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You Have Questions, We Have Answers

Monday, March 13, 2017

Hi Pathfinders! Early last year, we released the Campaign Clarifications document, which gave us on the Pathfinder Society team a way to answer rules questions and to adapt some rules to better fit the needs of an organized play campaign. When we put out the document, I asked the forums to tell us which rules questions have caused issues in their games. You all gave us a bunch of excellent feedback and we continue to keep an eye on the clarifications threads for new questions that crop up.

However, we ran into a bit of an issue. Campaign Clarifications works well for questions that involve a single rule from one book, but it's equipped to handle questions over multiple sources. We made lists of these more general questions and answered some of them Season 8's version of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide, but we wanted to limit the guide to only the most broadly applicable information. As a side note, Guide 8.1 is still in the works and we'll address some of the questions in that update.

In order to answer the remaining questions, we knew we'd need to make a significant update to our FAQ. We also wanted to clean out information that was already answered in the guide, or that was no longer accurate, as well as gather the forum posts from John, Tonya, and myself that had been serving as unofficial suggestions. Today's update has been a long time in the making, and I'm happy to present it to you all today.

So, what's changed? I'll go through some of the highlights by section. Please read the full FAQ entries for any of the changes below that interest you.

Organized Play Events

  • Creating More Events: The instructions for creating and reporting events now take Core mode games and Adventure Card Guild games into account.

Roleplaying Guild General Questions

  • Required Materials: There were some questions about what players needed to bring to the table in order to use material from a book other than the Core Rulebook. We cleaned up the language in the FAQ entry on legal sources to make some lesser-known options more obvious.
  • Factions for pregenerated characters: You can now earn faction rewards when playing pregenerated characters, as if they were a member of the faction of the character who is receiving credit for the adventure.
  • Caster level and spellcasting services: We've tightened up the rules on the caster level for spellcasting services, specifying which ones you can purchase at higher than minimum caster levels.

Wealth and Treasure

  • Poisons: the list of available poisons from the Core Rulebook has been expanded.
  • Upgrading Magic Items: We've expanded the rules for upgrading magic items to allow some upgrades that do more than increase a number.
  • Intelligent Items: You can carry more than one intelligent item at a time, and 1st level characters are never at risk of dying from picking up an intelligent item during an adventure.
  • Alternative Ammunition: We've created a blanket rule to allows you to purchase magical ammunition listed on a Chronicle sheet as a different form of ammunition; for example, buying +1 frost shuriken when the chronicle lists +1 frost bolts.
  • Scrolls: We've cleared up the rules around scrolls, such as codifying their arcane spell failure chance, the rules for scrolls with multiple spells, and the rules for determining which ability score is appropriate to use when activating a scroll with the Use Magic Device skill.

Character Questions

  • Race-Specific Options: We've clarified the rules around the Racial Heritage feat from the Advanced Player's Guide and other options that allow characters to take options initially written for other races.
  • Legal Abilities Referencing Ones That Aren't: We've clarified what happens if your archetype or other class ability grants you an option that does not appear in Additional Resources.
  • Spell Study: We've expanded the rules around learning spells from NPCs and filling spellbooks to make it clear that such actions are not restricted only to wizards.

Character Companions

  • How Many Companions: The FAQ and the latest version of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide disagreed with each other about the rules for how many creatures a character can bring to the table and use at one time. We've updated the FAQ to more closely align with the Guide.
  • Animal Companions and Shields: We've explicitly added shields to the list of tools that animal companions cannot use.
  • Retraining Companions: We've added rules for retraining your companion creature's abilities and replacing a companion's tricks with different ones.
  • Companions and Boons: We've added the rule from John's forum post describing what happens if a companion creature gains a boon during an adventure.
  • Improved Familiars (Work in Progress): We have not yet updated the entry about which familiars have which item slots and which familiars can use wands and other magic items. An update for this entry is in the works, with the help of a team of Venture-Officers, but it will take some time to pull it all together.

Do you have any feedback about this update? What questions would you like to see added in our next update to the FAQ? Let us know in the comments below.

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Pathfinder Society
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Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Agent, Canada—Ontario—Toronto aka pauljathome

2 people marked this as a favorite.
GM Hmm wrote:

Paracountess Bingo. Ooh, I really want to play that game now!

While I love the fluff about kitsune always breeding kitsune, in a world with gods anything can happen.

Hmm

I don't care what Paizo says, my kitsune character is convinced that his fox familiar is his half brother because OBVIOUSLY Kitsune and foxes can interbreed.

So there!

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

11 people marked this as a favorite.
Paul Jackson wrote:
GM Hmm wrote:

Paracountess Bingo. Ooh, I really want to play that game now!

While I love the fluff about kitsune always breeding kitsune, in a world with gods anything can happen.

Hmm

I don't care what Paizo says, my kitsune character is convinced that his fox familiar is his half brother because OBVIOUSLY Kitsune and foxes can interbreed.

So there!

There's a proud tradition of somewhat delusional PCs insisting that non-canonical things are true and still being an utter blast to have at the table. I know of a barbarian who believes only Jadwiga from Irrisen can cast magic, that all other spellcasting is elaborate smoke and mirrors, and that Jadwiga are angry trees that exhale bees whenever they talk.

Scarab Sages **

John Compton wrote:
Paul Jackson wrote:
GM Hmm wrote:

Paracountess Bingo. Ooh, I really want to play that game now!

While I love the fluff about kitsune always breeding kitsune, in a world with gods anything can happen.

Hmm

I don't care what Paizo says, my kitsune character is convinced that his fox familiar is his half brother because OBVIOUSLY Kitsune and foxes can interbreed.

So there!

There's a proud tradition of somewhat delusional PCs insisting that non-canonical things are true and still being an utter blast to have at the table. I know of a barbarian who believes only Jadwiga from Irrisen can cast magic, that all other spellcasting is elaborate smoke and mirrors, and that Jadwiga are angry trees that exhale bees whenever they talk.

This post makes me happy. That is all.

Paizo Employee Community & Digital Content Director

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Removed a post and the responses to it. This metaphor was gross, let's not make lewd remarks in this thread please.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
There's a proud tradition of somewhat delusional PCs insisting that non-canonical things are true and still being an utter blast to have at the table. I know of a barbarian who believes only Jadwiga from Irrisen can cast magic, that all other spellcasting is elaborate smoke and mirrors, and that Jadwiga are angry trees that exhale bees whenever they talk.

I still remember a character from a table a few years back that insisted he belonged to the orthodox church of Sarenrae, and therefore used a mace like any good cleric should.

Silver Crusade ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
doktorJung wrote:
John Compton wrote:
There's a proud tradition of somewhat delusional PCs insisting that non-canonical things are true and still being an utter blast to have at the table. I know of a barbarian who believes only Jadwiga from Irrisen can cast magic, that all other spellcasting is elaborate smoke and mirrors, and that Jadwiga are angry trees that exhale bees whenever they talk.
I still remember a character from a table a few years back that insisted he belonged to the orthodox church of Sarenrae, and therefore used a mace like any good cleric should.

I once played at a table with a very dumb half-orc barbarian who thought he was a tall goblin.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

about the Racial Heritage/Adopted change.

Is Goblin stuff still unavailable? Is other racial feats/traits available otherwise for all the other races that are Boon races? Is the Additional Resources that reference these have changes to reflect this opened up particular?

Just askin'

Dark Archive **** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Charlotte aka Aaron B

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hillis Mallory III wrote:

about the Racial Heritage/Adopted change.

Is Goblin stuff still unavailable? Is other racial feats/traits available otherwise for all the other races that are Boon races? Is the Additional Resources that reference these have changes to reflect this opened up particular?

Just askin'

It appears that if you have a racial boon that opens up a normally non legal race to use for this purpose. You can. So unless you have a Goblin Race boon laying around, you cannot.

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

Hillis Mallory III wrote:

about the Racial Heritage/Adopted change.

Is Goblin stuff still unavailable? Is other racial feats/traits available otherwise for all the other races that are Boon races? Is the Additional Resources that reference these have changes to reflect this opened up particular?

Just askin'

I don't think this has changed in the new FAQ.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

OK, actually read the FAQ in this section. Seems it is clarifying the restriction, not opening it up for Adopted and feats from Racial Heritage.

Now I wonder if my Half Orc is illegal for taking an Orc trait. Is it?

Shadow Lodge ****

Hillis Mallory III wrote:

OK, actually read the FAQ in this section. Seems it is clarifying the restriction, not opening it up for Adopted and feats from Racial Heritage.

Now I wonder if my Half Orc is illegal for taking an Orc trait. Is it?

Yes. always has been. the orc section is banned , you would need an orc boon to open it up.

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

There are no Orc boons that I know of, though the Additional Resources for that companion book does not have any of the disclaimers the others do, whether it is vague or not.

This would be a change for the Orc feats/traits when an Half Orc is using them. Is this a clarification that would make the once legal Orc trait (Tusk) Illegal for any race to take, Racial Heritage or not, that is not an (full blodded) Orc?

Shadow Lodge *** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The race traits in "Orcs of Golarion" are explicitly stated to be applicable to both orcs and half-orcs, so no boon would be needed.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Francis wrote:


The race traits in "Orcs of Golarion" are explicitly stated to be applicable to both orcs and half-orcs, so no boon would be needed.

However, merits noting, one must possess a copy of "Orcs of Golarion" to have access to the material.

*** Contributor aka Alexander Augunas

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paul Jackson wrote:
GM Hmm wrote:

Paracountess Bingo. Ooh, I really want to play that game now!

While I love the fluff about kitsune always breeding kitsune, in a world with gods anything can happen.

Hmm

I don't care what Paizo says, my kitsune character is convinced that his fox familiar is his half brother because OBVIOUSLY Kitsune and foxes can interbreed.

So there!

Ew ... that's gross....

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Lexington

Blackbot wrote:

Just to be clear ..

PFS FAQ wrote:


All other methods of gaining new spells (such as by gaining a level or purchasing access to an NPC's spellbook) function as described in the Core Rulebook and relevant class descriptions.
We can still assume that every spell for every class is available to learn from a NPC between scenarios, right?

You mean like fireball (yes) or something like a slyph only spell (no) when you are human?

Silver Crusade *

James Risner wrote:
Blackbot wrote:

Just to be clear ..

PFS FAQ wrote:


All other methods of gaining new spells (such as by gaining a level or purchasing access to an NPC's spellbook) function as described in the Core Rulebook and relevant class descriptions.
We can still assume that every spell for every class is available to learn from a NPC between scenarios, right?
You mean like fireball (yes) or something like a slyph only spell (no) when you are human?

The former.

It always annoyed me that this was something you could do but was written so vaguely almost nobody I met (including VOs) knew about it.

The new wording is better, but still sounds like "If you ever find an NPC wizard, here's how much you have to pay..."

Shadow Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Texas—Dallas & Ft. Worth aka Azothath

Blackbot wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Blackbot wrote:

Just to be clear ..

PFS FAQ wrote:


All other methods of gaining new spells (such as by gaining a level or purchasing access to an NPC's spellbook) function as described in the Core Rulebook and relevant class descriptions.
We can still assume that every spell for every class is available to learn from a NPC between scenarios, right?
You mean like fireball (yes) or something like a slyph only spell (no) when you are human?

The former.

It always annoyed me that this was something you could do but was written so vaguely almost nobody I met (including VOs) knew about it.

The new wording is better, but still sounds like "If you ever find an NPC wizard, here's how much you have to pay..."

obviously you never asked me or people I play with or had me as a GM (as it's listed on the back of your chronicle along with other helpful end of scenario options). It is the final option if there's no wizarding types at your table.

You do need to pay attention to the size of the town/city you're in as that affects the "always available" options, see pg 20 PFS RPG Guide. With so many scenarios starting/ending in Absalom or good sized city it is almost never an issue.

Silver Crusade *

Again - I KNOW YOU CAN DO IT.
Kyle said it here, for example.
And it is better worded now that the word "rare" has gone from the FAQ (which was confusing in its own right).

Both of these facts do not fix the issue that this (in my opinion) very important aspect of prepared arcane spellcasters is buried in the FAQ, worded in a way that doesn't really say "Look, there WILL be an NPC you can purchase the spell from, don't worry about it."

The reference to the Always Available list is of no importance here, by the way, as it says nothing about spells. Learning spells is not referenced in that section nor in the Spells section.

(Please note that I'm not attacking you. I'm annoyed that 4 years after the relevant FAQ first hit the web this important aspect is still something you have to learn from the messageboards.)

Shadow Lodge ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Stephen Ross wrote:
You do need to pay attention to the size of the town/city you're in as that affects the "always available" options, see pg 20 PFS RPG Guide. With so many scenarios starting/ending in Absalom or good sized city it is almost never an issue.

During your downtime you can wander over to absolom, even if your previous adventure ends in Podunk and the new one starts in Boondocks.

(baring 1 or 2 very specific exceptions)

Liberty's Edge *

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:
Bongo BigBounce wrote:
Looking for some clarification on snake companions. Can they wear anything at all without Extra Item Slot? It seems the FAQ calls out no barding, no neck, no nothin'. If so it seems quite unfair to those who wish to have a serpentine companion. Am I missing something?

Snakes haven't been able to wear Barding or Neck slot items for several years now. Nothing about this update changes that.

Sometimes an option isn't mechanically equal to all other options.

According to Disney's Robin Hood a snake can wear at least a hat and cloak... :)

https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=disney+robin+hood+snake&qpvt=disne y+robin+hood+snake&qpvt=disney+robin+hood+snake&qpvt=disney+robin+h ood+snake&FORM=IQFRML

**

So if I have an improved sage familiar and an Animal Companion if I have my AC as my "combat animal" what can my familiar do? What constitutes other challenges? Knowledge checks? all spell like ability off the table (improved familiar)?

Quote:
The second is a familiar or mundane pet that does not participate in combat or other challenges. Such familiars grant their basic special ability, such as a bat's +3 bonus on Fly checks, the Alertness feat, and access a witch's spells.

Thanks

Liberty's Edge ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville aka thaX

John Francis wrote:


The race traits in "Orcs of Golarion" are explicitly stated to be applicable to both orcs and half-orcs, so no boon would be needed.

So my character, Uh Oh, is safe. Would those using Racial Heritage be able to take those Orc feats/traits? Would the Half - Orc being always available be enough for the use of Racial Heritage/Adopted for this book and the Race Guide?

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Hillis Mallory III wrote:
John Francis wrote:


The race traits in "Orcs of Golarion" are explicitly stated to be applicable to both orcs and half-orcs, so no boon would be needed.
So my character, Uh Oh, is safe. Would those using Racial Heritage be able to take those Orc feats/traits? Would the Half - Orc being always available be enough for the use of Racial Heritage/Adopted for this book and the Race Guide?

The Advanced Race Guide follows different rules than other books. To get at "true orc" stuff from ARG you need a "true orc" boon. Half-orcs aren't sufficient.

Orcs of Golarion follows the milder regime for which you can use Racial Heritage.

Grand Lodge **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a question about the non-combat pets section:

Quote:
The second is a familiar or mundane pet that does not participate in combat or other challenges. Such familiars grant their basic special ability, such as a bat's +3 bonus on Fly checks, the Alertness feat, and access a witch's spells.

I think a Spiritualist Phantom that doesn't manifest would count as a non-participating pet too? It's just providing passive bonuses and doesn't take time or table space. Specifically, I'm thinking about an Exciter Mesmerist who in principle has a Phantom, but *can't* manifest it, so it's really just some Skill Foci feats.

Sovereign Court *

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Markov Spiked Chain wrote:

I have a question about the non-combat pets section:

Quote:
The second is a familiar or mundane pet that does not participate in combat or other challenges. Such familiars grant their basic special ability, such as a bat's +3 bonus on Fly checks, the Alertness feat, and access a witch's spells.
I think a Spiritualist Phantom that doesn't manifest would count as a non-participating pet too? It's just providing passive bonuses and doesn't take time or table space. Specifically, I'm thinking about an Exciter Mesmerist who in principle has a Phantom, but *can't* manifest it, so it's really just some Skill Foci feats.

Literally came here to answer this. I wanted to make a multiclass spiritualist who left their Phantom un-manifest using the shadow themed archetype...but also had a companion via shadow dancer.

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