“I’ve always found that when people try to convince others of their beliefs it’s because they’re really just trying to convince themselves.” Kira- Covenant, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 27 “You are security chief. Don’t thirteen department heads report to you every day?” Janeway “Yes” Tuvok “Well, straighten them out.” Janeway “Shall I flog them as well?” Tuvok- Scientific Method, Stardate: 51244.3 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 28 “I had a C.O. once, felt the same way. ‘They’re your crew, not your friends.’ I thought about that a lot… when I took this command but then I realized this is not a typical mission.” Archer- Minefield, Date: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekENT #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“When the people who are supposed to care about you don’t listen to you, it’s it’s frightening and it’s lonely and it makes you feel like you’re crazy or like you’re like, not even there.” Tilly- Runaway, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 31 “You’d be surprised, Data. Feelings do funny things. You may even learn to… understand your evil brother.” Lore- Brothers, Stardate: 44085.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
The month of July has been so busy, I forgot to bring up the ebook deals on various Star Trek novels that can be read on various e-readers. These are all 99 cents, as per normal, and are books that I could add to my Kindle for reading when ever I desired. I’ve taken to reading more on my tablet as I can take it with me where ever I go.
The first X-treme Dungeon Mastery book was published in 2009 and became an instant hit. Not only did it give advice about running games and handling the various types of players, but it also talked about the Killer Breakfast. This last item is something you should really look up if it happens at a convention near you. If you look on Amazon the physical copy of the first edition book runs between $150-200. I was lucky to find a copy at a Westercon in 2019.
The shipping box was very well secured. The book was in a padded section with paper taking up any excess space to keep things from moving around. I knew instantly what it was when I picked it up off my porch.
Under the paper I discovered the signed bookplate that was included with my level of contribution. While I had Howard’s autograph on several art books, this was the first time I was able to get an autograph from Tracy and Curtis Hickman. Oh, if those names don’t sound familiar, turn in your geek card. Tracy Hickman is one of the co-authors of the Dragonlance books and games, the Ravenloft game books and a ton of various fantasy novels. Curtis Hickman is the son of Tracy and is also a magician an co-founder of The Void, a virtual reality experience.
Tracy & Curtis Hickman’s X-treme Dungeon Mastery 2nd edition. Illustrated by Howard Tayler, edited by Sandra Tayler with an introduction by Jim Zub. ISBN 978-1-945120-11-4. Like the first edition, this version is hardbound. There are 190 pages (compared to 158 in the first edition) with illustrations on almost every page (check out the lower right corner on each page).
After I had opened up the box and took the photos I did a quick glance at the contents of the book. While I did have access to a PDF version of the book for several weeks (another benefit from participating in the Kickstarter) I wanted to wait until I had the dead tree version in my hands. I enjoy reading a new book this way with the electronic copy being used for quick reference searches. I noticed that there were some items that had been carried over from the first edition, but there was also a lot that was added to the second edition. A lot more. I’m planning to do a deep dive later, but I wanted to drop a blog post since I was excited to get the book in my hands. There were several chapters where I had to stop and read immediately. And there are some other chapters that I’m going to have to go over later. I can see where some of the value for Dungeon Masters can be found in this tome.
I’m also interested in taking a deeper dive in the second edition of the XD20 roleplaying system. Don’t be surprised if I use this as one of my entries for the 2023 Character Creation Challenge. I also have another set of blog posts that is currently boiling in a pot that I can use this system for as well. More on that later.
I did notice that the method of printing on the cover held my fingerprint smudges more than the first edition book. However this doesn’t bother me that much since I purchased this book to use, not to keep as a collector’s item.
Other Kickstarter bonuses that I received included two adventure modules (PDF) and several color illustrations in JPG format. One of these illustrations was also sent to me in a postcard.
Overall I am very pleased with the material I received for my Kickstarter backing. This book will look very nice next to my first edition copy in my gaming library. I can’t wait to delve into the wit and wisdom of the book’s contents. If you didn’t get a chance to participate in the Kickstarter, you can still pick up the book in various formats from Howard Tayler’s online store. I would recommend picking up this guide to being an X-treme Dungeon Master.
Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of July 18th through July 24th.
