Star Frontiers

Star Frontiers is an old sci-fi space opera PnP RPG from 1982. Here's my take on the main playable races.

I changed a few things, like making the legs of the bug-like Vrusk of varied length. I think it transitions into the torso better. 4+4 equal sized legs felt crowded and pointless.

The Yazarians are some kinda tall flying squirrel-monkey. I thought they looked a bit too squat in the original artwork, and I changed the anatomy of the gliding wings to better accommodate for worn gear and melee combat.

The Dralasites are perhaps the most fun of the playable races. They're amoebas, but appear to have a preference for a sort of humanoid, tripod figure.

There are actually two kinds of worms, the S'sessu and Sathar. They remind me a bit of the Ur-Quan. Perhaps there's a connection.

I don't like my Mechanon drawing. It's too greebly and unfocused. The Mechanon's faces are sort of similar to the Mechan's of Starflight. The Mechanon were introduced along with a few other races in one of the expansions I think (Zebulon's Guide to the Frontier?).

I also drew a Queequeg, because it reminded me of a Lovecraft creature. I don't like how my version of it turned out though. There's another similar looking creature that's kinda fun, the Edestekai.

Added more figures. I wanted the Osakar to be more alien, so I moved the upper torso down. The Ifshnit were generic Dwarves which didn't seem to fit the setting. I changed them into beard-owls. The Humma were plain kangaroos. I didn't know what to do with them, but I thought they should look less like animals trying to handle human equipment. I added some sideburns and SWAT-gear, and erected the pose. Perhaps with some Raptor claws they could be good at close combat.

You can easily find (what appears to be legal) PDFs of Star Frontiers' rule books and expansions online. It still has an active community.


Mac said...

Amazing stuff.

Star Frontiers was one of my first forays into P&P games that weren't D&D. I always thought the purple rule book looked cool and how you have combat inside ships.

Have you checked out Alien Legion before?

John Nesky said...

I was immediately reminded of this little dude!

Arne said...

I do that body type pretty often...

Alien Legion looks like... an American comic book heroes. Not particularly alien.

I never played any American PnP RPGs. We had local 'ports' of them over here in Sweden though. They were pretty popular in the mid 80's to mid 90's iirc. I suppose computer games have sort of taken over now, even though they're very different.

Just got a notice from Amazon that they've sent Gamma Wars (4th) and Use of Weapons (Iain Banks).

Arne said...

Gamma World that is. Apparently Omega World is better, but I'll reserve judgement until I've seen the product. I'm not that familiar with how American RPGs work to begin with. I think they use boards, miniatures and combat rules more heavily.

Galspanic said...

Man, I was just thinking about this game today. This and Gamma world. Loved Gamma World. Famine in Far-Go was what I consider some of the most amazing game illustration to date. Timothy Truman made chickens fearsome.

Arne said...

I just got my Gamma World (4th) box. I like the squid-woman on the cover. Such an obvious design when you think about it. I wonder if I've seen squid-women somewhere else before... maybe I'm confused by Twi-lek's and Gorgons and Davy Jones. Erol Otus's GB screen cover is really fun too.


More Volurnian Creatures from Star Frontiers.

Arne said...


Joshua said...

Hah, lovely seeing these here. Star Frontiers was always a fun one. Me and my buddies still play 1st-2nd Ed. Gamma World; it's great stuff.

How're you finding that new one. It seemed a tad silly to me with its cards and stuff. Sure as heck doesn't beat the do or die feel of the older games where player ingenuity was what got characters out alive, not stat sheets.

Boards and figures were really only ever used when lots of combatants and things exacerbated how well the game master could manage the scenes.

I've still got a bunch of my volturnian stuff booting around somewhere. Never had a megasaurus though. The queequeg is a nice figure though.

Ever played Metamorphesis Alpha? Fun setting that one, and the whole reason Gamma World even came to be.

Unknown said...

Really enjoyed the Star Frontiers artwork! It's always fascinating for me to see other perspective concepts of the alien races in the RPG.

Your perspective and modification of the Vrusk anatomy is awesome!

I would be honored to included your art on my Star Frontiers website with your permission of course. The site is (shameless plug)

Keep working that magic pencil!

Jedion357 said...

Love the reworked artwork of the aliens. As an editor of the fan zine Frontier Explorer I would love to use it in the magazine.

Tom V