Skinning The Frontier: Star Frontiers Stats to 4th Edition D&D – Equipment/Weapons (Part 1)

…”hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side, kid.” – Han Solo

The space adventurer’s life is a hazardous one, full of dangers both environmental and biological. Strange creatures can be found in decaying ruins and abandoned spaceports – creatures that are often decidedly unfriendly. In such situations, the careful adventurer relies on a selection of weapons that can incapacitate, capture, and yes, even kill a dangerous opponent.

In this “series within a series” I will show you how weapons are utilized in Star Frontiers, and (as the series continues), more detailed information regarding each of the types of weapons you’ll find in the Star Frontiers universe.  Before I get started, let me hit you up with a link to the Weapons Table that accompanies this series:

Equipment – Weapons

Now that you’ve added that bit of clever info to your Star Frontiers library, here are some thoughts to consider when using these weapons in your 4E Star Frontiers campaign:

Weapon Damages Are Pretty High – There’s a good reason for that. Technological societies are really good at coming up with ways to kill members of other technological societies. Why beat each other with clubs, when a laser can do the same job, only much neater.  Also, keep in mind that many creatures will have access to technology or will have physical attributes that give them resistances to certain types of damage. If you are the “Mirror Creature of Megamandon”, you might very well be immune to laser beams.

Nuke The Entire Installation From Orbit – Well…with the right backing you might get away with that. It’s true that some of the weapons listed here do quite a bit of damage. However, a character’s ability to get a hold of several high explosive warhead, long-range missiles, is probably going to be pretty limited. Also, the Frontier frowns on random terrorist…err…adventuring groups bombarding worlds from orbit. Who do you think you are, the Sathar?

Scale The Adventure Awards – Beginner space heroes do not start off with a lot of money. If the group is backed by a MegaCorp, their situation may be better, but easy access to a lot of firepower doesn’t happen overnight. Consider giving out some of the weapons listed in the PDF above, as treasure. A forgotten storeroom, weapons locker, or smuggler’s cache can give up some great treasure.

Where are all the “normal” weapons? – Ah…so your space pirate still wants to swing around Daddy’s old cutlass, eh? You can still do that. You’ll find “old school” weapons (swords, maces, bows, etc.) by looking them up in the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials rules. Use the stats as presented.

Those are some great general guidelines, but here are some hard rules you’ll need to consider when using specific types of weapons.

1) Pistols (although ranged weapons) do NOT provoke opportunity attacks from adjacent enemies. All other ranged weapons do.

2) Energy (SEU) or Ammunition clips require a Load Minor action when swapping new clips or when switching the power source from an Energy Clip to a Power Belt or Power Backpack.

3) Grenades are targeted like Powers with Burst effects. When you throw (or fire from a rifle) a Grenade, make a separate attack roll against every creature within the burst area of the grenade. Then, roll one damage roll that is applied to every creature effected by the burst.

4) Grenades set to explode on a specific turn, are treated as Immediate Interrupt attacks.


That information (and the accompanying PDF linked above) should get you started with what you need for utilizing weapons in a 4E Star Frontiers campaign. As the weeks progress, you’ll get additional details about each of the weapon types, and things to take into consideration when using them. Be sure to stay tuned!

This is my game – Deadorcs Out.


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. R.M. Walker, who can be found in numerous places on the internet as “DeadOrcs”, is a long time gamer with some 30 years experience playing RPGs. Despite occasional forays into the bizarre, Randall has always come back to Dungeons & Dragons.


About DeadOrcs

R.M. Walker, who can be found in numerous places on the internet as “DeadOrcs”, is a long time gamer with some 30 years experience playing RPGs. Despite occasional forays into the bizarre, Randall has always come back to Dungeons & Dragons.
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