What the Frontier is missing....

jedion357's picture
April 27, 2011 - 4:22pm
.....is a truly iconic station. Oh sure it has plenty of space stations and even a few have name but there is nothing in the Frontier that invokes the imagination the way names like Babylon 5 or Deep Space 9, or even Moss Eisley or Sector General from the James White novels (though that was a Galactic General Hospital)

There was an effort to do something of the sort for Star Frontiers with Star Base Hellhound
Also I think Shadow shack did something along these lines with his Mercenary Star base set in Zebulon

Clarion Station is probably the most well known, by name, and has default deck plans from the KH's box set and the only reason I would not want to start expanding on the setting with this location is that I'd perfer to 1. start with a clean slate so to speak and 2. my inclination is to paint a new corner of the setting thus expanding the number of stations that we have more than sketchy details on.

So some basic questions should be asked, what is the scope of the station to be? Size 1 thru 6, a docking station, trade station, military outpost, scientific endeavor?

Some things, I think, are a must, to a certian extent it should be a cross roads with all sorts of aliens present giving it a Moss Eisley Cantina sort of feel in SF

Militia presence is not 100% neccessary, nor is Space Fleet nor the Flight; though a military presence might be good for story lines- if nothing else a Warriors of White Light style module could be set there.

There needs to be a "Quarks" bar like on DS9 and perhaps even an Odo character to spar with the head of the organized crime- maybe a Jabba the Hut or the Malthar like mobster but perhaps toned down and not as bad as Jabba or Malthar. Perhaps more "connected" then Quark was.

A planet below with possibilities for adventure and some instability in the political arean; both of which are good for story lines.

Also should it be an outpost or cosmopolitan of a location? It could be an outpost and still a cross roads. Any cosmopolitan type location will automatically act as a cross road.

Finally, do we set it in a new system or in an existing system? doing a new system has the benefit of a clean slate but it may not get a great reception. I'm leaning toward something set in the existing cannon somewhere but think the scope should be worked out and then the Planetary catalog studied for a suitable location.

did I miss anything?

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

AZ_GAMER's picture
April 27, 2011 - 4:37pm
You should visit my station project page. Point Endeavor would make a fine station to set adventures at. There are also some nice smaller stations locale for adventure scenarios.

jedion357's picture
April 27, 2011 - 4:47pm
The link is here for those looking:

I do like the look of Station Endeavor- would probably rate it size 2 which makes is still a managable size for mapping though mapping a station would not be like mapping an assault scout to be sure.

certainly the project is a good place for inspiration.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
April 27, 2011 - 5:24pm
Types of Frontier stations:

SF: UPF Space Fortress

FSS: Fortified Space Station

ASS: Armed Space STation

TS: Trading Stations malls in space, banned by UPF law from selling items produce on the planet they orbit. Seems like an odd law- probably a vrusk idea.

RRS: Resort station- not my first thought for painting in a new piece of the setting.

DS: docking station- probably a great location to get detailed up.

not listed in the books- SSS: Science space station probably because a ship could be sent to do the job for a time and relocated latter.

Some listing in the planetary catalog list both DS and TS over a planet and while this could mean 2 separate station I like the idea of 1 station with 1 ring dedicated to one purpos and another ring dedicated to another and an incomplete ring planned for other purposes- purhaps part of that incomplete ring will be for the militia and for now they just have "rough" lodgings to deal with and only enough support for 1 squadron of fighters.

Some ideas:

Cassidine, Triad; Planet has a mixed population and the name makes me think of Asian mafia for some reason which just gets the old imagination going. Its listed as having and ASS and a DS and I believe that there is a militia in this system. Plus its 1 jump from Dramune with the presence of the Malthar
There is another station out over Ruperts Hole in this system which is ASS and TS. there is a lot in this system to build off of including the presence of CDC mega corp.

Kisk'-Kar or Kizk'-Kar system with Zik-Kit its a colony controlled from Fromeltar and the first stop on the Vrusk Run from Fromeltar to White Light. the planet is a industrial and mining colony for the vrusk and the station is ASS & TS. It has an outpost quality and close proximity to the Clan Y sathar. In addition, Fromeltar has a large militia and since this is its colony some of those militia ships would be stationed here.

Prengular has a lot of station real estate and would be a cross roads but not my preference to detail at this time.

Solar Minor was established by Synth-corp and has stations over both planets and has much the same issues as Kisk'-Kar going for it but is deffinetly an outpost. the main station is ASS & RSS while the other over the other planet is TS

Timeon, Lossend: has only a ASS and a light human population with an agricultural and industrial economy. fits the cross roads idea.

Zebulon has 2 stations: ASS over Volturnus and RSS over Anker. fits the cross roads theme

Klaeok, Point Go is the butt end of the Rim so you get the outpost feel and it has a TS & DS while the planet has a light mixed population.

Osak system has a FSS, ASS and DS over 2 of its inhabited planets. certainly a cross roads.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
April 27, 2011 - 8:28pm
Space Station centered adventure ideas:

1. A Port in the Storm: refugees from sathar aggression show up looking for help or sanctuary, this would be a good time to use one of the new races Saurians or one from a SFman. Twists: the aliens are really criminals and do some bad things forcing the PCs to deal with them.

2. We've been Robbed! bad people stolen something or someone and made off with a vehicle, possible one belonging to the PCs.

3. You can keep on knocking but you cant come in! Boarding action whether by force or by stealth and the PCs need to deal with it. could link this one as a part 2 to A port in the storm

4. Pirates of the Asteroids. pirates have set up shop and need to be dealt with; basic tactical scenario. Shooting up their ships Then the asteroid base must be cleared.

5. Treasure Map. Evidence of a lost star ship has turned up and wouldn't you know it but it was carrying something valuable, perhaps the PCs would like to go treasure hunting

6. Posiden's Inferno! (disaster in space) Solar Plasma storm or comet close pass or asteroid storm strikes the station. Station thrown back on emergency power and repair and rescue is the order of the day.

7. Elementary, My dear Watson.  a crime or atrocity has been commited and the PCs must investigate. Twists: PCs are saddled with an unwanted ally or taken off the case 1/2 way through.

8. Transhipment. Valuable material or person is transported to station and must be kept safe for a period of time.

9. S.O.S. distress call and PCs to the rescue. The victims could be under seige or captive and the PCs must deal with the captors (easy to pair this with pirate themes). Could be a danger that the PCs will end up stranded too. The rescuees aren't people, but animals, robots, or something else. The "victim" doesn't realize that he needs rescuing; he thinks he's doing something reasonable and/or safe. The threat isn't villain-oriented at all; it's a natural disaster, nuclear meltdown, or disease outbreak. The rescuees can't leave ; something immobile and vital must be tended to or dealt with at the adventure location. The PCs begin as part of the rescuees, and must escape and gather forces or resources to bring back and proceed as above.

10. Red Cell. There is a terrorist cell planning something bad. can the PCs root them out before they do their thing?

11. How Much for the Gorilla in the Window? Something critical is in short supply, can the PCs aquire some?

12. PC Targets, someone or thing attacks the PCs without warning, they must figure out why even while fending off more attacks.

13. Diplomacy. The PCs are a diplomatic vanguard, trying to open up (or shore up) either political or trade relations with a strange culture. All they have to do is manage for a day or so among the strange customs without offending anybody . . . and what information they have is both incomplete and dangerously misleading.

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14. Surveillance: PCs must monitor someone while they are on the station and gather info for their bosses, star law or some other authority but not make contact with them. Twists: target gets into trouble and PCs must decide to aid or help despite their orders.


15. Missing: a young child has wondered off and needs to be found. criminal gone missing, or etc.

16. What's Happening? the station has developed a wobble and the engineering systems that should correct it cant or wont do so. Pcs have to figure out why and stop it.

17. You Shall Not Pass! some enemy is coming and the PCs have fore knowledge. they must prepare their defenses and stop them.

18. Red Herring. The PCs are given a tip that someone bad is planning something bad but its a red herring to distract them from the real caper.

19. The Trouble with Pandora's Tribbles. Something bad has come aboard station and been let out of the bag. PCs need to clean it up.

20. Flying Dutchman. a derilict ship is on a collision course with the station; it just left the station recently but is now seemingly empty. Can the PCs figure out what happend and halt the ship?

21. The Hunt is on. something must be hunted down. Possible on the planet surface. Perhaps a ship that was suppose to be inspected had an escape pod fire off.

22. Your serve. PCs are challenged to a game of Space Hand ball and must win. opponents are not honest.

23. Hi-jacked. PCs are on board a shuttle to the planet when its hi-jacted.

24. Trouble makers. Hovercycle gang, rowdy miners, or foreign sailors in town and PCs must stop the rucus from getting out of hand. They may be under orders to not harm the trouble makers.

linking adventure ideas into a module/campaign:

Start with SOS to lead to Pirates of the Asteroids which leads to Treasure Map which could even lead to Pandoras Trouble with Tribbles.

A Port in the Storm could lead to Trouble Makers which could lead to We've been Robbed!

Diplomacy could lead to Your Serve which could lead to Whats Happening?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
April 27, 2011 - 8:27pm
It's not cannon but someone once put a station on the bend in the jump route to Zebulon. It would be a deep space station with no planet per say.  Maybe a large proto-planet could be there that is being mined for the material to build the station from.

jedion357's picture
April 28, 2011 - 11:27am
As I've mulled over the possible adventure scenarios that could be written for this it occurs to me that the PC's will need to be either the security personnel or militia responsible for the safety and Peace of the station. Militia is tough for a RPG as rank structure and military discipline are not always easily honored in a rpg game. so my inclination is security speicialist.

This means private ownership of the station or that its simply administered by a civilian agency for a government that has no real militia in the Frontier. That said most of the police/security force could be robotic and would handle the day to day micky mouse security issues and policing but the PC team would be the specialist that catch the more interesting problem.

so with civilian/private ownership of the station and no formal military presence it begins to look like a outpost/ DS9 style of station is called for.

this narrows the possibilities some:
Edits in Red
Solar Minor with Synth-corp not a cross road but certainly an outpost, Station would be paid for by Synth-Corp and thus administered by them. This system is 13LY from sathar outpost #1, 10 from Liberty system, and 8LY from Waller Nexus. This makes Solar Minor the last outpost of civilization in the Frontier before entering what has been Sathar space. UPF ships will frequently call here on their way to patrol stations in Liberty and Waller Nexus. It will also be an important jump off point for exploration missions. The Mhemne race of Liberty system will likely become frequent visitors to this system. Taking advantage of the trade station to save time and expense in purchasing goods and technology of the Frontier right here without having to venture deep into the Frontier.

The UPF likely have a laison officer on the station and patrol groups passing through all the time. All this is if the Beyond the Frontier modules are in the past but it wouldn't be hard to set them as future and work the PC's into those modules from here- it would only take a little rewrite of that series.

Then the diplomacy adventure could easily involve the mhemne envoy going to attend the Council of Worlds with a layover at Solar Minor.

Timeon, Lossend: crossroad but not true outpost but a little bit of an outpost feel since planet has light population. 1 jump away from a major UPF base and 1-2 jumps from some of the biggest militias in the area. Tacton Industries is headquartered here and is big into robotics so robots should figure large here.

Klaeok, Point Go is the butt end of the Rim so you get the outpost feel and it has  a light mixed population you dont get any more outpost than this but its not a cross roads. the name of the planet suggest that the authors intended it as a jump off point for exploration. Downside is that its the Rim and not everyone is on the same page with using Zebs material. Could be built and run by the Flight or by the local government or even by an consortium of CFM investors. This station would be a jokers wild piece of setting with all sorts of possibilities being viable.

I like the idea of Solar Minor a lot, involvement of a mega corp is always good for the story. Timeon is good too as it gives referees a port of call deep in the middle of the Frontier to use as well.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Bilygote's picture
April 28, 2011 - 6:16pm
Maybe I'm biased but I'd recommend any of the stations outlined in the Sundown System article in Starfrontiersman 16.

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
April 29, 2011 - 9:06pm

Jedion: I'm guessing you missed "Dead Man's Wharf" on my SF website? Though it's small, it does have a few bars, food vendors, and merchant stores. It also offers some fun NPCs to haggle with.
Come ye Jedion! Dock yer ship at Dead Man's Wharf and look around a bit! Beware the Stone Shepherds though. They're complete bastards!

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

SFAndroid's picture
May 10, 2011 - 11:22am
ASS - Armed Space Station

Pirate A - Holy ****! That's a huge ASS!
Pirate B - Wow, last time I saw an ASS that big, a Dralasite was sitting in a papasan....

