Player Basics – Pathfinder Society (2nd edition)

Pathfinder Society Guide to Play (Second Edition) > Player Basics
Current Version: 0.09
Current Version Date 03/18/2020 – 22:00
This guide is for players who are already registered for organized play and have played through their first game.


In Pathfinder Society games, you can either use a pregenerated character or create your own character.

Creating a Character

The process of creating a character follows the guidelines in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, with a few additional campaign-specific benefits. Character Creation contains step-by-step instructions to help you create your own Pathfinder Society character and explains the aforementioned benefits. Read these rules carefully, as they ensure that characters are suitable for the organized play campaign.

Resources: All of the ancestries, backgrounds, and classes from the Pathfinder Core Rulebook are available to you when creating a character. Some ancestries and options from other books may need to be accessed with Achievement Points before you can use them in organized play. (See also Character Options.)

Remember to register your character  at!

Pregenerated Characters

If you don’t have time to create a new character or want to try out a new character class, you can use a pregenerated character, also called a pregen. The Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild offers free pregenerated characters based on Pathfinder’s iconic characters, available at or from your local event coordinator.  The following rules apply when playing pregenerated characters.

Choose a Character to Receive Credit

Before the game, you must choose which of your characters to assign the credit for playing this adventure to. (If you haven’t created your own character yet, you’ll assign it to the first character that you create.) Credit from a 1st-level pregenerated character can be assigned only to a 1st-level character. Credit for playing a higher-level pregenerated character must be assigned to a Pathfinder Society character of a lower level than the pregenerated character.

Negative Effects

During play, your pregenerated character may be afflicted with negative effects such as a curse, a disease, or even death. The pregenerated character must clear and resolve these negative effects before the end of the adventure; otherwise, they affect the Pathfinder Society character that’s receiving credit for the adventure.

  • After applying Pathfinder Society character resources, you can use the pregenerated character’s funds to pay for these spellcasting services. If sold to pay for removing a negative effect, a 1st-level character’s gear is worth 7.5 gold pieces, a 3rd-level character’s gear is worth 37.5 gold pieces, and a 5th-level character’s gear is worth 135 gold pieces.
  • The character can use the gold and Fame that she has earned on the Chronicle sheet for the current adventure to help pay for removing negative effects.
  • If more resources are needed to pay for the cost of removing negative effects, players at the table can contribute some of their own gold pieces, but they are not required to.

Apply Credit

You may apply a pregenerated character’s Chronicle sheet to one of your Pathfinder Society characters once your Pathfinder Society character reaches the level of the pregenerated character used to play through it. For example, if you played a 5th-level pregenerated character, you would apply the credit once your character reaches 5th level.

  • Apply the Chronicle sheets for eligible adventures in the order in which they were played. For each one, add the rewards earned (Experience Points, gold pieces, Fame, boons etc.) to your character, along with any negative effects that weren’t removed from the pregenerated character. This character is also now able to buy any items listed on that Chronicle sheet.
  • If you apply credit for multiple adventures at once, your Pathfinder Society character might advance multiple levels. The character’s level cannot exceed the tier range of any Chronicle sheets applied to them.
  • You can apply credit from a higher-tier adventure to a 1st-level Pathfinder Society character. When doing so, you gain only the gold appropriate to a 1st-level character. You do not benefit from any boons until your Pathfinder Society character reaches the minimum level listed on the Chronicle sheet, unless otherwise noted.

Downtime: Pregenerated characters can use Downtime.

Before the Adventure Session

At the game table, introduce yourself to the other players and the Game Master. Take this time to determine which character within the adventure’s subtier (range of levels) you want to play—this can be a character you created or a pregenerated character. The GM will also pass around a sign-in sheet to record your character’s name, level, faction, and Organized Play ID (if you don’t have an Organized Play ID yet, your GM can assign you one).  During this time, you also need to decide whether you are using Standard Advancement or Slow Advancement.  (Slow advancement lets you play more scenarios with that same character before you reach the maximum level; standard advancement helps you level up and become powerful more quickly).

Negative Effects

The Pathfinder Society has resources to take care of its members, and many of the possible negative effects an adventurer can be subject to during an adventure are assumed to be taken care of during Downtime. The exceptions to this are death, permanent petrification or polymorph effects, curses, and permanent negative conditions (Core Rulebook 618–623) acquired during the course of the adventure. These negative effects must be cleared at the end of the adventure or the character must be reported as “dead,” unable to continue adventuring in Pathfinder Society organized play. Most of these negative effects can be cleared by spending Fame for the appropriate service on Table 2: All-Factions Boons.  Other PCs may use their spells, feats, class abilities, or consumables to assist you in recovering from such negative effects, but they aren’t required to.

