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Taking BASH:Sci-Fi to the Frontier
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MrJupiter
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Joined: Apr 06, 2010
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Location: Trenton, Ont. (Canada)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject: Taking BASH:Sci-Fi to the Frontier Reply with quote

Quote:
Near the center of a great spiral galaxy, where stars are much closer together than Earth's sun and its neighbors, a Human race developed. They were not identical to the Humans of Earth, but they were not very different either. When these Humans discovered that waves of sub-space pi-tachyon particles could cross interstellar space faster than light, they realized they had found a link to the stars. A radio message that would have taken years to travel between stars could be sent with subspace communicators in months or even weeks. The Humans started broadcasting news of themselves to the neighboring stars, and soon found they weren't alone.

The Humans made contact with an inventive race of insect-like creatures called Vrusk, who had developed limited space travel decades earlier. One of the Vrusks' mining colonies had already contacted another race, the shape-changing Dralasites. The two races had been exchanging information for several years. The Vrusk and Dralasites were pleased to learn of another race. They sent a wealth of scientific information to the Humans. Using this new knowledge; the industrious Humans quickly developed interstellar spaceships.

The three races met in a large area of space known as the Frontier. There they also discovered the Yazirians, a race of tall, maned humanoids. Soon, settled worlds in the Frontier became melting pots for the four races, with dazzling mixtures of architecture and alien cultures.

To supply the needs of these worlds, the first interstellar company, the Pan-Galactic Corporation, was formed. It developed interests everywhere, from scientific research to farming to spaceship building. PGC even created its own language, Pan-Galactic, which soon became the most common language of all races on Frontier worlds. Many large companies which started later were modeled on PGC, but none approach the size or power of the Pan-Galactic Corporation.

Then, the Sathar appeared. No one knows where they came from or why. They attacked and destroyed lonely systems on the edges of explored space, moving slowly inward. Survivors described Sathars as wormlike creatures 3 to 4 meters long. That was all that was known about them; because they would rather kill themselves than be captured. As the danger increased, the Humans, Dralasites, Vrusk and Yazirians formed the United Planetary Federation (UPF) to defend their worlds. The mysterious Sathar were forced back, but before long they returned in a more sinister form.

The Sathar had learned that they could not beat the UPF in battle. Instead, they began hiring Yazirian, Human, Dralasite and Vrusk agents to sabotage interstellar trade and interfere with local governments. The UPF created the Star Law Rangers, an interstellar police force, to track the Sathar's agents from planet to planet and fight them on their own terms. But despite the efforts of the Rangers, the sly Sathar agents have become the most dangerous threat ever to face the United Planetary Federation and the frontier corporations.


This is the introduction to TSR’s old Star Frontiers rpg. I loved this setting back when it first came out but currently find it a little too skills heavy for my gaming tastes (One of the last rules publishing for this setting made by TSR was a skill dedicated to just reading power levels on parabatteries – Power Read!).

Now that I’ve had the time to start reading the BASH Sci-Fi rules I realized that Star Frontiers would be setting to bash up!

Here is a link to a re-mastering of the old rulebooks as well as a few of the adventures:

http://www.starfrontiersman.com/downloads/remastered

These books have been dressed up (with new art added to the old) and will provide anyone interested with the basics of the Star Frontiers setting. The semi-official timeline, presented in the Zebulon’s Guide to Frontier Space, details 521 years of Frontier history since first contact was made between the Humans and other races. Not all Star Frontiers gamers are satisfied with the arrangement and/or contents of the events listed. However, the highlights include:

> Extensive system exploration and colonization.
> Two wars have been fought against the Sathar, an aggressive race of large worm-like creatures.
> Evidence of an ancient, precursor race has been discovered.
> Three systems have been lost to the Blue Plague, and quarantined.
> Contact with the races of the Rim Coalition (Ifshnit, Humma, and Osakar) beyond the Xagyg Dust Nebula: and has subsequently joined the United Planetary Federation of the Frontier.
> Suffrage of devastating conflict between mega-corporations, and civil wars within member systems.
> A race of artificial beings, the Mechanon, that have not easily gained acceptance by members of the Frontier’s other races since they were discovered.

Here is the map of the most awesome map ever made for the setting. [Note it is based upon the map made for the Zebulons’ Guide book – which tried to not only update elements of the setting but also tried to shift the percentage game mechanics over to a resolution system and reference chart (but only doing half the job before killing the line).]

http://rpgmapshare.com/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=15397&g2_imageViewsIndex=1
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Note: Scroll down to view this really awesome map


Last edited by MrJupiter on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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MrJupiter
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Joined: Apr 06, 2010
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Location: Trenton, Ont. (Canada)

PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doing up conversions for the 4 main races is the keystone to delivering a BASHable conversion.

HUMAN – as/per BASH:SCI-FI rules.

DRALASITE – Min Brawn 2, Max Agility 4.
Skills: Foreign Cultures/ Humanities/ or Society (must pick one).
Advantages: Shrewd.
Disadvantages: Slow.
Powers: Extra Arms.
Notes: These characters see in black and white (not sure if this is worth a Disadvantage).

VRUSK – Min Agility 2, Max Brawn 4.
Skills: Society.
Advantages: Fleet of Foot.
Disadvantages: Freak (they are large bugs after all).
Notes: These characters can use either arm without penalty.

YAZIRIAN – Max Brawn 4.
Advantages: The Cause.
Disadvantages: Berserker, and Light Sensitivity (suffers a -1 dice penalty in normal light conditions as their world has much dimmer sunlight)?
Powers: Gliding.


Notes:
Illustrations seem to indicate that Dralasites are much more amorphic in their physiology being able to squish themselves rather flat (could this be a very limited Ghost-Form?). Additionally, their description indicates that they could grow extra legs as well as extra arms (could this be an Extra Limbs multi-power: grow arms for Extra Arms power; grow extra legs for Fleet of Foot power or some kind of greater stability advantage).

With Vrusk, I’m not sure how to apply their Ambidexterity ability. It doesn’t seem beneficial enough to have it as an Advantage; so I left it as color.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optional Frontier races:

HUMMA – Min Brawn 2.
Advantages: Fearless.
Disadvantages: Overconfidence.
Powers: Leap, Martial Artist (Jump Kick).

IFSHNIT – Skills: Commerce.
Disadvantages: Small.
Powers: Environmental Endurance (resistance to bright and blinding light).
Notes: Ifshnit are purely vegetarian.

MECHANON (Thinker) – Min Brawn 2, Min Mind 3, Max Mind 6.
Skills: Computers/ Engineering/ Science/ or Technology (must pick one).
Advantage: Unliving.
Disadvantages: Inhuman Voice, Outcast.
Powers: Skillful 2, Built-in Tools 1, Super Senses – Infrared, Scan.

MECHANON (Warrior) – Min Brawn 3, Max Brawn 6, Min Mind 2.
Skills: Athletics/ or Military (must pick one).
Advantage: Unliving.
Disadvantages: Inhuman Voice, Outcast.
Powers: Quick-Draw, Built-in Weaponry 1, Speed-Wired 2, Super Senses (Infrared).

OSAKAR – Skills: Humanities (Religion), and Foreign Cultures (Languages).
Disadvantages: Freak.
Powers: Stretching 1 (naturally long Limbs), Running 2, Keen Sense (Smell).
Notes: These beings all appear identical but use clothing and unique vocalizations to individualize themselves.
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Lindharin
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, this brings back memories! Smile One of my favorite characters (and occasional NPC) was first played in the Frontier...
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And Now the enemy:

SATHAR – very little is really known about this race except that they are very aggressive and hostile to the members of the Frontier.
Disadvantages: Freak.
Powers: Suggestion, Memory Tampering [Limitation: Time – requires several hours (for 3 points - taken from BASH-UE)].

Notes:
Most artwork depicts the Sathar as being average sized creatures. If you wish to have them taken as a little more menacing to the Frontier races, you could give them the advantage Large; making them menacingly huge in stature and tougher in combat much like the Zerg in Starcraft or the Bugs in Starship Troopers .
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lindharin wrote:
Oh, this brings back memories! Smile One of my favorite characters (and occasional NPC) was first played in the Frontier...


Until I had gotten my hands on Villains & Vigilantes, this was my favorite game. I could not manage to get anyone else to play it with. Sad
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fortunately, the guys over at 'starfrontiersman' have been doing a great job of keeping the game alive. Check out the Star Frontiersman magazine for more info...

http://www.starfrontiersman.com/
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Options:

The Star Frontiers: Alpha Dawn/Knight Hawks rulebooks did not offer much in the way of cybernetics rules (though some art hinted at it). The Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space listed a skill for cybernetics so the Cyborg/Enhanced advantages are a definate option.

Another thing offered in the Zeb's Guide was the Mentalist a character role focussing on mind powers which equates to the BASH Psionic advantage.
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Mysterioso
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks great! Star Frontiers is one of those games I wish I had picked up back in the day. Looks like straight forward sci-fi fun.

Had FGU's Space Opera ages ago. If you think Star Frontiers was difficult Space Opera was unbelievable; pretty much need a doctorate in Calculus to get it running. Sadly that game has been lost in the many moves of life.
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CuMorrig
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome! Star Frontiers was the first RPG I ever played, way back in... well let's just say it was awhile ago! Embarassed

The Dralasites definitely had some ability to change shape. They are basically giant single-cell organisms able to extrude and reabsorb pseudo pods. I could certainly see one flattening himself out enough to fit under a door, or through a pipe. I think your extra arms, fleet of foot multipower is a good idea. However, they are notoriously slow, so maybe some sort of stability power would work better?
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mysterioso wrote:
This looks great! Star Frontiers is one of those games I wish I had picked up back in the day. Looks like straight forward sci-fi fun.

Had FGU's Space Opera ages ago. If you think Star Frontiers was difficult Space Opera was unbelievable; pretty much need a doctorate in Calculus to get it running. Sadly that game has been lost in the many moves of life.


Space Opera was a game that I thought would have been pretty cool, but never found it at any of the stores selling rpgs. Even though I already had Star Frontiers I figured that the adventures would have been useful for conversion.

Thanks for filling me in about its complicated rules. I don't feel quite as bad, now, about missing out on this one.
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AslanC
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Simply awesome!
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Mysterioso
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MrJupiter wrote:
Space Opera was a game that I thought would have been pretty cool, but never found it at any of the stores selling rpgs. Even though I already had Star Frontiers I figured that the adventures would have been useful for conversion.

Thanks for filling me in about its complicated rules. I don't feel quite as bad, now, about missing out on this one.


It is still available through Fantasy Games Unlimited's website. While the game itself is rather unplayable, it would be a great resource for ideas and IIRC the scenarios themselves are good if played out within another system
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CuMorrig wrote:
Awesome! Star Frontiers was the first RPG I ever played, way back in... well let's just say it was awhile ago! Embarassed

The Dralasites definitely had some ability to change shape. They are basically giant single-cell organisms able to extrude and reabsorb pseudo pods. I could certainly see one flattening himself out enough to fit under a door, or through a pipe. I think your extra arms, fleet of foot multipower is a good idea. However, they are notoriously slow, so maybe some sort of stability power would work better?



Here are a couple of ideas for alien powers that can deal with the form altering ability of the Dralasite:

Amorphous Body: 3pts. Your body is quite malleable. While your form retains its volume, you are able to stretch and flatten it to some extent. You may increase your character’s reach by 1 square (costing 1 energy point to do so; but not to maintain). You may fit through some very tight spaces, as narrow as 10cm (4 inches) in diameter or thickness, but requiring about a minute to do so. In addition, your pliant body structure confers 1 level of Toughness; helping to absorb 10 points of blunt force/physical impact damage (cutting attacks and energy attacks do full damage).

Form Extra Limbs: 3 or 5pts. Your species is able to grow extra appendages. For 3 pts your character is able to grow either extra arms for the benefits of the Extra Arms power or may alternately grow extra legs making you more resistant to Knock-back (you are only affected by knock-back when damage exceeds 60 points – see page 47). Additional legs also allow your character to treat High G environments as if they were one level of “G” lower (i.e. a 2G world, forcing other characters a -2 Dice penalty to Brawn and Agility rolls, does not affect you). Switching between extra arms and extra legs takes 10 minutes. At 5 pts your character can have both the extra arms and the extra legs active at the same time.

So…
Do these ideas sound reasonable in terms of what they offer and the point cost associated with them? I’m not sure if these ideas would make a Dralasite extra-ordinarily powerful compared to other characters.
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MrJupiter
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mysterioso wrote:
MrJupiter wrote:
Space Opera was a game that I thought would have been pretty cool, but never found it at any of the stores selling rpgs. Even though I already had Star Frontiers I figured that the adventures would have been useful for conversion.

Thanks for filling me in about its complicated rules. I don't feel quite as bad, now, about missing out on this one.


It is still available through Fantasy Games Unlimited's website. While the game itself is rather unplayable, it would be a great resource for ideas and IIRC the scenarios themselves are good if played out within another system


Hey, thanks. That's really cool that they're still being offered. I may yet look into these.
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