Posted in: Collecting, Dungeons and Dragons, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction

DriveThruRPG Print on Demand Review

The Dungeons and Dragons Rules Cyclopedia and Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn print on demand books.

A package arrived for me the other day. It contained my hardcover print-on-demand copy of Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn from DriveThruRPG. This was the second POD that I had ordered from DriveThruRPG. Before the first Character Creation Challenge, I had ordered a POD of the Dungeons and Dragons Rule Cyclopedia hoping that I could use it in the challenge. It had arrived too late for that event, but it made me realize that I could use the POD options to obtain books that I’ve been wanting to add to my collection. While PDFs are good for reference and quick searching, I still like the feel of a book in my hands. Especially when I’m learning a new system or wanting to recall reading the books for the first time. While I had my own copies of the BECMI Red Box books, I’ve been wanting a copy of the Rules Cyclopedia. Star Frontiers was one of those games that my group of gaming friends wanted to play when it first came out, but for one reason or another, we never got the opportunity to do so. With the credits that I had been building up from DriveThruRPG (thank you) I thought I’d pick up a POD for me to enjoy.

Another thought hit me as I was opening the package, I should write a review of the POD copies that came from DTRPG. So I took some pictures and decided to write down my thoughts. This will be a review of the POD, not a review of the games themselves (which will be handled in a later blog post).

Ordering the books was pretty easy in both cases. Go to the entry on the website and see the options available. Just keep in mind that there is a charge for shipping as well. I don’t recall how long the Dungeons and Dragons book took to arrive (I had ordered at the tail end of the holiday season which is probably the worst time to try to get things by mail), but the Star Frontiers book arrived in ten days after ordering. Both books were printed in Tennessee. A USPS tracking number was provided in both cases.

Both books were packaged very well. The container the D&D book did get a little roughed up in transit, but the book itself was just fine. There was no damage to the container that the SF book arrived in.

Top views of the bindings for both books.

As you can see, the bindings for both books look pretty solid. The covers are not attached directly to the prints themselves which has allowed for repeated book opening. While I haven’t had a chance to go through the Star Frontiers book, I have had several sessions where I’ve sat down to read chapters in the Rule Cyclopedia and I cannot see any additional wear from these readings.

View of the spines.

As you can see from the earlier picture, the covers are pretty sharp. The back image on the Star Frontiers book does slightly bleed onto the spine. The Rules Cyclopedia front and back cover appear to be the same as the original publication. As for Star Frontiers, it appears that “The Original” was added to the top of both covers. Another note on the Star Frontiers, book, they did not change the wording of the description on the back. So the hardbound book talks about how “the box set includes…”. Since they had slightly changed the cover, I’m surprised that they didn’t change the description. But it was an interesting read to see what the original box set stated.

A colored map in the Star Frontiers book.
The Grand Duchy of Karameikos map in the Rules Cyclopedia.

Considering these prints are from a scan of the original books, they came out sharp in the publication. The colors stood out just fine (as seen by the photos above). There were a few pages that contained blue text in the Star Frontiers book (which I believe was the same in the original book). The art printed out OK as well. Again, for a scan, these came out readable and usable. Nothing extra blurry or hard to read.

Now that I own Star Frontiers, I’ll be able to use it in the 2023 Character Creation Challenge. I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to play it, but I can at least read and understand one of the classic games that I saw advertised early in my RPG days. I’m also planning to pick up a few more POD books that I’d like to have dead tree versions of without having to pay expensive collector prices for.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: May 30-June 5

What I would like to do this summer.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of May 30th through June 5th.

May 30
Happy Birthday to Colm Meaney. #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

(on his ancestor) “He was more than a hero. He was a union man.” O’Brien- Bar Association, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 31
“I always believed that I didn’t need children to complete my life. Now, I couldn’t imagine life without them.” Picard- The Inner Light, Stardate: 45944.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

June 1
Rene Auberjonois born on this date in 1940. @reneauberjonois #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #StarTrekTOS #StarTrekENT #StarTrekProdigy #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“My people are who they are. I am who I am. I’ve learned to accept that.” Odo- Fascination, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Star Trek III: The Search for Spock is premiered on this date in 1984. #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“What’ll it be?” Waitress “Altair water.” Dr. McCoy “That’s not your usual poison.” Waitress “To expect one to order poison in a bar is not logical.” Dr. McCoy- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Stardate: 8210.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

June 2
Happy Birthday to Anthony Montgomery. @MrAMontgomery #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“I memorized something Chuck Yeager said. I never let myself be afraid. Just focus on the dials and concentrate on flying.” Mayweather- Demons, Date: January 19, 2155 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Happy Birthday to Zachary Quinto. @ZacharyQuinto #StarTrek #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“I feel, anger for the one who took mother’s life, an anger I cannot control.”  Spock- Star Trek (2009) #StarTrek #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

June 3
“I think maybe you’re beginning to realize I’m not your enemy, and only a fool would kill a friend.” Chakotay- Initiations, Stardate: 49005.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

June 4
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is premiered on this date in 1982. #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“I’ve tried to tell you before. Scientists have always been pawns of the military.” David Marcus- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Stardate: 8130.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

June 5
“Sometimes people blindly make the same mistake again and again.”  Jenna D’Sora- In Theory, Stardate: 44932.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Character sheets from past games: FASA Star Trek

I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of game posts because of how busy May has been so far. It’s been bugging me that I haven’t had a chance to inspire more role-playing content. To make up for it, I pulled up another character sheet from the older book of characters that I had found. In my previous character sheet entries I posted characters from Dungeons and Dragons, the FASA Doctor Who RPG, Cyberpunk, Vampire: The Masquerade and WEG Star Wars. Today’s entry is the Star Trek RPG by FASA.

The same group that I played the Star Wars RPG with also loved playing the Star Trek Roleplaying Game by FASA. I created a Helmsman for the USS Emprador. I don’t recall what inspired the starship name or what class it was. What I do recall is that our characters got stuck in the mirror universe (this was the early 90’s before there was the Deep Space 9 episodes that re-introduced the mirror universe). It was interesting because all of our characters retained their ranks in the MU except for one individual who had a very high rank in the regular universe. It was interesting seeing how he reacted to the change. Unfortunately this was also the game where the GM had painted himself into the corner and had to end it with the “It was all a simulation” ending. Let’s just say that the GM quickly found out how much we did not like that idea (being chased down the street probably gave him his first hint).

The name of the character came from a friend I had while growing up. We had been out of contact for several years when I rolled up his stats so I never had a chance to tell him about it.

On a side note, I did find another character while emptying out another cardboard box. It was from a game in the early 2000’s. I’ve added the sheets to the book and will probably include it in a future blog post.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: May 23-29

What? You haven’t seen Star Trek: Strange New Worlds yet?

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of May 23rd through May 29th.

May 23
“If there’s no risk, there’s no thrill!” Quark- Starship Down, Stardate: 49263.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 24
Happy Birthday to Doug Jones @actordougjones #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“Discovery is no longer Lorca’s. She is ours. And today will be her maiden voyage. We have a duty to perform, and we will not accept a no-win scenario.” Saru- What’s Past Is Prolog, Stardate: 1834.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 25
“Did it work?” Picard “Well you’re here, aren’t you? You’re talking to me, aren’t you?” Q “What about my crew?” Picard “The anomaly, my ship, my crew! I suppose you’re worried about your fish too?” Q- All Good Things…, Stardate: 47988.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 26
“Has it occurred to you that there’s a certain… inefficiency in constantly questioning me on things you’ve already made up your mind about?” Spock “It gives me emotional security.” Kirk- The Corbomite Maneuver, Stardate: 1512.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 27
“When I think about everything we’ve been through together, maybe it’s not the destination that matters. Maybe it’s the journey.” Kim- Endgame, Stardate: 54973.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 28
“You swear well, Picard. You must have Klingon blood in your veins.” Vagh- The Mind’s Eye, Stardate: 44885.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 29
“You’re a little on edge. It’s not uncommon to see the enemy out of the corner of your eye.” Reed- Exile, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Autographs, Conventions, Star Trek

Farewell Starfest, thank you for the memories

The program guide and badges from the 2022 Starfest

UPDATE: I’ve uploaded a large number of photos to the Photo Gallery. Also thank you for all of the responses about this blog post. It is good to hear from the readers.

I had a mix of emotions this past weekend from May 13-15. I attended the very last Starfest Convention in Denver, Colorado. It ended a 45 year run of a family/fan run science fiction conventions put on by Starland. For those of you who had never heard of Starfest, I’m not surprised. In the past I would describe this event as “A DragonCon in the west that you’ve never heard of.” At it’s height, the convention was held twice a year (StarCon was in the fall) in multiple hotels. I know that some fans were trying for a costume parade (I don’t know if this ever got off the ground as I was always traveling when this was planned). The convention covered a wide variety of fandom interests such as cosplay, media, anime, comics, horror, gaming, robots, art, models and more. I had the opportunity to meet a ton of new friends and attend various room parties put on by different groups. While the bulk of attendees were from Colorado, I always met people from around the country at this con. Movie studios had even sent actors on their own dime to promote upcoming movies. This is how they got Toby Maguire just before the 2002 Spiderman movie was released. In my photo albums, several of the photos of myself with guests or kewl stuff came from this convention. I’ve got a few more that will be added soon.

Back in the early 90’s I was a member of a Star Trek fan club called the USS Kelly. Several members had driven from Salt Lake to Denver to attend one of the conventions. They came back with stories and pictures and excitement. This excitement was infectious and I wanted to go. Normally I could not afford a trip by myself, so members of the club would coordinate travel and lodging to make the cost more affordable. Some of us worked for hotel chains which allowed us to get discounts. Sharing the cost of gas helped with the drive. Plus being with a bunch of Star Trek fans in the car for several hours allowed you to get to know your fellow shipmates very well. I even started a relationship with a fellow club member on one trip. That was a convention to remember.

One of the best things about Starfest was the guests they brought into the convention. Since it was a family/fan run convention, they kept prices low where they could. While Starfest was the first convention that started charging for autographs (something that started happening because people use to get the free autographs and then sell them on ebay) I found that I was treated well. I remember meeting Leonard Nimoy before he retired from traveling to conventions. Oingo Boingo front man and soundtrack composer Danny Elfman was a guest one year. Mark Sheppard wanted to betrothed one of his sons to my daughter to start a geek dynasty. Science fiction authors Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore are considered good friends now (thank you for putting up with me). There are so many memories of meeting guests that I love revisiting when I look at the autographs or photos. This past weekend I finally had a chance to meet Star Trek production artist Rick Sternbach. He is best known for writing and illustrating several Star Trek technical books such as the Star Trek Spaceflight Chronology (I had him sign both the US and UK printings), the Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual, the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Technical Manual and the Klingon Bird-of-Prey Owners’ Workshop Manual. Rick even added some original art to the Spaceflight Chronology.

Meeting Rick Sternbach

While I was there, I picked up several of Rick’s new publications detailing some of his artwork on various Star Trek shows. This made me happy because at past conventions is where I would find various technical and resource books on Star Trek and other shows. It disappoints me now that I’ll attend one of the larger comic-con events only to find no books for sale. It use to be that a convention gave me the opportunity to pick up tech books from various merchants. Hey look, there’s a cloud in the sky and I’m yelling at it.

At Starfest I had the opportunity to meet fans from various fan clubs that had shown up from all over the inter-mountain region. I still have friends that I met from the USS Pioneer, USS (and Battlestar) Stormbringer, USS Tiburon, USS Anasazi, 501st Stormtroopers, House VamPyr, House Veska, USS Silverthorne and many more. I’m sure there are a few groups and fans that I may have missed. There have been so many of you that have come and gone. I’ll miss having a large room full of club leaders all wanting to help each other no matter who our parent organization is.

