New Character Options for Pathfinder and Starfinder Society Play

Thursday, July 16, 2020

A large crowd milled about the entryway to Skyreach. From all over Golarion, would-be adventurers had traveled to the Grand Lodge and applied for membership in the Pathfinder Society. Tengu feathers brushed against kobold scales as members of Golarion’s varied peoples brushed shoulders, waiting for the Society’s leadership to open the doors and announce who would receive the rank of initiate to begin their training. Just as the crowd grew restless, with grumbling voices tired of waiting filling the air, the doors opened and Janira Gavrix stepped out, flanked by Ambrus Valsin and Drandle Dreng. She opened a scroll and began to read.

With Gen Con Online just two weeks away, the organized play team remains focused on getting our last items out the door. The Gen Con organizing committee has also just finished meeting to put polish on the final pieces. And while we won’t be building out the Sagamore Ballroom this year, our offerings are no less impressive—the Gen Con catalog includes approximately 900 events in six languages. We’ve got one-hour Quests and Bounties, two-hour Adventure Card Society scenarios, and five-hour Scenarios for both Pathfinder Society and Starfinder Society, not to mention more events soon to come: panels featuring Paizo staffers talking about some upcoming products, answering fan questions, and giving a peek into the life of a Paizo staffer. We’ll post a full panel schedule as well as other information to our website shortly.

But we have even more goodies for you, our players, before we get to Gen Con. Last week, we revealed that kobolds will be an always-available ancestry option for Pathfinder Society players upon release of the Advanced Players Guide. Here and now, in advance of the book’s release, we’re happy to reveal the sanctioning for the other character options available from the APG—if you want to play that swashbuckler or witch at Gen Con, you’ll be able to! Check out our ongoing Character Options blog for these updates.

Venture-Captain Naiaj sighed as she swiped another set of documents off her datapad. “They were supposed to be here weeks ago” she muttered, knowing her companion would hear her over the din of the bustling spaceport.

The vesk next to her smirked. “Yes, yes, but these things take time, you know? Sometimes I think you find things to worry about, just to make sure you don’t run out.” Radazsam knew he could get away with needling the gnome; underneath her stern, monochromatic exterior was a warm heart. Plus, he’d already seen his contact approaching through the crowd.

Before Naiaj could formulate a response, she spotted them as well: a pale lavender vesk with the most elaborate set of facial bone spikes she’d ever seen, followed by a green-furred skittermander. Despite all laws of physics, the six-armed creature appeared to be hauling no less than 12 boxes of various sizes. “Well,” Naiaj said as they approached, “it’s about time. Let’s see what you’ve brought from the Veskarium, shall we?”

Fear not, Starfinder Society players, we have things for you as well! How about a fully sanctioned Starship Operations Manual and Near Space? Note that the former, as a book focused on starships, doesn’t have any options for your characters to take, but we’ve still included it in our sanctioning for the sake of completeness. But in the latter, you’ll find many new items for players to use in telling their characters’ stories, including alternate options for vesk, skittermanders, and more; new weapons and fusions; and a few archetypes and themes to flesh out your Starfinders.

But enough chatter. Time to make more characters!

Until next week,

Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge
Organized Play Manager

Alex Speidel
Organized Play Associate

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Society Starfinder Society
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Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Huzzah!

5/5

and Hurray!

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Since the post didn't include one that I could find, here's a link to the SFS AR:

Starfinder additional resources

Pact Worlds Near Space is at the bottom.

Venture-Agent, Online—ACG aka redeux

Wow!!

Many thanks to everyone who helped make this happen!

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Amazing job by everyone involved, by the way. Thanks!!

Venture-Agent, Online—VTT aka NicoleH

/claps with vigour

1/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Cross-posting my question just in case:

caps wrote:
APG does not have the "All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise." wording. Is this an intentional omission or is all of APG (except for Kobolds and Vigilantes) off limits until further notice? I assume that is not the intention, since the other blog post mentioned Swashbucklers being legal and they are not mentioned.

Sovereign Court

caps wrote:

Cross-posting my question just in case:

caps wrote:
APG does not have the "All options are of standard availability unless specifically noted otherwise." wording. Is this an intentional omission or is all of APG (except for Kobolds and Vigilantes) off limits until further notice? I assume that is not the intention, since the other blog post mentioned Swashbucklers being legal and they are not mentioned.

They also mention in the clarifications area about people using the investigator feat so I'm assuming they are legal as well, so more than likely that wording was just forgotten. But I'm sure someone with better credentials will answer soon! :)

Paizo Employee 5/5 Organized Play Manager

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alex Wreschnig wrote:

Since the post didn't include one that I could find, here's a link to the SFS AR:

Starfinder additional resources

Pact Worlds is at the bottom.

Whoops! Thanks for the link.

As a note, Pact Worlds was already sanctioned. We've highlighted the new items by using red text.

Silver Crusade 4/5 Venture-Captain, Pennsylvania—Pittsburgh aka Terminalmancer

Tonya Woldridge wrote:
Alex Wreschnig wrote:

Since the post didn't include one that I could find, here's a link to the SFS AR:

Starfinder additional resources

Pact Worlds is at the bottom.

Whoops! Thanks for the link.

As a note, Pact Worlds was already sanctioned. We've highlighted the new items by using red text.

I was so excited, I wrote pact worlds instead of near space! Oops.

Sorry, the kobolds and variant skittermanders got to me.

3/5 5/55/5 Contributor

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Holy cow! Thanks to the staff and the AR committee for getting all this sanctioning done in such a timely fashion!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka sanwah68

This is great...Sanctioning ready for release of the book is a fantastic thing.

So next question :) Do we know what ancestries are going to be available via the AcP? (crosses her fingers for Shoony and Orc)

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

We have yet to have the original AcP offerings (hobgoblin, leshy, iruxi). I guess they might offer them on top, but I'd hate to miss out on the first Uncommon ancestries.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I know that part of this is related to the Achievement Point system not being fully up and running, but I feel like Starfinder Society has spoiled me on getting pretty easy access to playable races fairly easily. So having things like Tengu locked away feels very restrictive, in comparison. I was looking forward to reviving my Tengu Hellknight from 1E PFS, and it seems that I'll be waiting at least as long as one of my friends has been for the Lizardfolk.

On the other hand, all of Starfinder Society's decisions are ones I'm happy with. Someday, I hope to get a starship boon to add a ram to our ship.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

So nothing in the Starship book is approved?

4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Valamuur wrote:

I know that part of this is related to the Achievement Point system not being fully up and running, but I feel like Starfinder Society has spoiled me on getting pretty easy access to playable races fairly easily. So having things like Tengu locked away feels very restrictive, in comparison. I was looking forward to reviving my Tengu Hellknight from 1E PFS, and it seems that I'll be waiting at least as long as one of my friends has been for the Lizardfolk.

On the other hand, all of Starfinder Society's decisions are ones I'm happy with. Someday, I hope to get a starship boon to add a ram to our ship.

I admit I personally would have *far* preferred for the Tengu to be the available race and the kobold to be the one behind ACP. YMMV.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wonder how not being able to play a Tengu is going to interact with the Oracle Iconic....

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

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Was hoping this announcement was going to be about more races being added to the always available part of Starfinder Society, such as the more common pact world races like the Verthani or Ryphorian. With more races being added every year in a faster rate then pathfinder ever did it becomes increasingly more difficult to come across boons for the older released races unless boons are to start listing a half a dozen races or more at a time.

However thank you for getting the Near Space taken care of.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Australia—NSW—Sydney aka sanwah68

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The Races for SFS should be in the Guide for Year 3....which will hopefully be out soon.

Liberty's Edge 1/5

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

Thank you for the update(s)! I *really* hope we see ACP out soon. I'm stoked for everything!

Also: Omg my order is still pending /whine :P

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It seems I'll either be playing a lot of truebloods or the Oracle pregen in the future, then. :>

Envoy's Alliance 1/5 5/5

"Hark ready to heal Pathfinder Snarl. Hark no heal stupid... yet. Hark hope featherfriends someday get treated like truebloods! In meantime, let's go Expose, Reposition, Coordinate!"

Silver Crusade 3/5

Yay! Thank you! The Society will be getting a new skittermander member soon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

This all looks absolutely amazing, Gencon is gonna be a lot of fun, and I'm almost in shock that the sanctioning is done before the release date, as I remember some people being skeptical that it would even be simultaneously done. Bravo!

That said, when will the AcP stuff be up? Dying to play an Orc and a Catfolk :D

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, Netherlands aka Woran

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yip Yip Yip!

5/5 5/55/55/5

Tineke Bolleman wrote:
Yip Yip Yip!

Yawwwn.. what?

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gamerskum wrote:

So nothing in the Starship book is approved?

I think that means there aren't any character options in Starship Ops to approve. It would be nice to know whether the rules options would be available to GMs and players engaged in starship combat, though.

Acquisitives 1/5

F's in chat for no Starship Ops. As a big "Ace Pilot" character, I was hoping to see some feats or something coming out of this for use :P

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Awesome!!!

Sczarni 2/5 Venture-Agent, Alabama—Huntsville aka healbot42

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Y'all spell Janira's last name wrong. Isn't it Gavix, not Gavrix? Or was it changed at some point? Also I'm pretty sure I remember her being killed by Aspis agents in every timeline. :p

3/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Zachary Westendorf wrote:
Or was it changed at some point? Also I'm pretty sure I remember her being killed by Aspis agents in every timeline. :p

Yeah, and she gets resurrected. She's done the Confirmation enough times to get the prestige to bring herself back so many times over :P

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/5

Sorry, she can only apply the chronicle to herself once :-D

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Since it wasn't called out specifically here, remember that the APG is not legal for play until street date.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

4 people marked this as a favorite.
TwilightKnight wrote:
Sorry, she can only apply the chronicle to herself once :-D

Hence all the name changes!

She's probably the reason Starfinder character numbers had to start at -701...

Second Seekers (Jadnura) 5/55/55/55/5

So fast! There was much rejoicing!


3 people marked this as a favorite.
RealAlchemy wrote:
Valamuur wrote:

I know that part of this is related to the Achievement Point system not being fully up and running, but I feel like Starfinder Society has spoiled me on getting pretty easy access to playable races fairly easily. So having things like Tengu locked away feels very restrictive, in comparison. I was looking forward to reviving my Tengu Hellknight from 1E PFS, and it seems that I'll be waiting at least as long as one of my friends has been for the Lizardfolk.

On the other hand, all of Starfinder Society's decisions are ones I'm happy with. Someday, I hope to get a starship boon to add a ram to our ship.

I admit I personally would have *far* preferred for the Tengu to be the available race and the kobold to be the one behind ACP. YMMV.

I would have preferred they just let people play any of the ancestries found in a book they paid $50 for, but I'm just a starry eyed dreamer.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Furdinand wrote:
I would have preferred they just let people play any of the ancestries found in a book they paid $50 for, but I'm just a starry eyed dreamer.

I like that some ancestries have to be worked for to play.

Play APs. You can play any race you want then apply the chronicle to a society legal character. Or play a home game.

1/5 5/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
Furdinand wrote:
I would have preferred they just let people play any of the ancestries found in a book they paid $50 for, but I'm just a starry eyed dreamer.

I like that some ancestries have to be worked for to play.

Play APs. You can play any race you want then apply the chronicle to a society legal character. Or play a home game.

This kind of defeats the purpose of organized play on a level, if everyone 'just plays a home game'.

Plus, some GMs use OrgPlay rules as their home game rules because it's easier. than trying to come up with their own.

That being said, if the quantum ACP become a reality, if Tengu were say an exceptionally discounted price due to their previous presence and playablility in 1e (say, 4 or 8 ACP) that wouldn't be too horrible until they become 'Always Available'?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Furdinand wrote:
I would have preferred they just let people play any of the ancestries found in a book they paid $50 for, but I'm just a starry eyed dreamer.

I like that some ancestries have to be worked for to play.

Play APs. You can play any race you want then apply the chronicle to a society legal character. Or play a home game.

This kind of defeats the purpose of organized play on a level, if everyone 'just plays a home game'.

Plus, some GMs use OrgPlay rules as their home game rules because it's easier. than trying to come up with their own.

That being said, if the quantum ACP become a reality, if Tengu were say an exceptionally discounted price due to their previous presence and playablility in 1e (say, 4 or 8 ACP) that wouldn't be too horrible until they become 'Always Available'?

Just to set expectations, there's no version of ACP where we release an ancestry for that low a cost. 60-80 is the standard window for acquiring an ancestry. That does mean you can play an AP as a tengu and report it for more than enough AP (or nearly enough, depending on where price points fall) to buy a tengu boon, then play that tengu until 6th level and have enough for another tengu, so on and so forth.

1/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the rate that AcP is gained for different activities documented anywhere?

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

It is found the Society Guide.

2/5 5/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

1 XP = 1 AcP (x venue modifiers x GM modifier)

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

Michael Sayre wrote:
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:
Furdinand wrote:
I would have preferred they just let people play any of the ancestries found in a book they paid $50 for, but I'm just a starry eyed dreamer.

I like that some ancestries have to be worked for to play.

Play APs. You can play any race you want then apply the chronicle to a society legal character. Or play a home game.

This kind of defeats the purpose of organized play on a level, if everyone 'just plays a home game'.

Plus, some GMs use OrgPlay rules as their home game rules because it's easier. than trying to come up with their own.

That being said, if the quantum ACP become a reality, if Tengu were say an exceptionally discounted price due to their previous presence and playablility in 1e (say, 4 or 8 ACP) that wouldn't be too horrible until they become 'Always Available'?

Just to set expectations, there's no version of ACP where we release an ancestry for that low a cost. 60-80 is the standard window for acquiring an ancestry. That does mean you can play an AP as a tengu and report it for more than enough AP (or nearly enough, depending on where price points fall) to buy a tengu boon, then play that tengu until 6th level and have enough for another tengu, so on and so forth.

In PFS1, Tengu required a Boon to be played, until Season 4, when they permanently became free.

Might we assume the same here? Requires a Boon to play for a few years, then by Season 4, the AcP requirement disappears?

Shadow Lodge 4/5

Assume nothing.

Sczarni 5/5 5/55/5

That's why I'm asking...

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Michael Sayre wrote:


Just to set expectations, there's no version of ACP where we release an ancestry for that low a cost. 60-80 is the standard window for acquiring an ancestry. That does mean you can play an AP as a tengu and report it for more than enough AP (or nearly enough, depending on where price points fall) to buy a tengu boon, then play that tengu until 6th level and have enough for another tengu, so on and so forth.

Or play a bunch of truebloods and Oracle pregens to make enough of a stockpile, too.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Nefreet wrote:

In PFS1, Tengu required a Boon to be played, until Season 4, when they permanently became free.

Might we assume the same here? Requires a Boon to play for a few years, then by Season 4, the AcP requirement disappears?

Hard to say. My personal goal is for any ancestry that is uncommon or rare by default to only become always available through the ongoing storyline as experienced by our players. While it's impossible to say what the future holds, it's unlikely that we'd ever do just a big block of ancestries all at once again. We're more likely to say "this is the 4th consecutive season where we've included adventures related to this ongoing iruxi storyline, and the reporting data has consistently shown that PCs are working really hard towards achieving a strong relationship with these folks, so let's bring them in to the central storyline."

PF2 was a pretty good time to start doing things this way, because we have the hard reset of

PF1 campaign spoilers:
Siege of Gallowspire, which so closely followed the Fiendflesh Siege and other catastrophic events that took the lives of numerous Pathfinders. There's less interchange between Tian Xia and the Inner Sea than there was towards the end of PF1 due to all of these catastrophes and political upheavals, and the Society itself has lost numerous lodges and key members. So what was true in PF1 is only relevant insofar as the canon it establishes and whether it makes sense that it would remain true following all these events.

Kobolds made a lot of sense because multiple tribes of them appeared in numerous scenarios across both editions of the game, in contexts that make it unlikely they would have been devastated by the return of the Whispering Tyrant in ways that other communities were. They're also far and away the most demanded non-core ancestry we can actually integrate into the campaign story, across multiple surveys.

So, there will be a tengu iconic for people to play, ways to obtain tengu through ACP, and the story might one day lead us to a world where the tengu are always available in Pathfinder Society, but that last one is farther down the road than anyone can speak to with any certainty.

1/5 5/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Michael,

Thank you very much for the measured and informative response above!

Some questions, though, based on the above: Does that mean the Shackles (a place where Tengu lived in PF1) are *not* considered 'easier access' in PFS2? I could see the Eye being more unpredictable as a plausible story reason for that.

Did the tengu communities (called ghettos in PF1) in the major cities of the Inner Sea region die off? While a disturbing connection to a few RL events, these things can happen as well.

It's not an effort to push the goalposts, it's curiosity as to what happened to those communities.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Wei Ji the Learner wrote:


Michael,

Thank you very much for the measured and informative response above!

Some questions, though, based on the above: Does that mean the Shackles (a place where Tengu lived in PF1) are *not* considered 'easier access' in PFS2? I could see the Eye being more unpredictable as a plausible story reason for that.

Did the tengu communities (called ghettos in PF1) in the major cities of the Inner Sea region die off? While a disturbing connection to a few RL events, these things can happen as well.

It's not an effort to push the goalposts, it's curiosity as to what happened to those communities.

It would be more accurate to say that all of those communities were impacted to greater or lesser degrees, directly affecting the makeup of the Pathfinder Society. Some examples-

Down in the Shackles, there is straight up war between Vidrian and the Free Captains. That makes trade through the Shackles incredibly fraught, to the point that the Society made an active pirate captain a venture-captain (venture-pirate captain? pirate-venture captain?) as part of their bid to successfully travel between the Inner Sea and the western stretch of Garund. That means that jinx-eaters in the Shackles have no shortage of lucrative employment and tengu in general have less reason to go wandering far from home.

Many of the tengu communities in major cities like Absalom were struck hard by multiple catastrophes, and they were never as numerous as their neighbors to begin with. It's a lot harder to send your child off to join the Pathfinders when three of their siblings plus their dad all died while fulfilling their duties as Pathfinder agents. Doubly hard when your house was crushed by demons and you spent the rainy months fighting off undead instead of rebuilding.

There's less interchange in general across the Inner Sea, which means fewer people are making it to Absalom. The Eye of Terror is right in the middle of everything, with wandering undead pushing their way to the region's borders and beyond pretty regularly. That means a young tengu growing up on the streets of Magnimar is going to have a much harder time even reaching the Grand Lodge and attending the Pathfinder colleges to begin with.

While it feels like a lot of major threats have been ended (and some certainly have) new and in some cases much more insidious and harmful threats have arisen in their place, and political tensions across the Inner Sea are at an all-time high. That's one of the reasons the Envoy's Alliance faction exists; because recruiting new agents for the Pathfinder Society in a world where the runelords, Tar-Baphon, and other long-dormant threats have awoken and begun making Big Moves is much more difficult.

So, all uncommon ancestries are going to be less numerous than their core counterparts, which is part of why they're uncommon. Kobolds aren't more numerous than tengu, but they do have the convenience of having multiple tribes living beneath the streets of Absalom, and other tribes who are friendly to the Pathfinder Society having joined up after being freed from the Hao-Jin Tapestry. They also didn't suffer the same kind of losses that tengu did, because they weren't members of the Society when the Society was going through the meat-grinder trying to protect Absalom and the Inner Sea. Lots of things could happen in the story of the Society to change those dynamics one way or another, but we're still a bit too early in the story to say for certain.

1/5

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gary Bush wrote:
It is found the Society Guide.

The society guide does not mention this, but...

Blake's Tiger wrote:
1 XP = 1 AcP (x venue modifiers x GM modifier)

... this seems to hold true for modules/APs as well. I have 12 AcP from playing Fall of Plaguestone, and another 24 AcP from running it (so 1AcP/XP * 2 for GMing).

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