July 18 “The first rule is: don’t be afraid of the clay.” Janeway “I fear nothing.” Seven “I mean you can’t concern yourself with making a mistake.” Janeway- The Raven, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Okay. All right, Spock, I just got one question. What’s your favorite color?” Dr. McCoy ” I fail to see the relevance.” (screams as Dr. McCoy pulls out shrapnel) Spock “Yeah. They say it hurts less if it’s a surprise.” Dr. McCoy- Star Trek Beyond #StarTrek #WeAreStarfleet #IDIC
July 23 “A promise is a prison, Elnor. Do not make yourself another’s jailer.” Zani- Absolute Candor, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekPicard #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 24 “A code of honor protects one, Captain, like a magic cloak.” Lutan- Code of Honor, Stardate: 41235.25 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
Twenty-Five years ago a documentary about Star Trek fans was produced and released in theaters called Trekkies. It was narrated by Denise Crosby and focused on various Star Trek fans while interviewing various actors from the (then) franchises that were airing. Recently Shout Factory released a 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray to the wild that included not only the movie but a special interview with producer Denise Crosby and directory Roger Nygard called “A Trek Back”. I picked up this disk and invited my college aged kid to sit down and watch it with me since she had never seen it before.
Back when this movie was released in the theaters, I was invited with other members of my Star Trek fan club to attend a sneak-peak screening prior to the opening night. Because they knew we were die-hard fans, the organizer had set up some hard trivia questions. I recall that one of them was “What Star Trek character was referenced in the 1980’s song 99 Red Balloons by Nena?” It had been a while since I had seen the movie so it was an excellent re-visit. I could re-call some of the stories about some of the various fans that were interviewed and what happened to them after Trekkies had been released. Gabriel Koerner was able to move into a career in movies and television working on special effects. I had to explain to my kid why the Star Trek juror, Barbara Adams, was a big thing in the 90’s during the Whitewater Trial. Specifically how the media was trying to latch onto anything during a boring trial (which was nothing like Law and Order) It also reminded me of when I entered a costume contest at CONduit (a Salt Lake fan-run convention) in a Star Trek uniform with a sign on my back stating “Avoiding jury duty”. Yes that got a lot of laughs. My daughter looked up the Star Trek dentist in Orlando and discovered that something like that was still going on. The name may have changed (which is how she had heard about it). Another reminder that was kind of sad for me was seeing the various dealers room tables during the 90’s. Back then, that is where you got your latest blueprints or resource books. (yelling at cloud moment) Most dealers rooms have been very dull. Comic Conventions seem to be the “State Fair” setup and smaller fan-run conventions are falling by the wayside. The dealers room use to be a huge draw for me at conventions, now I hope to find something. But seeing the Trek clubs in action and talking about how Star Trek fans help with charity brought a smile to my face. This is something that is continuing to this day as we try to move our world into the 24th Century.
When the movie was over I had a great time remembering this movie. I asked my college aged art student what she thought. She loved it except for some of the semi-erotic art put out by various fans. Seeing what fandom was like before she was born was an interesting experience.
After watching the movie I played the original trailer (I’m very happy when companies include this in their media) and “A Trek Back”. The special was recently filmed with Crosby and Nygard and had some very interesting tidbits including a response from JJ Abrams. I was hoping there would have been another special or two (this is blu-ray after all) but that was it. Hopefully we will get more specials if Shout Factory releases a blu-ray of Trekkies 2.
For the price on Amazon, Trekkies was a good pick up for the money. It was good to add this to my collection (my previous ownership was the VHS tape I had recently found in the garage). And yes, I want Trekkies 2 on blu-ray to complete my collection.
“How many people does it take, admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand? Fifty thousand? A million? How many people does it take, admiral?!” Picard- Star Trek: Insurrection, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 14 “For a minute I was thinking to myself, There’s a warm wind blowing in from Minicoy.” Sisko- The Circle, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 15 “Somewhere, in that totality known as the universe, is a galaxy called the Milky Way. Tucked into the corner of that galaxy is a planet named Earth.” The Doctor- Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy, Stardate: Unknown #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 16 “Thank you for the drinks.” Mr. Homn- Haven, Stardate: 41294.5 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 17 “My love for my daughter is too deep for display. My pride in her runs even deeper. My daughter freely chose to do what she is doing, as the people of Gideon are free to choose.” Hodin- The Mark of Gideon, Stardate: 5423.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekTOS #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
Note: This article was originally started in June and was held in a draft form until it was completed and released now.
Adopters of new technology. Grabbing something that has a buzzword attached to it and running with it. It’s trendy with techies to jump into something shiny. There was even a course I had to take at my college to identify and understanding emerging technologies. Well I’ve actually dipped my toe into that water, and it wasn’t on purpose.
