#10-23: Passing the Torch Part 2: Who Speaks for the Ten [SPOILERS]


Pathfinder Society

Paizo Employee 5/5 Developer

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This scenario has some significant decisions in it. I'm not putting any spoilers in because the scenario's not out yet, but you'll know what I mean when you see it, and I need this thread to exist to reference it on the Chronicle sheet :). What did your table do?

Paizo Employee Starfinder Society Developer

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Tease! :)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—York aka Balkin

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I expected it to be released at the end of June with #10-22. is there a date for release? I'm supposed to be running it for my group on the 29th!

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

Thomas Coolbaugh wrote:
I expected it to be released at the end of June with #10-22. is there a date for release? I'm supposed to be running it for my group on the 29th!

It was listed as July, so last July in Wednesday, although II think all the july releases effectively have a release date of GenCon Aug 1.

So I don't think it'll be released by the 29th.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—York aka Balkin

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So... That's a no go on me GM'ing it on July 29th... :p

Guess I better update Warhorn with a different scenario!

4/5

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

So no discussion of this yet?

I guess I will start.

See spoilers.

what my table on Sun at Gencon did:
We let both Torch and his assassin aide go free. Broadly we concluded we agreed mostly with his goals. It was a fun scenario but we ran out of time so didn’t get to have the full graveknight battles. Which was disappointing. I’ll probably replay this and run it in the future.

Silver Crusade 4/5

It was bittersweet to not travel with our companion from Thursday (Missed ya Pirate Rob!) but the remaining party members were up to the task. Once again, I have not sullied the name.

Spoiler:
Sierra was never going to go against Torch. We only had one adamant opponent on the team, who would have been destroyed had he tried to raise his hand against the man. We ended fading to black and no decision was reached.

The second question was more interesting and varied. Three accepted the offer while Sierra and the opposing member declined as too busy and not up to the task respectively. I wanted to accept but the prospect of removal from play was too concerning. I'm glad the rest of the party can continue to play and feel that it was both in character and a satisfying end.

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/5

Spoiler:

After patching up our wounds (and quick application of that helpful scroll of true resurrection that we found, getting Sarek back on his feet), we met and spoke with Torch.

I've always had a soft spot for Torch, (especially after Salvation of the Sages), so I greeted him respectfully, one Jeweled Sage to another.

The party unanimously agreed that his actions in trying to combat Vahlo had earned him leniancy. We let him go in peace--a decision we may come to regret, but I have hope that his grudges and schemes died with Vahlo.

As to the second question, our group had little hesitancy. Offer four strong-willed, opinionated, highly intelligent men a chance to steer the ship, and they're all going to seize the helm.

Sarek has no plans for his time on the Decemvirate to be spent idly. He will use his new position to push for a more transparent and equitable society, while continuing to seek out new mysteries to as he founds his lodge in his public persona as a Venture Captain.

These two scenarios were a ton of fun, a genuine challenge, and a fitting end to the campaign. Thanks to the scenario authors, Paizo staff, the table GMs, and the other players for making it such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Scarab Sages 1/5 5/5

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"Hav' t' say, Sierra's a top-notch heala' an' I woul'n't've mad' i' through wi'out 'er 'elp."

Noqual Sage Agraic's commentary and liner notes:
"I wasn' gonna go again' th' man tha' saw I had potential WAY back in Sothis, an' I was ready t' toss th' rules 'f the Society out th' window if'n it came t' savin' his life. Thankfully, it didn' come to tha', though I DID call 'im on it as did a couple of other members of our team that instead 'f runnin' off after causin' a shi-storm tha' he should be FIXIN' th' mess he made, and come what may, be th' better person abou' it.

Unfortun'tly, we ha' a person who'd been burnt by the fires that Torch'd set, and they weren' willin' to le' it go, e'en after th' Emerald Sage left pretty much everything he had on him on the ground and offered himself up to be executed straight out of hand. I couldn' do that, an' I don't think most of our team was keen on the idea either. And I would've died to protect him.

Then Eliza showed up. And we asked her some serious hard questions about things, and as I'd done some missions for her in the past, I asked her if she'd thought it'd do any good if someone took up th' helm, fill in th' gaps as it were.

Her response was an honest one, and as we were sitting and talking it occured to me. I've been what folks would call a 'success story' for the Pathfinder Society -- I started out uneducated, ignorant, and willing to beat on whatever folks wanted me to beat on.

But I'd also been out on FAR too many missions where we didn't get the support we needed, or where we'd make what we felt was the 'right' call for the situation only to get crapped on by either our superiors or their superiors.

