Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: August 23-29

Ohhhhhhh….. shiny!!!!

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of August 23rd through the 29th.

August 23
“Storm’d at with shot and shell, Boldly they rode and well, Into the jaws of death, Into the mouth of hell– Rode the six hundred.” Dr. Bashir- Sacrifice of Angels, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

August 24
Happy Birthday to Jennifer Lien. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jennifer_Lien #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

“I sometimes ask those kinds of questions. Who am I? What am I doing here? What’s my purpose in life? Doesn’t everybody?” Kes- Projections, Stardate: 48892.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

August 25
“You’re wrong. The Cardassians live to make war.” Maxwell “That’s what everybody thinks about the enemy. That’s probably what they think about us.” O’Brien- The Wounded, Stardate: 44429.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

August 26
Happy Birthday to Chris Pine. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Chris_Pine #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet

“Better to die saving lives…than live with taking them. That’s what I was born into.” Kirk- Star Trek Beyond #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet

August 27
“They say they’ve annexed this planet in the name of something called The Romalin Star Empire.” Hoshi “Romulan. It’s pronounced Romulan.” T’Pol- Minefield, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

August 28
“However, I have noted that the healthy release of emotion is frequently very unhealthy for those closest to you.” Spock- Plato’s Stepchildren, Stardate: 5784.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

August 29
“As you humans say, I’m all ears.” Kazago- The Battle, Stardate: 41723.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Comic Books, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 22: Substitute

Day 22: Substitute

Today’s sole suggestion is “Substitute”. When I was assembling my idea spreadsheet I decided that I wanted to go in a different direction for this blog entry. While most blog posts have been about science fiction or fantasy games, this entry will be about superheroes. Specifically the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

Cover image to DC Comics Presents issue 59.

Back in the 80’s my family use to take trips to see relatives in other states. One year my parents presented us with a stack of comic books to keep us occupied on the drive. One of the comics was my first introduction to my favorite superhero, “Firestorm, The Nuclear Man”. I claimed this comic as my own. One of the other comics was DC Comics Presents number 59. I’m certain my parents picked this one just because we knew who Superman was. When my siblings didn’t claim their own comics after the trip was over, I took it and added it to the collection I was starting. I still have this issue just a few feet away from where I’m typing this blog post now.

What intrigued me about this issue was not only the bad guy, a weird character named “Ambush Bug”, but the group that teams up with Superman to fight off Ambush Bug. They were a team of super powered individuals that applied for membership in The Legion of Superheroes, but were rejected as full members because their powers were not quite up to snuff. The team included.

Antenna Lad: His powers allowed him to detect signals anywhere on the planet.

Chlorophyll Kid: He can make plants grow and has limited control over them.

Color Kid: Using his power allows him to change the color of anything.

Double-Header: A alien being with two heads, each with their own mind.

Fire Lad: A hero that breathes fire.

Infectious Lass: She can infect other people with one of a thousand diseases.

Polar Boy: He can lower the temperature around himself or other objects and shoot blasts of cold.

Porcupine Pete: A hero with the ability to shoot sharp quills.

Stone Boy: An alien who can turn his body into stone.

This is a band of misfits that would later remind me of the heroes we see in the 1999 movie Mystery Men. A group pof heroes with not quite powerful powers. I’ve talked about playing a DC Comics RPG previously. In that game we were all superheroes with kick-butt powers. If I were to play a new comic based game, I’d want to play something along the lines of the League of Substitute Heroes or Mystery Men.

Final Thoughts:

Only one suggestion for today. But one I was able to come up with a post for when I was planning ahead in July.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 21: Challenge

Day 21: Challenge

In 2020 I came up with the idea to do the Character Creation Challenge. In January of this year for 31 days I created a different role playing game character for various RPGs that I owned. Not only did I have a blast revisiting some of the games that I haven’t played in years, but I had the opportunity to see how others took on this challenge. I even made a few new friends along the way. You can see all of the blog posts with my different characters by following this link.

I’ve been finding more books (and adding some new games to my collection) so I plan to run this challenge again in January 2022. I’ve taken some of the lessons I learned from the last challenge as well as from the #RPGaDAY2021 challenge and I will be applying them to the #CharacterCreationChallenge next year.

Here is a meme that can be shared if anyone wants to promote this challenge.

31 Day Character Creation Challenge
Feel free to share this image on social media to spread the word.

There was a large number of people who posted their characters on the RPG.net forums. (42 pages worth of message board posts) I also read a lot of entries from those that used the social media hashtag used for the challenge. Those blogs that I could find had their links added to the Character Creation Challenge page. Let’s see if we can get more people involved in 2022.

