The expanded combat system uses a different turn sequence and gives characters many more options, as well as introducing a wide variety of new weapons.

Combat Sequence

The sequence of events in combat is outlined below.

1. Check to see if characters are surprised.

2. Roll for initiative. (Throughout this section, the side that gets initiative will be called side A and the side without initiative will be called side B.)

3. Announce what each character will do. Side B declares first.

4. Side B moves. Characters on side A may be able to shoot at opponents who move through their field of fire.

5. Side A moves. Characters on side B who did not move may be able to shoot at opponents who move through their field of fire.

6. Side A resolves any wrestling attempts, remaining weapon fire. grenade tosses and melee. Wrestling attempts are resolved before other types of attacks.

7. Side B resolves any remaining attacks.


If there is a chance characters will be surprised by an attack, the referee should let characters make Intuition checks. The referee must decide which characters get to make checks. For example, only the last character in a marching line has a chance to notice a sneak attack from behind.

If a character fails the check, he does not suspect anything and will be surprised. When a character or group is surprised, it automatically loses initiative for the first turn of combat and can do nothing that turn except move and take cover.

If a character passes the check, he notices something unusual: footsteps behind him, a gun barrel poking around a corner, or anything else appropriate to the situation. The player must decide howto reacttothis information. If he makesa bed choice, hemaystill be surprised. For example, a group of adventurers is driving down a dirt road with tall grass on both sides. Suddenly, a flock of flying lizards takes off ahead of the vehicle and flies away. The characters decide the animals were frightened by their Explorer and continue driving. Within moments, a group of rebels hidden in the fields opens fire on the ATV.

Spotting Distance

When characters have an encounter, one factor that will affect whether they can be surprised is how far they can see. A character standing on flat, level ground can see a man-sized object up to 1 km away, but can not see any details about the object. A character can see details at a distance of about .5 km. Binoculars, magnigoggles and telescopic sights will multiply these distances by three. Weather conditions such as fog, rain, blowing dust or heat shimmers can reduce these distances to half or less. A character can see farther if he climbs to a higher elevation, but the distance at which he can see detail does not change with elevation.


One player on each side rolls 1d10 and adds the highest Initiative modifier on his side to the result. The side with the highest total has initiative and is side Athis turn. If the results are tied, the side with the highest modifier has initiative.

If there are more than two teams in a fight, simply add more sides (C, D, etc.) to the sequence as they are needed. The side with the lowest initiative roll always moves first, with the other sides following in order. If only a few characters are involved in a fight, the referee can treat each character as a separate team and have everyone roll their own initiative.

Holstered and Slung Weapons. If a character's weapon is in a holster or slung over his shoulder, the character must subtract 3 from his Initiative modifier when rolling for initiative. If the character is rolling initiative for a group, the modifier applies to the entire group.


All characters must decide what they will do at the start of each turn, and declare their intentions before the first move. Side B must declare first, allowing side A to react to side B's moves.

Declarations should be as realislic and specific as possible. For example, instead of saying, "I will throw a grenade," the player should say, "I will throw a doze grenade at the Yazirian, and then duck back beh ind the rock wal 1. " Characters must declare how many shots they will fire, what power settings they will use and whether they will fire a burst (see Rate Of Fire, Variable Power Settings and Bursts).

If opposing sides in a fight can not see each other, the referee may ask for declarations before the roll for initiative. This forces players to act without knowing what their opponents will do.


A character must be able to see his target in order to shoot or throw a grenade at it. A character can see his target if a straight line from the center of his square to the center of his target's square is not blocked by a building, a cliff or some other obstacle. If the character is in a position where he can lean around the obstacle to shoot, it does not block his sight.


Characters on side B move first. If a character moves through an opponent's field of fire, the opponent may be able to shoot at him as he moves. (Everything in front of a character is in his field of fire; see Opportunity Shots.) Side A moves after side B. If a character from side A moves through an opponent's field of fire, and the opponent did not move this turn, the opponent may be able to shoot as the character moves.

Melee Distance. If a character started the turn within 2 meters of an opponent who declared he would attack in melee, the character can not move. If both characters declare they will attack in melee, the character on side B gets to move into his opponent's square.

