This time through the Card Catalog, we are looking at Star Frontiers – the 1982 Space Opera and Science Fiction game from TSR that has never had the chance to meet it’s full potential. Despite rather streamlined rules for a 1982 game and a truly inspiring setting, Star Frontiers still is oft overlooked except by a fervent online fan base. The first character we will look at building is the ship Captain Telinia Bodaz. If you have not yet read the overview of the system, please click HERE to take a quick look before we start the build process.
I am also going to advance all the Star Frontier characters with about 50XP to show how you can optimize your chances or enrich your character as built. Where I use some House Rules, I will let you know and explain why I made that choice! The PDF fillable character sheets were found at Starfrontiers.info.
Unsurprisingly, the TSR game started with random Ability generation, but Star Frontiers rolls percentile dice that are then provided a standardized value instead of just what is on the dice. For Captain Bodaz, I rolled 32; 64; 76; and 93 which results in starting scores as follows:
- Strength/Stamina 40
- Dexterity/Reaction Speed 50
- Intuition/Logic 55
- Personality/Leadership 65
As a Human, Captain Bodaz can add 5 to any single Ability, but not the entire pair, so I add that to her Personality Physical Ability as a way to reflect her natural friendly charisma and attractiveness versus any imperious or command style leading. Next, you can trade up to 10 points between these pairs, so I will shift 10 points from Strength to Stamina to make her more resilient but not necessarily a physically strong character and also shift 5 points from her Logic to Intuition to focus more on her “guts” than her “analytics. This results in the following statistics:
- STR/STA 30/50
- DEX/RS 50/50
- INT/LOG 60/50
- PER/LDR 70/65
As far as Special Abilities go, humans are remarkably adaptable but have no other innate species based abilities or weaknesses.
Abilities are fairly limited to start, and while there are some ideas for expanded Skill versions of Star Frontiers, I will stick with the Alpha Strike & Knight Hawks version of skills. The Captain’s Primary Skill Area is going to be Biosocial. That means that she will have a discount or reduced cost to buy skills and skill levels of the Biosocial Area’s Skills. For her two starting skills, the first is going to be Biosocial because she is the leader and this covers the range of communication, empathy, and social skills you want from a leader. For her second skill, I will go with Beam Weapons in the Military Group because she needs to have something to do in Combat.
This covers most of the character generation requirements because we have already decided that Captain Bodaz is female, I’ll make her right handed, and redhead leaving us with equipment to select … but since I’m giving her another 50 Experience Points, we will look at equipment and weapons in the Advancement section that follows.
The great simplicity of Star Frontiers is that there are only two places for a human to spend experience points – abilities and skills. The Abilities can range up to 100 and are a simple 1 XP for 1 Point expenditure. Straightforward and because the skill checks are percentile based easy to understand what your investment nets you. Skills are bought per level, from 1 to a maximum of 6.
In the Biosocial Skill Area, the Captain is going to increase her Psychosocial Ranking from 1 to 3 for 25 total XP. Also, she picks up Rank 1 of the Medical Skill for a mere 5 XP. Also, she adds a single rank of Melee Weapons to use a stun baton and dabbles enough on a computer to pick up the Technical Skill Area skill of Computer at Level 1. The 6 XP to get the Melee Weapon Skill adds 10% to her chance to hit and makes it the best investment on her training for now, though she is still not a front line combatant. That leaves 6 XP.
For the Captain, it’s her Personality that matters the most and I am going to drop all 6 into her Personality to raise it to 76.
Now I am going to look at equipment, weapons, and defenses … which I may not pay too much attention to the cost because it’s a lot more fun just to get them outfitted. Also, she has the ship under a Charter Letter with Streel Corp. that has secured their loan and employment just in case I forget to mention it later.
With a Beam Weapon Skill, our intrepid Captain definitely has a Sonic Stunner pistol that can stun a target that doesn’t roll below their Stamina when hit. Similarly, for heavier needs, she has a Laser Rifle on the G’lunk. Finally, a Stun Stick to try to shock and stun melee attackers sounds like a good plan. Her main weapons work around regular defenses by trying to stun opponents which can be very helpful if the defenses are not the appropriate match up.
For defenses, Star Frontiers provides two “slots” – a suit and a screen. Each type chosen will shield the character from incoming damage of a particular type and eventually need repair or replacement. Captain Bodaz has a Skeinsuit which protects against inertia and physical attacks be they ranged or melee absorbing up to 50 points of damage before it is destroyed. An Albedo Screen is a force field like defense that will absorb laser and beam attacks sapping power at a rate of 1 Standard Energy Unit per 5 points of damage.
A small assortment of fairly standard equipment follows! In fact, a Standard Equipment Pack is an item that is used to provide the basic adventuring gear one would expect. Additionally, the Medical skill means that the Capt. is also going to be handling some of the care and healing requirements so I grab a few items like a Medical Kit to round out her standard items. There isn’t a line for her to have fancy clothes and other accouterments, so we will just take them as read.
The Bodaz family lived a rather fantastic life on the planet BLAH. While the UPF was representative, it didn’t require any of the member planets have a specific government. This means that the neo-feudal system of Yaert left those at the top in power year over year and generation over generation. Tenilia was born in the Duchy of Bodaz at the advent of the Second Sathar War and grew up as insulated as she could be from the ongoing war.
Sadly, for the Bodaz, Tenilia’s older siblings died in the war protecting the UPF form the slithering and sly Sathar. It took some time for Tenilia to realize that she had become the heir to the Duchy or more precisely what that meant. Her time in her teenage years was spent learning social systems and what was expected of her as a leader. Her time in her teenage years bristled with rebellion.
When she was of legal age, and with the Second Sathar War well and truly years behind the UPF, she exercised her noble powers in the Duchy – she appointed a Seneschal and declared that she was taking a sabbatical for the next decade. She knew enough to know she had the power to take a ship, the G’lunk, with her and that she could find her own fortune and fame without the fancy trappings her parents had left her. It didn’t take long to find a crew, or really the first true friends in her life. She hadn’t been given the opportunity to have equals as friends growing up – peers for sure, but with the attendant social requirements that meant. Kratog, Drichu, and Ghrilham were fast friends and she learned more from them in two short years than an entire decade of training. She wasn’t sure about Kevin, but Drichu convinced her that a strong arm and a clear mind would help
Her fortune and fame appeared to be on a majestic trajectory, until Frilkium. He G’lunk had been working on the fringes of the Corporate War retrieving expensive or unique equipment left behind, selling star charts to uncharted planets, and even some light corporate espionage to fill the coffers. Frilkium appeared to be an uncharted planet near the Frontier. It was rich with biological density and didn’t appear to have any intelligent inhabitants. What none of the G’lunk crew knew was that the Frillites had buried and reclaimed the last two corporate ships with their plants.
The Frillites sprung a trap, and Telinia watched with horror as the planet’s trees and vines dragged Ghrilham away to die and Kratog could barely get the G’lunk fired up. Kevin’s injury slowed him down and was slowing them down to the excel site when Drichu gave in to his Battlerage. Telinia knew her friend wouldn’t come back and that she was losing someone else. She cried as they freed themselves from the green entanglement. The repairs to the G’lunk were extraordinary as the Frillites had been eating away as much of the ship as their vines could. Telinia could go home … Accept the money but also the responsibility of her family and title. Instead, she was not ready to give up her freedom just yet. A charter from Streel would float their repairs and give her time to plan the next stage of her career.
Telinia found new crew members to replace those she failed – though it is unproven whether their loyalties lie with Streel or her – and the Bodaz G’lunk flies again! Telinia has enjoyed the exploration and prospecting almost as much as she has been terrified of GODCo’s terraforming tech. As she looks forward, Telinia is also looking over her shoulder to Drichu’s memory and because she isn’t sure if she can trust her new crew with Sathars slithering about the Frontier space.
Capt. Tenilia Bodaz Character Sheet
Star Frontiers Setting and System Overview Here.