You could come up with sidequest for each character which they then discuss or don't discuss with the other players as they see fit. In my last campaign I had one character getting given assassination targets which sometimes ran with the group, sometimes didn't. Can be a fun thing to weave around an existing campaign and might help you recapture your excitement from character creation and you can add and end character side missions as your workload allows.
I recently DMed a game where I gave one player (and by extension the group) two children they had to protect for the whole campaign. One I made a cohort (young template Hedge Witch Cohort) who I leveled up (focussing on healing) but the player played, the second was a DM controlled young template Barbarian/Oracle/Rage Prophet who I also leveled up and gave out to players to play if their character was temporarily unavailable or used to protect the other sibling if necessary. It worked well both as plot hooks and mechanically.
Unless this is for pfs I would say ask your DM. Personally as you can use Charisma for a Sorcerer spell I would allow Charisma for an Oracle spell, as the above quote predates the existence of Oracles, however if this scroll is bought it will actually cost more for a minimum Caster Level Oracle scroll as opposed to a Cleric scroll.
If the above quote was taken at word value then if a Witch made a arcane scroll of Cure Serious Wounds, Mass then no one would be able to cast it as it doesn't fall into the categories of "wizard", "divine", "sorcerer" or "bard" spell.
I used offensive wands with UMD originally was rolling to use the wands but then got to autopass without too much hassle and even before then my roll to use the wand was not that different to other people's rolls to hit the enemies AC.
Magic Missile at different caster levels can be great for taking down enemies who are so close to death it would be a waste of anyone else's time. Wands of Ill Omen or Stumble Gap can also be great fun.
I have played a Witch with almost no magic gear. AC and Health sucked, but even gear wasn't going to help that.
Instead of having a Headband she cast Threefold Aspect to have her DCs as if +4 Int for hour per level and she cast very few spells so bonus spells per day for high Int were not an issue either.
The other character who needed no gear was a Summoner. She rode the Eidolon and between Ride Checks to gain cover and the Eidolon having Bodyguard feat her AC was hard to touch and the Eidolon evolutions can replace most gear for the Eidolon itself.
I have played an Air Sorcerer and really enjoyed it. I basically have not used any items apart from headbands and protective items, though even then I eventually gave up on the protective items and instead just used spells to protect myself.
Elemental Focus (Electricity) and Greater Elemental Focus (Electricity) become awesome when you can make every spell Electricity, plus resistance to Electricity among your enemies is much rarer than resistance to Fire.
Hope this helps.
No one ever seems to mention getting Evasion from level 1. You drop a Fireball on a Summoner or a Master Summoner and they will take at least half damage. You drop it on a Synthesist and they have a good chance of taking nothing.
Someone said wrote:
And a normal Summoner has twice the actions and just as many HP... split between two people that can share HP back and forth(Life Bond).
Life Bond only goes one way so if the Summoner is getting hurt by AoE or arrows they can't take the health back.
My opinion is that you can only see something that has a form that at other times could be seen.
For example, "Air: The invisible gaseous substance surrounding the earth, a mixture mainly of oxygen and nitrogen." - Dictionary.com.
If someone casts See Invisibility and sees everything invisible all they would see was the air in front of their eyes and therefore be blind.
Have used it with a Pole Arm Fighter using a Reach Weapon and the Lunge feat.
Could attack everything five feet and ten feet by shortening my pole arm or 10 and 15 by using just lunge. At one point I was attacking the enemies who were behind the party and in front. Added Gang Up for flank bonuses and Keen so I would roll more crits. I stood in the second row while walking so I normally could go Whirlwind in round 1 by either staying still or 5 foot stepping.
I have played a Oracle who didn't attack, still wore armour because Cure spells are 'touch' so dangerous to use early on. Reach metamagic helped fix this later, plus the feat so I no longer provoked while using Cure spells.
I would argue that you have the spell twice so you can swap out the non-free one. Much clearer if you are an Elemental Sorcerer not of fire. You have Burning Hands (fire) and Burning Hands (cold). Burning Hands (cold) can't be swapped, Burning Hands (fire) can.
I always prefer the prisoner route, though I did hear an interesting option (may have been Game Masters Guide) that you have them play a new party trying to rescue the old party and then once they have done so each player can choose between their new and their old characters.
I think you might be underestimating the worth of Enhanced Cures. I played a Life Oracle to level 20 and I used Cure Light Wounds all the way because 1d8+20 is damn good healing for a level 1 slot (also Mass Cure Light Wounds being 1d8+20 to each target is amazing.)
I would replace Energy Body or Life Link with Enhanced Cures if I was you.
I agree with Richard, if the class has something you don't use then an archetype that replaces that is going to be better for you.
Overall I think the archetypes focus the character, improving one thing at the expense of not having another thing at all. An example would be if your Summoner rides their Eidolon, you will have no use for the powers that teleport your Eidolon to you, or swap places with it, so why not take the Evolutionist Archetype and replace those powers with something you may use.
Of course some classes seem to have weaker archetypes than others, it surprises me how many Bard Archetypes give up Inspire Courage.
Elemental Bloodline (Fire) Gnome Sorcerer with Pyromaniac Racial Trait would be my first opinion. The ability to turn Cone of Cold and Chain Lightning into fire spells means as you get spell levels you are really collecting different shapes to do different amounts of d6 per caster level (+1 extra d6 due to pyromaiac) to (also once Fireball caps actually still be doing d6 per caster level (+1 extra d6) with the higher level spells.) Pick up Spell Focus, Greater Spell Focus, Elemental Focus and Greater Elemental Focus along with Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration and you'll be lighting people on fire all over the place.
Also a Sorcerer who runs into a Fire Elemental can always cast Cone of Cold as cold damage, whereas a Wizard who has prepared a Fireball with Metamagic can't.
I think the witch will end up plenty squishy at higher levels even with the high Con.
Witches have basically no defensive magic outside of certain patrons, no Mirror Image, no Stoneskin, no Protection from Energy. Also the witch is the one class most likely to lose major class abilities through combat, rather than bad role playing i.e. losing their familiar to Area Effect spells/Channel negative energy.
I had my followers be a group of handmaidens for my cohort who was a princess who had woken out of suspended animation. One of the other characters actually seduced the handmaidens with gifts of jewels found during our quests and then I exchanged them to a high priestess to regrow my cohort's husband (another PC)'s manhood (long story).
The next lot of followers turned up as goblin refugees as my character was a reincarnated goblin who faced off against the goblin god and "escaped" due to a clone being made before his death. My character has turned into a member of a lost ancient race of elves and is now using Polymorph Any Object spells to turn all the goblins into the same ancient elven race so that it exists again.
Life Oracle is the best dedicated healer.
1. Everything is based on Cha so generally more channels and spells than a Cleric
2. Enhanced Cures takes away the caps on Cure spells, Cure Light Wounds at level 20 is 1d8+20 so you will still be using it
3. Mass Heal as an 8th level spell or as my DM used to call it "when you reset all the damage I did that round"
4. Spontaneously casting means you just have to know all the Removes, Restorations etc and then cast them immediately as needed
5. Safe Curing means you don't provoke AoO when curing
6. Using Spirit Boost you can heal people beyond their max hit points
I have played up to level 20 with a Life Oracle and you can easily know every possible 'healing' type spell and still have room for some enchantment spells and in the case of my Haunted Oracle reversing the gravity in the room or telekenetically grappling casters from hundreds of feet away.
Also as a healer Reach Metamagic is your friend and is much easier to make use of as an Oracle than a Cleric.
"Neither the synthesist nor his eidolon can be targeted separately"
So when you touch the Synthesist do you touch the eidolon or the summoner.
Eg. A synthesist is standing between an enemy cleric and a friendly cleric. The enemy cleric touches her with an Inflict Light Wounds. Then the friendly cleric touches her with a Cure Light Wounds. Does the Inflict touch the Eidolon and the Cure the Summoner? Or is the Summoner incased and therefore untouchable for better or worse?
Does the Ring of Telekinesis allow you to cast the spell as if you are casting it (i.e. your caster level and your Int or Cha modifier) or does it cast Telekinesis as if a level 9 wizard with an Int of 15 (minimum to cast 5th level spells)?
I especially ask in relation to the combat maneuvers because trying to Bull Rush with a CMB of 11 is the same as a 6th level fighter with a strength of 20 so pretty underpowered by the time you can buy an item costing 75,000gp (more than 10th level starting money).