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.
Typically, when we gain access to a new Pathfinder hardcover, we either review it or break it down in the next possible episode of Know Direction. A review being Perram, myself, and often an additional network staff member sharing our likes and dislikes about the book and whether we recommend it. Whereas in a hardcover breakdown, an author, designer, or developer who worked significantly on the book joins us, and we highlight the content, emphasizing what we like, and asking questions about any areas we had issues with.
We’re trying something different for Pathfinder: Lost Omens – The Mwangi Expanse. Instead of covering the entire book in a single episode, we’re breaking our coverage of The Mwangi Expanse hardcover up across the next two episodes. This Wednesday’s Know Direction 253 covers the Lore of Lost Omens – The Mwangi Expanse. For the July 14th recording of Know Direction 254, we’ll cover The Mechanics of the Mwangi Expanse.
We’re making this change for several reasons. First of all, the density of the content. Not only is this a 300+ page book (more than double the ~140 page average of a Lost Omens hardcover), but those 300+ pages are packed with content. And original content! If this was a Cheliax book, a fair amount of the world building could be assumed knowledge for Pathfinder veterans. We would still summarize it for newer players, which would be easy for us, veterans of many Chelaxian adventures. But up until now, Pathfinder foefully underrepresented The Mwangi Expanse. What little we can draw from 3.5 and 1e era Pathfinder softcovers and adventures for Mwangi Expanse information represented the region on broad strokes, from an outsider’s perspective, and often in problematic ways.
Which brings us to another reason to extend the spotlight on this book. We don’t want to rush or shy away from addressing and ideally learning from how Pathfinder represented Golarion’s Africa analog in the past, versus the vibrancy, life, and depth this one book brings to it now.
Thirdly, we don’t just want to spotlight the book, but its authors. The author list is massive, and from the way the book’s developer and the Know Direction Network’s own Luis Loza explained it to me, “the book is so big no one person is a ‘main’ contributor.” We knew we wanted to give a platform to the BIPOC contributors who made this book happen, many of whom will be new to our listeners. And when we found out 25 authors contributed, it was impossible to narrow that list down to two guests for one episode. Heck, narrowing it down to four guests for two episodes wasn’t much easier!
Finally, spoilers, but we really like this book. Once again The Lost Omens line raises the bar for setting material. There’s a lot to be excited about here, and we want to spread that excitement out across multiple releases.
Speaking of network releases, here’s a recap of what you might have missed last week from the Know Direction Network:
Recap of June 21st to June 25th
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Monday, June 21st
Sorry about the clunky title, but for now the plan is to play only the first of Troubles in Otari’s three linked adventures.
That aside, this is one of my favourite first episodes we’ve released, second only to Valiant. I think the relationship dynamic of the group, which we worked out together after we all decided what we wanted to play, is the strength of this group, as is Jason’s fun, frenetic GMing style.
Recall Knowledge – Y’All Know I Don’t Hate 2e, Right?
By Ryan Costello
I reply to a few public accusations that I hate 2e.
Tuesday, June 22nd
A good chat about what we see our gaming looking like as the pandemic is on its way out. Available to our Patrons of the $5 level and higher.
Launching a new feature focusing on Pathfinder lore, the latest episode of Legend Lore looks at the Eye of Dread. There’s a shift in the interplay between the hosts, with Loren as a self-professed novice of the Pathfinder campaign setting, and Luis developing the Campaign Setting line for Paizo. Whereas most episodes, the two hosts are equals, in the lore episodes, Luis is the teacher and Loren the student.
Fox’s Cunning – Taking Care of Business
By Dustin Knight
This one’s so fun. Dustin takes the premise of running a campaign as a business and fully explores the idea, looking at different roles within a company that the players and GM can assume, and what that means for how the campaign runs. I went from “where is he going with this?” to loving it pretty quickly.
Wednesday, June 23rd
I wasn’t familiar with Kendra’s work before this episode, which surprised me given how much Pathfinder and Starfinder work she’s done.
Behind the Screens – GM Support Groups
By Ryan Costello
I wrote a draft of this because I liked the idea. Then I thought about it, and realized I had so much more to say, and that I like this idea even more than I realized. And then when I shared it to social media, and freelancer Scott D Young replied “SO in for this concept,” I realized that there could be an online component to help establish these GMing circles.
This isn’t the last you’ve heard of this idea.
Thursday, June 24th
Apparently there’s more to their god like powers than we thought.
Investing In: The Darkest House
By Rob Pontious
So, I know the trope in fiction of the creepy house, but the way Rob describes it in the article, “most have that shared experience of the old, creepy house from their hometown that draws their attention.” Am I in the minority for not having that experience? Granted, I grew up in a young neighbourhood, with my parents being my childhood home’s first owners.
What’s everyone else’s experience with creepy houses in your neighbourhoods?
Friday, June 25th
Monstrous Physique — Loki (SF)
By Luis Loza
A return to classic Monstrous Physique, with a nice tie-in to the latest MCU series on Disney+, Loki.
Preview of June 28th to July 2nd
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, June 28th
Recall Knowledge – Expansive Reviews
By Ryan Costello
Woo! Mwangi Expanse!
Tuesday, June 29th
CAB 18 Character Creation
By Jefferson Jay Thacker
Perram’s idea that characters should start with an 18 one of in their class’ key abilities evolved into the CAB of character creation, where the first choice you make is your character’s class.
John and Ron talk about Starfinder from the perspectives of a fan and a Paizo developer.
Andrew Marlowe shares GM and design advice for and from other game systems.
Wednesday, June 30th
Just waiting for our guests to confirm so we can announce them.
Maxine Ekl joins Danielle, Ben, and Denice to talk about co-organizing Chicago’s Protospiel, co-owning Clever Playing Cards, and designing colourful abstract strategy game Stripes.
Alex shares his thoughts and comments on topics getting attention in the RPG gaming community.
Thursday, July 1st
Now we see if two episodes was enough to cover everything we wanted to say about The Mwangi Expanse hardcover.
Friday, July 2nd
An actual play podcast of the Starfinder Adventure Path Dawn of Flame from Paizo.
Loren asks members of an actual play podcast an elaborate question about their tabletop gaming opinions.
Now you know,