Reunion (1998)

Al-Qadim was conceived to be limited in scope: eight publication in two years. The success of the line (which designer Jeff Grubb assigns to the fact that, like many of TSR’s best material in the 90s, it was hidden from management) led to five more publications in 1994. After that, it was considered complete.

That is why the existence of Reunion, published in 1998, was such a surprise when I learned of it. As an RPGA publication, it was likely written and run as a tournament modules (there’s a long history of Al-Qadim tournament adventures) but I can’t find any confirmation of that. Weirder still is TSR’s decision to publish it for the public four years after the end of the line.

It is pretty great, though. It follows the adventures of the Altair tribe (Assassin’s Creed fans take note) as they are taken prisoner by an evil mage. The adventure is divided into three sections. In the first, players take the roll of the tribe’s men and attempt to escape slavery. In the second, the tribe’s women seek to escape their harem. Finally, in the third part, you are the tribe’s children, escaping sacrifice at an evil temple. Each section is markedly different: the first is combat heavy, the second hinges on diplomacy and the final depends on the creativity and unpredictability intrinsic to kids.

Each chapter is divided into well-structured encounters, each with a definite beginning, middle and end, which flow directly into one another, taking a lot of guesswork out of the hands of the DM. That lack of guesswork is offset when you discover that, bizarrely, there are no pre-generated characters in the module. They don’t even tell you a suggested level.

Despite that, Reunion remains an excellent coda for Al-Qadim, tapping into swashbuckling and intrigue perhaps better than any other adventure published for the setting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *