This issue is a sathar themed issue with articles about all aspects of the sathar from vehicles and weapons, to biology and social structure.
Grab your copy any enjoy!
This issue is a sathar themed issue with articles about all aspects of the sathar from vehicles and weapons, to biology and social structure.
Grab your copy any enjoy!
Okay, I had planned to do a different post this week as part of this month’s RPG blog carnival but that will have to wait. I decided instead to just push through and finish the Expanded Frontier Map instead.
If you downloaded the color player’s map from last week’s post, go back and do it again. As I was working on the final map, I found a bunch of mistakes that I completely missed while working on last week’s map. Most of them are minor, like names overlapping jump lines, but a few of them are pretty bad like names overlapping each other or running over jump distances. In any case, I’ve fixed those and uploaded new maps to the links in that article.
The only difference between this map and the previous one is that I’ve added in all the jump routes known by the sathar as well as some labels on the map that give the location of the sathar homeworld, their ten starship construction centers, and the location of their Tetrarch ruins complex similar to the one on Laco (If you are following the timeline posts, this is where the signal went out to and was returned from). I haven’t defined which of these systems are actually inhabited by sathar, I’m leaving that up to the individual referee to decide.
Let’s start by showing the black and white version of the map and then I’ll talk about how I filled it in.
As you can see, most of the sathar systems are up and to the right of the Frontier. This is the their main population center. The tendrils that surround the Frontier tend to be more outposts and travel lanes than population centers.
In addition to the jump routes marked in red, it is assumed that the sathar know all the UPF routes marked in black as well.
The routes don’t extend to the left side of the map as the sathar stopped their expansion in that direction after encountering the Rim. They were also stopped by that big nebula in the upper left. I have plans for some of the star systems up in that area on the far side of the nebula.
I consider the jump routes along the bottom of the map, from Saurian space, past Liberty, into S’esseu space, and then up to Prenglar to be newly explored routes. In fact, in the current version of my background material, the starship construction center just south of PanGal, labeled SCC#1, is still under construction and hasn’t even started producing ships yet in my timeline project.
When I first made this map back in the 80’s, I didn’t have Zeb’s Guide and obviously none of the fan material existed so this region of space looked a little different on my original map (I should probably scan that in and post it for reference). But the idea was that these routes were established to give the sathar the jump route right into Prenglar in the Second Sathar War game in the Knight Hawks Campaign book allowing them to strike at the heart of the Frontier. In creating this map, I modified my original concept to work through these modified regions of space. It also provides an opportunity for interdiction as the UPF could potentially cut off some of the Sathar routes.
The numbering on the starship construction centers may seem a little odd and requires a little bit of explanation. I originally built this map for two purposes. The first was to give me a more strategic level view to write a Second Sathar War timeline, taking into account sathar ship production as well as the UPF ship production. I wanted to see how the balance of forces would work if you stuck to the rules on ship construction. This is now being realized in my timeline project.
The other was to provide a larger Frontier region for a big exploration campaign inspired by the Beyond the Frontier series of adventures (SFKH 2-4) where the PCs would explore out from Truane’s Star upward on the map. I have had the beginnings of that campaign in a notebook for literally decades. Maybe it’s time to dust it off and use it for material here on the blog.
It’s the former purpose that resulted in the numbering of the starship construction centers. I originally had the ones labeled 1-5 dedicated to the Second Sathar War effort. They were strictly producing military vessels with which the sathar would be attacking the Frontier. And I just started at the one connected to the Prenglar jump route and numbered them counter-clockwise.
SCCs number 6-9 were added in to provide “civilian” ship construction for the sathar population and exploration away from the Frontier. They are not labeled on my original map but were added in as part of this project. The final SCC, #10, was added as part of my timeline project to provide the production capacity for the Sathar offensive against the Saurians. I’ll probably do another post about the production capabilities of all these construction centers at some point in the future.
The sathar homeworld is labeld on my original map. I had always envisioned it as a slightly cooler star than the sun with their home planet close relatively close in and warm and muggy. As such, I’ve given it a K4 spectral type on the map. Someday I might actually design and write up the system.
Now that we have the background information covered and everything else in place, it was time to make the final color version of the map.
This was done in two steps. First, I made a separate data file that had all the star systems again but instead of the jump routes known to the UPF, it contained the jump routes known only to the sathar. Using this, I generated a new map.
