New Players: Welcome to the Pathfinder Society!

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Below is a brief overview of the Pathfinder Society and of the Organized play system. If you're ready to jump in, I suggest that you head over to the Initiate Training Grounds and check out what is there for you. Introduce yourself, ask any questions that you may have, and start fleshing out your Pathfinder!

Welcome to Golarion's elite adventuring society!

Background: The Pathfinder Society(From the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play)

The Pathfinder Society has existed for more than 400 years. Its history, fraught with the daring exploits of brave heroes, has long enchanted the populace of the Inner Sea. Members include explorers, historians, tomb raiders, treasure hunters, and vagabonds who 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 snowcapped peaks, and comb sun-seared desert sands in search of buried tombs and monuments of bygone ages.

Upon the completion of a particularly notable discovery or journey, Society members send a record of their exploits to their venture-captain superior, who in turn reviews it for accuracy before forwarding the manuscript to the masked leaders of the Pathfinder Society: the cryptic Decemvirate, an inner circle of 10 experienced Pathfinders who guide the Society’s activities. Their subtle guidance allows individual Pathfinder agents to believe they act of their own accord when they are actually doing the bidding of the Ten.

The Society recognizes no formal bylaws, but adherence to a general code of behavior is expected of all members, and reports of activity violating 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 evermore-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, the agent sends a copy of his notes to his immediate superior, a regional venture-captain, who makes a full analysis (often involving divination). Accounts 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 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, a Silver Crusade paladin, an antiquities-obsessed Osirian necromancer, a watchdog Shadow Lodge member, and a friendly Taldan raconteur. Pathfinder agents, no matter which of the 10 factions they belong to, are expected to respect one another’s claims and stay out of each other’s affairs unless offering a helping hand.

The day to day running of the Pathfinder Society is managed by the venture-captains. These are usually older or accomplished Pathfinders, or long-time allies of the organization, who have settled down, and claimed a Pathfinder lodge for themselves. They direct Pathfinders in the field towards new and interesting locales, and receive the regular reports that will eventually become part of the Chronicles.

They receive their instruction from the Decemvirate, a secret body of ten masked individuals who pass messages along to the captains in subtle and silent ways. Little is known about the Decemvirate, not even their ultimate goals for the collection of the endless data the Society receives.

The Pathfinder Society is willing to accept members of all backgrounds, creeds and morals. Any applicant who does well enough overall on the initial tests is allowed to take the oath and become an initiate. Training is overseen by three deans, the Master of Swords, the Master of Spells and the Master of Lore. The final test, Confirmation, is taken after 3 years as an initiate (although ambitious or gifted initiates may persuade the deans to allow them to take the test earlier). The test is effectively the initiate’s first mission; those who pass become Pathfinders and those who fail are discharged from the Society (but often remain on good terms with it afterwards).

Field Commissions
Those rare few non-members who manage to significantly change the course of history may be offered full Pathfinder status by the Decemvirate as a “field commission”.

More commonly, anyone who makes a discovery and elects to report it to the Society may sometimes be offered the chance to join as an initiate, and to have the initial discovery count towards his final Confirmation. Depending on the individual, he may then be asked to report to the Grand Lodge for further training, or invited to attempt the remaining task(s) required for Confirmation.

Pathfinder Agents
This is where you come in as a Pathfinder agent! Maybe you were inducted as a field agent, or you went through training like most everyone else. Whatever your background, be prepared to delve the dungeon deep.
Pathfinder Society Organized Play
A Brief Primer to Organized Play(From the Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play)

Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a worldwide fantasy roleplaying campaign that puts you in the role of an agent of the Pathfinder Society, a legendary league of explorers, archaeologists, and adventurers dedicated to discovering and chronicling the greatest mysteries and wonders of an ancient world beset by magic and evil. The campaign’s home base is sprawling Absalom, the so-called City at the Center of the World that stands astride the great Inner Sea on the mountain-capped Isle of Kortos. A Pathfinder’s adventures explore the dark alleys and political intrigues of Absalom between far-flung travels to the most interesting and exotic locales in the world of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

Organized Play
In an organized play campaign, your character exists in a common setting shared by thousands of other gamers from around the world. In each Pathfinder Society game, your character experiences a short, one-sitting adventure or “scenario”) that is a single episode in a continuing story. You can take your character to any public Pathfinder Society event anywhere in the world, and while the Game Master and your companions might change every time you play, your character advances as normal. Over time, campaigning in an organized play environment offers a uniquely immersive experience, as your diverse companions add depth and character to the campaign world. It’s also a great way to get in touch with other local gamers, meet new people, and play regularly without all the prep work and scheduling of a traditional campaign.

Alternatively, some players prefer to keep their Pathfinder Society experience limited to a familiar group of friends, using the Pathfinder Society character creation rules, adventure scenarios, and reward structure as the framework for a private campaign. Either approach is a valid way to experience the campaign, and many players enjoy a combination of public and private adventuring.

Because an organized play campaign takes place in a shared-world environment, a few additional rules are required to ensure that all players at all tables share a similar experience, no matter who is running the game. The Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play guide outlines these special rules, ensuring a level playing field for all. Please read over the contents of this guide carefully.

Thanks for reading! Now you're ready to head on over to the Initiate Training Grounds!