Star Frontiers Remastered Version 2

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 12, 2008 - 10:24am
So, some of the talk recently speaks of waning support.  I propose that rather than trying to inject more 'new' material, we go back to what was the biggest influence for the little revival... The Core Rulebooks (AD/KH).  Bill had a great idea when he remastered the rules, and I say we do it all again... especially since I believe he lost his original files, and only the remastered pdfs are remaining.

So lets revisit the rules... not necesarrily changing them, but looking again to the organization, inclusion of the optional materials such as Knight Hawks character/skills/equipment, Zeb's stuff (races/equipment/etc), and possibly the inclusion of some (only best of best) of the SFMan stuff.  Maybe reorganize into a Player's section/book and Referree section/book? 

We can poll for some of the more questionable optional stuff, maybe even coming to a concensus on some new official treatments of some of the rules (such as Bill's skills system, or some of the races, etc.). 

The exact contents don't bother me, so much as getting the refreshed materials together in a very Print Happy or Lulu Book format, and ultimately getting the newest complete rule-set out to the masses.


Some of the initial tasks:
cull the text from the pdf books and 'de-format' it.
pull the artwork, clean it up, colorize? or otherwise get the good stuff out of what we have available.
goad our membership for their art expertise, and get them to craft some new art.  We have some good talent here (albeit not me... SmootRK = art retard).

any other initial ideas on what could be done?
<insert witty comment here>
Comments:

Sam's picture
Sam
June 12, 2008 - 11:14am
We could also add little a bit of a ficitional story here and there to open up new chapters or to highlight specific rules. Would make it a more interesting read. Also, we could add more to the optional rules section, perhaps pulling from interesting tibits among all the current and upcoming projects (I still have to get my project posted ...).

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
June 12, 2008 - 11:15am
Hey if you need help getting this rolling just let me know. I'll be glad to help out.
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 12, 2008 - 11:43am
Sam wrote:
We could also add little a bit of a ficitional story here and there to open up new chapters or to highlight specific rules. Would make it a more interesting read. Also, we could add more to the optional rules section, perhaps pulling from interesting tibits among all the current and upcoming projects (I still have to get my project posted ...).

I like this.  Maybe for each chapter, we set aside the first two facing pages for some fiction...
I like the idea of portions of a basic short story illustrating a party of characters who are doing things that are covered within the chapters...  kind of like the Regdar & crew from the D&D books, but with more of a plot.

I will start by looking at stripping out the text from the pdf files and turning them into 'plain text'... or if anyone has the files in this format already.  Taking text from pdfs can be a little problematic at times.
<insert witty comment here>

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 12, 2008 - 12:04pm
I have to admit, I've never actually read the Remastered rule books. I have them and flipped through them (in acrobat) but since they claimed to be the same rules just reorganized I didn't see the point as I am intimately familar with the originals and know where to look things up in the paper copies sitting here on my desk if I don't remember the details. I didn't see the point of learning a new "filing system". That being said, it wouldn't necessarily be a bad idea to rebuild them. Especially for people new to the game as I'll admit the original organization wasn't perfect. (Although it makes dicussing rules a bit awkward as you have to reference which version of the rules you are talking about.)

I like the idea of adding more stories/examples throughout the text to illustrate the various rules. That is always a plus. It makes me think of parts of the RuneQuest (3rd Ed.) rules where in some areas there is almost more page space devoted to examples than there is to the actual rules and it helps clarify things to see them actually applied.

If we do decide to go over the rules once again, I'll help out where I can. Probably more as an editorial role (proofreading, critiquing placement of rule snippets, fighting to keep anything new in the optional sectionWink, etc.)

