I’m a big fan of sand and sorcery as a genre. I just can’t help it. Sinbad, Aladdin, Lawrence of Arabia, Declare, whatever you name, I’m probably down with it. I mean not like, anything, but like, most things. Within reason. I’m like the Meatloaf of sand and sorcery, the O’Doul’s of Arabia, the…you know what? I’ll stop. You get it. I love the setting of Al-Qadim, Jeff Grubb is severely underrated, and I’m stoked that people are gonna play it. I’ve had the book for like, twenty three years, it’s about time.
One of the weirder things that sets Al-Qadim apart is that they require you to take kits, which were these kind of optional packages for your class in second edition that were almost, but not quite, subclasses or archetypes. Al-Qadim doubled down and made you take one, which really did make it a subclass or archetype. They also only had four primary classes and everything fell under that, fighter, rogue, priest, and wizard. On top of that, they introduced one of the weirdest damn wizard kits, so weird it’s really just a new class: the Sha’ir.
While the Sha’ir is really a Warlock variant in this edition, and I do plan on writing a Genie Pact Warlock soon, there is a lot of like about it in terms of conveyance of theme. I wanted to capture some of the more thematic kits and write a version of them up for 5th edition…but instead I am first writing up a sorcerous origin that would be at home in the setting, the Genie Bloodline Sorcerer.
Your innate magic comes from the mighty genie lords, the product of a distant, or perhaps not so distant, liaison between a mortal and genie or the ancestor of a powerful magic-user that made a deal with one in order to harness a portion of their power. A rare few of these bloodlines are well known in the Land of Fate, with those of the bloodline becoming powerful figures within Zakhara. Any sorcerer could be the first of a given bloodline, given the penchant of the genie to make deals and offer power to mortals willing to serve.
At 1st level, you choose one elemental plane as the plane of origin for the genie that spawned your bloodline. The damage type associated with each genie is used by feature you gain later: Air (Choose Lightning or Thunder), Earth (Choose Bludgeoning or Poison), Fire, Water (Cold).
You can speak, read, and write Primordial. Additionally, whenever you make a Charisma check when interacting with djinn, your proficiency bonus is doubled if it applies to the check, provided it is not of an opposing plane.
Your bloodline can’t help but call out to the least of the servitors of the genie, the gen. A gen of your ancestry has sought you out and has bonded with you. This is a small being, no larger than a basket made up of living flame, water, dust, swirling air, and so on. This being can have its physical form dispersed, but it cannot be killed entirely.
The servitor shares your Armor Class and saving throws, but cannot be affected by area of effect spells. If it is successfully hit, it disperses. Your servitor uses your speed to move, or can move ten feet if you have no more speed remaining.
All servitors shed light equal to a torch, unless ordered to not do so.
As a bonus action, you may perceive through your servitor. Your consciousness temporarily shifts into your servitor, and returns to your body if dispersed, or voluntarily at the end of your turn.
You may have your spells originate from your servitor rather than yourself, as long as you are within 100 feet of your servitor.
If your servitor is slain within 120 feet, it reforms on it own at the end of your next turn. For every increment of 120 feet, it takes a further round to reform.
Starting at 3rd level, you may opt for your servitor to explode in a violent expression of raw elemental power. The servitor explodes in a five foot radius, and creatures must succeed in a Dexterity saving throw (DC 8 + Charisma + Proficiency Bonus) or suffer 1d8 damage of the type selected in elemental ancestry. If your servitor is exploded in this fashion, it does not return until you take a short or long rest, but it holds no ill will. This damage increased to 2d8 at 5th level, 3d8 at 11th level, 4d8 at 17th level, and 5d8 at 20th level.
Beginning at 6th level, you gain resistance to your opposing element, such as fire, if water ancestry was selected.
Additionally, any time you cast a spell that passes through your servitor, such as a scorching ray or lightning bolt, or includes your servitor in the area of effect, your servitor deals your Charisma modifier in damage to two foes within 15 feet. If this spell is of an opposite damage type from your ancestry, it instead deals twice your Charisma modifier in damage to two foes within 15 feet.
Call of the Genie’s Blood
At 14th level, you may cast conjure minor elementals as a 6th level spell slot, summoning elementals of your ancestry. Spending 2 sorcery points allows this to be cast as an 8th level spell, instead. Once used , this ability may not be used without taking a short or long rest.
Beginning at 18th level, you may transform into an elemental of the same type as your ancestry. You retain your ability scores, but gain the other powers and abilities of the elemental in question. Once your hit points reach 0, you return to your normal form, in the state that you first transformed.
Once you have used this ability, you may not do so again without taking a short or long rest.