I’ve got the reputation for being a “technology whisperer” when it comes to computer issues. From family members to previous jobs, I had people approaching me about how to fix various IT issues. If I can get my hands on the device, I can usually “scare” it into working again. Most of this happens by poking around in the device until I find the correct settings or functions. However fixing them and understanding them didn’t mean that I was interested in being the first to get them. At first I was hesitant about getting wireless routers set up in my home because I was concerned about outside connections. Later as I saw the security options, I adopted the technology. I don’t need the latest OS or cell phone when the hype is the biggest because I know they will have some bugs that need to be worked out. I have no problems letting someone else be a guinea pig and getting burned while all the kinks are resolved. So when I heard about cryptocurrencies and NFTs, I thought “no thanks”.
Why was that? Well the first time I heard about NFTs was from my college aged art student. Apparently anyone can take a piece of art and turn it into an NFT without the artists permission. Something that really bothered the art community. For those of you who don’t know, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token. Boiled down, an NFT item (mostly artwork, but it can be assigned to videos. music, in-game items and other things) has a blockchain code attached to it. This code cannot be duplicated (the non-fungible part) and the record of it’s ownership is contained within the blockchain. Allegedly this gives a value to the image in question by trying to make it rare. Yea, a piece of artwork that has a limited run number imprinted on it (such as number 30 of 100 prints) is something similar, but I tend to trust the individual artists who put these out since I can support them directly. Here is an example of a limited print run artwork.
To me, this has value. The artist made it, the artist signed it, the artist got money for it. I can enjoy it on my wall and it will still be there if a server goes down. I still own it if someone hacks the account the NFT is connected to. An NFT can’t be held in my hand. It’s a glorified graphic file which anyone can right click and save. I’ve noticed when someone tries to artificially inflate the value of something, and I tend to avoid it. While I’ve enjoyed collectable card games, I didn’t jump on them right away. When they first came out and I noticed that they had the word “collectable” attached to it, I held off. When a comic publisher releases 12 versions of the same issue with different covers, I just buy one because I want the story on the inside. The NFTs producers even tried to attach them to a brand name with limited success. So it was no surprise that no one was buying the Star Trek NFTs at the official Star Trek convention in April. When the Admiral Pack went on sale at Mission: Chicago, it had a list price of $250. Now you can get one on their website for $189 (at the time of this article’s publication) Yea that collectors item really took off. One of the more popular NFT themes, the bored apes, had a unit sell for $50,000 in 2021 only to be re-sold in 2022 for $115. Ouch. While that may have been a one-time anomaly, an article in Marketwatch stated that the bored apes had lost 60% of their value in a month earlier this year.
OK Carl, I get what you are saying, but how do you now own NFTs if this trend is going south?
Believe me, I was just as shocked as you are. I received an email from a vendor for an upcoming concert that I purchased tickets for. Basically it said, “Congratulations, we are giving you an NFT of your ticket (which can’t be used to get into the concert) for free.” I remember raising an eyebrow at this email. When I looked at the NFT website (which was legit from the ticket company), it showed two generic looking tickets attached to my account. The same looking thing. Perhaps if there had been a different image on each NFT ticket, it may have been interesting. But it was just a boring looking ticket. And since I had purchased tickets to a second concert later in the year, another pair of NFT “tickets” showed up in the account a few weeks later. Again with similar boring illustrations on it. “Trade them with your friends, give them as gifts or sell them off to collectors.” Big whoop.
I purchased the tickets to the two concerts because my wife and I wanted to enjoy an evening together watching an artist we liked. Had I been on the fence about purchasing the tickets; the cost, not the opportunity to get an NFT, would have been the deciding factor.
I’ve talked with other friends about this whole NFT fiasco. And I think I’ll end this rant with a comment that has stuck out ever since I heard it. “The way you’ll know if NFTs are really going to take off is if the porn industry gets involved with it.” The more I thought about it, the more I believed this person was right. The porn industry has always been early adopters of new technology that gets their product out to the masses while making them money. Magazines, cable TV, VHS tapes, pay-per-view, the internet, DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K High Def, streaming, etc. When holodecks become common place, I’m sure that the porn industry will be right behind NASA and PBS in adopting the medium. If you look closely there hasn’t been any movement by the porn industry into NFTs. There are plenty of bondage chains, but no blockchains. (Fade Out)
So I found two more FASA catalogs that I didn’t own on Ebay. They were decent prices, so I snagged them and when the last one arrived today, I sat down and scanned it. I had purchased it sometime last month but it was being mailed from Australia. I had posted some of the other scanned catalogs in past blog entries, but recently I had combined all of this information in one central location in my FASA Star Trek RPG section.
This is the issue that came from an Australian ebay seller and it was printed length wise. To my knowledge, it is the same catalog that could be found in the United States. The first couple of pages detailed the Battletech supplements that FASA had released at the time. Following that was two pages of Doctor Who RPG books and one page of Doctor Who miniatures. The last half of the catalog is dedicated to the Star Trek RPG. Some of the interesting entries includes the description, ISBN and Stock Number for the mysterious Star Trek Ground Forces Manual. If anyone has a beta-copy of this book, I’d love to obtain it or get a PDF scan. I’ve always wondered what was in this book. I would try to preserve it here in my FASA historical information that I’ve placed on this website. We also see the details and the cover to the Star Fleet Marines tactical boardgame of ground combat. I wonder if this would have been similar to the Starship tactical combat game that FASA had a lot of success with? Another mysterious cover was Operation: Armageddon. I don’t know if this was a supplement for the Starship tactical simulator or an RPG sourcebook. This was another book that never hit the shelves and was (allegedly) one of the books that someone at Paramount (I suspect Gene’s assistant) had issues with. Struggle for the Throne was another side-game that would have dealt with political intrigue within the Klingon Empire. The last page was an advertisement for the Top Gun boardgame.
What a difference a couple of years makes. This booklet sized catalog primarily focused on two of FASA’s biggest properties at the time. Renegade Legion and the Battletech universe. The last third of the catalog details the Star Trek material that FASA had on hand at the time. While the Next Generation Officer’s Manual was listed, nothing else stood out. We had the standard entries, but no speculation entries of what might have been. This was getting close to the run for the FASA license and not a lot was listed.
I will be adding these two catalogs to the main catalog article very soon. As I come across additional catalogs, I’ll scan them and list them here.
Here are the Daily Star Trek Quotes that will appear on the @STrekQuotes twitter account for the week of July 4th through July 10th.
July 4 (re: the US Constitution) “These words and the words that follow were not written only for the Yangs, but for the Kohms as well!” Kirk “The Kohms?” Cloud “They must apply to everyone or they mean nothing! Do you understand?” Kirk- The Omega Glory #StarTrek #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 5 “Well, you tried being alone and it hasn’t done any good. So maybe it’s time to stop brooding and start talking.” Kira- The Search, Part I, Stardate: 48212.4 #StarTrek #StarTrekDS9 #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
July 6 “I don’t know much about Borg women but my advice to you is: don’t.” Paris- Revulsion, Stardate: 51186.2 #StarTrek #StarTrekVOY #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“Do not deny the challenge of your destiny. Get off your knees and soar. Open your eyes and let the dream take flight.” Korris- Heart of Glory, Stardate: 41503.7 #StarTrek #StarTrekTNG #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
“How the hell did you end up with Section 31?” Burnham “It’s a very interesting journey, actually.” Tyler “Tell me.” Burnham “But it’s classified. A word that pops up pretty frequently in my new vocabulary.” Tyler- Saints of Imperfection #StarTrekDiscovery #IDIC #WeAreStarfleet
So as you no doubt noticed, I didn’t do a lot of posting in June. I had a few posts about Star Trek e-Book deals and Shadowrun character sheet. But after that it was automated posts about the daily Star Trek quotes twitter account that I run. Yes it bugged me that I didn’t get more blog posts put up. So why did that happen? June of 2022 turned out to be very busy and very sucky towards the end.
I had the opportunity to go to several concerts (photos soon in the photo album). One of them was “Weird Al” Yankovick, which is always a treat. I have a draft of a blog post started for that event which I will finish up and post. I also started a draft post about my first NFTs that I now own (yea I’m just as shocked as you are) which will see the light of day soon.
It seemed like every weekend I was out of town taking care of one thing or another. I missed a lot of Svengoolie. Luckily, Creature Features posts their episodes on YouTube so I could catch up with them later. There were also lots of days that when work got over, I needed to unwind away from the computer. I did get some new game books and I found several new items out in the garage (more on those later). I was also able to catch up on a lot of my comics. I won’t got into detail on them now, but I’ve really been enjoying Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Obi Wan Kenobi and The Orville. I’ve also had the opportunity to catch up on some movies that I’ve missed.
But the thing that sucked most of all is that my household finally got hit by that bug that’s been going around. Yea… that one. Right at the end of the month. I missed out on two concerts because of it (one was Howard Jones that I really wanted to see). And as you can imagine, it also wiped out a lot of spare time that I had.
Thankfully we are on the mend (thank god for vaccines). I’m really wanting to get back to some gaming and geek articles. I’ve got a big FASA project that I can’t wait to unveil. I’m thinking of several new article types that I want to start posting on a regular basis. They won’t be marathons like the Character Creation Challenge, but they will be a series that will take a while. More on that soon. I’ve also got a fantasy campaign that I need to get on paper. The ideas have really been churning in my head.
I can see from my plugins that I’ve been getting regular hits to the site. Thank you for sticking with me. I hope that the upcoming articles will make it worth your while.