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Whill
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Joined: 14 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Shat returns from Space

While I roll my eyes at "space tourism" (billionaires selling rides to millionaires), William Shatner has been a big part of my entertainment life since I was 13 so I'll comment on this. After the macho Captain Kirk actor admitted he was terrified to go, Shatner, age 90, survived his short trip to space today. Shatner has always been hypersensitive about his age, but now that he's becoming known as the oldest human to ever go to space, he is fully coming to terms with it (but he has let his toupée go grey for a while now). I'm proud of him. Not a lot of millionaires will plunk down over 20% of their net worth for a 10-minute personal experience, so maybe he realizes he is in his final years and can't take his wealth with him. Knowing his performing ability well, I can tell he obviously wasn't acting when trying to describe the impact of his experience on him. His tears were real. And he has been a curmudgeon for decades so maybe this profound experience will lighten him up. Being the lead performer of the series that launched the Star Trek franchise, I find myself feeling a little happy for him that the actor who played a character who worked in space had a real, albeit brief, experience of going to near-Earth space. Maybe now Shatner will donate $20 million to actually making the world a better place.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too watched the Shat and thought his wonder seemed quite genuine.

As a kid I really looked up to Captain Kirk, only to be disappointed as I got older and found out what an @$$ he can be.

His authenticity redeemed him some in my eyes, and it was cool to see. Cool
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2022 12:04 pm    Post subject: Star Trek RPG bundle! Reply with quote

https://www.humblebundle.com/books/star-trek-adventures-rpg-modiphius-2021-books

Humble is a legit charity collection program that sells temporarily-available bundles of digital media. Right now they have a bundle for the current Modiphius Star Trek Adventures RPG that has more than half of the game line (including the core book). I gave more but you can get the whole bundle for as little as $18!

It uses Modiphius' "2d20" game system which is supposedly cinematic and action-oriented, but I haven't had a chance to dive into the game system. The current Dune RPG uses the same system. Only 5 days remaining on the bundle! FYI.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So Discovery season 4 was about as good as season 3. It was great that Michael was finally captain, but it was weird when Saru rejoined the ship but was now subordinate to his former first officer. It comes across as a contrivance just to keep Saru on the show since he is such a cool character. The far future of these two seasons just really isn't as good the first two seasons in the 23rd century.

We finished Picard season 2 tonight. It had several contrivances but overall I really enjoyed it, probably a little more than season 1. Both seasons of Picard were a little better than that Discovery s3 and s4, and there seems to be a trend as we go back in the timeline to...




The 23rd century... Tonight I also watched the premier of the new Star Trek series, Strange New Worlds. It is a direct spin-off of Discovery season 2, and prequel to TOS. The franchise is finally back to five year missions of the original Federation starship Enterprise. Captain Pike, Number One, Spock, Uhura, Chapel, Dr. M'Benga, and some new characters. The pilot episode was the perfect mix of modern Star Trek quality and nostalgia for my childhood when I became a fan of the TOS. I really loved this episode and I'm really looking forward to the next one.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too greatly enjoyed Strange New Worlds. I think I like the more recent seasons of Discovery to the early ones, but agree that keeping Saru around is a bit contrived, and likely because he's such a brilliant character; I love how different he is, like how he swings his arms when he walks.

Picard was fun. The special cameo in the finale was great, too. I've had minor quibbles, especially with S2, but can't really understand some of the fan outrage (my friend directed me to a couple of popular podcasts, one of which decrees S2 as the worst written show in television history).

The Modiphius game is alright. I've played it once and read through it quite a bit (made one character for it, just to see how it worked). I want to like it more, but have struggled to be terribly enthused about it.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2022 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Modiphius ST RPG core too, but haven't played it or even read it much. I plan on getting the sourcebook for Discovery seasons 1-2 also, just because I loved those seasons so much. I also have a couple books for their Dune game which looks like it is the same game system. They say it is "cinematic."
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Sutehp
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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2022 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the PDFs for everything of STA as well as the physical copies of the corebook, the three Division books and the new Player's Guide and Gamemaster's Guide (the latter two which just arrived in my mailbox a few days ago).

I'm told the next STA thing coming out from Modiphius is the Utopia Planitia book (cover image here) which is rumored to give the official rules for starship construction in Star Trek Adventures. I'm definitely saving my latinum for that one.

I haven't watched Strange New Worlds just yet, but I'm going to be doing that in the next couple of days after I catch up on Picard and Halo.
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Grimace
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I own both the Star Trek Adventures RPG and the Dune RPG, and have played/run both of them multiple times.

Star Trek Adventures, in my opinion, is the better of the two. The systems are 90% similar, but Dune doesn't use the 6-sided "Effect" dice like Star Trek Adventures does.

I only casually like Dune, but some of my players LOVE Dune, so I run Dune for them. We're on a break for the summer, but will resume the Dune game in September.

I absolutely LOVE the way the character generation is done in Star Trek Adventures. You KNOW your character when you are done making it if you take the time to write out answers to all of the questions that come up during character generation for the various steps that occur.

In both systems, combat is dangerous! It's not like Star Wars where you have fights all the time. Players need to think things through as much as they can, overcome obstacles and challenges without resorting to combat. Because once those Phasers or LasGuns start firing, it's going to get ugly real quick!
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Whill
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PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2022 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grimace, what era is your Star Trek game in? Is your group playing Starfleet officers?

I would think there is a single era-based factor that would make Star Trek more or less deadly, if TOS is canon in your game. In the 2260s, hand phaser technology advanced to the point that a single phaser blast can completely disintegrate a human-sized character. As much as I love Star Trek, I think that was a major flaw of Roddenberry to put in it. It's WAY too OP. (And it would be just too easy to get away with murder in the 2260s or later, since you can kill someone and not leave much forensic evidence behind.)

It was a breath of fresh air when Enterprise had phasers work more like blasters, but that is over 100 years before the TOS. You'll notice that in the timeline of the Altered Reality films, the time-travel-altered 2250s are only selectively more advanced than in the Prime timeline (mainly starship tech), but for dramatic reasons, Abrams made the right call and hand phasers were decidedly not like the future insta-death phasers. They hadn't advanced much in 100 years, but it is better to not have handheld insta-disintegrate tech. The franchise followed suit for the Prime Universe 2250s, meaning that the insta-death phasers are decidedly pushed off until right before the TOS.

For the reason of handheld phasers alone, I would never run a Star Trek game set any further than the 2250s. TOS or later is WAY too deadly IMO. This summer, Modiphius is putting out a sourcebook for Discovery seasons 1-2. That would be helpful for this timeframe. Perhaps they will someday put out a sourcebook for Strange New Worlds to continue detailing the 2250s.
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DougRed4
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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2022 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran a Star Trek campaign for about five years, set during the years right after DS9/Voyager. I also played in another set during the TOS years.

Even though our phasers had that capability, no player ever set them that high, I don't believe. It just isn't in the spirit of Star Trek to go around disintegrating foes (though I'll admit that it is an excellent point that one could vaporize someone and leave very little evidence! Shocked ).

I played in a FASA ST game a few months ago at Gary Con (set during the TOS movie era) and I think one player did zap Romulan foes that way, IIRC. My character attacked the same enemies by doing a wide-angle blast on stun setting.

I also played the Modiphius game once (in another con session) and it was ship-board action that dealt with more moral dilemmas, so I don't think phasers were fired in that one.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure. Playing the good guys means PCs have morality against using the insta-disintegrate unless absolutely necessary, but if the technology exists than there is nothing to prevent some of their less moral enemies from using it, thus possibly making the game too deadly and slanting the deadliness to the PC side. Plus, it is disbelief suspending because it will disintegrate an entire humanoid, all their clothes, and everything on their person, without a trace, but the insta-disintegrate setting inconsistently affects nonliving things (it sometimes should be more destructive than it is).

If playing in the canon Prime timeline, it just seems better to me to not even have to worry about that powerful of a setting even existing and thus setting the game in the 2250s or earlier. This is for any game system, but especially a deadly one. Another option would be to set the game in an alternate universe that just does not have that phaser setting.
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pakman
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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2022 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree with the topic "the distintigration problem" ...

I played star trek many years ago (Fasa version I think) and their workaround for dealing with it was two fold I think - one, was introducing a "grazing hit" mechanic - where phasers on "kill" would only do damage (it was still a lot) and not totally disintegrate the character on many hits.

The other was an presumption that players would not want to use that setting.
My players of course asked the obvious "they are trying to kill us - why would we not want to kill them".

Now, of course had to also introduce "need to take alive" or "have to retrieve X item from the bad guy's possession" to discourage disintegrating foes, but yes, the problem was real.

If I were to play star trek again (doubtful I love the shows and have read many books - but as a gaming setting prefer star wars...) - I would just handle it like disruptors in star wars.

Phasers do damage, and if the target is killed, they are disintegrated.
Otherwise, just a massive tissue wound.

Just my 2 cents....er....2 gold pressed latinum
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Grimace
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2022 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I typically play in the time frame AFTER Star Trek 6, and before Star Trek Next Generation.

And if people use Disintegration in Star Trek Adventures, they automatically give Threat to the GM to use against them. So yes, you can disintegrate things. But 95% of the time no one ever uses that setting. Most just use the Stun setting, or Wide Angle Stun, or if they really want to eliminate a threat, the Disrupt setting. Very few ever get to the Disintegrate setting.
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Whill
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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2022 6:35 pm    Post subject: SNW Reply with quote

Whill wrote:


The 23rd century... Tonight I also watched the premier of the new Star Trek series, Strange New Worlds. It is a direct spin-off of Discovery season 2, and prequel to TOS. The franchise is finally back to five year missions of the original Federation starship Enterprise. Captain Pike, Number One, Spock, Uhura, Chapel, Dr. M'Benga, and some new characters. The pilot episode was the perfect mix of modern Star Trek quality and nostalgia for my childhood when I became a fan of the TOS. I really loved this episode and I'm really looking forward to the next one.

I finished the 4th episode of SNW on lunch today. It was my fave ep since the first one, but I am really loving this series so far. As I said a few weeks ago, this show is the best combination of modern Trek entertainment and nostalgia for TOS. Still no obvious season metaplot, but we are getting character development over the course of the weekly adventures. I'm looking forward to the next six weeks.
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