Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer (PFRPG)

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Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer (PFRPG)
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Grab your wayfinder and embark on incredible missions with Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer! This volume contains everything you need to join the illustrious Pathfinder Society and start on the road to becoming one of Golarion’s finest adventurers, explorers, and chroniclers. Tips and tricks from hardened Pathfinder veterans accompany the latest tools and gear used by Pathfinders in the field to create a priceless resource for the aspiring field agent. New spells, weapons, and magic items also assure that your latest risky mission isn’t your last. If you measure up to the challenge, you might even prove worthy of having your story published in the legendary Pathfinder Chronicles!

In addition to being useful for your home game, all of the rules in this book are legal for use in the official Pathfinder Society Organized Play worldwide campaign. Inside this book, you’ll find:

  • Advice and tools for making the most out of your field agent, including new feats, spells, and traits to establish your Pathfinder as an adventurer worthy of the title.
  • A detailed look at the three branches of the Pathfinder Society—the Swords, the Scrolls, and the Spells—as well as the types of Pathfinders who flock to these sects.
  • A new prestige class for Pathfinder field agents, versatile adventurers trained to handle all types of situations with their wide variety of potent skills and abilities.
  • New variant wayfinders and other useful magic items Pathfinders can employ in the field.
  • New ioun stones—legendary magic gems that fit into a Pathfinder’s wayfinder and grant significant powers—as well as flawed and cracked varieties of each.
  • Details on various volumes of the Pathfinder Chronicles, new vanities for Pathfinder Society Organized Play, and information on joining this ongoing worldwide campaign.

This Pathfinder Player Companion is intended for use with the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Pathfinder campaign setting, but can easily be incorporated into any fantasy world.

Written by John Compton & Mark Moreland.
Cover Art by Taylor Fischer.

Each monthly 32-page Pathfinder Player Companion contains several player-focused articles exploring the volume’s theme as well as short articles with innovative new rules for all types of characters, as well as traits to better anchor the player to the campaign.

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-534-1

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Player Companion Subscription.

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2.70/5 (based on 10 ratings)

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Useless Even for the Low Price

1/5

I purchased this book, because I was looking for some new ways to use my Prestige Points and I wanted a little more information on the factions. However, there is not much in the way of expanding on factions, or on useful ways to spend Prestige Points. All of the information here should be included in the Guide To PFS. It shouldn't be an extra ten dollars of useless information.


Bad products undermine the brand

1/5

Before I knew what I was doing in PFS, I bought this thinking (as the game store owner convinced me) that it was a useful companion for PFS play. I have found it a pointless investment. Skip it. You'll miss nothing of importance.


Hit the open road, Jack, and don't you come back.

2/5

CRobledo's review hit the nail on the head.

This booklet is riddled with information that has already been detailed in previous products. The magic items detailed inside are either not very useful, or shockingly expensive. The first aid gloves are an outlier, but they're an outlier that trivialises death consequences in the game and makes it okay to have combats where a PC drops every round. The authors did realize that the average Pathfinder only makes around 120k by the time they reach level 12, right? I only ask because having a 200k item is just wasting book space.

The prestige class is lacking in power and theme. The advancements to Wayfinders are pretty poor to boot, and forcing folks to spend prestige to gain them isn't winning any friends either.

I bought this pdf because I needed the spell *Sure Casting*. I was hoping there'd be something else in here worthwhile, but there really wasn't. Pick up Seeker of Secrets or Field Guide instead.


Ring Side Report- A review of Pathfinder Society Primer

5/5

Originally posted on www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product-Pathfinder Player Companion-Pathfinder Society Primer

System: Pathfinder

Producer: Paizo Publishing

Price: ~$12

TL;DR- If you play PFS, then you already know you need this. 100%

Basics: This book delves deeper into the Pathfinder Society continuing the background knowledge that was presented in Pathfinder Society Field Guide. The book starts with a general explanation of the Pathfinder Society leading to a section on how to build a well rounded pathfinder for a game. From there, the book runs through joining the society and the three main subgroups while giving different feats, spells, abilities, and traits for each. After the main groups, the book presents a prestige class called the Pathfinder Field Agent who is a bit of a mixed bag. The main way to identify a pathfinder is his/her wayfinder, and this book give new versions of the wayfinder as well as ioun stones that can be socketed into the wayfinder with new powers for both and magic items that any pathfinder would need on their adventures. Near the end of the book, Pathfinder Chronicles are discussed giving new, non-magical ways to boost skills after pathfinders read these books for one hour. The book closes with Pathfinder Society vanities, ways to spend prestige points gained in the pathfinder society, and a short section on Pathfinder Society Organized Play.

Mechanics: This book has a lot going on for the player only interested in mechanics. From new spells, feats, traits, and abilities, this book is real chock full. However, this book doesn’t have many class specific options, but does have many general options. This is really expressed well with the Pathfinder Field Agent; this prestige class gets most other class abilities, but doesn’t really get anything that makes him/her awesome at one thing. The wayfinders, ioun stones, and other items are all good too. Until now I hadn’t had a real good use for the prestige points, but his book gives even me a few good ideas. 5/5

Theme: I like PFS, but I have to say I don’t know as much as I should, especially about the inner working of the society. This book gave me a good summary while giving me some mechanics. I liked what at I saw in terms of story of PFS. It’s worth a read for that. 5/5

Execution: I liked this one. It flows well, even better then the previous PFS book. No page is a well of text while the previous PFS book had that problem a few times. The art is nice and consistent. The layout helps the reader read the text. All and all, I liked this book. 5/5

Summary: If you play PFS, you need this. If you really want to get deep into the Society, then get this book. If you don’t care about the Pathfinders or PFS at all, then this book isn’t for you. 100%


Exactly What I'm Looking For

5/5

As someone very invested in PFS Organized Play, this is one of my favourite Player Companions to date.

I appreciate the focus on the Pathfinder Society as an organization first, when compared with something like the Pathfinder Society Field Guide. I also very much like the focus on how Pathfinders are similar and different from other adventurers. To that end, the sections that cover character building and joining the society are great, and should frankly be required reading for someone who has played more than a few sessions of PFS (Read: I'm tired of seeing the 7 Int/7 Wis/7 Cha characters who somehow made the cut and became Pathfinders).

As for mechanical options:

Featwise, there are some poorer choices than others, but that's not new for Paizo. Improved Day Job and Steadfast Mind seem to be entirely for padding word count, and it's those feats that are making me wish for a 4.5 star rating. Oh well, other options make up for it. Planned Spontaneity and Emergency Attunement are both fantastic feats (the former possibly a bit too powerful for the already strong prepared spellcasters), and I really like Cut Your Losses. The traits added are nice, although I worry that with Canny Wordplay, Charisma is becoming more of a dump stat than it ever has been. However, Ultimate Campaign already crossed that barrier. Insistent Benefactor and Muscle of the Society are both winners.

The prestige class is weaker than going single classed, but that's how all prestige classes are in Pathfinder. As is, the Pathfinder Field Agent has some cool abilities, and a character that takes that class will be able to emulate the Society's focus. Weaker than some, but still good enough, and certainly cool enough.

I'm happy to see new ioun stones and resonances, but I'm happier still to see new PFS vanities. Please keep adding these Paizo! The other magic items and spells available are all conducive to the Society's motto, and I have no complaints about them.

Other reviewers have complained about this, but sections like 'Five Spells Every Pathfinder Should Know' need to keep happening. Not only is this good advice for players, but it makes so much sense that operatives trained by an organization would go into things with a similar idea of how to be prepared.

Art is good, but Amiri looks a little dopey in her picture. Maybe she's about to sneeze?

All in all, this book is exactly what I want in a Companion. You educate me on the organization, give me some insights into its philosophy, and give some new and different options and items, all without too much power creep. Bravo.

I also covered this book on our Ontario Pathfinders website!


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Love the art on the hardcover but what adventures does it hold.

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

nighttree wrote:

I assume that effects when we can purchase the PDF?

I was so looking foreword to next Wednesday ;(

The PDF release date isn't tied to how long it takes to ship to subscribers—it's tied to the retail release date. We did push the retail release date for July's products to July 31, though, to ensure that more retailers have it in stock on the date.


Reviewed here at Paizo.com.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Patrick Renie wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
edit: Since I've got you here, sort-of, the feat Versatile Spontaneity (pg. 9), mentions being able to prepare a spell in your list from either scrolls or spellbooks. Does that mean, for instance, that a Sorcerer could carry a spellbook with them to prepare a spell from that? Or does that mean the Sorcerer would have to convince a Wizard or Magus to let them read from their (i.e. the Wizard or Magus') spellbook?
Correct, if a sorcerer stumbled upon a spellbook, she could use this feat to prepare a spell from that, assuming she meets the prerequisites.

The "you may opt to prepare one spell you don't know in place of a daily spell slot 1 level higher than the prepared spell's level." part mean that you can prepare only 1 spell this way when you prepare your spells, or you can swap multiple spontaneous spell for the same number of prepared spells?

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Diego Rossi wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
edit: Since I've got you here, sort-of, the feat Versatile Spontaneity (pg. 9), mentions being able to prepare a spell in your list from either scrolls or spellbooks. Does that mean, for instance, that a Sorcerer could carry a spellbook with them to prepare a spell from that? Or does that mean the Sorcerer would have to convince a Wizard or Magus to let them read from their (i.e. the Wizard or Magus') spellbook?
Correct, if a sorcerer stumbled upon a spellbook, she could use this feat to prepare a spell from that, assuming she meets the prerequisites.
The "you may opt to prepare one spell you don't know in place of a daily spell slot 1 level higher than the prepared spell's level." part mean that you can prepare only 1 spell this way when you prepare your spells, or you can swap multiple spontaneous spell for the same number of prepared spells?

Just one spell, period, from what I'm reading.

Paizo Employee Developer

1 person marked this as a favorite.
cartmanbeck wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Patrick Renie wrote:
Irnk, Dead-Eye's Prodigal wrote:
edit: Since I've got you here, sort-of, the feat Versatile Spontaneity (pg. 9), mentions being able to prepare a spell in your list from either scrolls or spellbooks. Does that mean, for instance, that a Sorcerer could carry a spellbook with them to prepare a spell from that? Or does that mean the Sorcerer would have to convince a Wizard or Magus to let them read from their (i.e. the Wizard or Magus') spellbook?
Correct, if a sorcerer stumbled upon a spellbook, she could use this feat to prepare a spell from that, assuming she meets the prerequisites.
The "you may opt to prepare one spell you don't know in place of a daily spell slot 1 level higher than the prepared spell's level." part mean that you can prepare only 1 spell this way when you prepare your spells, or you can swap multiple spontaneous spell for the same number of prepared spells?
Just one spell, period, from what I'm reading.

Correct, just one spell per day when you regain spell slots. So on Wednesday, you could do this with magic missile from your buddy's spellbook, while on Thursday, you could do this with burning hands from a scroll (or whatever). But you can't prepare more than one spell per day with this feat.

Grand Lodge

I sort of have to buy this for PFS play but is there anything in here that indicates a balanced approach with the core and APG as opposed to the power creep I've come to expect?

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

Loaded question is loaded....

You don't have to buy this for PFS. It will not become part of the Core Assumption. You might want to buy it, either for the toys, or for the background information and description about the Pathfinder Society. Really, it's probably a better reference for somebody who doesn't know much about it already. At 32 pages, it's a great thing to hand to players who are just now learning the Pathfinder Society.

I'm not going to touch the passive-aggressive power creep complaint, however; there are ample other threads where that is debated into the ground and on through to the far side of the Earth.


BPorter, I agree with much, if not all, of your review. I was hoping for something with more depth and fluff, and I really enjoyed what was there. The artwork was a miss for me, as well. Some of it was definitely below what I've come to expect from Paizo. But, like most books, I can see players dismissing 2/3rds of the crunch tehre as being completely underpowered (and just too fluffy) and seeing the same 1/4 or 1/3rd of the crunch used over and over again as it's quite a stand out, such as that 2nd level page spell you mention in the review.

I'm glad I got it only because I'm a full time GM with LOTS of new PFS players. It will be great to point the fluff pages to them to get them up and running from the lore stand point. But it is a really tough recommend, especially at the price point.


rknop wrote:
It will not become part of the Core Assumption.

Actually, I'm pretty sure Mike has said that it will.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

bugleyman wrote:
rknop wrote:
It will not become part of the Core Assumption.
Actually, I'm pretty sure Mike has said that it will.

Nope, they actually said that they decided to not make it Core Assumption specifically so that people wouldn't have to buy it for PFS. If memory serves, I think they're also removing the PFS Field Guide from the Core Assumption, so that the "cost of entry" to PFS becomes just the CRB. I could be mistaken on that last part, but the new Guide comes out soon and all will be answered. :)

EDIT:
LINK
LINK


Jiggy wrote:

Nope, they actually said that they decided to not make it Core Assumption specifically so that people wouldn't have to buy it for PFS. If memory serves, I think they're also removing the PFS Field Guide from the Core Assumption, so that the "cost of entry" to PFS becomes just the CRB. I could be mistaken on that last part, but the new Guide comes out soon and all will be answered. :)

EDIT:
LINK
LINK

Not sure if that's a change or I was just mistaken, but either way, it's welcome news. Thanks.

Silver Crusade

Hoping for a little advice here, as I'm narrowing down what books to buy later today on a currently very tight budget. Can any of you let me know if the following character concepts might find anything useful in this book, whether it be vanities, weapons, spells, feats, or so on? Traits are a lesser priority since most of my active characters cannot use the "free rebuild during level 1" rules; they're level 2 and above. Nonetheless, traits might be cool too.

- A Lore Warden that uses reach weapons (especially polearms) combined with a few levels of Martial Artist and Cleric. Likes to be a mobile, heavy-hitting, tactically flexible character with some good combat maneuvers and has a minor interest in magic, esp. divine magic. Align CG and follows Milani, if this matters.

- An Elf Bard focusing on archery, scouting, a variety of skills, versatile spell use (picks up a little bit of everything as level-ups permit), performances, buffing allies, and general 'face' skills. Works as a traveling motivational speaker when not working for the Society. Align CG, follows Desna.

- A Sorcerer (Celestial) that focuses on summoning (willing to summon anything that isn't Evil), blasting, some terrain control, a little buffing, defense, and face skills. Isn't very good at Knowledge checks but would like to be; just doesn't have enough skill points left over to cover everything. Has dreams of owning a fancy home, or founding their own nation (unlikely within PFS, but they can dream!), or becoming prominent within their religion. Align NG, follows Sarenrae.

You don't have to post full details that would get you in trouble with Paizo moderators, just extremely basic info ("Yes, polearm fighters will really like Feat X, it lets them achieve Benefit Y" or "Your summoning Sorc will like the new Celestial Fluffybunny Archon option they added to Summon Monster V, it's made of Rainbows and Justice", etc.) would suffice in helping me decide which books I need to buy or wait on in regard to my current budget.

Thanks for any info you can offer!

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber

I suspect you won't find crunch that you think you really need for any of those characters. The background about the society and characters in it could potentially be informative for all of them, but I don't know if you'd find that "useful" or not. Given what you've written about your characters, I suspect you value that kind of thing more than some others do.

If you don't have Champions of Purity, there's a nifty feat ("Summon Good Monser") and monster table on the inside back cover that your sorcerer might like.

Silver Crusade

Oh, I do hold backstory items in some good esteem. Bought an AP book almost solely for its content on Milani, for example. Right now though I'm primarily focusing on crunch/actual play mechanics because most of these characters' stories are already pretty well detailed.

I do indeed have Champions of Purity, and it is quite good for the purposes you're mentioning. Thank you!

That said, I am solely focusing on whether Pathfinder Player Companion: Pathfinder Society Primer would be relevant to my needs since that's the book this thread is for.

Silver Crusade

Sorry to double post, but the time window in which I could edit or delete my old posts has since passed. Someone has kindly provided me not-full-text summaries of several items they think might be relevant, so I no longer need help with this question (and if Paizo staff wishes to remove this post plus my two above to reduce clutter for your product thread, please feel free!).

Sovereign Court

I'm sorry if this has been addressed already somewhere, but in reading pg 8, it states "Those who complete Confirmation successfully receive
their wayfinders and become full-fledged Pathfinders,". Does this mean that all PFS characters that have a PFS number, already begin playing with a basic Wayfinder and don't need to spend 250gp on it?

Paizo Employee Developer

That's primarily a flavor element. There are currently no rules in Pathfinder Society Organized Play who receive free equipment except when granted by a class ability (like a gunslinger's free gun at first level). In a home campaign, a GM could certainly provide a free wayfinder to a Pathfinder character, but in Pathfinder Society Organized Play, the discount on the purchase of one is the concession to get them into as many PC hands as possible.

Sovereign Court

Thanks for the clarification Mark!

Liberty's Edge

Another question about Wayfinders. In the Vanities section, the cost of a couple of the alternate Wayfinders struck me as odd. The Discerning Wayfinder that replaces Light with Detect Magic costs 5 Prestige while the Inherited Wayfinder that retains Light and also gains an additional 0 level spell of choice is 3 Prestige. Does this make sense to anyone else?

Liberty's Edge

Dungeonginger wrote:
Another question about Wayfinders. In the Vanities section, the cost of a couple of the alternate Wayfinders struck me as odd. The Discerning Wayfinder that replaces Light with Detect Magic costs 5 Prestige while the Inherited Wayfinder that retains Light and also gains an additional 0 level spell of choice is 3 Prestige. Does this make sense to anyone else?

Inherited does nothing on its own. It would allow you to choose Discerning and now your Wayfinder provides Light as well as Detect Magic.

Liberty's Edge

So, it would be an 8 Prestige cost for that Inherited Wayfinder with both abilities? That makes a bit more sense, if so.

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