Thanks to some DNS issues my site was inaccessible for a few days. I completed entries for the Character Creation Challenge even with the site down. I’ll get everything posted and set on the date that they were completed. Gah, that was painful.
So another year has come and gone and I am glad. While 2021 was not as bad as the year that shall not be named, it wasn’t the easiest. There are still some challenges in this world that I really hope that our society can come together to get past. I’m still trying to focus on the positives of the past year.
==Role Playing Games==
2021 started out with the first #CharacterCreationChallenge. Amazingly enough I was able to knock out 31 characters in 31 days. I loved reading all of the different responses that the other participants and even made a few new friends along the way. I’m looking forward to the 2022 Character Creation Challenge.
There was also the #RPGaDAY2021 Challenge during the month of August. I really had a struggle with this one, but I was glad that I had participated in it.
I also had a chance to finally play an online Star Trek Adventures game. We have a second session in our “one-shot” planned very soon. The kewl thing is, the game was announced with less than a 24 hour start time. I was able to use my Star Trek Adventures entry in the Character Creation Challenge to quickly drop into the game. Playing on just Zoom is difficult, but doable.
I also had some friends get me into an online Starfinder game that lasted several months (with 1-2 sessions per month). It was interesting, but it really turned me off using Fantasy Grounds as an online platform. It’s an app instead of a browser based system and it is a resource hog like nothing else. Even the players with high end computers were having issues. Unfortunately real life caused the game to end after a few months. The Starfinder system is ok, but a bit crunchy to what I’m use to. The Pathfinder in space mentality didn’t really appeal to me either. I know I was gaming more for the company than I was for the system and universe.
I still want to get into a D&D 5th edition game or a regular Star Trek Adventure game. I’d also prefer to get back together with gaming in person, but with the way the variants are running wild, I’m not certain that will happen any time soon. I’m open to an online game if the schedules can be worked out (the same old problems).
There were several new additions to my role-playing game collection. Between purchases and donations from friends I’ve been able to add to my gaming shelf. I also took advantage of several PDF sales. Instead of listing them all here, I’m planning to save them for my Character Creation Challenge entries. I also added to my dice collection including a special die.
I’m still playing my old standbys of No One Lives Forever and Tron 2.0. However thanks to a gift card for GameStop (actually ThinkGeek) I was able to pick up a few other video games that I’m looking forward to trying out. I’ve been playing Balder’s Gate and it’s been… interesting. I think I might be playing it wrong.
Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order has been good so far, but I think my daughter is enjoying it more than I am.
Even though it came out the year before, I had the chance to see Wonder Woman 1984 and I enjoyed it. I wished I could have seen it in the theater. 2021 was also the 25th Anniversary of the Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.
Through streaming I was able to enjoy Black Widow and Godzilla vs Kong (wish I could have seen this in the theater).
Finally getting back into the theater I was able to enjoy watching the latest James Bond movie. We finally saw the sci-fi epic Dune and loved watching the new Ghostbusters film. I still want to watch the latest Matrix movie, Spiderman movie and The King’s Man while they are in the theaters.
I’ve also watched a ton of cheesy sci-fi, fantasy and horror films on streaming services. Some were good, some were not so good.
Netflix’s Army of the Dead was a good adventure. Amazon’s The Tomorrow War was interesting to watch. Ice Road was also interesting, but probably not a repeat watch. The Wheel of Time didn’t catch my attention at first, but slowly got a little better. I never read the books so I don’t know how it compares. I really enjoyed Foundation after I was worried how the books were going to translate to the screen. Invasion was an interesting concept, but starts out really slow. I’m glad I stuck with it. I need to finish Y: The Last Man and I’m really disappointed that we will only get one season of Cowboy Bebop.
Thank you What We Do In The Shadows, Archer and South Park for being funny. Crossed Swords was a challenge, but I was able to get into it. I’ve really enjoyed the animated Disenchantment series on Netflix. It was also good to see Animaniacs again.
On the Star Trek front, Star Trek: Prodigy has been interesting. I’ve also been enjoying Star Trek: Discovery as well. I really think that Star Trek: Lower Decks has knocked it out of the park. I am really looking forward to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I wish there was more Short Treks. Wil Wheaton’s after show “The Ready Room” has been very enjoyable and informative.
Disney+ brought us several good entries for 2021. The Muppet’s Haunted Mansion was really, really good. I really wish that they would give us more Muppets Now. WandaVision and Loki were really good from the Marvel entries. Falcon and the Winter Soldier was ok. I haven’t seen the Hawkeye series yet but plan to sit down and watch it. I really liked the What If!?! series. On the Star Wars side, The Mandalorian continued to be great. Visions was ok, but I wish I hadn’t binged it since it probably would have been better in smaller doses. The Bad Batch was also enjoyable. There has only been one episode of The Book of Boba Fett so I’ll be watching to see where this goes.
Because I missed a lot of Doctor Who episodes while I was studying for college, I spent part of the year catching up. Not only was I able to complete this task, I was able to watch the latest season as it aired. I’m looking forward to the New Years Day special.
2022 will finally get us the third season of The Orville and I’m really looking forward to the next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
==Books and Comics==
I really enjoyed the Star Trek: Picard novel, Last Best Hope. There are several other books that I’ve been reading on my kindle and in dead tree format. I’ve been trying to read The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance as well but I haven’t completed them.
The War of the Bounty Hunters in the Star Wars comic series was good, but frustrating. I really wish that they had a better system to follow the flow of the story that spans across several publications. I felt like a few times I was re-treading over the same ground.
The Mirror Universe stories and Star Trek Year Five was really good from IDW Publishing. I’m looking forward to reading more of these stories.
Doctor Who, James Bond and The Orville was other comics I had been pulling from my local store.
==Cosplay and Conventions==
I was able to add the Admiral Picard uniform to my collection. I had a chance to wear this at FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention. It was the only con I attended in the year. Hopefully 2022 will be better convention wise. I’d love to get an Admiral Vance uniform from Star Trek: Discovery or a Monster Maroon from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However those are long term goals.
Thanks to 103.1 The Wave, we were able to take the family to Lagoon. With the vaccines helping out, we’ve been able to attend the Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance and the live Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time Bubble Tour. I’ve already got several concerts and events planned for 2022. The Beyond Van Gogh experience was probably the closest I’ll ever get to a holodeck experience. The Egyptian exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah was very enjoyable.
Our Seventh Fleet and USS Ticonderoga meetings and events have been able to get back in person. This was a very good thing as we are a close knit Star Trek family. We’ve been able to grow and succeed because we get together and see each other’s smiling faces.
I was able to get some photo albums online and I’ve added to them as I’ve found more photos. I’ve been able to keep to a regular schedule of several blog posts per week (counting the Star Trek Quotes listings). I should do more gaming articles and reviews of things I’ve watched/read/enjoyed. However, I still need to get some of the other sections of my website filled out. I’m a little upset with myself that I haven’t gotten more of the website completed. This will be a goal for 2022.
It’s good to have goals. I think I’m going to spend 2022 trying to achieve more of them.
So I’ve been getting feedback from people who have visited my blog. Thank you. This tells me that others are reading some of the stuff I’ve been posting here. I had several people send me thank you notes for putting together the Character Creation Challenge. I’ve noticed that a few new challenges have started in April displaying the works of different homebrew stats. Unfortunately my April was booked up with some personal issues that prevented me from trying to participate. However seeing creativity inspires creativity so keep it up.
Shane Bradley asked about the ships in my Master Book that I talked about in Homebrewed Stats for Starships Part II. I am still planning to scan the other starships in there that I made when I put the book together back in the 90’s. At this time I just plan to make them into PDFs from the original printouts. Once that is done, then I may consider other tweaking of them. As an example, Shane sent me one of the ships I had presented in Excel format. I’ve linked it here. Thanks Shane.
Mark from from the Xon Gaming website (now hosted by a friend, click on “resources” link at the top) was impressed with the FASA catalogs that I had posted previously. He sent me a better scan of the 1983-2 catalog. It’s a direct scan, not pictures of the pages so it may be easier to read.
This next catalog is the FASA 1986 catalog that someone scanned and sent to me. It is only showing the Star Trek material in the book. However I don’t recall who sent it to me. I’ve looked back through all of my emails and message board posts and I can’t find the person who sent this to me. So sorry, buzz me again and I’ll credit you in a future feedback post. Here is the catalog to share.
Another reader sent me some Star Wars SAGA RPG books that he didn’t want on his shelves any more. This will give me a chance to review the system and see how it differs from the earlier D20 Star Wars books.
I am continuing to search through my past collections for items to post. I was also reading the Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and it inspired me for a possible homebrew to write up.
Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming.
So I’ve had a chance to get a new section of the website put up. This is one that I’ve wanted to get done for a while. This is also why I’m using WordPress as my website editor. There was a wonderful plug-in that will allow me to organize my photo’s without cluttering the media used for the blog posts. I think I’m going to use this plug-in on other websites that I am managing.
I’ve broken the different galleries into different categories. Kewl Stuff is photos with astronauts, convention displays, TV appearances and other things that didn’t fit into the other categories. Artists are photos with various artists that I’ve had the opportunity to meet. This also includes scans of artwork that were done for me by some of those artists. In the Authors gallery, I’ve posted photos of when I’ve met some of the wordsmiths at various events. Someday I’ll join them in having published works out for others to enjoy. The Star Trek section is the largest and it contains photos of different actors and show runners that I’ve met in my travels. Likewise, the Star Wars section contains the various actors that I’ve also had the opportunity to meet. Other Actors are people I’ve encountered in different locations, but they could not be placed in other categories. I didn’t want a bunch of mini-categories so I combined them all into one here. Musicians kinda works as a name for this category. It’s the musicians I’ve had the pleasure of meeting as well as some of the concerts that I’ve attended. And finally, in the Sports section are photos from various games that I’ve attended, and was smart enough to take a photo while I was there.
As I was going through my archives, I thought of a few more galleries that I may add in the future. But I wanted to get these albums up since I had the photos where I could get to them. As I find or take more, I’ll get them uploaded to the galleries.
If you happen to have a photos of me that would fit into any of the above categories, please email it to me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.
I will also continue to chisel out more pages for the website as time allows. I’ve noticed how busy I’ve been. I even have to plan out times just to play video games to relax.
Wow, we did it. Not only was I able to make 31 characters in 31 days for the Character Creation Challenge, but there were quite a few others as well. From contacts on social media to message boards like the RPG.net Forums and the Old School Trek message board there were a few “completed the challenge” posts.
I wanted to thank those who participated. It was interesting to read some of the reasons behind why they selected the characters or system that was posted. I learned a few things about some of the games. Plus there was a few “I should have thought of that” moments. Someone created a character for the Wendy’s fast-food chain RPG called Feast of Legends. When am I going to get a chance to play that? This challenge would have been perfect to make a character for it just to get a feel for the game. I did that with a few games that I had in my collection.
Some of the character creation ideas impressed me, not because they did it, but because they had a theme. A couple of Traveler blogs created a lot of characters for their favorite system. One blogger made a variety of witches in different systems showing how the theme could be used across several games. I could tell that one participant posting on the RPG.net forum was a big fan of AD&D 2nd Edition Al-Qadim setting.
I’ve also made a few friends along the way. Apparently my bad jokes hasn’t scared anyone off yet. There were also quite a few thank yous coming from the different sources. I’m glad that others found enjoyment in this challenge as well. When I first came up with the concept last November, I was worried that I’d be the only one participating.
