Recall Knowledge – November 2nd to November 13th

Promotional contests are hard.

When I started working at a company with both creative and promotional departments, I realized how naïve it was to believe that a great idea and hard work are the key ingredients to success. Advertising is as if not more important as an idea and hard work. Without it, you’re flying through space without a navigation system. It doesn’t matter how fancy your ship is or how talented your pilot, good luck reaching your destination.

As you may have noticed (if I did my job promoting it), we’re running a contest to give away t=shirts for Beadle & Grimm’s. Matthew Lillard threw the idea out there on the stream, and we ran with it. We don’t normally run giveaways on the site, but we like Beadle & Grimm’s and want to support the Beadle & Grimm’s Complete Character Chronicles crowdfunding campaign currently on Kickstarter, so we’re happy to do it. Full disclosure, we’re also in talks with having them advertise on the site.

Here’s what I’m worried about: No one will show up for my party. Rather than a simple contest, I thought it would be fun to gamify it with a reverse scavenger hunt. The more you participate, the better your odds of winning, and the more you support the Kickstarter. Seems like a win for all involved. But only if others get involved.

This isn’t a plea, the Network loses nothing but a few hours of my time if this spark fails to flame. I’ll just be bummed. We don’t do a lot to promote or monetize Know Direction, and the main reason is that then it becomes work. But I’d love to do more promotions like this; promotions that are fun to think up, are easy to run because I’m enthusiastic for them, and let me interact with a cool company while engaging with our audience. If you are so inclined, consider checking out our Beadle & Grimm’s T-Shirt Giveaway and participating. Not only could you win a prize, you’ll be encouraging us to pursue this kind of content in the future.

Speaking of content, here is the Know Direction Network content from last week:

Recap of November 2nd to November 7th

What happened last week on and

Monday, November 2nd


Recall Knowledge – October 26th to November 7th

I dipped my foot into talking politics again, because doing otherwise would leave a lot of people I care about silenced.

Tuesday, November 3rd

Digital Divination 016 – Healing

John and Ron discuss the viability of healing builds in Starfinder.


Burst of Insight— More Wastelands Rebooted, part three
By Andrew Marlowe

Confession: I have zero experience with Fallout. I appreciate learning about Andrew’s methodology for adapting Fallout into a tabletop RPG, but I’m sure I would get a lot more out of this series if I knew more about the game he was porting over.

Wednesday, November 4th


Know Direction 236: Matthew Lillard and the Beadle & Grimm’s Team

I have a lot of experience speaking with people and gradually more experience speaking with celebrities, and that’s not what this felt like. Other than a bit of the preshow and the opening addressing of the elephant in the room, speaking with Matthew Lillard felt just like speaking with the other clever, fun, passionate gamers we regularly have on the podcast.

Thursday, November 5th


Know Direction 236: Matthew Lillard and the Beadle & Grimm’s Team

As mentioned in my editorial last week, US politics cast a shadow over the network. That shadow was at its darkest on Wednesday, when we were scheduled to record our latest episode. This was exactly the kind of episode we needed to get our minds off things: A fun group of passionate gamers with a cool product they were proud to show off. We are hesitant to have purely promotional episodes, especially when it’s for a crowdfunding campaign, but this was worth making the exception.


Something Creates – An Adventure Outline (Quest #5 Outline)
By Andrew Sturtevant

Something Creates stands out to me when Andrew gets honest in his design diary entries. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also great to see his process and watch his ideas develop over multiple passes, but getting into his head as a writer struggling with the challenges his life lays out before him is both eye opening and encouraging. If you’re not caught up on the series and are worried about skipping ahead, I still recommend you at least read the opening paragraph of this week’s blog.

Friday, November 6th


Intrepid Heroes 047 – Battle Stations!

Last episode was about upgrading the starship. This episode put the new toys to the test!

I’m still not a fan of starship combat, and that’s as someone who’s only experience with it is in Starfinder actual plays. They drag on, lack the normal ebb and flow of combat, and are so technical and gamey that even the best roleplayers seem to stop playing their characters and are just playing the console they’re sitting at. It feels like starship combat is only fun if the GM makes it fun, moreso than the inherently fun parts of the game.

That said, Ron did a good job bringing the fun. He was more transparent than I think is logical with what the other ship is doing or experiencing, but it gave personality to the combat that’s usually missing from Starship combat but a key fun factor of regular combat. The players also did a good job speaking in character. Overall, it still had issues (a lot of rules reviewing, and the combat wasn’t done by the end of the episode), but it was one of the better examples of how to run starship combat I’ve heard.


Bend the Knee – Zed’s Dead, Baby
By Loren Sieg

I always say this, but this was a fun one. Loren wrote up a scenario about a zombie outbreak. Lou Agresta is cocreator of Grimmerspace, so you bet he knows how to handle horror. medtec28 is a longtime listener whose relief work during Super Storm Sandy inspired an episode of Private Sanctuary on weather, so it was fun having him back in the network’s spotlight. And then there’s Ron Lundeen, whose answer wasn’t so much helpful as it was completely believable.

Saturday, November 6th


Game Design Unboxed 001: Expancity with Alex Cutler

You heard the preview, now here’s the official debut episode of Game Design Unboxed. It’s a great example of what to expect from this show, too. Danielle, Ben, and Denice speak with designer Alex Cutler. Cutler’s had multiple designs published at this point, but the focus here was on Expancity.

Game Design Unboxed is about inspiration to publication, but an important part of the conversation was how the game was received after it was published, and the fate of a game that’s seemingly sold out, but was not hot enough to warrant the expansions he had planned.

Preview of November 9th to November 13th

This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.

Monday, November 9th


Adventurous 047 – More Spiders

Yep, more spiders.

We’ve been building to these spider heavy episodes for months, and Loren reached her arachnophobia’s breaking point. There’s a great example of a X Card situation mid-episode, handled perfectly by Loren and Crystal.


Recall Knowledge – November 2nd to November 13th

I talk about how I hope the Beadle & Grimm’s T-Shirt Giveaway goes.

Tuesday, November 10th


Legend Lore 014


Fox’s Cunning by Dustin Knight

Wednesday, November 11th


Presenting – Gamers Making Games


Guidance by Alex Augunas

Thursday, November 12th


Valiant Episode 4


Investing In by Rob Pontious

Friday, November 13th


Monstrous Physique by Luis Loza


Now you know,
Ryan Costello

Ryan Costello

What started as one gamer wanting to talk about his love of a game has turned into an empire of gamers talking about their games. Ryan founded what would become the Know Direction Podcast network with Jason "Jay" Dubsky, his friend and fellow 3.5 enthusiast. They and their game group moved on to Pathfinder, and the Know Direction podcast network was born. Now married and a father, Ryan continues to serve the network as a co-host of the flagship podcast, Know Direction. You can find out more about Ryan and the history of the network in this episode of Presenting: