Every week, Now You Know recaps the Know Direction content of the past week, previews of the Know Direction content of the week to come, and shares the thoughts on the state of the network of the director of operations, Ryan Costello.
A few important announcements this week:
As alluded to for a few weeks now, Recall Knowledge changed its name. With the Recall Knowledge YouTube Channel building a following within Pathfinder fandom, and the name mattering much more to their identity than my blog means to the Know Direction Network, I decided to change the name of my editorial column. And since I’ll be shifting my focus to Essence20 coverage, including the G.I. JOE RPG, Now You Know felt like the perfect substitute. I’ve signed off with that tag line for years, and this is a column about informing you about the latest news from the Know Direction Network. Now You Know works on multiple levels. My favourite kind of levels.
United and Recognized
I avoid using “interesting” in my reviews because of how loaded the term is with indecision. It’s the word you use when you have nothing nice to say but you can’t say nothing. Which makes it the perfect adjective for the last month and a half of Paizo news. Since mid-September, Paizo took major PR heat after two long time and beloved staff members left the company for different, controversial reasons, former employees stepped forward to highlight the systemic issues in how Paizo runs the company that lead to this situation, fans called for accountability, the tabletop RPG industry’s first union formed, with the support of freelancers refusing to write for Paizo or deliver work until they deal with their issues, to Paizo voluntarily recognizing the union.
To reiterate, that all happened between September 13th and October 21st. Saying all this happened in “the last month and a half” actually adds a few days to the timeline. It’s unreal how quickly issues that plagued Paizo for years and that were only talked about in whispers could be set on a positive path for the first time after only a few weeks of concerted efforts. Not to minimize the monumental act of forming a union, or the dedication of staff and freelancers that made this happen. In fact, the short turnaround makes what they accomplished that much more incredible.
On the plus side, although we’ve covered the news every week, but by the time we scheduled United Paizo Workers interviews, the union was recognized. So instead of being a little slow on the “UPW forms” jump, we lucked into being really fast on the “UPW recognized!” coverage. This week alone, John caught up with Andrew White and Jason Tondro about United Paizo Workers getting recognized in a special early edition of Presenting – Gamers Making Games, and Perram and Vanessa chat with Paizo’s Shay Snow and influential freelancer (and Know Directuon staffer) Jessica Redekop about how it all came to be in a special edition of Know Direction recording live this Wednesday.
Know Direction Staff Update
On the latest episode of the Know Direction podcast, I shouted out to new Know Direction Network staff member Scott D Young, prolific and longtime Paizo freelancer. Scott’s new blog, More Lore (spelling and capitalization to be finalized), debuts next Wednesday, November 3rd. More Lore tracks down ideas alluded to in a paragraph here and a sentence there in Pathfinder and Starfinder campaign material, and then unofficially expands on it. As someone who generally misses such subtle worldbuilding, I can’t wait to learn more about Golarion and the Pact Worlds, and see how a creative talent like Scott brings these passing ideas to the forefront.
But that’s not all!
Too late to announce on last week’s episode, Nate Wright agreed to join the Know Direction staff as well. Fresh off his contributions to Lost Omens: The Mwangi Expanse, Nate’s new blog, Eldritch Excursion, debuts next Tuesday, November 2nd. Memetic Mind follows the style of Dustin Knight’s Fox’s Cunning and Alex Augunas’ Guidance, acting as a journal for Nate’s flavor and mechanics expressions. In trying to narrow down all of Nate’s ideas into one blog topic, I saw that narrow was the wrong direction. Nate’s full of big ideas, and he needs a broad blog topic to cover everything he could want to talk about.
Finally, I want to publicly welcome new board members to Know Direction’s Boardroom. Vanessa Hoskins returns after a sabbatical, and Luis Loza and Dustin Knight join us for the first time. The Boardroom allows us to bounce around ideas and initiate new projects. Vanessa, Luis, and Dustin’s initiative, dedication to the network, unique perspectives will be assets to planning for the future of Network content.
Speaking of Know Direction Network content, here’s a recap of the network content from last week at the Know Direction Network:
Recap of October 18th to October 22nd
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Monday, October 18th
The latest information on Paizo Adventure Paths past, present, and future.
Recall Knowledge – Free RPG Day’d
By Ryan Costello
I had a great Free RPG Day 2021, GMing for one of the first times in the last two years, and running the G.I. JOE RPG for the first time in public.
Tuesday, October 19th
Although the majority of the episode covers the new Starfinder Mech rules, this episode might be best remembered for Ron’s stance on the professionalism of the work stoppage, an opinion that Owen addressed on his website. This isn’t to throw Ron under the mechabus. He’s entitled to his opinion, and he expresses it well. In fact, for anyone who may have read Owen’s post or heard another take on it, I recommend listening to the episode to hear where Ron’s coming from and maybe understand his stance from his point of view.
Although “this was a weird one” applies to a lot of Gen Con Online 2021 seminars, it applies to this one more than most. Paizo staff had to talk about working with Paizo with the Freelancer work stoppage fresh in their minds. It gets awkward at times. For the most part, it’s similar to recent seminars on the topic. Unless the awkwardness is what you’re looking for, you might be better off revisiting Gen Con 2019’s Writing for Pathfinder.
Wednesday, October 20th
Michael Sayre’s such a pleasant guest, especially when the subject of the interview is a book as fun as Guns & Gears.
Pathfinder questions got answered.
Thursday, October 21st
Our breakdown of the latest hardcover for the Pathfinder 2e RPG line, Guns & Gears. I feel like the divisive topic, Technology in a fantasy RPG, puts a lot of 2e gamers into for or against camps more than most books. Instead of trying to walk the line with the content to maybe coax a few against campers to try it anyway, Guns & Gears goes full tilt into the topic to make this the best book the for campers could ask for. And honestly, I think embracing the topic and making it as fun as possible does more to coax against campers to try it than a fence-sitting book.
Starfinder staff answers your questions and then calls it a wrap on Gen Con Online 2021.
Something Creates – A Mech!
by Andrew Sturtevant
Our Starfinder content this week’s all about the mechs. Andrew uses the Alien Archive NPC building system to create a mech, as Tech Revolution stealthily suggests.
Paizo’s official announcement recognizing United Paizo Workers as the company’s union.
Friday, October 22nd
Our Intrepid Heroes move onto the spire, and the podcast moves ever closer to concluding the Dawn of Flame Adventure Path.
Monstrous Physique — Titan (PF2E)
By Luis Loza
Luis continues to adapt Final Fantasy creatures to Pathfinder 2e, this time translating their version of the titan.
Preview of October 25th to 29th
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, October 25th
John asked to post Presenting early this week to get the word out about what recognition means to United Paizo Workers and what the future of a unionized Paizo looks like.
Now You Know – Interesting Times
By Ryan Costello
Formerly Recall Knowledge.
Tuesday, October 26th
Luis and Loren talk Pathfinder.
By Dustin Knight
Dustin offers expert insight and helpful tools to enhance your game.
Wednesday, October 27th
Paizo’s Shay Snow and influential freelancer Jessica Redekop join Perram and Vanessa Hoskins to discuss the groundbreaking United Paizo Workers, Paizo voluntarily recognizing the union, and how Paizo staff and freelancers made this monumental event happen.
Behind The Screens
By Ryan Costello
Ryan gives insight into the hows and whys of his GMing style, and why conventional GMing advice can be damaging if not looked at critically.
Thursday, October 28th
Our Valiant heroes continue to explore the Temple of the Whisperer.
By Rob Pontious
Rob shares what he loves about the RPGs he’s been playing lately, and why you should check them out.
Friday, October 29th
Looking forward to hearing this one. I’m not sure I’ve heard a Shay Snow interview yet, but I do know Jessica Redekop and have an idea of everything she did to help United Paizo Workers get recognized.
Now you know,