Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: July 22-28

Well someone likes Mondays.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of July 22nd through July 28th. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

July 22
Remembering Louise Fletcher who was born on this date in 1934. http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Louise_Fletcher #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“I was in a Cardassian prison camp for five years, and I can remember each and every beating I suffered. And while you had your weapons to protect you, all I had was my faith… and my courage.” Winn- Rapture, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

Star Trek Beyond premiered on this date in 2016. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Star_Trek_Beyond #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Faster, Doctor. We risk being consumed by their trajectorial decay.” Spock “Damn back seat driver.” Dr. McCoy- Star Trek Beyond, Stardate: 2263.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 23
“You cannot explain away a wantonly immoral act because you think that it is connected to some higher purpose!” Picard- Man of the People, Stardate: 46071.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 24
“In…accepting the inevitable, one finds peace.” Tuvok “If that’s another Vulcan saying, Tuvok, I’ll stick with ‘Live Long and Prosper’.” Paris- Once Upon a Time, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 25
“Those are P-51s! I’ve seen them at air shows!” Mayweather “I don’t think this is an air show.” Tucker- Storm Front, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 26
Happy Birthday to Nana Visitor. @NanaVisitor https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Nana_Visitor #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“There’s an old saying on Bajor. The land and the people are one.” Kira- The Storyteller, Stardate: 46729.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 27
“I only want what you have the luxury of taking for granted—freedom.” Moriarty- Ship in a Bottle, Stardate: 46424.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 28
“My love has wings. Slender, feathered things with grace in upswept curve and tapered tip.” Mitchell- Where No Man Has Gone Before, Stardate: 1312.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: James Bond, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Spy-Fi

Shadow Ops RPG: A Kickstarter Reward

The cover to the Shadow Ops Roleplaying Game

I don’t recall how I found out about the Shadow Ops Kickstarter. Most likely it was a post on one of the RPG message boards that I read. I’m always a sucker for espionage roleplaying games. I’m also someone who is willing to pack a project that isn’t mega expen$ive. Too many times I see an interesting Kickstarter campaign, but when I look at the pledge prices I wonder where they are pulling the numbers from? Unless I really know about the people involved (which has happened on a few Kickstarters) I’m a little wary about backing something. But if the price is reasonable (and not hitting at a bad time), I’ll chuck in a few bucks to see how it comes out. In the case of Shadow Ops, the prices were right for both a physical book and a PDF of the game.

Well my physical book arrived so I decided to do a quick review of the game in a look see. I had received the PDF last month, but as I’ve mentioned before, I really like learning a bout a game with the physical book in my hands.

Shadow Ops: A Game of Cinematic Espionage Action was written by Christopher Peter (it is not known if this is a cover name) and published by Divine Madness Press. I picked up a softcover copy of the rules that was delivered by POD via DriveThruRPG. I’ve previously reviewed some POD products that DriveThruRPG has sent me in the past and this matched the same level of quality that I have received before. The book is 214 pages in length and contains black and white images throughout. It wasn’t identified as an ISBN number, but there is a barcode with 2 370020 914112 on the back which might be one. There is an introduction, ten chapters and an appendix with the last two pages being the character sheet.

Each of the chapters are listed on the side of the pages like file folders. My oldest daughter really liked t his when she was looking at the book.

Example of the chapter guides on the right side of the page.

The introduction gives two very interesting points. It states that this is not a beginners RPG. Not that it’s complicated or crunchy, but that the author assumes that the reader already knows what roleplaying games are. The second is that Shadow Ops is an emulator, not a simulator. With the full title containing “cinematic espionage action”, I believe this is the type of game that I would be interested in playing. When I’m watching espionage shows, I want to see some over-the-top scenes and action that have come from James Bond or Mission Impossible. Getting bogged down in rules that are trying to add real-life simulation to what is supposed to be an action genre, that would turn me off playing.

Chapter one is The Core Mechanics. Let me just say, thank you for getting to this right away. As I’ve mentioned before, I hate having to slog through 20-50 pages of background material before I see the basics of the RPG. It’s an RPG book, not a reference guide. For those of you who are curious, Every time your character completes a task, you roll three dice (which range from d4 to d12). A die for the attribute, a die for the skill and a stress die. The number that is the middle value of the three die becomes your Result Die to see if you fail or succeed that task. If something makes the task more difficult, you would count the lowest rolled as your Result Die and an easier task would take the higher result. There are other additional items that could have you roll a higher sided dice, but rolling the three dice are the basics of the system.

The second chapter is called Agent Recruiting and it deals with the character creation process. I’m certain that I’ll be taking a deeper dive into this when I use this game for the 2025 Character Creation Challenge. The attributes are Insight, Intellect, Personality, Coordination, Endurance and Strength. There are also skills, fortes (special talents) and abilities. The skill descriptions are found in chapter three and are broken down by skill sets (IT, infiltrator, tactical leader, etc.)

Chapter four goes into tradecraft. How do you handle things like stealth, disguise, forgery and the like. Chapter five, called Tricks of the Trade, gets deeper into the description and uses of the character’s fortes.

The equipment that characters may be able to use is brought up in chapter six, Tools of the Trade. How to obtain mission gear, enhancing equipment, resources available, assets and gadgets.

I like how the stock images are used in this publication.

Hunting Packs is the title of chapter seven and it covers the team stealthily following a mark, or being followed themselves. I didn’t get a chance to go to deep into the system, but it uses a standard set of 52 playing cards with values and suites. For those wondering about chases (by foot or vehicle), that also uses the playing cards and is covered in chapter eight “Fast and Furious”.

When the stealthy or speedy sides of the espionage game goes wrong, it can turn into the subject of chapter nine, Firefights and Fistfights. This covers the combat system for Shadow Ops.

The GMs section starts with chapter ten called Mission Briefings. It covers the session zero, the types of campaigns and designing missions.

In the appendix there is a listing of the inspirations (boo, Archer wasn’t listed), and something I thought could be useful, Player aids covering the basics that could be printed out and left on the table.

An example of the player aids.

Overall this looks like Shadow Ops is a well thought out game. It’s built towards more of a Mission Impossible group of players instead of a single James Bond style campaign. I can’t wait to make a character for it in January. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to actually play this game, but overall I’m very happy that I backed this Kickstarter campaign. Oh, one last thing that I thought was kewl, the author thanked the backers of the campaign in the back of the book.

One of these names looks familiar. I just can’t put my finger on it.

Have you received any Kickstarter rewards lately? Are there any campaigns that you have wanted to back. Tell me about them. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: July 15-21

My family trying to stop me from climbing into the freezer on these hot days.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of July 15th through July 21st. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

July 15
“Bones was right. These people aren’t living, they’re existing. They don’t create, they don’t produce, they don’t even think. They exist to service a machine.” Kirk- The Apple, Stardate: 3715.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 16
“We are more alike than unlike, my dear Captain. I have pores. Humans have pores. I have fingerprints. Humans have fingerprints. My chemical nutrients are like your blood. If you prick me… do I not… leak?” Data- The Naked Now, Stardate: 41209.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 17
“So, what’d you find out?” Quark “That you should never try to match drinks with a Klingon.” O’Brien- Image in the Sand, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 18
“Stories are an important part of their culture. They seem to provide more than entertainment. They’re kind of a measuring rod of values and beliefs.” Kim- Prime Factors, Stardate: 48642.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 19
Happy Birthday to Benedict Cumberbatch. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Benedict_Cumberbatch #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Why would a Starfleet Admiral ask a three-hundred year-old frozen man for help?” Kirk “Because I am better.” Khan “At what?” Kirk “Everything.” Khan- Star Trek Into Darkness, Stardate: 2259.55 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 20
“It must be difficult adjusting to new cultures.” Zorbal “It’s challenging at times, but that’s why we’re out here.” Archer- Desert Crossing, Date: February 12, 2152 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 21
“You will never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential.” Dr. Paul Stubbs- Evolution, Stardate: 43125.8 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Collecting, Comic Books, Community Service, Conventions, Cosplay, Dungeons and Dragons, Fan Club, Friends, Star Trek

Ogden-Con 2024 After-Action Report

Loot from my first Ogden-Con

If you’ve never heard of Ogden-Con, don’t freak out. Two months ago I had never heard of this event either. I was walking out of one of my local gaming stores, I noticed a flyer posted in the window. Curious, I went back in and talked with the owner. He told me that this was the second Ogden-Con after they had successfully run one last year. This came as a little bit of a shock to me as I’m usually aware of the geek events happening in Utah. But wanting to support a convention closer to my neck of the woods, I checked out the Facebook page.

Ogden-Con was organized by Rudy Entertainment Company and would be a charity convention. A raffle would be held that would benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Most of all, the admission fee (according to the flyer) is “ONE LOUSY DOLLAR!” It was held at the Comfort Suites just off of I-15 in Ogden.

I talked with my local Star Trek club about this event. I also talked with a few other fans of geeky things and it peaked an interest in attending. So, how did it go?

Well due to a scheduling conflict, we didn’t get there until after 1:00pm. I noticed attendees walking out of the convention center carrying their newly painted dragon figures from the figure painting class. The convention was held in a large room that had dealers tables on one end and a mini-wrestling ring on the other. The bulk of the dealer tables were comic vendors. As you can see from my loot photo above, I picked up a few comics that I didn’t have in my collection. There were also several dice vendors, a 3D printing vendor, a video-game vendor and a few artists promoting their own work. This include a young child (under the age of 10 I believe) who was selling their own hand-drawn comics.

Not having an interest in wrestling, I mostly stuck with the vendor tables talking with several different vendors. I also had a chance to meet the organizer of the convention. I introduced myself, gave him a business card, and asked “What is your vision for the convention” before offering to help. While I won’t chair a convention again, I’m more than willing to help or advise. He asked if we could get together for dinner at a later time because he wanted Ogden-Con to grow, but stay as a fan-run convention. So it will never be as big as the large scale comic conventions, but that’s a good thing. It was a relaxing place to visit and geek out. I met up with a friend and also compared notes with some other friends later.

My wife and youngest attended with me. My youngest came in cosplay for an online animated series that they liked and got excited when someone recognized the character. There was a couple of other cosplays present, one of which caused a little bit of excitement.

Talking with some friends who had been in attendance earlier in the day, they told me about a cosplayer that showed up in full tactical gear (including helmet and gas mask) that had been altered to look like a post-apocalyptic warrior. Someone outside of the hotel had seen someone enter the building with the gas mask and helmet and black gear and thought something dangerous was happening. So they called the police. Law enforcement had showed up and talked with the cosplayer to confirm that nothing bad was happening. In a way, I’m grateful that the effort was made to check in this day and age. Making sure is better than not doing enough if a really dangerous situation was unfolding.

The organizer told me that he wanted to add a costume contest to future Ogden-Cons. He is planning to hold another event in February at the same hotel, but wants to do another summer event at the Union Station in downtown Ogden. Not only would this get in more foot-traffic, but it is also right next to the Ogden Frontrunner station. So attendees could show up from other parts of the Salt Lake metro area. There are also more food options downtown than just off of I-15. I’m really looking forward to having a sit down with this gentleman to see what is plans are. Once I know that, I’ll know what I can offer. It could be help with contacting the local fandom groups in Utah, getting in contact with gaming organizers or just fans in general. This could very easily become a relaxa-con.

My wife told me that she loved going to a local event that wasn’t high pressure or over-crowded. A co-worker had told me that she was able to talk her sister into going since the admission price was very reasonable. A friend I met at the event told me that he had seen more comic dealers at this event than he had at larger conventions. And the members of the USS Ticonderoga who were in attendance had a lot of good things to say about it at our meeting last Wednesday. It will be interesting to see how this starts small and organically grows to a fan-run charity convention. I’ll keep you posted on any future involvement. Even if that involvement is just attending and having fun.

Have you recently attended a smaller convention? What is the best way to let you know of local events. This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: July 8-14

How it feels reading social media posts.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of July 8th through July 14th. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

July 8
Happy Birthday to Shazad Latif. @shazad https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Shazad_Latif #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Betray me, and I’ll live long enough to hunt you down and kill you slowly. Understood?” Georgiou “I’ve been killed before, Georgiou. You’re just telling me I’ll have time to enjoy the scenery.” Tyler- Perpetual Infinity, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 9
Happy Birthday to Linda Park. @realLindaPark https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Linda_Park #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Slowly please. I’m just learning Risan.” Sato “Really? Most people wouldn’t bother.” Risan Woman “When I go someplace I like to learn the language.” Sato- Two Days and Two Nights, Date: February 18, 2152 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 10
“Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.” Dathon- Darmok, Stardate: 45047.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 11
“I knew it was wrong. I shouldn’t have done it.” Dr. McCoy “What’s that?” Kirk “I should have never reconnected his mouth.” Dr. McCoy- Spock’s Brain, Stardate: 5431.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 12
“Absolutely not. One for you, and seven for me. One for you, and seven for me. Is that better? And where are you going?” Quark “To bed. To dream of an equal share of profits.” Rom “Dream on.” Quark- The Homecoming, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 13
Happy Birthday to Sir Patrick Stewart. @SirPatStew https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Patrick_Stewart #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekFilm #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Your arguments have reminded me how precious the right to choose is. And because I’ve never been one to play it safe… I choose to try.” Picard- A Matter of Time, Stardate: 45349.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 14
“You want me to be the new nurse?!” Paris “If that’s the title you prefer. It…will only be temporary, three duty shifts a week. Report to sickbay at 0600 hours. Bring a tricorder, and a smile.” The Doctor- Revulsion, Stardate: 51186.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: July 1-7

Did I enjoy the air show this past weekend?

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of July 1st through July 7th. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

July 1
Happy Birthday to Dominic Keating. @idomknow https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Dominic_Keating #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“But this battle won’t be won with firepower. Deception and surprise can be just as potent as brute force.” Reed- Marauders, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 2
Remembering Brock Peters who was born on this date in 1927. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Brock_Peters #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“We have rights, Ben, including the right to be as stubborn or thickheaded as we want.” Joseph Sisko- Homefront, Stardate: 49170.65 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 3
Happy Birthday to Kurtwood Smith. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Kurtwood_Smith #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekLowerDecks #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“This president is not above the law.” Federation President- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Stardate: 9521.6 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 4
“…freedom…is a worship word…” Cloud William- The Omega Glory, Stardate: Unknown#StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 5
“We always come back to the human equation.” Data- Code of Honor, Stardate: 41235.25 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 6
“Do not underestimate the power of the mind.” Tuvok- Barge of the Dead, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

July 7
Happy Birthday to Vaughn Armstrong. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Vaughn_Armstrong #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekENT #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“There’s something to be said for a good, old-fashioned flogging.” Mirror Forrest- In a Mirror Darkly, Date: January 13, 2155 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: June 24-30

It is fun to go to the park in the summer.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of June 24th through June 30th. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

June 24
“This was not my first crisis. It was one of many. During it, I did what my experience and training required me to do. I took the proper steps in the proper order. I did exactly what had to be done, exactly when it should have been done.” Kirk- Court Martial, Stardate: 2947.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 25
“Fifty? You were bluffing.” LaForge “Klingons never bluff.” Worf- The Emissary, Stardate: 42901.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 26
“I have a bad feeling about this.” O’Brien- The Adversary, Stardate: 48959.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 27
“Every school kid knows that Zefram Cochrane met the Vulcans in Bozeman, Montana on April 5th, 2063. I’ve been there. There’s a statue.” Tucker- Carbon Creek, Date: April 12, 2152 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 28
Happy Birthday to Alice Krige. https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Alice_Krige #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekLowerDecks #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“You are insane. You consumed what little collective you have left.” Picard “Only to sustain myself to arrive at this moment, to invite you here to witness.” Borg Queen “Witness what?” Picard “Your future’s end.” Borg Queen- The Last Generation, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 29
“I do not enjoy crowds.” Seven “But you were in the Collective. Wasn’t that like a big crowd?” Naomi “Which is why I do not enjoy them now.” Seven- Survival Instinct, Stardate: 53049.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 30
“Oh. My neck feels like it’s been twisted off.” Kirk “That’s the Vulcan death grip for you.” Dr. McCoy “There’s no such thing as a Vulcan death grip.” Chapel- The Enterprise Incident, Stardate: 5027.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Character Creation Challenge, Dungeons and Dragons, Reviews, Role Playing Games

Review of three RPG battle mats/tiles

Wiz Dice on the left, Role 4 Initiative in the middle and Chessex on the right.

