This is a bit of private speculation about PSA and the four standard Frontier races. All four (I´ll exclude the Osakar, the Ifshnit and the Humma because I´m not all that familiar (or comfortable) with Zebulon´s) do the same stuff, but they may have wildly divergent reasons for doing it. What motivates a Dralasite to become a soldier, or a Yazirian to practice medicine? While the personal reasons may vary from sentient to sentient, there must be a "staple" motivation for that race to enter that particular field of study.
While this blog article is mainly for my own amusement, I hope that others will also draw some entertainment from it, and I believe it may actually be of help fleshing out some of the NPCs that will crop up in a game of Star…Read more >
Recently, a question popped up on whether it would be possible to use a nuclear bomb-powered megacannon to accelerate a payload to void velocity from the surface of a planet. I felt it was a very interesting question that needed a bit of looking into.
Short answer: No. It is not even remotely possible using the level of technology available in the canon Frontier setting.
The fastest man-made object ever launched was a manhole cover.
Yup. That ~300-400 lb plate of 4-inch iron was launched to a velocity of over 66 km/sec by the 300-ton yield Pascal-B nuclear device on 27 August 1957.
The velocity of light is 299,792 km/sec.
1% of the velocity of light is 2,997.92 km/sec.
Any heavier object would not be as fast, any lighter object would…Read more >
This is from a comment in an article, reprinted here for my convenience.
Injuries in the SF game are healed by medics using either First Aid, Minor Surgery, or Major Surgery;
First Aid can heal a maximum of 10 STA per day, due to the 20-hour limitation of biocort. The skill also uses “any appropriate items from the medkit”. If the injured character has suffered 11+ points of damage, they need surgery to heal the rest. If a character is injured after the healing, First Aid has no in-game effect (because of the biocort limitation), but is needed “fluff-wise” to prevent infection or further damage; to actually heal damage, the medic needs to perform surgery; for minor injuries, this is essentially the same as First Aid (but with an actual skill…Read more >
One point about vehicle combat in Alpha Dawn; in the real world, vehicles become inoperable long before they are destroyed; the rules in Alpha Dawn (pp. 31-2) reflect this well; rolls or roll and burn results from loss of control result in either an inoperable vehicle or one that can be driven again in 1d10 turns; high-speed collisions kill the vehicle, while lower speed collisions result in -20m/turn to acceleration and turning speed once the vehicle starts up again after 1d10 turns.
Combat damage requires rolls in the Vehicle damage table; 2d10+the number of dice of damage from the weapon; a 1 SEU laser means a 2d10+1 roll, while the laser set on 20 SEU will require a 2d10+20. Since rolls of 2-19 equal “no effect”, this means that vehicle…Read more >
Another answer in another forum, posted here for convenient access.
“Looking at the Knight Hawks rules and required drive overhauls, how do fleet actions happen in Star Frontiers? It seems like the logistics of fleet movement would be insane with the way the rules work. All your big ships would be ready to go but waiting on their support ships to get their drives back up. How did the Task Forces stay together to fight the Second Sathar War?”
Looking at the RaW and the implied reality of the setting, this questions requires looking at a couple of aspects of the rules that are not readily apparent in a casual reading of the book.
The first is a misconception about the strategic aspect of the Second Sather War as a boardgame: it is an abstractio…Read more >
This article is a response that was written to a question on another forum. It is reprinted here for sharing purposes. Questions are welcome.
Worlds that have been settled for a long time (such as Clarion, which canonically has been ruled by the same family for over 400 years) will have a wide range of foodstuffs, combining classic crops and food animals introduced during colonization, to native crops and genemods.
Even heavily industrialized worlds have more than enough space to be self-sufficient under most circumstances. Any agricultural products imported from off-world will be starter seed stock and genetic starters, not foodstuffs ready for distribution.
Why? Simple: lack of ships and lack of technology.
Looking at Knight Hawks, we know h…Read more >
Where are the Homeworlds of the Four Races? by Fireangel
This article was written in response to a question on Facebook. It is republished here as an aid to anyone looking for similar information.
The Alpha Dawn Basic Rulebook states that the Vrusk, who at the time had “developed limited space travel decades earlier”, had made contact with the dralasites through a vrusk mining colony.
This implies that the dralasites were not a space-faring race before being contacted by the vrusk. This could mean that the dralasites are the only member of the four basic races that is actually native to the Frontier Sector. This is actually supported by the artwork on the AD basic rulebook (pp. 2) showing a bar with a sign stating: “No pets or dralasites allo…Read more >
This is from a Facebook comment I made. Though to share it:
Acceleration-based artificial gravity makes Star Frontiers a rarity among sci-fi settings; this dictates not only the design of ships and stations, but also how people interact with them.
The FTL methodology of the setting also dictates how ships move from system to system; in the RaW, going from one system to another is not a trivial task; you need to make the course calculations, get the correct heading, spend several days accelerating to the jump and decelerating after it... spending a pretty big chunk of cash in fuel costs (10,000 cr per engine per jump). Then, after the jump, (assuming a ship with size A engines) a sizeable chunk of time overhauling the engines.
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"[To] Jupiter and beyond the infinite"
—2001: A Space Odyssey
To any hard sci-fi buffs out there, there is a great website that deals with scientifically accurate information about space exploration called Atomic Rockets. There you'll find information about building spaceships and space-stations; the logistics of space travel; life in space; colonization of space; space warfare; galactic world-building; etc. There are so much to read up on, and a great resource if you want to make a realistic sci-fi setting. It is worth checking out if you never been there.
Be forewarned: The harder the science of your sci-fi is, the more boring and mundane the setting is. In other words: You'll not get anything that made Star Wars so awesome; you'll only get th…
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Plotting a jump takes 10 hours of calculation per light year of distance between systems; these calculations must be made before the ship starts boosting towards its destination and are intended to me used at a particular time, which is not necessarily when they are completed (i.e. They could be made so that the jump window is months away).
These calculations have a practical duration of approximately 1 hour per light year plotted (i.e. a 4 LY jump’s calculations are good for 4 hours), before the relative motion of the two stars and the relative positions of the departing ship and the target world begin diverge to the point where new calculations are required. This is called the "jump window". These additional calculations require one hour …Read more >
This website is still down. What is up with that?Read more >
Yeah, I know; what a way to start a blog! I've just been holding this in for 27 years!
I *HATE* a lot of the artwork in Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space! I don't mean to be rude to the person who designed much of the weapons and equipment in that book, but I can do better with a set of Legos! We went from the beautiful lines of the Alpha Dawn weapons , to blocky, un-ergonomic things that don't look even usable!
Zebulon's was badly executed and had its problems, but a lot of it was actually useful; the weapons and defenses were well-designed and balanced... but due to the art, nobody wanted anything to do with them.
I know I'm not the only one and would love to hear other's opinions on the matter.Read more >
Well it’s been two months of intense work to conceptualize, organize and write a new fan magazine for the Star Frontiers community. The hard part was not the writing as I had a lot of written material that looked to not get published unless I took matters into my own hands.
Still we are bound to only get so far by relying on previously done work. To that end I'm writing all the time: two fresh submissions this week and I may yet get a third in for this calendar week.
I have some art credits in issue #1 of Frontier Explorer and more of that will occur in up coming issues. I actually need to get serious about illustrations for issue #2.
Our commitment at FE is to smaller, faster, on time fan zine with a publication schedule that can be counted …Read more >
What has this dralasite has been exploring in the Frontier recently?
Mooks Without Number - fan module (in development)
The Dralasite Creed
A Timeon System Brief
Terran FaunaRead more >