Vulcan Stev's Database

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

Demotivational Poster: Stronger than a Locomotive

Young Clark Kent longed to be an engineer when he grew up.  However the day he saw a bad guy robbing the Metropolis Savings and Loan and flew out of the train, made him realize that he probably be a better reporter.

Advertisements

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Demotivational Poster: Originality


GMs take note. It is perfectly logical for the crew from Mystery Inc., The A-Team, and the Three Stooges to show up in your campaign

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Comic Books, Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, RPG | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ask Me Anything: Snippets from my Formspring.me page

I’m enjoying this little website.  It’s like Twitter but less demanding.  It doesn’t require you to sign up for anything to ask me a question.  Just click here and go Ask Me Anything

Q. Hollywood is giving away classic film and television automobiles. Which one do you claim as yours for everyday driving?
A. Just one? I’ll take Ecto 1.

Q. Imagine, if you will, you’re in a dimension not of sight, or of sound, but of mind…what do you look like?
A. Brilliant neon green. A pulsating orb of energy.


Q. How are y’all today?
A. Still numb.

Q. Do you have an accent (as reckoned by your friends and co-workers)? What kind?
A. Nope. Midwesterners are pretty accent free (until we travel to other parts of the country).


Q. Would you rather be right, or be happy? No weaseling by claiming they are always compatible, please.
A. I’d rather be right. But I’m not going to fight someone over it. I’ll let them wallow in their ignorance.


Q. What do you sleep in?
A. in bed with my wife.

Q. Why where there no sheets on the bed in TOS?
A. Sophisticated room sensors provide maximum comfort without needing to drape the body.

Q. Would you rather be really hot or really cold?
A. Cold. You can always add another blanket or layer of clothes. There’s a limit to how much you can strip off.

Q. What is the RPG or RPG product you where most disappointed by?
A.The Car Warriors comic book series produced by Marvel Comics about the Car Wars line.


Q. All-time favorite screen villain?
A. Colonel Stuart from Die Hard 2.


Q. Banjo or bagpipes?
A. How about Banjopipes.


Q. Borg or Klingon?
A. As to which would I rather be? Klingon. Most fearsome threat? Borg


Q. If you roleplay, do you speak in character? Do you use funny voices?
A. Absolutely. Among my other talents, I’m a puppeteer. Funny voices come second nature to me.


Q. What is your all-time most favored character that you have played in an RPG?
A. A Gnome Cleric by the name of Nevets Belin.


Q. What’s the best place near you to get a drink?
A. The Boss’ fridge.


Q. What’s your favorite sport?
A. NASCAR


Q.  Are you a gamer? I mean an old school one, none of these newfangled computer things.
A. My interest in computer games ended when the old Atari 2600 joystick became obsolete. Yes I am an old-school gamer.


Q. Flight or super-speed?
A. Flight. Do you know how much money I’d save on gas for the morning commute?


Q. Super-strength or Super-speed?
A. As long as it was controllable, Super-speed


 

Q. Revenge is a dish best served _____?
A. Cold. It is very cold in space. (ancient Klingon proverb)

Q. What is your favorite cartoon character?
A. Bugs Bunny

Q. What did you eat for breakfast today?
A. Waffles made by the best cook in the world (as attested to by my growing waistline).


A. Do you dwell on things or let them go?
Q. Unfortunately I dwell on things. It took me nearly 17 years to pick up a pencil again after an off-hand comment by an Art Teacher in high school.


Q. What’s your favorite type of character to play (or read about if you don’t play RPGs)?
A. I like Gnomes and I like Elves.


Q. Have you ever written fiction not as a school assignment? Longer than a short story? Published it yourself? Been published by somebody else? Made a living at it?
A. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, and No. I’ve written the adventures of Stev the Vulcan for the better part of 20 years. Older stories were published by the club I joined at the beginning. I’ve re-published some of these over at Fan Fiction.net


Q. If you could change the ending of one movie, which one and how?
A. Just one? Right now I’ve plenty of bad movies running through my head and not one of the stands out as being repairable by changing the ending. You have given me an idea for Database post.


Q. What do all your friends love that you just don’t get?
A. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia


Q. Do you have any fantasy jobs? (Like a dream job, except you know you’d hate the non-idealized real-life version of it.)
A. Actually being able to support the family with my puppeteering.


Q. Suppose you lived in an ideal world, with no war, crime, poverty, disease, etc. Would your current job still exist?
A. I’m an ad man for a local paper. No poverty? My job would probably be more in demand.

Q. “X, why did it have to be X?” For you, what is X?
A. Needles… brrrr

Q. “What is best in life?” If I’m following you, you probably know Conan’s answer. What is yours?
A. My wife’s cooking, as evidenced by my larger waistline after I married her.


Q. What fictional universe would you most want to live in?
A. Star trek universe. I’ll be in Montana in 2063 anyone care to join me?

Q. If you could have lunch with any one in the world who would it be and why?
A. Weird Al Yankovich, I’ve always had an affinity for his music, fashion sense, and rather bizarre outlook. The way his character ran Channel 62 (UHF) would be awfully similar to the type of shows I’d come with.

