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Star Frontiers Conversion


Moonblade

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I've recently unearthed my old SF material and was thinking about how to convert this excellent universe to the Hero system. I started with the powerbatteries by defining them as End Reserves with low-ish REC rates with the limitation "only when plugged in.

 

Thus all the energy weapons didn't actually have charges which made them a bit cheaper (not that it matters for equipment)

 

The actual differences between ship combat in both systems are fairly minor and seem a pretty simple conversion (using the ships of the various modules available for download online)

 

It was the various racial stuff that actually tripped me up, mostly because I still don't understand how to create those templates in Hero Designer (where I do most of my playing around these days). The powers are pretty easy (Dralasites = Detect (Lies) Ranged, or Yazirians = Gliding 5", it's more the stats.

 

So are there some hoary ancient forum threads about this?

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Re: Star Frontiers Conversion

 

So are there some hoary ancient forum threads about this?

 

What did you call me?

 

Oh...

 

Nevermind.

 

I haven't even SEEN my Star Frontiers stuff in ages. It must be locked in a box in the attic or something.

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Re: Star Frontiers Conversion

 

So are there some hoary ancient forum threads about this?

 

Indeed. :) There's quite a bit converting races, weapons and spaceships on this thread: http://www.herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=814

 

Note that some of the more cluttered-looking posts early on the thread are reposted later in a clearer format.

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I can see why you're a Lord. This was very interesting and quite informative. Because the Star Frontiers modules and rules are now available free on the web, I would think they would be very valuable for developing various Star Hero adventures. Also, IMHO, it's a nice universe to play in. Nice balance between space opera and fictional science. The only real problem is most of their modules (but not all) start with the PCs crashing on a planet.

 

The Space Dock industry must be the most profitable business in UPF space.

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I didn't get a chance to play it much. By the time we started, I had discovered "point-based" systems like Hero and GURPS and was already leaving random style games behind.

 

The way I defined power packs (50 END reserves, 5 Rec ) the lasers are technically boostable. It's a mechanic of Star Frontiers that doesn't translate well. I suppose one could give the lasers Charges that cost end which are then boostable... but it seems a long way to go for an effect. Like using extra BOD as the Skien Suits and Albedo Screens instead of plain armor and FF powers.

 

And because of the randomness of stats 25+ Disads seems low. I'd probably go with 50+ 50 disads to start. And I defined the lasers as 2D RKA since 1 1/2 just seems too wimpy. let the auto pistol be 1D+1. Otherwise, why switch to energy weapons if they're no better than slugthrowers? But I know you were just being a joker...

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Re: Star Frontiers Conversion

 

The way I defined power packs (50 END reserves, 5 Rec ) the lasers are technically boostable. It's a mechanic of Star Frontiers that doesn't translate well. I suppose one could give the lasers Charges that cost end which are then boostable... but it seems a long way to go for an effect. Like using extra BOD as the Skien Suits and Albedo Screens instead of plain armor and FF powers.

 

Actually I think Star Frontiers to HERO Boostable Charges translates exactly right.

 

The base, 1 charge shot from a SF Laser Pistol would be like 1/2 d6 K. Annoying but not dangerous, just like in SF. You had to burn at least 5 charges to be dangerous in SF. 5 HERO charges would give you 3d6+1 K. That sounds about right if basic batteries are given 10 Charges instead of 20.

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You know' date=' I don't recall my Star Frontiers characters ever using a laser on any setting besides maximum. If I shot someone I wanted them to be D.E.D.[/quote']

 

Exactly. My SF characters carried so many laser pistols that Josey Wales would have thought it ridiculous.

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Re: Star Frontiers Conversion

 

Sadly, though I made a couple of characters for the game, I could never find anyone to play it in college. My buddy ended up giving me his Star Frontiers stuff before we left college, but I've never found anyone to play it - all my buddies prefer point-based.

 

I've long thought of converting the races to Hero. I might try it independently, then compare results to what was posted earlier.

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Star Frontiers is just a classic. I still remember a time when it seemed like, if you wanted to play Sci Fi, it seemed like you had only three choices: Star Patrol (1977), Traveller (1977), and Star Frontiers (1982). (Sure, I know now there were a lot more sci-fi games, but those were the only ones sold at my FLGS. And of those, only two were really well-supported.)

