Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide (PFRPG)

3.00/5 (based on 13 ratings)
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide (PFRPG)
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The Pathfinder Society is an eccentric organization of adventurers, explorers, and scholars with agents spread across Golarion and beyond. While members are expected to be fairly self-sufficient, the organization’s leadership knows that those equipped with the knowledge and gear to face the challenges of the job are most likely to survive to bring back priceless treasures and to fill the Pathfinder Chronicles with tales of their daring exploits. The Pathfinder Society Field Guide breaks down what it means to be a Pathfinder and gives players and GMs tools to build characters and campaigns around the illustrious organization. In addition, all content within this book is 100% legal for use in the world-spanning Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign.

    Within this 64-page book, Pathfinders will find:
  • An overview of Absalom, City at the Center of the World, where the Pathfinder Society keeps its headquarters
  • Details on 10 factions within the Pathfinder Society, and the benefits available to those agents loyal to each
  • New archetypes for Pathfinders of all three branches of the organization: the Scrolls, the Spells, and the Swords
  • A complete field guide covering threats to Pathfinder agents, as well as suggestions on building PCs prepared to face them
  • Rules for day jobs and professions, property, followers, and other ways to customize your character
  • A system for turning characters’ fame and prestige into valuable in-game rewards
  • Dozens of new spells, magic items, specialized adventuring tools, and more!

The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be used in any fantasy game setting.

by Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Russ Taylor, and Larry Wilhelm

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-305-7

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

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A bit of a dissapointment


Although some of the faction info was useful it does not justify the $20 price tag. Making it an assumption that every PFS player have one at the table just feels like a money grab. This is the first time I have felt this way about a Paizo product. Seeker of Secrets was a much better source. I'd would rather see something like an annual that broadly recaps the Society Year.

Not sure why they bothered...


The Pathfinder Society Field Guide is divided into six sections: an Introduction, Absalom, Factions, Pathfinder Society Archetypes, Field Guide and Society Resources.

The 2 pages of the Introduction has some general information about the Pathfinder Society with rules for Day Jobs, Prestige and Fame, and purchases using Prestige and Fame. This same information is presented for free in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

There are 8 pages dedicated to the city of Absalom. One page is a very attractive full page color map. While the information about Absalom is presented with a Pathfinder in mind, most of the information is also available in the Guide to Absalom and Inner Sea World Guide.

There are 12 pages dedicated to the factions, with each faction receiving one full page of information. While faction information can be found in the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, this does in fact expand upon the information presented there. This is nice but nothing that could not have been included in the free Guide. The best information here are some boons each faction offers and how many Prestige Points it costs for them. But essentially this information is free in the Guide.

That brings us to 7 pages of Pathfinder Archetypes. Not exactly what I would have called archetypes, but technically there are six archetypes. The Scroll Scholar is for Clerics and Wizards, Scroll Scoundrel is for Rogues, Dimensional Occultist is for the Witch, Seekers can be Oracles or Sorcerers, Grenadier is for the Alchemist, and the Lore Warden for Fighters. None struck me as MUST HAVES. This section made me think it was filler.

There are 14 pages dedicated to the Field Guide. This is a How-To section for Pathfinders explaining what to do when you face Ambush Specialists, Bureaucrats, Competitors, Cultists, Dangerous Wildlife, Environmental Dangers, False Pathfinders, Getting Stuck, Hall Traps, Malignancies, Parasites and Sickness, Restless Dead, Savage Humanoids, Scavengers, Things from Beyond, Trapped Objects, Trapped Rooms, and the Unnameable. The bulk of each section is a description of the bad thing you will run into, and a short paragraph gives rather vague instructions on what to do. I honestly have no idea why this section is included except to fill pages.

Society Resources is 18 pages of equipment, feats, spells and magic items. Almost an entire page is dedicated to kits that seem a good idea for literature or even real life, but for Society play is a great way to add extra weight to slow you down and spend your money on. There are some cute Equipment Tricks using ropes and sunrods. There are a couple of new weapon and armor special abilities. Magic items include Runestones of Power (very cool item for spontaneous casters only), the Decemvirate Helm- a minor artifact that cannot be bought so not sure why it is included, and some Wayfinders (there are more Wayfinders in Seekers of Secrets which is a much better book in my opinion).

