Rules Index | GM Screen


Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 5
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 (see the Additional Affiliations sidebar on page 6), 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 Pathfinder Society, and her parents’ reputation in that organization could vouch for her own affiliation. A PC born into an Al-Zabriti 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 Bellflower 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) from this book 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

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 6
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, such as those presented in Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Faction Guide, 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.

Afiliations for NPCs

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 6
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.


Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 6
Note that certain groups presented in this book have rivals listed in their group stat blocks, representing long-standing conflicts with other groups presented in this book. The Aspis Consortium and the Pathfinder Society are perennial enemies, and the Hellknights and the Bellflower 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.

Abandoning Affiliations

Source Adventurer's Guide pg. 6
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.