Showing posts with label Star Frontiers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Frontiers. Show all posts

Thursday, July 21, 2022

NuTSR Continues its Downward Spiral

NuTSR's Not Star Frontiers
NuTSR's Not Star Frontiers
Honestly, I have been trying to avoid the latest RPG Drama du jour.  Yeah, it gets me hits, but I'd rather get them for my game-related content and not my stance on whatever shit storm is going on.

But some things can't be left unsaid.

So last year I talked a bit about the NuTSR. I wanted to call them NotTSR or !TSR, but NuTSR won out.  

A quick recap they are suing Wizards of the Coast so they (NuTSR) can keep the name they stole, the game they stole (Star Frontiers), and get WotC to remove the content disclaimers on DrivThruRPG. All of which have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting accomplished. All of this is online in places (waves vaguely) and you should have no trouble finding it.

Frankly, I was happy just to wait around and watch WotC/Hasbro wipe them off the face of the gaming world forever. 

That was until the reported Playtest Version of their Not Star Frontiers was leaked.

And man, if you thought FATAL or MYFAROG was bad. The playtest was leaked by Tenkar at his eponymous Tavern and YouTube channel. You can see the rules in his video.

Look, I have NO IDEA if this is a legit set of rules. Many people with solid industry inside knowledge and contacts claim that it is. It is a truly horrifying document. Let's ignore the atrocious grammar and spelling. Let's move past the extremely terrible game design. I mean what I have seen so far screams "fantasy heartbreaker written by high school loner." let's get right into the racist bullshit.

Actually, no I am not going to give them the bandwidth and sully these pages with their madness.  Instead go to the "There's No Place For Hate in Gaming" website and read it all their with the rest of Dave Johnson's hate-spewing nonsense. 

Here is a bit from their Twitter feed (read the whole thread):

That's pretty damning really.

I am not going to try and insult you all by saying shit like "well this matches with things Johnson has posted in the past" or "the style here matches things Justin has written before."  No. Just read this all for yourself.  

Do I trust that Tenkar has good information? I trust that he trusts it. We don't see eye to eye on, well a whole lot really (it's a Chicago vs New York thing), but I do trust him that he is covering his bases. 

Right now Justin et al are in full DARVO mode saying that it is others attacking them and and "photoshopping" the screen-shots.

NuTSR Garbage

Seriously, all NuTSR has to do is issue a statement denying this was their writing, unequivocally denounce it as racist garbage, and pledge that nothing of this sort is in their game or ever will be.

It's what a real publisher would do. It's what a real writer would do.

But to date, they have not that. Nothing at all from Dave Johnson or Justin LaNasa on this. 

This is all developing. So far The Gamer website has picked up on the story, and rumor has it that WotC had an "emergency meeting about it." (that one has yet to be confirmed and I remain skeptical but hopeful.)

Lots of people are covering this and lots of people are talking about it. I am sure we are just at the beginning of all this. So why am I talking about here?

Simple. This sort of behavior needs to be called out.

It is not ok, funny, or edgy to print this shit in 2022. It wasn't right even in 1974, but less so now.  Nazis, racists, sexists, and any sort of bigots need to feel unwelcome in this hobby. More to the point they need feel like outsiders, like uninvited guests that are about to get the boot out the door. There is no room for them here, now, or in the future.

People will bitch and moan with "oh you are just gatekeeping!" No dumb ass. We are keeping hateful rhetoric out of our spaces. If you don't like that then you kindly fuck off and keep fucking off until you are gone.

For anyone that wants to play Star Frontiers, there is a vibrant community out there for it. You can use the original rules or the newer retro-clone.

Star Frontiers

I had this to say about the whole thing:


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Review: Star Frontiers, Alpha Dawn and Knight Hawks

Star Frontiers, First Edition
Gamma World might have been TSR's first big entry into sci-fi gaming (Warriors of Mars and Metamorphasis Alpha non-withstanding), but it was not their biggest.  While I don't have any hard numbers in front of me, I am going to have to say that Star Frontiers edges out the later Alternity in terms of popularity.  It was certainly built at the height of TSR's fame with the first edition, simply Star Frontiers, published in 1982 with the new edition and trade-dress Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn and Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks.

Certainly, in terms of fans, Star Frontiers has Alternity beat.  But more on that soon.

For this review, I am considering the PDFs and Print on Demand versions of both Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn and Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks. I am also going to go with my recollections of playing the game when it first came out.

The Alpha Dawn book is designed by "TSR Staff Writers" but we know ow that a huge bulk of the work was done by David "Zeb" Cook and Lawrence Schick.  Knight Hawks was designed primarily by Douglas Niles.  The cover art in both cases was done by Larry Elmore with interior art by Elmore and Jim Holloway with contributions by Jeff Easley, Tim Truman, and even some Dave Trampier.  Keith Parkinson would go on to do some other covers in line as well.  

While originally boxed sets (gotta love the early 1980s for that!) the PDFs break all the components down into separate files. Handy when you go to print the counters or the maps.  The Print on Demand versions put all the files together into an attractive soft-cover book for each game.  The maps are published in the back, but you will want to print them out for use. 

Star Frontiers, Print on Demand

Both books are easy to read and really nice.  They have been some of my favorite Print on Demand purchases ever.

Let's look into both games.

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn
Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn

Alpha Dawn is the original Star Frontiers game.  The box game with two books, a Basic and Expanded game rules, some maps, counters, and two 10-sided dice.  The rules indicate that one is "dark" and the other "light" to help when rolling percentages, but mine were red and blue.  Go figure.

The Basic Game is a 16-page book/pdf that gives you the very basics of character creation.  There are four stat pairs, Strength/Stamina, Dexterity/Reaction Speed, Intelligence/Logic, and Personality/Leadership.  These are scored on a 0 to 100 scale, but the PCs will fall between 30 and 70.  Higher is better. These can be adjusted by species and each individual score can also be changed or shifted. 

The four species are humans, the insect-like Vrusk, the morphic Dralasites, and the ape-like Yazirian. Each species of course has its own specialties and quirks.  I rather liked the Dralasites (whom I always pronounced as "Drasalites") because they seemed the oddest and they had a weird sense of humor. 

We are also introduced to the worm-like Sathar. These guys are the enemies of the UPF (United Planetary Federation) and are not player-characters. 

The basics of combat, movement, and some equipment are given.  There is enough here to keep you going for bit honestly, but certainly, you will want to do more.  We move on then to the Expanded rules.

The Expanded Rules cover the same ground but now we get more details on our four species and the Sathar.  Simple ability checks are covered, roll d% against an ability and match it or roll under.

Characters also have a wide variety of skills that can be suited to any species, though some are better than others, Vrusk for example are a logical race and gain a bonus for that.  Skills are attached to abilities so now you roll against an ability/skill to accomplish something.  Skills are broken down into broad categories or careers; Military, Tech, and Bio/Social. 

Movement is covered and I am happy to say that even in 1982 SF had the good sense to go metric here. 

There are two combat sections, personal and vehicle.  These are not starships, not yet anyway, and were a lot of hovercars and gyro-jet guns. 

There is a section on creatures and how to make creatures. I am afraid I took that section a little too close to heart and most of my SF games ended up being "D&D in Space" with the planets being used as large dungeons.

The background material in the Frontier Society though is great stuff. I immediately got a good just of what was going on here and what this part of the galaxy was like.  While Earth was never mentioned, you could almost imagine it was out there somewhere. Either as the center of UPF (Star Trek) or far away, waiting to be found (Battlestar Galactica).  

This book also includes the adventure SF-0: Crash on Volturnus.

When it comes to sci-fi some of the rules have not aged as well. Computers still feel very limited, but the idea that as we approach the speed of light we can enter The Void has its appeal.  

Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks
Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks

Ah. Now this game.  Star Frontiers was great, but this game felt like something different. Something "not D&D" to me.

In fact I have often wondered if Knight Hawks had not been a separate game in development by Douglas Niles that they later brought into the Star Frontiers line. I also think that TSR was also suffering a little bit of what I call "Traveller Envy" since this can be used as an expansion, a standalone RPG, and as a board game!

Like Alpha Dawn, this game is split into four sections.  There is a "Basic" game, and "Advanced" or "Expansion" rules (and the bulk of the book), an adventure, "The Warriors of White Light", and all the counters and maps.

As far as maps go, that hex map of empty space is still one of my favorites and fills me with anticipation of worlds to come. 

The PDF version splits all this into four files for ease of printing or reading.  The Print on Demand book is gorgeous really.  Yes...the art is still largely black and white and the maps and counters are pretty much useless save as references, but still. I flip through the book and I want to fire up the engines of my characters' stolen Corvette, the FTL Lightspeed Lucifer. Complete with the onboard computer they named Frodo.

The Basic rules cover things like ship movement, acceleration, and turning, along with ship-to-ship combat.  By itself, you have the rules for a good ship combat board game. It works fine as long as you don't mind keeping your frame of reference limited to two-dimensional space. 

The Expanded rules tie this all a little closer to the Alpha Dawn rules, but I still get the feeling that this may have started out as a different sort of game that was later brought into the fold of Star Frontiers.  

Ships are largely built and there is a character creation feel to this.  Their 80's roots are showing, no not like that, but in that, the best engines you can get for a starship are atomic fission.  Of course, no one just gets a starship, you have to buy it and that often means taking out a loan or doing a bunch of odd jobs to raise the credits. Often both.  I don't think I ever actually bought a ship. The Lucifer was stolen.

There is also quite a bit on the planets of the UPF, Frontier Space, and the worlds of the Sathar.  It really had kind of a "Wild West" meets the "Age of Sail" feel to it. 

The last part of the POD book is the adventure "The Warriors of White Light" with its various scenarios. 

Minus two d10s everything is here for an unlimited number of adventures in Frontier Space.  Rereading it now after so many years I can't help but dream up various new adventures. I also can't help to want to use the Sathar in some of my other Sci-fi games.  They have such untapped potential.

The price for these books is perfect.  Grab the PDF and POD combo.  Get some d10s, load your gyrojet gun and get ready to make the jump to the Void. There are new planets to discover!

Parts of Star Frontiers, in particular the species, would find new life in D20 Future, part of the D20 Modern line.

Both games are fun, but suffer from and/or benefit from the design principles of the time. Newer players might find some of the game elements dated. Older players of the games will find them nostalgic.  Personally reading through them now some 40 years after first reading them I get a lot more enjoyment from the rules.  Back then I was really too D&D focused to really enjoy what I had in front of me. Today, well I can't wait to stat up a character or two and a starship.

Star Frontiers on the Web

There are many places where Star Frontiers is alive and well. There used to be more, but my understanding is a predatory grab for the trademark by another RPG company caused Hasbro/WotC to exercise their legal rights and bring the game back in-house. While that did screw over the amazing work done by the fan sites, there are still many up and providing new material for the game.  

For these fans and sites, Star Frontiers never went away.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Black Star: The Conqueror Worm

"There is no evidence of avifaunal or crawling vermicular lifeforms on Jouret Four."
- Data, Star Trek the Next Generation, Best of Both Worlds, Part 1

I had a Black Star post ready to go today, but this one grabbed my imagination a lot more.  I am currently reading "The Door to Saturn: Collected Fantasies of Clark Ashton Smith, Book 2" in it is a story, “The Kingdom of the Worm”, about an ancient evil kingdom of the dead and the giant charnel worm that rules there.  This reminded me of another one of my favorite Clark Ashton Smith tales, "The Coming of the White Worm", which I need to re-read soon.

While reading I could not help but think of all sorts of worms and how they have been used to terrify us. Edgar Allen Poe's "The Conqueror Worm" comes to mind, which also leads me to the Stephen R. Donaldson short story (from "Daughter of Regals and Other Tales") of the same name, though that one is about a centipede. Which of course made me think of the Sand Worms of Dune and then the Sand Worms of Saturn from Beetlejuice and of course the Sathar of Star Frontiers.

It is that last one that gave me the idea explosion that this post is.

Black Star is if nothing else, about exploring the horror that is space. Space is dark, I am just adding Eldritch Dark to it.

It got me thinking that a great adventure would be to have our crew check in on a planet, much like TNGs Jouret 4, that the entire population is gone.  They discover that they have all been eaten by worm-like creatures, maybe even the Sathar.  Of course they are nothing compared to the towering monstrosity that is Mordiggian, the Charnel God.  I had used Mordiggian and his ghouls once before in a Buffy/WitchCraft/Willow & Tara game which also gave me the spell "Lend Me Your Fire" (to appear in a witch book someday!)

In this adventure, the colony (shades of  LV-426 to be sure) is wiped out by the millions and Starfleet is sent to investigate.  There is evidence that everyone died pretty close to each other in time and there is a lack of bodies.  The Sathar have been consuming the dead, which is not typical behavior, and they are worshipping Mordiggian as their God of Death.  The real big bad here is Mordiggian.

The horror aspects here are of course the death of millions and the natural squeamishness many people seem to have about worms, maggots, and other eaters of the dead.  "Wormfood" is an evocative image for a reason. Also, there is the notion that Mordiggian is here and maybe he is a god maybe he is not, but did he come to our notice now because of the use of the new Triberyllium Warp-13 drive has opened our dimension to that of the Cthulhoid mythos creatures.

For sci-fi this is my chance to square the circle of merging Star Frontiers' United Planetary Federation and Star Trek's United Federation of Planets.

SATHAR (for WhiteStar)
HDE/XP: 3/75
SPECIAL: Keen Senses (vision, smell)
ATTACK: by weapon

Sathars are long, worm-like creatures. Their bodies are divided into segments, like an earthworm's. They do not have a skeleton. Instead, they support their bodies hydrostatically, by pumping liquid into the segments so they become hard. A shiny, clear slime coats their skin. Federation scientists believe they are warm-blooded, but no live specimen has ever been studied. Their eyes are placed near the sides of their heads and contain double pupils giving them extraordinary vision.  They smell through two pits in front of their eyes.

A Sathar moves by slithering across the ground with the first meter of its body raised. They also can coil like a snake, raising 1.5 meters of their bodies from the ground.
The color of Sathar skin varies from yellow to brown. The tentacles are the same as the body, but with a slight greenish tint. The underbelly is pale pink. A pattern of dots, speckles, and stripes decorates the back of the head. These patterns are natural on some Sathar, but are tattooed on others.

Some survivors of Sathar attacks have reported that Sathars are not effected by electrical shocks, phasers set to stun or stun grenades, but these reports have never been confirmed.

Sathars are highly intelligent and have a space-faring culture found on the Frontiers of Federation Space.  They are considered dangerous even if very little else is known about them


So, Black Star: The Conqueror Worm (Star Trek + Star Frontiers + The Kingdom of the Worm + Aliens + Tremors + The Charnel God).

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Mail Call: Star Frontiers

I have always been a fan of Star Frontiers. Despite not having much success with Sci-Fi games, my brother and I picked up a copy as soon as it came out.  We had a fun time with it for a while, but often our games became more "D&D in Space".  While I would go on to other games, Star Frontiers always held a place in my heart.

I was quite pleased to see official copies come out on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow a bit back.  I was also pleased to see the new Print on Demand versions out too.  I wondered how they would simulate the boxed sets.  Well, now I know!

I picked up PoD copies of Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn and Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks.

The color covers are quite bright and there are some color pages inside as well.  But the vast majority of the interior is still black and white.

Can't punch these out though. They do give them to you as a PDF to print and cut out.

I am quite pleased with these.  I'd love to get a game going of this, even if if it is just for a single session.  Now I need some percentile dice!  Maybe blue and red to match the dice that came in my boxed set.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Star Frontiers is Back!

Back in the early 80s I flirted a lot with Sci-Fi RPGs.  I started out with Traveller, played some FASA Doctor Who and Star Trek and finally landed on TSR's Star Frontiers.
I never got to play it very much and much of the time I played it like "D&D in Space", but I still had fun and the game had a place in my heart, if not on my table very much.

Well, Star Frontiers is back in an official form Wizards of the Coast and One Book Shelf.

Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn pdf and pod
Star Frontiers: Knight Hawks
Star Frontiers: (SF AC-1) Official Character Record Sheets
Star Frontiers: (SF1) Volturnus, Planet of Mystery
Star Frontiers: (SF2) Starspawn of Volturnus

I know Star Frontiersman has always been around and they do some great work, I just never bought into their rather thin case to understoood their agreement print the rules.

EDITED: See note below about the legal agreement between Star Frontiersman and WotC.  I stand corrected.

I am really tempted to get that hardcover.  I mean really how cool would that be sitting next to my 1st Ed AD&D books?

If I wasn't so enamored with my current White Star game I would switch over.

If I get it I'll show it off when it comes in.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars

I feel the need to make an obligatory Star Wars post today.
But yet I am not quite feeling the excitement.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Star Wars movies and had a blast with all of them.  I loved everything Star Wars growing up too.    I still have a couple of Boba Fetts (one I had to save proof of purchases for, one I bought) sitting on my desk.  I went from being a hard-core fan to a more relaxed one.  I did like the newer movies despite HUGE plot holes (the first movie was about a trade agreement?? really??) and my kids love them.  My adult tastes went more for Star Trek.

I really enjoyed the d20 Star Wars game.  I know "heresy"! How dare I say anything was better than the d6 West End Games version.  I have (or rather my son has) the Revised d20 version.  It is a bit like D&D 3 and so we have been adding it off and on to our regular D&D game.

To me, d20 and Star Wars seemed a perfect match.  I think back to the late 70's and early 80's and what my obsessions were; Star Wars and D&D.  Having played the game a bit I can see why some people don't like it and why some still prefer the WEG d6 version (I don't), but to me it just works. Stars Wars and D&D share history, they share a common place in the Gen X collective sub-conscious right there next to video games.  To me, D&D/d20 and Star Wars just belong together.

Not only was it out at the same time (more or less) I discovered D&D. It became so much a part of my experiences as a kid that is hard to tease out where one influence begins and the other ends.

This movie has: A boy who would be the hero, a swashbuckling rogue, a princess to rescue, a wise old man/wizard/jedi, an evil warrior, an impenetrable fortress, magic, fights, side-kicks, monsters, sword fights and epic battle.  Everything here IS D&D.  They even meet the rogue in a bar!

Yes this another retelling of the monomyth or The Hero with a 1,000 Faces.  That's why it works so well.

Also, I have a long history of dissatisfaction with Sci-Fi games.  It's odd really.  I love Sci-Fi, but the RPGs I have tried (Traveler, Star Frontiers, Alternity) have left me feeling flat.  Star Frontiers was my favorite.   So I guess to me then, the perfect Sci-Fi game would have elements of Star Wars, Star Frontiers and Alternity all powered by the d20 system.  That is also easy to do.  I am a touch surprised I have not tried that yet.

I was talking about this with my wife last night in fact. We are not going to see Star Wars right away, but we are much more excited for the new Star Trek movie to be honest.   She also suggested I pick up the hardcover of White Star and play with that for a while, or even stick with Starships & Spacemen.  Though it is more "Trek" to White Star's "Wars".

Maybe what I need is a solid hook first for some good Sci/Star Wars/Star Trek gaming.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Strange Stars

Every so often you come across a product that is so different than the rest it is hard to know what to do with it.  +trey causey's Strange Stars is not exactly that.  Strange Stars is a product so different it is hard to know what I can't do with it.

The book is a joy to look at.  Yes it is only 32 pages with cover, but each page is so rich with art and color it must have cost a lot to make.  Since art is important to how this book can be used it is a better investment than say page after page of text.
Let's start with that cover.  There are homages to late 70s, early 80s sci-fi shows and movies.  I can feel the influences of Star Wars and even Jason of Star Command here. Not to mention the obvious, but loving, nod to the classic Star Frontiers.   Really, I should be able to buy that as an art print for my game room.  I put that cover up there with some of the best RPG covers ever.  Plus the overt homage to Star Frontiers is a huge plus.

Strange Stars is not a game itself, but a setting book for other sci-fi games. Not just the OSR-flavored ones of my last few reviews, but any sci-fi game.  As a mental exercise I kept asking "can I use this in Traveller? Star Frontiers? Alternity?" most times I was saying yes.

The book starts out with a historical overview of the setting.  The "Ancient times" in this case is humanity leaving "Old Earth".  So already this is a setting far flung into the future.

Various forms of life are introduced, or Sophonts.  This can be your garden variety human or other life form that is mostly biological, self-aware robots, or AIs.  Or, most likely some combination of the above.

Really a couple of the great features of this book are not chapter by chapter but concept by concept.
Free of system Causey's mind rushes down dark un-explored pathways, strange lands and truly alien worlds.  BUT, and this is very important, this not so far removed from our experiences to be really out there.  There are roots here. Roots with names like "Star Crash" and "Buck Rodgers" (the TV series on NBC, not the serials) and "Logan's Run".  Jenny Agutter's "Jessica 6" practically jumps off of page 12.
Speaking of which, the characters here BEG to be stated up for your favorite system.  Siana Elizond, the previously mentioned Jessica 6 clone, is more interesting in a picture and paragraph than some characters with pages and pages of back story.  Plus I can't help but think that Elphaba Mandrake was made as a personal challenge to me!

So yes. The page count is small, but it is chock full of great ideas, eye catching art and more than enough to get you going on a campaign set out among the stars.

In truth everything you need to know about what this game-supplement is about can be summed up in this one picture.

The best of what the late 70s / early 80s had to offer.

You can find Trey at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why can't I find a good Sci-Fi game?

A post over at Grognardia,, has prompted a reoccurring thought in my head.

Why can't I find a good Sci-Fi game?

I have mentioned before that I have had a hit and miss, mostly miss, luck with Sci-Fi games. Every so often I am convinced I have the One, only to be ultimately disappointed in them.
I after I posted a reply to James' post I went back to the Star Frontiers book I have and online at I also went through all the Star Trek books I still have left.

In terms of Sci-Fi I like Trek the best, loved Star Wars as a kid, but got into Dune or the hard sci-fi of Asimov. I did like Heinlein and Arthur C. Clark a lot though. I loved Farescape when it was on and I even enjoyed LEXX.  Never watched Space Above and Beyond, could not get into Babylon 5 or the new Galatica (though that is not really a reflection on them) and I thought Firefly was stupid.

For games I started out with Traveler, moved to Star Frontiers, Doctor Who (FASA), Star Trek (FASA), Alternity, Star Wars d20, d20 Future and others that I have forgotten.  More recently I have used Unisystem (All Tomorrow's Zombies) and Doctor Who (Cubicle 7).  Yet nothing seems to fit just right.  I looked over Star Blazer Adventures, Rogue Trader and others and didn't really care for them.  I don't like GURPS enough to honestly consider it, same for FUDGE and FATE.

What do I want?
That is a very question and one I don't have a good answer for.  There are bits and pieces that I like from all the above games.  I like the sandboxy feel of Star Frontiers and Traveler. I love the tech in Trek, the scope in Star Wars.  I could get better buy-in from my Kids with Star Wars, even if my youngest says "I am not into Star Wars" and lightsabers are cool.   I like some of the features of Alternity.  I liked some of what I read in Dune.

And I don't want to spend a bunch of time figuring out a new system.
I suppose this points to two things.  Unisystem and d20 3.x.

Well I have a bunch of d20 materials laying around including Star Wars, d20 Traveler (T20), Dragon Star,  and d20 Future (which has material from Star Frontiers and Alternity).  I like the idea of using the d20 Mod/Future classes. I am not thrilled with the idea of levels though, but multi-classing looks like it could be fun.  Plus I have a metric ton of d20 material.  Bring back mind flayers as an alien race.  Baator?  Now a planet; literary Planet Hell.

Unisystem is more flexible and I can do it better than d20, but despite how good All Tomorrow's Zombies is, I want something more.   I am not big into mixing magic and SciFi.  Psionics is ok (in fact I also don't like Psionics in fantasy games), weird I know. I think in the end, d20 might be the way for me to go, or this could be a thinly veiled attempt to do "D&D in Spaaaace!"

Star Wars, like I said, has a great scope and is full of aliens. Adding a Trek-like Federation to battle an Evil Empire is also very cool and a great backdrop.  I'd make it more of a cold war, with hotter areas on the edges.  Lots of room then for black markets and ops.  Maybe even steal a page from Battlestar and make the evil Empire one of artificially intelligent machines.  T20 has a lot of cool stuff too and the Imperium is neat and again lots of cool races.

What is lacking in all of this is unified narrative.  Maybe I don't need one.  D&D doesn't have one, never did.  A lot of what I don't like about the various systems out there is I find their "fluff" to be restrictive.  I don't want all the baggage that go with Jedi, or the Imperium, or Aslans, or Fraal.    I guess say here is Oerth, here is Yavin, over there is Krynn and Vulcan and just let the universe take care of itself.

I guess until I find that perfect mix, I keep searching.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Star Wars d20

Hey all.  I know I promised more Anime stuff today, but I work has got me buried.  I did want to talk about something though really quick and that is the loss of the Star Wars RPG from Wizards.

I have not been a huge fan of Star Wars lately.  I loved the movies as a kid, have tons of action figures and toys.  I still have a couple of Boba Fetts (one I had to save proof of purchases for, one I bought) sitting on my desk.  I went from being a hard core fan to a more relaxed one.  I did like the newer movies despite HUGE plot holes (the first movie was about a trade agreement?? really??) and my kids love them.  My adult tastes went more for Star Trek.

All the same I was disheartened to hear that Wizard's was pulling the plug on d20 Star Wars.  I have (or rather my son has) the Revised d20 version.  It is a bit like D&D 3 and so we have been adding it off and on to our regular D&D game (the previously mentioned Dragon Slayers game).

To me d20 and Star Wars seemed a perfect match.  I think back to the late 70's and early 80's and what my obsessions were; Star Wars and D&D.  Having played the game a bit I can see why some people don't like it and why some still prefer the WEG d6 version (I don't), but to me it just works. Stars Wars and D&D share history, they share a common place in the Gen X collective sub-conscious right there next to video games.  To me D&D/d20 and Star Wars just belong together.

Plus, I have a long history of dissatisfaction with Sci-Fi games.  It's odd really.  I love Sci-Fi, but the RPGs I have tried (Traveler, Star Frontiers, Alternity) have left me feeling flat.  Star Frontiers was my favorite.   So I guess to me then, the perfect Sci-Fi game would have elements of Star Wars, Star Frontiers and Alternity all powered by the d20 system.  That is also easy to do.  I am a touch surprised I have not tried that yet.

Now I am fairly sure I will not use anything from the Saga Edition Star Wars, even if it has some improvements on the game.  I like the Vitality/Wound system from the Revised system better and if I plan on adding in anything from d20 Future (to get my Star Frontiers and Alternity fix).  Maybe this would even let me do my Greyhawk 2000, er Greyhawk 2500 game.  I think the Star Wars universe is big enough for that and flexible enough too.  Can't do that so much with Star Trek, despite how much I love it.

I am not sure who will be picking up the Star Wars game next, I am pretty sure I will check it out but not so sure I will buy it.  In the mean time I think I am going to go to my FLGS and see what they still have for Star Wars.