Pathfinder Society Year 4 Rule Updates

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Greetings, Pathfinders! As the beginning of the Year of Boundless Wonder approaches in August, we wanted to let you know about the changes coming to the Pathfinder Society program. Aside from the updates in this blog, we don’t have any other rule changes or alterations to the program planned; this year should be quieter on that front, rather than the radical changes we’ve had in previous years.

A silvery chalice decorated with filigree and blue gems. A purple liquid swirls inside forming the shape of the Pathfinder Society logo

Illustration by Nicholas Phillips


Achievement Points

We’re aware that achievement points and GM credits are still not being awarded correctly (or at all, in most cases). Tech is aware of the problem and is currently reviewing the code to fix this issue. Once it’s fixed, you won’t have to do anything but refresh your points to fix the errors. Achievement Points can still be spent currently. We hope to have good news on this front very soon!

At the end of May, we also announced that we would be awarding every player a starting player grant of 80 Achievement Points for both Pathfinder and Starfinder Society. You may use these points to unlock an uncommon ancestry, other fun uncommon options, or just as a cushion for a couple of resurrections should your low-level character meet with an untimely critical hit. The aforementioned issues with Achievement Points are also blocking this grant for a small number of users, but that should be fixed shortly as well.


Ancestry Boon Changes

With the start of Year 4 comes new adventurers! We’re pleased to announce some updates to the price of ancestry boons based on the Society’s adventurers.

As a result of the Society’s efforts on the Shadow Plane this season, the Fetchling Ancestry boon price will be reduced to 40 Achievement Points. Additionally, additional recruitment in Oprak means that the Hobgoblin Ancestry boon price will be reduced to 80 Achievement Points. Finally, the price of the Catfolk Ancestry boon will also be reduced to 80 Achievement Points. We don’t have a great in-story reason for this last adjustment, but we wanted to bring this boon in line with similar uncommon ancestries from the Mwangi Expanse.

All of these changes will take effect on July 29, 2022, in preparation for the launch of Pathfinder Society Year 4 at Gen Con the following week.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Mike to talk about some new boons coming to the boon store!


Hello, Pathfinders! Thinking of making a new character? Want to tie your character to recent events in Pathfinder Society adventures? We’ve got seven new backgrounds, each of which reflects some sort of connection to recent and ongoing Pathfinder Society plots. You don’t need to play a specific adventure to earn the backgrounds—they’re open to everyone, for the price of 4 Achievement Points each. Maybe you’ll want to pick up one of these backgrounds because you enjoyed a Year 3 plot and want to have a character tied to that plot, or because you’re about to play some Year 3 content and want to give your character an even stronger connection to that content before playing it. Or maybe you just think it sounds cool!

You’ll find the text of these boons behind the spoiler tags below. (They don’t contain heavy spoilers for the events of any adventures.) Enjoy!

Muesello’s Student

Muesello’s Student (Uncommon Background)

You trained under Venture-Captain Muesello of the Oppara Lodge in Taldor. You learned a few of the mage-machinist’s crafting techniques, and your extensive knowledge of magic items comes in handy during your adventures as a Pathfinder field agent. Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Intelligence, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Crafting skill and the Engineering Lore skill. You gain the Crafter’s Appraisal skill feat (Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide 204). Additionally, when Muesello is present during your mission briefings, he takes some time to catch up with you and discuss your mission. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Gloriana’s Fixer

Gloriana's Fixer (Uncommon Background)

You used to run certain “errands” for Gloriana Morilla, a close confidante of Grand Princess Eutropia Stavian, the ruler of Taldor. Gloriana took note of your skills and suggested you join the Pathfinder Society, a group she’s heavily involved in herself.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Thievery skill and the Underworld Lore skill. You gain the Subtle Theft skill feat.

Additionally, when Gloriana Morilla is present during your mission briefings, she discreetly checks in with you and provides some pointers. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Almas Clerk

Almas Clerk (Uncommon Background)

You worked as a clerk at the Golden Cathedral of Almas in Andoran. The Pathfinder Society’s activities in the city, and its passionate defense of its mission, inspired you to join the organization. You help the Society pursue its goals and navigate the laws of Golarion’s many locales.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Intelligence or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Society skill and the Legal Lore skill. You gain the Glean Contents skill feat (Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide 206).

Additionally, when you receive a mission briefing in the city of Almas, you know just how to find the information you need. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Friend of Greensteeples

Friend of Greensteeples (Uncommon Background)

You’re a good friend of Benedet, the majordomo of Greensteeples Manor in Egorian, Cheliax. You’ve learned a thing or two about surviving against all odds thanks to your close association with House Jeggare and the clandestine Pathfinder Society operations based out of Greensteeples.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Dexterity or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in your choice of the Deception or Society skills, and gain the Assurance skill feat with your chosen skill. You’re also trained in a Lore skill about a narrow category of creatures.

Additionally, when you receive a mission briefing at Greensteeples Manor (or a briefing from Benedet or Varian Jeggare at another location), you receive a warm welcome. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Guest of Sedeq Lodge

Guest of Sedeq Lodge (Uncommon Background)

Either as a guest, event staff, or part of the construction crew, you spent a significant stretch of time at the Pathfinder Society’s new lodge in Sedeq. The lodge serves as a new home for those fleeing from oppression or otherwise seeking a fresh start in Qadira. The magic and marvels you witnessed at the lodge inspired you to find more excitement as a member of the Pathfinder Society.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in your choice of the Arcana or Religion skills, as well as your choice of the Genie Lore or Sarenrae Lore skills. You gain the Recognize Spell skill feat.

Additionally, when you receive a mission briefing at Sedeq Lodge, your familiarity with the site and the nearby area comes in handy. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Sandswept Survivor

Sandswept Survivor (Uncommon Background)

You were in the Sandswept Hall, the Pathfinder Society’s lodge in Sothis, Osirion, when it came under attack from an unrelenting horde of undead. You endured the siege and forged new bonds with your fellow survivors, then joined the Society as a field agent.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Wisdom, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Survival skill and a Lore skill related to a specific type of undead, such as Mummy Lore or Zombie Lore. You gain the Terrain Expertise skill feat with underground terrain.

Additionally, when you receive a mission briefing at the Sandswept Hall, your familiarity with its history and staff grants further insight. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.


Gold Falls Regular

Gold Falls Regular (Uncommon Background)

You’ve long been a regular of Gold Falls Inn, a tavern located near Droskar’s Crag in the Darkmoon Vale region of Andoran. The establishment is a frequent gathering place for adventurers, storytellers, and folk heroes. You took note of the Pathfinder Society’s growing reputation in the area and decided to join up and seek adventure and fame of your own.

Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Constitution or Charisma, and one is a free ability boost.

You’re trained in the Performance skill, as well as your choice of the Cooking Lore skill or Volcano Lore skill. You gain the Impressive Performance skill feat.

Additionally, when you receive a mission briefing at Gold Falls Inn or a settlement in Darkmoon Vale, you can draw on your knowledge of the region and its many stories. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your checks to Gather Information or Recall Knowledge during the Getting Started segment of such adventures. Be sure to remind your GM that you have a relevant background.

As always: Explore! Report! Cooperate!

Mike Kimmel
Pathfinder Society Developer

Alex Speidel
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Organized Play Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society Pathfinder Society Scenarios
The Exchange 1/5 5/5 **

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

HUZZAH!

These new background look awesome.

Thanks!

Silver Crusade 5/5 5/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, Germany—Bavaria

Looking forward to the new season ^^

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Apologies if this is a stupid question but are these new backgrounds usable starting today?

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Preston Hudson wrote:
Apologies if this is a stupid question but are these new backgrounds usable starting today?

Good question! The boons won't be live in the boon store until just before Gen Con, at which point they will be legal.

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Captain, Washington—Spokane

Alex Speidel wrote:
Preston Hudson wrote:
Apologies if this is a stupid question but are these new backgrounds usable starting today?
Good question! The boons won't be live in the boon store until just before Gen Con, at which point they will be legal.

Thanks Alex! Tunnel vision strikes again! Read the backgrounds but missed the rarity.

Sovereign Court 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 *** Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Central Region

Does the reduction in cost come with a grandfathered free raise for those that paid the original price, like when leshies got reduced? Or was that a different case since they were becoming “always available”?

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Kyrand wrote:
Does the reduction in cost come with a grandfathered free raise for those that paid the original price, like when leshies got reduced? Or was that a different case since they were becoming “always available”?

That was different, as anybody who bought a leshy boon was having that cost, to some degree, invalidated (though I argue that early access is itself a benefit).

That being said, if anybody purchases their hobgoblin/catfolk/fetchling boon between now and August without knowing about the change, I'm happy to refund the difference if they email orgplayreportingerrors[at]paizo[dot]com requesting it.

Grand Lodge 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Venture-Captain, California—San Francisco Bay Area North & East

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks Alex! I think catfolk is going to be a popular use of new players' free 80 AcP.

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

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I don't know which of these announcements I'm more excited about, the reduction in AcP cost for those three Ancestries, or the new Backgrounds!

I'm loving that these new Uncommon Backgrounds are tied to Season 3 events and storylines, and hope that we will see more adventures from those Venture-Captains/lodges/allies in the future, making that "kicker bonus" more worthwhile in Season 4 and many more to come!

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

7 people marked this as a favorite.

One of the nice things about switching to online boons is that I have the power to look up exactly how many of any boon have been purchased. So theoretically I could look up which ancestries are most popular, or which backgrounds are getting the most player interest if the developers wanted that information. That's just a fun fact for you all on this Thursday evening!

**

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The new backgrounds are cool!

You just... purchase the Boon?

Sovereign Court 1/5 *** Venture-Agent, Indiana—Indianapolis

Excited for the new season!

1/5 * RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Happy the ancestries are going down, but I wish heritages would get the same treatment. All heritages still cost as much, if not more, than an ancestry, which feels neither fair nor appropriate to the lore of the society.

The Exchange 2/5 ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm gonna stop flailing every time I see an ancestry ACP cost go down after I've bought it, and just make it part of my personality at this point. XD

Wait, ok one more *FETCHLING FLAIL* Alright, now I'm done.

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

1 person marked this as a favorite.
rainzax wrote:

The new backgrounds are cool!

You just... purchase the Boon?

Yep, once they're live you'll purchase the boon, which will grant access to the Background listed.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 ** Venture-Agent, California—Los Angeles (South Bay)

Will the PFS Guide be updated on the morning of July 29th?

4/5 ***

1 person marked this as a favorite.
William Ronald wrote:
Will the PFS Guide be updated on the morning of July 29th?

Depends on how busy things are for the volunteers who maintain it, but that is our intent.

Scarab Sages 4/5 Venture-Captain, Texas—Houston

Looking forward to creating a Fetchling for myself and I agree that the Catfolk will be popular. Game On!

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

Alex Speidel wrote:
Kyrand wrote:
Does the reduction in cost come with a grandfathered free raise for those that paid the original price, like when leshies got reduced? Or was that a different case since they were becoming “always available”?

<<snipped some>>

That being said, if anybody purchases their hobgoblin/catfolk/fetchling boon between now and August without knowing about the change, I'm happy to refund the difference if they email orgplayreportingerrors[at]paizo[dot]com requesting it.

This does not answer the question fully. I purchased the Hobgoblin boon many months ago. Can I send an email to get back the difference for a character that has been established for a while now?

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

Gary Bush wrote:
Alex Speidel wrote:
Kyrand wrote:
Does the reduction in cost come with a grandfathered free raise for those that paid the original price, like when leshies got reduced? Or was that a different case since they were becoming “always available”?

<<snipped some>>

That being said, if anybody purchases their hobgoblin/catfolk/fetchling boon between now and August without knowing about the change, I'm happy to refund the difference if they email orgplayreportingerrors[at]paizo[dot]com requesting it.
This does not answer the question fully. I purchased the Hobgoblin boon many months ago. Can I send an email to get back the difference for a character that has been established for a while now?

You cannot, no.

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

Alex Speidel wrote:
Gary Bush wrote:

This does not answer the question fully. I purchased the Hobgoblin boon many months ago. Can I send an email to get back the difference for a character that has been established for a while now?

You cannot, no.

That is what I thought. Not an issue for me.

Thanks for clarifing.

Liberty's Edge 2/5 5/5 ***** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Indianapolis

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm just glad to see that my next Hobgoblin character won't cost 1.2M ACP. Now to find time to play.

Liberty's Edge 5/5 5/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Indiana—Martinsville

I find myself going back to the birds. Well, the Tengu specifically, as it was fully available for quite a bit of time in PF1 PFS (Still is, for those that still play) I am wondering if any thought has been put into making it "Common" within PFS, available without a boon, as it had been in the past. We already have the Goblin, Leshy and Kobold.

Dark Archive 4/5 ** Venture-Lieutenant, Finland—Turku

So were ifrit, kitsune, nagaji,oread, sylph, tengu, undine, and wayang.
Considering that Leshies, goblins and kobolds were not 'common' in 1e but are now (in fact, kobolds and goblins especially were pretty rare until the end of pf1 where kobold boons became more accessible), and we got discounts for Kayals and Iruxi due to story reasons, it seems unlikely that the "old" always-available ancestries would be made free (unless we get more stories/scenarios involving them).

Aaand given that iruxi and kayals got just a discount instead of straight up free access, it feels likely that new ancestries would follow a similar pattern. Then again, Leshies and Kobolds were made free...

It's hard to predict the future.

Paizo Employee 5/55/5 * Organized Play Coordinator

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Update: the price updates and new boons from this blog are all now live in the boon store!

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