New (Old) Star Frontiers Book

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
December 10, 2013 - 7:25am
I was looking over the e-bay selection of Star Frontiers material today and someone is selling a complete lot of all rules, modules, accessories, and books for Star Frontiers for $249.  In looking though the set, I discovered another choose your own adventure book that I had never known about.  It's aimed at younger kids as it is in the Fantasy Forest line but it is #8 - Star Rangers Meet the Solar Robot.  It's definitely set in the SF universe as there is a yazirian child on the cover.  It's a sequel to #6 - Star Rangers and the Spy.  You can find a short description and cover image here: http://www.gamebooks.org/show_item.php?id=1014

Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine
Comments:

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
December 31, 2013 - 2:53pm
I agree with Rollo & Jedion.  It's always a good idea to have a few generic creatures on hand.  You never know what players are going to do, and you have to assume they are going to deviate from the planned adventure...

jedion357's picture
jedion357
December 31, 2013 - 5:23pm
honestly you could use the tables in the AD book on average carnivores, herbivores and omnivores on the fly and fudge things as you go.

Also I have found that Space Opera modules do a really good job of creating a whole ecosystem with a plethora of creatures to inhabit the planet and many come with art. You could raid these and adapt them to sf.

Finally, it is not beyond the stretch to spring a sathar creature showing up on an planet that the sathar have historically visited.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 2, 2014 - 1:26pm
A couple things... yes plan for the PCs to go off the reservation and have a few ideas on how to redirect if necessary... extra monsters and hazards are useful also an occasional rescue of party is sometimes needed as part of the redirect... the D&D players I used to DM for would always find a way to go totally left field on me (we had great games) but sometimes it was a challenge to get folks back on task with it seeming all part of the original planned adventure.

Captive Planet is a wealth of info... I have been reading it. Some thoughts about it...

I am not allowing anti-gravity devices in UPF tech (the book does) but if I incorporate what the book mentions, implies or offers as info it changes things big time for Traune's Star. 

Pale is already considered the Capitol Planet for the system. Implying some sort of combined government already.

But New Pale is a PGC Planet/Colony that adds a whole new dimension to Streel backing Pale in war latter. This also means that there is no or minimal Star Law presence (such as 1 token marshal) on New Pale (PGC does not like others in their business) only a few PGC Security/Police would be present with such a small population. The UPF or PGC or the overall culture in general does not seem to care about what we would call EPA issues (the field bear is practically extinct, massive clearing/changing of land) and chemical use is normal on crops. So no pesky environmental reports in the UPF? Hunting and Fishing are favorite past times of the colonists. The fact that New Pale bases it's colony government on Pale's is interesting especially if New Pale's population is mostly PGC employees, contracted people by PGC and their families. 

PGC invites/recruits talented children of their employees to it's University. No doubt other companies that are large may do the same. Thus there maybe several large company universities about the UPF, no doubt the students are expected to work for the corporation if on a scholarship from the sponsoring company. Note Unit 5 "Brim" was trained elsewhere and then recruited... either he paid his way in school, received grants, or was recruited in such a way as to make it worth while to not work for Star Law. Recruitment packages might be a practice for getting top students fresh out of non company schools. A company might conceivably pay off a student loan if it was to their advantage to do so, no doubt contracts are involved that would protect the company. 

Pale looks red in space, while New Pale looks green.

The whole of the UPF relies on the Mannakan Crops not just Pale, that means any disruption is a big deal for everyone. Some of the UPF citizens think this gives the PGC too much power, thus even the UPF via it's military or Star Law is willing to invade not just Pale latter in the timeline. This adds a lot more political players to the latter conflict between Pale and New Pale. On top of the plant being used as food it is also a major fuel source. The plant does not appear to be processed on New Pale but is shipped off world by PGC freighters and freighters with PGC contracts. This means processing seems to be done on other planets but I see no reason why spacestations or maybe processing ships could not exist. The Cargo Shuttles hold about 1 ton it seems which is worth about Cr. 333,333 +/- a few credits per ton. The plant might be a PGC genetically designed crop, which might explain lack of significant fields of it elsewhere or maybe it requires a very specific environment. Though it is implied the crop is grown on some other colonies but not enough to support those worlds needs. Also there is a microbe it is susceptible to which means crops must be treated. It is also possible that some of the plague planets may have been Ag Planets and with the loss of them the UPF as a whole is now in a very bad food strategic/logistic situation, when the story occurs. The description of this plant specifically mentions the Earth's cassava plant... so Earth could be the human homeworld even though the AD history says otherwise, or it may imply some other relationship to Earth or not.

The City of Truane is built on Triad's plan... so using the description in Captive Planet you have an idea on how two cities are laid out in the UPF, though of course there would be differences no doubt. UPF Architecture some doors slide open like in Star Trek (at the University and in the Computer building), round ones open like a camera lens and a good section of the underground tunnels are Mushroom-shaped and have corridors like that; I wonder what must be a reason for that? Truane City has the most advanced computer in the frontier. The combination locks on the doors are coloured button based.

The critters of New Pale... I would suggest that based on the descriptions some thought should be given to why they are the way they are, especially if you plan to create new critters (which we all do). Huge blind beasties, creatures that are deaf, etc indicate predators that are very different, different ways of sensing their environments, different ways of defending themselves. Also birds with feather-fur maybe a New Pale rule of evolution. Many Sci-fi authors just throw critters together others create worlds with rules for instance the planet Krishna (from a book series) has no animals with feathers which makes Earth Birds a novelty, or only 4 limbed creatures lay eggs, while only 6 limbed creatures give live birth. Barsoom had no hoofed creatures for another example. The idea behind a few rules is that it helps create the exotic world by presenting challenges and parameters to the flora and fauna. Considering how quickly the fieldbears can make a come back from the brink of extinction indicates that either their natural food source is fast growing and they grow very fast probably have short life spans (think field mice) and they are eaten by a lot of large dangerous critters which might be rare or extinct now with their food source mostly gone. In RL New Zealand's Giant Eagle went extinct as it's food source was over hunted by early peoples and also it's nests raided and it was hunted (it could easily kill a person and is said to have done so). 

Sleep Gas appears to be Orange.

Humans that go into space hair colour changes to solid blue or gets blue streaks in it. Dralasites veins turn colour under certain emotional responses such as purple, and Vrusks can glow! 

Sathar Agent commits suicide with the old poisoned tooth option.

Several kinds of bots are described as well.

Anyway just some thoughts...

 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 2, 2014 - 2:10pm
Interestingly, there is a Star Quest book called Captive Planet by a Gregory Smith published in 1986. Have to wait till my copy of the TSR Captive Planet comes in before I can comment on the post below.

EDIT: Interesting find: young adult ficiton "The Moons of Zebulon"
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
January 3, 2014 - 2:25pm

I totally agree with your observations, Tchklinxa. 

I thought they seemed awfully proud of themselves for wiping out the fieldbear.  From today's perspective it seemes weird and almost disturbing, but from the perspective of the early 20th century in RL, it would not seem unusual at all.  They viewed it as a large pest, and so of course they wanted to wipe it out.  That's what people did.

I agree with your theory that the fieldbear must have had some sort of predator that became extinct when people started messing with the ecosystem.  At the fieldbear's rate of reproduction, there had to be something that kept them in check before humans came along.

The blushing Dralasite was interesting.  I had never thought about that before.

I think the glowing Vrusk was supposed to be the cybot.

The blue hair is interesting.  They state (or imply) somewhere in the book that humans acquire blue hair by drinking the water on different alien planets over a long period of time.  I wish they told us which planets, or how long it takes.  The implication is that long-term spacers are the only folks with blue hair, because they have to explain it to the kid.

I wasn't sure about the Sathar agent - is he supposed to be human?  He is definitely humanoid, but is he actually human? 

Jedion, interested to hear if those books have any connection - let us know.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 4, 2014 - 11:42am
The sathar agent had violet eyes I wonder if he was suppose to be another race of human too (like the Snowballers have to be if DNA is the same), 

The blue hair is interesting and yeah it was something to do with space water.
 
Yes the robots glowed, but there is a line where the Vrusk "the colors of his shell begin to glow in anger". Interesting I thought.
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 0 1 6 38 1 1 46 11.1539 <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]> 0 0 0 <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--><!--EndFragment-->
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
January 8, 2014 - 1:53pm
Hmm... I see it.  It looks like that was the author's careless attempt to make the Vrusk flush with emotion, as if their carapace were skin, like they did with the Dralasite.  I wouldn't read too much into it.

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 8, 2014 - 9:16pm
It could be really inconvient to be a Vrusk at night and be all upset because bad people are doing bad things and you are trying to hide and then you start glowing like a firefly. 

I agree probably an attempt to either show emotion or alien up the alien more... but sort of cool. But if Vrusks glow I bet not too many in special ops... or Ninja type activities. I could imagine all the humans calling every Vrusk Sparky, Glowbug, Night Light and other things. "Hey K'tlith you got a light? Ha ha ha." 
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
January 9, 2014 - 1:52am
Who needs a flashlight?  I'm a Vrusk!

Everyone would nickname their Vrusk "Rudolph".

Laughing


jedion357's picture
jedion357
January 9, 2014 - 4:07am
A vrusk named Rudy.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
January 9, 2014 - 5:38am
Lightbright 


 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

bossmoss's picture
bossmoss
January 10, 2014 - 6:10pm
LMAO

Stibbons's picture
Stibbons
September 25, 2015 - 3:21pm
Apologies for the thread necromancy, but I've got a couple of these now, "Star Rangers and the Spy" and "Trouble on Artule". Of the latter the less said the better, did they give the guy a brief on the Star Frontiers universe at all? If they did he can't have read it aside from a VERY cursory glance.

"Spy" is more fun. Yes. Boxils. If they're in "Volturnus" too then they're likely the author Jean Blashfield's creation. "Spy" states that they're Space Fleet's messengers. It doesn't state that they're creatures at all.

I think they're robots. the SF equivalent to the little boxy MSE droids you saw in Star Wars. A micro-robot in this case, with an information storage programme. Maybe a bit of security, analysis, communications and translation thrown in for good measure. Maybe the face is basically a way it can communicate, with expressions (they didn't have emoticons then). Or perhaps they're just sentient toasters. ("Howdy Doodly-doo!!!).

Got the other books on order now, looking forward to seeing "Volturnus" and "Captive Planet" particularly.
Set course for the 80's... (My Livejournal)

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
October 9, 2015 - 7:26pm
:)
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
October 30, 2015 - 6:51am
bossmoss wrote:


One note: most of these books have weird little alien creatures called Boxils.  I think they made them up to appeal to kids.  They appear in both Star Rangers books, as well as Villains of Volturnus.  A Boxil is basically a 4-legged cube with a face on it.  Their intelligence level is hard to interpret, but they seem to be about as smart as chimps.  I have included them in my campaign setting, as background color (my kids love them).

Do you have stats?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
October 30, 2015 - 8:25am
Jaxon wrote:
bossmoss wrote:


One note: most of these books have weird little alien creatures called Boxils.  I think they made them up to appeal to kids.  They appear in both Star Rangers books, as well as Villains of Volturnus.  A Boxil is basically a 4-legged cube with a face on it.  Their intelligence level is hard to interpret, but they seem to be about as smart as chimps.  I have included them in my campaign setting, as background color (my kids love them).

Do you have stats?

I don't think any official stats exist. You wouldn't need much, I don't think they attack at all.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 1, 2016 - 4:35pm
Hello, I'm a new member to the SF website, though I've been reading a number of the postings during the past several months. I used to own a few of the Star Frontiers books, athough I gave them away -- like I did with  my Alpha Dawn, Knight Hawks and Zebs books. I was more into FASA's Start Trek the Role Playing Game and Batte Tech.

