Pathfinder Society Home Game

Session 4: Beggar's Pearl (1-7)
Blind leading the blind.

Participants: Ben, Erik, Ward, Lemmywinks
Deaths: Monsters were eventually bored to death.
Conclusion: Moderate success. Lady Morilaeth’s monster mash was crashed. The clever trapmaster was smashed. A mad scientist’s evil plans were dashed.

NPCs were saved, PTSD remains uncured.

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Session 3: Crypt of the Everflame (1-2 Module)
Golem Smash!

Participants: Ben, Kurtis, Erik, Ward
Deaths: Lots, all bad guys.
Conclusion: Success! The pathfinders celebrate their robust 3xp jump while the town of Kassen mourns losing 1.5% of its’ population on a prank. Reconsiders retarded town tradition.

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Session 2: Mists of Mwangi (1-5)
Hail Angazhan!

Players: Ben, Kurtis, Ward
Deaths: Various paper pushers and other primates.
Conclusion: Success! Nigel Aldain thanks you and the Pathfinder Society for rescuing him. Perhaps he can work with the society more harmoniously from now on.. or perhaps you can just come running every time the museum is in trouble.

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Session 1: Slave Pits of Absalom (1-5)
Wake up, lil' Suzy..

Participants: Kurtis, Ben, Ward, Erik
Deaths: All NPCs of note
Conclusion: Success! The Lady Ansilah has been rescued, securing future trade relations with her husband. Venture Captain Moldreserva owes you a debt of gratitude. Lil’ Suzy sleeps with the fishes.

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Session 0.c: What to do for the first session

I’ve posted a lot of info and links to a lot more, here’s a concise list of things to do for the first session:

1) Go to the Pathfinder Society section of paizo.com, click the “Join Pathfinder Society and create a character!” link.

2) Create an account, it should give you a 6 digit PFS number which you should write down or print out the card. If it didn’t give you the PFS number already, click “My Account” up top and it should be displayed half way down.

3) Check out the Player Resources section, download and read (at least some of) the free PDF titled “Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play”.

4) If you want to build your own character prior to session 1, you may find some of the free PDF titled “Beginner Box PFS Character Creation Guide” helpful. It is also in the Player Resources section, as are character sheets to print out and get started.

5) If you do not wish to create your own character prior to session 1 that’s fine, it’s not the easiest thing to do with little to no familiarity with the game. I will have pregenerated characters available, or you can show up a little early and I’ll help you make a character.

6) Make yourself acquainted with the Player Reference Document, it is a great free resource. I would recommend sticking with the core rulebook at first but most of the other stuff is also legal to use for PFS.

7) Bring dice, paper, writing utensils, printed out info for reference, and any miniatures or other relevant RPG materials you already have. There are lots of game stores around here with dice sets and a wide variety of miniatures available. The pathfinder books are very nice but expensive, you don’t need to buy any but if you end up enjoying the game you may want to.

8) BYOB. Bring cash for pizza and I will be accepting donations for the scenario PDFs I have to buy for this.

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Session 0.b: What is PFS?

It is an acronym to denote Pathfinder Society, which is an organized play system that I have been playing a lot recently at various gaming stores. The system uses a uniform set of rules for character building, experience, and wealth/loot accumulation. I encourage you all to read the Guide to PFS Organized Play which is a free PDF you can DL after registering a paizo account, which is also a thing you should do.

The Pros:
- Easier for the GM. There are $4 pdf’s that I can download from paizo detailing exactly how to run a 4 hour adventure written by an accomplished gm. Speaking from personal experience, the quality of these adventures are high with a good balance of roleplaying and hack/slash at level appropriate difficulty.
- Easy character maintenance. At the conclusion of successful adventures I will have chronicle sheets to hand out to all of the players. That sheet represents some amount of gold based on the difficulty played, 1XP(3XP = level up), and 1 or 2 prestige points which can be used for certain perks in society play. These chronicle sheets along with an inventory tracking sheet and character sheet(both available on the guide to organized play pdf) are a full representation of your character.
- Easier scheduling. If I schedule a session at Wednesday from 6-10 and you need to stay home to clip your toenails, its not a big deal. If anywhere between three and six other players can make that session, it can still go on as planned. Those players will get a chronicle sheet, those that don’t make it won’t. The adventures for the most part are independent of each other(though there are some chains or modules) so nobody will be missing any key plot developments for future sessions they attend.
- Minimal expense and wider implications. The content only costs $4/session for the group, all I really need is the pdf. I have maps, rule books, PC and monster miniatures etc but I’m always looking for additional GMing gear. Also, the characters you create will be able to play “pick up games” at any of the local game store PFS events if you want.

The Cons:
- Less creative control for the GM. I enjoyed the writing process of our last campaign, having a long overarching story come to fruition months after we first sat at the table. I still need to read and reread the content to prepare for a seamless session, but ultimately all I can really add to the story is fluff in most instances. By GMing for organized play, there is an agreement in place that I will run the adventure as the author wrote it.
- Loot uniformity, which is also a good thing in other ways. Everyone who completes a session gets the same rewards, I can’t reward a player who pulls more than their weight with extra xp or writing in class appropriate gear for them. All adventures have a certain amount of loot based on difficulty, there is no rolling for loot with a small chance of finding a super powerful item.
- PFS exclusivity. All characters played in PFS must be built and maintained based on a set of standards. This means that there aren’t any side quests to play(with any hope of tangible reward I mean), all that character can play is sanctioned PFS content.

There is kind of a lot of information to absorb, most of which is superfluous. The main goal for me forming this group is that we can get together, drink some beers, eat some pizza, and have fun geeking out utilizing a very awesome RPG and organized play system.

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Session 0.a: Useful Links

I encourage everyone to register a paizo account, get a PFS number, and read the free pdf, Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play on this page.

Also, there is a great free online player reference guide. It is a lot of information to take in at once, I recommend you stick with content in the core rulebook.

There are character sheets in the guide to organized play above, or you can use the excellent and free PC Gen, it even has a Pathfinder Society setting. There is a lot of superfluous information there are well which may make it difficult to use starting out.

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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