Adventure Paths are the staple item here at Paizo. Since the inception of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, some people have wanted to play the Adventure Paths and receive credit for their Pathfinder Society characters. This is one of the few bullet-list items I have been trying to figure out since I arrived 15 months ago. The release of the Shattered Star Adventure Path and its close ties to the Pathfinder Society made it even more imperative that we find a way to include Adventure Paths in sanctioned Organized Play. We feel it's the right thing to do, both from a business perspective and as a way of making even more material available for event organizers and players who've gone through what we already produced and are chomping at the bit for more.
Over the past few months, we have dedicated a large percentage of our weekly Pathfinder Society meetings to make sure we have the best formula for as seamless a fit as possible in sanctioning Adventure Paths. We could not find an easy solution to allow play through an entire Adventure Path, or to easily port a character in and out of a specific volume of an Adventure Path. With the feedback of our Venture-Officers, we think we have a system that can appeal to the widest audience.
The solution we've landed on is treating one section of a Pathfinder Adventure Path volume like a module. It would generally be played over one to three sessions, and grant 3 XP, 4 PP, and a level-dependent amount of gp. An example you will find on the first Chronicle sheet is from the first installment of Rise of the Runelords, Burnt Offerings. When you play through areas C1 through E10 of Thistletop, your GM may assign you the Chronicle sheet for Burnt Offerings.
If possible, all players must use an existing Pathfinder Society character (without modification) within 1 level of the starting level of the sanctioned content from a Pathfinder Adventure Path. In the example used above for Burnt Offerings, you would use a 3rd-, 4th-, or 5th-level character.
For Adventure Path content below 9th level, if you do not have a character in the correct level range, you may use a Pathfinder Society pregenerated character or the Iconics found in the NPC Codex. If you play a 1st-level pregenerated character, you may apply the credit from that character to a newly created character of your very own, with the gp gained reduced to 1,398 gp (or 699 gp for slow advancement track characters). If you play a non-1st-level pregenerated character, you may apply the credit to your character as soon as she reaches the level of the pregenerated character played. Equipment listed on the pregenerated character sheet may only be sold to clear conditions, such as death, during the play of the module and any remaining wealth does not carry over at the end of the module.
Alternatively, if you are participating in a Pathfinder Adventure Path with an ongoing home group undertaking the entire campaign, you may receive credit for playing the sanctioned portions of the adventure as if you had played a pregenerated character. In this case, GMs running the Adventure Path are not bound to the rules of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign when running the campaign or the sanctioned portion of the adventure. Pathfinder Society characters and characters from an ongoing Adventure Path campaign may not play in the same adventure.
If a character dies and is brought back to life, the GM must determine the rewards for that character. The minimum possible reward is 0 gp, 1 XP, and 1 PP on the medium advancement track or 0 gp, 1/2 XP, and 1/2 PP on the slow advancement track. If a character participates in more than two-thirds of the sanctioned content of an Adventure Path, she should receive the full rewards. GMs and active players are encouraged to hasten the return of any characters waiting to be raised from the dead.
Players who do not complete each game session earn 1/3 fewer gp, 1 fewer XP, and 1 fewer Prestige Point for each session missed. This also applies to players who join later sessions; they receive 1/3 fewer gp, 1 fewer XP, and 1 fewer Prestige Point for each session missed. In both cases, players earn a minimum of 1/3 gp, 1 XP, and 1 Prestige Point.
As always, each player may receive credit for each sanctioned Adventure Path volume once as a player and once as a GM, in either order. Players must accept Chronicle sheets for their characters the first time they play any sanctioned content. A player may replay a sanctioned Adventure Path at the GM’s discretion, but the player may not receive more than one Chronicle sheet per adventure. The only exception is Tier 1–2 sanctioned Adventure Path content. A player may only play a Tier 1–2 sanctioned Adventure Path for credit once with a 2nd-level character, but may use additional 1st-level characters to replay the same content for credit.
Since sanctioned Adventure Paths can be multi-session events, a Pathfinder Society character may not be used in other Pathfinder Society events until the character receives a Chronicle sheet for the Adventure Path volume. GMs are advised to work with players who miss the final session of the module or AP in order for those players to receive their Chronicle sheets.
The data entry system has already been updated to include all 10 of the current sanctioned Adventure Path volumes. Data is entered into our reporting system in the same manner as sanctioned modules. You receive credit toward GM stars the same as sanctioned modules.
The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Version 4.3, scheduled for release next month, will update Chapter 6 with all info about sanctioned Adventure Paths and how they work within Pathfinder Society.
Initially, we are only sanctioning Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition and Shattered Star Adventure Paths. If those are well received, we will consider sanctioning other Adventure Paths in the future. You can find the rules for running these in Pathfinder Society Organized Play and the Chronicle sheets on their respective product pages.
We are excited with the solution that this not only expands normal Pathfinder Society play options, but also increases play opportunities past 12th level. We hope that this will also allow players who enjoy our Adventure Paths, but have not yet experienced Pathfinder Society, to give our organized play a try.
We understand there are a lot of very strong opinions among the player base about whether we should sanction Adventure Paths and how they should be implemented. We value your opinions and look forward to reading your thoughts about the exciting new play options we have introduced today. With your input, we can make Pathfinder Society better for all.
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator