Next up was a post with a sample star system. I had talked about starting a new project and this was the first pass at that. I got very little feedback on that post. I was hoping for a bit more but that’s okay. I actually haven’t had time to finalize the details of how I’m going to present those system but it’s something to work on this coming month.
We actually had two different battles in the Detailed Frontier Timeline this month, one in Fromeltar that resulted in a major setback for the UPF and then another in Gruna Garu that will also cause some problem. The sathar didn’t come out unscathed so the UPF isn’t as bad off as they think but they don’t know that.
Next up I wrote about a campaign idea I have, searching for the Yazirian homeworld. That campaign concept is playing out in the Detailed Frontier Timeline as the journey of the HSS HIstory’s Hope. That was another post I was surprised to not get a lot of commentary on. It looks like it would probably be better as a novel then a game, I guess. But maybe if I actually started soliciting players, people would respond.
Then I had a post looking at the Yachts and Privateers from the “Fast and Deadly” Dragon article. This was actually in preparation for the battle in the Gruna Garu system in the timeline since there were privateers in that battle. As someone pointed out, there was a follow-on dragon article “Yachts & Privateers Return” that basically did the same thing as me and revised the stats for the ships. I’ll need to look at that and see how they revised them differently than me. Considering that was written by Doug Niles, who wrote the Knight Hawks rules combat rules, it definitely deserves a look.
Behind the scenes, not much else happened. I didn’t work on my websites at all, other than to create a temporary fix for an issue on the Frontier Explorer site that was cause a process to runaway and use all the CPU on the server. I did get my 3D printer set up and running here in AZ as someone wanted me to print them some ship minis but I didn’t do any modeling.
Coming up we’ll have the usual Detailed Frontier Timeline post. There might be another battle this month but I haven’t progressed the timeline far enough to see how things play out. I got a bit behind with the Battle of Hargut (Gruna Garu) and the prep for that so I’m only a couple of days ahead instead of a couple of weeks like I’d like to be. That typically happens when there’s a battle.
I plan on posting at least one new star system, and maybe more. We’ll see how that goes. I’m also starting to get itchy to do some 3D modeling so maybe there will be a new model. No promises though as I’m also traveling a lot this month. I plan to keep up the archiving work on the Arcane Game Lore posts as well. But beyond that, I really don’t know what the month will bring.
I’ve been debating back and forth on the value of these “State of the Frontier” posts. I’m thinking of maybe only doing them every two or three months instead of monthly. Especially if there isn’t a lot of “behind-the-scenes” work going on. Do you find them useful? Should I keep doing them monthly? Let me know what you think.
This post is only a few days late. But there is a good reason. I’ve spent the last three weeks packing, moving, and settling in in Tucson, AZ. I’m down here for the rest of the year as my wife is on sabbatical at the University of Arizona as I mentioned in my previous State of the Frontier post. With that out of the way, on to the regular content.
That was it for posts on the site. After finishing the deck plans, my daughter came to visit from grad school and we shifted in the packing and moving mode. That said, there was some work that went on behind the scenes.
First, I continued to work and get ahead of the Detailed Frontier Timeline. I’m about two weeks ahead at this point and trying to keep posts scheduled so they come out on time. I’ll talk more about that in the Looking Forward section below.
Next, I started looking into a revamp of the Frontier Explorer website to make it more mobile friendly and simpler not that we are not actively publishing any more.
Finally, I started assembling the resources for a new project that I hope people will like that I’ll talk more about in the Looking Forward section as the first post in that project should be coming out in August. So let’s move on.
First up as always will be the Detailed Frontier Timeline post. It should have been up yesterday but I wasn’t quite settled and able to work on it. Related to the timeline, I have events figured out through August 14th but there is going to be a major battle on the 15th that I need to play out before I can move beyond that. This will represent a change in tactics on the part of the sathar and it will be interesting to see how things play out. If you look closely at the timeline published so far (or are following on Twitter), you might be able guess where the battle will be.
I mentioned before that I have a new project I’m starting up. In comments about the Extended Frontier Map, people have commented that they’d like to see astrographic data about the star systems. So I’ve been assembling a suite of software tools to generate star systems and world maps. I’m going to start generating star system data for each of the star systems on that map and generating a catalog. I haven’t decided on the format or where it will be housed (here or the Star Frontiers Network wiki) so there might be some fits and starts as I get it going and work out the details but a first trial system should be posted this month. If I can streamline the production process, you might start seeing a new system every week but that will probably take some months.
Another thing that happened last month is that my old Arcane Game Lore blog went off-line. The blog has been fairly dead for a while and apparently my co-blogger, who was hosting the site, allowed the domain name to expire and it is now owned by someone else and seem to be some advertising site. Unluckily, I never did a backup of the posts and I can’t get a hold of the site owner to see if he has them or access to the data still. Luckily, they are preserved on the Internet Archive so I’m going to start rebuilding the posts here. There are posts from 2013-2018 from me there to pull over and at one point I was posting weekly. I basically stopped posting there when I started this blog. The posts will be back-dated to their original post date so they may not show up in the RSS feed for this site, but as I get them posted I’ll make a summary post for those interested in going back to read what I wrote back then.
That’s probably enough to keep me busy, but if I find some more time, I might start working on 3D modeling again and finish up the Privateer miniatures. I’ll also be working on website updates.
I don’t really have anything else to add. Other than to thank my Patreon supporters and encourage anyone that likes what they find here to support me on Patreon as well.
I was just looking at my last State of the Frontier post from April 2021 and saw that it started with “I’m back!”. Which is how I was going to start this one but decided that might be bad form and I already talked a bit about that in my Back to Blogging post in May. Although this time I hope to be back for more than a single post.
I didn’t get as many posts up this month as I had planned but it’s a start.
My first project was to get the Detailed Frontier Timeline posts going with updates here on the blog and the daily posts going again on Twitter. That was a success. I started the month off with a Detailed Frontier Timeline post that covered the events I had posted to Twitter in May as I got the posts going again. Behind the scenes on this project, I did a bit of organization of my notes and got a bit ahead of my posting so I have a bit of buffer in the events I’ve figured out. I missed a few days posting to Twitter this month but got those caught up so everything is on track. I was looking at the full timeline document it is up to nearly 44,000 words. That’s almost the length of my novella Discovery. And there is still a ways to go.
Behind the scenes I’ve started working on finishing up the deck plans for the HSS History’s Hope but I only finished one more deck and didn’t feel that that deserved a post by itself.
The other thing I’ve done is start looking at the websites that I host, most specifically the one for the Frontier Explorer. I’ll probably be focusing on getting a new version of that site up in the next little while.
The next post will be on Saturday (July 2) and will be a battle summary from the Detailed Frontier Timeline. I post those battle summaries on the days the tweet goes out about the battle. It’s a small fight, and there probably won’t be another one for a couple of months but there are some battles, including a big one, that are building so if you follow the daily updates you might see them coming. Shortly after that post, I’ll get the summary timeline post up for all the events that happened in June.
I’m hoping to finish the deck plans for the HSS History’s Hope this month and get the rest of them posted. I decided to not make videos of the map making process in the interest of time so it will just be the maps, but I think the the videos I already posted on the process are sufficient to demonstrate how I do things. Related to this, once I get the plans for the ship done, I’m considering running a campaign based on the travels of that ship in the timeline, basically having the PCs be the crew on the mission the HSS History’s Hope is undertaking in the Detailed Frontier Timeline. If that’s something you’d be interested in playing in, state tuned.
I’d like to get back to 3D modelling but I think that is going to have to wait at least until August as I’m temporarily relocating to another state at the end of July until Christmas time (my wife is going on sabbatical and I’m going with her along with our two youngest kids) so a lot of my free time next month is going to taken up by cleaning the house and packing.
The other major thing I am going to focus on is the revamp of the Frontier Explorer website. I hope to make significant progress on that next month.
There are some things going on in the wider community but I’ve purposely decided to not comment on them here on the blog. I might mention some things in my State of the Frontier post next month, especially to provide links to useful resources. But for now, I’m not ready to do that. Again, stay tuned.
That’s it for this month. It wasn’t as packed as I had wanted it to be but it’s a start and I am getting back into the flow of things once again. Look for more in the future. Stay safe and have fun.
It’s been a long time but I’m back to blogging and you can expect content to appear on this blog fairly regularly again. With the exception of the post about the Moonbright Stinger miniature, it’s been over a year. I’ve just had too much going on and, honestly, been very distracted by other activities, to do much in the way of posting. That is changing.
First, if you haven’t seen it yet, I just released issue 36 of the Frontier Explorer. You can grab a copy at DriveThruRPG or on the Frontier Explorer website. This was the last issue of the magazine. I was seriously burnt out on producing the fanzine and had to force myself to put out every issue for the last year. I threw in the towel with this one. Thirty-six issues and ten years of production was a good run. It’s time for new activities. If you want more details, check out my Endings and Beginnings article at the end of issue 36. A lot of what I plan on working on will appear here on the blog, either as entries or reports on “behind the scenes” activities.
That said, it won’t be the last fanzine issue. Tom V., who I co-created the Frontier Explorer with, is going to revive the Star Frontiersman fanzine. So you can expect to see more content there as well. I’ll probably write for the magazine, but I won’t be producing it any more.
What to Expect
With that out of the way, let’s look at what you can expect here at the Expanding Frontier going forward. I currently have no idea what my publishing schedule is going to look like. I hope to get back to a post a week, and maybe even more, but we’ll see what happens. Here are some of the projects I’m going to be working on and posting about.
Detailed Frontier Timeline
First, I’m resuming the Detailed Frontier Timeline project where I am posting a day-to-day series of events going on in the Frontier, these posts go out daily on Twitter and monthly here on the blog. Currently, the timeline is in the thick of the opening events of the Second Sathar War. I tweeted nearly a month’s worth of events back in February 2021 that never got posted here on the blog. That summary post will be the next one after this post. (In fact, it’s already written. I just decided to get this post up before I posted that one).
If you want to get the daily updates, follow the @StarFrontiers account on Twitter or the #SFTimeline hashtag. I post these in the Star Frontier account instead of my personal account (@dagorym) and every post has the #SFTimeline hashtag. They will start back up on day FY61.382. Otherwise, my plan is to publish the summary blog post here during the first week of each month that collects all the Twitter posts from the previous month. So you’ll be getting the summary from February 2021 in a day or two, Twitter posts starting back up, and the next summary post in the beginning of June.
I want to get back to modeling. I still have 5 miniatures from the Privateer boxed set to recreate and then it will be off to to the races creating ship models of my own design. Probably several space stations to start. I don’t know exactly when I’ll get started on this, but I hope to start working on models by the end of May. We’ll see what kind of progress I make and how often I post these.
HSS History’s Hope
Back in December 2020, I posted a set of videos showing how I was creating the deck plans for the HSS History’s Hope, a ship that features in the Detailed Frontier Timeline. The idea was to both show the deck plans and talk about how I create them. I need to finish the deck plans for that ship. The question is, would you be interested in seeing videos of how I draw the remaining five decks or do you just want to see the final plans. If you want me to record the design/drawing process for the maps, let me know in the comments. I’m happy to do so, but that might delay getting this project restarted.
Regardless of whether I record videos of the deck plans being drawn or not, I have two projects in mind related to this ship, maybe three. The first is to do a Technical Manual for the HSS History’s Hope like I’ve done for the UPF Assault Scout and Sathar Destroyer. It will include details of each deck, a bit of history on the ship, and its stats, all in a nice little manual.
The other project I want to do is a write-up of an exploration campaign to use the ship to search for the Yazirian homeworld, exactly what is happening in the Detailed Frontier Timeline. This is an ambitious project so I don’t know if I’ll be able to pull it off or finish it (I’m really bad at that), but I’m going to give it a go.
The third possible item related to this is doing a write-up of the History’s Hope’s travels as chronicled in the Detailed Frontier Timeline but in a more narrative form with additional details added.
Which brings me to my next topic, fiction writing. I have a short sci-fi novella, Discovery, that I wrote over a decade ago. While it’s not exactly Star Frontiers, it’s also not explicitly not Star Frontiers either. I wrote that novella to describe how I envision Void Jumping to work. I have a sequel planned and I might start working on that. And it’s possible to tie this into the Star Frontiers universe if I wanted to as the story is about humans discovering FTL travel and they could discover the other SF races in a later novel.
However, more likely, I am going to keep working on my explicitly Star Frontiers novel, A Pale Survivor. That one is already half again longer than Discovery and about a quarter of the way through the story. This is a story of events on Pale during the invasion of that planet during what would eventually be called the First Sathar War. I posted the prologue to the story back in 2019.
I hope to spend some time every month working on one or both of these novels. If you’d be interested in seeing excerpts from the stories as I write them, let me know in the comments.
I mentioned the HSS History’s Hope Technical Manual above. Once that one is done, I plan to start doing more technical manuals of other ships. I think this, combined with the 3D modeling, is going to become my main focus. This is where my interest is being drawn more and more and I think that’s where I want to focus my time. We’ll see if it happens.
There are a number of projects that I started here on the blog that I may or may not get back to. Hopefully I will, but I’m not making promises at this point. In addition, I have a list of (currently 8) topic ideas for one-off posts that are sitting in my draft ideas folder. Some of those might end up as posts on this site and/or articles in the Star Frontiersman.
The other major project that I have planned is to redesign and revamp all the websites I host. This site probably doesn’t need much work, but all the other Star Frontiers sites are getting pretty long in the tooth and need some serious effort and updating. I’ll probably start with the Frontier Explorer site but the list of sites needing work include:
the Frontier Explorer website (frontierexplorer.org)
the Star Frontiersman website (starfrontiersman.com – this one is going to Tom V)
the Star Frontiers Revival forum site (starfrontiers.us)
the Star Frontiers Network site – wiki, game forums, and old website archive (starfrontiers.info)
my New Frontier Games site (newfrontiergames.com)
a couple of personal sites
My plan is to consolidate and streamline those sites and make them more user and mobile device friendly.
Related to this, I want to get all the articles from the Frontier Explorer online as individual HTML pages that can linked and referenced. Some of them are already online and that was the plan when we started the magazine but it fell by the wayside. I’m planning on putting my librarian hat back on and getting them all finished.
There are a host of projects involved with this effort and I’ll report on them as they get completed.
That’s quite a list of projects. The last item I want to mention is that I have a Patreon campaign that supports the work on this blog. If you’d like to support me in my efforts as I work on the projects above, consider becoming a Patreon supporter. You can click the “Become a Patron” button on the upper right of the page (or this link) to sign up as a supporter. I need to update my patreon page to reflect what is going to be happening still and especially update the goals/rewards, but the general idea is still there. If you’re already a supporter, thank you. If not, consider becoming one.
That’s it for this post. There are a lot of things I want to do. We’ll see which and how many of them I get to in the coming months and years. I hope to be here for the long haul but we’ll see how it goes.
As always, feel free to leave me comments or suggestions below. I have several old comments that I need to respond to, but I will be more responsive going forward and am interested in hearing what things you’d like to see on the blog.
I basically dropped off-line and out of the Frontier mid February and haven’t done anything related to Star Frontiers or RPGs (with one exception, see below) in the intervening time. I’ve even stopped posting my Detailed Frontier Timeline tweets. In hindsight, I was seriously burnt out and just needed a break. About the only communications I had relative to this blog or other gaming content were messages to my Patreon supporters to let them know that they wouldn’t be billed in March or April. They also aren’t getting billed in May (since I didn’t do anything in April). Thank you to everyone who has stuck by be through this.
The one thing that I did do, was get the next issue of the Frontier Explorer ready and out. It came out on the 28th and you can grab it at DriveThruRPG or on the magazine website. And to be honest, getting the magazine ready almost didn’t pull me out of my slump as I didn’t start on the magazine until the beginning of this month when I would normally have started at the beginning of March. But I haven’t had an issue come out late (even if my deadlines are self-imposed) and didn’t want this one to either. In the end I got it finished (even with a drive failure right as I was finishing that corrupted the document forcing me to redo the layout from scratch) and you can grab the current issue for your reading pleasure.
There really isn’t anything to look back at so let’s look forward. I’m going to start out small and probably won’t get a post out every week but try to get back to that schedule by the end of summer. But to start I’m going to focus on finishing some small projects.
The first thing I’m going to do is get my Detailed Frontier Timeline posts back up and going. I need to create about a week worth of entries and I’ll have another month ready to post here. I’ll start posting on Twitter again (follow the #SFTimeline hashtag) on May 1st and work to get caught up. I’m several months behind so that might take a while.
The second project I’m going to focus on is the video series I was doing on drawing the deck plans of the HSS History’s Hope. That should account for a post or two.
Finally, I’m going to get back to working on the 3D ship models. I recently was lucky and picked up an brand-new, unopened Privateers boxed set and the minis are in pristine condition. So now I have all six and I’m going to work on trying to get one of those recreated each month. As I’m already halfway done with one of them, I will hopefully get the first one done in May and then one a month until October. We’ll see what happens after that.
Beyond that, I have no idea what will happen but that’s enough to get me started. I have several topic ideas that I might flesh out into full posts but we’ll see how things go.
This post also marks 3 years since I started the blog. There have been 196 total posts (including this one) over those three years, even with the two and a half month hiatus I just took. Thanks to all of you who have followed along on this journey so far and especially to my Patreon supporters.
There isn’t much else to say. I’m looking forward to posting again and hope to keep doing so for a while.
Can you believe it’s 2021 already? Time seems to be really flying. Probably because I’ve been so busy. Truth be told, I’m glad January is over. With the university starting up, it’s taken a bit to get settled into the new routine. Hopefully things have settled down and going forward it will be a little less hectic.
As expected, I wasn’t able to keep to a regular posting schedule this month, and probably won’t in February either. That said, I still managed to get five posts out (six if you include this one) even if they were relatively small ones.
