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ALQ1 Golden Voyages (2e)


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Who among you dares to challenge the high seas? 

Inspired by the tales of Sinbad, Golden Voyages provides the source material and adventures needed to run a mini-campaign on the Crowded Sea. Detailed backgrounds, perilous locations, and wondrous NPCs populate the enchanted seas. Player characters will discover wildly different adventures as they sail from place to place.

Golden Voyages includes six booklets filled with mini-adventures, an overall framing adventure, expanded rules on ships and sailing, details and background concerning topography, tribes, and new locations, and plenty of maps and player handouts. Recommended for use with the Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures rulebook.


Product History

ALQ1: Golden Voyages (1992) by David "Zeb" Cook is the first in the series of "ALQ" supplements for Al-Qadim. It was published in October 1992.

Sources. According to Dragon #219 (July 1995), Cook called Golden Voyages "Sinbad in a box." Much like the Voyages of Sinbad, this supplement presents a series of picaresque adventures set within a nautical landscape. It includes mysterious islands, great treasures, amazing coincidences, and fearsome monsters—all just awaiting the adventurers.

Beginning the ALQ Series. When Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday put together Al-Qadim: Arabian Adventures (1992), they also carefully prepared a two- or three-year supplement line. It kicked off with two other core books, MC13: "Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix" (1992) and setting box, Al-Qadim: Land of Fate (1992). After that, Golden Voyages represented the beginning of the longer-range support for the line.

Golden Voyages was published in a thin box that contained several smaller books as well as a DM's screen. This would be the standard format for the ALQ series, though the later releases would replace the DM screen with six cardstock sheets. Although Golden Voyages was primarily an adventure, it also acted in part as a sourcebook for the Crowded Sea. At the time, TSR was dividing its product lines up between sourcebooks and adventure book, but the "ALQ" series instead provided support for the Al-Qadim line without worrying about what category it fit into.

About Nautical Adventuring Nautical adventures had been a focus of D&D adventures since Cook's own X1: "The Isle of Dread" (1981) for Expert D&D. Thus it's no surprise that Golden Voyages includes tons of rules for ships, ship building, navigation, hazards, repairs, castaways, crews, mutiny, cargo, and more. Interestingly, though, here it's all very pragmatic and adventure-oriented—which is a bit of a change from the nautical rules found in other supplements, which tend to provide stats for ships and rules for ship combat.

Golden Voyages was released just as AD&D 2e began to increase its attention to the sea, as seen also in the release of FOR3: Pirates of the Fallen Stars (1992) earlier in the year. The trend culminated a few years later with the publication of two major nautical rulebooks: Naval Battle Rules: The Seas of Cerilia (1996) and DMGR9: Of Ships and the Sea (1997).

Adventuring Tropes. Golden Voyages is essentially a big sandbox (or maybe "aquarium" is a better analogy) that players can traverse as they see fit. It's also quite customizable. GMs can choose which quest-item treasure to use as the goal of their campaign and can also choose where to put clues to push players onward. Some reviewers at the time found the format quite innovative.

Expanding Al Qadim. The Crowded Sea of Al-Qadim is extensively detailed in Golden Voyages, including al-Sartan, al-Hazan, the Djinni's Claws, and the Steaming Isles. This marks a major expansion of Zakhara.

About the Creators. Cook had previously authored Oriental Adventures (1985) and The Horde (1990); Golden Voyages gave him yet another opportunity to investigate "Eastern" lands. At the same time, Cook was also working on the first Dark Sun adventures, DS1: "Freedom" (1991) and DSQ1: "Road to Urik" (1992). 

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons—a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Peter D March 31, 2024 7:46 pm UTC
POD please!
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Kenneth Ian V July 26, 2021 9:54 pm UTC
In February of this year I sent an email to Wizards of the Coast asking if they had any plans for a POD version of one of their books and got a reply telling me 'Thank you for showing interest in our products but it is our policy to never reply to emails'. I did this because DriveThruRPG told me that the decision is completely out of their hands and is up to WotC.
Since then WotC has tightened up their contact information to the extent that I can't even find their 'contact us' email address anymore.
However, I did find some contact information which I listed below. So, try contacting WotC. If enough people do this maybe they will get the idea that a POD is wanted. One can hope.
Facebook lists their phone number as 1 425-226-6500
Facebook also has a "Contact Wizards of the Coast on Messenger" link in the About section.
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Nicholas P July 15, 2021 4:11 pm UTC
POD please
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Tim K May 13, 2019 3:58 am UTC
Not too happy with the low-res map. The map is a fold-out with a total of 8 page-size panels and is presented in sections. Somehow, the download is only 7mb when a map of that size should be ~14mb+ by itself. A chopped-up, low-res scan of the map is very disappointing.
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Wolfgang W July 10, 2020 4:21 am UTC
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