Pathfinder Society characters use the standard process PC pg. 17, CRB pg. 19Player Core page 17
Core Rulebook page 19
(click to close) with a few additional campaign-specific rules and benefits. Characters start at first level unless they have Boons to modify their starting level. The Character Creation appendix contains step-by-step instructions to help you create your own Pathfinder Society character and outlines the campaign’s additional character creation steps. Follow the instructions carefully to ensure your character is suitable for the Organized Play campaign.
Remember to register your character at paizo.com !
Character Options: All of the ancestries, backgrounds, and classes from the Core Rulebook or Player Core are available to you when creating a character. Remember that if a character option is reprinted in the Player Core (or any other Remaster book) with the same name, you must use the new version as if it were errata.
You might need to spend Achievement Points to access some ancestries and options from other books before you can use them in Organized Play. More information on approved resources can be found on the Character Options page .
Rarity: Some options within the game have a rarity trait of uncommon, rare, or unique. Options without a rarity trait are considered common. PC pg. 11, CRB pg. 13Player Core page 11
Core Rulebook page 13
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Access: Players can access uncommon or rare options via access methods built into the campaign. If you satisfy the access condition specified in that option, then that option is freely available to you, and you can purchase it or take it at character level up/creation, but it does not become common. Pathfinder Society characters are enrolled members of the Pathfinder Society organization in the world of Golarion, so they gain access to all options requiring membership in the Pathfinder Society.
The Pathfinder Society Character Options page has more details on how to access uncommon and rare character options.
Pawns: In Encounter Mode, each PC is represented by a pawn. Each other creature controlled by a PC whose location outside their PC’s square affects the encounter is also represented by a pawn. No PC can place more than 2 pawns per adventure including their own. Temporary creatures who last no more than an encounter or two do not count toward this limit. Creatures who stay in their owner’s square during encounter mode do not require pawns.
The Pathfinder Society supports its new undead and undead-adjacent recruits with suitable healing. Any time a Pathfinder Society NPC or allied NPC provides a healing potion or heal spell (as a casting, wand, scroll, effect of a boon including promotional boon, or other similar effect), a PC who relies on void energy healing may receive an oil of unlife GMC pg. 258, APG pg. 258GM Core page 258
Advanced Player's Guide page 258
(click to close) or harm spell PC pg. 334, CRB pg. 343Player Core page 334
Core Rulebook page 343
(click to close) of an equal spell rank instead. The player must make this request at the time the healing is supplied. Requesting an oil of unlife in this fashion does not require the player to own the Advanced Player's Guide, but they must provide the rules either from that book or from the Pathfinder source reference document (paizo.com/prd). Treasure found during the adventure and gifts from NPCs not affiliated with the Society are unaffected.
After playing a new character, you might find aspects of your character you would like to change. Don’t worry! Until you play a game in which your character starts with 12 or more XP, you can freely rebuild your character completely. This counts as building the character for boons that apply when you build a character. The character retains their Reputation earned and character number.
Once you begin a session as a second level character, you still have options for changing your character’s choices through Achievement Point purchases or Retraining.
You cannot use Rebuilding or Retraining to build a character that could not be built without using either of those two tools.
You can always purchase the following items so long as you’re in a settlement of at least 5,000 residents (and scenarios might sometimes provide additional allowances or limitations):
- Any common equipment in sanctioned Pathfinder content with an item level less than or equal to your character’s level (minimum 2).
- Any uncommon equipment in sanctioned Pathfinder content with an item level less than or equal to your character’s level (minimum 2); your character must have access to this uncommon equipment.
- Any equipment listed on your character’s Chronicles with an item level less than or equal to your character’s level + 2. Weapons and Armor found on Chronicles can be upgraded following the normal rules for upgrading. You have access to any item listed on a Chronicle.
- Any item or service purchased with Achievement Points.
Any basic equipment weapon or armor your character has access to can be purchased in a precious material version, provided you have access to weapons or armor made of that precious material. The weapon or armor must still meet any requirements stipulated in the listing for the precious material in question.
Infamy can reduce the character’s effective level when purchasing equipment.
Any prepared spellcaster can use the Learn a Spell activity to learn any common spells or other spells they have access to from tutors at the Grand Lodge. This adds no additional material cost beyond the standard cost for the Learn a Spell activity. Having access to a scroll does not grant access to the spell, but a character with access to a scroll can buy a scroll and learn the spell from it.
Spell schools have been removed from the game as part of the Remaster. With the exception of Withdrawn Items, you can still purchase or choose pre-Remaster items and abilities that rely on the existence of spell schools to function. However, Remastered spells do not have spell schools, so the usefulness of these options will diminish over time.
All Pathfinders have access to spellcasting services related to condition removal at any Pathfinder lodge. Spellcasting services are always automatically successful, but never critically succeed. If a spellcasting service requires a Counteract Check it must be purchased at one spell rank higher than the effect it is counteracting. Costs for spellcasting services can be found in the Spellcasting Service Costs Appendix, and GMs are required to use these costs unless the scenario specifies otherwise.
In Pathfinder Society play, you can never permanently transfer items or gold between PCs, but you may allow another PC to borrow items for the duration of an adventure. Borrowed items are returned at the end of the scenario in whatever condition they are in at the end of the scenario. This means a PC cannot buy, sell, trade, or donate items to another PC. This rule does not affect the ability of PCs to pool their gold for removing afflictions.
The Pathfinder Society sells formulas to its agents for all items the agent has access to with the exception of items that have a number restriction on purchasing them. Items with a number restriction, including Unique Items, are considered so esoteric that the Society does not own the formula and so complicated that it is not possible to reverse engineer the formula even with a legendary degree of skill.
Equipment can only be sold back for 1/2 the gold spent to buy it. Equipment that was purchased as part of a bundle, such as a class kit, or a magic weapon can only be sold back as part of the same bundle, and all parts of the bundle must be sold. Partially consumed items cannot be sold back. Rebuild boons stating kit values are an exception to the ½ price resale rule.
The Society has a specialist at the Grand Lodge who can apply or swap out runes for agents of the Pathfinder Society in good standing. This service is free, and requires no check, but is only available before the adventure briefing or once the adventure is complete, unless stated in the adventure. Only the service of transferring the rune is free, however. Characters must still pay the 10% materials cost and provide any required runestones.
There are two types of adventures written for the Pathfinder Society campaign.
- Pathfinder Society Quests: These are short adventures written for Pathfinder Society and intended to take about 1 hour to play.
- Pathfinder Society Scenarios: These are the most common adventure type written for Pathfinder Society, and they typically take about 4–5 hours to complete.
Rules for additional types of adventures can be found in the Additional Adventures Appendix.
Tags are markers that appear both on a scenario’s product page and on its title page. Tags give key information about the scenario’s contents.
- Exclusive: Scenarios with this tag have running requirements outside the standard one table environment. Scenarios with this tag include specific rules on who is eligible to run it, and where and how it can be run.
- Faction: Scenarios with this tag address the listed faction's goals and may grant additional reputation with a Faction
- Glyph: Scenarios with this tag contribute to the 5 Glyph requirement.
- Metaplot: This adventure contributes to the season’s ongoing storyline.
- Repeatable: Players and GMs may receive credit for scenarios with this tag an unlimited number of times, though characters can still only receive credit once for a given scenario.
Pathfinder Society adventures are designed for characters of various levels playing together. The range of levels supported by an adventure appears on the cover. The difficulty of the adventure scales based on the character levels and is calculated using the challenge point system.
Table Minimums: Pathfinder Society adventures are written for four (or more) players. However, in cases where you simply cannot seat four players, the GM can make the following adjustments.
- Adventures with a Minimum level of 5 or lower: For these adventures, the GM can run a table of two or three players and can add additional pregenerated iconic characters of the appropriate level in order to meet the minimum table size of four PCs.
The GM can either play these characters themselves or deputize one or more players to run them, provided the player agrees to do so and feels capable of running an additional character.
Pregenerated iconic characters are available for 1st level, 3rd level, and 5th level.
- Adventures with a minimum level of 7 or higher: These adventures can be run with only 3 players, but only if all players at the table agree. While we expect this "hard mode" playthrough experience to be satisfying, we want to caution you that, as the adventures are designed for a minimum of four players, they will be more difficult than normal.
- All levels: If there are still not enough players even with these adjustments, and there is a player available who has already played the adventure, they can join the table, playing for no credit.
Reporting: GMs do not record or report organized play numbers for players replaying for no credit.
Table Maximums: Tables cannot have seven or more players. If seven players show up to an event and there is more table space, see if one of the players can GM a game instead.
Before the game starts, you will need to choose a character to play. This can be one of your existing characters, or a pregenerated character (also called a "pregen"), but it must fall within the allowed levels for the adventure. If you choose a pregenerated character, you must also choose an existing character of a lower level, a first level character, or a brand new character to assign credit to. (See “Applying Credit” in After the Adventure to learn more about this process.)
The GM will provide you with a sign-in sheet to record your character’s name, Organized Play ID, Character Number, level, faction, and advancement speed, as well as any contact information the GM needs to be able to get Chronicles to you. If you are playing a pregen, then the character number is the number of the character who will receive credit for the adventure. Faction and Advancement Speed are Additional Character Options and can be left blank if you are not choosing to change the default options.
You can have as many active characters as you want in Pathfinder Society. However, you can play only one of your characters during a specific adventure.
A character can only take part in one adventure at a time. From the time the character begins an adventure, to the time Chronicles are issued, that character cannot be involved in any other adventure. Characters engaged in play-by-post are considered busy and may not be used in another game while the play-by-post game is running.
By default, each player can receive up to two Chronicles for a given adventure: one for playing the adventure and one for running the adventure as the GM. Players can play each adventure once and GM it as many times as they like. GMing an adventure contributes to GM Glyph rewards and earns AcP even when it does not award a Chronicle.
There are several ways to replay adventures:
Adventures with the Repeatable tag: Adventures with the Repeatable tag can be played any number of times, with a different character each time. Unlike other adventures, they also grant a Chronicle every time they are GMed.
Granted and Purchased Replays: All players are granted 2 Replays after their first game. Each January 1st, GMs are granted 1 additional Replay for each Glyph they have earned up to that point. Additional replays can be purchased from the AcP Boon Store. Players must have or purchase a Replay prior to completion and reporting of the scenario they are replaying.
Granted and Purchased Replays can only be used on sanctioned content that is scenario-length or shorter. Each granted or purchased Replay allows one replay of an adventure you have already played as though that adventure had the Repeatable tag.
Replaying for no credit: This is only allowed if the alternative is for the table not to play. Players must record any items or resources expended and may be given a blank Chronicle for this purpose. This is an exception to the rule that you cannot assign more than one copy of a single adventure's Chronicle to a given character.
One Chronicle per Character: Each character can only earn one copy of a Chronicle for any single adventure. You cannot replay an adventure for credit with a character that has already received credit for that adventure.
Notify the GM: Inform the GM that you have already played the adventure or run it as a GM. Although a GM should endeavor to be flexible, the GM maintains the right to deny running the adventure for you if they feel uncomfortable running the event for players who have foreknowledge of the story.
No Spoilers: When you are replaying an adventure, avoid spoiling the adventure’s plot or using insider information to affect gameplay. Doing so can be grounds for the GM to remove you from the table. In general, be mindful in separating player knowledge from character knowledge, and if you are uncertain how to proceed, speak privately with the GM to determine the best course of action.
Each adventure typically begins with a briefing, either in the form of a letter, a meeting with a Venture-Captain, or an offer of a job by an employer. Remember, your character is a member of the Pathfinder Society, working with colleagues and friends, under the motto:
“Explore, Report, Cooperate.”
Hero Points: Immediately after that briefing, the GM will distribute initial Hero Points. PC pg. 413, CRB pg. 467Player Core page 413
Core Rulebook page 467
(click to close) Some rewards, such as GM Glyphs, Campaign Coins, and Order of the Wayfinder provide the players with extra Hero Points at this time.
Purchasing Equipment: This will also often be the last opportunity your character has to purchase any needed equipment for the adventure.
In a Pathfinder Society Scenario, your character also receives consumable provisions from the Pathfinder Society. Pathfinders receive the following healing potions, based on the character’s level at the beginning of the adventure. Players may choose a different option from the Pathfinder Provisions table instead of the healing items if they wish.
If not used by the end of the adventure, the item or items are returned to the character’s contacts.
Note: Pregenerated characters do receive Pathfinder Provisions.
Note: Scrolls marked with an asterisk (*) may be chosen at higher levels, heightened to an appropriate level for the character. For example, a 5th-level character could receive a 3rd-rank scroll of heal.
| minor healing potion (GM Core 259)
minor oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| lesser antidote (GM Core 246)
lesser bravo's brew (GM Core 246)
marvelous miniature (ladder) (GM Core 268)
oil of potency (GM Core 257)
potency crystal (GM Core 266)
silver salve (GM Core 251)
1st-rank scroll of heal* (Player Core 335)
1st-rank scroll of mystic armor (Player Core 346)
1st-rank scroll of runic weapon (Player Core 354)
| lesser healing potion (GM Core 259)
lesser oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| climbing bolt (GM Core 255)
low-grade alloy orb (GM Core 263)
oil of mending (GM Core 257)
oak potion (GM Core 259)
2nd-rank scroll of cleanse affliction* (Player Core 320)
2nd-rank scroll of clear mind* (Player Core 320)
2nd-rank scroll of dispel magic* (Player Core 325)
2nd-rank scroll of resist energy (Player Core 353)
2nd-rank scroll of sound body* (Player Core 357)
2nd-rank scroll of sure footing* (Player Core 361)
| moderate healing potion (GM Core 259)
moderate oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| lesser potion of resistance (your choice of energy; GM Core 260)
moderate antidote (GM Core 246)
potion of leaping (GM Core 260)
salve of antiparalysis (GM Core 258)
3rd-rank scroll of haste (Player Core 335)
3rd-rank scroll of heroism (Player Core 335)
| 2x moderate healing potion (GM Core 259)
2x moderate oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| standard-grade alloy orb (GM Core 263)
4th-rank scroll of fly (Player Core 332)
4th-rank scroll of mountain resilience (Player Core 346)
| 3x moderate healing potion (GM Core 259)
3x moderate oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| greater antidote (GM Core 246)
greater potency crystal (GM Core 266)
moderate bravo's brew (GM Core 246)
moderate potion of resistance (your choice of energy; GM Core 260)
5th-rank scroll of breath of life (Player Core 319)
5th-rank scroll of howling blizzard (Player Core 335)
| greater healing potion (GM Core 259)
greater oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| exquisite standard-grade alloy orb (GM Core 263)
greater oil of potency (GM Core 257)
6th-rank scroll of truesight (Player Core 364)
| 2x greater healing potion (GM Core 259)
2x greater oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| greater potion of resistance (your choice of energy; GM Core 260)
major antidote (GM Core 246)
7th-rank scroll of energy aegis (Player Core 328)
7th-rank scroll of true target (Player Core 364)
| 3x greater healing potion (GM Core 259)
3x greater oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| greater bravo's brew (GM Core 246)
high-grade alloy orb (GM Core 263)
major potency crystal (GM Core 266)
truesight potion (GM Core 261)
8th-rank scroll of desiccate (Player Core 323)
8th-rank scroll of divine inspiration (Player Core 325)
| major healing potion (GM Core 259)
major oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| exquisite high-grade alloy orb (GM Core 263)
9th-rank scroll of foresight (Player Core 332)
9th-rank scroll of overwhelming presence (Player Core 347)
| 2x major healing potion (GM Core 259)
2x major oil of unlife (GM Core 258)
| major oil of potency (GM Core 257)
10th-rank scroll of avatar (Player Core 316)
10th-rank scroll of cataclysm (Player Core 319)
10th-rank scroll of indestructability (Player Core 338)
As characters work their way through the adventure, they will discover or earn Treasure Bundles. These are simplified units that represent an even share of the adventure’s rewards. Typically a scenario will award 8 Treasure Bundles, however good luck or clever play can award up to 2 additional Treasure Bundles.
Characters may also find named items of treasure or consumable magic items. These items are available for use during the adventure and often appear as purchasable items on Chronicles.
Infamy represents a character’s reputation for performing evil or criminal actions. Some scenarios will call out specific actions that will cause characters one or more PCs to gain Infamy. Additionally the GM may assign Infamy for other evil or criminal acts not called out by the scenario.
Warnings: The GM must warn the Player that their act will incur Infamy. This warning can be in character or out of character but must be clear to the player. If the PC goes through with the action, they earn the point of Infamy.
Effects of Infamy: Each point of Infamy reduces the PCs effective level by one for purposes of purchasing gear.
If a PC ends a game with 3 or more Infamy, they are ejected from the Pathfinder Society and are no longer viable to play in the Organized Play campaign. The character should be marked dead when the table is reported.
Infamy is not for player actions. Players who commit or describe character actions in violation of the community standards are subject to disciplinary sanctions outlined in the community policy.
The Pathfinder Society takes care of its members by removing most ongoing non-permanent negative conditions and repairing agents’ damaged (but not destroyed) gear to the condition it was in at the start of the scenario.
The following conditions are not automatically removed and must be cleared from the character before the end of the adventure or the character ceases to be available for Organized Play:
- Permanent negative effects, including polymorph or petrification
Other PCs can use their spells, feats or class abilities to assist characters in recovering from negative effects. They can also contribute consumables or even some of their gold, but they are not required to. Characters can always use gold earned during the adventure to clear conditions and those costs must be deducted on the scenario Chronicle by the GM. Costs for removing conditions can be found in the Spellcasting Service Costs Appendix. GMs should report characters with uncleared conditions as dead.
Players can also use the Second Chance AcP Boon (to clear death) or the Pathfinder Condition Removal AcP boon (to clear all other conditions.) At venues where it is not feasible to purchase these boons immediately after the game, GMs should work with players to ensure that the boon is purchased in as timely a fashion as possible, and not immediately mark the character dead.
Pregenerated Characters: Condition removal applies to pregenerated characters and any unresolved conditions carry over to the Pathfinder Society character receiving credit for the adventure. If the condition would mean the character would be marked dead, then that occurs immediately.
When determining order of payment, players should apply party funds, then Pathfinder Society character resources, then sale of pregenerated character gear. If sold to pay for removing a negative effect, a 1st-level character’s gear is worth 7.5 gold pieces, a 3rd-level character’s gear is worth 37.5 gold pieces, and a 5th-level character’s gear is worth 135 gold pieces.
All permanent or ongoing spell effects end at the end of the adventure, just after resolving negative conditions, with the exception of secret pageCRB pg. 367Core Rulebook page 367
(click to close) and continual flameCRB pg. 326Core Rulebook page 326
(click to close) / everlight.PC pg. 329Player Core page 329%%%(click to close) A character may carry over one casting of secret page and one casting of either continual flame or everlight to their next adventure.
Record any ongoing spells, including in your record the spell's rank and the Organized Play number and Character ID of the caster. Spells replaced by subsequent castings, counteracted, or otherwise lost must be crossed off the record.
Reputation is a measure of how influential your character is in the Pathfinder Society. You can read the Factions and Reputation page for more about how Reputation works.
Unlike a traditional game in which the PCs would divide recovered magic items and other treasure among themselves, Pathfinder Society awards each participating PC a share of gold pieces based on their respective levels. Rather than divide up the magic items unequally, PCs have equal access to any special treasure found, represented by the items listed on the Chronicle. Rules for purchasing these items can be found under Purchasing Guidelines.
Between adventures, each character can participate in Downtime activities. Scenarios and Quests grant two days of Downtime per XP earned. Bounties are missions the PC undertakes during their Downtime and thus grant no Downtime. Other adventures grant the Downtime listed in their sanctioning document. For most PCs, Downtime will be spent Earning Income by rolling a Crafting, Performance, or Lore check, and consulting the table below. Some abilities or Boons allow other types of skill checks to Earn Income (for example, Bargain Hunter PC pg. 252, CRB pg. 258Player Core page 252
Core Rulebook page 258
(click to close)).
Players are responsible for rolling and recording their own Downtime activities and results and may choose not to do so if they prefer to simplify play. Alternately, for players seeking more in-depth Downtime, rules for using the entire set of Downtime rules appear in Additional Character Options.
- On a critical success increase your PC level by 1 to determine results, to a minimum level of 3.
Characters accumulate XP every time they play an adventure. For every 12 XP earned, characters advance 1 level.
This progression is roughly equivalent to the Slow Advancement progression GMC pg. 57, CRB pg. 509GM Core page 57
Core Rulebook page 509
(click to close). Leveling up happens after all other rewards for the scenario are calculated, including Downtime, however characters can still purchase equipment after leveling up. Characters who earned the requisite number of XP must level before joining another game. XP is *NOT* reset to zero after characters level (for example, characters reach level 2 at 12 XP, level 3 at 24 XP, level 4 at 36 XP, and so forth).
Organized play characters rely on good record-keeping to ensure accurate information while playing. Several methods of tracking exist, but the most prevalent is the Chronicle. Every Organized Play published or sanctioned adventure contains a Chronicle, though players can choose alternative tracking methods and keep the Chronicles as backup.
Upon completing an adventure, players each receive a Chronicle Sheet from the GM. This sheet includes a summary of the adventure; indications of any choices made along the way which may impact the future of the campaign, and a log of rewards earned while exploring. It also provides areas for notes, purchases, and the acquisition/removal of conditions. Players using other tracking methods should ensure all the data on the Chronicle is reflected in their records.
Players may choose to keep their records digitally or in paper files. If stored digitally, players must be comfortable with GMs handling their device while reviewing records. If in paper files, all pages must be carried to games.
Chronicles and their associated information are assigned to the character identified on the registration sheet. Information from the Chronicle applies when the character adds the Chronicle to their record.
When a Chronicle is applied, the following things happen in order: earn adventure gold, complete Downtime, then earn XP. Downtime occurs before leveling up, which affects alternate Downtime options including crafting. Items may be purchased at any time when not playing an adventure, so characters can level up before making purchases, which affects what items are available.
Credit applies immediately except for the following circumstances:
- Sanctioned Pathfinder Adventures and Adventure Paths: These adventures often grant single Chronicles with 12 or more XP. Characters should apply the XP (and the proportional rewards) in blocks of 4, so that characters may level between applications.
- Pregenerated Characters: Chronicles assigned to a brand new or 1st-level characters can be applied immediately to the character at 1st level, or held until the level of the Pregen. Chronicles assigned to characters of a level higher than 1st level must be held to the level of the Pregen.
Pregen Chronicles applied to 1st level characters gain the following limitations:
- Award Treasure Bundles/Gold as if the earning character was 1st level.
- Characters do not benefit from any boons or item unlocks until the character reaches the minimum Chronicle level.
- Downtime applies as to the 1st-level character the Chronicle is applied to.
Chronicles apply in the order in which they were played. Complete Downtime and earn all rewards on one Chronicle (following the order above) before applying the next Chronicle. Applying credit in batches may advance a character multiple levels. The character’s level cannot exceed the level of any Chronicle applied to them, so any out-of-level Chronicles assigned are lost.