Thursday, January 8, 2015

From the Eyes of Y-Z: Star Frontiers Alpha Dawn

Look at that thing. Beautiful.
Even the butt is beautiful

First up is Star Frontiers! This is one of my first legit RPG buy, and I'm lucky enough that Jay of Phil Gamer (Yeah, I know I keep mentioning him, Tobie, & Marc- they're one of the most active GMs locally. Kudos to them [what the hell does kudos mean?]) is willing to let go of these (and Castle Falkenstein- which will be reviewed soon) for a bargain. He gave me price that really works up to my kuripot-ness and, me seeing a bargain when I know one, sealed the deal. Re-read the sentence before this. HA! Did you get it? Anyway, we met in a really fancy coffee shop, did an interview and talked about stuff. Really cool guy right there.

But more about Star Frontiers, reading Rob Lang's free RPG blog, I came across this little gem. Because of some quirk of agreement with TSR and the fans that WotC decided to honor, the fans were able to remaster the game and release it for free. I posted it in the PTRPG FB page, thinking that the peeps there would appreciate the nostalgia- and they did (I got couple of commenters there nostalgic. Haha). One thing led to another and found that Jay still has his box set and lo and behold. I scampered for money to get this. Totally worth the spending though, check it out:

I already popped the rest of them :3 More than 200 tokens! So tiny! So cute! SO DEADLY WITH MY NEEDLER PISTOL!

80s hair is forgivable:
the badassery of this thing more than makes up for it
WEAPONS! Guns goodness!
 Different guns, same damage, different effect
The box set has two rulebooks, the Basic Rules (the one above) and the Expanded Rules (the one below). The game is easy-to-understand enough that it fits my style of playing and GM'ing. Also fits my most consistent player (read: my girlfriend), she can't be bothered by minutia and while this game is teeming with details, we found out that if we just skipped the minute parts and look at the big picture (GM: There's a wall there, -10. Player: I have good eyesight, +5 and a smoking gun, +15 2d10 damage... etc) to see what will work and won't, it's fast. Really fast.

Also since we're going retro, it's roll-under-your-skill, which is very convenient for a GM like me. I don't need to think of Target Numbers or whatnot. This allows my players to just do whatever they want (I let my players do what they want anyway. I suck at story GMing :| ), from front flipping over a barricade, guns a-blazing to sliding on their knees (I GOT KNEEPADS YO!) and slipping under a speeding truck.

Larry Elmore got lazy and just switched the character's positions. Haha. And background. The Yazirian didn't change.
OOOOHHH! TABLES! I DON'T UNDERSTAND EEET.
I HATE YOU DISCALCULIA
Basic campaign for 'referees' and 'players'. Why not just GM?
They even have this basic campaign thingy, with all the sections and things. I haven't really read through it, just looking at the pictures :/ Hehehe. Though I am getting the impression that it's easy to run. Will probably still wing half of it though. Then again, I rarely follow anything from the book- give me a Rules-Med game it's gonna turn out Rules-Lite.

Oooh. Improv scenarios inside your ship: SATHAR INFESTATION! KILL THE SATHAR SOLDIER AND LEAVE HIS FAMILY FATHER-LESS
Such beauty. I can even use this for games that
doesn't have anything to do with Sci Fi.
I'm thinking of using this for Gods of Gondwane. Ha!

CITY MAP! IMPROV SCENARIO: SATHAR INFESTATION!
USE CIVILIANS AS MEAT SHIELDS!
I hung out at Marc's crib last December and we talked about Star Frontiers. One of the things he really digs in this is the maps and counters. And having this right now: I couldn't agree more.

First, the size of it is staggering and there's a degree of generic-ness to it that I can probably (NOTHING'S GONNA STOP MEEEH!!!) use it in other games, heck even in other settings. The city map alone is worth gold nuggets for me, and can think of multiple uses for it already.

TERRAINS! IMPROVE SCENARIO: SATHAR INFESTATION!
Let the Sathar die in unfamiliar terrain!
Not to mention that they have TERRAIN MAPS! HOW COOL IS THAT! I'm big with 'wilderness crawl', not cramped in a dungeon (hey, maybe I should make a 'Skwater's Area Crawl' hehe. I live in one BTW). They even have deserts, swamps, forests, heck they even have parks.

The box has more stuff than I orginally thought it has, and that came as a really pleasant surprise. As Jay mentioned when I bought this 'the companies back then were more generous'. They seem to put in as much as they can, something that newer publishers should still follow (or probably I'm not buying enough). 

And thus my incoherent blabbering about a game older than me and the beautiful pictures I forced my girlfriend to take ends here. Star Frontiers is one of my best buys and while others have memories with this game, I'm still going to make mine ;)