The Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Part XIX: Retuning the Rules
Monday, July 25, 2011
We’re just over a week away from Gen Con 2011 and the launch of Pathfinder Society Organized Play’s fourth year, dubbed “The Year of the Ruby Phoenix”, and the entire editorial staff seems to be under the permanent effects of haste and insanity. While I’m burning the midnight oil from both ends (sorry ’bout the mixed metaphor, but it’s accurate), I thought I’d make a short post to preview some of the revisions to the campaign rules themselves, as will appear in the newest version of the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, which we’ll have out shortly.
For full details on these and other changes, you’ll have to wait for the full rules, but here’s a hint at some of what’s in store. Note that none of these rules go into effect until August 4, 2011, when the revised Guide will actually become legal and valid.
- The nearly out-of-print Seekers of Secrets will be removed from the Core Assumption, replaced with the brand-new Pathfinder Society Field Guide, releasing at Gen Con. This book includes new Prestige Awards unique to each of the 10 factions, new archetypes, spells, equipment, and a section on vanities, which are purchasable with Prestige Points and allow you to own a business or a manor house, have minions and servants to provide you bonuses, and grant you membership into exclusive clubs like thieves’ guilds and hunting lodges.
- Day Jobs are being simplified, and will now be a single Craft, Perform, or Profession check, with all relevant modifiers. Some vanities or Prestige Awards will allow you to use different skills for such checks, including the much requested Sleight of Hand.
- Characters will be able to switch factions by paying Prestige Points to represent the fewer favors their new faction owes them. All PCs will receive one free faction change beginning on August 4 that must be used before the first session played in Season 3. If you don’t play any Pathfinder Society during Season 3, you’ll have to pay to change factions in Season 4.
- New PCs will no longer be restricted from purchasing magic items at character creation. They will still be limited by having only 150 gp to spend on such items, and can’t buy anything not on the Always Available list, but now you can start with a scroll or a potion if you’ve got the money for one!
- Characters of new factions playing old scenarios will do a faction mission from one of the original five, earning prestige as if that mission had been tied to your faction all along. The pairings will be: Grand Lodge > Osirion; Lantern Lodge > Qadira; Sczarni > Taldor; Shadow Lodge > Cheliax; and Silver Crusade > Andoran.
- Since Season 3 will feature only one faction mission per scenario, with a second Prestige Point tied to the completion of the overall scenario, Season 0 scenarios with 1 Prestige Point available can be run as written, while scenarios from Seasons 1 and 2 will treat one faction mission as the overall objective and the other as the faction specific objective to maintain the same 2 Prestige Points per scenario.
- The Guide will also include rules for rebuilding elements of characters using open playtest rules, or when an errata or FAQ of an existing rule causes it to work significantly differently than before.
I guess that’s about all I have time for at the moment, because I still have to get the guide polished off and ready to go, not to mention our four new scenarios and Gen Con special, Blood Under Absalom. (The art you’re seeing here is a sample of what players in these new adventures have in store, by the way.) Oh, and revised pregens. Yeah, those are finally coming out, as well.
Next week, in the twentieth and final installment of the Future of Pathfinder Society Organized Play blog series, I’ll talk a little about some of the exciting gaming opportunities we have planned for Gen Con and reveal the heretofore unmentioned exclusive prizes players in Pathfinder Society and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game delve events will have a chance to win at the show!
Illustrations by Michele Chang