I’ve been messing around with running a Star Frontiers game again soon, and part of that has been considering alternate player-facing materials to the game. While digging through a lot of Star Frontiers goodies from all over, I’ve noted that one thing it seems a lot of people miss about the baseline design of Star Frontiers is how the various species are built. While each non-human PC species has a special ability, they are generally tied to the species’ worst stat.
Yazirians are berzerkers and warriors. They have the lowest Strength & Stamina.
The amorphous Dralasites can extrude a number of limb-like pseudopods based on their Dexterity. And they have the lowest Dexterity score of the core races. They can detect lies, but are no more social or intuitive than any other race.
Vrusk are natural businessmen with the ability to understand any trade or communications around them even if they don’t know the language. But they are less logical AND intuitive than the berzerker Yazirians.
(Although it should be noted that the Vrusk also have ambidexterity and the highest Dexterity).
When looking at third party materials, you often run into races that break from these concepts. Big races that are natural brutes (honestly, if we add a larger-than-human race to the setting, their natural position would be to give them a very social concept), Intelligent races with great tech abilities, and so on.
The real magic, for me, is that the core races end up in a great balance where humans, despite their lack of special abilities, are still a great choice for a PC.
I’m going to take a poke at designing a few “equal footing” species (that should be roughly as good of a choice as the core species) as well as polishing up my “A Xenomorph May Be Involved” tables for generating random “minor races”.