With Gen Con just 10 days away, I wanted to release the new and improved Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Version 4.2 today so everyone has an opportunity to review it and discuss it before Gen Con. With the help of the Venture-Captains and Venture-Lieutenants, and specifically the tireless efforts of Boston Venture-Captain Don Walker to help me with wordsmithing, we have added several much-needed changes that we think will improve your experiences in Pathfinder Society play.
Most notably, the following changes will go into effect on August 16 when Season 4 kicks off at Gen Con:
- We added three new races to character creation for all players to choose from: aasimar, tengu, and tiefling.
- Scenarios and sanctioned module now have one unified set of rules for applying Chronicle sheets to pregenerated characters.
- Added all hardcover rulebooks to the Core Assumption for GMs and advised that GMs can refer to the Pathfinder Reference Document for rules from any books they don’t own.
- Updated text so GMs are now allowed to take boons when they are offered on a Chronicle sheet.
There are quite a few more changes not mentioned above, so keep an eye on the Pathfinder Society General Discussion messageboard, where we’ll be posting a complete list of changes from version 4.1 to 4.2.
As for other changes to Pathfinder Society play, over the past 6 months, I have taken a keen interest in various things that don’t fit Golarion thematically or that cause confusion with power imbalance in the context of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign. I have talked with players that frequent the messageboards, as well players at the various conventions I have attended. I have discussed the topics below with Venture-Captains and Venture-Lieutenants, as well as with members of Paizo’s design and development teams. While some of these might work well in a home game (and I have some players that use them in my home game), they simply are not a good fit for organized play.
With that said, the following archetypes and equipment are being removed from Pathfinder Society Organized Play as legal options effective August 16, 2012:
Gravewalker Witch (Ultimate Magic 84)
Master Summoner (Ultimate Magic 80)
Synthesist Summoner (Ultimate Magic 80)
Undead Lord Cleric (Ultimate Magic 32)
Vivisectionist Alchemist (Ultimate Magic 20)
Arcane bonded items must be listed as Always Available (thus, no firearms)
Added to the Additional Resources on June 20:
No Large or larger firearms available for purchase at any point.
Double hackbut (Ultimate Combat 138)
Culverin (Ultimate Combat 138)
Obviously, these changes do not reflect every problem, or cover every potential problem, in the Pathfinder Society, and we will continue to monitor, discuss, and evaluate material as it affects the format and as new material is released. We do not intend actions like this to be a regular occurrence. We did not make these changes lightly and recognize that many of you will feel like this is either too much or too little or somewhere in between. But I feel that these changes are necessary for the health and well-being of the campaign.
With that said, I understand the time investment and care put into a character’s background and the planning that goes along with making sure the character fits exactly how you envision him. If you have a character affected by the changes above, I am offering a rebuild along the following guidelines:
- You may rebuild any class levels affected, to levels of other classes as necessary. (For example, if you have a 10th-level character with one level of rogue and nine levels of the synthesist summoner archetype, you may rebuild the nine summoner levels into any other class or another summoner archetype).
- You may retrain any feats that directly apply to the changes above as necessary.
- You may sell affected equipment for the full price paid when you purchased them (as listed on past Chronicle sheets).
However you feel about these changes, I ask that you remain respectful of the feelings of others when commenting below. We are a community and we all know players who probably have a beloved character affected by the changes above. Please keep discourse civil and appropriate.
I look forward to seeing folks at the show and am looking toward a bright future for the campaign. I sincerely appreciate everyone who provided feedback, whether it was for the changes to the Guide or the options being removed above, in working together to make our organized play the best it can be for the player base and GMs. Feel free to pull me aside at Gen Con to chat about any or all of the above changes.
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator