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StarMaster
#1
Well, enough people seem to be mentioning the Grand Ol' Game, I thought it deserved its own thread.

Originally designed by Richard Allan Lloyd as a science-fiction version of Tribes of Crane, StarMaster was originally run by Schubel & Sons, eventually being bought back by the designer, who started a new company, KSK Concepts, to run it.

StarMaster was a turn-based, human moderated game. Each player started with a race (which the player designed, picking parts and attributes from a list, with each race getting 300 "bio points") and a homeworld. There were three different technology types (cold, heat, and chemical), which determined the sorts of weapons and other technology the race had.

Key to the game was technological advancement. Each "generation" of technology allowed the weapons and other systems of a player's ships to be ten times as powerful as the previous generation. This was accomplished by turning in economic vouchers, which were in turn generated through trade. Eventually, these economic vouchers (photocopied on goldenrod paper, and punched through with a spaceship-shaped punch to foil counterfeiting) were simply traded or gifted from older and more advanced races to new races, allowing them to rise in generation very swiftly.

The map was three-dimensional, with several different galaxies, such as the Central, Northeast, and Sixth Lower.

Turn sheets allowed players to move up to 6 fleets. Additional turn sheets could be purchased and included with a player's turn. Rumor has it that certain empires' turns ended up costing hundreds of dollars each. There were also Special Action sheets that allowed players to do things not covered by the ordinary rules, such as exploration of ruins, setting up special research projects, etc.

There was a background set up for the game, with the older races having dizzying levels of technology, but relatively small empires. The Eastern (communist) galaxy was in the process of invading the Central, as was the Northern galaxy (ruled by amoeboid races).

The game was eventually acquired by the original designer, who ran it through a company called KSK Concepts (named for a character from the background of the original game, Khan Sigma Khan). It was converted from a wholly human-run game to a computer-assisted game, and was run for several years.
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#2
(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: Originally designed by Richard Allan Lloyd as a science-fiction version of Tribes of Crane, StarMaster was originally run by Schubel & Sons, eventually being bought back by the designer, who started a new company, KSK Concepts, to run it.

And do you know if Richard Allan Lloyd is still with us, all these many years later?

Also, if you know, how long was StarMaster run by Schubel & Son, and how long was it run by Richard Allan Lloyd?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: StarMaster was a turn-based, human moderated game. Each player started with a race (which the player designed, picking parts and attributes from a list, with each race getting 300 "bio points") and a homeworld.

Can you give us a few examples of what you mean by "bio points," as they were utilized in StarMaster?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: There were three different technology types (cold, heat, and chemical), which determined the sorts of weapons and other technology the race had.

Do you recall what the 5reasoning was for those three technology types?

Also, when you say "other technology," do you recall what all that encompassed?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: Key to the game was technological advancement. Each "generation" of technology allowed the weapons and other systems of a player's ships to be ten times as powerful as the previous generation. This was accomplished by turning in economic vouchers, which were in turn generated through trade. Eventually, these economic vouchers (photocopied on goldenrod paper, and punched through with a spaceship-shaped punch to foil counterfeiting) were simply traded or gifted from older and more advanced races to new races, allowing them to rise in generation very swiftly.

Does this mean that players received one of these goldenrod paper economic vouchers with each set of turn results?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: The map was three-dimensional, with several different galaxies, such as the Central, Northeast, and Sixth Lower.

How many stars or planets were in each galaxy? How many galaxies were there?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: Turn sheets allowed players to move up to 6 fleets. Additional turn sheets could be purchased and included with a player's turn. Rumor has it that certain empires' turns ended up costing hundreds of dollars each. There were also Special Action sheets that allowed players to do things not covered by the ordinary rules, such as exploration of ruins, setting up special research projects, etc.

Was there a limit to how many fleets could be moved, and how many special actions could be done, in a given turn?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: There was a background set up for the game, with the older races having dizzying levels of technology, but relatively small empires. The Eastern (communist) galaxy was in the process of invading the Central, as was the Northern galaxy (ruled by amoeboid races).

Were all of the empires in the Eastern galaxy Communist empires? Was it designed that way, or did players come up with the Communist theme, by themselves?

(03-25-2011, 02:12 AM)Greyhawk Grognard Wrote: The game was eventually acquired by the original designer, who ran it through a company called KSK Concepts (named for a character from the background of the original game, Khan Sigma Khan). It was converted from a wholly human-run game to a computer-assisted game, and was run for several years.

So, what happened to the game, after it was acquired by its original designer, Richard Allan Lloyd? Was it a better game, after it transitioned to computer assisted, compared to when it was hand-moderated?
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#3
Big Grin How sweet it was and is. I still have all of the SM materials that I used back in the 1970's to include the original S&sons book.

I can remember it taking a long time to play, as I started playing in Germany in the 70's. Boy, was the mail slow then.

I take it out and enjoy reading the stuff all over again. I may be the only one to still have all of the original stuff that was sent during play.

Tom
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#4
I would play Starmaster if I had the chance. The game is gone for ever....
Have fun reading your old pbm turns!
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#5
(06-25-2011, 06:01 AM)Tom Thomas Wrote: Big Grin How sweet it was and is. I still have all of the SM materials that I used back in the 1970's to include the original S&sons book.

I can remember it taking a long time to play, as I started playing in Germany in the 70's. Boy, was the mail slow then.

I take it out and enjoy reading the stuff all over again. I may be the only one to still have all of the original stuff that was sent during play.

Tom

Can you scan some of it, Tom?

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#6
Grim

What you want me to Scan, misc batch of stuff, part of the book, turn sheets, you name it you got it.

Tom

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#7
I would like to see a copy of a StarMaster player's turn results, first, I think. The game has a great reputation, it seems, but I still am in the dark about what got players of the game so excited.
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#8
Attached to this message are a couple of scanned images from Thomas' old StarMaster turns.


Attached Files
.png   StarMaster1.png (Size: 195.28 KB / Downloads: 33)
.png   StarMaster2.png (Size: 213.15 KB / Downloads: 32)
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#9
(08-23-2011, 06:03 PM)GrimFinger Wrote: I would like to see a copy of a StarMaster player's turn results, first, I think. The game has a great reputation, it seems, but I still am in the dark about what got players of the game so excited.

Don't know how I missed this thread.

Think it was the ability to do just about anything within reason, and the fantastic writing.

I will have to dig out our alliance's newsletter and post some battle results from our Emperor.

The GM's of the game wrote out detailed and descriptive battle and turn results. You were there during the epic fleet battles, or when dimensional invaders attacked your planets. The writing was that good.

It was almost like D&D, where the DM would tell the story, but everything was bound by the rules and mathematical formula's.
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#10
I came into the game late sadly. As a start up alliance, my special encounters are much more simpler. The attached files are the special encounter for my last turn I ever received, and just when it was getting real interesting. I will never know if my outpost will survive the next day.

I was the last Minister of Information for the Lyranian Star Imperium alliance. So I have a bunch of old Imperial Newsletters, some of them have Lyranian battle reports, which are much more interesting, and put any Star Wars or Star Trek fleet battles to shame.

I would love to find a PBM game that does the same thing that StarMaster did, but haven't found it yet. It would be a time consuming game for any game master.
.pdf   StarMaster Special Encounter 1-3.pdf (Size: 83.99 KB / Downloads: 39)
.pdf   StarMaster Special Encounter 2-3.pdf (Size: 83.85 KB / Downloads: 21)
.pdf   StarMaster Special Encounter 3-3.pdf (Size: 57.84 KB / Downloads: 21)
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