Really, Adept is really good for an NPC class for a party, but if your really set on not doing that...
What DrDeth says. One of the best NPC class you could have really. Helps the team soak damage, keep them alive, have the iconic buffs, and get rid of debilitating status effects. It really allows the rest of the team to shine, with a class that is contributing a lot without seeming like it contributes a lot.
And, I know healing is sub-optimal, I actually say this often in PFS when I hear the whine of "we don't have a healer.", which happens often. Still, a healer isn't completely worthless, and it really really allows the party to shine while contributing almost passively.
I'm in the minority, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with this scenario...but...
How are your players? Are they OK with moral dilemmas? I have literally seen a long term game fall apart because it had to many moral dilemmas (granted, it was more than 1). While I find its ok, it really needs to be ok with your players. Not just the one put into the situation either. In the campaign that I was in that fell apart someone quit because they didn't like the situation the GM put MY character in, that had basically no affect on them what so ever.
If your players are mature enough and not whiny, then I see no problem with it. But...you are most likely railroading them, which is fine, giving the illusion of options when there are none is the best way to rail run (feels more real than someone forcing you to do everything). If I was playing in that game, I would die(not really I know), its the right(and only) option. Now, that being said, there is a book that has Paladin credos for the different gods. I don't actually own it, but I know reading through it two of the deities would be MORE inclined to let it slide. If I wasn't one of those deities though, there is absolutely no choice, and you ARE railroading. If the player didn't take the hard road and not kill the kid, I'd question his value to my campaign(as a RPer).
If you feel ok with everything, and your players can deal with, it then go ahead. Remember though, it is their story too, and if its gonna make the players hate the game, walk away from the idea.
I ran a game where the cap was 18 and the min was 8, AFTER racial modifiers. You know what, casters are still awesome and out pace other classes at higher levels, but they maintained balance longer, and MAD characters were more doable.
In my main PFS group, we have a 2 level challenge going on. Make a PC that has no more than 2 levels in any class/PRC. Trying to make things that work is actually a lot of fun. Course, PFS pretty much ends at 11, so I haven't built past that point, but we have a lot of cool gish builds coming off that.
If I play in a campaign again I'd like to do a throwing weapons guy. Too hard to do in PFS, since you can't make custom items and there are 2 belts that are almots required for throwing.
+1 this! I have three different spreadsheets I fill out for three different groups, and they aren't even always updated. I know I usually will fillout 1 or 2, but leave the third one blank for months, then go drop a bunch of scenarios on it. If we could have a quick chart of everyone's PFS #, with what they'd ran and played, it would make organizing events much easier.
Don't you get sneak attack if you flank an opponent as a person with sneak attack? Also if this is true then don't you also have the ability to pick deadly range as a ninja trick which extends your sneak attack range by 10 feet each time you pick this so then you could shoot your pistol and keep getting sneak attack at ranged if you keep your opponent flanked or flank not possible with ranged weapons?
You can't flank with ranged weapons. I thought they put out a feat that let you, but I haven't seen it, so I think I must've been mistaken. Even without the trick to extend SA range, you can SA within 30 feet, which is fine for a pistol user.
Hmm, Alternative to fighter could be a level or two dip in monk. Assuming a two level dip you loose 2 hps, and a BAB, but gain 4 SP's (I think you were building for a skill monkey), improved unarmed strike(most the time you can't bring your weapons somewhere a few times in a career, its nice to have then, or for AOO's), and much better saves. Especially the low Will, which will be a problem for you. Not saying its a good idea, but it is an interesting alternative to fighter dip for feats.
Although I don't know if there's official answer, only the first bullet would get it. I should have clarified on simultaneous attacks on different targets. For instance, my arcane trickster uses fiery shuriken. He pops out of stealth and throws one of each of the fiery shurikens at 5 targets, all get SA damage. When I throw all five at one target, only the first gets SA. Thats the way its ruled at nearly every table, and what makes sense as well. Others may rule differently, but that is most common. I did once have a GM tell me I could SA on all the hits.
Should be a yes. Reducing reload time to 2 free actions per barrel, unless the GM rules reloading goes up to a Full-round action, but I don't think thats raw.
Just the first. In general, I try and assume the harshest reading of RAW when partaking in character design. If it ends up being more lenient excellent! If not, you planned for that.
Take a 1 or 2 level dip into fighter? It is harsh, but halfling gunslinger would be way cooler and more original.
So, a potential, if crazy way to get a lot of SA that synergizes with your charisma build would be an Oracle of Waves with water sight, and take obscuring mist as one of your spells. Stay in a cloud of smog, people can't see you, lots of SA's! I believe there is also a mask that lets you see through fog, but I don't know how you could reliably get obscuring mist then, UMD maybe. Still, when you get rapid shot and +6 BAB, getting 6 attacks with SA damage may be brutal.
Generally only the first attack will get sneak attack. If all attacks go out simultaneously and hit multiple targets they all get SA, but bullets don't go out that way - need spells pretty much. Greater Invisibility would give you SA on all hits though.
That is why I proposed amongst an intimate group that agrees ahead of time. I wouldn't want to customize encounters when I go to FLGS, largely because I don't know who will be at my table. We have players there who are stupidly broken, and ones who broke their PC's. Especially without knowing ahead of time who was at my table, but when I do know player X, Y & Z will be there, and they kill BBEG's in the first round 90% of the time, I know I can up the ante.
I don't like to play or run when the players can just stomp the scenario. If your with a group where you know the PC's, and everyone agrees, what harm is there in that? Once again, I know it will never happen, but it would make the game more enjoyable to prep, run and play.
I agree with both of those statements, yet the homebrews I have both ran and played in tend to have much less save or die(or be out for 1d4 minutes or whatever) than PFS. Sure, they may come up occasionally, but not every 2-3 sessions. I've played to a game that went to 17 where the GM didn't use one of those on us, and it was significantly more difficult than PFS overall. The problem is, that situation comes up enough in PFS(in my experience from 5-9 and up once every 2 sessions those get thrown around), if your not ready for it when it does happen, and your the only PC between the BBEG and TPK, its nice to be up for the challenge. And it feels amazing when you solo the CR 11 boss that was gonna TPK the party to boot!
Well, there are over 20 people in my regular group, so thats not really a successful solution. I think allowing some degree of flexibility with a party that you have GM'd for 2 or more times in the past is reasonable, at least if its disclosed to them ahead a time. I know myself and several GM's in our group would like that, and the players would agree too. In particular myself, I'm pretty sure one of my greatest strengths as a GM is encounter design and I'd be up to the task. It'd actually add a great deal of enjoyment to the game for me personally, because thats one of my favorite parts of the game as a whole. I know it won't happen, just saying it'd be cool.
Other people still matter. He's not *that* insanely optimized, though he may be holding back to trick me.
That being said, I'm not 100% sure I agree with the fact you don't need to insanely optimize. At high levels there are a lot of save or effectively be dead for the remainder of this battle effects. My Zen Archer has on three occasions been the only to make a save in one of these situations, and been in at least 2 other situations where only him and one other player were left. 2 of the three my ZA where BBEG's of a scenario.
I've also seen several situation where only 2 characters (often not me) make the necessary save. And you watch and hope that they can win this fight or you know your dead. And you cringe when one of those guys that's still up is known for making poor characters.
Now, I don't think any of my other characters are as optimized as my Zen Archer, and haven't chosen to stay as optimized. Still, I've seen plenty of evidence to the contrary.
Mark Moreland wrote:
Out of curiosity, how much do folks asking for more Pathfinder Society Scenarios utilize other sanctioned adventures such as Pathfinder Modules and Pathfinder Adventure Paths?
