New to PFS?

First of all, welcome! Pathfinder Society (PFS) games are a great way to meet new gamers, both local and at conventions. The strength of the program is that your character is legal for play in any other PFS game, anywhere in the world – so you can just find a local game, walk in and start gaming. But if you’re on your way into your first PFS game, there are a few things that you can do ahead of time to make it a smoother experience.

It’s important to note that none of this stuff is mandatory before you play. But it can go a long way to making the experience more fun for you.

The Most Important Link

The support for Paizo’s organized play can be found on their website, at paizo.com/pathfinderSociety. Everything that follows on this page comes from information that can be found there.

The Guide to Organized Play

Everything you need to know can be found in this document, which is published by Paizo and available for free on their website. You can download a PDF version to have as a handy reference, though someone will usually have access to a copy at most PFS games.

Got Questions?

Sure you do!  Many of them may already have been answered officially.  As part of their ongoing support for Organized Play, Paizo maintains a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) list on their website.  It’s also available in a user-maintained printable version.

Character Creation

The nuts and bolts of Character Creation are detailed in the Guide to Organized Play, but here’s a summary of the most important points, which may differ from other Pathfinder Games in which you’ve played.

  • Choose a Faction
    Every Pathfinder belongs to a faction within the larger organization. Their faction determines their side missions, and completing side missions within each module allows your characters to gain access to more powerful magical items and other special abilities.
  • Point-Buy
    PFS characters are created using the 20-point buy.
  • Alignment
    No evil alignments are permitted for PFS play.
  • Equipment
    All characters start level 1 with 150gp worth of equipment, regardless of character class.

Registering your Character

All active PFS characters must be registered on the Paizo website in order to progress through PFS play. Gamemasters and Event Coordinators register completed sessions, as well as the characters that have played through them. If you create a character ahead of time, you can register them on the website and get your ID number. Just head to the website and click on Register Your Character to set everything up. If you don’t do this ahead of time, most GMs will have some pre-registered numbers that they can hand out on the day of the event – but you’ll still need to register on the website eventually.

Playing the Game

The motto of the Pathfinder Society is “Explore, Report, Cooperate.” While a little friendly rivalry is to be expected from time to time, Pathfinders are expected to work together to achieve their goals. By the same token, players are expected to work together to complete scenarios. Specifically, Player versus Player combat (PvP) is expressly forbidden in the Guide to Organized Play.