Pathfinder Society Scenario #9–21: In the Grandmaster’s Name PDF

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A Pathfinder Society Scenario designed for levels 3-7.

Two old allies-turned-enemies have taken shelter in a nigh-unassailable sanctum, yet the Pathfinder Society is committed to capturing them in Absalom's name. Rather than risk Pathfinders' lives in a reckless assault, the Society has turned to a different tool: misinformation. Both fugitives rely on intelligence provided by Grandmaster Torch, and Society operatives recently intercepted Torch's latest team of agents. Now it's up to the PCs to pose as the Grandmaster's employees, rendezvous with the fugitives' agent in Druma, and pass off forged documents that will spook the criminals into abandoning their sanctum. It should be easy, but what Druma lacks in marauding monsters, it more than makes up in deadly debts, old promises, and powerful kalistocrats.

Contents in In the Grandmaster's Name also contribute directly to the ongoing storyline of the Grand Lodge faction. Background events leading up to this scenario also appear in Season 4 of the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild.

Written by Jenny Jarzabski.

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PZOPSS0921E


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Creativity gets rewarded

****( )

I’ve said this in reviews before, but simple pathfinder missions don’t exist. This time you’re tasked to meet someone in a tavern. That couldn’t be easier, you’d think, but in the end you find yourself snooping around a mansion, doing a heist, saving a stranger and traversing a labyrinth with some surprises. If that doesn’t get you interested in this scenario, I don’t know what will!

Seriously though, this is indeed reminiscent of mission impossible, like the review below mentioned. There’s a plethora of ways you can gain entry to the mansion, many different guises you can take and as always the option for subterfuge or a flat-out assault. The choice is yours if you want to be nice or not. In my case I ‘accidentally’ made the lives of the servants a living hell because me ‘helping’ made things worse. Players referred to my shenanigans as worthy of being in Home Alone. In the end the servants cried and left the mansion. My character just stood there with a gigantic grin on her face. It was totally worth it.

I agree with Nomadical below. Creative players will get rewarded and role-play should be encouraged. If you don’t and just want to get things over with, I can imagine this scenario can be run in roughly three hours without players missing out on anything. I do think it misses something extra though. The final encounter didn’t really feel like a worthy end to the scenario. Other than that, it was a highly enjoyable scenario that I’m looking forward to run myself!


Mission Impossible - The Classic TV Show!

****( )

Someone call Ethan Hunt. It’s time to go all Mission Impossible in Druma. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pose as agents of Grandmaster Not-Appearing-In-This-Scenario and deliver the forged documents to an agent of his evil allies. But be warned, should you be caught, the Society will disavow any knowledge of your activities. Good luck!

I ran this during three morning sessions at PaizoCon just before its release to the general public. I also had the opportunity to meet and chat with the author more than once during the con. I like it very much, and I’ll certainly run it again.

Let me begin by saying that it runs fast. Really fast. I’m known locally for generally running scenarios quickly, but this surprised even me. The slowest of my three parties (two low-tier, one high-tier) finished in 2 ½ hours, the fastest was right about 2 hours. The slow groups engaged in one combat, the fastest group (the high-tier one) managed to even avoid that. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of opportunities for other combats, but all of these groups looked at the situations and elected to either social-skill their way around them with lots of fantastic role-playing, or come up with creative solutions to the challenges. Their play styles reflected the old Mission Impossible TV show with its emphasis on deception and misdirection versus the current film version which is just a series of explosions and combat. (Note that attendees at PaizoCon may not reflect the experience level of average player groups. I had at least one 5-star GM plus at least one other VO at each table.)

It’s one of those scenarios that lends itself to a certain type of player and group. Highly social and creative players will have fun with it; and while a murder-hobo may well enjoy the available fights, they may not enjoy the final outcome that can occur from engaging in too many fights – nearly the equivalent of being disavowed!

As much as I do like this scenario, I’m only giving 4 stars for two reasons. I felt like it needed a bit more to it. Maybe another encounter or two, or a chase scene (look at #8-19 Treacherous Waves for a really good chase), or something else to fill out the time. Given how fast it ran, it clearly needed something more. It would also have been nice if it had used a standard Paizo Flip-Mat or Map Pack instead of a full-page custom one which also likely required creating and drawing a separate hedge maze from scratch.

One last note. The author has a “day-job” in the industry highlighted in the scenario (no, not International Secret Agent.) Her experience in that field added a nice amount of verisimilitude and ambiance to the writing. I enjoyed running this, and I’m looking forward to her next scenario.


Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Bwahahahaha! Excellent, it's Severing Ties all over again!

Sovereign Court

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Class Deck, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

But... but... I don't have any half-orcs. It'll be super easy to tell that I'm not one of Grandmaster Torch's subordinates.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Crud, you're right. My half-orc leveled out of this. (And would have been super perfect as a former bodyguard of Torch.)

The Exchange

"Arrrr. It be a bit out of my seas but I've experience in these things."

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Whoops, sorry folks. In writing up this product page, I accidentally labeled it a Tier 1–5 adventure. This is, in fact, a Tier 3–7 scenario. I'll put in a request to get the product page updated with the correct information.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

John Compton wrote:
Whoops, sorry folks. In writing up this product page, I accidentally labeled it a Tier 1–5 adventure. This is, in fact, a Tier 3–7 scenario. I'll put in a request to get the product page updated with the correct information.

It not only advances the Grand Lodge faction, but I bet there are a few Players (if not characters) out there with an axe to grind with Grandmaster Torch!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Three things:

1) DRUMA LODGE! DRUMA LODGE!

2) Half-orcs for the win! The Blues Brothers need to do this mission.

3) Will this mission help us reconcile the Torch of 9-00 with the Torch of 9-04 and 9-07? I am still reeling from the difference between the two.

A Tale of Two Torches:

The Emerald Sage

Spoiler:

The Torch of the Scarab Sages Arc is complex, but he's a reasonable ally -- albeit one you might want to be cautious with trusting fully. You sympathize with his past, and understand why he went dark. Also, he's obviously matured and grown since becoming a sage.

The Terrorist Nut Job

Spoiler:

The Torch of Assault on Absalom is a "Wha-a-a-at?" for me. The only thing I could think of to explain him allying with demons and assaulting innocent Absalom civilians is that he temporarily lost his mind due to the Black Moon's whispering in his head. But there's no indication of that in the later Scarab Sage episodes.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

A Tale of Two Torches

The Grandmaster reveals that it was all a ruse.

Which parts?

All of them. Now that he has his sage jewel he plans to enact the ultimate plan - turning the Grand Lodge into a Dickensian Playhouse while the big wigs are off chasing the enemies of the society.

Dark Archive

How about a Torch for All Seasons?

Grand Lodge

@John -- Is it possible to know what maps we'll be needing for this? Going to be running this at a convention next month so we're hoping to learn what maps we'll need to order beforehand so that they're more likely to arrive in the mail on time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My half-orc Grand Lodge character has exactly one scenario left at Level 7! Perfect!

Liberty's Edge

Nice


I know Paizo folks are rolling into convention season, especially with PaizoCon coming up, but any chance we can get the maps list for this one?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Lead Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Maps for #9-21:

This scenario has only a custom full-page map, though it's handy to have a spare Flip-Mat or clean side on hand in case a particular encounter spills off-screen.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I just wanted to pop in and drop some clarifications for GMs prepping this scenario. Since this advice contains some minor spoilers, I've tagged it below.

In the Grandmaster's Name:

1) In the hedge maze encounter on page 15 the final sentence before the stat blocks for the living topiaries says "If the PCs do not succeed on at least 2 of these checks, they spend 1d4 additional hours lost in the maze, and Amynta Irel arrives with her entourage a er the PCs face the encounter in area B." This should actually refer to the encounter in area A14. There was a last minute change making the wine cellar part of the main estate instead of its own area, which caused the hedge maze to change from area C to area B. The party should not encounter Amynta until they have met Emilia in the cellar.

2) The portion of the hedge maze shown on the included map is simply the estate-side entry for the maze. The maze itself is much large than would conveniently fit on a standard battle mat, so GMs are encouraged to draw or describe portions of the maze as necessary and appropriate for any combat encounters that may occur.

Thanks everyone!


Michael Sayre wrote:
I just wanted to pop in and drop some clarifications for GMs prepping this scenario.

Thanks.

Clarifications always appreciated, especially before the scenarios drop!
Looking forward to running this one.

Silver Crusade

Michael Sayre wrote:

I just wanted to pop in and drop some clarifications for GMs prepping this scenario. Since this advice contains some minor spoilers, I've tagged it below.

** spoiler omitted **

Thanks everyone!

That's a rather major change! I was worried the scenario was going to last less than an hour


Dot.

Shadow Lodge

Hmm wrote:

Three things:

1) DRUMA LODGE! DRUMA LODGE!

2) Half-orcs for the win! The Blues Brothers need to do this mission.

3) Will this mission help us reconcile the Torch of 9-00 with the Torch of 9-04 and 9-07? I am still reeling from the difference between the two.

** spoiler omitted **

The Terrorist Nut Job
** spoiler omitted **

[/spoiler]

Could it be that simple? Could one of Torch's escape plans have been a simulacrum-type thing that backfired and is now going around as Evil-Torch and doing terrible things while Good-Torch is concentrating on Sage things?

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