Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: March 1-7

Someone just won a bet.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of March 1st through the 7th.

Monday March 1st
“Procreation does not require changing how you smell or writing bad poetry, or sacrificing various plants to serve as tokens of affection.” Odo- The Forsaken, Stardate: 46925.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

Tuesday March 2nd
Happy Birthday to Gates McFadden. @gates_mcfadden https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Gates_McFadden #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“If there’s nothing wrong with me… maybe there’s something wrong with the universe…” Dr. Crusher- Remember Me, Stardate: 44161.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

Happy Birthday to Ethan Peck. @ethangpeck https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Ethan_Peck #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #StarTrekShortTreks #StarTrekStrangeNewWorlds #WeAreStarfleet

“What we do now, here, in this moment, has the power to determine the future.” Spock- Perpetual Infinity, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #WeAreStarfleet

Wednesday March 3rd
Jimmy Doohan born on this date in 1920. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/James_Doohan #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“The more they over think the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain.” Scotty- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Stardate: 8210.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Thursday March 4th
“You are superior to no one! Never underestimate your prey or disrespect its abilities. If you do…you will become the hunted.” Karr- The Killing Game, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

Friday March 5th
Happy Birthday to Jolene Blalock @JoleneBlalock https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jolene_Blalock #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

“Life is change.” T’Pol- Terra Prime, Date: January 22, 2155 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

Saturday March 6th
“When you were a student of his, Christine, you must have often heard Dr. Korby remark how freedom of movement and choice produced the Human spirit.” Dr. Brown- What Are Little Girls Made Of?, Stardate: 2712.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Sunday March 7th
Happy Birthday to Jonathan Del Arco @JonathanDelArco https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jonathan_Del_Arco #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekPicard #WeAreStarfleet

There is no more despised people in the galaxy than the xBs. People either see us as property to be exploited, or as a hazard to be warehoused. Our hosts, the Romulans, have a far more expansive vision. They see us as both. Hugh- The End is the Beginning #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard

Posted in: Star Trek

Flashback: My 2013 interview with Star Magazine

While I’ve been going through old graphics and documents to find items to post on my website, I’ve re-discovered a few things that I thought were kewl enough to share. I decided to post one of them now.

Back in February 2013, just before Star Trek: Into Darkness was released in theaters, we were contacted by Star Magazine asking if someone from Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet would be interested in participating in an interview for an up-coming special issue dedicated to the movie. They had sent invitations out to different fans and organizations and they would be selecting the best responses for publication.

Now I’ve been interviewed by local radio and television stations regarding my Star Trek fandom (some of the photos are in my Kewl Stuff online gallery). Podcasts have invited me to join an episode and talk about geeky things. I’ve also been interviewed by local newspapers (I’ll have to find and scan those articles as well). However I had never had a chance to be interviewed by a national publication until this invitation. After some encouragement from my friends, Dennis Hollinger and Richard Henline, I agreed to participate.

The interviewer sent me a series of questions, which I answered as honestly as I could. I sent back my response thinking, it will be kewl if this happens, but I’m not expecting to be published. To my surprise, I was informed in mid-March that my interview had been one of three selected for publication. A high quality photo of me was requested and Star Magazine wanted my address to send me several free issues.

The publisher sent me an image of the cover first, which is the first time I heard that this would be the “Battle of the Star Trek Superfans.” Uh… what? A few days later the issues arrived in the mail. Here is a scan of the covers and the interview.

Star Magazine Star Trek Into Darkness Special cover
Star Magazine Star Trek Into Darkness Special interview page 1
Star Magazine Star Trek Into Darkness Special interview page 2

As you can see from the interviews, I was “battling” the author of the Star Trek: The Visual Dictionary, Raul Ruditis and Anthony Pascale, the editor of the Star Trek news site TrekMovie.com (a site I visit quite regularly for reputable Star Trek information). Not bad company. I would love to be a published author of a Star Trek resource book (I have some ideas in mind) or on a site like TrekMovie. What was interesting is that I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about the “battle”. At least one of the above gentlemen contacted me by twitter stating “I surrender to you in the battle”. This made me upset because I was going to concede to him. We didn’t want to battle, we just wanted to talk Trek.

I don’t know who else was contacted for possible inclusion in the interview. But I do know that Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet beat out one of the larger international fan clubs for publication. I thought that was a nice feather in our cap.

Some of the other questions that were asked, but not published were as follows.

What would you name the next Star Trek film? Star Trek: Infinite Combinations

Do you have a favorite piece of Star Trek memorabilia? I love collecting the Star Trek technical manuals. I have all of the official books and a large variety of fan created items. The amount of creativity into “explaining” how this make-believe tech works is inspiring. A favorite short story I read is where a post-apocalyptic society finds a collection of Star Trek tech manuals. They end up using the books as inspiration to rebuilding their civilization. (This story is “Half the Battle” by Harry Turtledove which was originally published in Stardate Magazine)

If you could give J.J. Abrams some direction about the next movie, what would it be? Less lensflare. If there is not going to be a continuation after the third contractual movie, then the final scenes should be showing the universe reverting back to the prime-universe established in the television series. (At the time, a third movie had been highly speculated, but it didn’t seem like there would be any more Kelvin timeline movies after that one, hopefully we will get one more)

After the issue was released, my mother went out and purchased a copy for her scrapbook. A lot of friends also went out and purchased copies (some even asked me to sign them). Every once in a while, this issue pops up again in the wild. When I see it, I have a sense of pride that this was my first national interview. Thank you to Star Magazine for the opportunity.

Posted in: Comic Books, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars

The Good, The Bad and The Internet

Clickbait vs Easter Eggs

So there have been two trends that I’ve noticed on the internet. Yea, these may have been around for a while but I want to talk about them for a second. The evil of click-bait sites and videos and the good of easter egg and behind the scenes videos.

There have been a lot of sites and videos with “Trusted Sources” spreading rumors about some of our favorite franchises and shows. What bugs me is the way they try to sell themselves. Usually with a headline that screams click-bait. These type of sensationalized headlines are a form of social engineering. They want you to react to the video/article and the only way you can do that is by clicking on the link to their site. “Has {insert showrunner name here} been fired at {studio name here}?”, “{Famous person} ruined our favorite franchise, here is the proof.” or “{Famous person} reacts to my video/post/website/outlandish claim.” See how they can practically recycle the headline just by switching out a few details and boom, another click-bait headline. Some of these videos and sites can get to be quite toxic.

Another trend has not been quite as negative, but still very click-baitish. Streaming services have been a gold mine for fans of various franchises. The studios are trying to attract subscribers by taking chances on shows that may not make it onto the over-the-air or cable channels. This has brought us more shows in the Star Trek (I’m looking forward to the Pike series, Strange New Worlds) and Star Wars universe (love The Mandalorian). There is an upcoming series for Battlestar Galactica and it looks like I’m finally going to be able to see Moon Knight on the screen. While this is good, it also gives rise to rumor websites with headlines like “{Character name} series confirmed.” At the rate they are pumping out these “articles” you would think that we would soon see a series focused on Captain John Harriman (would the XO be Commander Ferris Bueller?) for Paramount+ and Disney+ releasing The Star Wars Muppets (actually I’d watch a SW Muppet series, but don’t quote me as a source). These rumors are not as outlandish as the “{show name} canceled immediately due to plummeting ratings.” headlines and I think that’s what makes it a little bit dangerous. Some actors want to return to the roles that made them famous. Others never want to return to the franchises if they don’t have to. But there is a little bit of a toe-hold that these “news sites” to say that a new series is coming soon and you better read about it here. When you listen to these sites, they use the weasel words that you commonly see on those Ancient Alien shows. “Could this be true? It’s possible.” Ugh that bugs me more than it should.

