For a Fistful of Credits
Extra equipment for the Star Frontiers game

by David "Zeb" Cook
Dragon Magazine, #112, pg. ?

Editor's introduction - We've received a lot of requests for more equipment that can be used on star-faring expeditions, and this article will hopefully fill in some of the gaps. The following material was produced before SFAC3, Zebulon's Guide to Frontier Space, was released. It fits in with the original Star Frontiers game system, and it may be used by gamers who do not have access to the former product. Some modification will be required if the Zebulon's Guide revisions are being employed in a campaign.

Gyrojet Ammunition

Doze Jetclip

The doze jetclip is loaded with 10 rockets, each carrying a small amount of doze gas. The rockets burst on impact, causing no damage, but filling a one-meter area with doze gas. The target must pass a current Stamina check or fall unconscious for 1-100 turns. The doze gas is only effective on the round it is fired. These rounds are often used by police or security forces to take suspects alive.

 Poison Jetclip

The poison jetclip also has 10 rockets, each carrying a small dose of poison gas that will affect a one-meter area. When the target is hit, no damage is done, but a current Stamina check must be made. Those that fail will be affected by a S5/T10 poison. If the character passes the check or is wearing a gas mask or spacesuit, he will not be affected. A shot of antitox will neutralize the poison so no further damage is taken.

Tangler Jetclip

This jetclip has 10 rockets filled with tangler fluid. No damage is caused when a target is hit, but a one-meter area is filled with tangler threads. The target may avoid being caught in the threads if a Reaction Speed avoidance roll is made. Otherwise, the threads will last for 30 minutes. Creatures with more than 100 Stamina points may break free in one turn.

Defensive Suits


A slipsuit is a tight-fitting suit made from a special low-friction polymer. It covers the entire body. The hands and feet are made from normal material, allowing the character to grip, punch, and walk normally. The slipsuit makes its wearer harder to hit with most weapons in melee combat. The attacker is -20 on his chance to hit a character wearing a slipsuit, unless he is attacking with a sonic knife or sonic sword. Tangler grenades and tangler rockets will not stick to a character wearing a slipsuit, making it impossible to tangle a character wearing one. A slipsuit will be ruined once it has taken 100 points of damage.

Organic Computers

Organic computers are cousins of the standard Star Frontiers computer. Like normal computers, they are used to store and analyze information. However, they have many important differences.

Unlike a normal computer, which is made of electronic circuits, superconductors, and specially formed crystals, the organic computer is grown from molecules. These are organic molecules, the same kind that form the building blocks of plants and creatures. This makes organic computers much smaller than the normal computers. Organic computers, however, are not considered to be living consciousnesses.

Since the organic computer is grown, it cannot be expanded like a regular computer (by adding function points). Instead, an organic computer has a function point potential. This is the maximum number of function points an organic computer can use at one time (and therefore the maximum number of programs that can be used at one time). However, programs can be entered and then later removed from an organic computer without damage to the computer or the program. It takes one turn to change the program of an organic computer. Unlike normal programs, when a character buys an organic computer program, he is buying a set of pre-recorded instructions that tell his organic computer what to do. He is not buying the hardware needed to run the program. Different programs may be used at different times, but the potential cannot be exceeded by programs that are in use. The function points used by programs are the same as those listed for standard computer programs.

For example, Zir-zak, a Vrusk adventurer, has a level 2 organic computer. Its function point potential is 30. He is using the computer to manage certain areas of his spaceship. He could have a level 4 security program (16 function points), a level 2 life support (8 function points), and a level 2 installation security (6 function points) running at the same time. If he landed on a planet and wanted to use a language program, he would have to change one of the programs in the organic computer to do so. In this case, he decides life support is not needed and replaces it with a level 4 language program.

An organic computer may either be housed or implanted. A housed organic computer is much like a normal computer. The actual processing part of the computer is kept in a small tank filled with nutrients. Connections to it allow the computer to be interfaced with other computers and machinery. Its advantage is its extremely small size. An implanted organic computer is much different from a normal computer; it is surgically placed inside a person or creature and becomes part of that person's brain. Its power is obtained from the food the person eats. An implanted computer interfaces with other computers by a micro-transmitter/receiver that is part of the implant. The computer interfaced to will require a similar transmitter/receiver as part of its equipment. Programs for an implanted computer are read by the person and "stored" in his memory. The implanted computer then draws these programs out of the person's memory. A character may have as many programs memorized as his Logic Ability divided by 10. These programs may be of any level. If the character is ever injured to zero Stamina points or below, the implanted organic computer is destroyed. This is true even if the character is placed in a freeze field and later revived.

For example, Zir-zak (our Vrusk friend) has an implanted level 1 organic computer. His Logic Ability is 65, so he may store up to seven programs in his mind. The programs can be of any level, but Zir-zak may only use 10 function points at any one time.

Important: Characters with implanted organic computers do not become supermen! They simply have access to a computer at all times. If a character attempts to have his computer solve something with too many variables, it will be beyond the abilities of the program. With any program, the character must still supply exact instructions and data. Computers cannot guess outcomes or predict events without a great deal of information.

Organic computers may only be implanted at the largest of hospitals with the most advanced of techniques. The process is very expensive and requires one month of hospital time for each level of the computer. The table below lists all the information on function point potential, size, and costs.

Organic Computer Information Table

Computer     Function       Cost (Cr)/Mass (kg)

  Level     Potential       Housed      Implanted

    1           10         10,000/-     100,000/*

    2           30         35,000/1     400,000/*

    3          100         125,000/2   1,000,000/*

    4          250         300,000/2   2,000,000/*

    5          600         700,000/3   5,000,000/*

    6          1500       2,000,000/3  10,000,000/*

Implanted computers are extremely small. They will have no effect on the carrying capacity, health, or appearance of the character.

Computer Receptor Implant

The computer receptor implant will allow the user of the implant to be in contact with his computer at ranges up to five kilometers. The user simply "thinks" his request to the computer. The computer (if it has the proper program) will then send an answer to the user, where it will be "heard" as a thought in his brain. So long as the user stays within range, he will be in contact with his computer.

When a character buys a computer receptor implant, he is actually buying a special implant, an attachment to his computer, and a special transmission program. The implant is a micro-transmitter/receiver with special connections that attach to the nerve cells of the user. This implant must be surgically attached to the character (just under the skin). This work can only be done at an advanced hospital (referee's decision where) and takes two weeks. The computer attachment is a similar transmitter/receiver that connects to the computer. The transmission program allows the two transmitter/receivers to talk to each other, and uses one function point. This program has no levels. The computer receptor implant costs 50,000 Cr. Transmitter/receivers that attach to other computers cost 2,000 Cr each.

Computer Programs


Infiltration programs are designed to help a person with computer skill defeat the security on other computers and detect security overrides. There are six levels of infiltration programs. Each level will add 5% to the character's chance of success. The amount of time needed to defeat security or perform a security override when using an infiltration program is changed to 10-100 minutes. To be used, the computer with the infiltration program must be successfully interfaced to the other computer. Defeat Security is not required to make this interface. Infiltration programs require the same amount of function points as computer security programs.

Medical Technology

The following are new pieces of medical equipment and new medical processes. The processes may only be performed at hospitals with sophisticated medical equipment.

Accelerator Drug

This drug speeds up the body's actions. Only a medic may administer this successfully. When under the effects of the drug, a character adds +2 to the initiative die roll (in addition to normal bonuses) and can make one extra attack per turn in melee combat. The effect will last for a number of turns equal to the character's Stamina score (at the time the drug is taken) divided by 10. Each turn the character is accelerated, the person will lose four Stamina points. Lost points are healed like normal wounds.

Anesthetic Drug

This drug works exactly like a doze grenade, except that it must be injected into the target. Anyone may give the injection.


This process is very rare, performed at only the most advanced hospitals. When a character is to be cloned, tissue samples are taken of various parts of the character's body. These may be held for any length of time. From these samples, a new body may be grown when requested. Growing a clone takes 500 days and costs 1,000,000 Cr. Physically, the clone will be identical in appearance to the character from which the tissue samples were taken, save for scars and other uninherited physical traits. The clone will have average scores in Strength, Stamina, Reaction Speed, and Dexterity. It will have no Intuition, Logic, Personality, Leadership, or Special Abilities. A clone may be supplied with these abilities through an experiential matrix (giving the clone the scores recorded in the Matrix, see below). If a matrix is fed into a clone different from the person from whom the matrix was taken, the Strength, Dexterity, Reaction Speed, Personality, and Leadership scores are reduced by 20 points. No score may be reduced below a level of six in this case. Clones and cloning are illegal on some worlds.

Experiential Matrix Analysis

Living characters may undergo an experiential matrix analysis. This process will record all memories and experiences of the character up to the time of the analysis into a special computer storage. The process is mainly used to transfer memories to a clone, and may only be done at an advanced hospital. This process is dangerous as it involves severe strain on the character; there is a 20% chance that the following abilities will be permanently reduced whenever an analysis is made: Stamina, Logic, Intuition, Reaction Speed, Personality, and Leadership. One check is made for each ability. If an ability is to be reduced, the character will lose 10-50 points in that ability. All abilities (except Stamina) may not be lowered to less than six points. If the Stamina ability is reduced to zero or below, the character is permanently dead. The referee should record the reduced Ability Scores of the character analyzed and keep this information for later use. Reduced abilities may only be increased by use of experience points. The analysis takes one week and costs 50,000 Cr.

Intensive Healing

Intensive healing may only be done at sophisticated hospitals. The referee should decide if a hospital is able to do intensive healing. Intensive healing will allow the character to heal 40 Stamina points a day. The cost is three times the number of points healed per day plus 500 Cr. Healing 85 Stamina points would take three days and cost 755 Cr.

Oxy Drug Injector

This slowly releases oxygen into the bloodstream, supplying all needs for twelve hours. Oxy drug injectors are usually worn on the wrist, feeding the drug directly into the blood. The injector must be attached at a hospital. Once the injector is attached, the character may refill it with oxy drug as needed. The cost of a refill is noted on the price list. Note that an oxy injector will not protect a character in space; a spacesuit must be worn.


This process allows lost arms, legs, fingers, and toes to be regrown by the use of special medical stimulation procedures. It may only be done at the most advanced hospitals. The patient, obviously, must be alive (or in a freeze field) when brought to the hospital. Regeneration takes 30 days for a finger or toe (costing 50,000 Cr) or 90 days for a complete arm or leg (costing 200,000 Cr). How the character lost the limb in the first place is left entirely up to the referee. If the referee does not want to deal with this, the game problem of limb loss and regeneration may be ignored. Since Dralasites do not have any specific limbs, they do not need regeneration.

Universal Antibody

 This antibody helps protect the person from any type of disease. It may only be injected at a hospital. Characters with the universal antibody have a +20% chance to resist any disease (if the chance to resist the disease is 0% (nil), the character is given a 20% chance). This product is a great boon to galactic tradesmen and explorers of new worlds.


Cloud Flyer

The cloud flyer is an atmosphere craft specially designed for use in hostile environments. It has a completely pressure-sealed cabin and cargo area to protect the occupants and equipment from the environment. A cloud flyer's main wings are swept back, and it has a shorter pair of wings, or canards, mounted near the nose.

Cost: 40,000 Cr (rental fees - 200 Cr down, plus 100 Cr/day)

Top/cruise speed: 400 kph/150 kph

Passengers: 6

Cargo limit: 3,000 kg, 3 cubic meters

Miscellaneous Equipment

Density Scanner

This device consists of a bulky backpack connected to a large cameralike set of goggles. The user wears the goggles, which show the scene in front of him. The density scanner checks emissions from the electromagnetic spectrum and computes the density of the items observed. It can only give very general readings. The scanner is often used for locating hidden cables and wiring for repairs. The scanner does not really "see through" things. It only gives the density reading of the surfaces of things. The density scanner must be supplied with SEU to operate, and it uses 1 SEU for every 10 minutes of operation.

Environmental Suit

This suit is designed to protect its wearer from the weather and other conditions on habitable planets. It is made of lightweight, quilted cloth. The suit covers the entire body and has a built-in gas mask, goggles, and a small heating/cooling system. This will keep the suit cooled to a comfortable temperature on hot planets and warm on cold planets. The suit also protects against tainted atmospheres, airborne irritants, and dust- and sandstorms. Any field may be used with the suit, and it may be worn under an albedo suit or skeinsuit. It may not be worn under a slipsuit. The environmental suit itself gives no protection from attacks. The suit may be powered from a power pack or powerclip. It uses 1 SEU per day, if the heating/cooling system is used.


This treatment may be given to any article of equipment or vehicle except hover vehicles. Enviro-proofing protects these items from the extremes of heat, cold, dust, submersion, tainted atmospheres, and vacuum. The referee should note that there are no specific rules for equipment failure in the Star Frontiers Expanded Rules. Enviro-proofing is provided to protect equipment in situations in which the referee feels weather may affect the item. It is up to the referee to create other planets and situations where it would be useful. Enviro-proofing may be done when the item is bought or at some later time. The cost to enviro-proof an item is 10% the cost of the item.

Portable Space Welder

The portable space welder is an all-environment welder. It will work in all conditions, including in vacuum, underwater, and in poisonous or tainted atmospheres. It is similar to a modern oxyacetylene torch and uses an open flame for its welding and cutting. It may be used to weld metals and hardened plastics or to cut through these materials. It takes the welder one turn to make a weld or cut 50 cm (0.5 meters) long. The welder may cut through up to 3 cm of material. The welder may only be used in melee combat and no bonus is added for Melee Weapons skill. If a hit is scored, the target will suffer 5d10 points of damage from the flame. A fuel tank is required to operate the welder. One tank will fuel the portable space welder for one hour.

Thermosign Generator

The thermosign generator is an advanced form of the infrared jammer. It creates an infrared image of something that is not actually there by generating the proper heat patterns. This image will be seen on all infrared goggles and sensors. The thermosign generator has a 10-meter radius; it may create nothing larger than this radius. Creatures and items inside this radius will not be seen on infrared sensors. In image disc is required for the generator to create the infrared image. These discs must be custom made and cost 100 Cr each. The generator is approximately a one meter cube. It requires a parabattery to operate. The generator uses one SEU each hour of operation.

New Equipment: Cost and Mass Table

Item                   Cost    Mass

Gyrojet ammunition

  Doze jetclip,         20      -

  Doze jetclip,         30      -

  Poison jetclip,       50      -

  Poison jetclip,       100     -

  Tangler jetclip,      30      -

  Tangler jetclip,      60      -


  Slipsuit              600     1


  Organic computers      *      *

  Computer receptor      *      *

Computer programs

  Infiltration           *      *

Medical technology

  Accelerator drug      10      -

Item                   Cost    Mass

  Anesthetic drug        5      -

  Cloning                *      *

  Experiential           *      *
matrix analysis

  Intensive healing      *      *

  Oxy drug injector     500     -

  Oxy drug refill       30      -

  Regeneration           *      -

  Universal antibody    100     -


  Cloud flyer         40,000  4,000


  Density scanner       500     5

  Environmental suit    100     2

  Enviro-proofing        *      *

  Portable space        300     20

  Thermosign           1,000   100

* See description.