When I committed to doing this challenge, it gave me a little bit of extra incentive to get all of my books out of the garage. While my goal is to get rid of every cardboard box storing stuff, I still have a ways to go. There were some games that I know that I’ve owned (and I have them listed in my collection list on my Google Docs), but I can’t find the books. I’m hoping that I didn’t lose them over the years. I know I had books for Twilight: 2000 and Top Secret S.I. Also when I looked up the books on Amazon or Ebay, I noticed how much some of my older books were going for. Some of these books I purchased when they first came out and apparently are worth more than I expected.
The character creation process that frustrated me the most was for the FASA Doctor Who RPG. This shocked me as I swore I had played this game before. Amazingly enough the system that impressed me the most (from a creation standpoint) was Cubicle 7’s entry in to the Doctor Who RPG. I’m really curious on how the game plays out at the table. I was also impressed with Frontier Space, Age of Empire and a few others. This challenge also reminded me why I don’t play some flavors of Dungeons and Dragons. I want to write adventures, supplements and homebrews for all of the Star Trek RPGs. After this challenge I also want to write material for Apes Victorious, Gangbusters B/X, Tall Tales, Age of Empire, almost all of the espionage RPGs and the Doctor Who RPG by Cubicle 7. There is a large homebrew community for the DW RPG which has inspired me.
Most of the games that I created characters for, I own a physical copy of the books. I’ve been purchasing a lot of games from DriveThruRPG and the various charity bundles. There were a few that I didn’t use in this challenge, but I may for future challenges. Especially if I can get a hold of physical copies. These include Classified, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Mazes and Minotaurs, Modern Age, Rocket Age, White Lies, Traveler and more. Who knows what else I may have added to my collection by next January.
If you are still reading this far, thank you. The number of blog posts won’t be daily like they were in January. But I will be posting things as inspiration strikes. There are a few other topics that I wanted to discuss that time did not allow in January. So don’t be surprised to see some catch up posts soon. I’m also planning to fill out the rest of the sections that I’d like to have on this site.
Yay the end of 2020 is here. There were a lot of weird and bad things that happened this past year, but you don’t need me to tell you that. It wasn’t all bad, but I think I’ll be one of the many people who use 2020 as a swear word.
There were several movies that came out this year that I wish I could have seen in the theater. I really loved how cute the Scoob! movie was. Bill & Ted Face The Music was another really good movie that I wish I could have seen in the theater. I know that Wonder Woman 84 is out, but I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet. I’m really sad that several movies that was scheduled for theatrical release in 2020 were delayed. When they come out (and hopefully in theaters) I am looking forward to seeing the epic SF movie Dune, the new James Bond flick called No Time To Die, The King’s Man (as part of the Kingsman series), Black Widow, Godzilla vs King Kong, Ghostbusters: Afterlife and more. Yes, I miss going to theaters.
So starting tomorrow, January 1st, I will be participating in the 31 day Character Creation Challenge. So there will be a new blog post at least once a day. This will be a marathon on several levels. I’m curious on how this will turn out. As I’ve been finding more and more homebrew creations, I plan to post them online. Eventually I want to start making new creations that will be featured on this website. I’ve been gathering photos for my online photo album and they should be up fairly soon. This will include my meeting a variety of famous people and kewl things that I have seen. Plus I’ll be continuing to flesh out this website. Time seems to be the constant struggle with all of the things I have on my plate.
But in all I know that 2021 will be a much better year. I plan to make my contributions towards that goal.
So I have the basic plan for this website planned out. I’ve started putting the skeletal structure in place and will be adding the meat to the bones soon. I’ll be concentrating on the about and gaming sections first. Eventually I will get the other sections filled out as well.
For the blog posts, I will be posting on subjects that capture my fancy at the time. I’ve already had a few geeky ideas pop in my head. In January, I will be participating in the 31 day #CharacterCreationChallenge where you create a new role playing game character for each day of the month (as part of the “New Year, New You” theme). These entries will be blog posts and I can’t wait to see how it turns out.
The photo gallery will contain photos from a variety of events and dates in my life. Most will include meeting various famous people, seeing things that I geek out about and just general stuff that I want to share.
If there are any items you’d like to see, let me know by emailing Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com.