Ruins of Adventure
Sha’irs are regarded as enigmatic and powerful figures in the Realms. They do not gain spells in the manner of other wizards. Instead, they acquire their magics and enchantments through the workings of genies. Because genies are a mighty force in the Realms, many would-be attackers think twice before offending a sha’ir—especially attackers who don’t have their own sha’irs and genies supporting them.
Base Class Statistics:
- Ability Requirements: none
- Genie’s make pacts with the most unlikely of characters sometimes. Humans who wish to dual-class as a Sha’ir must have scores of 14 on both Knowledge and Leadership.
- Alignments: Any
- Experience Chart: Wizard
- Hit Dice: d4
- Maximum Hit Dice: 10d4
- Additional Hit Points: +1 per level beyond 10th
- Attack: Wizard
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: as Wizard
- Rods/Staves/Wands: as Wizard
- Petrification/Polymorph: as Wizard
- Breath Weapon: as Wizard
- Spell: as Wizard
- Allowed Weapons: Dagger, Dart, Jambiya, Knife, Quarterstaff, Sling
- Allowed Armor: None
- At 1st level, a sha’ir can summon a small elemental familiar, which will provide spells, including magics that other 1st-level wizards cannot cast.
- At 3rd level, a sha’ir gains the ability to recognize the works of geniekind, including their magics and the items they’ve created.
- At 5th level, a sha’ir can call upon the jann for aid.
- At 7th level, a sha’ir gains additional protection against elemental attacks.
- At 9th level, a sha’ir can call upon one of the more powerful genies for aid.
- At 11th level, a sha’ir can bind one of the true genies (dao, marid, djinn, or efreet) as a personal servant.
- At 13th level, a sha’ir can create a prison to entrap a genie.
- At 15th level, a sha’ir can enter the elemental planes at will.
- At 17th level, a sha’ir can receive an audience with a great ruler of the genies.
Summon a Familiar: This power allows a sha’ir to summon a small elemental familiar, called a gen, which becomes a permanent and willing servant. The sha’ir is allowed to choose which type of gen appears (air, fire, water, or earth). The act of summoning and binding a gen lasts 1d20 hours. If a sha’ir spends the required time fasting and communing with the “nature” of the elemental planes—while uninterrupted—then success is automatic. Gens can retrieve spells for their masters. A sha’ir simply states the spell which he or she desires, and the loyal gen rushes off to the elemental planes to find it. Sha’irs can only request spells which they know exist. All 1st- and 2nd-level wizard spells from Common Paths are considered common knowledge; any sha’ir can request them. Otherwise, sha’irs must have actually seen a spell. If a sha’ir sees a wizard casting a strange spell (or sees its effects), then that spell can be requested, too. Priest spells are also available.
Gens require time and effort to find spells for their masters. The higher the spell’s level, the longer a gen must search, and the greater the chance that its efforts will be for naught. In fact, for more powerful spells, the gen may not return at all—or perhaps worse, may return with a powerful personage in tow, who is very curious to see who is seeking such magic.
When requesting a spell from his or her gen, a sha’ir must specify which spell it is, and whether it’s a wizard or priest spell. The gen immediately sets out to find it on the outer planes. The length of time that a gen searches for a spell depends on the type of magic sought:
- If a sha’ir requests a common spell that a wizard of the same experience level could normally cast, then the gen searches for 1d6 rounds plus 1 round per level of the spell. (All “common” spells are those that are not unique to a Rare Path).
- If it is a common spell that a wizard of the same experience level could not normally cast, then the gen searches for 1d6 turns + 1 turn per level of the spell.
- If the spell only appears on a Rare Path—or is a priest spell—the gen searches for 1d6 hours plus 1 hour per level of the spell.
Even if the gen doesn’t find the spell (or has no chance of doing so), it expends the full amount of time searching. Once the request for a spell is made, the gen cannot be recalled until its search is done. To determine whether a gen’s search is successful, the DM makes a percentage roll. A roll of 90 or more always indicates failure. Otherwise, all gens have a base chance of finding a spell equal to the sha’ir’s Chance to Learn Spells (based on his Knowledge score). The following modifiers apply:
- Each level of sha’ir: +5 percent
- Each level of spell being sought: -10 percent
- Spell is “common” (by the definition above): +10 percent
- Spell is priestly magic, or is “rare” (by the definition above): -30 percent
- Gen repeats search for spell on same day after initial failure: -10 percent per attempt
If the modified chance is 0 or less, the gen always returns “empty-handed.” A gen’s failure to gather a spell never harms its master (beyond disappointment). The gen simply returns after the usual period of search, extremely apologetic for its failure. If the sha’ir requests the same spell again, the gen immediately repeats the search. As noted above, however, its chance of success drops an additional 10 percent for each attempt within a given 24-hour period. (The penalty applies only if the gen is seeking the same spell again.)
If the elemental spirit succeeds, it returns at the end of its search, appearing within 10 feet of its master. The sha’ir can cast the spell within three turns; thereafter the magic is lost. Damage and other effects for the spell reflect the sha’ir’s experience level. The gen cannot set out to retrieve another spell for its master until the previous magic has been cast or has expired.
The sha’ir gains the spell because the gen “shares” the verbal and somatic components immediately upon returning. Their link is mental, not verbal. Hence, the gen can describe any material components needed, but it’s still up to the sha’ir to supply them.
00 Results: If the DM rolls “00” when checking for success, the gen is automatically delayed 1d10 additional rounds, turns, or hours (as indicated by the spell requested). The link between the gen and its master remains intact; the sha’ir knows the gen has been delayed, and can sense that it’s still alive.
Sha’irs who send their gens after priest spells do so at their own risk. Priest spells are granted by the gods (or other powerful forces), and a gen who retrieves such a spell may take more than magic back to its master. There is a 10 percent chance per level of the desired spell that a god or higher being observes the gen’s activity. The DM makes the percentage roll. If the gen is noticed, nothing happens until the sha’ir casts the spell. When the spell is cast, “divine retribution” occurs. The DM determines which god (or being) is offended. The exact punishment varies according to the level of the spell being cast:
- 1st to 2nd Level: The sha’ir suffers an immediate case of the evil eye (as the attract evil eye spell). No saving throw is allowed.
- 3rd to 4th Level: The hand of Fate turns against the caster. The next opponent to attack the sha’ir gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls for the duration of the encounter. If the sha’ir happens to cast multiple priest spells of this level before the next encounter, the results are cumulative.
- 5th to 6th Level: The god (or offended planar creature) sends a “messenger” to teach the sha’ir a lesson about appropriating magic. The DM should bring in the monster of his or her choice, which appears 1d6 rounds after the offending spell is cast. The creature is teleported magically to the sha’ir’s location. As noted, the DM chooses the offended god (though it’s probably an underling performing the task). The monster should be at least one Hit Die greater than the sha’ir’s experience level. The summoned creature attacks the sha’ir with fanatical morale, and disappears upon completion of its task (or upon its death). The sha’ir gains no experience for defeating this monster, nor does anyone who helps.
- 7th Level: The sha’ir is plucked from his or her current position and drawn into the outer planar home of the offended god, where a full explanation and apology are expected. The deity’s underlings are most likely to hear (and demand) the sha’ir’s report. The player is encouraged to come up with as many good reasons as possible for appropriating the spell. (It helps if the use of the spell in some way aids that particular god’s ethos.) The deity (or a minion) then assigns the offending sha’ir a quest and sends the offender home within 1d6 rounds. The nature of this quest will not violate the individual’s stated ethos, and may range from minor (spend six months in the bazaar, preaching the word of Tyr) to severe (return the ruby of Mystra, currently held by an evil wizard in the Cursed Quarter).
Gens: Gens are of neutral alignment, but tend to take on their masters’ attitudes, tinged by their own natural tendencies. Gens attached to characters of similar alignment or tendencies gain a +1 bonus to rolls for loyalty (but not morale). Unless otherwise noted, all gens stand between 8 and 12 inches tall, are of Low intelligence (5-6), AC 15, and have a movement rate of 9. Each has a number of hit points equaling half its master’s current maximum, Hit Dice equaling half its master’s level, and the attack bonus of a warrior that’s half their master’s level. Gens inflict 1d6 points of damage, and are of small size.
When summoning a gen, sha’irs can choose from among four different varieties:
- Air gen, or djinnlings, are small air sprites with bluish skin and white hair. They can fly at MV 12 (maneuverability class B), but have no other djinni-like powers, and cannot become invisible or create objects. Djinnlings are usually aloof and moralistic. They tend toward good and lawful behavior.
- Fire gen, or efreetikin, are miniature fire spirits with ebony skin and long, flame-red hair. They move normally, and can produce flame at will. Fire gens are usually malicious and judgmental. They tend toward evil and lawful behavior.
- Water gen, also called maridans, are small water spirits with greenish skin and bluish eyes and hair. They can swim at MV 12, and can breathe underwater. Maridans are usually capricious and playful. They tend toward good and chaotic behavior.
- Earth gen, or daolanin (day-oh-LAH-neen), are small earth elementals with tan skin and jet black hair. They are the strongest of the gens, and can inflict double damage (2d6 points). Earth gen are usually tactless and direct. They tend toward evil and chaos.
Besides fetching spells, a gen helps protect its master against its native element. All attacks of the proper element are at -2 to hit, all saving throws against that element are at +2, and all damage from that form of attack are at -2 per die (minimum damage of 1 point per die). This magical protection applies to the gen at all times. The sha’ir enjoys these benefits when the gen is within 10 feet. An elemental familiar makes saving throws at twice the current level of its master; otherwise magic can affect it normally. Any gen can enter the elemental planes and move through them at will, but all must stay within 100 yards of their masters while on the Prime Material Plane. If a gen is forced to move beyond that radius (for example, is moved by someone), it automatically goes to the elemental planes, attempting to return to its master in 1d6 turns. If the master moves to another plane, the gen follows in 1d6 days (1d6 rounds for elemental planes). Gens can spy, perform errands, and carry messages for their masters in other planes, but they risk being discovered and even destroyed by those hostile to the sha’irs.
A gen always appears within 10 feet of its master. If this is not possible (for example, the master is encased in a wall of force or a solid rock wall), the gen will not reappear, but instead waits until the first opportunity. The gen appears wherever it is safest (on the far side of enemies, with the sha’ir between it and them). The appearance is random, however, so it’s impossible for a gen to enter the elemental plane, move a short distance, and then reappear in the Prime Material, thereby circumventing walls and doors. If threatened while on the Prime Material Plane and more than 10 feet from its master, the elemental familiar will pop back into its home plane to hide, returning to its master (if possible) in 1d6 turns.
When a gen dies, its master feels the loss immediately—and literally. The sha’ir’s hit points drop by half. If this loss reduces a sha’ir to 0 or fewer hit points, the wizard must make a saving throw vs. death magic. Success means that the sha’ir remains alive, with 1 hit point, while failure indicates death. Damage caused by the death of a gen can be healed normally. A gen that has died and is later brought back to life suffers a permanent 1-point penalty in morale and loyalty. A sha’ir cannot have more than one gen at a time, so the summoning of a new gen precludes the recovery of a former elemental familiar. A new gen can be summoned upon the loss (for whatever reason) of an old gen, but the loyalty of such a replacement is always less than the original. The first gen summoned is of fanatical morale and loyalty (18), almost immune to temptation and willing to lay down its life for its master. For each successive gen, the loyalty drops 1 point, to a minimum of 5. Hence, the last in a long line of gens is untrustworthy and easily spooked or distracted. Such a gen is also less successful; time to recover spells increases by one increment (round, turn, or hour, depending on the spell) with
each replacement, too. A sha’ir can dismiss a gen at any time, with the same negative effect to a future gen’s loyalty, but no loss to the sha’ir’s hit points. A successful dispel magic
or similar spell also can break the link. The latter does not harm the sha’ir, who can reforge the link with that particular gen by summoning it again. The death of the caster also frees the gen of its obligations, and the elemental familiar immediately returns to its native elemental plane. If the sha’ir is raised, he or she can regain the same gen by the act of summoning and binding the familiar. A gen can be ensnared by charm or similar spells, but it won’t turn against its master unless a morale check is failed.
Many rituals exist which allow a Sha’ir to increase the abilities of his gen (beyond the gen’s hit points which increase as the master’s hit points do). See the for detailed rules on performing such rituals.
Recognizing Genie Work: At 3rd level, sha’irs can recognize the workings of djinn, jann, and other members of the genie races. These wizards can recognize items that have been created by genies, as well as spells cast by genies or provided by gen for other sha’irs. Further, this ability enables sha’irs to detect genies that are invisible, disguised, or polymorphed.
The sha’ir must declare that he or she is checking for the work of genies in a particular situation and make a Genie Lore proficiency check. Success requires full concentration; the sha’ir can perform no other action for a round. If multiple genie-works are at hand, only the most powerful or most recent are revealed.
Calling Upon the Jann:
At 5th level, sha’irs can call upon the jann for aid and protection once each day. Jann are lesser genies. They haunt the desert and other lonely, forlorn places, and sha’irs must be in such a location to use this ability. A sha’ir must give a great yell for help to capture the jann’s attention. The chance that a janni is located within 10 miles equals 5 percent per level of the sha’ir. Beyond that distance, no janni will respond. If the call fails, then no sha’ir can call upon the jann successfully in the same 10-mile radius for the next 48 hours. If a janni is within that area, it arrives within 2d4 turns. Only a janni can hear the sha’ir’s call up to 10 miles away; to others, it is merely a normal shout.
A single janni answers the call (though others may have heard it, too). Usually, the creature arrives by flight and is invisible. In areas of relative peace, however, a janni may ride a camel. The janni responds in a friendly fashion to the caller and any other sha’irs who are present. A janni will aid those lost in the desert, even to the point of bringing them back to its own camp, celebrating their arrival with a feast in their honor.
A summoned janni is not charmed or otherwise enchanted by a sha’ir’s call. If the wizard behaves hostilely, or the sha’ir’s companions similarly misbehave, the janni abandons them—only to return later with enough reinforcements to destroy those who would take advantage of a janni’s hospitality. If slain, jann that are summoned or encountered as a result of this power do not provide experience points.
If a sha’ir is party to an attack on a janni after summoning it, this special ability ceases to work. All jann shun the sha’ir. Future attempts to call upon the jann automatically fail until restitution is made. To do so, the offending sha’ir must contact the jann in a more traditional fashion (seeking them out in the high desert) and then offer gifts. Usually, a large diyya, or wergild, for the slain janni plus a few magical items are enough to repair relations.
A janni that answers a sha’ir’s call does not fight for the sha’ir unless the wizard is attacked. Nor does the janni act as a servant, messenger, or load-bearer. Only grudgingly does it perform actions beyond the basic giving of shelter and protection, though gifts of jewels and magic may persuade it to provide more help. If two rival sha’irs both call upon the jann, each requesting protection from the other, the jann who arrive try to mediate between them to resolve the conflict. If such mediation fails, both jann depart, leaving the sha’irs to their fate. While jann may be rivals, they rarely battle each other over such petty things as mortals.
Jann never forget a kindness, including those which they perform for sha’irs. Each time a PC sha’ir attains a level over 10th, there is a 30 percent noncumulative chance that a janni who once aided the PC reappears—and insists that the sha’ir (and allies) perform a certain quest or mission. Failing to comply is enough to destroy one’s reputation in the eyes of jann, forbidding all further kindness. The mission may involve the protection of an item or person for a short time, the location of an item, or some other task with which they are encharged by greater genies. Jann never request a mission that would violate a sha’ir’s natural alignment, however.
At 7th level, a sha’ir gains additional protection against elemental attacks. All saving throws against elemental attacks are made with a +2 bonus. Further, all elemental attacks suffer a -2 attack penalty. And all damage from such attacks is reduced by 2 points per die, to a minimum 1 point per die. If the sha’ir has an elemental familiar, all of these benefits are doubled, for attacks linked to the familiar’s elemental type. Finally, this ability enables a sha’ir to survive on the elemental planes without other protection for a number of turns equal to his or her level.
Calling a Genie:
At 9th level, a sha’ir can call upon the services of a genie—either a djinni, dao, efreeti, or marid. The wizard decides which type of genie to call. Sha’irs usually call genies of the same type as their elemental familiar. Any type of genie is allowed, but relationships are often strained when an elemental familiar and genie stem from different elements.
A sha’ir can call upon a genie no more than once a week. The chance for success is 5 percent per level. If the call is successful, a genie responds in 1d6 rounds. Failure means nothing happens, and the sha’ir cannot use this ability for a week. The genie who responds to this call is not necessarily friendly. If any force or character attacks the sha’ir who called it in the first place. Furthermore, the creature won’t perform a service for the sha’ir unless bribed, cajoled, threatened, or otherwise persuaded.
The “service” performed by a genie may involve labor, transport, active protection, or use of genie abilities. Wishes are an exception. Genies summoned in this manner won’t fulfill wishes unless they can figure out a way to use them to their own advantage. For example, good or neutral genies might try to enrich themselves, while evil genies might try to pervert wishes to their own ends. To determine whether a genie performs the action requested, the DM may either role-play the negotiating process or use the NPC Reactions table. The modifiers below indicate a typical genie’s response to efforts by the sha’ir.
- Payment of 1,000 gp in gems: The sha’ir gains a reaction check bonus of +1d6. The genie does not tell the PC at what point he or she is merely gilding the lily, and gladly accepts all that the PC has to offer.
- Payment of a magical item: +1 for a potion or scroll, +2 otherwise, +3 for an item the genie can use (including rings of djinni summoning and other genie prisons, which are taken back to the elemental planes and destroyed).
- Promise of future gold deliveries: +1 for each 2,000 gp to be delivered, with a time limit and established location. Failure to deliver indicates that the genie in question will come looking for the debtor. (It is a bad idea to cheat a genie.)
- Nature of the Task:
- Task is easily performed and takes less than an hour. +1
- Task involves invoking the genie’s spell-like abilities. -1
- Task involves combat or other immediate personal danger. -5
- Task involves potential danger for the genie. -2
- Task involves working longer than one day. -2
- Each additional day the task will take, beyond the first. -1
- Task is contrary to the beliefs or alignment of the genie. -5
- Task is to the detriment of geniekind. -10
- Threats: The sha’ir gains a +4 bonus by threatening the genie with an imposing force as backup. The bonus increases to +6 if the sha’ir’s allies include another genie (even of another elemental group), but drops to a -2 penalty if the genie has reason to believe that the sha’ir is undermanned or bluffing.
- Elemental familiar: The sha’ir gains a +2 bonus for having a gen familiar of the same elemental type as the genie summoned. If the familiar is of a different type, the wizard suffers a -2 penalty. (Genies feel they may judge the worth of mortals by the company they keep, and consorting with “lesser” elementals is a sign of poor breeding.)
After 1d4+2 rounds of negotiation have occurred, the DM should tally up the modifiers that apply, and then consult the NPC Reactions table. The sha’ir is presumed “friendly” unless threats are involved, in which case the column labeled “threatening” applies. After all modifications have been made to the 2d10 roll, if the result is “indifferent” or “friendly" the genie agrees to aid the sha’ir. If the result is “threatening” or “hostile,” the genie leaves (or attacks, if attacked). If the result is “cautious,” the genie accepts all that has been offered so far, and begins again with the negotiation—forcing the sha’ir to offer more gold, magical items, and the like in order to persuade the genie to help.
Binding a Genie to Servitude:
Part of the existence of genies depends on their ability to serve mortals as well as greater powers. Genies often enter a long-term arrangement with sha’irs. By doing so, they increase their standing among others genies of their kind. While genies enter into such servitude willingly, they know they are bound to remain with their masters for the duration. Therefore, genies choose their sha’irs very carefully. Upon attaining the 11th level, a sha’ir can entice
one of the standard forms of genies (dao, djinn, efreet, or marid) to act as his or her long-term servant. The genie is summoned as noted under “Calling a Genie,” with the standard limitations. Further, the genie is free to accept or reject the offer, or to place additional conditions upon the agreement. Once an agreement is reached, the genie is bound to the sha’ir for a period of not more than 101 days.
To determine whether a genie accepts the offer of servitude, make a saving throw vs. spells for the particular genie, with the following modifications to the target number (thus positive numbers penalize the saving throw).
- Add the sha’ir’s reaction adjustment for his Appearance.
- +1 for every level above 15th of the Sha’ir.
- -1 for every level below 15th of the Sha’ir.
- +1 for every condition the Sha’ir agrees to as a basis for the service.
- -1 for every condition the Sha’ir turns down.
- +1 for every genie that has previously been in the sha’ir’s service (provided the genie lived to the end of that service).
- -5 if the sha’ir has ever used a genie prison to entrap a genie of the same kind.
In exchange for servitude, the genie can demand any number conditions, though some negotiation between the sha’ir and the genie (that is, PC’s player and DM) is possible. A genie that is hostile or uninterested in aiding the caster on a permanent basis may make one or two outlandish demands. However, if the sha’ir accepts them, and the genie fails a saving throw versus spells, the genie is bound. Genies usually insist upon 5 to 10 conditions before agreeing to servitude; binding them can be as tricky as establishing a business contract between two enemies. Typical demands include the following:
- The sha’ir will be allowed to release the genie from servitude at any time, but release will occur immediately if any other agreed-upon condition is violated. In return, the genie agrees not to bother the sha’ir (or allies) for 101 days after release, provided the sha’ir agrees to the reverse. This is usually the first condition called for by a genie. A sha’ir who is serious about their future relationship will agree to it. (Agreement to other conditions is not implied; the genie will agree that further conditions remain to be settled.)
- The genie will not be entrapped by a genie prison during its period of servitude.
- The genie will be allowed to flee a combat if it has lost more than half its hit points.
- The genie will be provided with a large amount of its natural element in a permanent base of operation. (Djinn demand a settlement in a windy spot; efreet, continual bonfires; dao, a regular diet of ornamental stone seasoned with uncut, semiprecious gems; marids, a special complex of pools and fountains.)
- The genie will receive a share of all treasure gained by the sha’ir, ranging from 50 to 70 percent. As a result, this treasure will not be available for experience or training of the sha’ir.
- The genie will be maintained in a style “to which it is accustomed”—that is, in the style of the sha’ir and nothing less. All general living costs will be doubled for the sha’ir.
- The genie will be free from all tasks one day in every ten. (Even genies deserve time off, for good behavior or not.)
- The sha’ir will not ask for wishes.
- The genie will be freed of its servitude upon the death of the sha’ir. Before returning to its elemental plane, the genie will deliver the sha’ir’s body to a particular location, if that is requested.
- The sha’ir will bark like a dog whenever someone mentions the name of a particular god or ruler. (This is a favorite of marids and capricious genies who care not for servitude in any form. If they are to be servants, they might as well enjoy themselves.)
However, once the genie has agreed to the matters (by failing its saving throw), the sha’ir is lord and master. At the DM’s option, if a sha’ir is making too good an offer to pass up, the genie may accept the offer even if the saving throw succeeds. Once a genie has agreed to serve, it must defer to its master in all things, following the sha’ir’s orders to the best of its abilities, and casting spells as ordered. Again, Wish spells are excluded, as noted under “Calling a Genie.” The servant is forbidden by the leaders of the genie peoples to fulfill most wishes, and demanding wishes of a genie servant immediately voids the agreement.
The genie will act as the sha’ir’s personal bodyguard, food-taster, and servant. If the sha’ir
commands it, the genie will stand watch over its sleeping master—with a 10 percent chance per 24-hour period that a genie dozes off on his post. The genie will create things as it is capable, to the requirements of its master. The sha’ir may call upon the genie for advice as
well. A genie’s chance of responding correctly about a given matter equals that listed for contact other plane. A genie is not omniscient, however. Nor will it share information unless asked. A genie will remind the sha’ir seeking information that rumors may be worthless, and that it should not be held responsible if scuttlebutt proves to be incorrect.
A genie’s basic nature does not change in servitude, and a sha’ir who enslaves one should make allowances accordingly. Good-aligned genies bridle at performing evil acts, and evil genies hate being forced into acts of goodness. Genies in servitude are subject to the standard effects of morale and loyalty. They never attack their masters, but evil genies (and good genies that are maltreated) are not above fleeing if their morale is broken in combat. If a genie perishes while serving a particular sha’ir, that sha’ir cannot summon (much less bind) another genie for 100 days. During that time the genies assume that the sha’ir is fasting. Further, they assume that the sha’ir is meditating on the folly that caused the loss of so valuable a companion. (This is not required, and the sha’ir may not even know about it, but the genies assume it’s true anyway.) At the end of that time, genies of the same type gain a +3 modifier against further entreaties to servitude for the next year, though other races are not affected.
Creating a Genie Prison:
At 13th level, a sha’ir gains the ability to create a genie prison. This device can entrap a genie and force it to work for the sha’ir upon its release—with no room for negotiation. The genie even can be forced to do things it otherwise would not, such as granting wishes. Further, a genie prison enables a sha’ir to ensnare evil, mischievous, or rival genies, removing them from the scene for a generation or two.
A sha’ir must create a genie prison before summoning (or otherwise locating) the intended prisoner. The device can be fashioned from any material, regardless of quality, but most sha’irs favor metal for its resilience. Common prisons include rings, lamps, bottles, icons, geodes, vials, shells, and gems. If a prison is shattered before a genie is entrapped, its magic is useless. And if a genie is inside when the prison is broken, the genie is completely free, with no restriction on its actions.
A wizard must labor for 1d20 days to complete a genie prison. After that period, the DM makes a secret Aim check with a -3 penalty for the character. If the sha’ir has an appropriate proficiency (e.g., gemcutting, pottery, artistic ability, metalworking, or even blacksmithing or armoring if the DM allows it), a proficiency check may suffice instead. In any case, if the check fails, so does the prison, and the sha’ir must begin anew. If the check succeeds, the sha’ir has 10 days in which to trap a genie; thereafter the magic fades due to lack of use.
To trap a genie, a sha’ir can carry the prison to the location of a known genie, or summon one using the “call genie” power. The former allows the sha’ir to trap a specific creature; the latter does not. At any time when within 100 yards of a djinni, efreeti, marid, or dao, the sha’ir can attempt to trap it. The genie receives a saving throw vs. spells to avoid being captured. Success means that the genie remains free, and knows who is attempting to imprison it. Genies attack those who try to trap them, so if the attempt fails, the sha’ir had better be prepared to fight, flee, or flatter the genie (giving up a sizeable chunk of treasure) to escape the creature’s wrath. If the genie fails its saving throw, it is drawn into the prison. There it remains until the prison is shattered, or until it is freed in the manner chosen by the sha’ir (upon its imprisonment). The following are acceptable conditions for a genie’s release:
- The genie will become an indentured servant to whomever next summons it from the device—without agreement or negotiation—for a period of not less than 100 days and not more than 1,001 days. The sha’ir determines the words and/or actions that call the genie forth (such as rubbing the lamp while speaking a verse that contains the genie’s name, or simply by opening the container).
- The genie will grant three wishes to the one who next summons the genie forth, assuming the genie is capable of granting the wishes. (This will be against the genie’s will, yet it still must comply.)
- The genie will remain imprisoned until a chosen period elapses, which may not exceed 100 years.
- The genie will remain imprisoned until something specified by the sha’ir occurs— such as the rise of a beggar to become vizier, or the fall of a particular star from the sky.
- The genie will remain imprisoned until a certain type of individual touches it—a poor boy, perhaps, or an honest thief, or a foolish wise man. The sha’ir cannot name a particular individual; otherwise there are no limitations.
No matter what the formal conditions are, the sha’ir may also free the genie whenever he or she chooses, and immediately demand up to three wishes, or demand its other services for a time (within the limits noted above). Wishes had best be worded carefully, since the genie is forced to act against its better judgment, and will seek to turn wishes against the sha’ir (as well as against the wizard’s allies).
A sha’ir can trap up to five genies at a time with this power, although a separate prison is required for each. No experience can be gained by defeating genies in this fashion. After a sha’ir has trapped the fifth genie, no other genie will answer that wizard’s summons. Furthermore, in any audience with a greater genie, such a sha’ir will first have to justify his or her actions. Using a genie prison is a hostile act. While it may be justified at times, in general, imprisoning a genie harms the sha’ir’s abilities to deal with other genies of the same type. After five imprisonments, simultaneous or not, no genie whatsoever will deal willingly with the sha’ir. Genies cannot use their powers and abilities while imprisoned. They are not harmed—for they do not age, hunger, or thirst—but they are aware of their predicament, and no genie feels a mortal truly deserves this power. If a sha’ir makes a prison in the presence of another genie, the genie will attempt to thwart the wizard. Only in one instance will the genie fail to interfere: when the wizard promises (convincingly) that the prison is intended for a particular target, and that target is a traditional foe of the genie in question. As noted under “Binding a Genie in Servitude,” sha’irs who make genie prisons may void their agreements with the genies who serve them.
Upon attaining 15th level, a sha’ir can cross the Ethereal Plane to any elemental plane. To determine success, the sha’ir must make a Reason check. Failure indicates “bad timing”; the sha’ir cannot make another attempt for six turns. Success means the wizard can automatically cross the Ethereal Plane without stopping, go to the elemental plane of choice, and remain there safely for a number of days equaling his or her experience level. The wizard’s experience level also equals the number of passengers within 100 yards that he or she can take along. Unwilling travelers are allowed a saving throw vs. spells to avoid being drawn into another plane. Upon returning to the Prime Material Plane, the sha’ir and any passengers reappear in whatever position they were before, or in the nearest open area should that location be unavailable. Characters who are shanghaied to an elemental plane are protected from the ill effects of that plane for as many days as the sha’ir. If the sha’ir abandons them before that period expires, they’re allowed the remaining time to find a way back (often dealing with local geniekind in the process).
Receiving an Audience
At 17th level, a sha’ir can seek and receive an audience with the rulers of djinn, dao, marid, and efreet—truly a great honor. A sha’ir can seek an audience only once per month, whether the reason is great or small. Only one type of genie can be contacted at a time. A sha’ir who wishes to speak with genie rulers must journey to the plane of choice. Within 1 to 10 days, a procession of genies will appear and automatically grant the sha’ir an audience. This power also enables a sha’ir to choose a willing spokesperson who then seeks the audience instead. Assuming the spokesperson is not a sha’ir, he or she must go to a desolate area such as a great desert, then wait. In 1 to 10 days, a procession will appear as described above, automatically granting an audience.
The Procession. A genie procession comprises 1 to 3 noble genie rulers, 50 to 300 jann, and 10 to 100 ordinary genies. In the genies’ native plane, those numbers are doubled. Genies will not appear at the scene of a battle. If the procession is attacked, they will attempt to destroy the attacker(s) for 10 rounds, then vanish. Sometime later, the same genies or their agents will return to deal with the characters who affronted them.
The Audience. Noble genies can answer questions with the ability of an outer planar being whose Intelligence is 25 (see contact other plane). They can issue rulings on the actions of other genies or their race. And they can advise those who are seeking to deal with genies or other races. If the sha’ir (or spokesperson) reports a crime committed by a lesser genie, a noble genie can summon that creature for immediate judgment, provided the lesser genie’s name or description is known. Characters who stand before the noble genies and make an appeal should note that they, too, will be judged—especially in regard to their other dealings with genies. A noble genie may forgive characters who have slain genies and jann in the heat of combat, and those who have imprisoned a malicious spirit; such applicants will be granted a chance to explain their actions. Applicants who have ambushed genies, violated agreements, slain geniekind without quarter, behaved ignobly to genies—or simply have been party to any of these actions—will find themselves in great danger. The DM makes a saving throw vs. death magic for a character so accused. If the saving throw fails, the noble genie passes judgment: the guilty one is slain and justice is served. If the saving throw succeeds, the noble is merciful: the applicant is stripped of all earthly belongings, and promptly returned to the Prime Material Plane. While great, the power to receive an audience is used sparingly, especially by sha’irs who have entrapped or slain their share of genies over the years.