Monday, December 22, 2008

Controversial Trek

Okay, I know that Gene Rodenberry was a little on the liberal side. I know that Star Trek has always challenged the politically correct view of society on a number of issues. Heck, it featured inter-racial kissing that really made the networks tremble--back then. Now, Kirk & Uhura seem like they will be an item, from Abrams new Trek's previews. (Of course, it could also be because she is like, the only chick in the crew main cast... so Kirk would otherwise be in his undies with a no-namer.)

"Blood & Fire", the long-awaited David Gerrold two-parter for online classic Trek... not only features some nice starship combat, some bloody evil monsters, which would make D&D players tremble, but the damn things are resistant to phaser-fire and... oh wait...

This was about something else. It was about the lovey-dovey man on man couple... in little Starfleet German beerfest um... jumpsuits? When the heck did they get these cutesy jumpers? Or was that designed by the same guy who gave men wrap-around skirts in the first episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and then they disappeared?
Was it a good episode? (Part 1 only, so far?) Well, it was okay. Special effects and ships nicely done. Cool framed artwork of the Enterprise from Enterprise TV series on the wall. Was it meant to be cute? And... how the heck do Regulan Bloodworks = a gay AIDs episode???
I will have to wait until Part 2, with poor, not aging well, Denise Crosby, NOT playing Tasha Yar.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Playing without Books

No, I'm not talking about the Amber diceless RPG or a LARP... I'm talking about something I like for 4e that I feel like some critics ignore.

I've found that, aside from some condition and movement look-ups, we can set aside our PHB, DMG, and even MM most of the time in 4e. With power cards, or power sheets, or power-whatevers filled out by the players, and nice concise monster stat blocks included in published adventures, there is a lot of time saved [for me] to run back and look up rules.

The horizontal format DM Screen has a lot of condition and action info summarized there, and that helps a ton. Sure, the errata are not in my PHB because I don't have the super-deluxe version yet, but I don't miss them yet either.

All in all, this time saving helps me feel the game is easier to run, and once a player becomes familiar with their own specific character--what that character can do, as opposed to the whole darn game system--play is faster. I've run 4e sessions with 4 - 6 combat encounters plus roleplay, in one night, which I never ever did in previous editions... and they were not rushed, they were fun!