That being said, I've been working on a Star Frontiers game for some of my children -- after they complained about the shallowness of modern video RPGs -- and have been gathering different bits of information from here, Star Frontiersman and Frontier Explorer. I always thought Star Frontiers was a good game, but lacked a lot more meat it needed for its bones.

I wrote a description for a new Cadre based on your discussions above  and what was on the wiki site.

Cadre: Star Rangers

Brief:[i]

A decade after the end of the First Sathar War a Frontier-wide youth organization was formed to help bring the Core Four Races together. Founded in FY13, the Star Rangers has many chapters on most settled worlds throughout the United Planetary Federation with the notable exception of the Araks system. It promotes the concepts of physical, spiritual and mental development of youth while teaching survival and exploration skills.

The popularity of the Star Rangers among youth has waxed and waned over the decades depending upon societal changes. Although the organization has traditionally received great support from most sectors, including sponsorship from the Pan Galactic Corporation and the other mega corporations, it has occasionally come under attack by various other groups and governments.

On Hentz (Araks), for example, the Family of One banned the Star Rangers early on as a “countervailing influence” that threatened the moral fiber of young Yazarians. The Family of One, however, established its own group – the Fellowship of One – that mirrors many of the Star Rangers activities, but gears them specifically for Yazarians.

Members of the Frontier Peace Organization have made several charges – often contradicting each other. One common allegation is that the Star Rangers are a front organization for the Free Frontiersmen Foundation and seek to overthrow the UPF with a fascist government. Another discredited theory is that the rangers are in league with the Investors and want to corrupt the youths into supporting the rich against rest of society.

Other fringe groups ranging from the Kraatar Liberation Corps to the HUSPs on New Pale (Truane’s Star) have attacked Star Rangers chapters – both financially and literally – for attempting to dilute the purity of humanity with alien ideals.

Formation

The concept for the Star Rangers goes back to some of the youth organizations that Humans had developed on their home world prior to arriving in the Frontier. Such groups were open to peoples of different nationalities, religious faiths and genders and promoted what were often considered universal Human values.

During the First Common Muster against the pirate fleet of Hatzck Naar, a young Nelson McMeamy of the White Light System joined the Clarion Royal Marines and was deployed into the Frontier. When the pirates destroyed his ship, he soon found himself on a Pan Galactic privateer (the PGS Surety) with a mixed crew of Humans, Vrusk, Yazarians and Dralasites. Here McMeamy made lifelong friends who helped shape the early days of the UPF.

Two decades later, when the Sathar invaded the Frontier in 3 PF, McMeamy was a colonel in the Clarion reserves and was called up for active duty in the Second Common Muster. He served as a liaison officer, initially between the Clarion forces and the rest of the Core Four races but was soon tapped by Admiral Morgaine to help coordinate the activities of the growing defense fleet.

Although based on Gran Quivera (Prenglar), McMeamy often traveled to many of the Frontier worlds, renewing his acquaintance with several others who served aboard the PGS Surety. McMeamy and his friends often talked about the need to train the youth for the necessities of defending their planets against future alien menaces.

During the Battle of Two Fleets in 2 FY, where the Sathar were defeated but at the cost of much of Morgaine’s forces and the loss of the admiral himself, McMeamy was severely wounded and spent two years recovering on Gran Quivera. He wrote a memoire of his experiences serving under Morgaine along with several other short books aimed at the youth of the Core Four races. One book, Rangers of the Frontier, became very popular and the basis for starting the Star Rangers.

By FY8, McMeamy (now Lord McMeamy after inheriting his father’s royal title) and seven others – including Dalaa Naaro and Jeeka Srobbalee of the Yazarians, K’llee and YKk’ll’tkk of the Vrusk, Lloomahnee and Oodaahkay of the Dralasites, and Kai-Fu Jinping of the Humans gathered on Gran Quivera to establish the first Star Rangers chapter, which was sponsored by the newly formed Star Law police organization. Star Law officials saw the youth group as a natural venue to train potential candidates for the future.

From its first chapter on Gran Quivera, the Star Rangers quickly spread to other planets – even to the Outer Reach (Dramune), which is known for its criminal government. However, not everyone welcomed the new club. Many Vrusk trade houses saw the Star Rangers as a threat to socializing young Vrusk, so only the more adventurous of their kind joined at first. As noted earlier, the Family of One also saw the rangers as a menace to the traditional clan system and banned the group from establishing any chapters in the Araks system.

Lord McMeamy was the commandant of the Star Rangers until retiring in FY44. Afterward, he was an advisor to the organization until he passed away in FY71 at age 109 due to illness and complications that could be attributed to his injuries back in the First Sathar War.

Star Rangers in Popular Culture

The growth of the Star Rangers was also aided by book series and an early youth holovision show called “Star Rangers,” which was produced between FY23 and FY27 by Jean Blashfield and Beverly Charette.

The series starred Ranger Chaylo (Jose Monarrez), a Human boy; Rama (Haileen of the Backa Clan), a female Yazarian; Carrel (KRL Vr’Kal’kkix), a Vrusk male, and Gogol  (Gantoorlp), a Dralasite. The child actors were supported by Nanny Navigator Robot, a modified Pan-Galactic Model H-1-Eleven service robot.

The children lived on the fictional planet of Nedram, loosely based on Gran Quivera, which had blue dirt and was home to many of the Spacefleet’s top officials plus a groundside spaceship construction facility. The first adventure, “Star Rangers and the Spy,” featured the children spoiling the efforts of a Sathar agent, Mr. Drel, from stealing an experimental starship and giving it to the worms.

Another fictional race, the Boxils – white, cube-shaped creatures with four stubby legs and humanoid faces – often appeared in the episodes, often reacting with comic effect to some event occurring.

One of the episodes, “Captured Planet” (S01-12), was banned in the Truane’s Star System by the government of Pale for “malicious intent” to “flagrantly violate the public trust” and “manipulation of the facts.” The plot concerned an alleged Sathar attempt to cause widespread mannakan crop failure and spark a food crisis throughout the Frontier. The storyline incorrectly stated New Pale’s population as being only 20,000 people while alleging that the planet’s farms were run strictly by the Pan Galactic Corporation and its robot harvesters. Streel Corporation and the United Farmers Alliance of New Pale strongly objected to the tale, but it has become an underground cult classic.

The holovision series ended in FY27 after a tragic accident where an air car carrying Monarrez and Haileen crashed, killing the actors and four production staff members, including the lead director. Conspiracy theories have swirled ever since that Sathar agents blew the air car out of the sky, but nothing was ever proven.

Gantoorlp went on to become a comedian, playing various venues throughout the Frontier until the Dralasite was ensnared in an embezzlement scandal in FY63. Fleeing Star Law authorities, it purportedly ended up on the Outer Reach.

Vr’Kal’kkix, who grew up in the Vrusk entertainment trade house known as Kar’Reh’Ll (the character name Carrel was derived from KRL’s name), also remained in the entertainment field, but often served as a spokesbeing for Star Law. He later became a director of several movies and holovision series.

In FY63, Vr’Kal’kkix became the producer of a HV series called the “New Star Rangers.” He also produced a spinoff series called “Young Star Law” in FY75.

The original Nanny Navigator Robot and models of the Boxils, which were robots made to act like living creatures, are on display at the Kajavian Museum of Frontier Culture at Port Loren on Gran Quivera.

Many of today’s Frontier adventurers and more than a few members of Star Law, Spacefleet, the Landfleet and the UPF Marines, had their start as Star Rangers.

 Uniform and Ranks

What Frontier adult doesn’t remember the early Star Rangers recruitment advertisements with members of the Core Four races in the classic white-and-red ranger uniforms with the slogan, “Join the Galactic Legions” underneath? The uniforms were designed to be bright, colorful and easily recognizable and featured an early bodycomp. Modern ranger uniforms are derivatives of this look.