All in all I give this book a 2 out of 5, which is not very good for a product considered a core requirement for Society Play. Nearly everything not copied from elsewhere and actually useful could have been added in 2-4 pages to the free Guide to Pathfinder Society Play.

Unnecessary for Beginners


I bought this in hopes that it would give me a better idea of Pathfinder Society. Unfortunately, the promised information is not as valuable as one might hope. Perhaps this is useful for a GM or a higher level character. Much of the basic information is already covered in the free guide. Nonetheless, it is well written and interesting for one reason or another throughout.

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So, what's the first point of reference? It seems to have a lot of information that the Guide to Organized Play doesn't have. (The Guide, for example, has very little information on factions; for example, I have no idea what prestige/fame options are available for each faction.)

The book seems to be out of print as well, which would be pretty unfortunate if there's no newer source for the information within. Yes, I could get the PDF, but I'm a sucker for a well-crafted print book. PDFs just don't do it for me.

Edit: After rechecking, I see that the Guide for Organized Play references the Field Guide repeatedly on just such subjects. So the Field Guide does still appear to be the first point of reference for a great many things.

Hopefully Paizo will make another print run so as to facilitate more new PFS recruits who prefer books to PDFs (and don't want to pay twice for both formats).

Paizo Employee Developer

We currently have no plans to reprint this book in its existing format. That isn't to say that content from this book wouldn't be reprinted in another format. Last summer, we released Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer, which provides newer Pathfinder Society themed content, but doesn't reprint content from this book (just as the Field Guide didn't reprint material from Seekers of the Secrets from 2 years prior).

Now, that said, we have just published a hardcover Campaign Setting book containing a large amount of previously released content in the form of Inner Sea Gods, it's not out of the question that we'd reprint this material in a future book. But such a book isn't currently on the schedule or even in the works, still if it's something you'd like to see, posts such as this are a good way of letting us know.

Thanks for the update! I'd definitely like to see such things.

I'll take a look at the Primer and look forward to more content relating to the various factions.

Well, I for one would love to see all of the information printed in one good hard book. Say all of the information from the Primer, the Field Guide and the Seekers of Secrets all put together in one comprehensive report on the Pathfinder Society. I too like to have the printed versions of things and as it stands I have to purchase three books to get the information to run PFS sessions. The fact that two of them are not in print anymore adds to my frustration.

Grand Lodge

On page 56, was Aram Zey's Trap Ward meant to have a material component or a focus component? Currently as written it has a material component which means each time it's cast it destroys a set of masterwork thieves' tools. Not sure if that was the intent or not.

Liberty's Edge

blahpers wrote:

Thanks for the update! I'd definitely like to see such things.

I'll take a look at the Primer and look forward to more content relating to the various factions.

I would love to see this along with the other Society books reprinted in some other format.

I count myself very fortunate to have bought this.
It is available via PDF...that is another format. Just not on paper.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was hunting for a P1 version of the Absalom city stat block, and finally found it in this sourcebook (p. 5).

Then I received a slight shock. The 3.5 version of Absalom's stat block (Pathfinder Chronicles: Guide to Absalom, p. 3) sets the city's GP Limit (price of the most expensive items available for sale) at 250,000 gp. That's good enough for the acquisition of even expensive items like various magical staves and rings, which is a suitable quality for a city that is such a central hub of world trade, etc.

The P1 sets the Base Value (same function as 3.5's GP Limit) at a measly 25,600 gp. That's roughly just a tenth of the previous value. :o

What gives?!?

E.T.A. Also, the 3.5 Assets value dropped from 3,798,750,000 gp to P1's Purchase Limit of 170,000 gp. Did everyone get a whole lot poorer?

At this point, an adventuring party is better off buying stuff in Riddleport (Base Value 30,400), although the Purchase Limit there is only 100,000 gp and available Spellcasting is 8th level (as opposed to Absalom's 9th level).

Now I'm wondering what Katapesh's P1 city stat block looks like ... Anyone know where I can find it?

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