- See also: Paizo Organized Play
Starting in 2019 with the Year of the Open Road season, the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild began using Pathfinder Second Edition rules and incorporated the advanced timeline of the Pathfinder Lost Omens product line. The numbering was changed to reflect the new story point, beginning anew with Season 1, and making first edition Season 10 Season of the Ten the final season of its kind.1
Pathfinder Society is lead by Alex Speidel (Organized Play Coordinator) and Linda Zayas-Palmer (Development Manager). Its lead developers are Shay Snow and Josh Foster. Volunteer Venture Officers (Captain, Lieutenant, and Agent) manage lodges both geographic and virtual, dedicated to different modes of play. Apart from playing in-person, Pathfinder Society sessions can be hosted as Play-By-Post (forums and Discord being popular media) or using Virtual Table-Top software (such as Foundry, Roll20, and Fantasy Grounds). Conventions both large and small play host to PFS sessions and, while many lodges and organizations host conventions of their own, the premier PFS events each year are PaizoCon and Gen Con.
Each season runs for about a year and represents an equal in-game passage of time. They often begin with an eponymous first session, representing an introduction to the themes and narratives of the season. Subsequent sessions may stand on their own or advance one of more metaplots that play out over the course of the season. Seasons are capped off with a multi-table special scenario debuting at a major convention.
During conventions, special events, or certain holidays, players have an opportunity to earn boons that can be applied to a character of their choice. These boons can range from unlocking new races to play, a permanent bonus to a character, or a one-time-use bonus.
Factions and Schools
In the wake of its losses battling the Whispering Tyrant, the Pathfinder Society elected to revive the tradition of formalized factions, this time representing the core values of the Society, rather than outside influences. The current factions are the Envoy's Alliance (led by Fola Barun), the Grand Archive (Gorm Greathammer), the Horizon Hunters (Calisro Benarry), the Radiant Oath (Valais Durant), the Verdant Wheel (Urwal), and the Vigilant Seal (Eando Kline). A PC elects to represent a faction on each mission, gaining the player reputation points with said faction.
Schools are also important elements of the Society's structure, as they are responsible for instructing Pathfinders-in-training in their respective skills. They are the schools of Scrolls, Spells, and Swords, led respectively by Kreighton Shaine, Sorinna Westyr, and Marcos Farabellus. Each PC is entitled to a school item or items before each mission depending on the school of which they are a member. This is usually a choice between one of several level-appropriate consumables or a healing potion or potions.
Season 1: Year of the Open Road
Following the devastating return of the Whispering Tyrant and his undead hordes, agents from across the Inner Sea and beyond must band together to reclaim lodges, recruit new members, and restore knowledge and information lost to time and disuse. As Pathfinder agents work together to reclaim lost stories from their organization’s distant past, they will also engage in diplomatic forays with nations both near and far, leading to a confrontation for control of an ancient demiplane and the Society's secrets contained therein.
Season 2: Year of Corruption's Reach
In the desolate frontier of Iobaria, a looming evil’s catastrophic plans cloud the Society’s goals of exploration and discovery in a haze of fire and death. On the borders of the Inner Sea, a new generation of Pathfinders will pass through these flames and either be reforged or consumed by a flame that may encompass an entire nation.
Season 3: Year of Shattered Sanctuaries
A series of disastrous events threaten several of the Pathfinder Society’s Inner Sea lodges—including the Grand Lodge itself! Why these lodges? Why now? Are these events unrelated, or are they part of a sinister, coordinated plot to undermine the Society? Will the Pathfinders’ newfound allies stand by their side in confronting enemies both old and new—and is the Society strong enough to face whatever mysteries lie beyond the shadows?
Season 4: Year of Boundless Wonder
Wonder abounds! The Society has come into possession of a vast trove of magical items from all across Golarion, and beyond! What are the items’ stories? Who made them? Where did they come from? What should the Society do with objects of great significance and power? Should they be returned? Or, perhaps, destroyed? Why is a scheming enemy of the Society seeking to claim the items for herself—and what will be the cost of preventing her nightmarish plan?
Season 5: Year of Unfettered Exploration
Golarion calls for exploration! After a year filled with research and a legendary villain’s grand plan, it’s now time for the Society to return to its creed: Explore! Report! Cooperate! With a member of the Decemvirate handpicking agents and assignments and new venture-captains eager to earn their stripes, who knows what this season will hold! With new allies and new enemies making their moves, it’s time to start planning the next great adventure and plot the course of a new year!
Quests and Bounties
Paizo has also published Quests and Bounties, shorter-form lower-tier adventures which run about 1-2 hours. Quests were published during Pathfinder Society (first edition) up to May 2020, at which point they were replaced by the Bounties product line, which were less strictly tied in to the in-game Pathfinder Society. After a year and a half, they were discontinued, to be replaced in April 2023 by a revived Quest line, scenarios for which would run slightly longer and consist strictly of level 1–4 repeatables.
- The Pathfinder Society Team. (July 24, 2019). Pathfinder Society's Gen Con 2019 Scenarios, Paizo Blog.