The Path Before You

Monday, December 3, 2012

As we enter the dark winter of Pathfinder Society's Year of the Risen Rune, campaign HQ is already thinking ahead to the warming months of spring that still seem so distant. Just last week, I assigned scenarios for April, and we're in the process of outlining and approving the May scenarios to be commissioned in the coming weeks. Since the season's endgame is quickly being decided, I thought it might be a good time to give folks a little preview of where the season is set to go from here, what challenges Pathfinders are bound to face, and what changes look likely based on our reporting data.

What follows includes spoilers for the remainder of the season, so if you don't like knowing anything until your PC busts down the door, the rest of this blog might not be for you. Fair warning and all that.

First, we're now two scenarios into the core Year of the Risen Rune metaplot, and PCs who've been through either The Cultist's Kiss or Feast of Sigils already know that the stage is set for the season to end with a confrontation with a waking runelord, and that's exactly what's going to happen. Over the next few months, the Pathfinder Society will race with the cult of Lissala to uncover the components needed to bring a runelord back from his millennial slumber, and members of all factions are going to need to work together to prevent this terrible evil from returning to the world.

Later this month, a prominent faction head is going to need the entire society's help, and characters from 1st to 9th levels will be able to assist in tracking the missing NPC down and ultimately deciding if he or she is rescued from certain death or written out of the campaign. We'll be looking very closely at the early reporting data from Pathfinder Society Scenario #4–13: Fortress of the Nail as a result, and the sooner you play that scenario, the more likely your actions will be to directly affect the campaign world.

Along similar lines, judging by reported data since Gen Con, it looks like two factions are in serious jeopardy of being written out of the campaign. We've known for some time that several factions were struggling, but looking at play results over the last few months means that some major changes may be coming. We've only got another month or two before any faction-eliminating scenarios would need to be written, so there's not much longer for folks to turn things around for their ailing factions. I recommend playing often and doing your best to accomplish both your primary and secondary missions with characters of your favorite factions in the next two months. Because after we change course to reflect a faction's failures or successes, we won't be able to go back and change things.

Sometime next month, look for another letter from each of the faction heads to report on their respective factions' successes and failures thus far in the season, and to get an idea of whether or not your favorite faction might be in desperate need of help. If you didn't receive the last faction goal email over the summer, make sure to set your privacy settings to accept non-transactional emails from Paizo so you don't miss the next one.

With the holidays coming up, it's likely many people will be traveling to see family or staying home to enjoy some much needed time off from work. In either case, there's a Pathfinder Society game happening close to wherever you'll be, so make sure to check the Pathfinder Society events page to find a game between fruitcakes and egg nog. And hope Santa gives you lots of natural 20s when you're playing.

Mark Moreland
Developer

P.S. Some folks on the messageboards requested we show off some NPC headshot art here so they can make handouts with them and share them under the Community Use Policy. That's what the art is from/for. Merry Christmas!

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Factions Pathfinder Society
1 to 50 of 238 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

Is about time that Cheliax gets the cut. Honor be the Lantern Lodge!

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Not telling us which two factions are ailing, eh?

Sovereign Court

So, you're saying "Make a Taldan character to eat all my DM credit"? Got it.

Paizo Employee Developer

Jiggy wrote:
Not telling us which two factions are ailing, eh?

No. That'd be stacking the deck.

Silver Crusade

For the prestige counts to decide which factions live/die, is it based on all prestige earned, or just current season scenarios? I know the season's goals will be based on this year's scenarios, but I'm wondering if saving the factions can be done while playing older scenarios.

The Exchange

8 people marked this as a favorite.

What I like most about all this is the sense that the Pathfinder Society is finally beginning to stand for more than nothing...an end to the empty errand-boy fetch missions of the past and towards actually doing something.

The Society is trying to stop a waking Runelord? Nice. At least it's something to fight against.

For this alone, I am pleased. I look forward to seeing what lies ahead.

-Pain

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Looks like Mayim is going up in levels then.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Maryland— Baltimore aka Qstor

Where's Kyle;s headshot so we can show him off??

The Exchange

I regret that the event reporting system no longer displays all the player/faction info as it did before the revamp. We could probably have compared the session results from 20-odd high-volume GMs on these boards and made an educated guess. From my vantage point I don't think any of the original factions are in trouble.

Scarab Sages

Okay, I've got two questions, then.

First, let's say for the sake of my example, that Taldor is one of the factions that are suffering at the moment and that they're cut from the Faction list. Will this have a resulting impact in the overall game world?

To explain further, in the event a country faction is removed from play (i.e., Andoran, Cheliax, Quadira, Osirion, Taldor) will this be explained as their country being taken over by an outside force or a major blow being dealt to their country thus making a campaign statement regarding the country's destruction or extreme loss of political power?

Second, in the event a player has a character who is a member of a faction that is removed from the campaign. What happens to the player's Fame/PA that he has accumulated with the faction that has been removed from the campaign?

Tarrintino

Liberty's Edge 5/5

I see Paracountess Zarta Dralneen is finally getting what was coming to her.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I like it! Games should have a visible impact on the world, and I really hate to see a faction go... but it definitely sparks up a desire to play!

5/5

Doug Miles wrote:
I regret that the event reporting system no longer displays all the player/faction info as it did before the revamp. We could probably have compared the session results from 20-odd high-volume GMs on these boards and made an educated guess. From my vantage point I don't think any of the original factions are in trouble.

I feel like Lantern Lodge and Sczarni are the most niche in what they offer of the new 5 (Grand Lodge, Silver Crusade, and Shadow Lodge all have a pretty big following from what I've seen), and the first five seem to have an advantage due to being there first, but I may not have enough sample size.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Tarrintino wrote:

Okay, I've got two questions, then.

First, let's say for the sake of my example, that Taldor is one of the factions that are suffering at the moment and that they're cut from the Faction list. Will this have a resulting impact in the overall game world?

To explain further, in the event a country faction is removed from play (i.e., Andoran, Cheliax, Quadira, Osirion, Taldor) will this be explained as their country being taken over by an outside force or a major blow being dealt to their country thus making a campaign statement regarding the country's destruction or extreme loss of political power?

Second, in the event a player has a character who is a member of a faction that is removed from the campaign. What happens to the player's Fame/PA that he has accumulated with the faction that has been removed from the campaign?

Tarrintino

I will let Mark address your first point. As to your second, if a faction were to be removed from the campaign, we will advise at that time what happens to the character's fame and PP that he has accumulated with that faction.

1/5

Yeah...I seriously doubt that Cheliax is in any danger. Evil is "cool," after all.

No, my guess is Lantern Lodge (really, why was this ever a faction?) and either Shadow Lodge (again, why?) or the Silver Crusade...'cause good isn't "cool."

Silver Crusade

Mike, what about my earlier question? Will it be based on all scenarios played, or just season 4 scenarios?

And I think it's a safe bet that Lantern Lodge won't make the cut. I think Shadow Lodge is pretty popular, though. I'm guessing Sczarni or Silver Crusade for the second endangered faction.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

I have a question - will First Steps be updated to reflect the removal of two factions? I would hate to run First Steps for a new player, have them all excited about joining the Lantern Lodge, then have to tell them that they can't.

I would be supremely curious to see how the elimination of Grand Lodge would work within the story. Unlikely to happen, it just sounds odd.

Edit: Further question: How does GM faction credit count into faction survival?


Hah, Chelish fools will weep when the Lantern Lodge holds sway over the Decemverate. :P

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

@Bugley kind of OT, so spoiling

Spoiler:
I look at the Shadow Lodge members as a "Pathfinder's Union." Basically they're jockeying for benefits, retirement/ressurection program etc for their brethern.
(Note, I said 'members' I think they're being used by Torch, again kind of like Unions in RL). I see the need for a faction like that, and I'm not a union guy IRL)

Silver Crusade is actually pretty popular around here, some of us like being 'White Hats'. If it went away, I don't know what faction Dex would drift to.


Actually, to whoever can answer this:

Is this about total prestige points earned by a faction, or the ratio of actual vs potential prestige points earned? i.e. would faction A with 1 million prestige earned over 10 million scenarios suffer (5%); or would it be faction B with 10 prestige earned over 5 scenarios (100%)?

Silver Crusade

In my area, Silver Crusade is really quite popular. I rarely see a Lantern Lodge character, and Scarzni is fairly rare also. Shadow Lodge is pretty uncommon. If I had to guess, Silver Crusade and Grand Lodge are safe, as well as the original 5.

Grand Lodge

My bet on the two on the losing end are Qadira and Shadow Lodge.

Silver Crusade

As a slightly more objective measure of faction popularity than just what each of us has seen in our own areas, here's the breakdown of level 12+ PCs by faction, as tallied by Myles Crocker in the level 12+ character list thread:

Andoran agents= 47
Cheliax agents= 25
Grand Lodge= 4
Lantern Lodge= 5
Osirion agents=26
Qadiran agents=23
Sczarni=3
Shadow lodge= 9
Silver Crusade=6
Taldor agents=25

I didn't do the work to update this based on the most recent posts in that thread. This is just a snapshot in time from the last time Myles tallied up the totals.

I'm not surprised that Andoran is the most popular, or that Shadow Lodge is the most popular of the newer factions. I'm a little surprised by how close things are between the other four older factions, and between most of the newer factions.

Despite their low level total of level 12+ PCs, I'd assume Grand Lodge is doing fine, just based on how many newbies join them by default.

2/5

Sounds good, can't wait until the Gencon special this year.


I would gamble on 2 outcomes.

Andoran and silver crusade, Whiile once very popular silver crusade is stealing the andoran membership.

Or

Taldor and Ossirian

Never Qadira, I heavily endorse Qadira to new members.

Sovereign Court 5/5 Venture-Captain, West Virginia—Charleston aka Netopalis

I feel that Shadow Lodge is likely safe. It's honestly the only faction that my main character would have any real allegiance to. As a Chaotic Good PC, the five nation-based ones aren't particularly appealing, nor is Silver Crusade or Grand Lodge. Sczarni is a bit too underhanded for him, and he isn't a Ninja or a Samurai.

More importantly, though, there are a fair number of Shadow Lodge PCs that I have seen locally.


Well to eat my own words.

Some basic reporting info.

Andoran 153
Cheliax 61
Grand Lodge 154
Lantern Lodge 114
Ossirian 81
Qadiran 85
Scazarni 111
Shadow Lodge 110
Silver Crusade 119
Taldor 54

This is a sample of 2 reacuring events and a small con, perhaps 1/3 or less of the year in Indianapolis.

Chelix and the old empire are not looking good.

Grand Lodge

Why stupid longshanks tell me to draw picture of metal house, then tell me he no like it? He should go away.


Andoran is totally getting the ax.


LoreKeeper wrote:

Actually, to whoever can answer this:

Is this about total prestige points earned by a faction, or the ratio of actual vs potential prestige points earned? i.e. would faction A with 1 million prestige earned over 10 million scenarios suffer (5%); or would it be faction B with 10 prestige earned over 5 scenarios (100%)?

We cannot really argue this until we know whether it is better to have 1 Yoda or 10000 stormtroopers.


Chris Bonnet wrote:

Well to eat my own words.

Some basic reporting info.

Andoran 153
Cheliax 61
Grand Lodge 154
Lantern Lodge 114
Ossirian 81
Qadiran 85
Scazarni 111
Shadow Lodge 110
Silver Crusade 119
Taldor 54

This is a sample of 2 reacuring events and a small con, perhaps 1/3 or less of the year in Indianapolis.

Chelix and the old empire are not looking good.

So new factions and Andoran are doing well. Could this have something to do with the fact that some factions are still fairly new?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Cheliax and Taldor are my bets.


The second "threatened" faction is looking like either Osirion or Lantern Lodge. This is based on an observation of what we knew going into Season 4.

-Matt

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.

10 gp says Zarta retires to a convent.

No one would ever look for her there.

Silver Crusade

Tarrintino wrote:

Okay, I've got two questions, then.

First, let's say for the sake of my example, that Taldor is one of the factions that are suffering at the moment and that they're cut from the Faction list. Will this have a resulting impact in the overall game world?

To explain further, in the event a country faction is removed from play (i.e., Andoran, Cheliax, Quadira, Osirion, Taldor) will this be explained as their country being taken over by an outside force or a major blow being dealt to their country thus making a campaign statement regarding the country's destruction or extreme loss of political power?

I really hope not. The less intrusive* PFS is to the campaign setting that everyone else uses, the better IMO.

For example, I love Osirion and would dearly love for more products for it to come out that didn't revolve around it collapsing or being taken over again. Having its fate tied into its corresponding faction's popularity in organized play would be beyond a buzzkill.

I'd wager the same goes for fans of Taldor, Cheliax, etc...

*Or "destructive", depending on any potential changes involved.

Paizo Employee Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Mikaze wrote:

10 gp says Zarta retires to a convent.

No one would ever look for her there.

Hmm, it did work for Whoopie Goldberg...

Sczarni 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Washington—Pullman aka Coraith

I must say, I haven't had the opportunity to play much of season 4. These changes are fantastic and I am really looking forward to getting to sit down at some of these tables to learn this wonderful story... Thanks for making me motivated!

Scarab Sages

Coraith wrote:

I must say, I haven't had the opportunity to play much of season 4. These changes are fantastic and I am really looking forward to getting to sit down at some of these tables to learn this wonderful story... Thanks for making me motivated!

You are really missing out. You should strongly urge your local VO/Co-Ordinator to run S4. Only 3 scenarios to date from s4 I have not played/ran (mostly ran) and I enjoyed every one of them.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Fromper wrote:

Mike, what about my earlier question? Will it be based on all scenarios played, or just season 4 scenarios?

Just Season 4

Paizo Employee Developer

Chris Mullican wrote:
Coraith wrote:

I must say, I haven't had the opportunity to play much of season 4. These changes are fantastic and I am really looking forward to getting to sit down at some of these tables to learn this wonderful story... Thanks for making me motivated!

You are really missing out. You should strongly urge your local VO/Co-Ordinator to run S4. Only 3 scenarios to date from s4 I have not played/ran (mostly ran) and I enjoyed every one of them.

Yes, in general, if you want to have an impact on the campaign, playing the most recent scenarios is going to be your best bet.

Silver Crusade

Just season 4 really changes things. I've only played two of this season's scenarios so far, and one of them hasn't been (and probably never will be) recorded on the Paizo site. At least I know I've chipped in 2 PA for the Silver Crusade!

I'm not sure when I'll get much of a chance to play more season 4. There are conventions coming up at the end of January/early February, but it sounds like those might be too late.

Scarab Sages 2/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

No not the Osirians! We must make plans... Yes, plans must be made.


Pathfinder Card Game, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

Really like the direction.

Silver Crusade

Mark Moreland wrote:


You are really missing out. You should strongly urge your local VO/Co-Ordinator to run S4. Only 3 scenarios to date from s4 I have not played/ran (mostly ran) and I enjoyed every one of them.
Yes, in general, if you want to have an impact on the campaign, playing the most recent scenarios is going to be your best bet.

For us coordinators: What kind of deadline are we looking at to make sure our players actions impact the campaign? I've delayed some Season 4 scenarios to give them maximum impact at an upcoming local con.

Silver Crusade

Right. Time for this GM to run Season 4 Scenarios then. Since I know I've got a few Osirion players, I'll remind them of their duties. And I'll need to put in some appearances at the high tier as well. Hmm.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Regional Venture-Coordinator, Great Lakes aka TwilightKnight

There are quite a few conventions coming up in January/February/March that have all or nearly all season four scenarios. I hope they have time to impact the results.

Grand Lodge

*waves sword furiously, will defend the Lantern Lodge to the last breath!*

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bhode wrote:
No not the Osirians! We must make plans... Yes, plans must be made.

Never fear, faction monkey extraordinaire Dr. Fraz Finkleton is here! I've only ever failed once to serve our Ruby Prince and that wasn't my fault. I swear.

>.>
<.<
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, to Magnimar I shall go, and adventure I will seek. For I am a Pathfinder, may I discover something old and truly unique!


If you retire Cheliax, my girlfriend will probably never play PFS again. And considering how much work I put in to getting her to play in the first place, I would really not enjoy that outcome.

Lantern Lodge

I would invite the Decemvirate to the Pedal District so we can "discuss" this insinuation that the Lady Nai Yan Fei's influence within the Society may no longer be welcomed.

1 to 50 of 238 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Paizo Blog: The Path Before You All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.