Aft-Firing Weaponry and Canon @StarTrek @starwars @kesseljunkie #StarTrek #StarWars

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My favorite episode of Star Trek, any series, is Balance of Terror from the original series. It has absolutely everything that a Star Trek episode should have, and it, along with my favorite Star Trek movie, the Wrath of Khan, inspired the best episode of Strange New Worlds to date, Memento Mori. For some reason, Balance of Terror keeps coming up in my social media streams. Several people keep saying something that prompts me to volunteer this information.

Or posting a silly meme.

But this post isn’t about Star Trek.

I set my mind to rewatch the episode but kept procrastinating. Yesterday, I was watching the Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I love both of those movies. It occurred to me that none of the X-Wings, Tie-Fighters, etc. had any aft-firing weaponry. That would have been quite useful when being chased during the attacks on either Death Star. The Millennium Falcon sort of did, but only if there was at least one other person on the ship available to mad that blaster. (If I’m wrong, I’m sure Kessel Junkie will correct me.)

But wait! This post is about Star Trek!

This led me to finally re-watch Balance of Terror (re-watching Memento Mori will follow soon) in which I thought there was some background chatter stating that the aft-firing torpedoes are ready. (Note: I may have been mistaken, but there were mentions to aft-firing weapons in the background charter of several episodes, most clearly at 17:02 of Arena.) It also led to a cascade of thoughts regarding the hubbub about violating canon. I love the FASA Star Trek RPG, and it annoyed me that the Constitution Class starships didn’t have aft-firing weaponry. In fact, they made a big deal out of it. It was a glaring weakness in most Federation ships, and a big deal when some did. But it’s not all about an RPG. Star Trek the Motion Picture also suggested that the Klingon ship (also captained by Mark Lenard) having an aft-firing torpedo was a big deal. He thought it would surprise his enemy.

Right emotion; wrong guy.

And then there are those star dates that were completely made up, and the fact that the Romulan ship in Balance of Terror wasn’t capable of warp travel (22:10) yet traveled in interstellar space. In the two episodes I mentioned, there was an inconsistency. In Arena, Kirk comments that diamonds are “perhaps the hardest substance known in the universe” (30:10), and Spock confirms this by stating, “diamonds, the hardest known substance” (41:32), yet Spock points out only four episodes earlier in Balance of Terror that “cast rodinium . . . is the hardest substance known to our science” (21:26). Canon is shit. That’s unfortunate in most (not all) cases, but it’s true. You can’t rely on it. However, one theory says that there’s no such thing as a canon violation because Star Trek First Contact rebooted the franchise, rendering “canon” a nonsense concept.

I love to see Strange New Worlds show aft-firing phasers, see everyone lose their shit for the canon violation, and then lay into them for their ignorance. If everyone now realizes that the Enterprise has aft-firing weapons, that’s fine too. It gives us one more reason to say Star Trek ships are better than Star Wars ships.

Just roll with it and be happy when stories are well-written.

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An Old Commercial @StarTrek #StarTrek

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s a commercial advertising Star Trek Enterprise. I never saw it.

This commercial is from 2000 or 2001. Why does it look like it’s from the 80s?

I’m old.

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Crazy Designs for RPGs @unclemacosx #StarTrek #DnD #RPG #TTRPG

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, I share a tweet that reminded me of something else. (Image of the tweet appears at the end in case it’s ever deleted. ) To my knowledge, this tweet had nothing to do with RPGs. It was just a ridiculous design made for the sake of ridiculousness.

That said, it instantly triggered an image in my head. Is this the FASA Star Trek RPG equivalent of 3rd Edition D&D‘s roving mauler?

Which one is more ridiculous?

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Muppet Star Trek @brucemccorkinda @hafuboti #muppets #StarTrek #StarTrekSunday

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, in the final stages of the death of my year-long streak of daily posts, I return to Star Trek. (Star Trek Sunday? Is that a thing?)

Not everything seen as certain death is necessarily the end. There’s often a way out.

Okay, I admit this turns out to be a bad example for inspiring hope in the face of likely death. Plus, perhaps the wrong [guy] died.

Remember, no one’s really dying. It’s just the end of a streak.

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“What’s Old Is New” Watch: Strange New Worlds Series Premiere! @ansonmount @StarTrek @paramountplus @StarTrekOnPPlus #StarTrek #StrangeNewWorlds #Picard #Borg #GoodWatch

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I got up at 5:30 am this morning to see the second season finale of Picard and the series premiere of Strange New Worlds. As to the latter, I haven’t been this excited for a Star Trek series since Next Generation was announced. First, it’s purported to be a return to the episodic format that I prefer (though I hear there will be an larger, overlayed story, which is fine). Second — I never thought I’d say this — Anson Mount’s Captain Pike has overtaken William Shatner’s Captain Kirk as my favorite Captain.

No cheese zone.

This still looks like a large, ensemble cast, so it won’t likely take over as my favorite series, but you never know. It certainly started off great. TOS is back, but without all the cheesy, 60s-era TV technology that the young-uns can’t seem to get past. Also, season2 of Picard ended today, and I was pretty happy with that as well. Here’s a spoiler for the last episode.

Called it!

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One Year!!! #blog #StarTrek #MCU #DnD #RPG #TTRPG #ADnD

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With this post, I’ve posted every day for an entire year. That’s right. The last day that I didn’t post was May 1, 2021. Before that, I was last discussing Key Lime Kit Kat bars.

No wonder I stopped.

This blows away my current record streak.

Nice.

But wait a second. Is this even real? Can the post announcing that I’ve posted every day for a year be the anniversary post itself?

I say yes, and if you disagree, just keep in mind that I posted a bonus post on April 9, April 13, April 19, and April 25, so there have already been over 365 posts in this time without this one. There may have even been a couple more bonus posts, but I’m too lazy to look.

But okay. Let’s give this post some substance.

  1. Star Trek: The Original Series is my favorite Star Trek series, Star Trek: Enterprise is the most underrated Star Trek series, but Anson Mount has overtaken William Shatner as my favorite starship captain.
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite MCU film.
  3. 4th Edition D&D is my favorite edition of D&D.

On another note, today is the first day of May. May is hockey playoffs, college lacrosse playoffs, preparations for the summer, and — most importantly — the month when all the cool people are born. Plus, I was born in May.

So, in 11 days, the streak will die. I want to focus on other things, and consistency hasn’t led to a large number of non-spam followers. Rarely does anyone retweet the tweets linking to these posts (likes merely gauge your footprint, not increase it), and almost all comments occur on other social media platforms, so my streak hasn’t done anything to improve my online footprint (except for a brief moment). Besides, many of my recent posts have been rather lame. If I didn’t have something to say, I’d write anyway, and it shows. I have a few more posts scheduled for this week, some others in my head that will come soon, and a handful scheduled to publish as far out as December. However, going forward, if I don’t have something to say, I won’t say anything. I’ll never feel rushed, and anything goofy will have to be funny enough to be worth sharing.

So, this post counts.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

There Be Tacos Here! #food #taco #TacoTuesday

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I will never apologize for a gratuitous Star Trek reference, however forced it may be.

Well, my post for this evening was accidentally scheduled for 6:30 am ET, so it went out before I got out of bed. No worries. I’m just throwing this one in as a follow up to provide proof of eating my first tacos in at least 17 years. That’s right. A patent issuing on the day I last had a taco has already expired.

I will never apologize for a gratuitous intellectual property law reference, however forced it may be.

But you need proof, so here it is.

When I saw the menu, the tacos were loaded with beef, so I didn’t think to order extra beef. What I got was rather light on the details. As a result, I had to eat some more when I got home.

But don’t worry (why would you even care?). The fact that these are from Taco BHell doesn’t guarantee that I’ll wait another 17 or so years before eating them again. Cheese will. Also, there’s one annoying thing about eating tacos that I had long forgotten: Take one bite, and the shell collapses. I had to shove them into my face or everything would have fallen into my lap as I was eating. That’s a buzzkill because to me a taco isn’t a taco without crunch. If you eat soft tacos, there’s something wrong with you. Just eat a burrito or enchilada. There’s nothing wrong with that, but those aren’t tacos. Nothing with a soft shell is.

It bears repeating, but he’s wrong for including hard shell stuff.

I’ll still probably eat tacos before today’s patents expire, just not from Taco BHell.

And no, they’re not authentic Mexican food. Who cares, Francis?

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Tuvix: A Visual Guide @StarTrek @paramountplus @StarTrekOnPPlus #StarTrek #Tuvix #Voyager #TrolleyCar

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I’ve been focusing on gaming lately, with many more gaming posts queued up. Let’s take a short break. Some time ago, I wrote about Tuvix in Star Trek Voyager. That may have been a bit heavy. Here’s a visual representation of that episode.

As I said, it’s not an easy decision, but . . . .

… pull the damn lever.

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An Answer to a Question: LUC and PSI @ZachBurrell10 #DnD #RPG #FASA #StarTrek

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I’m waaaaay ahead on my blog writing, so this post, written on 2/18/2022, relates to a tweet from 2/11/2022, and is being published (assuming I don’t move my schedule around) on 3/3/2022.

The FASA Star Trek RPG (“STRPG“) is one of my two favorite RPG systems, so of course I had that one on the brain. STRPG was a d100, skill-based system, where players collected skill points based on their Star Fleet Academy (or other) training, and placed them into various skills. Their ability scores were also based on d100, so ability and skill checks were treated the same way.

The ability scores in STRPG had a one-to-one relationship with those of D&D, but STRPG added two extra skills: PSI (psionics) and LUC (luck). As you know, D&D has had different ways of dealing with psionics, none of which involved a separate ability score. In 1st Edition, a minimum Intelligence of X gave you a 1% chance of having psionic talents, opening up a new system of mechanics. I never played 2nd Edition, but from 3rd Edition forward, psionics became a class feature. If you took a psionic class, you had psionics. Otherwise, you didn’t (though some magic did psychic damage). Ergo, I didn’t respond with PSI. D&D couldn’t really use it.

LUC is a different story. There’s room for it in D&D. In a reasonably balanced system, LUC was a way of giving the PCs an advantage over the NPCs. There are other ways to do that (e.g., 3rd Edition action points, inherent mechanics), but a LUC score wasn’t a bad choice. If all roleplaying and dice rolls failed the PC, they could request one more shot at success with a LUC roll. If they rolled less than their LUC score, they succeeded despite those failures. Of course, it was up to the gamemaster to define what that success was, which could be partial rather than total. Considering how focused modern gamers are on player agency, I suspect that a LUC ability score should appeal to many of them.

BTW, if you’ve never read my blog before this post, I’ve probably left you in suspense.

For the record, my other favorite RPG system is 4th Edition D&D.

If I fail my LUC check, my love of 4th Edition could start a nuclear war.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to, nor endorsed, the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

In case the tweet is ever deleted, here’s a screenshot of it.