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PFS is a great thing, if one truly understand what they are getting into. The record keeping was a bit confusing to me at first, as I got some conflicting answers. One of my local GMs help set me straight, and now I am off and running. That is one of the best facets of PFS, is the community - at least locally - seems quite eager to help new players out. (I think it has something to do with wanting more GMs :) )
At any rate, there are a couple things I have noticed when playing the few sessions that I have. Note, this is not meant to begin yet another argument for or against min/maxing or optimization. It is simply one guys opinion, that may help out some other new players out there.
Optimization (not an argument)
PFS, at least in my opinion, lends itself to optimization. This is not my preferred style of play, but I understand why it happens. Since the scenarios have to run as written, the dice mechanics become even more important than in a homegame. When you sit down at a PFS table, odds are one or more of the players have min/maxed or optimized their characters. If this is not your play style, don't worry about it. Have fun with your character, and play they way you want to play. We had a lot of fun in my last scenario with an awesomely played optimized monk, right up until we fought a swarm. That was almost a TPK.
Oh my, this is something that blows my mind. I sat down at a table once where my dwarf was the ONLY non Tiefling or Aasimar. WOW! Add on top of that, the builds were crazy combinations the likes I had never heard of. Don't as for specifics, I can't actually remember. What I do remember, was the that virtually everyone in the group, with 2 exceptions, had 5 CHA. So much for those Diplomacy checks right? In PFS, you have the ability to create pretty much whatever you want, and level it fairly quick. Keep that in mind. I liken it to playing a video game. There is no doubt you are going to come across some crazy stat heavy builds, made for a specific purpose. My advice? Go crazy! Have fun with it, and maybe you can get some good ideas for your next Homegame!
In PFS, the GMs are fairly restricted on what they can do. There is some wiggle room, but not much. As such, sometimes they will make mistakes. Remember, we are all human - despite what our characters say - and we are all at the table to have fun. If your GM makes a mistake, don't call him out and ridicule him. If it is not overly severe, then maybe let it slide and pull him/her to side after the game. Remember that sometimes these guys and gals are running a game for a table full of strangers, and that can be unnerving in and of itself. We all have different experience levels of gaming, but end result is still the same. We are all here to have fun.
So, if you are new to PFS - like I am - you are no doubt going to see and hear somethings that are going to make you scratch your head. Don't sweat the small stuff. Do your best to have fun, and try to keep it positive. Who knows, you might end up having the time of your life!
Oh, one more thing. I heard this the other night, and it cracked me up. You know what the best thing about PFS is? You can always just make another character! :)