Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide (PFRPG) (based on
Paizo Publishing, LLC
The Pathfinder Society is an eccentric organization of adventurers, explorers, and scholars with agents spread across Golarion and beyond. While members are expected to be fairly self-sufficient, the organization’s leadership knows that those equipped with the knowledge and gear to face the challenges of the job are most likely to survive to bring back priceless treasures and to fill the Pathfinder Chronicles with tales of their daring exploits.
The Pathfinder Society Field Guide breaks down what it means to be a Pathfinder and gives players and GMs tools to build characters and campaigns around the illustrious organization. In addition, all content within this book is 100% legal for use in the world-spanning Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.
Within this 64-page book, Pathfinders will find:
An overview of Absalom, City at the Center of the World, where the Pathfinder Society keeps its headquarters
Details on 10 factions within the Pathfinder Society, and the benefits available to those agents loyal to each
New archetypes for Pathfinders of all three branches of the organization: the Scrolls, the Spells, and the Swords
A complete field guide covering threats to Pathfinder agents, as well as suggestions on building PCs prepared to face them
Rules for day jobs and professions, property, followers, and other ways to customize your character
A system for turning characters’ fame and prestige into valuable in-game rewards
Dozens of new spells, magic items, specialized adventuring tools, and more!
The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.
by Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Russ Taylor, and Larry Wilhelm
This is the first book that I purchased from Paizo, on the advice of my local VC. While I can understand that this book would be "old hat" to some veterans of the game, it gave me a quick insight as to what PFS play was all about.
Probably the best part of the book for me was the section on factions, how to play a Pathfinder from that faction and what the possible Prestige awards were. I will definitely be going after a few of these with my characters.
The illustrations were great, as I have seen in several of the products.
The only information in this guide that's of any use at all is already in the free Guide to Society Play (e.g., info on prestige points and what they buy, info on the different factions, etc.) I can't think of the last time I've been so disappointed in losing $14.
The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is a good introduction to the Pathfinder Society as an organization and certain elements of Organized Play. There is some good information on ranks within the Pathfinder Society and the branches represented within. Unfortunately the book seems to be targeting too many audiences between the Pathfinder Organized Play aspect and the Pathfinder Society as a part of Golarion giving it a disjointed feel. Likely useful to someone brand new to the Pathfinder Society, it is less so for someone who has been reading about Golarion already and considers themselves comfortable with the world and the Society.
Just bought my hardcopy of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide at Millennium Games in Rochester, NY.
Mostly, this is a good book for:
People playing in PFS
People playing Pathfinders
people playing in Absalom
And the sizable field guide chapter, although an amusing read, is suitable for:
People who don't know what to expect from written adventures and APs.
Since none of the above bullet points describe me, you might think I was disappointed with the purchase. Oh, my, no.
The equipment chapter is good, offering kits which I regard quite highly. A "Campsite Kit" and a "Deluxe Campsite kit" are unfortunate omissions, however, we might yet see them in Ultimate Equipment *nudge nudge*
But oh! The Vanities section. That's why I chose to post in this thread. The vanities section shows me that some really competent, campaign-focused design is continuing, bit by bit, in the various campaign setting products.
These vanities expand on the role of prestige points with organizations, but now they also let own businesses, and acquire followers. I would love to see these kind of rules brought into the core in the next edition. The ability to acquire followers outside the framework of the Leadership feat does much to assuage my (bitter, long-held) issues with that feat as a GM.
The rest of the Vanities are awesome too. I would like to request that the Campaign setting products continue to expand in this direction. Give us rules for acquiring prestige with multiple organizations (already possible I think), continue to "fix" rules like Leadership (PP followers), the craft, perform and profession skills (day jobs), and the complexity of gear management and purchasing.
These things should make their way to the core design, eventually. I could see a general (non-organizational) prestige system replacing a number of problematic aspects of the core rules.
Campaign Setting Line, you are the dark horse of Pathfinder game design, and you don't get nearly the attention you deserve.
Welcome to the Pathfinder Society These two pages give a basic background of Pathfinder Society for Organized play and reprint Day Job and Prestige And Fame rules from the free Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.
2/5: Most of the information is available free in the Guild to PFSOP.
Absalom Eight pages describe the various quarters of Absalom. The material in this section feels like it’s stuff Paizo couldn’t fit in the Guide to Absalom. The included city map is the same art as in Guide to Absalom recolored and with better labeling.
3/5: Good material but it feels out of place.
Factions Twelve pages describe ten factions within the Pathfinder Society. Included with each faction are several boon that can be purchased with prestige points. These range from titles, to skill bonuses, to equipment. Though some of this material is essentially what's available in the free Guide to PSOP,it is still one of my favorite sections of the book.
4/5: Some repeated information in the free Guide to PFSOP but lots of new good stuff.
Pathfinder Society Archetypes As the name implies, these eight pages detail six archetypes. Scroll Scholar (Cleric or Wizard), Scroll Scoundrel (Rogue), Dimensional Occultist (Witch), Seeker (Oracle or Sorcerer), Grenadier (Alchemist) and Lore Warden (Fighter). My favorite is the Lore Warden which I think is really well thought out. I only wish they would have had more Archetypes for ‘outdoor’ classes (Barbarian, Druid and Ranger).
5/5: Good archetypes.
Field Guide Here we have fourteen pages describing some of the various roles a Pathfinder can take. These include Ambush Specialist, Cultist, Environmental Dangers and Getting Stuck. This section is all fluff, no rules, feats, or traits.
3/5: While not bad, this section didn’t really spark my interest.
Society Resources: Eighteen pages filled with gear, magic items, spells and vanities. This is my favorite section. Adventuring Kits are introduced, “bundles of equipment organized around common adventuring goal” … and include a small discount. Five new Wayfinders. There is no reference to ioun stones use in these Wayfinders as was described in Seeker of Secrets. The last four pages describe Vanities, boons that can be purchased with Prestige Points. You can purchase a business that gives you bonuses to certain skills while in the city where your business is, and providing a bonus to day job rolls. You can join an organization that allows you to use various additional skills to use on day job rolls such as Survival, Sleight of Hand and Intimidate.
5/5: I think most people will find a lot to use from this section.
The last page is an ad for Pathfinder Society Organized Play and the inside back cover is a clean piece of art of the cover.
Overall 22/30 = 4/5 stars. Though some parts feel out of place and material that is free on the web is included, overall I like this book.