September 2020 Pathfinder Society Releases

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Eando Kline, faction leader of the Vigilant Seal, looks up at the orange-streaked faces of two of his junior Pathfinders. “Explain.”

One gestures to a bucket of clay spheres at her feet. “Well, sir, we found these artifacts in dig site 23B-2, and Jaci here opened one to survey its contents. They’re inkwells! It turns out that some pressure had built up and—”

“In the field.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Without checking it for hazards.”

“Well…”

“We’re in a Cyclopean ruin, surrounded by explosive trees, a Pathfinder’s just gone missing, and you didn’t think to assess them for risk?!” Eando’s voice raises slightly, before he rubs the scar over his eye and turns back to the Pathfinders with a warmer voice. “I’m just glad that this time, all you got was a face-full of old ink, not mind-controlling spores. Seen it before. Now, get going—leave those here and I’ll see that they get to their proper place.”

There’s a shuffle at the door as the junior Pathfinders scurry out and are replaced by a team of Vigilant Seal agents carrying a small chest. “Correspondence from the Glorious Payoff, sir.”

Eando waits with anticipation to hear word from his colleague as his agents pass several magical and alchemical tools over the crate, each reacting in turn.

“Curses: negative.”

“Toxins: negative.”

“Volatiles: negative.”

“Auras: negative.”

Only once proper procedure has been observed does Eando open the chest, revealing maps, journals, and a sealed letter. Also revealed is the inscription of a mouth on the underside of the chest’s lid, which immediately animates, letting out an extremely loud and extremely off-key rendition of Ulfen drinking song “Set Sail with Me to Valenhall” in Calisro Benarry’s voice. Eando flicks a hidden blade into his wrist and scratches out the inscription before Calisro’s recording can get to the high part. “I thought you said no auras.”

“Apologies, sir, but all Captain Benarry’s correspondence is considered pre-cleared for level-two scanning protocols only.”

“Please move her to level three in the future, her singing warrants at least that level of hazard.” Eando unfurls a map from the chest and strokes his beard. “It sounds like she and Bjersig should be landing in Arcadia shortly. To think, a lodge on the other side of the sea! What I’d give to see this legendary Ulfen settlement on the far shores...” Looking around the Cyclopean ruins as Pathfinders excavate artifacts and mark dig sites, Eando sighs and shakes his head. He’s right where he’s needed—best leave the exploring to the young.

“Start reloading the chest for a return voyage and include a full report on what’s happened here so far. The faction leaders need to know that something’s brewing in Iobaria.” Eando looks at the scratched-out magical inscription on the chest, pauses, and picks up one of the clay inkpots left behind, a rare smile flickering across his face. “Put one of these in for the captain, as well.”

Rahaksenwe dressed in red and brown leathers and furs gripping a knife sheathed at their hip a red mandragora with long root-like limbs

Some of the enemies and allies you’ll meet this month!; Art by Josef Kucera


This month, we have Pathfinder Society Scenario 2-03: Catastrophe’s Spark where the Pathfinder Society explores a facility in the cyclopes ruins of Min-Khadaim uncovered in last month’s adventure, seeking to get to the bottom of a mysterious disappearance. This dungeon delve by Tineke Bolleman is designed for characters of level 1–4. Next, Luis Loza takes us over the horizon with a level 3–6 adventure, Pathfinder Society Scenario 2-04: Path of Kings, as the Society follows the legendary route of the Linnorm Kings to scout a site for a new Pathfinder lodge in northern Arcadia.

Adventure!

James Case
Pathfinder Society Developer

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society
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Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

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Awesome stuff!! Can't wait to play!

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

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huzzah! New adventures from Tineke and Luis!

Grand Lodge 4/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.

Now that’s the Eando we know.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 **** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Yup. The old Pathfinder's gotta have a level of mischief.

I do love the interplay and pranking between Eando and Calisro!

Can't wait to play 2-03 with Tineke running in two weeks at SkålCon!!!

Sorry folks, her tables are full... so unless we can talk her into running another one...


James Case wrote:
...new Pathfinder lodge in northern Arcadia

Finally!

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Netherlands

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Jack Brown wrote:

Yup. The old Pathfinder's gotta have a level of mischief.

I do love the interplay and pranking between Eando and Calisro!

Can't wait to play 2-03 with Tineke running in two weeks at SkålCon!!!

Sorry folks, her tables are full... so unless we can talk her into running another one...

Not unless you can fix those weird things called time zones :P

Dark Archive **

This sounds great. I am also impressed with Season 2 so far (2-02 was a blast!).

My only complaint is the lack of repeatable scenarios. PFS2 has been a wonderful way to stave off the effects of quarantined life now-a-days, but the lack of repeatable scenarios has meant much less playing lately sadly.

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

Tineke Bolleman wrote:
Jack Brown wrote:

Yup. The old Pathfinder's gotta have a level of mischief.

I do love the interplay and pranking between Eando and Calisro!

Can't wait to play 2-03 with Tineke running in two weeks at SkålCon!!!

Sorry folks, her tables are full... so unless we can talk her into running another one...

Not unless you can fix those weird things called time zones :P

Feel like running a table of us at Nuke-Con, Oct 2-4?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Invictus Novo wrote:

This sounds great. I am also impressed with Season 2 so far (2-02 was a blast!).

My only complaint is the lack of repeatable scenarios. PFS2 has been a wonderful way to stave off the effects of quarantined life now-a-days, but the lack of repeatable scenarios has meant much less playing lately sadly.

We needed to rely a lot more heavily than usual on repeatables in Year 1 (since it was a brand-new system), so there's a little fewer of them now that we're in Year 2, but we're still making them! Keep an eye out for next month's The Crashing Wave!

1/5 ****

Luis Loza and his favorite Golarion continent! This should be fun.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Netherlands

Gary Bush wrote:
Tineke Bolleman wrote:
Jack Brown wrote:

Yup. The old Pathfinder's gotta have a level of mischief.

I do love the interplay and pranking between Eando and Calisro!

Can't wait to play 2-03 with Tineke running in two weeks at SkålCon!!!

Sorry folks, her tables are full... so unless we can talk her into running another one...

Not unless you can fix those weird things called time zones :P
Feel like running a table of us at Nuke-Con, Oct 2-4?

Sorry. Im pretty much booked for Oktober :(

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

James Case wrote:
Invictus Novo wrote:

This sounds great. I am also impressed with Season 2 so far (2-02 was a blast!).

My only complaint is the lack of repeatable scenarios. PFS2 has been a wonderful way to stave off the effects of quarantined life now-a-days, but the lack of repeatable scenarios has meant much less playing lately sadly.

We needed to rely a lot more heavily than usual on repeatables in Year 1 (since it was a brand-new system), so there's a little fewer of them now that we're in Year 2, but we're still making them! Keep an eye out for next month's The Crashing Wave!

You would need to maintain a good level of replayability. The problem with some of the season 1 evergreens was that sometimes the feeling of deja vu was quickly coming. That said nowadays I feel scenario fatigue faster than before and I don't think the problem is that important.

2/5

Going to be a spoilsport here, but to my mind, the dialogue between Eando and his "juniors" sounds totally wrong for a fantasy game. I'll accept that the world of Golarion AR 4720 has a degree of modernity but the conversation above sounds like something from a contemporary or science fiction setting.

Silver Crusade

“Fantasy setting” doesn’t mean everyone is stupid, with no checks and balances and procedures and red tape. They’re [Eando and associates] based out of THE adventurers guild in THE major metropolis of the planet with agents and missions that span the planets and planes.

2/5

I didn't say the alternative was stupid. The dialogue above sounds like something between Mission Control and a space-walking astronaut. At least to me, it does not sound like Pathfinders as I imagine them.

All of the same points could be covered in a less formal conservational style. For example ...

Eando - "You kids find anything alarming?"

Response - "Nope, we checked it for curses, traps, and magic."

Eando - Excellent, let's pop this thing."

The exact same procedure is followed and the safe information is communicated, but Eando et al aren't portrayed as the SAS about to go through a door.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
pjrogers wrote:

For example ...

Eando - "You kids find anything alarming?"

Response - "Nope, we checked it for curses, traps, and magic."

Eando - Excellent, let's pop this thing."

The exact same procedure is followed and the safe information is communicated, but Eando et al aren't portrayed as the SAS about to go through a door.

And what you call "less formal" I call condescending and anachronistic teen jargon.

Silver Crusade

CrystalSeas wrote:
pjrogers wrote:

For example ...

Eando - "You kids find anything alarming?"

Response - "Nope, we checked it for curses, traps, and magic."

Eando - Excellent, let's pop this thing."

The exact same procedure is followed and the safe information is communicated, but Eando et al aren't portrayed as the SAS about to go through a door.

And what you call "less formal" I call condescending and anachronistic teen jargon.

At least he didn’t use “hip”.

2/5

To each their own, I find it off-putting. All in all, I've not been that excited or impressed by much of the 2nd edition society content. I'm enjoying playing my two PFS 2e characters primarily because they have backstory links to some of PFS 1e characters.

I think it's useful for PFS administrators, designers, developers, etc. to know that not everyone is thrilled with the content they're producing. Sometimes, these forums sound like fanboy clubs rather than critical consumers/players of a role playing game.

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

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Are we reading the same forums? I see far more complaints than fannish exultations.

I think we could do with a little more fannish exultation, personally. As an occasional Paizo freelancer, I know that it's really nice to receive positive feedback from time to time on my creations. I have my complaints about PF2, certainly. I miss simple wand healing. Heck, I miss simple wands. And I was certainly grumpy about regional languages being uncommon. But... I have to say the adventures are challenging and the stories fun. I am enjoying PF2, far more than I ever expected.

Hmm

4/5 *

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree with Hmm... it seems almost all I hear is the complaints. Although, usually it's mechanical in nature. The one thing that hasn't changed between editions is lore. NPCs have carried on without seeming to notice that the rules have changed. (Although, how they managed to fool us into devaluing the currency they pay us with tenfold, I still don't understand!)

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

Honestly it sounds like the people doing the crate scanning are probably Oprak hobgoblins. So far they are the only ones I have seen written as using that militarized a jargon.

Mostly because they are *in* the military.

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

Tineke, I am really looking forward to 2-03 because I might actually get to play it before I run it for once.

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/5 **

GM Lamplighter wrote:

The one thing that hasn't changed between editions is lore.

That is not completely accurate.

One of my personal pet peeves is that a considerable amount of Lore DID change for what seems to me to be absolutely NO good reason.

Its often just names. Ioun stones are now Aeon Stones. Giant is now Jotun (that one particularly bugs me because Giant is pretty much a BETTER term than Jotun).

Its no big deal but it just makes switching back and forth between PF1 and PF2 that little bit more difficult for absolutely no good reason.

But druids no longer cast divine magic. That IS a change in the Lore.

Random elven commoners no longer know how to use a bow. That IS a change in the Lore.

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

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yep, there are lot of name changes. I suspect that some is because of copyright, because Pathfinder is no longer D&D 3.5, and should not use D&D's proprietary names. Some may be because the devs have rethought a name. Changing Polyglot to Mwangi made the language's name more specific and also more respectful -- suggesting that is not mashed-up mix of languages, but its own language in its own right. I have no idea why they switched Giant to Jotun when Dwarves still speak Dwarven and Elves Elvish, but hey... Jotun is an interesting sounding word. I'll adapt.

Hmm

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

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Hmm wrote:

Yep, there are lot of name changes. I suspect that some is because of copyright, because Pathfinder is no longer D&D 3.5, and should not use D&D's proprietary names. Some may be because the devs have rethought a name. Changing Polyglot to Mwangi made the language's name more specific and also more respectful -- suggesting that is not mashed-up mix of languages, but its own language in its own right. I have no idea why they switched Giant to Jotun when Dwarves still speak Dwarven and Elves Elvish, but hey... Jotun is an interesting sounding word. I'll adapt.

Hmm

Because Jotun loosely translates to giant.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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Literally nothing in that is objective.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

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Can I just note that whenever someone express the opinion and someone elses expresses counter opinion then first person who expressed opinion almost always claims that everyone on paizo.com disagrees with them?

I'm... Just noticing that happens on both sides of same argument <_< Like if someone expresses something positive and then someone says something negative, then everyone on this site is negative nitpicker. If someone says something negative then everyone here is zealot fan.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Jesse Lehto wrote:

Can I just note that whenever someone express the opinion and someone elses expresses counter opinion then first person who expressed opinion almost always claims that everyone on paizo.com disagrees with them?

I'm... Just noticing that happens on both sides of same argument <_< Like if someone expresses something positive and then someone says something negative, then everyone on this site is negative nitpicker. If someone says something negative then everyone here is zealot fan.

Seeing that often enough that I'm almost sitting there and eating crisps and drinking beer as it often reaches comical proportions. I have engaged in some of these fisticuffs before, but this lasts only for so long

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

Jesse Lehto wrote:

Can I just note that whenever someone express the opinion and someone elses expresses counter opinion then first person who expressed opinion almost always claims that everyone on paizo.com disagrees with them?

I'm... Just noticing that happens on both sides of same argument <_< Like if someone expresses something positive and then someone says something negative, then everyone on this site is negative nitpicker. If someone says something negative then everyone here is zealot fan.

Yeah but then again when you criticize something and come up with something that sounds like my grandpa writing you deserve to get flack. The guy works for a paramilitary organization. Why shouldn't he sound like someone who works for a paramilitary organization and not a teeny boper?

2/5

I will freely stipulate that what I wrote sucked. No big surprise, I'm not a writer, and it's very possible that I am old enough to be your grandfather (And what's wrong with the writing of grandfathers? Would you criticize Tolkien's writing because of his age?)

Is it your contention that the Pathfinder Society is a paramility organization? If one does a search of this Organized Play/Pathfinder Society forum, there are exactly seven mentions of "paramilitary," most of them not referring to the society in this manner. The word "paramilitary" does not occur at all in the new PFS Guide to Play, https://org-play-2e-guide.readthedocs.io/_/downloads/en/latest/pdf/, nor does it appear in the Season 10 guide from PFS 1e. Finally, if I do a full Google search for "Pathfinder Society" and paramilitary, there is nothing in the first page of results that describes the Pathfinder Society in this manner.

I have never seen any of my Pathfinder characters as working for a paramilitary organization. If you see your Pathfinder Society characters as belonging to one, that's fine with me, but there doesn't appear to be any lore support for your position.

Furthermore, even if the Pathfinder Society were a pre-modern paramilitary organization similar to the Knights Templar, I don't see its members using the language in the above bit of text. I didn't even mention what I consider to be the worst line, “Apologies, sir, but all Captain Benarry’s correspondence is considered pre-cleared for level-two scanning protocols only.” I think this is an attempt to be humorous, but all is does for me is sound totally incompatible with the Society as I understand it.

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

Eando Kline is the leader of the Vigilant Seal. The faction that wants the society to start being more aggressive in finding and neutralizing dangerous things, and wants the society to become more reliable and regulated about doing so. Coming up with routine procedures for handling incoming items is what he is all about.

And notice that it is only his immediate subordinates who have adopted those routines and procedures.

Silver Crusade

How is it incompatible?

Is it the use of big words? None of those are new or sci-fi, protocol is from the 1500s.

Shadow Lodge 4/5

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We have level two spells, we can have level two protocols.

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

Rysky wrote:

How is it incompatible?

Is it the use of big words? None of those are new or sci-fi, protocol is from the 1500s.

Negative (and positive and affirmative) as a military response is a *little* anachronistic *sounding* because in our world it was introduced to deal with poor quality radio transmissions that could miss an entire syllable (such as yes or no.)

(Tangent, I wonder if the naval repetition "Aye aye" had similar roots, with relation to passing orders in inclement weather and among cannon fire.)

The fact that they are using an elongated form of no would imply that they are frequently dealing with environments where small sounds could get lost or distorted.

2/5

Jared Thaler wrote:

Eando Kline is the leader of the Vigilant Seal. The faction that wants the society to start being more aggressive in finding and neutralizing dangerous things, and wants the society to become more reliable and regulated about doing so. Coming up with routine procedures for handling incoming items is what he is all about.

And notice that it is only his immediate subordinates who have adopted those routines and procedures.

As I indicated above, I have no problem with the idea of routines. I find the language used by the characters to describe these routines as problematic given the pre-modern context of Pathfinder.

Rysky wrote:

How is it incompatible?

Is it the use of big words? None of those are new or sci-fi, protocol is from the 1500s.

It's not that they are "big" words. It's the tone of the conversation that sounds incompatible to me. According to our friend the OED, protocol goes all the way back to the 1400s. However, it's use as a term for standard operating procedure, the manner in which it used above, dates from the 20th century.

TOZ wrote:
We have level two spells, we can have level two protocols.

Do PCs and NPCs say "level two" spell in character? We as gamers use these terms, but I don't recall seeing this sort of terminology used in in-game dialogue. I may of course be wrong. It would be interesting to toss a bunch of Pathfinder scenarios into a tool like https://voyant-tools.org/ to analyze how NPCs speak.

Ultimately, this is a question of literary criticism. I think the text has some problems as a piece of literature, others do not. That's just fine with me.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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pjrogers wrote:
I find the language used by the characters to describe these routines as problematic given the pre-modern context of Pathfinder.

I don’t think that description applies. Golarion is currently modern to itself. It can’t be pre-modern to our world.

Quote:
Do PCs and NPCs say "level two" spell in character? We as gamers use these terms, but I don't recall seeing this sort of terminology used in in-game dialogue.

Not something we can verify outside our own games. I’ll use “circle” or “tier” in place of level personally, but nothing says in world that level isn’t the common term, such as belt levels in real world martial arts.

2/5

By pre-modern, I mean pre-18th century Enlightenment. Golarion can to some degree be looked at as more like the world of the 17th century and earlier or more like the world of the 19th and 20th centuries. I'd argue that for the most part, Golarion is more pre-modern than modern.

Actually, we could look at the dialogue in Pathfinder novels, adventures, etc. and see what terms are used there. That would be one use of the Voyant text analysis tools that I was suggesting.

Grand Lodge 4/5

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pjrogers wrote:
By pre-modern, I mean pre-18th century Enlightenment.

Which has no bearing on Golarion’s development.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
pjrogers wrote:
Golarion can to some degree be looked at as.....

But only to some to degree. All those other degrees allow all kinds of irrational ideas and language to sneak in.

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

As I was pointing out "Negative" and "Affirmative" cam about in response to a specific environment. In our world, that environment was linked to a specific technology, but it need not be exclusive to that environment.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau

James Case wrote:
Invictus Novo wrote:

This sounds great. I am also impressed with Season 2 so far (2-02 was a blast!).

My only complaint is the lack of repeatable scenarios. PFS2 has been a wonderful way to stave off the effects of quarantined life now-a-days, but the lack of repeatable scenarios has meant much less playing lately sadly.

We needed to rely a lot more heavily than usual on repeatables in Year 1 (since it was a brand-new system), so there's a little fewer of them now that we're in Year 2, but we're still making them! Keep an eye out for next month's The Crashing Wave!

To the best of my knowledge, only five of the 25 scenarios in Season 1 are repeatable, and only two of the Quests (which are now no longer being developed). How is that "relying heavily" on repeatables? If anything, I think Paizo jumped the gun on rolling out Level 5-9 scenarios, considering "this is a new system."

With the loss of the Quest format, I hope that we see MORE repeatables, especially in Level 1-4... since this is a new system and will still draw new players.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, Finland—Tampere

On side note, I completely dislike spell levels and other game mechanic terms being in world terminology and one of reasons I'm annoyed with Forgotten Realms lore :p

Which is why I'm glad I've never remember that having happened in blog fiction or tales books ;D

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

Not looking forward to see Eando Kline in future scenarios for story reasons. His return makes sense given the PFS2 lore, but some PFS1 scenarios are still stinging in that aspect.

2/5

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
By pre-modern, I mean pre-18th century Enlightenment.
Which has no bearing on Golarion’s development.

Why not? Two of the most important events of the Enlightenment were the American and French Revolutions which are the obvious models for Andoran and Galt respectively.

Silver Crusade

pjrogers wrote:
Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
pjrogers wrote:
By pre-modern, I mean pre-18th century Enlightenment.
Which has no bearing on Golarion’s development.
Why not? Two of the most important events of the Enlightenment were the American and French Revolutions which are the obvious models for Andoran and Galt respectively.

Okay, Zimmer.

Golarion is not a copy of Earth, just because [event] happened on Earth doesn’t mean the same thing in the same timeframe happens or tells in Golarion.

There’s been much more revolutions in the world than the two you mentioned, neither have much in common with fantasy idealized America land or eternal rain of terror France land.

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

pjrogers wrote:


I have never seen any of my Pathfinder characters as working for a paramilitary organization. If you see your Pathfinder Society characters as belonging to one, that's fine with me, but there doesn't appear to be any lore support for your position.
.

That's literally the plotline of the transitions between editions. And I want to say that even if the subtext wasn't intentional Paizo is probably aware. Though I'm going to say the issue is you just missed it.

2/5

I'm just going to say that I don't think some folks here understand the concepts of the Enlightenment, modernity, and para-military organizations and leave it at that.

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