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Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide

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Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide
Cover Image
Book - Sourcebook
Rule set
D&D 3.5 (v1.0)
PFRPG (v1.1-)
Web enhancement
August 9, 2018

This article covers a topic relevant to Pathfinder First Edition. For the Pathfinder Second Edition equivalent, see Pathfinder Society Guide to Organized Play.

The Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide (previously the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play) was a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game sourcebook for the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild organized play program. It was frequently revised to reflect the current rules, setting, and character options for organized play characters.

Most recent version: 10.0, released on August 8, 2018.

Welcome to the Pathfinder Society! Within the pages of the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide you will find everything you need to bring your own character to life. Whether you are new to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, or a pen & paper roleplaying game veteran, the answers to your questions about the Roleplaying Guild are right here!

Past versions

Because the Roleplaying Guild is a living, changing campaign, the rules which govern it have also seen several iterations since the organized play program launched in 2008. Below are the various versions of the rules to date.

v. 1.0 / 1.1

Guide to PFS v1.jpg

Serving as the guide for the Society's playtest season, this version was 32 pages in length and released in August 2008. At the time of its writing, Nicolas Logue was Organized Play Coordinator, and he shared cover credit for the version with Events Manager Joshua J. Frost. It included all the rules needed to play and run games for Pathfinder Society Organized Play (PFS) using the older Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 rules. Shortly after v1.0 was released, v1.1 came out with small errata. This was the iteration used until v2.0 came out July 31, 2009.

v. 2.0 / 2.1 / 2.2

Guide to PFS v2.jpg

Version 2.0 was released July 31, 2009, was 34 pages in length, and contained a new reddish cover (shown at left), replacing the picture of a dragon with that of a solar. This version was now wholly written by Joshua J. Frost. Because of the simultaneous release of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, PFS play using the old 3.5 rules was discontinued. Version 2.0 of the Guide contained rules not only for running PFS using the new rules system, but also how to convert old 3.5 characters to the new system. "Faction feats", which had existed in previous versions, were discontinued, and replaced with "faction traits". Additional new elements included the introduction of Golarion-specific deities, clarification of rules on animal companions, faction shirts, and spell durations, and the introduction of pregenerated characters. The rules on buying magical items (formally tied to factions) was simplified as well. To reward Game Masters for spending the time to prepare and run scenarios, the concept of Game Master rewards were introduced. Finally, the concept of "Additional Resources", being a list of Paizo publications that contained PFS-legal content, was initiated in this version of the Guide as well.

Version 2.1 was released on December 4, 2009, and was 36 pages in length. In addition to errata and some minor layout changes, it also introduced the "Play, Play, Play" rule as one of the fundamental structures of PFS organized play, highlighted the campaign's level cap, and expanded the list of publications containing PFS-legal content in the "Additional Resources" chapter.

Version 2.2 came out April 6, 2010, and was 38 pages in length. The new version contained minor layout changes, in addition to a more detailed explanation of the Tier 12 story arcs, new rules for replaying scenarios, special rules for the new alchemist class, news about retiring scenarios, new rules on purchasing scrolls and wands, and the maximum and minimum sizes of tables. The concept of the "GM Ranking System" was introduced as well, and the "GM Rewards" were changed to give GMs full credit for running scenarios. Finally, the "Additional Resources" section was expanded to include Paizo publications released since the release of v 2.1.

v. 3.0 / 3.0.1 / 3.0.2 / 3.0.3

Guide to PFS v3.jpg

Version 3.03 was released on April 4, 2011.

v. 4.0 / 4.1 / 4.2 / 4.3

Guide to PFS v4.3.jpg

v. 5.0 / v5.1

Guide 5.0 Cover.png

Version 5.0 was released August 5, 2013, and was 48 pages in length, and contained a new demon-watermarked red background, replacing the picture of the Risen Rune symbol of version 4. This version was written by Mike Brock with help from his entire Venture Officer Team. With the introduction of over-arching season plot lines in version 4, version 5 kept the same tradition and provides information on each faction's goals for the season. As well, as of Season 5, the Shadow Lodge and Lantern Lodge faction were removed from play. With the release of Ultimate Campaign, players were now able to retrain virtually anything on their character by using prestige and gold. Additionally, version 5 introduced the ability for GMs to replay any scenario or module equal to the number of GM stars they have. Clarification of rules on sanctioned modules, seeker play (Level 12+), and clarified the use of how pre-generated characters interacted with society play. A "Out-of-Subtier" gold value was introduced in version 5 that lowers the gold amount for characters that played in a higher sub-tier. This lowers the wealth a particular character can earn if they were to play in a higher sub-tier all the time, leading to less wealth per level. Finally, version 5 required all players to maintain a equipment tracker sheet to clear show equipment and items purchased during and between each adventure played.

v. 6.0

Guide 6.0 Cover.jpg

Paizo released version 6.0 on August 11, 2014, and takes effect August 14, 2014.1 It is the last version of the guide to use the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play title.

Changes include:1

* Removed aasimar and tiefling as legal race choices. Added kitsune, nagaji, and wayang as legal choices.
  • The nation-based factions have transitioned to ideal-based factions. These new factions borrow some traits from past factions and introduce several new traits. Those who already have faction traits no longer appearing in the Guide to Organized Play keep those traits, but they are no longer available as options for new characters. If you are currently playing in a online game (PbP, VTT, etc.), you may finish the game with your character in its current faction. After the game is complete, you should immediately transition to one of the newer factions, with the exception of Grand Lodge and Silver Crusade.
  • Updated the faction goals for season six.
  • Added a new section in Chapter Five for special rules pertaining to Season 6, including information about time-worn technology and glitches.
  • Updated the shirts available for free rerolls, including the new ones that go on sale at Gen Con.
  • Updated the art throughout to reflect the theme of season six.
  • Additionally, we have released the update to Additional Resources, including all of July and August books. That means you are able to get a few days to decide what new class you want to build from the Advanced Class Guide.

v. 7.0

Guide 7.0 Cover.jpg

Paizo released Version 7.0 on July 27, 2015, changing the guide's name to the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Guide to reflect the Pathfinder RPG organized play program's rebranding to the Pathfinder Society Roleplaying Guild.

* Added a new Step 1 to character creation that involves choosing between Core and Standard Mode
  • Updated some of the class-specific replacements and nuances, such as the exclusive use of the summoner class that appears in Pathfinder Unchained
  • Updated the faction symbols to use the new art we released earlier this year
  • Updated Season 7 goals
  • Added a Faction Journal Card section
  • Added a new Core Mode section in Chapter 5
  • Added to the Playtest and Errata section, providing additional ways in which a character can retrain features and resell equipment following a rules update
  • Revised the Slow progression so that one opts to use the slow progression at the very beginning of an adventure, not at the very beginning of a level
  • Presented a concept of Downtime, which is just the Day Job "slot." This reinforces that everyone has Downtime, even if they don't have a Day Job skill
  • Removed technology and glitch information (now available on the Pathfinder Reference Document)
  • Removed the list of venture-officers, which changes far too frequently these days to update the list only once or twice a year; this information is available online


v. 8.0

v. 9.0

Guide 9.0 Cover.jpg

Paizo released version 9.0, by Mike Brock, John Compton, Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, and Tonya Woldridge, on August 14, 2017.

v. 10.0

PFS Roleplaying Guild Guide 10.0.jpg

Paizo released version 10.0, by Mike Brock, John Compton, Erik Mona, Mark Moreland, Tonya Woldridge, and Linda Zayas-Palmer, on August 8, 2018.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mike Brock and John Compton. (August 11, 2014). Guide 6.0 and Changes to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, Paizo Blog.
  2. The Pathfinder Society Team. (July 27, 2015). Guide to the New Season, Paizo Blog.