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I am totally and utterly confused...


Roleplaying Guild General Discussion


I a currently involved in the PbPs under the Online Campaign section of the messageboards.

What is the difference between those PbPs, and the Pathfinder Society?

Admin: Not sure where to put this as I have no clue what this is, so please move to the correct place.

Shadow Lodge ****

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Play by posts is one way of role playing: via message boards.

Pathfinder society organized play is the all official and everything games.

Its possible to play by post in a home brew game (where you're all bunny rabbits or something)

Its possible to play pathfinder society play by post.

And many people play pathfinder society in meatspace/real life, or with virtual table tops in real time (accounting for lag)


Pathfinder Society (PFS) is a system of worldwide organized play directly organized by Paizo, which has its own standardized set of house rules (most notably banning a lot of options including all item crafting), with all player characters in world being members of the in-world guild of the same name. It includes both PbP and face-to-face games (and presumably games hosted on other online services). The PbP section is of various Play-by-Post games. Although PFS games can appear there (denoted by [PFS]), they are numerically in the minority; most PbP games are home games, usually not using the PFS house rules, and with only a small minority of player characters being members of the Pahtfinder Society (although this is more common in certain Adventure Paths that are particularly conducive to it, such as Shattered Star). A few games are not even set on Golarion, and a few are not even using the Pathfinder rules at all (D&D 5th Edition and its world setting crop up occasionally, as do the occasional Modern, SciFi, or Supers game; expect SciFi to get a LOT more common later this year when Starfinder comes out, and expect an accompanying [SFS] or something like that to appear at the same time).

Sczarni *****

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

It does not appear that the original poster is involved in any PFS PbP games.


I'm not, I'm just curious as to what PFS was. In my profile it says I'm a PFS member, because I accidentally filled out the character sheet just to see what would happen.

Does virtual tabletop host pathfinder society?

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

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Welcome to Pathfinder Society Online Play, LegitName! We’d love to have you join us. To answer your question, you can do PFS in either Play-by-Post (PbP), or real-time Virtual Table-Top (VTT).

What is PFS?

Here's the official blurb. Now, for my personal take on PFS: it is an organized play campaign that allows you to take a character anywhere in the world and play it. The adventures are short, fun and varied. The players are remarkably jerk-free and cooperative. You are all members of a Guild of Adventurers that goes on missions all over Golarian. Due to its nature, it's really easy to find games that fit your schedule.

Flutter should be by soon to post a link to his guide for people new to PFS, but I think that your best chance to learn about it is to read the Roleplaying Guild Guide and then play a game.

Looking for PFS VTT Online Play?

If so, start by joining our PFS Online chat here on our dedicated Discord server, and check out the #looking4game channel there:

PFSChat.com

If you want, you can also join the Pathfinder Society Online Collective, where you'll find plenty of games to get you started.

Looking for PFS Play-by-Post?

We have four great lodges!

  • Flaxseed Lodge (main contact: Mike Tuholski (otherwise known as Endless Forms.)

  • Castamir’s Flaxseed Station (Opening for Starfinder Society action after August 17th! Main Contact: Chris Marsh, aka Dungeon Master S.)

  • Mythweavers. (Main contact: Michael Hallet.)

  • RPGgeek PFS Guild. (Main contact: Terence Lin (aka Not2Fear.)

    Or you can contact your friendly local PbP Venture Lieutenant, Hmm -- aka, me.

  • Shadow Lodge ****

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Meatspace map

    The Exchange ****

    4 people marked this as a favorite.
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Play by posts is one way of role playing: via message boards.

    Pathfinder society organized play is the all official and everything games.

    Its possible to play by post in a home brew game (where you're all bunny rabbits or something)

    Its possible to play pathfinder society play by post.

    And many people play pathfinder society in meatspace/real life, or with virtual table tops in real time (accounting for lag)

    oh, wow.

    Now I want to get in a home brew game where we're all bunny rabbits - except maybe for Jack, who insists he's a Hare.

    Setting Idea:
    ...After a cataclysm (Nuclear War?)destroyed all government and society beyond a village scale, plunging the world into a Dark Age, technology is at best quasi-medieval (the crossbow is "the ultimate weapon" for most societies)...

    the Campaign is a chaotic, dangerous environment that little resembles pre-apocalyptic Earth. The weapons unleashed during the Wars were strong enough to alter coastlines, level cities, and leave large areas of land lethally radioactive. These "Magical" weapons bathed the surviving life of Earth in unspecified forms of radiation and biochemical agents, producing widespread, permanent mutations among humans, animals, and plants. As a result, fantastic mutations such as extra limbs, super strength, and psychic powers are relatively common. Many animals and plants are sentient, semi-civilized species competing with surviving humans. Both humans and non-humans have lost most knowledge of the pre-war humans, whom Earths current inhabitants refer to as "the Ancients". The only group with significant knowledge of the Ancients are isolated robots and other artificial intelligences that survived the Wars—though these machines tend to be damaged, in ill-repair, or hostile to organic beings...

    The PCs are an intrepid band of adventurers (Descended from mutated laboratory rabbits), who strive to recapture the ancient golden age when "Giants" ruled the earth... With common names like: Peter, Jack, Easter, and surely "Bugs" ...

    Silver Crusade

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

    Might THIS be of some interest then?


    I'd say "some" interested is a bit of an understatement. Sign me up, should anybody get that going.

    Dark Archive *

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    WHile many of the PbP games here on the paizo forums aren't sanctioned PFS sessions, some are.

    LegitName, Pathfinder Society, or PFS is a short hand term for Pathfinder Society Organized Play. It's the officially sanctioned organized play format. It's intended to let people reliably join a session, and is great for things like conventions or gaming night at the local hobby shop. If you're familiar with D&D's Living Grayhawk, it's basically the same thing.

    All PFS sanctioned sessions are set in the official Pathfinder world setting, and the default assumption is that all player characters are members of the Pathfinder Society. There's many different lodges, which may have conflicting goals and ideologies. And the scenarios explore these ideologies to one extent or another.

    Each scenario is designed to be run in about 3-5 hours or so and are usually self contained adventures. Even when there's several scenarios which are part of an overall story arc each one is generally self contained. The scenarios are then divided into "seasons". These go from Season 0 (original scenarios written when Pathfinder was a world setting for 3.5 D&D) to Season 8 (current season). Most seasons have an overarching story line such as trying to reassemble the Sky Key from season 6, I think. But again, each individual scenario is generally a stand alone adventure.

    PFS character creation is standardized, so there's no table variation in what classes/races are allowed. And other then the CRB, you must actually own a physical copy or watermarked pdf of any given book to use anything within said books. Although there are a LOT of restrictions even if a book is allowed. Always a good idea to regularly check the Additional Resources page to see if something has changed.

    For example, in season 7 Kitsune are an allowed race, assuming you have the right additional resources books (advanced race guide or something else that details the race). Aasimar were (and probably still are) a Boon race, meaning that even if you have the right books you can't play an aasimar without an appropriate chronicle boon. But at one point aasimar were available as a standard race in PFS.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Roll on the following table at the beginning of each confused subject’s turn each round to see what the subject does in that round.

    d% Behavior
    01–25 Act normally.
    26–50 Do nothing but babble incoherently.
    51–75 Deal 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand.
    76–100 Attack nearest creature (for this purpose, a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self).
    A confused creature who can’t carry out the indicated action does nothing but babble incoherently. Attackers are not at any special advantage when attacking a confused creature. Any confused creature who is attacked automatically attacks its attackers on its next turn, as long as it is still confused when its turn comes. Note that a confused creature will not make attacks of opportunity against anything that it is not already devoted to attacking (either because of its most recent action or because it has just been attacked).

    Grand Lodge *****

    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Meatspace map

    That is an amazing idea BNW. I'll admit I dont frequent these boards much these days but I had never heard of that map. We need to advertise that more.

    I'm surprised that more people have not filled out areas that are missing. You would think that owners of game stores would be all over that.

    Edit: Well I'm blind. It is stickied in the forum.

    Dark Archive *

    Why would the owner of a game store be "all over that" if their store doesn't host a PFS lodge? And wouldn't it be up to the person who organized a lodge to add said lodge's location anyway?


    So PFS is just organized pathfinder with standardized rules and short adventures?

    Dark Archive *

    Essentially, yeah. It is called Organized Play after all. There's standardized character creation, special restrictions such as "no crafting" to ensure balance, and so forth. Which is convenient, especially for conventions. I can bring my character portfolio and provided I have a character in valid level range and I'm able to play the scenario, I can sit down at any PFS session.

    Grand Lodge **** Venture-Lieutenant, California—Sacramento aka FLite

    nosig wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Play by posts is one way of role playing: via message boards.

    Pathfinder society organized play is the all official and everything games.

    Its possible to play by post in a home brew game (where you're all bunny rabbits or something)

    Its possible to play pathfinder society play by post.

    And many people play pathfinder society in meatspace/real life, or with virtual table tops in real time (accounting for lag)

    oh, wow.

    Now I want to get in a home brew game where we're all bunny rabbits - except maybe for Jack, who insists he's a Hare.

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    Or, you could play bunnies in a world full of humans...

    GURPS Bunnies and Burrows.

