Webpage for the Pathfinder Society of Central California.

24th March 2013

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BookWyrm Con 2013 Post-Con Report

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On March 9th and 10th, we held our first annual BookWyrm Convention. This was a unique con experience, as it was completely free and supported by the Fresno County Public Library. Overall, the convention was a great success based on our expectations and we have many great ideas for next year.

I have compiled some reports and reflections from some people involved. James Tyner, a librarian for the county, and I put together the majority of the convention. We had lots of support from others in our community, such as Will Johnson and Andi Brandt.

Here is Will’s statement on our PFS tables logged:

"19 sessions logged (including the one at Round Table). Our original plan was for 20 tables. Of these 20, 3 were canceled. We picked up an extra table of Day of the Demon on Sunday and Venus ran a slot 0 at Round Table.

We had 51 unique players. Of these 51 players, 9 were brand new and were issued a PFS card at the convention.

Here’s the prestige earned by faction:

Andoran: 34 
Cheliax: 8 
Grand Lodge: 46 
Lantern Lodge: 4 
Osirion: 22 
Qadira: 8 
Sczarni: 33 
Shadow Lodge: 25 
Silver Crusade: 12 
Taldor: 22

Total: 214

Only one permanent death.”

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Here is the statement provided by James Tyner, co-coordinator and librarian for Fresno County Public Library:

"We had 259 people over two days. That includes everyone, from players, volunteers, and lookie-loos. The breakdown was slot 1 - 46 people, slot 2 - 57, slot 3 - 68, and slot 4 - 88. The amount of tables was 7,8, 9, 10 (Yes, hilarious.)

Donations included novels/maps/game books from Paizo, play passes and role playing games from Crazy Squirrel, writing pads from the library, and 4 video games from Sony Entertainment.

The whole point of the BookWyrm Con was to offer a completely free experience, and bring gaming to the central valley. The Valley is particularly void of conventions, and it has been difficult to get one to launch here. Also, The Valley is one of the hardest hit areas of the nation in terms of the recession. The unemployment numbers and housing loss is record breaking here. All of this is great motivation for me to launch BookWyrm Con. There really is a great need for it.

For me personally, my name is James Tyner. I am a Senior Library Assistant for the Fresno County Library. I have been doing gaming programs in the library since 2003, everything from free Magic: The Gathering tournaments to roleplaying games. Wizards of the Coast has flown me out to Anaheim and Chicago to speak at the ALA convention to other librarians about how I do this, how to get it tow work.

I grew up in poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles and in Fresno, California. I am half Mexican and half Caucasion, growing up in a single parent home. As a child, I was surrounded by gangs, and a life of violence was a normal thing for me. At the age of 10, I discovered roleplaying games at a friends house, and it became a focus for me. It fueled things like my imagination, and led me to become a lover of reading.

We are currently hosting regluar PFS games at the Gillis Library. This is a small library in a tough neighborhood in Fresno. But the effect it has already had on the local kids has been astounding. Also, we were able to implement certain things at the Con to help the kids at Gillis, such as a dice drive (an open jar for people to donate thier spare or unwanted dice) and a miniatures swap.

Almost all the work for the BookWyrm Con was volunteer time. Many people donated hours in helping me get the con together and organized. Others DM’d, brought food or drinks, or ran the information booth. It was a group effort, but with massive payoff.

The local news ran a spot, and it was well received. Library Administration was also highly pleased with the response and the turnout.

The biggest difference between this and a normal con has to do with the free aspect. Because of that, people aren’t bound to help. Many DM’s did not show. Also, we have many people just show up, not signed up, and we had to prepare for that. But overall, it went well. Looking forward to doing it again next year.”

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In the week since BookWyrm Con, we have received a lot of praise from attendees and those in our local community. For a brand new endeavor, we are thrilled with the numbers that we had. And we were able to gather other roleplaying systems together as well, such as Dungeon Crawl Classics, Legend of the Five Rings, Call of Cthulu, and FATE. It was fun seeing all of these games running side-by-side, with everyone happy and having a great time.

By the end of the convention, we were getting close to filling every available seat we had set up. We still had plenty of emergency chairs and tables in case we needed them, but it was still exciting to see that our initial attendance estimations were fairly accurate. We imagine that next year is going to be substantially bigger, especially since the library didn’t even begin to promote the convention until a couple of weeks prior to the event. With their enthusiasm for our efforts, we feel confident that we’ll see a much bigger push from the library’s PR department next year, and a much bigger turn-out as well.

Here is the link for the local news segment, if anyone is interested. It’s very short, but it’s still nice to see gaming getting this kind of attention in town.

Video

Tagged: bookwyrmpfspathfinderfresno

29th September 2012

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Important Update Regarding “Blood Under Absalom”

Our season 3 interactive special, “Blood Under Absalom,” was originally scheduled for October 7th.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances out of our control, we must reschedule the event back one week, to October 14th.  Everyone’s Warhorn signups have remained intact, so if you signed up already, you are still set.  Just make sure you are aware of the date change, and remember that THE EVENT STARTS PROMPTLY AT NOON; DO NOT BE LATE.

Thanks everyone for understanding!  And don’t forget, there are no games THIS Sunday, September 30th.  There will be two tables of “The Goblinblood Dead” on Monday, October 1st from 5-9pm for level 1-5 characters.  Seats are limited to those who signed up on Warhorn, so make sure you are registered if you are planning on attending.

http://www.warhorn.net/crazy-squirrel-events/

5th June 2012

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June 2012 - One Year Later

Pathfinder Society

Greetings, Pathfinders!  The time is upon us.

One year ago, Will Johnson and myself decided that it would be great to bring Pathfinder Society on a regular basis to the Crazy Squirrel community.  It started small, initially with one table, then two, and now, four tables fairly consistently.  We’ve seen a number of friends come and go over the last year, but some of you have stuck with us since the early days of Sunday play.

Now that our one year anniversary is upon us, there are a lot of fun things in store for everyone.  We are planning more high-level tables as well as newer scenarios from Season 3 of Pathfinder Society.  There’s very important news to pass along though, so let’s get to it!

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I.  RPG Mini-Con and PFS Game Day

One of the most excited things that I’ve been planning has finally come to fruition!  On June 16th and 17th, the Crazy Squirrel Game Store will be hosting their annual RPG Mini-Con to coincide with Free RPG Day.  This will be a great opportunity to play RPGs of all varieties of systems, from Pathfinder to Call of Cthulu and World of Darkness.

Sign-ups for the Mini-Con can be found RIGHT HERE!

In addition, on Sunday the 17th, we will be offering TWO sessions of Pathfinder Society!  Please make sure you are aware of the times, as it is different than our normal gatherings.

Session 1:  11:30AM-3:30PM
Session 2:  4:00PM-8:00PM

We will have four tables of different scenarios throughout the day.  We are expecting a large turn-out, as some of our out-of-town gamers will be joining us.  Also, the number of walk-ins from the ongoing Mini-Con will be high as well.  Because of this, anyone that does not sign up for PFS games on Warhorn will likely not be able to play.  We will be allowing walk-ins for the Mini-Con have priority on open seats for Pathfinder Society.  Let me repeat that…

ANYONE THAT DOES NOT SIGN UP FOR PFS GAMES ON WARHORN HAS A 99% CHANCE OF LOSING THEIR SEAT.

PLEASE SIGN UP ON WARHORN.

We also need some GMs to volunteer to run games on the 17th.  Please e-mail Josh if you are interested in running a game.  It’s going to be a fun day!

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II.  PFS Scenario Tracker

n order to assist players determine which scenarios they have previously played and/or judged, I have created a spreadsheet that can be used to track your PFS progress.  That way, you don’t accidentally sign up for games that you have already played, avoiding many headaches and heartbreaks.

You can find it RIGHT HERE!

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III.  Judges Needed

It’s time to stress the need for more GMs once again!  Our table count is regularly hitting four each Sunday, and I am doing everything I can to avoid burn-out and fatigue by our current regular judges.  Will Johnson, Patrick Brannick and I are running tables fairly consistently each week and while we enjoy it, it can’t last for long.  I am eternally grateful for the GMs that have stepped up and volunteered to lighten our load.  However, we need more.

Thus, I am laying out the following proposition for the group - By the end of summer, we need at least four or five new regular judges to volunteer their services once a month.  If this does not occur, I will be forced to implement a mandatory judging system to our Sunday Pathfinder Society group.

This system is still being finalized, but I will be enforcing a limited number of tables per month you will be allowed to play if you don’t GM.  Alternate methods of gaming each week might include donations to our GMs, or a minimum dollar amount spent at the store each month on products.

This can be avoided if some of our regulars will step up and give back to the community.  Because that’s exactly what our weekly gathering is… A community.  And if you’re not willing to be involved in it, you won’t be asked to come back.  It may sound harsh, but this is simply the nature of the beast.

E-mail Josh if you are willing to help out.

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We are excited for the future of Pathfinder Society in the store.  We are hoping to continue for years to come, and we need your help to do so.  Thanks, and here’s to our next anniversary!

Explore, Report, and Kick-Ass!

5th May 2012

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May 2012 - The New Blood

Pathfinder Society

Hey everyone!  Welcome to another month of Pathfinder Society organized play.  If you haven’t noticed, we’ve grown substantially over the last month.  We’ve added about 8 new players into the mix!  This is very exciting, and has pushed our table count back up to four as it was months ago.

This also means that we need people to step up and GM more than ever.  Don’t be surprised if you all are approached by me at some point in the near future.  After all, our gaming group is a community.  If you’re not giving back to the community, you’re not helping it grow and thrive.

And now, on to news and upcoming events!

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I.  Warhorn

Once again, it’s your monthly reminder to sign up for games on Warhorn!  You guys have been great, but we can definitely do better.  We’re currently averaging about 30-35% of players signing up ahead of time.  I’d like to be somewhere closer to 75%-80%.  We can do this!

Please make sure you sign up here, or if Warhorn isn’t working for you, post a message on the Facebook group page letting us know!

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II.  Judges Needed

So far, we’ve had several people volunteer to run a table monthly or bimonthly.  This has been a huge help!  But if you’ve looked at our Warhorn schedule, we are still in need of judges for the remainder of May.  If you are available to run May 20th and May 27th, it would be much appreciated!

And don’t forget, Sunday GMs get some awesome perks.  You earn 4 play passes for running a table, a free drink of your choice, and can even cash in your play passes for Squirrel Tokens!  It’s a pretty amazing deal.

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III.  Free RPG Day

Free RPG Day is quickly approaching!  On June 16, Crazy Squirrel Game Store will be hosting a two-day RPG extravaganza at the shop.  If you are interested in running a game, regardless of the system, make sure to let Jennifer or Scott know.  This is a great opportunity to dust off some of those gaming systems that you own but aren’t playing.

On the Pathfinder front, we will be offering the Free RPG Day Module, “Dawn of the Scarlet Sun.”  If you are interested in running this 4th level adventure, please let me know and I will get you set up.  Our Venture-Lieutenant is in talks of running a “session zero” table for all Free RPG Day Pathfinder GMs, so you will get a chance to play it before running it.

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IV.  One Year Anniversary

The one year anniversary of the Central Valley Pathfinder Society group is almost upon us!  We first began our weekly gatherings on June 12, 2011 and have been leveling up ever since.  We are still planning ideas for our anniversary, but one thing we are going to be offering is another opportunity to play the Season 3 “Intro” series for new level 1 PCs.  We ran these scenarios back in September, but we wanted to give our newcomers a chance to play them.

We will only be offering one table of these scenarios each week, so seats are very limited.  Please sign up your brand new level 1 characters on Warhorn to guarantee yourself a spot.

And if you have any ideas for what we should do to celebrate our one year anniversary, let me know!

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V.  Upcoming Games

We have a slew of fun scenarios coming up this month.

May 6th

  • The Frozen Fingers of Midnight" (levels 1-5)- Skelg the Ripper, envoy from the Land of the Linnorm Kings, lies wasting in his villa on the outskirts of Absalom. A frigid curse followed Skelg from his northern homeland and grips his bearish heart in its frosty embrace. As the bizarre freezing ailment pushes Skelg to the brink of death, the Society dispatches you and your fellow Pathfinders to uncover the secrets of the freezing curse before Absalom falls to its icy grip.
  • To Scale the Dragon" (levels 5-9) - The last remains of a sage from an age long past rests high atop the snow-covered tips of the Fog Peaks in Southern Galt and the Society wants his bones in order to study them and learn from them. They’ve sent you into a wintry wilderness of primordial beastmen and snow creatures not seen below the snow line to do just that. With the Aspis Consortium also seeking the bones, the race is on to beat them to the top and, once the bones are recovered, to make it back down alive.

May 13th

  • Murder on the Throaty Mermaid" (levels 1-5) -While on a routine mission to escort a dignitary to the mysterious Mordant Spire aboard a disreputable smuggler’s ship, the PCs find themselves embroiled in a murder mystery that could jeopardize the Pathfinder Society’s relationship with the isolationist elves who call the citadel home. Can the cunning Pathfinders discover who among the ship’s crew of scum and villains is responsible for the crime in time to clear their own names? This murder mystery upon the open sea features a mechanic allowing for a different killer each time it’s run to ensure that no amount of word of mouth will spoil the investigation for any team of canny players.
  • The Immortal Conundrum" (levels 5-9) -When the Pathfinder Society receives an invitation to a dinner party at the Thuvian Embassy, hosted by the guardian of this year’s six doses of the infamous sun orchid elixir, the Decemvirate sends a team of Pathfinders to represent them and uncover the nature of the event. Can the PCs navigate the complex social landscape of Absalom’s elite and gain access to the mysterious vault known as the Conundrum, or will they face public ridicule or worse in the face of the steepest competition in the Inner Sea?

May 20th

  • Delirium’s Tangle" (levels 1-5) -The Pathfinder Society owes Grandmaster Torch a favor and he’s calling it in. It seems he misplaced Nuar Spiritskin, the famous minotaur prince of Absalom, and Torch needs you to find the prince before the city discovers that the minotaur is missing. He sends you deep beneath Absalom into a maddening maze of malign shapes, hideous creatures, and secrets that haven’t seen the light of day for more than a thousand years.
  • The Ghenett Manor Gauntlet" (levels 5-9) - When the Pathfinder Society failed to obtain a valuable artifact from a wealthy Druman noble using diplomatic means, the eccentric collector challenged them to take it through skill from one of his well-guarded manors throughout the world. You are sent to Ghenett Manor in Katapesh with the hopes of surviving long enough to return with the prize—assuming it’s there at all.

May 27th

  • Assault on the Kingdom of the Impossible" (levels 1-5) -The Pathfinder Society sends you to the fabled Kingdom of the Impossible, the island of Jalmeray, to stop an Aspis Consortium black market relics dealer who is organizing the local bandits and violently robbing Jalmeray and Pathfinder Society caravans laden with relics, artifacts, and magical mysteries. When a venture-captain is murdered by the Aspis Consortium agent, it’s up to the PCs to find him and do whatever it takes to stop him.
  • Sniper in the Deep" (levels 5-9) - When rumors stir of a hidden treasure ship in Absalom’s Flotsam Graveyard, the Pathfinder Society sends you beneath the Inner Sea to investigate. Mayhem, undersea adventure, and chaos are to be had in this rousing rampage beneath the roiling waters of Absalom’s harbor.

There are a lot of fun games coming this month.  Make sure you sign up for the ones you want to play.

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VI.  Congratulations

I wanted to recognize and congratulate our Venture-Lieutenant, Will Johnson, on earning his third GM star this month!  This is achieved by running a minimum of sixty tables of Pathfinder Society scenarios.  He has been very active over the last year, and I wanted to make sure his hard work was recognized.  Congrats, Will!

I hope to see you all on Sunday.  Let’s play!

3rd April 2012

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April 2012 - Rise of the Upper Tiers!

Pathfinder Society

Greetings everyone!  Here’s what’s new and upcoming for the month of April.  Lots of great games on the horizon for Pathfinder Society players!

Many players also got to experience their first taste of the dreaded “Upper Tiers.”  Some sweat was shed at the 8-9 table, but everyone pulled through and seemingly had a great time.  We’re hoping to continue offering high level tables for the foreseeable future, as long as there are enough players interested.

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I. Warhorn

First off, I want to give a HUGE “thank you!” to everyone that has been utilizing Warhorn over the last month.  It has made scheduling a bit easier to manage, especially when we start offering multiple scenarios on a given Sunday.  Please sign up for the games that you want, regardless of how many are currently registered or how many judges there are.  That way, I can move stuff around and ensure that there are enough tables of any given game that people want to play.

The schedule has been updated though the end of May.  Check out the games being offered and make sure you sign up for the upcoming week!

Don’t forget - Registered players get first priority when it comes to seats.  If we don’t have enough spots and you didn’t sign up, you might be out of luck.

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II.  Judges

We’ve had a number of judges step up to volunteer over the last few weeks, which I am eternally grateful for.  A few first-time Pathfinder Society GMs have volunteered their services, such as Phil Dietz and Louis Lyons.  I also want to acknowledge Jordan Dunbrack, Duncan Barrow, Dana Huber, Scott Martin, Jack Krause, James Tyner, Manuel Hernandez, Kathleen Southwick, Patrick Brannick and Will Johnson for their continued and much-appreciated service as Sunday judges.  You guys are amazing and this wouldn’t function without you.  Thank you!

To show my gratitude, I am going to be running a special judges-only series through April.  On April 14th, 21st and the 28th from 5-9PM, I am going to be running the Crypt of the Everflame module.  It’s an old-school dungeon adventure for levels 1-2 only that will be split up over three sessions.  This is only for those that have volunteered to run Pathfinder Society tables as a token of my gratitude, but it is also first-come, first-serve.  We will be doing many of these GM-only events throughout the year, so if you are unable to attend this time, don’t fret.  Your time will come.

Please sign up on Warhorn if you are interested.  It is guaranteed to be a good time!

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III.  The Godsmouth Heresy

If you missed the announcement last Sunday, Patrick Brannick will be running “The Godsmouth Heresy”, a level 1-2 module starting on April 15th.  It will take three sessions to finish and is a lot of fun.  This is the same adventure that I ran for the New Year’s marathon at the Squirrel.  Only one table will be offered, so again, seats are first-come, first-serve on Warhorn.  If you’ve already played it, it can be played again with a different PC for credit, but others that haven’t will have a higher priority to join.

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IV.  Pathfinder Society Scenario Tracker

In order to assist players determine which scenarios they have previously played and/or judged, I have created a spreadsheet that can be used to track your PFS progress.  That way, you don’t accidentally sign up for games that you have already played, avoiding many headaches and heartbreaks.

You can find it RIGHT HERE!

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V.  Upcoming Games

Here is a sampling of games that you can look forward to throughout the month of April!

  • "The Heresy of Man" 3-part series has already kicked off, but Parts 2 and 3 still remain.  If you’re looking for high level action, this is where you want to be.
  • "Murder on the Silken Caravan" is a classic Season 0 scenario that takes place in the deserts of Qadira.  There are several ties to future PFS scenarios here, so if you’re interested in the lore of the Pathfinder Society, check this game out.
  • "Black Waters" is a fun aquatic-themed adventure that is also a classic Season 0 mission.  Can you survive the harsh waters outside of Absalom?
  • "Slave Pits of Absalom" is not only a classic, but one of my favorite PFS scenarios.  It’s an old-school urban adventure that is memorable and a ton of fun.
  • "Our Lady of Silver" is a high-level, roleplay-heavy adventure that returns to the deserts of Qadira for a wedding.  Of course, everything goes wrong and it’s up to you to unravel the mysteries.

As you can tell, there’s a lot being offered this month, from classic scenarios to multiple modules as well.  I know I sound like a broken record, but please sign up for games on Warhorn.  You guys are doing awesome at it, so let’s keep up the great work!

Next month will see the return of some newer Season 3 adventures, so be prepared for that!  Until then, let’s play.

6th March 2012

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March 2012 - Welcome!

Pathfinder Society

Hello everyone, and welcome to the launch of the official webpage of the Central Valley Pathfinder Society!  This site will be used as an easy location to direct newcomers, especially those without Facebook accounts, and will provide many useful tools and bits of information.  And with it, some new changes to Pathfinder Society organized play in Fresno will be made that are detailed below.

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I.  The Importance of Warhorn

Ever since forming in June of 2011, our PFS group on Sundays has continually expanded week after week.  So far, we’ve been able to meet the demand of players with an appropriate amount of tables each week.  However, space can potentially become an issue if we continue to grow as we do.  In order to help dictate how much space we need, registration for games on Warhorn or Facebook will now be mandatory.

Starting March 11th, prioritization for Pathfinder Society seats will be broken down as follows:

1.  Brand new players
2.  Regulars that signed up via Warhorn or Facebook
3.  Regulars that DID NOT sign up via Warhorn or Facebook

That means, if you are a regular PFS player that did not sign up for a table ahead of time, if all available table slots are full, you will be unable to play.  Signing up allows us to plan an appropriate amount of GMs, as well as ensure that the tiers YOU want to play are being offered.  Please sign up with the characters you want to play, and we will round up the tables accordingly.

You can sign up for games at our Warhorn site, or by posting on our Facebook group wall.

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II.  Judging Pathfinder Society

We are always looking to add more GMs/Judges to our pool of volunteers!  If you’re interested in leading a table, please contact myself (Josh) or Will Johnson (will@cvpathfinder.com).  In case you missed the announcements from before, GMs at Crazy Squirrel will receive 4 Play Passes each time they run, as well as receive the benefit of exchanging Play Passes at a reduced rate of 5-to-1 $3 token.

If you are a regular PFS player, please consider giving back to the community by judging.  It’s the only way to ensure that our community continues to grow.

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III.  Pathfinder Society Scenario Tracker

In order to assist players determine which scenarios they have previously played and/or judged, I have created a spreadsheet that can be used to track your PFS progress.  That way, you don’t accidentally sign up for games that you have already played, avoiding many headaches and heartbreaks.

You can find it RIGHT HERE!

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IV.  Upcoming Games

We are offering a slate of classic PFS scenarios throughout March and April.  We realize that some of the original “Season Zero” scenarios may not be available forever, so we want to ensure that everyone has a chance to play as many as possible.  Included in these are:

  • "Decline of Glory" - Pathfinder agents are tasked with checking into expanding a new base within Taldor, only to find the the shadows of one’s past (as well as the Taldan Phalanx army) might stand in the way.
  • "Perils of the Pirate Pact" - A river pirate captain turns to the Pathfinder Society to save his treasure and reputation.  Can the Pathfinders recover the pirate’s lost crew and survive the perils of the Pirate Pact?
  • "The Frozen Fingers of Midnight" - Skelg the Ripper, mighty warrior from the frozen Land of the Linnorm Kings, is dying slowly… By freezing to death.  Can the Pathfinders discover the source of what is causing this seemingly unnatural ailment?

In the month of April, we will also be offering two special multi-part sessions.

  • "The Heresy of Man" is a 3-part story arc for levels 5-9.  We will be offering two tables of each chapter.
  • "The Godsmouth Heresy" is a Pathfinder Module that the awesome Patrick Brannick will be running for level 1 or 2 PCs.  It will be broken up over three sessions and is PFS legal.  There will only be one table offered, so seats are first-come, first-serve by signing up ahead of time.

As we quickly approach our one-year anniversary of Pathfinder Society at the Squirrel, I hope that our community will continue to support each other week after week.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to bring them to my attention.  My goal is to make the Central Valley Pathfinder Society the best place imaginable to come and game.  Are you with us?

Observe, Report, Kick-ass,
Josh McIllwain