Star-Law VS. Local Law What is the UPF?

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
August 14, 2010 - 5:49pm
What is the United Planetary Federation? Is it a Representative government with all the power thereof or is more like the United Nations. In the Rules it sais that the UPF relies on donations from it's member worlds to function so it can't be too powerful. I have to think it is like The Articles of Confederation before the US Constitution.  Or else it operates like the United Nations. It is definately not a powerful Government In my opinion. If it was a powerful Government There would literaly be no Pirates in any of the MAJOR systems. The Fleet would be Bigger. This is why It might be illegal to do "A" on one planet but perfectly Legal on another.
Opinions plz?
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Comments:

Malcadon's picture
Malcadon
August 14, 2010 - 6:16pm
The UPF is like the UN. All the supporting worlds pay for the upkeep. From the looks of it, they let local Militia fleets and Star Law to deal with pirates and smugglers, unless there is a request for aid. The UPF have been known to handle disputes between worlds (like how you see a UPF Battleship shooting at attacking Outer Reach Militia ships on that one cover) and corporate wars. The UPF was originally establish to deal with the Sathar Threat. Star Law is an arm of the UPF, and helps local authorities akin to the FBI.

adamm's picture
adamm
August 14, 2010 - 6:28pm
I guess I pictured it basically being like the UN where Starfleet is organizationally equivalent to a UN Peacekeeping force with personnel and equipment donated by members.

Where Star Law fits into that is something else.  There probably is no real equivalent in our modern world.  Interpol is probably the closest thing but I get the impression that most of what they do is communication between agencies as opposed to actual field work.  Star Law is supposedly sending people out to hunt down criminals and sathar agents and such.

Star Law's exact boundaries would have to be defined by whatever interplanetary treaty governs them.  The specifics there are not defined so it's open for whatever you want.

Personally I envision Star Law having no real authority planetside.  They would have to get the cooperation of local authorities to apprehend their suspect, and when conducting investigations they would have no authority beyond what any normal citizen would have and whatever the locality is willing to give them.

In this frame of reference they might have free reign on a planet where the local authorities want to be cooperative and helpful, but they might go to Outer Reach and be treated with indiffernence or outright hostility.  In those cases the PC's might have to be cowboys and just avoid the local law while they go hunt down their man. 

But then I have to wonder how far a planet's authority reaches.  Would it go as far as they are willing and able to enforce it or maybe treaty would define a certain radius like 2AU's or something.  Either way I think outside of the influence of planetary law, Star Law is the only law.  If you subscribe to that theory, then you have to think Star Law must have some small HS3 ships to hunt down fugitives in deep space.  If your quarry hides on planets where Star Law is unwelcome, or if he has protection from someone powerful planetside, then catching him in transit might be the best way.

I think Shadowshack has said that he made the UPF into a dictatorship.  That certainly makes law enforcement simpler. Smile

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
August 14, 2010 - 7:59pm
I have no opinion as I only use the UPF as a plot tool at the moment.
But we do need to define them for the Setting book we'll be putting out.
Star Law was defined in Dragon, was the UPF?

Imperial Lord, pipe up - you have a project on this topic (I believe)



dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
August 14, 2010 - 8:15pm
I read Shadowshack's Timeline it reads like a good Strongman Takeover of a previously weak regime. I found it totally plausible too, considering how weak the UPF seems to be.

The Canon Game looks like the wild wild west with lasers.
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Bilygote's picture
Bilygote
August 14, 2010 - 10:57pm
I view the UPF as similar to the UN and Star Law like the US Marshal Service/Customs and Border Patrol.

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
August 15, 2010 - 11:36am
adamm wrote:


But then I have to wonder how far a planet's authority reaches.  Would it go as far as they are willing and able to enforce it or maybe treaty would define a certain radius like 2AU's or something.  Either way I think outside of the influence of planetary law, Star Law is the only law.  If you subscribe to that theory, then you have to think Star Law must have some small HS3 ships to hunt down fugitives in deep space.  If your quarry hides on planets where Star Law is unwelcome, or if he has protection from someone powerful planetside, then catching him in transit might be the best way.


Okay I would Say the Planets Authority Goes as far as they are willing to chase the crooks. Beyond That I am sure there is a Pretty good bounty hunter Business going on the Frontier. Can't waste resources chasing every fugutive of justice so Put a price on him and wait for Star Law or a bounty hunter to Pick him up.

The Bounty of Course Would Have to be large enough to make it worth a spacers time, After all there is a lot of money to be made in the frieght hauling business and it is way less risky then chasing dangerous criminals.
For a known Killer, I would not bother with him unless the Bounty Could pay at least 1 of my monthly starship payments. So that could be an Adventure hook. Other wise I am Wasting My time; Unless I have a Cargo Going that way too. In that Case He/she is Bonus above my Cargo. But what is the Chance of Just Running across by happenstance a wanted criminal that I know about.
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mentolio's picture
mentolio
August 15, 2010 - 12:29pm
   In my campaign, the UPF is somewhat like the UN (and much more like an alliance than an actual federation), tho hardly as restricted. Their jurasdiction is the unclaimed space between systems and the established trade lanes. The UPF makes law regarding the regulation of inter-stellar trade, and settles (or at least tries to help settle) disputes between it's member worlds. The member worlds maintain their own law enforcement and militia, and the UPF Navy/Marines are in charge of the security of the space lanes and the colonies. 

   My Star Law is a lot like a combination of the CIA and the US Marshall's Service. They have ultimate jurasdiction regarding matters of "frontier security," but do not have carte blanche on member planets. They must first request that planet's cooperation in their operations, but are not above proceeding covertly when they can't get it. Star Law is also in charge of housing and transporting all multi-jurasdictional criminals in the frontier.
"...glad I keep this around for close encounters..."

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
August 15, 2010 - 8:40pm
Anyone run a Star Law campaign where the characters are rangers?

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 16, 2010 - 3:17pm

The UPF is definitely a confederacy, and a very loose one at that. To call it a governing body is probably stretching it too, since each planet has its own government that the UPF can not interact with or against.


And yes, it's anything but strong, as the Sathar War 2 game illustrates their forces are quite weak compared to what the worms throw out at them (which is safe to say not their entire fleet either, but rather a fraction thereof).

adamm wrote:
I think Shadowshack has said that he made the UPF into a dictatorship.


I didn't make the UPF a dictatorship, rather it gets overtaken by one. Sort of a Senator/Emprorer Palpatine type of scenario, except rather than use deceit and trickery to gain power they simply amass a huge war machine (rumored to be funded by at least one meacorp) and invade.

Quote:
But then I have to wonder how far a planet's authority reaches.


Like dmoffett said, about as far as they're willing to take it. Of course that concept abruptly ends at another sovereign world's atmosphere...

dmoffett wrote:
I read Shadowshack's Timeline it reads like a good Strongman Takeover of a previously weak regime. I found it totally plausible too, considering how weak the UPF seems to be.


Thanks, I felt it fit nicely, even given the UPF's stance at expanding their fleets...the invading dictator simply beat them to that punch instead with equal foresight that wasn't discussed in commitee for decades...


But I too make the connection of the canon setting as a higher tech wild west, a Frontier setting per se, hence the name of the game. Alas, even the west was eventually tamed.

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

dmoffett's picture
dmoffett
August 16, 2010 - 4:13pm
Shadow Shack wrote:

But I too make the connection of the canon setting as a higher tech wild west, a Frontier setting per se, hence the name of the game. Alas, even the west was eventually tamed.


hehe Sounds like a NBC Miniseries; "How the Frontier Was Won", Written and Directed by Shadow Shack
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Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 17, 2010 - 2:49am
The Life and Times of Y. Ett Urp, dralasite Star Lawman...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Gilbert's picture
Gilbert
August 18, 2010 - 12:17am
  I see the UPF flexing their powers through the political realm as "Do you want protection or fend for yourself. With a dedicated fleet baring the latest technologies and designs to push the Sather and keep pirates from becoming to big of a threat. You will contribute to the cause. In the long run there will be less headaches that go beyond the management of the planet/system you lead." or just blockade them until they understand how vulnerable they really are to fleets in orbit. Either way having a professional fleet dedicated to defense has its rewards. However, if the resources are redirected into different designs such as a smaller ship that has firepower just under the LC meaning has everything else except the disruptor cannon can make a decent trade off to getting numbers in the fleet. In my games Star Fleet is an active show of force or a security blanket. Not only does the fleet provide security, it is also used as a disaster recovery system. I believe that the fleet has to multi-role to make the constant justification to be maintained or increased in size. But keep in mind there is a budget and the budget is more in the control of the military than most believe. There are many ways that the fleet can ensure that they are a piece of utility that is necessary to keep.
  Just sharing my thoughts.

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 18, 2010 - 5:26am

Part Two of "my definitions"

UPF/SpaceFleet and Star Law are two separate entities. SpaceFleet, as GIlbert mentioned, is entrusted with Frontier security. While they can not get involved with a sovereign world politically, meaning they won't rush in to resolve a domestic issue, they can respond to such things as observation...for example if a world is threatened by space pirates it's not SpaceFleet's job to vanquish these invaders, but they may dispatch a frigate to observe the pirates actions and ascertain if they are threatening more than just the planet itself (meaning if the pirates have a much larger goal against the UPF rather than just messing with a lonely backwater world). Now if these pirates cordon off this world, thus effectively blockading it from other Frontier access, then it becomes more of an issue. And if these pirates attack the frigate, all bets are off, the UPF will not stand for an attack against Spacefleet from pirates or any other force, they will meet force with force.


Star Law on the other hand is entrusted with policing the Frontier for sathar and their agents. While SpaceFleet will respond directly to a sathar threat on any Frontier world, they aren't the ones hunting down specific groups or agents. A lone ship ferrying agents to their destinations is not something SpaeFleet will look for, although if encountered they will certainly address it accordingly. Star Law's job is to find that lone ship ferrying agents, and once found they investigate the destinations as well to ascertain how much of a threat each poses...so if one destination happens to be an unexplored world where the worms are stockpiling warships for an offensive against a world or system (and Star Law manages to return with such intel), SpaceFleet will be called in.

Star Law would also actively look out for space pirates as well, or for that matter any other threat to a world, but their primary function is the discovery of sathar and their agents.

Finally, the "local police" would be responsible for their world or specified area of population, depending on the government in power. They keep the peace in their jurisdiction(s), working with and/or calling in Star Law when necessary (meaning when any sathar threat is discovered).
________________________

Which brings us to "my Frontier".

Once SDA (my dictator group, "Sovereign Domain Authority") overtakes the Frontier and disolves the Council of Worlds, the UPF is no longer "in power". Surviving UPF SpaceFleet and LandFleet forces are hunted down and either enlisted or destroyed, depending on their initial reactions. Star Law is also summarily absorbed, converted into an elite interstellar enforcement group (aka jackboots).

The sathar become less of a threat, considering the new occupying forces and their much larger assortment of warships to defend the Frontier. They try anyways, thus resulting in a third sathar war (sather versus SDA) and are efficiently defeated, driven back to their homeworlds...something SDA has no qualms in persuing. They discover a gateway system to the Sathar homeworlds and are defeated, and the entire Frontier vs worms issue becomes a stalemate, neither side wishing to risk further commitment.

Soon the pirates become the only threat...and in my campaign there is a separate section of systems "west" of the Frontier where a confederation of pirates are the ruling class, and as such it is more of an "organized crime" scenario. Despite the organization, their random and often chaotic assaults prove to be just as inefficient against the SDA war machine as the worms and they too are quickly driven back.

With no more Frontier-wide threats, the SDA continues to exert its hold by expanding their fleets to the point where no outside force would dare attempt an offensive maneuver. No outside force, that is, save for surviving UPF loyalists with garnered intel and guerrilla warfare tactics against unsuspecting SDA forces that have become a little too comfortable...

I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

Georgie's picture
Georgie
August 20, 2010 - 6:26pm
dmoffett wrote:

Okay I would Say the Planets Authority Goes as far as they are willing to chase the crooks. Beyond That I am sure there is a Pretty good bounty hunter Business going on the Frontier. Can't waste resources chasing every fugutive of justice so Put a price on him and wait for Star Law or a bounty hunter to Pick him up.

The Bounty of Course Would Have to be large enough to make it worth a spacers time, After all there is a lot of money to be made in the frieght hauling business and it is way less risky then chasing dangerous criminals.
For a known Killer, I would not bother with him unless the Bounty Could pay at least 1 of my monthly starship payments. So that could be an Adventure hook. Other wise I am Wasting My time; Unless I have a Cargo Going that way too. In that Case He/she is Bonus above my Cargo. But what is the Chance of Just Running across by happenstance a wanted criminal that I know about.


I agree that bounty hunting would be a common occupation. I don't think many bounty rewards would be high enough to pay for the hunters owning their own ship, even a small one. It would be more cost effective for the bounty hunters to remain fairly local, and probably space station based if their main targets are interstellar criminals. They would keep in touch with other worlds via subspace radio and maybe have an affiliation with other hunters in other systems in order to learn when a bounty might be heading their way (for a cut of the bounty, of course). Once they catch their crook, they would freeze him for cheap transport back to 'home'. If the hunters are intent on chasing a target across the galaxy, hitching rides on tramp freighters and passenger liners is far cheaper then maintaining their own ship.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 22, 2010 - 2:43pm
Anyone that wants a fun read on bounty hunters needs to pick up the Dark Horse graphic novel (aka comic book) compilation of "Shadows of the Empire".

It's a Star Wars tale set between ESB & ROTJ, detailing the search for Han Solo. And by search that means it's not limited to Han's friends, mind you. Remember the other bounty hunters on Vader's star destroyer? Yeah, Boba Fett hasn't collected the reward yet, after all he has to present the body to Jabba for that and Jabba could care less who presents it. Hence, the chase is (still) on to steal that carbonite casket...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
August 22, 2010 - 6:57pm
Shooting from the hip here goes. The Basic Book described the UPF as a defensive organization put together to deal with the Sathar threat. This would make them the Anti-U.N. Where the UN tries to maintain peace and settle disputes before they happen the UPF is a military machine who had a clear goal at the onset.

But as with all governmental type organizations the UPF assumed new responsibilities and grew while still maintaining its original mission. The listed additions are Star Law and Landfleet but we can assume several others such as the UPF Supreme Court to settle legal disputes between planets. The UPF Refugee Council to assist citizens who must be displaced because of invasion and later other disasters to other planets. The Reserve Logistical Fleet who in times of "need" call up mothballed ships and reserve personnel along with active volunteer ships and their crews.

Any way this is how I picture them and use them. They are not the Intergalactic Government but they are the best we got.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
August 22, 2010 - 8:11pm
A very good observation rattraveller.
...pondering Undecided

AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
August 22, 2010 - 9:15pm

In this manner, the UPF looks more like Nato.

They also make a good deterrent against Pirates, while a Pirate raiding force may be attaking a shipping lane or world, the appearance of a UPF Destroyer hanging around would make Pirates weary of attacking targets. Not because they couldn't gang up and defeat the destroyer but because if they do attack the destroyer, sucessful or not, the UPF Cruisers will be there soon and then its adios muchachos. Nothing like the appearance of a UPF battlegroup in your system to wreck your plans of pirating for the weekend. Small attacks fall under the classifications of local crime and the jurisdicition of star law or local millitia. However, upon request a UPF Destroyer on patrol would not be something that Pirates would like to see in their area.


Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 23, 2010 - 2:52am
If there's a weaker link than the loosely organized SpaceFleet, it would have to be the canon listing of --- what is it, ten planetary militias? TEN worlds out of 24 (at least by SF/KH, not the additional Zeb Guide systems) that can defend themselves without relying on SpaceFleet.

Okay, make that 12 if you count the home bases of Task Forces Prenglar & Cassidine, assuming those ships happen to be in their home port at the time. That's still only half of the populated worlds.

It's a miracle that the other half still lives free...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
August 24, 2010 - 1:13pm
The point of pirates having to be afraid of their own success is a very good one. Taking ships and growing your fleet means Spacefleet will come after you means pirates need to be much sneakier and more deadly to keep their activities secret so they do not attract attention.

Pirate do have a much different use they just hit and run in Star Frontiers. Two times in modules pirates are mentioned as being used as pawns for larger groups. Dramune Run and Warriors of the White Light they were being used to support the goals of much larger groups, a planetary government and a megacorporation. In these cases the pirates are more accurately privateers working under contract of letters of mark. It is also said some are supported by the Sathar.

This is probably how they survive under the Spacefleet radarscope with support from outside groups and not just off their pirate earnings.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
August 24, 2010 - 3:59pm
Pirates are loosely organized, if at all...

It has even been hinted that the Star Devil was hired by PGC to thwart Streel operations in the Volturnus adventure series. Not in the modules themselves, mind you...seeing as they were penned before TSR belted out the name "Streel" for Star Frontiers but post-KH writings are out there detailing such theories.

Whether they are allied forces, privateers/hired out, or simply working independatly...their unpredictable nature is what makes them a good adversary. And while they would generally wish to avoid UPF confrontations, it's not beneath them to challenge such groups either. In my game there is an entire sector west of the Frontier dedicated as a safe refuge for pirates, their worlds are run by the criminals a la mafia-like organization and protected by fleets of upgunned civilian craft and para-military designs, meaning they have frigates, destroyers, and cruisers but they aren't as well armed as bona fide warships --- they simply have laser cannons (or disruptor cannons when applicable) and laser batteries (along with electron & proton as well) to enable long term operations sans reloading (let's face it, what UPF occupied space station or planet is going to rearm a pirate vessel?). This makes them more than enough against civilian ships, good enough versus militia ships, and capable of taking a stand against a small detachment of warships...but at the same time not full on Frontier invasion grade either, just an unpredictable force to be reckoned with.

And since the UPF (as well as my replacement SDA) lacks the quantity of warships for invading sathar worlds, they tend to leave the pirate worlds alone as well. Which isn't to say they won't back down from dispatching surveillance/reconnaissance missions into those worlds, mind you...
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

jedion357's picture
jedion357
August 31, 2010 - 8:08am
Shadow Shack wrote:
If there's a weaker link than the loosely organized SpaceFleet, it would have to be the canon listing of --- what is it, ten planetary militias? TEN worlds out of 24 (at least by SF/KH, not the additional Zeb Guide systems) that can defend themselves without relying on SpaceFleet.

Okay, make that 12 if you count the home bases of Task Forces Prenglar & Cassidine, assuming those ships happen to be in their home port at the time. That's still only half of the populated worlds.

It's a miracle that the other half still lives free...


Something in my memory says that there is a statement in the rules that most planets above outpost or light population and particularly with an industrial population has a militia which means far more them the militias detailed for the board game.

So how do you reconcile that?
1. some planets have focused on planetary defenses and their militia mans those as well as policing the stations in orbit.

2. they have only armed shuttles and thus are not really listed in the board game.

3. or they may even have legitimate star ship hulls but because of political considerations wont commit them and thus they are not available to the UPF player in the board game.

Sooner or latter some of these systems will land a captured pirate vessel and crew them - TRUE STORY: In the eary '90s The police in my home town in Maine participated in a joint opperation with the State Police and the ATF which resulted in property siezed. a key item of which was a classic late '70's corvette. The ATF and the State Police didn't want it so the town said we'll take it. It got a new paint job as a black n white cop car and specially ordered light strip to fit the narrow roof and Auburn Me had a corvette for a cop car. Naturally they didn't really use it for normal police activity- the juvenille officer would take it to the schools for the DARE program and it got taken out for parades and other publicity. I got an officer to let me and a friend into their garage to take a picture next to it so I could bring the photo back to Boston to show everyone in college what cops drive in Maine. Cool
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Shing's picture
Shing
August 31, 2010 - 4:04pm
But militia doesn't always imply ships.  It could just be a planetary militia like a local sheriff and some deputies (security force) or a formed military style unit that buys it's own equipment (think Roman Army before the Marian Reforms).  It also can mean something akin to a volunteer firefighter that is trained but not active unless needed.

