Inscriptions on the Aqualith

A documentation of aquatic ponderings for tabletop roleplaying, after action reports, and product impressions. Dive in with the Consortium: aqualith.media

Archive for cypher system

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Con of the North AAR 1/5 | #Numenera is weird ya'll

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
Over the next series of posts, I present a series where I unpack the highlights of a fun-filled weekend of exploration, and some personal triumph!

For those unitiated, AAR is short for After Action Report. As far as I know, said report can be done anyway you like for reporting your games. Please correct me if wrong, but this will be high level, mostly for time, but I'll definitely be diving in for the finale post regarding my return to Pathfinder Society. Stay tuned later this week for that.

Today, we delve into the weird.


Into the night
On Friday, I joined the second event of my Friday schedule, featuring a Numenera adventure called Falling Into Golden Skies gamemastered by Jenifer Doll. As far as I know, this was her own adventure, but again, correct me if wrong.

This particular adventure focuses on a planetoid, or more accurately a star called the Swarmstar. This is described in the fantastic setting book, Into the Night, which I strongly suggest those running Cypher System games in space to grab, including the upcoming The Stars Are Fire supplement.

Numenera is a setting that I'm not entirely on board with, and I think the devs would be okay with that. I've seen it described as a setting that always cranked up to 11, with the intention that you as the GM can crank the dial back down to where you're comfortable with. That is where I personally am with sci-fantasy. I like pulling it back down to more of a Star Wars-like volume, as it were.

All that said, the descriptions of places and things is impeccable. You cannot knock the setting for not being descriptive enough, yet it leaves enough alone for you to fill gaps for the story you need to tell. So the fact it does get really weird lets the imaginations of gamemasters and players alike to run truly wild. I thought as our adventuring party moved from room to room, Jenifer did a fine job describing each and every POI, making the puzzles and situations we found ourselves in believable enough to not feel confused or too-limited to know how to progress. If she chooses to run it elsewhere or you get a chance to play it, I put my stamp of approval on it. It's quite fun!

Tune in tomorrow morning for pt 2 of my AAR.



Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
Follow Aqualith Media: Twitter | MeWe | Ko-fi | Linktree
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:52 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

PreCon prep

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
Hi all,

Had a moment to share a quick update. I am days away from Con of the North so I'm busy prepping possible sale of some old games, dusting off an old Pathfinder Society character for two Saturday games, and insuring I have my transportation to and from secured.

Well over a month ago I had promised a couple unboxings and discussion of some paint selections for The Great War. Its a matter of finding suitable time at this point as I have them all I think, save for a new bottle of sealer.

Once the Con is done with and I report it, I'll get back to that checklist. I also have a new map in Verdun to check out.

In the meantime, development and research of future Aqualith products is coming along. All for now.

Oh and I could still use a recommendation for magnification.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
Follow Aqualith Media: Twitter | MeWe | Ko-fi | Linktree
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Wed Feb 13, 2019 1:39 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Plus minus

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
For those who actually used Google+, and if you're a tabletop RPGer at all, that's a high probability that you were a part of at least a handful of groups, listen up.

G+ is being retired in case you didn't know, and they'll be pulling the plug April 2nd. After that you will not have access to any data found there. If you'd like to back things up, here's the directions on how to do so:

https://support.google.com/plus/answer/1045788

Tenkar's Tavern rightly pointed out another problematic aspect to this shutdown: blog comments, as Google states,

If you’ve used Google+ for comments on your own or other sites, this feature will be removed from Blogger by February 4th and other sites by March 7th. All your Google+ comments on all sites will be deleted starting April 2, 2019.

What do you think? Is a site you own affected by these changes?


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | Find Aqualith on MeWe and join the community
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Feb 2, 2019 10:23 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Con of the North schedule

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
My first gaming convention here in Minnesota is just over a month away. Con of the North

My schedule is more or less on lock. I'm trying out games I've yet to play (Root and BATTLETECH Classic), getting some in person experience with my current favorite roleplaying system (Cypher - Numenera), getting some volunteering in, and dusting off one or two previously retired Pathfinder Society characters.

I'm particularly excited about The Solstice Scar, as it's a multi-table event. I've been a part of two or three of these in the past and they are well worth it!

Sunday is capped with a Dungeon Crawl Classics game, as outside of a very short Labyrinth Lord session ran by a friend, I've never played an edition prior to 3.5. I need to up this cred and be a true OSR member outside of my ties to groups on MeWe!

The last bit is a game of King of Tokyo that is kinda my fall back for hosting. I signed up to be a judge, in case I had the possibility of running an RPG but my schedule did not allow for me to properly prepare for it. Hopefully next year! KoT is easy, but it's currently not on the list of games you can sign up for. I'll be adding it somewhere to the white board there as a late edition, so if you'd like to play, be on the lookout for it! I'll also try to announce here and on Twitter when I found a slot.

Do note, that the times shown are in military at Central time. So for instance, Root will be played from noon to 2pm on Friday.

FRI
Root (FRI12-14)
Numenera: Falling Into Golden Skies (FRI14-18)
#Volunteer (FRI20-22)

SAT
PFS 10-10: The Shattered Shield (Tier 1-5) (SAT08-13)
BATTLETECH: Grinder of the North (SAT14-16)
#Volunteer (SAT16-18)
PFS 8-99d: The Solstice Scar (Tier 1-2) (SAT19-24)

SUN
DCC: Stronghold of the Wood Giant Shaman (SUN14-18)

???
King of Plymouth (King of Tokyo + Power Up! expansion)
Pathfinder 2nd Ed. Create-a-Character room
Viking Hall room

Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | Find Aqualith on MeWe and join the Consortium
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Divided attention, yet on track

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
I had intended this past Thursday to premiere a new weekly feature but I had to concentrate efforts on non-hobby related tasks. We'll re-focus this week, so look for a new weekly feature called Thirsty Thursday starting, you guess it: Thursday. In the morning to be precise.


Speaking of focus... Cypher System, a game system where the player character's abilities come from their focus, is something that's been been on my mind a lot the past few years as it's my go-to roleplaying game system of choice. I'm not entirely a big fan of Numenera, but I do enjoy a lot of player options and setting components it provides, so I do generally have a lot of those books.

Right now, I'm playing in a play-by-post of The Strange, a Cypher System game, on Discord server. With my current life responsibilities, this fits my schedule the best. We're right now about to translate to a recursion on our own for the firs time. I'll share if we made it and where we end up in a future post!


I say no thank you
The Cypher System-lite roleplaying game with a focus on young players, No Thank You, Evil!, has received it's second printing. I should be receiving my email any day now from Monte Cook Games to let me know it is ready to be shipped. I would suspect we won't get it in time for Christmas, but my kid isn't quite old enough for it anyways so no bother there. She's still all in about wooden trains. But I look forward to getting her into rolling lofty and colorful d6's in the future. It should be as much fun to play as it will be gamemaste...er guide. Like the promised Great War unboxing, I'll be doing one for that as well.


1914-1918 WWI Games Series
I wished the devs of Verdun and Tannenberg came up with a better name for that series as "1914-1918 WWI Game Series" rolls off the tongue so well, don't ya think? [/sarcasm] I joined the community event for Tannenberg I had mentioned in my last post. It was somewhat successful, but not nearly enough players had joined. What I didn't know was that it was on a private Euro server, so the frame rate had a significant drop in the second half of the match, making it pretty unplayable for me. I hope that perhaps more US events take place, but perhaps that should be instigated rather than waiting on to happen. I was unable to attend the Verdun one the following afternoon.


Star Citizen community, best community
I cannot tell you how blessed I am to be a part of such an outstanding community, especially one centered on a PC video game that's still a couple years out from release. Yesterday, I was blessed by the content creator WTFOSAURUS regarding a giveaway I had won a few months back. Due to some delays, he wasn't able to get to me until yesterday and because of that he made the prize even sweeter. It's quite awesome and I look forward to locking in my personal fleet for launch soon. Do let me know in the comments if you plan to play Star Citizen at launch or if you just have questions about the game itself.


Aqualith updates
Finally, while the blog was quiet last week, early development on Aqualith products certainly did not. No new news on when you'll see the first product, but I am laying those foundations down to see what is feasible and realistic concerning the limitations I have on time.

As mentioned at the top, keep your eyes peeled Thursday. Until then...


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | Twitter | MeWe | meridian.space
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:03 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

An affinity for water

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
In my post on what this Aqualith business is all about, one question that might have come across to you in reading it is: why water magic? That doesn't seem so strong or literally cool as ice magic. Ice is what you mean right?

Plainly, no.

I've been a fan of water-based magic for quite some time, mainly since I began to dive into tabletop RPG's. Though where possible, I've loved exploring it in MMORPG's as well. In both tabletop and video game forms, I've noticed a peculiarity; one might say laziness. You've got the traditional four elemental forms of earth, air/wind, fire, and water. Each of those four tend to be pretty straight forward, except water. More likely than not when water is mentioned, the dev team really implies ice. This is annoying to me.

Why not provide the player an option to choose how their control over water is perceived? What if I wanted my character to do vapor? Consider the damage that focused boiling-hot steam can do to human flesh, and you get the idea. It's irregular for sure, but that's still water. My personal favorite is straight up liquid water.

I get the cost factor for video games. They want an ability to give mages a control spell set, so freezing a target or targets in place or firing ice shards to negate an opponent who's fire-centric is an effective and easy to grasp concept for the player. But let's take the favored approach here, free of the shackles of a graphics budget: and that's tabletop.

With tabletop, you are not limited to the imaginations and budgets of the development team. The visuals in your head are as real, cinematic, gritty, or as animated as you want them to be.

I love the idea of concentrated jet streams cutting practically anything, or the visual of sliding along a surface, producing a slide by producing water in your path, or erecting an impenetrable wall between you and your opponent.

I wish to explore this niche in detail and present it in product form so that players and GM's have yet another option to them that would appear to be lacking in a lot of games today. I'm thrilled to one day be able to share them with you to be used as much or as little in your campaign as you desire.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
Follow Aqualith Media: Twitter | MeWe | Ko-fi | aqualith.media
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

What is the Aqualith?

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
Blogs are an interesting beast. They've stood the test of time, even against the behemoth of social media that's to many considered "the internet" for the better part of fifteen years. Short or long form, they've been a way for a user to share their thoughts, usually unfiltered, on any topic of their choosing. But you know that, already. What I'm getting at is that often these blogs tend to have peculiar names, funny/punny names, or very straight forward and mundane names.

Inscriptions on the Aqualith is referential to what I'm at the moment calling a sub-setting for any sort of science fiction, fantasy, or better yet: a sci-fantasy setting for tabletop RPGs. This would include exhaustive, but definitive, lore about an ancient culture of magic users that solely draw their strength and power from a single monolith, hidden deep in the watery glades of their homeland. Now surrounded night and day by a protectorate and constantly studied by scribes and elders, the Aqualith, as it was known to be called, gives those users who know how to harness it, the ability to manipulate water in all it's forms. Since it is a single culture, the pocket setting as I'm calling it now can easily be placed as a module into a setting of the gamemaster's choosing to be used for player characters, non-playable allies, and even nemesis. More on those details in a later post, and possibly PDF products in the future.

We were talking about the title right? Well on this Aqualith are inscriptions in a language foreign to any tongue in the land. Over centuries, scribes eventually were able to decipher their meaning, at least in part. For our world, I hope to be your scribe; unpacking thoughts about not only this stuff about the Aqualith, but the gaming hobby and community I'm personally apart of, and maybe you can share with us your own side of the hobby.

So that is really it. In looking up the word aqualith, I did see a few uses of it in the real world, which are not applicable to the faux-history and culture I'm developing here. So the Aqualithic period of African history or the German form of the mineral, aqualite, have no bearing on my usage here.

Next, I'd like to unpack my proclivity for water magic.

Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
Follow Aqualith Media: Twitter | MeWe | Ko-fi | Linktree
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Salutations & expectations

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Avatar
Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
I say hey...
Hi! My name is Ryan and I like to play all sorts of games. My primary gaming interest in this time of my life are roleplaying games, specifically ones with the opportunity for world-building and rules that can be modified easily for your campaign's needs. At the moment, my personal favorite to fit that is the Cypher System by Monte Cook Games, as well as varying degrees of involvement in the OSR and Pathfinder communities. At the moment, I cannot have a regular in-person or even virtual tabletop campaign, so play-by-post, specifically through Discord, has been my go-to for still having my fix. I'm currently in one ongoing Cypher System game.

Additionally, I've recently gotten the itch to check out historical wargaming. Maybe it's a sign of age?

My family, including my delightful wife who longsuffers my hobby, and adorable daughter (read: toddler roleplayer-to-be) currently live in the Twin Cities area without any set gaming groups as yet, but I am working to make that a thing whether at a game store or through friends at church. We are devout Christians and I'll happily extrapolate that in a future post, or you are free to message me with questions.

...what's going on?
* I have been told by local game store Lodestone Coffee & Games that the copies of The Great War Centenary Edition and The Great War: French Army Expansion I special-ordered are on the way!
* I backed the second printing of Monte Cook Games' No Thank You, Evil! earlier this year and hoping to see that delivered before end of year or early the next.
* I am attending the first annual Bold North Conference in Saint Paul this weekend. This will be my first reformed theology-centered conference I'll attend in person. I suspect it'll be pretty low-key in presentation, but rich in content.
*Star Citizen's Alpha 3.3 patch release to live? Not definite, but the recent updates on the release roadmap suggests it'll be ready soon. I'm a day one Golden Ticket backer of that project and I'll happily unpack that at at later date.

What to expect
Inevitably, some slice of life posts, but centered on all aspects of gaming.

I've got a few ideas to produce some very affordable RPG products to distribute on DriveThruRPG as a 3rd party self-publisher! No idea when, but I hope to document this journey. And my wife is also interested in contributing to it as well. It will also be a fun way to stretch my design muscles outside of the regular 40 hour work week grind.

As mentioned above regarding The Great War by PSC Games, I plan to paint the miniatures! And I'll be showcasing my process as well as showing an unboxing video when the time comes, as well as impressions about the rules and scenarios.

Rule of 'law'
Here's a rule that might possibly break some people's brains: On this blog and the Twitter account I've established that ties into it, I will use the Edit button liberally. Whether it's for annoying typos I find later, or to correct a thought I had after the fact, I'll do it. I do not so much mind corrective-history when it comes to my own stuff here. If there's a potential problematic portion of a post that I've edited, I'll retain a note to list what I changed and why as a footnote to that post. I'd like to think of this blog as not so much progressive in a time sense, but retroactive and referential, somewhat like a wiki. So expect links and callbacks to previous posts in-frequently where there wasn't one the first time you read it.

All the things
My primary hub of info for all gaming can be found in one place, as I found it perplexing to drill down all the usernames and handles across all the various sites and games imaginable. At the moment it's very lacking in a graphical theme, which pains me as a designer, but I'll get to it when I get to it. In the mean time, check it out and feel free to add me if you like. I do have some ads there which I wouldn't bother with if I didn't think they were worthwhile products.

Schedule?
I'll post these up in the mornings, probably every few days, sometimes consecutively. Some will go long, others shorter, to which I'll split out into a series. Either way, your best case scenario is to subscribe. I hope this will amount to something and worthwhile to myself and to you, the reader. Game on, and...


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
Follow Aqualith Media: Twitter | MeWe | Ko-fi | Linktree
Twitter Facebook
2 Comments
Fri Nov 9, 2018 2:00 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls