Original Draft Version of Star Frontiers

Mother's picture
Mother
August 21, 2018 - 6:54pm
What do we know about SF as it was originally designed, before the re-write ordered by the suits at TSR?  Have the original writers ever opened up about that and do you think they ever will?  It seems like that is the last remaining holy grail of SF, if we could ever see details on that.  My understanding is it was basically a finished game when it was ordered revamped.  I would love to get my hands on that game.  Seems like WOTC could finally make some money off of SF.
Comments:

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 22, 2018 - 2:05am
One thing is for sure, we do know the original design is light years better than the 2e attempt. 

Quote:
My understanding is it was basically a finished game when it was ordered revamped.

Nope, they were merely in the pre-production process of the second of three instalments when the line got the ax. In a nut shell, the new CEO's relationship with the Buck Rogers property got that product forced into the equation, so in the interest of self-interest the best thing to do was eliminate the comptetition.

The rest of the nut shell? Said CEO was the female version of Jimmy Wichard from King of the Hill: 

"I'm the bwoss!!! You doo whut I sayyy!"
Image result for jimmy wichard I'm the boss meme
No, I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide. Nor do I have any qualms in stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 22, 2018 - 5:00am
Shadow shack refers to Zebs

As for AD Schick in an interview by fans described A/B skills
I believe the original draft was called Alien Worlds. It was very sandbox. The core 5 were intended as PCs including the sathar which were the amoral ferengi stab you in the back version presented in Dragon as a PC race.

Cook wont talk about it. He gave me an interview for the 25th aniversary but in other emails to him he stopped talking to me when I tried to bring it up.


I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 22, 2018 - 5:06am
This is the project where we worked on figuring out what that Zero edition of the game looked like:


http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/7160
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 22, 2018 - 5:07am
You might also check out this:


http://frontierexplorer.org/book/sci-cons-i-ii-1999
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 22, 2018 - 5:15am
Also in an telephone interview with Matt Crymbal I remember something about the ifshnits that didn't make it into the magazine article we published: the name ifshnits was developed from "little sh!t" which was a reference to a PC someone was playing I believe.

Also another tidbit:
When we say that Schick signed off on the McCamerron class shuttle he actually signed a copy of the convention poster, which pictured the shuttle, that they mailed to him and this was presented to Albin Johnson at the con. And in the teleconference phone interview he endorsed it as official SF material.


I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Mother's picture
Mother
August 24, 2018 - 12:39am
Yes, that was it: Alien Worlds.  It's too bad Shick/Cook won't talk about it.  A NDA wouldn't make sense so it must be some really hard feelings. Even Gary Gygax eventually opened up about what went on at TSR during the Bloom days and how he brought L. Williams in (talk about being stabbed in the back).


jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 22, 2018 - 6:23am
My understanding, 2nd hand, is that Cook was not happy with how AW was taken from him and redone at the last minute. Other than the one thing he wrote about the Alien encounter by an archaeologist on Laco he never wrote another thing for SF because of this.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 23, 2018 - 11:42am
jedion357 wrote:
My understanding, 2nd hand, is that Cook was not happy with how AW was taken from him and redone at the last minute. Other than the one thing he wrote about the Alien encounter by an archaeologist on Laco he never wrote another thing for SF because of this.
 

Well, "Zeb" Cook actually wrote a couple of other SF related stories for Aries and Dragon magazine. One story was an alien world generator, another was the S'sessu article, and at least a third was providing some additional equipment such as rules on regeneration and cloning.

But, he certainly didn't contribute much more beyond that.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 24, 2018 - 5:39am
JCab747 wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
My understanding, 2nd hand, is that Cook was not happy with how AW was taken from him and redone at the last minute. Other than the one thing he wrote about the Alien encounter by an archaeologist on Laco he never wrote another thing for SF because of this.
 

Well, "Zeb" Cook actually wrote a couple of other SF related stories for Aries and Dragon magazine. One story was an alien world generator, another was the S'sessu article, and at least a third was providing some additional equipment such as rules on regeneration and cloning.

But, he certainly didn't contribute much more beyond that.


Knowing that he originally intended the sathar/sessu to be a playable race I view that ares article to be a recycle of material they had laying around. Not an active support for it.

"Encounters" in Polyhedron #9 is very early work. polyhedron #9 lacks a publication date but the ESP section mentions GEN CON XV and this being the Holiday issue I'm guessing it was Nov or Dec of 1982

Knowing that he basically declined any future involvment in Star Frontiers I find this Encounters article interesting in that It endorses the existance of PGC implying that the first mega corp was part of His and Schick's work, an ancient alien city on the dusty barren surface of Laco making it his invention even though we dont learn the name of that civilization till Zebs guide, We have an Ul-mor and his loper mount suggesting agian that the Volturnus Campaign/ planet/setting was concieved and developed by Cook and Schick- (Crash on volturnus is credited: Mark Acres and Tom Moldvay with Doug Niles) so despite that if its true that Cook effectively stayed away from Star Frontiers he certainly had a huge influence on the seminal campaign- Volturnus. Below is a link to the Polyhedron pdf available on the web if you do not have it.
https://rpg.rem.uz/Dungeons%20%26%20Dragons/Magazines/Polyhedron/001-050/Polyhedron%20009.pdf
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 24, 2018 - 2:41pm
Nice.
Joe Cabadas

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 25, 2018 - 2:57am
Actually just read the article closer and Cook did name the Tetrachs
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 25, 2018 - 2:58am
It just struck me, the holy grail would be an original draft version of Alien Worlds!
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 25, 2018 - 8:29am
jedion357 wrote:
It just struck me, the holy grail would be an original draft version of Alien Worlds!
 

Yes, we could have Monty Python's Quest for the Alien Worlds.
Joe Cabadas

Ravenshade's picture
Ravenshade
August 25, 2018 - 10:06pm
Laughing
I don't know where you're going, but do you have room for one more troubled soul? -Patrick Stump, Alone Together

Stormcrow's picture
Stormcrow
August 28, 2018 - 12:31pm
jedion357 wrote:
It just struck me, the holy grail would be an original draft version of Alien Worlds!

That's kinda what the subject of this topic implies one will find inside. And one is disappointed...

Mother's picture
Mother
August 29, 2018 - 6:42am
Stormcrow wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
It just struck me, the holy grail would be an original draft version of Alien Worlds!

That's kinda what the subject of this topic implies one will find inside. And one is disappointed...

I admire your optimisim. 

It doesn't sound like we will ever see this unless one of Schick's campaign players starts talking.  It wouldn't surprise me though if the biggest revelations have already been revealed.