A pathfinder is a member of the world-spanning Pathfinder Society. Often working and traveling solo, these adventurers dedicate their lives to uncovering ancient secrets, lost artifacts, and general knowledge of the world's most exotic locations and cultures.
Pathfinders do not have a formalized set of rule or bylaws, but it is generally understood that the code of behavior is:
Explore: Pathfinders are expected to delve the depths of the world, rooting out secrets and untold stories both ancient and modern, as well as push the boundaries of explored lands.
Report: As the Society does not want any discoveries to become "undiscovered" again, a pathfinder must keep careful and detailed records of their exploits. These are sent in to the pathfinder's venture-captain and may be compiled into the published Pathfinder Chronicles. It is considered a great honor for a pathfinder's report to be published in the Chronicles.
Cooperate: Pathfinders are forbidden from fighting other Society members, especially within a pathfinder lodge. Pathfinders are expected to stay out of one-another's affairs, unless to offer help.
Aside from these general expectations, there are no moral obligations affixed to Pathfinder members; their motivations are their own. As such, one can find a great variety of races, backgrounds, and alignments among Society members. 
Becoming a Pathfinder
Application: Anyone who wishes to join the society must present themselves at the gates of the Pathfinder Society's Grand Lodge in Absalom. The society does not discriminate via race, age, creed, alignment, or motivations; however, the society does require that applicants pass a number of tests - both physical and mental - before acceptance into the program. Experienced pathfinders test new applicants, and while there are no hard-and-fast requirements, the pathfinders tend to reject those that wouldn't last long in the Pathfinder line of work. The only specific requirement is the ability to read and write common. Occasionally, the Society might invite a non-affiliated adventurer to apply as a Pathfinder after that adventurer submits a report of a discovery. Because of this, many aspiring adventurers will aid a Pathfinder on a mission, hoping to prove themselves to the Society.
Initiation and Training: If accepted, over the next few years, the initiates undertake a rigorous training program within the Grand Lodge's walls, overseen by the Three Masters. Covering not only combat and arms training, but also scholarly work - history, magic theory, research assistance. While in training, initiates will do work for the society - everything from guard duty, mundane cleaning, and research assistance - both to help train the initiate, and to filter-out only the most dedicated to becoming a Pathfinder.
Confirmation: Before they become full pathfinders, initiates must pass Confirmation - a custom challenge for each pathfinder initiate, designed by the Three Masters themselves. It is designed in order to emulate the future challenges that a Pathfinder might face - it is essentially a Pathfinder's first mission. There are no set time-limits or boundaries, and often a confirmation test might last for weeks. As befitting the duties of a full Pathfinder, the initiate is expected to chronicle the adventure and any discoveries. As most confirmation tests are set in the world outside of the Grand Lodge any discoveries made can and do make their way back to the Pathfinder Chronicles. If they pass, a brief confirmation ceremony occurs and the initiate is promoted to Field Operative.
Field Commissions: In some exemplary cases, an adventurer or scholar may perform some act so great that it attracts the attention of the Decemvirate directly. While very rare, such individuals get promoted to field operative without the standard training or testing. Only those that have truly changed the course of history can expect such an honor. 
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 3-4. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 5-7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
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