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paizo.com Recent Blog Posts in Paizo Blog 2018-10-31T19:54:26Z 2018-10-31T19:54:26Z
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Core Principles: Varying the Challenge in the Pathfinder ACG

23 hours 13 min ago

Core Principles: Varying the Challenge in the Pathfinder ACG

Wednesday, November 20, 2018

Last week I got to proof the new rulebook for Core and it made me excited to talk more about the design principles for the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game Core Set. As Mike explained in a previous blog, we really wanted to give players the ability to control the game's challenge level, as well as the ability to speed the game up when desired.

I'm a big fan of giving players control knobs in games. We've all tinkered with house rules to increase the fun for our table. The problem with house rules is that they vary pretty wildly from house to house, which can occasionally be tough. They also tend to have less rigorous testing and development. Official options for changing the game are better, since they provide a common language of well-tested options.

We've all tried to control the difficulty level in our games, too. It's easy and obvious in video games (like picking Legendary difficulty in Obsidian's Pathfinder Adventures), but in the RPG, the adventure you choose, the GM, the characters, and the people playing them all have a pretty profound effect on difficulty, too. When people discuss PACG sets they often talk about difficulty as a primary reason to choose one set over another. It's good to have variety, but it's a shame to rule out a set because it's too easy or hard!

The amount of time available to play can change session to session, as can the number of players, and more players usually means more time required. We really wanted to present options that would let you look at the number of players and the amount of time you have so you can say "let's play one long scenario" or "let's knock out two quick scenarios."

Ideally, you can alter the difficulty on the fly to suit the particular players that night, or to match the scenario. You like a hard game, but you just failed the scenario? Drop the difficulty a notch before replaying it!

Change Things Up... Or Down

The first thing we decided to do was create small, medium, and large locations. Medium locations are what you're used to. Small locations usually have 3 fewer cards, which speeds up the game while making it easier. Large locations usually have 3 more cards, giving you a longer, more challenging scenario.


Bigger locations have more banes, but also more boons. Everyone likes boons!

Next, we gave you some freedom to change the number of cards in the blessings deck—which, since it often contains things that aren't blessings, has been renamed the hourglass. While the hourglass defaults to 30 blessings, we heartily encourage you to play with fewer or more blessings. Fewer cards in the hourglass speeds up the game while making it harder, and more cards gives you more time to win, making the game easier.

Because location size and hourglass size can be changed independently, you can dial in length and challenge level to your liking. If you combine small locations (faster + easier) and fewer cards in the hourglass (faster + harder), you get a faster game that's close to normal difficulty. Some of our testers prefer a version of the game that uses small locations and just 12 blessings + 2 per character because they can play twice as many scenarios in the same amount of time. Some of our testers with larger groups like large locations and extra blessings to give them an epic, satisfying scenario where everyone gets several turns.

(There's another reason for the name hourglass: The top card of the hourglass discards is now called the "hour," and new blessings have powers that happen when they are the hour. This ends the disconnect that new players had after flipping over a blessing at the start of their first turn:

New player: Ok, what do I do with this?

Experienced player: Nothing.

New player: It has all these words, but I don't do anything with it?

Experienced player: No. It's just a timer.

New player: …Oh. Um, okay.

Also, I can unofficially refer to each turn as "flipping the hourglass," which reminds me to actually flip the card, and feels thematic. And when you've got that one friend who can't make any decisions but still wants to explore five times per turn you can remind them they're not supposed to take a literal hour.)


When the hour can change your turn, especially for the better, you get used to looking at it. (Oh, and we redesigned all the card faces. Surprise! We'll talk more about that later.

Let's Get Wild

We've also been playing around with some ideas for changing up scenarios for quite some time. They started out as "templates" similar to ones used in the RPG, but Obsidian's Pathfinder Adventures app helped crystallize the concept into "wildcards." Core and Curse each include a number of different options that increase the difficulty of the game and make it less predictable. You can use any number of them, either chosen or random, depending on the desires of the group.


Hate long turns? Just add Wearisome. Want to die in a fire? Try an Ablaze, Deadly, and Hostile game! (And did I mention that the card images show work in progress?

If you're looking to adjust the difficulty in a more straightforward manner, you can treat your adventure as 1 higher or lower in difficulty. This increases or decreases the difficulty of Veteran banes. You can also add banes of a higher adventure number to your box to encounter earlier, which can be an exciting and unexpected change, especially for replay.

Speaking of replay, we've also offered the option to play the scenarios on Heroic and Legendary difficulty, which incorporate a few of the above options. In addition to bragging rights and a more entertaining game for those who seek a challenge, you get a reward for completing adventures on higher difficulties: you get to erase a feat, then take a feat of the same type. It doesn't increase your power level at all, but it does make you more flexible and lets you address any regrets you might have in an officially sanctioned and fun way.

I hope folks are looking forward to customizing their play experience, as well as all of the new cards, characters, and scenarios!

Keith Richmond
Adventure Card Game Designer

Tags: Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

2018-11-21T00:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Collect Your Destiny

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 20:00

Collect Your Destiny

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"Geek" is a word with myriad definitions, but for me, those definitions all have to do with passion. In many cases, this passion manifests in the form of a collection of some sort, and boy, do I have a long list of collections! Just among the few freelancers and members of the staff I polled (and some I didn't but whose collecting proclivities I know), we at Paizo collect nerd stuff that runs the gamut: action figures, agates, detergents, Doctor Who autographs, foreign currency, occult texts, planchettes, port wines, Star Wars memorabilia, stuffed animals, and tarot cards, just to name a few. But not a numismatist among them?! For shame!

Well, if your collecting tendencies include coins—specifically limited-edition silver coins—you're in luck! Our partners at Destiny Coin are running a site-wide sale until November 30, including on the inaugural entry in their six-piece Pathfinder Iconic Characters series: Valeros! This 2-oz. .999 antique silver coin features the fearless fighter on one side and a red dragon on the other, and each of the limited minting comes with a certificate of authenticity. As with any piece of silver, this coin will hold value for generations to come!

So, if you're a coin collector, Pathfinder memorabilia collector, or both, don't miss this opportunity to own one of these amazing works of art at a great discount! By Cayden's cup, what are you waiting for?

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

Tags: Licensed Products, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

2018-11-20T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Thanks

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 20:00
Thanks

Monday, November 19, 2018

Last week we wrapped up the Actual Play streams of Doomsday Dawn from here at the Paizo offices, but that does not mean that the playtest is over! If you missed the streams you can still catch them on our YouTube channel and over on Twitch. We hope you are having as much fun with these games as we are!

As we go into this holiday week, we here on the design team want to encourage you to continue playing and reporting your results. While we are hard at work making changes to the structures and rules behind the game, you feedback is helping to inform our direction, ensuring that we are making the best version of Pathfinder we can.

So, thank you!

We know that this playtest has been one of the most stressful, challenging tests we have ever put out there. Never before have we tried such a rigorous process, designed to push the system to its limits and while we know it has been difficult, I cannot tell you how much your dedication has meant to the design team and all of us at Paizo. Your dedication in scheduling your group through playtest after playtest, whether it be chapters of Doomsday Dawn, Pathfinder Society scenarios, or homebrew adventures. Your dedication in filling out page after page of surveys to help us collect the richest data we have ever received in a playtest. And your dedication in analyzing and expressing yourselves to help make the game the best it can be. For that, we are truly thankful.

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

2018-11-19T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Order of the Amber Die--Doomsday Dawn Playtest, Part 6

Sat, 11/17/2018 - 20:00

Order of the Amber Die—Doomsday Dawn Playtest, Part 6

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Closing in on the end of Doomsday Dawn, the guys from the Order of the Amber Die are here with their report on Part 6—"Red Flags"! Keep in mind that there are spoilers in this report, so if you haven't played through the adventure and don't want to know any secrets, come back after you're done.

As you've probably noticed from our blog reports over the years, our members enjoy the sense of competition that comes from pitting themselves against published adventures. With this in mind, one of the ways we've maintained our intensity through so many complete playthroughs and reports of each playtest scenario has been to track our team's win/loss record. Part 1: Win. Part 2: Loss. Part 3: Win. Part 4: Loss. Part 5: Loss. So, at 2–3 it was clear going into Part 6 that we needed a win if we even wanted a chance to finish out with a positive record. Two factors upped the pressure even more, and the first was the author himself. In nearly 150 published adventures completed, and despite being aware of his long involvement in the history of the game, by random chance we had never played an adventure by Stephen Radney-MacFarland. The second factor had to do with a certain name he chose for a sunken ship in this adventure: Blackguard's Revenge. Everyone in OAD fears that name, since we have quite a storied relationship with the 2005 module by the same name (described here); we had no choice but to take it as a sign that Besmara herself had a stake in part six of our playtest.

Since we were headed to what was essentially a pirate party in "Red Flags," we decided to make the session into some revelry of our own—complete with the best laughs of our playtest run. This scenario also had the largest map of the playtest, so we turned to the talents of Black Bard Studios, who brought its 10-foot scale to life by crafting a setup of the entire coastal stronghold: thirty-five square feet! Adding some nice accents were the latest pieces from Bannerless Builds and Blue Table Painting. With our seafaring personas ready, we were on our way!

The Party

This was the scenario in which we were to create a party that was heavily roleplaying focused. We added our own playtest goal of making characters who took advantage of the new archetype system to give us the feel of multiclass characters from previous editions. Each player also had to choose how their particular character served the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye. Also listed are the names of each player on the team who committed their time to this detailed playthrough, and the year each became a member of the Order (when a player reaches 100 hours at our table).

