I've never been in organized play so maybe it's answered there - but first to make sure I'm on the right path:
The Pathfinder Society as a whole is generally described as a multinational, multiracial organization dedicated to exploration and uncovering lost and hidden places and secrets. Materials and artifacts discovered are often sent to the Grand Lodge for safekeeping. New members are typically trained at the Grand Lodge over a period of time. Venture-captains get assigned lodges and can charge Society members to keep supplied if they're for the reason.
Venture captains also organize journals for submission to The Pathfinder Chronicles which the wiki described as an internal gazette, organized as chapbooks, sent to members with the more adventuresome exploits sometimes being leaked to the public - in the sense the organization's leadership doesn't publish them themselves. The leadership also expends not-inconsiderable effort to have anonymity within their own organization. Given the society's size and often varying philosophies, and the many, many ways to kill things on Golarion, this is a reasonable precaution.
So the question: Who pays for all this? The Society isn't necessarily distributing their member's findings at an organization level, and I don't think they give tours. While independent adventuring provides cash flow to venture-captains, this doesn't seem to get to the top level.
Is the Bank of Abadar sponsoring the Grand Lodge as a tax write-off? Do you sign over your will when you get your Wayfinder? A lot of stuff goes INTO the Society, but very little seems to be designed to go out, even to their field agents.
If decent AOE like fireballs (or even relatively cheap hand grenades) are reasonably common, then definitely warfare at a large scale would require more modern tactics of broken up maneuvering to be effecitve - this incidentally would require more tactical training for common troops to maintain coordination on top of training for discipline, cohesion, weapons usage, etc.
Given the extra cost and time associated as opposed to calling up conscript, on top of whatever magic is being obtained costs favor larger countries with more infrastructure, it's not surprising the Inner Sea tends to be dominated by superpowers.
While FR is a common comparison, Dragonlance springs to mind. Less magic, but air cavalry-mounted artillery got reintroduced after a moratorium for a millennia.
This is turning into an even more fascinating discussion of large-scale and asymmetric warfare in high magic environments, generally.
While obviously you need soldiers to oppress the locals if you're doing any conquering of foreign lands, and something like an enemy strongpoint (with walls, etc.) will require some sort of siege preparations to isolate and cut off.
So at what point (given the cost of maintaining a standing army) do more specialized troops like heavy cavalry and archers start to be less cost-effective than counter-measures to large bodies of infantry troops like putting a few local sorcerers on retainer?
This is starting to look like where the counter to [i]that[i] is a group of lower-level sellsword adventurers to go scout out and disrupt, disable, or (at higher levels) disintegrate enemy spellcasters, admittedly.
James Jacobs wrote:
I'm sort of geeking out on a direct reply. :)
Still, even if I'm pedantic, it's a pretty big testament to Crimson Throne that I remembered that level of detail given it's years since I pulled it last off the shelf.
Oh this is intriguing - tonal emphasis - Star Wars makes me think more grand good vs evil, but digging into exploration makes me think more Age of Sail fiction, dashing daring, raiding towns, rescuing lovely hostages, etc.
(I'm a fan of certain settings brainsuckers running around in snail shells, so I may be biased in my interpretation)
I'm really excited for this!
So no new short-fiction on the web site or in the journals? They were a great way to let Golarion breathe in a shorter format than a full novel.
I'd love if some sort of subscription went into effect. Not every story has to be big to give a sense of the world.
Sorry, the web fiction was got me into buying campaign setting updates, so this is a big hit.
The good guys got played pretty well in this one - I liked this one and the prequel a lot, though they're very different stories - the River Kingdoms 'wildness' and the resulting batch of frontier heroes was done nicely. Their just isn't the economy to support a big magic item bin - though I always like Golarion's approach: magic's there, it's dangerous, there's a lot of kinds, and it cheats. :)
I liked Drelm's parts - he's not the smartest guy, and that comes through, but he's very, very forthright, and that's worth a lot too. Elyana was really wrong about Drelm in the first book, but at least she had the chance to realize it, and I like their relationship here.
The beast in question is just nasty, and the scheme it's part of I thought was well thought out.
CDT - I definitely can post most evenings, and can slip in and out during the day usually a little.
Updated character sheet, visit from Q branch, additional skill:
Special Abilities: none
Force Sensitive: N
Force Points: 1
Dark Side Points: 0
Character Points CP: 1d6 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
Equipment: Short-range encrypted commlink. Camo Poncho (+1D sneak in Forest) Combat Helmet (+1 str to resist damage, -1 Dex) Combat Vest (+1 str to resist damage, -1 Dex) Blaster pistol (4D damage). Blaster carbine (5D) Combat knives x3 (one at the hip, one in the boot, and one on the back, just in case) (Str + 1D, max 6D) 2 cubes detonite, glow rod, small synthrope dispenser, and some extra field rations.
Okay, let's see if I can get this put together right
Manji Roye, blowing his way into your hearts:
Manji certainly doesn't look like someone that would be picked for a Rebel commando operation, but that's part of the point. It's easy to stay fresh-face and unscarred in the era of bacta, especially when you haven't seen 30 standard years yet. He's seen a lot in that time, though.
A native of Coruscant, raised on Imperial propaganda and the victory in the Clone Wars, he gladly signed up for Imperial service to 'preserve Galactic peace' a year before regulations strictly allowed. He was not trained as a stalwart stormtrooper, but instead to be quiet, weapons of imbalanced destruction and terror. But it was for the good.
That held until the Empire's attack on Dac - a previously peaceful and long-time member of the Republic were to be placed into chains. He doesn't talk much of what happened there, but is always a bit uneasy among the Mon Cal members of the Alliance.
It was only after that failed campaign, when he had downtime to process and think about everything that had happened, that led to his change of heart. On his next assignment in the Mid Rim, he vanished, appearing with the Rebel cell he'd been tasked to capture.
He's relaxed a lot since then, and even can laugh a bit, in the two years since joining the Alliance to Restore the Republic. Maybe when the Galaxy is again united he can find something more constructive to do, but sadly the skills the Empire trained him with are just as valuable to the Rebels, at least for the foreseeable future.
I was debating Mon Cal tech, so threw a little of that in.
And getting a character sheet together, 7D of skills:
Special Abilities: none
Not sure why the dexterity list didn't show right, but couldn't fix it.
I really liked how the city gazette was broken down this time - I usually like them but the focus on the town's industrial side gave an idea why the town is here, as well as the sections the adventurers will end up with interacting/burning down/looting and blaming on Thrune. Made it easier to feel the city as an entity (which is probably a good feeling to have since city DOES end up an entity!)