Looks like 6 Arrows will be returning relatively soon with a change in game master. Come on, you knew we couldn’t keep from role playing for long!
Archive for the “Blog” Category
Adventures abound for members of the Century Club, and this group of members will have a particularly deadly assignment.
From left to right, top to bottom:
Klaus von Drexler – An native of German and an opponent of the National Socialist Party, Klaus works underground to fight for the rights of Germans everywhere. Played by Jeff.
Dr. Margaret Stanhope – A well-respected archaeologist from England, she demands that history be preserved and belongs in a museum. Played by Keri.
Neville Swift – Although no one knows his name, he is infamous in many countries. He is a master of burglary and specializes in theft of historical pieces of art. Played by Dave.
Dr. Trent Cranston – An eccentric scientist who loves his gadgets more than people, and revels in new discoveries. Played by Matt.
Dr. Xanadu Addams – An American doctor of history, Xan Addams approaches the world as if it’s his for the taking, whether it’s the treasure of ancient tombs or the hearts of women. Played by Chris.
This group of argumentative Century Club members have been assigned as a team in India. Her majesty is hosting an event on the Island of Colaba (though she is not in attendance) in celebration of the recovery of the cargo of an East India Trading Company vessel that sunk in 1921. The event is being held on the grounds of the St. John the Evangelist Anglican church. The cargo included many valuables being taken from India for safe keeping during the plague outbreak in 1920.
Will someone attempt to steal the treasure? Will the team be framed for murder? Only the next episode will reveal the insidious plot they must defeat!
What I played this week: Crokinole and Carcassonne. Sean butchered everyone in Crokinole, he’s getting quite good at it. It’s a fun game but for me to get better I need to change my technique to allow for more accuracy. I really want to change the way I flick the discs, because what I do now is snap it from the side, and after a while it hurts my finger and also it doesn’t always go where I want it to.
Carcassonne is a fun tile game that I have here at the house, but have never played correctly. I did ok, Dave won but it was a close match, and it was fun.
I also have been playing quite a bit of Portal 2. This game isn’t getting great reviews at Metacritic, but I am loving it. Right now it’s only at 7.1 for the users, which is surprisingly low. I have only played the first 3 parts of the co-op and the first 8 or 9 levels of the single player. The co-op is really fun and clever. I am nervous about the game’s length. I’m hearing it is longer than the first game, but not by much. UGH.
What I listened to this week: I have created some Star Trek: Voyager audio rips and have been listening some to that. Voyager has quite a few really good episodes and a few are worthy of repeated viewings and listenings. I also picked up two Star Trek podcasts this week.
One is called Priority One, and it covers the Star Trek MMO. I don’t play this game, as I am trying to avoid MMOs, although I did try it. I do like these guys, though. I will admit I had a hard time with the Scottish accent of one of the hosts, but I have developed an ear for him now and he’s quite good. I have listened to quite a few of these episodes, and for a possibly odd reason. When I left Star Trek 10 years ago, I was not particularly involved in the community and now that I am dipping my toes in again I am surprised at the depth. The MMO is a big part of it, and I am interested in understanding it as there are not very many ‘new’ things in Trek besides the JJAbrams movie and a smattering of books. The MMO is releasing new content and there is some enthusiasm for the game that is enticing. Further research is required.
The other podcast is actually a videocast, and it is called Trek.fm Hyperchannel. It’s actually a video podcast, which I typically do not care for. But they are short, 3 minutes, and very professionally made. It’s a job well done, and I appreciate that. I follow the producer on Twitter, and he’s actually quite funny. I wonder why he doesn’t put that into his podcasts.
What I watched this week: More Star Trek: Voyager. Some Merlin, The It Crowd, although I’ve seen them all once already.
What I read this week: I got an absolute TREASURE TROVE of FASA Star Trek RPG stuff. Someone took their whole collection and sold it. I picked through it at Half-Price Books, and wanted it all but had to settle for a module about the Gorns and a couple of supplements. So I’ve read through that some. I finished my Voyager book, and I need to read up on the Spirit of the Century RPG book since we are starting that soon.
Is it Thursday? Yes! The weekend is almost upon us. Also, I have another Cogitations written just for you.
What I played this week: Almost nothing. I can’t think of any games at all that I played. I didn’t even play any crappy Facebook or web games.
What I listened to this week: The Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. I am thinking of signing up so that I can get into SongHenge. I also listened to some Star Trek Podcasts.
What I watched this week: Reality TV, Star Trek: Voyager, Merlin, and The Big Bang Theory. I saw another Voyager episode that I did not remember, and it was good. S5E1 Night. It’s got a nice 8.18 rating from GEOS, my favorite review site, and it was just fun, if dumb in many areas. But that’s Star Trek, and I love to nitpick anyway.
What I read this week: Seven of Nine by Christie Golden. I’m jumping back into Trek pretty heavily.
Well that’s about all that is going on. I am continuing to think about Trek and higher involvement, but that is probably of limited interest to this group. I will say that when I think about the fundamental formative activities that I did when I was growing up RPGS and Star Trek are pretty high on the list. I find it interesting that I am returning to those things, and that they still hold wonder for me.
I’m looking forward to our next campaign. I had mentioned that I may not record those sessions, but Sean jumped in and said he might. I’ll need to discuss it with him. If he wants to, great and I’ll just link here. But I’d rather he not have to host, GM, and produce a podcast. It isn’t that hard for me, honestly, so unless Sean just wants to do it for some techie or whatever reason I may go ahead and continue. I worry about him burning out despite his reassurances to the contrary.
I am still having problems thinking of what character to make. I can’t find many pregens.
Well, hopefully something interesting will happen to me this next week.
The Hobbit is being filmed right now, even as I type this, and even as you read this. It’s terribly exciting; as close to a guaranteed masterpiece as you can get.
I am a fan of the Peter Jackson Facebook page, or maybe I just clicked a ‘like’ button, or something, but this picture appeared just now and I’m thrilled. Jackson has promised a video in a ‘day or two’ with some kind of footage of something, so I’ll be eagerly waiting for the scraps of information that he chooses to present to us.
This is the best part of the Internet!
Another week, another cogitation. Let me recap my week:
What I played this week: Our group did not meet this week, so no board / rpg games this week. I’ve been playing Full House Poker on my Xbox, and my copy of Bioshock 2 just arrived yesterday. Unfortunately Bioshock 2 had really bad language, so it’s going to be difficult to find time to play it with all the little ears that run around my house.
What I listened to this week: Flagons and Dragons, a relatively new podcast. Their library is not deep yet but I really enjoyed their episode on dice. I’m becoming a bit of a snob when it comes to sound quality and these guys sound absolutely fabulous. Also, Geeking Off. Their most recent episode is about Battlestar Galactica, which I really have fond memories of despite it’s many flaws.
What I watched this week: I am watching the Big Bang Theory for the first time. My wife and I are through the first half of the first season and I am embarrassed that I have not watched been watching this show. What a shame. It’s great.
What I read this week: Spirit of the Century. This will be our next game. It’s a ‘pulp’ type game – think Flash Gordon or even Raiders of the Lost Ark. It sounds like fun although Keri will not be joining us. I’m also actually, and unfortunately, thinking of not recording this next session. I’ve been running this website for almost exactly one year and I need a break. I want to just relax and play and not have to come home and process all that stuff, although I do have it down to a science at this point. I need to recharge my batteries a bit and also have some other things I want to explore.
What I played this week: Our 4e campaign wrapped up last week so this week we decided to play a board game called Cosmic Encounter. It was quite a bit of fun. Chris won both times, damn him, and Matt also won one of the games with him in a tie. I think everyone had a great time. I also played a large amount of Full House Poker on Xbox live.
What I listened to this week: Lots of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. My kids are also listening to this. I like podsafe music and Mark Gunn is single handedly expanding this genre of music. It’s hard to get exposure to this type of music unless you are at a renaissance festival. Hats off to the Celt Father. I have also been listening to Star Trek podcasts. While there are a large number, sadly a big percentage have podfaded or appear to be in the process of podfading. I do not see a definitive news podcast.
What I watched this week: Tons of Star Trek: Voyager, a little Merlin, and my usual large staple of reality TV. I am not remembering many of these Voyager episodes and they feel very fresh to me. Never before has my relatively poor memory served me so well. This show aired during the birth of my first child so that period is a bit hazy anyway due to lack of sleep at the time.
What I read this week: Star Trek The Next Generation RPG by Last Unicorn Games. I think this game might be superior to the Decipher version, but there is much less material to support it. I also found a wonderful forum, TrekRPGNet, that has a nice collection of errata and fan created material.
In other news, I have about 5 blog posts saved as drafts. They are all partially completed. Due to my short attention span I have a difficult time producing the long blog posts. Which is funny because my blog posts are relatively short compared to most everyone. The problem is whenever I post a blog this website gets a large spike. Again, I keep forgetting that the point of this blog is just to have fun, so I need to remember that. The numbers are ridiculously irrelevant.
Probably I should just take those topics and write single paragraphs for them in my next Cogitations. Yep, that’s what I’m going to do.
Decipher uses the CODA engine to resolve combat, skills and attribute checks. In a nutshell, it’s 2d6 plus/minus modifiers against a target number. The modifiers could be high attribute bonuses, long range penalties, and so on. An interesting feature is that if you roll a ‘natural 12,’ you get to roll another die and add it to your total. There are other characteristics of the system, but they are of minor importance.
Here is my example: Sulu gets mad at Spock and fires a phaser at him. He rolls a 7, and gets to add 3 because one of his skills is ranged combat. The resulting 10 is higher than Spock’s defense of 9. Spock is hit, and Sulu rolls 4 points of damage. Spock says, “ouch.”
It’s a simple system, but very flexible due to the nice large variety of skills and also a reliance on attribute checks for anything not covered by the rules. I think the system is good for nice story driven episodes, which is at the heart of a good Star Trek adventure.
Several books were published, with a handful more created by the fan community.
It looks like only 4 game modules were published, with one of them being a short intro module. They have some interesting ideas, although they feel recycled from existing television episodes for the most part. Also I admit to appreciating the WotC modules, with lots of clear maps and everything spelled out so cleanly. The Decipher modules are not for new game masters as things are left open for the Narrator (game master) to flesh out.
One thing I really like is the wonderful star chart of known space. It would make an amazing wall poster. I compared it to the original star chart made 35 years ago by Joseph Franz and there is little to no correlation evident. I wonder what the definitive map is. More research is required.
Spaceship battle feels flat. It’s relegated to the second rulebook, and looks like a clumsy modification of the PC characters themselves. I guess it’s a difficult thing; I just remember the interesting and unique FASA methodology with the control panels for every station. That was interesting. Maybe I’m missing something with the Decipher system; but honestly star ship battles in an rpg is not of high importance to me anyway.
Overall I am pleased with my second look at this game. Initially I was not impressed, but I think the simple combat appeals to me right now. I’m going to look at the Unicorn Star Trek game next, and then possibly even the classic FASA, which has been collecting dust on my bookshelf for too long.
a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing: lost in reverie.
a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea: reveries that will never come to fruition.
Consistent with my inability to remain consistent on this website, I have changed my ‘Narcissistic Report’ blog series into ‘Reveries.’
While ‘Narcissistic Report’ might be more appropriate for this series of blog posts, I don’t like how it sounds. Maybe Reverie will stick. I really wanted to use the word, ‘musings,’ but unfortunately Merric got that one already.
What I listened to this week: Some gothic melancholy. I was sharing with my family but they were not digging it at all. The song they most hated was The Jeweler by This Mortal Coil. I was compelled to defend it, because while it is an acquired taste I like the lyrics. I just like the vision painted by the song; not sure why it gets me. In what seems to me to be an amazing coincidence, later that week I met the son of the guy who owns the local jewelry store here in Pasadena. It’s a family business and he knows all about jewelry. It was a really odd coincidence because the only time I have even talked with any kind of jeweler is when I bought my wife’s wedding ring, and the only time I have ever talked about the lyrics to a song with my family was that week with that singular song.
What I watched this week: Just some reality TV. Unfortunately, there isn’t a reality TV show that I know about that even remotely fits in with the theme of this website. Paige and I did watch a couple episodes of Voyager.
What I played this week: Dragon Age 2. And lots of it. My quick review: not as good as the first one. Good story, not as epic as Origins. Main character is better, but companions are bland. Environment is good…but repeats itself to death. Dialogue is superior to the first game, although I could not force what I wanted to force at the end of the second act, and that disgruntled me.
What I read this week: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. I’ve read this before. There are so many amazing books out there that I have not read, yet still I ordered this one again from Amazon. Not sure where my previous copy has disappeared to. Some kind of void, I’m sure, where single socks reside. I am also reading the Decipher Star Trek RPG more closely. I ordered the NG RPG from Unicorn on Amazon for a scant $10, anxious to look at it.
In other news, it seems that Syfy has greenlite a 4th Dungeons & Dragons movie. Here is the blurb from the announcement:
Dungeons and Dragons 4 (working title) — September 2012 — A princess and a rogue knight become reluctant heroes inside a magical kingdom. A production of After Dark Films with Silver Pictures.
What was the third Dungeons & Dragons movie? I am only aware of two…
I guess everyone knows The Hobbit began filming this week. To me, having Peter Jackson and Ian McKellen involved ensures success; I’m thrilled and exited to have something of this magnitude to look forward to.
They are going to break the book into two movies, which is just greedy but I love it. The book itself is rather simple, not like the subsequent trilogy that we all know and love. Initially I shook my head when I heard that it will be divided into two. I predict they will be adding material that is not in the book. Maybe not. However I’m sure I will be thrilled twice instead of just once. Jackson has earned my trust, although I trusted him more when he looked like a hobbit. Now he looks more like Gollum.
In this modern connected age, I have to decide how much I want to follow the production of this movie. When the LotR trilogy was being filmed, Ain’titCoolNews got many scoops and unfortunately I had to go there to get the best scoop on what was going on. (not a huge fan)
So what to follow? The One Ring website has always been good; a quick visit there shows that they are doing VERY heavy coverage…might just be the one stop location I’m looking for.
Sites like The One Ring are a fascinating study. They are amateurs, for the most part, who sometimes can break into the professional ranks. Does The One Ring bring in enough revenue to support folks? Maybe it does. The last time I visited the site it was good; but not at this level. It is impressive.
They have even begun producing news videos, thereby jumping into the YouTube arena.
I think this video is interesting. The lines of the amateur and the professional are blurring. Take a look at the 3:15 minute mark. Here we see Vilya, Elrond’s ring of power. I remember it well from when the Houston Museum of Natural Science had the LotR exhibit. I am impressed by this video and the high level of detail and accuracy which I do not think we would see in the mainstream media. The production values are surprisingly high; I applaud the effort put behind this. Only a hardcore nerd (or group of nerds) would be able to put this together. I approve.
Also…why can’t I do something like this? Oh, that’s right. Because I spend my time checking email and perusing hated Facebook.
I also wanted to write about how these movies do destroy the original books, but maybe I’ll do that another time. It’s a wonderfully controversial statement that is fun to discuss.