Nothing but unappealing factions


Pathfinder Society


New to PFS (long time player otherwise).
Looking over the factions... I can't say I like any of them.

The Concordance - Not really bad, just not entirely sold on it.
Dark Archive - I just get a vibe that it's evil and barely grasp why it's even allowed to exist as an option for players.
The Exchange - Too much greed here.
Grand Lodge - Motto: 'Loyalty to the Society Above All'... umm.. too domineering for my taste.
Liberty’s Edge - Not a bad goal. Doesn't interest me much though.
Scarab Sages - Most appealing to me, and my first (and only) character is a member. Her first scenario is tomorrow. Still 'meh' on it.
Silver Crusade - Too much paladin. (Paladins are my least favourite class by a margin of "I ban this class in any home game I run". Extreme, but I don't care.)
Sovereign Court - I couldn't care less about the nobility and their shenanigans.

So... Concordance, Liberty & Sages are the only three I have even marginal interest in being a part of.
I feel this puts a serious limit on my possible character options if I want them to actually make sense for whichever faction I reluctantly make them a part of.

1/5 Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

I think the problem is you're shoehorning the factions a bit into how you want to perceive them.

The Dark Archive isn't evil, though a bit self-serving. They're goal is to deal with all the things that are too dangerous and either lock them up somewhere safe or figure out how to control/disable them. The self-serving comes into the idea that if they can harness these dangerous things, they're willing to. I've seen paladins in that faction because it fits them well, it's the place that most needs guarding.

The Exchange is about making money, so yes there's greed involved. Can't help that, but any character interested in helping their own finances or the finances and resources of the society has a reason to be here.

The Grand Lodge's motto means you prioritize being a society member over any of the other factions. That means you won't risk a mission to rescue slaves, make money, or get a dangerous artifact. It's not as domineering as you say, it just means they care about the Society's "Explore, Report, Cooperate" over the secondary goals of other groups. This really is the faction for a character that doesn't fit anywhere else.

Liberty's Edge is actually a really interesting faction this season. Since their leader was busted doing a lot of questionable things, is currently on the run, and the faction has picked up a new leader to handle things. Though this is my least favorite faction.

Scarabs are neat, they're about preserving old knowledge, but actually overlap a lot with the Society themselves. Hence their retirement after this season.

Silver Crusade is less paladin and more just be a good person. You prioritize helping others whenever you can. That's just being nice, but it's also why good divine characters migrate towards it, because they generally like to help people as well.

Sovereign Court - That's fine, but I'd argue this is probably the most important faction. It's not noble's and their shenanigans and more developing inroads and connections with people in political power (from negotiating to black mail) to be able to get things to happen when they need to, and cutting through all the shenanigans when necessary. It's the Illuminati, but theoretically for good causes that came about when all the world governments were dragging their feet to help stop a demonic invasion. I actually really enjoy this faction.

2/5

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Suede wrote:
Scarabs are neat, they're about preserving old knowledge, but actually overlap a lot with the Society themselves. Hence their retirement after this season.

My Silver Crusade character has real issues with the Scarab Sages after...

Spoiler:
#7-11: Ancient's Anguish when she had to make nice with a lich because that's what the Scarab Sages characters decided to do. Afterward, she scrubbed herself down with a wire brush and an atonement.

1/5 Venture-Agent, Georgia—Atlanta aka Suede

Spoiler:
I played that one with my Scarab Sage Paladin as well. He demanded the lich let them kill it to start atoning for what it had done, instead of making them fight some guardian for it for no reason. I mean, the Lich would get reborn anyways so no long term problem for it and he was sent there to recover the gem.

It refused, so the party killed it and he brought the stone back to sages figuring if anyone could get a lich out of it, it would be them.

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Captain, Arizona—Phoenix aka TriOmegaZero

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Factions are nice, but not required. It is perfectly viable to just play a Pathfinder who doesn't worry about fulfilling their faction goals.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I still miss the old nation based factions. Thought they brought the world of Golarion into PFS and was a big part of my creative process character wise for my -1.

Scarab Sages 5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, Without the scarab sages the dark archives have the best library. Even if half of them are Just using it to play "naughty librarian". Just prestidigitate the table and remember not to move your lips when you're reading the book of the damned.

Scarab Sages 4/5

Most of the Dark Archive faction goals aren’t particularly evil. I think any sense of them being the evil faction comes from the previous tie in to Cheliax. That’s why their faction traits involve devils and such. It’s not really representative of what the faction’s goals are now. So I find it a good home for scholars of magic/artifacts and spellcasters.

Grand Lodge has shifted a little over the years as well. It may also be an interesting faction in Season 10, which I think was announced as Year of the Ten? Or Year of the Decimverate? Whatever it’s called, it seems like it’s going to deal in large part with the mysterious leaders of the Pathfinder Society. I imagine Grand Lodge loyalties and trust will be tested.

Sovereign Court, I’ve found, is a good home for roguish characters, since a lot of their faction goals involve spying or less scrupulous things. You don’t have to be a noble. Working for Lady Morilla behind the scenes is valid.

The Silver Crusade, to me, took over a lot of what the old Shadow Lodge used to do. It’s still the do good faction, but a lot of its goals and benefits are now tied to helping you fellow pathfinders (paying for spellcasting services/healing and such). It’s where my Shadow Lodge Fighter went.

Anyway, Steven is correct that nothing obligates you to do anything for your faction. I’m pretty sure it’s a required field on the character, which will default to grand lodge, but you don’t have to roleplay that in any way if you don’t want to. Although often just by trying to complete the mission you may fulfill the goals of the Grand Lodge.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PonyFlare wrote:
Looking over the factions... I can't say I like any of them.

It's a common misconception among new players. You, the player, are not joining a Faction. Factions are in-game and per character. I know since we all have an icon in front of our usernames it might seem like we each belong to an out-of-character group, but most of us pick one for flavor (or don't use one at all).

So, it's not a question of which Faction *you* like, it's a question of which Faction your *character* would join.

And if you have one or two characters whose personalities are simply non-conformist and don't want to join a Faction, they don't have to. There needs to be one for reporting purposes, but in-game your character need not align themselves with anything other than the Pathfinder Society.


Suede wrote:

I think the problem is you're shoehorning the factions a bit into how you want to perceive them.

Certainly, but none of what you said really changes my feelings. Their flavour as written in the guild guide just makes them unappealing to me. Some of this may change as I play and actually encounter them though.

Ugh about the Lich thing. Now I like my top choice less. *sigh* and they're leaving... great. What I considered was the top of the pile of.. stuff... won't even be around long enough for me to gain any serious experience with it.

Steven Schopmeyer wrote:
Factions are nice, but not required. It is perfectly viable to just play a Pathfinder who doesn't worry about fulfilling their faction goals.

True you can ignore the goals, but it's clear you can't ignore your faction (at least in character) since core concepts of PFS, fame & prestige, require you to deal with and belong to factions. Your purchasing power is severely limited otherwise.

... and this discussion is reducing my interest in PFS.


Nefreet wrote:


So, it's not a question of which Faction *you* like, it's a question of which Faction your *character* would join.

I beg to differ, as I could never enjoy playing a character interested in a faction I truly didn't like (most of them).

I'm more and more inclined to not even show up for my first game tomorrow. Somewhat regretting the purchase of two rulebooks books I may never otherwise use as well as the time spent working on the character.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PonyFlare wrote:
Your purchasing power is severely limited otherwise.

It is not. The Always Available list increases with your Fame. Some Factions may offer you a discount (Exchange), or free items (Silver Crusade), but actually purchasing items would not be restricted by your selection of Faction.

But to address your out-of-character dislike for an in-character organization, that kind of is the heart of Roleplaying in general. You don't have to like men to roleplay as a heterosexual female, or be greedy to roleplay a tomb-robber, or donate to charity to roleplay a paladin.

Generally people roleplay something different than they are in real life.

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Starfinder Charter Superscriber

On top of all that, the Factions are really more broad in scope than I think you're making them out to be. You can also define why you've joined one. There are Paladins in the Dark Archive because they want to secure away evil artifacts. There are Fighters in Scarab Sages because they want to protect knowledge by guarding sages. There is a Necromancer in Silver Crusade because he wants to learn how to better control undead so that crusaders can more easily dispatch them.

Factions are really more of a framework.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.

PonyFlare,

I personally find the factions nearly pointless and pretty much completely ignore them. I've been playing about 4 yrs now and have a dozen or so characters. I've played scenarios from all available 'seasons' and quite frankly after the 3rd PC I just started randomly rolling because you have to have them assigned to one.

Very rarely do I feel the factions have more than a extreme tiny influence on the adventures I have played or Gm'd. Even less so does anyone have a PC of the matching faction other than by sheer luck of the draw.. A few make mention or you might be able to guess which they are but even then. <shrugs>

Well all this is at my local group anyway. I feel you can just ignore them and play all you want with nearly no effect, or so has been my experience so I say just do whatever and look forward to having a grand ol' time with the other players that you meet up with.

Yuri

Sczarni 5/5 ⦵⦵

Starfinder Charter Superscriber
PonyFlare wrote:
I'm more and more inclined to not even show up for my first game tomorrow.

I would suggest going and talking to the players and GM about your concerns. We may not be addressing your questions adequately in the medium of communication.

Four veterans have now told you that you can pretty much eschew Factions if they don't interest you. Pathfinder Society certainly has more to offer than that.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵

PonyFlare wrote:


True you can ignore the goals, but it's clear you can't ignore your faction (at least in character) since core concepts of PFS, fame & prestige, require you to deal with and belong to factions. Your purchasing power is severely limited otherwise.

... and this discussion is reducing my interest in PFS.

Thats how season 2 worked. Since then everyone runs off the same secondary success conditions now and factions have bonus boons in the scenario.

Grand Lodge 2/5

I feel like I am coming to this party late, and other people have said most of the things that I would have said. I would add two comments:

1. I have always felt that Grand Lodge works well as an “I don’t like any other faction” faction. If you don’t really want to deal with the other factions’ politics, and just want to get on with doing Pathfinder missions, that’s a good choice.

2. It can be fun to play against the stereotypes. For example I have a tiefling rogue in Silver Crusade “because the bad guys are going to sneak and cheat, so you need someone to stop all the paladins from walking into traps.”

3/5 Venture-Agent, Illinois—Peoria

More annoying to me than the factions themselves are the very unequal distribution of scenarios with faction missions.

Silver Crusade and Exchange in particular seem shafted.

5/5 ⦵⦵⦵ Venture-Captain, Germany—Rhein-Main aka GreyYeti

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Nathanael Love wrote:

More annoying to me than the factions themselves are the very unequal distribution of scenarios with faction missions.

Silver Crusade and Exchange in particular seem shafted.

That is not really true. Counting all special faction missions from the beginning of season 5 to the end of season 9 gives the following result:

Dark Archive / Cheliax 14
Grand Lodge 18
Liberty's Edge / Andoran 15
Scarab Sages / Osirion 16
Sczarni 4
Silver Crusade 15
Sovereign Court / Taldor 16
The Concordance 3
The Exchange / Qadira 16

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

PonyFlare wrote:
... and this discussion is reducing my interest in PFS.

In my personal opinion, you are making a bit too much of the whole Faction issue. But clearly, you feel it is important and I am not going to tell you that you are wrong. So since you have invested already in PFS, I would recommend simply playing a few games just to see if PFS is for you. If you find it as enjoyable as most of us, we can help you more with what you are looking for in factions.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

There's also the problem of having unreasonable expectations. *coughs*

3/5 Venture-Agent, Illinois—Peoria

Nils Janson wrote:

That is not really true. Counting all special faction missions from the beginning of season 5 to the end of season 9 gives the following result:

Dark Archive / Cheliax 14
Grand Lodge 18
Liberty's Edge / Andoran 15
Scarab Sages / Osirion 16
Sczarni 4
Silver Crusade 15
Sovereign Court / Taldor 16
The Concordance 3
The Exchange / Qadira 16

Maybe it's just the tags in the searches on pathfinder wikia that are shorting them then, because when I was specifically looking for Silver Crusade I could only find 11 total, and of those very few for 1-5 tier (3, two of them being season 9)

Grand Lodge 5/5 Venture-Agent, Florida—Melbourne aka trollbill

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Philippe Lam wrote:
There's also the problem of having unreasonable expectations. *coughs*

Based on his statements, it appears the OP may not be well suited for Organized Play. But that doesn't mean we should discourage him from at least trying it to see if he likes it. We all know Organized Play has downsides. We overlook those because we feel the upsides outweigh them. Right now, the OP is focusing on one of the downsides. But if he actually tries PFS out, he may discover the same thing we did.

Grand Lodge 4/5 Venture-Agent, France—Paris

He's certainly not encouraging any GM, even outside of an Organized Play, to do some kind of effort. That works both ways with the player also having to make some concessions, or I missed something ?

1/5 RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

2 people marked this as a favorite.

You should be choosing a faction that appeals to your character -- not you. Part of the fun of roleplaying is playing a character different from yourself.

I personally despise the Sovereign Court but I had fun playing a noble samurai getting entangled in political intrigue.

The Exchange 5/5 ⦵⦵ Venture-Lieutenant, North Carolina—Charlotte aka eddv

I honestly feel that Grand Lodge makes a good enough first faction. Being a generic adventurer with a zeal for travel and lore is pretty fun especially while you learn more about the setting.

1/5

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Grand Lodge is the faction that only two of my 28 characters are involved with, as 'cleaners' of 'Decemvirate mistakes'.

The original focus of most of my characters was along the Liberty's Edge axis, but that evolved into Dark Archive and The Exchange -- though admittedly the Exchange serves two masters and is a bit of a trash fire at times from the perspective of most of the characters I have in it.

I have one Scarab Sage, courtesy of Grandmaster Torch and a certain dragon. He's a Barbarian.

I have a handful of Silver Crusaders, and only one of them is a paladin. There's also a (bard or skald, they need to figure out before L2), a swashbuckler, an Investigator, and an Inquisitor.

The Concordance is new, but I have a druid in it.

Sovereign Court has two characters that need to figure out what they are doing with their lives (also at the pre-L2 decision point) -- a moon-cursed barbarian and a Calistrian scandal-monger.

tl;dr -- Don't be afraid to turn the perceptions of others on it's head.

Community / Forums / Organized Play / Pathfinder Society / Nothing but unappealing factions All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.