a mock up, but I REALLY hope what I see now is the real deal, that is freaking AWESOME! A fight on magic carpets! YEAH BABY SIGN ME UP!

Dark Archive

Fatima of the Desert wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Hey, nice to see you writing more material for Paizo, Brian! Although Qadira is a pathetic backwater nation when compared to our majestic, glorious empire, I have to buy this just to laugh at their expense! ;)
You confabulating, double-talking devil's sputum! We'll cut out your forked tongues to skewer on our kebabs!

Ah, double-talking would indicate that I was lying... which I am not, as EVERYONE surely knows! ;P


Krome wrote:
OK, I know that often times what we see here for the cover is a mock up, but I REALLY hope what I see now is the real deal, that is freaking AWESOME! A fight on magic carpets! YEAH BABY SIGN ME UP!

No, the mock up was different, and this is widermann's work, so this is the real deal. And it ree-ocks!

Dark Archive

Asgetrion is right of course, the Darklight Sisterhood full indorses what he said.

The Exchange

I'm sorry, no offense to the artist (whose other work I've seen and is awesome) who can outdraw me any day of the week, but I have to dissent. Looking at the covers for the other companions, this one isn't as strong (composition wise and graphically as well). Considering that it is a companion representing an entire nation and its culture, I kind of think that more could've been done. Sorry. Regardless, I love Qadira and am going to pick this up right away. And again, seriously, no offense to the artist.

Dark Archive

I don't care for the face of Amiri but I like the rest of the cover and the artist as mentioned up thread is Eva Wildermann.

Contributor

CuttinCurt wrote:

Brian,

Would you say that Qadira is very similar to Katapesh and much of the material in there could be incorporated into the Legacy of Fire AP?

I am mainly looking at genies, janns, and other Arabian knights themed items, spells, and feats.

I would say that there is a certain level of material (particularly with regard to the genies connection) that can absolutely be incorporated into LoF. In particular, there are feats and traits that PCs in that AP might want to pick up, especially if they are Qadiran (or just Keleshite in general).

Scarab Sages

Brian Cortijo wrote:
CuttinCurt wrote:

Brian,

Would you say that Qadira is very similar to Katapesh and much of the material in there could be incorporated into the Legacy of Fire AP?

I am mainly looking at genies, janns, and other Arabian knights themed items, spells, and feats.

I would say that there is a certain level of material (particularly with regard to the genies connection) that can absolutely be incorporated into LoF. In particular, there are feats and traits that PCs in that AP might want to pick up, especially if they are Qadiran (or just Keleshite in general).

Thank you for the reply Brian.

The Exchange

I love German artists. I love Germans too.

Contributor

Wow, shot up to #5 on the Top Sellers almost overnight.

Come on, guys, I wanna see this baby up at #1! It's a vanguard product, with PFRPG content even before the rules release...

The Exchange

You had me with the word Qadira!

Dark Archive

Brian Cortijo wrote:

Wow, shot up to #5 on the Top Sellers almost overnight.

Come on, guys, I wanna see this baby up at #1! It's a vanguard product, with PFRPG content even before the rules release...

No, no, Brian -- *our* book is a real vanguard product. But as I've said, I'm going to buy this so that we can laugh at the poor Qadirans here at the Infernal Library of Westcrown. ;P

Scarab Sages

Asgetrion wrote:
Brian Cortijo wrote:

Wow, shot up to #5 on the Top Sellers almost overnight.

Come on, guys, I wanna see this baby up at #1! It's a vanguard product, with PFRPG content even before the rules release...

No, no, Brian -- *our* book is a real vanguard product. But as I've said, I'm going to buy this so that we can laugh at the poor Qadirans here at the Infernal Library of Westcrown. ;P

Great, thats all Golarion needs is another Chelaxian laughing his "sinister devil laugh" at us Genie lovers...

Remember, we have wish magic at our disposal and powers unheard of before the coming of this tomb of knowledge. Fear us.

Scarab Sages

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

ooooo, oooo, oooo!

