The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part XVI: Use Pathfinder Missions as a Front for Personal Gain

Monday, July 4, 2011

A loose affiliation of Varisian swindlers, thieves, and smugglers, the Sczarni don't have much in common with the average Pathfinder. But to many, there's little distinction between someone who robs the grave of an ancestor and someone who cons one out of her night's dinner. Thus, when Sczarni and Pathfinders come to town, both are often lumped into the same category by suspicious natives and watchful legal authorities—troublesome people to watch out for. Though not officially allied, many Pathfinders work with local Sczarni throughout the region to aid one another in surviving, hopefully gaining a leg up in their own endeavors in the process.

Since the earliest days of Pathfinder, Varisians have been a large part of the world. We did, after all, start out with three Adventure Paths set in Varisia. So it was only natural that we include a faction aligned with what is arguably our most thoroughly developed part of Golarion. But we didn't just want an ethnic Varisian faction, as we'd then need Ulfen, Kellid, Mwangi, and Garundi factions as well. Similarly, a political faction didn't seem right given the fractured nature of Varisia's three major city-states, as we would have had to choose which city would get a faction and which wouldn't. So we started to think about what elements of Varisian life most aligned with the Pathfinder Society.

The Sczarni seemed to fit quite well, so we went with them. I swear there was no knee-breaking involved in the decision. People have, after all, been asking for a long time to make Sleight of Hand checks as their Day Job rolls. The fact that people wanted to play pickpockets and con artists seemed fairly obvious. We expect this faction to appeal to people currently playing Taldor-faction PCs, and many of its faction missions will deal with deception and pilfering with a more criminal than political manipulation bent.

Anyone who's played the Pathfinder Society Quest: Ambush in Absalom will recognize the faction's head, a man named Guaril Karela, who operates all of Absalom's Sczarni activity out of his dockside curiosity shop, the Pickled Imp. He'll likely assist the Pathfinder Society in getting goods or people past unfriendly city watchmen, through hostile territory, or even out of some legal binds they may find themselves in. If he and those agents loyal to him happen to make some money along the way, how does that hurt anyone else?

That brings our new factions revealed to three, leaving just two more to go before Gen Con! Next week, we'll look at the Silver Crusade, the new "good guy" faction that should appeal to paladins, clerics of any good-aligned deity, and characters who want to help others while they travel the world working for the Decemvirate. Until then, all you Americans, enjoy the day off, and we'll see you tomorrow!

Mark Moreland
Developer

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Tags: Factions Pathfinder Society Sczarni
Sovereign Court 3/5

I am offended at the implication that the Baron is having me steal tea sets and relics, like some kind of criminal! There were Taldor's at one point, and merely requires them to be returned.

Dark Archive 3/5

What is a day off?

Liberty's Edge Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Finally! A faction that appeals to my natural love of shiny objects and will understand my embarrassing tendency to lose knives in other peoples kidneys!

5/5

Hernando Ruiz wrote:
I am offended at the implication that the Baron is having me steal tea sets and relics, like some kind of criminal! There were Taldor's at one point, and merely requires them to be returned.

The Baron will not have you do anything at all any longer ;)

Dark Archive 1/5

Not that Baron at least.

All is proceeding as Her Imperial Majestrix has foreseen.

Sovereign Court

What about the Sczarni who:

Spoiler:
Work to protect the land from the Whispering Tyrant? Will there be any Tar-baphon stopping elements to Sczarni faction missions?
It could provide a neat plurality to the motivations.

The Exchange 5/5

GeraintElberion wrote:

What about the Sczarni who:

** spoiler omitted **

What do you mean? He has been stopped. He's safely locked away. Who needs to worry about him now? Maybe those Silver Crusader goodie-goodies, always sticking their noses into business that is none of their concern. If you're hunting for a faction that likes to stick their neck out for a cause, perhaps you had best keep looking ;)

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Dang it! I just made a pure blooded Varisian character, this would have been a good faction for that character. Too bad their aren't any ways to switch factions once the new season starts.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Brian Darnell wrote:
Too bad their aren't any ways to switch factions once the new season starts.

There will be. We just haven't said what they are yet.

Silver Crusade

Mark Moreland wrote:
Brian Darnell wrote:
Too bad their aren't any ways to switch factions once the new season starts.
There will be. We just haven't said what they are yet.

With that avatar, Mark, I keep reading what you write in a Yoda voice:

"There will be... there will be..."

Sovereign Court 3/5

Diego Winterborg wrote:
Hernando Ruiz wrote:
I am offended at the implication that the Baron is having me steal tea sets and relics, like some kind of criminal! There were Taldor's at one point, and merely requires them to be returned.
The Baron will not have you do anything at all any longer ;)

Nonsense! I shall serve him (and by proxy, Taldor) for the rest of my days!

My DM has informed me that this character (currently at 9) will finish his career with only one season three mission. What happens in tier 1-5, STAYS in tier 1-5.

I am quite pumped for this Varisian faction, though. When will we see registering characters in the new factions? I think I remember reading something about it happening in August-ish?

Grand Lodge 3/5

Hernando Ruiz wrote:
I am quite pumped for this Varisian faction, though. When will we see registering characters in the new factions? I think I remember reading something about it happening in August-ish?

The new Season starts with Gen Con, so that would be a likely timeframe.

Sovereign Court 5/5

K Neil Shackleton wrote:
Hernando Ruiz wrote:
I am quite pumped for this Varisian faction, though. When will we see registering characters in the new factions? I think I remember reading something about it happening in August-ish?
The new Season starts with Gen Con, so that would be a likely timeframe.

What do you think though, before so that new characters at GenCon could use the 5 new factions or during for use in the rest of year 3?

Grand Lodge 2/5

Todd Lower wrote:
What do you think though, before so that new characters at GenCon could use the 5 new factions or during for use in the rest of year 3?

With Ultimate Combat being the Gen Con launch book, I assume they'll do something similar like last year with the APG. The APG was legalized for PFS as of 8/3/10 I believe to allow that content in Gen Con.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Mark Moreland wrote:
Brian Darnell wrote:
Too bad their aren't any ways to switch factions once the new season starts.
There will be. We just haven't said what they are yet.

Glad to hear it! :)

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
uriel222 wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
Brian Darnell wrote:
Too bad their aren't any ways to switch factions once the new season starts.
There will be. We just haven't said what they are yet.

With that avatar, Mark, I keep reading what you write in a Yoda voice:

"There will be... there will be..."

Now I just picture Luke wandering around Dagoba and instead of meeting yoda he gets shanked by a mite...the end.

The Exchange 5/5

The only thing I pity with these new factions is that there's not something a bit more gnome/non human friendly. Soooo many heightist factions! Power to the short people!


Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

By the way, I've always wondered, how is Sczarni pronounced?

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/5

MythicFox wrote:
By the way, I've always wondered, how is Sczarni pronounced?

I believe its Scar-nee.

They mention it in one of the Rise of the Runelords books, not sure which one at the moment.

Grand Lodge 2/5

cblome59 wrote:
MythicFox wrote:
By the way, I've always wondered, how is Sczarni pronounced?

I believe its Scar-nee.

They mention it in one of the Rise of the Runelords books, not sure which one at the moment.

Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide wrote:
These rogues belong to a loosely- organized association of bandits, smugglers, and thieves called the Sczarni (SCAR-nee).

Sovereign Court 2/5

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Rise of the Runelords Player's Guide wrote:
These rogues belong to a loosely- organized association of bandits, smugglers, and thieves called the Sczarni (SCAR-nee).

Rhymes with "carny," I believe. Appropriate.

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