<opinion type="strong">
My little smileyed comment above brings me to my next point. I guess the real question is this: Is the effort really necessary? Are the original rules (which are available as PDF's now at starfrontiers.com) or the remastered ones really inadequate and need to be redone? Or should we be focusing on writing up coherently the optional rules discussed here into printable format and getting them into the StarFrontiersman. To me, the latter seems the more sensible approach to be taking.
    We have the rules. Anything we add will be "optional" by definition so let's put them into a different source to keep them seperate. We have the StarFrontiersman for exactly that purpose. Instead of reoganizing the rules once again, I'd rather see some adventures written up (or played and then written up) as modules and made available. And I'd like to see more locations, ships, creatures, etc. developed and put out there for people to use. That's what I'll be doing with the campaign I'm planning on getting started. Once I've introduced ships, creatures, etc into the campaign, I'll be writing them up as articles for the StarFrontiersman (I don't want to give away secrets before the players get thereSmile).
    I agree with Imperal Lord 100%, let's play! All of my off-line effort (with the excption of the Jump Tug I wrote up) has been focused on getting things prepared to play the game.
</opinion>
Ad Astra Per Ardua!
Webmaster - The Star Frontiers Network & this site
Founding Editor - The Frontier Explorer Magazine
Managing Editor - The Star Frontiersman Magazine

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 12, 2008 - 1:08pm
I'm with Terlobar, as well.

I don't mean to disrespect your efforts, and I am sure that your intentions are good.

But I suggest shifting all that time spent re-writing rules to playing.

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 12, 2008 - 2:16pm
I think you two are losing track of the reason why I propose this.  The revival that was witnessed over the last couple of years comes largely from Bill's Remastered project... not from Starfrontiers.com, not from my own personal efforts to play with a small group of my friends, and not because of what is going on here on this particular site.  The revival needs to focus on offerings and marketing.  New = cool, and marketing to spread the word.  If there is a new file to download, then people will visit to get the file. 

The whole cycle begins anew.... why do you think there is a 4e D&D game out now?  It is to start a new cycle of sales (albeit for us there is no revenue incentive)... not because the old stuff is just fine, and they can get away with just pumping out a supplement here and there.

Don't get me wrong.  A set of new modules would be a most wonderful addition, possibly one of the best things we could spend our time on as well.  This could always be done concurrently.

Anyhow, enough of my little soapbox.   I hope to get working on disassembling the rules first to get the raw text, and then I will begin the process of highlighting areas that might need rewording. 
<insert witty comment here>

jaguar451's picture
jaguar451
June 12, 2008 - 9:06pm
Not that I have time to do work, but I found the Remastered Project very useful.

And while new content in StarFrontierman is useful, it is nice to have consolidated information by topic, even if it is "just" for optional rules.

Or to put it another way, presentation matters.

And balance as well -- time for play, as well as time for rules writting.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 13, 2008 - 6:31am
Not to shoot down ideas but to express my logic circuits:

The Star Frontiersman is exactly what your looking for.
Optional Rules, Races, Adventures and of course my favorite Classifieds!!!

LOL

I would propose that we Re-Remaster all the PDF's starting with new modules and ending with Bill's (since he lost the originals) They need some syntax and are missing tables.

I'm actually remastering some of the Dragon material and will be working on the KH modules after that.



AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 13, 2008 - 6:34am
ok, i'll chime in with my two cents worth, let me say this up front that there is no intended offense to anyone but I may have the dissenting opinion.

First I am a little skeptical that a remastering is needed, just because we can do a thing does it mean we should do a thing? The work Bill has already done looks pretty good and I can find no major fault with it. If everyone wants to do this I will get on-board and support it, I just dont really see the point here of making a remastered game rules. We can't sell it, so marketing is pointless, I believe the revival you seek would be better served in organizing conventions, gaming groups, and advertising the online gaming groups to get more playtime. At least the online paperless PDF is free to produce and up to the downloader to print so all it costs is time and server space. Re-printing marketing and distributing a remastered game costs money and I have no idea who's gonna bank roll such an endeavor when none of the contributors will ever seen a penny for their efforts. If I am wrong, please someone correct me or help me to understand the flaw in my logic. The thought had crossed my mind one time of doing this myself, striping out the original text reformating, adding my own art, and then reprocessing for use in the gaming group in trying to organize in Arizona. Then I found this site, and realized the game is alive and well and really didnt need a face-lift.  

I fail to see what is so terribly wrong with the original presentation, it worked in 1983, in fact a lot of the art is better than the crap being put out in the D20 systems Wizard is publishing today. I downloaded some of the junk from D20 Future and was not impressed one bit. Its just new, not better, just new. I also like the presentation in the Frontierman, I think it is fresh, crisp, entertaining (especially the classified ads) and full of great stuff. The best thing about a fan-zine like this one is that your can pick out the new suggested rules systems, scenarios, re-deux's, and character races and use them as wanted or needed. There's a lot of good stuff in their, some I use, some I don't, all I enjoyed reading. KUDOS BILL & The Gang At Frontersman!   

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
June 13, 2008 - 6:35am

Hey woot, looks like we both posted Kudos for SF'man classified, JINX


Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 6:51am
Hey Smoot -

You know that we got nuttin' but love...  So any of these activites have our support. 

But...  If you were to sign up with Larry and one other guy for "All That Glitters" we would have that series of modules that you talked about - PLUS stories where YOU would have a starring role...

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 13, 2008 - 7:00am
Marketing need not have a price tag... it is about getting the word out.  Banners, signature lines in other fourms, talking about the game, posting up a simple flyer in local gaming stores, viral marketing, myspace page, emails out to existing membership, etc.  I certainly wasn't suggesting that someone or some group come up with financing for this... we are an all volunteer club.

Anyhow, to address woot, I have been suggesting for some time that we go ahead and remaster the remaining 'official materials'.  I think Bill had some sort of reason that he did not continue the process (from his communications with WotC), but I somehow doubt they will really care any more than they did when Bill did the other stuff, especially if we essentially leave Bill out of it.  We can just do it, and call it a Fan-based effort.
<insert witty comment here>

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 13, 2008 - 7:15am
SmootRK wrote:
Anyhow, to address woot, I have been suggesting for some time that we go ahead and remaster the remaining 'official materials'. I think Bill had some sort of reason that he did not continue the process (from his communications with WotC), but I somehow doubt they will really care any more than they did when Bill did the other stuff, especially if we essentially leave Bill out of it. We can just do it, and call it a Fan-based effort.


I believe Bill stopped due to time constraints. Another use said he was remastering the other modules but never showed up after his post. So... what is the best way to facilitate remastering?
Should we create a project and dump each chapter/page in the Documents section?
Pass around a Word document?
Other?

Without tools we might be re-typing the modules and tables. Personally I would like to see the modules on a site (like sf.com) but search-able and more user friendly along with the PDF.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 7:26am
Oh and just as a sidebar...

Don't kill yourselves too much with the Dragon stuff.  I have found it to be rather, um...  poopy.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
June 13, 2008 - 8:00am
Imperial Lord wrote:
Oh and just as a sidebar...

Don't kill yourselves too much with the Dragon stuff. I have found it to be rather, um... poopy.

I'm a robot, I never lived. Tongue out

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 13, 2008 - 9:46am
Ok Larry - well don't deactivate yourself then over the Dragon stuff.

Poopius Maximus

Gergmaster's picture
Gergmaster
June 13, 2008 - 1:02pm
Hey I have some publishing programs. If you guys tell me what kind of look you are going for and what kind of document (page size really) I can do almost anything. I also have some opportunities to help with editing and what not.

I have also been working on remastering a module called Dark Side of the Moon (TSR UK did this) and a few others. I think they were either knight hawk or SF alpha dawn (expanded) and all of the sisiter modules that go together.
Confucious Says:
     Man with one chopstick go hungry.
     Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
     Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Will's picture
Will
June 13, 2008 - 3:43pm
w00t wrote:
SmootRK wrote:
Anyhow, to address woot, I have been suggesting for some time that we go ahead and remaster the remaining 'official materials'. I think Bill had some sort of reason that he did not continue the process (from his communications with WotC), but I somehow doubt they will really care any more than they did when Bill did the other stuff, especially if we essentially leave Bill out of it. We can just do it, and call it a Fan-based effort.


I believe Bill stopped due to time constraints. Another use said he was remastering the other modules but never showed up after his post. So... what is the best way to facilitate remastering?
Should we create a project and dump each chapter/page in the Documents section?
Pass around a Word document?
Other?

Without tools we might be re-typing the modules and tables. Personally I would like to see the modules on a site (like sf.com) but search-able and more user friendly along with the PDF.


Why not just create a project and break the chapters up into documents.

Then, once we're all satisfied with what we have, we release a PDF(preferably a zipped one for those like Shadow and me, who are stuck in the land of dial-up....) on the SFman.com site for downloading and a .html page for viewing online.

And, yeah, a little marketing never hurt anyone...banner ads in the all the RPG sites, possibly even placement in Warehouse 23(assuming they would take a free downloadable), the Drive-Thru RPG site(which does flog free stuff)and similar sites.

Wizards shouldn't take issue, 'cause no one's making any money off of it.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
June 14, 2008 - 7:17pm
If anyone's interested, I happen to have 29 individual word documents (and .PDFs) - one for each chapter of rules, from Alpha Dawn up to Knight Hawks. It also has the majority of the Dragon material, quite a bit from SFman and a few bits from other places like Zeb's and SF2000.

I won't guarantee that anyone else will be satisfied with them as they are, but they might give someone a head start on a re-remastering project.
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 14, 2008 - 10:10pm
Gullwind wrote:
If anyone's interested, I happen to have 29 individual word documents (and .PDFs) - one for each chapter of rules, from Alpha Dawn up to Knight Hawks. It also has the majority of the Dragon material, quite a bit from SFman and a few bits from other places like Zeb's and SF2000.

I won't guarantee that anyone else will be satisfied with them as they are, but they might give someone a head start on a re-remastering project.
That is absolutely awesome!  Shoot me the doc files to my email:  "same as my screenname here" @gmail.com

That really helps to stave off the inevitable carpal-tunnel that I am sure to get when I really jump into this.
<insert witty comment here>

aramis's picture
aramis
June 14, 2008 - 11:47pm
If a pdf is properly distilled, zipping won't compress it more than a percent or two.

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 15, 2008 - 5:01am
Will wrote:
Then, once we're all satisfied with what we have, we release a PDF(preferably a zipped one for those like Shadow and me, who are stuck in the land of dial-up....) on the SFman.com site for downloading and a .html page for viewing online.

When I get closer to the point of distribution, we shall look into the options available to make the file size small and easy to download.  I have some ideas in that area, but it is premature at this point.
<insert witty comment here>

Gullwind's picture
Gullwind
June 15, 2008 - 11:39am
Smoot,

E-mail sent. I think I forgot to put anything in the subject line, though.
"Rome didn't build an empire by having meetings. They did it by killing those who stood in their way."

CleanCutRogue's picture
CleanCutRogue
June 30, 2008 - 3:09pm
I'm all for this project - and will help as much as possible.  My original idea had legs to it, and took off better than I thought.  My recent lack of time has caused me to hope some of you pick up the ball and run with it!!  I still play, but haven't had a ton of time lately because of my new career and family needs and such...

I'm totally into the idea, and think it would be great.  My original books are only in PDF form, sadly, as my word documents are all gone.  I think as long as the original rules are kept in-place (with anything new labeled as Optional) the book can be great.

I certainly look at my remastered books and think to myself how much I could improve on them (especially if someone spent some time editing since the originals I used were drawn from flawed scans).  Anything I can do I will do :-)
3. We wear sungoggles during the day. Not because the sun affects our vision, but when you're cool like us the sun shines all the time.

-top 11 reasons to be a Yazirian, ShadowShack