I believe Tristan's interpretation is the one we used; we had, I believe, two party members who "made deals", and I think the understanding was that death was a more serious repercussion. I'm not sure what sort of notation Kyle made on the relevant chronicles (I rejected any deals myself).
Beyond that, my group has an ongoing roleplay thread for "in between adventure" things, and it's been addressed there sort of "trans-mechanically".
It just runs the gamut! It's not "PFS" it's the players' play style and the GMs' running style which matters.
I don't know how many games I've played, but I have characters of levels 14, 11, 11, 7, 5 and 2 - I have had one character death (one of the 11s died during "Sarkorian Prophecy", to a critical hit followed by a rend).
I have run about 50 games, of which there have been a fair number of deaths (I don't keep track) and I think 3 TPKs. Some of the deaths were critical hits (probably the leading cause of "undeserved" character death), but most were because of bad player tactics, or just momentary errors of judgement. If a player doesn't make mistakes, his character will generally not die (excepting the unpredictable critical).
Rarely, you'll find players who knowingly, for roleplay or other reasons, place their characters in danger - the "scout" type, for example - and wind up triggering encounters while alone and so on, and they can die a lot; in my own retirement group, we have a scout who routinely dies (as many as 2-3 times in a scenario!), but who comes prepared for it ;)
It's really a very relative question!
As far as Steel Falcon goes - it's just one branch of the Eagle Knights, so if you should become an Eagle Knight (at 20 fame, with the appropriate PA expense) you can just *be* a Steel Falcon.
I suspect *most* Pathfinder Eagle Knights are Steel Falcons (it seems fitting), but it's worth mentioning that membership to the specific order is *secret*, so you wouldn't be known as Roland the Steel Falcon ;) They're the "Delta Operatives" of Andoran!
FYI my 11th level Ranger, Knight Captain Kyrian Solonor, is a Steel Falcon, so you can consider him one of your contacts in the organization if you like...
If you're so well-rounded that you have no special strength, that's as bad as being a one-trick pony: "Jack of All Trades, Master of None".
My philosophy of character design in RPGs generally is to consider that there are basically two modes of play: combat and non-combat (in PFS, this is during initiative and out of initiative). Some sessions will be all of one or the other, most will be some blend of the two, very few will be half and half. I *always* want to be able to contribute to the party, and have something to do; a very combat optimized character is dull to play during non-combat intervals, and very social or skill oriented players are typically frustrating to play during combat. I want to PLAY, all the time.
So I make sure my characters are very good at two things, one combat-thing, and one non-combat-thing. Maybe it can be called a two-trick pony, but I am always very competent at something in nearly any given situation.
I hate bench time!
I assume the game is listed on Warhorn?
PFS certainly does *not* have a "first come/first serve" policy; that would make organizing games quite problematic; players are ALWAYS encouraged to sign up for games in advance (sometimes weeks in advance).
That said, it's pretty uncommon for a walk-in to not be seated at a table; indeed, in many dozens of gamedays I've attended and/or organized, I don't recall that ever happening. If there are a dozen people, that can as easily be 3 tables of 4 as 2 tables of 6 - there are enough seasoned PFS folks out there that a judge can usually be rounded up from the existing players.
So - go to the game day! In future, now that you'll be a seasoned player, watch the game postings and sign up in advance when you can, but I think many of us wandered into a gameday unexpected and sat down to roll dice.
A yes, that's true - it's unkillable by definition.
Still, it can be defeated, in principle, by confinement (some kind of "epic" container or trapping it in a demiplane) or subversion (like my magic jar suggestion), or some combination of effects.
It's also worth noting that it's immune to ability damage, but not an ability penalty or decrease, so it should be possible to affect it with the -6 ability penatly feature (among others) of bestow curse: again, it's will save isn't so great. This could allow us to reduce its functional intelligence to 1, which then makes it subject to the Handle Animal skill (albeit at a +5 to the DC) - it then becomes possible (DC 30) to "push" the Tarrasque to perform a task or trick (for example, entering the portal to a demiplane). Of course, it would be wise to preface this with a use of Wild Empathy (DC 36 to make the Tarrasque "indifferent", starting at "hostile").
I'm not sure a Ring of Sustenance will affect the [i[Tarrasque[/i]; it's a Caster Level 5 item, and the beast has SR 36.
The Tarrasque only has a +12 will save; if it has a weakness, that's it. I think the very best way to defeat the Tarrasque is not so much to kill it as to use it - and that's where Magic Jar comes into play. The Tarrasque has no special resistance to that spell, so why not take advantage of it? It's pretty easy to get the DC up pretty high (DC 27 is easy by 16th level), so, especially is cast as persistent, it's very likely to work on a single casting.
A high-level sorcerer or wizard using the Tarrasque as a body would be a sight to see, especially if well-supplied with silent spell metamagic rods so as to cast spells.
For extra fun, cast a silent contingency: animate dead on your Tarrasque-self so that if your host body is killed, it's no longer the Tarrasque (and can be destroyed)!
Not an uncommon problem.
Basically, mature players understand the concept of teamwork, and are fine with group items, including expendables (which, by helping "just one" player, actually help everyone, because that "one" player is also integral to the team). They know that they're playing for the big end-game cash-out (or whatever), and the best treasure allocation benefits the team as a whole.
Less mature players, of course, don't understand this, so it's best to either (i) determine the total treasure value, and dole out cash and items in whichever proportions makes this even or (ii) sell everything and just divide the cash. This latter approach especially is, frankly, stupid, because (assuming selling items around 1/2 retail) they're powering their party down 50% over time; but then, that's less mature players, right?
If you have players who are "jealous", then you have less mature players (note that "mature" here is a factor of player experience, not age), and it just needs to be divvied-up "equitably".
(Example: in our Legacy of Fire campaign, my ranged inquisitor has gotten a +1 ring of protection, +1 longbow, +1 mithril chain shirt; the barbarian has gotten +3 mithril chainmail and a +1 Life Drinker great axe/ I'm cool with this because (i) he can put those to good use, keeping enemies in melee while I attack from range and (ii) if we sold the big items, so he's have a +1 axe and +1 chain, he's much more likely to drop, causing me to waste actions healing him, avoiding melee charges and so on.)
There is a fine line between metagaming and knowing the game.
Some players really know the game well. They know the rules mechanics, they're familiar with the setting, and they're familiar with the bestiaries, spells, and magic items.
When a player who, as a player, recognizes that a creature is, say, a Glabrezu, but, because he's playing a PC who lacks Knowledge:Planes acts as though he does not, he is absolutely metagaming! By that criterion, the only avoidance of metagaming would occur when a player only plays PCs with knowledge skills mirroring his player knowledge of the game. It's absurd.
There is no reason a player who has taken the time to read the books shouldn't be better at the game than those who haven't, or that an experienced players shouldn't be better than those who aren't.
If I'm at-table, and my fighter (clueless about K:Planes) encounters a Glabrezu, and I deliberately, as a player, ignore what I know as I make tactical decisions (or worse, actually act counter to what I know is wise (a common psychological response to concealed prior knowledge), then why am I even playing? I can simply have someone else run my character - after all, he's just the sum of his traits and skills, right? - while I go grab a sandwich. It doesn't make sense.
A PC is not just a PC - he's a projection of the player into the game. The PC can do things the player can't - jump a forty foot chasm, say - and the PC may know things the PC doesn't - like the fact Glabrezu can reverse gravity at will, or rend, or appear veiled as a huge tree. That's the fun of the game, the bidirectional interplay between player and player, between player and GM, and between player and character.
In practice? If a player knows, based on GM description, what a monster is, he should act freely on that knowledge; if the GM wants to obfuscate within reason? All the better!
No - detect magic detects auras.
You can determine the aura's school with a DC 15 + spell level; note that this isn't even the subschool (like compulsion), but the school (like enchantment).
You can identify non-spell effects with a DC 15 + 1/2 caster level; as an example, this might tell you that a subject has been dominated by a vampire (since in that case it's not a spell, but a supernatural ability).
To actually identify a specific spell requires higher-level divinations.
Dominate Person is an ongoing spell effect, so yes, it's subject to Detect Magic, though it's only going to get you the school (enchantment) and strength of the spell (with a DC 20 arcana check, in the case of Dominate Person).
So, if we concentrated for three rounds on the subject, we'd realize he's under the effect of moderate enchantment; this could mean a variety of things (someone enjoying a casting of greater heroism would have exactly the same aura).
Arcane Sight would give the same results, only faster; Greater Arcane Sight would automatically inform us (no arcana check) that the subject is influenced by Dominate Person.
A clever enchanter, before inserting his dominated minion back into circulation, will ward him with something like Nondetection, which has a possibility of blocking such detection!
I'm not in Japan currently (though I go often), so I can't help on the "organizing a game" front, but the place to look for game stores in Tokyo is in Akihabara.
Two stores in particular are worth checking out: Yellow Submarine and Role&Roll Station. I know R&R carries D&D 4E books (in Japanese), and in the past they've run D&D Encounters, but whether they carry Pathfinder now I don't know (I find it unlikely).
Regardless, these stores are worth visiting (especially the ludicrously over-the-top Yellow Submarine, which often has anime cosplay girls wandering around) just to see ALL the models, toys, figures and so on. Generally, the "scene" is more of a weekday thing (probably because of the proximity of workers during the weekdays).
Your best bet for finding a game of *some* kind, besides posting here, is probably to find a forum frequented by expats living there teaching English and so on (I don't know one, but I imagine Google can find one *somewhere*) and see if there's interest in a game.
The check DC can also be modified from -5 (common monsters, like goblins or ghouls) to +5 for rare monsters (soul eater, tataka). Of course, "rarity" is subject to GM fiat, and most GMs simply use the flat 10+CR difficulty.
Still, if you have a rare sort of monster in a scenario, and you'd like to reserve some surprises for the PCs, it's well within RAW to set the DC as 15+CR!
You can buy one, but I'm going to go ahead and say that would be inadvisable.
First, you need to create a calling trap (magic circle against evil (or whatever) and dimensional anchor). Those are both spells you can't cast, so you need those scrolls too.
Then, you need to make a three caster level checks (DC 14, 15, and 16). You have a 9% chance of successfully casting from all three scrolls (the product of 50%, 45% and 40%).
Next, your target outsider gets a will save versus DC 17 (10 + 5 (spell level) +2 (+2 int bonus per 5th level scroll)). For argument's sake, let's say you're trying to call a bearded devil, which has a +3 will save (an excellent choice, as it's fairly tough melee tank at your level, and has a poor will save AND low charisma - a perfect candidate for binding!): you have a 65% chance of actually grabbing it into your trap - not bad!
Your aggregate probability of success in this venture is now 65% of 9%, or about 6%.
But let's say luck is on your side, and we've lured the beast into the calling trap: now it's time to negotiate. The smart play is "open ended service", so you'll have this totally scenario-breaking bodyguard/heavy (like Oddjob!). Let's say, too, that you offer him the right to kill any captives (that's what most Pathfinders do anyway!), so it's a straight roll-off of opposed charisma checks. I don't know what your charisma is, but let's say you're a sorcerer with charisma 20 (to make this the best possible scenario), so it's your d20+5 versus its d20+0: this gives you a 77% likelihood of success.
Factoring this into our running probability model, we now have 77% x 6%, or 4.5%.
So - your investment of 2200gp for the three needed scrolls nets you a 4.5% chance of calling and binding a bearded devil; that's a little less likely than rolling an "natural 20" on a d20 roll.
So... a nifty idea, but something to wait for (until level 9 or so!)
I wanted to start a thread discussing some creative applications of Bestow Curse and Major Curse.
There are the conventional debuffing uses: -6 to an ability score, -4 to pretty much any d20 roll, and 50% chance of not acting; it's the fourth, open-ended use which is of interest. Of course, one can be awfully silly and try to break the spell, but these are 4th and 6th level spells, respectively, so effects should be commensurate with those levels.
Here are two (similarly-themed) I've used:
- Bestow: "May your eyes never again behold what which is beautiful." - effect is that cursed victim cannot see beings with greater than 16 charisma, rendering them effectively greater invisible to the victim. This mimics a 4th level spell (greater invisibility, for a restricted group (-), but the effect is permanent (+), which seems to balance out for a 4th level spell.
- Major: "All the world will be blue in your eyes." - effect is that the victim sees everything as the same shade of blue, making it very hard, for example, to resolve different items in the background; it also renders the victim unable to read, since both the page and the lettering are the ame shade of blue... this is quite crippling for prepared casters, who can no longer read their spellbooks, use scrolls, and so on. This mimics a very particular sort of "feeblemind" (a 5th level spell) with other optical debuffing effects (+), so it seems reasonable for a 6th level spell.
I'd love to see more ideas! I think a format like above is nice - the type of curse spell, the nature of the curse, and it's mechanical effect (if any).
Obviously it's not hard to disable the sorcerer - feeblemind, petrification, baleful polymorph, a mirror of life trapping, and any number of other spells and items can achieve this.
What's trickier is imprisoning the sorcerer in such a way that you can visit his cell to interrogate him for information over time, do the Magneto/Professor X thing of visiting his cell to play chess and match wits, or just go there to gloat - that it, he must be kept healthy and alert, yet unable to really function, ie. attack *you*.
One idea might be, as has been suggested, to create a demiplane. We then prepare a permanent calling circle in the demiplane - if we're feeling generous, we can widen it or something so it can accomodate a bed, sofa, desk and so on (we have 20ft. radius, so around 1260 sq.ft, which is a nice apartment space). We bind dimensional anchor into it per normal, and have a nice, basically impenetrable trap.
On the prime material, we have our sorcerer unconscious and ready to imprison, so we debuff his will save (some wisdom damage will do nicely - we can just call or summon a soul eater to take care of this, plus maybe a bestow curse, ill omen, or whatever); then, from our demiplane prison, we cast Planar Binding (or Greater Planar Binding if he's powerful enough), drawing him into the trap in our demiplane.
When he comes to, he'll find himself comfortable ensconced in a 40 foot diameter circle from which he cannot escape, and from which he cannot affect the world outside the circle! Perhaps the demiplane is a 100 ft diameter room with a domed ceiling, and the circle[/] lies in its center, so we can walk around it, chatting with our captive while he fumes helplessly!
The portal to the prison can be arranged thus: we have a druid ally earth glide a couple thousand feet below the surface of the earth (or deep in the heart of a mountain, or whatever) and [i]stone shape a portal chamber. He also leaves an item there upon which you've placed an [i[arcane mark[/i], so you can scry it, greater teleport there, and set up the demiplane. Our portal is now out of the range of any reasonable locate object spell (unless the caster is earth gliding nearby!) Of course, we can use many counters to divination to our portal chamber - lead shielding, mage's private sanctum, and so on. Only we (well, and our druid friend) know where the portal is, and we greater teleport there to access it.
I think a list of choices is a fine idea - I may do that myself (My PFS main is a rather mean fey sorceress with a DC 27 major curse!)
Obviously, there will indeed be table variation; a lot of PFS GMs are "new to GMing", and will likely be uncomfortable making a call, but a good rule to follow is that bestow curse is a 4th level spell, and major curse 6th, so any curses should be commensurate with those power levels.
A sorcerer might have cursed an enemy to be forever blind to beauty, which a GM might sort of softly rule to mean beings with charisma better than 16 or so would be effectively greater invisible to the victim; since greater invisibility is a 4th level spell, this is probably a reasonable curse.
(My sorceress, who is very vain, was turned permanently blue (rod of wonder), and is quite angered if she's referred to as "blue" rather than azure, and I'd like to have a contingency where if she's offended by being referred to as "blue", the offender is stricken with a major curse of may all the world be blue in your eyes, thus presenting an world in which everything appears bright blue. A flavor thing. We shall see!)
A thread on suggested curses would be amusing!
As the "owner" of a five month old girl, I will say that, while she's amazing, as far as any kind of ethos or moral/philosophical worldview?... Nah, she's got nothin'.
As per animals, definitely neutral.
(One exception: if one were running a campaign set in say, historical Europe, ie. "Christendom", babies would be born with "original sin", and thus would be evil until they were baptized, at which point they would be good. Interesting notion!)
It sounds like the sorcerer is being cruel as a means of provoking the PCs?
With 100,000gp, just have him hire a local orc/hobgoblin/bugbear etc. tribe to swoop in and slaughter villagers en masse, torching huts and buildings, churning up fields with the stomping feet of horses, dire wolves, or other mounts - this is far, far deadlier and harder to recover from than any spell available to a 9th level caster.
Plus, the marauders will still be around for "round 2", rather than simply dissipating like a cloud of some kind.
Or - maybe better, since he seems like the enchanter-type - let him cast a few widened confusion spells, so that the commoners are killing each other. See how the PCs handle that! This will keep them busy, while the sorcerer flies overhead laughing at and taunting them, casting still more spells to burn buildings and so on.
The intelligence bonus doesn't stack, but I can't see why the associated skill wouldn't add; a skill is not a bonus (the item actually confers skill ranks, not a bonus to skills), and they don't occupy the same body slot (one being a headband, the other a slotless item). Indeed, one could simply - when in need of a skill - add a scarlet/blue ioun stone with the associated skill.
As for 8000gp being "worth it" for a skill? I'd certainly buy one with Perception for, say, my 15th level wizard to suddenly have +15 perception!
(My high-level sorcerer actually carries one with Disable Device as an associated skill: if I need a rogue, simply call or summon a huge or better air elemental (with about a 30 dex) - an elder air elemental with the stone has an instant +25 or so disable device!)
The highest possible charisma you can get (without using the succubus) at level 10, for a fletchling, is 18 +2 (racial) +2 (level bumps at 4 and 8) + 6 (headband) +5 (wishes), or 33. Obviously, such a scenario involves gold far in excess of what is appropriate for a 10th level character, but perhaps the campaign is rather "Monty Haul".
Assuming you have spell focus and greater spell focus in transmutation, that gives you a baleful polymorph DC of 28, which is certainly respectable, though a far cry from 35.
A rod of maximize has no effect on baleful polymorph - I think possibly you've misunderstood that feat? Also, you wouldn't benefit from the persistent spell feat in this case, because you can't cast 6th level spells (the level of persistent baleful polymorph). I suppose you could use a rod (as a full-round action, of course) or a staff of the master.
You could become a vampire for an additional +4 charisma bonus, pushing your DC to 30, and of course your eidolon could intimidate an opponent to impose the shaken condition so they have a -2 to the save.
Or Planar Binding, if you'd rather have zero labor costs.
Most of the GMs I know use an iPad - problem solved. As soon as the iPad mini comes in a retina display version, I'm going to buy that to obviate all future carry problems.
But for now, luddites (such as myself), of course, have to carry the books (what can I say... I just like books!), but you really only need to carry a few (core assumption) materials: CRB and Bestiary are probably the only *essential* ones.
Remember, players are supposed to have any materials needed to justify their classes, prestige classes, and so on, so YOU don't need those. That said, I usually carry the CRB, the APG, the Pathfinder Society Guide, the Bestiary, and - if it's relevant - other bestiaries as needed (based on what I'm running). I just use a satchel which accommodates those books, plus dice bag, etc.
I do have a GM in my home gaming group who uses a rolling litigation case (if you've ever played RIFTS you'll understand the need for large, sturdy cases!), and it works well.
(The best carry solution I ever saw, pre-tablets, was at GenCon in 2001: the GM had a full-sized rolling wardrobe he'd actually installed shelves in, AND had built in a cooler in which he had a whole loaf of sliced bread, peanut butter, drinks, snacks, and so on. Total, total dedication to con-going. A beautiful thing.)
My concern here, from a balance perspective, is that it would permit iterative attacks with a heavy crossbow - you just have multiple unseen servants so a different one is loading the crossbow between firings.
Or - not stopping at crossbows - why not have an unseen servant which draws ones sword for one, thus duplicating the quick draw feat? This is certainly doable if we consider a hand-off to be a free or swift action.
(That said, a higher level spell which can assist in combat, such as unseen squire or the like, would be a nifty spell to research!)
I don't know, the only support in that thread seems to be a recollection that "lots of developers have said this a few times" - no citation or anything.
It seems reasonable from an RAI perspective, but - and I'm thinking in terms of PFS here - I don't see that as being supported by RAW, at least not in light of discussions of feats in the CRB. An FAQ candidate, perhaps.
Well Dawnflower dervish grants Dervish Dance for free at 1st level so you dont have to qualify.
Sure you do - where are you getting that you don't need the prereqs to use class-granted feats?
In the few cases where bonus feats *are* granted without prerequisites, the class description says so - rangers and masters of many styles come to mind - and it doesn't say so in this case.
The Dawnflower Dervish certainly needs two ranks of Perform (dance) to use Dervish Dance!
Not going to work.
An unseen servant "can open only normal doors, drawers, lids, and the like"; it "can trigger traps and such, but it can exert only 20 pounds of force, which is not enough to activate certain pressure plates and other devices."
A crossbow, being "an other device" than a door or box, is beyond the capabilities of the servant. Basically, the role of an unseen servant is to open things, and to perform skills which can be used untrained in tasks which can be resolved at DC 10 or less (such as serving tea and biscuits, or whatever).
Sure, as long as that "battle dance" isn't Dervish Dance - which itself requires two ranks of Perform (dance).
Of course, a Dawnflower Dervish needs two ranks of Perform (dance) anyway because he has to have Dervish Dance as a feat to qualify for the prestige class, so it's kind of a non-issue.
That said, I see no reason why you can't "re-skin" the battle dance to make it less silly, using Oratory instead of Dance (though I'm not sure what that would mean, exactly - there's nothing "mobile" about Oratory), with a GM's okay, of course. You'll still have to have two ranks of Perform (dance), though, to qualify for the feat (and prestige class).
If it's just a flavor thing (and I assume you just hate the idea of your character "dancing" in battle), ask your GM if you can use Perform (tumbling) or Perform (circus arts) or the like in place of Perform (dance) to qualify for Dervish Dance?
By RAW, it's pretty clear-cut: you lose the permanency of the bonus(es).
When dispel magic successfully suppresses an item, it actually makes the item non-magical for 1d4 rounds. When the magic resumes, one is, for all intents and purposes, donning the item anew, requiring a 24 hour period to become permanent again.
(On a somewhat related note, this is also a good way to sunder a powerful magic weapon with a lesser-enhanced weapon: sunderer readies to sunder after caster dispels the target weapon... *snap*)
My guess is that it's not so much willful ignorance as seeing builds discussed on the boards, and then rolling them up for PFS without checking legality.
I know the other day, after reading something in the forums, I was all "I'm going to build a half-orc scarred witch doctor for PFS!" and then went to the Resources to look it up and said "oh :("
He just needs to develop the Resources habit!
Right, the fly check doesn't take an action, but flying does - that's why the skill says the fly check is made as part of another action: flying, which is itself a move action.
The victim can't take move actions, so he can't fly, so he can't make fly checks, and so he can't make a check to avoid falling damage. Splat.
If the downed flier survives, and someone comes along to attack him, he is not considered helpless... he still can't move, though. He can't stand from prone, he can't walk or run, and he cannot resume flight, so long as the hideous laughter persists. He can do exactly one thing: take a full-round action to make a save.
It's a 2nd level spell which is an encounter ender.
(I think the confusion here arises from the wording that "without a check... the flying creature remains flying until the end of its turn, etc, etc": that's still movement, and so involves a move action. It's not "free action coasting" or somesuch.)
The whole idea of dominate is that the creature acts against its will.
So, let's say Mr. White charms a dire ape, and Mr. Black dominates the same ape, and that the ape fails both saves.
The ape, being charmed, likes Mr. White - in fact, he's "friendly" - but it'll attack him anyway if Mr. Black commands it, because Mr. Black dominates it. That's fairly clear-cut.
What's more interesting is if both of them charm or both of them dominate the ape: then, you'd have some kind of opposed check. If they both charmed the ape, I'd probably resolve it with an opposed charisma check: the ape is friendly to both, and must be persuaded; the druid would probably be able to add his level to this check (he an use wild empathy), and so would have the clear advantage. If both dominated the animal, then the animal is basically a puppet, and whoever can win the game of direct control of the their spell will come out ahead: I'd borrow a mechanic from the control construct spell and call it an opposed spellcraft check, with the winner actually controlling the ape.
Well, does the victim "have the ability to fly"? Granted, the victim isn't considered helpless (doubtless for balance considerations, such as not allowing the spell to set up a coup de grace), but it can take no actions - while "avoiding falling damage" might itself be a non-action, flying is an action (a move action).
Just as a grounded being can't walk or run while hideously laughing, neither can an aerial being fly: ergo, it cannot fly, and cannot avoid falling damage per fly.
That said, it's a short-range spell - so it must be employed by another flier and/or used as a readied action against flyby attacks, etc - so it's not commonly going to result in a long fall; moreover, most fliers are going to be a different type from the caster (who is likely humanoid), and so will save at +4... so, can a 2nd level spell drop a flier? I'd say yes.
I don't think the ship's boats are colossal - you wouldn't need CL 32. At most, they're probably huge, so a CL 8 casting should suffice. That would be a fantastic addition to small boats... as long as an enemy doesn't cast control construct.
How about animated, transformative ships boats - they race toward land, at which point they transform to animated wagons!
No; the spell "removes solid footing" but doesn't actually prevent contact with the ground (as evidenced by the fact that normal movement is simply impaired, not prevented). They could still earth glide, but would be impaired per normal by the spell.
Something like telekinesis or reverse gravity could prevent earth gliding, of course.
The victim can't take actions, so it can't make fly checks - it does, in fact, free-fall.
Per "Environmental Rules" in the CRB, you fall 500 feet per round (which is why falls of less than 500 feet require casting of feather fall to mitigate, as you can't cast fly quickly enough). Of course, the maximum falling damage is 20d6, so anything higher than 210 feet doesn't matter, really.
It - along with the various hold spells - is an excellent counter to fliers, though the spell's short range poses a problem.
Well, the earlier discussion of caster levels and the make whole spell ended with a ruling that, regardless of the item in question - even if it required a caster level in excess of 20 to fix - there was a hand-waved caster somewhere who could handle it; so, there's your precedent for purchased castings of spells above the minimum caster level.
Having to go with the minimum caster level for spellcasting services could get quite expensive (consider if all bough remove disease spells had to be cast at 5th level, for example, possibly requiring multiple castings before it was effective!)
The larger issue is whether one can purchase spells cast with metamagic enhancements - the obvious choice, here, being a heightened continual flame - to which my read would be no. The trend in listing resource access in PFS is that things which are not explicitly allowed are implicitly disallowed. That, combined with the fact that if everyone buys heightened continual torches it trivializes a number of scenarios' more dangerous encounters, seems to say "no, you can't buy metamagically enhanced spellcasting services."