Why are these sites and videos posting these dubious claims? In one word, money. The more clicks a site/video has, the more eyeballs see them. The more eyeballs they get, the more they can sell themselves to advertisers. Technically nothing is stopping them from being the Weekly World News of the internet. So like spam and robo-calls, they continue to be a scourge on the internet.

What can you do about them? Well learn to spot click-bait headlines. If it sounds like it was posted to get an emotion, be suspicious. Look at the source. Most social media posts will give you the domain the article/video is coming from. If it’s not from a source with a good history (for most entertainment news that’s usually Variety, Deadline, Entertainment Weekly, one of the mainstream media companies, etc.) or from the studio itself, then be suspicious. However be careful, there are still rumor news sources that are on TV or in print. If you are suspicious about a headline, then remember that Google is your friend. If a rumor is close to being true, multiple sites will post about it. With the rumor websites there may only be one or two sites posting about the topic. If your Spidey-Senses are going off, don’t click on the link or video. By clicking on them, you are giving them what they really want.

Now, in my humble opinion, there is a really good trend going on right now with some online videos. The “Easter Egg” videos that point out some of the things in the background. Some are very spotable, some are very hidden (hence the name Easter Eggs). There are some video makers that will freeze-frame certain scenes and translate from the alien languages (if translations exists) to dig up hidden details. I am a big fan of Star Trek and Star Wars so I’ve noticed a lot of these Easter Eggs in Picard, Discovery, Lower Decks and The Mandalorian. So for me the fun was seeing if I had missed anything and if I had spotted stuff the video makers themselves had missed.

Another good thing about these videos are for the series I’ve been enjoying, but I don’t know much about the source material. The latest example has been WandaVision. While I know Marvel’s Spiderman, Captain America, Iron Man, other-mainstreams, etc. I only know very little of the other superheroes that Marvel has in their catalog. I’m more of a DC man myself, but I don’t turn my nose up at the Marvel non-mutant titles (don’t ask me about the mutants now, that will be saved for another blog post). After encouragement from friends, I checked out WandaVision. I found that I enjoyed the writing, the acting and the special effects. But I felt like I was missing something that came from a deep source. So I turned to the same Easter Egg video makers that I had enjoyed before and they expanded my understanding of the WandaVision storyline. In the last episode of WandaVision there was a “big reveal” from a bad guy (no spoilers so don’t worry). I felt that this reveal wouldn’t have made a big impact if I hadn’t watched the Easter Egg videos telling me who these characters were. Thus I was “in on the story” when it happened.

While I’m encouraging you to avoid the click-bait sites, I would also encourage you to check out the effort that goes into the Easter Egg videos. Let me know what you think of these videos that have been released.

Tally Ho

Clickbait
Posted in: MST3K, Website

Website Updates: Photo Galleries

Kevin Murphy from MST3K
Meeting Kevin Murphy from Mystery Science Theater 3000 at Salt Lake Comic Con 2013

So I’ve had a chance to get a new section of the website put up. This is one that I’ve wanted to get done for a while. This is also why I’m using WordPress as my website editor. There was a wonderful plug-in that will allow me to organize my photo’s without cluttering the media used for the blog posts. I think I’m going to use this plug-in on other websites that I am managing.

I’ve broken the different galleries into different categories. Kewl Stuff is photos with astronauts, convention displays, TV appearances and other things that didn’t fit into the other categories. Artists are photos with various artists that I’ve had the opportunity to meet. This also includes scans of artwork that were done for me by some of those artists. In the Authors gallery, I’ve posted photos of when I’ve met some of the wordsmiths at various events. Someday I’ll join them in having published works out for others to enjoy. The Star Trek section is the largest and it contains photos of different actors and show runners that I’ve met in my travels. Likewise, the Star Wars section contains the various actors that I’ve also had the opportunity to meet. Other Actors are people I’ve encountered in different locations, but they could not be placed in other categories. I didn’t want a bunch of mini-categories so I combined them all into one here. Musicians kinda works as a name for this category. It’s the musicians I’ve had the pleasure of meeting as well as some of the concerts that I’ve attended. And finally, in the Sports section are photos from various games that I’ve attended, and was smart enough to take a photo while I was there.

As I was going through my archives, I thought of a few more galleries that I may add in the future. But I wanted to get these albums up since I had the photos where I could get to them. As I find or take more, I’ll get them uploaded to the galleries.

If you happen to have a photos of me that would fit into any of the above categories, please email it to me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.

I will also continue to chisel out more pages for the website as time allows. I’ve noticed how busy I’ve been. I even have to plan out times just to play video games to relax.

Posted in: Horror, Horror Hosts, Movies, Science Fiction, TV Review

Creature Features 50th Anniversary

I was very happy to complete the Character Creation Challenge last month. It was an actual challenge that I didn’t know if I could complete. And there were a few days I was wondering if I would make the deadline. It took up quite a bit of time just to make sure I didn’t miss a day. One of the things that ended up getting pushed off to the side was the other blog entries that were not related to the challenge, but I wanted to post. I was able to sneak in a review of Wonder Woman 1984, but there were several other subjects that I wanted to cover. Here is one of my catch up posts that would have been posted last month.

Creature Features 1970's
Creature Features then…
Creature Features 2020's
…and Creature Features now.

I enjoy watching classic and cheesy horror films. From the Universal Classics such as Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy to the British studio that released the Hammer Horrors. Some of these horror films can also be quite cheesy and funny such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space (boy that’s a lively one). I’m not big into the mega-slashers or the buckets of blood films. If you have to rely on too much splatter-gore special effects to make up for bad writing, it tends to turn me off. But even the smallest film with a shoe-string budget can be enjoyable if done the right way.

There are several shows that help me find some of these classics and clunker horror/science-fiction films. The one I wanted to talk about today is Creature Features from the San Fransisco bay area which just celebrated the 50th Anniversary of it’s first showing. I had discovered this show sometime in 2018 on the show’s YouTube channel and quickly added it to my Saturday night TV lineup.

This is a “horror host” show that was popular in the 70’s and continues today. Television stations would receive batches of films that they could air that were real clunkers. What certain stations in different cities did to attract an audience is to have an employee of the station dress up in a costume come up with a punny name and be the host for some of these z-grade movies. Even if the movie was a bomb, audiences would tune in to check out the host. Sometimes skits and parody songs would be performed while others hosts had interviews and trivia. Everyone had their own spin on the idea which helped made them unique. I head learned about these “horror hosts” from a wonderful documentary called American Scary. Creature Features has had three runs. The first by host Bob Wilkins, the second by host John Stanley and the current run that started in 2016 with Vincent Van Dahl, Mr. Livingston and Tangella.

On January 9, 2021, Creature Features aired a 50th Anniversary Special of the original Creature Features hosted by Bob Wilkins. A special tribute to Wilkins was shown along with the first film from that night “The Horror of Party Beach”. Van Dahl interviewed John Stanley and director Tom Wyrsch. There were several old interviews shown from Bob Shaw who was one of the producers of the original show. They even had the outro from Bob Wilkins to wrap things up. As for The Horror of Party Beach, let’s just say that it was bad enough that I kept expecting the heckling robots from Mystery Science Theater 3000 to show up to make fun of the film. The creatures that menaced the teenagers looked like they had hot dogs hanging out of their mouths. Yea it was gloriously bad. And probably not one I’d watch again.

If you get a chance, check out the Creature Features YouTube channel. I watch it on the YouTube app on my television. They air the show live online every Saturday and they have past shows available as well. Besides showing the classics (that they can afford to show) they have also shown some recent fan films (somehow they got a foreign Star Trek fan film) and small budget studio releases that they were able to get their hands on. The variety has been very interesting. I also like the interview format that they have. 99% of the guests have been very entertaining to listen to ranging from actors, special effects artists, cosplayers and more.

Congratulations to Creature Features for reaching a 50th Anniversary. I hope you guys can continue to bring us many cheesy horror and science-fiction films for many years to come.

Posted in: Reviews, Sports

The best laid plans…

Evey February I would sit down with a large number of snacks and appetizers and watch some expensive commercials interrupted by a sporting event. There would be a commercials that would be funny, others would tug at the heartstrings. And finally there would be a series of commercials that would air and everyone at the party would look at each other and whisper “Did they really spend money on a commercial like that?”

So while we were not getting together with friends for a super bowl party, I was thinking that I could write up a blog post on what commercials made me laugh and what commercials I’d be talking with co-workers about the next day.

Errrr…. What was that saying about the best laid plans?

I watched the commercials. And there were a few things of note. But the commercials just were not as good this year. It use to be that this was… well the super bowl of commercials. Corporations would spend millions of dollars producing top of the line ads. You would see these adds for weeks to come just because they were trying to get a return on the investment. We would laugh about them as we talked around the water cooler.

The commercial with the baby adoption was a good at tugging the heartstrings. I also really enjoyed Bruce Springsteen and the Jeep commercial about America (a message that was sorely needed). The M&Ms commercial was funny. Will Ferrel tried with his electric cars commercial, I just don’t find him that funny. I liked the Wayne’s World shop local commercial, I just don’t feel the urge to use an overpriced delivery service. The Paramount+ commercials were also good, but I had already seen them since they had been released online prior. When I was talking with a lot of people who had been interested in the commercials in the past and their response was “Meh, I’ll just watch it on YouTube.” I think we are missing the opportunity to do something all together at the same time.

I notice that the commercials just didn’t hold as much water this year. I didn’t really have a vested interest in either of the teams. I don’t really have any loyalty to an NFL team since there isn’t one located in Utah. As I was watching the last half of the blowout game, I was hoping that the Chiefs would come back and make the game interesting. Then it hit me. When the game is dull (looking at you Patriots and Rams from a few years ago) the commercials end up dull as well. Probably because when the game is bad, my attention starts to wander.

Now I understand that we’ve just gotten over a bad year. But I really feel that the advertisers missed the mark by not delivering more comedic advertising. Give us a reason to smile and make things fun around here. That would have made your product placement much more memorable. Now is the time to get started for next year.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention. I was originally watching the game on a Comcast/Xfinity provided channel. It was playing English during the pre-game. But for some reason it switched over to SAP (Spanish) when the game started. No matter where I looked on the Xfinity remote there was no option to hit SAP to see if it would go back to broadcasting in English. So I turned on my CBS All Access (soon to be named Paramount+) and watched the game that way. The sports on the streaming service had no problems what so ever. I was pretty impressed.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Website

Character Creation Challenge: After Action Report

All the character sheets from the Character Creation Challenge

Wow, we did it. Not only was I able to make 31 characters in 31 days for the Character Creation Challenge, but there were quite a few others as well. From contacts on social media to message boards like the RPG.net Forums and the Old School Trek message board there were a few “completed the challenge” posts.

I wanted to thank those who participated. It was interesting to read some of the reasons behind why they selected the characters or system that was posted. I learned a few things about some of the games. Plus there was a few “I should have thought of that” moments. Someone created a character for the Wendy’s fast-food chain RPG called Feast of Legends. When am I going to get a chance to play that? This challenge would have been perfect to make a character for it just to get a feel for the game. I did that with a few games that I had in my collection.

Some of the character creation ideas impressed me, not because they did it, but because they had a theme. A couple of Traveler blogs created a lot of characters for their favorite system. One blogger made a variety of witches in different systems showing how the theme could be used across several games. I could tell that one participant posting on the RPG.net forum was a big fan of AD&D 2nd Edition Al-Qadim setting.

I’ve also made a few friends along the way. Apparently my bad jokes hasn’t scared anyone off yet. There were also quite a few thank yous coming from the different sources. I’m glad that others found enjoyment in this challenge as well. When I first came up with the concept last November, I was worried that I’d be the only one participating.

When I committed to doing this challenge, it gave me a little bit of extra incentive to get all of my books out of the garage. While my goal is to get rid of every cardboard box storing stuff, I still have a ways to go. There were some games that I know that I’ve owned (and I have them listed in my collection list on my Google Docs), but I can’t find the books. I’m hoping that I didn’t lose them over the years. I know I had books for Twilight: 2000 and Top Secret S.I. Also when I looked up the books on Amazon or Ebay, I noticed how much some of my older books were going for. Some of these books I purchased when they first came out and apparently are worth more than I expected.

The character creation process that frustrated me the most was for the FASA Doctor Who RPG. This shocked me as I swore I had played this game before. Amazingly enough the system that impressed me the most (from a creation standpoint) was Cubicle 7’s entry in to the Doctor Who RPG. I’m really curious on how the game plays out at the table. I was also impressed with Frontier Space, Age of Empire and a few others. This challenge also reminded me why I don’t play some flavors of Dungeons and Dragons. I want to write adventures, supplements and homebrews for all of the Star Trek RPGs. After this challenge I also want to write material for Apes Victorious, Gangbusters B/X, Tall Tales, Age of Empire, almost all of the espionage RPGs and the Doctor Who RPG by Cubicle 7. There is a large homebrew community for the DW RPG which has inspired me.

Most of the games that I created characters for, I own a physical copy of the books. I’ve been purchasing a lot of games from DriveThruRPG and the various charity bundles. There were a few that I didn’t use in this challenge, but I may for future challenges. Especially if I can get a hold of physical copies. These include Classified, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mazes and Minotaurs, Modern Age, Rocket Age, White Lies, Traveler and more. Who knows what else I may have added to my collection by next January.

If you are still reading this far, thank you. The number of blog posts won’t be daily like they were in January. But I will be posting things as inspiration strikes. There are a few other topics that I wanted to discuss that time did not allow in January. So don’t be surprised to see some catch up posts soon. I’m also planning to fill out the rest of the sections that I’d like to have on this site.

Tally ho

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games

Character Creation Challenge Day 31: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition

Character Creation Challenge Day 31

I started this Character Creation Challenge with the BECMI Dungeons & Dragons edition because it was the first D&D game that I owned. I thought that having Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition as the last entry would be a perfect bookend. My gaming buddies all owned different copies of the game. I had BECMI, another had B/X Dungeons & Dragons, and another had AD&D. We played all of them depending upon who the Dungeon Master was.

When I printed out a yellow AD&D character sheet it brought me back to those days. However instead of printing one, it was photocopied. The yellow didn’t copy out very well in grayscale. I’ve decided that I would make a character from a class that I’ve never played. So today I am rolling up the stats for Kellerin a Human Paladin.

The method to roll the ability scores wasn’t listed in the Player’s Handbook, I had to go pull out my Dungeon Master’s Guide to see what options were available. Method IV sounded interesting (roll enough stats for 12 characters and then pick one set of stats), but I didn’t have that much time for dice rolling. So I stuck with Method II, roll 4d6 and discard the lowest die twelve times and select which score will go with which attribute. Kellerin ended up with the following stats. STR: 16, INT: 14, WIS: 15, DEX: 14, CON: 15, CHR: 17. It’s probably a good thing I selected Method II, there were a few very low rolls that were eliminated.

I then wrote down all of the class benefits, ability modifiers and background information from the DMG. Apparently Kellerin was the son of a Taylor who thought he was going to go into the family business. I can’t think of a reason right now, but somehow he ended up associated in a holy order that trained him to be a Paladin. If I was talking to the DM, I would discuss that the reason he is out adventuring is due to his assignment of protecting the cleric in our party that is also a part of the same order.

My eventual goal is to get Kellerin in a suit of full plate mail with a powerful magic sword so that he might be able to smite evil. However until that time he would be starting out with some non-magical armor and weapons that was selected from the equipment list with the starting GP rolled up as per the RAW.

The saving throw information was also in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I’m glad that the later editions made sure that was all in the Player’s Handbook. Kellerin isn’t high enough in levels to list any spells or turning abilities. So I think I’m done. Here is the character sheet.

Kellerin character sheet

Afterthoughts:

It had been a while since I had thought about the STR 18/[percentage] attribute score. I remember having a character that was lucky enough to have an 18 strength score. I then rolled the percentile dice and got a really low number in the single digits. I remember thinking “really?”

While I had a blast going through memory lane going through the AD&D 1st Edition Player’s Handbook (and Dungeon Master’s Guide) I can recall why I stuck with BECMI when I wanted to play. There were too many nooks and crannies in AD&D 1e. I think that the reason I had never created a Paladin previously was due to the restrictions of role-playing such a character. At the time I wasn’t experienced enough to want to play it. I may be interested now, but I can understand why I wasn’t then.

Additional Notes:

And with that I’ve met the challenge. Thirty-one characters different characters from a different system, one for each day of the month in January. Whew. I will be giving a detailed analysis in tomorrow’s after-action post.

Coming Up Next:

The Character Creation Challenge After Action Report

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

Character Creation Challenge Day 30: Where No Man Has Gone Before

Character Creation Challenge Day 30

The fan-made Star Trek RPG called Where No Man Has Gone Before v2.1 is based off of the D20 Microlite20 rules. The Microlite system is basically D20 slimmed down quite a bit so it is a quick system to learn and play. The Far Trek RPG system is based off of WNMHGB with some minor differences. There was also a version 1.0 of the WNMHGB rules that are more inline with the open source D20 system.

For the Character Creation Challenge I’m going to create, Ensign Navin a Deltan Starfleet Medical Officer serving on the Constitution-class USS Deneb, NCC-1826.

The attributes scores are only Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Intelligence (INT) and Charisma (CHA) which are generated by rolling 4d6 and removing the lowest die. Then you record the stat bonuses on the character sheet (score -10 then divided by 2 rounding down). The racial adjustments are made to the the bonuses which are the only thing you use in play. Ensign Navin ended up with the following stats. STR: 14 (0 penalty due to -2 for being Deltan), DEX: 12 (+1), INT: 14 (+2) and CHA: 12 (+3 including the +2 for being Deltan).

Being a Classic Star Trek based RPG, the three classes are Blue Shirt, Red Shirt and Yellow Shirt. The skills are Communication, Engineering, Knowledge, Medicine, Physical and Subterfuge. Each character selects one skill to be their trained skill which will start out at your level +3. All other skills will be half of the character’s level rounded down, plus one. A skill roll is a d20 + skill rank + any stat bonuses (if any) + any situational modifiers.

Starting characters in WNMHGB get to choose two talents. These can be taken from a General list or a list specific to the class. I selected Field Medic and Recollections. Hit Points are the same for all classes STR bonus + 1d6 per level. Armor class is 10 + 1/2 level (rounded down) + DEX bonus. All characters start out with two action points which have a variety of uses to make your character more heroic during a session (or in the case of one of Navin’s talents, heal others). They can be regained by proper roleplaying or other GM decisions or talents.

The section for equipment stated that you shouldn’t be worried about ranges, but it has ranges listed on the character sheet. This confused me and I’d probably homebrew something if I was running a game. I selected the equipment that I felt a members of Starfleet Medical would normally have and considered the character done. Here is a scan of the Character Sheet.

Navin character sheet

Afterthoughts:

Some of the talents are Vulcan specific (Nerve Pinch) which I felt that the members of that race should have gotten for free. Yea it make the Vulcan characters a little bit more powerful, but they were that way in the show as well.

I thought it was interesting that one of the optional rules was TV Ratings. After each episode the GM would roll a die to see how the show did in the Nielsens. If the results were too low, the TV executives may demand some changes such as a cute sidekick or replace a character or some inane suggestion that upper management usually things will fix things right away. Considering the ratings question with various Star Trek series, this gave me a chuckle.

If given a choice between the light-rules RPGs, I don’t know if I’d play Far Trek or WNMHGB. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. I know that I will be homebrewing for both systems.

Additional Notes:

Apparently some participants in the Character Creation Challenge have also been using the social media hashtag of #31CharacterChallenge as well as #CharacterCreationChallenge. I had not been following the first hashtag so I don’t know how far it reached but you may be able to find some additional entries there.

Coming Up Next:

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 1st Edition

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

Character Creation Challenge Day 29: Starships & Spacemen

Character Creation Challenge Day 29

This system by Goblinoid Games is Spaceships & Spacemen. Think Dungeons & Dragons B/X meets Classic Star Trek with the serial numbers filed off. You are on a starship serving the Galactic Confederation. Your opponents are the Zangid and the Videni instead of the Klingons and the Romulans. Taurans sounds a lot like Vulcans, etc. As a person who collects and studies Star Trek based RPGs (I’m still looking for a physical or PDF copy of Starfleet Voyages) I knew I had to create a character for this system in the Character Creation Challenge.

S&S uses just about the same system as Apes Victorious (that I created a character for yesterday) so this should go pretty quickly. Since I created a Human yesterday, today’s character will be one of the unique races to the game based upon the random ability rolls. They rolled high enough that I was able to select a Gorran (Gorn like lizards) and after adding the ability adjustments I ended up with the following stats. STR: 12, CON: 18, DEX: 9, INT: 9, CHA: 10, PSI: 13.

The skills in S&S are different from Apes Victorious. In AV they were based on a percentage score or a d6 roll depending upon the skill. In S&S the four skills are Combat, Contact, Science and Technical with a d20 roll with a requirement to roll equal or less than your character’s score. The contact skill is used in first contact with alien life form (a form of diplomacy) or the ability to recognize patterns and what is in your surroundings. If I’m reading this correctly, it could be used for perception/spot/listen type skills. Each class has a primary skill, some branches also have a secondary skill. If a skill is not a primary or secondary, it uses the other rating on the chart. The higher your character level, the better the skill roll.

The ages of the character can adjust the ability scores. This character ended up with the age of 22 which is an adult and adds +1 to the STR and PSI scores (umm… why on that last one?) But I didn’t want to go back and re-calculate the stats again so I left them as they were. If I were running a game I’d make sure this was added in early of the character creation or just skip it for the Adult range.

Equipment assigned to a character in this fleet is based upon the branch, sub-class and rank. A player can select items from the equipment list based upon a number generated from his rank plus one. Unit 1/2 equipment is basic and common. The higher the unit, the more unique the items become. Beginning players end up with basic equipment, higher level characters can choose from other distinguished items. Interesting technique. This allowed me to get a beam pistol for my security officer (which I felt was needed) but there was no armor options left that was 1 unit.

It took me a minute to find out how the Defense score worked. Instead of having an Armor Class, your Defense score is an adjustment to the attacker’s Combat Skill roll. Interesting. I wonder how this works in gameplay. This was the last item I need on the character sheet, which is posted below.

Sitarn character sheet

Afterthoughts:

Both Starships & Spacemen and Apes Victorious had a lot of psionic abilities. But I’ve never been a psionic player. So I’d probably only really push for this aspect of the game if the race (i.e. Vulcan like abilities) were part of the character.

Going thought the equipment they had a “laser sword” that is only usable by Security or Rigelians. I wonder what influenced this item.

There is an entire section in the rules where the Star Master (GM) can generate an alien race that is humanoid with a strange forehead. It even has 100 random foreheads that the SM can randomly roll for. Some looked quite familiar, while others were a little out there.

I could see myself playing this game to try it out. I also want to make sure I’m familiar enough with this system as I want to homebrew a lot of Star Trek material. Even with this not being an actual Star Trek game, it is close enough for me to want to include it in my collection of Star Trek type games.

Additional Notes:

Yea, tomorrow’s game is also a Star Trek RPG as well. I wanted to make sure I got the Trek games in that I had access to and I had something special for the last game in the 31 day challenge. So we’ve got two of them back-to-back.

Coming Up Next:

Where No Man Has Gone Before