Q. What was your favorite Robert Culp role?
A. Demon with a Glass Hand from the Outer Limits


Q. If you could have a sexual and/or romantic encounter with a fictional character who would it be?
A. Dream dates? Discretion, not to mention my wife (whom I love desperately) require me to abstain on this answer.

Q. What one book do you think everybody reading this should read?
A. Whether you believe it or not, The Bible, at least once. It was a very important book to our founding fathers. It is revered as Holy by the three top religions of this planet.

Q. Who should I follow on Formspring?
A. Besides me? VulcanStev – cleireac, Canageek, trollgodfather, UncleDark, BerinKinsman, CydoniaRaven, geweller, WyattSalazar, NewbieDM, cartoonlad, Voyage2k, Viriatha, StargazersWorld, drcheckmate, nevermetpress

Q. What one thing would you tell your younger self if you could?
A. Wait until I was sure what I wanted to do with my life before going to college.

Q. Have you broken any bones? If so, how?
A. I broke the bones in one of my toes. I kicked an exposed water pipe full force.

Q. If you suddenly inherited an Ice Cream parlor, which flavor would you be constantly out of, because you’re dipping into the stock?
A. Cookies -n- Cream

April 12, 2010 Posted by | Life near an Iowa Cornfield, Star Trek, Vulcan Stev | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaming in the Universe of… Superheroes

Rather than rewrite the intro for Superhero gaming every time the family reviews a superhero movie, I’m posting this article and will update the links accordingly.

Why re-invent the wheel?   There are many good RPGs centering around Superheroes.  TSR’s Marvel Super Hero game is available online as PDF, of course that’s not the Superman Universe, but heck they’re available for free.  Hero Games’ Champions, the grandaddy of all super hero RPGs is still available.  DC Heroes as published by Pulsar Games is a defunct game though the mechanics are used in their Blood of Heroes RPG.  Pinnacle Entertainment’s Necessary Evil, although not a super HERO setting does provide the rules for adding Super Heroes to your Savage Worlds campaign.  The current Super Hero RPG of choice appears to be Mutants and Masterminds, an in depth review of the game can be found at Greywulf’s Lair

The first thing we need to ask are you gaming in a generic super hero universe or one of the copyrighted ones?  I have many fond memories of playing in a Champions campaign from my high school days (no I won’t say when just know that Reagan was President when I graduated).  My GM for those days usually had Marvel and DC heroes pre-genned for folks just wanting to sit in on a game.  Though they were super heroes by the names of Supreme, Arachno-Lad, Night Stalker (a Batman clone) and Amazon (this was long before the Amalgam Universe).  How you play or allow your players to play will vary from hero to hero.

Superhero movie reviews currently in the database:
Batman Begins
Daredevil
The Dark Knight
The Incredible Hulk
Superman IV

Gaming notes for:
Batman
Superman

March 12, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Marvel, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Gaming in the Universe of: Superman

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace so far the only review of Superman movie done by the family.

supermanlogo1Why re-invent the wheel?  There are many good RPGs centering around Superheroes.  TSR’s Marvel Super Hero game is available online as PDF, of course that’s not the Superman Universe, but heck they’re available for free.  Hero Games’ Champions, the grandaddy of all super hero RPGs is still available.  DC Heroes as published by Pulsar Games is a defunct game though the mechanics are used in their Blood of Heroes RPG.  Pinnacle Entertainment’s Necessary Evil, although not a super HERO setting does provide the rules for adding Super Heroes to your Savage Worlds campaign.  The current Super Hero RPG of choice appears to be Mutants and Masterminds, an in depth review of the game can be found at Greywulf’s Lair

The first thing we need to ask are you gaming in a generic super hero universe or one of the copyrighted ones?  I have many fond memories of playing in a Champions campaign from my high school days (no I won’t say when just know that Reagan was President when I graduated).  My GM for those days usually had Marvel and DC heroes pre-genned for folks just wanting to sit in on a game.  Though they were super heroes by the names of Supreme, Arachno-Lad, Night Stalker (a Batman clone) and Amazon (this was long before the Amalgam Universe).   In a generic universe, your Superman would be the supreme hero in that universe.  All other heroes would look to him as the ideal.  That is if you’re following the archetype right down the line.  Currently in the Marvel mainstream universe the character of the Sentry is a Superman of sorts, but his arch nemesis did a real number on him.  The character is unstable even on his best days.  The Sentry is all-powerful but is very hesitant of using his abilities.

Some ideas of how I would use a Superman character; He is the supreme hero in your universe all other heroes look up to him and follow his example, Take the Sentry route and play him as someone that doesn’t even know the extant of his powers the GM would stat out the character but not give the PC anything but the barest idea of what the character is capable of (ie let the discovery of the power base be part of the game), or I’d turn the whole Superman idea on its head, he rules your world with an iron fist and it’s up to the PCs to take him down. 

The main problem with a Superman character is coming up with credible threats against him.  Superman as an archetype doesn’t provide much of a challenge for PC.  Unless the PC had a VERY good reason for wanting to play a super man, I probably wouldn’t allow him as stated out.  As an NPC/GM-controlled character who’s lending a hand against a larger threat (ie hordes of villians) then yes.

superman_pic

Savage World stats for Superman

Race: Kryptonian
Attributes: Agility d12, Smarts d12, Spirit d12, Strength d12+12, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Guts d6, Intimidate d8, Notice d4, Stealth d6, Throwing d8
Charisma:+40; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 11
Hindrances: Dependant (Minor or Major) Lois Lane is the one human above all others that Supes flies half-way around the world to rescue.  Depending on which iteration of the universe, she is even Mrs. Kent;  Power Negation (Major) – Kryptonite; Weakness (Major) – Magic
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Brawny, Power Points, Take the Hit!
Gear: Supes being who he ie doesn’t usually have gear but he does have access to a wide array of Kryptonian technology in his Fortress
Super Powers: • Attack, Melee (4): +2d6 • Attack, Ranged (4): +2d6 • Fearless (2) • Flight (15) •  Heightened Senses (1) • Immunity (4) • Lair (1) • Super Attributes (5): (Super strength.) • Toughness (7): +2, Hardy

March 11, 2009 Posted by | DC, Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Gaming Notes, Other Systems, RPG | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: Superman IV

superman_ivStarring:

Christopher Reeve …  Superman / Clark Kent
Gene Hackman …  Lex Luthor / Voice of Nuclear Man
Jackie Cooper …  Perry White
Marc McClure …  Jimmy Olsen
Jon Cryer …  Lenny
Sam Wanamaker …  David Warfield
Mark Pillow …  Nuclear Man
Mariel Hemingway …  Lacy Warfield
Margot Kidder …  Lois Lane

Synopsis from IMDb: Superman does a lot in his newest adventure. Arch villain Lex Luthor, determined to make the world safe for nuclear arms merchants, creates a new being to challenge the Man of Steel: the radiation-charged Nuclear Man. The two super-powered foes clash in an explosive screen extravaganza that sees Superman save the Statue of Liberty, repulse a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, rebuild the demolished Great Wall of China and perform many more spectacular feats.

Reviewers: VS, PIT#1, PIT #2, PIT #3

VS – .5 pointed ears
The problem with Superman is that he only has two weaknesses (three if count a writer’s inability to come up with plausible movie that the average person would understand) and one major villain.  Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite becomes boring when used over and over and downright stupid when misused (see Superman III).  Superman’s vulnerability to magic is probably not something the producer’s of the movie want to deal with.  Lex Luthor works best as villain as a manipulator of events, one of the few things that Superman IV did well.

The idea of a “super”man/god on Earth trying to fit in with his adopted home is something that the comics deal with on a regular basis.  QFP did not succeed in its attempt to cover the same ground.  Superman displays some rather unique abilities in this film, Super-hypnosis (kissing Lois to make her forget), Super-telekinesis (putting the Great Wall back together).  Physics takes a beating in this movie when Superman is able to talk in space and carry the Statue of Liberty by the tablets without it breaking or bending.

The main problem with adapting comic book heroes to the big screen is that a comic book has approximately 24 pages per month to set up subplots, villain backstory, and motivation.  A two hour movie is not always the best media for an ongoing character.  The script for this movie was too ambitious for the time allotted.  People expect a certain amount of action in a super hero movie.  Superman’s internal struggles with being a god among men is good drama when done correctly but makes for lousy action.  This movie didn’t even do a decent job of portraying the internal struggle.

Given the less than stellar script, the hookiness of the villian ( a clone of Superman would’ve made for a GREAT Bizarro as in John Byrne’s “Man of Steel”), and the funky abilities, this movie deserved to die a foul death at the box office.  The one good thing that came from Superman IV is that its box office failure kept the Cannon Group from making an equally crappy Spider-Man movie.

PIT #1 – 0 pointed ears (can I give it a negative rating?)
This movie made no sense.  There are cuts in the movie that felt like the producers left important scenes on the cutting room floor, either that or the script was poorly written.  Superman had some pretty strange powers in this movie as well.

PIT #2 – .01 pointed ears (actually I wanted to give 1/1,000,000th of a pointed ear but Dad insisted on as few zeroes as possible)
The idea behind the script was a good idea but the execution was pretty poorly done.

PIT #3 – 0 pointed ears
This movie did a good impersonation of a Hoover vaccuum cleaner.  It sucked, Daddy.  Why was Superman able to repair the Great Wall of China by waving his hand? 

.51 pointed ears out of 8.
I got this movie out of the $5 bin at Wal-Mart only because our local video store didn’t have it to rent and my kids didn’t believe me when I told them this was a lousy movie.  “Dad it’s Superman, how bad could it be?”  You can see from the ratings, that they now agree with me.  Don’t buy this movie unless you’re a completest and have all the other Superman titles in your collection.  Don’t waste your time on this flick.  Seriously, it’s not even a “good” bad movie (like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes).

March 3, 2009 Posted by | Comic Books, DC, Movie Reviews | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments