About Pathfinder Society Organized Play
In an organized play campaign, your character exists in a common setting shared by thousands of other gamers from around the world. In each Pathfinder Society game, your character experiences adventures in two different ways. The first is a short, one-sitting adventure (or "scenario") that is a single episode in a continuing story and generally lasts four to five hours. The second is a longer, multi-session adventure (or "module") that is a single adventure but can take anywhere from eight to twelve hours to play.
You can take your character to any public Pathfinder Society event anywhere in the world, and while the Game Master and your companions might change every time you play, your character advances as normal. Over time, campaigning in an organized play environment offers a uniquely immersive experience, as your diverse companions add depth and character to the campaign world. It's also a great way to get in touch with other local gamers, meet new people, and play regularly without all the prep work and scheduling of a traditional campaign. Your local regional coordinator (also called a Venture-Captain or Venture-Lieutenant) can assist you in finding or setting up your own Pathfinder Society event.
Alternatively, some players prefer to keep their Pathfinder Society experience limited to a familiar group of friends, using the Pathfinder Society character creation rules, adventure scenarios, and reward structure as the framework for a private campaign. Either approach is a valid way to experience the campaign, and many players enjoy a combination of public and private adventuring.
Because Organized Play takes place in a shared-world environment, additional rules are required to ensure that all players at all tables share a similar experience, no matter who is running the game. The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play outlines these special rules, ensuring a level playing field for all. Please read over the contents of this guide carefully.
How do I get started?
All Pathfinder Society players must register themselves and their characters online. When you register on the My Pathfinder Society page, you'll receive an official Pathfinder Society Number. Keep your Pathfinder Society Number handy and bring it with you to every Pathfinder Society event you attend. Paizo uses this number to record the adventures your character has completed and the prestige she has gained. Each character you create has a unique number appended to your Pathfinder Society Number, so if your number is 10222, the second character you create will be 10222–2.
If you're beginning your Pathfinder Society experience at a public convention or game store event, your event coordinator will provide a temporary card with a Pathfinder Society Number and confirmation code on it. You can use this card until you get a chance to register your character. When you register your character, enter this number and the confirmation code, and your early adventures will be automatically linked to your new official record.
If you don't have time to create a new character or simply wish to try out a new character class, you may choose to use one of several level-appropriate pregenerated characters available or from your local event coordinator. If you play a 1st-level pregenerated character, you can apply the credit for her first adventure to a newly created character of your very own.
Where can I play?
Once you've got a Pathfinder Society Number and have created your character, you're ready to play your first Pathfinder Society scenario or module! The easiest way to find a local game is to visit the Events page. From there, you can search by zip code and radius of travel to find events that have been registered in your area. You can also use the Event listings to look at a list of all regional upcoming events.
You can also visit local game stores to see if they have an active Pathfinder Society group associated with their store. Gaming, comic book, and science fiction conventions often attract gamers, and are good places to get a game going. Many conventions have specific gaming programming that might include Pathfinder Society. You can also find local gamers on the Pathfinder Society Grand Lodge and Gamer Connection messageboards.
Another place to play Pathfinder Society events is online. Allowed formats include play-by-post, chat-based games, digital tabletops, and webcam-enhanced "face-to-face" gaming. So long as the Game Master has a way of distributing all of the appropriate paperwork (by fax, scan, or otherwise), any form of legitimate online play is allowed and encouraged.
If you simply cannot find an existing Pathfinder Society event, contact your regional coordinator. If you do not have a regional coordinator in your area, you may need to start up an event of your own. Visit the Get Involved! page to learn more about how to set up your new event and spread the word to attract interested local gamers.
Where do I find out more about the campaign?
To learn more about the world of Golarion, whether it be continents or nations, friendly and warring groups, or just a general history of the campaign setting, check out these Pathfinder Society related products.
Additionally, your character belongs to a faction (pregenerated characters are assumed to belong to the Grand Lodge faction). Each time you play a Pathfinder Society adventure, your faction leader will give you a specific side mission related to your faction's season-long goals. Completion of these missions influences the overall storyline of the Pathfinder Society campaign, and grants your character access to special boons and advantages. You can learn more about the factions here.