At the end of the convention my good friend, Dennis Hollinger (the first captain of the USS Kelly), and I didn’t want it to end. After the very last panel we searched around for a location where we could get a photo together and found the last Starfest banner that was still standing. All of the other banners advertising previous conventions had already been taken down.

I want to personally thank KathE Walker, her family and all of the volunteers that helped make Starfest one of the bests conventions out there. You inspired me so much that I even volunteered for several conventions over the years. I know that real world issues shut down the con in a perfect storm of suck, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t look back on the many memories and moments that have been created. I hope to cross paths with you again some day. Live Long and Prosper and Thanks for All the Fish.

KathE Walker at Starfest 2022
Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: May 16-22

I think he got the point.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of May 16th through May 22nd.

May 16
Star Trek Into Darkness premiered on this date in 2013. #StarTrek #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“Reverting to name-calling suggests that you are defensive and therefore find my opinion valid.” Spock- Star Trek: Into Darkness #StarTrek #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 17
“Consciousness is an emergent property.” Data “In other words, something that’s more than the sum of its parts.” LaForge- Emergence, Stardate: 47869.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 18
“You are either very brave, or very stupid, Ferengi!” Martok “Probably a little of both.” Nog- Blaze of Glory, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 19
“What you need is some editorial skill in your self-expression. Between impulse and action there´s a realm of good taste begging for your acquaintance.” The Doctor- One, Stardate: 51929.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 20
Happy Birthday to John Billingsley. @JBillingsley60 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“I believe your culture embraces the concept of doctor-patient confidentiality.” Dr. Phlox- Stigma, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 21
“Random chance seems to have operated in our favor.” Spock “In plain, non-Vulcan English, we’ve been lucky.” Dr. McCoy- The Doomsday Machine, Stardate: 4202.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 22
“You’re the loneliest person in the world right now. No one can say anything, no one can do anything that will help and you think that it will never go away.” Picard- Suspicions, Stardate: 46830.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Ten Years of posting daily Star Trek quotes

So I logged onto the @STrekQuotes daily Star Trek Quotes on Wednesday, May 11th to check the various responses from different Star Trek fans and I was surprised about an anniversary announcement.

Wow, I knew that the date was coming up soon, but I wasn’t keeping track of when it would hit. So yes, this took me by surprise. Twitter had this pre-made image and tweet ready to go with the hashtag of #MyTwitterAnniversary. It just felt… flat. While I liked the hashtag, I had to re-write the text to something that said “thank you” to all of the followers who encouraged me to continue posting inspiring and funny quotes from Star Trek. I then took the above screen shot and sent it out to social media. This resulted in almost twenty new followers to this project. Thank you for following.

If you’ve read my past blog entries, you’ll see how every Monday I post the week’s worth of quotes every Monday. That is because every Sunday I sit down and list out the quotes for the week. If there is an actor’s birthday or a premier anniversary date, then the quote comes from that actor/show. Obviously the way I put this together now is much different than it was ten years ago. Out of curiosity, I looked up the very first quote and re-discovered that it was this.

I re-read the first month of posts and it brought back many memories. Thinking back, it actually got to the point where I had to set up an excel spreadsheet to keep track of the various quotes that were used. I already had a list assembled from a variety of sources on a text file, but it wasn’t very helpful when trying to put together the next set of quotes. The spreadsheet allowed me to quickly find quotes from a speaker or episode or series, etc. Eventually I started watching episodes with the sole intent of mining the episode for trivia and impressive quotes. So far this spreadsheet has over 7,600 entries, and I still haven’t gone through all of the episodes.

If these quotes have inspired you, please let me know. I recall the Terry Farrel fan club letting me know that they were impressed with a Dax quote one year as it was not one they were expecting. If you want to make a request (yes I’ve had a few people ask for a special quote on their birthday). I plan to get all of the episodes mined and I hope to go on inspiring. And when I watch the new Star Trek series, I specifically keep an eye out for inspirational or funny quotes.

Here is to another ten years of using Star Trek to inspire and entertain.

Posted in: Collecting, Star Trek

May Star Trek eBook deals that I picked up

Cover to the dead tree version of Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow

I love reading the Star Trek novels. As you can see from the photo above I have a lot of books on the shelves (I need to get them organized). I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading, but that time is often rare. Lately I’ve discovered that if I have soft copies of books and comics I can pull them upon with the Kindle app on my Fire tablet at any time. When I purchase the Star Wars comics, they come with a code I can put into their website and get digital copies of the books that get imported into Kindle. When I reviewed the first Star Trek: Picard novel “Last Best Hope”, I read it on my tablet. I was able to highlight great quotes and tidbits that I might want to look up later.

Owning a large number of the dead tree versions of the books makes me very hesitant to re-buy electronic versions of books. But I love finding items that I could pick up at a bargain price. Pocket Books has been running a special sale on a handful of Star Trek novels each month for 99 cents each. Some months Amazon would even give me a $1.00 credit if I selected certain shipping options on other purchases. There were several months I already had 3-5 bucks in credit waiting when the next month rolled around. Free books baby.

So while there was one Star Trek book that I still refused to buy (another topic for another blog post later) I’ve been gathering my eBook copies of various titles. This has helped me build up a library of books to read when time allows. Even if I’ve read the book before in the dead tree version, there are still a few that I like to re-visit.

Here are the books that are on the 99 cent sale for May 2022 which includes several sets.

Star Trek: Mirror Universe: Rise Like Lions by David Mack

Star Trek: The Fall: Revelation and Dust (Book 1) by David R. George III

Star Trek: The Fall: The Crimson Shadow (Book 2) by Una McCormack

Star Trek: The Fall: A Ceremony of Losses (Book 3) by David Mack

Star Trek: The Fall: The Poisoned Chalice (Book 4) by James Swallow

Star Trek: The Fall: Peaceable Kingdoms (Book 5) by Dayton Ward

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory (Book 1) by David Mack

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: Silent Weapons (Book 2) by David Mack

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Cold Equations: The Body Electric (Book 3) by David Mack

Feel free to tell me which book you picked up so we can compare notes about them later. I’m interested in seeing if others thought of the books in the same way that I have.

Posted in: Quotes, Star Trek

Daily Star Trek Quotes: May 9-15

My reaction to a lot of the idiots lately.

Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of May 9th through May 15th.

May 9
“Swimming is too much like bathing” Worf- Conspiracy, Stardate: 41775.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 10
“We beat them because… because we hung on like fanatics.” Kira- Progress, Stardate: 46844.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 11
“One of the advantages of being a captain is being able to ask for advice without necessarily having to take it.” Kirk- Dagger of the Mind, Stardate: 2715.1 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 12
Happy Birthday to Jennifer Hetrick. #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“That’s the problem with being such a well-known liar. Even when I’m telling the truth, no one believes me.” Vash- Qpid, Stardate: 44741.9 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Happy Birthday to Eugene Cordero. #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

“You need to get outside your comfort zone.” Tendi “But I love my zone. It’s so comfortable.” Rutherford- Where Pleasant Fountains Lie, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekLowerDecks

May 13
“No animals, no people… no worries. Just what the doctor ordered.” Sulu- Shore Leave, Stardate: 3025.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 14
“Oh, spare us your psychobabble!” Dr. Zimmerman “I came here thinking that you were opposite sides of the same coin; identical, but different. Now I see you’re both exactly the same. You’re both jerks!” Troi- Life Line, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

May 15
“There’s a Vulcan axiom: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Corporal Hawkins understood that.” T’Pol “That doesn’t make his death any more acceptable.” Reed “No, but it makes it honorable.” T’Pol- The Council, Date: February 12, 2154 #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet

Posted in: Comic Books, Conventions, Dungeons and Dragons, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Star Trek, Star Wars, Website

A bunch of geeky stuff on May 7th

So there were a bunch of geeky things planned for today. I thought that some of the events would make for an interesting blog post. This will cover several topics from comics to conventions to role playing games.

Art Con:

So first was something that I saw advertised on Facebook, and nowhere else. Art Con was going to be held on May 6-8 at the Salt Palace. This is the same location where FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention is held every year. Admission was free, but you had to sign up for tickets. It sounded like something that my geeky wife and my art inspired kids would be interested in attending. We would already be in the Salt Lake City area to help my college aged kid get her stuff out of the dorm, so we could swing by afterwards to check it out. Here are some photos I was able to sneak in while at the con.

At various conventions one of the attractions are the art shows and artist alley. You can see unique works of art (paintings mostly, but there have been other mediums). It is also an opportunity to meet various artists and see some inspiring ideas.

Art Con was advertised as a convention displaying art from Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, Harry Potter, DC & Marvel Comics, Star Trek and more. It sounded like it was going to be quite large. It was… quite disappointing. Instead of being in one of the convention halls, it was in two side rooms. You can see from the photo with the Darth Vader painting that the room was divided in half and you could walk past tables displaying reproductions of art for sale. Yes there were two artists there, but they were working on some actual paintings at the time and I didn’t feel comfortable going up and asking them questions or getting a photo. The photos above were of the largest pieces available at the con and none had been used in any actual publications that I was aware of. I was hoping to see something that had been in an art book or RPG manual. Yes there was a small print of a beholder, and a few other fantasy things, but nothing that I recognized. There was a lot of prints of various superheroes and anime characters on the toilet (that gag got old very fast). We were only in the room for an hour.

My college age art student actually got upset because some of the pencil drawings appeared to be from artists not at the event. Yes they were licensed to sell these IP items, but other than a large sale, there was nothing here. In the hallways outside the rooms, I saw a couple of cosplayers who looked disappointed. They got dressed up an there was nothing for them to express their cosplay. I think if this had been more of an actual convention instead of a yard sale, it would have been OK. As my oldest put it, if we had come down just for this, they would have been very upset. I’m wondering if they take this “event” from city to city as a traveling sales show? If they made it more like an “Artist Alley” where we could see many different styles of art from different artists that we could meet, I could see this being something we would want to attend more. As it was presented today, I doubt we’ll be back.

Free Comic Book Day:

We had skipped going to our local comic book stores for Free Comic Book Day to attend Art Con. Since that was a bust and we still had a ton of time left, the family decided to head to the Valley Fair Mall to see if we could hook up with some cosplay friends who were going to make an appearance at the Nerd Store. While we made it to the store, we had missed our friends. But I was able to pick up a free Doctor Who comic and a free issue of Red Sonja. My kids were able to pick up some comics as well. The store didn’t have any of the Star Trek or Star Wars comics that I was missing, so we checked out a few other stores before hitting the food court for lunch. One of the places was Hammond Toys and Hobbies. I had many memories picking up 1st edition and 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons books there in the past. Unfortunately I didn’t see any RPG books now. It had been years since I had been in a Hammons.

Random RPG Book Club-May Delivery:

When we arrived home there was a package waiting for me. The May delivery of the Random RPG Book Club. Here is what was in the package.

Selection delivered in May 2022.

As you can see there was another hardbound book that came in. At first I thought it was duplicate of what I had in my collection. But I had the Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 Monster Manual, but this book is the 3.0 version of the Monster Manual. So this does fill a hole in my collection. Perhaps I could write up a comparison between the two books in a future blog entry.

The second book is The Strange In Translation: The Strange Character Options. It is a sourcebook for a roleplaying game called The Strange from Monte Cook Games. I had never heard of this RPG before so I have no idea how the system works. From my initial view through the book, it looks like it is of pretty high quality and art. If I can find out more about this game, perhaps I’ll write up a review.

I did look up both books on ebay and they were well above the $8.00 a piece mark. So the club continues to deliver what it promised.

An unexpected tip of the hat:

Apparently my blog has been inspiring. Thank you.

So yes it has been a geeky day with ups and downs. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got pizza waiting and an episode of Svengoolie and Creature Features to watch.

Oh, before I go. I’ve been working on some of the fan pages on this site. I’ve got more details for the FASA Star Trek RPG, the LUG Star Trek RPG and I’m working on fleshing out more of the website.

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