Why isn't the Technic League in Torch?


Iron Gods


I'm thinking of running Iron Gods (or at least a version of it) and there's one thing about the worldbuilding that just doesn't make sense to me. Torch is supposed to be one of the only places where you can smelt skymetal, and yet according to Fires of Creation, the Technic League has basically no presence there other than demanding gold every few months. But with such a technological site right there in the open, it seems like the League should want direct control over the town, so what gives? Both canon explanations and headcanons are welcome.


This was even harder to explain after I checked Numeria: Land of Fallen Stars and realized that Torch is the 3rd largest city in Numeria.

The explanation that I provided in my game (Iron Gods among Scientists, Second Session) is that the Technic League is afraid of the fusion reactor beneath Torch. They expect it to explode.

Mathmuse wrote:
Dolga explained that she had written down a conversation she had almost a century ago with the representative of the Technic League, after fine wine loosened his lips: "By the spectrum of the torch, you have a fusion reactor buried down there. And it is deteriorating or it wouldn't have turned itself on. Enjoy it while it lasts. I myself don't want to be around for the end." Dolga pointed out that the torch had lasted longer than the representative's human lifespan. She reminded everyone that the Technic League left the town alone so long as they did not go digging for lost technology. Though this fusion reactor was very, very important, they could not send down anyone who might attract the attention of the Technic League's informants in town. Elric's group was sufficiently unremarkable, had an obvious non-tech-hunting motivation to head underground to find Elric and Boffin's lost employer Khonnir Baine, and yet would be able to recognize the technology they encountered.


My theory is this, they know that the sky metal they forge is using technology but far as they can tell, they believe the people don't know the full nature.

Its basically medieval peasants using super high tech stuff for mundane forging. More so with Khonnir making sure people don't opening use technology.

I think they keep an eye on torch to make sure any more interesting stuff goes to them and of course make sure the reactor doesn't go full nuke.

Plus its easier to control the town when the town itself doesn't know the League is fully aware of them


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An organization where leadership is attained by backstabbing the other members is not going to have a wide array of loyal public. The crude reality is the League basically has not enough members to control the whole of Numeria, so they use robots to control Starfall, and they use more subtle power to move the strings outside the capital.

The main point is they do not officially rule, it is the Black Sovereign who does, as ruler of the Kellids. That is the way the use their influence outside Starfall. Also by use of spies, and controlling the source of drugs and slaves, they can control some other leaders under the hood. But main way they do is they tell the Black Sovereign what to rule and the Kellids just, might, follow that.

Also, Torch is a source of income as it is, so no need to change it.

That said, when after Fires of Creation the party move to Scrapwall, I made an interlude adventure where basically the Tehcnic League Grasp's control of Torch after the rumors of the discovery of a tech ruin under its mountain.

I think the addition worked well, as it portrays better the League and builds up reasons for the group to go against them in the last books.


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GM Rutseg wrote:

That said, when after Fires of Creation the party move to Scrapwall, I made an interlude adventure where basically the Tehcnic League Grasp's control of Torch after the rumors of the discovery of a tech ruin under its mountain.

I think the addition worked well, as it portrays better the League and builds up reasons for the group to go against them in the last books.

I, too, added the Technic League early. A wandering merchant who visited Scrapwall was a Technic League informant who noticed the party. A week later (the informant had to walk to Chesed to report) a Technic League team showed up to take down the party and confiscate their technology. Fortunately, that was after the end of Lords of Rust, so the party simply fled in the small spaceship that they had salvaged and repaired (I let them repair the irreparable Haunted Wreck).

The Technic League being a threat that is always off in the distance during the first four modules is a weakness in the Iron Gods adventure path. But the plot required it. If the Technic League had members in Torch, then an adventuring party that had no Stealth or Bluff would be quickly discovered and detained by high-level Technic League operatives, who would then finish exploring underneath Black Hill themselves. Thus, Fires of Creation has only low-level Technic League informants. Likewise, a Technic League presence in Scrapwall would have stopped Hellion themselves.

Fortunately, my party members had used false names in Scrapwall, so they could safely return to Torch under their true names. They developed a dual life: active adventuring under their Scrapwall identities and downtime crafting under their Torch identities. Sometimes, this slowed down the adventure: Inconspicuous PCs Unmotivated in Palace of Fallen Stars.

The best thing for the story is what GM Rutseg and I did. We added some Technic League hostility early where the party could handle it, even when handling it meant running away to the next location in the adventure path. What the party can handle depends on the specific player characters and their player's skills and judgment, so this encounter could not be written into the adventure path in advance.

Acquisitives

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The AP really needs more Technic League. Add them in. Maybe it's not the higher ups, who are scared of the danger - like, the resident technic league guys said they had a conference to go to - but some sniveling bootlicker is sent in, and he's this recurring thorn in the side of the PCs through the books, with his comeuppance / redemption in Book 6

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