Similar to the military, Star Rangers have seven “ranks of merit” to distinguish members of different accomplishments and experience levels, starting with the basic Ranger rank all the way up to Dragon, which is the highest level. A ranger advances in rank by learning progressively harder skills in citizenship, leadership, personal growth, physical fitness, planetary exploration and the “ranger spirit.” As they learn, rangers are expected to explore various vocation and avocations while also performing community service.

When a youth joins a chapter, they earn the rank of Ranger by being able to provide some basic knowledge about the Star Rangers’ ideals. As a club member gains more knowledge, they achieve the rank of Surefoot (a translation from the word ikkal which deals with how a soft-skinned larval Vrusk is able to move around without injury). Other ranks in progression are Second Class, First Class, Star, Nova and finally Dragon. Before they turn age 20, Dragon rangers are able to earn up to six Star Clusters, representing additional service work.

Except for the Ranger rank, if a Star Ranger wants to advance in rank, not only does the being need to complete the necessary requirements, but must submit records of these accomplishments to a board of review. 



[i] “New (Old) Star Frontiers Book,” http://www.starfrontiers.us/node/7896 . Based on the discussions on the Star Frontiers forum website. Additional ideas based on the descriptions of the history of the Boy Scouts.

Joe Cabadas

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
March 3, 2016 - 9:20am
I can vouch for that...I just had an adventure re-write itself based on how well an NPC was clicking with my players...which has left me scrambling.

*EDIT* This to the point about having contingencies in place.

By the way, may I suggest if you need a critter you might consider the Lizape?  (See the Snape thread)...Wink

Putraack's picture
Putraack
March 3, 2016 - 9:53am
I like the Rangers/Scouts, that's a nice piece of potential background.

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 3, 2016 - 5:26pm
Dear Putraack:

Yes, I wrote the idea for the Star Rangers based on the Boy Scouts history and modifying it for the SF universe. Now, unless you have young children playing, the information would be for a character's background to help explain why they became an adventurer later in life.

Or you could have some obnoxious Star Ranger kids as part of a plot line... or a saavy child NPC who might be useful in some situations.
Joe Cabadas

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 3, 2016 - 7:29pm
Can we use this as an article in the Frontier Explorer?
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 4, 2016 - 9:26am
Dear TerlObar:

Why of course it can be used for Frontier. I would like to submit it, though proper credit should go to all of those who have posted comments to this forum. All I did was to synthesize it for a yet-to-really-get-started campaign.

Now, if someone wants to use Nedram as a real planet -- as opposed to the fictional one I presented in my version -- feel free. Though we should come up with some real statistics for it.

The uniforms I describe come from the early Star Frontiers advertisements that I've seen on line. But I haven't figured out how to post them to the website here.

Oh, and the "Dragon Ranger" rank is, of course, inspired by the Boy Scout's Eagle rank. In this case, it's for the Lossodragon from Frontier Explorer Issue 1.
Joe Cabadas

iggy's picture
iggy
March 3, 2016 - 8:40pm
Thanks for the nod from the lossodragon.  I am a big scouter and totally love this.  I would l ok ve to write this into one of my Jurak Hangna articles.  Jurak is the kind of guy to support the Star Rangers.
-iggy

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 4, 2016 - 7:29am
Oh, one other thing, if my article on the Star Rangers as a cadre is published, there should be a companion story to talk about the Endless Quest books. I noticed that someone has posted the actual books online where you can read through them. http://www.starfrontiers.com/Quests/

I've been looking at the books in my spare time -- in between my real work.
Joe Cabadas

JCab747's picture
JCab747
March 4, 2016 - 9:30am
Dear Iggy:

Of course you can use the article.

For the most part, I assume posting something like this on a forum site is public domain.

Please reference me, but again, I did my version for the Star Rangers cadre based on the information presented in the forum -- and using elements from the real Boy Scout history and Zeb's timeline.
Joe Cabadas