Sunday, April 21, 2019

Amazing Transformations with I4 Oasis of the White Palm By Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, Peter L. Rice.

"The Oasis of the White Palm, which is on the brink of turmoil! Shadalah, who is to be the bride of the sheikh's eldest son, has been kidnapped!"
Here begins the second part of  the revised I3-5 Desert of Desolation series by Tracy HickmanLaura HickmanPhilip MeyersPeter L. Rice. The Oasis of the White Palm is very dangerous in several regards. The events here are world shaking & there is a solid push on the role playing aspect. 

Now at first I4 Oasis of the White Palm seems like a straight forward module that could even as part of the Desert of Desolation series be easily adaptable to the WWI alternative series that I've been talking about. But in fact there are several wrinkles here starting with the super module itself; "In 1982, TSR published Pharaoh as a thirty-two-page booklet with two outer folders, for the first edition of AD&D.[7]:101 It was designed for 6-8 player characters of levels 5-7,[10] and formed the first of the three-part Desert of Desolation module series.[1][7]:101

Oasis of the White Palm is the sequel to the Pharaoh module.[2][7]:102 TSR published this adventure in 1983 as a thirty-two-page booklet with two outer folders, and the adventure was written by Tracy Hickman and Philip Meyers with cover art by Jim Holloway and interior illustrations by Keith Parkinson.[7]:102 It was intended for 6 to 8 characters of levels 6-8.[11] Lost Tomb of Martek is the third module in the series, and was designed by Tracy Hickman, for 7th-9th level characters.[7]:102[5] Lost Tomb of Martek was published in 1983 as a 32-page booklet with two outer folders.[7]:102
The compilation module Desert of Desolation was printed in 1987.[12] The compilation features a cover by Keith Parkinson.[7]:101 It is a revision of the I3, I4, and I5 AD&D game modules, with additional design and revision by Peter Rice and William John Wheeler.[13] Wheeler attempted to expand on the originals, without altering their tone.[14] The adventures in Desert of Desolation are designed for a 5th-10th level party and have been reworked to fit into the Forgotten Realms setting, and the material was made compatible with the Wilderness Survival Guide rules.[3] In the revision, the designers added additional background material, as well as staging tips for the Dungeon Master.[13] The details of various elements that had been open-ended elements were spelled out." Seems pretty clear add in Oasis of the White Palm to WWI Egypt & away you go.
Well. no. The interactions between the 
 the sheikh's  tribe &
the politics of the situation needs to be mapped out. These tribes of 'Arab style nomads' know
about the fellow 
tribesmen on Earth & they'll use the PC's to smuggle in support, weapons,
 supplies, etc., This is 
going to give the dungeon master 
one more 'carrot & stick' opportunities for WWI's Middle East situation during the war. 

Not only are the PC's having to balance this political beast within the oasis but they will have
balance going to 
the temple of Set and the crypt of Badr al-Mosak. Not to mention the sacred relics of 
the peoples of the Oasis with the gems being pivotal to the module's conclusion. 
I3-5: Desert of Desolation, by Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman, Philip Meyers, and others,also expands upon the original module & fleshes out lots of the I4 backgrounds. Dungeon masters need to be aware of this fact or disaster could result.

Set artwork by Jeff Dahl 
This module is going to take place long before the 1920 discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb by Howard Carter. This is not to taken lightly as it allows the dungeon master to sneak in lots of adventure or campaign  little side notes. There's lots of room for expansion with some of the  wilderness of these modules taking center stage. The Amazing Adventures! rpg Companion is going to be a massive help here. From magic to equipment this is the book with all of the bases covered.

Outside of the Egyptian state WWI Egypt is extremely dangerous to say the least; "
In 1914
 the Egyptian Army was a largely native home-defence force. It comprised 17 battalions of infantry (8 Sudanese and 9 Egyptian), 3 companies of mounted infantry, a Camel Corps, support services and various local militia groups. It was organised, expanded and equipped by the British during the prewar years, and led by British officers. Although a few field artillery units participated voluntarily in the defense of the Suez Canal in early 1915, the Egyptian Army was primarily employed to maintain order in the troubled Sudan.[3][4] It has been estimated that a million Egyptian soldiers participated in the First World War during the reign of Hussein Kamel of Egypt, of whom half a million perished!"

The dungeon master might want to be aware of the role that 
Hussein Kamel of Egypt played in WW1 and the complexities of the balance that the Egyptian peoples played during this time.

 Hussein Kamel of Egypt

Supernatural & occult goings on in the desert created by the White Palm situation will not be looked on favorably. Add in the possibilities that adventurers & capes present not to mention Castles & Crusades fantasy characters & running afoul of the authorities could become a real problem. 
Oasis of the White Palm is not an adventure to be taken lightly & should be run with the understanding of the dangers that are present within its pages.
There are few reasons to consider 
I4 Oasis of the White Palm; 
  1. The dangers of the I4 Oasis of the White Palm are very real & quite pulpy in context of the confines of the adventure. Players should not underestimate them. 
  2. Wilderness & random encounters can be quite nasty in I4 Oasis of the White Palm
  3. PC & pulp powers will not unbalance this adventure. 
  4. Likewise fire arms are not going to effect if the PC's die or live. They are not a game adventure breaker. 
  5. There's more politics within I4 Oasis of the White Palm then the players will be expecting 
  6. Monsters in I4 play for keeps & they will destroy PC's without hesitation 
  7. Stupidity isn't repaid at all in this module. Keep extra character sheets. 
  8. The vision of the module has a clear objective & players need to consider that. 
  9. The frame work & adventure locations can serve a continuing campaign in the region which will become very important next adventure. 
  10. The  three Star Gems (the one from Amun-Re's tomb in the previous adventure and two more introduced here) are going to be handy not only for this adventure but for future excursions into the region of I4. 

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