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What You Wish You Knew about PFS by squirrel

After reading the What You Wish You Knew At Character Creation thread for Pathfinder Society, I thought I'd write something up based on my experiences with PFS games and what I thought was helpful in the thread for new players or old players making new characters. Probably the most important thing is to read the entire Guide to Organized Play, and to pay attention to what's legal for play in chapter 13. The rest of this should help too.

Be aware of the level 12 cap in Pathfinder Society play. This can really change builds and is important to note which class abilities will no longer be available to you due to the cap, a lot of play will be at lower levels, so a character that doesn't become effective until level 6 is holding up other players for half his effective playtime. (Though a player COULD eat scenarios for a late bloomer by DMing and everybody wins) Pay attention to the level cap especially with Prestige Classes . Most times you won't have enough levels to get the most out of it. Also generally in Pathfinder classes stand on their own quite well, it's not about getting into a Prestige class as soon as possible.

You will level up at a very standard rate. One XP is gained for successfully completing a scenario, and you level up every three XP. This is good so you won't take forever to gain a level later in the game, but you also have a set number of scenarios a single character can play before retirement.

PFS doesn't let you go to the magic shop for whatever you want, but there's still plenty of choices. Especially at lower levels where magic items are rare or nonexistent, mundane items and alchemy consumables can be very important and are considered always available. On that note you will be able to buy a-la-carte magic items based on your TPA later in the game, but you can also buy magic items off your chronicle sheets which will be available sooner than your TPA price cap.

Faction missions are worth doing, but it's not the end of the world. Your TPA total lets you spend hard-earned gold on magic items that you want without having to find them on a chronicle, as well as for upgrading your weapons and armor of choice. CPA is probably best used for two things, first you can spend 2 PA for a "free" purchase up to 750gp which a first level wand will probably be the most bang for your buck, and second general clerical services that you may need such as Raise Dead.

A Consumable Kit doesn't have to be expensive. There are plenty of cheap and useful consumables, but you don't need to have one of everything, or many of any one thing. You'll be able to restock any used items from your kit at the end of each scenario, so don't worry about bringing more than a couple unless you plan to use more than one in combat, but then it stops being a just in case item. But there will be a few items that you'll always want to have around such as Alchemist's Fire and Vermin Repellant