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New Options

Monday, July 14, 2014

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.


Illustration by Eva Widermann

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

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Eva Widermann Pathfinder Society
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**** Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Philadelphia

Great stuff all around.

Grand Lodge ****

23 people marked this as a favorite.

Honestly disappointed that they're removing Aasimar and Tiefling as legal options for new players.

Sovereign Court ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Color me impressed with all of this. I'm thrilled to see things changing and adapting based on feedback from your players and coordinators (and GMs, I suppose).

Now, if you'd just start publishing three scenarios per month and always have a new 1-5 every month, things would be so dynamic with this campaign I might not know how to proceed. (-;

Dark Archive *****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Class Deck, Maps, Modules Subscriber
Drogon wrote:

Color me impressed with all of this. I'm thrilled to see things changing and adapting based on feedback from your players and coordinators (and GMs, I suppose).

Now, if you'd just start publishing three scenarios per month and always have a new 1-5 every month, things would be so dynamic with this campaign I might not know how to proceed. (-;

Sure you would - sell more PFRPG, run more events, drink coffee, profit!

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Captain, Minnesota—St. Paul

Nice!

Sovereign Court ***** Owner - Enchanted Grounds

TetsujinOni wrote:
Drogon wrote:

Color me impressed with all of this. I'm thrilled to see things changing and adapting based on feedback from your players and coordinators (and GMs, I suppose).

Now, if you'd just start publishing three scenarios per month and always have a new 1-5 every month, things would be so dynamic with this campaign I might not know how to proceed. (-;

Sure you would - sell more PFRPG, run more events, drink coffee, profit!

Well, yeah. But I wouldn't have anything to complain about. d-:

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am thrilled with the new races being unlocked as well as more quests being made available. The 1 XP requirement for existing Aasimar and Tiefling characters is fair to keep them usable.

Grand Lodge ****

Kitsune, Nagaji, and Wayang for free. No more Tiefs and Aasimars.

I still have my tengu! (caw!)

I like the delves idea. Those are helpful as I get new folks who dont realize these are 5 hours sessions sometimes. I have been asking upfront recently, and those who cant make it all 5 hours, well, they tend to leave. I do apologize to them, but I cant make it go faster if it doesnt.

Thank you guys for these new items coming forward! I cannot wait to see this years bringings!

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Looking forward to the modular quest system!

Grand Lodge ****

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

How and when will the new quests be made available? Will they be free?

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Asheville aka Luthril

Well done on all accounts! I've so enjoyed my Tien race boon characters over the last couple of years and I am very excited that our new players get to have fun with these dynamic and colorful creatures!

Sovereign Court **** RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Interesting. Guess I'd better run some more confirmations for 'blobs of GM credit' if i've another T or A idea...

**

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Also disappointed in the choice to remove Aasimars & Tieflings.
Double bummer as the new PF Quests would have been something I would have been very excited about at any other time.
The irony of telling folks to look in a post titled "New Options" for why they are no longer able to play 2 races isn't lost to me, either.

-TimD

Grand Lodge ****

Looking forward to all of this. Thank-you!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

It's a bummer to see the aasimar and tiefling go. I'm pleasantly surprised to see the Nagaji, wayangs and kitsune included, especially considering the dissolution of the Lantern Lodge. I look forward to seeing this develop.

Silver Crusade ** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16 aka cartmanbeck

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I gotta say, I'm happy with all the changes. I feel that I've made enough characters with aasimar and tiefling boons, and look forward to attacking the nagaji, kitsune, and wayang more thoroughly! (I'm a little irked that I JUST traded for a wayang boon a couple weeks ago, but c'est la vie!)

Shadow Lodge *

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I completely understand the desire to remove Tieflings and Aasimars, with blood of angels/fiends they are very powerful for just about every class, also their removal means that the only race that can early entry into Eldritch Knight (base Aasimar) is now a boon race once again.

I'm slightly disappointed about the announcement that Kitsune/Wayang/Nagaji will be legal since I just traded for a boon of them, but I suppose I can let it collect dust until such time that they are no longer openly available.

*** RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

If boons are going to be required for Aasimar and Tieflings, will more boons be coming into circulation?

Grand Lodge **** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
RainyDayNinja wrote:
If boons are going to be required for Aasimar and Tieflings, will more boons be coming into circulation?

Eventually yes, but no plans for right away.

***

I am gonna see a ton of aspirant druids, wayang cavaliers, and kitsuni enchanters now.

These were class ideas bopping through my head that I will never make now because I know atleast 2 people that want to do each of those.

But I think the race change is a great idea. I am not knocking it.

Scarab Sages *** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Maglok

Great choices for the new society year! Good job!

Scarab Sages

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a much easier time accepting fox-folk and snake-people, than I do accepting that so many PCs have a grandad who f***ed an angel.

*

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't mind seeing Aasimars and Tieflings go, but would it be so bad to get the elemental-blooded races into PFS standard play?

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

I can vouch for the fact that there is nothing like playing a kitsune through Red Harvest. :)

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I would complain about pulling the aasinar and tiefling races, but the opening the wayang, kitsune, and nagaji are a fair exchange in my opinion.

Grand Lodge **** Global Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
spectrevk wrote:
I don't mind seeing Aasimars and Tieflings go, but would it be so bad to get the elemental-blooded races into PFS standard play?

These were our GM boons this year and will remain our GM boons through Gen Con 2015. We didn't want to open them so soon and snub GMs who just received an elemental boon over the past few months. If you GM for a local convention, chances are, you will be able to pick one up.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Asheville aka Luthril

I think the rational behind what races to make available was that the Tien race boons have been out for a long time and so the sting of devaluing the boons would be less than the elemental boons that are so new... But that means that in theory there could be elemental races opened up all on some distant horizon... Just a theory.

EDITS:Ninja's by the boss man ;)

Shadow Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Other than removing the two plane-touched, it looks good...

Given the lose of the Lantern Lodge, it would make more sense to drop the Dragon Empires options... but that is just my opinion...

Add me to the list of people who want some more details about the 6 'delve'/modular quests and how it will be distributed.

-

Now to see about running/playing a half-dozen or so scenarios/modules to lock in some plane-touched characters.

Grand Lodge **

The idea of cycling in/out various non-standard races is pretty awesome! It helps keep things fresh, and still maintains the perceived value of race boons. With a month out on the announcement it gives a reasonable timeframe for many people to get something grandfathered in if they hadn't gotten around to it yet. Well played gents!

It's good to hear the quests are finally coming together, many people have been waiting for these for a long time! I am very curious to check them out. Safe to assume Emerald Spire/PFO synergy?

***

Snorter wrote:
I have a much easier time accepting fox-folk and snake-people, than I do accepting that so many PCs have a grandad who f***ed an angel.

In blood of angels is explains that this is not always the case. It could be someone who's family was blessed by them. They were birthed in a very sacred area. Or a plenthera of other reasons.

Dark Archive **** Venture-Captain, New Zealand—Wellington

Very excited both on the race changes, particularly that we get a new small race.

As for the quests, this is a good response to allow for slots which are not 4-5 hours to include some games.

Are there plans for regular releases for these modular quests? I have a feeling my players will eat this up, in which case I hope there will be more coming quickly soon after for us to keep using them.

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

Finlanderboy wrote:
Snorter wrote:
I have a much easier time accepting fox-folk and snake-people, than I do accepting that so many PCs have a grandad who f***ed an angel.
In blood of angels is explains that this is not always the case. It could be someone who's family was blessed by them. They were birthed in a very sacred area. Or a plenthera of other reasons.

I think he was referring to the fact that sooo many players used that as a backstory for why they have celestial blood.

Sovereign Court ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

May as well start this now...:)

*****

Looks exciting!

I'm guessing the new Quests will be replayable?

Grand Lodge ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Reynard de' Bonaire wrote:
May as well start this now...:)

UGH! I need to floss my brain

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent aka Alex McGuire

Reynard de' Bonaire wrote:

May as well start this now...:)

sings "Charm charm charm charm charm Cha-charm..."