As I was preparing for SaltCON-Summer 2024, I realized that I had not done my review of the three RPG battle mats/tiles that I currently own. So as I was preparing for the con, I had my daughter help me set these out and take some photos for a review. I’ve owned two of these maps for a few years and purchased the gaming tiles last year after I saw them in use at SaltCON-Spring 2023.

The Chessex 26×23.5 Battlemat

So the first battlemat that I had purchased was the Chessex double-sided 26.x23.5 battlemat. The DM for my Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 campaign that ran for several years used a larger version of this product. When my nephew had asked me to run an introduction to Dungeons and Dragons game, I realized that I didn’t have a mat to use. So I slipped into one of my local gaming shops and picked this one up. It has square grids on one side and hexagons on the other. Eagle-eyed readers may spot this map as the background to some of the photos I used for the various Character Creation Challenge entries. Besides the game with my nephew, I was able to use it in a few other games. The surface is a little rough, but I think this is both a good thing and a bad thing. The mat itself is thick and feels solid. However when I drew on it with dry-erase or wet-erase markers, it could sometimes leave the image behind. While I was experimenting with the map for this article, my daughter discovered that using the Mr. Clean MagicEraser would remove the older drawings without (as it seemed) to damage the map. While I could still see some of the older set-in markings, it is a lot clearer than it use to be. Because this map is rolled, I have to use heavy objects to hold the corners down.

The Wiz Dice 48×36 gaming mat

Just a couple of years ago I had the opportunity to run a OSR game for my daughter and several of her friends who had been playing in a D&D 5e campaign. I had created the adventure myself (and later used it at SaltCON-Spring 2024) and realized that the map I had found on the internet, was too large to use on the Chessex mat that I already owned. So I found the Wiz Dice 48×36 gaming mat on Amazon. It is also a reversible map with hexagons on the other side. For the purpose of the one-shot, I was able to use the map with a dry-erase marker. However, after the event, I really wished that I hadn’t purchased this mat. First, it’s really thin and flimsy. While taking these photos for the article my daughter mentioned that it was like having a shower curtain on the table. While the Chessex surface felt rough, but durable, this map was wrinkly, sticky and felt like it was going to rip if I wasn’t careful. When I attempted to use it at SaltCON-Spring 2024, I discovered that the markers I had brought would not write on the map properly, so we ended up using graph paper instead. Like the Chessex, the MagicEraser product was handy in removing stubborn markings from the map. The other issue that I had with this map is the poor quality of the printing. As you can see in the photo below, there were parts where the grid had misprints in it or were missing. As a rolled mat, it also had to be weighed down at the corners.

Just one example of misprints on the Wiz Dice mat

Had there been one issue, I probably would have been OK with the map. But with both the misprints and the flimsy/thin quality, I really wish that I had spent my money on a larger Chessex mat.

The Role 4 Initiative Game Tiles

When I saw how handy these game tiles were at SaltCON, I had to order a set myself. I picked up the Dry-Erase Hexagon Game Tiles from Role 4 Initiative. While preparing for the latest SaltCON, I decided that I wanted to get all of the tiles out to make sure that they could handle the adventure map I was planning to use. The kewl thing is that you can start out with a small section, then add the sections as needed depending upon where the players elect to go. While these are double sided, they have hexagons on both sides. One side is solid hexagons with broken hexagons on the reverse side. There is a grid version of the tiles available from the same manufacturer that I’ll have to pick up sooner or later. Where the Chessex surface is rough and the Wiz Dice surface was sticky, these tiles were very slick. While it made marking the tiles easy, you could easily smudge a dry-erase marking if you were not careful. There are thirty-three 1/8″ thick tiles that are six inches across in the box. This makes the box a little heavy compared to a rolled up mat. But I was able to store my dry-erase markers in the extra space the box provided. When we were drawing the full map of the planned adventure, my daughter commented that it was like assembling a map puzzle. Here are some various photos.

