Pathfinder Society (second edition) Character Options

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Greetings, Society Members!
Earlier today, we revealed the next round of sanctioning for Starfinder Society—including the Attack of the Swarm! and Threefold Conspiracy Adventure Paths Chronicle Sheets. If you missed that blog, you can catch up here!

Now it’s Pathfinder’s turn. The team finished their review of the products and consulted with our community’s Additional Resource team about what best fit the Organized Play environment. Instead of waiting for an updated web page with formatting, we decided to get everything into our players’ hands. That doesn’t mean a new site with better layout isn’t coming, we just didn’t want to hold things up any longer waiting our turn in the web queue. All the rulebooks and Lost Omens products, up to and including Pathfinder Lost Omens Gods & Magic, appear in this update, so there is plenty to choose from. Apologies for the length—If you want to find a particular section, we suggest using control + F and the name of the book you’re looking for.

We made a few changes to the layout and structure of the character options, as well as how we look at what we include in the campaign. To help players understand what goes into character options, as well as the parameters and criteria in how we address concepts, we included a new section at the top of this document. Some of the items in this section include core assumptions, table policy, and access. This information is being migrated to the guide and will appear there with the next update.

You’ve waited long enough, so without further ado, here is the first batch of Pathfinder Society (Second Edition) character options!

I’ll see you next week for our beginning of the month update on Society!

Until then – Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager


Character Options

Legal Sources and Table Policy

Character options from the following books can be used in Pathfinder Society.

  • Rulebooks Line
    • Pathfinder Core Rulebook
    • Pathfinder Bestiary
    • Gamemastery Guide
    • Advanced Player's Guide
  • Lost Omens Line
    • Lost Omens World Guide
    • Lost Omens Character Guide
    • Lost Omens Gods & Magic
    • Lost Omens Legends
    • Lost Omens Pathfinder Society Guide

To use an option from any source other than the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, the Pathfinder Bestiary, or the Lost Omens World Guide in Pathfinder Society play, you must bring any one of the following to your game table:

  • A physical copy of the book you wish to use
  • A name-watermarked PDF copy of the book
  • Name-watermarked printouts of all relevant pages you wish to use from the PDF
  • Access to the rules you wish to use in the form of either electronic access to the Pathfinder Reference Document (paizo.com/prd) or a photocopy of the relevant pages, along with proof of purchase, such as a receipt from a game store or a screenshot of your My Downloads page on paizo.com.

The following do not satisfy this requirement:

  • A photocopy of a physical book with no proof of purchase
  • Printouts from electronic character builders such as Hero Lab
  • Content reproduced in other sources under the Open Gaming License (such as an online reference document or a homemade omnibus)

Family members, significant others, or other members of the same household (such as roommates) can share resources if they are playing at the same table, rather than requiring a separate copy of the same book for each person. A group of friends that always plays together at the same table fulfills this requirement, as long as all the necessary materials for each character's options are present. Members playing at separate tables must each supply their own materials as normal.

In addition to the copy of the rules themselves, you must be able to provide an electronic or physical copy of the below Additional Resources page for that source to show that the options you have selected for your character are legal for play.

Rarity, Access, and Availability

Character options for Pathfinder Society play have one of three levels of availability: standard, limited, or restricted.

Standard: These options follow the standard rules as printed in their respective sourcebooks. If a character wants to take this option, they must meet all its prerequisites as usual. If the option is uncommon or rarer, they must also have access to the option. Characters can gain access in a variety of ways. They can gain access by virtue of their origin, religion, or their membership in certain organizations (see below sections). Selecting certain common character options can give you access to other, rarer ones; for instance, a gnome who takes the Gnome Weapon Familiarity ancestry feat gains access to uncommon gnome weapons. Specific boons—such as from the Achievement Points system or Chronicle Sheets—can also grant access to these options.

Limited: A limited option is rarer in Society play, but not unheard of. A limited option can be selected only if specifically allowed by a boon—whether from the Achievement Points system, a Chronicle Sheet, or another other option from a Pathfinder Society source—even if the option is common or if the character meets the normal prerequisites or access requirements printed in the option’s source.

Restricted: A restricted option is one that is not generally appropriate for all tables or conducive to the Pathfinder Society's shared campaign setting, such as a one-of-a-kind weapon, a horrific spell used by only the most evil magic-users, or player options that require high degrees of GM adjudication. Such options will generally be made available for Society Play in only a very few special cases, such as via boons given out as part of charity events, if at all.

Character Origin

When you create a character, you can choose their origin, including their ethnicity and nationality/region of origin. These choices might allow your character to take certain character options. For instance, humans of Jadwiga ethnicity descend from the witch-queens of Irrisen, and they can take the Irriseni Ice-Witch feat to represent this connection. Similarly, characters from the Broken Lands have access to the Aldori dueling swords that are iconic to that region.

If your character is of mixed ethnicity or comes from multiple regions of origin, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one ethnicity and one region of origin that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.

Certain boons, such as Home Region or Multicultural Training, can allow you to change or expand your character’s origin for the purpose of qualifying for character options, to reflect their life experiences.

Religion

When you create a character, you can choose their religion or philosophy. If your character is of a class that directly interacts with the divine, such as a cleric or a champion, you must make this choice at first level as part of gaining your class abilities. However, characters of any class might be allowed to certain character options based on the deity they follow. For instance, all followers of Abadar gain access to Abadar’s flawless scale, a magic item considered holy by the faith.

Characters can worship and gain mechanical benefits from any deity listed in the table of gods on page 437 of the Core Rulebook or detailed in Lost Omens Gods & Magic, so long as their alignment matches one of the deity’s listed follower alignments. Note that some deities, such as Rovagug or Urgathoa, allow only evil followers; as Society characters cannot be lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil, these deities cannot be worshiped to gain benefits in Society play. Characters can also be agnostic, atheist, or can follow the tenets of philosophies (Lost Omens Gods & Magic 94–101) rather than deities.

Your character can participate in the rituals and cultural aspects of a deity’s faith without being a worshipper of that deity; for instance, citizens of the diabolic nation of Cheliax might participate in state holidays revering Asmodeus, the Prince of Darkness, but only lawful evil followers are true worshippers of his faith.

If your character worships multiple deities, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one deity that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.

Pantheons

Characters can also follow pantheons (Lost Omens Gods & Magic 92) instead of specific deities, in which case they gain the benefits of the pantheon as a whole. Characters in Society play must choose a patron deity when following a pantheon. They can use both their patron deity and the pantheon as a whole to satisfy access and prerequisites, but not any other deities in the pantheon individually. For instance, a lawful neutral cleric could worship the Godclaw, with Iomedae as her patron deity, in which case she could take options related to both Iomedae and the Godclaw, but this wouldn’t automatically allow her to take options related to Torag, Irori, Abadar, or Asmodeus.

Edicts and Anathema in Society Play

Several characters, such as clerics or champions, must abide by the edicts and anathema of their deity to receive divine powers from that deity. To allow a wide variety of characters in Society play, the rules around edicts and anathema are slightly relaxed. It is generally assumed that all characters can participate in Pathfinder Society adventures without running afoul of their deity’s edicts and anathema—attempting to perform the primary objective of an official Pathfinder Society mission by itself will not cause a character to fall out of favor with their deity. For example, Pharasma prohibits robbing tombs, but a cleric of Pharasma can accept a Society mission to retrieve an artifact from a pyramid, confident that the Society has gone through the proper channels to secure the right to retrieve the artifact.

While edicts are valorous actions praised by a deity, a character does not need to perform their deity’s edicts to the exclusion of other activities, or if doing so would prevent the smooth progression of play at the table. When considering anathema, note that a character must actively and personally commit an anathemic act in Society play to incur consequences with their deity, and is not liable for the actions of their party members. For instance, a champion of Sarenrae could not personally lie to a guard when infiltrating a city, but they do not need to force the party’s rogue to tell the truth (though they might look on disapprovingly)

Remember that edicts and anathema exist to create roleplaying opportunities at the table for your character, and should not be used by the GM to pressure PCs, or by PCs to pressure other members of the table toward specific styles of play.

Uncommon Ancestries

Because your ancestry is the first thing you pick about your character and it is not possible to retrain your ancestry as you might retrain other options, the only way to select uncommon or rarer ancestries is with a boon that allows you to create a new character of this ancestry.

Organization Membership

Through the course of your character’s adventures, you might meet influential members of other organizations and have the opportunity to learn from them. The Secondary Initiation boon can be used to gain membership in an organization and access to its character options.

Books

Pathfinder Core Rulebook

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Please use these rarity and access adjustments in Society Play, instead of the rarity and access printed in the original source.

Languages: Note that the adjustment to regional languages (page 432) detailed in the Rulings and Clarifications section below expands some characters' access to Erutaki and Varki.
Items: All characters have access to the scholarly journal, scholarly journal compendium, survey map, and survey map atlas (page 291).
All characters have access to the wayfinder (page 617).
Spells: All characters have access to raise dead (page 362).
Rituals: All characters have access to atone (page 409) and resurrect (page 415).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

General Feats: Connections (page 260).

Restricted

None

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The level 1 version of summon plant or fungus (page 376) can be used to summon a leaf leshy (Pathfinder Bestiary page 218) that has the weak adjustment (Pathfinder Bestiary page 6). This is an exception to the rule that summon spells do not normally allow you to adjust the level of the summoned monsters by applying adjustments or templates to them
  • The Experienced Smuggler skill feat (page 261) allows you to Earn Income using Underworld Lore with tasks of your level –1, instead of the normal level –2.
  • Add the following regional languages to the options listed on page 432. As with other regional languages, a character hailing from the region listed below automatically has access to these languages.
    • Erutaki: Saga Lands
    • Varki: Saga Lands

Gamemastery Guide

As the Gamemastery Guide primarily contains tools for GMs, new subsystems, and rules variants rather than direct player options, all content from this book is of limited availability. However, Organized Play will be drawing from the rules options in this book in creating future adventures, boons, and other content.

Lost Omens World Guide

Note that your ethnicity, area of origin (nationality), or membership in certain factions might grant you access to options in this book. See the Character Origin and Organization Membership sections above.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Please use these rarity and access adjustments in Society Play, instead of the rarity and access printed in the original source.

Archetypes: [Updated Feb 7] All characters have access to Pathfinder Agent Dedication and all Pathfinder Agent feats (page 21).
Characters with the Living Monolith Dedication feat have access to Ka Stone Ritual (page 59).
Characters from the Mwangi Expanse have access to the Magic Warrior Dedication feat (page 95). This feat should be uncommon (see Rulings and Clarifications, below)
All uncommon organization options are available to members of the associated organization.
Items: All characters have access to the archaic wayfinder (page 17).
Characters from the Broken Lands have access to the Aldori dueling sword (page 28).
All characters of 10th level or higher who are from the High Seas have access to black pearl aeon stones (page 63).
Orcs and half-orcs from the Mwangi Expanse have access to blessed tattoos (page 92).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Feats: Eye of the Arclords (page 81)
Items: Golden Legion epaulet (page 124)

Restricted

Archetypes: Red Mantis Assassin Dedication and all Red Mantis assassin archetype feats (page 71).
Items: Pesh (refined) (page 52).

Rulings and Clarifications

The following rulings and clarifications are based on upcoming errata for this product.

  • The Aldori dueling sword’s (page 28) price should be 2 gp, not 20 gp.
  • Magic Warrior Dedication (page 95) should have the uncommon trait.

Additionally, please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The Prerequisites entry for Living Monolith Dedication (page 59) is “Osiriani language, trained in Crafting” rather than “Ancient Osiriani and Sphinx languages, trained in Crafting.”
  • The Prerequisites entry for Ka Stone Ritual (page 59) is “Living Monolith Dedication” rather than “Living Monolith Dedication, a sphinx or living monolith with this feat performs a ritual with you”.

Lost Omens Character Guide

Note that your ethnicity, area of origin (nationality), or membership in certain factions might grant you access to options in this book. See the Character Origin and Organization Membership sections above.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

None

Option Availability

Standard

Ancestries: All ancestry options are of standard availability. As the hobgoblin, leshy, and lizardfolk ancestries are uncommon, this means they are limited to boon access through Chronicle Sheets or the Achievement Point system (See Uncommon Ancestries above).

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

None

Restricted

Ancestries: Chosen of Lamashtu (page 38).

Rulings and Clarifications

The following rulings and clarifications are based on upcoming errata for this product.

  • [Updated Mar 05] The design and development teams have clarified that the ancient elf heritage (page 25) requires an elven lifespan (a feature that half-elves do not have) and thus cannot be selected by half-elves using the Elf Atavism feat (Core Rulebook 58), only by full elves. Clarifying text has been added to the errata for this book.
  • Eclectic Obsession (page 33) should be a single action and have the one-action symbol accordingly.
  • Hobgoblin Weapon Familiarity (page 50) should contain fewer weapons. The updated text should read “You are trained with composite longbows, composite shortbows, glaives, longbows, longswords, and shortbows
  • Leshys with the fungus leshy heritage (page 53) do not have the plant trait listed in the leshy base statistics sidebar, but have the fungus trait instead.
  • [Updated Jan 31] The seedpod ranged unarmed attack granted by the Seedpod feat (page 54) has a range increment (not a flat range) of 10 feet.
  • Add Amurrun to the list in the lizardfolk base statistics sidebar (page 57) of additional languages you can choose if you have a positive Intelligence modifier.
  • Impassable Wall Stance (page 90) should have the stance trait.
  • The key spellcasting ability for the spells granted by Invoke the Crimson Oath (page 95) is Charisma.

Lost Omens Gods & Magic

Remember that your religion might grant you access to options in this book, even if you are not a cleric or champion. See the Religion section above for more information.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Dieties: The Pillars of Knowledge, Prismatic Ray, and Wards of the Pharaoh pantheons that originally appeared in the January 21, 2020 Paizo Blog entry, “Friends in High Places” are available for Society play and can be selected following the normal rules for pantheons.
Items: Characters from Numeria have access to the polytool (page 121).

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Deities: Achaekek (page 52).
Spells: Time beacon (page 111)

Restricted

Deities: All archdevils (page 124).
All demon lords (page 124).
All outer gods and great old ones (page 130).
Walkena (130).
All queens of the night (page 132).
Feats: Splinter Faith (page 8).

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • GMs cannot enact divine intercessions.
  • Remove the final sentence of Syncretism (page 105) that specifies the feat’s benefit if your cleric doctrine is not cloistered cleric or warpriest. Organized Play will reexamine this feat when additional cleric doctrines are released.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the final clause of Evangelize (page 105) that states “at the GM’s discretion, a target that genuinely changes its perspective to support your faith as a result of the argument is also otherwise unaffected.”
  • As Mortal Healing (page 105) requires you to specifically use the Treat Wounds action, it does not apply when used with other actions related to medicine or healing, such as Battle Medicine.
  • When using Sanctify Water (page 105) use your proficiency with simple weapons to determine your attack bonus when throwing the blessed container of water. If you give the container to another character for them to throw, they use their proficiency with improvised weapons instead.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the Prerequisites of Numb to Death (page 105) that states “you have died at least once.''
  • The temporary tool spell (page 111) can be used to create only simple tools, and therefore cannot create kits, which are complex objects made of multiple pieces, or objects made of any specific precious material.
  • The Targets entry for winter bolt (page 112) should be “1 creature”, not “1 creature or object.” This change is based on upcoming errata for the Pathfinder Core Rulebook
  • The Targets entry for withering grasp (page 112) should be “1 creature or unattended object”, not “1 creature or object.” When used on an unattended object, the object takes persistent damage on your next turn.
  • For the purposes of Society play, remove the final sentence of remember the lost (page 119) which states “A creature that truly knows no one who died with any sort of grievance to that creature is immune to this effect.”

Lost Omens Legends

Note that many of the options in this book are uncommon or rarer, as they represent the signature teachings, items, and ability of legendary figures.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

None.

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

None.

Restricted

Items: All infernal contracts (page 10).
Addiction suppressant (page 72).
Hype, diluted hype, and plasma hype (page 81).
Archetypes: All rare Red Mantis assassin archetype feats (Achaekek’s Grip, Fading, and Vernai Training) (page 58).

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • Spare wax cylinders for a clockwork recorder (page 24) cost 3 gp each and are the same rarity as the recorder itself (rare).
  • Spare bolts for a palm crossbow (page 25) cost 2 sp for 10 bolts and are the same rarity as the crossbow itself (rare).
  • For the purposes of Society play, the Azaersi’s Roads feat (page 28) can be used twice per Society adventure—once to travel from the Material Plane to the Plane of Earth, once to travel from the Plane of Earth to the Material Plane.
  • For the purposes of Society play, the telepathic link created by a deepdread claw (page 28) ends when a Society adventure ends.
  • Per design team clarification, an item animated by the spirit object (page 32) hex uses the spellcaster’s spell DC as its AC. Its Hardness and Hit Points remain unchanged from their normal values as listed on page 577 of the Core Rulebook.
  • If a target of all is one, one is all (page 64) does not consent to the allocation of Hit Points resulting from this spell, they become an unwilling target and they (and their Hit Points) are removed from the spell’s effect. The spell can continue with any remaining targets.

Advanced Player’s Guide

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Ancestries: Due to years of successful Pathfinder Society activities, all characters have access to the kobold ancestry (page 12).
Archetypes: All characters have access to the vigilante archetype (page 196).

Option Availability

Standard

Ancestries: All ancestry and versatile heritage options, other than kobolds, are of standard availability. As the catfolk, orc, ratfolk, and tengu ancestries and the aasimar, changeling, dhampir, duskwalker, and tiefling versatile heritages are uncommon, this means they are limited to boon access through Chronicle Sheets or the Achievement Point system (See Uncommon Ancestries above). Orc feats can continue to be taken by half-orc characters who meet the prerequisites or access requirements, as normal.

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Ancestries: Defy the Darkness (page 42)
Items: earthsight box (page 260)
Feats: A Home in Every Port (page 202)
Biographical Eye (page 203)
Consult the Spirits (page 204)
Criminal Connections (page 204)
Underground Network (page 209)

Restricted

Classes: Connect the Dots (page 62)
Whodunnit? (page 63)
Plot the Future (page 64)
Spells: ghostly tragedy (page 220)

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The snares created with the Snare Genius kobold ancestry feat (page 15) are temporary items and become unusable after 24 hours or during your next daily preparations, whichever comes first.
  • The Tusks orc ancestry feat (page 18) requires the character to file down their tusks or perform a similar action to retrain; this is part of the normal retraining process and does not take any additional time.
  • The temporary Hit Points granted by the Spell Devourer orc ancestry feat (page 19) are applied as soon as the character succeeds at their saving throw; for an effect that causes Hit Point damage on a successful save, such as a fireball, this means that the character gains the temporary Hit Points before taking damage.
  • Unless specifically noted otherwise, most wands and scrolls are less than 1 foot long and can fit into a ratfolk’s Cheek Pouches (page 22).
  • Per design team clarification, the Homeward Bound gnome feat (page 44) should be of uncommon rarity.
  • Per design team clarification, the Speed penalty inflicted by the Kneecap feat (page 45) has a duration of 1 round.
  • GMs should provide a character with the That’s Odd investigator feat (page 60) a hint whenever the character enters a room with hidden aspects, specifically with regard to hidden passageways (such as scuff marks near a bookcase that’s actually a swinging door), creatures or hazards (such as drippage on the floor from an unseen fungus growing on the rafters), or valuables (such as bunched carpet over a secret compartment in the floor that contains a bag of coins). The GM does not need to provide clues for rooms that have no significant secret or hidden features. These clues should indicate only that the character should investigate a given section of the room, not let them automatically uncover the hidden element or provide any additional information beyond signaling its presence.
  • GMs should let a character with the Sense the Unseen investigator feat (page 64) know when the trigger for the ability has been met so they can use the feat if they so choose.
  • Given the slightly relaxed rules around edicts and anathema in Society play, a barbarian with the superstition instinct (page 108) can benefit from spells and magic items if they are an unavoidable part of a Society adventure, such as if a scenario assumes the PCs are transported to their mission location via a teleport spell, or if an adventure requires that all PCs participate in a magical ritual.
  • Per design team clarification, when a barbarian uses the Sunder Spell feat (page 111) against a spell like wall of fire that does not have a listed AC, the Strike hits automatically—the barbarian simply rolls the counteract check.
  • A cavalier (page 184) can pledge to a legal deity, religion, or pantheon, an organization they have access to, or the Pathfinder Society. The edicts and anathema of the Pathfinder Society are as follows:
    Edicts: Explore important sites, report and record your discoveries, and cooperate with fellow Pathfinders
    Anathema: Fail to explore, report and cooperate; defy the will of a venture-captain or the Decemvirate
  • A vigilante’s Safe House (page 196), can be located in any city or near any lodge they have received a Pathfinder briefing. A vigilante can use their downtime to relocate their safe house. A vigilante can use their safe house only if it is in the town or location where their current adventure is taking place.
  • The DCs for the Armor Assist feat (page 203) are not subject to GM adjudication. Rather, simply use the default DCs listed in the feat: 15 for common armor, 20 for uncommon armor, and 25 for rare armor.
  • For the purposes of Society play, the Targets entry for the claim undead (page 230) oracle revelation spell is “1 mindless undead creature”, not “1 undead creature.” The intent of this change is to reduce the prevalence of domination magic on sapient creatures in Society play.
  • Strikes made by a malicious shadow (page 238) use the spellcaster’s spell attack roll.

Lost Omens Pathfinder Society Guide

Note that players have automatic access as members of the Pathfinder Society to many of the uncommon options in this book, and they can gain access to several others through free Chronicle Boons, which can be acquired once a character completes a related adventure. See our October 15th blog.

Rarity and Access Adjustments

Items: Characters from the High Seas have access to the boarding pike and combat grapnel (page 81).
All characters have access to the everyneed pack (page 85).
As stated in the section introduction, all characters have access to the magic items in the Magic Items section on page 117.
Feats: As stated in the section introduction, all characters have access to the uncommon (but not rare) options in the Academy Instructors section on pages 118–119.

Option Availability

Standard

All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise.

Limited

Faction Gear: All faction-specific gear (Envoy’s Alliance, page 26; Horizon Hunters, pages 29–30; Grand Archive, page 34; Vigilant Seal, pages 37–38). Players can gain access to each set of gear by taking the corresponding Faction Gear Access Game Reward, available when they reach 20 reputation with the respective faction.
Items: Razmiri wayfinder (page 72–73)

Restricted

None.

Rulings and Clarifications

Please follow these rulings and clarifications specific to Pathfinder Society play wherever they conflict with the language printed in the original source.

  • The blade within a stiletto pen (page 30) is a simple weapon.
  • All versions of metalmist spheres in this book (page 38) contain either cold iron or silver.
  • The trigger for Master’s Counterspell (page 48) should begin with “A creature Casts a Spell that you have prepared or is in your repertoire...” to provide a trigger for spontaneous spellcasters as well as prepared spellcasters.
  • A character with the Fane’s Fourberie feat (page 118) can etch their deck of cards with weapon runes themself or have this service provided by a third party. The deck can also be targeted by weapon-modifying effects such as a magic weapon spell.
  • The saving throw for the calligraphy wyrm’s Ink Spray ability (page 122) should have a DC equal to the master’s spell DC or class DC, whichever is higher.

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Paizo Employee 3/5 * Organized Play Manager

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Watery Soup wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Just want to remind everyone that there are task forces setup to assist in the review process and those groups have not been sitting idle.

What is the target turnaround time for these task forces? Bestiary 2 was released 8 months ago.

Is it a goal, stretch goal, or not a goal to get Bestiary N sanctioned before Bestiary N+1 is released?

We peeked at Bestiary 2 and found that there are several points that will need dev input. We've lost/gained 2 staff in 3 months, so it is all hands on deck to just keep the scenario ship moving. Jan's are in the can, but that means we are in the middle of Feb production cycles. Each production cycle usually gives us a week or two of non-scenario dev time. Once we get to the next break, we've got a queue ready for the devs.

First up is Ancestry Guide - goal is sanctioned concurrently or before the book is available for purchase (Feb).

Then we will go back and catch Bestiary 2 and other outliers.

2/5 5/5 *

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

I'm sure there are people that really like summoning, but I appreciate that the character option books are prioritized in sanctioning over Bestiaries, especially since I can only imagine the amount of effort required to gauge the balance and unintended interactions of more and more creatures, especially as the CR goes up and how that could easily delay sanctioning books with broader appeal/utility.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm really stoked for the ancestry guide. I think prioritizing it is the right call.

**

For starters: personally, I hate summoning, so I couldn't care less about Bestiary 2 specifically.

That there needs to be a prioritization at all is what concerns me. Is sanctioning (as an aggregate) happening faster or slower than publishing (as an aggregate)? Because if sanctioning as a whole is slower than publishing as a whole, then some fraction of published material will never get sanctioned, regardless of what order sanctioning happens.

If there's a queue, Bestiary 2 is going to be higher priority than, say, a bunch of unsanctioned 1E materials that are even lower in the queue, right? (Again, personally, I'm not waiting on 1E sanctioning myself, but if it's after B2, then it will have been at least 2 years between release and sanctioning? That seems like a long time.)

And I think I've asked this before, but have forgotten the answer (or never received one): why can't things be partially sanctioned? I imagine this is one of those "90% of the problems come from 10% of the material" situations. If there are no holdups with low-level animals or elementals, can't someone declare "animals and elementals from Level -1 to 9 from B2 are sanctioned, everything else is still under review"?

2/5 5/5 *

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

I expect that sanctioning creatures for use is multifold more difficult than sanctioning an archetype, feat, or ancestry.

Bestiary 1: Animal 3: Dire Wolf
AC 18, HP 50, Bite +12 w/ reach 1d10+5 and Knockdown or Grab + autodamage

Is the pachycephalosaurus from the Bestiary 2 comparable?

Animal 3: Pachycephalosaurus
AC 19, HP 65, Skull +11 w/ reach 1d10+6 and special Shove
2-action Charge with Stun 1 on critical

I don't know. Maybe? Each creature, pretty much beyond -1 (and sometimes including -1) has some unique gimmick. The higher up you go, the more unique the gimmick. That's the design philosophy with PF2 NPCs. And some times those gimmicks are going to break rules, intentionally or not, and need clarification before the decision to allow or disallow can even be made. It's not as simple as "-1 through 9 aren't going to be a problem so here you go."

Scarab Sages 4/5

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They fell behind on sanctioning due to a number of factors. Bestiary 2 was caught in that. The last several books have been sanctioned at or very near release. It’s one area where there has been a significant and noticeable improvement. The process going forward appears to be working with regards to new books. If it takes some time to catch up on getting Bestiary 2 sanctioned, but future books continue to be sanctioned on time, I’m ok with that. We’ve had far worse situations in the past.

2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Massachusetts—Boston

I think its also possible that B2 was seen as a 'GM' book that didn't need sanctioning, until people brought up its role as a source of summons, especially for some of the levels that didn't have B1 options. I wouldn't be surprised if further 'monster heavy' books (since I think they indicated B3 was the last pure-bestiary) aren't prioritized for sanctioning.

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

Ferious Thune wrote:
They fell behind on sanctioning due to a number of factors. Bestiary 2 was caught in that. The last several books have been sanctioned at or very near release. It’s one area where there has been a significant and noticeable improvement. The process going forward appears to be working with regards to new books. If it takes some time to catch up on getting Bestiary 2 sanctioned, but future books continue to be sanctioned on time, I’m ok with that. We’ve had far worse situations in the past.

I too remember Fall 2019, when Fall of Plaguestone, Lost Omen World Guide, and Lost Omen Character Guide were not sanctioned for months after publication. The current system is an improvement.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Watery Soup wrote:
Their efforts will only ever see the light of day if B2 is sanctioned faster than new rules and mechanics make their work obsolete. As new rules get added, so will the likelihood of having to revisit and revise the work already done.

I disagree that their efforts are reduced if something is not done as quickly as some would like.

**

Gary Bush wrote:
Watery Soup wrote:
Their efforts will only ever see the light of day if B2 is sanctioned faster than new rules and mechanics make their work obsolete. As new rules get added, so will the likelihood of having to revisit and revise the work already done.
I disagree that their efforts are reduced if something is not done as quickly as some would like.

The goalposts will move over time; what was completed work 6 months ago won't be complete 6 months from now.

---

But, let's talk about the root of this problem, which is expectation.

- Do you think players should expect B2 to be sanctioned, ever?
- Do you think they should expect it to be sanctioned before the Summoner class is sanctioned?
- Do you think they should expect it to be sanctioned before B3 is published?

There's no "right" answer (especially since things like Summoner sanctioning have error bars), but being able to properly set expectations is a pretty key part of making things function correctly. The heterogeneity of expectations is a direct result of nobody taking responsibility for setting them properly.

If you don't like people expecting B2 to be sanctioned within 8 months of publication (for reference, note that PF2 is only 17 months old), then get someone to provide a better answer.

Finished by Easter? Easter miracle! Finished by SoM? Fine. Finished after Gen Con 2022? Fine. Never finished? Fine. But whatever people say, I'm remembering predictions and dividing the time it actually took by the time someone said it would take, to obtain their Untrustworthiness Ratio.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

This is why we don't see exact dates from OP. Because they have been hammered so hard in the when the dates where provided and missed.

So the best we will get is Soon(TM).

**

Gary Bush wrote:
This is why we don't see exact dates from OP. Because they have been hammered so hard in the when the dates where provided and missed.

They're going to get criticized whenever they don't meet expectations, whether they set those expectations themselves, or they just let people set their individual expectations.

Gary Bush wrote:
So the best we will get is Soon(TM).

If you truly believe that, then you'll probably be right.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Watery Soup wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
So the best we will get is Soon(TM).
If you truly believe that, then you'll probably be right.

I have found it is easier, and less stressful, if I accept that what I am looking for will come out soon(tm) because otherwise I just waste a lot of my energy for no real gain.

Grand Archive

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Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Only thing I will add to this:
Paizo people are not the only ones walking back on giving exact dates for everything. I have seen a lot of companies these last years giving dates closer and closer to actual releases. Because when you work on things that take months and years to develop, well... When there are unexpected events (not if, when), the delay can vary a lot from a couple of days to a month or even more... On the lower end, yeah, easy to catch up... but trying to catch up a month delay in... like... a month, while still doing that month's work is crazy, and toxic. So when I see a company that doesn't give dates early, I know it's because they don't want to crunch their employees to death to attain unreasonable delivery dates promised to players before most of the work was done, and I love this.

(And even if they don't impose crunches and push back the release, the employees responsible for that product/service WILL feel responsible for the delays, and every bad reaction to the delay WILL hit them and cause stress.)

**

Elfteiroh wrote:
When there are unexpected events (not if, when)

How can a delay be unexpected when you're so sure it's going to happen?

Good planners don't avoid negative events, they build it into their schedules. If you leave for work in the morning with just enough time only if everything works out in your favor, it's not an accident or traffic that made you late.

The simple solution is to not promise things as fast as you can do them. If you show up to your 9:00 am meeting at 9:15 am every time and claim that traffic was really bad, lol.

I'm not asking for faster promises. I'm asking for realistic estimates.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Watery Soup wrote:
Elfteiroh wrote:
When there are unexpected events (not if, when)
How can a delay be unexpected when you're so sure it's going to happen?

I don't think Elfteiroh was talking about a specific unexpected event but a general unexpected event.

And yes good plans build around possible negative events. But no plan survives once it is put into motion. Plans will have to be modified and thus what was a realistic estimate can become unrealistic.

I think OP leadership and Paizo leadership has been fairly forthcoming with information.

We all know that the past year has done to our society. Very few plans survived in their original form.

I know it is a tough pill to take. Paizo is not initially leading us in opposite direction. They want to provide us with the products we want. But their plans have been turned upside down. How about cutting them some slack?

**

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Gary Bush wrote:
good plans build around possible negative events. But no plan survives once it is put into motion.

If the original plan were a good plan, then you should see possible positive events accelerating the time tables as much as you see possible negative events decelerating the time table. If 90% of unexpected events cause you to be late, you need to plan for more expected negative events.

Gary Bush wrote:
We all know that the past year has done to our society. Very few plans survived in their original form.

Bestiary 2 was released in May, after the pandemic quarantines began.

But you know what? Paizo is a for-profit company, and there's no need to kid-glove this. Everyone's had to adjust this past year, and if anything, it's been a good time this year to weed out logistical anachronisms. Have people (including organizers) been dissatisfied with the way PaizoCon has been run? Great news - there's a giant RESET button that got pushed, and when PaizoCon comes back, it has the opportunity to be better. Nobody at Skype is happy that they've seen a small increase in their traffic in 2020, because their competitor Zoom has taken a disproportionate market share by simply being there when people were looking to grab onto.

As a contrast, I'll point out something I think Paizo has done well: getting the monthly scenarios out on time. No "they will come out when they come out" excuses, no "coronavirus means we can't put out two scenarios/month" excuses. Every month (ironically, except for this month), two scenarios come out. The Lodges can plan out their schedules on Warhorn for several weeks/months in advance - sup Auckland Pathfinder Society, I can sign up for #2-18 on May 12, 2021! It's great - people can count on games running, people can plan ahead, and it works really smoothly because someone has sat down, decided how much they can {write / get people to write / edit / sanction / format / publish}, and then promised that they're going to get it done, and gets it done. And on the rare occasion that it doesn't happen (like this month), nobody complains too much because overall, the system feels like it can be trusted.

Gary Bush wrote:
How about cutting them some slack?

How much slack do you think should be cut before this becomes A Problem(TM)? If it's not sanctioned within 1 year of release? 2 years? 5 years? (Remember that PF1 material is now 2-ish years and still has the Soon(TM) tag.)

Let me reiterate: I don't care about Bestiary 2 specifically. I don't care about the remaining PF1 material specifically. But if it's a flawed system (even if it's improved over an even worse system), sooner or later, it will be something that I do care about, and that's what bothers me.

Scarab Sages 1/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Virginia—Richmond

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Watery Soup wrote:

But you know what? Paizo is a for-profit company, and there's no need to kid-glove this. Everyone's had to adjust this past year, and if anything, it's been a good time this year to weed out logistical anachronisms. Have people (including organizers) been dissatisfied with the way PaizoCon has been run? Great news - there's a giant RESET button that got pushed, and when PaizoCon comes back, it has the opportunity to be better. Nobody at Skype is happy that they've seen a small increase in their traffic in 2020, because their competitor Zoom has taken a disproportionate market share by simply being there when people were looking to grab onto.

As a contrast, I'll point out something I think Paizo has done well: getting the monthly scenarios out on time. No "they will come out when they come out" excuses, no "coronavirus means we can't put out two scenarios/month" excuses. Every month (ironically, except for this month), two scenarios come out. The Lodges can plan out their schedules on Warhorn for several weeks/months in advance - sup Auckland Pathfinder Society, I can sign up for #2-18 on May 12, 2021! It's great - people can count on games running, people can plan ahead, and it works really smoothly because someone has sat down, decided how much they can {write / get people to write / edit / sanction / format / publish}, and then promised that they're going to get it done, and gets it done. And on the rare occasion that it doesn't happen (like this month), nobody complains too much because overall, the system feels like it can be trusted.

The reason the OPT has been publishing Scenarios so consistently is because Scenarios are top priority, and even then an unexpected event still caused a delay. Books that have relatively few PC options, such as Bestiaries, or books that reward player participating in retired campaigns, such as the 1E APs awaiting sanctioning, are lower priorities.

Saying the OPT's system is "flawed" because they prioritize some projects over others, or because productivity is harmed by turnover, doesn't make sense at all. They only have a certain amount of man-hours.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Netherlands—Leiden

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Also, in retrospect, PaizoCon 2020 was much better than many of the other big conventions that got pushed online.

3/5 ** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro

Watery Soup wrote:


As a contrast, I'll point out something I think Paizo has done well: getting the monthly scenarios out on time. No "they will come out when they come out" excuses, no "coronavirus means we can't put out two scenarios/month" excuses. Every month (ironically, except for this month), two scenarios come out. The Lodges can plan out their schedules on Warhorn for several weeks/months in advance - sup Auckland Pathfinder Society, I can sign up for #2-18 on May 12, 2021! It's great - people can count on games running, people can plan ahead, and it works really smoothly because someone has sat down, decided how much they can {write / get people to write / edit / sanction / format / publish}, and then promised that they're going to get it done, and gets it done. And on the rare occasion that it doesn't happen (like this month), nobody complains too much because overall, the system feels like it can be trusted.

That is only your perspective and hasn't always been the case. Paizo was pretty bad on the back end and its improved drastically. Even in terms of releasing scenarios which you apparently have never had to deal with wasn't entirely great. I've seen the timeframe of that sort of stuff go from a day to a month in advance. Im entirely surprised as to why you've never ran into the backend complaints because I don't think your a new poster. Overall as much as you think otherwise things have been steadily improving.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Whatever happened to "Legacy Boons" from PF1? I'm GMing a Season 10 scenario for PaizoCon that has one, and since I don't play 2e I can't explain it to my players if they ask about it at the end.

Without spoilering it, the chronicle has a recap of the scenario, then says "This boon may have benefits and effects for the Pathfinder Second Edition organized play campaign."

So, are there any benefits or effects to these boons, and if so where would I find the specific effect for a scenario's Legacy boon?

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

Nomadical wrote:

Whatever happened to "Legacy Boons" from PF1? I'm GMing a Season 10 scenario for PaizoCon that has one, and since I don't play 2e I can't explain it to my players if they ask about it at the end.

Without spoilering it, the chronicle has a recap of the scenario, then says "This boon may have benefits and effects for the Pathfinder Second Edition organized play campaign."

So, are there any benefits or effects to these boons, and if so where would I find the specific effect for a scenario's Legacy boon?

If and when there's a benefit in a scenario, said scenario would say so.

There is no general benefit.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ** Contributor

There are also some interesting legacy backgrounds in 2E that are available if you have played 5 or more scenarios in a given season.

Grand Lodge 2/5

The Coolest Pirate Ever wrote:

If and when there's a benefit in a scenario, said scenario would say so.

There is no general benefit.

Ah, okay, so these are like the boons in Starfinder that you would slot if the GM says it matters, like Envar's Attention, for example. Got it, thanks.

The Forever Queen of PBP wrote:
There are also some interesting legacy backgrounds in 2E that are available if you have played 5 or more scenarios in a given season.

I did see those when I was trying to figure out what a Legacy boon was, and before I gave up and asked here. I will have to remember to look into those when/if I get around to trying 2E.

Thanks to both of you for the answers. Here's hoping we see each other again next year at a "real" PaizoCon,

**

Adam Yakaboski wrote:
Im entirely surprised as to why you've never ran into the backend complaints because I don't think your a new poster.

I agree there are backend complaints - actually, I've generated quite a few myself, on the forums and through Customer Support. Here's the difference: OP is not in charge of the website. The website predates 2E, so as problematic as it is, it's kind of a legacy artifact.

In contrast, 2E was built from the ground up just 1.5 years ago. Paizo - and OP - had the opportunity to build everything exactly as they wanted it. They had the advantage of 10+ years experience in sanctioning 1E materials, so they knew all the pitfalls.

Falling 9 months behind 18 months in is really significant.

Adam wrote:
Overall as much as you think otherwise things have been steadily improving.

Sure, it's improving relative to what it used to be, but does it meet expectations on an absolute level?

My first PbP convention was delayed because Paizo didn't get GMs the scenarios they were supposed to run. So is it an improvement that GMs now get the scenarios before the actual start of a convention? Yes, absolutely.

But does that meet expectations on an absolute level? Should we be happy just because GMs got scenarios before the beginning of a convention and it's not as bad as when they used to have to delay conventions?

That's a really low bar.

I think Paizo should aim higher than "Soon(TM)" and "well at least it's better now". They got to push the Big Red Reset Button and design everything from scratch, so this is a lot like the brand new car having to be taken to the shop a month after purchase - yes, that old junker that you traded in had to be fixed every week, but that thing had 200,000 miles on it, and the new car was supposed to be different.

2/5 5/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

1. Necromancy

2.

Quote:
I think Paizo . . .

You're conflating Paizo and Organized Play. They are linked, yes, but they do not share manpower, resources, or priorities equally. For one out of many things, the reset button was for Paizo, not Organized Play. Organized Play still had to maintain PFS(1), SFS, and PACS while adding PFS(2).

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ** Contributor

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My Favorite Pilot wrote:

I did see those when I was trying to figure out what a Legacy boon was, and before I gave up and asked here. I will have to remember to look into those when/if I get around to trying 2E.

Thanks to both of you for the answers. Here's hoping we see each other again next year at a "real" PaizoCon,

You totally should try out PF2. It is really hard to make a bad build in the system, and the play is quite dynamic! I am also looking forward to seeing people again at Conventions in 2022!

Hmm

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5 ***

The new Guide seems a bit unclear in reference to previous rules. If you have boons that were purchased prior to the change in the AcP/Reputation system, are those still valid? What happens if a boon you had still exists, but the Reputation required is now higher than it was under the old system and you don't yet have enough?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5 ***

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If you purchased Boons with Fame before January 31st, you have them.

A few, like Hirelings, had their text changed, so you use the updated version for those.

But I agree that deserves clarification in the Guide somewhere.

4/5 ***

There are still a few pages that got rolled back in the transition to the new site. That is one of them.

Reputation boons use the reputation chart under retired boons and the text there.

(This got clarified when the page was updated Feb 2nd. But the updated page didn't get migrated.)

**

Blake's Tiger wrote:
the reset button was for Paizo, not Organized Play. Organized Play still had to maintain PFS(1), SFS, and PACS while adding PFS(2).

The current holdup for Bestiary 2 is at Paizo, not Organized Play, correct?

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

It is complicated and has been explained in other posts.

3/5 ** Venture-Agent, Massachusetts—Boston Metro

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Watery Soup wrote:


In contrast, 2E was built from the ground up just 1.5 years ago. Paizo - and OP - had the opportunity to build everything exactly as they wanted it. They had the advantage of 10+ years experience in sanctioning 1E materials, so they knew all the pitfall

I mean would you rather there not be scenarios? There's a lot of work that needs to get done and it's in particular only done by three people.

Also you know a freaking plague happened in the middle of this. That certainly couldn't have drastically affected everything.

5/5 *****

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Watery Soup wrote:
Blake's Tiger wrote:
the reset button was for Paizo, not Organized Play. Organized Play still had to maintain PFS(1), SFS, and PACS while adding PFS(2).
The current holdup for Bestiary 2 is at Paizo, not Organized Play, correct?

Bestiary 2 is now sanctioned.

2/5 5/5 *

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

You do realize that--almost certainly not in this thread (I'm too lazy to double check)--as far as I know, nobody from Organized Play has made any excuse for why Bestiary was delayed.

In fact, I believe that they explained that Bestiary 2 contained some text/actions that needed clarification from Paizo before they could sanction.

Paizo gave no indication as to why it took so long for them to get back to Organized play.

Grand Archive 4/5 ***

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Blake's Tiger wrote:

You do realize that--almost certainly not in this thread (I'm too lazy to double check)--as far as I know, nobody from Organized Play has made any excuse for why Bestiary was delayed.

In fact, I believe that they explained that Bestiary 2 contained some text/actions that needed clarification from Paizo before they could sanction.

Paizo gave no indication as to why it took so long for them to get back to Organized play.

As I am not on the teams involved and have absolutely zero inside information about any of this, I am free to note that the sanctioning document dropped almost immediately after the book errata, and the book errata had at least one fairly significant change to a summonable animal.

Grand Lodge 4/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Columbia

They are not falling behind on sanctioning. B2 is an exception to the rule. Instead, almost every book for 2nd Edition has been sanctioned on the date of release. The APs are being sanctioned quite timely compared to 1e too.

I think Paizo did a very good job dealing with the pandemic. It forced them, as well as many other companies to realize that remote working is a viable reality. There are going to be many changes that come from the pandemic, history teaches us that. The companies that prosper in the upcoming months will be the ones that adapt to the changes the best. Will Paizo be one of them? Time will tell, won't it?

As for the USS Pessimistic Reality, it will be blown to bits by the SS We Are Tired Of This Crap regardless of whether there is a vaccine-resistant strain of the virus or not. History teaches us that as well. You can see it coming this summer. People are just going to stop wearing masks and social distancing. You've already seen this happen with a fairly decent sized portion of the US. While I don't think we are at that point yet, it is coming whether any of us like it or not.

This is also why we need to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible. We hit 2.9M vaccinations given out in one day on Saturday. Our advances in science have made this possible. We can beat this, but it will take people getting those vaccines to make it happen.

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