Pathfinder Society Scenario #15: The Asmodeus Mirage (OGL) PDF (Retired)

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for 1st to 7th level characters (Tiers: 1–2, 3–4, and 6–7).

Appearing only once a century in the western deserts of Katapesh, the Asmodeus Mirage has plagued Golarion for thousands of years. Powered by a crystal bone devil skeleton and legendary for trapping unwary travelers, the Society has a vested interest in studying and cataloging the source of its power. You have been sent deep into the deserts of northern Garund to enter the Mirage—but there's a catch! The Mirage only exists on Golarion for 24 hours every 100 years. Get trapped in the Mirage, and you may never see Golarion again.

Written by Christopher Self

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 3.5 edition of the world’s most popular fantasy roleplaying game.

This scenario was retired from Pathfinder Society Organized Play on March 29, 2010. After March 29, 2010, it will no longer be legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and will no longer be available in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play reporting system.

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An RPG Resource Review


Deep in the Katapesh deserts a vast, insidious illusion of diabolical power and horrifyingly seductive visions appears, just once every hundred years. It's called the Asmodeus Mirage, and is powered by a strange crystalline skeleton. The Pathfinder Society has long wanted to know more and at last they've managed to both discover its location and figure out its schedule. Now all they need is for someone to go take a look...

The introduction explains how the Mirage works and what else is to be found there for the DM, then it's off to the adventure which opens with the party being briefed by Venture-Captain Rafmeln, the head of the Katapeshi Pathfinders. He's been researching the Mirage for years and can convey - in a breathless academic rush - virtually all the information in the introduction, before sending them off with guides and camels to the remote valley in question. Oddly, it's written as if it takes a scant day to get there, leaving you to 'handwave' the trip or add your own details. The guide is quite delightful, though, and convinced that all Pathfinders are quite mad!

The party will have to contend with the environmental hazards of a deep desert and with the time pressure imposed by the fact that the Mirage, when it does appear, only remains for 24 hours. Once it makes an appearance, you have a set of encounters to run - you can run them in any order and most in any location as well which gives the whole thing a dissociated random air that fits well with its otherworldly nature. They can also repeat, which makes it even stranger and more confusing. Some of the encounters automatically result in a brawl, others can be approached with role-playing and interaction (although the creatures encountered are good for a fight if the party doesn't want to talk!). The final encounter poses some interesting restraints as the crystal skeleton itself is fragile...

It's an interesting adventure, the sort of tale desert dwellers tell one another over their campfires. It's a bit mind-bending too, and if the party fails to leave before the 24 hours are up (there are several different ways in which they can accomplish this) they will be stuck there for the next one hundred years!

Random Frustration


I was enterntained and had a good time while playing this scenario. However I got increasingly more frustrated and uninterested as it became apparent that our choice of actions and our skills had no real bearing on the progression of events in the scenario.

Many OP scenarios railroad players through a predetermined set of events/encounters, but at least have a sense of purpose and manage to give players an illusion of being able to choose which course of action is take.

The randomness of The Asmodeus Mirage takes even that away and made me loose all sense of selfdetermination. The scenario absolutely succeeds at making me feel lost as in wandering through endless dunes, but more in a frustrating way than in a wanderous desert exploration way.

We had fun however the faction missions where well thought out.

Hard and surreal...


This adventure is NOT for the faint of heart, but I actually consider this one to be one of the better PFS Scenarios. Why? Because the atmosphere, if adequately evoked, is unique, has a surreal touch and is just plain fun. I ran this as a part of my home campaign with slightly modified motivations (each PC got a faction mission from one of his acquaintances) and had a blast running it. My players also loved the utter "strangeness" of the mirage. It's not perfect balance-wise, but the flavor and feeling is unique.

This Scenario is a 2 rounder


This is a good mod but fails miserably because it is a 1 rounder that should be a 2 rounder. The scenario doesn't let the party rest. After 8 hours and 6 or 7 combats later it was finally over. I can honestly say most people were just glad it was over. I don't think it is really the authors fault. I think it is more Paizos fault. They should have made this 2 rounds. I think if the encounter were cut back to 3 or 4 I would have actually enjoyed this mod a lot but If you go into this mod thinking its one round you are going to be disappointed.



I wish to add my input to Chad's. I played at the same table and we were expecting a blood bath. We prepared accordingly. We spoke to everyone who didn't immediately try to bash us to paste (and we were surprised to find such denizens weren't all that rare), used our strengths to counter or neutralize those of our enemies, and found good success on this adventure. I wish to reiterate that we ONLY found good success BECAUSE we prepared and used our collective experience as players. This is NOT a suitable mod for the inexperienced. A poor table mix could cause problems as well. Play, but play with caution.

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Liberty's Edge

The module has some minor problems with certain combatants being mis-placed. Nothing serious but may leave the players scratching their heads wondering if they missed something.


A bear? Seriously? the middle of a desert and trapped in the a dragon's lair for like what... 100 years? How did he survive in the blistering heat with the confusing desert terrain and only bugs to eat? And then end up in a room with the doors shut. On top of that, it's a POLAR bear! (Or dire bear depending on level) With all due respect to the author, the encounter is a little silly as written -- how does a polar bear get into a desert mirage that only opens once every 100 years?

For potential DM's, my advice is to replace the polar bear with an displacer beast that is an escaped pet from the Gnoll camp and call it a day. Yes, Displacer Beast's natural climate is temperate hills so technically he doesn't belong either, but the Gnolls kept him in a cave to guard mushrooms. He escaped a few days ago, wandered in the desert before coming here to rest and he attacks the PCs on sight because he's starving.

It's a tactically interesting combat (and same CR as the polar bear) which makes a tiny bit more sense than a fur covered, arctic animal in a room with shut doors and no food. At least the Displacer Beast is smart enough to work the doors with his tentacles.

It's important for me to point out 2 things: (1) Displacer beasts aren't open content and (2) Who says the bears were in the mirage for 100 years? The dragon uses his lair to collect menagerie's and since he's old, insane, and bored, he forces people to occasionally clear his menagerie. That could have been spelled out better in the scenario, but I don't think it's silly in the least.

Liberty's Edge

This is so far the only scenario I was disappointed in. The reasoning behind the mission was... confusing at best. There were too many combats. Some of which, at the high tier, were just overpowering. A healthy sense of danger is one thing, knowing the creature is going to kill the entire party is another. It was also hard to follow the sequence of events, which may have been the point. This would have been better if it were a two round scenario.

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