First opening the box
The solid and broken hex sides of the tiles
We did a timed test with some markings and it erased with no problem after 30 minutes
All of the tiles assembled in a square like fashion with 28 inches across
Drawing the full map of the adventure

Conclusion:

The rolled up mats are lighter than the tiles. But the tiles offer greater flexibility for the GM. The costs are about the same (Dice Wiz is lower compared to the same sized Chessex mat). If you are going to stick with a rolled up mat, buy the Chessex for the quality. But my overall advice is take the flexibility of the Role 4 Initiative tiles. They also marked and erased easier.

Have you used any of these three products? If so, what were your thoughts on them? Are there other mats/tiles that I should look into? 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 or click on my social media links with any comments.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: June 17-23

Going to the first concert of the season.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes Twitter account and the @STrekQuotes Mastodon account for the week of June 17th through June 23rd. Coming soon to Bluesky once we can find a scheduler option.

June 17
“It’s not your fight either, but I don’t see you leaving.” Rom “I have to look out for my bar.” Quark “And I have to look out for you.” Rom “Me?” Quark “You’re my brother. Whatever happens, we belong together.” Rom- Call to Arms, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 18
“The Claim ‘I was only following orders’ has been used to justify too many tragedies in our history.” Picard- Redemption II, Stardate: 45020.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 19
Happy Birthday to Zoe Saldana. @zoesaldana https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Zo%C3%AB_Saldana #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“And while you were well aware that of own qualified desires to serve on the USS Enterprise, I’m assigned to the Farragut?” Uhura “It was an attempt to avoid the appearance of favoritism.” Spock “No, I’m assigned to the Enterprise.” Uhura “Yes, I believe you are.” Spock “Thank you.” Uhura- Star Trek (2009), Stardate: 2259.55 #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 20
“There was a time when Denobulans believed they were the only intelligent species in the galaxy. Needless to say, it was quite a surprise when the B’Saari made first contact. Many refused to accept the truth even with the evidence standing right in front of them.” Dr. Phlox- Future Tense, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 21
“I have a Human half, you see, as well as an alien half, submerged, constantly at war with each other. Personal experience, doctor. I survive it because my intelligence wins over both, makes them live together.” Spock- The Enemy Within, Stardate: 1672.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 22
Happy Birthday to Tim Russ. @timruss2 https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/Tim_Russ #StarTrek #StarTrekFilm #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekVOY #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

“Being a father can have infinite rewards, far more than would seem possible. My children occupy a significant portion of my thoughts – now more than ever.” Tuvok- Elogium, Stardate: 48921.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

June 23
“It’s so like my mother to do the unexpected.” Deanna Troi- Manhunt, Stardate: 42859.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet #Quote

What are your favorite daily Star Trek quotes selected for this week? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com or click on my social media links with any comments.

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

SaltCON-Summer 2024 After Action Report

Loot from SaltCON-Summer 2024.

Well I thought the picture of the loot at the top was not so fuzzy, but I’m not going to re-take it now. Hey, I survived another SaltCON both as a player and gamemaster. It was fun, lesson learning, idea forming, friend making and just a little stressful. But I wouldn’t know a convention that didn’t have those.

I did get some loot at this con, but for a while I was worried that I wasn’t going to find anything. The game swap only had one person bring in RPG books and I ended up buying three items from him. The hardbound book Codex of Erde (an earlier edition of the Codex of Aihrde from Troll Lord Games) and two boxed sets of Dungeon Crawl Classic modules called “The Heroes Arise” and “The Saga of the Dragon Cult”. The modules in each boxed set would form a campaign that could take characters from first to high levels. The boxed sets were in really good shape considering their age with only one book showing any damage. I also picked up five token trays that I planned to use for my Star Trek Adventures game. These had been created by a local artist. The convention organizers gave me a set of dice as a thank you for running my games (they were purple, they went to my geek wife) and I also picked up a convention t-shirt. I love how they have a different design each convention.

For the gaming sessions I played in, this is how it went.

Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition- We had to find a lost puppy owned by the local magistrate. Unfortunately this lost puppy was a three-headed hellhound and was burning up the town. And, as fate would have it, we were not the only party looking for the wayward pet.

The One Ring– Set in the times between the events in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, our party had been hired by a not-so-trustworty dwarf in an attempt to find a treasure left behind by his recently-deceased uncle. I really liked the system as it worked very well with the Middle Earth universe that we were familiar with. I may have to pick up this system.

Star Wars D6- I missed out going to this game due to real-world issues and I tried to track down the GM to explain why (apparently no one else had shown up for the 9am game either). But the good news is that I was able to track down an AC tech to fix the air-conditioning unit at my house.

Stellar Odyssey– A RPG created by a Utah author. I had been in some of his games at past conventions and since I suddenly had an opening in my schedule, I signed up. This was a Star Trek inspired game where you play the crew of an intrepid starship doing missions for a planetary union. The emphasis is on social combat (with initiatives and different methods you could use to convince others to see your way/perform an action/etc.) with actual combat limited to a single die roll. The system made sense and really encouraged roleplaying. The starship stats (and how they could be used to enhance your dice pool) also made sense. I may have to use this game in an upcoming Character Creation Challenge.

Ter’Ra’Mentia- This was only an hour long intro session and I was the only person present in the time-slot. This allowed me to ask a lot of different questions without feeling guilty that I was taking away from the other players. I’m also a ‘hands on’ person when it comes to learning a game, so this helped very much. While I don’t know if I’d be able to pick up this game, I now have a better understanding of it. It’s basically a 2d12 system+skill points to beat a target number.

The Walking Dead- This was a scenario set in Utah. Which meant that the players were (mostly) familiar with the area. While it did end early (four players in a family had to go) I did get a chance to try the system. It felt like a game where dread was always around because even with the dice pools, we hardly got any successes. We didn’t have all bad luck, but it didn’t feel like we were in a cinematic cake-walk either. I don’t know how I’d feel about this. The constant wear-down of not getting successes might get old in a campaign. I’d probably have to actually try a campaign to see how I felt.

This is how the games I ran turned out.

The Star Trek Adventures game that I was going to run only had one person show up. It was probably the time slot that I had selected on a Sunday that did this in. I would have run this on a Saturday, but originally a family commitment would have kept me out for the whole day. When plans changed and I only needed to leave for the evening, it was too late to change the date. With the single player I sat down and explained the game basics to him. It was his first convention and I think he was excited to just try something more than Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder.

Basic Fantasy went better than I expected. I got to use a new GMs tool to help draw out the map of the bandit’s lair that the party was trying to escape from (I’ll have a review blog post very soon on this). Most of the players were use to 5e so I had to explain some OSR styles (running away is an option, your character may die if you are not careful, etc.) Well they took this to heart and actually worked together very well to facilitate their escape. While looking up a rule really quick, I reminded myself of one of the basic guidelines for running a game. Keep the flow going and don’t be afraid to make judgment calls instead of slowing down play by looking up rules. I had one player tell me afterwards that he hadn’t been a fan of the D20 games, but would play more Basic Fantasy if offered because he had fun in my game.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, getting together is one of the highlights of playing RPGs. On the first day I bumped into a GM for Savage Worlds. He asked if I wanted to go through a quick demo, which I jumped at since it gave me the chance to check out a system I had never played. Turns out this guy runs an RPG video blog on YouTube called the Ace Roleplaying Games Club. He even named dropped my blog in his own SaltCON after-action report. Thanks Mason.

Once again I’d like to thank the army of volunteers and coordinators for putting SaltCON-Summer together. While I was disappointed in the swap meet (I really wish more people would bring their RPG books looking for new homes) I could see how people were having fun over the weekend. Even the convention organizers. I got to meet up with some friends that I only seem to see at these conventions as well. That is an added bonus to attending the convention.

Also note to self, don’t forget to pack some antacid tablets in your convention backpack just in case the nacho cheese served at the convention center affects me again.

Have you been to any gaming conventions lately? 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.

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