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.
My 2e gaming experience ebbed and flowed. I got into a few games, a combination of one shots and planned long term campaigns, right after the release of the Core Rulebook. Then, many of those games dropped off, as did free time to plan new ones.
Thanks to the Know Direction Adventure Series, my opportunities to play increased recently, and I’ve had a reason beyond theory crafting to make new characters. That’s when I realized, there are a lot of 2e classes I’ve never played. Some I’ve never even been in a game with. So for the sake of experiencing as much of the game as I can, I’ve decided not to play a character of a class I’ve already played until I’ve played at least half of the 2e classes.
Here are the classes currently out, which one’s I’ve played, and what my thoughts were:
Alchemist: Spruce Spanner, leshy alchemist for Legend Lore’s Stabby’s Group special edition. Alchemist was the class I understood the least, so I felt like a game directed at players new to 2e presented a perfect opportunity. Still, after the session, I can’t say I fully got what you’re supposed to do with an alchemist. This seems to be a common opinion with this class. With the Inventor out later this year, I’m worried the alchemist will continue to kick around at the bottom of Pathfinder 2e lists based on class popularity. I did have fun playing Spruce, but that was in spite of the class, sadly.
Barbarian: Playtest version only. I played Jason Cahtmhahnh in Jason Bulmahn’s Pathfinder Playtest – Live at Gen Con 2018. The experience was a blast, and despite IRL Jason describing the characters as deliberately underpowered, I found my PC to be effective and pretty satisfying to play. I don’t believe the 2e barbarian changed much from the playtest. Still, I haven’t officially played a 2e barbarian, so I wouldn’t consider playing one to be against my plan.
Bard: Have yet to play a bard. Because it’s a combination of a subsystem class and a spontaneous caster, I want a bit more experience with spontaneous casting before finally diving into a class that I find more confusing than I expected it to.
Champion: I just played Gladha Stern, Abadaran champion in Know Direction Adventure Series – Troubles In Otari. Mechanically speaking, the champion might be my favourite 2e class so far. It’s so flexible, oozes flavour, and mechanically satisfying. I already told Perram I’d like to banter about “what do you look for in a class?” in a future episode (maybe this week, see below for more information on that). That topic was partially inspired by how much I enjoyed the champion.
Cleric: I played a gnome cleric in a game at PaizoCon 2019. It was run by Luis, and I played with Perram, Jason Keeley, and Randal. We rarely talk about this game because it sadly was a disaster. We’d pushed ourselves too hard with PaizoCon coverage that day, and none of us had the energy for the game. Well, except Randal. His mafioso style rogue was fun, and a highlight. We never released the recording, because the session was unsalvageable. Which is such a shame, because in any other circumstance it should have been amazing.
Given how much I enjoy champions and oracles, I’d need to find a very specific hook for the character, or completely force myself to give cleric another try.
Druid: Have yet to play a druid. I really want to. I think the 2e druid looks fun. The issue is that the druid’s flavour is as niche as it gets, so I need to start with a druid appropriate character concept and go from there.
Fighter: I played a playtest fighter in a game run by Luis at PaizoCon 2018, which stood out as one of the best sessions I’d played at a PaizoCon up to that point. I know! I said I’d never play the 2e fighter. But like I said in the combatant preamble on Patreon last week, it’s not that I think the 2e fighter doesn’t work. It’s that I want a class with the mechanical freedom to match the conceptual freedom of the fighter’s theme.
Investigator: Have yet to play an investigator. Similar to the druid, I want to, and hope I come up with a concept that the class can serve.
Monk: Have yet to play a monk, but I have one built for a potential upcoming game that we’re not ready to announce yet. I was sort of critical of the 2e monk on release, because I thought it felt more like what I’d expect a 2e brawler to look like. I’d have preferred the 2e monk to be Wisdom based, with it’s attacks, damage, and class DCs determined by its Wisdom bonus. That said, I loved the 1e brawler, so a monk that feels like the brawler should still be a good time.
Oracle: I played a dwarf oracle in Explore & Encounter: Vanquish the APG, but that was a playtest. Still, I loved the oracle so much, I made a goblin oracle, Mantuz, for the Know Direction Super Smashfinder team. If I hadn’t been last to pick the class I would be playtesting, I would not have played an oracle and discovered that 2e spellcasting is much more to my playstyle than previous editions.
Ranger: I played an original goblin ranger in a 2e conversion of We Be Goblins play-by-post. Sadly, the game suddenly ended. Shortly thereafter, Randal’s Societous play by post started on the Know Direction Discord server, and I made a second ranger, Seyes, a human with a wolf companion based on G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes (whose movie is in theatres this Wednesday!) Because we’re playing the slow track, I’m still level 1. Still, Seyes remains the 2e character I have played the most (four scenarios and a quest complete, and another quest in progress), and the ranger is the class I have the most experience with. Despite only thinking the class is just OK.
Rogue: Have yet to play a rogue. Which might come as a surprise. I’ve said the rogue is my favourite 2e class. I made a gnome rogue with Mark Seifter in Know Direction 203 – The Road to Pathfinder 2E Part 3, a character I registered for PFS and commissions Lar DeSouza to make art for. But I never got around to playing him. I still love the rogue enough in theory alone that I consider it a favourite class of mine (although champion is giving it a run for its money). I ordered a Beadle & Grimm’s Rogue Complete Character Chronicle, so my plan is to only play a rogue when it arrives, and for a campaign I know I’ll be playing long term.
Sorcerer: Have yet to play a sorcerer, but I have one built for a potential upcoming game that we’re not ready to announce yet. It wasn’t high on my list of classes I wanted to get to, but the Wyrmblessed Bloodline introduced in the Taralu dwarves section of The Mwangi Expanse caught my attention so I started toying with a build. The Know Direction Discord server helped me get past the dwarf’s Charisma flaw. What is it with me and picking dwarves for my Charisma-based classes?
Swashbuckler: Have yet to play a swashbuckler. In 2e or 1e. Which is fascinating, because high Dex, high Cha characters are my jam. I just usually play them as rogues.
Witch: Have yet to play a witch. In 2e or 1e. Which is funny, because when the 1e APG was coming out, my plan was to play a witch before any other 1e class. I even bought and painted a mini for it! But I never got around to it.
Wizard: Have yet to play a wizard. In 2e or 1e! It might be my least favourite marriage of concept and mechanics. Although I do enjoy the thesis class feature.
Honourable mention goes to the magus, which I played in KD Plays – Secrets of Magic Playtest, and the inventor, which I played in KD Plays – Guns & Gears Playtest. Both of which were obviously just the playtest version, and I made mistakes with both characters. I’d gladly play either class again when they come out, after I’ve covered a few more of the classes that came before them.
So there’s all of the 2e classes I’ve played so far, mostly for KD content.
Speaking of network content, here’s a recap of what you might have missed last week from the Know Direction Network:
Recap of July 12th to July 16th
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Monday, July 12th
Former Pathfinder developer Chris Sims recently posted a counter argument to the idea that adding nuance to creatures traditionally presented as all evil in RPGs. Perram so appreciated the post, he invited Chris to join him for a special conversation on the topic.
Recall Knowledge – Delays, But Not Dismays
By Ryan Costello
Left hanging without my first two planned topics, I talked about what to do when you’re left hanging without my first two planned topics.
Tuesday, July 13th
As I mentioned earlier, I wish 2e had a class like the 1e fighter. Then I made that wish come true, by creating The Combatant, a warrior class who gains archetype feats rather than class feats of its own. Available for our Patrons of the $5+ tiers.
Honestly, neither John or Ron go too deep into the topic of Adventurers and Adventure Paths. It’s a casual conversation between friends about the future AP plans they’re considering making.
Burst of Insight – Combining Secrets and Snowflakes
By Andrew Marlowe
Andrew gave my article from the previous Behind The Screens a nice shout out, as well as Perram’s classic snowflake cards concept. He shared how he sees using these ideas in his games.
Wednesday, July 14th
Technical difficulties and looking for a lost guest weren’t going to keep us from reviewing the lore of lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse this week!
I know this week’s guest, Bez Shahriari, a little bit, having discussed the possibility of including one of her earlier designs, In a Bind, in Board Game Bento. Not that playtesting a game and a few negotiations made us best friends, but I still wasn’t expecting such a personal, raw conversation. It goes deeper than any previous episode of Game Design Unboxed.
Guidance, Gibbering Mouth: Kitsune Kraze!
By Alexander Augunas
I’m sure Alex has a deep understanding of how he distinguishes the various titles he uses for his blogs, and why this one qualified as both Guidance and Gibbering Mouth. I don’t get it. What I do get? That kitsune mean a lot to Alex, as a designer, gamer, and a person. And now I know how he feels about the 2e kitsune.
Thursday, July 15th
This episode went a lot of places we don’t usually go. I hope we didn’t make our guests, Allie Bustion and Jabari Weathers, uncomfortable by bringing up some of Paizo’s past failings in terms of racial inclusion, and I appreciate the perspective they brought to that conversation. I also appreciate all of the insight we received about their contributions to a truly fantastic setting book, Lost Omens: The Mawngi Expanse.
Something Creates: A Corruption (Golem Style)
By Andrew Sturtevant
Knowing he needs to choose a design direction for his corruption, Andrew looks at one of the three mechanical implementations of the idea. In this case, Paizo’s.
Friday, July 16th
Fun episode of the Intrepid Heroes researching a hacker devil. As someone with barely a pinkie toe in the Starfinder pool, I loved hearing how the classic idea of a Paizo devil worked in a far future sci-fi setting.
Preview of July 19th to June 23rd
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, July 19th
Jason Keeley takes Ryan Costello, Jefferson Jay Thacker (aka Perram), Alexander Augunas, Dustin Knight and Jessica Redekop through part 1 of Pathfinder adventure Troubles In Otari.
Recall Knowledge – Class Checklist
Honestly? I’ve played more 2e classes than I realized.
Tuesday, July 20th
After KD 253, we had a lively conversation involving several of our Patrons on the Know Direction Discord server.
Who investigates the investigator? Luis and Loren!
Dustin offers expert insight and helpful tools to enhance your game.
Wednesday, July 21st
We looked at the lore, now it’s time to dig into the crunch. Hear about the new ancestries and beasties introduced in Lost Omens – The Mwangi Expanse from authors Michelle Jones and Nate Wright.
John talks with the Know Direction’s own Randal Meyer about recently breaking in as a Paizo freelancer.
I offer insight to my fellow GMs about running games that are inclusive and fun, because different people play the game for different reasons.
Thursday, July 22nd
This episode got delayed due to an untimely computer crash.
Rob shares what he loves about the RPGs he’s been playing lately, and why you should check them out.
Friday, July 23rd
I know everyone is excited about the campaign setting material in Lost Omens – The Mwangi Expanse, but the six new ancestries the book introduces are some of the most original new options released for 2e.
Luis, who usually makes the monsters, invites freelances to turn interesting art into unique stat blocks.
Now you know,