Another update for today: The latest v2.57 addresses those issues listed below … Please note that the Vol Gift fixes simply fix the way the gifts were supposed to work, with the exception of the No Fear of Death feat, which has been changed to the player (as opposed to the party), so it works in the same way as other Vol Gifts that are also only based on the player.
1) VOL GIFTS (UPDATED): In a MP game, the Companion Protector gift will now become available for all players who wish to select it, and not just to the first chooser.
2) VOL GIFTS (UPDATED): In a MP game, the No Fear of Death
will now only work for the player that selects it. i.e. No longer can
one player select it for all players to benefit from the gift. Only the
PCs controlled by the player with the gift will have their PCs benefit.
3) VOL GIFTS (CLARIFIED): The No Fear of Death description will be corrected to read when any character falls in combat, rather than just the main PC (or leader).
4) DWARF SMITH: Open and available if encountered outdoors, even if after close time.
5) COMPANIONS GOLD: Removed gold coin item from companionable creatures. (Fresh start only.)
NB: In our own campaign, Jen does not currently have the Companion Protector feat because it was disabled to her because of the way the options had been setup. This was an error, and led us to believe that her companions were also protected by this feat, when they were not. i.e. If Threska had "died", then a tombstone would have been created because she was not protected by the Companion Protector feat. We never witnessed this to date because Threska was the only companion never to fall in battle! This can be seen by loading a TEST save and reading the Companion Protector feat description (before updating to the latest version), which states the Gift only works for the player that had selected it, and NOT for the companions of other players.
Going forward in our own campaign, (and in the light of this new information), I will allow players to choose their gift again, if they so wish. Jen has already stated that she may now opt for the Companion Protector feat. Bear in mind that this update means that XP penalties will apply on any "death" for characters of a player that does not have the No Fear of Death Vol Gift. i.e. Just like PnP days, a PC will suffer an XP penalty for "dying", even if they "recover" if a player also has the Companion Protector feat.