A Player's Guide to the Star Frontiers Setting

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by Tom Verreault

Star Frontiers is a setting that is over 30 years old and is currently kept alive by a fantastically loyal fan base. This document is a primer for the new player being introduced to the game. It covers the high points and particulars of the setting in a succinct manner. It’s designed to be printed on one sheet of paper and given to a new player at character generation to bring them up to speed.

Origins of the Frontier

In a spiral galaxy a species of humans, like humans on Earth, evolved and entered the Frontier to colonize planets there. Once in the area known as The Frontier they met a species of sapient bugs called the vrusk who had discovered a species of blob like shape shifters called the dralasites. The three species lived amicably for a span of time before a war-like species called the yazirians entered and settled a corner of the Frontier in an exodus like fashion. Despite the war-like tendencies of the yazirians peace prevailed for the most part.

Vrusk Armed - by Don Freeman

Free World Rebellion

Through a quirk of timing Madderly’s Star was discovered by humans but the inhabitable planet, Kdikit was colonized by the vrusk first then humanity second. Over time resentment on the part of the humans lead to the Free World Rebellion, where the human population evicted the vrusk running the colony. The now human-only colony would eventually be known for its exportation of elite mercenaries.

Birth of the Mega Corps

During this time one company rose to be the first mega corporation with a Frontier-wide business:  Pan Galactic Corporation. PGC had showrooms everywhere making its brand ubiquitous. It further cemented its place in the Frontier by leading the charge to establish universal standards for trade and communication. Galactic Standard Time, the interstellar credit of monetary exchange, and the interstellar trade language known as Pan Gal are all accepted Frontier wide due to the influence of the PGC brand. In the early Frontier, PGC was the only mega corp that many others sought to emulate.

The Forging of a Federation

Two events lead to the development of the United Planetary Federation and both involved a Common Muster.

A pirate known as Hatzk Naar went on a grand raid of planets and commerce starting at Dramune and ending at Timeon. Piracy had been on the rise but the planets of the Frontier had agreed to call a common muster of all armed ships to put down the pirates. Captain Morgaine was named leader of this muster and eventually stopped Hatzk Naar in Timeon. The Common Muster then disbanded.

Later a mysterious 5thsapient race called the sathar invaded and began devastating planet after planet without any attempt to communicate. A Second Common Muster was called and Admiral Morgaine was tapped to lead this one as well. His force of will and tactical genius saved the day and defeated two sathar fleets equal to his own but at the loss of his life. His sacrifice sent the sathar into retreat and lead to the renaming of a lightly populated world in his honor. The worlds of the Frontier realized that they needed some form of central government to organize the common defense and perhaps to reign in the power of the mega corps and thus the United Planetary Federation was born in the after math of the First Sathar War.

The UPF is organized into a Council of Worlds and various civil service organizations like Star Law and the Medical Services Organization as well as a military arm.

Let's Go - by Don Freeman

Star Law

In the aftermath of the First Sathar War it was discovered that the sathar were employing agents and turncoats to subvert the UPF, disrupt commerce, and terrorize the citizens of the Frontier. Star Law was formed with interstellar police powers to pursue and apprehend these agents. Later, Star Law’s mandate was expanded to include interstellar criminals. Its marshals are highly trained and capable and may commandeer any ship in the pursuit of a criminal or sathar agent.

Space Fleet and Ground Fleet

Born in the conflict of the First Sathar War these organizations protect the UPF against the threat of military conquest by the sathar. Space Fleet is known for its highly trained officers and enlisted ranks recruited from the dregs of the space ways. Despite this there has never been a mutiny on a Space Fleet vessel.

Ground Fleet is a small cadre of officers maintaining depots of hardware and a training cadre for the next war when the organization will swell its ranks again to engage the sathar ground troops anywhere in the Frontier.

The Age of Exploration

After the war as new mega corps were rising to challenge PGC’s place of dominance, the peoples of the Frontier sent out numerous ships to explore the space around them. Many ships would be lost probing the depths of the nebula surround the Frontier.

The Blue Plague

During the Age of Exploration a plague that affected all four sapient species struck the Frontier. The Medical Services Organization eventually discovered a cure but the plague killed millions and dislocated populations across the Frontier.  To this day conspiracy theories abound surround its origin whether from the sathar or a bug escaped from a super-secret corporate lab but the truth may never be known.

Corporate Wars

With the rise of corporate challengers to PGC’s dominance of Frontier society, corporate conflict was inevitable. The first corporate war was Laco’s War between Streel and PGC. It lasted ten years, caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and destroyed dozens of star ships in orbit. Other famous conflicts involved Streel and Cassidine Development Corporation at Alcazzar.

Dramune Wars

The Dramune Wars were interplanetary conflicts in the Dramune system (3 total over many decades) waged between the planets of Inner and Outer Reach. Since both worlds held seats on the Council of Worlds, policing them was problematic for Space Fleet except the one where criminal elements from Outer Reach where a clear and present danger to the stability of the Dramune system.

Note:

some items discussed above may not have occurred at the point in time that the game is being played. Also the Volturnus campaign, the Second Sathar War, and issues dealing with the mechanons are not discussed even though they may be History to the player characters just in case they are part of the current campaign