Gargoyle2k7's picture
July 8, 2011 - 6:21pm
As the Alpha Dawn rules state, and the Zeb's guide expanded upon, there are numerous companies throughout the Frontier and the Rim.  Now, while there are just 17 listed megacorps in the Zeb's guide, with a couple dozen subsidiaries listed, there are likely hundreds if not thousands of small companies under these.  I am working on an article for SFman that briefly describes several such subs, including their primary business, headquarters, CEO or other leader, and parent company, all in about three sentences.  The thing is, the more I work on the article, the more subs I come up with.  Currently, I am up to about 56.  Is this already too many?  Should I add more?  Should I break it up into a series of articles, say based on types of companies (argricultural, industrial, business, technological, etc.)?  I'd appreciate your input.
Long live the Frontier!

Georgie's picture
July 8, 2011 - 7:08pm
That may be a few too many for a single article at 168 sentances plus paragraph headers. That's got to be several pages long. I'd probably break it into a series based on parent company.
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.    * Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi

Captain Rags's picture
Captain Rags
July 8, 2011 - 9:49pm
From a realistic perspective, yes there would be thousands of subsidiaries considering the enormous size and overall population of the Frontier sector. 
But from a purely playable perspective (say that 3 times fast hee), I'd suggest a lesser amount of subsidiaries with a greater amount of detail for each listed.

My SF website izz:

jedion357's picture
July 9, 2011 - 6:06am
I would say it depends on how much space you devote to each company. If each company is going to get a write up comparable to Send then yes its probably to many. If you're essentially creating a list with a few sentences then no. Its hard for me to judge without seeing the work. One thing: the editor likes lists with 100 items in them so an article with 12-20 companies really well fleshed out plus a 100 list of suggested companies with a sentence blurb on each might be the right balance. Once its submitted and in the publication que I can gi e you more concrete feed back.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Gargoyle2k7's picture
July 9, 2011 - 12:51pm
The current work is closer to what you describe, jedion.  There's a brief introductory paragraph, and then an alphabetical list of companies in a "Name of Company - this company makes this.  They are based on Planet, and the CEO is Blarb Garblar, a person.  The Company is a subsidiary of MegaCorp."  A few of the entries are a little longer, but only by maybe a sentence.
Long live the Frontier!

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
July 9, 2011 - 6:37pm
Sounds like some good nuggets for Referee's to use. Whatever you feel is necessary to describe the company is great. I can place in the SFman layout if you'd like to know how many pages it will take up. 

Consider a stat block of sorts for each, here's an example I'm using for Frontier Space. (I know it's lots of work but would make a great source book.)

X-Fact Corp

Introduction paragraph.

Corporation details

  • Headquarters: Lipti, Pernglar, Station 1.
  • Leadership: X is governed by a triumvirate consisting of three Directors: Dr. X, Dr. Y and Dr. W.
  • Interests: money lending, artifacts.
  • Sources of Income: interest loans, selling of rare artifacts.
  • Subsidiaries: none.
  • Allies: X often aligns its interest with GoFar Industries, mostly for their vast travel network.  
  • Opposition: no public data  


  • X is the front for an organized crime syndicate know as The Q. X denies the validity of this assertion.
  • Dr. X (the unknown financial backing director) is an unknown entity - even to the other two corporate directors.  
  • X does not use MercCo due to past breach of contracts and "missing" cargo issues.


  • Characters are often funded by X to find, document and retrieve artifacts from the far reach of the frontier.
  • Those people who actually find themselves hired by X must have attended one of the member universities and must possess a degree from that institution.


  • Characters are often loaned ships, vehicles and gear to carry out their missions. Equipment must be returned in working order.
  • Low interest loans are available to employees if characters choose to hire on rather than consult.

Gargoyle2k7's picture
July 9, 2011 - 8:08pm
That's the kind of write-up I'd use for a major subsidiary or new megacorp.  The idea here is that its just some quick info on minor subs to give GMs ideas.  I might in the end do a little of both; an article on several minor subs with very quick blurbs, and then a series of articles spotlighting major subs, with either a few (three to five) or a single company.
Long live the Frontier!

thespiritcoyote's picture
July 23, 2011 - 10:49am
From that example, I find the Name and Corporation Details blocks a bare minimum even for a simple one store operation... The Paragraph, Rumors, Employment, and Benefits, are all handy but rather optional...

I consider there to be about 20 'stable megacorps' about 40 'new megacorps' and the 120 'near-competitors' all overlapped in any given fiscal year by about +/- 10 to 30%, and this ranges a number between 126 to 234... along with as many as six to ten times that, for companies operating independently 'beyond singular planetary jurisdictions' make up the Major Inter-planetary & Trans-system Index (total about 756 to 2340)... after all that, the 'subsidiaries' of the combined MITI megacorps and conglomerates add an aditional 7020 to 14040 entities that do NOT have independent Inter-planetary or Trans-stellar capability...
and indeed any of those numbers might adjust +/- 10 to 30% in any given fiscal year... more in some places if the market crashes or booms in a given region...

...and then there might be the recognized and listed Frontier 400, Vrusk Index Portfolio 216, Dramune Association Social Networks & Qualifiers 4320, Athor Regulated Corporate Amalgamates 100 Index, and a Madderly & Rushire Standard Industries which lists the top 36 companies operating from White Light and Madderly's Star (covers approximately 10LY from either plus the trade corridor between them in it's reckoning)... etc...

and again this is just counting the MITI qualified companies... not 'every' company on 'every' settled planet... Those that don't count as MITI are local planetary companies only, and demographic numbers in comparison are likely drastically varied from planet to planet, depending on local laws, customs, and market viability... Some planets have a several local index standards and a dynamic open market, some have no 'public market' to require any stock exchange index, and a more general listing is sufficient...

but yeah, more than 100 is an over-kill list, for purely playable perspective...

@Captain Rags... THAT~THAT~THAT.... hah! I did it!Laughing
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?

Gargoyle2k7's picture
July 23, 2011 - 11:07am
Spiritcoyote: I love that!  MITI, VIP, Frontier 400, ARCA, DrasNax...  This could spur a whole new article (or set, or even project) on Frontier economy.  :)
Long live the Frontier!

thespiritcoyote's picture
July 24, 2011 - 1:29am
Foot in mouthCoolMoney mouth
For Recap Clarity;
MITI - Major Inter-planetary & Trans-system Index of all registered inter-planetary & trans-system corporations.
Frontier 400 - The top ranking 400 Companies Frontier-wide, ranked by gross revenue after the impact of excise taxes includes publicly and privately-held companies for which revenues are publicly available. It is the smaller subset of the Frontier 4000 ranked on revenues alone. Companion lists for; The Frontier 40 Commercial Banks (ranked by assets), Frontier 40 Utilities (ranked by assets), Frontier 40 Life Insurance Companies (ranked by assets), Frontier 40 Retailers (ranked by gross revenues), Frontier 40 Transportation companies (ranked by revenues), also exist.
VIP - The Vrusk Index Portfolio of the top 216 Frontier wide public Companies, ranked by assets, credit ratings, governance scores, and stock market indices, by the GVMPI.
DASN&Q- Originally compiled by a Dramune based Social Economics College as the Dramune Association Social Networks & Qualifiers 4320, many spin offs have since been picked up by Social Economics Colleges in every Dralasite community, eventually the 'DrasNax Independent Fraternity of Cassadine' became a simi-central compilation house of all the gathered lists from other Social Economics Colleges and has listed as many as 155520 companies in a single fiscal period, from this larger list the smaller list of 4320 companies of the 'DASN&Q' is sent back to the Dramune Social Economics College for official publication, daily, weekly, monthly... or whenever a Dralasite gets around to it... Still, fortunes are won and lost frontier wide and hourly, by the efforts of the Social Economics College on Dramune and the standing of rankings in the DASN&Q, that not even the Dralasites of the Social Economics Colleges are quite clear if they understand.
ARCA 100 Index - The price-weighted Athor Regulated Corporate Amalgamates 100 Index is composed of common stocks and negotiable securities of technology-related companies listed on the 'DASN&Q 4320' and Compiled by the Financial Indexing Systems Tributory on Hentz. It is biased toward the Yazirian worlds and their local stock exchanges.
MRSI- A Gollywog TransGlobal Finance Securities compilation is made by the system proposed by Madderly & Rushire 200yrs ago, Madderly & Rushire Standard Industries of Capella and Kdikit holds the top 36 companies operating from White Light and Madderly's Star and covers approximately 10LY from either plus the trade corridor between them in it's reckoning. The MRSI is the only officially recognized basis of the local stock exchanges in these systems, and the greater MRSIX can hold anywhere from 3456 to 8640 public companies in any given year. The Frontier 400 and the DASN&Q 4320 is reluctantly mined as an alternative data-set, but only as much as those companies listed on the MRSI might need adjustments.
SPI Index - A fairly stable price-weighted blue-chip listing, is made quarterly under the name Standards of Prenglar Investment Index, and lists anywhere from 700 to 3000 MITI Companies according to the total market value of their outstanding shares, that have also been listed in the ARCA 100 Index, Frontier 400 List, MRSI, VIP, and in combination with data obtained by the 'DrasNax Independent Fraternity of Cassadine'. The most stable subset is known as the SPI Top 40, half of these have remained in the fluctuating top 40 list for nearly the last century, and are known as the 20 SPECIALs of the Standards of Prenglar Economic Continuity Amalgamated List.
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?

thespiritcoyote's picture
July 24, 2011 - 2:55am
Thus the Top 40, and especially the 20 Specials, are likely to be (though not all necessarily make a ranking on that particular list) what is known as the classic Transstellar Mega-corp... and more than that is [imho] too many...

Subsidiaries of just a top 20 list might number over well 2000 easily, but if they are not themselves Transstellar or at least Interplanetary... it's not necessary [imho] to attempt placing them in a decisive listing... A list of ~60 MITI Subsidiaries would give ~20 Mega-Corps ~3 each and make a total of ~80 Public Corporations...
add to that ~20 Foundation (non-profit organizations), Institution (private companies or non-governmental organizations), and Agency (machinery of government) Transstellar Juggernauts, and it's a top 100 movers-and-shakers list...

Just my thoughts of how many is a balance between too-many and not-enough... ~100 of one type is too-many, a couple doz. of ambiguous type is not-enough...
Only if detailing a specific planet would I consider a larger and more local list necessary... adding ~3000 to cover all the planets with unique local top ~100 lists... in addition to the MITI top ~100... and still this might be ~10% or less the total number of a potential ~31000 Transstellar Organizations in the main-60ly chunk of an active Transstellar Trade Territory from which a GM might draw from... in theory...

now how many would I use?  ~15 to 25 in any given Plot Arc at one time, at most... but I might trade lists between regions and Arcs as the game progresses so having four times that handy gives a nice buffer...
this is my experience with cyberpunk style environments... the list for a more classic SF game would be half that... unless I was in a full rocketpunk mode... keep in mind that this is the GM's-Eye-View, and the players probably see a quarter of the set in any given scene.
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?