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.
Who knew, that the biggest talking point for the Monday after Gen Con would be a hashtag?
If you aren’t caught up, a long time and beloved employee at Paizo (who asked that their named not be brought up through all of this) was fired suddenly and controversially last week, prompting another long time and beloved employee at Paizo in the same department to quit out of protest and solidarity. This lead former Paizo project manager Jessica Price to tweet that “the last person they might retaliate against for me airing dirty laundry is gone,” followed by dozens of examples of problematic behaviour from management at Paizo, corroborated by Crystal Frasier.
Price has used social media to bring to light her issues with Paizo in the past, but because she didn’t want her behaviour leading to the mistreatment of her friends still with the company, she did so in more vague terms. Because of the specifics she went into this time, including a lot of details of abuse and horrible treatment of LGBT+ employees, along with Crystal’s corroboration and years of hearing at the very least about poor wages, forced overtime, and never-ending crunch time for the majority of the Paizo staff, this tweet landed hard.
One of the first and most impactful results so far was #PaizoAccountability, with which freelancers, influencers, and fans have expressed their concern and support for Paizo staff. The hashtag was particularly effective at separating criticism for the company and its upper management, and support for the workers most negatively affected.
Also noteworthy, many panels at Gen Con over the weekend addressed the feedback and backlash Paizo has received this week. It was not mentioned during the keynote address, which was prerecorded. However, the first live seminar of the convention, Thursday’s Pathfinder Designer Showcase: Guns & Gears, kicked off with hosts Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, and Leo Glass thanking everyone for the show of solidarity. Director of Game Design Jason Bulmahn and Chief Creative Officer Erik Mona, both of whose behaviour was called out specifically by Price, issue apologies before Gen Con and started their panels reiterating the issues and promising change.
Which reflects a lot of Paizo’s public response so far. Acknowledgement, apologies (often with caveats that they can only apologize to a point before it becomes a legal issue), and promises for the future. Given that, as Paizo’s Marketing and Media Manager Aaron Shanks put it, lost trust is at the heart of the backlash, it’s a big ask from Paizo for Pathfinder and Starfinder fans to accept promises alone.
Which brings us to The Know Direction Network. Perram and I issued a statement via social media in support of the Paizo staff and calling for accountability of Paizo management. You’ll notice this was on behalf of the Know Direction podcast, not Network. We wanted to get the message out there, but we didn’t want to speak for all 20+ staff and cast members of the Network. Many Network members did read and signed off on the message, but it was cleaner to just say the message was from the podcast (since I wrote it and Perram signed off on it) than to imply it was from only certain members.
Given how many Know Direction staff and cast members work for Paizo -both as freelancers and full time- we’re in the thick of things here. I hope that Paizo addresses its longstanding issues. In the meantime, expect this to impact the Network. Some of us might find it harder to drum up the enthusiasm to promote this company at this time.
Speaking of which, here’s a recap of the lighter than usual network content from last week at the Know Direction Network:
Recap of September 13th to 17th
What happened last week on knowdirectionpodcast.com and twitch.tv/knowdirection?
Monday, September 13th
Our GM Jason Keeley brings the adventures of our Ghosthunting troublemakers to a close.
Recall Knowledge – Regularly Scheduled Network Content
By Ryan Costello
With another wonderful Guest Blogger Takeover behind us, we returned to our regularly schedu- well, you can read the title.
Tuesday, September 14th
Fox’s Cunning – Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of …Magic?
By Dustin Knight
Dustin loves Roiling Incant from Bestiary 3, but saw it only using Arcane and Evocation as an opportunity to create Roiling Incants of every school of magic.
Wednesday, September 15th
John talks to James Case about working as an editor, developer, and now a Designer in his handful of years at Paizo. James is an amazing human, and this episode shows that. Plus, as was pointed out on Twitter, John has interviewed so many of the lesser known names that helped make Starfinder and Pathfinder what they are. It’s always worth looking through the Presenting archives.
Thursday, September 16th
Investing In: Secrets of Magic
By Rob Pontious
I almost forgot that Secrets of Magic came out last week. It’s been that kind of a week.
Friday, September 17th
Starfinder’s latest class, the nanocyte, sounds like a tone of fun. If I ever get into that game of Junker’s Delight I’ve talked about a few times, I’ll see if a nanocyte junkomancer is viable.
Preview of September 20th to 24th
This is back to Block 1 of our 2-block schedule.
Monday, September 20th
Recall Knowledge – #PaizoAccountability
By Ryan Costello
Tuesday, September 21st
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, September 22nd
Ryan and Perram cover all of the news from Gen Con 2021: New book announcements, the new classes playtest, and, of course, #paizoaccountability. Whatever we can’t fit into the episode will spill over into the Patron’s Private Sanctum aftershow.
Dustin offers expert insight and helpful tools to enhance your game.
Thursday, September 23rd
Shout out to EzeDoesIt on the Know Direction Discord, who shared detailed notes about what happened at each panel. I’ll be using their notes to plan this episode.
Friday, September 24th
An actual play podcast of the Starfinder Adventure Path Dawn of Flame from Paizo.
Now you know,