Glossary – Pathfinder Society (2nd edition)

Current Version: 0.10
Current Version Date 03/18/2020 – 22:00

In addition to the terms and abbreviations used in Pathfinder, Pathfinder Society uses the following.

Access: This stat block entry indicates that you can use a rules element even though it’s uncommon by virtue of belonging to a particular organization, hailing from a particular region, or meeting another such criterion. For example, members of the Pathfinder Society begin with access to most options of common rarity, but also gain access to wayfinders because of their membership in that organization, even though wayfinders are uncommon in Golarion.

Achievement Points (ACP): Achievement Points are a reward for participating in the Pathfinder Society Campaign, earned through playing and GMing adventures. You can redeem these points for special boons for your characters. See Achievement Points.

Adventure: The term “adventure” collectively refers to Pathfinder Society Quests, Pathfinder Society Scenarios, products in the Pathfinder Adventures line, and Adventure Path volumes.  See Adventures

Alignment Infraction: An alignment infraction is any intentionally evil action or suitably callous criminal action that results in a character gaining Infamy. The consequences of alignment infractions vary from limits on purchases to forced retirement of a character from the Pathfinder Society campaign. See Infamy

Apply a Chronicle: Applying a Chronicle sheet means filling out all of its information and modifying your character’s information accordingly. This typically happens at the same time you assign a Chronicle sheet, though there are some exceptions (See Applying Credit)

Assign a Chronicle: Assigning a Chronicle sheet means picking which character gets it. This is typically done when you enter your information on the reporting sheet for the event.

Base Level: Each adventure has a ‘base level.’  The base level is the lowest level allowed to play in the tier of the adventure.  Thus for a tier 1-4, the base level would be 1. For a Tier 5-8, it would be 5, and so on.

Boon: A boon is an in-game reward other than Experience Points, wealth, Fame, Downtime, or item access. Boons appear on Chronicle sheets, typically earned as part of an adventure or as a reward in exchange for Achievement Points. See Reputation Boons for some examples.

Challenge Points: Challenge Points represent the overall strength of all of the PCs at the table. This number determines what modifications to an adventure, if any, the GM should use to ensure the degree of difficulty is appropriate. See Challenge Points.

Character Options: The Character Options page lists what items, classes, spells, feats, and other character options from books published by Paizo Inc. are legal for Pathfinder Society Organized Play characters, and what rules elements they gain access to as a result of their membership in Pathfinder Society. See Character Options.

Chronicle Sheet: This is usually a record of an adventure that a character has completed, recording any Experience Points, wealth, Fame, Reputation, boons, or item access the character earned. Some Chronicle sheets grant special rewards that are not associated with an adventure and are instead earned by spending Achievement Points or from other opportunities. You must bring all Chronicle sheets for a character to Organized Play games in order to be able to use that character, but if you have them, you can play that character at any Pathfinder Society event of the appropriate level anywhere in the world! See Record Keeping

Companion Creature: Any permanent companion (e.g., an animal companion, familiar, or mount) that accompanies the PC, can take actions in combat, and is acquired through a PC’s class features is referred to as a companion creature.

Community Standards: These are the basic expectations of conduct to which everyone must adhere when participating in the Pathfinder Society campaign. See Community Standards.

Credit: A player or GM who receives credit for an adventure earns a Chronicle sheet for it. In general, you can earn credit for an adventure twice—once as a GM and once as a player—though there are exceptions to this rule, such as repeatable scenarios

Downtime: This is a unit of time granted by a Chronicle sheet that a character can spend to perform a number of activities, such as Crafting or attempting to Earn Income. See  Player Basics  for how to use Downtime.

Evil Act: An evil act is an act that, on its own or as part of a pattern, would push your alignment toward evil. An individual evil act may or may not grant Infamy. See Infamy.

Faction: Pathfinder Society agents all have their own loyalties and motivations, even within the Society. A faction represents your PC’s secondary loyalties. See Factions.

Fame: Fame represents your character’s social currency within the Pathfinder Society and is gained from successfully completing adventures. You can spend Fame to purchase boons and services from the Society or its various factions. See Fame

Game Master (GM): A GM adjudicates the rules and controls the elements of the story and world that the players explore, providing a fair and fun game. In Pathfinder Society, a GM must also help players accurately fill out their paperwork and report the results of each game to the event coordinator.

Golarion: The planet of Golarion is the setting for the majority of Pathfinder Society adventures. See The World of Golarion for more information about this magical and dangerous land.

GM Glyphs: GM glyphs are a measure of how many Pathfinder Society games a person has run. Earning the fifth glyph requires several additional steps.

Infamy: A PC gains Infamy when they knowingly commit evil acts. The consequences of accruing Infamy range from limits on purchases to forced retirement of a character from the Pathfinder Society campaign. See Infamy

Interactive: Interactive adventures are special adventures in which multiple groups of players participate in the same adventure, and their combined results impact each other’s experience and the adventure’s results. New interactive adventures are typically introduced at PaizoCon or Gen Con and are available at other conventions that meet a given adventure’s minimum number of participating tables.

Legal Source: A legal source is a physical copy of a book, a name-watermarked pdf of a book, or a printout of one or more pages from a name-watermarked pdf. In order to use a character option, you must own and have on hand a legal source that contains that option. See Character Options.

Nonplayer Character (NPC): This is a character run by the GM who the player characters can interact with.

Organized Play Manager (OPM): The Organized Play manager administers any organized play campaigns, including Pathfinder Society, the First Edition Pathfinder Society, Pathfinder Adventure Card Society, and Starfinder Society.

Organized Play ID: Each participant in the Pathfinder Society has an Organized Play ID, assigned either by paizo.com when you register for the Organized Play program or by the GM for your first adventure, if you haven’t registered yet. Each character you register also has a hyphenated ID number; the first portion is your ID number, and the second begins with “200” followed digits specific to that character (e.g., # 123456–2002 refers to player number 123456 and the second PC they registered). This number is used when reporting completed adventures and should appear on each Chronicle sheet and inventory tracking sheet associated with your characters. See the Register for Organized Play   for how to obtain an Organized Play ID.

Pathfinder Reference Document (PRD): This is a free online version of the Pathfinder rules, available at paizo.com/prd. The PRD is not a legal source, but is available as a quick reference. GMs in particular may find it useful to reference the PRD when preparing and running adventures.

Pathfinder School: The Pathfinder Society’s training program is broken up into three schools: the Spells, the Scrolls, and the Swords, each of which represents a different facet of an initiate’s education. See Pathfinder Training  for the benefits these schools grant and Factions for more information about their role in Golarion.

Player Character (PC): This is a character portrayed by a player, rather than by a GM.

Pregenerated Character (Pregen): These are pre-made characters designed for quick use by players who may not have a character of their own or want to try a new character class. Some scenarios also provide special pregenerated characters.

Quest: Pathfinder Quests are short adventures designed to last about 1 hour and are written specifically for the Pathfinder Society.

Regional Venture Coordinator (RVC; real world): Regional Venture-Coordinators, under the guidance of the Organized Play Manager, supervise a large section of the world and support Venture-Captains, Venture-Lieutenants and Venture-Agents in their duties.

Repeatable: Repeatable adventures are those that a player may replay (or be the GM for) any number of times and still earn a Chronicle sheet with full rewards each time. These adventures are marked with a Repeatable tag on their title pages and on their product pages on paizo.com.

Replay: A player replays a scenario when they play it more than once. See Replaying Adventures, Repeatable and Replaying for no credit.

Reporting Sheets: These are pages that record the characters used at a table, their factions, and their Organized Play IDs. In Pathfinder Scenarios and Quests, these are found at the back of the adventure; for other sanctioned adventures, they’re a separate download on the adventure’s product page on paizo.com. See  Your Duties as Game Master.

Reputation: Reputation represents your character’s current standing with a faction. A character can have multiple Reputation scores, each with a different faction. The higher a Reputation score with a faction, the more resources are available for purchase from that faction. See Reputation Boons.

Retraining: This is the process for changing features of your character after 1st level, either by using Downtime or by using a special boon. See Retraining.

Revere: In Organized Play, a character who reveres one or more deities, pantheons, or philosophies pays homage without receiving rules benefits such as spells or access to abilities that require worship. Player characters can revere any Golarion-specific deity, pantheon, or philosophy without alignment restriction. This extends to evil deities as well, so long as the PC does not participate in or glorify activities that violate the Pathfinder Baseline or otherwise incur an alignment infraction (see Pathfinder Core Rulebook 486 and Infamy).

Sanctioned Adventure: Sanctioned adventures were not originally written for Pathfinder Society, but they have been approved for use within the Pathfinder Society.

Scenario: Pathfinder Scenarios are adventures that typically take 4–5 hours to complete, written specifically for the Pathfinder Society. Most adventures in the campaign are scenarios.

Season: A season is a yearlong period that begins at Gen Con (typically August). Most seasons have a unifying theme and contain about 25 scenarios, with two usually released per month.

Subtier: This is a small level range within a tier used to scale the difficulty of an adventure for groups of PCs with different levels. See Determine the Level Range for how to determine which subtier and other adjustments to use.

Tier: This is a range of character levels that can participate in an adventure. Scenario tiers are usually subdivided into subtiers. A PC cannot participate in an adventure if the PC’s level at the start of the adventure is outside that adventure’s tier.

Venture-Agent (VA; real-world): A Venture-Agent (VA) is a dedicated volunteer coordinator who directs operations at one venue.

Venture-Captain (in-game): Rather than travel widely, some Pathfinders establish lodges where they can coordinate local agents, store regional lore, and provide a safe refuge for their colleagues. In scenarios, venture-captains are often the NPCs who brief the PCs on their next mission or opportunity.

Venture-Captain (VC; real-world): Named after the in-game leaders of the Pathfinder Society, Venture-Captains are the many dedicated volunteers who oversee large geographic regions that contain a large number of players.

Venture-Lieutenant (VL; real-world): Venture-Lieutenants are dedicated  volunteers who assist the Venture-Captains in their efforts.

Worship: In Organized Play, worship refers to a relationship between a character and a deity where the character gains a mechanical benefit (e.g., a cleric’s spells and abilities or access to options tied to that deity) in exchange for their dedicated worship. A PC may worship only one deity and must choose a deity that accepts worshippers of their alignment. However, the PC cannot participate in or glorify activities that violate the Pathfinder baseline or otherwise incur an alignment infraction (see Pathfinder Core Rulebook 486 and Infamy).


0.10 – Site Migration
0.09 – Added “Base Level”
0.08 – Added “Assign a chronicle” and “Apply a chronicle.”

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