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Pathfinder Society Scenario #33: Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible (PFRPG) PDF

****( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 5th level characters (Tiers: 1–2 and 4-5).

The Pathfinder Society sends you to the fabled Kingdom of the Impossible, the island of Jalmeray, to stop an Aspis Consortium black market relics dealer who is organizing the local bandits and violently robbing Jalmeray and Pathfinder Society caravans laden with relics, artifacts, and magical mysteries. When a venture-captain is murdered by the Aspis Consortium agent, it's up to the PCs to find him and do whatever it takes to stop him.

Written by Craig Shackleton

This scenario is designed for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, but can easily be adapted for use with any world. This scenario is compliant with the Open Game License (OGL) and is suitable for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

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Product Reviews (13)
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Average product rating:

****( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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A grreat reverse of the standard protocol

This adventure does the opposite of almost every adventure ever!

First off as your venture captain tells you. You should lose, yes lose the first fight! But make it look good.

A clever DM can make this advenutre difficult for PCs wanting to fight their way through it. I killed all the PCs pets and then they decided to try another tactics. The scripts and such for the fights are awesome in that they allow a realisitic means to get through other than killing everything. This goes all the way through to the end! I love it.

a resounding "meh"

***( )( )

Nothing special, but it gets points for the possibilities of variety.

Easy, but interesting

***( )( )

So, I managed to run this scenario in 45 minutes. Why? The spoilers are below.

Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible Spoilers:
I consider this to be a fun little scenario, but it suffers from a few things. It's great that every fight can be talked out of. I mean that - I really wish that there was more of this in PFS, because it is very realistic. Unfortunately, for parties that are not roleplay heavy, this means that it can tend to run rather short. If the party does choose to engage in the combat, though, it is still pretty easy.

All in all, I consider it to be a fun little filler, not terribly difficult, but have a second scenario planned just in case.

Simplicity is often good!

***( )( )

Hi all,
I recently played this module at a convention in Melbourne Australia. I found it to simple, straight forward and fun. Sometimes I find I enjoy the simple scenarios more than the more complicated stuff, due to game balance issues and over-analysis of so called 'challenges'.
The only real criticism I have is that I really didn't feel the pseudo-Indian setting that I think this module was intended to portray. Perhaps that's because we only really got 5-6 hours to get a taste of it at the convention.

Really the only feeling I got for the setting was the Tiger Masked monks hiding in the temple ruins, which was vaguely Indian feeling. We didn't really spend any time in the city, didn't get a feeling for the local politics. A bit of a shame, but time is money right? What I wouldve liked to see was the GM doing an Indian accent for some of the npcs. Or a bit more time spent in the city so we could some of the culture.

That being said I felt the combat encounters were actually pretty well balanced for once. I've had problems with overpowered encounters in other PFS modules, such as The Race for the Runecarved Key. Its was nice to see that not every module is built with overpowered baddies armed with scrolls, potions and other forms of cheese!
I really liked the idea of the first encounter. I liked that you want the thieves to succeed and steal the fake magic staff from you. My group took down several of the baddies and let the rest flee with the staff so that it looked like we were really putting up a fight!

So all in all this is a cool little adventure, simple and fun and thats no bad thing.

Peace Summit on the Kingdom of the Impossible

****( )

"Using the twin guns of grace and tact, I blasted our enemy with a fair compromise" --Zapp Brannigan

Assault is an extremely good scenario, with ample opportunities for all types of play. It is unusual in the high number of encounters that can be bypassed via Diplomacy, so if you don't think that's a good thing, you may strongly disagree with my review.

Challenge (2.5/5)::
It isn't easy to judge the full difficulty of this scenario, despite having run it, due to the sheer amount of fights that you can talk down. In fact, I've generally seen over half of the fights ended via Diplomacy, including the BBEG fight with Zamir. The opponents seem fairly respectable, and one of the most amusing challenges is in actually losing a fight when necessary! I'll rate it down from 3/5 to 2.5/5 just because the Diplomacy DCs are low enough that any real Diplomacy character can just end everything if they do decide to take the talkie route.

Interesting Encounters (4/5)::
Okay, it's true. Most of these encounters are some dudes (and a training dummy) in a ruin. Standard fare. One of the encounters in said ruins has the somewhat-interesting twist that the monks attempt to pose as statues. The main reason for the high score is the first encounter. This is one of the most creative battles in PFS because the PCs have to lose. Letting Zamir's agents escape with the fake Scepter of the Arclords while making it look like a real fight and dealing with the added factor of the Thakur's men who aren't in on the con can be highly amusing and is quite non-standard. This could fall flat if you don't play up the importance of keeping the con secret. Even though the scenario itself has no mechanic for the NPCs figuring out the ruse, make the PCs roll Bluff checks and roll as if you were Sensing Motive, calling out players who have their characters do creative things to help make the ruse more convincing.

Roleplaying Opportunities (4.5/5)::
Except the thieves you are conning into stealing your fake artifact, just about everything else is a potential roleplaying encounter. Add in the faction missions, which encourage RP, and you can have a huge amount of fun. Obviously, you need a GM who can bring these NPCs to life, so I don't recommend this scenario if that isn't your cup of tea. Even the most bloodthirsty of parties will still get to RP with the Thakur's men, and potentially pursue some faction missions with them. This gives a good chance to show an outside view of the situation from a force other than the Society or the Consortium. The Tiger monks and bandits can be reasoned with and convinced to switch sides. In my first run of this scenario, the Zen Archer PC was training with the monks and the Taldan Cavalier kept trying to mimic their moves, adopting a hilariously Taldan-racist version of their stances and trying to strike unarmed (to succeed at the mission to learn the moves of the style). The slaves offer an opportunity for some interplay if you have both Andoran/Silver Crusade and Cheliax/Shadow Lodge characters at your table. If the Andoran is loudly offering all of them their freedom and the Cheliax character rolls poorly on social skills like intimidate, have the woman in question look to the the Andoran PC as a protector. This can later give the Cheliax PC a chance to trick the Andoran PC into making the check for him, if he is clever. Zamir himself can even be convinced to stand down by successful Diplomacy, and indeed Qadirans get to do some textile wheeling and dealing with him. To make the final encounter more than just a Diplomacy check, have him be at first skeptical that the PCs would be willing to offer him a job after he assassinated their Venture Captain (Zamir himself is not a merciful man, so he might have trouble accepting that other people would think that way). Have them state some arguments as to why he would be better off working with the Society to fulfill his own goals (if the PCs flounder on this, you can call for some Knowledge rolls to point out that the Consortium is untrustworthy and that its agents are more secretive than the Society's and thus less likely to gain a celebrity status like the one he desires). This could have achieved a 5/5 if it had more guidance for making the RP encounters memorable and not just a "roll Diplomacy", as some of the reviews before mine attest it can be in the hands of a less prepared GM.

Golarion Flavor / Continuity (3.5/5)::
Nowadays we've also got Cult of the Ebon Destroyer, but back then, Assault was the only gateway I'm aware of to Jalmeray and all the cool India-inspired fantasy that lies therein. The adventure makes sense that the PFS would be involved, and it all logically hangs together. Unfortunately, it doesn't really include too many Jalmeray elements in it explicitly like CotED, although the GM can certainly add the embellishments if she has time. Everything in the scenario fits for Jalmeray, it's just that the PCs don't encounter monsters or customs that exude the flavor in such a way to help a GM who owned just this scenario convey it. Still, the monks and such are cool, so I was debating between 3 and 3.5. In the end, the scenario gets a 3.5 for teaching me that the leader of Jalmeray was the Thakur, so I could get it right at the Paizocon 2011 Trivia Contest, as one of my few contributions to my amazing team.

Awesome Factor (4/5)::
This category exists for things that just make the characters call out "That's awesome!" On the other side, it includes things that make them groan, but I've named the category after the positive side of the aspect. The setting of Jalmeray, the encounter where you have to lose, some of the faction missions, and the number of possibilities for RP are all awesome. The boon is a nice touch too. The only thing that I would consider anti-awesome is the potential for this scenario to be a pitfall for a starting GM, as it may not give enough to guide them through the RP encounters as more than just a "roll your Diplomacy".

Overall Analysis (4/5): I don't judge often in extremes. A scenario will truly have to be something to get a 1/5 or a 5/5 from me in any category. I know some reviewers tend to rate high, where a 3/5 would be a product they didn't like. For me, Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible's lowish 4/5 (it had an average of 3.7) means that the scenario is very good and fun to play. This places it at about "Paizo average" quality, but only because Paizo's quality tends to be high, so I expect a high median quality from them. Again, stay away from this scenario as a GM if you aren't prepared for some immersive RP (and as usual for PFS scenarios, wordcount is at a premium, so be ready to make up a lot of the content of that RP, beyond the gist of the situation, yourself). If you can do that, and particularly if you can do a bit of research into Jalmeray, your group will remember this scenario for a long time.

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