    Wikipedia page

    Shadow Lodge ****

    LegitName wrote:
    So PFS is just organized pathfinder with standardized rules and short adventures?

    Yes. (though you can do some of the longer adventures, its a little harder to scheduel)

    The standardization allows for a lot of plug and play with different characters: you can play the same character with different dms all over the world, at game days, conventions, online, online conventions. I love being able to go to conventions, and game with different people, but still play MY character and not something that the DM made on the way there.

    For all the flack that PFS gets about banning ALL THE THINGS ARE BANNED! , its far more open than most actual human beings would ever allow in their campaign. It allows for a lot of different build options that might be disallowed in your home game.

    Dark Archive *

    Very true BNW. I personally ban anything from books I don't actually have. But that's because if I don't have the book, I have no idea if the person is cheating or not. Even if it's accidental cheating due to not understanding an option, I can't catch it if I don't have the book.

    With PFS Organized Play I don't have to own and memorize every single book. It's up to the player to bring their copy of the book and/or provide me with a printout with the requisite rules. I personally printed out the entire Kineticist section and bring that with me. If the GM has a question (or if I do) I can just hand over the required page. I also print out the required pages for all my other Standard characters. You know, pages with a feat, archtype, spell, or other non CRB option I'm using. Makes it easier for the GM to adjudicate my characters.

    I don't expect players to go to those lengths for me. But I DO expect them to have ready access to any AR book they are using for their character.

    Scarab Sages ***** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht aka Woran

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    nosig wrote:
    BigNorseWolf wrote:

    Play by posts is one way of role playing: via message boards.

    Pathfinder society organized play is the all official and everything games.

    Its possible to play by post in a home brew game (where you're all bunny rabbits or something)

    Its possible to play pathfinder society play by post.

    And many people play pathfinder society in meatspace/real life, or with virtual table tops in real time (accounting for lag)

    oh, wow.

    Now I want to get in a home brew game where we're all bunny rabbits - except maybe for Jack, who insists he's a Hare.

    ** spoiler omitted **...

    There is a comic, called Autumnlands.

    You should totally read it.

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

    LegitName wrote:
    So PFS is just organized pathfinder with standardized rules and short adventures?

    That's the framework, yes. However, I think of the Pathfinder Society as more than that. There is an ongoing story that is complicated and interesting. I also like the meta of being part of this giant organization and having all sorts of missions and adventures that have later consequences in the world.

    The short adventures stand on their own, but they're also part of a larger tapestry that becomes more and more interesting as I discover more pieces of it.

    Hmm

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

    I especially like how the Second Season had some far reaching consequences in later seasons, such as new Factions, changing Venture Captains, and other things...

    Dark Archive *

    And while you can run modules such as Crypt of the Everflame in PFS Organized play, it can definitely require some thought to explain pathfinders are going on the adventure. Mostly because the modules make assumptions on character backstory. Crypt of the Everflame for instance assumes the characters are from the village. Sure it works out well if everyone is playing a brand new character since at the end the PCs are offered the chance to join the pathfinder society. But when I ran it for a group of level 2 PFS characters I had to come up with a valid reason for the Society to send these people to take part in a local rite of passage.

    Shadow Lodge ****

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Kahel Stormbender wrote:
    But when I ran it for a group of level 2 PFS characters I had to come up with a valid reason for the Society to send these people to take part in a local rite of passage.

    [Ambroise Valsin/Ronald Lee Ermey] Do You recruits even KNOW how to file a field report? Can you even Spell ethnography? Your reporting skills are seriously lacking. Are you ALL field commissions?!?!? Get out there, get back to the basics. I want to know what these people are doing. I want to know what significance they attach to it and most importantly I want a legibly written report on it that is NOT in crayon. is that CLEAR Tuskbreaker?" [/amboise valsin]

    Sovereign Court ****

    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    BigNorseWolf wrote:
    Kahel Stormbender wrote:
    But when I ran it for a group of level 2 PFS characters I had to come up with a valid reason for the Society to send these people to take part in a local rite of passage.

    [Ambroise Valsin/Ronald Lee Ermey] Do You recruits even KNOW how to file a field report? Can you even Spell ethnography? Your reporting skills are seriously lacking. Are you ALL field commissions?!?!? Get out there, get back to the basics. I want to know what these people are doing. I want to know what significance they attach to it and most importantly I want a legibly written report on it that is NOT in crayon. is that CLEAR Tuskbreaker?" [/amboise valsin]

    After reading about this, Kowosky from Document Processing gets an expression of enlightenment.

    Kowosky: "So that's why we keep getting reports written in 'Nydilesse Blood-Splatter'! It's NOT CRAYON!..."

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