Final Thoughts:

When I was creating my spreadsheet of the suggestions, I knew I wanted to use “Challenge” for this date. Because of this I hadn’t really thought about the other suggestions. I guess some may post about a rules-light RPG could be used for “Simplicity”. “Fear” could be a topic regarding a horror game. And “Motive” could talk about why your character or villain does the things they want to do.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

#RPGaDay2021 Day 20: Foundation

Day 20: Foundation

I love science fiction stories. They are the ultimate “What If” types of stories that still fit into the realm of possibilities. Where as a fantasy story has elements of things that would not exist (elves, dragons, magic, etc.), science fiction seems to be a story that could happen in our future (or even modern day). Not to say that fantasy stories are any less enjoyable, I just recognize the differences between the two closely aligned genres.

One book series that I have really enjoyed was The Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov. A good story and presentation will have me give high marks to an artistic work. But another of the indicators that I enjoyed a book/television show/movie/comic/etc. is if I think about what it would be like to participate in a role playing game based off of the source material. Even a bad movie like Battlefield Earth gave me RPG ideas afterwards. I remember getting RPG urges from Stargate SG-1 episodes just because of how well the stories and concepts were presented.

The Foundation Series had a very interesting concept that I wondered if it could be placed in a role playing game. Hari Seldon came up with a concept called Psychohistory in which he uses mathematical concepts to predict the future events of large populations. It couldn’t tell if someone was going to win the lottery, but it could predict what would happen to a galaxy spanning civilization over the course of decades and millenniums. The results were not good as it predicted the fall of the Galactic Empire and 30,000 years of barbarism. This, of course, didn’t sit well with the current ruling class and they wanted to punish Seldon for it. Seldon convinces them that setting up a scientific colony, called The Foundation, would allow them to keep the knowledge of the universe safe from destruction and allow a second Galactic Empire to be set up in 1,000 years instead of 30,000. If you haven’t read the books, I would highly recommend them.

A universe where a giant empire has fractured into many different small governments, all competing for resources and lost knowledge is a universe begging to be used in an RPG. Can the remains of the empire regain the power it once had? Can smaller governments protect their citizens from barbarians? What happens when a scientific colony developing new technologies is discovered?

Portions of the stories jump by several decades (to show the effects of the predictions), so a direct translation from book to RPG may not be feasible. But the core concepts could be quite enjoyable in a space opera role playing game.

I understand that one of the streaming services that I don’t subscribe to is making a television series based off of the Foundation books. I don’t know how I’m going to see it as I’m currently maxed out on the number of paid subscriptions that I have now. I wonder how they will keep the audience interested in characters that are only in a portion of the books. This is one of those “Please Don’t Suck” wishes that fans often have when a show is based off of a popular intellectual property.

Final Thoughts:

This group of suggestions started edging back into the “Eh?” category where the terms were really broad in scope. I could see some posts about how to use an “Ally” in the game. “Lineage” could be useful in a Klingon based campaign (or something similar). “Peace” drew a complete blank for me. Again because of how broad it was.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 19: Patron

Day 19: Patron

Star Trek Adventures is not the only game I’m interested in learning and playing. Over the past year I have obtained the core rulebooks for both Dungeon Crawl Classics and Mutant Crawl Classics. I found a used DCC book at one of my local gaming stores. My hardbound copy of MCC came as a Secret Satan gift that I’ve previously posted about on this blog.

When I first saw Dungeon Crawl Classics at a local store, I thought that it looked like they put a lot of work into it (the book was thick and heavy and lots of B&W artwork) but it seemed like another retro-clone. So I really didn’t pick it up. But after I picked up the books in one of the charity PDF bundle sales, I realized that the rules were classic D&D with some twists to make it unique. And since I like physical books better for my first time learning, I started searching out and books I could get my hands on.

One of these twists was the use of Patrons in the magic system for both games. Wizards (or Shamans in MCC) would bond with a mystical Patron who would grant the spellcaster extra powers. In exchange, the Patron may ask for favors in return. This could be a sacrifice or a quest or something dreamed up by the Game Master. In the fantasy based DCC, Patrons could be a supernatural being, a very powerful wizard, an elder god or a host of other options. GMs were encouraged to create Patrons that would fit their game world. In Mutant Crawl Classics, the Patrons were Artificial Intelligence (AIs) that somehow survived the cataclysm that befell the planet. They would grant wetware (i.e. spells) to the Shamans in exchange for services rendered. GMs were also encouraged to create their own AI Patrons for their adventures.

