Every campaign has organizations that pull the secret strings of the world, toppling monarchs or leading revolutionaries toward freedom and war. These secret societies, bardic colleges, wizard academies, military orders, and religious cults capture the imagination—and now your PCs can join Golarion’s own movers and shakers with the Pathfinder Chronicles Faction Guide. This book presents a new and detailed rules system for PCs who throw in their lot with one or more of these groups, as well as the responsibilities—and rewards—that membership entails. With membership in a faction, PCs gain a whole new reason to adventure, as well as countless roleplaying opportunities in any sort of campaign, from dungeon crawl to courtly intrigue.
In addition to new goals and motives, membership in a faction comes with tangible in-game benefits. Gain enough of a reputation with the Hellknights, and a PC can become a fearsome lictor, complete with Hellknight minions. Gain prestige with the Pathfinder Society, and a PC adventurer can get his foot in the door to become a venture-captain. Everything your players need to infiltrate the halls of power is right here.
Inside this 64-page book, you’ll find:
Rules on how to gain prestige with various factions and how to use it to secure items, boons, and allies.
Twenty-four sample factions and the specific benefits of joining them—these factions include the fearsome Red Mantis assassins, the notorious Whispering Way, the righteous Eagle Knights of Andoran, the demon-hunting Mendev Crusaders, the calculating Prophets of Kalistrade, and the blasphemous Church of Razmir.
Standard rewards available through every faction, such as helpful spells, expert hirelings, and access to specific magic items and equipment.
New feats, spells, magic items, and traits for all factions.
This book is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder Chronicles campaign setting but fits easily into any fantasy game world.
This book has some great information for giving you some snapshot information of various power groups in the campaign setting, without getting too in depth, so that players can get a taste for them.
The faction point system seems to work well, and is pretty much the same one that is in effect in PFS organized play.
My biggest concern is that too many factions in the guide have rewards that have to do with granting followers, which can be a pain for a GM that doesn't quite know what to do with those extra bodies, especially when some of them are implied to being active participants in adventures (like bodyguards) instead of just non-combatants for roleplaying purposes (which some of them are).
Few Suppliments challenge a player to think of their characters motivations more than this one. Nationality, ethnic origin, race, all shape us, but what we choose to join, that defines us. This is a great piece of work.
I love the Faction Guide because it has 24 factions that hve different flavors. They endulge your players to add that flavor to their characters. Like the Kusari-Gama be all the monk that you can be and some more! and you get rewards! Players must love this. I think it should be a for both DM and PC.
For me? a must have to spice up a character.
I really enjoy the way the new rules can be included or not; the non overbearing nature of the new mechanics is a nice addition. If i wanted I could use the book without the mechanics and that makes my day. If a dm wants to add something to tie his players better to the world this book does that.
The moment "Faction Guide" appeared on the radar I kinda burned in my mind an image of a book with extended writeups on 6-10 major factions. And I was thinking, what's the point ? Pathfinders get their own book, Hellknights have 2 AP articles, Red Mantis were covered in parts as well, there's going to be a hell of overlap and not enough space for more obscure/new factions. I was entering the "meh" zone until I got the PDF.
I am surprised. In a very good way ! The affiliation system from 3.5 PHB2 always struck me as a great idea with not enough development. What Paizo did is they took the PFS mechanics and applied them to over 20 factions, including several that I never heard of before. That's cool and smart, marrying existing mechanics with new application. Finally I have carrots to incite my players to join organizations.
My only quibble with the book is that as a Chronicles book it is labeled as a GM book, while it really is a player book.