We started with the usual Detailed Frontier Timeline post. Related to the timeline, there were two battle report posts (Battle of Theseus and Second Battle of Kawdl-Kit). There was originally going to be a third one (in the Kisk-Kar system) but looking at the orders of battle, the UPF decided it wasn’t in their best interest to get annihilated when they could fall back to a stronger position, so they evaded that combat. There is another battle coming (Battle of Pale) that should have been posted this month, but I’ve gotten a bit behind in the timeline posting and playing out the battles. With my reduced time to work on projects, I just haven’t had time to work through it. Also related to the timeline, the last post of the month was a discussion of the fleet designations I use for Spacefleet and the sathar.
The other major event was that we got issue 31 of the Frontier Explorer out the door. You can grab it on the Frontier Explorer website or DriveThruRPG. I’ll be working on getting the print version set up in the coming weeks.
Behind the scenes, there hasn’t been much happening as I’ve been settling into my new job as a computer science professor at the local university. I’m no longer working from home and that has required a change in everyone’s schedules. The biggest impact is that I have less free time, taken up by the drive to work, but I do get to spend more time with my wife as we drive in together (she’s been an astronomy professor there for 13 years now). That said, I did start working on a new 3D model, recreating a miniature from the Privateers box. The box calls it the Moonbright Stinger, but you may recognize it more as the Gullwind from the Dramune Run adventure. The picture at right shows where the model is currently at.
We’ll have a timeline post as the first post of the month although it might be a few days late. I’ve got to get the timeline caught up and play out that last battle and I’ve fallen behind over the last week. There’s also going to be another battle later in the month. Those two fights are going to be pretty important and determine the way the Second Sathar War will proceed. So that means we should have two more battle posts this month.
I hope to finish the Moonbright Stinger model this month. I’m about 5 hours into it and probably have 5 more to go but I should be able to finish it up. All of the “positive” features are done, and now I need to go through and carve out all the features that are etched into the body of the miniature.
Otherwise, I don’t know what else we’ll see. I’ll probably spend a bit of time converting the files needed for the POD version of the Frontier Explorer to the new format. It is just the cover file that needs to change and I don’t foresee that being difficult, but it is going to take some time, maybe 20-30 minutes per issue. Although it is the same process for each cover and I I can use the same template for each issue so Imight actually be able to get each one done in 10-15 minutes. But with 30 back issue to process, I’m looking at 5 to 15 hours of work just for that. Assuming my estimates are correct. I’ll probably spread it out over a couple of months. But if you want the Frontier Explorer issues as saddle-stitched POD version, you’ll need to head over to DriveThruRPG and order them this month. I’ve also been asked about building omnibus editions of the Frontier Explorer and putting say 8 issues into 400-page soft or hardback editions. So I might look at that for both the Frontier Explorer and the Star Frontiersman.
Otherwise, I have ideas for a couple of starship related posts but those are going to require some work. And I hope to get back to the adventures I started with blog with years ago and make some progress on those.
Truth be told, I can’t believe I’ve kept the Detailed Frontier Timeline going for over two years. It has spun off some interesting side projects like everything related to the HSS History’s Hope. In fact, that is the only part of the timeline not specifically related to the Second Sathar War at the moment. But that’s okay since I originally conceived the timeline to focus primarily on the war.
If you have ideas or topics you’d like to see explored, feel free to reach out to me and let me know. I’m always interested in feedback.
I’ll end with a big thank you to all those who have supported me on Patreon over the years. You have really helped to keep this blog going. If you are already a supporter, thank you again. If you’re not a supporter, consider helping out.
You may have noticed that I didn’t have a post last week. I think that was the first weekly post I’ve missed since I started the blog. The truth is, I just didn’t have anything ready to write about, nor the time to generate anything. Hopefully you were too busy with the holidays (like I was) to really notice or miss it.
I don’t do yearly retrospectives in these updates so looking back will only be December. However, given some of the things that happened this month, looking forward will take a bit longer view than just January. Read on.
And that was it on the blog front. The reason for that is that there has been a lot going on behind the scenes.
First and foremost, I changed jobs mid-month. Now instead of being an Adjunct (part-time) Professor at the local university teaching an occasional computer science class and working full time as a software developer at NASA, I’m now an Assistant (full-time, tenure-track) Professor at the university and only part-time at NASA. Making that transition (I’m no longer working from home), plus the holidays, has severely cut into my free time this month and I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to work on game related topics. I’m still getting my schedule sorted out and figuring out when I have time to schedule my various activities.
What time I did have was put primarily into the next issue (#31) of the Frontier Explorer. I’ve edited most of the articles and will finish those up this week and get the preliminary layout done so we can figure out what art is still needed. Once again, I had more things scheduled for the issue than will fit so we’re already well on our way to having all the content for issue 32.
Another chunk of time was spent on the timeline. With the aftermath of the battles last month and this, there was a bunch of logistical things I had to track and work through for the timeline and that ate up a bunch of time.
The other thing that happened is that I started looking at the Star Frontiersman magazine again. Ever since Bill Logan passed the magazine off to me, I’ve had two things I’ve wanted to do. The first is bring it back to life, probably on an annual or semi-annual basis filling the pages with adventures, kind of like TSR’s old Dungeon magazine. Looking over the magazine submission queue, there are several adventures in there and it may be time to kick that project off.
The second is that I’d like to make print versions of the Star Frontiersman issues available for those that want them. The first 17 issues used to be available in black and white from Lulu but with the trademark kerfluffle a a couple of years ago, WotC had Lulu take them down. I want to make the full color versions (like the PDFs) available. The problem is that for most of those back issues, I only have the PDF files, not the original documents, and the format needed to make the print version is not just the PDF that currently exists. I started to go into an explanation of the issues involved but realized I should save that for a separate post and do it proper justice. The short version is that I managed to get proper print files for issues 1-6 ready and sent off. I’ve received the print proof or issue 1, which I did first, and am happy with it. I’m just waiting on the other five. This project sucked up the remaining free time I had this month (including some time I probably should have spent on the Frontier Explorer).
On the blog, there will definitely be another Detailed Frontier Timeline post next week, and toward the end of the month, three more battle reports (which I still need to play out the battles for). I also hope to finish the History’s Hope deck plans and post those and the associated videos. Beyond that, I don’t know what other posts, if any are coming. It’s really going to depend on what I end up working on.
The other thing that is definitely coming out this month is the next issue of the Frontier Explorer and the print-on-demand editions of the first six issues of the Star Frontiersman. I haven’t missed an issue of the Frontier Explorer since we started in 2012 and don’t plan on starting now. That will always get my #1 priority slot. And the Star Frontiersman issues are just waiting on the print queue and shipping. Once they arrive and I can look them over, I’ll make them available.
Over the past month or two, I’ve been thinking a lot about what projects I want to work on going forward and what that will mean for this blog.
For the past half year or so, I’ve felt really pressured to try and get an article out each week even when it hasn’t been something I really wanted to work on for focus my time on. When I started the blog, I also launched my associated Patreon campaign. I originally promised one post a month but later decided to try to get a weekly post out as a way to generate interest and Patreon supporters even though a weekly post was way down on the goals list. But I felt that a more frequent and regular posting schedule would be helpful in growing my readership and patronage. And I was was able to keep it up for over 2.5 years. However, I think going forward, I’m going to dial back my posting a little bit.
I’ll continue to have the Detailed Frontier Timeline posts on the first Tuesday of each month, and I’ll continue to do these State of the Frontier posts on the last Tuesday of each month. In between that though, I think I’ll be posting on a more sporadic basis as I finish projects and/or have progress to report. I also might start doing more small announcement type posts when I learn about other things going on or have something to mention. But that begs the question of what will I be working on beyond the Detailed Frontier Timeline.
First, I want to finish up the deck plans of the HSS History’s Hope and produce a Technical Manual for the ship. That should be good for at least two posts. One, which I hope to have ready by the end of the month, on the rest of the decks, and a second giving more details about the ship in general, maybe with more detailed room descriptions. Then there will be an announcement post when the final Technical Manual is available.
Second, I want to get back to my 3D modelling. Both finishing up the recreations of the miniatures from the Privateers boxed set that TSR created, and making new ships of my own design. I’m going to start with the Privateers. If I can manage to get one done each month, that will get me through to June. When I get to my own designs, they may or may not come with deck plans. I’d like to Technical Manuals for each one but may shift to a lighter “spec sheet” version that doesn’t go into quite as much detail as my Technical Manuals but still provides game data on the ships.
Third, and related to the modeling effort. I have a new starship construction system nearly complete (it has been for a long while) that I want to finish and make available. I’ve posted excerpts from this in the past and really need to just finish it and get it out there. My plan is to base all the miniature designs of my own creation on ships created with this system.
Fourth, I want to finish the Death at Rosegard and Ghost Ship Osiris adventures that I started when I began this blog. I’ll probably start with Death at Rosegard as that one is mostly done, I just need to stitch it all together. Then I can tackle Ghost Ship Osiris. The latter was put on hold as Bill wasn’t really doing anything with FrontierSpace. However, with Trevor Holman’s FrontierSpace adventures coming out (that I edit for him), and Bill starting to get things going again with FrontierSpace, it’s time to finish that one up as well.
Finally, I want to get back to writing. I’m 75,000+ words into a first draft (probably about a quarter done) of a Star Frontiers novel and have an outline for the sequel to my book Discovery. I’d like to start spending more time on those as well. I’m not sure how much of the writing will show up in the blog until I get toward later drafts and have excerpts I can post, but it’s something that I will be spending time on.
Things are going to look a little different going forward, but hopefully there will still be plenty of content for you to enjoy. What types of material would you be interested in seeing that I haven’t mentioned already? Or what aspects of the mentioned projects would you be interested in seeing me write about here? I’m always open to suggestions.
I want to end this post with a big thank you to all those who have supported me on Patreon over the years. You have really helped to keep this blog going. If you are already a supporter, thank you again. If you’re not a supporter, consider helping out.
It’s another month down. I hope everyone in the United States had a great Thanksgiving holiday and the rest of you had a good month as well. I’ve been having a blast.
The biggest thing this last month has been the start of the Second Sathar War in the Detailed Frontier Timeline. This has resulted in a number of reports for the battles that have happened so far. To date these are:
Tracking the Second Sathar War and playing out the battles has definitely take up most of my time this month. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this. I was quite a ways ahead on the narrative but playing out the battles has eaten most of that buffer and I’m only a couple days ahead at the moment. However, now that the big initial push is over, things will settle down a bit. Expect to see a few more battles in the next few days and then they will start to really spread out as the sathar replenish their ships.
Behind the scenes not much was happening beyond me working on the SSW narrative. The only major event was that the hard drive on my server failed and had to be replaced which took all of my Star Frontiers sites down for about 36 hours while I got a new disk installed and everything restored. Luckily I had good backups and nothing was lost.
Tomorrow will be the next Detailed Frontier Timeline post that will have all the details of the events surrounding the opening of the Second Sathar War that happened this last month for those that don’t follow along on Twitter.
Next week I plan to talk a bit about the Second Sathar War in the timeline and muse on some of the ideas I’ve had relative to the setting and this fight since I’ve been playing out the battles.
Beyond that, I don’t have any specific plans. I’m working on the History’s Hope deck plans so those might come out this month. I am making “how-to” videos showing how I make my maps and the recording of those got put on hold with all the SSW battles, which is why they aren’t done yet. (It would go much faster if I wasn’t recording as I could squeeze in bits of time here and there instead of needing some dedicated time.) I’m also still thinking about that astrogation rules post. We’ll just have to see what comes up.
There is a major behind the scenes change coming next month. I’ve been offered a full-time, tenure-track faculty position teaching computer science at the local university and I start mid-December. Which means I’ll be leaving full-time at NASA but will remain as a consultant on the project I’m working on there. I have no idea right now what impact this job change will have on my time so we’ll just have to play it by ear and see what happens. Which is why I don’t have any specific plans for the end of the month.
There are at least two more battle reports to come in the near future. One will be on the 2nd and another on the 4th. Depending on the outcome of the fight on the 2nd, there might be a third on the 5th of December. But beyond that, it might be a while before another battle to be reported. It depends on the outcome of those battles.
I’m also starting on the next issue of the Frontier Explorer. Most of the articles have been selected and I’m planning on front-loading the editing work on this issue due to my job change and the holidays. We’ll see if I can actually pull that off.
I don’t really have anything else. If you like what your seeing on the blog, consider supporting me on Patreon. Just follow the link or click on the “Become a Patron” button. As always, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.
I said last month that I wasn’t sure what the fourth article would be. It turned out to be the third article and was a write-up of the Battle of Stenmar, a sneak-peak at the ship battles of the Second Sathar War as they will be reported in the Detailed Frontier Timeline. The war is about to open up in the timeline and I’ve been busy playing through the opening fights this month behind the scenes in preparation to reaching that point of the timeline. I asked around and people were interested in seeing how the battles played out and this post was a trial run to work on the format. More on this in the “Looking Forward” section.
The other major effort this month was getting issue 30 of the Frontier Explorer out the door. This took a bit longer (by about a week) than I had really hoped to spend on it, but I did manage to get it out before the end of the month so we stayed on schedule. It’s been 30 issues (I can’t believe we’ve done that many) and we’ve still managed to get every single one out in the target month.
Between the Frontier Explorer, and playing through the Knight Hawk Battles, I haven’t had much time for anything else. So much so, that I have put my Skills for Hire game on hiatus. As I talked about in my What We Need is More … Focus post, I’m stretched too thin and while I enjoyed running this, it was taking up too much of my currently limited time. So I made the decision to put it on the back burner for now. The players have stepped up to the plate and are running games for one another but for now, I’m not running any more. We’ll see if I get back to it.
A lot this month is going to be about the Detailed Frontier Timeline. We’ll start with the usual post on Tuesday recapping all the events of the last month. But this month the sathar fleets start toward the Frontier and the first battles of the conflict occur later in the month. My plan is to do a post that is part Knight Hawks scenario, part battle report, and maybe some commentary much like the Battle of Stenmar post for each of these battles as they occur. For the most part, these will be posted on the day the battle occurs (together with the summary post on Twitter). However, at the start of the fight, there are four battles on one day with on more two days later. These will start on the 21st and I just post one a day until they are all up. That will constitute the weekly post that would have come on the 24th, the last of the month, but you’ll get 5 for the price of one. Had I waited to post the Battle of Stenmar until the day it occurred, that would have been the post for the 17th. But I wanted to get that one out early to get feedback. After those initial battles, the post will be much more sporadic and I’ll post them on the day they occur and I’m not planning on having them be the regular weekly posts.
Beyond that, this month is wide open and what will be coming out is completely up in the air. Your guess is as good as mine. It’s NaNoWriMo and I might try to get back to writing my novel but I don’t actually think that will happen.
In the “behind the scenes” arena, I do know we have a number of projects under discussion in our “Frontier Explorer Presents” series. One will probably be out by Christmas. Another, which I’ve mentioned before, is the short story collection. That one is going to be my focus as Tom Verreault, my Frontier Explorer co-founder, is working on the one for Christmas. We’re also kicking around the idea of another project with Eric Winsor, the author of all the Jurak Hangna articles in the magazine, to put together a special Jurak Hangna themed publication. But I think that one is a bit longer term.
I want to get back to modeling so I’m hoping to focus a bit more on the HSS History’s Hope and get its model finished and draw up the deck plans for it. That may be another Technical Manual once it’s all done. I might also put some time into my starship construction system this month as well as I’d really like to get that done and start making ships based on the system.
And that’s it. I’m sure that there are several other things I should be mentioning but they have completely slipped my mind. As always, share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
I had hoped to be able to do four full articles this month but between kids’ sports activities, running a half marathon, a protracted job interview process (it will probably be a month or two before I hear anything – you’ve got to love the slow academic hiring process), and a few other things, the month got the better of me.
Besides the Detailed Frontier Timeline post, this month didn’t look anything like what I expected. I had planned to do a location post and a game write up but due to complications, my game session that would have completed the adventure (so I could post the write-ups spoiler free) was canceled. Instead, a discussion on the Star Frontiers: Alive and Well Facebook group prompted me to write up my notes on Void Jumping. And then I followed that up with a post that hearkens back to the tag line of this blog (“Creating sci-fi RPG resources”) that provided links to all the maps and counters I use in my games, many of which I created myself.
Behind the scenes, I have started working on issue 30 of the Frontier Explorer. I’m not as far along as I’d like due to all the other things going on this month but I’m quickly catching up.
Also, I was playing in RJ McDonough excellent Second Sathar War Campaign but again, this month’s events intervened and I had to bow out of that game. And then unfortunately, just a few days ago he had to close the game down completely.
And that’s about it. Like I said, this month has been crazy.
October looks to be much better. We’ll have the timeline post as usual, and by then I should have had the final game session of the current adventure so you can look for a new location, a bio-lab operated by the Greater Overall Development Corporation, that the the PCs have been investigating. I also plan to do an adventure write-up as a second post detailing the adventure itself and how I used the location. I have no idea what the fourth post this month will be. We’ll see how it goes.
The other major item this coming month is issue 30 of the Frontier Explorer. Look for that in the latter half of the month. This will be taking up most of my time until then.
I want to get back to working on the deck plans and 3D model of the HSS History’s Hope from the timeline but we’ll see if I actually get that far, most likely that will have to wait for November.
Behind the scenes, I have a short editing effort that I’m doing for another FrontierSpace adventure by Trevor Holman and it looks like it’s almost time for me to do my freelance writing assignment for the upcoming Space Kids RPG by Nick Landry. The Kickstarter for that funded at the beginning of the year but COVID-19 had impacted the production and we’re just getting to my part in the endeavor.
I don’t really have much more to say. September has been rough and I’m hoping October goes a bit better. I should at least be able to get caught up on all my regular activities that have been put off by first the truck issue in August and the extended job interview process in September.
If there are any topics you would like to see my write about, let me know and I’ll try to get them into my queue.