GameMastery Encounter: Throne of the Gorilla King (OGL) Compleat Encounter

4.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)

Our Price: $16.95

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Delve deep into the fecund jungle, where the Silverback King rules with a wise majesty and an iron sword. Some say his lair sparkles with the gems of fallen empires, but few can match his ferocity in battle. A Compleat Encounter, scalable to any level, featuring the gorilla king and his monkey servitors.

• Written by James Jacobs
• Designed by Ramón Pérez
• Sculpted by Dennis Mize
• Cartography by Christopher West

Paizo Publishing's GameMastery™ Line is designed to help GMs run interesting games quickly and efficiently.
Compleat Encounters provide everything you need to run a single encounter:

  • 3 brilliantly sculpted, high-quality, 25mm-scale one-piece metal miniatures
  • 4 double-sided full-color 5"x8" minis-scale map cards
  • a detailed level-scalable microadventure with statistics compatible with the world’s most popular roleplaying game.

"Adventure Only" products include only the adventure and map cards, and do not contain the miniatures.

 
Miniatures painted by Keith Robertson.
(The product includes unpainted metal miniatures.)
Original sculpts for the miniatures.

Desktop wallpaper of the painted minis
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Desktop wallpaper of the concept artwork
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Average product rating:

4.50/5 (based on 2 ratings)

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Challenging but Cool

4/5

[SPOILERS]

Before Pathfinder was a thing, Paizo made all sorts of accessories for D&D 3.5 One thing they experimented with was a line of "Compleat Encounter" sets that included a cleverly-designed set of 10 double-sided cards that could be laid out to form a gridded encounter map--like a small version of the map pack sets. The other side of the cards contained a small adventure (maybe three or four linked encounters) using that map, along with artwork of the adversaries. Finally, they included three pewter miniatures of creatures or objects encountered in the adventure. There was truth in advertising here--with one of these sets, you really had everything you needed for a "compleat encounter."

Today these things are long out-of-print and hard to track down, but I got lucky with spotting a few dusty ones at a gaming store while on a business trip a few years back. Then, someone who was giving all their PF1 stuff away (to get ready for PF2) gave me the other ones I needed to complete my collection.

Throne of the Gorilla King is an interesting set designed for 5th-level characters (though there are instructions on how to scale it for other levels). The encounter takes place in the ruins of an ancient, foreboding temple to a dark god somewhere in the depths of the jungle. Here, the Silverback King, leader of a tribe of feral, carnivorous ape-men called charau-ka, rules his domain with the aid of a powerful magical artefact devoted to an evil deity: the totem of Angazhan. A few different adventure hooks are given for why the PCs may have come here--they could be treasure hunters after the artefact, heroes trying to stop the predations of the charau-ka, or simply travellers who take an unlucky path in the dense jungle.

The first battle takes place against Prince Tekawhan (a "normal" charau-ka) as the PCs reach the base of the stairs leading to a throne room. Although this ape-man only has 3 hit dice, it's a tougher encounter than it first appears because he stands at the top of the stairs throwing rocks and dangerous concoctions. When the PCs naturally try to close to melee, they set off some really nasty spear traps while ascending the stairs.

At the top of the stairs, they'll see the gorilla king, Ruthazek, reclining on his throne next to the totem of Angazhan. Ruthazek is a combat-beast when he starts power-attacking, and is as dangerous unarmed as he is with his sword--he's got the rend special ability. (the GM will have to make some quick adjustments from 3.5 rules to Pathfinder for this encounter) But even more dangerous than Ruthazek is the artefact he's guarding: apart from a panic-inducing fear aura, it can cast phantasmal killer once a round at any creature within 30'! Suffice it to say, this is a *really* tough encounter for 5th level PCs--they'll likely be wounded from the trap, some with poor Will saves will have fled from the artifact's aura, the gorilla king is a tough melee foe, and the artefact itself can spam a lethal spell at will. When I ran this, the PCs were only 4th level so I didn't use the artifact's magical attacks, and the gorilla king still took out all but one of the PCs before being finally dropped.

The artwork on the cards is really well-done and perfect for clipping to the GM screen to show players what they're encountering. The pewter miniatures are heavy and well-sculpted. I usually stick with pre-painted plastic miniatures because I have no artistic skills, but in the right hands these could be made into something really impressive. Regarding the cards, I did find it a bit awkward to flip back and forth, and the way they're numbered can make them confusing to use. Still, it was pretty cool to get a chance to see some of the early versions of characters and concepts (like Ruthazek the Gorilla-King and Angazhan the evil deity) that would later be incorporated into the official Pathfinder campaign setting. It's too bad these sets must not have sold well enough, because they're a fun (and handy) addition to a gaming collection.


I go ape for sentient monkeys!

5/5

There's a reason that the Gorilla King is one of the elements to carry over to the nascent Golarion from it's larval Compleat Encounters form. James Jacobs creates an encounter that is both simple and exciting, and sets evocative seeds for a whole campaign. As Pathfinders get set to head into the Mwangi Expanse next summer with the release of The Serpent's Skull Adventure Path, this small adventure seems the perfect treat to whet their appetites. Of the Compleat Encounters I've seen, this has the most modular maps, and the ones most easily used despite their double-sided nature. It's also got awesome monkey minis. MONKEYS! Even without the minis, though, this adventure alone is well worth the price.


Contributor

Has anyone purchased this product yet? I'm anxious to hear more about it.

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