Dodging. Dodging is a special type of movement. Instead of running straight across an opponent's field of fire. a dodging character ducks, weaves and zigzags through a dangerous area. Dodging makes a character harder to hit, but also slows him down; characters who dodge move at one-half their running speed.


Any weapon that can be used to attack someone from a distance is a ranged weapon. In STAR FRONTIERS games, ranged weapons include lasers, gyrojets, needle guns, automatic rifles and pistols and grenades. Bows and arrows, spears and knives also can be used, but are common only on primitive planets.

Ranged Weapon Combat Procedure

The basic chance to hit equals one-
half of the firing character's Dexterity,
rounded up.

1/2 DEX

Add 10% for each level of skill the
character has with that weapon.

+10 per skill level

Add or subtract the appropriate range
modifier. The range is reduced by
one class if the attacker is using a
telescopic sight.

Point Blank

Subtract movement modifiers.
(All movement modifiers except
"Stationary" can be applied to both
target and attacker.)

If the target is a running animal, use
these animal modifiers.

If the target is a moving vehicle,
subtract 10.

If the attacker is riding in a vehicle,
subtract 10. If the vehicle is moving
faster than 150 meters per turn,
subtract 20.
(target only)

Very Fast

Moving Vehicle

Attacker is in:
Slow Vehicle
Fast Vehicle





Add 15 if attacker is standing still
and aiming carefully.
Careful Aim
Add 20 if firing a burst.
Firing a Burst

Subtract cover modifier.

Soft Cover
Hard Cover

Add or subtract target size modifier

Subtract 5 if target prone.
Prone Target

Subtract 10 if attacker's Stamina is
reduced to half or less by wounds.

Attacker Wounded

Subtract 10 if using wrong hand.
Using Wrong Hand

Subtract 10 if attacker is firing two

Firing Two Weapons


Skill Modifiers

Characters get a bonus on their chance to hit if they have been trained to use their weapon. Characters learn weapon skills by spending experience points for them (see SKILLS). Skills for beam, gyrojet, projectile and thrown weapons must be learned separately. A character gains a +10% bonus on his chance to hit for each level of skill he has with the weapon he is using. For example, a character with level 3 beam weapon skill and level 1 gyrojet weapon skill gets +30% to hit with beam weapons (lasers, sonic disruptors, etc.) and +10%to hitwith gyrojet rifles and pistols. A character does not need a weapon skill to use a weapon.

Heavy Weapons

Heavy lasers, sonic devastators, recoilless rifles, grenade mortars and rocket launchers are heavy weapons. When a character fires a heavy weapon, he must subtract 1 from his skill level with that type of weapon. A character with no training for that weapon has a -10 penalty.

EXAMPLE: A character has level 3 skill with gyrojet weapons and no other weapon skills. He gets a +20 bonus when firing a grenade mortar or rocket launcher, but has a -10 modifier when firing a heavy laser, sonic devastator or recoilless rifle.


Range modifiers in the Expanded Game are the same as those in the Basic Game. The Expanded Game, however, adds elevation differences to range. If the attacker and his target are at different heights, the range is found by comparing the horizontal distance between them and the difference between their heights. The shorter of these two distances is divided by 2 and added to the other. Their sum is the distance to the target.

EXAMPLE: A Star Law marksman on the ground is trying to shoot a sniper that is on the roof of a building. The marksman is 20 meters from the base of the building, and the building is 50 meters tall. The shorter distance is 20 meters, and half of that is 10 meters. The range to the target is 50 + 10 = 60 meters.

Telescopic Sights. Telescopic sights, called "scopes," are small telescopes that magnify distant targets, making them easier to aim at. Using a scope lets the attacker use the range modifier for the next closer range; for example, extreme range becomes long range. Telescopic sights can not be used at point blank or short range. A character using a scope can fire only one shot per turn.

Careful Aim

A character can get a +15% bonus on his chance to hit if he does not move during the turn and takes only one shot. The character must steady his weapon on some kind of solid surface. if he is shot or hit in melee during the turn, the character loses the bonus. This bonus does not apply to bursts or thrown weapons.


A character has cover if more than half of his body is hidden by a wall, a rock, a clump of bushes or anything else that can protect him from enemy fire or hide him from his opponent's sight. In the Expanded Game, there are two types of cover: hard and soft. Hard coverwill stop or deflect bullets and energy beams. Soft cover hides the character from the enemy, but,will not stop enemy fire. Examples of hard and soft cover are listed below.

Hard CoverSoft Cover
Brick, stone or metal wall
Metal vehicle
Large tree trunk
Hills, sand dunes, rocks
Plastic curtain
Smoke or fog
Tall grass

Sometimes the referee must decide whether cover is hard or soft. For example, a wooden wall that is made of heavy logs is hard cover, but a wooden wall made of thin planks is soft cover.

Darkness does not affect an attack if the anacker is using an infrared or light amplification device. Infrared devices allow the user to see through smoke, haze and fog as well.


Machineguns and automatic rifles and pistols can fire a burst of 10 bullets in one shot. A burst can be aimed at up to five adjacent characters in an area up to 10 meters wide, or at just one character. Only one die roll is needed to hit all the characters aimed at. If the burst is aimed at one character it causes 5d10 points of damage. If it is aimed at more than one character, it causes 5d10 points of damage plus 1d10 for each additional target. These points are divided as evenly as possible among all the targets. Any leftover points of damage are lost.

EXAMPLE: A character fires a burst from an automatic rifle at a group of five pirates charging toward him. All five are hit, so the player rolls 9d10 for damage. The result is 49 pointsof damage. These are divided evenly among the pirates, resulting in 9 points of damage to each. The extra 4 points are lost.

Target Size

Size modifiers apply mostly to animals, but the referee can allow bonuses or penalties for other targets if hewants. All of the character races are medium sized. The animal size ratings are described in detail in the section on Creating Creatures.

Prone Targets

A character who is Iying on the ground is harder to hit than someone who is standing up, so 5% is subtracted from the chance to hit a prone character. This combines with the soft cover modifier, but not with the hard cover modifier. For example, anyone shooting at a target that is Iying prone in tall grass has a -15 modifier to hit. Anyone shooting at a target that is Iying prone behind a heavy log has a -20 modifier to hit.

Wounds And Anesthetics

If a character's Stamina has been reduced to one-half or less of his uninjured score. all of the character's attacks have a -10% penalty and the character can fire only one shot per turn. Anesthetic drugs, which reduce pain, will cancel this modifier. One dose of anesthetic lasts five hours.

Firing with the Wrong Hand

Every player-character race except the Vrusk have "handedness"; either their right or left hand (or paw or pseudopod) is stronger and more coordinated, and is used more often. If a character shoots a pistol with his weaker hand for any reason, the shot has a -10% modifier. Vrusk are ambidextrous and can use either hand with no penalty.

Firing Two Weapons

Characters can fire two pistols at once, but they must take a -10% modifier on each shot. This is in addition to the -10% modifier for shooting with the wrong hand. These guns can be fired at different targets, if the targets are adjacent to each other.

Rate Of Fire

Some weapons can be fired more than once during a turn. (This is different from a burst, which is considered one shot.) Characters must declare how many shots they will fire at the start of the turn. The attacker must roll to hit separately for each shot. The most common weapons and their maximum rates of fire are shown on the table below. Rates of fire for ail weapons are shown on the Weapon Table.

WeaponRate of Fire (shots per turn)

Automatic Pistol
Automatic Rifle
Gyrojet Pistol
Gyrojet Rifle
Laser Pistol
Laser Rifle
Needler Pistol
Needler Rifle
Sonic Disruptor
Sonic Stunner
Thrown Weapons
(grenades and knives)
3 single shots or 1 burst
3 single shots or 1 burst
2 (1 if energy setting changed)
2 (1 if energy setting changed)


Opportuniity Shots

Characters can fire opportunity shots while their opponents are moving, if the opponent moves through the attacker's field of fire. (Anything in front of a character is in his field of fire.)

A character can fire an opportunity shot at a running or dodging target if the target moves at least 5 meters while in the attacker's sight. A character can fire an opportunity shot at a walking target if the target moves at least 2 meters while in the attacker's sight. Characters can not fire opportunity shots at targets that are not moving.

A character that declared he would fire two shots during the turn can fire only one opportunity shot. A character that declared he would fire three shots during the turn can fire one or two opportunity shots. A character that declared he would fire one shot, and all characters with weapons that have a rate of fire of 1, can not fire opportunity shots.

Area Fire. Characters who are firing more than one shot during the turn can aim at an area instead of an opponent. This area can be no more than 5 meters wide. If an opponent moves through the area, the aiming character can fire opportunityshots at him. Thistactic is useful if opponents are hidden at the start of the turn.

Automatic Hits

There are two kinds of automatic hits. The first is a shot that can not miss. An example of this is a character who holds a gun next to a canister of compressed air and pulls the trigger; there is no way the character can miss the canister. The referee must use his common sense to decide when a shot can not miss.

The second type of automatic hit happens when a player rolls 01 through 05 on his roll to hit; a shot always hits on these rolls, no matter what the character's modified chance to hit is. Referees should be careful to prevent their players from abusing this rule, however. If automatic hits are always allowed, it is no harder to shoot an insect at extreme range than it is to shoot a Sathar at extreme range. Some shots are just impossible to make. The referee must use his common sense to judge these situations.

Automatic Misses. Any shot will miss on a d100 roll of 96-00, no matter what the character's chance to hit is. This rule applies even to shots the referee has decided can not miss; the player must roll the dice anyway, and on a roll of 96-00 his weapon has malfunctioned and failed to fire.

Shooting At Targets In Crowds

If a character fires a gun at someone who is standing in a crowd, the target is treated as if it had soft cover (-10 to hit). If the shot misses, there is a 25% chance it will hit someone else. The referee decides who the shot hits. This rule also applies to shots at targets that are in melee and attempts to shoot past someone who is partially obscuring a target.


Players must keep track of their character's ammunition. Weapons that require powerpacks can be operated from powerclips or from power beltpacks or backpacks. Beltpacks and powerpacks can power other equipment besides weapons, however, so players must keep accurate records on their power supply.

Reloading. A character can reload a weapon with a fresh clip or attach it to a different powerpack in one turn if he does not run or dodge. A weapon can not be fired on the turn it is reloaded.


Grenades (and other thrown weapons) are treated as ranged weapons when determining hits and misses. A character's chance to hit his target with a grenade equals one-half of his Dexterity score plus 10 x his Thrown Weapons skill level. The only other ranged weapon modifiers that apply to thrown weapons are range, movement, wrong hand and wound modifiers. Other modifiers should be ignored.

Grenade Bounces. When a grenade misses its target, it still goes off somewhere. The player should roll 1d10 and check the Grenade Bounce Diagram to see which direction the grenade rolls.

5 meters
10 meters
15 meters
20 meters

Grenade Bounce Diagrams
Direction of Throw
* is target square
The distance the grenade bou nces depends on how far it was thrown. The table below shows how far grenades will bounce if they are thrown from different ranges:


Characters can throw up to 500 grams of explosives as though it was a grenade. Anyone inside the blast radius takes full damage. Anyone within twice the radius of the blast must pass a Reaction Speed check or be stunned for one turn. More information on explosives is given in the Skills section and Equipment section.

Structural Damage

The amount of damage caused by ranged weapons when they are used against doors, walls or other structures is shown below.

Weapon Structural Damage

Automatic rifle/pistol
Gyrojet rifle/pistol
Laser rifle/pistol
Needler rifle/pistol
Fragmentation grenade



points per shot
points per shot
points per SEU
no damage
points (30 if placed
instead of thrown.)

The structural points of various doors, walls and vehicles are shown on the table below.

25+d1050+2d10100+d100 200 + 2d100

Heavy Door
Interior Wall

Fortified Door
Exterior Wall
Light Vehicle
Fortified Wall
Heavy Vehicle

Armored Vehicle

Doze Grenades. Very large creatures can not be knocked out with only one doze grenade. The number of doze grenades needed to knock out a creature is equal to its current Stamina divided by 50, rounded down (but never less than one). For example, an animal with a Stamina of 120 could be knocked out with two doze grenades. If its Stamina was reduced to 90 by wounds, it could be knocked out with one doze grenade.

Grenade Effects. Grenades affect areas 6 meters in diameter. Every living creature in the area is affected, but damage is rolled separately for each. This means a grenade can seriously injure one character and have very little effect on others.

EXAMPLE: A fragmentation grenade explodes and catches three characters in its blast radius. The grenade causes 8d10 points of damage to each character. The first rolls 40 points, the second rolls 63 points and the third rolls only 17 points.