Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of October 18th through the 24th.
October 18 “You make your own luck. We all know that.” Kira- Rivals, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet
October 19 “Oh, I know you, Mister Spock. You’ve never voiced it, but you’ve always thought that logic was the best basis on which to build command. Am I right?” Dr. McCoy “I am a logical man, Doctor.” Spock- The Galileo Seven, Stardate: 2822.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
October 20 “For humans the sexual act brings a closeness and intimacy. It can be a very pleasurable experience.” Riker- The Outcast, Stardate: 45614.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet
October 21 “If the rest of my group arrives, you will be taken as well. I’m giving you a chance to run.” Alpha Hirogen “We don’t run.” Janeway- Hunters, Stardate: 51501.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet
“He’s hiding something. We may have dealt him a more serious blow than I thought.” Kruge- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Stardate: 8210.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
October 23 “You’ve lost compassion and empathy – things that give life meaning. And if that’s what it takes to be advanced… I don’t want any part of it.” Archer- Observer Effect, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet
NOTE: This discussion will be spoiler free as ordered by Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
On Monday my wife and I had an opportunity to go do something that we hadn’t done since the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, see a movie in the theater. Complete with popcorn and drinks. Oh how we have missed this. We felt safe going because it was a matinee show in the middle of a weekday. There was not a lot of people in the theater.
I enjoy watching movies in my home. I’ve got a good TV setup that allows me to watch a variety of movies from DVDs/Blue-Rays and streaming services. I even have a tablet set up so I can watch streaming videos while I work on my computer (currently I’m watching a surprisingly good fantasy movie that I’m thinking about writing a review for). This has it’s advantages as well as it’s disadvantages. At home I can turn on subtitles, pause the movie when it’s time to grab more snacks or use the facilities. However if the movie is dull I may find myself distracted by my phone or other shiny things that may take away my attention. Dwarves of Dragon Mountain falls into this later category. Several months later I barely remember any of the details of the movie.
In the theater, my cell phone is put on silent as to not disturb the other attendees. There is great surround sound and a very large screen. My attention is fully focused on the screen. In 2020 I saw several movies on TV that I wish I could have seen in the theater. These were Scoob! and Bill & Ted Face The Music. I also don’t know why, but the buttered popcorn taste better coming out of the bucket.
When I suggested that we go see No Time to Die at the spur of the moment, my wife jumped at the opportunity. I think she missed going to the theater as well.
I had wondered if I should have re-watched some of the other Daniel Craig entries into the James Bond franchises? While it may have helped since several of the movies are linked together, you shouldn’t have to watch the previous ones to pick up where the story is going. As a James Bond fan I noticed several Easter eggs that had been dropped throughout No Time to Die. There were several audio tracks from past Bond movies. Callbacks to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Never Say Never and others. They had paintings of the past M’s at MI-6 headquarters (a nice touch). Q had his moment to shine in several scenes, including the standard tech briefing. We see past allies and new friends. The bad guy didn’t impress me as much as past foils. But he did the job that was set before him. Bond had his “wonderful toys” which he was able to use to get out of several situations. We get to see dazzling women (who do quite a bit of butt kicking) and Bond in his tuxedo. A look I wish I could pull off. Scenes of intense action, car chases and death defying stunts. James Bond gets to drop a sarcastic remark at the right time and (as you have probably guessed) he saves the world. There were a few “oh” moments for both me and my wife and not once did I feel the need to heckle anything. This was a James Bond movie that checked off all of the boxes.
I was curious about a few things that happened and how it will affect the future of the franchise. These aren’t bad things, just questions I had in my mind when the film was over. There is no after credits scene, but the last words posted was “James Bond Will Return”. I just hope it doesn’t take a long time before the next James Bond movie comes out.
One thing I do know is that it won’t take very long for me to get back into the theater. The Sci-Fi epic, Dune, and the sequel movies, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Matrix Resurrections and the prequel The King’s Man will be released very soon. I will be watching those movies in the theater as well with a bucket of popcorn ready to share. Until then I will bask in the glory that is Bond. James Bond.
Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of October 11th through the 17th.
