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GALACTIC FRONTIER

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Guide to the Galactic Frontier

Alephtar Games, in collaboration with Mirko Pellicioni Edizioni and Edizioni Scudo, is proud to present the second of its cross-media products: Guide to the Galactic Frontier. Based on the “Tourist’s Guide to the Galactic Frontier” book written by novelist Giorgio Sangiorgi and illustrated by artist Luca Oleastri, this supplement for the Revolution D100 roleplaying game describes more than 40 alien worlds located in Frontier Space, examining the outstanding features of each planet. All worlds come with a map of their areas of interest and color plates illustrating their most remarkable peculiarities, such as alien species or space anomalies. The book also details the equipment, vehicles and technology that your character will use on his or her exploration missions.

The book suggests a sample storyline in which players travel on board the Imperial Spaceship Onyx, which is stranded in Frontier Space during an exploration mission, forcing its crew to search for a way back – or perhaps a new home, who knows? However, you are also free to make up your own frontier stories, using the treasure of information included.

Visit our Facebook Page for a sneak peek at more space critters.

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We would really love to give you an ETA for either, but a temporal anomaly in the Dagda system has totally disrupted our schedule. We had a probe coming back from the Frontier with relevant information on board, but it happened to cross the Non-A zone and what we could retrieve was... well, non-reliable data, to say the least. I will try to assemble a report of what we could salvage ASAP.

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The Imperial Academy of Science was finally able to recover some of the data present in the damaged probe returning from Frontier space. Here is a sample of what the researchers found.
-------

598da3bdcab27_18anewmars.thumb.jpg.3021be6649453baaaa0f119482c5270c.jpg

The Slithodon is a large reptile native to the vast desert areas of planet Nurab. The ancient Jillok had domesticated the creature to use it as a mount for their expeditions in the desert in search of Vamias to hunt. When air vessels became available, Slithodon breeding become less convenient and the creature stock decreased, although nobles still prefer hunting from a Slithodon as a display of bravery and skill.

Wild Slithodon are still present on Nurab, although not in large numbers. The creature is not particularly aggressive, as its slow reptilian metabolism allows it to survive on small prey, but it is still a carnivore and it can attack humanoids when starving or threatened. There are also reports of allochthone colonies of Slithodons on other Frontier worlds, probably the offspring of domesticated specimens that Jillok or Momgä travellers brought there to use as mounts for sport hunting. The behaviour of such individuals is unpredictable, and we advise caution when encountering anything resembling a Slithodon away from Nurab.

Characteristic

Attribute

 

STR

10

3d6

Size Class

XXL

CON

10

3d6

Might

+6

DEX

14

4d6

Strike Rank

12

INT

4

 

Toughness

12

WIL

7

2d6

Life Points

17

CHA

-

-

Move

9

Weapon

SR

AP to Att/Def

Damage

Effect

Bite

12

3/-

1d6+6d2

Slash (effect)

 

Skills: Close Combat [Bite] 50%, Perception [Acute Vision, Hearing] 50%, Survival [Desert] 50%.

Armour: Scaly Hide 6/0+; Absorb Heat/Cold/Light 2.

Combat Notes: Medium-sized opponents are -6 SR when in melee with a Slithodon. Its huge size provides a Bonus to hit it. The creature skin has adapted to the extreme heat and illumination conditions of the Nurab deserts and provides two points of Absorb against thermal and light-based damage, making it rather hard to kill with lasers or flamethrowers. Harder radiations and particle beams affect the creature normally.

General Notes: The Slithodon is surprisingly at ease in all desert environments, not just those of its home world, which makes it an asset when used as a desert mount. When staging a travel, exploration or chase conflict in a desert environment, any party using Slithodons as mounts can use them as a Support Bonus once. If the party includes a character with the Slithodon Trait, the latter can use his or her Trait as a Support Bonus, too, in addition to the one from the mounts. Slithodon-mounted troops add +1 to their combat value in Mass Combat when fighting in the desert.

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Will the book include a full setting? :) I like what I see and read, and probably will use it in my settings - but if it comes with one included, I might draw some ideas from that, too.

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The Frontier is just one part of one large Galactic setting. How much of the Big Picture will be in this first book depends on several factors, but you can rest assured that there is one.

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This is a follow-up of data that the Imperial Fleet has collected from the damaged probe returning from Frontier space.

Binary System 2143 GO, Beacon 4 SLEP 323, GalSec W

The system is composed of a Type G8VI Subgiant and a Type M3V orange star. The subgiant has six planets, of which the fifth and sixth are notable. 2143 GO A5 (Nurab) is a desert world home to the race of the Jillok. 2143 GO A6 is a frozen gas giant, but its four moons are somehow colonisable and have been used by the Momgä in their recent interstellar conflict with the Jillok. 2143 GO B has no planets.

system_NURAB.thumb.jpg.73fecef3314d5f647da85bc2fa3c7fb1.jpg

 

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41 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

 

This is a follow-up of data that the Imperial Fleet has collected from the damaged probe returning from Frontier space.

Binary System 2143 GO, Beacon 4 SLEP 323, GalSec W

The system is composed of a Type G8VI Subgiant and a Type M3V orange star. The subgiant has six planets, of which the fifth and sixth are notable. 2143 GO A5 (Nurab) is a desert world home to the race of the Jillok. 2143 GO A6 is a frozen gas giant, but its four moons are somehow colonisable and have been used by the Momgä in their recent interstellar conflict with the Jillok. 2143 GO B has no planets.

 

Single biome worlds?

A desert world (like Tattoine) without significant stretches of vegetation - e.g. in the waters -  won't have a breathable atmosphere. The "waters" can be highly salinic lakes with cyanobacteria.

A world with huge inland deserts and a thin coastal area with rich vegetation wouldn't be called a desert world. If the seas are inland seas supporting such coastal vegetation, that's what would be inhabited, rather than the deserts. Your occasional visitor wouldn't see the deserts except from orbit. I'd be willing to call such a world an oasis world.

And what kind of desert?

Cold desert, with thaws releasing some permafrost water into a tundra ecosystem? Sand desert? Salt desert? Karst desert with rich underground hydrosphere?

 

What about this rewrite:

"2143 GO A5 (Nurab) is an earthlike planet with 70% land mass and oceans with high salinity and heavy metal concentrations. Most of the landmass consists of arid inlands. The world is home to the species of the Jillok, a desert-inhabiting culture that avoids the coastal areas with its pathogenic spores."

A few more words and excuses why the coastal areas remain uninhabited, and single biome world avoided.

Other reasons not to live on the shores could be extreme tides, frequent tsunamis, etc.

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Single biome worlds?

 

Well, I think it depends on the game. If you play in kind of Star Wars game, planets with one single biome, one single land and even one single town is not so much of a concern :D

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All a matter of context. I could see calling Earth a water planet and Mars a Desert World. Both is not correct, but sufficient to describe it and give it some character. All you need to do is to flesh it out as you need it in your context.

:) If you add too much detail, you'll end up with a book describing one continent on one planet - boring and not the goal of the product, I would say.

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What part of "data recovered from a damaged probe" was not clear to you? :)

Of course when the Imperial Academy manages to secure more accurate information you will have a detailed description of 2143 GO A5 and dozens of other planets, including all physical and environmental data. Researcher Mirkon is currently working on the subject and his reports are known to be excruciatingly pedant... er, I mean really accurate.

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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

What part of "data recovered from a damaged probe" was not clear to you? :)

Ok, so the probe or at least its programming was damaged when it was sent out, looking for single biome planets?

This reminds me of the rover probe from the animated movie Planet 51 which got obsessed with pebbles and ignored the humanoid population of the planet.

