|This article or section is about something oldschool - and awesome.|
Make sure your rose-tinted glasses are on nice and tight, and prepare for a lovely walk down nostalgia lane.
Star Frontiers was TSR's science-fiction space opera RPG. It was shoved in a closet and ignored during the reign of Lorraine Williams because she wanted to push her Buck Rogers licensed-material and soak up the royalties. It had three releases: "Alpha Dawn" for player characters, "Knight Hawks" for ship-to-ship action including boarding parties and trade, and "Zebulon's Guide" for campaign setting fluff and politics. It had a more than respectable combat system with easy percentile rolls and modifiers, which included vehicle and aerial combat during the same six-second turns, using archaic weapons, melee weapons and futuristic melee and ranged weapons.
Unlike other TSR products of the time, they don't have a career "class" that dictates their aptitudes. Characters are skill-based instead, although the character picks a Primary Skill Area (PSA) that allows the character to pay half-price for advancing skills in that area.
Attributes are percentile, and are allocated as pairs. The pairs are:
- Strength / Stamina
- Dexterity / Reaction Speed
- Intuition / Logic
- Personality / Leadership
Attributes are usually identical in pairs, though racial bonuses or spending experience points can change that.
Race plays a very important role in Star Frontiers. Most Star Frontiers NPCs use race as a shorthand for the personality to expect (except Humans, of course, because Humans are always the jack-of-all-trades/unpredictable race). There are five major races in the campaign setting, four of them are playable:
- the amorphous thoughtful Dralasites (+5 Str/Sta, -5 Int/Log, multiple limbs, Lie Detection),
- the gangly curious Humans (+5 to any single ability but not both in a pair),
- the insectoid dedicated Vrusk (-5 Str/Sta, +5 Int/Log, Ambidextrous, Sense Motive)
- the simian fierce Yazirians (-10 Str/Sta, +5 Dex/RS, +5 Int/Log, Night Vision, Gliding)
These four races are allied for setting and exploiting the frontier sector that is the default campaign setting.
The fifth major race is saved for the BBEG:
- the maniacally violent vermiform Sathar (-5 Dex/RS, -5 Int/Log, +0/+20 Per/Ldr, Hypnotism)
They are written intentionally as an enigmatic BBEG race for the GM to use for spooking the players or setting up a conspiracy.
- Fanboy site for rulebooks
TSR once gave these fanboys permission to republish all the original material electronically, for free, then reneged so some of the links take you to DriveThruRPG
Remastered Rulebooks "digitally remastered" and patched up rules, with modules, maps and links to Star Frontiersman fanzines.
Gone, WOTC asked people to stop distributing things they own the rights of... or something