I play/run PFS sanctioned modules. I've ran CC and played in a few AP's though only one to fruition. Personally, not a fan of AP's though. I will likely never run one again. Playing in one is less painful. I may consider something that is more open ended like KM or S&S though. Running CC by book 4 just gave me a headache and was no longer fun for me. Its so streamlined and railroaded and non-creative on my part. I'd rather run more PFS than a module where I still put very little creativity into it and the same amount of time. On the flip side, I like to play in something more organic as well. I know those often die, but it seems their death rate is equal to the death rate of AP's in my personal experience.
Thats why I run my own custom content games though, PFS is more for the brainless work, where I don't get to add creativity. When I do get to throw in creativity, I want it to be mine, hence no AP's.
Well, I think it should be allowable within a known group. I often play with the same group online, and we mop up scenarios, even season 4 scenarios. I wouldn't mind customizing on them(and vice versa when others run) just so there is some challenge in there. Even playing many baddies at the very best I can (often way smarter than there int/tactics should allow) its a cakewalk, and if I follow the often very poor tactics, they don't even have to walk, its just cake.
I went over my personal list. I first started PFS back in March of 2012. I played a lot, until January of this year were work interfered pretty heavily. I have only played 6 games and ran 2 games in that time.
So, in the 9 months previous to that I had played 48 scenarios, 4 modules and ran 36 scenarios and 3 modules. Assuming that modules take 2 sessions (even though they may take more) I was playing 6 scenarios a month and running 4.67 times a month. The entire time I also ran a campaign and for a portion of the time I was playing in a campaign. If I didn't have those two things I could've been playing and running up to 8 times a month.
That being said, when life stuff came up, I've played only one game a month since and ran once every 2.5 months. It seems my gaming schedule will be picking up here now.
I still have plenty of material, but both my regular online group and my FLGS group is having problems coordinating games b/c so many players have played this or that. Our FLGS have actually gone to an average of 4 tables, where only 6 months ago we were lucky to get 2, so it is tough getting the Vets in with the noobs.
Not sure where I'm going, but I guess it is reasonable that someone could play/run about 10 games a month. I think doubling the output may be a good start. I really like the idea of not having all scenarios tied to the overall story plot too. You still got to deal with the Aspis and Rogue agents even while focusing on destroying demon scum.
I've played with BNW on several occassions, and will vouch while his characters are insanely optimized & Min-Maxed - they are very flavorful and fun characters. He tends to contribute RP value to the table.
I do agree +5 skill checks can mean your failing faction quests, even at early levels. BUT, most faction quests don't need to be completed by you, and if you have a good party you can rely on them to aid you. Sometimes, they can't help you, and you may be hosed. I have seen at tier 3-4 DC 20-25 checks, that are trained only skills. How hard faction missions are seems to be really dependent on the faction too. Like my Grand Lodge characters have a cake walk, while Qadira tends to have it harder. It could just be a scenario thing, but I'm pretty sure not all factions were created equally on faction missions.
Thalin - Ya, thats a crazy dump for a fighter, even a dex based. I will dump str. to 7 on a dwarf, since they still can carry 70 lbs and act as if they aren't encumbered until then.
Heh, usually people are nice, though I do see people trolling and flaming the boards sometimes.
Touch: When you are the target of a touch attack, your AC doesn't include any armor bonus, shield bonus, or natural armor bonus. All other modifiers, such as your size modifier, Dexterity modifier, and deflection bonus (if any) apply normally.
Flat Footed: You loose your Dex & Dodge bonuses to AC. You also can't make AOO's without combat reflexes.
Man, between the crazy season 4 powergamer boons I've already come close to swearing off PFS, just so unnecessary. And now they talk about reducing gold for playing up (but it doesn't work both ways) but they give away feats and ability score bonuses??? I don't know how this ius good for business, and I suspect you'll scare away new players who's buddy doesn't want to play down with their new friend and loose gold, so he never palys again. Sorry total derail!
From what I've seen of Mythic(playtest only, so maybe its not so bad, but doubtful), if they bring that to PFS, that will likely be the straw that ends PFS for me.
When I first Started playing I min/maxed uber optimized my PC's.
Paltinor - He was my first PC, a Dwarven Zen Archer Monk. He is now level 9. He is still crazy optimized, has +12(+17 will)minimum to any save, an additional +5 vs. Spells and can boost his AC to 42 (is usually 38). He has solo'd encounters with a CR+3 his level on 3 occasions now when the rest of the party failed save or be effectively out of the battle. Uses crane wing when he needs to and will get deflect arrow next level. He's my howitzer tank. He can take care feats of acrobatics outside of combat.
Dominin - Lion Shaman Dwarven Druid. He's level 6 now. I was going to go Saurian, but everyone in my normal group griped about Paltinor, so I stepped the optimization down a level. Then someone else(BNW) came in with a Saurian Shaman anyway. He is also crazy good at combat, though not as optimized as the howitzer. He can take care of animal friendly stuff outside of combat.
After my first two PC's, I realized Pathfinders didn't need to be as Optimized as I had been doing(season 4 was not yet out), so I toned it down a bit and did a crazy build next:
Grunk(Cecil) - Halforc Monk (Sohei/Master of Many Styles) 1/ Cavalier (Gendermae) 1/Fighter (Lore Warden) 2/Rogue (Skulking Slayer) 3. He's a lot of fun and has a lot of tricks. He's definitely not on the high end of my power scale, but I enjoy playing him all the same. Lots of out of combat utility as well, does everything decent.
Tamlin - A Tiefling Conjuration Wizard 5. He will jump into the Diabolist class when he can. I focused him on buffing/battlefield control only. He does do damage once in a while (through a pit or such) but hes focused nearly purely on making the party win more. People love that, and its fun to jack up the enemies! He's a wizard, so he's got all the knowledge's for out of combat, and some utility.
Tommy - Tiefling Paladin (hospitaler) 5. First Paladin I've played since 2E. Ultimate Healer, used tiefling favored class ability and fey foundling to gain all the healing. By level 7 he will be able to heal from 0 hps(with Heroic Defiance) all the way to full 98% of the time (Using LOH's and channeling twice) I never really play full tanks so its an interesting change for me. He is one of my most loved characters by other players because I play him as....uh politically correct I'll say stupid, and heroic.
Do - Tiefling Wizard (divination)3/Rogue (Cutpurse) 3/ Arcane Trickster 4 (10 total) - Power levelled the crap out of this guy to get him up to level for Eyes and post retirement stuff. Was gonna do Paltinor, but got a little sick of him, and had been wanting to do a trickster anyway, and tricksters get significantly more powerful with levels, where Zen Archers just stay pretty awesome. I LOVE this character. He's pretty good at everything, even without invisibility spells hes nearly always invisible, and just has so much in and out of combat utility. Sure, he's got some issues, but overall hes a blast. Can't wait to get sneaky spell next level! He's highly optimized for a trickster, but an optimized trickster is necessary to be competitive.
Oxiton - Cavalier (Gendermae) 1/Rogue (Thug) 1/Inquisitor 1 (3 Total) - All the rest of his levels will be inquisitor. Uses enforcer/bites/reach weapon/thug archetype/Bludgeneor to lay down fear nearly every round. Its a pretty fun combo. Not sure its optimized, but it doesn't suck.
Droli - who has only been through first steps and I may rebuild. He's a very non-optimized Dwarf musketmaster gunslinger I built just to show how ridiculously broken gun mechanics are. Was planning to do gunslinger (5)/Fighter(weapon Master) 3/ Grand Marshal X. May still do it, but may use his rebuild.
Angodan Seeze - Another one who only has first step credit and I may use a rebuild on. Is a gnome Oracle (Heavens) 5/Veiled Illusionist X. I'm debating just going Oracle Heavens 1/Sorcerer(umbral) X. Seems better overall. Also Considering Oracle (Heavens) 1/Sorcerer (Umbral) 4/Veiled Illusionist 3/Mystic Theurge X. Seems pretty painful though.
I have ran two solo campaigns. You can't really op the player. You can let them gestalt with 4 classes and have the best animal companion in the world. They still have very limited action economy and you still have to work hard at encounter design to not kill him.
Additionally, I don't think its op. The revelations would work as well. Besides, depending on the god theres not a lot of good domains (I think most gods only have 1-3 good ones). I'd let him pick up either a power from a domain that he qualifies for, or an inquisition power that he qualifies, or even a revelation.
Hmm, I'd rewrite this as a fighter archetype. Or maybe a ranger archetype even.
Combat opportunism is too powerful.
Smart Maneuvers: this is kinda cool, but it synergizes too well with combat opportunism. Adding Int twice to combat maneuver AOO's - makes a whip fighter super scary. Add Fury Snare (or whatever) and your adding dex as well to trip. I like smart maneuvers, but it needs some tempering.
Gladiators Challenge: 1) They have a feat that does this, 2) The class doesn't actually have any armor proficiency, so I don't think it should have a taunt ability.
Canny Defense: Seems awfully late entry for the class as written. I'd probably drop this as level one but make it like the kensai (one point per class level).
I really like the concept here though. Its neat, and I like smart fighters.
Zhayne - I know, its something wrong with me. Once a setting goes downhill for me its over and I can't play it anymore. I totally understand your point, I just got issues with it.
Yora - thanks for the input. An ancient forgotten realms game sounds interesting.
Shadowcat - email sent!
Ya, I loved FR, but I thought it started going downhill before 4E myself. The last year or so of 3.5 really killed it for me.
I probably wouldn't run in one of the last three games, cause people have knowledge/expectations (some probably more than myself). I was considering possibly running in Daggerfall. The time of Nevervaine the 1st seems like it may be cool, but it would be odd as there are no Dark Elves yet, and bringing in races outside of Dark Elves(or Chimer before the change I think) and Dwarves doesn't really make sense, so races would be pretty limited.
I can't think of what other time period event would be cool to run. I used to know the lore pretty well, but it seems I forgot a lot.
Should've taken magical knack, though it probably wasn't legal when you made the character. What sucks with PFS is when they take something from us we're just screwed, but when they put something new in (or back in) we don't get to benefit. No, I don't think there is an alternative.
I say know your players, and make your decision based off that. In all my years as a player/gm(nearly 20 years) I have had 2 parties where it was ok. It happened, it didn't derail the game, and everyone was mature and no feelings were hurt.
Every other time I've seen it, someone gets butt hurt, etc. I was in a group where someone who had been in the campaign for over a year and was in his 30's got off'd by a player, and he never came back to our group, so sometimes its hard to tell. If there is any doubt, don't allow PVP.
Funny, my buddy proposed similar changes to the monk. He proposed every +10 movement could be used as 5 foot steps(so by the time you had +30 you could move 15 feet while flurrying without provoking.) Not sure that defense of the mind and mind over body are necessary.
Fighter - I like most those changes, but your giving them too much I think.
I like the skill training aspect, but I think monks should be toned down to fighter progression. I actually really like this, as the biggest problem with the rogue is other people can do his job better, let him take back some of his jobs.
Tiehunter: Ya, my Darksun game was awesome, probably one of my best games ever, if not my best. You can check it out if you want. I have tons of rules write up that aren't posted I can send to you if your interested. I spent several dozens of hours on conversions, and you may find something useful in all my junk.
VRMH: Thank you. I love quest for glory and it really does well as pen and paper too, at least on the solo I ran it was great. You picked choices that are close to my heart.
In my Dark Sun game, I ran it like 2e where divine magic came from powers that were less than gods, so there was a chance divine magic went awry when casting. I believe I did 1% chance to activate wild magic and a 1% chance of spell failure per spell level. I found that to work well, and you could do whatever % you want if you want to make it more difficult. For supernatural abilities, they always count as the max level that a caster could cast as they generally scale at that pace.
I nearly forgot:
7) An Urban Thieves guild campaign. Basically, everyone works for the thieves guild, but they may have...other loyalties as well. Several factions have plants in the guild, but all the players work together, and maybe sometimes against each other. Its based loosely on one of my most successful campaigns that I ran back in 2e, but I'm a much better GM than I was back then. I really like this idea because it focuses a lot on archetypes/PRC's that are very flavorful and cool, but near worthless in a normal campaign (Like master spy, amongst about a dozen others) and it would be cool to see those get used. The bad is PF is so combat oriented, I'm not sure PF is the right system to really run this setting, and of course the wizard/sorcerer(or better trickster) can probably dominate this game by mid levels. But still, that is another campaign I have been contemplating.
I'm about 20% through my current campaign, which is a D100 Fallout campaign. Its going great and I love it, I'm really impressed with how well the system works, at least with the numerous changes I've made. You really should check it out sometime Here. Its really a blast and a good step back from Pathfinder. Anyway, that's just to stroke my ego, you can favorite it too if you really want to make me feel good.
Anyway, that's not what this post is about. I have finished programming the entire campaign into map tools(I pretty much run exclusively online), and am contemplating what to do with my next campaign. I have had several ideas and was looking for peoples thoughts and feelings. I won't be running it for quite some time (probably several months to a year while I run this campaign) but I like to plan ahead and get everything going, and it takes some time to program a game into map tools, so I can at least get that started. So here are my current thoughts.
1) An Elder Scrolls PF game. There is a lot to choose from for this game. I'm not really sure what event I would focus around. Certainly not anything from Morrowind or later, but perhaps a Daggerfall centered game as most players haven't ever played it, and even fewer have made significant headway into the storyline. Of course I'd be open to other event periods, but my Tamriel lore isn't as good as it was when I was younger, and am not sure which historic event I'd like to focus on. Any thoughts/suggestions? Would you enjoy a game like that?
2) For any who remember, the Quest For Glory series, I've always wanted to run an RP off of that. I actually ran a solo campaign for a buddy and we made it all the way through the 2nd game by the end of Summer. Unfortunately it never got picked back up and that person now lives very far from me, so its not feasible to try and make progress in a summer run. Its a great series though, and has a lot of neat RP potential. If you know the series what do you think? Is its something you'd consider?
3) Way Of The Wicked. I've seriously considered running this, but the last AP I ran(Carrion Crown) I got burnt out about half way through. I like to generally have a basis I'm going off of, but not a strict plot/storyline. For instance, my Fallout game is based on Van Buren, the cancelled Fallout 3 by black isle(before Bethesda bought it). It gives a nice basis but lets me explore the game more creatively I feel, and railroad my players less. So I tend to lean away from AP's. Besides, I run PFS, which I have no say in, why run an AP that does the same thing. How do people feel about this?
4) My sweet steampunk Homebrew that I made Domcur. I am fully convinced this is the best homebrew I've ever done, and if I did it up it'd be a publishable setting. Unfortunately when I started it I only recruited four players. Two players dropped in the same week due to different reasons, and I lost heart for it. I also didn't know about The Tangled Web (best recruiting sight ever!) Or I likely would have filled in my player base. Its highly customized, mid tech, mid magic (I weaken magic significantly, though the players still felt the casters did fine. What do people feel about this Steampunk PF games?
5) My most successful campaign ever was probably my Dark Sun game. For those who don't know, Dark Sun is a post apocalyptic very high magic/psionic world with low loot, stronger races and classes. I put an extreme amount of work into converting this too PF (from 2e with some help of some 3e conversion from Athas.org), so it would be really easy for me to run another Dark Sun game if I so desired. I effectively have the world craft done. How do people feel about this setting? Are you interested in it?
6) Any other thoughts/suggestions or what you'd like to see. Doesn't even have to be PF necessarily.
Just trying to bounce some ideas around and come up with my next direction for my next game. I have time to plot storylines and setting craft as necessary, just not 100% sure which direction I want to take it. Any thoughts/advice would be cool. Thanks.
My Bad- The Theologian (Cleric Archetype) can use non-domain slots to memorize domain spells, but not to spontaneous cast, which really isn't too bad. Both the Storm druid and Urban druid can spontaneously cast their domain spells. I really don't think its that bad as they give up spontaneous summon ally (which is really good), just something to be aware of.
AWP did make me think of something though, and that's the expansion of magic in a world. How old is magic? Is it an ancient unchanging thing? Maybe that's why there isn't anything written about what can and can't be done with it. The old coot teachers teach by the book because magic has "been discovered." Or maybe its really young, so there isn't a set way to come up with formulas, yet. Or maybe its theory craft. Or it could be more like the advancement of technology. They are making new things all the time, and you want to design the best. In that case maybe you create a lot of "theory" on how creation works, but maybe it all doesn't work..or maybe it all doesn't work all the time.
Hmm, you know word casting may be cool if you have someone creating his own spells.
And I wouldn't worry about a new splat book that says its a cleric spell. "If" it happens just roll with it. I wouldn't take it from the player either. Either remove it from the cleric spell list for that game, or just brush it off. I can't imagine it could happen more than twice or so, and its not a huge deal.
I didn't want to tackle the divine/arcane difference b/c it has a ton to do with setting, interpretation, pantheon, etc. Without having a lot of details its hard to tell the difference, and really other than spells on list, there isn't a lot of difference in most worlds (as they function nearly identical.) If I know about your setting I can attempt to answer it, not that my interpretation will be right or anything:)
Hey, I really dig multiple spells per domain actually. Only thing to be weary of there is that there are druid and cleric archetypes that can spontaneously cast their domain spells.
I'm going to ignore the: What makes a idea for a spell divine or arcane? part of your question and focus on the first. The 2nd is too complicated and has too many nuances. Its been a long long time since I had anyone make a spell, so take this how you will.
First, I would not tell me player what spells he can and can't make. I would let him create him. I think of him as an inventor...think Edison and the lightbulb (10k attempts to get it right). He shouldn't necessarily know if what hes making is going to work. Hopefully he has enough understanding of magic to have some idea of what may work.
Second, I would only allow wizards and alchemists to make spells/extracts, but thats a preference thing.
Third, Have him turn in the spell(s). Tell him you'll get back to him before next session. Make him roll his spellcrafts and pay his gold. Analyze the spells. Are they level appropriate. Analyze other spells of that level, the level above the level below, on both the arcane and divine spell list. Does it do something another spell already does? If so, either he learns that spell, or if it does it better/worse and is level appropriate, thats fine. The biggest area of abuse I think would be school of magic or wrong spell list. Is he trying to sidestep an opposition school making a power thats clearly enchantment transmutation b/c he wants that power. If so, and everything else is balanced, change it to the appropriate school, and let him learn it still...danf he got it but it eats 2 spell slots, exactly what he was trying to avoid.
Unfortunately there is no hard rule for this, and it will be largely up to you as a GM to moderate. If you look it over, and are still conflicted, come to the boards and ask. People will give their opinions (some may not even be smart asses about it).
I've ran 3 campaigns online, and only one of them has fallen apart, which is better than my offline ratio of about a 35% completion rate. I'm in the middle of running my fourth online campaign, and its going fairly well. The great thing about online is its much more difficult to loose good players...once you find them. If someone moves, they may be out a session, but they don't have to drop the entire game. With the crazy world we live in its hard to have 4-6 players and not have something crazy happen to one of them.
That being said, actually finding the RIGHT players is a problem. I can't tell you how many people just don't show up or are flaky online. Never had that problem so much IRL. What I do now, is the first 2-3 sessions are not even related to the storyline and are just kind of cannon. Weed out the bad players and get the handful of good players. Well, usually I run with the same group, but my current game is a D100 Fallout game and surprisingly none of my PF players were interested in trying a new system. So I did that for this game.
Of course, depending, PFS offers a lot of advantages too. If your normal group is getting back together in a few months, and you don't want to be in the middle of two campaigns simultaneously, its a great way to pick up games. And we can always use another GM. If you GM, you still get to apply chronicles to a character. I like it because if I have something come up I can take a month break, and jump right back in with my characters. Don't get me wrong, I like campaigns more overall than I do PFS, but I play more PFS than I do Campaigns because the nonstory benefits far outweigh a campaign.
Besides the link in my other post, thetangledweb.com and INFRNO.com are the two best places I've found for online recruiting. Tangled web is the best, INFRNO is a good secondary place to post a game, but its unlikely you'll get enough players from there to put together an entire campaign, or you'll be waiting sometime at least.
Inquisitors can make solid melee. I have a cavalier (genderma) 1/rogue(thug) 1/inquisitor x who is a tiefling in pfs. I took enforcer and bludgeneor to smack the fear down nearly every round on enemies. Maw is good, especially if using reach orranged weapons. If you want something easier for cornugun smash, you will have enemies shaken all around you. With the tiefling fc bonus you and inquisitor bonus you'll get a crazy intimidate by the time you get cornuguns at level 5. I opted for the 12 dex, and I'll probably still end up with combat reflexes, but for me its well worth it. Nothing lime taking an Aoo at an enemy moving in on you and watch him.retreat in flight
Oh and traits. Don't remember both of them, I think one gave me sone bonuses on knowledge, nut heirloom weapon dwarven longhammer!
Crane style and a 2 level dip into master of many styles will give you some great synergy if your still thinking of the monk dip. 7 levels is giving up an awful lot. I usually only use a one level dip into monk when possible, it gives a lot of bonuses. Having improved unarmed strike is nice as a ranged character for those odd times you need it, and deflecting a melee and ranged attack a round is very cool...that what my zen archer does, and it doesn't suck.
As a fellow GM and player, I say sunder away. Sunder is one of the great tricks. Now, this is coming from a guy who still uses 3e disjunction, but I think its legit. I also use damaging abilities and spells to damage/destroy magic equipment. Why not, pcs should have a fear of loot death just like they do character death, and antimagic zones. Oh, most games I take out res spells too, so my cup of tea isn't everyones, but nearly all my players come back to my campaigns. Fear of really bad things happening is part of the game and adds suspense and death. I wouldn't even give them more wealth for it...at least not directly or probably soon. Let them sweat it out for a while. As long as they have enough gear to function. I say destroy away and destroy hard. Its the right thing to do and ads to a campaign.
I disagree with the optimizing thing too. Optimize to the level of your players. If players tend to take rp feats/archetypes, do similar. Or take things that help vs save or suck, or add hps, not make them stronger. If the party.optimizes like a beast, you should too. If your not that great at encounter design your better off slightly under optimizing though. Encounter design is one of my strongest srrengths as a gm though, so I tend to optimize where nearly everyobe is dead, but no one has died.
Play online. I love playing online. Its great - check this out: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/pathfinder-society-onlin e-collective.
I don't go there much anymore cause I have an online group I usually play with, but they run about a dozen PFS games a week.
My favorite campaign I ever ran was a 2E thieves guild campaign. About 60% of it took place in the same large city. It was awesome, combats were rare (generally, they messed up if there was a combat) and it was all about stealth, stealing, setting people up, political intrigue, spying and that kind of stuff. It was too date my favorite campaign I ran, and considering that was really early in my GMing career, I see a lot of potential for an urban campaign.
I have for the last few months been rummaging around in my head an deciding on reviving that campaign actually for PF. Big Lemon pointed out that PF is designed around combat, but lots of classes have less combat emphasis, but most classes have archetypes that make them less combative and more set up for these roles. And there are so many cool PRC's you'll never see in a normal game b/c they weaken you for combat, but they have so much flavor RP wise. Most classes have at least one or two archetypes that really make them fit this campaign setting.
Anyway, I dig the idea of an Urban campaign. I ran a game in Ptolus once which is very heavily Urban.
Oh and Urban does have a problem. When in the wilderness or a dungeon crawl there's resource management issues, when in a city, everything is near by and close.