How do I get Involved in Paizo Organized Play?

How do I get involved in Paizo Organized Play?

This question has been bandied about a good deal in the past few months. Whether it’s asked by new players to Tabletop Role-Playing Games (TTRPGs) who want to learn the systems and how Organized Play works, or if they’re coming with experience from other game systems, people are looking for an entry point or a path to follow.

Navigating all the information and websites out there for it all can be daunting. This is an effort to try to un-muddy the waters for you. While Paizo has 4 game systems with Organized Play support, this guide is going to focus on the two active campaigns – Starfinder Society and Pathfinder Second Edition Society.

All guides or other links referenced are living documents which can be updated at any time, though there is typically an announcement that indicates a change is occurring via the Paizo Blog.

What is Organized Play?

Coming directly from the Paizo Organized Play website: Paizo Organized Play is a worldwide roleplaying organization where players can take the same character and play in any game around the globe. Scenarios and quests are designed to bring players together as they explore new worlds, investigate mysteries and fight the forces of evil in a shared setting that responds to their decisions.

In other words, Organized play is a global, living campaign where players create characters and play them from Level 1 up to retirement. There is a stricter set of rules around Organized Play, for instance, what species are permitted, what equipment can be purchased or used, and certain things are locked behind Achievement Points (more on this shortly). Organized Play characters can be used anywhere in the world (or beyond) where Organized Play sessions are being offered, whether at a home game, via a Virtual Tabletop (VTT), Play By Post/Play by Discord (PBP/PBD), in-person at a Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS), or at either a virtual or in-person convention.

When a player participates in an Organized Play session, on completion, they receive a chronicle sheet. This sheet will show things earned during the session as well as their totals (Experience Points, Treasure, Faction Reputation), and equipment or special gear available for player character purchases.

Once the session has been reported on Paizo’s website, the player is awarded Achievement Points which can be used on the website to purchase boons to unlock ancestries, species, and other in-game benefits, including things like recovery of a character’s body or raising the character from the dead.

How do I find a game?

That is not quite as straightforward in some cases.

Organized Play is broken down into regions, headed by a Regional Venture-Coordinator. Each region is then further divided into lodges, led by a Venture-Captain.

A lodge is required to maintain a searchable online presence, but what form that takes is up to the Venture-Captain of each lodge. Some of the more popular options are Warhorn, Facebook, and MeetUp. Lodges also create and list their events on the Paizo Events page. In the case of the Atlanta lodge, where you’re possibly reading this, games are listed on the Paizo Events page, the AtlantaPFS Warhorn Page, the shared GeorgiaPFS Forums, and then propagated via automation to social media accounts (Twitter, Discord, Facebook, Mastodon, and Reddit).

The FLGS and other venues where sessions are offered sometimes list them on their own Facebook pages, their website event calendars, or in-store posters. If all else fails and you can’t find a game using any of these methods, you can always reach out to the RVC responsible for the area where you’re looking, or, if you’re so inclined, join a game in the Online region.

Conventions typically have their own pages with gaming information, whether they use Warhorn or their own internal tool. You’ll need to search their websites to find the game(s) you want to play and sign up via their site.

What happens next?

Player Registration

There are a few ways you can do this


Prior to heading out to an event, you can go to the My Organized Play page, which takes you to a page where you can either sign in (if you have an existing Organized Play Player ID) or create a new account. Click on “Create New Account” in the New Customer box on the page and fill out the requested information, review the Privacy Policy (linked at the bottom of the information capture page), and, as long as you agree, click the Create New Account button. Follow the rest of the steps listed and you’ll have registered yourself as a new player. Once you are on your own My Organized Play page, you will see an option to download your Pathfinder ID card. This card contains your player number.

After the Game Registration

You can also show up to one of the games you’ve found and play a pregenerated character, applying the credit to a character of your own that you’ll create later. If you opt to do this, the Game Master (GM) or Venture-Officer (VO) responsible for the location may give you a Player ID card, which you will then need to register using that number and the temporary passcode on the card by going to the Paizo Organized Play website, clicking on New Players Create an Account, then filling in the information on the card in the Returning Customer area. When you move forward to the next page, you should then be able to input your own information so the card is then linked to you, as is the player ID.

Character Registration/Creation

If you don’t have a character or a character that is in range for the scenario that is being run, the GM or VO should have copies of the pregenerated Iconic characters for the appropriate game system for your use. Even if you use one of the Iconics, you will need a character of your own to play eventually, and for the credit from using an Iconic to be applied.

Since you’re already familiar with the My Organized Play page on Paizo’s website, you should see, at the bottom of the page, options to register a new character for each game system. Click on the appropriate link and it will give you a character number as well as taking you to a page to input character information (this is optional unless you plan to do play by post games on the Paizo website). The two active systems are Starfinder (SFS) and Pathfinder 2nd Edition (PF2S). Your first Starfinder character will be 701, while your first Pathfinder 2nd Edition character will be 2001. The combination of your Player ID and Character ID (XXXXXX-XXXX) is how you will sign in to a game your character is in for credit to be applied after the session.

In creating your character(s), you will want to review a few items.


  • Paizo Code of Conduct
  • Community Standards and Expectations
    • Expands on game and character related requirements for players
  • The Boons tab on your My Organized Play page
    • Paizo grants new players a number of Achievement Points that permits you to purchase boons on the site, which can be used to purchase ancestries (PF2S) or species (SFS) entry boons, permitting you to play a character outside those that are permanently available to all.
      • To purchase a boon, you have to select a character, so you will need to have registered the character prior to purchasing the boon.
  • Gives an overview of what is or is not acceptable behavior by players, GMs, and VOs


Pathfinder 2nd Edition

Playing the Game


You’ll need a copy of your character, whether physical or digital, to play at the game. If you are using a pregenerated Iconic character, a sheet will be provided for your use (if you wish to review them, they are linked from the Organized Play pages for each game system – Starfinder Iconics, Pathfinder 2E Iconics). You should come prepared with dice, a mini, pencils, paper (or ways to deal with character changes, such as Hit Point [HP] loss or restoration throughout the game session). If you do not have these things, most GMs have extras they can lend you. As you play, you’ll learn the rules and interact with other players and their characters. Should any part of the interactions not conform to the Code of Conduct, you should let the GM or the VO for the venue know so appropriate action can be taken.


Some GMs offer what’s called a “Slot 0” session, where players can create or upload their characters to the VTT that will be used for the game prior to either game day or game time on game day. This allows players to do their part to ensure the game session is not unduly delayed for character creation. If you will be using an Iconic character, the GM should have all of them loaded to the VTT to be able to select and use.

The VTT is a self-contained tool, which means there is no need to have separate items like pencils, minis, or dice – the VTT will contain all of those. The “mini” on the VTT will be an image of your character that you would include when creating the character on the VTT. The use of a VTT and a Voice Chat Server will facilitate the same interactions mentioned above in the in-person section. Players and GMs are held to the same standards in the Code of Conduct no matter where or how the game takes place, and the same guidance applies if something does not conform to the Code of Conduct. To quote many other organizations, if you see something, say something.

After the Game

When the game is over, the GM will give you either a physical or digital chronicle sheet. This chronicle sheet is the record of your character’s participation in the session and shows experience points (XP) gained, treasure and earned income as well as reputation gains for the faction you represented and possibly for other interested factions. You will need to keep your chronicle sheets in the event of a character audit, but, your participation in a session is recorded on Paizo’s website where you can view it by going to My Organized Play, logging in, and reviewing the Summary tab. Under the names of each of your played characters, you will see a link entitled Show Sessions. Clicking on this at any time will show you all reported sessions for the character chosen.

The GM then either reports the game directly on Paizo’s website or hands off the reporting to a VO to do. The VO Handbook makes this a “ticking time bomb”, with a requirement to have sessions reported within 2 weeks of occurring (and the requirement is stricter around conventions, due to the organizer having to submit a report to Organized Play within 1 week of the completion of the convention). Achievement points are credited to your Organized Play account (to you as a player, not to a character you played) when reporting is done. Achievement point awards are variable, depending on whether the game took place physically or virtually and whether it qualifies for the Regional Support Program. This is detailed in the Player Rewards section of each Guide to Organized Play (Starfinder Player Rewards; Pathfinder 2E Player Rewards).

