One of the character sheets that I had found in the book was for a game called Star Ace. It was a science fiction based RPG released by Pacesetter in 1984 that I remember seeing advertisements for. But I never owned a copy of it myself. So imagine my surprise when I was going through this book after many years of looking at it and finding a Star Ace character sheet with my handwriting on it. The sheet itself appears to have been hand written and then photocopied. There were no other notes found on the back or with the sheet. So I think I may have played this game at least once? But I don’t recall anything about it.
Apparently the character of Drath Staybor (where did I pull that name from?) was a starfighter pilot who was also good with a bullwhip. I know I had no kinky streaks in me at the time so I must have been combining Luke Skywalker or Starbuck with Indiana Jones and some ninja skills thrown in. I don’t know.
When I looked up to see if this game was available now, I couldn’t find it on DriveThruRPG or Amazon. It did show up on one of the online RPG second hand stores for much more than I wanted to pay for. I couldn’t justify $75 for a game I’ll probably never get a chance to play. So yea, this game definitely counts in the obscure category.
Have you ever played an obscure roleplaying game? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
I initially had an answer in mind when I read that Day 26 of the #RPGaDAY2023 Challenge was “Favorite Character Sheet”. I had seen a lot of them recently after three years of participating in the Character Creation Challenge. However just to be on the safe side, I did a quick run through the scanned character sheets that I had presented. I then decided that I would present a favorite for each year of the Character Creation Challenge. Primarily because I couldn’t pick just one sheet to be my favorite.
Favorite Character Sheet from the 2021 Challenge:
This is the character sheet for Top Secret: New World Order that was written by Merle M. Rasmussen, the original author of the 80’s Top Secret RPG. What made me like this character sheet was the design. It looked like a folder that the dossier of a secret agent would have been found in. And I don’t know why, but the image of the match book made it stand out.
Favorite Character Sheet from the 2022 Challenge:
Like the Top Secret New World Order sheet above, the sheet for the Star Trek inspired Boldly Go! RPG has an aesthetic that fits the science fiction theme of the game. I also like that it has some gaming rule information on the sheet itself to assist players during the game. Quite a few other sheets had this as well, but the aesthetic made this one stand out. The players “roll up” the starship first which is why there is a sheet for the vessel.
Favorite Character Sheet from the 2023 Challenge:
I had a blast putting together the character of Grukk for the Ork! 2nd Edition RPG. This game sounds like it would be set up on the fly when real-life prevented all of the players from attending a session. Let’s whip up some silly Ork characters and laugh at the scenario as we still play. Oh, and since most of the players probably don’t know all of the rules, there are some simple guidelines on the sheet itself. Perfect for a quick pick-up game.
Do you have a favorite character sheet from any roleplaying game? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
“Old Game You Still Play” is the theme for Day 12 of the #RPGaDAY2023 challenge. Is it sad that I’m hardly playing anything so I can’t really say “still play”?
What vintage games that I would love to play (either again or for the first time) are as follows:
Star Frontiers– The science fiction game from TSR that I saw advertisements for, but never had a chance to play.
Traveller– The other old school science fiction RPG that I saw advertised everywhere. Like Star Frontiers, I never had a chance to play it.
Gangbusters– While there is a good Gangbusters B/X version that I’d love to play, I’d also like to try the original at least once so I could say that I’ve played it.
Aftermath– A post-apocalyptic game that I saw advertised in various RPG magazines. I have no idea if it was any good or just clunky. But, I’d love to try it out to form an opinion.
Gamma World– TSR’s entry into the science fiction/post-apocalyptic genre that, again, I saw advertised all over the place, but my friends were only interested in a limited number of games.
What old role playing games do you still play? What games did you wish you had played? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
So I had to think about this topic for Day 6 of the #RPGaDAY2023 Challenge. “Favorite game you never get to play.” Between physical copies and PDFs purchased online through DriveThruRPG or charity bundles I have a lot of games. Some I’ve read and they were OK, while others I’ve read and I’ve really wanted to try them out. So which one do I choose? Some of these covered science fiction, espionage, post-apocalyptic and more. I’ve never played the Star Trek RPG that was released by Last Unicorn Games, but considering how big of a fan I am of FASA Star Trek and Star Trek Adventures, I wouldn’t mind playing LUG Trek once to try it out, but it’s not really at the top of my list. I want to pick a game that not only would I want to play in a campaign, but I’d want to homebrew for like I have with FASA Trek and STA Trek.
So when I narrowed it down, I felt that Frontier Space by DWD Studios is my selection for this topic. It barely beats out Castles and Crusades (I’ve been told that I can hopefully get into a C&C game if I can get on their discord), Apes Victorious (I don’t know anyone who plays this, but it’s a D20 retro so it should be easy to pick up) and White Lies (an espionage game also by DWD Studios).
I’ve created a character for Frontier Space in a past Character Creation Challenge. The system is rolling a percentile to see if you succeed in a task with your Ability and Skill scores combined creating your target number to roll under (kinda similar to the 2d20 system seen in Star Trek Adventures) The character creation process is pretty straight forward and I thought was easy to understand. The universe it is set in sounds intriguing to play, but the system could easily be adapted for other franchises if desired. I love the use of percentile dice and I am a big fan of science fiction. So perhaps, someday I’ll be able to get some friends into a game?
I’ve actually talked with some RPG fans in my local Star Trek club about an idea of them showing up for a game night not knowing which game we will be experimenting with. I’d run a one-shot for them, explaining the rules and gathering their feedback for a future blog post. I need to get this done because I think it would be fun. Now I just need to get the time set aside to put something like this together. I hate the dreaded real-life/schedule curse.
What roleplaying game would you like to play that you haven’t had a chance to yet? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
Of a complete game system, the latest purchase was Sorcery and Super Science by Expeditious Retreat Press. I picked this up from a Bundle of Holding sale that happened in earlier this year.
Sorcery and Super Science is a post-apocalyptic game that appears to be heavily influenced by the 1980’s cartoon series “Thundarr the Barbarian“. I clearly remember a world thousands of years in the future where the moon was cracked and the land was ravaged by sorcery and super science. Dang it, now I need to watch the series again.
What was your latest RPG purchase? Was it a full game or a supplement? Tell me about it. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
So looking at a lot of #RPGaDAY2023 posts yesterday, I noticed that a lot of the participants were posting about their first Gamemaster or their first time being a GM. I had wondered if I had messed up until I realized, I’m still having fun. I think that’s the spirit of this, showing the enjoyment of the roleplaying hobby.
I can also say that I found a ton of new accounts on Mastodon to follow when I searched out the #RPGaDAY tag. I’ve been noticing that I get more responses on Mastodon than I do on other social media sites.
Day 3 of the challenge is pretty straight forward. “First RPG Bought (this year)”. This would have been a purchase on DriveThruRPG so I went back and checked my email receipts. In early January there was a bundle sale for a RPG inspired by the FASA Star Trek system (but slightly modified and removing the IP elements). This retroclone uses the d20 instead of the d100s. This game is called Vintage Space and the description states it is also inspired by Battlestar Galactica, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Space: 1999. When I looked over the rulebook just before making this blog post, I could see where some of the Star Trek elements were re-named.
There were also two supplements for Vintage Space that came in the bundle that I had purchased at the time. Space Battles for Vintage Space (expanding the starship combat from the original game) and The Arkon Gestalt (a new enemy race for GMs to use).
While I haven’t had a chance to play the game, I’m very certain that I will be using this system for the 2024 entry into the Character Creation Challenge.
Do you recall your first RPG purchase from this year? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
Alright I was able to get through the month of July, so let’s start the #RPGaDAY2023 challenge that I had posted about previously. The day 1 topic is “First RPG played (this year)”. OK, this should be easy.
Except it wasn’t. I had to go back and check. I thought it was my FarTrek game, but it appears that the first half of the year was under the dreaded “schedule curse”. So my first games were at SaltCON in March. At this gaming convention I was able to play the following roleplaying games in one shots.
Pathfinder 2nd Edition- The GM was really good. If I had a good GM like that, I could see myself participating in a campaign. Lots of stuff in Pathfinder that could become too overwhelming if not handled well.
GURPS– The scenario was set in the Aliens universe. This was where I was glad that I didn’t have to create a character.
