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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

Starfinder


Pathfinder Society


Pathfinder Adventure Card Game


Exploring Factions' Favor

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

PaizoCon wrapped up about a month ago, and although we announced the next season of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild at the preview banquet, we're overdue for a proper introduction on paizo.com.

In the pursuit of ancient secrets and unclaimed treasures, the Pathfinder Society doesn't just make discoveries; it also makes enemies. A cast of the campaign's greatest villains has conspired to take their revenge against the Pathfinder, bringing war to the footstep of the great city Absalom and chaos to the Inner Sea region. For years, factions within the Society have championed their own agendas, fought for recognition, and accumulated resources. At last they have a chance to prove themselves—an experience that could leave these organizations changed forever in Season 9 of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild: the Year of Factions' Favor.

In the coming year, Pathfinders have an opportunity to redeem souls, avert an invasion, uncover hidden secrets below an infamous museum, and vanquish an ageless evil poised to take control of the region's greatest minds. At the same time, players can use faction resources to shut down an exploitative consortium, thwart a league of dangerous villains, oust an infamous tyrant, and decide whether the ends justify the means in the pursuit of justice. On top of this there are tombs to unseal, artifacts to recover, and countless other adventures that await in this exciting season that debuts at Gen Con 2017!



Icon Illustration by Giorgio Baroni

One of the big questions I've heard over the past several years is "Our factions keep building connections and accumulating resources, but for what?" For some factions it's been pretty clear, such as the then-Taldor building up steam to launch its own Army of Exploration during Season 5. For others, the payoffs have been less obvious. For others still, it's been less a question of payoff and more a matter of self-reflection; some of the factions have found themselves pulled in multiple directions, whether that's multiple leaders vying for ideological dominance or a leader and a faction growing steadily less suited for each other. With Season 9, we're examining a bunch of these questions by giving many factions a big events in which to flex their muscles, prove their worth (in-game and out), and trigger some substantial changes on the world. Some factions are performing some house cleaning, such as rooting out corruption or thwarting a growing menace within their ranks. Others still are receiving smaller-scale stories tied to recurring characters whose narratives spin into a much larger event. All in all, each of the factions is getting something exciting to pursue over the course of Season 9.

Although Season 9 had a placeholder name of "Year of the Factions" for many months, the adventures are far from faction-exclusive. Characters of all factions should be able to enjoy these scenarios, and Society leadership will oversee the vast majority of these adventures—particularly ensuring that the Society's interests aren't lost in the shuffle. Many of these adventures also involve the same elements that we've come to expect from Pathfinder Society scenarios, such as exploring ancient sites, uncovering hidden secrets, discovering rarely-traveled lands, and dishing out a generous helping of RPG action. All the while, the factions are jostling for the opportunity to lend their support and be awesome. For example, if a noteworthy port is giving the Society trouble and keeping the PCs from going on an adventure, you can bet the Exchange is chomping at the bit and saying, "Is this municipality using economic warfare to block you? Two can play at that game. Hold my beer."

On top of that, we'll have a helping of unaffiliated adventures, including a new higher-than-1st-level replayable adventure.

The Adventure Path

From Season 3 to Season 6 of Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, the campaign's overarching theme connected to one of two Adventure Paths that would release that year. While this allowed the developers to promote and borrow from the supporting literature released around that same time for the Adventure Path, it also meant the organized play program was telling less of its own story. Beginning in Season 7, we broke from that mold. While the freedom to craft our own narrative is delightful, I've been missing the sense of cross-product collaboration. The difference is that rather than wait for the Adventure Path line to set the direction, I went straight to Crystal Frasier to start planning things from the ground up.

Crystal's a delightful co-conspirator, and I've known for a while that her desire to shake up Taldor is even stronger than my own. When we put our heads together, we realized just how well our two stories could work together, rather than one being subservient to the other. After all, the Sovereign Court's been building up to something big for quite some time, and overthrowing an irresponsible monarch in order to revitalize one of our central nations sounds like just the right thing.

Is the entirety of Season 9 about Taldor and the upcoming War for the Crown? Far from it, but we will have several scenarios that tell a big Sovereign Court faction story and contribute to this Adventure Path.

Pathfinder Society Adventure Card Guild

There are more stories we have in reserve than we have scenario slots to give them, and last year we tried something a little new with the Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild: we began tying its story into that of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild and cementing the PCs' role as Pathfinders. For those of you interested in the ongoing Scarab Sages narrative and drama with the Aspis Consortium, I encourage you to play Season 3: Season of Plundered Tombs.

For the first time, we have a shared season name between these two campaigns, so Season 4 is the Season of Factions' Favor. Here we'll show another side of one of the ongoing plot threads, giving players an opportunity to travel to rarely visited regions in order to thwart an infamous, recurring villain who threatens to cast the Inner Sea region into chaos. So when several upcoming Roleplaying Guild scenarios reference the behind-the-scenes efforts of another group of Pathfinders, remember that you can experience those stories with the Adventure Card Guild.

We're launching the Season of Factions' Favor at Gen Con in August!

John Compton
Organized Play Lead Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Adventure Card Guild Giorgio Baroni Organized Play Pathfinder Society Year of Factions Favor
1 to 50 of 58 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Sovereign Court ***** Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—High Point aka Kyrand

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This may be the most excited I've ever been about an upcoming season. It's gonna be soooo good!

**

2 people marked this as a favorite.
John Compton wrote:
including a new higher-than-1st-level replayable adventure.

Glad to hear the experiment was successful (or at least continues).

Also hoping for some more touch-stones back to Shadow & Lantern Lodges, given the theme of the Season...

Liberty's Edge *****

5 people marked this as a favorite.

The torch and pitchfork mob in front of colson maldris' abode will begin in 3...2..1.....

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

Huzzah!

Sovereign Court *

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I. Am. Ready.

Scarab Sages **

This new Season sounds great!

Now... not to be "that guy", when can we get an Additional Resources update to include the new hardcover that specifically deals with different factions and organizations of Golarion? A hardcover that includes the Pathfinder Society.

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

10 people marked this as a favorite.
Craig Logan 597 wrote:

This new Season sounds great!

Now... not to be "that guy", when can we get an Additional Resources update to include the new hardcover that specifically deals with different factions and organizations of Golarion? A hardcover that includes the Pathfinder Society.

We have the Adventurer's Guide information ready and are adding a few other resources before posting it. This is definitely something we're pushing toward as we assemble the huge number of scenarios that launch at Gen Con.

Scarab Sages **

John Compton wrote:
Craig Logan 597 wrote:

This new Season sounds great!

Now... not to be "that guy", when can we get an Additional Resources update to include the new hardcover that specifically deals with different factions and organizations of Golarion? A hardcover that includes the Pathfinder Society.

We have the Adventurer's Guide information ready and are adding a few other resources before posting it. This is definitely something we're pushing toward as we assemble the huge number of scenarios that launch at Gen Con.

I honestly wasn't expecting a reply but thanks for the update!

Scarab Sages **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This season definitely has me conflicted. On the one hand I love the cross-product collaboration as I am a fan of all three lines involved in the story. I also love that the Factions are going to play more of a role and love that aspect of the season's theme. However, try as I might I just can't bring myself to care about Taldor. Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks. It kind of seems like the Alderaan of Pathfinder only we haven't been fortunate enough to have someone obliterate it yet. "My Kingdom for a Deathstar!" Is it too much to hope for a renewed(and successful!) military campaign by Qadira? After all what better time for them to strike than a moment when their government is already in upheaval? The Qadiran satrap needs to man up, and strike while the opportunity presents itself.

Sovereign Court ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I expect this season will change your mind about the Glorious Empire. The Princess shall take the throne, and her might will be restored.

Liberty's Edge

I sure the heck hope not. Though, I hope Mom and Dad are okay. I should probably write just to make sure they are. Stupid political BS!

Scarab Sages **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
KingOfAnything wrote:
I expect this season will change your mind about the Glorious Empire. The Princess shall take the throne, and her might will be restored.

This outcome would likely only make me hate them more. So they get a ruler who leads them back to glory... how is that supposed to make a nation of pompous jerks more likable? Seems much more likely to further inflate their egos, and make them even more insufferable... is that even possible? Dear God I hope not.

*

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

Since I have at least one character in every faction, I look forward to this. I'm really interested in the idea of Faction goals with actual weight to them. I'm really interested in seeing a story that actually focuses on my faction.

Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

TimD wrote:
John Compton wrote:
including a new higher-than-1st-level replayable adventure.

Glad to hear the experiment was successful (or at least continues).

Also hoping for some more touch-stones back to Shadow & Lantern Lodges, given the theme of the Season...

Ooohhh, lookimg forward to this one!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Zach Davis wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I expect this season will change your mind about the Glorious Empire. The Princess shall take the throne, and her might will be restored.
This outcome would likely only make me hate them more. So they get a ruler who leads them back to glory... how is that supposed to make a nation of pompous jerks more likable? Seems much more likely to further inflate their egos, and make them even more insufferable... is that even possible? Dear God I hope not.

Um, or they could get rid of some of the pompous jerks along the way?

(Going off of the synopsis of Crownfall we're getting rid of a LOT of them right from the get go)

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

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Zach Davis wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I expect this season will change your mind about the Glorious Empire. The Princess shall take the throne, and her might will be restored.
This outcome would likely only make me hate them more. So they get a ruler who leads them back to glory... how is that supposed to make a nation of pompous jerks more likable? Seems much more likely to further inflate their egos, and make them even more insufferable... is that even possible? Dear God I hope not.

I think the new nation book about Taldor might shift your views. Paizo's nation books have so far been pretty awesome. They tend to add a lot more depth to a country than the oneliner stereotypes you'd get from a quick reading of the ISWG.

Dark Archive ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—St. Louis

I am looking forward to seeing the factions take center stage this season. Having a whole, separate piece of the season storyline being told via the Adventure Card Guild scenarios is a really cool idea. I can hardly wait to see what is in store this season/year of Factions' Favor!

Scarab Sages **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:
KingOfAnything wrote:
I expect this season will change your mind about the Glorious Empire. The Princess shall take the throne, and her might will be restored.
This outcome would likely only make me hate them more. So they get a ruler who leads them back to glory... how is that supposed to make a nation of pompous jerks more likable? Seems much more likely to further inflate their egos, and make them even more insufferable... is that even possible? Dear God I hope not.
I think the new nation book about Taldor might shift your views. Paizo's nation books have so far been pretty awesome. They tend to add a lot more depth to a country than the oneliner stereotypes you'd get from a quick reading of the ISWG.

That is true. The campaign setting books have done a pretty awesome job. The new Taldor book could provide a new perspective.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Zach Davis wrote:
Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks...

That seems a bit harsh on the peasant farmer who make up most of the populous.

As a Brit, I don't really wanted to be judged on my country's elite rulers. I imagine some Americans might feel the same...

Also, pomposity is a bluff, right? Hiding the faded glory.

Scarab Sages **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:
Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks...

That seems a bit harsh on the peasant farmer who make up most of the populous.

As a Brit, I don't really wanted to be judged on my country's elite rulers. I imagine some Americans might feel the same...

Also, pomposity is a bluff, right? Hiding the faded glory.

Sure I get that, but the peasant farmers aren't represented in any of the scenarios or campaign lore I've read. In my experience the entirety of Taldor has been represented by the jerks, and I don't really care if the pompous attitude is a facade its still the persona that's put forth. Also, we're not talking about judging the individual citizens of a real country here. Just my lack of enthusiasm for a fictional setting that hasn't been portrayed in a good light in my experience. Hopefully the new campaign setting for Taldor will change that as Lau hinted at.

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

The new logo looks pretty amazing, tempted to build it as a shield.

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

Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
The new logo looks pretty amazing, tempted to build it as a shield.

Are we due for a new slew of Captain Andoran/Captain PFS shield-brawlers?

Silver Crusade *

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Zarta's delectable flesh puppet reporting for duty!! ;)

*

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I didn't see any tickets for the ACG Season of Factions' Favor in the Gen Con event database. Will those be added?

Silver Crusade ***** Venture-Captain, Germany—Aschaffenburg-Würzburg

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
The new logo looks pretty amazing, tempted to build it as a shield.
Are we due for a new slew of Captain Andoran/Captain PFS shield-brawlers?

Ask me again once the additional resources update is out ^^ there is something in there that could work for that concept ^^

Grand Lodge **** Venture-Captain, Online aka Hmm

1 person marked this as a favorite.

A chance for political manouevering and intrigue?

Rubs hands together, cackling madly.

Hmm

**

Zach Davis wrote:
Sure I get that, but the peasant farmers aren't represented in any of the scenarios or campaign lore I've read. In my experience the entirety of Taldor has been represented by the jerks, and I don't really care if the pompous attitude is a facade its still the persona that's put forth. Also, we're not talking about judging the individual citizens of a real country here. Just my lack of enthusiasm for a fictional setting that hasn't been portrayed in a good light in my experience. Hopefully the new campaign setting for Taldor will change that as Lau hinted at.

Library of the Lion and Honors Echo do a good job of representing that while yes the higher ups are jerks most of the population is normal.

Edit
Lady Morillia is pretty dam cool too. She doesn't care at all about the inane Taldan politics.

Liberty's Edge

MadScientistWorking wrote:


Lady Morillia is pretty dam cool too. She doesn't care at all about the inane Taldan politics.

...so she says. She's Taldan. Politics and finagling are in the blood.

Dark Archive ****

But when will the glorious nation of Cheliax rise again? Political warfare? Well, that sounds like a destabilized nation that we need to go in and "assist". We will go grab a few legions of devil's and the like and ride into this Taldor place and get it right as rain.

Silver Crusade ***

Lau Bannenberg wrote:
Sebastian Hirsch wrote:
The new logo looks pretty amazing, tempted to build it as a shield.
Are we due for a new slew of Captain Andoran/Captain PFS shield-brawlers?

Maybe even Captain Taldor, if the country ends up being more likeable after the changes.

Shadow Lodge *****

Rae Alain Paight wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:


Lady Morillia is pretty dam cool too. She doesn't care at all about the inane Taldan politics.
...so she says. She's Taldan. Politics and finagling are in the blood.

thats the "substitute almond bitterness enhancer" they added to the tea.

Grand Lodge **

I just hope they re-introduce faction specific uses for PP. I liked those little bonus you could get that didn't require your character to play very specific mods to meet less than common goals or have spent a specific number of skill points that many of my characters simply cannot spare.

For example my Ratfolk Alchemist in attitude is a member of the Exchange, but his actual build would find it much, much, easier to complete the Grand Lodge goals.

My Season 7 Warpriest simply didn't have the skill points to spare complete a Silver Crusade goal, and she has never run into a Evil Outsider that weren't traveling in large groups, or run into any evil divine caster without so many mooks their CR was too low to qualify.

**

You don't need to have any ranks in those skills. It's one prestige to cross them off.

Sovereign Court ****

Quinnell. Alistair Quinnell. In the service of Lady Gloriana Morilla.

Paizo Employee ***** Pathfinder Society Lead Developer

9 people marked this as a favorite.
Zach Davis wrote:
This season definitely has me conflicted. On the one hand I love the cross-product collaboration as I am a fan of all three lines involved in the story. I also love that the Factions are going to play more of a role and love that aspect of the season's theme. However, try as I might I just can't bring myself to care about Taldor. Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks. It kind of seems like the Alderaan of Pathfinder only we haven't been fortunate enough to have someone obliterate it yet. "My Kingdom for a Deathstar!" Is it too much to hope for a renewed(and successful!) military campaign by Qadira? After all what better time for them to strike than a moment when their government is already in upheaval? The Qadiran satrap needs to man up, and strike while the opportunity presents itself.

Fun fact: As a player I had little love for the Taldor faction. Several of my characters openly ridiculed the nation (and faction), and I had few compunctions against needling my pro-Taldor friends for siding with "Sir Fetch-Me-A-Tea-Set" and not being part of a cooler faction like Qadira.

This bias subsided when I became a venture-lieutenant, and it had basically disappeared once I started work at Paizo. By then, I didn't want to kick an empire while it was down so much as to find the kernels of awesomeness and bring them to the forefront. It's always amazed me how much my view of the Taldor faction and its spiritual successor Sovereign Court has reversed—first when the faction assembled a new self-declared Army of Exploration; later when the faction became a clandestine operation to lay low the most undeserving rears filling the thrones while supporting the best that nobility has to offer; and now, as the faction is on the cusp of instigating an awesome and long overdue change in its "parent" country—consistently providing some of my favorite stories over the past four years.

I wouldn't assume that the worst nobles will survive the experience.

I certainly wouldn't assume that a matrilineal society like Qadira needs to "man up."

But turn that phrase around? Yeah, I think Taldor's overdue to buckle up, "woman up," and get ready for some amazing adventures.

Shadow Lodge *****

i haven't been playing taldans, but on the other hand i don't recall their metaplot come up in years, since library of the lion pretty much.

**

BigNorseWolf wrote:

i haven't been playing taldans, but on the other hand i don't recall their metaplot come up in years, since library of the lion pretty much.

The last time Taldor came up Euphemia was getting ready to start a revolt by pointing out how corrupt and pathetic the government was. There is a pretty good boon in that scenario flavor wise which I should get if I ever decide to play a noble.

EDIT:
I do need to figure out what actually happens time wise. Because I've never played the scenario where Morillia is introduced.

Sovereign Court *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

What scenario is that, MadScientist? I'm always looking for more cool Taldan adventures (especially on the approach to Season 9).

**

Kalindlara wrote:
What scenario is that, MadScientist? I'm always looking for more cool Taldan adventures (especially on the approach to Season 9).

I mentioned it earlier but its Honor's Echo. It is despite the few minor problems I have a pretty enjoyable quest line and does involve political maneuvering involved with season 9.

EDIT:
I apologize. I forgot that scenarios and quests are two different things. Still its worth playing especially since its free.

**** Venture-Agent, Tennessee—Chattanooga aka ZenithTN

Icon Illustration by Giorgio Baroni... Function first! I'm never the first to praise form, however, that's a !fine! looking coin.

In the coming year, Pathfinders have an opportunity to redeem souls [meh],

avert an invasion [Averting it is a delay. Defeating it is decisive. Most of my characters would rather participate in quashing it, than avert it.],

uncover hidden secrets below an infamous museum [Has potential],

and vanquish an ageless evil poised to take control of the region's greatest minds [Right after my ioun stone transforms to squishy foam suitable only for elementary school dodge ball? Isn't that convenient.]

...

and decide whether the ends justify the means in the pursuit of justice. [You're just being silly now. We're mercenaries in the employ of Pathfinder Corp.]

On top of this there are tombs to unseal [Good. I like this brand of adventure. It wasn't smart to bury the good stuff anyway.],

artifacts to recover [Most of my characters are becoming unimpressed with fetch & carry quests. All too often they don't get to personally, tangibly, benefit from the McGuffin, VCs don't thoroughly vet the mission, and the story is preordained anyway. There have been exceptions.],

and countless other adventures [Hyperbole. They can be counted.] that await ...

TimD wrote:
John Compton wrote:
including a new higher-than-1st-level replayable adventure.
Glad to hear the experiment was successful (or at least continues).

Agreed. This news had the highest potential of all the ambiguous teasing to come out of this commercial.

Can we expect new faction cards? If not, why? If so, when?

The Exchange ***** Venture-Agent, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

I specifically crafted my new "cleric" of Aroden, Relic Channeler medium to be a "Redeemer" of the once great Aroden-favored nation of Taldor.

Lo and behold that the next season would feature big changes for Taldor!

Also I agree that that token is legit. Tempting me to buy a T shirt with the year logo for the first time

Scarab Sages **

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
John Compton wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:
This season definitely has me conflicted. On the one hand I love the cross-product collaboration as I am a fan of all three lines involved in the story. I also love that the Factions are going to play more of a role and love that aspect of the season's theme. However, try as I might I just can't bring myself to care about Taldor. Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks. It kind of seems like the Alderaan of Pathfinder only we haven't been fortunate enough to have someone obliterate it yet. "My Kingdom for a Deathstar!" Is it too much to hope for a renewed(and successful!) military campaign by Qadira? After all what better time for them to strike than a moment when their government is already in upheaval? The Qadiran satrap needs to man up, and strike while the opportunity presents itself.

Fun fact: As a player I had little love for the Taldor faction. Several of my characters openly ridiculed the nation (and faction), and I had few compunctions against needling my pro-Taldor friends for siding with "Sir Fetch-Me-A-Tea-Set" and not being part of a cooler faction like Qadira.

This bias subsided when I became a venture-lieutenant, and it had basically disappeared once I started work at Paizo. By then, I didn't want to kick an empire while it was down so much as to find the kernels of awesomeness and bring them to the forefront. It's always amazed me how much my view of the Taldor faction and its spiritual successor Sovereign Court has reversed—first when the faction assembled a new self-declared Army of Exploration; later when the faction became a clandestine operation to lay low the most undeserving rears filling the thrones while supporting the best that nobility has to offer; and now, as the faction is on the cusp of instigating an awesome and long overdue change in its "parent" country—consistently providing some of my favorite stories over the past four years....

I think its awesome that as the developer for PFS you are trying to create those "kernels of awesomeness," and think it would be great if my own viewpoint were to change. I fully intend to pick up the campaign guide for Taldor, and see where season 9 takes us. The Sovereign Court certainly piqued my interest when the transition first happened. Here's hoping it finally comes into its own. Despite your objection to my phrasing I still feel that a serious opportunity is being missed if the satrap of Qadira who is described as craving war with Taldor in the ISWG lets this opportunity pass him by. Sure his Generals might not give him the war he really wants, but he can still task the Peerless with manipulating events on his behalf. I'd be very disappointed if he sat and did nothing through the entire affair. I would just ask that you continue to build on the greatness of the already awesome Factions and nations while you endeavor to redeem Taldor.

Grand Lodge **

Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Return of Torch & the Shadow Lodge and the Scarnzi faction? Wazzabout making the Technic League a more prominent rival faction?

Sovereign Court ***

"I still get to keep my Baron title, right?" the little grey gnome from Taldor looks around nervously.

*

Decide whether the ends justfy the means...?

Excellent! I have a 1xp character that had an alignment shift in his first scenario a couple weeks ago for this and now I can explore the rammifications in the new season? I say again, excellent!

Shadow Lodge ****

John Compton wrote:
Zach Davis wrote:
This season definitely has me conflicted. On the one hand I love the cross-product collaboration as I am a fan of all three lines involved in the story. I also love that the Factions are going to play more of a role and love that aspect of the season's theme. However, try as I might I just can't bring myself to care about Taldor. Yeah its a central nation in the Inner Sea region, plays a huge role politically and historically, but it kind of seems like a nation of pompous jerks. It kind of seems like the Alderaan of Pathfinder only we haven't been fortunate enough to have someone obliterate it yet. "My Kingdom for a Deathstar!" Is it too much to hope for a renewed(and successful!) military campaign by Qadira? After all what better time for them to strike than a moment when their government is already in upheaval? The Qadiran satrap needs to man up, and strike while the opportunity presents itself.

Fun fact: As a player I had little love for the Taldor faction. Several of my characters openly ridiculed the nation (and faction), and I had few compunctions against needling my pro-Taldor friends for siding with "Sir Fetch-Me-A-Tea-Set" and not being part of a cooler faction like Qadira.

This bias subsided when I became a venture-lieutenant, and it had basically disappeared once I started work at Paizo. By then, I didn't want to kick an empire while it was down so much as to find the kernels of awesomeness and bring them to the forefront. It's always amazed me how much my view of the Taldor faction and its spiritual successor Sovereign Court has reversed—first when the faction assembled a new self-declared Army of Exploration; later when the faction became a clandestine operation to lay low the most undeserving rears filling the thrones while supporting the best that nobility has to offer; and now, as the faction is on the cusp of instigating an awesome and long overdue change in its "parent" country—consistently providing some of my favorite stories over the past four years....

I'm very leery about this, on multiple levels, really.

Ultimate Intrigue was written with an underlying goal of trying to take away player defenses and tactics for "the good of the story", and I view that is the worst kind of DMing or Storytelling mentality. Players play certain classes, make certain choices, and invest into things for reasons, and when the DM, (very arbitrarily) denies them benefiting from those options, for the sake of their story that is not fun or interesting, and it erodes the trust that players should have with their DMs.

I really hate the direction, the smell on the wind of what is coming for Taldor. Talk about "bringing the nation into the modern era" sounds like the goal is to remove all of the cool, interesting, unique, or eccentric aspects that make that nation interesting, and that Paizo is going to focus on completely changing Taldor rather than focus on what makes it special.

John Compton wrote:

I certainly wouldn't assume that a matrilineal society like Qadira needs to "man up."

But turn that phrase around? Yeah, I think Taldor's overdue to buckle up, "woman up," and get ready for some amazing adventures.

No offense, but this is condescending as hell.

I'm also a little leery that it seems like about half the Factions have already had plenty of spotlight, while others really have had little to none. Even the blog seems to reinforce that those Factions that already have a good amount of screen time to be awesome and do stuff will simply be getting more, (Sovereign Court for instance), while others will maybe get thrown a bone in another one-off or two. I'm sort of the opposite, I really enjoyed the Taldor Faction, and essentially lost more and more interest with the Sovereign Court, whose only real function seemed to be damage control for a pretty overall evil, self-serving secret dictatorship.

Overall, the take away I get, and I understand this is only a brief preview and not the finish product, is that it's going to ramp up the Factions are a personal thing and not really do anything at all for those that want the Factions to "matter".

Sovereign Court ***

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
DM Beckett wrote:

I'm very leery about this, on multiple levels, really.

Ultimate Intrigue was written with an underlying goal of trying to take away player defenses and tactics for "the good of the story", and I view that is the worst kind of DMing or Storytelling mentality. Players play certain classes, make certain choices, and invest into things for reasons, and when the DM, (very arbitrarily) denies them benefiting from those options, for the sake of their story that is not fun or interesting, and it erodes the trust that players should have with their DMs.

I really hate the direction, the smell on the wind of what is coming for Taldor. Talk about "bringing the nation into the modern era" sounds like the goal is to remove all of the cool, interesting, unique, or eccentric aspects that make that nation interesting, and that Paizo is going to focus on completely changing Taldor rather than focus on what makes it special.

I must strongly disagree with your whole assessment. Ultimate Intrigue opens a whole slew of play options that were not previously possible in the game system. Intrigue games aren't fun if there is no class/option support. Ultimate Intrigue added a bunch of those options to enable a new way to play. If that style isn't your cup of tea, suit yourself. But don't cast aspersions on options that others will use to much enjoyment.

As for Taldor, improvement doesn't mean all the flaws go away.

Quote:
John Compton wrote:

I certainly wouldn't assume that a matrilineal society like Qadira needs to "man up."

But turn that phrase around? Yeah, I think Taldor's overdue to buckle up, "woman up," and get ready for some amazing adventures.

<Offensive comment>

I don't understand what issue you would have with the idea that Taldor needs to get its house in order. Or were you commenting in favor of unnecessarily gendered idioms?

Shadow Lodge *****

2 people marked this as a favorite.
King Of Anything wrote:
I must strongly disagree with your whole assessment. Ultimate Intrigue opens a whole slew of play options that were not previously possible in the game system.

Such as?

None of the feats or character abilities are things that players haven't already been doing since 3.5. Its a regular sense motive check to see if two people know each other but are pretending to be strangers, its just a sleight of hand check to plant items on someone. Putting abilities like that behind a feat or ability wall makes social characters worse, to the point that they can't meet all of their design objectives even IF they give up all of their combat ability (which is a problem in a game with a regular combat component)

Quote:
Intrigue games aren't fun if there is no class/option support.

The class and options need mechanics to work with and build off of and ultimate intrigue doesn't provide that. The game is still the same and very straightforward from a mechanical perspective: have a high bonus and roll high. It's linear.

Quote:
As for Taldor, improvement doesn't mean all the flaws go away.

When golarion started there was a difference between evil and antagonist. They seem to be moving away from that. I don't think I like the change.

Sovereign Court ***

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
King Of Anything wrote:
I must strongly disagree with your whole assessment. Ultimate Intrigue opens a whole slew of play options that were not previously possible in the game system.

Such as?

Verbal Duels are an actually interesting way to resolve social encounters.

Character options for charismatic martial-types that aren't restricted to having a horse or being a holy warrior. Options for characters with pets to keep and use them in social encounters. Options for dealing with secrets/ information brokering.

Sure, some of those things were passable already. But, most are flat and unsatisfying. Fleshing things out so encounters are meaningful and resolve with more than "the bard rolls Diplomacy" is a meaningful enhancement to the game.

Shadow Lodge ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Back in the day, there where a lot of articles written, many by some of the better DMs, writers, and setting creators on good and bad things to do when running a game.

The one that really always stuck out to me was talking about new DMs and having trouble with player characters getting access to class features as they leveled up. In particular they would talk about certain abilities like raise dead or teleport, or divination spells that essentially overcame some of the issues that presented more severe problems to lower level characters.

The tactic that a lot of bad DMs or Storytellers would do is to come up with some arbitrary reason that those abilities simply did not work, or only worked in a limited fashion, or became so costly that it wasn't worth it to use them. So why are those options then even in the game? The DM, all because they lacked the wisdom or creativity to make their story work within the confines of the rules that everyone else was playing within, decided to just throw some things out, not really caring that those are some of the things that players where looking forward too, they decided to simply rob the players of those Class Features.

Instead, a good DM or Storyteller would go out of their way to incorporate those options into the story. Teleportation not only works, but might get the PC's a very noticeable advantage in the situation that they otherwise couldn't have. Raise Dead not only allows a character to come back and join the fight, but they also get to sit up and flip off the BBEG. Divinations, and this is a big one considering the topic, actually work, and allow the PCs to cut through layers of BS and find out the truth right at the start. Why, because those are the options the PC's made for the type of character they wanted to play, and pretending that the story is so good that it trumps anything else is just further proof that it was probably a poor story to begin with.

But Paizo chose to embrace, and outright suggest taking the path about taking away player's options rather than focusing on advice, good advice about how a DM could both use those abilities and reward the players for investing into them. That is why I really dislike products like Ultimate Intrigue, but also ones like Horror Adventures. They teach people to be bad DMs rather than good ones. They advocate taking away or ignoring player options just so that "the story" can work rather than looking through and finding better ways for the story to work without DM Fiat. They promote a DM vs Player attitude rather than Player and DM.

Here is a really good example.

Detect the Faithful is a divine spell whose only real function was to allow for persecuted individuals in hostile areas to find true members of their faith and avoid individuals that where spies or trying to harm members of the faith.

Ultimate Intrigue reprinted that spell, but added in the line "Furthermore, since the spell picks up a creature’s current beliefs and feelings, a creature actively pretending to be a member of the same faith also appears to the spell to be a member." This basically makes the spell outright useless, especially for a true follower that is attempting to see if they person that is trying to help them is actually a secretive follower of their own faith or simply part of the exact hostile faction that they are trying to avoid.

How is that fun for anyone except for an antagonistic DM? Why would anyone, ever use this spell? And so, why is this even an option then, other than because the book is suggesting that it's a good thing for DMs and ST to take this sort of DM style and use it.

In fact, most of the spells and options in Ultimate Intrigue are just there to escalate the game, introducing an option that negates something else, like a Classes Immunity to ______, and then another option that allows that first option to maybe work. I'm sorry, these where terrible for the game and terrible advice for people that want to run games that play within the theme.

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