Vulcan Stev's Database

It's a BLOG Captain, but not as we know it.

Who’s in your jeesh?

I just finished reading Ender in Exile.  This is the most recent book in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.  I saw the book in the bargain bin at Wal Mart.  Even though we are counting our pennies, my wife saw the look of glee on my face and acquiesced to its purchase.

Card’s stories about genius children saving the human race from the onslaught of an invading alien menace has got to be one of my favorite fictional universes.  The book was excellent and for the first time in a while I was immersed in world that I could not put down.

This is not a review of the novel.

What happened was this, Ender makes constant reference to his jeesh, a small private army of your friends who you know has always got your back.  I got to thinking that Ender was a pretty lucky guy to have a group like that.  Then I got to thinking who would be in my jeesh were I fortunate enough to have one…

In no particular oder:
Berin Kinsman; a superhero currently living in the desert southwest.  We have never met face-to-face, but he is a brother in every sense of the word.  During my darkest moments surrounding the death of Mrs. VS, Berin was there as an ear to listen, a reassuring voice, and source of inspiration.

William Lawton; my brother, my friend, my GM.  My daughter introduced us when she told me that I should come play in her gaming group.  Bill is one person who can honestly say he lives in my head (scary thought).  He gets me.

Brook Ullum; the children’s pastor at church.  She allowed me to once again use my puppeteering skills with children.  She shares my sense of humor (another scary thought).

Hank Harwell; an expatriated Texan.  He is an officer and a gentleman.  He shares my faith and has been a rock when I needed it.  Another of my brothers-from-another-mother.  We’ve never met face-to-face but I do know that someday we will.

Adrienne Paradis; my writing partner of over 20 years.  She’s one of the few people who knows Stev as well as I do.

S.L. Shirley; a fellow Dire Paladin.  Stefan would follow me into an autoduel with no questions asked.

48 Fan & Private Blackspartan; yes they’re my kids.  How many dads can say that they are friends with their children?

Lady Ashya T’Sai; my friend, my partner, my wife.  We were friends in high school.  I missed asking her out by three weeks.  She shares my sense of humor, my likes, my worldview, and many other things.  God brought her back in to my life after 25 years.  I don’t know what I’d do without her.

January 12, 2011 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

31DtaBBC Day 2: 10 Theories About WotC’s Boneheaded Decision

1. The suits at Hasbro actually believe this move will stop piracy.

2. WotC doesn’t want to share D&D profits with anybody.

3. Hasbro is trying to get away from all things electronic because computers are a fad.

4. An Evil Wizard has taken over at WotC.

5. WotC secretly wants to control all places where D&D is available.

6. WotC/Hasbro had a critical failure on their Intelligence role.

7. This isn’t Wizard’s fault this is all a HUGE plot instituted by a disgruntled former employee.

8. Hasbro can’t sell the new 4e D&D-My Little Pony tie-in if .pdfs of older material is still available.

9. The same marketing firm that came up with the SyFy channel told Hasbro/WotC this is sound business strategy.

10. WotC doesn’t want you to play anything but 4e. (Thanks to Berin for this one)

John over @ the Core Mechanic has his own list add those to Greywulf’s 10 below and now we have 30 reasons.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Classy Characters Vol 1: a review

catsanddogsMy friend Greywulf has put together this collectionof renders.  I just purchased my set this morning.  I have to stop right here and say that Greywulf you have some talent.  If you frequent his blog you’ve seen his renders adorning various postings.  If not I suggest you go look.  Anyway the 62 images contained in the downloaded 20mg file are very nicely done.  The twelve high resolution images are of a cleric, a fey warlock, a fighter, a nomad, a ranger and her dragon, a rouge, 2 warlords, a wizard, a wounded warrior, a scary looking dude wielding two axes, and Jimmy Neutrons’ robot.  OK it’s not really Jimmy Neutron’s robot but it sure looks like something he’d build.

There are 50 other miscellaneous pictures that Greywulf has included for your use in your blogs, gaming illustrations or any other non-commercial project you can think of.  These pics are worth the price.

The best thing about these is the price, $4.  That’s right; 400 pennies, sixteen quarters, and best of all the proceeds go to help our own Berin Kinsman.

This package comes heartily recommended.  Two pointed ears way, way up.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , , , , , | 1 Comment

One of own, Uncle Bear, needs our help.

I want to preface this post by stating that I’ve been working on it since I read Berin’s personal Blog post this afternoon.  While working on this post I came across this item over at The Bone Scroll.  I want to ask forgiveness from the network for throwing this onto the feed.

I have been following Uncle Bear over at his site and his social network over at Ning since 2007.  I am proud to be one of his Dire Paladins.  It was Uncle Bear’s inspiration that caused me to shift from posting exclusively at the Cafe and branching out on my own.  I have never met the man face-to-face but I consider him one of my best friends.

Right now he should be on cloud 9 but isn’t.  His passion is bearing fruit but his passion is not meeting his and his lovely wife’s needs.  I know the economy sucks right now and I won’t bore you with my own trials and tribulations.  Those of you who frequent my blog know what I’m going through and I hope that you all will jump on board with this.  My grandfather once cautioned me about feeling despondent, “I thought I was bad shape because I had no shoes, until I met the man with no feet.”

I must have written and rewritten this article 10 times.  I’m having difficulty articulating this.  Berin would NEVER come out and ask for our help.  That said, I am in agreement with the Bonemaster.  I have benefited from Berin’s kindness, praise, and his postings.  I would like to do something to help him out.

Berin we want to Help.  How can we do it?

March 23, 2009 Posted by | News, Reviews and Culture, RPG | , | 4 Comments

RPG Blog Carnival – Maps and Monsters

For the rpgblogcarnivallogocopyMaps and Monsters (http://www.thecoremechanic.com/2009/02/rpg-blog-carnival-monsters-map-madness.html) RPG Blog Carnival being hosted by The Core Mechanic this month.

Being a novice GM I haven’t done much of my own monster creation.  Neither have I made many er… any custom maps of my own.  Recently my family and I sat down to watch Pirates of the Caribbean again for a review here at the Database.  That inspired me to make some custom monsters based off that fine movie franchise.  Please note that all stats are for Savage Worlds in general, specifically Pirates of the Spanish Main.

You may notice that these stats are very similar to the base stats that Savage worlds published for the monster in question.  My buddy, Berin Kinsman extolled the values of shemping out pregen characters for games that he runs.  I took his advice to heart, rather than re-create a monster if a template for one existed I took the basic monster and added some flair to make it specific to the setting.

Following each monster I will note reactions from my players about the monster.

Damon, Wild Card Novice Trained Undead Monkey
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d4, Strength d4, Vigor d6undeadmonkey
Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d8, Stealth d10, Intimidation d6, Lockpicking d8 (covers only pick-pocketing skill)
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 3

Special Abilities:Bite 2d4, Size -2, Small: Attackers suffer a -2 because of size, Undead: +2 to recovery for being shaken. Called shots do no extra damage. Arrows, bullets and other piercing attacks do half damage. Fear -2: Causes all Guts checks at -2 when moon is out because of undead nature.

Damon appears in a skeletal form when the moonlight touches him.

Damon was actually created at the request of a fellow regular at the Dire cafe in honor of the Dire King.  I have only used Damon once in a campaign.  My youngest PIT (age 9) at the time immediately recognized him and corrected me that the monkey should’ve been named Jack.

Undead Piratepirates2
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 – Human Form
Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6 – Skeleton form
Skills: Boating d6, Climbing d6, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Intimidation d6 (d10 in skeleton form), Stealth d6 
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 3

Undead: +2 to recovery for being shaken. Called shots do no extra damage. Arrows, bullets and other piercing attacks do half damage. Fear -2: Causes all Guts checks at -2 when moon is out because of undead nature.

Pirates appear in a skeletal form when touched by moonlight.

Hindrances: Garrulous, Greedy, Mean

Edges: Dirty Fighter

Even after Damon showed up in the adventure.  My players were still a little surprised when the undead pirates made an appearance.  PIT #2 actually managed to stay in character even though he figured it out early.

Kraken, pet of Davy Jonespotcjackkraken
for Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8(A), Spirit d12, Strength d12+10, Vigor d12+4
Skills: Fighting d12, Guts d12, Notice d6, Stealth d8, Intimidation d12
Pace NA, Parry 8, Toughness 24 (4)

Special Abilities: Aquatic: Pace 12  Gargantuan: Heavy Armor Ranged attacks are made at a +4 against the Kraken.  The beast can not bring its full weight to bear in a tentacle attack damage done in a tentacle attack is D12+15 and is considered a heavy weapon.  Size: +10  Tentacle Attack: Tentacles are capable of lifting individuals off the boat and the suckers will suck the face off an individual.  Whirlpool: When the Kraken submerges a whirlpool is formed.

The Kraken comes only when called by Jones and his crew using a device on board the Flying Dutchman

Lord Cutler Becket states in PotC 3 that he ordered Davy Jones to kill off the Kraken.  Everyone speaks as if there is only one Kraken in that setting.  When I tried to use a Kraken (actually the stats for a basic Kraken are on p231 of the PotSM  rulebook) PIT #3 pointed out my inconsistency.  I countered by telling him that Davy Jones did not kill his pet just to spit Cutler Beckett.  Who raised my son to be so smart-alecky?

February 12, 2009 Posted by | Blog Carnival, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment