Changes Are A'Coming and Gen Con Volunteers Still Needed!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

There are some big changes in store for the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign, beginning in Season 5—the Year of the Demon. We highlighted a few of them in a sneak peak on the Know Direction podcast last night but we also wanted to make sure those who did not listen to it were aware of the changes.

Campaign Announcements

Below are a few of the changes we wanted to bring to light that are coming down the pipe in the next few months, culminating at Gen Con in August.

  • We are removing two factions from the campaign as character choices. The first to be phased out will be the Lantern Lodge faction. When Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-21: Way of the Kirin is released in late May, members of the faction will get to participate first-hand in the culmination of their faction's plot. At PaizoCon in early July, Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-23: Rivalry's End will similarly conclude the Shadow Lodge faction's involvement at a PC organization in the campaign. Members of each retiring faction will receive a special boon in their respective retirement scenario exclusive only to members of the affiliated faction.

    Members of eliminated factions will be able to join one of the eight remaining factions at no cost of Prestige Points, and must do so by August 14, 2013. Characters will be able to keep faction-specific traits, boons, vanities, and prestige awards received while members of the Lantern Lodge and Shadow Lodge, with one exception. The "no one left behind" prestige award found in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide will no longer be available for play.

  • There will be a fundamental change in how faction missions work in scenarios. The biggest change is that individual scenarios will no longer provide faction mission handouts except in rare circumstances. Scenarios will be written with the Pathfinder Society's goals in mind first and foremost, and many will also involve the specific interests of one or more, much like Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-11: The Disappeared and Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-13: Fortress of the Nail involved the entire society working toward a goal that had special significance to members of the Cheliax faction. Choices and successes will matter and we are instituting additional reporting conditions that will allow us to help the player base shape not only the future direction of the campaign, but also the fundamental beliefs and directions of their own factions.

  • We are reviewing a change in wealth earned in scenarios, specifically regarding characters playing outside their designated subtier. We have several ideas in mind and are requesting feedback from the player base to find the best solution to the problem. We encourage anyone interested in participating in this process to visit the paizo.com messageboards to add your input to the discussion.

  • We want to ensure the community is aware that we will continue to sanction past Pathfinder Adventure Paths over the coming months. The next to be released for sanctioned play will be the Skulls & Shackles Adventure Path, and the current plan is to continue working backward in order of release until all APs released under the Pathfinder RPG rules are legal for Pathfinder Society credit. In addition, we will continue to sanction future releases of APs when we can and when it makes sense for the campaign. We are currently reviewing the Wrath of the Righteous Adventure Path to see if it is possible to sanction an adventure path that relies heavily on the use of the new Mythic rules scheduled to release at Gen Con.

  • Finally, we are revamping the format of the Chronicle sheets awarded for reading novels in our Pathfinder Tales fiction line. Instead of providing a distinct Chronicle sheet for each individual novel, we will begin releasing Chronicle sheets that cover four novels. Each new Chronicle sheet will release with the first novel of a four-book series, and contain information on the three novels that will be released later in the year. Each novel with have a boon or unique item tied specifically to the flavor or location of that novel. A player who brings a copy of a novel to a Pathfinder Society game along with the associated Chronicle sheet gains access to the novel's boon, and can apply that boon to any of her characters. When a GM has initialed all four novels on a single Chronicle sheet, the player can select one of the four boon as a permament or reusable boon which she can assign assign to one of her characters.

The first of these new-format Chronicle sheets will cover Liar's Blade, Pirate's Honor, Wizard's Mask, and King of Chaos, and should be available in the next few weeks. We'll release a new Chronicle sheet shortly after Gen Con to cover the next batch of four novels coming out later in 2013 and early 2014.

Gen Con Volunteer Update

Speaking of Gen Con, I still have a few volunteer positions left to fill. I have a small number of tables remaining that need Pathfinder Society GMs, including one Tier 1 GM spot left to fill. So, if you need free crash space at a hotel, a free 4-day badge, paizo.com store credit, four free GM-exclusive goblin t-shirts, a copy of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Mythic Adventures hardcover, and a special GM boon that alternatively opens the grippli as a legal character race or grants you a one-time complete character rebuild, please email me. This spot is likely to go fast!

Additionally, I have just been allocated two additional hotel rooms at the Omni for volunteers interested in running Pathfinder Adventure Card Game demos in the Paizo booth during exhibit hall hours. If you are looking for a share of a free hotel room, a free 4-day badge, as well as paizo.com store credit, your choice of a copy of the Mythic Adventures hardcover or the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, and four purple volunteer goblin shirts, please email me at mike.brock@paizo.com. I have enough room for eight such volunteers for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

As always, we look forward to trying to create the best organized play experience we can for all of you. Please head over to the Pathfinder Society messageboards and let us know what you think. Thanks again for being the best fan base any gaming company could ask for.

Mike Brock
Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Gen Con Lantern Lodge Pathfinder Society Shadow Lodge
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Liberty's Edge

Well summarized, sir.

Contributor

Thanks for the update. Very exciting stuff all around.


Each novel *will have a boon...

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

One time complete character rebuild. Dang, how I would love to have one of those.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Any idea when Reign of Winter will be cleared for PFS?

Scarab Sages 5/5 Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

spectrevk wrote:

Any idea when Reign of Winter will be cleared for PFS? [/QUOTE

It already is according to Additional Resources. ]

5/5

spectrevk wrote:
Any idea when Reign of Winter will be cleared for PFS?

The first 2 books are, and the third one will probably be right around street date (April 24th IIRC). They update the Additional Resources page once a month after the monthly releases hit the shelves.

Silver Crusade Venture-Captain, Florida—Boca Raton aka Bill Darios

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Double assign!!

"...she can assign assign to one of her characters."

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks for doing the live interview guys. It was fun to listen. I'm excited to see where my shadow lodge character will go.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Wow, the Omni. Are all the volunteers going to be there or just the Adventure Card game ones?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Just the two rooms for Pathfinder Adventure Card Game.

Silver Crusade

I already miss my faction. ;_;

The Exchange 5/5

Grog miss it also. Perhaps Torch and Countess go together?

Grand Lodge

Aaaaaaa! Two characters about to be "Factionless" :p Hmm, where to go from there? >.<


where is Tier 1 GM duties listed/defined?
EDIT: ooops found it.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Is the Tier 1 spot still available by chance?

Grand Lodge 5/5 Pathfinder Society Campaign Coordinator

Tier 1 GM spot is gone. I still have 4 more Adventure Card Game demo tier 1 spots remaining.

1/5

Well done...thank you for posting this.

++would read again. ;-)

Dark Archive

I need to say this first boo on tier 3-7 for Way of the Kirin, my only Lantern Lodge character just hit level 8 and my only Shadow Lodge is now retired so, oh well.

Now what factions to pick for them.

5/5

Lazoth wrote:

I need to say this first boo on tier 3-7 for Way of the Kirin, my only Lantern Lodge character just hit level 8 and my only Shadow Lodge is now retired so, oh well.

Now what factions to pick for them.

While it didn't sound completely decided, on the podcast they did discuss the possibility of GM credit being applied to an out of tier character to allow them to get the boon for the faction.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

does the podcast explain why those 2 factions are getting phased out?


doc the grey wrote:
does the podcast explain why those 2 factions are getting phased out?

Insufficiently active membership. Or just insufficient membership.

Grand Lodge 3/5

Awesome

The Exchange

previously--the novel boons could be applied to each of your characters. it sounds like now it can only be applied to one character--just making sure I'm understanding correctly, since I usually do buy those?

Liberty's Edge Venture-Agent, Kentucky—Pikeville aka Perram

teribithia9 wrote:
previously--the novel boons could be applied to each of your characters. it sounds like now it can only be applied to one character--just making sure I'm understanding correctly, since I usually do buy those?

As I understand it, yes, but you wont need to apply it until you need it, from my understanding of the discussion. And it doesn't matter if you apply them to four different characters when it comes to qualifying for the Bonus.


I'm pretty excited about most of the changes, though I am hopeful that a better solution is found for the wealth issue. With that being said, I'm SUPER excited that previous AP's are being sanctioned. I have an RotRL group going now, and its great knowing that when it is done, we'll have a lot more options to choose from in deciding what we want to do next for credit. Two thumbs up!

5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Illinois—Chicago aka thunderspirit

Phillip Willis wrote:
With that being said, I'm SUPER excited that previous AP's are being sanctioned. I have an RotRL group going now, and its great knowing that when it is done, we'll have a lot more options to choose from in deciding what we want to do next for credit. Two thumbs up!

Yeah, while I've been one of the dissenters on the WBL brainstorming thread, I am definitely remiss (my bad) for not making clear that I am not at all unhappy with the other proposed changes. Especially alteration of the faction missions — anything that serves to make them less intrusive is, JMSO, a Good Thing [tm].

Grand Lodge

Although I didn't have any characters in those two factions, I'm sad to see them go. They seem more interesting to me than some of the "Inner Sea nation" factions as far as character concept and role-playing are concerned. I can understand the need for parsimony, though - this is probably good news for those writing the scenarios.

On the other hand, the upcoming changes to the Tales' boons (getting something permanent or semi-permanent after crediting all four novels on that sheet) sound intriguing, especially since I've read all but two of them at this point.

Grand Lodge 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

Is there a thread that expands on the faction mission changes? I've run 'The Disapered' and short of one faction all had standard faction quests. How will the mission objectives be relayed to the players? Will only some factions have missions while others just get 2 PP?

3/5 Venture-Agent, Pennsylvania—King of Prussia aka Alexander Augunas

Well that certainly sucks. The Lantern Lodge was a great way to justify playing a Tien Xia race in the Inner Sea.

Shadow Lodge

I just really got into Pathfinder Society, and I bought the Pathfinder Society Field Guide last week from my local gaming store. It's a great resource, but is that book going to still be valid after the summer? I'd hate to think I wasted my money on it :(

P.S. The Shadow Lodge is pretty awesome. My character was built around what that faction represents. Being new to PFS, I'm sad that I only have a few months to be apart of it.


No, it should be good still, though obviously the sections pertaining to those factions will change as they will no longer be an applicable choice.


Just as Seekers of Secrets was essentially replaced by the Field Guide, I imagine this too shall pass. But that doesn't mean the book becomes useless, it just means it won't be part of the core assumption. I assume. (Eventually.)

Silver Crusade

All I'm going to say is: *thumbs up*

Will let the rest work itself out in due time.

Grand Lodge

Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
does the podcast explain why those 2 factions are getting phased out?
Insufficiently active membership. Or just insufficient membership.

This, in part, but also the fact that the Shadow Lodge was the theme for Season 2 and Lantern Lodge was part of the Season 3 theme.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Patrick Harris @ SD wrote:
doc the grey wrote:
does the podcast explain why those 2 factions are getting phased out?
Insufficiently active membership. Or just insufficient membership.

that seems odd, I know several people who have several characters in those factions, so much to the point that I'd say they've quickly become two of the most popular factions since they began... at least amongst the people I game with. But I guess I don't see the big ol' picture of what actually gets reported. still, this came as quite a shock.


Someone once asked me how to kill off a person's character in a home game. I told them to make it seem like it was the players choice(illusion of choice), and make it epic. PFS is telling us a story and I feel that they are trying to tell us the best story they can that we are involved with. There were several claims that what we did would effect it. All they have to do now is make it an epic ending and we should accept it. Nothing lasts forever. People die, factions fade, and empires fall. That is all part of the story.

Shadow Lodge

Quote:
Members of eliminated factions will be able to join one of the eight remaining factions at no cost of Prestige Points, and must do so by August 14, 2013.

Our characters are still playing through season 3. Will we get to continue playing our character through to the faction finales in season 4? OR will we have to change factions by August 14th, regardless of where we are in the story?


NashNova wrote:
Our characters are still playing through season 3. Will we get to continue playing our character through to the faction finales in season 4? OR will we have to change factions by August 14th, regardless of where we are in the story?

For PFS organized play, all characters must have switched by Aug 14th.


NashNova wrote:
Quote:
Members of eliminated factions will be able to join one of the eight remaining factions at no cost of Prestige Points, and must do so by August 14, 2013.
Our characters are still playing through season 3. Will we get to continue playing our character through to the faction finales in season 4? OR will we have to change factions by August 14th, regardless of where we are in the story?
Quote:
Members of eliminated factions will be able to join one of the eight remaining factions at no cost of Prestige Points, and must do so by August 14, 2013.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

CRobledo wrote:
NashNova wrote:
Our characters are still playing through season 3. Will we get to continue playing our character through to the faction finales in season 4? OR will we have to change factions by August 14th, regardless of where we are in the story?
For PFS organized play, all characters must have switched by Aug 14th.

... so contact your local event coordinators to make sure they schedule the wrap-up scenarios before then, and make sure your LL/SL characters can play in a 3-7 scenario!

Shadow Lodge

CRobledo wrote:
For PFS organized play, all characters must have switched by Aug 14th.

So we have to get our GMs to skip to season 4 so we can at least play through it with these factions while we can. It's annoying, but I hope we get to do that.

Thanks everyone!!! :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Welp good news is I get to make a Grippli, and it will be awesome. Bad news is that it isn't a Kobold. Oh well, next year, next year the Kobold's shall rise a character race. Of this I am certain.

Spoiler:
although I was also certain last year and the year before

In all seriousness I would probably be willing to give up all the swag I'm getting as a tier one GM to be able to play a Kobold. Thankfully the Grippli is like the second coolest race in the ARG.

Sczarni

Mike, I am still on the Tier 1 waiting list, right?

Scarab Sages

Aeshuura wrote:
Aaaaaaa! Two characters about to be "Factionless" :p Hmm, where to go from there? >.<

Just two? I have four characters, two lantern (kitsune and nagaji) and two shadow (halfling and fetchling) Therefore I need to both run and play in both of these scenarios. I have a feeling these will be scheduled a lot at our local games.

What faction works better for a character *from* the shadow plane than the *shadow lodge*? Still have no idea who he'll go to. sczarni or grand, even though grand lodge is the most boring for faction politics

I get that the lantern lodge isn't really needed any more, but now my kitsune doesn't have much of a reason to stay in pfs. I'll have to work on her story a little. I wish my nagaji was higher level and had more prestige to take advantage of the "master" title before Season 5.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

I've got two Lantern Lodge characters (one a Kitsune; one a bodyguard for my wife's Lantern Lodge kitsune), and one Shadow Lodge.

What to do with those characters is a problem; I'm really not all that interested in overly nationalistic politics, so that pretty much rules out Osirian, Andoran, or Taldor. And while my character's aren't as squeaky-clean as the Silver Crusade might like, they're mostly not going to be too interested in the moral positions espoused by the Sczarni or Cheliax camps. So that leaves me with Qadira (somewhat nationalistic, but sufficiently pragmatic for me to be able to live with it), or the rather unsatisfactory fall-back answer of Grand Lodge.

We'll see what "Rivalry's End" brings, but at this point I am if anything less inclined to trust the Decemvirate than I was when I created my first (Shadow Lodge) character; I really wish there were a "none of the above" checkbox for faction selection.


I am not too happy about this. My Lantern Lodge character is 8th, so cannot play in the wrap-up mods. Also, my group has two other Lantern Lodge members, and a few Shadow Lodge members. So this is going to annoy all of us. Worse, the Lantern Lodge characters are all going to be out of range by the time these modules are available for general release. It really bothers me that there wasn't more lead-up on this. Worse, I think some of these characters are going to basically vanish, because they don't fit into the other factions. Where was the input collected, only major cons? I would have thought that a company so tech involved might have polled the membership via internet rather than polls at cons.

As for the novels changes, I don't own any of the novels, so those changes won't affect me as much.

EDIT: Okay, Way of the Kirin comes available at the end of May, so maybe some of my group will be okay, but my LL character is not. I hope that "apply boon as GM credit" does come through, or they get a bit more flexible with the levels, otherwise I can see many LL/SL characters getting boned.

Shadow Lodge

JohnF wrote:


I've got two Lantern Lodge characters (one a Kitsune; one a bodyguard for my wife's Lantern Lodge kitsune), and one Shadow Lodge.

What to do with those characters is a problem; I'm really not all that interested in overly nationalistic politics, so that pretty much rules out Osirian, Andoran, or Taldor. And while my character's aren't as squeaky-clean as the Silver Crusade might like, they're mostly not going to be too interested in the moral positions espoused by the Sczarni or Cheliax camps. So that leaves me with Qadira (somewhat nationalistic, but sufficiently pragmatic for me to be able to live with it), or the rather unsatisfactory fall-back answer of Grand Lodge.

We'll see what "Rivalry's End" brings, but at this point I am if anything less inclined to trust the Decemvirate than I was when I created my first (Shadow Lodge) character; I really wish there were a "none of the above" checkbox for faction selection.

Given that the factions will be playing much less of a role in the future with regards to player-specific progression, you can probably use Grand Lodge as a "none of the above" option, anyway.

Shadow Lodge

PMSchulz wrote:
Where was the input collected, only major cons? I would have thought that a company so tech involved might have polled the membership via internet rather than polls at cons.

Input was likely collected from the entire PFS population using the chronicle recording process. It's pretty much the entire reason why its required to record which character is part of which faction.

Shadow Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area South & West aka JohnF

PMSchulz wrote:
Where was the input collected, only major cons? I would have thought that a company so tech involved might have polled the membership via internet rather than polls at cons.

The goal, AFAIK, was to have the decision be based on the successful completion of faction missions for Season 4 scenarios, so polling wouldn't really work.

The thing that annoys me most is that from the podcast it appears that the decision, at least as far as the Shadow Lodge was concerned, was pretty much taken back in December. So apparently completing faction missions in scenarios released (or even simply played) after the first few months didn't count.

The folks at Paizo might play the scenarios within a month of their being released, but most of us don't. In fact around here it's quite common for most players to wait until con season starts (February, in our case) before tackling many current scenarios (not least because the GMs play the scenarios at a con, then come back and run the table for everybody else). Add to that the fact that Season 4 was designed for tables of 6, which can be hard to put together at a game store. While there was scaling to accommodate a 4-player table that didn't always work too well, and wasn't even an option for 5 players. The increased challenge could also make things very difficult characters who would have to play up to get a seat at the table.
With all that (and early reports that some of the first season 4 scenarios were leading to TPKs), there were quite a lot of players taking a "wait and see" attitude during those first few months.

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