October 11 “This may be a gilded cage, filled with everything you’ve always wanted, but it’s still a cage.” Kirk- I Mudd, Stardate: 4513.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
October 12 “Take a look around you. This is how the twentieth century saw the future. We are studying sociology.” Paris “Perhaps you can teach a course at Starfleet Academy “Satan’s Robot: An Historical Overview.”” The Doctor- Night, Stardate: 52081.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet
October 13 “Your Honor, the courtroom is a crucible. In it, we burn away irrelevancies until we are left with a pure product—the truth—for all time.” Picard- The Measure of a Man, Stardate: 42523.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet
October 14 “You asked me if I miss them. The answer is yes. Every one of them—the children, the wives, even the other husbands.” Dr. Phlox- A Night in Sickbay, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet
What makes this product so unique is that it’s based off of another Star Trek licensed publication instead of from a television series or movie. This is something that I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time with a Star Trek roleplaying game. There have been comics based off of a video game (Star Trek: Elite Force) and a novel based off of the MMORPG, Star Trek Online (Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many) but nothing with RPGs so far. Since IDW has been publishing Star Trek comics for over ten years, I hope that this is the start of a long line of products. IDW has had a successful series of Next Generation comics based off of Mirror Universe characters. There was an interesting Romulan series dealing with internal politics. The Kelvin timeline was greatly expanded with several comic series. Basically there are too many storylines to list here, most of them very enjoyable.
Having been inspired by the fan created, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Expanded Universe series, I was planning to write up my own series of Star Trek Expanded Universe publications (not for sale since I don’t want to violate any rights of the IP holders). Since Modiphius has released one IDW supplement (and hopefully more), I’ll avoid stepping on any toes by creating homebrew stats from non-IDW sources.
I’ve really been fired up by today’s release. I had to buy the book immediately from DriveThruRPG. It uses some of the wonderful artwork from the comics (a bonus which helped I’m certain). There are three new playable races. The I’qosa (a new race introduced in the comics), the Iotians (yea, the Piece of the Action guys) and the Tholians. We get the stats for one new Starfleet vessel as well as ships from the Tholians and I’qosa. Some of the character write ups includes Harry Mudd, Surak, Gary Seven and Isis, all of which were represented all over the Year Five series. There are also two new factions that the gamemasters can use in their campaigns.
While there was a lot packed into the 26 pages. I was really hoping for a racial write-up for the Centaurans (A Federation race featured in the series). There were also several possible NPCs such as the various candidates for UFP president that could have been written up as well. Hopefully there will be a supplement to the supplement.
One set of ships that I doubt we’ll see stats for are the original FASA Starfleet ships that made it into the artwork of Star Trek: Year Five. There were several ships that were clearly inspired by the Federation Starship Recognition Manual. FASA Star Trek references have shown up in quite a few episodes and other licensed works.
Once again, thumbs up to Fred Love and the team at Modiphius for releasing this great supplement for Star Trek Adventures. Don’t make me pull out the “Please Sir, can I have some more” meme when it comes to works like this.
UPDATE: After I posted this entry, I went into my local comic store and picked up my hold on my monthly visit. This included the last issue of Star Trek: Year Five. At the back of the comic book was an advertisement for this product. This issue was releasd on the same day as the announcement from Modiphius.
I follow several twitter accounts that cover the subject of Role Playing Games and I noticed a trend over the past month. Gamers buying the cheap sets of RPG dice from the local dollar stores and then posting photos of them. It was a cute trend that allowed the collectors of the shiny math rocks to show off their latest acquisitions. As photos of dealers tables from gaming cons have shown up online (mostly to display the older books that were for sale) fans noticed that the dollar store dice had been picked up by vendors and added to their booth with a mild markup (usually $3-5 for a set).
Before this trend had started, I noticed that my local Dollar Tree had a bunch of dice for sale. Like most items you pick up at the dollar store, you are not going for quality. Of the three packages they had at the time, I noticed that one package had two D8 dice instead of two D10s that you normally find in a dice set. So I chuckled and passed on getting a set. The dice sets that I’ve usually picked up from the local gaming stores come in containers that allow you to open them up before purchase. I like giving a few test rolls before purchase to get the “feel” for the dice. Since these dice were sealed in a package, I had no way to test the dice beforehand.
When I realized that the trend was gaining steam, I decided to go grab a set for myself. Not because I wanted to follow the trend, but because I wanted to give a review for the blog. New gamers may want to buy a set for themselves at a lower cost. Other gamers had posted that they were buying the cheap sets to give to potential gamers showing interest in the game. Or perhaps you discovered that you had left your dice bag at home while at the con and you wanted a quick set to play with for the day.
As you can see from the image above, the dice were packaged for English and French speaking markets. According to the limited information on the back (see image below), the set was made in China but imported for the US market by a company called Grenbrier International. Canadian markets had this product imported by DTSC Imports. A quick Google search revealed that this was the parent company that operated the various Dollar Tree locations across the US and Canada.
When I decided to do a review of the set, I decided to compare them against another set I had in my collection from Chessex. Primarily because it was the only set I still had the original container for with the detail sheet inside.
One of the things I noticed is that the choking hazard warning had different ages listed. The Chessex recommended over the ages of eight while the Dollar Tree dice recommended over the age of four. Personally I’d probably feel more comfortable with any players closer to the age of nine than four. The Dollar Tree dice were made in China while the Chessex set came from Denmark. I had actually never paid attention to the country on my Chessex dice until now, but the Denmark dice sounds kinda kewl.
From the various social media posts that I’ve seen, the Dollar Tree set only comes in the satin brown color. If anyone has seen any other colors besides that one, let me know. As you can see, the sizes are about the same. I didn’t notice any difference from the different angles. I did notice a difference in weight. When you hold a D20 from one set in one hand and the other in the opposite hand, the Chessex dice were heavier. While taking the photos I noticed that the number locations were slightly different. The D4 seemed to be the only die matching the number location. I figured this was due to the lack of options in the smaller die. I pulled out several other die from my dice bag and noticed this trend continued with different die depending upon the source. I wonder if this is a copyright issue? Most of the D20s had the “20” opposite of the “1”, but some of the D12s had a “5” opposite of the “12”. This was another item I had never really thought about until now. As long as the dice continued to give me good rolls, I continued to use them.
I can see how the Dollar Tree set could be a good intro set for game masters wanting to give sets away to new players. The lack of a storage container would hopefully encourage the new players to obtain a dice bag of some sort. The dice make the right rolling sound when played on a hard surface. I had thought about doing the 100 roll test and seeing how many of each number comes up for the blog. But I started having flashback to the oddball math questions that came up in school so I elected not to take this route.
So I’ll be tossing the package in the recycle bin and slipping these new dice into the dice bag. Hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to participate in a game around a table with friends soon so I can actually see these dice in action. But before I decided to put the dice away, I wanted to take one more picture with a D4 from the Dollar Tree set, another D4 from the Chessex set and one of my original D4s that came with a boxed game many years ago just for an off the wall comparison.
UPDATE: I’ve been informed by a reader that there were other colors besides satin brown. So you may find different colors at your local stores.
Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of October 4th through the 10th.
October 4 “I can safely say that to know him was to love him and to love him was to know him. Those who knew him loved him while those who did not love him from afar.” Data – The Schizoid Man, Stardate: 42437.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet
October 5 “It’s pretty hard to overcome prejudice.” Dr. McCoy- The Cloud Minders, Stardate: 5818.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
October 6 “These people are natural-born explorers, Neelix.” Kes “These people are natural-born idiots if you ask me.” Neelix- The Cloud, Stardate: 48546.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet
October 7 “Stop right there, Major! When was your last day off?” Dr. Bashir “I don’t know! What does that have to do with anything?” Kira “If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long. You’re off duty as of this moment.” Dr. Bashir- Defiant, Stardate: 48467.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet
October 8 “Well, your guess is as good as mine.” Dr. M’Benga “My guess, doctor, would be valueless.” Spock- That Which Survives, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
With it being October, I thought I’d post a character sheet from my Book of Characters that is appropriate to Halloween and horror. The same group at Comics Utah that I played DC Superheroes, Doctor Who and Cyberpunk with also delved into a campaign for Vampire The Masquerade. For this game I created a human investigative reporter, Arthur Squire.
Arthur Squire was a reporter following up on strange stories he had heard about regarding an underground society. This society ended up being a clan of vampires. The equipment hand written on the back included camera, a special sleeping bag (I don’t recall why it was special), a camcorder, a cassette recorder and ear phones. If I recall correctly Squire had the habit of dropping listening bugs. Squire had planted one on a vampire that had hired him to track down someone.
This character never became a vampire. I don’t recall wanting him to become a vampire. I know that some of the other players wanted to be embraced. A few years later I participated in a few LARP games with a local Camarilla fan club. But I found paper and dice RPGs more enjoyable.
I’ll be getting more character sheets scanned and posted soon.
Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of September 27th through October 3rd.
September 27 “We’ve learned to tie into every Human organ in the body except one. The brain. And the brain is what life is all about.” Dr. McCoy- The Menagerie, Stardate: 3012.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #WeAreStarfleet
“If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we really are.” Picard- Encounter at Farpoint, Stardate: 41153.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet
September 29 “Stop breathing down my neck!” The Doctor “My breathing is merely a simulation.” EMH Mark II “So is my neck, stop it anyway!” The Doctor- Message in a Bottle, Stardate: 51462 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #WeAreStarfleet
September 30 “Knowledge is freedom.” Kirk- The Magicks of Megas-Tu, Stardate: 1254.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTAS #WeAreStarfleet
October 1 “Your ambushes would be more successful if you bathed more often!” Worf- The Vengeance Factor, Stardate: 43421.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #WeAreStarfleet
“There’s an old saying: Fortune favors the bold. Well, I guess we’re about to find out.” Sisko- Favor the Bold, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #WeAreStarfleet
October 3 “I lived on Earth for more than 30 years, Commander. In that time I developed an affinity for your world and its people.” Soval “You did a pretty good job of hiding it.” Tucker “Thank you.” Soval- Awakening, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet
So last month was my birthday. One of the gifts I received from my from my wonderful wife was several gift cards for ThinkGeek. In the past she had given me the same gift and I was able to pick up several interesting items off of their website. So with a lot of excitement I pulled up the ThinkGeek website… only to be sorely disappointed. It had been several years since I had been to the site and it was a shell of what it use to be. Only a handful of items and none of them interesting. The really off the wall geek items use to be available on ThinkGeek. However once it was taken over by GameStop, the number of items was cut back to nothing.
Luckily for me, the local GameStop would take the gift cards for any purchases. So the next question was, what would I pick up. They had the Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition starter set, but no other books. I would have picked up anything if it had been available. A bunch of Funko Pop stuff, which I don’t collect. Some other nick-nacks, which again were uninteresting or too expensive. And of course a lot of video games. I’ve been more of a computer gamer than a console gamer. I’ve played a few games that I’ve enjoyed on the Nintendo systems. I had yet to find an XBox 360 game that has kept my attention. My college age kid loves several PS4 games and there were a lot of them in the store. But again, how do I make sure I get a game that I’ll actually enjoy. I left the store and started doing some different searches on PS4 games. And I thought I had found one.
As it turns out, Blizzard has released a re-master of the Diablo II game. I loved this game on my PC several years ago since no two gaming sessions were the same. The first Diablo game had also been very enjoyable, but Diablo III on the XBox 360 was… well just there. It didn’t grip me like Diablo II had. I haven’t had a chance to play Diablo II recently as my laptop is still a hold-over from school. The advertisements stated that the game was available for the PS4. So that was going to be my choice. I had some back up ideas based off of several video game articles I had read, but the re-mastered D2 is what I wanted.
So a few days ago I went back into my local GameStop and talked with the employee. She looked up the game and discovered that they did not have it at all. They didn’t even have any “coming soon” options. So I looked around for some of the backup ideas.
I had read some good reviews on the Dishonored series and a game called Prey. It had been recommended in an article for fans of stealth type games like the No One Lives Forever series. Luckily all of the games were in one collection. I had been looking at a few other options such as Wolfenstein and other titles I had recognized. But then the Baldur’s Gate series jumped out. This was a game based off of 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It was enough that I pulled the trigger on both sets.
Since the Dishonored set was brand new, I elected to wait on that game. Baldur’s Gate was used so I wanted to check it out first just in case it didn’t work. So far I’ve actually been impressed. It feels like I’m playing a 2nd edition game. There have been several THAC0 references and some familiar spells. As I was going through the tutorial, I kept looking to the left where my gaming shelf was and wondered if I should pull out the 2nd edition AD&D player’s handbook for reference. I just might do that in future gaming sessions.
So I’ve found a game that I can hop on and play for a few hours. This should help distract me when I want to stop thinking about things for a while. I’ll report on the other games as I get a chance to play them.
While I was there, I was able to get some additional photos for my online photo gallery. I was also able to obtain some new Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars autographs for my autograph collection. Spending time with Larry Nemecek and John Eaves was a highlight of the convention. I was even interviewed by Salt Lake Magazine in one of their FanX video reports. The video is posted below.
Some of the additional good things included how most people were following the health guidelines. Watching the attendees from the booth I’d say that 99% of the people were wearing masks. Hopefully enough people will take steps to make the conventions next year a safer event. I also really loved the wider aisles that were mapped out on the vendors room floor. While the con was still crowded (I was told that more tickets were sold for 2021 than 2019) it wasn’t crazy sardine packed on the vendors floor. I really hope that FanX keeps the wider aisles for future years.
I’m going to go a little bit on a soapbox here. I really think that autograph prices are getting way too high. There were several guests that I ended up skipping because I didn’t want to pay that much for a signature on a photo. I think that managers hear the term “Comic Con” and automatically hike the prices up by 30-50%. It also bugs me that the autograph prices are not advertised before the con so I can budget ahead of time. The con website posts the photo op prices, but the autograph prices are always listed as TBA. When I show up and find out that someone wants $90 for an autograph that I didn’t plan for in advance, I turn it down. Speaking of photos, what is the deal with charging for a selfie? Yes an autograph creates a value on an item that can be resold, so I can understand a guest charging for that. But you can’t really re-sell a selfie. All of the selfie-style photos that I have posted on this website were obtained without extra payment. While they are kewl and I thank the guest for posing with me, I don’t see myself paying for a selfie. If I wanted to pay for a photo with a guest, I’d get a professional photo done. End of rant.
After not being able to attend a convention for two years, it was good to see my convention friends and geek out. There are a certain number of people that I only see at these events. It was good to see who had kept themselves safe. I hope that things will get better so we can continue to have more events and conventions. The new uniform worked great and I may pick up a few more from that manufacturer.
Here are some of the photos that were taken at the con.