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
  • Lost Omens Line
    • Lost Omens World Guide
    • Lost Omens Character Guide
    • Lost Omens Gods & Magic
  • Adventures Line
    • The Fall of Plaguestone

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.”

The Fall of Plaguestone

All sanctioning for this adventure occurs through the Chronicle Sheet for this adventure, which can be found in this free PDF download.

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—San Antonio aka Dragnmoon

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I thought that was the answer to how many Pathfinders does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Luckily due to the new Pathfinder 2e rules it works for both!

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I thought that was the answer to how many Pathfinders does it take to screw in a light bulb?

1 venture captain to send them, 3-7 pathfinders to actually accomplish the mission.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.

...and one ring to rule them all!!! muahahahahaha

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:

Michael, since you are taking such an active interest in the message boards of late (thank you for your insight and support btw), can you maybe give some clarity on two significant table variations that are affecting OP?

The first is Battle Medicine. How many hands does it require and is the use of a medicine tool kit required?

The second is more of guidelines rather than specific rules. How does the OP team see the use of Recall Knowledge? I don't know if this subject will be covered in the upcoming Gamemastery Guide. If so, we can wait a bit longer. If not, is there some direction we can get on how to adjudicate this very flexible game rule?

I will look at getting some official clarifications on these points, but I'll need to consult the rest of my team first.

Dark Archive 5/5 5/55/55/55/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
I thought that was the answer to how many Pathfinders does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Zis dependz: How many of four are from Numeria?

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:
I will look at getting some official clarifications on these points, but I'll need to consult the rest of my team first.

I found some light reading for you until then:

415 posts

175 posts

But I will mention that, whatever the answer ends up being, there are repercussions for PF2's action and hand usage economy in general depending on how the question is answered.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:
whatever the answer ends up being, there are repercussions for PF2's action and hand usage economy in general depending on how the question is answered.

Or they could say that the clarification we receive is specific to Battle Medicine and not meant to be a guide to evaluate other game rules. The ol’ specific vs general thing.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think that won't happen.

They learned from PF1 that there were too many exceptions to keep track of.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Perhaps. I don’t think this is an issue of OP having a different rule and we cannot even decide if an errata is necessary because we don’t even know what the intention is. Mark has done a good job popping into discussions and speaking on 2E, but I don’t understand why he seems to have “fled” from this topic. It’s almost like they screwed up and now don’t have a solution that won’t either be controversial or break the ruleset even more. This topic almost feels like Paizo kryptonite.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Design Manager

13 people marked this as a favorite.

You were asking for me to answer a question that was going to be used as, if not an official ruling, the next thing to it. It's Paizo's policy that an individual designer (or design manager, or lead designer, or even director of game design) doesn't give rulings that are meant to be used in that way. So no, it's not anything to do with this topic that caused me not to respond, it was how the response would have been used. Now that's not to say if you ask me "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" or "Is Sudden Charge a 1st level feat" that I can't say "Yes." But if there's a lot of variation on it, those are exactly the questions we don't, by policy, weigh in on individually.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Lest we forget the lessons of SKR as official voice.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Then, Mark, can we ask whether the questions around Battle Medicine will be answered in an upcoming errata, Blog or FAQ?

Or is Paizo's official stance that variation is acceptable?

5/5 Venture-Agent, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East aka Pirate Rob

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Lest we forget the lessons of SKR as official voice.

I remember when most monks just stopped working for ~6 months...

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Mark, thank you for the reply. I guess I'm a little confused. What is the difference between "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" and "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" or "Is a medical tool kit required for Battle Medicine?"

If the issue the format of the answer, meaning that the answer is not yes/no then I guess the first question can be revised to be "Does Battle Medicine require a free hand?"

Remember, we're not asking for errata. We're not even arguing whether or not the designer's rule is good or bad. We're just asking how the team intended for the rule to work. "GM discretion" is even a somewhat reasonable answer, because then the OPF would have justification for clarifying it within the campaign without it being an "official" core rule.

I imagine that you and the staff are well aware how much of a significant difference it is between the extremes of how the action can be adjudicated and since non-magical healing is such a major component of 2E, how that can have a significant impact on the gaming experience. Please give us some guidance so we can eliminate or at least reduce the frequency at which conflict is occurring at our tables. Thanks again.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Mark, thank you for the reply. I guess I'm a little confused. What is the difference between "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" and "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" or "Is a medical tool kit required for Battle Medicine?"

How much arguing has gone on and how entrenched either side is.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Even more reason to provide some guidance


I don't see how battle medicine wouldn't require at least touching them, and probably a free hand. Medicine requires touching and a hand right? Battle medicine has the manipulate trait

You must physically manipulate an item or make gestures to use an action with this trait. Creatures without a suitable appendage can’t perform actions with this trait. Manipulate actions often trigger reactions

This sounds like it implies you need a free-is hand, cuz if it's currently wielding a weapon, that's not exactly a suitable appendage to slap a bandaid on someone. Treat wounds specifies adjacent ally and I'd feel stopping someone from bleeding out requires some pretty strong physical contact, probably with not your hand that's holding a dagger. Nearly all of the "manipulate trait" actions HEAVILY imply you have a rather unobstructed hand with fingers ready to do complex finger motions. And frankly, how does a single action, even if it has a cool down of 1 day, or 1 hour with feats, translate to so much healing?

Shadow Lodge 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Even more reason to provide some guidance

Doubly so to provide solid guidance rather than later retract it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Premier Event Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Aetheldrake,
No offense, but there are already two very lengthy threads covering the back and forth about that we think it is. I would hate to see this already derailed thread to get sucked into that argument. The links are above so if you would like to join in, I would suggest going there. Everyone seems to feel their perspective on how it works is the right one which is why this is such a debated topic.

I find it interesting that this is being treated like a "ruling." Like a rule in a later book interacts in a strange way with a core rule and we don't know how to adjudicate it. Its all core. A fundamental rule in the CRB. The reality is, the designers worked on 2E for something like four years. At some point they wrote, tested, and finalized the Battle Medicine feat. Whomever did that HAD to know what they meant. I guess I don't understand why it seems soo hard to just say what the intent is. If people want to argue about how good or bad it is after the fact, so be it. Paizo can always ignore that. I could understand if we were asking for guidance on a rule written by a 3PP or some random guest author, but its the Paizo design team. If they don't know what they meant, then who does? And if they intentionally meant for the rule to be GM fiat, then just tell us that.

I know, to some it might sound like whining. And to some extent, it might be just that. The only reason I'm so passionate about it is because I've already seen it divide tables in a bad way and significantly nerf a non-magical healer build. 2E is only six months old. We are all still learning how it works. This is a perfect time to guide that learning to prevent people from having to unlearn later.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
TOZ wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Mark, thank you for the reply. I guess I'm a little confused. What is the difference between "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" and "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" or "Is a medical tool kit required for Battle Medicine?"
How much arguing has gone on and how entrenched either side is.

The answer to "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" is printed right there in the book vs. "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" is not, which is why the question exists. Repeating a printed rule (that someone just missed in their scanning of the book) vs. making a clarification of an unclear rule (that has been interpreted a variety of ways).

Paizo Employee 5/5 Design Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.
Blake's Tiger wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Bob Jonquet wrote:
Mark, thank you for the reply. I guess I'm a little confused. What is the difference between "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" and "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" or "Is a medical tool kit required for Battle Medicine?"
How much arguing has gone on and how entrenched either side is.
The answer to "Do cantrips automatically heighten?" is printed right there in the book vs. "How many hands are required to use Battle Medicine?" is not, which is why the question exists. Repeating a printed rule (that someone just missed in their scanning of the book) vs. making a clarification of an unclear rule (that has been interpreted a variety of ways).

That's correct. The answer would have required me to go beyond what was printed and issue a disambiguating clarification/erratum, and we don't do that unilaterally.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Can you tell us whether there will eventually be a "disambiguating clarification/erratum"?

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

Nefreet wrote:
Can you tell us whether there will eventually be a "disambiguating clarification/erratum"?

From the "tone" of the related posts, I get the impression that it is something that "they" are aware of and working on.

I have to have faith in "them" that an answer will be provided soon(tm), likely in FAQ.

I know we would like answers. I am one of them. But this is something that we need to be patient with. Especially after I asked for an Organized Play ruling and was basically told that they can't speak to that now.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Design Manager

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Gary Bush wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Can you tell us whether there will eventually be a "disambiguating clarification/erratum"?

From the "tone" of the related posts, I get the impression that it is something that "they" are aware of and working on.

I have to have faith in "them" that an answer will be provided soon(tm), likely in FAQ.

I know we would like answers. I am one of them. But this is something that we need to be patient with. Especially after I asked for an Organized Play ruling and was basically told that they can't speak to that now.

Yes, it's on our radar, it's been there for a while, though it didn't quite make the first errata batch because it was tied to another question we didn't want to wait on and delay the first errata batch longer. Unless something is very weird, it should be in the next batch of errata, but I don't have a specific ETA for that batch because we are working furiously (and as you see from earlier in this thread, over the weekends as well) to make sure you get the best APG possible.


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

What else is there to do in Seattle on a weekend in the middle of winter? :-)

I really appreciate all the hard work you guys put in. It shows in the products you produce. So keep doing that. :-)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Thank you for the update!

That answer alone already helps with part of the discussion. After the first errata, some posters assumed that since hands or tools weren't mentioned, that was evidence enough to argue that they weren't needed.

Knowing that something is being worked on is already better for our mental health than not knowing what's going on ^_^


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hm. If hands aren't required, can I have my pet snake administer to the wounded?

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

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Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. If hands aren't required, can I have my pet snake administer to the wounded?

Does your pet snake have Battle Medicine as a feat?

Kind of a silly example.


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Gary Bush wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. If hands aren't required, can I have my pet snake administer to the wounded?

Does your pet snake have Battle Medicine as a feat?

Kind of a silly example.

The awakening ritual exists. There's no reason a GM can't let his pet snake have the feat.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. If hands aren't required, can I have my pet snake administer to the wounded?

Does your pet snake have Battle Medicine as a feat?

Kind of a silly example.

The awakening ritual exists. There's no reason a GM can't let his pet snake have the feat.

That’s the exception, not the expected.

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

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Xenocrat wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Ed Reppert wrote:
Hm. If hands aren't required, can I have my pet snake administer to the wounded?

Does your pet snake have Battle Medicine as a feat?

Kind of a silly example.

The awakening ritual exists. There's no reason a GM can't let his pet snake have the feat.

True. A 6th level uncommon ritual that requires 3 other casters. Not very likely to make it into PFS. But that is not the point.

Vigilant Seal

Hello all,
I would like some clarification on the Update of February 7, Concerning access the Pathfinder Society Dedication. You mention that all characters have access to the Dedication does that mean that feat is given to us or that we have the option of taking it? Currently the making of a character you get to spend 3 points and get different options to pick from to reflect your training. Does this dedication replace this in Character creation or does it add bonus to the character? The current pathfinder training allows a certain additional feat to be picked at fifth level. Will this be included in the dedication?

Thanks for all your hard work.

2/5 5/5

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It grants access, that means the character has satisfied the requirements to be able to select an uncommon (or rare, etc) option. Its not giving you the archetype for free.

It has no effect on your 'Pathfinder training' selected when you make your character, nor on how your investment in your school at creation time affects the bonus skill feat for 2 or 3 points in a school.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Captain, California—Sacramento aka FLite

NielsenE wrote:

It grants access, that means the character has satisfied the requirements to be able to select an uncommon (or rare, etc) option. Its not giving you the archetype for free.

It has no effect on your 'Pathfinder training' selected when you make your character, nor on how your investment in your school at creation time affects the bonus skill feat for 2 or 3 points in a school.

This is correct.

Vigilant Seal

NielsenE wrote:

It grants access, that means the character has satisfied the requirements to be able to select an uncommon (or rare, etc) option. Its not giving you the archetype for free.

It has no effect on your 'Pathfinder training' selected when you make your character, nor on how your investment in your school at creation time affects the bonus skill feat for 2 or 3 points in a school.

Thanks for the Clarification.


Mark Seifter wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Can you tell us whether there will eventually be a "disambiguating clarification/erratum"?

From the "tone" of the related posts, I get the impression that it is something that "they" are aware of and working on.

I have to have faith in "them" that an answer will be provided soon(tm), likely in FAQ.

I know we would like answers. I am one of them. But this is something that we need to be patient with. Especially after I asked for an Organized Play ruling and was basically told that they can't speak to that now.

Yes, it's on our radar, it's been there for a while, though it didn't quite make the first errata batch because it was tied to another question we didn't want to wait on and delay the first errata batch longer. Unless something is very weird, it should be in the next batch of errata, but I don't have a specific ETA for that batch because we are working furiously (and as you see from earlier in this thread, over the weekends as well) to make sure you get the best APG possible.

I completely understand, and I appreciate all the hard work that everyone at Paizo is pouring into these future books.

I just hope, given now that March and April's major releases got delayed (Dead God's Hand in March and Bestiary 2 in April) that we'll get another round of errata to fill in those dead spots. Because otherwise, aside from a few other non-book products and the Extinction Curse AP releases, it'll be pretty empty.

Paizo Employee 5/5 Design Manager

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Ezekieru wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Nefreet wrote:
Can you tell us whether there will eventually be a "disambiguating clarification/erratum"?

From the "tone" of the related posts, I get the impression that it is something that "they" are aware of and working on.

I have to have faith in "them" that an answer will be provided soon(tm), likely in FAQ.

I know we would like answers. I am one of them. But this is something that we need to be patient with. Especially after I asked for an Organized Play ruling and was basically told that they can't speak to that now.

Yes, it's on our radar, it's been there for a while, though it didn't quite make the first errata batch because it was tied to another question we didn't want to wait on and delay the first errata batch longer. Unless something is very weird, it should be in the next batch of errata, but I don't have a specific ETA for that batch because we are working furiously (and as you see from earlier in this thread, over the weekends as well) to make sure you get the best APG possible.

I completely understand, and I appreciate all the hard work that everyone at Paizo is pouring into these future books.

I just hope, given now that March and April's major releases got delayed (Dead God's Hand in March and Bestiary 2 in April) that we'll get another round of errata to fill in those dead spots. Because otherwise, aside from a few other non-book products and the Extinction Curse AP releases, it'll be pretty empty.

The trick with publishing is that there's some delay between our work on a project and the release date for printing, shipping, and so on (doubly so when our holiday season is in between, when many folks go on vacation, and triply if you cross past Chinese New Year too due to printing in China). For instance, Bestiary 2 has been out the door since early December, so what we're working on now is wrapping up design for the APG.

Scarab Sages 3/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Nebraska—Bellevue aka JohannVonUlm

Mark Seifter wrote:
For instance, Bestiary 2 has been out the door since early December, so what we're working on now is wrapping up design for the APG.

So, curious minds want to know. Now that you're wrapping up the APG, what are you on to next?

Silver Crusade

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John Brinkman wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For instance, Bestiary 2 has been out the door since early December, so what we're working on now is wrapping up design for the APG.
So, curious minds want to know. Now that you're wrapping up the APG, what are you on to next?

The Advanced Adventure Path that the Player’s Guide is for.

3/5

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John Brinkman wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
For instance, Bestiary 2 has been out the door since early December, so what we're working on now is wrapping up design for the APG.
So, curious minds want to know. Now that you're wrapping up the APG, what are you on to next?

Find out at PaizoCon 2020!

Dark Archive 2/5

Michael Sayre wrote:


Per my discussions with the folks who worked on the mechanics in question, it's not a GM interpretation. Where elf atavism says "You typically can’t select a heritage that depends on or improves an elven feature you don’t have", this should be interpreted as a RAW restriction preventing half-elves, who don't have elven lifespans, from taking the Ancient Elf heritage.

Given that this is then a community misunderstanding of what the rules say, my preference has been to let the FAQ and errata process address this so it comes from the appropriate source.

I have a huge problem with the fact that very frequently when org play is the first one to announce a pending FAQ or errata, we start seeing all of these folks across multiple forums claiming that org play is getting things that were fine in home play nerfed into uselessness; that is not now, nor has it ever been, true. We do, however, have the largest and most voracious unified community of gamers playing Pathfinder, and that means we often need answers or uncover issues faster than anyone else, meaning that we need answers faster than anyone else.

So- it would be a really bad idea to start planning your PFS build around half-elves being able to take Ancient Elf using Elf Atavism, as I expect any official clarification on that to clarify that such was not intended to be allowed and you may find yourself with a forced rebuild.

Well, as has been discussed to death on many sites/threads regarding half-elf/Ancient Elf, Paizo has made a 'heritage' (something to be obtained at birth through something akin to a genetics) related to old age. It just doesn't make any sense. Why doesn't every elf suddenly become 'ancient' and get a free class MC dedication once they hit that magic 'ancient age'? The community has tried to re-work the poor flavour into something sensical (i.e., the heritage of 'being able to learn things quickly from particularly skillful or high IQ elves or whatever).

Actively doubling down on something that doesn't make sense to prevent player options/agency is a 'nerf'. In this case, this nerf is needless as the feat is well boxed in and isn't super powerful. You pay 1 L1 Ancestry Feat AND 1 Heritage (i.e., dark vision, scaling resistance, etc.) AND delay any L1/L5 ancestry feat chains for a L2 Dedication feat (and you can't use it for other archetypes or take archetype feats early). At the end of the day an elf could simply keep that L1 ancestry feat and exchange it for the L3 general feat (adopted ancestry) and get the exact same benefit as the half-elf. It only makes sense for a class with a great L2 feat (e.g., monk), but makes no sense for a class with mediocre L2 feats (e.g., Paladin).

So you may take offense to people complaining about society nerfing things into oblivion, but that is a well earned reputation from years of PFS 1e doing just that. Based on what I've seen over the years, Paizo overnerfs things, which is why the hyperbole of 'into oblivion' is applied (e.g. Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier WAS powerful and was nerfed into uselessness - an Item to never be purchased again). The reason why people get more annoyed on home game type forums is because plenty of GMs just default to PFS rulings instead of applying a case by case adjudication. That means that if PFS rules something, it has a cascade effect on all kinds of players who never touch PFS. This is especially true when in the past the writer of a particular feat/item/archetype confirms RAI and the ruling is against this (usually by simply not allowing an archetype of feat chain into PFS play). It makes it an uphill battle to ever use feat/item/archetype "X" in a home game, even when things were disallowed because it relates to 'craft/guns/etc.' that is absolutely a PFS campaign decision and has nothing to do when mechanical benefits. Keep in mind that most the time PFS doesn't come out to actually provide a basis for their additional resources so it is even more upsetting to have no basis behind these decisions.

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

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Red Griffyn wrote:
Well, as has been discussed to death on many sites/threads regarding half-elf/Ancient Elf, Paizo has made a 'heritage' (something to be obtained at birth through something akin to a genetics) related to old age. It just doesn't make any sense. Why doesn't every elf suddenly become 'ancient' and get a free class MC dedication once they hit that magic 'ancient age'? The community has tried to re-work the poor flavour into something sensical (i.e., the heritage of 'being able to learn things quickly from particularly skillful or high IQ elves or whatever).

I don't think heritages are limited to genetic traits. Case in point: elves switch heritages "all the time" if they stay in a climate long enough.

Heritages can also be things that took years and years to acquire. You're not born a versatile or skilled human; you become one by being raised that way for years.

So it's not that changing heritage is completely impossible, but rather that by definition of heritage (as compared to a feat), it's something that takes too long to develop to be practically changeable in a campaign. After all, most adventure paths are rollercoasters that send you from level 1 to about 16 in half an in-game year (there's always another crisis that needs handling). That's not long enough to become ancient.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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Red Griffyn wrote:
So you may take offense to people complaining about society nerfing things into oblivion, but that is a well earned reputation from years of PFS 1e doing just that.

Nope, that's just a wrong and ignorant idea spread by people who don't know what they're talking about and taking statements out of context. PFS runs into issues more often than home groups and uncovers issues sooner,but FAQs and errata come from the design team because they're the correct decision for the game, not because of PFS-specific issues.

Here's a great example- many people who don't know what they're talking about think that OF1 Crane Wing was nerfed because it unbalanced single boss monster fights in PFS. Those people are wrong. OG Crane Wing was broken period, because as much as it took the bite out of single large boss monsters it also unbalanced encounters composed of larger numbers of weaker enemies, which rely on a larger number of attacks to average into a single hit that might matter (ghouls are a prime example of this). PFS may have flagged the issue, but it was fixed because it wasn't balanced within the intended framework of the game. It would have been errata'd regardless of whether or not PFS was around because it was too good at what it did by the design team's standards.

But thanks for emphasizing my point. There are a lot of people, like you, who don't know what they're talking about but who like to go around talking like they do and spreading rumors that poison entire communities against PFS. This is why I don't want PFS spearheading clarifications that aren't PFS-specific. Because, inevitably, someone with more indignation than knowledge will throw a tantrum and blame PFS for something that has nothing to do with PFS.

Five years ago I came to a community where people were more receptive to third-party products than they were to PFS. In fact, PFS had a terrible reputation at many places I went to. As I dug into it more and more, I discovered that there were two major sources of this well-poisoning: toxic community members and people who had been taught that PFS was the source of every errata they didn't like ruining the game. I can't do anything about toxic community members, but I can encourage other teams at Paizo to strive toward completing and producing errata while being more active in the conversations happening in the community myself. So that's what I'm doing.

I have told you what the pending errata is likely to be, unless the teams involved change their mind. In the meantime, I'm not going to push for any bans based on non-PFS-specific issues and I'm going to push back when people try to present their ignorance as fact when it comes to my department and our community.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Red Griffyn wrote:
Well, as has been discussed to death on many sites/threads regarding half-elf/Ancient Elf, Paizo has made a 'heritage' (something to be obtained at birth through something akin to a genetics) related to old age. It just doesn't make any sense.

Why do you equate "heritage" with "something to be obtained by birth"? It just as much reflects cultural upbringing or long years of practice before going out to adventure. Similar to how the backgrounds reflect experience in non-adventuring professions or occupations. Many heritages are inherited, but some are obviously not, like the wildwood halfling, who has just practiced running trough the rough woods so much that it's no longer difficult for him, or the cavern elf, whose darkvision can be either inherited or acquired through long years of living underground. Or the oathkeeper dwarf, where it's really more of a character trait likely fostered by a lawful culture. The ancient elf fits right in, having acquired much more extensive experience than others over many centuries of life.

2/5

I gotta say, I'm glad I pretty much GM 2E right now. Between all the discussion of making Battlefield Medicine harder to use and Ancient Elf less accessible, it stinks of "stop having fun, guys". GMing it is a blast, but if I were playing more I imagine this would be a huge turn off.

Silver Crusade

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Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

2/5

Rysky wrote:

Encouraging the use of common sense in regards to rules doesn’t really feel like “stop having fun”.

You need to interact with people to heal them, only Elves can take the Heritage that plays off their long life span. *shrugs*

I think for both, the digital ink spilled outweighs the actual play effect.

For battle medicine until there’s an actual ruling, ask your GM before you start and everyone’s at least on the same page. At this point, it’s just half a year of wheel spinning. It spilling into another thread is just demoralizing.

I personally the spirit and letter of elf atavism would qualify. You’re more elf than human, you got the longer life span out of the deal. It makes 2e half elves capable of feeling more like the multi-class focused half elves of 1e. I think the opposition is anti-fun narratively and mechanically.

In the case of both, the rules and math of 2e are so tight that a restrictive attitude just cuts build elasticity further in a game that already feels more rigid than its predecessor.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Columbia aka Xathos of Varisia

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PF2 has a huge amount of elasticity for builds and with every new release even more elasticity is available. The issue is game balance. I applaud the restrictions because of the game balance. If the restrictions were to cease, then this game would quickly turn into a powergamer optimized mess. I don't want that in any way, shape, or form.

2/5

Biggest complaint I hear from my players week over week is that things feel really locked in outside of a few cases. I can only speak to what I hear from them. Most of our other PFS GM’s quit locally (many over complaints on how restrictive 2e was).

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Missouri—Columbia aka Xathos of Varisia

The more we play, the more we find we can do. I don't know why players think they're restricted. The only thing I can think of is they see the game in terms of DPS when building characters instead of concepts with depth and personality. Our biggest complaint is we can't play enough of the existing content with all these character concepts we want to build. We are spending hours building characters to fit into ideas and concepts. We couldn't do that in PF1 because of the idiotic optimization that flooded the game.

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