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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A refusal of shorthand

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
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I need to confess something. It's likely an unpopular opinion, but this is the internet so I get to have and share it. Sorry. Here we go: I hate the term 'zine'.

Don't get me wrong. I love the concept and the form factor. I prefer the size, it's portability, and affordability. It feels great in your hand and you can take it anywhere or leave them lying around on a coffee table. Spill some coffee on it? No big deal. The one aspect I cannot stand is the name.

I just can't stand the sound of the term, whether or not you pronounce it zeen or rhymes-with-pine. I get that it's been used for decades and spans beyond just tabletop gaming roots. It's got underground history in dozens of entertainment niches I am probably quite unaware of. But the term itself just makes me grit my teeth too much to say it, much less write it. If in conversation, I won't be legalistic or project my prejudice against it's use, but in case you never see or hear me utter it; now you know why!

"But Ryan, it's a great shorthand. It helps me not have to explain what it's about," you might suggest. My counter argument for that is: you're going to explain what it's all about anyway, right? Just call it a magazine.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I tried to keep it digest-able because I know you've got a lot to do today. Let me know how wrong I am in the comments.

Steady tides be with you,
Ryan | Aqualith Media

Photo credit goes to Annie Spratt on Unsplash.
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Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:32 pm
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Plus minus

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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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
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Sat Feb 2, 2019 10:23 pm
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Con of the North schedule

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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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
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Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:00 pm
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An affinity for water

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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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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