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Star Frontiers

Entry updated 19 December 2017. Tagged: Game.

Role Playing Game (1982). Tactical Studies Rules (TSR). Designed by Lawrence Schick, David Cook, others.

The universe of Star Frontiers evokes the romantic Space Opera of the 1950s, and particularly the settings of Andre Norton's sf juveniles, with additional elements drawn from the Star Wars film franchise. Its primary milieu is a region of space known as the Frontier, a partially explored area in which a United Planetary Federation made up of humans and members of three Alien races has encountered the enigmatically hostile, wormlike Sathar. The game's mechanics are intended to be simple and readily accessible to Young Adults; its design includes both a "Basic Game" and a more complex "Expanded Game", as well as a set of counters and maps which give the system something of the feel of a Board Game. A 1983 second edition acquired the subtitle Alpha Dawn, and was associated with Knight Hawks (1983 TSR) designed by Douglas Niles, a space combat Wargame and expansion for the Role Playing Game. Star Frontiers failed to compete successfully with Traveller (1977) in the science fiction RPG market and was discontinued in the mid-1980s.

Related works: Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space (1985 TSR) designed by Kimber Eastland adds more information on the setting and includes some changes to the rules, but the projected later volumes of the Guide were never published. Three Endless Quest Gamebooks were written for Star Frontiers: Villains of Volturnus (1983) by Jean Blashfield; Captive Planet (1984) by Morris Simon and Trouble on Artule (1984), by Catherine McGuire. There are also two Fantasy Forest Gamebooks intended for younger readers: Star Rangers and the Spy (1984), by Jean Blashfield and Beverly Charette, and Star Rangers Meet the Solar Robot (1984), by Beverly Charette and Mario Macari. [NT]


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