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—Silicon Valley aka JohnF

Drogon wrote:
TetsujinOni wrote:
Drogon wrote:

Color me impressed with all of this. I'm thrilled to see things changing and adapting based on feedback from your players and coordinators (and GMs, I suppose).

Now, if you'd just start publishing three scenarios per month and always have a new 1-5 every month, things would be so dynamic with this campaign I might not know how to proceed. (-;

Sure you would - sell more PFRPG, run more events, drink coffee, profit!
Well, yeah. But I wouldn't have anything to complain about. d-:

I dunno - I expect you'd find something ... :-)

Liberty's Edge **** Venture-Agent aka Paz

So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, New York—Queens/Brooklyn/Nassau aka Bill Darios

Nifty

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Asheville aka Luthril

Paz wrote:
So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

Nah use them now and get an experience jump on season 6 ;)

Grand Lodge ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paz wrote:
So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

Nah, if you wait a few years they'll probably phase them out again like they're doing with Aasimars and Tieflings.

Paizo Employee ***** Developer

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Paz wrote:
So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

I had wondered the same thing upon learning that aasimar, tieflings, and tengu would be "always available," and that query led to the creation of the Xenophobia boon ("sacrifice" a race boon to Xenophobia to gain favored enemy against one of that creature's subtypes). I'm very open to creating another boon that provides additional uses for devalued race boons.

Suggestions?

**

This is pretty much perfection.

Grand Lodge ** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

I like that boon.

That or as someone else said, save them up till the races get phased back out.

Also, I think the elemental boons had alternate uses you could put them to. Do the tien ones have that?

Dark Archive ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The options that the new quests open up!

I have several players that can't make it on time or have to leave early.

Now they can jump in at the next quest or leave at the end of a convinient one.

I'm not bothered by the racial decisions. We have had large chunks of the group made up of Aesemar.

I want to see more minis for tengu, kitsune, wayang, & nagaji.

Shadow Lodge ****

John Compton wrote:
Paz wrote:
So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

I had wondered the same thing upon learning that aasimar, tieflings, and tengu would be "always available," and that query led to the creation of the Xenophobia boon ("sacrifice" a race boon to Xenophobia to gain favored enemy against one of that creature's subtypes). I'm very open to creating another boon that provides additional uses for devalued race boons.

Suggestions?

Each one could be worth 1? 2? levels of the alternate favored class bonus for that species, but can't stack with your real alternate favored class bonus.

*****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Yes, play The Confirmation 10 more times in the next month.

Shadow Lodge **

I see some of the issue coming from...

I* had the old Aasamir/Tiefling/Tengu boon, then they were made 'Always Available" so I* used it with Xenophobia, now they are not available and I* need a new boon, because I* got rid of the old 'useless' boon.

*used to mean 'generic gamer' not Me(the poster)

-

I, for one, would not trust the Always available status for any former Boon race enough to use it with Xenophobia (or similar as yet unmade boons).

-

I don't mean it to be taken as anything but my opinion.

Over-all I like the changes... but I know some people who have delayed Aasimar/Tiefling character concepts because they became "Always Available".

Shadow Lodge ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.

So glad to see tieflings become a limited choice, and saying goodbye to aasimar at the same time is a very small price to pay.

I'm not a huge fan of using tengus, but they seem to always provide some hilarity during play.

The Exchange **** Venture-Lieutenant, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Belafon

3 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
Paz wrote:
So are unused triple race boons now only good for lining the cat litter box?

I had wondered the same thing upon learning that aasimar, tieflings, and tengu would be "always available," and that query led to the creation of the Xenophobia boon ("sacrifice" a race boon to Xenophobia to gain favored enemy against one of that creature's subtypes). I'm very open to creating another boon that provides additional uses for devalued race boons.

Suggestions?

Yeah, now I'm kinda regretting attaching my Tiefling boon to a Xenophobia.

Hmmm... how about Crossing Cultures - You may take a take a feat of the attached racial boon that has no prerequisites other than race in place of a normal feat gained by leveling.

I haven't checked all of the possible feats yet. That may be a little bit too exploitable or just difficult to explain (Nagaji Spit Venom Feat).

Or allows you to take a racial archetype...

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