If you then click on the Boons tab on your My Organized Play page, you will see how many Achievement Points (AcP) you have for each game system and be able to view and purchase boons for existing or newly registered characters. The more frequently you play, the more Achievement Points you will accrue. If you want to get even more Achievement Points, aside from playing at conventions or events that benefit from being part of the Regional Support Program, it may be time to consider becoming a GM.

A Path Forward

From Player to GM

If you show up to game sessions regularly and show you have a good grasp of the rules, you may be asked to try your hand at running sessions. A GM is not required or expected to know all the rules cold. A GM is also not required or expected to own all the source material. The onus is on the player to be able to explain how something they have works and to be able to show the appropriate rule to the GM, on request, to back up their statement. VOs are responsible for mentoring players further on into the world of Organized Play. If you choose to accept this quest, you’ll want to review the GM section of the Guide to Organized Play for the appropriate game system(s) you plan to run. Whenever possible, as a GM, you should plan to arrive early to the venue to get set up so players will know which table is for PFS/SFS games.


  • The GM Discussion Thread on the Organized Play thread of the Paizo Forums
    • Checking this thread before running a specific scenario is suggested as there could be clarifications on the content of the scenario provided here by an author or how a VO interpreted what was written. It could prove that others had the same or similar questions to those you have.
  • GM 101 & GM 201 Documents


  • Game Master Options and Tools
    • General Game Master information as well as some specific duties, including how to fill out a Chronicle Sheet
    • Additional Reading
      • This section covers a number of topics that will be important to any Starfinder GM. It is advisable to review each item on the list and to be at least generally familiar with what each says.

Pathfinder 2nd Edition

  • Game Master Basics
    • General Game Master information as well as some specific duties, including how to fill out a Chronicle Sheet
    • Additional Reading
      • This section covers a number of topics that will be important to any Pathfinder GM. It is advisable to review each item on the list and to be at least generally familiar with what each says.

Running the game

Society games do not allow for variation the way a home game does. Scenarios should be run “as is” when running for Society. Adventure mode is a different story. Adventure mode allows for variation, but is only permitted for use in specific types of adventures, as laid out in the Additional Adventures sections of the GM section of both the SFS and PF2S Guides to Organized Play.

During the game, you’ll wear many hats, both in the game and out of it. You’ll be a storyteller, an adjudicator, and a foil to the characters, and you may be called on to deal with player behaviors that go against the Code of Conduct. If you are not comfortable dealing with a situation, get as much information as possible, including names of anyone involved, what happened, etc., and get it to the VO responsible for the venue so they can investigate and take action.

You also need to be impartial, showing no favoritism to any player or character during a game session. Perception is reality for people. If someone feels you were playing favorites or not giving them a fair chance at the table while others got chances, it will impact how they feel about you as a GM and could also negatively impact their sentiments on Organized Play.

If you have reason to believe a player’s character is unbalanced to the point of disrupting game play, you have the authority to conduct a character audit to verify they can do the things they are trying to do in the game, and, if the player does not have their records in order to give a history of how they came to have an item, ability, etc., you have the authority to have them use a pregenerated Iconic character. If you believe a player is fudging their die rolls, you can require them to roll in the open so you can see the results. As long as you have justification for the actions you take and can document it for a VO if an investigation is needed, the VO chain will support you and back you up.

After the game

At the end of the game, you’ll be giving players chronicle sheets for their participation, whether physically or digitally. This is a player’s official record of their character having participated in the session. As a GM, you are also able to get a chronicle sheet to apply to a character in the level range for the adventure (or a 1st level character).

You may be handing off your sign-in sheet information to a VO to perform reporting. Alternatively, you may be the one doing the reporting. If so, you’ll go to your My Organized Play page, click on the GM/Event Coordinator tab (after signing in), find the event code/event you’re reporting, and click the report button at the right end of the event. Once there, you’ll need to fill out all the required information (game date, selection of the game system from the dropdown, selecting the scenario that was run, marking any reporting boxes the scenario indicated you should mark, your player ID and the character number you want to get credit, the correct amount of Prestige/Reputation, and the player IDs with character numbers, and character prestige/reputation). Some of the information will auto-populate, if the players have already registered the characters they played on the Paizo site. If you only have one session to report, click on Save and Exit at the bottom of the page, otherwise, click Save and Go to New Session and follow the same process.

Once reporting is done, whether by you or a VO, you’ll be able to see your reported sessions and AcP, as well as purchase boons with AcP, just as players can, following the same instructions as given above.

From GM to Venue Coordinator

If you’ve been successful stepping up to GM from Player, you may be approached by a VO to see if you would be willing to coordinate sessions at a venue. This would make you responsible for scheduling and selecting what adventures are offered at the venue. This could be done as a “dry run” before you are offered a spot in the VO Corps. You may be added to the lodge’s scheduling site as an admin so you can post the schedule for the venue, or you’ll be asked to coordinate with the responsible VO. That will all depend on the process the lodge follows. This ask could also include reporting duties, in which case, the instructions in the GM Section in After the Game would apply to you. Whether you are a Venue Coordinator or a Venture-Officer, you should be familiar with the Volunteer tabs in both the SFS and PF2S Guides to Organized Play.

From Venue Coordinator to Venture-Officer

At some point, you could be asked your interest in joining the VO Corps. VOs play an integral part in Organized Play, being responsible for venues, reporting, organizing and volunteering at conventions, and other functions. Every year, VOs are sent a census to determine whether they will be continuing to volunteer, then receiving a VO Agreement/Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which will need to be returned by a specific date in order to not be removed from the VO Corps. The VO Agreement delineates a number of VO requirements as well as the rewards for each VO Rank. VOs also need to be familiar with the Volunteer tabs in both the SFS and PF2S Guides to Organized Play and the VO Handbook since there are requirements in the VO Handbook as well.

Venture-Officer Ranks

As mentioned above, there are requirements for VOs which are specific to their rank in the organization. The specifics may change from year to year, based on the needs of the overall Organized Play program. The VO ranks and the most basic description for each are below.

  • Venture-Agent
    • This is the level where most VOs start. The Venture-Agent (VA) is typically responsible for a single venue
  • Venture-Lieutenant
    • A Venture-Lieutenant (VL) normally has responsibility over multiple VAs and their venues
  • Venture-Captain
    • A Venture-Captain (VC) is the lead VO of a lodge, responsible for the lodge in its entirety.
  • Regional Venture-Coordinator
    • The Regional Venture-Coordinator (RVC) oversees a region of multiple lodges, and interacts directly with the Organized Play Coordinator (OPC) at Paizo.

What else can I do?

The biggest need for most lodges when it comes to engagement and getting involved is for conventions, whether in-person, virtual, or a blended combination of both. Lodge presence at a convention is always looking for people to help with setup/cleanup, players, GMs, and Headquarters (HQ) personnel. Players and GMs have already been discussed above, but, for a GM, conventions may include a requirement to be a specific number of minutes early for your assigned time slot so you can get set up and ready for players (for instance, DragonCon, in Atlanta, has a requirement that GMs arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their assigned time slot – this is a convention-level requirement).

What does HQ do?

HQ is likely the first place any player or GM will go on arriving at a convention after receiving their badge or checking in with the overall gaming HQ for the convention. HQ musters and seats players, fills out required paperwork for the convention (if they have any required paperwork), collects player tickets/cash (if there is a cash option) to turn in to convention leadership, and possibly more, depending on the needs of the lodge for the convention.


Conventions may also have a GM HQ role they look to fill. GM HQ is there to assist GMs running sessions by lending maps/minis/dice, stepping in if a GM does not show up for their assigned slot, and possibly more, again, depending on the needs of the lodge for the convention.

That’s all, folks!

If you’ve made it to the end of the document, thanks. Give yourself a hero point. You’ve now learned how to get involved with Paizo Organized Play. So, get out there and start rolling dice!

Looking forward to seeing you at the tables!

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