Just downloaded the PDF and skimmed thru it. This is the first PFRPG product right??

Anyway, for those that have it, there is a sneak preview of the Rogue of page 26 (half-janni human)

Check it out!!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Hmm bit of a mixed bag for me. Now don't get me wrong it's a good book fluffwise it just seems a bit scattered for lack of a better word mostly in regards to the the traits with some on one page in one chapter more in a different chapter same with feats as well. It works better if all the traits are in one place but with this one a player will be flicking all over the book to find them. Also I cant for the life of me figure out why there is a bestiary in a player companion.

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Have also just downloaded and read through it, Must say I like it. nice mix, I can understand why traits are a little separated out and have no problem with it.

Did like the bestiary bit but did wonder why it was in a player orientated book.

Contributor

Cralius the Dark wrote:
Just downloaded the PDF and skimmed thru it. This is the first PFRPG product right??

I believe that it is. The Bonus Bestiary is technically first, but this is the first one you have to pay for. :D

Quote:
Check it out!!

Yes. Please, do!

Contributor

Kevin Mack wrote:
Hmm bit of a mixed bag for me. Now don't get me wrong it's a good book fluffwise it just seems a bit scattered for lack of a better word mostly in regards to the the traits with some on one page in one chapter more in a different chapter same with feats as well. It works better if all the traits are in one place but with this one a player will be flicking all over the book to find them.

The traits and feats are divided out primarily because the book is written to avoid such flipping. There are basically two philosophies when it comes to this stuff:

1) Put all similar mechanical artifacts (feats, traits, etc.) in one spot, and let readers flip to find them.

2) Put mechanical artifacts as close to the relevant prose text (i.e. religious feats near religious descriptions, magical school traits near descriptions of those schools, etc.), and allow readers to flip to them only during character building.

As a writer, my preference is for the second philosophy, at least for small books. Larger books can get away with chapters of feats or a two-page spread of traits, but I like to see (and place) such things in context.

Of course, everyone has their own preference, and I don't expect folks to agree with every choice I make, but I'm kind of glad the folks at Paizo left things where I put 'em.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Brian Cortijo wrote:


The traits and feats are divided out primarily because the book is written to avoid such flipping. There are basically two philosophies when it comes to this stuff:

1) Put all similar mechanical artifacts (feats, traits, etc.) in one spot, and let readers flip to find them.

2) Put mechanical artifacts as close to the relevant prose text (i.e. religious feats near religious descriptions, magical school traits near descriptions of those schools, etc.), and allow readers to flip to them only during character building.

As a writer, my preference is for the second philosophy, at least for small books. Larger books can get away with chapters of feats or a two-page spread of traits, but I like to see (and place) such things in context.

Of course, everyone has their own preference, and I don't expect folks to agree with every choice I make, but I'm kind of glad the folks at Paizo left things where I put 'em.

Well not trying to argue but in my experience this actually leads to more flipping since most players I know will read the fluff at there own leisure but prefer to have all the mechanical components in the one place when it comes to actually build a character. Also once you already have a series of books that set out things (ie traits all in one place, feats all in one place etc) deciding to change the format and spread them all over the place just leads to confusion.

Dark Archive

CuttinCurt wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Brian Cortijo wrote:

Wow, shot up to #5 on the Top Sellers almost overnight.

Come on, guys, I wanna see this baby up at #1! It's a vanguard product, with PFRPG content even before the rules release...

No, no, Brian -- *our* book is a real vanguard product. But as I've said, I'm going to buy this so that we can laugh at the poor Qadirans here at the Infernal Library of Westcrown. ;P

Great, thats all Golarion needs is another Chelaxian laughing his "sinister devil laugh" at us Genie lovers...

Remember, we have wish magic at our disposal and powers unheard of before the coming of this tomb of knowledge. Fear us.

Nah, we don't need to laugh sinister devil laugh ourselves... we have real devils for that, you know? And, why should we fear anyone who jumps at the word 'Padishah', hmmm? You're no real empire yourselves... unlike the Shining Jewel of Golarion that is Cheliax! ;P

Contributor

Kevin Mack wrote:
Also I cant for the life of me figure out why there is a bestiary in a player companion.

The short, unsatisfying answer is 'I was asked to write one.'

The longer answer is that this book was intially written back in the winter, before the decision to shift the Companion to a player-focused format was made. Part of the assignment was to get some summonable genies of lower level onto the table (the gen), and possibly a PC-appropriate genieblooded race (the suli-jann). The half-jann was to round out both the ecological niche for genies (and give the excuse for explaining the various breakdowns of human/genie relations). There were, intially, other monsters as well, but they were cut because the book's focus shifted to be more player centered.

For better or worse, you can't really talk about Qadira without dealing with their genie population. I suppose stats for the half-jann and suli-jann could have appeared elsewhere (the gen are necessary, because of their use in the daivrat PrC, so either way there'd be a bestiary of some length), but they were left in--I assume because there's not going to be the chance to address them again for some time, and had they not been included, there would have been requests for their stats.

My best guess is that the Paizo guys decided to leave the stats in for those creatures that were relevant to the book (the gen as a familiar, the suli-jann as a playable race, and the half-jann as a creature mentioned elsewhere in the book and as a foundation for the NPC presented), but they'd need to give you a more definitive answer.

Contributor

What Brian said.


Probably a dumb question but do the print editions of these always release before the PDF versions? Never bought one right away before so I've never noticed.

I want this but don't need the paper version so had planned to buy the PDF...now I have to wait...and be sad. :( Seriously, though, one of my players in Runelords has a cleric of Sarenrae from Qadira and I want to give her some options. Sigh. Okay...I'll go away until the 22nd.
M

Contributor

Normally we release the PDF to subscribers when their print copies have shipped. I think the print and PDF copies for non-subscribers go on sale at the same date (after the subscriber's date).

Dark Archive

From my understanding is it works like this.

If you are a subscriber you get the PDF on the day the book is shipped to you.

Otherwise the PDF is not for sale until the books are at the stores.

Edit: beaten to it, but if it makes you feel better. I have not got my PDF yet either. Because i have it set to ship with my AP, which apparently is not yet in.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

So this is for the PF RPG, not 3.5? Despite the July release date?

Contributor

Shisumo wrote:
So this is for the PF RPG, not 3.5? Despite the July release date?

Yes.

The release date for the book was intially for June, but when Paizo's staff descended en masse on the PFRPG core book, some things got bumped, not least of which was my little 32-page Companion.

Fortunately, there isn't a whole lot of mechanical difference between 3.5 and PFRPG, so while writing I was able to add notes to the developer (Sean) saying "this is written for 3.5; if you need the PFRPG equivalent, it's XYZ." Not that he needed it--most conversions are 1-to-1--but it helped me to remember that my intentions needed to be clear.

Anyway, when the book was bumped to July, they decided to make it PFRPG, both to increase the usability of the book going forward and to make sure that if any other delays hit, it would be current-edition (PF).

The vast majority of the information in the book is edition-neutral (between 3.5 and PFRPG; using the traits in 2E might be difficult), and most of it is easily converted (like monsters and skill references). The real difference would be seen on player-side material, namely the Daivrat PrC and the suli-jann; I know the latter was specifically noted in the turnover as a +1 Level Adjustment race for 3.5, but to lose the LA for PFRPG due to the increase in the abilities of PC races for the new game.

I hope this overly-detailed explanation helps. :P

Contributor

#2 on the Hot Sellers now, having past the Bonus Bestiary. I know that little ole Qadira will never get past the much-anticipated PFRPG book, but sneaking past a *free* download (even one a month old) is fricken awesome. Thanks, guys!

I'm anxious to see what all of you folks actually think about the book.


Well I'll be happy to *when* I get it :) Now the date has been moved to the 29th (was 22nd). Something tells me that wasn't planned. Was hoping to get it by my game on Sunday but...sigh. lol.
M

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