The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part XII: Power through Political Manipulation

Monday, June 6, 2011

Since the Age of Enthronement, no nation in the Inner Sea has had as wide-reaching and influential an empire as the kingdom of Taldor. Sadly, decadence and overconfidence led to the empire's relatively swift decline centuries ago, as vassal after vassal broke free from the crown. Despite its waning influence worldwide and constant internal political strife, Taldor is one of the five nations most strategically poised to take control of Absalom from within. Using the same tactics of espionage, sabotage, blackmail, and deception employed by Taldan nobility for millennia, agents of this political faction hope to manipulate the nobility and citizenry of Absalom to recognize the nation's rightful place as the natural ruler of humankind throughout the region.

Illustration by Ryan Portillo

The Taldor faction has, since the very beginning of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, been in a near-dead heat with the Qadira faction, a fitting rivalry given the nations' longstanding feud. In the end, we decided that the inability of either nation to pull ahead and truly challenge Osirion or Andoran for the top spot on the faction ladder meant something needed to change. So we shook things up...

Taldor isn't going anywhere, but the faction will be led by a new political manipulator in place of Baron Jacquo Dalsine (who many pointed out over the years was so uninvolved that he never even bothered to spell his name correctly when he signed it on faction missives). Lady Gloriana Morilla, pictured here, is also a member of Taldor's thriving noble hierarchy, but she's somewhat less concerned with looking good and throwing a good party than she is with restoring Taldor to its long-lost glory. She knows that the longer the nation rests on its imaginary laurels, the more its influence and gods-decreed dominance slip away from the Grand Prince and his loyal subjects. Expect the missions given to Taldan characters to focus more on the political intrigue that defines the faction starting in Season 3, though characters will still be encouraged to look good and make grand spectacles of themselves while carrying them out.

Lady Gloriana and all 10 faction leaders are featured in the upcoming Pathfinder Society Field Guide, with a headshot of each as well as a brief overview of their backstories, motivations, and personalities. We'll also be featuring them as prominent NPCs in adventures set in Absalom, so faction members will get the chance to directly interact with the very people who dictate so much of their adventuring careers.

Come back next week for a recap of PaizoCon 2011, the new scenarios released there, and the exclusive events attendees will have the option of playing. After that, we'll dive headlong into the first of the new factions to be officially announced. This is where it gets good!

Mark Moreland
Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Factions Pathfinder Society Ryan Portillo Taldor

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sadly, the loss of Baron Jacqo as the leader of the Taldor faction will be the end to some of the most amusing missions in PFS play...


Jeremy Vosberg wrote:
Sadly, the loss of Baron Jacqo as the leader of the Taldor faction will be the end to some of the most amusing missions in PFS play...

But we'll all have fond memories of the Energizer commercials he did.

Wait...that's not the same guy?

4/5 5/5

I know at least one player that will miss the man he knew as "Baron Taco."

2/5

Yay Taldor, my favorite faction!

(Now what do we get besides a dead leader)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am going to guess we can now infer the order of the factions. Andorran was by far the most popular. Second in line is Osirion. Next Taldor and Qadira follow in a dead heat. And Lastly in player popularity is Chelieax

From what I understand, The Faction leader Captain Colson Maldris or Faction handler as I prefer to call them, gets a premotion, and Andoran gets a new symbol .

I am not sure what has happened to the Saphire sage the leader of the Osirion faction…..I guess I will find out eventually.

I guess both Taldor and Qadira are getting new leaders or “handlers”

I also think the same is happening to Cheliax

It will be interesting to see what happens. What Andoran’s rewards will be and how the other factions are reorganized.

I understand there will be five new factions on the scene, so that will make ten factions in total.

Now a faction’s success isn’t going to get measured by player popularity..
But by the rate they complete faction missions? It will be interesting to see how this will work.

Dark Archive

Cheliax better not be getting a new leader. I wait with abating breath for every note she sends me.

Grand Lodge

Angelus wrote:
Cheliax better not be getting a new leader. I wait with abating breath for every note she sends me.

You might want to go back and read the Cheliax blog.

Silver Crusade

Blazej wrote:
I know at least one player that will miss the man he knew as "Baron Taco."

Yup, we in the Seattle PFS affectionately call him that too.

The Exchange

One degenerate punk or another makes no difference when we buy them again.

JP

Sovereign Court 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

ElyasRavenwood wrote:

I am not sure what has happened to the Saphire sage the leader of the Osirion faction…..I guess I will find out eventually.

Play the Heresy of Man trilogy to find out.

Sovereign Court 2/5

JP Chapleau wrote:

One degenerate punk or another makes no difference when we buy them again.

JP

Krunch says: Fatman has coin, but all he'll get from Krunch is a punch to the groin.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Tim Slater, thank you. I have played the first part, but have not had the oppertunity to play parts 2 or 3 of that series. It looks like a good one.

Dark Archive

K Neil Shackleton wrote:
Angelus wrote:
Cheliax better not be getting a new leader. I wait with abating breath for every note she sends me.
You might want to go back and read the Cheliax blog.

Thanks, must have missed that one. Good to read that our mistress will still be the one to give us orders.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Jason S wrote:

Yay Taldor, my favorite faction!

(Now what do we get besides a dead leader)

What? You dislike having a beautiful lady as your leader?

(Would Lady Gloriana Morilla be best described as a "Haughty Hottie"?)

Besides, we don't actually know the fate of Baron Jacquo Dalsine. :)

Silver Crusade 3/5

Lord Fyre wrote:
Besides, we don't actually know the fate of Baron Jacquo Dalsine. :)

Spoiler:
You do if you've played the Dalsine Affair
RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

FallofCamelot wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Besides, we don't actually know the fate of Baron Jacquo Dalsine. :)
** spoiler omitted **

Alas, no I have not. (Not even a PFS member.)

5/5

Lord Fyre wrote:
FallofCamelot wrote:
Lord Fyre wrote:
Besides, we don't actually know the fate of Baron Jacquo Dalsine. :)
** spoiler omitted **
Alas, no I have not. (Not even a PFS member.)

Spoiler:
And the fate of Pasha Muhlia Al-Jakri as well.
Sovereign Court

I liked Baron Jacquo Dalsine, his faction missions were fun and the character really came through, he certainly seemed to have a sense of humor. I can only hope that the new faction leader will be as interesting.

Hard to believe that Osirion is the second most popular faction. I never would have guessed there were that many necrophiliacs in PFS.

The Exchange

Fibula Bone wrote:
I liked Baron Jacquo Dalsine, his faction missions were fun and the character really came through, he certainly seemed to have a sense of humor. I can only hope that the new faction leader will be as interesting.

But half the time what he asked you to do and what was expected to do were... VERY Different

JP

Sovereign Court

JP Chapleau wrote:


But half the time what he asked you to do and what was expected to do were... VERY Different

JP

That's politics for you.

I haven't played a lot of PFS but I've usually enjoyed my faction missions.


Thank the heavens, for I will no longer have to scour the continent for any more Tian Xian tea sets, steal any more Mwangi tribal masks, or take any more brutal beatings while wailing "I do this for Taldor!" like a pathetic idiot, all under the guise of my actions being somehow vital to controlling Absalom.

I welcome Milady's reputed manner of leadership.

OOC: (I really hope she's a badass.)

-Gerard d'Apcher, Taldan Gentleman

Sovereign Court

Gerard d'Apcher wrote:

Thank the heavens, for I will no longer have to scour the continent for any more Tian Xian tea sets, steal any more Mwangi tribal masks, or take any more brutal beatings while wailing "I do this for Taldor!" like a pathetic idiot, all under the guise of my actions being somehow vital to controlling Absalom.

I welcome Milady's reputed manner of leadership.

OOC: (I really hope she's a badass.)

-Gerard d'Apcher, Taldan Gentleman

Of course a TRUE Taldoran gentleman would know better than to wash his dirty laundry in public

-Egger of Taldor


Todd Lower wrote:

Of course a TRUE Taldoran gentleman would know better than to wash his dirty laundry in public

-Egger of Taldor

At this juncture, we must make every effort to distance ourselves from the deceased Baron. By publicly casting him as a fool who neglected even to spell his name correctly, we compartmentalize his failures and usher in newfound unity.

-Gerard d'Apcher

Sovereign Court

Gerard d'Apcher wrote:

Thank the heavens, for I will no longer have to scour the continent for any more Tian Xian tea sets, steal any more Mwangi tribal masks, or take any more brutal beatings while wailing "I do this for Taldor!" like a pathetic idiot, all under the guise of my actions being somehow vital to controlling Absalom.

I welcome Milady's reputed manner of leadership.

OOC: (I really hope she's a badass.)

-Gerard d'Apcher, Taldan Gentleman

Sir, I am shocked by your statement. Are you not proud to be a Taldan?

I will gladly shout 'I do this for Taldor!' if ever and whenever required.

-Myffany Salvania, Taldan lady and priestess of Shelyn

OOC: Very funny faction mission and one of the most memorable ones


I see the rats amongst Oppara's elite are scurrying to lick the boots of the latest flavour of the month. I will continue to serve Andoran proudly, despite my Taldan upbringing. Those fools will rue the day they cast me aside.

- Theodric Hill, whose faction is definitely Andoran and not Taldan. Honest. I'll even roll a bluff to convince you if you necessary.


Oh fair Taldor, I see great days ahead.
These discussions can be endless, but what we need is success. We cannot fail. If the Baron is not successful then he must be replaced. Not because he is bad, but because he has not succeeded. That's quite simple. If his replacement, the Lady Morilla, is not successful after being given time to shine, then she also must be replaced.
We from Taldor can weave a web of foppishness and decadence, but behind it must be the sharp point of a blade. We play one threat against another, and if appearing foolish and ineffectual aids us in that endeavour, then we do it for Taldor.
Let Taldor shine again and let the Lady Morilla lead us to the new Taldor in her new ways. I for one will follow where she leads.
Ottavio Emilior - Taldan Patriot and Scholar of the Pathfinder Society

The Exchange

Gerard d'Apcher wrote:
I welcome Milady's reputed manner of leadership.

Naadhira just said: Tell them all that their petty squabbles don't matter. They will soon be a nice zambie! Or maybee a Vampyr!

Sovereign Court

John Lynch 106 wrote:

I see the rats amongst Oppara's elite are scurrying to lick the boots of the latest flavour of the month. I will continue to serve Andoran proudly, despite my Taldan upbringing. Those fools will rue the day they cast me aside.

- Theodric Hill, whose faction is definitely Andoran and not Taldan. Honest. I'll even roll a bluff to convince you if you necessary.

Who's what now? You sound like a confused creature, a dog whipped and looking to get back at his old master by serving another, but really the best revenge is to stop being a dog in the first place.

Sovereign Court 2/5

The Senjaks always stand ready to defend the interests of Taldor.

It may be by blade, guile, or telling some useful Andoran idiot that there are slaves yearning to be freed of their shackles, just on the other side of the wall of flame spell...

(Yes, I know, "Andoran" and "idiot" are redundant terms, but they miss the subtler digs if you don't point this out to them...)

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