Paizo News: The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play Part X: Dominance Through Trade

The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play Part X: Dominance Through Trade

Monday, May 23, 2011

The western tip of the vast, continent-spanning Padishah Empire of Kelesh, the Satrapy of Qadira serves as the gateway between the wealth and resources of eastern Casmaron and the eager ports and markets of the Inner Sea. Its singular position as the funnel through which Casmaron’s wealth f lows has painted Qadira’s outlook on the world, and from the richest trade prince of Katheer to the lowliest caravan driver of the vast southern deserts, Qadirans recognize that the way to true power and influence is through trade and economic dominance. And no single city or nation is more strategically placed to rule the markets of the entire region than Absalom, which is why the satrap has invested substantial resources and his best agents in ensuring that Qadira gains control over trade in Absalom and—shortly thereafter—the entirety of Avistan and northern Garund.

The weekend is over and now there’s profit to be made! And that’s Qadira’s bag. In many ways, it’s the most accessible faction for those of us living in the real world, because, you know, we all understand how much power comes with money. It is nice, after all, to be able to buy the things you need and to charge what you think you’re worth for the services you provide to others.

Illustration by Ryan Portillo

So we already talked about a few changes coming to some of the other factions, but Qadira is one of the two getting the largest shakeup. I don’t want to spoil anything, especially in light of two new scenarios coming out later this week, but I will say this: the change is going to take place “on screen.” So once people have played the scenario in which the proverbial stuff hits the fan, use this thread to discuss it. Just use spoiler tags, or at least charge your fellow Pathfinders a fee for the information you possess. After all, what true Qadiran wouldn’t profit when profit can be had?

And you’re likely wondering who the mysterious stranger is in this blog post. Well, I’m not going to say. At least not for free…

Come back next week for a look at how to get ahead in the Pathfinder Society, or how to take your time and enjoy the scenery a bit more. Next Monday’s blog is likely to make a lot of players very happy.

Mark Moreland

Developer

Paizo News: The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part IX: With Prestige Comes Fame

The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part IX: With Prestige Comes Fame

Monday, May 16, 2011

One of the unique elements of the Pathfinder Society Organized Play campaign is the presence of factions and each character’s growth within her faction using the prestige system. It’s undergone some changes over the last three years, most notably the tying of maximum buying power to total prestige at the start of Season One. Well it’s changing again, and in a way we think will streamline the system for ease of use for GMs, authors, and most of all, players.

Faction missions aren’t going anywhere, but they are going to change a bit. Instead of there being two faction missions for each of the 10 factions, each one will have only a single difficult mission to earn that faction’s Prestige Point (PP). A second Prestige Point will be tied to several success conditions of the main Pathfinder Society mission. Thus, an Andoran faction Pathfinder can get his faction Prestige Point by freeing the slaves from the gnoll’s camp, while he gets a second Prestige Point by retrieving the ancient Lamashtan relic that Venture-Captain Eliza Petulengro sent him after in the first place. This is a direct response to fan feedback that there needed to be more reward for actually completing the main mission of a Scenario. Also, it means our authors only have to design 10 faction missions instead of 20—the same number they’re already doing.

You might notice I capitalized Prestige Point up there. That’s because it’s a new game term we’ll be using from here on out. No longer do you need to track CPA and TPA. Prestige Award—the expendable resource gained and spent in the course of an adventurer’s career—is now expressed as Prestige Points, and the total number of Prestige Points gained in the course of a career is now called “Fame.” Fame is a constant score like Strength or Charisma, while Prestige Points fluctuate like hit points or wealth.

In addition to eliminating the confusing CPA/TPA wording, this newly codified system means we can offer cool new abilities tied to Fame and costing a set amount of Prestige Points. Check out the following faction resource that will be available to members of the Andoran faction, from the forthcoming Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Pathfinder Society Field Guide:

Liberation (5 PP) In the event that you are captured and forced into slavery, the faction mounts a rescue operation, freeing you from servitude without any material or physical effect. Any cost or penalty normally associated with being enslaved (including magical effects such as dominate person) is negated at no additional cost to you.

That’ll cost 5 PP and can be spent anytime, regardless of how much Fame the PC possesses. Other resources, like granting a character a noble title or a military position, will require reaching certain Fame thresholds before Prestige Points can be cashed in to actually gain the benefits. All 10 factions have a number of these in the Pathfinder Society Field Guide, and we have ideas of other places they may appear in the future.

Until next week, take a look at this mysterious faction symbol. It’s one of the new ones, and one Iwould have revealed next week had we gotten enough new followers on our Facebook page. I guess I’ll just be talking about how things are shaking up within the Qadira faction in next Monday’s blog—same Path time, same Path channel.

Paizo News” The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part VIII: In the Secrets of the Past Come Tomorrow’s Triumphs

The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part VIII: In the Secrets of the Past Come Tomorrow’s Triumphs

Monday, May 9, 2011

Osirion is among the oldest human nations of the Inner Sea region—its founding marked the end of the Age of Anguish. Over its long history, it has experienced centuries of incredible power as well as generations of subjugation under foreign rule, as its ancient might was lost to desert sands and forgotten with the passage of time. With ambitions of once again being the most influential and powerful nation in the Inner Sea region, Osirion knows that Absalom is its largest competitor for the position. So while the nations of Andoran, Cheliax, Qadira, and Taldor battle among themselves for control of the City at the Center of the World, Osirion delves deep into its history to resurrect the secrets of the past. As a sleeping giant, it amasses its power to swoop down on its unsuspecting enemies when they have weakened one another, using the strength of history to secure its future dominance.

Whether it’s the faction’s Egyptian inspirations or it’s unassuming modus operandi, Osirion has been one of the most popular factions since the earliest days of Pathfinder Society Organized Play. In many ways, this faction’s ideals fall most closely in line with the baseline mission of the Pathfinder Society, and that’s not changing with Season 3.

Back in the fall, we tried something new: We started introducing faction leaders as NPCs and plot elements within scenarios beyond just signing their names at the bottoms of faction mission handouts. And we began with Amenopheus, the Sapphire Sage, head of the Osirion faction. As far back as PaizoCon 2010, there were hints that not all was as it seemed with the Sapphire Sage, and with the onset of the Shadow Lodge conflict, his part in the overall metaplot was revealed.

I know not everyone has played the scenarios in question, so I won’t post any spoilers (and I ask all comments below to use spoiler tags as necessary) but I will say that observant Osirian players may have noticed their missions are coming from some lowly scribe named Otoneraphim of late. The subplot with Amenopheus will be resolved at PaizoCon in the two-part Tier 1–7 series Shadow’s Last Stand, so you’ve got a little over a month to catch up on past installments in this story before the “season finale”.

As part of the increase in metaplot within the campaign, more venture captains and faction heads will play larger roles in scenarios during the Year of the Ruby Phoenix, and many of the faction-specific metaplots will involve their respective faction heads. I’m eager to hear what people think of this, and specifically how you have or haven’t liked the way we used Amenopheus as a major player this season. Stop by the Pathfinder Society section of the messageboards and make your opinions heard!

Next week we’ll continue looking at some of the campaign rule changes in store for next season, specifically those dealing with prestige. The following Monday, we’ll look at another of the 10 factions, but which one depends on you. We’re just a few fans away from hitting 4,000 followers on Facebook; if you, the fans, can spread the word and help us add 250 new fans before the end of the week, I’ll move one of the five new factions up in line and make it the following week’s blog topic, revealing its symbol as an even earlier preview.

Mark Moreland
Developer

Paizo News: The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part VII: Introducing the Year of the Ruby Phoenix

Monday, May 2, 2011

In August 2010, Pathfinder Society Organized Play entered the Year of the Shadow Lodge, and the ongoing conflict with this separatist splinter group within the Pathfinder Society has been a consistent plot element in many of the season’s scenarios. We’ve seen prominent members of the Society and at least one faction betray the Decemvirate, and the Shadow Lodge conflict only gets more twisted as we wrap up to the dramatic conclusion at PaizoCon.

In August, with the launch of Season 3, Pathfinders the world over will embark on the most exciting Pathfinder Society adventure yet, a metaplot arc we’ve named the Year of the Ruby Phoenix.

Season 3: Coming Soon!

In the Year of the Ruby Phoenix, the Pathfinder Society (as well as various other factions both allied with and opposed to the Society) set their sights on the Ruby Phoenix Tournament, a world-renowned fighting competition that occurs only once a decade in distant Tian Xia, and more specifically on the incredible collection of prizes available to the tournament’s victor. In order to cement the Society’s victory, Pathfinder agents will be sent throughout the Inner Sea and beyond to collect allies, uncover obscure lore, and retrieve magical weapons to augment their representatives in the tournament.

The search for the perfect “ringer” will culminate in the tournament itself, which will be released as an as-yet-unannounced Pathfinder Module: The Ruby Phoenix Tournament, which will continue the pattern of being sanctioned for Pathfinder Society play. After the PCs’ inevitable victory, the treasure chosen by the Decemvirate as the prize awarded to them by their representatives’ win will propel the adventure into unexplored territory for the remainder of the season!

The Year of the Ruby Phoenix kicks off at Gen Con with four all-new scenarios! RPG Superstar 2010 finalist Jim Groves brings us The Frostfur Captives for levels 1–5. RPG Superstar contestants Dennis Baker and Benjamin Bruck have authored the Tier 3–7 scenario Sewer Dragons of Absalom and the Tier 7–11 scenarioThe Kortos Envoy, respectively. And the master of the dungeon crawl, Mike Shel, rounds out the quartet with his Tier 5–9 romp, The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet.

As if that weren’t enough, Pathfinders attending Gen Con (and special conventions thereafter) will have the chance to qualify the Pathfinder Society for the Ruby Phoenix Tournament in the underground pit fights of Pathfinder Society Special: Blood Under Absalomby veteran special designer Tim Hitchcock.

As if being the first to play these incredible adventures weren’t enough, for the first time ever, we’ll have opportunities for Pathfinder Society players and GMs to play a role in establishing Pathfinder Society canon, win special unique prizes from the Paizo store, and even a giant grand prize that we’ll be announcing in the coming weeks. The call for volunteer GMs has gone out and registration for events through Gen Con are just around the corner! Don’t miss your chance to be among the first to take part in the Year of the Ruby Phoenix.

Next week we’ll take a look at the Osirion faction and what might be in store for those Pathfinders loyal to the Ruby Prince and the Sapphire Sage, Amenopheus!

Mark Moreland
Developer