The Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Society

The Pathfinder Society has existed for more than 400 years. Members include treasure hunters, explorers, tomb raiders, historians, and vagabonds, and they roam the farthest reaches of the world seeking lost relics of world-shattering power and answers to riddles older than the gods. These heroes brave vine-choked jungle ruins, ascend snow-capped peaks, and comb sun-seared desert sands in search of buried tombs and monuments of bygone ages.

Society members send records of their exploits to their venture-captain superiors, who in turn review them for accuracy before forwarding the manuscripts to the leaders of the Pathfinder Society.

Goal: Explore and Report

The Society recognizes no formal bylaws, but adherence to a general code of behavior is expected of all members, and reports of behavior contrary to this code are grounds for removal from the organization. The three most important member duties are as follows.

Explore: Pathfinders are expected to further the knowledge and reputation of the Society by traveling to distant lands, unearthing forbidden secrets, and piecing together the secret history of the world. Agents are encouraged to travel uncharted lands in search of ever more fantastic mysteries.

Report: In the course of their adventures, Pathfinders are expected to keep detailed journals, maps, and accounts of their exploits. At the conclusion of a successful mission, agents send a copy of their notes to their immediate superior, a regional venture-captain, who makes a full analysis (often involving divination). Records of especially noteworthy exploits make their way to Absalom and the Decemvirate, who compile the best tales into irregularly published editions of the Pathfinder Chronicles, which in turn make their way back to venture-captains for distribution to Pathfinder agents in the field.

Cooperate: The Society places no moral obligations upon its members, so agents span all races, creeds, and motivations. At any given time, a Pathfinder lodge might house a fiend-summoning Chelaxian, an Andoren freedom fighter, an antiquities-obsessed Osirian necromancer, and a friendly Taldan raconteur. Pathfinder agents are expected to respect one another’s claims and stay out of each other’s affairs unless offering a helping hand.

Alignment: N

Though the Pathfinder Society itself isn’t concerned with the specific actions of individual Pathfinder agents, they require those agents and their actions to conform to the general code of behavior noted above. Pathfinders who are incapable of following these simple rules are removed from the Society.


The Society is directed by the Decemvirate—ten masked and secret members whose identities are protected even from each other. It’s not known how long each Decemvirate member occupies the position; likewise, every aspect of their existence, from nomination to election, from meetings to formal public functions, and from day-today functions to retirement, is completely and utterly secret. The identity of the Ten is the Society’s most closely guarded secret—one, some say, that the Decemvirate are willing to kill to protect.

Good Class Choices: All

Challenging Class Choices: None


The Pathfinder Society is housed in the sprawling estate of the Grand Lodge in Absalom. The estate contains a school, dormitories, several outbuildings, and a massive, many-spired, almost cathedral-like structure that acts as the administrative building and meeting place for the entire Society. Deep beneath the Grand Lodge are dozens of levels of magically sealed and tenaciously protected vaults, in which the Society keeps hundreds of years-worth of magical research, world histories, priceless valuables, and arcane objects.


Most Pathfinders are trained in the necessary skills at the Grand Lodge in Absalom, but a few experienced adventurers are given field commissions in the Society once they’ve proved they’re capable. For more information, see Pathfinder Chronicles: Seekers of Secrets.

Gaining Prestige

As the core of the Society’s functioning is venture-captains giving other Pathfinders assignments, earning prestige with the Society is a matter of completing these missions without destroying anything priceless along the way. Members may gain more prestige if their adventures are published in a volume of the Pathfinder Chronicles.


The Pathfinders have access to strange magic and mysterious rituals derived from half-understood lore.


When in the Grand Lodge library, gain a +5 circumstance bonus on one Knowledge check. The check takes 1 hour, reflecting the need to reference the appropriate materials. This bonus does not stack with the +4 bonus on one check listed on page 55.


Transcribe a common spell (one listed in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook, or any spell the GM feels is common in the world) from the Grand Lodge library into a wizard’s spellbook or alchemist’s formula book. This benefit does not require a Spellcraft check or any additional transcribing costs.

5 TPA, 1 CPA

Become familiar with an uncommon or rare spell (at the GM’s discretion) from the Grand Lodge library, allowing a bard, sorcerer, or similar spellcaster to select it as a spell known at the next available opportunity (this benefit allows the character to gain access to bard or sorcerer spells from sources other than the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook without having to do spell research or find a copy of the spell while adventuring).

5 TPA, 1 CPA

Exchange one character trait taken at character creation for a new Pathfinder Society trait (see the Appendix). The character must still obey the normal trait system rules (such as not having more than one trait from the same category); however, the new trait does not need to be from the same category as the trait it replaces.

5 TPA, 5+ CPA

Gain a contact in a particular city. The character can consult with the contact for local gossip, news, and advice; this benefit grants the character a +2 bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (local), Knowledge (nobility), and Knowledge (religion) checks regarding the contact’s city made within that city. The character must wait 24 hours for the contact to provide the desired information. For an additional 10 CPA, the bonus from the contact increases to +4. A character may have contacts in multiple cities, but multiple contacts in the same city provide no extra benefit. If the contact dies, the character can spend CPA to find a replacement contact.

10 TPA

Purchase faction spellcasting (see the Appendix) at 1 CPA less than normal (minimum 1).

15 TPA, 2 CPA

Access a special section of the Grand Lodge library for 1 week and gain a +10 circumstance bonus on any one Knowledge check. This bonus does not stack with the +4 bonus on one check listed on page 55.

20 TPA

Gain free passage on caravans and merchant vessels that are friendly to the Pathfinder Society.

20 TPA

Purchase any magic item worth up to 10,000 gp value from a Pathfinder lodge at a 10% discount.

20 TPA, 1+ CPA

Access a hidden cache of supplies in a wilderness area. These supplies consist of survival gear such as dried food, clean water, spare weapons, rope, sunrods, spell components, and other non-magical equipment listed in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook. Spending CPA on this resource represents finding a cache within 2d6 × 10 minutes from the character’s current location; the character does not need to plan ahead for this cache or know of its existence (it is, in effect, a plot device for acquiring emergency items). A typical cache contains up to 375 gp worth of these goods, and many times they are found near sites the Pathfinders planned to explore at some point. This resource always incurs the +5 CPA increase for being outside of community of at least 5,000 people.

40 TPA, 1 CPA

 Gain a reputation as a famous and successful Pathfinder. The character is in effect a celebrity adventurer and is well known in several countries (though whether this is fame or infamy depends on the history and personality of the character). This reputation grants the character a +2 circumstance bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intimidate checks when dealing with someone who knows of her fame. Many Pathfinders with this level of prestige go on to become venture-captains (though the Decemvirate selects venture-captains based on qualities other than prestige).

The Pathfinder Society

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