Running Pathfinder Society adventures in Fantasy Hero is a great way to get access to a wonderful sequence of adventures. The adventures are inexpensive ($3.99) and have some really good stories attached to them.
Using the basic Fantasy Hero guidelines
, combined with basic races and equipment, you can host an exciting Golrian based campaign.
Where on Golarion?
Written in Blood takes place in the city of Trollheim in the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, in the icy, northern reaches of Avistan. Trollheim has a sizable population of just over 12,000 souls, and is a city-state with no king—a castellan named Freyr Darkwine leads the city's military force and is the de facto ruler until such time as a king is crowned. The citizens of Trollheim bear a violent, burning hatred for the citizens of neighboring Irrisen, and Darkwine himself routinely leads hunts for that nation's ice trolls and winter witches. For more information on the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, see Pathfinder Campaign Setting: The Inner Sea World Guide, available in book and hobby stores everywhere, and online at paizo.com or look online: http://www.pathfinderwiki.com/wiki/Portal:Geography
You also need to select a faction. more details on the factions are in organized play PDF (which I will send in another email).
There is also this history online of Organized Play (1 succinct page).
Though this adventure takes place in Trollheim, we will be returning to Absolom.
At present, five shadowy, nation-based factions struggle for secret and subtle dominance of Absalom— Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, and Taldor. These ancient and powerful nations have long been major players in Absalom's affairs, each waxing and waning with the sands of time. Now, in the year 4710, they find themselves on equal footing in the City at the Center of the World, each poised to seize control of the city through political and economic maneuvering. They each have their own unique reasons for wanting to control Absalom, but they all have one goal in common: they hope to one day turn this secret war into open and total control of the Inner Sea's most strategically located mercantile metropolis. The factions of Absalom have long despised one another. History is fraught with their bloody feuds, brutal wars, and oppressions. With each new season, though, come new opportunities. The winds of Absalom blow hot and fierce, and they change direction without warning. Will you be a devil scholar of Cheliax, a brave Andoren freedom fighter, a veiled vagabond of Qadira, an Osirian with Pharaohs' blood running in your veins, or a young blade of Taldor? Choose wisely, for your actions may change the face of Golarion!
Factions available to players are Andoran, Cheliax, Osirion, Qadira, and Taldor, the five most powerful nations on the Inner Sea.
Rumors swirl through the streets of Absalom that the shadow war is poised to expand. The names of many nations rest on the lips of the common folk, too many to list here, that all agree are about to join in the struggle for Absalom's future. What this means for the Pathfinder Society and the faction-influenced members therein is anybody's guess.
Choosing Your Faction
Every faction has its own unique history, culture, style, and specialty. Each has its own modus operandi in the ongoing shadow war for control of Absalom. Choosing your faction is as important as choosing your character's class or race—it defines your character in the campaign, and ties your Pathfinder to one particular nation's destiny. Before you choose your character's faction, peruse each carefully and pick the most exciting one. Be careful! As with your character's race, once this choice is made, it cannot be changed. Lastly, keep in mind that no matter what faction you choose, you do not have to play a character from that country. Ulfen barbarians in service to Taldor, Thuvian Wizards in service to Cheliax, Mwangi Rangers in service to Qadira—these are all viable options.
Character Class versus Faction
Some classes are harder to play in some factions than others. In the list of factions that starts on page 10, we've endeavored to advise you before you make your faction choice as to what classes are suited more specifically to a faction and what classes might be quite difficult to play in a faction. These are by no means hard rules— if you have a great idea for a Paladin of the Cheliax faction, by all means play that character. Just know that you might have a harder time than most achieving the faction's missions.
Lastly, even though each faction below has its own alignment, this is more to give you a general idea of where each faction stands morally as opposed to forcing your character to choose a similar alignment. Since evil alignments are not allowed in Pathf inder Society Organized Play, a character of the Cheliax faction wouldn't be able to select LE as her alignment— though she can select any other nonevil alignment she'd like. Likewise, even though Andoran has a NG alignment, a character of the Andoran faction can have any nonevil alignment.
Your character does honor to her faction by succeeding in specific missions. Starting with Pathfinder Society Scenario #29, every scenario contains two missions dedicated to each faction, all tasks that, if completed, give the faction a small advantage in its shadow war against the other four. During a scenario, your character's faction might ask her to make sure a crime lord dies, protect an innocent merchant caught in the crossfire, save a kidnapped child, hand off an important letter, foil an assassination, or locate a letter of marque. Whatever the mission, a positive outcome earns your character and her faction 1 point of PA per mission. As your character's PA total increases, her faction rewards her excellent service with ever-increasing boons. In Chapter 10, you'll find an expanded system of rules that allows for new items and rewards your Pathfinder gains access to as her PA increases. Finally, your character's PA dictates the value of items she has available to purchase, making it one of the most important statistics on your character record sheet.
The leaders of the Pathfinder Society generally frown on their members participating in the shadow war for Absalom, though so long as Pathfinders are completing their missions and following orders, the leadership turns a blind eye to the existence of factions within the Society. Most loyal faction members inside the Society keep their alliances to themselves, sharing information only with other members of their own faction. Some, though, don't care who knows their loyalty and make it quite clear who they work for and why they're in the Society. The latter are looked down upon and are derided as careless and brash while the former are almost completely ignored. While the leadership of the Society turns a blind eye to faction participation, should Pathfinders from rival factions ever war openly or violate the three rules of the Society because of their petty shadow war feuds, that would be the day that factions inside the Society come to a close, violently if necessary. As such, the various faction leaders have made it quite clear to their members that open warfare, no matter what the reason might be, is intolerable and will only jeopardize the ability of each faction to manipulate Absalom to its will.