The New Doctor

I’ve started watching the newest season of Doctor Who. The BBC’s long running science-fiction program. And I have been a fan of this show for many decades.

Each time there is a new lead actor taking over the role started by the late William Hartnell I get a little nervous. Will I like this new Doctor and the personality the actor brings to this iconic role? Does the new actor make a convincing Time Lord? Are they the Doctor?

Throughout the program’s run since it started in 1963 there have been 13 actors, including John Hurt who was the “war Doctor”, and we are now starting with the 14th actor in the lead role. But since John Hurt’s incarnation didn’t go by the name “The Doctor” the newest actor is considered to be the 13th Doctor. There are a few little tid bits in you want to get technical about the Time Lord’s regenerations but we’ll just go with the 13th Doctor for the sake of this article.

But this 13th Doctor is special. We know from previous incarnations that the Time Lords gave the Doctor additional regenerations so that isn’t what makes this one special. That was the previous Doctor’s special call. What makes this incarnation unique is that the Doctor’s regeneration made him a her. The lead role has been passed on to a woman instead of the traditional male actor playing the enigmatic Time Lord.

It was previously established that regeneration of Time Lords could result in a change in gender. This happened to the Doctor’s Time Lord nemesis, The Master, who regenerated into Missy. It is not common but it is possible.

I am not against this idea. From what I have seen so far of Jodie Whittaker, the 13th Doctor, is The Doctor. She is everything I expect to see in the Doctor. Her run in the title role will be a good one. Time will tell if she makes it into the Top 3 joining the ranks of Tom Baker and David Tennant who are the two greatest actors to ever wear the mantel of Time Lord.

I look forward to following the adventure of Jodi Whittaker as she further embarks on this season and more of Doctor Who.

Tiny D6 – A game system review

I’ve been a gamer (table top RPGs) for a long time. Way back to the beginning of the hobby. I’ve played or GMed in countless games and dozens of systems. I’ve been a TSRO, a playtester, a kickstart backer, published a game or two of my own, and chat host of some big names in the industry.

But today I’m going to talk about one of my top 3 game systems. And surprisingly this system isn’t one of those that has been around for decades like myself. This new system hit the table top originally in 2014 by Smoking Salamander and is now being published by Gallant Knight Games and is called Tiny D6.

Tiny D6 is a minimalist system with very light rules. All the bulk of most RPGs has been stripped away. It only uses six-sided dice so anyone can easily play without needing to obtain a set of polyhedral dice.

The basic rules are simple. You roll 2 dice, if either one of them is a 5 or 6 you succeed at your task. Very simple and easy. Sometimes you have Advantage, and you get 3 dice instead. And if you have Disadvantage, you get only 1 die to roll.

Currently there are 3 games that have been published in this line. The first was Tiny Dungeons for a fantasy style game, the 2nd is Tiny Frontiers for those who want science-fiction, and a post apocalyptic rule set of Tiny Wastelands. All of these are just basic rules. There are no hard settings and a lot is left up to the GM.

A 4th game is currently in the works and was a Kickstart project, a super hero game that is called Tiny Supers. This one, like the others before it will be basic rules. But also will include a compleat setting for the first time.

These are all great fantastic games and rules for running them. I like to tinker myself with game rules. And I’ve got a game setting that is a home-brew from 1983. And when I find a rule set that I like. I always convert it over. And Tiny D6 has that honor just like the other game systems that have been my favorites before it.

I think Tiny D6 is a great game system for both new and old players. The rules are simple and easy to understand. There are genres for the basics, including the upcoming Tiny Supers. And others coming in the future as well. Everyone will be able to find a game in the line that appeals to them directly.

Even younger kids could learn this system. And it works great around the gaming table, online chat, or even play-by-post.

I personally give this my recommendation to anyone looking for an RPG that isn’t the cookie cutter variety of the big guys.

A Star Trek Discovery Review

I have been watching the latest Star Trek series. Star Trek: Discovery. The storytelling and plot are fantastic thus far. But like the reboot movies it has a lot of continuity issues.

The Discovery takes place some 10 years before Captain James T. Kirk conducts his famous 5 year mission on the Enterprise. So I watch for things that should not be in that time period of known Star Trek history.

First off there is the use of the arrow head emblem for all of Star Fleet. This is incorrect. The arrow head emblem did not become the symbol of Star Fleet until after Captain Kirk returned from his historic 5 year mission. Prior to that event every ship in Star Fleet had it’s own symbol. The arrow head was the symbol of the U.S.S. Enterprise only.

The technology seems to improve by going back in time of Star Trek’s history. They have holographic displays and consoles. This tech is even better that the tech of the Enterprise in The Next Generation under the command of Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

The Discovery even has a small holodeck for combat training. Something that wasn’t invented until the 24th century in The Next Generation, and then it was rather new and a questionable technology. It is flawless on the Discovery.

Everyone seems to use holographic communications as well. The Federation aboard Star Fleet vessels and even the Klingons themselves. No more putting the incoming communication “on screen”. There is a 3 dimensional person to walk around and interact with while communicating, although not a physical interaction like a holodeck. This is a technology never before demonstrated in the history of Star Trek. However it is a direct rip-off (or flattery) of the HoloNet communications from Star Wars used by the Republic, the Empire, and Rebels alike for 1,000’s of years.

I do like the new look of the Imperial Kingons. However in proper Star Trek canon the very existence of these Klingons from deep within the Klingon Empire were not known to the Federation until the V’ger incident. The Klingons were well versed in the science of genetic engineering, something that the Federation banned, and they created the Klingon/Human fusions that we saw in the original series.

We also have the Discovery’s spore drive. This is basically a kind of hyperdrive or jumpdrive. Ripped-off (or more flattery) from Star Wars and/or the reimaged Battlestar Galactica. Apparently this technology was either lost in the war against the Klingons or banned afterwards due to the biological component needed to make it work properly.

At the time of this writing we have yet to see the Romulans in this incarnation of Star Trek. But we shouldn’t see them either. Star Trek history tells us that Earth and the Romulans had a war about 90 to 100 years prior to the Discovery time period. As it had been 100 years since the Romulan war when Kirk and crew encounter them in the “Balance of Terror” episode of the original series. And at that point no one knew what a Romulan looked like either. Time will tell if this canon of Star Trek gets violated by the Discovery as it was already violated by the movie reboot.

It does seem to me that there is a continuity between the Star Trek Enterprise series, the movie reboots, and the Discovery series. However this continuity breaks down greatly when compared to the original series, the Next Generation, DS9, and Voyager series.

Within the Star Trek universe this can be explained easily as an alternate timestream or a parallel universe. If it is an alternative timestream, we have yet to see the Federation Time Fleet of the future come in and correct the errors that have been made. If is just a parallel universe then there is nothing to correct and it can be accepted as such.

But overall Star Trek Discovery is a good show and worth watching despite the multiple continuity errors as seen from the eyes of an old generation Trekker. Looking forward to the season finale and next season.