The militia fleets are for the places that can afford them or have disposable income or have a sugar   daddy.  It is probable that a planet would have a small fleet of ships for anti-piracy but it is also possible that a corporation contributed funds to a fleet to protect it's own interests but relinquish control so as to give the appearance that it is for planetary security.

Many possibilities really.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

Shadow Shack's picture
Shadow Shack
September 1, 2010 - 4:18pm
jedion357 wrote:
Something in my memory says that there is a statement in the rules that most planets above outpost or light population and particularly with an industrial population has a militia which means far more them the militias detailed for the board game.


The actual rule you're thinking of applies to planetary defenses (ground based weaponry), not militias. Which, come to think of it...probably leaves even MORE undefended worlds (definitely the possibility of no militia and no defenses, I'd have to compare and contrast).

Alas, I did find one stating that "most planets beyond the status of outpost maintain a small militia" on p.52 of the KH campaign book, pretty much a prelude of info that supports the Warriors of White Light module. "1-10 ships often no larger than a frigate" is mentioned, so that can be interpreted as non-warships as well, after all a gunned HS:5 freighter is no larger than a frigate and could be utilized, as could a well armed HS:5 system ship that can land on the planet according to canon rules (something I can debate all day about concerning HS:5 starships, but that's for another place and time).

So it stands to reason that a lot of the "unlisted militias" from the Sathar War game could be non-starships or non-warships. Which brings me to my answer for the next part:

Quote:
So how do you reconcile that?
1. some planets have focused on planetary defenses and their militia mans those as well as policing the stations in orbit.

2. they have only armed shuttles and thus are not really listed in the board game.

3. or they may even have legitimate star ship hulls but because of political considerations wont commit them and thus they are not available to the UPF player in the board game.


Well, I permit a squadron of six star-fighters per population rank (one for L, two for M, three for H). They're not starships, and with 20-60 hours worth of life support (a la crew spacesuits rather than a LS system) they don't even qualify for militia duty (inspection, deep space patrol etc)...but offer fantastic defensive capacities and can land on the oribtal station or planetary surface.

As such, they could also have upgunned civilian ships or system ships as well, or even a repair/reload vessel to assist the fighters in space, or even a fighter transport to permit moving fighters deeper into space than their crew-suit LS units allow. Lots of non-warship possibilities are out there, it's the same premise as my aforementioned pirate fleets.

Quote:
Sooner or latter some of these systems will land a captured pirate vessel and crew them - TRUE STORY: In the eary '90s The police in my home town in Maine participated in a joint opperation with the State Police and the ATF which resulted in property siezed. a key item of which was a classic late '70's corvette. The ATF and the State Police didn't want it so the town said we'll take it. It got a new paint job as a black n white cop car and specially ordered light strip to fit the narrow roof and Auburn Me had a corvette for a cop car.


There's a California department (the exact city/township escapes me at the moment) that does the same thing...vehicles captured in drug raids can be adopted into their patrol fleets. One was a bright yellow Hummer H3 with their logos and the slogan "This vehicle was siezed in a drug raid" painted below it.

I imagine that one didn't see much patrol duty back when gas was $4+/gallon...

But yes, a captured pirate ship can certainly be invoked as part of a planetary defense network too. In some cases it would even be favorable to buying/building their own, which could even prompt government sponsored piracy. Think about it...a poorly defended world offers a bounty to its own citizens on captured vessels to be "appropriated" into a defensive fleet. It could certainly be a good plot hook, oreso for a plague world (if you utilize those) --- the Zeb's Guide mentions any starship seen leaving those worlds will be destroyed, so it goes without saying residents of said worlds would have no qualms taking any starship that wanderes into the system (with hopes that the ship's info storage program has details on routes that circum-navigate the known routes so they can "sneak in" the Frontier). But again that's another topic for another time, the point is a planetary government may go to any measures to acquire their defenses, and piracy wouldn't be ruled out for some.
I'm not overly fond of Zeb's Guide...nor do I have any qualms stating why. Tongue out

My SF website

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
September 1, 2010 - 8:15pm
Also as to reconciliation of the idea that all the planets have some sort of militia and the militias in the board game just remember that those are rules for a board game.  Some balance is required.  If you gave all the planets militias you would have to increase the number of Sathar ships somewhat to offset that.  That means there would be more book keeping and the game would probably take longer.  I always look at the lack of militias in the other systems as a play balance issue.  The idea was to make a strategic game that wasn't too cumbersome to manage but still had a lot of fun battles to play out.

Also if there had been more militia ships, they would have had to cut out a bunch of the other counters on the sheet ot accomodate the additional militia and Sathar vessels or print up a second counter sheet.  The latter would have cut into the profits on the boxed set since they were going for a fixed price at the time $12.00 IIRC.

All of my planets (not just systems) have militias of some sort or another even if it is just a few fighters as Shadow Shack mentions.
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Jo_Mistero's picture
Jo_Mistero
September 6, 2010 - 9:14am

Hi Dmoffett. Great question! I’m new here but not new to Star Frontiers. I’ve only ever owned my trusty original printed in 1982 and until recently was oblivious to the expansions and extra stuff printed over there in the US over the past two decades.

The answers I’ve read are really interesting and inspiring for me. The original concept of Star Law and the UPF in it’s first ever publication are as follows in the Glossary on page 17 (inside back cover of the basic rules):

"United Planetary Federation:

A loose allience formed between many planetary governments after the first Sathar attacks. The UPF is not an interstellar government; it is a defense organization devoted to protecting member planets from Sathar takeover or destruction. The UPF also as it’s own police force, the Star Law Rangers. The Rangers track down and capture Sathar undercover agents. However their authority is not rcognized on all planets" ( presumably only those who are signed up with the UPF).

"Star Law Rangers:

A branch of the UPF that operates as a sort of interstellar police force. It concentrates on finding Sathar agents, but also fights space pirates and other interstellar criminals."

What happens to it after that is in the imagination of the adventurer, with some really good concepts as you can see from these replies.

But I have been called an idiot so don’t quote me. Quote TSR! Smile and of course have fun!


Deryn_Rys's picture
Deryn_Rys
October 26, 2010 - 9:27pm
I've always played the UPF as a kind of judiciary commitee with elected officials representing each of the Races of the Frontier. Each planet maintains its own government, and whatever military force it deems necessary for its defense, but when planets come into conflict, they can turn to the UPF to settle the despute. Of course because my Frontier is so large and Subspace communications have a range of about 10 or so Lightyears, if they aren't bounced off of Spaceship antennas or communications satellites usually planets have to take care of their own problems, since waiting for a decision by the UPF more then likely will come weeks or months too late to do anyone any good.

As for Spacefleet in my campaign its far larger then in the game with large taskforces concentrated in the core, and smaller units patrolling the central and outer systems. Spacefleet has jurisdiction over all space beyond a Star System, and ships can be deployed to any planet who requests aid, (though by the time they get there, they may be too late), which is why most settlements spend money to buy whatever ships they can, or often hire Adventurers with ships to protect them (Mercenary armadas are quite profitable in my frontier).  

Star Law serves as the only police force in interstellar space, though their agents can take charge of any planetary police force if they deem that the Sathar threat may destabalize a planetary government. However they can only deal with criminals (other than Sathar and their agents) within a Star System if they are asked to do so. Thus a pirate is a local problem unless he/she is stupid enough to leave the boundries of a Star system in which case they become Star Law's problem.  
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