Lost Omens: Impossible Lands, the latest Lost Omens sourcebook for Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2), teleports us to some of the more dangerous lands of Golarion!
The locales featured in Impossible Lands are some that I’ve played in the least, but that’s not for lack of interest! Between hordes of undead armies, wizard-kings, and excitingly-bizarre technologies, the Impossible Lands feature countless plot hooks for seasoned adventurers looking to test their mettle in some of the more powerful areas of the world.
And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Lost Omens: Impossible Lands pairs wonderfully with the recent Book of the Dead Pathfinder supplement, or even the Guns & Gears supplement. Both of which, incidentally, we’ve covered here at Nerds on Earth. There’s plenty of crossover in those books to give you all of the skeletons, zombies, and technological marvels that you could ever want.
Let’s charge straight into the details of the book!
Lost Omens: Impossible Lands: Who It’s For
To start it off, Impossible Lands definitely isn’t only for Gamemasters. Unlike some of the Lost Omens lines, this book has a decent number of player options, especially if you want to play as some of the more obscure and rare ancestries in the game. I’m talking about Fleshwarpers, Geniekin, Tieflings, Ghoran, Kashrishi, Nagaji, Vanara, and Vishkanya. All of these have associated Feats and and history that will allow you to bring these characters from page to game.
And what better way to present these character options than to also give you a boatload of information about their origins? Check out these locations that Impossible Lands covers in-depth:
- Alkenstar – Full of advanced technology, machinery, and clockwork genius
- Bhopan – Reclusive nation entwined with the fey and their magic
- Geb – Undead population constantly clashing with Nex
- Jalmeray – Sprawling landscapes tended by genie caretakers
- Mana Wastes – Magical wasteland of dangerous storms and chaos
- Nex – Vibrantly colorful nation led by the wizard-king of the same name
I tried to summarize each of those locations in a tiny blurb, but I certainly didn’t do them all the justice they deserve. What I hoped to convey is that these are incredibly unique places with ties to each other under the same ‘Impossible Lands’ umbrella. If you want more details to play in these areas, this book has you covered.
Each section comes with history, geography, culture, notable landmarks, and other tidbits that will give Gamemasters plenty of material to run with. With every piece of art there are numerous plot hooks that will drum up to the top of your mind. The spread of Quantium, the capital of Nex, on pages 250-251 is an exceptional example of this. You have people floating/flying, spires rising from the clouds, and the crown-jewel known as Bandeshar floating out of reach from those who aren’t privy to its secrets.
I especially appreciate when the authors put in the ‘Adventuring In’ sections, which often yield more player options like spells, items, feats, and more. Seeing the products of these Impossible Lands nations helps to add more context to the inhabitants and their beliefs.
The Impossible Lands setting is whimsical, terrifying, and enticing, all at once. Gamemasters will find abundant details on the setting within, and players will gather plenty of inspiration for their characters, both mechanically and stylistically.
Lost Omens: Impossible Lands: The Best Parts
Now it’s time to pick out my three favorite things in Paizo’s Impossible Lands for Lost Omens! These are specific to my tastes, and just know that there is plenty more where this all comes from.
Shrapnel Tree Groves in Bhopan (Pg 115)
Bhopan isn’t a nation that I’d really known much about before reading Impossible Lands, but it’s quickly risen to the top of my favorites list alongside Galt. I’ve become more and more interested in the fey influence over Golarion, and Bhopan has that in droves.
Shrapnel Tree Groves are one of the more notable features in Bhopan, and they’re a frightful concept for a forest. Basically, these trees have plump fruits that will fall down when fully ripe. When they hit the ground, they send bits of wood and thorns flying everywhere, forming deadly, natural shrapnel that will be the end of any low-level adventurers. Potentially.
As much as I like the design of these trees, and how essentially every tree is a grave marker for something that died to its properties, it’s just representative of the types of things that make Bhopan so intriguing to me. It’s actually one of the shorter sections, unfortunately, but I really like what’s contained in what’s provided.
Blood Lord Haeqajet (Pg 174)
This next bit of lore is just so choice that I had to include it, and it’s about the Blood Lord Haeqajet. The Blood Lords are the day-to-day administrators of Geb, and most of them are undead. All of them might be undead, but there are more than 60 of them so I don’t want to put that label on them all because I simply don’t recall.
In any case, Blood Lord Haeqajet is ancient – thousands of years old – and he continues to un-live solely for Geb’s prosperity. However, a being as old as him is bound to lose some of his mind, and Haeqajet is no exception. He’s found a way to direct his memory loss in a way that he sacrifices names, dates, and frivolous details of the empire just to ensure he retains his knowledge of a specific military strategy or moment.
What I love about this idea is that he is essentially turning himself into a husk of himself, but a husk that embodies such an intense love for Geb that he is basically Geb itself. Imagine being so singularly focused on something. Now imagine that focus extending for 5,000 years. That’s dedication.
One of the most recent Pathfinder Second Edition APs is all about the Blood Lords, and you can check that Blood Lords Adventure Path out here.
“”Like worms eating through cheesecloth, these tattered ages flap like white flags in his mind, warning him to surrender, to give in to rest or risk losing all of himself to the eternal vigil.”On Blood Lord Haeqajet, Page 174.
Ceru (Pg 220)
The last thing I wanted to point out in Impossible Lands is the Ceru. Ceru are little blue elephants that are a status symbol amongst the rich. First of all, the art really jumped out at me because they look almost spectral in their representation. Then I started to think about ghost elephants which got me really excited.
Ceru are familiars that players can take, granting mage hand and guidance cantrips inherently through the cantrip connection ability. Not only are these useful spells, but the Ceru also has a Turn of Fate ability. This ability, which can be cast once per day, is a misfortune effect against your enemies, or a fortune effect for your allies.
Having a familiar able to provide that extra bit of juice in a high-stakes moment, is huge! I can envision creating a character who maybe stole one of these from a noble and who really wants to ascend the the ranks of the elite through a life of adventuring for that big payday. Elephants are traditionally wise, so I’d also imagine this dichotomy between the semi-unsavory character and the elephant who functions almost as an ‘angel on your shoulder’ type of familiar.
Lost Omens: Impossible Lands: Parting Thoughts
The Lost Omens: Impossible Lands for Pathfinder Second Edition ties in so many current Pathfinder products, and goes deep into the lore for some of the coolest locations in Golarion. Every page is like diving into a whole new world, each with better art than the previous!
Like I mentioned above, the Impossible Lands are an area that I simply haven’t played enough in, and this book inspires me to at least whip up a one-shot. Maybe I’ll take some bits from the Blood Lords AP or concoct a heist for a very important Ceru. Either way, this setting is incredible and Paizo continues to impress me with their ability to flesh out entire nations with ease.
You can pick up your copy of Lost Omens: Impossible Lands for Pathfinder Second Edition directly from Paizo, on Amazon, or better yet, your FLGS.
[Disclosure: Nerds on Earth was provided a copy of the Pathfinder Lost Omens: Impossible Lands from Paizo in exchange for an honest review.]