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Corsairs of the Great Sea (1994)

Oh hey, more boats! This is Corsairs of the Great Sea (1994) and the first real obvious thematic repetition in the Al-Qadim line, coming not that long after Golden Voyages. Despite focusing on pirates, there are still no ship combat rules.

Granted, it is the sea on the other side of the Zakharan peninsula from Golden Voyages’ Crowded Sea, but the characterization of pirates here is completely contradictory. In that earlier box, piracy is almost a normal trade, plied occasionally by any ship with enough men and bound by the same code of hospitality as the rest of Zakharan culture — there was no Caribbean style culture of pirates, but that’s what we get here. Perhaps it is the corrupting influence of the regular Forgotten Realms, who the pirates regularly trade drugs and slaves to.

The source material is the best stuff in the box, though. The adventures…not so good. They’re a mixed bag, almost all of which involve players witnessing events rather than driving them. Thematically, its all over the place. There are pirates in all of the scenarios, I guess, but that is like saying sticking frost giants, white dragons and white puddings in a cave together and calling it an ecology, you know? (That’s a G2 joke)

Karl Waller still providing excellent art. I quite like the one of the creep rising out of the well. Less sold on Fred Fields’ cover — that fellow seems a little too thoroughly dead for having been stabbed in the stomach.

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