Monday, March 31, 2014

The circle is now complete. (March Madness Day 31!)

31 What out-of-print RPG would you most like to see back in publication? Why?

Well, I started this month long challenge out with Star Frontiers, it makes sense that I come back to it for the finale.

Yes, I know, the Starfrontiersman web site has their “digitally remastered” version for free on their website with WotC's blessing. And lots of additional content through the Star Frontiersman zine. But having the actual box set of Alpha Dawn back in print would be cool. The digital remaster version doesn't have the cool fold-out map or counters, for one thing (although I think they do have a scan of the counter sheet that you can use to make your own... or at least somewhere you can get it, as I did make a duplicate set when I was in Japan).

No, it's not the best sci fi game out there. It's “futuristic technology” is really dated. The options for character creation are limited by today's standards. But you know what? The game works. It's fun. It's well designed for game play that involves exploring of alien worlds and/or combat against bad guy aliens like the Sathar and their terrorist agents. It's not designed to be a generic sci fi game. It has its subgenre down fairly pat, and does a good job filling it.

If it were to come back in print, I'd definitely pick up an extra set or two (probably the Knight Hawks expansion that I never had as a kid as well). Heck, I'd probably even spring for a reprint of Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space even though I don't like how they tried to revise the system to use the Marvel color-coded chart for resolution, or the even sillier cast of alien races it adds.

It would be great to have all that stuff in order to play with my son, since my own original books and poster map are really worn out.  It might also make it a bit easier to get new players into the game, especially kids who might dig the maps and counters more than they would a pdf of a 30+ year old game.


  1. TSR's Buck Rogers game, which I just found hidden somewhere, holds up even better IMO. It has OSR classes combined with percentile skills, and some harder science for space habitation/travel. Drop the dated aliens and swoopy rockets and you could call it anything.

  2. I would jump on board to a re-issue of Star Frontiers so fast. I love that game.