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

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Aqualith logo reveal

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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At last, my wanderings in the shrouded glade weren't
for naught. The hum from the aquatic motes floating in
the air quieted themselves, as if out of reverence. As I beheld
it for the first time, now partially submerged in the waters below
my feet, a feeling of both calm and uncertainty came over
me. I was meant to be here, drawn here; before the Aqualith itself.


- Excerpt from Prolegomena,
Author unknown



I am pleased to reveal the logomark for Aqualith Media. This is at least the first iteration, sans a finalized lockup with logotype. This is something I can display across the web and business cards for the time being. I would like to do a proper post detailing the making of this logo, as it's been a long time coming. I have not scrutinized or critiqued myself more over branding than with this one. Truly a challenge to get right! I'll detail the torture, the triumphs, and redux that took place over the last what seems nine months of production of this thing.

I'll leave it there and celebrate, as there's much still to do in getting my first couple products out the door. The speed in which that happens is largely due to outside factors I detailed in Renovations, still largely at play. If you at all have the means and see the value in what I am doing here. consider patroning me on Ko-fi. I am so excited for what is to come.

Steady tides be with you!
Ryan | Aqualith Media
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:23 pm
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#ThirstyThursday :: Mythic Minis 63 - Planetouched Feats II

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Welcome back to #ThirstyThursday, the second in a hopefully on-going series where I find a RPG product, water-centric if possible, and spotlight it! Last time we took a look at 5 Control Water Spell Feats for Pathfinder. I invite you go back there for a little background of why I started this as well as taking a look at a pretty cool 3rd party supplement. By the way, Owen K.C. Stephens replied back regarding the Super Genius Games website link in that product. He indeed verified my suspicions that the domain was completely out of his control but would pass it on.

Let's get on to this week's product, shall we?


Mythic Minis 63 - Planetouched Feats II

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[ DriveThruRPG link ]

The Mythic Minis series by Legendary Games is not something I'm that familiar with, mainly due to my inexperience with Pathfinder's mythic options. I will keep my comments regarding those rules to as brief as possible so as not to embarrass myself in front of those of you hardcore mythic fans.


Mythic brevity
The pitch as I understood it when Mythic Adventures (MA going forward) and it's product tie-ins released went like this: high level play in 3rd edition D&D was something few got to experience, as either the campaign finished early or the game broke apart for various reasons. So how do you essentially make your player character Thor-like with strength and power that far exceeds the everyday adventurer? You add an extra layer called mythic tiers which overlap and supplement the classes you're already playing. There's much nuance to that, but I will be focusing on that today.

What is to be focused on are the feats this particular product puts emphasis on.


Feats of elemental strength
This tiny three page PDF gives air and water-based options to player and gamemaster to enhance their game. In addition to Mythic Adventures, Advanced Race Guide (ARG going forward) is strongly recommended either in book or PRD form to get full effect and playability out of this product, as all nine of these feats work off of their originals referenced in the ARG.


A certain air about it
Why cover air? This blog is about water! I came for water! Yes, but when I read the Airy Step, something came to me which I'll unpack below.

Airy Step (Mythic)
Airy Step from the ARG, which requires the character's race be Slyph, is a feat improves the saving throw bonus, plus a little extra for when one decides to freefall. Buzz Lightyear would be all on top of this if he could.

The understanding of this feat is it derives from walking along electrical current in the air, but what's stopping that from being the moisture in the air if you have water control? A homebrew game could easily augment the standard and mythic versions of this feat for the aquatic-centered player. Something to consider there, eh?

Cloud Gazer (Mythic)
Not normally the eyes-and-ears of the bunch? No worries, this one takes the awesome that is Cloud Gazer, and makes it communal. Very nice!

Inner Breath (Mythic)
I can't imagine saving yourself and an ally from suffocation and other toxins in the air from being a bad thing. Situational, but slyphs may want to have a looksee.

Wings of Air (Mythic)
Like Airy Step, this feat could pass for water-centricity over electricity. But instead of walking, the concept is about flying, wherein this mythic version builds on.


Undine wishes
Now for the straight up water-centric feats.

Aquatic Ancestry (Mythic)
Cranks up your swim speed and darkvision. A no-brainer to me, especially if you're concept makes sense to have it.

Hydraulic Manuever (Mythic)
Few feats' names sound as cool or fun to say as Hydraulic Manuever! This synergizes with Hydraulic Push, which you probably will want to have in your build anyways. As the name in implies, this gives you some CMB fun. Combat Maneuvers are a sub-system my friend Carlos over at Something Clever Games is a big fan of, so I wouldn't be surprised he builds an Undine PC someday just to have this!

Steam Caster (Mythic)
Like synergy with fire magic? So do we. Especially AoE's. Full steam ahead!

Triton Portal (Mythic)
The standard Triton Portal is interesting, especially for those wanting to mimic an Aquaman-like character. The Mythic version of this underwater-only feat, which like Hydraulic Manuever, also builds off of hydraulic push, takes cues from dimension door and shadow walk. Quite a powerful benefit.

Water Skinned (Mythic)
Use of this kinda power screams substitution of Diplomacy or Intimidation skill to me. Characters who show the opposition this kinda power just by walking through an obstacle unscathed just before a fight or flight situation oozes flavor to me. I dig it. Side comment: I spotted a typo in the Benefit section.



Suffice to say...
...this product is awesome. If you're homebrewing it, don't fret about the slyph and undine race requirements, especially if you don't want to play those. Work with your gamemaster on that. At $1 USD, it's a no brainer if you're playing one of these races in a Mythic campaign.

Do let me know what you think of the product or if you have suggestions for others to look at, specifically water magic related. Know of an existing product that has synergy with these options? Share in the comments below!

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please share it with a friend if you found it useful.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | @aqualithmedia | Find Aqualith on MeWe and join the Consortium
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Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:00 pm
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#ThirstyThursday :: 5 Control Water Spell Feats

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
I never liked Thursdays growing up.

Maybe it was because that while it was nearing the end of the week, it was that one day keeping me from my precious, freedom-filled Friday night. No more school, no more books, you know the rest. I also noticed it would rain more on Thursdays, especially in the morning. Never knew why, but it didn't help things!

That said, I will take a cue from the oft-lauded Happy Hour specials name and redeem Thor's Day for this blog: find a RPG product, water-centric if possible, and spotlight it!

The first on my list is an old PDF product from the now defunct Super Genius Games. They had something of a re-org and you can find this product now under the DriveThruRPG store of Rogue Genius Games. The trade dress of Super Genius is still retained. Let's take a peak inside, shall we?


5 Control Water Spell Feats
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[ DriveThruRPG link ]

This tiny three page PDF is part of Rogue Genius Games' #1 With a Bullet Point series of Pathfinder options. In one page you get five thematic feats which act to complement or modify your spells pertaining to water.

As the DTRPG description refers to them:
Quote:
Eldritch Well: You can summon up water into the spaces you magically create.
Greater Water Control: Your ability to control water is greatly expanded.
Water Lord: You have become a duke of the element of water.
Water Knight: You have become a knight of the element of water.
Water of Life: Your water spells are also blood magic.
Eldritch Well
This one is interesting in that one of the prereqs is Knowledge (Engineering). If your character isn't trained in this skill, it would be worthwhile to at least dip into such. Thematically it makes sense and gives some love to a Knowledge that, like Knowledge (Geography), doesn't see a whole lot of action.

Greater Water Control
This is a fun one and has some synergy with Eldritch Well. Fledgling hydromancers would be hard-pressed not to grab this one, even providing a bonus to CMB when fighting in water. If this is something your character plans to do a lot, it's recommended your other feats compliment it.

Water Knight
Building on the previous feats, requiring some Knowledge (Nobility), one can keep creatures of the water subtype at bay. Given this was published years before the new diplomacy-driven rules from Ultimate Intrigue came in, I'd be interested to see how this could play out.

Water Lord
As you progress as a Water Knight, the next step is to lord it over a water elemental of your very own! So awesome. I do like that it's bound to the space of the water you are currently controlling. That gives a nice balance and makes for interesting gameplay and some crowd control on your part.

Water of Life
This is an interesting one and probably the most situational of the five. I know I state that regarding feats centered on water magic, but you obviously came to this blog for our mutual affinity for water, right? Work with me here! From the description, it appears this would serve a fellow medium-sized PC who's stricken as a vampyr, keeping them fed without taking the lives of innocents.

Additionally any creature which has blood can basically get a bleed attack from you. While that's quite powerful, it may not work thematically for your character. I can't see myself personally playing a character that would do that, but the option is there.


The point of it all
That wraps up my quick synopsis of this product. It's really easy on the wallet at just a $1 USD, so if you have any curiosity about it, especially as a Pathfinder 1st edition player, it's certainly worth taking a look at.

One caution I should note: there is a link to the old Super Genius Games website on page 3 of this product that should be avoided. Rogue Genius Games looks to have not retained the URL for forwarding to their current site, so it is now parked by what appears to be a phisher, which fires up a dialogue box to download something probably nefarious. I strongly advise you not click the link in the first place. It is likely all the #1 With a Bullet Point products have this link, so do tread lightly. I've notified the publisher on DriveThru so they are made aware.

Do let me know what you think of the product or if you have suggestions for others to look at, specifically water magic related. Know of an existing product that has synergy with these options? Share in the comments below!

While I would like this to be every Thursday going forward, it simply won't be possible for me at this time. Next week is Christmas with New Years following right after, so expect the next one on Jan. 10th.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I genuinely appreciate it.


Steady tides be with you!

Ryan | Twitter | MeWe | meridian.space
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Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:06 pm
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An affinity for water

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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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
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Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:00 pm
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What is the Aqualith?

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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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
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Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:00 pm
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