Sounds like your dm is a dick. Don't play.
Maybe the GM has a specific world that doesn't have Wizards in it? Maybe he wants to keep arcane casters as NPC's? Maybe there is a good plot reason that Sorcerers and Wizards don't exist that will be revealed in the course of the plot?
The GM has warned the players that divine magic may be lost in the course of the campaign. Warnings of this nature are not the actions of a dick GM.
I think that judging a person that you don't know based on no information is a really nasty thing to do. This was a really horrible thing to say.
Here's how much difference having a point buy or rolled stats makes:
Next to nothing.
Character choices make up 99.9% of how interesting or powerful a character is. Point buy or rolling makes very little difference.
Haven't gone all the way through Jade Regent, but beyond a couple of encounters in the first books swamp and castle it doesn't seem undead heavy (downside, it requires the players to be friends or frienemies with the four main npcs)
That's only a downside if you make it a downside.
As an old grognard I find it amusing that people find this harsh. In 2nd edition negative levels were just that, you lowered your character's level by one and recalculated your stat block accordingly. No save, no nothing.
Modern players don't know how lucky they have it.
To the OP.
Yes it is too difficult.
Since the start of season 3 I have gone from looking to play interesting characters to being forced to work hard to make my characters into combat monsters just to keep up.
I notice that people are describing other people's characters as "underpowered" or "underperforming" as if there is a right way to play the game and you are wrong for not squeezing out every mathematical advantage they can. To me this philosophy runs counter to an inclusive campaign.
I want to sit at a convention to have fun. I hate the idea that there is a right way to play. If someone wants to play a sub optimal character because they like the look of it then they should be able to.
I have a cleric that I love playing, he is sub optimal having taken choices I thought were characterful. I am feeling forced to play season 2 and earlier scenarios because I feel that the campaign has gone so far into hardmode that it would be no fun to play him in a season 4 scenario.
Now I am not saying that you can't play optimised characters that are characterful, of course not. My point is that I should be allowed to take the odd feat or archetype purely for character reasons without feeling that I am dooming myself as a result.
Kendra was with the party through the whole campaign. No-one romanced her and probably her closest friend in the group was Mrs Camelot's Inquisitor of Milani.
As a GM she was useful for her contacts. She knew people and inherited her father's curiosity and pluck. I played her as a Victorian lady, very proper and correct but with an eagerness to avenge her father and stop the evil that her friends had uncovered.
In many ways she was the glue that held the campaign together, her presence in the party bought it home to the players that they were not just avenging their friend's death, they were avenging the death of Kendra's father.
As such the campaign never felt episodic, it was the player's story but Kendra's presence bought significance to their quest.
OK so let's face it, Andoran isn't going anywhere. It's by far the most popular faction. I don't think the Grand Lodge is going anywhere either because it gives an out to people who just want to play a Pathfinder.
As for the rest? Who knows? I am praying not Taldor or Lantern Lodge because two of my main characters are closely linked to these factions. It would break my heart to see these two factions go as it would make playing these two characters extraordinarily difficult.
Bloaty? Just don't use it if it's a problem. Restrict your table to core rules or certain books. No-one if forcing you to use it all.
Look at it the other way. Paizo is a company, they have to make money. If Paizo were to stop doing new rules then that would hit their bottom line.
Also since the Pathfinder RPG started there have been 5 hardcover rules books, 3 beastiaries, a book of equipment which was mainly a compilation, a book of NPCs and a book of GMing advice. 11 hardcovers of which you can only really describe 5 (6 at a push) of having large amounts of rules in them.
Compare that firstly to 3.5 with it's avalanche of option books, new systems, new classes etc. etc. and I would say that rules bloat isn't an issue.
Secondly if you compare that hardcover release schedule with the Golarion specific material then there is no contest. I reckon there must be hundred of setting books by now, not to mention the material in the AP's.
Really I don't see what Paizo could do differently.
Aside: Am I missing something? You say "usually their parents are human". Isn't the whole point that one of the parents is not?
If your parents are Human and Celestial then you are a Human with the Half-Celestial template, not an Aasimar.
"OK crafting done. Let's get on with the adventure."
"OK you walk outside and see a light that stretches from horizon to horizon. It rushes towards you at an impossible speed and washes over the town disintegrating everything including you. Congratulations the world is dead and so are you."
"What!?! That's not fair! We had no chance to stop that!
"Actually, investigating the king's hat and the dragon would have led you to the doomsday cult but you were too busy crafting."
I err on the side of caution with spoilers.
OK maybe lovelorn and pining are not the words I should have chosen but I do see some wonderful roleplaying opportunities for a romance akin to Viconia from Baldur's Gate or Morrigan from Dragon Age
Several issues here
1) Clerics are not necessarily healers and should not be looked on to be totally responsible for party healing, that's a collective responsibility.
2) That said witholding healing from a fellow party member to teach them a lesson is a bad move.
3) A follower of Gorum would applaud the fact that the fighter ran in.
4) A CG character wouldn't leave their fellow party member to face risk alone, no matter how stupid he's being.
5) This is not an IC problem, this is an OOC problem. Sit down like adults and voice your concerns.
Saying that you prefer Sorcerers over Wizards because their weapon proficiencies are better is kind of like saying you prefer Ferraris to Porches because the Ferrarri has a better designed air conditioning control.
Well not spoiling anything but Sandpoint already has a go to ranger. Talk to your GM about maybe having that as a link to the background of the AP.
The thing about Rangers is that they work best if you concentrate on doing one thing well, two weapons, archery, 2-H weapon that kind of thing. You can do a "switch hitter" style Ranger that does both melee and ranged but that's a bit more complex, best to stick to one style to start with.
I'm amused by your difficulties with a Dwarven accent. I'm assuming you mean a Scottish accent? Well not all Dwarves are Scottish so you could easily play with your own voice. Plus a Dwarf character in Sandpoint would be fine.
Make sure that your GM is happy with your Ape having weapon proficiencies. Not all GM's allow that, I certainly don't.
Stat wise, concentrate on Str if you are a Melee character and Dex if you prefer ranged combat. Don't neglect your Con (at least 12) and put at least 12 in Wisdom so you can cast spells at later levels.
For RotRL your best favoured enemies are Humanoid (Goblinoid), Humanoid (Giant) and Undead. The best favoured terrains are Mountain and Underground.
Can I just say that the hatred of "railroading" is not universal. A linear story progression is fine, AP's use it all the time. In fact my favourite AP, Legacy of Fire, has accusations of railroading all the time and I thought it was wonderful.
In fact all the AP's have degrees of railroading because they have to.
Ah yes the "This is what my player would do" argument.
As a GM you have done everything right as far as I see it. The players involved are being too entrenched and stubborn. If you allow this to continue it will continually rear it's ugly head throughout the campaign. People are taking IC actions personally and that's never good.
At the next session sit everyone down and explain that you are not happy with this situation. Explain to the players involved that you want to continue the campaign but not with players who are constantly at each other's throats. Tell them you won't continue the campaign until the players can work together.
In short it is the player's responsibility to work this out. Part of being a good player is compromise. Let them hammer out a way to make this work.
The trick to RotRL is to get people to be both intrigued and attached to Sandpoint. You can introduce many NPC's at the festival, Ameiko, Belor, Father Zantus, Mayor Deverin etc. and use them to set up future events. Mention the Late Unplesantness, the Lighthouse, Shalelu etc. Make the place seem real and vibrant.
One thing you might do is have our favourite shopkeepers daughter fawning over Aldern Foxglove and pointedly ignoring the PC's. That way when she makes her move on the PC after they become the heroes of the town it makes it that more obvious that she's fickle and only interested in famous people.
In short don't just start with the Goblins. Build up Sandpoint as their home and then have it burnt by Goblins. If PC's have a reason to care it makes your life a whole lot easier.
Even the developers argue about what Allignment Mengakare is. Personally I find Hermea to be a horror show of a place. Any society that treats humans as breeding stock and rejects those who do not come up to exacting standards of achievement? Yeah, I'm not seeing a shining beacon of righteousness and good there.
Hermea is deliberately a mystery, open to interpretation. That said, everything points to it being a sinister experiment.
Also as kthulhu said Veiled Masters are not your average run of the mill aboleths. If one were to be statted it would be at least a BBEG for an AP possibly even more powerful than that...
Actually an AP against a Veiled Master would be awesome. Anybody else agree?
Oh so many Rise of the Runelords, Second Darkness and Jade Regent Spoilers:
Shalelu is behind the creation of the Imperial Seals of Minkai which have invested the "divine right" to rule Minkai. In concert with the Oni she manipulated the Amatatsu line to flee Minkai in order to get to the runewell in Sandpoint because the runewell there required the death of a royal to activate properly. She did this in order to wake Karzoug and have unwitting adventurers slay him. Her true target was to claim his extra dimensional plane and more importantly its link to Leng.
She then manipulated the Elves to attack the Drow and in so doing managed to corrupt an elf to pull down a dormant fragment of the same asteroid that the Starstone came from. Having then arranged for the deaths of her erstwhile Drow allies she then manipulated an unwitting Ameiko Kaijutsu to return to Minkai, depose the Jade Regent and the rest of the Five Storms and restore the rightful heir to the throne.
With these pieces in place she will then kill Ameiko in the Well of Demons creating a rift as the rightful Empress of Minkai's soul is taken to be judged by Pharasma. As this happens "Shalelu" will connect the rift in the Well of Demons to the link to Leng in Karzoug's demiplane. The resultant link will be catastrophic and will result in a psychic backlash which will destroy every deity in the multiverse.
This will cause havoc throughout human civilisation allowing the Aboleths to rise, unhindered by any form of divine power.
It's so obvious I can't understand why anyone hasn't seen it before.
Further to my above point there are no scenarios set in any of the following locations:
And yet we have had 25 in Varisia despite the fact that Varisia has already had three AP's and numerous books dedicated to it.
Less Varisia, more other places please.
The last time Rovagug got out it took every other god to imprison him in an apocalyptic level conflict.
There is no way that Rovagug sneaked out without anyone noticing. Rovagug is an engine of pure destruction, if he were to be released it would cause obvious and untold devastation on a cataclysmic scale. He doesn't do anything sneakily or with subtlety.
In short, no it wasn't Rovagug.
This is the wrong thing to ask by the way. Ask not "how can I cheese a way through RAW to kill this thing at level 2" ask instead "why is this thing following us and how do we stop it."
A campaign requires some trust between players and GM. Stop trying to work against him, work with him and the game will be better.