Option Rarity and Access

Some options within the game will have a listed rarity. The categories of rarity are common, uncommon, rare, and unique. Common options from the Core Rulebook are always available for use. Uncommon options typically require a specific condition to be met to take them; this can include taking a specific feat or class feature, acquiring the item during a game and gaining it on a Chronicle sheet, or meeting another access condition (see below). Rare options are incredibly difficult to find or obtain and are generally not available for use in character creation or leveling. Unique options are the rarest of all, with only one existing in all the world, and will almost never be available as player options. Be sure to check Character Options for more information on the availability of options.

Access: Some uncommon options have an entry labeled “Access.” If you satisfy the access condition by being from the specified region, a member of a particular organization, or meeting some similar requirement, that option is common for you. All characters created for use in Pathfinder Society Organized Play are members of the Pathfinder Society organization in the world of Golarion, so they gain access to options that require membership in the Pathfinder Society.

Purchasing Equipment

As you complete adventures, you will gain more wealth that can be used to buy additional equipment as described in the Purchasing Guidelines. Characters with the appropriate crafting feats may also be able to obtain formulas for equipment that they can create during Downtime.

Leveling Up

In Pathfinder Society, characters level up after ever 12 Experience Points earned, instead of every 1,000 Experience Points. Leveling up your character otherwise works normally.

Character Creation

This page details the steps for creating a character for the Pathfinder Society. These steps mirror those in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook with a few additional Roleplaying Guild-specific rules and benefits.

Character Sheets

Blank character sheets for Pathfinder 2nd edition can be found on Paizo’s Pathfinder Page. Or at the following direct links:
Black and White

There is no standard character sheet format required.  Players are welcome to find and use whatever character sheet they feel most comfortable with.  However, a player must possess a clear and legible character sheet that they are comfortable giving to a GM to review.  Regarding electronic devices, if you are not comfortable with a GM viewing (and perhaps briefly handling) the device in order to review your character information, you should consider keeping character information in a format you are willing to hand to a GM.

1. Ability Scores

Generate your Pathfinder Society character’s ability scores using the method detailed under “ABILITY SCORE OVERVIEW” on page 20 of the Core Rulebook. Your character may also take two additional ability flaws to gain one additional ability boost as described in the Voluntary Flaws sidebar on page 26 of the Core Rulebook.

2. Ancestry

Select your character’s ancestry. The ancestry choices offered in the Core Rulebook are always available. Other ancestries may available as Achievement Point boons or through Character Options.

3. Languages

Your character gains some languages based on their ancestry, but might speak additional languages depending on their Intelligence or class. All Pathfinder Society characters are literate and speak Common.

Cultural Languages

Human: Humans can speak Common, as well as any other modern human language associated with their ethnicity. Humans gain one additional common language or regional language of their choice. The cultural languages listed below (along with their associated ethnicities) are good choices.

  • Common (Taldan)
  • Erutaki (Erutaki)
  • Hallit (Kellid)
  • Kelish (Kelishite)
  • Osiriani (Garundi)
  • Polyglot (Mwangi)
  • Shoanti (Shoanti)
  • Skald (Ulfen)
  • Tien (Tian)
  • Varisian (Varisian)
  • Varki (Varki)
  • Vudrani (Vudrani)

Bonus Languages

A character with a high Intelligence score can select bonus languages from the list of modern human languages above or the bonus languages listed in the source for the character’s ancestry.

4. Background

Once you’ve chosen your character’s ancestry, it’s time to select their background. All of the backgrounds presented in the Core Rulebook starting on page 60 are available for use. Other backgrounds will be available through the Achievement Point system, or for completing scenarios in prior seasons of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign (See Legacy Backgrounds). Backgrounds from other sources will generally be available so long as you own a valid copy of the source, though some exceptions may occur; these exceptions are noted in Character Options.

5. Class

All of the classes presented in the Core Rulebook are available to characters. Pathfinder Society characters begin at 1st level, though some boons available through the Achievement Point system may allow a character to start at 2nd or 3rd level.

6. Hit Points

Your character’s Hit Points are determined by their ancestry, class, Constitution modifier, and level. Each ancestry gives a certain number of Hit Points, as detailed in its entry. This amount is added to the Hit Points granted by the character’s chosen class and their Constitution modifier. At each level after 1st, a character gains the number of Hit Points specified in their class entry.

7. Skills

Each class grants a starting proficiency ranks in certain skills at 1st level. Characters with a high Intelligence score are trained in a number of additional skills of their choice, as described in their class entry. Review Chapter 4 of the Core Rulebook for the details of how to assign skill increases and the benefits they grant.

8. Feats

Each class grants feats starting at 1st level and at most or all levels thereafter. A character must be the same level as or a higher level than a feat to select it. There are four different types of feats a character gains: ancestry feats, class feats, general feats, and skill feats. Ancestry feats are determined by your ancestry and can be found in the same section as your other ancestry statistics. Class feats are your most powerful feats; they are determined by your character class and presented in the same section. General feats are feats that any character can take, and are located in Chapter 5 of the Core Rulebook alongside Skill feats. Skill feats affect a skill in a particular way, usually giving the character more ways to use that skill; some skill feats are available only to characters whose proficiency rank in the skill is expert or greater.

Additional feats can be found in other books, as detailed in Character Options.

9. Starting Wealth and Equipment

All characters in Pathfinder Society begin with 15 gold pieces (150 silver pieces) that can be spent on starting gear. Chapter 6 of the Core Rulebook has a wide array of useful starting gear. Page 289 of the Core Rulebook includes class kits, prebuilt selections of gear tailored to each of the core classes. You can also spend your wealth to purchase additional gear, as described in the Purchasing Guidelines.

10. Alignment

Select one of the following alignments for your character (Core Rulebook 29): chaotic good, chaotic neutral, lawful good, lawful neutral, neutral, or neutral good. Players may not play evil characters. When choosing an alignment, be sure it satisfies any alignment requirements for your character’s class.

11. Religion

Characters can worship any deity listed in the table of gods on page 437 of the Core Rulebook or any other source listed in Character Options , so long as their alignment matches one of the deity’s listed follower alignments. Champions and clerics must choose a valid deity, though other classes can worship one of the faiths and philosophies presented on page 440 of Core Rulebook or another legal source. Characters can also be agnostic or atheist.

Some characters may revere deities they do not worship. Revering a deity means that your character may do things like wearing the deity’s holy symbol, attending the deity’s religious services, or performing other acts of obeisance that aren’t rewarded with spells or divine powers. For example, many druids revere Gozreh a deity of nature, but their primal magic is granted by Nature itself and does not come from Gozreh. A character may revere as many deities as they wish, but can worship and receive power from only one.

12. Age

Characters must be at least young adults (see the Physical Description section for your selected ancestry in Chapter 2 of the Core Rulebook), as particularly young characters can change the tone of some of the game’s threats.

13. Finishing Details

Now it’s time to fine-tune your character’s appearance and personal history, including their region of origin,

preferred gender pronouns, and other particulars. Make a few notes on your character’s appearance that you can use to describe your character. Read through The World of Pathfinder Society for information on the campaign setting and consider using it to inform your character’s background.

You’ll also need a miniature or pawn to represent your character—Pathfinder uses a standard 1-inch grid to determine movement and tactical positioning in combat, so you need a physical representation of your character to use on the grid. Paizo produces a wide range of Pathfinder Pawns and also works with Reaper Miniatures and WizKids to offer a wide variety of gaming miniatures, so you can find just the right figure for your character.

13. Pathfinder Training

Each Pathfinder Society character receives 3 networking points to represent the connections they have made in the three Pathfinder Schools: Spells, Scrolls, or Swords. They can invest these points among the schools, or can forgo these points and instead be a “field commissioned agent.”  Each of these choices bestows different benefits as described below in Pathfinder Training.

14. Factions

Finally, choose a faction for your character to join. The factions represent different approaches to being a Pathfinder and priorities during missions. Joining a faction costs a boon, but your first such boon is free. Currently, four major factions and two minor factions are available.

Major Factions

The four main factions are summarized below. Detailed descriptions of these factions, as well as benefits of membership and faction goals, can be found in Factions.

Envoy’s Alliance: Being a Pathfinder is dangerous work. Travel comes with its own dangers, traps seem to be everywhere, and just about everything seems ready to kill aspiring Pathfinder agents. Envoys’ Alliance aims to bolster the Society’s ranks and represent its members, making the Society ever stronger, better trained, and better supported.

Grand Archive: Archaeology is a destructive science, and adventurers tend to be more destructive than most. If the Society is to uphold its mandate to study and preserve the past, then documentation and academic rigor are key. Yet members of the Grand Archive do not limit themselves to Absalom’s libraries; these bold explorers voyage to the most exciting sites to chronicle the past and share what they learn with the world.

Horizon Hunters: The Horizon Hunters faction is home to those who carry on the proud tradition of ascending the highest peaks, plumbing the darkest depths, and seeing what lies over the next hill. And as sweet as it is to discover a lost ruin or unknown vista, it’s all the better to tell wild tales about the experience and revel in the admiration of peers—particularly if your deeds are immortalized in the Pathfinder Chronicles, a widely distributed record of the greatest Pathfinders’ achievements and discoveries.

Vigilant Seal: While the Pathfinder Society’s motto is “Explore, Report, Cooperate”, members of the Vigilant Seal have their own three-part motto: “Protect, Contain, Destroy.” Members of the Vigilant Seal seek to ensure that ancient evils uncovered during their expeditions are properly dealt with—they protect ancient sites, contain possible threats, and destroy dangerous evils that can’t be safely contained.

Minor Factions

The two minor factions are summarized below. Detailed descriptions of the factions, as well as benefits of membership and faction goals, can be found in Factions.

Radiant Oath: Pathfinders have a track record for thwarting evil, lending a helping hand, and presenting the Pathfinders as upstanding folk wherever they go. For the Radiant Oath, this benevolence extends beyond incidental assistance. Instead, the faction sees the Society’s broad reach as an excellent vector for assisting others the world over. Those who join the Radiant Oath swear simple vows to assist others, expanding on these promises the more they serve the faction.

Verdant Wheel: Nature enthusiasts of all stripes—from grizzled trackers to bright-eyed ecologists to tenacious druids—gravitate to the Society for opportunities to witness natural wonders, catalog new species, and better protect the world’s pristine realms. The Verdant Wheel has a particular fondness for sensing patterns and cycles, such as that of creation and destruction, as exemplified by new growth sprouting from a fire-ravaged field. Yet even those intent on preserving that which exists can find a welcome home here.

Pathfinder Training

Although drawn from diverse backgrounds and regions, the vast majority of Pathfinders undergo approximately 3 years of training at the Grand Lodge, in the process learning the key skills they need to survive on the road, explore dangerous sites, and understand their discoveries. The deans of the Society’s three schools +oversee this training, each promoting particular techniques tied to their respective schools: the Scrolls, Spells, and Swords. Kreighton Shaine (CG male elf loremaster) is the Master of Scrolls, who instructs his pupils in history, languages, sciences, and academic esoterica. Sorrina Westyr (N female oread priest of Nethys) is the Master of Spells, who lectures on magical basics, overcoming supernatural hazards, and the proper handling of artifacts. And finally, Marcos Farabellus (CG male human commander) is the Master of Swords, who guides initiates through endurance drills, teaches the finer arts of infiltration, and ensures each Pathfinder has enough combat training to stay safe in dangerous lands.

Each Pathfinder initiate must attain a certain level of proficiency in all three schools’ teachings in order to graduate as a field agent, yet most specialize in one of the schools’ curricula and build life-long professional contacts with like-minded scholars. Over the course of their career, a Pathfinder regularly receives gifts from colleagues in the form of potions, scrolls, experimental alchemy, and more—in practice, this provides PCs one or more consumable items at the beginning of each scenario. In return, the field agent’s expected to return the favor by contributing labor, teaching expertise, lab assistance, or more between missions, reinforcing these professional relationships.

Consumable Items: The universal benefit of this training is creating a network of colleagues and contacts who regularly provide you consumable items. At the beginning of each adventure, your character receives a consumable item of their level or lower from a list of options; they have access to the items of the appropriate level in Table 1: All-Schools Items as well as the options on the tables for any of their chosen schools. If not used by the end of the adventure, the item is returned to the character’s contacts.

Assigning Points

When creating your character, you gain 3 networking points to distribute among the Scrolls, Spells, and Swords schools. These represent the amount of effort and attention your character dedicated to those schools while training as an initiate. Once assigned, these cannot be changed except through retraining (a process that takes 14 days to reassign all of the networking points and their associated benefits). The benefits you gain from each school depends on the number of networking points you invest in it, and the benefits are cumulative.

1 Point: When selecting your free consumable item at the beginning of the adventure, you can choose one of the items on the school’s list of options.

2 Points: You become trained in one of the Lore skills associated with that school, listed below. At 5th level, you gain a bonus skill feat selected from the list below.

Scrolls: For the Lore skill, choose from Accounting Lore, Library Lore, or Scribing Lore. For the bonus skill feat, choose from Assurance, Automatic Knowledge, Multilingual, or Streetwise.

Spells: For the Lore skill, choose from Academia Lore, Architecture Lore, or Herbalism Lore. For the bonus skill feat, choose from Arcane Sense, Assurance, Quick Identification, or Recognize Spell.

Swords: For the Lore skill, choose from Gladiatorial Lore, Scouting Lore, or Warfare Lore. For the bonus skill feat, choose from Cat Fall, Experienced Smuggler, Forager, or Hefty Hauler.

3 Points: When selecting your free consumable item at the beginning of the adventure, you may also choose a second item from the options available whose item level is no greater than half your level (minimum 1) in addition to your regular item.

Table 1: All-Schools Items

PC LevelItem Options
1Holy water, lesser bomb*, lesser antidote, lesser antiplague, minor healing potion
3Lesser healing potion, potion of water breathing
5Moderate bomb*
7Lesser potion of resistance, moderate antidote, moderate antiplague, moderate healing potion, salve of antiparalysis
9Potion of flying
11Greater antidote, greater antiplague
13Greater bomb*, greater healing potion
15Major antidote, major antiplague
19Major healing potion

* A bomb refers to any of the alchemical bombs detailed on pages 544–546 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook.

Table 2: Scrolls Items

PC LevelItem Options
1Feather token (ladder), lesser eagle-eye elixir, owlbear claw, sunrod, wolf fang
3Cat’s eye elixir, crying angel pendant, feather token (bird), feather token (chest), feather token (holly bush), hunter’s bane, lesser comprehension elixir, lesser darkvision elixir, mesmerizing opal
5Feather token (fan), invisibility potion, silver key
7Dust of appearance, feather token (anchor), feather token (tree), greater comprehension elixir, iron cube
9Candle of truth, feather token (swan boat), feather token (whip), jade bauble
11Greater eagle-eye elixir, iron medallion, mummified bat
13Eyes of apprehension, mending lattice, potion of tongues
15Iron cudgel

Table 3: Spells Items

All of the consumable items granted by the Spells school take the form of magical scrolls (Pathfinder Core Rulebook page 564), and the item options below simply list the spells that can appear on these scrolls. When selecting a scroll, you can heighten its spell level to the Scroll Level listed below. For example, a 7th-level character could select a scroll of heal heightened to 4th level.

PC LevelScroll LevelItem Options
11Burning hands, charm, fear, harm, heal, mage armor, magic fang, magic missile, magic weapon, soothe
32Barkskin, comprehend languages, dispel magic, invisibility, remove fear, remove paralysis, resist energy, restoration, see invisibility, water breathing
53Fireball, haste, heroism, lightning bolt, searing light
74Air walk, fly, stoneskin, suggestion
95Banishment, breath of life, cone of cold, crushing despair
116Phantasmal calamity, stone to flesh, tangling creepers, true seeing, vampiric exsanguination
137Energy aegis, sunburst, true target
158Divine aura, horrid wilting, uncontrollable dance
179Foresight, implosion, overwhelming presence

Table 4: Swords Items

PC Level          Item Options

PC LevelItem Options
1Lesser leaper’s elixir, potency crystal, shining ammunition
3Beacon shot, bronze bull pendant, effervescent ampoule, feather step stone, jade cat, lesser bravo’s brew, mistform elixir, oil of mending, onyx panther, savior spike, silversheen
5Barkskin potion, bloodseeker’s beak, climbing bolt, dragon turtle scale, emerald grasshopper, shark tooth charm
7Greater leaper’s elixir, swift block cabochon
9Aligned oil, greater cheetah’s elixir, potion of quickness, storm arrow
11Moderate bravo’s brew, oil of keen edges
15Dazing coil, greater bravo’s brew

Field-Commissioned Agents

Not everyone goes through this training. Exceptional explorers and scholars sometimes attract the Society’s attention through their independent accomplishments, and venture-captains have the authority to grant these adventurers field commissions. This waives the usual training period, but what the field-commissioned agents recoup in free time, they lose in networking opportunities.

