Recall Knowledge – Unlocking Abomination Vaults

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.

I mentioned in Know Direction 256 – Battle Zoo Bestiary Preview with Mark Seifter and Stephen Glicker that the Know Direction Network’s own Vanessa Hoskins will be GMing Perram and myself through Abomination Vaults, a 3-part Pathfinder 2e Adventure Path of which she wrote the second installment, Hands of the Devil. Two things I didn’t mention are the other players in the game (Know Direction Network’s Loren Sieg, freelancer Dave Nelson, Jason Lillis of @WhatDoYouDo, and Paizo’s Leo Glass), and, that this isn’t an Actual Play.

To repeat, this Abomination Vault campaign that Vanessa is running is not network content. Well, not directly.

This probably comes as a surprise. It’s often joked that I turn everything into network content, a joke I do not deny (see: me using Pathfinder with my daughters for the first of a series of blog posts). I can remember a PaizoCon 2019 conversation with freelancers David Ross and Nate Wright (although I might have the year and people wrong) where I suggested there was no reason not to make every game you run an Actual Play. Horror crossed David (if it was David)’s face.

The fact is, Actual Plays take work. And while I’ve long been willing to put in that work editing Adventurous and the Actual Play short series and one shots I’ve been involved in, it’s the most time consuming work I put in for the network. And that’s just post production. There’s a lot of pressure to perform, get the rules right, and even just show up regularly. So even though some version of an Abomination Vault campaign with this GM and these players could be Know Direction network content, this one’s just for fun. As Canadian satire site the Beaverton famously lampooned, don’t turn your hobby so completely into work that you never play a day of your life.

That said, I mentioned that this game will not be network content “directly”. One advantage of playing in a campaign that isn’t also an Actual Play podcast (something I have barely done since Adventurous launched in 2018) is that Perram and I have game experience anecdotes to draw on that aren’t spoilers for Network content. Plus, we don’t have to determine whether we’re addressing an audience who knows these characters and their exploits or not. No one except the seven people involved in the game know about what happened. That, and we can craft our stories around Abomination Vault spoilers.

We’re playing the first session of the game tonight. I’m playing Blister, a taralu dwarf sorcerer with the wyrmblessed bloodline, on a pilgrimage of self-discovery and a quest for perfection. And honestly, I’m a bit worried about how smoothly I’ll play a character that dependent on spell casting. Another reason I’m O.K. with this campaign not being 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 August 16th to August 20th

What happened last week on and

Monday, August 16th


Troubles In Otari Part 1, Episode 4

We encountered what was for sure a ghost. Also, I had one of my proudest moments as a roleplayer: When a Champion of Abadar encounters paperwork!


Recall Knowledge – A Few Farewells
By Ryan Costello

I wrote about wrapping up Loren and Alex’s long time blogs, Game Design Unboxed going on hiatus, and announced a new Guest Blogger Takeover. 

Tuesday, August 17th


Legend Lore 032 — Mwangi Expanse, Part 2

More Mwangi Expanse! And Luis and Loren aren’t done with it yet!


Fox’s Cunning – Adjusting Extreme Encounters Part 2
By Dustin Knight

Honestly, my first reaction to Dustin’s article, based on the title, is that the extreme difficulty exists to remind GMs not to throw encounters that much higher level than the party at your PCs, and that the tools exist for parties that insist on picking a fight way above their weight class. 

My opinion on these articles turned around for two reasons:
1. Dustin’s well research advice applies to more than just combats with Party Level +4 creatures;
2. Paizo has published Extreme-threat encounters in their adventures. 

If you had similar thoughts as I did going into these articles and maybe dismissed them, do Dustin and yourself the favour of revisiting them. 

Wednesday, August 18th


Presenting – Scott D. Young

Scott’s been a Paizo freelancer longer than Know Direction has been a podcast. And, as this interview reinforces, one of the nicest people in the hobby. 


Behind The Screens – The Suicide Squad And Your Game

Funny enough, The Suicide Squad inspired Owen KC Stephens and I to write completely different articles about how applying that movie to tabletop roleplaying games. 

Thursday, August 19th


Valiant Episode 22: In Which They Enter the Temple

Along similar lines to what I said earlier, Luis’ latest Luis’ Corder segment is about how one of the combats in this episode overstayed its welcome in terms of being engaging for the audience. He gives good advice on how to fix that in your own games. 


Investing In: Kindled Magic
By Rob Pontious

The Strength of Thousands adventure path is on my radar in a unique way. As an adventure path set in a school over decades, it’s not an adventure I want to run or play in. But I’m fascinated to see how it’s written, and feel there’s a lot I can learn from it regarding campaign plotting and non-combat challenges. Rob sharing his spoiler-free impressions of the AP’s first volume helped me see what the adventure has to over. 

Friday, August 20th


Know Direction Beyond 61 – The Evolutionist with John Compton

John Compton shares his inspirations for Starfinder’s newest base class, the Evolutionist, and answers questions about it. Given that the book in which the Evolutionist is set to appear hasn’t even been announced yet, there are a lot of questions about the class’ place in the game. 


Monstrous Physique — Captain Carter (SF)

By Luis Loza

As someone who learned most of his Marvel comics continuity through the Watcher’s recaps at the beginning of What If..? comics, I’m used to these alternate reality takes on familiar stories ending with pretty big body counts. Apparently the Marvel 616 universe is a series of minor decisions away from being wiped out a hundred times over. So I was surprised that the first two episodes of the MCU-set animated What If..? series on Disney+ has, so far, been fun romps of generally positive takes on familiar stories. It’s endeared me to these fun, happy version of characters I already enjoyed, such as Agent Peggy Carter as a World War II super soldier.

Preview of August 23rd to August 27th

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

Monday, August 23rd


Recall Knowledge – Unlocking Abomination Vaults
By Ryan Costello

You see, because they’re vaults. So by playing in the Abomination Vaults adventure path, we’re unlocking the vaults. Yes, I am quite clever. 

Tuesday, August 24th



Digital Divination 037

John and Ron talk about the Horizons of the Vast Starfinder adventure path, in particular Planet Fall, the first volume, written by Ron.


Burst of Insight by Andrew Marlowe

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

Wednesday, August 25th


Know Direction 257 Live – Uncovering the Secrets of Magic with Logan Bonner

Secrets of Magic kicks off a new era of Pathfinder RPG hardcover products. With exciting new options like the Magus and Summoner, excerpts from in-world texts on magical theory, new subsystems and alternate spellcasting, and further pushing the boundaries of an RPG rulebook’s visual presentation, there’s a lot of Secrets of Magic to breakdown. Fortunately, design lead Logan Bonner joins us to do just that. 


Game Design Unboxed 22: Season Finale

Danielle and Denise wrap up the first season of Game Design Unboxed, and Denise’s last episode. 

Thursday, August 26th


Know Direction 257 – Uncovering the Secrets of Magic with Logan Bonner

There’s a lot to this book, so here’s hoping we fit it all in one episode!


Something Creates by Andrew Sturtevant

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

Friday, August 27th


Intrepid Heroes 67

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

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: