Society Writ Large

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

When most people hear the name “Pathfinder Society,” they likely associate it with Paizo's real-world organized play program. Yet the Pathfinder Society is a long-established and influential organization within the world of Golarion itself. Explorers from the Society have set foot onto continents basically unknown to the Inner Sea, while the Pathfinder Chronicles have provided evening entertainment for some and inspiration into adventure for others. They have brought distant and long-forgotten sites into the forefront of cultural discussion, and hold some of the most complete libraries on certain subjects as can be found on the planet. Their allies are varied and many, from the crusaders who fought to close the Worldwound in Mendev and who now struggle against the Whispering Tyrant's armies, to the powerful Blakros family of Absalom—which was recently discovered to have gained its riches by sacrificing members of its family to forces in the Shadow Plane. Their enemies are just as disparate, from the exploitative Aspis Consortium to the Peacebuilders of Absalom, who are nothing more than aggravated neighbors who have become collateral damage in the Pathfinders' dealings one too many times.

A human man holds several books in one hand and a large scroll in the other. He is wearing a robe and a pair of glasses to help him read the scroll She is missing her other hand and part of that same arm. She is wearing a tattered kimono kept in place by a sash

Left to right, Illustrations by Bryan Sola and Matheus Dorrow Schwartz

Needless to say, the Pathfinder Society has a very complex and storied history.

The goal of Lost Omens Pathfinder Society Guide is to provide a comprehensive snapshot of the ins and outs of this organization, from the twists of its history to its many everyday operations. For those interested in having their characters join the Pathfinder Society, the first two chapters present a detailed look at life in the Society as a whole, from daily routines and yearly holidays to the many branches of training that Pathfinder recruits are expected to familiarize themselves with. Even those adventurers with little interest in the Society might find themselves picking up a useful trick or two from a Pathfinder ally or rival. Might your character learn a bit of the Society's silent Napsu-Sign to quietly communicate danger to allies (or communicate more accessibly to the deaf and mute)? Could one find a weakness-seeking alignment ampoule useful on her adventures?

Even those characters who find their calling elsewhere are likely to encounter one of the Pathfinders' many lodges on their adventures! From the frozen Lands of the Linnorm Kings to the impossible kingdom of Nex, Pathfinder strongholds can be found, harboring dozens of agents as they prepare to explore even more distant locales. These lodges are more than just a welcome spot of reprieve and resupply for the weary hero—no matter how subtle, the works of the local Pathfinder lodge always have an impact on local politics. From the political turmoil that the seemingly ill-fated Exalted Lodge is causing in Razmiran to Starrise Spire's increasingly tenuous claim to one of Mendev's grandest fortifications, the presence of the Pathfinders provides multiple plot hooks for other heroes to become involved in, be they allies, enemies, or entirely disinterested in the Pathfinder Society itself!

A human man sits in a wooden wheelchair with an open book on his lap. The book has several ribbons, bookmarks, and notes poking out of the edges. A half-elf woman stands with a flintlock pistol in one hand and a whip in the other. She is wearing an outfit suited for desert adventures

Left to right, Illustrations by Sarunas Macijauskas and Carol Azevedo

Finally comes a host of adventuring gear, magic items, and even companions that the Pathfinders commonly use and could provide—but that any hero might desire! From mundane tools such as glass cutters to customized wayfinders and unusual aeon stones, the Lost Omens: Pathfinder Society Guide has many pieces of exciting equipment that PCs can receive (or steal) in their interactions with the Society. Specific Pathfinder teachers can offer lessons in special feats (and who wouldn't want to learn Exploding Death Drop), while society agents might introduce a character to special new familiars such as an aeon wyrd, a wicker poppet, or even an adorable dweomercat cub!

Groups that aren’t part of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign can still have the Pathfinder Society be a part of their campaigns with the help of this book. Groups could include the Pathfinder Society as the core of their campaigns, assign the Society to a supporting role, or even come in direct competition with Pathfinders as rivals. This book is still a great resource for groups not interested in including the Pathfinder Society in their campaigns as the new rules options are broad enough for most adventuring parties to use any time!

The Pathfinder Society is a group built by adventurers, for adventurers. Whether that makes you want to join up or makes you want to run a Society-focused game, the result is sure to make a great story!

Eleanor Ferron
Developer

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Tags: Pathfinder Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society
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The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.

HUZZAH!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Although I can guess at who the characters are, could you please add something giving the character names as well as the artist names?

I'm looking forward to this book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Do we finally get Guns...


7 people marked this as a favorite.

