“It’s like this is a game that’s afraid of its players,”
Perram, Know Direction 232
In the latest episode of Know Direction, while reviewing the Secrets of Magic playtest document, Perram could not fully express his issues with the design of the new classes without addressing his issues with a trend in 2e’s design philosophy. The above quote sums up the tone of what he said if you haven’t heard the episode.
While I agree with Perram’s points, and the response to what he said has (as of this writing) been legitimately universally positive, it’s also an elephant in the KD room that I thought I’d take some time to address here.
Since the original 2e playtest rulebook (it wasn’t called the 2e playtest, but I’m calling it that for clarity’s sake), we’ve had issues with the siloing of options and its impact on character creation. Although the final version of the rules handled a lot of our earlier issues better than in the playtest, all non-general feats retained strict ancestry or class prerequisites. I thought we gave the new edition a strong endorsement for being better than the playtest, although maybe it wasn’t as strong as I thought. I know I was surprised that response to our review of the 2e Core Rulebook often characterized me as either someone who dislikes 2e or as a negative person.
I am not used to being thought of as negative, especially in network related matters. The network was founded on a love of an edition of D&D that evolved into a love of Pathfinder. “Compliment D&D 4e whenever you criticize it” is a joke now, but it was a serious rule when 4e was actively published to avoid coming off as haters.
We’re still not haters. 2e has a lot of qualities that we enjoy, including aspects we consider superior to 1e. However, it also includes aspects we find inferior to 1e, and see the two editions as different games that scratch different itches. Where we get frustrated is that 2e could scratch the same itches as 1e but better, if not for the combination of encouraging min-maxed characters and throttling character creation freedom for fear of min-maxed characters.
I assure you, our enthusiasm for 2e has been sincere. The issue is that we’ve focused on the positive, leaving our concerns unaddressed. They’ve been hinted at, sure, but it wasn’t until Perram said what he said that I realized how much of a concern they were to him. And when comments in chat, on YouTube, on Discord, and in personal messages confirmed that these feelings were not exclusive to us, that made me realize how important addressing those issues is.
We had plans for the next few months of topics. At first, I didn’t feel a “KD Fixes 2e” topic was pressing enough to bump some of our other episode ideas. It also felt self-important. But seeing the reaction to what Perram said, it’s clear that we need to dedicate the first segment of the next episode to following up on what he said.
We’ll continue to be a network of gamers enthusiastic about Pathfinder, Starfinder, and other games, committed to bringing you content that makes you think or helps your game.
Speaking of which, here is the Know Direction Network content from last week:
Recap of September 8th to September 11th
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Tuesday, September 8th
New Episode, New Patreon’s Private Sanctum
By Ryan Costello
Mostly an announcement about the latest Private Sanctum recording, although I threw in some behind the scenes on how an episode topic gets picked and some of the logistic challenges we sometimes face.
Unlike how Legend Lore handles their Class Features, which is similar in format to how Know Direction: Beyond covers classes, John and Ron don’t break the class down rule by rule. They talk about the Operative’s place in the game, and their experiences with it.
John surprised Ron with this episode’s topic, a look at the operative class. John had asked our Patrons and listeners for their input on what topic they’d like to hear discussed. If any aspect of Starfinder confuses or intrigues you, let John and Ron know in the Shows Discussion channel on our Discord.
Burst of Insight-Ruins of Yesterday’s Tomorrow, part 1
By Andrew Marlowe
Andrew talks about adapting Fallout to the tabletop.
Sadly, I am so uninformed when it comes to Fallout, I can’t comment on much about this article. I can say I appreciate that Andrew found a Fallout themed D&D 5e character sheet and liked it but wanted more Fallout.
Wednesday, September 9th
You never know what’s going to happen on a live episode of Know Direction!
Phantasmal Killer—Leveling Weapons
By Crystal Frasier
I like the idea of weapons that level along with you so much that I based an entire 3.5 campaign around the Weapons of Legacy hardcover, despite not liking the rules that were the entire point of that book and house ruling Weapons of Legacy for my game.
Predestined to like this article though I was, Crystal exceeded my expectations. She didn’t just update the legacy weapon rules from 3.5 or in War for the Crown (shh, I’m not “supposed” to know about those), but introduced multiple different directions the concept can go.
Thursday, September 10th
This episode will be remembered for Perram venting his frustration with 2e, but around that is a solid analysis of the magus and summoner, for those of you participating in the Secrets of Magic playtest.
Something Creates – An Adventure (Quest #4 Outline)
By Andrew Sturtevant
With his starship complete in the last installment, Andrew shared his outline for the starship combat focused installment of his questline, quest #4.
Friday, September 11th
I listened to episode 40 and 41 the morning episode 43 released! I’m almost caught up. I’ve even heard Ron GM!
Bend the Knee – Worlds Collide: Sea
By Loren Sieg
Part two in the Worlds Collide series. This time, Lost Spheres Publishing publisher Christen N. Sowards, Intrepid GM John Godek, and listener JainaB helped fight off a kraken in the Gulf of Finland.
In part one, the panel gave great strategic answers. We see some of that in part two, but also, answers get… weird. Good weird. Very entertaining weird.
The Gods of Valiant
by Luis Loza
Valiant debuts this week, and Luis previewed the last PC (Jessica Redekop’s Xiadani, an aasimar human druid) http://knowdirectionpodcast.com/2020/09/valiant-profile-4-xiadani/ so I knew there was one preview left. I never expected that preview would be two new gods. As someone with little to no insight into Luis’ new actual play podcast outside of these previews, his choice to expand the pantheon and preview two of Arcadia’s divine major players hints at possible directions for his campaign’s plot. Intriguing directions.
Preview of September 14th to September 18th
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, September 14th
Noooo! Jed!! What did (or didn’t) you do ‽ ‽ ‽
Tuesday, September 15th
Patron’s Private Sanctum
After KD 232 went off the air, I shared some of my 2e design goals with the Patrons who were able to attend.
Legend Lore 011 – Rarity
If for you, the rules of rarity just lack clarity, or maybe feel incomplete, Luis and Loren are there to clear things up and expand on how they can be used in your game.
Fox’s Cunning by Dustin Knight
Fox’s Cunning on a Tuesday? Yes, Randal Meyer’s Groundbreaking is on hiatus while Randal settles into a new home (and recovers from the marathon that was Randal Reads the APG). And since Dustin and Crystal were doubled up on Block 2 Wednesday, Dustin graciously agreed to move Fox’s Cunning to Tuesdays for a while.
Dustin follow’s up his epic full season of scenarios review with a similar round-up of all of the PFS Quests.
Wednesday, September 16th
We’re still working this out, but if all goes according to plans, members of the Know Direction Network will be playtesting the magus and summoner in a Pathfinder 2e one-shot.
John speaks with Arcane Mark himself, Pathfinder Design Manager Mark Seifter.
Guidance by Alex Augunas
Thursday, September 17th
Luis Loza’s actual play podcast of an original campaign set in Arcadia might be the most anticipated addition to the network ever. Between an amazingly talented GM, a wonderful cast of players (Know Direction blogger and member of the Order of the Amber Die Rob Pontious as Ev’etaewayr; Paizo staff editor Avi as Sarna; formerly of Paizo, currently with the Know Direction Network, Green Ronin, and his own independent projects, and game industry luminary Owen K.C. Stephens as Seren D. Pious; and freelance game designer and illustrator Jessica Redekop as Xiadani), and guns! Apparently y’all are big into Pathfinder 2e with guns.
I can’t wait for this show to launch. Like, legitimately, I might abuse my network power and grab the first episode from the server before it publishes…
Investing In by Rob Pontious
Friday, September 18th
Dustin runs Ryan Costello, Vanessa Hoskins, Randal Meyer, and Andrew Sturtevant through a 6th level quest for a magus, a summoner, a Conjuration specialist wizard, and fighter/wizard.
Monstrous Physique by Luis Loza
Now you know,