Regarding “The South”: Many of the alternate D&D settings that were tacked onto Abeir-Toril were not included in Ed Greenwood’s original vision for the Forgotten Realms, most notably the Al’Qadim (Arabian Adventures) setting and Kara-Tur (Oriental Adventures) setting. In many of his writings, Ed Greenwood explicitly states that Calimshan was meant to be a “…hot, exotic Middle East/Arabian Nights style kingdoms…including deserts, jungles, and many non-human races…lightly detailed, leaving lots of room for designers…”

While this game will draw on rules and creatures taken from the Al’Qadim canon, we will stick with Ed Greenwood’s original vision of the extents of the Forgotten Realms. The continent of “Zakhara” and other such places are not part of this world. If you are looking for a homeland for an Arabian-themed character, Calimshan and its neighbors Amn and Halruaa are the correct places to reference.

Base Requirements

  • Races: Human, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Halfling, Gnoll
  • Classes: Any
  • Ability Requirements: none
  • Alignments: Any
  • Starting Cash: 5d4 x10gp
  • Bonus Languages: Thorass, Alzhedo
  • Recommended Languages: Midani, Tabaxi, Lantanna, Shaartan, Akurian, Cosh


  • Weapon Slots: +1 slot
  • Non-weapon Slots: By class
  • Available Categories: By class
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Appraising, Debate
  • Required Proficiencies: none
  • Recommended Proficiencies: none

Overview: A land of eminent traders, Calimshan’s rise as the greater mercantile power is hampered by a lack of unity among the merchant princes. Calishite adventurers are the people who do most of the actual fighting between the princes and nobles. Raiding warriors and mercantile escorts alike are much in demand, and a healthy mercenary industry has sprung up to provide strong sword-arms to the conflicts.

Description: Silks and colorful robes are the trademark of the Empires of the Sands as are embroidered vests, turbans, and thick, curving swords tucked into wide belts. The warriors of Calimshan favor chain mail armor. This armor is accessorized with loose-fitting clothing of bright silks, all topped by a functional cloak and hood of light tan or a slightly darker golden brown. Calishites favor jewelry and ornamentation, and it is almost always gaudy or overdone.

Female Calishites are treated as equals of their male counterparts, though they follow social customs and wear small veils over their faces (at least when they are within the borders of Calimshan).

Role-Playing: Calishites pay very close attention to the potential profits that an investment of time or effort will bring them. However, life in Calimshan is chaotic and these characters have learned to accept that. The weakness of a Calishite is leisure time—they cannot get enough of it. Calishites are not lazy, but they do try to make their duties easier whenever possible. Magic is a source of fascination even among Calimshites. Their expressions of wonder and delight appear odd in contrast with their martial demeanor.

Calishites are also heavily influenced by their ancestral traditions that their people immigrated from the Elemental Plane of Air. They are generally very respectful toward natives from this plane, such as djinn.

Finally, Calishites have huge, overbearing egos. To them, all that is good in civilization comes from Calimshan. And naturally, Calishites are superior in all ways to people from any other inferior places in the Realms!

Special Abilities:

  • Because of their familiarity with creatures from the Elemental Plane of Air, Calishites gain a +1 bonus on all saving throws versus attacks from such creatures. This same bonus also applies to all spells cast against them from the Elemental Air school or sphere.
  • All Calishites enjoy magical items of a whimsical nature. Each Calishite starting out is allowed to select three items on his person that are magic, although their effects are totally useless in combat situations. Possible suggestions include: a razor that shaves the owner’s face on command, a comb that combs hair on command, an incense ball that releases whatever scent the owner wishes, a mug that fills with ale, self-tying shoes, self-cleaning clothes, or perhaps a cloak that fastens and unfastens itself around the wearer’s shoulders on command.
  • Starting at 5th level, any Calishite with the Literacy proficiency may attempt to use both Wizardly and Priestly magical scrolls by making a successful Literacy check. On a failed check, the scroll backfires in some way. This sort of malfunction is almost always detrimental to the thief and his party. It could be as simple as accidentally casting the reverse of the given spell or as complex as a foul-up on a fireball scroll, causing the ball of flame to be centered on the thief instead of its intended target.

Special Disadvantages:

  • The ego of the Calishite is his prime disadvantage. In fact, it is an inevitability for a Calishite, no matter how careful he is, to offend a foreigner. When dealing with non-Calishites, the warrior has a -4 NPC reaction penalty due to his arrogance. A Calishite also suffers a -3 penalty to his starting Leadership score (minimum 1).
  • Because of their ties with the Elemental Plane of Air, Calishites suffer a -1 on all saving throws from spells in the Elemental Earth school or sphere. Attacks made by creatures native to the Elemental Plane of Earth are made with a +1 bonus versus such wizards.

Return to Homelands.


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