|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.
Official Rulebooks TSR gave these fanboys permission to republish all the original material electronically. For free.
- Remastered Rulebooks
these fanboys have "digitally remastered" and patched up the rules. Also free to download. Also modules, maps and links to Star Frontiersman fanzines. Kick-ass!Gone, WOTC asked people to stop distributing things they own the rights of... or something
- Star Frontiers as a 4E game laugh at the heretic. Point and laugh.