If your character is a field-commissioned agent, they do not get any points to assign to a school. At the beginning of each adventure, the agent receives a consumable item of half their level or lower from Table XX: All Schools; at 1st level, the character does not receive any such consumable items. However, the character’s fewer obligations afford them additional free time, increasing the amount of Downtime they receive after each adventure by 50% (12 Downtime days earned after a scenario rather than 8).

Rebuilding Your Character

You may find that there are aspects of your character where you’re not entirely sure about your decisions, such as the ancestry or class feat you chose. Don’t worry! While your character is 1st level, you can rebuild as often as you need to, changing any of these choices. Until you play a game in which your character has 12 or more XP, you can freely rebuild your character completely except for Reputation earned and character number. Once you begin a session as a second level character, you still have options for changing your character’s choices. In addition to retraining, in which your character spends their Downtime to swap out individual features of their build, you can earn boons that allow you to rebuild your character more extensively.


Boons are small in-game rewards given for a variety of reasons, including attendance at events, holidays, supporting charities, and special occasions.

Achievement Points: Typically, when a Pathfinder Society game you play is reported online, Achievement Points will be credited to your Paizo account that can be redeemed for special boons, such as new playable ancestries or access to rewards from a region other than the one you chose during character creation. (See Achievement Points.)

Chronicle Sheet: Every Chronicle sheet includes a special boon that grants a benefit unique to the adventure or product that granted it. Chronicle sheet boons generally need to be slotted (declared active) before their benefits can be applied, though some boons are slotless and may be used as long as you have a physical copy of the Chronicle sheet present. See Boon Slots below.

Discounts: Some boons provide a discount on the cost in Fame or gold pieces required to purchase another boon or item. Unless otherwise noted, only one boon that provides any discount can be applied to any one purchase. This prevents multiple discounts from reducing a purchase cost by an unreasonable amount.

Unless a boon says otherwise, no character can acquire the same boon more than once.

Boon Slots

Each character has a Faction boon slot, an Advanced boon slot, and three generic boon slots (for a total of 5 slots). To gain the benefit of a boon, the character must “activate” it by “slotting” it into one of these slots.  The GM will tell the players when to slot boons. Usually this will happen after the GM has given the players their initial briefing or introduction. 

The Faction Boon slots can only hold boons that have the faction trait.  Boons with the faction trait cannot go anywhere other than the Faction Boon Slot.

Your Faction boon indicates which faction you are representing on this mission, which can impact the Fame you gain and possibly other elements of the scenario.  

The Advanced Boon slot can hold boons with the Advanced trait or any boon that does not have the faction trait. 

Advanced boons are rare and powerful, and are typically gained through participation in a special event or scenario (such as a game with unique, hidden conditions, “special” scenarios or a special promotional event, like a playtest).

The remaining three slots are generic slots and can slot any boon that does not have the faction or advanced trait.

Boon Traits

Many boons have one or more traits, some of which indicate the boon’s flavor and others which convey special rules for using the boon. Future rewards or effects may also interact with particular types of boons in special ways. The following are the current boon types:

  • An advanced boon is typically more powerful or complex than other boons, and it can be slotted only in the advanced boon slot (not a generic boon slot). As a result, you can only use one advanced boon at a time.
  • An ally boon represents an NPC who accompanies and assists your character. Unless you choose to purposefully endanger that NPC (an act that might result in your gaining Infamy, depending on the circumstances) or an effect specifically targets an Ally boon, this NPC stays out of harm’s way, does not interfere with combat, and takes up no space during encounters.
  • A downtime boon provides you some special way to use the Downtime you earn at the end of the adventure.
  • A faction boon indicates which faction you are representing during an adventure. You can slot a faction boon only in the faction slot (not in the generic or advanced slots).
  • A heroic boon influences how you use Hero Points or grants an additional effect when you use a Hero Point.
  • An item boon represents a special piece of equipment you’ve acquired or a special way that you’ve modified a piece of equipment you already have.
  • A limited-use boon can only be used a limited number of times before it is expended. Some boons have both a constant benefit as well as a benefit with limited uses, and the constant benefit can still be used once all of the boon’s limited uses have been expended.
  • A mentor boon grants a benefit to PCs whose level is lower than yours, representing your mentorship of your less experienced comrades.  A given PC can only benefit from 2 mentor boons at a time.
  • A promotional boon represents a special benefit for bringing specific Pathfinder- or campaign-branded gear (like a Pathfinder Society shirt or a Campaign Service Award coin) with you to the gaming table. As a general rule, you can slot only a single promotional boon.
  • A property boon represents a building, large vehicle, or other asset that your character owns or can use.
  • A service boon represents an instantaneous, one-time favor or action performed for your character, after which the boon is expended and grants no further benefit.
  • A slotless boon does not need to be slotted to grant its effect. Some slotless boons modify existing boons you already have.
  • A social boon represents a special affiliation, membership, friendship, or favor.
  • A trial boon represents an ongoing difficulty that is difficult to end. A trial boon typically requires that you slot it before you can slot any other boons, and trial boons typically have a special condition you must fulfill to end them.


Upon completing an adventure that grants XP, you gain days of Downtime that can be spent in a variety of ways. (See Organized Play Basics, under Downtime, for how many days each type of adventure grants.)  These include attempting checks to Earn Income and Craft items, as well as retraining. Certain other activities may be available depending on boons or other circumstances as described in the adventure. Typically, once you have begun a Downtime task you cannot begin another until the first task is completed, though some exceptions exist (see Crafting and Retraining below). You can’t save up Downtime from multiple Chronicle sheets, but you can start or continue an activity such as Crafting an item that requires multiple adventures’ worth of Downtime to complete

Earn Income: Earning Income is the most common Downtime activity. If you are using your Downtime for any other purposes, they must be completed first before you attempt your check to Earn Income. For each 8 day unit of Downtime you spend (including units where you complete multiple activities, such as spending 7 days retraining and then 1 day Earning Income), you attempt one check to Earn Income, using the result to calculate your total earnings for that block of Downtime. The Task Level of your Earn Income check is equal to your level – 2 (minimum 0) by default (GMs should check Table 10–5: DCs by Level on page 503 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook to calculate the DC), though some boons may allow you to attempt checks against higher-level tasks as a special reward. A check to Earn Income does not carry beyond the 8-day cycle for which you attempt the check.

Crafting: Some characters may choose to spend their time Crafting a piece of equipment. The rules for crafting can be found on pages 244-245 and 503–504 the Core Rulebook. Use the DC based on the level of the item from Table 10–5 for common items, applying the hard DC adjustment from Table 10–6 to the DC for uncommon items and the very hard DC adjustment for rare items. You can Craft uncommon or rare items only if you find their formulas. Crafting requires that you spend the first 4 days of a block of Downtime preparing before attempting your check to Craft; unlike Earning Income, Crafting tasks can be continued across as many Downtime days as necessary until the item is completed or you pay the remainder of the Price required to finish the item.

Retraining: You can also use Downtime to retrain certain abilities and swap them out for new ones. This works as described in the Core Rulebook. Retraining a feat, skill increase, or a spell in your spell repertoire takes 7 days of Downtime, while retraining a selectable class feature, such as a druid order, takes 28 days. If you level up when still in the process of retraining a selectable class feature such as a druid order, you may choose an option that would be legal for the new order you are retraining to, though you may not use that ability until the retraining is complete.

For example, suppose Lini is 5th level and has decided that she would prefer to return Droogami to the wild and master the arts of a storm order druid instead. She begins the retraining process but will not complete it until she has completed her first scenario as a 6th-level character; Lini may select the Storm Retribution feat as her 6th-level feat, but cannot use it until she completes her retraining and becomes a storm order druid. Similarly, any feats Lini has that were contingent on her previous order cease being functional once Lini has attained her new order; for example if Lini had chosen Mature Animal Companion as her 4th-level feat but no longer had the Animal Companion feat after retraining to become a storm order druid, the feat would simply be nonfunctional until she either gained an animal companion or retrained Mature Animal Companion for another feat.

You can also retrain your Pathfinder training —that is, your selection between Spells, Scrolls, Swords, or field-commissioned agent. Doing so takes 14 days of Downtime, during which you adjust your level of affiliation with these aspects of the Pathfinder Society.

You can retrain your character’s name and / or gender for free.  This can even be done before the beginning of a game. Simply update your paper copy of your character sheet.  If you update the character’s name, make sure to update the alias for that character. To do so, go to and click the edit button next to the character, and update the Character Name and Full Name fields.  Make sure to also send an email to with the new name, old name, and org play number and character number so that they can correct any back chronicles if needed.

Experience Points

Most adventures grant your character Experience Points (XP) for completing them. Whenever your character gains 12 XP, they reach a new level and gain additional benefits and abilities as described in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Quests typically grant 1 XP, and scenarios typically grant 4. Sanctioned Pathfinder Adventures, Pathfinder Adventure Path volumes, and Pathfinder Modules volumes typically run much longer than a scenario and grant more XP; for example, a Chronicle sheet for a single Adventure Path volume is likely to grant 12 XP.

Fame and Reputation

Fame represents your standing within the Pathfinder Society. You accrue Fame every time you complete a quest, scenario, or other sanctioned adventure. You’ll accrue it at roughly the same pace as XP, though these two numbers will not necessarily be identical. Reputation measures your standing within a faction, and you can earn it by completing faction missions in certain scenarios. Reputation gives you access to different levels of faction rewards , while Fame is primarily used for two purposes.

Purchasing Faction Boons: You can use Fame to purchase boons  from any factions with which you have Reputation.

Resolving Negative Effects: The Pathfinder Society has resources to take care of its members. To represent this, you can use Fame to resolve negative effects your character is suffering from, such as death, permanent petrification or polymorph effects, curses, and permanent negative conditions (Core Rulebook 618–623). The Fame costs for the appropriate services are listed on Table 2: All-Factions Boons.


Gold is the primary form of currency available to PCs for making purchases in-game. The gold you gain and spend during each adventure is tracked on that adventure’s Chronicle sheet.

Hero Points

In addition to the Hero Point you start each game with, the GM may award you Hero Points during play for particularly heroic deeds. You can spend Hero Points to reroll checks or even avoid death (Core Rulebook 467).

Retail Incentive Program

This program is designed to encourage players to reward retail locations that are providing space for Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild players. Locations utilizing the program should advertise its presence to their clientele. We realize that each location is unique, and has an overriding right to determine what is best for their business, so participation in this program is not mandatory. In cases where the specifics of the program don’t align well with the retail’s procedures (for example, if they don’t provide receipts, or they run daily tabs), the event coordinator should work with the retailer to best approximate the intent of the policy.

Game stores and other retail locations are an important part of the Pathfinder Society community, and it’s important to support them so that they continue to provide support for Pathfinder Society play. Under this program, players can redeem receipts in exchange for modest benefits for the entire party.

Redeeming a receipt simply involves showing it to the event coordinator, who marks the receipt to denote that it was used. A player can only use a receipt in this way on the day of the purchase, and only for an event at that venue. The receipt need not include Paizo products—any products the venue sells count as qualifying purchases. Players cannot acquire or redeem receipts during their own turn or during any player’s encounter; otherwise, players can acquire and redeem receipts during play only when doing so does not significantly disrupt gameplay.

If the combined value of the receipts redeemed by players at the table exceeds $10, all of the characters at the table receive the ongoing benefit described below, and each character chooses one of the single-use benefits described below. If the combined value exceeds $50, you may use the enhanced version of the applicable benefits instead. (In countries that use currencies other than US Dollars, use approximate equivalents of $10 and $50; don’t worry too much about figuring out the exact exchange rate.) The ongoing benefit lasts for up to 5 hours, and each character may use their chosen one-time benefit once in each scenario played during those 5 hours. Characters can only receive these benefits once during any 5-hour block.

Primary Benefit (for all characters)

Harder to Kill: One time per game, reduce your dying condition value by 1. This can prevent you from dying.

Enhanced Version: For the enhanced benefit, reduce your dying condition value by 2.

Additional Benefits (each character chooses one)

Cheaper Healing: Before the end of the session, you can use the benefit to reduce the cost a single healing spell or ritual to remove a condition, affliction, or death to 90%.

Enhanced Version: You instead reduce the cost to 80%.

Recover from Wounds: Once per game, you can rest for 10 minutes to gain the result of a success on a trained DC 15 Treat Wounds.

Enhanced Version: You instead gain the result of a success on a master DC 30 Treat Wounds.

Bonus Wealth: When you roll a critical failure on a check to Earn Income, you get the results of a failure instead.

Enhanced Version: When you fail or critically fail a check to Earn Income, you earn double the base amount of money from a failure.

Back to: Pathfinder Society Guide to Play (Second Edition)


0.09 – Added a section on character sheets, clarified ability scores. Clarified the 3 point level in Pathfinder Training. Added free name and gender retraining.
0.08 – Added RIP, clarified “Purchasing Guidelines”
0.07 – Updated Boons to clarify language.
0.04 – Updated Boon slots to clarify language.

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