40 Years Ago at Gen Con saw the birth of an new Science Fiction game called “Star Frontiers.”

August 19, 1982 Gen Con XV saw the release of T$R’s Science Fiction Classic: Star Frontiers. Within the first four months, it went on to compete strongly with Traveller, the other big name in sci fi games at the time. The game featured four brand new alien races and a unique percentile dice system. The skill system for the game was also new and unique.

While it has not made it to a second edition yet, the races would later be reprinted for D20 Modern/D20 Future. Several fans have done extensive add-ons and fan magazines for the game. Wizards of the Coast currently offers the game, expansions, and all officially published modules on DrivethruRPG in reprint at prices comparable to the originals.

The base set was rebranded Alpha Dawn once modules began coming out.

While T$R eventually abandoned the game to focus even more effort into D&D, Star Frontiers never died in the hearts of the fans. Tom Verreault at Tabletop Tap Room on YouTube is one such fan. Bill Logan, formerly from DwD Studios was another such fan. DwD did an RPG tribute to Star Frontiers called FrontierSpace.

If one were to scour the Internet for Star Frontiers info, thousands of blog posts, reviews, articles and fan sites pop up. While T$R would go onto publish other sci-fi games, notably Alternity and Amazing Engine: Galactos Barrier, Star Frontiers was probably the most notable one.

As a side note, T$R’s Gamma World RPG was a sort of spinoff of Star Frontiers. Gamma World was a sort of post apocalyptic setting where a planet similar to Earth was ravaged by nuclear war and hundreds of years later was repopulated by mutants, robots, and bunker-dwelling survivors. While it would later go onto earn accolades and reprints of its own, its origins are still with Star Frontiers as a planet one could visit on the frontier.

Fans would later convert Star Frontiers to various other systems including D&D 5E. It’s pretty clear that the setting, the core races and the game itself are going to be around for a very long time to come. Although Wizards of the Coast has not officially announced any plans for the intellectual property as of yet, interest from the fans and community around this product is on the rise again.

Long live the Frontier!

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