The Shattering of Darkmoon Vale
About the Society
The Pathfinder Society has existed for more than 400 years. Members include treasure hunters, explorers, tomb raiders, historians, and vagabonds who roam the farthest reaches of the world seeking lost relics and answers to the world’s most enigmatic and dangerous riddles. 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. The most exciting and enlightening of these have the potential to be printed and distrubuted as volumes of the famed Pathfinder Chronicles.
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 exploration, reporting, and cooperation. Those Pathfinders deemed incapable of following these simple rules are removed from the Society.
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.
The Society is directed by the Decemvirate—10 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-to-day functions to retirement, is utterly mysterious. The identity of the Ten is the Society’s most closely guarded secret—one, some say, that the Decemvirate is willing to kill to protect.
The Pathfinder Society is based at the sprawling Grand Lodge of Absalom, but the organization as a whole has many official (and unofficial) lodges spread throughout the Inner Sea and toeholds across Golarion.
Goals of the Society
The Society recognizes no formal bylaws, but adherence to a general code of behavior is expected of all members, and evidence of behavior contrary to this code is 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.
The Pathfinder Society possesses a fairly loose hierarchy with few formal distinctions in rank. All Pathfinders began their journey within the Society in the same fashion: by presenting themselves at a lodge (often the Grand Lodge in Absalom) and passing the challenges, tests, and questions expected of an aspiring applicant. Those who pass become initiates. These initiates spend several years in training and service at their lodge under the able tutelage of taskmasters who fall into one of three categories: Scrolls, Spells, and Swords. Scrolls train initiates in knowledge and history, Spells train them in the theory and lore of spells and enchanted items, and Swords train them in combat and survival.
While many Pathfinder initiates favor one of these disciplines more than the other two, those who wish to become full agents of the Society must gain the approval of all three masters. The most devoted and dedicated travel to Absalom to seek the approval of the Grand Lodge’s masters. Once all three approvals are secured, the initiate takes one final, individual test—Confirmation. Each Confirmation is tailored to the individual applicant, a test within the initiate’s means but by no means trivial. In essence, Confirmation is an initiate’s first mission as a Pathfinder. There’s no set deadline for completing Confirmation. Some initiates take years or even decades after setting out. Only refusal to accept or finish the task constitutes failure.
Initiates who pass Confirmation gain the status of field operative, and in theory are now the equal of any other full Pathfinder below the rank of venture-captain. Field operatives are the lifeblood of the Pathfinders, and are the Pathfinders most commonly encountered by those outside of the Society. Each new field operative joins an existing venture-captain’s team of agents. This venture-captain takes responsibility for making the best use of the new field operative’s talents and expertise. These assignments aren’t for life; most field operatives find themselves assigned to a new venture-captain (if only on a temporary basis) at least once or twice in the course of their lives as Pathfinders. Of course, Pathfinders who want to stay well-connected and perhaps even achieve publication in the Pathfinder Chronicles (and that’s the vast majority of Pathfinders) do well to seriously consider requests made by any venture-captain, whether their own or not.
Field operatives have their own informal hierarchy, largely based on prestige accumulated through successful ventures and contributions to the Pathfinder Chronicles. Those considered to be members in good standing receive room and board at Pathfinder lodges, and the ability to draw funds to finance sanctioned missions (and only sanctioned missions). On the other side of the coin, field operatives known for failure, wasteful spending, or a lack of meaningful contribution find themselves considered members in poor standing. Such unfortunates draw only the most mundane or trivial of tasks, if they remain with the Pathfinders at all.
Venture-captains handle the day-to-day administration of the Society. Each venture-captain minds her own cadre of field operatives and assigned area of responsibility, usually a country or portion thereof. Where two venture-captains share territory, their areas of concern do not overlap, such that in matters of conflict it’s usually clear which venture-captain has ultimate authority. Some venture-captains handle internal Pathfinder Society affairs instead, such as the Three Masters who oversee training at the Grand Lodge in Absalom.
Above the venture-captains sits the Decemvirate, the 10 masked masters of the Pathfinder Society. In times past, their members went uncloaked, but a failed coup drove them into secrecy. No one outside the Decemvirate knows their membership or how (and if ) new members are chosen, though rumors and speculation run rampant. Indeed, the very methods by which the Decemvirate administers the lodge are poorly understood and seemingly contradictory. The meticulously efficient Venture-Captain Ambrus Valsin (LN male human rogue 4/sorcerer 6) serves as both the Decemvirate’s representative and the steward of the Grand Lodge in Absalom. He tasks passing field operatives deemed to be inadequately busy with missions. Usually he draws tasks from his own personal list, but at times he delegates tasks passed on from the Decemvirate, rarely letting on which is which.
Not every Pathfinder works for the Society full time. Some are trained artisans, professionals, or performers and earn extra gold on the side, between missions. During these times, you can attempt a Craft, Perform, or Profession skill check to see how much extra money you earn—this is called a Day Job check. You may make one Day Job check any time you take a day of downtime when in a town or city. You gain the normal benefits of rest and recuperation when working a Day Job. If you are engaged in item creation during down time, you may make a Day Job check (using whatever craft skill is associated with the item you are attempting to make) and count the earned gold towards the value of the item being made (this is an exception to the rule that liquid cash cannot be used in item creation).
Certain Vanities allow you to further modify your Day Job rolls, or even let you use skill ranks from other, more specialized skills. You cannot take 10 or 20 on a Day Job check.
In order to determine how much money you make as a result of a Day Job check, consult the table below.
|Check DC||Money Earned|