OGL Star Frontiers

Document container for project design documents.

Chapter 1: Introduction (Empty)

This will contain a brief description of the project once I've written it. 

Chapter 2: Ability Scores

Chapter 2: Ability Scores
Characters are defined at the lowest levels by five ability scores.  They represent the talents and in-born abilities that he has developed up to this point in his life.  Each ability score has a modifier based on how far it is above or below the average score of 10.  This modifier is used far more often than the score itself.  Ability scores can be improved during play but far less than skills.

The Abilities
The five abilities are listed hereafter along with descriptions.  After the name of each ability, the abbreviation used is listed in parenthesis.  Note that no distinction is made between a physical and a mental ability.
Generating Ability Scores
The Referee will decide the method by which ability scores are generated depending on how strong he wishes characters to be in the campaign.  See table 2-1 for standard ability levels, although Referees may use a different method if they desire.

 Table 2-1: Character Ability Levels
Character Type
Random Method
Point Buy Allotment
 Average Joes
 3d6 8
Local Heroes
4d6, drop lowest
 Planetary Notables
 2d6+6 17
 Galactic Explorers
 1d10+8 20

Average Joes: Characters at this level are little better than the average being on the street, at least to begin with.  Using point buy, characters receive 8 points to spend on Table 2-2 or roll 3d6 five times. 
Local Heroes: These characters are better than average in most ways but may have some notable weak areas.  Random rolls use 4d6 for each ability.  Keep the highest 3 results to find your ability score.  Point buy characters receive 14 points at this level. 
Planetary Notables: These characters stand out as some of the most talented people on their home planets.  To determine their abilities randomly, roll 2d6 and add six for each ability.  Point buy characters get 17 points.
Galactic Explorers: These characters stand above the galaxy in terms of natural talent but even higher expectations are placed on them.  Random characters roll 1d10+8 for each ability while point buy characters receive 20 points.

Random Methods: Referees may allow you to arrange the scores as you see fit or to place them in the order you roll them.
Point Buy Methods: Each ability has a base score of 10.  You may spend points as you see fit to increase scores.  You may also lower up to two scores as low as 8 to increase other abilities. See table 2-2 for costs.

Table 2-2: Point Buy Costs
 9 -1
 10 0
 11 1
 12 2
 13 3
 14 4
 15 7
 16 10
 17 13
 18 17

Chapter 3: Species (Empty)

This will contain the Species/race creation system and any example races as soon as I write that section.

Chapter 4: Classes (Empty)

Like the others, this is yet to be written.  I'm working on it.

Chapter 5: Skills (First Draft)

Chapter 5: Skills

Skills are the primary way characters interact with the world around them.  Each level, characters receive a number of skill points with which to improve old skills or learn new ones.  Skills have ranks.  Each rank costs one skill point and you may not have more ranks in a skill than your character level. You may put ranks in any skill at the standard price.

Trained/Untrained: If you have one or more ranks in a skill, you are considered trained.  If you have no ranks, you are untrained.  Being untrained has consequences as listed for each skill.  Most skills can be used untrained, you're simply not much good at it.  See each skills description for whether it can be used untrained and what penalties you suffer, if any.

Class skills: Each class has a list of skills that define its core area of competence.  These are its class skills.  If you are trained in a class skill from any of your classes, you gain a +3 bonus with all uses of that skill.

Effect Dice:  Effect dice are used to determine the magnitude of success in situations where simply succeeding isn't enough.  Your base effect die is set according to table 5-1.  Class abilities and feats may affect your Effect dice as can spending Determination on a critical success.
Skill Level
Effect Die Size
 Untrained 1d6
 Trained 2d6
 Trained Class Skill

Skill areas: There are five regular skill areas: Basic, Military, Technical, Exploration, and Social. These areas are used by classes and do not restrict what skills a character may have.  Some optional subsystems (Psionics for example) may have their own skill areas with restrictions on how those skills may be purchased.

Focus: A focus is a sub-skill, an area of specialty within a broader skill.  Having a focus gives you a +2 on skill checks that use that focus.  Exotic focuses are marked with an asterisk.  If you do not have an exotic focus, you are considered untrained when using that focus.

Skill tricks: A skill trick is a action that a character can learn based on his skills.  Examples include trick shots, evasion, and kit-bashing These are bought using focuses.

Standard Rules
Some situations occur frequently and across several skills.  Thus there are standard rules to accomodate these situations

Standard Healing Rule
First Aid Check

Long Term Check

Surgery Check

Standard Repair Rule
Build Check

Repair Check

Hasty repairs made in stressful situations like combat have a chance to fail unless a critical success is scored. 

Scavenge Check

Skill Descriptions

Basic Skills
: Basic skills have fewer skill checks than normal skills and in most d20 systems are provided by class or derived from abilities.  There is no penalty for being untrained in a basic skill. 

Defense(Fit): Defense represents your ability to avoid taking damage from attacks. 
Initiative(Mox): Adds to initiative rolls.
Perception(Mox): Used for Surprise and Search checks.
Reflex(Acu): Used for Reflex Saves
Fortitude(Fit): Used for Fortitude Saves
Will(Res): Used for Will Saves

Exploration skills: These skills deal with natural or low tech creatures and environments.

Acrobatics(Mox): This skill deals with graceful movement, precise and smooth actions in combat, as well as controling vehicles that rely on body movement.  This skill can be used to climb, jump, swim, hold your balance, or fit through areas you could not normally.
Animal Handling(Mox): This skill allows training, riding, and commanding animals in combat.
Biology(Prc):  This skill deals with plants and animals.  It can be used to heal animals as well as analyzing entire ecosystems.
Linguistics(Acu): Learning languages and figuring out what aliens speaking in unknown tongues are saying.
Melee Weapons(Fit):  Using hand-to-hand and thrown weapons, either primitive or modern.
Stealth(Fit): Skill at moving undetected.  Covers both seeing and hearing and uses equipment that can extend that range.
Survival(Res): This skill deals with surviving outside of civilization.  Skilled survivalists can find or make food, clothing, shelter, and primitive weapons.

Military Skills: Military skills deal with the core competencies of soldiers and modern armies.

Athletics(Fit): Climbing, jumping, swimming, feats of strength or endurance.  Powerful movement and forceful actions in combat.  This skill is used by those on foot in chases.
Intimidate(Res):  Getting your way through force and threat or simply scaring others into leaving you alone.
Ordnance(Acu): Skill with the big guns: explosives, heavy, vehicle, and starship weapons.
Rifles(Prc):  Skill with rifles, generally larger but high damage and long range.  Also includes bows and crossbows.
Sidearms(Prc): Light personal ranged weapons are covered here.
Tactics(Res):  Battle planning and inspiration as well as issuing commands in combat. 
Unarmed(Fit):  Fighting with one's body or natural weapons. 

Social Skills: These skills deal with people directly.

Acting(Mox):  Lying by word, voice, deed, or appearance.  Covers bluffing, disguise, going unnoticed in crowds.  If you get your way by lying or telling people what they want to hear, this skill is for you.
Diplomacy(Res):  Negotiation by compromise. If you get your way by getting people some of what they want or promises, this is your skill.
Haggle(Acu): Negotiation and appraisal by value.  Bribing and reaching a fair trade are what this skill is about.
Impress(Mox):  Getting your way by being liked.  Also covers entertainment like dancing, juggling and simply getting people to think better of you.  PR.
Medicine(Prc): Healing and treating injuries, diseases, and poisons in intelligent creatures.
Psychology(Acu): Treating (or causing) stress, mental illness, as well as hypnosis and other mind control techniques.
Detective(Res): This skill combines the "BS detector" of Sense Motive with some investigative and questioning skills.

Technical Skills: Technical skills deal with the products of civilization.

Archeology(Acu):  Understanding and translating ancient languages, technologies, and cultures.
Astrogation(Prc): Navigation inside of and between star systems as well as astronomy and planetary geology.
Drone Control(Acu):  This is the non-repair part of Robotics. Commanding drones and robots as well as writing robot-specific programs.
Electronics(Prc):  Repair and programming of any electronic device, including robots and computers.  If you want to be the person who fixes everything, you need this skill and Mechanics.
Ground Vehicles(Mox):  Driving vehicles that move primarily across planetary surfaces.
Mechanics(Res):  Repairing and using non-electronic machines.  Most repairs of vehicles need only this skill.  Most large machinery is repaired and controlled using this skill.  Note that a vehicle could have an electronic repair problem just as a robot could have a mechanical problem. 
Piloting(Prc):  Control areospace vehicles.  Spaceships should be exotic focuses.