Pirate A - We're being pulled to that small moon....
Pirate B - That's no moon....that's an ASS!  Wait...um...never mind.
You can't argue with the invincibly ignorant. - William F. Buckley

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
May 10, 2011 - 12:09pm

Made my day. Foot in mouth

jedion357's picture
May 10, 2011 - 7:16pm
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
May 10, 2011 - 9:43pm


My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

Malcadon's picture
May 11, 2011 - 2:12am
Laughing That is a good one!

To me, the "Frontier" is too established. I consider these worlds "Core Worlds", and the true "Frontier" are the uncharted areas off the map. With that, the worlds furthest out of the established grid maintains an outpost to new frontier. These outposts are almost like the cities at the eastern-edge of the wild west - being a mix of established civility and pioneer spirit, with some local colors. Beyond these ports, their are an uncounted number of new colony worlds. These new worlds are mostly backwater tarraforming efforts, large-scale mining operations, and even some mysteriously abandoned or outright conquered colonies.

I like the open sandbox setup, and like the old D&D module The Keep on the Borderlands, its good to have a good "home base" to get things going, and to have a place to regroup and resupply.

thespiritcoyote's picture
May 11, 2011 - 10:47am
I am with the few who, for various reasons, let there be more systems in the area than shown or mentioned... some of those I consider to be 'dark systems' class M, T, L, Y or less... I also prefer a 3d model, that gives it an approximate 30psc/90lY sphere-volume to work with. By the 111fy date (if you use it), the Vast Expanse and Capellan Rim, should be almost as explored in terms of systems surveyed, though not as heavily populated in colonies, it is just a matter of not having the astrogation and survey data made public (PGC and CFM have had a monopolizing stranglehold on their data for a couple centuries, so by 111fy the dam is no-doubt about to break). still plenty of frontier left for me, but it would be nice to have those off-the-edge areas, and 'out-black' unseen frontier maps, given a little more attention.

I don't really like the idea of lots of deep-space stations, artificial satellite stations I have no problem with. Basically as along as it is synced to a useful nearby planetary body or two, sure, but out on it's own with not even an asteroid cluster around... not-so-much. B5 (yes, maybe not quite that big, but yes), DS9 (ok, to study the Xagyg I suppose, but not really something I would want to see a nine of), Cool Sector General (love that book, have read the copy I own at least three times, but again a bit large with no supporting system body near, definitely not), the basic ideas about function and life aboard station, are all good in those examples, though most of them give some Gravity Field explanation for their stability and such, and that doesn't fit a low Type-I civilization for me.

Moss Eisley? Tattooine in genera? ok, I could see that working well as an asteroid/dwarf-planet outpost... Cool out on the back side of the Vast, some 40+ parsecs (over 120Ly) from Athor... near, a black hole... with a 'derelict' ship floating around...Cool

All really good stuff jedion357, I can work with this info.Cool

might need to place a partially completed Armed Space Station out in a Sathar Intelligence Threat Assessment Region for Observation of Unique Nebula Developments, somewhere between the Core Seven and the Capellan Rim... [so UPF marines can be deployed to a Half-ASS duty, and SIT AROUND on their ASS.]
That one could be a deep space platform, in a remote 'out-black' system... secondary duty is a refuel and maintenance platform for passing traffic, and what amounts to an attempt at keeping legal traffic legal from the Rim, not really stopping smugglers and pirates that just go around anyway.
Oh humans!! Innocent We discover a galactic community filled with multiple species of aliens, and the first thing we think about is "how can we have sex with them?".
~ anymoose, somewhere on the net...

if you square a square it becomes a cube...
if you square a cube does it become an octoid?

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
May 11, 2011 - 1:31pm
General Veers, "Why didn't anyone tell me my ASS was this big?"

jedion357's picture
May 11, 2011 - 1:37pm
w00t wrote:
General Veers, "Why didn't anyone tell me my ASS was this big?"

Well it wouldn't be if you let us use ludicrous speed- you'd end up running it off.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

SFAndroid's picture
May 13, 2011 - 6:56pm
You can't argue with the invincibly ignorant. - William F. Buckley

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
May 13, 2011 - 11:12pm
Laughing Foot in mouthLaughing Tongue out You rock Android!

My SF website izz: http://ragnarr.webs.com

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
May 14, 2011 - 9:39am
SFAnroid, brain the size of an ASS, and they ask him to take w00t! to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction, 'cause I don't.  

spyder's picture
May 14, 2011 - 12:01pm

An ass so big it covers both sides