Posted in: Archer, Character Creation Challenge, Comic Books, Conventions, Doctor Who, Dune, Dungeons and Dragons, Horror, Movies, Music, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Star Wars, Video Game, Website

Moving from 2023 to 2024

Stack of character sheets printed out for the 2024 #CharacterCreationChallenge

2023 was a weird year to say the least. I was able to see a ton of concerts including several that I wanted to check off of the bucket list. These included Duran Duran, Love and Rockets, The Cure, Garbage, and Depeche Mode. I was able to see a live show that featured some of the comedians from “Who’s Line Is it Anyway” (the show had a different name probably for copyright reasons). I’ll be getting the photos for these up in the photo albums.

For the first time in a long time, I had the opportunity to attend a gaming convention. SaltCON Spring, SaltCON Summer and SaltCON End-of-Summer. I know at the beginning of the year, I stated that I only wanted to participate at this event and not volunteer. Well, after much thought and discussion with others, I’ll be running two games next spring. One will be a one-shot for Basic Fantasy RPG that I already had written up and did some polishing on. The other is a Star Trek Adventures: Lower Decks inspired game where the crew will be meeting the cast of Top Core (a sci-fi parody of the BBC show, Top Gear).

I’m still watching a ton of movies at home thanks to the many streaming services that I have access to. In the theater I did enjoy Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. I also saw Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. I also enjoyed this movie and I hope that the ending would lead to another sequel. But I wouldn’t be disappointed if there wasn’t one. My youngest is a Five Nights at Freddy’s fan so we had to go see the movie in the theater. Not knowing much about the video game series, I thought the movie was OK and I wasn’t bored. In 2024 I’m looking forward to seeing Dune: Part Two, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

Television wise I’ve been soaking up all of the various Star Trek franchises (Picard knocked it out of the park and I demand more Lower Decks). The Star Wars episodes have been good as well. I’m sad that Archer is ending, but I’d rather have it end on a high note. What We Do In The Shadows has also continued to entertain me. MST3K season 13 was a blast. I watch so much TV that I am unable to list them all here. On the weekends I’ve still been enjoying Svengoolie and Creature Features. I’m really looking forward to the new Doctor Who episodes after the great introduction from the 60th Anniversary specials and Christmas episode. The Fallout TV series has also caught my attention. I did cancel my Peacock account because there was nothing on it to watch (and I’d go months forgetting it was even there).

Reading wise I’m still going strong on the Star Trek and James Bond comics. While I’m also enjoying the Star Wars comics, I had to move from buying the physical books to a subscription to Marvel Unlimited due to the high cost of the individual issues. Too many Star Wars comics to continuing to buy them all.

I may have made a mistake with my video games. I set up both a Steam account and a GOG account. So I’ve been getting deals on lots of classic games that I use to play. I’ve been trying to play a few others as well such as Fallout New Vegas and a couple of other hidden gems that were tossed my way. But when it comes to time crunch issues, the video games get put off to the side pretty fast. I need to make sure that I’m spending some enjoyment time playing these games.

I want to get some writing done in 2024. I’ve talked about it, but I need to sit down and do it. Hopefully the Basic Fantasy scenario will be good enough to submit to the BFRPG community for consideration. While I also have some fan projects in mind, I’d actually like to have a few publications that I could legitimately sell online.

Keep an eye on this blog for what happens in 2024. Now off to the USS Ticonderoga New Years Eve party. Tomorrow I dive into the deep end of the pool with the Character Creation Challenge.

What did you enjoy about 2023? What geeky things do you want to do in 2024? 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: Doctor Who, Horror, Role Playing Games

RPGaDay2023 Day 25: Unplayed RPG you own

What Unplayed RPG do you own is the topic for Day 25 of the #RPGaDAY2023 Challenge. Are you kidding me? I’ve got a good collection of dead-tree books and a LOT of PDF copies of different games. OK, I think I’m going to pick one of each (physical book and PDF copy) that I wish I could play. However, I’m not going to talk about some of the games that I’ve already talked about previously.

Dead-Tree Version:

So I walked over to one of my bookshelves and the first book that jumped out and attacked me was the Doctor Who Roleplaying Game by Cubicle 7. I only own the 1st edition of the game, so I haven’t had a chance to check out the 2nd edition yet. Not only am I a huge Doctor Who fan (duh, look at the URL for this blog) but I loved how this game was presented. They made it very simple to try to explain the system to friends in an attempt to get them to play. (see photo below)

Not only was the basic rule easy to present, but so was the character creation process as I discovered in a past Character Creation Challenge. I liked how the attributes was explained (this score equals this type of human for each attribute). It made me really want to see how the system ran.

PDF Version:

Isolation Games put out an RPG called When The Moon Hangs Low. This is a gothic action RPG set in a fantasy Victorian inspired world where characters are tragic monster hunters in the capital city of Harrowmire. Each character has some connection (or deep secret) to the monsters they hunt. Think Supernatural in a Victorian Age. I had picked up this game in a charity bundle on DriveThruRPG to support Doctors Without Borders just after the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine. The system sounds interesting and the Character Creation process was pretty simple. The company even has their own discord server for players to check out and ask questions.

Again there were a ton of options I could have selected from, but these two jumped out at me when I was looking over the collection.

Do you have an unplayed RPG that you own? 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.

Posted in: Collecting, Comic Books, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek, Transformers

More IDW Comics in Star Trek Adventures?

What I would like to see

So earlier this month I was working on my review of the latest Star Trek Lower Decks releases for the Star Trek Adventures RPG when it hit me. “I wonder if we will see any future cross-over products between Modiphius (publisher of Star Trek Adventures) and IDW run of Star Trek comics?” Back in 2021 there had been a cooperative release with the IDW Year Five Tie In.

So I thought I’d take to social media and ask. On twitter (while dodging spam posts) I submitted the following:

Hey @Modiphius are we going to see any additional #StarTrekAdventures supplements for @IDWPublishing #StarTrek comics like we did for Year-Five tie in? I would love to see more supplements like this. #please

@TardisCaptain

Well, I received a response from Jim Johnson, who is the project manager for Modiphius Star Trek Adventures. Wow, I wasn’t expecting that. He asked what I’d like to see from the IDW run. Well when I read that, my first thought was “Everything!” Yea, I know that’s not going to fly logically. IDW has been publishing Star Trek comics since 2007 and has released over 400 issues and trade paperbacks. Some of them include crossovers with other intellectual properties such as Doctor Who, Planet of the Apes, Green Lantern, The Legion of Superheroes and Transformers. The likelihood of any supplements for these issues are slim to none. Especially since there is already a roleplaying game for Transformers and Doctor Who.

So what was the most likely candidates from the wide catalog of IDW publications would be good for a Star Trek Adventures supplement? Well I have several recommendations in mind. I did mention a few in a quick twitter response to Mr. Johnson, but I felt that this topic deserved a blog post to give it more thought.

I’ve actually mentioned this in past blog posts, but IDW has done a very good series of comics covering the TNG crew in the Mirror Universe. In this setting, the Terran Empire was defeated, but not overrun. (Hey, if you are looking for a reason to keep this within “cannon”, just remember that there are many, many multiple universes as seen in the TNG episode “Parallels“.) This empire was boxed in, was low on resources (Captain’s kept their own secret supply caches) and still had some fight in it (for both external and internal conflicts). RPG scenarios could include Prime Universe Federation members dealing with Terran Empire incursions, more accidental crossovers or a campaign set with PCs playing members of the Terran Starfleet. Some of the advantages to this idea include lots of resource material (13 TNG comics plus additionaly 7 TOS comics, 1 Voyager comic, and 4 Discovery comics) which could include new races, new spacefames, new background information, new characters (we see “The Obnoxious Okona” who is a thorn in Mirror Captain Picard’s side). The disadvantages that I see are also the large number of sources (the supplement could be much larger than the Year Five tie in if they didn’t break it up by comic series), roleplaying in the Mirror Universe is much different than in the Prime Universe (but I do recall playing in a FASA Star Trek campaign where we were accidentally sent to the Mirror Universe) and there is a lot of Mirror Universe seen in the shows. While this is my first choice that I would LOVE to see, I could understand why it may not make the list at Modiphius.

Before there was Star Trek: Year Five by IDW, the comic publisher released Star Trek Year Four. This covered what could have been the fourth season of The Original Series. This would make for an excellent companion piece to the STA Year Five tie-in. This would be an excellent opportunity to present the stats for the Federation Class Dreadnought (seen in the Enterprise Experiment series). There are not as many issues covering Year Four as there are for Year Five (10 vs 26 respectively) but that might make is more of a candidate for a PDF only release. There are other TOS comics presented by IDW, but they cover various times across the Original Series. That could be used to pad out a publication if needed.

The next recommendation may be an issue. I don’t know if Modiphius has any type of license with the Kelvin Universe movies. Creating a tie-in supplement might be possible if a license isn’t fully connected. However there are a LOT of Kelvin Universe comics published by IDW. A total of 106 issues (not counting the two Kelvin Universe/Green Lantern crossovers). Some of these issues cover Starfleet Academy cadets and could be a perfect way to release some Kelvin Universe resource material into the market.

The last recommendation that I’m going to make is for Leonard McCoy: Frontier Doctor that had four issues. Not a lot of material, but the storyline covered Dr. McCoy after he had left Starfleet and went on a “Doctors without Borders” type of adventure (between the end of The Original Series and The Motion Picture). There would definable be a new spaceframe (The Joanna), several characters and planets and information on how to play in the Frontier Medics Program. A non-Starfleet sourcebook could help with civilian roleplaying.

As I mentioned in my Year Five Tie-In review, there was still some Year Five material that could have been added to the supplement. I wouldn’t be opposed to that type of expansion.

There are still a ton of other IDW Star Trek titles that information could be pulled to create a tie-in supplement. Some cover various races and characters. A few had different inter-ST series crossovers that only comics could pull off. Others had tie-ins with different Star Trek novels and video games. I believe that IDW has the longest run of continuous Star Trek comic publications. Despite recent news that the company had some layoffs, I hope that they will be able to continue to publish new comics for quite a few more years.

Thank you Jim Johnson for inspiring me to expand this subject into a blog post. I had a great time going back through several comics and (quickly) re-reading some of the stories. Jim did respond to my suggestion tweet saying “I just gotta chat with the good people over there and see what’s possible.” So… (crosses fingers).

What IDW Comics would you like to see turned into a Star Trek Adventures supplement? Are there other Star Trek comics that you draw gaming inspiration from? This article is open for discussion on the TardisCaptain dot Com Discord server. You can also email me at Carl (at) TardisCaptain.com with any comments.

Posted in: Autographs, Collecting, Comic Books, Community Service, Conventions, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

FanX 2022 After Action Report

My haul from FanX 2022

So another FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention is in the books. With how hectic my summer has been, I didn’t know if i was going to be able to make it. Starfleet Command’s Seventh Fleet was going to have a charity booth at the convention again to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Thankfully our Star Trek fan club is set up so that when real life gets in the way others can step forward. The crew of the USS Pulsar led the various volunteers for the booth. They put together a brand new photo op for convention attendees to use which was the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds transporter pad. After talking with Captain Joe Coleflesh, he stated to just come do what I could and they would handle everything else. So on Wednesday (the day before the con opened) I arrived and got the booth registered. I’m in a walking boot now, but I still had to stay off of my foot as often as I could. Luckily a friend of mine had let me borrow a knee scooter. This allowed me to move about the very large Salt Palace with some ease. It was still a toll on my body so every day of the convention was a “game time decision” on if I was going to make it.

On Thursday I rode down with a friend and was able to check out the vendors floor before the con opened (an advantage of being an exhibitor). I saw a few things that I wanted to pick up when everything was opened. I spent most of the day at the Seventh Fleet booth meeting up with new recruits and old friends who stopped by to say hello. Despite being sore, I made the trek back down on Friday and took my youngest to Kid-Con. Unfortunately, that may have been too much so I wasn’t able to come down on Saturday. If I missed meeting up with you, I hope to catch you at a future event. I will be adding some new photos to my online photo album that were taken at the con.

From a Utah vendor I was able to pick up a dice tray and a pin with a graphic of a D20 that stated “This is how I roll”. I purchased the 2022 anthology “Parliament of Wizards“. With several of the local authors in attendance, I was able to get several of them to autograph the book. My last long Dungeons and Dragons campaign allowed me to play a wizard, so I thought I might gain some inspiration from this book for future gaming sessions. Speaking of getting books signed, I also picked up The Complete Elfquest Volume One and meet the creators Wendy and Richard Pini. I’ve been a fan of this series ever since I read the first trade paperback back in the mid-80’s and I was unaware that they were even coming. While there are a lot of geeky things for sale at the con, I hardly see any role-playing books. So when I discovered that Andrew E.C. Gaska, the author of the Alien Roleplaying Game published by Free League was also present, I had to pick up the core book for him to autograph. When I told him that Aliens was my favorite movie of all time, he wrote a special message with his signature. Yes, I will be using this system in my Character Creation Challenge in 2023. And thanks to my friend Tina, I was able to pick up the autograph of Steven Weber who played Colonel Day on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I would have picked up more autographs but I wasn’t informed about the prices before the con so I couldn’t budget before hand.

Despite missing Saturday and being sore, I did enjoy getting out and seeing the creativity that our local geek community comes up with. Also a big thank you to the members of the Seventh Fleet for running a successful charity booth and to all of the fans who helped donate to the American Cancer Society. To Dan Farr and the many, many volunteers at the con, thank you for all that you do. FanX 2023 has already set the dates of September 21-23 for the next event. I can’t wait to see what amazing things we will see then. Hopefully I’ll be well enough to cosplay.

Here are some different photos I took at the con.

Note: You can read my 2021 FanX action report here.

Posted in: Doctor Who, Dungeons and Dragons, Fan Club, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

RPGaDAY 2022 catch up #1

In August 2021 I participated in the #RPGaDAY challenge. I was able to complete all 31 days that had a variety of subjects to blog about. It was an interesting challenge. As you can see from the schedule posted above, they changed the format to follow a Who, What, When, Where, Why, How and a special Sunday question.

I was interested in participating this year, until recent events came up. There is a physical challenge in posting for 31 days while still interacting with family, friends, work, hobbies, etc. After I had broken my foot, I knew that there was no way I could post on a daily basis. So I’m going to try to do the next best thing. When the schedule allows it (between leg rests) I’m going to play catch up and try to post the recent entries into one blog post.

Day 1: Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

I’m assuming that this introduction would be for people who have never played a role-playing game before. There are certain members of my Star Trek fan club that I wouldn’t mind introducing to RPGs. Fandom is about geeking out together with other fans. Role-playing games are just another way for friends to geek out together. A second answer to this would be some neighbors who have actually asked about RPGs. It would be nice to have some nearby players.

Day 2: What is a great introductory RPG?

I really think this would depend upon the interest of the players. If they were interested in fantasy I might use the game I cut my teeth on which is Basic Dungeons and Dragons. If it was a younger crowd I might use Tiny Dungeon: Second Edition. If the group was interested in the gangster genre, I might pull out Gangbusters B/X. Tall Tales B/X is probably what I’d use if they wanted to play a westerns campaign. Star Trek fans would like the Star Trek Adventures system, while the Whovians might like Doctor Who: The Roleplaying Game. If generic science fiction is wanted, I might use FrontierSpace. There are a bunch of other genres that I haven’t listed yet with plenty of games ready to cover them.

Day 3: When were you fist introduced to RPGs?

Many many moons ago I saw some friends playing Dungeons and Dragons in Elementary School. However the bulk of my early playing happened while I was in Junior High School. That is when I really got the dice rolling and my parents concerned. They must not have seen it as too bad because they didn’t try to stop me from actually playing. I’ve mentioned that they took my D&D books once because they thought I wasn’t paying enough attention in school, but returned them later when everything was better.

Day 4: Where would you host a first game?

If I was with a bunch of friends, I’d probably host at my home. I have more control over the area, the food is in my kitchen and I don’t have to go very far once the game is done. If I was going to be gaming with players that I had not played with before (or often) I might host the game at a local gaming store. But I don’t have as much control there when it comes to keeping distractions to a minimum.

Day 5: Why will they like this game?

I’m not certain what the organizers are asking here. If they are talking about the games I mentioned in Day 2, then the players might like it because it aligns with their interests. I also hope that as a gamemaster I’m providing an entertaining game that they players would enjoy in a safe environment. The primary reason we want to play role-playing games is to have fun and escape the troubles we are experiencing in our world now.

Day 6: How would you get more people playing RPGs?

Damn good question. There is no magic wand or trick that you could use to just get players to start. I think ease of access would help get more players. Don’t make the games overly expensive (at least for the basic game) or require special miniatures and dice. Don’t make the system overly complex. As I mentioned before, if you want me to try to convince my friends to play, make it easy for me to explain the system the game uses. And then there is always the dreaded, do the schedules work out. Sigh.

Conclusion:

Yea I snuck in Day 6 on the 5th. I wanted to answer the question now while I had the blog open. I don’t know if I’ll be able to post next in a day or two or in a week. We will have to see how the schedule and leg lets me post. I do have to say I admire the RPG bloggers that can post on a daily basis. Hats off to you.

Posted in: Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Two more FASA catalogs

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.

Posted in: Archer, Character Creation Challenge, Comic Books, Conventions, Cosplay, Doctor Who, Dune, Fan Club, Horror, Horror Hosts, Humor, James Bond, Movies, MST3K, Music, No One Lives Forever, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Spy-Fi, Star Trek, Star Wars, TV Review, Video Game, Website

2021 is in the rear view, now onto 2022

So another year has come and gone and I am glad. While 2021 was not as bad as the year that shall not be named, it wasn’t the easiest. There are still some challenges in this world that I really hope that our society can come together to get past. I’m still trying to focus on the positives of the past year.

==Role Playing Games==

2021 started out with the first #CharacterCreationChallenge. Amazingly enough I was able to knock out 31 characters in 31 days. I loved reading all of the different responses that the other participants and even made a few new friends along the way. I’m looking forward to the 2022 Character Creation Challenge.

There was also the #RPGaDAY2021 Challenge during the month of August. I really had a struggle with this one, but I was glad that I had participated in it.

I also had a chance to finally play an online Star Trek Adventures game. We have a second session in our “one-shot” planned very soon. The kewl thing is, the game was announced with less than a 24 hour start time. I was able to use my Star Trek Adventures entry in the Character Creation Challenge to quickly drop into the game. Playing on just Zoom is difficult, but doable.

I also had some friends get me into an online Starfinder game that lasted several months (with 1-2 sessions per month). It was interesting, but it really turned me off using Fantasy Grounds as an online platform. It’s an app instead of a browser based system and it is a resource hog like nothing else. Even the players with high end computers were having issues. Unfortunately real life caused the game to end after a few months. The Starfinder system is ok, but a bit crunchy to what I’m use to. The Pathfinder in space mentality didn’t really appeal to me either. I know I was gaming more for the company than I was for the system and universe.

I still want to get into a D&D 5th edition game or a regular Star Trek Adventure game. I’d also prefer to get back together with gaming in person, but with the way the variants are running wild, I’m not certain that will happen any time soon. I’m open to an online game if the schedules can be worked out (the same old problems).

There were several new additions to my role-playing game collection. Between purchases and donations from friends I’ve been able to add to my gaming shelf. I also took advantage of several PDF sales. Instead of listing them all here, I’m planning to save them for my Character Creation Challenge entries. I also added to my dice collection including a special die.

==Video Games==

I’m still playing my old standbys of No One Lives Forever and Tron 2.0. However thanks to a gift card for GameStop (actually ThinkGeek) I was able to pick up a few other video games that I’m looking forward to trying out. I’ve been playing Balder’s Gate and it’s been… interesting. I think I might be playing it wrong.

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order has been good so far, but I think my daughter is enjoying it more than I am.

==Movies==

Even though it came out the year before, I had the chance to see Wonder Woman 1984 and I enjoyed it. I wished I could have seen it in the theater. 2021 was also the 25th Anniversary of the Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie.

Through streaming I was able to enjoy Black Widow and Godzilla vs Kong (wish I could have seen this in the theater).

Finally getting back into the theater I was able to enjoy watching the latest James Bond movie. We finally saw the sci-fi epic Dune and loved watching the new Ghostbusters film. I still want to watch the latest Matrix movie, Spiderman movie and The King’s Man while they are in the theaters.

