The Year of the Sky Key, Season 6 of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, is approaching, and that means the new Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play is on its way. It's still a few weeks before we preview the new guide, but we can share a few new options available at the start of Season 6. In fact, there's something for players and something for GMs and organizers.
I imagine you've already spotted the art and guessed that expanded race access is one announcement—spot on. Just as non-standard race access is a hot topic on the messageboards, it's a common talking point during our meetings. It's tough to balance the lure of race boons for conventions against letting as many people as possible play the types of characters they want. Add to that the heated discussions about whether or not some non-standard races are overpowered and the concerns about the so-called "cantina effect." That's a lot to juggle when making a decision, but we decided that introducing a few new options would be best for the campaign. Beginning August 14th 2014 at Gen Con, three new races will be available for play without requiring a special Chronicle sheet: kitsune, nagaji, and wayang. These races have been in circulation through extra Chronicle sheets for nearly three years now, and even though some players have had an opportunity to create these characters, we want newer players to have new options to enjoy. Like other race options, it is still necessary that a player have a book or watermarked pdf reference for the race, such as from Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Dragon Empires Gazetteer, Pathfinder Player Companion: Dragon Empires Primer, Pathfinder RPG: Advanced Race Guide, or Pathfinder RPG Bestiary: Bestiary 4.
So let's see... seven core races plus three Bestiary races plus three Dragon Empires races. That equals 13, right? Well, there's one piece missing from that equation. We're also removing two races.
For several years, aasimar and tieflings have enjoyed a prominent role in the Pathfinder Society, but as the organization concludes its work in Mendev—where numerous pit-born fight for recognition and heaven-blooded warriors wage holy war—it's time for them to step back. Beginning on August 14th, creating an aasimar or tiefling character will require a special Chronicle sheet, as was the case years ago. The exception is any aasimar or tielfing character with at least 1 XP; these characters are grandfathered into the campaign.
Does this mean you can create several new characters, play a scenario with each, and have several native outsiders waiting for when you need them? Well, we debated long and hard whether to require 4 XP per character, as at that point one is past the free rebuilding stage. However, we also recognized this as unnecessarily punitive to casual players who may only be able to play once or twice in the next month. To answer your question, yes, you can make 10 aasimars and play The Confirmation an equal number of times, but we're trusting you'll exercise some good taste and respect a decision made with the larger community in mind.
Now that we've covered the more controversial news, let's wrap things up with something outright awesome.
We (both Mike and John) both have experience as venture-officers and event coordinators, and we understand that sometimes it's tough to convince a new player to commit to a full 4-5 hour experience. Some events just are not conducive to running a full game, whether that's because it's a weeknight with lots of folks who need to get to bed early or because the location is only open for a few hours. What do you do when a scenario just isn't short enough?
For years the answer has been quests, one-hour mini-adventures intended to last an hour or less. They're great little adventures, but they're a little difficult to schedule for a few reasons. First, there's no easy way to tell a bigger story by connecting a few quests together. Second, the quests—though replayable—offer no gold, XP, or Prestige Points, giving them a reputation of risk for little reward. The most difficult hurdle is that there are only two of them in print (not counting the Goblin Attack demos or Beginner's Box Bash demos).
This year at Gen Con, we're debuting six new 1st-level Pathfinder Quests that take place in and around the River Kingdoms. Each one is a standalone adventure, but they are all loosely tied into a common plot thread, allowing a GM to combine anywhere from two to all six to make a larger adventure as suits the needs of the group and event location. Play them in any order—one can even play the finale quest early—and earn a Chronicle sheet with rewards that scale based on the number of adventures you played.
John Compton and Mike Brock
Developer and Global Organized Play Coordinator