Mid-Season Faction Updates

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Despite their intended role as a secondary feature, there's no doubt that factions have become a central component of Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild—so much so that we made them a key fixture of the overarching narrative in Season 9, the Year of Factions' Favor. This season's a time for us to explore these factions' ongoing stories, and as is true for any story, the characters grow, change, and sometimes disappear entirely. In the past, we've handled most of these changes at the beginning of a new season. Not so in Season 9. We've been working toward a mid-season update in our storyline for some time, and I'd like to share three major developments with you.

Liberty's Edge

Back in July 2017 we launched the Leaders in Liberty contest, inviting you to send us a backstory for a rising star in the Liberty's Edge faction. We were blown away by the submissions and posted our top five for you to vote for your favorite. With your help and that of the winning contestant Sam Sampson, we formally introduced Karisa Starsight into the campaign. Most recently we shared that Liberty's Edge was in need of an interim leader, with the two leading candidates being Karisa Starsight and the halfling Tamrin Credence. Once again, you the public cast your votes and selected Tamrin Credence!

Three things in particular struck me over the course of these contests. First, these are a lot of fun, and I'm interested in exploring ways to include more contests in the future. Second, the voting between Karisa and Tamrin was quite close, showing that both of these figures really gained traction with sizeable portions of the audience. Third, the commentary (in-character and out) in the discussion threads provided a great insight into why each of the candidates resonated and what you hoped to see in the future. What was one of the most common suggestions? Co-leadership. Although I anticipate Tamrin will be the leader of the Liberty's Edge faction, it's clear that Karisa should play an active role going forward (much as Aaqir al'Hakam and Guaril Karela share management despite the former being the final arbiter).

Illustration by Kenneth Camaro

Either way, expect to see the next installation of the Liberty's Edge story in May at PaizoCon 2018!

Scarab Sages

The Scarab Sages came into being almost four years ago, formally replacing the old Osirion faction in mid-2014. The premise was pretty simple: recover a host of gemstone artifacts that store the memories of long-dead sages, recruit strong minds to host these memories, and revive the ancient order of Jeweled Sages. Ever since the Destiny of the Sands series in Season 5, PCs have exceled at doing just that, and I have no doubt that we could continue doing so for another four years. While some of our narratives benefit from such extended arcs, we decided that the Scarab Sages' story would be strongest with a decisive end. How it ends—whether the Jeweled Sages thrive as an ally of the Society or whether they fade into obscurity—depends on you. Matt Duval played such an instrumental role in writing earlier Scarab Sages scenarios that I invited him back to bring things to a close in Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-07: Salvation of the Sages. Be sure to check those reporting checkboxes—our hope is to have a canonical outcome by the end of Season 9.

So what does this mean for the future? At the end of Season 9, the Scarab Sages faction retires, and current members will need to change to a different faction. As noted on page 28 of the current Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, "any characters affected by faction retirement can retain any faction-based benefits but can't purchase new items specific to the retired faction. Such characters must choose a new faction at no cost prior to receiving credit for any further scenarios." In addition, members of the Scarab Sages faction will keep any benefits earned on Scarab Sages Faction Journal Cards, but once the faction's retired, they won't be able to fulfill further goals.

In the meantime, I encourage you to experience the Scarab Sages storyline in full in case you've missed a few adventures. Keep in mind that the Scarab Sages was also the first faction whose storyline we incorporated directly into the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild, specifically in Season 3, the Season of Plundered Tombs. In chronological order, these are:

  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-12: Destiny of the Sands, Part 1: A Bitter Bargain (Tier 1-5)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-15: Destiny of the Sands, Part 2: Race to Seeker's Folly (Tier 1-5)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-16: Destiny of the Sands, Part 3: Sanctum of the Sages (Tier 3-7)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-04: Beacon Below (Tier 7-11)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #6-19: Test of Tar Kuata (Tier 3-7)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-04: The Ironbound Schism (Tier 7-11)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #7-11: Ancients' Anguish (Tier 7-11)
  • Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild, Season 3 (Especially #3-3: In Search of a Sage and #3-4: Tomb of the Godless Host)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #8-17: Refugees of the Weary Sky (Tier 7-11)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-04: The Unseen Inclusion (Tier 1-5)
  • Pathfinder Society Scenario #9-07: Salvation of the Sages (Tier 7-11)

So that might leave a few of your characters in need of a new faction. Sounds like you'd appreciate a new option, right?

The Concordance of Elements

Pathfinder Society's factions cover a huge range of character concepts quite nicely, particularly for PCs who are interested in history, knowledge, and exploration. That said, the campaign's always struggled to accommodate one particular class: druids. I've struggled with this issue, as on most days the Pathfinder Society's interest in nature boils down to "that thing full of brambles and mud that we cross to reach the abandoned temple." Sure, the Society has its share of botanists, zoologists, and ecologically minded adventurers, yet that's not something that lends itself to sustainable storytelling. On top of that, there are already enough druid circles in the setting that we didn't want to add just one more to the multitude. No, we wanted something that we could make our own and have it stand out.

As we were planning out Season 8, we realized we had an excellent opportunity to introduce just such a group, an extraplanar operation known as the Concordance of Elements (or just the Concordance for short). The Concordance isn't your typical "nature for nature's sake" druid faction. Instead, it seeks out elemental imbalances, planar breaches, and extraordinary natural phenomena to close breaches, reestablish natural order, and study the multiverse in all its splendor. To fail in this is to allow rampant growth to choke out all life, stand by as one plane's power snuffs out the life of another, or watch as the cosmos spins out of alignment. While there are plenty of ways in which this fulfills the classic Nature Character's desires, I think you'll find that the Concordance tends to slap druids and fey on the wrist with some regularity. We're excited to announce the Concordance faction, and a blog by Linda Zayas-Palmer should appear on paizo.com a little later talking about the Concordance in more detail.

In the meantime, know that we'll be making the faction a playable option early in 2018, complete with new faction traits, a new Faction Journal Card, and a faction-related scenario due out in February. As has been the case with the introduction of other factions, characters will have the option to switch to the Concordance without spending any Prestige Points.

John Compton
Organized Play Lead Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: The Concordance of Elements Factions Kenneth Camaro Liberty's Edge Pathfinder Society Scarab Sages
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Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

6 people marked this as a favorite.
MadScientistWorking wrote:
It's because he can't do field work. He needs the assistants because he physically isn't capable of doing field work.

He's not forbidden from it. Your example does not have merit. Try a different one. Possibly in a different thread, because we are certainly no longer talking about the faction changes.

Scarab Sages **

Gotta admit, the news about the Scarab Sages surprised me. My Scarab Sages character is a blind Oracle. I'll have some in-game fun with the phrase "Didn't see that coming".

I see a lot of people making comments about the Grand Lodge faction earlier in the thread. I guess I've always viewed them as almost a non-faction. All pathfinders train at some point in the Grand Lodge at Absalom. But if the Grand Lodge is considered to be a political faction within the Society, perhaps it's time to allow a non-affiliated option. For those Pathfinders who don't want to play the political games.

For myself, I love that the campaign is dynamic. I like that events are happening around the globe - in scenarios I may never play, or may not play for some time yet. I will view this as a role-playing challenge. For my Oracle, what do I do when the world changes around me. How do I adapt?

To that end, "in world", how will these agents of the Scarab Sages be notified of the faction's dissolution? A "Dear John" letter from Amenopheus? A big "we did it" party? If the Scarab Sages succeeded in their goal, should members receive some benefit as the group cashes out?

Lastly, is there any path for those who joined the Scarab Sentinels (through convention cert)? I just picked up that cert two months ago. It's a shame for my Oracle to get his pink slip so soon.

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online—PbP aka Hmm

I am assuming that we will all be notified in whatever the Season closer episode is. Thank you for reminding me of the Scarab Sentinals certification. I have a Scarab Sages GM Baby and I have that convention boon.. Now I have to think about whether I want to grab it for her, and turn her into a Sentinel.

Hmm

Scarab Sages ****

Reminds me of the Babylon 5 guide to Path finder Society I did years ago. Here is my update.

Grand Lodge: Earth Gov
Sovereign Court: Centari
Liberties Edge: Rangers
Jeweled Sages: Vorlon
Silver Crusade: B5
Exchange: Shadows
Dark Archive: Mimbari

Old Factions:
Shadow Lodge: B5
Cheliax:Shadows

***

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
It's because he can't do field work. He needs the assistants because he physically isn't capable of doing field work.
He's not forbidden from it. Your example does not have merit. Try a different one. Possibly in a different thread, because we are certainly no longer talking about the faction changes.

Actually, we're still talking about the Scarab Sages. It's why this is my favorite scenario because it's major closure and resolution to so many unanswered questions.

*

Well we've been talking about why the scarab sages players don't want to switch to grand lodge. Which became whether or not the faction description for grand lodge is still a good description of them, which is getting a little off track.

So maybe the specific to the grand lodge complaints need their own thread?

*** Venture-Agent aka BretI

Actually, it would probably be nice to give each faction a thread for ideas on how to improve them. There would be a lag between when we made the comments and anything would get incorporated into the campaign, but it might be a good idea.

Seems to me some of the discussion about what makes a good or bad VC has started working its way into the campaign.

Scarab Sages *****

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


So perhaps they are an antiquated old guard structure that can be safely removed so the Society functions more effectively and... more importantly OPENLY to help get rid of the 'murder hobo for hire/graverobber' legacy they tend to have.

You can't remove the decemvirate from the society, because they ARE the society. They literally fund the society. If you get rid of them, there is no more funding.

Just because we have 80,000+ players and hundreds of thousands of characters, does not mean that the Pathfinder Society is actually that large. You have to assume that only one team of 6 actually performs each mission, and each Venture Captain likely uses similar characters from maybe a pool of 8 or 12 to go on said missions. So you are looking at a Golarion-wide organization of just a few hundred. Not hundreds of thousands.

Dark Archive *

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Here I was thinking they were 'cherry-picking' the results of the missions for the 'most optimal outcome' and each party is a slightly different plane of existence.

It'd put a whole new light on things going wonky during a recent Special...

*

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Here I was thinking they were 'cherry-picking' the results of the missions for the 'most optimal outcome' and each party is a slightly different plane of existence.

It'd put a whole new light on things going wonky during a recent Special...

I sure hope they're not cherry-picking agents to sent out. I mean, have you seen some of these teams that get called? Sure, we'll send a dirt-caked farmer and a giant bird to the opera. Mission in backwoods Tien Xia? Let's send nobody who speaks Tien! Going after pirates? Better include a couple guys with horses and full plate, just to be sure.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Hey, sometimes I send the right people! I sent the Erastil-worshipping birds to Heaven and they did just fine! And we sent that team out after the thief in Sothis and they managed to not break anything...even if they did take rubbings of the temple privy sign without understanding it.

Okay, sending that team to Bloodcove without a cleric WAS a mistake, I'll give you that.

Scarab Sages *****

shaventalz wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Here I was thinking they were 'cherry-picking' the results of the missions for the 'most optimal outcome' and each party is a slightly different plane of existence.

It'd put a whole new light on things going wonky during a recent Special...

I sure hope they're not cherry-picking agents to sent out. I mean, have you seen some of these teams that get called? Sure, we'll send a dirt-caked farmer and a giant bird to the opera. Mission in backwoods Tien Xia? Let's send nobody who speaks Tien! Going after pirates? Better include a couple guys with horses and full plate, just to be sure.

Chuckle... a function of the organized play campaign and why sometimes it doesn't feel living. Often the team doesn't fit the mission, but that's more so because anyone can sit down with anything, rather than the intent is that each VC funds their own lodge and has a pool of several agents they can use and will pick the best ones for whatever job they have for them.

Silver Crusade *****

I gotta be honest with you. The people I employ day to day couldn't handle the field missions I went on before earning my title. They're bright, knowledgeable, hardworking. Wouldn't survive six seconds with a hill giant, let alone the grave worms that tried to eat me. When I have to send someone into dangerous territory, I have to deal with what I have, and most often it's whatever thrill-seeker that happens to be traveling through or answered the letter. Those types are gonna have...eccentricities, and putting up with those is part of the job. Just a fact of life.

Scarab Sages **

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Revolutionary political activism by the Garund Liberation Front has begun!

Recently in Sargava,

Spoiler:
as part of the Society team entered in Sargava Chalice, I refused to wear the official clothing done up in the colonial, imperialist colors of Sargava. Instead, I competed as a proud, naked Garund-born half-orc! Though, later a bathrobe was found for me to wear.

***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Durham aka LoPan666

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am also sad to see that Scarab Sages will be retired. Personally, I think it is the faction that has had the best stories and faction tie-ins occurring in scenarios. My Scarab Sage character was originally Shadow Lodge as well, then Osirion, and now Scarab Sages. I'll have to consider which faction he chooses carefully because if he brings his curse to a new faction, other players in my lodge who like that faction will get unhappy when it gets retired soon. :)

I also support the idea of a faction going "inactive" rather than being completely retired (specifically, no new faction card, but you can still check boxes on the old cards).

Spoiler:
My Scarab Sages character earned the Exemplar of the Order boon, but since the release of the Faction Cards, I have only played him in scenarios specifically tied to the faction so he now has only six goals achieved, with few options that require only a single box be checked. Given that the faction card goals that remain require specific events or settings to occur as part of a scenario and that there is no way to know which scenarios will meet the criteria in advance, I am concerned that I may not be able to check enough boxes before the faction is retired.

Silver Crusade *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kuua Porini wrote:

Revolutionary political activism by the Garund Liberation Front has begun!

Recently in Sargava, ** spoiler omitted **

Dahling, at least you had the choice. They wouldn't even let me have the pants! Not that I can wear pants mind you, and Kurshwanz managed to paint my scales to match the colors. But still, as a matter of fairness I should have been given them.

(Apodora is an Eidolon of a Lillend Azata, and thus has a tail instead of legs)

Liberty's Edge *

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Kuua Porini wrote:

Revolutionary political activism by the Garund Liberation Front has begun!

Recently in Sargava, ** spoiler omitted **

When I competed (also a Mwangi half-orc):

Spoiler:
I gave a victory speech dedicating our win to the cause of freedom for Sargava! (And improbably, I made the skill check for giving a revolutionary speech on my faction journal card).

"Freedom for Sargava!"

Scarab Sages ****

After a long absence, one of my older PCs got dusted off and played last night. Grabbed him as a last minute decision (we needed a Healer who could Frontline too). When filling out the sign in sheet, I was surprised to see he was actually Osirion Faction... as the last time I played him was 09-21-13... so... that means he's Scarab Sages right? And it looks like I just dusted him off in time to change his faction? Or should I have changed his faction before the game last night? He was Osirion before because of WHERE he was from, being created back when factions were still regional things. Loyalty to the Ruby Prince and all that... Not really interested in this Jeweled Sage stuff... So I guess I should go looking at the other factions and see what fits... Anyone have one of those cards that reduces the cost of changing factions? I could be recruited easily...

I may need to dig thru the rest of my older PCs and see if any of the others have the same ... issue... with loyalties.

Shadow Lodge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka thistledown

Buba Casanunda wrote:

After a long absence, one of my older PCs got dusted off and played last night. Grabbed him as a last minute decision (we needed a Healer who could Frontline too). When filling out the sign in sheet, I was surprised to see he was actually Osirion Faction... as the last time I played him was 09-21-13... so... that means he's Scarab Sages right? And it looks like I just dusted him off in time to change his faction? Or should I have changed his faction before the game last night? He was Osirion before because of WHERE he was from, being created back when factions were still regional things. Loyalty to the Ruby Prince and all that... Not really interested in this Jeweled Sage stuff... So I guess I should go looking at the other factions and see what fits... Anyone have one of those cards that reduces the cost of changing factions? I could be recruited easily...

I may need to dig thru the rest of my older PCs and see if any of the others have the same ... issue... with loyalties.

If he hasn't been played since the big faction shake-up, he gets a free change to any faction you want.


I had my first character join the Grand Lodge because she had no especially relevant pre-existing political convictions (in the time of regional factions), a burning curiosity about the world, and was grateful for the training the society had to offer.

At the time I interpreted "loyalty to the Decemvirate" as "don't go putting your organised conspiracies before the interests of the society". I certainly didn't interpret it as being a yes-person.

Perhaps in this time of factions who aren't tearing the Society apart, a clarification of the point of the Grand Lodge would be in order? And if we're short of a "knowledge-seeking" faction, well then it's a happy confluence of events.

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How would we obtain one of these "clarifications" of which you speak. There's a lot of factiony things that need clarifying, as exhibited by this thread.

I mean, if grand lodge members are actually allowed to have reasonable suspicions and criticisms of society leadership in spite of the "blind loyalty to the ten, FTW," motto that would be great to know.

Or knowing how closely the dark archive works with hellknights, so I can decide if my more chaotic scarab sages would jump to there.

*** Venture-Agent aka BretI

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Or knowing how closely the dark archive works with hellknights, so I can decide if my more chaotic scarab sages would jump to there.

The answer to that changed substantially during Season 7, much to the dismay of some Hellknight characters.

Scarab Sages *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
BretI wrote:
Corwin Icewolf wrote:
Or knowing how closely the dark archive works with hellknights, so I can decide if my more chaotic scarab sages would jump to there.
The answer to that changed substantially during Season 7, much to the dismay of some Hellknight characters.

Sorry, you had 666 year contracts.

Shadow Lodge *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Unfortunately, someone stuck a decimal point after the first 6, so the time is up.

Sovereign Court **** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden aka Ascalaphus

I liked Orders From the Gate. It made a good showcase of "sometimes the Hellknights are right", without telling us we have to like them.

Sczarni *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Reading the last 100+ comments just now in one burst made me want to touch on multiple things, so I figured I'd do them all at once:

– I will now have to make a GLF-type character. Since I have a Suli GM Blob that'll probably drop right into the Concordance Faction, he seems to be the best bet. But Garund is a small focus. From an extraplanar POV there are many more continents and races not represented adequately. I think I'll have fun with this one.

– Shadow Lodge was never interested in the well being of Pathfinders. That was just their front. Acquisition of personal power and information as a tool was always their real, primary objective. After the Faction retired, my one Shadow Lodge character had nowhere to go. When Dark Archive became a thing I dusted him off just in time to retire him. Although having a Quasit for a Familiar certainly turned the heads of all the Hellknight transplants from Cheliax...

– After seeing that a lot of people still believed the front was real (like in this thread), I made a Grand Lodge character who's backstory was that Torch was her PAA (Pesh Addicts Anonymous) sponsor, and that she was devastated when he "went rogue" (burned a GM Star to replay that scenario with her so she could react appropriately). She's ultimately the character that most Shadow Lodge characters were: one who puts the well being of Pathfinders first. Her Day Job is even as a motivational speaker. But I laugh because her entire personality wouldn't exist without so many people OOCly believing the Shadow Lodge was ever a real thing.

– I think the next Faction to focus on should be Sovereign Court. Whether retiring it or fixing it to be interesting. My -35 is my first real attempt at making a SC character, a Cardinal archetype Cleric that worships Norgorber and has Profession (Politician). But if it's taken me this long to make a character for a Faction, and I rarely see SC characters ever, then I can't help but think it's next for the chopping block.

– I do technically have two other SC characters, but they're not in the Faction for "the right reasons". My -14 joined SC when Cheliax retired (she's not into secrets, knowledge or artifacts; she just loved the social parties that Zarta *used* to be known for, and saw SC as her next best bet), and my -26 is a "thug" who's "looking for a come up" and sees the Sovereign Court as the luxe life. But after this newest character I can't envision ever making another SC character, and if having only 2.5 characters in 5.5 years of PFS is any indicator then the Faction needs some help.

– I think I had more to say, but this post already took too long =\

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Speaking of, when will the Faction Journal Cards be available for Concordance? I have multiple characters that will excitedly join their ranks.

Shadow Lodge *****

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:
– Shadow Lodge was never interested in the well being of Pathfinders. That was just their front.

#fakenews

*

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

– Shadow Lodge was never interested in the well being of Pathfinders. That was just their front. Acquisition of personal power and information as a tool was always their real, primary objective. After the Faction retired, my one Shadow Lodge character had nowhere to go. When Dark Archive became a thing I dusted him off just in time to retire him. Although having a Quasit for a Familiar certainly turned the heads of all the Hellknight transplants from Cheliax...

– After seeing that a lot of people still believed the front was real (like in this thread), I made a Grand Lodge character who's backstory was that Torch was her PAA (Pesh Addicts Anonymous) sponsor, and that she was devastated when he "went rogue" (burned a GM Star to replay that scenario with her so she could react appropriately). She's ultimately the character that most Shadow Lodge characters were: one who puts the well being of Pathfinders first. Her Day Job is even as a motivational speaker. But I laugh because her entire personality wouldn't exist without so many people OOCly believing the Shadow Lodge was ever a real thing.

Depending on when you started PFS, the shadow lodge as bad guys may have been missed totally (it was before my time), but the way many missions were apparently just thrown together with no regard for suitability or wellbeing of the agents, some sort of protection against the whims of the Decemvirate (and the other venture captains) was definitely needed.

A whole bunch of the backlash against Torch was down to the sudden reversion to type that many of us hadn't really seen before, with an additional layer of in character "how dare you make a fool of us like that" (there was a bit of 'this feels out of character for Torch anyway' as well, I think).

Scarab Sages *****

TOZ wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
– Shadow Lodge was never interested in the well being of Pathfinders. That was just their front.
#fakenews

#fakefakenewshashtag

Scarab Sages *****

Andy Brown wrote:
Nefreet wrote:

– Shadow Lodge was never interested in the well being of Pathfinders. That was just their front. Acquisition of personal power and information as a tool was always their real, primary objective. After the Faction retired, my one Shadow Lodge character had nowhere to go. When Dark Archive became a thing I dusted him off just in time to retire him. Although having a Quasit for a Familiar certainly turned the heads of all the Hellknight transplants from Cheliax...

– After seeing that a lot of people still believed the front was real (like in this thread), I made a Grand Lodge character who's backstory was that Torch was her PAA (Pesh Addicts Anonymous) sponsor, and that she was devastated when he "went rogue" (burned a GM Star to replay that scenario with her so she could react appropriately). She's ultimately the character that most Shadow Lodge characters were: one who puts the well being of Pathfinders first. Her Day Job is even as a motivational speaker. But I laugh because her entire personality wouldn't exist without so many people OOCly believing the Shadow Lodge was ever a real thing.

Depending on when you started PFS, the shadow lodge as bad guys may have been missed totally (it was before my time), but the way many missions were apparently just thrown together with no regard for suitability or wellbeing of the agents, some sort of protection against the whims of the Decemvirate (and the other venture captains) was definitely needed.

A whole bunch of the backlash against Torch was down to the sudden reversion to type that many of us hadn't really seen before, with an additional layer of in character "how dare you make a fool of us like that" (there was a bit of 'this feels out of character for Torch anyway' as well, I think).

Oh, certainly, completely understand those who did not experience the duplicity, conniving, and selfishness/greed of Torch, and the absolute terror the original Shadow Lodge was, would be confused by how Torch was portrayed in Rivalry's End. This, however, does not change the fact, that the dupe was extremely successful it seems.

Scarab Sages *****

Nefreet wrote:


– I think the next Faction to focus on should be Sovereign Court. Whether retiring it or fixing it to be interesting. My -35 is my first real attempt at making a SC character, a Cardinal archetype Cleric that worships Norgorber and has Profession (Politician). But if it's taken me this long to make a character for a Faction, and I rarely see SC characters ever, then I can't help but think it's next for the chopping block.

I do thoroughly enjoy my Cardinal character. A Cardinal of Desna... a Tengu... he dies is feathers red.

Its interesting playing a Cleric as a straight caster and skill monkey rather than as the base class lays them out. Basically a Divine Wizard with more skills.

Shadow Lodge *****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

If in tub he does not sit, you must acquit!

Scarab Sages ****

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

*** Venture-Agent aka BretI

Nefreet wrote:


– I think the next Faction to focus on should be Sovereign Court. Whether retiring it or fixing it to be interesting. My -35 is my first real attempt at making a SC character, a Cardinal archetype Cleric that worships Norgorber and has Profession (Politician). But if it's taken me this long to make a character for a Faction, and I rarely see SC characters ever, then I can't help but think it's next for the chopping block.

I only currently have one Sovereign Court faction character active, but am in the process of creating another. Their missions tend to be a fun mix of social interaction and infiltration. I don’t see anything that really needs to be fixed in the faction.

I would like if they fixed the faction journal card so that Practiced Diplomat was useful. As it stands, you use the reward and most likely still fail. I wish it was never roll less than 5+goals or something like that instead.

Scarab Sages *

"Ah c'n beli' y'r fryin' Th' Man. Not The MAIN MAN -- Tha's Cay'en --but Th Man!"

Reposta!

Shadowy Influences Abound, Read at Plot Risk! :P::

Torch!
The Sage they call Torch!
He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Ten and he gave them what for.
Our love for him now, ain't hard to explain,
The hero of Shadow, the man they call Torch!

Now Torch saw the Agents' banks breakin'.
He saw the Agents' a'droppin'.
And he saw that Decemvirate takin'
Every sail and leavin' five copper.
So he said, "You can't do that to my people!"
"You can't crush them under your heel."

Torch stepped outta his bath,
And in five seconds flat,
Stole everything the Vaults had to steal.

He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Ten an' he gave them what for.
Our love for him now ain't hard to explain,
The Hero of Shadow, the Sage they call Torch.

Now here is what separates heroes
From common folk like you and I.
The man they call Torch,
He turned 'round his perch,
An' let that money hit sky.
He dropped it onto our havers.
He dropped it into our wards.
The man they call Torch
He turned round his perch,
And headed out for the sands.

Here we go!

He robbed from the rich and he gave to the poor.
Stood up to the Ten and he gave them what for.
Our love for him now ain't hard to explain,
The Hero of Shadow, the Sage they call Torch!

*

Let's assume the Torch that pulled that incredibly Chaotic Stupid move in Rivalry's End was the more "real" Torch, and that was his plan all along. That would mean that the Ten didn't properly check what their agents were getting into and sent a full 10% of the Society out with someone willing to kill them without compunction, all without warning their agents of the danger involved.

Even if Torch was lying, Torch was right!

Rivalry's End:
Seriously, though, the way they ended that was out of character for any Torch. The "reformed" Torch wouldn't have done that, and the "shadowy information broker" Torch wouldn't have thrown away a useful tool like the Society the way he did. He should have done what Amara Li did and move to the sidelines while proclaiming "mission accomplished." That way, he's still got contacts in the Society to feed him information and maybe get some disposable muscle for a mission or two.

Scarab Sages ****

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shaventalz wrote:

Let's assume the Torch that pulled that incredibly Chaotic Stupid move in Rivalry's End was the more "real" Torch, and that was his plan all along. That would mean that the Ten didn't properly check what their agents were getting into and sent a full 10% of the Society out with someone willing to kill them without compunction, all without warning their agents of the danger involved.

Even if Torch was lying, Torch was right!

** spoiler omitted **

The only GMT that I can see doing what he did in Rivalry's End would be the person forced into an "association" that he did not want, and trying to come up with some way to get out. In other words, a black mail victim forced to work for the Ten for little or nothing in return.

And that seems to always be the way the Society approaches GMT. "Hay! We know you sell Information and it's your business and all that, but how about you just tell us what we want to know for free." And ... he always seems to fork over (for free) what we want.

Picture a fruit vendor in his stall. Up wonders these guys who flash a Wayfinder or two and say "we need a couple Apples, and any bushel of Oranges. What? Pay for them? Aren't you funny. Nah - I think you should just give them to us for free. Cause we're Pathfinders!" Then later, the fruit vendor works for the Organization and we just get the produce without even asking... Only suddenly the Vendor sees his chance and ...

Rivalry's End:

...what's the last thing he says to the Agents?

"Thanks."

and the Shadow Lodge

"And especially to you, who enabled me to get away from the 10."

and he disappears - running to the "ends of the earth" only to have the Society look him up next time they need something he has... and STILL we insist on not paying for what we want from him. "Yeah - you should give it to us for free - cause we're PATHFINDERS!"

(At the end of Rivalry's end, when he says thanks for helping "me to gett away from the 10"... and then many PCs try to kill him, 'cause, you know, "this isn't an organization you can just quit. We're not going to let you just walk away." )

Dark Archive *

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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have two characters that have encountered Torch.

One practically worships the fellow because he was treated with respect and dignity by GMT when every other Venture Captain treated him like a mentally deficient murdermachine (admittedly, barbarian, but still, even barbarians HAVE FEELINGS!).

The other is my shifty business-like attorney. While he doesn't *care* for the fellow, he can at least respect a businessman trying to do business.

I have not had ANY encounters or scenarios via characters(yet) that have instilled a pathological hatred for the character, and his disappearance has always been one of the great mysteries of PFS.

I hope we see him again, fighting the good fight.

Shadow Lodge *****

TOZ wrote:
Unfortunately, someone stuck a decimal point after the first 6, so the time is up.

chelaxian decimal beetles totally need to be a thing. They'd be the most lethal bug on the planet...

Sczarni *****

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Wild Golarion, narrated by Marty S. Thrune, wrote:
The larva of the Chelaxian Decimal Beetle is the bane of librarians throughout Cheliax. Essentially an Abyssal Bookworm, it measures just under one millimeter in width. Its diet consists of paper and the frustrated emotions of pedantic researchers, especially those that espouse a particular specialization of Diabolism referred to as "RAW".

***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Durham aka LoPan666

Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

Spoiler:
I see him acting in bad faith in multiple scenarios by getting the Society to pay him for information while at the same time he has Pathfinder agents bail him out of a jam of his own making (The Many Fortunes of Grand Master Torch and Delirium's Tangle) - i.e., he is getting us to pay him to for us to help him, rather than paying us for doing him a favor. I saw one case where someone tries to cash in a favor owed and he says that it has already been repaid (Destiny of the Sands Pt 1). After getting paid for that information, he turns around and hires Aspis agents to steal the items you seek before you can retrieve them. He never fails to profit from any interaction he has with Society agents, often getting two benefits at the same time. I don't begrudge him that, it's just shrewd business, but at the same time, he does conceal information from the agents who are completing the jobs he requires in payment, putting them in danger.

My view of his story arc is that he was betrayed by the Society, who told the leader of his team to conceal information in a way that resulted in the deaths of loved ones. It also resulted in him suffering a terrible curse. He decided to take revenge on the Ten by creating the Shadow Lodge, but he lost control of the organization. When he was about to pay the price for what he had done, he weaseled his way out under the provision that he turn his organization into a tool of the Ten. He kept up the charade of being a faithful member of the Society whose primary concern was the welfare of individual agents until he could once again get free of the Ten, and was willing to burn Pathfinder agents who trusted and supported him in the process. He burned Pathfinder agents again to retrieve an item he thought might be able to cure him of his curse. He is getting involved with the society again in order to achieve his own ends.

My former Shadow Lodge character has come to understand his motivations, but will never trust him and considers him a hypocrite (he decries the Ten for using Pathfinder agents as disposable tools, but has done the same himself).

Scarab Sages ****

Pete Winz wrote:
Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

** spoiler omitted **...

ok, now I'm confused.

Derailed Thread:

I did say: "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions...".

This was in reference to MY VIEWPOINT.

"I already know the character and motivations of GMT." This is me talking. So I went on to advise "Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..." because, as Warren Buffett pointed out, "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact." I realize I am subject to this as much as anyone else. My views of GMT were formed a long time ago, in games played before he was a Venture Captain, and then later after he was a VC they were re-enforced.

I have repeatedly gone back to re-read the encounters with GMT that persons who have negative views of him point at as "proof" of their view of him, not just the ones I remember but those pointed out as instances of his misdeeds... and frankly I can't see it. When I point to the words he says, people will point out that he said it with a sarcastic or snide tone of voice. It's not WHAT he said, it's HOW he said it.

Prior to becoming a Venture Captain, GMT was an Information Broker - a businessman. His dealings with the Society seemed to me to be colored from that viewpoint. Repeatedly we would look him up and expect him to provide us with his "product" for free. (Even at times, to "pay" us for the privilege of getting him to provide his "product" for free).

After he became a Venture Captain, he was one of the few VCs to check on our well-being - to at least show some concern about us.

And after he was no longer a VC? Our first encounter with him? He happens to be in an area we are in, so... we seek him out and expect him to provide us with his "product" for free. And when he objects? We are provided with "leverage" to again force him to fork over "free product". It is any wonder the guy resents us?

But - meh. There seems to be no way to alter the opinion of persons who have a negative view of him. After all, they KNOW...just as I do.

;-)

***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Durham aka LoPan666

Katisha wrote:
Pete Winz wrote:
Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

** spoiler omitted **...

ok, now I'm confused.

** spoiler omitted **...

My apologies, I didn't realize you were referring to yourself in the original post. I know it definitely applies to me, as well. :) I think that the different perspectives people have on NPCs is often due in part to how the GM portrays them when you first encounter them. I have seen a lot of hate for Sheila Heidmarch on these boards that I just don't get either. I agree that Warren has it right.

Sovereign Court *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Yeah, I always liked Sheila Heidmarch.

Grand Lodge ***** Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

For some reason I can’t play her as not snotty and superior.

*****

It's from the Special and the first couple of scenarios she was in... she definitely had a "tone" that was easy for the GM to amplify.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I gave her a magic box song when I ran her in Shards of Sin.

Scarab Sages *****

Pete Winz wrote:
Katisha wrote:

To quote Warren Buffett: "What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact."

Yeah - "I already know the character and motivations of GMT. Don't try to confuse me with anything that doesn't support my prior conclusions..."

It's funny, but I feel the same way, but from the opposite viewpoint. In a later post, you indicate sympathy for Torch, saying that to Society keeps trying to get him to provide information for free. I don't see that.

** spoiler omitted **...

This is pretty much completely my understanding as well.

*** Venture-Agent aka BretI

Pete Winz wrote:
I have seen a lot of hate for Sheila Heidmarch on these boards that I just don't get either.

I didn’t understand it either until I hit the special.

Special:
4-00 Race for Runecarved Key

The missions she gives out in that one are rather memorable. Evidently there is also an AP written at about the same time where she is equally ruthless.

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