So I did that dangerous thing, y'know, 'thinking'. If'n there was someone who was sittin' there an' making dam' sure tha' the agents NEVER go' hosed like Torch, or me, or any of a number of other folks, then that'd be the legacy 'f th' work tha' th' Gran'master was bringin' all along.

Or in other words, if those of us who said we wanted Torch t' 'man up' an' clean up his messes weren't willin' to do the same, then we'd all be effin' hypocrites. It's an obligation t' make it right, though there's always a few ways about it."

Agraic took the post. He's been a ruffian, a rural sort, a bit of a buffoon and comic relief at points, but he's always trusted his gut to do the right thing. He approached this the same way as his thinking towards becoming a Sage -- it's the sort of dare that would come up in a Dare contest between followers of the Drunken Hero. Namely that it's not 'having the title' as much as 'what you DO with it'. Cayden took the test of the Starstone on a drunken dare -- how could Agraic NOT follow on one of the biggest dares short of that in the Society?

And he's also pretty certain that if he started screwing it up, the beer would go rancid or he'd start getting horrible hangovers as a warning sign to get back to fixing things, as is the way of Cayden.

2/5

I ran two scenarios at GenCon with the following results:

Spoiler:
The first group was very suspicious of GM Torch and concerned about what might he might do with all he knew about the Pathfinder Society. However, they didn’t want to kill him. They voted to send him into a highly supervised exile, while Torch himself says that he’d like to retire to somewhere warm. So, Torch is now living a St. Helena-style life on Glasswall Isle off the coast of Thuvia at Club Candi, VC Candi Payne’s Calistrian-themed beach resort and Pathfinder Lodge.

The second group included a Torch-friendly Jeweled Sage PC and was generally very sympathetic to Torch. They had no problem with letting him go on his way at the end of the scenario.

The majority of both groups joined the Decemvirate (which we joked would soon need a stadium for holding its meetings). I assigned my GM credit to my VC PC, Candi, who declined to join as her Lodge and family business keeps her quite busy and content, thank you very much.

5/5 Venture-Agent, Minnesota—Roseville aka FractalLaw

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I ran this last night.

Spoiler:
Not only did my group spare Torch, they decided that his penance should be becoming a Decemvirate member. I tweaked the scenario a little to have Eliza show up then and then faded to black immediately after her final speech.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Our group was arguing for that, but we cut the discussion short due to it being 2am after GenCon.

Dark Archive 4/5

Spoiler:
We chose to spare Torch after learning of the reasons behind his apparent betrayal. I have become a member of the Decimvirate, and I expect the obeisance to exceed my wildest dreams. Daosvaria sends her regards and will be summoning some favored minions for an assignation shortly. May Calistria smile upon your efforts.

I played both at Gencon and was a fun pair of scenarios.

Scarab Sages

Juuuuuuust finished playing in this scenario. I loved it sooooo much! <3

Spoiler:
Zaosha and her party decided to let Torch go. She always idolized him and believed in him anyways. Please welcome Zaosha, the Wayang Ninja, as the newest member of the Decemvirate. If you can find her, that is. ^_~

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32 aka Netopalis

Ran this 4 times at GenCon. All parties voted to let Torch go. A few were skeptical, but most were entirely sympathetic.

1/5

Our GenCon group:

Spoiler:

Let Torch go, and several of the party decided to accept the offer.

Torch:
Torch got released, "with conditions." Mostly I think the group wanted someone to keep an eye on him. One of the PCs was fine with simply letting Torch go; he just wanted to beat Torch up first. I'm guessing there might have been some history to that PC.

OOC, I'm still not convinced. IC, my Wis-dumped wizard thinks "he means well, and is absolutely terrible at determining the best course of action." I advocated sending him back to the Jeweled Sages to research better versions of Remove Disease and Neutralize Poison.

The offer:
One of the PCs wanted to claim the helmet of the graveknight, before Torch talked about destroying it. He took the offer, of course, along with (I think) 2-3 others. My PC felt his duties as a Jeweled Sage would take much of his time, and prevent him from properly holding the offered position.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

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Question about going forward...

Linda:
Are we going to keep names secret in 2E or at least put spoiler warnings in scenarios with Eliza? I know a lot of people would be upset to have a 2E scenario introduce her as the Open Helmed Decemvirate member.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

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When I played it three days ago at Geneva GardenCon with the character Degel - 117194-11 - Grand Lodge faction :

Spoiler:
Initially in part 1, we were incensed by Torch's final affronts and we were three characters willing to kill him (one of us was a Shadow Lodge member). Vahlo didn't need to convince us much about it, despite one of the players being a fan of Torch.

As the plot grows on, learning why Elysyia helped Torch started to give me a doubt. So sprinting back to Skyreach after wrecking Mediogalti earlier, we managed to stabilize the interior of the lodge good enough. Then the case of Vahlo. Having followed the orders of a graveknight was sickening. After finishing him, we had a tense but decent speech with Torch. After he explained everything, we ultimately decided to let him go, but with a caveat : as a penance for all his faults, he will have to retire on vacation in the location of the Ruins of Azlant settings. Some Pathfinder colleagues need help in the colony, especially he will have the opportunity to open a bath-house.

The decision about the Ten : Three of us decided to take the opportunity to become one of them. One didn't and stayed as an advisor because of not being sure of the transparency in the future.

I personally wouldn't have a problem with Eliza Petulengro staying in 2E as an Unmasked, better transparency (but also maybe risk) is why Eando Kline came back, no ?

5/5 Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Quentin Coldwater

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Played this today.

The decision:
I decided that killing Torch would make him a martyr, and be a generally nonconstructive way of dealing with the situation. A party member suggested he'd come back at the Society as an instructor and pay off his debt to the Society by instructing new Pathfinders. We even dubbed him the Master of Intrigue (like Master of Scrolls, Spells and Blades). This way, we have him where we can keep an eye on him, and he can share all his knowledge to the Pathfinders he loves so much. The best way to protect them is to instruct them as best as possible, right?

The Exchange

Decisions:

Torch

One of the folks at our table (the character, not the player) always wants to kill anything, and one of the folks at our table (the player, not the character) really wanted to kill Torch.

But the group as a whole is not generally vengeance or violence driven, so double- and triple-checked the stories, and essentially insisted on keeping Torch where we could see him, in order to hopefully prevent his extraordinarily bad judgement (making decisions for others, "for their own good") from causing more pain and death.

Ten

I believe that we each took the mask, but the GM was clear that each character decided privately, separately, so don't know. The scenario, as run, did not suggest that our burdens would be high on the ten. My character's Blakros wife has insisted for years that he not become a Venture Captain; but seeing a great business opportunity on the Ten (coupled with anonymity), Tesla took it.

Shadow Lodge

I must say, in a scenario with some powerfully thematic moments, the scene with Janira Gavix was truly spectacular.

Spoiler:
The character that, most embodies the innocence and optimism of the Society nearly kills herself on a pointless mission. Solely because the Decemvriate told her to. It's an amazing way to both put a face to Vahlo's crimes, and act as a stark reminder of the duties that come from wearing the Helm.

Bravo John Compton, Bravo.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Steven Schopmeyer wrote:

Question about going forward...

** spoiler omitted **

There will be a PF2 scenario later this season that reveals this information, and it will be specifically called out in the product description as revealing the results of Passing the Torch to try and give people as much of a heads up as possible that the information will be featured in that adventure and anyone not wanting a spoiler should try to complete Passing the Torch first.

Grand Lodge 1/5

Baron Egil Firehair & his five comrades acquitted Grandmaster Torch on all counts and let him go. We even helped heal up his assistant. Of the the four VC party members, three decided to become members of the Decemvirate, and one an adviser.

Baron Egil declined on all accounts, as he spent most of his career cleaning out the Emerald Spire, and creating his barony in the River Kingdoms. He has little to no knowledge of Affairs in the Grand Lodge and had no idea who Torch was before 10-22. So he felt he would be a poor choice to run the Society... even if he had the time.

Our sixth party member also felt that he was to busy to spend all his time in Absalom.

Scarab Sages 3/5

Thoroughly enjoyed both parts of this series.

spoiler:
We voted unanimously to acquit Torch. Grumble accepted a position as one of the Ten as did all but one of the players at the table. There was an amusing moment when Grumble's brother Fulgar(who has despised the Ten for years) attempted suicide before the offer was even put to him out of fear that donning the helm to aid in its destruction meant he had become part of the corrupt system he hated.

Scarab Sages 1/5 5/5

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Spoiler:
"I was more terrified tha' I 's gonna turn int' a halflin' gra' knigh'. So as someun' in good standin' wit' de Drunken Hero, I asked someun' t' hol' m' ale."

5/5

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I played part 2 today, tier 17-18, hard mode, 5 players. It was a lot of fun.

Decisions, decision:
I wanted to mind blank torch, teleport him somewhere well out of the way and stick him in an imprisonment spell but the party wasn't having any of it so I disintegrated him instead. Killing him was the group majority decision but a couple of people wanted to let him go.

Honestly, a lot of his dialogue came across as some heavy historical editing combined with a great mass of after the fact attempts at justification. I rather suspect as well that Vahlo and the two unnamed miscreant Decemvirate members will be used as scapegoats for all of the dubious stuff the Decemvirate has done over the years which smacks as a bit of a cop out frankly.

The Society is not a good organisation, it has engaged in some very dubious actions over the years and explaining that away as a few bad apples is a pretty weak claim.

I have to say I was also a bit dubious about the ability of the Helm to conceal anyone for very long given it is only providing nondetection and disguise self. That feels quite weak, even at CL20

I believe that all of us acceppted the Helm.

5/5

I ran this yesterday.

Spoiler:

The group didnt just want to let Torch go and didnt really want to kill him. They handed him over to the Absalom Guard for trial given his actions during the Siege.

All of them chose to take the Helm but I made them decide in secret and not tell each other as, even if they take it, they dont know who the other members of the Decemvirate are.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

Played both adventures at NukeCon in Omaha this weekend.

What we did!:
One person did not want to let Torch go, but since that character made the decision to become a free agent and was not part of the Pathfinder Society any longer, the rest of the party let Torch go.

As to the choice, 4 of the party took up the helm, myself included. One realized that was going to happening and said "Hell No!"

The unmasked member did surprise me when it was reveled.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

andreww wrote:

I played part 2 today, tier 17-18, hard mode, 5 players. It was a lot of fun.

** spoiler omitted **

I was in Andrew's party, Tier 17-18, Hard Mode, no Four Player Adjustment with five PC's.

Had a great finish to my adventuring career, unless maybe something sanctioned comes out for Tier 19 characters. Highlight for me was first time ever critting with a Disintegrate Spell. Typically my targets save against it. I loved the visualization of a pile of ash.
I was one that wanted to let Torch go; I owed him a favor from 1-14: The Many Fortunes of Grandmaster Torch and his monologue was convincing to me.
Of course I became a member of the "Ten". Duh.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

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We just played this (both parts) over the weekend (at tier 14-15).

The characters had all run through Eyes of the Ten (everyone had succeeded, though not all had earned VC rank; two, of which mine was one, had missed out by one PP).

Spoiler:

First, a little background. Both my wife and I found Pathfinder in 2012.

Guide to Organized Play V4.0 (2011) wrote:

For centuries, the Decemvirate sent Pathfinder Society agents of varying skills and competency to far-flung lands in search of artifacts and dangerous knowledge. Over time, these leaders distanced themselves from the rank and file field agents, and soon began to forget what it truly meant to be away from the protective sanctum of Skyreach in the Grand Lodge of Absalom. Many members of the Society became bitter and disillusioned, and in 4710 AR, splintered away and demanded that the Decemvirate and their venture captain representatives not forget those that serve them.

. . .
The Shadow Lodge has reformed into a watchdog group, and despite its sinister sounding name, truly wants the best for the Society and its members.

That paints the Shadow Lodge in quite a favourable light. So much so, in fact, that my first PFS character (not, unfortunately, the character I played in this scenario) chose the Shadow Lodge faction.

As such, I have often claimed that the subsequent attempts to portray the Shadow Lodge (and, by extension, Grandmaster Torch) as nothing but agents of evil was but one side of the story, put forward by those with a vested interest in keeping the full truth from coming to light.

Needless to say I found the storyline of these two scenarios extremely satisfying, and an appropriate conclusion to an adventuring career.

Of course I voted to let Grandmaster Torch live, as did the rest of our party. Everybody also accepted the offer of joining the Decemvirate (which is going to need to change it's name ...).
One thing we did suggest, though, is that the cost of anonymity was higher than the benefits, and that the Decemvirate Masks should be retired.

Stumpy M'Kall, agent 774-1, wrote:
What have I been telling you for years?

Scarab Sages 3/5

Spoilers, duh:

As one sage to another, I was more than happy to let Torch have his chance at repentance. I felt the retcon of "Torch was really a good guy all along" was handled pretty well, and didn't feel to "Hal Jordan was actually Parallax" to me.

I was miffed that we couldn't save the helm. I advised that, since PVP isn't allowed I would let the others destroy it, but I felt it would be well within our capabilities to keep him under control until we found the exact method to purify the helm, since grave knight armor can be purified. (My suggestion was to put the helm in a tube of acid since the helm wouldn't be touched and he'd be destroyed every time he reformed). But our GM had to give a shrug and kinda go "I don't have anything" so rather than press I let it go.

Still, was a blast over all.

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