Star Frontiers

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Star Frontiers is a science fiction role-playing game produced by TSR beginning in 1982.[1] The game offered a space-opera action-adventure setting.

Contents

Setting

Star Frontiers takes place near the center of a spiral galaxy (the setting does not specify whether the galaxy is our own Milky Way). A previously undiscovered quirk of the laws of physics allows starships to jump to "The Void", a hyperspatial realm that greatly shortens the travel times between inhabited worlds, once they reach 1% of the speed of light (3,000 km/s).

The basic game setting was an area known as "The Frontier Sector" where four sentient races (Dralasite, Humans, Vrusk, and Yazirian) had met and formed the United Planetary Federation (UPF). The original homeworlds of the Dralasites, Humans, and Vrusk were never detailed in the setting and it is possible that they no longer existed. A large number of the star systems shown on the map of the Frontier sector in the basic rulebook were unexplored and undetailed, allowing the Gamemaster (called the "referee" in the game) to put whatever they wished there.

Players could take on any number of possible roles in the setting but the default was to act as hired agents of the Pan Galactic corporation in exploring the Frontier and fighting the aggressive incursions of the alien and mysterious worm-like race known as the Sathar. Most published modules for the game followed these themes.

Sapient races

  • Dralasites are short, gray amoeboid creatures capable of changing their form to a limited extent by extending and retracting pseudopods. Lacking a digestive system, they consume their food by surrounding and absorbing it. A network of nerves and veins intersects at a Dralasite's two eye spots. They cannot see colors, but have a well-developed sense of smell. They have a sense of humor that the other races often find strange or quirky, and a love of bad puns.
  • Humans are a race of beings virtually identical to Earthly humans. The most notable difference between these and earth humans are that the humans of the Frontier have a 200 year lifespan (possibly due to the advanced technology of the setting).
  • Vrusk are an insect-like (arthropoid) race with eight walking legs and two five-clawed manipulating arms. Their ant-like heads included two antennae and two mandibles. They are omnivorous. They are noted for their logical minds and their society is structured as commercial ventures. Many Vrusk give their company name before their given name.
  • The Yazirian race are anthropoids similar to various terrestrial apes. They are muzzled, lightly furred, and have patagia stretching between their arms and legs which they can use to glide over short distances in low gravity (their home worlds are all low-gravity). They are descended from a nocturnal species, and prefer to wear tinted goggles to protect their eyesight during the day. They are said to be rather violent and pushy, and have a custom to choose a "life-enemy", which could be anything; a company, person, or a concept. The fictional species was rehashed as Shadow People in TSR's later Dragonlance series of campaign modules and also as the Hadozee race presented first in Spelljammer and secondly in Stormwrack. All bear a strong resemblance to the High Martians of GDW's later Space: 1889 RPG. Yazirians bear a passing resemblance to Wookiees in Star Wars especially in the matter of battle rage or a berserker state of mind.

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