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Ontario Pathfinder Society | Companion Corner: Pathfinder Society Primer
Companion Corner: Pathfinder Society Primer

Companion Corner: Pathfinder Society Primer

Greetings everybody!Pathfinder Society Primer

To start things off today, I would like to share with you the reason we seem to be moving backwards in time. Unfortunately, the last few Player Companions to be released have not had a lot of things available for Pathfinder Society Players. Since I’m trying to look at these books through the lens of organized play, I will be skipping books that have too few options on the Additional Resources list.

Happily, the Pathfinder Society Primer’s options are legal from cover to cover!

I am so pleased with just about everything in this book. There are great feat choices for both martial and spellcaster types, very useful spells and items, and the section on Joining the Pathfinder Society should quite honestly be required reading! Let’s look at what Mark and John gave us:

How did you join the Pathfinder Society?

How many characters do you have? How many characters do you have that could answer the above question? This is probably one of the best roleplaying hooks for your character, as there is a big difference between an agent who received a field commission and one who survived the three year training and initiation period. When I’m making a character, I try to think about why he or she wanted to be a Pathfinder, and what her or she might have done to make that dream a reality. By the time you finish reading this book, hopefully you have some ideas as to how your drooling barbarian managed to pass Confirmation!

Feats of the Pathfinder Society

The Pathfinder Society emphasizes preparation, teamwork, and versatility, so it should be no surprise that the feats in this book improve a character’s ability in these areas. While there are some I would not recommend (Improved Day Job comes to mind as a terrible option), there are also some great picks, some of which I might even build a character around. To highlight my favourites:

  • Versatile Spontaneity: A high level sorcerer with access to a few CL-dependant scrolls could get a lot of mileage out of this in her mid levels!
  • Collective Recollection (teamwork): Inquisitors should be interested in a feat that allows aid another on Knowledge checks, even in combat!
  • Emergency Attunement: Change that resist energy from fire to cold with a standard action, or shift your alter self from bugbear to boggard!
  • Planned Spontaneity: Prepared casters really needed the buff, right? Prepare two spells in up to three slots, and get your pick of the two when you cast!
  • Cut Your Losses: How many times have you wanted to pick something (or someone) up on the retreat? At least once? Me too!

Kreighton Shaine’s Spellbook

The magic released in this book also emphasizes teamwork, along with a knowledge focus we might expect from the Scrolls and Spells. Collaborative thaumaturgy is something I would love to see used in a caster-heavy party. A high level spellcaster could also give their familiar scrolls or a wand of this spell to get some easy metamagic on their spells. Sure casting is something that is just begging to be quickened at high levels, and it’s a good choice for a wand if you want to make sure to penetrate that demon’s spell resistance. Combine with dweomer’s essence (Pathfinder Society Field Guide) for the best results! Pagebound ephiphany is something that anyone with a lot of trained knowledges should at LEAST have on a scroll for a nice +3 boost, although it will be higher if you prepare it yourself. While there isn’t quite as much on the martial side, bards and inquisitors could both see some use out of tactical miscalculation to avoid attacks of opportunities.

New (and old!) Gear

Making a new character? Give them a pathfinder’s kit! There is nothing useless in there, and it should make character creation that much faster for you. On the magic item side of things, new wayfinders and ioun stones are a great addition; I’m especially happy to see some new resonance options! The first aid gloves and feather token (campsite) are both useful addition to a character’s toolkit, and a coat of pockets fits nicely with a few doses of honeytongue elixir. Alchemists, please note that elixir is a great choice for alchemical allocation (Advanced Players Guide)! If you find yourself able to make due without a stat belt, consider the tightfit belt for those times when you need to squeeze through a cramped space.

But that’s not all! The next page includes several examples of the Pathfinder Chronicles, all of which give some nice circumstance bonuses if you’ve read them for an hour. Rogues and other trapfinders at least should pick up Volume 27, which gives a +2 circumstance bonus to find and disable magical traps. Come on, what else are you going to do while the cleric is praying?

The Pathfinder Field Agent

I have some mixed feelings about the Pathfinder Field Agent prestige class. There are some cool options available, but the Pathfinder game tends to reward a single-classed progression, so the abilities gained are often not worth what you give up. On the other hand, the prerequisites are very light, and almost any build can benefit from the slew of class skills that the field agent provides. Dedicated magic users should limit themselves to only a single level, as the Greater Casting option available to the agent only gives back one level of spellcasting. While I like the ability to gain different iconic abilities (bardic knowledge and trapfinding AND wild empathy on the same class?!), players considering this prestige class should carefully assess what they are gaining and losing which each level. The wayfinder upgrades are totally awesome though!

Don’t Overlook These!

First off, bring this book to every game you play, or if you have the PDF, print out the page featuring Prominent Pathfinder Lodges. While it’s nothing earth-shattering, these are free bonuses that your character can take advantage of just because you have the book with you, so don’t waste your opportunity!

Secondly, make sure to mark the new traits available to Pathfinder agents. A member of the Swords might enjoy breaking things down with his portable ram, so he would certainly benefit from Muscle of the Society. An intelligent but uncharismatic member of the Scrolls can definitely make use of Clever Wordplay, and if your member of the Spells frequently finds herself adventuring with spell-resistant dwarves and superstitious barbarians, she should consider becoming an Insistent Benefactor.

Finally, the new vanities available are a great way to spend your prestige, once you’ve saved up the gold to not worry about raise dead anymore. New followers help to cover a character’s weaknesses (A Lookout for the unperceptive and a Scholar for the unlearned), and new wayfinder enhancements can cover your character’s magical gaps. Special mention goes to the discerning property. Never again does a character need to worry about not having access to detect magic!

Wrapping Up

Wow, this went a little long, didn’t it? There are just too many good things to talk about! However, even with all the awesome goodies in this book, the my favourite parts are the sidebars. There are a wealth of tips and tricks for new Pathfinders, along with great advice detailing what spells to always have and what hazards to always be ready for. This book really goes far in illustrating how prepared a Pathfinder agent should be!

Pathfinder WizardSpeaking of prepared Pathfinders, click the picture to meet Erasco Riverford, a half-elf diviner who uses his Pathfinder training (and a healthy dose of paranoia) to stay alive and bring wealth and glory to Absalom and himself. His best trick is certainly the combination of the Fast Study arcane discovery (Ultimate Magic) with the Quick Preparation feat from this book, allowing him to prepare one of his spells in a mere 30 seconds! Thanks again to David for the great picture!

Did this book help you Explore, Report, and Cooperate? Did I miss anything really cool? Post a comment to share what you think!

By Adam

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  1. David R

    David R - November 15, 2013, 8:00 pm

    Casters seem to get a lot of goodies in this book. ‘Sure Casting’ will be awesome for getting past those pesky spell resistances rather than hunting down all those spells that by-pass it.

    While I mostly dislike the Pathfinder Field Agent (I think some of the other Pathfinder Society archetypes are much cooler both in mechanics and flavour such as the Pathfinder Chronicler in the CRB, or Pathfinder Delver and Pathfinder Savant in Seeker of Secrets) I think their might be some opportunities to use it as a stepping stone to fulfill other prestige requirements thanks to its diverse amount of class features.

    • Adam

      Adam - November 16, 2013, 4:24 pm

      !!! Ooooh! Considering caster levels are at such a premium for multiclassing, this is at the very least a good way of accessing Arcane Trickster.

      Rogue 1 – Sneak Attack +1d6
      Wizard 2
      WIzard 3
      Wizard 4 – 2nd level spells
      Wizard 5 –
      Field Agent – Sneak Attack +2d6
      Arcane Trickster!

      It would ordinarily take three wizard levels and three rogue levels to qualify, so you get access at the same time, but with one more wizard level under your belt.

      • Adam

        Adam - November 16, 2013, 6:02 pm

        Ah wait… must be 3rd level to grab the sneak attack training. Probably intended to stop such a thing.

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