- Access to Options
- Affiliations for PCs
- Affiliations for Adventuring Parties
- Affiliations for NPCs
- Abandoning Affiliations
- Prestige Classes and Archetypes
- Example Organizations
Only the bravest, or perhaps the most foolhardy, adventurer seeks fame, glory, and wealth on her own. Most join parties, supporting each other with a diverse array of abilities and tactics, but even these groups often need to call upon the aid of experts. Presented in the pages of this book are 18 groups of such experts-a mix of organizations with access to powerful abilities, magic, and secrets that can bolster the effectiveness of any adventurer. These organizations can be your party’s guide to success!
The information presented at the start of each section is not intended to be comprehensive, but rather to give basic information regarding the group in question.
The organizations are presented with the assumption that the events of the Adventure Path in which it was introduced have already come to pass, and that the PCs of that Adventure Path were victorious.
Access to Options
This page presents a wide range of character options that are tied to specific organizations, but certain options are indicated as being unaffiliated with a group. These options, while still thematically tied to the organization in whose section they appear, are not controlled by that organization and are always considered to function under the full-access approach detailed below. Most, however, are more closely associated with a specific organization. How GMs incorporate these latter options into their own games depends entirely on personal preference.
Full Access: The simplest solution is to allow full access to all of the options in these rules, regardless of characters’ affiliations or lack thereof. This has the advantage of allowing all characters a wide range of new options to choose from, but dilutes the flavorful aspect of having these options define specific in-world organizations. Some of the options here require sponsorship or similar support from an established member of an organization before a character can select the option-for full access, ignore these requirements.
Limited Access: At the opposite end of the scale from full access is limited access-in this approach, only members of the specific group can ever have access to the options associated with that group, and before a character can select one of that group’s options, the character must be accepted into the group. This preserves the strong themes and identifiable rules elements that are iconic to each group, but it limits player choice. Access to a group should be awarded by the GM only to specific characters as the result of in-play developments. If a party already uses a wide range of player options, limiting the options might be an attractive choice.
Affiliation Access: This is a midway approach between full and limited access, and is the assumption for how these rules will be used in play. With affiliation access, a character need only be affiliated with a group to gain access to its options-the character does not need to be a full member. This approach strikes a balance between making a wide range of character options available while preserving the thematic identities of the organizations associated with those options.
Discovery: Many of the options here can be discovered organically during play. A PC doesn’t need to be affiliated with the Crimson Assassins to loot a mask of the mantis from a defeated NPC, nor does she need to be affiliated with the swordlords to learn the spell alacrity from a spellbook she discovers in a monster’s lair. of course, in such situations, the GM is the arbiter of what can and cannot be discovered, and for some options (such as feats or prestige classes), discovery isn’t a logical source.
Affiliations for PCs
Affiliation with a group means that a character has proven to be an ally with the group’s interests at heart and is trusted to be a caretaker for that group’s secrets.
Affiliation Slots: Each PC has a number of affiliation slots equal to the character’s Charisma modifier + 1 (minimum 1 slot). Each time a PC takes the Additional Affiliations feat, his total number of affiliation slots increases by 2. Finally, a GM can award bonus affiliation slots as rewards for gameplay, but typically these slots must be spent on specific groups. (For example, after the PCs successfully undertake a dangerous mission for the Silver Ravens, the GM may reward the group with a bonus affiliation with the Silver Ravens.)
Starting Affiliation: A player can choose her PC’s first affiliation when she creates the character, so long as she justifies her choice via the character’s background. For example, perhaps a PC’s parents belong to the Explorer’s Society, and her parents’ reputation in that organization could vouch for her own affiliation. A PC born into a horselord tribe may retain her birthright and history by belonging to these horse-riding folk despite having since traveled far from Qadira. Or maybe a PC was rescued from slavery at a young age by members of the Harvester Network, and has modeled his life upon heroes from that group. This starting affiliation must be approved by the GM, who may say that certain affiliations are off-limits or some organizations must be contacted in-play before joining.
Subsequent Affiliations: Once play begins, a PC must seek out and contact agents of an organization before attempting to join or gain affiliation with it. Upon making contact, she must convince that agent that she would make a good addition to the organization. Players should speak with their GM out of the game when they make the decision to pursue affiliation with a group, since the GM has final say as to which groups (and thus which options) are available. An affiliation should never be something players just decide they have on their own-it should be the result of gameplay and interaction with NPCs associated with the organization. Additional information on how to earn affiliation is presented in each group’s chapter, along with a short example encounter GMs can use as inspiration for setting up the attempt to affiliate with the group.
Affiliations for Adventuring Parties
At the GM’s discretion, an entire adventuring party can have a group affiliation. In such a case, the assumption is that the campaign the GM has chosen to run involves the whole party being agents of a specific group. Once the GM assigns a group affiliation, all members of the party are treated as if they were affiliated with that group. This affiliation does not take up any individual PC’s affiliation slots.
Alternatively, a party can use rules for membership in groups, or joining a group could be a significant part of a campaign, as in the case of the Silver Ravens in the Hell’s Rebels Adventure Path. In such a case, a character automatically gains affiliation with a group once he successfully joins the group in question.
Affiliations for NPCs
An NPC should typically have only one affiliation (if any), and the GM gets to decide what that affiliation is. Yet there is no maximum number of affiliations for NPCs-an NPC can have as many as are needed for the GM to tell the story she wishes to tell. It’s generally unnecessary to list in an NPC’s statistics what affiliations he has, since that should be clear from the NPC’s background.
Note that certain groups presented here have rivals listed in their group stat blocks, representing long-standing conflicts with other groups. The Consortium and the Explorer’s Society are perennial enemies, and the Hellknights and the Harvester Network have long been at odds. There’s no reason that characters of rival affiliations can’t exist in the same adventuring party (although such a group will likely be more prone to party strife than others), but a single character cannot normally have an affiliation with two rival groups.
A character can abandon an affiliation at any time, but she cannot replace the abandoned affiliation with a new affiliation until she has gained at least 1 character level (unless the GM decrees otherwise). Once a character has abandoned her affiliation with a group, only exceptional circumstances can allow her to regain her affiliation with that group. Abandoning an affiliation may have in-game repercussions, as members of the group may not take kindly to learning that a character has deserted them.
When a character abandons an affiliation, she cannot gain new options from that group until her affiliation with the group is restored. However, she does not lose access to options she already has, and can still gain access to affiliation options via alternative means. If a character has a prestige class or archetype associated with a group, she can continue to gain levels in that class or archetype, regardless of her current affiliation status with that group.
As an alternative way to gain more affiliation slots rather than abandoning one, a character could take the Additional Affiliations feat to expand her set of affiliations without having to sacrifice existing affiliations. and of course, if a character’s Charisma score (and thus her Charisma modifier) permanently increases, she can gain access to new affiliation slots as a result.
Prestige Classes and Archetypes
Spells per Day: At the indicated levels, the character gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in a spellcasting class she belonged to before adding the prestige class. She does not, however, gain other benefits a character of that class would have gained, except for additional spells per day, spells known (if she is a spontaneous spellcaster), and an increased effective level of spellcasting. If a character had more than one spellcasting class before gaining this prestige class ability, she must decide to which class she adds the new level for the purposes of determining her spells per day. Some prestige classes limit this ability to specific types of magic (such as arcane, divine, or psychic); if this is the case, it is indicated in the text of the prestige class.
Feats: Additional Affiliations
You have an expansive personality and can forge more affiliations than normal.
Benefit(s): Increase your affiliation slot total by 2.
Normal: You have a number of affiliation slots equal to your Charisma modifier + 1 (minimum 1).
Special: You can take this feat multiple times; each time you do so, your number of affiliation slots increases by 2.
Notorious Cult of Deadly Assassins
Values: deadly efficiency, discretion, loyalty, professionalism, purity of focus, respect for the rule of rightful monarchies Goals act as professional assassins-and only assassins-for any client willing to pay the price of a contract, honor their god through the sacred rite of assassination, never fail to fulfill an assassination contract
Allies: Gray Gardeners, pirates, rightful monarchs
Enemies: Eagle Knights, most Hellknight orders, Explorer’s Society
Example Affiliation Encounter: One must seek out a member of the group and apply for affiliation. The Crimson Assassins accept all such requests if the prospective affiliate is willing to pay the price. These prices fall into one of two categories. The most common is the promise of aid in the future tailored to the affiliate’s capabilities and position in society. This might eventually entail building a magic item for an assassin, delivering sensitive political secrets to one of the cult’s agents, or even accompanying a group of Crimson Assassins on a mission. An alternative price is for the prospective affiliate to provide a portion of her own body preserved with a dose of unguent of timelessness (the dose of unguent to be paid for and provided by the prospective affiliate). While this body part could well be only a fingernail or a hair clipping, most Crimson Assassin agents instead require a fingertip, an earlobe, a tooth, or another minor but painfully significant excision from the affiliate as a cruel token of intent. Once harvested, these body parts are placed in storage in the Crimson Citadel, in an ever-growing collection of parts that can be used as needed by the Crimson Assassins for their own needs, be it components for spells like clone or simulacrum or something more eldritch and sinister. In some cases, the affiliate dies before the body part is used, but in all cases the Crimson Assassins keep their options open for how to eventually utilize the offered flesh.
Inheritors of an Ancient Academy of Arcane Learning
Values: civility over barbarism, history as a guide for the future, knowledge over ignorance
Goals: acquire, protect, and disseminate knowledge (especially concerning arcane magic, history, and the natural world); foster peace; oppose evil; recover and restore ancient relics
Allies: Storm Kindlers
Enemies: The Consortium, cults of demon lords
Example Affiliation Encounter: The college values goodness, respect for the natural world, and honoring traditions, and any who display these traits are welcome to work with them. Becoming affiliated with the college is a simple task, as opposed to full membership in the school.
Values: development of new revenue streams, elimination of competition, indirect political power, monopolies, profit
Goals: finance new ventures by securing exotic goods for customers, providing consultation services, and taking control of rare and profitable resources; maximize earnings; secure capital
Allies: aspiring tyrants; numerous municipal, national, organizational authorities; sundry tribes
Enemies: competing mercantile interests
Rivals: Explorer’s Society
Example Affiliation Encounter: While demonstrations of loyalty to the Consortium and the ability to maintain secrecy are important when the Consortium is determining who might make a good candidate, the group is a mercantile concern above all else. As such, agents of the Consortium often ask for tithes or -membership dues- from those who seek affiliation. After displaying his competence, a would-be affiliate can often expect to pay such dues on a yearly basis to his Consortium contacts, typically at rates of 50 to 100 gp per character level. of course, should an affiliate at a later point choose to cease payment, any secrets and techniques learned or acquired during the time of his affiliation remain-but one should keep in mind that the Consortium doesn’t always allow affiliates to -retire- without consequences.
Inheritors of Ancient Arcane Traditions
Values: ancient magical artifacts and items, pursuit of knowledge
Goals: decipher and catalog lore, master the mysteries of lost ruins, understand long-lost magic and developing protective measures against ancient threats
Allies: followers of empyreal lords
Enemies: crime lords and syndicates, thieves and other agents trafficking black-market artifacts
Example Affiliation Encounter: As a result of the Cyphermages’ increasing openness, one need only contact one of the organization’s members to earn affiliation with the group. of course, whether or not the Cyphermages accept new affiliations depends on the nature of the request.
Vanguards of Liberty
Values: community, equality for all, freedom, justice, personal responsibility
Goals: abolish slavery in all its forms, lead the people into a new era of common rule and individual liberty, maintain vigilance against all threats freedom via any means that don’t threaten the core values of the Eagle Knights
Allies: Harvester Network, Guild of Thieves, Spirit Channelers, Silver Ravens, various empyreal lord cults
Enemies: The Consortium, Crimson Assassins, slavers
Example Affiliation Encounter: Before earning affiliation with a faction of the Eagle Knights, a prospective ally must first demonstrate his loyalty and patriotism. The prospective affiliate must then perform one of the following tasks, depending on the faction he wishes to affiliate with.
Golden Legion: Protect a number of citizens equal to your class level in a single encounter against an aggressor, be it enemy invaders or a rampaging monster. The protection must be provided in a public venue, and you must proclaim your allegiance to the Eagle Knights at the end.
Gray Corsairs: Deliver a number of freed slaves equal to your class level to a Gray Corsair ship or safe house.
Steel Falcons: Provide shelter in hostile territory for a Steel Falcon agent or group for a number of days equal to your level.
Twilight Talons: Escort a Twilight Talon operative whose mission has been compromised out of enemy lands, perhaps including a successful jailbreak or other escape scenario.
Adventuring Scholars of Historical Lore
Values: camaraderie, cooperation, proper documentation of important findings, self-promotion though publication, world travel
Goals: understand the past and present wonders by exploring important sites, recovering relics, chronicling what’s found, and publishing findings
Allies: few steadfast allies; countless minor alliances; Cyphermages
Enemies: The Consortium, Crimson Assassins
Rivals: The Consortium
Example Affiliation Encounter: Most seek affiliation with the Pathfinders via submission of a field report. Such a report must be detailed and concise, and it must also feature information of interest to the organization. Any adventure in which a character gains an unusual magic item, learns of an ancient secret, or explores an unmapped or deadly region is of interest. The field report must be well written, and the character submitting the report must succeed at a DC 20 Craft (writing), Knowledge (any), Linguistics, or Profession (scribe) check to succeed at presenting the report in a way that catches the Society’s attention enough to earn affiliation. At the GM’s discretion, a particularly unusual discovery or the donation of an item of interest (such as information on a missing or dead Pathfinder, or the donation of an ioun stone) can supersede the need for a successful skill check.
Remnants of a Tyrant’s Reign
Alignment: LE (Erinyes Company) or NG (Scarlet Rose)
Values: preservation of their queen’s ideals, service to their nation (Erinyes Company); the aid, rehabilitation, and protection of each other and allies (Scarlet Rose)
Goals: expand their own power, reclaim rule their nation (Erinyes Company); oppose tyranny, recover from their queen’s evil (Scarlet Rose)
Allies: followers of the Queens of the Night (Erinyes Company); Silver Ravens (Scarlet Rose)
Enemies: rival Gray Maidens, Silver Ravens (Erinyes Company); rival Gray Maidens (Scarlet Rose)
Rivals: rival Gray Maiden factions
Example Affiliation Encounter: While a character could well seek the approval of an established Gray Maiden mercenary company to become affiliated with the group, anyone who has undergone personal trauma, whether physical or mental, only to have come out the other side stronger and more resolute, has the proper mindset to take advantage of Gray Maiden options. A character who endures the effects of at least 4 points of ability score drain or toils under the effects of any mind-control effect (such as charm person, dominate person, or geas/quest) for at least a month certainly has not matched the torment actual Gray Maidens suffered during their brutal and extensive indoctrination-but this suffering, combined with an interest in pursuing the goals of a Gray Maiden faction, is typically enough to allow access to the options in this chapter. Alternately, any character who takes the Gray Maiden Initiate feat (see below) is automatically affiliated with the Gray Maidens.
Guild of Thieves
Rulers of a Criminal Underworld
Values: absorb or eliminate rival gangs, commit crime with class, kill only when necessary
Goals: control government officials, dominate criminal activity, make money, research and understand their own history
Allies: noble families, Eagle Knights, insurgents and rebels, Silver Ravens
Enemies: city guards, Hellknights, merchants
Rivals: Hellknights, the Guild of Thieves
Example Affiliation Encounter: As with many Thieves’ guilds, the swiftest way to attract the attention of the Guild of Thieves is to perform an act of thievery on its turf. Recognizing the right place to perform such an act could well be the subject of several days of research, as is the fact that the group has recently been reborn in that city’s now not-so-supernatural shadows. The crime to be performed should be audacious and obvious, yet not murderous or violent. Balancing the act’s publicity with the desire to avoid jail time can be tricky, but even if a character serves a sentence in prison, the Council will take notice and, perhaps, approach the criminal with an offer to become affiliated once the prison term is ended (be that end from time lawfully served or as the result of a daring escape). As a general rule, the crime should be associated with the theft of at least one object of a gp value equal to the character’s level x 100. In the case of blackmail or the like, the target of the crime should be of a CR equal to the character’s level + 2 (if not higher).
A character who simply asks around about the Guild of Thieves displays a lack of understanding of the subtleties of membership in a criminal organization. This ill-informed route won’t attract invitations to join the council-and may well attract the entirely wrong kind of attention. While the Guild of Thieves would never stoop to assassinating someone who it fears might attract too much attention to the Council, the same cannot be said for any number of various groups the Council could hire to handle the job.
However, if a character can subtly spread the word that he seeks affiliation with the Council (something that can be accomplished via the successful daily use of Bluff checks over the course of several weeks in a region where the Council is active), the Council could well approach the prospective affiliate with a request. Attracting the Council’s attention in this way requires a minimum of 12 successful DC 20 Bluff checks, made over the course of 3 weeks with one attempt per day (these successes need not be consecutive). Within 24 hours of the twelfth successful check, a Council agent makes contact with the PC to offer a job to solve a minor problem the Council’s been having, giving the character the opportunity to prove her skills. Typically, such jobs involve finding a nonviolent solution to deal with a fool who’s threatening the Council’s interests-be it a misguided dandy who is trying to join the Council by asking around in a blatant and embarrassing way; an ex-member who has attempted to embezzle funds from the group; a visiting thief operating without permission in the city; or a low-ranking guard, merchant, or priest whose anti-Council rhetoric has become more than the group can bear. Murder is almost never an appropriate solution to such a problem, but if the PC can convince the target NPC to amend his ways, leave town, or otherwise cease being a source of concern for the Council, affiliation with the Guild of Thieves is likely.
Eradicators of Halfling Slavery
Values: abolition of slavery, equality between the races, freedom to pursue lives of comfort, reintegration of escaped slaves into a safe and welcoming society
Goals: abolish slavery, disband organized slavery rings, emancipate slaves (particularly halfling slaves) from servitude, establish networks of underground routes to help slaves escape, remove slavers from positions of power
Allies: Spirit Channelers, Silver Ravens, those who oppose slavery
Enemies: followers of evil religions, Hellknights (most orders), slavers
Rivals: Hellknights (most orders)
Example Affiliation Encounter: PCs who play out several encounters wherein they defy slavers, free slaves from servitude, or simply stand up for the rights of a downtrodden or marginalized group should eventually earn the trust of the Network. If you would like your character to earn affiliation with the Harvester Network, inform your GM and then focus your character’s actions on fulfilling tasks and goals that the Network would approve of without being told to do so. Actions speak louder than words in this case. If you’re the GM and a player informs you that she would like her character to earn Harvester Network affiliation, four to five significant displays of personality and conviction in sync with Harvester Network interests should be enough to earn the group’s trust, at which point an agent of the Harvester Network should approach the PC with an offer of support. Typically, this offer comes with a final task, usually a request to rescue a slave or group of slaves. The Network is quite well informed, and it should know what the next adventure is that the PC is heading into-you can then inform the player that there’s a slave in the upcoming adventure that needs to be freed, and if this task can be accomplished, affiliation with the Harvester Network is assured.
Merciless Enforcers of the Law
Alignment: varies by order (typically LN)
Headquarters: varies by order
Values: enforcement of Hellknight law; order-specific values (the Order of the Chain imprisons fugitives and criminals; the Order of the Gate seeks to prevent disorder through arcane means; the Order of the Godclaw values religious obedience; the Order of the Nail pushes civilization over barbarism; the Order of the Pyre hunts heretics and pagans; the Order of the Rack destroys dangerous lore; the Order of the Scourge fights corruption and crime)
Goals: crush chaos and lawlessness, spread their ideals
Allies: followers of other lawful faiths; lawful governments
Enemies: lawbreakers and rebels; varies by order
Rivals: varies by order
Example Affiliation Encounter: Just as those who seek to become actual Hellknights or signifers must pass the Test, in which the initiate defeats a powerful devil before a Hellknight witness, so too can those who seek affiliation with a Hellknight order undertake a similar test. It is not enough to merely defeat a single devil with more Hit Dice than oneself for a nonmember to earn the respect of a Hellknight’s order, though. In addition to defeating such a devil while under observation, a character must also demonstrate her adherence to that order’s virtues. Typically, this requirement can be met by handing over a criminal or law-breaker whose crimes are among those the order in question seeks to punish. Most Hellknight orders maintain relatively extensive lists of bounties, so those who seek affiliation can focus their hunt on known criminals.
Values: ecological integrity (both protection of existing desert and prevention of desertification), hospitality to travelers, isolationism, resistance to assimilation, secrecy, tradition
Goals: breed superior horses, eliminate evil outsiders, preserve traditional lifestyle, prevent corruption of the faith, protect business interests, shore up border
Allies: genies, empyreal lords
Houses of Perfection
Trio of Elite Mystical Monasteries Inspired by the Elements
Values: the elements as expressions of nature’s perfect forms, improvement through competition, pursuit of perfection (even if one does not reach it)
Goals: defend their island, develop new methods of purifying and enhancing mind and body alike through study of the four elements, overcome the weaknesses of mind and flesh, train the finest martial artists
Allies: genies; seekers of enlightenment and the perfection of the body and mind
Enemies: asuras, rakshasas
Example Affiliation Encounter: Earning affiliation with the Houses of Perfection requires more than merely studying their techniques. The houses seek potential rather than established skill, and so are less impressed by demonstrations of power than they are by demonstrations of passion for learning. A character who takes a level in monk, brawler, or any occult class and seeks out a representative of one of the houses is generally granted affiliation automatically-other characters need to impress a representative of the Houses of Perfection by performing specific quests (subject to GM adjudication).
A Light Against the Coming Darkness
Values: nurture beauty and those who seek redemption, oppose conspiracies and reveal destructive secrets, remain pure-hearted, reveal and fight corruption
Goals: push back the darkness (be it literal or metaphorical) and light the way for allies, redeem corrupted elves (and in particular, provide drow who seek redemption a safe venue to escape their society), thwart drow and demon plots
Allies: followers of elven deities and neutral good empyreal lords
Beast-Riding Barbarian Tribes
Values: family; tribal pride, tradition, and unity; worship of ancestors and natural spirits
Goals: develop, grow, and protect individual tribes and followings; preserve tribal traditions and culture in the face of the constant encroachment of modern civilization
Example Affiliation Encounter: While the surest way to earn affiliation with the Mammoth Lords is to be born into the society or to be adopted into it, those who come to the land from afar can earn the respect of the tribes by proving their worth. Approaching a tribe with a trophy harvested from a demon, dragon, giant, or other obviously dangerous creature known to the Mammoth Lords can secure an audience, provided the trophy is from a monster with a CR at least 2 higher than the level of the character presenting the trophy. Convincing the tribe that the trophy was legitimately earned requires either a Diplomacy check (if the character harvested the trophy after defeating the creature) or a Bluff check (if the character harvested the trophy from a dead creature or stole the trophy) opposed by 2d4 Sense Motive checks attempted by the most experienced members of the tribe. Roll all of these Sense Motive checks at once to determine the highest result, and thus the target DC of the Diplomacy or Bluff check (if you don’t have stats for the Mammoth Lords at hand, assume all of these Sense Motive checks have a bonus equal to the average party level +5). Success earns that character affiliation. Failure need not result in combat, but the Mammoth Lords likely demand the character secure another trophy of equal or greater value, but this time with a few Mammoth Lords as escorts to witness the deed.
Rebels Against an Oppressive Regime
Values: artistic integrity and creativity, equality between the races, free trade, freedom of religion and speech, small government
Goals: defend their land from oppression, support regions oppressed by despotism and tyranny by providing them with aid and training
Allies: Harvester Network, Guild of Thieves, Eagle Knights, Gray Maidens (Scarlet Rose)
Enemies: followers of archdevils, Gray Maidens (Erinyes Company), Hellknights, slavers
Example Affiliation Encounter: In order to earn the trust of the Silver Ravens, a prospective affiliate must first arrange a meeting with an agent of the semi-secret group. Doing so requires a successful DC 20 Bluff check to send a secret message in an area where the Silver Ravens are active; this Bluff check takes 1 hour to perform and must be done in a public area. On a successful check, the Silver Ravens send an agent to interview the prospective affiliate within 24 hours, and the would-be affiliate must agree to imbibe an elixir of truth during the meeting. The Silver Raven agent uses this opportunity to determine the affiliate’s actual interests in the group and reasons for seeking aid, and the agent also ensures that the prospect is not secretly an agent of an opposing group, or some other enemy faction. After such an interview, the Silver Ravens generally accept all who are not obviously enemies.
Animists Harnessing Personal Struggles for Spiritual Growth
Values: acceptance of others for who they are, open negotiation founded on mutual respect, personal introspection and growth, preservation of lore
Goals: explore spiritual lore; foster balance between mortal needs and spiritual concerns; supply resources, information, and encouragement for personal growth
Allies: Harvester Network, deities of the dwarven pantheon, Eagle Knights, followers of empyreal lords, Hellknights
Example Affiliation Encounter: Earning affiliation with the Spirit Channelers is simple for those already steeped in the spiritual world-shamans and spiritualists, in particular, need only contact an agent of the Spirit Channeler and convince the agent of their sincere interest in pursuing the group’s beliefs and teachings with a successful DC 15 Diplomacy or Knowledge (religion) check. Other characters can do the same, but the DC for the check rises to 20.
Storm-Seeking Devotees of a God of Destruction
Headquarters: decentralized; dozens of small strongholds and temples spread throughout the world
Values: enlightenment, fearlessness, freedom, unity of consciousness
Goals: merge with the consciousness of their god, recover and reclaim lost lore from previous generations of Storm Kindlers
Allies: druids of the Green Faith, hermits, madmen, vagabonds, wanderers
Example Affiliation Encounter: Earning affiliation with the Storm Kindlers can be difficult. Typically, one must display devout faith in the storm by braving the elements for several days to earn affiliation. Since such a task requires securing a vessel to enter the storm, exposure to murderous winds and lightning, and the threat of sea monsters or other dangers, very few sailors agree to such a journey, leaving the securing and piloting of such a ship to a small crew of devoted (and perhaps foolhardy) risk-takers. In game terms, this should consist of 1d4+2 days spent in storm-wracked waters, with at least three encounters with dangerous sea creatures, each of which should be a significant challenge to the party (CR equal to the average party level + 1 to 3).
Masters of the Clash of Blades
Values: constant honing of martial skills, defense of swordlord traditions, duels and honorable combat, preservation of swordlord traditions and secrets
Goals: establish the dueling style as supreme among all forms of swordplay
Allies: various petty nations
Enemies: bandits and brigands, those who would spread the secrets of the indiscriminately and without care to the traditions of the technique
Example Affiliation Encounter: Even among ex-members who have relaxed their restrictions on teaching secrets to those from other parts of the world, some display of skill at dueling and swordplay is required before affiliation with the swordlords is granted. To earn affiliation, a prospective student must win a duel in which she uses a sword as her only weapon. The duel need not be to the death, nor need it be against an swordlord, but a swordlord (or an exile who has the skills to teach techniques) must witness the character’s success in the duel. You can use the rules for duels and performance combat to aid in determining the level of success.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Adventurer’s Guide © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Benjamin Bruck, John Compton, Crystal Frasier, Tim Hitchcock, Jenny Jarzabski, Isabelle Lee, Joe Pasini, Jessica Price, David Schwartz, and Josh Vogt.