Equipment: Issue 1

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[[Category: SFMan: Equipment]]

Current revision as of 21:36, 21 September 2010

Top:Star Frontiersman main page | Up: Star Frontiersman Issue 1 main index | Up: Equipment main index

The starting equipment list is short, and beginning characters don’t really have many options. This article concentrates on inexpensive gear for the fiscally challenged.


Beam Weapons

The entry-level Beam Weapon is the Electrostunner, and it’s not a bad weapon. Unfortunately, it costs 500 credits to buy. But there are alternatives for the starting adventurer:

Light Stunner Pistol

First developed during the first Sathar War, and still in use by those agents of PanGal seeking brainwashed double agents, the Light Stunner is a great little weapon. Although it is less effective than the Electrostunner, its small size and concealable nature make it a great alternative.

Unfortunately, it is inefficient, and this is the reason it is not in widespread use among espionage agencies or megacorp security groups. Its inexpensive construction still gives it a place among the public.

It fires a bluish arc of electrons similar to the electrostunner, but smaller and even shorter range than its big brother. Military specialists snicker when they see the tiny gun, having nicknamed it the “zappy,” a cute shortened version of “zapgun,” which the electrostunner has come to be known as. Unlike the electrostunner, the Light Stunner can only fire in stun mode, it has no damage setting.

Whenever it fires, it drains 4 SEU from its source. Since it takes a 20 SEU clip, it can fire five shots before needing to be reloaded. The Light Stunner can be attached to a beltpack or powerpack with a 1.5 meter powercord. A gauss screen will block the beam, and an anti-shock implant will nullify the stun arc entirely.


Not every world is so well equipped as the core worlds of the UPF. In fact, on the rim worlds, few beam weapon specialists are sporting the latest laser pistol. They carry a Blastpistol.

It’s a little bit bulky, doesn’t clear a holster quite quick enough, but it does pack a wallop. When fired, the energy from a standard SEU clip is focused through inexpensive crystal membranes (where some of the energy is wasted and dissipates in the form of heat). The energy releases in a rather large, nasty red blast that sounds thunderous rather than elegant. After the shot, there is a few seconds of high pitched whine while the crystal membranes perform a regeneration (thus the slow rate of fire for a beam weapon). It is not a stealthy pistol.

The blastpistol drains 2 SEU per shot, and uses a standard 20 SEU clip. It does not come equipped with a power port for the connection of an external beltpack or powerpack.

When holstered, the bulky nature of the end of the muzzle takes a little bit of effort to draw, causing an Initiative Modifier of -1 (in addition to the -3 penalty normally associated with holstered weapons).

An albedo suit or screen defends against the Blastpistol as effectively as it does against other laser weapons.

Projectile Weapons

The automatic pistol is already inexpensive... and when firing bursts it can be quite deadly. But not everyone in the Frontier has the latest technology. Some people don’t have the fully-automatic modern weapon.

Semiautomatic Pistol

These predecessors of the modern automatic pistols are functionally nearly equivalent. They fire bullets as quickly as the user can pull the trigger (up to three bullets per turn). There is no burst fire mode. The Semiautomatic Pistol uses the same ammunition and magazine as the modern automatic pistol. Skeinsuits and inertia screens reduce bullet damage by half. If a skeinsuit and an inertia screen are used together, damage is reduced to one-fourth the amount rolled.

Gyrojet Weapons

Gyrojet weapons fire small, self-propelled exploding mini-rockets. The technology is modern, but the concept is old. That is why the gyrojet pistol is only 200 Cr, quite affordable for starting characters.

Gyrojet Wrist Rockets

This durable pair of gloves each have a simple, gyrojet rocket rack on their backs that holds three gyrojet rockets. Characters wearing such weapons simply point their wrist, bend their hand down, and hit the dual trigger buttons to launch the rockets. This means they have to use one hand to fire the rockets on the other... it’s not possible with only two hands to fire both wrist rockets at the same time.

The rockets have slightly less range than a gyrojet pistol, but are otherwise quite similar. The owner of this weapon purchases pistol jetclips and disassembles them to extract the loose shells, and loads them into the chambers of the gloves. Reloading takes place after combat, as it takes several minutes to properly clean and replace the shells.

The wrist rocket is mounted on a polyplate gauntlet, giving it a really cool look and acting as brass knuckles in combat (causes 1d10 damage when punching).

Skeinsuits and inertia screens reduce gyrojet damage by half. If a skeinsuit and an inertia screen are used together, damage is reduced to one-fourth the amount rolled.

Some planets consider Gyrojet Wrist Rockets to be concealed weapons and have laws prohibiting their use. Most worlds consider it personal protection equipment, like a knife.

Statistics for New Weapons
Weapons Cost (Cr) Wgt (kg) Damage Ammo SEU Rate Defense Range (PB/S/M/L/E)
Light Stunner Pistol 150 0.5 Stun SEU 4 1 Gauss/A-S 5/10/-/-/-
Blastpistol 200 1.5 4d10 SEU 2 1 Gauss/A-S 5/15/-/-/-
Semiautomatic Pistol 150 1.5 1d10 per bullet 20 rounds -- 3 Inertia 5/15/30/60/150
Gyrojet Wrist Rockets 125 1.5 2d10 per bullet 3 rounds each -- 3 Inertia -/5/25/50/100

Defensive Equipment

Most starting characters can’t afford anything defensive. Power screens are ungodly expensive. But not all people in the frontier wear military skeinsuits. In fact, smaller security agencies tend to wear much less.

Security Skeinsuit

Whereas the military skeinsuit is camouflage and appears very militant, and civilians who can afford it wear normal-looking clothes inlaid with the same protective layers, security personal tend to wear something in between. Local police, star law officers, and some espionage agents tend to purchase a security skeinsuit.

Security skeinsuits are function over form. They are not designed to help hide the character like a military suit, nor are they designed to conceal their existence, such as a civilian suit. Instead, they consist of overlapping layers of kevlar and other ballistic cloth. It is generally gray, occasionally black, and is light weight.

Security Skeinsuits protect against ballistic and melee attacks, just as a military or civilian skeinsuit does. Half the damage affects the wearer, the other half gets absorbed by the suit. The suit continues to help the wearer until it has absorbed 25 points of such inertial damage, then is too ripped up/damaged to continue protecting its wearers. This can happen pretty quickly, even in a small fight, so Security Skeinsuits are generally designed to require replacement after a good fight, thus their inexpensive nature.


Sometimes direct protection against physical or energy damage isn’t as important as just avoiding detection. The best defense for an attack is simply not to be attacked.

Stealthskins are made of a special fiber that makes no noise when it rubs together. It is silent, even to the enhanced hearing of some races. Robotic devices or technologies with advanced hearing sensors will not even hear it rub together.

The Stealthskin is only effective when worn alone – no other clothes, no skeinsuit, no screen. When wearing the Stealthskin, the character is fully encased in a single piece of dark black fabric, stretching from top of his head to his toes. Even his face is covered. A single strip of specially-made non-reflective synthetic transparency runs across the eyes, allowing the wearer to see out quite easily. Many tiny stretchpockets exist along the thighs, waist, and arm, to give the wearer a place to place gear where it won’t rub or bounce or touch other equipment he carries.

The Stealthskin fabric is quite stretchy. It allows for the unusual shape-shifting abilities of a Dralasite to function normally. Additionally, the suite can be purchased to accommodate the wing membranes of a Yazirian or the unusual shape of a Vrusk, but when purchased for one of these other races it can only be worn by members of that species.

Benefits. When wearing a Stealthskin, the character is permitted to use the Stealth and Concealment subskills of the Environmentalist skill as if he were a Level 1 Environmentalist. If the character already has the Environmentalist skill, he can make amazing use of this fabric and gets a bonus of +10% to both of these skills.

If a character sustains more than 25 points of personal damage, or is encumbered with gear (carrying more than half his STA score in kilograms) the Stealthskin no longer provides these bonuses.

Statistics for New Defensive Equipment
Defense Cost (Cr) Wgt (kg) Energy Defense Against
Security Skeinsuit 150 1 25 points Ballistic/Melee
Stealthskin 80 - special -

Miscellaneous Equipment

There are already several pieces of gear one can purchase from the standard equipment list. These are commonplace throughout the Frontier. Here are some other items, perhaps not as common on the PGC core worlds, but often found throughout known space.


This tiny 3kg pouch-sized kit can be inflated (automatically when activated) into a fully-functional four-man raft. It takes about five minutes to inflate, and a similar amount of time to deflate.

When deconstructed and properly stowed, it fits in a small pack that straps to the thigh for easy transport.


This tiny 3kg pouch-sized kit can be erected into a small 3-man habitat tent in about ten minutes. It takes a similar amount of time to deconstruct. It can come in a variety of colors.

When deconstructed and properly stowed, it fits in a small pack that straps to the thigh for easy transport.


These appear to be a normal mundane set of boots, rugged-looking and easy on the foot. Concealed in the heel, however, is a tiny explosive charge.

When the wearer presses certain buttons on the boots, the charge becomes active. When the character jumps down hard on an active Jumpboot, the charge fires, and a concussive blast is heard for about a kilometer. The concussion launches the character into the air and improves his leaping distance by a multiple of 3. After the explosive blast, the boot acts as a normal boot. The charge cannot normally be re-set, it is part of the boots manufacturing process.

Using these boots in combat is not wise, both participants will be knocked 1d10 meters in opposite directions, and both will take 3d10 damage.

Survival Kit

This is an emergency survival kit. It is similar to the Standard Equipment Pack from the main rules book, but reformatted to make it useful for explorers and wilderness scouts (and anyone finding themselves stranded on a desert planet!). Many lifeboats and escape pods have a number of these survival kits stowed, as well as a single duraraft and envirotent.

The Survival Kit consists of the following items:

  • All-weather blanket
  • Basic first-aid equipment (bandages, etc.)
  • Compass
  • Everflame
  • Gas Mask
  • Holoflare
  • Life Jacket
  • Pocket Flashlight
  • Pocket Tool
  • Rope
  • Sungoggles
  • Survival Rations (5 days)
  • Toxy-rad guage
  • Waterpack


This is a hands-free version of the communicator built into a standard chronocom. It lacks any timekeeping technology, and attaches to a standard pair of sungoggles, magnigoggles, or Infra-red goggles. It has the same range as the chronocom (5km). Just like the chronocom, it has a standard identification number that can be given to others to enable them to “call” you.

To call another visocom or chronocom, simply touch a finger to the side of the boom mic/ear piece combination device, and clearly speak the identification number of the person you wish to call. It can also be put in a conference mode, where any number of visocoms and chronocoms can maintain an open channel for free communication among one another.

Visocoms are less expensive than their chronocom partners because they don’t keep track of time, are more obvious, and lack the micronization required to fit the technology into a wristwatch.

Wide-Field Recorder

This sphere can hover and record all visual and audio activity in a 360 degree radius. It takes a standard 20 SEU clip and drains 1 SEU per hour. The recording is stored on a small micro-disc that can be read on most computer systems. A disc holds 20 hours of data, and extra discs can be purchased for 20 Credits. It comes in a shoulderworn carry bag complete with interface cables and a place to store 2 extra micro-discs and 2 extra SEU power clips. It cannot be connected to any other power source.

Later, when looking at the data recorded from the Wide-Field Recorder, a computer specialist can pan around, zoom in, filter out noise, and recreate the entire three dimensional experience recorded on the micro-disc. With proper holographic projection equipment, a fairly realistic scene can be reproduced.

Unfortunately, it is also possible for a skilled computer specialist to tamper with the data contained on the disc, making this device not admissible in most courts.

Statistics for Miscellaneous Equipment
Miscellaneous Equipment Cost (Cr) Wgt (kg)
Duraraft 90 3
Envirokit 40 3
Jumpboots 70 --
Survival Kit 150 6
Visocom 50 --
Wide-Field Recorder 100 --