One of the low key coolest additions to the network this year is Randal Meyer’s Pathfinder 2e rules bot on Discord, and the Pathfinder Society game (Societous) he’s running with it. We put the game on hold the week of PaizoCon because there’s a lot of staff in that game, and coincidentally all of that staff was on the KD Con Team. We returned to the game right where we left off: on the cusp of a confrontation with protesters.
Randal declared that we were skipping that encounter.
Response to the Know Direction Network’s stand with the Black Lives Matter protesters was almost universally positive, however, we did receive one message asking that we not get political. I honestly ask, “how?”
That’s not just a humanitarian question. It’s a logistical one as well. Take the example from Randal’s game. It’s not an unusual setup for an encounter, but to run it only days after George Floyd’s murder and in the thick of the protests against police brutality in the real world would not be the same as “not being political”. It would be willfully ignoring reality.
As I see it, there are three tiers of how and when we can be called on to be political:
- Politics Cross Over With Our Game
Randal’s call in Societous is a perfect example of this. Likewise, it has to be acknowledged that there are issues with the next Pathfinder Adventure Path casting the PCs as city guard. I’ve talked about how I had people interested in the AP, but buy-in now is at an all time low. At the same time, we talked about how Paizo’s made statements about how the closing of game stores and reduction of orders from major online retailers due to the pandemic has impacted them financially. Can Paizo afford to postpone or cancel an Adventure Path? If they don’t, what audience does Agents of Edgewatch even have anymore?
- Politics Cross Over With Our Hobby
Then there is the cancelation of Origins Online. Creators and participants pulled out because they did not feel comfortable that Origins had not made an official statement in support of the protests. The announcement cancelling the event did make that statement but did not acknowledge that participants were backing out. A lot of PFS and SFS games were scheduled for Origins (so many that the organized play team scheduled an online convention called ConCurrent on the same weekend to handle Origins Online overflow). If we cover the side of the story that affects our listeners without going into when the con was cancelled, we’d be going out of our way to avoid the truth, which I am strongly against.
- Politics Cross Over With Our Lives
The Trump Administration chose Pride month and the anniversary of the Pulse Club anti-gay terrorist attack to rolled back nondiscrimination healthcare protections for women and transgender people. Many members of the network are LGBTQ and whenever a ruling like this one passes, it either affects us directly or indirectly. So while this may not be gaming related, if it affects Know Direction staff or cast members, it affects our ability to deliver content.
I had a whole other plan for today’s editorial, involving how much I am learning about how to play the game by being on and listening to actual plays. That will likely be next week’s topic. That topic got bumped this week to address a more timely topic, because how can it not?
Speaking of the content we deliver, here’s a recap of what you might have missed last week from the Know Direction Network:
Recap of June 8th to June 14th
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Monday, June 8th
I’ve joked about the “catfish trilogy” over the past three episodes, but I truly believe that the mounted catfish that Lily tried to steal in Adventurous 36 was foreshadowing masterfully planted by our incomparable GM Crystal Frasier. The parallel between our characters’ actions and the modern meaning of catfishing is probably a coincidence. Then again, I wouldn’t put it past Crystal to be that diabolical.
The title may make it sound like one big Q&A, but the question period splits this seminar pretty evenly with four Paizo GMs (Thurston Hillman, James Case, Ianara Natividad, and the Know Direction Network’s Luis Loza) talking about their best GMing practices. Of particular note to me were Thursty’s advice to frame saying yes to clever ideas in a way that does not set precedence for an I-Win button, and James Case suggesting that if you have to rule against a player in the name of expedience, to award them a Hero Point to make up for it.
I announce that our PaizoCon Online 2020 seminar coverage has begun!
Tuesday, June 9th
I don’t know if Loren invented the term “mad lads” for barbarians, but this is the first I’ve heard it and I love it. I also sympathize with Luis’ attempt to run barbarians through the Batman test. Valiant effort.
Before, after, and between the scheduled seminars, the KD Con team popped up during the PaizoCon Online 2020 life stream to talk about PaizoCon as a whole and the seminars we had just seen. These were multi-purpose: 1. It gave us a chance to handle the logistics of the switch between panels without disrupting the stream; 2. It gave us a chance to put names, faces, and personalities to the Know Direction logo that prominently appeared throughout the con; and 3. It gave us a chance to follow up with panelists on what they just saw and heard. We’ve compiled these segments into Intros and Interviews compilations, starting with this one for Tuesday and Wednesday (not including the post-Welcome to PaizoCon segment that was long enough to include with that seminar).
Groundbreaking – Mynd Theater v Mined Theater
by Randal Meyer
In his last two articles, Randal explored the idea of the rivalry between a historically accurate medieval professional and a Pathfinder legal magical professional. He continues this trend by exploring a legerdemain magician and an arcane performer.
Wednesday, June 10th
Jessica Catalan only has a few published credits at the moment, but she has upcoming credits in most upcoming Pathfinder and Starfinder hardcovers. I was personally really looking forward to this interview when John told me about it, as Jessica Catalan has been on my radar since we both freelanced on Lost Omens: Legends.
We mentioned debating every year whether we should share the annual The Art of Paizo, as the absense of visual elements makes it a strange podcast to listen to. This year was the best Art of Paizo panel that I can remember, and I recommend anyone who normally skips it to give this year’s a listen.
The Dev Pit: Tales from Azeroth Part 3, Class and Race
by Alex Augunas
In the latest installment of his Tales from Azeroth series, Alex adapts the World of Warcraft classes and races to the Tales from the Loop RPG system. Given that there are no race/ancestry rules in Tales from the Loop, this is not a straightforward task.
Thursday, June 11th
Both James and Vanessa were too sick to appear on camera, leaving the interesting dynamic of Owen, who was still with Paizo during the playtest and development of the biohacker, and Alex, who plays XVII, a biohacker, on Stellar, first the playtest version then the published version.
Investing In: I WAS A TEENAGE CREATURE
by Rob Pontious
Similar in theme to Monster of the Week, another recent subject of Investing In, Rob goes into how the IWATC’s mechanics are narrative and based on the emotions of the characters. Surviving the powers of the current threat while discerning its motive in order to defeat it is a different twist on the Monster of the Week concept, but entirely familiar as a trope of supernatural fiction.
Friday, June 12th
Adventure Paths have been on my mind more than usual lately, so this panel had my attention. The insight it provided into what goes into making an adventure path is not just good for writers, but for GMs looking to run one.
Monstrous Physique — Miles Morales (SF)
By Luis Loza
The 2000s haven’t had as many new comic book characters hit the scene as previous decades, probably because a lot of cornerstone characters that had fallen out of favour in the 90s were polished and brought back to prominence with the influx of movies. Meanwhile, you had the Ultimate Universe, which was made to spotlight those same characters, drifting into weirdness instead of becoming redundant. Somehow, despite being an Ultimate universe character and a replacement of the biggest cornerstone character Marvel had, Miles Morales defied the odds and became one of the era’s breakout stars.
So Luis statted him up for Starfinder.
Saturday, June 13th
The KD Con Team talks PaizoCon Online 2020’s second to last day of seminars
Sunday, June 14th
Formerly the Secrets of Golarion, now focused on looking at the setting broadly and how cool it is instead of zooming in on the details.
Preview of June 15th to June 21st
This is Block 2 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, June 15th
All eyes are on the Pathfinder 2e Advanced Players Guide to see if it can follow up on the edition defining original APG, and this panel was packed with information and implications about what we can expect.
You are here.
Tuesday, June 16th
Burst of Insight
By Andrew Marlowe
Andrew continues to talk about the RPGs that influenced him as a gamer and designer.
Wednesday, June 17th
Know Direction Live – Bestiary, Battle Cards, and Bonner!
Logan Bonner joins us to talk about Bestiary 2, and then we review the Bestiary Battle Cards.
PaizoCon Online 2020 – Intros and Interviews – Friday
By Dustin Knight
Thursday, June 18th
By Andrew Sturtevant
Friday, June 19th
Intrepid Heroes is postponed this week as John recovers from his surgery.
Bend The Knee
By Loren Sieg
Saturday, June 20th
Sunday, June 21st
Now you know,