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
Avengers #11

I love getting lost in super hero books. This issue was going great until the Brexit joke. That one speech bubble ruined my mood and I had to put this book down until I felt like picking it back up again. I literally just wrote about real world politics being in my SUPER HERO comics last week and how much I dislike it. Good job (sarcasm), Avengers writers – you are on my list of writers to be wary of if you’re on a super hero title.

Aside from the mention of Brexit, I liked just about everything else. Ursa Major eluded to something being up with Black Panther’s exclusion of US heroes from his summit, but I haven’t figured out why they were left out. I’m sure everyone who read the last issue already figured out that it was Squadron Supreme in Alaska. And oh my goodness! Phil Coulson has lost his mind! He’s not the Phil Coulson that I know and love from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I was definitely surprised to see that Thor is actually interested in Jen and not just She-Hulk. I’m so loving those two as a couple! And I thought Thor’s date idea in the Savage Land was a cute idea, so long as every date isn’t like that. There are so many things to like about this issue and it would have been an amazing issue, if not for the one speech bubble.

Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1

I like these one shot books for The Best Defense. I only ordered Namor, Doctor Strange, and Defenders. Namor and Doctor Strange were great reads, and Defenders hasn’t come out yet. Leave it to Strange to think himself powerful enough to change the past. He may pull it off though, and I’m looking forward to seeing a reference to this book pop up later. It was definitely a good read and it was different from the current content.

Fantastic Four: Wedding Special #1

You can find three stories in this Wedding Special: (Invisible) Girls Gone Wild, Father Figure, and The Puppet Master’s Lament.

(Invisible) Girls Gone Wild
This was agonizing to read. I’m not a ‘partying’ type of person and to see so many great female characters acting so foolishly was an embarrassment. If it had been a group of male super heroes and they did the things the women did in this book, there would be an uproar across every social media outlet. But I guess it’s just the girls having some fun… Give me a break! If you hold one gender to a certain standard, then all genders should be held to the same standard.

There was a message at the very end, and I’m surprised I made it to the end of the story. It felt like the story dragged on and I had a hard time reading it. I really didn’t like Medusa’s comment about Johnny Storm either. It was a little demeaning, rude, and unnecessary. I’m disappointed in this offensive portrayal of these women in this contribution to the Wedding Special, and also in the editors for including it.

Father Figure
This story was far too short. I would love to have read several more pages. I like the twist at the end and since I don’t know much about Fantastic Four or the characters around them, it was a surprise to see Alicia with the puppet of Puppet Master. I haven’t been able to find anything about her having powers like her stepfather, so this is either an interesting plot twist coming up in the future or just a fun mini story that has no affect on the current continuity. It was still a good story that deserved to have a few more pages than what it got.

The Puppet Master’s Lament
I learned a little about Alicia’s history in this story. There were only three pages, so there isn’t much to say about it. It was a fun little strip that made me a chuckle a few times. It was a fun way to close out the Wedding Special.

Overall, the best thing about this issue is the variant cover art with She-Hulk. I didn’t really enjoy reading this issue enough to read it again and that’s seriously disappointing.

IDW
My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #5

This issue shows just how great Luna is as a leader and an inspiration. She is able to keep everyone focused and on track, even though it means some of her friends are going sacrifice themselves. It’s all for the greater good and if Luna gets her power back, there’s a greater chance of her saving them. This is one of the few times I don’t want to see the villains reformed. I’m sure Daybreaker will be restored as that world’s Celestia, but I don’t want to see Eris reformed. She’s truly a nasty villain and I want to see her stay that way. You can’t fix everything and you can’t make everyone do the right thing. There need to be recurring villains, not just new ones all the time. I want to see Eris show up in Equestria prime (main universe for MLP:FiM). I like Eris a lot because she’s basically Discord, but with a major attitude problem and delusions of grandeur. I can’t wait for the next issue to see how Capper and Stygian get out of this trap they just walked into!

Star Trek: Waypoint Special #1

This issue has several short stories in it: Only You Can Save Yourself, Consider Eternity, My Human Is Not, and Histories.

Only You Can Save Yourself
There are a lot of Star Trek fans that give Ezri Dax a hard time. Recently, Mr. DDK and rewatched DS9 and when that unfortunate day came, we cried for the loss of Jadzia. Nicole de Boer was not given ample time to develop Ezri on screen. Ezri Dax was not a replacement for Jadzia Dax. She was her own character and fans were cruel. This story in this anthology made me cry. Ezri could have been such a great character if given the development time she deserved.

In this story, Ezri was smart and drew on the knowledge of past hosts, even Joran, which I thought was locked away but apparently isn’t. I cried so hard when Jadzia manifests and gives Ezri the confidence boost that she needs. What a beautiful panel that was. Dave Baker, I love you for writing this and I thank you for it. It proves that I have been right all along – Ezri is her own woman and deserved better than what she was given.

Consider Eternity
I think this was a fun creative way to show what happened to Will Decker and Ilia after the events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. I always figured they bumped into a Q, but it’s fun to think about them crossing paths with the Q. I love the reference to TNG too, when Q sees the Enterprise-D and Picard and then throws on his Judge outfit. It was a great story – well written and entertaining.

My Human Is Not
This is wonderful story from the perspective of Data’s cat, Spot. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I thought the imposter was Mirror Data and not Lore, but that’s probably because I’ve been reading Terra Incognita. It was a nice surprise for me! Data showing concern for Spot was very ‘human’ of him. It was such a delightful story that I read it several times.

Histories
This story was a great lesson for mankind, “don’t change history.” There are terrible things in our history, but if we erase them or rewrite them, future generations can’t learn from them. Writing the narrative to say what you want it to say is not going to help anyone. This poor alien was exiled for speaking the truth and speaking out against society and their view of how things happened in the past. Our society will not be a better place if we rewrite any of our history, good or bad.

Overall, the stories in this book were fantastic and exactly what I would expect from Star Trek. I’ve already read this book a few times and some of the stories more than others.

Image
Outer Darkness #2

This book is crazy. So is Rigg. He’s also a genius, but I think genius and crazy go hand in hand. His plan to test the crew’s aptitude by flying into a dangerous area is definitely crazy and reckless, but also genius. What better way to be sure your crew has what it takes than to put them smack in the middle of an intense situation. That doesn’t make what he did, right. It wasn’t until after the danger has passed and Rigg starts watching his senior staff members’ reactions, that I realized he was doing more than testing the crew’s ability in a dire situation. I applauded Baxter for punching him in the face and also Reno for standing up to Rigg. Like them, I think what he did was wrong. When I saw Satalis and Prakash arguing with each other instead of chastising Rigg for his recklessness, I knew this was likely his main goal. Rigg and Agwe were discussing how he was trying to assess who might be a problem in the senior staff. It was very reckless and it got him quick results, but I’m sure there was a better way to go about it.

I’m loving this book so much. It’s like I’m reading a ‘Reckless Rejects of Starfleet’ type comic. I love Afu Chan’s artwork in this book. It’s almost like watching stills for a movie, which sounds weird, but it’s true! So, when this series is over, I hope someone considers making it into a movie. It would be so great! John Layman does an awesome job with writing the story too. Once I finished the book, I was sad that there wasn’t anymore to read. I will patiently await the arrival of issue three.

Conclusion

The only Marvel title I was completely happy with this week was the Doctor Strange one-shot. The other two had their problems and it’s more than enough to prevent me from picking either of those issues back up to read a second time. As for IDW and Image, they were the love of my reads this week! Star Trek, MLP, and the very vulgar and obscene Outer Darkness. I love how different Outer Darkness is from the rest of my reads, but it’s not a book for everyone. The language and content are vulgar, so parents should be aware of that if they have children asking about this title.

Warning – Rant Incoming
You can skip this last paragraph if you don’t want to read about me ranting about real world political/religious topics in super hero comics.

As a final note, I want to further clarify this view I have about real world politics/religion in mainstream super hero books. It was pointed out to me by an anonymous person on the internet, that I’m a hypocrite and anti-American. The basis of their argument is that Captain America was created to rally Americans against the Nazis and his whole existence is based on real world politics. I’m not sure how that makes ME a hypocrite because I never once said that I loved Captain America comics. I actually can’t stand Captain America and that’s why I never read Avengers. I didn’t want to have Captain America shoved in my face at every turn of the page. This new Avengers team is lead by Black Panther – not Captain America. My dislike of Captain America also doesn’t make me anti-American and my enjoyment of the new Avengers book doesn’t make me a hypocrite. It actually reinforces what I said about disliking real world political/religious topics in my super hero comics because Captain America isn’t the leader of the team and I’m happy about it! This week, when Captain Britain mentioned Brexit, I really wanted to crumple the book and throw it in the trash. I get so tired of being bogged down with real world crap and I really want an escape from it. If Avengers can’t keep the real world references out of its pages, then I’m dropping it. That goes for any of the super hero titles that I read, not just Avengers. I hope I emphasize this enough, I don’t read mainstream super hero titles that involve real world political/religious topics in their stories.

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!

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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!

Previous Episodes and Sessions:

The following is the report for the most recent Episode, or gaming session. Game mechanics will be in blue for anyone else that would like to run this adventure. I wrote everything in this adventure with inspiration taken primarily from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager. The roleplay from my players inspired most of the conversation, but the base story and mechanics were all written by me.

Carry Over From Rescue at Koralis IV

A Nova class Starfleet science vessel, the Novelle, sends a transmission to let you know they’re on their way. You take the initiative to send all of the information about Irumodic Syndrome and the unusual devolution phenomena to the science vessel and they begin working on a cure for the devolution problem. In the few hours it takes them to reach you, their scientists were able to devise a cure for the devolution. Once the shuttle docks on the Novelle, you’re all decontaminated and taken directly to sickbay where the cure is administered to you. Since the three of you were not in the advanced stages of devolution, you’re free to return to the shuttle and gather your belongings in preparation for your arrival at DS9. You see Dr. Schipp in the shuttle, gathering some of her PADDs and she thanks you for your assistance and you part ways with her as the Novelle docks at DS9.

Star Trek: Kage Hoshi Division
Episode One: Collapse

 

Scene One – Quark’s (Session 1.1)

The airlock opens and you see a compliment of officers ready to greet you. Dirnick has wrapped a scarf very loosely around his head so he can hide his face if he feels the need.

“Greetings. I’m Captain Benjamin Sisko. This is our Bajoran liaison, Major Kira Nerys; our chief medical officer, Doctor Julian Bashir; our chief security officer, Constable Odo; and Lt. Commander Worf, here on special assignment. Welcome to Deep Space Nine. Please, feel free to explore the station while you’re waiting on the Mulgrew to leave the docks.” Captain Sisko greets you warmly with a handshake and a smile. The rest of the officers greet you and welcome you to DS9.

“Captain, I am not sure it is wise to have General K’orvo ‘exploring’ the station without a security detail. He is a dishonored Klingon and our ‘guests’ will take offense to his being here.” Worf steps forward and addresses Sisko and K’orvo.

“I don’t like the way you say ‘guests’, Mr. Worf. Should I be concerned?” Dirnick steps up.

“We have enough trouble right now with all the Klingons running around the station, we don’t need another issue. I can spare two security officers to tail General K’orvo and intervene if there’s any trouble.” Odo crosses his arms and eyes K’orvo.

“I don’t think our Klingon guests will cause too much trouble with our General. Not after the incident with Garak, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a detail on General K’orvo. I’m sure you won’t object too much if it would make me feel better, would you, General?” Sisko smiles and extends his hand to K’orvo.

K’orvo shakes hands with Sisko and says, “No trouble at all Captain Sisko. I’m not here to cause a ruckus, only to meet up with an old friend.”

“I want to be the first to know if there are any issues with the Klingons. That’s all I ask.” Odo says as he turns to leave.

“I am confident that Constable Odo has security under control. The other concern I have is for Dirnick. I think he will be more of an issue than General K’orvo. It is not safe for any Cardassian, even a defector.” Worf stares warily at Dirnick.

Dirnick blinks at Worf and says, “I don’t see why me being a Cardassian would matter, but I assure you, I’m only here for a short time. I don’t plan to take up residence on DS9. Though I’m certain it’s a wonderful place to live.”

“I suggest you meet with your contact from the Mulgrew and then board that ship. There’s not much room here for two Cardassians.” Garak’s voice echoes down the corridor.

“Mr. Garak, I thought you’d be happy to see a fellow Cardassian?” Doctor Bashir says.

“I’m not happy to see any Cardassians, but I can’t deny what you did for Bajor. But I agree with Garak. While you are welcome here, there are current guests that may take serious offense and try to hurt or kill you.” Kira says as she averts her gaze from Dirnick and the Bajoran earring he’s wearing.

“You may think him a twisted hero, Major, but he’s worse than garbage to me. I know all about you, Mr. Dirnick. I know who you work for too.” Garak glares at Dirnick.

“Garak is it? Is that what you’re calling yourself now? How quaint.” Dirnick stares at Garak who stares back with a burning hatred in his eyes.

“Stop it! All of you! These people are our guests and I will not tolerate hostilities toward them, from anyone. That includes the current residents of DS9, Mr. Garak. Now, everyone should resume their duties. I apologize for this, and if you need anything, you can find me or another officer in ops.” Captain Sisko apologizes and turns to walk back to ops, but pauses when he sees Garak is still standing at the t-junction at the end of the corridor. “Mr. Garak, don’t you have a business to run on the promenade?”

Garak breaks his glaring gaze from Dirnick and looks at Captain Sisko with a startled glance. “Yes, Captain, I do. I also have the right to refuse business to anyone, so I’m letting it be known now; Mr. Dirnick is not allowed in my shop.”

“Fine, Mr. Garak. Mr. Dirnick, please stay away from Mr. Garak and his shop.” Sisko asks Dirnick.

“Captain, what is it that he peddles again?” Dirnick asks.

“He’s a tailor.” Sisko watches Garak as he turns and storms away toward the promenade.

“Well, I don’t think I’ll be needing a suit in the short time I’ll be here. I’m also certain I can hem my own pants too.” Dirnick says as he bids farewell to Captain Sisko and the three arrivals all walk toward the promenade.

The motley group makes their way to the promenade where they see almost a hundred Klingons mingling with Bajorans and other aliens. When they look out the promenade windows, they see countless numbers of Klingon ships, cloaking and decloaking all around DS9.

As they approach the entrance to Quark’s bar, they notice a detail of security officers in close proximity. Dirnick pauses by the entrance and eyes a peculiar plant, but as he leans down to inspect it, the plant changes into a brownish gold gelatinous substance before taking the form of Constable Odo.

“Don’t mind me. I’m just keeping an eye on things.” Odo says as he motions to several security officers and instructs them to stand by the door.

“Fascinating. That must be how they look when they change shape. I would love to get a sample or a few scans, at the very least.” Dirnick watches as Odo walks back to the security office.

“Would you like to join me for a drink, fellow outcast?” Dirnick asks K’orvo, doing the best he can to keep his scarf around his face.

“Sure. I might as well keep an extra body around if things go south. I say we get our beverages and head for the upper balcony.” K’orvo points towards the balcony and Dirnick nods in agreement.

K’orvo enters Quark’s as Dirnick follows him and Lorne splits off to look for his contact. K’orvo and Dirnick both order a Starduster from a Ferengi behind the bar when a different Ferengi hands K’orvo a glass of bloodwine. He quickly realizes that he’s given it to the wrong Klingon and says, “I’m sorry. You Klingons all look the same. This is his glass of bloodwine.”

“You Ferengi all look dishonorable.” K’orvo says gruffly.

“Quark! Are you giving away the bloodwine that I paid for?!” A Klingon walks up and pushes K’orvo aside. “Wait a minute. Do I know you? I do know you. You’re the dishonored General K’orvo. Why are you here?!” The Klingon warrior stares at K’orvo.

“Here’s a fresh glass of bloodwine. Don’t start any fights in my bar!” Quark sets a fresh glass in front of the aggressive Klingon. He turns to K’orvo and whispers, “You owe me two slips for that glass of bloodwine.”

“I ordered a Starduster, not bloodwine.” K’orvo retorts.

“Fine. But get your drink and enjoy our seating outside the bar.” Quark looks up at the aggressive Klingon who is getting more angry.

“I don’t like your presence here, quvHa’!” The aggressive Klingon puts a hand on the handle of his d’k tahg.

Game Mechanics
~ Opposed Task: Social Conflict
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Presence + Command, Reason + Command

(Success)
(K’orvo is able to talk his way out of a fist fight with the aggressive Klingon.)

“There is no honor in battling one without honor. You should probably read and study the qeS’a’ again, more closely.” K’orvo turns back toward the bar and takes a gulp of his bloodwine.

“You are right. I will not dishonor myself and my family by tainting my blade with the blood of a petaQ!” The aggressive Klingon laughs loudly and the other Klingons around him let out a boisterous laugh and they disperse.

“Well, that was exciting. I thought we might die.” Dirnick says as he waves at Quark. “My drink, please.”

“Today is a good day to die. Ferengi! We want our Stardusters!” K’orvo says and then sips the glass of bloodwine.

“I must somehow find my contact in this endless ocean of Klingons. It’ll likely take a lifetime.” Dirnick says as he takes his drink from a Ferengi behind the bar. “Lorne will have an easier time, so long as he can convince that group of Klingons to talk to him.”

K’orvo leans in close to Dirnick and says, “You wouldn’t be looking for M’Kora, would you?”

Dirnick moves back with a look of surprise. “How did you know that?”

“It wasn’t hard to figure out. We were all coming to DS9 on the same shuttle and that wasn’t coincidence. I know her, so I should be able to find her easily.” K’orvo says as he looks around the room. “And there she is.”

Dirnick looks in the direction K’orvo nods and sees a female Klingon sitting alone. She has hair that’s more neatly groomed and her battle scars are not as prominent as the other warriors in the room. After K’orvo points her out, Dirnick notices that she is definitely not part of the Klingon fleet.

“Well now, isn’t this interesting. Shall we go say hi?” Dirnick smiles at K’orvo and they begin to walk toward her.

***

Meanwhile, Lorne is looking around for a Klingon that could be his contact. He sees at least a dozen female Klingons and no way to know exactly which one he’s meant to meet with. He also thinks it might not be wise to mention to her name, given that he doesn’t know her status with the Empire.

He sees a table with two female Klingons and three male Klingons that look extremely drunk and more friendly than usual. Lorne orders a round of drinks for their table and walks up with the waitress.

Game Mechanics
~ Opposed Task: Subtle Questioning
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security, Daring + Command, Daring + Security
(Success)

“What a fine group of warriors you all are!” Lorne says as he approaches them.

“You are a cute little Bajoran. It is a good thing we are here to defend your frail species. But I guess you cannot be that frail; you did survive the Cardassian Occupation after all.” She laughs loudly and punches a fellow Klingon next to her who also laughs loudly. This signals the rest of the table to join in with deep howling laughs.

“You are speaking to a warrior that helped to liberate his people from that very Occupation.” Lorne puffs his chest out in pride in an attempt to appeal to their warrior spirit.

“Well, not so frail after all, are you? Is there something you want from us, little Bajoran warrior? You bought us all drinks, so you must want something.” The female Klingon says.

“I don’t want anything, just to honor great warriors, such as you and your friends here. I bet a warrior as decorated as you knows a lot of other warriors. Do you know all the warriors in this room?” Lorne asks as he waves a hand around, gesturing at the other Klingons.

“Of course I know them all. I’m the first officer on a ship. I have to know everyone.” She takes a drink of bloodwine.

“I’ll bet you a glass of bloodwine that you don’t know everyone.” Lorne eyes the female Klingon.

“I’ll take that bet, little warrior!” The female Klingon starts naming off every Klingon she can see. “See, there isn’t a single Klingon here that I do not… know… Wait. That female there. I don’t know her.”

Lorne looks in the direction that the female Klingon is pointing and sees another female Klingon sitting alone in a corner with a glass a bloodwine.

“Well, I guess I owe you a glass of bloodwine.” The female Klingon says.

“Just put it on a tab for me. I’ll drink to your honor another day.” Lorne says as he starts to walk away.

“As you wish, little Bajoran warrior.” And she waves him off.

Lorne decides to observe the lone female Klingon for a moment and sits at the bar. It’s not long before he sees K’orvo, followed by Dirnick, walk by him and approach the Klingon.

M’Kora stands and smiles at K’orvo. In a low whisper she says, “General, it’s been a while. And you must be Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Well, I have one more crewman to collect in here before we can leave.”

“You wouldn’t happen to be looking for Lieutenant Lorne, would you?” Dirnick asks.

“Why yes, I am, and here he is now.” Lorne walks up and M’Kora says, “Alright, now that we’re all here, please come with me.”

As they all leave Quark’s, a security officer approaches them and M’Kora nods at him and the security officer escorts them to an empty situation room. Everyone takes a seat and M’Kora steps up to the end of the table.

“Greetings to you all. I’m Captain M’Kora of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. You were both briefed by Starfleet about the nature of the Mulgrew, correct?” M’Kora asks Dirnick and Lorne and they both nod. “Good, then you two know your duty is to me and the Mulgrew. We will board the Mulgrew shortly, but I need to finish a few things here first. General K’orvo, I would like you to join me on the Mulgrew. I need a first officer and there are no officers currently that I trust in that position.”

“I would be honored to serve under you.” K’orvo nods.

“Starfleet has ordered us to investigate the area that Voyager vanished from in the Badlands. It’s going to be dangerous with the remaining Maquis hiding around there and now the Cardassian threat too. But we need to try to find out what happened to Voyager. Starfleet has intel that Voyager is still out there, but we’re not sure where. Any questions?” M’Kora looks at all three of her new crew and they shake their heads.

“Now that everything’s settled, I’ll see you all aboard the Mulgrew at 0600 for duty. Dismissed.” M’Kora says as her new crew members stand and leave the room. She follows close behind them, a wide smile on her face.

Scene 2 – Badlands (Session 1.2)

The Mulgrew is approaching the edge of the Badlands. On the viewscreen, there are sporadically erupting plumes of plasma as far as anyone can see. Dirnick is working on an assignment in the genetics laboratory, so Doctor Zylas has taken up duties at the science station.

“Doctor Zylas, can you begin scans on the area, please?” M’Kora asks as she takes her seat in the captain’s chair.

“If I must.” Zylas sighs and lackadaisically operates the sensors at the science station.

“Lieutenant Zynes, plot a course and navigate us through the funnels following Doctor Zylas’s scans.”

“Aye, Captain.” Zynes looks at Zylas and sees his head resting in his hand, elbow on the console. Zynes sighs and turns back to his console.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Sensor Sweeps & Navigation
~ A Sensor Sweep must be successful before a Navigation Task is attempted.
~ Players must complete 5 pairs of Sensor Sweeps + Navigation Tasks.
~ Work Track: 10 (Each success, not pairs, grant Work)
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science & Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science & Computers + Conn

The crew successfully navigates to the coordinates of Voyager’s disappearance will no trouble. Plasma funnels are erupting unpredictably all around the Mulgrew and it takes a diligent and watchful eye to prevent the ship from being caught by one.

A perimeter alert sounds as one of the plasma funnels nearly clips the port nacelle. “Doctor Zylas, that was a little too close for my comfort. Keep your eyes open.”

“Okay, Captain.” Zylas lets out a long sigh as he stares at the console.

“What are we looking for, Captain?” Asks Zynes, looking at the viewscreen.

“We’re looking for anything that could have pulled Voyager into a different area of space. Are we at the exact coordinates, Lieutenant Zynes?” M’Kora asks as she watches the viewscreen for visible anomalies.

“Aye, Captain.” Zynes replies.

“Keep your eyes on your sensors, dodge the plasma funnels, and watch the viewscreen for anomalies that the sensors can’t catch.” M’Kora stands up from the captains chair and moves toward the viewscreen. “They’re out there, somewhere.”

After hours of unyielding scans, the Mulgrew is about to return to a safer location for a few hours when a ship emerges from behind a large plasma funnel. It’s a Cardassian Galor Class warship and its weapons are charging.

“Red alert, shields up, and open a channel to the Cardassian ship.” Captain M’Kora stands up and faces the viewscreen. “Unidentified Cardassian warship, this is Captain Warren of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. We are a science vessel, doing research on the plasma funnels. We are not here to fight with you.”

The viewscreen switches from the view of the Badlands to show a male Cardassian with a sly grin. “This is Gul To Vall, captain of the Zire. Captain Warren, we’ve been watching you for hours. You’ve scanned more than just the plasma funnels. I think you’re up to something and I want to know what it is. I’m prepared to destroy you if you don’t allow full access to your ship’s computers. We’ve scanned you several times and all we see is a ship full of humans and no weapons to speak of.”

“We don’t want any trouble, but we also can’t grant you access to the ship’s computers. Surely, you know that’s a futile request?” M’Kora returns to the captain’s chair.

“Fine. We’ll take it from you.” And with that comment, Gul To Vall cuts communications and powers up his ship’s weapons.

Game Mechanics:
Combat with a Cardassian Galor Class (pg 263 Core Book).

“Lieutenant Zynes, employ evasive maneuver alpha! Shields up!” K’orvo says.

“Shields are at maximum. Employing evasive maneuver alpha.” Lieutenant Zynes’s hands move with lightning speed.

“Lieutenant Lorne, ready phasers and target their weapons. We don’t want to destroy them, just cripple them.” K’orvo says as a phaser blast erupts from Gul To Vall’s ship. It strikes the shields, but doesn’t have much effect.

“Lieutenant Lorne, damage?” K’orvo asks.

“No sir. It was just a glancing blow off the shields.” Lorne says, never taking his eyes from his console.

“Fire phasers!” K’orvo jumps up from his seat beside the captain, with a sense of purpose and excitement in his eye.

“Direct hit, sir. Weapons are damaged and they’ve suffered some structural damage as well.” Lorne reports.

“I don’t want the ship destroyed. Be careful with the intensity on the phaser blasts. Hail the Cardassian ship and let’s see if they’re in a more reasonable mood now.” M’Kora stands up and says sternly.

“Sorry about that. We’ll be more careful in the future, and they’re hailing us, sir.” Lorne says as his console makes several beeps and blips.

“On screen.” M’Kora stands up and straightens her shirt. The viewscreen shows Gul To Vall sitting in his chair while crewmen dash about trying to extinguish fires and dispatch other crew to critical areas.

Gul To Vall’s face is grim and he speaks in a humbled tone. “Well, Captain Warren, it appears our scans were not accurate about your weapons. I hope that this doesn’t harm the relations between your Federation and Cardassia. We will withdraw if you’ll allow us.”

“We should blow you out of the Badlands, you…” K’orvo jumps up again and yells at the viewscreen. M’Kora puts a hand in front of him.

“It’s okay, Commander. We can stand down and allow you to limp home, Gul To Vall. I will, however, have to report this incident to Starfleet.” M’Kora says as K’orvo sits back down in his seat.

“Do what you must, Captain Warren.” Gul To Vall cuts the communications off and his ship begins to leave the Badlands at impulse speed.

Once the Cardassian ship is out of sensor range, the Mulgrew begins to navigate the Badlands once more. Doctor Zylas is not paying attention to his console like he should be and he misses the eruption of a plasma funnel, just beneath the Mulgrew.

“Zylas, what’s the meaning of this!?” M’Kora stands up yells across the bridge.

“Oh my. Why is it automatically my fault? Isn’t the Andorian supposed to be flying this heap?” Zylas immediately begins to monitor his console once again.

“My fault? I was going off the information, or lack thereof, that you gave me!” Zynes snaps back.

“Stop it, both of you! Get back on those sensors and get us out of here!” M’Kora orders but it’s too late. The Mulgrew is tossed hard to port and another plasma funnel strikes the port nacelle and engineering. The crew on the bridge is jostled and thrown away from their consoles as sparks erupt from the panels and smoke fills the bridge. The chief engineer, Lieutenant Kobi, is rushing about, barking orders in engineering when it’s struck by the plasma funnel. Lieutenant Kobi is knocked unconscious when he hits his head on the corner of a console. He’s dragged out of engineering by his subordinates amidst the smoke and fire.

“Engineering, report!” M’Kora calls over the ship’s comms and when there isn’t an answer, she starts to get worried. “Doctor Zylas, get down to sick bay and prepare for injuries and possible casualties. Ensign Cross, get to engineering and figure out what’s going on.”

Ensign Cross looks blankly at Captain M’Kora and asks, “Boss? Me?”

“Yes, you! Get going, now!” M’Kora steps toward him and he jumps up from the console and rushes off of the bridge to engineering. Zylas drags himself out of the science station seat and moves sluggishly toward the turbolift. M’Kora puts a hand to her head and pulls it back, revealing blood from a cut. “I swear to Kahless, if that Ferengi kills us, I’m going to kill him a hundred times over in the afterlife.”

Scene 3 – “When it rains, it pours.” (Session 1.3)

A gaseous substance erupts from the pipes and conduits inside the Jeffries Tubes along the corridors leading to the engine room. Main access to the engine room is cut off and the only way in is through the Jeffries Tubes. The warp drive is already offline and if the repairs are not finished quickly, the damage could become much worse and cause the Mulgrew to lose impulse too.

“M’Kora to engineering, status report!” M’Kora pauses and when she doesn’t get a response, she calls again. “Ensign Cross, status report of engineering!”

“Boss, engineering is in shambles. The warp core has been knocked out of alignment and the warp drive is completely offline. We have impulse for now, but we won’t if someone can’t get into the engine room to make repairs. We’ve got injured crew and panels are offline all over the place.” Ensign Cross calls back over the comm.

“You’re in charge of the repairs! Get down to the engine room and fix it!” M’Kora orders.

“Sure thing, Boss! I’m on it!” Cross calls back over the comm.

“Captain, Starfleet Command is on a secure subspace channel, requesting to speak to you.”  Lieutenant Lorne says.

“Put it through to my ready room. I hope they make this quick. I don’t have time for their crap right now.” M’Kora jumps up from the captain’s chair and rushes into her ready room.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Access the Jeffries Tubes
~ Difficulty: 1
~ Control + Security, Daring + Security, Fitness + Security

Once in the Jeffries Tubes, Ensign Cross shuffles along with his toolkit. Smoke blows into his face from a ruptured conduit, but he continues on. After he reaches the engine room, he sees the extent of the damage and knows the situation is much worse than first thought. If he can’t get the damage repaired as soon as possible, there will likely be a feedback loop into the warp core and a breach will be imminent.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Challenge Task: Repair the Engines
~ Successes Needed: 4
~ Time Intervals: 10
~ Time Per Attempt: 2
~ Difficulty:
2

~ Control + Engineering, Daring + Engineering
~ Daring + Science set for Difficulty 3

Ensign Cross begins repairs, focusing on the critical damage first. He knows that his time is short and he works quickly and diligently. He mumbles to himself throughout the entire process, telling himself what tool to grab and what to work on next, almost like he’s giving himself instructions. But he’s still a little unfamiliar with all the intricate workings of machinery and tools in this universe. He has a slip with one of the tools and cracks a casing on a plasma injector.

“Well, that’ll need to be fixed once we’re stable again…” Ensign Cross mumbles to himself. Once the engines have been repaired, Cross breathes a sigh of relief and calls M’Kora over the comm, “Boss, we’re back in business, for now. But we need to get out the Badlands and dock for extensive repairs.”

“Good work, Ensign. Lieutenant Lorne, open a ship wide channel.” M’Kora says as she emerges from her ready room, a stern and sour look on her face. “Attention crew of the Mulgrew, this is Captain M’Kora. It appears that the most pressing repairs have been handled. But there’s an old saying from Earth, ‘When it rains, it pours.’ I have devastating news from Starfleet Command. The Klingons have declared war on Cardassia and the Federation has condemned their actions. In doing so, the Klingons have seen this as a slight against the Empire. Chancellor Gowron has recalled all Klingon citizens and expelled all non-Klingon citizens from Klingon controlled territory. But that’s not all… Chancellor Gowron and the Klingon High Council have decided to withdraw from Khitomer Accords. The Klingon Empire and the Federation will soon be at war. This means we will likely see much more dangerous missions in the future. Please make all appropriate preparations. Thank you.”

“Well, if that isn’t a pile of targ ****.” K’orvo says as he sits back in seat and stares at the view of the Badlands on the viewscreen.

Scene 4 – Caretaker (Session 1.4)

Once all the engine repairs have been completed enough that the Mulgrew can safely navigate out of the Badlands, M’Kora orders a retreat to DS9. But the mood aboard the ship is melancholy and everyone is unable to hide their uneasiness about the news of the Khitomer Accords. The science station suffered heavy damage and repairs are underway, but that means Zynes will have to fly the ship out of the Badlands with no assistance from the science station sensors.

“Lieutenant Zynes, take us out of this forsaken area of space, quickly. I want to get full repairs and a refit at DS9 before this war becomes official.” M’Kora puts a hand to her forehead in exasperation. “Ensign Cross, get to the bridge to start repairs on the science station as quickly as you can.”

“Sure thing, Boss. Headed that way now!” Cross calls back over the comm.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Repair the Science Station
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Control + Engineering

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Navigate to the edge of the Badlands
~ Difficulty:
3

~ Reason + Conn, Daring + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Computers + Conn

Cross arrives on the bridge and begins working on the science station as Zynes does his best to visually navigate the Badlands, with minimal support from his station’s sensors.

As the ship nears the edge of the Badlands, there is a blinding white light that streaks across the viewscreen. As the crew on the bridge watches, the light darts around without regard for the plasma funnels.

The light streaks like lightning towards the Mulgrew and appears to collide with the bridge. There is no damage where there should be a gaping hole, but there is now a glowing white orb, hovering in the air about eye level with Captain M’Kora.

“Dirnick, Zylas, get over here and figure out what this is. Security to the bridge! We have an entity on board.” M’Kora watches as her crew jump into action.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Analyze the Threat
~ Difficulty:
4

~ Reason + Science
~ Information Gained on Success – It’s a being made of energy. It’s definitely a lifeform.
~ Momentum Spends – It appears to be a type of sporocystian lifeform. It’s non-corporeal, but has a crystalline base.

“Captain, it appears to be a sentient, non-corporeal, sporocystian lifeform with a crystalline base.” Dirnick reports as he scans the orb.

“Does it understand us?” M’Kora asks Dirnick and Zylas. Before they can answer, the being darts over to a console and appears to inspect it and begins looking through the ship’s records. “Lieutenant Lorne, keep an eye on that thing. See if you can encourage it away from the computers.”

Cross is huddling beneath the science station console with his hands over his head in an attempt to hide from the entity. He’s mumbling something, but nobody can hear what he’s saying.

“Captain, maybe it needs to use someone as a conduit.” Dirnick suggests as he watches the entity.

Lorne, with his phaser at his side, looks at Dirnick and says, “Are you out of your mind, you crazy Cardassian?!”

“It was only a suggestion and I wasn’t implying that you would be a suitable conduit.” Dirnick smirks at Lorne and Lorne rolls his eyes.

As Lorne approaches the entity, it darts away from the computer console and into the center of the room. It slowly takes on a humanoid form and then turns to the crew.

“I am a Nacene; a species that is developed well beyond your comprehension. A very old and dear friend was taking care of a species far from here; a caretaker, if you will. That species is in trouble once again. You will be sufficient enough to preserve his legacy.” The Nacene changes back into the glowing orb of light and exits the way it entered the ship.

“What in the hell is that about?! Someone track that thing!” M’Kora orders, but there is a blinding light that engulfs the Mulgrew and knocks the crew unconscious.

Scene 5 – Delta Quadrant (Session 1.5)

When the crew starts to come to, they return to their stations and begin analyzing records and sensors.

“Report!” M’Kora orders as she steadies herself in the captain’s chair.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Lorne’s Security Report
~ Difficulty:
0

~ Reason + Security, Insight + Security
~ Ship Assist: Communications + Security

Lorne is the first to speak up, “Captain, it appears we were only unconscious for about ten minutes and there are no reports of injuries, casualties, damage or anything else. Everyone just seems to be out of sorts.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Dirnick’s Sensor Sweep Report
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science
~ Information Gained on Success: None of the star markers that should be in the Alpha Quadrant are there. (Encourage Momentum Spend)
~ Momentum Spend: You find a chart with partial information on what the star markers look like for the Delta Quadrant and they match. You are now 70,000 light years from home. That’s roughly 70 years from home.

Then Dirnick chimes in, “Captain, there’s a huge problem. I can’t find the stars of our system. We’re not in the Alpha Quadrant. It appears we’re in the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years from Starfleet. It’ll take us approximately 70 years to get back, if we travel at maximum warp the entire time.”

Suddenly, a proximity alert sounds for an approaching ship. M’Kora springs into action. “Red alert, all hands to battle stations. Get those shields up and at full power. Don’t arm the torpedoes or charge the phasers just yet. I don’t want to appear aggressive and cause a fire fight if it can be avoided. We have no clue what we’re going to encounter so I want to be ready. Open a channel to the ship. Unidentified ship, this is Captain Warren of the U.S.S. Mulgrew. We’re a diplomatic ship of exploration and would like to make first contact with you.”

The viewscreen changes to show a very angry Kazon. “I’m First Maje Culluh of this Kazon vessel and I know all about your Federation’s ‘diplomatic’ and ‘exploration’ missions. Prepare to be boarded and to turn over your ship!”

The viewscreen cuts back to the Kazon vessel as it charges weapons and prepares to fire.

Game Mechanics:
Combat with Kazon vessel (using the D7 on pg 259 Core Book, without Cloaking).

“Evasive maneuvers, pattern omega!” K’orvo calls to Zynes. Zynes’s fingers dance across his panel as he readies himself and the ship for evasive maneuvers. Dirnick mans the science station and begins scanning for any weakness that they can use to their advantage. Phaser fire from the Kazon ship is lighting up all around the hull of the Mulgrew.

“None of their attacks are landing. They’re not even hitting our shields.” Lorne reports.

“Well, try to disable their ship. Don’t do anything lethal.” K’orvo watches his panel closely, taking in all the incoming reports from around the ship. “I may not be Starfleet, but it is dishonorable to destroy an enemy that is much weaker than you are.”

“Aye, Commander. Should I fire on them?” Lorne asks, hands at the ready.

“Yes! Fire on them, Lieutenant!” K’orvo turns and yells at Lorne. Lorne’s fingers hit the command buttons to fire phasers at the Kazon vessel. “Target their engines, Lieutenant.”

“I already fired, sir.” Lorne turns to look at K’orvo.

“By the blood of Kahless the Unforgettable… Fire again, Lieutenant!” K’orvo yells.

“Commander, Captain, we’ve caused a major breach in their engines and taken their weapons offline. If we fire again, we could destroy them.” Dirnick reports to his commanding officers.

“Incoming hail from the Kazon ship!” Zynes calls out.

“On screen, Lieutenant.” M’Kora stands and straightens her uniform.

“Federation vessel, we are losing containment! We were not going to kill you, only take your ship! You can’t destroy us like this!” Culluh yells.

“We didn’t intend to destroy you, First Maje Culluh. We can transport as many of you to our ship as possible, and maybe give you safe passage if you behave yourselves and cooperate with us. There isn’t much time, so make your decision quickly.” M’Kora turns from the viewscreen, a look of satisfaction on her face.

“Wait! We’ll head to our transporter room. Get us out of here!” Culluh immediately cuts the transmission.

“Ensign Cross, get to the transporter room and get as many as you can. Make sure you neutralize potential weapons with the transporter. Lieutenant Lorne, get several security teams in place.” M’Kora says as she takes her seat. Lorne acknowledges the orders and makes his way to the turbolift.

“Sure thing, Boss. On my way now!” Cross jumps up and rushes for the turbolift.

“Captain, I would like to ask our guest a few questions. I’ll take Lieutenant Lorne with me once all the guests are on board.” K’orvo stands and addresses M’Kora.

“Granted. Get any information you can and keep a comm open with me. Lieutenant Zynes, back us off as soon as the transports are complete. I don’t want to be too close when that ship blows.” M’Kora says as K’orvo makes his way to the transporter room and Zynes acknowledges his orders.

In the transporter room, Ensign Cross is working quickly to beam over as many as he can in each transport. Each transport allows him to get ten crewmen from the Kazon ship. With each beam in, Lorne sends a security team to escort the group of Kazon to a cargo bay that’s been converted to a makeshift brig. Lorne instructs the teams to take Culluh and the other bridge officers to the brig, in order to keep them separated from the rest of the crew.

Game Mechanics
~ Timed Challenge Task: Transport the Kazon!
~ Successes Needed: 5
~ Time Intervals: 12
~ Time Per Attempt: 2
~ Difficulty:
2

~ Control + Engineering

Four of the Kazon are injured and are escorted to sick bay. Dirnick is waiting with his tricorder ready.

“Please, come in and have a seat. We’ll take some scans and then have you fixed up in no time.” Dirnick smiles and Zylas rolls his eyes at him.

“Who’s the chief medical officer here? Oh, that’s me! Stop telling my patients what to do.” Zylas says with a sarcastic tone. The EMH (Emergency Medical Hologram) is helping Zylas tend to Lieutenant Kobi when the Kazon are escorted in. The EMH rushes over to the Kazon and quickly scans them with a medical tricorder.

“Doctor, these patients have plasma burns and broken bones. They need immediate attention. Lieutenant Kobi is stable right now.” The EMH informs Zylas.

“Nobody asked you. Computer, deactivate…” Zylas starts to say but is interrupted by the EMH.

“Wait, Doctor Zylas. I can continue treat Lieutenant Kobi if you wish.” The EMH says.

“Fine, whatever. Just stay out of my way.” Zylas buzzes over to the Kazon where Dirnick already has a tricorder out and scanning one of them. “There’s a charge to use my equipment, Dirnick.”

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Tricorder Scan
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Medical

“Good thing I’m using the equipment issued to Starfleet crew then, and not your personal tricorder.” Dirnick smiles at Zylas, half heartedly, and starts scanning the Kazon again. “It’s okay. I think I have all the information I need anyway. It looks like these are crew from the engine room of the Kazon vessel.”

“We’re the only ones left after you destroyed our ship!” One of the Kazon spits at Dirnick’s feet.

“Well, Doctor, I’ll leave them in your capable hands. I have more important matters to attend to, like scanning the debris of that inferior vessel of theirs.” Dirnick smirks at the scowling Kazon as he puts his tricorder into his science pack and leaves sick bay.

Meanwhile, Lorne and K’orvo make their way to the brig where the Kazon bridge crew is being held. When they walk through the brig door, they see Culluh pacing in his cell with a very angry and irritated look on his face.

“Take us to our people! We had an agreement!” Culluh yells at K’orvo and Lorne. He looks at K’orvo with a confused look. “Wait… what are you? There are far less humans than our scans revealed. What trickery is this?!”

“I’m a Klingon and that’s really not what you should be concerned about right now. We didn’t agree to take you to your other people. We agreed to help you off your ship and maybe give you transport to your people if you behave and cooperate. So far, your crew is behaving and now we want your cooperation. You mentioned that you were familiar with the Federation, correct? We want to know how. There shouldn’t be any Federation ships out this far.” K’orvo steps up to the force field of Culluh’s cell.

“I don’t have to tell you anything, and good luck getting information from my ship’s computers now that my ship is destroyed.” Culluh smirks and then looks beyond K’orvo and sees Lorne. “I know your kind, Bajoran.”

“Wait. You know what Bajoran are, but not Klingons? How is that possible?” Lorne asks.

“Well, the only Klingon I’ve seen wasn’t a true Klingon. She was only half so she didn’t look like this one here. But I know what a Bajoran is. They are a subservient race!” Culluh yells at Lorne.

Lorne approaches K’orvo and puts a hand on his shoulder. K’orvo turns to Lorne and Lorne whispers, “Let me ‘talk’ to him, Commander.”

“Lieutenant, we don’t want to cause any unnecessary harm to our guests. If you want to talk to him, that’s fine, but you will not go into that cell without orders to do so.” K’orvo stares at Lorne and Lorne nods.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Subtle Interrogation (Opposed)
~ Difficulty:
1 (+1 Difficulty for Bajorans)

~ Presence + Security
~ Information Gained on Success: Voyager, under the command of Captain Janeway, was here about a year ago and caused some trouble for the Kazon.
~ Momentum Spend: There is a planet called Ocampa that’s no far from here. There are Kazon on that planet that enslave the Ocampans and raid their underground homes. That’s where Culluh wants you to take his people.

“Aye, Commander.” Lorne approaches the cell’s force field. “Why don’t you tell me how you know about the Federation? If I’m such a lowly race, it won’t hurt to tell me, now will it? And if you cooperate by giving me the information I want, I’m sure my Klingon friend will be more than happy to take you to your people. It’s such a small request. It’s not like we want information on your race or ships, just how you know about the Federation. That’s all we’re asking for and we’ll take you to your people.” Lorne whispers to Culluh.

“It was your cursed Voyager, lead by Janeway, that caused me so much trouble a year ago. I do not need or want another Federation vessel in my space! I want you to leave me and my crew with our people on Ocampa and then get out of my space!” Culluh yells.

Lorne looks at K’orvo and K’orvo relays the information to Captain M’Kora. “Captain, it looks like we’re actually where we need to be. Voyager was here a year ago.”

“Acknowledged. Good work General. Keep me updated with any further information.” M’Kora calls back over the comm.

Lorne turns back to Culluh and asks, “Is Ocampa your home? Where is it, so we can take you there?”

“You can find Ocampa here.” Culluh points to a spot on a PADD that Lorne holds up to the force field. “Once you get me there, I can make the Ocampans repair one of the old transports and I can get back into space.” Culluh mumbles to himself.

“So the Ocampans are the inhabitants of the planet?” Lorne asks.

“Yes, and your two races have a lot in common, being that you’re both slaves.” Culluh sneers. Lorne turns to K’orvo as K’orvo is relaying the new information to M’Kora.

“Lieutenant, I think we’re done here.” K’orvo says, implying that they should leave.

“Aye, Commander. I’ll return to my post on the bridge.” And with that, Lorne and K’orvo leave the brig and head for the bridge.

Back on the bridge, Dirnick enters from the turbolift and takes over his post at the science station.

 “Reports, please.” M’Kora sits down in the captain’s chair and looks over the reports as they come in.

Game Mechanics
~ Task: Dirnick’s Sensor Sweep Report
~ Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science
~ Information Gained on Success: Class H Desert Planet about an hour away at warp 2. Dilithium and Duranium deposits on several asteroids caught in the gravitational pull of the planet.

Dirnick makes several notes from his sensors. “Captain, sensors detect a Class H, desert, planet at the same location the Kazon gave us. It’s maybe an hour away at warp two. Sensors also indicate Dilitium and Duranium deposits on several asteroids that are currently caught in the planet’s gravitational pull. If we get there in time, we can mine both for backup supplies. We might want to take any opportunity we can to stockpile.”

The doors of the turbolift open up. Lorne and K’orvo enter the bridge and return to their posts at the security station and the commander’s chair.

“Nice work, Lieutenant Commander Dirnick. Anything else to report General?” M’Kora asks K’orvo.

“Nothing further.” K’orvo says as he adjusts his seating. “If I may say so, this is a mess we’ve gotten ourselves into.”

“It is, General. But if anyone can get out of it, it’s the crew of the Mulgrew.” M’Kora says with a sense of pride.

“With Ace flying this ship, we’ll be back in the Alpha Quadrant in no time!” Cross blurts out from his engineering console. Zynes rolls his eyes and is about to say something, but instead sighs and focuses on piloting.

“Ensign, set course for Ocampa.” M’Kora orders as an ensign takes the navigator’s seat. “Lieutenant Zynes, take us into the black.”

Roll Credits!
  • Travis – Lieutenant Zynes/Lieutenant Commander Dirnick
  • Wednesday – Doctor Zylas/Commander K’orvo
  • North – Ensign Cross/Lieutenant Lorne
  • Kat (Dice Dice Kitty) – Captain M’Kora
Gamemaster’s Notes

I try to tell myself that mistakes are okay since this was the first adventure I’d written for our Star Trek Adventures. But I’m kind of overly critical of all my work, and this was no exception. I noticed right away that their first Extended Task was a little too easy.

Game Mechanics
~ Extended Task: Sensor Sweeps & Navigation
~ A Sensor Sweep must be successful before a Navigation Task is attempted.
~ Players must complete 5 pairs of Sensor Sweeps + Navigation Tasks.
~ Work Track: 10 (Each success, not pairs, grant Work)
~ Magnitude: 2
~ Base Difficulty:
1

~ Reason + Science & Reason + Conn
~ Ship Assist: Sensors + Science & Computers + Conn

I should have added Resistance or increased the Difficulty by one because they blew through this Extended Task like a hot knife through butter. Lesson learned for next time!

The next thing I noticed that I made a huge mistake on, were the ship battles. They were way too easy. The Mulgrew, granted it has a few additional bonuses that you wouldn’t normally have, chewed up the Galor and the D7 (pretending it was a Kazon vessel). They weren’t even trying and they instantly ate through the D7 shields and destroyed the engines on the first attack. The players didn’t call a system to target, so they rolled and the engines were picked randomly. That resulted in the ship’s eventual destruction.

Either we’re doing ship battles wrong or I shouldn’t have allowed the additional bonuses. The additional bonuses were granted because I knew they were going to the Delta Quadrant. They didn’t know they were headed to the Delta Quadrant until the moment it happened in game. There would be no way for them to get upgrades or refits without getting super creative with the story and the engineering – which may happen anyway. But that poor Kazon vessel didn’t have a chance and it couldn’t even hit the Mulgrew. But next time, I’ll modify the enemy ship or add more ships to the battle.

Aside from my mistakes, the players all seemed to really enjoy the game and had lots of fun. We are all in agreement that the 2D20 system is super fun and the way the game is designed encourages lots of roleplay. Modiphius has hit a jackpot with Star Trek Adventures and I can’t wait to finish writing the next Adventure for my players!

“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.”     ~ 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.

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

This book is a perfect example of how you include relevant political topics in a story without literally including real world topics. I’ll write more about this in the conclusion at the end of the article.

It’s a heartwarming story about Doctor Strange fighting off the corporate demon (literally), trying to keep his neighborhood together. I like that he’s fighting for the community because he loves the community. What better feel-good story could you want right now? I also love how he just dumps him on the moon to prove a point. I don’t think that’ll stop this demon dude, so I imagine we’ll see him or one of his subordinates again in the future.

I am anxious to see how the Ancient One has made his way back to what appears to be a corporeal state. I’m also curious as to why he would call Doctor Strange ‘master’. The Ancient One was still far more skilled than Strange, and even after all this time, I don’t feel like the student actually surpassed the teacher. I love Doctor Strange, but he’s flawed, where the Ancient One was not as flawed. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next issue!

I do have one very important question though… Where was Bats?!

Namor: The Best Defense #1

The message in this book is crystal clear – or clear as a glass squid as it was so eloquently said by Kallthro. The world is doomed if can’t all get along. We need to stop fighting among ourselves and get along before a larger enemy comes along. We need to be unified as a single people, but it feels like a futile struggle. I feel what Namor is saying. It seems like the world, both his and ours, is full of strife and hatred. But just when you think all hope is lost, there is a silver lining shining down on us. This was a great book and it had information about Namor that I didn’t know. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in Namor. I can’t wait for more Namor books!

Albatross Funny Books
Grumble #1

Mike Norton is a fantastic artist who has a way of making the background interesting without detracting from the focal points and characters in the forefront. He puts tiny details on things that make you want to look at the background, just to see what all is there. All of the main characters and the background seem to come to life while I’m reading any book he does the art for. The writer, Rafer Roberts, has written an engaging and interesting story. I never felt bogged down with any of the text and the story flowed nicely from panel to panel. Roberts writing and Norton’s art compliment each other very well.

When you put Norton and Roberts together you get a foul mouthed, magic wielding dude that gets himself stuck in a pug body and has his estranged daughter thrown into the mix. Eddie’s daughter, Tala, has a cool ‘whammy’ power that she uses to sort of mind control folks. Tala says her mother is dead, but something tells me that she’s not telling the full truth of the situation.

I love the design of the S’taera, which Tala relates to archangels. And the way Tala had to focus when she blasted that one S’taera, makes me think she’s really powerful but has trouble controlling it. I also really like the ‘expendable freelance intermediate’ shown at the end of the book too. I think there are either some screws loose or she was talking to someone over a comm. My money is on her being a ‘crazy’ bounty hunter chick.

I’m super excited about this first first issue of Grumble and I really want the next issue, like now. Do I really have to wait?!

IDW
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Terra Incognita #5

I was a little confused by the first few pages. Some of the panels had Barclay and Worf wearing some kind of apparatus on their mouths, but the previous panel or panel after would show no signs of the device. I have no clue why they were using these things, where they went when they weren’t using them, or what these devices were for. And Doctor Crusher was never shown with one, yet she’s human just like Mirror Barclay… sooooo… I’m totally confused. Also, when Worf and Barclay fired their phasers at some aggressors, they weren’t drawn like phasers. They looked more like a typical gunshot and that’s highly disappointing.

Something else that bothers me a little is not knowing the year that this all takes place. I could have missed it and I’ll have to go back and look through the previous issues. The reason this matters to me is because there are a number of Starfleet ships shown on the viewscreen and they’re all shown as Galaxy Class ships – which they’re not. There’s at least an Ambassador, Nebula, and Excelsior. There may be another class that I missed, but I dislike that they’re all represented by a Galaxy Class silhouette. At least all the registry numbers were correct as far as I can tell.

Errors are going to happen when you have an IP as large as Star Trek, and I hate to sound like I’m nit picking. I’m sure someone will tear holes in my RPG write ups, but at least I can bluff out of those mistakes since our ship is classified.

But once I got out of those first few pages, it was a typical Star Trek book with social dilemmas, scientific and diplomatic challenges, and of course – a surprise! Who would have guessed that Data had been replaced by the Mirror Data?! Not me, unless I forgot something from a previous issue. I really do like the series, I just get a little meticulous about some things. It’s a flaw of mine. I am looking forward to the next issue to see what’s going to happen with Mirror Data and Mirror Barclay.

Star Trek vs Transformers #3

This particular Star Trek book definitely does not fall within the main continuity. I’m much less critical of the things that happen in this series because of that. John Barber and Mike Johnson are excellent at writing action and combat scenes. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this series up to this point and the final panel of this issue made me giggle. Fortress Tiberious! Kirk and Shatner are both arrogant enough to name something like that after themselves. The writers nailed the name of that transforming Enterprise and I love it! It’s absolutely perfect!

If you’re looking for a good, entertaining, and not-to-be-taken-seriously read, this is hands down the book you should be looking at. I’m looking forward to the next issue so I can see Fortress Tiberious take on some Decepticons!

Image
Unnatural #5

This story just gets better with every issue. Not sure if I’ve said that or not about Unnatural, but it’s true and the truth needs to be repeated anyway. I’m starting to get a little annoyed with Leslie’s attitude, but I can kind of understand why she’s acting like a whiny little girl. She has lost everything and everyone dear to her. None of us can say how we would respond in that kind of situation, even if we’ve been there before already. I try to empathize with her as much as possible and that helps me get around her personality quirks that she currently has. Khal is a different story. Even after hearing part of his tragic story, Leslie has the nerve to call him a monster. Maybe he is and we just don’t know it yet, but I wouldn’t be so cold about it. There is likely more than meets the eye with him. I also was not expecting Carol to be a pig. I’m not sure I was expecting any particular animal, more of the cloak and dagger type, but I was shocked to see her. I hope we get the backstory behind those horrific scars too.

I really like how Mirka Andolfo has written this story, and her art is so gorgeous! She’s constantly left me guessing at the fate of Leslie and that wolf spirit thing that she carries with her. I’m guessing that Khal is going to have a big part to play in this too and I hope that he doesn’t have to sacrifice himself (if he’s a good guy). I’m super curious to see what’s under Glance’s mask and I hope ‘Jones’ bites the dust before this is over. That pig is a real PIG! This book is one that I’m always excited to get and anxious to read! It’s definitely in my top ten right now and the story isn’t even done yet!

Conclusion

I’m one of the few folks that would prefer real world politics be kept out of superhero comics like Doctor Strange, Batgirl, Avengers, etc. I love how Mark Waid was able to include important topics that are relatable to current things, without bringing up those real world topics. I’m totally for heroes having political turmoil, I just don’t want to read about the current real world political topics with my superheroes. I don’t mind other books having real world politics, but there need to be some that keep us shielded from it. I read superhero comics to escape from all of that mess for a few minutes.

There are plenty of works out there that include real world topics and they’re absolutely worth reading, regardless of where you stand politically. I enjoy all forms of entertainment, regardless of my political stance and religious beliefs. Politics and religion are touchy subjects and I want folks to feel safe from being bombarded with it here.

I love weeks like this where I enjoy every issue I get that week. I wish every week was like this – even with the slight confusion in my Terra Incognita issue this week. It was still entertaining and worth reading. There wasn’t a single series from this week that I regret buying. All of them are series that I’m anxiously awaiting the next installments for, particularly Grumble and Unnatural. Those two books are unique and interesting and if you’re not reading them, you’re missing out!

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 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!
DC
Batgirl #29

I’m always looking for messages behind the stories in the comics I read, regardless of whether or not those messages were intentional. Batgirl always seems to have messages behind the great stories. This issue told me that you can always come back from something bad. You may have to suffer the consequences of your actions, but it’s not too late to redeem yourself. I also got the message that it’s okay to not be okay. Having a bad day, week, month, year, or whatever – it will eventually be okay but it’s okay to not be okay for that moment in time. You shouldn’t just roll over and wait for things to fix themselves. You should strive to find a solution and don’t give up. Batgirl seems to have the best messages. This is one of the reasons that I love this book. The stories that deliver the messages are entertaining and well written.

I’m definitely super digging Batgirl’s new costume. It’s like a combination of classic, chic, and modern hero. I also love the art overall. There are subtle details in the panels that I really like seeing, like the staples that you see running up her spine in the panel where she’s changing into the gala dress. Folks forget or don’t know about her past and this is a well placed visual reminder of it. That same panel shows her struggle with putting the dress on, which is a struggle most of us women have and can relate to. Her face is really cute in that same panel. The rest of the art is wonderful and the transitions from one panel to the next are excellent and easy to follow.

As for the story, I didn’t actually think Evan would flip on Wyrm, but I knew it was a possibility. I’m kind of happy he did, but I hate that he’s probably dead now. Babs said he didn’t make it, but you know how things go in comics – he may be holed up in a cryo-tube somewhere or his consciousness could be contained in the internet now. I’m also happy to see Babs going in for surgery and I hope those FBI dudes don’t make Commissioner Gordon break his promise to her about being there when she wakes up. That’s not cool if they do. I wonder why they’re there to talk to him and I hope he’s not in trouble for something!

Marvel
Fantastic Four #4

Batgirl isn’t the only book with moral lessons and messages in it. Here is the short list I got from this issue:

  • “Never hide who you truly are.” (Reed Richards)
  • Always look at the bigger picture.
  • Super powers aren’t always ‘magical’, sometimes it’s normal stuff, like intelligence or even creativity.
  • Things are sometimes not what they appear to be.
  • Make friends, not enemies and work together.
  • Family is precious, blood relatives or not.

This issue was great! There is a copy cat superhero ‘family’ trying to prevent a robbery, which turns out to have been staged. This new family has also moved into the Baxter Building, which is the now former home of the Fantastic Four. Did the Fantastix actually know it was all staged ahead of time? I’m not totally convinced they’re on the up-and-up. But the Fantastic Four showed their true character when they shook hands and parted ways with the Fantastix, who still own the Baxter Building.

It’s great to see the Fantastic Four back on Earth and getting back into the swing of things. They’ve moved into the building that Ben owns and I hope to see that as their new headquarters. It’s nice to see evolution in character stories and even if they don’t stay in Ben’s building, I want them to find a new headquarters – not return to the Baxter Building.

I’m actually excited to see the wedding between Ben and Alicia! The ad in this issue says it’s going to happen – no fooling.

I totally loved when Ben (The Thing) busted out the retro Fantasticar! And the panel where they parked it outside Ben’s building is hilarious! I actually chuckled out loud at Johnny’s interaction with those neighborhood kids. This is such a wonderful book to read and it’s great for readers of all ages.

Conclusion

I couldn’t have asked for better stories this week. Both books are appropriate for children and adults, and they have great messages and morals tucked into the writing. I really wish I had read Fantastic Four when I was younger. I’ve gone back and read several of the issues that would have been on the rack when I was reading Amazing Spider-Man, and I’m absolutely sure I would have liked the book. I just didn’t give it a chance. That’s a lesson in itself – don’t judge a book by it’s cover!

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 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
Doctor Strange #8

So, the whole fight against Casey and Mordo isn’t what I was most interested to read about in this issue. The fight was great and Kanna came rushing in to save the day with Bats at her side. That’s exactly what I wanted to see! Doctor Strange saves Casey, kind of, and I’m glad the weight of his failure to initially save her was lifted. But then, there is the other part of the story that completely overshadows all of this, at least for me. It’s not a ‘bad’ kind of overshadowing – it’s a character building and important kind.

I had completely forgotten about the whole ‘memory wipe’ incident until Bats so kindly reminded me and Kanna! I was screaming – almost literally. I love Bats, and this wasn’t his fault. He shouldn’t have to keep Doctor Strange’s secrets and this was completely Doctor Strange’s fault. I remember what I thought when that whole situation happened – this is bad and won’t end well. Well, it didn’t. Kanna finished her work and then rushed in to save the day, but once it was all done, she called him out. She stood her ground and didn’t accept any of his excuses. I admire her for that, but at the same time, I was heartbroken when she walked away. I want to slap Doctor Strange for just standing there and slowly closing the door as she left. He’s an idiot!

But I still love the character and he’s still one of my absolute favorites – and it’s because he’s not perfect. Flawed characters have the best character.

IDW
My Little Pony: Nightmare Knights #2

I always look forward to the lighthearted books on my list. The MLP books are perfect for younger readers and MLP enthusiasts alike. I love the team of Nightmare Knights that have been assembled to invade Eris’ casino-castle and their alter egos are great! It’s great to see stories that expand and connect characters in a large world like the MLP universe. These characters wouldn’t normally have connected with each other if not for the need of their individual talents for this mission.

I also enjoy seeing the backstories of individual characters being expanded on. Tempest’s childhood friend, Glitter Drops, is a green-ish colored foal that you see in the flashback Tempest has while singing ‘Open Up Your Eyes’ in My Little Pony: The Movie. Another reason I enjoy backstories as much as I do, is because I often find inconsistencies with continuity and it makes me dig for reasons for the inconsistencies. In this case, Glitter Drop’s magic in the flashback is yellow in color. In this comic issue, it’s light blue with a purple tint. Now, trying to figure out why her magic is different led me down the rabbit hole of speculation and pony theory. There is no ‘official’ explanation for the color changes in magic auras and I won’t go into the fan theories and speculation here. I wish they would explain it officially, but I doubt that will happen.

Conclusion

Both my books were entertaining and enjoyable. I had an emotional roller coaster with Doctor Strange and Kanna, and a feeling of comradery with the reformed villains in the MLP book. Now I have to wait a whole week for more comics…

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 Clix Fans!

 

I thought this article would be delayed until next week, but it looks like I was able to get it out only two days late. Sorry about the delay!

Welcome to the final installment of my HeroClix Figure Spotlight series! It is with great sadness that I must inform you all that I will no longer be writing this series. It doesn’t appear that there are many (if any) HeroClix players are reading this series. Since WizKids has decided that I’m not longer worthy of spoilers, it seems that most of my HeroClix readers have deserted me. For this final article, I chose one of my favorite pieces to play with, Horta (035) from Star Trek Away Team: The Original Series!

Horta1.jpg

What I Don’t Like

Well, there’s only two things I don’t like about this figure, and one has nothing to do with the figure itself. I wish Poison could get around damage reducers but that’s an actual game mechanic, and has nothing to do with the figure. The only other thing I don’t like, may have been an oversight of some kind. The Horta doesn’t have improved movement through Hindering terrain. I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t have it, but it doesn’t.

What I Like

I love this figure so much, I acquired three of them so I could run a 300 point team of Horta. I love that it can move through blocking terrain and destroy it too. That’s part of it’s special movement ability which also lets the Horta make a close attack if it moves less than five squares and is adjacent to blocking terrain. That special movement also gives it Sidestep, but for it to get the attack, it has to be given a move action. Sidestep is still incredibly useful in getting the Horta closer to their target and still being able to move five squares. Horta has its special movement on all six clicks too!

The Horta has a damage reducer on all six clicks. It starts with Impervious, then decreases to Invulnerability, and finally to Toughness on it’s final click. That last click is also a stop click, which has saved my Horta on more than one occasion.

Horta also have Poison on all six clicks, and Exploit Weakness on all six clicks. That Exploit Weakness comes with four damage on the top two clicks and then three damage on the rest. That’s a nice hit if it lands, which it’s likely with an attack of 10 and 9.

This figure has to be my favorite to use, even more than Rat King!

Favorite Build and Strategy

300 Point Team Build

(100) Mr. Spock (ST:TOS 036)
(100) Horta
(100) Horta

I love using Spock’s Agony Booth to trap a character, then use the Horta to move up and smack their other dudes. That’s the whole concept behind this team – trap a dude, move up and smack something, then poison them next turn.

For a 400 point build, I like to add another Horta or three Orion Females (ST:TOS 024) for their Mind Control.

What do you think of this figure?
Do you have a figure you would use in place of this one?
Leave me a comment here or on Facebook at Dice Dice Kitty!

Thanks for reading and remember to like, follow, and sub for more gaming content!

     LLAPLive long, and Prob it!

Greetings Fellow Comic Fans!

 

Before we get into this article, I want to take a moment to pay tribute to Stan ‘The Man’ Lee. He was the face of Marvel and co-creator of the most memorable characters in comic history. His creations and their stories shaped my childhood and ultimately helped me to become the halfway decent person I am today. While there are lots of other creators that are just as important, Stan Lee held a special place in my heart and he’s the reason I explored writing in the first place.

Back when I was in 3rd or 4th grade, we were told to write a paragraph about someone important to us. Fictional people were not approved, so I couldn’t write about Spider-Man. Most of my classmates wrote about a family members, friends, or someone they actually knew. I wrote about a man named Stanley Lieber, who everyone knows as Stan ‘The Man’ Lee. He was important to me at that time because he created my favorite comic book character, Spider-Man, and the content that he created told stories with morals and his work inspired and fueled my imagination. We need those morals now more than ever, in our world today.

He became more important to me as I got older because of who he was – a fellow geek who loved to create content for others to enjoy.

I was lucky enough to meet him in passing while in California. He had my writing portfolio given to him by another major company that I was interviewing for. He was an amazing person and cared so much about what I had to say and about my work. I was given genuine compliments and tips from him. I wish I’d gotten an autograph or a picture, but that wasn’t the time or place to do that.

Many don’t know about his Star Trek connection. Small though it may be, it’s there: http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/Stan_Lee

I feel like I lost a family member on Monday. I’m sure many of you feel that way too. I wish I’d been lucky enough to actually know him or be friends with him. We all knew his time was growing shorter, but that doesn’t make his passing any easier.

I want you all to know, that if you need to cry with someone, I’m here. I’ll ugly cry with you. Don’t be ashamed of showing your feelings for someone you never knew. He’s important to lots of people because of his work. While he may be gone, his work is still here for us to continue to be inspired by.

Mr. Lee, go boldly, one last time.

~ Excelsior!

Stan Lee Tribute

Art not mine. Credit to the artist.

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
Avengers #10 (#700)

This issue is crammed full of crazy goodness! Namor’s Ocean Defenders are a freaky lot that I am definitely digging as bad guys. I know Namor isn’t a bad guy and he shows it towards the end when he takes down some of the Piranhas. I love Echidna and Bloodtide! So, Bloodtide didn’t always look like she crawled out of a well in a horror movie. She was muscular and pretty, but I definitely prefer this version. I absolutely love Echidna’s look too. I’m not a fan of Tiger Shark or Orka, but they fit into the group’s meanie theme. King Crab is absolutely hilarious and I love him! I couldn’t find any previous appearances, so I guess he’s a new dude. Manowar didn’t do much except get destroyed by the Crimson Dynamo. I’m not sure how Andromeda fits into this group yet, but then again, Namor kind of doesn’t fit either – not the way I see him anyway. I guess it’s a good thing the Winter Guard showed up to help the Avengers or Namor’s merry band of meanies could have defeated them.

Speaking of the Winter Guard, I had never heard of them until now. But I don’t read Iron Man and I never read the Avengers until this run and that seems to be where you can find most of their appearances (according to Wikis). They are basically the Avengers of Russia and each one looks like a counterpart to one of the Avengers. But if you’re expecting to see the Avengers, just with a Russian accent, you’re going to be in for a surprise. They do not have the personalities of the Avengers at all. Crimson Dynamo may be the only one that acts like an Avenger, but the rest are rude, ruthless, and deadly. I don’t dislike the Winter Guard at all. I actually find them interesting and different enough that I’d read a book based on them alongside an Avengers title.

In this issue, the US government isn’t happy about the change in leadership within the ranks of the Avengers. They want Captain America to stay in charge so the government feels like they have ‘control’ over the super team. I support the Avengers in the change of leadership and I stand by Cap. He told General Ross, “And the Avengers don’t work for any country. We fight for the Earth.” I wanted to jump out of my seat and cheer because that’s exactly how superheroes should be. Governments have agendas and bias versus others that don’t agree with them. No government or country should have absolute control over a team of superheroes like the Avengers. I don’t like General Ross and I don’t like that he recruited Phil Coulson to bring in the Squadron Supreme of America. It looks like a bunch of the founding members of the original Squadron Supreme are there; Hyperion, Nighthawk, Whizzer, Doctor Spectrum, and Princess Power. I only know who they are because they are basically the Marvel version of the JLA; Superman (Hyperion), Batman (Nighthawk), Flash (Whizzer), Green Lantern (Doctor Spectrum), and Wonder Woman (Princess Power). It looks like there are going to be several clashes of super teams on the horizon!

After what appears to be the conclusion of the ‘main’ story content, we get several mini stories. The first one is about Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, getting attacked by drunk Odin, but then sitting and having a nice long talk with him. I don’t see what purpose this portion of the book served, other that to fill close to ten pages. The only thing I got from it is Robbie wants to learn more about the Riders that came before him, but I thought I already knew that. The next mini story is about Loki, who is standing among the Celestials, and they just took his Infinity Stones… wait… nobody told me this would tie into Infinity Wars… But then, who should appear, but Wolverine! I was absolutely done with this mini story at this point, but I kept reading. I think there’s something going on with Star Brand, because the symbol is all over the art and Odin was trying to kill Robbie for killing Star Brand. But Loki refers to Wolverine as a host to the Phoenix Force because he calls him a Phoenix Wolverine. But then that’s it and it moves on to the next mini story with Wasp doing a recon mission, but going somewhat rogue and deciding to extract the target instead. We find out that it’s Blade and she’s trying to recruit him as an Avenger.

I could have gone the rest of my life without reading those mini stories. I didn’t like any of them and all the Loki/Wolverine one did was confuse me. But the first half of the issue was great, so I’ll just stick to reading that part when I go back to read it again.

Captain Marvel Prelude #1

I absolutely love these Prelude titles. They really help recap everything you should know prior to the release of a Marvel movie. This one hit me kind of hard though. It brought back all the raw emotion of watching Avengers: Infinity War for the first time. I was in tears in the theater and at the final scene where Fury pages Captain Marvel, I cried harder. The end of this book is basically that scene from Infinity War and with the recent passing of Stan Lee, seeing this scene again hurts really bad. It’s all because of this one piece of art that someone did.

Stan Lee Tribute 2

Art not mine. Credit to the artist.

I can’t wait for the Captain Marvel movie. I love Captain Marvel and I’m excited to see her on the big screen. If you’d like a nice recap to get you ready for the movie, this is the book you want.

Fantastic Four #3

I love this title so much. I love how the Fantastic Four can come up with a solution that’s ‘out of the box’, so to speak. I couldn’t predict how they were going to defeat Griever because the information needed for the solution was too obscure and that’s how I like it. All you know is that Reed wants one telepod left in tact on the ship and he sends Val (Brainstorm) to the broken telepod. That’s all we know until the plan comes to fruition. I had a feeling he was going to strand Griever in the universe they were in, but he was actually more forgiving and gave her a way home to her own universe. They plan to use the telepod that Val repairs to go home, which is what I thought they were going to use the one on her ship for.

I have to give major kudos to Dan Slott. He’s got a talent for keeping me guessing and he also has the ability to mix the right about of serious and comedy. The panels with Spider-Man are hilarious! Especially when he’s getting ready to give his speech to Franklin, but he’s picked up by the scruff of his neck by Ben (Thing), and put to the side. I love it! Ben gives Franklin the motivation he needs instead of the pressure that Spidey’s speech would have put on his young shoulders. There’s nothing wrong with the “Great Power/Great Responsibility” speech, but it’s not always what someone needs to hear.

I also love the speech Reed gives about how he acknowledges magic as a science he doesn’t yet understand. It shows folks that it’s okay if you don’t understand something. You shouldn’t be scared of it, just know that it exists and you don’t have to explain it. That’s much like the entities that claim to be gods. They exist and he acknowledges their existence. Not to get all philosophical or anything on you folks, but it’s okay to acknowledge that others have a different belief in a deity or higher power without you adhering to that belief too. That’s the life-applicable message that I got from this, and it’s a very important one.

I also got the very obvious message that’s kind of thrown in your face – family is important. Everyone has a different view of family. You don’t have to be related by blood to be family. Reed pulled in his ‘family’ for help, which consisted of every member of the Fantastic Four that there had ever been (as far as we know). I have an extended family beyond my blood family. I totally understand this message.

I have to say, I was almost misty eyed when Franklin and Ben yelled, “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” together. What a great moment and it was captured beautifully. I know, I’m gushing a little over this book. It’s nice to have a book that has so much mushy stuff in it.

The only thing I didn’t like was the end. There wasn’t another page to read after the last page. I love when books leave me wanting more. I was only confused by one part in the book and that was when the Hulk (Bruce Banner, I assume), told Human Torch to keep it a secret that he was there. I’m not totally sure why that happened – unless it’s something to do with something going on in another book that I’m not fully aware of. I know the Hulk was dead, but I thought he came back already? Oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out at some point.

I loved the scene at the end, with all four of them together and I absolutely can’t wait for the next issue!

Boom! Studios
Firefly #1

I was so excited to get this book, but I think I let my excitement carry me away. It wasn’t terrible, by any means, but it didn’t feel like Firefly to me. It’s missing something and I can’t quite put my finger on it. The story has a decent start, so we’ll see how the upcoming issues pan out. I wish I had more than that, but I don’t. I just wasn’t excited or disappointed with this issue – just kind of, meh.

IDW
Star Trek vs Transformers #2

Now this is a series that’s been most entertaining for someone who loves Star Trek! I have almost no knowledge of Transformers, but I’m definitely liking a lot of what I see. I’m not surprised that the Klingons decided to help the Decepticons by letting them utilize their cloaking device. That’s totally something those smooth-headed dishonorable Klingons would do! I was also happy to see that Megatron isn’t a complete idiot like most villains from the 80’s. He actually wanted to know how the Klingons could be useful and I have a feeling he would have literally disposed of them if they didn’t have a good answer.

I don’t like the way Scotty comes off with his “they’re as human as us” speech. Vulcans aren’t humans… Neither are Andorians or Catians. Humans aren’t the only race in the galaxy and they’re not the superior race of the Star Trek universe either. That was poor judgement on the writers’ parts. It definitely feels like TOS/TAS with a comment like that, and maybe that’s what the writers were aiming for. If so, they hit the mark. But I was hoping for a little more updated writing. I honestly feel like I’m reading an episode that could have been made in the 70’s or 80’s though.

So, with my limited Transformers knowledge, I have to figure out if Jazz is always that much of a jerk, or he’s just like that in this series. I don’t like him at all because of his personality. I’m also not a fan of Bumblebee. He seems kind of annoying. The rest of the Autobots seem kind of cool though.

One thing Kirk is definitely known for is how much of a flirt he is, but he’s also well known for how much he likes to take risks. The final panel had me laughing so hard. You have Kirk with a raised eyebrow and sly grin asking Ratchet, “Okay, my large metal friend, what kind of risk do you have in mind?” I read that and saw that face and instantly burst into laughter. That’s exactly how I see Shatner’s Kirk and they captured it perfectly! It’s as if Kirk is flirting with danger!

Conclusion

Most of the comics I had this week were entertaining and great reads. I can’t say that I actually disliked any of them, but surprisingly, Firefly was my least favorite. I still can’t quite figure out what’s wrong, but it doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s the interaction between Mal and Inara, or the way Inara and Book were just chilling during the whole ship crisis… I don’t know for sure. I hope the next issue is better or I’ll be extremely disappointed. At least I won’t go in with such high expectations for issue #2.

Fantastic Four was probably my favorite book for the week. I liked pretty much every bit of it and Dan Slott is a talent that I admire. But as I mentioned already, I didn’t really dislike anything from this week.

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 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!