Pathfinder Society Scenario #14: The Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch (OGL) PDF

2.50/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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

When four statues of unspeakable power were found in a tomb in Osirion and then stolen, the Pathfinder Society assumed they were gone forever. When they appeared again in the illicit inventory of a Qadiran smuggler in the massive trade city of Sedeq, the Society wasted little time dispatching you there to recover them. Finding the smuggler dead and a familiar face from Absalom responsible, your task quickly becomes a race to retrieve the statues before their brutal power can be unleashed on the citizens of the Satrap. Can you find the statues in time or will Sedeq be swallowed in a plague like none Golarion has ever seen?

Written by Jonathan H. Keith

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.

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Average product rating:

2.50/5 (based on 27 ratings)

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Please Retire This Module

1/5

The premise of this module is certainly not a problem. However, the execution is poor.

The first area leaves much to be desired, with a scene that has players wanting to roll initiative and the DM intended to hand wave it away. If players have encountered Grandmaster Torch at all in PFS prior to this module, good old GT is easily put back into his role of the elite information broker.

The problems start when the players start looking around for their targets. Three potential combats can occur without any maps for the encounters in the module, two of which must occur and are in rather large buildings that a GM has to craft with care. The encounters involve extremely annoying combinations of mechanics for players to deal with. Players WILL get frustrated at your table.

The faction missions, specifically the Taldor and Qadira missions, break PFS rules. Poison is specifically not allowed in PFS. Why is it showing up in a faction mission? The Taldor mission can easily directly violate the terms on which the pathfinders even tolerate the existance of the shadow war for Absalom.

This module is not fun to run as a GM. It is a logistics nightmare, a roleplaying nightmare, and requires a large amount of preparation to run in any method that most players I've ever GM'ed for would find acceptable.

Mr. Frost, if you're looking to retire some more season 0 mods, start here.


Nice flavor, great faction missions, bland rest.

3/5

My players and myself enjoyed the faction missions.
We also liked Grandmaster Torch's reappearance. But the adventure itself is rather bland.
It's great flavor-wise, but the adventure in itself is not engaging.
Solid average.


I wouldn't want to live in Sedeq...

3/5

I disliked this scenario at first, but after running it a few times I am willing to write a review with a fair mind. To begin with, players hate being railroaded—and they are taken for a ride in this scenario. I always apologize to the players when this happens, and I explain that certain things need to happen in order to play out the rest of the encounter. Everyone wants to kill Grandmaster Torch, he’s just too ripe of a peach for the players not to pick. After they accept that he’s only there for display and can’t be had, the game can proceed. The rest of the scenario the players take out their aggressions on the unsuspecting population of Sedeq. It’s simply ridiculous that they can get away with so much murder, theft and mayhem and never get arrested and punished. I think that’s another negative mark on this scenario. Conventional wisdom says that the Pathfinders should be arrested and the scenario should be over after the second encounter. The absence of consequences leads to many chaotic characters having a blast being naughty, while lawful or good-aligned feel unable to accomplish anything without forsaking their principles. Most of the combats are disappointingly easy and too brief, but there’s one that takes players aback and separates the men from the boys (so to speak). I loved the faction missions simply because they were so atypical of Season 0 and created some controversy. There was good campaign world flavor as well, and the many role-playing opportunities really saved this scenario from being a burden to GM.


An explosive adventure

2/5

This adventure was a surprise packet. I played tier 3-4 and in a party of six we were overpowered in some acts. You do get to fight huge creatures under the correct circumstances.

I rated this low as it did go on a bit and has one too many acts for my liking. The ending is weak and there is the distinct possibility of TPK in this adventure as it traps thinking PCs. I was expecting more out this scenario.


The Many Plot Devices of Grandmaster Torch

2/5

This, I tell you, could have been done so much better I can't even begin to tell. Instead, possibly due to the absurd page limit, the scenario is just another scripted combat encounter after another. They repeat themselves to oblivion, and frustrate the players.

If you are going to run this, come up with something much more interesting. Replace maps, tactics, and add possibilities for diplomatic approaches. That's what this needs, since I doubt your first reaction in an urban environment is to blast everything into smithereens.


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Now available!

(Actually, available last Wednesday, but we didn't say so here.)

Sovereign Court

Hey, not fair Josh! In the UK we have been away at Conception running the Pathfinder Organized Play for the last five days. (It was great and all the 5 slots I ran were 200 percent over subscribed by players.)

I would have snapped up these two recent modules with the rest of my January purchases and used the voucher you sent out. Now I try to buy them and the "Add to shopping cart" doesn't work and the expiry date has passed. Why didn't you make these new modules public last Wednesday?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Angel Gabriel wrote:
...the "Add to shopping cart" doesn't work...

Sorry—I broke that earlier today. It's fixed now.

Angel Gabriel wrote:
Why didn't you make these new modules public last Wednesday?

They were available. I was too busy last week to send out a notifying e-mail, but we did mention them in our store blog all weekend. We just didn't create a discussion thread here.

The last Wednesday of each month is the scheduled date for all scenarios, by the way. (I can't promised they'll never be late, but that's the scheduled date, and Josh and crew work hard to meet it.)

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Vic Wertz wrote:
Angel Gabriel wrote:
...the "Add to shopping cart" doesn't work...

Sorry—I broke that earlier today. It's fixed now.

Angel Gabriel wrote:
Why didn't you make these new modules public last Wednesday?

They were available. I was too busy last week to send out a notifying e-mail, but we did mention them in our store blog all weekend. We just didn't create a discussion thread here.

The last Wednesday of each month is the scheduled date for all scenarios, by the way. (I can't promised they'll never be late, but that's the scheduled date, and Josh and crew work hard to meet it.)

They were only available for pre-order when I checked earlier and now they are available for actual download so they would never of been eligible for the holiday discount.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Wintergreen wrote:
They were only available for pre-order when I checked earlier and now they are available for actual download so they would never of been eligible for the holiday discount.

That was just a display issue; the product was indeed available for purchase. (You can't actually preorder a PDF on our site.)

Liberty's Edge

Wait, tier's 3-4 and 6-7?!?! What happened to tier 4-5?

The Exchange

I played this at Pandemonium this weekend. Overall it was fun, but I had real ethical problems with my faction's assignment. Rather than commit a purely evil act (and as a cleric risk serious alignment infraction) I declined the opportunity. I know Pathfinder is morally grey, but are good aligned characters simply not practical? It was only my 3rd Pathfinder, and the GM was fantastic.


NotMousse wrote:
Wait, tier's 3-4 and 6-7?!?! What happened to tier 4-5?

This is Tier 1-7, meaning it plays in Tiers 1-2, 3-4, and 6-7. If your APL (average party level) is 5, you can choose either Tier 3-4 or Tier 6-7.


GamerChick wrote:
I played this at Pandemonium this weekend. Overall it was fun, but I had real ethical problems with my faction's assignment. Rather than commit a purely evil act (and as a cleric risk serious alignment infraction) I declined the opportunity. I know Pathfinder is morally grey, but are good aligned characters simply not practical? It was only my 3rd Pathfinder, and the GM was fantastic.

There will occasionally be missions that PCs won't want to do and that's totally okay. We didn't create the faction missions to be guaranteed successes every time--whether that's from a PC morality choice, a skill roll, etc. You should be able to succeed at more than 75% of your missions in a season, but we don't guarantee any amount.

The Exchange

Joshua J. Frost wrote:
GamerChick wrote:
I played this at Pandemonium this weekend. Overall it was fun, but I had real ethical problems with my faction's assignment. Rather than commit a purely evil act (and as a cleric risk serious alignment infraction) I declined the opportunity. I know Pathfinder is morally grey, but are good aligned characters simply not practical? It was only my 3rd Pathfinder, and the GM was fantastic.
There will occasionally be missions that PCs won't want to do and that's totally okay. We didn't create the faction missions to be guaranteed successes every time--whether that's from a PC morality choice, a skill roll, etc. You should be able to succeed at more than 75% of your missions in a season, but we don't guarantee any amount.

OK, that's fair enough. :) I don't ever expect 100%.

The Exchange

Ran this for a group during MegaCon 2009, just after running Silent Tide for the same group. Was neat to see a continuing character and be able to breath life into it. The group did really well with the exception of a misfired alchemist fire in a certain room making the whole town dive for cover as the refinery went ka-boom! Awesome!
Everyone survived, and had a great time. Definitly some return business here for the new players in the party. Eagerly looking forward to GenCon this year and running some more of these.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Can this scenario still be played in light of Rivalry's End?

Silver Crusade

Is there a sequel to this where GT calls in his marker? If so I'd like to know so I can request my GM to run it.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yup, Torch calls in his favor in 1-45 Delirium's Tangle.

Shadow Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Lord Fyre wrote:
Can this scenario still be played in light of Rivalry's End?

What this guy said. I've got an ex shadow lodge character I'm playing and I'm wanting to know if this is a good scenario to run him with in light of the fact that, after rivalries end he's kind of looking to kill Torch or bring him to justice.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Torch is fast, Torch is cool...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
doc the grey wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Can this scenario still be played in light of Rivalry's End?
What this guy said. I've got an ex shadow lodge character I'm playing and I'm wanting to know if this is a good scenario to run him with in light of the fact that, after rivalries end he's kind of looking to kill Torch or bring him to justice.

You point out a serious problem with the way the Shadow Lodge was dissolved. It left a lot of hatred for Torch, this effectively invalidates earlier scenarios like this one.

Of course, I also feel that disbanding the Shadow Lodge was a mistake. It provided a good foil for the Grand Lodge faction.

Sovereign Court

Lord Fyre wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Can this scenario still be played in light of Rivalry's End?
What this guy said. I've got an ex shadow lodge character I'm playing and I'm wanting to know if this is a good scenario to run him with in light of the fact that, after rivalries end he's kind of looking to kill Torch or bring him to justice.

You point out a serious problem with the way the Shadow Lodge was dissolved. It left a lot of hatred for Torch, this effectively invalidates earlier scenarios like this one.

Of course, I also feel that disbanding the Shadow Lodge was a mistake. It provided a good foil for the Grand Lodge faction.

You may be right in the fact that it may have invalidate this one, but think about life... sometimes we think we are on one path and then something happens that changes that path. My players loved this scenario because it told the beginnings, (This area has only been organized since January and started with Season 5 stuff, so I have been taking them on a trip through season 0 and season 1 scenarios AND story arcs. The first arc, they loved. This one I believe that are loving as well... :D

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