Since the map is generated with the jump routes on different layers, the second step was to just open the new map, and copy everything off the jumps route layer, open the Player’s map, create a new layer for the sathar jumps, and paste them in. I then had to adjust the position of all the features after pasting them in but that was just a matter of looking up the position in the original image and entering that in to the final image.
Of course, it really wasn’t that simple. The last step in adding the jumps was to adjust the color. The program makes all jumps in white. I simply changed the color to red in the final map. But that does give me an idea for an enhancement in the program, namely allowing the user to specify the link color.
The next step was to add the sathar specific labels. To do this I created a second names layer that I could add in the labels for the sathar homeworld, the starship construction centers, and the Tetrarch complex. Since the sathar jumps and labels are on separate layers, I can turn them on and off as need to make a player or referee version of the map as needed.
The final step was simply clean up. I went through the entire map and moved star labels and jump route distance labels in order to have the map as clean and clear as possible and fix and small issues the program has in drawing the labels. This is where I discovered the errors in the original version of the Player’s map and fixed them. And since the sathar names and jumps were on separate levels in the image, it was easy to re-export that map.
And that was it. The map is now done. (Unless I find some more typos as I start using it.) Here it is in all it’s glory.
Again, if you want to play with the code and make your own maps, it is written in Python and you can grab it from my GitHub repository. I’m going to continue to work on this code. This will be to add in the remaining features it’s lacking to make it more user friendly such as command-line options, the jump route colors, and creation of nebula, but those will fall under a different article title going forward. If I get really ambitious, I might even add in a GUI to make it a windowed program instead of a command line one. We’ll see. I’m curious how much interest there would be in that project.
This has been a fun project. I’ve really enjoyed doing it. As you can probably tell by the number of posts I’ve made. And I love the look of the final map. If you see any errors, feel free to let me know and I can update the map to correct them.
I think if I was doing this again, I would make the map dimensions a little different. This map was original made by taping together six sheets of graph paper (landscape orientation). while that ended up with a nearly square work area, it wasn’t quite. The map is 90 ly wide by 100 ly tall. If I were to do it again, I’d make it either perfectly square, or conform to a more standard aspect ratio.
I’m also curious if anyone would be interested in a printed, poster sized version of the map. 24×27 inches. This is actually what prompted my thoughts on the dimensions. As a purely digital product, the aspect ratio doesn’t matter. But when you try to print it, you start to run into problems. I’ve been looking at possible printing options, and while most of them want you to use a standard aspect ratio (16×24, 24×36, 12×18, or square), I have found a few that would let me print it to exact size. Final costs would be in the $15-$25 dollar range for the 24×27 inch one. If that is something that would interest you, let me know in the comments. I might do this as a small Kickstarter for those that are interested.
And that wraps up the the Extended Frontier Map project. Let me know your thoughts, ideas, and any remaining questions you have about the project and let me know if you’d like to see more things like this in the future.
This post is going up a day late. Partially because I didn’t finish what I had wanted to post yesterday in time, and partially because time got away from me working on issue 24 of the Frontier Explorer (which is almost done). So I didn’t have a post ready yesterday
My original plan was to post my sketches of the Pursale ship entombed in the center of the Outpost Osiris asteroid. But in looking at those I realized a couple of things:
That means I need to rework the sketches before they are ready to present. That’s this week’s project.
In the mean time, I rooted around in my old folders and found some old location maps that I drew way back in the late 80’s as a teenager when I was actively playing Star Frontiers in high school. I’d probably draw them differently now, but they definitely hold a bit of nostalgia.
I’m presenting them in this post as-is. These are simply scans of the original hand-drawn maps that were created on 8.5×11 quad-ruled graph paper. (I even think I still have some of the original pads as I bought a big box of them back in the day.) I’ll be providing a little bit of commentary but not much. I actually have write-ups for some of them but I’ll hold that for a later post when I have a chance to review them and update them to remove any glaring errors I made as a teenager when I first concocted them. For all of the images, you can click on them to get the full 200dpi resolution version (each one is about 5 MB in size).
This one is a portion of a large area map. It is inside a clear, domed area which I think was supposed to be on an asteroid or moon but given the layout, needs some significant gravity. This location is the basis of a murder mystery adventure. I’ll definitely be updating and writing this one up at some point in the future.
This location consists of three maps, and as far as I can tell, I don’t have any sort of write-up for this one. Although it is supposed to be in an asteroid. Probably inspired by the idea of the Planaron pirate base from Warrior of White Light. Do with it as you will.
This is the main level with the main entrance via the airlock in the lower left. I think this one has some serious scale issues. According to the scale at the bottom, one square is 10 meters. Which makes those passages large enough to drive trucks down. It probably should be 2m per square.
This is the officer level with private facilities, also two different escape routes, one via the airlock in the upper left to a tunnel through the asteroid and the secret exit in the upper right
The pirate officers have an assault scout stashed away in a hidden bunker. That ship is 21.5 squares long which gives more credence to the 1 square is 2m scale hypothesis. I vaguely remember painstakingly drawing that assault scout based on the image on the little Knight Hawks chit.
Our last location is a set of two maps detailing a sathar training base. I’m pretty sure this one was inspired by the sathar training base in the Sundown on Starmist module. I have a write-up for this one as well that I will post in the future once I’ve had a chance to review it.
This is nestled in a forested area and has a number of features that stick up through the trees. I was also inspired to draw a profile view (lower right) that is looking from the bottom of the map towards the top.
This is the actual base and built completely underground. The defense turret is automated and has a magazine that feeds the rocket launcher and recoilless rifles mounted on the defense dome.
I have several other maps of other locations I developed back in the day, and even more recently. There are only one or two of the older ones that I would consider useful. Most of them were way too far fetched and fantastical for any game I’d run today but I guess made sense to my teen-aged self.
I hope you enjoyed this little walk down memory lane with me. Let me know what you think of these maps and which if any you’d like to see detailed out first. Feel free to use these maps in your own games if you want.
In the mean time, I need to get back to working on the alien ship for the Ghost Ship Osiris module. See you next week.
I believe this is the last major piece of the of the Death at Rosegard adventure that I haven’t yet published so let’s get to it.
In my setting, the Streele Mining corporation is the forerunner of the Streel Corporation. Hilo Headrow did a lot for survivors and refugees, during and after the occupation, and quickly rose to take control of the company. As corporate interests widened from just mining, the company was renamed.
Located some 30-40 km northeast of Rosegard is an abandoned Streele Mining corporation mine. It has been abandoned since before the Great Sathar War. Sometime after the war, an enclave of sathar survivors found the mine and have set up shop. They mainly are lying very low but send out scouts into the surrounding area and are the ones that were controlling the operative at the Streel mine near Rosegard. In addition, they were in contact with Trey Mulden to do the cybernuk breeding.
In addition to the labeled locations which are described below, there is a mostly destroyed and overgrown mining complex just outside the entrance. Bits and pieces of walls and foundations still exist but there really isn’t much there.
The mine is not on alert for intrusion. It was fairly recently set up and does not have a lot of security features installed yet as the sathar began immediate production of the combat robots and food.
One of the residents is the controller for the agent at Rosegard and possibly was captured or killed by the PC’s. If it wasn’t, add in another sathar to area 5 (small slime pool). Another is out returning from the Trey Mulden’s compound. The second sathar will arrive back 5d10x10 minutes after the PCs enter the compound.
When the PCs first arrive, there are two sathar returning to area 7 from area 3 after being on duty that the PC will encounter in the passageway between those two areas when they first enter it. The next duty rotation is not scheduled to occur for another 1d5 hours at which point two of the sathar in area 6 will be headed to area 4.
None of the doors, except to the nuk pens, are locked.
When the PCs enter one of the buildings with sathar in it, immediately start combat. Those sathar that are armed will draw their weapon the first round but cannot fire until the second round. They will begin to attack the PCs as soon as they are able. Sathar with communicators will attempt to alert the rest of the compound. It takes them one turn to open their backpack, one turn to grab the communicator, and the third turn to send the message. The alert message will go out on the sathar’s action during the third turn. If the PCs eliminate that sathar before then, no alert goes out. Otherwise, consider the compound to be alerted going forward.
When the PCs enter one of the pool areas containing the lower caste sathar, there is only a 5% chance that one of the sathar is not in the water. Regardless, the sathar will notice the PCs immediately and react. The will start exiting the pool at the rate of 1d2 sathar per round (to represent different distances from the edge of the water) starting on round 2. Once they have left the pool, it will take them one round to reach the bins and grab their backpacks unless the PCs block their way. On the round after reaching the bins, those sathar that are armed may begin firing; those with communicators will simply grab their communication device and begin to activate it. They can send an alert out as their action on their next turn (3rd after exiting the water).
Sathar with communicators will engage in melee combat (two attacks per round) with their bare tentacles once the alert has been sent or immediately if the alert has already gone out.
Once the alert has gone out, any sathar encountered will be ready and attack immediately upon seeing the PCs.
Any sathar in the slime pools will immediate move toward area 8 where they will begin activating the combat robots at the rate of one every other turn. They will remain there until all the robots are activated. At that point they will proceed up through the cavern complex looking for the invaders. The leader will hang back sending the robots and other sathar to engage the PCs. If the PCs arrive at area 8 before all the robots are activated, the robots that are active and those sathar that are armed will engage them while the others continue to activate the remaining robots. As the robots are activated, they will be sent to engage immediately.
The sathar in area 4 will take cover and immediately attack the PCs if they enter the generator and processing facility. They will get one free round of attacks on the PCs before the PCs can react.
The sathar in the food processing facility will head across the cavern to the tech lab when the alert is sounded (if they are not the one sounding the alarm) and will either engage the PCs from behind if they are in the tech lab or wait with the sathar in the tech lab until the PCs or the main body of sathar arrives.
The sathar in the tech lab will be waiting for the PCs if they arrive before the main body of sathar and robots. There is a 10% chance that they will have been able to reassemble the laser pistol being modified on the workbench. The sathar using it will have a 10% penalty to hit as is hasn’t been fully converted. If the PCs take a long time to get to the tech lab after the alert is sounded, raise the probability to 20%.
As the sathar are under-armed, they will try to attack from cover or ambush if at all possible. If they have robots with them, they will send the robots in the fore to take damage from the PCs’ weapons. If a sathar is in danger of being captured or thinks they will die, they will attempt to close with one or more of the PCs and trigger the self-destruct in their laser pistol (if they have one). When the self-destruct goes off, treat it as a fragmentation grenade doing a number of d10 worth of damage equal to the SEU remaining in the clip. If the clip is empty it will still do 1d10 points of damage. PCs get a RS check to take half damage and intertia screens and skiensuits halve the damage as well.
Skills: Beam 4, Tech 3, Enviro 2, Unarmed 3, Robotics 2, Melee 1
Equipment: backpack, a laser pistol with 4 power clips, an inertia screen with a power beltpack, two food jars, a communicator, and a small computer
Skills: Beam 2, Robotics or Technician or Environmental 2, Melee 1, Unarmed 1
Equipment: backpack, food jar, laser pistol with 2 power clips or communicator
Move: 120 m/turn
Damage: 2d10 hands or 5d10 laser
Programs: Attack/Defense, Security Lock
Equipment: Laser pistol, power beltpack
One of the encounters the PCs have while investigating the murder at the mining facility near Rosegard is a run-in with a new Sathar bio-construct, the Sathar Poison Squirrel. Based on a native Pale species, this bio-construct is new in the Frontier, having only been released in the last year or so. The PCs will be one of the first to encounter it. Here is the description and stats for both the native Pale Tailless Squirrel and the Sathar Poison Squirrel.
The Pale Tailless Squirrel is a small rodent, native to Pale remarkably similar to squirrels of the human homeworld but lacking the signature big bushy tail. They can be found all over Pale in any temperate, tropical, and even some arctic climates.
Pale Tailless Squirrels range in color from light tans and greys to nearly snow white depending on their environment. They are generally skittish and shy away from members of the Frontier races although may approach if there is a chance of free food. If cornered these creatures will fight but their small mouths and jaws, primarily designed for eating vegetation and nuts, do not do much damage (1d5 pts).
|Pale Tailless Squirrel|
This is a sathar bio-construct based on the native Pale Tailless Squirrel. This is a new creature in the Frontier that has just been released in the last year or so and is starting to invade the ecosystem. It was engineered in sathar biolab somewhere on Pale. Although first seen near the village of Rosegard, the bio-lab in question is not near that village.
The Sathar version is more gregarious and will be much more likely to approach members of the Frontiers species. It is more playful than the native version but will inevitably try to bite, typically fingers or toes. While the bite only does 1d5 points worth of damage like the native creature, unlike the native squirrel, the bite is highly poisonous. The Sathar Poison Squirrel’s bite contains a S4/T20 poison. A successful STA check results in half damage. Standard Anti-Tox will treat the poison if properly administered.
Physically, they are nearly identical to the native species. The most noticeable difference is that the bio-construct has a stripe of fur down its back that is slightly paler than the rest of the fur. The native species does not have this stripe. If examined closely there are other small details that set it apart from the native version such as stronger jaws, sharper teeth, slightly more hook like claws on its toes, and a stronger musculature.
|Sathar Poison Squirrel|
|Special Attack:||poisonous bite, S4/T20, current STA check for half damage.|