Thursday, December 31, 2015

Star Wars vii Synopsis - A (Hopefully) Funny Review

Star Wars vii synopsis.


It starts with "the 1st order" which is lead by (Felicity) Snoak, as portrayed by Andy Serkis.  This is easily the weakest part of the movie because Ceasar would have made a far cooler sith lord.

after trashing a town with an Obi Wan Clone we found out the truth about storm troopers: that they are secretly Wayans.

This Wayans trooper, whose has quickly named has decided he doesn't want to be a Wayans anymore, so runs away (and rightly so)

He at least acts way better then Snails from dungeons and dragons the movie, so gold star. :)

after Finn the ex-wayans frees what better be the son of Wedge Antilles, we cut across to the other lead.

A Hunger Games Girl that is known as Rey "Samantha Carter", because heavens forbid we have a flawed female protagonist.

She finds a magic 8 ball droid who changes her fortune.

This is the point where they decided to brighten the screen so we could actually see the action.

After escaping the stormtroopers whom decided to stomp the planet in search of the magic 8 ball droid, our heroes end up on the Macguffian Falcon.

It is pulled in where they meet some old guy and his Mog. Barf has never looked slimmer.

Naturally the old guy is Indiana Jones trying to get some rare specimens back to a museum where he is attacked by rival clans that want the specimens for themselves.

and just like in Indiana Jones, it destroys everybody not worthy.  In this case by eating them.

However Wayan's brand stormtroopers taste bad so it gives enough time for Rey Carter to save the day.

They then go to a generic cantina that is run by a golden girl, either Bea Arthur or Estelle Getty.  She is very easily the best character in the movie.

She tells Rey Carter that she isn't special enough and tries to give her a lightsaber, that causes Rey to run away screaming.

meanwhile we get a flashback to Joseph Goebbels doing a speech before they fire their "new and improved" death star that has blackjack, hookers and can be seen destroying Corescant and several other planets by Han, despite not being in the same solar system.

Finn is smart enough to take the lightsaber when Kylo Zuko forces attacks, where we find out he's a way better son to Indy then Shia Labeuf ever was.

he captures Rey Carter, but the rest of the cast are saved by X-Wings, which, because they are in an atmosphere, you would actually hear all those cool sounds.

They return to the rebel base.  Where we meet Princess Leia who could still rock the slave bikini if she wanted to, but Disney banned it so she wouldn't.  Han and Leia talk about where they went wrong with their son.  

but not before c-3p0 shows off his red right hand. He must have been making deals so I'm looking forward to seeing the results of it in future movies.

They then enter a meeting which has Admiral "its a trap" Akbar and Matt Parkman from Heroes discuss strategy. 

meanwhile Kylo Zuko tries to interrogate Rey Carter, but it doesn't go very well, so he sends Michael J. Caboose from the popular web series Red vs Blue but he lets her go.

Kylo Zuko doesn't take Rey Carter's escape very well, and throws a hissy fit, causing Simmons and Grif to backup down the corner.to be her friend, 

The x-wings attack for a bombing run, but because they had neither Luke nor Wedge leading the attack, they weren't very important.

Han tries to appeal to Kylo Zuko by saying he's a better actor then Shia, but gets cut down because Kylo Zuko felt like he was being mocked.

Barf takes offence and shoots him right in the side and then hits the explosives that he and Indy setup.

We then end up in British Columbia where it is snowing, where Finn does his best effort to actually succeed at something, but fails, just like in the rest of the movie.

so we take a page out of Lady Snowblood and have an epic fight that shows you really don't need training, just to believe.  
So remember that the next time you join a cult. 

They return back to hug Princess Leia, when r2d2 comes out of his a coma.  The truth is he was just tired of listening to c-3p0.

They then fly to the rocky shores of Ireland where Luke Skywalker gives us the "how far do I have to go before people get the message" stare and the episode ends.

In short

I loved it. :D.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Aquaman - Some thoughts

Some thoughts

1. I stand by my comments that Cthuhlu (or a copyrighted DC equivalent)is Aquaman's beer buddy/nemesis. it also explains the star spawn we saw in young justice in a child exchange program not unlike the new gods.
It's easy to punch the big bad, but having a rival lovecraftean kingdom under the sea that he has to politic, rather then war with doubles the potential. So instead of ruling the 7th season, it's more 3.5 with the star spawned underworld as a rogues gallery for contention.

2. Honestly, Aquaman's Trident needs to be on the same level as Thor's hammer in regard to its usefulness. I absolutely love his powerset in injustice: gods amongst us and the ability to stick a trident through a portal to attack from a bizarre angle just improved the character's combat set considerably.

3. Pacific Rim lays down a concept that has serious potential in an aquaman comics. Open a portal and have monsters flood in that only the king of Atlantis can stop.

4. Atlantis is known for it's technowizardry and while i'm not sure how much Arthur actually knows, he should know the basics and have the equivalent of a few "emergency items" when his fantastic physical skills fail him. Tsunami bombs anyone!

5. Setup a series of undersea bases that are top of the line and may one day be a threat to Arthur's rule, but they are settlers that really just want to live in peace. Take Sealab and play it straight. This is also a place where Black Mantra has diplomatic immunity and would cause an international event, if Arthur pulled out the big guns.

6. With the deadening of the seas, build new monsters. Take the nestine consciousness and base it on the Great Pacific garbage patch as it has been animated by microscopic creatures to become a threat all it's own. Mutate jellyfish as some sort of natural eldrich horror that is immortal, which may or may not have have help from Cthuhlu's forces.

7. The abyss is a cold dark forbidden place that is just perfect for more horror orientated stories and one theory that keeps being kicked around is that there is an entire subaquatic cave complex even below that. What's in the depths that even Atlantis fears to tread? Let the writer's decide. C

8. Are whales and dolphin's intelligent life? If so, they might not be fans. What if an experienced Orca learns technowizardry and thinks Atlantis has been sitting around while his people gets kidnapped by surface dwellers and raises an "Armageddon pod" that raids the seas for equipment and supplies to wage war against them. They are known as the seawolves of the sea for a reason and if they built "walkers" they might have a fighting chance.

There's a ton that can be done to make things interesting and just throwing this out changes could give a ton of stuff to work with.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition - What math I have found.

I like finding the spine for game design before I begin.

I had to do a ton of studies and the best material I found for finding the spine is:

Trailblazer (for the pc math)
A magical society beast builder (for the monster math)


Additionally I found the following for equations (rtf download)
Math for 3.5 dnd 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Villains - the 12 Days Gang

#christmas

Done in the manner of the royal flush gang in dc universe, I present the 12 days gang .
  • Partridge: Commander and master of plant control; rarely seen without it's walking pear tree.
  • Turtle Dove: the face of the group and master of vibrokinetic waves (uses these to influence both reactions of people and to strike them down).
  • La Hen: the muscle, turns from an ordinary chicken to a feathered carnasaur
  • The Caller: Give the power of preacher: one word commands.
  • Golden Ringer: Think Gold Balls from the xmen. Able to generate solid gold rings that can expand and contract on command. master at ring toss.
  • Geese "Laurel": master of akiddo, low level telepathy allows them to predict enemies moves to automatically counter.
  • Swan the swimmer: Hydrokinetic hottie that carries a surf board.
  • The Dancer: Able to open the dimensional portals with a jaunty jig. He also wields the christmas sword as seen in narnia
  • The Leaper: Think bactroc, but more festive. he uses a lasso to tie up his enemies.
  • The Piper: Summoner of animals, particularly rats. Arch Enemy of squirrel girl.
  • The Drummer of doom: can use their drums to control the earth itself and lay down the smackdown

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Why Thor has a great rogues gallery.




Thor hands down has one of the best rogues gallery overall.

EARTH: Red Hulk, Wrecking crew, Absorbing Man

9 REALMS: Loki, Enchantress, Skurge, Surtur, Malekith, Ulik, Frost giants, Hela, the midguard serpent.

UNIVERSE/COSMIC: Galactus, Heralds, Kree, Skrulls, Celestials, Ego, Gorr

hell, his rivalry with Hercules could be consider something similar.



more importantly, you can draw heavily from nordic mythology and your dnd campaign for new material.

and often Thor's villains become Avenger's villains so it's a gift that keeps on giving.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons 5e - What I want from previous editions.

#5e

New classes


Alchemist: The Pathfinder Alchemist is a work of art, and would love a 5e equivalent, with a degree of versatility. I can see it fulfilling the herb healer that isn't channelling magical energies, the bomb throwing anarchist, and the Jekyll/Hyde potion drinker with ease.

The Artificer is another class I'd love refined and presented as an effective pc class. This is the class that I didn't like in 4e, but darmed if I know how best to do it for 5e. 3rd made it a prep guy, but that's kind of boring.

Book of 9 swords was a response for the broken spellcasters in 3rd. I'm not saying no, but show me the need for them.

Divine Classes: I am completely convinced that a balance between the 4e divine classes (Avengers, Cleric, Invoker, Paladin) and 2e Forgotten Realms speciality priests would create the perfect system for belief based classes. 
I'd love it as a separate book, because honestly, clerics feel generic.

Tinkerer: I have a soft spot for a tech guy in a magic world. Hell I wrote a Artifex for palladium a while back that shows the raw potential of the concept. I ran a 2e Gnome Professor through expedition to the barrier peaks and it was awesome. Most likely this could be a reskinning of the artificer. 

Truenamer is one of those ones I really don't have an opinion on, but am curious to see what comes out because of it.

Magic of Incarum classes need to be sold to me. I had trouble wrapping my head around the concept and maybe an explanation would get me on the side.

Psionics I want only because it's involves my favorite villains: illithids. I have yet to be impressed by any psychic system, but 4e came the closest. If you want to know what I want in a level based psychic system, check out my free download Dark Revelations book of arrogance. 

-> I'd be okay with an ardent (aka psychic telepathy/tk person), eruptor (kinesis expert), and psychic warrior (bio-physiology and psychic weapons, whether ectoplasm or force energy based), split of the powers though.

Runesmith - really not sure, but won't say no.

Shapeshifter: We already have one, but I've been convinced for a long time, shapeshifting should have been it's own class.

Warlord: I've said my piece on Warlord on another post. if you want my opinion, read that. In short, I'm pro warlord (or for those that are terrified by the very name as an afront to your belief system, a Mundane Bonus Booster (MBB). )

As Sub Classes/Paths:


Acrobat/Jongleur: I'd love a really solid acrobat subclass of the bard/monk or thief. I blame a certain fury bikini on that one. .
I also think the following for the rogue makes sense: scout, shadow creeper, swashbuckler (to simulate everything from pirates to agile swordspeople) 

Bounty hunter: probably a ranger or rogue subclass, but there may already be something out there.

Cavilier: this one I'm very much on the fence on. I think it's best to be either a fighter or MBB path, but opened to negotiations. 

Charlatan: very much a sucker for this concept and it makes a great bard sub class

Greenwood Ranger: tree symbiote - oh heck ya. 

Hivemaster: bug druid - oh heck ya

Jester: agree heavily this is a bard subclass.

Riddlemaster: this so needs to be a bard subclass yesterday.

Shadowmancer: should be sorcerer or warlock path. It's a great concept, but it's more a power source then a class.

Sha'ir: good gravy man - I want this one bad. Most likely a sorcerer or warlock subclass.

Swordmage: The 4e Swordmage is the single best gish in dnd, bar none. Because it's built as it's own class, it has it's own feel. I don't know if it's needed with the Eldrtich knight subclass, but maybe it can be modified to better match it.

Spellfire Wielder: some sort of reskinned sorcerer could have potential if balanced with other classes.

Warden: The Warden would make an awesome subclass for the Ranger, emphasizing the magical abilities. Same with the Seeker. IMO The magic-less ranger should be the base class and the others variants (because Robin of Locksley is the base that all other rangers are based on)

One Last Thing


I did a design challenge to build a spellcaster with rules as simplified as the champion fighter archtype on rpg.net, and providing a link with the results.

I think some of you will enjoy it. 
 

http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?768690-design-challenge-build-a-spellcaster-with-rules-as-simplified-as-the-champion-fighter-archtype

Thursday, November 26, 2015

RPG Equipment - Lumping or Splitting?



If there is one thing I like about Rifts, it's the diversity of equipment.

Rival corporations and companies (and in some cases, even weirder stuff) putting out kewl weapons, armor and other equipment that have their own distinctive brands.

A similar feel is in cyberpunk 2020, Darwin's world d20 and I'm sure others can mention a ton of other sources.

however, there is a side effect of this.

Namely a ton of stuff that people just don't use.

In contrast, I was incredibly less then impressed by the 3.0 arms and equipment guide. It really felt like it fell short, especially when compared to the 2nd editions aurora's whole realms catalogue, but it did contain one very key line.

namely that your style of weapon doesn't matter...it could conceivably look like anything within a certain metric, but the stats wouldn't change.

4th edition dnd and especially the new gamma world really take this frame of thought to an extreme (heck gamma world just uses one handed/two-handed and light/heavy and melee/ranged to differentiate between weapons).

My questions are as follows:

1. Do you prefer more or less choices for equipment?

2. what convinces you that something needs to be added, equipment, to a game?

3. If you are a lumper when it comes to equipment, how do you define rival products? Do you simply emphasize the color text or do you do a minor tweak and use it as a definition for the role of a corporation or kingdom?

4. If you split, where do you split and how. Not many people care about 35 pieces of av equipment, but weapons are usually a defining splitting category. 

5. Which genre's or games push towards lumping or splitting?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons - Some Musings on Editions

A while back, I was asked for my opinion on the different editions and still stewing over 5e, but posting because it's Thursday.

*******************************

After pretty much completely redesigning a d20 system from the ground up, I really appreciate the game design of 4e.

If nothing else, they have a real separation of fluff and crunch so rules aren't hidden.

The other is a term I like to call Cookisms, after Monte Cook's love of mages.

This is wherever a rule that balanced Spellcasters in 2nd was mitigated or outright removed from 3rd.

For example

1. in 2e, a spellcaster was successfully hit, they lost their spell, making their overpowered spells have a real chance of failing. In 3e, spellcasters were given a concentration check which usually removes that chance entirely.

2. in 2e, most magic items found are for nonspellcasting classes, especially fighters and making magic items is a real choice and a real loss to make. In 3e, spellcasters can make magic items and combining that most spellcaster magic items are cheap as hell, so it really disrupts this balancing mechanic.

3. fighters went from having some of the best saves at high levels, to only being good with fortitude...which makes them easy pickings to will and ref saves.

4. To placate the need for somebody to play a cleric, they got spontaneous spellcasting of healing spells, instead of opening up whom can heal. Words cannot express my joy of the warlord of 4e that can fit a similar role.

5. Druids are similarly broken. While I never liked the druid duel for the connection., one single feat really broken them completely: natural spell. You can now cast spell while shape shifted, which after about 8 level is pretty much all the time.

hell I used to pretend to be the wizard's familiar for ambushes, and turn into something big like a bear (because my physical stats were determined by which creature I shifted into). I had this dire ape, wood shape, shillelagh trick that allowed me to thump people for massive damage.

6. feats, while a good idea if refined a bit, became a straight jacket for the fighter class. it really limited what the fighter could do without feat investment and there was no gauge for power level.

7. the idea of system mastery: A lot of stuff was seeded to trick and trap pcs into bad character builds.

8. prestige classes were required for anything beyond the core to keep up and they weren't made equal. I had a good friend who wanted to play a master lasher whip master and he was pretty much useless in most scenarios.

9. worse, optimized characters rarely looked like the standard archetypes. You had to mix a prestige class in there somewhere to get what you want and it usually ended up as a frankenstein.

Pathfinder did fix a few things (such as balance the druid), but it's biggest problem is it didn't use it's fixes completely.

CMB/CMD is a fantastic mechanic. However, it should have been used consistently throughout all associated mechanics. There are a few places where they merely copied and pasted the original spell and ignored the mechanic.

They also introduced new tier 1 (aka broken classes): the witch, the summoner and the oracle.


This is to not say 4e isn't perfect

1. skill challenges needed serious refining so it wasn't used as a blunt instrument by vindictive gm's to force you to use your weakest skills. While this was fixed somewhat in dmg2, some strands still occur.

2. we never got a martial controller ....grumble (I want my acrobat dag nab it).

3. feats went as crazy as in 4e as in 3rd.

4. there was a math fix that was required based on game design.

None of these were insurmountable and was kinda looking forward to a 4.5, but it ultimately it was undone by licensing.

the gsl was much stricter then the ogl

1. It could be revoked at any time. Thus very few people wanted to put their faith in wizard's judgment. This decision was proven correct.

2. It had no wiggle room for alternative setting development. I wanted to see a 4e modern dag nab it.

3. they used the dnd insider to limit access to 3rd party development.

and it was even worse on inception.

honestly, if the gsl was more lenient, I probably would have used gamma world 7th as a base for my own material. It is one of my most favourite games and is amazing for duplicating rifts without the bull.

************************
I'd love your thoughts on the subject.  What changes have you seen over your gaming career.  Feel free to post in the comments below. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Why I like Daybreakers


This one is a relatively new post that draws on my last post regarding Blade III

Daybreakers, the vampire movie of 2009, is one of my favorite movies and I've been itching to put it into words for some time.

If I could sum it up in a few words, it is a phrase I've used in the past: the monstrous in everyday life.

Much of my personal work explores this theme, but this movie shows the everyday actions of creatures that would be considered monsters for good reason.

Humanity has fallen to the Vampires.  However, despite their severe blood needs and sun addiction, they have, more or less settled down and have become the dominant life on earth.

Yet in spite of this, Vampires have a shade of humanity that shows more then they most likely would have cared about.

This woman is a specific example of this.






 





In any other world, this vampire, dubbed the blood lady, would be a minion of the vampire lord or prince.  Instead she is a working stiff that is just doing her job, not unlike what she did when she was alive.  She's not overtly evil, just another friendly face in the hospitality industry.

Another example is when the Vampire Army patrol enter to track a monster, a vampire that has drunk vampire's blood and become a batwinged aberration.  They act as cops with as much concern with the home owner that we would expect.

Even the "blood shortage" is a thinly veiled analogy about our own fossil fuel dependency.

They even try to solve this problem using a tool that defines Humanity: Science.  From using cameras on cars instead of windows (complete with automated warnings), using walkways between buildings that are completely covered, they work around their limitations of their physiology.  When confronted by a "blood shortage", they immediately get to work on an alternative, which is one of the driving goals of the protagonists.

At least until they figure out a cure for the vampirism.

Ultimately, this human perspective of vampirism really impressed the heck out of me.  Having William Dafoe in a firebird as a bad ass vampire hunter was icing on the cake. :)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Why the Warlord should be in 5e Dungeons and Dragons.

"When they walk into a room everyone seems to hush, as if expecting a speech. People are enthralled and their size always seems to be bigger then life. Even a gnome warlord seems to stand tall in the mind of a half-orc, and he makes a common man feel like he can do great deeds."
mellored  - enworld.org 

One of the great things about the warlord class in 4e as it created a real agony of choice with the cleric.
  • If you took a Cleric, you had greater healing abilities.
  • If you took a Warlord, you might be able to shave a round or two off your fight, saving more hp then the cleric could heal.

It should exist in 5e for the following reasons.

1. it fulfils a niche that currently isn't covered in 5e dnd (martial leader).

2. Two words: Dark Sun. It also allows a great alternative when you don't want to deal with gods in your world or game. With this class in place, you don't need to overhaul the game to get similar coverage. 

3. It has a fan base. By not doing it, they're practically throwing money away.

Spellcasters need competition. I believe in the "agony of choice" when it comes to character design and honestly, 5e is following (but not to the same degree as dungeons and dragons 3.0/3.5) of favouring spellcasters over non-spellcasters.

As for what actions, I want a mechanic where I can give up my action, to give it to somebody else an action with a bonus, or get somebody to move, or to get everybody to dive under cover without resorting to spells.

If the name offends you because of his fighting connotations, use the 3e term Marshal or Mundane Bonus Booster (or MBB for short).

The thing is the base covers a wide variety of concepts:

1. Let's go for the classic example: Julius Caesar. A 43 year old politician turned warrior that laid the foundation of the Roman Empire.   He sure as hell wasn't a fighter.
2. A Rescued Princess/Prince that gives bonuses to their party while getting into peril.
3. A Kobold mascot, whose dapper attitude makes him/her adored by all.
4. An singular ŇĆendan with a set of flags that cheer-leads the rest of the team to victory.
5. Captain America: Y
es you could make the argument that his super soldier serum makes him a fighter, but in a world where you have Hulk and Thor on the team, his biggest advantage has always been his charisma and his leadership skills.
6. King Arthur of the Britains.  His main skill was not his force of arms, but his leadership ability.

Other ideas include (quoted from Manbearcat in Enworld.org)
"Or Hannibal from the A Team. Or Mick from Rocky. Or Colonel Troutman in Rambo. Or Bilbo/Frodo in the Hobbit and LotR. There are plenty of examples in genre fiction.

Or mommy kissing boo-boos away!"

So ultimately hating the warlord is to be  against mommy's and America. :p

More seriously, the warlord should be including because 1. it full-fills a niche that currently isn't covered in the game and 2. by not having it, those who like the class are being told by the community it's bad wrong fun.

I like my gaming to be inclusive. :)



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Blade III - how could it have been better.

Let's start with some basics of what could have been better.

1. Dracula isn't a 3k year old vampire.  If they wanted to do something like that take an egyptian or mesopotamium deity, and vamp them out.  Good choices are Osirus, Set, Anu, Tiamat (ancient female vampire would work well), and Cain.   White wolf may throw a hissy fit, but if you create enough distinctions no worries.

2. If you had to have dracula, do some homework.  Watching bela legosi at three in the morning eating doritos in underwear doesn't work (and it wasn't even that good).  There was absolutely nothing to make him distinctive  a big bad euro vampire Vlad Tepesh (who is an awesome character even before vamped).  Heck buffy villians are superior in all ways.

3. Do not kill off whistler in the first 5 minutes of the show.  He is the consistantly best character, and removing him got rid of a person who could have helped integrate the two generations better.  If you need to kill him  (again), make it actually useful.

4. The nightstalkers could have worked, but they should have been setup as a scooby like relationship with blade.  They needed to at least be integrated in a manner that didn't seem forced.  The chick has a hollywood weapon, and the twerp should have actually been useful beyond the first five minutes.  Being an ex vampire doesn't cut it (whistler was one, and he's three times the man you'll ever be).

5. The major vampires were bad.  It's a sad sign when HHH was one of the best played of the characters (although why they game him a vampire little dog is beyond me).  That female character had the worst lines in the show, and created dead silence with her horrible overacting. The other guys weren't too bad but we knew they were fodder.

6. Never got the feeling that the Vamps were using the system against after his capture after the death of whistler.  I know for a fact if he killed as many cops as anyone did, he shouldn't have a moments rest throughout the movie.

What would have been kewl is if he finished off the big bad, and the rest of the vampires, tired and exhausted and as he left, found out the building was surrounded by cop cars.  Complete with laser dot on forehead from a sniper.

7.  Don't care about a mixed cast one way or the other, but make them competant whatever you do.

8. One of the stupiest things is when he turns off the blood bank and walks away.  What the heck is stoping her from flipping the switch back on.

9. Personally, I actually didn't mind wes (and his stunt doubles) performance, but they should add more neat stuff to the story show casing blade's abilities.

10. In the first few minutes, vampires finally got my respect, using body suits to go outside.  More usage of this by the villians would have gone a long way of making them credible villians.  Usage of guns to slow down blade in cross fires would really prep them for a physical fight.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Artillery in Rifts



Ever since I got Merc ops (a while back), I've been grumbling over its comments about artillery.

On page 125, it says "artillery seems antiquated  and much less effective."

I disagree for a number of reasons.

1. Difficult to track: Even if the big guns are slow, the mortar if anything has been bred new life in the battlefield.  In WWII, the allies hated dealing with the german 50-mm light mortar.   The main reason for this is that the mortar literally could come from anywhere and were difficult to track.

Now wouldn't you like that tactical advantage if you were dealing with a demon/monster that has been terrorizing the country side.   You pick up 2 to 3 3-man mortar teams, and shell it from multiple angles, and the demon/monster  will either flee the area or get trashed, for it has literally no idea where it's attackers are.

Even if the enemy has modern sensors, the attackers are literally under the tree line, making radar useless,  and they can use range to stay out of nightvision and infrared range, provided they know where their target is.  And if they are driving a 20 foot to 30 foot robot, it becomes fairly easy to spot.

2. Targeting an area rather then a person:  It is always easier to fire at a land mass then at an actual character, and it takes less training.  Even if you miss, you can still get them in the blast radius, as what it was designed for.

3. Cost:  A mortar costs 2000 Credits in rifts, and it's ammo is roughly the same cost as a CS grenades.  Comparing that with prices of a simple wlk's 320 laser pistol which is 11,000 credits, and the very expensive cost of recharging e-clips makes the mortar very cheap indeed.  You can train 3 man teams with it and the cost goes down even further.

Even the big guns are much less expensive then other weapons of note:  the 105 mm howitzer costs 150,000 credits, the 155mm  costs 350,000 credits, and the GAW-155 Electromagnetic Howitzers costs a whopping million credits.

In contrast, the Samas costs 1.6 million credits, a NG samson costs 850,000 Credits and when you get to giant robots, it starts getting into the multiple millions of credits.  For the cost of one samson, you can purchase 5 105 mm guns and still have money over for ammo.

4. Technology and Tricks:  There are a number of tricks and traps that have been developed using modern artillery.  For starters, if the defenders have a chance to survey the area, they will have a good idea which way attackers will assault the position.  Plus with  scouts  with maps and secure radios on hovercycles, one can fire on a particular area, long before an enemy comes in threat range.

Another trick for a slower, yet still mobile artilery is to take either a mountaineer or rolling thunder and have it pull a 105 mm with a solid connection that allows the heavy vehicle to fire it from the cab.  Build 4 or five of these and give it good radius, and they can act as each other's forward observer, and rain firey death on their targets.  Plus can move fairly quickly out of position, while the other vehicles drop artillery to provide cover.  Plus with a good targeting system, can compensate somewhat for fast opponents.  Also sensors of all sorts can help identify a target for shelling.  It is still cheaper then most power armor to boot.

Artillery can be used to fire a wide range of ammo, from poison gas, to incendiary (to start fires), to anti-personal and anti-armor rounds.  There are also Air burst rounds for those flying targets that probably wouldn't be hit by normal artillery.

Finally, if your worried that your neighbours know about your artillery, just pull an old trick learned from mash.  Put it in a tent, and/or thatch house, and have it built to be pulled down quickly when needed.

In short, I believe that artillery is still dang useful in post -apocalyptic rifts.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Uses for a 10 foot pole.

Just a fun list of uses for any new gamers.

a) pushing open doors
b) prodding the floor/ground for weak spots, pits etc.
c) for leverage
d) tapping for hidden compartments
e) impromptu weapon (staff/spear)
f) impromptu bracing (sometimes requires pole to be shortened)
g) testing fluids for dangerous content
h) taking samples of liquids or slurries (attach a tube for flask to the end)
i) impromptu fishing pole
j) vault over pits
k) impromptu ladder (if it is a metal pole, and the char is light)
l) prodding holes and burrows for baddies
m) impromptu wooden pegs
n) testing places where your arm might go for scythe traps
o) testing places your hands might go for electrical trapes/runes
p) carrying foes/bodies (tie their hands and feet, and carry them as if on a spit
q) impromptu spit (for cooking)
r) impromptu cavalry defense (sharpen the end to make huge stakes, like the British archers used to do)
s) depth gauge
t) tripping hazard/trap to use against foes.
u) statue poker
v) Picking up keys/items with loops on them from the ground (especially if you tie/attach a hook to it)
w) Knocking down items from high places (tops of shelves, etc.)
x) food gatherer (knock fruits out of trees)
y) a way to hand things UP (especially w/ a hook attached). If hte guy who falls into a pit is the one with the rope, he can pass one end up (if he fails to toss the end up)
z) as a balancing rod while walking across a plank or tightrope.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Forgotten Realms and The Thunder Blessing - Dwarves gone wild.

Back in 3rd edition era of the forgotten realms, there was a baby boom of dwarves.

this rant was a reflection of what I hoped they would do with it.

***************************************************


I think they're will be change, but I don't think it will be the same breakdown of society that happened in the 60's or 70's.

More like the changes occuring in Japan since the meltdown (at the same time experiencing a mini-baby boom.

My reasoning behind this is as follows.

1. Dwarves by their very nature are lawful, and while change will occur, they are more likely to work through legitimate channels.

2. Because Dwarves families are extended rather then nuclear, and they have a longer lifespan overall, they'll have strong pressure to conform. Not only will ma and pa chastise the young dwarf wizard, but also grandpa, grandma, great grandma/grandpa, great great grandma/grandpa, and the aunts and uncles of each generation, to say nothing of the cousins.

Then again, the cousins could also be insisting on various changes within society, making things extremely interesting.

3. not really a point, but more of an ideas of its affect on dwarvern society to show how cultural change has already happened within dwarvern society.

I would like to bring up the subject of Dwarvern women.

At one time in the realms, Dwarvern woman had comparatively few rights. They were respected, but were stuck in servitude role, expected to act as mothers and wives, but little more.

As the clans declined, female dwarves "took advantage of failing Clan power to achieve equality with their malefolk." (Dwarves Deep page 6).

This both shows that Dwarvern culture changes over time and that dwarvern stereotypes can change within dwarvern culture, especially if their is a desire.

In fact, because of their own changing nature, I would argue that Dwarvern women would be more likely to explore the mystic arts, especially since Dwarvern Males dominate the Clergy.

It would definately have an effect on the study of magic.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Deathrace against the Patriarchy

We decided to try The Fast, the Furious, and the Feminist.
https://studentroleplayingregionals.wordpress.com/2015/09/25/the-fast-the-furious-and-the-feminist/

We decided to use the Ryan Macklin cards to fill in the blank spots.

Our story is called Deathrace against the Patriarchy

The year is the futuristic year of 1955

Our heroes are:
Cassie F.: Secretly, her f is short for frankeinstein and is unwilling to confirm whether it was the doctor or the monster.  She has monster hunters after her.
Her customized weapon is a black and red rhinestone  tommy gun.
Her car is the Down Deb a stripped down Jallopy.
Flashbacks: When she's being chased, she gets flashbacks.  They are always in black and white and not always within her lifetime.

Jeannie:  She's an older gal whose rumored to have been run out of hollywood after slugging the director.
http://quazal.blogspot.ca/2015/09/furious-game-jam.html
She racing against the Patriarchy.
Catch phrase " are you ready for your close up <pow!>.
Quirks: always rolls for feels
Customized weapon: no one is sure, but it's under the dashboard. She keeps saying "nobody has seen it."
Her car is the Purring P a teal cadillac

She may have had a kid out of wedlock (oh nose!)

Location: The mean streets of Milkwalkie

Gang name: C-GEE (because they cannot decide on anything else)

**************
Encounter 1:

"while you were casing silverback road for the next race, you saw the canadian motorpiggers  also casing it.

Cassie f rolled the following
Fast: 1
Furious: 3
Fiction: 4
Femminism: 5

Jeannie  rolled the following

Fast: 2
Furious: 5
Fiction: 6
Femminism: 6
Feelings: 5

based on the backstory card, cassie (too slow) was politely pulled over by the canadian motorpiggers  that was tense (Jeannie was grabbing her weapon from underneth the

dashboard) until they began to talk and appeared friendly (especially after Jeannie turned on the deep, confident, sexy, voice).  After a polite conversation, we made nice

on both  scouting out the road and giving the canadian motorpiggers kudos that can be cashed in at a later time.

**************

Encounter 2

"you and PC were travelling to the "soda shop" when they encountered hostility from FBI.

Cassie:
Fast: 3
Furious: 4
Fiction: 3
Femminism: 3
Feelings: 4
Flashback 2

Jeannie:
Fast: 4
Furious: 4
Fiction: 2
Femminism: 2
Feelings: 4
Flashback: 1

As they pull up to the race, they realize they are being tailed. Purring P floored it, but the Down Deb took longer to rev.  It becomes a drag race, but they start racing each

other.

The race disappears from both of their minds as a flashback occurs.

Jeannie's flashback is to the orphanage where she had to give away her child out of WEDLOCK! to a man in black.  Her lip quivered, but she dealt with it like a woman.

Cassie also has a flashback at the same time. It appeared as  a turn of the century film reil of a Baveran castle.  She is in a tower with steps being heard coming to the door.

She avoids causing a crash as she jolted herself back into reality before the door opens.

Writer's note:
It was at this point, we decided that all dice would be rolled and had no clue how to health and didn't care.

Next round

Cassie
Fast: 5
Furious: 4
Fiction: 2
Femminism: 5
Feelings: 5
Flashback: 6

Jeannie
Fast: 6
Furious: 5
Fiction: 5
Femminism: 6
Feelings: 4
Flashback: 3

Cassie and Jeannie leave the Gmen in the dust, but tempers flare as they continue to race.  As Jeannie pulls ahead, her flashbacks kicks her fury into high gear.  Jeannie sees a guy and a girl on the road driving ahead and she cuts them off, where the couple is forced to stop.

Cassie pulls herself together, despite lagging behind.  She's been here before as her flashback also happens in black and white, but instead it was 2 decades ago before she was born?  The rotary car phone goes off.  Cassie pulls over and picks up the phone.  It is a manly voice on the back saying "they passed the test."

**************
Feedback.

It honestly felt like a great way to setup a plot and less of an actual game, but we might have been doing it wrong.

We had no idea how to track damage, or use difficulty for enemies.

We had no idea of equivelent of  Radiance

Still it was a blast (but that might have been our insanity).

BTW this is a lot more fun if you yell out "flashback" when you roll the die. :D

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Supermarket Munchinkinism

This is a smartering of crazy ideas of making a supermarket into a weapon.

*****************************

Well here's a few

First the information pasted from an old book.  (underground by mayfair games)

Rubber bands:  If they were edible, rubber bands would be mankind's greatest invention!  Is your gun's grip too small, or too smooth?  RUBBER BANDS!  Do your spare clips rattle and give you away as you sneak down the hallway?  RUBBER BANDS!  Is that pesky 'sapiens getting on your nerves?  RUBBER BANDS! (use five or ten.  They may not be as satisfying as piano wire, but they get the job done.)  With a little ingenuity and a bunch of rubber bands, anything can be accomplished.

Ultimate Guide to Shooting Rubber Bands
http://members.aol.com/morganbolt/


Duct Tape: What is the perfect companion to a woaking great handful of rubber bands?  A couple of brand new rolls of duct tape!  From home and automobile repair ro demolition and electrical jobs, the lovely silver tape is good for any task you can imagine!! If you've run out of place to strap a gun on your body, strap it on a larger weapon with duct tape!  Do you have a piece of equipment or a sentimental item, but no hook to hang it from?  Tape it to another piece of equipment!  If rubber bands were edible.  I'd have mine with a big side order of duct tape!

101 USES FOR DUCT TAPE
http://www.thezac.com/ducttape/



Now my other stuff:

Pop Cans: One of the cheapest distractions I know, just shake, crack open and spray.  Not to mention their use in traps (in a manner not unlike the grenade drop).

Aerosol cans: This is a great catalyst for explosions, for a lot of the cans inqude nitrous oxide.  Plus whip cream can do amazing things to an area   :D:)

Rubber Gloves - gaudy, but will avoid having your fingerprints left and will protect against a lot of bad liquids.  Best of all, they are desposable.

zippo/lighter - there is absolutely no reason why a person shouldn't have this for lighting fires. Get several, or if possible small containers of lighter fluid for other fun effects.

Pam:  With this you can put a non-stick surface anywhere.  Good for making slip areas and picking locks :D:P

Crazy glue:  Sticking two objects together is always in high demand.

Heavy syrups:  Whether chocolate or Corn syrup.  This stuff is great for "tagging things" and when made into a paint bomb does wonders.

corn starch - powder:  This stuff has  no scent: with a surgical gloves, it can be used to blow a dogs scent when being tract.

Corn Starch Tricks
http://www263.pair.com/webstaff/cgi-bin/page_viewer.cgi?page_id=65

Candles:  These little babies can be used for illumination and also as timers, if you can set it up with a wind shield.

Notepad and pencil:  You never know when you need to write something down.  If bruce campbell would have had this in armies of darkness, it would have been a far shorter movie.

Crayons: Easy to mark out an area in color, plus they can be melted down for a wide variety of uses.

Ammonia detergent: if left open, it creates a fairly effective teargas.

uses of ammonia
http://www.rmtech.net/uses_of_ammonia.htm

can's of spam:  This stuff can be used as a  skin conditioner, gun lubricant in the past, and be considered edible :D:P

bag full of bubblegum and bits of chocolate (5 cents), gummi worms, gummi bears:  Besides being used to win favor with difficult people, this can be used to jam up machinery.

Mirror: a defected sunbeam can be seen from orbit.  Great for signalling and looking around corners.

Twine and rope:  never have too much of this.  for binding things.  Hope you were a boyscout :D:P

Lightbulbs: improvised catrops.

Matches: for...er...setting things on fire.

Backpack: to carry the stuff.

Glad garbage bags: for the rest.  Also great for mixing stuff.

cutlery: knives are dang useful

Pocket knife:  Even a cheap one has it's uses.
scissors: more useful.

toilet paper: the obvious.

Crowbar: For moving stuff and a great club.

Broom handles:  same uses as a 10 foot pole.

Marbles: hee hee, bad guys go down :D:P

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mary Sue Monsters - why it should be avoided in game design.

I created this term a while back in 3.5 and  I was using that in context of mechanics of dnd.

in my humble opinion, monster types should be treated as classes, and cr like levels.

if that's the case, all types should be equally viable from 1 to 20.

when you compare dragons (and outsiders) they are overpowered for their cr and often are the majority of high cr creatures..

it is this...discrepancy...is why I called them "mary sue" monsters because they get this power increase, not because of the cr, but because they are dragons (and outsiders).

This bugs me a great deal.

I should be able to make a cr 20 animal, aberation, monstrous humanoid or hell even fey of a similar level while still following the rules that should scare the bejesus out of the characters with the same feel as a cr 20 dragon or outsider.

Instead we got vast discrepancies between creatures of the same type, let alone "mary sue" monsters (outsiders and dragons) that are hideously more powerful then other creatures of the same cr.

the monster shouldn't be scary because it's a dragon, but because it's a high cr encounter.

I asked a simple question on rpg.net.

Namely how could you make a cr 20 animal that would be an epic threat.

and honestly, we were all grasping at straws.

It's one of the reasons why I created the megafauna template in Dark Revelations - The Role Playing Game.

It now gave an ordinary animal an edge by being naturally resistant to magic.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

If I Controlled The Scifi Channel

honestly your best bet is as follows

1. do nights based on themes. Make one night trek night, an alien night, a conspiracy night, one night urban fantasy night, etc.

2. show the old stuff side with side with new stuff. See how much you can get cheaply. I'd love to see alien nation run back on side to side with farscape.

3. get into a deal with rifftrax so they can have a night where they can overlay their jokes on a movie. They do this every Saturday.

4. create the scifi equivalent of "shark week" and have a particular theme based on season. Have one each quarter to push stuff.

examples include

i. Circuits of Spring: Robots and other wondrous devices.
ii. Superhero summer.
iii. Distopian fall: post apocalypse week.
iv. Christmas scifi :p.

5. add a show not unlike "prophets of science fiction" that shows the real life effect of great imagineers in any particular medium.

6. bring back children's cartoons on Saturdays, but show the older science fiction.

7. If you absolutely must have a reality show, make it a scifi reality show:
my base concept is "captain proton and the heroes of the future" - basically a reality show where you have to dress in spandex and mug for the camera in a way that would make flash gordon proud ;p.

it would be hosted by Brian Blessed :p.

8. create a scifi "soap" for the morning and/or afternoon, so you don't keep repeating the same stuff 4-5 times a day  ;). These could possibly be the winners from the reality show and if they suck, they get booted and replaced by the next candidates :p.

they can then pull on this pool of relative names to create real scifi ;).

tentative title "up your asteroid.'

9. make a morning show with a scifi feel. I recommend some sort of scifi cooking show just to break up the tedium. :p

10. freely offer to shill the hell out of any and all new scifi movies for free, with the veiled threat that if bad they will be hosted by mike and/or joel and the boys/girls if they suck :D

This will give stuff the advertising they need (such as john carter, serenity).

11. this also includes a "make a better trailer" tutorial where you show fan made ads that are awesome.

12. I want nerd wars: a show where you get a great and lively debate over the scifi issues of the day :p.
this could potentially turn into jerry springer, but if it does, make it awesome :cool:

13. give web support to scifi related stuff that you can put on occasionally for the "muggles" :D



Thursday, September 10, 2015

Star Trek Voyager - Making it better


I wrote this a long time ago so it has changed over time.

************************
Let's start with one simple change.

Instead of Voyager, make the Maquis ship be the one that survived.

Suddenly it's Janeway screaming for Chakotay's help and showing what a bumbling nincompoop she was.

Now if that's not possible, let's start with some basics.

1. Did anybody know where the ship was week after week. I didn't. There was no way to show how far they had to go, and what they had to travel to. A web page would have been a nice touch, and a descent map would have seriously help show how @#$#@$ the team was.

2. Make Chakotay the Robert E. Lee character he was supposed to be. Polite, charming, but completely ruthless when his family is at stake (take a page from Garek will ya).

3. Neelix should have been a true rogue, instead of our friendly martian. There was a TNG episode that had a true friendly rogue that they should have patterned Neelix off to add conflict to the crew (by trying to get into the uniform of every female member of the crew, and every so often succeeding)

4. Janeway could be left the same (If they won't follow my editing), but she should have died during mid season, passing the torch instead of always being the most incompetant member of the crew.

5. The Kazon were bad Klingons with afros. They should have looked totally different, and made more, tribal.

Also The Trabe should have been made more then an one episode wonder and became as much a threat to voyager as the Kazon were. Perhaps a little chamber music, while they systematically kidnap and experiment on many of the voyager's crew, altering them forever.

6. The ocompa could be written out without batting an eye. Kes was a concept that never quite worked. They should have made her age more drastically in the series, and when cut, should have keep getting revenge on the crew, instead of during a one hour episode.

7. Seska was a cool concept, but being put with the Kazon, just didn't work.

8. The Borg did not deserve to be pussy whipped!!! I can't believe after being in the best star trek two parter of all time (the best of both worlds), and the only next gen movie that didn't suck (first contact), they would destroy one of their best villains in the name of the worst ship in the federation.

9. A forum should have been setup to throw ideas and give input on what voyager had learned about the races. Races should have been as distinctive as that one race that collects organs to survive (never remember their name).

10. They should have spent a season away from the federation, but in the alpha quadrant. I was so looking to watching the voyager crew getting humbled by Garek (in charge of the Cardassian empire) or Martok and Worf.

Good chance to bring back some classic trek races like the Andorians and gorn, and put a new twist on the information to put some original story telling in place.

11. More of a mixture of low tech/high tech. Voyager seemed to be the love boat with virtually no scarse resources (except for that multi-parted episode), unless it was convenient for a plot device. Show them pulling true macgyvers and using low technology in ingenious way to compensate for their lack of resources. show that the federation education works beyond reversing the polarities, and make the ship feel grittier. Also have the ship go through serious appearance changes as they cannibalize their own technology and integrate alien technology. Use this integration as a benchmark to determine where they are on their trip.

12. Kim should have been the voyager equivalent of Bashir, not very liked at first, but evolves into a cool character (perhaps due to Paris'influences). This would be so much better then having him be the "honorary red shirt".

13. Tuvok had potential, but his biggest flaw was that he didn't contrast with the rest of the crew. Show his fighting prowess and his inner conflict. Make him a tad "logically paranoid" and have a touch of fear from the rest of the crew of having a powerful psychic on board. He should have shown his fighting prowess more and showed his extreme training with martial arts he mentioned from time to time. Also, he was the infiltrator of the Marquis. Make him hated and feared by those members of the crew, and give it enough of a justification to make the ship interesting.

14. Races should be cool. Other then the organ races (edit: Vidiian: I love these guys and they have serious potential), I can only remember a couple of the races that weren't used as a convenient plot device. Make the new races mean something and make fans seriously regret not having them in the alpha quadrant.

14. That federation officer that had become a serial killer, would have been so much cooler, if they would have been showing his rehabilitation, instead of poof, your rehabilitated.
Perhaps developing a "silence of the lambs" relationship with one of the female members of the crew.

15. and finally when they finally go back and return to their people, there should have been at least an inquiry and/or a court marshal into the actions in the delta quadrant.

And throw Janeway in the brig for her actions.

Even if she could rationalize her actions, it would make for a last bit of storytelling.

How trek doesn't always mean living happily ever after.

The things I liked about Voyager consist of the following:

1. The Doctor

2, Seven:  originally I used to make the joke that it was seven's breasts, but honestly, she was a descent actor who managed to steal the thunder of the characters around her on acting alone.

3. Captain Proton.

4. Leonardo Davinci (played by John Rhys-Davis...if there was ever a character that should have pulled a Professor James Moriarty, it should have been him.)

...and have him get into bitter arguments with the doc :D

That is my two cents

*********************
since I originally wrote this, I've calmed down on Janeway considerably. Kate Mulgrew is a damn good actor with a character that stunk.

I would have made her more of a nerd and played off her rationalization to Chakotay's passion.

edit: The more I think about it. Chakotay would have been better if they have switched actors.

My choice would have been Lorne Cardinal

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0136482/

He can do silly and he can do scary, plus being Cree, he would have pushed back a bit from the new age garbage that voyager pushed as being native american.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

What If Wonder Woman was Gotham's premier Hero?

This question was asked to me on a forum and here's my response:


I would also pull up the lovecraftean overtones of gotham that rear it's heads from time to time.

Afterall, Wonder Woman vs Cthulhu is guaranteed to put butts in seat, especially if she puts together a team of Nightwing, Spoiler, Batgirl (Cassandra Cain), Oracle (you could use the temptation of walking as a major plot point), Bane (the things he'll do for love as he's become the Catwoman analogue), Mr. Freeze, Jason Blood and Zatanna.

vs

a Lovecraftean Joker (he became it's avatar as a joke and the Joker gangs are his acolytes, led by the mad priestess Harley Quinn), Maxie Zeus (it's a father always loved her best issue), Scarecrow (he loves the fear as he's a Phobos bastard), Clayface, Doctor Psycho (because that horrid little man is one of her best villains, and a mad psychic fits the tropes), Killer Croc (mostly going along for the ride, but he's been infused with dark stuff and is Bane's personal enemy after what he did to the batclan and his own personal honor).

Monsters used: Animated dead, Byakhee, Color out of Space, Deep Ones (in gotham harbor), Dhole (because a big ass worm fight in the middle of Gotham would put butts in seats), Ghouls (they have been feeding in the cemetary, the streets and the asylum), Gugs, Hound of Tindalos, Nightgaunt, Shoggoth, Leng Spider, Star Vampires.

Neutrals: Penguin (he just wants to make money), Poison Ivy (she could very easily go either way), Maxima (she has her own agenda and I've always believed she would make an awesome foil for Wonder Woman). Veronica Cale (while she hates wonder woman, she's her own woman), Raj Al Ghul (he wants Gotham to burn, but it's to put out the Lovecraftean horror before it reaches full power and he's the most aware of what they are up against, plus Bane/Raj interaction always is a draw). Two-face (he's been chosen as the avatar of Janus after his disorder and it's a total coin flip whether he helps or harms).

Nora redone as a lovecraftean horror after being "save" would give mr freeze a spatterhouse feel to the character that has it's own ability to draw stories.

and of course Ares is thriving on the violence as he feeds the flames.

Plus I would take a page from the Grimm TV show and make a few classically Greek races and monsters and hide them in plain site. The two big ones are Gorgans and Minotaurs, but I'm sure there are others. Besides dealing with eldritch horrors, wonder woman and co would also have to deal with "the monstrous in everyday life" as they act as mediators between the various factions that are just trying to live their lives within the city.

Plus the Asylum is where we get to see both the heroes and the villains at their worst. Just about everybody gets a breakdown now and then and while it's their best hope for keeping their sanity, it's not pretty.

I think such an environment could drive stories for decades. :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Star Trek Deep Space 9 - Some Thoughts and Reflection

for me, it comes down to one simple thing...do you like these characters?

I would have to say yes.

Other shows have awesome plots, well choreographed fights,...but even the best script won't survive if people don't love the characters involved. It doesn't matter whether they love them or love to hate them.

DS9 felt like a community, which is more then the enterprises and voyager ever did. Both the good and the bad things associated with it.

It wasn't just a stellar main cast...which they had. It was the many other characters that they just kept building on.

Sisko is my default star fleet captain for both character development and sheer awesomeness. He was tough as nails, but also funny, had a strong family and always sincere. He wasn't the first regular black starfleet captain to me...he was the starfleet captain that all others would be measured.

Kira I loved as 2nd in command and while she calmed down over the years, she was a tough old gal who was essentially rediscovering her Humanity (or her Bajority) in the process. The love story was just icing on the cake.

Odo would have been a one maybe two parter at most. Instead we got to see him develop over a 7 year period and found out stuff that both blessed and damned him.

Worf is probably the best character to compare the differences between tng and ds9. On tng he was the guy they beat up to show how tough he is. Near the end of the series they were trying to show off his kung fu action but it was almost a sideline. Hell the most memorable scene of showing off his awesome skills wasn't the series, but first contact, when he pulls out a blade and shows off his stuff against the borg drone. and even then he wasn't the savior, merely the tough guy. The savior role was reserved for Picard, Riker and Data more or less only.

In DS9 Worf had to abandon the culture he dedicated his values to in the very first episode. He was put through the ringer at a deeper and more scathin level then anything that happened in tng...and that was just in the first episode. Worf was shown to be extremely skilled, tough resourceful and often had the answer when nobody else did (his use of tractor beams showed he wasn't just physically tough, he was canny as well). He had to say goodbye to his brother to keep him alive, made amends with his son who was, let's be honest a joke character that actually got better when he become an adult, got married and lost her, and above all else, was considered the warrior of the group. He butted heads with Odo with security and was often right. Finally he regained his honor and his house and made friends with a man who you thought was the enemy of everything Worf stood for.

He was a truely 3 dimensional character that was allowed to shine.

Miles O' Brien has a similar story. In TNG he was a one note character and didn't even have Worf's regular billing. While he kinda got an episode or two, most of the time he was a "recyclable red shirt". Once he got on ds9, he was a family man, a darn good tech, a bit of a bigot that learned from it, a great holodeck buddy, a pub man, and an ex soldier. He might not have the miracle worker status of Scotty, or the interesting skill set of Georgi la Forge, but you knew when he set stuff up, it meant business. Plus his humor really added to any scene he was in.

The Dax entity's and their hosts was a great idea that added to the environment to remind people, this just wasn't the yanks in space. In many ways I'm glad their was a transition, but it should have happened half way through the series. both hosts were different . Jadzia was a warrior woman at heart with a lot of science under her belt. Ezeri reminded me of your pet puppy in manner and disposition.

If I had to say the most improved character in the series, it was Doctor Jullian Bashir. He starts as a brilliant newb who is pretty much the most hated member of the main cast. But through character development and interaction with many awesome characters, he begins to grow up and becomes a really amazing character. His genetic engineered nature only added a new facet to explore stories.

Quark was what happens when you subvert the concept of Guinen and play it in a more realistic manner. Unlike the majority of the characters above, Quark didn't go through much character development, but as a plot device and a character, he was brilliant, especially in showing Ferengi's culture and physiology. He was lovable, in spite of his nature.

If their is one place that DS9 shined when it came to character development, it was it's use of children. Jake and Nog started off as relatively realistic kids and we got to watch them grow up. While Jake suffered from "wonderboy" syndrome to begin with, as he got older, he broke many of the common conventions that make star trek kids bloody annoying. While they kinda wrote him into a corner, he did well. Nog on the other hand went from whiny brat to one of the best junior officers in the fleet. He was a neat blend of both his cultural values and star fleets military tradition.




This is why I love ds9.

In another series, he would have been a 2 parter and then discarded or devolved into an extra.

Instead, in many ways this is the day Nog became a great unofficial main character, up there with Garek.

Hell to this day, one of my most favorite scenes is when Jake and Nog share an apartment and it's Nog whose the straight laced one.


and it shows something that is often swept under the carpet despite being one of the Ferrengi's best traits: they have one hell of a work ethic.

Villains were solid in this series. The Cardassians were a brilliantly talkative people that had just raped a planet. They had one of the best spy agencies in the entire alpha quadrant and were alien in both feel and design, while still feeling sympathetic in some ways.

Gul Dukat was an amazing character ride that truly earned a place in the top 3 trek villians. While I didn't like the last couple of year turn, it kinda made sense and really should have been the base for the ds9 movie. Damar went from flunky, to great leader, to martyr all while showing his qualities of whom he is. His last season development should be a case study on how to build a character quickly, while not taking time away from the rest of the main cast.

The Dominion is an amazing villain that is uniquely suited to the ds9 environment. On a spaceship, a shapeshifter is comparatively easy to track down. On a station with people coming and going, it can be a needle in a haystack.
Then you mix in their servator races: the Jemhidar and the Vorta and you feel like that when they looked through the wormhole, the wormhole starred back. Hell Weyoun you got the feeling that if he weren't a middle management slave he'd be almost likeable.

The Klingon empire roared during ds9 and it added both worthy adversaries and loyal allies. Martok is an amazing character in his own right and if they would have done a star trek: birds of prey he should have been a reoccuring character.

However, the most hated villain isn't Dukat and the Cardassians, or the Dominion or the Klingons...it was a single elderly bajoran trying to gain ultimate power. Wynn was the character you absolutely loved to hate, especially when she was right. She pushed her beliefs and her needs to the point where you really wanted to see her fall.

But it wasn't the heroes and villans that made this show something special. It was the many different characters that would have been redshirts on any other shot. From Morn...who didn't even need to talk, to Rhom...an excellent example of what happens to Ferengi who don't have business savvy, to his wife, a Bajorian bimbo who, when coupled with Rhom, added a whole new dimension to both.

and above all else, I learned what a simple tailor can do