Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

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shesheyan
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Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by shesheyan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:45 pm

For some reason I couldn't find a Star Frontiers thread on this forum. So here we go :

[ Experts form star frontiers wiki : http://starfrontiers.wikia.com/wiki/Sta ... Alpha_Dawn ]

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn is the original published rule-set for Star Frontiers. It was developed under the working title Alien Worlds and first published in 1980 as the "blue box" set, then republished in 1982 as the "magenta box" set, with the addition of "Alpha Dawn" to the title. Since then, it has served as the foundation for all other Star Frontiers rules up to Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space, where the line was discontinued.

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STAR FRONTIERS adventures take place in an area of space called the Frontier Sector, or simply The Frontier. The Frontier contains 17 inhabited star systems, with a total of 23 colonized planets. Some of these planets have been claimed and settled by only one of the four races, while others were set up in cooperation and have mixed populations. Besides these settled areas, the sector contains 21 unexplored star systems that could have habitable (or inhabited) planets. No one has explored the routes to these stars for navigational hazards, so no one knows whether these stars even have planets.

The setting consist of 23 colonized planet within 17 systems, and 30 unexplored star systems. The planets are the home to the Dralasites, Humans, Vrusk, and Yazirians. The harmony of these worlds are threatened with an external menace: the highly mysterious Sathars. Player characters are assumed to be independent Adventures taking any job they can get with hopes to start their own company. Agencies like the Pan-Galactic Corporation would hire free-agents to handle delicate jobs they cannot be publicly implicated in, or to do important (and often risky) work without having to use their own resources or manpower. Adventures take on great risks but those who are successful can achieve fame and fortune, as well as to experience new worlds and wonders. They often encounter Sahtar agents (sympathizers and people controlled though hypnotism) or Sathar attack monster‎s in plots to take over the Frontier Sector. Adventures usually takes place on Port Loren, on Gran Quivera, as it offers the setting for urban adventures, Volturnus, as offers the setting for wilderness adventures on an alien world, or in some spaceship (like the PGS Omnicron) as passengers or secondary crewmen.

At the core of the rule system are ten-sided dice — called a "d10". Most tasks require players to roll percentile dice (d00): one die for "tens", and a second die for "units." In this case, the player needs to roll equal or less then the percentage (or Attribute score; see below) to be successful. Likewise, damage uses d10s, with powerful weapons allowing attackers to roll more dice for damage. Characters get eight attributes (core stats used by all characters, and almost universal to most role-playing systems), that are grouped in pairs: STR/STA, DEX/RS, LOG/INT and PER/LDR (see below). Each pair is rolled together to get an equal result, which is then adjusted by race, and the player has the option to lower one slightly to raise the other in equal proportion.


Alpha Dawn, Basic and Expanded
- Writers: David Cook and Lawrence Schick Schick
- Illustrators: Larry Elmore
- 1980 Basic (blue box set)
- 1982 Extended (magenta box set)

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Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space
is a rules supplement for the Star Frontiers game universe with additional rules, equipment and setting information. Designed as a continuing series, it was the only volume ever printed. Of the three planned volumes of the Guide, only the first was ever published, leaving the game in an uncomfortable, half-overhauled state. The biggest rule change was the inclusion of the Action Control Table, also known as the Universal Table System — originally developed for the Marvel Super Heroes Role-Playing Game. The system uses a single table color-coded to determine the degree of success, but where the original system worked well for MSH, its oversimplification made it unsatisfactory for those already familiar with the original Star Frontiers system. Fan reaction even today has been mixed, with fans ether using the best elements, incorporating the additions to the best of their ability, or rejecting it outright.
- Writers: Kim Eastland

Knight Hawks - Board Game
This board game of starship combat was published as part of the Knight Hawks supplement for TSR's Star Frontiers role playing game. It is however playable as a stand alone game.

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Supporting Supplements and Modules
SFAC2 - Assault on Starship Omnicron (Referee's Screen & Mini-Module)
SF0 - Crash on Volturnus
SF1 - Volturnus Planet of Mystery
SF2 - Starspawn of Volturnus
SF3 - Sundown on Starmist
SF4 - Mission to Alcazzar
SFAD5 - Bugs in the System
SFAD6 - Dark Side of the Moon

Dragon Magazine
From September 1982 (issue #65) to September 1989 (issue #149), Star Frontiers had a strong presence in TSR’s house publication: Dragon Magazine, introducing new races, new rules and answering questions from players. An article in the 1998 Annual issue included conversion rules and advice to run Star Frontiers under the Alternity rules, which had been released by TSR (under WoTC) that same year as their flagship Science Fiction game ruleset.

Polyhedron Magazine
The official RPGA (Role Playing Gamer’s Association) publication had a lower circulation than Dragon, but between November 1982 (issue #9) and 1986 (issue #31), no fewer than 22 articles featured Star Frontiers, including twelve “Dispel Confusion” Q & A columns.

Free Legal download (remastered PDFs)
Bill Logan currently holds permission from WOTC to distribute for free his remastered version of the rules sets and modules
http://www.starfrontiersman.com/remastered.php
Last edited by shesheyan on Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by shesheyan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:11 pm

My experience with this system was limited to a few games. When the magenta box came out I bought it and immediatly prepared a home-brew game but the d100 system didn't stick with the players. They wanted to play AD&D. Did you play this game? What was your experience with the system ?
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by Havard » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:23 pm

I have the Blue Box, but never played. I was always attracted to the Larry Elmore art.

I listed Star Frontier as one of the predecessors to D20 Modern from the TSR era. I think one of the D20 Future settings is based on Star Frontiers and several alien races from Star Frontiers made it into D20 Modern. I also thin Yazirans earlier appeared in Spelljammer and maybe also Alternity?

Since I am interested in Blackmoor, someone from Dave Arneson's group (John Snider) had earlier published two sci fi board games (Star Probe and Star Empires) with TSR in the 1970s. Since Dave Arneson's group added roleplaying elements to all of their board game and miniature games, John Snider had planned a third installment in this series which was to be a fully fledged RPG. However, the advent of Traveller caused him to abandon the project, apparently. Not much later Star Frontiers came out. I don't know if any elements from John Snider's games made it into Star Frontiers?

Oh, and there is another thread about Star Frontiers from 2011 here.

Hopefully once The Piazza has been moved to a new server we can have our search function back :)

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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by shesheyan » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:07 pm

Havard wrote:Since I am interested in Blackmoor, someone from Dave Arneson's group (John Snider) had earlier published two sci fi board games (Star Probe and Star Empires) with TSR in the 1970s. Since Dave Arneson's group added roleplaying elements to all of their board game and miniature games, John Snider had planned a third installment in this series which was to be a fully fledged RPG. However, the advent of Traveller caused him to abandon the project, apparently. Not much later Star Frontiers came out. I don't know if any elements from John Snider's games made it into Star Frontiers?
Interesting. I didn't know that.

My favorite space game of that area is Starfire (1977-79) and Starfire Empires (1982) by Task Force Games. Empires had a full system for long term campaigns with detailed background about for each races and technologies. Very solid games for the time. Played several games and really liked the combat system. That is why I was really motivated to buy the Star Frontiers RPG box. I had the intention of using Star Fires space combat rules with Star Frontiers. At the time I wasn't aware of Knight Hawks (1983), the space combat expansion for Star Frontiers. Maybe I should try it out.. so many games, so little time.. !
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:39 pm

I played the game a couple of times with some friends (the pre-Alpha Dawn set, which I think is either the 1st edition or just the "blue box"). I would have enjoyed it a lot more if our GM wasn't so fond of making it a more humorous game than I think was intended. The way he ran it came across more like a less enjoyable version of Paranoia.

I really enjoyed the concept and setting, though.
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by Big Mac » Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:28 am

Havard wrote:Oh, and there is another thread about Star Frontiers from 2011 here.

Hopefully once The Piazza has been moved to a new server we can have our search function back :)
But would we ever have a bespoke Star Frontiers forum at The Piazza. I'm not so sure. :?

If we have only had two "generic" topics, and people don't want to create specific topics for specific aspects of the game, I can't see it gaining critical mass.

I'll have to look and see if there are more topics, after the search index gets rebuilt (on the new server).
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by shesheyan » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:47 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Havard wrote:Oh, and there is another thread about Star Frontiers from 2011 here.

Hopefully once The Piazza has been moved to a new server we can have our search function back :)
But would we ever have a bespoke Star Frontiers forum at The Piazza. I'm not so sure. :?

If we have only had two "generic" topics, and people don't want to create specific topics for specific aspects of the game, I can't see it gaining critical mass.

I'll have to look and see if there are more topics, after the search index gets rebuilt (on the new server).
Its game of patience, really. Who knows. Some Star Frontiers dedicated forums could shut down. Having a dedicated section could be useful.
You could add FrontierSpace topics to the section since its heavily inspired by Star Frontiers.
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Re: Star Frontiers [TSR 1982-86]

Post by Havard » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:32 pm

I don't think there is any point in debating what might be for the future of Star Frontiers here at The Piazza. As with most things I suppose it will boil down to how much interest there will be in the setting.

I can see a few things that Star Frontiers has got going for it:

1) It is connected to the Sci Fi settings of D20 Modern and Alternity
2) It is connected to Spelljammer
3) It could be used to expand on the settings of Blackmoor and Greyhawk to explain where the space ships appearing in those settings came from.
4) It could be used if someone wanted to explore into the future of the Fantasy Earth described in the HRef series.

I wonder if WotC will be interested in revisiting any of their sci fi settings with the advent of things like Starfinder?

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