Vulcan Stev's Database

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

Demotivational Poster: First Dates

I don’t wanna know what they do onthe second date.

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration, Movies, Science Fiction | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Demotivational Poster: Master Control Program

Bill Gates and the MCP control the world as they know but each is unsatisfied and craves more.

January 14, 2011 Posted by | Demotivational Posters, Fluff/Inspiration | , , , , | Leave a comment

Gaming in the Universe of… Tron

Tron as reviewed by the family:

tron03I’ve done some searching across the web for Tron RPGs.  I’ve found one abandoned forum and an abandoned PBP RPG site.  Given that it is a Disney movie and an old one at that I wasn’t expecting much.  I do remember playing the coin-op video game back in the early 80’s and have watched my children avidly play the Kingdom Hearts 2 for the PS2.  Although geared very well towards video games, Tron is not a universe that immediately conjures RPG scenarios.  That said I”ve come up with some themes and inspirations for your game.

Tron is at its heart a Messiah story, the story of a god coming down amongst its creation.  Unlike the accounts recorded in the Gospels, Tron is the story of a reluctant god who does not understand the rules governing the rules of its creation.  This could be gamed from either side of the coin.  You as the GM could introduce a new NPC to the party.  This NPC demonstrates some unusual powers while at the same time displaying an unusual amount of lack of common knowledge.  This NPC is there to help the party for some unknown reason but does not know why.  It’s up to the party to figure things out.

The flip-side of that coin is to have the PCs transported to a realm where they understand very little of the social mores and customs.  They quickly discover they have abilities far beyond those of everyone else.  They’re there to help their new friends but have to discover the reasons for themselves.  Why have they been transported?  Who transported them?  All things to play out in this type of campaign.

Another plot hook that can be drawn from Tron, the party is participating in an increasingly difficult series of challenges or games.  These games eventually end with party finally facing the local champion.

tron-flynn-ramName: Tron Race: Program treated as Human for most games
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6,
Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Driving d8, Fighting d8, Guts d8, Notice d6,  Survival d6, Throwing d10
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Wanted, Vow to free the System from control of the MPC (Local Overlord), Servitor of his User (Land owner)
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Block, Command

Name: Flynn Race: Human treated as godlike for most games
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d6, Driving d8, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Intimidation d6, Knowledge (Programming) d8, Notice d6, Piloting d6,  Survival d6, Throwing d6
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Clueless to his new environment, Overconfident
Edges: Archane Background (matter control), Charismatic

Name: Sark Race: Program treated as human for most games
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Climbing d4, Driving d8, Fighting d6, Guts d6, Intimidation d8, Notice d8, Piloting d6,  Survival d6, Throwing d8
Charisma: 0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5;
Hindrances:  Servitor of the MPC, Heartless
Edges: Combat Reflexes, Block

June 9, 2009 Posted by | Fluff/Inspiration, Gaming in the Universe of..., Other Systems, RPG, Savage Worlds | , , , , | 2 Comments

Vulcan Stev Family Movie Review: TRON

tronStarring:
Jeff Bridges …  Kevin Flynn / Clu
Bruce Boxleitner …  Alan Bradley / Tron
David Warner …  Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program
Cindy Morgan …  Lora / Yori
Barnard Hughes …  Dr. Walter Gibbs / Dumont
Dan Shor …  Ram / Popcorn Co-Worker
Peter Jurasik …  Crom
Tony Stephano …  Peter / Sark’s Lieutenant
Craig Chudy …  Warrior #1
Vince Deadrick Jr. …  Warrior #2 (as Vince Deadrick)

Synopsis from IMDb: Kevin Flynn is a former employee of the software corporation ENCOM, now running a arcade. Flynn has been trying to hack into ENCOM’s mainframe computer to find evidence that ENCOM’s senior executive Ed Dillinger stole four video games he created. But Dillinger’s supercomputer “Master Control Program” foils Flynn’s efforts and dictates and controls most of the computer systems. One night, Flynn’s former girlfriend Lora and her boyfriend, ace computer programmer Alan Bradley helps Flynn break into ENCOM to shut down the MCP with Alan’s security program “TRON”. But MCP uses Lora’s matter transmission program and converts Flynn into data and sends him into the computer. Flynn finds himself in a electronic world ruled by the MCP and his evil chief henchman Sark, where computer programs are the alter-egos of their creators and are forced to compete in gladiatorial games. With help from Tron, a heroic and fearless security program and his lover, Yori, Flynn sets out destroy the MCP and help Tron liberate the system from the MCP’s control, by destroying the MCP is Flynn’s only way of returning to the real world.

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

VS – 1.5 pointed ears
Even though the technology clearly pegs this as an early ’80s film, the story still holds up.  Clearly a Christ-analogy, Tron is a pretty straight-forward defeat the “evil” in the world story.  The religious allegoryis clearly intentional as one of the Red guards talks about “religious nuts”.  Though the writer makes it clear that even with the help of his god, it is still the individual that gets the job done.  The implication is that although religion is ok, it’s not anything to run your life around.

The film seems a little too short to me.  Interactions that could’ve been explored a little seem to be given the short shrift, Alan seems to agree to helping out Flynn just a tad too quickly.  Computer bugs which played a large part in the coin-operated arcade game got less than 30 seconds of screen time.  I would’ve liked to see a little more screen time of the real world results of the MCP’s destruction.

All-in-all a decent popcorn flick when you don’t have a lot time for a movie.

PIT #1 – 2 pointed ears
In spite of the fact that this movie relied too much on ancient computer technology, this was a very good movie.  The portion of Kingdom Hearts 2 made a lot more sense now that I’ve refreshed my memory on this movie.

PIT #2 – 2 pointed ears
I’ve always wondered what life on the other side of the screen was like.  Watching Flynn actually having to play was cool.  There could’ve been more action if they’d had more games in the movie.  The ’80s tech was distracting but not detracting.

PIT #3 – 1.8 pointed ears
I didn’t understand the computers.  Daddy tried to explain that in the early ’80s computers were big things that didn’t fit into offices.  I think I understand that, but why didn’t Mr. Dillinger simply erase the data?  Why did Flynn have to teach computer programs about kissing?

7.3 pointed ears out of 8
I had always wondered about Dillinger’s lack of foresight in changing the data, but I let PIT#3 bring it up first in the article because he was so proud about catching that plot oversight.

This is a nice family friendly film.  Given the fact that Disney has a sequel scheduled for 2011, we recommend at least renting this movie.  The 20th anniversary DVD has a lot of interesting features and is worth the purchase.

April 11, 2009 Posted by | Movie Reviews | , , , , , | 2 Comments