The trouble is, "common sense" includes a lot of GM interpretation - deciding that something is unusual or will take time to get encourages table variation. For something as basic as gear purchase, this needs to be clarified.
First, the Gamemastery Guide is not listed under Additional Resources, and so those rules should not be used in PFS at all. Except...the scenario itself has the following text on Fort Inevitable:
Emerald Spire p.4 wrote:
Base Value 1,300 gp; Purchase Limit 7,500 gp; Spellcasting 4thMinor Items 3d4; Medium Items 1d6; Major Items —
This stat block refers to the settlement rules in the GMG, so presumably we have to use them for Fort Inevitable? How do the rules interface with PFS? Note that using the GMG rules means that the raise dead spell is not available in Fort Inevitable, which has a spellcasting cap of 4th level.
If we are expected to use the GMG settlement rules to adjudicate this, Additional Resources or the GM section of the Guide should clarify that. Otherwise, RAW, I think the OP is correct - you cannot buy rations in a town of less than 5,000 people. (Not that I've ever run it that way... but the rule should be clarified.)
Thanks LampLighter, i didnt realize that GM wasn't under additional resources :\
I'm not planning on running it that way either, but I really like trying to play RAW, especially if I plan on GMing for a group at a conference or a store. Do these forums get looked at by paizo staff or is there a way to bring this up for official clarification?