Raven Stormclaw human sorcerer (rogue archetype) 14

Bloodline: Imperial

Key Spells: dimension door, see invisibility, spider climb, passwall

Class Feats: Widen Spell, Conceal Spell, Rogue Dedication, Basic Trickery: Trap Finder, Reach Spell, Skill Mastery, Advanced Trickery: Light Step

Role in the Esoteric Order: Spy

Played by Matt Hardin, Player Captain (2003)

Nezam human wizard (bard & fighter archetypes) 14

School: Universalist

Class Feats: Hand of the Apprentice, Bard Dedication, Basic Muse's Whispers: Lingering Composition, Conceal Spell, Inspirational, Fighter Dedication, Opportunist, Effortless Concentration

Key Spells: illusory disguise, passwall, telepathic bond, true seeing

Role in the Esoteric Order: Archivist

Played by Daniel Scholler (2007)

Ehsan Hashen human alchemist (rogue archetype) 14

Class Feats: Alchemical Savant, Rogue Dedication, Sneak Attacker, Basic Trickery: Nimble Dodge, Enduring Alchemy, Poison Antidote , Evasiveness, Potent Poisoner

Key Formulas: silvertongue mutagen, deathcap poison, quicksilver mutagen, elixir of life

Role in the Esoteric Order: Researcher

Played by Erick Germer (2007)

Captain James Adalay human rogue (fighter archetype) 14

Rogue's Technique: Finesse Striker

Background: Sailor

Class Feats: Nimble Dodge, Fighter Dedication, Unbalancing Blow, Fighter Resiliency, Sly Striker, Trap Finder, Basic Maneuver: Sudden Charge, Twist the Knife, Instant Opening

Role in the Esoteric Order: Diplomat

Played by Sean Linville (2016)

"Red Flags" By The Numbers

Player Tracking Sheet

  • Average time spent in character creation: 149 minutes
  • Number of times a character reached 0 Resonance: 0
  • Number of critical fails when overspending Resonance: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell slots: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell points: 0
  • Number of Hero Points used: 18; 5 (Raven), 5 (Nezam), 4 (Ehsan), 4 (Captain James)

GM Tracking Sheet

  • Total time spent playing "Red Flags": 10hrs, 5min
  • Total time spent preparing "Red Flags": 6hrs, 40min
  • Number of sessions spent playing "Red Flags": 3 (session increments are 4 hours)
  • Total number of Hero Points given out: 36
  • Number of characters reduced to 0 HP: 3; Nezam (2), Captain James (1)
  • Number of characters killed: 1 (Nezam)
  • Amount of gold spent earning influence in Plumetown: 407gp
  • Number of party rests: 0
Additional Data

Raven Stormclaw

  • Uses of Deception (impersonate): 3
  • Successful Deception (impersonate) attempts: 2

Nezam

  • Uses of Read Lips: 2
  • Attacks of Opportunity: 2
  • Successful Attacks of Opportunity: 1 (40 damage, interrupted spell)

Ehsan Hashen

  • Poison attempts: 0
  • Total uses of Stealth skill: 1
  • Successful Stealth uses: 1

Captain James Adalay

  • Uses of Diplomacy skill: 8
  • Critical successes (Diplomacy): 4
  • Successes (Diplomacy): 2
  • Failures (Diplomacy): 1
  • Critical Failures (Diplomacy): 1
Highlights From "Red Flags"

Adjusting to a new edition was bound to bring a couple of humorous stumbles, and this scenario had our favorite of any scenario. We were pumped to open the session strong, and after some shouts of encouragement at the table, fired off the teleport spell that would take us to the island known as the Smoker. Though we were expecting an exciting description of the place to follow, we instead saw water. Lots of water, and we were in it. The new rules for teleport meant that because it was more than 100 miles from Caliphas to the Shackles, we would arrive with a 1% margin of error. Good thing we were packing a second teleport!

The guest list for the gala included a contract devil, an evil sorcerer (the party's nemesis) and his goblin butler, along with the host of the festivities—a tengu Free Captain. Let's just say this gave a certain emphasis to the 'ole "Let's try to blend in." We've got to hand the roleplaying MVP award to Sean, and after you see how his dice aided his words, you'll also understand how he survived a diplomatic dance with the devil.

After our social skills were tested, the scenario took a twist, and we had to make our way past several high-level traps. One such trap was a series of shifting portals that appeared to forcefully thrust anyone with an incorrect guess backwards onto iron spikes. We could try to figure it out, or like high-level characters should be able to do, lean on our abilities. Three castings of passwall later, we were headed deeper into the fortress.

Character Deaths

Going up against a kraken was likely to send someone to the Boneyard. Nezam did everything he could to stay alive, but the beast ground through his hero points and crushed the wizard into data to feed our playtest.

Current Situation

Headed into the final encounter, things couldn't have been stacked any worse against a team desperate for a win. We had to face a kraken with our least combat-oriented party of the entire playtest. As its many tentacles bore down on us with a 60-foot reach, we were moments from accepting that it was all over. Then we remembered the mission goal and realized that we didn't have to beat the kraken—just get past it. Thanks to a combination of the cave's unique layout, several timely castings of dimension door, and three characters with the Quick Unlock skill feat, we pulled off one of the canniest victories in OAD history. We're 3–3 overall now, and headed into the final scenario with a chance to close out with a winning record!

Follow Order of the Amber Die on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

Adam Daigle
Managing Developer

Tags: Order of the Amber Die, Pathfinder Playtest

2018-11-17T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

From Dusk Till Dusk

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 20:00

From Dusk Till Dusk

Thursday, November 14, 2018

The world of Verces is a tidally locked planet, one hemisphere always facing the sun as it makes its orbit. As such, half of the planet is baked by constant heat, while the other half is a frozen wasteland. However, a strip of habitable terrain circles the planet where the two sides meet, a temperate zone in a state of constant twilight. Most of Verces's sentient life evolved in this area, which eventually became known as the Ring of Nations, a unified coalition of countries.


Illustration by Damien Mammoliti

In Starfinder Adventure Path #11: The Penumbra Protocol, the heroes travel to Cuvacara, the capital of Vimal, one of the larger nations on Verces. Known as the "Dusk Jewel," Cuvacara is a bustling metropolis that is home to the Assembly of Nations, where the Ring of Nations' government council meets to make policies. Thousands of cybernetics and computer corporations own offices and factories in Cuvacara, and the heroes must investigate one of these companies to learn more about the creepy incidents that befell them on the asteroid resort New Elysium in the previous adventure. But, of course, not everything is what it seems to be, especially in a city like Cuvacara, where every shadowy alleyway has the potential to hide a deadly secret.

Both "The Penumbra Protocol" adventure and the accompanying Cuvacara gazetteer were written by Jenny Jarzabski, turning from the warm glow of the sun in the Starfinder Society scenario "The Solar Sortie" to these neon-drenched streets. (Hmmm, I guess we like giving Jenny alliteratively titled adventures…) Jenny introduces us to a wide variety of Cuvacaran citizens, but rather than describe them and spoil all the surprises, I thought we would show off this incredible map of the Dusk Jewel. Those gray lines represent the city's mass transit system: elevated bullet trains that can transport passengers around Cuvacara in a matter of minutes.


Illustration by Luca Bancone

The citizens of Verces are known to embrace cybernetic augmentations and Cuvacara is no exception. In fact, the city is on the cutting edge of these enhancements and experimental cybernetics are often available in the Dusk Jewel before they hit the wider marketplaces. A handful of new Vercite augmentations are presented in this volume, including these bionic knees, which I would definitely purchase in real life as I get older.

Bionic Knees System All legs

PRICE 2,750 LEVEL 5

Complex actuators and servos are installed in your knees, giving you the power to make impressive leaps. You always count as having a running start when attempting Athletics checks to jump. In addition, you don't fall prone if you fail an Athletics check to jump by 5 or more. Finally, the damage you take from the first 10 feet of a fall is converted into nonlethal damage, even if you aren't falling onto a yielding surface.

Finally, in addition to some creepy new monsters by Jenny Jarzabsi and James L. Sutter and a glimpse of planet ravaged by Hellfire by Owen K.C. Stephens, this volume presents a detailed look at the shadowy fiends known as velstracs by Isabelle Lee. These twisted outsiders have unsurprisingly embraced the modern technology of the Material Plane, some of them integrating such equipment into their own forms as they seek an undefined perfection of body and mind. With some gruesome magitech augmentations and painful weapon fusions, this article certainly isn't for the faint of heart!

That's all I can really reveal without spoiling too much about the Signal of Screams Adventure Path, but hopefully this tantalizing preview will get you exciting to enjoy the scares and thrills of The Penumbra Protocol!

Jason Keeley
Developer

Tags: Signal of Screams, Starfinder, Starfinder Adventure Path

2018-11-15T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Pathfinder Society 2: GM Stars, Replay, and Boon Carryover

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 20:00

Pathfinder Society 2: GM Stars, Replay, and Boon Carryover

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

This is our third installment discussing our original sticky forum threads regarding the transition of the Pathfinder Society between version 1 and 2 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. In past blogs, we discussed Tiers, Level Gain, and the Roleplaying Guild Guide and Boons & Chronicle Sheets. This week, we focus the conversations around converting PFS version 1 items, namely GM stars and boons, and what replay may look like for PFS version 1 after we launch version 2.

As each member of the Organized Play team focused on two issues, this week's blog includes discussion from myself, Lead Developer John Compton, and Developer Michael Sayre. Linda's got the week off from writing blog posts, but she'll be back in two weeks to discuss the final installment of original thread follow-up when we discuss Factions and Fame.

With the final installment of the blog in site and our refocusing of each issue to the most popular or most feasible options, we are closing down the original discussing threads. We wish to thank everyone who provided feedback, as it allowed us the opportunity to make PFS version 2 a community focused organization. While we know we cannot please everyone in all things, creating an organized play program that appeals to our community remains a top goal of the team.

Looking at today's topics. I focused on the GM stars conversion and PFS version 2 GM status indicator. Currently, the community poll regarding what to call GM status markers in PFS version 2 shows glyphs, but the poll doesn't close until December 1, so you still have time to weigh in. Submit your vote by visiting the October 3rd Organized Play blog and scrolling to the poll at the end.

GM star conversion is one area we've mostly made a decision on, as that choice isn't based on the results of the Pathfinder Playtest but entirely on player feedback, our analysis, and the ability of our technical department to support display of GM status markers. At this time, we are not planning converting GM status from PFS version 1 to version 2. We've also decided not to do a weighted model, where your first marker would be subsidized through your earned PFS version 1 GM Stars. Many factors weighed in on this decision, but in the end, we noted that the systems are substantially different, eighteen months into Starfinder we already have 4-nova GMs and carrying over discourages newer members of our community from participating.

We are currently in discussions as to how to process 5-nova GMs for Starfinder. We would like to automate some aspects of the process and are investigating with tech the feasibility of this option. We also are looking at how to make the Venture-Captain assessment more objective and standardized. In moving forward on the nova discussion, we intend that criteria to become the standard for both novas and PFS version 2 GMs achieving their 5th status marker.

Moving on from GM status, developer Michael Sayer weighs in on the matter of replay:

Replay Options

As some number of you all reading this might be aware, we've asked the community what your thoughts are on replay for the current PFS campaign and set up a thread for that discussion. There were a lot of thoughts and opinions expressed, running the gamut from not extending replay at all to opening everything up for unlimited replay.

Taking all of your feedback into account along with the prospective health of both editions of Pathfinder, we've come to the conclusion that the "no additional replay" option is not the correct path forward for the community as a whole. We believe that some additional replay options for the current Pathfinder campaign will be necessary for the health and well-being of those existing communities that rely on these play opportunities. That being said, we will not be implementing any changes to replay until mid-September to early October in 2019, and whatever replay option(s) we introduce will almost certainly be specific to the existing campaign as a means of compensating for the fact that we will no longer be producing new scenarios and will not reflect potential changes for Starfinder or the new edition of Pathfinder.

So, all that information out of the way, allow me to talk about what that really means for our GMs and players! We've come up with three new variations on our plans for expanded replay in the current PFS campaign once the new edition launches. These take elements of some of our earlier suggestions modified through your feedback and some discussions with our tech team to discover what was possible, and we'd like your input here to help us narrow down which of these options you'd most prefer as a community.

  • Option 1: A modest, fixed number of replays that would renew on a seasonal basis. These replays would not be level or character locked and would give opportunities to progress new characters through old stories or seat players who have already completed an adventure so that a full table can be formed.
  • Option 2: A more generous but fixed number of replays for all players and GMs. This would work much like option 1, except instead of a small pool that would refresh each season, you'd get a larger pool to spend at your discretion. However, with this option once you've used all of your replays, that's it.
  • Option 3: A sliding scale, fixed number of replays based on a percentage of total games played. This option would work much like option 2, except instead of everyone getting the same number of replays, the quantity of replays offered would scale up based on the number of games you've completed. This option would likely include a weighting mechanism whereby the number of GM stars you possess add some number of additional replays, rewarding our most devoted players and GMs with additional replays. One distinct benefit we see in this option is that it will help normalize the progress of groups with a mix of new and long-time players; long-time players will have more replays since they have fewer unplayed scenarios available to pick from, and newer players should find that it's easier to get tables for the remaining scenarios they still haven't played.

Whichever of these options you help us choose will be implemented about 1-2 months after the new edition releases, and will comprise the basis for continued play in the current campaign going forward, so let us know which option you think will be best for you and your local gamers!

Speaking to people at conventions, one of the most frequent conversations revolves around PFS convention boons and what will happen to them in PFS version 2. Organized play lead developer John Compton answers that:

Any discussion of how we're handling First Edition benefits going into the Second Edition campaign has always juggled at least three common considerations: established player loyalty, new player accessibility, and ease of implementation. I explore these ideas in one of our earliest Pathfinder Society blogs about the new edition, and these have been key in our examination of how to handle First Edition boons—and when I discuss boons here, I'm primarily referring to stand-alone boons commonly referred to as "convention boons" or "race boons," acquired through special events, the regional support program, and more.

So how do boons play out when examining these three considerations? From an established player loyalty perspective, having First Edition boons grant some benefit in Second Edition is typically good because it means that up to 11 years of play (and as much as 8 years of earning these boons) translates in some way to the new campaign. That's generally a nice feeling. The several counterpoints are discouragement of new players, design load, bookkeeping, and volume.

The more advantage a long-time player has, the more it can disincentivize someone joining the campaign. We hope that Second Edition's campaign can serve as a good jumping-on point for organized play, and starting people on a largely even playing field is important to us. From a design perspective, we have to balance how much time is involved in facilitating boons from one campaign to affect the other; this is one of the reasons that creating a conversion guide for all of the boons out there isn't feasible. Creating a whole bunch of conversions for boons would also be tricky because they'd require a lot of on-the-ground bookkeeping with trade-ins or validation, likely falling on the shoulders of venture-officers. In terms of volume, we have to consider not only that some very active players might have many dozens of boons, yet other campaign veterans may only have a couple. Anything we implement would need to ensure that somebody sitting on a boon trove wouldn't completely dominate the system while also ensuring that someone who has only a few boons still feels there's some benefit to using those boons for something in Second Edition.

When we considered the intersection of modest cross-campaign boon interaction, a realistic design footprint, ease of implementation for local organizers, and managing volume, we found ourselves repurposing a somewhat familiar tool: the "prize table" mechanic. This mechanic presents each player with their own set of potential prizes, which the player can purchase with some campaign currency (such as with the Playtest Points from our Pathfinder Society playtest). With few exceptions, there's only one of each prize, so a player can't just buy the same thing over and over.

What would this look like for boons? We're currently considering a Chronicle sheet similar to the Master of Spells/Scroll/Swords sheets issued for Pathfinder Society a few years ago. We intend one Chronicle for Pathfinder Society version 2 and one for Starfinder Society. A player may use one sheet in each campaign. Each Chronicle would include 5–8 benefits—most (or all) of them limited in scope to a single encounter or scenario, some of them personal boosts, and some of them benefits that could only be used on allies. In addition, we like the idea of having several benefits that would grant a notably bigger benefit if the player spent more than one boon when activating it. To use one of the benefits, you would take an unassigned boon, mark it to show it's been expended, and check off the benefit you used on this prize table Chronicle sheet.

For example, the Second Edition benefits sheet might have one option that says "Check the box that precedes this benefit and expend a boon to gain 2 Hero Points that last until the end of the adventure. If you expend two boons when activating this benefit, grant two other players 1 Hero Point. If you expend three boons when activating this benefit, grant every other player at the table 1 Hero Point." You expend your First Edition "Share the Wealth," "Celestial Traveler," and "Expedition Manager" boons, granting everyone at your table Hero Points that could avert death or turn the tide in a tough encounter. Once you use it, this benefit would be gone.

So how does the prize table approach to boon conversion aim to tackle the issue?

  • It presents the means to expend boons from one campaign on another to a limited degree—particularly in ways that provide a short-term benefit, not a permanent advantage.
  • By presenting a strong initial benefit, players who have only a few boons can still get a substantial benefit. By providing some options to expend additional boons when activating a benefit, those with many boons still have an outlet that doesn't substantially increase the frequency with which they can activate these benefits.
  • By including numerous options (and in some cases requirements) for these benefits to assist others at the table, these benefits can represent an experienced player's sharing their wealth with others, not excluding other players who don't have the same number of boons.
  • It places tracking in the hands of the players by means of a downloadable sheet.
  • Creating several such benefits sheets is a realistic project for the organized play team, in addition to the other projects we're currently handling.

We're interested to hear feedback on this plan, which we believe is a solid solution in handling the limited transfer of First Edition boons into Second Edition's campaign.

Next week, join organized play lead developer John Compton and developers Linda Zayas-Palmer, Michael Sayre, and Thurston Hillman as they preview the November Society scenario releases.

As a heads up, the Paizo offices are closed November 22nd and 23rd due to the celebration of Thanksgiving in the United States.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

Tags: Organized Play, Pathfinder Playtest, Pathfinder Society

2018-11-14T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Catching Our Breath

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 20:00
Catching Our Breath

Monday, November 12, 2018

The past three months have gone by in a blur, with new surveys, updates, and playtest releases almost every week! We know that this has been a challenging process for many groups, so we wanted to take the moment to once again offer up our thanks. You've really worked incredibly hard to give us the feedback we need to make this version of Pathfinder be the best it can be.

This week we're taking a brief pause to catch our breath. There's no new survey, no new update, and no new part of Doomsday Dawn to talk about. In fact, we're getting close to the end of the organized portion of the playtest, but that doesn't mean we're done. Far from it! Keep working on your scenarios and turning in feedback. The more data we have, the more certain we can be about the course we're taking.

As for us here in the office, we've been hard at work these past months collecting that data and using it to create a massive list of changes that we're in the process of making to the game. It's an ongoing process, with everyone's comments and feedback adding to the list nearly every day. Just the other day, we completed a huge examination of the math behind much of the game and discovered a number of issues, based on your feedback. This has been going on for a while and the results are something that we're sure that you're going to like.

Well, we don't want to tease you with spoilers too much just yet, but we can't wait to share more of the final game with all of you!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

2018-11-12T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

October Update—Know Direction, Spotlights and Conventions!!

Thu, 11/08/2018 - 20:00

October Update—Know Direction, Spotlights and Conventions!!

Wednesday, November 8, 2018

I'm amazed how quickly this year's flown by. It seems only yesterday I booked my tickets for MarsCon and now we are rapidly approaching my final convention of the year. The events this year provided many opportunities to meet and interact with members of our community. I look forward to U-Con this weekend and visiting more Society members. Hanging out with our players and GMs is one of my favorite parts of being the Organized Play Manger.

Besides conventions, another favorite part of my job is the program planning aspect. Over the past few weeks, the team's done quite a bit of brainstorming on the wrap-up to Pathfinder Society version 1 and the launch of Pathfinder Society version 2. On the Starfinder front, we're well into Season 2 program planning and have even glanced at Season 3. So many storylines! For those of you looking to plan convention schedules, it is our intention to launch the new season of Pathfinder Adventure Card Guild at PaizoCon, Starfinder Society at Origins, and Pathfinder Society version 2 at Gen Con.

If you want an update to our thoughts on the future of Pathfinder Society, Organized Play Lead Developer John Compton and I were on Know Direction yesterday. We discussed many of the topics posted on the Paizo.com blogs over the past few months, as well as answered questions from the community. Visit Know Direction's website to watch the interview!

Campaign Coins

While in Australia at PaizoCon Asia-Pacific, I left two coins in the care of one of the area's Venture Officers and asked him to present the coins on behalf of the organized play team. Until this is done, I'm keeping the recipient's name quiet. Hopefully we can announce the worthy inductees in the first of December blog.

If you know a deserving member of your community, please email me at[email protected] with their name, location, and the reasons you feel they should be recognized for their service. If you are able, please include what events they may attend in 2018/2019 so that we can either make awards in person (preferred) or make arrangements for deliver.

Stars and Novas

All the conventions over the past months gave lots of opportunities for GMs to achieve the requirements and qualify for their 5th star. To achieve this milestone, GMs run 150 games, of which at least 50 must be unique scenarios and 10 special scenarios, as well as run a game for a venture-captain. A conservative estimate of time needed to reach 5-stars is 650 hours! To the GMs listed below, thank you very much for the time and energy you spend running Pathfinder Society games! Huge congratulations on your achievement!

  • Gregory Ison
  • Sam Sampson
  • Bruce Legge
  • Dennis Muldoon
  • Nicholas Ruchlewicz
  • Terry Kaden

The organized play team formulated their first draft of the 5-nova qualifications and are soliciting feedback from a variety of sources. We should have an update next month!

Looking forward to Pathfinder Society version 2, I've seen suggestions for using either Glyphs (using the Symbol of the Open Road) or Sigils (using the Sihedrion) for the GM designator. Thanks to those that have voted! I'd like one more month of data gathering before we make a decision. You can find the pollin the following blog. If you haven't voted, you have until 1st Dec to do so.

PAX Unplugged

The organization team is in the process of sending out volunteer schedules, but we still need a few volunteers to run Pathfinder Playtest demos in the Exhibition Hall and some scenarios in the Organized Play room. We have a few hotel spaces left for out-of-town volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, we still have a few spaces available. To sign up, complete the volunteer questionnaire.

For players, there are still a few seats available for pre-registration on warhorn.net . To facilitate both advance signups and onsite attendees, we allocated the first 4 seats at every table to warhorn, with seats 5&6 available for signup onsite daily from 8 am. Visit https://warhorn.net/events/paizo-org-play-pax-unplugged to register for games.

Convention Listing

Want to attend a convention in the next few months? Check out the list below! The list includes all the event support requests received to date. If you see one missing, ping the organizer and have them submit a request for support or have them email me at [email protected]to discuss their event. All of the conventions on the list maintain some type of web presence, be it website, social media page, or Warhorn listing, so if you are interested in attending in either capacity, check out their websites or contact the local venture-officer for more information!

Convention NameLocationStart Date Contraflow VIII (2018)New Orleans, LA11/16/2018 Game-itoba 2018Winnipeg, MB, Canada11/16/2018 Mepacon Fall 2018Scranton, PA11/16/2018 SNAFUcon 2018Reno, NV11/16/2018 Beacon 2018Belfast, N.Ireland, United Kingdom11/17/2018 Dreieichcon 2018Dreieich, Germany11/17/2018 Extra Life 0maha 2018Bellevue, NE11/17/2018 GobbleCon 2018Burlingame, CA11/23/2018 SP "The Hao Jin Cataclysm" DAU'18 Barcelona, Spain11/23/2018 WinterWolfCon'18Chicago, IL11/23/2018 Becario's TyrannyMadrid, Spain12/1/2018 Dragonmeet 2018London, United Kingdom12/1/2018 Georgia PFS Holiday Party 2018Winder, GA12/1/2018 Winterfest 2018Pullman, Washington12/2/2018 NerdLouvia 2018Louisville KY12/8/2018 SFS Jax SpecialJacksonville, FL12/8/2018 BDG SFS Christmas Special!Concord, CA12/15/2018 Toys For Tots Charity Game Day 18Fairfax, VA12/15/2018 2018 Organized Play Staff Travel

Wrapping up the last of 2018's travel, so only a few entries left on the roster. The Org Play travel schedule for 2019 is pending and I hope to have the list ready to post the beginning of December. Looking forward, if you are an event organizer and want to invite us out at your event in 2020, drop an email to[email protected] before next summer, as we put our schedule together in August.

If you're attending any of the following events, please stop by the booth or organized play room and say hi!

Convention NameLocationStart DateOP Staff Hal-ConHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada10/26Linda & Mark Seifter U-ConAnn Arbor, MI11/9Tonya PAX UnpluggedPhiladelphia, PA11/30Tonya (+Paizo staffers)

Next week brings another discussion regarding Pathfinder Society v2 and what changes we are looking to make in the program to support the new edition of Pathfinder.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

Tags: Conventions, Organized Play, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder Society

2018-11-08T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Boards Don't Hit Back!

Tue, 11/06/2018 - 20:00

Boards Don't Hit Back!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Can I just take a moment to say how excited I am to see Pathfinder Player Companion: Martial Arts Handbook finally hit bookshelves and digital downloads from paizo.com as a PDF? I am quite excited! This is the book that I've been waiting years to see and it's finally here!

Illustration by Alyssa McCarthy

Illustration by Michele Giorgi

Martial Arts Handbook provides new options for all characters that focus on martial forms of combat. While your first thought might be the likes of monks and brawlers, most any kind of character that uses strength, agility, or guile on the battlefield will find useful options in this book. The book features a number of options inspired both by real world fighting styles and previously established lore in Golarion. This includes the likes of the battle dancer, inspired by capoeira, and the Chu Ye enforcer, vigilantes that wearer dreaded oni masks to oppress the humans of Chu Ye.

In addition to providing martial options for several classes, including some unlikely classes like the medium of the master, we also expand on existing techniques already available to character. This means there are several new style feats, weapon tricks, and feats to grant you more options with your combat maneuvers. There are new techniques in this book, too! One of my favorites are the new combination techniques that grant you bonuses for successfully attacking the same target during a round. Throw in some signature moves and new equipment and this book becomes something you don't want to miss!

If you've been looking for a chance to improve your character's fighting style or just want a new way to hit a baddie, make sure to pick up Martial Arts Handbook!

Luis Loza
Developer

Tags: Alyssa McCarthy, Pathfinder Player Companion

2018-11-06T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Shining Lights and Dark Stars

Mon, 11/05/2018 - 22:00

Shining Lights and Dark Stars

Monday, November 5, 2018

The final chapter of the Doomsday Dawn playtest adventure is here, "When the Stars Go Dark." Your heroes have spent the better part of a decade researching and struggling against the forces of Night Heralds. As the ancient countdown clocks race to their final moments, do your heroes have the courage and skill to save Golarion from a nightmarish fate?

While there's still much to be learned from the playtest, this final segment takes us up through the highest levels of play, wrapping up the "scripted" component. If you haven't completed your run through the previous parts, you still have until the end of the year to play and tell us what you think. Once you've wrapped up "When the Stars Go Dark," make sure to go to the following surveys and give us your feedback on Part 7 of Doomsday Dawn!

Player Survey | Game Master Survey | Open Survey

Gigantic Update 1.6

The final chapter of Doomsday Dawn brings with it the final planned update for the Pathfinder Playtest, Update 1.6, and it's a big one! Now, this doesn't mean it's the last time we're going to tell you about changes and updates—far from it—it just means that this is the last chance we have to make an official update and ensure that all of you can access and use the updated rules in your playtest games.

Download Rulebook Updates Stay Classy

Update 1.6 focuses on a variety of classes, in particular addressing some of the systematic class-related topics you've shown us throughout the playtest so far. This isn't the end of the story for any of these classes, but they're the next step along the way, with some useful tweaks and additions we'd like you to test. There's a lot, so I'll give a brief overview class by class.

Alchemist

First off, we've implemented some of the alchemist changes originally seen in the Resonance Test, so the alchemist now can use infused reagents to create alchemical items for free each day. Also, many of you said that you wanted more versatility in building an alchemist who might focus on alchemical items other than bombs, so we've given the alchemist several fields of research specialization, as many players suggested. All the bomb improvement class features have been moved to the new bomber research field, and if you want to be better with mutagens, or healing items, or poisons instead, there are research fields for those, too! Your research field grants you a variety of benefits, including eventually being able to use Quick Alchemy for free on select low-level alchemical items from your specialty!

Barbarian

We've heard you say that the barbarian's rage is weirdly predictable and static, so we're trying out our most experimental change of all: after each round, you roll an increasingly harder flat check to stay in rage (don't worry, it starts at 0, so you always get at least 2 rounds of rage). Let us know whether this helps give rage the feel of a more uncontrollable and emotional event rather than a predictable ebb and flow!

Bard

Thanks to some extremely good dialogue on the forums about confusion with bardic muses and their associated feats, we've revamped the way these are constructed. Now, each muse's feats are limited to that muse, but we've added a new feat to let you keep all the flexibility you had before. Taking the Multifarious Muse feat lets you gain a 1st-level feat from a different muse than the one you started with, and qualifies you to take that muse's feats in the future. In essence, this keeps all the benefits of the old system without any of the confusion of the prerequisites; plus, it's even more flexible if more 1st-level feats come out for any of the muses later.

Cleric

There's only really one feature for one class that you've all told us time and again is too much: clerics get too many uses of channel energy. We've reduced that, but rather than leave clerics hanging, we've instituted a change to somatic components such that you can now perform them even with your hands full. This mainly benefits two-handed clerics and weapon-and-shield clerics (as well as those types of paladins), who now don't need to take feats specifically to avoid this issue.

Druid

We've increased goodberry healing as well as animal companion Armor Class opportunities (especially if you don't want to use a lot of barding). But the biggest change for druid is a major revamp of the wild order. Once again, this took a lot of data from you all; those of you who participated in forum threads about the wild order will see that many of those ideas made it into this revamp.

Fighter

Fighter is one of the classes that you've been saying is in the best shape, but that doesn't mean there aren't changes to be made. As a start of an examination on opens, we've separated stances from opens. While you can still use only one stance per round, stances are no longer opens, which means that you can stance up and follow it with an open. This change also helps monks, though they have fewer opens.

Monk

Speaking of monks, at your suggestion, we've increased the power of ki strike, but we've also opened up other avenues into gaining a ki pool. Want some huge mobility and defense rather than an offensive boost? Try Ki Rush!

Paladin

This is a biggie. The numbers are in, and you've made it clear that we should change the name of this class so that it can handle champions of deities of all alignments, and have said that you want the lawful good version to keep the name "paladin." We haven't changed the class name just yet, but I want to make it very clear to everyone who wants the "paladin" name to remain on lawful good that this is only temporary for the purpose of making the update manageable—we're not going to make you all go through your playtest books and change the name of the class every time it comes up; we'll handle that for you in the final book! The basic deal is that we've left the lawful good option—the defender—and also added the redeemer and the liberator, who swap out the last two edicts from each of their codes for some particularly neutral good and chaotic good edicts (instead of the lawful good edicts to obey authority and act honorably). Each version keeps lay on hands, but the three variants have different reactions, with the lawful good defender retaining Retributive Strike. Speaking of which, we've revamped Retributive Strike, allowing you to protect your ally within 15 feet even if you can't reach them, and we've added a 1st-level class feat to let you use Step or ranged weapons to counterattack on behalf of an ally within that range. There's a bunch more feats supporting the new paladin versions too. Lastly, everyone now gets the lay on hands upgrade that was in Hospice Knight for free, so that feat is no longer with us.

Ranger

Everyone's presented significant analysis on the pros and cons of Hunt Target toward various play styles, so we've made some changes to give you more flexibility, while also making Hunt Target less complicated at its baseline. Essentially, you choose what kind of ranger you want to be, either making a flurry of attacks at your target, making fewer but more damaging attacks against the target, or gaining advantages on a huge number of skills against the target. Also, you can use Hunt Target in exploration mode while tracking the target and have it ready ahead of time!

Rogue

You've responded extremely positively to the three choices for rogue's technique, so much so that we feel comfortable expanding them out. Now each rogue's technique has a few technique-specific feats!

Sorcerer

We've added the diabolic bloodline into the mix for all your infernal needs. Additionally, we're expanding the role of the sorcerer's 10th level feats (which currently include only the 10th-level bloodline power feat) by adding a feat that makes all your bloodline spells spontaneously heightened all the time.

Wizard

Wizard is an enigma, ranked high for power among the classes but the only spellcaster ranked as uninteresting; the other four spellcasters top the chart of most interesting, followed by alchemist, while the wizard is several classes down. We've decided to double down on the wizard's role as the consummate flexible prepared spellcaster, basically, the character who can think ahead and turn their ability to prepare and adjust for the situation into a major strength. How? Well for starters, everyone has been loving the Quick Preparation feat, to such an extent that we decided to just give it to wizards for free! Secondly, at higher levels, we're adding some preparation flexibility across your spell levels, allowing you to pull tricks like using up two of your 5th-level spell slots to prepare a 7th-level spell.

So what do you think? Let us know how these new adjustments have been playing out as you finish off Doomsday Dawn and save Golarion, or as you run any other playtest games. The playtest will still be open through the end of the year, so don't worry if you haven't been keeping pace. See you Thursday for the Twitch stream of "When the Stars Go Dark!"

Mark Seifter
Designer

Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

2018-11-05T22:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Order of the Amber Die--Doomsday Dawn Playtest, Part 5

Sat, 11/03/2018 - 19:00

Order of the Amber Die—Doomsday Dawn Playtest, Part 5

Saturday, November 3, 2018

It's time for another report from the Order of the Amber Die! This time they give us a peek at their table as they ran through Part 5 of Doomsday Dawn, "The Heroes of Undarin"! As usual with these blogs, if you haven't played or read this and don't want to see any spoilers, turn away now!

Following our interactions with authors from Part One, Part Two, Part Three, and Part Four of the playtest, the time had come to face Jason Bulmahn once again. Our GM did much to invest us in what was essentially a wave-by-wave grinder, and we learned later that this was also to prevent us from developing the notion that in this scenario our deaths were likely inevitable. We were told our start time had been adjusted to match the time of day during which the adventure began (late afternoon), and that we'd likely be going late into the night. While Adam will often employ Syrinscape, ambient tracks, or his own themed soundtracks, this time he had us rocking out to combat the entire evening with such as one of our ESPN favorites, "300 Violin Orchestra," and NIN's "The Day the World Went Away." Our love of immersion and role-playing is clear from many of our reports over the years, but you don't have to look far in the Order to find players who are also up for a dice-throwing, hand-slapping brawl that will go twelve session hours.

The Party

Going in, we were told that we'd be playing hardy characters accustomed to facing terrible enemies in the Worldwound. We actually had quite a bit of freedom with character creation and wanted to accomplish a couple of things: acquire more data on a paladin and cleric played at higher levels, and spotlight both the highest level single-classed wizard and fighter of our playtest run. Listed with the names of each player on the team is the year each became a member of the Order (when a player has reached 100 hours at our table).

Maarlill human wizard 12

School: Universalist

Key Spells:Stoneskin, fly, resistenergy, mirrorimage, electricarc

Class Feats: Eschew Materials, Reach Spell, Widen Spell, Quick Preparation, Cantrip Expansion, Makeshift Wand, Focus Conservation

Yuma Hardgaze dwarf paladin 12

Deity: Torag

Class Feats: Warded Touch, Divine Grace, Aura of Courage, Shield Warden, Fiendsbane, Oath, Shield of Reckoning, Holy Wall

Best Magic Items:+2 corrosive composite longbow, +3 dwarven waraxe, heavy steel sturdy adamantine shield, +3 half-plate, cape of the mountebank, dust of appearance, feather tokens (chest, ladder)

Hofbah half-orc fighter 12

Class Feats: Furious Focus, Power Attack, Double Shot, Triple Shot, Positioning Assault, Combat Reflexes, Brutal Finish

Skill Feats: Quick Repair, Cat Fall, Quick Jump, Steady Balance, Kip Up, Quick Climb, Rapid Mantel

Best Magic Items: +3 full plate, +3 bastard sword (with holy rune), +2 corrosive long bow

Caerwynn Bastille half-elf cleric 12

Deity: Iomedae

Domain: Zeal

Class Feats: Holy Castigation, Emblazon Symbol, Healing Hands, Align Armament, Deadly Simplicity

"The Heroes of Undarin" By The Numbers

Player Tracking Sheet

  • Average time spent in character creation: 131 minutes
  • Number of times a character reached 0 Resonance: 0
  • Number of critical fails when overspending Resonance: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell slots: 0
  • Number of times a character ran out of spell points: 1 (Yuma)
  • Number of Hero Points used: 19; 6 (Maarlill), 5 (Yuma), 3 (Hofba), 5 (Caerwynn)

GM Tracking Sheet

  • Total time spent playing "The Heroes of Undarin": 11hrs, 50min
  • Total time spent preparing "The Heroes of Undarin": 6hrs, 25min
  • Number of sessions spent playing "The Heroes of Undarin": 3 (session increments are 4 hours)
  • Total number of Hero Points given out: 36
  • Number of characters reduced to 0 HP: 10; Maarlill (4), Yuma (2), Hofba (2), Caerwynn (2)
  • Number of characters killed: 4
  • Wave in which the first player character reduced to 0: 2 (Maarlill)
  • Wave and event in which the first player character died: wave 2, event 6 (Yuma)
  • Wave and event in which the last player character died: wave 2, event 6
  • Number of party rests: 0
Additional Data

Maarlill

  • Uses of Reach Spell: 9
  • Total range gained through Reach Spell: 215 feet
  • Average range added through Reach Spell: 24 feet
  • Uses of Drain Arcane Focus: 4
  • Spells returned with Drain Arcane Focus: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th

Yuma Hardgaze

  • Uses of lay on hands: 4
  • Total number of hit points healed with lay on hands: 121
  • Damage prevented by adamantine shield damage reduction: 194

Hofbah

  • Total number of melee attacks made: 51
  • Number of hits: 34
  • Total melee damage dealt: 1540
  • Average damage per hit: 45

Caerwynn Bastille

  • Number of channel uses: 7
  • Total positive energy damage dealt: 1003
  • Total hit points healed to party using all source: 1323
Highlights From "The Heroes of Undarin"

With the sun setting across a ruined temple deep in the Worldwound, we prepared to defend sacred ground from an onslaught of demons and undead. We had several situational tools at our disposal, and foremost among these was the ability to use an ancient stained glass window to bring Desna's will upon our enemies. Second was an altar that allowed each of us to use the god's blessing for one well-timed reroll of a d20. Between these and the assortment of terrain and antagonists featured, this was a true test of tactical skill in an edition we weren't very familiar with—thus an exceptional challenge we won't soon forget. What Bulmahn has created with this scenario is now a trial for all Order members to aspire to.

We're having to adjust to the new numerical norms in our favorite game, which is also part of what makes any playtest interesting. When a treachery demon tossed down a 44 initiative to open a combat jaws dropped, and we realized just how far we were from the days of the previous edition of Pathfinder. Go ahead and combine that with 29 TAC attacks against our wizard from a pack of dread wraiths, resulting in 15 misses. How about a single channel from our cleric, ripping 198 damage against four opponents?

Not only were divvying powerful items an important aspect of party construction for this scenario, it was at 12th level that potent items from the new era of Pathfinder truly began to shine. Don't take our word for it though, let the numbers above tell the story of a paladin's unbreakable shield and a fighter's holy sword.

Character Deaths

The end wasn't pretty. When the players on this team joined the Order, we heard stories from the 1980s and 90s about past members who saw their beloved characters devoured by a certain demilich during five different playthroughs of the "Tomb of Horrors." If it gives you an idea of how much our GM reveres demiliches, he chose one for his Paizo messageboards avatar—that same one from the "Tomb of Horrors." Worse yet, Adam can now add four characters from this era of the Order to his gruesome tally. At least we'll have some stories for the fire pit about our wizard's ray of frost being reflected back at him as a critical hit, another character critically failing against a maze spell, and watching our cleric's body turn to dust when the demilich trapped his soul.

Current Situation

We learned afterward that this was the scenario in which we were supposed to die. That's fine, we understand and appreciate the value of providing data from our destruction to help produce a better game. It still stings a bit though, as any TPK would. Dropping to a 2-3 performance thus far in the playtest, we're now left with no choice if we want to finish with a winning record: We'll have to run the table!

Follow Order of the Amber Die on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

Adam Daigle
Managing Developer

Tags: Community, Order of the Amber Die, Pathfinder Playtest

2018-11-03T19:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Build Them Up, Break Them Down!

Fri, 11/02/2018 - 19:00

Build Them Up, Break Them Down!

Friday, November 2, 2018


Illustration by Alyssa McCarthy

Constructs have been a staple of fantasy stories for decades and it's no surprise that they are just as prevalent in the world of Golarion. These creatures include the likes of simple clockwork familiars all the way to the colossi, towering constructs the size of entire keeps. Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook takes a look at these created creatures and provides new options for both players and GMs that wish to build up the presence of constructs in their adventures.

While the majority of this book is intended for GM use, the first portion of the book does provide a significant amount of material for players. In particular, the book contains a full break down of the rules for crafting a construct, providing detailed information on each portion of the process. It also contains additional construct modifications to expand on those found in Ultimate Magic. A number of new magical items also help with the handling of constructs, including new golem manuals to ease with the crafting of all new types of golems or machinebane oil that can slow down hostile constucts.

Players wishing to receive their own construct will find a few of the book's archetypes, such as the clocksmith wizard or the construct caller unchained summoner archetypes, to be very helpful. On the other hand, if you find yourself constantly fighting constructs, you might want to take a look at some of the other archetypes within. A Forgefather's seeker paladin is all about putting a stop to harmful constructs with abilities like smite construct and the scrapper fighter can take parts from broken constructs to improve his armor.


Illustration by Graey Erb

The main portion of this book is our enormous bestiary. This bestiary has several new constructs from different categories for GMs to use in their game. Some of these include more common constructs like clockworks or golems, but also a new construct category: the mysterious automatons! Automatons are constructs created during the height of the Jistka Imperium and feature powerful abilities like the stalker automaton's adaptive camouflage or the sharpshooter automaton's energy beam. GMs wishing to continue using some of their favorite constructs can change things up with several new templates. A haunted construct is a construct infused with an evil soul that takes over the construct's body, while a runeplated construct is one infused with the sin magic of Thassilon.

Luis Loza
Developer

Tags: Alyssa McCarthy, Graey Erb, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

2018-11-02T19:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Spotlight: Charity Conventions

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 23:00

Spotlight: Charity Conventions

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Over the past year, Society GMs and players opened their hearts (and wallets) in support of other people. While the reasons varied from sick children to cancer research to wounded service members to animal shelters, the generosity of our community didn't waver. Thank you and a huge round of applause to all the organizers on the list for the extra effort it takes to include a charity component in your event. Through the efforts of your labors and the generosity of your players, someone's day brightened.

Below is a list of all conventions that submitted requests for convention support from Nov 2017 through October 2018. This doesn't include the smaller events that may have had a charity component, but not reached the 15-table minimum needed for event support. Colorado Springs, CO, hosted the most charity events with 3 apiece. Looking at the regional standings, we had a three-way tie between Great Lakes, Northeast, and Western Eurasia-Middle East with 9 events each. Again, thank you to all the organizers listed below for their time and energy in support of their chosen charities!

Event NameLocationRegionOrganizerStart Date Extra Life 2017Boise, IDNorthwestEbee Roper11/4/17 Extra Life Day 2017Austin, TXSouthwestPaul Worral11/4/17 Enchanted Realms Fall Charity Event '17Colorado Springs, COSouthwestEverett Morrow11/4/17 3XP - Winter 2017Sutton, England, UKWEMECarol Tierney11/9/17 Fall MepaCon 2017Allentown, PANortheastJason Schimmel11/10/17 U-Con 2017Ypsilanti, MIGreat LakesWilliam Jones11/17/17 30 Hour Food Drive 2017Spokane Valley, WANorthwestPreston Hudson12/15/17 MarsCon 2018Williamsburg, VASoutheastMichael Meunier1/12/18 Contingency 2018Fordingbridge, England, UKWEMEChris Manning1/17/18 CaptainCon 2018Warwick, RINortheastDavid Montgomery2/2/18 FlintCon 2018Flint, MIGreat LakesMichael Eischer2/3/18 Aid Another: Winter 2018Philadelphia, PANortheastBenn Roe2/10/18 Hoop & Stick 2018New Plymouth, OHGreat LakesMichael McNerney2/22/18 2nd Annual Boys and Girls Club ConBellevue, NEMidwestGary Bush2/23/18 RPI's Genericon XXXITroy, NYNortheastJanet Kuhlmann3/2/18 CoNfUsIoN 2018Utrecht, NetherlandsAEETineke Bollman3/9/2018 ConClave 2018Southend-on-Sea, England, UKWEMEDave Harrison3/10/2018 CosCon XXX 2018Butler, PANortheastQuinn Shannon3/16/2018 Coastcon 41 (2018)Biloxi, MSSoutheastJay Betbeze3/16/2018 PFS MANCon 2018Manchester, England, UKWEMEIan Hawthorne3/23/2018 Help The Halflings II (2018)Spokane Valley, WANorthwestPreston Hudson3/30/2018 Save vs Hunger 2018Maryville, TNSoutheastStephen Wight4/6/2018 MAG CON 10 (2018)New Caney, TXSouthwestAaron Reichgott4/7/2018 1D4 Con 2018Martinsburg, WVNortheastNicholas P Ruchlewicz4/13/2018 Springfest 2018Tri Cities, WANorthwestRichard deMorris4/13/2018 Gaming for Conservation 2018Newington, NHNortheastAaron Bradford4/21/2018 Gaming Hoopla 2018Mundelein, ILGreat LakesChris Rathunde4/27/2018 2018 D8 Summit Utica, ILGreat LakesJesse Besowshek4/28/2018 Chupacabracon V (2018)Round Rock, TXSouthwestKen Fisher5/4/2018 ConTRAPtion 2018Worthing, England, UKWEMEChris Brockley-Blatt5/4/2018 David Setty Memorial Game Day (2018)Cincinnati, OHMidwestBrent Bowser5/6/2018 3XP Summer 2018Ely, England, UKWEMECarol Tierney6/22/2018 VrockCon 2018 - Are You Thursty?Flat Rock, NCSoutheastSteve Johnson6/30/2018 Gaming Marathon for Charity 2018Colorado Springs, COSouthwestO.J. Pinckert7/14/2018 Summerfest 2018Richland, WANorthwestRichard deMorris7/20/2018 Paizocon UK 2018Birmingham, England, UKWEMEChris Brockley-Blatt and Dave Harrison7/20/2018 2D Con 2018Bloomington, MNMidwestJolene Danner8/3/2018 Coulee Con 2018La Crosse, WIGreat LakesMark Mastej8/24/2018 CoNfUsIoN 2018 - SummerUtrecht, the NetherlandsAEETineke Bolleman8/31/2018 SIBCON 2018Butler, PANortheastAlex Wreschnig9/7/2018 BattleCon The Third (2018)Richmond, VAAppalachianRigby Bendele9/14/2018 Grand Con 2018Grand Rapids, MIGreat LakesTroy Stevens9/14/2018 SkålCon 2018Roseville, MNMidwestJack Brown9/14/2018 AB-Con Winter 2018Aschaffenburg, GermanyCentral EuropeSebastian Hirsch9/21/2018 HMGS-South Hurricon 2018Kissimmee, FLGulfDominick Trascritti9/27/2018 Saluki Comic Con (2018)Carbondale, ILMidwestPhillip Pierce-Savoie9/28/2018 SPSX 2018Glasgow, Scotland, UKWEMEDouglas MacIntyre9/29/2018 FlatCon 2018Bloomington, ILGreat LakesGabriel Anderson10/12/2018 Save Against Fear 2018Harrisburg, PANortheastJoseph Peters10/12/2018 Charity Event for CASA (2018)Colorado Springs, COSouthwestO.J. Pinckert10/13/2018 AVL Scarefest 2018Montreat, NCAppalachianMichael Tracey10/19/2018 Tavern Con 2018Bay City, MIGreat LakesEric Clingenpeel10/26/2018 JenCon Six (2018)Sheffield, England, UKWEMEJen Edwards10/27/2018 Extra Life

Two years ago, several Pathfinder Society lodges supported Extra Life events independent of each other . Last year, Paizo engaged directly in fundraising for Extra Life through live play events hosted at our offices and available via a 25-hour Twitch stream. The Paizo efforts were in addition to Society Lodges hosting Extra Life events throughout the end of October and early November.

This year, the Organized Play team decided to support Extra Life by releasing world-wide benefits to any convention running between now and November 12, provided the monies raised from the charity component go to the Extra Life campaign.

The benefits include:

  • Retail Incentive Program status regardless of having a retail presence at the convention.
  • Access to the charity boons Hubris Coil (PFS), Lucky Knuckles (PFS), Manticore Starship (SFS), Skittermander (SFS). One boon from each program may be requested. Email [email protected] with the choices for your convention and for guidelines on how to report boon winners.
  • Purchasable d20 rerolls - you may pay $10 for an additional reroll and $1 to bump the result up 1. So for $30, you may have a guaranteed "20". These rerolls are not limited to 1 per game and stack with rerolls from other sources. You still must choose to use a reroll before results are announced.

If an event is already registered to Extra Life, please post your link via social media or on the Extra Life post in the Pathfinder Society forums. If an event wishes to take advantage of the benefits above and isn't registered, either register a page or join us at Team Paizo. To register as part of Team Paizo, visit our Team Page and click join. If you don't have any Extra Life events near you but you wish to donate, you can visit the team page and donate to any team member.

Next week is our monthly roundup of stars, conventions, and other information. If you missed yesterday's blog—check it out—as we released the updated Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

Tags: Charity, Conventions, Organized Play, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder Society

2018-10-31T23:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Spotlight: Charity Conventions Thursday, November 1, 2018 Over the...

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 23:00

Spotlight: Charity Conventions

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Over the past year, Society GMs and players opened their hearts (and wallets) in support of other people. While the reasons varied from sick children to cancer research to wounded servicemembers to animal shelters, the generosity of our community didn't waver. Thank you and a huge round of applause to all the organizers on the list for the extra effort it takes to include a charity component in your event. Through the efforts of your labors and the generosity of your players, someone's day brightened.

Below is a list of all conventions that submitted requests for convention support from Nov 2017 through October 2018. This doesn't include the smaller events that may have had a charity component, but not reached the 15-table minimum needed for event support. Colorado Springs, CO, hosted the most charity events with 3 apiece. Looking at the regional standings, we had a three-way tie between Great Lakes, Northeast, and Western Eurasia-Middle East with 9 events each. Again, thank you to all the organizers listed below for their time and energy in support of their chosen charities!

Event NameLocationRegionOrganizerStart Date Extra Life 2017Boise, IDNorthwestEbee Roper11/4/17 Extra Life Day 2017Austin, TXSouthwestPaul Worral11/4/17 Enchanted Realms Fall Charity Event '17Colorado Springs, COSouthwestEverett Morrow11/4/17 3XP - Winter 2017Sutton, England, UKWEMECarol Tierney11/9/17 Fall MepaCon 2017Allentown, PANortheastJason Schimmel11/10/17 U-Con 2017Ypsilanti, MIGreat LakesWilliam Jones11/17/17 30 Hour Food Drive 2017Spokane Valley, WANorthwestPreston Hudson12/15/17 MarsCon 2018Williamsburg, VASoutheastMichael Meunier1/12/18 Contingency 2018Fordingbridge, England, UKWEMEChris Manning1/17/18 CaptainCon 2018Warwick, RINortheastDavid Montgomery2/2/18 FlintCon 2018Flint, MIGreat LakesMichael Eischer2/3/18 Aid Another: Winter 2018Philadelphia, PANortheastBenn Roe2/10/18 Hoop & Stick 2018New Plymouth, OHGreat LakesMichael McNerney2/22/18 2nd Annual Boys and Girls Club ConBellevue, NEMidwestGary Bush2/23/18 RPI's Genericon XXXITroy, NYNortheastJanet Kuhlmann3/2/18 CoNfUsIoN 2018Utrecht, NetherlandsAEETineke Bollman3/9/2018 ConClave 2018Southend-on-Sea, England, UKWEMEDave Harrison3/10/2018 CosCon XXX 2018Butler, PANortheastQuinn Shannon3/16/2018 Coastcon 41 (2018)Biloxi, MSSoutheastJay Betbeze3/16/2018 PFS MANCon 2018Manchester, England, UKWEMEIan Hawthorne3/23/2018 Help The Halflings II (2018)Spokane Valley, WANorthwestPreston Hudson3/30/2018 Save vs Hunger 2018Maryville, TNSoutheastStephen Wight4/6/2018 MAG CON 10 (2018)New Caney, TXSouthwestAaron Reichgott4/7/2018 1D4 Con 2018Martinsburg, WVNortheastNicholas P Ruchlewicz4/13/2018 Springfest 2018Tri Cities, WANorthwestRichard deMorris4/13/2018 Gaming for Conservation 2018Newington, NHNortheastAaron Bradford4/21/2018 Gaming Hoopla 2018Mundelein, ILGreat LakesChris Rathunde4/27/2018 2018 D8 Summit Utica, ILGreat LakesJesse Besowshek4/28/2018 Chupacabracon V (2018)Round Rock, TXSouthwestKen Fisher5/4/2018 ConTRAPtion 2018Worthing, England, UKWEMEChris Brockley-Blatt5/4/2018 David Setty Memorial Game Day (2018)Cincinnati, OHMidwestBrent Bowser5/6/2018 3XP Summer 2018Ely, England, UKWEMECarol Tierney6/22/2018 VrockCon 2018 - Are You Thursty?Flat Rock, NCSoutheastSteve Johnson6/30/2018 Gaming Marathon for Charity 2018Colorado Springs, COSouthwestO.J. Pinckert7/14/2018 Summerfest 2018Richland, WANorthwestRichard deMorris7/20/2018 Paizocon UK 2018Birmingham, England, UKWEMEChris Brockley-Blatt and Dave Harrison7/20/2018 2D Con 2018Bloomington, MNMidwestJolene Danner8/3/2018 Coulee Con 2018La Crosse, WIGreat LakesMark Mastej8/24/2018 CoNfUsIoN 2018 - SummerUtrecht, the NetherlandsAEETineke Bolleman8/31/2018 SIBCON 2018Butler, PANortheastAlex Wreschnig9/7/2018 BattleCon The Third (2018)Richmond, VAAppalachianRigby Bendele9/14/2018 Grand Con 2018Grand Rapids, MIGreat LakesTroy Stevens9/14/2018 SkålCon 2018Roseville, MNMidwestJack Brown9/14/2018 AB-Con Winter 2018Aschaffenburg, GermanyCentral EuropeSebastian Hirsch9/21/2018 HMGS-South Hurricon 2018Kissimmee, FLGulfDominick Trascritti9/27/2018 Saluki Comic Con (2018)Carbondale, ILMidwestPhillip Pierce-Savoie9/28/2018 SPSX 2018Glasgow, Scotland, UKWEMEDouglas MacIntyre9/29/2018 FlatCon 2018Bloomington, ILGreat LakesGabriel Anderson10/12/2018 Save Against Fear 2018Harrisburg, PANortheastJoseph Peters10/12/2018 Charity Event for CASA (2018)Colorado Springs, COSouthwestO.J. Pinckert10/13/2018 AVL Scarefest 2018Montreat, NCAppalachianMichael Tracey10/19/2018 Tavern Con 2018Bay City, MIGreat LakesEric Clingenpeel10/26/2018 JenCon Six (2018)Sheffield, England, UKWEMEJen Edwards10/27/2018 Extra Life

Two years ago, several Pathfinder Society lodges supported Extra Life events independent of each other . Last year, Paizo engaged directly in fundraising for Extra Life through live play events hosted at our offices and available via a 25-hour Twitch stream. The Paizo efforts were in addition to Society Lodges hosting Extra Life events throughout the end of October and early November.

This year, the Organized Play team decided to support Extra Life by releasing world-wide benefits to any convention running between now and November 12th, provided the monies raised from the charity component go to the Extra Life campaign.

The benefits include:

  • Retail Incentive Program status regardless of having a retail presence at the convention.
  • Access to the charity boons Hubris Coil (PFS), Lucky Knuckles (PFS), Manticore Starship (SFS), Skittermander (SFS). One boon from each program may be requested. Email [email protected] with the choices for your convention and for guidelines on how to report boon winners.
  • Purchasable d20 rerolls - you may pay $10 for an additional reroll and $1 to bump the result up 1. So for $30, you may have a guaranteed "20". These rerolls are not limited to 1 per game and stack with rerolls from other sources. You still must choose to use a reroll before results are announced.

If an event is already registered to Extra Life, please post your link via social media or on the Extra Life post in the Pathfinder Society forums. If an event wishes to take advantage of the benefits above and isn't registered, either register a page or join us at Team Paizo. To register as part of Team Paizo, visit our Team Page and click join. If you don't have any Extra Life events near you but you wish to donate, you can visit the team page and donate to any team member.

Next week is our monthly roundup of stars, conventions, and other information. If you missed yesterday's blog—check it out—as we released the updated Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide.

Until next time—Explore, Report, Cooperate!

Tonya Woldridge

Organized Play Manager

Tags: Charity, Conventions, Organized Play, Pathfinder Society, Starfinder Society

2018-10-31T23:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Starfinder Society Guide 1.1

Wed, 10/31/2018 - 20:00
Starfinder Society Guide 1.1

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A new update to the Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide is due... well, right now!

That's right. As of now, the guide has been updated to include a variety of updates put together by the Organized Play Team and built from the feedback of countless players and organizers across the world. I'd like to also give a special thanks to anyone who contributed to the thread that was started months ago on this topic as your comments were invaluable in coming up with these updates.

So, let's hop into a summary of the major changes:

  • A new playable faction has been included: the Second Seekers loyal to First Seeker Jadnura. This includes a table of associated boons, including numerous new boons unique to this faction.
  • The list of always available playable races has been expanded to include the legacy races included in the Starfinder Core Rulebook.
  • The required resources necessary to create a character of a new race have been clarified to accommodate special rules reference handouts included in certain scenarios.
  • The rebuilding rules for characters and personal boons has been clarified.
  • Numerous faction-associated boons have been clarified or expanded, including hirelings, basic purchases, and improved faction champion boons.
  • Details are now available for the Exo-Guardians and Wayfinders capstone boons, providing playable statistics for a new race and starship hull.
  • The instructions for filling out a Chronicle sheet have been updated, including when a PC can purchase and sell gear.
  • Rules for applying credit have been relaxed slightly when using pregenerated characters in adventures that require the use of such characters.
  • Information about the Vehicle scenario tag and the Vanity boon descriptor has been added.
  • GMs' Chronicle sheet rewards have been clarified.
  • UPBs are now purchasable in single units rather than only in lots of 1,000.
  • The Tier 2 and Tier 6 Drake starships' shields and armaments have been updated to better match the hull's intended function.
  • The list of Regional Venture-Coordinators and regions has been updated.

From this list, there's a few points I'd like to highlight:

Second Seekers (Jadnura): Ohhhhhhh a new faction! For those who've been interested in seeing how we're going to handle multiple Second Seekers factions, then Jadnura is our first example of that. I suspect a lot of the boons are going to interest some players out there, especially the ability to replay content and earn full credit for it. Similarly, if you like your growing stable of ally boons, then this faction is a great opportunity for those of you who want new characters to earn even more ally potential.

New Capstones: Veteran Exo-Guardians can bestow a new ship on new Starfinder recruits: the Gorgon. This vessel is essentially a murderboat intended to render opposing starships down to fine particulate matter—have fun with that. The Wayfinders also reveal their associated new race, which shouldn't come as a surprise to players who've been playing Starfinder Society since the beginning.

A More Toothy Drake: The Drake base hull has received some further updates. The Tier 2 version of the ship has had some weapon upgrades to make it more in line with the type of starship role we wanted it to have (at a small cost to its shields). Meanwhile, the Tier 6 version of the ship had its erroneous linked missile weapons replaced with a potent torpedo launcher.

Legacy Races Always Available: It may not be uplifted bears (don't worry, I'm working on that) but players can now enjoy all the Starfinder Core Rulebook legacy races as being always available. Go forth and populate the universe with dwarves, elves, gnomes and all the other legacy races!

Quality of Life: We've eased some of the Additional Resources requirements on new races, allowing players to play their new races with handouts provided by scenarios. We've also allowed players to apply credit to a character of any level within the level range of a pregenerated character scenario, which should ease up some of the credit discussions around Starfinder Society #1-00: Claim to Salvation. There's also been some tightening of language around GM Chronicle sheet rewards and how a GM can apply character boons during the course of a scenario they run. Finally, you can now purchase UPBs in single units rather than in lots of 1,000, which should further encourage crafters to build equipment!

I'd like to give a big shout out to our editors, art and layout folks, and Managing Developer Adam Daigle for helping out in getting everything ready for distribution to the masses.

This update to the Guide should last us until the start of our next season, currently slated for June of 2019. Of course, feel free to continue posting feedback about the Starfinder Society Guide on the Organized Play forums, and we'll do our best to keep compiling all the information for future updates.

So how about making some new characters?

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

Tags: Organized Play, Starfinder Society

2018-10-31T20:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

The Prestige

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 21:00
The Prestige

Monday, October 29, 2018

As we draw ever closer to the end of the playtest, there are still a number of questions we need to ask you about the way the game works and how that's conveyed to you in the book. Today, we're launching a pair of surveys that do just that, one focusing on presentation and another focusing on magic.

Presentation

First up, we have a survey looking at the presentation of the book. This survey looks at our use of symbols, color, and language to convey game rules to you. We tried some experimental things with the Pathfinder Playtest Rulebook, and want to know what you think of these tests. Your answers will help us determine what the final version of the game actually looks like. When you're ready to take this survey, follow the link below.

Presentation Survey

Spells and Magic

Next up, we've opened up a survey to look at how spells and magic items work in the game. This isn't the first time we've asked about these topics, but previously, it's always been in the context of other surveys with other goals. This time, we want to know specifically what you think about how magic works in the Pathfinder Playtest.

One of our primary goals in designing the playtest rules was to ensure that spells and magic items are still an integral part of the game, but also to make sure characters who don't rely heavily on such abilities aren't overshadowed. We did this in a variety of ways, but there are some places where it seems clear that the restrictions may have taken away a bit too much from magic and its role in the game. This survey looks at ways that we might add some sizzle back into your lightning bolt and some charm into your, well, charm.

In particular, there are three levers we can manipulate to add power and versatility to magic that we want you to think about when taking this survey:

  1. Number of spells per day.
  2. Chance that a spell will succeed (or that foes will fail saving throws).
  3. Power of individual spells.

Once you've given those some thought, you can find the survey at the link below.

Magic Survey

Looking Forward

Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about where we're at right now in the playtest and where we're heading in the future. We've gotten a lot of data about the game, and much of it has been synthesized into a very large list of tasks and things that we need to do to the game before it goes to the printer next year. In the coming months, the playtest will draw to a close, and there will be no additional public updates to the rules while we focus on making changes to the game.

That said, we're not going to leave you without an idea of where things are going. Next week, we'll be dropping an absolutely huge Update 1.6, which adds or adjusts aspects of every class in the game! This ranges from a small alteration in stances that affects the fighter to major changes for the alchemist and paladin. We think you'll see a lot of your concerns addressed in some of these changes, and the best part is, these are just a fraction of what we're doing behind the scenes to make the game even better!

As always, I want to thank each and every one of you for participating in this playtest. The game is really shaping up to be something great, and you helped make that happen!

Jason Bulmahn
Director of Game Design

Join the Pathfinder Playtest designers every Friday throughout the playtest on our Twitch Channel to hear all about the process and chat directly with the team.

Tags: Pathfinder Playtest

2018-10-29T21:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 19:00

In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Do you want to hear a scary story?

It all began on a cold, dreary winter's night. A thin mist covered the ground, and the streetlights did little to pierce the gloom. Most people were in their homes, huddling under blankets, sipping warm cocoa, and basking in the comforting glow of their television sets. Most sane people, that is. But one man shunned the comforts of the hearth to sit hunched over a laptop, typing furiously. The computer's sickly light emphasized his haggard appearance, making him look more like an animated corpse than a living person. He composed an unhinged manifesto of shadowy horrors, blood-curdling mutilations, and the seductive nature of evil. And when he was done, he slumped across the keyboard dead asleep, not caring about the nightmares that would most assuredly come.

…That man, dear reader, was yours truly! •lightning flashes• •thunder rumbles• And that screed I wrote was none other than the outline for the upcoming Signal of Screams Adventure Path! •more lightning and thunder• •also, a wolf howls in the distance for some reason•

Seriously though, this three-part space horror Adventure Path is the first Starfinder product that I had the pleasure of concepting and developing from start to finish, and I couldn't be prouder or more excited to share it with you. While I didn't actually spend any late nights putting it all together, I couldn't have done it without the entire Starfinder team (who helped brainstorm the spookiest of ideas) and all the terrific authors that agreed to work on this project! And of course, I can't forget the artists who helped bring these chilling visions to life, as well as the art, editing, and other departments here at Paizo that make sure you get the best product possible!

The first adventure, The Diaspora Strain, comes out very soon and sees a group of 7th-level characters get invited to the grand re-opening of a luxury resort asteroid in the Diaspora called New Elysium. The facility has been newly automated with a virtual intelligence program and the PCs, along with a handful of celebrities, will be the first guests to put the system to the test. I don't want to spoil any surprises, but of course, things don't go quite as planned. Author (and fellow Adventure Path developer) Chris Sims has put together a spooky adventure that will have player characters question their sanity.

In addition to some creepy new monsters and details on a lonely world accessible only through the Drift, this first volume features an article about a corruption system new to Starfinder that will get used throughout the campaign (by me) and advice on to run and play in Starfinder horror adventures by Epidiah Ravachol, author of the very popular indie horror RPG Dread!

What is the mysterious Signal of Screams? Find out this winter, if you dare!

Jason Keeley
Developer

Tags: Signal of Screams, Starfinder, Starfinder Adventure Path

2018-10-26T19:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

October 2018 Starfinder Society Releases

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 21:00

October 2018 Starfinder Society Releases

Thursday, October 25, 2018


Illustration by Graey Erb

October brings with it all manner of spooky gifts! While this month's Starfinder releases may not as overtly spooky in nature as some past releases, I can assure you that both scenarios involve some scenes that scream for GMs to ramp up the tension. Let's dive into this month's offerings.

Our first scenario for this month, Starfinder Society Scenario #1-24: Siege of Enlightenment really comes from a conversation I had with Organized Play Lead Developer, John Compton, regarding other civilizations near to the Pact Worlds. We both agreed that we wanted to show some minor powers throughout the region and bring in future allies/foes we could later call upon. This scenario showcases two previously unheard of powers in relative proximity to the Pact Worlds and a growing conflict that threatens to destroy them both. Tineke Bolleman, who you may recognize as one of the quest authors from Starfinder Society Scenario #1-16: Dreaming of the Future jumped right into the task of creating two new space-faring civilizations and the I think the results speak for themselves. Fans of more traditional Pathfinder won't be disappointed, as this month's Tier 1-4 scenario also brings a fan favorite species into the Starfinder limelight: hobgoblins!

Now, Organized Play Lead Developer, John Compton, is going to take some time to tell you about this month's second scenario!


Illustration by Michele Giorgi

For many months, Adrian Ng has been the behind-the-scenes champion of organized play, which is to say he's taken the lead in editing most of our scenarios. As you might guess, he's very familiar with not only our style but also our stories, and the time was right for him to show off has narrative skills with Starfinder Society's latest repeatable scenario, Starfinder Society Scenario #1-25: The Beacon Code Dilemma. Not only does this explore some of the Society's past and the machine god Triune's lore (including an influential priest, pictured here), but it's also a fun romp through space in search of a lost starship and priceless artifact—classic! Adrian's included a lot of fun ways to vary the experience, providing fun ways for the GM to both personalize some of the discoveries and shake up the combats. Be sure to check out this Tier 3-6 scenario.

So with all that, I think you can see why we're pretty darn excited for October's offerings. Stop by the blog next month, when we'll be previewing the next set of scenarios, including our first scenario for a brand new faction that some of you may already be familiar with. Speaking of familiarity, fans of Pathfinder Society are in for a treat as we explore a Starfinder follow-up to one of Pathfinder's earliest scenarios!

Thurston Hillman
Starfinder Society Developer

Tags: Graey Erb, Organized Play, Starfinder Society, Starfinder Society Scenarios

2018-10-25T21:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

Full Moon, Hot Blood

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 19:00

Full Moon, Hot Blood

Thursday, October 25, 2018

As we brainstorm adventures, the team often comes up with ideas that we have to shelve for months or even years before they come to fruition. When we were looking at our season's schedule months ago, we had several open Tier 3-7 slots, and at long last there was the opportunity to realize one of my dream two-part series that's perfect for the Halloween season. It's been floating in my head since a shortly after Pathfinder Society Scenario #5-16: Destiny of the Sands, Part 3: Sanctum of the Sages, which has a somewhat famous and temporary character augmentation. The idea that we could use that concept for something as strange as a monstrous template, though... that's always been a bit of a dream. Thankfully, Linda was ready to take the lead on developing our Mysteries Under Moonlight series, and she's going to jump in to say some more.

Illustration by Leonardo Santanna

In last month's adventure, Mysteries Under Moonlight, Part 1: Testament of Souls, the PCs received a unique blessing. Put this blessing to use in Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-07: Mysteries Under Moonlight, Part 2: The Howling Dance, a Tier 3-7 scenario by Crystal Malarsky. Crystal has a real knack for atmosphere, which is perfect for this spooky adventure. Race into the haunted Mushfens swamp on the trail of an evil being who has been spreading corruption through Magnimar and beyond. Save innocent spirits from a creeping malevolence, face your fears, and put an end to a terrifying ruler. Trust me, the grinning skull surrounded by tormented spirits so delightfully illustrated by Leonardo Santanna does not have your PCs's best interests in mind.

Linda Zayas-Palmer
Developer

My first love in the Pathfinder campaign setting was far and away Katapesh, both where my first AP experience takes place in Legacy of Fire, but also the adopted home of my first Pathfinder Society character. We've wanted to do more of a follow-up to the Liberty's Edge developments from Pathfinder Society Special #9-00: Assault on Absalom, and Katapesh feels like the ideal place not just for that, but also to meet some enterprising goblins who have adapted quite admirably to city life (including their leader, illustrated by Marko Horvatin).

Illustration by Marko Horvatin

The Tier 1-5 adventure Pathfinder Society Scenario #10-06: Treason's Chains from Adam Meyers—the publisher at of Drop Dead Studios and author of their third-party sourcebook Spheres of Power. Treason's Chains takes the PCs to Katapesh, where the Pathfinders must assist Venture-Captain Roderus in his final act as a venture-captain of the Pathfinder Society: organizing his own retirement party! It's not all fun and games though, as the PCs must navigate a treacherous web of ambition, betrayal, and worse when the long-running feud between two venture-captains, human seer Wulessa Yuul and the half-orc potions merchant Phlegos Dulm, finally comes to a head as each makes their move to seize the opportunities created by Roderus's pending absence. The PCs will have some help along the way though, including unexpected allies like this individual illustrated by Marko Horvatin.

Michael Sayre
Developer

John Compton
Organized Play Lead Developer

Tags: Leonardo Santanna, Marko Horvatin, Organized Play, Pathfinder Society, Pathfinder Society Scenarios

2018-10-25T19:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

I'm an Alien, You're an Alien

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 19:00

I'm an Alien, You're an Alien

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

While much of the fun in Alien Archive 2 for players is looking at new playable species, there's much more player-facing content than just aliens to make into new characters. Like the first Alien Archive, we wanted to help describe the strangeness of a science-fantasy universe with rules elements any character can pick up and use.

Unlike Alien Archive, we made sure to create an index (Appendix 9: Rules Options) to list them all in one place for easy reference.

There are lots of items, including weapons (such as the phasic scythe), defensive items (such as the adaptive defense module), technological items (such as the plasma diverter), hybrid items (from the mi-go brain cylinder to the Shotalashu saddle), magic items (such as the calecor skull-globe), a surprising number of augmentations (six of them!) , and even a computer upgrade (the telepathic user interface).

Each of those is tied to a specific creature entry, in ways that help define that creature's place in the galaxy. For example, the glass serpent is a terrifying ambush predator that roams the blasted wastelands of Eox (though similar creatures have been found on dozens of planets, including many outside the Pact Worlds). The scales of a glass serpent can absorb and bend light, which the creature controls with its musculature to become invisible. While a glass serpent's skin isn't a continuous cloak of invisibility just because you remove and present it, it can be used as the basis for stealth technology, including the glass skin augmentation and lightwarp inlay armor upgrade (previewed below).

Lightwarp Inlay

Price: 5,000 Level: 6

Capacity: 10 Usage: 1/round

Armor Slots: 1 Armor Type: Any

Bulk: L

This specialized coating of glass serpent scales shifts its collective angle in response to localized electrical fields created by a delicate circuitry inlay, allowing the bending of light around you. You can activate this inlay as a standard action to become temporarily invisible (as the invisibility spell, save that the process is purely technological rather than magical). This invisibility lasts until you deactivate it (which you can do as part of any other action) or the inlay runs out of charges. A lightwarp inlay's charges replenish each day.

There are also two feats (Polymorph Adept and Squox Companion), which tie to specific new options, one of which is obviously an element of magic that so far Starfinder hasn't gone into—polymorphing.

A set of core rules present a flexible set of general guidelines for what happens when magic changes your form and then a set of variable level spells (polymorph and baleful polymorph, along with mass versions of each) give spellcasters access to those shapechanging powers. A number of forms are presented (from simple kalo form to more complex blue dragon and fire elemental forms) to allow polymorphing to be accessed quickly, but the rules are also presented to allow a player and GM to build forms for nearly any conceivable creature. After all it's a big galaxy out there, and there's no telling what weird things a character might want to change into!

Owen K.C. Stephens
Starfinder Design Lead

Tags: Alien Archive, Starfinder

2018-10-24T19:00:00Z
Categories: Company News

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