Guidance: 20 hours of PF2 Later…

Hello everyone, and welcome to Guidance! Today’s installment is a little bit different from what I normally do on the blog for a few reasons, the biggest of them being that I am typing the whole thing live from GenCon on my phone. Huzzah!
If you watched the KDN / Paizo Twitch channel, you might have seen me briefly on the show on Saturday, and if you did you probably already know that I spent all GenCon volunteering as a GM. James Ballod did as well. Personally, I ran six slots of Rose Street Revenge (a Pathfinder Playtest mod) as well as two of the three specials (Solstice Scar and Hao Jin Cataclysm; I love Starfinder, but I didn’t feel i was ready to run its special). Basically, I spent about 20 hours running the next edition of Pathfinder for people, so I have some opinions about the game and it’s mechanics. Since I’m still at GenCon and using my phone to do this, I thought I would give some brief, one-sentence thoughts about the game. I don’t want to influence anyone’s opinion on the system yet (there will be time for that later). But for now, my thoughts:
  • The math in the system feels super great. Going from a three sessions of tightly woven PF2 to Hao Jin Cataclysm was super jarring.
  • I don’t like how minimalist ancestries are, specifically at 1st level. (You will hear me talk a lot about this in the future. All of us KDN folk have a “Hill will we die on,” about the Playtest as Loren puts it, and this one is mine.)
  • The 3-action System is super intuitive and easy to use. I had a bunch of 5E people try the game and they loved the new action economy.
  • None of the 30 players this week that I GMed for loved Resonance. It was either hated (specifically for having to spend it to benefit from the scenario’s healing potions) or met with a resounding “meh.”
  • Skill checks as initive checks was weird. My players tended to like the RP aspect of it. For me as the GM, I thought it was difficult to know when I should be asking for “what the PCs are doing when initiative is rolled” and felt that it was kind of metagamey.
  • I really like exploration mode and it’s new tactics, specifically how you can’t always “do” everything. I specifically liked the existence of the defending and the seeking tactics; it makes a lot of sense to me that you can’t be walking around with your weapon drawn while looking for traps unless you have a special ability to do so.
  • I don’t like how everything—from monsters to spells to feats—looks entirely identical to one another in terms of layout, and the color palette for the Playtest is bland. Red + Green + Beige equals a muted, brown asthetic that I do not like. I’m almost baffled by how this product was put out by the team that made the artistic masterpiece that is the Starfinder CRB.
  • I was hesitant about the bonus consolitation, but overall it led to a lot of meaningful choices for the players.
Well, there you have it! A couple of one-sentence thoughts on the new PFPlaytest CRB. You’ve heard my thoughts and now I want to hear yours! Leave your comments in the area below! Until next time, I’m Alex Augunas and this was Guidance. Cheerio!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at, or support him personally on Patreon at