I’ve also watched a ton of cheesy sci-fi, fantasy and horror films on streaming services. Some were good, some were not so good.

==Television==

Creature Features held it’s 50th Anniversary. During the summer I had my photo aired on a segment of Svengoolie and my kid’s artwork promoted on Creature Features.

Netflix’s Army of the Dead was a good adventure. Amazon’s The Tomorrow War was interesting to watch. Ice Road was also interesting, but probably not a repeat watch. The Wheel of Time didn’t catch my attention at first, but slowly got a little better. I never read the books so I don’t know how it compares. I really enjoyed Foundation after I was worried how the books were going to translate to the screen. Invasion was an interesting concept, but starts out really slow. I’m glad I stuck with it. I need to finish Y: The Last Man and I’m really disappointed that we will only get one season of Cowboy Bebop.

Thank you What We Do In The Shadows, Archer and South Park for being funny. Crossed Swords was a challenge, but I was able to get into it. I’ve really enjoyed the animated Disenchantment series on Netflix. It was also good to see Animaniacs again.

On the Star Trek front, Star Trek: Prodigy has been interesting. I’ve also been enjoying Star Trek: Discovery as well. I really think that Star Trek: Lower Decks has knocked it out of the park. I am really looking forward to Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I wish there was more Short Treks. Wil Wheaton’s after show “The Ready Room” has been very enjoyable and informative.

Disney+ brought us several good entries for 2021. The Muppet’s Haunted Mansion was really, really good. I really wish that they would give us more Muppets Now. WandaVision and Loki were really good from the Marvel entries. Falcon and the Winter Soldier was ok. I haven’t seen the Hawkeye series yet but plan to sit down and watch it. I really liked the What If!?! series. On the Star Wars side, The Mandalorian continued to be great. Visions was ok, but I wish I hadn’t binged it since it probably would have been better in smaller doses. The Bad Batch was also enjoyable. There has only been one episode of The Book of Boba Fett so I’ll be watching to see where this goes.

Because I missed a lot of Doctor Who episodes while I was studying for college, I spent part of the year catching up. Not only was I able to complete this task, I was able to watch the latest season as it aired. I’m looking forward to the New Years Day special.

2022 will finally get us the third season of The Orville and I’m really looking forward to the next season of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

==Books and Comics==

I really enjoyed the Star Trek: Picard novel, Last Best Hope. There are several other books that I’ve been reading on my kindle and in dead tree format. I’ve been trying to read The Dying Earth series by Jack Vance as well but I haven’t completed them.

The War of the Bounty Hunters in the Star Wars comic series was good, but frustrating. I really wish that they had a better system to follow the flow of the story that spans across several publications. I felt like a few times I was re-treading over the same ground.

The Mirror Universe stories and Star Trek Year Five was really good from IDW Publishing. I’m looking forward to reading more of these stories.

Doctor Who, James Bond and The Orville was other comics I had been pulling from my local store.

==Cosplay and Conventions==

I was able to add the Admiral Picard uniform to my collection. I had a chance to wear this at FanX: The Salt Lake Comic Convention. It was the only con I attended in the year. Hopefully 2022 will be better convention wise. I’d love to get an Admiral Vance uniform from Star Trek: Discovery or a Monster Maroon from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. However those are long term goals.

==Live Events==

Thanks to 103.1 The Wave, we were able to take the family to Lagoon. With the vaccines helping out, we’ve been able to attend the Trans-Siberian Orchestra performance and the live Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time Bubble Tour. I’ve already got several concerts and events planned for 2022. The Beyond Van Gogh experience was probably the closest I’ll ever get to a holodeck experience. The Egyptian exhibit at the Natural History Museum of Utah was very enjoyable.

I was also interviewed on the radio for the Star Trek Day 2021. That was an interesting experience. But also not the first time I’ve been interviewed on the TV, Radio or even print.

Our Seventh Fleet and USS Ticonderoga meetings and events have been able to get back in person. This was a very good thing as we are a close knit Star Trek family. We’ve been able to grow and succeed because we get together and see each other’s smiling faces.

==Website==

I was able to get some photo albums online and I’ve added to them as I’ve found more photos. I’ve been able to keep to a regular schedule of several blog posts per week (counting the Star Trek Quotes listings). I should do more gaming articles and reviews of things I’ve watched/read/enjoyed. However, I still need to get some of the other sections of my website filled out. I’m a little upset with myself that I haven’t gotten more of the website completed. This will be a goal for 2022.

It’s good to have goals. I think I’m going to spend 2022 trying to achieve more of them.

Posted in: Comic Books, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Star Trek

Two Trek tastes that go great together

Modiphius and IDW Publishing working together.
Modiphius and IDW Publishing working together.

In the “I wasn’t expecting this news today” department, Modiphius released a supplement for their Star Trek Adventures roleplaying game. The IDW Year Five Tie In detailing the events from the Star Trek comic series, Star Trek: Year Five by IDW Publishing.

What makes this product so unique is that it’s based off of another Star Trek licensed publication instead of from a television series or movie. This is something that I’ve been wanting to see for quite some time with a Star Trek roleplaying game. There have been comics based off of a video game (Star Trek: Elite Force) and a novel based off of the MMORPG, Star Trek Online (Star Trek Online: The Needs of the Many) but nothing with RPGs so far. Since IDW has been publishing Star Trek comics for over ten years, I hope that this is the start of a long line of products. IDW has had a successful series of Next Generation comics based off of Mirror Universe characters. There was an interesting Romulan series dealing with internal politics. The Kelvin timeline was greatly expanded with several comic series. Basically there are too many storylines to list here, most of them very enjoyable.

Having been inspired by the fan created, Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space Expanded Universe series, I was planning to write up my own series of Star Trek Expanded Universe publications (not for sale since I don’t want to violate any rights of the IP holders). Since Modiphius has released one IDW supplement (and hopefully more), I’ll avoid stepping on any toes by creating homebrew stats from non-IDW sources.

I’ve really been fired up by today’s release. I had to buy the book immediately from DriveThruRPG. It uses some of the wonderful artwork from the comics (a bonus which helped I’m certain). There are three new playable races. The I’qosa (a new race introduced in the comics), the Iotians (yea, the Piece of the Action guys) and the Tholians. We get the stats for one new Starfleet vessel as well as ships from the Tholians and I’qosa. Some of the character write ups includes Harry Mudd, Surak, Gary Seven and Isis, all of which were represented all over the Year Five series. There are also two new factions that the gamemasters can use in their campaigns.

While there was a lot packed into the 26 pages. I was really hoping for a racial write-up for the Centaurans (A Federation race featured in the series). There were also several possible NPCs such as the various candidates for UFP president that could have been written up as well. Hopefully there will be a supplement to the supplement.

One set of ships that I doubt we’ll see stats for are the original FASA Starfleet ships that made it into the artwork of Star Trek: Year Five. There were several ships that were clearly inspired by the Federation Starship Recognition Manual. FASA Star Trek references have shown up in quite a few episodes and other licensed works.

Once again, thumbs up to Fred Love and the team at Modiphius for releasing this great supplement for Star Trek Adventures. Don’t make me pull out the “Please Sir, can I have some more” meme when it comes to works like this.

UPDATE: After I posted this entry, I went into my local comic store and picked up my hold on my monthly visit. This included the last issue of Star Trek: Year Five. At the back of the comic book was an advertisement for this product. This issue was releasd on the same day as the announcement from Modiphius.

Posted in: Collecting, Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Star Trek, Top Secret

#RPGaDay2021 Day 25: Box

Day 25: Box

I have loved boxed sets for different role playing games. Besides the various books, sometimes there are extras that are included in the box. Dice, maps, character sheets, player aids and (one of my favorites) catalogs. I also think that the boxes look better than some of the books when I’m taking a shelfie (a picture of books on a shelf) of my role playing game collection.

The bad thing about the boxes is that they are made out of a type of cardboard. This cardboard can be easily crushed or damaged at the corners. Games that have been kept in temporary storage boxes (more cardboard that can easily be crushed), over stuffing the box with more than it’s capable of holding, moved from place to play by friends who don’t know what’s inside, constant opening, etc. can take a toll on some of these boxes.

Here are some photos of some of the boxes that I have in my collection that are in need of repair.

The Doctor Who RPG boxed set by FASA.
The Doctor Who RPG boxed set by FASA.
Several boxed sets for the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game.
Several boxed sets for the FASA Star Trek Role Playing Game.
Boxed Romulan supplement for the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games.
Boxed Romulan supplement for the Star Trek RPG by Last Unicorn Games.
Damaged corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Damaged corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Split corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
Split corner from the Pirates and Plunder boxed set.
A split corner on the Top Secret boxed set by TSR.
A split corner on the Top Secret boxed set by TSR.

As you can see, some of these boxes are so damaged that I don’t even want to move them on the shelves. This is not good. I’ve been researching how to repair these boxes without damaging them further. I really don’t want to tape up the box as the tape will eventually fade and fail (I’ve got one book that I did this to in the 90’s and I wish I had done something differently now). One site suggested getting candy boxes with thin cardboard and cut them for use in the corners of the box that you wish to reinforce. I’d have to make sure the box is free of any food particles before I do that.

I think the first thing I’m going to do is buy some used board games at a thrift store that come in boxes with similar thickness. Toss the game contents and then use the boxes as my test platforms. I can experiment with different glues and repair styles. This way if I mess up, I’m not further damaging a collectable. I don’t know if I want to go all the way in my restoration project to make the game like mint. Sometimes having a little bit of wear and tear shows the love for the game. But I’d like to be able to pull my Star Trek RPG box out without praying that the entire box doesn’t disintegrate on me.

I’ll make a future blog post with details when I take this project on.

Final Thoughts:

“Welcome” could easily be a post about how to make sure that all players feel welcomed at your gaming table. “Tradition” could be a host of things, none that are coming to me currently. “Fresh” could be a post on how to keep your game from becoming stale and stagnant. I could see some possibilities in today’s recommendations.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
Posted in: Doctor Who, Role Playing Games, Science Fiction, Star Trek

#RPGaDay2021 Day 24: Translate

Day 24: Translate

There are a lot of languages that can be used within different role playing games. Spies in a modern day espionage game may have to deal with the dialect of different nations. Races in both fantasy and science fiction genres have their own language. In some fantasy games, certain classes/occupations have their own languages such as Thieves’ Cant.

Most games state that there is a common language that everyone speaks as a first or second language. According to StatisticsAndData.org the number of people on Earth that speak English is 1.2 billion. The population of the planet is 7.8 billion. It would make sense that there would be different dialects even in a fantasy world or science fiction universe.

So how do Game Masters handle a language barrier? There are two different ways. Keep the difference in languages there as a possible role playing opportunity or introduce a translator option.

The language barrier can make for some interesting drama. Can you get American secret agent the message over to the Italian police officer that there really is a bomb in the van he’s been chasing? Some RPGs have language skill ratings, this could be a time to use it. If PCs and NPCs are talking in a language that other PCs don’t know, I’d recommend using notes to pass between the players that understand the language (as well as the GM). I understand one of the online virtual table top systems will allow you to type a message in English and have it translated into the language selected. Only those who have that language listed as a skill can read the text. There are different ways that this can be incorporated.

The automatic translator is also another option. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has the Babel Fish. The Farscape TV series uses translator microbes that are injected into the body which conducts the translations. While Star Trek introduced the translator as a piece of equipment in the 1960’s, a modern day version has already been developed. In Doctor Who, the TARDIS translates for the occupants. In one of the early episodes of season eleven, the Human companions were placed in medical pods. When the pod discovered that the occupants didn’t have a translator circuit installed, one was inserted into them. Several fantasy games have the equivalent of a “translate languages” spell, or one could be created very easily. Plus a translator could be hired by the party when entering a foreign land. This also creates another role playing opportunity.

Even if direct translations could be provided, there is still the issue with slang and metaphors. The Next Generation fifth season episode, Darmok, highlighted this challenge very well.

Just as the weather will always be spring like and sunny, different languages can be used to spice up a role playing game.

Final Thoughts:

Not really a bad crop of suggestions for the day. However I didn’t decide upon a topic until just before I started creating the blog post. “Ancient” could have talked about ancient civilizations in an exploring game. “Solve” could talk about different types of puzzles. I had nothing for “Share”.

RPGaDay 2021 chart
The RPGaDay 2021 chart
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