... now with 35% more arrogance!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Djinn and Efreet

Related to yesterday's post about elementals, I noted on the OD&D forums that the djinn and efreet are not considered elementals in the LBBs, but are more like magical giants. In fact, they "have not the powers typically credited to them in fairy tales", in contrast to later editions that add nobles who can grant wishes. Clearly, the LBB djinn and efreet are supposed to grant wishes through manual or magical labor, just as in the original tales, rather than the later reinterpretation of wishes bending reality; this is why they have this bundle of powers:

  • Carry great weights (djinn: up to 6,000; efreet: up to 10,000. Call it 1,000 gp/HD, but djinn get a -1 HD penalty because they are aerial beings)
  • Create permanent soft or organic items
  • Create temporary metallic items (gold lasts 1 day, softer metals last longer, harder metals last a shorter time)
  • Create illusions, no concentration needed
  • Turn invisible

In addition to these generic "magic giant" powers, djinn have the powers of the air (turn into whirlwind, become gaseous) and efreet have powers of the flame (Wall of Fire, immolate themselves.) You could generalize the "magic giant" template and come up with other varieties: add these to Invisible Stalkers to get a simpler "generic demon"; give these powers to the rakshasha and ogre-mage; give an efreet volcano powers and call him a volcano god.


  1. I hadn't thought about it before, but I really like this idea of the djinn being just like ordinary people with a couple of magic tricks up their sleeves, rather than having "wish" powers. Much more Vancian, and much easier to control as a DM.

  2. Mythology is often far more grounded in material reality than is commonly assumed. I like this take very much. It would be particularly entertaining to have a PC discover that the fire god she had been worshiping all those years was actually an efreet. I also like to grant high level magic-users the ability to delegate powers, making them also potential small gods (like the sorcerer kings of Athas).