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: My Creations, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 7: Engage

Day 7: Engage

Oh come on. With how big of a Star Trek fan I am you’d think I’d pass up on “Engage”? Captain Picard’s catch-phrase when sending the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) into warp. It even got to the point where other commanding officers attempted to try to find a good catch-phrase to jump into warp.

Starships from Star Trek have always been one of my passions. Collecting technical manuals, blueprints, and posters detailing the vast number of starships seen on the show. I’ve even earned the mantel of “Treknologist” when a co-worker brought me a name plate with that title for my office. Years later it now hangs on the wall in my Geek Den.

Back in the early 1990’s when I was collecting all of the FASA Star Trek role playing books, I loved how the Starship Tactical Combat Simulator worked. I was able to compare how different starships stacked up against each other. I gathered photo copies of all the starships I could find from the official guides, the rulebooks, the modules, magazine articles and fanzines into one big three-ringed binder. Even after findings all of these ships and their stats, I wanted more. Luckily FASA created the Starship Construction Manual. With this book I was able to create homebrewed stats for some of the starships that I had in my book and blueprint collection. I recently found this three-ringed binder and I started to scan my original documents into PDF format. You can see the previous scans Here, Here, Here, Here and Here.

There was one starship in my three-ringed binder that I created from scratch. One of the minor governments in the FASA lore was the Affiliation of Outer Free Worlds. Basically it was a mini-Federation found within the Triangle region. A lot of ex-Starfleet officers found employment in the AOFW Space Navy. The only vessel I found for my book came from a Stardate Magazine and it displayed that they used Federation based equipment. So I created the Emerald Class VII Scout. For the image, I quite literally cut-and-paste the top off of a Federation (Upgraded) Class Dreadnought for the images and used the assembly rules from the Starship Construction Manual. Here is the PDF for download.

Final Thoughts:

“Small” as a primary suggestion for a topic made me raise an eyebrow. Yes, Haflings are small. But I wasn’t moved to use small as a subject. I could see some options for “Inspiration” but it had the bad luck of being on the same day as Engage. “Better”? Again not very inspiring. There were a few days like this that the bulk of suggestions were lacking.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Art, Dungeons and Dragons, My Creations, Role Playing Games

#RPGaDay2021 Day 3: Image

Day 3: Image

I elected to go with the suggestion of “Image” for today’s entry for several reasons. Graphics, artwork and photography go a long way in helping our imagination with role-playing games. It didn’t need to be a complete illustrated story, but show just enough to get the imagination going. The old saying is, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but I will say that a good cover usually attracts my attention before a dull one will. For the longest time I had no desire to read The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun because the cover image confused me. The bulk of images used for other modules made sense and attracted me towards the book and gave me a little taste of what I might find inside. But Tharizdun… well I just wasn’t attracted to it and that was due to the cover image.

When we create a character for any system, we usually have an image in our minds-eye of what our character looks like. We can write down a description or bring it up during a role-playing session, but sometimes we just have to have an image of that character. I’ve never had the computer skills to photoshop a image of my characters, but I did attempt to hand draw some of them. Recently I found my old three-ringed binder that I used to store my RPG characters going all the way back to the late 80’s. I started scanning in some of these characters for future blog entries.

One of the AD&D 1e character sheets also included my crude drawings of the character and possible “logos” that could have been used for his in-game persona. Lornic Mynsor was a Half-Elf Fighter/Thief that also went by the name “Stealthblade”. (Hey, I was a teenager, don’t judge) I don’t recall any of the adventures I played him in (it seems like a lifetime ago) but it appeared that we were running with some house rules. There is a Perception attribute that the DM was using. I believe I drew the image and logos while I was waiting for my turn in the game. Here are the images and the character sheet.

Final Thoughts:

The suggestions for today were not bad ones. I was just more excited to post my geeky artwork from a long time ago. A topic on “Tactic” could have easily talked about the Starship Tactical Combat Simulator by FASA. “Risk” could have covered some of the risks that players have to think about as they make their way through the adventure. And “Support” could have been a post about how some companies support (or don’t provide support) for the game that they have published and how the gaming community adds their support as well.

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

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part V

Past Entries:

Homebrewed Stats for Starships

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part III

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part IV

I’ve had a chance to scan in a few more homebrewed stats from different tech resources. These are starships for FASA’s Star Trek Starship Combat Simulator. We are now in the Frigates used by Starfleet and start with the transports.

One of the favorites of Tech Fandom. This Coventry class was pulled from the black covered Ships of Starfleet Volume One (published in 1987). I thought that this design would have seen action during the Four Years War.

This ships also came from the Ships of Starfleet Volume One. I believe I also saw vessels of this class make an appearance in the second run of Star Trek Comics by DC Comics.

I don’t recall the source for this ship and stats. I want to go back and double check it again against the source material however. While I was scanning it, I was wondering if the 5000 passenger number was correct.

While the Knox Class was in the Ships of Starfleet Volume One, I pulled the image and stats from a different source (probably the same as the Hippocrates Class listed above). I wonder if the stats would have been vastly different if I had pulled the info from SoSv1?

Another starship from the Franz Joseph Star Fleet Technical Manual. I created the back story about the Four Years War and the namesake. This was another case of not knowing who Ptolemy was and not having the modern google tools that I can use now.

Posted in: Humor, My Creations

Making Memes Part II

Here is another batch of memes that I have created. Some were created with MS Paint. Others were created with one of the many meme makers available on the internet. Enjoy.

Peewee Herman Rollin

This is another case of finding an image that was weird, and not being able to resist making a meme out of it.

Screaming Lady Grumpy Cat

Yea I got in on the screaming lady vs cat meme. I thought it would be funny to replace the cat.

Willy Wonka Wont Spill

I actually made this for my wife to hang up at work. Part of her job at the time was to prevent people from bringing sodas into the gym. The common reaction was “I won’t spill it.” This way she could just point to the meme and then ask the people to take their Buckets-o-Coke outside.

You Are Quark

I created this meme in reaction to all of the “You are…” test results that people were posting all over social media. I really dislike these types of tests because all they really are is data mining operations trying to find out more about you. Some do it for advertising, others are trying to guess your answers to the password recovery questions.

Zangief You Got Paid

There was a really bad movie made in 1994 based off of the Street Fighter video games. Yes I went to see it, yes I wanted my money back. There was one funny part where Zangief discovers that the other henchmen were being paid to work with M. Bison. Apparently he wasn’t getting compensated for his time and dumbfoundingly stated “You Got Paid?” There were several times I wanted to post this response in message boards and social media when people were claiming that certain people were being paid in one situation or another (but were not). I never found a screen capture or meme with this moment. So I made one myself.

There should be another batch of original memes posted soon.

Posted in: My Creations, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part IV

Hornet Class
The cover to the Hornet Class Starship blueprints

Past Entries:

Homebrewed Stats for Starships

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part III

I’ve had a chance to scan in a few more homebrewed stats from different tech resources. These are starships for FASA’s Star Trek Starship Combat Simulator. We finish up the Federation destroyers and move into some unusual starships.

Off the top of my head, I’m not certain which source I used for this starship. I recognize the artwork, but not the book. I’ll have to see if I can find it so I can give it proper credit. It is another member of the upgraded Saladin family.

This also came from the same source as the Thunderbolt. It is also another variant of the upgraded Saladin class. This type of kitbash was very popular in the original source material.

This design came from the fan-made Starfleet Prototype: The Journal of Innovative Design and Ideas. Even though it was listed as “Issue 25 2291-2292”, I don’t know if any others of this journal was released. It is a very well detailed book which has other designs that I have homebrewed, or would like to homebrew.

Found in the Starfleet Dynamics (another excellent fan-made tech publication), the Guam Class was one of the few deck-carriers I had seen. Since FASA’s sources was lacking carriers, I converted this one over and added it to my book.

This starship came from a set of blueprints (also fan made) that I had found on one of my convention trips. I miss the days of going to a con and walking away with another resource book, tech manual or set of blueprints. Again I thought the idea was unique and converted it over.

Another set scanned and uploaded. Keep sending me your feedback. I’ve been enjoying talking with those that enjoyed these types of homebrewing and designs.

Posted in: My Creations, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Homebrewed stats for Starships Part III

Past Entries:

Homebrewed Stats for Starships

Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II

I received quite a bit of feedback on my last batch of starships that I have converted to FASA’s Star Trek Starship Combat Simulator. So I’ve sat down and scanned a few more into PDF formats. Once again, these are from the original documents that I created back in the early 90’s with a photocopier and cutting and pasting the images into the documents and then photocopying that document.

Most of these entries are destroyers. In my first entry I selected several ships at random. Starting in my second blog post I started going in order of what I had in the book. I tended to follow the organization that was in the three Starship Recognition Manuals. I’ve got a few more destroyers in the next batch then we will be onto some of the dreadnoughts.

In the original source for this starship, it was called the Ranger Class Cruiser. However FASA already had a Ranger Class. So I renamed it to Starranger. Many years later I’ve noticed that there have been several published designs (both licensed and fan-made) that use the “Ranger Class” name.

I’m not certain what source I got this starship from. In 20/20 hindsight I should have referenced them when I created the document. I thought it was an interesting concept on the Saladin/Hermes family design.

And speaking of the Saladin Class, here it is directly from the Starfleet Technical Manual. When I created this document, I had no idea that Saladin was a real historical figure. I created a backstory for the name and entered it into this starship description. If I was creating this document now, I would update it to properly represent it’s namesake.

This was definately from a fan-made technical manual. It was probably one that I had borrowed from my fellow Treknologist, Dennis Hollinger. I’ll have to ask him if he remembers which book this was from and post it in a future blog entry.

Another member of the Saladin/Hermes family. I believe this was from one of the Starfleet Academy tech books. I’m still unpacking things so I’ll see if I can track this one down. I know I’ve seen other (better) drawings of the Siva class.

That’s it for this round. I’m also planning to set up a page where all of these can be found in one location. More on that soon.

Posted in: My Creations, Star Trek

Flashback Article: Star Trek Encyclopedia Update 1994

Galactic Engineers Concordance Logbook
The cover to the Galactic Engineers Concordance Volume 6 Number 1 (January – February 1995)

One of my earliest articles that I had published in a national fanzine was an update to the Star Trek Encyclopedia that was published in 1994 and written by Michael Okuda, Denise Okuda and Debbie Mirek. I remember purchasing the Encyclopedia the date it came out, it was the same day that the news broke of the death of Kurt Cobain. I poured over this book several times. I remember talking with some fellow Star Trek fans over the early internet fan sites. It was during one of these discussions that I discovered that his version of the encyclopedia was slightly different than my copy. I was a little shocked as no announcement had been made about an update. We had spent a lot of money purchasing our books. We didn’t want to spend any additional money buying different copies. So my friend let me borrow his copy of the book and I did a side-by-side comparison.

I typed up this comparison article (calling it v1.0 to v1.1) and submitted it to a Treknology fanzine called The Galactic Engineers Concordance Logbook. The article was published in the Volume 6, Number 1 (Jan-Feb 1995) issue of the fanzine. I was able to find my copy of this fanzine and I scanned the article into a PDF file. It is presented here.

When several of the staff writers for Star Trek: The Next Generation came to Salt Lake for a writers presentation, I was able to provide them with a copy of the article. They also asked me to mail a copy to their offices at Paramount. However someone there thought I was attempting to submit a script. They sent back a copy of the script submission guidelines.

As I find more of my past articles, I will scan them and post them on this website.

Posted in: Collecting, Comic Books, My Creations, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Organizing the collection: Marking storage boxes

So one of my goals in the new house is to get everything out of the “temporary” cardboard boxes and sorted into permanent storage, on display or purged. I’ve got a lot of comics, blueprints, magazines, books and other resource materials that I’ve been trying to find places for. I want to store them safely, but keep them where I can access them when needed. For way too long I had stuff packed up in a “temporary” box stored in a location where I could not get it easily. Sure I had my collection listed in Google Docs so I could access it from my phone (this life hack has prevented me from buying stuff I find on sale when I already own a copy) but if I can’t use or enjoy it, why keep it? My latest trick has been this.

Storage envelope on a comic long box
Storage envelope on a comic long box

One of the things that has bugged me about the comic long boxes (available from your local favorite comic shop) is not knowing which box contained which comics. While I was looking at the stack of long boxes it hit me. I should find some transparent envelopes that I can slip an index card or two inside that contains a list of the contents. I did a quick search on Amazon and discovered the YESSART 5×7 Small Plastic Envelopes. They were big enough to hold the index cards and transparent enough that I could find the box I was looking for at a quick glance. The envelope flap is sealed with Velcro to keep the index cards inside. The above photo shows how they could fit on the side of a comic long box, the photo below shows how it would fit on a magazine short box.

Storage envelope in use on a magazine short box.
Storage envelope in use on a magazine short box.

I found a box of 1/2 inch Glue Dots that allowed me to secure the envelopes to the storage box. These dots are double sided and would stick to both the cardboard and the plastic. I decided to use four dots in each corner in order to make sure that the envelope stayed on securely. This way if I decided to re-use the box for a different collection, all I had to do was switch out the index cards.

The bad thing about going through the collection to get it documented and organized is coming across things I haven’t seen in a few years. Some of the Homebrewed Starship game stats that I’ve posted before have come from some of these blueprints that I’ve been collecting over the years. As I was going through them, I had to take a look at a few of them in detail again because of my love of Treknology and schematics. A few of them tripped ideas on how I could homebrew them for different systems. In a way that is one of the many reasons I am trying to get everything organized so I can let my creativity fly and put it on display on this site.

I love it when the creative energy starts flowing.

Posted in: Humor, MST3K, My Creations, No One Lives Forever, Quotes, The Orville, Video Game

Making Memes

So I’m not the best at making memes, but here are some that I have created in the past. Eventually I’ll have them all uploaded to the humor section of my website. But until then I’ll post some every once in a while as a blog post.

Crazy Meme

I don’t recall where I found the picture of the man in the frog suit. But I knew it had to be used in a meme. This is the image I get of some people when they go off on conspiracy theories.

Kidnapped cereal

I made this in response to all of those “The last TV show you watched is who is rescuing you” memes. They got old after a while so I wanted to parody it.

MXC Right You Are Ken

I’ve always been a fan of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (MXC) since it first came out. It reminded me of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and my own dark humor sometimes. I noticed there was never a “Right You Are Ken!” meme out there so I made one of my own.

NOLF2 Facepalm Meme

While I was working on entries for the No One Lives Forever fan wiki, I saw this scene and knew that I had to make a facepalm meme for it.

The Orville Dr. Finn quote meme

Not all memes are visual jokes. This quote from Dr. Claire Finn from the third episode of The Orville is what sold me on watching this series on a weekly basis. I’m looking forward to a third season when it is finally released.

So this is my first batch that I’ve decided to release. As I mentioned above I’ll be posting more as the mood strikes and eventually they will have their own section on the site. I hope these brought a smile to your face.