Guns are going to probably end up in a larger, more dedicated, on-theme book than... the guide to the Pathfinders.


I understand artists might not always produce according to canon, but blacking out the eyes of elves to fit Golarion norm seems like an easy fix to apply to non-conforming artwork. Just a bit disappointed that elves are set up as alien and so forth, only to casually fall back into "slender humans with pointy ears" territory, it doesn't feel like serious dedication to unique setting.

Anyways... Subsytem for dismemberment obviously is priority before guns, sorry I don't make the rules... ;-)


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Quandary wrote:

I understand artists might not always produce according to canon, but blacking out the eyes of elves to fit Golarion norm seems like an easy fix to apply to non-conforming artwork. Just a bit disappointed that elves are set up as alien and so forth, only to casually fall back into "slender humans with pointy ears" territory, it doesn't feel like serious dedication to unique setting.

Anyways... Subsytem for dismemberment obviously is priority before guns, sorry I don't make the rules... ;-)

Could be a half elf!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
BretI wrote:
Although I can guess at who the characters are, could you please add something giving the character names as well as the artist names?

The last character shown is Kinlynn Silverstride, based on the filename. The others are representational names for archetypes or roles taken in the PFS.

Paizo Employee Developer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
LLuukkee wrote:
Could be a half elf!

Correct!

Ryan Heck | Aqualith Media wrote:
The last character shown is Kinlynn Silverstride, based on the filename. The others are representational names for archetypes or roles taken in the PFS.

This is also correct. Only Kinlynn is a named NPC. The rest are just meant to be representations of a variety of Pathfinders.

Grand Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

This book is AWESOME!!!

Love the lore.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

Why must you torment us with incredibly awesome artwork of characters with guns when it'll be years before firearms appear in the game?

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am so looking forward to the release of this book... and for the sanctioning of it's content for organized play! This hardcover has been a goal for many years, and PF2 is the right edition to finally see it released!


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Pathfinders also have the potential to be one of the biggest banks on Golarion. With their lodges all over the place, they could carry certain valuables to and from anywhere. And that presence means that letters of credit (not to mention other bearer instruments) drawn on the Pathfinder Society's assets could no doubt be used as currency nearly anywhere in the civilized world.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

12 people marked this as a favorite.
pennywit wrote:
The Pathfinders also have the potential to be one of the biggest banks on Golarion. With their lodges all over the place, they could carry certain valuables to and from anywhere. And that presence means that letters of credit (not to mention other bearer instruments) drawn on the Pathfinder Society's assets could no doubt be used as currency nearly anywhere in the civilized world.

Found the Abadaran!

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...

I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

Horizon Hunters

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
DomHeroEllis wrote:
If you hate them that much you could just not use them

That's not true if you are a PFS GM. You don't get a choice.

Liberty's Edge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

With touch attacks not being a thing, the main crux of how the Guns in PF1 interacted badly with mechanics is gone in PF2. The weapon could be a good revamp for the new edition and not have the overreaching balance issues that plagued the game in the past.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Exploding Death Drop you say? That sounds like a blast.

Also, Wicker Poppet familiar? Hmm....


DomHeroEllis wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.

bring on the numerian laser guns PEW PEW.

Paizo Employee Designer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Dubious Scholar wrote:

Exploding Death Drop you say? That sounds like a blast.

I see what you did there.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Society Subscriber
pennywit wrote:
The Pathfinders also have the potential to be one of the biggest banks on Golarion. With their lodges all over the place, they could carry certain valuables to and from anywhere. And that presence means that letters of credit (not to mention other bearer instruments) drawn on the Pathfinder Society's assets could no doubt be used as currency nearly anywhere in the civilized world.

Careful, the Pathfinders don't want to end up like the fabled Knights Templar... They may upset a monarch who owes them a lot of money.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

The Peacebuilders of Absalom huh? Looks like the devastation the Pathfinder Society helped to inflict in Magnimar and other places has finally stirred up an organization dedicated to preventing the Pathfinders from causing anymore trouble.

Grand Archive

8 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

One of the first character images you see in the book is the person in a wheelchair. That's really awesome, IMHO. This subtly set up their existence in the canon. It normalizes it. "See, we can put a wheelchair in without it being a plot point or character option. He's just someone in the pathfinder society." Same thing for the swordmaster. It's not an archetype focused on that. They are just one example of many. It just so happen that this person is missing an arm.

PS: Poppet's art is cute! I want one! I also really like the hummingbird Wayfinder art.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Me: Sees picture of a firearm.

Me: "Don't Do That. Don't Give Me Hope."


DomHeroEllis wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.

I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have


3 people marked this as a favorite.
thecursor wrote:
DomHeroEllis wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.

I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have

Some people don't like their Tolkien to touch their Howard, basically.

Lantern Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Exton Land wrote:
pennywit wrote:
The Pathfinders also have the potential to be one of the biggest banks on Golarion. With their lodges all over the place, they could carry certain valuables to and from anywhere. And that presence means that letters of credit (not to mention other bearer instruments) drawn on the Pathfinder Society's assets could no doubt be used as currency nearly anywhere in the civilized world.
Careful, the Pathfinders don't want to end up like the fabled Knights Templar... They may upset a monarch who owes them a lot of money.

Not to mention making every travelling Pathfinder a target for unscrupulous types who figure they must be (regardless of whether they in fact are) carrying super valuable stuff.


thecursor wrote:
DomHeroEllis wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.

I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have

Gunslinger was a bit broken in 1e.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Dubious Scholar wrote:
thecursor wrote:


I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have
Gunslinger was a bit broken in 1e.

And some of us just don't like guns in our fantasy. It really is as simple as that. I don't care how powerful or weak they are, I just don't want them in my pseudo medieval pseudo renaissance fantasy. They just don't fit for me.

Marketing & Media Manager

7 people marked this as a favorite.

Isn't it great that Pathfinder has rarity built into the game?

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Aaron Shanks wrote:
Isn't it great that Pathfinder has rarity built into the game?

Uh, given the recent anger at the "clarification" wrt spell access, now may NOT be the best time to tout how wonderful your rarity system is :-)

Silver Crusade

Rarity and learning new spells don’t really have anything to do with each other in that argument.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
pauljathome wrote:
Uh, given the recent anger at the "clarification" wrt spell access, now may NOT be the best time to tout how wonderful your rarity system is :-)

That brouhaha is only relevant to people who belong to PFS. This book is part of the Lost Omens setting subscription, and this forum is for all GMs, not just PFS folks.

For most people, rarity is a pretty good way for GMs to create the stories they want to tell. I like it a lot for keeping out stuff that I don't want to deal with.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:


That brouhaha is only relevant to people who belong to PFS.

Maybe. The claim by the PFS people is that IS the rule that the developers always intended and thought the words said.

So, to the extent that you're willing to take the word of the PFS people and to the extent that you want to play by the Rules As Developers intended then it IS relevant.

And I quite liked Rarity when it made sense to me (3 clearly delineated rarities). I don't like the current (PFS and apparently intended for everybody) state where there are, in many ways, now 4 rarities (Common in the Core book, Common not in the Core book, Uncommon, Rare). Mostly because it makes absolutely no in world sense to me and I honestly no longer understand it.

Silver Crusade

That's not the situation at all. Certain casters don't get all Common spells Matrixed into the brain for free this edition.

It's not a question of Rarity.

Liberty's Edge

6 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:

That's not the situation at all. Certain casters don't get all Common spells Matrixed into the brain for free this edition.

It's not a question of Rarity.

In practice, it sort of is. It makes Common spells in the corebook and Common spells outside the corebook things you need to keep track of separately, which is often both impractical and annoying (AoN doesn't make a distinction, for example), and does so specifically in a way that mimics Rarity (ie: it's about whether you have access).

I'm very much not a fan.

Silver Crusade

Uh, AoN does mention what books spells are from.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
It makes Common spells in the corebook and Common spells outside the corebook things you need to keep track of separately,

No, it makes them something you CAN keep track of separately, if you prefer playing the game that way.

Again, "need to" is a statement of fact for PFS. For anyone else, it's an option that you only have to choose if it makes the game more fun for you and your group. It's only "impractical and annoying" if you want to play that way, in which case, it's probably not impractical and annoying to you.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Uh, AoN does mention what books spells are from.

Not on the spell list pages. You have to go into each spell individually. It's a hassle.

CrystalSeas wrote:
No, it makes them something you CAN keep track of separately, if you prefer playing the game that way.

If used, this ruling means you must do so. A GM can ignore it, as they can any rule, but that really only helps me when I'm the GM, not if I ever want to actually be a player. I mean, theoertically I could try and convince another GM to ignore it but we're definitely back to 'this is more work' at that point.

CrystalSeas wrote:
Again, "need to" is a statement of fact for PFS. For anyone else, it's an option that you only have to choose if it makes the game more fun for you and your group.

No, 'need to' is a true statement if you're in PFS or have a GM who follows this ruling. PFS GMs aren't the only ones who care about things like this, nor the only ones who will enforce them. And see above about only the GM getting to change the rules or decide which ones apply.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
And see above about only the GM getting to change the rules or decide which ones apply.

I don't crew for skippers who scream abuse at me during races and I don't game with GMs who make unilateral decisions.

Some people prefer being treated that way over not sailing/gaming at all. But it's a choice, not a requirement.

Silver Crusade

Deadmanwalking wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Uh, AoN does mention what books spells are from.
Not on the spell list pages. You have to go into each spell individually. It's a hassle.

Wouldn't you go to the spell page anyway when learning the spell so you actually know what it does?

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
CrystalSeas wrote:

I don't crew for skippers who scream abuse at me during races and I don't game with GMs who make unilateral decisions.

Some people prefer being treated that way over not sailing/gaming at all. But it's a choice, not a requirement.

Sure, but specific rule calls are not, for me or most other people I know, a 'make or break' decision point like this unless they're really egregious. This one sure isn't, being an annoyance more than a character ruining call.

It's just a minor way in which a significant subset of Pathfinder games just got a little bit worse for me, and by the indications many others. It's not worth quitting a game over and that being the case, not something players have a lot of leverage to effect, it just makes their lives slightly worse and slightly more annoying.

Which is, y'know, bad. Not world ending or anything, just bad.

Rysky wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Uh, AoN does mention what books spells are from.
Not on the spell list pages. You have to go into each spell individually. It's a hassle.
Wouldn't you go to the spell page anyway when learning the spell so you actually know what it does?

Sure. If I know I need to learn it. As a Druid or Cleric, I don't necessarily know whether I need to do that or not. Which is rather the problem since it adds extra checking and thus wastes time every single time you want to prepare a new set of spells for the day.


Dubious Scholar wrote:
thecursor wrote:
DomHeroEllis wrote:
Xathos of Varisia wrote:
Tempest_Knight wrote:
Do we finally get Guns...
I believe that firearms will unfortunately be coming at some point down the road. Thankfully, I do not anticipate them in the next year.

If you hate them that much you could just not use them

Some people like them, it seems.

I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have
Gunslinger was a bit broken in 1e.

1e Gunslinger was strong, but not broken... If you actually followed the rules...

Shot count being a big one... back in the days of old, Mike Brock did a rundown of the, at the time, maximum shots per round, and it was markedly lower then the number(s) given by the "NO Gun in my Fantasy" and "Gun are Broken" and the "Gun Min/Max" crowds...


pauljathome wrote:
Dubious Scholar wrote:
thecursor wrote:


I will never understand the weird aversion to flintlocks some people have
Gunslinger was a bit broken in 1e.
And some of us just don't like guns in our fantasy. It really is as simple as that. I don't care how powerful or weak they are, I just don't want them in my pseudo medieval pseudo renaissance fantasy. They just don't fit for me.

European Firearms were developed in the end of the Medieval/beginning of the Renaissance period...

If those are your time stamps, you have no reason to dislike Guns in your "pseudo medieval pseudo renaissance fantasy"...

~

That said, I have no real opposition to people 'not liking guns in their fantasy'... They are entitled to their opinions, just like I'm entitled to mine...

Personally, I wouldn't mind(oppose) Gunslinger's being an AcP restricted Class... Though I would prefer it not be...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I suppose some people must be into the historical pseudo-medieval pseudo-renaissance aspect, but for a lot of us the game is not about simulating history so much as simulating fiction. That's why we like having magic and dragons in our fantasy. 99% of fantasy novels/movies/etc do not have gun technology; we're trying to simulate those stories; ergo we don't like having guns around.

I don't think there's anything wrong with liking guns, I just dislike seeing all the "disliking guns makes no sense" posts.


Lord of the Rings had gunpowder in it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Grankless wrote:
Lord of the Rings had gunpowder in it.

For fireworks, yes. Not guns.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone go on a furious rant about fireworks.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I mean, I have. Do you have any idea how much paperwork is involved when a hostler accidentally drops a 20' shipping container of fireworks onto its side?

Nothing even went off...

Verdant Wheel

Re: Spell Rarity

Maybe adding a new tag, "Core"?

To describe the Common options in the CRB that are, effectively, more common than Common?

(And perhaps it is only needed for spells?)

Silver Crusade Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fuzzy-Wuzzy wrote:
Grankless wrote:
Lord of the Rings had gunpowder in it.

For fireworks, yes. Not guns.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone go on a furious rant about fireworks.

That was a pretty big firework the Uruk-Hai used on the Deeping Wall, then. :D

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