Greetings Fellow Gaming and Star Trek Fans!

 

pinkie-hi

I hope that you found my site because of your love of gaming, Star Trek, and/or comics! I play a lot of board games, HeroClix, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and Dice Masters. I love Star Trek, most science fiction, and almost anything space related. I started this blog for Dice Masters related content and have since expanded into everything that I love. I write a variety of articles, so be sure to subscribe to keep up with the various articles so you don’t miss something you’re interested in.

The first thing you’ll find in this article is a list of links for my various social media pages and Facebook groups, as well as a section of links for folks that sell a variety of gaming accessories. Below the links, you’ll find the About Me and My Blog, Basic Rules, Contacting Me, and my Closing sections.

Dice Dice Kitty Links

Dice Dice Kitty Facebook
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Facebook page!
Dice Dice Kitty Instagram
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Instagram!
Dice Dice Kitty Twitter
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty Twitter!
Dice Dice Kitty YouTube Channel
This is the link to my official Dice Dice Kitty YouTube Channel!
Dice Masters Dyersburg
This is a link to the group for my FLGS. If you’re in the area, stop on in for a few games!
HeroClix Dyersburg
This is the link to the group for my FLGS. Be sure to stop by if you’re in the area!
Dyersburg Board Gaming
This is the link to the local board game group at my FLGS. We’d love to have folks stop by and play!
Attack Wing Dyersburg
This is the link to the group for my FLGS. We’re always up for a space battle!

Sellers of Nifty Accessories

What fun are games without a little customization? These are folks that I have ordered accessories from and have reviews up for their products. Most of these were accessories for Dice Masters, but many of these sellers have the ability to produce a variety of items for various games.

The 3D Geekery
They have a lots of 3D printed goodies for Dice Masters and Board Games too! They even do custom orders that are non-game related. Check them out! Their Dice Masters storage units are amazing! You can also type in the3dgeekery.com and it will take you straight to their Facebook page.
Litko Game Accessories
Dice towers and tokens galore!
Turn One Gaming Supplies
Seller of awesome sleeves and if you want a Roll Master Mat, they have them.
PlaymatMasters on Etsy
Want an awesome custom playmat design? Check this dude out!
Inked Gaming
Have a playmat design but need it printed? This is who I use.

About Me and My Blog

The first time I ever did a public ‘article’ was on July 18, 2015 in our local Dice Masters group on Facebook about Captain Cold: Leonard Wynters. I wrote several articles in that group but it didn’t take long for me to realize that a Facebook group wasn’t the best place for publishing articles. I dug up an old WordPress site I’d started and hadn’t done anything with and began transferring my previous articles. My Dice Dice Kitty persona was born at that moment on November 8, 2015 and has spread to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

My blog used to be primarily about Dice Masters, but I’ve grown it to include HeroClix, Board Games, comics, Star Trek: Attack Wing, and other various superhero related material. I’m also a huge fan of My Little Pony and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so you’ll see I use lots of screen shots from those IPs for article pictures and other various things. I also attend conventions when I can and do coverage for those on my Facebook and Twitter.

I like to do a variety of reviews and unboxings and I hope folks find those helpful and informational. When it comes to my reviews, I do not play favorites with companies and I always give my honest opinion. My opinion is not fact, of course, but it is at least another perspective to take into consideration when it comes to products that folks want to spend their hard earned money on. I encourage everyone to seek out multiple reviews for a product so that they have as much information and perspective as possible!

I also try to do interviews with celebrity guests, vendors, and attendees at conventions. I do not discuss politics or political positions in those interviews and I try to avoid religious topics as well. I look at it this way – If I’m watching an interview about a celebrity or anyone else, I want to hear cool behind the scenes stuff or how they feel about the character they portrayed, not current world topics. There is plenty of coverage for that – elsewhere.

Here are some of the types of content you’ll find and when to expect them:
~ Comic Box Recap – Typically weekly, whenever I finish reading the comics in my subscription box.
~ HeroClix Figure Spotlight – Usually the second Wednesday of the month.
~ Dice Masters Confusing Card of the Week – Usually the last Wednesday of the month.
~ Board Game Review – Component and game play reviews that are published roughly every other week.
~ Star Trek Adventures Session Recap – Kage Hoshi Division recaps are published after our sessions, and we try to play at least once a month.

Here is the list of potential content in the works:
~ Monthly D&D Campaign Recap (Whenever I start my game back up)
~ Star Trek related content about episodes, actors, books, etc.

I have a lot of content across all my social media and YouTube as well as articles here.

Basic Rules

I keep my private life out of my blog, so you won’t see articles about politics or religion. This is not the place for it, so I do not allow any political or religious related content – regardless of any good intentions. These types of statements will be removed without warning.

I do not approve of anything obscene, vulgar, or offensive being posted in comments on any of the sites I host from. These type of statements will be removed without warning.

I don’t like folks being mean to each other. There is enough cruelty in the world and I don’t want it on any of my content. Please, express your negativity in a more constructive way and don’t direct it at anyone.

Bottom line – be nice and friendly. There is enough hate in the world and I want folks to feel like they can safely explore my sites without fear of being exposed to current world issues. I don’t believe in the absolute censoring of folks, but there are platforms available for that discussion and this is not that platform.

Contacting Me

While I have folks from the community on my private Facebook page, I do not share my private social media pages with everyone. I have a Facebook page (Kitty Masters) that I use to share my content on Facebook. If you message Kitty Masters, you will not get a response. You can contact me through email at dicedicekitty@gmail.com or on my official blog Facebook page, here.

Closing

I hope that you find at least one thing you enjoy or that is of interest to you in my content. I’m so thankful that you visited my site and I appreciate all the likes, followers, and subscribers for taking that extra step and hitting those buttons. The bigger my sites get, the better variety of content I can provide!

If you’re looking for my previous sticky post with all the Dice Masters links, you can find it here.

Is there a convention you want to see me at?
Is there a board game I need to check out?
Want me to write about something in particular?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty.

 

Boldly Go!

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Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

Last week, for October 31, I didn’t have an article because I didn’t have any books to recap! But we have plenty to look at this week.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel
Death of the Inhumans #5

What a roller coaster of emotions. I guess the only Inhumans left are Black Bolt, Medusa, Gorgon, Karnak, Crystal, and Lockjaw? What about Ms. Marvel? To my understanding, she’s an Inhuman. And what about Captain Marvel who is a Human/Kree hybrid? I have so many questions still… I get that they were turning Inhumans into the Vox things, but why do they all look identical? Did they alter the physiology of each Inhuman to be identical to Vox? Some may think it’s silly to wonder about that and tell me – ‘It’s a comic book. No explanation needed.’ But I need to know. What about the rest of the Kree, the ones that weren’t in that location? I want to know what’s going to happen!

I’m happy that Lockjaw and Crystal were saved, kind of. Hopefully Karnak can restore them and reverse what the Kree did to them. I really want to see Medusa and Black Bolt rebuild the Inhumans. I’m very happy they weren’t all destroyed like I thought they would be. Overall, I feel satisfied with the ending. Just because I have questions, doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good – it did its job! The series was entertaining to read and thought provoking. It leaves me wanting more, but if I don’t get it, I won’t be too disappointed.

Doctor Strange #7

First off, I loved the dynamic between Bats and Strange, but I love the friendship that’s forming between Bats and Kanna even more! Those two are perfect buddies for each other, especially when Strange leaves to go deal with something or someone. I also really like Kanna as a character and I’m so happy we’re getting to see more of her backstory. And I’m sure, if you’re a Strange fan, you know romances never really work out for him. If Kanna ever tells Strange how she feels, I hope she doesn’t get hurt – emotionally or physically. I would love to see Strange finally end up with someone who loves and appreciates him, and I would squee with joy if these two have a working romance.

This particular issue was one I definitely enjoyed reading. I still didn’t know who Casey Kinmont was and had to go dig around on the internet to figure it out. I honestly don’t remember her and it’s probably because I only read that particular limited series once and I don’t remember any of it. What I do know is that someone is manipulating her and she’s probably doing all this stuff in an attempt to keep Strange safe. It looks like Baron Mordo was behind the shenanigans all along. Casey keeps repeating, “I’m the price!”, just before Mordo makes his rather dramatic appearance. I believe she’s trying to tell Strange something but can’t because there’s probably some spell on her making her say ‘I’m the price!’ instead of her intended words.

I really want to know what’s going on, besides the return of a big bad dude. I want to see Kanna and Bats come busting in to save the day with some awesome magical trinket she made. I also want to see Kanna and Strange’s relationship evolve and flourish. And most importantly, I want to see Bats stick around as a guard dog for the Sanctum Sanctorum while Strange is out trying to save the world. Please, Mr. Waid, I’m terrified that you’ll write Bats out. I’m begging you not to do that.

Infinity Wars #5

I’m now officially bored with this series. It’s become predictable and not in a fun way. It’s painfully predictable and that’s not why I bought into this series. I thought it was going to be different. Even though I’ll buy the rest, I won’t be reading it any longer.

No surprise – Loki back-stabbed his ‘team’ and stole the stones…

Image/Skybound
Outer Darkness #1

I love horror. I love science fiction. This book combined the two in a beautiful clash of technology, gore, and paranormal. The first thing I noticed was the inside of the front cover. There are lots of the normal credits for the Image and Skybound publishers, but it’s the details in the art that are what I found interesting. I didn’t know exactly what I was getting into – other than a sci-fi horror title. I saw things like, “Banishment”, “Exorcism Successful”, and “Resurrection Failed” all hidden in the strings of numbers around the artwork. It wasn’t until the second page that I realized what I was about to read. I’ve never really read a paranormal sci-fi comic, but this first issue definitely works. I want more of this, not just Outer Darkness, but more of this type of book!

Mr. John Layman’s letter on the inside of the back cover is glorious. It explains exactly how I see this book. I love how much this feels like a horror themed Star Trek with a little bit of Firefly mixed in, and I never realized how much I needed that until I read this book. The crew reminds me of the dysfunctional but potentially functional (when it counts) crew of Serenity from Firefly. The tech and overall design reminds me of Star Trek. The horror theme and the feeling of impending doom reminds me of Alien.

If you want to read something new and different and you like horror/sci-fi/paranormal genres – you NEED to be looking into this book. I rarely tell folks that they NEED to do something, but I seriously mean it.

Conclusion

Aside from Infinity Wars, I rather enjoyed my comics this week. I even got a rare treat – something new! Outer Darkness was a delicious read! But, I feel like I need to give an advanced warning to anyone that doesn’t like profanity – preview Outer Darkness first. I personally don’t mind the use of profanity in the comics I read, unless it’s not appropriate for the characters. A good example is Supergirl – I don’t want to see her using language that isn’t appropriate for young ladies. Those young ladies may be reading her book and using her as a role model. If you know that Outer Darkness is a sci-fi/horror genre book, it’s not likely you’re going to let a child read it. I don’t find the language inappropriate for this book. Think of it this way if you need to: I wouldn’t let a child read The Walking Dead because of the content – bashing zombie skulls and folks killing each other. There is also plenty of profanity in that series and it doesn’t bother me, because a child shouldn’t really be reading it anyway. Outer Darkness is a book that parents should preview before letting a child read it.

I can’t wait to dig into the next issue of Outer Darkness and Doctor Strange, but before I do, I have other titles to read for the next installment of my Comic Box Recap!

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

We just finished our tutorial adventure of Star Trek Adventures, from Modiphius. This is a role playing game where you create characters in one of the various Star Trek eras, and boldly blast across the galaxy in search of adventure!

This session was a continuation from our previous session, here.
You can read the crew backgrounds, here.

As I explained in the previous post, I took the adventure from the back of the Star Trek Adventures core book and made some minor adjustments to the story. I took liberties with the GM description for the scenes.

The following is the report for the session. Anything that was read aloud to the players is italicized and colored reddish brown. This is the GM text and most of it was written in the book. I only made minor adjustments or added on to what was already there. Game mechanics will be in blue.

Note – So everyone understands my numbering system, each adventure will consist of five to six scenes. Each session will have a number associated with the adventure and the scene. For example, we started on character creation in Session 0 and advanced through scene one, so Session 0.1 is the designation for that scene. When we play our next session, it’ll be Session 0.2 for the Session 0 adventure and the second scene in the adventure – and so on.

Rescue at Koralis IV
Session 0.2: The Trek

It’s obvious that the march to the science outpost is no simple stroll. The journey covers several kilometers and the terrain between your current location and the science outpost is rough and rocky. There is an abundance of strange flora growing wildly over the landscape. There are brightly colored flowers speckled across large patches of the fern like growth.

Lorne, Dirnick, and K’orvo set their sights on the science outpost, but it didn’t take long before Dirnick was distracted by the local flora.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Evaluate the Flowers
~ Work Track: 10
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Maximum Attempts: 3
~ Reason + Science, Presence + Medicine, or Control + Security

“Sir, what are you doing?” Lorne asked Dirnick.

“This flora is highly unusual. I want to examine it more closely. Who knows – we may find it useful!” Dirnick pulled a tricorder from the medical kit he brought from the runabout and began scanning several of the plants. “This is very interesting. These flowers seem to be a different species than the others, even though the plants look almost identical.”

“Funny, how a ruthless race like the Cardassians can find a flower interesting. Klingon warriors have no use for such fragile things. I don’t see the benefit in wasting our precious time to look at flowers. Let’s go, before this blasted storm traps us!” K’orvo grabbed Dirnick by the shoulder.

“Now you hold on just a moment! I’ll have you know, I’m a skilled botanist, not just a scientist. If I want to examine this flower, I’ll do so. For all we know, it could be deadly! Ruthless races love to use poisonous flowers against their enemies.” Dirnick stood face to face with K’orvo and made gestures towards the batch of plants he was examining. The two of them continued to argue back and forth while Lorne knelt next to the flowers and studied the petals closely. He noticed that there was a coating of dust like substance on some of the batches of flower, but not on others. Lorne reached out, about to pluck one of the flowers, but Dirnick slapped his hands away.

“Don’t touch those, lieutenant!” Dirnick opened the tricoder again and scanned Lorne’s hands.

“If you would let me explain, sir. I noticed there’s a dusty substance on one of the flowers, but the other batch of flowers next to it doesn’t have it. On Bajor, there are two plants that developed an unusual defense mechanism. One of the plants has a toxin that it secretes when an animal gets near it. The other plant evolved to look like the toxic plant, but it was a little different. I wanted to see if these plants were like the ones on Bajor. I wasn’t actually going to touch the thing; just get close enough to see if anything happened.” Lorne pointed to a cluster of flowers that didn’t have a dusty coating. “And look there. Those petals have a liquid on them now.”

Dirnick knelt next to the plants and scanned them with his tricorder. “Smart thinking, lieutenant. Looks like you were right. This one batch has a toxin while the other doesn’t. Okay, so avoid touching the plants that don’t have the dusty coating. That’s a nasty contact poison the other plants have. Lieutenant, do you think you could assist me in harvesting a sample?”

“What would you need it for?” Lorne asked, eyeing Dirnick.

“You never know when something like this could come in handy.” Dirnick had a sly smile cross his face and Lorne felt a cold shiver run up his spine. “I might want to experiment with it at some point too.

“I guess you’ve got all kinds of experience with experimenting on unwilling subjects.” Lorne instantly regretted his comment.

“Need I remind you, I didn’t like what Cardassia did to Bajor? I only did experiments on Bajorans if I had to, in order to keep my cover. It wasn’t ‘fun’ for me.” Dirnick held out a small sample container as Lorne carefully placed the toxic flower in it.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Handling the Toxic Flower
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Daring + Security, Control + Security

After a few awkward moments between the Bajoran and Cardassian, K’orvo stepped up to get the group back on track. “If you two are done playing in the dirt with flowers, we need to get moving.”

The two stood up, brushed off their uniforms, and the trio started in the direction of the science outpost.

You come up to a deep gaping chasm that stretches on for what appears to be forever. The ravine is deep, but not particularly wide. At a glance, you all can see a large piece of wood that could easily be made into a makeshift bridge, but someone needs to cross the ravine and move the log.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Crossing the Ravine
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Fitness + Security

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another and it’s all trying to stop us. I want off this blasted planet!” K’orvo roared into the seemingly bottomless ravine.

“It looks like we’re at a good place to cross. The walls are closer together here and I might be able to jump across.” Lorne stood near the edge of the ravine, eyeing the distance to the other side. “Once I get across, I can move that large log to make a bridge. Then we won’t have to worry about it on the way back to the runabout.”

“And I thought Cardassians were crazy. Are all Bajorans just as insane as you are? You think you can actually jump that distance?” K’orvo said as he looked around for another solution.

“I’m kinda sure I can make it.” Lorne sounded less sure of himself now. “Unless you have a better idea?”

“How about we use one of those logs over there?” K’orvo pointed to several smaller logs. “They don’t look long enough to reach the other side, but you could jump from the end of it. It’d make your jump shorter. Me and the Cardassian can stand on the other end to help keep it from falling.”

“Well, I’m determined to make it across and this should help boost my odds, so sure. Let’s give this a try.” Lorne replied as they moved the smaller log into place.

“I’m not so sure this is a good idea. If he falls, he’s a goner.” Dirnick looked very skeptical at the setup.

“Well, there’s some vines. Let’s tie a vine to him.” K’orvo pulled out his d’k tahg and cut down a few vines that were hanging in a nearby tree. K’orvo realized after cutting them down that there wasn’t enough of the vine to span the width of the ravine. “Never mind the vines. Just don’t fall.”

With his comrades stabilizing the log, Lorne cautiously stepped onto the log. It felt steady enough, and Lorne felt his confidence rise. He sprinted towards the end of the log, but just before reaching his launching point, his right leg went straight through an insect infested part of the log. Lorne felt the sting and burn of his flesh being ripped and he could feel the warm blood running down his leg. K’orvo grabbed the log, bumping Dirnick out of the way, and pulled with all his might. The log came sliding back, bring Lorne with it. Once he was back on the ground and not stuck to a log dangling over the ravine, Lorne freed his foot from the deteriorated part of the log.

“I thought this was a bad idea.” Dirnick knelt down to examine Lorne’s leg and ankle. “Luckily, you didn’t break, fracture, or sprain anything. I can patch these scratches up with no trouble. I guess it’s a good thing that I have so much experience with Bajoran anatomy.”

“Yeah, guess I’m lucky all those other Bajorans gave their lives so you could discover what makes us tick.” Lorne felt his stomach ache a little as he watched Dirnick mend his leg. Dirnick glanced up at Lorne with a look of disgust at the comment, shook his head and went back to work.

“Hey, Bajoran, what if I gave you a heave across as you made your jump? You think you could make it then?” K’orvo stood over Lorne with his arms crossed. Lorne stood up and walked around for a minute to see how well he could withstand the pain.

“Maybe. My leg hurts, but it’s not bad enough that I can’t run.” Lorne hopped a few times and winced.

Dirnick walked up behind Lorne and shot him with a hypospray. “There you go, lieutenant. You should be feeling great in just a moment.”

“What did you shoot me with?!” Lorne yelled as he turned around to see Dirnick smiling.

“It’s okay, lieutenant. It’s just adrenaline. It will help block the pain and give you a physical boost.” Dirnick placed the hypospray back in the medical kit.

“Well, I guess I better do this before the adrenaline wears off. Ready, K’orvo?” Lorne gave Dirnick a disgusted look and then turned to see K’orvo positioning himself near the ravine and ready for Lorne’s approach.

“Ready as I’ll ever be. I’ll give you a heave as you run by.” K’orvo motioned for Lorne to run.

“Well, here goes everything!” Lorne bolted for the edge of the ravine and just as he reached it and jumped, K’orvo reached up and pushed Lorne with all his strength. Lorne could tell that the extra push threw his momentum off a little, but he knew he would at least make it to the other side. Lorne crashed against the side of the ravine, barely catching the top edge. After some struggling, Lorne pulled himself out of the ravine and lay on his back. After a moment had passed, Lorne could feel his heart slowing back down, and a new sharp pain in his left leg. He looked down and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, but he could feel something was badly damaged inside his leg.

“Lieutenant, what’s wrong?” Dirnick called from the other side of the ravine.

“Not sure, but it hurts really bad. I’m certain it’s more than just a scrape or bruise. Maybe a torn muscle or something.” Lorne stood up, trying to keep all the weight off of his left leg. “I’m not sure if I can move this log now.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Moving the Log
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Fitness + Security, Control + Science

“Lieutenant, use those vines and some of the low hanging branches to make a pulley type apparatus. That will help you move the log without needing to bend down and lift it.” Dirnick pointed to the closest cluster of trees near the edge of the ravine and Lorne hobbled to it. “Too bad these vines aren’t long enough or you could just throw them to us and we could pull the log over.”

After some time, Lorne worked the log into place and then dropped to the ground. The adrenaline had completely worn off and he was in excruciating pain. Dirnick and K’orvo tied vines to each other and crossed the bridge one at a time, holding the vines as long as they could for each other.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Crossing the ‘Bridge’
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security

Once they were both across, Dirnick rushed over with his tricoder and began scanning Lorne. “You’ve fractured your fibula in at least two places. I can’t fix it here. We’ll need to get to the runabout to use the medical station there, unless the science outpost has the proper facilities. I’ll make up a splint to keep you from doing further damage to it. You should be able to make it to the outpost, unless we need you to scale a mountain next.”

“How does a creature as fragile as you make it out here in space?” K’orvo chuckled and slapped Lorne’s shoulder. Lorne rolled his eyes and winced as Dirnick applied the splint to his leg.

Once across the ravine, you all set your sights on the science outpost once more. As you clear the tree line next to the ravine, you see large patches of brightly colored flowers littering the field between you and the path that leads up the bluff.

(This is where the crew would have analyzed the flowers, but they had completed that task earlier than expected. The crew avoided the toxic flowers and made their way to the bluff.)

Session 0.3: The Outpost

The path leading up the bluff is well traveled and gives you no resistance. As you approach the science outpost, you can tell it’s in tact but there is heavy damage along the exterior of the structure. Most of the damage appears to be dents and punctures, but a few areas of phaser fire are evident as well.

You approach the entrance to the outpost and the doors slide open, granting you entry. As you step through the doorway, it is apparent that there has been massive vandalism. As you venture through the corridors, checking for someone – anyone, you get a better view of the destruction. From the living quarters, to the kitchen, to the laboratories, it’s very obvious that someone or something wrecked the place without regard. Whoever or whatever it was, was intelligent enough to destroy the communication systems. A brief glance at the smashed equipment and you can easily tell that it’s not salvageable.

As you are about to give up your search for life, you find one last storage area with the door closed and locked. When you ‘re unable to gain entry easily, you try to force the door open. The noise disturbs something in the storage area and you can hear a muffled voice coming from inside. You look over at the door panel and see that there is power going to it and it is intact. Someone might be able to bypass the lock if you can’t get the door open by force.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Bypass the Lock
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Engineering, Reason + Security
* A roll is not required, but an attempt may still be made in order to gain Momentum. Complications would still apply. *

“We should probably check that out. Someone could be injured and in need of help.” Lorne said as he eyed the door panel. “I think I can bypass this without damaging it.”

“We should be cautious. We don’t know who or what is behind that door.” K’orvo pulled out his disruptor.

“Be sure you aren’t aiming to kill anyone, K’orvo.” Dirnick instructed.

“I’m not Starfleet. If I see a threat, I’m going to shoot it before it comes for me.” K’orvo aimed towards the door, ready to fire.

Lorne was working on bypassing the lock when sparks erupted from the console and he was given a jolt of electricity in his fingertips. The console went dim as the door opened.

“Guys, it’s open, but it wasn’t me. Or, maybe it was me. I’m not actually sure what happened.”

(In game terms, Lorne succeeded the Difficulty 0 Task, but he scored a complication as well by rolling a 20.)

The door unlocks and opens. You see a middle-aged Human woman sitting on a cot at the back of the storage area. She cradles a man in her arms, but it’s hard to determine his age because of his strange appearance. His sweat-soaked face is covered with hair and as you watch, the ridges of his eyebrows twitch and pulse, as if changing in sporadic fits.

As you enter the storage area, the woman looks up at you, her eyes unfocused and filled with tears, “It’s too late. They’re all gone, and Jasper is…” She can’t finish her thought through her sobbing and she clings tighter to the man in her arms.

Lorne limps over toward the woman and tries to calm her. “Miss, we’re from Starfleet. Can we render aid?”

“Bajoran, you aren’t even able to aid yourself. Don’t try to fool this woman.” K’orvo stepped into the room and looked closer at the man.

Dirnick stepped in the storage room and approached the man and woman, scanning the man with his tricorder. “He appears to be suffering from the same affliction as the other people.”

“You saw the others?” The woman looked up. “Please, you have to help us!”

“My name is Dr. Heidi Schipp. I’m the Federation scientist leading this team of 11 other scientists. We’ve been here for just over a year, studying the flora and fauna for scientific and medicinal uses. The ion storm has been ravaging the planet off and on for more than a week now, and something about it has caused the living inhabitants to devolve. Some of us were more susceptible to the effects and changed, almost immediately, into neanderthals. Others took longer, but they still transformed. I’ve held out the longest, but I’m not sure how much time I have. I can feel it starting to affect my mind.”

“What type of research were you doing here, if you don’t mind me asking.” Lorne winced at the pain in his leg, but he wanted to keep her talking.

“Just before the storm struck, we had a breakthrough in our research. A combination of genetic material from the flora and fauna could be useful in treating or even curing Irumodic Syndrome. It’s all thanks to the help of my assistant, Dr. Jasper Conrad. Those neanderthals beat him severely and now my love is also turning into one of those beasts!”

“Dr. Schipp, we’ll do anything we can to help, but first I need to mend my crewman’s leg. Is there a medical station I can use?” Dirnick placed a hand gently on her shoulder.

“Y-yes. It’s in the room just outside this storage area. Help me move Jasper there, please.” Dr. Schipp helped Lorne as K’orvo and Dirnick moved Jasper into the laboratory. It didn’t look like a medical bay, but the equipment there could be used to treat injuries.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Heal Injuries
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Insight + Medicine

“We need to get off this planet. I suggest you come with us to Deep Space Nine. We already have four of your scientists locked in the shuttle.” K’orvo told Dr. Schipp.

“I’ll leave, but only if I can save my research and finish the cure for Jasper.” Dr. Schipp grabbed her head and when she pulled her hands back, K’orvo saw the ridges of her eyebrows twitch and pulse like Jasper’s had earlier.

“You won’t be doing much of anything besides throwing rocks before too long.” K’orvo grabbed Dirnick’s arm, just as he was about to start mending Lorne’s leg. Dirnick turned and saw the state of Dr. Schipp.

“Dr. Schipp, I will do everything I can to get as close to a cure as possible. Can’t we come back after the storm and collect your work on Irumodic Syndrome?” Dirnick asked.

“No. Once the plants have changed from the ion storm’s effects, the Irumodic Syndrome treatment will be lost. They must be collected soon, before the full force of the storm hits.” Dr. Schipp’s eyebrows looked like the had shifted back to their natural state.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Convince Dr. Schipp to Leave
~ Difficulty: 0
~ Reason + Command, Presence + Command
* Because the crew is going to attempt to comply with the two conditions Dr. Schipp has set, the Difficulty is 0. Only agreeing to one condition increases the Difficulty to 3 and not agreeing to either would increase the Difficulty to 5. *

“K’orvo, Lorne, we have some work to do. I can work on curing or at least treating Jasper. Can the two of you salvage parts for the runabout and help Dr. Schipp collect her samples? We likely won’t get her off the planet otherwise and we can’t leave her here.” Dirnick quickly mended the fractures in Lorne’s leg as they discussed who would perform which task.

“I can scavenge some junk for the shuttle.” K’orvo volunteered.

“I’ll go with Dr. Schipp and help her collect the samples, as soon as you’re done with my leg.” Lorne said as he watched Dirnick work.

“I’m all finished. You’ll be a little sore, but picking flowers shouldn’t be too much trouble for you.” Dirnick moved toward Jasper, who was lying on an adjacent table. He looked up and raised an eyebrow at Lorne. “At least, I hope it’s not going to be trouble for you.”

“No, sir. I can handle some plants. Dr. Schipp, would you help me locate the specimens?” Lorne asked as he picked up a sample kit from a nearby shelf. (I allowed the players to use Dr. Schipp as a supporting character in one of the Tasks, because there are only three of them and the Gathering Specimens Task would not be possible to accomplish without help.)

“I think I can do that. Please, help Jasper.” Dr. Schipp placed a hand on Dirnick’s arm and he gave her a confident smile and a nod.

Session 0.4: The Decisions

Game Mechanics
Timed Tasks: 15 Intervals

The trio split up in an effort to accomplish their tasks. Time was running out as the ion storm’s intensity was increasing. The trio was starting to feel strange and they were all experiencing bouts of paranoia and primal fears. Luckily, the effects were still minor and if they had landed the runabout any further away from the outpost, they might have been worse off.

~ Task: Salvaging Parts
~ Successes Needed: 3
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Reason + Engineering, Reason + Conn, Control + Science

K’orvo was scavenging all over the outpost for any usable parts. He even had to physically pull a few parts out of the equipment. He managed to get an armful of parts and components that he thought might be compatible with the systems on the runabout. Once his task was done, he rushed back to Dirnick to see if he could assist him in treating Jasper.

~ Main Task: Gathering Specimens
~ Successes Needed: 3 (1 Success = Locate and Collect)
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ First Task: Locate Sample

~ Difficulty: 2
~ Insight + Science, Reason + Science
~ Second Task: Collect Sample
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Daring + Security, Control + Security

Dr. Schipp was helping Lorne to locate the specimens, but she was unable to assist in the collection of them. It took them quite some time to locate and collect all the samples, and Lorne was concerned that Dr. Schipp may turn on him before they made it back to the outpost. She would pause and stare off into the brush or she would jump at the slightest noise. Lorne felt some of the paranoia too, like they were being watched and followed. Once they completed their task, they returned as quickly as they could to the outpost.

~ Linear Task: Curing Jasper
~ Time per Attempt: 2 Intervals
~ Task 1: Identify the Cause
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Reason + Science

Dirnick had what seemed to be the most stressful of all the tasks. It didn’t take him long to discover the actual cause of the devolution. The ion storm and a chemical in the atmosphere were causing an extreme reaction from all organic creatures.

~ Task 2: Study the Symptoms
~ Difficulty: 3
~ Control + Medicine
Each time this Task is completed on a different specimen, the difficulty of Task 3 will decrease by 1.

He studied the symptoms that Jasper displayed in an attempt to see just how far he had progressed compared to the others.

Suddenly, an injured neanderthal stumbled into the laboratory from outside. Dirnick grabbed his phaser and shot the neanderthal, stunning it.

“Oh goodness. If it hadn’t been injured already, I might have been in some trouble. But this gives me an opportunity to study this phenomena a little more.” Dirnick took his equipment and a began to study the creature.

K’orvo walked into the laboratory with an armful of components and parts and saw Dirnick leaning over the stunned neanderthal. “What in the name of Kahless?! Where did that thing come from?”

“It found its way back in from outside. It was already injured so I just stunned it. I’m trying to study this symptoms that this one has manifested compared to the others and Jasper.” Dirnick picked up a medical tool and didn’t check the settings before turning it on. A laser beam seared through the skull of the creature and Dirnick dropped the tool. “That wasn’t supposed to happen. My goodness. This is a mess now.”

“Did you just kill that thing?!” K’orvo dropped all the equipment.

“I didn’t mean to. I didn’t realize these tools has such high settings on them. They shouldn’t be left on those settings either. Well, at least I can still study it… kind of.” Dirnick finished his analysis of the creature while K’orvo gathered the equipment up and packed it in a container for transport.

~ Task 3: Devise a Cure
~ Difficulty: 4
~ Daring + Medicine, Daring + Science

Dirnick gathered all the information he could from the two specimens, Jasper and the now deceased one, and went to work on a cure. “I have a temporary solution! This will stop the progression of the devolution until we can get to a laboratory that’s not mostly destroyed.”

~ Task 4: Administer the Cure
Two options are presented for administering the cure.
Individual Cures
~ Difficulty:
1
~ Insight + Medicine (opposed by hostiles)
Mass Cure (Reaches the area just beyond the outpost, not the whole planet.)
~ Difficulty: 4 (Created the device)
~ Daring + Engineering
~ Difficulty: 4 (Calibrate the device to deliver the cure)
~ Daring + Medicine
* Dirnick decided it would be best to create several hyposprays instead of the stationary device. *

“Good, now what? Can we leave?” K’orvo asked, rubbing his ridges.

“Let me load these hyposprays and we can ready ourselves to return to the runabout.” Dirnick explained as he finished his work. He administered one of the treatments to Jasper and the twitching of his eyebrow ridges stopped. Dirnick gave himself and K’orvo a shot too, and just as they had finished, Dr. Schipp and Lorne returned with the samples.

“We’ve got parts, the specimens for the cure for Irumodic Syndrome, and Jasper has stopped devolving. Let’s get out of here before the storm traps us!” Dirnick said as he administered the hyposprays to Lorne and Dr. Schipp.

“That’s the best thing you’ve said all day. Let’s go.” K’orvo pushed the stretcher with Jasper on top and the equipment underneath as Lorne guided it. Dirnick carried the medical kit and the pack with the hyposprays. The group quickly made off for the runabout, with the full force of an ion storm on their heels.

Session 0.5: The Escape

The crew returns to the shuttle to find that everything appears to be just as they left it on the outside. The ion storm’s strength is increasing and the window for escape is beginning to close. The team knows they must get into the shuttle and repair it before the storm gets any more intense. Before everyone has a chance to reach the shuttle, a rustling comes from the nearby brush and several dark figures dart out towards the shuttle.

The remaining scientists in neanderthal form darted out toward the crew. They were so terrified that they were blindly attacking. Luckily, none of them were wielding phasers, but they had become adept with clubs. The neanderthals rushed the crew, beating them relentlessly with their clubs. Dirnick incapacitated the one neanderthal that was attacking him and was able to help the rest of the crew to quickly subdue their attackers. K’orvo and Dirnick loaded the neanderthals into the runabout with the others, who were still unconscious. Lorne immediately set to work on the repairs and Dr. Schipp secured Jasper and herself in the rear of the runabout.

With the remaining neanderthals incapacitated, the crew quickly begins repairs on the runabout. The ion storm’s intensity is steadily increasing, causing the winds to become violently strong and bolts of energy to strike at objects on the ground. It’s clear to you all that you must get off this planet and away from the ion storm or you’ll be trapped on this planet and become neanderthals before anyone finds you!

Game Mechanics
Extended Task: Repair the Shuttle
~ Work Track: 12
~ Magnitude: 3
~ Base Difficulty: 2
~ Control + Engineering

Lorne began working on repairs while Dirnick oversaw his progress. K’orvo was behind the force field in the rear of the runabout, securing the remaining neanderthals.

“Lieutenant, are you sure that part goes into that spot like that?” Dirnick asked, distracting Lorne. Sparks and smoke erupted from the panel that Lorne was working under.

“No, sir. But I have to make it work. Now if you don’t stop bothering me, we’ll never get out of here!” Lorne focused his attention on the task at hand.

“Engineering isn’t my specialty, but this repair doesn’t look right over here.” Dirnick pointed to a jury rigged piece of equipment that was humming loudly.

“Of course it doesn’t look right. None of these parts are compatible with the runabout. I’m having to jury rig everything in hopes it works.” Lorne’s hand slipped and the tool he was using snapped. “Are you serious?! I don’t think I can make any further repairs. We’re going to have to try it like it is.”

“Is it repaired enough for space travel?” Dirnick asked as he looked over some of the repairs.

“If we can get liftoff and break the atmosphere, we’ll be fine in space. The problem is going to be getting off the ground. I’m not an engineer, but I’ve been around enough of them as a pilot. I think the repairs I made are going to be just enough, as long as nothing else goes wrong.” Lorne sat as the conn and Dirnick took his place at the other console.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Plot a Course
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Science
Two Momentum may be spent on the success of this task, to reduce the Difficulty of the next task (Piloting Through the Storm) by 1.

Dirnick examined the flashing console, trying to plot a course away from the oncoming storm. The console was losing power but he managed to find the best path for them.

“Course laid in, heading 248 mark 132. Impulse engines engaged and operating nominally, but it should be enough to get us through the atmosphere. It looks like warp engines are completely down. My console’s power conduit just went out.” Dirnick grabbed some of the tools, opened the panel under his console, and attempted to repair the power conduit. “I don’t think I can fix this. You’ll have to navigate manually once we clear the storm.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Pilot Through the Storm
~ Difficulty: 3 (or 2 – depending on the outcome of the previous Task)
~ Control + Conn

Lorne adjusted the controls at his station, engaged the course settings, and initiated liftoff. “Everyone hold on to something! This is going to be a very rough ride.”

“You two fly worse than a child trying to ride a greased targ! Don’t blow us all into oblivion! I want to reach Sto’Vo’Kor one day.” K’orvo called from the rear of the runabout. He was trying to secure himself in a seat, but the two belts for his seat had the same ends and wouldn’t fasten together. He tied them together and sighed. “By the light of Kahless!”

As the runabout takes off, an energy bolt strikes the ground where it had just been. The nacelles glow and the runabout breaks through the atmosphere just as the ion storm overtakes the area. You open a com to DS9 and put out a distress call. You hear a female voice coming through but the signal is still full of static and garbled. You ask them to repeat their message and because you’ve now gained enough distance from the ion storm, the voice comes through clear.

“This is Major Kira from Deep Space Nine. Whatever that interference was, it’s gone now. Be careful out there! We’re picking up an ion storm in your vicinity. We’re also detecting some damage to your major systems. Just hang tight. We’ve got help headed your way.”

“Kira! What a relief to hear your voice!” Lorne said excitedly as the runabout made it’s way towards the direction of DS9 and the ship sent to aid them.

Roll Credits!

Thank you for reading!
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
“Today is a good day to die, unless you can live!” ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

 

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

Our featured game for the weeks of October 25 and November 1 is a game from Fireside Games, Bloodsuckers.

Bloodsuckers on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Bloodsuckers

The once quiet small town of Blackwood has become a battleground. A coven of vampires has crept in under the cover of darkness to drain the very life from its helpless citizens. As powerful as these creatures of legend are, they do not prowl the streets unchallenged. A team of skilled vampire hunters with an arsenal of modern weapons has tracked these bloodsuckers down and the battle for the soul of Blackwood is about to begin.

Play as either vampire or hunter, using Attack cards to battle for the citizens of Blackwood, Impact cards to enhance your powers, and deadly Strike cards to destroy your opponent. Unleash powerful combos and use Blood or Adrenaline as you fight, alone or with a teammate, through both night and day. Win battles to recruit the innocent bystanders at the Nightclub, Church, Graveyard, Police Station, and Hospital. Claim the most locations to win control of the town.

Save the town of Blackwood, or drain it dry.
The choice is yours.

This is a fighting card game where you play as either a vampire or a vampire hunter. It’s a thematic game with horror elements.

Rules

The rule book is very detailed and it will take some time to read over it. This isn’t a game that you can crack open and read along as you play. You really should have a good understanding of the rules before playing. There are lots of abilities that you need a reference for, and thankfully, Fireside has the foresight to include player aids with those references and a turn order.

Components and Game Play

You can find a review video on my YouTube channel that shows all of the components with a brief description and also a review of the game play.

You can follow this link directly to my video – HERE.

Summary

The game is easy enough to understand once you’ve read through the rule book a time or two. It can seem overwhelming at first, with all the different abilities on the bystanders, but you don’t have to memorize them. You can find a summary list on the back of your player aid card. So don’t let that discourage you. You don’t really need to memorize the turn order either since it’s on your player aid card too. Everything is pretty straight forward, there’s just a lot to it.

This is not a game for everyone. I like the game well enough, but I used to play competitive collectible card games too. Most of my play group had avoided those type of games. I feel like this game would be good for bringing collectible gaming folks into the board game world.

I love how thematic the game is. You’re literally fighting as a vampire to control the town or as a vampire hunter to save the town. Each game element is thematic for the side you choose, from the different decks to the Blood and Adrenaline Tokens.

Buy or Bye?
Buy

This is a game I wouldn’t mind having in my collection. It likely won’t see much play in my local group though, only because it’s a fighting card game. Most of our locals steer away from card games, but I’ll still play Bloodsuckers with anyone that wants to play!

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
Thanks for reading and be sure to like, follow, and subscribe for more gaming and Star Trek related content!

Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Dice Fans!

For this week’s confusing card of the week article, we’re going to take a look at Tyrannosaurus Zombie: Lesser Undead  from the Dungeons and Dragons: Tomb of Annihilation set.

W Tyrannosaurus Zombie, Lesser Undead

Ruling – Ability

When fielded, field all Zombie character dice in your Used Pile at level 2.

A When Fielded ability will trigger when the character’s die is fielded by either paying the fielding cost and moving it from your Reserve Pool to the Field Zone, or by using an ability that instructs you to ‘field’ the character die. Abilities that move, swap, or place dice will not trigger a When Fielded ability.

When you field a Tyrannosaurus Zombie die, you will take all the Zombie character dice from your Used Pile and field them on their level two face. The Zombie dice can only have “Zombie” as their title, and nothing else. You would not be able to field a “Tyrannosaurus Zombie” at level two with this card’s ability, because the title contains an additional word. This card will only check the title of the card that the dice came from, and not the subtitle, affiliation, or any other part of the card.

When you field the Zombie dice from your Used Pile with the Tyrannosaurus Zombie’s ability, each of those Zombie dice will trigger any abilities that check for a character or character die being ‘Fielded’.

Miscellaneous Card Information

~ Tyrannosaurus Zombie is a Fist type character card.
~ It has the Monster affiliation and Neutral alignment.
~ It has a Max Dice of four.
~ This card is a Common and is #47 of 136.

Official Sources

WizKids Official Rules Forum (WORF)

You can find a ruling for this card, here.

You can find more info about specific Keywords on the WizKids Keywords page.

Turn Order Summary Reference

turn-order

Opinion

I chose this card because I’ve actually had someone ask about it recently. And also, it’s Halloween! I had to pick a monster, zombie, vampire, or some kind of Halloween themed card.

Okay, so lots of folks (including myself), really wanted this card to function like the Half-Dragon in this ruling, here. But honestly, I knew deep down that it wasn’t going to be like that – regardless of how much I wanted it. They did capitalize the name ‘Zombie’ on the card, so that was what tipped me off that it wasn’t like Half-Dragon.

As much fun as it would be to flood the field with a bunch of level two Zombies, I don’t think this card is worth its cost of six – at least not in a competitive type format. Now, for fun monster theme games, or Halloween theme games, this card is awesome! Luckily, you don’t need to buy all four of the Tyrannosaurus Zombie dice for it to be fun and useful in a casual game. I’d use Tyrannosaurus Zombie with the Zombie: Lesser Undead from the TOA set. He says, “When Zombie KOs an NPC character die, choose one: (1) Field a Zombie character die in your Used Pile at level 2. (2) Spin all of your active Zombie character Dice up 1 level.” You can use a force block ability, or a force attack ability, on a Sidekick and use your level two Zombie to KO it. Then you can choose to spin your Zombies up a level, since they’re probably all in the Field Zone already. I encourage folks to have a Halloween or Monster Mash event and try out some of these cards!

Happy Halloween and Happy Nightmare Night!

happy-nightmare-night

Opinions on this card? Leave a comment!
Is there a card your confused on?

Is there a combo that seems too good to be true?
Leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty and thanks for reading!

Need to find a card? Check out The Dice Coalition‘s Team Builder!

Roll on, Dice Masters!

Welcome Aboard the U.S.S. Mulgrew

 

The year is 2372, and to put this in better perspective, it’s been almost a year since the destruction of the Enterprise D, the loss of Captain James T. Kirk, and the disappearance of the U.S.S. Voyager (in roughly that order). The relations between the Klingon Empire and the Federation are strained due to the potential Cardassian and Dominion threats. Tensions and nerves are running high right now, as Starfleet and the Federation seek a solution to this ever growing threat.

Welcome Letter from Captain M’Kora

Greetings to you, and congratulations on your new assignment.

There is a growing need for organizations and divisions of officers and specialists that are trained in wartime tactics. Section 31 is an autonomous organization within the Federation that’s not officially recognized, but it exists and a few too many folks know about it. They operate on their own and don’t have anyone holding them accountable for potentially damaging actions. Section 31 also doesn’t ask anyone for approval for certain actions or missions. The Federation and Starfleet have an official, but unofficial, program similar to Section 31 – but much more secret and definitely accountable for their actions. While Section 31 is the Federation equivalent of the Romulan Tal Shiar, we are an organization that’s monitored and kept in check by Starfleet and the Federation. We are known as the Kage Hoshi Division, the shadows among the stars. Our ships, missions, and personnel are all classified. We go on typical missions and report to Starfleet, just like other ships and personnel, but we do it quietly. We relay information to Starfleet about various things and they determine who to send to investigate. If Starfleet believes we should be the ones to act, we do. But as far as the general population knows, we don’t exist.

I’m Captain M’Kora, no first or last name, just simply Captain M’Kora. If you know who I am, that means one of three things: you knew me as a commanding officer in the Klingon Imperial Fleet, you serve or have served under me on the U.S.S. Mulgrew, or someone at the Kage Hoshi Division isn’t doing their job.

If you’re not familiar with me, allow me to give you some background, so you feel a little more comfortable around me. I was born and raised on Qo’noS. My mother and father were diplomats, ambassadors, and honorable Klingons. They served the Empire in life, and they honor the Empire in their deaths. I was an officer in the Klingon Imperial Fleet when they died in honorable combat during a treaty negotiation that went bad. I was proud of them and their work. They were also proud to consider themselves allies to the Federation and what the Federation stands for. Many believe Klingons can’t exist without conflict – some war to wage. That’s not true. We’re a culture rich in art, ceremony, and custom, but we value our skills as warriors too. We fight if we must and revel in the battle, but we fight with honor in order to preserve our way of life. My parents fought battles in a different way. They used their words instead of a d’k tagh or a bat’leth. I have chosen to a walk a similar path, by using diplomacy as a weapon and only resorting to physical violence if necessary. There is great honor in being able to do battle in unconventional ways, and my parents understood this as well.

Growing up on Qo’noS with such an unconventional family wasn’t always easy. I never let the weak minded stand in my way though. I can handle myself in any confrontation that’s forced upon me. I excelled in my studies as well as my combat and tactical prowess. This led to a rapid promotion through the ranks in the Klingon Imperial Fleet. I soon found myself under the command of General K’orvo, a commander of superior skill and also a great mentor. I served under his command for many years until the day we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise-D commanded by Captain Jean-Luc Picard. A compliment of bridge officers were invited to tour the Enterprise and join them for pleasantries. Upon our arrival, we were all shocked to see a Klingon there to greet us in the transporter room alongside Picard. We had all heard the tales of Worf, son of Mogh, but we were not prepared to see a Klingon in a Starfleet uniform. As the rest of my fellow officers and General K’orvo stood there, staring at Worf, I took the initiative and greeted him. The Starfleet personnel seemed a little curious at my actions, since I addressed a lower ranking officer before addressing the Captain. Once I noticed the eyes on me, I turned to Picard and greeted him, introducing myself. He gave me a warm and genuine smile, greeted me in return and then greeted the compliment of my fellow officers.

Worf and I became fast friends in that brief visit and I was immediately inspired to be more like him. I admired, no, that’s wrong – I still admire Worf. His work continues and I follow his actions closely. My admiration of him has inspired me to be the best Starfleet officer that I can be. I hope that I can one day be an inspiration to you, the same way that he is to me.

It was actually Lieutenant Worf (now Lt. Commander), that recruited me for Starfleet while he was serving aboard the Enterprise-D. It was my hope that I would be assigned to the same vessel, but it seemed that Starfleet had a different assignment in mind. They felt I was best suited for command of a starship, but one that wasn’t on the records. I wasn’t sure if I was to consider this assignment an insult or a compliment, but I didn’t really have a choice. Once you’re selected to be a member of the Kage Hoshi Division, you can’t really turn it down. It was clear to me the moment I boarded the U.S.S. Mulgrew that this was more than a compliment; it was a huge amount of trust and faith that was put into me and my abilities. It was an honor to be selected to be a captain, straight from the academy, and one that I could tell no one about. Crew aboard a classified ship like the Mulgrew are typically assigned to these ships for life. There are opportunities to retire, but in my five years of command, I’ve only seen one of the twelve that retired, stay in retirement. Many get restless and need to work. Your assignment aboard a classified ship can end in retirement after fifteen years, unless you’re a captain or the second in command. Those positions are lifelong commitments.

It’s not uncommon to find that crewman have fallen in love with another member of the crew, or with someone they see on a regular basis at a space dock. When they do, we don’t discourage them from starting a family aboard the ship. Sometimes, the children that are raised on the ship, will fall naturally into one of the crew roles and that family becomes one of the many generational family units within the Kage Hoshi Division. My parents would have seen it as an honor to serve on a ship like the Mulgrew, as you should too. I am honored to have you aboard.

These are the voyages of the starship Mulgrew. We go where other Federation starships cannot. We blaze a path in the stars for fellow explorers. We don’t just boldly go, we go boldly and silently into the black.

Welcome to the U.S.S. Mulgrew, NCC-65056. Qapla’!

~ Captain M’Kora

Meet the Crew!

The crew and officers of the U.S.S. Mulgrew are being played by a mix of veteran, novice, and somewhat beginner role players. I will be playing Captain M’Kora, only because the group is so small. I’ve played D&D since it was AD&D and have played/GM’d various other RPG’s. Travis (Mr. DDK) has been playing RPG’s for a little over a decade and he’s played a variety of RPG’s as well. North has also played a variety of RPG’s over several years. Wednesday is newer to RPG’s, but picks up on the games rather well.

I’ve encouraged them to make two characters to help with bridge operations, but they have to choose one or the other for away missions. We won’t be using as many Supporting Characters because of that. I will only have Captain M’Kora, which you met in the letter above, as my NPC and likely won’t go on away missions unless necessary. These are the characters that they will be in charge of, and a little of their character backgrounds too.

Lieutenant Commander Nir Dirnick (Travis)

Nir Dirnick is a Cardassian standing right at two meters (six feet, two inches) tall and weighing roughly 95 kilograms (210 pounds).

He was a brilliant scientist that was recruited by the Obsidian Order. He specialized in genetics and xenobiology, which the Obsidian Order hoped to use to further their nefarious plans for the Bajorans. Nir Dirnick lived on Cardassia and he knew about the Occupation of Bajor, but the Cardassian government always painted the Bajorans as the terrorists that would destroy Cardassia and the Cardassian culture. Nir Dirnick never really expected that the information was false, until he was sent to Bajor.

The Obsidian Order sent Nir Dirnick to Bajor on a specific assignment. He was to study a particular species that the Bajorans were also studying. He oversaw much of the work that Dr. Mora Pol was conducting on an unusual creature, referred to as Odo’ital, or Odo for short. The Obsidian Order thought that they might be able to use this creature to their advantage somehow and so Nir Dirnick studied everything Dr. Mora had on Odo. When it was discovered that Odo was a sentient being, Nir Dirnick became much more interested. He went to Dr. Mora’s laboratories and worked closely with him even after Odo left for Terok Nor.

During all this time, Nir Dirnick was witnessing first hand just how cruel the Cardassian military and government was to the Bajoran people. Nir Dirnick was a loyal Cardassian, but loyal to the Cardassia that he thought he knew. He was not happy to see that his government was putting on a facade. He kept doing his work, but also kept detailed notes on the movements of the military as well as the government officials and what they were doing.

Nir Dirnick got to know the Bajoran people for who they truly were: artists, musicians, poets, writers, and scientists in their own right. He eventually met a Bajoran woman, Neerwo Oku, a beautiful and very open minded botanist. It wasn’t long before they found themselves in love. It wasn’t uncommon for Cardassians to use Bajoran women as ‘comfort women’, but it was uncommon for a Cardassian and a Bajoran to become engaged. Most of Nir Dirnick’s colleagues and superiors saw the engagement as a way for him to keep Oku to himself, and they didn’t hassle him about it. Oku was a pleasant distraction for Nir Dirnick in the midst of all the horrible things happening around them.

But their happiness was short lived. A Bajoran Resistance Cell attacked the science building where Oku was working. They planted explosives on the major structural supports of the building and waited until the building was full of workers. The explosives were detonated and the building collapsed, killing all 283 people inside. All Bajorans in that building were considered collateral damage in the attack. The news of Oku’s death struck Nir Dirnick to his core and he decided that this was it, the last straw.

Nir Dirnick reached out to Starfleet and told them everything he knew and begged them to help end the Occupation. He said that there was too much evil on both sides and he volunteered to work as an undercover agent for Starfleet. He would gather any intelligence he could and get it to Starfleet, as long as they promised to end this and keep the Bajoran people safe. He said that the Cardassian people and Cardassia had lost its way and needed to be set on the right path once more. Starfleet took him up on his offer and used his inside information to help the Bajoran people put an end to the Occupation.

About a year before the end of the Occupation, the Obsidian Order suspected Nir Dirnick was a traitor to Cardassia. With his connections inside the Obsidian Order, word reached him quickly that he needed to get out before they apprehended and executed him. He put in a call for help to the Federation and Starfleet and they were able to sneak him away from Bajor. The only possession he brought with him was Oku’s earring that he had used to proposed to her. He put the earring on and has wore it everyday since he left Bajor for Earth.

During his time on Earth, he had been a scientist working in secret laboratories with the Federation. He was teaching them Cardassian genetics and giving them all the information he had on Cardassia and the government officials. He told them everything he knew about the Obsidian Order and how they function. He also studied everything he could about the Federation and Starfleet. He has just recently been called to the office of Admiral Reynolds.

Nir Dirnick entered the Admiral’s office and saw a silver haired Human sitting behind a desk. Admiral Reynolds seemed to have a gruff but pleasant demeanor. “You must be Nir Dirnick, our very own Cardassian defector. I can’t express how much I admire you for what you’ve done. It’s not an easy thing to do, to abandon your world and people for your ideals.”

“Admiral, sir, I think you have it wrong. I didn’t abandon Cardassia or my fellow Cardassians. They abandoned me when they strayed from the path. We are indeed a military people, but we’re also a people of science and culture. Our paranoia and xenophobia has lead my people to their self destruction. So you see, it’s not my ideals that caused me to defect, it was their error.” Nir Dirnick sat in the plush office chair across the desk from Admiral Reynolds.

“Well said. I think I would leave Starfleet if it ever strayed from its moral compass. I may not fully understand how you feel, but I can at least pretend to understand.” Nir Dirnick nodded at Admiral Reynolds as he continued, “We have chosen to recognize you for all you’ve done. I understand that you’ve studied everything you can get your hands on about Starfleet, including protocol and operations. You’ve basically done the work of five Starfleet cadets in the span of three and half years.”

Nir Dirnick raised a finger, pointed at the ceiling, in an effort to politely interrupt the Admiral. Admiral Reynolds paused and gestured at Nir Dirnick to proceed. “Not to sound paranoid, but all that work I did was for myself. I wanted to see who I’d gotten into bed with, so to speak. Starfleet seems to be what I thought Cardassia was. As much as I condemn my people for their paranoia, I still needed to be sure.” Nir Dirnick could tell he was losing the Admiral’s attention and maybe patience, but he wasn’t sure of the latter. “I didn’t do the work for recognition. That’s what I’m trying to say.”

“Regardless of why you did the work, you still did it. Starfleet and the Federation have signed off for you to be granted the rank of Lieutenant Commander.” Admiral Reynolds smiled and then added, “But, they also want you to be a crewman on a classified ship. This ship is very special…”

Before Admiral Reynolds could continue, Nir Dirnick stood up and grabbed his hand, shaking it vigorously. “Say no more Admiral! I know what ‘classified’ means and I know what I’m getting into. I was a member of the Obsidian Order after all. Truth is, I’ve been quite bored here. I’m not sure how you all keep from dying of boredom.”

“Well, then all you need to do is take the shuttle from Koralis IV to Deep Space Nine and meet your contact there. Here is all the information you’ll need until then.” Admiral Reynolds handed Nir Dirnick a PADD and showed him to the door. Two security officers waited just outside the door to escort Nir Dirnick to the transport ship. “I expect great things from you, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Be safe out there.”

“Thank you, Admiral. I am looking forward to this assignment, as well as a change of uniform.” Nir Dirnick looked down at his civilian clothes and lab coat. “I imagine I’ll look stunning in ‘science blue’.” Nir Dirnick smiled and nodded in the Admiral’s direction. The security officers lead the way down the corridor to the transporter room and Nir Dirnick walked with a bounce in his step and purpose for his soul.

Lieutenant Thasiv Zynes (Travis)

Thasiv is an Andorian that stands a little shy of two meters (five feet, eight inches) tall, and weighs about 77 kilograms (170 pounds). Thasiv is a very normal and very average Andorian, in most ways. He grew up on a frontier colony, dreaming of adventures in the stars. He would fly small craft and shuttles to pass the time, and even race them as a way to gain additional supplies or materials from off-worlders. He became an exceptional and very well known pilot on the colony.

The day came when Starfleet made a social call to the small frontier colony. They were there on orders to assist the colonies with anything they needed, such as medical supplies or materials of any kind. Thasiv was enamored with the idea of flying through space on ships that could potentially house the population of his colony. He spoke to several of the Starfleet personnel and made up his mind the same day; he was going to Starfleet!

Thasiv was a normal student with typical grades, but his piloting skills were the likes that hadn’t been seen in decades. He graduated Starfleet as an Ensign and was lucky enough to be immediately assigned to the U.S.S. Exeter (NCC-26531). They were in need of a new pilot, immediately. All Thasiv was told was that the previous pilot was expelled from Starfleet; something about him lying about a pilot error that resulted in the deaths of three of his fellow officers. Thasiv had later heard the name Paris, but many of the Exeter’s crew didn’t want to talk about the incident and Thasiv wasn’t that interested anyway.

Thasiv worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant after a year. His assignment on the Exeter proved to be full of experience and helped him hone his piloting skills. In 2371, He was going to ask for another promotion when he was sent back to Starfleet headquarters. It was there that he learned of a new challenge and one he happily accepted. Starfleet reassigned Thasiv to the U.S.S. Mulgrew and that’s where he’s served for the last year, honing his skills even more as a pilot.

Lieutenant Lorne Dayne (North)

Dayne is a Bajoran that was born and raised on Bajor during the Occupation. As an adult, he stands just under two meters tall (roughly six feet tall) and weighs about 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

The Cardassian Occupation of Bajor lasted for around 50 years, so most young Bajorans only know life as it was under the boot of a Cardassian. When Dayne was 14 years old, his mother and father were killed by the Cardassians for being resistance sympathizers. His parents were aiding several resistance cells by giving them supplies and information. There aren’t many details on who it was that betrayed them to the Cardassians, if anyone did. The Cardassians may have just gotten lucky and figured it out. But the night they came to the Lorne home, the Cardassians made a show of it and made an example of them. They stormed into the Lorne home like they were after hardened criminals, drug his parents out into the street in front of their home, and executed them. Dayne, only a young boy at the time, was hiding behind a secret door in the wall, but he could see the whole incident through a crack in the wall. Even at a young age, Dayne knew how important it was to keep quiet and get to safety – not to be hero. He waited until the Cardassians were gone before leaving his home behind to seek out the resistance fighters. The resistance was going to need strong young men to fight the Cardassians and this act of malice lit huge a fire in his belly.

When Dayne found his place in the resistance, it was within the Shakaar Cell. He had befriended Kira Nerys, who was within the same cell. Even though they were friends, they would not get to see much of each other. They were both destined to lead different groups within the Shakaar Cell. But they remained friends and contacted each other if they could.

The Occupation ended in 2369 and Bajor was given control of Terok Nor, later renamed to Deep Space Nine. The Bajoran Provisional Government asked the Federation to step in and assist with the space station and they gave primary control of DS9 to the Federation. Starfleet Commander Benjamin Sisko and Colonel Kira Nerys both recommended that Dayne join Starfleet and enter the academy. With special recommendations and life experiences as his teachers, Dayne excelled though the academy and graduated in 2371 at the rank of Lieutenant, instead of Ensign.

Dayne was seeking a promotion while serving aboard the U.S.S. Curry, but was recalled to Starfleet headquarters in 2372. He spoke to Admiral Reynolds, a gruff but pleasant enough older human with silver hair. He informed him that Dayne had been selected for a special assignment to a very special ship called the U.S.S. Mulgrew. Dayne was also informed that the missions, crew, and the ship itself were all classified. Dayne was also informed that if he chose to decline this new assignment he would return to the U.S.S. Curry, after a slight memory adjustment. No further details would be given until he was aboard the Mulgrew.

“Son, this could be an opportunity you don’t want to pass up. You’re young and highly intelligent. You’ve also got an instinct about you and those are the people we want on these type of ships.” Admiral Reynolds reclined in his chair and rested his hands across his stomach.

“I appreciate the offer, Admiral Reynolds. It sounds like a wonderful position, but I think I could do more good on the Curry. I think the Curry needs me right now.” Dayne rubbed a hand over the top of his head, ruffling some of his neatly groomed brown hair.

“If you’re concerned with doing good deeds and helping others, the Mulgrew is exactly where you need to be. You will be blazing trails for ships like the Curry. Now, do you want to be at the head of pack, or just picking up the leftovers? Because that’s what’ll happen. The Mulgrew is a life assignment too. Move up high enough in the ranks, and you get your own ship within our Division.” Admiral Reynolds leaned forward and put his elbows on his desk.

“What Division of Starfleet is this, Admiral Reynolds?” Dayne’s dark eyes squinted at Admiral Reynolds. “I’ve never seen that style insignia before.” He pointed at the command insignia on Admiral Reynolds uniform.

“That’s classified, until you board the Mulgrew.” Admiral Reynolds smiled and said, “Which I have every confidence that you’re going to do. I’ve read your files, naturally. An officer like you with your background wouldn’t pass this offer up. The chance to be first at the scene of a disaster; the first to assess the potential threat of a newly discovered civilization; the first to save a civilization from annihilation at the hands of a tyrannical invader. You were made for this Division.”

Dayne’s eyes were wide with thoughts of all the good he could do. “Well, since you put it that way, how can resist? What is it that the Borg say? Resistance is futile. Guess I’ve been assimilated into the crew of the Mulgrew.” Dayne jumped up from the chair and reached out to shake Admiral Reynold’s hand.

“Borg jokes, huh? I lost half my Division ships and crew in the Battle of Wolf 359.” Admiral Reynolds stood and gripped Dayne’s hand tightly. “You might want to use different material for your jokes. And yes, I heard about that too, how you think yourself a comedian.”

“That’s more of a nervous thing actually. I can’t help it. Sometimes it lightens the mood.” Dayne’s hand was released from the Admiral’s grip.

“Whatever you call it, better watch it around your new captain. She’s as rough as they come and she’ll work you hard. You’ve got a ride to catch. They’ll drop you and another officer off in a shuttle around Koralis IV. You’re likely going to have a passenger too. You’ll rendezvous with the Mulgrew at Deep Space Nine. When you arrive at Deep Space Nine, go to Quark’s bar and find a Klingon female named, M’Kora. She’s expecting you and she’ll give you further instructions. Good luck, Lieutenant Lorne.” Admiral Reynolds gestured towards the door and it opened, revealing two armed Starfleet officers.

Dayne looked back at Admiral Reynolds as he was being escorted out, “Thank you Admiral. I won’t let you or Starfleet down. Prophets guide you.”

“Live long, and prosper. The light of Kahless shine on you. All that religious stuff. Just don’t die out there, okay? We can’t afford to lose anyone else.” Admiral Reynolds smiled disingenuously as the door to his office closed behind Dayne.

“I get to meet a Klingon. Cool.” Dayne said quietly to himself as he followed the two security officers to the transporter room.

Ensign John Cross (North)

John Cross is a Human engineer with brown hair that stands about two meters tall (five feet and nine inches) and weighs about 90 kilograms (200 pounds). He was born and raised in the Mirror Universe. One of his personality quirks is that he doesn’t refer to anyone by name or rank. Once he meets an individual, he’s inspired to give them a nickname. He claims it’s a sign of respect and not to poke fun at the individual, because the bonding between two individuals transcends given names and ranks.

John was raised on the Trill homeworld by a Trill diplomat, Ronnan Turin. Ronnan was a double agent, serving as a diplomat for the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance and also a supporter of the Terran Rebellion in secret. Ronnan’s daughter, Yozri, was beautiful and skilled as a negotiator. Yozri could gather information about KCA and its movements without raising any suspicions, and then relay that information back to the Terran Rebellion with the help of her father. Their ultimate goal was to see peace in the universe.

John was the only pilot that Ronnan and Yozri trusted, not only because he was loyal to them, but because he was able to fly them out of several tough spots. He was also a skilled engineer, and was able to fix just about anything. He could see solutions to a mechanical problem that others wouldn’t have thought of, and all he needed to do was grab a handful of miscellaneous parts and look them over.

Yozri admired him for his ingenuity and loved sitting with him for his conversations. She would often find him talking to himself while he worked on more complex mechanical problems. When they were on a particularly long flight, she would often sit with him and they would talk about everything from the stars beyond their quadrant, to strategies on bringing down the KCA. John found himself falling in love Yozri, but their family situation complicated things.

Ronnan and Yozri weren’t joined Trill, because most of the Symbionts had been murdered. Dax was one of the few that survived, but the only one that the KCA and the Terran Empire knew about – or so everyone believed. Ronnan and Yozri were members of a secret society of Trill that knew about the remaining Symbionts. The members of this society were limited to less than a dozen Trill. John was the only non-Trill that knew of the Symbionts’ existence. Part of his job as a pilot was helping to relocate the Symbionts and their hosts to safe houses across the Alpha quadrant. Ronnan and Yozri had the diplomatic status to help them bypass checkpoints and shuttle searches, and John had the skills to pilot them out of potentially dangerous situations and repair the shuttle in a snap.

John stayed on the shuttle during most of the trips to the KCA bases on Cardassia and Qo’noS. He wasn’t a confrontational type of person and wanted to avoid any possible issues that might arise. He had been able to talk his way out of some previous confrontations with some Cardassians, but if it had been Klingons, he would have been in trouble!

Very early one morning, Ronnan shook John awake and informed him of a serious issue that had surfaced. There was joined Trill that had been wounded in an altercation between a Cardassian Galor Class ship and a Bajoran Scout vessel controlled by the Terran Rebellion. It was reported that the Galor class ship was already heavily damaged and wasn’t able to completely destroy the Bajoran Scout vessel. The Trill was mortally wounded but the Symbiont was in no danger as long as another host was found quickly. The information that the Symbiont had was extremely important to the Terran Rebellion and the only viable host within reasonable distance that could be trusted was Yozri.

John was shocked to learn that Yozri had already gone through the joining ceremony and was now a joined Trill. Ronnan also told him that they needed to leave immediately for the Badlands to transfer Yozri to another ship for relocation. They couldn’t take her to the safe house themselves without the risk of being discovered. John had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. He even told Ronnan that there was something off about the attack on the Bajoran Scout vessel. Even with so much damage, he thought the Galor Class should have had more than enough power to destroy the Scout vessel. John felt like it was trap, but Ronnan said there was no time and no options – the transfer has been arranged and must happen.

John was piloting their shuttle through the Badlands to the coordinates they were given, but they didn’t quite make it. A Klingon Vor’cha Class ship emerged from behind a plasma storm funnel and opened fire on the shuttle. Phaser blasts struck the shields of the shuttle and damaged them so badly that John couldn’t repair them while simultaneously trying to pilot away from the Klingon ship. Backup power generators were completely knocked out and systems were failing all over the shuttle. A plasma funnel erupted next to the shuttle and blocked their path of escape, putting them directly in line of fire with the Klingon ship. The Klingon ship fired another phaser blast, but another plasma funnel erupted between the Klingon ship and the shuttle. This dampened the force of the phaser blast, but not enough to prevent it from almost breaching the hull. The shuttle rocked and Ronnan was thrown into a nearby control panel, causing almost immediate and fatal brain trauma. Yozri was thrown directly into the path of an energy blast from one of the failing system’s control panels. John leaped from his control station and cradled Yozri.

“John, I won’t make it. The Symbiont knows it too. We have to pass on the knowledge to you, and if you survive this, get it to the Terran Rebellion. This information could save the entire universe.” John leaned close to Yozri as she whispered into his ear. His eyes grew wide with surprise. “Please, save the universe if you can. And John, if we lived at another time, we would have been perfect together. Live on, John. Live and be happy when this is all over.”

Yozri’s eyes closed and she was still. Tears fell from John’s eyes, splashing onto her cheeks. It seemed as though everything was happening in slow motion as sparks flew behind him and the shuttle careened towards a plasma funnel. There were several streaks of vertical red lights that formed all over John’s body and in an instant, he was no longer on the shuttle. He found himself in a holding cell on the Klingon Vor’cha ship that was attacking them.

“Traitor to the Alliance!” A Klingon yelled at him in a gruff and scratchy voice. “You have been sentenced and will be taken to Terok Nor to slave away in the labor camps on Bajor.” John just sat, staring at the floor and said nothing.

During his time in the labor camps of Bajor, he met Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax. They found a way to pull him out of the labor camps and he found a place to call home on Sisko’s ship.

It wasn’t long before Sisko was dead and a pretender showed up. After the events of “Through the Looking Glass” (Deep Space Nine, Season 3 – Episode 19), Benjamin Sisko from the main universe (Prime Timeline, Universe Proper) accidentally took John back with him. Once the stowaway had been discovered, Sisko alerted the Federation and Starfleet. Starfleet decided the best thing to do, would be to place John Cross on a classified vessel so he wouldn’t be able to do much damage to the timeline. He was assigned to the U.S.S. Mulgrew almost a year ago and has been trying to adjust to life in this new universe. He still hopes to find a safe way back to his universe so he can help save it.

General K’orvo (Wednesday)

K’orvo was once an honored and celebrated general in the Klingon Imperial Fleet. He stood well over six feet tall, 198 centimeters to be exact, and weighed in at almost 120 kilograms. His hair was so dark, it was almost black. His dark eyes always set on the path that would one day lead him to Sto’Vo’Kor. He wasn’t known for his average build or his mostly average appearance. He was a great general, known for his prowess commanding a ship and his battle tactics. He wasn’t just a great commander on the bridge of his ship, he was a skilled warrior in hand-to-hand combat. None of his crew ever bested him in a brawl in the decades that he flew the B’rel class ship, the I.K.S. Hov’pach. K’orvo led many raids into the edge of Romulan space and earned many victories in the name of the Klingon Empire.

K’orvo couldn’t stem the flow of time and like many great warriors that do not die on the battlefield, he grew old. His hair streaked with silver over time and eventually became a solid, milky white. His eyes were sharp, and his mind as quick as ever. This helped to  ensure he kept his place as general and captain, for a time. But the end comes for all.

K’orvo’s last mission sent the Hov’pach and its crew into a patch of mostly uncharted space, where reports of Borg activity had been coming in. K’orvo and his crew were ambushed and made into Drones by the Borg. A few months later, a Federation ship happened upon two Borg Drones that were on the surface of a planet, and one of them was K’orvo. The away team scuffled and fought with the two Drones and killed one. The other Drone’s connection to the collective was severed and the away team saw an opportunity to save the Klingon’s life. Star Fleet contacted medical specialists on Qo’noS and then took him home so he could get proper medical treatment.

K’orvo endured many surgeries to reverse the Borg implants. The surgeries were performed by scientists experimenting with Borg technology and not by properly trained medical staff. It left scaring all over his body and the only implant that couldn’t be removed was the ocular implant in his right eye. After K’orvo was released from the science facility on Qo’noS, he began to see looks of disgust from other Klingons as they stared at his eye. They felt he was without honor, because he allowed himself to be captured by the Borg and rescued by Star Fleet and the Federation. They also felt he was dishonorable in allowing himself to be experimented on, even though it was the Klingon High Council that issued the order. He felt defeated and dishonored. He was later called into the Council Chamber and stripped of his rank and achievements for his dishonorable actions against the Klingon Empire. The Klingon High Council deemed it necessary to exile him from Qo’noS as well. He was to spend the remainder of his life, drifting through the stars like a derelict ship.

He was living, simply just existing, on a space station on the border of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants when he received a transmission from an old friend. One of his subordinates from years ago, M’Kora, had reached out to him once she had heard of his exile from the Empire. M’Kora had served as a commander aboard the Hov’pach before leaving for Star Fleet, a year and a half prior to the Borg encounter. She wanted him to meet with her while she was on a brief stay at Deep Space Nine, but didn’t tell him what the meeting was about. He was to meet her at a gathering place called, Quark’s on the promenade.

K’orvo trimmed his belly-long, scraggly facial hair up to his chest, though it was still slightly out of sorts when he finished. He took a comb and tried his best to straighten out his long white hair and gave up when he convinced himself that his appearance wasn’t that important. He covered his right eye with a worn, black leather patch. His studded leather jacket rested comfortably over a plain grey shirt. The large shoulder pads on the jacket gave him more presence and made him appear more formidable. He worn a thick chain with a square medallion that bore no symbol. His heavy boots felt like lead, as he left his room. The door shut behind him and he suddenly had a nagging feeling that he may not be returning; call it, warrior’s intuition.

Doctor Zylas (Wednesday)

Zylas grew up on Ferenginar with his moderately wealthy family. He was very short and chubby for a Ferengi, standing about 145 centimeters tall and weighing roughly 95 kilograms. He was always an odd child, even for a Ferengi.  He never sharpened his teeth like most Ferengi do. He always kept his latinum safely hidden away instead of spending it on fancy teeth sharpeners or flamboyant clothes that would show off his social status. He only had one head-skirt that he wore, and it was a simple design. He would later adapt it to the color of his doctor’s uniform. Zylas always said that frivolous spending was a waste of profit!

He studied to be a doctor, because medicine and pharmaceuticals are very profitable. But so is convincing someone that they’re sick when they aren’t. His father, Bot, despised the idea of Zylas becoming a doctor. Zylas was an only child and his father wanted Zylas to continue the family business, so they would continue to be wealthy well into retirement. But Zylas had other plans once he finished medical school, which he finished quickly and with excellent scores. He started his career as an assistant doctor on Ferenginar and was known by many as the Smiling Ferengi. That’s because he was always smiling in a very creepy, wide smile when you saw him. He claimed it was the best cure, to ‘scare the diseases away.’ His father still refused to acknowlege his accomplishments. When Zylas was in the presence of his father, he would sometimes call himself, Zylas – Son of Bot, just to annoy him.

The first job Zylas took as the head of medical personnel was aboard a Ferengi D’Kora Marauder. The crew was competent enough to not get themselves killed, but they were always coming back with bumps, bruises, scrapes, and the occasional severed limb. It was easy enough to take their latinum for heavier medicines and extra procedures without them realizing they were being gouged and cheated. After all, who’s going to question their only doctor? His first experience as a doctor was going quite well and he was already wealthier than his father.

The ship and its crew landed on a planet that was seemingly abandoned. If not for the ruins of buildings, homes, and cities, you would not know that there had been intelligent life on this planet. Zylas was a little curious as to what could have happened to the prior inhabitants and he ventured off on his own. The rest of the ship’s away crew pillaged buildings and looked for some form of life to harass. Zylas was also keeping an eye open for anything he could sell off at the next starbase they docked at. Federation cadets, fresh out of the academy were easy to pull one over on, sometimes. While digging through the rumble of a warehouse, he found an oddly shaped vial with a dark purple liquid in it. He shook the vial and the liquid sloshed around. He heard one of the crew call all away personnel back to the ship and he promptly shoved the vial in his medical kit. He returned to the shuttle with the away crew and didn’t think anything else about the tiny vial of purple liquid.

While the ship was docked at a starbase in the Alpha Quadrant, Zylas was riffling through his medical bag for a ‘cure’ to a ‘deadly’ disease that the Humans call, influenza (by this time, we had a cure for the cold and the flu). He saw the tiny vial rolling around the bottom of his bag and his curiosity was reignited. After quickly ‘curing’ a Bolian of ‘influenza’ and charging a large amount of latinum to do so, he took the tiny vial out of his bag to inspect it once more. The liquid was still purple, but now it had tiny black sparkles shimmering and dancing around in it. Zylas opened the vial and the liquid sprang from it and turned into a dark gas. Zylas was startled and screamed, and then swatted the gas away and it dispersed into the air.

A very short time later, practically within minutes, the inhabitants of the starbase were walking around in a zombie like trance. Zylas didn’t seem to be affected, even though there were other Ferengi that were. He knew this was too much of a coincidence to not be related to the liquid in the vial. He pulled the vial out to see if there were any traces of the substance left, but there wasn’t. About an hour had passed since the substance escaped, and now there were people who had more than just runny noses and puffy eyes, they were starting to vomit. Fatigue was setting in too as people were beginning to collapse where they stood. Zylas knew that if he survived, he would be the obvious choice to blame. He had to fix this, and fast.

There were now unresponsive people in the medical bay, and some had even expired. He was working non-stop, going on 24 hours, to find a cure for whatever this was. It took some time, but he finally discovered the adaptable virus like qualities of influenza were also found in this substance. He would have to disperse a mass cure to eliminate the virus completely. He finally found a solution after 45 hours of non-stop work, and pumped the inhalant into the ventilation system. He was certain that it would wipe out all traces of the virus in the bodies of people, as well as from surfaces that they were in contact with. There was no place this virus could hide from him.

Once the quarantine was lifted from the starbase, Zylas decided it was probably time to seek employment on a new ship. He went to the mess hall and sat for a few hours before a female Klingon strolled in. She wore the traditional garments of a Klingon captain, and sat alone at the bar with a cup of Bloodwine. Zylas thought this would be a great opportunity to get far away from the Ferengi. They would never bother a Klingon for a missing Ferengi – too much trouble.

“Greetings to you, honorable warrior! My name is Zylas…” Zylas was cut off by the Klingon.

“Stop right there, Ferengi. I don’t want anything to do with whatever you’re peddling.” She took her cup of Bloodwine and started to walk off.

“Oh, I’m not a peddler. I’m a doctor.” Zylas waddled behind her, trying to keep pace. She stopped abruptly upon hearing that he was a doctor.

“Doctor, you say. Our Chief Medical Officer was just killed. Are you afraid to die, fat Ferengi?” She leaned down to look him directly in the eyes.

“What’s that saying you people have? Today is a good day to die!” Zylas said mockingly and smiled wider.

The Klingon grabbed him by his lab coat and shook him, gently for a Klingon. “This is no game and not a joke. If you board my ship, you don’t leave it. You die on my ship and for me. Once you leave with me, you have no more family, no more friends; nothing else matters except the ship and her crew.”

Zylas continued to smile and with a shaky voice said, “That’s fine with me. My father doesn’t acknowledge me for my career choice, and I don’t need friends if I have latinum.”

The Klingon released his lab coat and stood up. “Then welcome to the Mulgrew. I’m Captain M’Kora. Now come with me. We have contracts to sign.”

Zylas gave a quick hop and skip and followed close behind her, pausing only briefly, “Wait, did you say, contracts?” Captain M’Kora glanced back at him with a wide grin on her lips.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know the main bridge crew of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. Each of the players gave me snip-its of their characters and I expanded those into the stories you’ve read here. After we finish playing through the Rescue at Koralis IV adventure, the main campaign will begin and you’ll get to see more of the crew and follow the Mulgrew on its continuing missions.

As always, thanks so much for reading!
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
“Today is a good day to die, unless you can live!” ~ M’Kora

Qapla’!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

Last week I didn’t have an article because I didn’t have any books to recap! Thankfully, I’ve a got two this week.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
DC
Batgirl #28

Batgirl better get herself some rest! She’s definitely pushing herself way too hard. But I’m so happy to see that Babs and Gordon were able to sit down and have a conversation about what was bothering them. This book has a great lesson embedded in those pages. Parents and their children should have an open line of constructive communication. That doesn’t mean it needs to be all about rainbows and unicorns, it needs to help strengthen the relationship between the parent and child – regardless of age. I truly wish I would have had that type of relationship with my mother. I hope that any parent reading this issue of Batgirl, absorbs this lesson and puts it to use. I also hope that children read it and see how they should communicate with their parents – don’t yell, throw things, slam doors, run away, and most importantly – don’t be disrespectful. So many problems could be solved if folks communicated better with one another.

The rest of the comic has lots of realizations about Grotesque and Wyrm and the havoc that’s about to be brought down on a museum art exhibit. I really don’t like Grotesque. Well, I do like him – as a villain. He’s a great villain that makes you dislike him. I want to see more of him, because he’s so evil and makes for a good story. Mairghread Scott is doing a wonderful job writing this story and it makes me want to seek out her other work (if I’m not already reading it and just don’t know it).

Back to Grotesque, I had no clue who he was and I sure didn’t know who Detective Douglas was before reading Batgirl. I’m totally interested in seeing more of this character in my Batgirl comics.

One negative note I have, and it’s more of a personal peeve, is the notation that folks make to other books without doing a brief recap of what happened. Babs mentions that Dick (Nightwing) isn’t really available to help right now, but she doesn’t say why. There’s only an editor’s note to check Batman #55 and Nightwing #50. I don’t read those books and I will not read them, so now I have to try to figure out what happened…

IDW
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #4

This issue really goes from ‘cruising’ to ‘high-speed chase’ in the blink of an eye. I was a little surprised that Riker wanted to bring Wesley in on the problem solving for such an intense situation, but I guess since he was cut off from the Enterprise, Riker needed a sounding board of sorts. He took that opportunity to give Wesley a little more exposure to the decision making process. I totally thought Ensign Gilson was a goner until Riker asked Wesley about it. That’s when I started to think something was up, but not with the Faundori people. There’s a lot wrong with them and their caste system, but I was certain they weren’t responsible for Ensign Gilson’s death/disappearance. I was pleased that Riker continued to push them for answers about his missing crewman. I dislike when something traumatic happens and then the remaining folks go on like nothing happened. And Mirror Barclay just helped Wesley out, even if he didn’t intend for it to go that way. I don’t usually follow the ‘better to ask forgiveness than permission’ philosophy, so I definitely don’t approve of Wesley’s decision. But the way he went about things is the sign of an immature, insecure, and inexperienced officer. It’s a good thing the sentient machines were nice, so everything worked out. Things could have turned out much worse… like the machines could have been worse than the Borg!

If you’re familiar with the Next Generation TV series, you might remember an episode called, “The Measure of a Man”. It’s one of my personal favorites because it discusses Data’s right of self-determination; or basically, if you’re sentient and self aware, you are not property. Since Data is an android, there was much debate over what would classify him as an individual and not property. This particular comic issue reminds me a lot of that episode. These robots, or drones, have become sentient and want to be recognized by the Faundori people as such. But it didn’t sound like the drones actually tried talking to the Faundori people first. They tried to disrupt work and they caused problems instead, which is not how you should do things. You should always open a clear line of communication first. If that doesn’t work, then you escalate to demonstrations. I hope we find out later what happens with this situation.

I want to talk briefly about the Faundori people and some of the odd things I noticed involving them. In the Deep Space Nine episode “Accession”, it’s mentioned that the Federation Charter prohibits caste systems. This would prevent Bajor from becoming part of the Federation if they pursued their old caste system. The Federation Charter was signed in 2161, meaning Riker would (or should) have knowledge of the Charter’s content. I’m not sure why he, or anyone else, didn’t mention it. Ensign Gilson does mention that the Federation will take into account how the Faundori people handle the situation with the sentient drones, when they consider them for Federation membership. It feels odd to me, that an Ensign would address an official from another culture the way she did, but Riker lets it happen and doesn’t address it. Riker, being the commanding officer, should have been the one to address this. I hate to sound so nit-picky. It was an entertaining story, but could have been an amazing story if things were in line with continuity.

The last thing I want to mention is something that bothers me a great deal. These aliens, the Faundori, or possibly Faundorians, are too similar to the Fondorians of Star Wars. I don’t really know much about Star Wars or its aliens, but when I tried research the Faundori (because I’d never heard of them), I kept getting articles and sites referencing the Fondorians. They are bald, human looking aliens with purple blood, that have a culture based on a caste system. They do look a little different, but there are a few too many similarities for my liking. It could very easily be an accident and coincidental, because that does happen. But I can’t find anything about Faundori or its people, except for what’s in this comic issue. Even the names are similar. I am not accusing anyone of copying anything – don’t take it that way. I just don’t like the similarities, is all. If there are Faundori in some other source material, besides this one comic book, please point me in the direction of that information.

Conclusion

I definitely enjoyed Batgirl this week, and while I had a few things I didn’t like about this week’s issue of Star Trek, it was still entertaining. I have a feeling I’ll catch some heat about my criticisms of the Star Trek issue, but I’m entitled to my opinion like everyone else. I encourage civil discussion and if anyone would like to discuss what I’ve said here, that’s totally fine with me. But I will put this warning out now – this is my blog and I will not tolerate hate or aggression. I delete anything I feel is inappropriate. If you’d like to make a statement that you think I’ll delete from my site, you should absolutely create your own WordPress (it’s free), and express your opinion – just like I have.

If everyone was the same, this world would be dull and boring. I love discussions that are civil and friendly. That’s the best way to learn things! You also have to be willing to admit you might be wrong. I do not have infinite knowledge of Star Trek and I certainly don’t know as much about Star Wars as I do Star Trek. If my opinion or views change about the Faundori, I’ll definitely add it in.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and subscribe!

A good book is the best vacation!

Greetings Fellow Comic and Cosplay Fans!

 

I recently attended the Memphis Comic Expo in Memphis, Tennessee. I had lots of fun and got see lots of super cool merchandise and amazing cosplays! I spent the entire day browsing the vendor tables, talking to folks I’ve seen at other conventions, meeting new folks to talk to, and ‘ugly’ crying in front of Donny Cates…

I can’t help it. When something has impacted me on an emotional level – good or bad – I cry. I met my favorite Doctor Strange writer, Donny Cates, but you may also know him as the dude behind Cosmic Ghost Rider and the current run of Venom. I haven’t read either of those titles, but I am reading Death of the Inhumans, which he’s also writing. All I know is that everything he writes, turns to gold. But in his run of Doctor Strange, #382 is the issue where (SPOILER – maybe?) Loki causes Bats to have a heart attack and die. I won’t get into why that’s important, because it’s a very sad story from my past. But it was an impactful moment for me in that run of Doctor Strange. I needed that book signed and had to tell him why it meant something to me. I started to tell him why, and then the ugly crying happened. But he signed it and signed my #390 issue as well. Most folks want the #1 issue signed, but not me. It’s not necessarily how you start the story that’s important, it’s how you finish it. The end of Cates’ run of Doctor Strange was a fully realized, and well written finale to an awesome story. I’m so lucky to have them both signed.

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There are lots of writers and artists that I can talk to, without crying like a baby. Kelly Williams is one, and he’s a super talented artist that I would die to see team up with Donny Cates for a Doctor Strange/Shadow crossover.

Another awesome dude in the industry is Mr. Mike Norton. He did an amazing job on DC’s three part series, Mystik U. While he was in Dyersburg this past March, he signed my first two issues. As luck would have it, the third and final issue didn’t come out until the week after our convention. I finally had the opportunity to see him again and he completed the signatures on my issues. He also signed my Battlepug volume one graphic novel and a preview copy of Grumble! Grumble is a new series that’s about to start, so if you don’t have it ordered, you better ask your local comic shop about it now! It’s been a pleasure to talk to him every time I’ve seen him!

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There are usually a ton of artists and other talent at a convention, and this one was no exception, that I can’t possibly feature each one. Larry Hama, Chris Claremont, Kevin Nowlan, Mike Grell, Ande Parks, Joe Staton, just to name a few, but there were so many more! I just didn’t have the time or money to see them or buy something from them all.

I did purchase a small print from Bryan Crowson (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). How could I pass up a Picard-palm – especially when we’re currently playing a Star Trek RPG and I’m GM’ing?! This is my response to any ‘facepalm’ moment that may happen.

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And I’m always on the look out for back issues that I’m trying to replace. That’s another story that’s sad and from my past, so we won’t talk about it. But when I find issues I need, I try to pick them up. I found two Star Trek comics that I was still missing and it’s always a great day when that happens!

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No convention is complete without cosplayers strolling the isles and dancing about on a stage. I love cosplay, but more as the person behind the camera and not in front. I love when folks channel the character they’re dressed as. It creates a beautiful moment of illusion that you’re really standing there, in front of that character.

I had two particular moments that almost made me misty-eyed. The first was this gorgeous young lady. I saw her stunning outfit and had to take a video of her. When I asked if it was okay, she squeaked and jumped with excitement. Why was she excited? Because she was going to have a cameo in a YouTube video. I’m a no-name YouTuber – I don’t have loads of subs or views on my content. She didn’t care – she was gonna have a cameo in a YouTube video! She worked her costume for a brief clip and went on about her convention experience. These moments right here – this is one of the most important reasons that I write articles and make videos. If I make one person happy or bring one person joy – it’s all worth it. Thank you, young lady, for making my day.

Fairy Girl Cosplay

The second awesome experience that stuck with me was this young lady cosplaying as Jubilee from the X-Men. Not only does she look totally on point, but when the camera started rolling, she was Jubilee. While most cosplayers can pull off the look and personality, there was something special about this young lady and how she channeled Jubilee. And she seemed really happy that I wanted to put her in my Memphis Comic Expo video too! I love these type of cosplayers. They really do make my day! Thank you, Jubilee!

Jubilee Cosplay

There were lots of great cosplayers, but sometimes, there are experiences that just stay with you. Days later, I still hear the excitement in the young fairy girl’s voice and I can still see Jubilee standing in front of me. I hope they see this and know that they elevated my experience at this convention. As for all the other amazing cosplayers, they really were great! I’m sure that other folks had similar experiences with other cosplayers. Below are some of the still pics I took during the convention. You can also find my interviews and highlight video on YouTube, here.

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Now, I only attended the convention on Saturday. I was not there on Sunday, unfortunately. So my assessment of the convention as a whole is based on a single day. When I go to a convention, I definitely want to see cool merchandise and awesome cosplay, but I also want a place that’s inviting and safe. I’ve been to conventions where I felt out of place and even unsafe, as an attendee. That’s definitely not a good thing. The Memphis Comic Expo had plenty of volunteers and staff that were warm and inviting. The atmosphere felt welcoming which is a big deal for someone like me. (I have mild anxiety issues when I get around three or more people. That’s right – three – not thirty. I have to feel comfortable and safe or I tend to panic.)

I didn’t ever have a moment that I felt like I wasn’t welcome or didn’t belong. There was never a time I didn’t feel safe either. I didn’t see any obvious security personnel, but there was something about the demeanor of the crowds and staff that made you feel at ease. I’m sure there were some mean folks that stole things or were rude, but I didn’t personally see or hear of anything. The lines for Chris Claremont and Donny Cates were usually always full of folks, but they were very accommodating to other folks trying to cross the isles.

The temperature was definitely comfortable and the noise level was just a low murmur without a crazy loud echo behind it – which is attributed to the venue choice. It was mostly well lit in all areas that I ventured into, except for a small area right in front of Claremont, Nowlan, and Cates. There were a handful of vendors there that looked like they could use some light. My only other lighting issue was only a problem for me when I was filming. The cosplay stage was set up by a wall that had some small windows, way up toward the ceiling. Because of where I was filming from, the really tall cosplayers were completely obscured due to the lighting. Most of my footage of the cosplayers coming up on stage was unusable. But all of those are very minor complaints and can be easily remedied.

I noticed there was a gaming room, but unfortunately, I was unable to explore it. If anyone has anything they would like to share about it, I’m all ears!

Overall, the experience was wonderful and enjoyable. I hope to be able to attend the convention next year – maybe for both days too!

Thank you, Memphis Comic Expo, for hosting a wonderful event where folks can come and enjoy the company of others like them in a safe and inclusive environment.

Qapla’!

 

Greetings Fellow Star Trek and RPG Fans!

 

We just finished a session of Star Trek Adventures, from Modiphius. This is a role playing game where you create characters in one of the various Star Trek eras, and boldly blast across the galaxy in search of adventure! This initial session was primarily for character creation and to discuss various aspects of the game mechanics. These types of sessions are usually called, Session Zero. After everyone was done with characters, we wanted to go ahead and get started on the adventure in the back of the Core Book. I had already read over the adventure and took notes, but I also changed several of the details to better accommodate my current compliment of players.

I already had a main story line in mind and where I wanted my players headed. The adventure, Rescue at Xerxes IV, takes place in Klingon space near the Narendra Station. That’s not where I wanted my players to start at, but I wanted us to all get better acquainted with the system by using this adventure. I wanted them closer to Deep Space Nine, so I moved the adventure to the Koralis System and made up a planet called Koralis IV. I will also have an article published later that goes more into the backgrounds of these characters.

Note – So everyone understands my numbering system, each adventure will consist of five to six scenes. Each session will have a number associated with the adventure and the scene. For example, we started on character creation in Session 0 and advanced through scene one, so Session 0.1 is the designation for that scene. When we play our next session, it’ll be Session 0.2 for the Session 0 adventure and the second scene in the adventure – and so on.

The following is the report for the session. Anything that was read aloud to the players is italicized and colored reddish brown. Game mechanics will be in blue.

Rescue at Koralis IV
Session 0.1

Lorne and Dirnick have been briefed by Starfleet about their positions and what’s required of them on the U.S.S. Mulgrew. The Mulgrew is a classified ship. Most of the missions are classified and off the records. The two officers and K’orvo are in a runabout headed to DS9 where the Mulgrew is currently docked for re-supply and awaiting your arrival. K’orvo is on his way to DS9 for personal time.

We find a runabout headed to Deep Space Nine with three unlikely passengers. Lieutenant Lorne Dayne, a Bajoran refugee and Starfleet officer; a Cardassian Starfleet officer that was working undercover for Starfleet within the Obsidian Order, Lieutenant Commander Nir Dirnick; and a dishonored Klingon General with grey hair and an eye patch, named K’orvo. Lt. Lorne and Lt. Commander Dirnick were on their way to DS9 for a new ship assignment, while K’orvo was headed there for personal time.

“So, since we’re all stuck in this shuttle together, might as well get to know each other a little. No since in avoiding pleasantries, right Lieutenant?” Dirnick said as he eyed Lorne.

“Well, if I can speak frankly, sir, I’m not a fan of your kind. I’m sure you understand why. I definitely don’t trust you, and I don’t have anything pleasant to talk about.” Lorne looked at Dirnick warily. “And honestly, I can’t believe Starfleet allowed you to be an officer. I don’t care if I get a reprimand for that, it’s the truth and you asked for small talk.”

“It’s okay Lieutenant. I won’t reprimand you for speaking your mind. But why is it so unbelievable? I was an undercover operative who infiltrated the Obsidian Order and gave Starfleet all the intel I could gather. I lost the love of life, a beautiful and intelligent Bajoran woman, whom I honor by wearing her earring. I’ve sacrificed much for Starfleet. I haven’t sacrifice anything for Cardassia. The government has gone astray and I can’t stand by and watch the Cardassia that I knew and loved be destroyed. I have to fight for it.”

A loud snort and grunt came from the back of the shuttle. K’orvo stood and walked toward the compartment divider and leaned against the wall, just inside the control cabin. “You speak of honor for your lost love like you know what honor is. You’re a Cardassian. What do you truly know of honor? I dishonored my people and now the very culture and way of life I love is threatened by your people and their ‘Dominion’. You have not truly sacrificed anything until you have died for your people.”

Lorne rolled is eyes and looked at Dirnick. Dirnick smirked back and said, “Well, at least I can still go home some day. The way I understand Klingons, you’re out of luck if you’ve been dishonored in the eyes of your people.”

“Bah! You’re a petaQ! I’m going to take a nap. Wake me upon our arrival to DS9!” K’orvo demanded as he spun around and returned to the passenger cabin towards the rear of the runabout.

Dirnick snickered to himself. “Thankfully, my next assignment won’t be with him. And since you won’t talk about your assignment, I’ll share mine, or what I can share. I’ve been assigned to a classified ship, one that suits my skill set.”

Lorne’s eyes got as wide as saucers, “Wait, did you just say a classified ship?! You’re not talking about the U.S.S. Mulgrew, are you?!”

A wicked smile crossed Dirnick’s lips and he turned his seat so that he faced Lorne. “Why, yes. Now how would know about the Mulgrew? You wouldn’t happen to be assigned to it as well, now would you? I was told there would be two officers joining her compliment.” Dirnick said, smiling devilishly, and seeming very happy with the situation.

As you are all getting acquainted with each other, you receive a distress call from the surface of Koralis IV, an uninhabited Class M planet containing no sentient life except a Federation science team. The distress signal offered no information except that the science team stationed there was in danger.

Just as Lorne was about to reply to Dirnick, an alert sounded and both officers turned to their consoles. “It looks like a distress call coming from the Koralis system. I can’t pinpoint the exact location. There seems to be some odd, magnetic interference. I’m trying to compensate now.” Dirnick’s fingers danced across his panel as he tried to get the location of the distress call. “It looks like Koralis IV. The distress signal only says that a science team is in danger. There are no other details. We had better go and lend aid, and I vote we have the Klingon help too.”

“Yes sir. Sounds like a plan to me.” Lorne adjusted the heading of the runabout for the planet’s surface.

As you guide the runabout toward the planet’s surface, you are caught in a violent ion storm that knocks out navigation and other systems. With systems failing and the planet’s surface rising quickly toward you, the situation is grim.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Landing the Runabout
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Conn officer (Lorne): Daring or Control + Conn.
~ Ops officer (Dirnick): Assist against Control + Engineering (to help keep the systems up and running), or against Reason + Science (to locate the best place to land).

A violent wave of magnetic energy from an ion storm strikes the runabout, knocking out navigation. Lorne frantically tries to adjust sensors. “Sir, navigation is down. I’m flying blind! Doesn’t look like I can get those systems back online from here.”

“Turn the forward view screen on and try to land by sight. I’ll see if I can get enough out my sensors over here to find a suitable landing location. Most of my sensors are out, but I’ve got a few echo location tricks to try. They were super effective against the Maquis.” Dirnick explained as his fingers gracefully and quickly found the buttons they sought.

The runabout was closing in on the planet’s surface, far enough ahead of the ion storm, but still dangerously fast and without major navigation systems. Without the internal stabilizers in place, the runabout jolted and jerked through the atmosphere, causing the crew and passenger to be jerked about.

K’orvo was thrown into the floor of the runabout, almost falling into a weapons locker. “You fly like a child learning to wield a bat’leth! What is the problem up there? Do you need a warrior to take over the consoles and instruct you on how to fly?”

“Not now, K’orvo! We lost systems thanks to a rogue ion storm.” Dirnick yelled back. “Lieutenant Lorne, I found a location. Sending the coordinates to you now, if you can use them.”

“Based off where we were and where I think we are now, I think I see your landing spot. Looks like a clearing, but it’s awful close to a ravine. I can see it on the view screen from here. Not sure if the ground’s stable, sir.” Lorne questioned the choice for a landing spot, but was still guiding the runabout in that direction.

“There may be a ravine near it, but it looks like there are smaller surface cracks further down. I think the ground will be fine, just don’t set her down too rough.” Dirnick said cautiously. “Unless you see a better location, which I don’t, I suggest you land as close as you can to those coordinates.”

“Yes sir. Brace for impact, just in case!” Lorne called out. The runabout was coming in quickly, but at just the right angle to slide across the planet’s surface, for a softer landing than what was anticipated. There were sparks and flashes erupting from various consoles and panels on the runabout as they landed. Smoke billowed from several vents in the ceiling. K’orvo had been flung halfway across the runabout on the landing, but no major injuries were apparent.

Game Mechanics: Lorne was successful with Daring + Conn and Dirnick was successful on the assist with Reason + Science.

The runabout was heavily damaged. A quick look over the systems tells you that the potential for repairs is high, so long as a few replacement parts can be acquired.

“Well isn’t this just great.” K’orvo was picking himself up off the floor of the runabout, again. “All I wanted was some time away, on DS9. I didn’t ask to get drawn into some half baked Starfleet rescue mission. Fools, both of you.”

“Quiet down, old man. The ion storm never showed on our sensors. We’ll get us and the scientist out of here in no time.” Lorne made a dismissing gesture at K’orvo, who huffed back at him and sat back down in his seat. “Sir, looks like most of the damaged systems can be easily replaced, if we find suitable replacement parts. There are very few, if any, of the essential systems that can be repaired to working order as they are.”

“Well, the science outpost should have parts we can use, or at least maybe some parts that we can make work in place of the replace parts. We have to investigate what the distress call was about anyway.” Dirnick went to the weapons locker and pulled out several type two phasers. He put one in his phaser holster and gave Lorne and K’orvo their own phasers. He passed out tricorders and grabbed a med kit. “We should be as quick as possible. We don’t know what could be lurking on this planet and that approaching ion storm could trap us here if it gets too intense.”

“Do I have a choice in this? I don’t see why you need me to go along.” K’orvo grumbled.

“Oh, come on. You don’t seriously want to stay in the shuttle do you?” Lorne sighed. “I know I wouldn’t. I’d rather be doing something constructive.”

“Fine. You two are in need of someone who knows what they’re doing. I’m the Klingon for the job. Let’s go save you’re weak Federation scientists then.” K’orvo and Lorne approached the back hatch of the runabout with Dirnick close behind. They opened the hatch to reveal a slightly windy and static-charged atmosphere.

As you exit the damaged runabout to survey the surroundings, you hear strange grunts and shrieks. A group of strange neanderthal humanoids surrounds the runabout. They throw rocks and lope towards you, raising large branches threateningly above their heads. All of these primitive looking creatures appear to be wearing tattered remnants of Federation issued science uniforms, and it appears that one of the creatures wields a phaser. It doesn’t appear that the creature knows how to fire it accurately… yet.

Game Mechanic – Combat
~ Four Neanderthals (one wielding a phaser type one).
~ Three Zones: Inside the Runabout, around the runabout, and the forest. (Note, the runabout grants Cover of 4 Challenge Dice and the forest grants Cover of 2 Challenge Dice.)

As the hatch opens and the crew and K’orvo see the neanderthals loping towards them, they duck behind the sides of the hatch opening and prepare to fire at the oncoming threat.

Dirnick calls out, “Don’t kill them! They look like Federation citizens. They’re wearing uniforms. Something isn’t right here and I need them alive.”

“Yes sir, Lieutenant Commander!” Lorne checks his phaser to be sure it’s on the stun setting and a wide beam, and fires in the direction of several of the creatures. The beam hits two of them, barely stunning them. They seem to shake it off and continue their advancement towards the runabout.

“Honorless beasts. There is no honor in defeating such foes! They’re obviously inferior in intelligence.” K’orvo had his hand extended, pointing at the creatures and was looking back at Dirnick, when one of the creatures caught him by surprise. K’orvo was struck in the chest with a club and knocked off his feet. “Blasted creatures. I’ll help you find your way to Gre’thor! The Barge of the Dead awaits you!”

“K’orvo! Don’t kill them!” Dirnick called out as he fired a phaser blast just over K’orvo, who was still trying to get up off the floor of the runabout. The phaser blast hit one of the creatures and it collapsed unconscious.

The creature that wielded the phaser was mimicking Dirnick and Lorne’s actions when the phaser went off. A stroke of bad luck occurred and Lorne was struck in the chest by the blast. Dirnick and K’orvo struck down two of the remaining creatures in time to see Lorne stand back up, with just a slight burn on his uniform.

“By the prophets, if that had been anything other than the lowest setting, I’d likely have been done for! We need to get that phaser away from him before he really hurts us or himself!” Lorne brushed some of the char off his uniform and aimed at the creature with the phaser. The creature, unaware of what was coming, looked like it was going to attempt to fire his phaser again. Lorne’s phaser blast struck creature and it collapsed to the ground.

“Oh my. That was not pleasant at all. It appears that this could be a much more dangerous situation than we anticipated. We have to get to the science outpost and find out what’s going.” Dirnick explained as he rifled through the med kit. “Here, Lorne, this will help with any phaser burn you may have.” Dirnick administered a quick shot from a hypospray.

Dirnick inspected the unconscious creatures more closely for a few minutes and made a discovery. “Oh my! My examination of these creatures has confirmed that they are genetically identical to Humans, but their genes have regressed. I’m not certain what caused this and I hope it doesn’t affect any of us. This is most unpleasant to see.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task:
Examining the Neanderthals
~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Science or Medicine
~ Success reveals they’re Humans with regressing genes (Dirnick used Reason + Science and succeeded).

“Sir, we should restrain these four and lock them in the runabout until we can return. If they really are Federation or Starfleet, then we’ll need them safe and alive.” Lorne searched the weapon lockers for restraints. “We can put a force field up in the passenger cabin so they don’t access the control cabin.”

“Lieutenant, do you know that old Earth saying, ‘Great minds think alike’?” Dirnick asked as he began administering something in a hypospray to the creatures.

“No sir, never heard it. Are you implying that we both have great minds? Or are you saying we had the same idea?” Lorne applied the restraints and moved the unconscious creatures into the passenger cabin of the runabout, with the help of K’orvo.

“Kahless save us if the two of you think you’re minds are ‘great’.” K’orvo grumbled.

“Well, Lieutenant, I was simply implying that we had the same thought process. I’ve administered a sedative to keep them sleeping for several hours. Should give us time to get the outpost and back before they begin to stir.” Dirnick administered the final hypospray and the trio closed the runabout.

Game Mechanics
~ Task:
Making a Sedative for the Neanderthals

~ Difficulty: 2
~ Reason + Medicine
~ Success grants the use of a sedative that last for a few hours (Dirnick used Reason + Medicine and succeeded).

The science outpost could be seen a few kilometers away, atop a rocky bluff. The trio set off to find out what happened to the scientists, where the neanderthals came from, and to find some spare parts so they can leave this planet before the ion storm hits in full force.

End Scene One

Commercial break!
We’ll be right back with more scenes to this adventure!

Qapla’!

 

 

 

Greetings Fellow Board Gamers!

 

Our featured game for the weeks of October 11 and October 18 is a game from Fireside Games, Village Crone.

Village Crone on Board Game Geek – here.

* Note – This is not a ‘How to Play’ or tutorial type article. This is a review of the game components and brief review of game play.

Village Crone

You and your fellow players are medieval witches who have stumbled upon Wickersby, a village without a crone in this worker placement, resource management game with spellcasting!

Wickersby is built from 6 modular boards, with different locations holding the ingredients flour, fire, silver, and soil. Send your familiars out to harvest these ingredients and use them to cast spells in order to complete Witch’s Scheme cards. Each of the cards is worth 1, 2, or 3 points, which also indicates how difficult the scheme is to complete. Make villagers fall in love, turn them into frogs, or teleport them to different locations as you work to complete your Witch’s Schemes. Every scheme you complete brings you closer to the 13 points needed to win and be declared The Village Crone!

This is a resource gathering and worker placement type of game, with a little bit of sabotage sprinkled on top!

Rules

The rule book is a easy to follow and it doesn’t take long to find a rule if you need to reference the rule book during play.

Components and Game Play

You can find a review video on my YouTube channel that shows all of the components with a brief description and also a review of the game play.

You can follow this link directly to my video – HERE.

Summary

This game is just really cool with how it’s set up and how it plays. You could easily re-skin this game for other IP’s, just like Castle Panic was (hint-hint, Fireside! We need a Star Trek version!). I love the separate board pieces and how you can rearrange the board for loads of different game set ups. I like the mechanics of the game, and I like how the turn order works. The turn order keeps players engaged in what the other players are doing, and the game seems to flow smoothly because of it.

We had lots of fun with this game, not just trying to complete schemes, but also trying mess each other over. I saw that there wasn’t a very good rating for this game on Board Game Geek, and I don’t think it deserves such a low rating. There are games that I’ve played that are terrible and have a very high rating on BGG. I get that everyone is different and has games they prefer over others, but I think Village Crone got the short end of the broomstick. Guess it goes to show, you can’t always trust BGG ratings! You should always demo a game several times before making your own judgement on it. I was definitely surprised as how much fun this game was!

What the Players Said

Wednesday – The game has a good balance between strategy and fun. I like the replay-ability you get with being able to rearrange the board tiles. It’s also easy enough for newer board game players, but still fun and engaging for experienced board game players.

Brian – I think it’s a good game and I really like it. It has intricate details, but it’s not confusing. It’s overall a fun game, and it’s really fun to mess with other players too.

Olivia – I like the game story, like how we’re all witches and we’re messing with a town and the other witches around the town. It’s a really easy game to learn and fun to play!

Buy or Bye?
Buy!

This game just moved high up on my priority list. It’s fun with any number of players and can be played as a solo game. If I spend $50 or more on a game, that’s something I want an option for – solo play.

Have strategies or tips for this game? Leave them in a comment!
Have cool accessories or custom pieces? Show them off!
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Board out and game on!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

In my Comic Box Recap article series, I want to talk about each of the comics that I read from my subscriptions that week. I don’t always read all the comics I order, because I’m only collecting some of them. Others are ones I may have started reading, but lost interest in but I still order them. You never know when you may want to go back and revisit a series at a later date.

*** SPOILER WARNING ***
Do not read any further if you are trying to avoid SPOILERS!
Marvel Comics
Avengers #9

This issue is full of economic messages; one being don’t pollute the ocean. But instead of a friendly Captain Planet type person to give you a slap on the wrist, you’ll face the wrath of Namor and be eaten by sharks or drowned in your jail cell. Namor is a seriously bad dude and you do not want to mess with him. The Avengers went toe-to-toe with him – ALL of the current Avengers. They didn’t scratch him and the only thing that made Namor stand down was Steve Rogers. He didn’t stand down because he felt out matched. He stopped fighting because he and Steve have past and he wanted to give Steve a chance to talk. I absolutely feel that the Avengers were wrong for taking the prisoners from Namor. Namor has a right to see justice done, by his people and their laws, for his people that were slaughtered. I’m totally on his side in this. When diplomacy fails, we’re forced to defend ourselves by taking up arms. I definitely feel like Namor overreacted with Stingray, by beating the daylights out of him and then letting the sharks eat him…

All of that crazy bit aside, it doesn’t appear that Namor is planning to invade, which I think is a good move on his part. I have always believed that you keep and protect what’s yours. You shouldn’t go looking for trouble and don’t be a menace to your neighbors.

“No more armies hitting the beach. No more invasions. Let the Air-Breathers have their mounds of dirt and blackened skies. We fight for the seas, and those who call them home.”
~ Namor

“The surface world has their Avengers. Now we have the Defenders of the Deep.”
~ Namor

And oh my, those beasties behind him that he calls the Defenders of the Deep are very menacing. I know one is Tiger Shark, but I have no clue who the others are. Poor Stingray… he could have been one too. I really hope Marvel actually does something with this group of sea-beasties, because I would absolutely buy that book.

There was just one other part that stuck with me, and that was when Ghost Rider drove his car out of the giant whale-sea monster thing. He yells out, ” Wahoooo! Just call me the Human Habanero!” I think I found that funnier than it should have been, but I laughed for a good bit over that. I still chuckle over it when I think about it. #HumanHabanero

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #25

There are too many problems with this final issue of Scarlet Spider and I’m very upset about it. The first is the change of interior artists for the last two issues. The art is not appealing to me at all and it’s hard to follow what’s going on in some of the panels. For example, is Ben walking along the side of the wall or did he fall to the ground in those final panels? I can’t tell…

Another issue is how painfully predictable the story was. I called it (and probably loads of other folks did too) – Abigail is a celestial being thing and she saved him. Super predictable. But, why was Mysterio’s daughter there?! I know she was a weird thing with glowing eyes at the end of issue 19, but seriously? What a let down. And what was up with dude stabbing Kaine with his girlfriend’s mechanical arm? Like, was that Gabriel? It was difficult to follow.

Ben is not a villain. I’m fairly certain that Death meant something different when she said he’d be evil if he was brought back again (issue seven). But a celestial being brought Ben back, after events that were staged by Mephisto. Even Abigail said it – Mephisto “circumvented the natural order of things.” So, why would he be evil, with a shattered soul, if things were put back on track? Sorry – not buying it.

I’m very disappointed in this finale. I have lots of questions for Peter David if I ever get a chance to meet him.

Infinity Wars #4

I’m starting to get déjà vu with this story. It may not be exactly the same as the stories that came before it, but I think I know how the rest of this goes. Gamora fights with the big hero/anti-hero dudes. Loki somehow screws over his ‘team’ that he assembled. But in the end, a victory is achieved by one of the following: diplomacy, by trapping Gamora, or by removing the Mad Titan from her subconscious. And then all will be restored with minuscule changes to the universe. I want to be wrong about this, and so I’ll continue to read this title in hopes of seeing a different outcome. The story started off great, but I didn’t care for this issue and I’m starting to feel the boredom set in.

IDW
My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #1

If it’s one thing I love seeing, it’s references to things in previous episodes, movies, and comics within a particular IP. In this issue, there are tons of villains in the background images and the Staff of Sacanas reappears! These villains and the staff are all residents (presumably) of this ‘mirror’ universe. I love the Star Trek reference there, whether it was intentional or not. Luna and Stygian literally walk through a mirror to enter this universe. It’s not the first time within the My Little Pony universe that you see a mirror portal to a parallel universe. Equestria Girls makes use of a mirror portal and it’s used in previous comics as well. Starswirl actually makes several mirror portals that lead to many different universes.

But in this issue, Luna is on a mission to save the parallel Celestia (currently corrupted into Daybreaker) from the parallel Pony of Shadows. Or at least, that’s who they think they’re going to encounter. There’s one thing I’ve learned from mirror universe stories and that is, it’s always a bad idea to go to a mirror universe. This was no exception. I was expecting the Pony of Shadows and was surprised to see Discord has a cousin named Eris, who is this world’s Lord of Chaos. Eris steals Luna’s powers and stores them in what looks like an orb. Eris is going to auction the orb off to the highest bidder in her villain casino thing. Whoever wins that orb is going to have control over the moon and to invade the dreams of others, and Eris is anticipating lots of chaos as a result.

Stygian rescues Luna from Eris and they return to their Equestria. They decide to form a team to rescue this ‘mirror’ universe from chaos, but they can’t bring heroes. They’re gonna need villains to get passed the ‘Goodie Two Shoes’ sensor at the door. I immediately thought of Tempest, since the Staff of Sacanas is being used in this story. Then I saw the cover for issue two and behold – Tempest, Trixie, and Capper. I’m super excited for the next issue!

Image
Unnatural #4

This is one series that hasn’t let me down at all. Mirka Andolfo keeps me guessing all the time with how this story is going to play out. I was really hoping Trish wasn’t dead, but it appears that she is, and now Derek is dead too! This crazy cult thing that follows Glance, is most definitely full of bad folks. Glance seems kind of nasty too, but at least he looks cool. I would be shocked if they were the ‘good guys’ in all of this. And I was fairly certain that her dreams were going to turn super dark, but I had no clue they would turn out to be memories. I didn’t expect that big bad wolf to be bound to her soul either. That was a nice twist that I didn’t see coming and it makes me wonder about Glance and his cult. Are they actually trying to hurt Leslie or the wolf dude? I bet they’re trying to restore that big bad wolf, which means they’re probably going to hurt Leslie.

I also had a feeling there was a big white wolf under that hoodie. I’m wondering just how much of an ally this wolf actually is. One thing is for certain, Leslie needs a friend, but I’m wondering if he’s going to be the friend she needs. She’s looking at possible murder charges for Trish and I bet Glance is going to frame her for Derek too. Oh my goodness… I don’t want to wait! I want to read the next issue, now!

Conclusion

So, two misses for me this week. I don’t mind predictable, except when it’s like Scarlet Spider was and how I’m afraid Infinity Wars is going to be. But at least I had Avengers, My Little Pony, and Unnatural to pick up the slack this week. Those are all great books, with their own strengths. They all target a different audience too, so I got a nice variety of unique stories and content with those three books. I know I always say this, but honestly, I can’t wait to see what’s coming in next week. I enjoy telling you – the reader – what I think about the books I read, and I hope that folks find something useful or entertaining from it.

What are you reading?
Is there a series I should be reading?
You can drop me a line here or find me on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!
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A good book is the best vacation!