Recall Knowledge – PaizoCon 2012-2015 Memories

Every week, Recall Knowledge recaps the Know Direction content of the past week, a preview of the Know Direction content of the week to come, and the director of operations, Ryan Costello, thoughts on the state of the network.

Although I loved my PaizoCon 2010 experience, I skipped PaizoCon 2011. Instead, my wife Tina and I went to our first GenCon. At the time I still helped run the Canadian G.I. Joe convention in the greater Toronto area, and two geeky trips a year was my limit. Luckily, long time supporter of the podcast Justin Sluder gave up his time and loaned his mic to bring us the PaizoCon 2011 seminar recordings. Sluder continued to be a key member of the KD Con Team at future PaizoCons, even before the KD Con Team was a thing.

I’ve hit every PaizoCon from 2012 on.

2012 was all about networking. Podcasting was no longer a foreign concept to most people, and Know Direction specifically had a reputation for its seminar coverage. I used my connections to run my first PaizoCon seminar, Community Projects, with Ted Thompson of Pathfinder fan fiction site Pathfinder Chronicler, John Reyst of d20PFSRD, Tim Nightengale of Wayfinder and PaizoCon itself, and Alex Greenshields of PathfinderWiki. I also had several third party writing credits by then, as well as my first Paizo credit, the Hill Giant in Giants Revisited. PaizoCon 2012 reinforced how much I and Know Direction grew in just a couple of years.

2013 was the PFS PaizoCon for me. I played three games, including my first special, Siege of the Diamond City, which forever changed my perception of tabletop gaming. Run by Sean Cunningham, who left such an impression that playing at his table became a PaizoCon tradition for a few years.

2014 was the above two cons, smooshed together. It flew by, but I managed to cram in gaming, seminar recording (although most of it was covered by the increasingly larger KD Con Team), 1-on-1 recording (which I really enjoyed when I did it but regrettably didn’t have as much time for it as the years went on), and networking. I left PaizoCon 2014 feeling like I got the most out of my PaizoCon experience.

2015 was different. First of all, it happened out of nowhere. I wasn’t as hyped for it as past years. I showed up without a plan or the drive to make one on the fly. It was honestly a weird experience, as I felt like I was wasting a once a year opportunity that cost me a lot of money to attend only to walk around a hotel and engage superficially with friends I rarely got to see.

Fortunately, halfway through PaizoCon 2015, I got a shot of positive reinforcement. Perram and I were named Volunteers of the Year. We captured the moment on camera, from when Paizo publisher Erik Mona speculated that we didn’t know (we didn’t) to my “speech”, which really showed that I was genuinely at a loss for words. Honestly, had we not won that award that year, I might have skipped the following PaizoCon. With Scarlett, my oldest daughter, being a newborn at that point, and my job at Blind Ferret having just started, who knows how skipping a PaizoCon might have impacted the trajectory of the network. It’s a lot of speculation, naturally, but the point at its heart is that stuff like the network has its costs. It has its ups and downs. And well timed praise can make all the difference. If there’s a content creator you appreciate, don’t underestimate how much they’d appreciate you acknowledging their hard work.

On the topic of hard work and ups and downs, Randal let me know that he needs to take another hiatus from Groundbreaking. So while the May 5th Behind the Screens on GMing the Marvel Way was meant as a one off last minute replacement, it ends up Randal needed more than a week off. He’s got a full plate, and rushing to write and publish Groundbreaking on time caused added stress in his life. We appreciate everyone on the network staff, but we don’t expect anyone’s contribution to the network to have a negative impact on their life. Randal will continue to be a member of the staff, and he’s welcomed to contribute whenever he feels he has the time and inclination. In the meantime, now’s a good time for readers to catch up on Groundbreaking, the archive of which will remain network content.

Speaking of network content, here’s a recap of what you might have missed last week from the Know Direction Network:

Recap of May 10th to May 14th

What happened last week on and

Monday, May 10th


Recall Knowledge – PaizoCon Memories: PaizoCon 2010
By Ryan Costello

I didn’t expect my entire first PaizoCon Memories post to just be about PaizoCon 2010, but after rewatching my PaizoCon 2010 montage, my nostalgia for my first PaizoCon got tickled.

Tuesday, May 11th


Patron’s Private Sanctum 20

Dustin and Alex surprised Perram and I by joining us for the chat after 249’s episode on Small Game Groups.


Legend Lore – Stabby’s Group Character Creation

When Luis asked me to cover him for this week and asked if I had any ideas, I thought it was an ideal opportunity to use the character creation recordings. Sadly, I have to admit that this is a dry 2+ hours. Check it out if you haven’t, because it’s fun to revisit Meg, Stan!, Eleanor, and Bryan, but maybe listen to it in chunks. Because I plug Pathbuilder, and explain the ABCs of RPGs five times, about every half hour, my portions of the episode repeat themselves. Maybe I’m wrong and it provided fun insight into how to explain Pathfinder 2e to players of varying experience. If I am, let me know on Discord.


Fox’s Cunning – Familiar-Dex
Written by Dustin Knight

Dustin’s spent a lot of time outlining summoner options, but maybe you don’t want to speed date an animal companion. Maybe you’re looking for a lasting relationship. Again, Dustin’s got you covered, outlining every 2e option for getting a familiar, reviews the benefits of each option, and, bonus, converts the pipefox to 2e.

Wednesday, May 12th


Know Direction: Beyond 58 Live –NPC Forge

From now on, I’m going to post Twitch content reviews as links without commentary, since it releases as a podcast later that same week.


Presenting – Wolfgang Baur

This is the second time recently that John’s interviewed a deep rooted industry veteran, and it’s again an amazing episode. Wolfgang has incredible insight into the RPG industry, and his imprint, Kobold Press, has succeeded these past 15 years by his ability to jump on the latest trend.

Thursday, May 13th


Valiant Episode 16: In Which The Heroes Learn About Each Other

This episode is worth it for the moment when the players realize that they’re destined to live out the scene in the Valiant banner artwork.


Investing In: Dread
By Rob Pontious

After the article went live, there was a discussion in the staff channel about how we thought Rob was reviewing Dread, the horror RPG that uses a Jenga tower for skill tests and conflict resolution. It’s not, it’s an article on dread, the feeling and genre, how it differs from other horror sensations, and how to evoke it at the table. But, the conversation convinced Rob that he needs to give Dread the RPG a try.

Friday, May 14th


Private Sanctum 018

I’m releasing the last few Patron’s Private Sanctum out of order. Not for some Tarantino or Machete Order purpose, but because I fell behind due to illness and the overall schedule backlog that caused.


Know Direction: Beyond 58 – NPC Forge

I’m pretty hands off when it comes to Beyond. I’ll help book guests, facilitate getting review materials, and poke the team if I haven’t heard the next week’s plans. Otherwise, the content is entirely up to them. So when Alex said he wanted to do an episode on creating NPCs, I didn’t say anything, but I raised an eyebrow. “OK,” I thought, skeptically. “If you think that’ll make a good episode.”

My brain’s eating its hat, because this was a great episode. I didn’t realize how many NPC creation elements were specific to Starfinder. I also didn’t know the topic extended to creating Starfinder aliens. They even created a creature live, using the audience’s suggestions. Not only was the process fun to listen to, the monster they ended up with was super cool. If you reacted to the topic the same way I did, don’t sleep on this episode. It might be my favourite KD content of the week.


Monstrous Physique — Darkmantle & Lurker Above (PF2E)
By Luis Loza

How appropriate that Luis sprung the shift from pop culture builds to classic monsters on us with a pair of ambushers. He’ll be updating Ruins of Azlant to 2e, and that means updating the monsters. He’s turning that work for his home game into content for the network.

Preview of May 17th to 21st

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

Monday, May 17th


Recall Knowledge – PaizoCon 2012-2015 Memories
By Ryan Costello

More memories!

Tuesday, May 18th


Digital Divination 030

John and Ron talk about Starfinder from the perspectives of a fan and a Paizo developer.


Burst of Insight by Andrew Marlowe

Andrew Marlowe shares GM and design advice for and from other game systems.

Wednesday, May 19th


Know Direction 250 Live – Onward to PaizoCon Online!


Game Design Unboxed 15 – Cat Lady

Josh Wood joins Danielle Reynolds and Denice to talk about AEG’s Cat Lady.


Behind The Screens by Ryan Costello

I deconstruct common GM advice, and offer tips and tricks that have improved my games.

Thursday, May 20th


Know Direction  250 – Onward to PaizoCon Online

PaizoCon Online is next week, and we’re here to talk all about it!


Something Creates by Andrew Sturtevant

Andrew Sturtevant creates Starfinder content, and shares insight into his decisions and his struggles along the way.

Friday, May 21st


Intrepid Heroes 60

An actual play podcast of the Starfinder Adventure Path Dawn of Flame from Paizo.

Bend the Knee  Heightened

By Loren Sieg

Loren asks members of an actual play podcast an elaborate question about their tabletop gaming opinions.

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: