The Jean Blashfield SF Books

bossmoss's picture
October 3, 2012 - 4:34pm
I haven't heard anybody mention them, so I thought I'd ask.  Does anyone use the "Choose Your Own Adventure" style Star Frontiers books as reference material?

I only have two of them:

Villains of Volturnus
Star Rangers and the Spy

Some of TSR's kid books suck pretty badly, but these two are actually consistent with canon material, and are loaded with information on the Frontier.

bossmoss's picture
October 3, 2012 - 4:44pm
My kids love them, and the books helped them get into Star Frontiers.

Some noteworthy points:

Spacefleet HQ is on the planet Nedram, or at least has a major presence there.  The stories seem to be placed after SWII, so Nedram could be in an unexplored system.

The general public knows about Volturnus, but believes the Eorna are extinct.  Ul-Mor and Edestekai seem pretty much the same after SWII, but a few Kurabanda have started working as hirelings throughout the Outer Worlds.

It mentions Dralasites moving around by rolling, and even has a picture of one sitting like a ball, with hands out to keep himself in place while talking to someone.

Both books feature small cube-like creatures known as Boxils, who seem to be everywhere throughout the Frontier.  It does not explain where they come from, or exactly how advanced they are.  They seem to be fairly primitive - not animals, but not quite at the same level as people.  Maybe as smart as dogs or gorillas.  Apparently they work as foot messengers at Spacefleet HQ.  Most people seem to tune them out, and don't seem to worry about them being in sensitive areas.

TerlObar's picture
October 3, 2012 - 5:54pm
I've actually never seen Star Rangers and the Spy, didn't even know that one existed as a Star Frontiers CYOA book (Now I'll have to find a copySmile.).  I have copies of Villans of Volturnus, Captive Planet, and Trouble on Artule. 

I've never used them as source material.  They're fun reads and have some art but otherwise, I've not used them as background for a game.  I always felt they different too much from the modules and such to integrate in.
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bossmoss's picture
October 3, 2012 - 7:57pm
I have used illustrations (by Jim Roslof) from Villians of Volturnus when running players through the Volturnus modules.  They are much better than the illustrations from the actual modules.

The two books I have do not deviate from the rules & modules.  I don't know about Captive Planet or Trouble on Artule, so I can't comment on those.

Anonymous's picture
w00t (not verified)
October 3, 2012 - 9:47pm
I love those books and read them with the son unit. I've considered using Villians of Volturnus if I ever run a Volturnus adventure (I like the crystal time device and Enora post).

FirstCitizen is working on a site we can create a new CYOA, if you're interested. :-)

bossmoss's picture
October 4, 2012 - 4:32pm
w00t, I just used the Eorna crystal time machine in my last game the other day!


Karxan's picture
October 8, 2012 - 6:24pm
I have only seen pictures of the covers of Villians of Volturnus and Captive Planet. I never have tracked any down to read. I am going to have to do that. I don't see why any information from them could not be used. It would be fun to mine them for new ideas for the StarFrontiersman.

bossmoss's picture
October 9, 2012 - 11:57pm

Villians of Volturnus seems to be closer to canon.  It was written when the Volturnus modules were still fresh, and I would consider the whole book to be canon material, illustrations included.  I've incorporated pretty much the whole thing.

Star Rangers and The Spy seems close enough to use.  The illustrations are very cartoonish and inaccurate, though.  The text seems fine.

rattraveller's picture
October 10, 2012 - 4:02pm
I have Captive Planet and I would consider it canon. The take is different with you being a college student sent to study and then all kinds of weirdness breaks out. The thing to remember is this is a different GM playing a different way.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
October 11, 2012 - 4:36am
RE: Villians of Volturnus being canon- that's a hard swallow- I just cant accept the cube creature.
I think the problem with the Pick Your path books is that TSR went and found an author to write them rather than a RPG player or referee. Thus the author had to familiarize themself with the game and setting and when it seems the book are a little off it stems from this difference of divide between who was chosen to write and who could have been chosen to write.

Best bet would have been to have a game designer and an author work together.

I'd love to interview the author BTW.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
October 11, 2012 - 1:40pm
That is generally what happens every time they take a book and make a movie out of it.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

bossmoss's picture
October 15, 2012 - 11:27pm
My kids have read the books, and love the cube creatures, so when I game with my kids I use them - otherwise no.

So maybe just reserve the Boxils for kid gaming.