Cyberpunk RED– It was good to step back into this universe after I had played the original Cyberpunk many years ago.
What was the first role playing game you played this year? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
So this past weekend was a very busy one. I had not one, not two, but three events. SaltCON-Summer, a smaller event from the same people who put on the March SaltCON. Then there was the Duran Duran concert on Saturday and a concert put on by The Cure on Sunday.
For my SaltCON after action report, I have to say that I had a lot of fun at the event. I had a chance to catch up with several people that I had met at the previous convention. I also made some new contacts as well. This is one of the things that I enjoy about the role-playing community, meeting new people and discovering what interests that you may have in common.
This convention only used half of the convention center. So the primary gaming room was where the dealers room was in March. The bulk of it being the board games. The various RPGs were located in a section of the main gaming room or in a side room dedicated to role-playing. Sometimes a table would be moved to another room without a notification so on one occasion I had to go hunting. But I was able to find where I needed to be. The dealers were placed in the large hallways. This made it convenient to quickly see what was available. Because of the limited space there were fewer dealers. But a dealer that I had been seeing only at cons was there and I picked up a physical copy of the Shackleton Expanse Campaign Guide for Star Trek Adventures. I was really hoping that he would have had a physical copy of The Discovery Campaign Guide, but the physical book may not have reached vendors yet. There was a game swap room where I was able to find a copy of The Dark Eye. This is a fantasy RPG that has been very popular in Europe. For some reason, it’s been popping up on my radar a lot recently. So since I could get a physical copy at a reasonable price, I picked it up. While I may never have a chance to actually play the game, I will be using it in the 2024 Character Creation Challenge. Since I could also see myself attending future SaltCONs (as long as it remains at the location it is held at now) I picked up a SaltCON badge holder.
So the first game that I signed up to play as Dune: Adventures in the Imperium. I have to say that the GM was very well prepared. He had several fan made reference sheets prepared to help new players (see photo above). The one that helped the most was the Skills and Drives (the main attributes that most characters have). I need to see if there is a Star Trek Adventures version of these reference sheets. Like STA, Dune is using the 2D20 system with slight alterations. From what I’ve discussed in my John Carter of Mars Character Creation entry, Modiphius has done with with all of their 2D20 entries. While we played Dune, I could see some similarities to STA, but I could also see where somethings were different. Both games are cinematic roleplaying instead of tactical. But this helped because the players were planning and working together. I played the spymaster and I had a chance to put some of my skills to use. If I could get into a group for Dune, I could see myself playing in a campaign setting.
As for Weird Frontiers, I had a lot of fun as well. I think that the players at the table got into the spirit of the game. I played a gambler (think of a thief in D&D terms) who had a magical deck of cards (as well as a long range rifle so I was doing a lot of sniping). It was a little weird having to draw a card from a standard deck of playing cards after each shot (the value of the card could benefit or hinder the attack). Sometimes the Aces or Eights (a bad hand to have in western tropes) would come up at the wrong time. I’d really like to read more of the world the writers have put together for this game. Apparently there was a demonic incursion into the 1800’s which was partially driven back by some heroes. Leaving a world scared by demonic creatures that the players had to go hunt. I also enjoyed that I was able to use my special Dungeon Crawl Classics dice that was prepared for the CC-style systems.
Battlestations is a combination board game and role-playing game that the GM had used in a Star Trek setting instead of the in-game universe. The first half of the game was set in the board game scenario, and I kinda just held on for the ride. The board game pieces that were assembled to create the two starships were interesting, but having the odd movement and equipment overheating (limiting what I could do) was a little frustrating. Once we had moved past the board game portion and actually got into the roleplaying, then I really started enjoying myself. I quizzed the GM after the game and he showed me in the book where you could create your own character, so yes there was an RPG element in the game. While I was glad that I had a chance to try a new game, I don’t see myself making a return to this system.
The only game I played on Saturday was Twilight 2000. While it was neat to return to World War III ravaged Poland, I really wish I could remember how the original version of this game played. We primarily went through a hex crawl avoiding ambushes, attacking enemy troops and dealing with villages just trying to survive. This latest edition had to use special dice which was a little clunky. I found the system a little crunchy at times. I looked at the GMs copy of the players manual and enjoyed reading some of the background stuff, but wondered if I could use another system for this setting.
Sunday morning I arrived for my Old School Essentials game and started up a good conversation with a RPGer that lives in the same area that I do. As we were talking, the RPG coordinator came and informed us that the GM had come down with con-crud and wouldn’t be able to make it. While I was glad that the GM was responsible enough not to spread anything around (I’m still a little cautious after the past few years) I was disappointment not to get a chance to try OSE. The RPG coordinator then offered to run a quick pick up game for us. Originally we were going to play Scum and Villainy, but it turns out he didn’t have it in his car, so he brought in Monster of the Week. The coordinator ran us in a western scenario (lots of cowboys this weekend) and I quickly created a character loosely based off of Indiana Jones. The system was very light and practically prefect for a quick scenario. We had fun playing this game.
The last game for the con was the Star Trek homebrew that I had been looking forward to. The creator had a basic combat system for the times when physical combat took place. But there was also a social combat system where you could react in different ways and use different types of voices (are you being truthful? bluffing? forceful? bluffing? etc.) and depending upon various rolls, you could weaken your opponents social standing. The creator was observing us playing the game being ran by a friend of his from out-of-state, so there were a couple of times that we turned to get a rule clarification. But the creator is looking at creating an IP-free version of the game in the near future. I may have a chance to look over the rules and provide feedback. I had fun playing this game as well.
Yes I will be going to SaltCON-End of Summer. My wife purchased a ticket for me as an early Father’s Day gift. So I will let you all know about my schedule when it becomes available. According to the website, it’s larger than the summer event, but not as large as the spring event. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the other two.
As for the two concerts, the first was Duran Duran. The opening acts were Bastille and Neil Rogers and CHIC. It was an interesting combination of 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and current. I’ve been wanting to see Duran Duran for a LOOONGG time. When they were having their residency in Las Vegas a few years ago, I explored the option to go and discovered that the tickets were well beyond the price range that I wanted to pay. So I am very grateful that they have returned for a standard tour. I was really hoping that they would have played something from the Big Thing album (one of the first that I purchased from them), but with how many songs they had to choose from, it didn’t make the playlist. Seeing the entire arena sing Rio along with the band was a blast.
I had much better seats for The Cure on Sunday. If you get a chance to see this show, go do it. No only was the admission prices much more reasonable, but the merch prices were reasonable as well. I picked up a t-shirt to wear later. The band itself played for over three-hours. It was very late by the time I got home, but it was very much worth it.
Have you seen these two bands in concert? If so, what were your thoughts? Have you been to any gaming conventions lately? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
So earlier this month I was working on my review of the latest Star Trek Lower Decks releases for the Star Trek Adventures RPG when it hit me. “I wonder if we will see any future cross-over products between Modiphius (publisher of Star Trek Adventures) and IDW run of Star Trek comics?” Back in 2021 there had been a cooperative release with the IDW Year Five Tie In.
So I thought I’d take to social media and ask. On twitter (while dodging spam posts) I submitted the following:
Well, I received a response from Jim Johnson, who is the project manager for Modiphius Star Trek Adventures. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. He asked what I’d like to see from the IDW run. Well when I read that, my first thought was “Everything!” Yea, I know that’s not going to fly logically. IDW has been publishing Star Trek comics since 2007 and has released over 400 issues and trade paperbacks. Some of them include crossovers with other intellectual properties such as Doctor Who, Planet of the Apes, Green Lantern, The Legion of Superheroes and Transformers. The likelihood of any supplements for these issues are slim to none. Especially since there is already a roleplaying game for Transformers and Doctor Who.
So what was the most likely candidates from the wide catalog of IDW publications would be good for a Star Trek Adventures supplement? Well I have several recommendations in mind. I did mention a few in a quick twitter response to Mr. Johnson, but I felt that this topic deserved a blog post to give it more thought.
I’ve actually mentioned this in past blog posts, but IDW has done a very good series of comics covering the TNG crew in the Mirror Universe. In this setting, the Terran Empire was defeated, but not overrun. (Hey, if you are looking for a reason to keep this within “cannon”, just remember that there are many, many multiple universes as seen in the TNG episode “Parallels“.) This empire was boxed in, was low on resources (Captain’s kept their own secret supply caches) and still had some fight in it (for both external and internal conflicts). RPG scenarios could include Prime Universe Federation members dealing with Terran Empire incursions, more accidental crossovers or a campaign set with PCs playing members of the Terran Starfleet. Some of the advantages to this idea include lots of resource material (13 TNG comics plus additionaly 7 TOS comics, 1 Voyager comic, and 4 Discovery comics) which could include new races, new spacefames, new background information, new characters (we see “The Obnoxious Okona” who is a thorn in Mirror Captain Picard’s side). The disadvantages that I see are also the large number of sources (the supplement could be much larger than the Year Five tie in if they didn’t break it up by comic series), roleplaying in the Mirror Universe is much different than in the Prime Universe (but I do recall playing in a FASA Star Trek campaign where we were accidentally sent to the Mirror Universe) and there is a lot of Mirror Universe seen in the shows. While this is my first choice that I would LOVE to see, I could understand why it may not make the list at Modiphius.
Before there was Star Trek: Year Five by IDW, the comic publisher released Star Trek Year Four. This covered what could have been the fourth season of The Original Series. This would make for an excellent companion piece to the STA Year Five tie-in. This would be an excellent opportunity to present the stats for the Federation Class Dreadnought (seen in the Enterprise Experiment series). There are not as many issues covering Year Four as there are for Year Five (10 vs 26 respectively) but that might make is more of a candidate for a PDF only release. There are other TOS comics presented by IDW, but they cover various times across the Original Series. That could be used to pad out a publication if needed.
The next recommendation may be an issue. I don’t know if Modiphius has any type of license with the Kelvin Universe movies. Creating a tie-in supplement might be possible if a license isn’t fully connected. However there are a LOT of Kelvin Universe comics published by IDW. A total of 106 issues (not counting the two Kelvin Universe/Green Lantern crossovers). Some of these issues cover Starfleet Academy cadets and could be a perfect way to release some Kelvin Universe resource material into the market.
The last recommendation that I’m going to make is for Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor that had four issues. Not a lot of material, but the storyline covered Dr. McCoy after he had left Starfleet and went on a “Doctors without Borders” type of adventure (between the end of The Original Series and The Motion Picture). There would definable be a new spaceframe (The Joanna), several characters and planets and information on how to play in the Frontier Medics Program. A non-Starfleet sourcebook could help with civilian roleplaying.
As I mentioned in my Year Five Tie-In review, there was still some Year Five material that could have been added to the supplement. I wouldn’t be opposed to that type of expansion.
There are still a ton of other IDW Star Trek titles that information could be pulled to create a tie-in supplement. Some cover various races and characters. A few had different inter-ST series crossovers that only comics could pull off. Others had tie-ins with different Star Trek novels and video games. I believe that IDW has the longest run of continuous Star Trek comic publications. Despite recent news that the company had some layoffs, I hope that they will be able to continue to publish new comics for quite a few more years.
Thank you Jim Johnson for inspiring me to expand this subject into a blog post. I had a great time going back through several comics and (quickly) re-reading some of the stories. Jim did respond to my suggestion tweet saying “I just gotta chat with the good people over there and see what’s possible.” So… (crosses fingers).
What IDW Comics would you like to see turned into a Star Trek Adventures supplement? Are there other Star Trek comics that you draw gaming inspiration from? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.
So I finally had a chance to recover from my first SaltCON (apparently I was not capitalizing CON as I should have been) and I’m putting my thoughts down here before they all escape my head. TL/DR section: I had a blast and I can’t wait to attend another one.
So if you read my Prepping for SaltCon 2023 blog entry, you will know that I had a signed up for a lot of different roleplaying sessions. Here is how they went.
Pathfinder 2nd Edition by Pazio: I played a half-elf rogue who was working with several other party members to help a merchant named Nelar in recovering some heirlooms from his family crypts. He was planning to sell them in order to save his business. The PF2 system was pretty straight forward. The gamemaster explained the differences in the rules and was very helpful. I liked how he used colored poker chips to represent each “bad guy” and then had a colored stand to represent where each person was in the initiative order. The adventure was very simplistic (get in, get past the defenses and get out) and I’m not certain if it was published or an original adventure. The GM was understanding when my paranoid PC brain went into effect. I thought that someone was attempting to stop us so that they could ruin the merchant’s business. The PF2 rules were not too bad and I’d be interested in playing more. A pre-generated character was used and I’ll probably make a character for the next Character Creation Challenge. I picked up a bunch of the books on PDF from a recent bundle sale. However I really wish that Pazio’s website didn’t suck when it comes to downloading the PDF purchases.
Alien by Free League: I’ve already mentioned meeting the author previously and how I wanted to try this game. When we first started, the large room used for RPGs at SaltCON was filling up. This resulted in more noise which ended up helping with the “lots of pressure” portion of the game since we were in uncomfortable situations. There were only two players for this session and we both played Colonial Marines. We were escorting a group of scientists and corporate flunkies to a new planet to explore. As you can imagine, we ended up running into Aliens, Engineers and Predators. I used a pre-generated character, but would have loved to use the character I had made earlier this year in the Character Creation Challenge. I would like to play this system in a campaign.
Dungeon Crawl Classics by Goodman Games: Yes I got to experience a zero-level funnel for this game. I had read about it previously and really wanted to try it. We were going through one of the printed adventures with a full table. It was very interesting attempting to use just the equipment that we were assigned before heading out on the adventure. I was attempting to make the surface under the feet of a summoned demon slippery by using the fine sand carried by a gravedigger. Eventually between all of the zero-level characters we were able to defeat the bad guy. I’d still like to play this system in a campaign.
Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition: This game was canceled due to the DM falling ill which was too bad because the adventure scenario sounded really fun. Hopefully the DM can run it at the next con. So I went over to the Dungeons and Dragons Adventures League table and created a 1st level dwarven fighter and jumped into an intro game. We had to track down some bandits that had attacked a caravan. The local league handed out some wooden tokens with logos on them for participating.
Mistborn by Crafty Games: I went into this session not knowing anything about the system or the original source material. I was hoping to learn about both. The books were set in a world were only the nobles were supposed to have magic, but you could get magic by sipping vials of liquid with metal flakes in them, or something like that. The system was really, really funky. The scenario was a murder mystery and our criminal gang was like a group of Leverage type characters, I think. We actually had some combat in the last 10 minutes of the game and it was really bad. I do not see myself playing this system in the future. When I made a character for John Carter of Mars, I was inspired to go download the John Carter books for my Kindle. I was not inspired to go look at the source material for this game.
James Bond 007 by Victory Games: Excellent game master with an excellent scenario. He was able to explain the rules quickly and answered any questions that we had. We played members of the ResQ branch of MI-6 and our job was to help James Bond complete his assignment (keep the bad guys away from him, help if something is incomplete or messes up) without him knowing that we are there. So we have to help fight the bad guys as well as keep undercover. There was an excellent group of players (including one that had never seen the Bond films). Now that I’ve had a chance to try the JB007 RPG system, I’m sad that I missed out on it. However, the Classified RPG is a retroclone of the James Bond game and the GM was using parts of that book.
Star Trek Adventures by Modiphius: This scenario was heavily inspired by Star Trek: Lower Decks. We were a band of misfits working together on a California-class starship under a drunk captain. I randomly drew the human helmsman that was fresh out of the academy (where he had annoyed his flight instructor). So I played the character as a kid with his voice breaking the entire game. I got compliments from the other players for that. It was also good to get another dive into the STA system and I’d like to be able to continue in a campaign and homebrew some items.
Artemis- Dominion War: This was a LAN computer game set up like a Star Trek bridge in one of the side rooms at the convention. One computer was set up for the engineer, another for weapons, science, helm, etc. I was asked to play the captain of an Excelsior-class starship trying to defend the Federation. All of the players were new to the game and I thought we did quite well for a bunch of newbies. This was my only non-RPG game of the weekend. Many thanks to the volunteers of the USS White Buffalo for putting this together.
GURPS by Steve Jackson Games: Yes, I gave a not-so-good review when I created a GURPS character in the last challenge, but the gameplay system itself isn’t too bad. If I don’t have to make a character, then I don’t mind playing. The GM ran us through a game set in the Aliens universe. It had a ton of action and we were either laughing at our jokes or running for our lives. I liked how the GM handed us equipment cards with our ammo limits on the cards. Every time we fired, we had to mark off the number of shots we had taken.
Cyberpunk RED by R. Talsorian Games: So I had played the classic Cyberpunk back when it first came out. I had even made a character for Cyberpunk v3.0 in a past challenge. It was interesting catching up with this universe (there had been a lot of changes from the previous products) and the GM ran it really well (he was the same GM that ran the James Bond game). I was impressed with the system and I’ve moved it up on my buy list. I know at least one friend who is/was playing this so I wonder if I could get into a campaign sometime in the future.
As I mentioned above, I had a lot of fun at SaltCON. I made sure to give some thanks to one of the organizers at the front desk before I left. I had picked up a con t-shirt as well and I’ve already purchased my ticket for the summer event. The spring event sold out and the summer event has even less tickets available. There are water bottle refill stations at the Davis Convention Center. The food sold at the concessions stand was not bad (and about average price) but I also brought a couple of snacks in my backpack to tide me over until I had a meal break. The con is very very heavy on the board game side that it seems to drown other games out (again it went years before I realized there was more than just D&D Adventures League there). Even the swap meet and flea market were 95-98% board games. I think I was lucky to find the three books that I did. I wonder what it would take to get more of an RPG presence in the swap meet or flea market? I’d hate to haul a bunch of books down only to find out that I brought the wrong things. I did like that the swap meet was set up with the game, a post it note with the price, contact info and venmo info for the seller. I could just text the person and get a confirmation that my purchase was complete.
When I was talking about the con online I had a few responses from Utah players saying “Wait? There’s a gaming con in Utah?” and I would provide some details. So hopefully there will be a few new attendees at future events. This event had 2,000 gamers and it was considered a sell out. I’ve been told that the con is always looking for GMs to run games in exchange for free admission (and the number of hours required was very reasonable). One friend even asked me if I wanted to run a game. But that goes back to my conundrum of “I want SaltCON to be my non-volunteer convention.” If I were to GM anything, I’d probably try to run something non-standard or out-of-print like the James Bond experience I was able to enjoy. There were a few people who came by to see if any openings had become available. You’d want to experience something at a convention that you don’t normally get a chance to play or do. A track of these games would really make the con stand out.
I was warned ahead of time to sign up for my games as soon as possible using the online scheduling system. The gaming schedules were a little weird when I was trying to coordinate my schedule with some overlapping preventing me from trying out a few systems. Games of a similar nature overlapping each other (two STA games within the same timeframe). I found out later that the GMs set their own times. I would hope that someone could coordinate to try to avoid the overlap. The one GM who ran Dune got a lot of “I wish I could have played” responses so he is planning more than one session for SaltCON Summer. I did like the fact that I could download the schedule to a calendar file that I could import into my Google calendar. I then had it at my finger tips when I needed to check what was coming up (or go back and read the original description).
I made some new contacts at the convention which was kewl. I’ve always felt that RPGs was a social interaction that was better experienced in person. I also had the opportunity to meet up with some gaming buddies that I hadn’t seen in a while. With one, we had 30 years of catching up to do. Besides trying out a few different systems I also got to see some techniques and tools in action. When I got home I had to order the 20in1 Card Deck from Precis Intermedia. I was also impressed with the Roll 4 Initiative Dry Erase Dungeon Tiles that was used by one GM. If I had found either one of these, or a copy of Cyberpunk RED, in the dealers room, I would have picked them up then.
The only real negative thing I’d probably say was the game room itself. As I mentioned above, it got really noisy at some times. During our James Bond game there was some sort of multi-table game going on where some in-game yelling was going on and we had to stop until the yelling had ceased. This really disturbed the other tables and probably should have been moved to another area.
I’m glad that SaltCON is here and I’m also glad that it is only a few miles away from where I live. It was very nice not to travel down daily to Salt Lake like I usually do for conventions down there. It was really good to roll the dice and have fun in a few games over the weekend.
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