Two other nice examples are from David Niven's Man-Kzin universe: We Made It, where a probe found the doldrum in the midst of planetary storms beyond human capacity to deal with, and Plateau, a surface maybe the size of a small island protruding from a Venus-density atmosphere forming the entire habitable surface of that world.

1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

Of course when the Imperial Academy manages to secure more accurate information you will have a detailed description of 2143 GO A5 and dozens of other planets, including all physical and environmental data. Researcher Mirkon is currently working on the subject and his reports are known to be excruciatingly pedant... er, I mean really accurate.

Sure. Just: don't use single biome descriptors for the planet. If necessary, reserve them for native species' preferred habitat. It's the difference between a SF setting and a space fantasy. It doesn't cost a lot of word count, if at all.

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4 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ok, so the probe or at least its programming was damaged when it was sent out, looking for single biome planets?

No, the data disc was damaged and only a small portion of it was recovered. Not all info about the planets could be recovered, so you get to read what's there.

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After long months of intensive research, the Imperial Academy of Science has performed a statistical analysis of the occurrence of the various environments found on Frontier worlds, evaluating the exact chance of a given environment being present in each spot on a planet. So far, the list is applicable only to planets hosting water and carbon-based life forms, but further analysis is underway for silicozonts and methane and sulphur breathers. The contribution of Researcher Baum-Gartner has been particularly useful in this case, as he has repeatedly pointed out to the team that the data received from the probes "did not make any f... sense".

Research has shown direct statistical correlation with three factors: temperature, humidity and altitude. However, further analysis, which required the commitment of bio-computers with the brain mass equivalent of a small town, has demonstrated that altitude is never an independent variable and instead can be expressed as a modification factor of humidity and temperature. This has allowed the Imperial Academy to synthesize all collected data into a bi-dimensional matrix immediately usable by Hakmelet ship officers traversing frontier space. Know the environment you are going to land onto, commander, or at least what you are most likely to meet.

 

0-10%

11%-25%

26%-50%

51%-70%

71%-100%

30°C – 70°C

Desert (hot)

Savannah

Jungle

Swamp (hot)

Ocean/River

0°C – 30°C

Desert (cold)

Grass/Plains

Forest

Swamp (cold)

Ocean/River

-50°C – 0°C

Barren/Ice

Tundra

Taiga

Tundra

Ice

 

To use the matrix, first of all determine the daytime temperature of your target world. Subtract 1°C per hundred metres your projected landing site is above sea level. Then cross-reference with the average humidity of the planet surface. Add 5% per 100 metres your landing site is below sea level, or subtract 5% per 100 metres if above sea level. Despite the fact that a certain degree of randomization is expected, roughly equivalent to a 1-100 linear scale, the matrix has been able to predict the environment of the landing site with an amazing level of accuracy.

Below: a researcher on one of the moons of 4433GN (Ruunda). The environmental prediction recommended donning standard polar equipment before reaching the surface, which turned out to be extremely necessary.

59be99864aad2_08ruundasmall.jpg.850217bd42b9dcfc9a13a27f7803381b.jpg
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Nice. Air pressure/density might alter the altitude steps of the temperature somewhat, but that can be neglected for game purposes, and planets whose organisms use other liquids than water for their cells, resulting in different freezing or boiling points.

Latitude is a factor, too, but one should assume that a landing team will choose a location where either the crew or the natives will suffer least. Whether the planet is so hot that only the arctic zones are habitable (maybe only in winter), or whether it is so cold that you get tundra at the equator, some common sense should be assumed. Unless PCs are at the helm.

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Most of these factors are subsumed in the "standard temperature". Basically, the astronomical data will tell you how hot the surface is on average, and whether there is a relevant variation for latitude and/or seasons.

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The Imperial Academy of Science has finally managed to identify one of the accidents that caused the malfunctions of several probes sent to Frontier Space. The data below represents the information collected about the combat suits of a band of pirates which attacked the probe near Planet Linx (Beacon 1 SLEP 382). Apparently, the attack was a fake, a show put up to entertain tourists in the area. The once famous Linx buccaneer confraternities seem to be just a memory from the past, a curiosity the local government uses to attract visitors by staging fake raids on ships. The probe AI, however, could not understand the concept of a “staged” attack, and responded with full force. Needless to say, the impersonators, despite not being real combatants, easily dispatched the probe. The fact that the fake buccaneers seem to have access to real pirate suits – old and sometimes malfunctioning, but nevertheless quite effective, did not help the probe at all.

Pirate suit

Armour: 16/0+, 10/0+ vs. energy weapons.

Integrated gadgets and powers:

  • ·         Absorb Kinetic 4, Absorb Heat/Cold 3, Absorb Electricity 2, Absorb Radiation 2.
  • ·         Integrated basic nutrition and temperature regulator (Bonus in exposure Conflicts).
  • ·         Integrated infrared sensor (Darkvision, Bonus to any roll to detect a hot-blooded lifeform).
  • ·         Exoskeleton, +2 STR when calculating Might and ability to use a weapon.
  • ·         Zero-G thrusters (Flight 6 in space).
  • ·         Communication antenna, allows link with mothership within 12 km, 120km when mothership established the link.
  • ·         Holster for energy weapon, with integrated recharging plug. Pictured weapon is a standard Particle Beam Gun (4 SR to fire, damage 2d10, range 80, impale).

 

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In preparation for the ISS Onyx mission to the Galactic Frontier, the Imperial Information Service is now gathering information about the assets that the exploration team may encounter in this poorly charted territory. The image presented here depicts a Momgä freighter ship docked at a temporary exploration site on the frozen moon of 4433GN (Ruunda). Probes reported that this moon is rich in salvageable debris, so various races send scavenging expeditions there.

ruunda_ship.jpg.a5f14774aefea1407781c256adb526c8.jpg

Momgä freighter

FTL Propulsion: Twin Qè engines (equivalent to an Imperial engine of class K)

STL Propulsion: Gravimetric generator, allowing the freighter to maneuver in any direction and lift considerable cargo in high gravity environments. The drawback is that the ship is awfully slow and incapable of any quick reaction maneuver.

Weaponry: two 2 MW particle cannons mounted on the gravimetric cores, almost decorative due to the inability to maneuver in battle. Some models (not the one depicted here) mount a twin 1 MW laser turret above the cargo bay for point blank defense against pirate fighters.

Size Class: M (ship scale)

Toughness: 6

Armour: 2 point titanium alloys on all sections

Speed: 2 (aerial)

Maneuverability: 6. Recurring “Low Manoeuvrability (- -)” Consequence in any chase or ship combat Conflict based on the pilot’s DEX or iNT.

 Location                              D6          Tough   Systems
R Engine                              1             4             Qè engine [1]
L Engine                              2             4             Qè engine [1]
Cargo Bay                           3             6             Cargo Bay (x2) [1,2,3,4], Point Defence Turret [5]
R Gravimeter                    4             5             Gravimetric core [1], Sensor array [2], cannon [3]
L Gravimeter                     5             5             Gravimetric core [1], Sensor array [2], cannon [3]
Cockpit                                6             3             Command Bridge [1], Life Support [2]

 

Weapon                              Damage               Range   Notes
Particle cannon                1d4                        M          
Laser turret                        1d2                        S             Burst fire, Twin (double Bonus to hit)

 

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This setting reminds me of the Terran Trade Authority books that I absolutely loved when I was a kid.  Spacewreck (Catastrofi Spaziali, in the Italian translation), in particular, used to scare the heck outta me. I'd stare for hours at the terrific art. The setting and incidents would make terrific rpg material.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terran_Trade_Authority

Am I the only one who fondly remembers that stuff? 

Smiorgan

PS

Sadly, I don't have the books anymore. 

Edited by smiorgan
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The Imperial Council will meet this week or the next to determine the appointed departure date of the ISS Onyx. This information will not, of course, be made public.

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