The spells/wetware granted could have a variety of effects (as most spells in the Crawl games). An entry for a spell wasn’t just a few sentences with some stats. A spell could be several pages long detailing the different effects that could happen depending upon the roll of the dice. Any time that a spell was cast, there was a chance of Patron Taint that affected the spellcaster. Again these could be very minor inconvenience or a major change to the character depending upon the dice rolls. I thought it was interesting that the gods worshiped by Clerics would not allow them to use their healing ability to cure a taint. Standard damage that occurred during a game, yes. But not removing or healing a patron taint. Since the gods were usually opposing some of the supernatural beings, why would they help one of their servants.

I thought it was an interesting magical system. I really wish that I could get together with some friends (we are still having to deal with some of the effects of the pandemic) just to sit and have play test sessions. Afterwards we could decide which one we wanted to run a campaign with.

Final Thoughts:

When I saw “Patron” on the list, I knew I wanted to do an article about DCC & MCC. I can see some posts about “Theme” games or game “Styles”. I’m really curious if anyone comes up with something for “Storm”.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: My Creations, Quotes, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 18: Write

Day 18: Write

I want to write material for various role playing games. I also want to write novels some day as well. I’ve had the chance to talk with many different authors at conventions and online and let me tell you the secret that they told me when it comes to writing.

Sit down and write. Just get started and write something, anything, every day.

Guess what I need to do more of? One of the many reasons I started this website was to get more practice at writing. It was also a place where I could display some of my creativity. However finding the time to write has been an issue. It reminds me of this quote from Scotty in Star Trek: Generations.

“Well like you always say, if something’s important, you’ll make the time.” Scotty- Star Trek Generations, Stardate: 48650.1

My kid who is in college for an art degree spends a lot of her spare time drawing or using her art programs on her tablet. If we go somewhere, she brings a notebook that she can just doodle in. I can see how the talent has progressed and improved. If I’m going to write, I need to write a lot more so I can get better. Even if some of the stuff I write will never be seen by anyone. I don’t have the exact quote in front of me, but science-fiction author David Gerrold has stated that he writes stuff that he would like to read. If people buy his works, that’s good too, but he still gets pleasure in the works he has written.

I’ve had a few writing and contribution credits so far on different works. I’ve already discussed my article for the Galactic Engineers Concordance Logbook. I’ve also written for or edited a large number of club newsletters for Star Trek, Star Wars, Vampire Horror and more. I’ve received editor credits for two fan-made Starship Recognition Manuals for the FASA Star Trek Starship Combat Simulator (with a third on the way). I plan to release a series of homebrew books for a couple of different RPG systems. But some day I will have my name in the credits for a commercial RPG. And a bigger dream will come through when I see a book with my name on the cover.

I’ve just got to keep writing and honing my craft.

Final Thoughts:

Another round of suggested topics that were really good. I almost did an article about Klingons and “Honor” but the topic above really jumped up and down screaming post me, post me. I can see “Duel” being very popular as well. “Rival” could have been an article about rival parties opposing the player’s party.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Role Playing Games, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 17: Nemesis

Day 17: Nemesis

When I saw these suggestions, I knew I wanted to homebrew something for Star Trek Adventures from the movie Star Trek: Nemesis. Remans had already been officially stated out in the Beta Quadrant Sourcebook. I believe that the Romulan Warbird Valdore had already been covered by another homebrew. I thought that the Type 17 “Argo” Shuttle hadn’t been covered yet and started working on that, only to find out that yes it had been created. There was an alien race called the Kolaran, but they were a pre-warp civilization, and didn’t really catch my attention for the focus of this article. After watching the movie and consulting with Memory-Alpha, I elected to homebrew the Emergency Transport Unit.

Emergency Transport Unit (Opportunity 2, Quality Hidden 1): Developed by Starfleet in 2379, the Emergency Transport Unit is a self-contained one-way portable transporter. This unit has a short range that can be used between two nearby ships or from a low orbit. A free action can be used to attach the Emergency Transport Unit to an individual and activate it. The unit only contained enough energy for one transport. The first test of the Emergency Transport Unit was performed by Lt. Commander Data to rescue Captain Picard from the Romulan warbird Scimitar.

Standard portable transporter units at the time were large and bulky. While they could be carried, they could be easily spotted according to Constable Odo. By the 32nd century, portable transporters can not only be worn, but could transport themselves along with the wearer. 24th century emergency transporter armbands are wearable controls to a transporter unit installed on a shuttle or starship.

Final Thoughts:

There were several good suggestions for this day. I imagine that a lot of DMs may want to share their favorite “Trap” setups. “Crime” is a common theme in several different RPGs, especially Gangbusters. “Found” was probably the weakest of the bunch, but I could see someone getting inspired by it.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 16: Villain

Day 16: Villain

Game Masters, when creating an adventure story which is better? The obvious villain or the hidden villain? Granted not all situations need an antagonist, but there is usually one in most stories. This is something that GMs should consider when setting up adventures and campaigns.

The Obvious Villain: This could be the dragon that the kingdom needs to have slain. The orc chief that is holding the village hostage. The rival adventure party trying to reach the hidden treasure room first. With a clear obvious villain(s), the party has a goal to focus on. The obvious one would make for an easier setup by the Game Master, however the GMs should not make their antagonists so powerful that the party cannot defeat them. Another problem with a good bad guy is that having them come back from the dead too many times would cheapen the past defeats. Especially if the party took extra steps to make sure the villain cannot come back again.

The Hidden Villain: An example could be the Lich who secretly hires the party to recover his stolen tome. Another possibility is the head of a cult that is also in a position of power within the city. Section 31 working on behalf of the Federation is another hidden villain, doing the dirty work that others don’t want to touch. Some hidden villains may set up an obvious villain as a red herring for the players to chase. The amount of planning and clues would generate a lot of work for Game Masters, but if done well, would make for a great story. The clues would have to be intelligent, without being too difficult or too easy. It’s almost a walk on a tightrope and probably not something that new GMs would want to take on right away.

Final Thoughts:

Day 15 had some pretty good suggestions for topics. I wonder how many blog posts will list a ‘Fiend” as a possible villain? “Move” wouldn’t be a bad topic as movement is a big part of most RPGs and tactical games. “This is not the greatest song in the world, no. This is just a tribute!”

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: August 16-22

How it feels watching some of the online arguments.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of August 16th through the 22nd.

August 16
(Just before departing on another mission) “Here we are again. Wouldn’t have it any other way.” Archer- Borderland, Date: May 17, 2154 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet

August 17
“Truth, Doctor, is in the eye of the beholder.  I never tell the truth because I don’t believe there is such a thing. That is why I prefer the simple straight line simplicity of cutting cloth.”? Garak- Cardassians, Stardate: 47177.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet

August 18
“Those who hate and fight must stop themselves, doctor. Otherwise, it is not stopped.” Spock- Day of the Dove, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

August 19
Happy Birthday to Diana Muldaur. http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Diana_Muldaur #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

“Scientists believe that no experiment is a failure that even a mistake advances the evolution of understanding.” Dr. Pulaski- Unnatural Selection, Stardate: 42494.8 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

Happy Birthday to Jonathan Frakes. @jonathansfrakes https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Jonathan_Frakes #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekPicard #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet

“I’m sorry I’m late, I was watching the first Enterprise on the holodeck. You know, Archer and those guys? What a story. Those guys had a long road getting from there to here.” Riker- No Small Parts, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet

August 20
“I’m just going to have to give up coffee. That’s all there is to it.” Janeway- The Cloud, Stardate: 48546.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet

August 21
“Our only influence, Minister, is by example.” Picard- Half a Life, Stardate: 44805.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet

August 22
“What is it? Why, lovely lady, it’s a tribble.” Jones- The Trouble with Tribbles, Stardate: 4523.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Collecting, Dungeons and Dragons, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 15: Supplement

Day 15: Supplement

All right. The topic of the day is “Supplement”. I’d like to post some covers from my favorite role playing game supplements that I’ve collected.

The Star Trek Ship Construction Manual by FASA: I used this supplement for the Star Trek Role Playing Game so much that I had to tape the book together. Not only had I collected every starship for the game from different supplements, modules and magazine articles, I used this book to create stats for vessels found in various tech manuals and blueprints. I started scanning some of the printouts that I made in the 90’s and you can find the ships (or links) here.

The Gazetteer series by TSR: I LOVED this series. I was a bigger fan of the BECMI Dungeons and Dragons game in my earlier days of gaming. As I mentioned during the Maps entry into the #RPGaDAY2021 Challenge, I loved the created world that was presented in the game. When I heard about the Gazetteers I knew I had to check them out. I remember hoping on a bus and taking a ride to a downtown book store just to pick up the first book. It had pull out maps and a ton of details on the lands that we had only briefly seen in the game manuals. I also liked how it added elements to the game such as Dwarf Clerics in The Dwarves of Rockholme supplement. I wondered if these extra rules ever got collected into a single book.

The Prisoner by Steve Jackson Games: I had played a few GURPS games, but I was not a big fan of the system. What I did like was the many, many supplements that was released for the system. Even though you may not play GURPS, the supplements contained a good amount of information that you could use for other games. Being a big fan of the British surreal spy-fi television series, The Prisoner, I had to pick up this book when it came out.

Final Thoughts:

This was a great topic. When I was creating the spreadsheet in July with all of the suggestions on them, I filled in an idea for this topic right away.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart