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FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Charles Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/22/2023 11:41:41

At the time of my writing this, FrontierSpace has been out for at least 4 years. I was not following the game during development, and became aware of its existence a couple of years ago. It was only recently that I have been able to get and read the rule books, and I must say I am impressed. I was a huge fan of TSR’s Star Frontiers in my youth. It is apparent that the author of FrontierSpace, Bill Logan, was one as well. So, I opened the book wondering just how “Star Frontiers” his new game would be. I have seen several reviews, but I thought I might be able to contribute a few thoughts of my own about how close some elements of FrontierSpace are to Star Frontiers, some parts which are different, and which parts are like some other great RPGs of that era. I will also make some observations on the design of the game and its production quality. Perhaps this could be of some help to someone having questions similar to my own.

Similarities to Star Frontiers and other games:

Star Frontiers:

  • Percentile-based system; all checks use two ten-sided dice. Damage is calculated by sums of ten-sided dice.
  • Checks are “roll under” against an attribute + skill bonus. Character power is heavily attribute based.
  • Character attribute generation uses a table with a probability density function sort of output, not a straight dice roll.
  • Equipment, weapons, and (somewhat) technology level. Protective suits, personal defensive screens that are tuned to a specific weapon type, wide range of weapon types. Energy is expensive, bullets are cheaper. Communication is not instantaneous, but is much faster than travel.
  • A world of mostly benign cooperation between races, united in the fight for survival in a harsh frontier.
  • Backgrounds of alien races have just the right amount of detail. They really give you a feel for that race, its personality and flavor, but without smothering minutiae. This reminds me of Star Frontiers.
  • The races are influenced by Star frontiers, but “shifted” a bit: Humans are average, and get to choose which ability to boost; Yazirians became Yar (except Yar cannot glide; also, elements of Yar culture and personality seem Vrusk-like, such as absolute loyalty to a clan and precise language with no regional dialects); Vrusk became Erakai (but who can glide like Yazirians); Dralasites became…Novim? I miss Dralasites, but I guess they could be too unique of an idea to copy.
  • Some fun references to Star Frontiers: Duergar’s Star and Reachy Moraes instead of Morgaine’s World, Truane’s Star, Inner and Outer Reach and the Eleanor Moraes scout ship; the Player’s Guide cover art is a cute homage to the Larry Elmore art used on the box and the cover of the expanded game rule book.
  • It is interesting that interstellar travel is done at a speed of one light year per day. This matches the somewhat pasted-on mention of travel between systems that was found at the end of the original Star Frontiers rules.

Star Frontiers (differences):

  • Computers and robots are higher tech in FrontierSpace, and repulsor lift tech exists. If I understand correctly, it looks like hover fans still exist as a means of propulsion, but only on lower-tech worlds.
  • When the Knight Hawks expansion for Star Frontiers came out, TSR implemented a bit of retroactive continuity for interstellar travel, introducing a system in which you could travel any distance in about one week. Starship faster-than-light drive in FrontierSpace is like that described in the original Alpha Dawn rule book, moving at a speed of one light year per day. Space ships also apparently have artificial gravity in the floors, and do not use the thrust of the ship to simulate gravity as was done in Knight Hawks. The author basically acts like Star Frontiers Knight Hawks never happened.

West End Games Star Wars RPG:

  • Multi-action penalty that adds as you take additional actions, not all declared at the beginning like Savage Worlds.
  • Attacks can be dodged, with the decision to dodge or not made at the moment of attack.
  • Psionics are handled somewhat like the Force in WEG Star Wars RPG. There is no pool of points that is exhausted as powers are used; activating a psionic power is a skill check, like anything else. This is basically how the Force was implemented in the Star Wars RPG, though the powers in FrontierSpace do have a different “flavor” to them.

Savage Worlds:

  • Minor NPCs with simplified attributes that die quickly, but major NPCs that have more fleshed-out abilities and last longer.
  • Destiny points are like Bennies.
  • Breadth of skills reminds me of Savage Worlds; marksman = shooting, warrior = fighting, etc.
  • Descriptions of character traits at creation remind me of edges in Savage Worlds (or, I suppose, feats in D&D 5e). Also, enhancements to skills that are gained with character development are much like edges.
  • Dice do not “explode” as in Savage Worlds, though.


  • Starships can scoop fuel from a star if needed, though refueling at a station is faster and more convenient; this may not be a science fiction idea that is unique to Traveller, but one that I do remember from that game.

Dungeons and Dragons / Starfinder / almost every modern RPG and its dog:

  • Advantage and disadvantage, though it is tied to aspects of your character that are established during character creation, not assigned as a modifier during an action. Adjustments during gameplay are always done using difficulty modifiers.

So, as you can see, I noticed strong similarities between Star Frontiers, the original West End Games Star Wars RPG, Savage Worlds and maybe even a bit of Traveller. There are probably others I am not thinking of, as well.

Rules Issues:

Overall, I found the rules to be solid. The mechanics are quite different from Star Frontiers. They are based on percentile dice, and the game uses nothing but 10-sided dice, like Star Frontiers. I find the overall mechanics to be more similar to West End Games Star Wars RPG, maybe mixed with a bit of Savage Worlds.

I somewhat question the decision to put an abbreviated version of the combat system in the Player’s Guide, and only have the full system explained in the Referee’s Guide. I think a player would like to fully understand how combat works, to be properly prepared both in character design and tactics for an actual combat encounter.

The rules do not give some details that I think should be included. Damage effects for called shots up are left up to the referee. I have not seen any description of opportunity shots, e.g. attacking an enemy as he moves through your line of sight; the initiative rules say that you can “hold” your initiative to take your turn later, “if you give a good reason,” but more detail would have been appreciated. Does a critical failure on an attack cause your gun to jam? The description of the marksman skill says this “might” happen. It is explicitly stated that encumbrance is not tracked, and is left to the common sense of the referee. However, in describing how to attempt a quick-draw with a weapon, it specifies that you will drop your weapon if you fail the roll; that seems like something that should have been suggested as a possible option, not a hard and fast rule. It feels like too much detail where unnecessary, and not enough where it is needed.

One thing that really stands out is the lack of any sort of vehicle or starship design process. The Player’s Handbook gives a lot of example vehicles, and several starships, but there is no method for creating new ones. Granted, the original Star Frontiers rules gave a rather sparse selection of available vehicles and had no rules for designing new vehicles, but the Knight Hawks expansion gave at least a basic and functional starship design method. It would have certainly been nice to see this in FrontierSpace.

Some rules are a bit “buried,” only mentioned once and not called out enough. For instance, after reading through the rules I realized I did not know the effect of a critical success on an attack roll. Upon searching, I found a tiny paragraph in the Referee’s Guide that said a critical success can only be resisted by a critical success resist roll. So, I believe that means that if you get a critical success on a hit, the opponent must roll a critical success in his Agility-based dodge roll in order to successfully dodge (whereas it would normally only take a simple success to dodge). I don’t feel like this was made clear enough.

Issues with the FrontierSpace world:

Most of the world in FrontierSpace is done very well. I described earlier how I like the level of detail describing the playable races. The setting and technology level are excellent, well-suited to the theme and heavily influenced by Star Frontiers. There are, however, a few scientific or technological assertions or explanations that I question. One might call it nitpicking, or say this is unimportant to the game itself, and that could be true. The author himself says that the reason we loved Star Frontiers was due more to the world it established than to the game mechanics themselves. He probably has a point, and in this light I find these questionable fictional science facts in FrontierSpace to be distracting. I give a few examples here.

Energy unit storage belt packs and back packs are much larger than a small power pack that can fit into the handle of a weapon. If you extrapolate what their size should be, compared to the small energy packs and based on the relative energy they store, for some reason the larger packs are many times larger than necessary. Despite holding very little energy for their size, they are still not rechargeable. This begs the question of why anyone would ever use one of these huge units for energy storage, as they give no benefit at all, besides perhaps having to reload slightly less often. The original Star Frontiers made the larger energy storage devices rechargeable, which was the benefit they had over the much smaller and more portable packs. The Star Frontiers approach seems more reasonable to me.

Specified sizes for the parabatteries used to power non-weapon equipment, vehicles and such are confusing. A jetcopter is said to use the same parabattery as a ground car or a human-sized robot. That makes little sense.

There is a strange differentiation between RF and digital transmissions in a couple of places. For instance, in the description for the “Communicator,” it says its “range is 10 km when using radio frequency (RF) signals, or virtually unlimited when connected to a digital satellite network common to civilized regions.” This would suggest that the communicator can communicate with a satellite network, which would take a much longer range than 10 km; after all, communications with satellites are conducted via RF transmission. Yes, maybe it is referring to something similar to a current-day cell phone network; those still operate by moving digital data on RF signals, though.

Laser weapons are described as making a “very distinctive sound” when firing. I suppose it is possible that a laser powerful enough to be used as a weapon may not be completely silent (maybe the transfer of such as huge amount of energy in such a short time causes some sound), but I do tend to think of lasers as pretty quiet. I would definitely not think of one needing a silencer, as described in the Referee’s Handbook.

Portable scanners have a passive mode that uses inconsequential power, and an active mode that uses Energy Units. This active mode uses an amount of energy that corresponds to a lower-end beam weapon output. So, it takes as much power to activate my infrared scanner as it does to fire my laser pistol at 40% of maximum? That seems dubious.

Please do not take this as a poor view of the world of FrontierSpace. I know I have pointed out mainly negative issues, but I think this is because they were so rare as I familiarized myself with the setting, that they stood out.

Production Quality

The overall production quality of FrontierSpace is high. The rules are explained clearly, with examples given in helpful places. The author seems to have a good sense of just which topics could cause confusion and need an example. It has an index - an actual, honest to goodness functioning index - with many entries and overlapping topics. The index looks like it was written by someone who is familiar with actually using one, who has read physical books and not just searchable pdf versions of them.

I have seen recent games by major developers published with fairly serious typographical and grammatical errors. The grammar in FrontierSpace is highly correct, with very few errors; that is unusual by today’s standards. Sometimes the tone is somewhat colloquial, but I think that can be forgiven.

I so much appreciate the use of the male singular pronoun for general use, as it has been used for generations. “They” is a plural pronoun, and every time I hear it try to be used as a gender-neutral singular pronoun it is like nails on a chalkboard to me. The author includes a somewhat apologetic statement about this. I do not think this was necessary; at most he could have just explained that he was doing it correctly and left it at that.

The artwork is good. I would say that the art for vehicles and equipment is excellent, art for alien races is good, and art for humans is not bad (people are the hardest things to draw, after all). The art in FrontierSpace is better than that in other small game developers’ products that I have seen.

I also appreciate that the entire interior of the book is in black and white, with pen and ink drawing art. Some may say that I am simply biased toward the style of my youth, but I believe that many high-end RPG books of today use too much color and busy design. There are often so many call-outs, background images and graphics that it actually detracts from the readability of the text and information itself. The formatting and graphical style used in FrontierSpace is tried and true, being the culmination of decades, if not centuries, of learning by printers and publishers from real-world application. It looks wonderful (I think the character sheet just might be perfect). There are real benefits to black-and-white; it maintains clarity and readability, and it is refreshing to see it used here. Plus, it does make it much cheaper to print.

Realize that I have not yet played FS. I am basing this review on my reading of the rules and my thinking on how they will work in practice based on my experience with other games. It is mostly my observations on its similarities to Star Frontiers and other games. I think FS shows a lot of promise, and plan to buy everything that DWD and others have created for it. I greatly look forward to playing…if I can ever get my son to take a break from his Skittermander obsession.

FrontierSpace was an obvious labor of love, and the reader can see the care put into it. The author Bill Logan is great. If you, like me, missed the boat when this first came out, or have known of its existence but never felt motivated to jump in and see what it is about, let me encourage you to do so.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Ken [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/27/2022 14:55:41

A lovely re-implementation of the old TSR Star Frontiers RPG. Quality of the product is very good and old-school sci-fi gamers will likely appreciate dipping their toes back in familiar waters. While the rules have been slightly updated, there's a sense the writers could have gone a little farther; for example, I'm not really sure why anyone these days uses a d100 mechanic over d20 except for nostalgia alone.

[3 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Michael H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2017 12:16:27

FrontierSpace Player's Handbook by DwD Studios A review TLDR summary: Great game, good possibilities for tinkering, great art, good setting, great writing. Buy it, for it is fun. I will admit first of all that I have been looking forward to this game for quite some time. When I bought BareBones Fantasy several years ago, I learned that the authors had taken the system they loved from Star Frontiers and had carved it down to a lighter version which they called the D00 Lite system. Among the changes made to the system, attributes were changed, a new critical mechanic was given, and skills were changed to the class-as-skill model I have seen used successfully here and elsewhere. The BBF game was really a great innovation, to my mind, and I was left with an eager desire for the day when I would see my old friend Star Frontiers (by TSR back in the early 80s) take flight again in this system. I eagerly devoured Covert Ops soon after BBF, and saw a few more changes to the system that adapted the game to that setting, showing how versatile the game engine could be. My eagerness only grew. Now that I have my copy of the game, I am even more eager to take it for a spin. The first thing I saw from the game was in the notice of the download which contained the author's’ invitation for anyone to take the system and setting and do whatever they liked with it under the Creative Commons license. This impresses me especially as a game tinkerer and is a refreshing change from some other games. I already have a couple setting ideas that almost write themselves, and a few more ideas within the setting as it is written. And now the game itself. In the introduction of the game the primary setting ideal is explained, that this game is about small fish in a very big ocean. The frontier is the star of the show, so to speak, and the players part of a far larger whole. Here I got a glimpse of the quality of writing I could expect throughout the book, which was engaging and clear; dramatic yet succinct (if I am using that word correctly.) It is a gritty setting. The discussion then continues to explain the role players and referees each serve in, and the all-important golden rule of RPGs, that when the GM makes a ruling, accept it and move along. The dice system is broken down and explained in the beginning of the first chapter. All dice are ten sided. Most rolls will be percentile, with two zeroes read as 00 and not 100. You succeed if you roll under the target number, usually a skill plus an attribute plus modifiers. Rolls for damage or some other effects are the dice rolled and added together. There are six attributes which cover whatever your character is going to do. Skills follow the class as skill model as in the other outings of D00 Lite, but here instead of the previous games’ formula to arrive at the overall skill, it is simply expressed as a number between -20 (untrained) and +30 (top in the universe) with 0 being basic professional level training. At first I was thrown by this idea, but as I got used to it, I began to see how brilliant this is. For one, it is possible to use the same skill with multiple attributes. If you have a Medic skill, for instance, you could use it with Perception to examine your patient, with Coordination to perform surgery, and Willpower when you are telling the patient to relax and heal. Character creation is in the second chapter, and has a couple of neat points. You can roll for your attributes and then put the rolls where you want them or choose a predetermined array that includes a good mix of values to give a character enough depth without being overpowered yet. Species are discussed elsewhere in detail but are conveniently summarized here. The Referee’s book will have the means to create new species but the five included in the book are plenty to start with. (I have to wonder how hard it would be to adapt the various fantasy races from the BBF supplement Flesh and Blood. Probably pretty easy, and just a bit of re-flavoring and reskinning.) Characters start with one skill at 0 and two at -10. This I like because you then have a character that can do one thing well and a couple others (out of 12) that they do sort of well. I like the way character creation comes together as a fast and easy thing. The rest of the book follows along as a logical progression through the technology and the culture of the game and winds it all up with the setting. While glossing over much of the book and encouraging you with my opinion that it comes together well, is well written, and engaging, I will say that the game makes a few assumptions that pinch just a little. The setting is somewhat limited to a couple dozen systems but with a lot outside of this area left nebulous enough to be mysterious and so forth, but in saying that I have to giggle a little at myself since I haven’t seen more than a quarter on my own state and rarely leave a hundred mile circle of that. Ships are kind of on the small side but only when compared to Star Destroyers and Trek ships. The only other annoying thing about the setting is the number of loose ends set up in it which would all be things one could use as story hooks to get player characters doing cool stuff. It would be really easy, though, to port in any setting you like with this game. The artwork throughout the book is pretty cool and captures the essence of a spacefaring gritty story based game. Only a couple of the spaceship drawings were not quite up to my standards, but are still a ton better than what I manage. One thing the old game did that is rare to find elsewhere in science fiction shows and games was that almost all of the ships were built on the tower model rather than the boat model, which is to say that in a spaceship decks would be best placed perpendicular to the thrust so that you have acceleration as your false gravity. There is very little evidence that gravity floors would be possible let alone cheap enough to be ubiquitous. It appears that the space vessels are built on the boat model for the most part. Really that is my only gripe with the art. Everything else is awesome. Those boat model space ships are pretty awesome, too, really. Fair or not, I judge games on several criteria, mostly having to do with feelings. Frontier Space wins first because I have been excited for a long time to get it. It wins again in how confident in the way the rules are laid out that I could easily play and enjoy it. It wins in that I can see myself walking around on many of the described worlds, talking to Yar, Erakai, and Novim friends. It wins in that I can see piloting huge freighters and nimble fighters through the deep voids of space. It wins in that I cannot think of any ways in which it loses, with the only exception being the relative obscurity of the game, which is something I can at least try to do something about through this review and getting the word out on other places. I was going to ask for more D&D books for Christmas and birthdays upcoming, but since i got this as an early present from a kind benefactor, I think I would rather get printed copies of this book and the referee’s book, which together would be less than either the 5th Edition DMG or Monster book.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by dana f. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2017 12:00:11

This is a well-done but incomplete product. As other reviewers have noted, it's very much done in the spirit of Star Frontiers, except that the game mechanics of FrontierSpace are much better - smooth, consistent, and pretty fast. The downside is that the book is quite incomplete - combat rules, for example, are in the Gamemaster's Guide, and although there are a selection of stock NPCs, there isn't a bestiary of aliens (other than alien PC races), monsters, and such. For that, you need the Gamemaster's Guide (which has a tiny selection of creatures along with good rules for crafting them). As such, there's a fair amount of prep-work from a GM, since you'll have to create adversaries from scratch continuously. I recommend the game, but be aware that what you're buying is not complete. If you're used to having to buy multiple books (like D&D), this won't be a major issue for you.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by William W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/08/2017 11:30:25

I don't write that many game reviews, but I've enjoyed FrontierSpace so much that I felt compelled to say a few words about it. The system is lite enough to be easy to pick up and play quickly, yet has enough moving parts that characters feel different and unique. The combat system is also light, yet versatile. The artwork hearkens back to my old school gaming days, and I mean that in a positive way, feels very much like the old Star Frontiers game, with a sleek, fun rules system. I would have liked the psionics abilities to have been included in this book rather than the Referee's Manual, but I understand not all Referee's will be using psionics in their games.
All in all, I am quite pleased with this purchase and recommend the game for those looking for a fun, easy to play/run Sci Fi System.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/22/2017 11:43:56

FIVE STARS! Absolutely wonderful. If you are a Star Frontiers fan then this is a "must buy!".

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Jeff C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/20/2017 13:42:16

FrontierSpace is the latest creation from the brilliant minds at DWD. It has proven to be everything that was promised or hinted-at in previews, developer logs, etc. The system should be familiar to anyone who plays Covert Ops or BareBones Fantasy. Interestingly enough, the look and feel of the game should be familiar to anyone who loves the old T$R Star Frontiers game. (This is not a coincidence- Bill and Larry are huge Star Frontiers fans.) All around, I think this game has a lot of appeal and came out at a time when space games are in the spotlight more, perhaps. With the recent release of the new Space Trek, Space Wars and Space Finder games, players are just feeling a little more spacey. By Space, I mean “Star” but slightly more lawsuit-proof. That having been said, one of the nicest things about FrontierSpace is that it is not set in a well renowned science fiction franchise. There are no preset expectations or character roles and no canon to infringe upon. Much like the good old days of gaming, FrontierSpace gives players and gamemasters a framework, some standard references and rules, but leaves the rest to be created. No one should be jumping up at the table and yelling, “But a real SpaceFleet Jed-Hi wouldn’t do that!” And thankfully there are no space elves, space gnomes or pesky spellcasting. It’s more of what we would call hard science roleplaying. Of course, all this is subject to change at the whim of the GM. As written, this game reminds me of Traveler, or even GURPS Space in its approach, only I don’t have to practically have a degree in astrophysics or work for NASA to understand it. I can construct a new ship for the game without having to practically build it in my backyard. Another thing I love about FrontierSpace is the openness of the campaign world. You can build deep relationships and delve into freaky intricate alien politics just as easily as you can fly from one star system to the next slug it out with aliens and find an attractive green alien girl to fall in love with before the end of the game session. It’s really in the hands of the GM (and players.) I’m considering trying a hex crawl type campaign only with space hexes instead of on land. I’ve also thought it might be cool to do a Lost In Space type of game where the pc’s are stranded outside known space trying to find their way home. This game screams sourcebook potential at full volume. There could easily be a starship book, one for vehicles, gear and guns, one for robots, and especially one for alien races. Given the outstanding BareBones sourcebook for fantasy races, I think an alien guide would be easy pickings for DWD. (Just please limit the number of buganoid 3 meter tall cockroach/praying mantis knockoffs to just one or none?) There are less obvious sourcebook choices worth exploring such as one for planets and one for hostile creatures/environments. I would also like to see a Gamma World book done in a similar style, given this was originally spawned from Star Frontiers. Overall huge kudos for art, layout, genre emulation, rules, new player friendliness, expandability, flexibility and campaign world. Great job!*

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Moreno A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/10/2017 09:01:27

I had the honor to take part to this game's playtest and it's a pleasure to finally see it published.

This is a work of love and passion. You can see the guys at DwD studios put an insane amount of work and energy into this project, and the result is a top notch, rules-lite, modern RPG which also retains that nostalgic "old school" feeling.

The game is openly inspired to "old school" RPGs (specifically, the classic RPG "Star Frontiers" from TSR), but don't get fooled: this is a modern game, which benefits from all the experience gained in decades of Role-Playing.


The layout is clean and professional. The art is very good, especially considering the low price of the final product.

A special mention should be made for the included fillable PDF character sheet, which is invaluable for modern players IMHO.


This new incarnation and evolution of the D00 Lite system used in previous games from DwD studios (BareBones Fantasy, White Lies and Covert Ops) gives more value to an already great ruleset. Basically, all abilities and skills are percentiles, and rolling less than or equal to your score on a D100 grants you success. You get a critical success or failure when the tens die and the units die show the same number. It's a system that's both very effective and very easy to use in practice.

There are six base abilities (strength, agility, coordination, perception, intelligence and willpower) which can be used directly for actions that do not require any specialization or can be combined with 12 skills that cover all the needs for any modern or sci-fi setting, ranging from Academic to Explorer, Marksman, Pilot, etc. And you can add your custom skills to cover anything that's specific to your setting or not in the rules. My personal pet peeve, and possibly the only weakness in the ruleset, is the absence of a charisma ability (willpower is used instead) - although you can easily add it if you want: all the rules will just keep working with no conversion or adaptation needed.

Skill may have specializations, and some skills (like for example Technician or Scientist) require you to specialize, granting you a bonus on a more specific field of application (for example, a Scientist can specialize in Life Science or Physical Science, etc.).

There's also a neat rule for Advantage and Disadvantage, which is tightly connected with how the skill system and racial bonuses work.

Most rules are either optional or very easy to modify to your liking, and that makes the game an excellent starting point to build your customized RPG experience, if you need to. In my opinion this may be one of the best selling points for this game!


Character creation is a process that can take only a few minutes, but does not sacrifice anything in terms of flexibility and character customization. With the way skills work, you can actually create your customized class every time you create a new character - all in an easy and quick way.

There are five playable species in the game, including humans and robots, each with a specific set of options to create a unique character. In the Referee's Handbook, which should get published in a few weeks, you also get an awesome chapter with rules to create your own customized species, and a few other boons like psionic powers to further enhance your characters.

Character progression is designed to be sligthly on the slow side, in line with the "old school" feel of the game, but it's never punishing or frustrating. And you can still have your characters progress at a faster rate if you prefer.

Benefits are probably the best progression option in the game. When your character attains new "ranks" you get Skill Benefits, linked to your skills, and Loyalty Benefits, linked to the organizations you work with or for during your adventures. Benefits can grant you all kind of boons, ranging from special bonuses and advantages to in-game use of facilities like specialized laboratories, starships, etc.

You get destiny points, which let you re-roll, change the result from failure to success, etc. These are assigned based on a simple but very effective rule that helps compensate some of the character's weaknesses when they have particularly low abilities or lack the skills to survive dangerous situations, like for example combat.

At the end of the Handbook you get a full set of 20 pre-generated characters ("Archetypes"), which cover a wide range of specializations. These are incredibly well made and really make you want to check them out and play them!


A ton of weapons, armors and technology is included in the Equipment chapter. You'll find everything you need here, and a lot of surprisingly clever and interesting pieces of equipment (like for example all the different kinds of Scanners). A special mention should be made for how well the game combines different kinds of damage (physical, energy, sonic, stun...) in a very simple and effective way.

With dedicated chapters for Robots, Vehicles and Starships full of pre-generated, ready to use stuff, the Handbook packs a whole lot of content considering the price.

There's also a chapter on the standard setting for the game, which is exhaustive enough to get you started and interesting enough to spark your imagination. The galactic map of the "Frontier" (the sector of space where the setting takes place) you get together with the manual is really well made and useful. The game never forces you to use the included setting, but it's a great starting point for your adventures.


The game is a must have for any Sci-Fi RPG enthusiast out there. Whether you like hard sci-fi, space opera, cyberpunk or any other sci-fi-related genre, this game has all you need to kick off a great and incredibly fun series of adventures!

We never stopped playing it after the playtest, and are sure to keep at it for many long years yet. :)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
FrontierSpace Player's Handbook
Publisher: DwD Studios
by Anne H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2017 14:08:35

Review for frontier space. By Christopher Lee House and Anne House I give this offering 4 out of five stars. I would have possibly gone as high as 5 stars except that it requires a game master manual; since I don’t know what is included in the Game Masters Manual (and that is where I suspect the bestiary is), that takes a star way in my opinion. I believe it’s still got a lot of possibilities that are not fulfilled as a whole. Art: Fair to good. I found the space ships kind of dull, been-there-seen-that types. I must say that the art is very reminiscent of older games of distant past. Done by Khairul Hisham and Wayne Peters, it delivers on atmosphere old-school style. Considering that DWD is an indie company that kinda cut their teeth on fanzine reminiscence of an older gamer), I see they tried to carry that on in this work. Its 240 pages - three time bigger then Barebones Fantasy. I thought they would stick to the Barebones and Covert Ops system, but they expanded by adding three more attributes. Barebones Fantasy and Covert Ops has Logic, Strength, Dexterity and Willpower. Frontier Space has added Perception, Coordination and Intelligence, and replaced Dexterity with Agility. 18 pages (minus 3) are needed to explain the system, and character creation takes 3 pages. It is quick and easy and by page 21 you have gone through 6 step program to make your character. It took me about five minutes to go through and make out two characters (Leigh Poll and Anne Poll). You get human with all types of human origins, aliens (do not think you are going to get same species from the reminiscent older game), and robots, so you have a good start for any game. Now, this is just the players hand book, so there weren’t any psionic or mystical abilities listed here. I will say that it would be easy to convert over from Barebones Fantasy or Covert Ops to this game. You also get the rules to build your robot. This is a good change from reminiscent older games that did not even allow you to pilot till you bought another box set. There is enough here to make a good character, with a few custom options. However, there appears to be nothing on the staple Psionics, mass fleet combat, planet making or in-depth starship construction– perhaps that in the Game Master Manuel. The layout is clean

  • Introduction
  • The Basics
  • Character Creation
  • Species
  • Skills (12, with specializations for Art, Academic and Technician)
  • Equipment and Technology
  • Character Development
  • Robots
  • Vehicles (which come with upgrade options, but not so much construction)
  • Starships
  • Frontier settings
  • Archetypes
  • Character sheets It has enough to keep you busy for a few game sessions, possibly a whole campaign! It has its own world and the background is light and fluffy as the tradition. In my opinion its worth at least the $9.99 price-tag for the pdf. Go ahead check it out! As a sci-fi game its got potential and I say get in on the ground floor and ride this baby to the top - woohoo!
    Post script or notes: Editing and spelling corrections are brought to you by Anne House, not only is she Beautiful wife and my bestie Friend and fellow Gamer,, but she is a fair enough editor and Very fine Writer and game master.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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