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Khalid - Baldur's Gate video game - Portrait

Khalid

(Baldur's Gate)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Khalid (pronounced Kal-Ed, unintuitively) is a companion in the classic Baldur’s Gate video game.

It was based on Dungeons & Dragon, and released in 1998.

There are several other articles that may be useful for context :

As explained in the Forgotten Realms primer, these profiles are based on a modded playthrough. Notably, these add a fair bit of intra-party banter. In the baseline game, the companions receive less characterisation.

This profile, he’s got S P O I L E R S. Howbeit, due to time constraints, our BG companion profile only cover them up to level 5 for now.


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Background

  • Real Name: Khalid.
  • Note: Calishites normally state their full name, so it should be Khalid yn (father’s name goes there) el (family name goes there). That Khalid doesn’t do so likely marks his status as a minority outsider.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: Jaheira (wife), father and brothers (mentioned, names unrevealed).
  • Group Affiliation: Harpers.
  • Base of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 5’5″ Weight: 145 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Red.


Powers & Abilities

Khalid is a serious but unenthusiastic fighter. He works with a typical elf-inspired loadout – broadsword, longbow, splint mail.

Though he’s not big (slightly under the average for his species) he’s quick and fights smart. Khalid is easy to underestimate, and he’s strong for a 145 lbs. dude.

On the other hand, Khalid has but a mediocre level of resolve and charisma, and poor assertiveness and decisiveness.


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In this playthrough

In this playthrough, Khalid shifts to a heavier loadout with plate mail and tower shield. Then to ankheg plate and a magical large shield.

He focuses his training on a shield-and-broadsword form, including fighting in tandem with Jet Foundling to hold the line.

If Jet can hold back the enemy by herself, Khalid fights as an archer. But he’ll be the first to drop the bow and run into melee if more bodies are needed to form a rank at Jet’s side.

See the game stats for a breakdown of his equipment during this playthrough (up to level 5).

On the level

How the seasoned Khalid and Jaheira can be level 1 when you meet them is a mystery for the ages.

Since the early party being level 1 is such an important part of the Baldur’s Gate experience, we’ll go along with it and suspend disbelief. Maybe the couple was badly wounded during an adventure, their lives only narrowly saved by their colleagues.

In this No-Prize Hypothesis , Khalid and Jaheira have only been let go by the healers recently and still have sutured wounds to keep clean, curative potions to drink, sequelae from a concussion, etc.. It might also help explain why Khalid is so disoriented and Jaheira so cranky when met.

Or perhaps it was a draining curse, such as a wight ’s touch. If so, the couple had been travelling to Candlekeep where Gorion was researching means of helping them recover more quickly from levels loss.

For what it’s worth, mods mention Khalid having been captured and tortured not too long before CHARNAME left Candlekeep, and still being diminished.


Land of pashas

Khalid comes from Calimshan. This is a land far away to the South. Calimshan is primarily populated by Humans. It is essentially heroic fantasy Arabia — with djinns and stuff — with major fantasy Turkish influences.

Calimshan - map - Forgotten Realms - D&D

However it is not a desert. The climate of most of the land is hot, but humid. The population is also varied, though most people will have at least dusky skin. The dominant Human ethnicity has dark brown skin. These people are descended from the first Humans who came there, as slaves to mighty Genies . Now, they are the dominant caste.

The roots of Calimshan go back nearly 8,000 years before the Realms’ common era. The Genie Calim came from places unknown with Human and Halfling slaves. With those and Genie allies of his, Calim conquered the cavemen of the region. He created a great empire rivalling the nearby pre-Human powers.

When Genie fought against Genie, the destruction was unimaginable. Thus, Calim’s empire was nearly razed during a strange war against the Efreet Memnon and his allies, who had been pursuing Calim across realities. That was the Era of Skyfire . It lasted until the great Elven empires nearby put an end to it with even mightier magic.

The Human former slaves gradually rose to independence and formed Coramshan, the first Human nation on the Sword Coast. Over the ages, this evolved into Calimshan.

Thus, Calimshan is an ancient country. Most of its customs have ossified into counter-productiveness. It is a highly stratified society with hypocritical and corrupt elites and institutions, which means life there can be… interesting. Everything in Calimshan is complicated, since there’s so much history and tradition.


History

Khalid comes from a Calishite merchant family. However, all his half-brothers had seniority over him. As a result, he joined the local militia for a career. One doubts he ever rose in the ranks, though.

Half-Elves are rare in Calimshan. They run into nasty prejudice caused by thousands of years of poor relations with the Elven powers of old. It is in fact common for Half-Elves there to disguise themselves to pass as Humans.

The two most likely scenarios are :

  • Khalid is from a Half-Elf family that somehow made a living as merchants in Calimshan. That might be comparable to Korean-Americans running a grocery in a reactionary White neighbourhood during the 1940s.
  • Khalid was an illegitimate son born to a Human family after an ill-conceived affair with an Elf. Given the importance of face and pride in Calishite society, his very existence as an Half-Elf would have been a major black mark upon his family.

Nothing is stated in-game. But based on allusions in dialogue and a general knowledge of Calimshan society :

  • One gets the impression that his mother resented Khalid’s race. That means that the second scenario is more probable.
  • Being proud of their dual heritage was something that Khalid dearly wanted for his future children. This might hint at having had to pass for Human for much of his life.
  • It is entirely possible that Khalid was forced into enlisting to get rid of him.

Rebirth of the harp

How he met Jaheira and left Calimshan is unrevealed, but the two may be tied. The pair eventually became a couple then married, with Khalid’s sword ever at Jaheira’s side as Harpers  agents.

The Friendly Arms fortified Inn in the Baldur's Gate video game - Forgotten Realms

The fortified Friendly Arms inn, where Khalid and Jaheira meet CHARNAME and Imoen.

One bit of modded-in banter mentions that Khalid and Jaheira met during a ball. In Jaheira’s telling it was she who accosted Khalid, taking pity of his shyness as he had been left alone. In Khalid’s version, it was Jaheira who was alone due to her lack of tact.

Khalid was once captured and tortured by what likely were Zhentarim  forces, though he cannot be sure. Jaheira rescued Khalid, with Gorion’s help.

In 1368 (Dales’ reckoning), Khalid was on the Sword Coast. He and Jaheira had been summoned to meet with their colleague Gorion, waiting for him at the Friendly Arms fortified inn.


Description

Khalid is an Half-Elf, so he’s a few inches shorter than an equivalent Human would be.

One assumes that he has a Middle-Eastern skin tone. However it might be a bit lighter since he has red hair (presumably from the Elven half of his ancestry).

He has a stammer, though it’s a relatively light one.


Personality

Khalid is a shy, pessimistic, unassertive man. He’s usually unsure and hesitant.

Though he’s a professional fighter, he’s clearly nervous and flustered when entering combat. He may reflexively fall back if overwhelmed or badly wounded.

On the other hand, his being so cautious sometimes averts disaster.

Marital arts

Khalid much prefers letting Jaheira take all the decisions. His life is thus much simpler (and interesting) since he met her. Khalid is highly devoted to his wife.

Still, he will attempt to moderate her rash bluntness in social situations. He also occasionally enjoys making ridiculously twee and/or overwrought compliments about Jaheira, to make her laugh.

Unlike his wife, Khalid is Neutral Good. He likes and even admires prominent Good-aligned adventurers, and looked up to Gorion for upholding the cause. Khalid also appreciates that Ms. Foundling is bringing honour to Gorion’s memory by fighting for good. Upholding goodness is his main drive.

A touch of green

He doesn’t share Jaheira’s radical druidic agenda. Though of course he’ll go along with her in any case.

Khalid feels nervous underground, in darkness and in enclosed spaces, but not pathologically so. He much prefers sunlight and pristine wilderness.

Khalid feels intimidated in cities. This may be in part because his native Calimshan is heavily urbanised, and being away from prying eyes that could unearth his Half-Elf heritage felt like freedom.


Quotes

(To Jaheira) “N-n-now d-dear, I think we should be nicer toward those p-poor girls.” (Jaheira glares at him, but does crank it down a notch)

“C-cities are always so i-intimidating. S-so full of p-people.”

“But at other times, I want to find a place to s-stop, to plant a garden… to make a f-family, centered in their being as c-creatures of dual heritage, and taught by their m-mother to be proud of everything they are.”

“M-m-my heart isn’t really into this…”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Khalid (Level 1)

Dex: 03 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Neutral Good
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Harper agent
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Wealth: 003
Init: 008 HP: 004

Powers:
Iron Will: 02, Thermal vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Iron Will is limited to sleep and charm magical effects.
  • Iron Will and Thermal Vision are Form Function.

Skills:
Martial Artist (EV): 03, Weaponry (Melee): 04, Weaponry (Missile): 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Martial Artist (EV) only when wielding a one-handed sword.
  • Weaponry (Melee) is specialised in one-handed swords. Other melee weapons are at 02, to simplify.
  • Weaponry (Missile) is specialised in bows. Other missile weapons are at 02, to simplify.

Advantages:
Credentials (Harpers, Low), Language (Alzhedo), Slowed Ageing (Doubled longevity).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Jaheira, 0 points), Exile (Voluntary), Misc.: Khalid experiences nightmares, ever since he was tortured.

Equipment:

  • Broadsword [BODY 04, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning].
  • MEDIUM SHIELD [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 04), Recommended STR 02, Descriptor: Bludgeon, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 2 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 2 APs].
  • Medium bow [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 01, Recommended STR: 03, R#02, Bow Advantage (EV is 04, Range is 06), Limitation : Low Penetration].
  • SPLINT MAIL [BODY 03, Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 03, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing RV): 01 (cap is 07), Enhance (Slashing, Piercing RV): 01 (cap is 08), Enhance (Laser, heat/flame, Acid RV): 01 (cap is 06), Stealth penalty 3/3, Limitations:
    • Damage Capacity only vs. Piercing and Slashing RAPs.
    • Damage Capacity has the Full Recovery with Infrastructure Bonus.
    • Partial Coverage (Long coat).]

Khalid (Level 5)

Dex: 04 Str: 03 Bod: 03 Motivation: Neutral Good
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 02 Occupation: Harper agent
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Wealth: 004
Init: 009 HP: 020

Powers:
Iron Will: 02, Thermal vision: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Iron Will is limited to sleep and charm magical effects.
  • Iron Will and Thermal Vision are Form Function.

Skills:
Martial Artist (EV): 05, Weaponry (Melee): 05, Weaponry (Missile): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Martial Artist (EV) only when wielding a one-handed sword.
  • Weaponry (Melee) is specialised in one-handed swords. Other melee weapons are at 02, to simplify.
  • Weaponry (Missile) is specialised in bows. Other missile weapons are at 02, to simplify.

Advantages:
Credentials (Harpers, Low), Language (Alzhedo), Slowed Ageing (Doubled longevity).

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Jaheira, 0 points), Exile (Voluntary), Misc.: Khalid experiences nightmares, ever since he was tortured.

Equipment (offence):

  • Varscona sword [BODY 06, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 07), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, bludgeoning, cold, Advantage: +2].
    This magical broadsword is thought to be possessed by an enraged wraith, and is preternaturally cold. It reportedly was buried with the mummified remains of a priestess who was to eventually rise as an undead, but the ritual went wrong.
    Jaheira was slain by this blade, though she could be resurrected in time. Khalid took it once Varscona’s wielder had been slain, for personal reasons.
  • Harrower sword [BODY 06, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Enhance (EV against undead): 01 (cap is 08), Descriptor: Slashing, piercing, Advantage: +1 (+3 vs. undead)].
    Another magical broadsword, with a dweomer that excels at destroying the undead (the two Enhances stack).
    It was once wielded by the paladin Ariabel, who died when fighting the vampire Zerabel. Khalid looted it from an assassin sent by the Iron Throne.
  • Medium bow [BODY 03, Projectile weapon: 03, Ammo: 01, Recommended STR: 03, R#02, Bow Advantage (EV is 04, Range is 06), Limitation : Low Penetration].
  • Darts [BODY 01, Projectile weapons: 02, Ammo: 05]. Medieval darts aren’t like modern pub darts – they’re more like small javelins.
    These are backup weapons, in case Khalid suddenly needs to make a ranged attack.

Equipment (defence):

  • LARGE SHIELD +1 [BODY (Hardened Defenses) 05, Enhance (EV): 01 (cap is 05), Recommended STR 02, Descriptor: Bludgeon, Note: OV/RV bonus when using the Block Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Note: the OV bonus for the Shield Cover Manoeuvre is 3 APs, Advantage: +1].
  • Amulet of protection +1 (BODY 02, advantage: +1].
  • Healing potion (x5) [BODY 01, Damage Transference (No Delay, No Damage Taken): 02, Grenade Drawback].
  • ANKHEG PLATE ARMOUR W/ FULL STEEL HEAUME [BODY 06, Conditional Soaking (Slashing damage), Blunting: 02, Damage capacity: 06, Enhance (Bludgeoning, Piercing, Slashing, Acid RV): 02 (cap is 09), Enhance (Laser, cold, heat/flame, Ballistic, Electrical RV): 01 (cap is 06), Enhance (RV against Critical, Devastation and doubles): 04 (cap is 10), Enhance (Unarmed RV): 04 (cap is 11), Miniaturisation: 01, Shade (Audial): 01, Stealth penalty 2/2, Drawback: Audial Perception rolls have +2CS to their OV/RV, Drawback: Visual Perception rolls have a +1CS to their OV/RV when the face protector is on, Bonuses & Limitations:
    • Damage Capacity has the Instant Recovery Bonus.
    • Damage Capacity only for Slashing and Piercing damage.
    • Miniaturisation only affects weight.

    Through a fertile mix of hard work, overconfidence and blind luck, the party has two such mixed suits. The main protections are ankheg chitin plates, supplemented by high-end steel gauntlets, helmet and supplemental parts.
    These suits are as good as the best non-magical field plate armour. They are also markedly lighter and less noisy.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Baldur’s Gate computer RPG.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 15th of August, 2019.

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