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Full Guide

Getting Started

Welcome to Pathfinder society

Pathfinder Society (second edition) is a worldwide fantasy roleplaying campaign set on the world of Golarion during the Age of Lost Omens. As agents of the Pathfinder Society, a legendary league of explorers, archaeologists, and adventurers headquartered in Absalom, you dedicate your life to discovering and chronicling the greatest mysteries and wonders of an ancient world. Pathfinder adventures range from exploring the dark alleys to engaging in political intrigues to embarking on far-flung travels to exciting locales.

Pathfinder Society (second edition) uses Paizo’s Pathfinder Second Edition ruleset and Lost Omens setting under the campaign leadership of the Paizo Organized Play Team. This guide presents the information you need to participate in this exciting, dynamic campaign. Welcome to the Pathfinder Society!

What Is Paizo Organized Play?

In a Paizo organized play campaign, your character adventures in a shared setting with thousands of other gamers worldwide. Anyone can host games, in homes, game stores, libraries, conventions, and online, as long as they report the adventurer’s results afterward. Reporting earns participants campaign rewards and player actions influence the fate of the Lost Omens setting. 

As part of the organized play experience, you can take your characters to any Pathfinder Society (second edition) event in the world, allowing you to join a game with friends and strangers alike with ease. And after each adventure, your characters grow stronger and carry their rewards with them to the next adventure, even if your fellow players and Game Masters (GMs) change between adventures. The Paizo organized play experience is uniquely immersive, as the diverse range of players, GMs, and characters provide incredible depth. The campaign is also a great way to meet other gamers and play regularly without needing to schedule regular events with a single set of people as you might for a more traditional game.

In order to help the Pathfinder Society (second edition) program function smoothly in a shared-world environment, the campaign has some additional rules to ensure a fair and equal experience for all participants—no matter who is playing or running the game. The rest of this guide covers that information. 

Besides the Pathfinder Society (second edition) campaign, Paizo Organized Play programs also includes the Starfinder Society, the Pathfinder Adventure Card Society, and the Pathfinder Society (first edition) campaigns. 

Paizo’s organized play team oversees the campaign’s content and program structure, and team members include the Organized Play Manager, Organized Play Managing Developer, Pathfinder Society developers, and the Pathfinder Society design liaison. Volunteers called Venture-Officers facilitate the campaign by coordinating the worldwide network of players and GMs. 

Register for Organized Play

To ensure you have access to all the tools and benefits available to our players, participants should have an organized play number and an account on paizo.com. To create an account, visit paizo.com/organizedplay and click on the “New Players Create an Account” button.

If you are unable to acquire an organized play number online, ask your Event Coordinator for help.

My Organized Play

Every registered organized play participant has a record on paizo.com. You can access this information by direct link or by visiting paizo.com, hovering/clicking on the My Account at the top right of the screen, then selecting Organized Play. There are several tabs on your account page. 

  • Summary: A list of your GM rankings, all registered characters, and character Reputation totals. You can create new characters by selecting the desired type at the bottom of the screen.
  • Sessions: A chronological list of all games you participated in, which may be sorted using the criteria on the left. 
  • GM/Event Coordinator: A list of earned points such as AcP or GM Glyphs, as well as a list of all events you are coordinating and a button to create new events.
  • Boons: A list of all currently available boons in a program. The Player Rewards appendix contains more details on boons.

If you find an error in your session list, send an email to pfsreportingerrors@paizo.com with the error and any supporting documentation you have on what the correct data should be.

Community Code of Conduct

All participants in Organized Play must adhere to the Paizo Organzied Play Code of Conduct and the PFS community standards—read through them and uphold them at all Organized Play events and sessions.

Characters

Next, you need a character to play. You can either use a pre-generated character or create your own character.

Using a Pregenerated Character

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, based on the Pathfinder iconic characters. A player can choose any of the pregerated characters without owning the associated rule books or sources. You can download Pathfinder Community Use Package: PF2E Iconics Pregenerated Characters or request them from your local event coordinator.

Using Your Own Character

If you have the time, and know what you want to play, you can build your character following the rules in the Character Creation appendix.

After you are done building your character, register them by going to your organized play account, sign in, and click on the “Register a New Pathfinder Society (second edition) Character.”

Where can I find a Game?

Each community uses their own game scheduling process. Common platforms used in scheduling games include:

 

Organized Play Forums

Join the vibrant Pathfinder Society online community by participating in the official Pathfinder Society forums. Ask questions! Compare character builds! Discuss! Find events! Your feedback helps us improve our program, so drop by and tell us what we can do to enhance your organized play experience.

  

The World of Golarion

The world of Pathfinder and of Pathfinder Society is a world called Golarion. The Age of Lost Omens below provides a basic introduction to the setting; you can learn more about Golarion from Chapter 8 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, from the Lost Omens line of setting books, and from the Pathfinder Wiki.

The Age Of Lost Omens

Ten thousand years ago, the world of Golarion came close to ending. Earthfall, as this extinction-level event came to be known, saw the world pummeled by a shower of falling stars that sank continents, hollowed out new seas, and destroyed civilizations. It took centuries for the world to recover, and centuries more for society to rebuild, but recover it did.

Dwarves ascended to the surface from the underground reaches of the Darklands in their legendary Quest for Sky, elves returned from the neighboring planet of Castrovel via a network of portals to reclaim their lands and traditions, and gnomes from the mysterious First World sought shelter from a now-forgotten terror. Survivors from other ancestries who had sheltered through the terror and destruction of Earthfall emerged during the Age of Darkness to reclaim their ancestral lands, from scrappy goblin tribes with a knack for surviving despite all odds against them to industrious halflings who emerged from the ruins to found societies of their own.

But humanity made the most astounding recovery. Less than 2,000 years after the near-extinction from Earthfall, the Age of Destiny saw the rise of many new human empires throughout the world. Humanity built wondrous structures, and its schools relearned magic that had been thought lost. Among these human nations walked a man named Aroden—an immortal survivor of the devastation of Earthfall. Aroden had long since cultivated a following of loyal subjects who regarded him with awe, for immortality was but one of the wonders he’d achieved. Greatest among these was his discovery of a shard of potent magic known today as the Starstone, a fragment from the stars that fell during Earthfall, which had lodged at the bottom of the Inner Sea. Contact with this alien artifact assailed Aroden with phantasmagoric visions, subjected him to a series of deadly martial trials, and posed exhausting moral quandaries that challenged his limits more than any of the arduous experiences he had yet endured. He emerged from this test a living god, and his first divine act was to raise the Starstone and the mass of land on which it had lain from the bottom of the sea to form the Isle of Kortos—also known as Starstone Isle—where he then established the city of Absalom.

In the centuries to follow, Absalom grew into one of the largest cities in the world, and Aroden’s legacy grew alongside it. As the millennia passed, his attentions increasingly turned away from the concerns of the Inner Sea’s inhabitants to otherworldly matters beyond mortal ken, but prophecy spoke of a time when he would return to Golarion and lead humanity triumphantly into an Age of Glory. As the time of Aroden’s return drew near, entire nations undertook monumental preparations to welcome him back to Golarion.

But instead, Aroden died, and with him the reliability of prophecy as well. Golarion was wracked by storms, war, and supernatural devastation as the god’s death marked the beginning of a new age—a time of uncertainty, but also a time of opportunity. This is the Age of Lost Omens, an age in need of heroes like never before.

Pathfinder Core Rulebook 417

What Is The Pathfinder Society?

Your character is a member of an in-game organization known as the Pathfinder Society. Pathfinder agents are adventurers who travel throughout the world, exploring new places and chronicling both history and modern lore. The most significant and exciting Pathfinder missions earn a spot in the Pathfinder Chronicles, an ongoing series of journals that are copied and spread far and wide to share the Society’s discoveries with the world. Pathfinders agents come from all over the world and from all walks of life; anyone willing to work together with other agents to pursue the Society’s aims is welcome to try to join the organization. Together, these tenets are captured in the Pathfinder motto:

“Explore, report, cooperate.”

More information on the Pathfinder Society, and its role in Golarion can be found in Pathfinder Lost Omens: Pathfinder Society  Guide.  However some of the more relevant details are summarized below.

Training

The Grand Lodge
The Grand Lodge in Absalom
Although drawn from diverse backgrounds and regions, the vast majority of Pathfinders start their careers by traveling to the Society’s headquarters, the Grand Lodge, to receive training. There they undergo approximately 3 years of training, 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 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. Newly appointed Head Initiate Janira Gavix helps trainees thrive during their education and during their first few years as full agents.


A rare few Pathfinders skip the usual training process, having already distinguished themselves in some way that proves that they have what it takes to be a Pathfinder. These agents receive field commissions, which allow them to engage in a far shorter training process. Field commissioned agents have fewer responsibilities back at the Grand Lodge, but they also tend to receive less material support from the Pathfinder Society than agents who built connections there during their years of practice and study.

Once an agent has completed their training, they have the freedom to travel the world and seek out places to explore.

Leadership

Most Pathfinder missions are assigned by a group of leaders known as venture-captains. Venture-captains typically spend a lot less time in the field than adventuring agents, instead spending their time managing a lodge. In the process, venture-captains watch for leads for suitable missions, handle logistics and paperwork, and scout out nearby Pathfinders who might be interested in the adventure opportunities they have to offer. 

At the top of the Pathfinder Society’s hierarchy are the Decemvirate, also known as the Ten. Most of the members of The Ten hide their identities behind magical masks, but recent rumors indicate that one of the Ten has decided to go public with her identity.

Symbols

Wayfinder
Wayfinder
The official symbol of the Pathfinder Society is the glyph of the open road, a symbol depicting a stylized intersection of two roads under a star. Most Pathfinders carry a special type of magical compass known as a wayfinder; because these compasses are hard to find outside of the Society, they serve as badges of membership.
.

Factions

Factions have existed within the Pathfinder Society for centuries. However, their history is fraught with controversy, particularly when past factions clashed for control over the Society itself or acted as proxies for various nations’ political aspirations. Following more than a decade of turmoil, growth, and housecleaning, the Society’s current factions are dedicated to promoting different elements of the Pathfinder Society’s charter rather than pushing outside ambitions. Society agents understand that their allegiance is to the Pathfinder Society first.

The factions are divided into major factions and minor factions. A major faction ties very strongly and directly into the Society’s goals—such as emphasizing exploration or research—and has a large number of members within the Pathfinder Society.  Minor Factions have a smaller profile, a more niche goal, have aims that are more tangential to the Society’s mission, or are tied to a shorter-term objective.  Every season will have one or more Scenarios tied to a given major faction’s goals.  Minor factions may also have scenarios tied to their goals, but it may not happen every season.

Major Factions

Envoy’s Alliance: Strength in Community
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: Chronicling the Past
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. 


Horizon Hunters: Glory lies over the Horizon
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.


Vigilant Seal: 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

Radiant Oath: A Light in the Shadows

Those who join the Radiant Oath swear simple vows to assist others, expanding on these promises the more they serve the faction.


Verdant Wheel: Truth Sprouts from the Ashes

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.


Community Standards and Expectations

In addition to the Community Standards laid out in the Paizo Organized Play Code of Conduct the following rules govern Pathfinder Society Organized Play

Acceptable Content

Pathfinder Society games use the Pathfinder Baseline from page 486 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. Circumstances, such as venue restrictions, table composition or player needs, can require additional adjustments to the baseline. GMs are empowered to choose alternate descriptions, utilize lines and veils, or incorporate X cards as described on page 485 of the  Core Rulebook to provide the best gaming experience possible.

Do Not Cheat

Maintain the integrity of the game. Cheating behaviors include, but are not limited to, falsifying rolls, forging records, using unapproved resources, not owning the sources used by your character, and lying to GMs and event coordinators. Participants caught cheating will be barred from Pathfinder Society events for an amount of time dependent on the severity of the offense. Repeat offenders will be banned from all Paizo Organized Play activities.

Keep Good Records

Pathfinder Society uses a combination of character sheets, Chronicles, and record trackers to chart character progression. GMs and event coordinators rely on these documents to keep the campaign honest, fair, and fun for everyone. It is your responsibility to maintain accurate records. Always bring either paper or digital copies of your character sheet and supporting documentation such as Chronicles and record trackers of any character you wish to play to Pathfinder Society events. If using paper copies, we suggest keeping them all together in a binder, with a folder for each character.

If you cannot produce the supporting documents for your character, the GM can ask you to play a pregenerated character instead.

No Character-versus-Character Combat

In keeping with the “Explore, Report, Cooperate” motto of the Pathfinder Society, engaging in non-consensual character-versus-character conflict is prohibited. While accidental friendly fire happens due to missed attack rolls or other factors, players must obtain the consent of other players before deliberately including fellow PCs in damaging effects. Engaging in character-versus-character conflict will award  Infamy points and may render a character unplayable. This rule does not apply in situations where a character is not acting of their own free will, such as if they’re being mind-controlled by an NPC and forced to attack a fellow Pathfinder.

Violation Enforcement Procedures

If a player is removed from a table for violating the community standards, or a character is marked “dead” due to  Infamy, then it is the responsibility of table GM or event coordinator to advise their local venture-officers of the situation.  The GM or event coordinator must advise the player of the report and provide the player with the venture-officer contact information, so that the player may present their side of the issue to the venture-officer. Rules infringements will be kept on file, as continued violations will result in suspension of organized play membership. 

Rules Variations

From time to time, players might encounter different rules sources with minor variations in the rules.  In general, the most current printing of the English version of the rulebook in question should be treated as the definitive source.  In the case of the this guide the most current printing is the English version on this web page.

Campaign Leadership

The rules of the campaign reside in this guide and the Character Options page. As the campaign develops, additional rulings might be needed. These rules will be published via the paizo.com forums or blogs and from there be compiled into the program documentation listed above.  The people with the authority to issue rulings for the Pathfinder (Second Edition) Society campaign are: Tonya Woldridge (Organized Play Manager), Linda Zayas Palmer (Organized Play Managing Developer), Alex Speidel (Organized Play Associate), Mike Kimmel (Organized Play Developer), and Thurston  Hillman (Pathfinder Society Developer).  Clarifications from other campaigns and their campaign managers do not apply to the Pathfinder (Second Edition) Society Organized Play campaign unless confirmed by one of the above individuals.

Rules Changes

The Pathfinder roleplaying game is a living game, and sometimes game elements change over the course of a PC’s career. The Achievement Point system allows you to purchase rebuilding options for your characters. If the rule change is egregious, Campaign Leadership may choose to issue other methods of character rebuilding characters or adjusting characters to accommodate the new rules.

Errata: Changes to rules via errata go into effect at the next game played by the character. 

Playtest: For information on rebuilding characters affected by changes between playtests and final rules visit the Pathfinder Society blog for each associated playtest.

Effects on Scenarios: If an errata or clarification changes how an ability works in a scenario, follow the current rules.  If that means that the ability no longer works with how the NPCs tactics are written, modify the tactics as best you can to incorporate the changes.

Timing: To reduce confusion and chaos, rule changes announced during a gaming event do not take effect until after the event ends. 

Players

Player Basics

Player-Created Characters

Pathfinder Society characters use the process outlined in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, with a few additional campaign-specific rules and benefits. Characters start at first level unless they have Boons to modify their starting level. The Character Creation appendix contains step-by-step instructions to help you create your own Roleplaying Guild character and outlines the campaign’s additional character creation steps. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure your character is suitable for the organized play campaign.  

Remember to register your character  at paizo.com!

Character Options: All of the ancestries, backgrounds, and classes from the Core Rulebook are available to you when creating a character. You might need to spend Achievement Points  to access some ancestries and options from other books before you can use them in organized play. More information on approved resources can be found in the Character Options Document

Rarity: Some options within the game have a rarity trait of uncommon, rare, or unique. Options without a rarity trait are considered common.  Rarity is described on page 13 of the Core Rulebook.

Access: Players can access uncommon or rare options via access points built into the campaign. If you satisfy the access condition specified in that option, then that option is common for you. Pathfinder Society  characters are enrolled members of the Pathfinder Society organization in the world of Golarion, so they gain access to all options requiring  membership in the Pathfinder Society.

The Pathfinder Society Character Options Page contains further details on how to access uncommon and rare character options. 

Pawns: In Encounter Mode, each PC is typically represented by a pawn. Animal Companions, purchased animals and summoned creatures, and any other creature whose location affects combat are also usually represented by some sort of pawn. With the exception of temporary creatures who last no more than an encounter or two, such as those created by summon spells, no character can place more than 2 pawns per adventure. Familiars who stay in their owner’s square during encounter mode do not require pawns.

Rebuilding Your Character

After playing a new character, you might find aspects of your character you would like to change.  Don’t worry!  Until you play a game in which your character starts with 12 or more XP, you can freely rebuild your character completely. The character retains their 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 through Achievement Point purchases or retraining.

You cannot use Rebuilding or Retraining to build a character that could not be built without using either of those two tools.

Purchasing Guidelines

You can always purchase the following items so long as you’re in a settlement of at least 5,000 residents (and scenarios might sometimes provide additional allowances or limitations):

  • Any common equipment in sanctioned Pathfinder content with an item level equal to or less than your character’s level (minimum 2).
  • Any uncommon equipment in sanctioned Pathfinder content with an item level equal to or less than your character’s level (minimum 2); your character must have access to this uncommon equipment such as through meeting its Access condition.
  • Any equipment listed on your character’s Chronicles with an item level equal to or less than your character’s level + 2. Some items found on Chronicles are available for purchase only a limited number of times.  Weapons and Armor found on Chronicles can be upgraded following the normal rules for upgrading.
  • Any basic equipment weapon or armor your character has access to can be purchased in a precious material version, provided you have access to weapons or armor made of that precious material. The weapon or armor must still meet any requirements stipulated in the listing for the precious material in question.
  • Any items and services purchased with Achievement Points.

Note that accumulating Infamy can reduce the character’s effective level when purchasing equipment.

Spells

Any prepared spellcaster can use the Learn a Spell activity to learn any common spells they have access to from tutors at the Grand Lodge. This adds no additional material cost beyond the standard cost for the Learn a Spell activity. Spells from outside the Core Rulebook must be learned using the learn a spell activity before they can be used by prepared casters, even by clerics and druids.

Spellcasting Services

All pathfinders have access to spellcasting services related to condition removal at any pathfinder lodge. Spell casting services are always automatically successful, but never critically succeed. If a spellcasting service requires a Counteract Check it must be purchased at one spell level higher than the effect it is counteracting. Costs for spellcasting services can be found in the Spellcasting Service Costs Appendix, and GMs are required to use these costs unless the scenario specifies otherwise.

Formulas

The pathfinder society will sell formulas to members for any non-limited item for which the agent has access. Items with a number restriction, including Unique Items, are considered so esoteric that the Society does not own the formula and so complicated that it is not possible to reverse engineer the formula even with a legendary degree of skill.

Selling Back Equipment

Equipment can only be sold back for ½ the gold spent to buy it.  Equipment that was purchased as part of a bundle, such as a class kit, or a magic weapon can only be sold back as part of the same bundle, and all parts of the bundle must be sold.  Partially consumed items cannot be sold back.  Rebuild boons stating kit values are an exception to the ½ price resale.

Applying and Transferring Runes

The Society has a specialist at the Grand Lodge who can apply or swap out runes for agents of the Pathfinder Society in good standing.  This service is free, and requires no check, but is only available before the briefing or once the adventure is complete unless stated in the adventure.  Only the service of transferring the rune is free however.  Characters must still pay the 10% materials cost and provide any required runestones.

Adventures

There are two types of adventures written for the Pathfinder Society campaign.

  • Pathfinder Society Quests: These are short adventures written for Pathfinder Society and intended to take about 1 hour to play.
  • Pathfinder Society Scenarios: These are the most common adventure type written for Pathfinder Society, and they typically take about 4–5 hours to complete.


Rules for additional types of adventures can be found in the Additional Adventures Appendix

Scenario Tags

Tags are markers that appear both on a scenario’s product page and on its title page that gives key information about the scenario’s contents.

  • Exclusive: Scenarios with this tag have running requirements outside the standard one table environment. Scenarios with this tag include specific rules on who is eligible to run it and where and how it can be run.
  • Faction: Scenarios with this tag address the listed faction's goals and may grant additional reputation with a Faction
  • Metaplot: This adventure contributes to the season’s ongoing storyline.
  • Repeatable: Players and GMs may receive credit for scenarios with this tag an unlimited number of times, though characters can still only receive credit once for a given scenario.

Levels

Pathfinder Society adventurers are designed for characters of various levels playing together. The range of levels supported by an adventure appears on the cover. The difficulty of the adventure scales based on the character levels and is calculated using the challenge point system. 

Table Minimums: Pathfinder Society adventures are written for four (or more) players.  However, in cases where you simply cannot seat four players, the GM can make the following adjustments.

  • Adventures with a Minimum level of 5 or lower.  For these adventures, the GM can run a table of two or three players, and can add additional appropriately leveled pregenerated iconic characters in order to meet the minimum table size of four PCs.

    The GM can either play these characters themselves or deputize one or more players to run them, provided the player agrees to do so and feels capable of running an additional character.

    Pregenerated iconic characters are available for 1st level, 3rd level, and 5th level.
  • Adventures with a minimum level of 7 or higher These adventures can be run with only 3 players, but only if all players at the table agree.  While we expect this “hard mode” playthrough experience to be satisfying, we want to caution you that, as the adventures are designed for a minimum of four players, they will be more difficult than normal. 
  • All levels:  If there are still not enough players even with these adjustments, and there is a player available who has already played the adventure, they can join the table, playing for no credit.  

Replaying for No Credit: A player may replay an adventure to help create a legal table. Replays grant no rewards.  Players should  record any items expended or gold spent and may be given a blank Chronicle for this purpose.  This is an exception to the restriction that you should never assign more than one copy of a Chronicle to a given character.

Reporting: GMs do not record or report organized play numbers for players replaying for no credit. 

Table Maximums: Tables cannot have seven or more players. If seven players show up to an event and there is more table space, see if one of the players can GM a game instead.

Before the Adventure

Before the game starts, you will need to choose a character to play.  This can be one of your existing characters, or a pregenerated character.  But it must fall within the allowed levels for the adventure.  If you choose a pregenerated character, you must also choose an existing character of a lower level, a first level character, or a brand new character to assign credit to.  (See “Applying Credit” in After the Adventure to learn more about this process.)  

The GM will provide you with a sign-in sheet to record your character’s name, Organized Play ID, Character Number, level, faction, and advancement speed, as well as any contact information the GM needs to be able to get chronicles to you.  If you are playing a pregen, then the character number is the number of the character who will receive credit for the adventure. Faction and Advancement Speed are Additional Character Options and can be left blank if you are not choosing to change the default options.

One Character per Adventure

You can have as many active characters as you want in Pathfinder Society. However, you can play only one of your characters during a specific adventure.

One Adventure per Character

A character can only take part in one adventure at a time.  From the time the character begins an adventure, to the time Chronicles are issued, that character cannot be involved in any other adventure. Characters engaged in play-by-post are considered busy and may not be used in another game while the play-by-post is running.

Replaying Adventures

When replaying an adventure, or playing an adventure you have already GMed please follow the additional two guidelines.

  • Notify the GM: Inform the GM that you have already played the adventure or run it as a GM. Although a GM should endeavor to be flexible, the GM maintains the right to deny running the adventure for you if they feel uncomfortable running the event for players who have foreknowledge of the story.
  • No Spoilers: When you are replaying an adventure, avoid spoiling the adventure’s plot or using insider information to affect gameplay. Doing so can be grounds for the GM to remove you from the table. In general, be mindful in separating player knowledge from character knowledge, and if you are uncertain how to proceed, speak privately with the GM to determine the best course of action.

During the Adventure

Each adventure typically begins with a briefing, either in the form of a letter, a meeting with a venture-captain, or an offer of a job by an employer.  

Hero Points: Immediately after that briefing, the GM will distribute initial Hero Points.  Rules for Hero Points can be found on Page 467 of the Core Rulebook.  Some rewards, such as GM GlyphsCampaign Coins, and Order of the Wayfinder provide the players with extra Hero Points at this time.

Starting Consumables  In a Pathfinder Society Scenario, your character also receives gifts from their friends and connections before leaving on missions.   Pathfinders receive the following healing potions, based on level at the beginning of the adventure.  Characters utilizing negative energy healing mechanics may replace any positive healing options on the chart with the same level negative equivalent. (Pathfinders using the schools Additional Character Option have access to different Starting Consumables options and should chose them now if they have them.)

If not used by the end of the adventure, the item or items are returned to the character’s contacts. Consumable items for Pregens are already included in their character sheets and they do not gain additional consumables at this step.

Table: Starting Consumables

level 1-2minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 3-42x minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 5-6lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 7-82x lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 9-10moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 11-122x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 13-143x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 15-16greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 17-182x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 19-203x greater healing potion (CRB 563)


Purchasing Equipment This will also often be the last opportunity your character has to purchase any needed equipment for the adventure.

Remember, your character is a member of the Pathfinder Society, working with colleagues and friends, under the motto

“Explore, Report, Cooperate.”

Treasure 

As characters work their way through the adventure, they will discover or earn Treasure Bundles. These are simplified units that represent an even share of the adventure’s rewards.  Typically a scenario will award 8 treasure  bundles, however good luck or clever play can award up to 2 additional treasure bundles.

Characters may also find named items of treasure or consumable magic items. These items are available for use during the adventure and often appear as purchasable items on Chronicles. 

Infamy

Infamy represents a character’s reputation for performing evil or criminal actions.  Some scenarios will call out specific actions that will cause characters one or more PCs to gain infamy.  Additionally the GM may assign infamy for other evil or criminal acts not called out by the scenario.

Warnings: The GM must warn the Player that their act will incur Infamy.  This warning can be in character or out of character but must be clear to the player.  If the PC goes through with the action, they earn the point of infamy.

Effects of Infamy: Each point of infamy reduces the PCs effective level by one for purposes of purchasing gear.

If a PC ends a game with 3 Infamy, they are ejected from the Pathfinder Society and are no longer viable to play in the campaign.  The character should be marked dead when the table is reported.

Infamy is not for player actions. Players who commit or describe character actions in violation of the community standards are subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in the community policy.

After the Adventure

Negative Effects

The Pathfinder Society takes care of its members by removing most ongoing nonpermanent negative conditions and repairing  agents’ damaged gear to the condition it was in at the start of the scenario.

The following conditions are not automatically removed and must be cleared from the character before the end of the adventure or the character ceases to be available for organized play:

  • Death
  • Permanent negative effects, including polymorph or petrification
  • Curses

Other PCs can use their spells, feats or class abilities to assist characters in recovering from negative effects.  They can also contribute consumables or even some of their gold, but they are not required to.  Characters can always use gold earned during the adventure to clear conditions and those costs must be deducted on the scenario Chronicle by the GM. Costs for removing conditions can be found in the Spellcasting Service Costs Appendix. GMs should report characters with uncleared conditions as dead.

Pregenerated Characters: Condition removal applies to pregenerated characters and any unresolved conditions carry over to the Pathfinder Society character receiving credit for the adventure.  If that would mean the character would be marked dead, then that occurs immediately.

When determining order of payment, players should apply party funds, then Pathfinder Society character resources, then sale of pregenerated character gear. 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.

Ongoing and Permanent Spells

All permanent or ongoing spell effects end at the end of the adventure, just after resolving negative conditions, with the exception of Continual Flame, and Secret Page. A character may carry over one of each of these spells to the next adventure. Record any ongoing spells along with equipment, along with the organized play number and Character ID of the caster, as well as the Level and DC of the spell. Spells replaced by subsequent castings, counteracted, or otherwise lost must be crossed off the record.

Reputation

Reputation is a measure of how influential your character is in the Pathfinders Society. You can read the Factions and Reputation page for more about how Reputation works.

Treasure

Unlike a traditional game in which the PCs would divide recovered magic items and other treasure among themselves, Pathfinder Society awards each participating PC a share of gold pieces based on their respective levels. Rather than divide up the magic items unequally, PCs have equal access to any special treasure found, represented by the items listed on the Chronicle.  Rules for purchasing these items can be found under Purchasing Guidelines.

Downtime

Between adventures, each character can participate in Downtime activities.  Scenarios and Quests grant two days of downtime per XP earned.  Bounties are missions the PC undertakes during their downtime and thus grant no down time.  Other adventures grant the downtime listed in their sanctioning document.  For most PCs, Downtime will be spent Earning Income by rolling on Craft, Performance, or Lore, and consulting the table below.

Players are responsible for rolling and recording their own downtimes, and may chose not to do so if they prefer to simplify play. Alternately, for players seeking a more in depth downtime, rules for using the entire set of downtime rules appear in "Additional Character Options"

LVL 1-4 EARN INCOME (FOR 8 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpert
1-2148 cp4 sp4sp
31516 cp16 sp16 sp
41632 cp24 sp24 sp
5*--40 sp40 sp

LVL 5-8 EARN INCOME (FOR 8 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpert
51864 cp40 sp40 sp
6198 sp56 sp64 sp
72016 sp72 sp8 gp
82224 sp12 gp16 gp
9*--16 gp20 gp

LVL 9-12 EARN INCOME (FOR 8 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpertMaster
92332 sp16 gp20 gp20 gp
102440 sp20 gp24 gp24 gp
112648 sp24 gp32 gp32 gp
122756 sp32 gp40 gp48 gp
13*--40 gp48 gp64 gp

  • Crit Success earns 1 level higher.

LVL 1-4 EARN INCOME (FOR 2 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpert
1-2142 cp1 sp1sp
3154 cp4 sp4 sp
4168 cp6 sp6 sp
5*--10 sp10 sp

LVL 5-8 EARN INCOME (FOR 2 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpert
51816 cp10 sp10 sp
6192 sp14 sp16 sp
7204 sp18 sp2 gp
8226 sp3 gp4 gp
9*--4 gp5 gp

LVL 9-12 EARN INCOME (FOR 2 DAYS)
PC LevelDCFailedTrainedExpertMaster
9238 sp4 gp5 gp5 gp
102410 sp5 gp6 gp6 gp
112612 sp6 gp8 gp8 gp
122714 sp8 gp10 gp12 gp
13*--10 gp12 gp16 gp

  • Crit Success earns 1 level higher.


Levelling Up

Characters accumulate XP every time they play an adventure.  For every 12 XP earned, characters advance 1 level.  

This progression is roughly equivalent to the Slow Advancement progression (Core Rulebook 509). Leveling up happens after all other rewards for the scenario are calculated, including Downtime, however characters can still purchase equipment after leveling up.  Characters who earned  the requisite number of XP must level before joining another game. XP is *NOT* reset to zero after characters level.  

Record-Keeping

Organized play characters rely on good recordkeeping to ensure accurate information while playing.  Several methods of tracking exist, but the most prevalent is the Chronicle. Every organized play published or sanctioned adventure contains a Chronicle, though players can choose alternative tracking methods and keep the Chronicles as backup.

Upon completing an adventure, players each receive a Chronicle sheet from the GM.  This sheet includes a summary of the adventure; indications of any choices made along the way which may impact the future of the campaign, and a log of rewards earned while exploring. It also provides areas for notes, purchases, and the acquisition/removal of conditions. Players using other tracking methods should ensure all the data on the Chronicle is reflected in their records.

Record Format

Players may choose to keep their records digitally or in paper files. If stored digitally, players must be comfortable with GMs handling their device while reviewing records. If in paper files, all pages must be carried to games.

Applying Credit

Chronicles and their associated information is assigned to the character identified on the registration sheet.  Information from the Chronicle applies when the character adds the Chronicle to their record. Credit applies immediately except for the following circumstances:

  • Sanctioned Pathfinder Adventures and Adventure Paths:  These adventures often grant a single Chronicles with 12 or more XP. Characters should apply the XP (and the proportional rewards) in blocks of 4, so that characters may level between applications. 
  • Pregenerated Characters: Chronicles assigned to a brand new or 1st level characters can be applied immediately to the character at 1st level, or held until the level of the pregen. Chronicles assigned to characters of a level higher than 1st level, must be held to the level of the Pregen.

    Pregen chronicles applyed to 1st level characters gain the following limitations:
    • Award Treasure Bundles/Gold as if the earning character was 1st level.
    • Characters do not  benefit from any boons or item unlocks until the character reaches the minimum Chronicle level 
    • Downtime applies as to the 1st level character the chronicle is applied to.

Chronicles apply in the order in which they were played. Add all earned rewards and make Downtime checks before applying the next Chronicle. Applying credit in batches may advance a character multiple levels. The character’s level cannot exceed the level of any Chronicle applied to them, so any out-of-level Chronicles applied are lost. 
 

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

There is no standard character sheet format required.  The only requirements are that it must be legible, clear, and reviewable by the GM. Blank analog character sheets for Pathfinder 2nd edition can be found:

Digital characters sheets are available at:

Resources

Players may use any Paizo published books or supplements they own during character creation, provided the options are valid per the Character Options document, Players residing in the same household may share owned resources. Options in the Core Rulebook,  the Pathfinder Bestiary (Second Edition), and Lost Omens: World Guide are considered always available resources regardless of ownership.

Character Creation Guidelines

The following steps elaborate and expand on character creation for Pathfinder Society characters. (Core Rulebook 21)

1.  Create a concept.

Remember, your character is a member of the Pathfinder Society first and foremost, and as such, your character should be able to work with any other Pathfinder, and abide by the Society’s Motto – “Explore, Report, Cooperate”.

2. Start Building Ability Scores.

Pathfinder Society uses the standard method detailed under “Ability Score Overview” on page 20 of the Core Rulebook. Your character can 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.

3. Select an Ancestry

Ancestry follows the normal rules in the Core Rulebook, with minor modifications to adapt to the languages of Golarion.  The Pathfinder society does not permit Half-elves or Half-orcs of ancestries other than Human.

Home Region 

This is also the stage at which you should choose your character’s home region (Core Rulebook 420-429), and in the case of human characters, your ethnicity. (Core Rulebook 430-431). Choose one nation (such as Varisia or Taldor). You are considered a citizen of that nation. For the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites and Access conditions for uncommon character options, you are treated as being from that nation as well as the larger region in which it’s found (such as the Saga Lands for Varisia or the Shining Kingdoms for Taldor). More information on the Nations of Golarion is available in the Lost Omens: World Guide.

Languages

All Pathfinder Society characters are literate and speak Common (Taldan) as well as any other languages granted by their ancestry. Regional languages (Core Rulebook 432) are uncommon and require access.

4. Pick A Background

Players who participated in the Pathfinder Society (first edition) campaign have access to Legacy Backgrounds in addition to the backgrounds starting on page 60 of the Core Rulebook. 

5. Choose A Class

All Pathfinder Society characters begin at 1st level, although some boons allow a character to immediately advance to 2nd or 3rd level at the end of character creation

6. Determine Ability Scores.

The Pathfinder Society follows the standard rules for Determining Ability scores

7. Record Class Details

The Pathfinder society follows all the standard rules for Class Details.

8. Buy Equipment

All characters in Pathfinder Society begin with the standard 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.

9. Calculate Modifiers

Calculate your character’s Perception, Saving Throws, Strikes, and Skill modifiers as described on page 27 of the Core Rulebook''.

10. Finishing Details

Alignment

Players cannot play evil characters. When choosing an alignment, be sure it satisfies any alignment requirements for your character’s class.

Religion

Characters can worship any Golarion deity 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.

Characters can revere deities they do not worship. Revering a deity means that your character might 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. 

A character can revere as many deities as they wish, but can worship and receive power from only one.

Age

Characters must be at least young adults to be accepted as members of the Pathfinder Society.

Other Items

The beginning of Pathfinder Society games includes character introductions, so consider making a few notes on your character’s appearance, personality, and pronouns to share with other players. The World of Golarion and the Lost Omens: Character Guide both contain information on the campaign setting you can use for this purpose.

Pathfinder uses maps with 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.

For digital play, this should be a digital image.  Speak to your GM about their preferred image formats and size requirements.

11.  Membership in the Pathfinder Society

During their training, Pathfinder initiates attain a certain level of proficiency and background knowledge. To represent this, by default all pathfinders start with Pathfinder Society Lore as a trained lore skill. If they would already start with Pathfinder Lore skill from their background, they gain either Academia Lore or Scouting Lore as trained skills.

Some pathfinders spend more or less time studying at the Pathfinder Academy. This is represented by the additional "Schools" options in Additional Character Options.
  

Additional Character Options

For players looking to customize their characters further, there are some Additional options you can consider.  All of these are optional, and you can instead stick with the default options in the Player Basics.

Pathfinder Training

Most Pathfinders pass through the Pathfinder Academy on their way becoming agents. During their training, pathfinder initiates attain a certain level of proficiency in all three schools’ teachings, from there some go on to specialize in one of the schools’ curricula and build life-long professional contacts with like-minded scholars while others continue to divide their time among the different schools. These contacts pay out over the course of a Pathfinder’s career in the form of  gifts from colleagues and access to additional training.   In return, the field agent is expected to return the favor by contributing labor, teaching expertise, lab assistance, or more between missions, reinforcing these professional relationships.  

Another way to join the Pathfinder Society is via a field commission from another agent or a Venture-Captain of the Society. Characters who received a field commission have fewer connections to the Society’s  membership, and receive fewer gifts, but have fewer obligations to the society and thus more downtime.  

Note that while Field Commission can only be freely chosen at character creation, the other four options can be chosen at any point in the pathfinder's career, although once chosen they cannot be changed without Retraining.

Characters who have ties to a school or who are field commissioned receive a bonus lore at first level. (This replaces the Pathfinder society lore that all agents gain by default.) At 5th level they also gain a bonus skill feat.

Characters with ties to schools also have additional options for their starting consumables. Field Commissioned Agents do not receive any starting consumables, but receive additional downtime instead.

Bonus Lores, Skill Feats, and Alternate Consumables

Spells Bonus Lore and Skill Feat
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
Academia,
Architecture,
Herbalism,
Pathfinder Society
Arcane Sense (CRB 258),
Assurance (CRB 258),
Quick Identification (CRB 264),
or Recognize Spell (CRB 265)


CRB = Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Spells Consumables
LevelSpells OptionsHealing Potion
(default)
level 1-2level 1 scroll* of:
(choose one)
burning hands (CRB 322),
heal (CRB 343),
mage armor (CRB 348),
magic fang (CRB 349),
magic weapon (CRB 349)
minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 3-4Level 2 scroll* of:
(choose one)
dispel magic (CRB 330),
resist energy (CRB 364),
restoration (CRB 364),
water breathing (CRB 384)
2x minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 5-6level 3 scroll* of:
(choose one)
heal (CRB 343),
heroism (CRB 343),
haste (CRB 343)
lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 7-8level 4 scroll* of:
(choose one)
air walk (CRB 317),
fly (CRB 339),
stoneskin (CRB 374)
2x lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 9-10level 5 scroll* of:
(choose one)
banishment (CRB 320),
breath of life (CRB 322),
cone of cold (CRB 325)
moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 11-12level 6 scroll* of:
(choose one)
phantasmal calamity (CRB 357),
stone to flesh (CRB 374),
true seeing (CRB 378)
2x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 13-14level 7 scroll* of:
(choose one)
energy aegis (CRB 335),
sunburst (CRB 376),
true target (CRB 379)
3x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 15-16level 8 scroll* of:
(choose one)
divine aura (CRB 331),
horrid wilting (CRB 344)
greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 17-18level 9 scroll* of:
(choose one)
foresight 
(CRB 340),
overwhelming presence (CRB 356)
2x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 19-20level 9 scroll* of:
(choose one)
implosion (CRB 346)
3x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
  • Rules for scrolls can be found on pages 564 and 565 of the Core Rulebook


Scrolls are no longer auto heightened to the character’s level.

Scrolls Bonus Lore and Skill Feat
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
Accounting,
Library,
Pathfinder Society,
Scribing
Assurance (CRB 258),
Automatic Knowledge (CRB 258),
Multilingual (CRB 264),
or Streetwise (CRB 267)


CRB = Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Scrolls Consumables
LevelScrolls OptionsHealing Potion
(default)
level 1-2feather token (ladder) (CRB 570),
owlbear claw (CRB 569),
lesser eagle-eye elixir (CRB 548),
sunrod (CRB 554),
wolf fang (CRB 570)
minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 3-4crying angel pendant (CRB 566),
feather token (bird/chest/or holly bush) (CRB 570),
mesmerizing opal (CRB 568),
cat's eye elixir (CRB 547)
2x minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 5-6feather token (fan) (CRB 570),
sneaky key (CRB 569)
lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 7-8feather token (anchor or tree) (CRB 570),
dust of appearance (CRB 570),
iron cube (CRB 567)
2x lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 9-10candle of truth (CRB 570),
feather token (swan boat or whip) (CRB 570),
jade bauble (CRB 568)
moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 11-12greater eagle-eye elixir (CRB 548),
iron medallion (CRB 568),
mummified bat (CRB 568)
2x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 13-14eye of apprehension (CRB 566),
mending lattice (CRB 568),
potion of tongues (CRB 563)
3x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 15-16dazing coil (CRB 566)greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 17-18-2x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 19-20-3x greater healing potion (CRB 563)

Swords Bonus Lore and Skill Feat
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
Gladiatorial,
Pathfinder Society,
Scouting,
Warfare
Cat Fall (CRB 259),
Armor Assist (APG* 203),
Forager (CRB 261),
or Hefty Hauler (CRB 262)


CRB = Pathfinder Core Rulebook
APG* = Advanced Player Guide
*This source is not included in the core assumption, you must own this book to select this option.

Swords Consumables
LevelSwords OptionsHealing Potion
(default)
level 1-2Lesser leaper’s elixir (CRB 549),
potency crystal (CRB 569),
shining ammunition (CRB 560),
oil of mending (CRB 561),
silversheen (CRB 554)
minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 3-4beacon shot (CRB 559),
bronze bull pendant (CRB 566),
effervescent ampoule (CRB 570),
feather step stone (CRB 567)
2x minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 5-6barkskin potion (CRB 562),
emerald grasshopper (CRB 566),
dragon turtle scale (CRB 566)
lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 7-8greater leaper’s elixir (CRB 549),
swift block cabochon (CRB 569)
2x lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 9-10aligned oil (CRB 561),
greater cheetah’s elixir (CRB 547),
storm arrow (CRB 560)
moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 11-12potion of quickness (CRB 563),
moderate bravo’s brew (CRB 547),
oil of keen edges (CRB 561)
2x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 13-14-3x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 15-16iron cudgel (CRB 567),
greater bravo’s brew (CRB 547)
greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 17-18-2x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 19-20-3x greater healing potion (CRB 563)

Generalist Bonus Lore and Skill Feat
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
Academia,
Library,
Pathfinder Society,
Scouting
Battle Medicine (CRB 258),
Courtly Graces (CRB 260),
Multilingual (CRB 264),
or Recognize Spell (CRB 265)


CRB = Pathfinder Core Rulebook
APG* = Advanced Player Guide
*This source is not included in the core assumption, you must own this book to select this option.

Generalist Consumables

In addition to antidotes and antiplagues, Generalists receive more potent healing potions.

LevelGeneralist OptionsHealing Potion
(default)
level 1-2holy water (CRB 571),
lesser antiplague (CRB 546),
lesser antidote (CRB 546),
lesser bomb (CRB 544)
minor healing potion (CRB 563)
level 3-42x minor healing potion (CRB 563),
potion of water breathing (CRB 564),
lesser comprehension elixir (CRB 547),
lesser darkvision elixir (CRB 547)
lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 5-6moderate antiplague (CRB 546),
moderate antidote (CRB 546),
moderate bomb (CRB 544)
2x lesser healing potion (CRB 563)
level 7-8invisibility potion (CRB 563),
salve of antiparalysis (CRB 562)
moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 9-10potion of flying (CRB 563),
greater comprehension elixir (CRB 547)
2x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 11-12greater antidote (CRB 546),
greater antiplague (CRB 546)
3x moderate healing potion (CRB 563)
level 13-14greater bomb (CRB 544) greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 15-16major antidote (CRB 546),
major antiplague (CRB 546)
2x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 17-18-3x greater healing potion (CRB 563)
level 19-20-major healing potion (CRB 563)

Field Commission Bonus Lore and Skill Feat
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
Engineering,
Legal,
Mercantile,
Underworld
Experienced Professional (CRB 261),
Unmistakable Lore (CRB 268),
Bargain Hunter (CRB 258),
orExperienced Smuggler (CRB 261)

CRB = Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Field Commission Downtime

Field Commission agents do not gain any consumables at the start of a mission. Instead they gain 3 days of down time per XP earned in an adventure instead of 2. If using slow track, total all the days of down time awarded by the adventure, and then divide by 2. (Rounding down if there are fractions.)


Advancement Speed

Players can chose before each adventure to play the scenario on slow speed. Slow speed scenarios deliver 1/2 the rewards. This can be useful to hold the character at a level longer so that other players can catch up or just to have more hours of play. For rules regarding this, see Advancement Speed.

Factions

Before each adventure the PC may chose one of the factions to support. Any Reputation earned for Primary and Secondary success conditions that adventure is applied to that Faction. If no faction is chosen, the character earns reputation with the Horizon Hunter faction. More on Factions and the effects of reputation can be found on the Factions and Reputation Appendix.

Downtime

Downtime is spent in Downtime Units of up to 8 days at a time.  If a character earns 8 days or fewer of downtime, it is spent in a single unit.  If they earn more than 8 days, the character spends units of 8 days, one at a time, until 8 or fewer days remain, then spends the remaining days as a single unit.  Multiple different activities can occur in a single downtime unit, but you can only ever roll once for a given activity in any given unit. 

If a chronicle is assigned but not immediately applied, (see  applying chronicles) then wait to calculate downtime until the chronicle is applied. 

Earn Income: Earning Income is the most common Downtime activity, though it is the last option to resolve. Complete any Crafting or Retraining before beginning Earn Income checks. Players should check Table 10–5: DCs by Level (Core Rulebook 503) to calculate the Earn Income DC.

Make one check using either the Crafting, Lore, or Performance Skill for each Earn Income Downtime Unit (including units where you complete multiple activities, such as spending 7 days retraining and then 1 day Earning Income). Task Levels for Earn Income checks equal character level – 2 (minimum 0) though some boons allow checks against higher-level tasks. Compare check result to task level on Table 4-2: Income Earned (Core Rulebook 236for the daily earning rate, then multiply that rate by the number of Downtime days used for Earn Income  in the Downtime Unit. Checks to Earn Income do not carry beyond the Downtime Unit In which the check was made. 

Crafting:  Rules for crafting equipment appear on pages 244-245 of the Core Rulebook Use DCs from Table 10–5 (Core Rulebook 504with the following adjustments:

  • Common: None
  • Uncommon: Apply the hard modifier from Table 10-6 (Core Rulebook 504)
  • Rare: Apply the very hard modifier from table 10-6 (Core Rulebook 504) 

  A few other limitations on crafting:

  • Characters can Craft uncommon or rare items only if  they have access to the applicable formulas. 
  • Crafting requires that you spend 4 days in preparation before making Crafting checks. 
  • Crafting tasks can be continued across as many Downtime days/units as necessary to complete the item.
  • Characters may stop crafting and pay the remainder of the Price required to finish the item at any time.
  • Only one crafting project may be started during a Downtime Unit. 


Retraining: Using Downtime to retrain character options(Core Rulebook 481) works as written with a few clarifications. 

  • Some items are changeable for free, such as name, gender, appearance, or other cosmetic designators. 
  • Pathfinder training may be changed and costs 14 days. 
  • Changing a selectable class feature, takes 28 days. 

If characters earn enough XP to level while still in the process of retraining they can choose options legal for their new build, though the ability is unusable until the retraining is complete. An option being retrained is lost at the time the new option becomes usable.

 

Playtest Rules

These are the general rules for Pathfinder Society Playtests. Each playtest may have specific rules, see the playtest announcements for specific rules.

Playtest Period

Each playtest runs for a specified period. Once this period has expired, players can no longer use the options being playtested until their publication in a future Pathfinder product.

Playtest Characters

Playtest options can be accessed by creating a custom character using the rules presented in the playtest document. This character functions as a pregenerated character.

Creating a playtest character: Depending on the tier of the scenario, the player can use a 1st-, 3rd-, or 5th-level character created using the eligible playtest options and the following guidelines.

  • 1st Level: The character can be made using the character creation rules presented in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook and the Character Creation Appendix of this guide.
  • 3rd Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except that instead of 15 gp starting gold, they can select one 2nd-level and two 1st-level permanent items. In addition, the player can spend up to 25 gp on other available equipment.
  • 5th Level: This character follows the same rules as above, except that instead of 15 gp starting gold, they can select one 4th-level, two 3rd-level, one 2nd-level, and two 1st-level permanent items. In addition, the player can spend up to 50 gp on other available equipment.


The Guidelines for Treasure for New Characters and Choosing Items on pages 510-511 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook apply to these pre-gen equipment choices.

Credit: Choose which of your characters will receive the credit at the beginning of the adventure. The credit earned for playing a playtest character follows the same rules and guidelines as applying credit for a pregenerated character, presented in the Applying Credit section of the Player Basics page of the Guide to Organized Play: Pathfinder Society.

Boons and Other Character Options: In order for the playtest character to take a character option that would normally require a boon, that playtest character must have all of their credit assigned to a character number that has purchased that boon.

GM Opt In

Because playtest use additional rules elements that some GMs may not be comfortable with, each GM must opt-in for playtest characters to be used at their tables. Please make sure that you consult the GM prior to game!

Current and Past Playtests

This list contains all previous play tests. Make sure to check the dates to see if a playtest is still ongoing.

Psychic and Thaumaturge – September 20 to October 29, 2021

This playtest includes the psychic and thaumaturge classes as outlined in the Dark Archive playtest. The character must take a playtest class, and can not take archetypes.

Gunslinger and Inventor – January 5 to February 5, 2021

This playtest includes the gunslinger and inventor classes as outlined in the Guns & Gears playtest. The character must take a playtest class, and can not take archetypes.  

Player Rewards

Boons

Boons are rewards that can be applied to a character. Common types of boons include Achievemnet Points (AcP), Chronicle, or Faction.  Boons often have traits that describe how the boon applies. There are some boon traits that deserve specific mention:

  • Advanced:  A boon with the Advanced trait is typically more powerful than other boons.  Characters may only benefit from one advanced boon during an adventure.
  • Ally: A boon with the Ally trait sometimes places a Pawn.  This does not allow players to bypass the limits on the number of Pawns they can play.
  • Promotional: These boons reward players for promoting the society, or for exceptional contributions to the campaign. Characters may only benefit from one promotional boon during an adventure.

Unless a boon states otherwise, you can only apply one of any given boon to a character.

Promotional Boons

These boons are available, automatically, to any player who meets their requirements.

Promotional Accessory

promotional

Prerequisites Player is wearing or carrying an accessory that promotes Pathfinder Society

Up to twice per adventure, you can spend an action to reduce the severity of your frightened or stupefied condition by 1.

Special: A PC can only benefit from one promotional boon per game.


Promotional Service Award

promotional

Prerequisites Have a campaign coin, Member of the Order of the Wayfinder.

Volunteers who make exceptional contributions to Organized Play can earn campaign coins or membership in the Order of the Wayfinder as a recognition of their hard work. When you use this boon, you gain a bonus Hero Point at the beginning of the adventure. In addition to the normal powers of a Hero Point, you can spend this special Hero Point to allow another player to reroll a check.

Special: A PC can only benefit from one promotional boon per game.


Promotional Vestments

promotional

Prerequisites Player is wearing clothing that promotes Pathfinder Society, such as a volunteer shirt, a shirt for a Pathfinder Lodge, or Pathfinder-themed cosplay

When you use a Hero Point to reroll a check, add a +1 cirumstance bonus to the reroll.

Special: A PC can only benefit from one promotional boon per game.

Achievement Points

Players earn Achievement Points (AcP) by participating in and reporting Pathfinder Society games. AcP are an online currency used to purchase character boons. Currently, there are three levels of AcP events.The number of points earned depends on time involved, the event level, and the type of involvement as in the chart below. Event classifications are:

  • Standard events: games played in stores, homes, or other  locations .
  • Premier events: games played at conventions and local events designated part of the Regional Support Program. 
  • Premier Plus events: Paizo-sponsored conventions and conventions running more than 75 blocks of organized play.

Table: Typical AcP rewards.

Adventure XPPlayer / GMStandard EventPremier EventPremier+ Event
1 XP (Quests, Bounties, etc)Player111.5
 GM22.53
4 XP (Scenarios)Player456
 GM81012
12 XP (Some Adventures, Adventure Path books*)Player121518
 GM243036

*Not all Adventures and Adventure Path books award 12 XP. See the individual sanctioning documents for details.

A list of  Achievement Points rewards available for purchase lives on the Boon tab of your My Organized Play page. To purchase a boon, select a character from the dropdown list, then click the purchase button of the desired boon. A list of purchased boons appears at the bottom of the page. Each purchased boon generates a downloadable printable boon. AcP boons should be stored with Chronicles, either digitally or alongside physical sheets. 

Retail Incentive Program

The Retail Incentive Program (RIP) rewards players with rewards for their characters when they patronize retailers who are providing space for Organized Play activities.  Purchases made at the location within a stated time frame tally by table and unlock benefits at different levels, including some that reduce the severity of failures, for the next game played.  Implementation methods vary from store to store, and are posted for attendees to review. For more information, read the full policy and consult your Event Organizer for details.

Legacy Backgrounds (legacy campaign):

Even though characters from the First Edition legacy campaign cannot transfer into the current Pathfinder Society campaign, their exploits can shape the Society’s newest adventurers. For each of the 11 seasons of the legacy campaign, a player can unlock a special legacy character background associated with that season by having completed five or more of that season’s scenarios. These backgrounds are unique to the Pathfinder Society campaign, and once they’re unlocked, a player use a legacy background for any number of characters. See Legacy Backgrounds.

Other Rewards:

Pathfinder Society Organized Play periodically releases additional prizes for special events. The most common among these are charity boons, which are in-game benefits sent to authorized charity events to help raise money for good causes. For more information on Charity Boons, ask the Event Organizer

Factions and Reputation

All agents, provided they have been confirmed by having gone on at least 2 missions, are awarded a free wayfinder. In addition, any agent of the pathfinder society can purchase the following boons from the “boons” tab of My Organized Play using Achievement Points

Boons Available to all PCs

Wayfinder*
Hireling
Hireling Translator
Secondary Initiation

* Character must have played 2 sessions to obtain.

Faction Reputation

By representing a faction during adventures or participating in adventures vital to a faction’s interests, a character gains Reputation with the represented faction. The greater a character’s Reputation the more respected and influential they are with that faction. Characters can represent more that one Faction in their career, but only one per adventure. Some scenarios grant bonus Reputation with particular factions; this doesn’t prevent characters from choosing to represent a different Faction.

Pathfinder Society uses the Reputation subsystem (Gamemastery Guide 164)  with the following modifications:  

Table 6-2: Reputations

Reputation Reputation points
Ignored0-19
Liked20-59
Admired60-119
Revered120+

Reputation in PFS does not use negative values. Major infractions earn Infamy.

Character rewards unlocked by Reputation are found on the Boon Tab of your My Organized Play page.  They are further described below.

Faction Boons

The various factions make the following boons available to their agents who have earned the appropriate reputation level. Agents who qualify can purchase the following boons from the “boons” tab of My Organized Play using Achievement Points

FactionLiked20+ reputationAdmired60+ reputationRevered 120+ reputation
Any FactionExpert HirelingProfessional Hireling
Treasure Bundle Insurance
Untarnished Reputation
Master Hireling
Envoy’s AllianceSkillful Mentor
Crafter’s Workshop
Harmonic Wayfinder

Grand ArchiveMagical Mentor
Esoteric Wayfinder
Off-Hours Study

Horizon HuntersRugged Mentor
Rugged Wayfinder
Storied Talent

Radiant OathProtective Mentor
Practiced Medic
Radiant Wayfinder

Verdant WheelWorldly Mentor
Leshy Companion
Naturalist

Vigilant SealCombat Mentor
Adamant Wayfinder
Adversary Lore


Boons List (Alphabetical)

Adversary Lore

Prerequisites: Liked by Vigilant Seal

It doesn’t matter how powerful your weapons are if you don’t know where to strike. You have taken the time to study a certain category of creatures, making it easier to recall their capabilities later. When you purchase this boon, either select one creature type from List 1 below, or choose two creature types from List 2. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Recall Knowledge about creatures of the selected type(s). If your Reputation tier with the Vigilant Seal is Revered, this bonus increases to +2.

  • List 1: aberration, animal, beast, construct, dragon, elemental, fiend, undead.
  • List 2: astral, celestial, ethereal, fey, fungus, giant, monitor, ooze, plant.


Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character. However, the character must focus their training on one set of creatures before each adventure, and cannot benefit from multiple copies of the boon at the same time.


Crafter’s Workshop

Prerequisites: Liked by Envoy’s Alliance

Your friends in the Envoy’s Alliance share crafting materials and collaborate to create new items more efficiently. You only need to spend 1 day of downtime before attempting your skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost.

Normal: You must spend 4 days of downtime before attempting your skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost.


Hireling

Prerequisites: none

You have recruited a non-combat hireling who can assist you with a certain set of skill checks. This ally performs the selected skills with a total modifier equal to 2 + your level, and they are considered trained in the skills. You must expend any actions and be in range to perform the action yourself, and any consequences of these actions affect you (such as falling when using Athletics to Climb).

The hireling doesn’t have or use its own ability modifiers and can never benefit from item bonuses, status bonuses, or fortune effects.  Abilities that grant you a circumstance bonus do not grant that circumstance bonus to your hireling even though you are using your action to attempt the check.  You cannot aid your own hireling.

You cannot use the hirelings skills except recall knowledge in combat, and the hireling cannot be affected by, or affect combat, and cannot be harmed unless willfully endangered, and has no effect other than performing the selected skill checks.

When you purchase this boon, you select one skill as well as one Lore skill. The hireling can perform only these skills checks.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but may only benefit from one hireling boon on any given adventure.


Hireling Translator

Prerequisites: None

You have recruited a capable linguist who accompanies you on your adventures. This ally speaks, reads, and understands Common as well as two additional languages of common rarity chosen when this boon is purchased. The ally can quickly translate any of these languages for your benefit, effectively allowing you to communicate in the additional two languages without difficulty. However, you are not treated as knowing those languages for the purpose of using spells with the linguistic trait. The translator cannot be affected by or affect combat.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character, but may only benefit from one hireling boon on any given adventure.


Hireling, Expert

Prerequisites: Liked by any Faction

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess. The selected ally’s proficiency for their selected skills improves to expert, and their modifier to skill checks increases to 4 + your level.

Special: You can purchase this boon multiple times to the same character. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Hireling, Professional

Prerequisites: Admired by any Faction

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess. The selected ally adds a second Lore skill to the list of skill checks they can attempt. In addition, select one skill feat whose prerequisite is being trained in one of the hireling’s selected skills. The hireling gains the benefits of that skill feat when attempting skill checks.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Hireling, Master

Prerequisites: Revered by any Faction

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess that’s already been modified by the Expert Hireling boon. The selected ally’s proficiency for their selected skills improves to master, and their modifier to skill checks increases to 6 + your level.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Leshy Companion

Prerequisites: Liked by Verdant Wheel

You can select the Leshy Familiar feat as a 2nd level class feat, even if you are not a druid. You can ignore the prerequisite of belonging to the leaf order.
When you apply this boon, you can retrain your 2nd level class feat to Leshy Companion without spending Downtime.


Mentor, Combat

Prerequisites: Liked by Vigilant Seal

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide pointers and lead drills that ensure your newer colleagues’ attacks strike true. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to attack rolls to 2.

Normal: A Level Bump increases a PC’s attack roll modifiers by 1.

Special: A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons


Mentor, Magical

Prerequisites: Liked by Grand Archive

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide key spellcasting insights that augment your colleagues’ magic. Any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours can prepare one additional spell of their highest-level spell slot or cast one additional spell of their highest-level spell slot. When casting spells of a magical tradition that is the same as the tradition you use for spellcasting, the affected PC also increases the Level Bump’s modifier to spell DCs to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s spell DCs by 1, and it does not grant any additional spells prepared or spell slots.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Protective

Prerequisites: Liked by Radiant Oath

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you shield your more fragile wards from the threat of death. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase their current and maximum Hit Points by an additional amount equal to 3 times your Radiant Oath reputation tier (Liked = 1, Admired = 2, Revered = 3).

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s Hit Points by 10% or 10, whichever is higher.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Rugged

Prerequisites: Liked by Horizon Hunters

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide important insights that keep your less experienced colleagues safe from harm. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to saving throws to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s saving throw modifiers by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Skillful

Prerequisites: Liked by Envoy’s Alliance

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide vital advice to sharpen your newer colleagues’ skills. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to skill checks to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s skill check modifiers by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Worldly

Prerequisites: Liked by Verdant Wheel

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you help your less experienced colleagues recognize danger and withstand danger. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to Perception checks and Initiative rolls to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s Perception modifier by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Naturalist

Prerequisites: Liked by Verdant Wheel

When you apply this boon, choose a common alchemical item or potion of your level or lower to which you have access. The Verdant Wheel has taught you how to craft this item far more efficiently and provided you with a source for the rare herbs and ingredients needed to make 1 batch (typically 4 copies of the item). Making the item with the Verdant Wheel’s method the standard rules for Crafting the item, with the following exceptions. First, you must use Nature, Survival, or Herbalism Lore in place of Crafting for all purposes. Second, you only need to spend 2 days of Downtime before attempting your first skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character.


Off-Hours Study

Prerequisites: Liked by Grand Archive

You spend your free time studying learning new trivia or practicing unfamiliar languages. When you acquire this boon, choose a common language you don’t know or a Lore skill in which you are untrained. After purchasing this boon. you can spend Downtime practicing the selected language or skill. Once you have expended 50 days of Downtime in this way, you learn the chosen language or become trained in the chosen Lore skill. This boon then grants no further benefit.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character. Each time you do so, select a different language or Lore skill.


Practiced Medic

Prerequisites: Liked by Radiant Oath

By spending your off hours administering medical aid to those in need, you have developed extraordinary first aid instincts. After purchasing this boon, you can spend Downtime to provide medical services to others. Once you have expended 8 days of Downtime in this way, you can expend the boon as a free action before attempting a Medicine check to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds. You improve your check’s degree of success by one step (such as if you roll a failure, you get a success instead); the boon is not expended if your original roll is a critical success. Once you expend this boon, it provides no other benefit.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character, though you cannot expend more than one copy of this boon per adventure.


Secondary Initiation

Prerequisites: None

Your contacts have introduced you to an influential member of another organization, allowing you to join that group or train in some of their techniques. Select an organization other than the Pathfinder Society. For the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites and Access conditions, you are treated as being a member of that group in addition to your belonging to the Pathfinder Society.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character, but each time you apply it, you relinquish your membership in the previous group in order to join a different group. Before doing so, you must retrain any options that listed membership in your previous group as a prerequisite.


Storied Talent

Prerequisites: Liked by Horizon Hunters

Word of your skill and expertise is spreading, and you find that increasingly prestigious clients are prepared to pay for your services. When using Downtime to Earn Income, you can choose to attempt a task of your level.

Normal When Earning Income, a PC can attempt a task of their level –2 or lower.


Treasure Bundle Insurance

Prerequisites: Admired by any Faction

[] [] [] Even when your careful searching doesn’t uncover all of a site’s valuables, you’re able to appraise, repair, and certify what you did recover to maximize their value. You can check a box that precedes this boon at the end of a scenario when you and your allies recovered 9 or fewer of the adventure’s Treasure Bundles. Increase the effective number of Treasure Bundles recovered by 1 for the purpose of calculating the group’s gold piece rewards.

The total number of additional Treasure Bundles provided by this boon cannot exceed the adventure’s maximum (10, for a typical scenario).


Untarnished Reputation

Prerequisites: Admired by any Faction

When you purchase this boon, you remove one point of Infamy that you have accrued.

Special: You can apply this boon multiple times to the same character. Its cost increases each time it is purchased.


Wayfinder

Prerequisites: Character must have played 1 session to obtain.

To guide your path, your faction has secured a wayfinder (Pathfinder Core Rulebook 617) for you to carry on your journeys and serve as a badge of office in the Pathfinder Society. This wayfinder has an effective sale price of 0 gp.


Wayfinder, Adamant

Prerequisites: Liked by Vigilant Seal

You have specially reinforced your wayfinder, devising a way for the device to absorb harmful energies. When you purchase this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession. You gain the following reaction.

Resist Harm (reaction); 
Trigger You would take damage;
Effect: You gain resistance 1 to acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, negative, positive, and sonic damage against one attack, spell, or effect. This applies only to the initial effect, not to any subsequent attacks or damage dealt by the effect (such as persistent damage or an ongoing hazard). This resistance increases to 2 when your reach the Admired Reputation tier with Vigilant Seal, and to 4 when you reach the Revered Reputation tier.You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.

Special: You can apply multiple upgrades to a single wayfinder. Each upgrade only affects one wayfinder in your possession, chosen when the boon is purchased. If a wayfinder has multiple upgrades on it, you can only safely use each ability once per scenario.

If the wayfinder with this upgrade is destroyed, you can apply the upgrade to another wayfinder during Downtime for no additional cost beyond that of the wayfinder itself.


Wayfinder, Esoteric

Prerequisites: Liked by Grand Archive
You have modified your wayfinder to focus your mental energy, driving more reliable insights. When you purchase this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special free action ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

You can activate this ability as a free action before you Recall Knowledge. If you roll a critical failure on the Recall Knowledge check, you instead get a failure.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.

Special: You can apply multiple upgrades to a single wayfinder. Each upgrade only affects one wayfinder in your possession, chosen when the boon is purchased. If a wayfinder has multiple upgrades on it, you can only safely use each ability once per scenario.

If the wayfinder with this upgrade is destroyed, you can apply the upgrade to another wayfinder during Downtime for no additional cost beyond that of the wayfinder itself.


Wayfinder, Harmonic

Prerequisites: Liked by Envoy’s Alliance

You have modified your wayfinder to resonate with your allies’ actions, allowing you to better help them in times of need. When you purchase this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special free action ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

You can activate this ability as a free action before you Aid an ally. If you roll a success on the check to Aid, you instead get a critical success.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.

Special: You can apply multiple upgrades to a single wayfinder. Each upgrade only affects one wayfinder in your possession, chosen when the boon is purchased. If a wayfinder has multiple upgrades on it, you can only safely use each ability once per scenario.

If the wayfinder with this upgrade is destroyed, you can apply the upgrade to another wayfinder during Downtime for no additional cost beyond that of the wayfinder itself.


Wayfinder, Radiant

Prerequisites: Liked by Radiant Oath

You have specially reinforced your wayfinder, devising a way for the device to reveal hidden creatures. When you purchase this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting it the following activation ability.

Activate two-action command
(evocation, good, light)
Effect: The wayfinder glows with a spiritual radiance, revealing that which is hidden. This has the effects of faerie fire, except the effect occurs in a 10-foot radius centered around you.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.

Special: You can apply multiple upgrades to a single wayfinder. Each upgrade only affects one wayfinder in your possession, chosen when the boon is purchased. If a wayfinder has multiple upgrades on it, you can only safely use each ability once per scenario.

If the wayfinder with this upgrade is destroyed, you can apply the upgrade to another wayfinder during Downtime for no additional cost beyond that of the wayfinder itself.


Wayfinder, Rugged

Prerequisites: Liked by Horizon Hunters

You have modified your wayfinder to absorb a small amount of your exhaustion, allowing you to continue exploring unhindered. When you purchase this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

As an action, you can reduce the severity of your clumsy, enfeebled, or sickened condition, reducing that condition’s value by 1.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.

Special: You can apply multiple upgrades to a single wayfinder. Each upgrade only affects one wayfinder in your possession, chosen when the boon is purchased. If a wayfinder has multiple upgrades on it, you can only safely use each ability once per scenario.

If the wayfinder with this upgrade is destroyed, you can apply the upgrade to another wayfinder during Downtime for no additional cost beyond that of the wayfinder itself.
 

Legacy Backgrounds

The following backgrounds are special options available only to players who participated in the First Edition campaign, representing unique character hooks.


Early Explorer Background

In the past decade, the Pathfinder Society has clashed with demonic armies, meddled in politics, and more, but you joined the organization before everything seemed so complicated. Whether you’re a dedicated scholar of ruins or an explorer who just longs for months-long expeditions into the wilderness, you’re a Pathfinder to explore, report, and cooperate.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Survival skill and the Pathfinder Society Lore skill. You gain the Forager skill feat.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Seasons 0 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Shadow War Survivor Background

Countless factions have fought for influence in Absalom for millennia, and for decades these groups worked through the Pathfinder Society to better control the City at the Center of the World. Perhaps you were ones of these agents who clashed with other operatives during the so-called Shadow War. Or you might have been an unintended victim of these clandestine clashes, inspiring you to join the Society and stop the conflict from within. Whatever the reason, navigating the Shadow War has left you politically savvy and informed.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Wisdom or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Society skill and the Absalom Lore skill. You gain the Streetwise skill feat.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 1 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Shadow Lodge Defector Background

You were among the Pathfinders recruited by the devious Shadow Lodge, lured in by promises of wealth, reform, justice, or revenge. You might have fought against the Society’s loyal agents, helped sabotage the Pathfinders’ reputation in distant countries, or even infiltrated the far-flung lodges as a spy. You’ve since made peace with and rejoined the Pathfinder Society, yet the underhanded reflexes and skills you learned are hard to forget.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Deception skill and the Underworld Lore skill. You gain the Lie to Me skill feat.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 2 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Ruby Phoenix Enthusiast Background

Named for the legendary sorcerer Hao Jin, the Ruby Phoenix Tournament occurs once every 10 years in Goka and attracts extraordinary talent from across the world. You might have begun training for the tournament but never participated, or perhaps you entered the tournament only to be defeated by (and inspired to join) the Pathfinder Society. Either way, your dedicated training prepares you for the rigors of the adventuring lifestyle.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Dexterity, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Athletics skill and the Gladiatorial Lore skill. You gain the Combat Climber skill feat. In addition, you gain access to one of the following uncommon monk weapons: kama, nunchaku, sai, shuriken, or temple sword.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 3 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Thassilonian Delver Background

As archaeologists uncovered and explored ever-larger numbers of Thassilonian ruins, you were among the eager explorers who sought out the Runelords’ ancient secrets. You may have been the apprentice to another Pathfinder who perished on an expedition, leaving you their discoveries and notes. Or perhaps you explored several of these sites yourself, quickly learning to parse the arcane secrets before lest the eldritch magic extinguish your life.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Arcana skill and the Thassilonian History Lore skill. You gain the Arcane Sense skill feat. Add Thassilonian to the list of additional languages you can learn for having a high Intelligence modifier.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 4 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Demon Slayer Background

For over a century, Mendev led a multinational coalition against ever-growing abyssal invaders in the Worldwound, and the Pathfinder Society aided in the so-called Fifth Crusade that ultimately sealed the planar rift and defeated its demon armies. You might be a hardened recruit who clashed with the demons, or perhaps you were a survivor who lost everything to the fiendish armies and narrowly escaped—or was rescued by Pathfinders. Your exposure to the Worldwound has taught you vital lessons in identifying fiends and their magic.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Constitution, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Religion skill and the Demon Lore skill. You gain the Recognize Spell skill feat. Add Abyssal to the list of additional languages you can learn for having a high Intelligence modifier.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 5 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Scholar of the Sky Key Background

The unfamiliar technology of Numeria’s Silver Mount still baffles Society scholars, yet you are one of the innovators who discovered how to operate a handful of these futuristic tools—possibly after surviving more than a few explosions. The Society might have recruited you for your esoteric abilities, or you might have sought out the Society’s protection in escaping the covetously vile Technic League. Even if your understanding of advanced technology is imperfect, your hard-learned lessons are invaluable in deciphering and repairing gear.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Crafting skill and the Engineering Lore skill. You gain the Quick Repair skill feat.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 6 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Former Aspis Agent Background

For more than a century, the Pathfinder Society has clashed with the avaricious and underhanded Aspis Consortium, and several years ago the Society dealt its rival a decisive blow. You may be one of the few survivors of a doomed Aspis expedition, or perhaps you chafed at the Consortium’s villainous practices and defected to the Pathfinders. No matter your reasons, you know how to be efficient and ruthless when the circumstances demand.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Intimidation skill and the Aspis Consortium Lore skill. You gain the Group Coercion skill feat. You gain access to any uncommon options as though you were a member of the Aspis Consortium.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 7 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Savior of Air Background

Upon securing the Untouchable Opal, an artifact of extraordinary power, the Pathfinder Society endeavored to free the benevolent demigod Ranginori, who was trapped within the virtually unbreakable prison. You might have joined the Pathfinder Society in its expeditions to the Elemental Planes, or you might have lived on one of those planes before learning of the Society from these Pathfinder agents. You are no stranger to navigating precarious terrain as a result.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Acrobatics skill, plus either Elemental Lords Lore or a Lore skill related either to one of the Elemental Planes (such as Plane of Air Lore). You gain the Cat Fall skill feat. Add Auran to the list of additional languages you can learn for having a high Intelligence modifier.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 8 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Faction Opportunist Background

As the Pathfinder Society’s influence has grown, so too did many of its factions become wealthier and more powerful. These factions relied on a host of Pathfinders and independent operatives alike to establish trade networks, shape national politics, and more, and you were among the specialists who helped one of these factions realize its goal. These events provided you countless opportunities to develop your own contacts and negotiating skills.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Diplomacy skill, plus either Guild Lore, Heraldry Lore, or Mercantile Lore. You gain the Hobnobber skill feat.

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 9 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign.


Tapestry Refugee Background

Within her magnificent museum demiplane, the sorcerer Hao Jin extracted and preserved countless sites and cultures. The demiplane’s unraveling magic forced the Pathfinder Society to evacuate the many inhabitants recently, and you were among the refugees who returned to the Material Plane after centuries of isolation. Whether you joined the Society out of gratitude, curiosity, or desperation, you are hardened by your harrowing flight from your doomed home.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Medicine or Stealth skill, plus a Lore skill related to the terrain you lived in while on the demiplane (such as Cave Lore or Desert Lore). You gain the Assurance skill feat with the skill you chose to become trained in (Medicine or Stealth).

Special You can select this background only if you have earned credit for at least 5 First Edition scenarios from Season 10 of the Pathfinder Society organized play campaign. 

Retired Rewards

The following rewards are no longer available, but are preserved here for characters who earned them prior to their expiration.

Playtest Points

Playtest Points (playtest adventures): During the playtest period for the Pathfinder Second Edition core rules, players and GMs did not earn Chronicles when playing the playtest adventures. Instead, each participant earned a number of Playtest Points, which can now be redeemed on your Organized Play account at Paizo. These rewards include Limited-Use boons, the ability to start a character at 2nd or 3rd level to reflect the time spent playing the game, and other minor benefits.

Fame and Faction Boons

Starting in season 2, Adventures no longer give Fame. The Faction boon system was replaced by the Achievement Point System. It is no longer possible to earn *or* spend fame. All purchases must have been made by 1/30/2021, and must be recorded on a chronicle. Boons that have an ongoing effect are listed below.

Faction Boon Errata

Some boons have changed. The boons on this page have been updated to reflect the changes. For ease of reference, the changes are listed below.

  • Alliance Champion boons no longer do anything and have ceased to exist.
  • All characters gain the effect of the Home Region boon for free at character creation. As such, the boon no longer serves any function.
  • Promotional boons are replaced with the current Promotional Boons

 

Heroic Resurgence

Replace “Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +1 status bonus to attack rolls, and you also gain a circumstance bonus to your damage rolls, Perception checks, skill checks, and saving throws equal to the noted value (maximum +2 for Reputation tier 3, or +3 for Reputation tier 4).”

With “Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +2 status bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, Perception checks, skill checks, and saving throws.”

Crafter’s Workshop

Replace: “When you Craft during Downtime, you do not need to spend 4 days at work before attempting a Crafting check.”

With “You only need to spend 1 day of downtime before attempting your skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost.”

And Remove: “ However, your fellow faction members expect your assistance in return. After slotting this boon to reduce the time needed to Craft an item, you must keep it slotted until you have finished crafting that item.”

Hireling Boons

Replace: “The hireling’s result cannot be modified by class abilities or spells, but it can be improved by a successful Aid check. ”

With: “The hireling doesn’t have or use its own ability modifiers and can never benefit from item bonuses, status bonuses, or fortune effects. Abilities that grant you a circumstance bonus do not grant that circumstance bonus to your hireling even though you are using your action to attempt the check. You cannot aid your own hireling.”

Replace: The hireling does not participate directly in combat

With: You cannot use the hirelings skills except recall knowledge in combat, and the hireling cannot be affected by, or affect combat.

Replace: “Special You can purchase this boon multiple times.”

With: “Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but may only benefit from one hireling boon on any given adventure”

Faction Reputation

The origional Faction Reputation has been replaced by the current system, detailed in Player Rewards. However, the boons below reference the original Faction Reputation, and use that chart to determine their effect.

Table: Faction Reputation Tiers

Reputation TierReputation
00
110
230
350
490

All Faction Boons

Special Note: To calculate your current Reputation Tier for the purpose of purchasing rewards listed in the table below, add up your Reputation from all factions and reference that table.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Hireling0AllyHire a skillful ally
Multicultural Training0-Gain access to options from a second culture
Secondary Initiation0-Gain access to options from an organization
Wayfinder0ItemGain a free wayfinder
Expert Hireling2-Improve  your hireling’s proficiencies
Bequeathal3ServiceTransfer a reward to another character
Professional Hireling3-Broaden your hireling’s skill set
Untarnished Reputation3-Reduce infamy at a discount, once.
Master Hireling4-Further improve your hireling’s proficiencies

Envoys’ Alliance Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Envoys’ Alliance faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Skillful Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Society Recruiter1-Earn credit with the Alliance by bringing new agents.
Eager Protégé2AllyGain an ally and grant XP to another character
Crafter’s Workshop2DowntimeAllies help you craft efficiently
Harmonic Wayfinder2ItemUpgrade your wayfinder to allow you to better help your allies
Bring Them Back Alive3SocialReduce the cost of returning to life
Heroic Inspiration3HeroicInspire allies when spending hero points to reroll
Exemplary Recruiter4Gain an experienced successor

 

Grand Archive Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Grand Archive faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Academic Conference1-Earn credit with the Archive by attending prestigious events.
Magical Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Off-Hours Study1Downtime Gain additional lores or languages
Esoteric Wayfinder2Item You have upgraded your wayfinder to warn you when you misremember facts.
Translator2AllyYou have a helpful translator.
Heroic Recall3Heroic Recall information when you spend hero points for rerolls
Unparalleled Scholarship*4-Gain a well connected successor

 

Horizon Hunters Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Horizon Hunters faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Consummate Dabbler1-Earn credit with the hunters by exploring other systems
Rugged Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Storied Talent2SocialFind better jobs when earning income
Rugged Wayfinder2Item Upgrade your wayfinder to keep you going past your limits.
Heroic Hustle 3Heroic Gain extra movement when spending hero points
Exotic Edge3-Use knowledge earned exploring to give you a bonus
World Traveler4-Gain a well traveled successor

Radiant Oath Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Radiant Oath faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Charitable Adventure1-Earn credit with the Oath when your adventure is in aid of those in need.
Protective Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Practiced Medic1DowntimePractice your healing skills between missions to gain an insight while treating your companions wounds.
Heroic Intervention3HeroicGrant healing to allies when you spend hero points

 

Verdant Wheel Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Verdant Wheel faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Beginnings and Endings1-Earn credit with the Wheel by helping before or after an adventure
Naturalist1Downtime Get help from the Wheel to craft alchemical items and potions faster
Worldly Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Leshy Companion2AllyGain a Leshy Companion
Heroic Resurgence 3HeroicGain bonuses when using hero points to return from the edge of death
Preserve3PropertyYou own a nature preserve 

Vigilant Seal Boons

The following is a list of purchasable rewards offered by the Vigilant Seal faction.

NameTierTrait(s)Description
Leader by Example1-Earn credit with the Seal by helping others experience adventure
Adversary Lore1-Research common adversaries between adventures.
Resist Corruption1-You and adjacent allies resist evil damage
Combat Mentor1MentorHelp low-level PCs at your table
Curse Breaker2DowntimeGain an item at a discount by using your skills to remove a curse from an item from the Seal’s vaults
Adamant Wayfinder2ItemUpgrade your wayfinder to absorb energy targeting you
Heroic Defiance3HeroicWake immediately when spending hero points to return from dying
Vault Delver4-Gain a well equipped successor

 

Faction Boon List

The following section details the boons that PCs can purchase with Fame.

A-E
Adversary Lore:

Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 1

It doesn’t matter how powerful your weapons are if you don’t know where to strike. Before an adventure, you take time to study a certain category of creatures, making it easier to recall their capabilities later. When you purchase this boon, either select one creature type from List 1 below, or choose two creature types from List 2. While this boon is slotted, you have a +1 circumstance bonus to Recall Knowledge about creatures of the selected type(s). If your Reputation Tier for the Vigilant Seal faction is 4, this bonus increases to +2.

List 1 aberration, animal, beast, construct, dragon, elemental, fiend, undead.

List 2 astral, celestial, ethereal, fey, fungus, giant, monitor, ooze, plant.


Academic Conference:

Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 1

Prestigious institutions across Golarion periodically host conferences where eminent scholars can present their discoveries, and you enhance your own profile when attending these events. When you play or GM an adventure at a Paizo Organized Play event designated as Premium or Premium Plus, you earn 2 additional Reputation with the Grand Archive faction.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Grand Archive faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier.


Beginnings and Endings:

Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 1

Serve as the event organizer or headquarters volunteer for an event that includes Pathfinder Society adventures or assist these volunteers in setting up or cleaning up after such an event. When you do so, you earn 2 additional Reputation with the Verdant Wheel faction on the next scenario you play.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Verdant Wheel faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your next Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier. You can only earn additional Reputation with this boon for one character per adventure you run, even if you have multiple characters who could benefit from this boon.


Bequeathal:

service
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 3

Pathfinders often find strange treasures for which they might not have any use, yet one of their colleagues would benefit. When you acquire this boon, select one uncommon, rare, or unique character option to which you’ve gained Access through an adventure’s Chronicle sheet (e.g., a boon that allows you to acquire a Special animal companion or purchase a Special magic item). Choose another of your characters. That character gains Access to that Special option instead, though they may only use the option once their level equals or exceeds the lowest level able to play the Chronicle sheet’s adventure (e.g., 5th level for Tier 5–8). On the Chronicle sheet, write “Bequeathed” and the recipient character’s number next to the option. You no longer have Access  to that option (and must sell it back if you acquired the option and would no longer qualify for it).

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you bequeath a different character option.


Bring Them Back Alive:

social
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 3

You are able to leverage your connections within the Society to raise funds for your allies’ resurrection, ensuring that everyone lives to see another adventure. You and your allies treat your effective character levels as 1 lower for the purpose of the raise dead spell and the resurrection ritual. This applies to both the level of the spell or ritual required, as well as to calculating the Cost of the diamonds necessary to cast the spell or perform the ritual.


Charitable Adventure:

Prerequisites Radiant Oath Tier 1

Although the Society focuses on exploration and discovery, the Pathfinders’ exploits also earn them a considerable income—a portion of which you donate to those in need. When you play or GM an adventure at a charity event registered with the Organized Play Foundation, you earn 2 additional Reputation with the Radiant Oath faction.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Radiant Oath faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier.


Consummate Dabbler:

Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 1

It’s not enough to simply see the world; you’re driven to experience local cultures’ unfamiliar customs, too. When you play a Pathfinder Adventure Card Society scenario or a Starfinder Society scenario, you earn 2 additional Reputation with the Horizon Hunters faction on the next scenario you play.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Horizon Hunters faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier. You can only earn additional Reputation with this boon for one character per scenario played, even if you have multiple characters who could benefit from this boon.


Crafter’s Workshop:

Downtime
Prerequisites Envoy’s Alliance Tier 2

Your friends in the Envoy’s Alliance share crafting materials and collaborate to create new items more efficiently. You only need to spend 1 day of downtime before attempting your skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost.


Curse Breaker:

Downtime
Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 2

You have been entrusted with an accursed item from the Society’s vaults, and you can spend your time in the Grand Lodge patiently unraveling its malign influence. When you acquire this boon choose a permanent magic item of your level or lower to which you have Access. While you have this boon slotted, you can spend Downtime erasing the item’s stubborn curse. This uses the same rules as you would to Craft the item, with the following exceptions. First, you must use Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion in place of Crafting (such as to determine the progress you make and the maximum item level you can work on). Second, your faction provides you the necessary tools and workspace to perform this operation. Third, you only need to spend 2 days of Downtime before attempting your first skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective cost. You must keep this boon slotted until you finish uncursing the item.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you do so, you select a different item.


Eager Protégé:

ally, limited-use
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 2

A promising recruit, initiate, or recently confirmed field agent accompanies you while you have this boon slotted. This disciple observes your adventuring exploits and occasionally contributes directly; once per adventure before you attempt a skill check or attack roll, the ally successfully Aids you, granting you a +1 circumstance bonus to the triggering check.

Tally the amount of XP you earn while this boon is slotted. Once you have tallied 60 or more XP in this way, you can encourage your protégé to set off on their own on new adventures. When this happens, you can no longer slot this boon; however, you can expend the boon when creating a new character to begin the character at 2nd level with 12 XP, 30 gp, and 12 Reputation to distribute among any number of legal factions. Once expended in this way, this boon provides no other benefits.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but you can only tally XP credit toward one such ally at a time.


Exotic Edge:

Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 3

By traveling so widely, you have developed an intuitive talent for using esoteric techniques. Once per adventure, you can activate this boon as a free action to apply these techniques, gaining a +1 circumstance bonus to either all of your attack rolls or all of your skill checks for 1 round.


F-L
Heroic Defiance:

heroic
Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 3

When you spend your Hero Points to avoid death, you can choose to immediately wake up with 1 Hit Point.

Normal When you spend your Hero Points to avoid death, you stabilize with 0 Hit Points, but you do not wake up until your Hit Points rise above 0.


Heroic Hustle:

heroic
Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 3

In moments of true heroism, you can always move to where the action is. When you spend a Hero Point to reroll a check, you also gain a +10-foot status bonus to your Speed until the end of your next turn. When you spend a Hero Point to avoid death, you can also Stand as a free action when you become conscious.


 !!!!!!Heroic Inspiration:
heroic
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 3

Your most momentous actions can inspire your allies to follow suit. When you use a Hero Point to reroll a check and succeed at the check, your allies gain a +1 circumstance bonus to checks of the same type for 1 round (such as attack rolls, Will saves, or Perception checks).


 !!!!!!Heroic Intervention:
heroic
Prerequisites Radiant Oath Tier 3

Your heroic moments grant others the will to keep fighting. When you spend a Hero Point, you and any allies within 30 feet who can see you regain 3d6 Hit Points (4d6 if your Radiant Oath reputation tier is 4). This healing also affects dying allies, even if they cannot see you due to being unconscious.


Heroic Recall (Reaction)

heroic
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 3

Trigger You spend a Hero Point to reroll a check
Desperate moments call for keen insight. You can Recall Knowledge as a free action, rolling the skill check twice and using the better result. This is a fortune effect.


Heroic Resurgence

heroic
Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 3

(Parts of this boon may not work as expected under the rules)

As Verdant Wheel balances the cycles of life and death, you are able to dance between existence and oblivion in stressful moments. When you spend your Hero Points to avert death, you gain a +2 status bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, Perception checks, skill checks, and saving throws until the end of your next turn.


Hireling

ally
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

You have recruited a non-combat hireling who can assist you with a certain set of skill checks. This ally performs the selected skills with a total modifier equal to 2 + your level, and they are considered trained in the skills. You must expend any actions and be in range to perform the action yourself, and any consequences of these actions affect you (such as falling when using Athletics to Climb).

The hireling doesn’t have or use its own ability modifiers and can never benefit from item bonuses, status bonuses, or fortune effects. Abilities that grant you a circumstance bonus do not grant that circumstance bonus to your hireling even though you are using your action to attempt the check. You cannot aid your own hireling.

You cannot use the hirelings skills except recall knowledge in combat, and the hireling cannot be affected by, or affect combat, and cannot be harmed unless willfully endangered, and has no effect other than performing the selected skill checks.

When you purchase this boon, you select one skill as well as one Lore skill. The hireling can perform only these skills checks.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but may only benefit from one hireling boon on any given adventure. Each time you purchase this boon, you can choose a different set of skills.


Hireling, Expert

Prerequisites All Factions Tier 2, Hireling boon

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess. The selected ally’s proficiency for their selected skills improves to expert, and their modifier to skill checks increases to 4 + your level.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Hireling, Professional

Prerequisites All Factions Tier 3, Expert Hireling

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess. The selected ally adds a second Lore skill to the list of skill checks they can attempt. In addition, select one skill feat whose prerequisite is being trained in one of the hireling’s selected skills. The hireling gains the benefits of that skill feat when attempting skill checks.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Hireling, Master

Prerequisites All Factions Tier 4, Expert Hireling

When you gain this boon, select one Hireling boon you possess that’s already been modified by the Expert Hireling boon. The selected ally’s proficiency for their selected skills improves to master, and their modifier to skill checks increases to 6 + your level.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you purchase this boon, you must apply its benefits to a different Hireling boon.


Home Region:

Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

Whether it’s because you grew up there or have since learned to call it home, one nation is especially familiar to you. Choose one nation (such as Varisia or Taldor) when you purchase this boon. For the purpose of fulfilling Prerequisites and Access conditions for uncommon character options, you are treated as being from that nation as well as the larger region in which it’s found (such as the Saga Lands for Varisia or the Shining Kingdoms for Taldor).

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but each time you purchase it, you lose your previous home region in order to become so familiar with a new one. Before doing so, you must retrain any options that listed being from the previous home region as a prerequisite, and any options to which you would no longer haveAccess.

Achievement Points: The World Traveler boon, accessible with Acheivement Points , grants similar Access to an entire region, providing an additional avenue to access region- and nation-based options.


Leader by Example:

Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 1

Pathfinders don’t always find adventure on their own; they often need someone to lead them to where the danger lies. As their guide on perilous treks, your renown grows. When you GM an adventure that grants at least 4 XP, you earn 2 additional Fame and Reputation with the Vigilant Seal faction. You can qualify for the benefit when you run multiple adventures that grant fewer XP so long as the total XP at least equals 4.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Vigilant Seal faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier. You can only earn additional Fame and Reputation with this boon for one character per adventure you run, even if you have multiple characters who could benefit from this boon.


Leshy Companion:

ally
Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 2

You can select the Leshy Familiar feat as a 2nd level class feat, even if you are not a druid. You can ignore the prerequisite of belonging to the leaf order.


M-R
Mentor, Combat

mentor, social
Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide pointers and lead drills that ensure your newer colleagues’ attacks strike true. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to attack rolls and spell attack rolls to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s attack roll and spell attack roll modifiers by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Magical

mentor, social
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide key spellcasting insights that augment your colleagues’ magic. Any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours can prepare one additional spell of their highest-level spell slot or cast one additional spell of their highest-level spell slot. When casting spells of a magical tradition that is the same as the tradition you use for spellcasting, the affected PC also increases the Level Bump’s modifier to spell DCs to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s spell DCs by 1, and it does not grant any additional spells prepared or spell slots.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Protective

mentor, social
Prerequisites Radiant Oath Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you shield your more fragile wards from the threat of death. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase their current and maximum Hit Points by an additional amount equal to 3 times your Radiant Oath reputation tier.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s Hit Points by 10% or 10, whichever is higher.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Rugged

mentor, social
Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide important insights that keep your less experienced colleagues safe from harm. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to saving throws to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s saving throw modifiers by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Skillful

mentor, social
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you provide vital advice to sharpen your newer colleagues’ skills. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to skill checks to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s skill check modifiers by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Mentor, Worldly

mentor, social
Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 1

While working with less experienced Pathfinder allies, you help your less experienced colleagues recognize danger and withstand danger. For any PCs benefiting from a Level Bump and whose levels are lower than yours, you increase the Level Bump’s modifier to Perception checks and Initiative rolls to 2.

Normal A Level Bump increases a PC’s Perception modifier by 1.

Special A PC can only benefit from two mentor boons.


Meticulous Appraisal

service
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 2

Even when your careful searching doesn’t uncover all of a site’s valuables, you’re able to appraise, repair, and certify what you did recover to maximize their value. You can purchase this boon at the end of a scenario when you and your allies recovered 9 or fewer of the adventure’s Treasure Bundles. Increase the effective number of Treasure Bundles recovered by 1 for the purpose of calculating the group’s gold piece rewards. For each addition 2 points of Fame you spend when purchasing this boon, you increase the effective number of Treasure Bundles recovered by 1.

The total number of additional Treasure Bundles provided by this boon cannot exceed the number of Treasure Bundles the group actually recovered, nor can this boon increase the number of Treasure Bundles beyond the scenario’s maximum.


Multicultural Training

slotless, social
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

You consider yourself a member of multiple cultures—whether by birth, upbringing, or long-term exposure—and you have learned to blend several of the cultures’ styles into your training as an adventurer. Choose an additional ethnicity, such as Varisian or Garundi. In addition to the ethnicity you selected at character creation, you are also treated as a member of this additional ethnicity for the purpose of fulfilling Prerequisites and Access conditions.

Normal When creating a character, you can choose one ethnicity to can serve as a prerequisite and Access condition for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, not your character’s story or identity.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. The second time you purchase it, the Cost increases to 12 Fame, and subsequent purchases Cost 20 Fame each.


Naturalist

Downtime
Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 1

When you acquire this boon choose an alchemical item or potion of your level or lower to which you have Access. While you have this boon slotted, you can spend Downtime to search for rare herbs and ingredients in order to craft up to a full batch of this item (typically 4). This uses the same rules as you would to Craft the item, with the following exceptions. First, you must use Nature, Survival, or Herbalism Lore in place of Crafting (such as to determine the progress you make and the maximum item level you can work on). Second, your faction provides you the necessary tools and workspace to perform this operation. Third, you only need to spend 2 days of Downtime before attempting your first skill check and subsequently beginning to reduce the item’s effective Cost. You must keep this boon slotted until you finish crafting the items.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you do so, you select a different item.


Off-Hours Study

Downtime
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 1

You spend your free time studying learning new trivia or practicing unfamiliar languages. When you acquire this boon, choose a common language you don’t know or a Lore skill in which you are untrained. While you have this boon slotted, you can spend Downtime practicing the selected language or skill. Once you have expended 50 days of Downtime in this way, you learn the chosen language or become trained in the chosen Lore skill. This boon is then expended and grants no further benefit.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times. Each time you do so, you select a different language or Lore skill.


Practiced Medic

Downtime
Prerequisites Radiant Oath Tier 1

By spending your off hours administering medical aid to those in need, you have developed extraordinary first aid instincts. While you have this boon slotted, you can spend Downtime to provide medical services to others. Once you have expended 8 days of Downtime in this way, this boon becomes slotless, and you can expend the boon as a free action before attempting a Medicine check to Administer First Aid, Treat Disease, Treat Poison, or Treat Wounds. You improve your check’s degree of success by one step (such as if you roll a failure, you get a success instead); the boon is not expended if your original roll is a critical success. Once you expend this boon, it provides no other benefit.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, though you cannot expend more than one copy of this boon per adventure.


Preserve

Property
Prerequisites Verdant Wheel Tier 3

You have claimed a small plot where you can grow, study, or experiment with a wide variety of animals, fungi, and plants, providing you a wealth of healthful reagents. You can purchase antidotes, antiplagues, barkskin potions, elixirs of life, healing potions, potions of flying, and potions of leaping at a 10% discount.


Promotional Accessory

promotional
Prerequisites Player is wearing or carrying an accessory that promotes Pathfinder Society

Up to twice per adventure, you can spend an action to reduce the severity of your frightened or stupefied condition by 1.

Special: A PC can only slot one promotional boon at a time.


Promotional Service Award

promotional
Prerequisites Have a campaign coin

Volunteers who make exceptional contributions to Organized Play can earn campaign coins as a recognition of their hard work. If you have a campaign coin, you gain a bonus Hero Point at the beginning of every adventure. In addition to the normal powers of a Hero Point, you can spend this Special Hero Point to allow another player to reroll a check.

Special: A PC can only slot one promotional boon at a time.


Promotional Vestments

promotional
Prerequisites Player is wearing clothing that promotes Pathfinder Society, such as a volunteer shirt, a shirt for a Pathfinder Lodge, or Pathfinder-themed cosplay

When you use a Hero Point to reroll a check, add a +1 cirumstance bonus to the reroll.

Special: A PC can only slot one promotional boon at a time.


R-Z
Resist Corruption

Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 1

No matter whether you’re a shining beacon of good or a jaded pragmatist with a mission, you must be prepared to shield yourself and your allies against unholy energy. While this boon is slotted, you and any adjacent allies gain resistance to evil damage equal to your Reputation Tier with the Vigilant Seal faction.


Resurrection Plan:

service
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

The Pathfinder Society is invested in keeping its most successful agents in the field. You can purchase a resurrection ritual for 25 Fame. If you are in a rush to return to life and cannot wait the day for this ritual to be conducted, you can instead purchase a casting of the raise dead spell for 50 Fame.

Special This reward can be purchased multiple times, as it strictly represents the ability to secure the listed services.


Secondary Initiation

slotless, social
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

Your contacts have introduced you to an influential member of another organization, allowing you to join that group or train in some of their techniques. Select an organization other than the Pathfinder Society. For the purpose of fulfilling Prerequisites and Access conditions, you are treated as being a member of that group in addition to your belonging to the Pathfinder Society.

Special You can purchase this boon multiple times, but each time you purchase it, you relinquish your membership in the previous group in order to join a different group. Before doing so, you must retrain any options that listed membership in your previous group as a prerequisite.


Sellback Plan:

service
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 1

You can return previously purchased boons whose Fame Cost is less than or equal to 2 times your Reputation Tier for All Factions so long as the boon is does not have the faction, limited-use, or service traits. You immediately gain an amount of Fame equal to the total Fame Cost of the returned boon minus 1.


Society Recruiter:

slotless
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 1

The Envoys’ Alliance celebrates your efforts to recruit new talent. If you bring a new player to a table—a player without a Pathfinder Society character or someone playing their first Pathfinder Society session—you earn 2 additional Reputation with the Envoys’ Alliance faction.

Special You can benefit from this boon only a number of times equal to your current Reputation Tier with the Envoys’ Alliance faction. Each time you fulfill the requirements of this boon, mark it on your Chronicle sheet along with the associated Reputation Tier. The player you introduce to Pathfinder Society does not have to play at the same table as you (though being at the same table often improves their experience).

Storied Talent

social
Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 2

Word of your skill and expertise is spreading, and you find that increasingly prestigious clients are prepared to pay for your services. When using Downtime to Earn Income, you can choose to attempt a task of your level.

Normal When Earning Income, a PC can attempt a task of their level –2 or lower.


Swift Traveler:

service
Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 2

No matter how far afield you travel, it seems there’s always a fellow explorer ready to help you return home in record time and enjoy a few extra days to recuperate. You can purchase this boon at the end of an adventure that granted at least 4 XP while the GM is filling out Chronicle sheets. When you do so, you gain an additional 4 days of Downtime.


Translator

ally
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 2

You have recruited a capable linguist who accompanies you on your adventures. This ally speaks, reads, and understands Common as well as two additional languages of common rarity chosen when this boon is purchased. The ally can quickly translate any of these languages for your benefit, effectively allowing you to communicate in the additional two languages without difficulty. However, you are not treated as knowing those languages for the purpose of using spells with the linguistic trait.


Untarnished Reputation

service
Prerequisites All Factions Tier 3

When you purchase this boon, you remove one point of Infamy that you have accrued.

Normal Removing Infamy typically costs 12 Fame per point.

Special You can purchase this boon only once, even if you qualify for it from multiple factions.


Wayfinder

Prerequisites All Factions Tier 0

To guide your path, your faction has secured a wayfinder (Pathfinder Core Rulebook 617) for you to carry on your journeys and serve as a badge of office in the Pathfinder Society. This wayfinder has an effective sale price of 0 gp.


Wayfinder, Adamant

item
Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 2, you have a wayfinder

You have specially reinforced your wayfinder, devising a way for the device to absorb harmful energies. When you slot this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special reaction ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession. You gain the following reaction.

Resist Harm (reaction); Trigger You would take damage; Effect You gain resistance to acid, cold, electricity, fire, force, negative, positive, and sonic damage equal to 1 plus your reputation tier against one attack, spell, or effect. This applies only to the initial effect, not to any subsequent attacks or damage dealt by the effect (such as persistent damage or an ongoing hazard).

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.


Wayfinder, Esoteric:

item
Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 2, you have a wayfinder

You have modified your wayfinder to focus your mental energy, driving more reliable insights. When you slot this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special free action ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

You can activate this ability as a free action before you Recall Knowledge. If you roll a critical failure on the Recall Knowledge check, you instead get a failure.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.


Wayfinder, Harmonic:

item
Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 2, you have a wayfinder

You have modified your wayfinder to resonate with your allies’ actions, allowing you to better help them in times of need. When you slot this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a special free action ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

You can activate this ability as a free action before you Aid an ally. If you roll a success on the check to Aid, you instead get a critical success.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.


Wayfinder, Rugged

item
Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 2, you have a wayfinder

You have modified your wayfinder to absorb a small amount of your exhaustion, allowing you to continue exploring unhindered. When you slot this boon, you apply its benefits to one wayfinder in your possession, granting you a Special ability when the wayfinder is invested and in your possession.

As an action, you can reduce the severity of your clumsy, enfeebled, or sickened condition, reducing that condition’s value by 1.

You can safely use this benefit once per adventure. You can attempt to use it a second time, overcharging the wayfinder at the risk of destroying it. When you do so, roll a DC 10 flat check. On a success, the wayfinder is broken. On a failure, the wayfinder is destroyed. If anyone tries to overcharge a wayfinder that’s already been overcharged, the item is automatically destroyed (even if it has been repaired) and does not provide the activated benefit.


Capstone Boons
Exemplary Recruiter

Prerequisites Envoys’ Alliance Tier 4

You have met, interviewed, and mentored numerous promising recruits, yet it is thanks to your persuasive overtures and keen eye that you identified and recruited an especially accomplished agent. When you select this boon, it does not apply to your current character. Instead, select one of your Pathfinder Society characters with 0 XP. That character gains 12 XP, 12 Fame, 30 gp, and 12 Reputation to distribute among any number of legal factions.

Special You can apply this benefit to the same character to whom you applied the Eager Protégé benefit, so long as that PC still has 12 XP. If you do so, you instead increase that character’s XP by 12 (to 24 total), award them an additional 12 Reputation to distribute between one or more factions, and grant them an additional 45 gp (for a total of 75 gp).


Unparalleled Scholarship:

Prerequisites Grand Archive Tier 4

Through a combination of your own research and the access to rare resources through the Grand Archive, you have identified an exceptional research opportunity—one that you can’t decipher on your own. You have recruited a promising new agent to help research and publish your findings, which gives your assistant an extraordinary edge in their training.

When you purchase this boon, select one of your Pathfinder Society characters with 12 or fewer XP who is not a field commissioned agent. That character gains one additional point to assign to their school training, for a total of 4 points.


Vault Delver:

Prerequisites Vigilant Seal Tier 4

Your mastery of the contents of the Pathfinder vaults has helped you locate unusual items, which you can pass along to one of your assistants as a reward for their aid. Pick one uncommon item that your character has access to and select 1 of your Pathfinder Society characters with 12 or fewer XP. That character gains Access to that item as if it appeared on their Chronicle sheet.


World Traveler:

Prerequisites Horizon Hunters Tier 4
 

Game Masters

Game Master Basics

Running Pathfinder Society games is similar to running a home campaign with a few house rules established by campaign leadership. In addition to GM Basics, be sure to familiarize yourself with the contents of the  Welcome to Pathfinder SocietyCommunity Standards and Expectations, and Player Basics. You need to know what players know, what their expectations are, and how their characters are created, played, and advanced.

What Is A GM?

A Game Master (GM) is the person who presents the story, adjudicates the rules, and establishes the parameters of the player’s exploration. A GM’s duty is to provide a fair and fun game for all involved, including themselves. In the Pathfinder Society, a GM has a few other duties, listed in Your Duties as a Game Master below.

Who Can Be A Game Master?

Anyone with a valid  Organized Play ID can run Pathfinder Society adventures. As local Pathfinder Society groups and the campaign as a whole benefit as the pool of Game Masters increases, the venture-officer network provides support and guidance for any who want to GM. 

Your Duties As Game Master

As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the following duties:

  • Communicate with your local event coordinator. 
  • Prepare an adventure to offer to players, including gathering the necessary supplies such as maps, miniatures, and reference materials.
  • Provide a welcoming environment for players.
  • Deliver session results to the player via established recording mechanisms.
  • Report the results of the game.

Where Can I Buy Adventures?

Paizo produces two categories of adventures, available for purchase at paizo.com

Pathfinder Society adventures, including quests, scenarios, and bounties, generally release during the last week of each month. Current production rates include two new scenarios and one bounty monthly, with additional Society content released periodically throughout the year. These adventures are written expressly for use in the Pathfinder Society campaign.

Pathfinder Adventures, including Adventure Paths, Modules, and Stand-alone adventures, are produced monthly. These adventures are oftentimes sanctioned for use in the Pathfinder Society campaign. Information on how to incorporate them into your Society experience is found on each product’s description page at paizo.com. (See  Types of Adventures for more about these products.)

Before the Adventure

Reviewing Chronicles

If time permits, GMs and Event Coordinators should spend a few minutes reviewing players’ Chronicles at the start of an event slot. These reviews can happen for a variety of reasons. For example, GMs might need to check to the Adventure Summary section to learn what a character did in a previous adventure, and GMs and Coordinators can review Chronicles to ensure that they are filled out correctly. These reviews can help ensure that players understand the rules of Pathfinder and the Pathfinder Society Campaign, as well as catch the errors that naturally crop up in the course of play.  (See “ Dealing with Chronicle Errors” for more on this.)

Challenge Points

In a typical home game, the PCs would all be the same level and face challenges tailored to their level. In an organized play environment, though, there needs to be more flexibility to make it easier for players whose characters are of different levels to participate in the same adventure.

Each scenario or quest will list the levels of characters able to play in it, as well one or more level ranges within the adventure.  If an adventure has more than 2 level ranges each table must choose 2 adjacent level ranges for that adventure.  Only Characters of a level that falls within those two level ranges can play in that adventure at that table.

GMs should adjust the scenario before play begins, following the steps below.

1.   Calculating Challenge Points

To calculate the number of Challenge Points the party represents, take the following steps.

  • Record the PCs’ levels. The number of Challenge Points that each PC contributes is based only on their character levels.  
  • Determine the Adventures “Base Level”.  The base level is the lowest level allowed to play at that table.
  • Convert the PCs’ levels to Challenge Points.   Table 1 below notes how many Challenge Points each PC of a given level represents.
Table: Challenge points

 

Character LevelChallenge Points
Base Level2
Base Level +13
Base Level +24
Base Level +36

For example, an adventure for levels 1-4  would have a Base Level of 1.  So a 2nd-level PC in such an adventure has a level of Base Level + 1, and by the chart, contributes 3 Challenge Points. A party of five PCs levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 4 would contribute 2, 3, 4, 6, and 6 points respectively.

  • Total the PCs’ Challenge Points. 
  • If playing a table with fewer than 4 PCs, use the following chart to determine what level of Pregens to add, and how many additional challenge points.
Table: Adding Pregens
Base
Level
PCsCPPregensCP adj.
12<82 lvl 1 pregens+4
 28+2 lvl 3 pregens+8
 3<121 lvl 1 pregen+2
 312+1 lvl 3 pregen+4
32<82 lvl 3 pregens+4
 28+2 lvl 5 pregens+8
 3<121 lvl 3 pregen+2
 312+1 lvl 5 pregen+4
52Any2 lvl 5 pregens+4
 3Any1 lvl 5 pregen+2
7+3<12none*+2
 312+none*+4
  • This table is only legal if all players at the table agree.  While we expect this “hard mode” playthrough experience to be satisfying, we want to caution you that, as the adventures are designed for a minimum of four players, they will be more difficult than normal. 

 

2.   Determine the Level Range

Parties with challenge points of 15 or less always play in the lower level range.  Parties with 19 or more always play in the higher level range.

Parties with 16-18 play in the higher level range only if they have 4 or fewer PCs. If they have 5 or more PCs, they play in the lower level range.  This allows small parties of high level adventurers to play in the higher level range, while large parties of low level adventurers play in the lower level range.

Mentorship and PC Level Bumps

To provide low level players a more fun and fair experience, PCs whose level equals the adventure’s base level (such as a 3rd-level PC playing in a Level 3–6 scenario) gain a temporary boost when playing in the higher level range called a level bump to represent the higher-level PCs’ mentorship and support. 

  • Increase every DC the PC has by 1.
  • Increase the attack modifiers, attack damage, spell damage, saving throw modifiers, skill modifiers, Perception modifiers, and AC of the PC by 1.
  • Increase the Hit Point totals of the PC by 10 or by 10%, whichever is higher.

These adjustments are less beneficial than gaining a level, yet they provide the PC more survivability and opportunity to contribute to the adventure experience, reducing the degree to which higher-level PCs might overshadow these less experienced Pathfinders.

You should also remind higher level PCs to apply any mentor boons they might have purchased.

3.   Adjusting the Adventure

Once you’ve determined the level range and Challenge Point total, apply the proper modifications to the adventure to provide a fair challenge. 

Level Range: Nearly all encounters list two different sets of creature statistics, one for each of the two level ranges the adventure is designed for. The adventure often also refers to important skill checks and saving throws in room descriptions or during events, listing one DC for the lower level range and one for the higher level range. In each of these cases, use the numbers, creatures, and other information listed for the selected level range.

Scaling: Within a level range, the scenario will also contain instructions for adjusting the difficulty of the scenario based on the PC’s Challenge Points.  These scaling instructions are generally found in “scaling sidebars” but might also be in the text of the room description or encounter.

Early Scenarios:

Some early scenarios were written before the CP system was fully developed.  If you are GMing  scenario 1-00 through 1-11 or quests 1, 2, or 5 consult the “ Converting Early Scenarios Appendix

During the Adventure

Hero Points: At the beginning of an adventure, each PC receives 1 Hero Point. GMs should then hand out additional Hero Points at a rate of approximately 1 Hero Point per hour of play, following the Guide lines on page 507 of the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. 

Secret Checks: Unless a scenario says otherwise, GMs are free to choose how to handle secret checks (Core Rulebook 450) on a check-by-check basis and should adapt based on the mood and pacing of the table. 

If players rolling their own secret checks use information that their characters would not have to determine their actions—then inform them that their characters would not have that information and try to steer them away from using it.  

Table Variation 

A goal of the Pathfinder Society program is to provide a fun, engaging, consistent experience at all tables. GMs should run Pathfinder Society adventures as written, which means:

  • No change to major plot points and interactions
  • No addition or subtraction to the number of monsters other than scaling directed by the scenario
  • No changes to armor, feats, items, skills, spells, statistics, traits, or weapons.
  • No alteration of mechanics of player characters, 
  • Nor banning of  legal character options 

Beyond the above, GMs are encouraged to make choices which would result in the most enjoyable play experience for everyone at the table and that emphasize PCs are the heroes of the story. Some examples of GM discretion include the following.  

  • Creatures tactics that have been invalidated by the player actions.
  • Unclear rules, or situations or player actions not covered by the rules.
  • Terrain or environmental conditions described by the scenario, but not given mechanics.  (If the mechanics are included, however, they cannot be altered.)
  • Reactions of NPCs to good roleplaying, and the effect that has on the outcome of the encounter.
  • Alternate or creative skills used to bypass or overcome traps, haunts, and skill checks.  (Although the DCs and results of the check are part of the mechanics and should not be changed.)
  • Aspects of the scenario’s description and story as appropriate for the players at the table as described in the section A Welcoming Environment on pages 485–486 of the Core Rulebook. 
  • Changes required to comply with the  Acceptable Content provision of Community Standards.
  • Creative solutions presented by players in overcoming obstacles.
  • Moving plot points missed by players to encounterable areas (this does not include moving missed treasure bundles).

More details on each of these can be found in the Table Variation Appendix.

If a particular issue comes up repeatedly or causes a significant problem in one of your games, please raise any questions or concerns on the Pathfinder Society forums where Venture-Officers, members of Paizo’s organized play team, or fellow GMs can help you resolve it.

Ethical Infractions and Infamy

Players are responsible for their characters’ choices and are subject to consequences resulting from those choices actions. In game actions earn characters  Infamy, while code of conduct violations earn players  table sanctions.

Below we list some common issues, which are covered more in the Table Variation Appendix:

  • A player’s perception of what their character would do versus the experience of other players at the table.
  • Deity or class anathemas and edicts as they interact with Pathfinder Society missions.
  • Class opposition such as a paladin and a necromancer on the same mission team.
  • Characters perform evil or criminal acts.

After the Adventure

Advancement Speed

Some players may be making use of the Slow Advancement Additional Character Option. If they are, they should have marked their character as "Slow" on the sign in sheet. In this case divide XP, Primary and Secondary Reputation, and Gold from treasure bundles in half (Do not round). It will also affect downtime, but the player is responsible for handling that.

Fame

Adventures in Year 1 granted Fame as a spendable and trackable currency. As of Year 2, adventures no longer reward Fame.

Reputation

Each adventure lists how much reputation to award.  Typically Scenarios will award 2 Reputation for accomplishing the mission you were sent on and 2 more for going above and beyond expectations (for a total of 4 Reputation gained.)  Scenarios with the Faction tag will often reward an additional 2 Reputation with the highlighted Faction for completing the factions goals.  See the Reputation Reputation Boons appendix for more on reputation.

A quest typically grants 1 Reputation.  Sanctioned Adventures have variable Reputation rewards called out in the sanctioning documentation.

Treasure

Treasure Access: Items that the PCs did not encounter must be crossed off the treasure access list by the GM.

Treasure Bundles

At the end of a scenario, the GM should tally the number of Treasure Bundles (TB) found. The value of a treasure bundle depends on the level of the character earning it. Most scenarios are designed to award 8 Treasure Bundles, with 2 bonus Treasure Bundles available through exceptional play. The chart below gives the value of individual treasure bundles, and the most common values.

Quests, Bounties, and sanctioned adventures  grant standardized gold rewards instead of  Treasure Bundles. In the case of Quests, this is 2.5 Treasure Bundles

Table: Treasure Bundles

LVL 1-4 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE
LevelTreasure Bundle7 TB 8 TB9 TB 10 TB Quest Reward
11.4 gp9.8 gp11.2 gp12.6 gp14 gp3.5 gp
22.2 gp15.4 gp17.6 gp19.8 gp22 gp5.5 gp
33.8 gp26.6 gp30.4 gp34.2 gp38 gp9.5 gp
46.4 gp42.8 gp49.255.664 gp16 gp

LVL 3-6 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE
LevelTreasure BundleMax Scenario RewardMax Slow Track RewardQuest Reward
3 3.8 gp38 gp19 gp9.5 gp
46.4 gp64 gp32 gp16 gp
510 gp100 gp50 gp25 gp
615 gp150 gp75 gp37.5 gp

LVL 5-8 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE
LevelTreasure BundleMax Scenario RewardMax Slow Track RewardQuest Reward
510 gp100 gp50 gp25 gp
615 gp150 gp75 gp37.5 gp
722 gp220 gp110 gp55 gp
830 gp300 gp150 gp75 gp

LVL 7-10 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE
LevelTreasure BundleMax Scenario RewardMax Slow Track RewardQuest Reward
722 gp220 gp110 gp55 gp
830 gp300 gp150 gp75 gp
944 gp440 gp220 gp110 gp
1060 gp600 gp300 gp150 gp

LVL 9-12 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE
LevelTreasure BundleMax Scenario RewardMax Slow Track RewardQuest Reward
944 gp440 gp220 gp110 gp
1060 gp600 gp300 gp150 gp
1186 gp860 gp430 gp215 gp
12124 gp1240 gp620 gp310 gp

LVL 11-14 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE

LVL 13-16 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE

LVL 15-18 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE

LVL 17-20 TREASURE BUNDLE VALUE


Filling Out a Chronicle


Sample Chronicles


Chron.jpg
Season 1 Chronicle


Chron2.png
Season 2 Chronicle



The sections of a Chronicle are detailed below. Sections marked with an asterisk (*) include some element that GMs must address before players leave the table, either by filling it in themselves or asking the players to fill in the appropriate information. Players can fill out other sections between sessions. 

  • (A.) Adventure Name/Number: Preprinted on the form.
  • (B.) Character Name: Name of the hero who took part in this adventure.
  • (C.) Character Number:* Unique Identifier for the character who took part in the adventure, including players Organized Play ID and the Character number.
  • (D.) Partner Code: A unique code that identifies the Chronicle. May be used by third-parties to reference the Chronicle.
  • (E.) Adv Summary:  This might contain checkboxes to help remind you which choices you made during the adventure.
  • (F.) Pointer to AcP: Pointer to where to find AcP totals on the Paizo Web Page. 
  • (G.) Treasure Access: Uncommon or high level items found during the adventure.
  • (H.) Variable quantities:* Quantities that depend on character’s level or successes during the adventure, such as treasure earned, reputation, earned income, etc.
  • (I.) Event Number*: Unique Identifier provided by the event organizer indicating what event the game occurred at.
  • (J.) Date*:  Date the adventure completed
  • (K.) GM Number*: The GMs Organized Play ID

  

Additional Adventures

 

Sanctioned Adventures

In addition to the two types of adventures written for Pathfinder Society, several of the other adventures Paizo produces have been sanctioned for society play.  All of these are published for a wider audience than the Pathfinder Society campaign, so such adventures often include a short, downloadable sanctioning document that details any special considerations for running the adventure for organized play, as well as Chronicles for the individual volumes.

  • Pathfinder Adventure Paths: Multi-volume campaigns representing dozens of game sessions to complete. Many Adventure Paths are sanctioned for use in the Pathfinder Society campaign.
  • Pathfinder Adventures: Stand-alone adventure books that take one or more sessions to complete. Many Adventures are sanctioned for use in the Pathfinder Society campaign.
  • Bounties: Short one-hour adventures aimed at  introducing new players to the game or representing what characters do in between Pathfinder missions. Bounties are sanctioned for use in the Pathfinder Society campaign. As a sanctioned adventure, bounties do not give down time.

Modes of Play

The society rules for play are customized to work with Pathfinder Quests and Scenarios, and are not necessarily applicable to other sanctioned adventures.  As such, PFS has 2 different modes for play:

Society Mode is used for PFS Scenarios and Quests, and adheres to all the rules published in this guide.  Society mode is governed by the Run as Written provisions in Game Master Basics.

Adventure Mode is used for adventures not published for society play, and allows the GM more freedom to adapt those adventures, including running the  adventure in Pathfinder using GM house rules, and the ability to alter encounters and statistics found in the adventure.

Character Types

Most Pathfinder Society Scenarios and Quests require the use of a PFS character or PFS sanctioned Pregen.  However some come with separate sets  of pregens.  Most Adventure Mode sanctioned products can be played with any character, however some have pregens, and players are encouraged to play those characters for an optimal experience.  

Pathfinder Society Characters must be built using the rules in the Character Creation Appendix, starting at level 1, and played from there.  (Some boons allow characters to start at higher levels.)  Any adventure that can be played with a PFS character can also be played with a PFS Sanctioned Pregen.

Story Pregens are characters released with an adventure, and often contain ties to the adventures backstory.  

Campaign Characters are characters that are designed according to the GM's House Rules.

Table:  Ruleset / Characters by product

RulesetPFS Characters OnlyStory Pregens RequiredStory Pregens Recommended*Campaign Characters
Society ModeScenario, Quest   
Adventure ModeBountyFree RPG DayOne ShotAdventure, Adventure Path

 * GMs who chose to use Campaign Characters instead should work with their players to tie the characters into the backstory to provide the same level of experience.

 

Sanctioning Documents

Each Sanctioned Adventure comes with a freely downloadable Sanctioning Document located on the product’s description page on paizo.com.  This document contains the rules for running that adventure, as well as chronicles rewarded for completion.  GMs should read the sanctioning document charefully, as it may modify the Adventures rewards.   Unlike Pathfinder Society adventures, Chronicles for Sanctioned Adventures are assigned at the completion of the adventure. 

GM Rewards

GM Credit

GMs earn GM creditsAchievement Points, and a Chronicle the first time they GM an adventure. Any subsequent GM sessions earn GM credits and AcP, unless the adventure has the Repeatable Tag. Chronicles earned by GMing must be assigned to characters when received, but do not need to be applied until later. See Applying Chronicles for more details. GMs have a few special rules for assigning and applying characters:

  • Chronicles earned from GMing provide full rewards. That includes all Treasure Bundles/Gold, XP,  Reputation, and Downtime Days, as well as access to items and boons
  • GMs can choose not to receive a Chronicle for any game they run, deferring the Chronicle to the next time they run the adventure.
  • GMs may assign Chronicles to characters currently playing another adventure. In this case, Apply the Chronicle after the character completes their current adventure, 
  • When applying the one Chronicle per character rule, GM Chronicles count the same as player Chronicles 

GM Glyphs

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The Pathfinder Society (second edition) offers GMs recognition in the form of glyphs based on the amount of GM credit earned. GM glyphs are visible on your Organized Play ID card and in the paizo.com forums. GMs obtain the first four levels of glyphs automatically by running and reporting games.

  • 1 Glyph = 10 GM credits
  • 2 Glyphs = 30 GM credits
  • 3 Glyphs = 60 GM credits 
  • 4 Glyphs = 100 GM credits 

Each Scenario run Grants 1 credit. Quests grant 1/4 credit. Other products grant varying amounts of credits.

To earn 5 glyphs, a GM must fulfill the following criteria: 

  • Earn 150 GM credits
  • Run and report 50 unique adventures
  • Run and report 10 adventures with the Exclusive tag

Complete 3 evaluation games in the presence of a venture-captains, regional venture-coordinators, or Paizo Organized Play staffers using the Organized Play rubric. (See #GM-Credit for the rubric). To fully experience the benefits of peer review and feedback, we recommend the following observation schedule: 

  • 0–10 GM Credits: You’re getting your feet wet. Thanks for GMing! 
  • 11–49 GM Credits: Use the rubric to get a feel for organized play best practices. Consider having a fellow GM sit at your table and give feedback. 
  • 50–99 GM Credits: Ask any venture-officers at your tables to do a rubric evaluation to give feedback as if it were an evaluation game. 
  • 100 GM Credits: Ask a qualifying observer to complete a formal evaluation.

All GMs receive the following rewards to use as a player based on the number of GM glyphs that they have earned.

  • During initial Hero Point distribution, players who have GM Glyphs receive Hero Points equal to their glyphs to distribute to the table. A player cannot gain more than one additional Hero Point from glyphs.
  • A number of Chronicle earning Scenario replays equal to one per glyph earned. When using one of these replays, make a note on the chronicle or in your digital record.

Paizo recognizes all 5-glyph GMs by name on blogs on paizo.com.

Organized Play Rubric

Aspect Does Not Meet Expectations Meets Expectations Exceeds Expectations
The GM’s preparation allowed for smooth game flow.The GM had to check on information repeatedly throughout the session, and/or took long pauses to figure out what happens next.The GM had to check on things throughout, but the game did not experience extensive delays.The GM was able to keep the flow of the game consistent, and the GM dealt with unforeseen challenges by exercising skilled time management.
The GM had a solid understanding of the rules to the gameThe GM has basic rules knowledge, but frequent breaks or questions impacted the flow of the game. GM did not know the majority of the rules. GM defaulted to arbitrary ad hoc rulings. GM confused rules between game systems consistantly. GM did not allow players to question GM rulings made at the table.The GM had average rules knowledge, and questions did not impact the flow of the game. GM knew the most common rules of the game well and and GM did not have confusion between game systems. GM allowed players to question GM rulings and resolved questions in a professional manner.The GM had solid rules knowledge, and kept the game flowing while handling questions. GM acknowledged when a rule is unclear or when the GM made a mistake. GM did not have confusion between game systems. If a rules challenge arose, the GM handled it fairly and consistently.
The GM took efforts to make the game distinct and interesting.The GM made little attempt at tying in setting, NPCs, or imagery to convey an imaginative setting. GM did not provide opportunities for players to engage with the storyline.The GM made a reasonable effort to make the game distinct in at least one meaningful way, such as deeply roleplaying the NPCs, using setting specific terms and lore to increase immersion, or using words with imagery to describe the environment, situations.The GM put in an excellent effort to make the game distinct, using multiple techniques off the “meets expectation” list.
GM presented the scenario as written.The GM followed the gist of the storyline but adjusted content. The GM did not run encounters as written. The GM ran the wrong sub-tier encounters.The GM ran the adventure as written. The GM did not allow for creative solutions by the PC to resolve situations.The GM stayed true to the storyline while allowing for creative solutions and player interest.
The GM understood and applied the rules of the Organized Play Program.The GM was not familar with core organized play concepts. GM was unfamilar with the contents of the Guide.The GM was familiar with the majority of organized play concepts and applies the rules of organized play consistantly. GM knows where to look up general guidelines in the Guide.The GM was markedly familiar with the majority of organized play concepts and applies the rules of organized play consistantely. GM knew where to find obscure corner case answers in the Guide.
 

Converting Early Scenarios

Special Adjustments for Scenarios 1-00 through 1-11 and quests 1, 2, and 5

Some early scenarios need some adjustment to update them to the final draft of the Challenge Point (CP) system.

Scenarios designed for “Number of Players”

Scenarios 1-00, 1-01, 1-02, 1-03, 1-05, Q1, and Q2 use a “number of players” adjustment, instead of the CP system.   If you are playing one of the following scenarios, calculate the CP and determine the level range as normal, then, consult the appropriate table below to determine which adjustment to use.

Table 11-1a: Lower Level Range Adjustments

Total PointsAdjustment
8–9No Adjustment
10–115-player adjustment
12–13*6-player adjustment OR 1 level bump
14–155-player adjustment AND 1 level bump
16-186-player adjustment AND 1 level bump

Table 11-1b: Higher Level Range Adjustments

Total PointsAdjustment
16–18No Adjustment
19–225-player adjustment
23–27*6-player adjustment OR 1 level bump
28-325-player adjustment AND 1 level bump
33–426-player adjustment AND 1 level bump

* Challenge Point totals of 12–13 and 23–27 allow the GM to make a choice between two options that provide a similar degree of challenge. However, each scenario varies slightly in the differences between these two options, and the GM is encouraged to select the option they predict will be a more fun and fair challenge for the group. (Parties often prefer options that give the PCs more monsters to fight.) You can pick between the options individually for each encounter.
 

Scenarios Missing a CP 16-18 adjustment for Lower Level Range.

Some early scenarios have no scaling option for lower level range party with a CP of 16-18. If you are GMing a table of one of the following scenarios and the party of 5 or more has a CP of 16-18  use the CP 12 adjustment, and apply a level bump to the scenario.  

  • Q5 The Dragon Who Stole Evoking Day
  • #1-04 Bandits of Immenwood
  • #1-06 Lost on the Road Spirit
  • #1-07 Flooded King’s Court
  • #1-08 Revolution on the Riverside
  • #1-09 Star-Crossed Voyages
  • #1-10 Tarnbreaker’s Trail
  • #1-11 Flames of Rebellion

Level Bump for Adventures:

Scenarios and quests are designed to challenge PCs whose average level is the lower of the two levels in a given Level Range  (i.e., Level Range 1–2 is built to challenge 1st-level PCs, and Level Range 3–4 is built to challenge 3rd-level PCs). Normally, when the Challenge Point total determines that the group’s overall power is equivalent to the higher level in a Level Range (e.g. 2nd level in Level Range 1–2), the scenario’s scaling will adjust for this. 

However, sometimes it is necessary to add a level bump, such as when the scenario’s scaling is based on the number of players, or if the scenario lacks a low tier 16-18 scaling.

Applying a level bump is a simple calculation:

  • Increase every DC listed in the scenario by 1.
  • Increase the attack modifiers, attack damage, spell damage, saving throw modifiers, skill modifiers, Perception modifiers, and ACs of all enemy creatures by 1.
  • Increase the Hit Point totals of all enemy creatures by 10 or by 10%, whichever is higher.

These straightforward adjustments make the adventure slightly more challenging for higher-level groups, though the adjustments cannot account for the more powerful abilities and spells that higher-level foes would likely have. 

Table Variation and Creative Solutions

While the goal of the Pathfinder Society is to provide an even, balanced experience that is fair to all players, every table is different, every character is different, and each GM has their own strengths and weaknesses. We understand that sometimes a Game Master has to make rules adjudications on the fly, deal with unexpected player choices, or even cope with extremely unlucky (or lucky) dice on both sides of the screen.

As a Pathfinder Society GM, you have the right and responsibility to make whatever judgments, within the rules, that you feel are necessary at your table to ensure everyone has a fair and fun experience. This does not mean you can contradict rules or restrictions outlined in this document, a published Pathfinder source, errata document, or official FAQ on paizo.com. What it does mean is that only you can judge what is right for your table during cases not covered in these sources.

A GM can (and should) alter aspects of the scenario’s description and story as appropriate for the players at the table. The A Welcoming Environment section on pages 485–486 of the Core Rulebook provides general guidance about how to make your game inviting and inclusive. A few of these sections benefit from additional clarification and examples in the context of Organized Play.

Unlike in long-term campaigns, players and GMs in Organized Play are likely to have limited time in which to set parameters for objectionable content at the beginning of the game. Furthermore, since Organized Play tables often include people who have never met each other before the game, players might not feel comfortable opening up about what they’d rather avoid right from the beginning.  This means that it’s all the more important to start with a common ground for the campaign, to respect what players do share at the beginning of the session, and be adaptable when it comes to modifying content when problems arise in the course of the session. Pathfinder Society games use the Pathfinder Baseline (Core Rulebook 486) as a starting point when determining what content is appropriate, both for what is present in the published adventures and what is appropriate for player behavior at your table. Add to the Pathfinder Baseline any additional adjustments that are apparent from the situation, such as if you are running a table with children or if you are in a venue with stronger policies about what is appropriate, such as a school.

GMs are empowered to make descriptive adjustments to avoid topics or situations that would cause discomfort for one or more players at the table, such as phobias or other triggering material. For example, a GM could describe a group of spiders as a group of web-shooting lizards or beetles for the comfort of a player with arachnophobia. Mechanically, if a player had an ability that granted benefits against spiders, it would also grant benefits against these other web-shooting creatures during that scenario. Players might not tell you up-front about everything that could cause them trouble; you might learn partway through the session. If this happens, you can “rewind” the description and start over, tweaking the background context of the encounter, or work with the players to create an alternative solution to get around the troublesome aspect of a particular challenge (see Creative Solutions below).

As is the case in general when GMing a table, it is also the GM’s responsibility to ensure that all of the players at the table are respecting each other’s boundaries. If a player refuses to follow along with the adjustment, pushes boundaries, asks insensitive questions, or makes fun of a player voicing discomfort with an aspect of the scenario, the GM should intervene. This intervention might just involve giving the player a warning about their inappropriate behavior, but in egregious or continued cases, the GM can remove the offending player from their table (see Community Standards ).

Whatever changes the GM makes, they should remain true to the fundamental mechanical structure and challenge of the encounter. See the Creative Solutions section below for guidance on how to adjudicate solutions that are not explicitly accounted for in the text of the adventure.

Creative Solutions

Sometimes during the course of a scenario, your players might surprise you with a creative solution to an encounter (or the entire scenario) that you didn’t see coming and that isn’t expressly covered in the scenario. If, for example, your players manage to roleplay their way through a combat and successfully accomplish the goal of that encounter without killing the antagonist, give the PCs the same reward they would have gained had they defeated their opponent in combat. If that scene specifically calls for the PCs to receive gold piece rewards based on the gear collected from the defeated combatants, instead allow the PCs to find a chest of gold (or something similar) that gives them the same rewards. Additionally, if the PCs miss an NPC who carries a specific potion or scroll that the PCs might be granted access to on the scenario’s Chronicle, don’t cross that item off—instead, allow the PCs to find the item elsewhere as a reward for creatively resolving the encounter without resorting to combat.

The Pathfinder Society never wants to give the impression that the only way to solve a problem is to kill it. Rewarding the creative use of skills and roleplaying not only make Society games more fun for the players, but it also gives the GM a level of flexibility in ensuring players receive the rewards they are due.

But what if your players accidentally or intentionally kill an important NPC who was supposed to give them a crucial piece of information that’s needed for the scenario to progress? This is a tough problem for the GM and requires improvisation. Don’t decide the scenario is over just because the old man with the letter was caught in a magical crossfire and roasted alive, destroying both him and the important letter. Reveal that the letter survived by some twist of fate (it was in a fire-proof pouch in his pocket) or perhaps that the old man had a lackey who was watching from a nearby alley and knows everything the old man did, or another similar explanation. Improvisation will keep your scenario moving forward and help you work around unforeseen obstacles. For more guidance on handling the PCs’ treasure and rewards when they use creative solutions, see the Treasure Bundles section.

Secret Checks

In Pathfinder Second Edition, some checks, such as checks to Recall Knowledge, have the secret trait. Secret checks fall into two broad categories. The first category includes checks that characters do not know exist, such as a check against a hidden threat that the PCs did not notice. The second category includes checks for which players would gain significant extra information that their characters would not have if they knew how well they rolled. Recall Knowledge checks are the broadest type of checks that fall into this category. Characters that critically fail a Recall Knowledge check gain false information, so if players know that they rolled very low, they might have trouble avoiding metagaming. Similarly, if the players all rolled low on a check to Seek, they might find themselves tempted to metagame and have everyone roll again because they know that there is likely something that they didn’t find.

The secret trait is a tool to help separate character knowledge and player knowledge, but, as listed in the secret check rules on page 450 of the Core Rulebook, GMs can at any time allow their players to roll their own results on secret checks. Some scenarios will make recommendations, such as directing GMs to keep a particularly pivotal check’s results hidden or to let players roll a string of checks in the open to keep gameplay moving. Unless a scenario says otherwise, GMs are free to choose how to handle secret checks on a check-by-check basis. GMs can keep all secret checks secret, have players roll all secret checks, or adapt on the fly based on the mood and pacing of the table. If players rolling their own secret checks do metagame—that is, use information that their characters would not have to determine their actions—then inform them that their characters would not have that information and try to steer them away from using it. In general, it can be useful to have players roll their own checks if there are many secret rolls in one section, and useful to roll for the players if you suspect that there will be a strong temptation to metagame or that the extra information of the result could negatively impact the experience for players at the table.

Treasure Bundles

In the course of completing a scenario, characters are likely to encounter, if not acquire, all 10 Treasure Bundles as part of overcoming challenges and inspecting their surroundings. That said, a non-linear adventure might include encounter areas (and treasure) the PCs miss entirely, and there might be small portions of treasure that a group would overlook entirely (such as hidden in a concealed room). As a result, even a capable party might not secure all 10 Treasure Bundles. Taking into account the free consumable items granted to PCs at the beginning of adventures, the wealth earned by Pathfinder Society characters is slightly higher than the standard provided in the Core Rulebook. That means that although missing a Treasure Bundle stings, it’s accounted for in the campaign.

However, awarding fewer than the maximum Treasure Bundles shouldn’t be a punitive tool. Unless recovering a Treasure Bundle is tied to succeeding at key skill checks or making key choices, PCs who overcome an encounter with creative solutions should earn the same reward they would have earned by defeating that foe in combat. Adventures call out special exceptions, such as treasure only accessible if the PCs investigate a particular secret door or agree to an NPC’s proposal. If the PCs’ actions allow them to bypass the area or encounter where they would have the chance to recover the treasure, it’s okay to relocate the opportunity to a later point with similar requirements to recover the treasure.

Example: The PCs are supposed to attack a keep, and they successfully trick the guards into escorting the PCs to the final encounter with the evil warlord rather than fighting their way in. By tricking the guards, the PC not only skip the guards fight (which has 2 Treasure Bundles associated with it) and never have a chance to pick up the easily-discovered magic wand in the guardroom (1 additional Treasure Bundle), but they also skip a fight with a minotaur (who guards coins representing 2 Treasure Bundles). The PCs should receive credit for these rewards anyway; they overcame the guards encounter, bypassed the minotaur, and would have easily recovered the treasure afterward.

However, escorting the PCs through the keep also means the PCs neither explore the side rooms nor have a chance to find the secret vault where a golden chalice is hidden (1 Treasure Bundle). Finding this vault would have required a PC Searching during exploration and succeeding at a DC 20 Perception check, and the room’s rewards cite that the PCs should only receive this reward if they find the room and recover the chalice. In this case the PCs should have a fair opportunity to find the chalice anyway, such as the secret door and room being relocated to the warlord’s throne room with the same Perception check DC.

Edicts and Anathema in Society Play

To allow a wide variety of characters in Society play, the rules around edicts and anathema are slightly relaxed. All characters can participate in Pathfinder Society adventures without running afoul of their deity or classes anathema.  Assume that the society has taken whatever steps are necessary such that attempting to perform the primary objective of an official Pathfinder Society mission by itself will not cause a character to fall out of favor with their deity. 

Likewise, while edicts are valorous actions praised by a deity, a character does not need to perform their deity’s edicts to the exclusion of other activities, or if doing so would prevent the smooth progression of play at the table. 

Anathema in pathfinder society are always personal.  The actions of one PC at a table can never cause another PC at the table to fall.  (Though players are welcome to express their disapproval provided it does not interfere with the progress of the game.)

Remember that edicts and anathema exist to create roleplaying opportunities at the table for your character, and should not be used by the GM to pressure PCs, or by PCs to pressure other members of the table toward specific styles of play. 

Dealing with the Unexpected

While the GM basics contains all the rules you need as a GM, sometimes unexpected things happen. This page contains general advice for when that happens. Remember, you can always consult your Event Coordinator or local Venture Officers for advice on any of these issues.

Dealing with Chronicle Errors

When reviewing a Chronicle, if you notice anything that seems amiss, you can ask the player to explain any discrepancies to you. Remember that errors are far more likely to be honest mistakes than intentional cheating, and that it’s possible that they aren’t errors at all.  Most errors turn out to be detrimental to characters, not to their advantage!

When you ask the player about a discrepancy, speak with the player calmly, nicely, and with an open mind. Resolve any issues as fairly as possible. For example, if the character selected an option that they did not have access to or that was not available to their character, let them pick another option instead. If they did not pay the full price for an item they have, they can pay for it in full, or, if they haven’t used it yet, simply remove the item from their character’s gear. If they paid too much for an item, refund them the extra they paid in the “items sold” section of their Chronicle. Check with your event coordinator, Venture-Captain, or Venture-Lieutenant if you are unsure of how to fix a mistake, or if you and the player cannot come to an agreement about a fair resolution. Remember that the game is supposed to be fun, so waste as little time as possible on drama and spend as much time as possible providing an exciting, action-packed scenario for your players.

Dealing with Death

Given the dangers characters face once they become Pathfinders, character death is a very real possibility (and a necessary one to maintain a sense of risk and danger in the game). Consider, however, that for a player new to Pathfinder Society, or to the Pathfinder RPG in general, having their character experience a violent death during their first game can sour him on the campaign and the game altogether. While we don’t advocate fudging die rolls, consider the experience of the players when deciding whether to use especially lethal tactics or if a character is in extreme danger of death, especially when the player is new to the game. Most players whose first experience in a campaign results in a character death don’t return to the campaign.

Similarly, if the entire party is killed and can’t be brought back to life, then the table is over for everyone in the party. This means those players might have a substantial span of time before their next event at a convention with no game to play. Obviously, we hope that such total party kills never happen (and strive to balance the scenarios to make it unlikely)—but, sometimes, the dice just aren’t with you and everyone passes into the Great Beyond.

Dealing with out of game problems

Sometimes circumstances prevent a player from completing a scenario. Reasons include—but are not limited to—personal emergencies, device battery issues, venue problems, and bad timing. To mitigate the impact on the table, GMs can exercise their discretion by adjusting the scenario’s level range or Challenge Point Adjustment to accommodate the table’s new Challenge Point Total, bring in the pregenerated character that most closely resembles the lost PC, or postpone the game until all players are able to complete the scenario. In the event that a character sheet is no longer accessible due to a loss of battery power, the player can play the pregenerated character and apply the scenario’s rewards to their original character. In all cases where the GM applies one of the above remedies, rewards for all players are based on the lowest level range played during the scenario.

If a player is forced to leave the table, and the game continues, the GM should endeavor to get a chronicle to the player as soon as possible.  When filling out this chronicle the Player should receive 1 XP per hour played for scenarios.  They recieve any reputation rewarded for the tasks the party has completed up to that point, as well as any treasure bundles found, and any items found that were listed on the chronicles. 

In the (hopefully rare) case of a medical emergency (defined as a player needing immediate, unexpected, professional medical treatment) the chronicle should be filled out as if the player stayed for the rest of the game, receiving the same benefits as the rest of the table.  

Dealing with Distractions

No game table is completely free of distractions. However, if something (like an electronic device) creates an ongoing distraction, a GM can request that the player put it away or police their use of the device (such as not also using a tablet computer to play a video game). If the device continues to be a distraction, the GM has the right to ban that particular item for the duration of the game.

Cheating

Cheating is rare, and it can be a rather heated topic. If you suspect that a player is cheating, it’s always a good idea to take a step back and consider the possibility that they are instead making an honest mistake. Inaccurate numbers on a character or mistakes on a Chronicle are far more likely to be math errors than deliberate cheating. When you see these issues, keep an open mind and work with the player to resolve them. Other issues, such as lying about the results of a dice roll or the contents of their character sheet or breaking the rules even after being informed of what they are, are more clear-cut. If you believe the player to be cheating, record the organized play number of the player in question and then ask them to leave your table. Afterward, send an e-mail to the Pathfinder Society staff at organizedplay at paizo.com, including the player’s number and detailing as much as you can remember about the situation. 

Volunteers

Event Coordinator

An event coordinator is a person organizing Pathfinder Society events, regardless of the size. You may be both GM and event organizer at an event.

Your Duties as an Event Coordinator

As a Pathfinder Society event coordinator, you have the following duties:

  • Communicate with your local venture-officer network.
  • Schedule games and communicate about the event with prospective players.
  • Organize GMs and register players.
  • Provide a welcoming environment for players.
  • Arrange for player tools to be present.
  • Ensure reporting is complete for all games.

  

Appendixies

Change Log

2.00 -> 3.00

Main Page

Welcome to Pathfinder Society

  • Added link to OrgPlay Forums on Paizo

The World of Golarion

  • Added Image of Wayfinder

Community Standards and Expectations

  • No changes at this time

Player Basics

Major Changes

  • Removed rules related to Schools, Advancement speed, and Epanded Downtime.  These rules are now optional, and players can choose to engage with them or not engage with them.  As such, they are no longer "Basic" rules, and have been moved to Additional Character Options.  Characters with no school connection gain Pathfinder Society Lore as a Trained Lore, do not gain a bonus feat at 5th level, and recieve only the defaoult healing potion option for starting consumables.  Characters who do not specify an advancement speed on sign in use standard advancement speed.  Characters not using Expanded Downtime can chose to roll on the relevant table under Downtime and recieve that much gold.  If they chose not to roll, they recieve nothing. 
  • Removed rules related to Factions.  These rules are now optional, and players can choose to engage with them or not engage with them.  As such, they are no longer "Basic" rules, All rules relating to Factions and reputation have been moved to  the (renamed) Factions and Reputation Appendix (Was Reputation Boons.)
  • Added spells to Purchasing Guidelines
  • Added spellcasting services for Condition Removal to Purchasing Guidelines and added Spellcasting Serivces Cost Appendix.

Minor Changes

  • Updated "Character Options" references to point to the Character Options Document instead of the blog
  • Moved detailed rules for non society adventures to seperate Additional Adventures Appendix
  • cleaned up language on Faction Scenario Tag and on not reporting replays for no credit (under Legal Table Size)
  • Clarified the language on treasure bundles to make clear that 8 treasure bundles is the amount a scenario is expected to grant, the 9th and 10th treasure bundles are earned through luck or exceptional play.
  • Cleaned up language on Permanent Negative effects.

Character Creation

Additional Character Options

  • Page created for various optional character mechanics.  
    • Pathfinder Training
    • Advancements Speed
    • Factions and Reputation
    • Downtime

Reputation Boons

  • Renamed Factions and Reputation.

Game Master Basics

Major Changes

  • Clarified Treasure bundle language to make it clear that 8 Treasure bundles is the expected reward for most scenarios with up to two additional treasure bundles that can be aquired through luck or exceptional play.
  • Converted the treasure table chart to reduce the GM's need to do math.

Minor Changes

Additonal Adventures

  • Page created to host rules for running Sanctioned Adventures
    • Sanctioned Adventures
    • Modes of Play
    • Character Types
    • Sanctioning Documents

 

 

 

  

Licenses and Trademarks

 





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