Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets—A Guide to the Pathfinder Society (PFRPG)

4.50/5 (based on 4 ratings)
Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets—A Guide to the Pathfinder Society (PFRPG)
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Note:This product has been superseded by the Pathfinder Society Field Guide.

At long last, the gates of the Grand Lodge have been thrown open, offering an inside glimpse of the Pathfinder Society! Packed with information about the most famous group of explorers on Golarion, this 64-page sourcebook is a must for any campaign that involves the Society, whether as employers or rivals.

    Inside, you’ll find:
  • How to join the Pathfinder Society, and the rights and responsibilities of Society members
  • The origin and secrets histories of the Pathfinder Society
  • A detailed gazetteer covering the Pathfinder Society’s reception and activities in every nation of the Inner Sea Region
  • Detailed maps and descriptions of the Grand Lodge of Absalom and the Society’s newest lodge in Magnimar, plus profiles of 15 high-ranking and notorious Pathfinders
  • Thirteen new kinds of mystical ioun stones, three new variants for each type, and rules on how to implant these bizarre magic items into living flesh
  • Rules for the mysterious compasses known as wayfinders, and how their ancient magic interacts with ioun stones
  • Three new Pathfinder prestige classes, along with sample characters for each
  • New feats and spells to help characters uncover ancient secrets—and protect their own!

This book is fully legal for play in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Paizo’s massive world-wide organized play campaign. To learn more about Pathfinder Society Organized Play, visit paizo.com/pathfindersociety!

By Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-178-7

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscription.

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Great Flavour for PFS GMs and PCs

5/5

Seeker of Secrets is all about the in-world Pathfinder Society: its history, ethos, leaders, lodges, and more. It's thus a great way for GMs to add more depth and description for the scenarios they run, while players can add better background for their characters and take advantage of the prestige classes and magic items in the last third of the book. The book is a 64-page softcover with full color art (that's a mixed bag, to be frank, though there's a great illustration of noteworthy Pathfinder Eando Kline on page 4).

The cover is fun, with a classic image of a rogue paying too much attention to treasure while a monster sneaks up behind her (and her friends shouting in the background is a nice detail). The inside front cover is a map of the Inner Sea noting the location of Pathfinder lodges. It's interesting to see several in close proximity in some areas while other large regions have hardly any. The inside back cover is a reproduction of the cover art, sans title and logo. Running along the bottom of the pages throughout all three chapters are illustrations and capsule descriptions of various Venture-Captains in the Pathfinder Society. These are the "face" of the organisation for most players, and it's good to have another way to make them come alive.

Chapter 1 ("Welcome to the Pathfinder Society") takes up 26 pages. It provides a good general overview of the Society: the duties that every PFS player knows ("Explore, Report, Cooperate"), the organisation's internal leadership structure, a timeline history (which comes up in some noteworthy scenarios), the in-world application process to join (which seems much more rigorous than most PFS characters I've seen could actually meet!), and a lengthy discussion of the role that the Pathfinder Society could fill in a more traditional campaign (e.g., having the PCs be part of a team sent on expeditions instead of the cliched "you're in a tavern and there's only one table free" beginning). The chapter spends several pages with a one or two paragraph description of how the Pathfinder Society operates in each region of the Inner Sea (including those where they don't have lodges or aren't legally allowed to operate, such as Hermea, the Hold of Belkzen, and Ilizmagorti). It makes for interesting reading, and there's some great ideas there, like an all-undead team for secret missions in Geb, an all elf crew to investigate murders in Kyonin, etc. There's a brief mention of rival groups (like the Aspis Consortium) and I wish this had been fleshed out much more. Last, there's a few new feats and five new spells--the best of which, teleport trap, is perfect for a big bad guy's lair (as I can personally testify).

Chapter 2 ("Where Secrets Sleep") is 12 pages long, and focusses on detailing the various Pathfinder lodges around the Inner Sea. Lodges are where agents receive their mission briefings, but they can also serve as places to rest, train, and do research in between missions. Lodges definitely don't follow a uniform plan, and are very much a reflection of the locale and the venture-captain in charge: from a back room behind a bait-and-tackle shop to a luxurious estate. Apart from capsule descriptions of various lodges, the chapter provides a map and detailed description of the Society's central headquarters (the Grand Lodge in Absalom) and of its first foray into Varisia (Heidmarch Manor in Magnimar). There's a lot of very flavourful description that should help GMs (and scenario writers) bring these places to life.

