Inscriptions on the Aqualith

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Renovations

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Quite a few changes since I last did a blog. The short story is: I bought a house! It's a fixer, so there's lots to do before we can move in (hoping by end of the month).

Some quick highlights: I am now very close to unveiling the first version of the Aqualith logo. I'm trying to get it done sooner than later as my business cards have now run up and I need to design some new ones. I've also getting a little crazy by considering sharing the Aqualith sole-proprietorship with my digital design consulting I'll be doing on the side moving forward. It's largely just to keep future taxes easier for me, but also bridges the gap and promotes both ways. If this is a terrible idea and you've tried it before, let me know!

BGG and it's subsidiaries have gotten a noticeable facelift post-GenCon 2019. I, like most vocal commenters, aren't thrilled about the orange 'head' shape, but the font choice and top nav looks considerably improved. Hoping to see another pass in the shorter term. What are your thoughts?

Two cheers for Paizo in their successful launch of the 2nd Edition of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. I am looking forward to picking up my PDF copy as soon as I can get time to even read it. It goes for $15, a five dollar increase from the 1st edition, but this is a 640-page tome, so I still think it's a good value. Have you got a chance to play it yet? Share your thoughts if you like.

BATTLETECH: Clan Invasion Kickstarter punched through it's goal in 7 minutes flat, as well as ALL it's announced stretch goals in 20! The thing is a beast and currently around $1.5M with another week and some change to go. If you can fork over the cash, you will be pleased by the quality of plastic miniatures of romping stomping 'Mechs at your disposal. I just bought a house, so buying scale imaginary mechanical suits the size of two houses aren't quite in the budget at the moment.

I've been putting some time into the TEST server of Crowfall the past couple weeks. The game is coming along pretty well. I've not dealt with PVP however as I just am too low level or inexperienced to know exactly where to go. But I'm learning more about the mechanics in the game's current build. It's getting there, slowly but surely.

By the way, I am looking for a full time gig in the Minneapolis area (focus on Western suburbs) BUT also very experienced with working remotely. Get in touch if you're hiring a Graphic or Digital Designer, or got a freelance gig you need some assistance with.

That's all for now. Back to the logo work.

Steady tides be with you!

Ryan
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Thu Aug 8, 2019 1:29 am
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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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#ThirstyThursday :: Mythic Minis 63 - Planetouched Feats II

Ryan Heck aqualith.media
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Microbadge: TULIP: CalvinistMicrobadge: WW1 WargamerMicrobadge: Cypher System fanMicrobadge: Water elementMicrobadge: Cooperative worldbuilding fan
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

External image

[ 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
United States
Minnetonka
Minnesota
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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
External image

[ 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
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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