Ghazal (Dungeon #30)


Dungeon Magazine General Discussion

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Is anyone familiar with this David Howery adventure? I can't find much mention of it, and I was wondering how suitable it might be to an Al-Qadim campaign with some adaptation. I've enjoyed reading some of David's other adventures, and plan on using them in African- or Indian-themed campaigns, and thought "Ghazal" might be worth a go, too. Comments, synopses, advice appreciated.


I wrote it for Greyhawk (dealing with Hardby and the Bright Desert), but you could easily change the background. Instead of a Hardby noble, make the captive a prince or princess... not really all that hard to adapt it...

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I was hoping I'd get your attention! :-)

I guess what I'm asking more specifically is, How much Middle Eastern flavor is there in the adventure already? The name implies a Persian influence, I think, which would be cool. Is that really there in the adventure design, as with the cultural influences in your other adventures? I'd expect to make minor name/plot changes and mechanical updates, but it's worth it if the unique cultural flavor is there to back it up. I just can't find much information about this particular adventure on the Net.

BTW, I know Greyhawk only peripherally from 24 years of D&D, so if "Bright Desert" connotes something relevant, it's over my head.

Thanks! It's fun just to read those old adventures, I do hope I get to run them!


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

If I'm not confusing it with some other adventure (forgive me, it's been over a decade!), it centers around infiltrating a cliffside prison/slavers headquarters. I don't remember any actual "roll-playing", it was mostly an intreresting dungeon crawl. I do remember I was going to use it for Al-Qadim, so it must of had that sort of feel, but I think that it was mostly in the background story.

~Qualidar~


the bad guys, the Tareg, were a pseudo-Arabic group of Suloise slavers in the Bright Desert. The PCs' goal was to rescue a noble lady of Hardby from their dastardly clutches. I didn't really get too deep into their background, as it was so GH oriented... basically, the PCs had to first travel through the desert to get to the fortress of the Tareg (inconveniently mounted on top of a rock spire). Once there, they had the choice of trying to storm the main gate across a narrow bridge (not recommended) or sneak in the back by climbing the rock spire from the back; mountain climbing skills needed; or a good thief. The Tareg were a tough and nasty bunch, but I didn't delve too deeply into their background. There really would be no problem in adapting it to another campaign.. it's generic enough...

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That sounds like fun, and straightforward to convert. The Tareg become some tribe of al-Badia, Hardby becomes a nearby city, and the rock spire sounds great. I just bought a copy off eBay, so hopefully I'll get to check it out soon.

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I've read it over, and I get the feel that it was meant to be a longer adventure, but got cut down: most of the fortress buildings are left unmapped (with a mention about it in the adventure), there's a reference to a players' map that isn't included, the major NPCs (Boudicea, Yusuf, Messalina) aren't given as much background or characterization as I would've liked, and there's an interesting comment in the introduction about gender roles that isn't really developed. However, the rock spire and fortress, around which this (short, 9-page) adventure is based, is an evocative adventure location, and there are some very creative, and potentially deadly, combat encounters. (The dungeon level looks like it could be a meat-grinder if things go badly, but it sure looks fun! I also liked the ambush setup.) So what's there is good, I just wanted more. :-)

There seems to be a problem with the spire, though. As it's designed, the Tareg in the fortress seem pretty effectively cut off from the desert. In the desert encounters with the Tareg, it's stated that survivors will flee to Ghazal to warn the fortress; how do they get up there? (The spire is 1400' tall.) I'm thinking of changing things around a bit, with a switchback path up the outside of the spire for relatively easy access, and the PCs climbing the wall that faces the plateau cliff, underneath the bridge. That also addresses another concern I had, which is that it might be too easy for guards to notice the PCs coming a long way off as they climb up the exposed wall.

BTW, I've got issue #31 with the errata for the ambush map. I've also read that there are further errata in issue #32, but I don't have that one. Can anyone tell me the nature of the "Ghazal" errata in issue #32?

The Exchange

BTW, does it bother anyone else that someone could scale a 1400' vertical rock tower in about 20 minutes? (Figure a 7th-level rogue, 10 Climb ranks, Dex bonus, and climbing kit, making DC 15 checks, climbing at one-quarter speed.) Or even 10 minutes if he's very skilled and in a hurry? The result of not having fatigue rules for ordinary actions...

Frog God Games

I just flipped through #32, which has another excellent David Howery adventure (Ghost Dance), and did not find another errata side bar like in #31.

There is a mention of "Ghazal" in the letters, though, talking about the errata.

The gist of the new information is this:

Create your own Player Map by photocopying the DM map on page 24, deleting the location of Ghazal and the WoG hex reference, and placing a question mark somehwere in the fortress's general vicinity.

It also said, "On page 29, areas 8A-8E became aeas 8-12 during the editing process, but somehow the text was never changed."

That's all I could find on it.


Occam wrote:
BTW, does it bother anyone else that someone could scale a 1400' vertical rock tower in about 20 minutes? (Figure a 7th-level rogue, 10 Climb ranks, Dex bonus, and climbing kit, making DC 15 checks, climbing at one-quarter speed.) Or even 10 minutes if he's very skilled and in a hurry? The result of not having fatigue rules for ordinary actions...

hmm... is that using 3.5E rules? I don't think it worked quite like that under 2E.... I don't have any of my stuff here in front of me, but I don't think that using the climbing rules from 2E or 1E would let you climb it that fast...

The Exchange

Greg V wrote:

Create your own Player Map by photocopying the DM map on page 24, deleting the location of Ghazal and the WoG hex reference, and placing a question mark somehwere in the fortress's general vicinity.

It also said, "On page 29, areas 8A-8E became aeas 8-12 during the editing process, but somehow the text was never changed."

That's all I could find on it.

Thanks! I'm sure that was it.

The Exchange

Dave Howery wrote:
Occam wrote:
BTW, does it bother anyone else that someone could scale a 1400' vertical rock tower in about 20 minutes? Or even 10 minutes if he's very skilled and in a hurry? The result of not having fatigue rules for ordinary actions...
hmm... is that using 3.5E rules? I don't think it worked quite like that under 2E.... I don't have any of my stuff here in front of me, but I don't think that using the climbing rules from 2E or 1E would let you climb it that fast...

Yup. Default climb is at quarter speed (half speed if you're willing to take a -5 on the checks), lightly encumbered humans have a speed of 30' per round (1400' / ~7'/rd. =~ 200 rounds). The real difference, and I think the reason it's so much faster in 3e, is the round length: rounds are 6 seconds long; 10 rounds per minute.

Now, in "real" life, climbing 7 or 8 feet in six seconds seems reasonable, but you couldn't keep that up for long. In D&D, though, it takes at least 8 hours before you start feeling the effects of "normal" movement (movement at normal speed). Hmmm... might be time for some house rules.


wow. Well, if they're climbing that fast, they're going to hit that broken ledge at full speed without noticing it, and go tumbling down.... that'll teach 'em... :)

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