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Pathfinder Society General News
The Official PFS Blog has been teeming with news over the past couple weeks about Season 6 (which will be starting August 14th – the first day of Gencon!).
Let’s start with Harrow cards. Harrow is Golarion’s version of tarot, and ever since the Inner Sea World Guide has been out, there have been Harrow-related character options, including the Harrower prestige class. However, inaccessibility to the Harrow deck and no clear guidelines on the use of the deck in PFS play caused these options to be banned in PFS. Now that The Harrow Handbook and a new version of the Harrow deck have been released, these options are legal in Society. Prospective Harrow users should read this blog post detailing the limitations of using the Harrow in PFS play. GMs should glance at the post in case they come across Harrow-based characters at their table. (Not that I already have a Harrow bloodline sorcerer with thoughts towards the Harrower prestige class… *whistles innocently*)
Next up is faction changes! The blog has been abuzz for a couple weeks with how factions will be changing in Season 6. This blog tells people how factions have been evolving over Season 6 based off player choices, while these three blog articles discuss how individual factions will be changing in both name and scope. They are summarized below:
- Grand Lodge and Silver Crusade will be the same.
- Andoran will become Liberty’s Edge, a faction devoted to hunting corruption both in and out of Andoran, and bringing freedom to those oppressed by the nobility.
- Cheliax will become the Dark Archive, the faction in charge of those evil artifacts that no one else in the Society is capable of taking care of. (You don’t want to stick paladins down there – the items like corrupting them!)
- Osirion will become the Scarab Sages, a faction devoted to unlocking ancient secrets and passing that info to the people who can best use that information. (Also, it sounds like they are going to objectively have the best faction leader. Spoilers for 5-16: Destiny of the Sands, Part 3: Sanctum of the Sages!)
- Qadira & Sczarni merge to become the Exchange, a faction all about money, whether legal or not. You’re in the faction because you want to be a business partner, not because you believe in some silly ideals.
- Taldor will become the Sovereign Court, empowering the lower nobles of various countries to help shape national policy to benefit them all, much like a fantasy United Nations. Any similarities to the Illuminati are entirely coincidental and are of no value. *shifty eyes*
Since factions are changing, some factions no longer apply to characters that were once good fits to them. I know that while most of my Taldan characters are going to be right at home in the Sovereign Court, there is one Taldan I have who is way more at home in the Exchange than the Sovereign Court. Fortunately, at the beginning of Season 6, every character gets a free faction change! All you have to do is tell the GM the first time you play the character after Season 6 starts that you want to change factions, mark it off on your chronicle at the end of the scenario, and you’re good to go!
Over the past couple years, the PFS metaplot has aligned somewhat with the adventure path that gets released at GenCon that year. Season 3 brought us adventures in Tian Xia which aligned with Jade Regent, Season 4 brought us adventures in Varisia to align with Shattered Star, and Season 5 brought us adventures in and around the Worldwound to align with Wrath of the Righteous. Since the next adventure path is Iron Gods, it looks like Season 6 is going to be Year of the PEW PEW LASER PISTOLS!
It turns out that not everyone likes Sci-Fi mixed in with Fantasy. While there will be elements of Sci-Fi in some Season 6 scenarios, the season will be focusing more on revisiting areas that we’ve neglected over the past couple years. See the link above for more information.
Lastly, with the focus turned away from the Worldwound for the time being, it’s time to say goodbye to two of our wonderful friends. Aasimars and tieflings have had a good run, but with the focus being taken away from planar adventures, aasimars and tieflings are being rotated out of the Always Available races. However, as they are being rotated out, new races are being rotated in! Kitsune, nagaji and wayangs are now Always Available! See this blog post for more information, but here’s the info you need to know:
- If you already have an aasimar or a tiefling, he’s still legal. You won’t be forced to rebuild that character you’ve spent months working on.
- If you want to create a new aasimar or tiefling, he needs to have 1XP by the start of Gencon (August 14th).
- Aasimars and tieflings will be rotated into boons at some point so that players can make them again, but not right away. (Next year will be the elemental races again.)
Pathfinder General News
Paizocon happened! Paizocon is a 3 day convention that Paizo puts on over in Seattle with lots of Pathfinder games to play, seminars to attend, and industry personalities to meet. The wonderful guys at Know Direction set up microphones at all the seminars they could to record them for our listening pleasure at home. You can check out their recordings here.
Probably the most important recording to listen to is the recording of the Paizo banquet. At the banquet, Paizo makes a bunch of announcements about future products. The biggest announcement from the banquet is Pathfinder Unchained, a book that shows what the designers can do when freed from backwards compatibility. Now, I’m sure the big question is, will this be legal in PFS? The answer is, who knows? We’ll find out more closer to it being released. You can read about that announcement, along with the other Paizo announcements at this link.
Lastly in this section, the designer role that Sean K. Reynolds left open has been filled by Mark Seifter, a former Boston Venture-Lieutenant. And with that comes…
FAQs and Updates
With the design team mostly working on new rules while a man down, they haven’t had much of a chance to update and errata existing stuff. Now that Mark has been added to the team, he’s been fixing rules while the design team finishes up the Monster Codex.
If an ability tries to add a spell to your spells known that isn’t on your spell list without also adding it to your spell list, then it doesn’t work. The exploit for this came from oracles trying to use Improved Eldritch Heritage to add arcane spells to their spell list by selecting the 9th level power of the arcane bloodline. This FAQ clarifies that since the bloodline power only adds spells to your spells known and not your spell list, it will only add spells know if those sorcerer/wizard spells are also oracle spells. (Link)
If you have levels of spontaneous casting classes, you cannot use spell slots from one of your classes to cast the spells known of the other class. Basically, if you decide to try to mystic theurge sorcerer and oracle, you need to make sure to keep your spell slots for the two classes separate. (Until, of course, as a mystic theurge you gain the combined spells ability, which lets you do exactly that.) (Link)
If you temporarily gain uses of a limited ability multiple times in a day, the later ones don’t add extra uses unless they give more extra uses than the first ones. This is one that’s really easier to give an example for that to write down. Imagine that you’re a cleric that has a way of temporarily gaining a feat multiple times per day. You normally have 5 uses of channel energy per day, but you use them up, so you decide to gain Extra Channel for a couple minutes, giving you two extra uses. During that time, you use channel energy twice more, meaning that you have now used 7 uses of channel energy out of your maximum of 7. After a couple minutes, you lose the feat, which means you have used 7 out of your maximum of 5. Later on you decide to gain Extra Channel again, but you have used 7 out of your 7 uses of channel energy, which means you’re still out of channeling. (Link)
Speaking about paragon surge, you can no longer use paragon surge and Expanded Arcana to gain all the spells known you want. Spontaneous casters with paragon surge on their spell list could spend a standard action and a 3rd level spell to gain whatever spell known they wanted by choosing Expanded Arcana as their bonus feat. This was limited only by the number of 3rd level spell slots they wanted to spend on it. Paizo determined that this is a little too far above acceptable power levels for sorcerers, so they nerfed paragon surge. Now, when you cast it the first time you pick a feat. You are locked into that feat choice for the rest of the day. You can use paragon surge + Expanded Arcana to give you a new spell known, but you are locked into that spell(s) for the rest of the day now. No spontaneously gaining all spells as spells known. You’ll have to wait until limited wish + blood money for that. (And no, Emergency Attunement doesn’t work because once you choose the first time, you no longer have a choice to make.) (Link) (Link to Emergency Attunement clarification)