 

One of the best sci-fi adventures I've ever read was for Star Frontiers - Bugs in the System, by Graeme Morris.

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One of the best sci-fi adventures I've ever read was for Star Frontiers - Bugs in the System' date=' by Graeme Morris.[/quote']I'll have to see if I have that one. I inherited a whole bunch of Star Frontiers stuff from a gaming buddy "going normal."
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All the stuff is on the web including that module at starfrontiers.com. Most of it is also in PDF form ready for downloading and printing. I've already printe out most of the adventures and the Basic Game (I always only had the Expanded Rules). I'm looking into converting the characters and monsters to Hero Rules (CHA = SF stats/5 i.e. STA - 45 = Con - 9) with some shifting for sense. A lot of NPC pirates and the like would be pretty anemic by Hero standards and since stats tend to top out at 75, that would mean the best a charcter could have is 15. Hmmm, maybe divide by 4 or so.

 

In terms of the boostable charges, it just seems retarded to have a futuristic weapon that does so little damage on a typical setting. I'd rather opt for a more standardized (higher) damage. But otherwise 20 charges (cost END) would work for me.

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In terms of the boostable charges, it just seems retarded to have a futuristic weapon that does so little damage on a typical setting. I'd rather opt for a more standardized (higher) damage. But otherwise 20 charges (cost END) would work for me.

 

3d6+1K is wimpy damage?

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Nah, the original 1/2D6 K damage. You have to pump a lot of charges into the weapon before you do 3d6+1. The basic idea of a weapon is that a decent shot with one round to the body should kill somebody, especially modern weapons. Why would you use a weapon that had half the stopping power of a weapon of lesser technology (9MM = 1d+1 K). Sure you can do a lot of damage by boosting but you'll be out of charges in under a turn if you're fast (SPD 4). Of all the elements of the original game I'd shed that would be the first.

 

Another thing: the automatic rifle is SF had twenty shots. At the time of publication, any automatic long weapon had at least 30 shots. The future isn't what it used to be...

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This whole thread got me thinking about an old project idea; mapping out the Star Frontiers sectors in It's Full of Stars. I'm not sure how ultimately useful it would be, but I like the program because you can click on a given star system and you get a pretty detailed rundown of statistical information. It's probably not as good a program as Astrosynthesis, but it is freeware.

 

As of now, I have every star system plotted. I just have to go back and cross-reference the stars with Zebulon's Guide and set the appropriate spectral classes and add the planets/moons/stations. If anybody is interested, let me know. I'm hoping to have it all done by week's end.

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Nah, the original 1/2D6 K damage. You have to pump a lot of charges into the weapon before you do 3d6+1. The basic idea of a weapon is that a decent shot with one round to the body should kill somebody, especially modern weapons. Why would you use a weapon that had half the stopping power of a weapon of lesser technology (9MM = 1d+1 K). Sure you can do a lot of damage by boosting but you'll be out of charges in under a turn if you're fast (SPD 4). Of all the elements of the original game I'd shed that would be the first.

 

Ah. I always saw that as being part of the game flavor.

 

Another thing: the automatic rifle is SF had twenty shots. At the time of publication, any automatic long weapon had at least 30 shots. The future isn't what it used to be...

 

The present day SCAR-H only has a 20 round magazine...

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Another thing: the automatic rifle is SF had twenty shots. At the time of publication' date=' any automatic long weapon had at least 30 shots. The future isn't what it used to be...[/quote']See, you have to read the manual that came with your auto-rifle - you're not using yours properly! You get much better results if you don't miss with any of the shots!

 

:P

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Re: Star Frontiers Conversion

 

Sigh, here's where I get military geeky. Every version of the M-16, along with the CAR-15, M-14, AK-47, Steyr-Aug, Uzi submachine gun, Galil Assault Rifle, whatever automatic rifle NATO uses, H&K MP5 submachine gun (plus the dozens of models I can't think of right now) all have clips of 30 rounds of more and most of them were made before 1977. I just figured the guys making the game would be up on this stuff.

 

The point of game flavor is taken, since the whole point of this discussion is to try and capture the environment of the game.

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