February 2023 Organized Play Monthly Update

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Digital Adventure Releases

The following adventures will be available on February 22, 2023.

Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-09: Killer in the Golden Mask*
Pathfinder Society Scenario #4-10: Arclord's Abode*

Starfinder Society

Starfinder Society Scenario #5-14: Ghost Level Delve*
Starfinder Bounty #7: Voyage on the River Between

*part of a subscription


The Replacement of Ehu Hadif

Two weeks ago, the deadline for First Seeker Candidates officially passed! Our submissions for this event are now closed.

We had a total of 95 candidates submitted to be the new First Seeker, which is incredible! The most represented species were androids, vesk, humans, halflings and skittermanders. At press time, we’re still selecting the final candidates for the election. Once we’ve made our choices and contacted the winners, we’ll be sure to email everybody who submitted to inform them. I can’t wait to announce the candidates!


Rules Updates

Orcs in Organized Play

As we announced two weeks ago, in honor of the upcoming ORC License, orcs are now a freely available player ancestry in Pathfinder and Starfinder Society! For Pathfinder (second edition), the boon has been retired, and a free resurrection has been added to previously-purchased boons. We did the same thing when we made leshys freely available in 2021, so we’re delighted to provide this benefit now. In Starfinder Society, previously-created orcs may use the boon to take a +2 bonus to any one stat, as described in the Starfinder Society FAQ.

Any players who purchased these boons in January of 2023, prior to this change, may request a refund of their Achievement Points by emailing orgplayreportingerrors@paizo.com. Boons purchased before January 1 will not be refunded.

Finally, despite the ambiguity in the initial announcement, orcs will not be a playable race in Pathfinder Society (first edition). While we appreciate the community’s enthusiasm, the depiction of orcs in first edition content does not reflect our current values. Our portrayal of this ancestry has evolved over the years, and their initial presentation as aggressive, callous, and domineering isn’t something we want to encourage in our Organized Play programs. I offer my personal apologies for the lack of clarity in the first announcement; I wrote it very quickly during a very busy time without fully considering the implications, and I won’t make that mistake again.

Dragonkin in Starfinder Society

Recently, we were made aware that while most dragonkin choose to form a partner bond, canonically it’s not required. Additionally, asking players to choose their dragonkin’s partner from character creation presents a burden to newer players, or those who want to tell the story of forming that bond with a fellow adventurer.

As a result, we’re updating the SFS rules on dragonkin to read as follows, effective immediately:

When you create a dragonkin character, you may select another player’s character to form your partner bond with. Mark down that character’s Organized Play number on your character sheet. If that character is permanently slain, then you can select a new partner bond by marking a new Organized Play number on your character sheet between sessions.

A dragonkin adventurer may choose not to form a partner bond, or they may choose to form one later in their adventuring career. Once a partner is selected, they may not be replaced unless they are permanently slain.

Starfinder Society 1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion

One last treat for the Starfinder community! Our multi-table interactive specials are some of the most sought-after scenarios, and they often serve as a draw for conventions around the world. Recently we’ve been allowing the special to be replayed a limited number of times, but when our first Starfinder interactive was released, this was not the case. Based on community feedback, we’re happy to correct this.

Starfinder Society Special 1-99: The Scoured Stars Invasion may now be played or GMed twice, one in each level range (1-4 and 5-8). This means you can earn a total of four Chronicle Sheets if you play and GM the special twice at different tiers. As always, a character may not have multiple chronicle sheets from the same adventure. This text will be added to the product page immediately; due to production timelines, it is unlikely to be added to the PDF anytime soon, but it is on our list to update.

If you’re interested in taking advantage of this immediately, the play-by-post community will be offering the special at their upcoming convention, Outpost VI!


Sanctioning Update

New Content

This month saw the release of the Fists of the Ruby Phoenix Adventure Path compilation, and with it, the sanctioning for the adventure! Much like Abomination Vaults, the chronicle sheets and boons are nearly identical to those published with the first printings. Otherwise, it’s been a quiet month for new content! Work is underway on sanctioning Treasure Vault, which should be ready for street date next month. After that we’re hoping to get starting on Lost Omens: Firebrands, the Drift Crisis Case Files for Starfinder, and are starting to eye up the Drift Hackers and Gatewalkers Adventure Paths.

Age of Ashes

Three years ago, we posted our sanctioning documents for the first Adventure Path for Pathfinder second edition: Age of Ashes. Completing this document was actually one of my first tasks as a brand-new Paizo employee! As a reward for completing the various volumes of this adventure, players were granted new boons which unlocked various character options.

As it’s been three years, we thought it was time to open these up a little further. Players may now spend their Achievement Points on brand-new boons to unlock certain options from the Age of Ashes Adventure Path! These boons unlock the uncommon character options that haven’t already been printed in other rulebooks. The full text of the boons is available on the Pathfinder FAQ page. Enjoy the new content!

Pathfinder Beginner Box

When the Pathfinder Beginner Box was released, our hope was that it would be used as-is to introduce players to both the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Pathfinder Society. As such, we sanctioned it with specific rules regarding character creation, and we provided an extra Achievement Point incentive to run it.

Now that it’s out of its initial release, it’s clear that while it’s great for introducing players to Pathfinder, the players who come to us for Pathfinder Society are more interested in exploring other options. As such, we’re updating the sanctioning rules. The Beginner Box is now sanctioned fully in campaign mode, meaning that players may bring any characters the GM permits to play the adventure. These can be characters built using the Beginner Box rules, but do not have to be. Additionally, while it will remain repeatable, we’ll be reducing the Achievement Point reward to the normal value: 4 for players and 8 for GMs. We hope this better serves the community’s needs!

To anticipate the question, we won’t be making the same change for the Starfinder Beginner Box. Due to the significantly altered ruleset in this product, it wouldn’t be feasible to expect a standard Starfinder character to be any easier to use in the Beginner Box.


GM Recognition

GM Ranks

Whether stars, novas, or glyphs, achieving a 5 ranking in any program involves a substantial amount of time. To achieve the 5th milestone, a GM must run 150 games, of which at least 50 must be unique scenarios and 10 special scenarios, as well as run between one and three games for venture-captains (program dependent). A conservative estimate of the time needed to reach the 5th milestone is 650 hours!

This month, we had one GM earn their 5th Nova for SFS.

5th Nova (SFS): Marcel de Groot


Conventions

This month we began recruiting volunteers for major conventions! Applications are now open for PaizoCon Online and Gen Con Indianapolis. If you’re interested in GMing at either of these shows, we’d love to have you!

We’ve also got a calendar full of local conventions around the world, which you should check out to see what’s happening in your area! This month I’m excited to attend DunDraCon in Santa Clara, California and GenghisCon in Denver, Colorado. Getting to meet the local communities is one of the best parts of my job, so if you’re near either of those shows, come out and say hi!

Okay, that’s quite enough from me. Until next time - Explore! Report! Cooperate! and go play some orcs!

Alex Speidel
Organized Play Coordinator

More Paizo Blog.
4/5 ****

Woo, nice to see the beginner box open up, and looking forward to seeing Alex at DundraCon.

Grand Lodge 4/5

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Huzzah!

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

Congratulations Marcel!

Scarab Sages 4/5 5/55/55/5 *** Venture-Captain, Australia—NSW—Greater West

That Blog was full of wins, especially the beginner box and the Scoured Star repeatability.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
sanwah68 wrote:
That Blog was full of wins, especially the beginner box and the Scoured Star repeatability.

I klnow, right?! I am overjoyed by both decisions!

Silver Crusade 3/5 5/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Online—PbP

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Any good news here is for me more than overshadowed by disappointment about no PFS1 orcs.

**

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Hey Team, This blog post doesn't have any tags (didn't show in our org play RSS feed in our local discord server)
Thanks :)

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

Also, congratulations to Marcel. That is a huge achievement!

Grand Lodge 4/5 ***** Venture-Captain, Missouri—Columbia

Grats to Marcel on the 5th Nova!

Silver Crusade 1/5 **** Venture-Agent, Online—VTT

Beginner Box change is welcome and I look forward to the different styles it is run with now.

Advocates 3/5 5/55/5 Venture-Lieutenant, Conventions—PaizoCon

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great news about the Dragonkin. Giving more flexible character options is great, especially if you find new friends you enjoy playing with (given shenanigans going on, I'm sure a few more people can be tempted into SPAAAACE once they know how fun Golarion is to play in).

Congrats Marcel! Well earned 5th Nova.

5/55/55/55/5

Welcome to the 5 Nova Club, Marcel! Glad to see someone else join it!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

This is awesome. Thank you guys for listening to me when I raised an issue with the Dragonkin rule the way it was written before. I wouldn’t get any response let alone an actual change when I raised issue with something in DnD’s AL. For example, I raised issue with AL limiting deities for clerics because I wanted to play a cleric of Nathair, and not a single AL admin responded to me. But when I talked about the forced Dragonkin bond and now it didn’t make sense from a lore standpoint + prevented people from questing together and have a story lead up to a bond, to guys actually acknowledged my concern, and you also brought up a new point I didn’t even make: the fact that a forced Dragonkin bond rule was an obstacle to new players. This is amazing, thank you so much!

Paizo W, WoTC L

SFS & PFS > AL

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

As someone who is currently running Age of Ashes, where can I find the FAQ? If it's this page, I don't think it's on there yet.

**** Venture-Lieutenant, Online—VTT

Very happy to hear the news about the PF2e Beginner's Box. I think this will empower GM's to be able to run the adventure while ensuring that their table is an enjoyable experience for all. Thank you!

----------------

Quentin Coldwater wrote:
As someone who is currently running Age of Ashes, where can I find the FAQ? If it's this page, I don't think it's on there yet.

Here is the Pathfinder Society FAQ page which contains the boon text for the new AcP boons added under the "Achievement Points and Boons" section

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ah, thank you! I was in the wrong FAQ section.

Second Seekers (Roheas) 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 ***** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Appalachia

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Redelia wrote:
Any good news here is for me more than overshadowed by disappointment about no PFS1 orcs.

I have to chime in my agreement here. I have to register my disagreement with the characterization of pf1 orcs presented here.

There are multiple PFS scenarios, including a multi table special, where the society collaborates with good aligned orcs even in the "dark ages" of pf1.

Wayfinders 4/5 5/55/55/55/5 **** Contributor

2 people marked this as a favorite.

In PF1 Lore we had both the Burning Suns tribe (known from the Solstice Scar special) and the Orc warriors of the Mwangi Expanse who were valued neighbors. And although Averaka is a town of Half-Orcs, I could see it welcoming some of their more thoughtful orc brethren.

5/5 *** Venture-Agent, Netherlands—Utrecht

1 person marked this as a favorite.

On the one hand, PFS1 isn't (officially) supported any more, so it kinda makes sense. On the other hand, PFS1 is still being played, so opening this up would've been cool.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/5 ****

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quentin Coldwater wrote:
On the one hand, PFS1 isn't (officially) supported any more, so it kinda makes sense.

That is not quite true.

PFS1 is supported, but there is not any new material written for it.

Games can still be reported, GM stars still accrue, PFS1 is still available as con support.

There is a difference

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

So, am I understanding it right? That Orc is now a possible playable race and that you don't have to purchase an Ancestry Boon for it?

1/5 5/55/5 **

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Andrew the Warwitch wrote:
So, am I understanding it right? That Orc is now a possible playable race and that you don't have to purchase an Ancestry Boon for it?

It is a playable ancestry for PFS2, a playable species for SFS, without a boon. It is not a playable race for PFS1.

1/5 5/55/5 **

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I'd like to thank the obviously very hardworking and thoughtful Organized Play Leadership Team. There is a lot in this blog and I appreciate what went on behind the scenes to have the announcements presented.

*

Awesome to see some love for AOA and the Beginner Box

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

GM Numbat wrote:
I'd like to thank the obviously very hardworking and thoughtful Organized Play Leadership Team. There is a lot in this blog and I appreciate what went on behind the scenes to have the announcements presented.

Thank you, yes...I meant for 2e since 1e is not the current PFS system. As for the blog, I have found this to be very informative. I am looking forward to the release of the new scenarios and have already begun making a build for an Orc. Should be fun.

Sovereign Court 5/5 RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I am sad that orcs aren't open in PF1. I'd like that decision to be revisited.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, as much as I'm not (currently) a PFS player, so I have no skin in the game, that decision does feel a little... iffy.

Like I do also get it - PF1 went *hard* on the Belkzen orcs being unequivocal Bad Guys with no redeeming qualities (jeebus, the old Belkzen books and the uniformly CE orc pantheon - in 2015 no less) but I don't think it's a problem to let PF1 games evolve along with the rest of the line and hobby.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

1 person marked this as a favorite.
J03_M4M4 wrote:

Hey Team, This blog post doesn't have any tags (didn't show in our org play RSS feed in our local discord server)

Thanks :)

Thank you.

Paizo Employee Director of Marketing

Thank you for your feedback.

Sovereign Court 3/5

3 people marked this as a favorite.
SpaceDrake wrote:

Yeah, as much as I'm not (currently) a PFS player, so I have no skin in the game, that decision does feel a little... iffy.

Like I do also get it - PF1 went *hard* on the Belkzen orcs being unequivocal Bad Guys with no redeeming qualities (jeebus, the old Belkzen books and the uniformly CE orc pantheon - in 2015 no less) but I don't think it's a problem to let PF1 games evolve along with the rest of the line and hobby.

Most players understand that like a drow or other regularly evil race, a PC orc would either have the neutral or good alignment, and be the exception to their CE average. What I don't understand is how races keep being 'officially' revisited to 'reflect company value shifts'.

Like folks can't somehow tell the difference between reality and fiction.

There's no reason why orcs or goblins in general shouldn't remain evil if they are opened up as a PC race. The PCs from these races are those that are heroic and go against the mold cast by their ancestors. There is beauty and RP opportunity there.

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
SpaceDrake wrote:

Yeah, as much as I'm not (currently) a PFS player, so I have no skin in the game, that decision does feel a little... iffy.

Like I do also get it - PF1 went *hard* on the Belkzen orcs being unequivocal Bad Guys with no redeeming qualities (jeebus, the old Belkzen books and the uniformly CE orc pantheon - in 2015 no less) but I don't think it's a problem to let PF1 games evolve along with the rest of the line and hobby.

Most players understand that like a drow or other regularly evil race, a PC orc would either have the neutral or good alignment, and be the exception to their CE average. What I don't understand is how races keep being 'officially' revisited to 'reflect company value shifts'.

Like folks can't somehow tell the difference between reality and fiction.

There's no reason why orcs or goblins in general shouldn't remain evil if they are opened up as a PC race. The PCs from these races are those that are heroic and go against the mold cast by their ancestors. There is beauty and RP opportunity there.

Except in Society play, you can't have an evil character. They can have some evil tendencies, but can't actually be evil aligned.

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

Aren't belkzen orcs still mostly evil? (at least varisian goblins are still noted to be mostly evil)

Sovereign Court 3/5 **

CorvusMask wrote:
Aren't belkzen orcs still mostly evil? (at least varisian goblins are still noted to be mostly evil)

Well, the Open Claw Tribe seems to be stepping away from their evil past as they are trying to make their Hold into a trade city. Mostly evil? I suppose you could say Orcs are mostly evil but a small number are trying to change that, like the Hobgoblins.

Grand Archive 4/5 ****

1 person marked this as a favorite.

There is an entire group of Orcs following Serenrae, even back in PF1

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

Yeah, but that was the point. I don't think it got changed that in Belkzen out of named tribes only one or two weren't evil?

Grand Lodge 3/5 5/55/55/55/5 ****

Ardax the White-Hair certainly seems to be trying to make a change for Belkzen as a whole.

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