Chapter 3 ("Tools of the Trade") finishes the book off with about 22 pages of new magic items and prestige classes. The chapter starts with a one-page summary of various past volumes of the (in-world) Pathfinder Chronicles, and there's some really intriguing bits there. Several pages in the chapter are devoted to an extensive discussion and list of ioun stones that I think is more complicated and less interesting than the space is worth. A few new wayfinders are introduced, but they're so expensive I can't see PCs ever being able to afford them (or wanting to even if they had the cash). Then, there's a complicated set of tables setting out various resonance abilities when ioun stones are implanted in wayfinders. Just not my cup of tea. Some other new magic items are included. I think the best part of this chapter is the three new prestige classes: the Pathfinder Delver (archaeologists and dungeoneers), the Pathfinder Savant (spellcasters skilled in learning the magic of other classes), and the Student of War (an intelligence-based tactical fighter and leader; I used this for my sadly-departed PC Sarabian, and thought it was pretty cool). None of these prestige classes are super-powered, but I think they're all solid and worth taking. An NPC (complete with description, stat block, and artwork) for each prestige classes is also included--though I'm not really sure why.

Overall, Seekers of Secrets is a fantastic and under-used resource for players and GMs in Paizo's "Organized Play" division. It's a really nice package and one I've referred to multiple times.


Solid book, mostly focused on background information . . .

4/5

I remember early on in the Pathfinder Society Organized Play circles, finding out what ioun stones did with wayfinders was a big deal. Strangely, that mystery seemed less important by the time this book came out, but the explanation was still a lot of fun.

While there are some very useful spells, magic items, and gear in the book, this is mainly a book to explain the history and mindset of the Pathfinder Society. While it would be very nice if people interesting in playing Pathfinders would get a feel for the organization, if someone isn't the type of player to care about that, they aren't really going to get that much out of the book.

Still, if you want to know how you may have been trained, how the organization started, what the lodges look like, and what the current clack within the Society might be, this is a good book to pick up.

The book does seem to meander a bit when it comes to describing how Pathfinders view different regions of the setting, because there seems to be little difference between what Pathfinders see in a region and what general adventurers see in that same region.


Great looking book

4/5

This book is a very interesting read. A lot of detail into the background of PFS. It is also a beautifully presented book. There is material in here that I will plug into the Magnimar leg of the RotRL campaign I am running.

I have marked it down to a 4 star product. Basically is it really worth the $20 that is being asked for it? I think $15 is closer the mark. I get excited when I start reading but as I near the end of the book I feel empty... as their is not a lot of mechanics for new feats/spells as this item's summary leads you to believe.

I would recommend this book to roleplayers who like details and background information for character development and to GM who want some details for PFS in their campaigns. This book is not for character optimisation.


A GREAT sourcebook, cover to cover!

5/5

I just finished reading Seekers of Secrets. What a great sourcebook. Very well written and interesting all the way thru.
There are many plots, NPC's, and adventure hooks to be found in this volume of the Pathfinder Chronicles line.
My only minor complaint is that in a few places, the authors used unnecessarily obscure words. I don't have the book handy right now or I would give you an example. It just seemed like a few "showing-off-my-huge-vocabulary" moments crept in a few times too many.
That said, this is a fantastic Pathfinder RPG book. It details the Pathfinder Society, which is a big part of the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, and does it well.
Buy this one!




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See the blog on Thursday.

But, yes. It was designed to be legal from the start. Why?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Joshua J. Frost wrote:

See the blog on Thursday.

But, yes. It was designed to be legal from the start. Why?

Mostly because the announcement was made in the advertising, rather than from you, but also because at least one of the prestige classes has a requirement that can't be met within the bounds of PFS play (the Pathfinder savant requires an item creation feat, though I assume it's going to be replaced with the traditional Spell Focus). I just wanted to double check.


Yup. Spell Focus.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

What I'd like to know(having seen the cover star) is: Has Lidda defected from Wizards of the Coast to join Paizo? ;)

Edit: winking smiley added in an attempt to avoid knee-jerk reactions from edition-warriors.

Dark Archive

Kajehase wrote:

What I'd like to know(having seen the cover star) is: Has Lidda defected from Wizards of the Coast to join Paizo? ;)

Edit: winking smiley added in an attempt to avoid knee-jerk reactions from edition-warriors.

Kajehase, old friend, I wouldn't be amazed at all... as far as I know, 4E does not have any iconic characters.


OK, this just went on my "To Get" list


I've recently finished reading the PDF - and I'm wholly satisfied. Seekers of Secrets is a great addition to Pathfinder lore that will sate DMs and players alike with great new options and possibilities.


Cool book, well worth the read, especially like the details on being an initiate.


Just got mine today, from first skim through it's a neat tool kit centered around a group they've been grooming us for since Burnt Offerings.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Perhaps this belongs in a different forum, but the Adventurer's Sash is priced at 20 gp, 10x more expensive than a plain back pack. Perhaps I'm missing something but why would one use this instead of any other cheaper form of container? Does it grant something I'm not getting?

Appreciate any thoughts input in advance

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Segallion wrote:

Perhaps this belongs in a different forum, but the Adventurer's Sash is priced at 20 gp, 10x more expensive than a plain back pack. Perhaps I'm missing something but why would one use this instead of any other cheaper form of container? Does it grant something I'm not getting?

Appreciate any thoughts input in advance

Accessibility.

The 6 sleeves in the belt allow for fast access to various vials. Plus you want to drop weight quickly, it has a quick release, voila, less dead weight.

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
miniaturepeddler wrote:
Segallion wrote:

Perhaps this belongs in a different forum, but the Adventurer's Sash is priced at 20 gp, 10x more expensive than a plain back pack. Perhaps I'm missing something but why would one use this instead of any other cheaper form of container? Does it grant something I'm not getting?

Appreciate any thoughts input in advance

Accessibility.

The 6 sleeves in the belt allow for fast access to various vials. Plus you want to drop weight quickly, it has a quick release, voila, less dead weight.

All requiring a Move actions, which is the same for a backpack, so I don't see why this is better.


The iconic Pathfinder Savant, Akmanya, is carrying around a masterwork zumm'ra. What is a zumm'ra and which book can I find it in?


Dragnmoon wrote:


All requiring a Move actions, which is the same for a backpack, so I don't see why this is better.

Actually, if something is stowed, i.e. in a container with multiple items that doesn't have separate compartments, it takes a standard action to retrieve.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Quixque wrote:
The iconic Pathfinder Savant, Akmanya, is carrying around a masterwork zumm'ra. What is a zumm'ra and which book can I find it in?

It's a Kelesh double clarinet (mentioned on p60), and so would be treated as any masterwork musical instrument.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Quixque wrote:
The iconic Pathfinder Savant, Akmanya, is carrying around a masterwork zumm'ra. What is a zumm'ra and which book can I find it in?
It's a Kelesh double clarinet (mentioned on p60), and so would be treated as any masterwork musical instrument.

Thank you very much. Seems I read it a little too fast.

The Exchange Contributor, RPG Superstar 2008 Top 6

Thanks for the Wikipedia link there, Vic! I wanted something odd and archaic but still real-world for his instrument.

Contributor

Destro and the Baroness practicing the clarinet!!

Dark Archive

Destro played the piano, and his House Guard (being a Laird and all) had a pagpipe player to rally to.

How do I remember this crap?

Contributor

Hmm, I was referring to THIS. :)

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Russ Taylor wrote:
Thanks for the Wikipedia link there, Vic! I wanted something odd and archaic but still real-world for his instrument.

And you didn't go with this?

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Hmm, I was referring to THIS. :)

Pretty funny.

Dark Archive

Sean K Reynolds wrote:
Hmm, I was referring to THIS. :)

You win this time Reynolds !

COBRA !


KnightErrantJR wrote:
Actually, if something is stowed, i.e. in a container with multiple items that doesn't have separate compartments, it takes a standard action to retrieve.

SRD says that retrieving a stored item is a move action.


Started to read the book yesterday. It's been excellent so far!

Wanted to point out that Torgra Stigardsdam, on pages 62-63, can't qualify for the Student of War prestige class. She dumped Dexterity (an 8!) and thus can't get Dodge, an entry requirement to the class. Anyway I found it a bit weird that a class that at second level allows a PC to substitute INT for DEX when calculating AC, would require a (relatively) high DEX to enter.

Of course, poor Torgra might have been unrestorably-DEX-drained after becoming a Student of War, in some disastrous incident that the Chronicles have yet to illuminate, cursed by a foul relic!

Yes, I AM a nerd, going after his Paizo No-Prize!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

I'm sure I'm not the only one to notice this, but Venture-Captain Ambrus Valsin (pg 56) looks like the love child of Soap and Price, both from Modern Warfare. Just puttin' it out, is all.

Anyways, I like the sidebars with all of the various Venture-Captains, especially since I play Pathfinder Society, and my characters have met a few of them (Osprey's appearance surprised the hell out of me, and I'd love to see something done with Pharast). Weird, though: I always thought that Drang's first name was Drandle, not Declan. Does he have a brother or something?


Ya and the two Venture-Captains from Magnimar are listed different in Pathfinder 2 vs Seeker of Secrets, one appears as a monk then as a sorcerer but hey people change ;) all in all this is an amazing take on the old 18C British Adventurers Club with Everyone from The more Modern Indiana Jones, Professor Challenger and Dr. Livingston, to the old Sherlock Holmes, Allan Quartermaine and the like :) Grabe your Rogue/Bard and seek out the unknown with your more traditional Cleric, Mage, and Fighter types as backup instead of the other way around :)

Grand Lodge

I'm a bit confused as to how the cost for crafting a wayfinder was determined. Using the standard wayfinder as an example, light is a level-0 spell, continuous, and the CL it 5th (according to the description). Based on the Table: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values, the formula is Spell level x caster level x 2000. Since it's level-0 spell, it's (1/2) x (5) x 2000 gp = 5000 gp price; not 500 gp. And I haven't even included the price for the bonus +2 to survival checks. Am I missing something here? The reason I ask is because I have a Pathfinder character that is looking to craft/modify his existing wayfinder, and I'm trying to get the prices for that right. Any input would be helpful! Thanks!

Contributor

Step 1: estimate price by comparing it to other existing magic items.
Step 2: If there are no comparable magic items, fall back to using the formulas.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the reply, Sean! I think we'll just estimate it!

Another quick clarification. This may just be a mix up, but there seems to be some consistency issues with the Pathfinder Society lodges in Katapesh. According to the Seeker of Secrets book, there are three Pathfinder Lodges within Katapeh: Kotargo Lodge (venture-captain Phlegos Dulm), Farseer Tower (venture-captain Wulessa Yuul), and Winding Road inn (venture-captain Roderus). However, if you look at the Dark Markets, A Guide to Katapesh book, there are two Pathfinder lodges described: there is one located in Twilight Gate (#36 on the Katapesh map), led by venture-captain Aurora Steelbloom; and another called Sueda Lodge, led by (venture-captain?) the "caretaker" Var Pinderven. So my question is, which one of these books is correct? Or are there simply a total of FIVE Pathfinder lodges scattered throughout Katapesh and surrounding environs?


I know that the main RPG books have FAQ sections added, but I'm wondering if any of the Campaign Setting books will have a FAQ section added. Particularly because I'm still hearing confusion over the Boon Companion feat and its wording.

I know the way its suppose to work has been clarified in this thread, but I'm just curious how the FAQ system is going to work for non-RPG (and obviously more rules oriented) books.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

KnightErrantJR wrote:
... I'm just curious how the FAQ system is going to work for non-RPG (and obviously more rules oriented) books.

It's still subject to change at this point. But it will be implemented for other products eventually.


Vic Wertz wrote:
KnightErrantJR wrote:
... I'm just curious how the FAQ system is going to work for non-RPG (and obviously more rules oriented) books.
It's still subject to change at this point. But it will be implemented for other products eventually.

Thanks Vic, I appreciate the response.


Nube Negra wrote:


Wanted to point out that Torgra Stigardsdam, on pages 62-63, can't qualify for the Student of War prestige class. She dumped Dexterity (an 8!) and thus can't get Dodge, an entry requirement to the class. Anyway I found it a bit weird that a class that at second level allows a PC to substitute INT for DEX when calculating AC, would require a (relatively) high DEX to enter.

Has anyone answered this? I wanted to play a student of war, and just noticed how MAD it is.

Anyone worked out how to pick up dodge without crippling the fighter bit of the class?

Liberty's Edge

Dragnmoon wrote:
miniaturepeddler wrote:
Segallion wrote:

Perhaps this belongs in a different forum, but the Adventurer's Sash is priced at 20 gp, 10x more expensive than a plain back pack. Perhaps I'm missing something but why would one use this instead of any other cheaper form of container? Does it grant something I'm not getting?

Appreciate any thoughts input in advance

Accessibility.

The 6 sleeves in the belt allow for fast access to various vials. Plus you want to drop weight quickly, it has a quick release, voila, less dead weight.
All requiring a Move actions, which is the same for a backpack, so I don't see why this is better.

I think it lets you draw stuff, while your moving thus no Aoo. otherwise retrieving stored item incures an AOO.


Nube Negra wrote:

Started to read the book yesterday. It's been excellent so far!

Wanted to point out that Torgra Stigardsdam, on pages 62-63, can't qualify for the Student of War prestige class. She dumped Dexterity (an 8!) and thus can't get Dodge, an entry requirement to the class. Anyway I found it a bit weird that a class that at second level allows a PC to substitute INT for DEX when calculating AC, would require a (relatively) high DEX to enter.

Of course, poor Torgra might have been unrestorably-DEX-drained after becoming a Student of War, in some disastrous incident that the Chronicles have yet to illuminate, cursed by a foul relic!

Yes, I AM a nerd, going after his Paizo No-Prize!

Also, Akmanya on page 61 has ray of enfeeblement prepared even though it isn't on his class spell list as a cleric of Desna 5; it isn't one of his Travel or Luck domain spells; and his two esoteric magic spells (as a Pathfinder savant 3) are detect secret doors and fireball. Do I get a No-Prize too?!


If I was wanting to include the implanting rules for ioun stones from this in a 3pp, would I need to include all the rules for doing so? Or, could I include "See Chapter 3 of Seekers of Secrets for more information on implanting ioun stones."?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Black Fang wrote:
If I was wanting to include the implanting rules for ioun stones from this in a 3pp, would I need to include all the rules for doing so? Or, could I include "See Chapter 3 of Seekers of Secrets for more information on implanting ioun stones."?

It's clear in the OGL that you can't "indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark," so referring to it by it's full title, "Pathfinder Chronicles: Seeker of Secrets" would be a bad idea, since we trademarked "Pathfinder Chronicles"... but we *didn't* trademark just "Seekers of Secrets", so my (non-lawyer) opinion is that if you used *only* that, that'd be in an OGL grey area.

However, if I were you, I'd go ahead and include the rules instead of the reference, if only because there's no guarantee that Seekers of Secrets (or any other book that you yourself don't control) will remain in print throughout the life of your product.


Vic Wertz wrote:
Black Fang wrote:
If I was wanting to include the implanting rules for ioun stones from this in a 3pp, would I need to include all the rules for doing so? Or, could I include "See Chapter 3 of Seekers of Secrets for more information on implanting ioun stones."?

It's clear in the OGL that you can't "indicate compatibility or co-adaptability with any Trademark," so referring to it by it's full title, "Pathfinder Chronicles: Seeker of Secrets" would be a bad idea, since we trademarked "Pathfinder Chronicles"... but we *didn't* trademark just "Seekers of Secrets", so my (non-lawyer) opinion is that if you used *only* that, that'd be in an OGL grey area.

However, if I were you, I'd go ahead and include the rules instead of the reference, if only because there's no guarantee that Seekers of Secrets (or any other book that you yourself don't control) will remain in print throughout the life of your product.

That's the answer I expected. Thanks for the help.

Silver Crusade

Great book!

Found an error on page 23. Under the Heading "Secrets of Seekers" in the second sentence it says .....many Pathfinders fine it best to keep their mouths shut,....
It should be find and not fine.


Is there ever a possibility of there being a reprint of this book?

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Darn near zero. It has been superseded by the Pathfinder Society Field Guide.

Scarab Sages

What is the actual price of the Mossy Disk Ioun Stone? Page 45 says 5000 go but page 48 says 2500 gp.

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